Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Britney Spears and the media

Quoting from MSNBC.com: “Lard and Clear,” read Monday’s headline in the New York Post. “The bulging belly she was flaunting was SO not hot,” wrote E! Online.

I can't believe I'm writing about Britney Spears to begin with, but this story has really grabbed me and won't let go. I'm no fan, and never have been. But my reason for not being a fan has less to do with not caring for the type of music being created -- it has to do with the sexualization and marketing of a now-grown CHILD by that child's parents.

How could parents possibly think that performing suggestive (ha! understatement) dance moves while singing about sexual situations while clothed in a porno version of the "innocent schoolgirl" would do anything other than cause problems? Notice how mild I'm being there? "Problems" could include relationship difficulties, substance abuse issues, ERRATIC BEHAVIOR (remember the shaved head rehab look?), and inability to make informed decisions. Any of this ring a bell?

But the issue here is actually much less obvious somehow. People are making fun of Britney Spears because they think she's FAT. And, God knows, that's the WORST THING YOU CAN BE!

Everyone knows she's had two children, but that really has little to do with this situation. The more important aspect is WHY there is such an uproar about this troubled woman's PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE body.

Let me come right out and say that I am FAT. No one would be wrong to label me as such based on the look of my body. I have dealt with all of the aspects of being fat throughout my life, including having offensive and hurtful fat epithets hurled at me by men driving by while I was walking down a street in Boston. (People can be so kind.) I've been teased, I've been frowned on, I've been avoided, I've been laughed at outright, especially if I was (God forbid!) trying to do something a fat person shouldn't do, like eat, or exercise. And though I've come a long way in self acceptance, I'd still practically sell my soul to look "normal". It's an awfully heavy burden to bear, knowing that your physical home disgusts people who aren't shy about saying so.

But what is "normal"? I look at the photos of Britney Spears on the MTV Awards and I don't see "ME". I see a young mother who, though thicker than before, is beautiful, and talented, and yes, apparently not at her best, but I don't see a FAT WOMAN.

E!, People, TMZ...all y'all -- what the hell is wrong with you people? Do you really live in a world that requires skewering the weak among us? Everyone knows Britney has problems, and big ones, but do you really have to strike at the very core of almost all women's fear...to be a physical joke...to be unacceptable??? Who do you think you are, seriously??? Let's get you up there on stage in less clothing than most people wear to the beach and see how well you measure up. I bet we could get a big audience (pun intended) that would actually pay money to "critique" your physical selves.

You know what, though? I wouldn't be in that audience, and neither would most of the "fat" people I know. Why is that, you wonder? It's called decency. It's called having the ability to put yourself in someone else's place. It's called compassion. Try dictionary.com for the definitions. It might do us all a world of good.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kroger + GLBT news + the First Amendment

Following is a letter to the editors that I've sent to the mainstream media in my area. I urge you to think about the import of this action and message and do what you can to make a difference for free speech in this country.

Regarding the story that Kroger is reviewing a contract with the company DistribuTech which distributes a local free newspaper, "Out and About". Following is a quote in Nashville's "The City Paper":

"Kroger spokesperson Melissa Eads said in a statement that the papers were removed in accordance with a company policy of not offering publications that serve political or other agendas. "We have had a long-standing policy in place that prohibits the third-party from distributing publications that promote political, religious or other specific agendas."

I am 44 years old, straight, and married. I do not feel that "Out and About" serves any kind of political, religious, or 'other specific agendas'. "Out and About" is a NEWSpaper, like "The Tennessean" is a newspaper. Krogers in our area have free newspapers that cater to parents, African Americans, etc., so I'm unclear as to the difference between these publications and "Out and About". I am neither a parent nor an African American, but I'm not bothered in the least by there being publications available in my Kroger for these particular groups of people. I just simply don't pick up free newspapers in which I have no interest, rather than insisting that my choices are more important that those of others and removing their ability to make their own decisions about what to read.

Nashville, and other cities, have other options for grocery shopping, and I will definitely take my business to Publix or any other grocer who doesn't have a policy of discrimination. I strongly urge Kroger to consider the impact of thisdecision on the wider community, and opt for tolerance, the first amendment, and freedom of choice.

I close this post with a statement from Rev. Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Update -- surgery Thursday + sister news

This is just a note to say that I won't be able to post or probably even visit here for a bit. Thursday I'll have the rotator cuff surgery I talked about before, so my left shoulder/arm will be immobilized for a while afterwards. I hope I'll be able to use my hand a bit, but don't know how that's going to be. So, fair warning -- I may not be able to respond to messages for a while.

Second, if you're the sort to pray or send good vibes or whatever, please remember my youngest sister. She has had lifelong problems with alcohol and depressive disorders, and tried to commit suicide Sunday night. She has 3 children, 9, 3, and 2. They are with a friend right now, but legally will probably revert to their father's custody. This is problematic in that he is abusive and seriously contributed to my sister's issues, and in that he has no help whatsoever for the kids. My mom is on her way up there now to see what she can do, including whether or not she can take the kids home to Florida with her "while this gets sorted out". The hope is that she might be able to foster-partent them, or adopt them even. When my sister is released from the hospital, which I hope is a long, long time from now, she will have visitation rights, but only with supervision, so she's really created a difficult situation for herself and for those who love her and her children.

We all need peace, wisdom, and guidance in this matter. All good wishes will be appreciated.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Torn rotator cuff & labrum left shoulder...

Yes, me. That's what the pesky upper arm pain turned out to be, thanks to the wonders of MRI technology. So, the surgeon who took care of me when I broke my ankle/leg, and did the miraculous carpal tunnel/deQuervain's release that alleviated a 20-year problem, will be fixing my crappy-ass shoulder.

I didn't injure it -- it just developed over time. Apparently, there is also a bone spur on my clavicle, I think, which, he said, would also irritate the biceps tendon, creating that arm pain that I thought was muscular. So, he's going to remove the labrum (cartilage) altogether, smooth the bone spur, and, because he said my arm/shoulder was "hanging by a thread" (his words!!), he's going to clean up the ragged parts and rejoin the rotator cuff itself. He may also need to de/reattach the muscle(?)...tendon(?)...one of those, I think.

Surgery is scheduled for June 14. I put it that far out because we leave for Denver next week, and will be gone for 10 days. I don't want to be looking at surgery as soon as I return, so I'm going to do it the week after. I was supposed to drive down to my niece's wedding this weekend, but I'm unable to do that now. The doctor said I can do whatever I feel like doing, but that if anything hurts, don't do it, literally, because I could further injure my shoulder and create a much more acute situation. So, no driving for any length of time. And especially not in hubby's car, which is a stick-shift and has a sporty suspension. (Read: bumpier ride) He's got a band gig this weekend, and has to have the van to load and carry all of his equipment.

Life just gets more and more interesting, doesn't it?

Sister news

Well, color me wrong. I did see my sister and she is still, indeed, alive. As it turns out, it was *NOT* DUI for which my sister was arrested, but she had been drinking. Here's what happened after this:

The DCFS became involved in the case because she left the 3 children at home alone asleep, minutes before her ex was due home. Therefore, the DCFS will not allow her to be alone with her children -- and thankfully so. In order to not have had to put the kids into foster care, they were allowed to stay with her and their dad, if the dad wouldn't leave her alone with them. You'd think this would make him happy, but noooooooooooo -- he was put out that he had to be "inconvenienced" by having to take the kids places, etc. So, he left her alone with the kids. He left her alone with them the last time just minutes after meeting with the DCFS caseworker, during which time he refused to go to anger management counseling, saying that he was not the one with the problem...SHE was. So, I urged my sister to report that she'd been left alone. And she did. And that resulted in the caseworker calling me to ask if I could come get the children!! I told people this would happen, but the people directly involved wouldn't believe me....

The dad wouldn't agree to let them go out of state (especially not to me, the person he hates most in our family), so they called my mom, asking if she could come up to stay with them until a safety plan is no longer needed. There was a meeting set up between my mom, sister and the caseworker for when my mom got up there, so I decided to join them. I learned that the dad had been spanking the children for crying, and telling my sister that if she didn't spank them when they cried, HE would do it worse. He also had been going through her purse, her cell phone, etc., and when she told him not to, he shoved her against the wall. I suggested at the meeting that, since my sister really didn't want to be with him, and he was no longer on the 'safetey plan', she didn't have to live with him. I also learned that he's at least 3 months behind on his mortgage, so that the mortgage company is calling him many times per day, so I don't know where they'd have been living soon, anyway!

I helped get her moved, and went with her to court to apply for an emergency restraining order to keep him away from the kids -- she already had one herself. This came about because he "stalked" us the night we moved her out. We stayed in a hotel in the area, because I knew he'd come looking, and I also had my mom and sister hide their vehicles in different locations. I was in my hubby's car, which I knew he had never seen, so that's the one we left in the hotel lot. Sure enough, we saw him driving through the parking lot, so I made my sister report it to the police. The next day we went for the restraining order.

DCFS is requiring her to attend alcohol counseling 3 x per week, attend AA, and she'll also be required to attend domestic violence counseling at some point. My oldest niece will also receive counseling and be taken to Alateen or Alatot, depending on the age requirements. The caseworker visits 4 x per week, and my sister has gotten a job on the Alzheimer's floor of a nursing home, doing activities with the patients there. She looks markedly better and healthier than she did when I saw her last. She claims to enjoy her job, though she's not crazy about the people doing the counseling. This is because the first night she attended, the person doing her counseling was saying how much she hated her job, how she was looking for something else, and asked my sister if she knew of any job openings!!! So, I can't say that I blame her for that one.

This weekend we drove up to visit mom and sister, and it was a big improvement over the last time I was there, in terms of her appearance and the way the apartment was put together. Clearly some kind of progress is being made, for what it's worth. Today was the hearing for the permanent restraining order for the kids. I am disappointed but not terribly surprised that, not only was she not given a restraining order for the kids, they REVOKED the one she has for herself. I haven't gotten to speak directly to my mom or sister since they left that message, but I'm guessing that it was revoked because she moved back in with him. Can't say as I blame the judge -- she made her bed... Trouble is, her bed is the kids' bed, too. Though I did tell her face to face, eye to eye when I was there before that I would sue for custody of the kids if she does anything to endanger their safety -- mental, spiritual, or physical -- EVER again. She hung her head a bit and said "I understand".

So, there you have it. Time will tell in this case. Accountability is an excellent thing.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Not enough words to describe

Today I am writing a very difficult post about my family and me. Some of you are directly familiar with this story because you know me. Others of you may be familiar with this due to your own family issues. Either way, I wish this wasn't why I needed to write today.

I am afraid, down to my soul, that I will never see my youngest sister alive again.

My sister is an alcoholic, probably abuses other substances, and most likely has a borderline personality disorder. Given these parameters, it is highly unlikely that she will ever be able to receive effective treatment. Also, given her history, including current, the outlook is equally dim. Last night or this morning, she was picked up for DUI. She has moved back in with her abusive ex, vowing to make it work this time, but before the week was out, she waited until he was out of the house and the kids were alseep and she took off in the car for God only knows where. Only this time, she got picked up for DUI, meaning THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME SHE'S DONE THIS; this is just the first time she's been arrested for this and thrown in jail. I believe she's had other kinds of charges in the past (drunk & disorderly conduct? who knows?), because I know she was taken in handcuffs from a bar fight to the psych ward of the hospital in that town. I suspect that means arrested, but, since I've never had encounters of that sort with the law myself, and especially not in her state, I couldn't tell you if that's right or not.

I guess this post is really about me, and how do I handle the depth of sadness that I feel while still maintaining my boundaries AND trying to help get answers to complicated questions as it seems as though our family is going to have to do a full blown intervention on this very sick woman.

I've settled down a bit since I first learned of Melissa's latest news from my Mom this morning. I was actually calling Mom to tell her I have pneumonia and a sinus infection. I was even on my way to physical therapy at the time -- I have fibromyalgia and am having a particularly annoying pain in my left arm that we are trying to figure out whether an MRI of the shoulder is in order now. Anyway, I was truly surprised, and then surprised at my own surprise, when I learned of what my sister did. Mom, I'm proud to say, was fairly close to emotionless when she gave me the details. She said that Melissa had commented before that she'd never had to pay the consequences of anything she ever did in her life, and Mom said she herself now realized she'd always been the one to save her, or to have me to go save her. That was a pretty big admission, and a pretty difficult awareness to have about oneself.

I've left messages with three friends in various positions of clinical therapeutics and social work to try to find a place that would admit my sister long term with Illinois Medicaid. I also need to find out what the laws are in Illinois regarding child custody in a situation like this -- they have joint custody but she is the resident parent. Then, if that information can be gotten, we have to have a family trip to Illinois to confront her and her ex, whether he likes it or not. She is going to die if something doesn't help her, and we are convinced that the only thing that will help is long term therapy. Naturally HE doesn't want her in a facility -- who would take care of the kids and take his abuse on a daily basis? My parents have offered to take the kids *TEMPORARILY* while my sister gets help, but he won't hear of it. He said he couldn't stand for them to be so far away. What he really means is that he would have nothing over Melissa without those kids. If it weren't for the kids, she wouldn't "need" him. He doesn't want the kids --- he wants HER.

I am very blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive husband as my Arnie. Bless his heart, he loves my family, but he's ALL about me. He lets me know in word and deed that he'd move heaven and earth to change this situation if he could, but his support alone is the greatest gift he could give me. Add to that the support and love of my friends and church community (many of whom are receiving this as an email instead of just a blogpost), and I am overflowing with joy in that area. It's very hard to be both physically ill and emotionally stressed, because you can't be around people when you'd most like to have them around you. (I hope that made sense -- I'm under the influence of cough syrup, but NOT driving.)

Any wisdom or information or even spells would be welcome at this point, along with good thoughts and prayers. My brother and other sister all spoke to each other today, and they share my sadness as well as supporting me, as I do them. Folks, in case you don't know it, alcoholism is a family disease, and it's progressive. It never gets cured, though it can be treated. Treatment of body and soul is my sister's only hope here, and therefore the hope of my entire family.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I know it was a bummer, and just realized it's Friday the 13th. How very apropos.

Monday, March 26, 2007

It's been a while

Sorry to any of you who have been anxiously awaiting another post from me. Getting over the carpal tunnel surgery has been a little more draining than I'd realized. While the pain from the CTS is gone, the pain from the surgery part itself has not, though it is getting better. One thing I've learned is that our hands are exceptionally intricate as to how the muscles/tendons/ligaments/nerves all work together. It's amazing to discover by trying to do something that x-activity = 17 different aspects of the hand working in concert. Quite a cool discovery, really, but still, one I'd rather not have had to make.

Today I had to post this in honor of my kitty Roger and my friend Tater:

It's obvious why this was for Roger, but the reason it was also for Tater is because she gets so tickled over pictures like this with little sayings on them, and now, I'm addicted too! If you are like us, in our easily-amusedness, you can find more of these at:

There are many other sites that feature these "lolcats", but I love the Cheezburger site the most.

More posts to come regarding future travel plans.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Survival and success

Can you hear the crescendo of Barry Manilow's full orchestra as he belts out, half a step higher than the last bar, "Looks like we MADE it......."? I can, cuz, we did!. Well, we, meaning, I made it. :) And I did have general anesthesia after all, which is all the more reason to be happy for things going well. I confessed here, I think, my fear of "going under", but, fortunately, my fears were not realized in any way.

The anesthesiologist very logically and patiently explained to me that, more than likely, the reason I had trouble with my blood pressure elevating so much during the sinus surgery I had last was because of the use of epinephrine and cocaine in the nasal cavity, and he felt 99.9% certain that I would not experience those problems again as long as substances like that were not involved, and they weren't. So yayayayayay for that anesthesiologist and his ability to explain things well to neurotics like me. :)

I'm healing, but can't spend much time doing things like this, so I'm closing my brief note with a very large thank you to anyone who uttered prayers or good wishes for a successful outcome and speedy recovery. It's working!!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Hey friends in Blog-o-land, I have a request. I would appreciate good thoughts, vibes, and/or prayers of any religious persuasion tomorrow, March 1, as I'm undergoing some minor surgery. I'm having a carpal tunnel release, which apparently looks like this:

From the site: http://www.sorehand.com/carpal-tunnel-syndrome.htm

I'm also having a DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis release on the same (right) hand. The following graphic is from : http://www.handuniversity.com/topics.asp?Topic_ID=45

Anywho, I know it shouldn't be any big deal, but still....one can't help but have a bit of anxiety.

I'll have an update posted sometime tomorrow, though I can't swear that the typing will be coherent. ;) It may be funny as hell, though, so that alone is something to look forward to!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Tenth Anniversary being a Non-Smoker

Ten years ago today I made one of the best decisions of my life. I quit smoking. I quit cold turkey and I've never (thankfully) had any real desire to start back. Not to say that, if cigarette smoking were not harmful, I wouldn't joyfully resume, but we all know that's not the case, so I remain tobacco-free.

Why did I quit? Because I was ready to. I had smoked since I was a teenager, first stealing my parents' cigarettes, and then, moving in to buying my own. I cringe to think of that now, but it is what it is. I loved smoking -- I loved the feel of it, the way it looked, the calming I felt when inhaling that (nasty) smoke. I also liked the feeling of being a rebel, doing what people told me not to do, being a little bit on the edge.

I tried to quit a couple of times. Once, I quit for a few days because I was too hungover to smoke. Now, that has to conjure up a picture that isn't pretty, as well it should. In my pitiful defense, let me add that this was the New Year's Day that I was supposed to see my first ex-lover and his new wife at a gathering, and I think that knowledge goaded me into consuming way too much alcohol. Duh, you say. Yes, you're right -- duh! Funny thing is, he didn't even attend the gathering, and actually, neither did I, because I was feeling like roadkill myself. I resumed smoking within a few days.

The second time I tried to quit was during my first marriage -- the marriage to the emotionally abusive alcoholic. In fact, we both attempted to quit at the same time. BIG mistake. HUGE. The ensuing tension we both felt fed upon itself, and made me realize in just short of a day's time that there was no way we would survive each other if we both quit at the same time. So, we started smoking again.

The last time I quit was on this day 1o years ago, when I had bronchitis with a sinus infection AGAIN. Now, I've always had sinus infections, ear infections, etc., since infancy, so that alone was not anything new. But this time, it hurt too much to inhale that poisonous smoke, thank goodness. I had spoken with my family doctor perhaps a year prior to this date to ask him for help in quitting. That was when you had to have a prescription for "The Patch". He told me, very wisely, that he would give me the prescription, but he urged me NOT to fill it just yet. His advice to me was that I "needed to get my head right" about this first, that no amount of chemical help was going to be worthwhile until and unless I was completely ready to take this step. As it turned out, I never had to fill that prescription.

I still have two siblings who smoke, and it tears me up to think about. My brother has a lifelong history of asthma, and my sister has a son with asthma. She herself has been battling repeated upper respiratory problems this year especially, and her little son needs breathing treatments on a fairly regular basis. I know this is at least in part because of her smoking around him. I've tried to be as supportive and encouraging as I know how to be, because I truly do understand how hard it is to quit and how much you really enjoy those cigarettes. But if I could accomplish one positive thing in my life, it would be to help these two precious loves of my life overcome their addiction and habit.

So, if you think of it, raise a glass for me today, and say a little prayer for my brother and sister. If I could do it, and my other sister could do it, the other two can -- I just know it.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Apparently, a punny week....

Musical joke
A C, an E-flat, and a G go into a bar.

The bartender says: "Sorry, but we don't serve minors." So, the E-flat leaves, and the C and the G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished: the G is out flat. An F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough. A D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a second." An A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor. Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and exclaims: "Get out now! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight." The E-flat, not easily deflated, comes back to the bar the next night in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender (who used to have a nice corporate job until his company downsized) says: "You're looking sharp tonight, come on in! This could be a major development." This proves to be the case, as the E-flat takes off the suit, and everything else, and stands there au naturel. Eventually, the C sobers up, and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. The C is brought to trial, is found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an upscale correctional facility. On appeal, however, the C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless. The bartender decides, however, that since he's only had tenor so patrons, the soprano out in the bathroom, and everything has become alto much treble, he needs a rest -- and closes the bar.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Where are you?

make your own map at: www.modmyprofile.com
Can anyone see this map? I can't when I view it, but I'm not sure if that's just me, or what. :) Could one of you lovely people let me know? Thanks!

Monday, February 19, 2007

WARNING -- Punny post ahead

With permission from Kayakdave from ApplachianGreens, I submit the following. Remember, you were warned....

{AppalachianGreens} "Got these in E-mail."

(1) King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan. Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it.""But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!" Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."

(2) Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. However, all the Swiss league records were unfortunately destroyed in a fire, and we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

(3) A man rushed into a busy doctor's office and shouted "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!!" The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."

(4) A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately, he was arrested and charged with transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

(5) Back in the 1800s the Tates Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products and, since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of the expression, "He who has a Tates is lost!"

(6) A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the toilets and urinals, leaving no clues. A spokesperson was quoted as saying, "We have absolutely nothing to go on."

(7) An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin trip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

(8) A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely saying, "I must have taken Leif off my census."

(9) There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant, and the first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This goes to prove that the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.

(10) A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal brujo who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the brujo looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, who needs enemas?"
(By the way, the guy who wrote these 10 puns entered them in a contest. He figured with 10 entries, he couldn't lose. As they were reading the list of winners, he was really hoping one of his puns would win, but unfortunately, no pun in ten did.)

In honor of Squirrel Squad Squeeks

From the site : http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/snider-todd/beer-run-13882.html
(Best sung at the top of one's lungs)

Artist/Band: Snider Todd
Lyrics for Song:
Beer Run
Lyrics for Album:
Other Songs

B-double E double R U-N-beer run
B-double E double R U-N-beer run
all we need is a ten and five-er,
car and key and a sober driver,
B-double E double R U-N-beer run
a couple of frat guys from abilene
drove out all night to see Robert Earl Keen
at the K-pei swine and sworay dance-
they wore baseball caps and khaki pants-
they wanted cigarettes-so to save a little money-
they got one from this hippie who smelt kina funny
and-next thing they knew they were both pretty hungry-
and pretty thirsty tooo
B-double E double R U-N-beer run
B-double E double R U-N-beer ru-unn

all we need is a ten and five-er,
car and key and a sober driver,
B-double E double R U-N-beer run

found a store with a sign-said
there beer was coldest-so they sent
in Brad- cause he looked the oldest
-he got a case of beer and a candy bar
-walked over to where all them registers are
layed his fake id on the countertop
the clerk looked, he turned up, he looked he stopped.
he said "son, I'm not gonna call the cops, but im gonna
have to keep this card"-
the guys both took it pretty haard
B-double E double R U-N-beer run
B-double E double R U-N-beer ru-un

oh how happy we would be-
had we only brought a better fake id
B-double E double R U-N-beer run

they found this nother old hippie named
sleepie john-claimed to be the one from the Robert
Earl Keen song
so they gave him all their cash-he bought em some brew
-was a beautiful day out in Santa Cruz
they were feelin' so good it shoulda been a crime-
the crowd was cool and the band was prime
they made it back up front to their seats just in time
so they could sing with all their friends
they sang-"the rode goes on forever and the party
never eends"
B-double E double R U-N-beer run

all we need is a ten and a five-er car and
key and a sober driver
B-double E double R U-N-beer run

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith and Kim Nowak

I have to weigh in on the media frenzy surrounding these two women. I can't hold my tongue any longer, so, fair warning -- rant on the way.

I am very disappointed in the number of people who seem to take great pleasure in ridiculing these two women. The really disappointing part is that many of the people who are taking part in this are supposedly respectable people. I would have thought that part of respectability would have included compassion, but perhaps I should now go find the definition for "respectable", because I certainly don't see much evidence of compassion in the things I've read about Anna Nicole Smith and Kim Nowak (astronaut).

Naturally, their behavior has been less than exemplary, at least in the good sense. If anything, they both serve as cautionary tales for women for different reasons. Anna Nicole seemed to lack any kind of moral barometer; Ms. Nowak seemed to lack a sense of propriety.

My take on Anna Nicole is that she had the idea that she was worth no more than what she could parlay with her body. Yes, she was pretty, but that prettiness came with a heavy (no pun intended) price tag -- she had to maintain it. It's one thing when you're in your late teens to early twenties, but quite another when you're over 30 - 35 and not quite as lithe or juvenile-looking as you were a decade or so ago. She had a lot of help with her delusional self-image -- many men and probably more than a few women certainly gave her the idea that all she had to do was look & act pretty and the world would be her oyster. But then reality set in -- she gained weight. We all know that's the worst thing a woman can do if she wants to be considered pretty. (I certainly hope you pick up on the semi-sarcastic tone here.) The media and people in general took great pleasure in her becoming heavier, as though this was something she "deserved".

As a woman who has battled weight issues since childhood, I know what it's like to be discounted and overlooked based on the way my body looks. In my case, the biggest problem was probably that people at times grossly underestimated my intelligence and abilities. I always felt like an outsider, a geek, a person who was unworthy, and not as "good" as other girls. To this very day I still find myself feeling a little intimidated around new people, especially people I admire and want to like me, and most especially if they are "pretty" women. Make that, "normal" women. I admitted this the other day to a friend, and learned that she always felt out of place herself, but because people assumed that she was just another pretty face, a piece of meat. Flip sides of the same coin, don't you think? Now, I've come a long way toward self-acceptance, and, frankly, I've lost 30 lbs since October. Guess how I did that? By INCREASING the amount I eat daily. Apparently, I have been eating too few calories to even allow weight loss in the false belief that not eating much would lead to weight loss. It was metabolic testing at the hands of an Endocrinologist that began helping me unravel the complex diet/weight history I've acquired. If only I'd been educated long ago -- or maybe if only my parents had been educated long ago...I don't know. Bottom line, I have better info now and I'm putting it to good use. But enough about me....

Kim Nowak, on the other hand, seemed like a woman who had it "all". She was an astronaut who actually walked in space. She was a wife, a mother, and who knows what all else. But for some reason, that wasn't enough. She developed a love rivalry around another astronaut, and made the dangerous decision to try to eliminate her "rival". Clearly, she'd thought through her intentions, but definitely not the consequences. Why did this intelligent, accomplished, heroic woman feel it necessary to act in a manner best suited for a high school gym? Why wasn't it ENOUGH to be who she was already? Why did she feel it necessary to be MORE than Superwoman? Now all anyone can focus on about this amazing woman is the fact that she (ingeniously) wore a diaper on her cross-country drive to enable her to avoid as many stops as possible.

I saw where someone wrote that they wondered where Ms. Nowak's girlfriends were who could have told her not to follow through with her idiotic and very ill-conceived ideas about revenge. I think they were where Anna Nicole's friends were -- non-existent.

Here's what I'm sayin' -- what does it say about our society that these things happen, and then that people seem to delight in the misfortunes of those who CLEARLY HAVE EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS??? What don't we understand about compromised mental health, whether by the choice of taking/abusing substances or by just plain bad luck with brain chemistry? Does no one remember that both of these women left CHILDREN in their wake? What about them? What will they feel when they read the nasty snide things people say about their Moms??? They didn't get a choice in that, but they will pay the price for their mothers' mistakes for the rest of their lives. They can't escape it.

I guess I'm still aching from so many family deaths in this last year -- if we can make it till February 19 without another passing, then we can say we only lost 6 people in our family this year. Six people that are mourned, warts and all. Six people who meant something to me, to my family. I'm probably being overly-sensitive, but I just find myself sad for these women and their utter confusion about their worth.

And, I just think it's wrong to make fun of people, public figures or not. Anna Nicole Smith and Kim Nowak were real people with real families and friends and feelings, just like all of us. I just wish we could all have a little more compassion, a little more consideration, a little more walking in the shoes of the current laughing stock on the news. A wise man once said "That which you do to the least of these, you do to me..." Makes you think....


Thursday, February 8, 2007


The word of the day is CHRISTIAN. Recently, I've begun to ponder the ways in which that particular word is used sometimes more in reference to one's behavior or state of morality, so I wanted to see exactly what a widely accepted dictionary would have to say. Below are two entries that I found at Dictionary.com.

Chris·tian [kris-chuhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1.of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.
2.of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ: Spain is a Christian country.
3.of or pertaining to Christians: many Christian deaths in the Crusades.
4.exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike: She displayed true Christian charity.
5.decent; respectable: They gave him a good Christian burial.
6.human; not brutal; humane: Such behavior isn't Christian.
7.a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity.
8.a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ: He died like a true Christian.
9.a member of any of certain Protestant churches, as the Disciples of Christ and the Plymouth Brethren.
10.the hero of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.
11.a male given name.

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source Chris·tian (krĭs'chən) Pronunciation Key
  1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
  2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
  3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
  4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
  5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.

  1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
  2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.
This information became more important to me last week, when a dear friend who was the absolute pillar of our church died suddenly in the early morning hours of Thursday, February 1, of a massive heart attack. This is how my late husband died, so it follows that this death struck even closer to home than some.

This man, this pillar of our church, who cooked for everyone, who coordinated church-wide events ranging from a yearly auction to block parties in the parking lot to the annual Thanksgiving dinner available to one and all, so that no one had to be alone on holidays -- this man that I'm describing was Gay. He was also in a loving, completely committed relationship for nearly 20 years. His partner was and is equally as generous with his time and efforts with our church community, and I've learned that they were both also very active in their own neighborhood, caring for elderly neighbors as you might a beloved aunt or grandmother. My friend's greatest love was senior citizens, and, each quarter, he and all the helpers he could get would prepare a beautiful, elegant and very nutritious brunch, just for seniors. Some of these folks were unable to come to services often, due to various disabilities, but my friend made sure they had transportation to his brunch, so that they would be reminded that we loved them and hadn't forgotten them. I've only gotten to participate in the help for the brunch once, but I'm certainly going to be participating in the future events.

I say all of these things because some of his family members not only ostracized him from the family, but also condemned and criticized him, his partner, our church, and even the tone of his Life Celebration Service (his wishes were followed to not have anything morbid and to remember to celebrate life, not mourn death). These people, his family, call themselves Christians. They even mostly belong to the church of Christ.

Based on my experience of this beautiful man, my understanding of "Christian teachings", and now the specific definitions of what the word "Christian" means, I believe that my friend, the gay man, was the Christian, NOT those who claimed to be but yet had not one ounce of charity in their hearts.

I don't know if what I'm writing will mean anything to anyone else, but I had to say these things for myself. I loved my friend -- I love his partner -- and I am honored to have been, with my husband, the person called first after the minister was called. I'm honored to have spent from 6am Thursday morning until 8pm Saturday night, ministering to (not my term) a human being in the agony of loss. I consider myself exceptionally fortunate and blessed to be someone another can turn to for comfort. That, my friends, is the mark of a successful life.

Please remember to love one another as you love yourselves. And if that means you need to do a better job of loving yourself, well, DO IT. You can't help anyone else if you yourself are drained and struck to the bone with sorrow or fatigue or sickness. We all need each other -- in "real life" and here online. It was my online life and my online friends who got me through those first bleak months after I lost my husband. It was online, too, that I found my current beloved hubby. Love is love -- doesn't matter how it developed or whether it's romantic/platonic/paternal/maternal, etc. John Lennon said "Love is all we need", and I think he had it right.

Peace, and, in case I haven't told you -- I love you! You blogfriends out there -- yes, Y'ALL!!! I LOVE YOU ALL, and am so grateful to count you among my REAL friends.


Sunday, February 4, 2007

About what I figured

I am:
"You're probably one of those chicken-littles who thinks maybe we should worry a little bit, occasionally, about the fate of the planet that our lives all depend on."

Are You A Republican?

I just had a conversation with my cousin this afternoon about political parties, and whether we were Democrats or Republicans. I told her I was a Democrat, but then I had to correct myself and say that I really tended to vote based on issues, not parties. She said she did the same.

So when I saw this little quiz on Appalachian Greens' blog, I thought I'd check to see what the results were. Try it yourselves and see what it says. It might surprise you.


Thursday, February 1, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Attention Blues Fans!!!

International Blues Challenge -- Memphis, TN
Thursday, February 1 - 3, 2007

See this woman? This is MELISSA SIGLER.

I have the great privilege of calling Melissa my friend, my sister, and my inspiration, not to mention my favorite Blues Mama and Zydeco Cajun Hot Tamale!! She's competing in the Solo/Duo category of the International Blues Challenge, which is an annual event put on by The Blues Foundation. She earned the honor of representing the Music City Blues Society, which is our local organization here in Nashville. Incidentally, the motto of the MCBS is: If you don't dig the blues, you got a hole in your soul! Naturally, we're members, since Hubby is a rockin' blues & boogie piano man from way back.

If you have any opportunity whatsoever to catch Melissa on stage in Memphis, DO IT. JUST DO IT. You will *NOT* be sorry. Melissa is a consummate entertainer, gifted songwriter, and has a voice like rich, smoky velvet. Further, she has attitude, and a sense of humor, which are just a few of the many things I love about her.

We here in Music City will be eagerly awaiting our Chanteuse's return; we completely expect her to blow the competition away and probably receive offers of all kinds to run off and leave us, but I promised to personally whip her ass if she tried. ;) She was appropriately intimidated. lol

So, go see my girl! Buy her CDs!!! Avail yourself of the unique opportunity of getting to say you knew her when, because, and trust me on this, this woman is going far.

Break a leg, Miss Sigler -- but *not* literally. I can't lend out my crutches just yet!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Crazy-cool videos from bored graphic artists

Trust me, it's well worth your while to check out these videos!

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Or, as Steve Martin once sang: R - A - M - B - L - I - N...........apostrophe! :D Does anyone else remember that? From "Let's Get Small"? I have *all* of his LPs -- and yes, it's *that* Steve Martin, if anyone's asking.

Anywho, this is a ramblin' post today. Can't find just one subject that's occupying my thoughts today, so I just want to make some random statements/observations/etc.

First, I GOT MY CAST OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even tell you how FREE I feel now! After a month -- that's right, people -- ONE WHOLE MONTH -- of not being able to drive, not being able to go downstairs in my own house, or basically not being able to leave the house unless some gracious person was willing to drive me, I'm finally FREE AT LAST!!!!! So far, I've used my freedom for good -- I've been to the grocery store (with hubby), and to church today to attend a meeting for all the teachers in the Religious Education program. (Hubby & I teach preschool & kindergarten.) Tomorrow I plan a wild day of going to church, then out to lunch with the GLBT+Friends group, and then home to prepare for our turn to host "Dinners for 9". That's a deal set up by the Fellowship Committee that matches up, from those who indicated interest, 9 people to have a meal together in someone's home each month, rotating through all of the group members. Today I've already put together my utterly fabulous (I have witnesses!) Vegetarian Chili, so tomorrow won't be so stressful.

We signed up for Dinners for 9 not really knowing what to expect, or who to expect, for that matter. We live a good distance from our church, and there aren't a whole of other members who live out this way, so just getting to know those near us was benefit enough. But it's turned out to be a lot more fun than we imagined! The people in our group range from their mid-30s to their 80s. We have four educators, three of whom are college-level, one of whom is a Driver's Ed teacher! Then there's the retired Psychologist, the nurse, the college administrator, and the Special Ed teacher. My hubby is a consultant for our state's Public Service Commission, and is currently serving on a couple of task forces requested by the Governor. I am currently not working. But, just to be different, we actually have 10 in our group, because we have a hubby who decided to join in with his wife without having signed up, so we have a more round group than usual.

These folks are all becoming good and better friends. We're discovering a great variety of things we have in common and are talking about keeping our little group together in the future, though we're supposed to change up each year. Nothing says we can't have our own little dinner parties in addition! At first I was nervous about this, about making a commitment to be with people regularly that I didn't know very well, but I overcame my innate reserve when it comes to certain kinds of social functions, and I've had a marvelous time. I'm so glad we did this. I know I've gotten more out of this than anyone else, and I'm grateful for the opportunity.

One thing our church is good about is putting people together, and gently challenging our comfort levels. I can't believe all the things I've gotten involved in with this group -- I've never done things like this before, and I'm so happy to be able to participate in meaningful ways for meaningful purposes. One of our greatest sources of pleasure has become our Religious Education class. There are usually about 10 children in our class, and most are regulars. We get the unique privilege to get to know these little people just as people -- not as our children, or our nieces/nephews, etc. And they get to know adults they can trust who are not part of their immediate families, which, I think, is very beneficial. I know that, as a child, I could frequently tell other adults things that I could not tell my own parents. Or maybe other adults would view my emotions differently, more positively, than my own parents did. It's my belief that children always need unrelated, trustworthy adults in their lives, and I'm happy to serve that purpose for these kids.

New topic: Do any of you use social bookmarking services, like del.icio.us? I'm way hooked on that one myself. If you're interested, look for the email address associated with this blog to find my bookmarks.

I've been playing with newsfeeds lately, and have discovered a whole wealth of fascinating information just a click or two away. In fact, I read *YOUR* blogs via Feedreader, if you have a feed. The only thing that really bites is that I can't comment via the feed -- which is why you may not have seen a lot of comments from me lately. I read you -- don't think for a minute that I don't!

One reason I'm really enjoying this whole feedreader experience is because I can glance, very quickly, through lots of stories and choose the ones I want more details about without having to search & search for the info. My near-favorite feed category is "Lifehacks" -- i.e. tips and tricks for how to better live your life in almost every aspect. (No, this isn't some kind of Amway thing -- just good, practical, and sometimes unusual advice on life issues of all kinds.) Also, having it all aggregated cuts down on wasted surfing time. I wish I had jumped on this bandwagon sooner, but, better late than never!

I miss knitting, and hope to get back into it. "Just pick up your needles and some yarn!", you say. Oh, if it were only that easy. I have tons of everything I could possibly need when it comes to knitting supplies, but what I don't have is motivation, or enough motivation, maybe. I find cool patterns, I have cool yarn, but I don't have cool initiative. I also have wrist and thumb issues, which I know to be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for the wrist, and think the thumb problem is something like DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis. Hubby had that himself, and was treated first with cortisone injections, and then surgery, which relieved the pain completely. I see the same ortho that treated Hubby in two weeks -- this is also the doc that took care of my leg, so I medically-love him anyway. I don't want surgery, necessarily, but I do want my right hand to quit giving me a hard time, so I'll trust the doc to decide the best thing. Maybe THEN I'll be able to get my knitting freak on. And take some more classes, too.

One thing I haven't blogged about yet is reconnecting with some family members whom I haven't been in touch with for more than 20 years. I have a cousin who is one year older than I am, though her father and my grandfather were brothers. I guess this either makes us second cousins or first cousins, once removed. I don't know the difference -- do any of y'all?

Anyway, after my uncle died in December, I was speaking with my aunt about genealogy. She got in touch with one of her cousins, who then sent me the entire family tree, all the way back to 1768!!! I had no idea anyone had this information until this distant relative emailed it to me, so it was quite a joy for me to receive. But, that's not the best part.

The same evening that I received the genealogy data, I received an email from that one-year-older cousin, out of the blue. I had no idea anyone knew where she was, so it never occurred to me that we might reconnect. She was so happy to find me, and said she'd missed me like crazy and loved me to pieces and really hoped we could get together soon. Well, I cried with joy. (I'm like that, y'all -- wayyyyyyy sentimental) I wrote her back right away and told her that I felt exactly the same way and couldn't wait to see her. I also went back and found some old family pictures that dear Hubby had scanned and placed online for us a while back that I shared with her via email. You would have thought I'd given my cousin the Taj Mahal! That's because she and her sister had absolutely no pictures of themselves when they were children, and I did!!! SEE?!?!? That's why it's good to be a packrat sometimes!

That very weekend of our virtual reunion, Hubby and I dug out all of the old family pics we had, and we began to sort and scan them. I have no clue how many photos we ended up handling that weekend, but every single one of them has been shared with every family member we could get an email address for, including great-grandchildren, and far off relatives we didn't even know we had. Now my cousin calls me several times a week and also calls my brother, who is equally as thrilled to be back in touch with these girls. We are trying to figure out a time/place to meet up as soon as possible. The next step will be to try to put together an all family reunion. I guess the older you get, the more family can matter.

Bottom line? I feel a lot more at peace with myself and the world being reconnected to half of my ancestry. Now, I need to go back before that dude in 1768 and figure out if we're royalty or something. Surely we have some hotshot in our past that left us an estate and title somewhere, don't you think? I've practiced my Queen-with-a-purse-on-her-arm-and-long-gloves-while-wearing-a-dignified-if-large-tiara wave for as long as I can remember, so I'm ready to assume my responsibilities as (Insert fancy title here) Suzanne of (Insert royal sounding estate name here)hamshire. Just be sure I get staff with that. That's all I'm saying.

Another love of my life is the Fine Tuning channel on XM radio. They play THE most eclectic mix of music I've ever heard, other than when I have filled a 51 disc CD changer with CDs and put it on random play. One minute it will be "Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairy"; the next it will be Frank Zappa. Now, you tell me, can it get much more diverse than that??? I just wish I could download XM channels/music to my brand new MP3 player.

Oh! I get to actually enjoy it now!!! Now that I can walk again, I need to load up my brand new Christmaversary present from Hubby!! (Our anniversary is 12/20, and we decided that we'd celebrate that and xmas together on the 20th, since we usually visit family at the holidays anyway) I haven't wanted to even look at it yet because it just killed me that my newly adopted and goingverywell,thankyou walking regime was interrupted by le broken leg. But, now I'm no longer encumbered, so I need to hop to it, as it were. Before you even say it, yes, I know I do not have the strength or stamina that I had built up to before the fall, but I am determined not to lose the progress I'd made. I was so happy today to put on a pair of "real" (i.e. not having to have bell bottoms) pants that I had just been able to get back into and find that I have not gained any weight during this month, even though I've basically been sedentary the entire time.
This was a huge relief, which I'll go into at another time.

So, that's the news/ramblin' from near the Cumberland Dam, which may or may not give way at some point in the future. I hope all of my blog friends out there, and my non-blog friends, too, have a lovely week and have every good thing occur for you and yours. Keep the faith, mah peoples! Life is good, even if it does a damn good act of concealing that fact from us sometimes.

Love, and peace!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thinking Out Loud

OK, wrong gender in the pic, but you get the idea. I'm in thought these days, probably because I have little else that I can effectively do until this walking cast comes off. PLEASE let that be tomorrow when I see the Ortho doc again!

What am I thinking about, you ask? (You DID ask, didn't you?) Everything. Everything, all swirled up and conglomerated into a blur of questions and ideas. One of my biggest, lifelong questions revolves around a working life. I have never been able to identify any one, or even any 10 things I'd like to do for a living. I don't understand how colleges and universities, let alone parents and students, expect a person (young or older) to choose just one area in which to specialize. I started college at age 16 through a dual enrollment/advance placement program with my high school and the local community college. I thought I had to choose a major, so I chose "Business Administration". I had absolutely no information about what "Business Administration" involved -- I just thought it was the most logical choice to utilize the skills I thought I possessed at the time -- great math abilities, decent writing abilities, communication abilities, etc.

But the reality is that I had no clue what kinds of jobs even existed, much less what it took to do them. Mostly, I guess, this is because no one bothered to counsel me in any way when it came to schooling, other than these two examples: 1) the Dean of my high school, who knew my father who had just passed away from cancer, tried to talk me out of dual enrollment, because he thought it was too much for a kid to handle, and 2) my journalism instructor quit speaking to me when I had to resign as Copy Editor of the newspaper because I had to get a job that took me out of school most of the day (a work/study program) and made it impossible to take the required class to continue that position. Now, my grades were good (obviously), I had more than enough credits to graduate from high school, and I figured that, the sooner I got a "real job" and completed college, the better off I and my family would be. So, I bumbled through choosing my classes, and, even though my grades were good and all that, I couldn't make myself finish. It was soooooooooo boring, and there didn't seem to be any alternative, because I just simply didn't know any better.

Fast-forward to the present: I am currently unemployed, partly by choice, but also partly because I have no idea what to do with myself, I have not completed a formal education, and, frankly, I'm petrified of returning to work. Why am I petrified? Because I don't think I can handle the pressure. I have tried to have a positive attitude, to take into account that I would not be the only breadwinner, that I would probably enjoy getting out on a more scheduled, regular basis, that I'd enjoy (and my hubby would be very relieved, to say the least) having more income, etc. etc. etc. But none of those thoughts allay my fears.

I'm sure we've all been in those jobs where we did a lion's share of work for little credit, and were expected to perform absolute miracles with very little assistance. I feel sure we've all been in places where people took advantage of our good will and work ethics, and didn't give us the opportunities for advancement or recognition we know we deserved. I do realize these are common and virtually universal aspects of working, and I know that I deserve no special treatment on this, or any other, front. But in my mind, returning to work means being at the mercy of someone else and surrendering my peace of mind. I feel the drone-buzz even thinking about it -- like the blood is being sucked out of my body and replaced with cotton or something equally light and unsubstantial.

Am I just selfish? Am I just lazy? Am I just stupid? Am I unrealistic? Am I 'damaged goods'? This is what I wonder.

How did you know when you found your calling in life? Or did you ever find one? Did you choose the wrong one? I'd love to hear some discussion around these topics.

Peace, y'all.

Friday, January 19, 2007

This tickled my funny bone today

Link here for lots more of these.

Another great find through StumbleUpon.com. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007


In the over 10 years that I've been surfing along the information superhighway, you would have thought I'd have gotten bored by now. But no, far from it. I have fallen victim to the addictive powers of Newsfeeds/readers and StumbleUpon.com. I'm warning you now -- if you haven't fallen prey to these time-suckers, RUN, do not walk, to the nearest exit and do something productive! There still may be hope for you!

Like anyone else who spends much time here, I've read about RSS feeds for quite a while, but, until the last two weeks, I'd never subscribed to a feed. Actually, I really had no idea what a feed was, though I did gather that it was something that notified you when there was update to some kind of story or site. Due to my profound ignorance, I couldn't understand just how this supposedly simple syndication technology would be anything useful to me. But I have seen the light!

I have about a dozen categories into which I sort my feeds. They are: blogs, cooking, entertainment, fun/funny, health, interesting, knitting, news, shopping, tech, tips/tricks/advice, travel, UU/religion/spirituality, and work-related. Into those folders filter blurbs and full pages from probably 200 different sites now. And I'm still subscribing/discovering new feeds! Today I tried out a site where you could create a feed address for a page that doesn't have a feed already, but I'm not a programmer, and I haven't been as successful as I'd like to be yet. I'm going to keep working on it, though -- I'd love to be more informed about this kind of technology.

Now StumbleUpon is the way I discover some of my feeds to begin with. This is a site/tool that will, by clicking the Stumble! button, will take you to new websites that seem to correspond with your likes, set up on your profile. As you are taken to the new sites, you have an option to vote thumbs up or thumbs down for each one, which helps StumbleUpon to further refine your next sites. Not that every site I've visited is something I would want to revisit -- some of them are either really weird or really stupid, but, by & large, it's been a good experience.

My leg is still healing, but I'm anxious to be done with it. Here's a weird, possibly TMI tidbit -- brace yourselves! My calves have always been well-defined, though not mannish -- just muscular. Well, after just 3 weeks of little use, I can actually pinch about an inch of so of the skin on back of my right calf! Just 3 weeks! I had no idea I could lose this much muscle mass in such a short time! Now I *really* can't wait to get outta this thing and resume my walking! I guess I'll have to have some physical therapy, huh? I'm guessing that might involve using ankle weights or the weight machines they use in gyms, and maybe a balance board, too, but I really have no basis for my guessing. Keep your fingers crossed that next Thursday will be the end of my imprisonment. :)

Over and out for this evening. Peace!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Greetings and salutations

Well alrighty then! This is my new blog, and this is my first post. As some of you know, this is my second blog, as I've closed my previous one. I felt that my old blog served its purpose for a particular period of time, and now that things have improved a great deal, it's time to start again.

One of the purposes of starting a new blog was to be able to be myself here. So, let me introduce myself. I'm Suzanne, 44, happily married, and living near Nashville, TN. I have no children of my own, but my hubby has two grown children and four grandchildren. I also have two nieces and two nephews of my own, and a handful of step-nieces & -nephews. There is also my late husband's niece, and now her brand new daughter who comprise most of the children in my life. The other kids who keep me busy are the preschool and kindergarteners in the Religious Education class hubby & I teach at the UU church where we belong.

And, without further ado, this is me:

Nice to meet y'all!