Posted by: David | November 16, 2008

It Is What It Is

My wife really hates when I say that. I don’t say it often. In fact, usually it doesn’t really need to be said. It is the ultimate in obviousness, and yet a little profundity lurks therein. A shrug of the shoulders or “whatever” conveys the same thought, but without the existentialism. It is what it is connotes the inevitable truth of a thing, knowable or not.

Yawn. Stretch. Yawn again …

I was watching a recorded Private Practice the other day and the Tim Daly character must’ve said “it is what it is” at least 5 times. I think it was the “election” show where they were trying to figure out whether Sam or Naomi would be running the practice. We’ve also been catching up on all the House shows that we’ve been DVRecording since September. Catching bits the of those damned campaign ads, which look even more horrible now, after the fact. But that I can now fast forward through them gives me an idiotic feeling of power and HOPE.

Rewind to October 30. Briefly. “Mischief Night”.

Town hooligans unspooled several cases of toilet paper on these innocent Main Street maples.

After Halloween I’m allowed to scoop out all the remaining pumpkin seeds.

Oliver really likes the toasted pumpkins seeds too, believe it or not.

It’s kind of creepy how Election Day comes so soon after Halloween. Isn’t it? Sorry not to have posted for such a long time. No excuses really. But work has been busy, and I’m tired when I get home. Back before Halloween, I was relocated at work. Moved into a new office space in the basement of the college’s main administrative building. It’s not as nice as my old office, but there is an open-able window. Through it I can see the backside of some shrubbery. A coworker took this picture of me at my desk. Those steam pipes are NOT coming out of my head, but are actually behind me. Smiling is my policy. It helps that I love my job 98% of the time and actually look forward to going to work. Sick isn’t it?

I often dress a little better than this. Ties seem to draw a lot of commentary.

Since my last post, we elected a new president and everyone is hopeful that we can turn the page. Of course, we’ll need to find the book first. We’ve lost almost a complete decade, we’re circling the drain, and yet according to recent surveys, we are 72% optimistic about the future.

Flavor packets from ramen noodles. Product of USA. Ramen is the twenty cent meal.

Several important updates follow.

The flowering aloe plant, mentioned a few posts back, has lost its flower stalk WAY too early this time. I forget why. I think it was an accident. I have no photo but I’m sure it will be flowering again in the next few months.

The Route 114 cairn had a very nice makeover some weeks ago.

View from the front. Looks like the original cairn builder’s work. Nice!

This is our cotton harvest. We figure we’ll have enough to make a dozen Q-tips.

My wife planted a few unusual and more southerly items last spring, as mentioned in a post from last March. The cotton plants actually produced a couple of cotton bolls. I guess that’s what they’re called. Interesting plants. Once we’ve made the Q-tips I plan to insert them directly into my ear canal(s). Cause that’s the way I am.

We finally got a little fire going in the Great Blue stove. It got quite warm.


  1. When I first looked at the toilet paper photo I though you had had an ice storm. They did a really complete job on those trees. I wouldn’t want to be the person that has to remove said toilet paper.

    I think that’s awesome that you grew cotton. Maybe you can give home made Q tips as Christmas presents.

    As I read this my son-in-law is cooking ramen noodles for lunch. He eats those when there are no leftovers.

    You look very handsome in that photo. Nice to know you don’t have pipes growing out of your head.

    Well, today is what it is — a nice relaxing day!!

    Yes it really was the most complete toilet papering job I’ve ever seen. And these two trees get papered every October 30. I don’t know who pays for the toilet paper, but it’s some deep pockets. And NOBODY cleans it up! Old man winter takes care of it I guess. It looked best Halloween morning, but I took the picture a couple days later.

    I can picture those homemade Q-tips … on twigs with the bark still on. What a great xmas gift idea!

    My wife and daughter were babysitting a friends kids … 6 and 4 yr. old brother and sister … my daughter cooked some ramen for them. But they wanted to eat the ramen uncooked. !! Can you believe that?!?! They actually ate a fair amount of the noodle bricks that way too. Crazy kids!

    Thanks for your compliment πŸ™‚ … the steam pipes feed a radiator behind my desk, and even though the radiator never seems hot, my office is quite warm. I have to open the window sometimes.


  2. See? I knew there was a reason I liked you. You take some of the heat from me. I get crap for saying it too.

    So I’m reading along, still chuckling that we get crap for the same thing when. . .holy crap! That’s one red tongue! Dave, do me a favor next time, warn a guy! I’m already haunted, you know.

    It’s funny you say smiling is your rule. I was talking to a kid 18-19, good kid but is already weary of the work-a-day world. It may be part of his generation (I hear grumbling from people preparing for their grueling four hour work day) but, no matter, I took some time out of my busy day of making fun of people (I was away for a few days – for, as Jim Carroll said, work not play – and someone asked where I was. Very indignant I was not where they expected me. I told them I was out of town at a agoraphobics convention. Too subtle?) to talk to him.

    I started with the basic ‘work’s such a horrible place they have to pay you to be there’ gambit. I could tell he was expecting more. He asked me how I continue to gnaw through the straps every day so I told him he’s giving his customers too much power.

    “I know the moment I get all the leather out of my teeth things aren’t going to go well every moment of the day but it is what it is. Don’t make it worse for yourself by giving these people any power over you. You read the book, serve all, hate all. It says nothing about letting them alter your mood.”

    He said he sure didn’t expect a pep talk from me but I corrected him.

    “It’s far from a pep talk. It’s a survival suit.”

    And why is that? Because it is what it is.

    Thanks B&G, that is high praise indeed! IIWII is too much truth for most mere mortals …

    Sorry about the Oliver tongue. Usually save that for the 4th date. Seriously though … I’m sure I’ve mentioned somewhere that I always turn the color saturation up to 42% when I edit my photos with Microsoft Office Picture Manager. So you know what that does …

    In some ways, my heart goes out to the kid, he’s discovered that the work-a-day world sucks. Even if you only work half a day. That’s why they invented Muzak for crissakes. It was nice of you to try to bring some Zen to the kid. Unfortunately I think most of us have to slog through our 20s before we learn the suck-it-up trick. At least you have a textbook!

    Agoraphobics Convention! ROFLOL!!!! And thanks for that Jim Carroll flashback. That song always cheered me up!

  3. I am just thankful you are back! What a year. All this and cotton too. I know you personally and I would have to say you do in fact have steam pipes coming out of your head but I will will play along for the sake of your internet buddies! keep the faith and you are absolutely right — it is what it is. Hope to see you the Thursday of the month!!

    Thanks Carol that’s so nice of you to write! I wouldn’t brag to the Internet about “knowing me personally” if I were you. And IX-Nay on the eampipes-STAY!! I sure didn’t make up IIWII. I think that was Mr. Kant or Heidegger, or one of those creeps.

    And we’re planning to be there. Your sister sucks at RSVPs. What I’d like to know is whether we can bring the squash, and for how many people?

    ♥ πŸ™‚ ♥ πŸ™‚ ♥ πŸ™‚

  4. You could always translate IT-IS-WHAT-IT-IS into ‘redneck’ and say, “It aint nuttin’ but a thing.” or maybe thang…

    That’s so funny C! My BFF & I, when we were teenagers, had a carelessly mumbled saying very similar:

    “It’s kinda like a thing, y’know?”

  5. My high school physics teacher used to say that, though it was her having a brief epiphany about the nature of her teaching.
    “It is… What it is?”

    And good work on main street. Kudos to the perpetrators.

    LOL on your physics teacher. Guess she must have made some impression on you, hey mr. chaos? Thanks for commenting.

    The mischief night maple paperers are tolerated, maybe even appreciated year after year in my nice little town. Even though trees have died for this tradition, and many butts have been wiped by OTHER than what drapes those old maples, it’s so very cool that you can appreciate this from the other side of the planet. Kudos indeed.

  6. My daughter has a recipe for Chinese Cabbage salad that uses broken up pieces of ramen noodles and it is so good. She also has a recipe where she takes chow mein noodles and covers them with chocolate and they are delicious. Who knew you could do so much with hard noodles?

    Hmm. That sounds interesting. Is the cabbage cooked or is this a raw salad? Sounds like your daughter is a pretty creative cook!

  7. I haven’t had toasted pumpkin seeds in since grade school, since my only exposure to the treat was outside of the home (my mom’s only understanding of pumpkin seeds was to pull all the gunk out of the pumpkin (seeds included), and toss it out)…and as you can calculate if you remember my advanced age, it’s been YEARS and YEARS since grade school… ya I miss those pumpkin seeds 😦 (maybe I’ll try to make some next year….!)

    O yes you should! Most people throw out the seeds, gunk and all. I make a real pest of myself at the college when they have the jack-o-lantern carving contest, constantly asking “what are you doing with the seeds?” This year the dining service folks collected and roasted them, so that’s good. In the photo, I got about a quart and half (1.5 liters?) of raw seeds. Enough to share with my friends who like them and we’re still crunching away on them at home. They’ll be gone by xmas. I’ve heard that the seeds are good for your digestive system.

  8. Oh, it is so good to be back here, reading of your doings, thinkings and eatings, and seeing these fantastic photos. That’s a great pic of you, but now that I know the truth about the steampipes, I’m wondering where you found a bicycle helmet that would accommodate your affliction.

    (I used to substitute teach at a school in a very low-income district. The staff would give the kids ramen noodles to take home, but they’d eat them raw out of the package before the bell rang. They LOVED them!)

    Maybe “It is What It Is” should be the follow up song to “Que Sera Sera.”

    Hi moonbeam πŸ™‚ what a nice comment! Comments like that make blogging seem worthwhile.

    OK OK! The deal with the steampipes … they’re connected to my head at work, and while running “idle cycles” the waste heat from my brain heats the entire building for PENNIES! It’s part of the new green initiative. Not that it’s really new … we had our first dramatic lesson back in 1973. Lucky thing we buckled down right then and there and started making good quality super-efficient transportation from all recycled materials, huh?! Otherwise the Big 3 USA auto companies would be REALLY hurting by now, would they not? Anyway, I’m just trying to do my part.

    I just don’t get the raw ramen noodle thing. Guess I’ll just have to try them some time …

    O yes, my psychic friend, that song exists. I heard it in my brain last year while cycling. The rhythm of the pedaling and breathing sometimes generates really bad lyrics to other peoples’ music in my auditory cortex. D’OH!

  9. I’m lovin’ this kind of post. It’s so personal, and newsy. Really fun.

    Oliver looks AWESOME. And so do you, Dave! Wow, excellent photo.

    I agree, the elections are creepy enough without tacking them onto Halloween. But apparently some people manage to escape the election horrors entirely. Last week, November 18 to be exact, my sister was at the dinner table with her family and expressed her disgust with the tiresome candidate ads. She said, “I hate this, when are they gonna announce the winner for crying out loud?” It’s so lonely in my family. I am the Lisa Simpson of my siblings. Oh the humiliation.

    Pumpkin Seeds: Once, when I was a bartender, I had to work the day shift and I forced the professional drunks at the bar to carve out all the pumpkins for Halloween decorations, with the promise I’d roast the seeds for them. Well I cleaned the seeds and put them in the oven and forgot about them, set the kitchen on fire, and the sprinkler system went off. Happy Halloween you filthy drunk bastards!

    I’m so relieved you’re going to use your cotton for Q-tips rather than gas bombs (or whatever the hell you call what that psycho in No Country For Old Men made with his cotton balls. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about. He used cotton balls and rags to blow up a car.

    Jeebus I know I read and registered this comment, Wendy, because I remember thinking the other day on my 20 minute commute home what a fun bartender you must’ve been and too bad I never go to bars but if I did how cool would it have been if I could have been at your bar to remind you to check on the roasting seeds. Nice reminiscence πŸ˜€

    Thanks for your bloglovin praises Wendy! Aw shucks.

    I forgot about the cotton balls in No Country For Old Men but Javier Bardem creeped me right the hell out. I recorded this movie on IFC called The Sea Within and Bardem is in it. I started watching it after we got home from our thanksgiving feast at my sister-in-law’s place. It’s about a quadriplegic guy, true story supposedly, who wants to die with dignity. I’m on a bad run for downer movies lately (I Am Legend, The Seventh Seal 😦 ) !

    In conclusion, thanks for your comment (& gentle nudge) and sorry it nearly escaped un-replied to. WLIHA πŸ™‚

  10. ‘It is what it is’ is my next-door neighbor’s most oft-used expression. At first I mocked it, but now I have accepted it…I even use it when it seems appropriate, which is much more often than I would have thought before acceptance.

    Congrutulations on your new basement home. At my old job, I would sometimes visit the people in the basement just to have an excuse to walk the stores.

    Thanks Allison. Really, what’s more annoying than platitudes or aphorisms? Idiotically obvious utterances like IIWII. When I was a kid we used to tease each other by asking “Y’know what”? Friend says “What”? Reply: “That’s what”!

    My new office space’s proximity to the bookstore has a downside. Nearly singlehandedly over the past few weeks I bought out their entire stock of Good N Plenty. The $1.29 size box. My wife and I love them. So does Oliver.

  11. I’m such a dork. I meant to say ‘stairs’ not ‘stores’. I should not be allowed to leave comments early in the morning.

    I say you ARE allowed. And you’re not a dork. πŸ˜€

  12. Oh. My. God. You commented back to everyone here but me…you actually SKIPPED over ME. Is it because I included directions for making a bomb?

    CRAP! No wonder I had such a shitty week! I KNEW I had forgotten something, I just could not put my … it was on the tip of … it just slipped … well you know.

    I will attend to this forthwith.

  13. Ha. Thanks for replying.
    Speaking of movies, here’s a warning: DO NOT watch “Before The Devil Knows Your Dead” with Ethan Hawk and Philip Seymour Hoffman even though it got great reviews and people are always saying it’s terrific. It is not. It’s the most depressing movie (and riddled with holes) that we’ve ever seen. Such a disappointment.
    Go rent “Cabin Boy” with Chris Elliott. It’s older, but even if you’ve seen it you’ve undoubtedly forgotten some of it. I watch it whenever I need a good laugh. Or “Bad Santa”! Bad Santa is good.

    Thanks for your anti-recommendation Wendy, I’ll take it. I saw PSH in this horrendous indy film where he played a widower who got into huffing gasoline. I’m not sure why this despondent crap is so compelling, but having been so compelled, the only comfort then left is this: SHIT, I’m NEVER gonna watch THAT effing movie again. Unless I’ve just been diagnosed as terminal and I’m trying to psych myself up (down) for suicide.

    I LOVE Chris Elliott (the originator of ‘awkward’ comedy) and all things Worldwide Pants. Bad Santa was great too. Billy Bob is really some piece of work, ain’t he? “All right then.” (Sling Blade)

  14. “Would you like to buy a monkey?”

    Cabin Boy is idiotic. Guess that’s why I like it.

    I think The Ref should be on everyone’s holiday movie watch list.

    Denis Leary is spectacular. Thanks for the recommendation.

  15. This is a spectacular dose of randomness. I love it! Mostly I love the photo of the chicken flavor, as we have a drawer full of those.

    Thanks maleesha. πŸ™‚ Words can barely express how warm and fuzzy it makes me feel to have supplied you with a spectacular dose of randomness.

    Random is my default tag if’n I fail to add any other tags.

    I like the oxymoronic expression: RANDOM PATTERN

    I would throw away the chicken flavor packets if I were you. They’re gross. πŸ˜€

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