How many fools does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Fools always travel in ships.

There are the fools of Gotham.
There are Shakesperean fools.

There are people who are surrounded by fools.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.


Today, I have the phrase for me:

I am a sad fool.

I cannot escape my own ignorance. I can choose many actions, and all of them seem foolish to me. No choice appears to be a wise one. There are times when this is so, situations when you cannot come out like a hero.

Not everyone is the hero. The rest of us are Rosencrantz and Gildenstern, bit parts, left confused and out of the major action.

I love that play, “Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are dead.” It brings up all kind of questions about what the HECK we are trying to accomplish in this big wide world that has big important things happening that WE CANNOT AFFECT very much.

Then there’s Billy Joel’s song “We didn’t Start the Fire.” We are left with the result of a history which, through hindsight, we would not have chosen.

And it doesn’t matter. Remember the Jeff Goldblum character in Jurrasic Park? Chaos theory…Just one drop of water can move across a person’s skin in different ways, moved by invisible, imperceptible pulls and tugs.

Choice is so powerful! That’s what Tony Robbins says! That’s what Viktor Frankl says.

And it is still not quite powerful enough. It is certainly not all-powerful.

So I, like King Lear, can rage against the storm and affirm the choices I have made. But that doesn’t mean they were right. And it doesn’t mean they affect as much as I want them to.

But that doesn’t excuse me from trying and trying. And trying and trying.

And that is what makes me a sad fool. Sad, as in pathetic. What hope, what importance have I, in the scheme of human history?

Just as much as anyone else. Maybe. And that isn’t very much.

But at the same time, it’s everything.

Every day is the day to get up, in spite of what seems to be futility. That drop of water might be affected by my striving, by my will.

And yet, it’s good for me to know that my choices are not that powerful. That I should be humble, knowing that I am a pathetic slob trying to make something of myself and leave a little scratch on the planet that makes it better, not worse.

And it’s good for me to know that I am a fool, so I can laugh at my foolishness, and have patience with the pitiful effects of my scratching.

For we know, from the beginning, what good does pride do anyone? never has. So, I’ll be the hopelessly hopeful. I’ll be the optimistic pessimist. And I’ll laugh and my sad foolishness, and in laughing, I’ll find the strength to keep on.

Metro – Para Coquetar

That’s what posted in the bus. It’s an ad for the bus itself. I don’t read Spanish, but I am pretty sure it means “The Metro Bus-For Flirting”

Must be in the air. Either that, or I’m pheremonal. Today, as I got off the bus, a young man jumped off with me and came up behind me. He asked me what my name was. He had a thick accent. I thought he said he was Roumanian. Turned out he was Armenian, and I mean REALLY Armenian. He had just gotten here in American from Armenia.

Through the course of our conversation, I discovered this. And I discovered his name was Artur, that he’s studied Russian language and Biology. He hoped to become a doctor, but was working as a jeweler in his family business until he could get his working papers.

That was all just an aside. What he really wanted to tell me, as we Manhattan-style powerwalked to my workplace, was that he was in love with me. He was quite persistent, and quite distressed that I did not return his love.

He asked how old I was. “31,” I said.

“No, 31. How old are you?”
“I am 30.”

Yeah right.

So, a long conversation discussing love, and college and the status of my availability was carried on at high speed, in three languages I think. I understood some of his Russian. He understood some of my Russian, and both of us didn’t understand a lot of each other’s english.

I suspect he was throwing in some Armenian here and there.

He begged me to admit that I found him attractive…And that he was in love with me.

I told him there were many beautiful women in Los Angeles, and that if he fell in love so quickly, it would be quite easy to fall in love the next time. He followed me for about three blocks.

I had to accept his phone number before he would leave me.

“Tbi pozvonish? pozvonish menya?” [you’ll call? you’ll call me?]

“Povidyemsya.” [we’ll see]

“Abyezyatilno!” [you must!]

“Chastliva!” [Cheers!]

and I walked off. Must be something in the air. Last friday, when I was waiting at the bus stop, some guy in a toyota truck kept circling and waving and honking at me.

It makes me laugh. But maybe I should shop for some pepper spray.

Pepper Spray – Para Coquetar

I’ve been saying it…Haven’t I been saying it?

Now I have proof:

News about Military Blunders at’s How to Make War.

THE WAY THINGS REALLY WORK: Home Schooled Kids Can’t Hack It

September 12, 2004: Discipline can be learned, and it must be practiced. That’s the findings of a recent Department of Defense study of whether kids who graduated from “alternative” high schools, or were home schooled, did as well in military service as graduates from traditional high schools. Turns out that the home schooled and alternative high school students did not last in the service as well as high school grads. One thing you learn by finishing traditional high school, is how to get along in a group, a discipline yourself to get things done in a group, and to persevere as a group.

In fact, kids who spent four years in high school, but did not pass all their final exams, did better. The Pentagon did not release the percentage differences, but is advising recruiters to take these factors into account when deciding which prospective recruits to spend their time on.

A disproportionate number of children, whose father or mother are in the military, are home schooled. It is not known if these kids, who are regularly exposed to military people, were a large enough part of the study sample to show if they, too, had problems completing their military service.”

Study by the federal government now shows that homeschool kids are weird.

two foreign countries

Yesterday at last, I managed to get to Mexico. I have been ashamed of myself for never having been. What kind of traveller/adventurer can I claim to be if I haven’t even been to Mexico? It’s a short drive away. A day trip.

And so I took a day trip and went. My favorite traveling companion was most unwilling. Chris reads newspapers and has decided that Mexico is a place of unrelenting corruption and danger. People are stopped, and thrown into jail if they do not bribe the policemen properly.

“So, make sure to budget in some bribes,” was my response.

He objected to the idea, on moral grounds, of bribing a policeman.

“Hey, that’s their culture. It’s not great, but they are hardly the only country that does bribing. In fact, I think that Americans are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to international business. We should require Bribing 101 for MBAs.”

He was not amused. So, with the threat of incarceration and the deep fear of Montezuma’s revenge, he drove us down to San Diego to catch the trolley to Tijuana.

He refused to drive , stay overnight, or eat while we were there.Honestly, I was sorry for him, that he had all these fears. But I was proud that he would accompany me anyway. He said someone had to keep me out of trouble.

I wanted to shop and have a Margarita. Actually, I wanted to try the other yummy foods, too. But I had some constraints with Mr. Worrywart at my side.

He was marvelous, though. We went in, and he kept track of where were were going and how to get out.

We got there about 2:30. It was hot and muggy as hell. I was very glad that we had not driven. Walking in took no time at all, and the line of cars out of TJ was enormous.

It was beautiful. It was so colorful, I liked it very much. I was pretty much focussed an the shopping, and it reminded me of all the other open-air Markets I’d been to- the Arbat in Moscow, the various markets I’d stumbled across in the UK and Ireland.

The Mexicans called out to you though, asing you to come into their stores. The men used their charm as liberally as they could, “Mija! Curly! Come inside to my store, I have beautiful purses and jewelry you will want.”

I was called curly rather frequently. It made me smile. Chris was not addressed at all. He had his arms around me, or was holding my hand the whole time.

“Half Price for the honeymooners!” they would call out to us.

You know, at the malls here, it is sort of amazing to get noticed at all, let alone with that kind of detail. I loved it.

The first man that called me Curly, I fell for. “Curly! Come look here! Mija! I have some earrings just like the ones you are wearing.”

I know it is a sales tactic, but it was very sweet to be called Mija at every turn.

“Your hair is so curly. Is that natural? It is so curly. You should give me some, I would keep it with me. Look at these bracelets…Do you like them? Here are some more for you. I got these at a discount, very good price for you.”

I should have bought something from him, just because he was so charming. Most of them were like that though. Imagine! A lock of my hair. Most men in America have probably never even heard of such a romantic favor.

It was nice.

Of course, like I said, Chris was entirely ignored. Which was fine with him.

There were a lot of pretty jewelry, although not as delicate as I usually like. So I passed on most of it. Then I was stopped by the beautiful pottery. They told me it was from Oaxaca, the black pottery they are famous for. I saw a cheerful skull of black pottery, it had lacy flower cut-ous and two slits for the nose.

I passed on it, but then I kept thinking about it. I have a friend who loves the day of the dead. It was perfect for her. I finally found another one and bought it for her.

The sales man told me it was meant to have a candle inside it, and that the light would flicker from the cutouts. That made me want one of my own. But not a skull. I just wanted a globe with the flower cuts.

I kept looking, thinking I might find leather or something I liked. I stumbled into a shop that sold the most beautiful lace. Bobbin lace as well as the crocheted type. I had been thinking I wanted a tablecloth. Those can be expensive.

But oh my, they had such lovely ones. Bobbin lace! And embroided with more cut outs (hmm…Is this a theme?) I found some beautiful things. THey got the majority of my TJ money there. I spent about fifty bucks on table cloths and napkins and lacey settings and doileys. A bargain, in my mind.

I then insisted that I stop and get a margarita. I could not leave without that. “It’s tequila. It can’t hold germs, it can’t make you sick.”

“The ice has water. Montezuma can still get me.”

I enjoyed my margarita, and half of his. Mine had too much salt in it, but his was okay.

That put me in a very sweet mood for a little while. We were sitting next to a brick wall, and some men in tight pants with designs up the side were singing to guitar music.

We looked over the map, and decided to take a look at the cathedral which was supposed to be nearby. It was respectably old, the map said, so I thought we should take a look. We got a little bit lost, but on the way I found a Churro vendor. Yum..I bought a bag of churros.

We found the cathedral, which looked much newer than we expected. We peeked in, but didn’t stay long. Outside there were a lot of vendors selling religious objects. There were also a lot of vans, and I think they were practicing santeria in the vans. They seemed to be offering services of some kind.

On the way back to the main shopping area, we passed a few rather bored looking prosititutes. I wouldn’t have thought they were prostitues, they were demure by my standards, except for the shoes.

We went on to try to find some black pottery from Oaxaca and maybe some jewelry. It was a very uncrowded day, really. It was hot and muggy, but at least we weren’t crushed.

We looked at everything, but we didn’t find my black pottery until the very end. And then I was still without new jewelry. I stopped at every stand on the long corridor out. I finally bought a small ring, then we made better time through to the border. Chris was getting hungry.

Basically, I had the best time. I would like to go back, maybe with some girlfriends. Chris was a little over concerned. But it was a romantic wonderful day trip, and I have at last been to Mexico.

On the trolley out, Chris said “Now you’ve been to two foriegn countries this year with me. Canada and Mexico”

children of the firm

I’m beat. Work made me work really hard, and I spent the week away from home. I am done now, and I am even taking monday off.

It took three trips to this location to finish. The first time, I stayed with friends. The second, I picked the cheaper hotel, and I rejected it. Too much graffitti nearby. It was a barely revitalized motel.

This time, third time, I got to stay with the top dogs in the nice hotel. I even snuck out to the hot tub at the end of the day, and it was wonderful. I sat there in luxury, staring at the beautiful stars. I was a little bit grateful to the firm for giving me a chance to stay at this pretty hotel. I would never have paid that much on my own.

And then I thought about how i had rejected the other motel. It was more expensive than I would have chosen to pay, too. I wondered if the top dogs would have stayed at the motel. They might have found it objectionable. We find a lot of reasons to complain about what our firms provide for us.

If I don’t have to pay for it, I might as well insist on the best. It costs me nothing.

I wondered if the top dogs would have chosen less luxurious surroundings. I thought, maybe not. They do make more money than me. I wondered if they also felt that they could insist on the best from the firm, and if they also felt like it costs them nothing.

Because it does cost everybody something. The money to pay the bill comes from somewhere. It just seems so removed and far away that it feels free. At least it does to me.

But for the top dogs, the partners, they have a share in what happens. They own the firm. It’s their money going away to put an expensive pillow under my head. Do they realize that? Or do they also feel very removed from the costs of doing business?

The movie “The Corporation” talked about corporations making the businesses that we do gets to be further and further away from consequences. That leads to irresponsibility.

And that made me think that all of us, all of the people from our firm were maybe, behaving like children. Someone else, we don’t know who, would get the consequences of our choices and actions.

Someone else will handle the bill.

That can’t be good for business.


I have wireless internet now. I love it. I can look up things that I see on tv.

So now…I’m watching George W. Bush at the republican convention. My companion and fount of knowledge, Chris, was telling me how the republican convention gave the bloggers real press passes, letting them sit with the radio people.


So, in the middle of his speech, W gave out his website. I was excited to hear a president give out his URL in a major speech. and My laptop was there all connected to look it up!

I typed it in, just to see.

It was SLAMMED. no connecting. I looked it up in google, to get their cached version.


I guess everyone else had the same idea.

I love the internet.

I was able to get on about a minute later, and they listed that they had a blog. It was not a real blog…It was more of a website scrap book of pictures…not a lot of commentary.

But hey! I just like that my current favorite medium is getting some attention.