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

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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.
Thursday, February 28, 2008  

7:17:00 PM

Wednesday, February 27, 2008  

You have to check out this blog I heard about today on NPR (or course). The title is Stuff White People Like, and it's hilarious. I can't stop reading the posts. It's too funny! Love it! Here's a post that includes what I've often said myself with almost all of the same reasons:

#75 Threatening to Move to Canada
February 24, 2008 by clander

Often times, white people get frustrated with the state of their country. They do not like the President, or Congress, or the health care system, or the illegal status of Marijuana. Whenever they are presented with a situation that seems unreasonable to them, their first instinct is to threaten to move to Canada.

For example, if you are watching TV with white people and there is a piece on the news about that they do not agree with, they are likely to declare “ok, that’s it, I’m moving to Canada.”

Though they will never actually move to Canada, the act of declaring that they are willing to undertake the journey is very symbolic in white culture. It shows that their dedication to their lifestyle and beliefs are so strong, that they would consider packing up their entire lives and moving to a country that is only slightly similar to the one they live in now.

Within white culture, it is agreed upon that if Canada had better weather it would be a perfect place.

Being aware that this information can be used quite easily to gain the trust of white people. Whenever they say, “I’m moving to Canada,” you must immediately respond with “I have relatives in Canada.”

They will then expect you to tell them about how Canada has a perfect healthcare system, legalized everything, and no crime. Though not true, it will reassure them that they are making the right choice by saying they want to move there.

But be warned, they will reference you in future conversations and possibly call on you to settle disputes about Canadian tax rates. So use this advice only if you plan to do some basic research.

Note: Canadian white people threaten to move to Europe.

Note: Europeans are unable to threaten to move anywhere.

12:09:00 AM

Tuesday, February 26, 2008  

Alistair told about his catchphrases on his world-famous Scaryduck blog and asked what ours are. I often say "that sucks penguins" because I misheard a friend who said "sucks big ones," so I just started saying penguins. I laugh to myself every time because I amuse myself with my little jokes. Anyway, this is an example of why "Oh" is the word I say most often. It comes in handy depending on the inflection, as in ...

Oh, I get it!

So that's what that means!

I didn't know.

I misunderstood - nevermind.

How embarrassing.

That can't be true.



Awww, sorry.

Or I say it to pretend I know what they're talking about when I've fogged off.

My main catchphrase is, "After all, we're almost human!"

12:47:00 AM

Monday, February 25, 2008  

As usual I watched the Oscars last night. I was glad Marion Cotillard won for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. She was amazing. Since I didn't see many of the nominated movies, I can't speak about some of them but have an opinion anyway. I also saw Elizabeth: The Golden Age and commented at the time about the incredibly beautiful costumes, which won. Javier Bardem's speech and attention to his mother was sweet. All of the four winners for actor and actress were from other countries. Daniel Day-Lewis is Irish; Javier Bardem is Spanish; Marion Cotillard is French; and Tilda Swinton is English. Interesting. Of the nine actresses nominated four are Americans. Cate Blanchett is Australian; Ellen Page is Canadian; Julie Christie is English. Americans nominated are Laura Linney, Ruby Dee, Amy Ryan, and Saoirse Ronan. Of the men, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Tommy Lee Jones, Viggo Mortensen, Casey Affleck, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Hal Holbrook are all Americans. Tom Wilkinson is English. I don't really have a point about this but just thought about it. I like the diversity, and it's about the performances and the writing.

One thing I like is that European actresses don't have all that cosmetic surgery done and are able to move their faces and look like real people. Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Julie Christie all look beautiful. Too many American actresses look like plastic after a while. I don't get it. They are playing roles in movies that are actual people who don't do all that. It's crazy.

I've been reading Diablo Cody's blog and am happy about her screenwriting awards. She's an interesting person and all this has to be a whirlwind. I haven't seen Juno yet but plan to. She and several others went on to have books published and screenplays produced via their blogs. I think that is just great! Right, Alistair?

11:19:00 PM

Tuesday, February 19, 2008  
Saint Joy

I got this test from Chris's blog. There are times it would have helped if I'd been a bitch. We're taught to be polite whether we mean it or not in the South, but there are times that I was much nicer to some people than they deserved - especially a few men I can think of. Oh well, what can I say? I'm a nice person. LOL Or to paraphrase Jessica Rabbit, I'm not good - I'm just drawn that way.

How evil are you?

3:28:00 PM

DWTS 2008

Here are the new contestants for Dancing with the Stars which will begin next month with their parenthetical professional partners:

Marlee Matlin, the first deaf actress to win an Academy Award (Fabian Sanchez)
Penn Jillette, magician and comedian, and one-half of the famous team known as Penn & Teller (Kym Johnson)
Marissa Jaret Winokur, Tony Award winner for Hairspray (Tony Dovolani)
Adam Carolla, radio personality who was the co-host of Loveline and co-star of The Man Show (Julianne Hough)
Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater (Mark Ballas)
Cristián De La Fuente, Chilean telenovela heartthrob (Cheryl Burke)
Monica Seles, professional tennis player and infamous grunter (Jonathan Roberts)
Mario Barrett, R&B singer (Karina Smirnoff)
Steve Guttenberg, movie star (Anna Trebunskaya)
Jason Taylor, NFL All-Star (Edyta Sliwinska)
Shannon Elizabeth, actress known best for American Pie (Derek Hough)
Priscilla Presley, actress once married to Elvis (Louis van Amstel)

This article tells more about the pairings of the celebrities with their professional dancers. Sadly, the rumors were true and Maksim won't return. I hope he does after this. I like to look at him. This is an interesting mix. Priscilla Presley is botoxed beyond expression. Penn Jillette might surprise us since he has many interests. Adam Corolla - don't see it happening but Julianne is a tough teacher. The athletes usually do well since they are in shape and accustomed to hard training. So sight unseen, I think Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas will be in the finals. We'll see. Right?

3:04:00 PM

Monday, February 18, 2008  

My cousin Celia and her husband are getting ready to go to Costa Rica. I'm excited for them and know they'll have a great time. I've heard it's beautiful there and am glad they are going.

I need to get a new passport since I let mine expire, and I plan to need it. I'm waiting for a good hair day to get my picture taken. I downloaded the forms online and filled them out. It didn't matter how my hair looked for that.

7:46:00 PM

Another Test

Here's a test about brands for products. Let me know how you do. I don't want to put pressure on you, but I got 19 out of 20 and guessed right about one of them.

7:41:00 PM

Sunday, February 17, 2008  

The wind was so strong last night or this morning (while I was asleep anyway) that it knocked over my huge, new garbage can the city provided and blew over a pine tree in my yard. It wasn't one of the trees I'm always afraid will fall off the hill in my back yard onto my house, which I'm not sure makes me feel better or worse since this one was alive and healthy.

The tornado victims will have a long way to go before they have homes again and recover from all the damage.

2:57:00 PM

We Were Right

Born on the Fourth of July is on HBO today about Ron Kovic. He and I are close to the same age and grew up in small towns during the 50's. We were inspired when President John F. Kennedy challenged us to ask what we can do for our country. We believed him and thought we could make a difference. During such an idealistic time we lost our innocence when he was assassinated and came of age during the 60's.

I am reminded of how similar that war was to the one we're still involved in. The main difference between what's not happening here between Vietman and Iraq is there is no draft. If there were, there would probably be protestors to this one, too. Perhaps people are trying to express their feelings in other ways or different generations react differently. I don't know. What I do know is that we didn't need to become involved in either war. Military and top governmental officials (e.g. Robert McNamara and Lyndon Johnson) said we were wrong to be in Vietnam. Comparable leaders are saying the same thing about Iraq. It's been mishandled from the beginning and has made the situation worse in the Middle East. We get into wars we have no business getting into and run our military in the ground. The National Guard has to do things they aren't trained to do and then aren't here when we need them for what they are trained to do. This has been a foreign policy based on fear and a domestic policy that charges anyone who disagrees with this administration as unpatriotic. We weren't in the 60's and aren't now. The tragic loss of lives and humanity is heartbreaking and unjustified. They're so young.

2:41:00 PM

Thursday, February 14, 2008  
Say What?

The Little Weirdo has done well in pre-school for the most part. I can't believe how quickly he's adjusted to being there all day from 8-2. Brian thought he would freak out and wasn't sure he'd make it all day. Surprisingly, he is doing fine (mostly). He's gotten a star every day but one when he kept saying "what the crap" over and over. Brian said the cartoon character he learned it from said it in an annoying voice, so he did, too, of course. The teacher sends a report every day and talks to Melissa when she picks up Brendan. I laughed when Brian told me what he said but am glad the teacher is nipping this in the bud. It could have been worse and possibly will be. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

11:47:00 PM

Saturday, February 09, 2008  
School Boy

Brendan began pre-school this week. He has adjusted really well and didn't cry when Melissa left him there the first day. The others were into their routine as they came in, which he noticed, so he went up to the teacher to let her know he needed help. They had gone by the school to meet the teacher and look around, so he felt comfortable doing that. He got a star the first day, and his teacher told Melissa that he followed the rules and did everything the others did. This is very encouraging.

It took a while to get him in school because he needed to be tested first. I noticed some signs several years ago and eventually convinced Brian and Melissa that he needed testing. We're never a prophet in our own land, so it took a while. The testing people were wonderful at the Early Intervention Center at White's Creek. It was determined that he has Asperger's, which is a high-functioning form of autism. I was impressed with them during testing and at the meeting. I've been to many of them when I taught in the gifted program since it's funded by special education and thought they did a great job.

It's taken several months for Metro to find a school that matches Brendan's IEP. So now he's in a blended pre-K class at Amqui Elementary School in Madison, which means the class is comprised of both regular students and those with IEP's. Wish him luck! I'm being such a grandmother and just want them to be good to him and help him be his best. I also don't want him to disrupt the class and to do well.

For those of you not in the business, an IEP is an Individualized Educational Program and is designed to remediate whatever specific areas the student needs help with.

So far, so good with Brendan. I hope he likes school, behaves, learns, and is treated with kindness.

1:31:00 PM


I've lost my list of blogs there on the left and don't know where to find them. I turned the computer off and back on, but they are still gone. Is this just a temporary glitch or what? That's the only place I saved many of those and want them back.

And now they are on there again. Good!

1:28:00 PM

Wednesday, February 06, 2008  
Super Tuesday

It was a long day getting up at 5:00 and getting home around 7:30, which wouldn't have been that bad if I'd gotten sleep the night before. Night owl that I am, now that I'm left to my own devices after retirement, I generally go to bed around 1 or 2 AM and get up around 8 or 9. So Monday night I wasn't sleepy but thought I'd at least get several hours of sleep, but instead I did that thing about counting the hours of sleep I'd have if I went to sleep right then. I just couldn't get to sleep and probably didn't sleep over an hour. When I got home, I got ready for bed and barely noticed the storm. I got a couple of phone calls I barely remember and went right back to sleep. I woke up while ago and decided to check my email and check out The View I'd recorded on the DVR. So here I am but not for long! Back to sleep for me!

It's good to see so many people I don't ever see until elections when I work at our precinct. It's also good to be a part of democracy. This primary is historic because whoever wins will be the first female or black presidential candidate. I'm glad we're making this kind of progress as a nation.

1:28:00 AM

Sunday, February 03, 2008  

Michelle Obama gave the most moving speech at the UCLA rally for her husband's campaign I've experienced in a long time! I cried most of the way through it because it was so inspiring and touching. Here's what the Daily Kos wrote about it and about Maria Shriver's endorsement of Obama. I've heard Mrs. Obama speak before on TV, but this one far exceeded any I've seen her do. I hope you saw it. She was awesome!

8:38:00 PM


Well, according to this I'm voting for the person I most agree with, Barack Obama. We disagreed on No Child Left Behind, probably because he hasn't tried to teach with that going on. We've seen trends and guidelines come and go in education, and some are worse than others. The idea is to educate children so they can become independent, productive members of society. Like parents, when we do our jobs well, they don't need us any more. As parents we hope they'll want to stay in touch with us and spend time together. I'm thrilled that Brian does really well with this. He's such a good son, husband, and father, and I've always been proud of him. Kathy also keeps in touch and includes me in what is going on with all of them.

So back to the candidates and that quiz. How did your results turn out? Which candidate matches your opinions?

10:26:00 AM

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