This morning my phone rang and I answered it. A teary voice on the other end said, “Chris died.”

I said, “What?!”

“Chris died this morning.”

I am thinking, okay, he has diabetes. He’s a big guy, maybe it was a heart attack. I am trying to pull the corded phone over to where I can pick up the cell and call R who had just left the house a few minutes before and tell him to come home.

But I can’t believe what the voice on the other end is saying.

“My brother Chris?”

And the voice says, “Oh my goodness. This is Angie. No, my friend Chris.”

And I collapse in a chair with my heart beating at twice its normal rate and have trouble steadying my breathing. My eyes are full of tears and I can’t see.

This is what his family is feeling this morning.

God, please bless Cynthia and Cheyenne. Give them comfort as only you will be able to.

And I had to call R to settle down. I was still hyperventilating when I got off the phone with him.

Being Thankful K & L

K: Kids, kindness, kisses, knowledge, kilts, knights, Kingwood, and, especially when I was little, my aunt Kay.

L: Love and laughter. Long loving looks. Larea. Life. Learning. Lakes, especially in the winter with the mist coming off of them and the summer, when toes can be dipped in them to cool off.

Being thankful in the month of Thanks-giving

Nov. 5: E
My son E

Eyes, especially ones that work well. Ears. Epiphanies, energy, and everything I have.

November 6: F
Family, fun, friends.

Forests, furniture, faith, family, freedom, food.

November 7: G
God, grace, grandparents (gramas and gramps), Grace (my niece), gadgets for my husband to play with, giraffes for fun, and grapes to eat.

November 8: H
My birth family, H’s. home, health, happiness

heavens, hamburgers, honor, honesty, my hot husband

November 9: I
icicles, irises, Indian jewelry inherited from my Grama Helen, inheritance of good genes, infants, ink (being a bibliophile), industry, information…

Ideas, insights, internet, intelligence

November 10: J

I am also very thankful for my incredibly loving and giving sister Jeanna whose time with my parents has allowed them both to remain in their home far longer than they would have been able to do without her.

20 Years Ago Today

The Berlin Wall fell.

It seems to me like a lifetime ago, but I know to those in Europe, particularly in Germany, it seems far more recent.

I Disagree

I read Clayton Cramer on a regular basis and I absolutely agree with him on many things, including his discussions of mental illness.

But he went beyond what I can agree with in this post when he said there was little that clearly showed that people were committed for no reason. There weren’t very many who proved that, so it must not be true.

Er, no.

Most cases don’t make it to the courts. If your family puts you in a mental hospital, who will help you get out?

Elizabeth Packard was committed by her husband. Her children helped her get out.

Nelly Bly was committed because she acted unusually. Her editor got her out.

My colleague’s uncle was sent to an asylum because he had grand mal seizures and people still thought that meant demon possession. He never got out. The treatment he received in the asylum made him lose his mind. He was put in to the State Hospital in the 30s. He was still there in the 80s. I assume he’s dead by now, but if not, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is still there.

That’s only anecdotal, but that’s three that I know of who were sent to the mad house who did not belong there.

Conservatism is Stupid?

American.com asks and answers the question, Are liberals smarter than Conservatives?

A conservative is defined (in the study discussed) as:

The Conservative syndrome describes a person who attaches particular importance to the respect of tradition, humility, devoutness and moderation; as well as to obedience, self-discipline and politeness, social order, family, and national security; and has a sense of belonging to and a pride in a group with which he or she identifies. A Conservative person also subscribes to conventional religious beliefs and accepts the mystical, including paranormal, experiences.

Okay. I’m a conservative.

The discussion says things that include:

As long as smarter people are more likely to be skeptical of tradition, then full-blown rejection of tradition will almost inevitably be correlated with higher IQ, even if a majority of smart people still favor traditionalism.

To reiterate, people who subscribe to non-traditional ideas probably have above-average intellects, but that does not mean other smart people will like those ideas. This is a point often lost on liberals who work in universities or in the news media. They observe, usually correctly, that friends and acquaintances in their social circle are smarter than the average (and likely more conservative) people they encounter on the street. But too many elites see this correlation between smartness and liberalism as somehow a validation of their political views. They seem unaware that the wider world features plenty of intelligent people who are not professors or movie critics or government bureaucrats. Even among the nation’s smartest people, liberal elites could easily be in the minority politically, but different social circles keep them insulated from finding that out.

5th day of Thanksgiving

Eyes. I’ve always liked the color of mine and enjoyed my excellent vision. But when I lost some of my vision two years ago, I came to realize just how important eyes are. So I am most grateful for my eyesight.

Thank you, God, that I can still see.

Bathtubs v. Guns

A great story on Clayton Cramer’s blog about liability issues, guns, and bathtubs in a law school class.

I like what the student said and did. The results are fascinating.

And I really like Clayton Cramer’s response. “[T]here need to be mandatory bathtub safety classes before parents are allowed to rent or buy a place with one of those porcelain dealers of death.”

November Blessings

uncle-sam-thanksgiving-dinnerThe Common Room recommended keeping a “thanks” list in November. Each day give a new letter of the alphabet. I’m a tad behind, but I can certainly list twenty-six things for which I am thankful.

A Animals. I’m grateful for my dog Serenity who is sitting beside me all curled up showing how much she loves me by being content to be beside me. I thank God for animals, especially this special beagle.

B Books. This is me after all. I am totally, absolutely, one hundred percent grateful for books. Thank you, God, for pens and paper, printing presses, ideas, bindings, and publishing houses. Thank you for bookstores and libraries and friends with good book collections. Thank you for everything that involves books.

C Children. I am also totally, one hundred percent, absolutely grateful for children. I am grateful for my two wonderful boys who are almost grown. They are my pride and my joy. I am grateful for my sister’s children, because they are still children and are a lot of fun to be around. And I am grateful for my friends’ children, especially as they grow up and become my friends. I am also just thankful that the Lord sent into our care and stewardship these fragile beings who adore us and who need us. Thank you, God.

D Dinosaurs and dragons. I’m thankful for the creativity of a God who made amazing creatures. I’m grateful for the stories about dinosaurs and dragons (perhaps the same stories) throughout history. And I am thankful that my boys loved both those sets of animals. I am also thankful that I got to teach Dinosaurs and Dragons to a bunch of homeschoolers. It was so much fun.

I want to keep going, but it is time to stop for the day. I’m going to have to think of E next. Elephants? Eggplant? (Yuck, not for me, but for Angie.) Ears? Ethiopia? Eternity? What will I say I am thankful for tomorrow? You will just have to check in and see.

The picture is from Son of the South’s Civil War site.

Ultrasound and Abortion

from Fox News comes this:

The former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in southeast Texas says she had a “change of heart” after watching an abortion last month — and she quit her job and joined a pro-life group in praying outside the facility.

Get Religion has a discussion of local coverage and the dearth of coverage.

When is rape not rape?

When the rapist is your friend, I guess. But it’s still rape.

I don’t want to listen to this video of Whoopi Goldberg. I just want to put it somewhere I can find it.

Polanski pleaded guilty to sex with a minor. The charges were less than rape. But Polanski raped the girl. PERIOD.

Yes, I know WG may have been trying to avoid being sued for libel. In that case she should have been clear that she was saying he didn’t plead guilty to rape, not what she said.

And on to other idiots:

October 30, 2009
 Gore Vidal: Thirteen-year-old Roman Polanski rape victim was a ‘hooker’

Author Gore Vidal says he refuses to feel any sympathy for Roman Polanski’s rape victim, whom he dubs a “hooker.”
In an interview with The Atlantic, the controversial 83-year-old author of such books as “Myra Breckinridge” and “1876” says of the director’s sex scandal, “I really don’t give a [expletive]. Look am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s being taken advantage of?”
The young woman to whom he is referring is Samantha Geimer, who was a 13-year-old aspiring model in 1977 when she was drugged and raped by Polanski.

Vidal went on to say that the media pushed an inaccurate image of Geimer, painting her as an innocent victim as opposed to what he believes to be her true identity.


I wrote a piece for a journal. It was intended to be a rah-rah personal memoir. That’s what the journal seemed to me to be looking for.

I have rewritten it three times and it is still not what they want and I am not sure that I can fix it either. To some extent I don’t even know what he wants. In others the language seems foreign… in the rewriting he wants I feel as if I am being pushed aside, just as I sometimes am as an adjunct.

First choice of courses goes to full-time professors. Only those which are orphaned become available to the adjunct faculty.

The work is important but the equivalent of working on a factory assembly line. There is little intellectual stimulation involved.

Been Busy

I’ve been very busy. In the last eight weeks I wrote eight papers. One has for sure been turned down. Three were accepted for conferences and I gave those.

One of the poems I sent out is going to be published in Taj Mahal Review in December. That’s cool.

I don’t have any papers that I HAVE to send out until December 1. So I’m sitting around on my duff without enough to do. Hee hee.

Went from being overwhelmed by one thing a day besides teaching the boys to wanting to be busy all the time.