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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.
Monday, April 30, 2007  

Laila and Maksim were great tonight! Even though I just love Apolo, I'd like to see a woman win it this time and let him be in second place. She is so pretty and TALL! And we know how I feel about Maks. The judges scored Apolo too low and Billy Ray too high. All he did was stand there during the waltz. He didn't dance. All the others did. Surely he'll be eliminated this week. If it's based on dancing, he will. If all those Hannah Montana fans vote, he won't. John Ratzenberger does so much better, and he's 72! I'm in awe. Joey Fatone is consistently good and has fun with it and so much personality. Ian needs to go after Billy Ray and didn't deserve a higher score than Apolo's. Cheryl doesn't seem as enthusiastic dancing with him as she was with Drew and Emmit. I can understand it since he seems smarmy. It's down to the best dancers with a couple of exceptions, so it's much more difficult for them. When it gets to the final three which absolutely should be Laila, Apolo, and Joey, it's going to be close.

I'm so glad Laila and Maks got those 10's for their samba!!! John has grace and movement. Len was really hard on Apolo, but Bruno made up for it, thank goodness. We'll see what we'll see tomorrow night!

This was my last night to drive Tina to class. She had her last exam and has done all the work for her master's degree. Now she'll get a raise next year and be certified to teach. Well done, Tina!

8:36:00 PM

Saturday, April 28, 2007  
Some Truth at Last

Please watch Bill Moyers Journal on PBS titled Buying the War. It's illuminating about coverage of this war by the media. Now the CIA, Congressional, and other government insiders are saying what many of us have believed for a long time - that our government waged this war with Iraq under false pretenses (lies). The ramifications of this horrendous deception are vast. W, Turdblossom, Rummy, and the boys are primarily responsible and need to pay for what they've done, but there are also Democrats who could have blown the whistle on this, too. We need a strong third party, but I'll continue to be a Yellow-Dog Democrat in the meantime.

If you missed Moyers on TV, you can see it at the website linked above.

3:21:00 PM


Now that I have your attention. :-) I watched Bravo's Sexiest Moments in Film after it had been on a while, so I don't know if it had any of my favorites. They showed some that were definitely sexy and gave good reasons for them. Here are some from the show and lists I found online: Susan Sarandon and James Spader in White Palace, Glenn Close and Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction, Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, Sharon Stone's leg crossing in Basic Instinct, Kathleen Turner and William Hurt in Body Heat, Angela Bassett and Taye Diggs in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner in Bull Durham, Diane Lane and Oliver Martinez in Unfaithful, Michelle Pfeiffer on the piano singing "Makin' Whoopee" in The Fabulous Baker Boys, Renee Russo and Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair, Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney in Out of Sight, Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen's chess game in The Thomas Crown Affair, Ellen Barkin and Dennis Quaid in The Big Easy, Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke in 9 1/2 Weeks, Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean in Dr. No, Marilyn Monroe's dress flying up in Seven Year Itch, Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C., Brigitte Bardot in And God Created Woman, and Bo Derek's running on the beach in 10.

I agree with many of those on the list, especially the chess game, piano-top singing, Diane Lane on the train remembering, Susan Sarandon with almost anyone but the garter manipulation in Bull Durham was definitely hot, Body Heat which has that hilarious line when Kathleen Turner says, "You aren't too smart. I like that in a man." I like smart men but love that line in the context of that movie. That scene between Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and when Clark Gable carried Vivien Leigh up the staicase in Gone with the Wind should be on lists.

Maybe it was the timing, but in the 60's two women friends and I went to see A Man and A Woman while our husbands were on patrol for three months on submarines. We were mesmerized in silence shoveling popcorn in our mouths while the bedroom scene took place with no background music, only sounds from the lovers. That scene stands out in my mind. On a romantic level, the scene in Out of Africa when Robert Redford shampoos Meryl Streep's hair tops my list of sensuous scenes. I've always thought the scenes are sexier when the actors aren't kids but are at least 35 or 40 and have some experience and knowledge. It's in the eyes.

My selections for sexiest female voice is Kathleen Turner and male is Richard Burton.

So what about you? Who and what are your favorites?

11:36:00 AM

Friday, April 27, 2007  
Sick and Twisted

No matter what topic you might think I'm going to write about with that title, you probably won't guess what it is. There was an article in our local paper about that Phelps guy and his deranged, inbred terrorists who are planning to descend on my hometown to protest at the funeral of a local soldier who was killed in Falluja. This is despicable and unbelievable. How can anyone be this way? Where do they get the money to go all over the country and attack families at the saddest time of their lives?

His name is Fred Phelps and here are some articles about him and his followers. I don't understand people who are so motivated by hate and am glad I don't.

"Law" School

Then there is Regent University which was founded by Pat Robertson. Article here. That so many of them have been hired by the current misadministration explains a lot. It's impossible for the cream to rise to the top when it's skim milk.

We're in Hell.

7:37:00 PM

Tuesday, April 24, 2007  
Anti-Choice Advocates

Those who control the language have the power. Case in point - pro-life. It makes anyone who disagrees with them to appear to be pro-death. However, many who have chosen the pro-life evangelical lifestyle are in favor of the death penalty, war, no gun control, and bombing abortion clinics killing doctors, nurses, and patients. I guess pro-life means that it's OK to kill people when they are adults but not as a fetus. Instead they are anti-abortion. Even those of us who are pro-choice are not FOR abortions, so I'm saying they are anti-choice from now on. I'm working on other uses of the language which describe others more accurately and will keep you posted. Any suggestions?

3:38:00 PM

Monday, April 16, 2007  
Fun Weekend!

Brendan was here Friday night and Saturday while Brian and Melissa were on a panel at a conference in Nashville. We had a good time, and he was extremely energetic and excited. I heard that silence that alerts all parents that means something is going on. I went in the bathroom where he had all the drawers open and all the dental floss in a tangle on the floor from two new packs of it I got from the dental hygienist last week. It was probably a lot of fun pulling it out and watching it accumulate. Fortunately he didn't get into my lipstick the way Brian did at least once, but there's still time. We read books, played, watched the Teletubbies, baked muffins, and all kinds of fun things.

Brendan and I went by to pick up Tina and on to meet Brian and Melissa at the Bellevue Library. It was good to see them and hear about their presentation. They took Brendan to the Red Caboose Playground next to the library to play. He loves it there, and it's such a neat park.

Tina and I ate dinner at Calypso and then on to TPAC to see Minton Sparks and Friends. The White Trash Cafe sponsored a reception before the performance with some tasty looking food, but we weren't hungry and didn't sample any of it. Rodney Crowell sang and hosted Minton's show, which was a treat. One of the songs he co-wrote with Vince Gill and sang has the line, "It's hard to kiss the lips at night that chew your ass out all day long." He said they decided that song would dispel their image as sensitive men. It was hilarious (and true). Elizabeth Cook is also on this series sounds like a cross between Loretta Lynn and early Emmylou with some Dolly Parton thrown in, too. I really like her and bought her CD as well as her husband's who plays and sings with her. Check her out on Amazon or here or here. We met Molly and Rachel, and Rachel's former college roommate there and really enjoyed the evening.

We're going to the last of these shows in the series May 12. I hope Brian and Melissa can go, too. Earl's coming down and several other converts will be added to the group. Here's a description from TPAC about the next show:

Minton Sparks returns to TPAC following last year’s sold out series, this time with Minton Sparks & Friends @ TPAC: Smokin’ Word, a four-show series featuring her wildly popular and original blend of music, poetry and storytelling, as well as special music guest artists at each performance. Joining Minton onstage at the April 14 show are Tim Carroll, Elizabeth Cook, Rodney Crowell, John Jackson and Will Kimbrough. The series wraps up on May 12 with special guest Nanci Griffith. The series offers a uniquely intimate theater experience to ticket buyers, including reserved seating in Johnson Theater that includes cabaret tables and a pre-show reception compliments of the White Trash Cafe.
Sunday Paige, Linda, and I went to the Artrain exhibit of American Indian art. That was really interesting, and we all had fun together. Here's some information about it. I love being retired!

1:51:00 PM

Friday, April 13, 2007  
Blog Gaps

Time goes by and I realize I haven't written in my blog. I doubt that many people notice.

News of the Village of the World

Seems as if most of what we get in the news involves the equivalent of tabloid reports or water cooler gossip. The paternity of Anna Nicole's baby, Don Imus, and American Idol sabotage top too many news reports. I guess part of the problem is that there are so many stations now on TV, too many people in the world, and the connection we all have through the internet. Not that many people used to be on TV. Now with those reality TV shows, YouTube, blogs, etc. anyone can be seen by someone and is given a platform. See? Here I am now giving my opinion where anyone who gets here can read it. We all know quite a bit about each other and are constantly accessible with our cell phones and all the other technology that makes that possible. I know more about some people in the UK than I do my next-door neighbors. Obviously I don't mind that since I like meeting people from all over the world and know about as much about some of my neighbors as I want to. That is actually a wonderful opportunity since there are people from online who have become friends. In fact, I don't know what I'd have done without the reuninted birthmother support group. I'll always feel close to them and appreciate each of them! The lymphoma group was really helpful when I was going through all that. It's neat meeting new people from Blogland, too. I'm still in touch with Alistair, Ell, Ronni, Aled, Chris, Rik, and a few others by reading their blogs and hearing from them.

So, what was my point? I began by complaining about something I'm part of and enjoy, I suppose. Oh well. I'm leaving it on here.

12:35:00 PM

Friday, April 06, 2007  
This 'n That

Do any of you agree with me that Alex Trebeck of Jeopardy is one of the most arrogant, pompous, condescending hosts on TV?

I thought Shandi would be next to go from Dancing with the Stars. Surely Billy Ray Cyrus will be next, but it might be Leeza Gibbons because of who votes. I just love Apolo Ohno! He and his partner dance well together and are so cute. My other faves are Laila Ali and Maksim (we know why). Joey Fatone is definitely good and has experience from his boy band days. A surprise has been John Ratzenberger. What a great smile and good moves. Another enjoyable season that has me hooked.

Zbigniew Brzezinski was interviewed on Real Time with Bill Maher. I want to read his new book Second Chance. After listening to him, I want to learn more about what he has to say about this disastrous war and catastrophic administration. It's going to take so long to get over what's gone on there and what it's done to our economy, not to mention the tremendous loss of lives. We made everything worse by going there and are in way over our heads.

While I'm on the subject, here are some of Bill Maher's New Rules. I don't agree with everything he says but definitely do with all of this.

And finally, New Rule: Traitors don't get to question my patriotism. What could be less patriotic than constantly screwing things up for America? You know, it's literally hard to keep up with the sheer volume of scandals in the Bush Administration. Which is why I like to download the latest scandal right onto my iPod. That way, I can catch up on this week's giant fuck-up on my drive in to work. In fact, Bush has so many scandals, he could open a chain of "Bush Scandal and Fuck-up" theme restaurants. "Ooh, should I get the Harriet Miers meatloaf or the Katrina crab cakes?

You know, not to generalize, but the 29% of people who still support President Bush are the ones who love to pronounce themselves more patriotic than the rest of us. But just saying you're patriotic is like saying you have a big cock. If you have to say it, chances are it's not true.

And, indeed, the party that flatters itself that they protect America better is the party that has exhausted the military, left the ports wide open and purposefully outed a CIA agent, Valerie Plame.

That's not treason anymore? Outing a spy? Did I mention it was one of our spies? And how despicable that Bush's lackeys attempted to diminish this crime by belittling her service, like she was just some chick who hung around the CIA. "An intern, really. Groupie, if you want to be mean about it."

No. Big lie. Valerie Plame was the CIA's operational officer in charge of counter-proliferation. Which means she tracked loose nukes. So, when Bush said, as he once did, that his absolute, number-one priority was preventing terrorists from getting loose nukes, okay, that's what she worked on. That's what she devoted her life to, staying undercover for 20 years, maintaining two identities every goddamn day. This is extraordinary service to your country.

Valerie Plame was the kind of real-life secret agent George Bush dreams of being when he's not too busy pretending to be a cowboy or a fighter pilot.

CIA agents are troops. This was a military assassination of one of our own, done through the press, ordered by Karl Rove. He said, of Valerie Plame, quote, "She's fair game." And then Cheney shot her.

George Bush likes to claim that he doesn't question his critics' patriotism, just their judgment. Well, let me be the first of your critics, Mr. President, to question your judgment and your patriotism. Because, let's not forget why they did it to her. Because Valerie Plame was married to this guy, Joe Wilson, who the Bush people hated because he busted them on one of their bullshit reasons for invading Iraq.

He was sent to the African country of Niger to see if Niger was selling nuclear fuel to Iraq. They weren't. It was bullshit, and he said so. In fact, his report was called, "Niger, Please!"

Valerie Plame's husband told the truth about their lie, so they were willing to jeopardize an entire network of spies to ruin her life. Wow, even the mob doesn't go after your family.

Mark Twain said, "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." And I say Valerie Plame is a patriot because she spent her life serving her country. Scooter Libby is not, because he spent his life serving Dick Cheney.

Valerie Plame kept her secrets. The Bush Administration leaked like the plumbing at Walter Reed.

In the year, 2008, I really think that Hillary Clinton should run for president on a platform of "restoring honor and integrity to the Oval Office."

3:43:00 PM

Techno Woes

Well, I've spent way too much time with my computer lately. Norton said it needed more room, so I've been trying to move things around. Let me explain. About a year ago, I told Earl I was going to have to get a new computer because my C drive was almost full. He looked at it and told me I had a whole D drive that was empty. Hmmm. He said the C drive was partitioned, which I didn't know or understand except that it meant I still have room on there. So I started saving programs on the D drive and hoped for the best with C. This brings us back to Norton.

I set upon a plan to move some programs over from the C drive on Explorer to the D drive on My Computer. For me, this was being high-tech, even though I'm barely hanging on to a low-tech label after being technologically impaired. It's not easy since technology moves ahead much faster than I can learn about it. This plan would have worked if all of the parts of the programs could have gone over there with other parts of it, so I had to leave those where they were. This, of course, took me a long time.

Then my next idea was to uninstall Norton and move it to D where it would have more room to update itself. That went well except for the interminable amount of time it took scanning the entire directory after its move. Fortunately everything was fine, but what an ordeal! Optimisitcally, I checked the status of the C and D drives which were still at 1% and 97% free-space respectively.

It then occurred to me to move My Documents, which contains My Pictures, over to D. Then I deleted the contents of the huge folders and thought that would be great. It was ... sort of. The improvement was then 4% and 95%. My work here has just begun! Yargh!! I wish I knew what I was doing.

2:59:00 PM

Wednesday, April 04, 2007  
Cutting Back

Help! I got trapped as president of the retired teachers and am having problems finding an escape route! First of all, they never told me it was for two years when they caught me in a weak moment and I agreed to do it. Then, I became mental during the winter and couldn't figure out what to do. OK, I waited too late to get the rebellious nominating committee to find another president before we met last month, and the chairperson of it keeps telling me how she didn't want to stay on that committee and how much trouble they had finding someone last time. Right - me. Now the state expects a list of officers who will attend the leadership workshop April 23. Panic! Yes, I'm stressed.

Some friends have talked me down from the ledge and helped me feel more assertive; however, I won't feel better until we find someone to take this office. Most of the members really don't need to do it because of health and other reasons. Therein lies the problem. I did find someone new to be on the membership committee because we need more people in the organization. As it is now, the retired teachers circle new members like vampires needing new blood in order to survive. Literally.

It's not that this position is that difficult. I enjoy presiding at the meetings, and the state workshops are interesting for the most part. The reason is that I need to take care of myself. Things are stressing me out that never used to bother me. When we don't pay attention to emotions, they lie in wait for us. I've ignored this PTSD from almost dying and the anger and regret that reunion with Kathy brought with it. Being with her is wonderful, and I'm so glad she found me. Women don't learn to handle anger, at least women in my generation didn't, so we tend to bottle it up and turn it in on ourselves. I'm at a point where I need to get some help since I feel as if my wheels are spinning in the mud. I have some names of therapists and will make the effort to find one I can work with. Not easy but worth it when we do.

So having deadlines and the few tasks involved with the retired teachers office feels like too much right now. I told them I wouldn't continue to be president but still feel guilty if the organization folds because they have no president. I'm working on it but it does bother me. I wish I'd never agreed to do it in the first place, but I did. Now I just want out.

They found another person to work at Feet & More, so I can return to my Thursday afternoons there at the vitamin store and no more all-day Wednesdays and Saturdays now and then. I'm not sure if she will work when they go to those assemblies, but that would be fine with me. I'll still teach some homebound students periodically, and it's good to know it's available for extra money for trips and other fun things.

So wish me luck!

12:09:00 PM

Monday, April 02, 2007  
Entertainment and Much More!

Saturday night I had the most wonderful experience! Rachel, Molly, and I went to see Minton Sparks at the Clarksville Museum auditorium. She is a poet, storyteller, and performance artist whose insights about people and the South connect with audiences and mesmerize us with her words. She's great! Please check out her website and attend any performance you can get yourself to. You'll be delighted that you did. Many of us are going to TPAC to see her in a couple of weeks and again in May. There is a video you can watch on her website that will give you an idea of what she does. I can't do her justice with my descriptions.

Sunday Mother and I went to the Renaissance Center to see Children of Eden, a musical by Stephen Schwartz based on the first four books of the Bible. It's primarily about family and patterns of behavior within them. I'm glad they performed this play and that I got to see it. For a community company, they do pretty well.

Great news for us fans of Monty Python!! Spamalot is coming to TPAC in February! Yes! Can't wait!

11:06:00 PM

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