Sunday, July 26, 2009

THAT'S where I get it from!

Awhile back, I blogged about unconventional style, tastes etc. I began to wonder where I get this odd streak of thinking. How many other people would like a small fridge in the living room? Am I the only one? What about cat walkways built near the ceiling of the house? What about that? What about making sleep wear our only wear? These are the things I wonder about sometimes. Strange, I know. But I wonder, am I the only one to think of stuff like this?

Then it hit me...I come from a long line of rebels in my family. The ones I remember most vividly of course, is my grandfather. Had he been in different circumstances, he had a power name for a great corporate executive. Instead, he was a no-nonsense, hard worker with a wicked sense of humor.

Example: My grandmother was lamenting over which color of lipstick to use. When she asked my grandfather who was smoking his pipe and reading the paper for his preference, I heard him say, "Lipstick and Paint make you plenty of what you ain't." Fair enough. Little did he know he was preaching to the choir with me.

If I asked him why he did something that seemed unconventional he would stop and look at me and reply, "Because I can," No elaboration, just the facts, maam.

So, I thought back even further. My Great Aunt Viola was the same way. No mincing of the words, she said what she thought and that was that. I have a feeling Aunt Viola and I are on the same team. Her husband left her a widow when she was young. They did manage to have one child before my Great Uncle passed. One day, I asked her, "Why haven't you ever remarried?" with the rudeness of an innocent child who didn't know better yet.

Aunt Viola looked at me as if I were nuts. "God no! I did my duty! Who said I have to do it again?" I thought about it and agreed. Who said she had to remarry?

Then, when I was about 12 years old I think, a friend asked me to a family trip to Teneha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair, Texas. Yes, it really does exist. There is not much there and I did get introduced to no bathrooms in the cabin! Nor was there an outhouse. I'm sure Generation X and Y can't even imagine such a thing...but there ya go.

Another unusual site was a house that sat in either Teneha, Timpson Bobo or Blair, I'm not sure. Why was it unusual? My Great Great Uncle painted it in polka dots. Why? Who said he couldn't? The town thought he was off his flipping rocker, but he liked it. You know what? If he asked family, friends etc. over, he never had to give directions. His house was the only one with polka dots.

I guess he just had an odd way of thinking.
More Musings Later-

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Game of Life and the Importance of Words

This morning as I was waiting for my bagel to finish toasting, I began to have a free floating memory rush back to me. I do that sometimes...I don't have to be thinking about anything in particular (especially in the morning) and sometimes, I will be reminded of a memory from long ago. Today was no exception.

I began to think about my grandmother. Not my maternal grandmother who I absolutely adored, but my paternal grandmother. I didn't know her very well because of...well...there were alot of family dynamics going on and she wasn't that interested in my father or his family. As a result, we knew of her, I remember visiting her exactly 3 times during my childhood. She offered my sister and I a Coke and we were to drink one and be quiet. And, we did.

I have to admit, I didn't much like her. She rarely remembered my name and stared at me when my father's guilt outweighed the strength of his shoulders. We sat....drinking that one Coke...being quiet....listening to the grandfather clock tick away the minutes in her musty home. Why do I remember this? I don't know exactly. I guess because I was remembering a quote that popped into my head.

The third visit to my grandmother was not pleasant. She was dying and my father was attending to her along with his sisters. I sat in the living room alone listening to her illness and drinking my one Coke. Until I spotted a small white box by her easy chair. It was filled with quotes. For someone who seemed so angry, resentful and callous obviously read these jewels as she began each day. I discovered her secret.

Did I have different feelings about her in the end? No. she was distant either by design or determination. But it did convince me that this distant and angry woman struggled each day. And, her refuge was in a small white box. Yet, it was like watching someone being thrown a life preserver and they keep reaching and never grasp it even though it is floating right in front of them. You've known people like that, haven't you? So, I thought I would share some favorite quotes of mine in memory of the stranger known as my paternal grandmother.

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
-- Katharine Hepburn

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.
-- Dalai Lama

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.
-- Mary Tyler Moore

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.
-- Erica Jong

You never find yourself until you face the truth.
-- Pearl Bailey

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Henry Travers (Clarence): Remember George, No man is a failure who has friends.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Gregory Peck (Atticus Finch): If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.

Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.
-- George Carlin

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.
-- William Shakespeare

If you don't get lost, there's a chance you may never be found.
-- Author Unknown

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
-- e.e. cummings

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
-- Albert Einstein

All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with white carpet is one of them.
-- Erma Bombeck

Carpe Diem (Seize the day)
-- Horace

You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.
-- Booker T. Washington

Quotes from "A River Runs Through It" Norman MacLean
Long ago, when I was a young man, my father said to me, "Norman, you like to write stories." And I said "Yes, I do." Then he said, "Someday, when you're ready you might tell our family story. Only then will you understand what happened and why."

Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.

It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us.

More Musings Later-

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not so Fast...

Hmmmm, the Steve McNair case wrapped up pretty quickly didn't it?
What do we know about what happened? Here is what I picked up and I'm not a legal nor criminal expert in any shape form or fashion.

Apparently, Steve McNair and his wife had not been living in the same home for at least the last 3 or 4 months. TMZ has reported that Steve had a girlfriend (Kahzemi) with whom he had taken on vacation (see the parasailing photos on their website) and purchased gifts such as a Cadillac for her. He apparently met her at Dave and Busters where she waitressed at Oprymills.

Also, he opens a restaurant on Jefferson Street that serves comfort food where he takes on an active role as owner.

He also rented a condo from a good friend off of Lea avenue in downtown Nashville where they would meet and spend time together.

  • July 2nd, Kahzemi buys a gun in the Dave and Busters parking lot. She is depressed and thinks McNair is cheating on her. (I know).

  • Kahzemi and McNair are pulled over by the same cop that slapped McNair with a DUI a year or more ago. Kahzemi is booked and waits for bail from McNair. McNair is allowed to leave and take a cab home. (as co-owner of the vehicle, they should have both been booked).

  • According to police, McNair had been barhopping on 2nd avenue in the wee hours of Jul 4th. He reportedly went to his condo to sleep.

  • Police also stated that a mere hours later, he had taken 2 of his sons fishing at Percy Priest Lake. Did the sons not smell liquor on him? Could they not tell he was drunk? Nothing was out of the ordinary?

  • The friend who rents the condo to McNair stopped by to "check on some things" at the pad. He notices nothing out of the ordinary, he sees McNair seated on the couch and assumes he is sleeping. Meanwhile, his girlfriend is on the floor lying in a pool of blood.

  • He does what he needs to do at the condo and turns to leave and notices blood on the carpet. He now realizes that McNair isn't asleep. (DUH)

  • He immediately calls a friend - NOT 911. 45 minutes to an hour later, they call 911.

  • Then the police come in and begin investigating and people start milling around wondering what is going on.

  • the NPD question neighbors and no one heard a gunshot, shouting, screaming, etc. Nothing.

  • McNair is shot in the right temple, left temple and twice in the chest. Kahzemi has a reported self-inflicted gunshot wound to her right temple.

  • The case is ruled murder/suicide.
  • I don't believe he took his sons fishing. I think that is a feeble attempt at a "feel good" story about McNair. Besides, wouldn't the sons mention his drunkeness to their mother? I'm just saying...

  • Michelle McNair stated she hasn't heard from Steve in "days". She is currently living in their mansion in Green Hills. The sons (except for 1 I think) are underage. Wouldn't McNair need to call his kids or come by the house to get them? Wouldn't someone mention this to the Mom? I'm just sayin'.....

  • His "Gridiron 9" restaurant was opened just a couple of weeks ago to the public. She still hasn't heard from Steve in days? The kids didn't go to the opening? hmmmmm.

  • The friend that rented the condo comes by to check on things. Okay, then you discover that you're in the middle of a homicide setting. You call a friend? My personal opinion is you do if you need help cleaning up drug paraphenalia and other incriminating evidence. That should take about 45 minutes to an hour.

  • You're the best friend of Steve McNair. You call 911 after an hour's delay and you don't know the address of where you are, although you own the property?

  • McNair is shot in the left temple, then the right temple and twice in the chest. A twenty year old girl who is distraught is going to shoot her cheating boyfriend in that fashion? I don't think so. I could accept it if it were the shots in the chest OR a shot to the head. NOT execution style. Seems to me that this has the markings of a gang/mob murder.

  • Seems to me that McNair was worth more dead than alive. Who could stand to gain from this? His "BFF?" business partners of the restaurant? who knows? Me thinks the cops are taking a "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" approach. Whether the restaurant is legit or a front for something else, it's going to be a goldmine. The target audience is true blue.

  • Don't worry; the newscasters and the police have stated that we should remember the "good Steve McNair." And, people did just that.
Meanwhile, an impressionable, 20 year old girl got in over her head with a sports hero and was possibly caught in a crossfire. The embarrassment, shame and hurt his wife and family feel, the double life of a hyprocrite that has been discovered under the brightest of lights.
That is the legacy Steve McNair carries to the other side.

It's a damn shame.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Definition Between Black and White becomes Muddled in Gray

Another untimely death...this time, one of my all-time favorite athletes, Steve McNair.

Steve McNair - 36 years old

I spent countless Sundays yelling at the top of my lungs for McNair and the Titans. He was amazing to watch, somewhat like watching a great dancer leaping midair and land gracefully to the amazement of the crowd. That is what he reminded me of.

He also reminded me that he was a great philanthropist. He made a point of hosting benefits for children and our community in Nashville.

He was the "go-to" guy; whether he was dispensing advice for new players or running a play to win the game in the final seconds of the game...

He seemed perfect in every way. His wife is beautiful, he has 4 sons who all seem to be very athletic and will most likely follow in his footsteps.

And, he had a girlfriend. This isn't the first time, I'm sure. The news of his death has been difficult for Nashville's citizens because of the perfect persona they know on the field and off.

In the movies, the good guys always wear white. The difference between black and white isn't hard to distinguish, he was a good guy. However, I can see where those closest to him could see the difference between black and white becoming a muddled gray.

Rest in Peace, Steve, #9.

More Musings Later-

Thursday, July 02, 2009

P-Diddy and Rheumy-V

If you haven't picked up on it, I give nicknames to the ailments I have, hence "P-Diddy" which is short for Parkinson's Disease and "RV or Rheumy-V" for Rheumatoid Vasculitis.

Found out that in addition to the lovely Vasculitis, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis as well. I can hardly wait for the gnarling of my fingers to come! Just a little joke. And, believe me, after being on steroids for...I've lost count of how many days, I'm feeling punch drunk.

Without further adieu, some good ole' self-deprecating humor:
Contributed by Dianne Shaw, 2006

Vasculitis Humor

"It's time to take Prednisone AGAIN?
You know you have vasculitis when:

* Any conversation can suddenly turn into a round of "Charades".

* A "good hair day" is when you realize you have some left.

* You tell your kid to "clean up the floor" and they just get the broom out and start sweeping.

* You make a grocery list so you won't forget anything, and then forget where you put the list. * (On a REALLY bad day you also forget where the grocery store is!)

* You bathe the lawn, fertilize the dog, and brush the kids.

* You use the smoke detector to tell you when dinner is done.

* You try to type and discover that you've invented a whole new language.

* You keep sunscreen by every door.

* Getting some fresh air means sitting near an open shady window.

* You have a temperature and moisture-controlled room for keeping your large quantity of meds.

* You're the only one who believes you're THAT sick.

* You sit in the car for three hours wondering what you needed to do, not even sure where you are.

* Someone asks you what vasculitis is and you've forgotten.

* It takes so long to get one project done, because in the meantime you've been distracted by at least a million other things.

* You put the ice cream in the cupboard (and then wonder why somebody else did something THAT stupid).

* You know every doctor, nurse, within 50 miles of your home - AND you've financed most of their vacations.

* The pharmacist sees you coming down the aisle and doesn't even have to ask your name.

* You decide to buy stock in pharmaceutical companies (because you buy their products so much they ought to make lots of money) but you can't afford to invest (for the same reason).

Take my constricted blood vessels please! (Bah-dump-bump)


Parkinson Disease Humor

is that dyskinesia or are you just glad to see me?" ....."I think she likes me; she's been staring at me all evening!" ......"we take drugs pretty seriously at our house".. ....."hey, looks like somebody got their prescription filled recently!" ........and I said to her, "As long as you're feeling dyskinetic, how 'bout getting started on that butter-churning"? I asked him, "Why don't we go to your place and you can show me all those child-proof containers you're always talking about?"


Favorite T-Shirts about PD:

"I have Parkinson's not cooties"

"Levadopa, Breakfast of Champions"

Favorite Rheumatoid Arthritis T-Shirts:

"My immune system attacks itself, what does yours do?"

Ya gotta laugh, right? Time for more steroids.

More Musings Later-