If you need a good cry …

.. then go read this extraordinary letter and answer from Dear Sugar.

DEAR SUGAR, The Rumpus Advice Column #78: The Obliterated Place

Dear Sugar,

1. It’s taken me many weeks to compose this letter and even still, I can’t do it right. The only way I can get it out is to make a list instead of write a letter. This is a hard subject and a list helps me contain it. You may change it to a regular letter if you wish to should you choose to publish it.  [Read the rest of it]

Dank morning, foggy tree

Couple of days ago.

We have a fabulous big OLD oak tree that hangs over into our yard.  It is home to innumerable animals and birds.  It vibrates with life on a sunny morning.   This tree is one of the old protected oaks in the Sacramento valley.  It’s in a fenced off area of our neighbors yard.   The phone and power companies have to work around it, none of their ugly chop jobs to make way for wires.

For perspective:  the fence in front of the tree is 6 feet high.  Click the pic for a bigger version.


I’m suffering some serious suckage in the Fresh And Meaningful Posting department.   I have all the regular excuses, none of which are very good, and then I have the real excuse, which is that I’ve been playing Scrabbulous via email with Az and Silverstar non-stop every time I sit in front of my computer.  Every bit of my creativity is going toward coming up with good words and blocking that damned Azahar from using all the red squares.  She’s relentless.

Yes, well, this is all very entertaining for me, but it begs the problem of getting the posting done.  I mean, MY GOD, I may have cooked something delicious and not written about it, or given poor Lewi another impossibly bad haircut and not shared.  What’s that, you say?  You hadn’t noticed?

Bitches.  Fine.  Be that way.

Also, I still hate Facebook.  I hate all the apps that need total access to all my info every time I accept something.  It feels like I’m being buggered sans vaseline each time I say yes to another request.  The other part I don’t like is that I think I’m doing it wrong, or it wouldn’t be so annoying.

Feh.  Feh and Feck.

R.I.P Arthur C. Clarke

Science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke, poses at his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in this May 9, 2007 file photo. Clarke, the author of more than 100 books, including “2001: A Space Odyssey”, died early Wednesday, March 19, 2008 after suffering from breathing problems. He was 90.

Arthur C. Clarke


1 – Indecision is the key to flexibility.
2 – You cannot tell which way the train went by looking at the track.
3 – There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.
4 – Happiness is merely the remission of pain.
5 – Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
6 – Sometimes too much drink is not enough.
7 – The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.
8 – The careful application of terror is also a form of communication.
9 – Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.
10 – Things are more like they are today than they ever have been before.
11 – Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.
12 – Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.
13 – Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.
14 – I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.
15 – Suicide is the most sincere form of self-criticism.
16 – All things being equal, fat people use more soap.
17 – If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
18 – One-seventh of your life is spent on Monday.
19 – By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.
20 – Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
21 – The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets.
22 – There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
23 – This is as bad as it can get, but don’t bet on it.
24 – Never wrestle with a pig: You both get all dirty, and the pig likes it.
25 – The trouble with life is, you’re halfway through it before you realize it’s a ‘do it yourself’ thing.

School’s IN

50 Fun Things for Professors to Do on the First Day of Class

by Alan Meiss

1. Wear a hood with one eyehole. Periodically make strange gurgling noises.
2. After confirming everyone’s names on the roll, thank the class for attending “Advanced Astrodynamics 690” and mention that yesterday was the last day to drop.
3. After turning on the overhead projector, clutch your chest and scream “MY PACEMAKER!”
4. Wear a pointed Kaiser helmet and a monocle and carry a riding crop.
5. Gradually speak softer and softer and then suddenly point to a student and scream “YOU! WHAT DID I JUST SAY?”
6. Deliver your lecture through a hand puppet. If a student asks you a question directly, say in a high-pitched voice, “The Professor can’t hear you, you’ll have to ask *me*, Winky Willy”.
7. If someone asks a question, walk silently over to their seat, hand them your piece of chalk, and ask, “Would YOU like to give the lecture, Mr. Smartypants?”
8. Pick out random students, ask them questions, and time their responses with a stop watch. Record their times in your grade book while muttering “tsk, tsk”.
9. Ask students to call you “Tinkerbell” or “Surfin’ Bird”.
10. Stop in mid-lecture, frown for a moment, and then ask the class whether your butt looks fat.
11. Play “Kumbaya” on the banjo.
12. Show a video on medieval torture implements to your calculus class. Giggle throughout it.
13. Announce “you’ll need this”, and write the suicide prevention hotline number on the board.
14. Wear mirrored sunglasses and speak only in Turkish. Ignore all questions.
15. Start the lecture by dancing and lip-syncing to James Brown’s “Sex Machine.”
16. Ask occasional questions, but mutter “as if you gibbering simps would know” and move on before anyone can answer.
17. Ask the class to read Jenkins through Johnson of the local phone book by the next lecture. Vaguely imply that there will be a quiz.
18. Have one of your graduate students sprinkle flower petals ahead of you as you pace back and forth.
19. Address students as “worm”.
20. Announce to students that their entire grades will be based on a single-question oral final exam. Imply that this could happen at any moment.
21. Turn off the lights, play a tape of crickets chirping, and begin singing spirituals.
22. Ask for a volunteer for a demonstration. Ask them to fill out a waiver as you put on a lead apron and light a blowtorch.
23. Point the overhead projector at the class. Demand each student’s name, rank, and serial number.
24. Begin class by smashing the neck off a bottle of vodka, and announce that the lecture’s over when the bottle’s done.
25. Have a band waiting in the corner of the room. When anyone asks a question, have the band start playing and sing an Elvis song.
26. Every so often, freeze in mid sentence and stare off into space for several minutes. After a long, awkward silence, resume your sentence and proceed normally.
27. Wear a “virtual reality” helmet and strange gloves. When someone asks a question, turn in their direction and make throttling motions with your hands.
28. Mention in passing that you’re wearing rubber underwear.
29. Growl constantly and address students as “matey”.
30. Devote your math lecture to free verse about your favorite numbers and ask students to “sit back and groove”.
31. Announce that last year’s students have almost finished their class projects.
32. Inform your English class that they need to know Fortran and code all their essays. Deliver a lecture on output format statements.
33. Bring a small dog to class. Tell the class he’s named “Boogers McGee” and is your “mascot”. Whenever someone asks a question, walk over to the dog and ask it, “What’ll be, McGee?”
34. Wear a feather boa and ask students to call you “Snuggles”.
35. Tell your math students that they must do all their work in a base 11 number system. Use a complicated symbol you’ve named after yourself in place of the number 10 and threaten to fail students who don’t use it.
36. Claim to be a chicken. Squat, cluck, and produce eggs at irregular intervals.
37. Bring a CPR dummy to class and announce that it will be the teaching assistant for the semester. Assign it an office and office hours.
38. Have a grad student in a black beret pluck at a bass while you lecture.
39. Sprint from the room in a panic if you hear sirens outside.
40. Give an opening monologue. Take two minute “commercial breaks” every ten minutes.
41. Tell students that you’ll fail them if they cheat on exams or “fake the funk”.
42. Announce that you need to deliver two lectures that day, and deliver them in rapid-fire auctioneer style.
43. Pass out dental floss to students and devote the lecture to oral hygiene.
44. Announce that the entire 32-volume Encyclopedia Britannica will be required reading for your class. Assign a report on Volume 1, Aardvark through Armenia, for next class.
45. Ask students to list their favorite showtunes on a signup sheet. Criticize their choices and make notes in your grade book.
46. Sneeze on students in the front row and wipe your nose on your tie.
47. Warn students that they should bring a sack lunch to exams.
48. Refer frequently to students who died while taking your class.
49. Show up to lecture in a ventilated clean suit. Advise students to keep their distance for their own safety and mutter something about “that bug I picked up in the field”.
50. Jog into class, rip the textbook in half, and scream, “Are you pumped? ARE YOU PUMPED? I CAN’T HEEEEEEAR YOU!”