Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ah Romance!

After 11 years of living together, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman were married during a Taxi-lunch break.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The devastation in Alabama reached southern Tennessee but not to that extent.  How horrible!  Around here we had some flooding because of all the rain.  It was bad in places but has completely receded in some areas and almost in others.  There was damage to homes that they will never be able to sell.  It's one disaster after another with weather that's been going on for quite a while now and will continue.  Partly it's La Nina but also global warming which makes all storms worse. 

Thanks to those of you who have been following the weather maps here.  I do that, too, when it's in your area.  Local TV stations here are WLAC and WSMV.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Still with the Storms

So far, so good with this round of tornadoes and torrential rain.  Again, trees had the most damage.  Schools were called off today because of a bridge being out and trees across roads.  The electricity stayed on here.  I still think the TV stations could scroll information along the bottom of the screen and break into shows briefly to give important warnings and news.  This constant coverage is too much.  We get it.  I for one can wait until the regular news reports to find out about a lot of this.  They say the same things over and over and interview people who don't say much. 

Last night was the last night of classes I've been auditing.  It's easy to get to know people in a writing class and to feel close to some of them.  Since it was a nonfiction creative writing class, we shared things from our lives with each other through our writing.  I enjoy auditing the classes and appreciate how welcome they've made me.  If any of them read my blog, I hope they'll comment.  (Melanie!)

There's one more class I plan to audit this summer and then no more unless Dr. Steve Ryan teaches one or another class seems interesting.  I like being in class just for the pleasure of learning and without the pressure of writing papers, taking tests, and being concerned about grades.  I read the books and joined the discussions and learned new things.

Vanderbilt and David Lipscomb are private universities that have classes for older students who are interested in various subjects.  I have considered taking those and might do it eventually.  I'd be with others around my age even though I've enjoyed being in class with students of different ages.  Also these are graduate English classes, and I'll probably audit more of those, too.  That's a good plan for state colleges and universities to offer those of us 60+ the opportunity to audit classes free.  Options!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Sam and I both have iPhones with access to Face Time calling.  When Brendan was here this weekend, I asked him if he'd like to talk to Sam on the phone where we could see him when we talked.  He said he would partly because he loves to have his picture taken and has never met a stage he didn't like.  So I got it set up after showing him pictures of Sam, Bill, and Max on Facebook.  He wanted to know why Sam used bad words to describe one of the photos.  I told him I didn't know and that he could ask him when we talked.  He asked when we were going to "see-call" Sam.  He made that up, and I like it since that's what it is.  When he asked Sam about the bad words, it was the only time I've seen Sam speechless.  Then he recovered and told Brendan that he has a potty mouth.  I hope Brendan won't use that as an excuse when he uses bad words - and he does! 

We made the see-call Sunday morning, and he had so much fun doing it.  When Sam called him Brendan, he was taken aback and gasped, "How do you know my name?"  I told him they had seen pictures of him like he saw theirs on FB.  Sam told him he was famous, which pleased him more, I'm sure.  Then when Sam asked him about my cat Brigit, Brendan asked how he knew about Brigit.  Then when Sam asked where Brigit was, Brendan said she hides from him.  This is true.  They give each other a wide berth.  They are a lot alike actually - both under foot, want what they want now, and much more.

Anyway, it was fun and hilarious!  If I could figure out how to get a video I accidentally made on here, I'd post it.  I can't email them to myself for some reason and keep getting a mail delivery notification.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Beamish Grandboy

My grandson Brendan is spending the weekend with me.  I met Brian and got him this morning since he's out of school today.  We went to Toys R Us and bought some Legos, books, and other things.  When we built things with the Legos, Brendan decided we should speak as if we live in London, so we used English accents.  He was Reginald and I was Penelope.  I might add some photos later on.  Right now I'm being summoned!  We're having fun!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This Might Explain Something

At a 1965 concert in Sacramento, Keith Richards smashed his microphone with the neck of his guitar. It produced a giant bolt of electricity that sent him flying through the air and then knocked him on his back, unconscious. Two minutes later, he came to. He credited his survival to the thick soles of the suede Hush Puppy boots he was wearing at the time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


For those of you who read that post titled "Another One" about the piece "Bar None" I wrote for that creative nonfiction class I'm taking, you might want to know some of the remarks I got on it. The assistant professor who teaches the class said I should finish the jokes in the first two paragraphs because it would be funnier and I could do it. OK, she also really likes it when we include the unexpected in our writing.

So let me ask you if you agree with me about this. Having one of those sentences about "X walks into a bar ..." sets up a joke that doesn't come. That's unexpected and unnecessary. That would miss the point of the paper. I do agree that I could have had a more effective ending. I wasn't sure how I wanted to end it, and it shows.

Back to the suggestions, some of them got it, but most of the ones in the class, including the teacher, don't think like stand-up comedians the way some of us do. What do you think?

Btw, they liked "What a Drag" with the RuPaul quote. Some of them didn't know who all the people were I mentioned, but that wasn't necessary to get the point. It got good reviews. Thank you, Miss Ginger!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Myth Debunked

Contrary to popular belief, Daniel Boone reportedly did not like coonskin caps.

Davy Crockett did, I guess. Thus the confusion since Fess Parker played both of them.

"Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers Through the Cumberland Gap" by George Caleb Bingham

Cruel & Unusual Death

The good news in 1547 in Britain was that the law was amended to end the practice of boiling criminals to death. The bad news was that the punishment was changed to burning them at the stake.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Better but Not Great

I'm feeling better but not great yet.  This bronchitis kicked my butt!  I have quite a cough going that I take cough syrup with codeine in, which doesn't make me sleepy but in a slightly altered state.

Not this bad though ... not addicted. 

Lot of people might not be able to listen to Buffy Sainte-Marie and her vibrato, but I like her.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Somehow when adding a link to my blog list, I managed to delete the whole thing.  I spent quite a while restoring as many links as I could remember, saved them, and checked out my list.  For some reason after trying again and again, it wouldn't let me add some of yours to my list.  I want them on there!  I have no idea why it's acting this way and will try again tomorrow after my computer has been off and then on again.  Guess I'll have to read blogs through Google Reader, but I like clicking them from my list.  Strange. 

Sick Schmick

Ever notice how when you're sick everything look grim and hopeless?  It's mostly the annoying illnesses that involve coughing or nausea or other inconveniences.  I used to have allergies in the spring and fall and go around sniffling for a while.  Then it went into sinusitis later on, so I had to deal with that.  Quite a few years ago, it progressed quickly from allergies to sinusitis to bronchitis and even to pneumonia once.  So I take the allergies seriously now that the progression is really fast.  I went to the walk-in clinic yesterday because my doctor's wife has serious complications with her pregnancy and has to be hospitalized for months.  He had to leave and cancel appointments.  I'm worried about her and hope they can have their baby and that she will be healthy and make it OK.

So now I have a Z-pack and some cough syrup for bronchitis and am sleeping a lot until I wake myself up coughing.  All my cough muscles hurt.  Miss G knows all too well how this is because of having this hang on for over a month!  I hope his appointment with an ENT will get rid of this for him.  Tug is also suffering with allergies and sinusitis now, too.  'Tis the season!  I wish spring and fall loved me as much as I love them!

I noticed how bleak everything seems to me and how I don't like anything much right now.  When I'm sick, I almost can't remember how good it feels to be healthy.  On the other hand, when I'm fine, I take it for granted and enjoy it thoroughly.  Are any of you like this, too?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fingernail Trivia

The fingernails grow faster on the hand you favor. If you are right-handed, your right fingernails will grow faster, and vice versa. The middle fingernail grows faster than any other nail.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Assemby Line Trivia

Henry Ford called his first car a quadricycle, but he did not invent the automobile. What Ford did accomplish was to mass-produce automobiles and provide affordable service for them.

War is a Drag

Sarah Edmonds was one of many women who fought in the U.S. Civil War in disguise as a man. She became a Union spy, and later deserted to protect her secret. Edmonds revealed her true identity after the war in an attempt to clear herself of the desertion charges and gain a pension.

Born in 1841 in New Brunswick, Canada, Sarah ran away from home in her early teens. In order to survive she became an itinerant Bible salesman, by calling herself Frank Thompson and dressing like a man.

In 1861, Frank (Sarah) enlisted in the Second Michigan Infantry and over the next two years not only fought in a number of Civil War battles, but also served as a spy for the Union Army. Solders in her unit called Frank “our woman” because of his feminine mannerisms and his extremely small boot size. However, none of her comrades ever figured out that Frank was really Sarah. This boded well for her spying, where she dressed as a young boy serving in Confederate camps, as an immigrant Irish peddler and, most interestingly, as a woman.

In 1863, Sarah caught malaria and deserted the army out of fear that hospitalization would reveal her true identity. In 1884, though, Sarah applied for and was awarded a veteran’s pension in which the secretary of war acknowledged that Sarah was a female soldier who had rendered faithful services to the ranks.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blog Suggestion

This blog FourFour is written by someone who works at TV Guide dot com and previously worked at VH1, so it has lots of pop culture information on it.  My son Brian told me about it and said, "Your gays might like it, too."  So check it out HERE and see if you do! 

Another One

Bar None

            Angelina Jolie, Meg Ryan, and Oprah walk into a bar.  Who gets noticed?  Who gets laid?  Who intimidates?  Who is approachable? 
George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, and Bill Gates walk into a bar.  Who leaves with the most phone numbers?
Depends, doesn’t it?  Such speculations can lead to lively discussions and friendly arguments.  It can be fun to make fantasy lists and suspend reality for a while.  These discussions reveal values and judgments, intentional or not. 
My college roommate and I periodically meet for lunch in a town halfway between where we live.  She was the blonde, wholesome, outdoor type, while I was the brunette, wholesome, indoor type.  We had our moments of dating and popularity.  A few years ago during lunch, we walked past the bar to go to the restroom.  When we returned to our table, my roommate said, “You know you’ve gotten old when men in bars don’t look at you any more.” 
There is a freedom and disappointment in becoming invisible to men.  At first it’s a shock to no longer be noticed.  I never realized that I took it for granted.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying I was ever a beauty who turned heads and stopped conversation when I entered a room.  Not by a long shot.  Men had to get to know me to be interested in me.  I’m just saying that they looked and not in repulsion.  Being cute was about the best I could hope for as a short, petite girl with curly hair and a smartass sense of humor.  I didn’t know I’d miss it because I didn’t know my power. 
I learned to accept being invisible and have even embraced it.  The freedom that comes with my new status works out well.  I like living alone and am no longer interested in dating or being in a romantic relationship, so I’m not sending out that vibe anymore.  It was unexpected and not so bad. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What a Drag

I wrote this for a class I'm taking.  The assignment was to base our writing on a piece about aesthetics by one of the writers we're studying.  We had to use a quotation and then write about beauty, truth, and whatever.  I had a topic in mind and called Miss Ginger, who gave me a direction and some good ideas.  We had a wonderful phone conversation, and I got a lot of help.  Thanks, Miss G!! 

"We all came into this world naked. The rest is all drag."
                                                                    — RuPaul

Dame Edna Everage – Divine – RuPaul – The Lady Chablis – Dolly Parton … false eyelashes – wigs – glamour – sequins – feathers – 5” heels – sashaying … Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Elvis – James Dean – Fonzie – Mickey Rourke … sideburns – duck tail – black leather jacket – t-shirt – upturned collar – tattoos – chains – boots – leather … “Born to be Wild”

Sandra Dee – Debbie Reynolds – Gidget – Laverne & Shirley … bobby socks – pony tails – Laura Ashley – sweater sets – neck scarves – saddle oxfords … American Graffiti

 Urkel – Mark Zuckerberg – John Hodgman – Sheldon … pocket protectors – glasses – Dr. Who t-shirt – pale skin – D&D manual – backpack … The Big Bang Theory

Jackie Kennedy – Grace Kelly – Audrey Hepburn – Princess Diana … pillbox hat – pearls – basic black dress – Chanel – Dior – Casini – Givenchy – Saint Laurent - gloves – perfect make-up … Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Helena Bonham Carter – early Madonna – Cyndi Lauper – Bjork – Lady GaGa … eclectic – vintage – creative – individual – unique … “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

Marilyn Manson – Pauley Perrette – Adam Lambert – Elvira – Bellatrix Lestrange … black lipstick – tattoos – piercings – red eye shadow – black nail polish – blue/green/pink/red/black dyed hair – pentagrams – postmodernism … The Sandman

Marilyn Monroe – Elizabeth Taylor – Zsa Zsa Gabor – Joan Collins – Sophia Loren … diamonds – evening gown – bikini – heels – cleavage – tight clothes – big hair – eyeliner – red lips … Dynasty

Tom Selleck – ZZ Top – Bruce Willis – Salvador Dali – Donald Trump – Cornell West – Charlie Daniels … mustache – goatee – Van Dyke – beard –bald – comb-over – dreads –  spikes –braids – corn rows – Mohawk … Hair

Casual Fridays – scrunchies – sweats – t-shirts – shorts – sandals – jeans – track suits – tank tops – tennis shoes – caps – flannel shirts – khakis …

What’s your drag?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Some of you might have heard about the storms and tornadoes we've had in TN, especially in Dickson where I live.  Even more specifically, my neighborhood was hit hard, but mostly trees.  It just missed me.  I saw the straight-line winds whizzing by my house.  I watched out the window in fascination and later on fear because I've never seen horizontal rain before.  It was actually horizontal and really fast.  I heard 70+ mph!  Big, healthy trees were uprooted all along my street.  They all seemed to fall in yards and not on houses, but some of them fell on power lines.  I had no electricity from about 1:45 Monday until around 10:00 this morning.  There was no damage to my trees or house.  As I said, it just missed me.  I think there was a tornado near here, too, and that rainy wind might have been part of it.  Since I haven't seen the news but just read what people wrote on Facebook, I don't know much.  It will be in the local paper today. 

This morning when I went to breakfast, the Electric Company guys were up the street working on the lines.  I stopped to applaud and thank them.  They said some people won't have electricity until next week sometime and that there were 20 volunteer units here helping them.  I saw them drive along my street last night around 10:00.  They said they decided to work on it today during daylight.  I said that seemed like a good idea and asked if they'd gotten any sleep.  They said not much. 

I've been going to bed really early since there's nothing else to do.  While I was in the car charging my phone at night, I turned on the dome light and read.  Yes, isn't it great that I know how to turn that off and on now?  Thanks, Sam.  It's been great having the iPhone, but I'm so glad to be able to type on the laptop instead of thumb-texting email.  That's so tedious. 

Well, that's my news.  What have I missed?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wait, Wait!

I am SO excited!!  My favorite program on NPR is coming to TPAC!  I've whined and begged Peter Sagal on Twitter and on his blog to bring "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" to Nashville.  They will be here June 30!  Yay!!  I renewed my membership early to take advantage of the thank-you gift tickets.  So I'll have two tickets down front in the good seats and get to attend the VIP reception after the show!  I've always wondered how those people get the great seats because no matter how early I get online to order tickets those are never available - even when I'm a vulture lurking until the minute they go on sale.  These tickets aren't on sale until April 11.  I guess VIPs and people with connections get those.  So anyway, I am totally thrilled and stoked!  What fun that will be!  If Roy Blount, Jr., Paula Poundstone, and Mo Rocca are on the panel, it will be perfect!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tweets about Teaching

The Joy and Sorrows

"Doctor's mistakes are in the cemetery and lawyers' mistakes are in prison, teachers' mistakes get elected."  -Robert John Meehan

"Tenure guarantees a teacher due process – NOT a lifetime job."  -Robert John Meehan

"We must shift the focus of our classrooms from obedience to understanding".  -Robert John Meehan

All teachers who have had consistent success in the classroom understand that it is not enough merely to dispense information.

Solving the problems in education are actually simple. All we need is a dedicated society, knowledgeable politicians and excellent teachers

Teachers have been conditioned to realize that every innovative teaching method is eventually discredited by further sustained research.

Student achievement cannot be measured by test scores but in the small day to day moments of their students’ individual triumphs.

The vast majority of students are awesome to work with, it’s a vocal minority that ends up taking up the teacher's time and attention.

Solving the problems in education are actually simple. All we need is a dedicated society, knowledgeable politicians and excellent teachers