Vast insignificance.

pale blue dot wallpaper 1900X1200

See that little blip on the right of the picture? That’s us. 

That picture is probably one of my favorites, in terms of demonstrating just how wondrous, yet fragile, the Earth is. It was taken by Voyager in 1990, and it’s been called “The Pale Blue Dot.” Voyager 1 had completed its mission and was leaving the solar system when it was commanded by NASA to turn around and take a picture of Earth surrounded by the vast darkness of space, as requested by Carl Sagan. That little pop of color is us. Our home. I can’t say it better than Carl Sagan said it, so I’ll merely quote him here.

We succeeded in taking that picture, and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there – on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

[…] To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

We only get one home. There aren’t any other planets anywhere we can move to. This is it. How about we do more to take care of it? It’s not up to one person or one country or one people alone to do it, we have to work together. As one.


Why does anyone care?

So, yesterday, we as a nation were treated to the news that Kylie Jenner, a member of the Kardashian brothel, was pregnant. Just what the world needs. What I would like explained to me is why anyone cares. Ignorant, uneducated women get knocked up every day. Why does the vacancy status of this particular woman’s uterus get elevated to “Trending Topic on Twitter”? More to the point, why was it more important than John McCain saying he wouldn’t vote for the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill? I hate the Kardashians/Jenners and everything they stand for, and this is one of those things. Puerto Rico…the whole country, not just parts of it…may be without electricity for the next 4-6 months. That’s important news. North Korea and its saber rattling is important news. A 20-year-old useless twit not understanding how condoms work is NOT important news.

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

This is one of my favorite days of the year, bar none. I love autumn. I love the weather, I love the colors, I love the holidays that fall in autumn, like Thanksgiving. When you wake up in the morning, and there’s a slight bite to the air, when it’s crisp and the sky is blue…that’s what I love best. For today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection, I give you a beautiful song, as sung by one of the all-time great voices in American popular music, that celebrates this most wondrous time of year. Enjoy!

Only the strong survive.

Do you think you’re stronger than you really are? I don’t know if I am. I know I can probably do more than I say I can, but when it comes to emotional strength…I think that’s where I’m lacking. I can’t say I’ve ever really been tested like that, and I hope I never am. Nothing’s really happened in my life where I felt the rug get pulled out from under me — I can’t say the same for some friends of mine, sadly.

When it comes to physical strength, I know I can do more than I say I can, just because I’m physically getting in better shape, compared to how I was just a few years ago, and I can do things now I never would have dreamed of doing then, like hiking up a mountain with my sister.

P.S. — If you’re not watching The Vietnam War by Ken Burns on PBS right now, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. My dad and I have watched the first four episodes now (Episode 5 is tonight), and it has been utterly amazing. It’s been a great balance of the American perspective, the South Vietnamese perspective, and the North Vietnamese perspective. I seriously hope if you haven’t started watching, you do so immediately. Episode 5 is tonight, and Episode 6 starts on Sunday.

Don’t eat in bed.


These are delicious, but messy.

I will never understand how some people can eat in bed. I’m not talking about a four course steak dinner, but things like cookies, potato chips, crackers, etc. I’m not super anal-retentive about my bed, but I like it to be neat and clean, and to me, crumbs and bits of food trapped in the sheets or under the comforter/duvet, just fly in the face of that. Besides which, I think it’s gross. Would you sleep in your kitchen or on your dining room table? No? So then why eat in bed? If you’re sick or unable to leave your bed to eat, I can understand it, but at least use a tray or something.

Who doesn’t love a sunrise?


I wouldn’t mind looking out my window and seeing this view every day.

I love sunrises. I’m fortunate that my bedroom windows face full east, so every morning, provided there’s no cloud cover, I get a beautiful treat. In the previous house I lived in, my windows faced west, so I got sunsets, and they’re beautiful too, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about a sunrise that a sunset can’t compete with. It’s the beginning of a new day, and those should always be welcomed. A very lovely elderly woman I once knew told me that every day without a headstone is a milestone, and I believe that. So, get up early one morning and watch the sun come up. It’ll make you feel good.

Are you trying to torture me?

Okay. Normally, I can figure out a good song to pair up with the Daily Prompt every Friday, and the song is at least somewhat tangential to said prompt. I consider it a challenge, and I enjoy it. Then you have prompts like “flavorful.”

I see what you’re doing, WordPress. You’re trying to keep me on my toes. I got this, boo. I GOT THIS.

“Flavorful” makes me think of food, and when it comes to songs with some kind of food in the title, this one immediately jumps out. For your Musical Interlude Friday, I give you Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Enjoy!

(P.S. — Herb Alpert was goddamn GORGEOUS back in the 60s. Holy shit. Think Sandy Koufax, minus the curveball, plus the ability to play the trumpet. Yowza.)

Watch your fingers.


Unfortunately, until Apple invents Smell-O-Vision, you’ll just have to pretend you can smell this rose.

I love roses. Next to peonies and lilacs, they are my absolute favorite flower. I will take any color of rose I can find; red, white, yellow, pink, peach, orange, hell…I’ll take a dark blue rose, if one can be grown naturally. We have a huge rose bush in our backyard, right by the basement door, and when they bloom, they not only look beautiful, but they smell beautiful too. The only problem is, whenever I’m mowing the lawn, I invariably scratch the shit out of my arms and hands brushing against the thorns, and wearing gloves or long sleeves doesn’t help, especially when it’s 100°F in the shade.

I always wondered growing up why roses had thorns, and I realized when I got older that it was a life lesson — think of the song “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison. Yes, you heard that right. Bret Michaels is singing about a relationship that ends when he calls home and finds his girlfriend in bed with another man. In other words, everything beautiful/wonderful/great will still have flaws. There is no such thing as perfect. Bet you  never thought I’d break down a glam metal power ballad in such a poetic way, did you?

Love, honor, and obey?


You know, if you’re going to have a cake topper, at least do something like this. THIS is adorable as hell.

Do women still say the word “obey” in their wedding vows? I’ve been to more than a few weddings, and I’ve never heard one bride say it. My mom got married in 1972, and I don’t think she said it, even then. Even for couples that want a traditional wedding, I can’t imagine many women (or men, you never know) wanting to keep that in the vows, provided they don’t choose to write their own (which is another post altogether — I hate when people write their own vows. Dear God, the saccharine…). Do you think it still has a place in a modern society, whether you’re getting married in a church or in your backyard? What would you say if your betrothed told you they’d like it if you didn’t omit it?