Judging a Book By Its Face


Last night Scott got some sort of dinging alarm or cupcake or a ficus tree, or maybe was inappropriately tickled by a drunk uncle, something, on Facebook, and said he’d been asked to name the 15 albums that changed his life.  I don’t know – is that right?  The 15 that made him the peculiar and stoic and thoroughly trustworthy but blank-faced Yankee he is?  I forget the question.  I fear I indulged in a rant about Facebook, because we’d JUST gotten through the 25 Things About Yourself peer pressure, I mean I have THINGS TO THINK ABOUT PEOPLE.  For instance, there’s currently a debate in my neighborhood about whether we should be allowed to own backyard chickens here in the middle of Durham.  Sometimes there is serious chicken tension on the neighborhood listserve.  The divide seems to be between people who know what chickens are, and those who have an egg fantasy.  I don’t have a Facebook page, but my beloved friends Katherine and Joe, and Kat, made their lists, e-mailed them to me, and then John, Scott, and Obadiah made our lists and e-mailed them back.  It was fun, on the whole, except for how Scott just STOPPED on number 16 and decided to lie with his feet up on the fireplace screen.  He explained he was in the Trendelenberg position, and why such a position might be necessary.  It was not.  He then used a phrase like Hover Pants, and how they would be used in the event he suffered severe hypertension and was forced to remain in the Trendelenberg; precisely how the inflatable trousers would solve any of his nonexistent problems escaped me.  I had FLOWN through my 25 Whatevers and he just QUIT.  Obadiah’s was fabulous, and John’s was fabulous, and then of course the next day, when he felt better after letting the air out of his pants, Scott’s was divine.


But then this album thing happened and I was like one of those women you sometimes see on COPS, the kind who have been alcoholics so long they’re completely blacked-out drunk but still shouting and fighting and trying to rip off their clothing (no, I don’t know why) even as they’re being moved by a SWAT team into a rubber room.  I was like ULSIDNOWI FACEBOOK!  And then IS VDJSOI  FACEBOOK NO!  I noticed Scott was looking at me fearfully.  I tried to back out of the crazy by explaining I was just too old for such nonsense – I mean PLEASE, it was designed for COLLEGE STUDENTS – but then Scott told me how he loves keeping up with his friends, and how I’m judging 472 billion people older than I who are happily on the site poking each other and posting photographs of themselves vomiting.  I think my Baby Jane moment occurred because I’d just read an article about the average updates made to individual pages, and they were so tedious and banal I thought I’d been placed in some sort of hanging cage with a group of five-year-olds.  I’d also seen the twenty most common poses men use to advertise themselves, and that had caused me to lose faith in not just the future, but in time and space.


To be honest, while our culture has always been and shall ever be in a state of disintegration (each generation says so), I have never been more afraid of our descent into narcissism and triviality than I am now.  Ah, JIMBO FLOPPER is standing in line at the Piggly Wiggly!  C MY CLEAVAGE wishes she had a cupcake.  L  MORAL BLACKHOLE is currently listening to Taylor Swift REAL IRONICY.  Okay, I know there’s more to it than that – I KNOW, DON’T POINT IT OUT, SCOTT – but I’m trying to write a book that’s so far beyond my means I spend at least 14 hours of every day crying (Jesus is the issue), and there have been dramatic upheavals in my life, and I still long for real conversation with real people.  I have friends and blog babies who need an ear or some thoroughly specious advice.  There remain 47 books on Quaker history I haven’t gotten through; my heart is broken; last night the power went out in my barn and I was in complete blackness surrounded by taxidermy.  Our nation is on the verge of an actual Depression.  Last night I told Obadiah that a family we love and are close to have a one-year contract on employment, so one year to find a job.  I asked him if he would mind if the whole family moved in with us if necessary, all four of them.  He immediately said yes, we’d find a way.  We’d divide the dining room and make a bedroom and . . . that was as far as we got.  THE POINT IS, oh god, Facebook and Twitter and lifecasting and cell-phone self-portraits, how how how can we focus with such intensity on our own detritus and WHY?


But then I thought:  OH!  Maybe my blog babies would like to play the 25 Things Whatever game, or the 15 Albums, and naturally I would find it interesting, because it’s you and not some white college boy throwing pretend gang signs while doing Jaeger shots.  Of course, you are free to drink shots if you wish, but your typing will be impaired and the chances of my mocking your Zeppelin Trousers will increase.  So have at it!

Published in: on February 22, 2009 at 11:22 am  Comments (1,308)  


  1. Hon, I’m on Facebook, and I have scrupulously avoided the 25 Things and the 25 More Things and the 15 Albums and the How Many Of These Books Have You Read and probably by this time (I haven’t checked today) the 10 Favorite Hostess Products lists, because my feeling is, if you don’t already knows these things about me it’s because I DON’T WANT YOU TO. I completely share your concern with regard to the trivialiization (and infantilization) of our culture, in which we are only too glad to reduce ourselves to list — character by affiliation.

    HOWEVER — I have a book coming out in June. And all the experts say, in this depressed time in publishing, it’s up to the author to create buzz, because the publishers themselves are too busy jumping out of windows. And apparently the only effective way to do this is to build online communities of your readers — allow them access to you, share yourself with them, etc. So I’m resigned now to my fate; I will give myself over to my potential readers like a virgin sacrifice; I will withhold nothing. I will ply them with photos of my family and YouTube videos of my dogs and I will let them “poke” me and “kidnap” me and send me “cupcakes” and swathe me in “bubble wrap” (the latter of which seems a tad questionable) and I will list my 25 Favorite Movies and my 3 Favorite Reindeer and my Least Favorite Of the Six Three Stooges (for the record, Curly Joe).

    And then, should I have a bestseller on my hands, I’ll sit back and appraise whether it was actually worth it. And maybe give up writing and get a nice, regular job, say, in building security. Do night watchmen need Facebook? … I think if you have a decent pistol you don’t need anything. Well, you’d know better than I do.

  2. My friends in Scotland were actually ANGERED by twitter, and facebook, and especially OH GOD NOT BLOGGING because who the HELL told people that ANYONE should be allowed to write if they aren’t, you know, writers (Nevermind that most bloggers ARE writers.)

    They are horrible snobs about the whole thing, and were very testy about it, until we sucked them into our vortex and now yes, they tweet with the best of them. I think they finally get that, OH, they live in SCOTLAND and we don’t. So now we hang out with them everyday via 140 characters, and it actually helps you become a better writer because you are forced to be succinct.

    I don’t have to email pictures of my newborn niece or newly painted playroom to 200 people, it’s right there, and I can play scrabble whenever I get to the gameboard and my game is waiting, and I can see the pictures of my anorexic self all dirty and sweaty at music festivals when I was 16 because other people posted the pictures.

    Don’t do it Haven. You have a book to write.

    Here’s my list, copied and pasted from La Facebook. I’m afraid it will be a disappointment, as most of this has been previously discussed here, I think. I should write a new one.

    1. I can’t stand having one wet foot and one dry foot. I’d rather have two wet feet, and I have walked through a puddle twice to remedy the situation.
    2. I’m really good with faces. I recognize completely obscure people all the time. Not just actors in movies, but even people who waited on me at a restaurant years before. And if I know a face but I can’t place it then it drives me INSANE.
    3. I am writing a memoir. It’s slow going.
    4. Hugh and I have received some sort of “message” about each one of our children’s names, including our next child, who is not even a twinkle in our eye yet.
    5. My daughter was my biggest baby. She weighed one oz shy of 10 lbs!
    6. All of my children were born at home.
    7. I never had a pet until I was 16 years old.
    8. One of my favorite authors is now one of my dearest friends.
    9. Unschooling Jarvis is actually going really well!
    10. I obsessively love the 1950s. STILL.
    11. I wear mostly black. I love color, but it’s so much cheaper to just buy a bunch of black clothes. Plus it’s slimming, and classic!
    12. I doubt I’ll ever stop wearing red lipstick.
    13. I was once asked to do an in-store appearance at a comic book shop dressed as Bettie Page. I declined.
    14. I was the queen of the prom. Not at high school. At Cornerstone Music Festival.
    15. After a life-long battle with severe, crippling depression I opted to go on medication a few months ago, a decision I think might be one of the best I have ever made.
    16. I’m actually very introverted. Don’t laugh!
    17. I met my husband on the internet 11 years ago, and I’m still crazy about him.
    18.I have written a country song, a gospel song, a rap, and a debbie-gibson-esque pop number, all while I was a very young child.
    19. I love playing Rockband and SingStar!
    20. My favorite movie is Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
    21. I love baking cookies. It’s my therapy, and a reward for a clean kitchen
    22. I’ve lived in Evansville my entire life, save 3 months in Tennessee.
    23. I love falling water of any kind.
    24. Turtles are my favorite animal. I have two.
    25. I like peeling things. Sunb

  3. Number 25 should read: sunburns, stickers, bark, etc.

  4. Robert, let’s think of all the ways we can whore you. I would REALLY enjoy that.

    I shall now read my own 25 list and see if it is postable.

  5. These are all fine for public consumption, save for one; the rock star’s name will have to be blackened as if by J. Edgar Hoover in his cocktail dress.

    1. I have a dream of writing a pamphlet series on totally nonsensical subjects, each by a different clinically insane person. I’ve completed one.

    2. I’ve become quite close to my father, now that he’s dead.

    3. Very, very little frightens me in this world. Only water (and all water-dwelling creatures), rodents, and disconnected human hairs.

    4. I have all of my children’s baby teeth in a little yellow box in my desk, but they don’t know that I saved any puppy teeth I found as well. I’m particularly fond of the baby incisor of a dog named Girl Scout, who had endless potential but was shot in the head on New Year’s Eve when she was a year old. My dad (we’re quite close) made a tombstone for her out of a large, old square of slate, on which he’d painted: GIRL SCOUT. SHE WAS A GOOD DOG.

    5. I am capable of typing up to 90 words a minute, but mostly don’t care to. I have a pathological habit of typing on my leg while listening to someone else talk, or even as I myself am speaking, as if recording our conversation. One of the few words that is typed entirely with the left hand is ‘stewardesses.’

    6. I am ambidextrous at nearly everything. I also can write backward with either hand; backward and upside down; backward and upside-down in the dark; and holding two pens I can write forward with my right hand and mirror it in reverse with my left.

    7. I come from a long line of exceptionally good drivers. I myself am an exceptional driver, as is my daughter.

    8. As some people know, I had a date with [ROCK STAR’S NAME OMITTED] when I was fifteen. He was called [BLANK] then, and we went roller-skating. While we were on the rink he told me he suffered from severe bi-polar disorder and was on a high dose of lithium, and I skated out to the payphone and called my dad (please see above) to come get me.

    9. Kat and I spent four years in a house that was just flat-ass haunted, some kind of hoo-ha going on ALL the time, and the whole ghosty mess drove my rottweiler, Roxanne, to the brink of insanity. Also I broke my nose, cracked my wrist, broke two ribs, and gave myself a black eye, all in the space of my bedroom, while dreaming.

    10. This morning I told Katherine a story about Nietzsche. Later Suzanne mentioned syphilis. I said HEY! Then she asked me how old I was when I moved to Biloxi, pregnant. I said eighteen. She asked did I know anyone and I said nary a soul; I was married to a gay man and we were going to live on an Air Force Base. Suzanne then asked if I’d known anyone here when I moved here, and I said no, my first friend was . . . KATHERINE, and we were like WOOT WOOT!!! What kind of luck.

    11. On a dare recently, I wrote an Elizabethan sonnet in five minutes.

    12. The first concert I attended was in a huge field filled with crazy stoned farmboys and their sister/girlfriends. FOGHAT. The second was Boston. During that same period I also saw The Eagles (I rode in a horse trailer to that one); Bad Company; the 1978 KISS Tour with the flaming guitars and Gene Simmons vomit; I saw Queen live four times and was once touched by Freddie Mercury. Then there were a whole lot of other bands (time passed, etc.) and I ended up seeing GWAR, as well as a band called Deicide in the basement of some abandoned prison (it appeared). The band wore uniforms covered with spikes, and the heat was turned up really high, and we were all given animal organs which we threw at the band members AND IT STUCK TO THEM! The meat rapidly became rancid. But my favorite place to see live music was at a club called the No Bar and Grill, at which there was no bar and no grill. I saw The Smiths there, and one of my gays was so overflowing with joy his glasses flew off his face like butterflies.

    13. There is virtually nothing theoretical I can’t understand, and nothing practical I am capable of doing. Recently I’ve grown weary of lifting silverware in order to eat — it just seems so REPETITIVE. Ditto showering. If I had to open the mail or ever pay a bill I would crumble to the ground and expire.

    14. I read poetry every day, no matter what else I’m supposed to be doing. Sometimes I’ll pretend I’m casually looking something up, and then just, oh while I’m sitting here why not read the whole collection. I’ve checked; there is no 12-step program for the problem.

    15. I am insanely undeserving of the depth and quality of the way I’m loved.

    16. One summer John and I rented a beach house for us, Kat & O., and Kat’s friend, Brittany. I also took my hamster. The Kimmels were just down the street, and one night Ben came over and sat on the porch with us. Indulgences were made, chemically, and we three women made Ben laugh so hard he had to go downstairs and throw up in the scrubby grass.

    17. In terms of reality, I take grave issue with the spotted hyena.

    18. I’m universally believed to be much taller than I am.

    19. I have witnessed, beginning to end, two embalmings and one autopsy. I was dating a one-eyed undertaker at the time. But also my brother-in-law was the county coroner and so everything was the death principle embodied, just strolling around in the Upperworld, la de da.

    20. I spend much of my time in a conscious effort to be good and honest and compassionate, but I will always fail and be evil because of my hair. My hair is Satan’s chia-pet.

    21. I am hypervigilant and spend many hours awake, planning for various disaster scenarios, like a zombie invasion. I hear every noise in the house, all night, and all of my thinking goes toward who I will have to kill to protect my children and how I’ll go about it. I’m not above killing to save myself, however. Once in New Orleans I got in a cab with a driver who was giving off a serious Ted Bundy vibe, and when it appeared he was going to drive me past the courtyard that led to my apartment, I reached down and silently removed the long shoelace from my Doc Martens and wrapped the ends around my hands. Five seconds: crushed larynx. I have an unholy knowledge of guns. I’ve only recently realized this is nothing but my hillbilly DNA: guns, dogs, trucks. I also wear men’s Levi’s exclusively. If they make blue jeans for girls I don’t want to know about it.

    22. I once emerged from swimming in a lake at a campground entirely covered with leeches.

    23. I have been consistently reading the Selected Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, over and over and over, for 22 years. Rarely a day passes that I don’t open that book, which I have been known to carry in my purse, my car, and my pants. I keep waiting to recover from it and I simply don’t. All I have to see is a single line, say, “For what is a farm but a ruined cathedral?” and I’m weeping and don’t have the strength to lift a fork or take a shower.

    24. Once when I was vacationing in the Hamptons, I was invited to a wedding on the Kennedy compound (Lee Radziwill’s daughter was the bride), and I graciously refused. Partly I had no interest in going, but more importantly I wanted to be the one person who would, without hesitation, say no.

    25. My long-term plan is to be a matriarch of the old-school variety: having my children and grandchildren pay homage to me with gifts and money and Italian cakes, while I sit at the head of the table with enormous, vaguely threatening dogs at my feet. I will encourage misbehavior and political incorrectness and great shows of emotion. Every Sunday I’ll hire an opera singer to perform two Italian arias, at least, During the week I’ll practice skeet-shooting and archaic poetic forms, and my only vow will be what I learned from Rosenthal: Never waste a moment of your life with boring people.

  6. How do you play fifteen albums? I’m going to do mine High Fidelity Style, autobiographically.

    1. Soundtrack to Annie.

    2. Soundtrack to Mary Poppins

    3. Original Cast Album- Fiddler on the Roof

    4. Thriller- Michael Jackson

    5. NKOTB- Hangin Tough

    6. Original Cast Album- Phantom of the Opera

    7. Pearl Jam- 10

    8. Blaster the Rocketman- Disasteroid

    9. Havalina Rail Co- self-titled

    10. They Might Be Giants- Flood

    11. Luxury- Amazing and Thank You

    12. The Smiths- The Queen is Dead

    14. Jeff Buckley- Grace

    14. Radiohead- OK Computer

    15. The Pixies- Doolittle

  7. What a coincidence, Haven. I just wrote a post about Facebook! I totally agree with you, and promised my 3 “kids” (agest 26, 27 and 31) I would never go there. Did you see Lev Grossman’s article about it in Time Magazine? “Facebook is for Old People”? I linked to it on my blog post yesterday, here:http://wwwpenandpalette-susancushman.blogspot.com/2009/02/one-hour-home-makeover-leaves-time-for.html. Write on, woman!

  8. OMG. The pressure of the 25 Interesting Things About Me on Facebook! I’ve written a draft, could only think of about 10 things and noticed that they weren’t all that interesting. Can we make them up? Maybe I’ll try again…I’ve enjoyed all the other lists from friends.

    About the “status updates”: my husband and I have a joke about them–He’ll say, “Hey, Joe Smith just took a breath.”

  9. DAMN. DAMN. DAMN. I need to write a new list.

  10. Hi Haven! Glad to see you! and thanks for taking time out of your much needed break from writing the next book that will change our lives to blog with us babies, because you know we adore you. (Yes, Rob and Scotsmen, it does work, see?)

    You have made me feel better about not responding (sorry! anyone who tagged me or Elmoed me or whatever) to the lists I have received. I am a very recent Facebooker, and it has made me happy here under my rock to be in touch again with lots of friends I had lost contact with AND to chat with them on-line! That instant beeping function is da bomb. But I have not gotten around to listifying myself in any way.

    I confess to having just arrived home with People Magazine’s Celebrate the 80s edition. I hemmed and hawed because it was $12 and then thought “The blog babies would get a huge charge out of these quizzes”.

    So, after I finish some more paperwork (drowning in it here) I am going to post an 80s quiz and meanwhile be thinking of 25 things about me/my husband/albums ….

    Rob-san – We need to know who you are so we can buy your book and prevent your publishers from cashing in their mortal chips.

    Haven – Who is your avatar? Should I know that face? Is this me demonstrating my cultural illiteracy again?

  11. Oh my. Five people commented while I was composing that?

  12. Haven! Yay! Thanks for sharing your list–I too lived in a haunted house (at Ft. Benning, GA), but that didn’t make it into my 25. I don’t know why. Perhaps I should replace one…

    So, I love Facebook. Of course, I’ve started calling it Facecrack…but I love being in touch with people. I also love these lists: I’ve done the book one (to which I added you and Suzanne; it just wasn’t complete otherwise), the One Word, the 48 things. I just love ’em. It touches on something Kittery and I talked about the other night…needing contact with others. Now, of course, we were ACTUALLY talking about how good hugs are etc, but I think it comes to the same thing–or at least is kissin’ cousins with the same thing.

    So here’s mine.

    1. I have written 2 romance novels, with several more under way.

    2. I have a 4th degree black belt in GoJu karate.

    3. I was once offered a job stripping at the Platinum Club when I was 18 (I had a friend who had a girlfriend who worked there…) (this was also before I had breasts…I guess “skinny” was enough.). Later, I dated Robert, whose mother owns most of Victory Drive and half the strip clubs there. (I have never worked for her.)

    4. I believe in reincarnation and the afterlife and ghosts and the boogey man and that there are things we cannot possibly begin to understand much less even know exist, but NOT that all sins are equal, that “a reason, a season, or a lifetime” bullcrap, or that religion matters AT ALL (except as it brings comfort and good, feeds our spirits and encourages us to lovelovelovelovelovelovelove; screw the rest of the details).

    5. I once walked around the better part of the day in high school with the butt cheeks of my pants torn out (DAMN those PATRICK brand pants, DAMN THEM!). AND NO ONE TOLD ME. Especially not Dr. Creepy who later won teacher of the year and teaches, of all things, Chemistry.

    6. I have a very hard time understanding how to meet new people (except in times where it’s Fate stepping in. You know who you are (AMBER).) Meeting new people makes me want to hyperventilate, actually. Despite how much I like myself, I always worry others won’t. This is very strange because in my experience, most people DO like me. I don’t know why I feel this way (the worried thing).

    7. I worship my sister. Probably more than I do God. or Goddess. Or whatever’s out there making life work.

    8. I constantly try to feel “the Lure toward Truth, Beauty, and Goodness” and act in ways which are True, Beautiful, and Good. Those of you laughing right now know how much I usually fuck that up.

    9. I spent more time in the ER as a little girl than all of my siblings (3–2 of which are BOYS) combined (encounter with a high heel, scraped cornea, choked on a nickel, chased by Bro 1 with a pencil…)

    10. My sis and her best friend once chained themselves to the high school bell tower to protest reading Wuthering Heights. Mrs. Agnew simply brought the class to them that day. I WISH I had had the opportunity to chain myself to the PHS bell tower (not to protect that book though. I loved it). Since I did not, I should tell you that instead, I once wrote a satire on sex that won me the Page One Award. I was very popular after that. I think the word satire was misunderstood…

    11. I’m almost as good at movie lines as my sister and Bro 1. We speak fluent Movie actually, and to people who aren’t fluent, it’s a lot like listening to someone speak Tagalog really, really quickly.

    12. As a little girl (living on Ft. Benning) I once peed in our communal back yard because I wanted to be a dog when I grew up, and I figured I had better start practicing now.

    13. My nephew Aiden once snarked at me, and before I could yell at him for rudeness, he said, “Um, Aunt Molly? You know how you get when you need a Coke and a Snickers? That’s me right now.” And I did not lecture him any further.

    14. My first Christmas in New England was 2006, and IT DID NOT SNOW, and my brother-in-law Doug blamed it on me.

    15. Then the winter after I moved away, they had one of the snowiest winters in memory. Fucking figures that Doug would be right.

    16. I am Zyrtec-D junkie. I cannot breathe without it. This is not an exaggeration.

    17. I was once on the Molly Hatchet tour bus. My sister’s note says “and [she] managed to keep all [her] clothes on.” The fact that I was there is probably why they didn’t try to get Megan’s clothes off. After all, Megan is smokin’ hot. I was not smokin’ hot at the time. I was 8 (and awkward looking until college).

    18. I hate comforting platitudes and much prefer (as Megan does) Jay’s song from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: Fuck, fuck, fuck. Mother-mother fuck. Mother-mother fuck…. It’s much more satisfying than “It’ll be okay. Everything happens for a reason.” The hell it does.

    19. This one hurts a little, but it’s so funny I had to add it: this past summer, I finally asked Liam (who has autism/HATES talking and is, I swear on whatever you hold holy, is PSYCHIC) what he thought of the Rob/me situation. I said, “Liam, should Rob and I break up?” and Liam didn’t even pause before he answered, “YES! PLEASE?!?!?”

    20. You know how at FDR’s Little White House it says the bed hasn’t been touched since he died? Well, that all changed in 1983 when I went visiting with my parents, Megan, John and my grandfather. My 9-month pregnant mother looked around and I was gone…they found me jumping in his death bed. IN HIS DEATH BED.

    21. I read about 100 pages an hour, without skimming. I think I read this fast so that I can go back and have the pleasure of rereading while others haven’t made it through the first time yet.

    22. I played Roxie Hart from Chicago a few weeks after graduating college.

    23. I graduated summa cum laude from college.

    24. Doug, my bro-in-law, once gave me a black eye by throwing a can of Coke to me when I wasn’t looking. Don’t worry; it didn’t make me afraid of having relationships with other Cokes, and I was able to forgive both the brother and the Coke and move on with my life.

    25. I’ve shot any number of armadillos because they are Satan’s handmaidens.

  13. OH THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIGHTNING AND A LIGHTNING BUG!!!! That was so good, you are a natural. It’s both revealing but not at all too much so, and fascinating and weird and great. Thank you both, Molly and Kate.

    Kate, we need to talk about your album selection. Perhaps behind closed doors.

  14. Oh, my Gravitrar is my Celestial Husband, Galway Kinnell. In my part of the country we practice polygamy the opposite direction: I get all the husbands. It makes far far more sense, if you think about it.

  15. Kate, I adore the idea of “I love peeling things.” I can’t wait to tell Obadiah; the randomness will thrill him.

  16. In June we shall hold a special blog party for the release of ROBERT RODI’S DOGGED PURSUIT: MY YEAR WITH THE WORLD’S LEAST LIKELY AGILITY DOG. (Did I get that right, R? Least Likely?) And then next year his hilarious — painfully so — follow up about adopting a dog who was a psychopath.

  17. I just wanted to tell you I think you’re fabulous!!

  18. Bug, I’m pretty sure Denise is talking to you. It’s the JUMPING ON HIS DEATH BED part that probably sealed the deal.

  19. I am so glad you enjoyed it, Haven. I was a bit concerned after reading how you’ve put a new twist on that whole patting your head and rubbing your belly display of writing ambidextrous-ness. Perhaps you should take up Hebrew?

  20. Nope!! Of course I meant you, Haven! 🙂

  21. Oh dear. I’m going to have to go into hiding. I’ve probably violated any number of statutes protecting the Little White House. If anyone ever comes to visit me, I can already tell that I won’t be able to take you there because there will be a Most Wanted sign with my baby picture. I did write out the whole thing if you’re interested–complete with baby picture of me cheesing it up. 🙂


  22. this is SO sorcerer’s apprentice!


    I refused to list 25 interesting things about me, SPECIFICALLY due to peer pressure.

    that said, after years of non-fierce resistance? i like facebook, i spend about twenty minutes a day on it, and i generally find my blog far too laborious and hopelessly pedestrian – for which i take full credit. i’ve gotten freelance writing jobs through facebook, which of course makes me bias. in my case it’s no more specious than any other thing i do. we are not a proud people. xo sfc

  23. Thanks, Haven, for the Gravitron ID. I read “The Bear” during my quest to understand Iodine.

  24. HAVEN, Until I read the book Iodine,(Librarian’s Pick
    Corbitt-Calloway Library, Odessa, Delaware, the first library in the First State) I had no desire to become part of a blog. I would rather chew off one of my fingers than join FaceBook or MySpace or anybody’s space.

    *I don’t own a cell phone. You can’t make me.

    *I am planning to join the group in April in Durham.

    *I will buy one of Sher’s Fick’s T-Shirts, maybe two. Haven’t made up my mind which logo I fancy.

    *The ONLY album that made a remarkable difference in my life is Janis Ian, Between the Lines. Second runner-up,
    Marty Robbins, Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs.

  25. Unfortunately, there’s nothing one can say to encourage Suzanne to write the 25 things list because any encouragement would be construed as peer pressure.

    **deep, pained sigh**

    Oh damn. Guilt counts as peer pressure, too, doesn’t it?

  26. Havan #3 – you forgot mustard. 🙂

  27. CAROLYN: There’s never much to say between the moments of our games and repartee. There’s never much to read between the lines of what we need and what we’ll take. There’s never much to talk about or say aloud, but say it anyway. Of holidays and yesterdays and broken dreams that somehow slipped away.

    That’s as far as I can go just singing it in my head. Great great great album, first note to the end. When she says, “And I hate to see a friend go down in flames without a song, so I’m standing by the doorway but I will not linger long,” ????? I LOVE YOU JANIS.

    Durham in April is going to be like Cabaret in the Weirmacht, but without all the German.

  28. So I’m WAITING by the doorway but I will not linger long. Sorry.

  29. Dee, DUDE. You KNOW ME. The problem is I’m also afraid of typing the word . . . you mentioned above. So. Couldn’t be in the list. But you get the smarty star today FO SHO.

  30. I recently was forced onto Facebook. All of my old from the movie theatre each emailed me to join. Between working full time, blogging full time, marriage, kids and illnesses, I don’t have time for pokes or passing drinks. I do however like hearing from old college friends and one of my old long lost boyfriends … for that its cool. As for the 25 questions, I am cheating an just pasting my 102 things about me list from my blog. I have to help the 10 year old with his math homework. But, I love what all of you have come up with so far! And Haven, I’m dying to know who the celebrity was…

    102 Things About TGFTG
    1. I once got a private tour of The Mint, a bar in Hailey Idaho owned by Bruce Willis. AMAZING. Even got to see the secret shower room.

    2. I went to college off and on for 18 years, but I graduated with a 3.79 (and still can’t find a job …)

    3. I’ve seen every episode of 90210.

    4. I’m more of a cat person than a dog person.

    5. I’ve traveled to 13 countries and 39 states.

    6. The meanest thing I ever did was tell everyone in 5th grade that a girl got her period. Then I showed them her pads. I am still bothered by this.

    7. I used to live in Vegas, and I hated it.

    8. I was a published author by 19, but it’s been 8 years since I’ve submitted anything else for publication.

    9. I liked the movie Across the Universe.

    10. I hate chicken, turkey, and fish.

    11. I have horrible ADHD, but became organized because of it.

    12. I was in a rock video – Cocky by Kid Rock, filmed in Detroit.

    13. I was a flight attendant and miss wearing the uniform.

    14. I love to take picture, esp. landscape photography.

    15. I love road trips. My longest road trip ever was 19 days, which I did twice, both times with my friend Becky. We traveled all over Florida the first 19 day trip, and all out west and to national parks the second time.

    16. I had to make a decision last month and chose to have an endometrial ablation, which means now I can’t have kids.

    17. I love all things Star Wars.

    18. I used to work at a movie theatre as a popcorn seller, a projectionist, and a manager. I miss getting free movie passes.

    19. I own 5 cameras. My latest is a Nikon D80.

    20. I was engaged for one day. I was on a plane and married within 36 hours, which was fantastic. I’m not into all of that perfect day bullcrap.

    21. I used to be a cocktail waitress in Vegas, and they forced me to stuff my A-cup bra to a size D. The horror!

    22. I waited on Tupac and Snoop-Dog about a month before Tupac died. They were the nicest guys and tried to force me to take an autographed cd, which I turned down, as I had NO IDEA who they were. What a mistake that was.

    23. The Beatles were and are the best band. ever. Don’t you argue otherwise with me.

    24. I never knew my dad growing up. I hired a private eye to find him, and he doesn’t want anything to do with me, even though I am his only child. This really bothers me.

    25. When I was growing up my mom used to prank phone call people with me. I miss the days before caller id and star 69.

    26. Capture the flag is the best game to play as a child.

    27. I am not athletic at all, but I can walk circles around anyone. Even in my condition, i walked an average of 16 miles a day when I was in Europe last summer.

    28. Eddie Van Halen was fabulous sober in concert this past tour. I pray for his continued sobriety.

    29. Bob Guinney from the Bachelor lived in my dorm at MSU. We had friends in common and went to the same parties all the time. He was an ass, but his band Fat Amy was good. I once had the pleasure of kicking him in the ass and calling him a big dummy. I can’t believe that chick Greenley from AMC married him.

    30. I love the Beatles so much I had to go to Liverpool on my honeymoon.

    31. I subscribe to 8 magazines, but since the economy sucks, I’m letting all my subscriptions go. I miss Star Magazine already.

    32. I still have all of my Barbies, including Cher, Farrah, and all of The Sunshine People.

    33. I loved MASH and we often watch it reruns in the early evenings.

    34. I am a feminist.

    35. As a third grader I had a club called Hot Lips, in honor of Major Hoolihann. We would beat up boys who picked on weaker girls in our class. I even had a shirt at the mall that said “I’m with Hot Lips.”

    36. I prefer writing with blue over black ink.

    37. My favorite Artist is Vincent Van Gogh, but I went to the Ann Frank House in Amsterdam rather than visit his museum.

    38. I hate all things flavored grape, and love orange flavored anything, except i hate eating actual oranges.

    39. I have sweared since the third grade, but never swear in front of my step-kids, which is so HARD.

    40. I have a cat named Beatrice. She is fat and lazy and shy and is fabulous.

    41. I have moved 22 times in my life.

    42. In college I would entertain people by shoving my fist in my mouth.

    43. I used to be able to put both my legs behind my head, too, but arthritis has ruined my talent…

    44. I loved Michael Cera before Superbad and Juno. Watch him as George-Michael in Arrested Development.

    45. I hate video games, and of course we have an X-box.

    46. I love to pretend I have a British accent, just like Britney Spears does.

    47. I sold 2 stories to Star Magazine and made a few hundred dollars. It was so exciting!

    48. The Sound of Music has finally beat Grease as my favorite musical of all time.

    49. Halloween is my favorite holiday.

    50. I have won Halloween contests by dressing up as Marilyn Monroe, Dolly Parton, and Michael Jackson.

    51. I hate beach vacations. I have been on enough of them to last a lifetime, and after you have drank yourself sick for days and gotten sunburned I feel there is nothing else to do other than swim.

    52. I’m a proud Democrat and can’t wait until Bush leaves the White house next year.

    53. I miss Howard Stern on regular radio and tv. I wonder how his show is doing?

    54. I’m a longtime listener to WRIF 101.1 and love the Drew and Mike show – but I’m wondering why Drew has been gone so long. How long does it take to write a book?

    55. I love Lost, and can not wait for season 4 to begin tomorrow night at 9:00 pm on ABC.

    56. I love nothing more than laying in bed with flannel pajamas – especially on a cold winter night.

    57. I am Italian, Finnish, Scottish, Irish, French Canadian and French. Although if you look at my senior picture many people have commented I look Asian.

    58. I know the real way Jim Morrison died. My college professor’s twin brother’s best friend used to manage the Grateful Dead and was there the night Jim died. He pulled a record player in the bathtub and electrocuted himself by accident. The people there at the party freaked out, and moved from the tub to the bed to the tub. They waited very long before calling police, too late in fact, as he was not dead right away.

    59. My nickname is Aim the Flame. I’ve had it since I was in grade school.

    60. I hate going to the gym and seeing people talk on cell phones, wear too much make-up, or couples working out together.

    61. I once had a 100 things before I die list and wripped it up after I’d crossed off 75 things. I figured that was close enough.

    62. I like to collect postcards, cds, books, Beatles items, and magnets.

    63. I love traveling more than anything else in this world. If I was rich I would travel as much as possible.

    64. I am obsessed with jewelry, and will sneak in buying some any chance I get. Pandora, Swarovski, and Troll are bad habits and are hard to break…

    65. My senior class song was Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses.

    66. Angelina Jolie has tainted Brad Pitt for me.

    67. If you must know my top 5 hot movie stars list, I’d say it was: George Clooney, Jake Gyllenhall, Ewan McGregor, Edward Norton, and McDreamy.

    68. I love violent films: Fight Club, American History X, The Godfather, Goodfellas, The Usual Suspects, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill vol. 1 (and 2) and countless others.

    69. McDreamy over McSteamy any day. My step-daughter disagrees….

    70. The Office isn’t as funny this season (before thewriters strike.) But I still enjoy it.

    71. I have a Dwight Schrutte Bobblehead at my desk at work.

    72. Cameron Crowe is my favorite director, although that Elizabethtown stunk.

    73. I love to read books about dysfunctional families, like “Running with Scissors” because they make me fell better about my own.

    74. A mouse jumped on my head when I was 17 and i’m still freaked out by this. I have to sleep with the covers over my mouth to this day and my husband always mocks me because of this (but in a fun way.)

    75. I read the entire Old Testament by the time I was 9 years old.

    76. I have no religion, but I’m very interested in Buddhism.

    77. I’m trying to get tickets to see the Dalhi Lama when he comes to U-M this year.

    78. The nicest thing I ever did for my mom was take her to a $500 show to see Paul McCartney. She still talks about it with joy in her eyes to this day.

    79. The first cd I ever bought was The Police Greatest Hits.

    80. I still have all of my old records at my mom’s house, including the soundtrack to Miami Vice.

    81. I believe that what goes around, comes around.

    82. I’ve decided this posting is the hardest one I’ll ever write.

    83. I loved John Cusack after seeing “Say Anything.”

    84. I was once chased by the Secret Service and outran them. It was on campus when Bill Clinton was campaigning. We were just hopping a fence to get out of the crowd to leave.

    85. I loved Knott’s Landing as a teenager and wouldn’t miss an episode, even for a bar night once during college.

    86. I fought off digital photography as long as possible, but now love it.

    87. I text when I drive.

    88. I put on make-up at stoplights. Rush hour traffic is horrible in my hood.

    89. I once gave a guest lecture I wrote about Madison Heights at MSU.

    90. I grew up next to drug dealers.

    91. My mom used to charge my and my friends each $2 one way for any rides she gave us once we were in high school.

    92. My house was crawling with mice who often would join me in the shower as they climbed up from the drains.

    93. I think that buying a coach purse is worth it, but only if you go to the outlet store.

    94. I’m addicted to red carpet coverage on E! If there are no Academy Awards this year I will be at a loss.

    95. Pam from The Office is a friend of mine on Myspace.

    96. The worst pain I’ve ever felt was when I feel asleep with fake eyelashes and contacts. They glue from the lashes glued my contacts to my eye, which I ripped off when I forced the contacts out. I had to take steroids for weeks and wear those think weird black glasses old blind people wear, even to work. My eyes were blood red. it was AWFUL.

    97. If I ever had a daughter I was going to name her after my great-grandmother Rose who raised me.

    98. I enjoy acting silly and goofy. If i can do a weird dance and make someone laugh, i’ll do it in a heartbeat.

    99. I love to karaoke and haven’t went in 3 years. But I’m going Saturday night.

    100. I am a secret romantic at heart, even though I make fun of all that stuff.

    101. For some reason, I’m shrinking. In the past 6 months I lost a 1/4 inch, and in the past 8 years it’s been a total of 1 3/4 inches. I’m still in my 30’s …

    102. I recently got to be an extra in the movie Whip It staring Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore. It was a dream come true!!!

  31. Haven…best line of Janis Ian:
    “In books and magazines on how to be and what to see
    while you are being.
    Before and after photographs teach how to pass
    from reaching to believing.”

    I loved Marty Robbins before I ever knew there was
    a Johnny Cash. In my celestial household, they will
    both be my husbands.

  32. I’ve discovered that facebook is an excellent place to make smarty pants comments to people you haven’t seen or thought about for years – and right out in public too, if you like. For instance, today I was able to show off that I knew what my cousin’s wife meant when she said she was “knackered”. Well, there you have it.

  33. Status updates are also an excellent way to be passive aggressive.

  34. Carolyn, yesterday I was in the Nashville airport and they have the last portrait ever taken of Johnny Cash, by Marty Stuart. I stopped in front of it and could barely catch my breath.

    How about:

    I met your friend, she’s very nice,
    What can I say?
    It was an accident, I never dreamed
    We’d meet again this way.
    You’re looking well
    (I’m not afraid).

    You have a lovely home,
    Just like a picture. No,
    I live alone. I found it easier,
    You must remember how
    I never liked the party life
    Up all night, lovely wife
    You have a lovely wife —

    And in the winter
    Extra blankets for the cold,
    Fix the heater getting old.


  35. Chip, why do I feel like I’m always making smarty pants comments to people AS IT IS??

  36. GIRL F.G., awesome, amazing. If I had to come up with 102 things about myself they would include things like, “Right now I can hear my clock ticking.” OH SEE, that’s a status update!! As it happens, it’s a gorgeous clock. Scott got it for me when my study was done; the face is an old bingo card from the Church of St. Leo in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

  37. Haven, Fo Sho was so Fo years ago. as told to me by a 16 year old. xoxo

  38. I cannot make a list today because it would involve 25 reasons why I don’t want Jack to go to England with his dad in four hours. I need 25 ways to be stoic is what I needs.

  39. For Caryl:

    4 ways to maintain stoicism

    1. Continue blogging here. That will help.
    2. Bite your lip just enough to wince. (That actually doesn’t help, but it makes you think it might.)
    3. Eat a Snickers bar. Or perhaps a pear and some gorgonzola. Or both.
    4. Also, have a Coke.

    Love you, and you could try singng the Jay and Silent Bob song I use for comforting myself (if you are unopposed to the F word.)

  40. HAVEN, I heard those exact same lyrics (You have a lovely home,just like a picture. No, I live alone.) running through my head when Ianthe was visiting Jacob in his kitchen and he was telling her he was 47 and his wife of 20 years took a powder….

    But then,again,I suffer from synesthesia. Not really suffer. More like: Enjoy it immensely.

    Did you know the Iodine blog is still running? Go look.
    Sher and I cannot stop, and I fear we may have to go into rehab. What should we check on the insurance form?

  41. HAVEN, I believe I know the stall in the airport you’re
    talking about, the one where you saw the last portrait of Johnny Cash ever taken. There’s a bookstore right next to it where I purchased a copy of “The White Trash Cookbook” for a friend, except I kept it for myself. Did you know there are 1,264 things you can deep fry including white bread?

  42. Alright all, I am off to the airport. I’m looking forward to reading all of your lists when I return, in definite need of a laugh.

  43. With the exception of the fact that Mary Poppins and Annie belong together, my list is entirely accurate. NOTE…it is NOT my list of favorite albums…it’s the ones that changed something in me, and moved me in a different direction. And then I realized I completely left out all country and rockabilly and DAMN, this is why I HATE lists like that.

  44. BUG


  46. Thanks Haven. By the way, I just finished watching Ring of Fire a few hours ago … who doesn’t love Johnny Cash or Joaquin Pheonix? Strange how we are all thinking about him.

  47. Everyone except me, since I inexplicably left him off my list.

    You know what the problem with that list is? I never think of music in terms of albums. I think of artists or songs. Not albums. If it had been artists, Mr. Cash would have been right on top.

  48. Caryl, I thought Fo Sho was in the oughts and Mo Ho was the nineties. Maybe I’m thinking about a dream I had.

  49. Haven, you very quietly snuck in the sentence “yesterday I was in the Nashville airport…”


    Sorry. The thought of you being 10 minutes from my house and me not knowing is making tears shoot out of my eyes like bullets. Also, Janis Ian lives in Nashville. I don’t know her, but I bet I could have convinced her to go to the airport with me to say hello to you. Just sayin’

    BTW- Welcome back!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have been missing you!

  50. HAVEN, go have some supper, girl. I have to make sure
    Lightning Bug gets some nutrition in her, poor thing,
    she spends too much time away from the table!

  51. Kate- I am exactly the same about music. I think artists, not albums. Sometimes I think if I can think of a favorite album too quickly I might not like that artist enough. Maybe I only like one album from that artist. If I truly love an artist it is often hard for me to choose one album. Take Joni Mitchell for instance. She was such an influence on me when I was younger that I would have to choose Miles of Aisles because it has songs on it from lots of her albums. Plus, you know, I seem to like live albums. I like hearing the audience in the background.

  52. This Bug eats plenty, thanks! 🙂 Got to get myself to the gym sometime this week, in fact, to work off having a piece of pound cake EVERY DAY LAST WEEK.

    And just so you don’t worry, Carolyn, going to have some dinner in just a little while…

  53. BUG, You go be a good chile and git yo’self some supper before it’s all gone and you use that pathetic excuse
    to just have yourself another piece of pound cake.
    I’ve got your number, girl, and your card is at the
    bottom of the deck.

    Reading a book called Feminist Fantasies but I’m leaving
    the laptop open and can see the screen when it flashes a new post. I’ll be here if you wanna chat.

    Might look to see if I’m needed at school tomorrow but
    I’d rather stay and nurse my sinus infection a little
    while longer.

  54. OOH, An Evening with John Denver. I know every line, every audience laugh and shout out by heart. Talk about powerful, change-causing music.

    “The time I spend all by myself, I mostly spend with you.”

    Laws, is there a more beautiful sentiment in the range of human emotion?

  55. I was only in Nashville for a layover from New Orleans. I was there just long enough to see the Cash portrait, start crying, wander into the bookstore, cry some more, go to my gate.

    Last night during the IWOIDNV FACEBOOK 15 records debacle, I said, brazenly, “There is only THE ESSENTIAL LEONARD COHEN.” Scott said, “And, um, Joni Mitchell’s BLUE.” I said, “Ahem. Yes, and BLUE.” And then I whispered, “And MONK’S DREAM.” You see how this went. And then the whole Johnny Cash thing, which just vexed me unto SPITTING, because I will NOT put The Church of Cash against Leonard or Monk, just NO.

  56. Carolyn, I’ve been thinking: I know there are many beautiful versions of it, but I think Janis’s JESSE is one of the most heartbreaking songs in the world. By the time she gets to “we’ll swallow the light on the stair, we’ll do up my hair and sleep unaware,” I just feel like lying down in a cornfield.

  57. I was sent to the principal’s office when I was in the fifth grade for writing John Denver’s name all over my clothing.

  58. As I think it near impossible to come up with 25 interesting things about myself, I will shoot for 15..feel free to stop reading after 5 or so because I have a feeling the following will not be all that interesting…Also, I have read and reread Girl from Ghetto list a few times on her blog…that list just kicks ass, no?

    1. I once contracted E Coli on Spring break in high school and had to fly home 5 days early. Side note: I looked so slim at prom the next week!

    2. I have kissed a pretty famous country singer behind closed doors.

    3. I love to sing Karaoke and think I sound way better than I actually do.

    4. I think about starting smoking again, EVERYDAY of my life

    5. When it come to meat, I only eat Venison as I know it had a good life and was killed humanely. ( I know this is odd and usually have to defend myself in an arguement I don’t want to have so not many people know this)

    6. My dream is to one day live on a farm where I can adopt all animals that were cast off and give them a good home.

    7. The best friend I ever had slept with my boyfriend and I haven’t spoken to her in 10 years. I think about her all of the time.

    8. I once spent the day “shadowing” the cop I was dating and had just about the coolest day ever. I actually sat in the front seat of the squad car with the criminal in the back as my boyfried searched his car for drugs. It was awesome.

    9. I am petrified of cruise control as I am afraid it will not shut off and I will not be able to stop.

    10. I met David Copperfield when I was 5.

    11. I could live on bread and cheese alone.

    12. I make friends very easily. In preschool my was called in for a conference as I had been forming cliques between the other 4 year olds and the teachers were “concerned.”

    13. This is for Kate~ I have seen New Kids on the Block 2 times in concert. This was the late 80s early 90’s so it was massive.

    14. My family too can speak directly in movie quotes and it is one thing that we have in common and invokes a togetherness that we treasure.

    15. I have never seen a ghost but am a firm believer in the paranormal.

  59. I purposely refused doing the 25 Random things because I didn’t want be a part of such viral behavior, and I feared I would learned I’m hopelessly uninteresting. And guess what. I just started it and i got to number 10 and I’m right – I am very uninteresting.

  60. learn – learned. present – past same thing in this case. lol

  61. Haven, writing the Great John Denver’s name all over your clothes and getting in trouble for it is exactly the same as getting arrested for being a suffragette. More power to you…

    Amy, I thought your list was excellent. Do you have any family classics, as Sarah and I do? (Amber is scoffing in the background at what my family calls ‘classic’). Tonight at the dinner table? Grosse Point Blank (though this is not YET a classic, as my mother doesn’t like it. I think John Cusack is genius, of course.)

  62. “And all the blues and the greens
    Have been recently cleaned
    And are seemingly new.
    Hey, Jess, Me and You.

    “And I’m leaving the light on the stairs.
    No, I’m not scared, I wait for you.”

    Followed by that heart-aching, soaring glissando
    wracked with an escaped tear from a gut-bucket full
    of sighs and you swear you can hear the microphone biting its lower lip to keep from crying:

    “Hey, Jesse. I’m lonely. Come home.”

  63. Bug, my love, I think you and I define classic the same way. A few favorites around our house were ( and are still) Coal Miners Daughter ( I mailed my older brother a slip of paper this year and all it said was ” Hey Doo Little Lynn, who’s that sow wallowing in your Jeep), Clue, Trading Places ( I love to say ” Didn’t I tell you the phone is my car was broken and I can’t get ahold of my bitches? My fiance loves when I say this) Scrooged, Say Anything, Breakfast Club, Drop Dead Fred, I could go on forever!

  64. Oh Private Eyes with Don Knotts , A HUGE FAVORITE! I can’t believe I forgot that one.

  65. Oh, Amy. I got amoebic dysentery one time. It was so much fun!

  66. AMY- that’s priceless… Can I borrow that? When I can’t
    get the phone tree started to speak to the members of
    my women’s spirituality group, can I say out loud to my fiance,
    “Jeez, Andrew…I can’t get my bitches on the phone!”

  67. Ah, nursery school.

    My teachers were supplied by a local liberal arts college that put the “liberal” into arts, complete with a Physics-Dept.-sponsored UFO Study Club:

    One time, our class took a field trip to my teacher’s boyfriend’s room to “see his snake.”

    Upon arriving at his aromatic abode, I immediately spied a football helmet and put it on– gear is almost always a good idea.

    Now ready for anything, I volunteered to be the first to Hold The Snake, whatever that meant.

    I was told to hold my arms out in front of me, forearms together and palms upturned. Mr. Boyfriend lifted a huge, coiled snake out of a nearby tank, and placed it on my arms.

    The snake roused itself, lifted its head, and took off to my left. Soon, its head reappeared to my right, passed in front of my face, and took off to the left again. Cool!

    Gliiide, back came its head from the right, across my face, and back around my head again. As it made its third circuit around my neck and glided back around, the air in the room changed.

    Mr. Boyfriend, pharmaceutically mellow for the occasion, fielded a flurry of questions from his girlfriend about “feeding” and “when?”, then sauntered over to me all careful-like. My classmates were uncharacteristically quiet. I remember thinking of them, a la Goldilocks, “My, what big eyes you all have.” The snake wasn’t keen on, say, “relaxing”, but Mr. Stoney somehow got him off of my neck.

    I was hoping to keep the football helmet as a souvenir of my Experience, but was asked to give it back.

    I think that was the last field trip that particular class took.

    This was before I led the nursery school strike. I really didn’t mean to incite a walk-off, but it was a matter of principle. How was I supposed to know everyone would follow me, and that our teacher would subsequently “resign” for two weeks before being convinced to return?

    ~ Sarah

  68. “One time, our class took a field trip to my teacher’s boyfriend’s room to “see his snake.” ”

    SARAH- I honestly thought you were setting us up for
    a much different scenario. No, I’m not disappointed.
    It’ just that, well, it really was a viper you were
    talking about…..

    Are you the same Sarah who briefly checked in on the
    Iodine blog just a few days ago?

  69. BUG: You know I’d be a poorer [wo]man if I never
    saw an eagle fly……

  70. Carolyn,

    Not a viper; Boa.

    Boa Constrictor.

    ~ Sarah

  71. I, too, for a horrified moment, thought it was a trouser snake you were going to see.

    But this why I love Sarah. She can WRITE.

    (there are many other reasons I love her…but the writing thing is a big one.)

  72. Sarah, OMG. A. Boa. Constrictor. Laws, girl, the only boa you’re supposed to put around you neek should have
    ostrich feathers in it. Jeeshh. I’m gettin’ all jittery
    here just thinking about it.

  73. Sarah, sorry, that’s neck, not neek. I don’t invent
    new names for body parts……………….

  74. I would be at your house right now. But I’ve just walked in from delivering a baby goat. A sweet healthy little doe. Put that on my list, number 26.

  75. This book by Phyllis Schlafly is gonna make me stop
    picking up the check at dinner. Never again.

  76. Sarah, like the others, I too thought we were getting a very, very different story!! Hi Carolyn!
    Okay, I am going to watch the Oscars ( my superbowl is how we describe it in our house) and check back on commercials!

  77. BUG: Trouser snake…..LOL….only the young can
    get away with words like that. But it’s funny,
    ain’t young girl, that you and I were thinking the
    exact same thing.

    Now THAT’s saying something about our menfork, ain’t

    I’ll say it again, Phyllis is making me embarrassed
    that I ever did pick up the check at dinner!

  78. BUG- let me correct my typos.

    That’s supposed to be: “But it’s funny, ain’t IT young girl………..

    And then, menFOLK, not menfork.

    Menfork, spork, dork.

    Just felt like rhyming……

  79. HI,AMY, did you read my other post about the phone tree…

    Nice talking to you again. Bumped into each other a few times back there on the Iodine blog, but never had
    a chance to seriously exchange anything with you.

    Go watch the Oscars….I’m still reading Phyllis Schlafly. I wonder if I can ask my fiance to reimburse
    me for all those dinners?

  80. Katherine, you have been much on our minds today. Kat was here and we have at least six or seven songs for her to take into the studio. John is so thrilled to play with Joe I suggested they schedule their first comeback show together. John said, “What if we make each other more nervous than less?” I said, “I will call you hippo-shaped shoe-licking Yankee cowards.” John was like, “Whoooaaaa.”

    Congratulations on your new baby. You’re the best farmer ever. But I missed you today. Well, I miss you every day.


  81. Sarah has an astonishing mind, Bug. She can REALLY write.

    So IODINE won two AudioFile awards and even though I told one of you (Carrie? Sarah?) I generally keep these things to myself. But the judge’s written opinion is just priceless. COUCH won for best author narrated audio book a couple years ago, but IODINE mopped the floor. Let me think about it.

  82. Anybody out there remember Phyllis Schlafly and why
    women, regular old gals who put their pantyhose on
    one leg at a time like you and me and,oh,let’s say,
    Hillary Clinton(!) hated her so much? Anybody want
    to open up that old dirthole of worms?

    Thought not. Well, Amy and Sarah and Bug and Haven,
    of course,Haven, I am going to continue reading my book but I’ll leave the laptop open and the screen will blink
    when a new post arrives.

    Think I’m going to change my screen name to “Cold Sassy.” Just because.

  83. I miss you too! I was planning to be there. Maybe John and Joe should schedule some playtime – well, everyone’s gonna need to get those songs down anyway.

    The baby, UGH, so good. There is goodness in the world. Did you all know? Is that on anyone’s list?

    I love you, Dear One. K

  84. Baby goat? Not many goats in my part of the world.

    I think Larry McMurtry is obsessed with goats. He wiggles a goat, or two, or a whole herd, in all of his books.

  85. Cold Sassy? One of the best scenes in all of fiction. Where is the widower? He’s in the barn knitting all the roses from his wife’s garden into burlap bags, so he can use them to line her grave. I get choked up just typing that out.

  86. HAVEN….I was raised in Connecticut. It’s okay.
    Now I have something with which to spice up my letters back home.

    Not that my two great-uncles Ethan and Lucas are going to relish being called “hippo-shaped shoe-licking Yankee cowards.” But the aunts will get a chortle out
    of it. I hope.

  87. Congratulations, Haven! I was just thinking this morning that I need to re-read Iodine. I think I have matured a lot since I first read it since I have twice as much sobriety.

    Oh, and you may know that Leonard Cohen is touring. I believe he will be at Merriweather Post Pavilion in May so George can take you since he lives near there. I have very fond memories of that venue as I saw Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel and the Talking Heads there during the summer of 85.

  88. Katherine! You’re a Cold Sassy girl, too. Oh, I knew
    my soul was going to run into a couple of mates!!
    I started adding my two cents a few days ago after
    asking Sher permission to do so!

  89. One comment on Jesse – I remember watching Janis Ian sing it on the Tonight Show. When she finished, Johnny, clearly moved, said “she wasn’t sure if we’d let her sing it because it’s longer than most of the songs performed on our show. She can have all the time she wants for that song.” then they cut to commercial. I swear Johnny had tears in his eyes and I loved him that moment for appreciating it as much as I did.

  90. Katherine, that is what I was reading last Sunday when I burst into tears. A baby goat? You MUST post pictures.

    Haven, would this be music that we could hear in the near future? I think I’ve said before I’ve put John’s music on my iPod (the songs you posted to yahoo).

  91. Carolyn, I’m not as young as you think. 😉

  92. Linda: Talking Heads! What is Mr. Byrne doing these days? The last thing I knew was that the two women in the band put together a CD called
    the Tom-Tom Club with a fabulous lead song called “The Genius of Love” which was co-opted by some rappers, but not too badly trashed.

  93. Haven,

    Okay, so you just made me cry. Not that it takes much right now, but still…. (Thanks.)

    Katherine, Cold Sassy Tree is a favorite of mine, hitting home and bringing tears. Almost more importantly, it makes me laugh. Among many reasons for loving the book, my father and his family are from Mississippi, and my paternal grandfather was 14 in 1906– the same as Will Tweedy.

    Hi, Molly!

    ~ Sarah

  94. Also, Haven, please do share what the judge had to say!

  95. Linda, Franconia College had an absolutely otherwordly
    campus…it sat like Camelot, on a hill, did it notW.Whatever happened to the college? I know it went
    bankrupt, then what?

  96. Yes, Haven, tell us what the judges had to say! Don’t be a cow– er, a Yankee!!

  97. Sarah, did you also read “Leaving Cold Sassy?” Somehow, it doesn’t stick in my mind as much as the
    first novel. But I loved it, anyway

    To steal something Haven
    said to me a few posts back,it was so heart-tugging “it made me want to lie down in a cornfield.”

  98. I sent those rough recordings of Kat I made on a Mac laptop to the engineer at a great recording studio in Raleigh — the place I’ve done my audio books — and he wrote back in minutes, I WANT THAT VOICE RIGHT NOW, GET ME THAT VOICE. So I’ve been scrambling for original music, putting together musicians. Katherine’s husband, Joe, is one of the single best musicians I know in the world; every single song of his is either so funny you lose bladder control or it’s so delicate it sneaks up on you and you end up sobbing for fourteen hours. Wait, that’s still me. He’s always been adored here, as is John, but both of them have gone into semi-retirement because of the care and feeding of mammals. But they’re legends: they should do a show together — it would be brilliant. ANYWAY, both John and Joe will be playing guitar and backup vocals, along with a very fine musician from Chapel Hill who’s in two bands and is giving Kat two of his best songs, no publishing fees. John is giving her two, and she’s doing two in the public domain. But tonight she surprised me by playing and singing a slow, mournful version of “Jolene” that just battered my poor spleen. So while trying not to be a stage mother (she’s TWENTY-FOUR) I’m trying to make everything happen smoothly, and then yes, there will be a demo. THRILLING.

  99. Hi, Sarah!

  100. One must also note that in addition to Katherine’s 26 baby goats, she delivered my son, Obadiah. There was no room at the Inn.

  101. Amy…I got food poisoning right before my wedding and that’s how I got to fit into my dress!

  102. Katherine, I saw my friend Mika deliver a goat and it was amazing and cathartic. You are my kind of women.

  103. Angie, I saw Janis in concert at UConn and the emcee
    DID cry. We found out later that her brother, who was serving in the military at that time, was officially
    listed that week as MIA. His name? JESSE.

  104. Whoo hoo! Go Kat!

  105. Haven,

    Booyah, for Kat. Yes, I’ve agreed with you since first hearing her: hers is a voice that should be heard.

    This is Perfect:


    I look forward to hearing more of her. Bring it on, says I.

    And, good for a mother’s heart, hain’t it?

    ~ S.

  106. What a blessing, what a privilege it must be to know your daughter, her husband, your husband, (yourself). So much talent.

    You must spend a lot of time lying down in cornfields.

  107. Okay, so IODINE won an AudioFile Earphones Award, and Best Voices of the Year 2008 for BBC Audio. The article in the catalogue reads: “This gripping production is a tour de force, a tale told by the unreliable narrator to end them all, a compellingly intelligent, emotionally shattered college student named Trace, who keeps losing track of what is real, who is she, and how she got that way, while continuing to function well, even brilliantly. Trace explores mythic archetypes in her academic work, but slowly the listener realizes she is also living in a world of them. Haven Kimmel not only writes like an angel, she has a gorgeous warm voice and skills an actor would envy. I can’t imagine a better narrator to present Trace’s searching, terrible confusion, her incantatory understanding of the world, and the utterly harrowing truth about her past. Stunning work in every way.”

  108. I’m losing buttons off my Christmas vest, I’m so proud of Kat and Haven.

  109. Hear, hear! Yay, Haven!!

  110. Bug, I spent considerably more time in cornfields as a young woman, but that’s a different story.

  111. Haven, I fear cotton fields aren’t conducive to lying back…no coverage, really.

  112. Oh, and who else won a Best Voices Award? AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS.

  113. Yes — to all — it’s difficult to even listen to Kat sometimes, because I have a deep feeling of “To what do I owe this pleasure?”

  114. Particles of Spirit,

    Before this gets lost in the shuffle– I always look forward to seeing what you post, and miss your voice and perspective when you’re not here.

    If and when you want to post your 10 things, or even just one of them, I look forward to reading what you choose to put forth.

    (Well, as long as it isn’t about raccoons eating faces. _That_ was a rough’un!)

    ~ Sarah

  115. HAVEN: The article for the audiobook was correct.
    I cannot imagine having listened to that audiobook
    by anyone else but yourself. It was not a disappointment. And let me tell you that the first
    time I heard Sylvia Plath read her own work on vinyl,
    I was so disappointed. It was like that song ” Her
    eyes were clear and bright, her voice was soft and
    smoothe, but she’s not there.” (And Sylvia’s voice was NOT soft and smooth by the way. )

  116. It’s a rare, rare writer who can read his or her own work with the right tone, or who has the right voice.

  117. Oh my, I feel a Facebook status update coming on…..


  118. Sylvia Plath’s voice fits her. I wouldn’t want her to sound any other way.
    Haven is back!!!! I am so happy I could dance. All right, I’ll dance.

  119. I don’t know, Kate. Maybe I’ve been to too many poetry
    readings where the atmosphere was so sublime, the
    author just couldn’t help but give a fabulous reading.
    Maybe the audience has to give you something to make
    it work out that well. But how do you do that with
    an audiobook? I guess you have to invite all the muses
    to be there, the ones who were present when the work was busy being born and they were there to midwife it.

  120. Thank you, thank you, you are all very kind, but did someone say Sher has T-SHIRTS?!? Because I do love a Sher-created anything, but particularly something I can wear upon my person.

  121. Carolyn, I trained in oral interpretation of literature for years and years, beginning when I was thirteen and through college. That helps.

  122. Amy, I expected more…what? I don’t know. She wasn’t “there” though, in the reading. Remote. Is that what you mean?

  123. This is the shirt I know about–




  125. Haven- Sher (and Kate) designed two Blog Babies tee shirts. The link is in the previous stream but once Sher shows up she can repost it. You are going to fall down laughing with joy when you see them.


  127. LOL. Or Carolyn will post it. 🙂

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




  131. Okay,I’ve only, like, posted the site fourteen times
    alread! I think Haven will find it. I did my part.

  132. One girl can only do so much.

  133. O.k. it took me hours but here’s my 25 things.

    1. I get dumber with age.

    2. I have a sister who lives in Montana, she has
    3 boys and a crazy husband, and I haven’t her in 8 years, or them. 

    3. When I was 3 I scribbled on the back of the driver’s seat of my mother’s boyfriend’s new car, with permanent marker.

    4. When I was 5 we vacationed somewhere in Canada. I was left on a street corner because I was busy watching a clown parade go by. When I realized I was alone I cried until a cop found me, and he stood there holding my hand until my mother came back. I always thought it was an evil attempt by my step-father to lose me, for good, because he hated me for scribbling on his seat.

    5. I was a wicked good baseball player when I was a kid. But for some reason, as an adult, I
    couldn’t play softball to save my life.

    6. When I was in fourth grade I played the flute, but quit the day my teacher told me my lips were too big. I didn’t like the flute anyway. But I didn’t like that teacher more. I’d rather play the drums, but my mom wouldn’t let me.

    7. One of my favorite hobbies when I was 10 was to take my bike apart so I could put it back together – with a big ugly shadow occasionally standing over me saying, “You better put that back together, and I better not see any parts left when you’re done, you little shit.”

    8. I lived on an Air force base in DC for three months when I was 15 (that’s where my sister’s girly boyfriend told me I had “Fred Flintstone feet), other than that I’ve lived in West Michigan, with-in a 20 mile radius, my entire life.

    9. The first concert I ever went too was KISS in Landover Maryland. And I was shocked to see my step mother, who was from obscure Pacific Island somewhere near Guam, smoking weed.

    10. I moved out of my childhood home when I was in 11th grade and finished high school on my own, while working 3rd shift at a dive restaurant. It’s was so fun waiting on drunks I threw cold drinks on drunks three times, and went to work on acid more than once.

    11. My senior year I spent more time in the parking lot than I did in the school, but still managed to graduate.

    12. When I told my mother I was pregnant she flipped her lid and told me I couldn’t raise a child alone. I was 27. She was 19 when she had me and I was number 3! And she was divorced and remarried 4 times since. All I could think of was –“the nerve of her!”

    13. My mother was wrong. I have the coolest, funniest, most well adjusted kid I’ve ever seen. People tell me so all the time.

    14. I was addicted to listening to Vince Gill when I was pregnant. I listened to him every day. To this day, Shelby goes into a trance like state when she hears him. She is almost 18.

    15. I hate leaving the house in the winter. I should probably move somewhere without snow but I fear tornados, hurricanes, wild fires, earthquakes, and mudslides. Except for the “lake effect snow” ( that’s a new term in the last several years. Just like “straight line winds”) living nears Lake Michigan we are relatively protected from severe weather, thanks to the dunes. Really, tornados tend to dissipate over the lake, or they bounce off the dunes and go to the poor suckers inland.

    16. I do love living by the lake in the summer even though I’m not a beach kind of person.

    17. I didn’t go on a real date until I was in my thirties. Before that any other “date” was really a drunken bar hook-up.

    18. Which means I’ve been single the majority of my life. Still am. I’m starting to think I’m supposed to be single forever.

    19. I’ve been on a horse twice. The first time I was 10 and the horse decided to run away with me on it. The second time I was 30-something and the horse was horribly uncooperative.

    20. I love camping in the summer. I love tent sleeping but I use multiple air-mattresses because I hate lying on the ground.

    21. The first time I went to jail overnight they put me in the general population. I cried and locked myself in the bathroom until the guards came a retrieved me. They locked to a bench by the payphone until they found a spot for me. That spot turned out to be in the same holding cell as a very large, very angry black woman who beat on the bars and screamed, “I don’t belong here. You mother fucking honkeys better come take me to Muskegon Heights. I was framed! You hear me?” She yelled that for hours. But oddly, I was more comfortable with her, screaming an all, than in the general population.

    22. I haven’t had a regular, full time job for 8 years. I’ve had a ton of crappy part time jobs. I’m now trying to start my own business.

    23. One time I was listening to my iPod in my car, and I got out of the car, locked the door, attended a meeting and church service – all with my keys locked in the car, with the car still running. It was running for three hours.

    24. I’ve been sober 4,146 days.

    25. I go to a movie every Friday by myself.

  134. I have loved Sylvia for years and have done loads of research on her. I understand what you mean about not being there however I don’t believe she was “there” so to speak. Haven and I have blogged about this, but if Sylvia had been given the medical attention and proper medication we can now give people who need it she would have been a different author. She was so removed from herself yet tried to give all she had.

  135. Priceless.

  136. Particles,that was a beautiful list.

  137. Priceless is referring to the tee-shirts.

    Dee- next to your awesome daughter you know that #24 is the most important and hard earned. You rock.

  138. Particles,


    ~ S.

  139. Amy, thank you for that. Yes, remote is what I would call it. And as hard as nails. So now I can let that
    disappointment go and just be glad that I have heard
    her. They don’t even have a recording of her at the
    U of D. Shocking. A whole generation will never listen,perhaps, because they don’t know a recording
    is available. That’s criminal.

  140. Particles–brava!

  141. BUG; Did you read my story?

  142. Bug!

  143. Carolyn, I am so glad the state police were able to rescue you from that bitch…I assume your parents were relieved that they found you in one piece?


    Anyone watching the Oscars? (AMY!!) I have a major crush on the unfortunately married Hugh Jackman. He has a big muscles and can sing. I’m lost. **sigh**

  144. Oh, Hugh! And he can dance! Are we gonna fight like cheerleaders
    over a……man!

    My parents thought I’d gone into the water alone,
    and the lifeguards and everybody were combing the
    beach, into the water…everybody was looking for me.

    Till this day, I HATE beauty queens.

  145. Bug, your list is great, and I love Hugh Jackman, but I’m partial to the name Hugh.

  146. I am watching them but I am not sure why because I never go to the movies. And, I really don’t like award shows. But, Heath Ledger’s family. Sigh. Lovely.

  147. Particles, you’ve got the deep deep heart.

  148. Aw, thanks, Kate. I enjoyed yours as well.

    Carolyn, no. I refuse to fight. Hugh J is all mine. You already have a fiance, and I am all by my lonesome. 😉 Cut a girl a break.

  149. Bug, Kate, Sarah, Amy, Particles, Linda and Haven…

    I am going to bed. Blessings upon you all.

    (y’all ,go buy a T-shirt at Sher’s website, and wear it in Durham in April!)
    Hoping to see y’all there. Goodnight.

  150. I love Particles list, especially the part about the car, but all of it really.

  151. And Kate, since you did post it, I am curious about #4 on your list. Anything you can share? Actually, curious isn’t a strong enough word. I am fascinated. It reminds of when Haven said Mother Delonda told her a secret about Obadiah…

    Are you willing to share?

  152. BUG. LOL…glad I caught that before I signed off.
    You saucy wench. Go to the gym and drop your towel
    in front of the first available, cute guy you see.
    That’s how I met mine. Actually, I’d seen him there
    a few times, and I thought at first he wasn’t my type.
    Then, when all the other women would sashay around
    him and call his name to say “hi” to him, I thought,
    hmmmm…must be more to this guy than meets the eye.
    We also worked for the same company so it wasn’t hard
    to “bump into him by accident” at work. And it’s been
    8 yrs. So go work out. I hear it’s good for you. I heartily recommend it.

  153. Haven, I think I’m going to get a copy of Iodine in Audio and listen. Perhaps, hearing it will help me with understanding.

    So far, I’ve resisted listening to books, but I’ll make an special exception for you.

    Linda. I always go to the movies. I watch movies at home. I watch Netfilx movies on my computer. BUT I hate award shows.

  154. Particles, listen to the audiobook, read the book again,
    then join in the blog on the other site. We need
    all the help we can get.

  155. Kate. I almost pee’d myself when I read your #1 on your list. I read it to Shelby and then asked her why aren’t you laughing like I am?

  156. Heading to bed, too. I hate my 5 a.m. wake up call. At least I don’t have to accomplish anything before school like Maureen does. (Molly wipes real sweat off her brow at the thought of having even more responsibility…)

    Kittery–hope you kicked some serious ass today at during your shows.

  157. Oh sure, I just kept it all short and sweet for Facebook’s sake.

    1. When Hugh and I were newlyweds he had a dream that we had a son whose middle name was “Danger.” I laughed, ho ho, what a funny idea. But he was dead serious. He said, let’s do it. And even though I felt like hmmm, ok, I decided we were just young and silly enough for it to work. We had to do it while it still made sense. Soon after I got pregnant. We had to find a name that went with “Danger” and I remembered the name Jarvis from a series of short stories by the author of Anne of Green Gables. I thought they went perfectly together, and we found out Jarvis means “Skilled with a Spear.” Together the names allude to the meaning “Skilled with a spear when exposed to evil.” So, it was perfect just for that, but when Jarvis was six months old I read Zippy and realized that my son was named after Haven, but I didn’t know it. And her daughter is named Katharine, spelled the same as mine, it’s a spelling you almost NEVER see even thought it’s closest to the Greek, so you tell me what THAT means! Haven has declared that Mr. J has her DNA and I don’t doubt it…he’s truly one of the strangest and most creative children I have ever met. Endlessly interesting, and very sweet and loving.

    While I was still pregnant with Jarvis, Hugh and I were watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. When Linus came to the stage and recited from the book of Luke we both teared up and knew, we KNEW, that our next child was a boy named Linus. We gave him the middle name Kaspar after one of the Three Wise Men. It means “Keeper of the Treasure.” And there are a thousand things I could tell you about that boy that define precisely what a treasure he is.

    Alice was named for my grandmother…and I have had the name Magdalene selected for years prior. I’m not sure if the “message” was as strong except that it was just completely obvious that was to be our daughter’s name. It was just beautiful and meaningful and perfect.

    Now, Hugh and I picked the name Lucille a while back, and we’ve been trying to squeeze it in somewhere. After Alice was born I was begging Hugh to get a vasectomy. Pregnancy was horrible, birth was evil, I was SO DONE. But I wasn’t. When she was two weeks old I stared at her laying asleep in the crib in the church nursery and I knew we would have another. Or, as they say in the old horror story, “ROOM FOR ONE MORE!”

    So, we were visiting Hugh’s parents, and his grandmother Eva had just moved in, and I was struck by how perfect the name Eva Lucille is. I told Hugh and he replied, rather smugly, “I thought of that three days ago.”

    Hugh always knows the sex of our children, and everyone else’s as well. So, this last baby, we know who she is. We just don’t know when she’s coming.

  158. Dee, glad to be of service. Really, my list ought to be full of strange little tidbits like that.

  159. 11:20 and the friggin Oscars are still going…..

  160. There are a lot of white gowns this year.

  161. But, Particles, you’re not watching, right?

    Or, are you watching, and hating it?


  162. I turned it on really late, Sarah. I’m going t bed thrilled because Sean Penn won best Actor. He was brilliant as Harvey Milk.

  163. Gotcha.

    Our house was thrilled for Kate Winslet, for her sake (we haven’t seen The Reader). Oh, and for Heath Ledger. And with Penn’s winning, we got to see Princess Buttercup again.

    ~ S.

  164. 1. Blue by Joni. In the fall of 1971, someone said, listen to this and put it on the album. I was sitting there stoned, but every song in it cored me out. And soon I wasn’t stoned. I was stunned.

    2. Atom Heart Mother, Pink Floyd. Must have been in 1969 or 70. My friend Bob said, listen to this. Until then I had never, ever considered the possibilities.

    3. Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash. Somehow, I discovered this on my own. I loved Ring of Fire as a single, but I was ashamed because it was kinda country so I used to go to the local drugstore by myself, order a root beer float, drop a dime in the table jukebox and play it for me.

    4. Rumours, Fleetwood Mac. During the winter of 1977 I was living in Northern Maine and for some reason I woke up one morning and played it. Played it darned near every morning thereafter for darned-near a year. About ten years ago, I was at a club in Alexandria, Va. owned by Mick Fleetwood. I saw Mick at the bar and walked up to him and told him the previous story. His reaction: “Really, man, that’s cool.” But I could tell he thought I was a nut.

    5. (three-way tie) Poems, Prayers and Promises, John Denver; Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me, Mac Davis; By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Glen Campbell. I have my reasons for these and my reasons are my own.

    6. Breezin’, George Benson. My ex-wife and I were choosing albums from the club we belonged to at the time. Maybe in was 1976. She said, I’m gonna try this. It was my favorite and opened the door for me to jazz.

    7. (three-way tie) Court and Spark, Hejira, Hissing of Summer Lawns, Joni. After Blue, I became a lifelong devotee of Joni. These three albums are perfect. I didn’t even have to listen to them. Reading the lyrics was enough.

    8. Tom Scott and L.A. Express, Tom Cat with the L.A. Express. Suddenly, it was jazz, fusion, riff.

    9. Close to the Edge, Yes. It must have been in 1973. My good friend Jim had just gotten discharged from the Navy and we were sitting in his apartment with a bong and I started a long rap about the German author Herman Hesse. Jim goes, Check out this album, man, the whole thing is based on Hesse’s book, Siddhartha.

    10. Takin Off, Herbie Hancock. I was talking about jazz one day to someone who actually knew what he was talking about and he said to me, George, you don’t know shit about jazz if you never heard Watermelon Man. He was right.

    11. Turning Point, John Mayall; Are You Experienced, Jimi Hendrix. Both of these albums made my mind go like, WHOOSH!!!!!

    12. Eat A Peach, Allman Brothers. I listened to it every possible way: upside down, right-side up, stoned, straight.

    13. Carolina Dreams, Searchin’ for a Rainbow, Marshall Tucker Band. I’ve just always had a hillbilly side to me, but these led me to another stint on my psychedlic side…

    15. Fly Like an Eagle, Steve Miller Band. My brother got home from the Army in 1975 and said he wanted to turn me onto Steve Miller. I was already there Steve Millerwise, but I was so glad my brother was back from Okinawa. We played it and I sat there thinking our adult lives are now just children and we will be men together for the rest of our lives.

    14. (tie) The White Album/Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I have both of these on my MP3 player and I consider it a really lucky day when one of the tracks pop up on a random basis.


    I feel really remiss in not mentioning my other great album loves such as Carol King’s Tapestry, which is perfect, Frank Sinatra’s compilation, The Capitol Years, which is also perfect; Back Stabbers by the O’Jays, Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, What’s Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye, Bobby Darin, Pete Fountain, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Ella and Sara, George Acuff, Roy Orbison.

    My alltime favorite song of all time…one I can listen to anytime and any place for the rest of my life: (either version) Grazin in the Grass by Hugh Masekela or The Friends of Distinction.

  165. Haven, you’re back baby. Lovely to see you my friend. We have all missed you ENORMOUSLY!!!

    Haven, I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments. I’m often gobsmacked by the proliferating narcissism and utter self absorption in today’s youth; their self indulgent behaviours frighten me. Having said that, it would be silly to place all the blame on our youth. I have witnessed the abhorrent behaviour that we speak of in people decades older than the tweens and the so-called Gen Y too.
    To avoid launching into a whinge n’ whine session myself, I’ll very quickly say that I am suffering through the ridiculously hard economic times at the moment. I won’t go into anymore detail but I will say that I’m not the only one in my world who is doing it tough.
    When I witness people who have yet to wake up and notice the DEPRESSION, (we are in a depression now, I do believe), it just, well, disgusts me. Are they blind to the burgeoning homeless population who roam our streets? Have they missed all the obvious signs, blaring like neon, of a bare market?? They are all around us; if not happening to us.
    So when I witness people getting caught up in all this frivolous bullshit, it too really fucks me off. WAKE UP PEOPLE! People are sruggling. People are starving. People are finding it hard to keep a roof over their heads; to feed their children; to keep their beloved pets in hostile rental situations.
    In a bare market, people become meaner, nastier, more protective of their goods and less mindful of heir neighbours. In a bare market, people become self-obsessed.

    Having said that, I do believe that a bit of frivolous fun is what can keep us happy; is what can be a seet diversion from the stresses we face. And yet, like all things, we mus keep a good balance.

    Ok, I’ve jumped off my soap box for now…. who’ next?
    Love Tex xxxxxxxxxxx

    PS I’m addicted to writing letters. In this world of text msgs/emails/msn & instant gratification, I still believe in writing letters by hand to our loved ones, our friends. No “My Profile”, “My Photos” attached, just a good old fashioned letter. I can thank my Dad and my Grandparents for that. It’s a precious thing.

  166. My above posting contains several typos, misspellings, grammatical errors, faulty memories and what-not, but it was earnest. I am also aware that it reads like an approved list of Golden Oldies by Clear Channel Radio…

  167. George, I posted a list that was as honest as could be, and that’s what is important, even though it was really humiliating.

  168. Sorry guys, I’ve not had the time to read all y’all posts, but I shall tomorrow. I just caught wind that our darling Blog-Mama was back and responded to her brilliant comments. I can’t wait to see what all of you clever honeys have to say too!
    Catch ya tomorrow, lurve Tex xxxxxxx

  169. No, Kate, what is humilating is that I was up to number 11 on my 25 facts and I was boasting that I had a relatively good understanding of Einstein’s special theory, particularly the part on simultaneity, and I went to get some coffee only to find that my screen had frozen up and I lost everything I had previously written.

    Arghhhh….now I am going to go to bed…

  170. …but I am so glad about Haven’s award and Augusten, too.

  171. Oh Bug I fo sho understand why you call it Facecrack if there are all these intriguing lists all over the place. I loved loved loved yours, GFTG’s, Dee’s, Kate’s, Amy’s, and Haven’s (HAVEN!!), and I think we can count George’s here. Sarah — I will settle for five, as every word you write makes me want more.

    I started writing only to realize 25 would make my list hopelessly unwieldy (my editor has taken the holiday off). I also am mindful this is not the facebook model (short and sweet). But here are 12:

    1. I am extremely flexible. Ask anyone.

    2. At 8, I was the neighborhood events promoter. I staged plays in my backyard (even though the stubborn pharmacist refused me witch hazel for my “stage makeup kit”), carnivals in our garage, parades down the street. I thought The Theatre was my destiny, though I could not act.

    3. This fact did not, in high school, dissuade the director of the musical from casting me as Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s Anything Goes (which began my lengthy and not-yet-cooled love affair with Porter and Wodehouse). I wore a mink coat for the last time and tap danced and had a posse.

    4. In third grade, a persistent rebel thought, while pumping one leg to go round and round the bar I was sitting on with the other, was that if the authorities didn’t want to see my underwear, they had better change that stupid rule about no pants for girls. This was the first thought I could identify as feminist.

    5. I moved to New York City from my hometown of Seattle in my 20s, without a job or friends and with $200 in my pocket. When my planned crash hostess — the sister of a friend of a friend — left the city a week before my departure, I lined up housing two days before leaving by asking (as a joke) from the stage in the club in which I was singing if anyone knew anyone I could live with. Someone did. This is only one of my many “kindness of strangers” stories.

    6. My first real apartment in NYC — with an oven and everything — was on 76th and Columbus: I could see the Macy’s parade by leaning out my window. There was an opera singer on the first floor of the brownstone, a Rockette on the second, a playwright on the third, and a Lincoln Center box office manager on the fourth. We all had Easter and Thanksgiving together, on a door braced on sawhorses; drank cases of champagne at New Year’s, got lots of free tickets. (It felt like living in one of those women’s hotels for actresses in the 40s, except there were men.) I had my practical education here: art, cuisine, couture.

    7. I can make anything. I do — as I believe David Rakoff once said — leave light bulbs and flour to the experts.

    8. I once spent an entire evening getting back uptown with an Italian jazz trio, following a party at the Italian Embassy where my friend Dave was screening several of his vintage jazz films. A bass player (famous as much for his groundbreaking approach to the bass as for his crazy, Haven will know who) was there and invited us all to his gig downtown. The ride uptown, after, was slow, surreal, and incomprehensible (I have no Italian). I kept saying, I’ll just catch a cab, and they kept saying, no, no, stay, stay. They stopped in SoHo “to visit our friend” and we walked into a loft, every inch filled with this artist’s marble sculptures. Surrounded by such mastery and beauty, and being in the presence of the agent of that m&b, I found it difficult to catch my breath. We watched him cut awhile. I can picture it now as if the scene were laid out in front of me. My head is full to bursting with all these scenes of wonder and delight. I am not afraid of spiders, snakes, coyotes, raccoons. I am deathly afeard of Alzheimer’s.

    9. With my father, two of his buddies, and their two sons my age (10 or 11), I once hiked deep into the Olympic Rain Forest. Spanish Moss (or its cousin) hanging from every branch, primeval, 10-foot wide ferns every few steps, and a holiness I’d never sensed before. This is likely the source of my pantheism: I feel the presence of God more in an old-growth forest than in any cathedral.

    10. I trust people at their word, and am always completely flummoxed if I later find I have been lied to, as I was not, growing up (lied to). I do not similarly trust that people will do what they say they will do. I try to. (Do what I say I will.)

    11. I am completely open to those rumors of that which can’t be categorically disproven: aliens, ESP, astral projection, etc. I believe in the possibility, but won’t insist on the probability.

    12. It’s nearly impossible for me to talk about God with anyone, as I don’t subscribe to the model of God-as-concierge. I can, however, talk around the edges of the idea of God with almost anyone.

  172. Carrie, who needs 25 when you can master a list in 12. If the point after reading one of these lists is that you must get to know the person better, not that you necessarily know them better now, you have hit the mark. I must get to know Carrie.

  173. I have been listening to Haven read Zippy, and though I don’t remember her exact words, believe her when she says she reads the hell out of her books. Great and fabulous news, Haven, about the AudioFile and Best Voices awards. All that oral interp. work finally pays off big. Iodine may start with a cult following but will end up “in the canon.”

  174. Caryl! You are very kind! Where is yours, please?

    I’m guessing you have seen Jack and husband off safely. If the house seems all empty, turn up the music. Start with George’s list.

  175. Also? The VERY FIRST POEM I remember reading was Janis Ian’s.

  176. HELP! HELP! EDUCATIONAL EMERGENCY!!!!! (Yes, I posted this in two places. It’s that dire.)

    I need a couple more novel recommendations:

    One is for my student who is doing her final project on gender discrimination in schools, particularly sports.

    Another student is doing global warming. He is starting from the premise that it is all hype and liberal exaggeration. I was going to have him read Michael Crichton’s State of Fear but I don’t want to feed his fire. Any thoughts on State of Fear or recommendations for its opposite?

    Novels or good memoirs are welcomed with my gratitude. The point is to get the students emotionally involved with their topics.


  177. Maureen, Clive Cussler has a relatively new book with a global warming theme. I haven’t read it, I only read about it somewhere.


    There other, all I can think of is Disney movies.

  178. Thanks, POS. I’ll check it out.
    I’ll eschew the Disney. 😉

  179. George- I have the best of Steve Miller cds in my car. And, I say Yes in the round. I think it was xmas 1979. Not the best show ever, but Yes was a huge part of my high school years. And Genesis.

  180. That is- I SAW Yes. I can Say Yes, but I prefer to say no. I am just ornery that way.

  181. still sicky . . .but HAPPY< HAPPY that Haven is back and I thought there was some weird force in the air yesterday, as I lolled about high on the codeine from my cough syrup

    I skip most of the lists on FB due to time, so much to do, so little time . . . really, but I love the updates and the events feature and it saves some time and I love posting photos there and not 500 times via email . . .

    I’m getting 2 tshirts . . . one long sleeve for underneath and the short sleeve V-neck for over . . . even I couldn’t decide . . .must have a Kate! and must have a Sher (really Haven in her bonnet . . . )

    some recent facts:
    1. I cry harder every time I watch SICKO!
    2. I cried hardest when I watched TAKING CHANCE (Kevin Bacon plays a Marine Escort, as a casualty officer – like Owen Meany) . . . it is heartbreaking and I remember this from Vietnam time with uncles . . . and the 7 gun salutes at my Grandpa’s funeral . . . etc. It slayed me
    3. I started 13 new paintings on Thursday.
    4. People think I am insane to travel to Durham for the reading, but I know how important it is. I don’t care what people think, you here have become my chosen family and you understand me more than I do on some days.

    After listening to Iodine again (4th time), I have re-evaluated my stance on Dr. Cohen (will post it there) . . .

  182. Also I NEVER do chain e-mails, but Suzanne sent me one and because it was from her I forwarded it!!!

  183. here’s my list. wrote it a while ago and could probably be more creative–but it is what it is….

    1. i hate showering. i feel like i should be paid for it. it is a major chore.

    2. i still sleep with “bluey”, my blanket from childhood. i slept with “blueder” on my wedding night and he was with me when i gave birth to my son.

    3. becoming a mother is the most rewarding thing i have ever done in my life.

    4. i am 32.

    5. i have fibromyalgia and it sucks.

    6. i have 3 dogs who light up my life.

    7. my very best friend is my husband, john

    8. my son mason has red hair and a spitfire personality to go with it.

    9. i would like to have more children.

    10. i went to college in waterville, maine–colby.

    11. i have worked a job since i was 13.

    12. i love to read and be read to.

    13. i love the band PHISH, even if some people think i should have grown out of it. i am going to their reunion show in march and cannot wait.

    14. i love smartfood popcorn and when i lived in hawaii they didn’t have it there. my mom shipped it to me by the case.

    15. i LOVE travel and have been many places all over the world. i can’t wait to see more.

    16. i have 2 sisters and a brother and i am the oldest.

    17. i love every season that new england has.

    18. i am living in my dream house on my dream land and it was worth waiting for.

    19. i try to live every day without resentments, but sometimes i am unsuccessful.

    20. when my son runs to me and hugs me, there is no better feeling in the world. i love watching him grow, but at the same time i wish he could be small forever.

    21. i HATE pickles

    22. i am very bad at watching movies bc i can’t sit still for that long.

    23. vietnam was one of the coolest, most educational places i have ever been.

    24. i like having a tan, even though it is: 1. hard for me to get and 2. bad for my skin

    25. the red sox are the best baseball team EVER. my loyalty to them is unwavering.

  184. Kate: Black is always killah chic. Always, always, always.
    Haven: I am quite ready to whore, as it’s one of the few things I haven’t yet done. Should I buy a merkin? I could wear it on my head.
    Haven: The baby-and-puppy teeth thing? … I don’t care that you were born in Indiana, you have a Southern Gothic soul.
    Haven: I type on my leg while listening as well. I also play the piano on both legs. To any music I hear, anywhere, anyplace.
    Haven: “I am insanely undeserving of the depth and quality of the way I’m loved.” Yeah. Why do we bother with you anyway, you rude, selfish bitch.
    Kate: They Might Be Giants’ FLOOD is a wonderful, brain-tweaking album that I haven’t thought about in years. Now that I’m recalling it, it would have to be on my top 15.
    Susan: “Facebook is for old people”? … Well. I can’t argue, I’m 52.
    Maureen: As Haven kindly divulged, my name’s Robert Rodi and you can preorder DOGGED PURSUIT: MY YEAR OF COMPETING DUSTY, THE WORLD’S LEAST LIKELY AGILITY DOG on Amazon. Haven Kimmel makes a cameo appearance. (I think telling this to Haven’s fans qualifies as whoring.) And BTW, Rob-san is an old alias that I thought I’d abandoned; I don’t know how it snuck back into my last post.
    Lightning bug: I feel your pain. Last summer in Vermont I spent an afternoon shopping with Haven and Scott, and there was a big rip across the back of my ass so big my BVDs could be seen a block away, and, just as with you, NO ONE TOLD ME. I had to discover it later, when I got home and undressed. I believe this was God’s way of telling me I am now too old to wear shorts. I have not worn them since.
    Carolyn: Janis Ian’s BETWEEN THE LINES is note and syllable perfect, from beginning to end. (AFTERTONES ain’t bad, either.)
    TGFTG: No argument about the Beatles. I still miss them so much it hurts.
    Haven: Ian’s “In The Winter” is one of the most devastating songs ever, period. I have to lie down just from thinking about it.
    Carolyn: David Byrne took a left-turn into world music, did a couple of Latin-influenced solo albums (REI MOMO is the best), and last I heard had started a world-music label. But that was several years ago.
    Carrie: You really should be afraid of raccoons. They have HANDS. And no souls. A frankly terrifying combination.

  185. i have also saved many puppy teeth over the years. i have them all in a small box in the desk. i have never told anyone that.

    and flood is one of the greatest albums EVER. “it’s a brand new record for 1990, they might be giants brand new album flood” (all sun at the very beginning of the album). birdhouse in my soul might be my fave

  186. Steph – Phish. My tiny little claim to fame: Phish did their first paid gig in the dorm I lived in senior year of college. A guy in my dorm, John Paluska, was friends with them (they were students at UNH). And he got them to come down and play at one of our Full Moon Parties. (The dorm was called The Zoo and was the vegetarian dorm. We were famed campus-wide for out monthly parties.) They played for two of our parties, and we were always annoyed because they then slept in our lounge and we had to step over them in the morning.
    After he graduated, John Paulska became their manager and took them on to fame.

  187. can we get the library in Durham to reserve a first row seating for the Blog Babies???? in our t-shirts???

  188. For all of you Durham Adventurers:

    Here is the link to a little propaganda blurb made about Durham for the purpose of recruiting law students for Duke…

    The bookstore scenes are at The Regulator

    Molly…note the armadillo holding the beer bottle at The Q-Shack, a barbecue spot owned by one of our famous award winning chefs…(Inexpensive delicious southern food)

    Pay no attention to the Duke basketball clips, as everyone knows the UNC Tar Heels are the only real basketball team in this area…(just kidding of course…we are nothing if not polarized about basketball here).

  189. NB alias –

    great link about Durham . . . can’t wait to meet cha! and the BBQ sounds fabulous and maybe a good meeting spot for all of us

  190. Here is my 25 things list from FB….

    1. My children are the miracles of my life and I thank God every day for the privilege of having them in my life.
    2. I was born in New Jersey. My family moved to Bucks County, PA when I was 12 and I lived there until I left for college in 1978.
    3. Speaking of college… it took me 27 years to finish my bachelor’s degree. I went to college in Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and two schools in Tennessee.
    4. Of those colleges, two were art schools (Boston Univ. School for the Arts and the Corcoran School of Art in DC).
    5. I love Texas music – especially Reckless Kelly, Wade Bowen, Robert Earl Keen and Pat Green.
    6. I love the New England coast. Being by the sea fills me with hope.
    7. I could eat lobster every day. Seriously, I could.
    8. I played field hockey from 7th grade through my sophomore year in college when I was actually named most valuable player.
    9. My favorite author is Haven Kimmel who is funny and brilliant and a blessing in my life.
    10. I have been a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville for 17 years and I could not I imagine a more loving and nurturing faith community.
    11. I am a terrible housekeeper. I have a bit of a problem with clutter. Some days I wish a tornado would swoop in and blow my entire house away (as long as no one, including pets, was hurt) so I could start fresh.
    12. My favorite artist of all time is Vincent Van Gogh. Genius.
    13. I LOVE lilacs. I have two bushes trying to grow in my yard.
    14. I am fascinated by graveyards.
    15. I believe in ghosts.
    16. I am against the death penalty and think it should be abolished in the United States.
    17. My dog, Foster, is just about the sweetest creature on the planet. I love him.
    18. I support gay marriage and just cannot imagine why anyone would oppose it.
    19. My father was a professional with the Boy Scouts of America for over 40 years and I spent many childhood summers with my family at boy scout camp.
    20. Being around college students makes me happy and gives me hope.
    21. I think teachers and early childhood caregivers are the most amazing people in the world and the most unpaid and often under appreciated.
    22. I loved being pregnant but am glad I never have to be again.
    23. My goal in life is to have a front porch swing and a walk-in closet. And a second bathroom would also be nice.
    24. Places I have never been to but would love to visit: New Mexico, Washington state, Australia, Italy, and Nova Scotia. But first I need to get a passport. I have never had one.
    25. I am grateful just to be alive.

  191. I can’t find my things list on FB, and I haven’t done all the other ones . . . .

    but there is something about numbered lists that grap me . . . and I love learning more about my loved ones . . .

    [sher blows linda a kiss – from rural TN to town] off to the studio to heal myself

  192. Loved the blog on facebook. When yet another person asks if I’m on facebook I am going to just send them the link to this blog and be done with it.
    It makes a little more sense than my current response–a vague reference from Cold Comfort Farm: “Some of us has farmin’ to do!”

  193. Perhaps I’ve mentioned I cry a lot lately? And I was reading these posts with tears in my eyes — not just from the content but because you did it. You just talk to each other and me as if we’re real people, and I know that sounds glib but I fully believe a great portion of the world is personality-disordered and has NO idea other people are real. Thank you all.

    Robert, you had a hole in your shorts, but I was wearing a NIGHTGOWN.

    Maureen — I can’t remember the name of the woman who wrote THE YEAR WITHOUT MICHAEL, but she has a new YA novel out, the journal of a senior in high school, who is concerned with all the typical things, and in the midst of it there’s a global warming catastrophe. Apparently it’s brilliant.

  194. Hey…a pink dandelion just sprouted! I’m happy.

    Working on my 25.

  195. “Life-changing” is too intimidating to define, but the following albums either helped frame my outlook early on, or gave me a place to Be at various pivot points, or both.

    Looking over my list, I’m grateful all over again for my mother’s taste in music; it is she who touched my heart’s palate and informed my soul with Judy Collins, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, and Simon & Garfunkel from the get-go. In this, she served me well.

    ~ Judy Collins: Wildflowers, Who Knows Where the Time Goes (side 1 only, it seems; looking over the track list, I don’t think we flipped the record much)

    ~ Cat Stevens: Teaser and the Firecat

    ~ Jesus Christ Superstar (Original London Concept Recording, with Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, Murray Head, etc.)

    ~ The Band (eponymous)

    ~ Crosby, Stills, & Nash (eponymous)

    ~ James Taylor: Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon

    ~ Simon & Garfunkel: Greatest Hits (this feels like cheating, but that really was the album)

    ~ Barry Lyndon Soundtrack (Oh, please– does anyone have access to this…?!)

    ~ Billy Joel: The Stranger

    ~ Meatloaf: Bat Out of Hell

    ~ Don McLean: American Pie (Not for the title track, but for the whole of it. The winter of my sophomore year in college, a bunch of us played hookey at a friend’s apartment during a snow storm. We made cookies, sat by the fire, and listened to music. Somewhere in the midst of that softened-up-heart day, McLean’s Crossroads came on. When I heard “Do you remember who I am; can you feel it? Can you find my pain; can you heal it?” it was as if someone had reached into the burning plane, pushed me out the door, and pulled the ripcord on my parachute. That, and Vincent.

    ~ Pachelbel Canon, Albinoni Adagio & Other Baroque Melodies, Jean-François Paillard conducting (it has to be _this_ recording of Pachelbel’s Canon)

    ~ Fernando Ortega: In This Bright Hour

    ~ Lifehouse: No Name Face

  196. Sarah- we must be about the same age because I have many of the same music memories. I have a copy of American Pie in my car (I keep my best cds in my car. I hope I never drive it off a bridge or into a lake or I am in trouble). American Pie (the song itself) was my favorite song when I was in the 6th grade and we would play it on the juke box while playing pin ball at the teen center up the street from our house in N.J. Simon and Garfunkle’s Bridge Over Troubled Water was the first album I bought with my own money. Cat Stevens was my inspiration in 8th and 9th grades. Billy Joel’s The Stranger was the soundtrack of my senior year in high school, along with Jackson Browne’s Running on Empty (that was my first concert without parents)

  197. Sarah that’s exactly what I was thinking about the “life changing” thing.

  198. Darn, Sarah, how could I have left all those off my own list! Linda, I started listening to American Pie in 1972 and it didn’t end until 1974!

    Ok, here are 25 random things about me.

    1. My nickname is Bo. Everyone in my family and close childhood friends use it to refer to me. It was given to me by my cousin Debra when we were both toddlers and she apparently couldn’t pronounce George.

    2. I was present at the birth of both my boys and they are the loves of my life.

    3. When a kid pulled a gun on me during a robbery attempt in Washington, DC, I hit him in the shoulder and tried to get his gun myself so I could kill him. I think he was surprised by this reaction. So was I. After a very brief struggle, we took leave of each other, shouting curses at each other and I turned my back on him, expecting to be shot and wondering how much of the impact my winter coat would absorb.

    4. I have a relatively good understanding of Einstein’s Special Theory. What opened the door for me was when I comprehended the concept of simultaneity. This has made me a believer in the possibility of time travel.

    5. Speaking of the special theory, I love the sound of a freight train at night, blowing its two longs and a short as it approaches an intersection. I love the shudder and shake of trains as the couple and uncouple in the night, in the yard.

    6. I am mesmerized by birds, fish, insects, and microscopic critters of all kinds. These animals teach me that intelligence isn’t wholly a function related to the size of the brain. I question this, however, in the cases of my dogs, Sadie and Gus. Then again, I am the one who daily scoops up about two pounds of their crap as they watch me and anticipate their next meal.

    7. In college, I played Starbuck, the lead role in The Rainmaker. On my high school debate team, one of my specialties was poetry reading, a fact I desperately hid from my “regular” friends. My career in extemporaneous speaking was curtailed when I was assigned to speak on the topic of euthanasia, which I heard as Youth in Asia – a very broad topic. I repeated this same auditory error just last June when I was involved in a spelling bee and went down on a sound-alike word that I presently cannot remember although it might have been metal and I spelled it meddle. Lesson: Always ask, “Would you use it in a sentence, please?”

    8. I am confident that on your worst day, I could find something funny and make you laugh. One of my gifts is cheerfulness and a sense that there is a divine blessedness all around.

    9. But I am a beast in the morning until I pour a couple of cups of coffee into my gullet…then I am happy-Bo-lucky. I also drink at least one can of V-8 juice each day. From 1993 to 1996, I had a turkey sandwich each day. Then I tired of turkey and switched to tuna fish salad. I had one of those almost every day for the next decade. I don’t eat lunch now. Instead, I have a broken egg yolk sandwich on white bread with cheese and bacon for breakfast. This has been my routine for about three years.

    10. I have been loved my whole life – a fact that fills me with such gratitude and awe I can hardly express it.

    11. I have been to a dozen nations and almost every state in the Union, but I don’t particularly like to travel. What I like is being where I am.

    12. I am never bored. I do allow for the possibility that I may be boring.

    13. I read everything with the exceptions of mystery and romance novels. I love all movies except horror films and crap like Saw or Friday the 13th .

    14. If you were to go sailing with me, I would start our little voyage out with a safety talk. I’d show you the life preserver, vests, flares, radio and instruct you on what to do if I should fall overboard or drop dead. After we clear the channel, I’d give you the tiller

    15. I love bicycling and can fix any thing that goes wrong with your bike from flat tires to gear adjustments. I myself own four bikes – each of which has something currently wrong with it.

    16. My love of golf is deep and long and far exceeds my ability to score par or below, but I don’t care; in golf, it’s only the present shot that matters. The past is dead and the future is yet to unfold.

    17. The only thing that sets me apart from my fears of many things is my willingness to face anything.

    18. All I ever wanted to do is write for living, a dream that I made come true by first learning how to type and second by being willing to write everything and anything to the best of my ability. That said, I am a surprisingly good dancer.

    19. The best literary experience in my whole life came from the novelist Haven Kimmel who actually replied to my email questions as I was reading one of her books. It was like having an author in real time. Better than that though was becoming friends with Haven and spending an afternoon with her in November 2008 where I saw the place where she writes and met her family, dogs, and impressive collection of animal spirits.

    20. I was in the room when my father died and then again when my uncle died. They taught me there is nothing to fear in dying or death.

    21. I can imitate most bird songs and can summon cardinals and doves.

    22. Being left-handed has enabled me to approach most things from a different angle and that makes a big difference in whether a thing is easy or hard.

    23. I seldom make plans, but I spend time considering possible responses to what-ifs.

    24. I love everything about refinishing a wooden doo-dad like a table or chair or old steamer trunk. I love the sanding and staining and the varnishing and the replacement of things such as brass clasps, hinges and carriage bolts.

    25. My years as a newspaper reporter put me in all sorts of places and exposed me to events, people and opinions that I would never have had an opportunity to encounter otherwise. For example, I have covered about 300 murders, listened to Supreme Court arguments, written about organ transplants and covered synchronized swimming during the 1987 Pan Am Games.

  199. Linda,

    If I recall your previous posts aright, I’m younger than you. I didn’t discover American Pie (the album) until I was in college, as per the above, in early 1983– right before I turned 18.

    (Carrie, I thought of you when my guitar turned 4 a couple of weeks ago.)

    George, I don’t believe I’m ever bored, either, though I’ve never thought about it directly. As to being boring, here’s Henry Kissinger (who Was boring, in my young self’s estimation):

    “The nice thing about being a celebrity is that when you bore people, they think it’s their fault.”

    ~ S.

  200. Wow George, You have lived my friend!

  201. Haven – Thanks for that book recommendation!
    It’s The Dead and the Gone and it’s on its way to me.
    You guys are the best!
    I was so not ready to teach today that I have been up since 3:30 this morning to get ready and am just coming to a crash landing.
    It is great reading all these interesting facts about everyone! I am working on mine.

  202. AmyO:

    Let’s fiddle around with the tense and change, ‘have lived,’ to ‘are living!’

    I am wanting to see your next ten items…I was really interested by what you said about living on bread and cheese. Do you have a cheese sandwich everyday?

  203. Five interesting things about me, cause that’s all I have time for right now:

    1 I was born in Lockport, NY, home to the biggest locks on the Erie Canal, which some of my Irish ancestors helped dig. It is also the hometown to Joyce Carol Oats (whose parents played cards with my Aunt Betty), super model Kim Alexis (who graduated with my older brother), and Timothy McVeigh (who was good friends with my best friend’s little brother.)

    2 After high school I lived in Japan for six months, in Hokkaido, the northern-most island, in a city near Sapporo. My sister was there teaching English at a university and I went there to stay with her. I learned to do tea ceremony, calligraphy, and Japanese dance. My sis and I performed at this big festival and started with our fans in front of our faces. When we lowered our fans, a gasp went through the audience: Gaijin! (foreigners) Little children would stop and point at us in the street because foreigners were such an oddity.

    3 I was so infatuated with Laura Ingalls Wilder that I married a farmer because he was like Almanzo. I grew up in the city and knew nothing about farming.

    4 I did not reach physical puberty until age 18 and I have had only ONE partner my entire life. Came close a couple of other times.

    5 I have studied many languages but am not fluent in any of them, in fact I frequently mix them all together. I studied Latin in high school, learned enough Japanese to get by when I was in Japan, took Greek in college (thinking it was MODERN not ancient Greek. My friend took Italian because our plan was to go to Europe and pick up hot Mediterranean guys.) I took a semester of Italian, a semester of Japanese, and I now am trying to learn Spanish. I tend to throw sentences together out of the words I know best in each language. When I try to talk to him, our Guatemalan employee often gives me a look like I am possessed by Satan.

  204. Are living George, I stand corrected!! You are living well!
    I am working on my final 10 and I eat a cheese sandwich approx. 4 times a week. I love,love the fact that you eat the same thing for breakfast everyday. I appreciate creatures of habit.

  205. Amy in ohio

    i was very moved when you said your best friend slept with your BF and you haven’t talked to her in 20 years — and you think of her every day.

    i can guarantee you that she thinks of you every day.

  206. I didn’t realize you are left handed, George. My husband is too. So is my daughter. Oh, and so is President Obama!!

    Sarah- I am 48. I would have graduated from college in 1982 had I gone through in 4 years as I was supposed to do. LOL

    George- My American Pie listening days started in 1971. 😉

  207. 16. Between high school and college I studied French for 6 years. When I can’t fall asleep at night, I conjugate verbs. I would love to go to France just to prove all of my studying wasn’t in vain.

    17. I cannot eat a Grilled Cheese sandwich without ketchup…and I am horribly embarrassed to say that mustard is my absolute favorite condiment. I am sorry Haven.

    18. I cannot and will not drive anywhere in my car unless I have an audio book to listen to. I finally had to purchase couch and zippy so I always had a book in case of an emergency.

    19. When I go to a hotel I automatically strip the comforter off the bed and throw it on the floor.

    20. I believe dogs are the purest souls on earth and I thank god everyday that I’ve realized this. In return, I consider it my duty to inform others of this. ” We are their voice.”

    21. I will not sit on a toilet seat unless I personally know the person who owns it.

    22. I have never gotten off the phone with my mother without saying I love you. Never.

    23. When I eat peanut m & m’s I carefully eat off the chocolate and then put the peanut on the other side of my mouth and eat it seperately. When I was little, I would spit out the peanut into a bowl and salt it.

    24. My mom was a terrible housekeeper thus I am petrified of having a dirty house. This goes along with my house having to smell good as well. I hate the smell of cooking food in my home, unless it is something baking. But bacon, meat, etc can only be cooked in the kitchen if there is no other way to cook it outside.

    25. I love books, movies, tv shows on serial killers. I think this subject is fascinating.

  208. Collectively between high school and college…I didn’t take 6 years off between the 2 and just study French…!

  209. Don McLean is an artist of utmost importance to me, and belongs on my above list, artists who were pivotal at certain times in my life.

  210. Here is the short version of the story.

    1 Jack and I watched the movie Bella last night and he rubbed my back while I cried.
    2 When Charlie was born the nurse put him on his birthmothers chest and this secretly made me angry.
    3 My husband knows all of my secrets and still loves me.
    4 I admire my daughters strength and courage. But when these qualities scare me I get angry at her instead of supporting her.
    5 I pray every night to be kinder to my children.
    6 I run out of gas atleast once a year. Peter brings me the gas tank and doesn’t say a word.
    7 I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember.
    8 I have sung the same lullaby to all three of my children.
    9 I love to have my hair played with.
    10 I wish I had graduated from highschool. I wish I had gone to college. My children do not know I didn’t graduate.
    11 I am not done having babies. But Peter is.
    12 I have been sober 13 years. I still have drunk dreams.
    13 I met my birthfather 2 years ago. He died in December. I still don’t know how I feel about this.
    14 I still sleep with a blankie.

  211. 9. Kat and I spent four years in a house that was just flat-ass haunted, some kind of hoo-ha going on ALL the time, and the whole ghosty mess drove my rottweiler, Roxanne, to the brink of insanity. Also I broke my nose, cracked my wrist, broke two ribs, and gave myself a black eye, all in the space of my bedroom, while dreaming.

    Was that the house in Selma? I remember you telling my class about it. Ages ago. I am such an old woman. Specifically that you and your sister thought the ghost was unhappy with the bed linens or something? I forget parts of it but I know it was a great story.

    Also, I would TM “chicken tension.” There is much to be done with that one.


  212. Linda and Caryl: I started college in 1971 and got my degree in 1988.

    Jennifer and Haven; I, too, lived in a house in Frenchville, Maine that was haunted. The water in it was cursed. My ex and I tried to explain all kinds of “unusual” occurrences and sounds and what-nots for years until we concluded that it was occupied by ghosts or entities of some sort.

  213. ROBERT- “The spirit of Fatima stills rules the earth.
    She knows all your business, she knows what it’s

    Sister Fatima has God-given powers………”


    “Hold tight, we’re in for nasty weather….”

  214. BUG!!! SHER suggested I ask you if you like to be roommates in Durham. I can stay as long as I like–
    I’m a substitute, remember? Can you stay overnight?

    Let me know!!!

  215. AMY- It’s too bad I just sold my entire collection of Anne Rule books, otherwise I’d have packed them up and
    shipped them to you. If you’re familiar with her work,
    it might intrigue you to know I live in the same state
    where Tom Capano met and dated Anne Marie Fahey before dumping her body off the Jersey shore.

    I watch “Cold Case Files” and “Most Evil” every night,
    along with “American Justice.”

    I want to go to Kansas and see the Clutter homestead,
    if it still exists.

    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote was the first hardcover book I ever purchased. I was fourteen and used my baby-sitting money.

  216. argh!!!! up from the depths and feeling good, but now I have to run taxi for the teens . . .

    but, oh, how I want to hang out here . . .

  217. SHER- I’m here for ya! I just posted something for
    you on Surely Goodness&Mercy but I’ll repeat it here:

    Since you’re on Reading #4 of Iodine, do you still care to discuss? What about Rita, what about Dr. Cohen???

    I left a post for Bug(Molly) about sharing space in
    Durham. I want to come. Can I just invite myself like
    I did on the blog?

  218. Carolyn – YES! Of course you can invite yourself. 🙂 (Which technically isn’t true. Everyone’s already invited!) I think. 😉

  219. KITTERY- Thank you, honey-bunny. How did the performance
    go the other evening? Saw where there was bad weather
    posted on the blog. Did your audience want to take you home and adopt you?

  220. It went well, thank you. 🙂
    The audience was another story, sadly. 35. Thirty-fecking-five. So we have this weekend to pull in five hundred tickets, or there’s no summer show.
    It’s so hard to get the energy you need for a show when there are more people on the stage than in the seats, so I just pretended that my best friend (who lives in the Netherlands, and obviously unable to attend) was there, along with my other friends, and the Blogbabies! Whattdya know, I had a big smile on my face. 😉

    I have lots of things to comment on, but .. I’m not feeling very coherent yet, so .. I’m sparing you all my stream-of-consciousness and waiting until I can put a sentence together. 😉

  221. KITTERY, I’m sorry to hear about the audience.
    I’m wondering why so many people don’t appreciate
    live theatre? We attend some of the university
    plays in town, and have been known to support the local high school musicals! There’s also three other live
    theatre groups in town that are well supported by the community. I once stood in a line a quarter of a mile long to get in to see “The Vagina Monologues” when it cameto our university. Now that’s support!

  222. Kit, are you still coming to Durham? And how are you feeling besides down? Health all better?

  223. Caryl, I’m working on it .. there hasn’t been much conversation with my parents other than “you better be nice to your bank account” and “WHAT?” so .. I’m working on it. I think once things die down after the show ends we’re in for some “discussions”. But according to me, I’m going, so.. 🙂

    I feel okay .. not healthy, I’ve still got a rotten cough .. :: shrugs :: it’s alright, though.

    You? Are your boys bringing you back presents from London?

  224. I have actually been very mature about not requiring gifts when Pete goes out of town, after years of expecting them, but if you knew what I had to do to get those two on a plane- I will just say Pete realized Jack’s passport had expired in December on Saturday, and their flight was on Sunday, and they are now flying out in an hour- yes, I am certain to receive something fabulous when they return.
    I hope durham happens for you. I do know flights are cheap right now.
    Carolyn, what day are you flying in?

  225. Carolyn, we- Sher, Kate and hopefully Kit, are staying at the Washington Duke Inn. Right now the going rate for a double or king room is $159 a night, and they have availability. xoxo

  226. CARYL, Yes, Sher emailed me that you are all staying
    at that particular hotel. I would surely book a reservation there myself. Of course I want to be there
    with every one else on the first day!I have already purchased my T-Shirt on-line from Red Bubble and I can’t wait to receive it! I live in Delaware and it should not take me long to drive to Durham, I suppose.

  227. GEORGE, I think you are a wonderful writer,indeed.
    I remember your earlier posts when everyone
    was discussing Iodine. You wrote about being in a trailer like Candy’s and about lights that shine from the second floor of houses off the main road. It made the hair on my arms stand at attention. It still does.

  228. George, I started college in 1978 and graduated in 2005. So, I can, without guilt, tell my kids to do as I say, not as I do. Or did. LOL

  229. I just love reading everyone’s lists!
    Kittery, your turn love!
    Oh man, I cannot wait to read Tex’s!!!

  230. Carolyn: The opening scene of In Cold Blood makes the hair on my arms stand up as he describes the wind blowing through that lonesome place, “out there.”

    You know, in November it will be the 50th year of the Clutter murders. What a story that would make.

    I once covered a murder where the victim was stabbed more than 40 times, the knife penetrating several inches, according to the forensic pathologist. By the time I wrote that story, I was thinking to myself what an effort the killer had expended so what was really going on in his mind.

    I left the police beat shortly after that.


    Linda: we are good examples. I held my diploma in one arm and my son in the other. It was a good moment. I am glad I finished.

  231. Oh Amy, I’m trying! I got 1 and 2 done earlier, and I sat trying to think of what 3 was going to be … evidently I’m terribly boring, lol. I’ll post something eventually. 😉

  232. Haven, I sent you an email but I have a half a dozen emails that have your name on them, so I have no idea of I sent it to the right one.

  233. George

    Tell me about the water? Do you know the history of the house?

    I have this unending fascination with houses/buildings and the stories they have to tell. I’m not sure whether it’s based on my fascination with people or architecture.

  234. maureen, i am green with envy. i mean, i am actually turning green. you know phish. holy jeepers. i could be a stalker of them if i let myself. you lucky lucky lucky lady.

    amy in OH, i ALWAYS strip hotel comforters, too. they are NASTY. ugh, just thinking of them gives me the heebie jeebies. they are so disgusting.

  235. I knew you all would understand my weird love of serial killer stories:) My utmost obsesssion is with the Manson family though…I have no idea why. I read Helter Skelter the summer I turned 22 and was just floored at this piece of history. I am horrified yet equally fascinated by the event.

  236. Steph, I reckon we watched the same 20/20 where they used black lights to show the semen and urine on the bedspreads!!


  237. Carolyn,
    Forensic Files, The First 48..those are staples in our house too! Those shows are the only ones the fiance and I agree on! I guess I am just so happy that it’s not ESPN we’re watching.

  238. Hello, blog babies! I am having a hard time keeping up, but I wanted to let you all know that I am here, and you all are fabulous and hilarious! Big hugs from the Midwest – I’m going back to near the beginning to catch up in my reading! 🙂

  239. Man .. I couldn’t live with you guys. When I was eight or nine years old, my brother was home from college watching a forensics show and I was in the living room with him when the show was replaying how the guy beat his wife’s head in and showing the blood spatter on the wall.. I went upstairs and rocked back and forth, crying for the next forty minutes until I was found.

    My brother was then told to change the channel when I was in the room.

    I think it’s interesting, but at the same time .. it’s stuck with me and I can’t watch stuff like that anymore. 😦

  240. Ms. Maureen,

    I may be too late, and I’m not sure at what level you teach, as I’m quite new here…

    Playing the Field, by Phil Bildner, is a YA lit novel about a girl who decides to pose as a lesbian so she can play for the boys’ baseball team at her high school.

  241. “pose as a lesbian so she can play for the boys’ baseball team”

    I guess I’m going to have to get the above mentioned book. I don’t get the premise, since sexuality and gender are two different things?

  242. Linda, a fascinating list. I must say that my case of amoebic dysentery was contracted at a Boy Scout camp. No. I was not there as the entertainment.

    Carrie–I too believe in people’s words. But I am always surprised when their actions don’t keep pace. I have never understood not doing what you say you’re going to do.

    Kittery is…fibbing. I believe I have seen her 25-List before…shoot. Am I fibbing? Kit, what the hell did you send me the other day?

    Long day which ended with me CHASING A BOOK AROUND F-ING COLUMBUS. ONLY TO END WITH ME BACK WHERE I STARTED (AT SCHOOL) THE ONLY PLACE THIS BOOK WAS AVAILABLE. I went, literally across town 3 times like a chicken with my head cut off: Books A Million near my school (south-ish side of town), The Book House in midtown, Barnes and Noble on Snooty side (north side), BACK to Books A Million side ALMOST to the library (about 1/2 mile from my school) when I realized I should go BACK to Midtown to the college’s book store, so I did and THOSE BASTARDS were CLOSED, so I went back to B-A-M side, only to find the library CLOSED, so I went back to my classroom to cry, then thought, hell, why not check THIS library, despite the fact it’s not well stocked and none of the big stores in Columbus had it.

    We had the damn book. 50 ft from my classroom.

    And I read the damn book tonight in an hour and half, and it was terrific YA lit. E. L. Konigsburg’s (of _From the Mixed Up Files_…fame) The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place. Wonderful book.

    Bed time. Rest well when you get there!

  243. Hi, Maureen —

    There’s a YA book called LIFE AS WE KNEW IT that might suit your global warming purposes — more climate change than global warming specifically but it might work. Also, Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD is kind of in the same family — although it’s more of a post-apocalyptic thing, so maybe not exactly right.

    I know you’re avoiding Disney, but for a literary take on Fa Mulan, what about THE WOMAN WARRIOR by Maxine Hong Kingston, to talk about gender issues?

  244. Molly, I can’t find that list! I’ve looked for it! So now I’m starting from scratch! :: cries ::

  245. I am apparently incapable of new thoughts or lists tonight, so I don’t get to play

  246. Oh my dear! — the YA book I’m talking about (LIFE AS WE KNEW IT) is the same one Haven is talking about. Freaky!

  247. :: roars :: I FOUND IT!!!!!

  248. which reminds me of my first experience with this blog . . . I had been looking for some new books to read and did a search on Haven’s name . . . low and behold, the blog came up, but there had only been just a few postings or comments, I subscribed anyway and soon I received a note about a new posting . . . which was about Uncle Tiresuis (sp?) . . . I was flabbergasted, but had a laugh, but was speechless . . . so I kept reading postings, then ‘drafting’ a response, only to return and find that you were all onto a new posting and list . . . thus, I had many drafts never sent . . .

    then I just dove headfirst, nope – I spread eagle splanted into the blog over the ‘fear’ listing . . . and I just spilled my bloody guts and my own horror movie past and hit Send.

    I was blathering in horror at what I had done until Haven, George, Kate, and many others just opened their arms – wide-open – and welcomed me in.

    I was found. At that time I didn’t even know I had been lost.

    But I am found.

  249. Carolyn – maybe make reservations and then someone can bunk in with you . . . ? Maybe we will get some last minute additions when everybody realizes that they MUST come, hell or high water?

  250. Aw Sher. Same here. I got 21.5 hours of sleep last night, but it was only after I came back here to read the new comments that I felt refreshed. You’s my peeps. 😉

  251. 1. I am in the process of writing my sci-fi novel.. It’s coming along slowly. Very slowly.

    2. I rode an elephant once when I was six.

    3. I love sushi. As long as I don’t think too much about what I’m eating. If I do, I start to throw up a little in my mouth.

    4. My baby kitten Lily, is the most beautiful girl in the world, pretty markings, gorgeous eyes, and she’s about as ladylike as a trucker. She belches and farts. Never have I seen such a cat.

    5. In two years of college, I had 11 roommates. Wonder what that says about me? To break it down, I had two bitches that thought they were playing Survivor (I lost), two kleptomaniacs, one vegan nudist, one that rolled her own joints, one that lived her life like it was Sex and the City, a very quiet one that got drunk and slept it off a lot, and the other three are friends – all from other countries. France, The Netherlands and Canada. This leads me to believe I should not be an American, as I clearly don’t belong.

    6. Things I’ve wanted to be when I grew up: doctor, teacher, writer, actress, makeup artist (for theatre), lawyer, judge, senator, baker. I’m still currently unemployed.

    7. I long for a house of my own like some women long for a baby.

    8. I keep persuading myself that I don’t really believe in Astrology and Numerology, but the fact is, I kinda do. Not the bullshit generic stuff, but the detailed reports … yeah.

    9. I am my grandmother’s favorite grandchild. Even if she won’t admit it.

    10. I have crushes on old men: Alan Rickman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Laurie (oh my god, none of them are American are they? SEE? I told you, I don’t belong!) and Rufus Wainwright (who is not old, but is only half American. And also gay.) I. Cannot. Win.

    11. The Harry Potter books are like my security blanket/comfort food. I read them when I’m tired and can’t concentrate, when I’m scared of my loved ones leaving me, when I’m cranky .. if there’s an occasion that calls for comfort and security – the Potter books are ready and waiting in my bookcase.

    12. In one six month period, I was in the back of an ambulance twice. (Rough year, that). The first, when I was riding with my roommate (one of the kleptos) and she was speeding (and I said nothing) and she cracked into the back of a van. That landed me in a C-Collar strapped to a backboard. The second, (which, actually was three months later) was when I was in Boston (wearing my 3″ inch heels like the ‘tard that I am) and I (was very, very stupid, chillun’s) destroyed my ankle. I was adamant that 911 not be called, people didn’t listen to me and did anyway. In retrospect, it probably was the only thing to do, but that didn’t stop me from bitching.

    13. I taught myself how to read when I was three.

    14. I can’t do math for the life of me. However in Geometry I got 113% on my final (Hermione anyone?). Although I was fundamentally better at Algebra. Honestly though, if you asked me to find the volume of a cube or solve A2 + B2, I’d just sit on the floor and cry.

    15. Easter is my favorite holiday.

    16. I cry watching the Little Women movie. It wouldn’t matter if I watched it every day for a week, I’d still cry in the same places.

    17. Favorite Disney movies: Pete’s Dragon, Beauty and the Beast.

    18. I dream of having a kitchen filled with gleaming copper pots. It’s so pretty.

    19. I am an aunt of 10.5: Sarah 19, Micah 16, Andrew 14, Nathanael 13, Rebekah 11, Hannah 10, Nicholas 4, Christopher 3, Joey 5, Abby 4, Tadpole – not yet hatched.

    20. Loud people bother me. I wish they’d shut up. Not loud like – friends are together, hanging out and laughing, but just generally loud regardless of the situation.

    21. I was homeschooled for eleven years.

    22. I’ve been in nine shows since I was sixteen: Patience, The Mikado, Macbeth, Dance USM!, The Day of the Dead (radio play), Cinderella, The Gondoliers, The Sound of Music and The Pirates of Penzance.

    23. I love musicals. In an absurd obsessive way. With the following exceptions – Grease and West Side Story and also Oklahoma.

    24. When (if, more likely) I ever get married, I want a Wedgwood cake. So pretty.

    25. I once drank a little over 5.5 gallons of milk in a little under 24 hours. I loved it. Could’ve had more. Didn’t throw up. I’ll get like that sometimes. Evidently, there is something in milk that I need.
    I also like soy milk a lot.

  252. The Comeback Season is a YA novel by Jennifer Smith. It is a great read and i would highly recommend it to young readers.

    Yes, Amy, i saw that 20/20. i am so revolted by hotel bedspreads. oh, that and the blankets and pillows on planes.

    my whole fam has this illness that is relentless and painful. throwing up, fever, the whole nine–i will spare you the details. first went macy (2 1/2), then i got it 36 hrs later, and now my husband john has it, too. i am so bad at being sick and we are all a bunch of crank pots (that is what we call cranky people) who are on the verge of delusion.

  253. :: gives Steph a cup of tea, and a snack (whatever you can find palatable at the moment) and a clean blankie and pillow ::

  254. Kittery, I like you. You are good people.

    So, anybody else LENT’in it up, or is it just me??

  255. kittery, i rocked at geometry and absolutely sucked at all things else math. when i found out i had to take 2 math courses to graduate from college (uh, hello? i was an english/lit major for a reason) i took: 1) women in mathematics-we read about them and wrote papers. basically and english class. 2) LOGIC–which is not logical to me at all. i called it illogic. i thought that bc there were proofs, i would do great. i was wrong.

  256. In lieu of being creative I will add,

    You know you were a little girl in the 70’s, if:

    You had that Fisher Price Doctor’s Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked.

    You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it.

    You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels.

    You had either a ‘bowl cut’ or ‘pixie’, not to mention the ‘Dorothy Hamill’. People sometimes thought you were a boy.

    You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days.

    YEAH! You owned a ‘Slip-n-Slide’, on which you injured yourself on a sprinkler head more than once.
    (or, if poor, you laid out garbage bags and turned on the sprinkler)

    Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession.

    You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers.

    You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. The swing set tipped over at least once.

    You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color. (Oh yeah!)

    You had a pair of Doctor Scholl’s sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle). You also had a pair of salt-water sandals.

    You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Oleson!

    You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink! —- yes it was!

    Atari was cool, but your brothers wouldn’t let you near it.

    Your hairstyle was described as having ‘wings’ or ‘feathers’ and you kept it ‘pretty’ with the comb you kept in your back pocket. When you walked, the ‘wings’ flapped up and down, looked like you were gonna ‘take off’ .

    You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie.

    You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic. With the thermos inside some were glass inside and broke the first time you dropped them.

    You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend.

    It was a big event in your household each year when the ‘Wizard of Oz’ would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags!

    You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: ‘Who will I marry. Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or David Cassidy?’

    You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack record album.

    You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God’s eyes, decoupage, or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom.

    You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts!

    You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.

    You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from Judy Blume books. (Are you there God, It’s me, Margaret.)

    You thought Olivia Newton John’s song ‘Physical’ was about aerobics. (?? its not??)

    You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or shoelaces with heart or rainbowdesigns.

    You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer.

    You drowned yourself in Love’s Baby Soft – which was the first ‘real’ perfume you ever owned; or Sweet HOnesty from Avon which came in porcelain doll shaped bottles . . . but you really wanted some Charlie!

    You glopped your lips in Strawberry Roll-on lip-gloss till it almost dripped off.

  257. I like you too, Kate. 😀

    And I’m a Heathen. I don’t do Lent anymore. Although the first ever Lent I observed, my mother totally tricked me into giving up TV. (She tricked me by never actually telling me how long Lent was). Not fair. I think God would’ve appreciated my “sacrifice” more if I’d gone into it with open eyes. Alas.

  258. thanks kittery 🙂 only thing is that the wee one keeps puking–then i clean it and it is like a chain reaction. remember in stand by me when they are talking about a complete and total barf-o-rama? that’s about where i am. man, i hate my own vomit–but someone else’s–even my own son’s…oh man, is there anything grosser? probably, yes…but anything grosser that comes out of a human’s mouth?

  259. I had that stethoscope, Sher! Oh how I loved that doctor kit…

  260. Well . . . Lent was Catholic as far as I knew growing up, so that was equal to witchcraft . . .

    I am devoid of religious rituals except for the ones I make up on my own . . . my version of meditation/prayer outside, my interpretation of making prayer flags, and just trying to be a higher level of compassion every day.

    If I could I would celebrate Mondays 8:01 – 2:58 which is my window of freedom . . . I get to choose what to do on that day. It is all up to me. Today I caught up on emails, blogs, and CHOSE to do some contracts . . . then I spent 4 hours in the studio healing myself . . .

    I didn’t choose to: do laundry, clean, iron, pack Dylan’s travel bag, cook, call any family members, go back to bed, shop, or shop online.

  261. I would like to start celebrating the moon phases and eclipses and such . . . especially solstices

  262. Oh Steph. I wish I could help you, but I think the only way to do that at the moment would be to do clean-up duty … sadly (yeah right) I’m in Maine.
    Speaking of which, how did you like Colby? I wanted to go there when I was young and thought I was smart. 😉

  263. sher, 18/30. i was born in 77, so i guess i am technically from the 70s, but i am an 80s kid. i especially love the shrinky dinks, roll on lip gloss (i would drink it!), magic 8 ball, and boots. my prized sleeping bag wasn’t holly hobbie, it was starwberry shortcake–whom i believe was also addressed. i went skating (as in metal 4 wheels, roller) every monday at my elementary school befoer school started. we even got to have breakfast there. it was so cool. and yes, laura ingalls was the bee’s knees. and that wretched nellie!

  264. I still wear Sweet Honesty.

  265. I love, Kate, how you helped us all understand Lent and some of the other symbolic rituals that you and Hugh practice. It really helped me understand the symbology behind the actions . . . what amazes me is that I have never heard anybody talk about it spiritually, they just complain . . . which is probably what was the turn off for me.

    Once, I called my ex-Catholic mother-in-law to tell her to tell my ex-husband that I needed him to bring my car back to my mom’s because my birth control pills were inside. She hung up on me. NOW I understand why, but at the time I had no idea about the Catholics who don’t believe in birth control thing . . . of course, she also didn’t believe we were married as we were not married in the ‘eyes of the catholic church’ . . . smartest escape I have ever accomplished.

  266. Kate, from AVON? I used to wear that too!

  267. so it’s kittery as in kittery, me? i LOVED colby, but almost lost my mind junior year and went to hawaii for a semester. sometimes there is cold, and then there is crazy cold. excuse me, but you are smart. maine is one of my favorite places on earth (that i have visited thus far)–“the way life should be” is the perfect motto. my best friend shelby lives in gardiner and we visit often. my husband john went to the landing school in kennebunkport (well, arundel) when he was 17–learned how to build wooden boats–i was a freshman at colby at the time–so visiting my boyfriend often took priority over class. ah, to be young, stupid and in love. i did marry him though.

  268. Yes, I think this actually covers 70’s and early 80’s . . . but it was a hoot.

    Although I played Wonder Woman and Mighty Isis . . . and with Adventure People in the Eternal Dirt Piles at our yard

  269. I need some ice cold carrot cake

  270. It is, Steph! 🙂

    Ah, I love it, when you come back to visit, tell me! We can meet up. 😀

  271. i would love to kittery! i drive right through! we are headed to gardiner for a bday party for my pal’s kiddo in early april. i am also considering my 10 year reunion this june–which would bring me to waterville–and i could certainly go via kittery!

  272. I guess I don’t complain because it’s all completely new to me. Our church just started following a liturgical calendar about 3 years ago, and I found it incredibly freeing to have a spiritual schedule of sorts. I’m so incredibly willy-nilly naturally that it really grounds me. I appreciate you saying something nice about it Sher. Either everyone I know is really fundie…like you mentioned (WITCHCRAFT!) or not religious…I know almost no one who is doing what we are doing, especially as protestants, and it can get lonely and tiresome having to explain.

  273. Very cool. 🙂 I’m a lot closer to Bangor than Waterville, but we can work something out. 😀

  274. have you met stephen king, kittery?

  275. wait, so you are closer to bangor than waterville? are you living in kittery? as in the southern part of the state? or is that your hometown?

  276. Yes, I’ve met Stephen King.

    The Kittery name is a joke between me and my niece (she was the one that gave me that nickname). I live in Maine (but not Kittery), and it’s somewhat similar to my actual name (which I will share on email, but because I’m paranoid to the point of foolishness, I would rather not have on here). That goes for the place I actually live, too. 🙂

    A story for you, I used to work at Borders in Bangor, and Stephen would come in and order a coffee and a blueberry scone and sometimes he’d hang out in the cafe and read the newspaper or whatever, and sometimes he’d go and get a stack of his own books and sign them and hide them around the store, so when people would find them, they’d get an autographed copy.

  277. does anyone remember grosser than gross jokes? ok, this one just jumped into my head: what’s grosser than gross? sliding down a giant razor into a pool of alcohol. random, i know–but i just thought of it

  278. kittery-i emailed you and i love the stephen king autographed books story.

  279. Going to bed –

    Kate – seems you have a better understanding of why you practice these symbolic times than any other person I have met. I have the utmost respect for that because it means something to you – and that is the important part of any belief system!

    my head is weighing 500 lbs, 483 lbs of it are snot, so I am taking some meds and hitting the couch . . .

    sweet dreams . . .

  280. Lands… If I hadn’t procrastinated so much on schoolwork over my vacation I could be having such fun times here!!!! Thanks, everyone for the book recommendations: not too late and much appreciated, Ellen and Liz.
    I must attend to sick animals and then cram another lesson plan. I am so BAD about grading papers and it has caught up to me and ….. sobbing …….

    Sher – I posted a way long post about Owen and I kind of got a little out of hand ….. more (and less emotional) on him later. I just got my own copy in the mail.

    Later ….. crying so hard ….. wanting a snow day ….. not happening ……..

  281. Sher – Thanks for the blast from the past! I will follow up later with a quiz about the 80s!! (high school)

    You know you were a little girl in the 70’s, if:

    You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it. (MINE WAS BLUE)

    You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels. (THEY STRAPPED ON)

    You had either a ‘bowl cut’ or ‘pixie’, not to mention the ‘Dorothy Hamill’. People sometimes thought you were a boy. (PIXIE AND DOROTHY HAMILL, YES ON THE BOY THING)

    You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days. (MY MOONS WERE BEIGE)

    You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers. (DEFINITELY THE GAUCHOS, SEVERAL PAIRS)

    You had a pair of Doctor Scholl’s sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle). (NO, JUST WANTED THEM BADLY)

    You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Oleson! (GOES WITHOUT SAYING)

    You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink! —- yes it was! (SKATEPORT, BUT NO KISS DUE TO THE DELAYED PUBERTY THING)

    Atari was cool, but your brothers wouldn’t let you near it. (I WAS MY ONE BROTHER’S PLAY SLAVE)

    Your hairstyle was described as having ‘wings’ or ‘feathers’ and you kept it ‘pretty’ with the comb you kept in your back pocket. When you walked, the ‘wings’ flapped up and down, looked like you were gonna ‘take off’ . (PINK COMB, BIG HANDLE – SHALL WE ALL POST OUR 6TH-GRADE PIX?)

    It was a big event in your household each year when the ‘Wizard of Oz’ would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags! (MY GOD, YES!)

    You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: ‘Who will I marry. Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or David Cassidy?’ (I LIKED LEIF, PERSONALLY)

    You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack record album. (ALL THREE)

    You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God’s eyes, decoupage, or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom. (ALL THREE)

    You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.

    You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from Judy Blume books. (Are you there God, It’s me, Margaret.) (SCARED THE BEJESUS OUT OF ME BECAUSE OF THE DELAYED PUBERTY THING)

    You thought Olivia Newton John’s song ‘Physical’ was about aerobics. (?? its not??) (WELL, SHE WAS IN PINK LEGWARMERS!)

    You drowned yourself in Love’s Baby Soft – which was the first ‘real’ perfume you ever owned; (VERY, VERY PINK, AND BESIDES BROOKE SHIELDS WORE IT)

    You glopped your lips in Strawberry Roll-on lip-gloss till it almost dripped off. (KAREN G, WHOM I FEARED, SWALLOWED ONE OF THE BALLS DURING INDUSTRIAL ARTS CLASS).

  282. Katie Cakes – I’m doing Lent. I’m a returned Catholic after years of wandering. And I liberally mix in Buddhism, Taoism, anything I think helps. I just really missed all the RITUAL and the CEREMONY. Even my husband, the pagan, thinks some of the Catholic traditions are cool. I particularly liked getting my throat blessed with the crossed candle on Saint Blaze day.

    I am awaiting my henna tattoo kit in the mail. I am going to have Andy make a celtic cross on the back of my hand. Ashes tomorrow morning. I am going to keep my Lenten resolution a secret because if I type it I have to stick with it. In the presence of all assembled.

    Sarah – I adore The Band. Robbie Robertson is so hot I could crawl all over him.
    Speaking of which, there were four essays about David Foster Wallace in my alumni magazine that just came, including one by my good friend who took a creative writing class with him. It included a picture of him that made me fall in love and then grieve. I guess I now have to read Infinite Jest. Maybe I’ll start with Broom of the System.

  283. My bike had an orange banana seat with sparkly glitter thingys in it. And the big handlebars. What were those called?

  284. http://www.d365.org/todaysdevotion/

    For those of us needing a little guide on our Lenten journey, please enjoy the link above.

  285. I am glad to know where these “favorite list” ideas are coming from. I have been on 2 newsgroups since I was 14 (Genesis/ Phil Collins related) and I pretty well know alot of the people and recently we have been flooded with what is your favorite–Fill in the blank….it feels so elementary. I tried myspace and never really got anything out of it. Never even bothered with facebook. It seems to be a cover for adultery I guess. I am quite bothered by the fact of how many people I haven’t seen in years have somehow tracked me down off myspace, even with no telling information on there by phone…

  286. Maureen,


    No, no, no.


    ~ Sarah

  287. The big handlebars were called ape hangers.


    Kittery: I’d love to get up to Fort Kent this summer and see if they would let me look through the archives at the St. John Valley Times, where I used to work. There might be bound copies of the newspapers from those days (circa 1976-78). It would be fun to see what I wrote back then. I still visit a web cam set on Main Street, Fort Kent, from time to time. It is positioned directly across the street from my old office. Maine = fond memories for me.

    Jennifer: The house seemed to control its own water. The very first day as I was moving in, I had left the place for about an hour to pick up my wife. I had placed some pliers, screw driver, tape, etc. on a table, but when I returned all those items were in a sink and the water was turned on and cascading over them. I thought it was strange, but this was the 70s…so it was not out of the realm of possibility I had done this myself.

    Later, we would turn on the cold water and it would be hot. We would turn on the hot water and it would become cold.

    Once, my wife was drawing a bath and after awhile, the water was blue.

    Eventually, the well refused to give any water. I remember digging a snow tunnel into the cellar door so I could go inside and try to prime it.

    There were other things, too. Doors would fly open on their own; upstairs you’d hear footsteps. One autumn, I heard a buzzing sound emanating from the third floor where I never went. When I went upstairs to investigate, I was shocked to see hundreds — maybe a couple thousand flies converged on a single window. On the floor was a 1922 Farmer’s Almanac.

    Like I say, this was the 70s and I was pretty busy and not unused to nor particularly unnerved by unexplained phenomena. It wasn’t until about a year or two later that my wife and I agreed that we must have been sharing the place with a bunch of poltergeists and ghosts and spirits and such.

    The thing that pissed me off is that NOT ONCE did they offer to help out with the rent!

  288. Aren’t the big handle bars called sissy bars?

    Songs that informed my soul–

    The City of New Orleans–Arlow Guthrie
    (The train pulls out at Kankakee
    Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
    Passin’ trains that have no names,
    Freight yards full of old black men
    And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.)

    The Boxer–Simon and Garfunkle
    (In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him til he cried out in his anger and his shame I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains)

    Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to The CAnyon–Mamas and Papas
    (Cloudy waters cast no reflection
    Images of beauty lie there stagnant
    Vibrations bounce in no direction
    But lie there shattered into fragments)

    Lord, lord. Don McLean. Listen to him sing Cryin if you can.

    ( I was all right for a while
    I could smile for a while
    then I saw you last night
    you held my hand so tight
    when you stopped to say hello
    then you wished me well, you couldn’t tell that I’d been
    Crying over you
    Crying over you)

    And this is just the barest, tiniest tip of the iceberg.

  289. Bug: the sissy bars were those big chrome backrests on the seat. When I was a kid, those stringray bikes were the rage. What did I drive? It was a 1950s era Monark bicycle that looked something like this:


    Isn’t it gorgeous. Of course, I didn’t appreciate it at the time, plus it weighed about 80 pounds.

    I’d love to have that bike back today.

    Not much survived my childhood. I used the hell outta everything I had. Still do, I guess.

  290. Bug: If you liked Crying by Don McLean, see if you can find Roy Orbison’s treatment of it on YouTube…there’s a wonderful version with him and k.d. lang. I think you’d also like another tune from that era called Mr. Blue. It was originally by Dewayne Blackwell, but for my money, Garth Brooks did the best version ever.

  291. I should have said that the only thing that survived my childhood are memories, and those are unreliable, some of the busted several times over, mended in spots and painted over in others.

  292. Hillery. OF COURSE Facebook is a cover for adultery. Duh.

  293. Agree about Facebook, after some happy-go-lucky scanning of old pics, I had the sense to unpost me in my 1990 neon orange fringe bikini. Thank you, birds in the sky for dropping some sense back in my life.

    Positively, though – I just received some great pics from some military friends we had lost track of . . . they had these gorgeous pics of me, Donny & our first two munchkins . . . back in the day of print film . . . we had never seen those shots before . . . it was a lovely gift. I’m just trying to figure out how to gracefully unfriend some of the fanatics that have found me . . . hum,

    overall, it is positive, it is all about how you use it and what you use it for . . . about 50 percent of mine is work/art related and I love the events notification . . .

  294. I too love Garth Brooks’ Mr. Blue.
    Mo! I loved your breakdown of the girl from the 70’s, so cute.
    Okay, Kit, seriously, your Stephen King story is my new story. I will be telling that to anyone who will listen.
    Kate, I used to wear Sweet Honesty too…that and Electric Youth perfume by Debbie Gibson.

  295. off to find Mo’s entry on Owen Meany . . .

  296. Five more things I am perversely proud of that have nothing to do with ME being interesting, just people I know:

    6. My cousin played in a band that warmed up for Queen and he toured with them for a bunch of years. I was TERRIFIED of this coousin. He had very long hair and a scary room. These cousins lived about five blocks from Love Canal in Niagara Falls, and we drove by the barbed wire and warnings whenever we visited. He now sells medical products to hospitals and is wealthy and conservative looking. But he still plays the guitar. And I’m not scred of him anymore.

    7. I traveled through Europe ALL BY MYSELF in summer 1988, I went as far as London with my friend, traveled by Eurail Pass through almost every country: Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, and ended up with my cousin outside of Florence (sister of the guitar player). She had married an Italian man and they lived in a restored Tuscan farmhouse. Then I met up with my friend again and we flew home. The only bad event was that a nice Italian guy who helped me get my backpack on stole my wallet, with the travellers checks and passport, in the process. Thank God for my cousin who took me to the embassy in Rome.

    8 My sister and I were both valedictorians of our graduating classes of 400. Our names are side-by-side, five years apart, on the plaque at the school. DO NOT BE IMPRESSED. This was because I was a social outcast and needed to prove to the town that my family was really good despite what went on at home. I was a bookworm nerd, Latin scholar and secret mess.

    9 I never wanted to be a teacher. In fact I always wanted to NOT be a teacher. It was one of the few good jobs here in the boonies. And now I like it. Ah, the irony. I DID really like Holden Caufield and the idea of being a catcher in the rye. And I guess I fancy myself that on a good day.

    10 I played ice hockey in college in a women’s club. I spent my childhood as the goalie for my older brother, who practiced slapshots against my shins and abdomen. No pads were provided. I grew up in Sabres country, not far from Canada (we got French Sesame Street, not Spanish). Our big city trip was always to Toronto, only an hour away. This was back when it was simple to cross the border.

    Later, friends.

  297. Sarah –
    Come on! Robbie was the HEART and SOUL and BRAIN of that group. 😉 Have you seen The Last Waltz?

    I am e-mailing my essay about THE BAND to you.

  298. Oh……the shape I’m in.

  299. Mo – of course I have lost the OM thread . . . somewhere, my brain and throat are fried, I’ve been up for 37 hours . . . taking a nap, then will look for it again!

    Toodles. I posted new ideas on Iodine. I am officially obsessed at this point.

  300. Sher –
    We’ve been tagging on Owen at the end of The Object of Writing in December.

    I had to jump out of Iodine for a bit. I was getting a little too Mark Twin on the Mississippi with it. (So aware of every eddy and turn that I was losing the initial joy.) But I’ll be back. I just downloaded Haven reading it from Iodine, so I am guessing I’ll have all new ideas after I hear it in her voice.

    All right, George! I just spent sixty days in the jailhouse, for the crime of having no dough. Now here I am here back out on the street, for the crime of having nowhere to go.

  301. The ultimate Band video. Rehearsing in Woodstock studio.

  302. City of New Orleans was actually written by Steve Goodman who was a hero of mine. He died fairly young of leukemia around 1985. I was a huge fan of his and still to this day regret I never got to see him perform live. Steve was very close with John Prine whom I see wandering around Nashville occasionally.

    Never heard of ape hangers, George. I think I might agree with Molly on Sissy Bars. Maybe that is what girls called them. Of course, I am twice Molly’s age so she may have looked that reference up in the book of all things ancient.

    Ok. I have eaten 2 donuts this morning. I hate it when we have a work breakfast party. Blah.

    But, on the positive side…. I get to see Pat Green this afternoon. Whoo hoo. For those of you who don’t know me well, let me tell you that I am a HUGE Texas music fan and it all started about 5 years ago when I fell in love with Pat Green. That morphed into a love of Reckless Kelly, etc. Anyway, I found out kind of randomly that Pat is one of 4 singer song writers playing an in the round show for a taping of a new PBS show called Legends and Lyrics. The show is at 3:00 this afternoon and I got a free pass and time off from work. Yea. They are taping it in the old Masonic Lodge downtown that is right next to my daughter’s high school. More randomness. But I am happy happy because I love me some Pat.

  303. Maureen,

    Of COURSE I’ve seen “The Last Waltz,” noteworthy for how fawning and buzzed Marty (Scorsese) was. And, being a Helm fan, I of course agree with this assessment:

    “Levon Helm, in his 1993 autobiography This Wheel’s on Fire, expresses serious reservations about Scorsese’s handling of the film, claiming that Scorsese and Robbie Robertson (who produced the film) conspired to make The Band look like Robbie Robertson’s sidemen. He states that Robertson, who is depicted singing powerful backing vocals, was actually singing into a microphone that was turned off throughout most of the concert (a typical practice during their live performances), and that much of the soundtrack was overdubbed.”

    Sounds like a cat fight, to me.

    But, all’s fair in love and war.

    Robbie, you can have ‘im.

    “Up On Cripple Creek” shows up on my interior soundtrack with surprising frequency, and makes me smile each time I catch it as it floats through.

    ~ S.

  304. Oh, Linda…I am SO jealous! That sounds like a wonderful experience…what a great time! I could SO live in Nashville.

    Re: “City of New Orleans”…Jimmy Buffett does a cover of that song that I really like…it’s on one of the “Live in Concert…” DVD’s I have…sometimes I put on the DVD just to listen to that one song.

  305. Carol- AND tomorrow night- Reckless Kelly!!!!

  306. The sissy bars are those long backrests. See photo:

    Ape hangers are these:


    Trust me, I know my bike terminology. One of the few areas of practical knowledge I possess.

  307. Well, you (I) learn something new every day! Ape hangers. Mine had shiny orange dangly ribbon things hanging off of them. LOL As you can see, I do NOT know bike terminology.

    Ok, I am leaving to go to the bank and then wander on downtown to get in line for the taping. In case anyone is interested, here is the series info:

  308. Ahh George the Sting Ray years mine was blue not a orange or apple crate but I loved thqat bike it was my harley With the slick on the back no sissy bar extention on mine that was some how un cool with my biker gang.

    As some of you know I have recently become and un employed computer network tech. Michigan is in a bad way for sure but so is everyone else I guess.

    Anyway glad to be back here it give me peice of mind to speak with crazy people 🙂

  309. I was pretty sure John Denver wrote City of New Orleans, recorded, and then was a bit put out when Arlow Guthrie recorded it and it was a big hit. Curious. Isn’t that on Evening With John Denver, or another one of his live albums? If I didn’t have class tonight, I’d go home and make a project of researching this. I’d totally throw myself on that altar…

    By the way, when Haven did her post some months back called “The City of New Orleans,” Amber can attest that I was beside myself with joy because it is a song that I have always LOVED LOVED LOVED, and had always thought only we Touchtons knew about, but now I knew an author I had MAD respect for knew and liked the song as well. It was very cool for me.

  310. Bug: I love all versions of City of New Orleans, but I especially love Willy Nelson’s. You ever heard him do it?

  311. MichaelT:

    Hope your employment situation changes quickly…but I gotta tell you that with the big old lumbering Monark that I owned, I always told the kids in my neighborhood with the five-speed Stingrays to go on up ahead and I meet you guys later.

    They were all to happy to accommodate me.

    But, boy, what I wouldn’t give to have that Monark now.

    A couple of years ago, I did a 30 mile bike ride here in DC and a guy did it on an Orange Krate that was equipped with an old analog-type speedometer. I was mightily impressed.

  312. An actual orange crate? Like with some wheels attached? Or is this some arcane bit of bike-lore I’m missing.

    Don’t stone me…but I don’t love Willie Nelson’s voice. He’s so nasal. I love the song The Highwayman (Willie, Waylon, Johnny and Kris…)though. Talk about putting shivers on the spine.

  313. George-

    What eventually became of the house? Did you live there long? Did you find out if anyone else who had lived there before had similar experiences?

  314. Sarah – Me too! I am constantly singing Cripple Creek in my head or aloud if no one’s around or to the cows.

    Maybe it’s the “if I spring a leak, she mends me” that always starts it, cause that’s how I feel often. Or maybe it’s because I’m thinking “When I get offa this mountain …”

    Oh, I am so disillusioned about Robbie not really singing into that mike. Truly.
    Well, I might have to revise the essay that I forgot to send but will right now.
    I think this will be e-mail number 2 to you today!! 🙂

  315. Oh, bliss. A place where I can confess to owning and loving An Evening with John Denver. Thanks, Molly et al.

    I had a camp counselor at Camp Mary Glen who sang Grandma’s Feather Bed to us and just after that I got that album. I have lost it (probably stored at Mom’s) but I bet I could sing most of it by heart.

  316. Jennifer:

    I don’t have a shred of info on whatever became of that house other than during the early 1980s it was used a portal to hell.

  317. I once took a ballet class and the only things we danced to were John Denver and Kenny Loggins. Ha…there’s a random thing!

    Also, when my husband had the flu and I was driving us home from Cincy I woke him up because I was singing “Rocky Mountain High” very loudly with the radio.

  318. Ahhhh…John Denver! That brings back some WONDERFUL memories…I was nuts for him for years and still have several CD’s, an incomplete collection, to be sure…of course, at one time I had EVERY ALBUM (as in LP vinyl), but my husband made me sell them at a garage sale years and years ago. I was able to see John in concert twice with my best friend while we were in high school…good times. His death (along with Jim Henson’s and Heath Ledger’s) still bother me and probably always will.

  319. Just for you, Maureen–

    When I was a little bitty boy
    Just up off-a floor
    We used to go down to Grandma’s house
    Every month end or so
    We had chicken pie and country ham
    And homemade butter on the bread
    But the best darn thing about Grandma’s house
    Was her great big feather bed

    It was nine feet high and six feet wide
    Soft as a downy chick
    It was made from the feathers of forty ‘leven geese
    Took a whole bolt of cloth for the tick
    It’d hold eight kids, four hound dogs
    And a piggy we stole from the shed
    We didn’t get much sleep but we had a lot of fun
    On Grandma’s feather bed

    After the supper we’d sit around the fire
    The old folks’d spit and chew
    Pa would talk about the farm and the war
    And Granny’d sing a ballad or two
    I’d sit and listen and watch the fire
    Till the cobwebs filled my head
    Next thing I knew Id wake up in the morning
    In the middle of the old feather bed

    It was nine feet high and six feet wide
    Soft as a downy chick
    It was made from the feathers of forty’leven geese
    Took a whole bolt of cloth for the tick
    It’d hold eight kids, four hound dogs
    And a piggy we stole from the shed
    We didn’t get much sleep but we had a lot of fun
    On Grandma’s feather bed

    Well I love my Ma, an’ I love my Pa
    Love Granny and Grandpa too
    Been fishing with my uncle, I wrestled with my cousin
    I even kissed Aunt Lou phew!
    But if ever had to make a choice
    I guess it ought to be said
    That I’d trade them all plus the gal down the road
    For Grandma’s feather bed
    Yes I’d trade them all plus the gal down the road

    **(whispered section)**

    For Grandma’s feather bed

    It was nine feet high and six feet wide
    Soft as a downy chick
    It was made from the feathers of forty’leven geese
    Took a whole bolt of cloth for the tick
    It’d hold eight kids, four hound dogs
    And a piggy we stole from the shed
    We didn’t get much sleep but we had a lot of fun
    On Grandma’s feather bed
    We didn’t get much sleep but we had a lot of fun
    On Grandma’s feather bed

  320. George, that would be very cool. I say you should take a road trip this summer. 🙂
    Also, you should be on that show, A Haunting, and tell all about your creepy portal-to-hell house.

    Amy, I’m glad you enjoyed the story. 🙂

    Haven, congratulations! 😀

  321. Ooh, what are you congratulating Haven for Miss Kit?
    I’ve never heard of Grandma’s feather bed!
    Carolinkansas, I still haven’t gotten over River Phoenix’s death 16 years ago. That one will haunt me forever.

  322. Amy, it’s a very delayed reaction concerning the wonderful review she got for the audiobook of Iodine. 🙂

  323. Carol in Kansas –
    Oh, thank you! I know what he whispered 😉

  324. 25 things about me, installment three:

    11 I have no fear of manure. None. I stick my hands in it, eat stuff that’s fallen on it, let it slop all over me. I’ve had it fall on my head, down my pants and splash into my mouth. This is a good characteristic if you live on a dairy.

    12 My childhood dog Tuffy was “stolen” from our neighbors the Lupos. She lived down the street on my route to school. I would always stop and play with her, and then she followed me home. And then she started staying over, and then she was basically ours. If the Lupos wanted her for some reason, they stopped out front and honked. Then they moved and left her to us.

    13 In fifth grade I had an slumber party to which I did NOT invite the popular girls, of which I was one. I invited all the UNPOPULAR girls and we had a blast. This did NOT go over well with my other friends.

    14 My friend and I dressed punk (ala Rock n Roll High School, Ramones) to go to the Valentine’s Dance in 8th grade. Everyone else was in pink oxford cloth shirts and Dickies. Friend and I danced up a storm and everyone just stood in a circle and watched us.

    15 I have nightmares about my years playing the oboe, literal nightmares. My reed won’t work, I can’t make a sound with the thing, my band director is scowling at me.

  325. George, speaking of poltergeists, when I was stuck in the hotel for the wrong-day swim meet, I watched Poltergeist, where CarolAnn gets sucked into the TV? I must have seen that MANY TIMES as a kid because I was reciting lines as I watched. I thought the coolest scene was the pork chop crawling across the counter.

    “Go into the light. There is peace and serenity in the light.”

  326. Oh Maureen, this is for you. The pork chop reminded me of it…


  327. Kittery! That was so awesome!!! I am laughing, hard!

  328. Excellent! 😀

    (I have good news! So far, the “Durham discussion” is still a discussion! It is still CIVIL! They’ve asked to see prices, and I’ve told them how much it would be for me to take the bus, and I’ve given them flight prices from the Bangor airport and Portland … things are going well!!!!!)

  329. GEORGE, do you think the Clutter home is still standing?
    I would deign to go inside, I have an overactive imagination, sometimes, I fear. I think I might catch
    an echo of the shotgun reverberation in the hall.

    Nancy Clutter, fifteen,was already in bed for the evening, and after hearing the shotgun blast in her mother’s bedroom, turned and faced the wall when
    Hickok entered her room.

    In a strange way, Nancy Clutter got me through my
    middle teen years. I thought about her fearless life, and it put all my adolescent tribulations into perspective. At least I was reasonably assured I would see my sixteenth birthday.

  330. Kittery – Good, good, good. I ordered my T-shirt today!

  331. Nice! Which did you pick?

  332. Short sleeve. Pink. Monkey.

  333. I think I’m going to get him too, only in blue. 🙂

  334. I like the paradoxical feel of pink with scrawny nasty monkey. (Not that it’s a nasty monkey that Haven has, just generic monkey nastiness: stink, poop-throwing, red butts, etc.)

  335. Howdy. I am back from the show. Very interesting. Billy Joe Shaver is quite a character. Now that man has lived several lives. Bless his heart. Pat was awesome and adorable as always. Darryl Worley was good, but he is a little too conservative overall for my tastes. But seems like a good guy.

    Steve Goodman really did write City of New Orleans.
    If you don’t know about Steve, check him out because he was really great. And a Cubs fan too. My parents have lived outside Chicago for over 25 years so the Cubbies are one of my teams 🙂

  336. Dear Y’all,
    I can’t blog in at work anymore as it seems out little town has turned into Nazi Germany and now they have started laying off Indians and keeping all the Chiefs….how’s that for a mixed metaphor. Anyway, although I am so sad right now, just knowing you all are here gives me hope, and I will work on my lists, on my lunch hour, and post them when I get home. Right now I just don’t want to burden you too much with my sadness because even tho I didn’t get laid off (yet…and I hope Michael T. is still okay) The people who did some were my friends, one my neighbor. Even my daughter is in a state of panic, but we said, hey…we can always turn our bigger than double car garage into a little apartment!! Who knows, we may all grow closer because of this. Thanks for being here to boost spirits after work for me. Working on getting an artist’s website going..for this year I swear…and I want the Outlaw Quaker Girl t-shirts!!
    LOL, Brenda in arid Arizona

  337. P.S. Maureen, you are my best friend in some alternate universe…I love reading your lists!! Remember those (I think they were Lucy?) comics where she went thru the fireplace and met up with this totally Adams Family little girl called Una? Una is me. OOOOOOHHHH…I just gave myself the hooky spooks. heee heee.

  338. 25 Things

    1. I started a strike in nursery school when something I’d greatly looked forward to, “learning to cross the street,” turned out to be a total sham because my teacher had blocked off the street in question ahead of time. We were going to _pretend_ to learn to cross the street, and I was having nothing to do with it. I balked, I said NO, I walked off the job, and all the other kids balked and said No and walked off the job after me. My teacher resigned for two weeks before the other parents could convince her to come back and try again.

    1a. I wanted to learn to cross the street *at school* because “crossing the street” was something my mother Never allowed me to do. I later learned that my mother’s eyesight was poor and she mistrusted her depth perception, which explained why, if she saw a car at all, a Car Was Coming and we’d have to wait until it passed us, regardless of how far away it was when we first saw it. It’s a good thing we didn’t live in Kansas, or we’d still be standing on the side of the road, waiting for each 10-mile-distant car to pass us in turn. Anyway, I figured if I came home from school all accredited in street crossing, my mother would Have to let me do it on my own. Oh, well.

    2. I am right-handed to a fault, to the point that I didn’t dare carry my babies in my left arm lest I accidentally bash their little soft heads against door frames and furniture, or drop them. There are three exceptions to my extreme right-handedness: I deal cards, shoot pool, and throw a frisbee left-handed. I didn’t realize this about pool or cards until others pointed it out to me.

    3. I am very particular about what I will and will not wear, which would probably come as a shock to those who see what I actually wear. I doubt it looks like I care.

    4. When I arrived at kindergarten, I knew how to spell “encyclopedia” but was absolutely stymied by the saddle shoe nailed to the wood board, by which I was to learn to tie shoes. I sense this is a metaphor for my life. I also thought knowing how to spell “encyclopedia” should have exempted me from the shoe-tying thing. In this, too, I have remained consistent. I’m very good at reading and playing, and fortunately everybody else seems to be good at the things that actually make a difference in day-to-day life. Some people even Like to forage for food and prepare meals.

    5. Someone once invited our family over for dinner. So far, so good. Then, the hostess talked for 30 minutes or 4 hours about where she’d bought the roast for dinner, how she’d cooked it, why she’d chosen that particular recipe, how she thought it had turned out rather well considering, And. After the first five minutes, I wanted to excuse myself from the table and stick needles in my eyes, not necessarily in that order.

    6. I would rather be boldly wrong than wishy-washy and sort of right maybe.

    6a. I am often boldly wrong.

    6b. I am sometimes right

    6c. Either way you will know exactly where I stand, and if and when I change my position.

    7. Every medical facility has a resident Nurse from Hell, and if I’m left alone for any length of time this person will find and terrorize me in unsanctioned ways, in addition to the sanctioned ways. The only way I’ve found to prevent this is to have someone I trust with me at all times, or even better to avoid medical facilities when at all possible. This has helped give rise to my new medical philosophy, “Don’t let ’em look.”

    8. I don’t foresee ever having a tattoo [I doubt I’d be able to stand having something on me that I couldn’t get OFF], but if I did I’d ask someone to tattoo PULL THE PLUG across my chest. Just in case.

    9. We own over 160 board and card games, and I have traveled to several states over the past 7 years, alone and with my family, to vacation and play games with friends from all over the world.

    10. While in Maryland for a game convention, I had the pleasure of talking over breakfast with a man from Australia. After a bit, he offered the statement, “You’re not from here.” I agreed; I was currently from Pennsylvania, not Maryland. He looked confused, and persisted, “No, I mean, you’re not originally from the United States.” He’d been on an extended business trip through Europe (and had traveled a lot before that), and had talked to a lot of people with varying degrees of fluency in English. He told me he heard something “deeper” in my inflection, and felt that I spoke English with precision and skill that indicated that I had learned it academically and expertly, as a second language.

    I consider this one of the way coolest things anyone has ever said to me– that there’s “something deeper” in my inflection, and that I’m not “from here.” I knew it. I KNEW IT!

    11. I’m still wearing the same studs my ears were pierced with 27 years ago. I change them every once in a great while, just because, but not for long.

    12. Much to my chagrin, I have evidently have very thin blood vessels. I faint readily at sudden physical or emotional trauma. Once the pain is a known quantity, however, I am able to endure it, even if it is great.

    13. I enjoyed reframing popular songs as sung to God long before Sister Act sought to capitalize on the same. Most recent addition to the Canon: Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell (Baby, you’re the only thing in this whole world that’s good and pure and right / and wherever you are, and wherever you go, there’s always going to be some light). Having recently seen Mamma Mia!, I came sliding through the dining room singing, “Gimme Gimme Gimme [A Man After Midnight].” To my astonished children, I explained, “It’s about Jesus.”

    Yeah, right.

    14. I almost always carry a knife, and still have the first Swiss Army knife I bought when I was 10, a Tinker.

    15. I am an inveterate fiddler and doodler. Looking back over old doodle-covered notes, whether from classes or lectures or phone conversations, I can remember who was talking and what was said at the time I was drawing. If left at a restaurant table too long, I will eventually shred napkins into ribbons, break toothpicks into designs, and create patterns with any leftover food.

    16. When people talk, I see their words progress as a ticker tape scroll across my mind. If I don’t know how to spell a word, usually a name with several possible spellings, that word will flicker and skip in place until I can resolve it. It never occurred to me to “type” what I’m hearing; I’m not sure that would help any of us.

    17. Ah, hearing. I have a 6″ owl pendulum clock that I recently had fixed and is ticking away in front of me as I type this. I love the little thing. When I was 8 years old, I came downstairs one morning and happily told my mother that my owl clock had been keeping me awake with its ticking, but when I turned onto my left side I couldn’t hear it anymore and quickly fell asleep. Many trials and testings eventually confirmed that I had just discovered and announced that I was almost completely deaf in my right ear. I expend a lot of energy trying to hear, especially in groups (when not everyone can sit to my left). I’m a very good guesser.

    18. I don’t like plays. I’ve tried. I’ve stopped trying. We’re all better off, now. For me, there is nothing remotely entertaining about watching people pretend to be other people, right in front of me. It’s actually quite stressful, and worse if I know anyone in the production. So, leave me at home, enjoy your play(s), and we’ll all be happier.

    19. Which brings me to musicals, and a quotation that sums this one up for me nicely:
    “There are lots of movies I admire more than I enjoy, but if you want to clear a room of me, put on Singin’ in the Rain. I just flat out don’t like musicals. I think it’s an affliction. Like color-blindness — some people can’t see green, and I can’t understand how come all of a sudden now they’re singing.”

    Current exceptions include Across the Universe, and Mamma Mia! (Their exclamation point, not mine.) Yeah, Molly, “catharsis”– Meryl Streep continues to slay me with “The Winner Takes It All.”

    20. Three things that make me immediately happy: stepping on my bike pedal, swinging my other leg over the bike while already in motion, and moving off under my own power; watching my kite go up; strumming a well-made guitar.

    21. I tend to be specific in what I do and do not like, which I think should make it easier for the people around me. Opinions on this differ.

    22. If Pogo is for President, Who is for Vice?
    (I have this exact “campaign button”, an actual pin, mounted in front of me.) I go Pogo.

    23. I love the ocean, and I can say that and mean that and know that I mean that to the fullest extent and still be completely undone every time I get to stand on the beach again. My heart cannot contain in memory the goodness of actually being on the beach. I love being able to look out at a vast horizon and not see a single thing that man has made. I feel very small and very held, all at the same time.

    I could walk down the coast forever. In fact, I have devised a plan by which I do not have to turn around when walking on the beach we go to most often (I Hate turning around. It always feels like giving up). My plan involves having to take a bus back to where we stay, but I can walk literally to the end of the land before having to stop. If there weren’t an inlet at that particular spot, I would probably round Florida, traverse the Gulf Coast and beyond, and be on my way to the Panama Canal.

    24. I consider learning to drive into Washington DC and back out again to be a major accomplishment of my provincial life. This was the first year in three that I have not stood at the Lincoln Memorial on my birthday. Similar to the beach, I know that beholding Abraham is good for my soul, and as much as I know that I love it, I am still surprised when I cry. Every time.

    25. I found and fell for Carl Sandburg’s “Bundles” when in high school.

    I have asked to be left a few tears and some laughter.

    ~ S.

  339. Sarah. You slay me with your writing. I am going to look for Haven’s cornfield now.

  340. Oh Sarah, that was marvelous. You leave me feeling slightly inadequate now in regards to my own list, but my enjoyment of yours far outweighs my shame. Or is it chagrin..

  341. OMG Sarah. I missed a few key points of Obama’s speech because I was laughing so hard. My laughing made my dog bark.

    When you going to come to Michigan and play games, with me? We can also go to my favorite local restaurant (Toast and Jams) and tear napkins and stack coffee creamers and jellys.

  342. Bobby Jindal makes me think I’m watching Blues Clues. What does he think everyone in the country is 4 yrs old?

  343. sarah. so good. number 6 and all appendices absolutely spoke to me.

  344. Particles – No, I think he’s just talking to his base.

  345. Sorry. That was mean. I take that back.

  346. Cripes, I did that on Ash Wednesday.

  347. Damn, Sarah. Really.

    I need to write a new list.

  348. I concur Kate, my list feels elementary now. Sarah, you are A-mazing.

  349. Sarah: Just wonderful. A word, though, about Fact 12: Do you own a fainting couch? I understand they now have some that are adjustable to your own particular level of fainting. They are called the Fainting Number Couch. A 20 is for someone who faints dead away; a 9 is for someone whose faints tend to be withering. A 0 is for someone who merely feints.

  350. LOL George

  351. (spit take #1,337,486) who merely feints??!! God. George. You slay me.

    Sarah, that was … I’m just about speechless. Absolutely brilliant. You could do standup with that list. I particularly like the fact you sublist your points, as well as your medical philosophies, both motto and tattoo.

    In fact, all of these lists. I feel like I’m standing out here, and you all are strewing rubies, emeralds and diamonds: in my mind, each new list is subtitled, 25 More Reasons Why I Love Sarah, or George, or Amy (Amy, oh #7), or Maureen, or Bug, or Haven, or … well, everyone who wrote a list.

  352. I was thinking this morning about an analogy to describe this blog …. I came up with a few.
    Here’s one:

    It is a 24-7 reunion of the celestial nursery school we all were assigned to before passing through Lethe and being sent to earth.

  353. I just returned from a noon Ash Wednesday service at the church next to my office. It is misty and grey outside. I find great comfort in being reminded that I am beloved.

  354. For you Leonard Cohen groupies out there, this:

    Thank God for the NYTimes? Who will do these great interviews when the newspapers die?

  355. OK. If you were a child in the 70s, then you were a teen in the 80s and should be able to do this with no research:

    Name at eight members of “The Brat Pack” (starred in The Breakfast Club and/or St. Elmo’s Fire)

    Bonus question: Which one wrote and published a book in junior high school? What was the name of the book and who illustrated it?

    (This is from my recent purchase of People Magazine’s Celebrate the ’80s which I bought on behalf of the blog. More quizzes to come.)

  356. Emilio Estevez
    Molly Ringwald
    Judd Nelson (MAINE BOY!)

    Wow. I can see their faces, but names, not so much.

    I was born in ’86, it’s not my fault! 😛

  357. Sarah. Sarah. Sarah. Loved your list.
    Brenda Q – soul sista!

    16. My husband is a FARMER. He is good at GROWING things. In Massachusetts he grew PLANTS: butternut squash and other PLANTS. In college I helped him with one CROP. This involved my picking him up on the side of the ROAD. We had a party to PROCESS the plants. We also played with BLACK BEADS at the party. A month later we bought a CAR.

    17. I adored my older brother, though he always hurt me and trapped me and made me do things for him. My older sister was my best friend and substitute mom. She tried to smother me with a pillow when I was a baby, but since I was about five and she was about ten, we have NEVER HAD A FIGHT. People find this hard to believe but it’s true.

    18. I have never tried a cigarette. NEVER. NOT EVEN ONCE. My dad smoked and it grossed me out. I did try pot, and it had absolutely no effect on me. None. I kept waiting for something to happen and nothing did.

    19. Norton Juster, the author of The Phantom Tollbooth, would not allow me in to his Creative Writing class because I submitted poems. He said to me, “Where are the STORIES?” To which I wanted to reply “That’s why I want to take the CLASS.” I submitted the same poems to Rand Richards Cooper and HE let me take HIS class. I have had a problem with The Phantom Tollbooth since then, which is sad, because I loved it as a kid.

    20. The summer I was was 20, I had three boyfriends at the same time (puberty had finally hit). I am really wishing my sister HAD given me a mighty smack upside the head that summer because I was downright obnoxious.

  358. Nicely done, Kittery!

  359. I think we should all take a moment to remember and pay homage to Sarah and Maureen who write brilliantly.

    Then I think we should pay homage to The Monkees. I love me some “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Shades of Grey,” “Last Train to Clarksville” and of course, my favorite silly song of all time “Gonna Buy Me A Dog.”

  360. Um, since they’re not dead, we don’t have to remember them. They’re right here with us. I’m not sure why I said it that way. Sheesh.

    Ash Wednesday has apparently sucked the brain (along with all the FOOD) from my body.

  361. Molly – I’ll join you on that Monkees tribute!
    Remember Davey Jones on The Brady Bunch?
    I just bought Haven reading Iodine off audible and am burning myself some car CDs.

  362. Don’t forget “I’m A Believer”! Isn’t that a Monkees song? I think it was written by Neil Diamond. I don’t know why I know that.

    And to Linda…Steve Goodman took Jimmy Buffett to his first-ever Cubs game and he has been a Cubs fan ever since (this tidbit is from Jimmy’s “Live at Wrigley Field” DVD). Enjoy Reckless Kelly tonight…I’ll be thinking of you!

  363. Oh, my dear carolinkansas.

    I LOVE THE MONKEES, and it would just be rude of me to use Haven’s site to list every single song I love by them. 🙂 I’ve got all their vinyls. I’m going to have to burn all of those to disks.

    I LOVED DAVY JONES in the Brady Bunch movie. At first I didn’t get the joke at the dance because I would have been one of the ladies elbowing the girls out of the way. I was raised during that time of Monkees show revival in the 80s. THANK GOD my parents, whatever else their faults, have EXCEPTIONAL taste in music. 🙂

  364. Hullo Molly! :: waves ::

  365. Kittery! How you feeling? Shows picked up any? I’m glad to hear the Durham Peace Talks continue…

    Gave the students a critical thinkinkg essay test yesterday, and I am already regretting it. So HARD to grade.

  366. I was born in ’78.

    Ally Sheedy
    Demi Moore
    Molly Ringwald
    Andrew McCarthy
    Judd Nelson
    Emilio Estevez
    Rob Lowe
    and…? Surely not…Anthony Michael Hall??

    Ally Sheedy wrote the book “She was Nice to Mice” when she was what…six? Eight?

  367. Oh, Kate, you ROCK ROCK ROCK!!!!
    I OWN She was Nice to Mice, illustrated by Ally’s friend. Anybody know the name of the friend?

  368. I bought a string of really really long fake pearls and wore them doubled pretty much non-stop my first year of college because of St. Elmo’s Fire. How could I NOT idolize Ally Sheedy?

  369. Gah! All the faces I could see but couldn’t name.

    Nice job Kate!

    Molly – tonight is rehearsal. The last show we did was Sunday .. we start again on Friday.
    I’m feeling better (maybe ’cause I have an excellent book to divert me!). 😀

  370. Kittery (stern glance), we want pictures of you in costume, or are you protective of your identity?

  371. Mmm, I miss long, fake pearls.

  372. I’m off to get ashes. Later, friends!

  373. Another random “Monkees” factoid…Michael Nesmith’s mother invented white-out. The crap I know amazes even me and so much of it is SO useless, in the whole scheme of things.

  374. (where’s the “edit” feature here again?)

    By the above comment, I mean no disrespect to anyone else who happens to know that, or anything else for that matter…no hard feelings, ‘kay?

  375. Pictures of me HAVE been taken, but .. none of them have reached me yet.

    Can someone tell me how to find the correct address
    for the webmaster of this site? I found one
    one Haven’s site, the one you use to get to the blog.
    It’s listed as hkwebmaster@mac.co but when I used
    that email address, it came back illegal host/not found.

    I want to remove a post I made earlier. How can I
    do this?

  377. It is so hard to keep up with all the chatter here … makes me sad that I only had time to read only the first 100 comments.

    Amy in Ohio – Thank you for enjoying my list. I am sorry for your sad spring break experience! And, was your country kiss w/Kenny Chesney? Email me, i must know! Lastly, I think I am a rock star when I kara

  378. AIO Continued – What the hell happened? Lastly, I think I am a rock star when I karaoke. I’ve sung with bands, on stage in Vegas in front of crowds, and I so know I am not as good as I think I am. Ha ha, but it is so fun. I love to pretend. I’d so never even make it to Hollywood Week on Idol, even if it was the me when I was 25, sorta hot, blonde and 5’10. Sigh. I’d almost sell my soul for a good voice.

    Bug – Love me some John Cusack. Many years I have thought about pretend stalking him in Illinios so we can meet and he will hold up a radio for me when you break up.

    Also, my family classic was The Blues Brothers. I loved it even more than Star Wars and Star Trek combined. What a soundtrack!!!!


    Subject: New Diet

    Yesterday I was buying 2 large bags of Purina dog chow at

    Walmart, for my dogs Winston, Chief, Gus, and Maximus. I was about to check out when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

    What did she think, that I had an elephant?
    Since I had little else to do, on impulse, I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, and that I was starting the Purina Diet again,although I probably shouldn’t because I ended up in the hospital last time. On the bright side though, I’d lost 50 pounds before awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of every
    hole in my body and IVs in both arms.

    I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry and that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was enthralled with my story by now.)

    Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food had poisoned me. I told her no; I had stopped in the middle of the parking lot to lick my butt and a car hit me.


    I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack, he was laughing so hard!

    WAL-MART won’t let me shop there anymore.

  381. Carolyn, I would think that Haven (or Scott) could remove a post since they are the administrators.

    I was born in 1960 so I was a child in the 60s. The Monkees were my real childhood crushes. I liked Micky the best which now saddens me just a bit because he is in Gone Country on CMT this season which I HATE because I cannot stand John Rich (of Big and Rich- I like Big Kenny, but not John Rich) who is the host or as he probably thinks, King, of the show. Next to the Monkees I loved Bobby Sherman. I had a haircut just like him when I was in the 5th grade. I had the single Julie Julie Julie Do You Love Me? which I played over and over and over again until my family went insane.

    I am leaving in a little bit to go downtown to Exit/In to see my Reckless boys. I am going to be so exhausted tomorrow but it will be so worth it.

  382. Carolyn, hilarious.

  383. LINDA, THANKS, but how do I reach Haven or Scott- I’d
    rather try Scott, but I don’t have an email address for him. Do you have his email address? Or who else can I
    ask for Scott’s email address?

  384. COW; Now you have to tell us which one of the Brat
    Pack wrote a book in Jr. High. I have to know in the
    worst way!

  385. Is anybody a fan of Jeffrey Eugenides? His first novel
    was “The Virgin Suicides.” I just loved it. Hated the
    movie, loved the book. He has a second book out called
    Middlesex. I just picked up a softcover edition at the
    library sale. It is acclaimed as an international best-seller. Anybody familiar with it? Should I read this
    first or directly to Owen Meany?

  386. Carolyn+

    I love The Virgin Suicides. Im not sure which you should read…both are good!

  387. I just reread Couch. There’s no way
    I’m going to write my racoon story now.

    I gave copies of Zippy and Couch to two
    young women at work who protect me from

    I understand, this post is really a non
    sequitur, but I had to clear up a few things.


  388. JENN….I think I’m gonna save the Eugenides book for
    summer reading at the beach. I’ve got a library loan
    for Owen Meany. Maureen and Sher are reading it now
    and I think they’ve got their own blog site for that.
    If I need help understanding it (Maureen said I was very ONTIC and I thanked her for that) so I’ll give a holler when I am baffled beyond all belief.

  389. SINE, have you read Iodine by Haven. There’s a whole
    separate blog for that story.

  390. I said goodnight to my fiance with this ” Good night,
    sweet prince, and may flights of angels speed thee to
    thy rest.”

    He asked me where’s that from.
    I said Hamlet.
    He said, is that like an omellette with ham?

    My beloved had a private high school education and has a bachelor’s degree

    He better be funnin’ me or the wedding’s off….

  391. Carolyn, I read Middlesex a couple years ago. It’s one of those books I just couldn’t stop reading. I have not read The Virgin Suicides, but I recall not liking the movie, but can’t remember why?

  392. Carolyn: my question is did you say that to your fiance right after serving him a “special” drink? If so, should I dial 911? Carolyn, I don’t have Scott’s email, but I used the one on website and it didn’t reject, so maybe you can get your posting pulled…maybe the previous one, too!

  393. Hey George: thought you might like this ~ http://www.indy.com/articles/local-events/thread/the-cycle-of-art

  394. George, I think as long as she didn’t pour the drink in his ear, Carolyn might be off the hook. 🙂

  395. Just made another pound cake for a friend. Laws, you don’t know what you’re missing if you say no to my mama’s recipe. 🙂

    Time to go to bed. Good night, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England!

  396. Carolyn, Owen Meaney is better, in my humble opinion.

    Does anyone on here watch LOST? I am dying to talk w/someone who watches it, but no one is still awake @ midnight here. Shame, tonight’s episode was one of the best ever.

  397. Lightening Bug – Um, I saw The Monkees twice in concert in 1987. OMG, I even rushed the state @ The Silverdome. Ah ah ha … I elbowed all sorts of people to get in front of the stage. I am not ashamed to say that The Monkees are still in my ipod.

  398. Twenty Five More Random Things about me:

    1. If I have a hangnail, I have to rip it off, even if I take a huge chunk of finger in the process. So I often go around with huge wads of bloody toilet paper wrapped around my fingers until the bleeding gets under control, because I never have a band-aid and truly, they are no use in a situation like that.

    2. Right now I’m completely obsessed with the video to the song “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers and I watch it 2-3 times a day. Brandon Flowers is such a cute little Mormon.

    3. My husband proposed to me in the parking lot of a pawn shop, with a ring he had just purchased with money from the ATM at the gas station down the street.

    4. I’m a horrible, horrible slob. My house frequently makes me feel suicidal, because I can’t function in chaos, but I’ve never developed the discipline to deal with the chaos. I’m hiring a babysitter to watch my kids all next week so I can actually start fresh.

    5. I have been known to wake up, take a shower, and then put on clean pajamas. Also, my husband just took a picture of me because I am wearing red lipstick, a pearl necklace and a ratty smiths t-shirt. He said it “perfectly encapsulated me.”

    6.I have an obsession with fruit motifs. I used to have a pair of doc martens with fruit painted on them. I actually hated those shoes but hey, I had doc martens with fruit on them!

    7. My mom used to put us in footy pajamas after we had outgrown them. I can’t stand feeling imprisoned that way, so I’d unzip them and wear only the arms with the feet dragging behind. This drove her NUTS.

    8.I have such an intense fear of failure that I used to fail ON PURPOSE. It was far easier to start out failing than to try to do well and fail anyway. Plus, once you do a good job then people always expect you to do well, and I find that kind of pressure enormous. Also, I have trouble taking compliments. They make me want to do the opposite. I’m better about it now. Because of this, I only wrote one young author book in school. I knew I was a good writer, and therefore I refused to succeed at it. I was such a neurotic kid.

    9. When I was in the second grade my mother told me a story she had read in the Reader’s Digest about an illiterate man. It made her cry so much she threw it away. Then she told me the story, and to this day it’s one of the few things I can barely discuss. I was literally plunged into a depression for months. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I still can’t think about it.

    10. The house I grew up in had many strange anomalies, including but not limited to: my bedroom closet had a door in the back of it that led to no-where, because my room used to be the front porch. I had no bedroom door, just a curtain. The washing machine drained directly into the bathtub, so if you weren’t paying attention to when the wash was running you could be taking a bath and suddenly have freezing cold, linty water dumped on you. And at any given moment when you walked into the bathroom there would likely be a slug crawling up the wall next to the bathtub, which was a clawfoot and the only redeeming quality to the house. Well, aside from the whole shelter aspect. I don’t want to begrudge it that. It was a home.

    11. As a child I would not eat many foods based on perception. For instance, when I heard the word “cheesecake” I pictured a wedge of cheddar frosted with chocolate. And pasta salad? That’s just weird. Except that it’s actually delicious, and I spent many years of my life turning my nose up at awesome food. Even funnel cakes.

    12. I grew up “poor” but my dad worked in a toy store. Hookup!

    13. My mother used to cut out pictures of diamond rings from the Service Merchandise catalog. She’d cut a slit in them so I could actually wear them. They were one of my favorite toys, and I can’t wait to do that for Alice.

    14. I also collected pictures of porcelain dolls from catalogs, and kept them in a manila envelope.

    15. Of all the men I have had crushes on, I’d guess them to be 75% Jewish, gay, or both.

    16. I wrote a book called “The Scarlet Alphabet” in high school, a cautionary alphabet book based on the Scarlet Letter. My mother did the calligraphy. We got an “A.” She also made me a Hester Prynne costume to wear when I was pregnant at Halloween.

    17. Speaking of my mother making costumes, she saw an exhibit of costumes from Amadeus and decided that was the perfect thing for our Halloween costumes that year. She dressed me as Constanza, my brother Ed as Mozart (complete with homemade powdered wig and tri-corner hat!) and my brother Ian as Salieri. The costumes were extremely well-done and a big crowd pleaser. Everyone thought we were Cinderella, George Washington, and Darth Vader.

    18. I used to wear my dad’s old horn rimmed glasses around the house because they messed with my depth perception. Who needs toys?

    19. I used to believe the tracks left by certain bugs under tree barks were proto-types for microchips.

    20. My dad and I both have a facial expression that makes us look upset when truthfully, we are just thinking. Also, I tend to stare into space and people have trouble getting my attention.

    21. I started like New Kids on the Block because I was sick of being the weird girl who only listened to NPR and classical. It was a controlled, concentrated attempt at normalcy. As usual, my timing was way off and I still liked them a year after everyone else stopped.

    22. I can’t wink, whistle, or turn a cartwheel. I can roll my tongue.

    23. I cared for my grandfather when he was dying of cancer. It’s a memory I will always cherish, and I will never stop missing him.

    24. I got my ears pierced when I was 26.

    25. I love to read so much that I when I start I do almost nothing else. So, I don’t read very much. Trying to find the balance with that one.

  399. Carolyn – I LOVED Middlesex, and since are both fans of MisFortune, I know you will love it as well . . . I couldn’t read Owen Meany all at once . . . I read it in tandem with others, but you might not be able to put down Middlesex!

    I have not idea how to dis-post anything – I thought they would be live/public for EVER . . .

  400. Kate, I thought your first list was great, but love what you’ve added with your second one. Thanks.

    Particles: Oh, yes! I wish I had some idea of a When and How, but will consider yours a standing invitation. How far up the Mitten do you live?

    George: A fainting couch?! ‘Gads. I fear the very sight of such a thing would cause my field of vision to start going black around the edges, similar to how my stomach would flop whenever my mother pulled out the Dramamine– the power of suggestion is a mighty thing. Fortunately, I don’t faint _that_ much, but it’s certainly unnerving when it happens. Also, there should be an “often” in my sentence above: once the pain is a known quantity, I _often_ can endure it long-term, even if it was initially enough to cause me to faint.

    Bug, oh, go ahead and pay homage. I’m feeling very mortal right now, so who knows but that you might be prophetically… wait, I don’t like where this sentence is heading. How about,

    Lift me up on my honor
    Take me over this spell
    Get this weight off my shoulders
    I’ve carried it well
    Loose these shackles of pressure
    Shake me out of these chains
    Lead me not to temptation

    Hold my hand harder
    Ease my mind
    Roll down the smoke screen
    And open the sky

    Let me fly


    Carrie, had you not asked for five, there would not have been twenty-five. That was for you.

    ~ S.

  401. Kate – dual posting and I had missed you new list — what gems, they were loverly!!! just like you!!!

  402. POS and Maureen: Jon Stewart just ran a clip of Bobby J. back to back with a clip of Mr. Rogers. Without backstory, I would have laid odds that Bobby was hosting a new political show for the preschool set. This is the Republicans’ best new hope for 2012? I’m so relieved. I was sure Obama would only get the one term.

  403. Kate: I’ll bet you’re right about 19! — I love the house story.

    Sarah: I’d read your laundry lists. I’m so glad you found your way to Haven’s blog.

  404. One-minute pre-barn comment:

    My most fabulous sister sent me an Ash Wednesday painting called After Carnival and I popped it onto my seldom-used blog’s Art Gallery page.


    Carolyn – As Kate so astutely pointed out, Ally Sheedy (she was the basket-case in Breakfast Club and the one with the pearls in St Elmo) wrote a book called She was Nice to Mice when she was TWELVE, illustrated by her friend Jessica Levy. It is about Queen Elizabeth told by a mouse. I remember receiving this book for Christmas when I was probably nine years old. I still have it. I can see it from where I am sitting. It is a prized possession.

    Carrie – I will FIND that video. I was a little scared of the competition from Bobby J, too. (that was a TYPO, but I shall let it stand. No, I will fix it since it’s Lent and I’m trying to be good. I will let you guess how I misspelled his first name)

    Well, that took more like five minutes.

  405. Sarah, about half way between wrist and bottom of pinky, maybe a little slower to pinky, give or take a pinch.

  406. Last five things about me:

    21 On the surface I appear incredibly confident and capable and competent, but underneath I’m a mess.

    22 Last April I finally figured out that my father-in-law, my husband, and my oldest son have Asperger Syndrome. I did not even know what it was until last March. I then read everything I could, I spent the summer writing 200 pages worth of essays to my husband, to try and process this information. Feeling it might be helpful to others, I queried a bunch of agents, and one wanted the first 50 pages. Then she wanted the whole thing. Then I spoke to her and she recommended several really smart changes. I have sent her my revision and am waiting to hear back from her. She has changed assistants three times we first corresponded. She will call me next week. I am hoping my life might change as a result of this, but I am trying to not get my hopes up.

    23 I am really short: 5 foot 2. When I was pregnant with my nine-pound babies, I looked ridiculous. My students tower over me. My grandfather was only five feet tall. I also suffer from youngest child syndrome, since my sis is five years older and my brother seven. I ALWAYS think that everyone around me is older and more experienced than I am.

    24 I hate to shop. Hate it. I have to be dragged into malls. I am not into jewelry, clothes, or make-up. I suffered through an Avon party when I first moved here. The only gifts I really like are books. My current principal, a former cosmetology teacher, looks at my hands in horror.

    25 I am every ounce my father’s daughter. Most of what I like about myself I inherited from him. He died 15 years ago, and whenever I hear jazz I think of him.

    OK. Done. Thank you for liking me.

  407. Ha! Thank you for liking me…Maureen, you are awesome.
    Okay, Kate..I too rip off hangnails. I haven’t bitten my nails in 14 years ( ever since the boy I had a crush on told me I would get worms if I kept eating my finger nails) but I always chew the skin around my thumbs. Nasty.
    Also, my mom once read a story in Readers Digest about a little girl whose mom was an alcoholic and never packed her a good lunch so the little girl was embarassed. After that, my mom packed me an amazing lunch everyday with a note. She was never an alcoholic but the thought of a child being embarassed broke my mothers heart to no end and she wanted to save me in anyway she could.
    GirlfromGhetto-I will email you…you are very close:)
    I love the Monkees. Along with the above listed movies, we watched a tape full of recorded episodes of the Monkees television show, everyday, for years. My brother finally broke it because he just couldn’t take it anymore.

  408. Kate, Anutha Soul Sista – I just had to respond:

    1. If I have a hangnail, I have to rip it off. ME TOO.

    3. My husband proposed to me on the TELEPHONE. The check I wrote for our wedding rings BOUNCED.

    4. I’m a horrible, horrible slob. ME TOO

    16. I wrote a book called “The Scarlet Alphabet” in high school, a cautionary alphabet book based on the Scarlet Letter. LOVE IT!!!! LIKE THE EDWARD GOREY BOOK?

    20. My dad and I both have a facial expression that makes us look upset when truthfully, we are just thinking. MY DAD AND I BOTH HAD/HAVE EYEBROWS THAT MAKE ME LOOK MAD WHEN I’M NOT.

  409. Well friends, my momma is coming to visit so I will be MIA for a few days. Love to all!

  410. Amy! Have fun with you mother!

  411. Hey, cool: You can hear Leonard Cohen at the Beacon Theater in NYC at this site.


  412. My ex-husband is going to “fulfill a dream” to see Leonard Cohen live in May outside DC. He is going with his sister who lives up there (he lives here in Nashville) I told my kids that they can no longer give me a hard time about traveling to shows to see my Texas music now that their dad is traveling to a show. They said, this is different mom. Leonard Cohen has not toured in 15 years and he is 74 years old. To which I said, how is that different?

  413. Maureen — Here is Bobby J on the Daily Show:

    I have a feeling I know how you misspelled his name. I do believe this Lenten season is going to bring your Saint Mo nickname back.

  414. Carrie – Thanks! I just watched it!! I also saw this one on youtube. Bobby himself with the Mr. Roger’s theme behind.

    I just got Jane-Emily from the library and I DO remember reading that as a kid! I am excited for the weekend and curling up with it.

  415. GEORGE: OH, NO, George, I won’t serve him that “special
    drink” till he signs the insurance papers……..

    Also, George, I tried using the address: hkwebmaster@mac.co……..oh, wait..I just noticed something…shouldn’t it read dot “com” not do co.

    I’ll retry, otherwise, which address are you talking
    about? Would you mind cutting and pasting it in a post
    for me, huh, wouldja George? LOVE your writing, by the way(And I’ve told you that before.)

    makes,like, the fortieth teacher on this blog. But it
    makes sense. Bet you’re an English teacher. See, that’s
    where the pressure is now, because you just can’t misspell or incorrectly punctuate because other people
    will get on your case. (Just kidding.) Just don’t do it.

    PARTICLES: THANKS for the tip on Middlesex…but I jumped into Owen Meany because I heard so much about it.
    Heavyweights,intellectually speaking) Maureen and Sher read it, and I wouldn’t want to see them in person not having read it. Maureen called me ONTIC one time. I still haven’t got over it. I told my Spec Ed students that today, and I told them what the word means. They said, “Oh no, Miss C, you very trippy.” I think that means I can levitate with my mind, I’m not sure. Have to
    clarify.” I think I’ll make Middlesex next after O.M. You probably hated it because Kathleen Turner was
    incorrectly cast as the mother in my humble opinion. And
    James Wood just cannot portray a puss- I mean hen-pecked husband. He just can’t. The guy has more stuff going on with his left eyebrow than most actors have in
    their whole bodies.

  416. wah – i’m still sick and now claire is re-sick with a 104 degree temperature . . . I am going to be sporadic in all things until my family and myself are healed . . . have patience with me in all things – I am overwhelmed with emails, business, and a personal life (what is that?). will keep you all posted.

    plus, I have this loverly story/new accident to tell but I can’t even get that done and it is a doozy . . . something to look forward to.

    Note: I miss Haven and her calming, yet energizing effect on my state of mind.

  417. Sher – Oh. I am so sorry about all the sickness. I DID want you to know that I got my T-shirt today. i love it!!! Get better, huh?

  418. yippee – Redbubble is fast! does it look good????

  419. Sher, you need a personal assistant. I would offer but what can I do from here..
    I am sending love though, and try taking it easy.

  420. SHER; SORRY to hear about your illness and hope
    you learn to take better care of yourself. In the meantime, if you don’t find a personal assistant, take
    a tip from all the husbands out there–Get Yourself
    A Wife. Do you copy?

  421. I sick too!

    Carolyn, I think you’ll find we don’t give a shirt about typos.

    Did you see my joke up there? Huh? Huh? Funny, right?

    sorry. on cold medicine now.

    wishing for some of Kittery’s magic syrup.

    To Sher and Claire. WAAAH. Feel better soon.


  422. New Vision Teacher is actually Maureen in disguise

  423. Exciting news, everyone! My daughter, Emma, received her first private college admissions acceptance letter today! Macalaster College in Minnesota. Yes, that is correct. A girl from Tennessee who actually wants to go to a freezing cold place. She also applied to Univ. of Chicago (windy and cold), Bryn Mawr (Philly- brrr),and Bard in Maureen’s fair state (Annadale-on-Hudson)- not as cold as where Maureen is but pretty darn close)Emma was actually given an early admit (and she did not even apply early decision) because she is that awesome. I am so proud of her! Sorry to gush.

  424. Aw! Hugs, tea and personal assistants to Sher and Molly!

    (And Molly, you do not want that stuff. ‘Tis the devil. It’s all good and pretty colors until you try getting off it. Sticking razors in one’s eyeballs is about as pleasant..)

  425. Congratulations Emma (and Linda)! That’s wonderful. 😀

  426. WYPL Radio of Memphis TN

    Interview with Haven from September 2008, I don’t think this one is linked on the blog . . . about Iodine and new books and THE BLOG is mentioned

    [audio src="http://cid-9e0f8b6459217106.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Book%20Talk%202008/haven%20kimmel%202008%20-%20BOOK%20TALK%20WYPL.mp3" /]

  427. anybody here??? I am up between sick babies, not sure it is worth trying to go to bed now . . .

  428. Linda – Thanks for always being the person who keeps track of me in my various manifestations! You are a binder up of loose selves.
    Congrats to Emma! I am sure she will have her pick of colleges. If she ends up at Bryn Mawr and you drive, surely let me know so I can meet you someplace civilized on your route and have a cup of coffee with you.

    Sher – and everyone – the Blade Hollister shirt is AWESOME! I love it! I am afraid to start wearing it because I might never take it off and it will become my hair shirt.

    But Molly, hey, who gives a shirt about that, right? 😉

    I am ordering my sis the Outlaw Quaker Girl shirt, which I didn’t realize was from a photo of Haven until I was looking at old posts from before I joined the party.

    I read Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp in its entirety last night and remembered it from girlhood. I believe it is required reading for all Haven lovers, so hop on it, people!

    AND if anyone would like to utilize my audible membership (shhh) go to http://www.audible.com and login as bartletm chowder
    click on My Library and stream yourself some Iodine read by Haven and anything else I happened to have there. Don’t go buying anything new though!!

    Sher (again) – In case you didn’t refind the end of the Owen post, it’s here and I wrote something about you that I want you to see:


  429. Man, Sher, I just looked at the time of your last comment. I have been poking around, composing the above, and I should have just let you know I was right here!!! Dang! Hope you’re still there.

  430. I gots to go feed some calves. Back in a while.

  431. oh man, I just posted on your Owen Meany post!!!

  432. I’m here! Anyone left?

  433. i’m half here, half dead!

  434. Aw. 😦 You and your family need to get well!

    Have you tried listening to Iodine on that website that Maureen so graciously posted? WMP won’t play it. I don’t know what else to use. 😦

  435. Should I download iTunes?

  436. Sher’s Newest – 2009 – Debacle

    Ah, such a soothing evening, sitting on the couch with Donny, knitting away . . . deciding to go get in my pj’s and tenderly fold away my current ‘thing’ I am knitting (I don’t knit anything specific, I just start knitting a doohicky), patting it nicely into the yarn bag when

    OUCH. that hurt.

    Pull my hand out of the bag and attached to my thumb is a long metal . . .

    needle? no.
    Ugh – it is a tiny metal crochet hook (from the 1800’s from when they crocheted THREAD, that is how tiny it is).

    Unfortunately the HOOKED/barbed end is lodged in my thumb!

    It. will. not. pull. out. because. it. is. caught. up. inside. my. thumb.

    I can twist it half way round. But when I pull on it, you can see the opposite side of my thumb depress.

    This does not look good.

    I wait until the show Don is watching is over (meanwhile, twisting the crochet hook this way and that way, this way and that).

    Don says: “I thought you were getting ready for bed”

    Me: “Well, I have a little problem.” Then, I start laughing hysterically, because . . . poor Don . . . there is no way to know what I did this time.

    Don: “What! What the hell, what is it! What is it, what did you do, how do you always do this to yourself – really, What is it!!!”

    Oh, dear, perhaps I should have waited a bit longer . . . it is 9 pm . . .

    So we move to the lighted kitchen, Don twists it himself and confirms that – NO, it will not come out when you pull it. And YES it is hooked in there in my thumb.

    I decide to call down Lauren – because, really the entertainment value is UNPARRELLED and there is no blood. Yet. I am still laughing at this point, but getting PALER with each twist . . .

    we literally stand in the kitchen pondering what to do. Don decides to investigate some more . . . prodding, twisting, pulling . . . I begin to sweat, squeal, and finally to get faint and almost pass out . . . so move to the bar stool. Obviously, I can’t take these ministrations sober.

    So, I cry for the freezy spray stuff . . . whatever that stuff is you put on wounds. We do that some, my thumb starts to turn a bit gray so we decide frost-bite is not the answer, although it did numb the entrace wound slightly.

    Lauren gets me ice water, Don gets me Brandy. the brandy makes me have spasms, which in turn jolts the crochet hook dangling from my thumb and I almost pass out from the side effects of the brandy.

    Don decides to use the brandy as an anestheptic instead. Poors it on my entrance wound. My hand is now in a bowl of ice, it is literally soaking in brandy on the rocks.

    I finally ask for him to cut off the big, heavy end of the crochet hook so that: 1) it won’t keep getting caught on things, and 2) we already took a picture so now we can trim it down.

    Meanwhile Don is asking me specifics about crochet hooks: what does it look like, do you have one like it so I can see how it is hooked, if so, where would it be? blah, blah, blah . . .

    Mewly I answer “I don’t know, I don’t know, it hurts, it hurts.”

    He gives up and I hold the end of the crochet hook while he snips it with wire cutters, while I advise him and turning them so he cuts through the thinnest portion . . .

    Surgeon Donny now takes the cut off end of the hook in pliers and begins an additional round of pulling, twisting . . .

    I decide that I would prefer cutting it out or I want to go to the ER right now. Cut it out.

    So we set up that equipment. During this jolly time I decide we need to videotape it and that we need a soundtrack and decide the best song would be Tom Petty’s “Cuts Like a Knife” – – Don and Lauren agree and Don fetches the CD, sets it up on the laptop and we are ready to roll – literally.

    Holding onto thumb meat with tweezers, Don uses a scalpel to slowly slice around the entrace wound . . . after a few minutes (before the song is over) he slides the crochet hook out. Ta da!

    We take further pictures . . . regret that we have no Iodine, but pour some more Brandy on the wound, Don squeezes neosporin into the cut . . . and bandages me up.

    this occured on the evening of Wednesday . . . today my thumb is very sore. But is not festering, although I believe it is time for me to renew my tetanus shot.

  437. oh yes, maybe downloading Itunes would work . . . I have it on CD but I don’t know how to do that either!!! I downloaded most of Haven’s audio interviews via iTunes, though.

  438. Oh. My. God. Sher. Jesus!

    There are no words…

  439. I know.

  440. At least it is entertaining!

  441. Yeah, and now I have a mortal fear of crochet hooks. 😛

  442. will be back soon – – it is checking sick babies time and doing medicines!

    have a great day if I don’t get back before you leave!

  443. I’m going to cry. I can’t get it to play on iTunes either. 😦


    I don’t have a weak stomach. I don’t. But listening to you talk about Don twisting it around inside your thumb?

    That was even more horrifying than…than..than mustard!

    Oh my God. Put some bastracin on that. Did you get your tetanus shot yet? Hard to be an artist minus a thumb…

  445. replying as I rub the spot of my poopectomy debacle . . . that tetanus shot was in 2000 . . . yes, I need a new tetanus . . .

    I am dizzy from re-re-re-re-reading and re-re-re-re-listening to Iodine and I think I can no longer function, when I realize another point it discounts a previous theory and I am just deciding she was wacked in the head and there is no definate story. (I know this isn’t true, I’m just dizzy).

    Where, oh where did our Haven go, where oh where can she be???

  446. Kittery –

    Won’t Iodine play if you click Stream? My computer usually opens it in MediaPlayer if I do that.

    I burned it onto CDs and am listening in the car, so I can send you mine when I’m done.

    I had trouble with my audible site the other day. It IS a great service, but is not terribly user friendly. There are all these choices about how to download and to which device. You can try downloading it to your computer and see if it arrives in a format that your computer can play.

  447. Sher! Ouch and double ouch!!

  448. Hey Linda – I am happy for Emma – – I am not looking forward to this college search for my up and coming kiddos . . .

    I almost went to a taping of Legends of Lyrics on Saturday night, they had Keb Mo, but I was so sick and so was Claire, so I came home instead. That tells you how tired I really am, if I skip a Keb Mo experience!

    Glad you got to go to a taping, it is going to be a great series!

  449. Correction: “Cut’s Like a Knife” is by the great Bryan Adams, but in my delirium, I said “Tom Petty” sorry all you music heads out there . . . it was a mistake!

  450. Note to Owen Meany shunners. Although I loved the writing, it took me until page 290 to really become enthralled with the book. But then, to page 600+ I really liked it and it was clear to me why our Haven cherishes this book so. So, if you can get through the beginning, I really think you might end up enjoying it. Just my 2 cents, which doesn’t even buy a piece of Bazooka anymore.

    here is an OM rant I really enjoyed from pg. 290:


    and in a Religion 2 class . . . “Pastor Merrill preached his doubt-is-the-essense-of-and-not-the-opposite-of-faith.” pg. 309 Doesn’t that sound like our dear Haven and her Quaker cornerstone? Love it.

    and the politics, here is a great (apropos of today) quote: “WOULDN’T IT BE NICE TO HAVE A PRESIDENT WHOM PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE OF THIRTY WON’T LAUGH AT?” pg. 332. And we do, we have him now . . . I really found myself celebrating America’s enactment of hope in electing Obama . . . it really buoyed me through some of the Vietnam politics in the book, because, perhaps we have a chance at reconciling our pasts in building a new future.

  451. I loved Owen Meany. I guess I am not really shunning the discussion as much as I have been so distracted the past couple of weeks I don’t think I could wrap my brain around it. Maybe I can this weekend. Where is it taking place again?

  452. Kittery did you import it into itunes via Audible? Let Audile chose iTunes for you (is what I mean). That’s how I did it the other day. I put it on my iPod and listened to the whole thing in just three trips back and forth to class.

    The one thing I realized from listening to Iodine is – that I’m a horribly slow reader!

  453. Owen Meany discussion is somewhere in the December postings, https://havenkimmel.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/the-object-of-writing-is-to-grow-a-personality-which-in-the-end-allows-one-to-transcend-art-lawrence-durrell/#comments

    I really meant the hold-outs from reading it at all . . .

    ok, I am hitting the sack . . . hopefully to sleep this time.

  454. POS: I am a sloooooooooooow reader, too. Takes me forever to get through a book.

  455. George. I always think I’m going to miss something if I read to fast.

    I’m, however, not as slow as I used to be when I tried to read drunk. I would read pages over and over again. heh.

  456. I rip through work-related reading…but with the good stuff, i slow down and savor.

  457. Sher – Did you SERIOUSLY put on a CD to provide a sound-track for the crochet hook excision? That is so …. embracing of experience? …. celebratory of the humorous side of misfortune?

    No way would that have happened in my house. There would have been silence and tension, grave apprehension.

    Thanks for the tale! Ah, this long week is over.
    I am into chapter three on my Iodine listen.
    Kittery, did you finally get it to play?

  458. No. 😦

  459. Boo stinkin’ hoo. I will send you my CDs when I’m done. Maybe audible has caught on to the fact that I share my account. 😉

  460. Lol. Thanks. 🙂

  461. I just started Owen Meany yesterday and I AM LOVING IT.
    I will wait to read what all of you posted in the discussion, because I am too truly madly in love right now. Sher, I will send you a tape of the dance I did whilst reading your post, it involves me on my toes with my knees clamped together.

  462. SHER: I think the idea was that you were supposed to
    get into crocheting, not that it get into you!
    Gives a new meaning to “you’re all thumbs.”
    Actually, it wasn’t a crochet hook- it was a tatting hook. Nasty piece of work.

    You know nobody is going to let you live this down. I can hear the jokes, bad or otherwise, already taking shape and rearing dey ugly widdle heads.

    I am glad that you are okay. Have you received your
    tetanus shot yet. How about the CD ?

    LINDA: Is ist true that Maureen is really
    NEWVISIONSTEACHER? Ontically speaking, I can’t see
    how. But then again, being so ontic, how could I ???

    I’m actually thinking of getting a T-Shirt made that
    says on the front: ME SO ONTIC

    MOLLY BUG: Do you like how I’ve combined your two
    names together? Hey, what joke? I didn’t see a joke. There was a joke? Where is it–date and time, please, and I’ll go back and read it, okay?

    GEORGE: THANK YOU FOR WORKING YOUR MAGIC…Scott contacted me first before I my email got to him.
    Problem solved. Thank you for that very caring gesture.
    Little things mean alot.

  463. SARAH– YOU LITTLE SCAMP….you learned to spell encyclopedia from Jiminy Cricket on the TV…I can
    still hear the music now..”Get the ennnnnnnnnnncyclopedia…e-nc-yc-lo-pedia!!!!”

    Give The Cricket credit where credit is due. And just
    where do you think those Ad Men/Mad Men got the idea for the Geico gecko? Hmmm?

  464. Maureen, St. Mo – yes, dear it is so true. Really. Witnesses: Don and Lauren.

    This is truly par for the course in our homes . . . I am the Debacle Queen of Household Accidents. Amazingly, I end up with mostly minor injuries (one major one) – and we can’t help but laugh . . . and, yes, we absolutely put on Bryan Adam’s “Cuts Like a Knife” . . . I did a more comprehensive rendering on my blog http://www.sherfickart.typepad.com . . .

    also during the twisting phase, I looked up from my towel where I was howling and said:

    “I am so blogging this!”

    That really got Lauren going . . . I am considering a Debacle Book, more like a laugh-per-day devotional type book . . .

    Caryl – your dance can be the companion video to the procedure video!!! Beautiful coupling . . .

  465. NEWVISIONSTEACHER: YES, I knew that..I had a copy of
    She Was Nice to Mice…and I knew it was written by
    Ally Sheedy but I am not familiar with her friend.

    Any truth to the rumor that you are Maureen’s sister,
    Linda was teasing me that you are, in fact, Maureen
    herself. But Maureen would have seen through my ontic-ness and told me so herself!

  466. New Vision Teacher = Maureen

    Maureen is a New Vision Teacher. I think that happens sometimes when she signs on from a different computer. Right, Mo?

  467. Now Maureen is Cow. Ok, how many computers do you have in your house, Maureen? LOL

    News flash….my Blade Hollister Taxidermy tee shirt has been shipped! At least that is what the email said. Yippee.

  468. Where is everyone? Are you all actually out doing stuff on a Friday night?!

  469. i am lying bed with my eyes closed. i HURT from head to toes. waah.

  470. Ca–my joke was “we don’t give a shirt about typos” instead of “we don’t give a shit.” 🙂

  471. Ah, Molly, I’m sorry you don’t feel well. I am exhausted too so I think I am going to bed early. Feel better!

  472. Linda, my Quaker Girl t-shirts came today and they are so hot! Everyone seems to have picked the taxidermy style, which is par for the course with me, as I always make the unpopular choice..but you will love it. Sher, you did a great job, and I am so looking forward to meeting you all.

  473. I think I just need your sympathy … I’m stressed, tired, confused … have some weird disease that I have never heard of. I miss a lot of good conversations here because of it.


  474. I ordered 2 shirts – one of each . . . and there are a few others that have ordered the Quaker Girl ones . . . and the Taxidermy shirts are Hysterical!!! That Cletus . . . what a card!

  475. Girl from the ghetto, I just read your post, and I shouldn’t have, because besides the appropriate reaction of genuine concern for you, there was the less attractive feeling that I too may have this same disease. I have the disease where by any affliction, or symptom I hear about, I am sure I suffer from it as well. Only worse.
    That said, I will keep you and your health in my prayers, and maybe the relief of knowing what you have will ease some of your stress. I am off to try and buy the book Spent, which is about our national phenomonom of being exhausted. I’ll let you all know what I learn.

  476. Caryl – Thank you for the concern. You too Sher! I love you all of you guys, but don’t comment enough here because I just feel like crap so much. I am curious to hear more about Spent. Being totally exhausted for six years has been a terrible experience for me. And I had to laugh at you saying you suffer from everything you hear, not that it is funny, but just familiar.

  477. Give me your email address if you want to, and I will email you tonight if I find the book. And I will also let you know what I know so far. Better yet, here is my email address; carylhayes@yahoo.com

  478. Here’s mine. I HAVE to go to bed RIGHT NOW and know that I will forget about emailing you. So, please email me if you can. My stupid brain sucks these days, sorry.



  480. Good Job Kit. You know we would have been there if we could. xoxo

  481. Someplace in Maine (Feb 26, 09): I am so glad that Kiki X is back at the helm of the XX County Gilbert & Sullivan Society.

    And never more so than last Sunday when I ventured to Someplace, before the pending storm, to see the production of one of my favorite G&S operettas, “The Pirates of Penzance.”

    Upon the handsome Someplace Middle School stage, Kiki X set a smooth and jolly course through this rollicking tale of sensitive pirates, pretty maidens, panicky policemen and a conflicted leap year baby named Frederick who must choose between his overly developed sense of duty and true love.

    It all started out in fine form when Musical Director Frank X led his fine little orchestra of mothers, daughters, teenagers grandfathers, students and pros through the excellent overture of Pirates, with some outstanding solo work in the trumpet and flute sections. By the time it was over, I had completely forgotten about that looming snowstorm and settled in for a lovely afternoon on the sunny beaches of Penzance.

    And oh, what a fun day at the beach it was!

    For playmates there was a motley crew of darling pirates, led by their Pirate King, Richard X, who swashed and buckled in fine form throughout the adventure; the handsome young Frederick, handsomely played by Scott X, whose lovely lyric tenor just gets better and better over the years (as do his good looks).

    And just when one thinks the beauty quota has been reached, Lydia X appears as Mabel, trilling away in her perfectly pitched, perfectly controlled soprano that filled the auditorium like the sweetest wind chimes.

    Individually, Scott and Lydia are stunning; together they are almost unbelievably adorable, lighting up the stage with their luminous presence.

    Barbara X as Frederick’s hapless nanny Ruth just doesn’t change at all over the years, and she continues to play this fun role with terrific chutzpah and wit. Ditto for Al X who has suited up for the role of police sergeant, a part for which he is perfectly suited. His Keystone Kops crew of klutzy constables just couldn’t be more fun.

    The depth of talent Kiki has assembled here for this cast is truly astonishing, with even minor solo roles performed by men and women who on another day could have been center stage. This includes the marvelous maidens Nicole X as Edith, Laura X as Kate, Kittery as Isabel and Jake X as the mama’s boy pirate Sam.

    But the talent truly hits its zenith when Jack X struts on stage as Major General Stanley.

    His rendition of the “patter song” Modern Major General is an absolute delight; his diction so precise I don’t think I missed a word, even when he speeds it up to double time for the encore.

    Jack’s balletic moves as he flits about the graveyard worrying about what his ancestors might think of his deceiving the pirates into thinking he was one of their precious, attack-proof orphans, are both hilarious and rather graceful.

    It should be mentioned here how excellent the costuming and makeup is in this show. When all the Major’s daughters appear on stage in their pastel hued beach frocks, straw bonnets and ringlets for the first time, it is like a warm summer breeze entering the hall. I kept being pleasantly reminded of my old Mother Goose book, illustrated by Kate Greenway, I think. And the Major’s mutton chops are delectable, as is all the men’s facial hair, some of which is real, (Al’s waxed mustache) and some fake, but all looked genuine. Just great detail work in all aspects.

    Kiki X’s attention to detail in her direction and choreography is also what makes this such a lively show. When those summery maidens appear they all have something to do – fly a kite, bounce a ball, whack a badminton birdie – activities that bring the whole wonderful scene to life, and one is almost sorry when they have to move on with the story, away from their fun beach party.

    And even when the various choruses are simply background, they are always up to something rather than standing around.

    Corinne X’s sets make the opposite point. They are very spare, just a few painted cubes and shapes and a couple of potted plants, and yet they work perfectly, proving that simplicity executed well is far preferable to a grander vision poorly realized.

    This terrific show moves to Theatre X in Someplace Else Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be had by calling ******* or at ******. I strongly suggest you give yourself a break from February and go picnicking in Penzance.

    (Sorry for the annoying Xs and asteriks. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the … less so.) 😉

  482. There are now pictures of a certain someone on our Yahoo! page. 🙂

  483. Ah! My 10 favorite albums! IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

    1. The Story Of Your Spoon by WHAT’S THIS THING CALLED PILAF
    3. Greatest Hits Vol 2, the Verve Years by THE DIETER BENWAY QUARTET
    4. Spandau of My Heart by CHRISTINE AND THE CHRIST TEENS
    5. The White Album by THE BEATLES
    6. It Was A Gigantic Time by DARLENE MOILE
    7. Why by WHY
    8. Free Lightbulbs With Every Purchase by THE GREEN DOGS
    9. Whitelawn by MY UNHAPPY AUNT
    10. The Whole World Is Made Of Tin by JACQUELINE

  484. Ah Kittery! You starlet, you! A congratulations present is heading your way via e-mail.
    Mo-St Mo-Maureen-Cow-newvisionteacher
    (various aliases depending on my mood or how i signed in, if I signed in, how brain-dead I was at the moment)


    But, by whatever name you use, you are still a gracious lady. I told you that before, and it is still true.

    I’m ready Owen Meany. Here’s what I’ve noticed and I wonder if it means something. Well, of course it means
    something but I don’t know what. Owen’s dialog is all
    capital letters. Now, when I was growing up reading the
    Douay version of the bible, all Jesus’ dialog was in red type. Hmmmm. Then, there’s Johnny’s mother who
    has this mysterious birth without seeming to have had
    a husband/consort/whatever. Hmmmmm. And the dummy- makes
    me think of Weeds in Iodine as a cerberus or something,
    especially in the scene where Owen thinks he has seen
    an angel in Tabby’s room. Hmmmm….I don’t know but
    there seem to be some spiritual undertones or something
    going on in the book. I’ve just finished the part where
    Tabby and Dan just got married, and the weather turned
    bad…hailstones. Further harbinger of bad luck? Hmmm.
    Okay, well, I will keep reading. If I have some other
    questions, can I count on you to help me out of my

  486. KITTERY: Congrats on being the crowd-pleasure that
    I’m sure you were!! Excellent news. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  487. GIRLFROMTHEGHETTO: THE PICTURE OF YOU “DRESSED” AS ANJELINA JOLIE is fabulous! Your website itself is unique. There’s a reference to an award? I shouldn’t wonder. Once I clicked on your site it was like talking a stroll through an enchanted forest. Hope you’re planning to come to Durham in April.

  488. MOLLY BUG 🙂 HOW ARE YOU FEELING? I’ve had that same
    feeling for a week. Amoxycillin helped.

    I liked your typo. It was charming as it was: “shirt”
    instead of &%$# because others were just posting stuff
    about the T-shirts, so I thought you were just tying
    in the sentiments about the shirts with the typing errors.

  489. MOLLYBUG: A little ways back, you told me you weren’t
    as young as you seemed. Well, apparently, yes, if you’re
    such a big fan of the Monkees and because you know the
    songs from the eponymous album The Mamas and the Papas
    If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears.”

    So, either the picture on your weblog is really,really
    outdate OR, your parents were hippies! 🙂

  490. KITTERY: Are you close to a small town called Bath
    near Brunswick, ME?

  491. Carolyn –
    You are welcome to join us on the Owen discussion at

    However, I did a huge blurt just after I finished reading it that you should not read yet because it would spoil it for you.

    But yes, in my copy Irving himself (in the intro) compared the all-caps to the red-letter Bible. And I immediately linked Tabby (with her seemingly immaculate conception and guardian qualities in death) with Mary. That’s all I’ll say for now. But I’ll be interested to see what else you pick up on as you go. That’s the cool part of that book.

    You know, I looked up “ontic” in the dictionary and I think I meant ontological, which is almost the same but more clearly complimentary. “Related to the study of the nature of reality itself” – what is versus what isn’t, where do phenomena (such as dreams or memories or archetypes) come from? what is their essence, etc.?

    Iodine is very ontological, and so are most people who tend to congregate here, like you and Sher and your quest to understand Iodine, which I am now listening to.

    Isn’t it great to have found your lost tribe?

    YES! I do feel like I have found my tribe.
    I have a story about finding one’s tribe, but I’ll
    post that later.

    I didn’t mind being called ontic! I was thinking: Somebody got me! She knows me! Listen, you cannot know
    this but I have worked very hard to be grounded. I won’t go into it here, but it was nice to know that yes, I finally have grounded myself, in a good place, and it’s right where I need to be.
    I didn’t take it as a slight. The reason I use the word so much in my posts to you is because I am using it as if I were sending a beacon out in your direction,saying,”now that YOU know ME , and I know YOU, how can WE not communicate?”

    Everyone here has their own particular “flavor” or
    so I’ve noticed. It’s what makes each person
    easily identifiable. Isn’t that what we all want,
    to be noticed for something that is uniquely “us”?

    I am gonna stick with Owen Meany. I don’t understand
    all the references to the Vietnam War yet. I know
    it’s considered “chic” in some literary circles to include some Nixon and Reagan bashing, but I get the
    feeling that the war ties into a deeper meaning of the
    novel and I won’t let it deter me from pressing on.
    Like right about now, my couch is calling me to get
    a blanket and my book and go read, baby, read.

  493. Carolyn – I want to come. but I’ve already used 4 sick days this year. I’m so excited/jealous for everyone who is lucky enough to go.

  494. GHETTOGIRL…That is too bad- a loss for all of us
    blog babies on site- that you cannot attend. You
    would lend a certain something…how do the French
    say it? A certain “je ne sais quoi?” Wouldn’t it
    be something if you showed up in your Angelina Jolie
    costume? I told you before, I loved it, just loved it.
    Your website is phenomenal. You didn’t explain about
    the award, tell me about that.

  495. Ghettogirl: I’m so sorry that you have to bear this malady. Grrrrrr. And I am appropriately angry for you.

    Carolyn: No biggie…

    Everyone…I’m mostly lurking; been incredibly busy lately.

  496. GEORGE: HOW’S LIFE? I am currently reading Owen Meany.
    I figured since Sher and Maureen have recommended it,
    I should follow suit. Have you read it? I just finished
    reading Guilty, by Ann Coulter. I didn’t like it as much
    as How to Talk to A Liberal, or Godless. It didn’t have
    the same punch. How are you on political commentary?
    I just love Michelle Malkin.

  497. Carolyn, could you actually be a real life conservative, here on this blog? Or am I being dim-witted and not reading between the lines?
    Oh, and I just started Owen yesterday, I am enthralled with it, and you are a fast reader lady.

  498. CARYL H: MOI? A conservative? Oh, my. Just yesterday,
    I was busy being ontic.

    Let’s just say I’m that “opposing point of view”
    that everyone claims they’ll defend to death, according
    to the Constitution, when in fact, they’d like to do
    so many other things to me.

  499. Oh, me thinks you are a woman after my own heart. Did you decide where you are staying in Durham?

  500. CARYL: I think I’m staying at one of the Bed and
    Breakfasts nearby….not sure which one yet. Have
    always wanted to stay in one when I travel by myself.
    I’m thinking of arriving Wed. and stay until Friday
    morning. How about you?

    By the bye, although I enjoy reading Ann Coulter, somehow I don’t think I would enjoy meeting her in person. I like a little humanity,maybe even a little
    humility, along with a large brain.

  501. She isn’t very nice, is she..:) I am flying in on Tuesday with my 16 year old daughter and her friend, and leaving Friday. We have a couple of college tours nad interviews lined up.

  502. CARYL: NO, she doesn’t seem to be very cordial.

    It’ll be exciting for your daughter and friend to
    hang with a “celeb”. I’m glad, as a teacher, to hear
    they are planning on a college career.

    Speaking of girls, I have to go get my two step-daughters to go set the table for dinner. Pop-Pop is
    here, I hear the doorbell, the uncle is here with his
    two girls. We are going to be 8 for dinner, and now
    I have to go do my part.

  503. Hello babies! My momma left today and it was hard to see her leave..however we had a wonderful time doing wedding things. So I have been catching up on the posts ( was distracted for a bit on GFTG’s blog..I just love you and your thoughts..and I am so sorry about your crappy diagnosis)and it’s so nice to be back!

  504. AMY: Glad you got to see your momma.

    I’m reading Owen Meany…I picked it up at the library
    on Monday. If you’ve read it already, I’m at the
    part about the Christmas pageant play.

  505. I’ve never read it Carolyn, I am one of the chosen few who cannot get into, no matter how hard they try!! I envy you and the others that can. I feel like I’m missing out!

  506. Amy, honestly,I’m waiting for something to happen or grab me by the throat, and that hasn’t happened yet. I I’m trusting in Sher and Maureen that I will find something that “hits me where I live.” I’m
    enjoying what I think I’m seeing in the novel–It has
    alot of undertones of a religious nature. I think I see
    some kind of Revelation in it.

    What are you reading now?

    Someone a little while back mentioned the author
    Rumor Godden and I wondered if you or someone else
    has ever read In This House of Brede?

  507. Carolyn, I read In This House of Brede just a few months ago and I absolutely loved it. I would be a monastic in a heartbeat if I didn’t have a husband and kids. I got another Rumer Godden for Christmas.

    I am right now reading The Shack. I finally succumbed to peer pressure and wanted to once again see what lands a person at number one on the bestseller list
    ……….. um …………… I am open to comments on this book …….. trying to stay open-minded …….. Anyone else read it?

  508. MAUREEN: YES I’ve read the Shack..just about 3 mos.
    ago. I did not think it was very original — I’ve read
    about The Divine before in that style, very hip,and
    non-conventional. But it was new to me.
    I think what is special about itis that it’s very readable. A friend of mine who is a cancer survivor and a devoted Christian asked to read it and for her sake, I did. Along time ago, I saw an off-Broadway play called The Steambath…where God
    is a little Puerto Rican guy “operating” the universe
    out of a public steambath. Now that, in my opinion,
    was a unique take on the divine and it got me into
    reading diverse expressions on the nature of spirituality, religion, the divine, ect. I really couldn’t say I thought Shack was unique. However, the message wasn’t lost on me. A Course In Miracles, however, almost sent me over the edge.

    For those people who like to ratchet their spiritual
    experiences and literature up a notch, try the Urantia
    Gospels if that’s your cup of tea.

  509. Hi Maureen,hi!!!
    I am currently finishing Edgar Sawtelle and I am also reading a book on Jackie Kennedy ( I love, love the whole Camelot story.)
    Rumor Godden,writing it done, never read..

  510. MAUREEN: I read In This House of Brede along time ago.
    If you liked it very much, your public library just
    might have the VHS movie of it starring Diana Rigg
    of the Avengers fame. What I liked most about it was
    that during the more mature years of her life, she
    finds herself going back to Japan, where she spent
    her earlier years, that Full Circle theme that I love so much in any work of literature. That part of the book where she talks about how her son died when he slid into an underground cavern? I cannot begin to
    tell you what that one cost me…”what they pulled up in the bucket….” My throat tightens, even now. And I’ve never had children.

    I’ve never seen the movie but I know my library has it…I ought to go get it by the way, just to see if the movie did the book justice. (They seldom do.)

  511. AMY- The novel is called In This House of Brede.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re a practicing Catholic
    or not…I think anyone with a soul would love it.

    My favorite book on Jackie and Jack is called All Too
    Human and if I think about it for a minute I can tell
    you the author………….

    I read Edgar Sawtelle about 2 weeks ago…..I had to
    skim over the letters about the dog breeding stuff…
    it just put me to sleep. I’m not saying anymore. If
    you’re a dog lover, you’ll probably love it.

  512. I am a huge, huge dog lover therefore I find the book incredibly interesting but really painful, so I can only read it in small increments.

  513. AMY: ALL TOO HUMAN A Love Story of Jack and Jackie
    Kennedy….written by Edward Klein.

    I think it is the all-time best bio of Jackie I’ve
    ever read. And I’ve read quite alot.

    If you ever get decide you’d like to read a bio
    of Queen Eliz II , I can recommend one as well.
    Quite honestly, I thought I would be bored to tears,
    but I’m keeping this hardcover edition in my private
    library forever!! It was that good. I really am impressed by the woman. Er, I mean, Her Majesty.

  514. Hi Amy! I’m glad you had a good visit with your mom. It sounds like you and she are very close.
    How exciting – wedding prep! When is your wedding? This spring/summer? I am sneaking up on my 19th anniversary. Lordy.
    I dropped out of the Iodine discussion for a bit, myself, but I’m listening to Haven read it now, so I’m thinking about it again.
    I am going to eat some pizza and see my hubby, just home after an all-day navigation training seminar. (I think he may be planning to become a captain and get a charter boat and he hasn’t quite told me yet.)

  515. AMY When I got to the end, I thought, “why all the
    stuff about the dogs?” I really didn’t think that
    the ending of the novel needed all that dog material.
    Well, I guess I can’t talk any more about it cuz you
    haven’t finished it. Let me know when you’re done because maybe you can tell me why its so durn important.

  516. MAUREEN… back up a couple of posts, will ya?I wrote
    a couple of things there for you.

  517. The one I am reading now is ” Jackie after Jack.” My wonderful in laws to be are retired auction/antique junkies and they always pickup boxes of books for me at auctions. This was one of them, very interesting.
    My wedding is Septemeber so we are closing in on 6 months. Lord, it is coming quickly. My dress arrived today ( it took them 7 months to make it, ridiculous right?) and it’s a bit too long ( I am the size of a hobbit)so now alterations are needed. I think they did that on purpose so I have to pay the alteration fees.
    My mom and I are extremely close. She lives 3 hours away which is hard but necessary. I was too dependent on her and moving away was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. We see each other about once a month which is perfect. She too ,is in love with Haven thanks to me and we spent some time on the blog last night. I read her my 25 interesting facts about myself ( shyly for some reason) and we listened to Home Remedy. She loved it!!

  518. Side note, I am listening to the Indigo Girls whom I have had a love affair with for years…does it get any better than them I ask??

  519. I am a chatting fool tonight guys, look out!

  520. AMY: Have you ever heard the Indigo Girls’ version
    of Midnight Train to Georgia. If you haven’t I’ll
    try to figure out a way to make one on tape and
    send it to you. You MUST hear this.

    Can you get me to a website that I can hear Home
    Remedy on or do I have to read it in print. I’ve never
    seen it in print, I don’t think.

  521. AMY: AH, the wedding dress routine. Yes, you figured it
    out… alterations are just one more fee to collect on.
    You figure they’re thinking you won’t be a returning
    customer, and if you do it right, (the marriage, I mean)
    you won’t be!)

    My niece was lucky enough to go to Davids’ Bridal…pick the first dress she fell in love with and
    have it fit her without a stitch of alterations.

    She will not be a returning customer.

  522. CAROLYN! I have never heard that and I love that song too! Oh! I will see if I can find it on You tube. Home Remedy ~ Click on the October Blog link above and it will take you right to the post. There will be a link for the reading.

  523. AMY- INDIGO GIRLS 12OO CURFEW…it’s the live CD
    double album…you MUST go listen….and make
    the choo-choo sounds along with the girls…..

    I’m gonna go look up the website now, matter of fact…
    be back in a while.

    MAUREEN…Why hast thou forsaken me?

  524. Ahhh! Heard it and LOVE it!

  525. AMY- GLAD you liked it!! Now, can you help me
    get Home Rememdy. I tried the October 2008 blog list
    and when I click on the link, all I get is the black
    and white Halloween photo, but there’s nothing to click
    on to play anything. How about You Tube? I tried
    searching under Home Remedy and Haven Kimmel and
    got nothing.

  526. Indigo Girls – big thumbs up. Have you heard of The Story, originally called Jonatha and Jennifer? similar sound. Love their midnight train and tangled up in blue.
    More tomorrow – I’m beat.

  527. MAUREEN…OMG..Are you talking about Jonatha Brook
    who used to sing with Jennifer Kimball as The Story.
    Cripes, Mo, are we part of the same tribe or what.

    I didn’t think anybody else knew about her….
    I got to see her once at The Grand Opera House in
    Wilmington. I have every one of her CD and an autograph one to boot, plus I saw her at a Borders in PA somewhere…. OMG! What are some of your favorite songs of hers?? Tell me tell me!

  528. “We are on our way to West Point
    Where you perfect, blond cousin
    Will throw his hat in the air…
    And we will watch it fall….”

    Angel in the House is to die for….

    “My mother moved the furniture
    When she no longer moved the man.”


  529. AMY- HOW come I cannot get anything when I click on
    the link? I see a B&T halloween photo, but nothing
    to click on. The arrow doesn’t turn into a hand
    either…nothing to click on. Help!

  530. That is so weird, once you click on the link it should start right away. I don’t know what the problem is??!!

  531. Sweet dreams Mo!

  532. Amy, I’ve tried it a dozen times. It’s the link at
    the bottom of the page underneath the photo…it
    says Home Remedy in a kind of brown/beige color…
    when I click on that, all I get is a B&W picture
    and there is a little box with a tiny silver knob-
    it looks like a knob but when I hover over it or
    click on it, nothing happens. Is there any other way
    to get to it?

  533. That is the only way I know, I had some problems with it starting last night so I logged off of my computer and tried it again…it then worked.

  534. Amy I’ll try it, and if it doesn’t work, I’m going back to reading Owen Meany…getting sleepy. Night night.
    Meet us all here at the Blog tomorrow.

  535. I do not like Ann Coulter. So much so that just thinking about her right now is making the tension rise in my chest. I think she is even worse than Rush Limbaugh and don’t even get me started on him. When I go into a bookstore – any bookstore- and see her self promoting horrid face I turn the books around. Sometimes I take them and move them around and put them where no one would find them except the book store folks when they are doing inventory.

    I am all for respecting and discussing opposing views. But, I think she is strictly in it for hate monguring (sp?) and feeding on those most negative feelings right wing conservatives have when they don’t get their way. OMG. Like John Rich. Ick.

    Sorry, since I got sober 10 months ago I have tried to rein in negative feelings. So, please know that if you pay money to read Ann Coulter that is totally your right as an American. But, I must, I have no choice but to say how much I despise her and her ilk. She is the type of person that gives America a bad name.

    Whew. I need some pie.

  536. LINDA: I told Amy I was going to bed…ooopss..I am
    desperately trying to figure out how come by laptop
    won’t play Home Remedy for me from the October 2008
    archive link. Boo-hoo.

    Okay, granted, Ann Coulter is no Shirley Temple.
    She does make her point about liberalism in America
    and there isn’t one thing she’s accused any of her
    targets about that isn’t true. Granted, her style
    is like Hannibal- Lecture -and -your- liver-with-a
    nice-chianti-and-some-fava-beans, but what has she
    said that is not true?

  537. Linda, I just ate some Oreos. May I suggest those?

  538. Carolyn, can I get the Queen Elizabeth book name for my daughter?

  539. AMY: STILL CAN’T GET THE LINK TO WORK…BOO-HOO. Tomorrow, I’ll ask all the blog babies to help me
    out. Or email Scott. I’m still up…the step-daughters
    came home and the Menfolk are shooting pool downstairs,
    so it will be impossible to read in peace and quiet.
    I am outnumbered.

  540. Carolyn – That Angeline Jolie Halloween costume was five years ago … lol … my Michael Jackson is much better. I got that blog award from another blogger friend. And, I just got it last Sunday. I really want to come. I wish they’d both read in Michigan. Come to Ann Arbor or East Lansing Haven !!!

    George – I appreciate your anger!

    Amy in Ohio – Thanks for stopping by my blog. And I can’t believe your dress took seven months to make. It must be beautiful.

    Also, I love that Indigo Girls song “Closer To Fine.” I just have their greatest hits. And, I have no idea what Ann Coultier has written, when she opens her mouth she is such an ass I could care less what she writes about.

  541. CARYL: SO GLAD YOU ASKED… Queen Elizabeth II A Woman Who is Not Amused…….by Nicholas Davies.

    This is absolutely the best bio of her. Not only that,
    it is one of the best biographies of anyone I have ever
    read and I love biographies.

    Until I read this book, I never really thought much
    of her. I think the part of the title that says
    A Woman Who is Not Amused is what got to me…I just
    had to read it then.

  542. LINDA AND GHETTO GIRL: I guess I’m gonna take a
    beating on Ann Coulture, but my momma didn’t raise me
    to go sit in the back of the discussion bus.

    I repeat my question: What has she said about liberalism in this country that is not true?


  544. The silence is deafening……….

  545. Not the best place to gush over as someone as vile as Ann Coulter.

    The only thing she has going for her is the dumb publicly educated (which hates) sheeple who keep buying her hate speak.

    There are a whole slew of teachers on this blog her definition of school teacher is “lethargic incompetents.”

  546. (which she hate)

  547. GFTG~ I love the fact that we both love awards shows and celebrities as WELL AS LITERATURE! Also, you met Snoop Dpg and Tupac, which makes you a hero is my book.

  548. PARTICLES: I sent you something earlier on Miss Michigan? I think I put it on the other site where
    we are discussing Owen Meany. I was hoping you go
    look at it.

    The comment Ann made about teachers is in regards
    the the NEA as a union and how that union has impeded
    the standards of education in this country.

  549. Kittery!!!!! I get to see your face! Wonderful!

  550. How did you get to see Kittery’s face Amy?

  551. AMY: What is it about Snoop Dog or Tupac that enthralls
    you? My man is Sean Combs(spelling)aka P. Diddy.

    Now Sean was at an auction recently for a charity event
    hosted by Sharon Stone. And Sharon was doing her best
    to raise a tidy sum for this charity. So when she
    got to a bid of $300,000 she wanted to push the envelop and see who would take the bait.

    So my man Sean is there in his tux, and she lights on
    him to make the bid. Sean says something to the effect,
    Sharon, I don’t walk around with that kind of cash.
    To which Sharon doesn’t hesitate, looks straight at him
    and dead-in-the-eye and says: What did you do, spend
    it all on crack before you got here?

    My man Sean didn’t flinch and he didn’t dignify her
    comment with an answer.


  553. Oh geez, my previous post was lost, but it was for you Carolyn and in support of the fact that while this isn’t a political blog, we are all tolerant of each others views, beliefs, faiths etc. I am sure I am one of the only republicans on here, and I was very quiet during the election and just came on for what I needed, books and real life stories, and the love and support you find on here daily. THis is Havens universe and I think it qualifies as the place where we call get along. xoxo

  554. all get along.



  556. Amy, have you seen the wrestler yet?

  557. Linda…I thank you for expressing yourself so honestly and bravely about Ann Coulter. I was feeling exactly the same, but lacked the confidence to say so.

    I felt the same about the comments defending Nixon awhile back…Or maybe worse because of the time in my youth when I actually lived through the terrible demoralizing Nixon years.

    It’s not easy to introduce any hint of discord into this harmonious place, even when done thoughtfully.

    Quakers call this speaking truth to power…

    I think in this case, the power is the wish to keep this place snarkfree and loving…

  558. Carolyn, I spend most of my days just keeping my mouth shut. I can’t believe I just outed myself.

  559. Caryl, my darling, there are pics of Kittery on the yahoo page!She is the one in the Salmon colored bib!!! And , psst, I am a Republican too, but as you said, this is Haven’s blog, and I am here to praise and respect her first and foremost.By the way,Caryl, you are beautiful. The pics of you on the yahoo page as just lovely.
    I haven’t seen The Wrestlet yet, but I did tear up a bit when he didn’t win the best actor Oscar. Did you see the interview with Barbara Walters before hand? It just endeared me to him even more when he spoke of his dogs!


    Now, then, did you get the name of the Q.E. II book
    for your daughter?

  561. I believe you need Quick Time for the Home Remedy stream. It works.

  562. I might be a Republican but the Obama family are winning me over daily and I have great hope for them and our country…

  563. IS winning me over daily….I have had a bit to drink tonight and my grammar isn’t at it’s prime.

  564. PARTICLES: THANK YOU for the tip on Quick Time…I’ll
    have to ask my fiance to noodle around with this laptap-
    it’s his and he uses it for work, so I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see it on this laptop.

    Did you see what I wrote to you on the Owen Meany
    blog site?


  565. Carolyn, yes thank you, I am going to order it tonight from Amazon. I have received a package from amazon everyday this week!

  566. And thank you to you Ms Amy, for the sweet compliment. You are a beauty yourself.

  567. CARYL: I’m pretty lucky- I’d spend the money at Amazon
    as a last resort, but we have two excellent used book
    stores in town and I have been sooooo lucky to find
    so many of my selections there. Plus, my sister and
    my niece know that there is nothing better they could
    give me for XMAS and birtday than a book of my choosing.

    I also hit every yard sale, flea market and whatever
    if it advertises it has books.

  568. AMY: YOU KNOW, sometime last week I heard about that
    thing with Citicorp where the president of Citicorp
    announced publicly that the bank was looking for a
    new lear jet for its corporate travel needs. Now that
    was right after Citibank just got the green light on
    the gov’t bailout. So, word on the street is that
    Obama looked over his shoulder and said to one of
    his aides, something like, get them on the phone and tell them don’t even think about getting a jet or you
    can kiss your corporate bail-out goodbye. I like that
    kind of moxie in a president.

  569. Alright , I believe I am off of to bed. So, goodnight, you moonlight ladies..

  570. Yeah, I read it. I almost always follow my gut, that’s one of the reasons I DIDN’T stop, and I had to pee.

    The destruction of unions is one of the reasons we are in the mess we are in now, and all the jobs have gone below the border and overseas. That and GREED – the kind of liberalism you should really be pissed about.

    The country was built on unions and fair pay. Back when union were flush and there was a thriving middle class, CEOs made 20x more than the laborer, now they make 300-1000x more than the people who actually produce the goods and services. You really think that’s right and good for the country?

    Social liberalism is for the good of all, rather the good of the me, me, me people spewing hate speak.



  573. me no energy for discord – therefore, no energy for ann coulter . . . I am so glad to be away from conservative NW Florida . . . i think everybody should remove their bush stickers now . . . or their, wait, who ran against Obama??? See, this is where I am – living in my Obama Utopia . . . working on recovering from the Bush years . . . I choose to live in my bubble . . . therefore, I can’t get into any discussion about Ann Coulter . . . mostly, she just doesn’t matter to me . . . I avoid her. I don’t like any agressive political talk, I love our mildmannered Obama and people like him, that believe in speaking their truth quietly, patiently and with respect. Maybe Obama is REALLY a Quaker??? That is it.

    Also, unless somebody your holds a knife to my throat, I’m just not interested in debating, it is too much like arguing to me and I don’t feel the need to change anybody else’s mind – they have a right to their opinions (I don’t even discuss Religion or Politics with my family for Goodness’ Sake) . . .

    I stand on one thing . . . I will divorce a friend if they get a Hummer. Really. I have.

    Let’s do something silly . . .

    What are your 2 favorite scars and how did you get them????

    1. Scar on my left knee, approximately 2 inches long, running vertically, puckery.

    Inflicted upon me by my dozen male cousins who were lambblasting me with mud balls (laced with broken glas) whilst I scurried up and down the rope on the big Oak tree at G-pa’s farm. I was about 7-8? The rarely hit me because I was a fast monkey . . . Gpa threated them with wet noodles and they retreated to 50 acres of wood for the rest of the day. Gpa used his WWII first aid kit on me – poured Iodine on the open wound after washing it out at the pump (yes, the old kind that pumped, it was RED), more Iodine, he poked the meat back in and placed 3 ‘butterfly’ bandages (i.e., he twisted white medical tape into bandaids) on it . . . that was it. But I think I got to pick my own apples that day and the boys starved in the woods.

    2. Back of my ankle. Let’s just say a boyfriend wore rattlesnake boots . . . 😉

  574. PARTICLES: Have you ever read any Ayn Rand?

    If you’re not familiar with her, try reading
    Atlas Shrugged. The Fountainhead is pretty cool,
    too, but I just adored Atlas. Then we can talk about
    socialism or liberalism. I get those two mixed up
    these days.

  575. Sher, as my mom would say, you are one naughty minx. Rattlesnake boots…

  576. SHER: MY GIRL..there you are. Yup, I would rather not
    talk politics here. Hey girl, how’s your thumb. You
    know it was a tatting hook that got you, not a really
    small crochet hook. It is making me whince just thinking about it. By now, your thumb should be turning
    blue and other shades of violet…..

    A girl who has not scars has had a life not worth living. Oh, maybe I don’t want to sound like a bully
    here. Not after I just defended Ann Coulter…ahem.

    SCARS!! Got ’em.

    1. First one- tiny scar on upper lip, not visible
    at casual observation. Loved to sit on the upright
    floor waxer they used to have in the old days to polish
    wood floors. The rubber handle on ours was missing, and
    somehow, my face got pushed onto the handle…….

    2. Big one above my right knee where I had surgery in
    1996 to repair my femur, which I managed to break in
    my neighbors driveway. (No lawsuit, I am not litigous.
    I don’t think falling on someone’s property is like
    winning the lottery. You don’t get to profit off of
    someone else’s misery, either.)

    3. Right elbow where Mom pushed me into the metal ledge
    of our down-stairs nailed-to-the-wall blackboard for
    playing school.

    4. One long scar running down left side of head. Fell
    down a long flight of wooden stairs outside our kitchen
    door. At two years old. Lucky to be alive. My guardian
    angle drinks espresso.

  577. SHER, did I tell ya I’m reading Owen Meany? Maureen
    invited me onto the site y’all are using to blog.
    Maybe you’ve seen my comments there?

    Need to line up some new reading pretty quick here.
    Tomorrow, I get to lie in bed as long as I like and
    I will undoubtedly get through to the end of the novel.

    Maybe I will move onto Solace of Leaving Early.
    Tried it once. Hope Haven is not reading this, but
    I couldn’t get into it. I’ll try it again. I did, however, get a copy of Something Rising, and I just
    loved it. Cassie is my kind of girl. Loved everything
    about the book- the rising action, the plot, the
    denoument…the character development. Loved it.
    This was right after I read Iodine. So I was thinking,
    thank goodness I still have a brain left that may be
    still functioning. I was hoping Rising was not going
    to haunt my days and nights like Iodine did- still does.
    I never want to meet Trace. I don’t want to meet Ianthe.
    I cannot explain why. I think it cost me alot to know
    them. I don’t even remember being that absorbed over a lover. Well, that’s a lie, yes I do. Do you read me,

  578. Oh the irony. This is the Facebook status message of one of my former professors today – “________ thinks too many people believe Ayn Rand should actually be taken seriously…”

  579. SHER, my darling…I have the need to go read now.
    Am seeing double, almost, looking at the computer
    screen. My man has gone to bed already with his book,
    my cats are snoring on the couch next to me, and
    even my step-daughters have put FaceBook and MySpace
    to bed, so I must do the same.

    Hope your thumb is still working in opposition to the
    rest of your digits. That is it’s job, after all.
    Nighty-night, as Amy says, you moonlight ladies.

  580. Scars. The bottom of my foot – when I was 5 I jumped off a wall onto a piece of glass. (Back before those awful environmentalists came along and made us stop using our yards and parks as dumps.)

    My left side of my head starting almost at my temple. It makes a y above my ear and goes around to the back of my ear and up to the top of my head in the back. Car accident when I was 18. Head injury bleed like the dickens. I was covered in blood out int he middle of nowhere.

  581. Oh particles you are on a roll my friend!

  582. Fab!!!! Will check OM discussion tomorrow . . . I am off to, just off the computer . . .

    I was a naughty minx, but I had LOTSA Fun . . .

  583. Carolyn – Used World is fabulous.

    Iodine is a heavy book, especially trying to figure it out is a tangle of webs . . .

  584. Can I just say to all that–although I’ve been much more of a lurker than a commenter lately–I am so grateful to have this blog. I’ve had a desperate, crappy weekend, won’t bore you all with the details, but coming here makes me feel like I’m with my tribe. I’m going to really, really try to make it to Durham. It feels important.

  585. I have a scar, I just remembered. Right butt cheek, fell out of my boyfriends very raised truck in 12th grade. Landed on my arse, got a large bruise which didn’t go away, it became raised and odd shaped and bigger each day. Eventually I had to have a drain put in, hence the scar. And there ended any dreams I had of being an ass model.

  586. Caryl – that is a fabulous SCAR story . . . love it, love it, love it . . .

    it is so lonely on her with Haven, we have no Captain.

    Oh, Captain, my Captain . . . .????

  587. I am going to post a list of my top books for 2008. Nothing I have read this year, so I have to refine my list. Thank goodness I put my bookcase in order when I had that fit of ocd.
    SHer, how are you feeling. And the kids..is everyone still sick?

  588. Carolyn – Brace yourself: Jonatha and Jennifer graduated from my college and started their act while students at my college (Yep, they and Phish are my college music claims to fame).
    I saw them perform a bunch of times in what was called the Backroom at our snack bar when they were just starting to perform together. After they graduated they went big-time. Then they changed their name to The Story and I lost track of them because we were starting the farm.

  589. MAUREENCOW: I am just dying to pick your Memory Box
    for recollections of Jonatha & Jennifer from your college days.

    Who-but someone in my tribe- would have such intimate
    details for me? Is that amazing or what? We must be
    related somehow…we’ve read the same books, like the
    same music…you even know Jonatha. I would really like
    to hear about when they got started. Did you have any
    classes together? Would she remember you if your name
    were mentioned to her?

  590. CARYL- An arse model? Wow. I’m envious. I always wanted
    to be a foot model. I think you should post your Top Ten
    Novels for 2008. Then I’ll have to get my list together
    and it will keep me out of trouble here on the blog.
    Let’s agree to do fiction only, okay? Otherwise, I might
    have to list like fourteen cookbooks.

  591. Sher, just after reading Iodine, I tried The Used World and Solace of Leaving Early. Couldn’t get into either
    of them. But I did LOVELOVELOVE Something Rising. Think
    I’ll try again-maybe was just too tripped out after Iodine to appreciate them on their own merits. How would
    you describe each of those books if you just had one or
    two sentences to say about them? What would I learn
    about the human condition?

  592. Woke up to a thin blanket of snow this morning.
    Not at all uncommon for the Mid-Atlantic region
    this time of year.

    Anybody up for a little sledding? (Actually, we use
    tubes we order from a catalog.)

  593. My scars: ( sher always starts the best convo’s. I would like to nominate her for second in command when Haven is not here)

    1. My left knee is fortunate to have 2 scar stories. One is from when I tripped over our dog ( I was 16 ?)in the kitchen and fell into the kerosene heater that was warming our house. The furnace must have been broken again. The other is from sliding into 3rd base. ( 13 yrs old) It was badass.

    2. A small one on the inside of my left wrist from reaching into the over and hitting it on the upper rack while pulling the pan off of the bottom rack. ( I was 24)

    3. An inch long scar on the bottom of my left foot ( why do I never injure my right side?). This story is hilarious. Okay, so I was cleaning/packing my apartment to move to Ohio and live with Jeff. I lived in a studio apartment thus my computer desk butted up against my kitchen counter. Well I must have broken a wine glass at some point and the curved glass rim had fallen behind the desk. You see where I am going with this? I stepped onto the curved rim and it went into my foot. I was in such shock that I grabbed it out and watched blood gush on the white carpet. I start to panic and crawl to my phone while grabbing a dish towel to wrap around it. I call my step dad and he says to wrap a maxi pad around it and duct tape it which I think is brilliant. In the mean time I call one of my girlfriends and she comes to get me. When I get to the ER they put me in a room, cut off the maxi pad and put it beside me on the bed. Here’s the best part..a male nurse comes in and sees a bloody maxi pad on the bed and stops dead in his tracks. It was awesome. Once I explained it, he complimented my Dad on his ingenuity. Anyway, 6 stitches and a raised scar that still hurts when I press on it. ( then don’t press on it!) I was 25.

  594. Amy, thank you for your story. I loved the part about
    the Kotex. The fact that your Dad would even touch
    one tells me reams about you,because your Dad is amazing for that one deed, and so, thereby, so are

    Why is it that we all have so many feet and hand scars?
    Everyone of us (me, too, although I didn’t post it)
    have these scars there?

  595. Sher- Love you!!!

    I have a scar on each of my hands, in the same place just mirrored from one another. On the outside meaty part of my lower palm. The first one I got at a party at the close of 9th grade when most of my friends were headed to the other high school in town. Several of us decided to leave the party for and walk the mile or two into town. I can’t remember why. But going back we thought we would take a short cut across the brand new bypass highway being built. Of course we had to climb over a tall chain link fence. No problem. I got the hop up part down ok but then I caught my hand on the jagged top of the fence on the way down. It was a deep bad cut, lucky it didn’t get infected. Ah, memories.

    The second one I got while cleaning the dining room hanging lamp in the apartment my kids dad and I lived in before we moved to TN. I was washing the glass bulbs that went over the light bulbs. The fluted top of one was chipped and i didn’t notice it until – ZIP – slice. Didn’t feel a thing as my hands were in the soapy water. I was all by myself so I had to call the rescue squad guys to come tape it up so I could go get stitches. They show up in a fire truck with sirens and lights blaring and the guys were in their fire suits. How embarrassing. I had told the person on the phone that it was just a cut, so why they sent that many guys I don’t know. They must have been having a slow day.

    Dee- Feel good about living in Michigan today…

    Today, March 1st, is International Death Penalty Abolition Day, which marks the anniversary of the date in 1847 in which the State of Michigan officially became the first English-speaking territory in the world to abolish capital punishment. It is a day to remember the victims of violent crime and their survivors; it is a day to remember those killed by state sanctioned violence – guilty or not- and their survivors; and it is a day for intensified education and action for alternatives to the death penalty.

    My son and I are going to a letter writing gathering at TCASK. Here is a link to the National Coalition site if you would like more info on how to help:

  596. LINDA: We’re going to have some apple PIE today.
    I will have a slice in your honor today. You’ve earned

  597. To my tribe: Are there any Hannibal Lecter fans?

    (Am I opening up another can of worms here that I’m
    gonna regret?)

  598. ok haven’t read anything in a few days, but i’m sitting here in GA and it’s snowing. It’s been snowing for 7 hours. it’s snowing!!!!!!!!!!!

    god, i miss NH.

  599. MOLLYBUG: Hey, girl. I was thinking you weren’t speaking to me anymore.

    It’s snowing in Georgia? Now I’m afraid. Very afraid.

    Mollybug, I think you were trying to tell me something
    true when you said you weren’t as young as you appear.
    My question (for the 3rd time,ahem) is this: Are you
    just amazing well rounded and that’s why you know the
    Monkees or the Mama’s and Papa’s eponymous album OR
    were your parents just hippies?

  600. Favorite Books of 2008. Not in any particular order.
    1. Iodine. and all of Haven’s books, which I read in one month last spring.
    2. A Wolf At The Table. Agusten Burroughs
    3. Split. Suzanne Finnamore
    4. One Drop. Bliss Broyard
    5. Those Who Save Us. Jenna Blum
    5. Sleeping Arrangements. Laura Shaine Cunningham *
    6. Playing With Grownups. Sophie Dahl
    7. Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close. Jonathan Saffron Foer
    8. Hurry Down Sunshine. Michael Cunningham
    9. Without A Map. Meredith Hall
    10. Miss American Pie. Margaret Sartor *
    11. Girls Of A Tender Age. Mary-Ann Throne Smith *
    12. Lover Of Unreason. Yuhuda Koren and Eilat Neger *
    13. South Of The Big Four. Don Kurtz *
    14. Unaccustomed Earth. Jhumpa Lahiri
    15. Disquiet. Julia Leigh
    16. An Exact Replica Of A Figment Of My Imagination. Elizabeth McCracken.
    17. When You Are Engulfed In Flames. David Sedaris
    The * indicates books recommended here, by Haven herself.

  601. CARYL: I’ve read the first two books listed on your
    top 10 picks. Did you ever join in the Iodine blog?
    We’re still bloggin but on the other site.

    I haven’t read any Sedaris, but the book you listed
    was a reader’s pick with Stephen Colbert of the
    Colbert Report. I couldn’t get much out of the interview- it seemed just to be a “rap” session between
    the two men, so I couldn’t tell whether or not I wanted the book.

    Can you tell me a wee bit about how it was to read it?

  602. Anybody read Richard Russo: Empire Falls or Bridge of

  603. Carolyn, I just love David Sedaris, I have read all of his books, and they are something I pick up when I need a good laugh. This one I read in one sitting. Actually I have done that with a few, but they are done essay style. I was in on the Iodine discussion in the beginning, but I lost the plot, literally. I just started the book on cd, and I think that is going to make a huge difference on my initial thoughts.
    I loved all of the books I mentioned, some more than others, and there were other books I really liked that I didn’t put on the list. If there are any you want to know about, I will gladly fill you in.

  604. CARYL: I just requested 2 books by David Sedaris-
    When You Are Engulfed in Flames and Dress your Family
    in Corduroy and Denim….I requested both audiobook
    and hardcover for “Flames”. Sometimes it’s fun to
    have a book read to you while you’re doing housework.

  605. caryl: Sher compiled a timeline of the novel Iodine.
    There’s a massive amount of stuff to go through, posted
    by Sher, Maureen(Cow), myself, and I think a few other
    people brought some brilliant insights and observations.
    It’s on the other site- Open Season on the Author.
    Check it out. Yeah, the CD will make a difference….
    Haven puts a lot into the reading and it makes you
    stop and consider what you might have not given so
    much weight to. You’ll like it, I think. I know in a couple of years I’ll want to hear it again. Wish someone
    close to me would get it for me as a gift. I’ll have
    to leave post-its on the fridge.

  606. Carolyn, are you still into Owen?

  607. Carolyn – I just finished NAKED this week. Oh, my god, he made me laugh. What a fantastic book. I have also read Me Talk Pretty One Day, also fantastic. Also, I just lent my copy of Empire Falls to my mother-in-law, who LOVED it. I also love the character of Hannibal Lector, but HATED the book and movie Hannibal.

    Linda- Good of you to post the bit about Michigan. I am glad about them abolishing the death penalty here in my beautiful state. Especially since I know that the wrong people get convicted of crimes just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    POS – I forget where you live in Michigan? Is it on the west side of the state? I have never heard of Toast and Jams. Sounds yummy

    Amy in Ohio – Yes, but when I met Tupac and Snoop Dog I had no idea who they were, and they kept trying to autograph ther cds for me and I politely declined, saying that I probably wouldn’t listen to them. (Everyone, I waited on a large group of rap stars in Lansing, MI just a month or two before Tupac died!) Yeah, I also met Kid Rock before he was famous and called him greasy. Sigh. This is why I should have never stopped my subscription to Rolling Stone.

  608. Yes, Caryl..still reading Owen. Did you read it?
    Why was Owen so harsh to his parents at the Xmas pageant?Was that like when Jesus flipped out in the
    moneylenders stalls?

    GhettoGirl…I’ll probably read Me Talk Pretty too one
    day….I liked Hannibal and the movie, but only because I couldn’t get enough of the doctor, or, maybe it was more I couldn’t get enought of Anthony Hopkins.

  609. Carolyn – Anthony Hopkins is a great actor. But the characters changed for me so much in Hannibal, and I could not buy it. Did you know that a bit of the book Hannibal was influenced by the continuing investigation of The Monster of Florence, Italy’s real life serial killer. I am reading the book The Monster of Florence now and it is quite interesting.

  610. G/GIRL- Did you pick that up at the library- I swear
    I saw that book about the monster of Florence at the
    library- I was tempted to get it, but then I had
    3 other books, and all due in 2 weeks, so……

  611. G/Girl- Are you also a true crime fan? Does the name
    Anne Rule mean anything to you? I know Amy in Ohio
    is also a true crime buff.

  612. Let’s see – The Solace of Leaving Early. To me that is about allowing the healing to begin (for the little girls) and for all the orphaned souls (whether through fate or self-imposed exile) to find a home. This is the book where you get to know Amos Townsend this is imperative to understanding Haven’s Quaker beliefs . . . There is a dynamic where the generation of caretaking is passed on. I think that is also important. I love those 2 little girls . . . love them. And I love Langston’s father. That would be my dream father.

    Used World – if I had to pick a favorite of the Hopwood Triology, this would be it. The triology of the 3 women and their different rites of passage . . . to me that is the main theme. You also get to enjoy the return of Amos and glimpses of other characters from Solace and Something Rising . . . I love trying to piece it all together.

    Iodine stands on its own. I am actually doing a final re-read trying to dispove or prove my current inclination on the timeline/ chain of events. I am close to sharing it. But I think I have a few things wrong still, trying to make those pieces fit.

    I don’t think I have an official list of 2008 books . . . Iodine would have to be on the top, though. Definately.

    Will go through the stacks and see if I can compile a list . . .

  613. Carolyn – I know Ann Rule, love her and the whole true crime thing. But, being married to a cop and working in the court system has burned me out a bit on the genre, for obvious reasons. I bought the Monster of Florence for my husband last year when it came it. Its about a year old, so I would think by now it would be in a library.

    Sher – Funny you mentioned your stacks. I was just looking at all of my books. Books are my passion, and I don’t spend enough time reading as I used to. My shelves are filled with books about the Beatles and other rock biographies, British Literature, American classics, memoirs, Judy Blume, and even the mighty Stephen King. I like everything from a good war/military story to the indescribable works of John Irving and Chuck Palahniuk. Of course I am a huge fan of the holy trio – Augusten, Haven and Sedaris.

  614. question: Is the 2008 the best books that were written
    in 2008 or just the books one liked which were read
    in 2008-regardless of the year the book was written?

  615. 2nd Question: Should the book be a work of fiction only
    to make it into the top 10? No non-fiction, biographies,

  616. Hmm, no rules. My books were read in 2008, thats it. Only a few were published that year, I had more than a few biographies, the rest fiction. And I put 17 down, which is just the number I came up with when looking through my bookcase. I meant it to be top ten, but got carried away.


    1.We Have Always Lived In the Castle-Shirley Jackson
    2.Iodine- Haven Kimmel
    3.In This House of Brede- Rumor Godden
    4.The Haunting of Hill House- Shirley Jackson
    5.Fortune’s Rocks-Anita Shreve
    6.The Weight of Water-Anita Shreve
    7.In Cold Blood-Truman Capote
    8.Atlas Shrugged-Ayn Rand

    When I moved from my own home into my fiance’s, I could not take all 167 books I owned at the time. I kept one small bookcase and enough books to fill it. These are the ones I will never lend out in case I do not get them back.

  618. I’m surprised nobody but myself has mentioned Anita
    Shreve. We’ve included Sue Miller, Sue Monk, and Jodi Picoult but nobody but me mentioned Anita Shreve.
    I own every book she’s ever written. I figure if I wait
    15 or 20 years when I’ll have Alzheimer’s, they will
    all be new books to me.

  619. SHER- I know that sooner or later I will get to
    Solace and Used World, but after I finish Owen Meany,
    I need some hilarity. I might just dig into David
    Sedaris. I read 5 in a row by Augusten B. but I wouldn’t call them “funny.” I want to be entertained
    and belly-laugh. I’m hoping Sedaris does it for me.

  620. Hello all…I’m here in Molly’s home state (Georgia) and we have about 3 inches of snow on the ground. It’s a rare occurrence but it’s been a fun day.

    HUGE fan of David Sedaris. Me Talk Pretty might be my favorite. Saw Santaland Diaries and it was hysterical. I found him, read everything, then Augusten and read all his books, then I picked up Zippy because of the cover and the rest is history. GFTG-I like the “holy trio”–that sums it up.

    Amy-in-Ohio-I love the Indigo Girls so much I used to usher at their concerts when I couldn’t afford a ticket. Now I buy myself scalper tickets as my sole birthday present. 1200 Curfews is the best because it covers so many eras. Midnight Train To Georgia rocks as well as Tangled Up In Blue. You have good taste!

    Question: can I buy a t-shirt if I can’t make it to Durham? I’m trying to make the trip work, but I sure love those shirts…

  621. I love Sue Miller also…I have read While you were Gone at least 5 times.

  622. Quiet morning around here, kids. How is everyone? Vanderbilt students are on spring break this week so the campus is quiet. Of course, being staff, I get no spring break. Grrr.

  623. Oops, While I was Gone

  624. Linda, how did it go yesterday?

  625. The snowstorm sent DC reeling, but I made it to work along with a few other intrepid (insipid)ones…foul weather = foul mood…another cup of coffee is required.

  626. I saw that earlier stuff on Ann Coulter. I think she is a monster.

  627. Hi George. Are you well, where have you been..
    Has anyone seen the movie Frozen River?

  628. Vanessa – glad you liked my holy trio line!

    Carolyn – See, this is where all the dysfunctional stuff makes me different. I laughed very, very hard at most of Augusten’s books, except for Table, which really made me sad.

  629. Hi George…I loved your earlier list. Thanks to you (and everyone else) for sharing.

    Re: Ann Coulter–we were charged with listing what was untrue about Liberals in Ann’s books. This is a valid request and one that deserves thought. I think most of us on the left don’t take her seriously (and consider her to be mean-spirited among other things) but we should be able to back up the argument with facts.

    I’m the lone Democrat in my family and in my husband’s family as well. But as Sher put it, we shouldn’t debate to try to change the other person’s mind.

    Good news…we’re no longer Liberals but apparently are now “Socialists” in support of Obamunism. 🙂

    I’m glad Obama is winning over a few folks. He is a brilliant guy and seems to want to do what’s best for the country. Let’s give him a chance.

    P.S. Girl FTG: I just checked out your blog today and spent an hour reading. Loved it!

  630. Thanks for asking about yesterday, Caryl. Letter writing gatherings were taking place in several locations around the state. The Nashville on had good turnout. We were each asked to write 4 letters in support of 3 proposed bills that would impact the death penalty, or rather, representation of people being prosectuted. That is really at the root of the problem with this system. The poor, uneducated and disinfranchised are the ones who get executed. No matter how horrendous the crime, you will never ever see a rich educated person executed. Is that really justice?

  631. Wow Linda. What a true statement that is. I don’t think I have ever thought about it in such simplistic terms, but that really sums it up , doesn’t it. I am proud of you for your work and commitment to this cause.

  632. Linda, that description pretty much defines the issue. I am glad you shared that. It will help in my own thinking. There is a lot truth in what you say. It really does go to the old adage that you get the best justice you can buy. You get a good lawyer instead of an overworked, court-appointed kid fresh from law school and your punishment will never reflect the seriousness of your crime, will it?

  633. VANESSA- I agree about “Wolf at the Table.” Although
    I found it to be a good read, I didn’t want anymore
    of his father hanging around in my head, so to speak.
    I’m with you, I can’t read him anymore. The only
    one I haven’t read is “Dry” which I think is about
    alcoholics and their so-called disease, which disinterests me.

    AMY: “While You Were Gone” is in my personal library
    too. Have you read “The Senator’s Wife?” I can guarantee you that you will have some definite and
    clear feelings about the characters in that book- you
    won’t be able to help it.

    GEORGE: If you are going to be in Durham, I should very
    much like to have some conversation with you. I adore
    your writing, and I have told you that already, in fact,
    twice before. This November, you reminded me, is the
    anniversary of the Clutter family murder in Kansas.
    Yes, I think it would make a worthy “human interest”
    story come this fall. I wonder if any of the print media
    is going to pick up on it. How about going to your own
    editor and suggesting it?

  634. “The only one I haven’t read is “Dry” which I think is about alcoholics and their so-called disease, which disinterests me.”

    Wow. Dry is the book that brought me to Haven. I have the so-called disease of alcoholism. I went to rehab on April 24, 2008 and have been sober ever since. Dry helped me so much when I was back home, sorting through everything. My son (15 at the time) read it too and it helped him understand many things. That is why he is coming with me to Durham, so he can meet Augusten and thank him.

  635. Oh My Goodness…

    “alcoholics and their so called disease”?

    What could you possibly mean by that?

  636. LINDA: I hope your son will be able to thank Augusten, and I hope it helps him.

    I am thinking about two good friends who are watching
    their thirteen year old son die of juvenile lukemia.
    That is how I think of disease.

  637. I did not realize it was a competition. My disease is not as good as your disease. Hmm. Interesting.

  638. Dry is phenomenal…absolutely brillant. Alcoholism is a disease, no question. Have you ever met an alcoholic Carolyn?

  639. Carolyn: I did a bit of research right after our exchange on the Clutter/In Cold Blood topic. I really think there is some ripeness there for narrative. It would be so fascinating to do a standard piece 50-years-later piece, while at the same time, focus in on those killings in an age of No Country for Old Men.

    I’d be so interested in doing something like, trouble is, I just don’t write like that anymore. I’m kinda glad I am out of journalism, but I gotta tell you I really miss crafting stories. It would be so challenging to do something like the Clutter Killings Revisited with all the storytelling tools now available.

    I’d have to bet print media is on this, but given the state of journalism these days, who knows?

    We can talk about it in Durham…if you like, I will bore you with a story about how I uncovered a serial killing spree that was centered on Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Chicago. The killer was ultimately convicted and died of AIDS while on death row in Illinois.

  640. Excuse me for a moment, friends. I am going to wander out into the hall and slam my head against the wall a few times.

  641. In my list of Top Ten Favorites I forgot to add numbers
    9 & 10 so here they are:

    9. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
    10. Gone with the Wind- Margaret Mitchell

    “Just yesterday, I cut off the plastic starfish for
    the baby to play with.” This sentence resonates within
    me, even though I have never had children.

    I think that Gone with the Wind may just be the
    great American novel, although I don’t usually notice
    anybody ever mentions it in that way. Everyone seems
    to have read it but I haven’t met anyone yet who raves
    about it. Is that because we’ve all seen it so many
    times on TV that now it belongs to our visual index
    instead of our literary index?

  642. Murder is a “most foul” subject.

  643. Put on a helmet first Linda, then you won’t regret it as much later:)

  644. GEORGE: I’d be flattered speaking to you anytime. You
    may just be the only person talking to me in Durham.


    George, I read in an earlier post of yours that you’re
    not in journalism anymore. Does this mean you’re not
    writing anything at all professionally? It would interest me alot to hear about the true crime stories
    you covered. You piqued my interest about one which
    you said pretty much made you quit covering the police
    beat right then and there.

    AMY : YES, my favorite uncle and the soon to be ex-husband of a good friend who has beaten her more times than I can shake a swizler stick at.

  645. Linda, I promise you when you are a few more years sober, ones definition of alcoholism will matter less to you. My grandfather was an alcoholic, my father an alcoholic, and I am an alcoholic. I inherited this disease, but I own my sobriety so I no longer care where it came from. Was my pain less than that of a child dying of leukemia, or a woman fighting cancer, most days I would say yes but there were times when it overwhelmed me. Did I chose to be an alcoholic, no, no more than that woman choses to have cancer. I think peoples frustration with the word “disease” used to describe alcoholism is when they see someone suffering from this “disease” who appears unwilling to get better. What cancer patient would fight being well? But what of the schizophrenic who stops taking their meds? Is there illness any less of a disease?
    Oh I could go on all day, but the point of the matter is, unless you have walked in my shoes, and I don’t mean borrowing a pair, you cannot define my pain.

  646. OK. Tough time to jump in here.

    Actually, Wolf at the Table is the only AB book I HAVEN”T read. I have to work up to it, but I loved all the rest, especially Dry. I was in a food court reading it and got to a part that made me gasp and sob. It was brilliant and a true understanding of alcoholics. He wants to go to rehab so he can “drink like a normal person.” That’s the disease part…they can’t drink like normal people. I’ve been to lots of Al-Anon meetings to understand how I fit in to the cycle.

    Linda–one day at a time. (p.s. I posted a photo of my dog on Yahoo…Foster’s twin.)

  647. CARYL: Very well said and I thank you for reminding
    me that one cannot know another’s woman’s pain until
    she has walked a mile in her stilettos. I would be
    honored to lend you a pair of shoes, anytime.

    AMY: Did I tell you my adminition about seed pearl’s wedding dresses and alterations?

  648. Linda, also thinking outloud here, does your son have a facebook? I was thinking it would be nice for he and Steph to “meet” before Durham. My email is carylhayes@yahoo.com.

  649. Thank you, Caryl. You are good people, as our George would say.

    I showed Sam one of Steph’s photos on your facebook. He said, hmmm. It was funny. I send you a message on Facebook and we can chat more.

    In honor of our fearless leader, Haven, I post this quote by Ram Dass:

    “There is a larger frame to the painting than the one that bounds our life events.”

    Everyone has a right to their own opinions. Even those people whose opinions I do not share.

    Carry on, y’all. I must go pick up my sweet daughter and my sweaty son (track practice).

  650. AMY-Sorry about the bad spelling and punctuation.That
    should read : my admonition about seed pearls, wedding
    dresses and alterations? At this stage of the game, I
    can’t afford to make any more mistakes…

  651. I’m watching the Science Channel – they’re making butter. You know, the stuff that comes wrapped in wax
    paper and usually two sticks to a pack. That butter.

    All I need to know about butter is this: I could mix
    a pound of butter with four cups of sugar and some
    vanilla extract and eat it right out of the bowl.

  652. Guess I pretty much cleared out this chat room for the rest of the evening….

  653. Carolyn you’re apparently here just to poke at people and slather your closed mind bullshit all over the wonderful people here.

    Well I’m not going to sit here and take it!

    You couldn’t even read, “The Used World” or “The Solace of Leaving Early.” And you “couldn’t know” people like Trace or Iathne. Guess what I know and care about those kind of people.

    So why are you here?

    You know absolutely nothing about alcoholism, or what it takes to get sober and stay sober. You couldn’t handle ten minutes of my “so-called disease”. There are several recovering alcoholics here.

    Why are you here?

    You know nothing about “liberalism” or how it feels ls to care deeply others. I couldn’t care about someone other than yourself or your stupid fiance. It’s obvious, by your posting pattern, you’re nothing but an pathetic attention seeker.

    Is that why you’re really here?

    You’re nothing but a ditto head, which makes you just as much as a monster as Ann Coulter. Why don’t you go to Ann Coulter’s blog and shove your fucking head up her ass.

  654. Hey Carolyn, does your house have a Time Out chair? Because maybe you could sit in it for a while. These are people who have been talking to each other kindly and reasonably for months now — that’s how it’s done. I’ve gotten at least three e-mails from people saying they’re very unclear what you’re up to: if you’re trolling, if you are being misunderstood (like maybe there’s a tone in your voice we’re missing), or if you’ve got some other sort of agenda. Three’s the magic number.

    Did I read correctly that you were picking on MAUREEN? See, that’s what I’m talking about. Take a break. Pray for humility. Because that’s wrong on many, many levels.

  655. Oh, Carolyn. I really want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but you’re making it difficult. I’ve seen you around on this blog since I’ve been here (at least last October or thereabouts), right? So surely you’ve noticed that there are MANY sober people who post here regularly. We celebrate words here, don’t we? Words are powerful, powerful gifts and powerful, powerful weapons. Why are you using your words to create war?

  656. Haven, I tried not to tattle, but I am so glad you are here. This reeks of Dorian, or whatever her name was. I had a bad feeling from the beginning, but I tried to hold back my judgement and be open-minded, ro atleast fair. I don’t remember any Maureen bashing but I may have been obtuse on that one. What I do know is what you have made clear, we are a group of individuals who have come together for a greater good, and whatever our political or religious beliefs we are kind first and foremost.

  657. you go “particleoflife” im following this story right now

  658. Thanks for the protection of Maureen She greatly appreciates it

  659. Caryl, I should have checked in sooner. For one thing, it would have been an excuse to stop working, and I forgot to line any of those up.

    I’ve never really seen anyone attack recovering alcoholics before. It’s sort of like, “Whoops! Did I just kick your other leg out from under you, too?”

    I love that she dismisses Solace so nonchalantly. That takes some SASSY.

  660. That was my son, protecting my honor, having seen this unfold on the screen. I’m fine. Thanks for being here, Haven.

  661. Other people were looking out for you, too, Maureen.

    I’m going to summon Jodi!!

  662. Laughing. In my wildly inaccurate (but creative) lexicon, sassy has always meant cheeky (in a good way) and cute. In that regard, sassy died for me today. (Which isn’t a bad thing, because now, according to the circle of life, I have made room for a fresh and delicious new word.)

  663. Shanna, right?!? I mean, what a sparkplug, to diss an author AND her best friend, then go after the blog babies the author LOVES? It’s like a SASSY SANDWICH.

  664. Yeah, when I saw the entry where she said something like “hope Haven doesn’t read this” I was a little befuddled. Really? Pretty sure this is the only place in her universe that you WOULD see, right? So, of all the places to post something for you NOT to see? Umm…FAIL.

  665. Of course, and then it just got worse.

  666. Wow…after exchanging some off-blog emails with a couple of people, I drove home thinking about some of the comments, trying to consider the context, and wondering what I should say when I got home and got online.

  667. Sassy? I have another word, but we are playing fair here, right? I have tried going back to see where this all started, and when our Maureen was picked on, but my head hurts. Now I am left feeling though, that I have been duped? That I was nice to someone who was laughing at me? That feeling that you’re not in on the joke. How do these people find their way on here, and as Dee would say, for what purpose.
    Also, I had a stomach ache after alot of her posts, cause I just knew they were wrong. Go with your gut Caryl…

  668. I spend a lot more time lurking than commenting here. But, like I just said in this very thread, this is a place I come when the rest of the world is grinding me to dust. You guys make sense to me. So, naturally, I will get all tiger mama if any of the cubs get wounded.

  669. I was praying hard for serenity and then ta-dah, Haven appears! Thank you, God.

  670. Now everyone, lets put this behind us and do our favorite books of 08′. Please, because I am dying to see what you all have been reading.

  671. I haven’t been reading these postings that closely…just a quick skim…the postings on Iodine have been claiming my thoughts…reading it to see where my own interpretation went afoul so I didn’t notice much until this evening.

  672. Her tone is rather opaque — in some of the posts there’s outright aggression and in others there’s passive-aggression. I think there’s a third quality: the tone people use when they’ve had the pleasure of being an assmonger but now want to disguise it so there are no consequences.

    Of course she knew I’d read the comment. I don’t know what kind of reaction she was hoping for, but as Banquo says in Macbeth, I neither beg nor fear her favours nor her hate.

  673. Personally, I’ll take outright aggression over passive aggression any day.

  674. Linda, you can write me directly anytime something like this happens. As I said to another old-timer in this community, I’ve been working on my new book for nineteen straight hours — wait, longer now — and I was just letting y’all do what you do. I’ll try to be more vigilant.

    Oooo, I have a great new blog post coming up, the work of a photographer you’re going to LOVE.

  675. Dear Haven, et al.

    If I haven’t written back quickly enough, it’s because
    I’ve been taking the time to ask myself what responsi-
    bility I must take on my part for my own words.

    First, let me say that I haven’t belonged to a FaceBook
    or MySpace blog before, but I am well aware that one
    is responsible for the words one uses. And Haven, you
    are correct that the words we write don’t always carry with them the tone one is using, or the spirit in which something is written. With that in mind, let me say the following, if I may:

    I adore Maureen. I called upon her because during
    an earlier time, Maureen jumped in and reminded everyone
    that if Haven were here, she would ask all her “chirren”
    to get along. I took a stand on discussing something in
    Iodine, and when someone else shot back the conversation was closed, I let it go. Maureen jumped in
    at the moment and acted as a sort of go-between. So,this time, I called on Maureen as one would call on
    a beloved “older” sibling or a parent to stop an argument if one felt, well, picked on.

    I’m apologize to the folks who did not like the use
    of the term “so-called” disease. As I said to Caryl
    in my returning post, that no woman should ever
    presume to know another woman’s pain unless she’s
    walked a mile in her stilettos. I should have added
    an apology to those whose feeling I hurt. I add it here
    if I may. I apologize to those I do not know for what I have said.

    When I stated I couldn’t read Solace or the Used World,
    nobody asked me why. Nobody asked for clarification.
    Assumptions were made that I did not find them worthy.
    On the contrary. At the time, I had just finished Iodine
    and I did not feel that I was able to fully appreciate
    the other two novels. I felt I was thick-headed. Besides, there were things going on in my own life,
    and I felt I need some much lighter reading. Something
    frivolous and merely entertaining.

    Nobody asked me why I thought I couldn’t know Trace
    or Ianthe. If someone had, I would have told them that
    “I’m a sinner, and I fall from Grace every day” to quote someone I admire and respect immensely. I watched
    a friend, a brilliant indivual, sink into mental illness
    and I found that I was terrified by the absolute devastation of this immensely human person. It sent me
    running in the opposite direction instead of the direction I needed to go in- namely, the direction of
    compassion and sticking around when a good friend needed me. But I did not, and I carry this shame to
    this day.
    No, Haven, I have no agenda. As I said before, this
    is my very first attempt to enter a blog site.

    I applaud you stepping in like this. You mentioned
    something about “three strikes.” I understand.
    What I would like you to respond to though, is the
    response I received from Particles of Spirit.
    If she speaks for all, and that is how I’ve been perceived, then what can I say except what I’ve already
    said? I’ve asked myself to take responsibility for
    what I’m responsible for. That is all one human person
    can do.

  676. I was duped. I guess that posting about Good night, sweet prince, might have had some subliminal context. Maybe someone should call 911.

  677. Shanna, I agree. With outright aggression at least you know which weapon you have to grab to end the fight.

  678. Haven- my Blade Hollister Taxidermy tee shirt arrived today and I am so happy and bursting with glee!

    Now I must go to church to an adult ed committee meeting. I know nothing about adult ed but I am the note keeper so it would be like the meeting never existed if I don’t show up. xoxo

  679. Carolyn, thank you for clarifying some of those issues.

    Maybe you know I’m writing a book about Quakerism, and someone sent me a coffee cup with one of my favorite old Quaker maxims: Don’t speak unless you can improve the silence.

    If it’s the case that you didn’t intend anyone any harm, then maybe you should just seek the gift of grace, particularly as it pertains to addressing other people. Leave some space between the thought that occurs to you and typing it out. Then leave some more space. Wait. Waiting never hurt a blog comment, as far as I can tell. If you wait long enough you’ll know if your comment is necessary, if it’s gracious and compassionate. You never have to apologize for the things you didn’t impulsively say.

  680. I have ordered no t-shirts, and I have to get them for my entire family. I’ve lost all sense of perspective. Well, that and at any moment I could get in trouble with Christopher, so I’m trying to keep my flank covered.

    One DEFENDS a flank. No. That’s not it. But you see what I mean.

  681. Haven, send me sizes and I will order for you. Its the least I can do.
    The last thing I have to say on the above situation; I wish I had taken the higher road. I don’t always have to have the last word.

  682. Dear Haven,

    Unless Maureen has read and truly understands my
    statement, then there is no way I can obtain grace.
    I called Maureen in because she truly did have a positve impact on a situation. I stated in an earlier
    post that I stood firm that I believed in you as an
    author and human being, that you would not let a murder (in this case, Billy’s) goes unpunished or unresolved.
    Maureen jumped in and advised we two women to play nice,
    then she clarified that I was being too literal. I thanked her for that, and the discussion continued.

    Haven, I never attacked alcoholics. I referred to their
    “so-called” disease and nine thousand people attacked
    me without clarification. Only Amy, God Bless Her,
    asked me if I had ever known any alcoholics, to which
    I replied,yes, my favorite uncle and the man who is
    beating my best friend to death. No one asked me to
    clarify that. No one said they were sorry to hear that.

    Look, I said I agreed I was responsible for what I said.
    No getting around that. I put something into print and
    it was said. Then I found that I had to respond to all
    the people who were making pretty vicious attacks back at me. Kind of like when some of us were little and
    we hit a sibling a parent would come by and go “whack-don’t hit your sister-whack.

    So, maybe this was a good learning experience. As I said
    I’ve never been on a blog before and maybe this isn’t
    the best place for someone who’s not absolutely vigilant in what, or how they post a comment. My fiance
    would like to be kept out of this,please, George.

    Sher, Maureen, Amy and Caryl,Lightning Bug, Tex and Haven( I hope I haven’t forgotten anybody-hate to be taken to task for that, too: It’s been a pleasure. I have been truly graced by your humor and spirit.Later on, after I’ve read Sedaris- thank you for turning me on to him– I can go ahead and read Solace and Used World because I know that I’ll have had my own limitations broadened. It least I hope I will. And I hope to add them as #11 and #12. Maybe by then, I’ll
    know everything I need to know about blogging. I certainly have learned something about being human.
    Guilty, as charged.

    Haven, you have my personal email address with your
    webmaster. I was planning on coming to Durham. I even
    bought the T-Shirt- not the monkey- I liked the Quaker
    picture better.But that’s just me. Please feel free to contact me there. Peace out.

  683. I do apologize to the blog babies. I’m a very laid back person and don’t get angry very often. But when I feel the presence of something in the threatening category the mama bear in me surfaces, and that’s never pretty.

    I’m not sorry for stepping up, but I could have been a lot more diplomatic.

  684. Particles, you’re welcome at my campfire any time.

    ~ Sarah

  685. Sarah,

    My marshmallows always seem fall off the stick.

  686. Particles, no apology necessary. Carolyn, the reason I asked you if you had ever met an alcoholic was due to the comment being so flippant. Many, many of us here are children of alcoholics and recovering alcoholics and have become who we are, our actual lives being was shaped by this so called disease. We are a misfit group who have found each other thru God’s grace and the depth that we will go to protect each other is unreal. We are here to heal, talk of poetry, share our stories, and always give our gratitude to Miss Haven for creating a hiding place for those who sometimes have no where to go. I’m sorry you had to learn so abruptly what we are about, but here it is, take it or leave it.

  687. Dee, I don’t even have a stick for the marshmallows to fall off of. I’ve been using a Sharpie and that’s not the answer.

  688. Caryl…I copied your list of books ( best of 2008) and am in the process of ordering them from the library! I will be taking some on my work trip this month. Speaking of which, where the crap has Polly been???

  689. Haven, I think eating a marshmallow cooked in Sharpie ink might have something to do with your inability to tell right from left…it’s just a suggestion but you might want to look into that:)

  690. Vanessa- I’m glad you liked my blog!

    Everyone else – Wow, yikes, ah! “Nuff said on that matter.

    I’ve been missing all the event talk (Since I’m a bad blog baby) about what is happening in Durham next month. Who is going, what are you guys planning, etc. I want to live vicariously. Tell me the scoop. I saw the t-shirts on yahoo, how fun.

    Haven – I love the “Don’t speak unless you can improve the silence” coffee mug. What a great quote. Miss your thoughts but of course you have work to do.

  691. Okay, so Particles of Spirit– your name is Dee? What would you like me to call you?

    It’s okay about the marshmallows, because they’re not actually food. They do much better as fuel, because they burn roughly forever. How about this: we’ll make structures using marshmallows and toothpicks, then put them on sticks, then watch them fall off our sticks and burn forever.

    Oh, and the “campfire” is inside, most days.

    ~ S.

  692. Tristan! What a true man sticking up for his Momma.

  693. Tristan’s comment, when Maureen told us he was her son, brought tears to my eyes. I kept imagining how Obadiah would feel in Tristan’s place. Sweet boys, those.

  694. I have to get back to work soon but one of the things that’s SO great, besides being in touch with you all? Is that every time I post a comment, WHOA, there’s Galway! WHOA, there he is again! It’s like Christmas in Hottieville.

  695. Holy shit! Did you see how I summoned Polly by asking where she had been????? Although it was to the wrong blog post but still, I BROUGHT HER HERE WITH MY THOUGHTS!

  696. Yeah, Sarah, my name is Dee. I had one of my school mates friend me on Facebook a couple weeks ago and she said, “you were Dee Dee when I knew you. You dropped one of the Dee’s.” That made me laugh. I’m thinking about picking up the other Dee again.

    I went to a writing group today. I went to this group a few times several months ago, but my school schedule gets in the way. It’s a group of current and former UU’s, and they are all in there the 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s. Ona and Phil have been married an astonishing 61 year this coming Thursday. Talk about an example of grace and dignity. My heart just fills with joy hanging out with the oldies.

    We were going around the table introducing ourselves, because there were a couple new people. After I said “my name is Dee” my 70yr old friend Jackie said, “tell them your real name,” to which I promptly replied, “shut-up Jackie.” Everyone laughed. I tell you this just to make you wonder. haha

  697. I went in the house to eat dinner and I was thinking Books of 2008, Books of 2008, when would that mean? I could NOT figure out if we are IN 2008 or another year, and if so, what portion of the past are we talking about? Fortunately this is the sort of question that doesn’t cause anyone in my family the slightest alarm.

  698. Amy, yes, an apology from Particles is necessary. I said something that I could not have known would trigger such a response. Haven’s reply about silence is well taken. Re-read Particles last sentence. Is this how you all want to be remembered? I asked for the grace
    and the humility to be forgiven for a statement I had no idea would cause such injury. I was not being flippant. I joined in October. I had no idea this site involved so many people recovering from alcoholism. And I admitted that even though I hadn’t known, my reply to everyone was to ask their forgiveness.
    I apologized, and apologized some more, and you, Amy,
    were the only person who asked me if I had an personal
    dealings with an alcoholic and I told you yes, the
    man who is beating my best friend to death.Where was
    the compassion there????? Where were the inquiries
    about what I was feeling??No one asked me about it!!

    Yes, an apology is due. The tribe gathered its sticks
    and went after me. I am in the wrong, I said the wrong thing, and now I know where I do not belong. I have
    had enough wrongness for one evening. Goodnight.

  699. They don’t have to be published in 08′, just read by you in 08′. I need these lists people..
    And Dee. Is it Delores?

  700. Speechless.

  701. Dee,

    Okay, now I’m stumped: is a UU a failed yo-yo?

    Am I close?

    Oh, and FOR THE RECORD (not for you, Dee, but for the RECORD): I did Not learn to spell “encyclopedia” from television or the movies, let alone a dancing bug. Nanners.

    (I was doing So Well until that final “Nanners.”)

    This reminds me of a favorite Peanuts cartoon in which Lucy is seen writing at a school desk, while behind her “I will not talk in school” appears repeatedly, line after line– this is what Lucy is writing. This proceeds through all four panels of the cartoon, with the last panel ending thusly:

    I will not talk in school.
    I will not talk in school.
    I will not talk in school.
    I will not talk in school.
    Then again, who knows what I’ll do?

    ~ S.

  702. CARYL: Thanks for keeping things on topic.

    Kelly Link: Pretty Monsters
    Jhumpa Lahiri: Unaccustomed Earth
    Clyde Edgerton (Durham author): The Bible Salesman
    Edwidge Danicat: The Dew Breaker
    Bobbie Ann Mason: Shiloh and Other Stories

    Last week I also read The Sharpshooter Blues, by Lewis ‘Buddy’ Norden, which was just staggeringly great.

  703. For T-Shirts – no you don’t have to go to the Durham thing to enjoy them, in fact I can put up some that don’t have the reference to the Durham trip??? That way you can enjoy them fully . . . will do that around midnight when I can get on the graphics computer.

    Too much under the water of which I was not a part . . . there has been a weird static in the air for a week or so – not just here, but in the world. We are all deprived of Vitamin D and I am deprived of much more than that . . .

    Galway, Haven – – – I think I finally caught something important in my 2KKK re-read of Iodine, did Trace actually sleep with Galway???? Oh my, that was an exciting pick up, how I kept missing that is beyond me . . . I am on my Chapter 11 final theory (not final, but my most up-to-date theory) and I can’t believe how much my interpretations have changed over the last 8 months (so I am in total understanding George).

    I gracefully bow out of any skirmish as I was blissfully cleaning, building furniture, and cooking all day (whilst listening to Iodine). I have been on both ends of these types of skirmishes and I have complete sympathy . . . I was so mad one day I had to gulp some wine to chill out (that was over the Corn in Indiana/Whitetrash days) . . . I was too ashamed to tell anybody in my physical life why I was so upset, I could hardly say “well, this lady on the blog just made me so mad!” But that is how emotional a place this is.

    It is a difficult gift to balance being a safe place to vent, while also trying to second guess how you might sound to another . . . even when our toes are sore, I know you are all full of love.

    I can’t even imagine my life without Kimmel/Burroughs in 2008. Literally, my life has a new trajectory because of this blog. these connections. We must hold it dear as a robin’s egg in our breasts.

  704. Carolyn, KNOW THIS –> My apology was to the blog babies, not you.

    Because of my nature and my program, perhaps at a later date I will want to apologize to you, but, honestly, I’m am not there yet.

  705. Read in 2008:

    from Master Bedroom Bookcase:

    Look Me In the Eye by John Elder Robison
    IODINE by Kimmel
    She Got Up . . .

  706. bulltwacky!

  707. Sher, I got my t-shirts, did I tell you? I picked the Quaker outlaw and they are awesome. Steph however has informed me she will not be wearing hers in a group setting.
    Thanks for playing John M. Wasn’t Unaccustomed Earth brilliant?

  708. Sher, listen to this. I was a big festival with Galway just before IODINE came out. I took another woman author aside, an older, wiser person, and said, “Just a little, you know, ethical question. Let’s say I have a college-age protagonist go back to Galway’s room after a reading. In my new novel. Which I do. Should I ask him if it’s okay?” She immediately said, “Never permission! Only forgiveness!”

    Then another author I love heard the story and he said, “Oh please please please let me sleep with one of your protagonists, sign me up.”

    JohnM, Sharpshooter Blues is in my top 25 novels on planet Earth even though I don’t know what year it is.

  709. this blog thing is touchy today . . . sorry

    Actually – I read or re-read EVERY Kimmel and Burroughs this year . . .

    Still Waters by Jennifer Lauck
    (she also wrote Blackbird, a memoir)

    The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

    Miss Understanding by Staphanie Lessing

    Harvest Poems by Carl Sandburg

    The Modigliani Scandal by Ken Follett

    Feather Crowns by Bobbie Ann Mason

    What to Keep by Rachel Cline

    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

    Miss American Pie by Margaret Sartor

    Goat by Brad Land

    Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford
    (she also wrote Zelda, which is GREAT)

    The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney

    Three Junes by Julia Glass

    March by Geraldine Brooks (re-read)
    People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

    Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock

    A Year By The Sea by Joan Anderson

    Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

    The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb ******

    Edgar Sawtelle by eihghtoo Weisldiigiigidiid?

    Walking thru Walls by Philip Smith

    Clay’s Quilt by Silas House

    The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton
    (one of my favorites from childhood – re-read)

    Half Broken Things by Morag Joss

    The Yellow Wallpaper & Other Writings
    by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

    A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Wolf (re-read)

    Damage by Josephine Hart

    Speak Softley, She Can Hear by pam lewis

    The Secrets of a Fire King by Kim Edwards

    The Position by Meg Wolitzer

    Change Me Into Zeus’s Daughter (memoir)
    by Barbara Robinette Moss ****LOVED IT******

    Wonderland by Joyce Carol Oates

    Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

    Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen

    EEKK, I also admit that I have read all Stephenie Myer’s Vampire Books & The Host! I enjoyed them! Sorry, Stephen King, you are still my first love . . .

  710. Haven, Trace is me in another time (well, just 2 decaces ago) . . . Go Trace!!! What Freedom. Also – it is Heavenly having you back. If I knew what it would take we could have acted out a pseudo Civil War . . . I could log on as “Snarky Bitch” and somebody else could be “Holier Than Thou”, etc. . . . actually a pseudo blog, that would be funny!

    Air Hugs and love ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

    Caryl, why won’t Steph wear it in mixed company??? I have 2 and I think I will wear them at the SAME time – one long-sleeve 1st layer, short sleeve top layer . . .

  711. Top Reads in 2008:
    Something Rising ( My favorite of the trilogy)
    The Used World
    Lucky Man
    Otherwise Engaged
    Gasping for Airtime
    South of the Big Four
    Okay…I read all 4 of the Twilight Books and I really enjoyed those. Sorry:)

  712. I am totally with Sher on 2008 being Kimmel/Burroughs for me.
    I started out with Augusten. As I said, Dry helped me so much. I was worn out from all the program literature but I still needed to hear it. Augusten brought it to me, like a slap in the face and a pat on the back at the same time. Magical Thinking made me laugh. And, well, say “yikes” LOL
    Zippy and Couch- they were with me as summer waned into fall.
    Solace, Something Rising, and Iodine- were like the summer fading into a moody, breezy fall and then the first chill of winter. I must re-read Iodine and then talk to Sher and George.
    Used World was the winter holidays.
    then I read Owen at Christmas. Whew.
    I read a few books Suzanne had recommended to me to help me think more positively about my marriage. I am not sure if that is what you meant to happen, Suzanne, but they helped and so did you. You still do.
    Now I am reading some various and assorted spirituality books.
    I have read more in the last 10 months than I have in probably 15 years. You all inspire me.

  713. Sher. It’s not mixed company she is avoiding, it is large groups of people all wearing the same shirt. She is 16, give her time.
    I love you all for posting your lists. Now I have another 20 books to order but that makes me so happy.

  714. Also, Linda, you are reading some Brent Bill??? I have been catching up on his blogs and can’t wait to read more . . .

    Amy – we are the Twilighters . . . so is my daughter and we went to the opening night at the movies with the Police directing traffic INSIDE the theatre and 2 40ish dingheads tried to cut in front of me and 4 fourteen year-old girls, do you think I let that happen – Hell NO. Whiplash!

  715. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I forgot The Lovely Bones. I read that in two days and it stayed with me for several weeks.

    Sher, tell me about The Modigliani Scandal by Ken Follett. Modigliani is my favorite painter after VanGogh.

  716. Caryl, I get it – what does she do in PE . . . I always hated that, trying to make my PE shirt unique . . . lost cause.

    I declared myself a 89% Quaker last week and it felt SO GOOD. I’m still 100% neo-pagan . . . I am liberated.

  717. Oh, and Sher, can I play the holier than thou part? Its something I am perfecting here at home. 🙂

  718. Yes, I am learning about Holy Silence from Brent. What a discipline that is – one I may never master I’m afraid.

    Caryl- my son would no more wear the same shirt as a bunch of wacky adults (ie. me and people like me) than walk naked into the same room. Although, I do believe my daughter was taken my the Blade Hollister shirt. I need to order one for Tex. She is probably a small. I’ll have to get her address from someone- but has she moved recently?

  719. Caryl – yes!!!! You get “Holier Than Thou”

    Don and I play scrabble against each other on the computer and we have some great names . . . it makes it so much more fun . . . also we sometimes remove a vowel from the bag to make it harder . . .

  720. Brent Bill was just in Memphis and I didn’t know until he was already there – I totally would have gone to hear him talk. Maybe we can keep track and catch something sometime???? Anything within 3-4 hours of Nashville would be doable for an overnighter??? Something to look forward to?

  721. Or I can be “stands on her soapbox”

  722. Also, I should send Haven the “Outlaw Quaker Girl” graphic in case she wants to use it for a gravatar!!!

  723. Caryl – that is Fabulous “Stands on Her Soapbox” – these are starting to sound like Native American Names.

    I can be:

    “Stove Face”
    “Hook in Thumb”
    “Scar from Snake Boots”

  724. My son is really into Superhero shirts. He also has a really cool Mario one. He gets a bunch of them at Target so I know you all have seen them. It is so funny how these boys (16 year olds) all dress alike but think they are all being totally different. And they are competitive about their clothes just like their sports. It makes me smile.

    My daughter like concert tee shirts and “real retro” that is, no “fake retro” They must be the real thing.

    Oh- Kate- my daughter LOVES Etsy.com. I think you first mentioned it and I had never heard of it before. I looked at it and knew she would love it. She has since bought a purse (circa 1985- Italian- leather – for $24) and a dress that she is going to wear to the prom. It is so cute. I will have to take a picture of her in it to show you.

  725. Also we could do awards for the blog at the meeting . . .

    “Funniest Story”

    “Best Quip”

    “Worst Typo”

  726. Okay, so I had to begin the Quakerism book from word one for the tenth time. I’ve now discarded almost 1000 pages. But I think you’ll love it, I think I figured out the way to go.

  727. Speaking of Durham, I need a list of who is coming for something I am putting together. Here is who I have thus far;
    Kittery- we hope
    Anyone else? Let me know asap. Gift bags take time people.

  728. Read in 2008
    o 01. Fall on your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald (must read)
    o 02. The End of the Alphabet
    o 03. Possible Side Effects, Augusten
    o 04. Telegraph Days, Larry McMurtry (reRead)
    o 05. The Late Child, Larry McMurtry (reRead)
    o 06. Some Can Whistle, Larry McMurtry (reRead)
    o 07. A Wolf at the Table, Augusten
    o 08. All My Friends are Going to be Strangers, Larry McMurtry (reRead)
    o 09. Leaving Cheyenne, Larry McMurtry (reRead)
    o 10. A New Earth, Eckert Tolle
    o 11. The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
    o 12. The Mastery of Love, Don Miguel Ruiz
    o 13. The Camel Club, David Baldacci
    o 14. A Girl Named Zippy, Haven
    o 15. Simple Genius, David Baldacci
    o 16. Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
    o 17. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwooa
    o 18. Something Rising (Light and Swift), Haven
    o 19. She Got up of the Couch, Haven
    o 20. The Solace of Leaving Early, Haven
    o 21. The Used World, Haven
    o 22. Kaline Klattermaster, Haven
    o 23. An Abundance Katherines, John Green

    I only made it half way through Twilight. I got a but annoyed with the obsessive teenage love.

    These are the only books I could remember. There has to be more. I’ll list my 2009 books later.

  729. Haven, can I have the discarded 1000 pages? Pretty please.

  730. I don’t know of anyone else, norabarnacles will be there . . . ??? she is local, I believe.

    I am, however, brain dead today, so my input is not worth much at all . . .

  731. Hello Long Last and Much Missed Blog Babies. Wow. A lot has been going on. I am most excited about everyone coming to Durham in April. I am not sure how I could help, but if the group needs anything I am just next door in Raleigh and more than happy to run errands/do research/shuttle/babysit/etc. if needed.

    I have been long absent, in part because of wedding planning and in part because of a situation at work which has made me not want to even think about a computer once I leave the office. But, I love random, so here are 25 random things about me.

    1. The first thing I do when I get to work every morning is listen to the Rachel Maddow Show podcast.

    2. I prefer baths to showers, every time.

    3. I learned how to say I love you out loud by practicing on my cat.

    4. I should have started writing my thesis last year. I did not.

    5. I am terrified of aging to the point of dependence.

    6. I cannot sing. In high school choir, when it was required, I was asked to mouth along instead of sing, when the choir went to competitions.

    7. I am in grad school while I work. This semester’s class is Third World Feminism and it is wonderful and also challenging because it is revealing all my buried, accidental prejudices.

    8. I Twitter.

    9. The thing most likely to drive me MAD is “mouth noises:” the sound of people chomping, smacking, talking with a mouth full of food, etc.

    10. I got my first job when I was 10 years old.

    11. I’ve worked at: The Corner Bagel Shop, Panera Bread Company, Michael’s Arts and Crafts, at Anderson University as a student secretary, Database Manager, student financial aid assistant, at Split Creek (goat) Farm, Shaw’s Big Oak Farm (horses), New Covenant Daycare, another daycare center, New Prospect Baptist Church, janitor for another church, as a private tutor, as a photographer for the YMCA, Acorn Photography, Reflections Photography, as an editor for World Publishing, a camp counselor for Lighthouse Christian Camp in TN and Camp Elim in CO, and finally for NC State. There may be some I forgot.

    12. I love the funnies. My favorite newspaper comic right now is Agnes. My favorite web comic is The Dada Detective. 🙂

    13. I almost ran for city council in Raleigh.

    14. One night my neighbor was being abused by her boyfriend and she came to my apartment for shelter. It was horrible and I did what I could, but it wasn’t much and she went back to him. That night Fiance (then Boyfriend) Dave came over after it was all over and gave me his sock monkey to protect me. His mom had made the sock monkey for him as a kid. I kinda knew I was going to marry him.

    15. I am a crazy liberal who started out as a crazy right winger.

    16. I LOVE scary/horror movies.

    17. I am phobic of balloons.

    18. Sometimes I am also phobic of the telephone.

    19. I listen to Books on Tape all day at work in order not to go crazy, batshit insane. So I am always looking for good audio book recommends. Anyone?

    20. If I could have a super power I would want it to be flight.

    21. Yesterday I listened to Coraline, read by Neil Gaiman ,and today I am listening to A Wrinkle In Time, read by Madeleine L’Engle.-

    22. I’ve always said that if I build a house of my own one day it will include secret passageways for my kids or grandkids to discover.

    23. I made the orthodontist take my braces off early. My mom was not pleased.

    24. I still have my original baby blanket. It’s stored in a cedar chest.

    25. I am a feminist who will be taking my husband’s name once we are married. In American I am only given two choices: my father’s name or my husband’s. Given these circumstances, I will most definitely choose my husband’s.

  732. I read dozens and dozens more in 2008 but I think those were the creme de la creme. Great lists everyone! Dee, I started Fall on your knees in 2008 and put it aside for some reason..I will have to pick it back up again!
    Sher, I love that you and your daughter went to the opening night of Twilight.
    Okay, and because I believe in karma..Carolyn, I am sorry about your Uncle and your friends soon to be ex-husband.
    My native american name…Thinks too much
    And now I am done.

  733. “Thinks Too Much” Very good!

  734. Amanda Clouds! I was just thinking of you. We should have a mini-wedding shower for you when we are in Durham.

  735. 2008 reads

    the well and the mine gin phillips (!!!!!)
    the book of getting even
    iodine (!!!)
    the used world (i was hoarding it) (!!!)
    the master of the senate robert e caro (the whole trilogy, actually) (!!!)
    an exact replica of a figment of my imagination elizabeth mccracken (!!!!)
    the great man kate christensen (!!!)
    a wolf at the table
    the art of racing in the rain
    the widows of eastwick (!!) john updike had it until the end; not one false move.
    the day i ate whatever i wanted elizabeth berg
    duma keys
    lover of unreason
    a history of love
    a prayer for owen meany (i was hoarding it) (twenty thousand star read)
    middlesex (!!!!)
    motherless brooklyn
    the tender bar
    the prince of frogtown (!!!) rick bragg
    inez of my soul (!!) isabelle allende
    the letters of elizabeth bishop and robert lowell
    the brief wondrous life of oscar wao
    the almost moon
    the senator’s wife
    dinner at the homesick restaurant (i was hoarding it)
    the astonishing poems haven read to me over the phone, from SEVEN YEARS


  736. Sweet Like Honey- that should be Amy’s Native American name.

  737. oh! and THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED. good stuff.
    THE SPARROW (i was hoarding it)
    CHILDREN OF GOD (i was hoarding it)

  738. Right, Suzanne, can you imagine the AUDIO of Seven Years . . . I’ve never had such an intense auditory experience as hearing one of those poems read to me at 3 a.m. . . . I have goosebumps right now

  739. Amanda,

    If your superpower were flight, would you still go to space camp?

    …Years ago, I would break into a cold sweat when around balloons. To this day, when balloons and small children are present at the same time, I sometimes struggle over which to pop first– children or balloons– to ease the inherent tension.

    I understood the last-name decision the same way, and made the same choice.

    It’s nice to hear from you again.

    ~ Sarah

  740. Hi Linda!

    I actually emailed you tonight a few hours ago. I used your work email though… just fyi.

    THANK YOU for the warm, happy welcome.

  741. Oh, yes, Thomas Merton, re-reads . . .

    what do you do with library books, how do you remember you read them . . . ?

    I am almost afraid to show my copy of IODINE to anybody because it is marked up, flagged, highlighted, annotated . . . marginalized (notes in margin, what is that word) within an inch of it’s material existence . . . I’ll bring it to Durham so you can all laugh at me!

  742. I haven’t checked my email since I left work but I will now. I have been thinking about you and hoping all has been going well.

  743. I love Brandon L. Crabbs.

  744. Thanks Sarah!

    Really and truly. I’ve already told Fiance Dave that balloons will have to be a Special Daddy treat because the kids will not be getting them from me. I have been known to cower in corners with hands over my ears when balloons are near.

  745. Amanda – are the wedding plans proceeding as you like, did you find a dress, and all those fun weddingy things??

  746. Where is Brandon Crabbs????

  747. Maureen, I am now a virtual farmer on Facebook – I think of you everytime I wiggle my cow (I can’t milk her yet!)

  748. Amanda, will we get to see you in Durham? And when is your wedding?

  749. “Never permission! Only forgiveness!” YES.

    that said, i know i am not really Finny in TUW, but i like to pretend i am. if i am not actually in a book, i will wedge myself in somewhere. all my friends fully expect to become Composites and some INSIST i use their real details, names, etc. i have a long waiting list of Friends About To Be Characters. it’s interesting how even those one thinks of as non-friends become cherished once they become characters/composites. it’s really one of the only reasons i write: to give immortal library-of-congress status to my tribe.

    suzanne fenimore cooper

  750. Linda: we are inspiring each other, see Purpose of Life and Blog Babies. xo sfc

  751. Amy, Fall on Your Knees was required for my English Capstone class. I started reading in January because I read slow, but I couldn’t put it down and finished it 12 weeks early. It’s actually a really good book for theory, because it has it all.

    Oh read Suzanne’s baby book too. Sorry, I forgot the name.

  752. When WAS 2008? How do you know what you read in that square of time? You people are AMAZING.

  753. Hi Sher!

    Wedding plans are really VERY smooth, all things considered. I could tell you a story about my mom though…

    Ok I will tell you the story.

    When ordering invitations my mom wanted to use a friend of her’s who has a printing shop. We did and my mom came up to N.C. and I chose the style/font/wording/everything we needed for the invites.

    My mom went home and placed the order and asked for proofs to be sent back. They got the proofs, “made some changes,” and sent the ok.

    I never saw the proofs and when I saw in an email that changes had been made I had to call my mom and ask what, exactly, she considered a “minor” change.

    HA and ARG!

    She changed the address for one thing, which would send everyone to the wrong locations. She changed a few other things as well. I tried to hold my shit together and tell her that this was VERYVERYBAD. And also? That would not be a “minor” change.

    The good news is that it has all been worked out and the invitations are wonderful. Also maybe now my mom will call me if she thinks something should be changed “just a little.”

    Also, Sher, Thanks for creating the t shirts. I’ve seen them briefly and need to go back and place an order.

  754. Caryl,

    Thanks for asking. My wedding is May 16th, and I am planning to come by the great festivities in Durham. Haven mentioned a great surprise afoot so I am infinitely curious.

  755. Oh lord, I forgot:
    Eat, Pray, Love
    A wolf at the Table
    Her Last Death
    Wintering ( Mo, did you send me that in 2008 or 2009?)
    American Wife

    And I am still on the waiting list for The Hour I first Believed, I cannot wait to read that.

  756. the audio of almost every good book is superlative.

    i particularly recommend these unabridged audio books:


  757. I need to go to bed. Wish I could stay and visit cause I love you all so much. Tomorrow is another day. Nighty night. xoxo

  758. POS: my baby book i wrote to my son is THE ZYGOTE CHRONICLES

    AMANDA: there’s a VERY SPECIFIC PART of my first novel, “otherwise engaged” that deals with wedding invitations, and a font where the S’s looked like MEAT HOOKS. OKAY??/??//??///

    I admire your sanity and the fact that you stayed out of prison after your mom made “a few changes”. bless your heart. i handcuffed my mother to her bathroom radiator for the entire duration of my engagement. she had no say. none. i see now this was overkill.

  759. “I learned how to say I love you out loud by practicing on my cat.”

    Love it.

  760. SHER: YES

  761. HAVEN: i am in a state of shock and upheaval that it’s 2009. it feels VERY VERY TENTATIVE. i was just getting used to the 2000’s. it’s disturbing to the MAX.

  762. Amy, you read Her Last Death? That was #1 on my 07′ list. Did you love it? I cannot find anyone else who read it.

  763. Almost Clouds…#9 Mouth noises!!! My children regularly stand behind me at my computer, look over my shoulder and chew. And I grit my teeth and say, “PLEASE don’t smack in my ear!” It seems to bother me more than most. Glad to hear someone else say it.

    Best wishes on your wedding planning!

  764. CARYL is an angel among us. i adore you, Caryl. AND she has a sexy, throaty voice and laugh. AND her husband is fantastic. AND…

  765. i love my stepfather/dad of 38 years but listening to him eat toast is a living death.

  766. Suzanne. Future sister wife. You just made me smile. xoxo

  767. “One summer John and I rented a beach house for us, Kat & O., and Kat’s friend, Brittany. I also took my hamster. The Kimmels were just down the street, and one night Ben came over and sat on the porch with us. Indulgences were made, chemically, and we three women made Ben laugh so hard he had to go downstairs and throw up in the scrubby grass.”



    THERE WILL BE MANY INDULGENCES AND VOMITING IN SCRUBBY GRASS WHEN I COME TO NC. also, much , much more fucking around time will be booked solid in advance. i plan to do ALL my funny voices and dance interpretation of bacon at a MOMENTS NOTICE. also, meals will be small and constant.

  768. caryl and i are ENGAGED.

  769. Popping in for a quick minute so y’all know I’m not dead in a ditch.

    I second the love for Caryl…and of course I love Linda, Dee, Sher, Kate, Suzanne, my straight-married girlfriend HAVEN, and all the other spectacular babies.

  770. yes,norabarnacle is local

    real name, sherrill

    nora is the name i think of as mine if I had named myself,and nora barnacle was james joyce’s wife. The sound of it just tickles me…

    I’ll be there at the reading.

    and still happy to help with any local details if needed…

  771. BRANDON!!! I have missed you! Wait till you see the photographs of me and my New Orleans gay husbands at a Bollywood Costume Ball during Mardi Gras.

  772. “Trust me, I know my bike terminology. One of the few areas of practical knowledge I possess.”

    george, i;m afraid none of us can take you seriously until you remove the mexican wrestler’s mask/leotard, and the fishnet stockings. of course it falls to me to tell you this. the others are too afraid of your explosive temper and your cloven motorcycle boots. really, george. really. I SEE YOU AND I KNOW WHO YOU ARE, REALLY. and you owe me an apology. and a titanium suitcase filed with unsequenced bills. otherwise? the FERRET DIES.

  773. AND YOU TOO JIM SHUE. a massive apology for YOU KNOW WHAT. my god. the idea that you thought sending me a month’s worth of compost stuffed in a wine box would be an appropriate “thinking of you” gift is simply unacceptable.AND YES, THE SPIGOT WORKED. if it weren;t for that sweet, precious baby of yours i would most certainly sue. OH YES. JUST ASK ANYONE. I AM NOT ADVERSE TO LITIGATION where matters of honor are concerned. HONOR, SUH.

  774. Norah – I was trying to be so discreet, not sure if it was a secret . . . you are officially out-of-the-closet now!

    I had to buzz around but am back again.

    The only way I can keep track of what I read is if I have the book in my hands . . . I just have to buy it, but I get LOTS of books on ebay/used/thrift stores, which means I lead some of the ‘big’ books years after everybody else . . . unless I am avid, then I am at the full price store on the day it comes out . . . I flag them and highlight and take notes, and when I can’t get into a new novel, I put up any flagged and read the highlighted excerpts – which is also my deathbed wish, to be read all the excerpts from my book/friends/books are friends . . . etc. Maybe I can start recording them myself, then I can read to myself? It is a thought.

    Also, I did not go down into the studio to look at those book cases, because – I would never come back up the stairs and U2 is going to be on Letterman and their new CD comes out tomorrow . . . which means I will have to dress in real clothes and leave the driveway (thus my slippers) – it is a tragedy.

    When I think of my wedding, I shudder. I gasp. I want to vomit. I wish I had just had a costume party on an island (going as a bride and groom) and been done with it . . . eek – Lauren and Claire know they can have a wedding or a downpayment on a house . . . their choice. Ugh . . . the horror (mind you, weddings are a family tradition/career . . . we do them well, but I was MISERABLE at my own).

  775. (piping up from behind the scrim of the ether) Caryl – I’m hoping to come to Durham; I’m waiting to hear about a couple of summer residencies that (if I get them) will use all my available travel funds. If I don’t get them (should know by mid-March) I’m going to make whirlwind plans to join the festivities. This has become a win/win situation, so I’m feeling rather pleased with myself. I’m not as vocal on this blog as most, but I hold you all very close to me and your voices have become rich and distinct over the months. I’m thrilled at the possibility to put faces to all the stories.

    Sher and Suzanne – did you love The Almost Moon? It got such mixed reactions among my reading pals and I just adored it. Probably because I have that complicated mother thing. Dying to hear what you thought.

  776. Shanna – I loved Almost Moon.

    I think lots of people just don’t admit what they are capable of/or actually did/do in their lives.

    Every situation in that book was completely believable to me. LOVED it, dead bodies, sex in the backseat, and all . . . What about the Dad’s abandoned apartment???? Isn’t that how you would imagine Candy’s Trailer to be, or the Warner’s house???

    Freaky! My mother-in-law refused to read it.

    I don’t need to say anything else.

  777. Shanna, “dying to hear what you thought” in relationship to that book — either very clever, or RUH ROH.

  778. Oh and Suzanne and AMY . . . guess what was found in the backseat of a certain somebody’s car?????

    I am prostrate with embarrassment . . . the flag and box of books are still THERE!!!! I really did pack them and label them, but apparently never made it to the post office with them? Then we got the plague and I didn’t realize until I was loading recycling . . . I am ashamedly embarrassed. It is back on the 2-do list, again . . . they are causing me nightmares.

    I also owe Caryl a box, but it isn’t packed yet.

    Me bad. bad. bad.

  779. Shanna, I loved The Almost Moon. It wasn’t a Lovely Bones, in that never leaves me way Lovely Bones was for me, but it was a fantastic book. I hope we see you, and you can let me know last minute and I will bring your gift.

  780. Har Har, LOL, Haven! You KILL me!

  781. Laughing. I’m not tha clever. Ruh Roh.

    Sher, you are SO my people.

  782. uh, that clever. Or tha clever. Whichever.

  783. Here is a favorite quote from my 2008 reads:

    “The whole town appeared to be peopled by unmedicated schizophrenics.”

    Rise & Shine, Anna Quindlen

  784. I told Suzanne recently I was absolutely floored by the savagery of the reviews of that book. They just got worse and worse, culminating in Lee Siegel’s piece in the Times, after it had already been gutted there either in the daily or the Sunday Review.

  785. Why do people love to hate?

    I think it hit TOO CLOSE TO HOME

  786. Sher, for godsakes, give yourself a break or I will for you.
    Peter is home from London, thank the lord above, and he mentioned today that I have picked up quite the foul mouth. Which makes me think he either has a girlfriend who IS holier than thou, or he really hasn’t been listening to me these past 13 years. Then I got to thinking, if we marry Suzanne, will this bother her too? I am fairly certain I have heard her say the f-word, but I think I may have said it more…and am I getting worse, or did today just bring it out in me. I really thought I was improving in all areas folks, but to hear Peter tell it, I am almost back in the gutter.

  787. I swear like a sailor on shore leave. But sweetly, and with a southern accent.

  788. So I emailed the Oprah Show over the weekend about book clubs . . . I nominated this blog as a great ‘show topic’ – about how unique and phenomenal it was, etc. the great writing and what it is all about . . .

    and about the Durhan reading, t-shirts, retreat thing . . .

  789. Southern and British accents really temper the content, I think.

  790. I worked in an office with lawyers, and I cussed them under the rugs.

  791. back in the day of faxes . . . they would spend days faxing dirty jokes and drawings back and forth to each other . . . then bill a client for communication.

  792. I’m hoping that the right accent will allow me many indulgences I might not otherwise afford.

  793. maybe that’s my problem. maybe I just need a better accent.

  794. I like to talk like a George Cracker, then realized it sounded a lot like my Indiana family members, so now I try not to do it around them . . . Cracker Cussin’ – I have practiced my Massachusetts Kennedy accent, it just doesn’t work with the cussing . . .

  795. I found myself talking southern belle at Claire’s birthday party . . . it was bad and I think some of the mom’s thought I was making fun of them, but it just happens!

  796. Wow, Sher — so it’s all true about that profession?

    I dated a lawyer a long, long time ago. I was too young to see that he desperately needed killin’.

  797. Yeah, I think the Kennedyesque accent actually CREATES friction and distance that may not even exist. Or maybe that was just Mrs. Prendergast, my 7th grade English teacher.

  798. Lawyers are some nasty, nasties!

    Conversely, I knew one in a larger office that was a Fundamentalist . . . he only represented ‘christians’ . . . that was actually worse!

  799. Can you imagine Jackie finding out that Jack slept with Marilyn . . .

    “Why, Jack-ee-boy, I doe nawt unnerstan whiiiiyyyy yuou woul fuouck hur!”

  800. Amanda – I love your #25 -“I am a feminist who will be taking my husband’s name once we are married. In American I am only given two choices: my father’s name or my husband’s. Given these circumstances, I will most definitely choose my husband’s.” Just fabulous.

  801. I’ve tried to modify my accent so long I’m able to do it for long stretches, and then I forget, I completely lose the necessary consciousness (like when I’ve been laughing a long time) and what’s hiding in there is just shocking. Not as shocking as a recording of me I heard at Mom’s made when I was six. I actually sat back and said, “Oh my.”

  802. Haven, I heard no curses issuing from your mouth, and I was there. You do pack a mean right hook, however.

    And as for you Suzanne Fennimore Cooper, I fucking apologize. I’m sorry you saw me and Cassie riding off into 2008. She likes guys in torn fishnets on well-used Schwinns.

    And Caryl, who doesn’t love you?

  803. Little kids pick up accents quick . . . 2 days after playing with a southern girl/belle in training . . . Claire started sounding just like her – – we will say “Claire, do not talk like **$*$*!” . . . just like your parents saying “Don’t sigh!!!!” Again. and again . . .and again.

  804. Same with you POS and Linda and Sher (who was that rock star, dish-baby-dish) What a fucked up today has been. Starting with the snow and ending with my sore shoulder…no wonder I can’t fucking write!

  805. weird vibes in the air today . . . persephone is trying to unearth herself

  806. George, what’s my excuse? Well, I do suddenly have many more owls living just outside my barn window. Four or five. And there are other haunts abroad.

  807. Extremely weird vibes…it is the meteorological spring, which isn’t the same as the real thing…

  808. ok, because I’ve been wondering . . . bizarreness doesn’t even begin to describe . . . I actually took some Midol today, without the main cause . . . just felt I needed a mood/bloating lift.

  809. The owls came from my back yard, Haven, where they were living perfectly happy, getting fed a regular diet of sunflower seeds and sparrows, until this freaking snow came blowing through.

  810. As Suzanne knows, I’ve had some scary scary nights out here while working in the past week. Wait, I mean things were radically atilt, I wasn’t afraid. There were some moments when I thought, “Hmmm, this could get ugly.”

  811. multiple owls!!

    owlets??? who? who?

    wow – way cool . . . the robins started their nesting today and I was wanting to give them a piece of my mind on their very bad decisions on locale . . . can they not FORESEE the hawks and their nest will be open targets . . . those negligent mums.

  812. Ohh George, are you wooing me with that foul mouth of yours?

  813. Iorek and Cubby to the rescue!

  814. Well, yes, you’d think. I went and got Iorek and he would NOT come inside the barn. He completely refused. He ran around it twice, nose to the ground, and then started barking, so I had to put him back inside because it was 3 in the morning.

  815. I have been trying to institute replacement curse words for Claire’s sake (Lauren provides most of the good ones: what the LLAMA! Quan! Quan! Yo Llama! Quan you! – they are just eclectic enough and if Claire repeats them at school she can say she was studying on Dylan’s Rosetta Stones.

  816. I’m a world-class cusser and I come from a family of blue ribbon cussers who were known to exclaim things like, Shit fire and save the matches. Both my boys, I am proud to say, are great cursers. Now, here’s the funny thing. We rarely curse in front of each other…now if that’s not Hoosier I don’t know fuck-all about being from Indiana.

  817. Ok – but did you have a Burger Chef???

  818. George, my father, who carried two concealed weapons and whose biography was heavily shadowed, rarely ever swore. He was very mannered. He did have a few favorite phrases but only for humor. I know he swore once at my mother on the phone, years after they were divorced, but only because I heard her bone chilling response.

  819. Haven, that’s totally weird about Iorek. It very well may have something to do with what you are writing.

    Despite my nasty mouth, I read in church on Sunday.

  820. Iorek . . . poor baby, is he afraid of the owls? Or an unknown?

  821. My 2008 List (Not 100% accurate, its hard as hell to think back that far!)

    A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father

    Me Talk Pretty One Day Sedaris

    Candy Girl – Diablo Cody

    Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robinson

    Saving Fish From Drowning – Amy Tan

    The Merck Manual of Medical Information, 2nd Home Edition

    Go Ask Alice – Unknown

    The Glass Castle – Jeanette Wells

    Julie Andrews Biography

    The book Madonna’s brother wrote about her

    The Adventures of Kavalier and Klay – Chabon

    One Fifth Aveneu – Candace Bushnell




    Used World


    I am drawing a blank on library books.

  822. Haven, that’s my point about being Hoosier, and Sher, my best friend worked at Burger Chef, which was next door to where I worked, Kentucky Fried Chicken. We used to go out in the parking lot, get high, and eat chicken and cheesburgers. I would say his name, but nothing on the Web is private, and he is a respected law enforcer in a city where Kate Cake happens to live, but I know where he keeps his bong.

  823. I think I literally worked in the last standing Burger Chef in Danville, IL . . . 1986 . . . then it converted to Schroeder’s . . . but serves the original Burger Chef menu (flame broiled like BK . . . with swiss cheese . .. oh, baby!)

    I could eat fried chicken for every meal, every day, hot or cold . . . yum

  824. 2008 was my greatest year as a reader in my whole life! I don’t even know where to start, but I ended this year with Couch.

  825. Couch! Perfect ending!!!

    Right now I am finishing “A Girl With No Shadow” and “MisFortune” and, the eternal, Iodine Quandry.

  826. I also did truly love Augusten’s, Wolf. I told him so. I also really, really loved Night at the Lobster.

  827. SEE WHY I’M CONFUSED?? “I ended this year with . . . ” You ended THIS year? I wish Scott were here to solve this for me.

    Iorek wouldn’t come in the barn because there was something under the floorboards on my back half, the study half.

  828. Sher: I could fry you a chicken dinner that would leave you in tears. I’m talking real Southern fried chicken fried in Crisco until the crust gets really crunchy. That ad some macaroni and cheese, baked in a black iron skillet and asparagus tips, freshly picked from the garden, lightly sauteed with a dash of lemon.

  829. under the floorboards . . . I am quaking.

    That reminds of the time the opossum crawled in our trailer through the hole in the bathroom floor, got in my room . . .

    i wanted to die. it took the biggest, bravest me to leap over to the door and get my stepdad up out of his bed . . . it took me forever to decide whether to flip on the light or not because my little sister slept there to . . .

    my stepdad beat him to death with a firepoker, then dragged him out to the burn barrel in his robe.

    when we left for school the next morning, there was a trail of blood in the snow from door to barrel . . . creepy! That sound . . . ugh….

  830. george – we need to rent a kitchen in Durham . . . I want me some fried chicken . . . what can I make??? I make a mean tater salad and baked beans with cottage cheese.

  831. Oh *hello*. It’s good to be back .. I’ve been hiding for the past few days, ’cause I’d come on to read and I just couldn’t hack it.

    Hellooo. 🙂

  832. Sher – why do you keep mentioning Burger Chef? I am starving and supposed to be on a low cholesterol diet (That is not working … ate 5 pieces of bacon for dinner.) I loved Burger Chef … that condiment bar was so awesome. I remember just loading up my burger with all the pickles.

    How about Jack in The Box? They still have them in L.A.

    George, I had to laugh at your “I know where his bong is” comment! In my humble opinion, weed should be legalized. I see so much $ being wasted in the court system on it. Have the US grow and sell it … our economy will turn right around. I have never seen a Driving Under The Influence of Marijuana charge … but plenty of drunk driving charges. Weed just makes you laugh, eat, and listen to music, not go apeshit and fight with people in bar parking lots like alcohol does. Just a thought … (And no, I don’t smoke it.)

  833. You’re right, Haven. Sorry to be so durned confusin’. I guess I haven’t really committed to 2009, though I have been in a relationship with it for a couple of months now.

  834. George … can you feed me too? Oh my.

  835. This is how much I love and respect this group…

    Here’s my 25 Random Things About Me, exclusively for the Blog Babies.

    1. When ever I have animal crackers, I have to eat the broken ones first. I think it’s because I need to put them out of their misery.

    2. I found Augusten’s books this summer after watching the movie version of “Running With Scissors”. I read everything of his in the span of two weeks.

    3. My favorite number is 3.

    4. I see numbers as male or female. (Is there a term for that?) The number 3 I see as feminine.

    5. I had LASIK surgery 6 weeks ago even though the thought of anything touching my eye makes me queasy. Any depiction of an injury to the eyeball for that matter makes me dizzy.

    6. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid. I still would love to go into space.

    7. I hate flying. More precisely, I hate take offs. And the hassle of getting through security. Take off the shoes, the belt, jackets, empty your pockets… it wouldn’t surprise me if someday they require travelers to strip down to their skivvies. Or less.

    8. Some people are scared of clowns. Drag queens scare the bejebus out of me.

    9. I don’t enjoy going to shows that require audience participation. Unless there is plenty of alcohol involved.

    10. I’ve reluctantly done karaoke 3 times. All three times have been the same song. Never by myself. Never my idea. And always with plenty of alcohol

    11. Our first year in Chicago, someone actually hit on me with the line “Do you have the time?” It was only after telling him the time and taking about 10 steps away that I realized that I had been hit on. And that it was by Graham Norton.

    12. I often don’t notice when I get hit on. Robbie thinks it quite hilarious that I’m that oblivious.

    13. The first adult (no, not ADULT) novel I read was “The World According To Garp”. Or was it “Carrie”?

    14. Fourteen years ago, I read the palms of friends one night for fun after numerous drinks in a bar across the street from where we worked. A random woman at the end of the bar asked me to read hers and she’d buy us a pitcher of beer. She plopped her hand in mine and before I could stop myself, I said that I could see she had experienced a physical tragedy in her past. She was missing all of two fingers and part of a third.

    15. One of my friends told me two months ago that everything I told him on the aforementioned night has come true. I don’t remember what I said.

    16. I don’t believe in psychics.

    17. I have a weakness for teen comedy movies. “Get Over It” is a personal favorite.

    18. I can’t read plays. The structure makes me insane. Something about it breaks the flow of the story for me and I lose interest. Quickly.

    19. At a previous job, people thought I was Jewish because I questioned whose idea it was to serve ham at the annual “holiday” luncheon. It was the first day of Hanukkah. When the next year they asked me what they should serve, and I told them I wasn’t Jewish, they asked why I said something. I told them it was because maybe some people maybe weren’t comfortable coming forward with that. And for that matter why were they calling it a “holiday” dinner when there were Christmas wreaths everywhere? By doing so, the automatically were excluding the three Jehovah’s Witness in our department.

    20. I have a birth mark on the back of my right thigh shaped like a Chevy emblem. What makes it more remarkable is that Riley has one almost identical to it on the top of her right thigh.

    21. I can wiggle my ears as a result of being in marching band. My glasses were always slipping down my nose and I wasn’t allowed to push them back up – couldn’t break formation. I accidentally learned to pull my ears back and my glasses would also pull up on my nose.

    22. While I love going to the beach for vacation, I’m terrified of water. If I can’t touch the bottom, I’m out too far.

    23. I have a dislike/fear of belonging to groups. It took me four years to become a member of our church.

    24. I couldn’t wait to become old enough to drink martinis after watching Darrin drink them on Bewitched. Vodka martinis.

    25. Manuals that have the pages that say “This page intentionally left blank” make me crazy. By printing that, IT’S NOT BLANK!!!

  836. okay and finally, tardily (is that even a word?) here are books from…uh, sometime that may have been 2008, no promises:

    Dinah Lenney – Bigger Than Life (memoir)
    Darcey Steinke – Easter Everywhere (memoir)(also loved her Suicide Blonde)
    Kate Braverman – Small Craft Warnings (also loved her Squandering The Blue, both short story collections)
    Mary Otis – Yes, Yes Cherries (short story)
    Bernard Cooper – Maps To Anywhere
    Kathryn Harrison – While They Slept (nonfiction/memoir)
    Garth Stein – The Art of Racing in the Rain (think I’ve mentioned that here before)
    Noah Levine – Dharma Punx (memoir)
    Bett Williams – The Wrestling Party (stories)
    Jennifer Pashley – States (stories)
    Beth Lisick – Everybody Into The Pool (stories)
    reread Mark Doty’s Heaven’s Coast (which is one of my favorite memoirs ever, so poetic and heartbreaking and funny and beautiful you can’t stand it)
    Honor Moore – The Bishop’s Daughter (memoir)
    Elizabeth Strout – Amy and Isabelle
    Junot Diaz – Drown (stories)

    Hmmm. I seem to be short on long fiction.

  837. It was George’s Indiana remark . . . I miss Burger Chef, too!!!

    WEED should be legal . . . it just makes you drive slow (I haven’t had any in YEARS< YEARS), when I was sick, sick in 1996-97 they wanted me to smoke it medicinally, but that was still hard back then . . .

  838. Now I’m confused Sher…the possum was wearing a robe!

  839. I am going to read now. It has been a long day, and I love how we all bounced back and kept going. You are all so dear to me.

  840. Oh dear, misplaced pronouns . . . my stepdad was in the robe, the opossum was in his gray and white fur coat with his pink tail . . . trailing blood.

  841. My most memorable Burger Chef experience. Most Thursdays we would get the treat of going to Burger Chef after grocery shopping. It was really a pay-off for having to push an entire cart load of (on sale) bread around the store. It was, however, lighter than the cart with 7 gallons of milk. But for some reason my mother could never get the bread last.

    Anywho. Mother was at the counter ordering, and I had already plunked and strapped my little brother into a highchair. He was somewhere close to 3. I was sneaking back toward the counter with one eye on him when he suddenly yelled, loud enough for the entire county to hear, “I HAVE TO PEE!”

    My mother has no sense of humor. we had to leave.

  842. And after that (it took me 2 1/2 hours), let me just say I’ve had some catching up to do with this blog. And let me just say – What?

  843. You’re all dear to me to. The best reading I did in 2008 was right here on this blog.

  844. JimShue – I love that you outted yourself about the teen movies … ha ha. I love them, too, and secretly buy the movies I want to watch for my stepdaughter, like Bend It Like Beckham. And please, what was the karaoke song? Love to karaoke, sober, and in front of large crowds. I enjoy the pure terror of it.

  845. Oh, man! my kids have shouted much worse things in public before . . . funny! funny!

    Night, Caryl!

    Burger Chef had Strawberry Shakes with REAL strawberries.

  846. …nice, JimShue!

  847. macarana!

  848. God no, Sher! I also don’t do remedial walking (line dancing) as I can’t remember more than two steps in a row.

  849. Sher – Sometimes I wish I could smoke it medicinally. But since no one has even heard of Dysautonomia, I don’t think I’d get approved. I’m married to a cop, so I don’t think that would fly with him, ha ha ha. He can’t believe that I’m so liberal about pot because I have such a strong moral compass about everything else.

    POS – My experience in burger Chef was that I spilled ketchup on my white bell bottom pants when I was six, because I knew my mom didn’t work on stains. Even thn i had a real sense of fashion about me.

  850. Hall & Oates… You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

  851. Goodnight people. Tomorrow morning this other person will take over my body, put on a tie, get in my car, drive to an office, log onto Outlook, and use the word, “implement,” in a reference not related to either agriculture or kitchen devices.

  852. JimShue – Ha ha ha … I love it! My signature karaoke song is Total Eclipse of the Heart.

  853. oh, man, this blog is wacko tonight . . . I keep missing people’s posts . . .

    ok . . . caught up now

  854. What a great Sign off George. LOL

  855. Sarah, I almost forgot about the yo yo comment I was laughing so hard.

    UU = Unitarian Universalist

  856. Sock, dude, CROWN for #14. I am CRYING.

  857. Sher – I guess in 1976ish PEE was a “bad” word. lol

  858. Jim Shue – – great list . . .

    I’m too sick to be witty . . . and why do my yoga pants feel like size 2 jeans? travesty.

  859. My Karaoke song is
    NOT READY TO MAKE NICE – Dixie Chicks, I kill it!

  860. Oh, hellooo Galway.

  861. We were drinking beer and doing shots of Aftershock. I was goofing around, and well, there it was. One mangled hand attached to a woman looking for some hope.

  862. Dee – true, back in ’76 you could make no REFERENCE to any bodily functions WHATSOEVER. Perhaps No. 1 or No. 2? No, not that either.

    to maintain dignity (like I have any) I will not tell a delightful story about what my darling child did/said in a restaurant . . . that would have to be emailed.

    I had my palm read at the Covered Bridge Festival in IN in October . . . interesting.

  863. one reason we left atlanta was because Don was always getting hit on . . . we could not go out . . . I swear

  864. there WAS something under haven;s barn. i was there for that, in a virtual sense, the fact that Iorek wiuldnt go in of course proves that it was a Haint.

    it also proves that the Quaker book is going well, because Haints hate the Light and Haven was so obviously supporting Light that tey staged a mini Haint-In. It did not work. they have no power in her land, BEGONE, HAINTS.



  865. JimShue, I am bent double! GREATEST STORY EVER.

  866. I will close and say goodnight with a thought, regards, Iodine, and other great books . . .

    ” a good story is found between the lines.”

    also an anna quindlen quote . . .

    good night ye prince and princesses of maine!

  867. Goodnight, Sher. Great to see your . . . avatar.

  868. Haven, how is Mother Delonda?

  869. ‘Night, Sher. I promise to leave Don alone. 😉

  870. Delonda’s doing well. She’s back teaching her Offenders. She loves them. I’ll tell her you asked after her.

  871. My husband is right, I am addicted. Hi Jim Shue, how is that lovely little girl of yours?

  872. She’s great. Back from a weekend in Chicago. The girl travels more than we do

  873. Well, I’m done for the night. OK night crew, it’s all yours.

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

    Ok – just posted the alternative t-shirts . . . the two ‘new’ ones only refer to the Blog Babies and have the url for the blog on them . . . you might have to zoom in though to read that part . . . they should be available in mens/womens/kids and in a variety of colors, depending on stock . . . they take about 3 days to ship . . .

    no mark up . . . they are not the cheapest, but they are the best quality I have worked with EVER . . .


  875. well that was a nice giggle for the night . . . off to unravel the last 4 pages of Iodine . . . or TRY that is . . .will post my updated theory on the Iodine thread tomorrow . . .

  876. Good God how I love you all.

    I drove from Baltimore to Delaware day before yesterday (before the BIG SNOW), saying 404!!! I just passed 404! and I’m still on 404!!! and there’s another capillary of 404!! Oh, my gracious, I cannot tell you how all concerned I became that after a 14-hour day of traveling, I’d find myself at dawn, still driving in a big circle. Fortunately, my hosts left an iPod adapter in the car: Haven’s calming voice reading SGUOTC soothed my wild-eyed crazy to the extent that I did not make one wrong turn. (H. Kimmel, the Accidental GPS.)

    I had such plans: to drive to NC, to DC, to TN. (I’m here to see my oldest dearest friend Linda as Mama Rose in Gypsy and her daughter Bridget in Grease (last night! she was fabulous!), and hopefully be able to offer my admittedly narrow set of skills toward offloading such pressure as can be managed, as Linda is working 6am to midnight directing both Gypsy and Into the Woods.) The snow came and all bets are off. You know how everyone says, it’s not my driving I’m worried about, it’s all those other drivers? I AM that driver. Any other circumstances, fine. Snow, just pitiful. Scant to no experience.

    And to come back to this (oh yes, I also said WHUH?!). To the reminder of why I feel so protective of and have such an inexplicable love for “strangers,” to why I have such admiration for those that speak their truth, and for those whose first response is ALWAYS compassion. A new addendum to my list of how to be. All of you, thank you for the lessons on how it’s done. And not done.

    Also: I was the perfect houseguest until I woke up the household hooting (oh, hellooo, Galway).

  877. Sock, a most excellent trick with the ear wiggling. That would so be worth something when I’ve got 1400 degrees of hot glass in my left hand and 1600 in my right. Do you do workshops? — The palmistry episode, classic. And if you turn out to be psychic, as it appears you might be, would No. 16 present a conundrum?

    Amanda Clouds, it is so great to see you back and telling a story so … um, trying … (the one re: your invites) that even comes tied with a bow that such blue ribbony restraint is achievable. Your date is on my calendar. Thank you for your wonderful 25.

    Always such a pleasure to see you come out of lurk mode, however briefly, Shanna — I hope that are you recovered or nearly so from your nightmare of a weekend — you’ve been in my thoughts.

    Sher, you are on a roll. (Travesty, indeed.)

  878. Books read in 2008 that I not just fell in love with but that changed me, somehow (and thanks to this blog, my reading is much less hit or miss):

    Haven: Zippy, She Got Up Off the Couch, The Used World, The Solace of Leaving Early, Something Rising, Light and Swift, Iodine
    Augusten: A Wolf at the Table (read in one sitting, took weeks to recover); second readings coming up of all the rest, loading Sellavision on iPod for return trip
    Suzanne: Zygote Chronicles, Otherwise Engaged, Split
    Winner of the National Book Award; Jenny and the Jaws of Life / Jincy Willet
    The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread / Don Robertson
    Walking Through Walls / Philip Smith
    A Death in the Family / James Agee
    Girl With No Shadow / Joanne Harris
    A Lion Among Men; What-the-Dickens / Gregory Maguire
    Eat, Pray, Love / Elizabeth Gilbert
    The Affected Provincial’s Companion / Breaulove Swells Whimsy
    Change or Die / Alan Deutschman
    Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life / Steven Johnson

    And most profoundly (both as agent of change and as just good reading), this blog. My favorite book of all time, bar none.

  879. Carrie – yippee, you are safe.

    I was all worried about everybody everywhere – it is like I watch the national weather and superimpose blog baby locations everywhere . . .

    may the sun shine!

    now, I will try, once again, to go to bed!

  880. I’m just saying,
    i. am. still. awake.

  881. Sher –
    Are you still there?

  882. I’m Here Maureen!

  883. wordpress is unhappy with my typing apparently

  884. i have no cows to milk, wish i could come help you!

  885. I was suffering from an extremely bad case of what I call Bubble Tummy last night. I couldn’t even bend over. AND I was pooped and Elliot was having a meltdown, so I went to bed at about 8. Up now and it is SO COLD HERE. Where’s global warming when you need it? 😉

  886. Really . . . I just didn’t bother going to bed . . . we need some global warming here, too . . . my toes are frosty

  887. How’s your thumb? Hey, I can’t believe how ‘tarded I am, but it took hearing Haven read Iodine for me to realize that Trace and Colt were going to shoot EACH OTHER. Duh. Really, duh. I fear someone is going to arrive and take back my college diploma.

  888. you know, that book is so unique, literally, I catch something new each time and I got NOTHING the 1st time, I was just rocking back and forth moaning the whole time I read it!

  889. thumb is fine.

    perhaps if I weren’t so tired and depraved I would not hurt myself so often . . . but it is ultimately entertaining. Apparently, in a past life, I had no limbs, I was an amoeba, so I can’t figure out what to do with these flapping things attached to my torso.

  890. I was glad to hear that Trace DID sleep with Galway. Ha! She deserved that.

  891. I think my Facebook Farm is going bankrupt . . . I keep buying cows and goats . . .

  892. Hey, is it possible that my encaustic has moods of its own? Some days it is more translucent than others, like mist over the tree. Perhaps when it is cold? It is like having a living artwork.

  893. What is this Facebook Farm? I am going to have to check it out.

  894. yes . . . if it gets below 52 degrees in your room, it will get cold . . .

    it mists over like chocolate blooms . . .

    you can polish it with a soft, lint-free cloth . . . if it is being tempermental, bring it to Durham and I will spank it into shape . . .

    I didn’t think about the freezing weather up there . . .

  895. No! I like it! It’s cool! It’s why I live in the northeast (I guess). I like variety.

  896. Well, you get a Farm and people can give you animals and crops and seeds and trees, then you harvest them and get money to buy more . . . you plow your fields and such . . . I will send you a goat, and then you can create a farm . . . but you might not want one in the virtual world, as you have your very own pooping, milking cows? I am determined to keep my farm afloat!!!

  897. I just looked at all your new pictures on facebook. Classics! I pulled out a bunch the other day when we were talking about haircuts. I’ve got me with the Pixie, me with the Shag, and me with the pseudo-Farrah. I’m going to put them on the yahoo blog page.

  898. Well, your encaustic might be a Sybil then . . . I once had one crack right through the middle from sitting in my garage . . . but I liked it and then started putting them in the freezer while I was working on them . . .

    just another ‘natural’ accident . . .

  899. I just sent you a goat . . . you might have to ‘accept’ the goat and add the ‘my farm’ application to your profile . . . it gets VERY complicated . . . I had to give up on the sockmonkey wars . . .

  900. yes, I have been scanning to my heart’s content tonight . . . just can’t seem to settle down . . . and I was thinking of my beautiful sisters and wanted to find that picture . . . I miss them!

  901. My son Tristan really likes to play Third World Farmer, and I always allow him a “guest teaching” gig in my class to teach my kids to play. It’s a simulation in Africa, and very difficult to win. Soldiers come through, and you are offered money to plant drugs, drought. Good learning experience for my Ag class.

  902. I also miss the ‘skinny’ me!

  903. Miss them because they do not live near you? I hope that is what you meant?

  904. hum, Dylan plays some weird things about maintaining his lands, but he probably set himself up as the king or something . . . I’ll mention that and see what he says . . .

  905. oh yes, they are in SC and IN . . . just, sometimes, you wish your sister could go shopping/get your hair down together, etc. – ya know?

  906. Note – that is me being unrealistic and idyllic, which has been my leaning this week, I am all ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds . . .must be the codeine!

  907. Sher – Switch to Facebook for a minute!! I’m chatting with you over there!

  908. anybody else up besides Half Pint???

    You have all led me back to my problem . . . on-line shopping . . . my bed is still made up so nicely . . .

  909. Take this test to find out what type of Disney Princess you would be – according to this I would be
    Snow White . . .

    [x] One of your parents (or step) is dead
    [x] You are expected to do a lot of chores
    [x] You love to dress up
    [x] You love animals
    [] You are waiting patiently for your Prince Charming
    [] Your mom is really strict
    [x] You have sisters who seem kind of jealous of you
    [] You’re afraid to speak your mind sometimes
    [x] You have left your shoes at a friend’s house before (does it count if I left them on my own apartment stairs back in the 80’s????
    [ .5 X] You have blonde hair (sometimes?)
    TOTAL: 6.5

    [x] You’ve kissed someone your friends didn’t like
    [x]You’ve been lost in the forest
    [x] You love to read
    [x] You are not shy at all, and not afraid to speak your mind
    [x] One of your family members is a bit weird
    [x] You have done volunteer work
    [x] You have a wild imagination
    [x] You love to take care of people in need
    [x] You’ve had guys like you only because they think you’re pretty
    [x] You’ve rejected at least one person when they’ve asked you out
    TOTAL: 10!!!

    [] Your dad is very rich/important
    [x] You are very clever
    [x] You’ve been with someone way different from you
    [x] You’re unique and different from everyone else
    [x] You’d never marry someone just because they were rich
    [x] You have set a lot of goals for yourself
    [] You don’t have a lot of friends
    [x]You’re independent
    [] You are wealthy
    []Your parents try to control your life
    TOTAL: 6

    [] Your parents expect a lot from you
    [] You really try to follow the rules, but it’s hard for you
    [x] You’re a bit of a trouble maker
    [] You’re the youngest in your family or in the last 2
    [x] You have a lot of sisters (3 or more)
    [x] You collect something
    [x] You have/had long, hair
    [x] You have/had a pet fish
    [x] You’re extremely curious
    [] You believe everything people tell you/you’re a bit gullible
    [] Your middle name is Ariel
    TOTAL: 6

    Snow White;
    [x] You know that you’re beautiful
    [] Sometimes it seems like your mom is jealous of you
    [x] You’ve almost been killed
    [x] You have at least seven good friends
    [x] You’ve had food poisoning
    [x] You have/had short hair
    [x] You get along with almost everyone
    [x] All of your friends are different
    [x] You love to have a good time
    [.5] You’re happier when you’re out of the house than in
    TOTAL: 8.5

    [x] You can be a tomboy sometimes.
    [] People wish you could be a bit more girly
    [x] You’ve pretended to be someone you’re not
    [] You’ve had a physical fight with someone
    [] You have/had considered running away from home
    [] Your parents try to plan your life out
    [x] a lot of your friends are boys
    [x] You sometimes find yourself in bad situations
    [x] You love your family so much that you’d do anything to protect them
    TOTAL: 5

    [x] You live/have lived with someone other than your parents
    [x] You almost died at a very young age
    [] You are gentle, loving, and/or thoughtful
    [] You have a decent singing voice
    [x] You like to sleep in late on the weekends
    [] You spend most of your time outside
    [] You’re adopted
    [] You’re very romantic
    [] Pink is one of your favorite colors
    TOTAL: 3

    [x] You love to walk around and explore big cities
    [x] You are more spiritual than religious
    [] You’ve been in an interracial relationship
    [x] One of your family members is dead (mom, dad, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa)
    [] Your parents are very protective of you
    [x] Someone you know has been in war
    [x] You love nature
    [x] You have/had black hair
    [x] You would love to move somewhere exotic and beautiful
    [x] You’re very adventurous
    TOTAL: 8

    []You live(d)/want to live in London
    [x]you don’t just want to be one in one hundred and one
    []you have had a hero who turned out to be a fake
    [x]You come from a large family
    [x]You are a dedicated fan (of something)Haven Kimmel!
    [x]You come through when your family and friends are relying on you
    []You look great in red
    [x]you are creative
    []you’ve driven a bus before
    []You have moved out to the country
    TOTAL: 5

    Take the princess’s name that you got the most in and repost…if you have more than 1, play eeney meaney myney moe with them until you get an answer and…
    Repost this as, If I were a Disney Princess, I’d be _____

    This is germaine as it is an example of what happens on Facebook!!!!!!

  910. Wrong – I mean I would be Belle . . . this is too hard for me!!! I fail at Facebook!

  911. Caryl! You read Her Last Death?? I knew we were destined for greatness together:) I actually listened to the audio book last Spring (read by the author if I remember correctly.) I did love it. Her mother was so, god so disturbing and there were so many scenes that stuck with me.

  912. First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

    Are you tension? panic?

  913. Sheesh, this is what I get for SLEEPING. Stupid Valerian!

  914. Thanks, Dee.

    I’d honestly never seen that abbreviation before, so took my best guess.

    I’m glad to see I was close.

    ~ S.

  915. I’ve never had my palm read but have had my tarrot cards read numerous times. In college my girlfriends bought me my own set and I semi learned how to read them for others. I sold them at a garage sale a few years later for like a dollar. The girl that bought them could barely contain her excitement. It seems they found a good home.

  916. i had my palm read and they said i woould have 3 children, be a famous writer, and so on and i was like OH SURE. NOW LET’S ALL JOIN HANDS AND LEVITATE TO SATURN.

    i had three pregnancies — one child.

    i am not a famous writer, but i have been in MOMENTS almost famous.

    and i remember distinctly that everything else she said was dead on.

    that said, i do not recommend peaking into the future. it’s a **SPOILER**.

    now i have to pack for nyc. i have a black lacoste V-neck sweater dress i bought before i lost my job. it;s perfect for everything. which is good, becuase it’s all im packing, alongwith my Gizmos and a copy of Salems Lot. i’m seeing my agent for coffee tmorrow night at the Giraffe HOtel in NYC. i imagine the entire staff will be giraffes, and i am going to be VERY DISAPPOINTED if this is not true. she wants to see notes on my nexy book, which is only 52 pages long. i have 3 pages done. perhaps i will write on the plane, but that has never happened before….still, hope springs eternal. but my agent has the patience of Job. she will look at me and say nothing of the overdue pages because she knows my “style”, which is to do nothing until my ears are on fire. she has other writers who work and meet their deadlines, i can only assume i am her pet. no one expects a pet to do much except continue to draw breath, and it’s all i can do to satisfy that requirement. oh hell’s BELLS. does anyone want to go to nyc in my place? hmmmmm? you’ll have to present an award, look interested, and wear a V neck dress. you will also have to have coffee with my agent at 10 AM tomorrow morning at the Giraffe Hotel in Manhatten. please oh please god let the waiters be giraffes with little black bow ties. please, please, please….


  917. You will be perfect tomorrow Suzanne.

  918. Oh Suzanne…!!!!

  919. Suzanne, you will steal the show!
    Kate is back..we missed you Kate.
    Amy, I haven’t heard the book, only read it, but I could not put it down for love or money. I think she did great for her first time out, although I have read that she took quite alot of liberties in regards to the whole truth. But how true is anyones memoir, when ones memory is uniquely their own.

  920. finished up The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on audio yesterday. highly recommend it. the main female protagonist is believed to have asperger’s, for those of you with a relation to that condition.

  921. As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being. –

    Carl Gustav Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflection

  922. Hi everyone!
    I have had a gastro-intestinal …. issue for a few days and farm issues and school pile-up of stuff.

    I’m off to a faculty meeting and will check in later.

    Sarah – I will e-mail back!
    Suzanne – Arrrrhhh! You will be only a four-hour drive but an enormous cultural divide from my farm! Enjoy all the adulation and love from your agent!

    Oh Amanda! I am always up for anything Asperger’s, since I live with it. Will check that out. Good to see you!

  923. Hi Amy! Hi Kate!

  924. Howdy. Goodness has it been a busy morning here. I am eating lunch now and catching up.

  925. Suzanne: you just relax back there on there on the left coast, dear, and let me handle NYC for you though I might have to make a wardrobe switcheroo on that v neck dress which would look so gawd-awful with my long gray chest hair.

  926. Hi Maureen!! You know what? I was thinking about Asperger’s the other day and I think that I dated a guy with it. Actually, after reading your posts and essays and doing some looking on the internet, I am positive he did. It EXPLAINS SO MUCH.

  927. Um George, just throw the black leather coat on over your chest hair and the editor will be none the wiser.

  928. George – but your leather jacket and orange CROCS – tres bien.

    We saw lots of dudes in Italy in what we would call culottes or VERY, VERY WIDE capris . . . the first few days it was starteling (sp?) . . .

    If I weren’t on death’s door with the plague, I would so be into NYC . . . seriously. We get picks of you, Suzanne, in your Lacoste with the Giraffes . . . did you ever make the big decision on your hair?

    I tried to change my gravatar to the one where I have chicken pox (in honor of my plague, now walking pneumonia status) . . . but it won’t show up . . .

    now off to take the big kids to the orthodontist . . . note only Mom’s get walking pneumonia, it is because they can’t have it in bed!!!

  929. Ha! Sher and I think alike! Get better Sher.
    Suzanne, I googled the Hotel Giraffe, nice!

  930. Amy! Serendipidity!

  931. Sher and AmyO: Be warned, I’m wearing that black leather jacket in Durham.

  932. Hi everyone. I have mentioned before my friends Neil and Bekka, whose son Oliver has a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Ollie is now 7 months old and at 6 months his condition began to express itself more fully. The average life expectancy for his condition is 8 months, but so far Ollie has stayed very healthy. Now though he now has some trouble swallowing and breathing. Ollie will go into surgery on the 16th in order to have a feeding tube installed. Neil and Bekka want Oliver to be comfortable as long as possible and as his condition worsens the feeding tube will be necessary for sustenance as well as for administering whatever medicine he might need. The surgery will be long and complicated and I think very difficult emotionally for his parents especially. Please keep them in your prayers and thoughts.

  933. oops. Ollie’s surgery will be the 13th, not the 16th.

  934. Hi Linda, the tie-er up of my loose selves,
    Love ya, woman, and all you work for.
    Amanda – Ollie will be in my prayers, and his parents.

  935. Amanda: This little baby will be my prayers.

  936. I will be keeping Ollie and his mom and dad in my prayers too, Amanda.

  937. Maureen…Maureen…Maureen…MAUREEN! (Sung to the tune of Jolene)

    Hey all!

    Amanda…praying for baby Ollie and his family. Truly.

  938. Hey Kate!

  939. Kate – Here under the rock, I had to go on Youtube to hear that song! I listened to Dolly Parton (how can she sounds so much like a bleating lamb?) and then I caught the White Stripes version. Then I remembered Olivia Newton-John’s version.

    By the way, everyone, Kate was the winner of the first 80s quiz, knowing eight members of the Brat Pack AND which one wrote a book at age 12.

    I am working on a quiz on 80s movie lines.

  940. Hey Linda!!

    Maureen I only knew about Dolly Parton’s version…now I need to hear the White Stripes!

  941. I was inspired by Sarah’s picture of herself on her bike and Sher’s album on Facebook (go look!) to add an incredibly ugly picture of myself to yahoo. I have a SHAG haircut, AVIATOR glasses, and a red JUMPSUIT. I can’t believe I thought I looked good?!?! I added some cuter pictures for balance.

    George, you do realize that in Durham you will be walking into your own personal harem of females who think you are the living end? He’s sensitive, he reads books, he wears a black leather sportcoat. You’ll be beating us off with a stick!! 😉

  942. A RED JUMPSUIT!!! Yes! Those pictures are awesome Maureen!!!

  943. Oh, poor Uncle George.

    He’s MARRIED, gals!!

  944. Thanks, Amy. You luckily missed that era.

  945. George can beat me with a stick anytime. 😉

  946. Nashville connection…..Jack White of the White Stripes (and now the Raconteurs) lives in Nashville. Well, Brentwood technically, but still. I have met him and his lovely wife. Also, Olivia Newton-John performed in Nashville last week. There is always a Nashville connection.

  947. I’ll get by somehow :}

  948. I just loved the White Stripes song in Napoleon Dynamite.

  949. I think that we are gonna be friends…
    Napoleon Dynamite is so wonderful. It just makes me smile. Do you realize there are no curse words in that movie? It’s perfect for families.

  950. Did anyone else have a problem with the Grease movie with Olivia Newton-John? I remember seeing that at the movie theater and coming out at the end SO MAD!!!

    I was spouting, “Sandy and Danny both ended up being NOT who they really were!!! They caved in to peer pressure! They were FAKE personas of their real selves! Their real selves were the ones who fell in love at the beach in the first place!! Conventionality belongs to yesterday? All they did was trade in one set of selves for their peer group’s expectations of what they should be! If that’s not conventionality, I don’t know what is!!”

    Actually, I think this was an internal rant. My friends seemed to have loved it.

  951. I laugh laugh laugh every single time I watch Napoleon Dynamite. That and Little Miss Sunshine.

  952. maureen,

    ME. I felt the exact same way.

  953. (still kind of loved the movie though? :} )

  954. I loved Little Miss Sunshine…screamed, screamed all the way through it. I haven’t actually watched Napolean though I have rented it two or three times.


    But I love ND. And J. was obsessed with ND when he was three! Seriously.

  956. Amanda – Yeah, I know, I can sing every song, but it riled my rebel self.
    Last year I managed to justify watching Little Miss Sunshine in my class as a follow-up to reading The Grapes of Wrath. I claimed it was a modern-day version: family falling apart, trip to California, funny old grandpa, dead person in the back of the car …

  957. Little Miss Sunshine is fantastic. The family dynamic is so good in that movie. I loved Grease when I was little and now..not so much.
    Amanda, LOVED your list by the way..and your friends are all in my prayers.

  958. Kate, Charlie watches Napoleon Dynamite in the car, has since he was a baby. One of my favorite movies, and Little Miss Sunshine is superb. Olive is a hero.

  959. Last night on Turner Classics I watched Philadelphia Story for the umpteenth time. It only gets better with each viewing.

  960. Hi Caryl! Do people tell you that you look like Lauren Hutton?

  961. Maureen, you are probably the third person who has said that, in fact I was trying to remember who it was to tell my daughter, and her name just escapes me. I don’t see it, but then do we ever?

  962. Just got my call for the 5 PM kid limo service.
    See you all later!

  963. Caryl, Lauren Hutton is gorgeous, by the way! 😉

  964. Philadelphia Story is in my TOP FIVE.

  965. Gosh Maureen, thanks.

  966. Dear Ones,

    You know I love you with all my heart. I want to bring some reflection to issues which reared their ugly heads yesterday. I know, I know – “please don’t beat the dead horse.” But, I am sorry, I am called to speak. It is my crone coming out and I feel I must follow my spirit on this one.

    Constructively, we need to figure out a way to manage and cope when we feel someone is coming across in a negative manner. Fortunately for us, this is a public arena and we all found our way here through that blessing. Unfortunately, this is a public place. Most of the time our visitors are seekers and lovers of literature, just like us.

    I need to be devil’s advocate for just a minute – Carolyn did email me directly before posting on the blog because she was enamoured and intrigued by Iodine. She did ask permission to blog, which I thought was silly as we are a public forum. In any event, she came, she commented, she was eager and maybe nervously so (and, no, I have not communicated with her about yesterday). In her excitement over the magic here, she appears to have shared a lot about herself and we were all in a funk the last few weeks without Haven’s guiding hand. Carolyn was looking for a touch of the magic and love that is here.

    Obviously, this took a bad turn . . . and I agree that my eyebrows were raised a few times on the effusive energy she contained. I was not part of things yesterday, so for that reason I feel I have a broader perspective. I cringed as I read each posting. I knew some of things were rubbing our blog babies the wrong way – then everything came to head and exploded yesterday. I am so sorry for all the pain because I have been there, in agony, sitting in front of a computer – livid, enraged, balling my head off, and yesterday – just completely sad. Sadder than I have been in a very long time. And very disappointed.

    I totally understand how and why many of you were pushed over the edge. So many personal chords were struck. I am proud of you all for standing up for yourselves and for defending our fellow Blog Babies and Haven when you felt you, they, or Haven were being denigrated.

    I also cringe at the pain I am sure Carolyn felt when reading the responses. I am not saying the personalities are meant for kindred spirits, because we can’t always feel an immediate connection. I have had to warm up to a few fellow bloggers, it takes time and patience and empathy. I have failed so many times – specifically thinking of my Indiana Corn Rant and a few other misunderstandings. I truly believe they were for the most part, misunderstandings.

    Via the written word, our connotations and facial expressions are lost. It is something that doesn’t always come natural. I have unknowingly hurt several of you and it pains me to this day, and I have grown from those experiences. I try to explain a statement if it has any inkling of being controversial or to have a misinterpretation.

    So what is my point? I don’t think Carolyn meant any ill will. However, even if she did – and we have certainly had other visotors here who were intent on judging us, does it give us the write to judge, denigrate, and throw stones? Are we not examplars of the exact same thing of which we are accusing?

    We were all so excited about having Haven back and we wanted to forget and bask in that glory. But with some reflection, I hope that we can develop some solutions if these situations ever arise again with any other visitors or within our midst.

    Perhaps we should ask gently for a commenter to clarify their statements if they rub us the wrong way. It is so hard to do this without being confrontational, I know. I’m not saying this is easy. But, perhaps, it would be easier to ask for clarifications than to allow the whole dialogue to go off in the ditch.

    I am so proud to be a part of this crazy gathering of souls – we are the best crazy-quilt of misbegotten beings . . . we compliment and enforce each other. We make room for more embellishments – we have a great mix of durable steadfastness and extravagant narrative.

    After processing the pain, I hope that we can realize that this can be a great learning experience for us as a community, so that we can all be proud and hold our heads high.

    And, Goodness Gracious, I hope Oprah’s producers weren’t viewing us yesterday.

    I am sorry if my wish to share these thoughts have caused any of you further pain – because that is the very thing I hope to avoid – especially in the future.

    Haven, thank you for your time and opening your heart to all of us! I hope we don’t wear out our welcome in your life.

    Ultimately, this has been such a place of enrichment – I am trying to be ever more mindful in my communications and I will try to do as I say/suggest.

    Reality is only surface – sher

  967. Sher, email coming your way. xoxo

  968. …so why don’t we all just chalk it up to a collective bad day where everyone was a bit on the defensive and frazzled side.

    …somebody email Carolyn, and if she comes back, let’s welcome her…

    …if we do that…we ALL grow a bit.

    There, that’s my two cents, and Sher, thanks for having the balls to say something.

  969. …i mean, in the great scheme of things, who gives a crap about Ann Coulter, dittoheads, or any of that stuff that serves to divide people

    …whether we are liberal or conservative

    …gay or straight…

    dopers, boozehounds, teetotalers, Protestant, Catholic, UU….

    we are bigger than all our designations and definitions. Right?

    we came here because of Haven and her books. We have stayed here because of Haven, but also because of this sense of community that has arisen as we have shared who we are.

  970. it’s all out of love . . . bridges get burned, we’ll just start building another one.

    Love you. But I think I probably have people making voodoo dolls and sticking pins in ‘balls’ right now!

    didn’t mean to bring the party to a grinding halt . . .

    I agree about the mixed messages of Grease – but I loved it! Basically I love all of it EXCEPT the ending at the fair – what does that say – I think I am in total agreement.

  971. Sher, you made excellent points, and I for one am glad you said what you did.
    George, see why I love you.

  972. Sher,
    This is why are a Frodo and I am a Sam. I would accompany you into Mordor and beyond.

  973. Sher — you rock. Beautifully said. Thank you for your considered and thoughtful reading on what happened.

    I think so many of us here really are interested in writing well. And writing well in everyday life has never been more critical: we text, we post, we email. The statistics on how much of communication relies on words alone are truly alarming: absent body language, vocal inflection, facial expression, a tiny percentage of meaning, if the language is ambiguous (and in the age of “whatev,” it can be disastrously so), can be found in the words alone. Tone is everything. (Oh, yes: I just reviewed Sher’s post: she already said that. Still, it probably bears repeating.)

    I have this conversation with every dear one in my life under 20, that if a relationship is important, texting/email/postings should be reserved for chat, logistics, etc. If your natural (and pretty much universal) aversion to confrontation has you texting when you need to call someone on something, you run the risk of serious misunderstanding, hurt on both sides, and possibly unresolvable damage to the relationship.

    That’s for beginning writers. Everyone on this blog is a gifted writer (a huge part of the draw, for me) and is obviously capable of discussing in a written forum much more of substance than can a typical tween. But the nature of a blog is still so casual, and this particular blog seems to so many of us like “coming home,” that occasionally, we’ll be ironic or use our own personal shorthand, think we’ll be understood, and blam. That is what this has been to me: a revelation in refining “tone.” I’m sure I’ve unintentionally offended a few on this blog; now I think a truly effective apology can only be made in person (you know who you are, and I beg temporary forgiveness). I read stuff I’ve written, and I am appalled at how adversarial I sound. But can I say? — being part of this community has made major inroads into the pockets of narcissism and insensitivity still fouling up the works, here. Seeing compassion in action has been a model for compassion and kindness in the everyday, for me.
    I think unexplained glib is a culprit. I’ve seen offense taken repeatedly when an infrequent poster is glib (TONE ACCRUES, over repeated postings — the benefit-of-a-doubt status grows as we get to know someone here). Also, since my first early pins-and-needles days of “will this be understood?” I’ve tried to keep in mind that quote (from Handbook to Higher Consciousness) that “you add suffering to the world as much when you take offense as when you give it.” I am mindful of my audience: I have been through every archive and every post, from Haven’s first post, twice, to get to know this community, and am mindful of when a given statement, within the sensibilities of this community, might be construed as “in your face” (i.e., adversarial), which is when I take particular care to clarify.

    I care about all of you so much. I would never want to hurt anyone here. It’s been a learning curve, and I hope my “accrued tone” gives me benefit of the doubt status in offsetting any hurt or offense given by anything I might write. Still, I know I’m still learning how to do this, still careful, and still, put my foot in it, somehow. This is my curriculum.

    xoxo Carrie

  974. Let me also say that Grease was far sadder as a stage play than the completely-without irony movie. The peppy songs with their do-wop base seem to highlight the despair in the lyrics, and the American Tragedy of the ending. The movie is almost devoid of layers. That said, I’m doubtful the layers in the play really hit home with many of its high-school actors. Have to say I really rethought it, seeing it for the first time on stage.

    And after running lines with my friend, Gypsy promises to be a horror as well.

  975. Carrie – you are a beacon of light!

    I think what you said was key – about doing your research by reading previous posts and getting to know the flavour and backstories of the characters (of which we surely are) . . . and our unarmed communication sends out a total sense of “come in and let your hair hang out” . . . I can only imagine the intimidation it must be to try to jump in our midst.

    As I started fairly on in the growth (way the back in August!), I can remember thinking about my posts for days and by the time I got back you all were onto the 500th tangent of the arbitor.

    I just feel this is an area where we can learn a huge lesson . . . these issues creep up enough for us to know that we need to learn something about it at some point.

    Carrie – “you get me, you really get me!”