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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.
Friday, June 22, 2007  
On the Road with Tina and Joy

Tina is attending a conference in Charleston, SC, so I'm tagging along for the vacation. We're leaving in the morning and will be gone a few days. Paige is going to check on Brigit. We plan to stay in Asheville, NC, tomorrow night and go to the Biltmore House. I went there a long time ago and am looking forward to going again. After Sunday brunch there, we're heading on to Charleston. I lived there for four years and am looking forward to seeing how much it's changed. It's where I began my teaching career and where Brian was born. Milton was stationed there in the USN Submarine Service. I have good memories of the place and wish I could find a friend I lived next to. Her name then was Evelyn Misko, but I couldn't find any trace of her online. She went back to school to get her teaching degree, but I couldn't find her name listed on any of the faculties. She might have remarried or moved. I wish I could see her again and am sorry I lost touch with her.

You'll get a report when I get back. We think it will be like Lucy and Ethel go on a trip with shades of Bernice and Charlene from Designing Women. We know who's Bernice.

11:00:00 PM

Thursday, June 21, 2007  
Mrs. Parker

Marilyn and I were discussing our favorite Dorothy Parker quotes. There are so many of them. Here are many I like because I can't narrow them down. Obviously, not a fan of Clare Booth Luce, was she?

"That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment."

Ilka Chase : "Not only was Clare (Booth) loyal to her friends she was very kind to her inferiors.”
Dorothy : "And where does she find them?"

A famous but perhaps apocryphal story is told of the encounter between Dorothy Parker, writer and wit, and Clare Booth Luce, writer and wit. Meeting outside the entrance to a party, the much younger and much more beautiful Luce stepped aside and invited Parker in with the now trite phrase, "Age before beauty." Parker swept past and into the gathering with the response, "Pearls before swine."

Frank Case (Manager of Hotel where she was staying) "Do you have a gentleman in your room?"
Dorothy : "Just a minute. I'll ask him."

"Take care of luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves."

"Heterosexuality is not normal, it's just common."

I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.

"You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think."

"Brevity is the soul of lingerie."

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy."

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks."

"His voice was intimate as the rustle of sheets."

"By the time you swear you are his, shivering and sighing, And he vows his passion is infinite and undying- Lady, make a note of this: One of you is lying"

"It's not the tragedies that kill us, it's the messes."

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

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."

"Ducking for apples -- change one letter and it's the story of my life."

"She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B." (Review of Katherine Hepburn in a play)

"I've never been a millionaire but I just know I'd be darling at it."

"I shall stay the way I am because I do not give a damn."

"The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue."

"When told that a certain woman would not hurt a fly Dorothy Parker retorted, "Not if it was buttoned up."

"Look at him, a rhinestone in the rough."

Have you seen the movie Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle? Jennifer Jason Leigh portrayed her so well.

8:27:00 PM

Must See!

By being a member of the Nashville Film Festival, I got to go to a free sneak preview of Michael Moore's Sicko last night at Green Hills. Tina went with me since we can take a guest. It was his best documentary yet, and the others were outstanding. We cried during it which you will understand if you see it. That brings me to encouraging you to see it. Part of the time I felt so ashamed to live in a country that treats its citizens so badly, and other times I had some hope things could change. I sincerely hope they can. Our country is being ruined by those business types who only care about the bottom line but not people. It's that mentality of "more profit/less service" which leads to poor quality. When that happens in the entertainment business, it can be mind-numbing and banal, but when it happens with tires, food, water, and medical services, it's deadly. Healthcare is broken in this country. No one should have to die because insurance companies and HMO's are cutting corners in order for their CEO's to make millions of dollars. No one should be refused the best care available. This isn't a luxury. What is wrong with a country that professes to be Christian but doesn't practice what I always thought were the basic tenets of the faith? How can people be so greedy, intolerant, cruel, selfish, and insensitive? How did we get so far off track?

Moore visited countries with national healthcare. It sounds amazing. What do those of you who live in Canada and the UK think about it? We are barbaric the way we do it here. According to the doctors Moore interviewed, they make a high salary. I don't know the difference in salaries of doctors here and those in countries with socialized medicine, but suspect theirs might be lower. It would attract the doctors who go into medicine for the right reasons, though, which would be a good thing. I don't see how dealing with the government could be worse than what they contend with when they try to get approval from insurance companies. I would love to see all the "health" insurance companies disappear. The insurance nazis are extortionists and have such strong lobbyists they are getting by with their crimes. They kill people. Doctors can't even practice medicine because of them, and I wonder how much of their time (and especially their staff's time) is devoted to insurance when they could be treating patients.

Something has to be done. It feels hopeless, but we can't continue like this. Please go see this documentary, and let's discuss it. If you'd like to send messages to your representatives in Congress, check out this site.

12:19:00 PM

Tuesday, June 19, 2007  
Weekend with Brendan

Brendan and I made it fine. He's a funny little kid. I was so tired that I wasn't able to talk Sunday night which bothered Brendan since he had things he wanted me to say. Fortunately, the last two nights he went to sleep around 9:30. He slept until 8:00 Saturday morning and 7:15 yesterday.

He loved eating at Sisters and kept raving about the hashbrown casserole. Brendan doesn't really like junk food, thank goodness. He likes a wide range of food from Southern cooking to Indian food. Brian and Melissa take him to all kinds of places, so he's exposed.

Brigit is glad to have me to herself again and has been on hand, or is that on paw? (sorry)

3:39:00 PM

Monday, June 18, 2007  
'When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear.' - Mark Twain

6:38:00 PM

Saturday, June 16, 2007  

Brendan and I have been talking about the Roxy Theater, driving by it, and discussing seeing movies in theaters. Today we went there to see the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie (his choice). I thought perhaps that penguin movie Surf's Up or Shrek III might be better choices, but that's what he wanted to see, so I took him to that one. Brian and Melissa have never attempted this for a number of reasons. They want to watch the movie and also want to allow others to watch it as well. I don't know if I've mentioned this or not, but Brendan talks all the time. The only time he's quiet is when he is doing something he's not supposed to do. Well, and when he's asleep. I explained movie etiquette and how we could talk in soft voices when the lights are on before the movie but that we have to be quiet and still when the lights go down and the movie is on. I wasn't sure we'd be there long and told him we'd have to leave if he talked and disturbed the others.

So we sat there while the previews were on, and he did well. I took snacks and his sippy cup and told him he could have the snacks when the feature began. The funny thing he did was announce loud enough to be heard, "All right! PG-13!" when each preview began. That was OK, I thought. The feature began, and he asked what someone's name was. I didn't know, but he accepted that pretty well. He sat and watched the movie for a long time and then got restless and walked over to the stairs to sit down. He kept cutting his eyes to me to make sure I'd let him do it. I did until he started walking up and down the steps too many times. Then I moved over to the aisle in order to keep him relegated to three stairs. I only had to tell him one time we were going to have to leave if he didn't whisper. He said, "I'm sorry. I'll be quiet." He alternated between sitting on the step right beside me to the seat next to me and my lap. I thought all this was really good since he doesn't like to stay still very long. I called Brian to let him know, and he was amazed and proud of him. Some of you with regular children don't appreciate and understand how this is. We are happy about it.

The movie messed up, so they turned up the lights while we were waiting for them to fix it. A couple of former students were sitting in the row behind us, so we spoke and chatted for a bit. This is all the opening Brendan needed and walked over to ask them their names and chatter. Some of what he said involved actual conversation and some was what he does the most - quoting movies, stories, and songs. No one has any idea what he's talking about when he does this. I have various responses ready for them when they look to me for a translation. Anyway, after several exchanges with the former students, Brendan noticed that there were quite a few people behind them. He loves to be on stages. He gravitates toward them and starts performing as soon as he gets on one. This was even better! An audience! He came to life and started talking loud enough for them to hear him while he quoted movies and performed for them. Someone commented in a positive way that they were being entertained. He loves doing that, so who knows, he might become a performer of some kind. We'll see.

Someone came in and told us to take our tickets to the window because we'd get gift certificates to reimburse us. We had to miss the end of the movie. It was pretty good in a campy, silly way, and I did get to see Keith Richards as Jack Sparrow's father. That was funny, but I wanted to see if he did more than that small part. I'll probably rent the DVD and use my tickets for two other movies. This was a delightful experience all the way around. We'll do this again many times.

11:42:00 PM

Thursday, June 14, 2007  

I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted on here. Time just flies right on by, doesn't it?

Tuesday my reign ended! I am free! It was the last meeting of the retired teachers with me as president. Now I'm an ex-president.

I'm meeting Melissa tomorrow to pick up Brendan who will be with me from in the morning until Monday morning. Yes, that's three days and three nights. He's so sweet and funny and charming, and I love him tremendously. We'll have fun. However, three days is a long time. I will be tired because I usually stay tired. I'm also used to living alone, moving at my own snail-like pace through the day, staying up late at night, sleeping most of the morning, and not really eating as well as I should. I don't like to cook. I have to if I want to keep living, so I do it, of course. Brendan is high-maintenance or as Brian describes him, highly-spirited. He requires constant attention and interaction, talks almost all the time, and is very active. Brian was laid-back, conversational, and entertained himself. I'm not the same person Brian grew up with. I'm old and have no energy. Brendan and I really connect and have fun together. It's just demanding to take care of him for three days. Any grandparents out there who understand? I honestly don't know how grandparents bring up their grandchildren or why that woman had a baby when she was over 60. Exhaustion!

11:08:00 PM

Monday, June 11, 2007  
Sopranos' Swan Song

I liked the ending of The Sopranos Sunday night and thought it was just the way it should have. It's better to imagine all the things that could have happened to them than to actually watch it happen. I kept thinking Tony would be shot several times during the last episode, especially after the other mob guy Phil was shot and then grossly run over by his own SUV with his grandchildren in the car seats and his wife screaming and running after the car while we heard his head crunch. When Tony and Paulie were sitting outside at the table, I was sure it would happen. Then there were a few other times, I thought might be it. Then in the cafe, I was sure the whole family would be shot until Meadow had so much trouble parallel parking and decided she would walk in after they had been whacked. Those suspicious guys who lurked around in a booth and on the stools seemed like the ones who would do it or definitely the one who went to the restroom, a scene that seemed to be an homage to The Godfather. So Tony, Carmela, and A.J. popped an onion ring in their mouths while Journey sang "Don't Stop Believin'" and the screen cut to black. Shock! Finito! It's over. "Some will win, some will lose," Perry sings. "Some were born to sing the blues. Oh, the movie never ends. It goes on and on and on and on ... "

Phil Leotardo said that Tony and his family were small potatoes or something like that. Who knew the Sopranos might have been mediocre mobsters? Instead of being Goodfellas, perhaps they were So-So Fellas.

9:12:00 PM

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