The National Anthem

A Constrained Vision has a post on the National Anthem Project, attempting to teach people the words to our national anthem. Supposedly 61% of American adults don’t know the words. So I thought I would see if I did.

Here is my attempt:

Oh say can you see
by the dawn’s early light
what so proudly we hailed
at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars
through the perilous night
o’er the ramparts we watched
were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets red glare,
the bombs bursting in air,
gave proof through the night
that our flag was still there.
Oh say does that star-spangled banner
yet wave
o’er the land of the free
and the home of the brave?

For all the words, of all four verses, go here.

I didn’t remember that there were four verses. But if you would like to read the stories behind them, go to Isaac Asimov’s discussion of it.

Being incredibly patriotic, it made me cry. In fact, there are still tears dripping off my chin. (Pause for wiping those away…. Got the ones on my cheeks, too.)

I like the fourth verse, especially in view of where we are as a nation today.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n – rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
And this be our motto–“In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The Premier: The Beginning

We arrived and easily found parking. Thank goodness! The parking in the lots nearby had gone from $3 to $15 or $20 for the evening. Ouch. Ours, however, ended up being free because we were there for the premier and because we were so early.

We had about an hour standing around greeting people… I got to meet R’s roommate at the shoot, who was the winner of BotB2. He had his wife with him. One of the younger guys had his wife with him, too. The rest of the photographers were either single or stag for the evening.

It was chilly and I didn’t want to wear my rust jacket, because it didn’t match, so I should have been freezing. But I decided I wasn’t going to be that cold and mostly I wasn’t.

I felt a little out of place being there. Laura, one of the other wives, said she had seen the show already and was looking forward to the premier, when I asked her, but there wasn’t a lot of conversation.

After standing around for what seemed like an hour, we got in a car to go to the limo. Then we sat in the limo for half an hour. During that time we met one of the models. She was very personable. She told me she liked my dress. Then she and her boyfriend went into a restaurant to get a drink. After a while two of the judges and their dates got into the limo. They were a lot more chatty. They talked to each other and the group at large. I liked that. I felt less like I didn’t know what I was doing there. Eventually two other women, who were there for the casting call, got in.

I had already met one of them at the MUAs. She said my make-up looked nice. I told her I liked it and said that she looked wonderful. She, however, thought I said I didn’t like my make-up. R thought that is what I said too, so I must be either slurring my words or talking too fast again. I don’t know which, but I have been making more effort to be clear since then.

There was some conversation in the limo that was a little more fun… hands, cheeks, lifts (getting in problems and solutions) and an inspection of one woman’s hands and feet to see if she would make a good parts model. This was Deanna, in case she is in BotB3. The two photographers, one judge and his date, said that she would make a good hand parts model and that she should market herself as both face/body and hands. They said the combination was unusual enough that she would save a photographer work in having to photoshop someone else’s hands into the picture and she would get lots of work.

I tried to talk to the women for the casting call and the wife of a photographer, but they weren’t interested in having normal conversations. Or maybe I don’t know what makes a normal conversation. They would answer my questions, listen for a second, and then turn away. Apparently the closest thing to non-photography conversation that was appropriate was “Where are you from?”

But then the camera guy got in and he started interviewing folks. The judges talked. They asked R a question or two. He answered them. I thought he was going to be a little more negative than he should be, since it wasn’t a great experience for him, but he handled it pretty well.

I was uncomfortable, wondering what he was going to say, but he said he had a lot of fun and enjoyed the idea of being on TV more.

Eventually the limo was full and the driver drove us around to get back to the club. The limo was a hummer limo, with a huge step up or down. When we arrived at the club, we exited to a camera. R stood in front of me so if my dress flew up or I looked especially ungainly, it wouldn’t be filmed.

The first two couples out of the limo were the judges and their dates. That kept the camera folks busy. Then they interviewed R, asking him for any last minute confessions. He told them he hadn’t done anything he was ashamed of and so he was good. I didn’t try to get in the picture and so I wasn’t. That’s probably just as well.

I hope they don’t put footage of me then in. I wasn’t standing up straight so I’m sure my belly was pooching! What a thing to worry about, though.

Related entries, in time order:
The Premier
Getting There
The Hotel
Preparations and Excursions

The Premier: Preparations and Excursions

We flew to Atlanta a day earlier than the premier. We brought our clothes we were intending to wear for the premier, of course. Since it was supposed to be 40s-60s, I brought R a sweater. (His jacket has seen better days.) However, he decided he needed a new jacket, rather than just wearing the sweater.

Then I decided I needed a new kind of earrings. So we went looking all over town for those.

While we were looking we found a new store- new to us, anyway. It was called “Basement.” It had women’s and men’s clothes, jewelry, and shoes, for less than you would pay at a department store or in the mall. While we were there, we found R a jacket, brown suede. He’d originally been wanting a black leather jacket, but didn’t find a style he liked.

I enjoyed spending the day with R and I enjoyed the shopping.

We ate supper at Emeril’s. That was fun. I had the spinach with andouille salad, buffalo loin, and almond chocolate pound cake. It was excellent. R had some other salad, salmon with mushrooms and crabs which he loved, and he shared the pound cake with me. Emeril’s is definitely a sit down and stay awhile restaurant. It’s not a quick in or quick out.

Saturday morning we got up early and went to the High Museum of Art. That was more fun than it looked like it would be from their website. If we hadn’t already had tickets, I would have skipped it. But they had some fascinating pieces. We saw some beautiful late 19th early 20th century statues and glass. They also had a few really beautiful pieces of religious art from Europe 1400-1800. R liked the building especially. I thought it had lots of space for very few exhibits and was a bit too maze-like. But it was still fun.

We still hadn’t found earrings, so we drove around some more. We found a mall that is similar in concept to the Woodlands’ Town Center, a mall built in multiple buildings with a center park and small roads with lots of pedestrian traffic. We ate at California Pizza Kitchen there. That was good. Thankfully we finished what we were doing in less than two hours because parking is free for two hours or less, but you have to pay after that.

Then we drove around looking for the club the premier was going to be at. Found it, found parking. The parking lot was full of camera trucks and all sorts of fancy things like “Gypsy Grips.” R got paranoid, thinking he needed a nicer outfit. But we didn’t go looking for one. It turned out that it wasn’t for us, anyway, so it’s a good thing he didn’t go get a jacket. He’d have been over dressed.

R took a nap from 3-4:30. I looked through the news on the internet, to have stuff to talk about at the party.

After our nap, we went to get my make-up done. I was so glad to be able to do that. A make-up artist worked all day long on women’s make-up for the premier. She stayed busy and she was there. Since MUAs often don’t show up, that’s a huge positive. It was a hundred bucks, but it was worth it. I looked very different. I don’t know that I particularly liked the colors (She went for more orange in the face than I would have.), but I looked good.

We found out while with the MUA that there was going to be a casting call that night as well. So we met three of the women who were trying out to be models for the next show. That was nice. I felt like there were friendly faces at the party. And, of course, having a casting call meant that there were A LOT of really good looking women there, which was great for Mav TV.

Then we went back to the hotel, changed into our clothes and went to the club. It was cold. 38 and windy. And I was in a backless dress with no sleeves. But I looked good. 😉

Related entries, in time order:
The Premier
Getting There
The Hotel

The Premier: The Hotel

In Atlanta we stayed at the Renaissance Downtown, a Marriott Hotel. The bed was easily the most comfortable either one of us had ever slept in. I’d like one for our house. They don’t seem to have a problem with sagging in the middle, which ours at home do, and they are both firm and soft at the same time.

I meant to look and find out what kind they were, but I didn’t. I guess I could call and ask.

There wasn’t parking available, which meant you had to use a valet. The good thing was you didn’t have to walk anywhere but out of the hotel. The valets were always quick.

Breakfast was included, though we only ate that one day. They had waffles grilled while you watched and omelets to order. There were also muffins, fresh fruit, grits, oatmeal, and cold cereal. It was way more stuff than I needed to eat. And they brought a thin, round glass, about the height of a finger but twice as big around, to the table. It had peach ice cream or sorbet in it. Very good, though I thought it was a bit odd for a breakfast item. Maybe it was supposed to be a palette cleanser. I drank it for dessert.

We were up on the 20th floor and the view of downtown Atlanta was amazing. Neither the street noises nor the neighbors bothered me. I think that was because I was so tired when I went to sleep that I slept like a rock. I did hear the police, ambulance, and fire trucks when I was awake.

We missed the bell hops. They were available in the morning and late at night, but not in the middle of the day when we checked in. But that was okay. We were only there for a weekend, not to live.

Related entries, in time order:
The Premier
Getting There

One Year Ago

the government allowed, which unfortunately means we as a people contributed to, a murder. A murder of an American. A murder of a woman. A murder of a disabled person. A murder of a domestic violence victim.

If you need to be convinced or reminded, go here and read.

Thanks to Euphoric Reality for pointing it out.

(I’d apologize for all the grammar errors, but I think I fixed them before anyone but me read the entry.)

The Premier: Getting There

Our flight was easy to catch, even though we’d been running behind. We didn’t have any trouble at all.

It was a smooth flight and very enjoyable. They served lunch, which was a surprise. I enjoyed the turkey sandwich. I asked for iced tea, enjoying the idea that it was offered. But I forgot we were on our way to Georgia and the iced tea was sweetened. I prefer unsweetened iced tea. If I’m going to have sugar, I want a Dr. Pepper, which wasn’t available all the time in Georgia and wasn’t available at all on the flight.

We got our luggage easily. It was on the carousel when we arrived across the airport on the rail, which was fast and very accessible.

We had rented a car and the rental car place sent a van to pick us up. We drove away from the airport. The service at the Airport Rental Car place was great. They washed the car and vacuumed it out. It was a new Sebring Touring from Chrysler, white with pen stripes and a black top. The guy running the place got us a map to our hotel, gave us clear directions to get back, and watched us when we took off. He called and told us we had missed our turn and how to get back to it after we left. That’s service!

Related entries, in time order:
The Premier

The Premier

What premier? The premier of the TV series Best of the Best 2 on Mav TV, not yet available in Houston or Atlanta.

In May of 2005 ten models and ten photographers went to Cancun for what we thought was a workshop with filming and a contest included. Silly us. Look at the title.

Really it was a contest, with filming as a reality TV show, and some workshop thrown in.

It was four days of hard work, hot sun, and stress. R was a new photographer at the time, been at it about half a year. Some of the other photographers have been doing it for 20.

And the premier for the TV show, even though the first two episodes have already been airing wherever Mav TV is available, was yesterday in Atlanta, Georgia.

Since R came home in a funk and was down on himself for a month after returning from Cancun, I wasn’t really looking forward to going. But he wanted to go and so we did.

I’ll tell you that it is a guy’s dream, gorgeous women on the beach wearing bikinis or less. It’s perfect for Mav TV.

In Memorial…

for a woman who didn’t have to die, for a woman who was starved to death by her husband with the government’s approval, for a woman who may have been beaten to get in the shape she was in (according to one expert doctor whose word has turned around a different case).

March 31, 2005 Terri Schiavo died after 13 days of no food or water. The government forced her starvation while her parents watched and her husband hung out with his girlfriend and their child.

Here is her foundation.

A Terri Schiavo blogburst has been launched on this the anniversary of her torture and death. Found via Michelle Malkin

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

In this case, we did not do nothing, but what we did was not enough. I am appalled that such a thing could happen in the US. Apparently we do torture people, just not in Guantanamo Bay. And Bush had nothing to do with it. The court in Florida agreed with the estranged husband, how could he be anything less with a new girlfriend and a baby? and killed his wife.

God, don’t forgive them. Call them to account for the death on their hands. Let your vengeance be clear to the nations.

Simple Life, Simple Language

According to The Scotsman, there is a group of people in Brazil who have no colors in their language, no numbers, no creation story. They’re a very laid back group of people.

…Professor Dan Everett, of Manchester University, is claiming the language was shaped by the Pirahas’ lifestyle, rather than a “universal grammar” that all humans were said to possess in a long-accepted theory developed by the renowned United States academic Noam Chomsky.

I particularly like that because 1. universal grammar presupposes evolution and 2. Noam Chomsky may be an incredible linguist but he’s a wacko American-hating while living in America politician.

Scient*l*gy

It wasn’t enough that the chef quit. You know, the one who lambasted Mormons, Jews, Christians, and God, but said he quit because South Park was negative to religion.

Now Tom Cruise has blackmailed the owners of South Park and gotten the show censored. The scheduled re-run of one of the South Park episodes has been stopped. The first ever censoring of South Park. Now we know where freedom of satire ends. It ends with movie stars who don’t want THEIR religion satirized. It’s okay for them to satirize ours. But don’t satirize theirs.

Don’t know which South Park has been censored? You can see it here.

But don’t, because Tom baby doesn’t want you to. You don’t want to see him jump on the couch again, do you?

Spam Comments

Come on, someone. Leave me a non-spam comment!

When I got on my blog on Monday, after having been away for three days, I had 104 comments. All of them spam. I’ve been getting 10-30 a day since then.

Update: Overnight I got 43 additional spam comments. Now I know why folks have those funny letters they want put in.

Bored

Since I am rearranging the house, I thought I would go ultrafeminine on my blog and put up the “pink” version that my husband made for me. But it is no longer available. I guess when the guy hacked our sites ages ago he took it down?

I wonder if R will revamp it for me.

Interesting Article

A View From the Eye of the Storm is a thoughtful speech, given two years ago, but just posted, about conflicts in the Middle East.

First, it’s not all about Israel. And then he gives reams of examples of how we can know that it is not all about Israel.

Then he discusses the size, huge, and the number of people, about 300 million, and the GDP, half that of California. Do you see a problem? I do. But I didn’t even realize that was true until I read the article.

Finally he discusses the four pillars of the undeclared World War.

It is an interesting read. Very informative.

I found it via Irish Pennants.

How to Make Your Wife Happy

is the title of an article in Live Science. It quotes a study of 5,000 couples.

How does a husband make his wife happy?
#1- emotional commitment
Also, those who bring home 68% or more of the money, make their wives happiest.
And women like sharing housework, even if they do most of it. — Fairness, the article said.

Change is Bad

or so my sons tell me. I moved three bookshelves out of the dining room and into the living room. (There are still 3 more bookshelves in the dining room.) I moved both couches and the chair in the living room around. And I moved the coffee table.

I did all of that yesterday. Both of my boys were appalled.

My youngest, M, never likes change. He cries when we throw out broken things. (Not all the time, but often enough that I’ve noted it.)

My eldest, E, though, he doesn’t normally fuss about stuff like that. But this time… He fussed. Today he came down and said, “So what have you moved today for no reason but sheer randomness?”

I told him I didn’t move anything for sheer randomness and that I actually like my living room better now. He was not impressed.

The Weekend

This last weekend seemed busy, but I don’t know why.

Friday night we went to return the pink purse I got that was the wrong color. Then we went to a friend’s birthday party. That was exciting. But we left after an hour because R was tired.

Saturday morning R had a shoot. I took the boys to play games. At 2 I picked up M. At 4 I went to check on E, but he wasn’t ready to come home yet. At 5 I went to a dance class- how to strip for your hubby. It was fun, but lots of work. At 7 the class was over and R and the other husbands came to the bar. We stayed and visited an hour and a half. Then we went and picked up E, went home, and I went to bed. It was early, but I was tired.

Sunday was church. I wore my new shoes. Then we went to lunch at Chili’s with friends. I don’t remember much about the rest of the day.

Monday I woke up nauseous and R woke up with a bad back. That wasn’t fun.

R’s back was still bad Tuesday, but I was better. At noon I left the house and went to look for dining room furniture. (Our table and two of the chairs are broken.) I found some good furniture at one store. But then my folks called and suggested they have the table and chairs fixed. Much cheaper for us than new. So we’ll probably do that.

I went to a furniture store around here and asked if they could move our couch upstairs. They said it would probably be next week before they were out on deliveries. I hope they do come by, though. Otherwise, I don’t know how we will get the couch upstairs. I may go back by and see if I can pre-pay and get a specific date from them.

I moved three of the bookshelves that have been in the dining room to the living room. I moved all the furniture in the living room around. I like it much better this way. But let me tell you that three bookshelves worth of books take a lot of moving. Really I moved four, because I had a small one in there that I cleaned out and moved out of the way.

I like the way the living room looks. And I like the extra space in the dining room too. One wall that was covered in bookshelves is now empty. That leaves two walls still covered and one wall that is mostly just a double door. (There is a bit on both sides. I hung a clock on one side and the small bookshelf is temporarily on the other side. But it’s about an inch too wide, so it is sticking out.)

M said he’d like the small bookshelf in his room. So we may take it upstairs later today.

I’m supposed to be getting a lesson in how to put on makeup today. I hope that goes well. But it is noon now, adn she’s not here. She didn’t show on Friday either. I guess it is a good thing we arranged for a makeup artist for the premier. I hope she’s good.

Tomorrow R has a shoot with my niece, nephew, and sister. I hope he gets some good pictures out of that.