Baby you can drive my car … Beep beep’m beep beep yeah

In the continuing saga of her, so far, failed attempts to obtain a Kentucky driver’s license, we now find the hapless yet hopeful Hollee standing at the counter of the local department of motor vehicles (DMV) with the required certified copy of her birth certificate from California that took what seemed to be two decades to obtain (because they spelled her mother’s name wrong on the hospital’s birth record), and her marriage license to Jeff Jones.
The kind and overworked woman across the counter looks up at Hollee, who, lo and whoop-dee-doo, was the first person in line (hope abounds!), receives said documentation of Hollee’s existence, and then says to her, “Do you have your new Social Security card with your married name on it?”
To which Hollee, with shoulders drooping, replies that the previous kind and overworked DMV personnel did not tell her three months ago that she needed to do that first.
“Well, you do. Here is the address.”
Trying not to tear up, Hollee bemoans her fate. “But I waited three months just to get a copy of my birth certificate from the Land of Misfit Toys. It arrived in the mail yesterday, and now I find, to my dismay, that I must now drive to the other side of town and stand in a sweaty line, in order to get yet another form of documentation that indeed I do exist and have not crossed these hallowed borders illegally toting ill-gotten booty?”
“You betcha. Then you gotta wait 24 hours to come back here again so we can make sure you’re in the system.”
“I’ve been in the system for 54 years.”
“Not in Kentucky’s system! You’re a Californian. Is your California operator’s license still good?”
“Alas, I was only born there. I moved here from Ohio, about 85 miles north of here, but y’all (notice the use of the vernacular in the fair Hollee’s attempt to soften the hard heart of the DMV employee) won’t accept that license as proof of my fidelity to these here United States and my ability to drive a car.”
The dejected Hollee crawls back to her car, for which she has an Ohio license to drive, calls her husband, and tells him she is going to mail in her name change request to Social Security.
The she gets a wild hair (you finish that sentence) and decides to go ahead and drive across town to the Social Security Administration Offices and give it a whirl.
She is told to take a number after registering on a computer screen. She is #194.They are now serving #174. She sits and waits for an hour in a room full of overdressed (it’s 54 degrees outside and 9 million degrees inside) and stressed, sweaty people with desperation plainly showing in their eyes.
They are now on serving #180.
Hollee rises gracefully from her seat (not really, but isn’t it pretty to think so?), hands her ticket to the Social Security security guard (yes, spell check tried to delete the double word), and says, “I give up.”
As she was leaving, an elderly couple was entering. But she heard them exclaim ‘ere she drove out of sight:  “Lord have mercy! We’ll be here all night!”

Drive My Car

Published in: on January 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

The First Birthday After

Today is my 54th birthday.

This is my first birthday without my father.
Dad passed away September 19 after a long struggle with esophageal cancer and its assorted complications.
I am enormously thankful that my mother is still alive, as it has been so very difficult facing each day knowing my dad is not a phone call or a few steps away. Since 2008, I had the honor of living with my folks and assisting them in any way that I could.
Dad and I became very close during that time. It had not always been so. For most of my life, I butted heads with him over nearly every decision I made or thought that I had.
We were very much alike, you see. However, in many ways, we were very different. This, of course, led to some misunderstandings, or more aptly, standoffs akin to “High Noon.”
I really started loving my dad about 12 years ago. I mean, really knowing that I loved him, not in that way that a child seems obligated to love a parent, but—to borrow a phrase I often heard at church—in a “know that you know that you know” way.
The reasons are complicated and are better written about when I am able to step back a bit more and observe them, but there it is.
In the meantime, I am at a loss this birthday. Christmas likewise will be difficult. I have trouble dealing with my grief on many days.
Today is one of them.


Published in: on December 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sometimes it is the Simplest Things in Life that Confuse Me.

Besides my study of “apologetics” which I have described in a previous status update on my Facebook page, I have also made a life study of “fixation.”
I am of the opinion that I can fix anything—whether that is a person, the heel of a shoe, a vacuum cleaner, a washing machine, a lamp, a lawn mower, a gewgaw, or, in today’s case, an outdoor decorative fountain.
(Now let me just add in this parenthetical aside that I began the previous sentence with the words: “I am of the opinion …” Please keep that in mind. My opinions are not always correct—I am so sorry to have to cause you this dismay.)
At 9-ish a.m., I donned my slogger shoes and went out front to do the daily watering and refilling of the decorative fountain and the bird fountain, which both have amazing evaporative powers.
The decorative water fountain, which looks like a big pile of grey rocks over which water spills into a wide pool of water in the shape of a rock garden (we used to have a Koi pond out front, but in a twist of fate they all died at my hand, but that is another sordid story), was not running quite as lyrically as I felt it should. You see, it sits under the river birch trees, or beech trees, I don’t know which they are—the white kind with the peeling bark—and they are shedding leaves like it’s October in Vermont since the weather is so hot and dry. Therefore, the fountain gets clogged.
I proceeded to clean out all the floating leaves, refill the pond and then … nothing. No trickling. I checked that I had not unplugged it, made sure the timer was set right, checked the pump for obstructions again and then … nothing. I took it all apart, ran water through the hose from the pump to the top part of the fountain to clear any unseen obstruction and then … nothing.
At this point, I figured I was going to have to buy a new pump. I finished the watering; checking every so often to see if the fool fountain had started working and …wait for it … nothing.
Then it occurred to me to try something so simple, it was embarrassing.
 I moved the pump’s plug from one of the six outlets on the pole, to another one, and then … Houston, we have trickle!
My eldest daughter Sarah can attest that I have passed most of my genetic anomalies onto her. We fix and build things. However, we either MacGyver them with duct tape, a paper clip, and a sweat sock, or put them together backwards before putting them together properly or asking someone else to do it. Mostly this is stubbornness, and because the only one of my children who can read Japanese instructions is Samantha.
I share this with you, dear friends and acquaintances alike, because as Jane Austen wrote in Pride and Prejudice:
For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?
A photo of the house with the fountain – taken last October.
Published in: on June 28, 2012 at 10:16 am  Comments (1)  

For Daniel Silveria’s Family and Friends – His Stories

I “met” Daniel Silveria in 2004 when we were both bloggers on When we first met, I did not know that he was wheelchair-bound—he never referred to it in any of his wildly humorous posts.

It was not until he and I collaborated on a series of children’s stories that I learned he had Spinal Muscular Atrophy. In later years, Daniel would write about this in his blog post called Justifying My Existence.
Daniel was a gifted writer, a brilliant thinker, and one of my dearest friends – even though we never met face-to-face. He never complained about his life to my family or me—he encouraged us, kept us laughing, and sometimes made us cry, all though the gift of his words.
Daniel went to be with the Lord on December 10. Today, Friday, December 16, is his funeral in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Since I can’t be there to celebrate the life of this gifted young man, I want to share with all of you two of the stories he wrote. They are excerpts from Introducing Paxton Grundle.

First, Daniel’s description of Paxton:

“My name is Paxton Grundle. I’m six and a half, and live in a big ole house on Cranberry Street. At least I think it’s big. Everything looks big to me cuz I’m jus’ little. But I’m tall for my height. I live with my mom and dad, my dog, Fur-Face, and my big, smelly, older sister, Kelly. I like Mom, Dad, and Fur-Face.”

Kiddie Table

By Daniel Silveria

So, it’s Thanksgivin’ again and, even though I’m a whole year older than I was last year—if I did my math right—they still had me sit at the kiddie table. They sure know how to make a guy feel small. I was forced to sit with Cousin Emo, Cousin Deborah Ann, and Diaper-load Davey. Besides them, there was a bunch of new kids I didn’t rectonize. They keep addin’ new faces to the mix every year, but nobody ever runs it by me. I don’t know where they all come from. Mom told me about an ostrich, or somethin, droppin’ babies off to their mommies and daddies. Maybe it was a carrier pigeon, I don’t member.
Cousin Emo is a year older than me, but about 100 years dumber. He likes to punch ya in the shoulder when you’re not s’pectin’ it; and he kicks at your legs under the table. For some reason, nobody sees it when he does it to me, but if I taliate and do the same thing to him, then I get yelled at and get no chocolate cream pie! Emo doesn’t do this to Diaper-load Davey. In fact, most us kids keep a safe distance from Davey. He’s a good enough guy, I guess, but he’s not a winner, ‘specilly by a nose.
Deborah Ann is the most annoyin’ girl on the face of the earth—and that’s a doobies distinction, cuz all girls are annoyin’. For one thing, she’s got two first names. Jus’ who does she think she is? Pick a name and stick with it, that’s what I did. But that’s not even the most annoyin’ thing about her; she insists on bein’ all touchy-feely—GROSS! Deborah Ann tries to kiss me every chance she gets! She looks like a big ole guppy fish comin’ at you with her lips puckered all the time. I’d probably get in trouble for punchin’ her, too. So, the whole time I’m sittin’ at the table, I’ve got the two-name Deborah Ann hangin’ onto one arm and Cousin Emo sockin’ me in the other one. I was outnumbered and hand-in-capped, cuz the grown-ups at the aptilly named Grown-up Table were completely ‘blivious!
My older sister, Smelly Kelly, has been allowed at the Grown-up Table for as long as I can ‘member, and she rubs my face in it. I’ll look over at her and she’ll be grinnin’ down at me like she’s Queen Turkey. Ha ha and ha! That’s cuz she is! Queen of all turkeys—a big ole stuffed bird!
Anyway, Smelly Kelly was sittin’ next to Uncle Ned, and that’s no treat when he’s scarfin’ down Gramma Edie’s baked beans. Even Kelly gets out-smellied in that contest. P U!
Bein’ that my arms were both ocktey-pied most of the time, my food was gettin’ cold. One time, Dad told me that cold turkey was probably the hardest thing he’d ever done. It really wasn’t that hard, though. The cold mashed tatters were much worse. So, I flung most of ‘em at Emo with my fork, cattapolt style—ha ha!! Hittin’ him at all was good enough; the fact that some really got stuck in his hair for the rest of the day was jus’ gravy on the pate.
I would have taken a shot at Deborah Ann, too, but she’s such a Clingon I couldn’t get my arm free. She told me she has a crush on me, and she said it in front of everybody. That girl has had more crushes on more people than the auto yard crusher machine has had on cars. There are strains of cooties named after her! Diaper-load Davey was the only one smart enough to keep his distance.

The Santa Plan

By Daniel Silveria

I was watchin’ Barbara Walters’s 10 Most Interestin’ People of the Year show and couldn’t believe that Santa Claus didn’t make the list! Is Barbara Walters wacko or somethin’? None of the guests she inner-viewed can travel ‘round the ‘tire world in one night. Maybe some of ‘em could slide down a chimney, but I serially doubt any of ‘em could push a button in their nose and fly back up the chimney. This guy is incredible! At least interestin’, I’d say.
I stayed up last year, tryin’ to see Santa. I know, I know, that’s a bad-boy thing to do, cuz he knows when you are sleepin’ and he knows when you’re awake, an’ he knows if you been bad or good and if you stole the cake! But he’s getting’ old, ya know, so I was thinkin’ I would test ‘em to see if he was still sharp. My Gramma is like a million years younger than him, and she tries to change the microwave with the TV remote. So I figured it was possible Santa was getting’ rusty too.
So I waited and waited for Mom and Dad to go to sleep, so that I could sneak out and watch for The Big Guy. But they kept comin’ into my room, checkin’ to see if I was still awake! That was getting’ very tirin’. I had to hold my eyes open with my fingers some of the time. I kept callin’ Fur-Face over to lick my face, so that I would be freshed up, but I could tell he was getting’ aggravated cuz he wanted to go to sleep himself.
Dogs aren’t much interested in Santa Claus, I guess. Make that Dogs and Barbara Walters.
Mom came in for the third time to check on me, and this time she said that Santa was prolly avoidin’ our house cuz I was still not sleepin’. She ‘spressed concern that we might not get any presents if I stayed awake much longer. Meanwhile, I’m slappin’ myself in the head, attempin’ to keep myself from dozin’ off.
It was like 10,000 o’clock or somethin and I was startin’ to question the whole plan. Obvidiously Santa was still sharp enough to know that I was still not sleepin’. But I had stayed up that late so far, and I wasn’t ‘bout to call it quits after all that.
The next time Mom came into my room, I maked believe that I was sleepin’. She said, “Paxton? Paxton, are you awake?” and this time I didn’t say a thing.
When she left, I popped up and snucked out of my room real quiet. I barely knew where I was goin, cuz I was so tired. I heard whisperin’ in the living room, and then I heard the front door open. This woked me up right away, cuz I was thinkin’ Santa ‘sided to use the front door stead of the chimney!
I frozed right where I was. A trillion things started goin’ through my mind. I was a-scared too. If he caught me bein’ awake, there’d be no Christmas presents for Paxton Grundle. So I looked around for a place to hide. First thing I saw was the Christmas tree, but, when you’re tryin to hide from Santa, under the Christmas tree prolly isn’t the best choice. My heart was thumpin’ so fast I thought I was goin to be heartiac arrested! If I heard somebody say “Ho Ho Ho” I’d have dropped dead right then and there.
Then I jus’ started runnin’ with no ‘ticular destination in mind. I ran through the dinin’ room, passed the kitchen, into the laundry room, and then jumped into the clothes basket. But it was dark in there and would hamper my view of Mr. Claus—which was what this was all ‘posed to be ‘bout—so I jumped back out. (Also, it smelled like dirty laundry in there.)
By this time—really late—I was ‘zausted, so I couldn’t run no more. I jus’ kinda dragged myself around like a puppet. ‘Ventually I found myself crawlin’ to the sofa, which was back in the livin’ room, which was prolly where Santa was. I was ready to confess to bein’ a bad-boy and ‘cept what was comin to me. It would be worth it jus’ to see him at last.
When I finally got to the sofa, nobody was in the room ‘cept for me and the tree. It was all sparklin’ and the lights were blinkin’ off and on and off and on. That kinda made my stayin’ awake that much more harder. My eyes were all blurry, and the sofa was so soft. My head started tellin myself that I could jus’ take a quick nap before Santa came back with more presents. I didn’t believe my head, cuz it’s wrong 10 times out of 9, but my eyelids started agreein’ with my head and they started closin’ by themselfs.
And that’s when I heard the front door open again. I heard bags bangin’ and clutter clatterin’. I wanted so bad to be able to wake up, but I was like two-thirds asleep, or maybe four quarters. Beats me—I hadn’t taken math at school yet, let alone Geometry.
With eyes fuzzier than Fur-Face the time Smelly Kelly blow dried his fur, I could see big, black, snow-covered boots walkin’ toward me. As my heavy eyes went up higher, I could see red pants above the black boots. Then I tried to get my eyes to go up even further. That’s when all I saw was black, cuz my eyes were closed. Last thing I ‘member was somebody whisperin’ “Merry Christmas, Paxton.”
The next mornin’, I woked up on the sofa, surrounded by presents. I done did it! I managed to saw Santa and still got tons of gifts! Me and my family sat around openin’ up all the stuff. Fur-Face knocked over the Christmas tree, cuz he’s not used to seein’ trees inside the house—thought it was an ‘truder or somethin’, I guess. But anyway… everything was perfect and the best thing was openin’ the presents.
There’s no time like the present. No time at all.

 My dearest Daniel – I love you to the moon.
Published in: on December 16, 2011 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  

25 Random Things About Me

I was tagged with this on Facebook by Amy Hassebrock a few days ago and posted my response on Facebook. today, I received a blog update from Michel Fortin, a famously successful copywriter, and CEO of The Success Doctor, Inc, who was likewise tagged for this, although not by Amy. He changed the rules on this a bit, and posted it to his blog, so I have added it to mine.

Here are the rules from Michel.
Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a post with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose five more people to be tagged. You also have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you. To do this, you simply link to their blogs so that they know you responded to their tag.
(You may include the above rules in your post so that the person being tagged knows them, too. You may also want to tweet your post to notify them on Twitter, too.)

1. I was born in sunny California.
2. All five of the Chadwick siblings were born in different states: Vermont, California, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. I am the second-born.
3. I had scarlet fever when we lived in Caribou, Maine, and my family had to be quarantined for 6 weeks.
4. My first poem was published when I was 15. Professor Malcolm Sedam from Miami University spoke to my Poetry class, read my poems, and took some of them back to the college and published them in an anthology.
5. I worked with Helen Steiner Rice when I was 17. Actually, her office was around the corner from my cubicle at Gibson. She had screaming fits on a regular basis and wore hats every day. Gibson paid for her suite at the Vernon Manor and a limo that brought her to and from work every day.
6. My older sister, Kim, fed me flies she caught in the back window of our car on the drive from CA to Maine. She told me they were raisins.
7. Kim decided one day that a tea party with her little sister—me—would be great. She served antifreeze. Mom rescued us.
8. I’ve had insomnia all my life.
9. I was a vegetarian for 15 years.
10. I won a Spelling Bee in 8th grade.
11. I was on the “It’s Academic” team in high school (Kings High School) and appeared on television. Steven Douglas was the moderator. Have no idea what happened to him.
12. I was also on the Debate Team in high school. We debated, “Resolved: that the United States should significantly change its method of choosing presidential candidates.” We argued for and against the Electoral College.
13. I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was 40. Now it is my favorite beverage.
14. I lived in Hanover, NH the summers after my sophomore and junior years with my grandmother and worked at what is now the Dartmouth Hitchcock Memorial Hospital.
15. My best friend, Rita Lester, died at the end of my junior year in high school. She drowned in the Little Miami River on the day I was elected president of the Student Council for the next school year.
16. I took violin lessons for three years in elementary school and still can’t read music notes.
17. I have been baking bread since I was 16 and am very good at it. I sold my homemade bread for just over a year when my kids were young. It cost $2 a loaf! I also make wonderful donuts and bagels. I love to bake.
18. I love to cook, but am not yet a great cook. I rely on my friends like Amy Hassebrock for great recipes—she is truly a phenomenal “chef.” (She’s too good to refer to as a cook.)
19. I am afraid of clowns and I find mimes irritating. Ironically I was in a drama group at church called The Agape Players and we wore white face like mimes do. Toughest makeup in the world to remove.
20. I used to sing professionally.
21. I have always wanted to be a writer. I got sidetracked a few times, but have always returned to writing and now make my living writing and editing.
22. I haven’t had a vacation since 1998 when Sam, my youngest daughter, and I went to Niagara Falls for three days.
23. I can read faster than anyone I know. It is one of my weird talents. Reading is one of my greatest pleasures.
24. I hate to shop, except when it comes to shopping for appliances or books.
25. I am happier now than I have ever been in my life. Even though there are “difficulties” in my family, I am at peace with God, writing and editing for a living, and close to my parents.

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Perfect Blog Post

Today I have spent a great deal of time discussing perfection—the quest for it and its possible attainment.

I will stand up right now (figuratively as I can’t type on my laptop while standing because my lap disappears) and say, “Hi. My name is Hollee, and I am a perfectionist.”

That being said, I will also now admit that I am far from perfect in any way, shape, or form, ergo most of my life, I have been my biggest disappointment.

During a long conversation with a loved one who, in some ways, knows me better than I know myself, I realized what a hard row to hoe this has been—this standard of perfection I have set for myself. Not that I was feeling sorry for myself at the difficulties I’ve encountered since my perfection quest was initiated in my teen years—no, I have no patience with woe is me conversations when I am the woe-er—I merely acknowledged to myself that those difficulties were of my own making and not the fault of any external force.

Nor have I set the same standard for others that I have set for myself, which, when you really get down to the nitty-gritty, means that I have set myself above others since perfection was obviously not possible for them . . . Wow! That thought just occurred to me. That is not good.

But I digress.

This need for perfection has, at times in my life, hindered my ability to start a task because I was afraid I would not be able to do it completely right. It has skewed my vision of myself to such a degree that I mentally pick myself apart whenever I look in the mirror—I literally do not see what I am told others see when they look at me. It has made me choose friends and companions that I felt were not perceptive enough to see my flaws, my defects, my “idiot”syncracies. Yes, that is a harsh statement, but there it is. But in my mind this was logical—if I chose someone who was as smart as me, or as driven as me, or who had my same talents, then they would be able to see when I made a mistake. (Now please take that last sentence in the spirit it is intended, those of you who don’t know me. I do not dumb myself down—I know I am intelligent, ambitious, and have certain talents—I inherited all of those things and I won’t deny a single one. To do so is false modesty.)

My greatest fears in life are being wrong and being made to feel stupid. I don’t fear dying—I am a Christian, I don’t fear being alone—I don’t want to be alone, but I don’t fear it. Admittedly, I do fear clowns, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post. To the depths of my soul, I fear I may make an error in judgment, in my work, in my life, and I fear that someone may find out some day that, for the most part, I have no clue what I am doing.

That last is entirely illogical, because I have spent my life learning everything I possibly can about what I do for a living, and yet, I have had no formal “schooling” in my craft. I have worked my way up or sideways through the ranks of the writing community for the past 30-plus years—I have picked the brains of everyone that I admire as a writer and gleaned what I could from the fields of work I am pursuing or want to pursue.

So in some ways my need for perfection has forced me to put myself out there—to forgo my fear of having “Stupid” written on my forehead—and asked those who do know how they do that voodoo they do so well. I would have much preferred to just stand next to them and osmosisized the knowledge from them (no, osmosisized is not a real word), but since that is not yet possible, I had to actually ask questions. Asking questions was me admitting to myself and those I questioned that I did not know something. That is and was very hard.

My need for perfection has also driven me to always do the very best I can at anything I undertake—although it has hindered me from being an undertake-er in some instances—that qualifies it as a catch-22.

The question is: “What do I do? How do I accept less than perfection in myself?”

And these thoughts occurred to me as my loved one and I were talking: Is a sunset any less beautiful when you discover that the reason for the multi-colors is pollution? And which is more beautiful—the perfectly unblemished piece of pseudo-wood, or the knotty, nicked, and weathered wood that has a story to tell?

My mother continuously reminds me that a diamond—the most perfect of gemstones—is made from coal which is decomposed vegetable matter. A pearl—my particular favorite—is not, as commonly told—made from a grain of sand. A pearl is formed when something organic, most often a parasite, penetrates the shell of a mollusk and lodges within the soft inner body of the animal. The parasite encounters cells within the mollusk’s mantle tissue known as epithelial cells which grow into a sac, envelopes the intruder, and excretes a chemical substance of aragonite and calcite. This is known as nacre or the composite of a pearl.

I don’t know how not to be hard on myself. I have no clue. But I have been told that there comes a time when good enough needs to be accepted. I am not to settle for only achieving good enough—that is a bar set too low for my personality and I am done with settling—however, as long as I can truthfully say that I have given my absolute best effort, then that is good enough. I cannot be all things to all people, I cannot fill everyone’s needs, I cannot do everything myself—I have to ask for assistance, let go and allow someone else to help me (not ask for help then do it all myself anyway), learn from my mistakes, learn from others who have already successfully done what I want or need to do, and accept that there may be times when I can’t do something. I need to learn when “No” is the perfect answer.

I need to look at my flaws and defects—the decomposed vegetable matter and parasites—as, perhaps, that which makes me unique. It is those very things that keep me from being a cookie-cutter human, a Stepford, which gives me depth and contrast, just as clouds enhance the perfection of a blue sky.

I will think on these things—remind myself of them when my perfection bug gets the best of me. That is the best I can do in this instance.

However, I was told today that I am loved for who I am, flaws and all, without reservation, without modification, without an “except for . . .”

How perfect is that?

Published in: on December 26, 2008 at 11:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chicken Crosses Road – World Wonders Why


  • BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!
  • JOHN McCAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
  • HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure—right from Day One! — that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me…
  • DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on ‘THIS’ side of the road before it goes after the problem on the ‘OTHER SIDE’ of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his ‘CURRENT’ problems before adding ‘NEW’ problems.
  • OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
  • GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
  • COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road…
  • ANDERSON COOPER – CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
  • JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.
  • NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
  • PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
  • MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
  • DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.
  • ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain. Alone.
  • GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
  • BARBARA WALTERS: Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.
  • ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
  • JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.
  • BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of the Chicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra…#@&&^(C% ………reboot.
  • ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
  • BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
  • AL GORE: I invented the chicken!
  • COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?
  • DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?
  • AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.
Published in: on June 6, 2008 at 8:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Where’s a good JoeBob when you need him?

Last New Year, I made a resolution to increase the number of cells in my brain by reading, or rereading, the classic novels.

This did not include anything written by Stephen King or J. K. Rowling.

The authors on this list included, of course, Jane Austen (my personal favorite), Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leon Uris, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Gustave Flaubert, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, to name a few.

I’ve read War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov, Exodus, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Madame Bovary, etc.

Right now I am slogging my way through Anna Karenina, by Tolstoy. I took a couple of days off to read Glenn Beck’s An Inconvenient Truth–which I loved (thank you to my stepson, Will, for gifting me with this book)–but now I am back to slogging.

Parts of the book are quite exciting–some others, not so much. It has been classed as the greatest novel ever written and Tolstoy considered it his best work.

I dispute none of that.

I just wish the character’s names weren’t so confusing: Prince Stepan Arkadyevitch Oblonsky is married to Darya Alexandrovna, Konstantin Dmitrievich Levin is in love with Ekaterina Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya, Anna Arkadyevna Karenina is married to Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin, but is in love with Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky, who has also captured the affections of Ekaterina Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya.

Not a Joe or Bob in the bunch.

Tolstoy originally released this novel in serial installments between 1873 and 1877 in a Russian Periodical.

It may take me four years to get through this one, but I will do it. Just to be able to say I read it.

I think the next book may be See Spot Run.

As for this New Year’s resolution: I’m taking up coloring.

Published in: on January 1, 2008 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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