QueenAnntics

An ENFP living in a world of possibilities and fun

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Who’ll Stop the Rain?

September 20th, 2011 | 3 Comments

Every time I hear the song Who’ll Stop the Rain by Credence Clearwater Revival, I think of Dennis. I knew him many years ago in Arizona.  I had taken my first job as a speech pathologist and he was one of my first clients. Our first appointment was in the late afternoon when almost everyone was gone.

“Tell me about Dennis, ” I said to his rehab doctor.  He replied, “Oh Dennis.  He had a mild head injury from a car accident. ”   I asked for more information, “What’s his background?”  The doc said without flinching, “Oh well, he was a bank robber and a gigolo.”

Ohhhhhh. Ok!  I wasn’t too nervous because as an intern at Detroit Rehabilitation Hospital, I had worked with some bad dudes.  One man, who had been shot in the head, almost stabbed me with scissors when I asked him to write his name.  Honestly, he couldn’t help himself.

Dennis was not what I expected.  He was a tall man with eyes the color of a Siberian Husky.  He was polite and engaging.  Despite the head injury, he had maintained much of his cognitive capacity.  As it turns out, we had both grown up in the same area. We shared a passion for the Rockford Files- his first question every time he saw me was, “Did you see the Files last night?”  Our favorite character was Angel, the schemer and thorn in Jim Rockford’s side.

Over time, Dennis and I developed quite a friendship.  One day I asked him,”What do you do when you rob a bank?  Seriously!”  He said, “I’d tell everyone to count backwards from 100.  After they got through 10 digits, I would say, I CAN”T HEAR YOU, even if I could.”   Wow.  Even bank robbers have a routine.

As I got to know him better, I came to know that he was deeply saddened by the choices he had made in his life, that he had caused his parents so much angst.  He was well into his 40’s at the time but his regret was as if it happened yesterday.  One bad choice led to another and before long, he had ensnared himself into the wrong crowd, doing the wrong thing, all of this made worse by a drug habit.  Only a car accident put a stop to his ill-begotten behavior.  This man was full of potential and yet this is the course his life had taken.

One day, Dennis and I were  listening to some music while we were cooking in the clinic kitchen together.   Who’ll Stop the Rain? came on the radio.  He looked me and said, “That’s what I wonder every day.  Who’ll stop the rain?”  A jolt ran through my body as I looked into his eyes.  It was then that I realized that in the heart of many men who have blown it in life, there is an ember that glows with the wish that things had been different.

I think of Dennis often,on his birthday and at other times. Who’ll Stop the Rain? remains the biggest trigger of all.  I have no idea where he is now or if he is even still alive.  Still, I want to throw a few rays of sunshine his way, even if it’s just into the Universe with his name on it.  And I hope I was able to stop the rain just a little bit all those years ago.

 

Posted in Very Cool People

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Words With Friends: Is it Killing my Scrabble Game?

September 15th, 2011 | 3 Comments

I just played the words “washier” in the online game Words With Friends, a Scrabble-type game where you can place and arrange your letters until you get it right. In traditional Scrabble, you must be certain that your word is actually valid because if it isn’t,  you lose your turn.  Of course, if you are player of some repute, you may be able to bluff your way to some sweet points with a bogus word because your opponent is too afraid to challenge you and potentially lose her turn!  Thus, all things being equal, you must have a pretty good sense that your word is actually a word or you pay the price.  This is not the case in Words With Friends. Mistakes, botched spellings, and wild hair attempts at constructing a word are all copasetic.  It’s all good.

As a long time Scrabble player, it took me awhile to get used to the consequence-free Words With Friends format. Just now, I was ready to place the word washer on the board.  Then I thought, “What the hell?  Why not try washier?! It uses all 7 letters!”  I couldn’t believe it when it wasn’t rejected.   However, here’s the incredible part: washier is actually a word meaning more diluted.  Well now I have that word in my back pocket for the next time I sit at the Scrabble table and play the real deal.

However, I can’t decide if I like the opportunity to fiddle around with my letters and find a combination that works.  For every “oh wow, that’s a word?” that turns out in my favor, there are 5 others that do not fly.  I can guarantee that I don’t remember what was acceptable and what wasn’t in Words With Friends when I sit down to play Scrabble.  Am I hacking up my respectable Scrabble prowess by playing this crazy game? It’s hard to say.

There is an addictive quality to Words With Friends.  It’s almost like a jigsaw puzzle where you can shift the pieces around until they fit together.  I have also found out that if I am stuck, walking away from the game and returning to it brings a new angle.  You can’t do THAT in Scrabble because it’s a timed game when you are playing it the right way.  So now I won’t be able to play under pressure?

Talk about insidious!…Your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

Posted in This Is Madness

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The Last Bird Has Flown

June 5th, 2011 | 1 Comment

My youngest child graduated from high school last night.  As for all mothers facing the empty nest, this was a defining moment in my life. My children were  always my #1 priority especially since my husband’s job limited his time at home. I spent many hours alone-just me and the kids.  I did work as a speech pathologist for 23 years, always on-call, with as much wiggle room in my schedule as I could possible get. I spent years in the practical solutions, business, coaching clients to a  an improved life after brain injury.  Therefore,  it was natural for me to spend hours discussing strategies and approaches to navigate and enjoy life with my kids, and to do this with their friends also. I gave out LOTS of advice over the years!  Every mother has a niche and mine was encouraging personal growth, sharing strategies for living, and brewing up schemes and adventures.  I loved it!

However, I could see on the horizon  that  my kids would increasing rely on their own judgment  and that I wouldn’t t need to be as involved. In other words, if I had done a good job, then I needed to let go.  It’s a constant battle for an idea person to back off.  I am so enamored with generating ideas and carrying them out that I have joked that I want light bulbs on my tombstone!  Still, as my last child graduated last night, it became abundantly clear that this is the end of the line.  All of my children have taken steps toward independence and adulthood.  The notion of the empty nest came onto the radar screen for me about 3 years ago and this  new reality helped me generate a whole new set of goals and priorities for myself.  Evolve or dissolve, as my friend once said.

People generally don’t have to start from scratch when they look for a new direction. Either you find something that falls under that same general umbrella or you combine some of your talents in a new way to make it fresh. Knowing this, I felt I needed to identify a challenge I could take on that would redirect my energy on a day to day basis.   I decided to capitalize on my knack for helping  people get unstuck and began to lay the groundwork for a life coaching practice using my brain science/therapy background coupled with some life coaching training.

I also started Queenanntics.net so I could have a place to publish my writing, purely for enjoyment. Not all of my initial ventures in this area have been successful but I am definitely finding my way.  It’s a PROCESS and I have all kinds of time to figure out how to hone my act. The worse thing is to do nothing because of fear of failure or feeling foolish.  Everyone has a passion or two lying deep within and as mothers, we sometimes lose sight of what that may be such is the demands of our primary job for so many years.

In fact, my children are still my greatest love  and inspiration but  my new role as a mother is to model a healthy transition from hands-on day to day mothering to embracing my new life as an empty nester.  They will watching how I spend my time and someday, when they pass through this stage with their own children, I hope they will think of me as someone who navigated this time successfully. I do have to give credit to my own mother who worked part-time as a medical technologist while we were growing up then went to full-time after we got older.  Even when she retired from that occupation, she couldn’t remain idle for long.  At 75, she is still a Weight Watchers receptionist greeting clients and providing encouragement to the members.

It doesn’t really matter what you do but it will feel more joyous if you can discover what energizes you.  Picking something to pass the time until you can reconnect with your kids is certainly helpful but finding a passion gives you the opportunity to let them get excited about you too!  This phase of their lives can be intoxicating with new loves, jobs, travels and freedom and it’s tempting to vicariously ride the wave with them or to slow them down so they don’t stray too far from the nest.  However, one of the best ways to gently let go is to discover new passions and interests in your own life.  This is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your adult children.

Posted in Ooooo That's Deep!

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The King’s Speech/The Queen Who Built the Bridge of Trust

March 8th, 2011 | No Comments

Stuttering can be difficult treat. To get an idea of what it is like to struggle for words, think of the times when you tried to think of someone’s name or a place that you wanted to recommend. The harder you try access that word, the more it seems to elude you. Then once you give up trying to come up with it, it suddenly appears in your mind as if by a miracle.  It’s like being stuck in the snow or mired in quicksand, the more you struggle, the worse it tends to get.  Removing the pressure and unlocking the system is a key component in stuttering therapy.  There is an art to achieving the type of relationship between client and therapist that is required to loosen up the system – as the movie demonstrated, it is more than just technique.  Give the Queen as much credit as the therapist.  She was the bridge of trust that made this relationship possible.

Lionel Logue, the therapist, was an interesting character and he fundamentally understood the anxiety and pressure that can lock up the speech mechanism.  As a trained actor,  he was probably the most equipped to loosen the king up.  After all, he had observed stage fright and the effect it had on performers.  Yet it was the Queen who hung in there even when the King doubted that his therapist could help him.  She sang out of the window, rolled on the ground-did whatever she could to support the King.  I believe this built the critical bridge that served to bond the two men together.

Stuttering therapy takes family support.  Many years ago, I worked with stuttering clients as part of my speech therapy training. Some clients had lived with stuttering all of their lives and some had acquired it after a brain injury.  In all cases, it was very helpful to have a patient, non-judgmental family member hang in there with the client.  Queen Elizabeth known as The Queen Mother after the death of King George VI, served in this role perfectly.  No wonder she remained popular with the British people until she died at the ripe old age of 101!  Through divorces and scandals in the British royal family, the Queen Mum knew how to roll with it!  She was a very cool queen indeed!

Posted in Queens and other Royalty

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That New Sign Ophiucus/The Fated Sky

January 16th, 2011 | 2 Comments

Yesterday, the astrological world was apparently shaken by the news that there is a 13th sign in the Zodiac, namely Ophiucus.  Scorpios are now Libras, Cancers are Geminis and newspaper horoscopes have to do some regrouping!  Thanks to the precession of the equinoxes, the planets do not lie in the same constellations as they did thousands of years ago so really the Scorpio sun is actually lying in Libra territory today.

The concept of the new zodiac sign is based on this phenomenon. However, this is not a new revelation. What  is being described here is well-known to astrologers and it represents two schools of  astrological thought:  the Tropical astrological system popular in the West and the Sidreal/Vedic system popular in the East especially in India.  The two systems are approximately 24 degrees apart and all of the planets calculated on natal horoscope are changed as well.  Is your Venus in Aquarius in the Western natal horoscope?  In the Vedic horoscope, it would be in Capricorn!

There are many questions that astrologers banter around that rival the East/West debate.  For instance, every horoscope is divided into 12 sections called houses representing areas of life such as the houses of personal resources, home and heart, or career.  In the West, there are dozens of ways to “slice the pie” and no one agrees on which house system to use.  It is a great point of contention, Moreover, classic astrology only recognizes the seven visible planets: mercury, venus, mars, jupiter, saturn, plus the sun and the moon which are included on this list.  The outer planets Neptune and Uranus as well as the dwarf planet Pluto are excluded. Vedic astrology uses the seven visible planets plus the Dragons Head and Dragons Tail which are really the North and South nodes of the moon.  Aspects and orbs are another topic of debate.

As you can see, astrology is a complex topic that goes beyond whether there is a so-called 13th sign of the zodiac.  I would like to recommend a book called The Fated Sky by Benson Bobrick, a Columbia University graduate who has written several critically acclaimed books on historical topics.   In this book, he traces the history of astrology starting from the earliest surviving birthchart of April 29, 410 BC through all of the great astronomers (who also happened to be astrologers) such as Ptolemy,Keppler, and Copernicus. He also describes the rise of “sun sign astrology”, or “newspaper astrology”, that was popularized by Alan Leo in the late 19th and early 20th century.   It is a fascinating study of the impact of planetary cycles on all of the world’s religions and importance of the court astrologer in all royal houses in history. This broad historical view does not insult the intelligence of the reader but gives a wide view of an art and a science (the concepts are based on mathematical measurements) that has existed for thousands of years. I certainly enjoyed reading it and it made me wonder.

Sometimes when I am up in northern Minnesota and I am treated to a cloudless sky with a new moon, I try to imagine what it must be like to lie in an open field during the ancient times, when there was no light from below and no pollution from millions of cars-to see the sky and the seven visible planets with completely clarity.  And further, to watch the movements of the planets and to see their relationship to one another change.   Scores of  learned men throughout history did just that. Like the sundial measures time, the planets in the sky measure seasons and cycles.  How this is all interpreted is a matter of a debate that has gone on for centuries and isn’t likely to be resolved or proven by anyone.  Still I still wonder what they really saw. How did they connect what they saw above to what they observed below?   Of course, usually when I read one book about a topic, I have to read many more.  What I found was more questions than answers which is pretty typical for anyone who investigates this topic.   Still, to get a broad and intelligent overview on the topic of astrology, try the Fated Sky.

Posted in This Thing I read

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Steve’s Marlin

October 31st, 2010 | 1 Comment

Hanging in the pool room in Steve’s house is the “supermodel” of all fish, a catch among catches, a blue marlin. This is the same type of fish made famous in Ernest Hemmingway’s epic novel The Old Man and the Sea. Below the fish is a plaque bearing the date and other important information related to the great catch.  As I was admiring the fish, I asked Steve, “What if this fish had jumped into your boat (which apparently can happen). Would you have still mounted it on your wall?” Steve did not hesitate even for a moment as he emphatically stated, “No, because it wouldn’t be my fish.”

Hmmmm…. this is a gorgeous fish!  It is a real eye-catcher mounted on the wall of Steve’s pool room.  It is admired by everyone who steps into the space.  One could probably purchase such a fish to put on the wall but people usually don’t buy another person’s trophy fish. Steve had to catch this marlin himself for it to be worthy enough to be brought back from Hawaii  to Minnesota.

The story of Steve’s marlin put me in one of my metaphor moods, times when I encounter something in my environment  that reminds me of some deeper truth.   In this case,  I see a parallel between trophy fishing and dating.  It is an excellent analogy for why women should not chase men.  Most  conquests of any lasting value involve effort and persistence. This is a tough message to sell given the popular culture that suggests that a woman take matters into her own hands and aggressively pursue the man of her dreams. Or, the notion that if a woman makes herself even more sexy, hot , or gorgeous, or she gives him everything he wants that he will do the same for her. However, there appears to be hard wiring in humans, particularly in men, that suggests that a prize, even an exceptional prize,  when gained without the thrill of the hunt, is no prize at all.  This idea can be hard to accept for many women.

Indeed, for awhile it may seem that this mindset works because most men will passively accept the attention of a woman. If a man detects that a woman’s mission is to please him, he will also focus on how she can please him. He will sit back and take what she offers him. However he is less likely to reciprocate in like fashion if there is nothing to be accomplished, no battle to be won! Boredom will soon set in.   A  woman’s receptive interest in a man generates his active interest in her. Active interest is what we feel when we have a goal in mind and are motivated to pursue it.  It’s wired into us to feel deep satisfaction after effort in order for the survival of our species.   In the absence of dynamic tension, nothing evolves.  Nothing thrives nor survives.

So  what do you get when you’re an easy catch?  You get a lazy man who lacks the desire and challenge to give you his best.  That isn’t to say that women should be impossible to reach or relentless in their demands. Indeed it is advisable to break above the surface of the water and show a beautiful, shiny dorsal fin or jump elegantly into the air. But don’t take the bait too quickly! Or for that matter, don’t jump into his boat for free unless you want to end up back in the sea!  It is the awareness that there is something of value to be won that will motivate a man to sit out in the hottest of hot suns to hook a gal once and for all.

And what if you don’t want to be caught right now?  What if you want to be the one that got away?  That’s fine. It is rare fisherman who will not cast his hook back into the sea hoping for a better outcome next time.


Posted in Ooooo That's Deep!

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We Don’t Need a Karaoke Machine! This is a CONCERT!

October 19th, 2010 | 4 Comments

On October 30, 2010, it will be one year since we lost Joe, a very cool person.  Joseph Martin Kopetka was married to my cousin Jackie Kopetka and he alone, turned her away from her horrible taste in music and replaced it with an appreciation for the Beatles. For years, I tried to convince her that Kiss, White Snake, and Foreigner was head-banging nonsense but she respectfully disagreed.  One of my greatest memories was visiting her on the farm in Nebraska and racing off in her 1965 Chevy Malibu with no power steering, listening to “Feels Like the First Time”  by Foreigner. I would harass her for musical choice but she only cackled, turned it up louder, and stepped on the gas, her long hair flying out of the open window. Who would have predicted that her wedding dance song would be ,  “If I Fell”, by the Beatles?.

Joe Kopetka was a scientist, a chef, the life of the party, and one of the funniest guys I have ever known.  He had a Masters Degree in Immunology and a collection of microscopes.  If Joe was cooking, it was advisable to wear elastic waist pants because it was going to be an all night affair. His famous “Salmon Groovieness” was particularly delicious.  Joe could get everyone stirred up too.   At one family reunion, he started a diving contest at the local pool, affectionately known as the “Hartington Aquatic Center”.   Joe’s specialty was the Jackknife dive.   My brother did a back gainer, stunning all of the younger people at the pool.  Who is that bald guy twisting effortlessly off of the high dive?  Indeed Joe could set the tone for getting loose.  I have never laughed so long and so hard as the time Joe combine Edward G. Robinson and Moses from the movie The Ten Commandments into one character.   “There was this burning bush sheeee….”

So now there was this family reunion sheeeee….. and  it was in 2006 sheeeeeee…… and Joe got the idea that we should do a little Beatles music.  I thought that was a great scheme and I informed him that I had a karaoke machine up at my cottage and we could have a little wine,  fire that thing up and we could get some Beatles music…. “Stop!”, Joe said. “We don’t need a karaoke machine.   We are going to have a CONCERT!”   A concert, eh?  Well okay! So Joe headed to northern Minnesota with his guitars and my brother Mark brought his axe and my husband, the only formerly trained musician in the bunch brought up his keyboard.  My other brother Matt, the diving specialist, brought his voice.

Don’t let me down!   Don’t let me down!  Don’t let me down!  Don’t let me down! ….I’m in love for the first time.  Don’t ya know it’s gonna last. It’s a love that lasts forever.  It’s a love that has no past! Dont’ let me down….

It was another incredible night with Joe and one we will never forget.  It’s a love that lasts forever, a love that has no past.  We will never forget you, Joe.  And because you gave my dear cousin some musical taste, you are in my Heaven’s Hall of Fame too!

Posted in Very Cool People

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Denny Hecker’s Brain/A Fine Line Between Slick and Sick

October 14th, 2010 | 1 Comment

Denny Hecker, the disgraced Twin Cities automobile dealership mogul is in the news again. This time, he slithered and manipulated his way into having the federal government pay his attorney’s fees, claiming he was broke, while he continued to spend money on items and experiences to feed his lavish and insatiable tastes. Raise your hand if you’re surprised.  Google “Denny Hecker” and over 44,000 entries appear.   Yet he continues to fascinate and appall us by his lack of remorse, his continued manipulation, and his seemingly unruffled attitude about being $767  million in debt.  We are holding our collective breath if we think that is ever going to change-that this guy will suddenly see the profound error in his ways.

Psychopaths make up 1% of the population according to most estimates.  Sociopaths, the cousin to psychopaths are similar and in some circles are considered almost the same.  However, the distinction appears to be the lack of organizational skills and perhaps a little more social awkwardness in the sociopath versus the psychopath. Sociopaths are a little more common too making up 3-5% of the population. Hecker, the former czar of an automobile empire, is more likely a psychopath.  He is hardly disorganized.

Moreover, we run into psychopaths more frequently than we think.  According to Scientific American Mind magazine (December 2007), it is a myth that all psychopaths are violent. Many of them are in the business and entertainment industry and have not committed any violent acts whatsoever.  Another misconception is that they are irrational when in fact they are quite rational.  They know exactly what they are doing but no emotional consequences or empathy is felt toward another at a genuine level.  They are quite skilled at mimicking emotions leading others to believe they are engaged when in fact they are not.

Indeed,  psychopaths are frequently charming and glib, possessing ultra-honed schmooze skills that can fool even the most stalwart among us.  There is a tendency to lie and cheat and dismiss it as being resourceful and necessary.  Denny Hecker has all of the classic characteristics of a psychopath including narcissism, grandiosity, and a penchant for marrying early and often.   I am certain I am not saying what hasn’t been said by many others.  This man is a psychopath.  He crossed the line from slick to sick.

Get thee to a brain scanning booth, Mr. Hecker!  Perhaps a fMRI will shed some light on your errant ways.  Your brain is a brain gone wrong.  There may be a reason (not an excuse) for your lying, cheating, and swindling ways.  Deep within the brain is the paralimbic system that registers feelings and emotional value experiences.  The brains of psychopaths tend to be underdeveloped, like a weak muscle.  Much of the brain science behind the behavior of a psychopath is emerging and new treatments are being developed, combining medications and therapy.  Maybe there is hope for you too.

The bottom line is that the court can ask Denny Hecker the same questions hoping that for once, he will come clean and tell the truth.  He will see the light and want to make amends.  He will feel remorse for his deceitful behavior.  Brain science suggests to us that he won’t.  We will continue to see this guy on the front page of the paper, same song, different verse.  I think it would be better to invest money in some sort of compulsory treatment for our brother, than to spend money on attorneys, court appearances and the like only to hear the same answers.  There is no point in trying to play fair with a psychopath.   They love the game.

Posted in This Is Madness

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The Trippy Tunnel of Lights

October 11th, 2010 | 1 Comment

At the Detroit Metro Airport, there is a trippy tunnel of lights that connect the “A” terminal to the “B/C” terminal.  There are several internet videos of this mesmerizing, psychedelic surprise that lurks below the hustle and bustle of this busy airport.   Here is one example of The Light Tunnel.   Many travelers never know it is there because it mostly serves the smaller regional airlines.  My first experience with the Tunnel was when I was picking up Julius, a fox terrier puppy, in Elmira, New York.  Slightly irritated that I had to change terminals, I proceeded with the mindset that I would drag my suitcase into a crowded tram and hold on for the ride.   I can barely describe my surprise when I descended the escalator and found the Light Tunnel.

I am from Detroit and I don’t mind saying it either.  The outsider may scoff at this old city citing the race riots, urban blight, and the fall of the auto industry among it’s many flaws. Detroit has had it’s share of crooked politicians too such as Coleman “Nacho Daddy” Young and everyone’s favorite,  Mayor Kwame Kirkpatrick, orchestrator of the famous Manoogian Mansion party complete with strippers and one angry wife.   All of these are truths about Detroit and the list of it’s problems extends well beyond what has already been mentioned.  It’s going to take time and a great deal of leadership to pull Detroit out of it’s latest funk.

Even so, there is a spirit in Detroit that  is quirky, brilliant, and colorful but it lies below the surface waiting to be discovered, much like the Tunnel of  Lights. There is an eclectic mix of people and experiences that is very uniquely Detroit.  I recall taking my daughter Chrissy, to Lafayette Coney Island, open 24 hours and located near the police station,  at 1am (in our pajamas)  prior to Game 1 of  the World Series in 2006.   Greek immigrants have run this restaurant for the last 70 years and they still use old fashioned cash registers.  There is nothing fancy at this place, just a slice of uniqueness that you may not find in more polished, trendy cities.  Detroit has many of these oddball places and they all tend be operated by some one of a kind proprietor who can make the simple act of selling a hot dog, a memorable experience.  Moreover, there is nothing like a Red Wing hockey game at the ramshackle Joe Louis arena or night at Comerica Park where we are expected to pay in “dollas” and not dollars. In the old days, we used to joke with the Canadian Immigration as we passed through the Windsor Tunnel or the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, Canada.   Since 9-11….not so much.  It’s still amazing that you can drive in an 80-year old tiled, tunnel and end up in another country!

Perhaps I am delusional and Detroit really is an old, run down city that is merely a pass through to other wonderful destinations.  And maybe the Light Tunnel is just a way to get from Terminal “A” to Terminal “B/C”.  However, there are always unexpected surprises in life and upon closer inspection, grow richer and more interesting if one is willing to slow down and have a look.   The Light Tunnel in Detroit is one such experience and within the city itself, lie many more.

Posted in Michigan and Motown

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Why Glorify the Mouse?

October 11th, 2010 | 1 Comment

Why glorify the mouse? First let me set the context that compelled me to write about this today. This afternoon, my internet repair person told me that I had had unreliable service for the past several weeks because mice had chewed through my cable (on the outside of my house and not the inside, thank goodness). As a result,  my internet service was at the mercy of the outdoor elements.  Cry me a river, right?

Well, I am so dependent and addicted to having a fast and reliable computer that having it fritz out on me was almost too much to stand.  Indeed there  was wailing and gnashing of teeth throughout the household.  Homework was interrupted.  No bills could be paid. No time wasting surfing the internet! And all along, I had one nagging image in my mind…  A mouse. A mouse is involved. I just know it. Earlier this year, a mouse chewed on the air conditioning wires. This sneaky, destructive,creature that can squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil  had to be behind this malfunction too.  Something deep inside told me that when something inexplicably stops working, all the dials point to Public Enemy #1, the mouse.

Ah…. the mouse. Why do we glorify this nasty little rodent in cartoons, children’s literature, and movies?  As I sat with some friends this weekend,  speculating that a mouse was once again up to no good,  we all agreed that mice are owl food and nothing more and yet they enjoy rock star status in film and literature.  Within seconds we named : Stewart Little, Despereaux, Mighty Mouse, Minnie and Mickey Mouse, Ratatouilee (a CHEF mouse??), Jerry (from Tom and Jerry), Speedy Gonzalez, and Mighty Mouse.  In another few seconds, we named books and poems featuring mice: Hickory Dickory Dock, Three Blind Mice, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, The 3 Mouseketeers, and multiple Grimms Fairy Tales, Surely, no mouse list is complete without mentioning one of the first mouse stories ever told: The Country and City Mouse which was originally an Aesop fable written circa 600 B.C. ! This madness has been going on for a very long time!

Here’s the deal: I don’t know about you but when I know I have a mouse in the house, I absolutely fall apart. Setting traps are scary enough (What if it snaps back and smacks my fingers?). Emptying a trap requires pure courage.  Add those factors to the damage mice cause by nibbling through wires and cables or getting into food supplies and you wonder what writers are thinking when they continue a nearly 3000 year history of glorifying the mouse!!

…. OK.  I am done ranting.  Now I ask you.  Do you agree or am I just crazy??

Posted in This Is Madness

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