Oh, Who Knows


Scott and I were having a ruthless, cut throat argument about how to save the dying newspaper industry; fortunately, we were interrupted by Scott’s cell phone ringing.  By the time he hung up both of us had forgotten to argue.  This was on Mother’s Day.  It led me to think, again, about which parts of the much-loved newspaper can be saved.  (Not by me – I have no skills – but on the Internet itself, the Internet being the author of the industry’s demise.)  As I mentioned in the comments on the previous thread, I realized I CAN offer something other than a daily dress pattern and a very brief horoscope:  an advice column!  Or at least I can one time!  So here you go, Blog Babies.  Please send your question to askhaven(at)me(dot)com and I’ll try to answer it.  Ha!  Here’s a funny thing:  I asked Scott if he thought it would be fun to answer them via webcam, and he said Whee!  And then I realized, oh.  That’s so not newspapery.  Okay, get to asking!

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm  Comments (129)  


  1. I am debating whether to ask a serious potty-training question, or a ridiculous question about shoulder pads.

    Ok, here goes.

    Is taking the shoulder pads out of an 80s sweater upcycling, or destroying the integrity of a vintage garment?

  2. SHOOT. I was supposed to email that. Damn.

  3. Kate, ask the potty training question please. Pete just asked me today when I was going to start with Charlie. I don’t even know how you begin, I am almost positive the older kids trained themselves. Thats not possible, is it?

  4. Caryl, it’s completely possible. Jarvis did it, and Linus did it, and Alice is doing it now. No matter when you start training them, there is always a point where they reach maturity and don’t need much outside of encouragement.

    That being said, MY PROBLEM is that Linus is 4 and has started pooping in his pants, after being completely trained. First he was wetting his pants, but now that is over. It happens almost every day, for a couple of months now. My doctor said he thinks it’s psychological because he doesn’t appear to have a mega-colon, but I’m not convinced. He doesn’t seem do it for attention, because he frequently tries to clean it up himself and doesn’t always tell me. He says he can’t tell when he has to go. I’m questioning my doctor, who is family practice, and wondering if I should go to a pediatrician. Aurgh!! Some people think it might be caused by a bout of constipation stretching his nerve endings. I really don’t know what to do because if I tell him to go, he yells at me and doesn’t want to try. It’s at all different times of day too!

    I’ll email this, just so I can follow the rules. But by all means, go ahead BBs. I am at my wit’s end.

  5. Kate–I’ve had some experience with this same thing and my younger daughter. I’ll email you via Facebook so I don’t bore/gross out everyone else with my details.


  7. Kate, as part of the peanut gallery, I’m going with destroying the integrity of a vintage garment. Having saying that, those 80s shoulder pads were a disaster.

  8. Haven, you make up an interesting argument and a fun challenge. My local papers don’t even print editions except for weekends now. I am dying, I’m old school, and I’m still having trouble accepting things like the kindle and ipods. I miss albums. I think online news is the way to go for the local papers … and that they have to have secret contests in the midst of their articles to get viewers to keep reading or something. I mean, my 73 year old mother in law had to buy a laptop (A MAC, I’m jealous!) just so she could keep up with news.

  9. Haven, I want this question answered, please:

    Haven, if I were going on a road trip, what ten or so cds should I bring with me? I don’t want greatest hits cds either, maybe two at most.

    Looking forward to your answer!

  10. Shoot, I got so excited I didn’t see that I was supposed to email it.

  11. I also have this question for any woman who knows the answer:

    How bad is it going to hurt when I get my hysterectomy next month? Because I need to hear the truth to prepare for the right mind frame. Sigh. I’m tired of all this crap.

    How is everyone? I’ve been moping around all week and not been a faithful blog baby. I hope everyone is doing ok!

  12. GFTG: are you having an abdominal incision for the hysterectomy, or are they doing it vaginally? (sorry so graphic but I cannot think of another way to ask this)

    I am told that the V version is not too bad. Any time you have an abdominal incision, it hurts more. I had mine 5 years ago and it was not too bad but then partly, psychologically it was not that bad because the ob/gyn had prepared me that it might very well be ovarian cancer (nope, just more of the endometriosis that I had a 20-tear history with). Frankly, I was so glad to be done with those body parts, it was okay.

    You will get really good drugs. Use them.

    You can friend me on FB and send me an email there if you want to talk about this more with me: Mary Lou Hutson in Charlotte, NC.

  13. Mary Lou, thank you! My doctor is trying to do the vaginal way, but, there are issues, I have Adenomyosis, Endometriosis in the muscles tissue of the Uterous. Rare for a person who has never given birth. I had a laporoscopy last October, took no pills, refused them, then had to call her @ 7am begging like a druggy. What about the other way? I may have this as the last resport. Will I really have to be off work for six weeks? I’m terrified to take off that much work!

  14. GFTG: if you end up with the abdominal incision, YES you will be off work 4 – 6 weeks.

    A word to the wise: it is better to have the abdominal incision if that is what you need, than to have another method that ends up in complications.

  15. Oh, GFTG, what a neverending series of blows! So sorry you have to endure another round. I know you’ll keep us posted.

    FYI, all, hubby changed our cable company which was bundled with the email, so I have lost all email contacts, copies of past emails, and anything I have received (and hence not read) in the past couple of days. New email is jennwoehr@gmail.com. Can those of you who have emailed me just drop me a line so I can find you again? Maureen, if you emailed with thoughts on Laura, etc. I did not receive it, and I was wanting to hear your thoughts.

    I have been going through past posts to try to reclaim contact info and discovered many kind words, directed to me, which I missed. So Shanna, Kate,MaryLou, Molly, Amy, Carrie, Suzanne, Brenda, and Spirit, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope I have not left anyone unrecognized. Please pipe up for offical recognition if neglected.

  16. Oh, and a special bit of recognition to NoraB: Nora, you are a sweet, twinkling, soft voice of goodness. Thank you for asking if I had anyone to share baby news with- I will share it with you!

  17. George, thank you for forgiving me. I was a little worried there for a moment.

  18. Sher, your rocking story made me so sad. Whenever I want to understand someone better (whether it is because they are sad or because I cannot make myself like them), I try to picture them as they must have been at the age of three.

    And now you are sad about your broken project, and I have a picture of little Rocking Sher in my mind that breaks my heart! If the encaustic is beyond repair, you must call upon us for the funeral and we will sit down and rock right with you, from all across the country. If you were to schedule it, you know we’d do it, too.

  19. Jenny, I am so grateful whenever you log in and we can see that you are okay for now.

    And I’ll just say it along with anyone else who is simultaneously writing, the change of cable/internet connectivity is another way he can try to isolate you from your support network. As I’m sure you know.

    Now, as for the advice we’re seeking from Haven, let me just warn you, I have emailed her a TAXIDERMY QUESTION.

    Hee hee ha ha hee (hysterical laughter ensues)

  20. ML – I really appreciate the advice!

    Jenny, its getting crazy. Tired of being sick. Ah, hell. I’m watching Rescue Me right now, and I’ll never remember to email you. Here is mine – thegirlfromtheghetto.@gmail.com

  21. Jenny reminded me Sher, I meant to ask about the broken project (ouch): can you salvage the beeswax, remelt it or something?

    Do you have a local beekeeper who supplies you or do you have to order it somehow? I am just curious.

    I have just finished the new Laurie King book (Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes adaptation series) and she has a beehive mystery as part of it, which I liked.

    Tomorrow is Jen Lancaster’s book signing in Charlotte and Thursday she will be in Brentwood for you Nashvillians. Pretty in Plaid, it is hilarious like her other books! AND she got mentioned this week in Melissa C. Morris’s blog!!

  22. Oh, Mary Lou, Taxidermy! You win, you win, you win!

    I had a bit of a mystery arise yesterday and thought about writing Haven, but will tell you instead and ask for speculation.

    I was walking the dogs in a forested state park yesterday when I noticed that my older dog, Elsa (who has an eye and nose for evil and a penchant for creating evil when it is not sufficiently available), had fallen behind. I looked back to see her standing on her hind legs, using her forepaws to dig into a tree. The tree had a rotted-out hollow on one side- still standing, but largely hollowed out or full of soft, decaying wood. The hollow spanned maybe 5 feet from the forest floor to the top.

    I, of course, had to know what she was doing, so I walked back. When I arrived, she was still standing on her hind legs but had inserted her head far into the tree and was tugging something out. She came out with a bone, which I made her drop just in case she had retrieved a nice skull for me (which she has done in the past). What I saw was not a skull but a round chunk of solid bone, larger than a golf-ball but smaller than a tennis ball, with 2 flat facets that looked like they had been connected to a limb at some point. It looked to me like the ball from a ball-and-socket joint. Definately from a large animal-not from a possum or raccoon or skunk.

    So as I’m walking back to the car, Elsa is chomping happily on this bone. And I’m starting to wonder why in the world a bone from a large animal would be BURIED 3 FEET UP INSIDE A TREE, FOR CHRISSAKE. Why is my dog extracting a bone fragment from a tree-trunk?

    And then I started to think sinister things about where the bone might have come from. I made Elsa cough it up, put it in a plastic bag, and carried it home, where it is sitting outside the door to dry out lest it stink to high heaven in here.

    It wasn’t long before I had convinced myself that this was a shoulder bone from a woman or child, and that I was harboring human body-parts while failing to report a crime.

    Reminds me of the old Smithsonian letter, which I’m sure you have all read but must be resurrected on occasion. If you are on this blog and have not read it, direct yoursef here, as it is old-but-good):


    My question to Blog Babies: why might a bone from a large animal end up inside a tree, and what should I do with my murder victim? Please advise.

  23. what is the url I tried askhaven@haven.com no go

  24. literally ‘…. @me.com “

  25. askhaven@me.com no go

  26. Jenny, you have a more scientific background than I do but I cannot think of a reason why a large animal skeleton (or parts thereof) would be in a rotted tree trunk. The best I can come up with is, an owl or possum put it there but then that doesn’t sound like large prey.

    Could it be that your dog discovered remnants of a meal that a turkey vulture had carried into the tree, in which case it could be from larger animal carrion?

    All I know about forensic science is from Patricia Cornwall and The Body Farm.

  27. I emailed it and it didn’t bounce back to me Michael?

  28. 10 CD’s and shoulder pad questions will have me thinking for a very long time. Wonderful!

  29. Well . . . I didn’t really let myself sit in the corner rocking . . . made myself get up again . . . which is why my life theme music is Bare Naked Ladies’ “Tubthumping, I get knocked down, but I get up again . . . ”

    Re encaustic – the type of painting/assemblage I was working on was fabric dipped in encaustic (wax/damar crystals) and then formed, hardened and attached to wood . . . among other things. I will be able to re-use some of the fabric formations . . . but it is the loss of time that is the big killer for me. I can’t re-make this exact one because it was with original/irreplaceable found objects . . . I am always about the process and don’t mind selling or adopting my art out – but to have it destroyed when I was hoping for it to be the focal piece of a show in October . . . that hurt.

    I order my beeswax (refined, solar bleached) from a beekeeper in California because he has flat shipping. The assemblage work I was doing was using TONS of lbs. of wax . . . very expensive, but once again it is the time that is forever gone.

    I’ll quit bemoaning . . . I don’t have time for that! I’m trying to get it in perspective so that I do not get tripped up and in a rut.

    off to my blog to work on a posting . . .

  30. my mail server is a fickle bitch but I think i got it ok now
    thanks !

  31. Mary Lou, these are wonderful thoughts. Perhaps a small, tree-dwelling animal happened upon a piece of carrion and stowed away a snack. That makes sense to me. Thank you!

  32. my ???? went through to the askhaven at me dot com address . . . not sure what is wrong, Michael T. Other than I am not a techie, that is!

  33. Sher, if you will email me your snail mail address, I will send you some vintage found object type stuff . . . I think I can see a little bit where you were headed with your piece and I think I have a few pieces you could use. I would be honored if you could use them or just find some inspiration for another piece later . . .

    Your pieces really speak to me, I feel like I know you through here and looking at your work on your blog . . .


  34. It’s a slow, lingering death for newspapers and that is a fact.

    I am saddened by it more than any of you can know because I was a “newspaperman” from the time I was 16 and carrying copy and writing obits at The Sunday Courier and Press in Evansville to the day I walked out of The Indianapolis Star when I was 48.

    Truth is they were mortally wounded when the afternoon papers in the big cities began dying off, the victims of long commutes that left people no time in the evenings except gulp down dinner, yell at the kids, watch Carson on the Late Show, go to bed and do it again the next day.

    But I am happy to have had a slice of journalism — and a generous one it was. It allowed me to see things, talk to people, ply what little talent I had for writing, dressing like a bum at work and earning a living.

    I loved, loved, loved it. I used to tell people that I would pay to have my job.

    The Star was purchased by Gannett, the same people who bring you USA Today in 2000. They bought us and our sister paper, the Phoenix Gazette, for a slight sum about $2 billion (yes billion) in 2000. They then applied a management style that was intent on pressuring old crusty journalists like me out of the newsroom.

    It broke my heart in two…I was as bereft about resigning as losing a lover. Much of my personal identity was tied up into being a reporter. Like I said, I was able to ride that horse from covering town council to Congress, from the small claims court to the Supreme Court, from Central America to the Middle East, and dozens of fires, murders, car wrecks, stories of heroism and routine public announcements that go into the narrative which describes us as us when we lived.

    I am a positive person, however.

    I wish that I had had the tools of journalism that are available today…oh, the stories I would have told, and told them in three dimension with words, pictures, audio, action, and the ability to get immediate reader comment.

    That’s a gift.

    Are papers going to die?

    Of course, it’s only a matter of time.

    But I do believe that public discourse will continue on in different ways that may be better. It will just be different.

    Maybe that’s easy for me to say because I walked away on my accord and wasn’t shoved completely out the door.

    Here is something interesting. On Thursday, I am going to give a presentation to a group of my association’s members on media. What I said here, I am going to say there, but I am a firm believer that what is past isn’t always better and what is ahead isn’t always best.

    But it is what it is.

    And that is the one thing that journalism taught me. Though personally I am an optimist — albeit a fatalistic optimist — my dousing in the realm of objectivity, while it has its personal drawbacks, is ultimately the greatest blessing of my life.

    I appreciate reality for what it is, though I may ask for more and wish for more, I can never expect such.

  35. Ok – just did another blog post . . . how can it take me 3 hours to do this – I just don’t understand! I think it is the photos and editing that really slow me down . . . and then the typing and I learn so much about myself . . .

    words will never die for me.

    I want to hold onto my scraps of paper, dog-eared books until the day I day . . . i guess the art might tell the story of my life . . . but words. they are so.

    consise. which I don’t think i spelled correctly, but I have meetings in nashville tomorrow and I must sleep . . .

    Mary Lou – I will forward my snail mail sometime tomorrow . . . I am dropping like a wet butterfly right now (see my post for that reference marker) . . . toodles and sweet dreams . . . dream in color!

  36. …day I die, I meant . . . “oh bother”, says Pooh Bear, as he gets stuck in the Big Oak Tree . . .

    or as Baby Alice would say in her prison of a carseat – “I Stuck! I Stuck!” to which kate and I replied “So are we! We’re Stuck! We’re Stuck!”

  37. Jenny: what a cool mystery about the bone in the tree! Your dilema is should you unravel it or let it be mysterious, free to be whatever your imagination lets it be?

    Everyone: I once had a column at The Evansville Press called, Ask the Press. This was around 1972 or so. People would write in asking on such topics as where they could write to Elvis or Maytag Consumer Complaint Department or some piece of Evansville sports or real estate trivia that I would have to track down.

    It was there that I developed an abiding love, respect, devotion and dependence on the wisdom of reference librarians.

    This, of course, was at a time when if you would have said Google to someone, they would have thought:

    a. they misheard you.
    b. you were an idiot
    c. you had a speech impediment
    d. you were making fun of them
    e. your were a foreigner

    This also occurred at a time when we were hurtling toward a reality that would deliver us this new word as a noun and verb and none of us knew it at the time.

    I am heading for bed now. Nice to “see” you.

  38. This is my first time on here. I was trying to email Haven about her book Zippy. My daughter and I enjoyed it very much. Mainly for reasons that I would like very much to say privately to Haven.
    Then I got interested in all your blogs. I had a vaginal hysterectomy and got along beautifully. I think it’s different for everyone.
    The bone thing….it could have been put into the tree trunk by any number of animals, and could be from a large dog that had been burried and dug up by some other animal. Of course I too would have been thinking…..human bone? And too embarashed to ask anyone unless I knew them very well.

    Has anyone figured out yet Haven’s email add? I tried both ways and added a few others and none of them were correct. If anyone knows, could someone please tell me?
    By the way, I live in a small town north of Charlotte. Anyone else live near me?

  39. George, I just love you. “They would have thought: e: you were a forgeigner.”

    My favorite George line yet. And believe you me. I have many favorite George lines.

    Good morning to the Pre-School Kids!

  40. Hey Molly Bug!
    Many funny things transpired here last night! I am desperate to take the morning off to catch up and chat back. Can’t. What are you teaching today? Don’t you just HATE the whole plagiarism thing?

  41. I have a wonderful story I always trot out about one of my graduates who went to the Rochester Institute of Technology. She forgot ONE citation on ONE internet source, and she was called before a disciplinary board and put on academic probation. That always shuts my seniors up about it.

  42. Running out the door but wanted to share that Paul House, a Tennessee death row inmate for over 25 years who always maintained his innocence, was finally exonerated. DNA evidence that was actually made available in 1999 (yes, he could have been freed in 1999) was finally allowed and the guilty verdict was overturned.

    More on this later.

  43. Linda – Good news! Hooray! Here in New York one house of our legislature has approved same-sex marriage, and it’s heading to the other. We’ll see. It’s the Governor’s bill, so it will get signed if it passes in the State Senate.

    Jenny – I was crying/laughing over that Barbie head thing – I had never seen that. On the bone issue, is there a farm nearby? Or hunters? Cow bones and deer bones look remarkably like human bones. It is very expensive to have a dead cow removed from your property, so many farmers compost them (Sorry to have to share these gritty details). We had an old Walker hound who used to find animals we had put in the woods and carry them off to a special spot that we took to calling the Carrion Camp. If a dog were to do this, and perhaps hide the bone in a rotting tree and forget or move, the tree could have grown around it. That’s my best guess.

    Short of that I am afraid you are in the midst of Blue Velvet.

    Gigi, I have not had an abdominal hysterectomy, but I did have three C-sections. I had my quickest recovery after the last one when I actually did what they told me to do and got up immediately and walked up and down the hall. Much quicker recovery that way. So if you do end up with the incision, I would recommend that. Also my friend who had a hysterectomy and now takes Premarin says she just LOVES that little pill. (I will spare everyone my knowledge of how that particular drug is made unless you rally want to know).

    Going over to Sher’s now ……

  44. really

  45. Oh, and welcome Carolyn!

  46. Welcome to Carolyn . . . my email to haven at askhaven (at) me (dot) com went through fine so I’m not sure what is up . . .

    I just sent my daughter Claire, 6, off to school for her reading-to-the-class day. She chose Chapter Three of A Girl Named Zippy: Hair, her favorite part is screaming “THEY’RE MY ACTUAL FEET,” although I am slightly worried about the ‘mangy foster children’ line as this school is VERY PC . . . we’ll see, I might end up with a reprimand . . . which I will defend until the day I die!

    Also this morning, Claire was so excited she RAN to the bustop, thus falling (of course) and skinning both knees and hands as her 500 lb. bookbag drug her down into the sidewalk. One neighbor who lives closer ran to her house for wet papertowels and bandaids as Claire screamed at the top of her lungs – “There’s blood! There’s blood!”

    As if this was not enough stress, she calmly told me as she limped onto the bus that I had a corn pop stuck on my butt (we had been munching on dry cornpops while we practiced her reading).

    So then I came home and read her papers from yesterday. Claire received a yellow card (warning) for “Acting Silly On The Carpet” – perhaps the teacher will not appreciate this particular chapter of Zippy?

    In any event, I have created a delightful monster.

  47. Re Bone in Tree . . . there is a fabulous Anne Perry novel where Monk and Hester find a human skeleton with a lovely leather shoe INSIDE a tree at, I believe, Hyde Park.

    If I remember right an injured woman had crawled up into the tree before she died.

    CSI just had a case were a murder weapon (hammer) had been tossed over a fence and caught in a tree trunk . . . the tree then grew around the hammer for 15 years or so . . . it was retrieved and used in their case.

    That being said, if there was a previous hollow in that tree, anything could have been dragged in or died there . . .

    I had never seen this ‘barbie’ letter either . . . is that an urban myth? I am horribly gullible – but it was funny, whether or not it was true.


    hahahhahahahahhaha I just love that Claire. Oh, and of course, I love Zippy too.

  49. Urban Legends? Snopes is the best for checking them out. In short, the Smithsonian Barbie is myth. Check out this out for the best part of the story which comes toward the end of the report. http://www.snopes.com/humor/letters/smithsonian.asp

  50. I MUST meet Claire Fick.
    GfromG~They are going to take your uterus out of your body, via your vaginal? Oh my god, I have to lie down.
    Once you have recovered I am coming to visit you. This is a promise:)

  51. Vagina not vaginal, see I was trying to type while becoming light headed.

  52. Jim Shue!! Hello!

  53. Hi Amy!

  54. Ok – HI jimshue – you royal sockmonkeyness!

    I just posted another new post on my bloggy thing and it is dedicated to: Shanna, Carrie, Maureen and Haven in Honor of your new ROOMS OF CREATIVITY . . . it is called DREAM IN COLOR and is not to be confused with the other new post I did last night . . .

    Perhaps I should have a loss of art more frequently as it makes me want to write . . . hum, pondering here.

    have to leave the party to get ready for meetings . . . and it is actually not raining today!!!!

  55. Jenny: I asked Dana (the beloved and tolerant) and the Arborist Himself, the bone in the tree question and he said it was probably a bear. He said the bear had either made a kill and drug (dragged?) part of it into a hollow in the tree or it was a small bear that climbed into the hollow and died there..he said bears sometimes overwinter/hibernate in tree hollows.
    I, too, was having murder victim visions, but that’s because we are all of the overactive imagination types here on this blog.
    Sher..Jenny is right..we would all be glad to rock with you anytime.
    Oh, I want a documentary about Claire…what a hoot, she makes me smile and smile.
    Hysterectomy…abdominal, 27 years ago. Not to painful that I recall, just harder to recover from than I thought..it will take 4-6 weeks to get your full strength back…and Maureen..I agree with your friend about the premarin 100% even tho I do know how it is made. I tried to kick the habit but kept going outside in the backyard and taking all my clothes off because of the severity of the hotflashes. Dana the b&t thought I might have been grandstanding but I SWEAR!!
    LOL y’all

  56. Yeah, well we got the rain… and it’s my day off! 😡

    Sorry about the loss of your piece, Sher. It must be like the feeling I had when our old computer died and we lost a lot of pictures. Yeah, we save to multiple places now.

  57. Oh my. I think Claire and Elliot are two halves of a Platonic egg.

    Dana – Oh, of course! Bear! Duh, me. I really should NOT be allowed to teach an environmental science class.

    Hi Jim and Amy and Brenda and all!

    Heading over to Sher’s again …

  58. Hi Maureen!

  59. Hi Jim Shue and cutie puddin and pie.
    (Oh God, I’m channeling Dana’s texan mother)
    Gotta go check out Sher, too.

  60. Good morning! er… afternoon…. whatever.

    I love Claire stories.

    And I have to go find the Barbie thing now…

  61. I cannot concentrate today to save my life! Arrrghhh

  62. Everyone must go to Mo’s blog and read her newest entry.

  63. Amy, I was just there. How does she do it? I’m exhausted just reading about her day!

  64. George: we are kindred spirits because I was a Journalism major at UGA and I also worked at a newspaper (but in advertising, not editorial.) I always hung out in the editorial department because those guys were cool and wise and crusty.

    Snopes rocks…if you ever get a crazy email about someone getting you to smell perfume in a parking lot…go to http://www.snopes.com and all will be revealed. It’s fun just to surf.

    I have to add my kid story–for Mother’s Day I got a bookmark with a poem laminated on it from my 9-year-old, Hannah. (She’s the one who designs jewelry and wants to meet Freddie Mercury.) Here’s the precious poem:

    My mother is like a gem
    A beautiful work of art
    That only very lucky people
    Get to have in their lives
    I love you Mom

    Of course it made me cry and I treasure my new bookmark every day.

  65. Maureen! your blog is great.
    Chopper to Base Station!! HA!
    No question who is the base station at your house..more like THE ROCK.

  66. So, everyone, please, bow down to me!

    After showing Baz Lurhman’s R&J (I love it; don’t skin me over that) and the Emma Thompson/Kenneth Branagh Much Ado About Nothing (skipping a few key scenes wherein there was nekkidness),I assigned the kids roles today from various Shakespeare plays. They got so rowdy as they heard who they were going to be, that I had to threaten to TAKE AWAY THEIR SHAKESPEARE packets (16 pages of my favorite scenes from R&J, Macbeth, Midsummer’s Night, Much Ado).

    They worked beautifully after that.

    I made 11 year olds WANT TO DO/READ SHAKESPEARE!!!!

    After the shitty 2 weeks with research papers, I feel like a queen! Woot!
    That Barbie letter never fails to make me laugh. I love it.

    Jenny, I think it’s a dead body. I think your advice question to Haven should be, “How can I get David Caruso’s number so I can inform him that there’s a body near where I live?”

    I’m just saying.

  67. I so bow down to you, Ms. Molly Bug. You are a Reason to Believe.

    George — I re-viewed your movie. I’ll bet your sons cried. I sure did.

    Jenny, freakin hilarious Barbie letter. And about the creepy tree discovery, I say call Jeff Goldblum.

    Now, for a little insight into “happy families, all alike”:

  68. Molly Bug, Teacher Extraordinaire, Queen of Loving Shakespeare, Defender of Sixth Grade Literature and Stinkin’ Sweatheart of a Person,
    You rocketh!!! I have a lesson of Shakespearean curses somewhere – I will try to dig it up.

    Is the Baz Huhrman the Claire Danes/Leo version? I JUST finally saw that – borrowed from my lit-lover student, and I forced her to watch the Franco Zefferrelli (whoa, way too may consonants there; one of those was not needed). When I taught grade my students FREAKED over the boob and the butt.

  69. Hi Mo — I sent you an email — hope I finally have a good address (the yahoo site hides the domain, damn their proprietary hides).

  70. Bug…thou rocketh!
    to quote the bard:
    “With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,
    That, on the supervise, no leisure bated,
    No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
    My head should be struck off.” Hamlet

  71. Hi guys. Goodness, it’s hard to keep up.

    Carrie, Happy Families made me laugh. OH, how funny.

    Brenda- love the bear theory, in part because I love bears. I never met a bear that didn’t thrill me down to my toes and scare me to death at the same time. Am also terribly impressed at your capacity to quote Shakespeare and by Molly’s inspired teaching. Brava to you both!

    George, you do about a million interesting things and know about a million things about every single one of them. I love how you can just casually toss things out there like, “Oh, when I was in Peru,” or “Oh, back when I was a journalist…” I am glad you left me the opening to expound about being a subject in altitude research, which is one of the few interesting things I’ve ever done. (Was in a hypobaric chamber in an environmental research center, though, not on an actual mountain). They took us from sea level to the equivalent of 14,000 feet in 20 minutes and let the ball roll! It was so fascinating that I didn’t care that I was sick as a dog. I’d do it again in a heartbeat if I wasn’t too old. Also, I cannot find your movie and feel left out.

    Maureen- how you manage to do those things AND blog about them I do not know.

    Am also glad you guys liked the Smithsonian letter. I know it’s not a bona fide thing, but I break it out about once a year and enjoy it just as much anyway.

    Here is an interview with the author:

    Sher, Lightening Bug, Carrie: I KNEW it was a human cadaver. Just need it confirmed scientifically.

    So now I know, and it weighs heavily on me. Alas, poor Yorick!

  72. Also, just wanted to comment that I was looking at your little icons (what to you call them) the other day and noticing how so many of you smile from WAY DEEP DOWN. I am glad.

  73. I mean what DO you call them?

  74. Haven calls them Gravitrons, I think because they whirl around really fast and play heavy metal music.

    The technical term is “Avatar.”

  75. I am just LOVING the addition of Jenny to the blog.

    I was listening to Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, and what’s her name was talking about emoticons that are body parts? I think she called them boob-icons and butt-icons. Anyone up on that? Kittery, doyenne of the emoticon, any info?

    I told Lyle that panda joke last night while in line at the Arby’s drive-through and I became HYSTERICAL, literally, I sounded like a hyena, I was crying, I could not stop laughing, I had an asthma attack. It is what happens if I have coffee after 7 PM. I had a similar episode one night when Elliot told me he had seen a movie in church school and God was wearing a white vest. First I paused and said “What?” and then I became HYSTERICAL. Another was Julie’s mom trying to catch that pig in Zippy.

    Kate – Notice how I “talk” a blue streak here? But oh, the dreaded telephone ….. gack.

  76. George, how long are you going to be in Vegas?

  77. Thank you for the love!!! 🙂

    Mo–I would love the Shakespeare curses if you find the lesson! Amber’s and my friend Anne once gave one of those tear off a day calendars, and everyday was a curse. I had to start throwing them away because I was saving EVERY SINGLE DAY. lol.

    Did you like the new version? One of my students came to me before we watched it and said, “Mrs. Touchton, I have to tell you my mother thinks this is….NOT a good movie.” After me asking for more, I finally got the girl to tell me her mother exact words which were: It’s a bastardization of the play and a disgrace.

    I say—Anything that gets the kids into Shakespeare…

    Brenda! I love the quote!

  78. This IS NOT A SPOILER. I promise.
    Ok, I know self-awareness is supposed to be bad form in entertainment, but Miles just said, “We’re not going back in time. That would be ridiculous.”


    I love when they say stuff like that…

  79. Welcome Carolyn! Where are you north of Charlotte? I live in University City just off I-85.

    Y’all, I just got home from the Jenn Lancaster book signing for Pretty in Plaid which was in Huntersville. She is in Nashville (Brentwood) tomorrow. She read the Girl Scouts chapter from the book and she did Q&A and then she signed. I was #5 in a very long line and I got to talk to her while she signed 2 copies for me and I told her that I read her blog, Melissa C Morris’s and Haven’s on a regular basis and she stopped writing and looked up at me and said, “I didn’t know Haven Kimmel has a blog, I’ll have to look that up. I love her books.”

    You saw it here first.

  80. So That Woman (from the affair) just FRIENDED me on facebook. I am going to respond this way unless anyone thinks it’s a bad idea…

    Look. Maybe it was an accident that you sent me this request. If so, fine. If you did it on purpose, I’m going to ignore it. I wish you know ill will, but I don’t want anything to do with you. Ever. Do not contact me again.

    Whatcha think?

  81. OH! I vote for bad idea! You’re being way to kind to her. Yeesh! Who the heck does she think she is? No ill will? Wish for festering boils on her backside. Or better yet, wish that all of her “attributes” start sagging at an alarming rate.

    “Friended” you?!? Why? So she could go after the next boyfriend? Let her find her own pile of vermin.

    But now that I’ve said that, maybe you could use her as a VERMIN DETECTOR!

  82. Jim Shue. I love you.

    She already has a brain tumor, and as my sister says, “I don’t want to write a check my karma can’t cash…”

    But thank you for thinking all of that for me.

    I AM SO MAD.

  83. OH MY GOD. I just caught my Freudian slip.

    I wish you know ill will.

    Obviously, what I mean to write was “no ill will.”

    Haha. Anyone see Boondock Saints? “Well. Freud was right.”

  84. Molly, seriously. You are too nice. JUST SAY NO. You do not owe her an explanation of why you’re not accepting.

    But if you do want to send it, “I wish you know ill will” has a nicely ambiguous ring to it.

  85. Brain tumor, huh? Sounds like she’s trying to get her Karma account in balance. Sorry, but she’s the one who did the dead, let her deal with the consequences. You owe her nothing except pity and I wouldn’t even bother responding. Sometimes silence is more meaningful than words. Plus, you could be inviting more attempts from “That Woman” by responding.

  86. And is it too early for “The Artist formerly known as Sher” to make an appearance?

  87. Molly! Do I need to repay the Lessons in Assertiveness? Tell her what’cha REALLY think, yo. As Fr. Jack once told me, “Christianity is based on Honesty.” Yer all Catholics – be honest. You’ll be behaving as a Good Christian. 😉

    Maureen … butt-icons? Like this? (_i_) sort of? That’s kind of a wide load, but .. I feel like I’m drawing porn on the playground wall, lol.

    My headache and I agree it’s time for me to shut up before my comments get worse, haha. 🙂

  88. Jim, you’re so right about not responding. I just feel like I have to be silent about the issue altogether, all the time, never calling my dad on it etc. I think I am going to have to give in to my base desire of letting her know that we were friends, and she totally fucked that up–hence the “i don’t want to hear from you ever again.”

  89. You were *friends*? Gah. TELL HER.

  90. Absolutely! Let her know she’s the one the fuked it up. How sorry you are that things are the way they are, but that you have no desire to be a part of someone’s life that would behave in such a way. Then slowly walk away. Even if she tries again some other way, ignore any future attempts. I can almost guarantee she’ll try again.

  91. oh, yes. MOM and I talked her into leaving her boyfriend and then when she moved here, alone and pretty much penniless, let her stay with us awhile, introduced her around, comforted her while her son was in iraq etc. you know. did the things friends do.

  92. Subject line choices. Please cast your votes now!

    a. Are you kidding?


    b. Ummm, no

  93. B.

  94. C: All of the above!

  95. OOOH! Can I change my vote to Kittery’s?

  96. molly, there is not a nice way to handle this. that bitch doesn’t get anything from you, including a response. fuck her. the best revenge is living well.

  97. This is what I sent:

    I wish you no ill will, but I don’t want anything to do with you. Ever. Do not contact me again.

    And if for some reason, you think about contacting our mother, know that Megan and I will take a personal interest in your effort to stalk her.


    Did I tell you about the time she showed up at our church (which is tiny, maybe 35-40 people) a month after this all went down? She thought it’d been long enough for us to “get over it” and for her and mom to go back to being friends.

    Steph, don’t be disappointed in me for responding.

  98. A month to “get over it”? OH MUTHA.

  99. I am so lost. Who is this evil woman Molly?

  100. She had an affair with my dad.

  101. Hi Caryl! I received my present. What a wonderfully delightful surprise! I absolutely love it. Does this mean I published now? 🙂

  102. Alright, you Love Bloggers.

    It’s 12.30 and I have to be up in 5 hours so I can continue to foster love of Shakespeare.

    Thanks for the support. You are…actually…I can’t even say. I don’t have the words. “Amazing” doesn’t cut it.

    Thank you so very much.

  103. um, I meant to say “I am published…”

  104. hello!!! is Jim Shue still here???

    I did the boring thing and completed my paperwork after my meetings (all day) BEFORE I checked on the blog!

    I also ate a Salad and Soup today – only.

    I bought 4 Betsey Johnson nighties to lure my husband into something . . .

    all in all, a VERY accomplished day!

  105. there he is!

  106. Before bed Claire and I read “The Lion” chapter of Zippy . . . it is about Haven being part of the mafia.

    Claire’s ????:

    “Did she quit?”

    I am hysterical!!

  107. Still here… waiting for you, you saucy minx! Betsey Johnson nighties? Don is a lucky man. Or soon will be. 🙂

  108. Sher, I stopped by your blog today and left you a comment.

  109. Carrie’s link to ‘ackward family photos’ . . . I slightly peed my pants, but luckily I was not in my new Betsey Johnson nighties . . . no point since the denizen of love is already asleep.

    (*)(*) – after the breast lift

    | | | |
    (.) (.) – before the breast lift

  110. he had already taken his night time medicine before I got home – dang it!!!

    Perhaps after the Elton John/Billy Joel concert I will get lucky??!!!

    I came here before I checked my own blog . . . should I be chagrined?

    NOT! but I look forward to your responses, always

  111. I have also decided that there is a conspiracy going on – all women POST-38 should have free bras hidden in their intimate apparel . . . yep!

    Kate agrees because we had this in-depth discussion as I drove home from the Betsey Johnson excursion.

    Also, Baby Alice talked to me 3 times and she wants to go SHOPPIN’ in my CAR for BABIES!

  112. during a one-on-one marketing meeting with a fellow woman artist (she has 2 little ones under 3) – we commented that “between the 2 of us, we have a whole person” . . . meaning our remaining brain cells get together and we can actually get something done. off on our own – not so much.

  113. did I scare everybody away?

  114. Nope. Working on a post. And bouncing between here, there and Facebook.

  115. Sher is SO SCARY.

    I’ve been playing Phase 10 with my husband while watching Family Ties…an altogether pleasant evening, though not as exciting as the kind Sher attempted to have!

    I love R+J. I just love Baz Lurhman in general.

    Ummm…give that beeotch some hell Molly.

    That’s all. Goodnight!

  116. ok. i’m done. have to go to bed. post is draining me.

  117. Maureen, why does she take Premarin? Hormone replacement? No thank you.

    Amy in Ohio – Great, you can come down after June 26th and spend hours in my room gossiping endlessly about everything. I’ve spent six years avoiding it with other surgeries. The end is near. I have two pieces of gossip for you:

    Kate Gosselin is coming to MI tomorrow. I am not going to hear her speak, but my 300 mm zoom lens and I might be in the church parking lot. And, Ed Norton and Robert DeNiro are filming a movie here next week, and I am trying to be an extra. SWEAR TO GOD.

    Also, did anyone watch LOST? I spent two hours writing about it, I’m THAT nerdy. LOVED IT.

    Also, I am aware that I have millions of pictures to upload. I am very very bad about that. Sorry that I suck!

  118. Unless I’ve been up all night, I do not love this time of day. 😦

  119. Gosh, Molly. I’m amazed at the gall of some people. Modern technology has allowed us to be present but not really…she wants to be your FRIEND on the happy Facebook page but in real life she was the worst kind of friend. I think your response was perfect.

    My personal Baz Luhrman favorite it Strictly Ballroom. If you need a good laugh it’s quite campy but fun.

    Sher: I saw Billy Joel/Elton John some years ago but they were fabulous! You’ll have a great time.

  120. I am not going to write a check my karma can’t cash. This is pure brillance. I love your sister Molls.
    GfromG-It’s a date.

  121. Oh and GfromG-If you meet Edward Norton, tell him I love him and I will wait for him.Thanks.

  122. I would use a Betsey Johnson nightie on Edward Norton.

  123. Off to find Jim Shue’s Blog

  124. molly LB, not disappointed in you at all. i am the oldest of four and tend to be reactionary and FIERCELY defensive (to a fault). what you said is right because feelings are real and no one should tell you otherwise, including me. so i am sorry if i overstepped boundaries. i hate when someone i care about is aching. and from personal experience, i ran into the home wrecker who had an affair with my dad YEARS and YEARS ago. she looked like shit, and my evil side liked that. for the record, my biological father (as that is all he is to me) is a creep who ended up going to jail for tax evasion. as i once shared a last name with him (dropped it like a bad habit when i got married), i had to read about his prison sentence in the paper. oh well, he went to jail…sweet, sweet karma. and i am proud to report that i have a “step-dad” who is MY DAD and always will be. i hope things are looking up for you molly bug. i firmly believe that bad things happen to bad people just as good things happen to good people. xoxo, steph

  125. You didn’t overstep any bounds, Steph. I just didn’t want you to think I was weak. Even though I am.

    AmyO–I will let Megan know. She frequently doubts her own brilliance. (Just kidding. She is a Capricorn who knows she is always, always right.)

    Dad seems to be on the up and up now. We shall see. In more bad-Molly news, I’m sorry to say that getting that request from her has made me very short with him last night and this morning. Sigh. I have no self-control, apparently.

    Also, I told Greg about it, and his response was something like you didn’t really tell me all the details…but I’m guessing you found the whole thing pretty traumatizing?

    And I, like an idiot, responded with:
    i BELIEVE in romance, in happily ever after, in DOING WHAT YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO. if you promise to love someone, to be faithful, then that’s what you fucking do. there was plenty of opportunity in NH for me to cheat on rob and never be caught. but i didn’t. because i loved him. because i would never break someone’s trust simply because i was lonely and unhappy.

    last year i learned, that not only did rob not love me enough to want to stay, my father was willing to throw away 35 years of marriage…because it was hard. because our life is hard. how much can one person take?

    Poor Greg.

  126. Poor Greg. Lol. It’s not like you didn’t warn him that you’re going to say exactly what you think whenever you feel like it.

  127. Who was it that just purged their entire house? I can’t remember and I’m on too much of a roll to go back and look.

    But I heartily thank you because it inspired me to do the same. I will go room by room though. Otherwise I will just burn out.

    So, now all my winter clothes are put away. I have a ton of stuff to drop at goodwill. I’ve gotten rid of all shoes that I don’t wear.

    And please don’t think less of me, but I went through the box that holds all of my bags and purses and couldn’t find a SINGLE ONE to part with.

    It’s a weakness.

  128. Toilet learning: I quote my pediatrician, when I plaintively asked when my very bright almost three-year-old son was going to start using the potty: “Let his wife worry about that.” Which is to say, don’t make yourself nuts over it. Give him the facts, ma’am; if it’s practical let him run around outside naked this summer (believe me, he won’t want to go on his bare legs), and trust that it will happen.

    On hysterectomy: The thing I really wish I’d groked beforehand is this: “You are not superwoman. Do not get into a ‘no four week recovery for ME; I’ll be running a marathon in three’ competitive healing mindset.” It’s not just the pain, which is manageable IME; it’s the overwhelming fatigue that comes with having an incision through those layers of muscle. I got really anxious about “Why aren’t I feeling all better yet??” when in fact it did indeed take four-five weeks for me to feel like myself again. Don’t rush yourself.

  129. Ok, this is stupid but I can’t remember the name of our yahoo group and the link I had on my home computer disappeared. I tried blog babies and nothing came up and then I search for Haven Kimmel and Clay Aiken groups came up. HUH???!!!!! Someone please help me as my brain is mush due to family overload.

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