Sunday, May 31, 2009


I've been spending time reminiscing with former students from North Charleston High School where I began my teaching career. At first I found Lily on Facebook and enjoy being in touch with her. Then I discovered a message on her "wall" from another student I had in forensics (speech & drama) but not in class. Anyway, now I'm in touch with three of them - Lily, David, and Reggie - and also found a NOCHAS group that's been so much fun. One thing led to another, and I finally found my yearbook from the last year I was there and scanned a few photos from it to the group and to my FB photos. This is what I've been doing while some of you were at the DDBW and others were outside enjoying the pretty weather.

One thing I remember the most is what an amazing student council they had there. They actually did something. The officers had responsibilities and were leaders. There was a Hall Patrol who caught students running, shoving, walking in the wrong lane, chewing gum, etc. If they broke a school rule, the Hall Patrol wrote them up, and they were automatically guilty. The Honor Council ruled on those infractions as well as cheating and meted out punishment. Mostly they did janitorial work, but cheaters had to attend some meetings, I think. It was effective to have their peers deal with some of this. Additionally, they had a Safety Council, Devotions Committee, and Public Relations Group. I tried to convince the principal where I taught here to implement some of these responsibilities, but he wouldn't relinquish any control over to the students. It worked there, and these students became outstanding citizens. People usually rise to the expectations we have of them.

Something really funny that Bob and Larry did was to make up quotes for the Quote of the Week. They had real ones and worked those in, too. They made up names for the authors of these quotes and presented me with a booklet of these quotes when I left. My son Brian was born in September, 1969, so the spring of the 1968-69 year was when I left. My husband (ex now) was in the Navy and got out the next spring, so we moved back to TN. Brian and I came back in January and stayed with my parents and flew to Charleston to meet him when his plane brought him back from his last patrol on the submarine. Brian was seven months old, and we made the trip pretty well, even changing planes in Atlanta with a short layover.

This is how I looked when I taught there. I was 25 in this picture that I scanned from the yearbook and enlarged. That's when hair pieces and falls were in style. Wish I had some pictures of me in those! It's the only way I could have long, straight hair.

Y-Teens I helped sponsor. Wish I were still that size! I'm on the front row on the left in the bottom picture and second from the right standing in the top one. You can click to enlarge, and I was Mrs. Cooksey then.

Well, yes, they wrote in my yearbook. I made that dress I had on in these.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sticky Trivia

In the early 1940s, Swiss inventor George de Mestral took a walk with his dog. Upon returning home, he noticed that his pants were covered with cockleburrs. His studied them under a microscope, where he discovered their natural hooklike shape. This became the basis for a unique, two-sided fastener: one side with stiff "hooks" like the burrs and the other side with the soft "loops" like the fabric of his pants. The result was VELCRO® brand fasteners, named for the French words velour and crochet.


In a recent 5-year period, 24 residents of Tokyo died while bowing to other people.

Metrosexual Trivia

In June 1995, as KVEW-TV reporter Mychal Limric was doing a news story on beekeeping in Kennewick, Washington, the bees took an apparent liking, or disliking, to his hair gel, said the station’s news director. The bees attacked him from a hive 50 feet away. Limric was treated for more than 30 stings on the scalp and face. He was the only person there who was stung.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fruit Flies Like a Banana Trivia

Plants that are dependent on bats for pollination include bananas, dates, figs, cashews, avocados, saguaros, organ pipes, century plants, cloves, mangoes, breadfruit, carob, kapok, and almost every tropical night-blooming species, including the mescal plant. That’s right—without bats, there would be no tequila!

Golf Trivia

Before 1850, golf balls were made of leather and stuffed with feathers.

Here's Johnny Trivia

"If it weren’t for Philo T Farnsworth, inventor of the television, we’d still be eating frozen radio dinners."—Johnny Carson


I thought the article in Helium by Nick Somoski summed up my feelings about what is going on in TV land. Here are some I liked that were canceled or ended on their own: Sports Night, The West Wing, October Road, Eli Stone, Lipstick Jungle, Life, Life on Mars, Kings, Pushing Daisies, Samantha Who?,Without a Trace, Canterbury's Law, Dirt, Men in Trees, The Riches, Power of 10, Shark, Deadwood, The Wire, Boston Legal, Frasier, Murphy Brown, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (I wanted them to have time to fix it and make it better), Commander in Chief, Judging Amy, and others.

Good site for TV information is Pazsaz HERE. Shows that have been renewed for next season are HERE.

I'm concerned about Jay Leno's Show being on at 9:00 (10 EST) every night instead of at the regular Tonight Show time slot. I wonder if Jay wished he hadn't announced his retirement date so early since he'll still be on in the same format. I'm not as optimistic about Conan O'Brien's taking over as I was with Leno. Starting with Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, and Jay Leno, the quality of the show has maintained itself. Johnny Carson was the best ever. With NBC's record for programming by continuing with something that works and squeezing every golden egg out of those geese it can, this might not work for the new/old Leno Show. I like Jay and hope it works, but he's not going up against other talk shows in that time slot but prime-time drama. I'd rather watch Jay than Conan and do because I switch over to Craig Ferguson when he was on and now during Jimmy Fallon.

SNL Trivia

George Carlin was the first host of Saturday Night Live, and Janis Ian was his first musical guest.

First part of a series where we try to figure out where NBC went from must-see TV to must-cancel entertaining well-written shows and put on crap.

From Tectronic
Saturday Night Live is one of those unusual occurrences–born in part out of desperation and nearly ignored in its first few months. But NBC’s late-night weekend sketch comedy proved to be a fertile ground for fresh, new talent. Consider how many former SNL regulars have gone on to notable film or television careers. Or how during election years, SNL has set the pace in helping to define the funny among the various political figures. And in a television world when shows come and go, Saturday Night Live has managed to hang on through good times and bad for more than three decades. Still going strong today, SNL deserves to be called a television classic.

Saturday Night Live was created because of a complaint by one of NBC’s biggest stars. Johnny Carson was angry that reruns of his Tonight Show aired at 11:30 PM on Saturday nights. Carson wanted the reruns to air on weekdays, allowing him to take time off from Tonight. Since the popular late-night host contributed heavily to NBC’s profits, network executives were in no mood to upset Carson and set about creating a new show that would air in the Saturday slot.

NBC decided on a variety show tailored to a younger audience, airing three times a month (a youth-oriented news magazine called Weekend would air in the same timeslot once a month). Dick Ebersol (a protégé of ABC’s legendary sports chief Roone Arledge) was tapped to produce the variety show. It would air from NBC’s famed Studio 8-H at the network’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters in New York City (once home to a number of early NBC television hits and the home base of Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Orchestra).

Ebersol hired a young Canadian producer named Lorne Michaels to oversee the new series. It was decided the new show would have a structure different from Tonight–each episode would start off with a skit before the opening credits, followed by a welcome and short monologue from the guest host (no permanent host would be hired). The rest of the show would consist of various sketches and short films from the rest of the cast (including film, television and commercial parodies), along with a song or two from the guest musical act of the week. One of the recurring features of SNL would be a mock newscast (“Weekend Update”) and characters created by the writers and cast that could be used on an occasional basis. SNL’s history can be divided by decades, with highs and lows in each one. While not a complete account, the following is a summary of the notable events that have defined the show-- for better or worse.


The first cast members were relative unknowns chosen from auditions and recommendations from writers and staffers. Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi and Gilda Radner were part of the famed Second City comedy troupe; Chevy Chase was an alumni of the “National Lampoon” entertainment umbrella. Relative unknowns Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman and Garrett Morris rounded out the new SNL cast and became known as the “Not Ready For Prime Time Players.” The show’s first head writer was a “National Lampoon” refugee named Michael O’Donoghue. Lorne Michaels continued to fight efforts by NBC executives to make the show more conventional; Michaels argued that young viewers would tune out such fare and felt that material, guests and musical acts needed to be aimed at a young audience.

When it premiered on October 11th, 1975, the show’s official title was NBC’s Saturday Night, because ABC already had a prime-time variety series called Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. (After Cosell’s short-lived series went off the air, NBC obtained the rights to the Saturday Night Live name, which was used beginning in 1977.) Comic George Carlin was the show’s first host; Billy Preston and Janis Ian were the original musical guests. The following week, Paul Simon was both the guest host and the week’s musical act. There were some acts that were soon dropped (the Muppets, for example), and the comedy troupe eventually dominated SNL, which began to build an audience through both critical notices and word-of-mouth recommendations from teens and college-age students.

Chevy Chase became the show’s first “breakout star,” thanks to his anchoring of “Weekend Update” and his portrayal of a bumbling, uncoordinated President Gerald Ford. In the second season, Ford’s press secretary Ron Nessen was a guest host, with Ford featured in a pre-taped segment. But it didn’t help Ford in an election year when he was beaten by Jimmy Carter.

According to several books and staff accounts, Chase did not get along with either Lorne Michaels or co-star Belushi (and as far as Belushi was concerned, the feeling was mutual). Chase left SNL at the end of 1976 for a film career, the first cast member to do so. In January 1977, writer Bill Murray made his on-camera debut as the newest “Not Ready For Prime Time” player; Murray was initially awkward and fans wrote him hate mail, some blaming him for Chase’s departure. But Murray soon found his footing and created some quite memorable characters. And most of the cast had their moments in the sun–Belushi’s “Samurai” sketches and his Bee impersonation; Aykroyd and Curtin as the new “Weekend Update” anchors; Radner and Murray in various sketches both separately and together. (Newman was relatively under-utilised, while Morris–the only African American in the cast–seemed to get the least time on camera; he also complained some of the sketches he appeared in were racist).

During the show’s fourth season, Belushi and Aykroyd broke out with their “Blues Brothers” impersonation, which led to a hit record and a successful film–the two left the cast after the fourth season. By the 1979-80 season, Radner appeared in only a handful of shows (she had found her own fame with the hit Broadway play “Gilda Live,” which featured a number of her SNL characters). Michaels promoted several writers (including Al Franken and Don Novello, the latter creating the very popular “Father Guido Sarducci”) to on-air status. The ratings were still high at the end of Season Five, but Michaels was worn out and the remaining original cast members were more than eager to move on. Michaels asked then-NBC President Fred Silverman for the show to go on hiatus for at least six months so that a new cast and producer could be hired for SNL. Silverman refused. By this time, Saturday Night Live was one of NBC’s few hits anywhere in the schedule. Silverman wanted to keep the show going, even though he was angry about some of SNL’s skits making fun of his leadership and NBC’s ratings problems. So on May 24th, 1980, the remaining original cast members and Michaels said their on-air goodbyes, ending the first era of Saturday Night Live. The road ahead would get bumpier before lightning would strike again.


Lorne Michaels’ replacement as Saturday Night Live’s executive producer was a long-time staffer. Jean Doumanian was a talent scout for the show before she moved up in the ranks. But she was not a popular choice among the staff, and NBC made her job even harder by cutting the show’s budget by two-thirds, while forcing her to create a whole new programme–writers, talent, the works–in just two months. Doumanian would later say she never received the support she needed from NBC. (Staffers were already pushing to get Doumanian fired even before a single episode aired). Still, she went on to hire a new cast for SNL, again relying on unknown and untapped talent. Charles Rocket was groomed to become the show’s new Chevy Chase; others in the Doumanian cast included Denny Dillon, Gilbert Gottfried, Gail Matthius, Joe Piscopo and Ann Risley. Soon after the new cast was hired, staffers received a call from a 19-year-old comic named Eddie Murphy. He auditioned for Doumanian, who liked his talent and pushed NBC to make him a regular. The network refused, but did allow Murphy to be hired as a “featured” cast member.

The revised Saturday Night Live ‘80 made its debut on November 15th, 1980. Guest host Elliott Gould was reportedly surprised when he found that the show’s entire cast was replaced. But that was the least of the show’s problems. Critics tore into the poorly executed scripts and the performance of many of the new cast members. The bad notices resulted in falling ratings; it wasn’t long before SNL was overtaken (briefly) by ABC’s copycat sketch programme Fridays. The final nail came with the February 21st, 1981 show. During a parody of the popular prime time soap Dallas. Charles Rocket–the cast member whom NBC hoped would be the next breakout star from SNL–uttered the “F” word on-air. It turned out to be the final straw. Within a week, NBC fired Doumanian and tapped Dick Ebersol, the man who developed SNL, to save the programme. Ebersol cleaned house immediately, firing Rocket, Ann Risley and Gilbert Gottfried. He hired newcomers Robin Duke, Tim Kazurinsky, Brad Hall and Tony Rosato, and elevated Eddie Murphy to regular status. Writers Al Franken and Tom Davis were also shown the door. By the fall of 1981, the revamped show–now reverting back to the Saturday Night Live title--was snappier, faster paced and more consistent in quality. (Ebersol was also skilled at keeping the show on budget and dealing with NBC executives, allowing the cast and crew to work without interference from “the suits”).

Eddie Murphy quickly became the new breakout star SNL badly needed; not only did Murphy shine in solo sketches, he and Piscopo were teamed in a number of skits and the two worked extremely well together. So well, in fact, that the rest of the ensemble took a back seat to Murphy and Piscopo. Murphy’s star rose even faster after the success of his first film 48 Hours; the comic ended up actually hosting SNL after his 48 Hours co-star Nick Nolte called in sick (reportedly from a hangover after partying at the club “Studio 54"). Murphy was also highlighted in a 1983 skit featuring NBC’s entertainment chief, Brandon Tartikoff, who begged him to stay at the network. But the 1983-84 season proved to be Murphy’s last on SNL (many of his appearances were pre-taped that year), and at the end of the season, Ebersol fired Piscopo, Duke, Hall and Kazurinsky.

The fall of ‘84 became what was known as SNL’s “all-star season.” The new cast included Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, and Rich Hall, all of whom had major success on TV and film before joining the show. Short’s character of nerdy Ed Grimley (whom Short created on the skit series SCTV) and Crystal’s dead-on impression of actor Fernando Lamas (“Yoo look mahvelous!”) were the highlights of what became a very good season for the show. But it was short-lived. Shearer departed in early 1985 (he later found even more fame voicing various characters on The Simpsons) while Ebersol requested a format change for the 1985-86 season, with more pre-taped segments and the end of guest hosts. He also wanted NBC to shut down the series for six months so that his changes could be implemented. But Tartikoff refused and nearly decided to cancel SNL altogether. Fortunately, Tartikoff changed his mind and went in a different direction by returning the show to its roots.

Lorne Michaels was rehired as producer; Al Franken and Tom Davis returned as co-producers. Michaels took a chance and hired an entirely new (and impressively talented) cast, including Randy Quaid, Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Junior, Anthony Michael Hall, Dennis Miller, Damon Wayans, Nora Dunn, Jon Lovitz, Danitra Vance (the first African-American woman to become an SNL regular) and Terry Sweeney (the first openly gay cast member). Unfortunately, the new cast and writing team proved unable to maintain a consistent level of humour and there were very few breakout characters.

Michaels again cleaned house, keeping only Miller, Dunn and Lovitz for the following season. But Tartikoff was again making noises about cancelling SNL; and once again, he changed his mind at the last minute. Tartikoff ordered just six episodes for the new season with the promise of more if Michaels could turn the show around. This time, Michaels took no chances, hiring a very talented but relatively unknown of “Not Ready For Prime-Time Players.” They included Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks, Victoria Jackson and Kevin Nealon. Miller continued as “Weekend Update” host, giving that segment more visibility than it had since the Chevy Chase days. Madonna was guest host for the season opener, and told the audience the entire 1985-86 SNL season was a dream (not unlike Bobby Ewing’s return to Dallas that same year). The new cast exceeded expectations, and NBC didn’t cancel the show. Carvey, Hartman and Nealon proved to be very talented additions, while Hooks and Jackson brought a renewed female sensibility to the usually male-dominated show. Hartman was a perfect go-to guy, proving his versatility in skit after skit. But it was Carvey who brought SNL some of its most famous characters, including the judgmental and pious Church Lady (“Isn’t that CONVENIENT!”) and (with Nealon) the Germanic bodybuilders Hans & Franz.

Carvey also helped to define Saturday Night Live when it came to political satire. Chevy Chase helped build the show in its inaugural season with his bumbling Gerald Ford, while Ackroyd did a pretty good Jimmy Carter during the first five seasons of SNL. But the Reagan years were hit-or-miss as far as politics went. That changed with the election of George H.W. Bush as president in 1988. Carvey’s dead-on impression of Bush 41 proved to be a fan favourite (with help from SNL’s writing team). Carvey also excelled with his take on third-party presidential hopeful Ross Perot in 1992, giving SNL a reputation for hard-edged political takes.

In 1989, a young Canadian named Mike Myers joined the cast, and he and Carvey created a pair of slacker teens named Wayne and Garth. The Wayne’s World sketch became so popular, it spawned two hit films. (In fact, no other television series in American history has spawned such rich talent in both film and subsequent television projects as Saturday Night Live.) Wayne’s World would help SNL enter the 1990's in style–before more problems set in.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jaws That Will Kill You to Death Trivia

A crocodile weighing only 120 pounds exerts a crushing force of about 1,540 pounds between its jaws. But no matter how much a human being weighs, his jaws still exert a puny force of only 40 to 80 pounds.

They laugh at our puny human jaws.

Fluttery Trivia

In 1939, Pacific Grove, California, gained international attention by passing an ordinance making it a misdemeanor to molest a butterfly.

Creepy Clown Trivia

Phobia: coulrophobia Fear of: clowns

Frogpond Trivia

Ten thousand insects are required to feed a single toad during the course of a typical summer.

Galactic Trivia

If you attempted to count the stars in a galaxy at a rate of one every second, it would take around 3,000 years to count them all.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DDBW Entertainment Trivia?

The first outdoor miniature golf courses in the United States were built on rooftops in New York City in 1926.

Will your guests be playing on your rooftop, David? Perhaps a nice tea dance would be more appropriate.

Jon Stewart Moment of Zen

How do you spend $150,000 on clothes, in two months!? What do you buy - the original thriller jacket off of ebay? … all right, got me there, I did not see that coming. (10/21/08)

Terrifying Trivia

The king cobra is the biggest of all poisonous snakes and can grow over 13 feet long. A bite from a king cobra can kill an elephant in 4 hours.

Let's just look at a photo of this 1978 Mustang King Cobra instead of the scary ones.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ouchie Pun Trivia

The person who holds second and third place for most yards gained rushing in a single season in the NFL and was the first 2000-yard single-season rusher in NFL history is O. J. Simpson. An athlete who has always been a cut above.

Ironic Trivia

In 1876, Nell Saunders defeated Rose Harland in the first U.S. women’s boxing match. Saunders received a silver butter dish as a prize.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Who Knew This Trivia

Between 1993 and 1996, Madonna lived in a 9-story-tall castle in Hollywood that once belonged to gangster Bugsy Siegel.

Another Sign of the Apocalypse

I've seen ads for that Get Me Out of Here. I'm a Celebrity! or whatever the title of it is and am convinced that your IQ will drop 20 points if you watch it. The premise of the show seems to combine Survivor and Fear Factor, neither of which I've seen but know about just by watching TV. I thought DWTS had dwarf stars on it, but this group doesn't even make the D-List. I've never heard of any of them but Stephen Baldwin and Sanjaya. I think Gov. Blago's wife is going to be on there, too. NBC programming used to make some decisions to put good shows on. Now look what they're doing.

OK, I looked it up and notice I have the title backwards but doubt anyone cares. Here's a list of the "celebrities" which still doesn't help me know who they are from this article.
The "I'm a Celebrity..." cast, as unveiled Friday (April 24) is dominated by reality TV retreads Sanjaya Malakar ("American Idol"), Janis Dickinson ("America's Next Top Model") and Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt ("The Hills"), plus former NBC player John Salley ("Best Damned Sports Show Period"), professional wrestler Torrie Wilson and available Baldwin Brother, Stephen ("Bio-Dome").

And yes, your math is correct. NBC appears to still be at least two celebrities short (some might say the network is seven or eight actual celebrities short). The network says that additional stars, plus a host, will be announced next week.

I won't be watching this.

Popeye Trivia

The names of Popeye’s four nephews are Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye, and Poopeye.

Not What Einstein Said Trivia

When Albert Einstein escaped Germany in 1933, the Nazis put a price of 20,000 marks on his head. The price was never marked down!

What Sarah Palin Said She'd Name Her Next Baby Trivia

The machine that resurfaces the ice on an NHL rink is called a Zamboni.
Charlie sent me an email about American military cemeteries all over Europe. This one is in Lorraine, France, where 10, 489 Americans are buried.

This is in Ardennes, Belgium with 5,329.

On this day, we remember their service, sacrifice, and dedication. Thank you to all those who serve our country.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Those of you who haven't told me what movie won Best Picture the year you were born, come over and let me know! The original post with a link is down below under "Hmph Trivia."

Thanks! Now please return to your regularly scheduled blogs! You know who I'm talking to! :-)

Camel Trivia

A camel with one hump is called a dromedary; a camel with two humps is a Bactrian.

Which reminds me, if you haven't seen this documentary, you must! It won an Oscar for Best Documentary several years ago and is excellent. Prepare to cry in a good way. Let me know if you saw it or after you watch it. I'm going to rent it again from I think it's on Netflix, too.

It's also a Piercing Trivia

In mountain-biking slang a "snakebite" is a flat tire caused by hitting a hard object. As a result of the impact, the wheel rim pierces the inner tube and creates a two-hole puncture that resembles a snakebite.

So Would I Trivia

Some sharks swim in a figure eight when frightened.

I might have to remove this photo. It scares me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hmph Trivia

The Germans considered Casablanca (1943) a propaganda film and made it illegal to show it in German theaters during World War II. Even after the war, only a censored version was allowed to be shown in Germany; all references to Nazis were removed.

Casablanca won the Oscar for Best Picture the year I was born.

Tom Jones won when my daughter was born.

Midnight Cowboy was the winner the year my son was born.

Which film won the year you were born?

Complete list HERE.

Creepy Crawly Trivia

Insects and arachnids make up 80 percent of all the animal species on Earth. There are over 5 million species of insects and arachnids in all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


For many years, the globe on NBC Nightly News spun in the wrong direction. On January 2, 1984, NBC finally set the world spinning back in the proper direction.

Word Trivia

What other collective nouns do you know?

A shrewdness of apes
A troop of baboons
A shoal of bass
A sleuth or sloth of bears
A sounder of boars
An army of caterpillars
A clowder or clutter of cats
An exultation of larks
A pride of lions
A murder of crows
A zeal of zebras

Many more here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

DWTS 8 - Final Results

Each couple did a final dance for the judges to score. Shawn and Mark did their cha-cha and received 30 making the total judges' score 88/90. She danced so well and looked as if she were having fun. It was energetic and precise. She's so cute and young with a strong work ethic that an Olympic gold medalist would have.

Melissa and Tony danced the samba and performed really well. Tony said she was the best partner he's had on DWTS. Sometimes the one I've wanted won and other times not. I agree that she's the Brooke Burke of this season, and I didn't want her to win either. Watching Lil' Kim dance made me wish she'd gotten to the finals. The judges drooled all over Melissa during their critique. Her scores totalled 30 which gave her a total score of 86/90.

Gilles and Cheryl danced the Argentine tango. I'm glad because I love the way they dance that. So hot, intense, and passionate! Wooo! The judges thought so, too, raved and praised. Their score was 30 which gives them 88/90.

And the winner of Season 8 is Shawn. Melissa came in 3rd. I cannot believe this. Crap! This is just wrong. Gilles was robbed!!! I am so bummed. The best dancer did not win. This almost makes me not want to watch DWTS ever again, much less recap it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

For David

You can order that and other neat things here ... or just steal pictures of them like I did.

War and the Bible

Did any of you see the Reverend Dr. Welton Gaddy, Baptist minister from Louisiana, on Keith Olbermann's show tonight? He was great and said what I've wished someone with his credentials would say about Christianity and quoting the Bible. He said people can find anything they want in it but need to look at the entire sweep of the Bible's message and to treat God as God, to treat government as government, and to treat other people with dignity and respect. He also said if you want to be religious, don't just quote scripture but behave the way the scripture directs. I liked everything he said and especially the part about what it means to take the Lord's name in vain. He said that means not to associate God's words with behavior that is in some way the opposite of God and blasphemy to God.

Keith asked him about war and what the Bible says about it. Dr. Gaddy said that the biblical passages on Rumsfeld's memos about the war were a prostitution of religion. They are a studied effort to identify the US as the righteous nation and the military strategy of invasion as an act of God. What that does is to say, "If you question me, you're questioning God. If you oppose this war, you are evil because I am good." He added that most people who support a theocracy, want to be "theo." Many religious leaders have been saying this, and I'm glad he said it on there.

Here it is. It's worth watching.


Inspired by Bob, I'm going to write about various things I've had on my mind lately.

Julianne Hough isn't leaving DWTS for good! She's going to take a break next season. I'm glad to learn that since she's one of my favorites. Story here.

Did any of you see Criminal Minds last week about the new strain of anthrax someone created? At the end they put it in a vault and showed a long line of floor-to-ceiling vaults filled with biological warfare scary stuff. The point of that show was to let us know how much we're unaware of threats to our safety. I met a federal investigator for Homeland Security Sunday and in the course of our conversation told him about the program. I told him I used to wish I knew what those profilers do but think maybe I'd know too much. He said we wouldn't be able to sleep at night if we knew all that. I believe him and am thankful that he and the others are doing their jobs and protecting us.

The season finale of House was really good! I believed that about him and Cuddy right up until he realized what didn't happen. It was a powerful episode and doesn't sugarcoat addiction. Well done! I just love Hugh Laurie and have since Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster.

I've been a dead head for a while and not in the Jerry Garcia kind of way. I'm so sleepy I can't hold my eyes open in the afternoons but not at night when I go to bed. I'm getting tired of that and will get back on track. I know - exercise or drugs, depending on the kind of advice you give! :-)

DWTS 8 - Week 11

The Finals

This is the last week of competition. The Final Three! Who will win? Gilles, I hope!

Each couple will dance the Paso Doble and a free-style dance for the finals. They have a dance-off for the paso doble by dancing along with each other at times and individually as couples. There will be one more judges' score tomorrow night, and that will be it.

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas

Dance: Paso Doble and Free-Style (58/60)

Score: 9/9/10 = 28 and 10/10/10 = 30 (last week 56/60)

Critique: Shawn and Mark began the competition with their Paso Doble which was to a rock song instead of a Latin one. Shawn was intense and serious. She did a good job with this, but is so young and cute that it's like "Gidget does the Paso."

Apolo Anton Ono came by rehearsal to encourage her; however, he told her there was no Olympian who made it to the semi-finals who didn't finish as a winner. Pressure! They began this dance with sparkly masks and black garbage-bag cat burglar outfits. Then they took those off and had sparkly slacks with lime green tops. It was an energetic, youthful dance. Shawn was in her element with this and looked like she was having fun with it. The judges loved it. Bruno stood which usually means a 10 from him. Carrie Ann said they lived up to expectations with a creative, energetic dance. I see 10's ahead for them.

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani

Dance: Paso Doble and Free-Style (56/60)

Score: 10/9/10 = 29 and 9/9/9 = 27 (last week 55/60)

Critique: Melissa had on an Mel B. costume for her Paso Doble and was no Mel (who should have won)! She did those pointed toe, high leg ballet moves. She bumbled some of it but did pretty well. The judges scored her too high based on their critiques.

Their free-style dance was the most physical routine Tony said he's ever choreographed but wanted to take some risks for the finals. It was sort of hip-hop and had lifts and leaps - very fast and physical. Her outfit showed off her tramp stamp again. The judges weren't as complimentary as Tony hoped. They discussed how elegant she is and how this was more cheerleadery. This is music to my ears!! I am not for Melissa and would like for her to come in 3rd place. I don't watch it, but my sister-in-law said her attitude on The Bachelor made her not like Melissa.

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke

Dance: Paso Doble and Free-Style (58/60)

Score: 10/10/10 = 30 and 9/10/9 = 28 (last week 60/60)

Critique: He smoldered and looked Spanish. He was the best dancer and was a leading man, according to Bruno. Cheryl choreographs the dances so well and brings out the best in her student partners and showcases their personalities.

OMG! Did she bring out his personality! They danced to "What A Feeling" and built from its slow beginning to a faster pace. It was fun and hot, but at times he didn't move very much in a dancing way. He can wear a pair of jeans, too! Len loved it. Bruno didn't stand and wanted more dancing. Carrie Ann agreed and said it was an odd choice. I see a couple of 9's coming up. Yep!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Almost Doesn't Count in the Lottery Either

I thought I won $300 in the lottery. I had three of the winning numbers, and one of them was the Powerball number. When I read about it online, it said "three numbers with powerball" and "three numbers without powerball" and gave the amounts. I misinterpreted the preposition and thought I won $100 with the power play that multiplied it by 3. No, it meant three numbers plus the powerball. So I got $7 for having two numbers and the powerball multiplied by the power play which equaled $21. I won $12 not long ago which I used to buy this ticket, so now I'll buy another one with this money. Maybe I'll win that $23 million I have plans for. I was so excited there for a little while.


I have a VERY part-time job at a vitamin center owned by a reflexologist. His wife is co-owner and it's just the two of them there except for the ones who work there on the owners' days off (Wednesday and Saturday). I used to be one of those people but can make more teaching homebound students in less time. They go to conferences a couple of times a year and take a vacation and like for me to work there when they are out of state. So I'll be there this afternoon and all day tomorrow. I've learned quite a bit about supplements working there. It's not that busy when he's gone, so I usually get a lot of reading done. I'm taking Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult with me to read this weekend. I've read part of it and am interested to find out what happens next. It's supposed to rain again, so that will make it even better to be inside reading.

Tina and I are going to eat at Ruby Tuesday this evening and catch up. There was a "buy one, get one free" coupon in the paper we'll use. That's always nice. Lots of things are happening now with the schools. More on that later.

Have a good weekend! What are you planning to do?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's Over!!!

I finally finished those Twilight books! This is one of the most miserable reading experiences I've ever had. Her writing reminded me of some of what was turned in during the creative writing classes I taught. That's not a compliment. Have you read what teenagers write? Some of my students wrote better than she does.

The first book wasn't that bad. It was about teenagers with their dramas and angst. The only parts that really bothered me were the design of that school with separate buildings for each department in a place where it rains all the time and the cheesy romance novel dialogue. Each book got progressively worse until that unbearably long, horrible last one. I hated it the most. This genre of literature by definition is supposed to include fantasy that is believable in its context. Not in these books! I resented every minute of that last book, became furious about the stupid tricks in it, and despaired about the taste of the reading public. I would have quit reading it if not for my granddaughter. Now I want to know what she likes about these characters and the books.

I have some well-written books lined up to read and am so ready for them! This is part of my life I'll never get back.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Honest Honestly

I've been tagged by Miss Ginger Grant to write 10 honest things about myself. Oh, the pressure! I appreciate the honor of being described as an honest blogger and just love Miss Ginger's quick wit, outgoing personality, creativity, and neatness! Thank you very much for the Honest Blogger Award, Miss Ginger! Fabulous is the right word to describe her blog. OK, here goes!

1. I HATE milk and always have. I'd have to put Hershey's Syrup or Nestles Quick in it to get it down but now can't even do that. Cold cereal is rarely an option because of the milk it swims in. If I have to eat it, I put the minimum amount of milk on it to make it damp. It grosses me out just to watch people drink milk.

2. It makes me nervous to drive across a bridge, but I did OK riding across and through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It made me happy when I found out my wife-in-law had to get my ex-husband to turn around because she couldn't do it. I'm smiling about it now.

3. I'm competitive. You probably figured that out from #2.

4. I have a dirty mind but don't talk dirty because I don't like crudeness. Well, I don't talk very dirty.

5. When I meet people, they often think I'm more interested in them than I am because I get caught up in their stories and want to know what happens next. When I lose interest, I'm ready to move on. This makes me sound bad but comes from my interest in art, acting, and writing since it's necessary to observe and study people if you're going to draw/paint them, play them, or create characters.

6. I can rationalize just about anything.

7. I'm horrible at impersonating accents, probably because of my lack of musical ability, which is really sad because I know the words to so many songs and wish I could sing.

8. Only a couple of my friends are allowed in my house because of the clutter. I'm too embarrassed to let anyone here and would like for my house to be the way it used to be, so I can have company again. I've been retired almost four years, have had time to do it, so this is crazy.

9. My money is arranged in order by denomination all facing the same direction. I might have a few control issues.

10. A lot of people get on my nerves.

My Honest Blogger Awards go to the ones listed below. I enjoy reading them along with some others that have already been tagged for this. I'd love to read your lists, but don't feel obligated to do this unless you want to. If anyone else does it, please tell me because there are others who also qualify for this. Inquiring minds want to know!

Bob at I Should Be Laughing

Charlie at Berry Blog

Kathy at Frogponder

Sylvia at From Over the Hill

Chris at From a Whisper to a Scream

Wonder Man, my fellow Tennessean, at Maybe it's just me

I'm also curious about what Marker, Mark, Beth, Rhea, Dan, Jimbo, Linda, Eric, and Debi would have on their lists.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ty Rode off into the Sunset

Nobody tried harder and improved more than Ty has. As many of us thought, this was his last week. He won the hearts of viewers and has been just great!

Ty has been referred to as “The King of the Cowboys” and "Superman in boots". Ty was the youngest cowboy millionaire in rodeo history, a feat he accomplished at the age of 23. Murray is not only one of the original shareholders of the Professional Bull Riders, Inc, (PBR) but is also one of the founding members. said, “Ty Murray is the Micheal Jordan of Rodeo and that's no bull.

"In rodeo, there's one lone cowboy who's earned bragging rights as the greatest All-Around Cowboy of all time. He is the only man, ever, to win seven world PRCA All-Around championships! Stephenville, Texas' own, Ty Murray, has been inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame. "

Now back home with Jewel!

This week the pros trying out to be on next season's show choreographed a ballroom and a Latin dance to perform with one of the pros. Mayo Alanen danced the cha-cha and tango with Kym Johnson and Anna Demidova the samba and quickstep with Maksim. Oh, Mayo's and Kym's tango was incredible! Beautiful lines and precision. The quickstep Anna performed with Maks was fun and energetic. The judges raved! During rehearsal Maks wore a t-shirt that said, "Real Men Eat Cupcakes" - does that have a hidden meaning? I thought I'd want Mayo on, but the more I see of Anna the better I like her. The cha-cha Mayo and Kym danced was great, but the judges didn't think he might be versatile enough, and they definitely prefer Anna. So do I. Her samba was wonderful, and it doesn't hurt that she danced with Maks.

Monday, May 11, 2009

DWTS 8 - Week 10

The Semifinals

They all went back over all their dances leading to the semifinals and discussing their progress on each one. I just want to say that I'm going to be really bummed if Melissa wins this. Gilles must win!

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani

Dance: Quickstep and Cha-Cha (55/60)

Score: 9/10/9 = 28 and 9/9/9 = 27 (last week 57/60)

Critique: Tony had Melissa practice her footwork over and over. Because of her ballet training, she's good at kicking her leg high and pointing her toes. This quickstep was light and fun. I've seen better even before this stage of the competition. Len thought it was really good, but Bruno and Carrie Ann agree with me. Hmmm! They said it was pretty but not emotionally engaging. Len gave them a 10.

Bruno said she didn't sustain her energy all the way through her cha-cha. Carrie Ann thanked her for taking direction from the last dance. Len said he liked it but thought it was a little lackluster at times. She's technically really good but seems detached somehow.

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke

Dance: Waltz and Salsa (60/60)

Score: 10/10/10 = 30 and 10/10/10 = 30 (last week 56/60)

Critique: Jonathan Roberts came to rehearsal to show Gilles how he needed to look sophisticated and classic when he dances the waltz. It worked! This was elegant and smooth and lovely. Bruno loved it and said it was irresistibly romantic. Carrie Ann said that's the reason people watch ballroom dancing to be taken away to a place of fantasy and praised Cheryl's choreography. Len said he was giving them a sitting down standing ovation. I see 10's coming up. YES!!!

Oh wow! I loved it! So did Carrie Ann! Wow!!! I've never heard Len say that he wished he had an 11 paddle! Bruno said he deserves to be in the finals. He's been getting my votes each week, so I'm doing all I can. Not only is Gilles sexy and hot, he seems genuine. He spoke respectfully and sweetly about his father and how hard he worked. He obviously loves his wife and children which is also a turn-on.

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas

Dance: Argentine Tango and Jive (56/60)

Score: 10/10/10 = 30 and 9/8/9 = 26 (last week 56/60)

Critique: Shawn had a problem with the lifts. This seemed sort of choppy to me and not intense and sharp the way I've seen some dance it. She got the lifts right but something didn't feel right about the dance. It's as if she were concentrating so much on doing it right that her personality didn't come through. Carrie Ann thought she did deliver the emotional content. Len thought it was her best performance. Bruno thought she was Catherine Zeta Shawn from Chicago in "She Had It Coming." I thought it was great technically but didn't get anything emotionally from it. Maybe you had to be there. Maybe it's because she dances right after Gilles does.

I liked Shawn's jive because it was peppy and enthusiastic and fits her personality. Of course she had to stretch more to do the tango and paso doble. This is more age-appropriate which makes it better, too. The judges, on the other hand, thought it was fun and energetic but lagged a bit at times. Obviously I can't tell how Shawn dances!

Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower

Dance: Viennese Waltz and Samba (48/60)

Score: 8/9/8 = 25 and 8/7/8 = 23 (last week 46/60)

Critique: Ty said his fans went out on a limb and kept him on the show over a better skilled dancer, and he needed to show them it was justified. His waltz shows how much he's improved. He didn't seem that stiff but had great posture and good footwork. He was pretty good. Len said he didn't think anyone has worked harder and tried more than Ty has and that it was fabulous. Bruno said he knew why America loves him but that he flailed about all over the place. Then he and Len got into a shouting match. Carrie Ann said it wasn't his best dance. Then all three of them had a shouting match. Tom scurried Ty and Chelsie off the stage and diverted attention back to the show.

I can't imagine Ty doing a samba. But he did! His footwork was good and his butt shaking was brave and difficult to describe. Len praised Chelsie for doing a fantastic job. The judges all praised his dedication and hard work. I just love him! He's a great guy!

Snake Trivia

Even after it’s dead, a snake can still kill you with its venom.

I'm scared enough of them alive!

Cat Trivia

Despite its reputation for being finicky, the average cat consumes about 127,750 calories a year, nearly 28 times its own weight in food, and the same amount again in liquids. In case you were wondering, cats cannot survive on a vegetarian diet.

Mother's Day II

Brendan spent the night with me Saturday night, so Brian and Melissa could have a date. They went with a couple of friends who were at the birthday party to dinner and Star Trek. The movie is really good, they said. I plan to see it here soon. They saw it at Opry Mills at the I-Max Theater and got the full effect, which was impressive. I'm glad they had a good time.

Brendan made some tissue-paper flowers at school he generously gave Mother and me.

They made those little casts of their hands at school to give their mothers. That was so sweet and brought back memories of when Brian did that. I need to give him the one he made, so they can display them together.

Brian found the perfect card that expresses just how he feels and how we are with each other. I'm proud of him that he chooses my cards himself instead of having his wife do it the way so many men do. I brought him up saying, "Don't be one of those men who ..." so he took my advice to heart and followed a lot of it. You're welcome, Melissa! I don't take all the credit for how he is because I had good material to work with. He's always been a wonderful person, was so easy to bring up, and has been the best part of my life. Loving my children feels like my heart opens into full-blossom. Then grandchildren do that again! It's incredible!

Kathy called and we had such a good conversation about how things were. She totally gets it and understands. As you know, I had to give her up for adoption because of the way society was in 1963. We really didn't have but two choices then - get married or give the baby up for adoption. Basically, what that boils down to is that I had to give away my baby because it would have made other people uncomfortable if I'd kept her. That's understating how it was then because getting pregnant out of wedlock was the worst thing a girl could do back then. Being an unwed mother was a much worse social stigma than being gay in the pecking order. That's how it is for them now. It makes others uncomfortable for them to have equality. In sociology, deviance is defined as not being part of the dominant culture. If people fight it and win, they are no longer deviant and become part of the dominant culture, thereby expanding it. If they lose, they are still a subculture and considered deviant (because it means to deviate).

We middle-class nice white girls were part of a huge baby mill that provided babies for people to adopt and monetary profit for someone. Yes, I'm bitter, but that's for another post. Mother's Day brings up many emotions for me.

I'm so thankful Kathy found me and blessed that she's part of my life now. We can talk about so many things and feel a connection. All those years I loved her and didn't have her with me are a sad reminder for us both, but we can talk about it and not talk because we can look at each other and know.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are mothers. I had a great time with my mother, son, grandson, and daughter-in-law today. Kathy called and we had such a good conversation, which isn't unusual at all. More later - just wanted to let you know things are going well! Except that I can't believe I didn't take any pictures!

How about you?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hurricane Mills

That photo of Loretta Lynn is the album cover for Van Lear Rose and is not her house. This is her house that is on 14,000+ acres around 50 miles west of where I live. I've never been there but should go. I've heard she and Mooney used to go out and greet people sometimes. Here's a description of the ranch from her official website:
Loretta and Mooney established “THE DUDE RANCH” in 1972 consisting of a small Campground, Loretta’s original Museum which was located in the Old Grist Mill, Western Store and Gift Shop.

Today, “Loretta Lynn’s Ranch” is complete with a Full Service RV Park, Cabin Rentals, Swimming Pool, Playgrounds, Canoeing, Paddle Boats and Mini-Theater. Tours are offered thru the Lynn’s Plantation Home, Simulated Coal Mine and Loretta’s Butcher Holler Home Place. In 2001 Loretta opened the doors to her 18,000 square foot “Coal Miners Daughter Museum” which is a must to see. The Old Grist Mill houses Loretta’s Doll and Fan Museum as well as the Grist Mill Museum is available to her guests at no admission charge. Retail Stores include Loretta’s Western Store, Grist Mill Gift Shop, Tee Shirt Shop, Plantation Shop, Snack Bar, Rock-A-Billy Café and Lady Loretta’s Boutique. Special Events at the Ranch include Concerts, Loretta Lynn Bi-Annual Trail Rides, Off Road Trail Rides, Cross Country Racing, The Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship, GNC Championship with additional events scheduled throughout the season.

Aerial view of the Motocross Track