Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com


Home of Jenny the Pirate



This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.


We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.


 Nice is different than good.


Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

= Jennifer =

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962



Belay That!

This blog does not contain and its author will not condone profanity, crude language, or verbal abuse. Commenters, you are welcome to speak your mind but do not cuss or I will delete either the word or your entire comment, depending on my mood. Continued use of bad words or inappropriate sentiments will result in the offending individual being banned, after which they'll be obliged to walk the plank. Thankee for your understanding and compliance.

= Jenny the Pirate =

Hoist The Colors


I am a Blue Star Mother




Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =



The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were






Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

Ecstatically shooting everything in sight using my beloved Nikon D3100 with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G prime lens.

Also capturing outrageous beauty left and right with my Nikon D7000 blissfully married to my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF prime glass. Don't be jeal.

And then there was the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f:3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom. We're done here.

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

If you don't believe me, click the pics.


Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson



When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

David Robert Brooks



 Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.


Keep To The Code








You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, AND THEREFORE HAVE I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again.

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts




Daft Like Jack

 "I can name fingers and point names ..."

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Elements Series: Fire
    Elements Series: Fire
    by Peter Kater
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    Old World Records
  • The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    Stone Angel Music, Inc.
  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Real Music
  • Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
  • The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    by William Voegeli
  • The Art of Memoir
    The Art of Memoir
    by Mary Karr
  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
  • Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    by John W. Harper
  • On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William Zinsser
  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    by Steven Milloy
  • The Amateur
    The Amateur
    by Edward Klein
  • Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    by Matt Barber, Paul Hair
  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  • Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    by Tod Benoit
  • Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    by Candace Savage
  • Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    by John Marzluff Ph.D., Tony Angell
  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    by Andrew Breitbart
  • 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    by Paul Kengor
  • Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    by Bernd Heinrich
  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    by Matthew Rolston
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    by Todd Harra, Ken McKenzie
  • America's Steadfast Dream
    America's Steadfast Dream
    by E. Merrill Root
  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
    The American Way of Death Revisited
    by Jessica Mitford
  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    Master Books
  • Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    by Peter Schweizer
  • Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    by Brannon Howse
  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    by Eleanor Alexander
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
    Waiting for "Superman"
    starring Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee
  • The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
  • Bernie
    starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
  • Remember the Night
    Remember the Night
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • The Bad Seed
    The Bad Seed
    starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Shadow of a Doubt
    Shadow of a Doubt
    starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • The More The Merrier
    The More The Merrier
    starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Bruce Bennett, Ann Savage
  • Act of Valor
    Act of Valor
    starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
  • Deep Water
    Deep Water
    starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Clare Crowhurst, Simon Crowhurst
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard
    starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Penny Serenade
    Penny Serenade
    starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi
  • Double Indemnity
    Double Indemnity
    starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather
  • Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    starring Gary Anthony Williams
  • Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Passion River
  • It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
  • Stella Dallas
    Stella Dallas
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale
  • The Iron Lady
    The Iron Lady
    starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    starring Peter Sallis, Anne Reid, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier, Sarah Laborde
  • The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    starring Red Balloon
  • Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
  • The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
  • My Dog Skip
    My Dog Skip
    starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon
  • Sabrina
    starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
  • Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, John Loder
  • The Trip To Bountiful
    The Trip To Bountiful
  • Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
    Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
That Dog Is Never Going To Move



Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

Blog Post Archives
We're Square
Powered by Squarespace

Please Be Pacific

Long ago when my mother was a young bride, she was flying from Louisiana to Alaska to be with my father, who was stationed there with the Air Force. At the tender age of seventeen Mom was not exactly a citizen of the world, but she wanted to appear sophisticated to her fellow travelers. At one point late in the journey she asked her seatmate, a middle-aged man, this question: "Pardon me but what is that large body of water?" He looked at her with a combination of disbelief and disdain. "Lady, that's the Pacific Ocean."

Well, you live and learn. Geography aside, I wish some people would work a little harder at learning the English language. The other day I heard a reporter on a prime-time news program state that something was undoubtably true. Uhm ... no. I believe he was going for undoubtedly ... at least I hope so. On another show a lady asked someone if they wanted some sherbert. People ... the word is sherbet. NOT like Ernie saying "Sure Bert!"

Prostate and prostrate pose difficulty for some. Humorist Dave Barry solves that problem with this clever jingle: "If one R can be found, it's down on the ground. If two R's are on hand, it's a gland." Thus, you won't find someone prostate on the floor or about to have prostrate surgery. At no time soon, anyway.

How about the mysterious term rotator cuff ... I've heard it called lots of things but last week a deponent referred to it as her rotor cup. Is that anything like a buttercup?

How about those who say momento when they mean memento ... folks, that souvenir is a MEMento and should be pronounced as such. And leave out the pimento.

How about an easy way to know whether (NOT whether or not ... sheesh y'all ... or not is implied in whether) to use further or farther? Easy. If the distance can be measured, use farther ... just think, "how far?" If the distance cannot be measured, use further. Hence, "Nothing could be further from the truth." Last time I checked, the distance from the truth cannot be measured. Even by politicians or preachers.

Did you know that everyday does NOT mean "each and every day" as it is so often used? Everyday means "ordinary." Period. So if you claim that you "make an excellent dinner everyday," what that means is that you are in the habit of making an excellent dinner ordinary. I guess if you do that every single day, you should be proud to say so.

A good friend told me that her father had suffered from dizzy spells. She elaborated: "The doctor diagnosed him with ... oh, what did he call it ... oh yes! Vertebra!"  Just like the Alfred Hitchcock movie starring James Stewart and Kim Novak.

Look. A thing cannot be "very" unique. C'mon y'all ... it's either unique or it's not. Unique means "one of a kind." It's just like the concept of pregnant ... you either is or you ain't.

How I wish I had a week with Johnny Depp for every time I've heard a deponent (and sometimes even their lawyer) use the word pacific when they meant something else. Johnny and I could grow old together on an island in the South Specific.


Here Comes The Snide

I can't decide whether it's a blessing or a curse, but I see the humor in almost everything. Today I was reading a magazine's special wedding issue. Various contributing writers and photographers had profiled several brides, all of whom were lovely as you might expect. But the more I read, the more I laughed. I'm not making fun of anyone (really I'm not) but I find a lot of this stuff hysterical.

In hindsight, [the bride] says while she was good about setting a budget, she was guilty of exceeding that limit.

Me too, honey ... and it doesn't even have to involve a wedding.

The reception allowed the couple to incorporate details they had not experienced at other weddings. For example, one part of the room included a candy bar -- with every type of pink candy you could imagine.

Once I realized they didn't mean a Snickers bar dominated a large area of the reception venue, I saw guests walking around with pink tongues and teeth like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Willy would have liked that.

If you don't enjoy working out the small details, a home wedding might not be for you ...

Duh. If you get married at home you're going to have to work out all the small details. Not exactly a difficult concept to grasp. I think it could be argued, however, that no matter where you throw a wedding, you're going to have a heap of details (both large and small) to attend to.

Wedding rental companies are now offering "the well-dressed port-a-potty" ... hard-to-find pink and blue colors with mini sinks, vanities and mirrors allow guests adequate facilities without detracting from the event.

I'll bet. I wouldn't even notice being queued up in somebody's yard to use a porta-potty at a wedding, as long as it were color-coded to my gender.

Contact an electrician who can check that you have enough amps to meet the needs of the band and caterers. You may talk with neighbors about arranging heavy-duty cords to their homes so that you're not drawing solely from one area of your home.

Uhm ... yeah. I just know the neighbors won't mind the big electrical cord snaking from their house to your yard. Hope nobody trips on it at just the wrong time.

For the mosquito problem, do-it-yourselfers can purchase liquids to spray on the yard several weeks in a row leading up to the big day, or you can hire an exterminator to put out insecticide before the event.

Better yet, give little cans of OFF! as party favors. You can have the cans imprinted with the couple's names, and guests can take turns spraying one other.

Insurance is another item to consider when planning a home wedding. Lost rings, a guest who falls down the stairs, caterers failing to show ... all are disasters that could happen to anyone.

Who knew "caterers failing to show" was an insurable disaster? Can you also take out insurance in the event the groom fails to show? I mean, just to cover the cost of a new one.

Unless you're planning on taking your guests home after their cars have been towed, carefully consider your parking situation. Tell your neighbors about the event. If needed, ask to use their driveway space in order to make room for your guests.

Yeah, you might want to tell your neighbors (and local law enforcement) you're planning to host an all-day, half-the-night party for 200 guests in your backyard. And are these the same neighbors who are letting you use their electricity? Maybe you don't want to push your luck that far. Tell everyone to walk from the nearest Kroger. Or run a shuttle bus perhaps ...

In the South we believe in using our "pretty things" so you'll see each table set with real china, crystal and silver and decorated with coordinating centerpieces.

How very innovative! I guess in other parts of the country they believe in decorating with their "ugly things" and making sure nothing matches?!

When they weren't practicing law, [the bride- and groom-to-be] took long walks together -- especially on the boardwalk at the Congaree Swamp. So when it was time to discuss a wedding, an outdoor ceremony was a given.

In a swamp, of course ... don't forget the bug spray ...

It was an ideal day weather-wise ... no humidity and not too hot.

NO humidity? They took that thing out of state, y'all.

For one couple's 2006 "green" wedding, he wore a hemp shirt, they planted an evergreen tree together, and they served locally grown vegetarian cuisine to guests who sat on blankets in the grass.

Sit down on the ground! Here is your locally-grown carrot! Thanks for coming! No, you may not smoke the groom's shirt!

Suppliers now have biodegradable plates made of sugar cane fiber and biodegradable utensils that are potato-based.

So if the caterer fails to show, you can just tell your guests to eat their place settings.

For those wanting to tap local resources for reception foods or who wish to host a 100 percent organic reception, expect to pay more. The general consensus is that a green menu will cost an additional 20 percent.

That's why they call it green! Whatever else it does, it certainly doesn't conserve money.

Make certain the rings come from ethical jewelers who ensure stones were mined using humane practices.

Uhm ... make certain? ... how would you go about doing that unless you yourself witnessed the stone being mined? And that could get expensive. Again, what these green weddings conserve in natural resources they waste in cold hard cash.

Find a green caterer.

May I suggest Kermit the frog?  All natural.

[The bride] wanted her quarter horse, Buddy, to play the role of carriage horse. However, limited time to train the show horse to pull a carriage for the big day caused her to change plans. Instead, Buddy made an appearance in [the bride's] bridal portraits, taken before the wedding. He also watched the festivities of the outdoor reception from the comforts of his fenced-in pasture.

Yes, he watched, and ate shrimp cocktail from his oats bucket. There is photographic evidence of that fact. And he did it with nary a whinny ... although for the photo shoot he did demand his own dressing room.

Pet sightings are becoming increasingly popular at all types of weddings ... in some occasions elevated to the role of "bridesdog" or "groomsdog" ... "It's really taken off," said the owner of a local upscale pet clothing store. "Mostly with younger people."

Hmmmm ... why am I not surprised? As for pet sightings ... is that anything like UFO sightings?

Upscale clothing items [for pets] include black dresses with pearl accents, sweater tuxedos, bow ties and hair ribbons. Interestingly, for those pets that play the ringbearing role, there are even pillows that attach in some way.

Well, yeah ... but it occurs to me, where do you put "hair ribbons" on an animal? They're all hair! And the ring pillows "attaching in some way" ... that would be helpful since the dog needs all its "hands" to walk on.

[The bride and groom's] upbringings dictated that they would not have a traditional wedding.

And yet she wore a long white dress for the ceremony, which was officiated by a person of the cloth, after which they served finger food, cake, and champagne to assembled guests. Really breaking out of the traditional mode, they were! Bold moves there.

[The bride's] father blew a conch shell horn to signal the beginning of the wedding.

And he did that without even a single drop of rum.

The 200 guests mingled among food stations offering not only standard meats but also conch fritters ...

Who says conch is not a standard meat? Even pre-blown conch? We have it all the time at my house. Tastes just like chicken.

[The groom's] main job was to plan the music for the ceremony and reception. He took it seriously, arranging for three different types of music to be played.

C'mon man ... you call that taking it seriously? Out of all the types of music there are in the world, you could only arrange for three? Better keep your day job, buster.

We had a "destination wedding" because we wanted a relaxing wedding, not just a big blur. Most resorts offer a free wedding service; then, if you want extra things, there are additional charges.

So they hitch you for "free" and then, if you want a bottle of water, that'll be $19.99.

Once they arrive at the resort, [the bride and groom] will be shown the gazebo in the gardens and the beach as two possible spots for the ceremony. "We'll decide then," says [the bride].

I know that for me, it would be difficult to just envision a beach as opposed to a gazebo in the gardens. I'd have to see it with my own eyes.

The resort catered to [the bride and groom] -- even handing them a cool towel and a glass of champagne when the shuttle arrived at the entrance.

I'd know I'd arrived at a place much too hot for me if the first thing they handed me was a cool towel.

When planning a destination wedding, think about the needs of guests. If you want to marry on a mountaintop, think about how great-grandmother might arrive at the destination.

Sounds like great-granny might need to parachute in. No worries! I'm sure there's insurance for that. And don't forget a white satin backpack and white lace hiking shoes for the bride. And several pink and blue port-a-potties.


Head 'Em Off At The Impasse

Sometimes ("increasingly ... today") I feel as though I am about to be obliterated by a tsunami-wave of nonsense. I've never had the experience of walking down the street with proverbial little bitty dogs nipping at my heels, but I'm convinced I own a time-share in that flea-infested acreage on which everywhere you turn, the same maddening problems keep cropping up until you are so sick of the dance they do on your head, you're ready to throw in more towels than a Martha Stewart white sale. And the worst part is that ninety-nine times out of a hundred you have no one to blame but the person you call "me."

Do you ever feel like everyone is singing but nobody's got the melody? And you listen for a while and it makes you so dissatisfied with your thin excuse for a life. So you search your mental database for the names and faces of all your dearly-held finely-honed loves, your hoarded store of dreams, and when they materialize on the screen you hold them there with your gaze until your eyeballs sting or the images themselves begin to fade, whichever happens first. You don't look away until you absolutely must and what remains is only an optical illusion where the loved thing once was. And you begin to suspect that this quickly-dissolving adumbration is all that's left to you.

I'm always among the last to comprehend. There is so little I really know and so much my mind aches to know. I'm going to run out of time. I'm limited by my sketchy understanding, my unresolved issues, my finicky tastes, my stubborn paradigm. There's an arrow lodged in my heart and sometimes the only comfort I have is in the knowledge that as long as it stays there I won't bleed to death. It may sound corny to you (it even sounds corny to me) but that's what I tell myself every time a thing of beauty takes my breath away or an intense love sets my heart afire: don't take that arrow out no matter how much it hurts. The velocity it took to plunge that projectile so deeply, and at that angle, is the force that's keeping you alive. God understands this so I don't need to.

Supposedly the best defense is a strong offense. Emily Dickinson, the "Belle of Amherst," wrote: In this short life/That only lasts an hour/How much, how little/Is within our power! Ah, yes. This is within my power: to never again cower before a problem. To stand up, stare it down, send it packing. Decline the key to a domicile in the doldrums, however temporary or rent-controlled. Put on my glad rags with a good hat and just the right shoes and take a fire-in-the-belly approach to the obstacle courses that routinely masquerade as ordinary days. Be anything but a poltroon. Flare out in high dudgeon and refuse to back down until life's eyes are once again shining into mine.

Ever do a System Restore on your computer? If your machine is acting weird you click a few times (you have to know where to click but you can Google that or ask the nearest geek) and your computer is magically restored to the date you select. The last date that you remember everything being all right. No data is lost and it is completely reversible. All the safety net you could ask for. All systems go. Houston, we no longer have a problem.

Yeah. Like that.

Hit it, Emily.

I dwell in Possibility --
A fairer House than Prose --
More Numerous of Windows --
Superior -- for Doors --


Of Chambers as the Cedars --
Impregnable of Eye --
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky --


Of Visitors -- the fairest --
For Occupation -- This --
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise --

Pick Your McPoison

For a permanent place in The Annals Of Cheekiness -- what's that you say? No such thing? Well, there ought to be -- I nominate the following:

This morning The Gregory (Class of '74) sallied forth on a yearly pilgrimage to his venerated alma mater, The Citadel, in historic Charleston, a little less than a two-hour drive southeast of Columbia. The purpose of this outing was to participate in the alumni game which will immediately follow today's basketball contest between the Citadel Bulldogs and the UNC Greensboro Spartans. The Gregory will doubtless trip the nostalgia wire when he enters McAlister Fieldhouse and catches sight of a gaggle of Dockers-and-golf-shirt-clad ex-cadets of varying vintages, basketball shorts and shoes in hand, ready to lace 'em up one more time for El Cid.

I do not accompany him on these sorties. Although he is fit and trim and has an earned Doctor of Denial, it is an incontrovertible fact that TG turned 56 yesterday. I feel it is my wifely obligation to be here when he returns home tonight, heating pad and the recommended dosage of Aleve at the ready. He'll need it. I won't say "I told you so" because I never tell him so anymore. It wouldn't do any good. But don't worry; I promise not to make fun when he limps into the house.

However much blogging fodder it may provide, the purpose of TG's daytrip does not constitute my Annals Of Cheekiness nomination ... not by a long shot! I admire my man's willingness to get out there, in dire peril of looking ridiculous, and run up and down the court for old times' sake. I've never been athletic so I don't "get" it, but I like to think I understand. He took me to visit The Citadel on our honeymoon and I've been there many times since, so I don't feel I'm missing anything. Besides, I'm working on a depo transcript. Sort of. First I want to tell you this story.

About 45 minutes after he left home today, TG called me. "If you'd been with me just now, you'd have the subject for your next blog post," he teased. Of course I bit ... I'm always scanning the horizon for source material. "Why don't I have a subject for my next blog anyway?" I queried. "Just tell me what happened and I'll blog about it. Piece of cake." Of course he bit. I put on my journalist cap and listened.

Turns out that after he'd been on the road for 30 minutes or so, TG decided to refuel. The exit he chose is a few miles from a town so depressingly poor that it languishes (to quote Haven Kimmel) "in a state of advanced hopelessness." I sometimes report depositions there and, let's just say, my favorite perspective of this burg is the one afforded from my rear-view mirror. TG was busy fueling the car and as he did, a thirty-something man approached him. The man was obviously down and out ... I didn't see him with my own eyes but we have TG's word on this.

The man began speaking but it was more like muttering. The Gregory patiently tried to figure out what the man was saying, but had no luck. "I'm sorry; I can't hear you," he semi-shouted (TG's own failing ears being one of the many things about which he's in constant denial). The man spoke up and eventually TG understood that the subject was hunger. The man said he was hungry and needed money to buy food. "If you'll wait a minute till I'm done here," TG promised, "I'll go inside and buy you a sandwich and a drink." The man repeated that what he wanted was money. TG repeated his offer of food. The man walked away to the edge of the parking lot.

The Gregory paid for his gas and came back outside. The man tried again but this time he got right down to brass tacks: "Take me to McDonald's." TG looked down the road and saw golden arches. The man insisted: "I want to eat at McDonald's." TG's patience was running low; after all, he'd just paid $50 to fill his gas tank three-quarters full and was in danger of being late for the tip-off. "Man," he said. "I don't have time to take you to McDonald's. But like I said, I'd be glad to take you inside here and buy you a sandwich and a drink." The man, forgetting to thank TG for his thoughtfulness, shuffled away. As TG headed for the interstate, the man was hoofing it in the direction of the McDonald's.

Ahem. Wow. Uhm, lucky for the beggar, I opted to stay home today. While I can be as compassionate as the next person, I'm nowhere near as patient as The Gregory (you can ask anyone). If I had been there, I doubt the man would have gotten off so easily after he demanded to be fed, not only for free, but at a certain restaurant. I wouldn't have yelled at him, but my tough-love comments would have included questions about the last time he did a day's breadwinning half as demanding as the man from whom he was panhandling (very few can hold a candle to TG when it comes to the work ethic). Suffice to say our exchange probably wouldn't have ended well.

The old adage that says otherwise notwithstanding, I think there are times when beggars can be choosers. But this was not one of them. And while I'm not offended in the least that a hungry person would ask for help, it makes me mad when they lie about it. Clearly the man was not hungry, which was the reason he cited for needing money. If he had been hungry he would gladly have accepted TG's offer of a sandwich and a drink from the gas station convenience store. He might even have gotten some Twinkies for dessert.  He might even have said thank you.

And before you start throwing things at me, TG assured me the man wasn't demented. He may have been a mumbler but he was lucid. He was also spoiled and lazy ... and probably addicted. Which, believe it or not, makes me sad. Sadder still, he is beset with the welfare mentality and behaves in a way that most children know is socially unacceptable. Lying to get money out of an honest man who was willing to take him at his word and buy him a meal ... then refusing that meal because it "had" to come from McDonald's! And then there's the issue of standards ... I mean, has he eaten there?

At any rate I'm pretty sure the man is already full of hamburgers bought for him by well-intentioned strangers ... or, wait ... maybe that's just baloney coming out of his ears.


Assume Nothing

So I was sitting in a deposition this morning, keeping the record as usual. I was pretty bored. It was a gray and dreary day, the kind of day you normally don't mind having to be indoors, but I still would rather have been somewhere else. I was wishing for the umpteenth time that it would soon be over so that I could go home, shed hose and high heels, and get back into my comfies. Suddenly something was said that simultaneously embarrassed me, amazed me, capsized my easily-overturned giggle-box, got me a pretty good laugh from the others present, and gave me the substance for this blog. Not a bad haul. Allow me to elaborate.

Besides yours truly, the cast of characters consisted of three gentlemen: two lawyers and one security guard. Everyone in the room was middle-aged. Despite the fact that they represented opposing sides, the two lawyers were obviously longtime colleagues. I have worked with one of the attorneys at least a dozen times before; we'll call him Ernest, as that is his name. His friendly adversary goes by Ronald, and Ronald's client, Mr. Anderson (not his real name), was the one under oath. Mr. Anderson hurt his knee while at work a few months ago ... hence the workers' compensation case that was the subject of the proceeding. Trust me; you need to know all this or the story won't make sense.

Ernest had questioned Mr. Anderson in detail about past injuries to his knee, which as it turns out were numerous. At least twenty minutes elapsed while Mr. Anderson provided salient facts pertaining to the circumstances of each injury, including treating physicians, procedures and surgeries he had undergone, time spent off from work, lost wages, continuing difficulties from the injuries, et cetera. About a thousand miles south of riveting ... take my word for it.

Ernest made one last pass over the field to ensure there wasn't a stray rock he had neglected to look under. "So, Mr. Anderson," he began. "Have you now told me about all the injuries, illnesses, or conditions for which you've been treated over the past, say, ten to fifteen years?"

Mr. Anderson, having sworn to tell the truth, thought for a moment. He just couldn't leave well enough alone (no pun intended). "Well," he responded. "I did get circumcised ... and I got glasses. One on Monday and the other on the Wednesday."

A stunned silence. Then: "Mmmmm ... tough week, eh?" Ernest sympathized.

"It was rough," Mr. Anderson recalled.

This isn't the funny part. This isn't the reason I'm telling you about this. This part is only foundational. Stay with me.

Ernest looked around the table, a merry twinkle in his eye. "Off the record," he instructed me. Obediently I shut off my recorders and made a note of the time. I stared hard at a picture on the far wall, determined to conduct myself in a decorous manner, but my face was burning. Sometimes it's fun to be the only woman in the room, sometimes not so fun. As I feared, there was more.

"That made me think of a lawyer buddy of mine," Ernest said. Ronald and Mr. Anderson listened politely. "He met his wife while he was being circumcised. She was his nurse."

I don't know which was worse: the way my romantic heart swelled to nearly bursting, or the sharp whack to my funny bone. Either way I was in grave danger of losing my carefully-cultivated professional cool. Not good. I made the quick mental assumption that Ernest's friend had been well past infancy when the fateful introduction was made, but how could I be sure?

Another pregnant pause, then Ronald piped up: "Wow! She must have been pretty impressed."

That's when I cracked up. And not in a professional sort of way. I laugh rather loudly when I get tickled, and let me tell you, I was severely tickled. Ronald was also roaring. Ernest started guffawing, and then he grinned at me. "What do you think?" He asked. "You figure that was it?"

I wasn't under oath but this was a serious matter and I felt compelled to be honest. "I doubt it," I said. "She probably looked at his chart and saw he was a lawyer ... or maybe she got a gander at his checkbook, since he was indisposed ... and made up her mind then and there." I didn't think my comment was all that funny, but the guys loved it; they laughed and snickered and laughed some more. Ernest was wiping tears away.

"You're probably right," he agreed. We all composed ourselves and managed to finish the depo. Mr. Anderson appeared pleased with himself for having inspired such sparkling repartee.

I was still chuckling about this as I drove home. Isn't it just like men to assume that a woman would go all ga-ga and set her cap for a guy while he's on a doctor's table, sans clothing, his nether regions exposed and (presumably) numbed for imminent surgical alteration? Is that not the height of male ego? It has been said that "Faint heart ne'er won fair maiden" ... and I cannot imagine a man being much more faint of heart than at such a time. Mercy. Give me a break. Flowers die and candy makes you fat, but as wooing scenarios go, anything is preferable to the visual afforded by Ernest's anecdote. Cupid must have been having a distinctly off day.

We all want to find and/or retain our one true love. So remember: it's not a good idea to assume we can be certain what attracts people to us. It's a mystery and that's half the fun. Better to simply go on bathing every day and availing ourselves of the plethora of beauty aids out there that promise to make us more appealing (or at least less appalling). Then, put on a sweet smile and let nature take its course. Because you never know who's looking ... or what they're looking at.