A big, huge, gargantuan THANK YOU to the Big O for going with me up to the now former cube at my former employer, and helping me pack my desk of all of my former work crap. I could never have done it without you, and if I had tried, I would have cried, and probably gone all postal and then been sent to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time and I would have been happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and... well... just thanks, my friend!
Yeah, my future may be unknown as to how I am going to provide for my household, but when your little girl comes up to you, wipes the tears from your eyes and brings you all of the change from her piggy bank just in case I need help to pay the bills...well...I can't even put into words how full my heart is with such gratitude for the blessings in my life.
Today, I meditate on this: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." --Jeremiah 29:11
We are 22 days into the new year, and I have decided I want a refund! Let's see, highlights include: my first week of '07 was spent in bed with the flu, some of my dear friends are experiencing a constant stream of illnesses and losses, at least 4 people I know have lost their jobs or gotten notice thereof, today I finally received my official letter of notice after anticipating it for weeks (and still no word on if I'll get the new gig), and to top today off, I got a call this afternoon to pick up my daughter early because she's sick with a fever of 100.4. This is not the way I planned the January of my 40th year to be, dammit!
Here's the thing, '07, my buddy 'ol pal...I truly am not hard to please. Would it be possible to go easier on a girl just trying to do good for herself and her sweet child? Oh, and while you're at it throw in some good stuff for my buddies, too. Come on '07, help a sister out!
*Disclaimer: I know. It could always be worse. However, who said I had to accept that cop out?
To Sharon Cobb: It was wonderful meeting you! Thank you for the birthday drink!
To the Hostess at Chili's: You suck for telling me that the place I parked was ok and my car wouldn't be towed.
To Sarah: You are an angel for coming to get me & my daughter at 9pm & taking us to the tow lot. Oh, and for berating the tow company guy for making this "poor, cold single mom with her small child" pay $80 bucks to get her car back. You can be my representative any time!
To the Towing Company: You suck!!!
To the cop officer who pulled me over this morning for getting in the HOV lane for 3 seconds to pass an idot in the left lane, only to learn that my driver's license had expired 3 days earlier: I swear I thought I had until the end of my birthday month to get it renewed! My most heartfelt thanks for not taking me to jail. My deepest gratitude for having mercy on me and not giving me the ticket. You were so kind and gentle as you wiped the tears from my eyes asked me not to cry. I promise to never go in the HOV lane again and I promise that I went immediately and got my new license. Oh, and you were cute so please use the info you got from the license that I had to surrender and call me.
Racing great, Benny Parsons, has passed away from cancer at the age of 65 today. It always makes me kind of sad when a racing legend passes, because it reminds me of my daddy. If it is possible for those who have passed to know one another up in heaven, then I'm sure my daddy and Benny have already shaken hands today.
If you were within a 10 mile radius of my house tonight, you may have heard a high-pitched squeal at around 7:35pm. That would have been yours truly giving it up for my man, Hugh Laurie, who won a Golden Globe tonight for Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama.
To top it off, during my hyperventilation attack, he gave one of the funniest acceptance speeches I have ever heard in my life. "I'm speechless. No really, I don't have a speech prepared!" He really would have loved a pre-written speech in his gift basket rather than the Cartier watch and a gift certificate for high colonics for two.
It was also rather dreamy (yes, I used the dreamy word - this guy doesn't have the corner on that market!) to hear him speak in his native British accent rather than his fake American English. Sigh...
I know all of you 24 and Grey's Anatomy fans are probably disappointed, but don't fret...the best man won.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, From every mountainside, let freedom ring! And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
All I can say is what an amazing woman. She has great faith. The kind of faith that I strive for. When Larry asked her how she was handling what happened, she told him that she believed in destiny, and that what happened to Steve was meant to be. "It must have been time for me to take the lead..." in raising their children. She said she knew that it was destiny that they met and married, and now accepts his fate. Such strength through acceptance.
Her honesty with her grieving process was moving. She said that in the beginning, she could just take it one minute at a time, then one hour, then days, and now she has made it 4 months. She can't imagine 2 years even, but she'll make it just fine.
These are the kind of people who bless our world with the enthusiasm and positive energy that I endeavor each day to become.
Tons of media outlets are reporting this story. It should be noted that technically, he cannot be deployed to a "war zone", because he is 2nd in line for the throne. However, he could indeed be sent to Iraq for other duties. Nevertheless, I suppose that being anywhere in Iraq at this point could be dangerous, and he would most definitely be a target for insurgents or terrorists to prey on - what better way to get the publicity they obviously want than to off a British royal?
This may be much ado about nothing, but I was just thinking...wouldn't it be interesting to see what would happen if President Bush had a son in the military right now? I wonder if he'd be "allowed" to go?
Sista gave me the funniest birthday card, which was so thoughtful and it really made my day. We had a lot of good laughs along with a very educational technological seminar by Mr. Woo.I want to thank Dr. Funkenswine for treating me to the most wonderful early birthday lunch. I really was kidding when I said I wanted a free lunch, but he insisted. To quote him, "Any woman who will admit that she's turning 40 deserves a free lunch."
So here is my plug: If you are jonesing for some of the best barbecue you've ever put in your mouth, you must run, not walk, to Mothership Barbecue in Berry Hill. It's right off of Bransford & East Iris on Columbine Place. You will be glad you did!
Now that I have a moment, I wanted to share my experience of when I met Mo. I got to meet all three of the brothers the same day back in 1998, when they were at their studio in Miami Beach. While Barry and Robin were extremely gracious and took time to chat for a minute, it was Mo who completely blew me away with his fun personality and genuine love of chatting it up with the fans. Remember, I worked in the music business and had met just about everybody famous I had ever wanted to, but I was reduced to complete idolizer when it came to the Bee Gees--old crushes die hard and my appreciation & love of their writing and records...well, you know. Anyway, Barry was running late because he had a dentist appointment. So Mo, being his comical self proceeds to inform me that, "Barry probably won't even make it. He hates the dentist. He is such a pussy cat (his words). He is probably sleeping right now." So, of course, we had a good laugh from that at Barry's expense. Then when he realized I was from Nashville, he completely lit up. He said, "Oh! I love Nashville! I love country music. I like Tim McGraw! I love Dolly!" Then, he told me this cute story about how when they came to Nashville sometime in the early 70s, somebody told them incorrectly that there was a hotel that Elvis had stayed in called the King's Inn. So, they insisted that they must stay at that hotel. Now, I am thinking that this was a hotel in one of three locations in Nashville: Murfreesboro Road near Fessler's Lane, Dickerson Road, or Trinity Lane. You locals can draw your own conclusions from that. The rest of you just know that "seedy" is a good description. So anyway, he said they arrived at the hotel, were horrified, but had nowhere else to go, so that is where they stayed. It must have made a huge impression on Mo, because that was one of his lasting impressions of our fair city. He also said he had friends up in Hendersonville (perhaps Johnny? Barry had never met him, but perhaps Mo did!) that he had visited before.
Mo chatted with me for at least 15 minutes or so when he really needed to be working. From all descriptions and impressions I've ever heard, that's the kind of guy Mo was.
So, that's why today, I raise my glass to Maurice Gibb - Mo - may you be jamming up in heaven with Andy and company today. We miss you.
Hey everybody, I just got one of those bad phone calls from a co-worker/friend who went in for a routine colonoscopy only to find out she is eat up with cancer. She is going in for surgery first thing in the morning. She is 50 years old. Her name is Vivian.
Your prayers and positive thoughts for a successful surgery, treatment, and outcome--and most of all for peace in her heart--are much appreciated.
Oh, this has not started out to be a good day. In my "Last Week of My Thirties Post", I stated that sometimes I have felt like the Court Jester for the Powers that Be. Well now I am even more convinced! With less than 4 days until my 40th birthday, I am sitting at a red light this morning on my way to work. I look in the mirror and what do I see? A GRAY hair imbedded in my eyebrow, and a PATCH of gray hair on the left side of my hairline staring back at me!!!! What is UP with that? I suppose my body just decided that since the clock is ticking closer and closer to D-Day, let's rub it in!!!
I will have none of this! If anybody is looking for me on Saturday morning, you can find me at my hair stylist's place with lots of coloring in my hair!
One would think, or at least hope, that the world had learned a hard lesson when Diana was so harrassed by the stalkers--and I do believe that although her driver was drunk, the paparazzi who were chasing the car had a lot to do with the crash that killed her. This girl may have the most eligible bachelor on her arm and a future of royalty, but I wouldn't trade places with her for anything. She will never have a moment that is not scruitinzed, probably bugged, photographed, and judged from now on. Even if they were to break up, she will still have to deal with it...maybe even more so. It is truly sad.
When William becomes King, I would bet money one of his first acts will be to demand from the Parliament that a law is put in force to ban stalking by penality of imprisonment.
At 12:36 am (EDT) tonight, I begin the final week of my thirties. Yeah, I know…I’ve heard it/said it all…”age is only a number”, “life begins at 40, “40 is the new 30”, yadda, yadda, yadda. I appreciate all of those encouraging comments, and absolutely will need welcome them in the next few weeks, but today, as I am still recovering from a serious bout of the flu/strep, taking down my Christmas tree, watching football, and doing laundry, I’m thinking about my life.
I have had some incredible moments in these 40 years. Pretty dramatic in the not-so-incredible way as well. Many times I have even begged God for some boredom to tone down the theatre that is my existence. I’ve been beat down, and then rose up again, and beat down, and rose up again, sometimes wondering if I was the Court Jester for the Powers That Be. Those moments of self-pity have always turned into the pissicivity (I love that word) I’ve needed to turn the situation around. Just another opportunity to prove everybody and myself wrong. Thank the Lord I have always rose up again from the ashes like the Phoenix. I thank God and I thank my own Spirit, because I am a strong woman more inside than out, but in my opinion, that’s where it truly counts to survive in this world.
So, I thought it would be cathartic and interesting (to myself at least) to list 40 (40 out of many-these are just what I can think of right now) defining moments of my first 40 years…
1. The birth of my precious little girl, who has made me more fulfilled than any other person, place, or thing ever could. 2. The serious complications that followed her birth, which became the crisis of faith I needed to re-evaluate my beliefs. 3. The day my mom & dad sent me to Dade Christian School to give me a better opportunity than what the Miami-Dade County public schools could at that time. 4. The very first solo I ever sang in public/church. I was 13, and the song was, “What A Difference You’ve Made In My Life”…from that moment, my love of singing for people was lit on fire. 5. The first time I laid eyes on the Bee Gees singing “How Deep Is Your Love” on a clip (before music videos) they did for Saturday Night Fever. I was smitten. Being able to escape to my room and listen to their music for hours. It has been a 30 year love affair. Their music taught me to harmonize and listen to each part around me. Musicality. 6. The day I met Barry, Robin, and Maurice…and got to tell them face to face the things I just said above. 7. Barry’s hug and how he called me “luv.” I can still feel that hug if I concentrate enough! 8. The night my daddy gave me my first car: a white 1976 Camaro…I think it’s interesting that at 40, I have only owned 3 cars in my entire life.
9. Driving to the beach every opportunity I could. Drinking California Coolers on Ft. Lauderdale beach the day we got to skip school to sell yearbook ads. 10. The day I cheated in Bible class (of all classes, I know!!!!), and the teacher (Mr. Humphreys) showed me the true meaning of mercy and grace, by not punishing, failing, or turning me in to the principal. It was the most valuable lesson I was ever taught in 10 years of intensive biblical studies. 11. The day I graduated high school. 12. The day I moved to Nashville. It has been home ever since. 13. My first real job in the music business. It was my senior year of college, and the job was a Receptionist for Ronnie Milsap’s management office and studio. 14. The day I graduated college. 15. The day I walked in to Christ Church. This was before they became a mega-church. They were still meeting in what is now their smaller chapel. I will never forget the sound of their choir and the sermon of Dan Scott. I knew I had landed home after searching for the right church for me. 16. The day I joined the “world renowned” Christ Church Choir. It began 15 years of some of the most joyous times of my life. 17. The first time I stood up and showed the soprano section their part by using my hands to guide whether they sang the notes up or down. It was something my high school choir director did, so I was just mimicking her, because it had worked for us back then. The directors still use that method of teaching parts to this day. 18. My first trip to Europe. My second trip to Europe. My 4 trips to Ukraine, Russia, and Finland—all to sing.
19. The day I went to the orphanage in Cherkasy, Ukraine and met a darling, precious little girl, Ilena, whose face I will never forget, and how we both cried when we had to part ways. 20. The day I met Dolly Parton (who I just basically wanted to be when I was a little girl). I knew I had picked a good woman to admire and want to be like. Again, more inside than out, although when I’m 60, I wouldn’t mind looking as great as she does. Gotta save up for some plastic surgery! 21. The night my dad was killed by a drunk driver. ‘Nuff said. 22. “Daddy’s Hands” 23. When a week after his funeral that I got the phone call to come back to Nashville and sing with Dolly on the CMA Awards. My “sign” that life will go on and I will rise above the devastating blow I had just taken. 24. Getting to wear my dad’s Army patches and pins on the Army “costume” I was (by chance) assigned to wear for that performance. Having Garth Brooks put a rose in his mouth and salute me (he thought I was really in the military and there because of the President) backstage right before he went out to sing “Shameless”. Looking out during that performance and seeing the President of the United States & Barbara Bush sitting in the audience watching. Photo: Kats Barry / The Tennessean) 10/2/1991 That's me on the left in the Army get-up. 25. Doing session work, loving it, and being pretty good at it. Getting to record and sing live backgrounds for many of the artists I have admired through the years. 26. Working at Sony Music and getting to meet most every famous person I ever wanted to meet. 27. Getting to work on the “Honky Tonk Angels” video with Dolly, Tammy, and Loretta. That was very cool in my little world. 28. Counting #1, 4, 6, 7, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26 & 27 all a huge privilege. Knowing how lucky I’ve been to live out some of those dreams. 29. My wedding day. I may be divorced now, but it was still a fairy tale wedding dress and ceremony! I was a beautiful bride, if I say so myself…yeah, I do say so myself. 30. The day Elvis died. The day Princess Diana died. The day Maurice died. The day my marriage died. 31. Losing 40 lbs. Twice. 32. Getting to take part in MADD through meeting and talking with the leaders, police task force, offenders and victims. Getting to sing for the National Convention and Tennessee vigils. 33. The day I was hired at Baptist Hospital. Realizing how much of a blessing it was now that I look back on it. 34. Getting to meet patients, doctors, chaplains, nurses. Getting to minister kindness, healing words, healing songs, and help to those I have met there. 35. Being chosen and singing at the Ascension Health System National Convocation in Washington DC this year. 36. My hysterectomy—the pain, the recovery, the healing. 37. My dear friends who upon me finding out I had 3 days to prepare for a debilitating surgery & 6-week recovery, took my daughter as their own, taking her on their family vacation so neither of us would have to worry about each other. 38. Having my friends and family take care of me during that time, when I couldn’t function. Being humbled at how kind people were. Having my little 6-year-old daughter help me out of bed, make me snacks, and clean the house while her mommy could only lay in the bed. 39. Having some of the best, most faithful & long-suffering friends a girl could ever hope for. 40. Any time my daughter gives me hugs, wipes a tear from my eye, tells me I’m the best mommy in the world ever.
I know some of the items on this list would appear to be trivial to some and even raise a chuckle…but that’s ok…in my world, those things have meant the world for many reasons that I care not to go into here just yet.
Am I where I thought I would be at 40? Not by a long shot. The curves and detours of life have taken me to far different places than I thought I would have traveled on my journey. As I reflect on the past 40 years, I hope that in going forward I will have another 40 filled with good better health, a happy & healthy child, a good job (fyi, I’m looking—my position has been eliminated at my current place of employment!), a safe & comfortable home, more time & energy to devote to enriching others’ lives in whatever way I can, being the best mom I can be, and bottom line, evolving into a better person than I am today.
Call me crazy, but why would any American want a guy to be sworn in with his hand on the Holy Bibleif that book means nothing to him? He might as well have his fingers crossed behind his back. I am 100% Christian, and if I was asked to swear in on the book that means the most to me, it would be the Holy Bible. The book that means the most to Keith Ellison is the Koran.
Before you argue that the Koran endorses "smiting the infidels", be sure you read the Old Testament where there were many religious wars in the name of Jehovah God. Just as most Christians denounce the method of religious war to settle our differences, I venture to say that most Muslims denounce Jihad for forcing the message of their faith.
Bottom line, I want to know that the Oath of Office our Representatives take today is taken with the utmost reverence. It is a sacred promise. If using the Koran for his swearing in means Keith Ellison will do his job to the utmost of his ability, so let it be.
Our man, Vince Young, was voted AP Offensive Rookie of the Year! Of course, we all knew he was whether he was voted it or not. In reading about it on TitansOnline, the quote that stuck out to me was not about his playing, but his character and ability to lift the team up:
"Besides the physical skills, it's the will and the strength inside, the 'it' factor that a quarterback either has or doesn't have. Obviously, he has it. The quickness in which he won the team over and the quickness in which he became the leader, the guy everybody looked up to, that was special. Vince Young has this great ability to lift others around him. To see him do it so quickly, that wasn't a surprise..." --Norm Chow, Offensive Coordinator, Tennessee Titans
To the person who evidently decided it was ok to go out and party on New Year's Eve while contageous...my immune system thanks you.
I have had a temperature since yesterday afternoon. It peaked last night at 101.4 and is currently hovering around 100. This all accompanied by the chills, aches, etc. I went to the doc today. I have strepand the flu. Just in time for the new year!
My friend who is up visiting from Miami and I rang in the new year at the Station Inn with the Grascals! I thought it would be the perfect "Nashville" style celebration for Kenny to see, and I was so right. If you are at all into acoustic music and harmonies, you've gotta check these guys out! They are all amazing musicians in their own right, but to put them together and let'em loose, well, you just gotta hear them for yourself! The other fantastic part of New Year's Eve is that we got to ring in the New Year with everybody's favorite Sista and her adorable Drama Queen and #2! I was just thrilled at the opportunity to hang out with the Smiffs for the evening, along with another dear friend who just moved here from New Jersey along with her hubby.
Here's the Sista and I...
Kenny & I... The Infamous Mr. Smiff!
More Grascals goodness...
Me & Georgette
This is when everything started getting blurry...I could've sworn I saw a beer bellied baby in a diaper and with a cigar in his mouth... And finally, my dear friend Mersaidee Soules...we hooked up after midnight and hit Buffalo Billiards down on 2nd Avenue for one final "Last Dance"! Happy 2007 everybody!!!