Friday, August 31, 2012

The Johnson Connection

We really don't have a Johnson connection. However, it is apparently true that the late President Lyndon B. Johnson was my eighth cousin once removed. How is that possible? I have no idea. This is not something that was explained to me in any kind of logical way in childhood. This is something that only an advanced degree in genealogy research would be able to uncover. Now that is available, it is easy to see that the President Johnson connection does not come from my Grandfather McClellan's side. It comes from grandmother's Strickland roots. In fact, you have to go all the way back to Rebecca Izard (1614-1667) who lived in Isle of Wight, Virginia, to find the connection. One of Rebecca's granddaughters, Ann Braswell, daughter of Richard Braswell, married Matthew Strickland (1674-1744) and they had ten children. So we are descended from Rebecca's son Richard. The Johnsons are descendad from Rebecca's daughter Jane. They all lived in Isle of Wight back in the old days of colonial America. However, those days are long since gone. The United States exists now and Rebecca's descendants are scattered all over the place. So? This is true of many American families, obviously.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Muzzling the Yappy Johnsons

It is fairly clear that those creepy wicked Grand Wizards Mark and Tim Johnson are guilty of hiding something. What makes the vile wicked Johnson clan think they have anything to say to us anyway? Just because Boddy was obviously on to their tricks, that does not mean that we would be interested in getting back at Boddy in some way along with them. Clearly, the Johnsons are guilty as charged of something although we are not sure exactly what, something about carrying too many boxes. They really should be confessing this overload of theirs instead of making so many excuses. It is ridiculous for them to be following us around in this hounding way, checking up on every little detail and trying to pretend that we are part of their retinue when actually we never met and these charges are coming from Boddy, not from us. We were not aware of the Boddy charges against the Johnsons. However, we think that the Johnsons should be discussing this matter with the judge in the courtroom assigned to them. As for us, it it is not our problem. We would be interested in hearing the judge's sentencing of the Johnsons, but we will wait to watch the show on television. Obviously, we are not referring in this case to our eighth cousin, President L.B. Johnson. This refers to the Johnsons of Florida.

Defining Success

The definition of success is sometimes problematic. Sometimes persons successful in one area get too big for their britches as the saying goes and want to extend themselves too far into our personal lives. Just because I read someone's book, that would not necessarily mean that I would want to hang out with them and discuss personal matters and compare notes. I may or may not agree with them on every point. As for example, I vaguely remember reading the book by Kathie Lee Gifford, whose own book title admits to not knowing when to keep her mouth shut, in which she trashes all the evangelical people, mainly the Tulsa gang and also expresses her great annoyance with her first husband Paul Johnson, about whom she has almost nothing nice to say, which leaves us not surprised that marriage did not last very long and wondering how they ever got matched anyway. Obviously life goes on regardless of what Kathie Lee may or may not think about anything. Motormouths find their appropriate places in front of the camera reading scripts and quiet people are supposed to write the books, but it does not always work that way. Life is just not fair.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pie in the Face

Which reminds me of being in seventh grade at my grandparents' house in Modesto watching television with my cousin David and seeing how mean those gay men were to Anita Bryant, like we were saying, always smashing pies in her face. Perhaps she was too brittle and aggravating and provocative. Of course, a real pie would be messy. It would be much more clever and devastating to use a pi, something that can never be just washed away and lingers throughout a lifetime, something that makes your life miserable and unberable, a battle that you can never really win, an obstacle that just keeps tripping you up over and over again, an annoying person who never gets a clue and goes away, an empty wasteland of fruitless days and hours. A trap of sorts. And your name doesn't even have to be Anita to get the pi in the face. Very clever.

No Comment

Funny, I don't recall lying to you. In fact, I don't recall ever discussing anything at all with you. A debate about pi-in-the-sky was never my idea of useful conversation anyway. Life is too short. Perhaps you are guilty of entrapment, but if you are the police then the persons lower down on the totem pole are the ones who will be squashed eventually because a position of authority means a lot.


Yes, it never crossed my mind to ask Cheryl Hoffman whether she has any family connection to the German Templers, a small Protestant cult founded by Christoph Hoffman and Georg Hardegg. Although their German Colony at Carmel was visited by Alexander A. Boddy during his journeys in Palestine, Boddy does not discuss in detail the nature of this German Colony in his book, "Days in Galilee." However, one hundred years later it seems that not many of those colonists' families remain there. Perhaps these Templers may congratulate themselves on having the inside scoop on the development of the Holy Land. They built that. But easy come, easy go. One hundred years later it seems that not many of those colonists' families remain there. Many of them were removed during World War II because of their suspected or obvious Nazi sympathies. It is all in the history books anyway so there would be no need for me to explain further.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ask Craig

Why don't you ask Craig Bolenbaugh about Suzette's mafia cousins and their tax evasion woes? I seem to remember that Pam and Craig know a lot about this for some reason, possibly because they discussed the details of this with Suzette and Vic and others at one of those parties to which I was not invited or something like that. I really could not care less about that stuff but I am sure that Pam, a college accounting major, and Craig, a CPA, would certainly have a lot of opinions and things to say about that boring tax stuff. As for me, my opinion is that it is not my job. I don't work for the IRS. And furthermore, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Maybe Pam said it

I am thinking that maybe it was Pam who verbalized the concern that perhaps Suzette, if she would be yapping about her mafia cousins, would also probably be even less concerned about distributing confidential information about everyone else on her friends and acquaintances list. I can see where that could be a problem but anyway the last thing I heard, the national motto "In God we trust" was still being printed on the coin so perhaps I should not be too concerned, at least not yet. Either way, I still have to pay taxes regardless.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Marvin's Story

We had not been aware of the existence of Marvin until recently but we imagine that he is probably just as obnoxious as his horribly irritating and pathetically ignorant parents and grandparents, persons we would rather not hear from in this lifetime. Just because our great-grandfathers were brothers and shared a surname, that does not mean that their family has any right or justification in trying to tell us what's what. I have at least four sets of great-grandparents (and eight sets of great-great-grandparents) that I know of and none of them represent all of everything. Besides, the Barth contribution is highly overrated in our opinion. I do not recall their family ever doing us any favors. It was Miss Marken who taught us the German pronunciation of "O Tannenbaum" for our high school Christmas program, not the Barths. Also, it is fairly clear that Marvin is Episcopalian, a notoriously delinquent brand of Christianity. Those people doubtless have no shame about swilling booze and puffing on tobacco sticks among other things. One would think that their scruples, if they had any, would be screaming and shouting, but no, they continuously fail to give us our due credit because obviously to do so would be to acknowledge the shamefully degraded condition of their own brand of Christian religiosity. If your conscience has been deadened because for many years you continuously ignored that still small voice telling you not to proceed, to say no, to decline the dubious invitation, then you will not even feel the slightest pang of guilt at terrorizing your distant relatives on a continual basis. Yes, Episcopalians can be categorized as Christian but if they fail to understand the value of their cousins' Pentecostalism then basically that just provides further proof of their lack of spiritual understanding and insight. They are spiritual babes still lapping the milk of Episcopalian churchianity but unable to ingest solid foods. In other words, people who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones. Caroline should not be so eager to smugly bash other people's families when her own sons' worthless German butts could doubtless be easily kicked to the curb. After all, many a Ph.D. has culminated an illustrious career digging holes for posts or similar construction acitvity.


I vaguely remember that after moving to Virginia from California I had this weird feeling that perhaps I had not yet received a certain bill for something that I had purchased. I do not remember if I left my forwarding address. If I had, I imagine that I would have left it with the post office because they would logically be the persons who would automatically forward the mail to my new address in Virginia. Thus there would be no reason whatsoever for the landlady and her husband from Wisconsin to be discussing this personal matter of my personal finances with every Tom, Dick and Harry on the planet. I am sure that if I had received the bill I would have paid it but perhaps it got lost in the mail or something. I don't remember.

Mother's Job

They say that a mother's job is never done but I really hate to have to say that my mother sometimes takes her job too far. Directly after college I worked for two years at the same company where my parents worked. It is hard enough to be trying to establish myself in a first job, and then to have my own obsessive-compulsive mother checking on me from around the corner to make sure that I am doing my job and carrying out my boss's orders is so utterly humiliating that it just makes me want to hang my head in shame and crawl under a rock. It is not like I would ever get any respect from co-workers with my mother sabotaging my confidence at every turn. Even though the Ten Commandments tell me to honor my mother and my father, there really ought to be a way to do that without committing suicide but I haven't figured that out yet.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Canadian Traitors

Sometimes I wonder why we were so ignominiously dumped in this South Florida colony which is almost sort of occupied by hostile Canadian nationals. We would have Linda and Hazel and other sort of Crabtrees and Yearys deported to Canada for their backstabbing treasonous activities but then again we are really not in charge. It is not like our deportation orders would stick, lacking the appropriate legal paperwork and judicial bench place. But the legality of their amnesty does sort of make you want to ask some questions about why they ever crossed the border from Canada into Maine only to hang out with the navvies and what they think they are doing here anyway when the script calls for their imminent return to the Dominion of Canada, not to be confused with the Old Dominion of Virginia. The "Villa of Hope" is actually in Romania so wouldn't that be a great place to relocate the "Book of Hope" also, thus removing all doubt about their lack of loyalty to us? In Romania there would be no lack of destitute street urchins for them to dismissively scorn and fire at will. Florida was supposed to be a "right to work" state. Thus, at least here there is no legal requirement that we contribute financially to their "union" of money-grubbing Scrooge-like philosphers.

Is this a Material World?

Which reminds me of the John Lennon song, "Imagine." Imagine there is no heaven or hell. Below us only earth, above us only sky. You could concentrate really hard and imagine that this is only a "material world," to quote a Cyndi Lauper song, and still it would not be so. This "Imagine" joke I borrowed from a co-worker, Mindy, I must confess, so it is not really I who first thought this way. There are many who think that there is more to things than meets the eye. There are many who believe that there is a spiritual realm behind it all that cannot be reduced to molecular science. The heavens declare the glory of God, is how the Bible explains it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No Mistake

On Sadie Hawkins Day at Evangel it was the custom for girls to ask out a guy on a date. One day at lunch Kathy from across the hall was hinting strongly that I might ask out this guy who was sitting next to her whose name I do not recall. I did not do that because, for one thing, with so much hinting it did not seem like my own idea, just someone else's thing. So I had no date on Sadie Hawkins Day which passed along like any other day. Which reminds me that Grandma once talked about asking out a guy on a date and it turned out to be Grandpa himself. So that worked fine for her but what if I were to make a mistake and ask Mr. Wrong? And would I just be copycatting Grandma rather than doing the right thing? So perhaps it was not a mistake that I did not ask out Mr. Robbins or whatever his name was. I really don't remember. It could have been sort of awkward.

Not West Virginia

Which reminds me that once during my journalism program someone asked my middle name and when I told them it was "Jean" they made some jokes about this and said that I was from West Virginia. Of course I have never set foot in West Virginia so I have no clue why it was so hard to convince these people that I am not from West Virginia. Perhaps my ancestors passed through the hollars of Appalachia two hundred years go in migration from Abingdon, Viriginia, to Texas but no, we are not from West Virginia. I am not surprised that the Butterfields would be spreading such lies about my mother as they know almost nothing about us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I vaguely recall attending my sister's high school musical which was "Guys and Dolls." They did a good job. My sister might have had a part in the chorus. Of course I don't remember any of those people now. They had a place in my sister's life but they never made me think twice. I cannot be expected to remember them. I never attended that school. I don't think that those people have any place in my life.

Which reminds me that Stacy kept asking me about going to go to New York. Why would I want to go there? As far as I am concerned, that city is full of obnoxious New Yawkers who think they know everything about everything even if they really don't. New York is certainly the international hub but still life is short. I don't think I know anyone there. I don't have golden connections that would open doors for me there. I don't have time to go there and get chewed and spit out and then still have a life. Sometimes New York is just not that important.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Exit Survey

Which reminds me that at about the time that I was leaving journalism school I was asked to fill out an exit survey. I really don't remember what I said. Usually it is better to say nothing. If you can't say something nice, just say nothing, as Thumper Rabbit always said. But I think I did say something, although I don't remember exactly what. I really don't want to think about that now. Things could have been better, and you asked for suggestions, but anyway I did not keep carbon copies of my comments so I really don't recall.


I sometimes detect the juvenile artifices of my little sister's shaggy dog pals from high school days. As for example all this yapping about nuns, as if having watched the movie "The Sound of Music" too many times (maybe five or six) qualifies me for admission to the nunnery where Maria lived before she was sent out to be a children's governess. It was a good movie but to be honest I never was all that fond of the song, "Climb Every Mountain," sung by the chief nun in the scene where she sends Maria away. The scenes of the wedding chapel are beautiful but that is not a place to live on a permanent basis. And who would know all of this better than my little sister? I really don't have time to follow every rainbow. Life is short. Sorry, but I am just not available.


Yes, I vaguely recall during the first year that I was living in Haines City in Central Florida I went to the local accountant whose office was a couple of blocks from my apartment complex in Lake Alfred, I think it was an H & R Block office, and had them do my taxes. It was going to be a little bit complicated that year because I had lived about five months in Virginia, four months in California and then the rest of the year in Florida. Accountants can figure these things out because they understand these things so sometimes it is worth paying someone who knows what they are doing in these specialized areas. I cannot be expected to understand tax law in great detail. So? From whence cometh this "block"? Why should anyone be making noise about a "block" when obviously I have no reason to be concerned about my accountant's expertise. I paid my taxes that year like every other year. So?


I vaguely remember that years ago at Oakland Park there were a lot of Italians in our church. Suzette was one who was said to work at the IRS office in Broward County. I seem to remember someone joking that it might be awkward for Suzette to have to go after her own mafia cousins for their tax evasive ways. Or maybe Suzette said that herself. I don't remember. I only overheard something about that but I don't remember anything specific, like why her cousins whoever they are would have cause for concern. It might be true or it might have been a sort of joke. I barely knew Suzette anyway and I always have paid my taxes so there was no reason to give that conversation much thought. Perhaps some persons were worried about someone they know personally from church having access to all their personal information at the IRS and supplying that to all their friends and acquaintances but I really wouldn't know anything about that. Nobody ever tells me anything.

Which demonstrates another problem with the Oakland Park Church, which was that it was full of these whiny Italians who formerly lived in New York isolated in their Italian neighborhoods attending their Italian churches and then they come here and expect everything to still be all about them and themselves to always be in charge of everything. But the world is not an Italian enclave and it is not fair for them to just use non-Italians like me to take out their garbage in this ignominious way. They grandstand but they really have nothing intelligent to say about this, obviously.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Don't Follow the Logic

I vaguely remember in high school once leafing through a book about logic and experiencing that numbing sense of brain freeze but anyway this just proves that you obviously did not write the book. I know that you always hated it when my mother would begin her relentless questioning of things, and she is almost always right which it makes it doubly hard if you have only these ridiculous answers to give, but anyway you cannot just go around connecting dots that just don't connect. Like for example this absurd reminder of the time at Evangel, during my first year of college back in the U.S., when on a particular day many students were sent out selling apples door to door to raise funds for something. I remember walking the sidewalks of Springfield on a somewhat damp and drizzly day, seeing the rust-colored leaves strewn here and there, on some lawns neatly raked into little piles, with my two or three companions who included a guy named Robert Adams from Pennsylvania. So? Obviously he was not the author of any Timbuktu memoir. He was just another guy in college. So there is obviously no connection and no reason to make an issue out of that. Perhaps you really should know that we all just think that you are a little crazy, quite batty actually, but then again it is hard to verbalize these things especially if we might be related.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Firing San Diego

I wonder what makes the lowlife monotonous chatterbox Ashcraft girls think that I would ever want to reconnect with them in this lifetime? Do they not realize that I do not consider them as potential friends anyway because their parents are some of my parents' primary supporters financially speaking so I would just look like an idiot no matter what I ever said to them because if I tried to be friendly they would just think that I was just sucking up to them to keep the money coming and thus they would never get the message that I really don't like them very much and wish I had never met them because they are the type of people who would think they have to be in charge of their slave properties such as MKs like me. How unfortunate for me that my parents' primary financial supporters and lifelong friends, including the Ashcrafts and possibly others, date back to the time when my parents were at the church on Western Avenue in Los Angeles, which is the place where my three-year-old transgression occurred. I got the message that I will never be forgiven so there is no reason for me to ever hear another word from those obnoxious horribly mean people anyway. If they can make such wicked jokes about a three-year-old then they must be lower than dirt anyway is the way I see it so I am not missing anything important.


I vaguely remember John Bueno talking about the Latin custom of chaperone dating which requires a third party to be present at all times to make sure that nothing happens. He grew up in Chile where the chaperone system is rigorously enforced. Which reminds me that once during high school I was invited to Margot's house to collaborate on some class project which I cannot recall. Afterwards, her boyfriend and another guy came over and we four drove around in his car for a while, myself and that other guy in the back seat. As we were returning to Margot's house, there on the corner stood my sister and a couple of other little girls, maybe the San Giovanni girl and Cindy Bell, straining for a glimpse of the big sister on a date. How odd that they knew this was going to happen as I never discuss my personal business with them. My sister remarked later that I looked to her like I was scared because I was sitting somewhat pressed to the side, not that there was ever any attempt at touching by the Communist stooge. Anyway, we were just present to facilitate Margot's date. That was all. So later my sister went around telling everyone that I was afraid of guys even though that is not exactly the way I would describe the event. It is just that my leaky-mouthed sister never knows when to keep her mouth shut and never seems to understand that she was not really there so she really doesn't know what happened.

Anyway, you know what they say about foreign customs: "When in Rome do as the Romans." Well, sort of. But it was sort of awkward to be in that situation because anyway I was not interested in getting serious with some Latin guy, let alone marrying one. My sister dated Julio but I would rather die, really. After I get back to the U.S. I will probably marry a normal white guy if I ever find one who would have me, but if not then I just will be better off single than stuck with some creepy Latin man for a husband. No insult intended but anyway they probably have me confused with Libby Penders who probably would marry one if she could. I only speak for myself, unlike some other people I know.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Buddy System

I absolutely abhor and hate and despise the buddy system that is their worthless excuse for trashing people's lives. So I was living in another country and only one person can tell the story, my assigned buddy from hell. Their trick is to always assign to me the worst possible buddy who is going to use everything that I ever said or did against me in the most humiliating and horrible way. This is the story of my life, you see. Among the buddies from my hell I can include porky pig Susie Stewart, who now works for that Saddleback warlock, that theological blob of purposeful meaninglessness, and also vile hideous Cori Nipper. There is also my sister and various college roommates from hell. Hopefully my nephews will learn from this lesson and stick up for each other and not allow themselves to be pulled apart in this way but it is too late for us. I learned their tricks and then I dished it back to them but I have no way of being sure that they ever got the message because they are just mean mean mean, nothing but mean.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cash Supply

It is easy for some fat cat rich guy to sit there pontificating about how we all need to be very rich and have a lot of cash in the bank in order to pay the costs upfront before we can hope to travel overseas to do missionary work. Yes, I suppose that it would be advantageous to have a wad of cash in the wallet in case of being strong-armed at the border by guards and customs officials who sometimes are expecting their "mordida" or bribe, whether this is expressed implicitly or explicitly. The missionary stories of being extorted at the border are many in circulation. And what are you going to do when they are holding the guns and we are standing there conspicuous white people at the shabby border station? We drive a car donated by Speed-the-Light, we wear nice clothing donated by the Women's Missionary Council, our car is full of toys and gadgets and suitcases donated by the churches and family back home. We certainly might appear like rich people to them even if we are dependent on the largesse of the supporters within the church organization. We really ought to be grateful for all of these things that are given to us, as we are reminded on a continual basis, and what do we have that is not given to us? Rich people seem to own things but perhaps we Missionary Kids are only renters on this planet. We cannot take this junk with us anyway, as the Bible says. Other people are blessed by giving us their castoffs and secondhands so we must be grateful for their happiness even if their generosity only burdens us with feelings of guilt and obligation. We did not ask them to dump all this junk on us and yet it seems we have no choice but to accept that we are dependents. We would depend upon God to deliver us from this obligation but it was God who put us here in the first place.  Thus, if push comes to shove our options are to pay what seems to be an official border crossing fee levied by a customs officials often in uniform or flashing a badge or other official looking paperwork or else to play the empty wallet game and pray that the border guards will drop their bluff and let us pass. Either way it is sometimes sort of a flip of the coin as to what is the right to do. We really don't know. Corruption is rife there, as everyone says. It is their system. Thus, it is always a relief to get back to the United States where the rule of law is valued. Hmmm.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Al's Wife

Yes, who was that hideous Spanish woman married to Al Snell? I remember not one thing about her, just that she was always there along with Al trying to be part of us even though they really don't belong here, always watching us like a hawk apparently because anyway I never thought of her as a nice person or someone to talk to. She was just part of the furniture to be sold upon leaving the country and not to be reclaimed in San Diego, which is apparently a real hornets' nest depending on how you look at it or interpret the world at large.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yappy Robin

Yes, what wer Robin and her mother thinking? it is very dangerous to be saying anything about Foursquare people because they have so much power and money and no scruples about doing whatever it takes to paint the town whatever color they choose. They are very dangerous. We cannot think of fighting with the Foursquare Goliath because they would just squash us like bugs. Thus, I don't really have anything else to say about the Omartians in any kind of public way. I know the Bible says not to be afraid of the Foursquare Goliath but then again fools rush in where angels fear to tread so it is better for me not to go there. Better to just leave those behemoths to the long-distance monitors where they cannot see me in all my hopelessness. I cannot hope to compete there on any level when they have all the winning the cards in their hand, the deck stacked in their favor. I have no clue how to change that situation or why I would even want to try and no way of knowing how to unravel the spiderweb because I am just clueless.

The Money

Oh, I suppose that you were referring to the money that was allegedly paid out to the parents of Mary Jo Kopechne. I wasn't even thinking about that, but anyway it was not necessary for the Kennedys to send such a nasty jab and expect to regain the White House for themselves. The White House belongs to the people as we all know. You cannot just dump my body into the Bay and expect that to solve anything. Which is why you really should ought to change your tune.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Stormie Sighting

I vaguely remember during college spending the weekend with Robin and her mother in Hollywood and attending the Easter service at Church on the Way, which was held in some outdoor stadium, not at the church itself, for that occasion. It seems to me that the musicians might have included Michael and Stormie Omartian or else we saw them as we walked through the crowds on our way out of the building and Robin or someone was talking about Stormie Omartian and how beautiful she looks in her exquisitely fashioned outfit. Yes, I suppose, with a husband of that level of wealth and fame that Stormie could probably afford to wear such an expensive outfit with all those tiny little cloth-covered mutton chop buttons or whatever it was. I don't remember myself saying very much about that as I don't really know those people, just seeing the interesting sights while exiting the stadium accompanied by Robin's motormouth commentary. It was not until later that I read Stormie's biography and learned that sometimes these famous people have quite the awful pasts. Of course, Stormie might be Foursquare now, but before she became a Christian she had quite a horrible past as a Hollywood starlet. It was surprising to me how calmly she detailed her transgressions in the book that she wrote. I would have been embarrassed to even think of that. Of course I never did anything like that, only read the book. Like my sister always said, there are those who do the horseback riding and there are others like me who, after one ride around on the horse, would rather spend the rest of the time indoors reading "My Friend Flicka."

Speaking of Attack Dogs

Where is it written in the U.S. Constitution that those empty-headed yappy attack dogs, the Hills brothers, represent the entire polity of the U.S. populace? I do not recall the Hills brothers as being a significant presence in my life so I really do not see why their opinions should matter all that much, especially since they were long ago eliminated from eligibility as potential candidates to become my future husband. Thus, there is no reason to care very much what they think. I could say this about quite a few million U.S. citizens so there is no reason for them to get so peeved about it. This is not the army, just a high school class.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Johnson Connection

Yes, I vaguely remember hearing the story of our family's distant connection to Lady Bird Johnson. The connection is so tenuous as to be almost non-existent and the story quite funny when told in a particular way by certain family members, former Texans who were California Republicans and probably voted for Nixon, disdaining those appalling Great Society experiments of the 1960s and forgiving Nixon his personal foibles even as the damaged political Republican party machinery was grinding to a halt and disintegrating into a variety of pieces, later to be reassembled as some other thing. For all of Johnson's achievements as one of the architects of welfare as we know it, he was among those few presidents, including also Gerald Ford, who was never really elected president. Certainly, my family connections would probably be of no political benefit to the Johnson dynasty in their quest for election as our family never had any fond regard for the Texas Democrat for some reason which I don't quite recall, just something about the political machinery of liberalism and the way they do things I suppose. We actually are somewhat indifferent to that political machine thing, whatever it is, even if we as private citizens always will have our personal opinions about how things ought to be. Grandpa Calkins always did get sort of worked up and heated in discussions of such political topics as the Kennedy machine but anyway that does not mean that his opinion was entirely right or entirely wrong. Anyway, there is no reason for Caroline Kennedy to imagine that I would ever be of any political benefit to the Catholics in their thirst to avenge themselves of various ancient grudges dating back to the Protestant Reformation, as for example the sad story of Catherine of Aragon, the daughter of Spain's Ferdinand and Isabella, whose marriage to King Henry VIII was so ingloriously dissolved in 1533 after 24 years of marriage for lack of a male heir. We cannot go back to the past, to the Middle Ages and earlier. Time waits for no man, as they say. We only have the present going forward. I really don't remember anything else that matters now. Anyway, it is hard for me to understand how anyone would confuse me with Katherine Pyle, whose letters and memos as president of the college newspaper were quite funny in her sarcastic way, even if sometimes too harshly worded. I was sort of flattered to see my article reprinted in Atlanta but Katherine thought it was illegal and sent a legal treatise to the Atlanta publisher about the need to request permission first, thus souring relations for me. Thanks Katherine for nothing, sarcastically speaking of course.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Yes, I have heard tell of explorations underway in the frozen tundra of Iowa. There are those, I once heard, who wonder why there is much much busybody buzzing of bees emanating from the state of Iowa, a real hornet's nest and yet a state of no real interest or connection to me personally. I couldn't care less about Iowa. Perhaps the Butterfields are aware of Iowa, having lived there at some time in the 1960s according to the diaries, but I have no clue beyond that minor detail and have never met any of their relatives or friends of Iowa. There is no reason for me to entertain any thought of Iowa or have even the slightest regard for the opinions of the hoi polloi of Iowa, myself never having entertained the thought of running for president. It was Katherine Pyle who assisted with Pat Robertson's campaign. You could always ask Katherine. I don't know anything about that.

The Exception Is Not The Rule

Just because I made an exception one time, that does not make the rule. I once locked my sister out of my room. We had company so she had to stay in my room and was pounding on the door because I would not let her in. Bruce Brock, our blithering idiot guest from Arizona, intervened and was ordering me to open the door so finally I did because, anyway, it was hard to concentrate on my work or puzzle with all those people screaming in the background. So just because I let her in that one time, it does not logically follow that my sister has unlimited access to me and my life. Just because Bruce Brock happened to feel sorry for her that time, that does not mean that Bruce Brock and my sister necessarily have anything else to say about my life going forward from that moment. Bruce Brock was just that guy from Arizona who made my life miserable all summer and then disappeared into eternity. Perhaps he has forgotten that it was my sister who played all those pranks on him. She was always into that, balancing a some sort of bucket of water above the door so that when he was doused and pranks that I don't follow. I never remember that stuff. My sister really should know by now that I will not always be available to be cannibalized in order to fill the gaps in her empty head. I will not always be here to compensate for my sister's lack of a teaching credential. The beauty of home schooling is that it really does not matter whether how dumb and unqualified their mother is, the main thing is that the children will learn the value of thinking and reading and finding things out for themselves because obviously their mother does not know everything.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Leave Me Alone

I just wish everyone would go away and leave me alone. I hate having all these people around always bugging me in this most obnoxious way and saying all these weird things. I just want to be left alone to do my work as best I know how without the constant distraction of wicked chatterboxes who are only trying to enhance their own popularity at my expense. If that sounds strange to you, it just proves you are clueless.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Aunt News

Yes, I got the message that Aunt Anita was slamming me all over the place, saying that I had not paid her the proper respect due to an aunt, that because she is the daughter of Esther only she deserves to occupy the pedestal of motherhood, that even though I was six months older than my cousin Laurie, and thus the oldest granddaughter of Esther, Laurie is the daughter of Anita and thus will be crowned princess, being much more tiny and dainty than pudgy, more coarse and ugly, big-footed me, always impertinently trying to push Laurie off her high horse. I should not have ventured to set foot in Long Beach which is obviously the territory of Anita, although I did not realize that it mattered that much as they never tell me anything. I never know where those Butterfield people are coming from. They never spend more than a few months in any given church because they are always moving around so we don't know where they are. I got the message that Anita had spoken to Mr. Enemy of my Mother's family and said all kinds of nasty things slamming my mother and my mother's family, as if Anita ever knew anything about us, having maybe once had tea and cookies with my grandparents over at Julia's house or something like that. We often heard via grandmother something vague about Aunt Anita's babblings but I had previously thought it was mostly relatively innocent trivialities, mainly talking about angels and other Christian fad topics of the moment. But after hearing via putrid Stacy that my aunts, mainly Anita and Linda, are agitating in expectation of something from me and at the same time making it impossible for me to deliver, I see no reason why I would want to do them any favors anyway. If they are going to go around slamming me as if I were some sort of enemy unrelated to them, then there is no reason for me to pay them back. I do not owe them anything. There is nothing for me to add to that. They do a pretty good job of digging their own graves without any help from me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Simplistic Thinking

It seems very easy for a one-trick pony from Iowa to sit there pontificating on how we all ought to be Catholic, as if anyone who is not a Catholic is a Moslem. Ha! Only in Mark's sick mind. How does a German Catholic from Pakistan pretend to represent a Protestant denomination? And how is this dualistic, ying-yang system working for France? Not so well, obviously, as Paris is almost a northern annex of Algeria nowadays according to some reports. Maybe someday it will be unavoidable, this reduction of Moslem vs. Christian conflict to an "us vs. them" mindset in order to curb the aggressiveness of the Arab onslaught short of war. Nevertheless, it is not necessary for all Christians to be Roman Catholics let alone Southern Baptists. We often think that we are right and you are wrong but anyway we cannot assume that anyone who is not a Catholic is unitarian rather than trinitarian in their thinking. Or that anyone who is unitarian is either Moslem or Jewish. Lots of non-Catholics are trinitarian while lots of Christians are unitarian. It is sadly a very complicated issue not so easily reduced to an either/or choice on that basis. In some circumstances we Protestants might prefer to think of salvation as the basis for accepting the Chinese Pentecostals as Christian brethren even if their theological understanding of the deity requires some refinement, whether in actual understanding or perhaps a resolving of linguistic misunderstanding. The Chinese have arrived late to the table of Christian creed makers, having missed out on two thousand years of church developments, both good and bad, which explains why they are sometimes not on the same page. The Bible tells us that the Lord our God is one. We adhere to the Ten Commandments and yet the New Testament presents many mysteries that are difficult to understand. It is possible to be saved and yet be wrong on some theological points. The salvation code is problematic for Catholics because they do not believe that a Christian can know whether they are saved. Catholics look forward only to purgatory. Catholics preach a doctrine of good works, believing that they will earn their way to heaven by doing good things and impressing people by their deeds. They compare themselves one to another and flatter themselves on their own superiority in comparison to us. And yet they are foolish in this respect. "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete." (2 Corinthians 10:3-6) You boast of your superiority and yet the Bible says: "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. (2 Corinthians 10:12, 13)" All of this tearing us down to build up yourself proves only that you are really not a Christian in the biblical sense. "You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do." (2 Corinthians 10:7)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Busy Bee

I am very busy today. Thanks for saying hello but I won't be stopping to talk long because obviously I have a lot of things on my mind and also places to go and things to do. That was my habitual excuse during college for not really stopping to chat often. I did not necessarily have a full calendar. Still, I often decline to waste time chatting with mindless yappy whiners, not that I would say it that way exactly. I remember using the busy excuse to eventually forget about being friends with Laurie Way. I was just always too busy to talk, especially after learning that she was mainly preoccupied with the mindless issue of dancing. To dance or not to dance. Did I not overhear her talking about how she and Dean Chenault sneaked into some bar for dancing even though it was against the college rules? Why do these people get all worked up about such trivial pursuits? Do these busybodies so preoccupied with bucking the rules ever have time to do their homework? I don't know. I don't have time to figure this out because this might get me in trouble, too. And even the ones who pretend to go by the rules are always confused about the truth so we really aren't sure who is who. Take, for example, wishy-washy Tim Cederblom. One day he might be calling me his "sister" and another day he might be forgetting that my name is not that Leigh Ann Fulmer (MK-Germany), not that I ever cared about what the busybody Cederbloms think about anything. Scandinavians are such whiners.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ancient History

Yes, I suppose you want me to discuss the week that I spent at the Butterfield house when my parents were busy itinerating and I was maybe 7 years old. I don't remember very much about that except that I had a very miserable week there. I was so glad to finally get home where everything in the house smells like the way my Mom does things, as I was saying. Not that I am saying that things stink over there. It was just that that was the moment that I first noticed that different people's houses smell differently and have very different atmospheres, depending on various factors. I vaguely remember feeling so out of kilter because nothing was the way it was supposed to be in my opinion. If you like my relatives so much you are welcome to adopt them all as your own cousins from hell. I would probably just thank you for taking the burden off my hands. I don't know why I suddenly think I remember being at a Sambo's coffee shop at some time and maybe Uncle Art something ominous about Sambo although I really do not remember what. I was just a little kid anyway. We always just ignore all these odd things they say because we really do not understand what they are talking about. We cannot expect to keep track of the Butterfield migrations around the planet when we have our own lives to live. Life is short.

Sad Stories

We were sold into slavery by the great Sultan-Pastor after we failed to pay tribute to the whiny blond lady who was always screaming in our faces and making us feel stupid. In a way it was a relief not to have those Scandinavian blond ladies always hovering around pretending to be friendly when we all knew that they would be stabbing us in the back later and that anything we might or might not say would be used against us. Then they locked the Bible away in a museum and said that it really wasn't true, all that crazy stuff in the Bible about how they were supposed to be equipping all the saints for ministry, dismissing the Apostle Paul's direction as if just another of my Dad's corny cliches. No, they said, ministry is really not for all the saints. Ministry is only for a few lucky people of their choosing. Ministry is limited and conditional. Ministry is restricted to certain personality types, certain ethnic groups, certain levels of affluence and education and network connections. Not only had we made too many mistakes, stepped on too many toes, spoken our minds a time or two in the wrong company, but we also had failed to lie and dissimulate and pretend that these things had never happened. You see, we admitted our guilt. We admitted that we were born sinners and that we were redeemed only by God's grace, which is a big no-no in their book, whatever that book title may be. To them, any admission of guilt is viewed as a sign of weakness to be exploited whether now or later. They mainly pride themselves on having fooled us and tricked us into thinking of them as the persons in charge when originally they were not, their reasoning being that if they condition us to think of them as the ones in charge, then effectively they will be in charge even if it wasn't supposed to be that way. They work their will by sheer force of exploitation. They are power grabbers, one might say.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sugar Industry Garbage

I really am not paying attention to the sugar industry, realizing that my cakes and cookies just would not taste right without the real thing even while realizing that working conditions for those poor people are often quite lamentable. However, I am baffled at bizarre efforts to involve me in Afro-Cuban activism in this regard. I vaguely remember that when I was a reporter in Central Florida, that a co-worker Sheryl Rubin was obsessed with that issue, having previously worked at the newspaper in Clewiston. I vaguely remember Sheryl saying some things about that but that was her issue. I wouldn't want to step on her territory. I vaguely remember one day years ago when I took the scenic route home from Haines City and was driving along some little country road and saw a farm building on the side of the road with a huge sign on the front which included the word: "Calkins." I was quite surprised to see the exact spelling of my own name and yet I am not related to those people and have no idea who they are. I did not stop to find out what that was about. No one in my family has ever been involved in the sugar industry and/or farming in Central Florida so it would be ridiculous to imagine myself having any connection to that, just as it would be ridiculous to imagine myself related to the Olympic swimmer Tracy Caulkins. I realize that the sugar industry has its problems because I read some articles somewhere but I was never among the reporters who were following that. I also hate sports so obviously I was never interested in sports reporting. Thus, it makes no sense to cast me in that drama when I have no clue. Yes, I was fired by Max partly because Sheryl wanted to be in charge but she really does not know anything about me.

Time Travel Drugs

Yes, that was so weird, all that stuff about the Tudor cousins, Queen Elizabeth I and the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, who earned the nickname "Bloody Mary" because she put so many people to death during her brief reign, before she was ousted and replaced by her Protestant cousin. It is possible that the McClellans of the 16th century were acquainted with the Royals and yet this bizarre ranting of yours proves only that Stacy and her crew are definitely on some sort of drugs. I have no Catholic cousins that I know of, certainly none named Mary. I have always been Protestant and yet it is my Dad's cousin whose name is Elizabeth and she is really not a Protestant now. My grandparents were living in Throckmorton in 1930, according to census data, and yet we have no idea of Sir Walter Raleigh or why we should take special note that he secretly married Elizabeth Throckmorton, who was a servant of the queen's. So I just don't get it. These things are a matter of historical record and yet they have nothing to do with me. My grandmother's name was Strickland, a family that may have been somehow connected to Mary, and yet this has nothing to do with me. Our Strickland ancestors doubtless came to America to distance themselves from all of that Catholic hysteria. No insult intended to the Stricklands of UK, but we really do not see any reason to reconnect or bridge back to all of that ancient history. It just gets ridiculous. It is not who we are. Besides, time travel is really not possible technically or technologically speaking. We mortals are bound by time and space and only God can see beyond these perimeters. I remember having this discussion about time travel with Cori and she was furious that I refused to believe that time travel is possible. I still disbelieve it, even if there was some seeming rationality to the idea. I think that we only have one life and that's all we get. That is how God made this world. Someone really should remind Cori of this point but then I suppose that whatever I said about that got mangled and turned around in reverse just like everything else I ever said.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


It is interesting to note that there is one Italian branch of our family and only because Dorothy Barth married an Italian man so all there children have an Italian. However, we are probably not related to them because they never speak to us directly, only send their vile Italian Catholic mafia dogs to prey on us from to time. I wonder when they will finally get a clue that we are not interested in converting to Catholicism and thus dumbing down to their level of stupid. One does needs feel sorry for these stupid Catholics who don't know any better but we know better so we don't need their stupid chatterboxes cluttering our lives. We are better off without all these stupid Catholic bitches ruining everything, thanks anyway.

Was it Riley or Raleigh?

The Irish are fond of referring to a life of ease as the "Life of Riley" but are they really talking about Sir Walter Raleigh? I really have no idea. I never thought about this before. I never thought of myself as living an easy sort of life, myself being for one thing neither Irish to any overwhelmingly great degree nor male so the saying does not apply to me. And even if I did have an easy life, who is to say I enjoyed it at all when the entire time I was forced to pay for it with money I did not have, at the sacrifice of all personal relationships, career achievements, and any other dignity of a human sort, always forced to wallow in feelings of guilt and remorse that I am not allowed to dismiss as if I were a dog being trained by a slave master? I rather think that Reilly's opinion would thus be entirely irrelevant and not applicable to my circumstances and I see less reason than ever to feel sorry for these little chatterbox monsters. Anyway, even though Raleigh's gestures curried great favor with the queen he was beheaded later so maybe there is really nothing to worry about.

More Name Jokes

We are asked to feel sorry for poor little Ima Stone, one of the persons listed on the roster of ridiculous names which was distributed by someone. I don't remember where that came from. It was just there, not seeming like a real person, just an abstraction unrelated to the real person bearing a lifelong joke, when you put it that way. I cannot imagine what the life of the real Ima Stone might have been like but she was not alone. There were quite a few other names on the list as well, not that I would know anything about that.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


It is unbelievable to me that anyone would question the relevance of my commentary even if your personal beliefs are somewhat different than mine. The United States is still majority Protestant and/or non-Catholic and also non-Latin in culture so what I said makes perfect sense to me. And where is my missing paycheck for dropping everything to answer all your idiotic questions? I am not your slave, after all.

Name Games

I really have no interest in encouraging these silly name games. Of course someone other than myself set that up because obviously I am a human being and not a vegetable of any type, not even a stalk of sugar cane to be axed. Sorry if I am not laughing but I just think it's ridiculous to slaughter my name as an example of name jokes of which I was not the original author and thus undeserving of such violent reciprocity. I remember in high school remarking very matter-of-factly in conversation on the phenomenon often observed in Latin culture of Spanish males who are named Jesus, as for example the boys' physical education teacher/soccer coach who was often overheard in conversations called "Don Shus" but actually his first name appears printed in the yearbook as "Jesus." So does that make the Hispanic male some sort of deity? No, obviously not. No one believes that. The girl I was talking to seemed surprised to see the name of "Jesus" in the yearbook so I was just explaining how that likely happened. Of course, we English-speaking people think that is sort of weird. We would never do that to our children. However, that often happens in these Latin cultures although some have said probably more in the lower classes or among persons of the "popular" Catholic religiosity who actually not properly educated in religious matters. Anyway, it is often hard to explain how people get stuck with all these weird names. The variety of name jokes is endless. There was a list that was passed around years ago but I don't have it handy at the moment. However, it is true that this phenomenon of persons named Jesus is mostly unique to Latin culture where religious devotion is often given to these dramatic displays of hysterical excess. I probably could have explained about Jesus better than that but it was hard to get a word in edgewise with these little chatterboxes.