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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Wednesday, April 30, 2003  

You can see Brendan's hospital picture on When you get to, click Show Me the Baby. Then type these numbers in the place - 041 22184, follow directions, and click Show Me The Baby again. Then there he is!! Be sure to leave a message if you'd like.

I'll have my photos I took on here by the weekend, I hope. Scaryduck told me about a place to store photos, so I'll work on it and see what I can do. Wish me luck!

3:34:00 PM

Monday, April 28, 2003  

I am so impressed with Summit Medical Center. Unlike the downtown hospitals, it's relatively new, right off the interestate, easily accessible, and has lots of free parking. The staff is wonderful there, too. I was impressed with all the nurses I met and with their doctors. I talked to the nurses at the desk when I left last night to tell them what a good job I thought they did and how well they took care of their patients. They explained things so well to Melissa and Brian and have such a pleasant, supportive, reassuring manner. Their confidence and competence is apparent. I appreciate the safeguards and precautions. Several times at first they explained not to leave the baby alone and even if going to the bathroom to call a nurse to get him or be there with him while he was out of their sight. They said only to let people with a certain kind of ID badge to take him and when they'd both be asleep to call a nurse to take the baby to the nursery because it locks. As many times as they saw Brian and Melissa, they checked theirs and Brendan's ID bracelets before leaving him in the room. Video cameras record all visitors to and from the part where the nursery and patients are. One of the nurses said they've never had anything happen and no one has stolen a baby from there. I'm sure it's because of the precautions they take. It feels safe there. It's too bad there are strange people who make this necessary. I highly recomment the hospital and staff there.

We had a good visit yesterday. Brian and Melissa are feeling more confident with him, and it's so neat to see them as parents. Brian said the picture they took of him in the hospital that you'll get to see as soon as he gets the information looks a lot like his first picture the hospital took. Brendan sucks his lower lip in like Brian did for a while. I wonder if he'll suck his two middle fingers the way Brian did and Kari still does. I think that's cute. Kathy keeps making her stop doing it, though.

I called # 1 grandchild Kelsey to find out what kind of spider I saw in my house. She loves to learn about reptiles, insects, and all kinds of animals and has lots of books about them. She looked it up and thinks it's a Bolas spider, but we also think it could possibly be a jumping spider. It is shiny black with short, thick legs and not those long, pointy legs. It's as if the legs have fringe on them and sort of flared out at the bottom with white spots on them. It was really creepy looking at the pictures of them trying to figure out what it was. For those of you who are offended by the killing of any life form, just know that I slept better knowing he was dead and flushed to his funerial place of rest.

7:18:00 PM

Sunday, April 27, 2003  
More About Brendan

Melissa is going home in the morning. They're still doing really well. I'm getting ready to go back to the hospital. I didn't go yesterday, and I miss them! The baby is like a magnet!

12:46:00 PM

Friday, April 25, 2003  
Happy Day!

Brendan Durham Cooksey was born at 8:11 this morning at Summit Hospital weighing in at a whopping 10 lbs 12 oz and measuring 21 1/2" long!!! He and his parents Melissa and Brian are doing fine. Mother, Paula, and I waited at the nursery window to watch Brian walk in with him and spent time with them in the room. It was just wonderful and such a relief for everything to go well and for them to be healthy and feeling good.

It's hard to know who he looks like now since it will be a while before he looks like himself. Right now his hair is sort of chestnut brown and of course his eyes are blue. His head is 15" and so is his chest. Brian said he's a column. Brendan looks like he's two or three months old based on his size and how developed he is. He holds his head up and is alert.

Two years ago I didn't know I had grandchildren. Then I found out I have three. Now I have four - two of each! It's great! Now I just have to figure out how to get pictures on here or that you can link.

10:40:00 PM

Wednesday, April 23, 2003  
Melissa and Earl

I forgot to mention yesterday that Melissa is TINY, so having a huge baby makes this more dramatic. She's 5'2" and a size 4 or 6. Apparently prenatal vitamins and Melissa's healthy lifestyle were like Miracle Grow for babies. He won't be wearing newborn baby clothes but jump right into the 1-3 month clothes.

I met Earl at Cracker Barrel Monday morning, so he could see his waitress he hoped would become his next ex-wife. She wasn't there. He asked our waitress about her but couldn't remember exactly what she looked like or her name, which I pointed out to him isn't really a good sign. So then he asked our waitress if she were married. It's an adventure (she says kindly) going places with Earl.

We went to Nashville for him to be fitted for a tux to wear in his daughter Amanda's June wedding in Florida. He had to go by the storage place to pick up a few things. We went by Brown's Diner for a Coke (well, they have Pepsi there and I can tell a difference since I prefer the Coca-Cola version of carbonated battery acid with caffeine - in the South we can all carbonated drinks Cokes - we're clever like that) and didn't see anyone we knew. Earl saw John Prine there last time he went. After going a few places, we came back here and then went to O'Charley's for dinner and both ate too much of that bread. I had grilled salmon and got my Omega-3 fatty acids and tryptophan which would be nice if it could cancel out my breakfast of fat and cholesterol.

Earl went to sleep on the couch and snored while I watched some TV and talked on the phone. It's like being married - I tell him what to do, he doesn't pay attention, and we don't have sex. Our relationship is in a friend/sibling category, which works well for us. I have male friends as well as female friends and always have. Contrary to what Billy Crystal's character in When Harry Met Sally said, men and women really can be friends. I have proof! I do better with friendships than with romantic relationships. Not sure exactly why but have my theories. This is not the forum for that topic though.

My cat Brigit likes to get on the roof of the house and act like she can't get down. She's such a drama queen! I usually go along with her and coax her down a tree by the carport. I didn't feel like doing it Monday night, and when she didn't come down the tree, I went inside and turned on the light at the patio. Eventually she showed up at the back door and came in. Part of my job is her personal doorman and servant. I should have named her Madonna or Catherine Diva-Jones. I guess she was miffed because I wouldn't cooperate, so instead of sleeping at the foot of my bed, she slept with Earl in the guest room, which he calls his room. I made a mistake having it on the other side of the wall from my room since I can hear him snore in there. The other bedroom has a couch, chair, TV, etc in it and is across the hall. I might need to change that.

Yesterday we walked around Main Street and went in shops and places he needed to see as part of the Dickson Experience, such as Nicks Hardware, Hodges Jewelers, House Blend, The Chatterbox Coffee Shop, Volume One Book Store, the antique and junk places, and Studio 1-2-3. That combines the old and the new. It was nice getting out, walking around, and having someone to talk to about all of it. He fixed my storm door since the part of the handle you push with your thumb to open the door fell off. We got a new handle for it and he replaced it.

Earl headed back to South Fulton. When he got back, he emailed a picture of me on the patio swing while I was on the phone with Emma and Brigit climbed up on me. It turned out pretty well, poodle hair and all. I still can't post pictures on here, but when I figure it out, I'll get that done since you'll want to see Brendan. Melissa's attitude is so positive and bubbly about it all. She's already a good mother. I'm so proud of her and Brian.

10:36:00 AM

Tuesday, April 22, 2003  
Brendan News

Melissa called and said Brendan is going to be born this Friday morning, April 25, by C-section. Everything is fine with Melissa's health and with his, too. The ultrasound measurements indicated that he might possibly weigh 12.5 lbs!!!! The ultrasound technician measured him more than once to be sure and said sometimes it's a pound off but not usually two pounds, so he could weigh 11 lbs. I can't believe he's going to be such a big baby!! They've checked her all through her pregnancy for all kinds of things, and her blood pressure is normal even for a non-pregnant woman and there are no signs of gestational diabetes. Her ob/gyn said she might be genetically programmed to grow big babies. Her body is showing no signs of labor which is a good thing now that he could be so large. She's fine with this being c-section and feels it's best for Brendan's and her health. So we'll be there Friday morning waiting to see what his birth weight really is. All I hope is that he's healthy and everything goes really well for them both.

Mother is going to stay with Mae while Sally and Bob are in Florida. Sally's friend Joyce will be there tonight, tomorrow night, and Thursday night. She'll go with me to the hospital Friday morning and then I'll take her to Murfreesboro later on after we know how everyone is and get to see Brendan. I'll post information on here when I get back home Friday night and let you know more.

5:17:00 PM

Monday, April 21, 2003  

Yesterday I went to Kathy's for her husband Mark's, daughter Kari's, and sister-in-law Vicki's birthdays and the Easter egg hunt. Mother spent the day with Mae, and Sally went with me to Kathy's. Mark's mother, stepfather, brother and his family were there, too. We had a good time and enjoyed seeing everyone. With grandchildren it's interesting how they are with attention at various times. Yesterday Luke wanted me to sit by him, watch him do things, and give him my attention. He's 4 and so cute. Kari was 8 Saturday, and Kelsey was 10 in February. They hid plastic eggs that open and had prizes, candy, and money in some of them. It brought back memories of Easters past as a child at my grandmother's when I'd get sick from too many Easter eggs and when we'd go to Mother's with Brian, Amy, and Andy. Now, full-circle, I'm a grandmother. Where did the time go?

8:30:00 AM

Friday, April 18, 2003  
Presidential Quote

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

-Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President (1858-1919)

3:00:00 PM


There's a commercial for a VW Passat, I think, that has a guy whose future self speaks to him giving him advice. Since I'm trying to make decisions about what to do now about retiring, jobs, etc, I wish my future self would speak to me and let me know what to do. For a long time I've wished we had rewind buttons and could go back and change something. It would probably need to have a limit on how many times we get to use them, but now I'm wishing for the future me to give me advice instead of the rewind button if we could only have one of them. What would you choose?

11:08:00 AM

Wednesday, April 16, 2003  
First Year, The Sequel

During that first year of teaching, I asked the principal if I could have a key to the gate one Saturday so my husband, a couple of friends, and I could clean my room. I told him I'd asked any kids who wanted to help out to meet us there. He said I could get in but he doubted any students would come help. We arrived early in the morning with cleaning supplies, door mats (remember, it was a portable), and other things to make the room look better. So we got there and so did about ten students. We cleaned desks, swept floors, washed walls and windows, and got rid of all that grit and grime and dust. It looked really good and we were so proud. The kids worked really hard and we had a lot of fun. We treated them to lunch and finished in the afternoon.

Monday when the classes came into the room, they all looked around and could tell a difference. They seemed to sit straighter in their desks and proud of the way it looked. What was really funny and sweet was how protective they were of the room after that. Those students who cleaned told the others to wipe their feet before coming in the room and to take care of things. They told the others they didn't know how hard they worked and didn't want anyone messing it up. The principal was surprised when I told him how many students came out of the one class I told about it. I guess we know which one.

At the end of that year, I asked the principal if I could have a room in the building and teach English. It happened. I got a room on the second floor and had all 10th grade English classes and one study hall with students who were destined for a life of crime. We had to keep study hall in our classrooms one period a day. This one had absolutely no students in it who ever intended to study. My next and last year there I had a study hall with actual students in it - ones who cared about grades, wanted to use their time wisely, and have less homework to do after school. Not this group though. They made my sweathog class look like amateurs. Somehow they'd made it to the 10th grade with only one that I knew of with a probation officer. These were people I'd tried to avoid all my life. With my limited disciplinary skills at that time, they usually got too loud (so did I). The teacher across the hall, who taught typing and sponsored the yearbook, seemed about 80 years old to me at the time but probably wasn't much older than I am now. She stormed over to my class several times and fussed at me out in the hall for not keeping them quiet enough. She was a frightening woman. One day after school I asked her for advice on how to handle that study hall and mentioned that it would be more helpful than fussing at me. I knew there was a problem and wanted them to behave and didn't need her to point it out.

Things did get better with them but not as much as I'd hoped. My English classes were wonderful, and I really enjoyed teaching them. We had interesting discussions and the students were great.

During most of the first year I wanted to quit and kept thinking about other jobs that seemed better. (almost any) Some of the older teachers told me not to quit after the first year and suggested I give it another year and then if I wanted to quit, I could. I grudgingly took their advice but didn't think I'd make it. I cried many afternoons when I got home and knew I wasn't going to last long. Here I am 34 years later, ready to retire.

8:23:00 PM

Chicken Little

How long does it take to get over nearly dying? When will I quit feeling so anxious and scared? Sometimes I do really well and get on with my life and other times I'm paralyzed with panic. I'd get counseling now but can't afford it yet. Fortunately I do have friends I can talk to and that helps a lot. I've been really concerned lately about Virginia, my friend Paige's daughter, who is also a friend and like a niece to me. She was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago and is going through all that now. She had a biopsy and lymph node assessment. It's infiltrating duct breast cancer with some node involvement. Her oncology appointment is Friday at Vanderbilt. Sometimes it's just too much, isn't it?

12:40:00 PM

Monday, April 14, 2003  

This is a photo of the new building for North Charleston High School. Those are palmettos out front - the state tree.

8:48:00 PM

Sunday, April 13, 2003  
Waiting for Brendan

At any time now that he chooses to appear, Brendan will be born. I'll let you know when it happens and give you the pertinent information when I get back to the computer. I'll be called to the hospital to be there with them which is such a thrill. We all just hope that everything goes well and that he's healthy in all ways. I hope Melissa gets through it as easily as possible and also with no problems.

1:33:00 PM

Friday, April 11, 2003  
Ms. Kotter

Beginning teachers are always given the dregs of classes and schedules. During my first year of teaching, I was given 8th grade US History - five classes of it. My major is in English, and I'd done my student teaching in that subject, but am also certified in history. This was in North Charleston High School in South Carolina which contained grades 8-12, almost 1400 students - more than the enrollment of my college. I came from a very small town and went to a small branch of UT and had never lived in a city before. Yet here I was ready to face my first students during my first year of marriage while living out of state for the second time in one year.

I was a Navy wife whose husband was stationed on a nuclear submarine that had Polaris missiles on it. We'd been living in Virginia Beach where he was in computer school since he was a fire control technician. That isn't what is sounds like but has to do with operating and maintaining the computers that control the missiles. It's pretty interesting as long as you don't think about having nothing to come back to if the missiles have to be fired. So I had this stress while he was on patrol every other three months. We drove down to Charleston to find an apartment and moved me down there two weeks before he did while he finished school. This was the first time I'd lived alone too.

The school was in a large two-story building that had these words carved over the front door: Education is a possession of which man cannot be robbed. We teachers were required to sign in at the front desk when we got there and sign out when we left. My room was outside in a portable away from all but the other portables out there. Some kind of dusty grit blew in the windows and covered everything. Students were grouped, and I had one class from the top group, three middle groups, and the lowest of the low group. These were called social promotions and were scary. They might have been like a street-wise Deliverance version of the Sweathogs (Vinnie Barbarino, Juan Epstein, Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington, and Horshack). Yes, I was afraid of them and had to take them to lunch all the way from the inner circle of hell through the building to the cafeteria. A couple of them were 16 and 17 in the 8th grade. One was a surfer; the other had acne scars and wore a black leather jacket with buckles and chains (not like Fonzie). There were two girls in the class, and they were rougher than the boys and threatened to beat up the ones their age. My money was on the girls.

The only thing that saved me that year was that the Blackboard Jungle leather-jacketed guy developed a crush on me. He probably felt sorry for me and wondered what planet I was from because one day he confided in me that his "old lady got locked in the cooler last night." Naive me, thought of frozen food lockers as coolers and asked, "Oh no! How did you get her out?" He shook his head and explained patiently that she'd been thrown in jail. That was worse! I'd never known anyone who had been in jail, much less someone's mother!! Wide-eyed, I gasped, "Your MOTHER was arrested! Oh no, that's awful!" He was probably sorry he brought it up. I'd been so sheltered and have one of those families many people don't believe existed who were the subject of 50's TV shows. I grew up with Donna Reed, Father Knows Best, the Cleavers, etc. This was major culture shock for me! Biker boy started bringing me apples. I thought this was a myth and no one ever took a teacher an apple, but he did. I was afraid to eat them but got hungry one day and thought dying from a poisoned apple couldn't be much worse than teaching that class and ate it. Then I looked forward to eating my daily apple for the rest of the year. He would threaten others who disrupted class. They were afraid of him, too, so it was like having a security guard in the room. I don't necessarily recommend this method but it helped at the time. I wonder what became of him.

The other four classes paled in comparison to the Sweathogs except for the top group. They were very bright and energetic. I had to stay on my toes to keep them interested and involved, or they would get bored and act like 8th graders. When we were studying the formation of the national banks, I had them debate whether it was a good idea or not to put money in banks. They were on teams, researched, and presented their opinions in a formal debate. At least that was the plan. They got angry and started yelling and calling names. A fight would have been the next step if I hadn't intervened and calmed them down. I told them that would be a strange reason to give the principal when he asked what started the fight. How many 8th graders actually come to blows arguing about banks, I asked them. We were able to laugh about it and have a discussion about history after that. I wonder if any of them became bankers or perhaps bank robbers.

2:58:00 PM


I guess I forgot to write today. I'll have to think of something to say tomorrow although that doesn't usually stop me.

12:27:00 AM

Wednesday, April 09, 2003  
Signs of the Apocalypse

This weather! How strange is this! It was almost 80 Sunday after some cold, rainy days. Then it was too warm Monday. Today ice pellets sort of like sleet happened and now it's snowing. The forecast said we might get 1-3" accumulation. Welcome to Tennessee!

The 'possum returned to the patio last night. It just noses around out there and looks sort of creepy.

The Lady Vols didn't win.

10:35:00 PM

Good Post

I applaud The Homeless Guy's post today. Well done! He was featured in the same article (My 15 Minutes of Fame listed over there on the left) I was in the Tennessean and has since gained attention in national publications, news articles, and blogs. Very interesting, insightful man. I like this opening he wrote: "I've always had a fairly simple definition of patriotism: You can take pride in being an American and still dislike Lee Greenwood songs." Amen!

There was a movie on Lifetime Monday night titled Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story that was both heartbreaking and inspiring. Did any of you see it?

1:55:00 PM

Tuesday, April 08, 2003  

Thank you to all the people who got on the map. All are welcome to join in, especially Gena who can't get on the map no matter how hard she tries.

Follow-up: Gena made it! She is on the map and out to sea like SD the other Aquarian fish (but not out of water).

3:28:00 PM


I'll have to get a job soon. Perhaps I should use this guideline by Dorothy Parker while I look.

"Salary is no object:
I want only enough to keep body and soul apart."

1:46:00 PM


I've figured out my problem - well, one of them anyway. All I need to do now is impose deadlines on myself that convince me to get things done. The problem with behavior modification is that those rewards seem artificial since I can go to a movie or buy a book if I want to and don't really believe I have to jump through self-imposed hoops to earn them. This excerpt from an article helped clarify this.

War reporter: "I almost wish I were staying longer. Almost."
Flak Magazine

Christian Science Monitor war correspondent Ben Arnoldy went through severe Internet withdrawal when he got to Kuwait. "When you suddenly lose the main instrument of procrastination, it's equivalent to not getting enough REM sleep I think," he says. The 26-year-old reporter is more chipper knowing when he's going home. "When I came out here, I didn't know how long I'd be gone," he writes. "And after a few weeks, that not knowing weighed on me heavily. Once my editor set a departure date, I found that I gained incredible focus and revived spirits. In fact, I've gotten in such a groove lately, I almost wish I were staying longer. Almost."

1:26:00 PM

Joy Mitty

As my friends know, I have a rich fantasy life. Some of them are as real to me as they can possibly be without really happening. As Jeff Goldblum's character in The Big Chill said about rationalizations, try getting through a day without one. Some of my fantasies come true, and I never have any trouble acting "as if" they could happen. Occasionally others join my fantasies and believe in them too. My category on the personality type inventory is Champion Idealist which explains a lot. We discussed that on here before and how the Myers-Briggs and Kiersey Temperament Sorter are quite accurate descriptions of us. So when I make my acceptance speech for an Oscar, know how many times I've worked on my speech. When I'm on a book-signing tour, I've visualized myself there. When I live in my dream house, I've decorated the rooms and already had company there. When I have someone to share my life, I've wished him, too. If none of this happens in reality, it's given my mind something to do and kept parts of it busy.

11:29:00 AM

Bush League

In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.

- Sir Francis Bacon

11:00:00 AM

Deep Thoughts

Each handicap is like a hurdle in a steeplechase, and when you ride up to it, if you throw your heart over, the horse will go along, too.

- Lawrence Bixby

10:59:00 AM

Monday, April 07, 2003  
Oasis of a Day

In the midst of cold, rainy days, today was sunny and very warm. I heard several people say that it hailed there, but it didn't here. I'd have definitely heard it on my metal roof. Some said the hail stones were the size of baseballs. Did any of you have any damage from them?

I had an appointment this morning with Dr. Spigel. Everything is fine. I asked how many six-months are supposed to be involved in the maintenance Rituxan treatments every six months. He said 4 for 4, which means a treatment each week for four weeks and then again for a total of four times. Since I've already had four treatments of Rituxan, that means I'll have more in May, November, and then May a year from now will be the last round if all goes well, which I plan for it to. Rituxan is a monoclonal antibody and type of immunotherapy which targets lymphoma cells and destroys them. It doesn't have the side-effects that chemo does. Scaryduck mentioned me today in his blog when he wrote about David Rocastle and a fund-raising event in his name. It was sweet and I appreciated what he wrote.

Dr. Spigel asked what I'd been doing. I told him nothing and that I'd really enjoyed it, too. I told the nurse when she weighed me that my clothes and shoes weighed 20 lbs. I wish!! Since some others in the family have lost some weight on a low-carb diet, I think I'll go on and do it too. I don't have much self-discipline, and it's gotten worse. Somehow surviving cancer gave me a self-indulgent attitude, and I haven't wanted to deny myself anything. It's not really working for me, though, so I need a plan and to stick to it. Then I can lose weight and have a clean, straight house. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? We'll see.

7:19:00 PM

Saturday, April 05, 2003  

I was recently asked two rhetorical questions which I answered. Yes, I do and expect answers to them as well. (see the title of this entry) The first was, "Good grief, don't you ever sleep?" The second was, "Can't you keep your kitchen table cleared off?" The answer to both questions is the same, "Apparently, not."

6:47:00 PM


Something else I have in common with Julia Roberts.

11:19:00 AM

Thursday, April 03, 2003  

OK, Lurkers! I know you're there. It's OK to comment. In fact, it's encouraged, appreciated, welcome.

You are invited to put yourself on my guest map. I really enjoy seeing where visitors are from. Thanks!

1:21:00 PM


I posted one of my favorite poems on Around the Bend. It's by Nikki Giovanni.

This one I like by Langston Hughes and have quoted it to Brian, much to his delight, I'm sure.

Mother to Son

by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

12:50:00 PM

Links R Us

Dave Barry reprinted a column from 1998 in his blog today which explains how this war could have been avoided, or maybe won. He's always funny even though he is way behind in the Best Celebrity Blog Poll on Forbes. He's beating Barbra Streisand, though. Wil Wheaton has outrun everyone. Many people read his regularly. I read it fairly often and can understand why it's so popular. Doc Searls is another widely-read and linked blog that I read periodically. The Homeless Guy was featured in the same article in the Tennessean that I was and has gained national attention. There are several I read every day and look forward to and mention and/or have linked.

You have probably noticed the nifty fading out and sliding around features on my blog now when you enter and exit. Thanks to M for getting the instructions down to my level and for the new nickname that necessitated it. I am now J-Lotechster. I like it. According to him, I can make it do different things by changing the code! I'll be asking for help with that. I've tried experimenting and screwed things up.

11:25:00 AM

Wednesday, April 02, 2003  
Kitty Porn

Now THIS is just wrong!

2:28:00 PM

Viking Kittens

If Destiny's Child were kittens from Northern England, this is what they would sound like.

I copied this for your entertainment in these trying time. I just love these!

2:22:00 PM

Tuesday, April 01, 2003  
Michael Jeter

I just heard on the news that Michael Jeter died yesterday. I've followed his career and enjoyed his performances in many different roles. His character on Evening Shade, for which he won an Emmy, added a phrase to my list when Elizabeth Ashley's character called him "a little puff of a man." Their scenes together were hilarious and the main reason I watched that show. They were so good together. He was in The Fisher King, The Green Mile, Patch Adams, and many other productions which showed the range of his talent. He won a Tony for The Grand Hotel. Jeter was from Lawrenceburg, TN, and went to Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis). He was shooting a movie with Tom Hanks when he died suddenly at 50. I'll miss seeing him on the screen. Sad news, indeed.

6:48:00 PM


I'm listening to the audio book of Sights Unseen by Kay Gibbons. This description of one of the characters caught my attention. Great line!

"She was the sort of woman who drives men to other women."

2:20:00 PM


Over the years I've had conversations with others about food and drink. Who hasn't? Some of them find it strange that I prefer tea and coffee straight with no sugar, honey, cream, milk, or such as that in it because it's like drinking syrup to me and grosses me out - not as much as even the thought of drinking milk, though. I've hated it all my life and am shuddering now thinking about it. Horrible stuff!! Sweet iced tea, a staple of Southern drink, is not for me. I prefer water with some lemon or lime in it. It's odd because I really like sweets and prefer my sugar in its most fattening form - in chocolate, caramel, and anything decadent and sinfully rich. Maybe I don't want my drink competing with the food unless it's something fizzy with pizza - the "z" factor. I finally broke my addiction to Diet Coke because of the dangers of aspertame. (Thank you, Gena and your nephew Jess) Still I do crave some carbonated caffeine of the battery acid variety at times.

12:21:00 PM

Not My Favorite Day

April Fools Day never affected me that much one way or the other until I started teaching. Then students played jokes that were sometimes funny and sometimes silly and often annoying. I don't miss that so much. Sure, I can take a joke and have a laugh at my own expense. Practical jokes, however, have never appealed to me even when they were on someone else. Sometimes watching Candid Camera on TV made me uncomfortable. I tried to pull some when I was in college but my heart wasn't in them,so they never really worked out. At the core, practical jokes seem mean, and I can't really understand what motivates people to do them since they make the recipient of the "joke" look foolish and sometimes embarrass them. It's not that I'm always nice to people, but I try not to hurt their feelings intentionally. It takes a lot of time and effort to pull off an effective practical joke, and anyway, why are they called practical jokes? I've never understood that either.

There are levels and degrees of April Fools jokes and some are funny. I like the ones that have us going for a while until it dawns on us that it's just a joke. Those are like riddles and jokes that keep us on our toes. Friendly joking competition can be fun, too. I come from a family who does that at times and doesn't mind kidding each other. Sometimes that can become a routine that gets old though. I know because I've run some of those jokes in the ground. So anyway, hope you have fun and enjoy the day. Just no practical jokes for me, please! You're safe from me on this front, too.

I do play tricks as I was recently reminded since I even wrote about one on Around the Bend. It's the post about HRT that's titled "Testosterone Causes Brian Damage." My doctor got more mileage out of that one than I did, I think!

8:59:00 AM

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