Cate’s Column #7

I Don’t Understand

I assumed by the time I turned 50 I would have life all figured out. Wow, was I wrong! Here are some things I still haven’t sorted out:

Why are there so many ways to spell Ketchup — and is it an acceptable source of Vitamin C?

“Do my thing.” As in, “I stepped outside to do my thing.” What thing? And what are you doing to it?

Why anyone would mail money for a free catalog. [More on this in a future column.]

Curds. Curds do not belong in the cheese group. Silly Putty group, perhaps.

White gold. Isn’t that an oxy-moron?

Why we ever drink again after a really bad hangover.

Why bleach stains don’t wash out.

10,000 Maniacs In My Tribe album. Such cheerful music behind boo-hoo lyrics. Imagine Madonna substituting “Holiday!” with “Gloom and doom!”

Why some parents [mine] teach their children about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny but never mention Jesus. Seriously — I had no idea why my folks took me to this huge old building with fancy windows, nor why they wandered off at one point and drank some wine.

Charlie Sheen.

Television (see above).

Why people say “12 noon.” I mean, when else is noon? Same for midnight.

Why solar power stations waste precious water and make more hot air to generate electricity. Why can’t these towers collect sunlight and store it in nice batteries, the way RVers do?

Why river people grocery shop in bikinis. Grocery stores are cold. Girls look awkward browsing with arms folded across chests.

Why most of our brains switch off when we call a radio station. I go blank every time I dial KLPZ!

Why astronomers in movies always listen to classical music whilst gazing through enormous telescopes. Wouldn’t AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long be more appropriate? You just know the stargazer is going to see something alarming.

Why ‘monosyllabic’ has so many syllables?

Why there are trials for the indisputably guilty Jared Loughners of the world. Really, what is there to decide?

And finally – for now – why the heck is Pakistan irked at us?

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Cate Mueller is a web designer, editor, reporter and photographer in Bouse, Arizona. To visit her website, click here.


  1. I believe I could answer a couple!

    The solar thing: batteries are hugely expensive. On this scale, the solar projects proposed would be markedly more efficient (especially the HUGE one which has almost no moving parts to go wrong except the turbines turning inside the chimney, relying only on what hot air naturally does…. rises).

    The Jared Loughner one: there’s an extremely high chance that he’s demonstrably mentally ill, so that could determine how his actions are treated by the justice system (institutions rather than death, for example).

    Over to others to answer more!

  2. The answer to the one about the Easter Bunny and Jesus is that not everyone believes in Christ. I am sorry Cate if you think your religion is better or your beliefs more real than everyone else’s, but other peoples beliefs are just as valid as yours. If you could perhaps demonstrate anything you believe to actually be real, then it would be a different story. But since no one can, neither I, you or anyone else, should question anothers beliefs. As for myself, I’ve taught my kids about Jesus, Buddha, Moses, the Goddess, Lao Tzu, and other religious figures and I’ve taught them to find the path (religion) that feels right to them, the one that makes them better people, the one that gives them hope. Most of all I taught them to be humble so that they would not think their way should be believed by all. This type of humility is sorely lacking in many religious people I meet, but not all. Thankfully, we are no longer burning people at the stake or starting inquisitions, but there was a time when Christians were the ones committing massacres because a certain group of people were different, much like Muslim extremists have in the modern age.
    Why people kill, hate or even look down upon other people over things that they cannot prove to be real, I’ll never know. I guess it’s some arrogant aspect of human nature.

  3. Desert Rose, thank you for your comment — very enlightening. I edited that question so perhaps it will make more sense now.

    You write well, my compliments!

  4. People say 12 noon to differentiate between the 12 that represents noon and midnight. Similarly people say 8 AM vs 8 PM for the same reason. “When are you coming over?” “8 o’clock.” “Morning or evening?”

    The classical vs hard rock thing seems pretty simple… one doesn’t bob one’s head to classical music… it allows them to keep their eyes focused in the lens. Maybe? 🙂

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