30 November, 2007
29 November, 2007
It's my first ever recognition, and I would like to thank the little people:
Julie was also kind enough to tag me for the alphabet meme. The idea is to use the letters of the alphabet to describe yourself kindly. So, I'll give it a try. You don't mind if I sing while I'm doing this, do you? I find it necessary to sing if I want the letters in order (which was how I developed the amazing talent of singing under my breath when I was a library assistant in Junior High School and later in college). Anyway, here goes.
Game player (scrabble, gin rummy, dominoes)
Lover /loyal / lesbian
Quick (witted and tempered--but I cool down quickly)
Sensual / short / silly
Well read / writer
Yellow dog democrat
I'm not going to tag anybody, but I'd love for some of ya'll to play along!
28 November, 2007
Here's one who makes me prouder than I can say.
Barbara Jordon (1936-1996) was born in Houston Texas' West End. She became a state legislator in 1966, served as president of the "ledge," became a congresswoman, gained some notoriety during the Watergate hearings, and gave the key note address at the Democratic National Convention in 1976. I was a junior in High School at the time. I remember her voice. I remember her words. I remember that we hoped that Jimmy Carter would choose Jordon as his running mate. I remember people talking about how it might someday be possible for a woman to become president. I remember thinking that it might one day be possible for an African American to be president.
She served until 1979, when multiple sclerosis caused her to retire (although she kept her illness as secret as possible). She taught political science at the University of Texas after her retirement.
Jordon gave the key note at the 1992 convention as well, and was thought to be on the short list for a nomination to the Supreme Court, but Bill Clinton did not nominate her because of her poor health.
Jordon is remembered as a woman of great courage and conviction. She is also remembered as one of the best orators of the twentieth century. This link has the full text of her 1976 key note. I urge you to listen to it rather than read it. She was amazing.
Oh, and one more thing. In my little bit of research this morning, I found out that Jordon had a companion of over twenty years, Nancy Earl, who is often trivialized or totally ignored in biographies of the great woman.
26 November, 2007
We aim to be the biggest and the baddest, and in this case we succeed. Heck, we have double the emissions of the two states below us combined.
Well in part, it could be that our biggest supply of energy comes from coal.
It could also stem from our lack of good public transportation and our love of big cars.
But for the most part, I think we simply DON'T believe that our emissions have anything to do with global warming. Last semester two of my ADULT students wrote essays about global warming. Both of them took the position that we cannot prove that the rising emissions of greenhouse gasses have anything to do with global climate change.
O.K. if you are
And what if the alarmists are right? I recently posted an amusing and frightening video that posed just that question.
I love Texas. I lived away from here for ten years as a young adult, and I realized that the hills and plains of Texas are my spiritual home--this is where I want to be (at least for now).
But I am not always proud to be from Texas. There are many things I don't like about us. And this pig-headed insistence that we can do whatever we like and damn the consequences is down right embarrassing.
24 November, 2007
He was a gash an' faithful tyke
As ever lap a sheugh or dyke.
His honest, sonsie, bawns'nt face
Ay gat him friends in ilka place;
His breast was white, his tousie back
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black;
His gawsie tail, wi' upward curl.
Hung owre his hurdles wi' a swirl.
lap a sheugh: leap a ditch
sonsie, baws'nt: sweet face with a white stripe
It has, as you might imagine, many helpful quotes to motivate and inspire. But it is an older book--published in 1992.
Under the section for responsibility is a quote by O.J. Simpson:
The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that's the day you start to the top."
Ah yes, he did say that.
22 November, 2007
We had a grand time today with family and friends.
We did add two leaves to the table, but Some of us still needed to share a chair.
Poor young Lyle had to work last night at Whataburger, so he was terribly tired, but the rest of us showed up with our party faces.
We started off with grand style, but ended up looking like
As soon as I figure out how to do it, I'll enclose a short video of us playing charades after dinner. Except for poor Lyle trying to sleep on the couch, I think we all had a good time.
Merry Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night.
21 November, 2007
19 November, 2007
So, I have put a new link in my side bar to replace NaBloPoMo. I have really enjoyed writing and reading more blogs. Indeed, I now have enough links to keep me away from work for hours at a time. Yea!
So here's to making it through November, my bloggy friends! I have great hopes that you won't all quit posting the moment the month is over.
17 November, 2007
A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period --
When March is scarcely here
A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.
It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.
Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay --
A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.
16 November, 2007
What is all the fuss about?
Mrs. G.,over at Derfwad Manor , has invited all of her bloggy friends to post a list of their favorite things.
So here goes.
1. Folk music. I love all sorts of music, but my latest favorite, and the accompaniment to every evening meal at my house is The Weepies.
14 November, 2007
They are having such a hard time. I know they will do their best. I know they will come to an understanding of the different values of the sisters. I know they will love Maggie and her mother.
I have yet to have a student really identify with Dee. This surprises me, because I did. I don't mean that I totally disrespected my mother and my sister(s), although the sisters might tell a different tale, but there were times when we spoke a different language.
There were also times when I was so full of myself and my grand ideas--so full of my feminist struggle--that I did not give credit to the woman who raised three girls by herself--to the women my sisters had become. I certainly gave them lip service, just as Dee has appreciation for the "folk art" her grandmother had quilted. But I neglected to accept what they were--to be proud of what they were. Warts (lack of "higher" education) and all. I wonder if that is just part of the undergraduate experience--that strange and heady hubris.
On a lighter note, one of my perfect, precious puppies is what is called a Walker Fox Hound. So her name is
I somehow think Alice would appreciate the gesture.
I was in my Algebra II classroom, it was the final weeks of the semester, as it is now, and I was utterly unprepared. After a few minutes of winging it and going over the homework,
I decided to let my class go early. Normally, that is cause for student celebration. But today there was an angry student who complained that he had learned NOTHING all semester.
This was not surprising to me as I am an ENGLISH teacher who never took a math beyond the required Algebra I and remembers nothing of it beyond the abject terror and her temptation to offer sexual favors to her teacher in exchange for a passing grade (thank God that wasn't necessary--he was not an attractive soul, poor man). Anyway, I apologized to the poor student who only wanted to learn something, and I awakened in a cold sweat two minutes before my alarm went off.
Ah, November; it makes a teacher want . . .
. . . some encouragement.
13 November, 2007
11 November, 2007
This is a print she made in 1989--It is a self portrait. I first found this print this summer (three years after her death), when I was getting ready to move. There was a large container underneath her bed with dozens of prints and drawings I had never seen. I was blown away by this image. Mamma loved birds. We often had finches in our home (I still have our last two), and she fed wild birds as well. When I found this box of prints, I was amazed by the number of bird allusions in her work. Painting herself with feathers is particularly telling, I think. Here's one just for fun:
Later, when I got to the garage, I found some of her plates for printing. This piece of paper was wrapped around a blank plate.
My first reaction to this was pure joy--just seeing her handwriting is comforting for me. But I am also moved by her affirmation--by the idea that Mom saw herself as an artist. She was always self-depreciating, and that got in the way of her progress sometimes.
Painting is not something you learn. It is something you do.
I am as much an artist now as I ever will be. Good or bad is not the point--I am not a student who will study & grow up & become an artist someday. I'm an artist now--whatever--
10 November, 2007
First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.
There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.
I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.
And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
you breathe differently down here.
I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed
the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and away into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.
This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he
whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass
We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
our names do not appear.
Remember when we were kids and at every opportunity, some adult would have us play that silly Telephone game? You know… the one where the lead person comes up with a sentence or statement, whispers it into the ear of the next person in line, and the sentence is passed from person to person until it reaches the end of the line. The last person then repeats the sentence out loud, the first person announces what it actually was, and everyone gets to laugh about how goofy it got by being passed from ear to ear and being altered because of mispronunciations and hearing ability.Of course I realize that the game was simply a means for adults to keep us in line while we were waiting for something or killing time. Haven’t we even now as adults, tried to use it on our own kids?
Being the silly kind of fracas that I am, I’ve decided to create an internet version of the game, and use it as an opportunity for link-getting. Everyone wants links, and yet lots of people I know, prefer to get their links in a non-obvious kind of way. We’ve all done the “copy this list and create a post and you’ll get links” type of tag… at least once, but most of us don’t want to fill our blogs with those posts. It may get links, but eventually will chase readers away.This is a fun way to give your readers something entertaining to read and get a few links too.Instructions:
If you’ve been tagged, check the last entry on the list. Copy this entire post, add your name and link to the end of the list, copy the sentence in the previous person’s entry and change ONE word in it to try and change the meaning of the sentence for your entry. Name and link only ONE person to tag and then post the whole thing as a new entry in your own blog. Please make sure to transfer all the links to your post otherwise you aren’t providing fair linkage to the people before you. Although this will take longer to get around, by tagging only one person you will avoid making mass enemies by having to tag many people, and it will also guarantee only one true version of the game is circulating out there.
Fracas, the creator, will attempt to keep tabs on the game and periodically report on it.
Please try not to tag someone you see is already on the list. If you’re on the list, have been tagged again by someone who didn’t pay attention to the instructions and you don’t want to do another turn, please leave a comment at this post over at Fracas, and Fracas will take your turn for you in order to keep the list going.
1. Fracas - http://fracas.wordpress.com/ - Never continue dating anyone who is rude to the waiter.
2. Mark @ Blogitude - http://www.blogitude.com/ - Never continue dating anyone who is nude to the waiter.
3. Wiggy @ http://damewigginsoflee.wordpress.com/ - Forever continue dating anyone who is nude to the waiter.
4. Froggy @ The Road Less Traveled - http://froglette79.wordpress.com/ - Forever continue dating anyone who is nude under the waiter.
5. InTheFastLane@ That’s Life - http://thatslifev2.blogspot.com/ - Forever continue dating anyone who is nude under the water.
6. Treadmillista @ Just Treadmilling Around - http://treadmillinginplace.blogspot.com/ - Forever continue dating everyone who is nude under the water.
7. Christine @ Watch Me! No, Watch Me! - http://watchmenowatchme.blogspot.com/ - Forever continue watching everyone who is nude under the water.
8. Candace @ not that i don’t love my kids - http://notthatidontlovemykids.blogspot.com/ - Forever continue scratching everyone who is nude under the water.
9. Fracas - http://fracas.wordpress.com/ - Forever avoid scratching everyone who is nude under the water.
10. Bluepaintred - http://www.bluepaintred.com/ - Never avoid scratching everyone who is nude under the water.
11. Shelli - http://shellis-sentiments.com/ - Never avoid kissing everyone who is nude under the water.
12. Judy- Sugar Queen’s Dream.Never avoid kissing everyone who is nude under the blankets.
13. Trish @ Not Your Typical Granny-Never avoid spanking everyone who is nude under the blankets.
14. Amy @ Amy’s Musings - Never try spanking everyone who is nude under the blankets.
15. Tense @ A Tense Teacher - Never try shagging everyone who is nude under the blankets.
16. Chili @ The Blue Door - Certainly try shagging everyone who is nude under the blankets.
17. O’Mama @ Life and Times of Organic Mama - Certainly try shagging everyone who is nude under the bleachers.
18. Grammar Snob @ Grammar Snob - Certainly try judging everyone who is nude under the bleachers.
19. Prof. J. @ Professor J's Place - Certainly try judging everyone who is rude under the bleachers.
20. Shrieking Lizzy -- You're it!
09 November, 2007
08 November, 2007
Yea! I've been tagged by It's My Life! For some odd reason, this has been a difficult post to write--I guess I feel that I'm an "open book" and everybody already knows all they need to know about me.
The idea is to post seven random facts about my life and to tag other bloggers to ask them to do the same. So here goes:
1) I worked for a summer as a nude model for life drawing courses. It was good money, but it got a little creepy after awhile.
2) Two years later, I worked for a summer as a short order cook at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It is amazing to get to see the canyon every day; I plan to return one day.
3) I met my partner through match dot com; hers was the first profile I read, and I knew that I wanted to get to know this person.
4) I love raspberries more than any fruit.
5) I play the guitar (poorly).
6)I dream about getting an RV and traveling from national park to national park.
7) I have one friend who calls me "Kitten" and one who calls me "Bear." Why they each have such disparate notions of the true nature of my personality, I'll never know.
Now I get to tag seven people. Hmm. . .
Gini because she just got started with this blogging thing
Serge because he feels like the only rooster in the hen house
Grammar Snob because I simply LOVE her name
Mrs. G. my mentor in all things bloggy
Susan because I love to see her writing
Tui Bijoux because she's great
Finally, Nicole, because of Jeopardy.
07 November, 2007
Copy this list and
- Bold those you’ve read.
- Italicize books you have started but couldn’t finish.
- Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once.
- Underline those on your To Be Read list.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose
Pride and Prejudice
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Sound and the Fury
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter*
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
The Catcher in the Rye*
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
In Cold Blood
The Three Musketeers
I am willing to admit that my joy over the prospect of cheap, plentiful ethanol may have been premature. But I am never one to pass up the opportunity for a happy dance--just ask my partner. I've been known to dance just because I'm happy to be home from work or we're having meatloaf.
I'm also one to break into song for no good reason. I got that from my mother, I think. She would sing or quote poetry at the drop of a hat.
How do you celebrate? And why? Does it take a high holy day or is Wednesday good enough?
05 November, 2007
But take heart my dears! News is out that a company in Georgia--Range Fuels--has developed a way to make ethanol from waste! You heard me--waste. They claim that soon they will be able to supply enough ethanol to replace the oil we get from Venezuela and the Persian Gulf combined.
This makes me happy. It is a great example of problems being solved by the private sector. What? Did I just say that? Well, I'm still a big ol' liberal, and I still think our government is responsible for investigating and encouraging the development of sustainable energy, but
they aren't doing it. So hurray for the private sector!
I'm doing my happy citizen dance.
I wonder, am I the only person who is embarrassed by her recycling bin? I wonder if the garbage men really care. . .
04 November, 2007
You really need to watch Pushing Daisies. This is one of the best shows I have seen in years. The camera work is amazing, the colors are a dream, the script is clever, and the actors are great fun. Do yourself a favor and tune in.
03 November, 2007
I’m not afraid of love
or its consequence of light.
It’s not easy to say this
or anything when my entrails
dangle between paradise
I am ashamed
I never had the words
to carry a friend from her death
to the stars correctly.
Or the words to keep
my people safe
The stars who were created by words
are circling over this house
formed of calcium, of blood—
in danger of being torn apart by stones of fear.
If these words can do anything
I say bless this house
Transfix us with love.
02 November, 2007
I enjoyed being witht the three different artists and seeing their work together. They are all very talented, of course, and they have different ways of seeing the world, which is a good thing. I spent the afternoon taking pictures, chatting up the artists, and generally getting in the way. And, ah, sipping a little wine.
01 November, 2007
I held class last night, although only a handful of students decided to come and see me rather than go trick or treating with their children. Where are their priorities?! Actually, I quite understand. I think I'd rather be combing the streets for candy with an eight year old,too. It was fun, though. I created private blogs for both of my classes and signed up the students who attended. I am not sure how well that will work, but it seems a good way to communicate with them.
Let's face it--I've gone mad for blogging. My new friend Mental Mosaic has suggested that we nominate St. Cassian as the patron saint of both of the november writing fests. I like that! Even those of us who suffer from bloggoreah should have a patron saint!