Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I watched Joy Behar's new show Tuesday night on HLN to check it out. Janeane Garofalo was on with Bey Buchanan during a segment. Joy said that she thought Democrats were smater and better educated than Republicans. Janeane disagreed with her and said she thought it had to do with emotional intelligence instead. So do I. That's why we can't understand how many of them are not compassionate and empathetic. I think this is a generalization that accounts for major differences in how we look at and process situations. The disconnect that bothers me so much comes from low emotional intelligence.

Tips for developing emotional intelligence HERE from this website on EI.

is a test, but there are others and information online.

Howard Gardner has done work on multiple intelligences. When I was teaching gifted students, we addressed those and planned our curriculum to include them. I won't get into a rant about No Child Left Behind and all this emphasis on test scores and how children aren't taught critical and creative thinking. I'll save this for another post but do want to say how wonderful it was to teach when I could really teach and watch them blossom. I have friends still teaching who are so frustrated because of bureaucratic demands that keep them from teaching.

Back to Gardner
. We need to teach the whole child and help children develop their abilities and strengthen weaknesses. It takes three components for them to be successful in school: parents, the student, and teachers. Our goal as parents and teachers is for our children and students to become independent, productive members of society. I hope they will be able to make informed decisions based on facts and compassion.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Orleans

Please let me know some places you like to eat in New Orleans that are reasonable and enjoyable. I know about famous restaurants there, but money is an object with our group. It's a city well-known for excellent food, like Charleston, so we're looking forward to the food and the sights! Suggestions anyone? We'll be going in a couple of weeks and will be there Saturday night, all day Sunday, and Monday morning, October 10-12, and are staying on Julia near Riverwalk and will be there and in the French Quarter.

I should have mentioned that I've been there before and have of course been to Cafe du Monde and will do that again. That has to be done, right? :-) We also ate at the Acme Oyster Bar and another place that I can't remember the name of. It was away from the Quarter somewhere, and someone else treated me to that dinner. I know what you mean about Hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's! I had one and it was definitely enough. It's so much fun singing along there and like a party in itself!

I also got a tour of Paul Prudhomme's kitchen and restaurant K-Paul's. I was peeping in the window, and a guy who works there came out. I told him I just wanted to see inside. It was closed since it was in the afternoon. He asked if I wanted to come in and look around, so I did!

New Orleans isn't like any other place, is it? I also want to go there again and stay longer and see more. There's a list of other cities and places I want to go and others to visit again.

School Open House

Tonight was open house at Brendan's school. I went and enjoyed meeting his teacher. He always thinks I know everyone he does and asks if I know various teachers and others at his school. I'll tell him that I don't, and he doesn't get it. So tonight before we went into the building, I told him I'd get to know some of the people he asked me about. He was so excited and would say, "This is Ms. Whatever. Now do you know her?" with everyone he saw in the hall. He will expect me to remember them after hearing their names one time. He can do that, but I don't have his freakishly good memory that is a by-product of Asperger's. If he ever meets anyone, he remembers them. So I'll just say yes that I remember them when he asks next time.

He's spending the night with me Saturday and asked how long it was until then. He was ready to come home with me tonight, which makes me feel good. I'm glad he feels that way.

His teacher seems nice and is doing a good job. He's doing better this year, and we're so happy with this school. I talked with the principal for a while. I've met her several times during meetings and like her. The principal sets the tone for a school, and she is great!

DWTS Results Week Two

Crap! He's still here and wasn't even in the bottom two. Just as I feared last night, Kathy Ireland had to leave before Tom DeLay. Debi and Maks were the other couple in the bottom two. I hope that doesn't happen again next week and that he goes then.

Basketball Player Trivia

In 1974, Moses Malone became the first player to go from high school straight into pro basketball. The move made him the highest-salaried teenage athlete in the United States at that time. Malone was signed by the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association.

Then Bats Need to Stay in the Tropics

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!

Champagne Anyone?

The shallow champagne glass originated with Marie Antoinette, from wax molds made of her breasts.

Monday, September 28, 2009

DWTS 9 Week 2

The dances this week are the tango, jive, and quickstep. Baz Luhrmann was guest judge in Len's place. He directed the movie Ballroom Dancing, Moulin Rouge, and others. He's also English. (correction: Australian) The dancetestants were all stressed because they had four weeks to learn the dances for last week and less than four days for this one.

Tom said they are adding four dances this season - the bolero, Charleston, country two-step, and Lambada (the forbidden dance). Should be interesting!

Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough

Dance: Jive
Score: 6, 7, 7 = 20
Pretty good but moments of standing still during transitions. Carrie Ann liked her energy but said her footwork was out of control. Lots of fluffy hair extensions!

Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo

Dance: Quickstep
Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21
Those Olympians didn't get where they are without a lifetime of discipline, practice, and drive! They are so competitive! Natalie did well but the judges want her to relax and breathe!

Chuck Liddell & Anna Trebunskaya

Dance: Tango
Score: 6, 7, 6 = 19
Intense but a little stiff. He's going to be great at the paso doble. Carrie Ann said it was a little scary, and Bruno said it was definitely a tango.

Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas

Dance: Jive
Score: 7, 6, 6 = 19
Well, she is still restrained but got a bit better as she went along. The judges thought she improved from last week but needs to do better on her footwork.

Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova

Dance: Quickstep
Score: 7, 7, 6 = 20
I liked it and thought he had rhythm and energy. The judges said he improved and that they liked the dance.

Debi Mazar & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Dance: Tango
Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21
Debi had a meltdown during rehearsal because she didn't like the way Maks talked to her. He apologized for hurting her feelings and said he wants her to be the best she can. She dais the love/hate emotions of the tango should work well for them. They had passion and intensity as they danced to the Moulin Rouge version of "Roxanne" which of course Baz liked.

Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower

Dance: Jive
Score: 6, 7, 6 = 19
They are so cute! He danced well except in the middle part when he slowed it down some. The judges thought so, too.

Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff (and Muppets!)

Dance: Quickstep
Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27
It might be a good thing Karina and Maks aren't getting married because their intensity, fire, passion, and discipline that make them such wonderful dancers could make life hard for their children! Oh, this was good! Lively and fun! Bruno stood and said it was spectacular. That has meant a 10, so we'll see. Three 9's the second week! Well done!

Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel

Dance: Tango
Score: 6, 7, 6 = 19
She did it again and danced quite a tango! There were mistakes, but the judges said she drove on and did well. She was nervous and said she freaked out.

Kathy Ireland & Tony Dovolani

Dance: Quickstep
Score: 6, 6, 6 = 18
She did better than last week but won't be on here too long. She's elegant but too reserved. I just hope Tom DeLay goes home before she does but am afraid it won't happen.

Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer

Dance: Quickstep
Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21
Very good! I liked watching them do this energetic, lively dance with fun! Their 20's costumes and music helped.

Mya & Dmitry Chaplin

Dance: Jive
Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27
She can dance! This was energetic and fun! Bruno said it was like watching Josephine Baker and Clark Kent (their costumes). The judges liked it!

Tom DeLay & Cheryl Burke

Dance: Tango
Score: 6, 6, 6 = 18
Actually his footwork was pretty good, which shouldn't be surprising. He almost dropped Cheryl there at the end and had no passion, thank goodness, or the creep factor that got to me last week would have turned gaggy. Please, America, send him home now!!!

Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson

Dance: Jive
Score: 8, 9, 8 = 25
He's such a performer that when he gets in front of an audience, he rises to the occasion! He did really well!
MOST LIKELY TO ATTACK: Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy may be taking their post-breakup frustrations on their celeb dance partners. Both pros were called out by their partners this week for pushing them too hard. Just an editing choice to focus on them? Maks seemed to push Debi Mazar too far for their love/hate tango. She told him she wanted him to be more patient and he replied “Never.” She told the camera “There's a line that you can't cross” and then told Maks she doesn't like being talked to like she is an idiot. She got emotional and he felt bad, saying he didn't intend to hurt her feelings. He apologized. I feel like over the years he's been in this situation before. I'm not used to Karina being told to back off too, but she seemed to get to Aaron. But it worked for their routine, so maybe she should keep pushing. Bad sign, though, that nerves are getting so frayed in week two. I know they only had four days to learn a routine, as opposed to four weeks, but there's a long road ahead. (Source)
See? Someone else feels the way I do about this!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

House Blend Dinner

Hollemy had the last House Blend Dinner for the year, and it was delicious! Here is the menu that can be embiggened.

Brian's birthday is Tuesday the 30th, so this was his birthday celebration. He'll be 40, so I gave him a card that said for him to live it up like he did in his wild youth. Inside the card said, "Play an album" which is about right.

Here's a picture of the Birthday Boy and Chef Holly.

Paige and Brian

Okra Pancakes

Shepherd's Pie (not that photogenic but absolutely delicious)

Chicken dish

Tina does not like to have her picture taken.

Sweet Potato Crisp

I had the Biscuits and Ham, Spinach Salad, and Shepherd's Pie. No dessert because I couldn't eat all of that and took about half of it home and just finished eating it. The Shepherd's Pie had beef, English peas, carrots, tomatoes, lentils, onions, and some other ingredients covered in mashed potatoes with garlic and cheddar cheese. It was delicious!

Brendan is so funny when he orders. He reads every word of the dish and description and usually gets it all right except this time when he said, "Australian greens and picked turnips" along with the rest of it.


Did any of you see Law & Order this week? The new season started off with a powerhouse of a topic. Jack McCoy's office prosecuted a law professor and the chain of command over torture during the Iraq War. This law professor formerly worked for the Justice Department and wrote the torture rules for the Bush Administration we've heard about now that this has come out in the open. The reason he was arrested was because he killed a veteran who had been at Abu Ghraib. The vet had PTSD from his involvement in torturing prisoners. A federal attorney representing the district tried to stop the trial. He even said that about how the Obama Administration is "looking forward, not backwards" and implied that questioning the actions of our government officials during war is treasonous. This show doesn't shy away from controversial topics. This was quite an episode!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What? Where Do They Go?

Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood, we have only 206 in our bodies.

Over-reaction Trivia

In 1971, Kinks guitarist Dave Davies tried to steal a french fry from one of his brothers, singer Ray Davies. In retaliation, Ray stabbed Dave in the chest with a fork.


Is it just me or do those Charles Schwab commercials with the interpolated rotoscope animated people creep you out? I can't watch them.

It's a fascinating process, and somehow what I've seen of movies animated that way doesn't bother me as much, but then I've only seen snippets of them a couple of times.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Heffelump Trivia

There are 40,000 muscles and tendons in an elephant’s trunk. This makes it very strong and flexible, allowing an elephant to pluck a delicate flower, untie a knot, or tear a tree out of the ground; yet the trunk is sensitive enough to smell water 3 miles away.

Periodic Twilight Rant

Another Rant About The View

The conservative woman I wish were on instead of Elisabeth Hasselbeck was guest host on The View this week. Her name is E. D. Hill. She is informed and intelligent. You can tell she listens, hears, thinks, and discusses issues. Elisabeth, on the other hand, is a mouthpiece for Sean Hannity. She's said she talks with him every day. She's reactionary and attacks personalities without being in touch with reality many times.

E. D. Hill has five children and three step-children and seems to have a handle on life. That's who I was trying to remember other day. She's not shrill and divisive like the Coultergeist, Michelle Malkin, and some of those but did refer to the Obamas fist bump as a "terrorist fist jab" when she had a show on FOX Noise. I've only seen her when she co-hosted the show, so I might not know enough about her. From what I've seen, though, I agree with what she says about rearing children and like the mannerly way she conducts herself.

I'd also like to see Sherri replaced for other reasons. It's embarrassing to watch her flirt (I'll be polite here) with male guest and get all squirmy and touchy around them. She goes on and on about being celibate and seems to be in heat all the time. Bring up masturbation and she gets all "my preacher says that's wrong" on us! Just saying. She can help herself out some there and maybe calm down. She can't think for herself? No, she's one of those fundamentalists who lets others do it for her. I hope her TV sitcom works out so well that she can't stay on The View. Sherri needs to learn about boundaries. After she lost weight, we had to keep seeing her in a bathing suit. She'd look better if she had breast-reduction surgery, but she is really proud of them and lets us know.

Whoopi and Joy are the only ones I like on there. Joy goes too far at times mostly because she goes for the joke, and sometimes they don't work. I agree with her most of the time and also with Whoopi. I wish Barbara would quit being so rude to Whoopi. She interrupts her all the time! I read the message board on their website and discovered that I'm not the only one who feels this way. It was sort of fun to read. Barbara's self-promotion and interruptions to exlain what another person is trying to discuss is irritating and rude. Sometimes she's way out there being inappropriate. I am going to quit watching it when she's on unless there's a guest I want to see. Everyone is more relaxed and has better discussions when she's not on there.

I'd like to say I won't rant about them again but probably will.

Einstein Quote

Truth is what stands the test of experience.

I'm thinking about this.

Luxury Car Trivia

Karl Benz of Germany is credited with inventing the very first automobile in 1885. It had an internal combustion engine and three wheels. In 1926, Benz merged his company with that of fellow German auto creator Gustave Daimler to form Mercedes-Benz.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Moment of Grin

Movie Trivia

Rod Serling wrote the script for Planet of the Apes.


The seeing-eye dog, or any dog trained to guide the blind, cannot tell a red light from a green one. When it leads its master across the street, it watches the traffic flow to tell when it is safe to cross.

TDR Football Trivia

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt had to call a special meeting of Yale, Harvard, and Princeton representatives at the White House in order to find a way to stop the growing brutality in football. In the previous year 18 Americans lost their lives while playing football, and 154 more were seriously injured. Too bad we don’t have the video!

And I'm still a bit irritated that our local ABC affiliate chose to air that football show during the first half of DWTS last night.

Remember Pay Phones?

When using the first pay telephones, a caller did not deposit coins in the machine. He or she gave them to an attendant who stood next to the telephone. Self-service coin telephones did not appear until 1899.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DWTS Results Week One

Guess what they did here? The Jeff Fisher Titans Show was on at its regular time, and they broadcast the last half of DWTS when it was over. That announcement about joining the show in progress came on before it, too. I think they could have shown whatever they do on the football show later.

So what I saw was a tribute to Patrick Swayze by several of the professional dancers.

The ones to leave first were Ashley Hamilton and Macy Gray. No big surprise here. It's just a matter of which ones go first with several of them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DWTS Season 9

Tonight the women dance. Len gave low scores tonight and was highly critical - more than last night. He gets grouchy sometimes.

Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo
Macy Gray and Jonathan Roberts
Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas
Kathy Ireland and Tony Dovolani
Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough
Debi Mazar and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Mya and Dmitry Chaplin
Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel

Debbie Mazar has potential and did parts of the salsa well but lost her timing and missed footwork some. If she can stay, I think she'll improve. She and Maks are funny together during rehearsal. (score 16 + 6 = 22)

Sabrina has grown up and has children. Melissa Joan Hart danced the Viennese Waltz pretty well but lacked elegance and some footwork. She has potential but not sure Mark will repeat his championship this year. (score 16 + 6 = 22)

Mya (who?) is a singer. She danced the Viennese Waltz so much better than I ever thought she would based on rehearsal. I enjoyed it. Her footwork, turns, timing, and posture were all good. Len and Bruno argued about the dance since Len said it wasn't a Viennese Waltz and fussed at Dmitry. Bruno said it was artistry. Two 8's and Len's 5. Woo! (score 21 + 10 = 31)

What's with models who can't dance? Kathy Ireland is another one but better than some we've seen. (score 16 + 4 = 20)

Natalie Coughlin is an Olympic gold medal swimmer and has that focus and training. She was concentrating on her moves so much that they didn't look loose and spontaneous. Potential for sure, though. (score 19 + 8 = 27)

Macy Gray and Jonathan had to rehearse all over Europe while she was on tour. Well, this was interesting. Not that graceful but sort of charming. (score 15 + 4 = 19)

A model who danced the salsa well - Joanna Krupa had good hip action and energy. Best dance of the night. Derek might win with another model, but we'll see. (score 24 + 10 = 34)

Kelly Osbourne is all platinum blonde now. She danced the Viennese Waltz with grace and style. Sharon and Ozzy were there cheering her on, and Sharon cried (so did I just watching them). She ran over to hug them both. Who thought I'd be crying about Kelly and her parents? Well done! (score 23 + 8 = 31)

Relay Dance - Foxtrot: Joanna (10) Natalie (8) Debi (6) Kathy (4)

Relay Dance - Cha-Cha: Mya (10) Kelly (8) Melissa (6) Macy (4)

I called these, too! Watch and learn, huh? So, who will go home tomorrow night?

Doors Trivia

Jim Morrison found the name the Doors for his rock band in the title of Alders Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception, which extolls the use of hallucinogenic drugs.

Monday, September 21, 2009

DWTS Season 9

Here are the dancers for the new season:

Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff
Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo
Mark Decascos and Lacey Schwimmer
Tom DeLay and Cheryl Burke
Macy Gray and Jonathan Roberts
Ashley Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska
Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas
Kathy Ireland and Tony Dovolani
Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova
Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough
Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya
Debi Mazar and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Mya and Dmitry Chaplin
Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel
Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson
Louie Vito and Chelsie Hightower

Tonight the men dancetestants were showcased. I don't know who all of them are but will get to know the ones who stick around a while. Let's hope one of those isn't Tom DeLay. I already know as much about him as I care to. They're doing ballroom and Latin dances tonight. It's the first time they've done two dances the first night.

Aaron Carter (ADHD Kid) was so excited to dance with Karina during rehearsal that I wasn't sure he'd be able to concentrate on anything else. He did the cha-cha well, though, and the judges said he has potential. Apparently, he's been a performer since he was eight years old. I didn't know. (score 22 + 10 = 32)

Chuck Liddell is a mixed martial artist. Since I don't watch that, I don't know who he is, either. He did a sort of stiff foxtrot with Anna doing most of the dancing, but there's something endearing about how hard he tried. (score 16 + 6 = 22)

Mark Dacascos is a martial artist and on Iron Chef. Lacey worked with him on the cha-cha, and he just might be a contender. He moves and has rhythm! It was a little awkward in places but good for the first time! (score 21 + 8 = 29)

Ashley Hamilton, actor and comedian, is George Hamilton's son (and Alana Stewart's) and was married briefly to Shannon Doherty and Angie Everhart (I googled). George and Alana were in the audience. Edyta danced with his father. Ashley was stiff but said he'd been in a motorcycle accident years ago, had brain surgery, was in a wheelchair for a year and a half, and thought he'd never walk again. Considering that, he did pretty well. (score 15 + 4 = 19)

Donny Osmond danced the foxtrot with Kym really well. So far he's the best one on there. Of course, he knows how to sell it to the audience. Marie was there cheering him on along with his wife. (score 20 + 10 = 30) Lower than I thought the foxtrot should be.

Louie Vito is a snowboarder (Yea! I'll see him in the Olympics) and knows nothing about dancing but is highly competitive. Well, his foxtrot with Chelsie was stiff and self-conscious. He's cute and personable, and being an Olympian he will do his best to improve. He has potential. (score 19 + 8 = 27)

Michael Irvin, of NFL Hall of Fame and Super Bowl fame, is on because of rivalry with Jerry Rice. He knows Rice's scores on all his dances and wants to do at least a point better. Funny! He said he needs to get a 22 on his cha-cha because Jerry got a 21 on his. He has some good moves, but Anna is doing most of the dancing. I don't believe he's going to do it this time, but he has potential, charm, and charisma. (score 13 + 6 = 19)

Tom DeLay danced a cha-cha to "Wild Thing" and mostly walked through it and did a few moves that creeped me out. Cheryl won't be able to do enough to get him very far in this competition. (score 16 + 4 = 20)

Next everyone is doing a first-ever relay dance. They are in groups of four with the judges ranking them.

First Group - Salsa: 1 - Donny (10) 2 - Louie (8) 3 - Chuck (6) 4 - Ashley (4),

Second Group - Viennese Waltz: 1 - Aaron (10) 2- Mark (8) 3 - Michael (6) 4 - Tom (4)

For the record and to brag, I called all these in the order the judges did. Watching all these seasons of DWTS I've learned something! The best and ones with most potential are Aaron, Donny, Mark, and Louie. Chuck and Michael are determined and might improve the way others have. We'll see.