Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com

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Home of Jenny the Pirate

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This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.

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We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.

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 Nice is different than good.

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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

  

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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

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I am a Blue Star Mother

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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 =

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Represent:

The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were

 

 

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Columbia Cemetery

To read my articles, click HERE! And don't forget to subscribe.

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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.

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Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson

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REMEMBRANCE

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

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Keep To The Code

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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

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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
    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
    Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    RCA
  • 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
    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
    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

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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Thursday
Oct302008

I'm Voting For The Unborn

NOTE: The following article appeared in Human Events Online this week. It was written by Chuck Norris.

Yes ... that Chuck Norris!

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My, how the landscape of elections has changed. Remember when the issue of abortion used to matter to conservatives in political races? Today presidential nominees can get away with murder, literally. They can smoke, toke and hang out with terrorists who do. What were once considered legitimate leadership litmus tests are now regarded as off-limit character assassinations and hate language. Recently, some nonprofit organizations have been threatened with the withdrawal of their tax-exempt statuses because their leaders merely voiced opposition to what they consider a moral issue: abortion.

Some people think after 35 years of ceaseless controversy since the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade that abortion is an "old" issue better dropped. I disagree. I do believe the economy is an important issue in this election, but it's certainly not the only issue. We can't just be concerned about our finances. We also must be concerned about America's future and those who will occupy it. Our posterity matters. Their rights matter. And that includes their "unalienable Rights," with which they have been "endowed by their Creator," and among them are the quintessential rights: "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Abortion is not about a woman's "right to choose"; it is about a more fundamental "right to life," which is one of three specifically identified unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence (and the Constitution, through Article VII and the Bill of Rights). And it is a violation of government's primary purpose: to protect innocent life.

America's Founders shared a basic view of human life and conception: Humanity is special, unique and should be set apart from the rest of creation.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1809, "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government." He was not, of course, writing about the America of today, with state-sanctioned and even subsidized abortion and a movement to promote the killing of the elderly through euthanasia. But he could have been. His belief in what should be "the first and only legitimate object of good government" still should stand. Like Jefferson, our next president needs to uphold those same concerns, not say that such arenas are "above his paygrade." If he and his administration won't protect the rights of the living (even in the womb), then who will? A left-leaning Congress?

The truth is if Obama is elected, we will place a man in the highest office in the land who has the most liberal views and voting record on abortion of any president in American history. As a state senator in Illinois, he led opposition three years in a row (2001-2003) to a bill similar to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which prevents the killing of babies unintentionally left alive by abortions. He also opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion and strongly disapproved of the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the partial-birth ban.

He also voted to block a bill that would have required a doctor to notify at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor from another state. He does not support the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion through Medicaid. Before a Planned Parenthood Action Fund last year, Obama promised to give first priority as president to the signing of the Freedom of Choice Act, which would make partial-birth abortion legal again.

Strangely, Obama even once said he would not want his daughters to be "punished with a baby" caused by an unwanted pregnancy. With the next president likely adding two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, it is clear that as president, Obama would appoint and support the most liberal judges and legal eagles, resulting in a pro-abortion advantage in our courts that would push abortion liberties to every extent of the law and land.

America's Founders shared a basic view of human life and conception: Humanity is special, unique and should be set apart from the rest of creation. In fact, in early America, there were two basic beliefs that shaped most people's views of humanity: God created us equal, and we are the highest creation of God. Their views were based on creation narratives in the Bible and expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

In order for us to get back to our Founders' understanding, we need to get back to a view of humanity that emphasizes the immortal worth of every human being. (That's why I've devoted an entire chapter to reclaiming the value of human life in my new cultural manifesto, Black Belt Patriotism.)


My friend and prolific author Randy Alcorn recently was asked by a young woman, "Should we vote for who we think should lead our country solely based on their stance on abortion?" You can read Randy's insightful response to that question on his Web site and blog. I would respond to it by simply saying we all will answer that question in just one week, when we go to the ballot boxes.

Winning the election is not just about what the underdogs -- such as John McCain and Sarah Palin, two maverick pro-life advocates -- should do. But it's about what the citizens who are fighting for the underdogs can do. We the people must stand up, go back to the basics, and once again vote our values.

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I wish I'd written that.

Tuesday
Oct282008

Brooke's Wish ... Part One

NOTE: What follows is part one of a semi-autobiographical short story I wrote some time ago. I'll post part two in a few days. I hope you like it.

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The first thing you need to know in order to fully appreciate this story is that I do not feel sorry for myself when I remember the day no one showed up at my birthday party. A person with a long history, even as a third-grader, of producing freshets of hot tears with little provocation, amazingly when it happened I did not cry. Even my own memories of the experience are not sad ones but merely interested ones, almost as though I were thinking about the events that transpired in relation to someone other than myself.

(I find it helpful to process all potentially searing memories in this way: Did that really happen to me in exactly that way or am I remembering something that happened to someone else that I knew or only heard of, and projecting all or part of it onto myself? Have I embroidered the truth to make myself more heroic? And speaking for myself personally, the best way -- indeed the only objective way -- to answer these questions is to, at the outset, refuse to become mired in a fetid bog of self-pity.)

So, did I imagine or concoct what took place that day in March many years ago, and do I relay it to you now with assorted eye-catching furbelows attached, in an effort to gain attention or sympathy? In a word, no. These things occurred and I have eight half-melted candles to prove it. And I'm not whining but merely telling. When I was in third grade my parents threw a birthday party for me and invited all of my classmates, and made some fairly elaborate preparations for the occasion, but nobody came for cake and ice cream or to fete me in any fashion.

I'd have to walk into a classroom full of rude staring eyes, clutching nothing but my bologna sandwich in a wrinkled paper sack, discreetly scratching at my mosquito bites.

First you will need to know the cast of characters, and don't worry about becoming confused because it's not very long. Of course we had a mother, Miranda, who was always at work waiting tables when my sister and I got home from school and on Saturdays. There was our stepfather, Rafe, who really wasn't related because he never adopted us, on account of he never did anything legally if he could help it. I had to call him Daddy but I never thought of him as anything but Rafe, and if you said Rafe instead of Daddy -- in your head I'm talking about -- you had to say Miranda instead of Mama. I meant no disrespect then and I don't now.

I had one sister, Cristina, who was a little older than me but a lot smarter in most ways. Not all.

And there was me: Brooke.

Oh, and we had a dog ... an obtusely rambunctious mutt, predominantly Cocker Spaniel, named Sea Fever ... SeeFee for short. That's it. We were a tribe of four, five if you count SeeFee. We lived in Gulfport, Mississippi ... at least briefly, and at the time of the events at issue. One thing you have to know about us is, we moved around an awful lot. Mostly this was because Rafe was as a rule only one or two steps ahead of the law for some felonious act or other he had committed, or some way he had managed to cheat someone out of money. He was generally no good.

But Miranda, my mom, didn't like to stay in one place very long either; Rafe used to say all the time to me and Crissy, in a know-it-all kind of voice we did not like: "Your mother's not happy unless she's on the road." Also we were poor because Rafe, not being in the least career-minded, never stuck at any one thing for any appreciable length of time and Miranda, though intelligent and attractive and possessed of a winning personality, had no professional qualifications other than that of waitress.

The fall before I turned eight we had wheeled into Gulfport on an afternoon so humid you felt like you were walking around underwater, and the first thing we did was, we secured a newspaper. After a visit to the local grocery store where Crissy and I had to stay in the sweltering car, repeatedly unsticking our sweaty thighs from the vinyl upholstery, we went down to the beach and ate bologna sandwiches on white bread for dinner. Rafe and Miranda gave Crissy and me an Orange Crush to share and splurged for a small Coke for each of them, and the Gulf breeze felt nice as Crissy and I waded, hunting shells.

For hours Rafe and Miranda sat on a blanket in the sand, poring over the want ads, circling blocks of print with a stubby half-chewed pencil they'd found in the supermarket parking lot. By the time the sun melted into a gooey yellow-and-orange puddle on the hazy gunmetal horizon, Miranda had drawn a bead on two or three waitressing jobs and Rafe was pretty sure he'd found us a place to live.

We slept in our car that first night (yeah ... that's about as comfortable as it sounds) but by the next day we'd rented a tiny two-bedroom house with hard, shiny, variegated terrazzo floors and slatted jalousy windows just like the ones we'd had on our trailer in Florida. The house, which sat on a gravel road with big ruts that doubled as reservoirs of muddy water, had come with a few sticks of furniture but there was no bed for Crissy and me (big surprise). We slept on our usual pallets and that terrazzo felt like the hard crust of the earth by morning. There must've been a few holes in screens because the mosquitoes gave us a warm welcome and during the night Crissy and I became decorated with welts.

When my hands were at last empty I sat on a vacant swing and kicked at the dirt.

By the evening of the day we moved into the house, I had what felt like a brick lying on the ground floor of my stomach, resting against my spinal cord way down by my tailbone. I recognized the feeling as fear. The school term had started several weeks before our arrival and the next day we'd be trotted by Miranda down to the local elementary rockpile and matriculated in our grades ... me in third, Crissy in fifth. I'd have to walk into a classroom full of rude staring eyes, clutching nothing but my bologna sandwich in a wrinkled paper sack, discreetly scratching at my mosquito bites, and be "introduced" to thirty people who didn't care if I lived or died.

An object of idle curiosity, is all I ever was -- and not the kind of curiosity that made anyone feel like they just had to know more about me, my provenance, or anything that mattered to me. Groups had formed and the year's cliques were fully populated; my perennial role was to troll the outskirts of existing factions, looking in, gathering information that nobody wanted.

As fall waned, the Christmas holidays came and went, and what passed for winter in Gulfport began to peter out, my birthday approached and I either asked for or was offered a party. I'm pretty sure it is safe to say it was the first birthday party ever planned in connection to my appearance on the earth eight years before, but it's entirely possible I'd had the standard-issue single-candle face-in-a-cupcake type of thing when I turned one. There are no photographs to prove that, though, and Miranda doesn't seem to remember, so it's anybody's guess.

At any rate there was a trip to the store and things like festive crepe paper, colored balloons, paper plates, and cake mix were purchased. Oh, and invitations. We needed invitations so we could invite all my classmates. Miranda shoved a piece of lined paper in front of me that weekend and directed me to write down the names of all the kids in my class.

I mentally went down the rows, remembering the people in my room, careful not to leave anybody out. There was Mandy Matthews, who was pretty and rich and whose long hair bounced and shone. There was Wendy Appenzeller -- shy Wendy with nut-brown hair that touched her chin -- who rarely smiled and had never spoken to me, even though she sometimes looked like she was considering it.

I thought of Bucky Peake, the kid who sat behind me and who was always sticking his big feet onto the bottom of my desk and pushing me because I was a lightweight. He never spoke to me, only pushed. The round freckled face of Constance O'Rourke, who sat two rows up and to my right with her red curly hair the exact shade of barbecue potato chips, swam before me. Surely Constance would welcome an invitation for cake and ice cream! She wasn't much more popular than me but unfortunately that was saying precious little.

"Twenty-eight would be a nice number," I thought, trying to imagine that many third-graders crowding into our tiny, shabby, terrazzo-floored house.

I scrivened name after name: Walter Binney, who sat to my left and made mush out of his pencils by relentlessly gnawing them; Hayley Childress, who was overweight and had a maddening habit of bossing everyone; long-legged, doe-eyed Desiree Rochester, the girl all the boys liked; Frankie Grant, who was the smallest boy in our grade and in fact was smaller than all but one girl, the decidedly diminutive Louise Collins.

Finally, my pencil dull and my eraser nearly to the metal, I decided I had remembered them all and spelled their names correctly, and I relinquished the list to Miranda.

I never saw her address the invitations but a few mornings later when I was leaving for school, they were waiting for me on the kitchen table: a neat stack of thirty small white envelopes. I distributed them at recess. The reactions were varied when I handed them over and explained what they were.

"Show it to your mom, okay?" I said thirty times.

For my trouble I got eleven blank stares, six desultory nods, three "yeah" type responses, three nice-ish "okays" and seven disinterested grunts. When my hands were at last empty I sat on a vacant swing and kicked at the dirt. I tried to watch, without appearing to watch, as a few people read their invitations.

When the bell rang and we had to go inside, two of the brightly-colored cards, freed from their envelopes, were lying on the ground. I scooped them up and threw them in the trash bin at the edge of the playground. "Twenty-eight would be a nice number," I thought, trying to imagine that many third-graders crowding into our tiny, shabby, terrazzo-floored house.

My eighth birthday party had been planned for a Saturday for obvious reasons: it was only March and school was in session. After-school birthday parties were not an option for most kids because, unlike Cristina and me, they had various extracurricular activities such as dance and music lessons. Crissy and I always had to go straight home and if we were five minutes late Rafe met us at the door with his belt already off, ready to whip us. He might or might not ask questions later. We were careful.

The draconian nature of our stepfather's rules and regulations didn't leave much time at school to win friends and influence people, and I reminded myself of this when I remembered my classmates' less-than-elated reaction to the prospect of a celebration in honor of my existence. If only I had more time to schmooze, I told myself. If only we had a phone, maybe I could call Wendy Appenzeller up sometime and ask what she was doing. I decided it behooved me, in light of my upcoming social event, to network one-one-one at every available opportunity.

To be continued ...

Sunday
Oct262008

The Amazing Il Divo

I meant to post this last night for viewing on Sunday, but I got busy hobnobbing with celebrity authors (well, one celebrity author) and forgot.  Apologies. 

At any rate, y'all will be pleased to know that with me, it's not entirely about Johnny Depp and Josh Groban and the Grand Old Party.  No ... I'm a fan of Il Divo as well.  Carlos, David, Sebastien and Urs have been working on a new album (about time, guys) entitled The Promise.  It will be available in the United States on November 18th, just in time for Christmas giving. 

(By the way, if you plan to buy a new Christmas album this year and you don't already own Il Divo's The Christmas Collection, I highly recommend that you put it on a list of musical must-haves to kick off your traditional Christmas listening.  This CD is stunning and you won't regret buying it.  But then, everything the boys do is great.  Just my humble opinion.)

The following, a track from The Promise, is a song I was thrilled to see included on an Il Divo CD: Amazing Grace.  Because see, no matter what happens, at home or abroad, the grace of God never changes.  And that is because He never changes.  It's one of the few things God cannot do. 

If you don't get a shiver up your leg about halfway through this, you get your money back.  No questions asked.

 

Thursday
Oct232008

Four Minutes For America

I like the following video because I believe it goes straight to the heart of the issues facing Americans in this election cycle. 

I hope you will take four minutes of your time to watch it.

And I pray every American who is eligible to vote, will vote on November fourth.  There is NO excuse not to.

I also pray that God will confound those -- whoever they are -- who would seek to corrupt this process.

Wednesday
Oct222008

Oh For A Heart So Gentle

I'm still busier than a one-armed paperhanger so there's no time to write a proper blog post.  (I never saw this deluge of work coming but I am very thankful for it.) 

Last evening after a long day in depositions I was relaxing, looking at a few blogs and a few YouTubes of puppies playing (I love YouTubes of puppies playing), when suddenly I remembered a wonderful dog I hadn't thought of in quite a while: Skidboot. 

Within ten seconds I had located the following YouTube about this amazing animal who, I am sad to say I learned, died in March of 2007 at the age of fourteen.

I had seen Skidboot a few years back on Pet Star, the Animal Planet show, but I never knew his background.  I was so taken with his story, I thought I would share it with you.

(A favorite part of mine is when Skidboot answers the phone with a bark and is told to whisper instead, and he does.  I watched that bit over and over again.)

My only thought as I turned off my computer and went to bed was this: What if we were as obedient to God, our loving Creator, as Skidboot was to his beloved master?  I think the world would see the real change everyone seems to crave.