Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kagan Hearings

How did some of these people get elected to Congress?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

This 'n That

Hope's blog Coffee and Casting On is new. Check it out and welcome her to Blog World!

Design Star isn't as good without Clive. I tweeted HGTV and told them. I doubt that I'm the only one.

This has been an alternately busy and lazy weekend. Saturday Tina, Hope, and I went to Kingston Springs to the yarn shop there Ewe & Company (check them out on FB), so I could pick up my prize and check out her neat shop. I bought a red binder/case for knitting supplies while I was there. It's really neat. Not sure if you can tell, but there are places for needles, yarn, and all kinds of accessories.

After that we went to a BBQ place in White Bluff for lunch even though I'm leery about being there after that trial when I was sequestered! It was OK though. We spent the afternoon at Yarn Frenzy that's like Cheers to us. What fun! We laugh and talk about everything. Then Yvonne and I had Chinese food for dinner at Ming Court. Good day!

Froggy, Tug, and I kept a conversation going on Twitter. Then Tug and I texted and talked. I had a social day yesterday. Not so much today - my usual radio programs on NPR this morning, TV, FB for Scrabble and Family Feud, nap, blog reading, and more TV. See what I mean?

I talked with David again yesterday, and he said he'll probably get to go home tomorrow. I texted him today but didn't have a phone conversation. Hope we hear from him on his blog tomorrow. It will be so good to have him back! I've missed his recaps and posts and wit and just everything!

I didn't go to the Firefly Fine Arts Festival because it was too hot again. I almost had a sun stroke (really) last year. A long time ago I had heat exhaustion, and it's easy to get over-heated once that's happened. I hated to miss it because I really like things like that and wanted to see what was there. Last year the vendors were really good and had quality pieces. Maybe next year!

Tug has branched out and talks to me on the phone now. He's talking to David quite often, too! Watch out! Who could be next?

Friday, June 25, 2010


Have any of you seen Hot in Cleveland yet? I've watched the pilot and first episode, so I'm current with it. This is the show with Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendy Malick, and Jane Leeves. Great cast, good writing (not brilliant but good), and a fish-out-of-water concept. Already there are some funny running jokes. It's on TV Land which I didn't watch shows on, but will continue to see this one.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

David, Tug, and Brendan

I talked with David today, and he seems better. He was really sick because he said he'll probably be in the hospital until Saturday. When he got there, his oxygen level was 50%! He's on antibiotics and oxygen now and improving. His mom is still there with him making sure he's taken care of. That has to help! David sounded good and is resting and going to be able to breathe!

I miss his blog and am thinking about him while watching Top Chef. I forgot to ask if the TV works in his room now. Anybody know? I'll text him tomorrow and find out. I keep thinking about what he would write about this episode. So many perfect David remarks he could have made about Angelo and the immunity strategy. Can't wait for him to be back to his recaps! It's not the same without them.

You won't believe this, but Tugboat (Sam) called me last week! In fact, we've talked about three or four times now. I encouraged him to call David, and he did that, too! I'm proud of him. Sam's a sweetie!

So this has been quite the day talking to two nephews during the same afternoon!

My grandson Brendan has strep. They had planned to go to Tampa to visit Brian's stepmother, but Brendan got sick. They were able to get their flight changed and reschedule the trip to the end of next month. He was so sick and sounded pitiful on the phone. Poor little guy! Brendan has been on antibiotics and is feeling better now. I used to get strep throat when I first started teaching and felt so bad with it. Thank goodness he's on the mend.

Update: David's TV does work in his room now but doesn't get Bravo.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Watching HGTV

Those infinity pools scare me. I realize they have sides and all, but they make me feel as if I could float and crash off a cliff or into the ocean. I couldn't have one. I'd completely freak out. I can barely look at these photos which unfortunately you can click to see even larger. Yikes!


Thank goodness for air conditioners! Just saying! It was 100 today with at least 100% humidity! (or so it seems)


Next New Artist quote from Charlie at Berry Blog: "I can take a bad musician better than a fucked up artist."

Friday, June 18, 2010

BP Oil Gush

Seen this? The BP Oil Spill Re-Enacted By Cats in 1 Minute (except we're way past calling that a "spill" ... it's a gushing disaster!) Did any of you see CEO Hayward at the Congressional questioning yesterday? What a bunch of stonewalling that was!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Austin, TX

Tina's son is moving to Austin, so we are driving down to "help" him move. I use the term loosely. Fortunately, he doesn't have furniture he's taking. He'll take clothes and personal belongings, and we'll help with that. This is our vacation, so we're planning to stay four nights but just have three days to do things. Since I want to go to all the presidential libraries, we're going to the LBJ Library and probably the LBJ Ranch, too. We also found something fun to do at night - the Cosmic Cowboy Tour. Check it out HERE. We're staying at the Radisson downtown, so we can take the trolley to places and not have to drive. (I know you'll be glad about that, Tug, and that we'll get there at night and leave on Sunday.) OK, it looks as if those trolleys are chartered by groups for tours. We can walk to many places we want to go and figure something out.

Well, we'll probably have to drive if we go to the LBJ Ranch this time. Something I don't understand is why they call what looks like a river that runs through the city "Town Lake." Maybe I'll find out.

Any suggestions for places to go, things to do, and restaurants we'd like?

From Twitter

paulapoundstone Last night I tearfully accepted "Best of Intentions" at the Procrastinator Awards. I had an idea for a great speech.

Love this! I identify!

I Won!

I won a door prize at the yarn shop, Ewe & Company! Cute logo, isn't it? If you're on Facebook, check out her page. The shop has a good atmosphere with photographs from the owner, a professional photographer, and whimsical touches here and there. She sells specialty yarns, buttons, and other items made by local artists in the area as well as kits and yarn for all kinds of projects.

Here's my door prize. It's a project bag, which I'll pick up later this week.

The yarn shop where I knit with my friends is Yarn Frenzy. It's also on Facebook. I was there today all afternoon working on that sweater I'm trying to finish for Mother's birthday July 12. I just might make it! I'll post a photo of her in it if it looks good enough for her to wear. I told her she didn't have to if it doesn't.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Floods & Oil

When I started watching Treme, it was before our flood here in Middle Tennessee. Since then I've been thinking a lot about the contrast between the two events. I don't know about the rest of the Gulf because New Orleans got most of the attention just as Nashville did during ours. Bigger cities each with a heritage of music and tourism. During and after the flood here, the state and local governments rushed to organize and handle the crisis. President Obama was on the phone with TN governor Phil Bredesen while it was still raining. FEMA was dispatched here at once, and a knitting friend said they were at her house and that she had a check in the bank within a week, I think.

Flood relief centers were everywhere. Neighbors and strangers pitched in and helped each other. All around the worst damaged areas, people had their houses emptied of destroyed furniture and possessions, sheet rock torn down, carpets taken up, and all out on the curb for removal. Huge trucks took it away. Water was donated, homes made available, and help everywhere. Tennessee's nickname is the Volunteer State, which came from all the volunteers sent to fight in the Mexican War. Texas should be grateful. Tennesseans died for them and helped get their republic and state started. That's why the UT team is called the Tennessee Vols - for Volunteers. But I digress.

We had organization from the government from federal, state, local as well as many organizations and people who are still getting things back in order. Part of it is that we didn't have "Heck of a Job Brownie" bumbing things, but there's more to it, I think. What is it? We didn't have all the looting, but law enforcement officers guarded neighborhoods and the residents paid attention, too. People were displaced here, too, and still are. Some lost their homes and won't get them back or be able to rebuild. Others will. Maybe this kind of help happened in New Orleans, and we just didn't hear about it. It seems that places here are cleaned up and usable in a much shorter time because they were still having a victim attitude when we were there five years after Katrina.

Why didn't New Orleans do this? Is it a Grasshopper vs Ant kind of thing? Does it have to do with learned helplessness? What's the difference between the two disasters and recovery? I don't know but am trying to figure it out.

Now another man-made catastrophe is bringing the Gulf to its knees because of BP. How much can they take? As Rachel Maddow said, we're getting our seafood from the same place we're drilling for oil. Now the shrimp and oysters are gone. So is the livelihood of many family businesses. It's infuriating and heartbreaking.


Tony Awards tonight! I'd like to see the play about Mark Rothko with Alfred Molina in it. Actually I'd love to take a couple of weeks and see several of them - Race, Memphis, A View from the Bridge, Viola Davis and Denzel in Fences, A Behanding in Spokane, Sondheim on Sondheim, and probably lots more I can't think of right now.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Today Tina, Hope, and I went to Kingston Springs, a community just a few miles from where we live, to check out a new yarn shop. We met some neat people who have businesses and live there. Fun! We ate lunch at the Red Tree Coffee Shop which was comfortable and relaxed. The owner and her friends were friendly and interesting and served delicious sandwiches and salads. We all had the same thing while we looked around at original art and gifts. They have music performances every Friday night, so we're planning to go there sometime soon for that.

We enjoyed our morning and early afternoon and have decided to explore more areas near here. For some reason, none of us had ever been to Kingston Springs before today, and I'd always wondered about it and what people meant by "downtown" there. It's basically one short street with several entertaining places to go.

Natural Tunnel nearby

The Red Tree Coffee Shop mobilized volunteers during the recent flood. That area is right on the Harpeth River and was hit hard. They were without electricity and homes for a while. Owners of the coffee shop were on the news because of all they did to help people during that time. Here's an article about it. And a video of the news report about them HERE.

Article from WSMV by Bob Sellers
When the recent mid-state flooding hit, the small town of Kingston Springs in Cheatham County was isolated, as the Harpeth River owned the town's roads and bridges. Almost everyone was without power that Monday, except for the Red Tree Coffee Shop.

"Everybody was just kind of wandering around, just walking because there was water in so much of the streets and everything … we just opened the doors and had a place for people just to say, 'Hey, are you OK?'" said Amy Bruce, the coffee shop's co-owner.

And that was just the beginning. On Tuesday morning, Bruce, who runs the shop with her sister, Katie Conley, sent out an e-mail and a message on Facebook for anyone who could get to the Red Tree to get there as soon as they could. Two hours later, they had a 100 people at the shop.

They set up volunteer teams, finding out what people needed and what people had. They went to work, pulling out insulation, knocking down walls and putting piles of trash out near the curb. It brought the town together with donations of food, elbow grease and spirit.

"That's whenever all these awesome people would take over a section of something, like, 'I'll take over child care.' 'I'll take over organizing.' 'I'll take over organizing the volunteer list, getting all their contact information,'" said Bruce. "And all these girls just did it. It was really awesome to watch."

Bruce talked about a woman who lost so much in the flood but who said it was one of the best things that ever happened to her because she had never known how many friends she had.Those friends will be getting together again to volunteer Saturday at 7:30 a.m. at the Red Tree.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


We're having thunderstorms here today, and I've been enjoying being lazy. It's a good day to be inside reading, being on the computer, and watching TV. :-) Ah, cozy!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oh Great

Now here's this article about short people having more health problems than tall people. I've decided not to believe it since many of my short relatives lived past 80 and 90.

Check out the article HERE.

After analyzing all 52 studies, Paajanen found an increased risk for health problems and earlier death for the shortest group compared to the tallest.

  • Short stature increased the risk of heart disease illness and death by 1.5 times.
  • Short men had a 37% increased risk for dying from any cause, and short women a 55% increased risk.
  • Both short men and short women had a 52% increased risk of having a heart attack.


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Design Star

Anybody else planning to watch Design Star on HGTV beginning next Sunday night?

GOP Symbol - Coincidence?

In the animal kingdom, the animals that fart the most are the elephants.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not sweat by salivating. They sweat through the pads of their feet.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer - Let the Whining Begin!

It's already too hot and humid. As I've said many times, low humidity is the key to happiness for me. We're already into the upper 80's and low 90's for a high with afternoon showers which makes it stifling and muggy. Those words aren't even part of the vocabulary in the southwestern part of the country. Later on when it's in the high 90's, it will be a jungle out there, Jane. It makes things green and lush which is pretty with all the flowers and trees and shrubbery. (Have to get some Monty Python in there.)

I've been hearing people discuss cutting back on air conditioning on NPR by saying how houses were made with cross-ventilation and people didn't have a/c back in the day and made it just fine. No, we didn't. Not at all. I was miserable as a child and teenager. We didn't have it at home when I was growing up, and I suffered every summer. We played outside most of the time and came in to eat and sleep. I'd beg my parents to take me swimming or let me stand under the hose. Then later on, I'd ask if I could live with my aunt and uncle in Nashville during the summer.

We didn't have a/c at school, church, or most places back then, and I don't know how we stood it. Keep in mind that we wore starched and ironed dresses and shirts and dressed up when we went anywhere, too. I don't recall being miserable all the time but know I would be now without it.

Lee Remick, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward in The Long Hot Summer

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I'm getting ready for a visit from my grandson Brendan from Friday through Monday. I'm planning activities to keep him entertained. Just wish I had a fraction of his energy!

Brian is in charge of HyperiCon, so he and Melissa will be there all weekend working and having fun. Here's a link to it if you'd like to check it out. You can also follow it on Facebook and Twitter. Melissa always does the art work for the poster. Check out her website HERE. This is the one for this year.

This is one of my favorite paintings she's done. "The Astronomer"

And this one - "Cold Water" which I call "The Depressed Mermaid"

Melissa's titles are infinitely better than the ones I make up. It's just what I do for some reason.

The Gores

This article by Howard Fineman in Newsweek about the Gores sheds light on what might have happened.

The Odd Couple Finally Splits Up

Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, always seemed slightly mismatched.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Tipper Gore stands behind Al Gore during an October 2008 presidential debate in Nashville.

They were an odd couple from the start, a teenage romance that tried—and, after 40 years, failed—to bridge the divides that were inherent in it from the start: political versus nonpolitical Washington; pure, driven ambition versus another day at the beach; a need to internalize and intellectualize versus the drummer in the band.

I've known Al and (less well) Tipper Gore since the early 1980s, and always thought that their marriage was the quirky, unstable leftover of their youths in the capital. Gore was as "federal" as you could get, the princely son of a senator living at the Fairfax Hotel and commuting up Massaschusetts Avenue to prep school at St. Albans. Tipper was all local, the fun-loving daughter of a well-to-do Arlington, Va ., businessman (and who gave the young couple the suburban house they lived in). It had to have been thrilling—and an act of teenage rebellion for them both—when they literally crossed the river for each other.

But the driven Gore—whose father reared him with the expectation that he would be president—was, after a fitful start (reporter, theology student)—focused intently on a political life. His wife, by contrast, always seemed unsettled in the role of the Good Wife, the dutiful, careful, and absorbed political spouse.

She did her best. In the old days, the Gores used to have a Christmas party at their Arlington home when their kids were young; Gore staffers would dress as Santas and elves. Al tried to enjoy these events (even though he wasn't much for easy social chatter), but I always thought that Tipper, genial as she was, seemed a bit nonplussed by the use of her home for such a mix of public, political, and private life.

Tipper loved to take photographs at events—a way to express herself artistically but always a way to distance herself from them.

The two sometimes could seem yoked together like the figures on a wedding cake. When, as vice president, they hosted Halloween parties, they dressed in elaborate costumes (provided by the Walt Disney Co.) that some years completely hid their identity as individuals. It was a kind of goof on the whole enterprise: guests had their pictures taken with "hosts" no one could identify. I didn't think the Gores were enjoying themselves in the heavy armor of costumes.

A visit to the vice presidential mansion in the Clinton-Gore years—I went there a couple of times for interviews—never yielded much if any time with Tipper. You were there to talk politica and policy with Al, and Al only. It's not that Tipper was hidden away; she just wasn't part of the equation.

The Gores had more than their share of challenge and tragedy. Al lost his beloved sister to cancer; Tipper had depression issues; their son Albert III was nearly killed in a traffic accident in front of his father's eyes.

Al Gore is a worthy, earnest guy. He was ahead of his time on many issues, and right about much more than he was wrong

But no one would ever call him spontaneous; you always got the sense with Tipper that she was one eye roll away from giving up on the whole enterprise of living a public life.

And this article has some stories about the other side of their marriage.
Tipper would also send "lascivious" (her words) messages to Al, which annoyed staffers but tickled her husband.

Tipper's moods provoked some grumbling in the Gore camp. She upbraided staffers if her holding room was not stocked with Slim-Fast shakes. But no one denied that Gore needed her and used her as an escape from the constant coaching and handling that presidential candidates have to endure. Tipper, for her part, was not shy about advertising their means of diversion. To AP reporter Sandra Sobieraj, she related this mildly steamy e-mail exchange between her husband, who at the time was rehearsing in Florida for the first debate, and herself, back at the vice president's mansion in Washington. Gore was typing on his BlackBerry messenger while he stood at the podium:

Al: I love you. How are you doing? I'm in the middle of debate prep. Paul [Begala, his sparring partner] is talking. They're wondering what I'm doing.
Tipper: Oh, I know what I'd like to be doing with you right now. [Tipper writes something she describes as "a little lascivious."]

Al: I'm losing my concentration now. We have to stop.

Still, there may have been signs of trouble. Sometime this spring, the Gores bought an $8.875 million mansion on a sprawling lot in Montecito, a Southern California playground for the rich. A house far away from the Gores' Nashville base could be the groundwork for a separation.

Leonardo that Renaissance Man

Sure, Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, but even more important, he invented the scissors.

The Gores No More

I'm surprised that Al and Tipper Gore are getting a divorce. Didn't see that coming.