New Orleans, I’m Coming To You –Dayna Kurtz

bkhouse

Bryan Block, owner (with his partner, Jefferson Keller) of the exquisite Block-Keller House in New Orleans, is a person I love with unwavering and open fervor.  I can’t tell the story of how we met, because it contains my evil; I have not a shred of regret for the evil, but to publicize it would ill-behoove me.  I can recount the exact moment I knew Bryan and Jefferson were not merely my kindred spirits, but Family, and that our unspoken covenant would last all of our lives.  The three of us were sitting outside, in a strange, old sunken circle, reminiscent of the foundation of a long gone house.  We were surrounded by the extravagant garden the two had built.  It was cocktail hour; the Block-Keller dogs, Buster and Milo, were lying at our feet.  The subject came up (as it always must) of A Confederacy of Dunces, and Bryan began to recite passages of it from memory.  Never, ever have I heard anything so perfectly brought to Life, and with such ease and grace.  Five minutes earlier I hadn’t known I could love the book more, and suddenly it was new (he made it new for me) and so painfully funny I first made a scene and then hyperventilated, but stopped short of vomiting.  We all know the joy that comes from witnessing mastery – singularity of talent – and my first instinct was that I must keep these two men because they are simply wild, nearly indescribable treasures.  I a little bit wanted to bite them, I’m sure you know what I mean.

Over the years our friendship has deepened so tenderly that every time I arrive in New Orleans and see them for the first time, I’m so suffused with love and happiness I have to force myself not to cry.  There is Jefferson’s beautiful face, the manifestation of pure gentleness and chivalry and generosity; he is, perhaps, the most open-hearted man I’ve ever met.  And Bryan, whom you’ll meet now.  Lest you misunderstand, while I am describing two men – the hallmark of whose character is goodness – they are my True Tribe because they are wicked fine sinners, and we have gotten up to some misbehavior over the years, whoa lawd.  I mean a suggestion is made and the shenanigans do commence without hesitation.  One only finds such friends by detour and accident, and by following a line of possibilities infused with one’s own wicked fine talent for sinning.  I’m not speaking of myself here, GRACIOUS.  I’m pure as the driven snow, as Delonda would say.  [Ed. note:  Simply an egregious lie.]

bryan2

Now I shall interview Bryan, and he will answer.

HAVEN:  You’re so pretty.

BRYAN:  I’ve heard rumor.

HAVEN:  Also, you know that way you are?  What’s up there, how would you describe it?

BRYAN:  I’m not sure but it must be of the devil.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you.  This might surprise you but I was a difficult child.  Not so much because of the heavy dose of Jesus I suckled on.  No indeed, because I love Jesus.  I just never bought the goods being sold me for their intended purpose.  It’s been said that one should make lemonade from the lemons of life.  I have always prefered the martini with a twist.

HAVEN:  You belong to an exotic species of person, one of my very favorites.  You know how it feels to see an owl unexpectedly, or a fox?  You are an architect, and architects have that effect on me.  It’s a discipline I hold in a measure of awe.  Tell me the part of you that architects, first, and then this is something I’ve always wondered.  Do you consider architecture to be an esoteric field, a different way of studying metaphysics?  Because of course there are people who design habitations, shelters.  And there are others  who know how to create or amplify emptiness.  You are free to say, “Oh, Haven – I see the seizure is still talking for you.”

BRYAN:  Jeff and I recently came to the realization that there are those out there who live their entire lives without architecture.  There are even those who would read that sentence and not have an idea what that means.  Architecture infuses our lives, both individually and collectively, the way religion or children or even pornography infuses others.  Jeff and I simply cannot understand life without it. (The irony of my mediocrity makes me laugh out loud.)  So I must believe there is an esoteric quality to it.  How else could there be something so vast, so awe-full that surrounds and encases our lives and yet still goes completely unnoticed, or at least unobserved?

HAVEN:  Because your aesthetic is constant, is it difficult to live in a world where one assy piece of ugly is followed by another, and there’s no way to avoid it?

BRYAN: Hence my perversity.  How else can one face this graceless age?  I thank Christ that ugly and stupid rule the day.  That’s where I get my best material.  I have a feeling you already knew that answer to that one, Missy!

HAVEN:  You’re also a fine writer, and take the craft very seriously.  I often describe writing a novel in a builder’s language:  that the scaffolding is visible (a flaw), or that the blueprints may have seemed promising, but the execution was done on the cheap, maybe by the sort of people who flee the country in the middle of the night.  Indeed, I once described a book I HATED as being so architecturally unsound I feared having it on my bookcase, lest it collapse and harm the other books around it.  Find a question in there someplace.

BRYAN:  There are, of course, the obvious references to structure and composition that architects tend to co-opt.  And other bits of silliness like “building blocks” or “nuts and bolts” of story.  But I think that my hunger for words and my desire to place them together is more about creating a beautiful sheltering space.  I found solace in words first.  There were good books and bad; ones that kept me nailed in place and ones that beautifully opened vast doors and windows.

My house groans under the weight of my collected books, many, thankfully, written by you.  My carpets and shelves are littered with magazines and sheets of paper.  I could not understand life without words any more than I could without architecture.  Lupe’, the silly Aztec that cleans my house, might have a word or two to add on the subject.  Fortunately I wouldn’t understand a word of it.

HAVEN:  Will you try to repeat the gorgeous thing you said last night about conversation?

BRYAN:  You know, I try to write those clever things down because I know I will never remember them tomorrow.  A couple of years ago Jeff and I decided to do Mardi Gras without the benefit of any enhancing substance just so we could remember it.  It was one of the worst days of my life.  We’ve never bothered to try that kind of foolishness again (sobriety, not Mardi Gras).  Some times the gods give us gifts that may only be enjoyed in the moment.

HAVEN:  I think there are people whose energy or vivacity compels us toward our better selves.  Do you agree?  And for me, there are writers who do the same.  There are writers I adore who make me never want to write again, and others who make me want to write immediately and better, and who (magically, I don’t get it) lend me the confidence to attempt it.  Do you have authors who fall in those two categories?

BRYAN:  OK, if I write the true answer your children out there will think I am only kissing your ass.  And although that is not beyond my purview, both literally and figuratively, that is not (necessarily) what I am doing here.   You, darling dear, are indeed one of those writers, along with Tom Robbins and Joseph Campbell.  Early on in our twisted story, I vacillated between being intimidated or inspired by you.  I, too, have this urge to write but how could I show you, someone whose work so enthralls me?  But thanks to my years of Sunday school, I decided:   hide it under a bushel?  No!  I’m gonna let it shine!  And that was one of the best choices I have made.  Sitting back there amongst the dog-smell reading our words, laughing, crying, cross-dressing.  Who gets to do this?

HAVEN:  You have an enviable collection of photographs . . . oh!  I didn’t mean to be literal but right?!?  Just today I described my demonic envy of the David Knox photograph printed on metal, the JESUS SAVES barn.  And it’s not like I haven’t spent YEAR AFTER BLOODY YEAR working assiduously at not coveting, the cessation of the covet.  I have SO failed at that.  What’s the point?  Yes, I remember:  is there a connection for you between photography – an increasingly expansive medium, just endless new possibilities for an exchange between the initial image and the final artifact – and writing, and architecture?

BRYAN:  ….and how do we begin to covet, Clarice?

You know, you keep holding up this mirror to me and I might never see the world the same again!  I had not thought about it but you have hit on the Trinity of my religion, the three pegs in my stool (and get your minds out of the gutter…I do not mean THAT kind of stool…):   Architecture, words, and photography.  Outer, inner and transcendent.

HAVEN:  You’ve gone back to graduate school at Tulane to study restoration architecture.  Do you consider that going broader, or deeper?

BRYAN:  I am becoming painfully aware as I get buried deeper and deeper in this new endeavor that I have no idea what I thought I was doing!  But this journey is absolutely taking me deeper and deeper into the heart of my passion.  Another gift!  Once again, who gets to do this!  I know, lots of people, that’s who.  But I choose to feel vastly privileged for that is what this is.  And going back into this at my advanced age is magnificent!  All the other kiddies are just trying to get through so Mom and Pop will get off their backs.  I get to play with my favorite toys without guilt.  And believe me there are few enough things in my life that I love that I can say that about!

HAVEN:  We have a shared love of this city; I think we have a similar apprehension of its qualities, regardless of whether we speak of them.  But this morning I was wondering, Is it the case that I love New Orleans, or that New Orleans loves me? Because – or am I imagining it – am I not treated with almost supernatural kindness here, by EVERYONE, all the time, everywhere I go?  Why does that sweetest of qualities live here?

BRYAN: I’ve told you New Orleans is a cursed place.  Those of us who love her are condemned to spend our lives in her.  (And although you don’t have a New Orleansaddress these days, don’t think for a minute that you have gotten away…)  But she also comes with a blessing:  she is so beautiful and the gifts she gives to those that love her, the Cursed, are so great that we are unaware of the spell and so believe that there is no other life or love beyond.

HAVEN:  I’m especially puzzled by it because it’s a Death City, too; there is a strong Thanatos presence.

BRYAN:  And so it is with the sublime.

HAVEN:  Do you think it’s harder to age here?

BRYAN:  Oh, Honey, look at my haggard face!  I don’t even want to know about the condition of my liver!  But it is Never Never Land or the Island of Misfit Toys.  We might age more rapidly here than anywhere.  But we never, ever grow up!

HAVEN:  Let me list some things I know about you and tell me what I’ve overlooked.  You’re a truly fine physical specimen of a man.  No one wears eyeglasses better than you.  You prefer a gin martini, but love vodka as well, say with soda.  You eat leftovers for breakfast.  You’re an extremely good father.  You will go the distance with a costume.  I am, yes, referring to the color tangerine.  You are genuinely sane (eccentricities are a bonus), as is Jefferson.  You live by what I consider to be one of the most sacred of human laws:  hospitality.  (Possibly the highest compliment I could pay you.  Among the myths that carry the most weight with me is Zeus’s decree that nothing is more noble than to serve a guest.)  You’re a voracious reader.  You feel things so deeply that if you were slightly less courageous, all of life would threaten you.  I have never known you to judge another person.  I have never felt a moment of judgment toward you.  You may be the only man I know who is as patently alpha-wolfish as I am.  You radiate kindness and courtesy and still I would want you next to me if throats needed ripping out.  There is no element of my life with which I would not trust you.  Trust you.

BRYAN:  Haven, my love, never in my life has anyone ever said such things about me.  As a Southern boy, I was always taught to deflect such kindness with inanity.  I wouldn’t dream of being so correct.  You hold up a mirror and all I can say is yes.  (Well, perhaps not so much about the bit about me and judgment, but we’ve already discussed that…)  I love that we found each other the way we did.  Sort of how magic mushrooms grow out of cow shit.  If I wasn’t having so much fun being agnostic I might decide to believe in god!  Dammit, woman!  I love you!!

Bryan, Jefferson, Greg, and Haven at a Bollywood Costume Ball

Bryan, Jefferson, Greg, and Haven at a Bollywood Costume Ball

Here I must tell the story of how Bryan, architect, writer, Child of God, took this actual sari off his hall table where it has been all the years I’ve known him and proceeded to wrap it about my person in a traditional fashion following incomprehensible directions on the Internet.  The fabric was nine feet long and look at what he accomplished.  Bollywood is more colorful than Oz after the color comes on!  Also I fainted.  But that really is to be expected; my headjewels outweighed me by fifteen pounds.

img_00081

Published in: on March 13, 2009 at 7:38 pm  Comments (1,313)  

1,313 Comments

  1. I’m coveting what I see!

    Do you even know any non-fabulous people?

  2. Have you met these blog babies?!? Of course I don’t know any non-fabulous people! They are drawn to me, like Scott’s hover pants.

  3. glory, glory, glory –

    what a return!

    She is back, in all her Bali-wood Glory, I just saw Slumdog Millianaire a few days ago so I am all into it . . . I think I will contrive to decorate Donny up into a Baliwood outfit . . .

    how many days until durham???

  4. I don’t know what hover pants are, but I want some.

  5. i want some hover pants, too . . . wait, I have them, they look like droopy drawers, like I filled my diaper, they are my too large jeans and sweatpants because I cannot STAND to spend money on clothing . . . even though I lost some weight . . . I would much rather spend some money on ebay buying vintage Holly Hobbie fabric and books . . .

  6. My friend Fritzi is selling Holly Hobby sewing cards RIGHT NOW.

  7. Does anyone else love “A Confederacy of Dunces?” I’m trying to convince my husband to read it. I remember the first time I read it alternately gasping and laughing.

  8. i saw some hollie hobbie sewing cards on ebay . . . i have some, hope to use them in encausstics soon . . . i want to start a vintage hh fabric quilt, crazy style, like us . . . soon to go with my vintage bed

    i
    m
    drunk and on a new laptpop and I can’t see my keys in the dark . . .

  9. You should paint them with glow in the dark paint.

    Wait…doesn’t your screen glow?

  10. Oh yeah, also, I will volunteer to be your non-fabulous friend.

  11. i have foisted the audio recording of Confederacy of Dunces on everyone i love. it is simply the funniest and most sound book ever written; Walker Percy’s intro alone is sublime. whenever life takes a shrouded appearance i swear that “FORTUNA’S WHEEL HAS TURNED again…!” when friends complain i say, as Ignatious’ mother would say “You got a hard rpw to hoe…” When the police officer is forced to dress in outlandish disguises by his contemptuous boss, I lose control of my bowels. and so on. “GOOD GOD!” became my favorite expletive after reading ACOD. and of course, the hot dog vending job whichthe great Ignatious P Reilly takes on, in his courage and inimitable fashion, reminds me of the work ethic i myself employ. New Orleans is indeed full of magic and beauty and a highly accessible romance that no other city has, certainly none in the United States. Mark and I went there for a lavish wedding in 1995 and it was the most gorgeously rich delicious five days of my life – with exception of my trip to Fay Weldon;s home in Dorset. they both reached Peak Experience status many times, and it seemed all I need do was show up and listen and join in. This photo of you all in costume is absolutely shockingly perfect. I must now apply a cool compress to my forehead. Perhaps there are some wine cakes in the kitchen…

    xxoxox
    sfc

  12. yes. it’s decided. i was at my local library checking out books and my eyes rested again on ACOD on audio cassette, the original and best version with Ignatious on the cover in colorful cartoon drawing, and i said to myself, No. No, you’ve listened to this six times and it hasn’t been long enough simce the last time; i was sure i was in danger of “wearing it out”. but now i understand that i must go back tomorrow and check it out once more. these difficult times require nothing less. sedaris is but a thin gruel compared to ACOD. i would purchse the audio again, but each time i do i gift it to someone and it’s gone again. it disappears, like all magic – i cannot own it but i can borrow it. thank you for reminding me of what i can never have enough of.

  13. MY VALVE!!!

  14. This made me miss all three of you very, very much. (And Dayna too! I was listening to that CD just TWO DAYS AGO!) (Well…it was on iTunes so it wasn’t the CD, exactly. What do you call that, anyway? The program of songs that one would in an earlier time have placed on an LP, or a CD? Is there a postmillennial term I’m not aware of?)

    Anyway…mired in jealousy and longing, here. A nice change from anxiety and despair. Shanksh, Haben Kimmeh!

  15. P.S. to the blog babies: Haven and I share an agent who, while possessing many superhuman qualities that have forced us to adore him almost to the point of unhealthy obsession, also has a few very singular and inexplicable failings. I will mention only two: (1) He does not dance. (2) He does not love A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES. In fact he loathes it. Despite this we are fiercely protective of him. Or maybe because of it, the way you’re especially protective of an otherwise incandescently angelic child who has a clubfoot, or a cleft palate.

  16. “I don’t even want to know about the condition of my liver! But it is Never Never Land or the Island of Misfit Toys. We might age more rapidly here than anywhere. But we never, ever grow up!”

    What an accurate description of NOLA. There is some sort of pull that you feel all your life. The inhabitants are warm and hospitable with a wicked sense of humor and love of life. I’m guessing it’s all the good food and spirits. I loved the snapshot of your friend Bryan and his life. Thanks for sharing, Haven. It looks like you had a bon temps down there, cher. You have to say cher like the Cajuns say it: sha (like at).

    Does anyone remember Ponchartrain Beach Amusement Park?

  17. *in hysterics*

  18. What?!? Under twenty comments? I’m horning in now while I still have a chance. If I wait until tomorrow morning there will be 3,000 comments here and I’ll never get caught up.
    After absorbing the wondrous books Suzanne bestoyed upon me during my visit to her in January, now I must round out the pile with ACOD. Lordy will the great books never end?
    Haven, you are divine in a sari. I have a few of them thanks to an East Indian friend who brought some custon made cholis for me back from a trip to her homeland, along with some saris she thought would be good with my coloring. She was a wonderful teacher at our boy’s Montesorri school and she taught me a lot about the clothing and culture, such as how to wrap a sari so that it doesn’t fall down and em-bareass you in the supermarket. I must say though that you truly look the part and as usual you look regal as hell.

  19. My favorite International Barbie wore a sari.

  20. GOOD GOD. i’ve gone and purchased the Blackstone Audio version for 19.95, used/new. god give me strength. i’ve got a hard row to hoe. MY VALVE! and so on. the blackstone audio version is unparalelled; all other versions should be crushed under Fortuna’s Wheel. otherwise i fear my Worldview may be compromised. oooooooo-eeeeee!

  21. I need some audio books for my ipod…any advice on the best way to get them?

  22. haven, i am still haunted by the new orleans poem you real to me today. i had to put on a cd-mix of the new CAT POWER and 10,000 Maniacs’ IN MY TRIBE and dance afterward, just to continue the magic. VERDI CRIES , as you foeretold, is the best song to bring back the memories of all peak experiences without weeping forever. what in the name of Zeus has happened to my gravitar? it matters not. i have yall. xo suzanne fenimore cooper, haven kimmel’s secret girlfriend of the west. ps haven, now i’ve seen the photographs, i understand why you fainted: it was the weight of exotica meeting the power of glamour. it cannot be borne, it seems….

  23. miss cake: google the books u want and there is an abundance of choice. beware the abridged. of course. i personally favor the technique of checking books on cd out from the library and downloading them onto my computer and then burning that into my ipod: it’s free and easy. ahem. however some rapscallion had, of course, absconded with the ACOD cd recording at my library. THIEVES ARE AMONG US!

  24. One description of the audiobook on amazon said that there is no unabridged version of this book on audio. Suzanne, did you find un unabridged audio version?

  25. I never do abridged. NEVER.

    Great Suzanne…thanks for the tip…I’ll have to do that with YOUR BOOKS. *wink wink*

  26. I also defibnitely wouldn’t do abridged. That’s just so wrong.

  27. I hope that amazon info was wrong. It seems like an unabridged version must be available of such a good seller. I’m going to bed now and hope I awaken to a comment here that an unabridged audio version is indeed available. Good night all.

  28. ACODunces is the first book that ever caused me to roll off of a piece of furniture and on to the floor. I will simply say it involves Ignatius’s job at Levy Pants, and Miss Trixie, who comes to work in her nightgown, and believes Ignatius’s name is Gloria. I just ROLLED RIGHT OFF THE CHAIR.

    Our blavatars have shrunken, you may have noticed, and I have spent HOURS trying to fix them, with the result that on the home page they are enormous and we all look like freaks. So. You’re welcome!

  29. Naturally, I considered choosing a scene with IJR’s valve for the quotation under the banner, but this, involving the bloat he experiences as the result of the Protestant Reformation, simply unhinged me.

  30. Oh what a delicious post to come back with Haven. I have just convinced Peter to take me back to New Orleans, as Bryans comment on his liver is exactly what my british husband loves to hear.
    If I had one friend describe me the way you described Bryan, or if I had the vocabulary to do the same for someone dear to me, oh lawdy woman.

  31. Caryl, it would take me a weekend to describe you in such a way. Remember, Kate Cake, the line in the poem I read you last night; I get very little right but for paying attention.

    Remember I once had a terrible crush on my British editor (he’s married, his wife knew — I told her repeatedly) and once he came to New York and we met in the bar of the Algonquin and drank and drank and talked, and when we left it was raining so hard there were no cabs anywhere, and he walked me at least 25 blocks to my hotel and neither of us had an umbrella.

  32. Just one day to walk in your shoes Haven. Just one day.

  33. The monster avatars are much better than the quilts.

  34. That night they were VERY wet.

    Wait until you see the shoes I got for the First Annual Blog Babies Biker Rally and Military Step-Dancing Convention! From the toe to the ankle they are Quaker shoes. From the heel down I believe they are Pagan. And then because amusing oneself is among the joys of not having to hunt and eat our prey while it’s still living, I first wrote a blog post explaining that Quakers are indeed Amish. Then in my book I explain that while it doth confuse, the Quakers are not Amish. Immediately after I went online and ordered a t-shirt that simply says: AMISH.

  35. Those quilt squares were boring me straight into heresy, Dee Dee.

  36. I haven’t changed my gravitar since I first came on here, I don’t have the first idea how I would do such a thing. I am a hated quilt. Help me someone.

  37. My next blog post features the incomparable photographer, John Rosenthal. Bryan got to go first, because I wrote his interview first and also he tended to me with great tenderness after I developed the vapours at the Bollywood party. Also one of JR’s photographs refuses to simply dwell in iPhoto, causing me a vexation. At any rate, that post will be gorgeous.

    Caryl, remember when Mr. Robinson delivered my birthday flowers today? I’m still lovin’ on that moment.

    Oh, and WHAT? I’ve got my Quaker shirts, my Quaker Haven shirts (the camp I attended as a child, to my everlasting discomfort), and now I’m getting my Amish gearing up? And what does John get me for my birthday? Well, one beautiful white gauzy thing I wanted, along with a tiny black barely existent t-shirt that reads I FEEL A SIN COMING ON. I ask you.

  38. No, Caryl, baby — you’re a little peach-salmon square of Silly Putty making an OH NO! face. Cute as a button.

  39. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

  40. I did it. You were a wavatar and I changed you to a monstertar. But you’re not very scary — you look more like a really irritated Christmas tree.

  41. Suze is sort of wicked good, though, isn’t she? A Satan-y dancing heart. Cool, AND apt.

  42. I am up in the mountains, and it is quiet and the boys are asleep, and the fire is going and Peter is dopey on sambuca, and we have talked more than we have talked in what feels like a long time. He heard your voice on the way up here Haven, and he knows about Bryan and Jeff and we decided which movies we needed to still watch together..

  43. Are we talking about the same Suze when you say Suze?

  44. Same Suze.

    Which movies, or is a secret? I miss sambuca, god. Turkish coffee, sambuca with an espresso bean magnified in the bottom of those gorgeous cylindrical glasses? It’s fine, though — I have child-safety caps.

  45. Stephany says you and Suzanne are my girl-crushes.

    Movies; rewatch Godfather, one and two.
    rewatch Tootsie.
    Raging Bull ditto.
    The Best Year Of Our Lives
    Barbet Schroeder’s Terror’s Advocate.
    From The Life Of Marionettes-Ingar Bergman
    There is more, but the sambuca won and the quiet is now disturbed by snores.

  46. Tokyo Story.
    Some of these aren’t random bits of brilliance on our part, but part of a list emailed to me by my niece.

  47. irritated christmas tree – hahahahaha

  48. Dee, have you seen the youtube video of Christian The Lion, about the two men who bought a lion in France and kept him as a pet for 9 monthes and then let him go live in the wild, only to go back and visit him years later, and the lion remembered them?

  49. I think I’m irritating Gracie. I keep interrupting her slumber with my very early morning shenanigans. She is comfortably glaring at me. Now I want to go to sleep and she is going to scratching my head to go out side as soon as I get to sleep.

  50. Yeah, Ive seen that.

  51. Kat and I have watched Christian the Lion until we could only weep hopelessly. Then I found an extended dance version, and that’s even lovelier. Caryl, do you mention this because Polaris has been asleep on my foot so long I fear I shall have to amputate it?

  52. Christian’s man parents are on tv right now, and their story is so beautiful, just the ease at which they made the initial decision to bring him to England and then the compassion they showed letting him go back into the wild. Christian had to be acclimated in a “faux” reserve at first, before he could really be free. Oh its just too much.

  53. Did I just say man parents?

  54. Night Lovelies. xoxo

  55. I have been known to say ‘manties.’

    I will never, ever finish this book but I’ve lost the option of changing my identity and moving to an Incan village, because my mother LOVES IT, and ergo I must complete it. Except I will never, ever complete it. And now I’ve lost one entire foot.

  56. Dang it all! When did this post occur? While I was going to bed, of course. Curse my dairy farmer existence! Curse it!

    And now I must go and do dairy farmer things and not have time to read it and all the comments so I can comment intelligently.
    Dang the cows! Dang them all!
    I’m calling the auction barn right now.

  57. It’s never a good time to head to the auction barn. I’ve been down that road a time or two. I’d hold on to yer Gurnseys and yer Holsteins and yer Black Angus! Oh wait, you’re a dairy farmer. I’d hold on to those milkers, then!

  58. good morning! It is so comforting to have our fearless leader/ultimate instigator back!!

  59. Haven, doesn’t Caryl send DIVINE flower arrangements???? During my spiritual crisis she sent me the most lovelies and it truly helped pull me out of the depths of despair. Caryl is my guardian angel these days.

  60. I didn’t want to say this about Caryl, but I had to show my Mentalist on a Spiderman doll how I was inappropriately touched by my guardian angel.

  61. “ill-behoove” is my new favorite Haven phrase, moving her use of “ghastly” to the #2 spot.

  62. Caryl is an angel that walks among us, yes Sher. not only are her flower arrangements divine, they are near immortal. mine lasted 3 weeks.

    ACOD is indeed available unabridged on amazon and from blackstone audio. and yes, haven, the pants store that gives Ignatious his first real job is sidesplitting.he is hired to FILE PAPERS, which he moves swiftly to the trash… the place i lost it is when he began to answer the AWOL company president’s mail, and he severely upbraided the company ordering said pants, then addressed the envelope Mongoloid, Esquire. i have not yet recovered.

  63. oh! i ;LOVE my new gravitar. thank you baby!

  64. Oh my lawdy…what a way to wake up…!!!!!

    I don’t want to spoil anything, but I realized I was reading something divinely evil when Ignatius had a “dream” about his dearly departed dog.

  65. Also, I started spewing hysterically over Good Touch Bad Touch, and my kids said “MOM! Why are you laughing??” Um yeah. Can’t tell you.

  66. Christian the Lion is DOPE, yo!!!

    Goose bumps.

  67. These friends of your seem wonderful, Haven. What a wild life you must have out there, floating in space. I love the Sari you wore, always wanted to wear one when I was skinny. I’ve never been to New Orleans myself, and I kick myself for never going when I had my chance. I love any movie I’ve ever seen filmed there in NO because it seems like such a wicked and magical place.

    I want to buy new shoes for next month, too. How fun! Sadly I can no longer wear heels, but in spirit I’ll be wearing 4 inch heels rather than my semi orthopedic Keens.

  68. SFC, Mongoloid, Esq. almost made it to the top of the page. It was a close call.

    Oh for you to hear Bryan recite it, MAH GAHD.

    Amy, we had some tricky moments with the sari. At one point it was tucked into the top of my underwear, and that ended tragically.

  69. Haven, did I hear that we missed your birthday? Was it recently?

  70. And is my picture some sort of dinosaur TV?

  71. I’m a little jealous of all these new monstrositars.

  72. Yes, Caryl’s calling is as our creative guardian angel . . . seriously – she protected my very soul . . . I was verging on scrapping a few ‘items’ out of my life and her beauty and caring pulled me back from the dark side.

    I am currently doing all I can to stimulate the economy . . . pre-spending all the tax money refund I spent 4 days slaving over . . . so far: the 17″ laptop upon which I can blog, new dishes, new glassware, shoes (WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE THERE, and I cannot wear heels either due to the broken back thingy), clothes for the teens, shoes for the little one . . . it is like we just sold the yearly pig (like in Coal Miner’s Daughter). also a friend informed me 2 nights ago that my photos of my childhood that I posted on Facebook were ‘white trash’ and I was like – “Yeah, didn’t you know that?”

    I am just giddy now.

  73. Our creek is flooding and the Vincent Van Gogh Scarecrow is walking on water . . . he is a holy crow!

  74. Haven’s birthday was Thursday and we all did Random Acts of Kindness in her honor.

    I stimulated the economy and returned all errant shopping carts to the proper corrals and I chose NOT to make pithy comments to the people leaving the carts in the parking lot in a 34 mile wind . . . most of my Random Acts were restraining myself from doing evil . . . keeping my PMS to myself, etc. . . . I think that qualifies as a Random Act of Kindness – withholdings ones’ own evil?

  75. Kate – I really like the monstervars too!!!

  76. I made dinner and invited my parents to eat it. It was pork butt, and it was DELICIOUS. Also fun to say.

  77. whenever I cook anything red meat – i tell lauren we are having dead cow (she is white meat only girl) . . . she freaks out . . .

  78. because I also procrastinated on work I need to go do some more charity work – painting giant poster illustrations of Down By the Bay . . . will set up the laptop done there so I don’t miss anything today!

  79. Happy Belated Birthday, Haven! I guess I missed out by not reading the blog most of the week. Home with a sick child (she missed the entire school week) so I didn’t have much time to myself.

    My children love random acts of kindness–anytime there is an expired meter they want to put in coins; we must always give money to anyone who asks; and we love to give anonymous gifts at the holidays. I shall work on some random acts in Haven’s honor.

    And, I stimulate the economy regularly at Target!

  80. Target – - – lordy, that is were most of my stimulation occurred . . . they just opened a Super Target here . . . 5 minutes from my house . . . it is EVIL and or Heavenly depending on the day

  81. True Target story: after seeing that we (I) spent $800 one month at Target, my husband said, “Oh my God, that much stuff would fill up a room!”

    I looked around and said, “Clearly it doesn’t.”

  82. vanessa – fabulous target story . . .

  83. ok there party has left the building . . . I am putting in a movie….will check in later alligators!

  84. GACK!

    I missed Haven’s birthday. Haven, I’d offer you a million excuses about the hole in my foot, grades being due, and my yearbook deadline (missing it (Monday), then having to meet the new one which WAS your birthday), but I’m afraid it would all sound like fibs.

    I hope your birthday was wonderful. Those words, of course, aren’t nearly strong enough, but in my poor state of brain drain, that’s what I have to offer.

    Love, Molly

  85. I had an astonishingly fine birthday. John had a cake made and it was supposed to “We Love You, Haven,” and instead the baker wrote, “We Love Haven.” Two of my oldest and dearest friends in all the world were here, Katherine and Joe, and their children, my godbabies. Scott found and had framed a photograph that might as well have been taken in my brain. And since she’s busy and I hope will miss this, I’m going to transcribe what Kat wrote in the card she gave me with my delicious slippers and candle and neck pillow:

    Mother, if you look around you now, you will see a wide assortment of people and things; our family and dogs and house are so precious and so good . . . and NONE of it would be here if you had not been born. You are the fabric of all of our worlds, the person who built this life with her bare hands. No gift would be enough to compare to that gift, and none could show you how thankful I am, we are. Happy birthday — I love you so much. Thank you.

    George sent me a poem that made me cry. I had EIGHT phone messages! And Jodi’s husband Man Jody sent me four gorgeous CDs and Jodi made a card where she put my face on June Carter Cash’s body so Johnny is kissing me on the head, which made me cry. Katherine gave me a gorgeous cream lace crop jacket, and her brilliant singer/songwriter husband wrote a song for MY DAUGHTER. And Suzanne sent me some dangerously fine Frye biker sandals. Caryl sent me flowers and they went to live with someone else. She tracked them down via the business owner, Mr. Robinson. He brought them the next day, knocked, and Iorek hit the door — all seven feet tall — and I told Caryl a look passed over the Flowerman’s face that made me want to say, “So you know, Mr. Robinson, Heaven holds a place for those who pray.”

    This is the reason I asked Jodi to ask all of you to pass your love along, because I have so much — too much.

  86. Loved that interview about going the distance. To that, I offer my new-found regard for Leonard Cohen:

  87. Haven, I am sure you could have had waaaaaaay more than 8 phone messages wishing you happiness and love for your birthday if other blog babies had your number. :)

    It just so happens that on Thursday, we had a reading over the loudspeaker during prayer before school (love me some prepositional phrases!) wherein we asked the Lord to help us speak softly. Now, my human ear was hoping the kids would think it meant whispering as opposted to the full throated conversing that’s par for the course in my room…but my teacher ear felt boxed. I bowed my head and thought, Yes. I need to remember to speak softly to my children, my parents, my friends because it is Good to do so. And so on Thursday (this is one of those weird synergy things) despite HUGE provocation (and ostensibly in Haven’s honor) I worked and worked to keep my mouth shut as I pushed closer and closer to my deadline.

    Tex—you just finished Something Rising? That’s my very best favorite Haven book. Very. Best. Favorite. Without it, the months following the Rob break up would have been unbearable.

    George, thank you for the baby lemur pic and the aardvark, which I showed my mom and she said instantly, “aardvark” without hesitation, and then I scrolled down and that’s what everyone said it was, and I was very impressed with my mother.

    Sarah–”can I be your straight girlfriend-who-is-in-a-fiercely-reciprocal-relationship-leading-to-marriage-and-babies”–this cutesyness keeps getting closer and closer to being true. I am going to Japan in June!

    Kittery. How’s things? HOW DID CHOIR GO?!?!

    I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT DURHAM! I am not buying new shoes though. My dog Casey ate my new shoes and I am heartbroken because I got them for $20 when they were $80 and I cannot replace them. They were black leather clogs. And oh so pretty.

  88. And I finally added a pic of Greg the AF captain-about-to-be-major-and-who-is-a-Good-Man to the yahoo site.

  89. Haven, I love that the avatars on the sidebar are giant, because now I can actually see what they are. Check out Georges. Is he a one eyed plum with robot legs? LOL

  90. I forgot to say two things: one is that the surprise I’ve been trying to arrange for all BBs in attendance has been verified and as the fabulously delicious Jon Luc Picard used to say, I have Made It So.

    I also received one of the most unexpected gifts of my life. As I do hope you will someday read this Quakerism/Amish book as that will indicate it is finished, there’s a horrifying story about the torture of one of George Fox’s co-founders, James Nayler. I won’t describe what was done to him by the monarchy, but after having barely survived unspeakable violence and imprisonment, he was traveling to a town where he thought he’d be safe; was set upon by robbers; beaten, and left to die in a field. Friends found him in his last hours, and they recorded his testimony about the nature of Love and Goodness. It’s only a page or so, and then he died. I had already read a book on Nayler, The Sufferings of the Quaker Jesus, but when I reached the end of Michael Birkel’s Silence and Witness: The Quaker Tradition, I learned that a man named Kenneth Boulding (1910-93), born in England but who lived most of his life in the U.S. working as an economist and social philosopher, had been so moved by Nayler’s final statement of faith he wrote an entire book of sonnets in response. The Nayler Sonnets is more than 300 pages long. I was flabbergasted. I’ll quote just the second half (it’s out of print, so I don’t think anyone will mind):

    And what I take indeed, I do but dole
    In cupfuls from a rimless ocean-bowl
    That holds a million million million such?
    And yet, some Thing that moves among the stars,
    And holds the cosmos in a web of law,
    Moves too in me: a hunger, a quick thaw
    Of soul that liquifies the ancient bars,
    As I, a member of creation, sing
    The burning oneness binding everything.

    I needed to order a LOT of books from QuakerBooks.org anyway, so I was going through the catalogue knowing if the book still existed at all it would be there. And it appeared, with a note that there were no copies left; the ones previously for sale had been photocopies.

    I don’t know why this broke my heart so. Well, I do. The Nayler Incident was a disaster in Quaker history, and it’s an awful thing to dwell on, and yet someone had found so much Holy Love in the story he was willing to write an entire book of sonnets based on a few paragraphs spoken by a dying man. I wrote to Brent Bill, my Quaker Superhero, and asked if he knew of any way I could photocopy it; if Earlham’s library had it, something. Within five minutes he wrote that he had located a copy, it was being shipped to him and then on to me, and by the way, Happy Birthday. So Brent, teary-eyed again, I thank thee, Friend.

  91. God, what a gorgeous sonnet. Feel free to pass any more of them on.

    I am moved to tears.

  92. Molly, I can’t wait to read the rest. The act was so pure on Boulding’s part; he was an avocational poet but he earned his living in the social sciences. He must have known the audience for such an incredibly specific book would be so small as to essentially not exist. And he gave his life over to it — actual Love for Love’s sake, Art for Love’s sake. It’s humbling, reading the works of these people.

  93. Molly, “Captain Tightpants” has a certain ring to it.

    “Major Tightpants,” on the other hand, gives me pause.

    The Japan angle sounds promising, however.

    Kate, if you could please send me your address, I have a Laura Ingalls Wilder video from Maureen that I would do best to pass on to you before, well, … soon. I’m here: vollehutte At gmail.com. Or, you can just email me and say, “Hunh?”

    ~ S.
    (Okay, so I really just want to see my avatar all BIG before something gets Fixed.)

  94. Hello everyone! I borrowed my daughter’s laptop to check my email as we are visiting my parents in the Chicago suburbs. How thrilled I was to find a new Haven post! I was just talking about Haven (imagine that!) because we are getting ready to drive downtown (downtown Naperville that is) to Anderson’s bookstore and I know that Haven had a reading there last year. I always go there when we visit to support the independent bookstores. So I told my daughter just now that she must remind me to buy A Confederacy of Dunces because I have not read it. So now I will. I have never been to New Orleans. Sigh. But I am coming to Durham so whoo hoo.

    I went to an AA meeting this morning. The topic was on denial. Interesting because as I said I am visiting my parents right now and the minute I step through the front door I get shot back to age 15 or 16 even though i did not live in this house at that age. The river of denial runs deep in my family. yes sir ree

    Thanks for the lovely post, Haven. I am glad you birthday was fun. xoxo

  95. You said it perfectly. “Love for Love’s Sake.” It is my dearest desire to put self aside in order to just Love.

    I think frequently of the Quaker quote (and forgive me my poor recall) about not putting your sword aside until you have put it aside in your heart…I’d like to do the opposite of this with Love. Love as much and as hard as I can outwardly until Loving is the way of my heart, and not something I have to think about.

    Some of my friends would call this idea “fake it ’til you make it.” Until I am a better person, I need to pretend I am a better person.

  96. In my book I say you are a Quaker if you behave as one.

    That is true of Love, of not living in the chains of Self, of Forgiveness. And as many here can attest, it is true of parenthood. Also, Linda, it is true of sobriety. You are a sober person because you behave like one.

    I just finished reading BEAUTIFUL BOY, the father’s accompanying text to a son’s meth addiction memoir. I lent the book to Scott so I don’t remember the author’s name, but lord lord. We’re all shining like the sun over here in Doing The Best We Can Land.

  97. Sarah, I don’t know. I think Major Tight Pants has a certain je ne sais quoi to it. :) He mentioned Christmas in Europe and I said, um, lovely, but no. So now we’re talking about Christmas in NH. :) Maybe.

    How’re you doing?

  98. “Doing The Best We Can Land”

    Yes. Yes.

    I lack sun-brightness, but I am trying. And there’s Hope in that too.

  99. i’m speechless on the sonnet.

    it is the same feeling when I was “Song of Bernadette”

    Or when I read the ending to Owen Meany. That call. it is exquisite.

    exquisitely painful and joyful, which then leads me to the Esctasy of St. Theresehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Estasi_di_Santa_Teresa.jpg . . . and back for Zurburan’s meditating monk . . .

  100. St. Teresa–Joan Osborne

    Sit down on the corner, just a little climb
    When I make my money, got to get my dime
    Sit down with her baby, wind is full of trash
    She bold as the street light, dark and sweet as hash

    Way down in the hollow, leavin’ so soon
    Oh, St. Teresa, higher than the moon

    Reach down for the sweet stuff, when she looks at me
    I know any man sees you like I see
    Follow down the side street movin’ single file
    She say…
    That’s where I’ll hold you, sleeping like a child

    Way down in the hollow, leavin’ so soon
    Oh, St. Teresa, higher than the moon

    Just what I’ve been needin’, feel it rise in me
    She say…
    Every stone a story, like a rosary
    Corner St. Teresa, just a little crime
    When I make my money, got to get my dime

    Way down in the hollow, leavin’ so soon
    Oh, St. Teresa, higher than the moon

    You called up in the sky
    You called up in the clouds
    Is there something you forgot to tell me…
    tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me

    Show me my Teresa, feel it rise in me
    Every stone a story, like a rosary

  101. david sheff wrote BEAUTIFUL BOY. he was part of the B&N luncheon/award ceremony i was a juror at in nyc recently. he was staying at the hotel i was also staying at and we had coffee — so i have now met him and he is kind, humble, and he made us all cry at the winners’ reading in tribeca. his eyes are large and blue and one can see that he is constantly praying for his family to be safe, especially Nic Sheff, his son and the author of TWEAK, which i highly recommend.

  102. Thanks, SF, I knew you’d know his name.

    Sher, I have a photographic print of Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Theresa; I used to hang it wherever I was working (including, once, on a window). I adore it because . . . well, it’s a nearly inhumanly beautiful work of art, but also it’s so sexy. Quakers don’t, we don’t, that. And Molly, I ADORE Joan Osborne. It’s like it’s STILL my birthday, good heavens.

    Also Sher, I keep forgetting to mention that I’m completely obsessed with scarecrows. As some of you may have heard? I once was in a less than Love for Love’s Sake marriage, and even though our house was on a knoll overlooking one 35-acre fallow meadow, followed by a second 20-acre meadow, I was forbidden from building what would have been an incredible art installation. I wasn’t going to FILL all 35 acres, I had a geometric plan. NO. I tried substituting suits of armor. NO. I eventually wrote a poem called “Scarecrow,” because if every moment of your life is some form of NO? Words are really quiet. They’re the way to go, in my opinion.

    And do you mean the story of Bernadette, or the song by Our Beloved Cohen?

    There was a child named Bernadette –
    I heard the story long ago.
    She saw the Queen of Heaven once,
    And kept the vision in her soul.
    No one believed what she’d seen;
    No one believed what she’d heard:

    That there are sorrows to be healed,
    And mercy, mercy in this world.

    So many hearts I find broken like yours
    And mine, torn by what we’ve done
    And can’t undo. I just want to hold you,
    Won’t you let me hold you,
    As Bernadette would do?

  103. Molly,

    I’m all down with pretending you’re a better person, too, if that will help? Wait, that probably didn’t come out right.

    Ha.

    You said “no” to Christmas in Europe?! Because of the monies, or…? But, NH most surely is a worthy destination. Just don’t tell anyone you’re coming, and maybe it will snow this time.

    ~ S.

  104. If I ever do get to be bright-shining as the sun, it will be because I got to grow here, from you all and everything you’ve shown me and the music I’ve listened to that I would never have heard, the thoughts I never would have thought on my own, and the ideas I never would have considered.

    And also the laughs. The laughs are serious fertilizer for a soul in these hard times.

  105. I said no to Christmas in Europe because he needs to meet my other half, my sis, before we get toooooooo serious. And Christmas away from my fam with a guy they’ve never met…? That’s too big, even for as fast as I’m falling down the slippery slope.

    Thanks for pretending I’m nice. :) That will DEFINITELY help in my spiritual journey. If I die before achieving goodness, I will say to St. Peter as he looks through the “in” list, and say, “But Sarah thinks I am good, and that should be good enough for you!!!”

  106. In case you have not heard this amazing song:

    I love youtube.

  107. Haven, have you heard this one? Given this post’s concentration on architecture…it’s very Friday the 13th, spooky feeling on my neck that I found this.

  108. Haven, what a beautiful b’day you have had. It seems this year has gotten much better for you than it was six months ago, thankfully.

    Now that both you and Suzanne have recommended Beautiful Boy I have to get it pronto. Tweak too.

  109. Molly,

    Ah, that makes sense (the Europe thing).

    Wait, how’d we get from “better” to “good”?! That’s quite a jump, missy.

    For St. Peter:

    “But Sarah’s willing to pretend I’m a better person; won’t you?”

    That should work, just as well as anything else would.

    … S.

  110. My plan was to leave out the part where you’re actually only “pretending.” ;)

    ARGH! Back to grading.

  111. SARAH’S REALLY SMART AND TRICKY WITH ST. PETER.

  112. Sarah’s really smart and tricky, period. :)

  113. You can only give away what you have.

    Behaving like a parent doesn’t make me a parent. People who are not sober may delude others into thinking they are sober when they are not. How many people behave like Christians on Sunday, and not for the rest of the week?

    “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” I Corinthians 13:1

    I cannot truly love another until I truly love myself in every situation, at every moment. I cannot love by denying my Self. When anyone is denied – including one’s own deepest, dearest desires – that person can’t be a boon to the world before she settles the score within herself.

    It makes for a romantic sentiment, to be selfless in love. I tried it many times and failed without knowing why others did not return the same love. Finally I recognized that, until I love myself in the way I want to love others, I will only be a reflection of what I believe they want.

    Every Gandhi, da Vinci, Mother Teresa, Coltrane, I believe, followed their deepest nature FIRST, and their gifts to the world came as a result of dedicating themselves first to their nature. What they gave grew naturally from their belief in and development of themselves. Their gifts to the world were second.

  114. Miss Jodi, you know I would never scrap with you, but the people you’re describing above, the parents who behave as parents but aren’t actually; the drinking sobers? Those are liars. Liars have no place in this scheme, not ever.

  115. OOoo, I’m not scrapping. I am the most fallible of people, and I hope I never say “I’m right,” because I can only be right For Me. Not to mention how limiting words can be in expressing feelings and thoughts. All I will EVER mean to say here is what I have found to be true for me.

    I am in touch with the world because I am in touch with my self. When I did all I could to please my family, I failed. For decades I failed. My family wanted me to be someone I was not, and in trying to fulfill their wishes I was baffled, miserable, and fell short every time. The solution came when I ceased trying to please others with what I thought they wanted, and instead gave only what I could comfortably give them. It wasn’t enough for them, it will never be enough, but! now I Am at ease, and that’s all I ever can be.

  116. But Jodi, this whole being yourself thing? What about your promise to be Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall? And we were going to my whole back tattooed. You chose John, “Jesus wept.” No, Matthew, “You buncha yahoos.” And also you were dye your hair That One Color Which Suggests A Rich Past.

  117. I think Gandhi’s first move was not to save his nation and his people. Gandhi first centered himself, spent time alone, meditated and questioned and prayed. The Buddha, when asked to teach what he knew, said that it could not be taught. Jesus stood steady when the majority of the populace belittled and derided his teachings. Every strong teacher and savior of others begins with love of self.

  118. Dude, I was like, No way Brad Pitt, it was all about Depp, man. Sweeney Todd. Including the tat. A silver bloody blade the length of my left arm.

  119. Stock in this produce is guaranteed to hold its value:

    http://www.guzer.com/videos/snl_tattoo_removal.php

  120. I don’t want to scrap either, and you can tell me to shush… But as much as I admire Gandhi–and I do, truly–there was something manipulative in his approach to Doing Good. I’m not saying it didn’t work or that what he achieved was unworthy, but it does smack a little bit of guilt trip.

  121. Dude, Jesus fed 5,000 from one can of sardines TWICE. He had crazies and desperates and lepers clinging to his nightgown CONSTANTLY.

  122. Molly, it was the diaper. It puts a lot of people off.

  123. I need another tatoo. Maybe a lemur wearing a crown?

  124. Haven, I think it was more the halitosis. Only so much bad breath a person can take…

  125. As much as I want to dive into this brilliant convo here, I have exactly one hour before the antique store here in the mountains closes..so I must run while Pete is giving me the chance.
    I will share later what happened today when I gave a little boy money to buy himself a ticket for the outdoor snow slide.
    Happy Saturday to all.xoxo

  126. The above mentioned story. Can you say “random act of confusion?”

  127. Caryl, I await your story eagerly!

  128. Hey Sarah…I have seen that movie before. Don’t worry about it…you can just send it along to whoever.

  129. So, how cool is this? Gary Sinise was in Columbus last night, promoting Brothers At War. It was premiered here becase the brother of the filmmaker is currently stationed at Ft. Benning, the largest training center and is the 4th largest military installation in the free world. He’s been an outspoken supporter of the troops (re: troops here, not the war).

    And I have a picture! Several actually. I need a better camera. My pics are pixilated, but I’ll post to the yahoo site anyway. Plus, they’re all on Facebook.

  130. Did we discuss using the first few bars of Coltrane’s tune, “Selflessness,” as a tattoo? Key of F#. Where to put it …?

  131. Sarah, I thought your avatar was a monkey playing
    a guitar, but now I see it’s a stick person playing guitar. At least I had the guitar part right. :)

  132. I like my new avatar…it beats the crap outta that quilt thing that always reminded me of a swastika. This new one captures the inner me.

  133. You know where there is some gorgeous architecture? Pittsburgh…also Columbus, Ind.

  134. Jodi, if one plays anything in the key of F# it damn well BETTER be minor, as that and that alone is the secret chord that David played and it pleased the Lord, and I know you surely care for music, don’t ya?

  135. Altogether now:

    “It goes like this: the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift..”

  136. Well Bug, all I ever knew of love was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya. But then I read William Penn.

  137. Charlie just put on boots with his diaper to go out and play in the snow with Jack. Relaxing? I think not.

  138. You know, the thing that always bugged the crap outta me about Buddah was how he basically abandoned his family while high-stepping in on the eigth-fold path. I was never sure about how enlightened that was. Ask his wife and kids.

  139. Caryl: let me be the first to wish YOU a happy birthday.

  140. Oh George thank you so much. This is a happy year for me, and I am so blessed you are a part of it. xoxo

  141. WHAT DAY IS THIS? Is this Caryl day?!? I have something for you! I do not refer to the extremely beautiful plant; nonetheless, here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson. Happy Birthday — I love you, dearest.

  142. Its actually tomorrow but it usually lasts a week, so lets start now..speaking of Mr. Robinson, Caryl and Stanley are doing fine Haven. Caryl and Family are even better.

  143. It always lightens my day to see a Caryl posting!

  144. Caryl, your birthday is the Ides of March? Ah, well, brush it off with a green beer two days later! Happiest of Days to you!!

  145. Caryl!!!! Happy Early Birthday! Now, tell about the snow and everything…

  146. Re Bernadette – I was thinking of the Jennifer Jones movie “the Song of Bernadette” where she grows up in Lourdes and the virgin comes to her and she gives up on love and does her duty and goes in a convent and cleans for 10 years while she has a wasting bone disease, all without complaining . . .

    she didn’t know how good she was . . . that is heartbreaking

    but, the Cohen lyrics seem to run along that theme as well . . .

    oh, my Scarecrows . . . will have to post some pictures on somewhere . . . they are on Facebook, if I can ever get into Yahoo, will try there . . .

    missed you all…glad you are all back in all your kindness and glory.

  147. Also Bernini’s ecstasy . .. yep, totally sexual . . . I think that religious, spiritual fervour is very sexual when it enters your body . . . how naughty of them . . . the catholics at least got that part right. In person, I wanted to die.

    aw, italy . . . someday I will get to visit my heart’s home again.

  148. Sher, it’s Jennifer Warnes’s version of Bernadette you should hear. She has an album of Cohen covers, FAMOUS BLUE RAINCOAT — for years she was his backup singer.

    Scarecrows. Oh it would have been GRAND.

  149. Oh, that was the first one I found!! I love Jennifer Warnes.

  150. That album is nearly flawless, note by note. Chris Whitley is playing on some of the songs, a couple uncredited.

    Now THAT was a death that rocked my joy, I’ll tell you.

  151. I am just now revisting Leonard Cohen…it’s been really good. Like catching up with someone I kinda knew back in the 70s, but now have the time to really get to know. I think I will scout that album out by Jennifer Warnes.

  152. Famous Blue Raincoat on repeat with a bottle of wine. Her voice is so smooth and warm. I want to wear it.

  153. ah haven, you know the most amazing people.

    i am in south florida (whoa, talk about architecture–it’s like a concrete jungle–they actually have condos over the stores in a new mall here). anyway, saw my beloved red sox beat the yankees yesterday at spring training and went on a gator air boat ride–unlike anything i have done before. it is serious gator country down here. my sweet boy, mason, is a red head and we are dutifully slathering him with SPF 50 every 20 mins. i, however, seemed to forget that my white ass thighs burn and somehow neglected to put ANYTHING on them. so i am a lobster, but only from my upper thigh to my mid calf. it looks stunning. i had to wear long pants to the water today.

    off to see an old, dear friend who lives outside ft lauderdale tomorrow and go for a boat ride.

    back to reality (CT) on tuesday, and it sure is nice to have a tan/burn. i miss all you guys and am eager to get back to regular, daily conversations.

    xo, s

  154. I love coming back and reading what you all have been up to while I’ve been at Bob Evans or whatever. Caryl’s birthday? A tribute to Hallelujah, a song I managed to sneak past the censors at my wedding? Suh-weet.

    Happy Birthday Caryl!!!

  155. I just read Tweak and then went straight out and read Beautiful Boy. So interesting to read two completely different stories about the same situation. If you’re starting from scratch, you might want to read Beautiful Boy (the father’s story) then Tweak (the son’s story).

  156. Dee,

    Many days I am probably more like a monkey holding a guitar.

    Who’s that you’re holding?

    And my goodness, Jodi’s is… a dog, wearing a hat. Well, I’ll be.

    ~ S.

  157. I have posted three times on my husbands computer and it wouldn’t go through and I am on my LAST nerve.
    I just this minute finished Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Lovely story, sad but beautiful. Cleave writes for The Guardian newspaper in London. On the book jacket he requests I give none of the story away, and also that I pass it on to a friend. I am saving one copy for Amy from my hometown, but if anyone is interested I would love to send the other one out to you. Just send me an email.

  158. I went to see The Watchmen today. I didn’t much care for the movie but the music was good, including the Hallelujah song.

  159. Sarah ~

    That’s my dog Emma, wearing a pointed witch’s hat!

  160. Hey Shanna and Steph!

    Caryl, I have looked and looked for my last nerve, but I believe it done caught fire.

  161. Johnny Depp in Sweeny Todd beats the crap out of Brad Pitt in anything, I swear. In fact, Johnny Depp in anything…
    Thanks for the tip about Beautiful Boy and Tweak, Shanna. I shall abide by your wisdom. And get the unabridged audio version of ACOD while I’m at it.

  162. I have a strange thing with Johnny Depp. He’s incredibly beautiful, and an amazing actor, and I have intense admiration and love for him but it’s not sexual, even though I find him sexy. I don’t really get how removed I am from him even though I adore him, but honestly I’d go to bed with Conan O’Brien quicker.

  163. I love you Caryl!

  164. CARYL. i am VERY VERY ANGRY that you didnt tell me it was your birthday. it’s exactly the sort of thing you would do. caryl, there is such a thing as Too Humble– and not allowing me to shower you with gifts on your birthday is a strong indication that you have become Too Humble. i suggest you take some compliments and let them sink in overnight. you’re gorgeous and you look nothing like frances macdormand, SORRY. you look like a combination of a younger lauren hutton with a dash of kate hudson. there. now. as to your intellect, it’s strong. you’re well read, elegant, successful at relationships (!), and an astoundingly loving mother who also adopted a baby who otherwise could have fallen into the hands of evil. you have a naturally throaty, sexy laugh and voice that many aspire to but fail miserably, managing only to sound like gristled whores. you chose your 2nd husband well, that takes savvy and grace. and so on. all hail caryl, in other words. and she is coming to my house and i will lavish her with gifts at that time. fear not, she will not be underserved. and we will laugh like drunks, having drunk nothing stronger than cocoa. so. there.

  165. I finished The Invention of Everyting Else and I liked everything else about it except for the ending, which was rushed and contrived, not that I could have done any better. Now I am reading Water for Elephants and I really like the narrator. He sounds like I might when I am his age — 90 or 93, he can’t remember which.

    Kate: Conan? I’m telling on you, girl! I miss my hometown. Gotta get back soon.

    So, blog, here’s what I have done all day: Clean house and do laundry. Awhile ago I fried a big steak. A filet, and it was tasty. Mashed some potatoes, too. What a madcap life I live!

  166. Suze: I am glad you said it about Caryl…I don’t know how to explain it, but I feel better when I come here and see the birthday girl has posted. Well, actually, ALL of you do the same magic.

  167. JODI you are wise. i loved your post about loving self, others, and so on. it answers a question i’ve been struggling with for oh, about 35 years. so i guess i can call you Wise One. thank you. you have no idea how much.

    xo
    sfc

    SHER your photo of you and baby on FACEBOOK is absolutely stunning. really beautiful, i felt it captures something in your very soul that shines very brightly.

  168. George darling, EVERYONE KNOWS.

  169. Jodi and I had a long discourse today on what tattoos we should get. Only I feel like in the end I got all of them, and she has some dots made with magic marker on her back.

  170. Kate, that’s so interesting about finding someone extremely beautiful and talented but not sexy. I can’t think of any actor I find sexy that way — anyone living. For me it’s still Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart in 1947 and in VERTIGO, and the man in black. OH! If Christopher were here he’d tell you I have a terrible crush on a man who owns an independent bookshop somewhere in these United States, which is absolutely true. Just horrendous.

  171. I am gushing. Just gushing. Or am I blushing.

  172. I can’t either! I had a crush on Brandon Flowers from The Killers for about a week, but for the most part I remain fairly unmoved by most of the famous. I can just see the conversations Alice and I will have in the future about boys…probably as frustrating as the ones my mother and I had. She was forever sensible and all about personality, although she did have a thing for Rutger Hauer.

  173. Gushing was the wrong word, wasn’t it?

  174. You might be gushing…I don’t know!

    But I think we are gushing over you!

  175. Oh Haven…speaking of crushes I was watching KOJAK on Retro Television Network and I do have to say, Telly Sevalas does kind of do it for me.

  176. For a male perspective, I think Renée Zellweger is talented a gorgeous but…if I had the great fortune of choosing between her and Helen Mirren…well, no contest there, but since this is a fantasy, if somehow if Christine Baranski was also a possibility, well, no contest. I would like a woman capable of making me laugh, guffaw, roll on the floor laugh and I think Christine could do that. There is a former writer for the Fort Lauderdale newspaper who once held such an attraction for me. I might have laughed easier in those days come to think about it.

  177. Caryl: you should be gushing everytime you look in the mirror, young lady. Now THAT is what Jodi was talking about.

  178. Helen Mirren is CRAZY hot. I could not believe that picture of her in a bathing suit.

  179. More crushes…we are watching SNL and I said “Hey honey look, it’s your girlfriend Kelly Clarkson.” Nothing. “She’s totally your type.” He replied, sheepishly but with relief, “She IS my type.” Then we commented on how she had a real woman’s body. I approve.

  180. I’m totally in with Helen Mirren.

    Listen to us. The woman is objectified by both genders! Lucky lucky her.

  181. Tattoo – even though I am in an era of abiding peace this week . . . and in general except for my recent breakdown/breakthrough . . . I still want the “Not Ready To Make Nice” Dixie Chicks tattoo on my ass – it will serve me so well when I feel the need to moon someone.

  182. Suzanne – thank you for the beautiful compliment . . . that is one of my favorite photos as well – - and wee Claire was about 4 mos. old there . . .

  183. I would object to Helen…but, since this is my fantasy, I would go with Christine if it came down to a choice….

  184. I love Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman. Am MAD for them.

    I am so mad for DC in particular, that I’ve told my kids I have a crush on him, and this week those darlings constructed a little world named Shakate-opolis (well, actually the name changed on a daily basis this week as each student tried to outdo the others)wherein there was plenty of Coke, no YB deadlines and….DAniel Craig, who was anxiously awaiting the love of his life, one Molly Touchton. After marrying this mystery woman, his next dream was to support me Broadway career. he just happens to know someone ‘in the business’ who’s looking for a soprano…

    I love my kids.

    I love Daniel Craig.

    I also love this blog.

  185. I have NEVER heard John express IN ANY WAY that he found another woman attractive. If I show him a photograph of Angelina Jolie at a premiere or something he’ll say, “She’s really something.” Then he goes back to what he was doing. No interest AT ALL. The only woman I’ve ever heard him refer to as beautiful besides me is Kat.

  186. I gotta get my typing fingers outta my pants…what I meant to say is that I would NOT object to Helen.

  187. I heart John. He sounds like such an amazing man.

  188. Hugh is mostly like that…over the years he has admitted a few woman are attractive but I have to goad him into it. He definitely has a type, and it’s any woman who looks like me. Pudgy, round faces really turn him on.

    I think I love Bill Heder. He does spot-on impersonations of Marcello Mastroianni AND John Malkovich.

  189. Well, Haven, I can relate to where John is coming from. A righteous dude never admits such a thing to his sweetheart or his wife.

  190. Hugh, too.

  191. LB…yes to Daniel Craig. He was spectacular in Casino Royale, but so was Vesper.

  192. Haven, Peter is the same way. Except for Jennifer Aniston. And he just said Angelina and Ashley Judd when I pushed him. Halle Barry too. So much for not thinking anyone else is hot. Jack piped in none are as hot as you mom.

    Suzanne, for your lovely words I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My birthday isn’t until tomorrow so you were actually my first call! All of you are so kind, I just feel such love for this whole beautiful group.
    At the antique store. I was Durham gift shopping. Kate, I found something so delicious for you I could scream. For Haven something pertaining to her biggest man-crush. For George something that has always reminded me of him. Maureen I just scored the perfect Maureen something. And bug too. For Sher I got something that I thought was going to make her cry, until I got home and looked again and now its just the thought. I will have to search harder. The rest of you I am still looking.

  193. Caryl, we are supposed to be doing things FOR YOU. Someone speak some sense to the woman.

  194. The more I hear about this Durham extravaganza, the more nervous I get about the bon-bons.

  195. Yes. Caryl. You amazing woman, quit it. It will be so good to just be with you and the other blog babies!

    And since it’s officially your birthday now…
    :) :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! :) :)

  196. 20 minutes to Caryl’s birthday over here!

  197. Oh, it’s already all Etu Brute over here. This is my niece Jenny’s birthday, too! I e-mailed her.

    You know, in Julius Caesar it isn’t the “And you, Brutus?” that I find most painful; it’s when Portia (Brutus’s wife? right?) is sitting with him at the end of the day and he knows of the plan to kill Caesar but won’t tell her. She says to him, in essence, “I am your wife, but if you don’t talk to me as you would a man, I’m nothing more than your concubine.”

    I mean, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, INAPPROPRIATELY TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL!

  198. *BITING MY HAND* I will NEVER look at Spiderman the same way. NEVER.

  199. Caryl!

    Whatever it is, thanks. Haven’s right. Someone should do something for you. Do you need your oven cleaned? I did ours today and it is gleaming.

    I just finished walking the dogs around the block. It’s been a light rain all day in DC and the scent of spring is coming up from the ground and from the tree buds beginning to bulge on branches.

  200. George…is it the cherry blossoms??

  201. Johnny depp is my dream fuck. I said it. Also, if we r just making people meat, I love matthew McConneghy. He is a fine piece of man meat. He. Might not be allowed to talk, which I am totally cool with. Ahhhhhh, sweet dreams!

  202. Heavens to Mergatroid. I feel all blushy!

  203. Happy day to you caryl!!! Hope you get a pony. Fingers crossed over here:)

  204. That reminds me of one my best witticisms ever! I got Jodi a quite unnerving — by which I mean SO PRESHUS — stuffed chimp dressed like a baby. He’s even got the little white shoes and everything. She asked what he should be named and I shouted, “ROCKER CHAIR!” That is now his name.

    Some days passed, and Jodi said, “Haven, just how thin ARE you?” I said, “I don’t know, I never have a clue what I weigh. But RECALL! I was a mere wisp of a child. I mean, strip the monkey meat off Rocker Chair and you’ve got a Zippy.”

  205. Kate, johnny depp appears to be the greatest physical speciman on earth. There is nothing to be done but gawking and giggling like a teenager. And, he is a good actor? Snap, oooooo ya!

  206. Haven, I have no idea what that means, but it sounds illegal.

  207. Kate: the cherry blossoms are about ten days away. First come the willows around the tidal basin then the red buds…toward the end of this month, the first of the cherry blossoms will pop out. I often ride my bike to work during those days. Sometimes, I just stop and look at them from across the Potomac. I remember a couple of times we went down to the Jefferson Memorial at dark and walked through a rain of those sweet petals. I guess I really love this town.

  208. Haven, listening to you read Iodine was one of the best literary experiences I have ever. Had. Thank you

  209. Covet, Covet, Covet, Covet, Covet…
    I read a Confederacy years ago and now that I think of it..that’s one I don’t have a hardcover of…
    and thinking of Bryan’s comments about how many books he owns..growing up, I would always wonder when going into other people’s houses just how it was possible to LIVE without books in the house…and there are people that don’t even own a bookcase!!UNFREAKINBELIEVABLE.
    All Hail Caryl the birthday girl and Suzanne too…hope you guys have a fine time….My daughter and I stayed up til 1 a.m. last night watching Mamma Mia and singing along and then pausing the movie to talk about ART (she loves Jan Van Eyck the Arnolfini Marriage Portrait) which I never even knew…so it was a wonderful and relavatory evening and it took us 3 hours to watch one movie we talked so much…then this morning we went shopping at the grand opening of a new Goodwill store here in Prescott and had a blast…We have discovered the delights of thrift store shopping big time! Hope everyone else has the privilege of a nearby thrift store or flea market…and don’t forget the D.A.V….they are great here…where else can you get a whole outfit for a buck! My brain is officially tired and wants to be turned off…first will reserve the cd of COD from our library if they have it…can’t wait to hear it!
    Night babies, and beautiful bollywood Haven.
    Brenda

  210. The greatest physical specimen on earth is Daniel Craig. Next is Hugh Jackman.

  211. You are all in fine form tonight! And being generous people, it makes me feel far better than any of you know, I enjoy the thought of all of you happy. This year has been one of so many transformations, due in large part to all of you.
    And Haven, tell us, what do you weigh chile?

  212. …goodnight, excellent ladies.

  213. goodnight, sweet George. I fear I may cry when I meet you.
    I am going on amazon right now, if anyone is still awake and knows of something I must have, please shout it out. The list from this post alone is quite impressive.

  214. Is there no one up to discuss my purchases with?

  215. Happy Birthday Caryl!

  216. I am a blog orphan for all the world

  217. Amy Amy, are you there?

  218. I’m here! How are going to spend your birthday?

  219. We are in Big Bear, tomorrow I am taking Jack skiing/boarding for the afternoon. I may not join him on the slopes as I am in horrible shape and I need an injury like, well you get it. We are coming home Monday.
    To say it has been relaxing thus far, no, but I am hanging out with Jack tonight and it’s quiet and cold, and I am not at home doing 100 things at once.
    What about you? How is your weekend?

  220. Thanks to you I’m reading two books at once and my eyes are too tired now to work on the presentation I’m supposed to finish by Monday. What a relief to finally have someone to blame my career failure on! I’m so glad we’re friends.

    I’m half-way through Suzanne’s ‘Split’ (and Baby you need a new publicist because never has heartbreak been more engaging). Oh and I’m most of the way through Miss American Pie. For some reason these two books seem to juxtaposition one another perfectly.

    I should start that damn presentation, but thinking of ways to make Suzanne rich and famous keep getting in the way.

  221. I’m also drinking wine and eating Cheetos, and that is just sad. But surprisingly satisfying.

  222. Keep thinking, she needs it! I finished Little Bee, and I started the book you gave me tonight. See how connected we are? I also ordered some new items for our ” library”. I will give you the audio version of Iodine this week, and then I will start on the audio of A Confederate Of Dunces, highly touted here last night.

  223. I am drinking sleepy time tea and eating wheat thins. Off to sleep so I am fully rested should I decide to risk my limbs tomorrow.
    xoxo

  224. I was working on my book and the hour was wee? And there was a tap tap on my living room window! It was Dianne, my lovely lovely neighbor! She can show up anytime, anywhere. We’ve been talking, but I forget the subject.

    What do I weigh. I don’t know how I could possibly figure that out. John bought a set of digital scales but no numbers ever appear. I weigh 118? 120? Something like that.

  225. Caryl, you’ll have a great time with Suzanne and you’ll adore her pretty house and beautiful sweet son. I blogged about my visit to her last week if you want to read about it. I spent way too much time taking pictures and writing descriptions of books that she then decided not to sell so my suggestion to you is to just go and ENJOY! Not work, if possible. There’s no one funner to laugh with than Suzanne, you will love her, even without alcoholic beverages.

  226. AMY “I’m half-way through Suzanne’s ‘Split’ (and Baby you need a new publicist because never has heartbreak been more engaging)
    Baby i had a great publicist. i was in EW, lead review (B+) the nytimes EXCERPTED A CHAPTER, as did the london times, i was in every magazine you can think of. i was well reviewed all round the country, i was on THE GAYLE KING SHOW on FM (btw she is FABULOUS and curses like a sailor!!!) and so on and so forth. and yet hitting the nytimes list is like finding a white dandelion in alaska. but i take pride in the fact that although i have never hit the List, i am a Carrier. my pals Kate Christensen and Haven and Augusten both hit the list (#1!) and baby, it looks like im going to have to be a Carrier. dont cry for me, argentina. i’ve been translated into 11 languages, i got to write/publish a 182 love letter to my son, Pablo (the Zygote Chronicles – a Washington Post Book of the Year, 2002) i enjoy a small, cult-like fame and i make enough money to keep out da poorhouse. it’s a great privilege to be published at ALL, the average advance is $7k, and i have blown the doors off that figure. and my first book, Otherwise Engaged (99, Knopf) is still in print.i am covered in friendships that feed me something better than fame and riches: that’s success, honey chile. i may also add that those who are rich and famous seldom find their happiness there. and my agent loves me and believes in me and returns my calls. my son is proud of me, hell – even my ex is proud of me. i am of the lesser stars, all i want to do is to find a spot of land and live there with you (haven). it’s good. i get more press than far, far better writers, and i am grateful. thank you so much for buying and reading Split. i love you. xoxox sfc

  227. yes, it’s true. Polly and I split a gut laughing. it was all fun and games until i realized that i would be GIVING away my beloved first editions on EBAY for ten cents on the dollar. the best laid plans….and all that. timing has never been my strong suit. we also talked about ways to enhance her memoir for a few hours, took notes on the broad strokes of the memir she’s working on, and although it wasn’t ‘enough’ (it’s never enough – i could talk about ways to enhance my own, published books for DAYS and they wouldnt change…it’s all in the rewrite and the hours alone at the computer, i’m afraid) it was all i had to give, and she accepted it with grace. and then i drove her back to the airport at 4 AM with one headlight out. it’s a wonder we weren;t KILT. god looks after fools and drunks and writers…

  228. i have to say proudly that my buddha-boy pablo also graciously gave up his BEDROOM to polly so she could have a firm mattress. and se gave him marvelous gifts in return. it was a lovefest.

    then i passionately wrote broad editorial notes on her ms. in the margins of her (quite good) pages –and rambled verbally with much edgy precision and WILD GESTURES about writing memoirs and what i felt her best guiding lights would be, on this one in particular. i wrote the most important broad editorial notes in a word document and emailed it to her, even though we were right across the hall. ha! AND.BUT/YET it was exhausting, though it may not have appeared like much ‘work’ to a bystander or to Polly or to anyone else watching
    (sometimes i think others think writers can just pull editing, essays, brief pieces of writing or criticism, and specific project advice out of our ASS, out of the AIR, effortlessly, but we can’t. it’s always intensely mentally arduous, there is – of course, DUH- an unedited manuscript to be read beforehand and to be thought about for hours beforehand, pored over in our writer pinhead lizard brains).

    ANYWHO. so we did that. that night i went to bed at 1 am, (AND got up at 3 AM for a LIVE BBC RADIO interview that i had to record that morning, unexpectedly !) and drove polly at 4 AM to the airport with the aforementioned one headlight, which explains how we got lost at the terminal loop de loop things. yes, i’d loaded her up with books, ordered her BIRD BY BIRD from amazon, gave her the magic AEROPOSTALE cozy socks of wonder (2 pair) and sent her on her way to the 50,000 rewrites that no first time author can avoid.

    but my how we laughed that first night.

    oh – and so hysterical were we, that polly thought she had a WHOLE EXTRA DAY here in SF, when in fact everything we did was jammed into 2 days. it was a hijinx marathon.

  229. CAROL: I would love to hear about your purchases. it’s what i live for; this is not hyperbole.

    GEORGE: i need you to clean my oven. i swanee!!!!! COME TO SF AND CLEAN MY OVEN. surely theres a convention or something you can boondoggle a trip to SF on….

    HAVEN: RIGHT?? caryl just has the whole concept of bIrthday gift giving ASSBACKWARDS. please.

  230. If Caryl and I were both to stand assbackwards? There’d be a few people gettin’ themselves a TREAT.

  231. amen, sista.

  232. here’s an interesting random quote…courtesy of Samuel Beckett:

    “If I don’t kill that rat, he’ll die.”

  233. If Haven and I were to both stand ass backwards…Haven I weigh what you weigh, do you really thinks either of us has an ass? xoxo

  234. Depends on who is with you, I suppose.

  235. Suze: I’ll clean your oven in return for a trip to SF. Have on hand the following: Easy Off stuff. That, a pair of rubber gloves, an EPA hazardous waste disposal permit, polycarbonate goggles, oxygen mask, and three rolls of Brawny Paper Towels.

  236. I leave the computer for 2 days to join the “outside world” and I miss ALL OF THIS????
    I would like to wish the happiest of birthdays to beautiful Caryl. The world needs more people like you.
    Haven is back and fiesty, whoooppppeeee.
    This blog makes me a better person.

  237. I hate when road trips to East Lansing, dates with the hubby, laundry and headaches take time away from new posts by Haven. I can’t wait to meet everyone next month … do we have any new people coming?

    Haven, whatever the surprise is you are working on … I can’t wait to find out. And, you weigh 118? Lordy you are a tiny little thing.

    Sher, I was laughing at your facebook white trash childhood pictures. I am on facebook, too, and probably should friend request the blog babies on there. I’m under my nick name Aim Flame if anyone wants to find me.

    Kate, I feel the same way about Johnny Depp.

    As for my celebrity boyfriend, I am madly in love with Ewan McGregor. And not just because he played Obi Won, either. Loved him since a great little movie called Little Voice.

    I’m off to eat a brownie, then go for a walk, as it may finally be spring here in Michigan. Happy belated birthday to Caryl, who is so wonderful she has offered to pick me up from the airport next month when I fly in to Durham.

  238. I have nothing stunning to report or comment on . . . but just wanted to let you all know I am ‘lurking’, possibly for the first time . . . whilst laundering, watching art documentaries and ordering new art supplies . . . and I had to get a third BLOG BABY tshirt from Red Bubble . . . busy day! Oh, and their are children and hubby here who constantly can’t find their own elbows when needed (elbows in lieu of something more crass) . . . I’m having a fabulous day. I am so happy. It is truly ridiculous.

  239. Haven, I forgot to say what a great daughter you have there. I love what she wrote to you. You are so lucky to be so loved not only by your family but by your friends, too. You rock!

  240. Sher, can you send the link to me for the blog babies t-shirts? I’ve lost it. If you have time, would you can email it to me:

    thegirlfromtheghetto@gmail.com

  241. Funny Song.

    Flight of the Concords – Business Time

  242. yes dear . . . let me find it . . . GFTG!

  243. http://www.redbubble.com/people/sherfick/t-shirts

    do you still need it emailed?

    will do that when I check my email . . .

  244. yes – the note from Kat . . .that was heartsweetening. Wow – to have someone appreciate you and celebrate you like that – I might find myself levitating if anybody talked about me like that . . . to me. wow.

  245. Suzanne, I would loved to have heard you on Gayle King. And, I’m in complete agreement with you on the rich and famous thing – it seems to be astonishingly misery-inducing for those who can’t manage their egos. You, I think would do just fine with it.

  246. GhettoGirl: She ain’t tiny. She was eye-to-eye to with me and I am six feet, at least.

    Amy: Don’t wish to speak for our one and only Suzanne, but I have a feeling she knows the business of promotion inside and out…she was in advertising before she done went and gone literarical.

  247. George, I’m sure you’re correct

  248. Well, it would be the first time I’ve ever been correct. Just supposin’

  249. Hey punkins. Just dropping in.

  250. I hate being rushed. But, I am still at my parents house and I am borrowing Emma’s laptop with the stolen wireless and now she wants it back so I had to skim through the last 15 posts or so and that does not make me happy. So—
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARYL! You are gorgeous and generous and I can’t wait to give you a hug in person next month.

    I bought Confederacy of Dunces yesterday and I have been reading it and laughing and thinking of Haven in New Orleans.

    George- don’t be too hard on Buddha about leaving the family because you know a whole bunch of Jesus’s disciples did that too. Just dropped their nets and they were outta there.

    Speaking of religion- we went to my parents church this morning and I really hate to say this but I think their minister is creepy. They love him. Just something about him gives me the willies. Now I am going to hell for sure.

    I love that Bernadette song and album of which you speak, Haven. It has been a few years since I have listened to it but now I hear it clearly in my head. Totally unrelated but I love the early Suzanne Vega too.

    We drove straight up the middle of Indiana on Friday and good grief there is a lot of water in those fields.

    Catch ya all later.

  251. Okay, so in less than 6 months ( less than 6 months people, I have been engaged for almost 2 years) I am marrying a man named JEFF and my new last name will be BLOCK. SO….I think it is my duty to visit the Block-Keller house.

  252. And we’re all invited, right, Amy?

  253. Uh yeah Molly! Those who can make it to Northern ( the very tip top) of Indiana, are welcome!

  254. Amy ( GFTG) I just signed on to WordPress and your are one of the top topics regarding Jon and Kate!!!
    I have boycotted that show. I am so over that crazy bitch.

  255. Whoa, Amy. What happened with Jon and Kate?

  256. Molls, She treats her husband like crap, I mean literally tears him down on national television…AND THEN she buys 2 dogs from a breeder ( when there are thousands of dogs in shelters who need homes) brings them home and then bitches about how they pee on the floor. No shit lady, they are puppies. I apologize, I can get very worked up over this.
    Sometimes I need to turn the TV off and walk away.

  257. Okay, I am laughing about my anger in the above post…wow, Amy, calm down, it’s a reality show.

  258. Man. That’s not very nice at all. I always wondered about people who have puppies then get mad when they do…puppy things…

    Keep in mind that I’m saying this when yesterday I was up in arms that Casey (of the glasses/christmas tree ornament/garbage pail lunches) ate a pair of my shoes. Of course, Casey is 3, almost 4. She is not a puppy anymore.

    And I need to put my shoes away, not leave them in the living room with a known Accoutrement Predator.

  259. Amy/Ohio–we got caught up in that show because my daughter likes the kids. Then I started reading Amy’s blog and all the wild stuff about them. It’s a complete train wreck and you can’t look away!

    Particles–I LOVE Flight of the Conchords…they are so funny and dry.

  260. I love Flight of the Concords too..
    ” Me and you in the nude” HA!
    Molly, I a 4 year old and a 3 year old dog the both act as if the are 9 weeks old!

  261. Did anyone catch Will Ferrell’s ” You’re Welcome America” last night on HBO? ( Caryl??) It was hilarious.

  262. The shoes are dear to me. lol. I’m going to try to have them repaired.

  263. Just steal my credit card, Molly. :P

  264. an excellent idea, kittery. i CANNOT believe i didn’t think of it myself. i’m a terrible criminal.

  265. Darn, we canceled HBO after The Sopranos and Sex and the City went off. The Will Ferrell show looked hilarious.

    Flight of the Conchords…anyone hear the Ex-Girlfriends song?

  266. John and Kate are HORRIBLE. Ugh. Nasty.

  267. Big Kisses to Kate!

  268. Suzanne, your encouragement means a lot to me. Thank you SO much. The critiques you gave me were so helpful and I will always love you for them.

    I think your level of fame is perfect. You get good kudos and a select group of readers who appreciate your special skills, but you probably don’t have some of the crazies Aug gets, and you can go anywhere and hardly ever be recognized. Perfect.

    “Depends on who is with you, I suppose.” Good one George. Any chance of you coming to PA and cleaning my oven? It’s one big greasy mess.

    I love the idea of Gayle King swearing like a truckdriver. I’ve heard the same about her straight lesbian girlfriend Oprah.

    Amy, special treat for you during our upcoming visit! Jon and Kate live two miles from me (no shit) and I will personally deliver you to their driveway where we can take silly pictures of each other with silly things like sock monkeys. I’ll also give you the hot neighborhood gossip about them, which I dare not repeat on the information superhighway. Whaddaya say, are ya game?

    I’m partial to Little People Big World. I want the Roloffs to move next door and be my new friends. And they have to bring their gorgeous property with them so we can swim and play and ride tractors. And although I know we have some no-TV BBs here, I must express briefly my disappointment that there is a whole completed season of Projct Runway which we are not allowed to see since the show is in litigation. It’s so frustrating!

  269. I love me some Project Runway . . . love it and Tim Gunn is my ‘wish her weren’t gay’ crush, well, him and Jim Shue, but Jim has the lovely Robbie, so I will just stick with Don . . . and having a crush on gays is so safe . . .because, it is no threat to the SO (significant others).

  270. POLLY!!!!!!!!! I love you and your ideas! We are going to have so much fun together. The Roloff’s are a bit of heaven aren’t they??

  271. George, being a tall girl myself, I appreciate Haven’s tallness. I only use tiny as a way to describe all tall girls, because being a former tall skinny girl I hated being called “big” and assume all other tall-ies feel the same way, too. I hope that you will also take some pictures of the cherry blossom in DC for us. One of my BFF’s lives in the area and I’ve somehow never made it there in the spring.

    Amy in Ohio/Kate/Lightening Bug/Polly – Yes, I wrote one KON story months ago and its turned into a war on my blog. I’ve written several more posts because so many people email me or put links about them on my page and its so juicy I can’t help myself, same reason why I ate three brownies today. (No self control!) I have went from loving the show to getting that queasy feeling in my stomach, knowing something is really wrong, like when a scary man comes up to a lone child in a playground.

    Polly, I have forgotten that you live so close. Oh, yes, I would love nothing better to hang out in their driveway with you. I am looking forward to the gossip. I, too love LPBW. I went to school with a little person and I always felt it must be hard for her. Watching the show makes me happy that they live fulfilling lives and do a lot for charity, etc. Plus Amy is from MI and we both graduated from the same college.

  272. Amy in Ohio, I didn’t watch Will Ferrel last night, I am not sure I can. Did you enjoy it?
    I had the perfect day, I took Jack skiing, and the weather was gorgeous, really sunny, and Jack picked it up after a one hour lesson. And I don’t hurt. Yet.
    We are going bowling tonight, walking around the village too, Peter made breakfast and I am so happy I decided to do this for my birthday. Jack said to me ” mom, thanks for spending your weekend with us, not on a romantic holiday with dad’. I’ll have to let you know if Peter agrees.
    I thank all of you for the well wishes, the facebook messages, and all of the love you have sent my way.
    xoxo

  273. Oh Caryl, the Will Farrell show was so obnoxious and true it made me just shudder with laughter. Lord have mercy, that man was our president. Jeff and I just sat with tears streaming down our faces, it is fantastic. I am so happy that you had a wonderful birthday!

  274. Polly,I am so excited!

  275. GFTG—are you on facebook?

  276. Bug – Yes, just joined a few months back. under my nickname. I think I just friend requested a bunch of you.

  277. Angels, I just woke up from an accidental five-hour nap and must report that contrary to my height/weight ratio, I have a MAGNIFICENT ass, and can provide outside verification if necessary.

  278. Oh, I believe you, Haven, but now I’m WICKED curious about your verification. :)

  279. I have a photo (clothed!) that I took on iPhoto standing on my desk chair, because Augusten accused me of being assless. I was like, “Is that right?” Alas, you can see that I was wearing jeans I have yet to retire, even though the back of one leg constitutes an absence of pants. I’ll go post the picture on the blog babies site.

    Oh, and Augusten — to his credit — wrote back and said, “DAMN.”

  280. TGFTG, I left a comment on your blog with some fun links on it for you. But it would be MUCH better to drive two miles from my house and see it in person!

    Haven, assless? Girl, you have definitely got all the right stuff in all the right places. I am curious about this tall thing, though. How did the rumors start that you were so tall? Stately, yes. But tall?

  281. I have pants like that! I love them.

  282. Okay, it’s on the site. I created a new album called Assbackwards Blog Angels, and you are all free to add your own bottoms!

    It does take a certain kind of person to stand on a chair and take a laptop photograph of her own butt, in a disgraceful pair of britches, in order to prove to a gay man that she wouldn’t lie about her own buttocks.

  283. Polly, I have no idea how tall I am, in exactly the same manner I am ignorant of my weight. At the doctor’s office they report it in inches, which WHAT THE HELL? I’m not a translation widget. I can only say that I am taller than almost any other woman in any room. Not in a Claudia Modjeski way. Kate can tell you: when she drove to Indianpolis to see me read she walked up to the signing table, and I stood to hug her and I just kept rising and rising like a helium balloon version of a novelist. It was a little embarrassing.

  284. Around these parts we like to call it “God-Given Ass.”

    And Ms. H, if you didn’t already have a great ass you would get one after consuming the top-secret be-lated birthday confections I am sending your way on the morrow.

  285. Also, Sir Mix-A-Lot? Wrote that song for me. I also inspired the song “Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk.”

  286. Haven, I don’t remember it that way, but I LOVE that you do. In fact, it’s sort of infected my memory now.

  287. Kate, it wasn’t like that? I felt like a giant marionette from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

    Now YOU have a butt.

  288. Oh good lord I have no idea what it was like…I felt like I was in a movie and everything was slow motion. Probably like that time Freddie Mercury taxidermied your hand. I just remember you telling me later it made you feel like you belonged in the circus. And of course, I LOVE the circus.

  289. I should post pictures of my butt, but I don’t think your ready for this jelly.

  290. DO IT!! I was brave enough, you can be too! You’re a super-hottie, Calendar Girl.

  291. I just don’t want to cause the gentlemen to stumble.

  292. One should never place an obstacle in the way of a Christian man’s piety. Damn straight.

  293. Oh who am I kidding? Now, do we want the picture with or without the leather chaps?

  294. My tattoo pic shows some ass…

    Haven–nice butt. :) Thanks for sharing!

  295. CHAPS!!
    :)

  296. Wow…look at how HUGE our Gravitas are off to the side.

    I love it…now I can actually SEE them.

  297. OK, I’m moved to tell this story from my past: I’m Jewish and was (for some reason) dating a Born-Again Christian guy (we’re in the South, you know.) So after a short time he called me to say he couldn’t see me any more.
    “Why?” I asked.
    “Because you make me want to sin.”

    I considered it a compliment.

  298. VANESSA!!!!!! What a perfect story.

  299. Thanks! I kinda liked it myself. I made a Christian man stumble.

  300. It’s better to marry than to burn. I mean, if the person you are dating doesn’t make you want to sin, then why are you dating them?

  301. Asses are not obstacles to Christian men of piety; gives them another point of reference from which to ponder whether their faith breaches breeches. I’m just sayin’. This is not necessarily an expression of faith.

  302. Excellent point, Kate, as usual.

  303. George! **Molly swoons at your delicious words**

  304. I was once at a bible study where the leader said “Men get turned on at a drop of the pants.”

    I’m pretty sure he meant “hat.”

  305. You make an old man blush.

  306. Kate: hahahahah, yeah, I’m sure he meant hat. Was his position that of a Missionary Baptist, pray tell?

  307. Kate, what kind of bible study was that? They don’t admit to that kind of stuff down here.

  308. Oh no, definitely not. But I can tell you he was a closeted gay.

  309. I’m totally using that line.

    “At the drop of the pants.”

    I’m still laughing.

  310. Oh, I used to be heavily involved with the local Jesus Freaks. We had our own coffee-house, all painted black with mannequin heads everywhere, and all the boys wore skirts. Fun times.

  311. I know, right? I mean, if it doesn’t happen THEN…when will it happen?

  312. Can happen at the drop of a hat, even, Kate. I know this to be true.

  313. Does it depend on the hat? Is it morely likely to happen with say, a baseball cap, or one of those little black pillboxes with a lacy veil?

  314. Regardless, I am NOT WEARING A HAT AROUND GEORGE. Not even one of those little beanies with a propeller.

  315. In my experience, it’s less the dropping of any item and more the retrieving of it.

  316. I am not taking another step further into this conversation…

  317. Augusten worked with a sweet young thang from Alabama who went on a date with another man in the office. She was southern Baptist and he was Jewish. Their dinner conversation failed to rise to the level of agonizing, and yet at the end of the evening she leaned over and whispered, “Can I feel them?” He blushed, said, “Feel . . . what?” She glanced around, said in his ear, “Your horns.

  318. I’m filing that one away.

  319. Is George breaking up with us on the grounds of us leading him into Temptation? ;)

  320. Poor George. He’s really just a dirty old man.

  321. I will say this, though. When I was a kid, my brother told me if they ever name an island after me, they’d have to call it Noass Atoll.

  322. Raised as a Southern Baptist, I did live with a Jewish lass for a couple of years…she was easily the funniest person I have ever known. The funniest line she ever delivered to me was a quip after temple sometime around the high holidays when she said her rich cousin in Miami took it quite literally when challenged to blow the shofar. Get it? Shofar, chauffeur.

  323. George, I’d experience some sibling rivalry with a brother that clever.

    Wait, my own brother recently said this: I called and asked him to help me puzzle out a sentence in Latin I’d written in my seminary Bible but left unattributed. I had about half of it, but my Latin dictionary was here in the house and it was RAINING. He said, “I can’t help you, I think you made that third word up.” I said, “Well GREAT. What do you suggest I do, PASTOR JARVIS?” He said, “I’d call a Catholic church and ask to speak to pre-Vatican II.”

  324. Baptists and Quakers were aligned, politically and theologically, during the Protestant Reformation. Obviously, history changed some elements of commonality, i.e., all of them. In Fox’s Journal I read last night, “He was a Baptist, and this was during the time they were still tender.”

  325. Pretty good one, Haven. My brother is so funny it hurts. I steal his best stuff all the time. Like this one: At my grandfather’s funeral, I was asked to carry the coffin out of the church. Right before the services started, he leans over and says: “Looks like you’re a grandpa bearer.”

  326. I have no quip, but I do find it interesting that my brother, sister, and I were pall bearers at my father’s funeral. We were on one side, my male cousins on the other. I told Suzanne that even though I grew up a strapping farm girl, and my brother is a giant with arms the size of hams, that damn casket was so heavy I thought we were all going to expire, right there in the dirt.

  327. Haven-re: the “horn” story–the theory is that somewhere in the Greek bible the word ‘cornucopia’ was attributed to the Jews. It was then erroneously translated to mean “the Jews had horns.” I heard this from a Jewish scholar.

  328. Haven, jyou got nice butt. It ain’t big, but it is there. I have a pair of jeans you would swoon over, shall I bring them to Durham?

  329. Catholic nuns have horns too. That’s why they wore the habits.

    Now they have to file them down. No one enjoys Spa Day in the convents anymore.

  330. A horned young man appeared at my door a few years back, come to collect something in person that he’d ordered from our home business.

    He had implants in his forehead that he’d been switching out for increasingly bigger ones, with horns being the intended result. (I started a conversation: “Do they hurt?” And learned Much.)

    It still gives me the wobblies to think about. He was a very polite and soft-spoken, but I had the distinct sense of mutilations less obvious (or at least, clothed for the time being) that I was pretty sure I did Not want to know about.

    ~ S.

  331. Haven: Tempted as I am, I am going to refrain from commenting on the picture you submitted to Yahoo. Not going to say a word about it, mention the pose, angle, curvature — none of that — wouldn’t be proper and, as you know, George is always proper.

  332. They are called the boyfriend jean, but they are better than any pair of jeans I ever took from a guy.
    Has anyone read the book The Known World by Edward P. Jones. I just found it here at the cabin. Not that I would steal it..

  333. George, you can email the comments to me, and you secret will remain safe. really.

  334. Bug, you are a wicked girl. Don’t you work at a Catholic school? Spa day…priceless!

  335. Since the gravatars are now so big I changed mine…as also since my little monster guy went away.

  336. I just left for a few minutes to cut Hank’s hair. He has thick, dark lustrous curls and I prefer to wait until it’s a jew-fro minus the jew (and the horns). We were admiring the way the curls kept piling up on the floor in a wig-like formation and I suggested next time he grow it out and donate it to Locks of Love. He was quiet for a moment and then said “I don’t really get Locks of Love. What do they do with it?” I replied “You have to grow out at least 10 inches of hair and then they make wigs out of it for children with cancer. Why, what did you think?” “Well, that makes more sense,” he replied, “I always thought they just glued to their heads.”

  337. Thanks Caryl, I know you can keep a secret — especially on your birthday — I trust you.

  338. V–Kittery and I have our own convent too. My name’s Sister Self-Flagellation (I worry a lot) and Kitter’s Sister Smite Me. We are always looking for more acolytes.

    Incidentally, my mother has a horn story as well, asked by a Baptist friend re: nuns and their habits. Ridiculous, no?

    George could email me his comments too. I keep secrets with the best of them, right Caryl? Kittery? …or at least it requires SOME duress to make me spill them… :)

  339. LB-I’m up for a nunnery…Mom’s a Catholic (now Mormon), Dad was Jewish, husband’s Catholic, I was converted as a baby. I could be Sister Stays At Home.

    When I was little I used to make communion wafers out of flattened bread. Anyone else do that?

  340. DO I WISH TO DON THE CARYL BOYFRIEND JEANS?!? Only as much as I wish I could do something about mortality.

    I had a neighbor who grew a horn. When they removed it it contained hair and teeth. I made her tell me the story at least 50 times. Sarah, remember when you asked me on the phone, “Who is Scott to you?” I said he was my parasitic twin; he emerges from my side and I sometimes dress him in little shoes. You’ll all see in April.

  341. Ok, sis.

    But don’t look for anything.

    You’ll notice that I didn’t comment back some months ago when Haven uploaded that picture of her modeling the skirt that Polly didn’t send her.

    I kept my mouth shut then, too. Didn’t say a word. Nothing issued from my keyboard about the muscle definition, the question of innie or outtie, none of that, didn’t you notice.

    For me, dumbness is the valorous part of discretion.

  342. If I ever grew a horn like that, you can BET I would keep it, and charge admission. Oh, I’m getting goosebumps.

    Has ANYONE seen my favorite episode of the X-Files…Humbug? ANYONE??

  343. George, if I am not mistaken, you did use the word “Cut.” And you weren’t talking about knives.

    Were you?

  344. George, your chivalric virtues rival those of the Bard himself.

  345. Except, George is fibbing. :)

    I distinctly recall him apologizing as he called you “cut.”

    lol.

    Which we were all thinking when we saw the picture.

  346. Haven: Now, that’s a compliment, the Bawd was never bored.

    Kate: did I use that word? Doesn’t sound like anything I’d say. Darn, if I had known you cut hair, I wouldn’t have mine hacked last week…couldn’t waited till Durham and I would have supplied the scissors and the permit from the game warden.

  347. KATE!

    Woot! I knew someone else would remember!

  348. Oh George, I just sort of hack away with the clippers. I won’t cut my kid’s hair, because I care too much about what they look like. I used to give Jarvis that classic depression-era haircut…long on top, shaved on the sides. All he needed was some patched overalls worn without a shirt. But Hugh? He has no pride. I essentially shave off all his hair, and then he grows back his fro. Repeat 2-3 times a year.

  349. Molly,

    I’m willing to pretend it takes more than “asking” to get secrets out of you.

    ~ S.

  350. I said, “cut?” Someone, please produce a transcript. I would never had said something like that about Haven. I was probably talking about the cut of the skirt. Yeahm that’s it. You guys know me. Wouldn’t have been right for me to say such a thing. Would’ve implied undue familiarity and we weren’t brought up like that in Evansville, right, Kate? Right? My esteem for our beloved author rests not upon her glutes or six pack but strictly upon the “body” of work she has produced.

  351. Don’t look at me George. I wasn’t even allowed to say the word poop. And my parents forced us to call our private parts “Personal Body.”

  352. Sarah, anything I spilled to you was because I know the pureness of your heart.

    Sheesh. (lol)

    Calling me out like that. :)

  353. What I’m trying to say George, is that if that’s Evansville, where the hell did all those kids I went to school with come from? The way they bandied about words like “Fart.”

  354. Molly,

    I’m just trying to help with the St. Peter thing. How do you think we’re doing?

    Vanessa,

    We kids didn’t make pretend altar bread, we snuck the real wafers out of the Holy parts of the church when the grownups were elsewhere having coffee. Later, when I lived on the grounds of a convent that had an altar bread business, we’d dumpster dive for the scrap throwaways. It never occurred to me that other poor children had to make do with pretend wafers.

    Oh, Kate. “Personal Body.”

    ~ S.

  355. Speaking of communion, at our church children can partake as soon as they are baptized. Alice is not quite two, and I have allowed her to take communion before, but it was kind of a mess. She wanted to hold her cup, and she spilled her juice. So, last time I had the pastor bless her, but no juice or bread. My mother was serving, and she said the look on Alice’s face was nothing short of horror when she realized she was not partaking. After church she followed my mom to the back and asked for juice. My mom thought she was thirsty, but to her amazement Alice took her cup out to the altar, bowed her head for a moment and then drank her juice.

  356. Sarah: Since I was never really Catholic I wanted to make my own communion wafers…out of Wonder Bread, I’m sure. Take off the crust, flatten the bread in your hands, cut it out with a small glass, put in reverent hands, dissolve in mouth. My wafers must have been huge.

    Kate: I was told girls had “indoor plumbing” and boys had “outdoor plumbing.”

  357. Now that’s a GOOD one. I’m going to tell my boys that next time they ask me how their sister can pee if she doesn’t have a penis.

  358. Vanessa, is that your own beautiful face? I’ve made wafers with bread before. White bread is PERFECT for it.

    Sarah, you know, honestly, I think you could try a little hard to be convincing. After all, St. Peter has The Book. You know which one I mean. He has it, and without a little help from my friends, I’ve major concerns about being able to talk my way in…
    :)

  359. Vanessa,

    I was never even close to really a Catholic. These were high Episcopalians (everything but the Pope), emphasis sometimes on High.

    I’ll have to remember that comment about Plumbing.

    I am learning so much tonight.

    ~ S.

  360. I was just always fascinated by how much eating a communion wafer was like biting styrofoam.

  361. O you cannot imagine how squeamish talk of a communal sacrament in any church makes me, as a Pure Little Quaker Girl. As I told Sarah, the first time I walked into a Catholic church and saw a huge crucifix, Jesus right on it, my knees buckled and I almost fainted. I’d never seen a crucifix in my life. The rest of the Mass was equally traumatic. If it hadn’t been for my abiding devotion to Beth, I would have run into the street like a crazed chimpanzee.

  362. Haven,

    You left out my favorite line, “And then the men in dresses came in.”

    ~ S.

  363. Yup, that’s me. The other picture was a sunset from the mountains in Blue Ridge, GA.

    Molly-my birthday is Sept 6th…close to yours. But I’m a fair amount older than you!

  364. “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”

    John W. Gardner

  365. What a Sunday banter we have going here, sneaking communion wafers, horns, and private parts. George, for the record, I have your back. I can’t see you ever using the word cut to describe Haven’s perfect stomach.

  366. Sarah, the men in dresses had also wrapped squares of posterboard around their heads, and had on more costume jewelry than Nora Desmond. There were many moments I thought I was dreaming. When I realized there were, in addition, little boys in dresses swinging birdcages out of which smoke was streaming? I was essentially ruined.

  367. When I took my 3-year-old daughter to visit my old Cajun Catholic grandma for the first time, she was fixated on the GIANT crucifix hanging in the living room. In addition, my grandmother had lost her leg and was in a wheelchair, and her statue of Mary had fallen over and the head fell off.

    I could see the wheels turning in my child’s head…”My God, this is a tough room!”

  368. Vanessa, Flannery O’Connor would have traded one of her peacocks for that story.

  369. Kate Cake: I don’t know about those varmits on your side of town with all their talk of farts. What I was getting at is the politeness that corrupts everything in our beloved hometown.

    But, m’dear, all this banter has plumb tuckered me out…plus they are playing breathy Brazilian music on my local NPR station that is lulling me to sleep or to samba so it’s time to scrub out the lasagna pan, walk the dogs, brush for two minutes with peroxide and Crest, take two Advil and haul my nonexistent ass up to bed where it barely dents my the memory foam of the Tempur-pedic mattress.

    oh…about communion: We liberal Episcopalians welcome anyone, no age restrictions or anything like that. we do prefer people wait their turn in line and be neat, dribbling the wine or leaving a piece of soggy wafer in the cup is not kosher.

  370. Caryl, thanks…that was a kind comment and you didn’t even have to say it, seein’ how’s it’s not your birthday here on the East Coast. What should I bring you in Durham?

  371. Oh the gauntlet’s been thrown. If I weren’t grading math tests, I’d be digging through the archives…

    So Quiet Amber almost made Coke come out of my nose, when on Ash Wednesday, we got to talking about all my crazy Catholic-ness. I was telling her all about Lent. One year, we were traveling from Philly where we’d been visiting family back to GA, and my parents made us sit in SILENCE from 12-3. No music, no reading, no sleeping, no nothing but quiet contemplation of the Lord. Quiet Amber asked me why they did this to their 4 children on an 18 hour drive, and I said, “Well, Jesus hung on the cross from 12 to 3 on Good Friday.”

    “Eastern time?” Amber asked.

    I almost peed myself.

  372. Yes, and poor Jesus probably wasn’t even born in December…it would just fit in with the Winter Solstice.

    And with that I’m must go to bed. Carpool at 7:15 a.m. comes early!

  373. Vanessa: You just killed me!!!! hahahahahah!!!!

    Did I tell you all that when I was Peru I went to a Catholic church that had Mary at the top of the Trinity painted in the sacristy. Somehow they had attached long green neon lights to her fingers that glowed like thermonuclear fingernails and made her look like a superhero.

    I was tempted to convert then and there.

  374. CROWN TO AMBER.

    Theologians call what she did ‘historical hermeneutics.’

    Dianne showed up here in the dead of night, as I mentioned, and one of the first things she said was, “Given your serious commitment to non-exercise?” I found this such a delicate phrase. Dianne herself was some sort of professional Frisbee player for thirteen years, although I couldn’t possibly tell you what that means. She continued, “How is it you have this body?” I said, “Do you know how much discipline, the extraordinary level of muscle control I must practice 24 hours a day, in order to sit this still?” She nodded as if that made complete sense.

  375. Bug: you just killed me again….hahahaha

    I don’t know what it is about a well-delivered pun, but it leaves me weak in the knees.

    now..off to bed.

  376. One last thing…my daughter kept staring at the Mary statue saying, “Where’s her head?” The family told her that one of the grandkids was hugging Mary and she fell over and the head came off.

    They decided it must be time to glue her head back on.

  377. I am drinking with an art friend, discussing the virtues of silicone mold making, boys, boys who will sleep with you as ‘friends’, more drinking, how we can blow off work or anything responsible tomorrow . . .

    more drinking . . . we are out of wine which is a tragedy – but don saved the day be unearthing some hidden chocolates

    what’s up?

  378. Jesus was a Leo, ask any astrologer.

  379. Haven, jewels like that fall out of Amber’s mouth ALL THE TIME.

    I keep telling her to post, but she is shy.

    And I agree it’s not fair that your body’s amazing and you say you do nothing. Although, you write like nobody’s business which is more serious work than I can dream of. Maybe this is compensation?

  380. I would believe Haven has an amazing ass.

  381. Haven’s lips and her ass = major guy magnets

  382. everybody is ignoring me?

  383. Compared to my siblings, there was much of which I was deprived in the genetic lottery. But I did get the body. And it could have gone an infinite number of ways! I am so EXACTLY a 50/50 physical duplicate of my parents I could have ended up looking like one of those women in LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN. And granted, there were some missteps (the hair), but otherwise I got the best of those two, THANK YOU BOBBY AND DELONDA, I LOVE YOU BOTH. (Sorry about you being dead there, Dad.)

  384. Good night, George! Glad I could make you laugh. :)

  385. George, I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, and I’m a different generation.

    Haven and I have the SAME exercise program and yet I resemble Jabba the Hut.

  386. I have the missed the most amazing conversation.

    But yes … Molly can be trusted .. for the most part. ;) And please join our convent! Spa Day would be more fun with more of us. ;)

  387. the answer is YES

  388. Sher, right.

    THANK YOU DELONDA FOR THE LIPS.

    We should all practice more gratitude. We’ve all seen how it can go. (There were TEETH in the thing, and HAIR.)

  389. KITTERY!

    I gave your email to SARAH. Not the Nazi party.

    Maybe you need to borrow my reeds…

  390. I’m trying to prove that I am part of this blog and my friend thinks I am lying and that none of you know who I am

  391. Haven, see, I don’t get this hair problem you think you have. Yes, there was a time in the distant past where it kind of resemble a chewed up bathmat, but lately all I see is luxurious waves. As someone whose hair is fine, and straight, with various flippy sections, I could really go for some body.

  392. Who is this SHER person?

  393. Haven, your hair is gorgeous – it is pre-raphealite hair . . .

  394. SHER, WE LOVE YOU! You make beautiful art that’s to die for! I dream of owning some some day!

  395. thanks Kate – you just lost your ride to Durham!

  396. I am of course, joshing. Sher has the most stunning blue eyes this side of ANYWHERE.

  397. this is Alicia, the friend that lives in Knoxville, I just asked Alicia where the fucked she lived . . . we might have lunch with her on the way to Durham

  398. No, Kate, see — you move around A LOT. And also there’s that communion business. When I say I am a still person I mean I am still for HOURS AND HOURS at a time. And at a Quaker Meeting for Worship? HELLO. One hour, three hours, it’s all the same to me; I am barely breathing.

  399. alicia makes video art that she encases in fake cow pies that she paints bright colors and fake flowers and REAL flowers bloom – - they are beautiful to see

  400. Molly, I just snorted most unbecomingly.

  401. aw!

  402. Kittery, there you are!

    You can back me up on this one: I told you that Molly gave me your email address only after I wrestled it from her with red hot pokers and the threat of stealing her new glasses, just like she told me to say.

    Right?

    Ah, the many manifestations of purity.

    ~ S.
    hopin’ Molly’s not still up. What’re the chances?

  403. Fake cow pies? Tonight just keeps getting better and better.

  404. Sarah, that is true. I loved the apologetic emails, “I wrestled it from Molly. Don’t kill her. Don’t hate me.”

    “I gave Sarah your email. Please don’t hate me. She’s good people, really!”
    :) If it makes any of you feel better, I love you both. :D

  405. I don’t want to move, it’s FOISTED upon me.

  406. the real ones were so amazing, but they crumbled when you tossed them in a game of frisbee, so now they are made of foam and we can use them better and we can now sell them on QVC . . .

  407. Alicia, here’s how we can prove Sher is one of our presiding angels.

    CODE QUESTION: With what did I sorely desire to fill the meadow behind my farmhouse, Ms. Fick?

  408. You should snort unbecomingly. I hope there was snot involved somewhere too.

    Hrmph.

    Between you and Sarah tonight, a girl doesn’t need enemies. Thank God I have George… :)

    Alright, dear ones, I have to go to bed. I forgot that I can’t roll with the grown ups when I have to get up in the wee hours.

    Love to you all….

    Kittery, don’t you and Sarah get all smack-laying when I go… ;)

    Night, y’all!

  409. what? kate moving?

  410. Oh! I know! I KNOW! ME! ME!

  411. Yes but honey you don’t have George. He took his chivalrous flat arse to bed. Yer alone. ;)

    Goodnight, dearie!

  412. Kittery,

    You are too kind. What I said was, “Now that I’ve wrested your address from Molly (by Asking), do with her what you will.”

    I’m pretty sure I never told you not to kill Molly….

    Wait, that didn’t come out right, either.

    ~ S.

  413. I, wow. I can’t make heads or tails of that description of Alicia’s art, except it sounds like at some point Druids must be involved. Because there’s the fake, and the other fake, and the real grows out of it. This is not my understanding of nature’s tendencies.

  414. Yipe! Kittery kinda half apologized there (and Sarah was right there with her, damning with faint praise, or whatever its equivalent would be in this situation…).

    Oh, you all make me laugh.

  415. seriously? you are moving, I apparentlyh missed this

  416. it is a fantasy world of cow pies – think of alice in wonderland

  417. Kate, if Sher passes the question goes to you, like in JEOPARDY!

  418. Sher, I think Haven means I’m not sedentary enough. This might be true. I have been known to bake, and I take lots of baths, which requires walking to the bathroom. Also peeing. And shopping.

  419. we are too drunk to remember her website, but later we will send you the link . . .

  420. we are afraid we now sound stupid

  421. Remember, H, Sher done been drinkin’.

    K and S–am I to suffer the slings and arrows of misfortune?

    Good golly. OK BED. ME. NOW!

  422. Sher, darling? Critical information is waaaay up in the earlier hours of the conversation. But it’s all there.

  423. what question did I pass?

  424. that’s right bug, kid, and we’ll always have atlanta.

  425. What is SCARECROWS???

  426. will go back and read the whole WHOLE Thread . . . I just got spanked. I did all the spankin last week, so this is allowed.

  427. Intriguing, Sher. Never stupid. :) Although if I was going to fantasize about Alice in Wonderland type things, I would like the Cheshire Cat to be included :: waits for Haven to say how creepy disembodied cat grins are ::.

  428. Recently I heard a drunk person in New Orleans say, “I do NOT know what town this is.”

  429. I love it Molly! :D

  430. Sher, yesterday I watched The Fabulous Baker Boys, and I nominate you as Blog Member most likely to slither across a piano in a slinky red dress while singing “Makin’ Whoopee.”

  431. I made a scarecrow (vincent van CROW) for a museum exhibition this October . . . he is now on the banks of my creek and he is now walking on water as the creek is flooding . . . Haven likes Scarecrows and wanted to make an installation of ACRES of scarecrows in IN, but her then husband had a corn cob up his butt and wouldn’t let her….I think that is the story.

  432. And how sexy is the Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz? Be honest.

  433. this is true – but I am a terrible singer . . . I would have to lip sync . . . which could be a dangerous thing as well…

  434. I can sing every word to When Doves Cry by Prince.

    would that suffice . . . or some very angry dixie chicks which SCARES the men and makes their parts shrivel in fear, which is not the needed effect.

  435. Wizard of Oz scarecrow was a pussy

  436. KITTERY! DID YOU SEE THAT!?!? GEORGE HAD NOT GONE TO BED YET! HA!

  437. that was the cowardly lion, sher

  438. George, how is your oven?

  439. Haven! DID YOU SEE WHAT SHER SAID?????

  440. Not their “parts,” Sher. Their outdoor plumbing…

  441. he was a pussy, too – the scarecrow was her uncle in real life, ugh, makes me sick…..

  442. Kate is now ahead with $16,000.

    Here, Miss Kittery.

    CHESHIRE

    It’s not the cat,
    it’s the smile that
    lasts, toothy
    and ruthless.
    It’s facts like this
    we like to resist –
    how our parts
    might lack allegiance
    to the whole;
    how the bonds
    may be more casual
    than we know; how
    much of us
    might vanish
    and how well
    some separate part
    might manage.

    –Kay Ryan

  443. Actually I’d missed that until you pointed it out.. Atlanta? :: looks shrewdly at the two of you ::

    Oh George, don’t leave us yet. That last comment was priceless.

  444. He was a FARM HAND. Not her uncle.

  445. Sher is feeling SAUCY. A fine quality in a woman.

  446. mine’s clean, how’s yours?

    …and if memory serves me correctly, when dorothy encountered the scarecrow didn’t she say, ‘boy, you’re well-hung up there, aintcha’

    it was the tin man who was glenda’s bitch.

  447. Nice Haven. Thank you! :)

  448. Kate . . . wasn’t he a farm hand AND her uncle, did she not say “uncle so and so” when she arrived back in the tilted house????

    Maybe I haven’t watched it enough.

    –raspberry noises—-

  449. i needed some sauce to go with my wimpy noodle head last week . . . I am in full swing recovery now.

  450. The film also fails to point out the obvious: any tender girl who had fallen in a pig lot would have been devoured alive, “uncle” or no.

  451. “mine’s clean, how’s yours?”

    Taken out of context that has OH SO MANY possibilities..

  452. Haven? Settle this please. Was Hunk a farm hand, an uncle, or BOTH.

  453. I’ll need to get out the Spidey doll and have Dorothy show me where the Scarecrow gave her the Bad Touch.

  454. Sher…Uncle So-and-So was the dotty old man married to Auntie Em!

  455. also, I spent the day playing Yatzee with Claire, so I am immune to adult conversation . . .

    but I did stimulate the economy some more today . . . and we just spent a long time searching for a fake deer for Alicia’s new art installation . . . the ebay guy was an ASS and now she ordered 2 deer and he won’t take her money so we had to find ALTERNATIVE venues to find a fake deer to go with the fake cowpies . . which aren’t related in any way, shape or form

  456. Haven,

    Just check her over real good for seeds.

  457. Kate is now nominated the Trivia Queen of Wizard of Oz . . .

    hum, I am now so depressed . . .

  458. Now see, I don’t mean to beat a dead fake horse, but deer do not produce cowpies.

  459. God forbid you walk away from this blog for five minutes. I was still on Haven and I not exercising together, and now were on to, well I don’t know, what are we on?

  460. Sher, I have no marketable skills. Just a bunch of stupid trivia rattling around in my head. Remember, I just lost my job.

  461. Molly, Molly, Molly,

    You’re not making this easier. I now have to pretend that you go to bed when you say you do.

    ~ Sarah

  462. Caryl, get with the program birthday girl, we have moved on . . .

  463. In Mooreland, George, it was straw in your ponytail.

  464. kit: we were talking ovens…i swear to god, offer to clean a woman’s oven and she’ll invite you right over to do the job…got an order tonight in san fran and probably in southern calif. if i’d only discovered this earlier in life i wouldn’t have become an english major.

  465. kate, I said they weren’t related to one another, they are separate installations, the deer go with the cherry trees installation, which you can see on my facebook friends . . . go to alicia beach . . .

    because I can’t remember her website . . .

  466. i want my world to be filled with happy little cowpies.

    did you ever see Horton Hears a Who and the little girl ‘Katie’ . . . in my world the unicorns eat butterflies and fart rainbows . . . or something like that….

    alicia’s art is betwen Dr. Seuss and Teletubbies

  467. That wasn’t me, I swear.

  468. In St. Meinrad Abbey, it was straw in your pony’s tail.

  469. George, i thought ovens would build up flavor like granny’s cast iron pot . . . you are not supposed to clean them . . .

  470. Am I high? Because this is SUCH a high conversation.

  471. George, I did not know this … maybe I actually have to own an oven to experience this?

    Fart rainbows? :: swoons ::

  472. perhaps we should move back to kate and haven’s exercise program, that is my goal – their excercise routine . . .

  473. I believe it might be 4:21 where some of these people live.

  474. LOL

  475. Tonight I exercised my jaws by eating about 8 or 9 white chocolate peanut butter clusters.

  476. In Turkey Run State Park, it was a late return from a phony trail.

  477. Haven,

    You did being a sentence about _The Wizard of Oz_,

    “The film also fails to point out the obvious….”

    As if that could possibly be a surprise, or as if the rest of the sentence had only one salient conclusion to present.

    High?

    Maybe.

    ~ S.

  478. Sher:

    Granny’s cast iron pot ain’t anything like today’s high-performance ovens. Granny’s pot might have had a taste, but that, dearie, wasn’t to be mistaken for flavor no matter how good the old girl could bake.

  479. turkey run . . . . ROCKS . . .

    many memories there!!! ;)

  480. George and Haven, we need Cliff Notes.

  481. the swing bridge . . . trail three . . .

  482. I’m high on life…i get this way in anticipation of going to bed…

  483. George, bizarrely enough at William Sonoma that add instructions on how to season your ‘pot’ . . . basically scrape it, but don’t wash it . . . horrifying! Really.

  484. No soap. But tell that to my grandmother, who always puts her cast iron skillet in the DISHWASHER. *sigh* When we lived together I always dried it on the stove. I TRIED to be a good example.

  485. Horrifying for the Type A people that *like* scrubbing out their pans maybe.

    George, you should know this, you lived in Maine for a while .. “it’s called Flavah, baby.”

  486. True story . . .

    post prom party at Turkey Run . . . with Mark ))))), so his dad was an undercover cop, and he had a pistol in his glove box . . . which we were unaware of, as we played with the bullhorn/p.a. system in the undercover car . . . like 10 of us in prom clothes at about 7 a.m. the next morning . . . going through the park . . .and we had decorated the car with sanitary napkins . . .

    anyway, the park rangers stopped us for disturbing the peace, and then they found the GUN, holy moly, I thought we were in trouble, then mark’s dad shows up, they laugh and pat each other on the back and we continue on our merry way….

  487. Thank you, Kate! That’s how you’re supposed to dry them. When I did that in front of my roommates they looked at me like I’d lost what little sanity I possessed.

  488. Sarah, I believe what I committed there was, in terms of prosody, a litote.

    If any questions remain about the film, just make a list. Gregory Maguire is one of my dear friends. There is nothing he doesn’t know. A double negative of abundant knowledge.

    Although he had NOT heard my all-time favorite synopsis of the film, published in a San Francisco paper: “A young girl arrives in a foreign land, immediately kills a woman, then joins forces with three strangers to kill and kill again.”

  489. who else has a good turkey run story, george, kate, haven. . . jim shue???

  490. Kittery, we are a dying breed of WO-MAN.

  491. I don’t even know what Turkey Run IS.

    I just cackled loudly at that description…ow! My SIDE!

  492. John is an unparalleled master of cast iron. I’m just sayin.

  493. I’d expect nothing less.

  494. It’s tragic, Kate. Really.

    Okay, is it heresy to love Maguire’s version of things and not be able to stand the original? ‘Cause .. maybe I’m a heretic? :(
    I just don’t see the appeal of a goody-goody, a small dog in a basket (the precursor of Paris Hilton, Tinkerbell and the ‘dog purse’) a cackling hag with a skin disorder and drag queen shoes… I’m willing to be educated though.

  495. Turkey Run is an amazing state park in central IN, off of highway 41 . . . anyway it is an old glacier site . . . so has caves and creeks a river, great hiking, a swinging bridge over the river, major hiking trails . . . camping . . . hotel . . . pool, etc.

    Poor man’s riviera???? It is THE spot and my kids beg me to go there with all their cousins just like I did when I was a kid/teen . . . also canoeing is awesome there . . . you stop and swim . . . etc.

    the stories . . . oh, illegal.

  496. WICKED is superior in every way to every iteration of that story since its inception. I shall always take a very firm stance on this issue.

  497. http://www.turkeyrunstatepark.com/

  498. Hey Kit: They spoke French way up there in THE COUNTY where I used to live in Maine. They called it savoir faire, which roughly translated meant, pretty good.

    I swear this new avatar — a one-eyed purple people eater — has gone and stolen away my soul.

    But listen girls, when it comes to oven cleaning, a little light scraping, sans water and soap, might be what the book calls for, but the truth of it is that nothing works like a lotta heat and a little lye.

  499. My mom would never take us anyplace that didn’t have indoor plumbing. Oh wait…you said hotel? I think it sounds divine.

    Kittery! YOU! OUTTA THE POOL!

  500. I agree with haven on the erudition of Maquire’s Wicked.

    Superior in every way.

  501. Haven I am with you, this conversation is not for the faint of heart, or anyone who may have moved her muscles for the first time in a year. I am wally eyed, as my daughter would say.

  502. George, I always just set my oven to scorch and walk away.

  503. I now MUST MUST go back to work, panic is beginning to raise its black wings in the corner of the room. I’ll check in much later, when everyone is asleep, or as Bubbles once beautifully put it in AB FAB, “passed out in a pool of my own sick.”

  504. yes, Kate, they had bathrooms, and a store for ice cream . . . but usually you bring coolers full of “camping” type supplies . . . then the moms set up the picnic tables, the dad’s cook the burgers on the grills set up in the woods (you have to bring your own coals and matches) . . . and the kids RUN WILD

  505. Poo. I love you Kate, but I think Haven agrees with me (sort of). :P

    George, lol. That could very well be what it is tonight. Monstertars or whatever they’re called. :)

  506. And Kate, you didn’t lose your job. They lost you. xoxo

  507. ok…I’ll crash too . . .

    kate, I have a great retro top with black patent leather belt, black with red cherries . . . all for you . . . it will match your lipstick greatly . . . only worn once in Venice Italy . . .

  508. I will read Wicked as soon as I’m done with Little, Big.

    Haven, I hope this little blog get-away done your soul good.

  509. Aw. :( Good luck Haven. :)

  510. It’s a grievous transition, to go from this to 17th century Christian apologetics. But I MUST.

    Okay, talk to you all soon. Or, rather, I’ll be awake and you will not.

  511. Kittery, I confess I didn’t understand. I haven’t read Wicked.

    SHER! That outfit sounds bitchin’. Did I tell you my friend Fritzi wants me to enter a local pin-up contest?

  512. I will probably still be awake and I am out of wine, so I might even, be sober . . .

  513. Yippe . . . you are the perfect pin-up girl . . .I could add it to my pile of to be shipped items . . . I have 3 packages . . . Caryl, Amy, & Suzanne . . . but, in theory, this could be accomplished this week . . . the taxes are done!!!!!!

    but, alas, I still don’t have your street address, so you would have to send that via email . . .

    otherwise there is a pile of ‘for kate and alice’ in the dining room already . . .

  514. You must, you must Kate! ‘Tis wonderful. :)

  515. Goodnight, Havenly!

  516. KateCake: now that’s the spirit.

    Turkey Run: I took a picture there of my oldest boy when he was little. He was standing behind one of the waterfalls and I was a good Dad who had a story on the front page of the Indianapolis Star. Years before, I had gone out there with a bunch of hippie-type friends. We got good and stoned on the drive up Highway 57 and stopped and bought a watermelon. None of us had a knife to cut it, so we broke it open on a rock and dug in with our hands, which we washed in that little waterfall.

    That, Sher, is my Turkey Run story, Part I and Part II.

  517. Oh! Speaking of packages – Sher, do you still want prescription bottles?

  518. Very good turkey run story George . . . and that style of watermelon cracking is what we used to do on the farm . . . the watermelon were still warm, same thing with cantaloupes . . . yum,

  519. Oh crap. There’s a spider on my ceiling. :: cringes ::
    George, along with oven cleaning, do you do insect removal?

  520. Even if George did do insect removal, that won’t help you in this case.

  521. I could wait patiently at the far end of my room curled up in a ball, glaring at the spider while waiting for George to hop off the plane.

  522. Kit: Insect removal? No prob, I said before that I should have studied entomology instead of etymology…

  523. But that won’t turn a spider into an INSECT.

  524. I think I am going to go read, I just cannot keep up tonight.
    Night all. xoxo

  525. Kittery – yes to prescription bottles, I can get them in Durham . . . I have an endless series of work on them . . .

    and I find that vacuum cleaners work the best on spiders and other leggy things

  526. Kit: Should I fly into Bangor or Portland, which is closer? I do think that spider deserves a medal for hanging around all winter or for its optimism that spring is coming.

  527. Oh HAR HAR. :P If it’s creepy, and comes under the category of ‘bug’, it’s an insect in my encyclopedia. :P

    George, sweet. When can you get here?

  528. I once, in florida, bent down to pick up a ‘stick’ off the floor, but it moved and then I realized it was a SCORPION . . . heart. a. tack

  529. Bangor, please. :)

    Sher, ’cause my mother had a whole bunch she was going to toss the other day and I told her no, thinking you might need them. :)

  530. yippee!!!!! the more prescription bottles, the merrier . . . I was just today making molds of some bottles because I did not have ENOUGH . . .

    happy pants dance!

  531. Good one, Kit!

    Sher: you’re forgiven, they didn’t have scorpions in Indiana.

    Ok, yawn, don’t wait up for me, Kit!

    Someone tell Haven good night for me.

  532. …one of these days, though, I am going to divert from my bi-annual trips up to Cape Cod and keep going north to Madawaska where I want to visit the St. John Valley Times and see if I can find anything I wrote when I worked for them waaaaaaaaay back in the 70s.

    but…yawn…i’m boring myself…time for bed…tomorrow’s another day and all that crap…yawn

  533. :: whimpers :: It was on the move, so I grabbed a can of hairspray to paralyze it. It was heading towards a crevicey type place people, okay? Don’t judge me. And then the thing freaked out when hairspray blasted it, so it fell into my hamper, and then I couldn’t find it and then I did, so then I tried to go after it with a piece of paper towel and now I can’t find it. I think it’s buried in my clothes. :’(
    It is big and creepy.

  534. Oh dear Kittery . . .

  535. Jeezus Kit, what kind of hairspray were you using?

  536. Aussie hairspray. I figured if it’s strong enough to hold hair in place, it ought to work on a FEW of its EIGHT legs. Bah. I searched my hamper and surrounding area as best I could. I only had a few items in there to begin with, but it’s not like I’m going to stick my fingers in every wrinkle..

    Short of putting the spider out of my misery, I took my hamper downstairs.

    My cat is an excellent huntress and she seems rather nonplussed.. hopefully that’s a good sign.

  537. Aussie hairspray is lethal . . . plus it smells like watermelons, so that should fool the little leggy sucker.

  538. Ah! What did I say about my Lily’s hunting skills? She was half asleep on the bed and then she *flew* off it and ran to the door, tail twitching madly. After a few moments looking for it (a ROLL of paper towel in hand), I saw it too. Hurrah! :D

  539. Kittery. You kill me. You absolutely kill me. Aussie hair spray? You know Steve Irwin would have a cow…
    :)

    (I love Steve Irwin.)

  540. Ah what a blog to go from ACOD to Bernadette to Aussie Hairspray. Takes the breath away methinks. But seriously Fortuna’s wheel has swung again for me and I’ll once again be seeking gainful employment at the end of this month. I can seek solace both in ACOD as well as in Bernadette but I’ll have to pass on the Aussie Hair Spray. Belated Birthday greetings to you, Haven, and wishing you many more to come.

  541. some facts:

    George said CUT. i have the memory of a computer. he said CUT.

    WICKED by gregory maguire is superior to everything about Oz written before or since, as is SON OF A WITCH and A LION AMONG MEN

    Haven has a magnificent ass.

    My ass is good as hell/well.

    xo
    sfc

  542. i can kill any bug with my hand. i have nothing squeemish in me. i am a bug killer from way back. i have also been known to swing rats by the tail and fling them to the deaths.

  543. let the record state that within ten minutes of knowing each other, I showed Polly my breasts (there was a good reason). they are also magnificent.

    and my first love in college got all the way to almost naked with me, then told me “I felt you would have led me away from the direction i was headed…” he became a Presbetyrian pastor; we are close friends to this day.

    my father was a baptist minister. he then became a bartender; when he visited his religious parents in greenville, SC, his father said to him , “Son, I know you have strayed from the Lord. But how did yo get so *far*?”

    TRUE.

  544. Geez, Suze: I can hardly wait to meet you myself.

  545. Kittery, please tell me you found that thing. I once had a huge brown spider NESTLED IN MY CLEAVAGE (magnificent, it is) and had an appropriate freak-out.

    Suzanne, that sounds a bit like me…my sister in law thought I was sooo weird when I met her…she swears I showed her my BRA…I have NO memory of this.

  546. Suzanne: did you tell Polly they were “real and they are magnificent?”

    I’m not afraid of the bug smashing either but I do shriek like a girl when they move.

    Did anyone see the Six Feet Under when Lisa tried to coax the ants out of her house by asking them nicely to leave? I loved that show.

  547. THE REASON was a good one: i’d had a breast lift/reduction and Polly had considered such drastic measures herself. It was a medical moment.

    My plastic surgeon made a whole new person out of the extra flesh he took from my chest; she is living in Florida now and goes by the name of Rhonda.

  548. I have been known to pick up a spider and place it gently outside.
    I have absolutely no fear of spider, insects, reptiles, etc.
    But I will piss my pants and faint if I see a mouse.

  549. I think I know Rhonda!

  550. Jebus Gad, I eventually just have to scroll down and comment. I have no idea if y’all’re still talking about the size and shape of Haven. But I will say this.

    It dawned on me the other day. I am the size and shape of every single thing that goes in my mouth, exactly. They all equal me.

    What food goes in Haven’s mouth to make her size and shape? Vitamin water. Cake, no icing. Pumpkin bread with chocolate chips (once every five years.) Occasional fresh vegetables. Cream for coffee.

    Yes, I think that is a complete list. Haven, do I lie?

  551. Kate, that is an awful story. When I read about your nesting brown spider, I immediately looked down into my own shirt. That’s sad.
    I do believe that I got the spider last night. Although I did wonder how it got from my hamper to the door? I wondered if it was a second one. then I tried to not think about that possibility.

    Amy, complete opposite. If I saw a mouse, I’d probably try to pick it up and cuddle it. Snakes are good too. Just not bugs. Eeewww.

  552. Here’s the full scoop on the spider story.

    http://mckinneycake.com/2007/11/butterbottom-or-your-ass-is-glass/

  553. Good grief, I always miss all the fun at night.

    Haven- my daughter’s boyfriend, Chance, gave her a new biography of Flannery O’Connor for her 18th birthday a few weeks ago. Now if that’s not love I don’t know what is.

  554. Kittery…do you remember when I was attacked by bats at my Grandpa’s house? A second bat or perhaps the same one?

  555. Kate, I think the personal humiliation we have endured/put ourselves through makes us twins.

  556. Ohh … vaguely? Now that you mention it, there’s a fuzzy memory …
    Forgetting Kate stories should be a crime. I can’t believe I’ve half-forgotten this one.

  557. Kate–love the blog story! You’ve captured the brainless, out-of-control existence that comes with toddlers (with a spider down your shirt thrown in for good measure.) Priceless!

    Thanks for cheering up my dreary rainy day.

  558. Damn, I picked the wrong night to go to bed early….

    Haven, congratualtions on having a nice ass. I suffer from flat ass syndrome myself and it sucks. You go girl!

    Gotta get back to work, I’m on lunch and I’ll stop by tonight to read everything else. (Ugh, I hate missing out on fun conversations like this one…)

  559. Vanessa…My work here is done!

  560. Okay, have any of you seen this?

  561. Yes, indeed I have. My kids act like that even when they aren’t on heavy drugs.

  562. Hahahaha. I can’t wait to meet Alice. :D

  563. Today Alice played with play-doh for an hour, which to me is remarkable for a kid not quite 2. Quite the attention span. Whenever she wanted a new color she would say “BLUE.” And she kept making snakes, which, according to her, say “RAWR.”

  564. Poor kid…I’ve seen that a few times and it’s funny every time. One daughter had Versed before an ear tube operation and it was quite hilarious.

    I hope when my children are in therapy they speak kindly of me.

  565. That’s awesome Kate. :)

    Vanessa, I just cracked up. :D

  566. Now MY work here is done. Off to pick up kiddies from school.

  567. O my. Kenneth Boulding was my commencement speaker. This feel a little like the prophet Elijah must have been my guidance counsellor, but it is so. He had the worst stammer you’ve ever heard in your life and paid it not the slightest attention. Mostly I remember that the early part of the speech was a good news/bbbbad news joke; he listed all of the evils current in the world at some length, then said “The good news is that you have a hundred billion neurons.”

  568. Oh Kit! Thanks so much…

  569. Hello BB’s . .. we are on the heading to durham countdown!!!

  570. Um…Sher? Can I still come?

  571. Kate, even if Quiet Amber and I have to detour through TN, you can come! lol.

  572. Just got back from Atlanta. The Titanic Exhibit was amazing and heartbreaking, and I wanted to beat up everyone there who wasn’t properly shushed and somber–MOST ESPECIALLY the woman who WORKED there, who was making jokes in front of the wall that had all the names of the survivors and deceased. Also, she was not whispering. Everyting I said to my mother was in a tearful hush. I do not say this out of pride but a an example of how EVERY OTHER THINKING BEING IN THE ROOM was behaving, minus a few teeny-boppers. I was rude to the woman later when she spoke to me. I totally failed in my Lenten task of being kind even when it’s hard.

    Kittery–those reeds I lent you last night I need back. This would have been the perfect time to really do it, and I just couldn’t. Failure! Shit.

  573. I’m not a nice person, so I’m just going to say this – I don’t think you need reeds for how you were to that woman. I get how you felt. When I was at the Holocaust Memorial in Boston, everyone was traipsing through it, chewing gum and laughing and talking. I just stood there, stunned. Stunned at the memorial and also at how other people behaved.
    :: sigh ::
    But here are the reeds. Just don’t beat yourself up too much.
    (Hah! D’ye see what I just did there? Yes it’s lame. I know.)

  574. Kate – I will just die if you don’t come with me . . . I truly wasn’t really drunk last night – I remember Everything – if I get a slightly buzz I exaggerate to being drunk, when really I am always ‘buzzed’ on life . . . there is not much difference between a sober and a drunk/buzzed Sher if you haven’t noticed!

    Claire is busy playing with bendaroos – not a good idea until the child can discern that they are not candy . . .

    let’s go fly a kite . . . to the highest flight . . .

  575. Moll – get this I took Dylan and Lauren to the first opening of the Titanic exhibit in Dallas, TX, let’s see almost 10 years ago . . .

    all three of us were in tears and stunned. We were slain by it . . . the shoes . . . the shoes ALWAYS get to me. Also did you touch the iceberg sample???? I could only touch it for 12 seconds, what a wimp I was and people froze in that . . . horrifying beyond . . . all.

  576. Oh no! Molly was in Atlanta and didn’t come see me. I wasn’t far from the Titanic Exhibit…kids are in school near there. Was it a school trip?

    We went to see the larger exhibit in Atl when it was at the Civic Center. It was set up like decks of the ship–first class at the top, etc. The bottom floor was cold and dark and the ceiling was covered in twinkling lights. They made it look like you were in the water–very spooky. It kind of freaked out my kids when they saw the list of those who died–it made it real.

    Anyone who can laugh in a Holocaust museum has no soul.

  577. You can see a copy of the Holocaust story I wrote when the museum opened in 1993. It’s on the Yahoo site. It still holds up after all these years.

  578. George, I read that story when you first posted it. It’s incredible.

  579. As soon as I get done grading, I will look up George’s story.

    Vanessa–yes I’m sorry. I was in ATL on this ugly nasty yucky day. But I was there with my parents who…are not always easy to be around.

    Next time I got Hotlanta, I’ll be sure to let you know. We can have lunch.

    Oh, no, today wasn’t school. I had today off for St. Patrick’s Day. :) Before you other teachers get het up, having today means, of course, I don’t have some day that you have.

    Besides obnxoious people, the only thing that disappointed me was the complete and total ban on photography. I was desperate to have my own documentation. We study the Titanic A LOT in literature. I really wanted to bring something back to show them.

    Sher, I almost burst into tears in many places. The iceberg was one of them, but also where they tell the stories of the Strausses. God grant me love like that one day. I promise not to abuse it.

  580. Rams, seriously? Boulding was your commencement speaker? I’m a bit gobstopped.

  581. Molly – yes, that is an amazing love. Perhaps if I were of that age I might choose that, but i highly doubt it . . . because I feel if have other purposes for being here, but really – it was stunning.

    At the time we saw it the kids and I were totally into history and disasters. We were watching all those shows on PBS . . .the 1900′s house and so forth, we had visits to museums where my kids were telling the docents what the objects were – - their favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder book was Farmer Boy . . . we would haunt antique stores and look for farm and kitchen equipment . . . we bought a little owen harness that was to die for . . . just like Almonzo had for training his oxen!

    I really think all that time I spent pouring history and humanness into their brains at an early age when they were very receptive has paid off . . . and I hope some day they realize they have not had an ordinary childhood -

  582. It’s a lunch date, Molly. I know you don’t love Atlanta but we’ll go somewhere fun…maybe to celebrate our birthday week in September.

    George…I read your story then as well. Beautifully written!

  583. Also regarding love. that is so key to not damage it. I see so many miserable couples and it is ridiculous. Perhaps just maintaining some smidgen of dignity and treating one another with some human respect would solve 90 percent of the issues. I can’t believe how I hear spouses talk to one another – as if they are the most dispicable creatures on earth . . . how sad is that? the person you CHOSE to live your life with and vice versa treats you and they treat you like crap?

    And watching kids be switched on Sunday afternoons in restaurant parking lots . . . it kills me. kills me.

    I cannot even imagine living that with my kids. i am so, so, so thankful that I chose not to have a child with my ex-husband. really. that is an unbreakable burden to carry around (reminds me of that seen in
    THE MISSION with Robert DiNero pulling his large bag on his back up the mountain) then the Franciscan monk says ‘you have carried it long enough” – - – wow, that is profound.

    also, I can’t imagine being abandoned by a man that I had exposed myself to in such a way – the act of being pregnant and giving birth . . . with and for someone, such exposure to your very core, and then being tossed or even realizing for yourself that it can’t work . . .

    I know it is the right decision for many, but I have a hard time fathoming how to do it. Which is one reason that I have decided to maintain a certain core to my being . . . hopefully if life ever throws me such a challenge I would be up to par . . . I guess you just don’t know until it happens to you personally.

  584. Let me just say now for the record that Suzanne’s breasts are real, and they’re magnificent. And her ass ain’t too bad either. And speaking of asses, whew Haven, baby got back. Those of us who were born assless are all atwitter with envy.

    Wow, it’s hard to believe that people could act that way at the Holocaust Memorial. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and imagine that they were self-conscious adolescents who were covering up their real feelings, but still, I’m embarrassed for them.

  585. okay, unabridged version of ACOD are available at amazon and barnes and noble.com.

    here’s a synopsis/review of ACOD, for the unitiated:

    The best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning classic hailed by The New York Times Book Review as “a masterwork . . . the novel astonishes with its inventiveness . . . it is nothing less than a grand comic fugue.” A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece. John Kennedy Toole’s hero, one Ignatius J. Reilly, is “huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans’ lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures” (Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times).
    Annotation
    Published a decade after the death of the author, this wildly inventive comic masterpiece features one of the most unforgettable characters in modern fiction: Ignatius Reilly, a mammoth misfit Medievalist hilariously at odds with the 20th-century world.

  586. Thanks Suzanne, I am so there.

    Good night everyone, long day at work today and I am crashing. Hugs to all.

  587. SHER: “also, I can’t imagine being abandoned by a man that I had exposed myself to in such a way – the act of being pregnant and giving birth . . . with and for someone, such exposure to your very core, and then being tossed or even realizing for yourself that it can’t work . . .”

    THATs why i went insane (ask Haven) during my divorce trainwreck and why i wrote Split. because it was so gristly, and so terribly crushing, and there was NOTHING to read about it. i knew i wasnt alone. but without books we are alone.

    xo
    sfc

  588. SHER!!! I WENT IN SF. DID YOU GO DOWN THE HALLWAY WHERE THEY’D RECREATED THE HALLWAY OF THE PASSENGERS’ ROOMS, RIGHT DOWN TO THE EXACT WALLPAPER AND DOORS AND CARPETING AND PROPORTIONS? OH MY GOD. I LOST MY SHIT.

    Moll – get this I took Dylan and Lauren to the first opening of the Titanic exhibit in Dallas, TX, let’s see almost 10 years ago . . .

    all three of us were in tears and stunned. We were slain by it . . . the shoes . . . the shoes ALWAYS get to me. Also did you touch the iceberg sample???? I could only touch it for 12 seconds, what a wimp I was and people froze in that . . . horrifying beyond . . . all

  589. i am a titanic re-enactor/freak. someday i will write a novel that takes place on the titanic.

  590. I can attest that SF was one of the most wounded human beings I’ve ever known. Curiously, though, we would talk about the situation and I would become VIOLENTLY enraged inside; I would have shot him every day of his life. I’m still pissed at him and Suzanne herself has long since forgiven him, which just makes no sense. I’m not angry at people who committed crimes against my actual SELF, but I’m mad at him, I’m a tell you what.

  591. I’m jealous…if I could spend every waking moment doing one thing, it would be spent in museums.

  592. Thanks for the synopsis of ACOD. I tried it many years ago but I don’t think I was in the right place. I had a newborn and I just couldn’t get into it. I will find it and try again since it’s been over 11 years!

    We have a similar situation with a shmuck who cheated on a family member. They divorced, she forgave him and they get along famously for the kids. But we’re all still PISSED.

  593. I’m with you, Polly. It was a long day and I’m off to read. Has anyone discussed The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls? Whew!

  594. Split was so powerful as much for its honesty as its example of forgiveness of the most difficult kind.

  595. And I may be making simplistic what is gut-wrenching in actuality, but I found forgiveness easier when I got the kid. It is the fighting over the children that would level me.

  596. Well, now. If there had been an attempt to take Pablo, I would be in prison. And one of my own? I’d burn the entire world down.

  597. I thought Split was just a perfect read. Actually all three of Suzanne’s books are great excursions into some deep relationship stuff. I am glad that I’ve read them, but even gladder that their mother deigns to talk to me ever so often.

    This is such a great blog normally — but especially when I have all you gifted and gorgeous women to myself and I can see your’alls fierceness and fire, timidity and humor and art.

  598. About the Titantic…there is a monument near the DC waterfront where I lived for a short time. The monument is to the men who died. I used to walk one of my dogs down there at night. Almost nobody goes there, but it’s a real hidden treaure in this town. Here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_Titanic_Memorial

    What I like about it is that it was a gift to men from women….it embodies a transcendent affection that should underpin the relations between not just the sexes, but all of us.

    I guess the question is what would make you not chose the life boat? Would you stay on the sinking ship out of a sense of valor, peer pressure, confidence that you might luck out and survive despite great odds, a death wish finally fullfilled?

    I used to walk down there with my dog and think about such stuff.

    Thanks, Bug, for bringing up the subject of the Titantic.

  599. Oh, George. It’s been weighing on me for weeks. Then seeing it today…it was hard to be there with my parents because all I wanted to do was sit in a corner and absorb it all and cry it all out.

    I am looking forward to checking out your site.

    And I’m so glad to know I’m not the only who’s still so powerfully affected by a tragedy that occurred almost 100 years ago. It hurts to teach it, but I can’t stop myself. Just like with the Challenger. I’ve bawled both my first days teaching it, this year and last.

  600. Oh George, will you be my secret blog boyfriend?

  601. If you’ll be my secret blog girlfriend!

  602. Don’t do it George!

  603. Vanessa, the professor Brent Bill and I had in seminary — he taught sermon writing, one of my favorite things — used to end class by saying, “Go, and sin freely!”

  604. I might be just a LEETLE cranky from being off sugar.

  605. Kate honey, why ever are you off sugar?

  606. I’ll bet Kate is doing the Lenten thing.

    Caryl! Happy birthday week to the kindest, most beautiful and generous of Caryls! Are you sore today from skiing?

  607. wow: your brand of sinning is so much better than mine…
    *envy*

    i mean, erm, your brand of puring the driven is so much better than mine…
    *thinks happily upon the goodness that is yours and willingly does not covet it*

  608. Hi Carrie, I have missed you. I am so happy to see you on here. I am not sore, except my back and that always hurts and could be from holding a 45lb toddler. I am glad I decided to ski, it was exhilarating to see Jack enjoy himself like that, and sharing that with my kids has always been a joy.
    How are things with you?

  609. Megalopoet, as a member of the Religious Society of Friends, one of the of which I am most proud is my humility.

  610. I saw a small monument about the Titanic when I was in Liverpool in 2007 @ Albert docks. Very cool. I am a Titanic FREAK and have never been to the traveling show. I was thrilled when the J. Dawson grave was mentioned in a book by John Irving. But, I am even more so a HOLOCAUST FREAK and have been to the Holocaust Memorial in Boston, a museum in West Bloomfield, MI that will blow your socks off where we stood in a replica box car, and The Imperial War Museum in London that had an entire floor filled with Holocaust info/artifacts. The shoes always get to me, too. But, the most moving place I’ve ever been too was Ann Frank House in Amsterdam, where I was hysterical and causing a near scene by crying so hard. As I write this there are tears in my eyes. I loved finding the new book released that was the true unedited diary that Ann wrote …. so different that the version we read in school (Or at least we read back in the 80s.)

  611. I love the love here. It is so Good.

    Alas, for me in the moment, the Lure is to bed.

    Good night, you. Just think, most of us will be getting silly together in…22 days…

  612. I can’t wait!

  613. You too, Caryl — and I loved what Jack said.

    I’m so good, thank you — went to visit friends in DE, saw lots of musical theatre, all three of which had my friend starring, or directing, or her daughter starring — got me some culchah. Had great time with the kids: picked up one in Phila. where he is at U of the Arts, spent a three-hour dinner laughing till we spit, 2 1/2 hour drive home, endlessly entertaining. (Saw a great Cezanne show at Philadephia Museum of Art — do you know there’s a statue of Rocky there? Yes, THAT Rocky, Sly-Rocky!) Snow days bought me three days with the 15-year-old.

    That plus a long weekend torching had me less than present here: three hours just to catch up? Yikes. (Which: Bug? known Accoutrement Predator? Spa Day at the Convent? I’m done putting on mascara BEFORE reading here! You slay me!)

  614. Haven, what nuance! Even under pressure, you are golden, I say, golden!

  615. Vanessa – I read The Glass Castle last year … and … I didn’t LOVE it. I wanted too … I just liked it.

  616. Carrie, love, such a description of me would never enter my mind.

  617. That’s the humility talking.

  618. Carrie, it really is. But one mustn’t draw attention to one’s virtues.

    Amy, Delonda didn’t love THE GLASS CASTLE either. There was something conspicuous in her displeasure.

  619. Just confirming. I feel like the man on the deck of the ferry last night, staggering like a drunk from car to car because it was so windy. I am, how shall I put it gently, slow on the uptake tonight.

  620. ” something conspicuous in her displeasure”. Haven, elaborate please, this describes something I couldn’t put words to while reading the book. Having said that, I loved it, but I had this feeling something wasn’t ringing entirely true.

  621. Last night was CRAZYTOWN among the Blog Angels. It was BUTTVILLE. And I hope, sweetest Carrie, that you understand I have no humility and no virtue, but at least I’m not proud of it.

  622. Caryl, you have to remember that my mother considers me the greatest writer to ever make it out of the trees and walk upright. So she wouldn’t say much about it, except, “She could have followed your example. It’s possible to be both kind and truthful, while also being selective.” But since I haven’t read it I just heard, “You are the most loved child on earth, etc.”

  623. And if that were true, we’d have everything in common.

    Oh and I KNOW it was Crazytown! The detritus of the rout (the blog being both the Crazy Town Meeting and the minutes) had tears streaming down my face! I, meanwhile, was living the longest 15 minutes of my life on a pitching, plunging BOAT that had me seriously rethinking island life. How I could have appreciated some WiFi just then.

  624. There have been just far too many boats in this discussion. As you may know, water is not my native habitat.

  625. Haven, Delonda is smart in every way. When I grow up I a going to be just like her.

  626. Carrie, last night I could actually feel the zip code change on this blog. When I turn left and I am at crazytown, I just say a Hail Mary and try to hang on.
    Or I go to bed.

  627. Caryl, that’s what makes you the truest of pragmatists on this blog. Among your many other virtues.

  628. I read my work to her at least once or twice a week — big sections of projects — and a couple days ago after having done so again, I thought, “It isn’t just that her support for me is unflagging, enthusiastic, and unconditional — she’s been doing this exact thing, propelling me forward with the energy of her attention — since I was nine years old.” I wanted to call her back and say, “Oh good lord, I am so sorry.”

  629. How is Delonda feeling Haven, is she doing better?

  630. This is why we send Delonda presents. Because she is the prototype for what every mother should be. And then to pass on that same talent, whole (I’m still so moved by what Kat wrote you for your birthday).

  631. When we got home today, I went to pick up Stephany from school. I had missed her so much while I was away, she was on my mind the whole time, but it can go either way with her when we see each other. We have battled, that child and I, especially when we are at our most vulnerable. So we got home, and she came out of her room with my birthday gift. A silver necklace so light it appears to be floating on me, with a symbal for karma.
    Here is the hand made card attached to the box;
    Mom, I want you to know that despite the rough times we have been through and all of our hardships, I am reminded every day that you are truely such a wonderful and inspiring woman. I love you so much.

  632. Did I ruin the story with my spelling of symbol? And how funny Carrie, I was writing this while you were posting about Kat’s letter to Haven. Like minds, it always happens on here.

  633. Mom is working every day, teaching her Offenders about Truth, Beauty and Goodness. She preaches every Sunday. She’s been reluctant to take pain medication on a regular basis (she’s never been willing to take medication at all) so I went on a campaign. Every time we spoke I’d say, “Mother. This is the PERFECT time to become addicted to narcotics. You just stay on them the rest of your life, enjoy yourself.” She told her oncologist I’d advised such a thing and he agreed entirely, so now she’s in much less pain.

  634. Caryl, you and that beautiful daughter will be fine. As I tell my own sweet girl: Goodness Abides.

  635. Amen. Stephany makes me want to be a better person, cliche intended.

  636. Caryl, anyone who desires to be a better person doesn’t have far to go.

  637. Somebody please make it a late night with me. I have two more loads of laundry and I can’t sit still, so reading is out.

  638. Caryl, right? And what Stephany said — that’s just enormous, that you should hear this when she is still … what? 16? 17? Every day, she said. Every day.

    Good on you re: the campaign, Haven. There is no conceivable reason to be in pain if there is a drug that can help. So happy Delonda is in less pain.

  639. Well, we know Vanessa and George are gone for the night, as they checked the little YES box next to WILL YOU BE MY PRETEND BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND? Kate is I don’t know where. Jodi has been asleep for hours. Suzanne is committing shenanigans. Sher is thinking very carefully about scarecrows. Carrie keeps tipping over. Polly has a job, Molly, too, as do Amanda and Amy . . . so. Here we are!

  640. Haven, want to plan our outfits for Durham, or talk about spring break?

  641. Read me a poem, yes thats it.

  642. My plans for Spring Break include saying, at some point, “Dude, I do NOT know what city this is.”

  643. Can you hear me now?

    I have written three new poems in the past three days. Scott finds such a feat incomprehensible, but I explained to him tonight I simply lower my standards. If that doesn’t work, I lower them more.

  644. I plan on doing it when some dude yells ” show me your ….”

  645. I can’t hear you, speak louder. Can you crank call me?

  646. Will either of you have to leave town to use the key phrase?

  647. Leonard Cohen and The Cure are going to be at the Coachella concert this year and Stephany is going.

  648. And I am sitting STRAIGHT UP. Very still. You’d be proud and amazed.

  649. How will we know, Carrie? When I heard it said by someone in New Orleans, a city of startlingly self-evident geography, I knew then there were levels of incoherence yet to be reached by the masses — we have not exhausted them all. By the time Caryl and I reach that point, it’s entirely possible we really WILL be in the wrong city. A 50/50 thing.

  650. Carrie, what is it like, being still? Never been there myself.

  651. It turns the mind inside out on itself just to contemplate the implications.

  652. WHOA THERE MiZ CARYL. Leonard Cohen AND the Cure? You’re only lacking one Godhead in my holy trinity.

  653. The lineup is startling, in that it includes someone from every genre. And you can camp out for the entire three days. And its during spring break dude.

  654. Hello Babies . . .

  655. I am up from the depths of the studio . . . glorious hours painting Claire’s play props, then casually heating up the wax and painting/sculpting on 5 new pieces . . . I’m heating up . . . would love to lock myself in the dungeon and have someone empty my chamberpot and throw down some food once in awhile . . . I think Caryl was my largest muse this week and do you KNOW WHAT – I finally figured out what/who I want to be when I grow up:

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton

  656. Haven – your comment regarding Delonda – the giving of her undivided attention.

    That has been one of my struggles and goals with the children . . . to listen and respond back with the information that I listened . . . we don’t always agree, but they know that I will listen, look them in the eye . . . I want to hear them.

    I think that realization has broken down many walls – especially with Lauren because there was a tendency of us to both flounce off with whatever . . .

    groundbreaking, that attention thing.

  657. Sher!

  658. hello Carrie ! nice to see you again!

  659. I loved that exchange awhile back — was it with Polly? where you were talking about looking them in the eye and giving them full attention, and she said something about actually turning her body to fully face the child, so they would know she was all in?

  660. Sher, you too! — You’ve talked me out of my objections, you should know. I am slowly working my way through Etsy’s Terms of Use. I am stuck for a user name. It’s the shop name too. I’m sitting here with my thesaurus for ideas around the idea of all things body adornment.

  661. that conversation was fairly recent, but I think was with Caryl . . .

    I make a huge effort to not look away at any time while they are talking, which is really hard for me as an avid observer of birds, colors, or anything . . . one time I glanced back at Lauren while she was talking and she noticed me looking away . . . her look, which she instantly tried to hide was completely devastated and so it was devastating to me that my mere act of looking away hurt her so much.

    We try really hard to enforce no interruptus while someone is speaking . . . it is hardest for Claire . . . but now she is quick to defend her ‘listening’ turn . . . “I was speaking!!!!” as she stomps and shakes her finger at the big kids, and I think, yeah, Honey Doll, you were and it is very important.

    I am either creating some self-sufficiency or complete egomaniacs, that is still up in the air!

  662. Thinking I might just ask for the name before going to sleep, and keeping paper and pen right there.

  663. I think the first. Egomaniacs, I think, are far more likely to have been created in the not-listening they got early on.

  664. Carrie – art is all about the essense of an object or feeling . . . what is the essence you are trying to capture in your beadwork? Perhaps do a bubble map – I am a big fan of those and see if any words ‘pop’ up . . .there are also great books about that . . . Artful Blogging by Somerset – it talks a lot about choosing those identifiers.

    I prefer the whimsical ones like: Over the Moon, Artiques,

    hum, Adorn is a great phrase . . . very cadence laden word . . .

  665. my blog and etsy shop have “For Art’s Sake” . . . which is not the most whimsical . . . but it is my entire life rolled up in a nutshell and I can’t for the life of me get away from that phrase – it is my calling.

  666. Great questions, Sher — I think that will help me get clarity. — It’ll likely, eventually, be clothing, too. If it were just jewelry, it would be much easier.

  667. Lovelies . . . I am doing something bizarre tomorrow . . . so I need some beauty sleep.

    My hairdresser is up for a reality show and I going to be his model for his addition round of video/photography . . . I am giving him “free rein” – only said I didn’t want anything shaved on my head . . . so I have no idea what he will do to me tomorrow . . .

    anyway, I need some few zz’s so I won’t look like a total hag . . .

    I am so in anticipation of hugging many of you in a few weeks . . . in fact I think we should start a telephone tree.

    I finally figured out who Haven sounds exactly like – - it has taken me forever . . . there is a biographer – Elisabeth Griffith (or Griffin) . . . and she speaks with the same gentle, soft, lyrical voice and inflection that Haven does and it is so foreign to me . . . I can’t place it as Indiana/Hoosier so is this a voice found through the silence of Quakerism????

  668. That rocks, Carrie – it will be my one stop shop for adorning myself!

  669. ‘Night, Sher — show us your new look tomorrow…

  670. okey, dokey!!!!

  671. I love my job but I hate it when I miss out on the late night talk.

    Carrie! Good you’re back, and thanks for the kind words. Will you be in Durham too?

    I have officially entered all grades, so that’s good. Now it’s time to go to school and count up demerits. I’ll be playing Darby O’Gill and the Little People for my Little People today. Touchton Family Classic.

    I love Sean Connery in it. Too cute. Not a mean bone in his body in this movie, and oh my Lord so hot.

    sigh.

    Love you! Remember, we’re all Irish today, so everyone have a cup of tea on me!!!

  672. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone!

    My maiden name is Maureen McCarthy – yep, 100% Irish.
    My Nana McCarthy used to make colcannon for today but I’m going to have to make do with corned beef and cabbage and soda bread. And beer.

    Sorry I’ve been away: a bad week was had by all here on the farm. Hopefully, we’re on the upswing.

    I’ve missed being here. Later!

  673. Good morning. I’m off to the gym (had to lose the 20 lbs of grief weight) and I’ll have a little smile on my face knowing that I have a secret blog boyfriend hidden away…. :)

    George does have a way with words…he had me at: “This is such a great blog normally — but especially when I have all you gifted and gorgeous women to myself and I can see your’alls fierceness and fire, timidity and humor and art.” Yeah us.

    Happy SPD-

  674. HI Friends!

    Ollie will HOPEFULLY, LIKELY get to go home from Duke hospital today!!!!!!!

    Thanks and thanks and thanks again to all who lifted him up, and his parents. It has been felt, and things could not have gone any better I don’t think.

    For more frequent updates from the family you can check his blog: http://olliestale.blogspot.com/

    Also, just randomly skimming comments – Haven, I happened to have downloaded Jennifer Warner’s album of Cohen songs last week, not really knowing who she was. Gorgeous.

  675. Haven — Yep, Kenneth himself Boulding, very white-haired and thin but utterly persuasive under impossible (Commencement speech?) circumstances. This was 1972, and he won over even the birthright Quaker kids (Howard & Anna Brinton’s granddaughter was my buddy)who had had Boulding shoved down their throats at Westtown and home and Pendle Hill till they could scream — he had them reluctantly admitting he was, well, okay.

  676. (ed.note: This was at Kalamzoo College, mind, not any school affiliated with Friends.)

  677. I was sleeping, crazy pants. I’m trying to be a better mother. I highly recommend Valerian root. I had dreams that I was driving down the highway in Evansville, only it was right next to the river and they were doing construction. It was disrupting the native wildlife which included kangaroos, goats, miniature horses, rhinos, and I don’t remember what all. Some of the rhinos were very, very tiny.

  678. Vanessa: I meant it. What a “haven” in my dotage…like wandering into my cousin’s slumber party when I was nine and sitting there, listening, eyes wide-open in shock and awe, baby, shock and aw!

    Finished a poem on taxidermy this AM, sitting in my gloomy sun room, the rain drops coating the sky light, steam from the coffee cup.

    Rereading an email from my oldest son…how can he and his brother both own my whole heart. They are both such gifted writers…such gentle and smart people…so unlike me when I was their age.

    Ok…gotta get to work…here’s the thing: I love to work.

  679. Sher! What a beautiful picture of you with your baby. Is that Claire?
    I fear the warm weather and the duty to complete projects around the house are greatly interfering with my time spent on the blog. I don’t like it.

  680. George — tree, meet apples.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day Molly and Maureen and everyone else! Maureen, I’ve missed you and am glad to see you check in. So sorry about the hell week.

    Molly, sadly, I will not be in Durham — I put off a major project to go to Delaware last week to see my friend chew up the scenery as Mama Rose (). A timing thing, and though I wouldn’t have done it differently, I’m so sorry to be missing the chance to meet you all and see your beautiful faces. (I did think of you when I changed planes in Atlanta!)

    Amanda — wonderful news about baby Oliver! Thanks for the update.

  681. 860 COMMENTS!! GOOD LORD I’M TOO BUSY!
    thank goodness y’all make me laugh whenever I can get some time to read ya…..
    GFTG…Little Voice was a wonderful movie.
    George as usual the gallant one..we all hug you if we could.
    People here at work put little quotations of an inspirational nature after their signatures, titles, departments and phone numbers. I just changed my quotation to read “What fresh hell is this?” Dorothy Parker.
    Nuff said…all is not always sunny in Arizona.
    Hang in there you guys…and I want to see Sher’s new look too.

  682. Carrie: what I want to do is hear you sing live, when are you doing Vegas? I’ll be out there three times between next week and June.

  683. thank you george. your praise means the world to me. thanks to everyone who ever reads my books. i love you all, dear readers.

    yes. during my divorce, i remember telling haven i was at my wit’s end i did not know what to do. she replied

    “Why don’t you embrace scandal?”

    THE PERFECT ADVICE. THAT’S WHY SHE’S MY SECRET GIRLFRIEND OF THE SOUTH.

  684. Good God, that’s a lot of Vegas, George. Recall the hazards of coming home with glitter on your face, and steer clear the front row. — I will very gladly sing for you at the next blog babies convention (and I do hope there is a next). In fact, I will even write a song for the babies in their honor.

  685. Suzanne, For some odd reason I like to read your books while I am relaxing in the bath tub. Your courage makes me feel safe, your humor makes me sane, and you are just a fucking great writer.

  686. thank you, amy. those words are particularly useful and precious now. xoxosfc

  687. I think I should go to sleep soon.

    Yes – that is Claire baby, so it is not a new picture, but it seems appropriate for the spring.

    going back to an earlier conversation about marriage/divorce/kids . . . I guess how normal people deal with it is that they float along and don’t really deal with it. It just keeps cropping up throughout their lives and then their kids go into counseling as adults . . .

    gah, if you let yourself feel it while going through it – - Suzanne, you are a brave one . . . it really makes me ponder what or if is love . . . because don’t we always think that one will be forever (except me and my ex which I said “what the &$(i% am I doing” immediately after the ceremony . . .

    I was terrified, terrified to get married again. I balled my head off during the whole ceremony, chanting, please let this work, please let this work, . . .

    life is sometimes so tenuous, and I OBVIOUSLY think too much . . .

    ok….I can probably go to sleep in a few hours

  688. Hi everyone. The kids and I are back in Nashville. Had an easy drive home from Chicago today. Nice weather. Tomorrow we regroup and then Emma and I fly out Thursday morning to Philly. Friday is her Bryn Mawr visit and she is going to sit in on a Latin class in the afternoon. She had 3 to choose from and was so excited. Imagine that!

  689. Just got back from a little St. Patty’s Day celebration at my church. It was way fun –and not church related at all, really–except someone requested I sing Battle Hymnn of the Republic, and though I am not a gospel choir, I have no modesty in saying I do a rousing rendition. :)

    School bullshit is down for a while. I’m so relieved. That gives me time to concentrate on the important stuff–Amber, this blog, my AF Cpt. :)

    Anyway. Kiss me I’m Irish!

  690. Hi all. Just got done with blogging about and watching American Idol, Facebook quizes, and before all of that … a 90 minute massage. Before you all go hating me remember I have 7 herniated disks in my spine and I’m in my third month of physical therapy. It was lovely, lovely, lovely, and it was in my own living room. I am so happy to be able to afford this perk every few months.

    Did ANYONE see Adam Lambert destroy Cash’s “Ring of Fire?” I’m still wiping the vomit off my face.

    Also, silly question, how hot will it be in Durham when I’m there? I donated every pair of shorts I own a few weeks ago. Do I need a new wardrobe? I went shoe shopping last night but got nothing.

    Lastly, The Glass Castle left out too many chunks for me, like how she knew how to get her ass to college and exactly how she did it. It took my own ghetto (And flat) butt 18 years to get my degree. (3.79, thank you!) I love that you give me another reason to love your mother. This is why I haven’t finished my own book. I’m scared to hurt my mother so much. Its not her fault she’s mentally ill. I told her she may not like it … and then she didn’t call me for three months.

  691. Why is no one ever awake or on here when I am. Are you all hiding until I go away?

    Oh, Bug, I forgot to congratulate you on singing tonight!

  692. GFTG I am here..it has been very quiet here in the evening of late. How are you?

  693. I am good. Feeling better after taking some new drugs. How about you?

  694. SHER: I had to let myself feel it while i was going through it, otherwise i couldnt have written. it would have snuffed me out, the non-feeling. i couldn’t have that. i also had a miraculous Grief Counselor (she and her counsel are in Split) who nudged me toward feeling and away from stockpiling emotions that would ruin the rest of my life – as well as damage my son forever. no, it had to be faced. and for me, that meant writing. which probably saved my sanity, if not my life.

  695. I am really well, I cooked an amazing dinner courtesy of a recipe I scored through Suzanne, and now I am off to get coffee. We are not an idol family, so our night is free. xoxo

  696. Have fun. I am off to bed. I just crashed and got really tired. I am jealous of that dinner, I just had frozen pizza.

  697. I was out with my kids for 5 hours, and I am about to fall over. Goodnight, chickens.

  698. GFTG, I am an idol fanactic and although strange Adam Lambert DESTROYED Ring of Fire, I am secretly lusting for him just the same:)!

  699. I’ve only watched AI once, the day Adam Lambert sang Michael Jackson’s Black and White. I cried, literally (and if I haven’t said it here before I cry at the drop of a hat over old people, children, animals and ceremonial spectacle), when all the judges were so kind and told him his life was going to change. Maybe that’s why I had a reaction to the comment “I’m still wiping the vomit from my face.” (Full disclaimer: I’m a friend of one of Lambert’s family members, but I have never met him, don’t know him personally, and realize that the format of the show is for America to judge the creative performances of others.)

    Truly, I don’t have a dog in this fight, I just wonder how we would all react if we read something like that about, say, a performance of Haven’s or Suzanne’s, or someone’s essay or artwork posted on a blog? I think it’s SO, SO HARD to stay true to the seeds of creativity that live within us, so hard to keep putting our work (on paper, canvas or by performance) out into the universe. The Googlesphere gives the world unlimited access to our casual words. Google “Adam Lambert” and “vomit” and try to imagine if that energy were being bandied about regarding your creative efforts.

  700. can i just say how tired i am — not on this blog, but in real life – of talking about the economy? and yet i understand. we are all afraid, or at least many of us. i myself began asking my plumber yesterday How’s the plumbing business, Ben? and then you know. on it goes. then everyone has to become Philosophical and Brave before they say See you later!

    and i suppose if we could see a tornado from our collective windows, we would indeed be talking about the tornado.

  701. THE ONE-MINUTE-”WHY-R-U-MOVINT-TO-NC” SPEECH – OVERHEARD….

    “yes my BFF Haven Kimmel and her family await Pablo and me in Durham.
    we’re sort of starting a very loose, unofficial writer’s colony. in
    any case, one can be a writer there and survive. that’s what it’s
    all about, mostly. and it doesnt hardly snow. and there’s all those colleges,
    for pablo to gander. i’m luring all sorts of refugees from CA to
    Durham. it’s going to be wild, i suspect. haven has a fine gun knowledge, 9 dogs, a superb collection of jon cash music – and taxidermy.

    haven kimmel is a writer’s writer. i’m sure ive mentioned it a zillion times. and she’s my best friend. so. oh and she has a son pablo’s age. it’s all economy and destiny – they merged and formed ECOTINY.”

    the undistinguished spokeswoman from larkspur has been heard, and has sat down.

    xo
    sfc

  702. GFTG-I’m about halfway through The Glass Castle. I can’t get a handle on it either but it is riveting. Kind of like other “bad” childhood memoirs without the humorous or kind parts. I would love to hear more of what Mother Delonda thought about it. The tone is so different from the Haven stories we all love.

    I guess having a loving and supportive mother makes all the difference!

  703. Vanessa: talk about a loving and supportive mother…I could rob a bank and my Mom’s reaction to it would be something on the order of” “It was the bank’s fault, they shouldn’t have been open. Guess he just needed the money, but he could have asked me.”

    She is ferociously supportive of her children.

    It made all the difference in my upbringing and turning-out.

  704. After I read it I told Haven that while her memoirs made me love her parents, that one just made detest the parents. They just seemed evil and clueless. The story was riveting, but completely humorless.

  705. The idea of a Durham writers’ colony is so cool. Even before I knew Haven, I’d visit other friends and realize I could live there in a heartbeat. That colony might just be the impetus. A lovely idea.

  706. I just got rejected by the two major writers’ colonies in the Northeast. Sigh. And I was a fellow at one in 2007. Double sigh. I’ve been looking at rentals in Marfa (not entirely sure why, I’ve never been there) and thinking about running away to lock myself in a garret there. Uh, an adobe garret. The silver lining to rejectionville is that I am free as a bird to come to Durham, if I can figure out reasonable flights/accomodations. Maybe I should just take up residence for the summer.

  707. Suzanne – I am so sick of the word “Economy” here in Michigan. Its all that anyone talks about here. I am just trying to roll with it rather than bemoan loudly every day my 401 takes a hit.

    Shanna – I stand by my words. If you took offense, then I’m sorry. You have to be realistic – He’s an unknown singer competing in a contest on tv show who in my opinion butchered a famous song by a very beloved artist, one loved by Haven herself. I can’t help but want to voice my opinion on the matter here in case Haven watches American Idol. I am really tired of living in a world where people tell me I’m not allowed (Or shouldn’t) share my thougts. I hope you can understand where I’m coming from. I’m not trying to hurt your or anyone’s feelings, I’m just saying something that I NEED to say. I can’t stand living in a politically correct world.

    Vanessa – I am not sure how to descibe how I felt about the book. I too would love to here what Mother D has to say.

  708. SHANNA Rejections are the hallmark of the inspired. xo sfc

  709. The Glass Castle made me sad whereas Couch made me inspired and then I fell in love with Haven to boot. I think it’s all in the writing style, yes?
    I have a random fact for the cat lovers on the blog:
    Calico cats are usually female and if it so happens that a male calico is born, it’s sterile.

  710. My Little Suzanne Story

    I love books…No big news on THIS blog…

    I buy books incessantly…Mostly from thrift stores or on Ebay…Brand new ones from the Regulator if they are by a select few authors I can’t wait to get from the thrifts when they have a new one (Haven, Lee Smith, mysteries by Elizabeth George and P.D. James).
    I tried the Free At The Library Idea, but I’m STILL startled when I remember that there are a lot of books I don’t own when I want to reread or loan out, because of that experimental period.

    I stack them up and admire them while they wait to be read…Pile them up again while they wait to be organized after reading. Two piles… #1: Donate These Back To The Thrift or #2: Alphabetize Later When There Is Room On The Shelves.

    When I started to read this blog, the name Suzanne Finnamore seemed familiar, and after more information was revealed, I realized that I had read Otherwise Engaged, and there it was in my No.2 Pile!

    So now I’m adding Suzanne to my Okay To Buy It New List, because I loved that book, she is now a real human bean to me, and besides just wanting to OWN books that matter to me, I’ve developed a sensibility to the fact that what is most valued should be paid for if possible, so that those who are making it can KEEP making it…

    Books, music, visual art, and food from the farmer’s market!
    Thrift stores for everything else!( the Economy, don’t you know)…

    It would be lovely for Suzanne to end up here in Durham!

  711. I want to believe that the success of anything is in its effort. I taught my children that, and my better self believes it. And I practice it a lot.

    But the truth of it is that in the eyes of the world, the success of a thing is its result.

    And my harshest critics — editors — taught me a lot more about the craft and myself than my most generous supporters. That’s a fact.

    But I need(ed) both. My supporters are necessary for my ego and desire to walk onstage with whatever I am doing; but the detractors are crucial for building the resolve I need to go through the performance, if for no other reason than to prove them wrong.

    Just my two cents…I suspect that creativity must insist solely upon itself.

    When I am a critic and think something sucks, sometimes it does suck on its own merits, usually, though, when I really go deeper into my own reaction, I find that it sucks as a result of my own limits of vision, understanding and experience.

    That’s another two cents.

  712. Amy, I love the random cat fact. Did you know that most male orange tabby’s don’t have blue eyes?

    And yes, you have just said what I felt about the book – just like you read my mind.

    Shanna – I was working on my response before you posted about your rejection. Sorry to hear about it!

  713. GFTG, Trust me when I tell you that I am the most opinionated and politically incorrect person I know and I LOOOOOVE other members of my tribe. You didn’t hurt my feelings or offend, and it was truly not my intention to stifle you in any way. I’m just talking about what’s on my mind right now, and yes, there’s definitely some spillover since I am the dejected rejected today. Are you coming to Durham?

  714. George, I believe that would be four cents:)

  715. darlings. isn’t it so wonderful to live in a land where we are free to have all differing types of opinions and not be afraid of being jailed for them.

    once we have put ourselves forth into the public arena, yes we have to take the risk of criticism. I have had my fair share . . . but taking that risk to express oneself is amazing.

    I am so glad that we have forums for discovering and developing new, unheard of talent like American Idol and Project Runway.

    I wish there was an art one, because I would totally go for that.

    Personally, I love Adam Lambert and while it was a strange performance last night, he did exactly what he was challenged to do – take a country song and make it his own.

    I watch American Idol with my teen daughter because it is such a great sharing time for us . . . I knit and do other things, but just hanging out with her and hearing her opinions . . . that is so much fun for me. I like her. she is funny. And we both have the hots for Adam Lambert . . . I think his version of ring of fire could be the new main song for the next Vampire movie!!!!

    I am in heaven today – in the studio, rolling up waxed fabric into rosettes and building sculptures, eating chocolate and drinking ice cold diet coke . . . and I have the craziest hair from yesterday. My hairdresser is in round 2 of the new season of Shear Genius . . . so he gave me blonde yellow with green and blue peocock feathers . . . and let me say, the public around me (soccer moms) are going to be flinging the criticisms when I go to Claire’s first grade play tomorrow. That is the risk we take as creative individuals.

  716. sher, photo, please, of you in all your peacock glory.

  717. soon -soon!

  718. waxand laptops don’t mix well

  719. ok, just cleaned my hands off so I can type better

  720. Since I have a class until 9pm on Tuesdays, just watched the Adam Lambert video and I commend him for having the balls to put his own signature The Ring of Fire. It’s more than just another copycat, karaoke performance. I like it.

  721. economy shmonomy.

    there are lots of repercussions for bad decision making. some scoundrels that took advantage of ill informed people are on their down . . . it is a difficult process, but I truly believe our country will be better off after we go through this process.

    if regulations are put on the financial business – hallejuhah – sometimes we need somebody to help us control ourselves. If people are mortgaging themselves more than 30 percent of their salary . . . oops, there might be consequences . . . I realize that people are losing their jobs and that can be through no fault of their own . . . but what happened to people having a savings account or actually saving up money to buy a car outright instead of financing 100 percent.

    I think the 80′s and 90′s saw a major upturn in people wanting to have it all immediately.

    Our first house we had NO furniture but my tiny couch and one bed from my apartment . . . we saved up to buy everything . . . it made it special – it is just too easy to go into a store and they offer you no financing for a year . . . that means you should pay it off in that year, not wait a year to start making payments!

    To me there is really no excuse for bad financial management – there are thousands of books out there to help you along . . .

    we are comfortable, but I shop at Goodwill before I shop anywhere else. I also pick things off the curb . . . the only brandnew item in our house is the couch . . . everything else comes from consignment and thrift stores . . .

    a little self-control never hurt anybody.

    ok – that was a rant . . . sorry!

  722. you go dee!

  723. it would be like me having to copy picasso, but it still needs to look like a ‘sher’???

  724. Hi! You guys make me smile. I was reading all of this thinking “I really hate t.v.” LOL But then I remembered that I watched the Mentalist last night because I have a huge crush on Simon Baker. Sigh.

    Sher- you would be so proud of my daughter’s current art work. I will take a picture of one of them when we get back from Philly on Sunday. I really want Emma to meet you. We need to have a meet up soon. Emma and Dylan might enjoy talking Latin together. Chance is still in Paris. He is so sweet. He has called Emma every day telling her about where they have been, what they have eaten, how he is getting better speaking French to the actual French. :)

  725. No one is ever here when I am. That makes me sad.

  726. I hope it’s OK for me to just start in here. I had to just skim and get back in the swim before I was tempted to creep away once again and say to myself “I can’t comment until I’ve read all the comments” and then there are more the next time. So …..

    I have had a crap week. Farm labor problems. Asperger problems. Kid problems. Student problems. And to top it all off, the agent who has been e-corresponding with me about my book since LAST JULY just up and left her huge, successful agency without notice and started her own. And my book is no longer a good fit for her. So no agent for me. And I had stopped looking because she seemed pretty continuously interested for eight months. Starting again from scratch.

    It means that what looked like a potential escape route to perhaps working part-time next year got cruelly slammed in my face. This person tells me “I am sure your book will sell quickly” but she doesn’t want to sell it for me. Sigh.

    It’s my oldest’s 16th birthday and he is a bright spot. I love the little guy, now six foot two.

    As the snow has melted, our missing cat Poofulous was discovered submerged in ice in the swimming pool. Every day we see a little more of her. Soon we’ll be able to get her out and have a proper burial.

    I’m reading Children of God. It’s not as good as The Sparrow.

    OK. I am in horrible Eeyore mode. So I’ll stop.
    I know I have much to be thankful for.

  727. Linda – Is Chance Emma’s boyfriend? Is he named after Chance the gardener?

  728. oh, poor Maureen . . . that is a very rough week indeed.

    I think this means you will find an even better agent . . . perhaps check the agents of some of the books you have encountered regarding Asbergers since that genre will be familiar territory for them?

    every night I think this is one of the last nights I will have with my teenagers . . . as they are 16 1/2 and almost 15, it seems like they will be gone in college tomorrow!

    claire flew her hello kitty kite exactly one day before it is caught in the tree . . . I can’t trust anybody else to fly kites with her . . . how difficult is it to take her in the back field were there are NO trees for 40 acres….freaks.

    maureen I tend to hide when I am feeling eeyore, too . . . but you know we are all here for you and want to lift your spirits.

    I am sad about the cat. that is really awful.

    I watched this documentary last night from the netflix instant view (which I LOVE) about home burials . . . it was beautiful, and it was about people, but I have always loved how people can bury their own animals in their yards and wish we could do the same with our family members.

    ok . . . it is dinner time and I must sign off . . .will check in later

  729. Hi Sher! Just “hearing” your voice cheered me up. Sorry about Claire’s kite.
    I did just e-mail a potential agent in Nashville. He just sold a “quirky Saint Teresa” book so he’s an option.
    Thanks for letting me know it’s OK to be here and bray.

  730. Yippee – Maureen is back!!!

    Linda – we do need to get together . . . you got my evite for my April open house/open studio???

    Everyone – April 25th, 4 pm – ?, open house/open studio with Italian buffet, non-alcoholic and drinks provided . . . possible live music and poetry readings as well . . . my house/studio . . . watch the full moon rise over the back forty . . .

  731. Oh Mo, I am so sorry about your cat. That is terribly sad.
    If Adam Lambert doesn’t win American Idol I will have lost my interest in the show entirely. He is so flippin cute.
    Okay, I am a TV junkie and I cannot help it. Really. So I am delighted that SHER’S HAIRDRESSER IS ON SHEAR GENIUS which I like also. That’s so cool .
    Sher, you are in Nashville correct? Hmm, that’s a long drive but I would love to be at your open house. Oh shit nevermind, I have to go to Indiana and meet with the cake lady and the flower guy.
    I still think we should go with your previous idea and everyone meet in Moreland for the day…

  732. Oh, Poofulous. (And such a great cat name.) Maureen, that is heartbreaking. I’m so, so sorry.

  733. Happy Birthday Tristan? ( is he your oldest??)

  734. I am so sad about the death of Natasha Richardson, she was only 45. I just cannot stop thinking about it.

  735. Oh god Caryl me too. I was going to say something but I felt silly for taking it so hard. I just keep thing about her children.

  736. thinking about her children

  737. I know, it’s so awful…terribly sad…

  738. What happened to her?

  739. She died as a result of a skiing accident. It was strange because immediately after she hit her head she was fine, walking and talking, but she quickly went downhill and was found to be brain dead. She and Liam Neeson have 2 sons, so of course my heart doubly breaks.

  740. Freak skiing accident. She fell, got up, seemed fine then went to the hospital with a headache. Sounded like a brain hemorrhage. So, so sad. We love to watch The Parent Trap remake on family movie night and it’s really a tragedy.

  741. Sorry Kate. You and I were at it at the same time.

  742. No apologies!

  743. Maureen- yes, Chance is Emma’s boyfriend. They have been an item for 4 years which I know is usually unheard of but they are two very unique young people.

    I’m not sure why I didn’t think to mention this before since y’all love Johnny Cash. Chance’s uncle was Roy Huskey Jr. He played double bass with a number of people, including Johnny Cash. He died about 10 years ago from cancer. Chance is Chance Huskey. The Huskey family has really had it rough. About 6 months after Emma and Chance started “going out” his brother was killed in a car accident. He 18 and had just graduated from high school. The accident happened in the middle of the night and the car and the body were burned beyond recognition. Chance’s parents had divorced some years before and Chance was not close with his father. But after his brother’s death they started working on things, but then, sadly, his father died of kidney or liver failure about a year later. Then both of Chance’s grandparents died (his mom’s parents), then his aunt (his mom’s sister). So, his mom lost one of her two sons, her ex-husband, her parents, and her sister in the course of 3 – 3 1/2 years. I think all the loss has made him older than his years.

  744. That’s awful.
    I never knew she and Liam Neeson were married either…it’s a small place, this rock I live under..

  745. Goodnight my friends, sleep well and dream deeply.
    Has anyone heard from Tex?

  746. where did everybody go????

    we need to make up some new games or something . . . the indians are getting restless while we wait for Durham!

  747. I’m here, Lady Peacock! Procrastinating…I need to finish handwashing all the stuff that has been sitting in my washer for a day and a half.

  748. I haven’t been around much ’cause Facebook has taken possession of my soul .. it’s so bad, and it’s only been two days, lol.

  749. The ticket to cheer everyone up is encapsulated in 2 words:

    Harlem Globetrotters

    Got home from them and am still high as a kite. They were FUNNY and skilled and awesome and HIGH ENERGY. And the current front man “Big Easy” (because he is from NO of course) reminds me of Meadowlark Lemon.

    Awesome.

  750. Kittery, the first rush is the worst. Then it fades a bit, then you find a middle ground. Sorta.

    Until you start doing the lists. The lists are the devil. And Superpoke. And those of you who don’t have Superpoke, you’re breaking my heart. I can’t hug you and kiss you and give you tea in real life…give me Superpoke, at least!!

    lol.

    Good night, babies. My ass is officially whipped.

  751. Oh man, remember when the Harlem Globetrotters met Scooby Doo???

  752. i gave up on facebook lists . . . for the most part – but I loved Kate’s kids answers to her questions! that was creative!

    am in the studio with wax . . . so will be intermittent all night . . .

  753. MAUREEN: my first agent fired me flat out. then i got THE GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS BY writers digest press (they put out one every year — look on AMAZON and buy it today) and it is like the grand PHONEBOOK/INFO BOOK of all agents. it also guides you through the whole process in a magical, informed way. OH! and you should raise the bar, not lower it! i.e., only consider agents in nyc, btw.

    so after my first agent FIRED ME I found the agent book — and then i read it, highlighted the agents i felt might be interested in OTHERWISE ENGAGED, sent out 10 queries, and thats how i found my agent.

    so do not despair. this is part of your INITIATION. be GLAD the other agent dropped you, she wasnt the ONE. XOXO SFC

  754. You know what I ADORE about Suzanne? Among other things, she is incredibly encouraging to new (and old?) writers.

  755. initiation love that word

  756. Sher…doing those lists with my kids were just the highlight of my day…I could not believe how funny they were…and I actually got some insight into my kids. For instance, Jarvis doesn’t know I love him because he can’t read my mind. It doesn’t occur to him that all the outward signs point to yes, he doesn’t “know.”

  757. yes . . . this is so true.

    i can not remember one time that my parents told me they loved me

    once I heard my friends’ mom tell her and I started balling my head off.

    after I left home I started saying it to my parents and now it is normal . . .

  758. Ditto, Kate. Suzanne, you are magnificent. I am still languishing in my rejection funk, but one of my writer friends posted on my Facebook page that I don’t need a writers’ colony because I “can have picnic lunches and pretentious sexual hookups at home.” Which made me laugh.

  759. i too am saddened by the loss of natasha richardson. a class act, a natural beauty, and a great actress. morever, she and liam neeson seemed to be so in love, for so long. i’m glad they has their children right away after marriage — those boys will doubtless be desolate over the loss of their mother, but they are fully formed. and i have to think Liam will pull them through. he seems the type to stop ALL FILMING and take time off to circle the wagons. i live in fear of what would happen to Pablo if i were to pass before he is at least 50. we are extraordinarily close

    this is course also reinforces my decision to never learn to ski. i would consider snowboarding, however.

  760. Shanna – all one needs for creativity – -

    the solitude of self . . . Ideally, for me, anyway!

    But I too love the idea of the retreat/colony/fellowship . . . but in the end the words and the images come when I am alone with myself

  761. I tell Jarvis I love him 20 times a day…we hug and kiss…it blew my mind when he said “I don’t know my mom loves me.” Until I realized that the answer was in the word “know.” If I had asked him why he thought his mom loves him, he’d be able to give an answer. But he’s not going to answer for someone else.

  762. I spend a lot (A LOT) of time alone. I’ve been working on this project for 3 years and my most productive times HAVE been in solitude, but I’m always searching for my tribe.

  763. lauren tells me she loves me constantly which i think is amazing for a smart ass 14 going on 15 girl. even if she calls just to say she is at a friends’ or something, she won’t hang up without saying it . . .

    it is adorable

  764. How wonderful to have that kind of relationship! Even when I was hell-bent on destruction I still treated my mom’s word as GOSPEL, and essentially worshiped her. Still do, really.

  765. also dylan and lauren still call me mommy which I just love!

  766. Shanna – Yes, I am coming to Durham next month and will be there Wednesday through Saturday!

    I’m more of a Danny Gokey fan, I think its because I heart men with glasses and I’m a sucker for a Widower. And, my own husband liked his version and it confused me as we usually like a lot of the same tv and movie stuff.

    Maureen – I am so sad to hear about your cat. I love my own little Beatrice so much and if anything ever happened to her I don’t know what I’d do … she’s my baby! Also, whoa, you have a book? I had no idea, and I’m interested in hearing more about it …

    Sher, I will debate art with you anytime. Although my qualifications are shaky … I’ve only had one grad school class … let me say this – I feel Camille Claudel surpassed Rodin and that whenever I look at The Bronze Waltz I feel like that is what love is supposed to look like. I saw it in 2005 in person and it took my breath away.

    I love art and I have no one to talk to about it. So, I have to settle for talking about tv shows with people, as every person I work with only watches tv. No one travels, reads, goes to movies, or even has a cat. Plus I’m the only barren one there. Its sad trying to explain to people that I went to Paris twice for the art, and not for the romance. (Although it was .. what a beautiful city.)

    This is the reason why I am coming to Durham, I just need to find people who have something interesting to talk about!

  767. Maureen – I have that book that Suzanne is talking about. Buy it!

  768. Are you a writer too, GFTG?

  769. Sher, that warms my heart.

  770. camille absolutely outshone Rodin . . . but she was caught . . . by hormones and depression and there was no celexa or zoloft for her . . .

    I think that is one of the big benefits of living now . . . yes, we have to put up with polution and stress and the ‘economy’ but we have drugs to help us help ourselves, we have information at the tap of a finger . . . we can communicate LIVE with authors and people from around the world – — it is amazing!

  771. danny gokey is our 2nd favorite!

  772. Shanna – Been one in my heart since I was born. Two poems and two short stories published in my 20s. Haven’t tried to write anything since then. I write a blog, and its doing well, over a million hits in 14 months. I do have an outline of my memoir that I wrote when I was twenty. My blog was supposed to help me remember my memories. Childhood trauma caused a black out and a lot of my past is gone, and my BFF helps me recall my childhood memories when she has time. Now I have been side tracked with some stupid diseases but I’m thinking about really trying to write and get paid for it.

  773. Kate

    i had people help me on the way. it would be dastardly for me not to do everything i can to help others on their way. it is an honor. xoxox sfc

  774. Sher – I wonder if art would have been so good without all the madness. Sometimes I think prescription drugs are killing all the creativity in this country. I secretly blame anti-depressants for all of the reality tv shows. Think about it, music, movies, and tv all sort of suck now. I don’t even like hardly any of the popular books out there.

  775. Do you read thebloggess.com? She makes me laugh so hard that drool comes out of my mouth. I am always quoting her and forwarding her hysterical, irreverent posts to everyone I know.

  776. GFTG, but did you EVER like the books that were wildly popular? I don’t think I ever did.

  777. SHANNA when you’ve gotten your manuscript as good as you can get it? look for an agent, not a writer’s colony. (your friend is right! ha!)

    and your agent will be the magic man of your tribe. you’ll see.

    xxo
    sfc

  778. I have an agent. I’ve had him since I wrote my first 30 pages, 2.5 years ago. It’s finishing the book that’s eluding me.

  779. i think anti depressants might be over used, but I know that I need them.

    i have the choice of being completely manic and a serial killer (I am not exagerrating that much) my PMDD is horrendous, I am murderous 1 out of 4 weeks . . . I need it then or I would go out and ram my van into people that cut me off . . . I once sat in a bank parking lot with a knife and I was totally waiting for someone that pissed me off to go inside so I could slit her tires . . . . this all has to do with some PTS, but there is tons of crazy and suicide in my family history . . . I am in a maintenance mode which allows me to live, be a good mom most days, and still have enough umph to make my art . . . I could be crazier, but I am trying to maintain some balance . . . madness in moderation is the name of my game!

  780. GFTG
    “Sometimes I think prescription drugs are killing all the creativity in this country”

    not so. they are keeping many of us alive and out of black depressions and suicide lists; mentally ill people, with few exceptions, are unable to focus or survive past a short tenure of addled glory.

    just my humble opinion.

    interestingly enough, when i got clean and centered, i was able to stop watching TV altogether. i read books every night before bed. THEY are my real medicine. xo sfc

  781. Books were absolutely my first drug of choice (before I discovered the numbing properties of food, boys, drugs, shopping, you name it). They saved my life before I even knew I needed to be saved and have continued to do so throughout my life. (Almost every other substance developed…side effects.)

  782. SHANNA ah. well it’s like a cake isnt it? it isnt done until it’s done. it took me 6 years to finish SPLIT. sometimes, good things take time.

    have you read BIRD BY BIRD BY ANNE LAMOTT? great, great writers block advice in there. in fact i recommend it MOST HIGHLY to everyone – writer or not. it contains instruction for writing and life.

  783. yeah, I think it is all about choice and moderation. I watch TV and I still have a brain, I watch it with humour and usually while I am knitting or working on something else . . . but I watch a lot of documentaries, OVation TV for art, lots of history stuff . . .

    hundreds of years ago I wouldn’t have had the chance to go to school, be an artist, I would have NO choice about having or not having babies . . . only a little over 80 years ago did women even have the write to vote in a nation where we were ‘citizens’ . . . along with modernity has come some frivolity – but I think those who are seekers and working on their own balance . . . we can show discernment and integrity within those parameters

  784. I love Bird by Bird so much. I buy used copies whenever I come across them and give them out with abandon and glee. I give new copies as gifts and I buy everything nonfiction that Anne Lamott writes, in hardback, on the day it comes out.

  785. a paxil a day keeps the crazy away

  786. everybody left/???

  787. apparently I ran everybody off . . . why isn’t Haven up???? Bet she is working on that Quaker book, again! Yippee, because I have many, many questions.

    Claire asked me today:

    “Which finger is the index finger?”

    I told her, but then she said . . .

    “Well, Zippy didn’t tell me that . . .”.

    I am assuming that ‘index finger’ was used somewhere in one of the memoirs . . . as she listens to them CONSTANTLY and probably has them memorized at this point.

    Also, on her report card today . . . the teacher noted her “Excellent use of expression in her outloud reading” – she got an E for Excellent!!!

    I. am. so. proud.

  788. Hi everybody –

    Thanks for the commiseration and advice on agents and cats and all. I am back on my horse and sending out queries again. I subscribed to Publishers Marketplace, which is just addicting. Every day I see who just sold a book – which agent to which editor at which imprint. Then I chew off my hand in jealousy. But it gives me lots of great leads.

    The eight-month-tease agent just up and left her huge agency without notice to start her own, so I feel she was probably not a good fit for me. I just wish she had dropped me months ago.

    Although the discovery of Poofulous was a sad thing, more sad was the death of Red Spot – our one red tabby – a week ago in the road. We DO have about 25 cats, so it’s not quite as sad as it could have been.

    I am also sad about Natasha Richardson. I watch the movie Nell in one of my classes every year – I love her in that. I also liked The Handmaid’s Tale.

    However, Liam Neeson is now up for grabs!

  789. Shanna – Nver read her. I don’t have a lot of time to read blogs, just write them. I will try to check her out.

    Sher – I am so glad you aren’t sitting in parking lots anymore with a knife.

    Suzanne – Oh, there is no filter on my mouth late at night. I know how important those drugs are … my mom runs around without any medication and she’s bioplar. It was not a pretty childhood. I, too am very happy for medicine.

    As for the popular books thing, sure, I still like and have liked them. Loved Stephen King for years. Read most of Tom Clancy’s books, for a while I was into those Kay Scarpeta books, and I’ve even read a Chelsea Handler book. And Judy Blume, my favorite author way back when. I’ll read an Oprah book from time to time, like White Oleander or Deep End of the Ocean, but I just adore memoirs and autobiographies and all classic British literature. And I have a special place in my heart for Chuck Palahniuk. Nick Hornby. John Irving. And Pat Conroy. My god, Jane Austin. And, of course, the holy trio, Kimmel and Burroughs and Sedakis.

    By the way, does anyone know that the reader have moved again? Got an email that its now at the Carolina Theatre – 309 w. Morgan Street.

  790. The reading I mean. Sneaking a comment while I’m working.

  791. Oh you all are so right about books..they were also my first drug of choice. While growing up, I would check the maximum amount of books allowable from the bookmobile (our town was too small to have a library) and hide myself away on the porch swing in summer and in my room or in the attic in winter and read for hours..totally ignoring my poor mother who needed help with the house and younger brothers. And then I discovered ‘adult’ books…the bookmobile person realized I was reading way above the young people books she was bringing me and started giving me the good stuff. I started mainlining Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. Also discovered James Michener, Madeline L’Engle, and C.S. Lewis and Gone With The Wind…I was and am forever lost. I still partially buy a used book on how thick it is…I love me some thick books..like ‘Dune’ and ‘The Stand’…and don’t forget ‘Swan Song’ by Robert McGammon if you haven’t read it. I am teasing myself by not reading the rest of the Neal Stephenson trilogy yet..on a future vacation I will finish it.
    I know it’s been said, but so many books, so little time!
    I have sent a taxidermy request out to the universe here in hopes something will come my way I can send to Durham in my stead for the reading…anyone willing to recieve such a thing and tote it there if the universe sees fit to send me something?
    LOL, Gotta get to work before the nazis.
    Brenda

  792. I promise cross my heart and hope to die it won’t (unfortunately) be a javalina but will be something smaller and more managable. Will someone take delivery and tote me, please? In the event the universe complies, of course.

  793. Brenda…

    If you would like to ship your animal item to me here in Durham, I would be happy to deliver it for you.

  794. Amy G from G –
    Hey! Cool! when I logged on to wordpress this morning, your blog was listed as a hot community blog, which I assume means lots o’people read it? Very cool!

  795. I said earlier that Chance’s uncle played with Johnny Cash, and he did, but on the plane to Philly this morning Emma told me it was really his grandfather, Roy Huskey, who was in Johnny’s band. Roy Jr. played with him but he played with lots of people including Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle. Emma said that Chance’s father (now deceased) told him that when he was young and the band had a gig June Carter Cash would sometimes babysit him and his brother. That is the neat thing about Nashville. Stories of families just woven together. Musicians I think of as genuises and stars just going through their daily days making a living.

  796. Maureen – was it? Cool, thanks for letting me know. Twice this past month I’ve caught myself on the Blog of the Day List and had that moment of “Whoa, I’m famous!” then laughed and told myself its just a blog, not a book or anything. I am happy that anyone has ever come to read it!

    Brenda – I love Isaac Asimov. Did my high school senior english paper on him. I forget to say how I loved books (Still do!) and going to the library in general. (I’m here now on my lunch hour!) One time I took out over 50 Nancy Drew books for my Easter Break and read them all. I just love finding a new author and reading everything they have to offer. I have no idea how 50% of adults don’t read. Makes me sick.

  797. Dammit G from G, I stopped by your blog and 2 hours later I have made zero progress on today’s files!!

  798. NORA! Thank you!
    If it happens, I will be notifying you for the address…now I am truly on a Mission From God…gotta make sure and wear the sunglasses for the search.

    GFTG..if I had been older and had the courage, I would have gone to New York City and thrown myself at Isaac Asimov without shame. I loved him literally and still think he’s one of the smartest men ever. (and one I would love to have at my fictitious dinner table of dead people).

  799. Good news to report. Gov. Richardson has signed legislation repealing the death penalty in New Mexico. Justice comes to another state.

  800. Maureen, so sorry to hear about your Poofulous. The same thing happened to our dachshund Charcoal when I was a kid. He disappeared one winter and we found him the following spring, floating in our pool in a block of ice.

    That is so sad about Natasha R. She and Liam did seem to truly love each other, and she was very talented and classy. To me it’s another reminder that any one of us can go at any time. It’s not fair but that’s how it is.

    At first I was shocked at Adam’s rendition of Ring of Fire but once I settled into it, I thought it was brilliant. Then last night Simon stated that Adam’s version was the same as someone else’s rendition, I think Tim Buckley’s. Once I heard that it made a lot more sense. Personally, I don’t have a problem with differing interpretations. Lots of people don’t know that Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You was actually written and sung by Dolly Parton years before Whitney made it a hit. I always preferred the purity of the Dolly version, but apparently record buyers liked the Houston version better because they bought it in droves. To each her own, right?

    One of the gifts Suzanne gave me was Bird By Bird and it was great. I also love Stephen King’s On Writing. I just read it for the third time and I may have to make it four.

    The more time passes the more I appreciate Suzanne’s writer-to-writer generosity. I have no literary training. I’m a therapist so I have been trained to write clinical reports, which if anything is anti-literary. I have a lot to learn, and not much confidence. But I know I’m smart and I know I can learn with the proper guidance. The guidance and direction Suzanne gave me during our visit in CA was invaluable, not to mention her encouragement. She’s a gem.

    Sher, that story about “I love you”s in your family reminded me of my hubby Ken. Years ago, none of the men in his family hugged. When we said hello or goodbye, the men only hugged the women. Then when my gay friend Pierre met Ken, he always hugged him goodbye, and Ken realized how silly it was for the men in his family not to hug. He started hugging them, and eventually they got used to it, and now manhugs are as common as womanhugs around here. It’s so cool. And of course, the way it should’ve been all along.

    Who is this Chance of whom we speak? Is he someone famous? Or is he someone some of the BBs know personally? Oh dear, I hope I’m not having another blonde moment.

  801. Chance is Emma’s boyfriend (Emma being Linda’s son). Am I right? Do I get a cookie?

  802. Kittery is correct.

  803. Polly – I have both versions of I Will Always Love You on cd. And I like both. Then again, I am a lover of great karaoke songs.

    Amy – My goodness, I’m sorry/glad for the time you spent over at the ghetto page!!

  804. Look OUT, BBs, ’cause I’m COMING TO DURHAM!! Now that I’ve pulled myself out of the faceplant of colony rejection, I’m planning my summer and Durham is at the top of my list. (I’m also thinking about renting a house in Marfa, TX for a month and having my own little writer’s retreat, if anyone’s interested.) I’ve gone back through the posts (wow, we are prolific) and looked at the yahoo site, but I can’t really figure out when everyone’s coming and where everyone’s staying??

  805. caryl and stephany, kate & sher (with baby Alice) and Maureen and her sister are all in rooms in a row at http://www.washingtondukeinn.com

    linda is traveling with her son . . . not sure where others are staying: . . . . people, fess up the details . . .

  806. cough it up, peeps. i’ve got plans to make. the washington duke inn looks good. I know caryl planned a lunch for thurs., right? and the reading is thurs. night. When is everyone coming and going? I don’t want to miss ANYTHING!!

  807. MISS CAKE youre right, no soap on cast iron pans, and dry em on heat.

    GEORGE English majors are very alluring but as a woman matures she just needs a slave. thought i’d pass that along. my oven awaits. or we could wait until i get to NC.

    MAUREEEN if you like, you can stop reading CHILDREN OF GOD and read WICKED. oooo-eee! although i still liked children of god. or read everything and anything by ELIZABETH BERG. wicked good wild comfort reading, and so elegant and wise. i worship Maguire and Berg. i read every Berg book while i was waiting for Split to come down.

    HAVEN i got my own Frye Mary Toe Ring sandals, today, sized in a 9 1/2 in gold and they are A GROTESQUE. no wonder they was marked down. BEYOND THE EDGE OF UGLY AND STRAIGHT TOWARD LIBERACE THEY WENT. in black 8 1/2 i’ve no doubt the’re perfect. girl you got the last pair. which was right and fitting. when i wear open toed flats i look like a platypus. i swanee.

    in honor of the horror of 09, im reading everything stephen king ever wrote. i’m on LISEY’S STORY now. really loved going back to ‘SALEM;S LOT. that’s a pure stone crusher.

  808. don;t panic, shanna! i’ll tell caryl to get her ass on the blog. she’s in charge of bout everything?

  809. i lurve elizabeth berg with all my heart. I recently read The Day I Ate Everything I Wanted, but I have a whole slew of her books that I haven’t read in years that I MUST dig out and reread.

  810. kate, me and baby alice are driving in on Wednesday to spend that night at the inn with Caryl and maureen’s crew – and anybody else there . . . we are also staying over Thursday night. As it is easter coming up we have to head home Friday afternoon (we can have lunch before we leave . . . we want to do some thrifting and junking http://www.scrapexchange.com and general exploring . . . I want to pop into the Nasher at Duke to check out the art . . . otherwise I am in ‘go with the flow’ mode . . . I love food, wine, books, antiques, junk, art, food, drink, food, wine, laughter, books, laughter, crying . . . I am pretty adaptable to any emotion or thing . . . as long as there is food and drink involved (doesn’t even HAVE to be alcoholic!)

    p is for party
    a is for all night
    r is for right now
    t is for tonight
    y is for Y not, party!!!!

  811. berg is awesome . . . .loved Lisey’s Story and Bag of Bones . . . with King, the thicker the book – the better!!!!

  812. me and my cricked neck are going to bed, or at least attempting to . . . yawn, yawn, 3 nights of working in the studio late has whuppEd my ass . . .

  813. Shanna email me and I will help in any way I can. carylhayes@yahoo.com

  814. For all those Durham bound, here is the plan as I know it. And no, I was not elected mayor but I am bossy so bear with me and if anyone has other ideas please join in.
    Wednesday Evening; Meet at Washington Duke Inn lobby/lounge for everyone who is in town. Time to be determined. Haven plans on joining us there.

    Thursday; Meet at Georges Garage in Durham near the Regulator Bookstore. time approx 3:30pm. For all of us who want to see the bookstore and eat a late lunch/early dinner before the reading at 7pm. Caryl is hosting so please rsvp soon. Please bring whoever traveled with you.

    Thursday evening: Reading at 7pm. Nora was working on seats but we will probably need to arrive early. GFTG is saving me a seat :)

    For the night owls: Nothing is planned as of yet.

    Friday am/lunch: Do we want to plan something in downtown Durham before everyone who is leaving heads out? Meet for coffee or lunch?

    I know some people have plans to see the lemur exhibit on THursday at noon? I hope to scavenge with Kate and Sher. Linda and I both have kids doing school tours as well.
    I am picking up GFTG on Wednesday at approx. 11am from the airport. If anyone else needs a pickup at around that time let me know. I am renting a car.

    Shanna I hope that helps- I actually had you down as going this entire time. xoxo
    Here is the list of people attending that I know of, and again if you plan to do the lunch let me know and how many.
    Sher
    Kate/Baby Alice
    Caryl
    Nora
    Amanda
    Maureen/sister
    George
    Linda/Sam
    GFTG
    Molly/Amber
    Shanna

  815. Caryl, I emailed you. You are a goddess. A delightful, bossy goddess. :)

  816. I talked to Tom Campbell of the Regulator today, and he feels that they will be able to work out saving a group of seats for you guys…Since the venue has changed to the Carolina Theatre (a place I really like, and they’re having it in the theatre that holds about 275 people…they keep moving it to bigger and bigger places!)( still right downtown, a couple of blocks from the library)

    Tom says he needs to speak with the people at the Carolina before knowing for sure, and will confirm in a week or so…And he says it will probably mean getting there around 6:30…

    I’ll keep you posted…

  817. Thanks ms.barnacle. xoxo

  818. Caryl- thank you for being so organized. Sam and I will meet up with you all for the late lunch. You didn’t put Steph’s name on your list. She will be there, won’t she?

    I am still in Philly with Emma. We are off to visit Bryn Mawr in a few minutes. I’ll give you a college update for Stephanie, Caryl. It is a women’s college but it is right next to Haverford, which is co-ed, and the Bryn Mawr girls can take classes there so there are boys around!

  819. Kittery- you only get half a cookie because Emma is my daughter, Sam is my son. ha ha!!

    Polly- Kittery is correct. Chance is my daughter, Emma’s boyfriend. They are both seniors in high school. Chance got into NYU for next year. He is a very talented writer (and with his life experience he certainly will have things to write about if he so chooses). He is also interested in film. I put photos of them up on our yahoo group a while ago.
    :)

  820. Do you remember that cute-cute commercial for Disney World with the little boy and little girl and the mom comes into the bedroom and tells them to go to sleep? The little boy scrunches up his cutie-patootie face and says, “I’m too excited to sleep!” in this darling little boy way.

    That’s me right now except I’M TOO EXCITED TO DO ANYTHING!!!!!

  821. Molly, I love that commercial. Jeff and I do that whenever we go on vacation:)

  822. lol. Since I am going to JAPAN IN JUNE I can continue to say even after Durham!!!

  823. Japan in June??????Does this have anything to do with your new man????

  824. YES!!!

    He’s sending me business class. :) I heart Greg.

  825. Caryl, you RULE. If I had to plan a get-together I would probably throw up in the bushes.

  826. Molly! My lord where do I begin about how great this man is?? You must be beside yourself with excitement.

  827. Kate, it comes with age honey, this need to control all situations. xoxo

  828. Hi all:

    Just wanted to let you know that there has been a venue change for the Augusten Burroughs/Haven Kimmel event. It will be at the Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St. in downtown Durham. It is fairly equi-distant between The Regulator and Durham County Library. The event will be in Cinema One. It is free and open to the public.

    If you have any questions, please call the library at 919-560-0151 or the Regulator at (919) 286-2700.

  829. Linda, yes Stephany is still coming, and I am bringing her friend Hayley as well. Poor Sam, he won’t know what hit him.

  830. Caryl–you are awesome. Quit shrugging it off. :)

    Amy, I’m amazed every time I talk to him–which is everyday now via yahoo! messenger’s pc-to-pc calling. FREE calls to Japan! Woot! **claps hands like a little kid at a magic show**

  831. checking in babies . . .

    I am a busy, busy bee these days but think of you all ALL the time . . . anticipation is rocking here as well . . .

    I am entering into ‘shit hitting the fan’ – the next 2 weeks before Durham are packed, packed, packed . . . dylan has his military ball tomorrow night, tonight I am taking a van load of 14 and 15 year old girls to purchase their Twilight DVD’s at midnight! we are having company all next week (my nieces whom I would just have with me every day if I could) . . . which then leads to an Atlanta/Spartanburg trip just a few days BEFORE Kate and I leave for Durham . . . I am thinking of getting a back massager installed in the van for all the driving . . .

    We are celebrating tonight as all through 3 children made it onto their A honor rolls this grading period, Lauren even willingly went to the chem lab for tutoring before her exam . . . . she looks very emo/goth, but totally gets that her grades are going to define her college and career experiences. I am so proud of all of my babies, because they try and do their best

    Here are the comments on my hair from the soccer moms at last night’s 1st grade play: “how festive!” “well, la dee da”, “ha”, “love it”, “who does she think she is”, “who are you”, “why” and my favorite “Look at her HAIR!”

  832. Molly has happy pants!

  833. When can we see pics?

  834. VERY happy pants. And a happy shirt. And happy socks (Actually, I do have happy socks. They’re polka-dotted and I love them). And my face hurts because I smile all the time. :)

  835. maybe I can get Don to take a picture of my hair tonight . . . I can’t get far enough away with my fancy camera to do it mysel and I can’t find my tripod . . .I am a mess – I need Caryl or Polly to come organize my life! But – I cleaned off the kitchen table today which is a HUGE accomplishment.

    I have on Betsey Johnson socks right now and they make me VERY happy

  836. Hi folks…my plan is to drive up on Thursday, leaving DC around 7 a.m. and arriving Durham mid-morning, hang out with you guys, go to the reading. If I am not exhausted, I will drive back to DC, otherwise, I have a good friend there in town I will stay with.

    I am so looking forward to meeting you all; visiting with Haven, meeting Augusten, being in Durham again, possibly seeing some long-time friends.

    It’s a charming city — smart, laid-back. I like everything about it, always have. There are about seven or eight places where I KNOW I could live. Durham is one. Some years ago, I tried to get a job at a local magazine based there, The Sun (check it out), but….

    If anyone wants to call me my cell is 703-401-1304.

  837. Okay, confession, I had to google “emo”. I understand now!
    Congratulation on your smarty babies Sher, that is a true testament to your parenting. Those comments from the other moms just kill me. People are unbelievable.

  838. Comments like “Who does she think she is?” chip away at my faith in humanity. Seriously.

  839. Hey everyone. We just got back to my sister’s house after our day at Bryn Mawr. I think my daughter has found her perfect school. Now we just have to wait for another week to see if she has been accepted. I just cannot imagine that she would not get in. She is practically perfect in every way and I am not just saying that because I am her mother. Then we have to see if we can actually afford to send her there. It is a delightful school. Beautiful campus, friendly people, great little town filled with colleges – Haverford is less than a mile away, Swarthmore and Villanova are down the street and Philly with UPenn are about 20 minutes away. I am so excited for her!

  840. Yay Linda and daughter…you sound like a proud mother…and you should be!

  841. How exciting Linda!

  842. Y’all…do we have someone who can make a documentary about the blog babies and their trip(s) to Durham? Man I would love to see that!! At the very least I want a docu-drama-comedy-reality show of Sher’s life. My mind’s eye sees it very vividly.
    We need a Hollywood pitch man.

  843. Linda, how exciting for Emma. They say you know your school when you see it. I will keep my fingers crossed.

  844. Brenda – amazingly I have been told my life is a reality show several times . . . hum, could I somehow make a buck in this . . . would the cameras stay up ALL night with me . . . ?

  845. Maybe they’d use a tripod.

    No! Better yet! One of us could be the camerawo/man and then we’d just get PAID to hang out with a friend all night. I’m liking this idea…A lot.

  846. No, really. Could you imagine getting to look at Sher’s art all night for free PLUS see her make it come alive?

    *swoons*

  847. I would definately tivo this program…and generally I don’t like the reality shows…and didn’t Sher mention one like Top Chef or Project Runway (both I DO ironically, enjoy) except for about ART!! Man that would be fun to watch.
    Linda…I am jealous….a daughter in Bryn Mawr…so cool…I am proud and she’s not even mine! I hope she loves her college time, it was the best for me.
    Gotta go..laundry day and Dana has really stinky camping clothes just for me..oh joy.
    LOL

  848. ugh . . . I am beating my head against the wall of the Typepad Blog Design . . . it just shouldn’t be this difficult . . . wah!

    I think I am going to drink tonight . . . I couldn’t drink last night because I was driving teenagers, so it just doesn’t feel like the weekend.

    I sound like a lush . . . but I usually only have 1-2 glasses of wine per week . . . just enough to relax (which is not easy for me) . . . I don’t take pain killers, so some nights the only way to stop my back spasms is a glass of wine . . . I think this qualifies as self-medicating, so which is better: a glass or two of wine once a week, or daily intake of pain killers? It is a quandary. I don’t feel addicted to the wine, but am afraid I would and could get addicted to the pain killers.

    anyway – I made some great art this week, so I am now suffering the consequences of hours in the studio.

    Don thinks I should invest in some foam flooring, which might really help.

    I have been wearing my Blade Hollister Taxidermy shirt all week . . . well, I got 3 shirts . . . so they are rotating . . . add the taxidermy shirt to the peacock hair and I have to say I am causing a few stairs as I run around Peyton Place . . . I did however put on real shoes this week when I left the house, which I thought would improve the situation over my black cowboy boot slippers . . .

    what is everybody up to?????

    I sent Molly’s Greg a thumbs up . . . for putting a smile on her face – he deserves a LOT.

  849. Sher- I don’t think you have to worry about a few glasses of wine. I think that is definitely less risky than lots of pain killers. If I was able to only drink a glass or two of wine I would still be doing that. Actually, wine was never enough to give me a buzz unless I had a few shots of bourbon with it. I drank vodka. Several drinks a night. Every night. I could not have just one. I knew I had a problem but even then I could not make myself stop until I had a scary black out. Thank goodness nothing happened, but losing time like that and knowing I had not passed out scared the crap out of me. My therapist told me about people who had blackouts and drove, got on planes and flew out of town- lots of crazy things. That is when I decided i needed help.

  850. Sher –
    Your new blog looks fabulous! Did you switch to typepad from another service?
    I want a picture of your new hair!!!!

  851. Linda, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand times if I have to…I think you are amazing. Your children must be so proud of you.

    I have been painting all day which might be an act the devil himself conjured. What is it that makes one sane person say” hmmm, I need a change. I shall paint the staircase and hallway cream. How delightful it sounds to spend 80 dollars at Home Depot, ruin a great pair of lounging pants because even though you bought all of the correct tools you still managed to get paint ALL OVER YOU, and waste an entire Saturday to have your fiance come home and look at your masterpiece only to say ” Hmm. What color was it before?”

  852. Hi MO, hi!

  853. Shanna – Glad to hear you can make i!

    Sher, i am staying @ the Washington Duke in as well. Nothing makes me happier to think of my king size bed that awaits me …

    Caryl – Of course your seat will be saved by me! And I love that you are organizing everything for us. I think we should all get a phone/email contact list going so when we are in town we can call one another.

    Nora – How great of you to talk to Tom.

    Bug – Japan? That is exciting as hell.

    Amy in Ohio – I love that you had to google EMO.

    Brenda – I was planning on doing a huge blog on our trip. And I’m lugging my Nikon D80 for the trip. I do have my son’s Flip Mino video camera but surely someone else has better skills/equipment. I will at least volunteer to ge the photographer. That is always my job.

    As for my time in durham – I am getting in Wednesday around 11 am and leaving around noon on Saturday. I like to tour histroic places and if anyone wants to join me, let me know. I know Polly has offered me some Gosselin gossip and tour time, but i’m up for anything. Love, love love to travel.

  854. G from G, I have decided ( after the numerous hours I have spent on your blog) that you and I are sisters that were some how seperated.
    ie? Sure.
    Um, we both could talk about the Gosselin’s for hours,
    we both have a fear of mice due to finding them living in our houses growing up, we think we should be in movies,I love the Sound of Music more than any other musical and I drove to Detroit to adopt my dog Sanchez ( okay and I would move there to marry Eminem)..so basically we are family.

  855. SHER–you kill me. :) Greg and I were talking when you friend him, and he was like, “Hey, Moll? Who’s Sher?”

    And I said, “Sher? SHER! Sher from the blog!!!” I was so touched. Then I thought, poor Greg. If he ever upsets me, I have a *POSSE* who will take care of business. I almost feel sorry for him. There’s my college group, of which Amber is apart, and then my sis and her friend Jess (who “introduced” Greg and me) and then my now real-time posse of Girls Night (of which Amber is also apart), and now Sher. And Kittery, too, I’m sure–who just told me she didn’t friend him out of fear of embarrassing me. HAHAHAHA…he doesn’t stand a chance….poor sucker.

    Did I tell you he’s sending me business class? oh my gosh.

  856. hmm. That “sher–you kill me” was a good thing. not a complaint.

    GFTG–isn’t it though? never dreamed I’d have excitement like this in my life.

    I am all a aflutter.

  857. I am so GUILTY as charged . . .

    today has been head bashing with photo editing (typepad is not new, it just keeps me stumped with their limited customization choices – I finally managed a decent web banner – I hope!) . . .

    dylan looked gorgeous as he drove up and picked up his date for the military ball – she is from California (as are lOTS of my new friends because they all got transferred from Nissan headquarters (which mmoved here to TN) and we are all – where is the culture . . .? . . . but Don went and got me a bottle of Merlot which I desperately DESERVED . . .and Linda thank you so much for your understanding about the limited drinking I do – - I totally understand the DESIRE for obliteration, but I live a very ‘drunk-like-high-on-life LIfe’ as it is – not much else is required except for some mild alcoholic muscle relaxers (as we know pot is illegal still).

    Molly – I told Greg that I was very happy he put a smile on your face!!! I was VERY discreet!

    I have so many military folk, I am honored to have him accept my friending on Facebook. And business class – honey I would give certain sexual favours for that extra – no kidding, coach to Italy about left me paralyzed.

    GFTG – yippee, major party time at the Washington Duke . . . I bought chocolate this week and am a planning a major bake off for next week after I return from ATLANTA – Molly, I will only be there for a few hours on Saturday (the 27th???) to exchange my nieces with my brother-in-law . . . not sure if we can pull off a meet up . . .I will be north on I-85???

    Oh dear, Amy, did you really do all that work and paint OFF WHITE??? Is it a rental???? Men do not see subtlety, I am afraid – actually, neither do I . . . is off white a color? I think it is a neutral so you must jazz up with some fun art . . .

    Also, I “kill” many people, it is a fearful power . . . due to my disarming qualities people either

    1. Run for cover
    2. Call the cops
    3. Join the party
    4. There is never a hot or cold reaction . . .

    working on the photos, just not in the mood for make up or blow drying today . . .

    patience is a VIRTUE . . .

  858. just plopped down and spilt the red MERLOT all over my white Blade Hollister Taxidermy shirt . . .

    #$(%$(%(

  859. Oh Sher, it is a home that we own and ARE trying to sell. I should have done a brighter color, huh? I guess we could call it light yellow, yes?

  860. I just spent 12 hours helping a friend move. Her movers showed up 3 hours late and after they got the truck loaded we figured out they were drunk. It was agonizing. Fortunately no one got hurt and nothing got damaged, which is pretty remarkable. Moving sucks.

  861. Hi Amy! I get bitten by that damn paint-the-room bug all the time. I alone, personally, have repainted the sitting room, the living room, the “piano half”, the kitchen, Lyle’s room, Tristan’s room, Elliot’s room TWICE, in the past four years. I have the paint for the office in a can, waiting for the week it will take, and I’ve got my eyes on the downstairs bathroom.

    My husband just walked out on me at Dunkin Donuts after we had a fight, so I am hiding out in my classroom waiting for him to apologize.

  862. That sounded like the “office-in-a-can” which is an interesting idea.

  863. I love you guys. Last day in PA. We fly home tonight and then tomorrow is back to reality. It has been so nice to have a whole week off from work. My brother and his kids and his new girlfriend came over to my sister’s for dinner last night. They live in NJ. I love living in Nashville, but when I am up here I realize how much I wish I lived near my sister. It is just so relaxing to be here. Hopefully Emma will go to Bryn Mawr as then I will have even more reason to be up here more often. The last time I visited was fall 2006. Too long!

    Have a great day y’all!

  864. Sher, the new look of your blog is GORGEOUS, and your post on inspiration (and not waiting for it) is EXACTLY what I need to hear right now. I’m teetering on the brink of completion with my book (about 80% finished with the first draft) and I’ve been in such a stagnant place with it. You rock. Seriously. I don’t comment often on your posts (or anyone’s) but I read them all voraciously and I laugh and cry and totally relate. (Everyone’s seen Sher’s new look, right? It’s gorge.)

  865. Laughing. “Gorge” for gorgeous is NOT part of my vernacular, not sure where that came from. I seem to be channeling Rupert Everett. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world, really…

  866. MAUREEN!

    I am so sorry. Andy had better apologize! You know where to reach me if you want to vent at top volume.

  867. Linda, I totally hear you on the nearness to family.

    My nephew Aiden keeps asking me “When you coming back?” and it breaks my heart. I’ve arranged for my sis to be here in GA while I globetrot off to Greg, and when she told Aiden about her trip, he got excited. He said, “An’ Molly going away so you got to go take care of Granmum and Granddad. An’ Molly coming’ here. RIGHT?” Megan explained blah blah blah, and A had some trouble with the idea of a new boyfriend (“But she got an old one already. You not supposed to have TWO!”) but eventually, he gave his permission. “I guess, if the new boyfriend gonna be nicer to her than Rob, then she should go.”

    I wanted to cry. I told Greg that and said, “You’re going to have to start thinking Christmas in NH.” He comes from a supersmall family, so he doesn’t really get it, but he’s willing. Sigh. I heart Greg.

  868. Just booked my room at the WDI. I feel a little bit like a kid before a trip to Disneyland. My boyfriend is a little befuddled. He keeps saying, “So, you’ve never met ANYONE that’s going to be there?”

  869. Oh Bug and Linda and Maureen…hugs to you all…and Shanna…my friends and family think I am a little nuts for considering y’all my friends, too, and for wanting to join you in Durham…I am mightily awaiting the blogs and pictures and movie-lets.
    We are looking to moving back to Iowa which would be closer to family but the move is at least 2 years away and we would keep one place down here in the warm Arizona sun for the winter…although right now you can have it as we have gale force winds that are blowing the dogs around the back yard. Flying Cocker Spaniels…well, one of them anyway, the other on is so fat that just his ears look like they’re flying…hilarious.
    LOL
    Brenda

  870. Shanna. Yes. I know several people who think I am crazy for being excited to go hang out with friends I’ve. Never. Actually. Met.

    Screw ‘em! :) It’s going to be awesome!

  871. RIGHT?? I’m so excited! (BTW, I never got the rhythm to hop in on the double dutch thread of Greg, but can I just say…business class to Japan is spectacular.)

  872. **shuffles feet** He’s spectacular. :)

  873. That’s so exciting. And you haven’t met face to face, yet, right? Do you send videos back and forth?

  874. Yahoo!Messenger is our best friend. We can see one another while we talk pc-to-pc. I thought it would be weird, but it’s really not. Surprised the hell out of me. lol. All the sudden, I’m being very modern. It does get a bit frustrating though because it limits when we can talk to one another. Phone cards are a ridiculous amount of money, but it sure would be nice to talk to him on my way to school rather than get up an hour earlier to catch him before I’ve even showered…lol.

  875. OOOOHHH…and Bug…I hear from my brother the retired navy mucho experienced traveler that Japan is a very sensuous and sexy place…he loves it there..the culture speaks to him…I hope you have a wonderful, lovely time…and don’t be freaked out by the culture shock. Give yourself permission to enjoy yourself. (hard to do, I know). Plus, Anthony Bourdain raves about the food!!

  876. Brenda, thank you so much! That’s excellent advice. Greg sent me a list of things I can do to help curb culture shock. My nephew Aiden suggested bringing a snuggle toy. :) I’m going to bring some Pepto. Just in case. This is the most excited I can ever remember being.

    After getting to meet Haven, Augusten, and the blog babies of course!

  877. I’m dying to know what’s on the list of things to do to avoid culture shock. Maybe I can incorporate some of them into my daily life.

  878. Because people consistently shock the hell out of me.

  879. 1. Watch Lost in Translation

    2. Drink lots of water (will greatly reduce jet lag and make me feel better all around)

    3. As Brenda said, remind myself I’m on vacation…and will soon be back around the familiar.

    4. Speak to whatever English speakers I can

    5. Enjoy being tall

    6. Remember that I often wish to be anonymous (can’t in my hometown because of the teaching thing. I ALWAYS run into a student or former student or the parent(s) of students–and usually it’s right after I’ve finished my 3rd beer, and the glasses are still on the table) and this is the PERFECT OPPORTUNITY to feel that way.

    Cute, huh? I mean, if the ADA referral didn’t steal this Virgo’s heart, the practical advice certainly did. I love good advice. :)

  880. Molly is too cute. Just sayin’. :)

    Brenda, you have Cocker Spaniels? I heart you. :D

  881. That is very sound advice, Bug. My daily words to live by are:

    1. Walk slowly.
    2. Stay in the shade.
    3. Drink lots of water.

    I love “enjoy being tall.”

    Have you seen Lost in Translation? I loved it. (Also, just fyi, I am the Virgo-iest of Virgos, and, in quintessential Virgo fashion, I love a good plan.)

  882. Oh Kittery, we are totally in love with the breed. They love us so much and are such goofballs…they make us laugh constantly…how can you not love a cocker spaniel?
    You go, Bug…just accept what the universe offers with an open heart (can I just say, still keep your self-preservation filter intact?)
    LOL
    Brenda

  883. I must ask, what colors are they? I used to have a buff colored American Cocker who went by the name of ….. Molly. :)

  884. Lost in Translation hurts my heart in the best way whenever I watch it. I would love one night in Japan with Bill Murray. Molly, I am just so excited for you! I think that you are so brave to be going there. But, love makes us do funny things!
    How long will you be there??

  885. Whoa there, hold the phone. How did I miss that Molly is going to Japan to meet Greg? Do I have that right? Hot diggety dog! I am a somewhat Japan person, having lived there for six months. Where are you going exactly, Bug? Sorry, I’ve been in a bad way and in a dark fog.

    Andy did not come back to Dunkin. He called our hired hand at the farm,and he came and gave him a ride home. I went off and sulked and then went to mass, which I cried through. Then Andy met me in a parking lot and we talked and I guess reached detente. Sigh. He turns 50 on Tuesday.

    Suzanne, I took your gracious permission to stop reading Children of God and start Wicked, which I had purchased about a month ago. Now I am happily lost in complete fantasy land, a much better escape right now than angsty religious space issues. I’ll go back to it because I saw Mary Doria Russell AT THE CALVIN FESTIVAL and I owe it to her.

  886. Maureen, if I had a dollar for all of the times I have cried thru mass:)
    I am finally reading the Shack and maybe I built it up too much because I am having a hard time staying interested in it.

  887. I had the same experience with The Shack. I ended up skimming most of it.
    Thanks for commiserating.

  888. Maureen. I am starting to be madly in love with a man I’ve never met-met who currently lives in Japan and who can WRITE! Yes, I’m going for 2 weeks in June, June 3rd-17th, to be exact. And I’m thrilled.

    Shanna. I heart plans. I heart men who know I **need** a plan. Drink lots of water? Right now it’s lots of beer. I’m cutting back. Don’t want to be fat in Japan.

    Brenda–I am trying to keep that filter in place. So far there are no warning bells. At all. Not even a tiny little one. It’s weird. I’ve been waiting for the other combat boot to fall, and it’s just…not. But I’m trying to stay cautious. I am not a “fools rush in” type. Virgo=WORRIER. But even my worries seem to be taking time off.

    Maureen and Amy–I too have cried through Mass frequently. The worst time was when the gospel was about Peter walking to JEsus on the water and he started to sink, and Jesus was like, why are you afraid? Dude. If PETER had trouble keeping the faith….look. There I go. Tears. It is a gospel that comforts me beyond words. (Today’s gospel wasn’t comforting to me; today I wasn’t paying attention at all. I suck.)

    Amy–I threw out his plot in my head and made it me. Then I cried cried cried. What part are you at? You can email me…this is a book I’d love to talk about with someone. It hurt me to read it. But then I think I healed some too.

    Maureen again. I’m so sorry that life is hard. My dad’s AS, and it makes me want to KILL him most times. You are a brave, wonderful woman who loves and has the love of a brave, wonderful man (who sometimes acts likes a complete and total ass). You have held on this long through your love and determination, and with those 2 things you will (and have) moved mountains. I’m in awe of you. You move me.

  889. I am WAY behind on these comments now, like always. Once it goes over 600 or so I’m pretty much left in the dust. But Amy, I wanted to let you know I blogged about Jon and Kate and I am totally getting revved up for our visit. I think some J&K stalking is in order, what says you?

    Hope everyone is doing great. Hugs to all!

  890. Oopsy, I had to go and read up through the comments a little bit. I can relate to the crying in church thang. The first time I went to a silent Quaker service I was astounded at how powerful and emotional it was. I felt like I’d finally found my spiritual home. I just sat and cried for an hour.

  891. Polly! Always glad to hear from you!

    Haven? Sher? Kate? Jim? George?

    To name a few…miss you!

  892. Polly, I am excited beyond words for our adventure! I am ashamed at the amount of time I have spent on The Gosselin websites. Wow, people can really blog about them. AND THE INFORMATION they have is astounding! Of course I try not to believe everything I read…
    Molls, I am off to read more of The Shack and that is a fantastic idea to picture myself as Mack. I hope to finish it tonight so expect an email from me tomorrow:)

  893. I think I’ve said it before…the only REAL problem I have with Mack is sometimes it’s SO FREAKING obvious his only reason for existence in the story is to say things like, “Really, Lord? What does that mean?” Which I think sounds SO contrived. Even though I was thinking it myself.

    Yes, boys and girls, I’m a hypocrite for not liking a character because he says things I think…

    I’d really like to know what Cassie or Langston would have said to God in this book. Wooo weee. Woulda been awesome.

  894. Kittery:
    the two cocker spamiels we have now are black and black and white. My first was Buff and she was called Nikki and was ‘my’ girl, in that she slept with me and followed me around. These two we have now are both rescue dogs and male dogs and they are really Dana’s boys…they sleep with me only when he is on one of his canoe trips…I miss Nikki. We don’t all sleep in one big communal bed because I snore so badly I could wake the dead.
    Good to hear your filters are in place, Bug…I am a worrying mother type, so don’t you go getting hurt, you hear?!
    LOL
    Brenda

  895. Brenda–I’m singing some Elton John/Ki Kee Dee “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

  896. Brenda has rescue dogs, I love her:)

  897. All my dogs are rescue…love me too?

  898. Hi everyone. Emma and I are safely back in Nashville. Emma got another acceptance letter – this one is for Rhodes College in Memphis. This will be a big week as she should get the other 5 before the week is over. Pretty exciting.

    Well, I’m tired and we have work/school tomorrow so I need to go. Good night.

  899. YAY for Emma! In my house, we’d say “Kermit arms!!!” meaing of course, how Kermit throws his arms up in the air when he gets excited… :)

    Glad you’re home safe!

  900. AMY in ohio – if you have to put the house on the market – a non-color (a/k/a offwhite) is the only choice – it sucks, I’m so sorry to hear that. we did that at the other house and it took 10 months to sell it and I was ready for a foam room after living in ivory for months.

    day one of new house – we painted claire’s room: tangerine and bibibbidy-bobbidy-blue, Lauren’s was Purplelicious, and Dylan’s Biltmore Library Blue . . . downstairs we have teal and metallic teal and rosemary green . . . i feel like I am floating now . . . color is a must for sanity.

    busy with kids and spring, planted tomatoes and herbs today . . . loving it. Claire planted her very own cherry tree . . .

    working tomorrow and then revving up for the company that descences on Wednesday . . .

  901. Brenda, beautiful .. I wish I had a pup right now..

  902. Puppy breath is only second to baby breath. :-)

  903. :: smiles ::

  904. I am missed??

    Let’s get up to speed.

    I thought J. had appendicitis the other night…turned out to be his first stitch. Kids never been active enough to have one before!

    I am cleaning my bedroom…wow…turns out I have a lot of cute clothes. I just haven’t seen them because they’ve been piled up in my bedroom for 6 months. Too bad winter is over now. My bedroom looks like a temple to Hekate, but it’s getting better. I am trying to find a measure of control in my life so I can devote my free time to art instead of freakouts. If you haven’t read Sher’s recent blog you should…just the kick in the pants I need.

    I CAN’T WAIT FOR DURHAM!!!!

  905. Lazy children. Jack just asked if he could have a drumstick icecream. I said yes. He said ” can you get it for me”?
    Its safe to say Jack will never have a stitch.

  906. You and me, Jack…wait on me and I’ll love you forever.
    Bedtime.
    sweet dreams,
    Brenda

  907. If there were drumsticks in the house, I’d be eating one for breakfast. I guarantee it.

  908. However, I frequently get stitches as I chase my Hoover (basset hound) hither and yon when he escapes…

  909. Molly, I’m off to sleep but just wanted to say how over the moon I am for you! Lucky Greg. Will you be posting updates every night when you go to Japan? As you will be an object of wonder, I just know you’ll have many excellent and diverting tales to tell. Anyway, again, I’m just so happy for you, my sweet!

  910. Good night, Carrie! Yes, I will post as often as I’m able. And I’m sure to be creating facebook albums left and right. :)I’ve been promised Mt. Fuji and the Great Buddha. WOOT!

  911. Oh, hey! Are you guys still there?

  912. I am playing around with a new blog, as a way to keep from eating off my hand during the new round of agent querying. It is kind of linked to my book of Asperger essays. I’d be grateful for any feedback.

    http://lovingthetasmaniandevil.wordpress.com/

    Do you think we could get Haven (or Scott) to change the name of this post to Durham, I’m Coming to You?

  913. I just read that Sylvia Plath’s son commited suicide. Terrible isn’t it?

  914. The Bell Jar is one of Lauren’s book requests . . .

    she’s growing up.

    I’m headed into Nashville to work on art show paperwork . . . I am beyond braindead this morning so this should be interesting.

    I’m so glad everybody enjoyed my last blog posting . . . it is encouraging to have a few moments of divine intervention . . . I get a little worried when some of my ‘ah-ha’ moments might seem to be conflicting – but I must follow the muse. Because they are all true: you are marinating in creativity when you are just listening and observing, filling up your bag of tricks, so to speak, but then if you never sit down to work, there is no way for the inspiration to come . ..

    “Verily I say unto you (I hear this in my head) – sit thy ass down and deal with your problem, try this way and that way to solve it, and I, the Sophia of Wisdom, will meet you there . . . at the worktable. Not, however, will meet you in the bed, or on the couch whilst you view Twilight for the third time – I will meet you with your wax pre-heated and your hands busy . . . “.

    Yes, I am loosing my mind.

    Kate – “a temple to Hecate” – brilliant analogy!!!!

    I was ruminating ont he need to declutter this morning – including decluttering my Facebook, etc. we shall see what comes of this urge . . . possibly all historical figures will be de-friended and only my current friends will remain (which includes all the BB’s!!!) – that is me – ditching the High School remnants for my real life . . . those days were like the dredges of my ‘horror movie history’ and WHY would I want to stay linked to that . . . I think I shall pull a Trace and make them disappear into the ether.

  915. Polly,

    I was just skimming your blog and um hello, we have the SAME BIRTHDAY!

  916. I love your new blog look, Sher! Maureen- your new one is neat. Thanks for the link.

    Back in the office today. I am trying to stay positive.

    My campus minister friend, Jennifer, shared these words from Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh:

    “Our true home is in the present moment.
    To live in the present moment is a miracle.
    The miracle is not to walk on water.
    The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.
    Peace is all around us–
    in the world and in nature–
    and within us–
    in our bodies and our spirits.
    Once we learn to touch this peace,
    we will be healed and transformed.
    It is not a matter of faith;
    it is a matter of practice.”

  917. Beautiful post, Linda.

    …and hello everyone.

    I am in Vegas. Working. Yes, working, so no snide comments, please? I am $10 up on the tables, however. Just thought I would mention that.

  918. Can you put a dollar down for me, George? I’d be happy to repay you next month. :)

  919. Linda, those last two lines shook me side to side like one of those big-bells as tall as I am might or like the Coyote after the Roadrunner got him good (woogadda-woogada). Thank you for this.

    Crossed fingers for Bryn Mawr. Emma must be beside herself with all the validation she’s getting in the mail.

    Also: isn’t your one-year anniversary sometime next month? What is the date, please?

  920. My sweet daughter is nervous right now. She will do well wherever she goes – and all these opportunities are good ones. It is just the not knowing and still having to wait that is stressing her out!

    My one-year anniversary is April 23. Thanks for remembering. You are all too nice to me.

  921. Linda –
    I am a big fan of Thich Nhat Hanh so I recognized that as from Living Buddha, Living Christ, which is available read aloud by Ben Kingsley. Really a fabulously cool book. I also like The Miracle of Mindfulness.
    Thank you for that.

  922. Maureen — I’ve been so sorry to hear of your awful past couple weeks. I hope you’re being as good to yourself as you can manage. — I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately as I’ve been listening to Carolyn Myss on CD. You are absolutely on the money about her voice. There’s anger and contempt in it that really surprised me, given the content of everything she’s written. I’m not ready to write her off altogether, as her writing is still so considered and insightful, but I talked to a friend who has been on the Myss trail for the past 20 years, and even she (patient and serene she) agreed. Such a disconnect there.

    Sher, your blog looks FABULOUS. And your posting of yesterday and today’s follow-up here (up above), well, I’m going to start reading these two posts at the beginning of every day. — So happy for you that you got results you love this weekend.

    Hello, Caryl my sweet! I’m so impressed (as are we all) with your project manager skills!

  923. George! I missed your comment up there — you’re up $10? Better than most. Hope you don’t have to work the whole time.

  924. I just changed my gravatar photo. Now how do I get it to show up here? Someone explained this to me before -about updating or refreshing something on my computer – but I cannot for the life of me remember what to do.

  925. Linda — it’s Ctrl + Shft + Del on a PC, in Mozilla, then F5 to refresh. In IE, I’ll bet clicking the Delete Files button in the General tab of Tools > Internet Options would work. You’re not replacing your sweet face, are you?

  926. That would be replacing the black doggie photo I think . . . I am more fried in the brain . . . what is really fearful to me is that I am considered one of the more “pulled together’ individuals in my circle of art friends . . . what makes me cackle because I feel like I am running on 2 flat wheels most of the time . . . I guess it is all in the maneuvering and in your pit crew – you are all my pit crew!!!!

    So BIG mucho day today . . . I have lots to share but I have deadlines – the flames are licking my buttocks as we speak . . . tonight would be a good night for insomnia so I can catch up (ketchup) . . .

    What did the baby tomato say to Mommy tomato?

    “Mommy, let me ketchup!!!!”

    that is my life in a squirt bottle . . .

    yippee for Emma . . . oh the days!

    ok – john and kate the finale!!! what the quan??!!!!

    interesting . . . I am rivited (sp?)

    later alligators!!!

    WHERE is Haven, we need to warm up for our Durham retreat, we need a Haven Fest!!!!

  927. Ta da! Thanks, Carrie!

  928. Aw haw!!!! just attempted to update my gravatar, too!!! with my peacock hair . . . hope it works!

  929. This is SO sad! I don’t even know what to say. It’s another terrible loss for that family.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29836292/?GT1=43001

  930. I am so saddened. The story linked to tells quite a legacy of family suicide and despair. I guess it must be breaking news since I don’t see anything about it here.

  931. I wish I could stay up and discuss the news about Nicholas Hughes tonight, but I can’t because of work tomorrow morning. Take care everyone, and let’s be reminded of the many blessings we all have to be thankful for. Love to all.

  932. Thank you Polly, for attaching the above like. How sad that this family has had to endure this tragedy again. I have to add though, Assia Wevel was not Ted Hughes second wife, she was his lover.

  933. And the mother of his daughter. Who she killed when she committed suicide.

  934. Amy in Ohio – Please come to Durham. Please. I always wanted a sister. Skip work, do what you have to do. You know we will have fun. Oh, and here is an Enimen tip – he is inducing Run DMC into the Hall of Fame next month.

    Bug – My professor friend went to Japan last summer to give a lecture … and brought back a bunch of hand wipes/tissues that people gave to her on the street. Long story short, she gives a bunch to her young cousins … and they were filled with pron. OMG we had a laugh about that! So, be careful what you pass out to your friends.

  935. Porn, I meant porn. Can not spell past midnight!

  936. my new gravatar isn’t working and I am mad . . .

    going to bed for a few hours, after editing 300 pages of email contacts . . . arghhhhh, contractor here in the morning…………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    see ya soon!!!!!!!!1

  937. Porn? HI-larious!

    Damn, I want one of those drumsticks we were talking about yesterday…

  938. To my knowledge he married Wevel, so she was his second wife.

    Eminem? Am I not the only Eminem fan here? I love Eminem. Can’t wait for his new cd. (Not into the Fifty Cent tho. I like Eminem’s music a lot better than his producing.)

  939. Good morning friends.

    Can’t say that I am a fan of Eminem. Sorry. But, not everyone loves my Texas music, either! Variety makes the world interesting, yes?! :)

  940. I am very unwilling awake!

  941. Linda, I love everything from nasty rap music to Loretta Lynn. Music is such a wonderful spice of life!
    After I saw the movie 8 mile, I had my bags packed to knock down Eminem’s door and profess my love.
    Then again, this past weekend I watched 25th Hour with Edward Norton WHOM I WORSHIP and realized I love him in movies where he is bloody and fighting ( ie. Fight Club /American History X /25th Hour)so I think I like men who are badasses.

  942. Sher – Wow! – Your hair! Awesome! – Did you post a bigger version of that picture somewhere? I want to see it in detail.

    I have a funny condom story to share. Yesterday morning I was getting socks out of my closet, where I keep them in a huge wicker basket. I moved the basket to the side to get a stray sock and found on the floor three folded-up papers, inserts from a package of Lifestyles condoms.

    Salient point here: I had my tubes tied 12 years ago during my third and final C-section. We as a couple have not needed condoms for 12 years (much more fun without worrying about that). And this closet did not exist the last time we used them.

    So … having just had a huge fight with my husband the previous day, my hormone-deficient brain jumped to a very very bad conclusion that these papers had fallen out of my husband’s pocket and that his “fishing trips” of late had involved more than fishing.

    Now, this was completely irrational on my part. If there is one huge benefit to having an Aspergian husband, it is that loyalty is absolutely absolute. This is part of the black-and-white thinking that sometimes drives me mad. In this case I forgot that I know this to be foundationally true about my spouse. Of all the issues with Asperger’s, infidelity is one issue that IS NOT and NEVER WILL BE A PROBLEM.

    But … sociopath that I was at the moment, I left the papers on his desk with a note: “What kind of fishing are THESE used for”. He called me later in the day, laughing, saying surely I could not be serious and that one of the kids must have left them there.

    I asked Middle and he just started to laugh incredulously and said they didn’t come from him. We finally got Youngest to fess up. He had found them in the bathroom at the YMCA and stashed them in his backpack out of curiosity. (I suddenly remembered him asking me a question about condoms a week or so ago). He had dropped them in our closet hoping I would find them and then start up a conversation about it (as I am wont to do – we are nothing if not frank in our household). He was just curious about the whole topic.

    It all ended with much giggling. When Youngest finally realized why I had been so upset, he said, “Seriously, Mom, you know Dad wouldn’t fool around on you.”

    Ah, life is such a roller-coaster ride.

  943. LOL !

  944. Hilarious. Maureen is back people!

  945. Maureen – fabulous condom story . . . off for a quick lunch meeting and then groceery shopping for my huge family descending . . .

    toodles

  946. FIGHT CLUB is my FAVORITE MOVIE!!

  947. Sher, I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

  948. I think Edward Norton is even hotter than Brad Pitt in Fight Club…welll..no, yes, he is definitely hotter.

  949. Sher, you join Jim Shue and I ( oh and Molly and Caryl)in having excellent taste in movies!

  950. JIm Shue and me..

  951. Love the condom story. Maureen, where did you see Sher’s hair pic? I have the gravatar with baby Claire (that is Claire when she was a wee tot, right Sher?)

  952. Maureen, that story is excellent. “What kind of fishing are THESE used for?” Hahaha.

  953. It’s official . . . I officially ask Jim Shue to be MY gay boyfriend . . . George is just EVERYBODY’s boyfriend!

  954. Amy, I have loved Eminem forever, and Edward Norton is my other big crush. Like Minds.
    Polly, I read the biography of Assia Wevil, but I am always up for being wrong. Lets ask Haven when she gets back. :)

  955. Wow, I just reread my previous post and I sound like I am picking a fight. Polly I love you, and you are probably right, I tend to miss half of what I read anyway. xoxo

  956. caryl, i hope you see this. i will be at the reading (most likely) but i will not be able to attend the lunch you are hosting due to work. though, truly, i think you are WONDERFUL for doing that. i hope everyone has a great time!

  957. Hello-I’ve missed about 250 comments so it’s tough to jump in! I see that I have to share my secret blog boyfriend, George, with everyone. It seems he has a big enough heart for all of us, so okay.

    I’m also a fellow Virgo–but the worst kind. I’m such a perfectionist that everything is messy…can’t do it the perfect way I think it should be so I just won’t do it at all. The Husband was neat when he met me but he has since acquiesced. Hope I spelled that right.

    I love sarcasm…as in “What kind of fishing are these used for?” Exactly what I would have said.

    Sher–your hair looks awesome and the avatar shows up with your new do.

    Finally, I’m still bummed I can’t go to Durham. It’s the kids’ spring break and we’ll be in Florida. I’m trying to figure out ways to sneak off and drive the 12 hours from Amelia Island on Thursday. It would be great if someone used that Flip camera to record it and post it on Yahoo!

  958. Hi Caryl, don’t you worry your sweet self about it. The article I linked to explained all of their relationships. I actually didn’t know they had married until I read that, although I knew she was the “other woman.”

    Amy, I just read more of the comments, and we have the same birthday? That’s so cool. You and me and Princess Diana. We’re moon children. Are you attracted to water? I can’t get enough of it. The ocean, pools, who cares as long as I’m in it. It’s so healing.

  959. Fight Club. Sigh. I am Jack’s raging bile duct.

  960. Polly, are you “water” in the Chinese Zodiac? I am, and the characteristics are freakishly, alarmingly accurate for me.

  961. I don’t know Shanna, I’ll have to check that out.

  962. i highly recommend these books to anyone interested in the plath/hughes arena:

    HER HUSBAND bio of ted hughes
    LOVER OF UNREASON bio of assia wevel
    BIRTHDAY POEMS ted hughes
    Ariel sylvia plath
    colossus sylvia plath
    the bell jar sylvia plath
    Crow Ted Hughes
    Method and Madness the life of sylvia plath

    it’s an incendiary topic, even after all this time. the suicide of plath’s son adds gasoline to the fire. so often in our society, it seems as though people say, “How sad…” all the while craning for a better look. the only certainty is that no one will know what really went on in any of these people’s lives: it can’t be captured. only the art is concrete, and that’s the way of it — and art’s interpretation is equally up for grabs. perhaps it’s that exact tension that helps keeps it all exciting and everyone participating.

  963. yes, we all miss haven, but she is doing her destiny. missing her here reminds me of the writing i should be doing. instead i’m not re-reading the Talisman because i want to refresh my memory for its sequel! Stephen King is not sufficiently lauded by the Literati, IMHO. we’ll see where he ends up 100 years from now. perhaps that’s the litmus test. i’m also salivating over the fact that there’s a new elizabeth berg coming in May. um — yes — when is HER Pulitzer coming, as well? it matters not: they are such favorites of mine i inwardly grant them ENORMOUS VELVET CROWNS.
    oh and btw, a friend just read the copy of COUCH i gave her and she went out of her mind telling me how gorgeous it is. now she’s hooked for life. another Kimmel fan enters the club! yay. don;t we envy those who haven;t read haven’s books yet. they get that virgin high. oooooo-eeeeee!

  964. I don’t know what I found more funnier … Maureen’s youngest son’s ploy to start a conversation about condoms by slying dropping a few in her closet or the fact many of you love Eminem, Ed Norton and Fight Club. I love serious literature and pop culture. I thought I was one of a small tribe but happy to know there are other who have my same blood.

    I love Ed Norton with all my soul. I just said to my husband last night that I wish Ed Norton was in more movies and I wish he could win an Oscar. He is fantastic in everything he does and yes, he is sexy as hell in Fight Club. Mmmm … I wish he could come to Durham next month … got my own room with a king bed … lol. Its late and I need to go to bed before my mind goes into the gutter completly …

    Amy from Ohio – I know a little about Eminem and if you come to Durham I will share all of it.

  965. Maureen!!! OMG, I have got to somehow introduce you to my friend and fellow farm dweller/teacher Pat…You remind me so much of her…you make me miss her…she, lucky soul, is touring Italy this week with her sister….because her norwegian batchelor farmer husband doesn’t like to travel so far. What a hoot.
    Sher..I still see baby Claire…hugs and baby cheek smooches. I am such a sentimentalist when it comes to babies and puppies, it’s just embarrassing. What the hell, at work they know me for my sarcasm, so hey, it evens out.
    and Sher, my one and only gay boyfriend was the music player at my wedding and now sadly, I don’t know where he is…his name is too common to google. too sad and I think about him often….but I’ll hold the coat-tails of Jim or George…Hey..George isn’t gay..he’s just everyone’s boyfriend, right?
    Jim Shue..hugs and kisses to the Princess.
    Brenda

  966. Lover Of Unreason was an amazing book. Tell me about the new STephen King, Suzanne.

  967. I was so intoxicated by our Fight Club references that I downloaded it and watched it–again–and all I have to say about that is: “I want to put a bullet in the head of every panda who won’t screw to save his species.”

    And Suzanne, your posts always make me happy.

  968. My favorite FC line: “You were the worst thing that ever happend to me.”

    aw.

    I have major big sharing items, but I am literally falling over . . .

    bum….that was me toppling

    this day has been so long . . . just a few highlights

    contractor built my wall for my new studio office/bedroom!!!! . . . I worked on new work for 5 hours . . . went to lunch with said contractor and was referred as ‘the lady with 3 hair colors, and peacock girl”

    super attacked Super Target for crap I didn’t need…

    ran home for camera and webcame thingy . . .

    made it to Claire’s school in time to watch her read to the class “the Real Story of the Three Pigs” which I took pictures and videod on the webcam thingy . . .

    home again . . . picked up where I left off on editing 200 pages of email contacts . . . stopped at 11:30 . . . made the mistake of checking email

    found my 3 reviews forwarded which happened in january and now I am crying because they are so beautiful and more than 1 person gets me . . . plus I get to share it right now . . . I come here before I even visit my own blog . . .

    must sleep before I go boom again.

    tomorrow is another day. oops, it is already tomorrow, I therefore missed yesterday’s tomorrow already . . . but the day after this day with be Friday’s yesterday, I think.

  969. Ok – have to share the first 3 paragraphs of the Vernooy Review:

    begin Vernooy quote:

    Scientific progress makes moral progress a necessity; for if man’s power is increased, the checks that restrain him from abusing it must be strengthened.
    — Madame de Stael, 1835

    As molecular medicine, genetic manipulation, cloning, and stem cell research their rapid progress so too must the morality and ethics that assist in governing their boundaries. Through an examination of the grey area between enhancement and therapy, necessity and desire, parent and child, the nine artists participating in Take Care: The Art, Science, and Bioethics of Motherhood reveal that there is no definitive right answer to the question of biotechnological advancement. It is the informed dialogue that is paramount. The political philosopher Michael J. Sandel writes, “Breakthroughs in genetics present us with a promise and a predicament. The promise is that we may soon be able to treat and prevent a host of debilitating diseases. The predicament is that our newfound genetic knowledge may also enable us to manipulate our own nature…to make ourselves ‘better than well.’” Caught in the middle of this is the mother whose fundamental need to create, protect, and support her offspring to the best of her ability has to contend with biotechnology’s possible repercussions While scientists are driven by the aspirations of discovery and improvement, the artists serve as the cultural conscience, helping to explicate the complex and question the ramifications of a science that will pervade social, political, cultural, and self beliefs.

    Both Sher Fick and Lindsay Obermeyer examine normality and the question of enhancement versus therapy. But what is normal? In May 2008 USA Today reported that 51% of Americans were taking at least one prescription drug for a chronic condition, a 50% increase since 2001. In 7 years time, maintaining a certain standard of health by taking daily medication had become the norm. In Coping Skills Sher Fick constructed a table to hold all of the medication she has consumed in her “pursuit of physical and mental health;” prescriptions that enable Fick to become, and remain, an attentive, present mother. The structure exists as both an altar and a vanity. The mirrored shelf implies a dressing table that might hold cosmetic goods. Yet, the artist challenges this notion by carefully encasing each medication in a finely made quilt with suture seams. The preciousness or fragility implied by these colorful coverings can be attributed to either the medication itself or, more likely, the medicine taker. The coverings themselves contain varied images of skulls, religious imagery, monetary symbols, band-aids, plant life, 1950s children playing, and Frida Kahlo, who suffered a tragic miscarriage. The vibrancy and symbolism along with the altar itself suggest Dia de Los Muertos, a celebration that honors lost loved ones. Could it be that the artist is commemorating her past self and simultaneously rejoicing in the person these pharmaceuticals have allowed her to become?

    . . . end Vernooy quote

    Note: there are 2 more spectacular reviews on the show/my work . . . I am in heaven . . .

    but tired!

  970. Congrats Sher, this is so exciting!

  971. and, that was just the part about me . . . will post all of it on my blog tomorrow.

    I think she got it, don’t ya think? ;)

  972. Wow, that is really great, Sher. Congratulations. Where is the exhibit? Can I see it?

  973. G from G, I love how you are bribing me with Eminem info…you are a sneaky,sneaky lady! Alas, I will be fired if I do not arrive ( and stay in PA) for the scheduled 2 weeks. Plus, Polly and I are stalking the Gosselin’s so hopefully I will have some good gossip for you when I return. And besides, I am only 2.5 hours away from Detroit so we will have to meet half way sometime for a meal so we can chat.

  974. Amy: how fast do you drive? Just considering the options…

  975. Also, a bucketful of confetti for Sher. I can’t imagine how gratified you must feel. Congratulations and good on you and can’t wait to read the rest!

  976. WOW…SHER!!!

  977. BTW: a little movement on the creative front — I made an “under construction” page for my best Vicki (who so generously shares her glass studio with me). I am very gently attempting to encourage her to try and sell something — part of the reason I’m putting up an Etsy site (she said she would if I would). I hope to have it filled out in a week or two. Isn’t she talented?

    http://www.vickibead.com/

  978. Carrie, I drive like 75 mph. And I tend to round down on things such as time and price. Soooo,really from my office to the Detroit airport it is 3 hours. I think I am in Detroit once I leave Toledo ( thus the 2.5 hours) because I AM ALMOST THERE:)

  979. Oh Amy, where are the hydraulic travel tubes we were promised? The personal hovercraft?

  980. Carrie!!! VickiBead – the website looks gorgeous!!! the jewelry GORGEOUS . . . and get this, I have tax money right now, so get those Etsy shops open.

    And John M – I’m still waiting to hear a price on one of your pendants- yes???

    I must clean my house, cook, shop and all I want to do is sit and blog all day . . . so I will have to suffice with peeking in a out all day . . .

    thanks for the congrats!

    for now, the only place to see TAKE CARE is: http://www.n-cap.org/take_care.html because it is packed away in crates awaiting the big opening whic is now in 2010 . . . location for Nashville will be Ruby Green Contemporary Art Center which we have thanks to a great Andy Warhol Development Grant . . . yippee . . . but I will be having a solo show in Nashville this year . . . still working out dates . . . it will be ALL NEW WORK . . . will keep you posted. Other locations coming up: Florida, Pennsylvania, California . . . contracts are in the works for the travel dates . . .

  981. Ahh, wouldn’t that be lovely? I am still waiting for the vehicle that drives itself so I can take a nap traveling to and from work.

  982. also – Ray Liotta is pretty hot!

  983. Well, yes, yes he is. And so’s your peacock hair.

  984. Right, Amy? If we had electric cars, I’ll bet the protective force field concept I’ve always dreamed about (bumper cars without the contact) would be so much more doable. And if they hovered, so much less road maintenance. (I dream in JetsonView.)

    Thanks, Sher — the content made it nearly impossible to make an ugly page. She’s amazing. The banner is a mask over a picture of an amulet she wove me out of tiny golden beads, years ago. I’ve been getting extraordinary pieces from her for years. She gives everything, everything away.

  985. Tell her I will PAY FOR SOMETHING . . . then slip on one of your beads as a collaborative piece!!!!! No, I’ll just buy two things and put your bead on a silken cord around my neck or wrist . . . I love silken cords . . . reminds me of the silken tent, which is my ALL TIME favorite poem (except perhaps, Haven’s poems)

    The Silken Tent

    She is as in a field a silken tent
    At midday when the sunny summer breeze
    Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
    So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
    And its supporting central cedar pole,
    That is its pinnacle to heavenward
    And signifies the sureness of the soul,
    Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
    But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
    By countless silken ties of love and thought
    To every thing on earth the compass round,
    And only by one’s going slightly taut
    In the capriciousness of summer air
    Is of the slightlest bondage made aware.

    Robert Frost

    isn’t that exquisite?

  986. let’s do some more poetry . . .

    ok, love collection for carrie to pay for a ticket to Durham . . . she must, must, must come!

  987. my husband says I might want to have some light on in the room when I use my webcam!!! ha – I am a vampire, only use lights in the studio

  988. Exquisite understates — thank you for that, Sher.

    And oh how I’d love to come to Durham, but unfortunately it’s not the money, but that I went to Delaware a couple weeks ago and put off projects to do it, so my work schedule now won’t permit. I’m so sad about it, but the choice was go and see a dear friend (we go back to our early 20s) in what’s likely to be her last star turn, or go to Durham. I’ll be haunting you all, though!

  989. sher: congatulations. we all know you’re great, and now the world is discovering you. i’m so proud and i am so glad you can FEEL AND APPRECIATE your good reviews. so many artists just can’t.

    big hugs and admiration!!!!!!!!!!!!! i’m thrilled for you. xoxo sfc

  990. caryl: the new stephen king duma keys is excellent. the sequel to the Talisman isnt new, but it’s new to me. the Talisman gets pretty gross at the end, but for King, i withstand it. i’m halfway through it, again. plus i ordered the audio version of his book on writing, because i love hearing authors discuss their work/process. WORD BY WORD by anne lamott on audio is fabulous!!!!

  991. JIM SHUE i love you. just wanted to say that i havent forgotten that you are my new best male friend. you are. XXOOXOXO SFC please email me and tell me how you’re doing!!! xo sfc

  992. A FOOLPROOF trick for the financially challenged: go to Target and buy everything you think might look cute on you. go home, turn on dancing music really high. try all the clothes on. return everything except one item. IT WORKS. i’m just about to put on the new NEKO CASE CD and try on ten dresses/things.

  993. Target is the perfect place . . . for everything.

    ok, carrie I hereby accept that you can’t come to Durham – so we will just have to meet up on a later date and I know how to use my webcam so we can send a lot of LIVE action . . .

    note: I am still not cleaning nor am I cooking or shopping . . . this is getting dangerous . . .

  994. Yea Sher!

  995. G from G, I can’t come to Durham. Any chance of your spilling the E scoop via email? I’m not above begging. And I have some underground Eminem CDs I can share with my fellow E hardcorers.

    Sher, you readoing the True Story of the Three Little Pigs book? Classic.

    Love the Target.

  996. Suzanne, where is Haven? Hopefully no more health problems.

  997. ok – i’m pulling it together . . . grocery shopped and Target shopped (bought only 1 item today – miracle) . . . the italian beef is in the crockpot, the homemade carrot cake is baking . . . no beds are made . . . but I’m getting there . . .

    Haven is writing, I believe . . . or editing . . .

    the real story of the 3 little pigs is a kids’ book and it is hysterical . . . from the big bad wolf’s point of view . . . and all he wanted was a cup of sugar to bake a cake for his granny . . . claire is good at reading this book after listening to Zippy for nigh on 6 months, daily . . .

  998. Sher – You are the F-in’ DUDE artist woman person!
    Is there a photo of that piece on the internet somewhere?

    I am drowning in good books right now. I am half-way through Wicked (thanks, Suzanne) and I just picked up The Hour I First Believed and Edward/Edgar? (I have a King Lear mind-scratch on that) Sawtelle. I can’t even decide which to read first. AND it’s time for the yearly re-reading of A Wrinkle in Time. Has to be done in late March (It was a dark and stormy night. In her attic bedroom, Meg Murray …..)

    I am seriously looking for an internet teach-from-home job because the public school gig is just taking me away from my reading chair and book pile way too much.

  999. Ooo! Oooo! I think I found it. Yes?

    http://www.neoimages.com/artwork.aspx?nid=2026174

  1000. Haven has been taken over by a migraine, but is on the mend. As usual these days she is also ass deep into finishing her book(s).

  1001. Emma was accepted to University of Chicago! She was the only one of her friends to get accepted. That makes it 5 accepts with 3 to go. Still keep your fingers crossed for Bryn Mawr (I really liked that one!) She should have all the decisions by Saturday. This is exhausting. LOL

  1002. Oh you guys give me faith after working with engineers all day I get to come home and discover your lovely comments and the poetry and the books and you guys are my faith. Thanks so much for being there….A Wrinkle In Time just gives me the shivers..I loved it so much as a child and a teenager I’m afraid to read it again…
    I will haunt you all with Carrie since it doesn’t look like the universe will give me the opportunity to send taxidermy in proxy.
    SHER!! What a lovely lovely lovely review!! Gave me teary-eyes, always a good thing. Any chances of appearances close to Arizona? Why do I have to live down here so far away (grumble grumble, little pity party).
    Now I have to go find the true story of the three little pigs…and still haven’t read the third Maguire.
    Is anyone watching the new t.v. show ‘Castle’ with Nathan Fillion in it? So far I’m liking it…he’s cute and it doesn’t take too many brain cells to watch at the end of a long day.
    I need to tap into Sher’s wellspring of boundless energy. Any ideas where I can find it?
    Suzanne! You make me want to get out my Mamma Mia tape and dance…damn, I lent it out…
    LOL y’all
    Brenda

  1003. Brenda…I was thrilled that my 9-year-old picked up A Wrinkle in Time and loved it. My girls also liked Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs is great fun.

    Just finished The Glass Castle and started Good Omens by Terry Pratchett. A friend tells me if I don’t like it we can’t be friends anymore…but no pressure.

  1004. Tired … miss Haven. I get headaches AND MIGRAINES all the time and today @ PT my therapist discovered my Myfascial Pain Syndrome is causing my front neck muscles to get knots … causing blurry vision, headaches, ear and jaw pain. (I’m TMJ free!) Getting a face massage hurt like hell but it helps with my darn daily headaches.

    So, point being, Haven, do you have any hernaited discs in your neck … I do and it causes trouble everywhere!

    Also, Polly and Amy in Ohio perhaps we can trade G. dirt for E. dirt. And Amy I live FAR from Detroit now … beleive me, when I moved away from 8 Mile Rd a few years back I went WAY north, lol. I could meet you sometime. BUT I PERFER IN DURHAM. Come for the night!!!

  1005. Maureen, the detective found the work on Neo Images – yes . . . also I am on London’s Saatchi Gallery site . . . I think the links are on my blog . . . I am bad, bad, bad about working on my own web identity. the main images are on the show’s website: http://www.n-cap.org/take_care.html but we don’t have all the reviews posted yet . . . and I didn’t get around to it today……

    what will happen is that at some point I will hibernate and sleep for 14 hours . . . whenever . . . maybe on Sunday is a good day.

    St. MO – hum, – do Wrinkle in Time . . . then I vote for the Wally Lamb, the Maguire, and then the Sawtelle – I am on the fence about sawtelle, loved some of it, disliked the ending and the first 1/4 of the book (which is a lot because it is like 800 pages???? the wally lamb is WAY heavy . . . but it is amazing – it also has a lot of history in it, almost like a time travel book . . . it is hard to describe.

    This is what my four year old niece, Emma, said to her mom:

    ‘Mommy, sometimes when you are trying to be funny you are not so much funny.’

    and claire, who is not on spring break, when to bed crying because her cousins are her and she had to go to bed ‘all by lonesome’ AND “why isn’t my school on b-b-b-aca-tions . . . ” . . . it was a travesty and a tragedy.

    after an entire day of cooking, the italian beef wasn’t ready and I had potato salad, carrot cake, buffalo wings and other unrelated items – so we ordered pizza and lasagna . . .

    so, I was a failure and none of the upstairs beds where ready for the family . . . I am losing my Martha Stewart gene . . . finally!

  1006. Morning, everyone. I have decided that I am psychologically on strike. From everything except loving my kids (and husband again) and reading.

  1007. Maureen, I think that’s a great idea. More power to you sister.
    I want to spend day with the Fick family. That is my next vacation.
    ADAM LAMBERT HAS STOLEN MY HEART and I am never looking back.
    I think I am going to throw a party with Adam Lambert, Ed Norton, and Nikki Sixx. And then I will die happy.
    I have THe Hour I first believed packed for my trip and I read Edgar Sawtelle a few weeks ago. It was so interesting but made me sad due to my dog obsession.

  1008. Amy – Tell me again your dates in Mechanicsville (burg?). My sis and I are firming up our trip plans. We do currently have reservations for the Wed before and the Thurs of at Washington Duke. If we end up driving, our room might be available for Wednesday night.

  1009. I will be there from March 29 ( Sunday) until April 10 (Friday). Polly and I are hanging out all day on April 4 ( Saturday.)

  1010. Amy, maybe my sis and I will drive as far as where you are Wednesday and then go the rest of the way on Thursday morning.

    Hey, another Elliot story for everyone:

    Elliot’s principal (a 20-year neighbor of mine, thank goodness) started laughing as I entered the office of Elliot’s school yesterday. Elliot and a classmate had been sent to her office for fighting earlier in the day.

    Elliot’s version is that two of his classmates had been looking at the menu for lunch – meatballs – and got into a discussion about the size of meatballs in comparison to their own balls. Elliot, ever the Social Avenger, tells them to stop being gross, and one of them shoves Elliot into a desk (he DOES have a huge bruise on his shoulder from this.)

    This message goes from Elliot’s shoulder to his spinal cord and back to his arms, never making it to the brain, and he launches himself full-force into the pusher and takes him down into a head-lock. The teacher (a young, former-wrestler himself) breaks them up and sends them both to the office.

    This is yet another example of The Elliot Code: he will NOT tattle, but will try to right the wrongs of his society, even if that means he must get physically involved. Sigh. I believe this is a lingering trait from his year as an Otter.

  1011. Maureen:
    Methinks I know what you’re talking about .. and .. you may be right. Otters are especially brave, sensible critters. :)

    And .. so what happened? Is the other kid getting punished? Elliot?

  1012. Ah Elliott, what a good kid he is!
    Just let me know Maureen! I will have access to my email the entire time.

  1013. No party tonight??

    I have company tomorrow and I’m doing the dreaded last minute cleaning…anyone want to call me and keep me entertained?

  1014. Carrie, where are you? I need your email again, to thank you in a big way for the lovely gift I received today. I am wearing my new earrings and they are beautiful. Did you make them you sweet lady? xoxo

  1015. Caryl! You got them! I finally made a new bead style last weekend that I was enthusiastic about, which is why you got it in your birthday month rather than your birthday week. I’m so glad you like them. xoxo email on its way…

  1016. Ah, Kate:
    Sorry I was not up to keep you company. I was just thinking yesterday that I need to submit another 80s quiz that Kate will most assuredly ace! Have fun with the guests.

    Gettin’ psyched for Durham!!!
    Like Molly, I have heard several times “You mean you are going to North Carolina to hang out with people you have never met?”
    And I reply, in my head, “I know these people better than most people I have seen in the flesh daily for years.”

  1017. Elliot Update –
    I think both boys – actually there were three involved – all got off with just a verbal warning. Elliot just stood mute and fell on the sword in front of the principal. He did not even say that he was NOT talking about his ball size.

    Lyle, my oldest, for some reason had a movie blitz at school and saw Gandhi, Life is Beautiful, and Ghosts of Mississippi all in the same week and came home with Gandhi as his new idol. Is this genetic? Andy was arrested numerous times for political activism during college.

  1018. Maureen, you have really amazing children. It seems everyone on the blog does.

  1019. Amy – Thanks. Unfortunately, Elliot’s and Lyle’s teachers and administrators don’t necessarily think their attitudes and actions constitute Good Citizenship.

    Lyle, for example, made me write an excuse for him to be dismissed today at 1:30 so he can escape Spirit Week frivolities. Why? “Because I hate my school” says he.
    I’m not sure exactly how to spin this for the college admissions folks. He mistrusts – like both of his parents – the gang mentality of sports events and group psychology. There is a reason two college grads started a farm. Misunderstood radicals,we.

  1020. Elliot is my new hero, too…..I loved that, Maureen…
    Today I have the hooky spooks as I just finished reading ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ Sue Monk Kid, and dreamt strange dreams last night, so had to put a black madonna on my desktop this morning and then a friend sent me St. Theresa’s prayer this morning and she KNOWS I’m not religious but that St.Theresa by Bernini is my most fav piece of sculpture almost…anyway…it’s just one of those quinkydink mornings.
    It probably didn’t help to be listening to Rachmaninoff’s Vespers on the cd player as I drove in to work.
    I think in a past life I was catholic.
    shocking.

  1021. Brenda –

    What did you think of The Secret Life of Bees? I put off reading it for a long time, and by then I had it so built up in my mind that I was a little underwhelmed. I loved the idea, I was just ready for the great American novel, stylistically. Man, do I sound like a snob, or what? As if I could ever write something like that.

    As a returned Catholic myself, it seems you are experiencing the odd between-worlds feel of life in the company of the saints! :-) Catholicism will spook you to death while it comforts, e.g. the confessional. I had to discover Thomas Merton and Flannery O’Connor to really embrace it all again.

    Can you all tell I’m playing hooky today? I needed a mental health day in the worst way.

  1022. Hello everyone,

    I got back to DC late last night from Vegas, where I had helped put on a conference.

    Ugh…feeling a little tired and a lot discombobulated and certainly overly-stimulated from the Vegas deal.

    I truly, truly detest that whole scene. It basically makes me sad:

    – Seeing these kids wearing World of Poker get-ups, walking around in their silly sunglasses, wannabes of the Royal Straight Flush

    – Seeing old grandma types at the penny slots, mindlessly pressing the button and watching the paylines and hoping the random number generator goes their way — just once!

    – Seeing the girls wearing their silly uniforms that are high cut on the thighs and low cut on the breasts as they wander the floors collecting and dispensing drink orders.

    – Getting overpriced breakfasts in sticky worn casino diners served from old, tired-looking women.

    – Standing in lines, lines, lines at the airport, at the taxi stand, at the buffet…

    One high point however. I went to see Bette Midler at Ceasar’s Palace. She was ever the Divine Miss M. Bawdy, but not salacious, bold, but not in your face, colorful, but definitely not neon…what a show she put on. A total explosion of color, music, wit, and, yes, nostalgia. She sang The Rose, Do You Wanna Dance (my favorite)…well, all of her stuff.

    I worked like a dog and the the three-hour time difference really threw me this time so I wasn’t on the blog.

    …that means I missed you guys, but I am caught up now!

    and glad to see you.

  1023. …oh, our final guest speaker at the conference was Robert Fulghum, author of All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I had a chance to talk to him and let him know how much the book had meant to my mother (and, hence, to me) following the death of my father.

    His talk to our members was so excellent and a real departure from the style of many “inspirational” speakers who offer their giddiness and loud volume over the true existential gladness and quiet substance that Fulghum delivered.

    I wished you all were in that audience.

    I wished you all could have heard his heart-felt testimony at the end of his talk where he expressed such a joy and feeling of blessedness that came over him one night when it was completely clear to him that he (read, all of us) are a part of something incredibly wonderful that is going on throughout the universe.

    So…I thought he was pretty good and I told him so, profusely and unabashedly. Kinda like some of the things we here in this blog say to one another!

  1024. George, you are … so cool … so George. I can’t wait to meet you.

    What was the nature of the convention? On whose behalf?

  1025. Hey Teach!

    I work for the rural electric cooperative association. These co-ops work like small utilities across the nation and end up delivering electricity to something like 47 million Americans…there is about 1,000 such co-ops across the nation. They own about half of the nation’s transmission system (the grid) and supply a goodly percentage of the power in this country. Together they employee more than 50,000 people from line crews to general flunkies like me.

    Each of the cooperatives are run by an elected board, so the meeting was for board members of the co-ops. Last month we had a meeting of about 10,000 in New Orleans.

    We talk about things like renewable energy, the rising costs of electricity, what the economic stimulus package might mean for cooperatives that want to upgrade their systems or participate in energy-related weatherization projects.

    I help out with the staging of these events, scripting, and the overall “look and feel.” I have lead forums on copper theft, energy efficiency, media relations, how to use the Internet…

    If I sound like I am bragging, I am.

    I support the non-profit cooperative business model under which we are organized. Our roots go back to Roosevelt era…and, of course, our product — electric power — makes everything happen.

    Rural electrics, despite being small and by definition out in the sticks, are actually on the cutting edge of a lot of technological developments going on in the power industry.

    To me, it’s pretty fascinating stuff, but to most people, it is really boring and people generally walk away from me at DC cocktail parties when I start talking about The Grid!

  1026. …this is my second career, after about 30 years in newspapers.

  1027. gad…I have about a million grammatical errors in that long post above…several serious subject-verb disagreements. forgive me, i know better.

  1028. Yea, George is home!
    I saw Elton John at Caesar’s in 2007 and was blown away. He was so insanely fabulous as was the theater.
    I cried like a little girl when he sang Daniel.

  1029. Oh, Amy, I am such a Daniel weeper! My older brother’s name is Daniel and he is very like Haven’s older bro – rather unapproachable. I just adored him as a girl. He bore much of the emotional brunt of growing up in an alcoholic family, and that song just makes me so sad.

    George – That is very cool and you have every right to be proud. I had a student last year who won some kind of leadership trip related to rural electrics. I remember helping him edit his college essay in which he talked about it and about his trip to Washington for a student convention related to that.

    One of my classes is for kids looking into Environmental Science careers, and we talk quite a bit about energy. We have one town in our county that runs its own electric and all the farmers in the area want to move there because their electric costs are about one-quarter ours under the mighty NYSEG.

  1030. AmyO:

    I don’t know if you remember Ryan White, the boy from Kokomo,Ind. who was temporarily banned from the local school after he contracted AIDs from contaminated blood.

    When I was with The Star, I wrote a lot of Ryan White stories, including his death and funeral. During that time, I had a chance to see and talk to Elton John up close. He was a close supporter of the White family.

    I felt like crying like a girl when he sang Goodbye Norma Jean at the funeral and everyone knew it was to that little, brave boy.

    I will add that I was interviewing Ryan and we were up in his room and Michael Jackson called him. I offered to leave the room but Ryan told me to stay and they talked about fishing.

    M.J. may be a whack job in many ways, but my own personal opinion of him has long been tempered from “hearing” that other side.

    Actually…that was the trouble with journalism. If you kept pursuing the story in an objective and detached manner, then pretty soon, if you remained open, but intellectually disciplined, the “other side” would soon appear.

    Of all the things that make me grateful to the craft of journalism, it is the entre’ it gave me to “the other side.”

  1031. George – That is very inspirational for my interest in getting Lyle (my oldest) interested in journalism. He was raised hearing almost nothing but NPR so he’s a liberal by dint of auditory bombardment. I was planning to take him to hear Newt Gingrich last night at Colgate. I try to check out the other side to stay balanced. But I ended up too tired to contemplate staying out until 10 PM.

    What you said about the other side reminds me of a Thich Naht Hahn statement that was very similar, and he was attempting to deal with the polarities of the Viet Nam War!

  1032. Well…to take it a step further…it’s not ONLY the other side, but the other “sides.” We truly live in a variegated world.

    I never bought into the idea of being objective in journalism, but I thought it was possible to take myself out of a story and I honestly thought I was good at it by sourcing a story with many points of view. Also, I tried to avoid the dualism caused by framing events, issues and people in “a-b” constructs or right versus wrong, liberal versus conservative, environmentalist versus polluter, gay versus straight, pro-life or pro-choice…and so on

    The A-B route is actually a very narrow pathway. Unfortunately, it is very crowded these days.

    That said, of course, there are some instances in the world where A-B is this case…I am thinking about genocide, war and the Boston Red Sox.

  1033. Oh George, that is incredible. Of course, I remember Ryan White. Wow, how wonderful that you were able to meet such an amazing person before he passed.

  1034. The key to Ryan White was that he was just a regular, completely normal kid from Indiana. He never considered himself to be a cause or a hero. The media attention made him seem so. He was no more heroic than thousands of kids who have life-threatening injuries or live in life-threatening circumstances. By the same measure, he was no less afraid, either. I liked him a lot, but I would have liked him had he had just been another kid I happened to meet and get to know.

  1035. He did seem that way. I mean, obviously I never met him, but I think people clung to him because he was just a kid who wanted to live a normal life.
    Wow, how far our country has come.

  1036. I disappeared. I’m sorry. Por form, Molly, poor form.

    Sher! Your reviews are phenomenal and no less than you deserve. Your art’s amazing. I’m so happy for you!

    George, I am glad you’re back!

    Mo–tired? Me too!!! Unfortunately, a mental health day is harder to plan than a regular day so I just suck it up. I’m also going to have to fudge some days the week after Durham because I have a friend coming down at the end of that week. THEN dad’s having another surgery. Happy happy joy joy.

    Now Greg wants to CLIMB Mt. Fuji with me. I’m scared. lol. Climb a mountain? Lord. I’ve got to start working out again….

    Sorry I ‘ve been absent! I love you though!

  1037. George:
    Anyone who uses the word discombobulated and loves Better Midler is my friend for LIFE!
    Maureen:
    I’m sorry you were underwhelmed by all the hype for ‘The Secret Life of Bees’…I know how you feel..I’m glad I had only heard about it from this blog and didn’t have any great expectations aside from the fact that it must be some kind of good since it was mentioned here…and I’ve tried to read Thomas Merton and just can’t do it yet…not ready to be really spiritual…maybe after I retire (2 years!!) and the implacable rationality of the civil engineer sloughs off of me, like a snake skin? Right now, I find it really hard to recognize even the possibility of a diety…..and yet I have goddess images all over my house, what’s with that…don’t think I am unaware of the irony!
    Teacher: Happy Happy mental health day…we love those.
    Gotta go, out of lunchtime..gotta watch the I.T. nazis at work ya know. :-)

  1038. Brenda, I never realized the pic of your sock monkey is reading The Used World!!

  1039. Brenda? You’re a civil engineer? You’re my friend for life.

  1040. Welcome back, George. Talking about saving electricity- Nashville is one of the cities participating in “Earth Hour” from 8:30 – 9:30 on Saturday night. The whole downtown will go dark for that one hour. Many of our colleges, including Vandy, are participating too. Should be kind of neat. I hope I can get my husband to turn off the t.v. and computer for one hour. Ugh.

  1041. Linda:

    Just go to your fuse box and pull the main breaker…you’ll have to reset the clocks, but hey, an hour’s releif from the tube…what’s that worth?

  1042. George- you are a genius.

  1043. oh…I think my wife would have a differing opinion on that genius remark

  1044. Here is a link to the Earth Hour site if anyone else wants to turn off their lights with me on Saturday night! http://www.earthhourus.org/main.php

  1045. Linda –
    Thanks for the reminder about earth hour. I’m there!

    Brenda – You’re a civil engineer! Too cool. I have had a few of my Environmental Science students end up going that route. I always make all my kids spend a few afternoons at their local water/wastewater facility so they can appreciate such work.

    Hey, I applied today for an online adjunct professor job through Empire State College. I am just REALLY feeling like I need a major change. I’m not jumping yet: who knows if they even need me and at least my current job is secure. I am just really burned out on the chaotic nature of my current job. It was fun for the first ten years, but not it’s just feeling chaotic.

    I am about half way through Wicked. I love it. I am new to Gregory Maguire. It reminds me a little of The Golden Compass the way it takes a somewhat familiar setting and makes it strangely new. I lack the kind of imagination that can create worlds out of thin air like that.

  1046. AMY!…that’s why he looks so happy!
    GEORGE and ALL..Nope, I’m not quite a civil engineer..just a civil engineering CADD tech…which just means I do the same work as they do for less money..they just review my plans and put their stamp on them. So always encourage your students to go as far as they can in college and get those degrees!! Always regretted not getting my licensce but I never saw my daughter during the day the way it was, so I just couldn’t add going to night school onto that. Besides, I fooled myself into thinking it wasn’t REALLY what I would do my whole life..I was going to be an artist after I could afford to quit..the trouble was, I never could afford it..raising a family…YOU know how that goes. sigh. But I love seeing girls go on to get engineering degrees now..there are so few of them.
    Sometimes I wonder what we went through the women’s lib movement for? Good Gad am I old or what? Next thing you know I’ll be claiming I walked miles to school through the snow and studied using kerosene lamps..are they allowed on Earth Hour?

  1047. Blogbabies – I have news ….

    *****I JUST BOUGHT MY TICKET. I IS COMING TO DURHAM!*****
    :D :D :D :D :D

  1048. Stephany, who many of you will meet in Durham, just came home from a journalist write off at a local university. She placed 2nd in critical review! She is floating right now and I am so proud my tummy is turning.

  1049. Brenda- what you do takes expertise. It is important and hard and you should not feel guilty for wanting to spend more time with your daughter!

    Speaking of daughters…. Emma was accepted at Bryn Mawr!

    Strangely, she received her first and only waitlist notification. From the institution her father and I have worked at for a combined service of over 40 years.

    I am not going to say anything negative about my employer….I am not going to say anything negative about my employer…….

  1050. Hurray for Stephany!! That is awesome. :)

  1051. Congratulations Emma! And Stephany!

  1052. Yay for the Girls!!
    Thanks, Linda
    and lucky lucky Kittery…I would be there if I had the vacation time to spare…

  1053. Linda what awesome news. I am so happy for Emma, I wish she and Steph could meet. Not that Sam is chopped liver!

  1054. I guess it is for the best that Vanderbilt did not accept her. She will probably want to go away to college. But still!!

  1055. Oh, hooray for Emma!!! That means you’ll be passing through New York periodically? Yes? Did she just immediately decide or is she still weighing her options? And what’s up with Vanderbilt? Grr…

    And hooray for Stephany – she will get to meet George, our official blog journalist?

    And hip-hip hooray that Kittery is joining the party!!

    Oh, what an evening of good news on the blog!! Man, I can’t wait to spend time with some women – and George. I am just utterly SURROUNDED by males all the time. My girl-brain has gotten rusty.

  1056. Yea Emma and Stephany!!!! And my sweet Kittery too, although I hate that I am not joining you!!!!!

  1057. Haven, you are getting tattoos?

    How about:

    One of a stadium full of cheering people, and in the back row, one small boy crying! Naaaa. Everybody has that one.

    How bout: One of a marshmallow peep – and underneath it is says: INVINCIBLE

    Or maybe one of an invisible peep, and underneath it it says: INVISIBLE

  1058. Great Hambones! Your blog’s icon-generator is depicting me as some sort of living green skirt with horns! And lobster pinchers! Are those hooves or high heels! Kimmel, I’ll see you in court!

  1059. Kimmel, you vile enchantess! I have somehow been transformed into the creature your blog suggests!
    Typing with these lobster claws is difficult at best!

    I guess I will have to buy an RV and tour the State Fair Circui down South. See you there.

  1060. I’ve been kidnapped by rabid nieces . . . and my very own daughter who has turned into a frantic dervish . . . and I am unwillingly and unenthusiastically taking them to the American Girl Store in Atlanta for the hand off – - – thank goodness my sister has been there elevate some of the squealing female energy . . . and – we figured out tonight that if we SIT on the WiiFit board (i.e. – on our asses) we can still do the table tilt and penquin game.

    We are unsure whether this is a valid ‘exercise’ or not, but we had a hoot of a time doing it. I don’t think I have laughed that hard in months . . . I’m sure we get some giggles while in Durham – that is if I can survive a live reading of Wolf at the Table . . . I am afraid I am going to get the Victorian ‘vapours’ and need smelling salts

    I will again be out of pocket and offline, probably until Sunday mid day . . . but I did set up my blog with some new postings to happen while I am in the etherworlds.

    How many bets on how much green gets flushed at the american girl store . . . who knew the doll needed ‘spa time’ . . . actual facials and hairdos???

    I am afeared.

  1061. nobody is up to play and I have to be gone again . . . guess I will just have to chatter with you-uns in Durham . . . in, now is it 10 days till the 7th????

  1062. Sher I love your hair, are you there?

  1063. Oh my…how American Girls has changed since I was a child…

  1064. THE WEATHER IS NICE HERE!!!! Sun, warmth (well, 60) and I have finally diagnosed my previous four weeks of malaise as Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is dissipating with the glimpse of spring.

    I have the house to MYSELF. Andy is off with Elliot and his buddy (my Owen Meany prototype) to go fishing on Cayuga Lake, Tristan is at Oliver rehearsal (one week to go), and Lyle is at his friend’s house.

    Andy just gave me the old and new versions of Astral Weeks (Van Morrison) for an early birthday present. So I am opening all the windows, cranking some Van, and cleaning the house. I am happier than a pig in shit. Really. The Moondance album was the soundtrack of our first making-out in Andy’s red pick-up truck (my first ever pick-up truck boyfriend). I gave Andy Moondance for his birthday (he lost the old cassette in one of the tractors years ago)

    Andy just turned 50!! Gads! I am having some sort of mid-life re-evaluation of my life. I realized this morning that when I took my current job, my boys were 6, 3, and 1. Now they are 16, 13, and 11, and I wonder why I feel I need a slight change? Life has changed a bit in ten years, no?

    I am hoping to hear back from Empire State College that I can work for them as an on-line adjunct. I cannot imagine a life wherein I did NOT have to get into my car and leave every day. I also realized that the training location for such adjuncts is a mere 25 miles from the Monks of New Skete Monastery (the dog monks), a place I have always wanted to visit.

    ALSO – Writers on the blog, if you are looking for a writing workshop, Colgate had extended its early application deadline for its last-week-of-June conference. This year’s writers are Peter Balakian, Jennifer Brice, Jon Clinch, Paul Cody, Justin Cronin, Alice Fulton, Brian Hall, J. Robert Lennon,
    Patrick O’Keeffe, Jennifer Pooley, David Thoreen, Bruce Smith, and Jennifer Smith. The campus is beautiful and the schedule is conducive to both work and partying with writers and agents and such.

    The website is http://groups.colgate.edu/cwc/index.htm

    If you come, I’ll bring you down for a tour of the farm!

  1065. Hi Matt!!!!! We’ve missed you!!

    Maureen- Bard College is the only school we have not heard back from and it was one of the first ones we visited. So, I am afraid it has dropped significantly down the interest list. That was the only NY school Emma applied to. My sense right now is that Univ of Chicago, Bryn Mawr, and Carleton are in the lead. Emma and her Dad will be in Minnesota the same time Sam and I are with you all in Durham. She will spend the night at both Macalester and Carleton so she can meet some students. It is going to be a tight race to the finish.

    I agree – what’s up with Vanderbilt? They say they want more students from Hume-Fogg since it is the top public high school in Nashville. Then they don’t accept one of the top 5 students. Their loss I say.

  1066. Linda – Stupid me – Bryn Mawr is in PA!! Well, still not too far.

    Nebraska Matt – I rather like the avatar, personally.

    I am now listening to Astral Weeks and have been TRANSPORTED back into my 20-something self. Odd. I see myself in my friend’s dorm room, paisley tapestries blowing in the breeze. Ah, those college days.

  1067. YAY for emma. bryn mawr was her destiny, thats why vanderbilt wait listed her.
    YAY for Stef — she’s on her way. the fact that she even CARES ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT BOYS at 16 is way cool. and to place 2nd in a journalisim competition? that’s power. i see her as the next christina amanpour. THE NEXTDIANNE SAWYER. YAY!
    YAY for george for loathing las vegas as much as i do. there’s a reason why stephen king staged the end of the world there in THE STAND.
    YAY for bette midler. oh my god. i love my DIVINE MISS M cd. when she sings Superstar, i lose my shit completely.
    YAY for elton john. i adore him. ive seen him live about 10 times. there is no better performer or vocalist alive; period. i WEEP at candle in the wind. also at MONA LISA AND MAD HATTERS. he’s a godgiven talent. oh the vocals…well, there was one man who i saw who was as good a vocalist as elton john — that was ray charles. my god.

    i’m completely losing my mind over the house sale, yes, i’ve gone past the red needle mark. the closer we get to an offer, the crazier i get. i’m sending my son to his best friend’s house for the weekend and having a bacchannal with my longtime lover tonight. it just seems the only way to reset the old brain and body. so think of me tonight, yall, sipping a cosmo and having sex all night with a tall dark italian. because that’s what i’ll be doing. i’m dry except when i see the Italian. hey, i’m no angel.

    EVERYBODY PRAY FOR AN OFFER ON MY HOUSE BEFORE I BECOME A RAVING LUNATIC.

    but seruousy? i think a night of complete debauchery is in order. SO BE IT. we’re having a four course italian meal just down the street from my house, he’s driving, so no worries. THANK GOD FOR MAD ITALIANS, is all i have to say. every girl should have one. he aint the marrying kind but thats okay. he’s stayed friends/lovers with mefor 3 years, and that aint whistling dixie.

    I NEED DISTRACTION, SEX AND LAUGHTER. CAN I GET AN AMEN?

  1068. Maureen, you sound as though you are having a blast. Good for you! I am off to the salon to get my hair highlighted ( as I have told you all before in STRICT CONFIDENCE that I am not a true blonde:) and then some last minutes errands before I leave tomorrow. The fiance cleaned the house spotless for me yesterdy as a surprise so I would be able to relax before my trip. How nice right? I think I am going to come home tonight, order Twilight on pay per view and have some wine. I am a liiiiiitle nervous about leaving for 2 weeks.

  1069. AMEN Suzanne!!!!!!!!!! You get down and dirty girl, yu deserve it.
    The first time I ever heard Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters I was ruined. Elton John is my ultimate. I truly love him as if he were family.

  1070. BREAKING NEWS: our Lady of perpetual kindness and beauty, Caryl, is coming up to SF the weekend of 4/24 to help me get my shit together and provide moral support. she’s bringing Jack, who is Pablo’s age, SO they wil be in pablo’s room playing electronic games, they will cancel each other out. YAY! GIRLTIME!. i love caryl like a sister already, and her hubby Peter is just as great. he’s been giving me $ advice on the whole house sale debacle. i dont know where caryl came from, but she’s a godsend. and only 60 minutes away, by plane. we will walk the goddess walk. we woN’t drink, because i dont have sex with women, and we’re both teetotlers now. but we will doubtless laugh uOr asses off and she’s gonna help be stage my house even better, and we’re going to attack the boxes i’ve already packed and get rid of 50% of all my useless crap so i’ll be traveling lighter to NC. i look forward to her, like Glinda the good witch. le’s hear it for CARYL!!!! yay.

  1071. Caryl – You rock! You are a blessed alighting angel.
    Suzanne – Hang in there! The goal is in sight! (And thanks for pushing me to Wicked – loving it!

    Amy – Happy highlights! Our lips are sealed.

    I am watching Dora the Explorer in Spanish. We got a satellite dish finally, but everything’s Spanish! (On purpose!)

    Gotta go get kid #2.

  1072. Amen, sister Suzanne!!!!

  1073. Mo, I was reading a copy of Rolling Stone at the salon and there was an article on Van Morrison and Astral Weeks!!! Weird!!
    Thank you lord for making people like Caryl. The world needs more of her in it.

  1074. Maureen- the acceptance letter from Bard College came to day. We are waiting on 4 financial aid offers.

    Mother Delonda- if you are reading this- can you please have your prayer group sit with this and tell me where the Lord would like her to go? Here are the choices:
    University of Chicago
    Bryn Mawr College (Phila, PA)
    Bard College (NY state)
    Rhodes College (Memphis)
    Macalester College (St. Paul, MN)
    Carleton College (Northfield, MN)
    Univ of Tn at Chattanooga (honors program)

    Remember that we live in Tennessee. Also, she wants to be a classics/Latin/English major.

    Ok, let us now pray….
    :)

  1075. It is so nice to come on here and feel the love. You are all too kind. I received the final part of the Durham gift bags in the mail today, and now it feels real. I am not going to talk of the trip anymore on here because if I weren’t going it would make me sad everytime I had to read about it. THAT IT BECAUSE I HAVE THE EMOTIONAL MATURITY OF A NINE YEAR OLD.

  1076. “genocide, war and the Boston Red Sox.”

    George, I do adore you.

  1077. Caryl, I have the emotional maturity of a 7 year old. I am so nervous about being away for 2 weeks that I haven’t eaten all day and um, my stomach has been giving me issues. I have traveled internationally loads of times but I have never left my house and MY DOGS for this long. And I have never traveled alone which I think is my biggest obstacle. I think I am 85 percent excited and 15 percent nervous. I know I am being silly. Pray for me guys!

  1078. Amy, this whole Durham trip had me TIED UP IN KNOTS. I am traveling alone with my children to Nashville, and then leaving my boys with my friends and traveling hours away for…I don’t know what. I tell people I am going on a writer’s retreat, because I don’t know what else to say. If Sher and Caryl hadn’t swooped in and made me feel like I could handle it I don’t know what I would have done. They are a couple of angels.

  1079. My point being…you aren’t the only person who gets scared. Eek! ADULT RESPONSIBILITIES!

  1080. Hi everyone! Miss you all and I’m getting excited for Durham!

    Amy in Ohio – I love that EJ song, too. Remember it in Almost Famous? Sigh. I love Cameron Crowe so much. Have fun on your wrok trip … come to Durham on the 10th. I’ll still be there that night!

  1081. Kate, thank you. I really needed to hear that. You will have so much fun, and so will I! We are brave girls, you and I!
    G from G, that is the first time I heard that song, when I watched Almost Famous! It is one of my most favorite movies. The first time I saw it ( I rented it) I hit rewind and watched it again as soon as it was done. Is there anything better than Russell saying” I’m never as good as when you’re there.”

  1082. Okay, peeps. This is Sheltered Baby’s first time on a plane …. and to make matters more interesting, I have a transfer at JFK (all the more opportunity to get hopelessly lost, lol).
    I welcome any and all advice, ranging from, “don’t worry” to “avoid the man that smells of tuna fish wearing a baseball cap – he stands by Gate 127″ .. really .. anything is appreciated. ;)
    Thanks!

  1083. I say, don’t worry! You will be fine! Enjoy the turbulence, it’s rather like driving on a gravel road!

  1084. Kate, I love you. Also? We get to meet in *TEN* days!

  1085. I KNOW!!!!!!!! SO EXCITING!

  1086. Amy in Ohio – Almost Famous is one hell of a good movie. I love music and this is the best movie I’ve ever scene that expresses what music meant to people back in the day. It really makes me miss the seventies. I grew up with Elton John and can probably sing every song @ a karaoke bar if required.

  1087. Okay I just read this and … seriously?

    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/shoe_screening.shtm

    No underwire bras?

  1088. Yeah, if I couldn’t wear an underwire bra I might never travel again.

    I’ve never had a problem, btw, and I always wear one.

  1089. Kittery, how exciting! (I was reading the comment trail backwards, so I commented on the TSA thing before I read that you were flying for the first time. A couple more tips:

    1. wear comfy shoes that you can slip on and off easily to go through screening and to hustle if your connection time is short.

    2. Are you checking a bag? If not, they still pretty strict in some locations abou the liquids being of the right size and in the proper bottles and bags. I haven’t had to do it lately, but in the past the screeners have made me throw away lip gloss and some other random “liquid” that I had in my bag. I travel pretty heavy (it seems to be a curse of getting older; when I was in my 20s I used to get on planes with just my purse; now I need a fricking wagon train just for a weekend),and I always check a bag, so I’ve gotten in the habit of dumping everything even remotely liquid from my purse into my checked bag.

  1090. This is enormously sweet and I must share it:
    My sister spent TEN DAYS finding a ticket to get from Corpus Christi to Syracuse (because I live in the stinkin’ boonies). She is arriving this coming Saturday at midnight to see Tristan in Oliver on Sunday and then she is spending the first part of next week shlepping along with me to work and meetings and then we are BLOWING OUT OF HERE by car to travel to Durham. My sis travels so much by plane for her work that she can’t abide the thought of flying AND she loves to drive. So … still finalizing the itinerary, but I do believe Amy in her cloister is right on our route, and perhaps Sarah will join us, and then on to Durham the next day.

    In preparation K read Running with Scissors AND Owen Meany (she has already read everything by Haven). She bought me both version of Astral Weeks, then read that I had already received them. But they are our soundtrack for the road trip.

    Anyway, this is to say that my sister is an absolute treat (deep and freaky, like us all) – she reads the blog but does not comment (K, I believe you better say hello, here, so as to be one of the official babies before the trip).

    I am switching avatars until then so you all don’t expect a Jersey cow to show up, mooing. AND I am actually socially shy, so I am preparing to allow my face to meet the faces that I will meet.

    Andy is tearing out our 50-year-old bathroom. His fishing boat has become quite a handy bargaining chip. “Oh, the bathroom WE ALL USE will be ‘expensive’? Ahem? Um, boat?”

  1091. I leave in an hour people. I will check back when I am safely in my room in PA.
    xoxox

  1092. Safe travels, Amy. And have fun!

    Kittery- Shanna had good suggestions. I put all my liquidy makeup items and my hand lotion (everything has to be 3 oz or less) in a sandwich size zip lock baggie. I just put it next to my purse in the tray that goes through the scanner. I have never had any problems and I travel a bit.

    As Kate said, just enjoy the experience. People are there to help you every step of the way. When you transfer plans at JFK just take your time. Look at the monitors. Ask people in uniform (there are lots of them- airport people, etc). Everyone is really in the same boat and I find people really are nice every where. Just don’t get stressed out. Seriously. Breath. Say the serenity prayer (it works for non alcoholics too!) which is “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”

    Can’t wait to meet you!
    Linda

  1093. i want a blog baby durham gift bag!

    i have the emotional maturity of a THREE YEAR OLD!

  1094. I’m guessing that you could probably wrangle Caryl into hooking you up, Suzanne. And, um…shouldn’t you be basking in the afterglow right now?

  1095. luckily, i can do both at once.

  1096. Sher!
    I just RedBubbled a T-shirt for my sister (Shhhhh) and saw your flag! That is so bizarre! Last fall my teaching buddy and I were talking about having our students create a blog in which they had to choose a state and research its constitution, governmental structure, etc. I was put in charge of blog design, and I wanted something funky. I searched under … I don’t remember … USA and funky? maybe? and I remember seeing and really wanting to use your flag (this was before I knew you) but then I realized it might be a little too radical for conservative Chenango County. This is what I came up with instead:

    http://nvstateproject.wordpress.com/

    But man! I wanted to use your flag!!!
    Wow We had a connection pre-blog.

  1097. I am too excited to sleeeeeeep!!

    Suzanne! Enjoy your afterglow. I am hoping for afterglow in Japan. :)

    I am going to be very honest. I have trouble with faces and names. On the blog, I can tell everyone apart no problem. We all have our own “voice.” But I’m just saying that in real life if I call you the wrong name it’s not because I don’t love you. And I’m seriously considering buying a name tag I can stick to my chest. lol.

    Kittery–flying is fantastic. The best moment of the flight is when you look out the window right at take-off and your belly realizes at just the right moment that your body is no longer in contact with the ground, that your body, with the help of engineers and pilots and the Great Being, is actually *flying* through the air, will eventually be higher than even birds.

    Truthfully, sometimes flying makes me cry a little. I think, Lord. Look at how far we’ve come.

  1098. Maureen – that is wildness – your flag thingy is amazing. amazing. amazing. My flag was in a Destin Art Gallery when 9/11 happened and I had to remove it because it freaked idiots out . . . they didn’t get that it represented their EXACT feelings . . . it is titled “Status: The American Dream” . . . I actually want to do some versions of it in encaustic . . .

    I’m back for ATL (the American Girl store . . . just bananas . . . it was fun, though and on the way home today Claire and I found an abandoned american girl at Goodwill – we are thrilled and can’t wait to get her cleaned up and groomed.

    had a fabulous time with my sister and then visiting my old friends in the Georgia Mountains . . .

    now it is catch up time for me! And getting myself pulled together for Durham (happy pants dance).

  1099. Sher, I wonder if your happy pants look like mine? I never take them off, lately, it seems. :)

  1100. Amy? Are you there safely?

  1101. I could start saying my Blog Babies T-shirts, because they are stuck on me.

  1102. Oh Lord, babies. What a day. My flights were fine ( escept for the man who sat next to me on my way to Detroit who prided himself on being an insurance agent, a life coach, and a reltaionship guru.) I wanted to slap him instead I pretended to sleep.
    When I arrived in PA ( on time) it was smooth sailing getting my rental and hitting the road. And then it went downhill. It took me over two hours to drive the 10 minutes route to the hotel. I ended up in Maryland. And of course Mapquest was completely wrong EVEN THOUGH ITS ONLY JOB IN LIFE IS TO GET YOU TO THE RIGHT PLACE! I am finally here and did not have a meltdown. I just kept picturing God in the car with me and him telling me to just chill out. Also, I saw a rainbow and I figured it was going to be all right.
    The hotel ( and staff) are great and I just ordered chinese food.

  1103. AMY! Rainbows are God’s secret way of communicating with me. I always see one when things suck. That’s how I know I am going to survive.

    Maybe they are God’s secret way of communicating with you too.

    What a nightmare. Chinese is yummy. You deserve it! I am glad you’re there safely.

  1104. amy in ohio: i get anxious before every trip. and most of my anxiety dreams revolve around airports, passports, and packing for trips. like in my dream, i’m on the titanic with no lifeboat AND nothing to wear. and no passport.

    xo
    sfc

  1105. haven hates boats. if that dont flush her out, nothing will. yes, i am evil. ask anyone.

  1106. AMY. the next time u get lost, CALL YOUR DESTINATION. the hotel knows where it is, the restaurants knows where it is, the police station knows where it is. and so forth.

  1107. I have major packing anxiety. I usually don’t do it till the night before. My husband has threatened me with bodily harm if I even think of doing that this time.

  1108. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAUREEN!!!!!

  1109. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MAUREEN!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!

  1110. Morning everyone…

    I stayed the heck away from a computer over the weekend and:

    –Took a 14-mile bike ride
    –Had dinner with a wonderful neighborhood family (the Dad, is an Air Force colonel and getting ready to go to Afghanistan
    –Saw the movie Duplicity
    –Went to church
    –Took the dogs for a nice long walk around the marina
    –Did the laundry.

    HAPPY Birthday Maureen

    Kit: Just settle back and enjoy the flight. I personally love to fly and do it all the time. As for changing gates…don’t be afraid to ask a question of the gate attendants. You’ll be ok.

    Suzanne: !

  1111. Thank you, one and all.
    It’s SNOWING here!

  1112. How appropriate to officially join the blog on my sister’s birthday. I like the first two posts!

    Haven – Thank you for your words and worlds that create space for our souls to tarry.

    Blog Babies – Thank you for recognizing, welcoming, and celebrating what shines in Maureen, my soror and anam cara.

    I made up the phrase “deep and freaky” to describe an aspect of self for for which I needed kindred company. I remember once saying to my youngest nephew Elliot – “You know, y