What Do These Three Quotes Have in Common?

Quote #1:

Rollin’ in hella deep,
headed to the mezzanine
Dressed in all pink
’cept my gator shoes, those are green
Draped in a leopard mink,
girl standing next to me
Probably should’ve washed this,
smells like R. Kelly’s sheets.

Quote #2:

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future.

Quote #3:

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

What do all three of these quotes have in common?

The answer, of course, is that Mohandas Gandhi never said any of them.

That’s right. The most famous Gandhi quote in the world (or at least the US, anyway) – the one gracing T-shirts, bookmarks, and every other piece of merchandise we can slap it on – didn’t actually come from the man himself. Apparently it’s from his grandson, Arun Gandhi, who was paraphrasing.

According to the New York Times, the actual quote is:

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.

Now, to be fair, that’s a roughly similar sentiment; and the shorter version is easier to remember, more elegant (in my opinion), and still contains a powerful idea.

But still, if you’re going to quote the Mahatma, shouldn’t you at least get the words right?

Brief Summary of the Life of Pluto

5,183,702,446 BC – AD 1929 – chillin’

1930 – 2005 – everyone’s staring at me

2006 – 2014are you kidding me

July 14, 2015 – the hell is this thing supposed to b – AH! paparazzi! no pictures, no pictures!

2016 – 7,335,918,204 – ennui

I Got a Job!


After more than a year of unemployment, I have a job again. A real copyediting job with a paycheck and everything. If you want to know how I’m feeling, look up ecstatic in a thesaurus: euphoric, elated, rhapsodic, joyful, thrilled…

We’re still working out a few final questions, and I haven’t officially signed the contract yet, so I’ll refrain from posting full details just now. In the next week or two, probably.

In the meantime, my new editing responsibilities already have me very busy, so I don’t have time for my usual Monday transcendence post. Blog posts in general may be shorter and/or sparser than normal for a while as I get up to speed.

It’s a good problem to have.

Later, peeps!

Achievement Unlocked: Marriage Equality

willow tara

george and brad


sirs ian and patrick


Friday Link

In nearly fifty years, in over seventeen thousand strips, there’s only one Peanuts strip where we actually get to see the Little Red-Haired Girl – and then only in silhouette. The date is May 25, 1998, less than two years before the end.

Have a meritorious weekend!

Shooting Brennivín

The beverage in question.

The beverage in question.

A couple years ago I was drinking rather heavily, mainly as a reaction to my good friend Señor Depresión. Not to the point of alcoholism, but certainly more than was healthy. To halt this worrying trend, and for a few other reasons, I gave up drinking entirely for about nine months. Then I tried re-introducing a small, controlled amount: one drink per week.

That worked very well. And yesterday, after talking to my psychiatrist, I’ve decided to increase my weekly allotment to two.

Not coincidentally, yesterday evening Betsy and I finally tried the Brennivín.

Brennivín is the national liquor of Iceland, and we brought home vast quantities from our trip last October. (If you can’t tell from the photo, each bottle is a few inches tall; total quantity: 100 mL, or 3.3 oz.) But we had never gotten around to actually drinking the stuff, in part because I was still operating under my personal Prohibition at the time.

Also, I really, really didn’t think I would like it. I hate the taste of almost all hard liquor (especially vodka), and Brennivín has a reputation for being especially nasty (and supposedly tastes like vodka). Witness a typical reaction to trying it for the first time: those are the kind of faces you make when someone says they’re voting for Donald Trump. Not to mention, I can tell you from personal experience that cuisine ranks at the very bottom of reasons to visit Iceland.

But I am all about trying new things, especially foreign things, and we’ve had this stuff sitting around for eight months now, and I wanted to celebrate. So I did a whole shot – almost the entire bottle – and Betsy had a sip.

Betsy’s reaction was similar to the woman’s in the video – and Betsy enjoys liquor more than I do. So imagine my surprise when I did the shot and liked it.

I mean, it wasn’t fabulous or anything, but better than any vodka or whiskey I’ve ever had. A curious taste, not actively unpleasant. A nice burn going down.

So: try new things! There’s a small chance you will like them. And if you don’t, you can always record your disgust and post it on YouTube for the amusement of others.

The Mouse

As all readers know, I am a soft-hearted tree-hugging hippie liberal (except that I’m not a hippie and I rarely hug trees). So it may not surprise you that our house runs a catch-and-release program for most invaders.

Spiders, in particular, are captured and ushered outside; the same clemency is generally extended to centipedes, beetles, and (when possible) even flies. Mosquitoes, bees, and wasps forfeit their lives on account of their biological weapons. You see the boundaries of my beneficence.

This week, though, Nature raised the ante. We had a mouse.

I went to the kitchen around midnight on Sunday to see what was making the noise. I found it there on the stove, frozen. For a minute we watched each other. Finally I approached, and it dashed behind the microwave.

No sightings Monday, but then yesterday it dashed across the kitchen floor and ended up in the basement. I knew what I had to do.

I already had a no-kill mousetrap from an earlier, unsuccessful attempt to capture a visitor (it ended up finding a way to die on its own). This time, however, I had better luck. I baited it with peanut butter and went down every couple hours to check. By the afternoon, I had a mouse.

He was a cute little guy, tiny, smaller than I had thought when I saw him in the kitchen. Wide black eyes, gray fur, twitchy whiskery nose. I put on gloves to pick up the trap, in case he tried to bite me through the air holes (which he didn’t). He acted calmer than I expected, though I claim no particular expertise on the interpretation of rodent body language.

I took him out back behind the fence and opened one of the little trap-gates.

He didn’t notice right away – I had to tap and tilt to get his attention. When he did come to the gateway to freedom, he didn’t dash off instantly like I expected. He slowly, cautiously sniffed his new environment, half in the cage, half out. For all I know, he had never been outdoors before.

Finally he took his first careful steps out of the trap – and made a beeline for the nearest cluster of weeds, and disappeared.

Who knows, maybe an owl ate him last night.

Some people hate mice (and spiders, too) and I don’t blame them for that. But personally, I don’t get that much interaction with Nature. So when Nature comes visiting me, I find it awfully convenient.