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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, January 30, 2008  
Shall We Dance?

I watched the first round of America's Ballroom Challenge tonight. Here's a link to more information about it. No one from Nashville was in the competition tonight. Ben and Shalene Archer Ermis retired from competition after winning it a couple of times, I think, so maybe there aren't any more couples right now who are in that league from here. They were on it last year. There aren't any that I remember from the competition in Nashville when Linda and I went, but that doesn't mean they aren't there since I hadn't heard of any of them and was trying to watch too many of them at the same time. It's a whole different world I wish I'd known about back when the Nashville couple were dancing on this. It's fascinating to watch. They've discussed adding ballroom dancing to the Olympics. I wish they would since it's not that different from ice dancing in many ways. What do you think?

11:44:00 PM

The Plot Thickens

John Edwards dropped out of the race, which means I'll vote for Obama. I hoped he'd do better and stick it out, but his timing hasn't been in his favor. Edwards should have been the nominee last time instead of Kerry. Then this time he was running against the first viable woman and black candidate. So now we'll just have to see how this transpires.

10:49:00 PM

Sunday, January 27, 2008  

I was shocked to hear about Heath Ledger's death. He was just 28. Daniel Day Lewis spoke eloquently about him when he accepted his award tonight on the SAG Awards. Many of the ones killed in the war are around that age. So much life left unlived and such a loss for their families and friends.

2:30:00 PM

Cat and Dog Candidates

It gets worse. Instead of being a cat candidate, THEY have now become Billary, pit bull candidates. This is the campaign strategy they've used before but are now using to attack the young pup. I hope Obama will try to stay above the fray and use humor to deal with them. It makes him look the way he says he wants to be as one who can unite the country. As far as I'm concerned, I hope Billary continues to lose ground. First they compared Obama to Martin Luther King and now to Jesse Jackson. Keep 'em coming and let the other two discuss the issues.

I'm voting out of my demographic since older women seem to be for Hillary. I'm not for or against any of them because of race or gender. That I would vote for a white male when we have had viable woman, black, and hispanic candidates shows that I go by their issues and plans; however, Biden is not running now. I'm a Yellow Dog Democrat and will vote for our candidate in the general election (not enthusiastically if it's Hillary) and am definitely a liberal socially. I consider myself fiscally conservative and politically moderate, though.

I don't understand how giving us those tax rebate checks will help the economy except briefly when many people spend them while we are so much in debt. It seems like personally running up more credit card debt by buying a family member something when it's already over the limit and the checking account is overdrawn and there's no savings. Sure it helps the store that sold it and gives the buyer more stuff but increases the debt. I don't have an MBA or degree in economics, but it doesn't make sense to me. The stimulus package seems like putting a band-aid on a geyser (to mix my metaphors, uh, similes).

As citizens we've never been asked to sacrifice at all but to consume more during this war. Once again putting this on a personal level, if we have major expenses, don't we need to cut back somewhere? Sometimes we need to take a second and third job (I did) and spend less, so we can pay for them. Cutting taxes seems to me to be counter-productive especially when money for the war has been borrowed instead of paid for with our own money. If China calls in those loans, we're sunk, and they aren't the only ones we've borrowed this money from. Saying our economy is good when we owe so much is something else I just don't get. It seems like saying that somone is doing really well financially just because he has a house, car, job, and toys but is in debt over his head and can't afford to go to the doctor and juggles his bills. Just because it looks good doesn't mean it might not be rotten underneath. What am I missing?

1:16:00 PM

Saturday, January 26, 2008  
Poker and Profiling

Do any of you watch those professional poker games on TV? I watch them now and then but not enough to remember their names. I learned about how they read each other from that movie Rounders with Matt Damon in it - good movie. They also have to know odds and percentages and keep up with all that, which is way too hard! I think it would be neat to be able to read people like that but would much rather be able to do it the way those FBI profilers do although they probably use many of the same skills. I watch Criminal Minds which just keeps getting better but also darker. We're getting more insight into the profilers this season. They can sum up a person really well. I have pretty good gaydar and can sometimes read people fairly well but not like those guys. What about you? Are you a good judge of character? How much do you observe? It's a big fear of mine that I'll be the only witness to a crime and will not be able to give details of what I saw. I do better with impressions. So far, so good with that. Hope it stays that way.

2:09:00 AM

Thursday, January 24, 2008  
The Campaign So Far

I don't like the way the Clintons are conducting her campaign. I hadn't planned to vote for her anyway, but now they are misquoting and misrepresenting what Obama said. They're being petty and mean which I don't think is appropriate for a former president. Hillary said that all three of them have spouses who support them and speak out for them; however, Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards aren't lying about Hillary and were not the President. I was hoping Joe Biden could do better. I like him. Now I can't decide between Obama and Edwards. I'm tired of alternating between Bush/Clinton/Bush and don't want to continue it with her. I liked Bill but am definitely ready for someone else because now I have Clinton fatigue. She might be the nominee, but I hope not. The Republicans hope so because they know how to campaign against her. She and George W are both polarizing. They are like cats in that way since people aren't neutral toward cats but either love them or hate them. We need a dog candidate.

If Hillary becomes the candidate, I might consider voting for Michael Bloomberg if he runs as an Independent. It depends on if he is a dog candidate or not because there are many more moderates than there are extremists in each party. I'd like some unity in this country for a change.

10:20:00 PM

Wednesday, January 23, 2008  

I appreciate the encouragement from you readers and the comments. Without comments I feel as if I'm talking to myself, and feedback is nice. I live alone, you know, and really enjoy some interaction, so thanks very much! :-)

I'll post more often and just continue to babble away.

4:12:00 PM

Monday, January 21, 2008  
The Hobby Industry and Venn Diagrams

A friend and I went to the Nashville Convention Center Sunday to watch a ballroom dancing competition, Nashville Starz Dance Spectacular. This is my first one to attend, and I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. It made me realize how much the celebrities have to learn and how hard they work on Dancing with the Stars. The professionals on there choreograph the dances according to their partner's strengths and emphasize presentation. They are, after all, entertaining the audience as well as trying to perform the dances correctly for the judges. For that reason, I'm glad the audience votes count half and that the judges' votes count half.

But back to the dancing competition ... As I mentioned, I learned quite a bit about it from the parents of one of the competitors sitting next to me. Linda learned things from the people beside her, but she also used to dance professionally. There can be substantial prize money in these competitions. It also costs a lot for the costumes, shoes, hair, jewelry, training, lodging, transportation, etc. So money is spent and earned by quite a few people.

All of that made me think about how people get caught up in various interests to different degrees. What makes the difference is how many people watch you participate or the size of your pond. For example, sports, acting, dancing, car racing, role-playing games, fashion, re-enactments, and many more can be hobbies which become professions that generate many more professions which support, judge, critique, and supply clothes, accessories, gear, and services. An athlete can play football with friends or on a school team or be in the Super Bowl. An actor could perform in community theater or win an Oscar. No one could see hobbiests play poker, knit, scrapbook, run, work out, play music, paint, play tennis, build models, or whatever they do, or they could be famous in their circle. What's interesting is how no one outside their circle knows who they are or cares unless the circle overlaps others or is large enough to have a big audience. Even then, unless people care about that particular activity, they won't know the participants.

Each hobby/profession has rules and regulations that have to be learned and followed. As it becomes a profession, the rules are stricter. I haven't worked out all the details of this, but thinking about things this way puts them in perspective. It all depends on how interested any of us are in an activity and how we became involved in them - ourselves, our children, our parents, our spouses, our significant others. This isn't a huge epiphany but just interesting to me.

By going to the dancing competition, I learned who some of the best dancers and teachers in the country are. Otherwise, I would have no idea. I googled when I got home and found out more about them and the people who design costumes, shoes, and accessories. There were vendors at the competition which reminded me of the vendors who were at the conferences I attended when I taught in the gifted program. We had our own stars and people who provided materials and gave presentations. It's all reative, isn't it?

2:51:00 PM

Sunday, January 20, 2008  
To Blog or Not To Blog?

Since I write on here sporadically and am not sure but about five people even read it, I'm thinking about not continuing this blog. It's a nice outlet now and then, but I'm not sure if there's enough interest on either end for me to continue it or if anyone would notice if I quit.

1:10:00 AM

Friday, January 18, 2008  
Thank Goodness!

My career would have been in vain if I hadn't done well on this test. I tried to change the world, but it is too set in its way. (sigh)

How grammatically correct are you? (Revised with answer key)

You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

Congratulations! If your mission in life is not already to preserve the English tongue, it should be. You can smell a grammatical inaccuracy from fifty yards. Your speech is revered by the underlings, though some may blaspheme and call you a snob. They're just jealous. Go out there and change the world.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

11:52:00 PM

Friday, January 04, 2008  
What's in a Name?

In 1975 when I got my divorce, it wasn't a matter of course for women to get their maiden names back. My ex-husband and I worked out all the details of our divorce settlement, and I went to a lawyer to get the paper work done and to represent us before the judge. I suppose because I was calm and business-like about it with the attorney, he told me he didn't think I'd go through with the divorce. I'd had years to build up to this by trying to talk things over, attempting to spice things up, reading books, going to a marriage counselor by myself, and finally giving up. There are some things you need help with and making a relationship work is one of them. I wanted out.

Things were going according to plan until I mentioned to my lawyer that by-the-way I wanted to get my name back. He said no, I couldn't do that. I asked him why not, and he told me the judge wouldn't go along with it if a woman had children because that would make a bastard of her child. I told him I didn't think that was retroactive. He didn't laugh or respond. No sense of humor apparently.

So the research began! And so did the battle with my attorney which I lost. I'm a charter subscriber to Ms Magazine which had an article about name changing that I quoted to my attorney. It wasn't a law that a woman had to change her name when she got married but a custom in all but two states, and Tennessee wasn't one of them. I also read about this from a case filed by the famous Nashville divorce attorney Rose Palermo. I thought since I chose to change my name when I married that I could choose to unchange it when I got unmarried. A person can use any name as long as it's not to commit fraud or conceal a crime, and all I wanted to do was use my own name that is on my birth certificate and report cards. But NO! They wouldn't let me.

So I did it myself. I got it changed on my driver's license and social security card and started using my own name again. Everything was fine until a few years later when I had to take my ex-husband to court for non-payment of child support. This time I had a different attorney who mentioned that he couldn't find a legal document where I'd changed my name and asked if I did it later or just did it. I answered "both" and was told that I needed to get it changed legally. Off we went to the county judge where I paid $50 to get my own name back. That, I thought, was that.

When I bought a house several years after that, I had to show that I'd changed my name legally and sign papers saying that all the names I've used and had were the same person. This is why I decided if I ever got married again, I'd never change my name. All this was enough trouble to make me decide not to go through it again. So my name stayed my name and always will. Now women are asked routinely which name they want to use. In fact, my son has a different last name from his mother and his wife but not from his son.

Can you believe I had to go through all this just to use my own name?

8:54:00 PM

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