The phrase "the whole 9 yards" derives from World War II combat pilots
in the South Pacific. Their planes were armed with machine guns that
took .50 caliber ammo belts, which were exactly 27 feet long. Hence,
whenever the pilots blasted all their bullets at a target, it caught
"the whole 9 yards."
are some 50 different species of sea snakes, and all of them are
venomous. They thrive in abundance along the coast from the Persian Gulf
to Japan and around Australia and Melanesia. Their venom is 10 times as
virulent as that of the cobra. Humans bitten by them have died within
Cooking and salad oils could lubricate machinery, such as cars and
boats, according to Penn State chemical engineers. Tests found that when
blended with an additive developed at Penn State, some vegetable oils
perform as well as or better than commercial oils.
On February 22, 1989, Barbara Jo Rubin became the first female jockey to
win a horse race. She rode Cohesian to victory at Charlestown Racetrack
in West Virginia. The first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby was
Diane Crump on May 2, 1970.
I've been watching, experiencing more appropriately, the tribute to Levon Helm that I recorded on the DVR from public television. I'm going to get the DVD of the entire concert. Check out who was there HERE. Wow!!
The Band's music has always resonated with me, and there's just something about Levon. My favorites are "The Weight," "Ophelia," "Up on Cripple Creek," "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down," and "Long Black Veil." Their songs have been covered by so many whose versions touch me in all kinds of ways. As always with music that's been part of the soundtrack of our lives, the memories and emotions came pouring in. Also the wish that I could sing and play an instrument. Oh well.
While listening to "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down," I was struck with the mixture of feelings many of us have about the South. It's like family and can be love/hate, but it's our past, our history, our reality, and we don't want outsiders to criticize us. We get defensive even if we know it might be true or agree with them. It's the way it's done that bothers me. For example, when I traveled out of the South and spoke, the perception of my IQ dropped by at least 40 points. They also assumed I was a racist. As you know, I'm as socially liberal as possible. Anyway, that song dredges up resentment toward Gen. Sherman and his devastation of homes, farms, and spirit. I won't go into my full rant on all this, but I do have one!!
Just want to mention all the music that originated in the South as well as the outstanding authors. It's a fertile place for storytelling.
Well, it seems that I had about ten years of blogging in me. I started my first one in 2002 and wrote regularly for quite a while. During the last year, not so much. Progressively fewer posts and time on the computer. Part of that has to do with feeling better, I think. Another part is having my attention diverted to Facebook and playing that damned game I'm beginning to get tired of (thank goodness). No, not Scrabble. I still enjoy playing that with my worthy opponents. It's Castleville, a quest game that I was addicted to. I probably need to give it up for Lent.
So what shall I do? I miss being in touch with my blogging friends and enjoyed that time we bantered and had our own private jokes. Maybe I can get back into it.
President Obama's Inaugural Speech was more than I even hoped for yesterday! This is the man I voted for! When he included Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall in his speech, I was thrilled. When he included marriage equality in the arena of civil rights, this brought it to its rightful place. He also addressed climate change, immigration reform, war, and many other relevant issues we care about. This second term should be interesting! Hope they can all work together. That's so frustrating!
Michelle and their daughters looked great, too! What a wonderful day!
Richard Blanco's poem was excellent. Here is an article about his life.
This is his poem "One Today"
One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.
My face, your face, millions of faces in morning's mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper -
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives-
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.
All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the "I have a dream" we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won't explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.
One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father's cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.
The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind - our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day's gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.
Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across cafe tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos dias
in the language my mother taught me - in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.
One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.
One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn't give what you wanted.
We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always - home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country - all of us -
facing the stars
hope - a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it - together.
Bob's recap HERE expresses my thoughts on the show perfectly. We are as one on this. Scroll on down. You'll get there. Also his post on Jodie Foster's speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award reflects my feelings as well; HOWEVER, after what he wrote, I hope he was being ironic when he tagged her fashion commentary with the adjective "lesbian" on there. Knowing Bob, he probably was. We can hope but won't have to since he'll let us know.
Part of Jodie Foster's speech confuses me. Is she retiring from acting? Will she still direct? Is she retiring from show business entirely or what? Not clear on that part. She seemed nervous and rambled through some of it. She referred to coming out but primarily to her desire for privacy. The part about her family was touching and moving. I'm sure this was hard for her, and it showed. I've always admired her. She has remained loyal to her friendship with Mel Gibson, who was at her table and looked stunned and unsure of where he was and what was going on.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were hilarious and got some good zingers in there.
This is going to be a year devoted to taking care of myself. I'm still recovering from heart surgery and going to cardiac rehab for it. I'll add to that with some other exercises and weight loss. However, I'm going farther! I had a facial today for the first time in my life. Yes, Maddie, imagine how my skin needed that! I've been getting massages, manicures, and pedicures periodically and will get into a regular routine, I hope. OK, I'll try. So healthy habits and pampering! Bring it on! It's time! All that enthusiasm made me tired and hungry. See you later.
My daughter and her kids and my son, his wife, and their son came down yesterday for fun and games. We went to eat at the Mexican restaurant where I used to play trivia. Yes, I do plan to go back and play again. Then we came back to my house and played "Apples to Apples" and "Family Feud." Lots of laughter and loudness! Since our reunion, I've gone to my daughter's the day after Christmas for the last ten years. However, this year they came here. I'm not ready to drive a few hours during holiday traffic yet. It really does take a long time to recover from this surgery!
Another reason, I haven't had them here was the condition of my house, which looked like a hoarder lived in it. I really did feel much worse than I realized. After my helpers cleared out numerous trash bags filled with clothes, papers and stuff that filled my brother's truck several times to take to recycling, Goodwill, and/or the dump, my house was ready for company. I couldn't have healed after I got home from the hospital if it had been the way it was. Such a relief! That's why I'm not a hoarder because I wanted the clutter gone and am thrilled to have space again!
So they were all here together for the first time. It was great! From the left, across the table and back up to the front: My son Brian, older granddaughter Kelsey, daughter-in-law Melissa, daughter Kathy, older grandson Luke, younger granddaughter Kari, youngest grandson Brendan. This is at the restaurant.