GCCS

This one just makes me giggle...

Giant Cowboy Chicken Says...
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Gems from Defensive Driving, part 2

Some more insights, just for you!

1. Don't intentionally annoy or confront others--in fact, avoid conflicts whenever possible.

2. Evaluate risks as you go.

3. It's your responsibility to stay informed.

4. Many of the decisions you make behind the wheel are influenced by your overall attitude.

5. Never travel in the tightly-spaced, fast-moving packs of vehicles that sometimes form on highways and rural roads. Such clusters are often responsible for multi-vehicle pile-ups.

6. Use caution when visibility is reduced.
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Gems from Defensive Driving

Okay, there's probably some rule that says I should focus completely on the Defensive Driving site whilst getting my ticket cleared, but...whatever.

Important rules for life (oh, and driving):

1. Good driving is no accident.

2. Expressway driving has fules that must be followed.

3. Don't stop on the ramp--you could be rear-ended.

4. Choose the appropriate lane.

5. Cooperate with other drivers.

6. Carry bottled water and snacks with you. They'll keep your strength and spirits up.

7. Remember, only YOU can control your reactions to situations.

8. Use caution in work zones.

9. Never overdrive your headlights---don't drive so fast that you can't stop in the space lit by your headlights.

10. Pay attention to your physical condition, and pull over when tired.

11. It's sure to irritate a pedestrian if you almost hit him.

Okay, that's all I've got for the first 4 lessons (of 10). More later, I want to watch the Pope Joan thing on Primetime.
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VH1-Classic

I couldn't sleep this morning. Woke up about 3 and pretended to be asleep so the Wonder Dog would actually stay asleep. Migrated to the couch about 4:30.

Wound up watching "Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story." Honestly, I really like Def Leppard, but I've never seen this biopic. Interesting story.

One question...

The actors playing the band--how come only the real Joe Elliot and Rick Allen look better than their counterparts in the movie? Why would you choose actors for the other guys who are the more attractive versions?
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Christmas Morning

It's just before 7 on Christmas Morning. I've walked the dog and settled on the couch to watch William Vanderbloemen's sermon from last Sunday (the air a week behind, which is fine). Three things have already struck me this morning and made me think (something I don't tend to do a lot of before 8 a.m.)

First, as the Wonder Dog and I walked around the complex this morning, we were both awed by the silence. He even stood still for several minutes, just enjoying the quiet. We walked a bit more, and saw a huge flock of birds coming out of the trees behind the property. He put his paws on my knee (the sign that he wants to be held). I picked him up and we watched the birds flying off together. I was struck by the silence. That made Christmas morning for me. Just made it.

Then, on the couch watching William's sermon from last week, the 4th Sunday of Advent. It's seems that Sunday is always full of sermons about Mary's visit from the angel, telling her that she was carrying God's Son. William discussed the description of Mary's mental/emotional state upon that pronouncement--she was "troubled." The ultimate conclusion was that we, today, should be "troubled" about Christmas. Not the rush we all seem to be in this time of year. Not what we go through in shopping for that one difficult person. Not the stress of preparing that perfect holiday meal. No, we should be troubled by the miracle of the virgin birth and God coming to live among us, fully human, fully God. We should be troubled by what it means to us, what it meant to the world. And, once we are troubled by Christmas, all other "troubles" of our life will disappear.

The last thing I was struck by, is far more mundane than the other two. Just after the Presbyterian service is broadcast, "Changing Your World with Dr. Creflo A. Dollar" comes on. I don't usually watch this, because I don't care for his preaching style. But, this morning, I thought I'd watch it, if only because it's Christmas morning. I got oh, 4 or 5 sentences into it when he said something that I didn't find appealing. He, too, was talking of the visit from the Angel to Mary. It was the way he described it--"The Angel came to tell her that she was pregnant, and the child had been conceived not with the sperm of a human man...." I'm sorry. I don't think that something so wonderful and miraculous as virgin birth should be described so basely. It, I don't know, impedes the miracle, to me. Kinda like when the Discovery Channel airs a show on the science behind the parting of the Red Sea, or the 40 Days Flood. Some things should just be accepted as read. Now, I know that many people need more than just "blind faith," but goodness...talking about sperm and Mary in the same sentence?
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Sharing a family recipe

Since I finally got it, I thought I'd share one of my favorite family recipes. Some say it's a variation of a chess pie, but I'm here to tell you that it isn't. This is definitely a different animal.

Buttermilk Pie

1/2 c butter (real butter, not margarine. Really, it makes a difference.)
2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla (the real stuff is best, but the imitation will work)
3 eggs
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk

1 9-inch pie crust (deep dish)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar. Add 1/2 cup sugar at a time as you do this.

Blend in vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time.

Combine flour and salt, add this to the mixture a small amount a time, mixing well.

Add buttermilk, mix.

Pour into pie crust

Bake at 300 for 90 minutes. Let stand until cool. Best served at room temperature or slightly chilled.

For a variation, put 1/2 c chopped pecans in the pie crust and pour the mix on top.

Note: This makes lots more mix than you'll need for a "regular" pie crust/plate. Not enough for a second pie, but this does well baked in custard cups, too.

Enjoy. And Merry Christmas.

~~Jayne.
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PSA




This is why we close the dishwasher when we're done loading the dinner dishes.


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Christmas Adam

So, it's 6:40 on the morning of Christmas Adam. Once again, The Wonder Dog has opted to make an early run outside and then go back to bed.

Do you know what my Christmas dream is this year? A backyard and a doggie door.

No, really, I have the same wish I do every year--that more and more the miracle of Christmas will involve far more than Santa making it around the earth in a night and people getting extra days off from work.
*******************
So, this morning, since I'm up, I'm trying to find something that isn't an infomercial or the news on TV. The only thing I've landed on the Ashlee Simpson show. She's Christmas shopping, I think. One of her pals just called the Beverly Hills police because some people, who might be photographers are following them around time.
Wow, that's gotta be tough. Getting followed around by photographers. Having to call the cops so you can shop in peace. I called the cops last night 'cuz the drunk guy downstairs got into a fight on his porch with his drunk girl at 2 a.m. They didn't wake me up. It was Wonder Dog having a fit about them fighting outside the bedroom window. So, I called the cops. Apparently, I was the 3rd call.
When the cops got here, the guy was yelling at my window to shut the dog up. The cops walked up and he says "I'm glad you're here. Can you ask that bitch to shut her dog up? He does this every night and wakes us all up." The cop says, "Sure, I'll talk to her, but you should know that we had 4 calls from this complex about noise in the last 20 minutes. None of them mentioned a dog barking, but all of them mentioned you." Teehee!
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Whine

Stand-off. Me vs. a bottle of Equate Ny-Quil. (sp?)

I know I need to take it. I've had this horrible, painful, completely unattractive virus thing in my ears all week that has down-graded to a common, everyday cold. The only thing that's helped me all week is regular doses of Extra Strength Tylenol. I haven't slept more than 3 hours any night since Saturday. It's driving me crazy.

So, tonight, I decided to go ahead and take some Ny-Quil to help me get more sleep. Thing is, I hate Ny-Quil. I hate the alleged cherry flavor (I don't like cherries, but, guys, this ain't cherry flavor). I hate the consistency--it's like swallowing Palmolive. The flavor--did I mention I don't like the cherry flavor? Well, whatever that green crap is supposed to be is even worse (licorice? medicine? toxic waste?).

So, I'm sitting here, debating the best way to get this nasty crap down my throat. I know this is silly and immature and I should just take it "like a big girl." You have to understand, though, this is the only substance on Earth that makes me want to retch every single time it goes down my throat. Not a few times it has succeeded in its attempts and left me feeling worse than when I started down that road.

I'm thinking that the best option for me is to take alternating swallows of the fake cherry goo and milk. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Thought for the Day.

Librarians are the secret masters of the world. They control information. Don't ever piss one off.

~~Spider Robinson
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If you want to get me something....

I usually have no freakin' clue what I want for Christmas. And people are getting real sick and tired of me saying "I want you to get me whatever you want me to have." Why does this piss people off? Is it because they know I'm going to open the box and think "THIS is what he wanted me to have? What have I done to him this year?"

Anyway, if you're looking for a few ideas...here you go.

Librarian items at CafePress

Darn near anything in this collection will do.

In the event that nothing there speaks to you, I've been eyeing a fondue thingy at Dillard's.

Merry Merry.
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Walk the line

In San Antonio this fine, nearly gone, morning. Came to visit a friend last night.

Okay, he's an ex-boyfriend. In fact, he's visited this blog before, in the early days. M returns.

I didn't realize that I missed him until he opened the door last night. I mean, yeah, I miss his company and our conversations. I didn't realize I just miss being around him. Nothing romantic or prurient, just around him.

Damn. I don't like being reminded that I feel for someone.




P.S. The title of today's post has not a blooming thing to do with anything else. I had Johnny Cash playing in the truck last night on the way up.
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So I'm a little different than some

I wear a band on the third finger of my left hand. Yes, that's the "wedding ring" finger, traditionally. No, I am not married, or even engaged (in case some of you are joining our story a bit late).

It isn't fancy--a wide sterling silver band, with doves and flowers embossed on it. The dove has what could be construed as an olive branch in its mouth.

I've worn it there for months, now.

Today, I was asked why I wear a ring there, since I'm not married. I've not been asked it before, but, knowing that I would, I had an answer prepared.

The doves represent hope and peace, the flowers are hope and renewal. The ring symbolizes important parts of my faith--my Christian faith. I wear it to remind myself that there are more important things than being married or remaining single.

I started wearing it the last time I got really down about being without a partner. I vacillate on this one. Sometimes, it doesn't bother me at all, other times I'm really, really bothered about it. Wearing this ring is a token to help me remember that it's okay to be single.

Doesn't mean I wouldn't like someone to replace this ring for me one day. *grin*
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I've got it!

I've been looking for an alternative to the traditional jello mold we see during the holiday season. Here it is. Guess I'll do Houston, though. Maybe just my small home town.

http://www.lizhickok.com/assets/portfolio/pages/06telegraph.html

Wonder how many weird looks the family will give me this year?
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Book Personality





take the WHAT BAD BOOK ARE YOU test.


and go to mewing.net. not as good as reading a good book, but way better than a bad one.

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Regis and Kelly

I've never watched the Regis and Kelly show. This morning, they're taste-testing some crazy, crazy ice cream concoctions from Country Cow Creamery. They've tried beer, creamed corn, green beans, and turkey and gravy flavors. Some things shouldn't be ice cream flavors.

Kelly is being a total child "I don't wanna try it! You can't make me!" Then she does it anyway because Gelman told her to.

I hate women like that. Either do what your told, or don't. But don't be a whiny child. There's no point and you make the rest of us look bad.

And she's skinny, too. Damn her.
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It's 6:45 a.m.

It's before 7 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. A Tuesday morning that I'm off. I wanted to sleep late, but The Wonder Dog didn't get the memo. Actually, I believe the problem is that he ate the memo before reading it. Now he's all curled up next to me, sleeping. Damn.

Last night, I fell asleep on the couch watching "The Dukes of Hazzard." I've always loved that show. So, this morning, when I rolled over (still on the couch), I turned on the TV to find that I was still on CMT (seems like I remember changing the channel to the X-Files rerun, but maybe not.). So, for the last hour, I've been watching country music videos.

A few thoughts on that...

Song's called "Why." I'll look up the artist later. Anyway, the guy's HOT. But he's got this weird idea that he must wear a black cowboy hat. There's really only so many people that can pull off a black cowboy hat. He's not one of them. I realize that there is a standard formula for male country artists, but that formula kinda quit working so well when they started piercing their ears--like this guy, who's name I promise I will look up. Artist's name is Jason Aldean. His "big smash hit" so far is "Hicktown"--a rockin' good song.

Billy Joe Shaver "Live Forever." Okay, LOVE Billy Joe Shaver. It just seems really, really odd that he's doing a music video though. Not what I'd expect, but no one asked me. Great song, too.

Reba McEntire "You're Gonna Be" (Okay, I'm not sure it's in Reba's contracts to use slang pronunciation and spellings, but that's how she sang it.). Beautiful song, but so many of hers are. My only complaint is that they constantly film her with lighting that makes her look ghostly. Ick.

Trace Adkins "Honky Tonk, Badonkadonk." WTF??? This is a cowboy's version of "I Like Big Butts." I kid you not. Some of the best lines: "How she even get those britches on" "That's why we do it, boys...it ain't for the free whiskey...it's for the badonkadonk." WTF?

Montgomery Gentry "She Don't Tell Me To." Dude's so involved in this song that he 's about ready to cry. That' would be the one who's always wearing duster. Today, he's all in black with some silver accents on his jeans, a hat that looks like something Zorro would wear, and red ropers. What?

JoDee Messina "Delicious Surprise (I Believe It)" This chick rocks. She is just so much fun and takes absolutely no crap off nobody. She also gives the impression that she's really internalized every word she's singing. Awesome. I'm gonna have to get this CD.

Faith Hill "Like We Never Loved at All." Sad, sad, song. "Story line" in the video is set in the 70s, and ol' Tim helps her out with this one. She looks great with the big, big hair, thought the bright yellow dress could've been left on the rack. He looks stupid in the golf cap thing he's got on in the beginning of the video.

Terri Clark "I Just Wanna Be Mad." She's obviously a farm-girl, tomboy. I love it. The song's great, too. They've had a fight, she assures him that she loves him, but right now, she just wants to be mad. I'll never understand why so many men don't get this concept. Trust me, gentlemen (and I use that term loosely), you guys are every bit as moody and stubborn as we can be.

Brooks & Dunn "Believe." I just heard this song for the first time yesterday, even though it's been on the radio for awhile. This one made me cry. I've always thought Kix Brooks has a great voice, and I tell you what, he could pull off some serious gospel in my opinion, after listening to this song.

Okay...that's it for my way too freakin' early music report. Have fun, kids.
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Ugh

Somebody please tell me this isn't as sad as it sounds.

I live in a one-bedroom apartment with 4 closets. Today, I started rearranging furniture after picking up a bookcase from R. (Wait, this isn't the sad part.)

What does one inevitably do when moving furniture around? Vacuum before placing things, right?

I had to look in 3 closets before finding the vacuum cleaner.
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Novel Writing

So, I signed up to do the NaNoWriMo program, right?

I wrote about 8,000 words and stopped. Stuck. Damn it.

I've been doing everything except write in the last few weeks. Hell, I haven't even written here in a week and a half.

I've written 3 letters to my grandfather. I mailed one.

I've watched incredibly bad daytime and night time television. The weekend fare has been pretty sad, too.

I've been litter training The Wonder Dog. I came across an 8-FOOT LONG COPPERHEAD NEAR MY PARKING SPOT AT HOME and have discontinued all walks that take place in the dark. Okay, so it was only 8 or 10 inches long, but I hate snakes. The litter training isn't going so well. But, we have had the break through of going potty near the tray today, instead of in another room.

I've been to the doctor 3 times--and was told last week that I have asthma. I've probably had it for my whole life, it was just never diagnosed. Crazy.

I've crocheted 2 afghans and a handful of hats. Even a camouflage one for a friend's little girl.

But, writing? Not a word.
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I've seen some strange things

I've seen some strange things in my 29 years. But, I've always been able to turn to a few things I'm interested in and find precisely what I expect.

I crochet, and I'm learning how to knit. My grandmothers both taught me how to crochet, and I'm learning how to knit now as an homage to the grandmother who passed away 18 months ago.

There's an abundance of crochet sites and list servs out there. There's always motherly/grandmotherly types, and people my age (and younger) who's grandmothers taught them how to crochet and they just enjoy it now. You can peruse any one of those sites and find patterns, recipes, project ideas, etc. All are innocuous. All.

Until the group I found today. Oh my.

Kinky Crochet

I kid you not. There's a recent poll asking members which of a list of things they'd like to see patterns for. Included are pillows with "toy pockets" and whips.

I did not join this group. There's just something wrong with a hobby associated with grannies and a request like that. I mean, I applaud them for bringing crochet into the 21st century, for finding new ways to incorporate it into people's lives, and for broadening the scope of the craft (ahem).

All I can think of is my grandmother happening across this site, thinking it's harmless (and it is, but you know what I mean). Yuck.
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Birthdate

Your Birthdate: October 9

You are a born idealist, with more pet causes than you can count.
You prefer be around others, both when working and while relaxing.
Generous and giving, you believe you can change the world one person at a time.
You're open minded and tolerant. People feel like they can tell you anything.

Your strength: Your go-with-the-flow flexibility

Your weakness: Your flair for the over dramatic

Your power color: Pine green

Your power symbol: Circle

Your power month: September
Um..honestly, when I'm relaxing, I only sometimes like to be around people.
Pine green? Must be some connection to the piney woods at my grandfather's house.
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NaNoWriMo


Okay, so, I've decided to challenge myself. I've entered the National Novel Writing Month event.

Do me a favor...keep on me about this. Somehow, deadlines only do so much for encouraging me to do something.
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Scavaging the Web

Since I've been stuck at home for 4 days with sinus crap, I've had plenty of time to peruse the offerings on the Web. Most of these things will all get added to my permanent links list, but I feel that they deserve a little extra fanfare.

Or, maybe I'm just getting cabin fever and you guys get to be the on the receiving end. *grin*

Because the World is Round
I don't know much about this guy, and that's fine. His writing is fun to read, even if he does apparently, look like a muppet.

Running with Scissors
Okay, so I started with this post on this blog. And got all caught up because I could so completely understand, being a dog-mother and all. Then I started reading the rest. I like her style.

Tequila Mockingbird
Wow. I've never had so much fun reading a blog. This is great....hope somebody really does offer her a book deal.

The Blog Jar
A librarian's blog. Nice to know that difficulties I've worked with in public school libraries are found in libraries of all sorts in this country. She and I obviously think alike.

Enjoy!
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Medicine head would be preferred

Please note: I'm going to get a bit graphic here. If you can't take it, check back in a few days.

I'm drowning. Slowly.

Before you get all worried about me, you need to know that I'm drowning in snot. I've had more snot come out of my head than an elephant. I swear it. The stuff coming out of my head isn't natural either. I mean, it's bound to be natural since I'm not in the habit of implanting unnatural things in my sinus cavities, but it's not regular snot.

I haven't slept anything not drug-induced for the last 3 days, and even then, I wake up because I can't breath. Or, one side of my face is in excruciating pain. This pain signals that something in my sinus is moving and interested in relocating to the outside world.

All I can think of is "if I ever get out of this house again, I'm so having sinus surgery ASAP."

I'm also taking applications for a babysitter for The Wonder Dog. Yes, babysitter. He's not a dog so much as he's a small, furry, 2 year old. I can't entertain him if my head is stuck in a box of tissues.

Don't laugh, I'm very serious, about the surgery.

And the babysitter.

I thought getting online and posting would make me feel better. Thought I'd do an interesting post. Then, my left cheek started throbbing again. Nevermind.
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Sick Days

I stayed home sick today. For the record, no, it didn't have anything to do with the bottle of wine I consumed last night (see the post from 2 a.m.). I would've gone to work if that had been my only problem. Waking up this morning involved a lot of sinus issues, that I decided just weren't something the general public needed to see or have shared with them. I also had a cold settle in my eyes and seeing was a concern.

Sounds weird, doesn't it? "A cold in my eyes." I promise you, that's what the man in the white coat told me when I went in thinking I had pink eye. (Yes, a childhood "disease," but you go work in a public school, ok? Trust me, you'll get it every so often.) Regardless, no contacts for a few days and I have to rinse my eyes with saline solution morning and night so I can keep them clear. Not that any of you wanted to know...but hey, you might be able to use the info one day.

While I was lying around this morning waiting on the doctor's office to open so I could call and beg for an appointment (yes, I want an appointment today, I'm terribly sorry I didn't call last week to schedule one, but my illness schedule got bumped up a month and I didn't get the memo until 20 minutes ago. Damn the luck.), I looked at my bedroom and decided that the feng shui was completely off. Now, I don't know the rules involved in feng shui, but I do know that the lay out of a room can not make me feel totally uncomfortable and I can let the room be until it is fixed. Sometimes, I'll move the furniture around every day for a week until I feel like I can sit down and not feel anxious. The Wonder Dog hates it---just when he gets his spot figured out, I move the furniture again.

Sidebar....

I have the same sort of idiosyncracy about restaurants and bars. I cannot, I mean absolutely CAN NOT, sit with my back to my "exit path." I'd like to think it has something to do with a lesser known, social custom that I still see practiced in the South that requires that the lady in a party be visible to the room. Sadly, I think it's because I'm crazy. I visibly freeze up---shoulders 'round my ears, problems concentrating on the conversation, etc. I was talking about it last night with a date. He tried to pull the chair out for me and I bypassed the one he had at ready and sat on the other side of the table. He claims it's some form of claustrophobia (which I do have). Sounds plausible, I guess, but judging from the rest of the conversation last night, I think he was blowing smoke up my ass.

Back to the scheduled blog...

So, this afternoon, when I was feeling better and could stand up AND breathe simultaneously (I'm telling you, my sinuses were naaasty.), I rearranged my bedroom. I had this "princess" canopy thing hanging over the head of my bed. The netting ones that fall from a hoop. I realize you don't typically see those in the bedroom of someone my age (even if I am incredibly young), but I liked it. Kinda a romantic thing.

Well, since there's no romance going on in my house these days, I decided to not put it back up over my bed. Instead, I hung it in a corner of my little yellow armchair that R gifted me with. (You remember R, my best friend...wonderful at all the things I'm not, like furniture placement) I was thinking "meditation space" which is becoming increasingly important to me. I see myself curling up in the chair, pulling the netting around me, and blocking myself off from the world for a bit. Mother came over for a few minutes and told me it looked like I'd created a throne for myself.

Could it be because I have my tiara on a little nicknack shelf on the wall next to my chair??? And the sign that says "I didn't ask to be a princess, but the tiara fit"???

For the record, I'm not a princess (literally or figuratively), but I do believe that every once in a while, a woman needs to feel like she is, even if her only subject is her dog.
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For future reference...

There's a nice little shiraz from the Little Penguin that is FABULOUS. Little Penguin is an Australian winery. I grabbed the Shiraz this evening on a whim. It's very nice, guys, I certainly recommend it.

Says the woman who's had most of the bottle in the last 3 hours....on top of 2 'ritas.
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Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks Dies

Another hero of mine.
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Hero Worship

Read this. My comments on it are the next blog down.

Where Have All the Heroes Gone?
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Hero Worship, part 2

I don’t think a lack of heroes is the problem. Little kids emulate the people they most want to be like and we call them heroes. It matters not that the really tall famous basketball star (or wrestler or T.V. star or whatever) is a less than stellar human being—he’s really good on the court. As a friend would tell me, “he’s got mad skills.”

I think when we get older, heroism amounts to something different. My heroes aren’t necessarily famous people or done newsworthy things. Suddenly, not their great acts, but their character is what I want to emulate.

I don’t think there’s a lack of heroes, not for adults. It’s just the criteria has grown up as we did.

So, who are my heroes? Let me tell you.

My students. Everyday they teach me something new and surprise me. They also call me to task and push me to be more than I am, even if they don’t realize it.

One of my former students. He’s in his freshman year at UT (as in Longhorns, people) this year and is one of my favorite friends. He’s amazing to talk to and gives me hope for the future. He sees the bigger picture and the things that are important, but knows how live as well.

My best friend. Because of him, I’m more than I was when we met and it’s because he pushed me to do it.

The people who hold it together after major crises and tragedies. Yes, we all falter at some point, but those people who don’t let the situation get the better of them and become those “less than stellar” individuals.

The men and women in the armed forces who give of their lives—both literally and figuratively—everyday.
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30 Questions

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. John Lennon, you know, the Beatle.

2.Where was your first kiss? Sadly, outside my locker in 8th grade. (Apparently, waiting THAT long made me some sort of freak. But, if you'd seen the guys I went to school with, you'd have waited too.)

3. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else’s property? No. But I wouldn't tell you anyway.

4. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex? Yes. Many times.

5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? Yep, everytime I read the scripture at church--thank God I'm not miked.

6. What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Hm, eyes. If the eyes are kind, he's a winner in my book.

7. What really turns you on? Authenticity--in any context.

8. What do you order at Starbucks? Anything they're willing to put a double shot in.

9. What is your biggest mistake? So not going there.

10. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose? Not recently ;)

11. Say something totally random about yourself. I've never slept through the night.

12. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity? Drew Barrymore. I hear that ALL the time.

13. Do you still watch kiddy movies or tv shows? Sometimes, that's all that's on TV.

14. Did you have braces? Yes.

15. Are you comfortable with your height? Mostly. Being 5'4" put a stop on my supermodel career pretty quickly. However, if you know an agency that wants shorter women (you know, part of that "real" look"), let me know.

16. What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you? Uh-uh. Never kiss and tell.

17. When do you know it’s love? Even trying to describe it would be an injustice.

18. Do you speak any other languages? Taco, enchilada, Madre, gracias. Do these count as speaking the other language?

19. Have you ever been to a tanning salon? Yep. Every year in February and March.

20. What magazines do you read? Real Simple (but not real cheap), Cottage Living, Newsweek, Time.

21. Have you ever ridden in a limo? Nope.

22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away? Grandma

23. Do you watch mtv? The music channel for people who don't like music? No.

24. What’s something that really annoys you? Blatant stupidity.

25. What’s something you really like? warm cookies and cold milk, a good book, back rubs, Christmas carols, blue jeans and t-shirts.

26. Do you like Michael Jackson? The music, not the man, um...person.

27. Can you dance? Pretty well. I don't make a fool of myself at least. I do better with a guy who can lead well.

28. What’s the latest you have ever stayed up? 4 p.m. It was the end of a 22 hour first date. Probably the best first date I've ever had.

29. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room? Twice, after car accidents in which I wound up with back and neck injuries.

30. Do you actually read these when other people fill them out? Yep.


Stole this list of questions off Q's blog.
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Hodge-podge

Listened to a motivational speaker today. He was pretty good, for what he does. I'm not a fan of motivational speakers because so many seem so fake. This guy didn't, but I'm not keen on them anyway. Anyway, he was talking about something else, but made the comment that inspiration is all around us.

Part of me is thinking "well, duh." The rest of me (the 90% that's typically in charge) is thinking, "I know this, so why do I deny it so often?" Everyday, I come across something I could be writing about...then I don't do it because it doesn't seems like a "worthy" topic. Hold me to it, guys, no more "unworthy" topics--just writing.

*******************************

I learned the other day how hummingbirds accomplish migration. See, physically, they are incapable of undertaking the task by themselves. They hitch rides under the feathers of geese who are heading south (or north). The geese act as a transit system and take them to warmer climates.

*******************************

Today, I had an interesting conversation with a coworker today. We were talking about a man who used to attend the school I work in and now teachers at a military academy. He told her once that one of the things he's learned while teaching there is that there are bell curves within bell curves.

What I mean is, at a military academy, you find the cream of the crop on the bell curve (by and large, at least). Within that population, there is a second bell curve---highs, lows, and "averages" within those students.

We then talked about how it's the same in prison situations. In a prison population, there are leaders, status quo sorts, and whiners. The bell curve again.

I see it in the people I work with. Leaders--the ones we all go to when we need assistance, or turn to for a clue as to how to handle/react to something. The middle of the roads--ranging from just getting by to verging on being a leader. Then there's at the bottom of the curve--struggling ones or those others question keeping on staff.

Anyway, it's just an interesting look at societal dynamics.
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Savannah Pictures



Independent Presbyterian Church (oldest Presbyterian Church in Georgia)














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Tybee Island Lighthouse. Supposed to be the tallest one in Georgia (or maybe the US, can't remember now. Anyway, I did make it all the way to the top..but was too chicken to go out on the landing.
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Everytime we see a turtle on a back road, we have to pull over and help it across. On the road to Tybee Island, I saw turtle crossing signs. Hehe.
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A townhome on one of the squares in Savannah. It's where I'd like to live.
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I don't have birthdays anymore

My birthday was over the weekend. I guess it was a good one. I spent the weekend in Savannah, GA with my brother and we had a good time. We do a brother-sister only trip every October. This year, we decided to go somewhere we hadn't been before and Savannah won. More on the trip, later.

But, like I said, my birthday was over the weekend. It was painful. See, this is the year of the last one I'll celebrate. I turned 29 Sunday.

The last few years, the birthdays have all hurt. Until this one, 26 was the worst. I'm not sure why, it just did.

This year, I woke up crying. I didn't want to be turning 29. Certainly not turning 29 in a Howard Johnson Hotel with my brother in the next bed over. (geez, I'm tearing up just thinking about it.)

Mother says I'm being ridiculous. So what? It's my right. I am, after all, an adult.
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In times of crisis...


I post this one because it will never happen again. My two dogs don't get along. The Wonder Dog would love to play with The Old Man, but The Old Man doesn't like children -- 2-legged or 4-legged ones. This is why The Old Man continues to live with my parents (that and his hip injury make stairs impossible)

During the recent evacuations for Hurricane Rita, the Boys rode 9 hours with me to my grandfather's. Usually, this is a 2 hour tour, and I was beginning to feel marooned on our mandated evacuation route--the "Gilligan's Island" theme kept rolling through my head. Anyway, I suppose in times of near-crisis, even the Boys can tell that it would be in their best interest to not piss me off and just play nice with each other.

In this picture, the crisis was that their Scottish terrier cousin (on my dad's side, of course) was about to eat their food. He'd been eyeing it for a couple of hours and the Boys just couldn't take it anymore. They were pleased to find that at the next regularly scheduled feeding, I moved the bowls to my room and had copious amounts of extra food and treats.
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Feelin' a need to crow

Okay, here's the deal. 3 doctors told me back in the Spring that I needed to lose weight. I agreed with wholeheartedly. Then gained 15 more pounds.

So, in July I started going Weight Watchers. I've been rather impressed with myself. Not only am I really, truly keeping up with the plan rules, I've been exercising almost every day. I'm ready to announce my progress so far.

Since mid-July, I've lost 20 pounds.

The people at the meetings are stunned--first of all, where the hell did I have 20 pounds to lose? Was my leg hollow? No, I just "wear it well." To look at me, you'd never know there's 20 more pounds floating around to lose. But there is. By all accounts, I'm little, petite---and this is from men who want to date me.

Anyway..just had to share.
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Watch out for small planes.

I took the Classic Dames Test (see it here). Here are my results.


Carole Lombard
You scored 19% grit, 9% wit, 42% flair, and 38% class!

You're a little bit of a fruitcake, but you always act out in style. You have a good sense of humor, are game for almost anything, but you like to have nice things about you and are attracted to the high life. You're stylish and modern, but you've got a few rough edges that keep you from attaining true sophistication. Your leading men include William Powell, Fredric March, and Clark Gable. Watch out for small planes.
So, what do you think?
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My own damn self

For twelve years, one thought ran through my head more than any other.

I am not my mother.

My mother. People respect and admire her. I can’t go anywhere in this town without hearing about how great she is. And she is great. She’s a master at her job, at her church work, at being an example to others. Few women inspire me the way she tends to. Granted, it’s not always to be better than I am. Sometimes it’s just to be different than who she is.

I haven’t said it in four years. Not because I finally decided to believe it, but because I finally gave in.

To a point.

*********************************

Everyone says I look just like her. (Well, everyone except for a whole two people in my life. Both those women think I look more and more like Daddy everyday. I do have his shape. Not build, shape. There’s a difference. Personally, I don’t think I look unlike him, but
not just like him.) Looking like Mother isn’t an altogether bad thing. I think she’s beautiful. It does mean that I get her family’s short stature, and that double-chin thing that I can’t
seem to shake. We have a very similar smile and have confused people on the phone. We’d even have the same color hair, if we didn’t color it (she goes blonde, I go dark auburn.)

I went into education, just like she did. Even taught elementary school, just like her. I loved being in the classroom and watching students “get it.” Paperwork and parents never bothered me. I love the challenge of getting the material across so that every student masters it. Third-graders were the breaking point. They were a wonderful class, but I’m just not cut out for that age. At the first opportunity, I hopped on a high school position and ran with it. You know what my favorite part of this job is? Watching the strides the students make in a year’s time.

In high school and college, Mother and I clashed constantly, which I think may be a prerequisite for a healthy mother-daughter relationship. Man, life was hell in that house for awhile. I take full responsibility for my part. The main issue, I think, was that we’ve something of the same temperament and clashed. Looking back, I’m not sure how we shared that house through some of those things. Seems like one of us (me, I guess) would’ve bolted at some point.

I hear that I’m just like her pretty often, too. Sometimes, I just have to laugh at that. Personality-wise, I think I’m a whole lot more like Daddy—same quirky sense of humor and all. Mother and I may do things similarly, but it’s just because I learned those things from her. I make a lot of it up as I go, though.

Even going off to school and then moving out on my own later, I strived to be different from her. My life at nearly 29 years old is very different from hers. I’m single (she’d been married 11 years), have no kids (she had two, and one was getting ready to go to junior high, eek!), have lived on my own for several years, and have a masters degree (she was starting to go back to school to become a teacher). Those are “big” things in life and those aren’t the things I’ve chosen to do because of my desire to not become her. No, it’s the little things that I do.

The first thing I did that I felt like carried my signature on it and separated me from her a bit was making spaghetti sauce. I don’t know why that’s such a big deal to me. She doesn’t do anything fancy with spaghetti sauce. A can of paste, can of sauce, maybe some diced tomatoes, ground beef browned with onions, spices. Easy. I, on the other hand, take whole tomatoes and dice/puree them fresh, garlic, chili powder, oregano, basil, and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste. With or without ground beef. Nothing canned or preserved. It’s not what I grew up eating, but I don’t want it any other way anymore.

There are other things, too.

I buy shoes because they make me feel pretty.

I drink a vodka tonic (with extra lime) every night before bed.

There’s always a bottle of decent chardonnay, and chocolate in my house.

I sleep in the nude 90% of the time (clothes are constricting, you know?).

I’m a writer and love wordplay.

You’ll never see me wearing sensible shoes two days in a row.

I tend to cuss when I drink. Or get pissed. Or breathe (sometimes).

My best friend is a wonderful man, who’s involved with another woman.

I’m less tolerant of stupidity than she is.

I’m way more liberal than she is.

I cherish the days that I can sleep late (even if “late” is only 8 a.m.).

I think nothing of shopping at Wal-Mart at 2 a.m. to avoid the lines.

I love good rock music (Aerosmith, Van Halen, Queen..that era).

I refuse to listen to the Christian station. They play nothing I like.


Okay, so some of that’s mundane. I told you it wasn’t big things that I do to project being different from her. But it’s not always the big things that make people anyway. It’s the little things.





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Worship your librarian

I've been telling people for years that they should worship me because I am a librarian. Finally, here's something (I didn't write) that I can use to support this assertion.

Worship on Librarian Avengers.

Okay, okay, so I was telling them to worship me before I became a librarian. Sue me.
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The clock REALLY is ticking.

It’s happening more often. I’m feeling old again.

Every year, Beloit College in Wisconsin releases a Mindset List to help faculty understand where the incoming freshman class is coming from. I have this feeling that, particularly for me, it’s going to get more frightening. And actually, I think it’s a little sad how many different things they missed out on, for one reason or another.

Anyway, here’s the Mindset List for the Class of 2009.

http://www.beloit.edu/~pubaff/mindset/
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News updates

It’s time again for me to do a post on the news. And let me tell you, there’s a lot going on out there.

The Lance Armstrong Witch Hunt.

Okay, so, Lance is now being accused of having taken performance enhancing drugs. I think it’s rather fascinating that the French are suddenly pulling up test results from urine samples taken 6 years ago to support this accusation. “B” samples, even. I’d agree with the assertion that the French are just bad losers, if it weren’t for the fact that it wasn’t even the sports labs that “discovered” this issue. It was a lab that was trying to perfect tests to find the specific drug they now say Lance took. (Listen to me, “Lance”—like I know him or something!)

You know, while I don’t doubt that more athletes are guilty of taking performance enhancing drugs than we’ll ever know, I don’t think Lance did. I think that, sometimes, when you go looking for nefarious things, you find them, whether they exist or not.


Pat Robertson’s “Suggestion” to the President

Okay, this guy makes me itch as it is. Why do we let him leave his house? It saddens me that anyone actually believes anything that comes out of his mouth. I don’t want to sound judgmental, but I can’t fathom this guy has Christianity right. Christians may not sanction some things, but they certainly shouldn’t gay bash, use racial slurs (both of which he did this summer at a private party in Houston), or suggest murder. You can argue all you want that his statement was taken out of context, but precisely in what context should the phrase “take him out” be taken?


In Huntsville, TX—mother steals own baby

Okay, if you read the story for this one, you’ll see it’s not as bizarre as it sounds. Mothers are, generally, allowed to take their infants from the hospital. But, mothers with severe mental and emotional issues. It doesn’t say it in this story, but the local news says she may have had drug issues.

Apparently, her other children (4 years and 1 year) were removed by CPS sometime in the last few months. The hospital there in Huntsville is bound to have been privy to this info—especially if they were planning to keep the child for a few extra days to make sure he was okay. Why in the world was she allowed to be alone with the baby? Don’t give me this crap about being short-staffed, that’s really no excuse.


Man assaulted and has bicycle stolen by clown

Is it any wonder that so many people are afraid of clowns?


Judge reprimanded for making snide remarks from bench

You know, so what? With as many ridiculous things making it to courtrooms, I think it’s high time that people were told they’re being stupid. Someone should tell some of these idiots that they are, in fact, behaving stupidly and the rest of us are tired of supporting their frivolous asses.
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Puffed up my ego a bit

Got an email this morning from one of the owner/moderators for Bibliophilist today. Seems a review I wrote this summer of Little Chapel on the River, has shown up on the author's website (her name is Wendy Bounds). Woot! Makes me happy!

See it here...Reviews of Little Chapel on the River.

Now would be a nice time for all of you to stroke my ego a bit (it's in need of stroking today), if you feel so inclined.
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Ugh

I've been back at work 12 days. Yes, 12, I started before everyone else.

I'm exhausted. I can't remember the last time that I was so tired. I know I've been getting up earlier to work out, but I've also been going to bed earlier to compensate. I do really well all the way up to 8 o'clock, and then I give out.

The Wonder Dog is beside himself. He wants to play, and play, and play. I'm only good for about 30 minutes by the time I get home and in for the night. I feel bad, but I keep telling him I'll make it up to him this weekend. I feel like a mother.

************************************
I watched the new reality show on NBC tonight--Tommy Lee goes to college. What a trip. Dude seems to have enough upstairs to actually have made it as a college student, although it would've been challenging before the drug use. Really, it's kind of interesting. Watching him on the walking lecture for his botany class, I found myself rooting for him (eventually, he got the write term and the emphasis in the right place). I may watch this one all the way through because it's just a bit interesting.
Besides, Tommy Lee's kinda hot.
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Sunday morning

I have a confession to make.

Sunday morning television makes me itch. Not all of it. Good Morning America and the news don't bother me to much. And I like CBS Sunday Morning (except for the host's poor attempts at poetry to introduce stories).

It's all the "church" shows. Well, almost all. I do really enjoy watching William Vanderbloemen at First Presbyterian Church in Houston--I even get up to watch the sermon at 6:30 on Sunday mornings. No, the ones that make me itch are the others.

Some of them seem so fake, so televangelist (which is my main argument about CBN). I don't appreciate flash in a sermon. By that, I mean, I don't think that the pastor needs to raise his voice and resort to histrionics to send the Christian message. Pacing up and down the stage and wearing purple suits just turns me off. Sermons shouldn't all be designed to make you "feel good," but the convicting ones don't have to be delivered by yelling at the congregation. And, building an entire sermon around one verse taken out of context is just poor theology.

I guess it's the religious upbringing that I've had--Presbyterian. We're quiet, not flashy, not showy. My pastor may raise his voice in a sermon to emphasis a point, but he doesn't yell at us. I've never sat in a Presbyterian service and felt like I was being called out, or that being convicted came at the cost of some dignity. The sermons are grounded in strong theology, not delivered with "surface" theology.

Of course, I also think that "churching" should take place in the presence of other believers. Sitting at home on your own is more like a devotional than what a church service should be about. I'll grant that some people have no alternative and that some people initially came to faith because they heard about it on TV. But I firmly believe that in order to grow in your faith you have to worship and learn with other Christians around you.


So, these Sunday morning "throw some churching at you" shows make me itch.
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You'll feel smarter after reading this.

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever,because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever,but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."
--Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest.

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world,I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not withall those flies and death and stuff,"
--Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part ofyour life,"
--Brooke Shields, during an interview to becom e spokespersonfor federal antismoking campaign.

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body,"
--Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates inthe country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC.

"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president,"--Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents.

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, andI'm just the one to do it,"
--A congressional candidate in Texas.

"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away fromthem. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and theIndians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."
--John Wayne

"Half this game is ninety percent mental."--Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities inour air and water that are doing it."
--Al Gore, Ex-Vice President

"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
--Dan Quayle

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"--Lee Iacocca

"I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that version,"
--Colonel Oliver North, from his Iran-Contra testimony.

"The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guylike Norman Einstein,"
-- sports analyst.

"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types ofpeople."
--Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor.

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."--Bill Clinton, Ex-President

"We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur."
--Al Gore, VP

"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas."
--Keppel Enderbery

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we receivednotice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if thereis a change in your circumstances."
--Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina

"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as theygo to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And thenext morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record."
--Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman
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The nerve of some people

This story pisses me off.

Short version:

Man in Louisiana has been masquerading for years as a decorated retired Marine general. Is found out when, after standing up and speaking at a veterans' event in uniform, local media starts checking him out. Guy was a PFC for 19 months, after Iwo Jima.

I know that adults are out there masquerading as who and what they aren't all the time. Identity theft and other nefarious things. But this one really bothers me.

It seems that the whole deal started as a mix-up that he didn't bother to correct. When he moved from Florida, he moved his American Legion membership to the post in the new town and someone there thought he was a general. Before long, he was agreeing to appear at veterans' events in the area. He even handed out coins in the time-honored military tradition of officers and senior enlisted servicemen.

What possessed him to not say "Hey, guys, you misread that paperwork. I'm not a general" at any point when he first moved? I know what kept him from saying anything later--he was a respected man, looked up to, called upon, honored. And once you taste that under the guise of a lie, you can't crawfish and correct everyone. You must save face and maintain a level of (assumed) respectability. Everyone's thought "A" was true for so long, that you can't possibly tell them that, actually "Q" is the reality and "A" was just for giggles.

It's a shame this is barely making headlines. I think the country needs character education.
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Got Ink?


This is the design that is now on the small of my back. About that big, too. It took Chano (the tattoo artist) about 2 hours to ink it, permanently, on me. I'd put a pic of the actual image up, but it's more than a little difficult to take a picture at that angle on your own and I forgot to take my camera with me. Maybe later.

I was well aware that the location I chose would be more painful than many other spots on the body. Apparently, it's because that space is just really sensitive. Really, it wasn't too terribly bad. When he was working on areas right on and right around my spine--less fat there, I guess. Then there was this one spot that made my leg jerk every time he hit it. And with all those colors and the black outline, that was a few times. Scared Chano the first time, thought I was running away (not with the thing less than half done!). After that, he learned to warn me so I could wrap my leg around the rung of the chair.

I actually had a lot of fun. The gay man that does the piercings at the shop sat and talked to me while I was sitting there. I don't know what radio station was on, but we sang all the songs together, everything from Guns 'n Roses to Staind to Van Halen (an incredibly bubble gummy David Lee Roth recording, ick).

It was great. Will I get another? No. I'm done with that, but I'm really glad I did it.
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I'm a self-righteous b#%*$---or so I'm told

The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it was discovered that they could give orders better from there. -Betty Grable

I use that quote because last week I got to give orders to someone who'd gotten a bit big for his britches. Remember, dear readers, the 12-year old? (see here, and here). Seems last week he finally got a clue. Apparently, the old adage about "he who laughs last" also applies to "he who retorts last." This is good to know.

I hadn't spoken with him in a week or more when I got a text message from him on my phone in the small hours one night. Woke me up, damn it. The text said something like "I don't know why you've gotten so cold lately. I want the warm, sweet little girl I know back." (Damn. And here I thought I'd managed to move beyond being merely "cold" right on to "completely gone" as far as he was concerned. I'm obviously losing my touch.) Well, I didn't respond. Hour later--the phone goes off again. "I wish you'd just talk to me...I don't understand what's wrong with you but I'd like to help." Oh honey, you're pissing me off now. There may be something wrong with me, but I'm not the one with problems here. Again, I didn't respond. It was 3 in the morning and I had to be up in 3 hours. Screw it. I wanted to get back to the dream with the hot guy in it.

When I got up, I responded with a note saying that this wasn't working--I didn't need someone in my life like him and would prefer he leave me alone. Hours later, at lunch...I get a text from him that clearly wasn't for me. In it, I'm called a "dam liar." I couldn't resist, as childish as it was, I had to point out that adults don't bash other adults, but if they do they spell all the words correctly (damn, not dam--what am I, a person who lies about dams??).

His response? "It wasn't for you, about you, and my phone didn't have 'damn' in its dictionary. Why don't you just stay on your perch you self-righteous bitch and leave us common folk alone?" Quickly followed by "What happened to you? You used to be so warm and caring."

Kinda hurt my feelings...am I a self-righteous bitch? I'd never describe myself as one, but then who would? Bitch, yes. Self-righteous, no. I moped for a few seconds, then considered the source.

I sent back "I'm sorry, it's terribly hard to hear the commoners from so high up on this perch. Might I suggest you just disappear?" No response. Yes..he's gone. Has been for almost 2 weeks. Praise Allah.
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Lazy morning

Happiness may well be getting to sleep a little later than usual on a Saturday morning. I'll grant that 7 a.m. isn't really all that late, but since I usually get up around 5, two extra hours makes a difference.

I got up this morning, migrated to the couch and turned on the television. The usual Saturday morning junk is on--paid programming. Half an hour of why my product is "fabulous" and better than any other you might find that does the same thing. Plus all the bonuses is if order now--making your original $49.95 purchase a $90 value--for two payments of $24.95. I just think you've got to be awfully low or hard up to get yourself involved in infomercials. They're so fake and just ridiculous.

However, I was incredibly pleased to find one of my favorite movies on this morning. The original "Dr. Dolittle" with Rex Harrison in the lead. I love it all--the Pushme-Pullyou, Sophie the heartsick seal, the plow horse that needed glasses for short-sightedness, the great sea snail. It's one of those classics that I don't think should ever have been "remade." The Eddie Murphy "Dr. Dolittle" is funny, sure (what couldn't be when the guinea pig's voice is that of Chris Rock?). But, it's just not the real thing. I'd be all for an updated version, but not one that strays so far away from the story it's supposed to be based on. Yes, I know there is such a thing as artistic license, but sometimes that license is used too freely.
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Stuff



A few weeks ago, I got to spend a week in beautiful Lawton, Oklahoma. LOL--Lawton isn't beautiful in the least. It's a boring Army/college town. The bars aren't even all that decent. Ice cream shops are pretty good though. I'd never had a rocky road milkshake before. It's really hard to suck a marshmallow or an almond up a skinny straw.

One of Lawton's "tourist attractions," is the prairie dog colony. Now, these prairie dogs aren't native to the area. The way I understand it, they were planted here by some well-meaning people in the community years ago. Now, many of the Lawtonians across the street from the park the colony inhabits find that they are often a nuisance. They're really kinda cute, kinda fun to watch, but I can see how they'd be a problem for some. Seems they occasionally cross the street and start building tunnels and rooms in peoples front yards. Safety hazard, not to mention just annoying.


***********************************

Just once, I want the contestants on a game show to tell the world that they're married to "just an okay guy/gal who is sitting at home on his ass because he's too self-absorbed to come see me play here on TV." I'm just not buying that everyone's married to fabulous spouses who are sitting on the front row of the audience.


***********************************
I know I promised to write about beetles. Sadly, the beetle pictures I took never saved on the camera (why, I don't know). The other night, I took A.C. the Wonder Dog out for the nightly walk. As we stepped out, I found this HUGE beetle on my front step. I saw huge--I'm used to fairly small ones. This one was easily 2 inches long. We're talking the size of one of those Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Yuck.
***********************************

The dear Wonder Dog is growing up. He's definitely in his terrible twos stage, and frankly, we may be stuck here. If he doesn't cool it quickly, he will be shipped off to the Grandmommy's house and left there until Granddad decides to beat his little furry butt.

I'm thinking, based on the above statement, that I'm definitely not ready to have kids. I don't like the dog messing up my stuff (and by that I mean "destroying")--what would I do with a kid?


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When the dog bites...

My favorite color: red

My favorite song: "Love Song for a Savior" Jars of Clay

My favorite Christmas carol: "Oh, Holy Night"

My favorite movie: "Gone with the Wind"

My favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird

My favorite piece of furniture: my fabulous bed

My favorite quiet spot: the beach, specifically the end of the jetties, where you can see the dolphins

My favorite food: Hm...seafood

My favorite flower: Stargazer lilies and fire and ice roses.




Tomorrow...beetles and prairie dogs. And an update on The Wonder Dog.
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Running with the devil...

This has been the longest 2 weeks in a long time.

Last week, I was in Oklahoma. I took students to camp at the university in Lawton, where Fort Sill is. Let me tell you, there's nothing to do there. Sure, there's the expected array of bars and clubs you'd find in college and military base towns. But, basically, that's it. And that stuff's not open until later anyway.

This week, I've been avoiding computers when I get home. I've been writing technology lessons all this week for school. It's been some nice work, nice pay. Lots of hours at the computer screen writing and working out kinks.

On the upside...it's Friday and on Fridays in the summer, I don't work. I don't do squat. So...today, I take the dog to the groomer, nap, eat some lunch, nap, pick up the dog, nap. Full day.

I promise a "real" post this weekend. Once I get back to a regular schedule, I'll be better at posting. Maybe.

xoxo
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UIL Debate

I coach speech and debate in Texas. From what I've gathered, maybe Shrub should've used some of his elective hours in high school to take these classes. Certainly couldn't have hurt.

Anyway, the new policy debate topic was released in January. It's a nationally-used topic, debated from anywhere from local/invitational tournaments, to state meets and the NFL's national competition. Policy debate is 2 on 2 debate, where we actually debate some policy's merit, or how to fix it.

Since so many of my dear readers are more political than I am, I'd love to get your thoughts on the new topic. It's one I can actually get into, and I bet you will too (at least a couple of you.).

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially decrease its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause.

A few thoughts on the topic can be found on the UIL site.

For those that don't know...UIL is the University Interscholastic League. It's the entity in Texas that makes us follow the rules for athletic and academic competition that the state imposes (eligibility, maintaining amateur status, etc.). It's how our kids get to go to state competitions.
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WooHoo!

For those of you that don't know...I'm a NASCAR junkie. Thanks to an ex-boyfriend, I now keep up with the races, and how my favorite racers are doing.

I've been waiting all season for this bit of news out of Illinois yesterday:

Earnhardt gets big win at Chicagoland

Frankly, he's not the only one who thought he'd go winless this year.
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Keep Austin Weird

I realize that the above slogan really doesn't have anything to do with what I'm about to tell you, but it fits.

I spent Friday and Saturday in Austin for a conference. The conference was worth it, thankfully (in education it's often a toss up). I wish I'd taken my camera with me, though.

I was up there on my own, so Friday night I decided to go to a movie. I know, I know, I could've gone to 6th Street, but I prefer not to go alone. Anyway, I went to Alamo Drafthouse. I recommend it--dinner and a movie out, all in one chair.

On the way back to the hotel, I passed a neon sign. Not such an odd thing in any city. Bright blue, obviously advertising some business. As I pull closer, I realized that the words that weren't neon-lighted read "Funeral Parlor." Hm...let me explain why I'm a little turned off by that.

First, I realize that a funeral home is a business like any other, but I find advertising that business a little morbid. Understand, though, that I live in a smallish town (low 20-something thousand people) with 2 funeral homes in it. One of them gets probably 75% of the "business" in town just because it's there. I realize in Austin, there's more competition. I guess I feel like it's something that need not be advertised, because it's not as if people "shop around" when it the time comes to pick a funeral home. But, then again, maybe they do, sounds a bit sad to me.

Second, I also realize that everyone responds to death differently, but there's just a certain decorum that I would expect from the funeral home I would select. I don't know that neon lights, even outside on the sign, portrays quite the right image. Not for me, at least.

And I know I'm a little weird.

On a totally odd ball note, let me offer a bit of advice...

If you go have the opportunity to catch a movie at Alamo Drafthouse, might I suggest that you don't go when you're a little tired. I know for me the following equation wasn't the best choice:

A little tired + a full tummy + a cold beer + a dark room + a relatively comfy chair =

falling asleep in a movie theater filled with strangers.

Fortunately, I'd seen the movie before.
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If you don't risk being garish, you risk being bland.

gar·ish (g├órsh, gr-)adj.
1. a.Marked by strident color or excessive ornamentation; gaudy.
b.Loud and flashy: garish makeup. See Synonyms at
gaudy
2. Glaring; dazzling: “Hide me from Day's garish eye” (John Milton).

bland (blnd)adj. bland·er, bland·est
1.Characterized by a moderate, unperturbed, or tranquil quality, especially:
a. Pleasant in manner; smooth: a bland smile.
b. Not irritating or stimulating; soothing: a bland diet.
c. Exhibiting no personal worry, embarrassment, or concern: told a series of bland lies.
2. a. Dull and insipid: a bland little drama.
b. Having little or no distinctive flavor: bland cooking.


*****************
In a direct email yesterday, the 12-year old mentioned in the previous post responded with the above quote, after telling me that I was a fool. Oops, didn't know he even knew I had a blog. While I must applaud him for sounding so poetic, I find myself pondering his message. If you can tell me who it's accredited to, I'll love you forever.

Now, not knowing the context, I seriously doubt that the orginal speaker was referring to relationships. There's nothing in the world wrong with being a bit bland in a relationship. Obviously, I don't mean I want a relationship that is dull all the time, there's time for that when I'm 90. But neither do I want a relationship that is loud and flashy and "in your face" to everyone around me. Frankly, I want one that is nicely balanced if not a little bit on the bland side...to outsiders at least. (wink)

I know, to an extent, humans have a tendency to be a bit "garish" at the start of relationships, especially ones we think are important. We're trying--to impress, to woo, to catch. And yes, I want to be wooed, badly. I also want to get to that point where the wooing is not quite so obvious, a tacit wooing.

Dork-boy (that would be my technical descriptor) missed the point. Sure, early on, woo me garishly---but stop before you turn me off or offend me. There's a fine line there, but geez, other men have found it, you can, too. You should hope that you impress your partner. However, I've learned that the truly impressive people are not the ones telling me how wonderful they are. If you are, I'll figure it out myself, you don't have to tell me. Feeling the need to tell me is a sign of immaturity---100% garishness in a person is a no-go.


Thank you to Dictionary.com for the definitions.
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Okay, so I'm digging here a bit. I'd like a little more interaction from all of you dear readers.

Question: Are you really only as old as you act?

Okay, so maybe not physically, and certainly not chronologically. But, I have reason to be believe that emotionally/psychologically you are only as old as you act.

Case in point, guy I dated most recently. Aside from the icky co-dependency thing (see previous post), I have a real hard time being with someone who doesn't behave as an adult more often than acting like a child. Being a kid at heart is one thing, not being an adult ever is another.

To be fair, he did behave as an adult at times--when at work, dealing with clients. Occasionally in public (very occasionally). Most of the time, though, no..not at all. He's a chef, a good one. When we'd go out to eat, he'd have to criticize things--the wait staff "auctioned" the food, the hors d'oeuvres that were catered at my friend's reception, whatever. If he wasn't criticizing food or waitstaff, he was one-upping everything I said. I shared a memory of a freakin' donut shop one evening, and he had to tell me that his mother had worked there and he had all the recipes (this had to have been when he was a kid). Who the hell cares? 12 year olds behave that way, not adults.

So, yes, I would be inclined to think you are only as old as you act.

What do you think?
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You can lead a horse to water

So, I've been seeing this guy lately. He's a good guy, though we have some rather significant differences--both in the way we think and our backgrounds. Today he tells me that he was really bothered when I dropped the bomb the other night that I "can't make him happy." I don't recall the context of the conversation, but regardless of what lead up to it, the statement is true.

No one can make anyone else be happy. You can be happy around or with someone, you can even feel happier in their presence. But no one can make someone else happy. What a horribly heavy weight to put on someone--I'm responsible for making you happy?? Talk about pressure! If it's up to me to make sure someone else is happy, it's a losing battle. I'm going to go out of my mind trying to say/do things that are certain to make him or her happy, and feel like shit when they don't work.

A statement like that is akin to telling someone "you complete me." It was cute in "Jerry Maguire," but it doesn't hold water in real life. That just suggests that God put you on this planet incomplete, and frankly I'm not buying it. God doesn't put half people down here.

What this guy isn't understanding is that I don't want someone who thinks even for a second that his happiness is contigent on my being there or that he is now somehow made whole because I'm in his life. People like that are bordering on codependent, at least in my book. I don't want to be that person that everything rides on for anyone else--it's hard enough to keep myself together sometimes! I don't have the fortitude to keep up with someone else's happiness.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that I don't want a husband one day, I do. I just don't want anyone thinking that me getting married is somehow making me more than I am. I was put on this earth with a complete heart and soul and I can only grow from there. I'd prefer to do it with someone next to me, but it shouldn't be a requirement. I shouldn't feel as though even the simplest thing I do is responsible for someone else's happiness. Sure, my actions and what all affect another's life, but they shouldn't define it.
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Pet Peeve

I know this is just me being a bit silly, but, hey--it's my blog, you know?

The elusive "anonymous" fool that's been posting on Ribalding's blog concerns me. It's not his politics or narrow-minded asinine ideas that concern me most (the way I see it, the world needs the occasional ignoramous and he is filling the role perfectly). No, it's the fact that he has no mastery of the English language. Okay, the American language.

He doesn't capitalize things that should be (Bible or Social Darwinism), he misuses words ("result" instead of "resort"), mispells words he's trying to use in his arguments (it's "Gomorrah," not "Gemora"), and doesn't know how to use punctuation. I can't take seriously someone who hasn't bothered to learn how to use the language.

Aside from the punctuation and spelling issues, one can certainly tell that, just like our esteemed President, the writer should not be allowed to speak (type) off the cuff. Everything should be approved by the speech writer.
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Thought-provoking reading

My best friend, R, hosts a blog as well. If you've been following, he's the reason I started mine--blog-envy I think it was.

R and I have often quarreled about our opinions and beliefs. Frankly, a lot of the time, I'm in total agreement with him, I just refuse to give it tacitly when I think he's being a bit arrogant and assuming he's right just because he opposes the implied majority. He thinks I'm playing him, I'm merely trying to teach him. I'm an educator by design and by training, sue me.

Regardless, he's taught me a lot, and I do love him. And, I simply have to be sure that you see a recent post of his, if only because it touched me.

Note from Constatine

It got to me. And not because I'm a Republican who needs to be reminded how to behave. Frankly, I don't identify with any political party, but I do tend to vote to the left of center. I vote issues, not party.

I also happen to be a Christian, have been for far more than half my 28 tender years. Like R says, it's my faith, my relationship with the One I believe holds a place in Heaven for me. You don't want to hear about it (hell, maybe you do, just ask, I'll share).

I happen to agree with R that too many people hanging out on the right side of center (as in direction, dear ones, not correctness) have a problem remembering what they've been taught in their respected catechisms. Jesus, and for that matter, God, never positioned themselves on the political spectrum. I mean, look at Jesus--he cavorted with people who were obviously more liberal than others (Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist), believed in public welfare programs (the Feeding of the 5,000), apparently believed in tax reform (kicking the tax collectors out of the temple), but also believed in family values and studying God's word (spent time in Temple and honored his own mother throughout his life). I'll grant I may be stretching for some of those, but then, it's all in interpretation, right?

A couple of presidential elections ago, my grandfather cornered me about my political persuasions. Now, this is the man that used to listen to Rush Limbaugh and just wait for the man to announce his intentions to run for president. He also used every visit I made to his house for 4 years to educate me about the so-called "Clinton Conspiracy." He never did understand that I'm really rather apolitical and nothing turns me off to conversation faster than having politics come up.

Well, he managed to get it out of me who I'd voted for. I went Democrat that time, for lots of reasons. He was appalled, absolutely dumbfounded. When he regained his ability to speak, he asked me how I could possibly vote that way, knowing I was going against "the family." (I nearly laughed at that later. "The Family?" What are we, the Mob?) I tried to explain my reasons. He didn't listen. He asked again how I could betray the family. I told him that I hadn't realized that family membership carried a voting requirement. His next argument dealt with how I could call myself a Christian and vote Democrat. Once I regained my composure, I told him I wasn't aware my religious affiliation was in any way limited by my political leanings. You know what made it even worse? I learned that he hadn't even voted that year--didn't get out and get to the polls. Ha.

I think what this country needs is a return to an intelligent faith--not a return to the faith that's being preached by the extremists in the so-called "Religious Right." We aren't on this planet to run around being judgemental fools. As Christians, we're called to strive to be like Jesus--or at least that's what the catechism of my church has been teaching us for years. Being like Jesus doesn't involve being exclusionary or being hateful. Quite the contrary.

For the record, I know good and well that not all Republicans behave this way, and that many Democrats are just as guilty of the behavior. Seems like the Republicans have better PR people though--we sure do hear about them more.
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Bothers me

One of my complaints as a librarian is that my students don't just read. Well, correction, they read in spurts--websites, email, blogs. Nothing that's long, unless it's assigned in class. I listened to students bitch about reading Anthem (Ayn Rand) because it was just too long.

Then I read this...

Booksellers Seeing Changes in Customers

In this world of instant gratification and digital images, people are forgetting what a pleasure simplicity can be. I read constantly, but not because I like to read books. (Hold on, I promise that will make sense.) I love reading because it doesn't produce sensory overload. I read the book and am not bombarded with images and sounds. What I see in my mind's eye is all my own creation--and I do create images and sounds for myself as I read. They're far more simplistic than what's on the television, often black and white, which I've never understood since I dream in technicolor. I get completely lost in the books that I read, every book. My best times are curled up with a good book (and a cup of tea or cocoa, maybe a man.)

Instant gratification is great for fast food and things of that ilk. Anything that's really worth having takes some time--time to find, create, discover. I love to go to bookstores (or libraries) and spend hours pawing the shelves in search of the perfect books. It makes my heart sing. And it's a simple act.

Maybe the problem is that they are too busy razing the roses to stop and smell them.
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All the news that's fit to print (ha)

It's been a while, but I once did a response post to the news. Sounds like fun today, especially since I frequent Yahoo's Odd News page. So, here we go.

Restaurant serves food in toilet bowl
In a word, yuck. Talk about your toilet humor. The only thing left, in fact, is to have teenagers giggling like idiots while there. Oh, wait, they are. Then there are the diners who stir their food up so it looks like they haven't flushed. Oh, please. I'm all for gimmicky restaurants, but this is going a bit far.

Gene change alters sex orientation in fruit flies
Fabulous, now we have scientifically-engineered homosexual fruit flies. One more thing for the right-wingers to use as fodder for their anti-gay information packets. And did they have to give details about the mating habits of flies? Really?

Fire station catches fire
Good news, it wasn't a group of amateurs, these were professionals.

Dutch Bible-belt town bans blasphemy
This from the country that legalized marijuana. What ever are we coming to?

Children's Tylenol Recalled Over Labels
Yes, it’s sad that some children may well have been made sick by a Tylenol overdose. However, it’s really saddening that parents aren’t reading the label. Exactly why would you medicate your child, any child, with even an over the counter drug without reading the label?

Found: Lost Suits for Space Spies
Imagine what else might be found if security guards were all so thorough and checked locked closets. Truly, though, this one is kinda cool. I’ve read lots of books on the early manned-space flight years in the U.S., but I don’t remember anything about a manned-reconnaissance orbitor. Pretty interesting. Just found this week’s research topic.

Scientists Study How to Tell T. Rex’s Sex
Here are your tax dollars at work—this study was partially funded by the National Science Foundation. I realize this may provide information of earth-shattering importance, but isn’t there some more immediate need that we could pour money into?

Exhibit Unwraps Science Behind Candy
At the risk of sounding a bit pedestrian—SWEET! Man I wish I lived in Pittsburgh.

Man sues for $10 million over exploding toilet
Now, who the hell smokes on the toilet? I’m not an idiot, I know people must do this, but why?
Happy Saturday to you all.
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