Cross-posting again

Yes, I did it. I cross-posted.

I wrote “Try, Try Again” for Whiskertips. Then, because it was about writing, I posted it on write is to write is to write as well.

I didn’t even retype it. I copied and pasted.

To those kind people who read both blogs, I offer my apologies. To those who saw the two blogs with the same post title listed together on the SCN Blogging Circle page, I offer my confession of how foolish I felt when I saw that.

To everyone, I offer advance notice that in just a few minutes, I’m going to do it again.


Try, try again

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” ~ attributed to Albert Einstein

“Insanity: staying up until 3:00 a.m. both Friday and Saturday revising your manuscript contest submission and then expecting to have enough functional brain cells to proof the final copy on Sunday before submitting it on Monday, when repeated replication of the experiment over the past four decades has already told you it ain’t gonna happen that way.” ~ attributed to Kathy

Pea green: the color you feel every time you replicate the experiment

Walter Huston did what?

One of my duties as a librarian was to walk up behind high school students engaged in online research, tap them on the shoulder, and say, “Do you really want to quote a seventh grader’s research paper about the circulatory system (or Robert Frost, or the Battle of Gettysburg, or whatever)? Because the website you’re looking at is a seventh grader’s research paper. See where it says, ‘My Seventh-Grade Research Paper’?”

They weren’t entirely responsible. Someone had told them, “Get on the Internet and find something about XYZ,” and they’d gotten on the Internet and found something. Mission accomplished. No one had mentioned they should also read and think.

A couple of days ago, as you know if you’ve been keeping up, I made a mistake in a post. I said Walter Huston was involved in the experiments with LSD conducted by Timothy Leary in the early 1960s. When I found my error, instead of correcting the text, I added in a footnote that I should have written Huston Smith instead. The next day I posted another piece about spending all day trying to get the facts straight when I seemed determined to compound the error.

Today a friend I was telling about the labyrinthine process said, “Ten years from now, it will be reported by reputable sources that Walter Huston was part of the LSD experiments. Someone will read what you wrote and will take it as fact and pass it on.”

I hadn’t thought of that.

Now I feel bad. I wonder whether I should go back and wipe out the original error. I don’t want to muddle things for future generations.

But if I change the text of the post, the footnotes won’t make sense. So I’ll have to delete them. Then the second post won’t make sense, so I’ll have to delete it. Then this post won’t be necessary, so it’ll never see the light of day. Hundreds of words will disappear. My words.


I’m not a librarian any more. I don’t hang over people’s shoulders, irritating them with inconvenient truths. I write, and while I respect Truth, I now prefer to wrap it in Fiction, Irony, Hyperbole, Tall Tales.

So let the reader beware. If you want to know what Walter Huston did, read every word and to the very end.

I corrected my mistakes. Don’t make one of your own.

To err is mine

In the previous post, I wrote that during an evening with friends, we talked about Timothy Leary, Walter Huston, and LSD.

Rereading the post later in the day, I wondered whether I’d spelled Huston correctly. I was about to google Walter Huston to check it out when I realized Walter wasn’t correct either.

Somebody Huston, or Houston, was involved in those experiments with LSD, but it wasn’t the actor who won the Academy Award for his role in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

Then, while trying to remember Mr. H’s first name, I realized it wasn’t Somebody Huston/Houston, it was Huston/Houston Somebody.

Are you still with me?

I would have searched Amazon for The Harvard Psychedelic Club, which is what got us talking about the subject in the first place, but I couldn’t remember the title. So I googled something like Leary Harvard LSD and–Lo and behold!–found the name I was looking for: Huston Smith.

Under normal circumstances, I’d have corrected the name in the post. However, the fact that I’d ended it by saying that my friend kept referring to Halloween when she meant Valentine’s Day made my little gaffe rather amusing. So I added a footnote instead.

Fast forward a couple of hours. Checking out the post again, I noted I’d misspelled the first name. I’d written Houston instead of Huston.

Huston is what I’d started with. Wrong position but correct spelling.

So I clicked Edit and added another footnote.

And, as I’d done twice before, I e-mailed my friend a link to the post. I thought she might as well see how I’d spent my day.

The thing is–once upon a time, I was proud of my attention to detail. Other people complimented me on my attention to detail. I told my students about my attention to detail and strongly suggested they get some of their own.

Now I’m falling apart before my own eyes. And, since Whiskertips is visible to whoever happens along, before everyone else’s eyes as well.

I don’t like that.

But I don’t sweat it either. It’s small stuff.

I mean, you should hear about the blunder I made in a post a couple of weeks ago. Talk about embarrassing. I even received an e-mail about it. From a famous person. Whose name I shall not include here because that’s how he found out about the mistake in the first place. From his news feed.

Never mind.

Anyway, today’s slip gave me the idea for this post. That’s a good thing. Someday I might decide to write about the other one.

In the words of Crescent Dragonwagon, and possibly other people as well, “Nothing is wasted on the writer.”

Happy Valloween

One of the blessings of my life lies in having friends who like to cook, who do cook, and who invite me to dinner.

Last Saturday David and I joined them for a special evening.

Upon arriving, we were served cranberry prosecco in funky red flutes. Then we stood around the island in the kitchen and munched ham terrine on crackers.

Dinner comprised short ribs, garlic mashed potatoes, and peas. Since the hosts helped the plates, we didn’t have to be embarrassed at the size of the servings.

Coffee and slabs of red-hot dotted red velvet cake, made from scratch by another of the guests, rounded out the meal (as well as its partakers).

Then we sat and discussed a wide range of topics: obeying our husbands (we do it all the time but no one notices); the history of common law marriage; Timothy Leary, Walter Huston*, and LSD; playing the piano at the Baptist church; the cardinal that keeps flinging himself at their kitchen window; strainers from IKEA; dinnerware that refuses to break when you’re tired of it; the Olympics opening ceremony; and the soporific effect of eating all your mashed potatoes.

Another blessing is having a friend who says the red-and-white checked tablecloth is the only Halloween tablecloth she has, and who then apologizes for not having any Halloween napkins.

This is a person I understand. This is a person with whom I can share a wavelength. This is a person who doesn’t seem to mind that I’m missing a few marbles of my own.

Now I can’t wait for October. Maybe they’ll invite us down for Valentine’s Day.


*  We didn’t talk about Timothy Leary, Walter Huston, and LSD. We talked about Timothy Leary, Houston Smith, and LSD. I told you I’m missing a few of my marbles.


Okay, it’s not Houston, it’s Huston. I was half right the first time. And if anything else is wrong with this post, that’s too bad. I’ve done all the correcting I’m going to do.

My Valentine

My Valentine and I celebrated at the Eastside Cafe.

He took me there for my birthday ten years ago, soon after we met. Now it’s one of our favorite places for special occasions.

Tonight he chose pork tenderloin and mashed sweet potatoes. I had fried shrimp with apricot brown butter sauce. We both enjoyed a cup of chicken artichoke mushroom soup.

Were we younger, I probably wouldn’t remember–or care–what we ate. But no matter.

I married a romantic. He remembers important dates. He reserves tables weeks in advance. He selects gifts with thought and care. He wraps them himself.

He likes cats and Jane Austen.

And I like him. A lot.


After some finagling on my part, William finally graces the header.

This shot wasn’t my first choice. I wanted to show him chasing the paintbrush on the PBS art show. But for some reason that image couldn’t be processed. Whatever that means.

I changed the header because I felt guilty of favoritism. After all, I have two cats. It isn’t right to display one for all the world to admire while relegating the other to anonymity.

William didn’t care, of course. He’s a cat. But I’m his mother, and I care.

So William yawns at the top of the page.

Initially, I thought I’d alternate photos–one cat per month.

But considering the trouble I had replacing Ernest with William just once, I may decide to leave well enough alone.

Ernest won’t care.