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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.
Saturday, July 30, 2005  

Answers are posted in the Squawkbox comment place. I don't know most of these. Sorry! Maybe you will.

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What is the eighth and final rule of Fight Club?
2. TV - Who shot Mr. Burns? [who is Mr. Burns?]
3. MUSIC - For how many weeks did Shania Twain's multi-platinum Come on Over top the Billboard album chart? [trick question]
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What All-Star infielder spit in an umpire's face during an on-field argument in 1996? [take this one, M]
5. BUZZ - What member of Eminem's family sued him for defamation of character? [good grief, I know this]
6. FAD - What year was the lava lamp launched - 1965, 1970, or 1975? [ah, multiple choice and still I missed it!]

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What country is the site of the Three Gorges Dam?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What screen actor changed his name from Archibald Leach? [I know this one and am not embarrassed]
9. HISTORY - What two men were fired by Richard Nixon in the "Saturday Night Massacre"?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - How many bytes in a gigabyte? [never can remember this]
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What did Red Auerbach do when he was confident the Celtics had clinched a game?
12. WILD CARD - What language is Afrikaans derived from? [the other one I know]

1:04:00 PM

Hotels and Bob Dylan

The Hickerson Hotel in Charlotte has special dinner events the last Friday of each month. Last night was the second one I've attended. My friend Linda came down from Nashville, and we were seated with Peggy E. and Sue A. The dinner was delicious and is always a surprise since reservations are made without knowing the menu up until the last minute. Last month we had a 4th of July theme with cookout food (steak, twice-baked potatoes, salad, and a patriotic cream cheese dessert with blueberries and strawberries decorated as a flag). Last night we had chicken marsala over linguine, bacon-wrapped asparagus, layered congealed salad, and praline cheesecake. Let's not even figure out the fat grams and carbs in that dinner! Those made it taste good.

Then Bobby Speight, husband of one of the owners, Leta, who is also my cousin, sang Bob Dylan songs. That was an entertaining, nostalgic trip, and he did a good job. He made up a trivia quiz of 10 questions about Bob Dylan on which W. D. Owen and I tied for first place. The tie-breaker question was how old is Dylan. I got it because I remembered that he was born the same year as my ex-husband and is a Gemini which would make him 64. My prize was a travel coffee mug and a gift certificate as well as the admiration and respect of all! At least that's what I choose to believe.

Highway 61, Revisited

During dinner I was explaining the condition of my house to Peggy and Sue. For those of you who have seen Clean Sweep on TLC, that gives you a visual of it. For me, it's the realization of my worst nightmare for my future. Years ago there was an article in the Tennessean about Mary Northern, who was found dead in her house surrounded by clutter, squalor, and ancient paintings she'd created. She was in a chair in front of a cold fireplace with gangrene of her feet. I've lived in fear ever since then of that fate, and now here I am! At least I get out and still have my feet intact.

Odd for Sure!

I have a set of everyday dishes with four dinner plates, four salad plates, and four cups in blue, green, yellow, and orange which I put in the cabinet however I take them out of the dishwasher. An aside: my cabinets and drawers are neatly organized. It's just out where you can see things that it's chaos. I might have a few control issues but am not OCD. But I digress. I just noticed (since I break rules and eat while at the computer) that my plate and cup are both blue and wondered what the odds would be for that to happen. I have no intention of trying to figure this out because it's the part of math I hate the most. It gives me headaches. Give me a quadratic equation or hypotenuse or ratio and proportion any time, but not odds! For those of you who think like that, what would it be and why? In this case, we're dealing with 8 items (4 plates and 4 cups) and 4 color variables.

11:56:00 AM

Friday, July 29, 2005  

Not the JibJab guys have a new 'toon here!

1:15:00 PM

Middle Passage

Just a reminder about Jackie's performance at the Renaissance Center on August 20. Tickets are on sale now.

12:20:00 PM

Wednesday, July 27, 2005  

Michael posted this on his blog, so without asking his permission, I'm copying it here because I like it. Check out our comments and add any you like.

For the next time ...

On one knee, I think "Unmarry me?" is the best way to propose divorce. It strikes me as non-threatening and somewhat romantic.

1:27:00 PM

Monday, July 25, 2005  

Lance Armstrong and I retired within a month of each other and are ready for new paths. He's almost 30 years younger than I am and famous which makes a big difference, but facing life with a different focus is something all retirees know about.

It's funny but things changed for me as soon as in-service started Friday. I got up close to the time I did when school was going on and felt like working. This weekend was sort of sluggish, but this morning I was back up and have been getting things accomplished. I keep thinking about how I could be at in-service instead of sweating on the patio while I clean it or unloading the dishwasher where it's cooler and all these other chores lined up AND am glad I'm here and not at school. I've moved on and will let others do it now. Then August 1 when students go back to school, I will think about that and how I do things here at my own pace but must keep on with it. It's good to have immediate gratification. When I get the house in order, I'll start having people over again. I miss that and look forward to entertaining. I guess this is rehabilitation right now.

Any advice?

11:27:00 AM

Saturday, July 23, 2005  
Fan Control

The competitors agree with me about the Tour de France fans and how out of control they are.

9:31:00 PM


Answers are posted in the Squawkbox comment place. Wait till you see some of these questions!

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What gift does Ralphie want for Christmas in A Christmas Story?
2. TV - What was Corporal Klinger's favorite baseball team?
3. MUSIC - What baseball position is John Fogerty most eager to play, if you believe his song?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What basketball player retired from the NBA in 1991 after testing positive for HIV?
5. BUZZ - What former TV talk show host owns the Beverly Hilton?
6. FAD - What is the name of the magical, rainbow-filled homeland of the Care Bears?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What country extends across five time zones but maintains the same time throughout the country? (why can't we do that?)
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What did Frank Sinatra treat like dice and throw in a bar scene in From Here to Eternity?
9. HISTORY - What did Lynch's law condone?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What mammal species, aside from humans, has been known to keep harems?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What was unusual about the playing pieces in the 1962 chess game at the Moscow Sports Palace between two world champions?
12. WILD CARD - What melodious name is informally given to Route 23 in Kentucky?

2:08:00 PM

Friday, July 22, 2005  
Gender Differences

The return of Squawkbox is like the Brad Pitt character in Legends of the Fall. He would disappear for years at a time and then bask in the welcome he received when he returned. I found that character so irritating that I didn't like Brad Pitt for a long time, so Squawkbox needs to be warned! Leaving with no notice and then returning without a word leaves me no choice but to believe that Squawkbox is male.

Houses, on the other hand, are surely high-maintenance females and require careful attention, or major repairs will be necessary eventually.

I could go on, but why don't you add to this. We are secure enough in our political incorrectness to have fun with this!

7:17:00 AM

Thursday, July 21, 2005  

My cousin Joyce Miller died Tuesday. She and Mother were very close and could talk to each other about everything. They went to the same church and would go to lunch every Wednesday after Bible study. They went on trips and shopped together and had so much fun. Mother has missed Joyce ever since she's been in the hospital and nursing home. I went to visitation last night and saw lots of people who are related to me and are friends of the family. The funeral was this afternoon and very meaningful. Joyce loved The Golden Girls, and her daughter Debby had the theme song "Thank You For Being My Friend" played at the end. Everyone smiled and had even more memories about a wonderful woman who brought laughter, music, art, and warmth to others.

3:44:00 PM

Wednesday, July 20, 2005  
Touring France

I'm still following the Tour de France faithfully. Not only is the race interesting and informative, but I'm enjoying the scenery. I really do want to go back to Europe and spend more time there, especially the UK and Italy. Visiting Janey in Australia is something I'm looking forward to and am saving money to do. Nothing compares with actually being somewhere and experiencing the place, food, people, culture, etc. I don't, however, want to travel alone because sharing it makes it more pleasurable for me. Some people enjoy that, and in some instances I can understand how it would be fun. Depending on the traveling companion, it might be better alone. But I digress. Now back to the scenery. France is nice, too.

12:38:00 PM

Saturday, July 16, 2005  

Squawkbox has disappeared, so I posted the answers on the comment place here. Hope you did better on this quiz than I did.

Very weird about Squawkbox. Does anyone know what happened to them? Perhaps they went out of business and didn't let any of us know it was going to happen. Odd.

4:28:00 PM


Answers are posted in the Squawkbox comment place.

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What role did the real Larry Flynt have in The People vs. Larry Flynt?
2. TV - On FOX's Celebrity Boxing 2, who trounced Ron "Horshack" Palillo?
3. MUSIC - What does Edie Brickell compare to "a walk on the slippery rocks"?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What racing arcade game featured theme music from the '60's TV series Peter Gunn?
5. BUZZ - What rapper has had a long-running feud with techno musician Moby?
6. FAD - What kind of beer did Spuds MacKenzie promote?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - Which country would you be in if you took a thirty-five mile walk around the entire Isle of Noss?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - Which English-speaking country's arts industry is as large as its automobile industry?
9. HISTORY - What wedge-shaped form of writing first appeared around 3200 BC in Sumeria?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What causes the air to move counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - Who became manager of the Cleveland Indians at the age of 24?
12. WILD CARD - Which holiday was once illegal in England and parts of Puritan New England?

12:34:00 PM

Wednesday, July 13, 2005  

Fan = short for fanatic. You really need to watch the Tour de France on OLN unless some other channel covers it continuously the way they do. I can't believe the cycling fans close in on the competitors waving flags, dressing in costumes, gesturing, and being frantic. Have they caused accidents? Why can't they cheer them on from farther away? Sure, some of them are close to the edge and could fall off the Alps, but they have time to plan ahead.

3:58:00 PM

Sunday, July 10, 2005  
Happy Anniversary!

Brian and Melissa celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary Tuesday, July 7. We reminisced yesterday about their wedding day and about how much fun they had at their wedding. They were married at Montgomery Bell State Park by the spillway with the lake behind them. Melissa was beautiful in her wedding gown and Brian was glowing when he saw her walk up the hill toward him. He still does. They are my role models and forged a relationship without growing up with the best examples. It's obvious that they are best friends as well as romantic partners and that they treat each other with kindness, respect, humor, and love. Well done, you two!

We also told stories about some of the men I went out with. Oddly, I grew up with parents who had a good marriage and solid values. I managed to stay married 9 1/2 years and have been divorced since Brian was 5. He, on the other hand, grew up with me and too much material of dating accidents. Our children learn from us in so many ways. I'm delighted that he and Melissa are together and that they have Brendan!

1:26:00 PM


Answers are posted in the Squawkbox comment place.

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - What fictional college is the setting for Revenge of the Nerds?
2. TV - According to Chuck Woolery, how long until Love Connection would be back from a commercial break?
3. MUSIC - What was the stage name of the Dead Kennedys's lead singer?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What heavyweight champ enlisted in the Marines in 1997, only to drop out 11 days later?
5. BUZZ - Which of the actors that played James Bond once competed in the Mr. Universe contest?
6. FAD - Which former heavyweight boxing champ now boasts a top-selling grill?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What is the popular name of the famous castle at San Simeon?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What film showcased Jerome Kern's lyric, "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again"?
9. HISTORY - What Russian leader's remains are displayed in Moscow?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What do you call the colorless random sound that blends all audible frequencies equally?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What running game did the goddess Diana play with her nymphs, according to Greek mythology?
12. WILD CARD - What is the name for Carvel's ice cream sandwiches?

9:44:00 AM


Haloscan isn't keeping an exact count of the comments. There are more than the counter indicates on some of them. The ones with "0" are usually correct.

Hi, Brian!

9:42:00 AM

Saturday, July 09, 2005  
Tour de Lance

Even though I've read about it online and have been watching OLN coverage of the Tour de France, I don't quite understand how Lance Armstrong keeps getting the yellow jersey when others win the stages. It's about time, right? I'm glad he's #1 and hope he wins. I just don't have a clear concept of the scoring.

10:04:00 AM

Friday, July 08, 2005  

I've been watching the Tour de France on OLN on cable since they have "expanded" coverage of it as well as recaps and interesting stories about Lance Armstrong. I keep one of the TVs on that station and check on it periodically. I hope Lance wins again since this is his last race. He seems like a nice guy and also survives cancer. Quite an inspiration.

I don't exactly understand a lot of the rules and all. Somehow other people win stages, but Lance Armstrong is still in first place. It has to do with points which eventually I should be able to catch on to.

Apparently, our lymphoma bracelets are green.

2:19:00 PM

Thursday, July 07, 2005  
Dancing Away

I'm really bummed that John O'Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen didn't win the trophy on Dancing with the Stars. Yes, I got hooked on it, couldn't wait for the next epidode, and VOTED! I should have known that my voting for them was the kiss of death since it's happened much too often lately. John O'Hurley played J. Peterman on Seinfeld and was entertaining to watch. His dancing improved, and he lost 20 lbs. Charlotte Jorgensen is a world-class professional and the epitome of elegance. It was wonderful to watch them together as they danced a story and had such great chemistry together. The winners Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo were electric during the Latin dances, and she improved tremendously. Those professional dancers had to teach and choreograph. I don't know who she is since she's on a soap opera, but she said she'd always been an underdog and had never won anything before. I just wanted John O'Hurley to win and am really disappointed. Since this was so popular, they'll probably continue it. I hope so. I also hope John and Charlotte can compete again. I love watching them.

Another dirty secret is that I have watched The Apprentice every year and plan to give reports on my blog about the next one, so I can comment on the contestants. Watching the dancers being eliminated each week was uncomfortable, but watching some of the ones on The Apprentice and Project Runway was carthatic. Somehow I got really caught up in Project Runway on Bravo and had some I liked and some I couldn't stand (Wendy) - just like the apprentice wannabees. I think Donald Trump is totally full of himself, but that show entertains me for some reason. Heidi Klum hosts Project Runway, and I enjoyed watching them design fashions and all. So now you know. I don't watch any other "reality" shows, but that's enough, isn't it?

12:20:00 PM

UK Congratulations and Condolences

In the space of two days, London went from the elation of being selected to host the 2012 Olympics to the devastation of suffering loss of life and injury from the bombings on their public transportation. It is an honor to be the only city to host the Olympics three times (just summer or any?), and I am happy for them. Acts of terrorism such as this haven't ended. It's horrible.

11:47:00 AM

Sunday, July 03, 2005  
HGTV Addiction

I wonder how many people have decided to keep their houses after getting them ready to sell? I know all of us have wondered why we didn't do this for ourselves while we were living there.

7:20:00 PM

Happy 4th!

My retirement has finally begun! Independence Day for sure! Today I've rested. Tomorrow I begin on the house. Clean Sweep will happen here! We'll see how well my plans for personal and environmental metamorphoses will materialize. I'm going to take some before, during, and after pictures, or no one except the few I've allowed in my house will ever appreciate the changes. Wish me well. I need all the good vibes you can send.

Hope everyone has fun tomorrow and enjoys your day off.

5:58:00 PM


Answers are posted in the Squawkbox comment place.

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - Who was the first African-American actress to win a Best Actress Oscar?
2. TV - Which Real World: San Francisco member grossed out roommates by eating peanut butter with his finger?
3. MUSIC - Who wrote and sang "Walking in Memphis"?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What 1993 computer game let you explore the haunted mansion of toymaker Henry Stauf?
5. BUZZ - What branch of the U.S. armed services did Drew Carey serve in for six years?
6. FAD - What 1983 movie popularized off-the-shoulder sweatshirts and headbands?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What city once led the nation in votes cast by dead people and deaths by tommy gun?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What fantasy-filled work of literature asks the riddle, "Why is a raven like a writing desk?"
9. HISTORY - Who did Franklin D. Roosevelt refer to as "his eyes and ears on the world"?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What animal's cartilage is being tested on humans as a treatment for cancer?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What country invented "dry gardens"?
12. WILD CARD - What was the name of Northwest Airlines before it shortened its name to Northwest?

The Pop Culture questions were hard except for two of them. I know more of the other ones.

5:43:00 PM

Hypericon, Traffic, and a Pretty Girlfriend

Last weekend Melissa and Brian were involved in HyperiCon a science fiction/fantasy convention in Nashville. They have been working on the planning and execution of it for months, and Melissa was one of the guest artists. We'd planned well in advance for me to hang out with Brendan while they were occupied at the Con. What a hardship for a grandmother, right? I stayed there at the hotel with them and then branched out. Friday evening Brendan and I stayed in the room a while and watched cartoons and played. Then we went out to get some dinner. Road construction prevented an easy route and is becoming a standard inconvenience in Nashville. The hotel was near the Stadium and used to be the King of the Road way back when.

Poor little Brendan has suffered through so much of his teething and was in pain with back molars. He also drools all the time like his father did. I used to look at other babies and toddlers who could wear their clothes without bibs and wonder when Brian would ever do that. Now it's the same with Brendan. Drooly-mouths, both of them. Fortunately, Brian hardly does it at all now. Brendan was awake off and on all night crying, bless his heart, so we were all sleepy the next day.

Saturday after some breakfast in the hospitality suite, Brendan and I took off for Charlotte to Mimi's. We spent the day with Mother, and we both enjoyed him so much. On the way there, I stopped off at Stephanie's drug store in Charlotte to ask her about something that would be soothing and helpful for Brendan. She said that must be little Brian and suggested something that really was helpful. Then we played and visited with Sally and Mae who were at Mother's. I drove to Dickson to get gas with Mother and Brendan, so he could take a nap. Driving him does that trick. Mother had blueberries and grapes for him since he loves them so much. He also ate well and had some good meals. One of the toys Mother has that he likes to play with had some songs on it, so he insisted that I sing "Camptown Races" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad" about 20,000 times. Hey! It's the first time in my life anyone begged me TO sing! He and I sang quite a bit there and in the car. Yes, this is how I found out about the misheard song lyrics. Melissa said I had the lines backwards, so naturally I had to check it out on the net when I got home. We got back to the hotel just minutes after he fell asleep in the car, so Melissa was able to meet me in the parking lot and carry him back to the room without waking him. He slept really well the whole night. Everyone got lots of sleep. Brian and Melissa said they had a good day at the Con with panels and games. I'm glad they did because I had a wonderful day with their son.

Sunday was quite interesting! We managed to make it to breakfast before they closed the buffet. Then we went to the ConSuite. Brian and Melissa went to their respective places while Brendan and I hung out in the suite, playing, singing, and chatting. He noticed some people having lots of fun at another table. Their laughter and conversation were magnetic, and he was drawn to them as he sidled up to the table and surveyed the lay of land. Eventually I noticed that he was chatting and then laughing. Before too long, he had charmed his way onto the lap of the prettiest woman in the room who was "getting his nose" and laughing and playing with him. She's a vivacious brunette in her late 20's I'd guess, and he was entranced! Her name is Alethea, but she told him to call her Lee. When I took him to the restroom to change his diaper, I said, "Lee is fun." Brendan said, "Lee is pretty!" It begins already! He doesn't usually warm up to people that quickly, but Alethea and the others did it right. When he can connect on his own time, he is very friendly, but if they rush him, he shies away. I understand that and am glad he does it. From the time he was born, he did that. He'd gaze at you as if he's figuring out what's going on and who you are before he engages himself. The boy knows who to schmooze since this was the table where the guest writers and artists were sitting, so he gravitated to the most creative people in the room. Alethea posted some sweet things about Brendan along with her account of the Con on her blog. It's very well-written and entertaining.

4:46:00 PM

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