Art and the philosophy of life

Archive for January, 2021

a bit of snow — thoughtsinbuttermilk

Chicago Theater One, of a couple, snapshot of the Chicago Theater during last night’s snow storm.

a bit of snow — thoughtsinbuttermilk

Third largest snowfall in Chicago history…the last picture is Emily’s house. It’s going to keep snowing until 11 p.m.


black short coat medium dog

Photo:  Victor Grabarczyk

A Short Story about differences…

“No.  We can’t be a couple,” she said, eating the pice of bread she was holding.  “I told you NO, a million times.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re a DEMON, that’s why not.”

“So it’s because you’re prejudice?”

“We are a different species.”

“We aren’t that different,” he said. “We have all the same parts.”

“You have a tail.  A tail with spikes.”


“Your fingers turn into claws five inches long claws, whenever you’re angry and…”

“I care about you, even if you don’t have a tail and you’re just a weak and puny human.  I don’t hold that against you.”

“You’re very generous.”

“I try to be,” he said.”

“We are still never going to be a couple.”

“But we live together.”

“Only until I can find a way to send you back to where you came from.”

“I don’t mind staying here, if I can be with you.”

“You need to go home,” she said, handing him a sandwich.  “I gave you extra pickles.”

“Thank you.”

“Why is my tail such a big issue?”

“You’re also green.”

“Wow, you’re just full of biased and hurtful things.  I don’t care if you’re pink.  I never point out your human defects.  Things you can’t help because of birth.”


“You’re slow, can’t fight, can’t fly, have no magic to speak of, can’t travel underground, can’t…”

“I get it.”

“What I’m saying is that I am able to accept you as you are.  You, on the other hand, just see our differences as flaws.”

“You know that’s not true.”

“It is true,” he said.  “All the things you march for in the streets, don’t carry over to freedom for demons.”

“You aren’t part of our world,” she grunted.  “You are from another plane of existence.”

“I’m a foreigner.  That’s what you’re saying, right?”

“No.  That’s not what I’m saying and you know it.  We have been through this over and over.  We are different SPECIES.  THAT’S what I’m saying.”

“You’re mean.”

She looked at him and sighed.  “I’m not mean.  I’ve been hiding you since…”

“I appreciate that.”

“We can only ever be friends.”

“I want to be more than that.  If you come home with me, you’ll be a Princess.”


“Why not?  I thought all the females of your kind wanted to be princesses.”

“Not for a long time now.  Ever since females woke up.”

“Did a prince kiss them?”

“No.  They looked in the mirror and decided they didn’t need to be rescued any longer.  They could rescue themselves.”

“Demons aren’t what you think they are.”

“Sure they are,” she said, cleaning up the counter.

“Your species kills more than we do.”

She thought for a minute.  “You’re right.  We probably do.”

“Maybe you could cast a glamour over me and hide my tail, my green skin, and my horns.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Maybe if we went out in public, people would get used to me.”

Maybe, they would put you in a cage and take you apart inch by inch.  It’s what WE DO HERE.  I told you what we’re like.  They would dissect you and write papers and books about their findings, long after you were dead and your parts were floating in formaldehyde.”

“We would never do that.  We just kill whatever it is and get on with it.”

“Yeah, well you have more manners than we do,” she snorted.

“So what you’re really saying is that your species is worst than mine?  That humans are more dangerous than demons?”

“That’s EXACTLY what I’m saying.”

“Wow.  Wait until they find out about that when I get home.”

“Do you want to watch a movie?” she asked.

“The Hulk?”

“If that’s what you’d like,” she said, picking up the remote.

“You’re actually trying to protect me, aren’t you,” he said softly, his eyes turing emerald green and red.”

She nodded.  “I am.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I still think we can be a couple.”

She hit him with a throw pillow, then snuggled against him and pressed PLAY.








Today is: National Hot Chocolate Day

Clear Glass Mug on Brown Wooden Surface

Okay, so…

Question Mark, Face, Silhouette, Bokeh

If an alien came to earth to do field work, she/he/it would immediately think we were all stupid beyond belief.  If she looked at the books that are out there, the talks on TED and all the other things, that NEVER STOP TELLING PEOPLE HOW TO LIVE, she would beam back up to the Mother Ship and tell the crew, “These animals aren’t worth researching.  How about looking at mice?  They seem smarter.  Mushrooms?”

Having been around since the just after the dinosaurs looked up and said, “Oh, no.  It’s coming right at us. Duck,” I can only assume that people have become not only more unable to think for themselves, but apparently they can’t live without someone telling them what to do.

I’m thinking the wagons moving west across the open plains, didn’t carry books on how to get your kid to sleep, how to PLAY with your baby, or anything else.  No books on communicating with neighbors, bridging gaps, or whether carbs were good or bad.

What happened to us?

I was talking to a pediatrician years ago and he said, “Parents can’t think anymore.  They are constantly calling for the dumbest reasons.  Things everyone should know.  It’s as if they’re terrified and think they will do something wrong and their kids will be scared for life.  The phone never stops ringing.”

It’s not only that.  People read books on social skills, marriage counseling, written by authors who have probably been divorced, Secrets, Creative Visualization, How to treat your dog.  One author was able to find his soul mate four times.  Married, divorced and rinse and repeat.  He was popular for a long time.

I’m bad with dogs and books won’t help.  I can’t be alpha dog.  If my dog was on the couch, I would be sitting on the floor.  My cats were always on the chairs and couches and our whole family was on the floor.  So, I’m really a tough person with people, but not animals.  I could read a million books, and it wouldn’t do any good at all.  If a dog jumped down  and said, “No, you sit there,” I tell the dog that it was okay and that she should take the couch.

I can’t see our ancestors EVER dreaming about not knowing how to live, or what to do in pretty much any situation.  My grandmother had dogs and never thought she didn’t know how to HAVE a dog.  She never once said to me, “I wish there was a book on how to have a dog, or how to talk to you.”

When did people lose their self confidence?  When did everyone start to believe that they didn’t know how to live?  Cave people, who had a pretty limited skill set, never thought they didn’t know anything.  They didn’t sit around wondering when antibiotics would come onto the scene, when their larynx would change and they’d be able to speak.  They knew what they needed to know in order to survive, or they learned pretty fast, just by living.

Cave women got pregnant, didn’t take vitamins, or do much of anything but walk a million miles across the earth, then stop to have the baby, get up, if they didn’t die, and keep walking.  I can only imagine what they all thought when the first baby was born.  “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!”

How to speak up at work, How to talk to the anti’s, or the others, or those people, or these people, or ___________fill in the blank.  There’s a book to teach people how to do every little bitty thing.

Seems weird.  Like seat belts and helmets.  Those are new things.  Before they arrived, we all lived and never thought about being strapped to a seat or wearing a helmet.  I’m not saying those things are bad, I am saying that before people were able to make money off of those things, a billion generations rode in cars and on bikes and never had either one.  We are getting crazier and crazier, more and more dependent on others telling us what to do and how to do it.  And OTHER people are getting rich because we’re being more and more unable to take care of ourselves.

People go to socializing classes, so they can actually SPEAK to another person.  There was never a time that I can remember, when people needed a book for socializing.  And you know what?  I don’t think we’re any better because of it.  All the books are doing is making people think that whatever THEY ARE DOING is wrong, or not good enough.  It’s stealing self confidence and peace from humans, draining their common senses and leaving them afraid and lost.  But maybe that’s just me.  Or maybe it’s being done on purpose to make us weaker and more easily MANIPULATED.  It’s also making others rich.

I think past generations were much better able to cope with life, no matter how hard it was, and it was HARD for a lot of them.  Living through wars and The Depression.  Life has never been a piece of cake.

Kids used to be free to play, not registered in activities until they had no time for themselves, or their imaginations.  No one had to teach us how to play with our friends, or dogs, or anyone else, and you know what…if kids had problems with each other…THEY worked things out by THEMSELVES.  That’s how everyone learned to live and get along.  We learned how to compromise, or fight, BY OURSELVES.  We learned it by LIVING and not by ratting anyone else out.

And we all only had one voice.  Not a single person I ever knew, had an inside voice and an outside voice.  None of us were that insane.  We also had books.  The books we read had chapters.  We did not have chapter books.  Again…we HAD BOOKS.  That’s what they were called.  WE, even as children, could see that there were CHAPTERS INSIDE THE COVERS OF THE BOOKS.  The dumbing down of children.  Seriously.  Do people have so much time on their hands that they have to change what we call things?  A book is a book, whether it has chapters or not.  If a kid opens it, that child will immediately know if there are chapter in it or not.  And so, will the child’s parents.

“Do you have chapter books?”


I look at the titles of some books that pop up now and then and wonder how rich the authors are getting by telling people how to put their children to bed, in 300 pages.

“LOOK IT UP,” seems to be the answer to everything.  Google it.  Why?  Doesn’t anyone know anything anymore?  Take a chance.  Lay the kid down.  Some poor kids slept in a dresser drawer.  It’s NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL UNLESS YOU’VE LOST CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.

I think we’ve lost something very important. We’ve lost the ability to think for ourselves, forgetting that the so called “experts,” not only lie, but they aren’t really experts for anyone but themselves and even then, they fail.  Always remember Dr. Spock apologizing to the entire country, for thinking he knew what it was like to raise children.  Once he had one of his own, he said he was sorry for all the things he wrote in his book.  THE ONLY BOOK we had.

Maybe by asking someone else, people can blame them if things don’t work out.  They can forego personal responsibility and just say, “Well, that’s what he said to do, so it’s not my fault.”

It just seems so strange.  We all grew up wild things, I mean the dinosaurs were gone and no one had a phone that wasn’t attached to a wall.  We turned out pretty good, if you ask me.  All of us were, and still are, able to think for ourselves.  We all put our kids to bed, our dogs were happy and fine.  None of us worried about carbs and I only knew one person who had braces, because she really needed them.  Was it better then?  Sure seems like it. No one was afraid, that’s for sure.  And even if we were, we just did what had to be done and that was that.

Even as kids we had to decide what to do, since our parents ignored us.   We weren’t precious then.  We were simply the next generation of a billion kids who came before us, including our own parents.  Everyone seemed to realize that we were all babies once and the earth was over crowded.  We were expected to behave in certain situations and other than that, we were on our own.

One thing I do know:  As a kid, I got to read really cool books and not a single one was picked out by an adult, or about how to live my own life.  I am forever grateful for that.  They didn’t kill the love of reading when I was a child, the way they kill it now.  We all read for fun.  We were never forced to read horrible books about the holocaust, dead parents, abused children, or anything else that came from a list written by an adult.  We got to read whatever we wanted to read, and we KEPT ON READING because of that.

Today, the stats say that kids out of high school and college never read another book in their lives.  I don’t blame them.  They kill the love or reading by forcing kids to read things they don’t want to read.  They kill poetry and a lot of things that have to do with the arts.  Kids who have the creativity and love of beauty taken from them, make better slaves.  Nothing happens by accident.  It’s done on purpose.  They can’t break everyone, of course, but they do kill those things in most kids, whenever they can.

I can remember my grandson hating the books on the reading lists he received in grade school.  He always picked the SHORTEST book, since the subjects were all horrible.  He never reads now, except for classes.  I told him not to read the books his teacher gave him.  WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO FIGHT BACK, YOU KNOW.  I told him to read something else and write a paper. But, of course, he wouldn’t do that.  Brain washing works that way when grades are held over your head and the punishment for not obeying is fast and harsh.

I wouldn’t have read a single book on any of his lists, silver seals on the cover or not.  Books are like perfume, not all scents are for everyone and no one wants to wear something that smells bad to them.  Those books all smelled bad.  Miserable, sad, horrible books.  I was so angry and I still am.

I went to Chicago public schools and had the run of the grade school library.  It was fantastic.  I never stopped reading, because I got to read books I loved.  Thank you Chicago.  I may not have learned math, but I wouldn’t be sitting around doing division right now.  I do, however, sit around and read.  That library is burned into my mind.  When I walked in one of the doors, AHHHHH, it was like heaven.  Thank you to every librarian who sat behind the desk.  Thank you to every grade school teacher who let me read whatever I wanted to read.  You have my undying gratitude.  I know it’s a little late and that you’re all with the dinosaurs now, but still.  Thank you.

Yeah, it really was better back then.

Okay, the dinosaurs probably wouldn’t agree, but still…




We, in the Chicago area, are supposed to get 11, yes, ELEVEN more inches of snow, starting this afternoon around four.  That’s on top of the snow already on the ground.  And more is coming.

What fun.  Not!

A friend of mine called and said they are warning people that if they go out tonight to be sure and have food, water, blankets and a flashlight in their car.  It’s never a good thing to hear that.

Apparently Mother Nature has been playing with us, leading us to believe that this was going to be one of the best winters ever.  She started out with a fall ice storm and then calmed down and things have been blissful.  Now, however, she’s decided that she’s been nice long enough, and all bets are off.  Sigh.

It seems ridiculous that we can’t steer the planet. I mean then we could just turn it toward the SUN, once in awhile.  It only seems fair.  But no. The planet pretty much does whatever it feels like doing, and we’re just along for the ride.  I mean it’s not as if we can go anywhere else, right?  I still can’t believe we all live on a rock flying through space and all we do is kill everything.  How crazy are we?  Never mind, it was a rhetorical question.

Is it spring yet?

Photo:  Aditya Vyas

Happy 161st Birthday Anton Pavlovich Chekhov — Waldina

Today is the 161st birthday of the Russian playwright that is quoted as saying “Do silly things. Foolishness is a great deal more vital and healthy than our straining and striving after a meaningful life.” Anton Pavlovich Chekhov. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss because […]

Happy 161st Birthday Anton Pavlovich Chekhov — Waldina

Street Art by Fats Patrol (1) – Upfest 2017 — TAB54

Street Art by Fats Patrol (1) – Upfest 2017 — TAB54

A fuzzy handful of perfection…

Free stock photo of 4k wallpaper, action camera, android wallpaper, animal

Photo:  Asish Aji

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