I've spent much of the day on the pity pot thanks to a paralyzing headache that started shortly after 7 this morning. The Amazing Egyptian Dude woke up much earlier than usual and told me that he would be going to the business as soon as he finished drinking a cup of coffee. I had been up for a couple of hours already and laid down on the couch for a short nap before class.

I don't know how long I slept before that familiar brain freeze type pain struck on the right side of my head. That's the kind of headache that makes moving next to impossible. Although the oxygen tank was right beside me, I couldn't get up off the couch to turn it on or to put the cannula on. I just lay there, frozen in time like the Lady of Shalott. Then I heard the Amazing Egyptian Dude! He hadn't left early after all. When I get these headaches and need to get his attention, I whistle; he's got some significant hearing loss and would never hear me if I tried to call him with words because the pain is so intense that barely a whisper comes out.

I whistled and waited.

And I whistled and waited.

And I whistled again.


I could hear him across the room but just couldn't muster the strength to do anything else to get his attention. It took several attempts, but he finally came over to check on me. Turns out he had heard me from the beginning but thought that I was dreaming and making noises in my sleep, so he decided to hang around to wake me up for class!

Cafergot and oxygen later, I could move at least. The pain had dulled to a livable level but the time that happened, it was too late for me to go to class. Besides, I try not to drive on headache and seizure days.

So I missed my class today, The Brain bit me in the butt big time, and I am frustrated as all get-out over the whole damn situation. I've never been "normal," but this level of uniqueness is really getting to me. I want to be in control of myself for a change instead of taking the passenger seat to The Brain and its electrical thrill seeking.

I miss me. I miss my life.

Is that the sound of the wahmbulance I hear in the distance?

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Mariposa's Tales is hosting a new weekly meme, Tuesday's Tales! Though everyday here in the BLOGosphere is telling tales, Mariposa feels it would be nice to once in awhile sit back, enjoy good memories and enjoy it more by sharing those little love tales. After all happy times are best when shared with people! Tuesday's Tales is good way for us to get to know each other and share happy thoughts while making memories all at the same time.

Here we go. . .

Road trips have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. With a mom from New York, a dad from Colorado, and us in California, is it any wonder that my family is scattered across the country from coast to coast? Some of my best childhood memories involve the annual summer treks down Route 66 with either my parents and sisters or my maternal grandparents. The Amazing Egyptian Dude, Iman, and I took a 10-day road trip through several western states on our way to Yellowstone National Park some 20 years ago. We had such a great time that I have been itching to repeat the experience ever since. It wasn't until last summer that the opportunity to be "on the road again" presented itself.

The Ibrahim girls (me, Iman, and Basma) drove from California to Texas. We took our time, stopping to see sights along the way, take pictures under each WELCOME TO state sign, and just enjoy the change of scenery. Our ultimate destination was Lake Jackson and Vidor, Texas where my aunt and sister live. Whenever I visit my aunt and uncle, we take a day trip to neighboring Louisiana -- one of my favorite places to go. Last summer's trip was no exception, but this time we had Basma along, and Basma had never been to Louisiana.

To give Basma the whole Louisiana experience, we stopped at a little roadside attraction to see some alligators up close. The welcome center for this place was staffed by a very friendly elderly lady who really liked to chit-chat. While we were talking to her, she gave us all kinds of info about gators -- probably more than we would ever need to know. But the best thing she told us was that she had a baby gator that we could actually hold. I remember holding a baby gator in Florida at a place called Gatorland, but that was way back when I was 14. We decided that we were all up to the challenge, all of us, that is, except Aunt Nola.

Fearless Basma was the first to hold the baby gator. Look at how happy she is with it!

Next came Iman; she wasn't afraid, either, and enjoyed cradling the baby in her hands.

Melody, my baby sister, came next. Melody is normally a coward -- I tease her about it all the time -- but when it comes to animals of any kind, she's a S-U-C-K-E-R!

Then it was my turn. I figured that the gator would feel much like a snake and was right. Its skin was unbelievably smooth.

Finally, Aunt Nola figured that if we weren't scared, she wouldn't be either so long as we didn't make any fast moves to freak her out!

If you ever have the chance to take a road trip, take it; there's no better way to travel or make family vacation memories!

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  • It's been a while since I posted anything about having problems sleeping, which is a good thing because it meant that there wasn't a problem. Like everything else related to Chiari, I never know when the demon of insomnia is going to emerge from the cave and make itself known until it happens. And it has happened. Bleh! I'm back to sleeping a couple of hours and being awake for three or four, all day and all night long. How this is going to work when it comes time to go to class is beyond me. I'll just have to play it by ear.
  • I missed a documentary on HBO last night that I have been waiting to see ever since I heard about it from the Sundance Film Festival. The film, Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech, directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus, "examines the balancing act between protecting civil liberties and national security in a post-9/11 world, asking whether all speech is equally free," according to HBO's website. Now I have to monitor the TV schedule to see when it will air again and mark it on the calendar on my iPhone so that I don't miss it a second time!
  • Last night, I heard on the news about a plane crash involving a Yemeni airlines flight over the island of Comoros. At that time, the 150 passengers were not expected to have survived. Just minutes ago, though (it's just before 3:30 a.m.), CNN reported that a toddler was pulled ALIVE from the wreckage! Alhamdullilah ---> in English, that's Thank God!
  • So I took the plunge, made a decision, and filled out the questionnaire for the person whom I chose to design my new blog template. Boohoo for me, her queue is full until sometime in July. :( This would be a good time to remind myself that patience is a virtue, LOL!

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My buddy, Thom from Thom's Place 4 Well Whatever, has honored me with The Best Follower Award. This is one time when I can honestly say that being a follower is a good thing!

The Rules: Put this Award in a post on your blog. Invite (up to) 10 people to take this award. Don’t forget to link back to the person that gave this award to you. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on your blog. Share the love to those who get this award.

I'm passing this award on to:

Sherlock from Sherlock's Stuff
Michele from The Rocky Mountain Retreat Photos
(Michele doesn't accept awards (check her blog to find out why), but her comments and blog are still worthy of one, and I feel it would be remiss of me not to mention her.)
Kim, from Stuff Could Always Be Worse
Shauna, from Shauna's Life in Pain and Other Fun Things
Diane, from Good Mourning, Glory!

My buddy, Thom from Thom's Place 4 Well Whatever, has honored me with The Humane Award. Thank you, Thom; you leave sweet comments, too!

The Rules: The Humane Award is in order to honor certain bloggers that I feel are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn’t for them, my site would just be an ordinary blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendships through the blog world. Recipients of this award should write a post about it, linking to the person gifted the award, along with (up to) ten of their own nominees.

Rosidah, from Music of My Life
Bill, from The Old Fart's Blog
ItaJeff, from Something to Share
Nessa, from The Chrysalis Stage
Brenda, from Brenda's Blog from Paraguay
Iman, from My Xanadu Too!
Gabriel, from Live from Waterloo
Harriet, from I Am Harriet
Mariposa, from Mariposa's Tales

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Just a few things I've been thinking about. . .

It didn't take long for the conspiracy theorists to start doing their work on the death of Michael Jackson! Why is it that we have such a hard time accepting the fact that even icons die and that sometimes, their deaths are the result of decisions they made or actions they took?

Bernie Madoff's sentencing hearing is today. I'm still wondering why his ill-gotten assets haven't been taken and sold to repay at least a small portion of the money that he stole? If the man has been convicted of fraud and evidence shows that these assets were purchased after he began the Ponzi scheme, why would his wife or children be allowed to keep anything that was bought with stolen money?

Later today, Lieutenant Dan Choi, a West Point grad who was recently discharged from the New York National Guard for being openly gay, will have the opportunity to argue his case before a special board. Lt. Choi, a specialist in Arabic and a combat vet, stands to lose all of the veteran's benefits that he earned during his time in service. Where is the justice in that? And what happened to repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?

In two days, the State of California will be bankrupt. Our state's credit rating has dropped so low that the possibility of getting loans to keep us afloat is out of the question. Even though I am now retired, the state still owes me two months salary from my last contract. Will I become a victim to the mismanagement of state funds come Wednesday, when my paycheck should be deposited into my bank account?

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I honestly don't remember how I learned about Loreena McKennett, I'm just thrilled that I did!

Celtic music is her thing, but this amazing Canadian songstress also has an incredible talent for turning classic poetry into glorious song! I may not recall when or how I discovered Ms. McKennett, but I do remember that it was this song that introduced me to her music.

What moves me this week is Loreena McKennett's version of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem, The Lady of Shalott. If you enjoy the Arthurian legends, both the poem and the song should move you, too. Or, if you're familiar with the story of Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery, another Canadian, then you will remember that Anne loved the poem so much she re-enacted it with her friends. Of course Anne took the role of the Lady of Shalott for herself; she really loved the drama of the death scene.

Tennyson never gives the Lady a name, so much about her remains a mystery. She is imprisoned in a tower on an island called Shalott in an unnamed river somewhere near Camelot. Because a curse has been placed on her, she cannot look directly at Camelot or some unknown disaster will befall her. In her isolation and loneliness, she spends her time watching the people of Camelot through a mirror and weaving what she sees into a magic web. Although she is tempted to look directly down on Camelot, she remains in the shadows, isolated from life, living it only through the reflections she sees in the mirror. That is, until the day she hears a knight singing as he rides past the tower. Captivated by his song, the Lady of Shalott finally realizes that her "life" in the shadows and reflections of the mirror is no life at all. Without a care for the curse, she looks down on the handsome knight with black curls as he rides past. The mirror cracks, and the curse comes true. The Lady leaves the tower, finds a boat on the lake and writes her name on it. Chanting a song, she climbs into the boat and floats down the river both to Camelot and her death. When the boat reaches the shore, a group of knights and ladies, one of whom is Lancelot, find the dead maiden. Lancelot says, ""She has a lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace, The Lady of Shalott."

Even if you don't know the story of the Lady who became "half-sick of shadows" and sacrificed her life for a single moment of living, this song is a great way to introduce yourself to both the stories of the Knights of the Round Table and some fantastic Victorian poetry.

Poem / Lyrics

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow veil'd,
Slide the heavy barges trail'd
By slow horses; and unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early,
In among the bearded barley
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly;
Down to tower'd Camelot;
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers, " 'Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott."

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot;
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad
Goes by to tower'd Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two.
She hath no loyal Knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armor rung
Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn'd like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro' the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, burning bright,
Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lirra," by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.
Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower'd Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance --
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right --
The leaves upon her falling light --
Thro' the noises of the night,
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.
For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and Burgher, Lord and Dame,
And around the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the Knights at Camelot;
But Lancelot mused a little space
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott."

For more Musical Monday entries, visit here.

To see more Music Monday posts, go here.

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If you're in the market for a new bathtub, you might want to consider one of these Italian models from SICIS, an art mosaic company:

The "Audrey" is decorated with tiles and is available in pink, blue, black, and white. Starting at just $17,000, the tubs can be custom made to suit your taste.

This surely puts a whole new spin on the Old Lady in the Shoe tale, don't you think?
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A – An advantage you have – I have an Amazing Egyptian Dude.

B – Blue or brown eyes – Mine are blue, but I like brown better.

C – Chore you hate – LAUNDRY!

D – Dad’s name – His name is Billy Joe, but he's always been called Butch -- except by the civilized people who call him Bill.

E – Essential start of your day – A pot of coffee

F – Favorite color – Purple, with green as a very close second

G – Greatest thing you’ve ever done that made you feel really good – Finally finishing college

H – Habit you have – I twirl my hair when I'm thinking

I – Issue you hate that the world tries to make you pursue – Secondhand smoke

J – Job title – Haus Frau

K – Kohls or Target – Target

L – Living arrangements – Yes, my living is arranged

M – Music you like – All kinds, but especially old country

N - Nicknames – Jane

O – Overnight hospital stay – Far too many to record here

P – Pet Peeve – People who always put IN before WHICH when a different preposition is appropriate. For example:

The road in which we drove had several potholes.
**Since you're not really driving IN the road but ON the road, you need to use the correct preposition, otherwise I get crazy. **

Q – Quote that you like most – "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." -- John Stewart Mill

R – Right or left handed – right

S – Siblings – 2 sisters

T – Time you wake up –. Varies, but always before 4 a.m.

U – Underwear – Yes, I wear them

V – Vegetable you dislike – Brussels sprouts

W – What makes you run late – See my response for A

X – X-rays you’ve had – Too many to list here

Y – Yummy food you make – Creme caramel

Z – Zoo animal – camels

To see other entries or play along, visit here.

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Crazy Sam hosts the Saturday: 9 meme. And since I don't have a Saturday meme to help keep me posting on a daily basis, I've decided to take up the challenge. Here's what the meme is all about:

What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

Let's get started. . .

1. Where were you when you heard that Michael Jackson died?

I was at home, sitting in front of my laptop, doing homework when the announcement interrupted regular CNN programming.

2. How do you think that he will be remembered?

I wish that I could say Michael will be remembered only for the legacy of music he left to the world; however, I tend to agree with Deepak Chopra who notes in his beautiful piece, A Tribute to My Friend, Michael Jackson, that the world will remember the artist as much for his erratic and often strange behavior as it will for his compassion and talent.

3. What was your favorite Jackson tune?

When he was part of the Jackson 5, my favorite song is "Dancing Machine."

As a solo artist, my favorite is "Man in the Mirror."

4. Did you watch the original Charlie’s Angels?

Yes, I did. It wasn't a show that I watched regularly, though.

5. Did someone you know have that poster of Farrah?

OMG, yes! I think just about every boy at my high school had the Farrah poster.

6. Did you consider her battle with cancer heroic?

I think that we focus too much on celebrities and when they battle horrific diseases like cancer, we call it "heroic." Farrah fought valiantly to save her life; however, I wouldn't go so far as to say that makes her battle any more "heroic" than the ones that thousands of others continue to fight against cancer.

7. Were you a fan of The Tonight Show Starring Johnnie Carson?

I've never been able to stay awake long enough to watch any of the late night talk shows.

8. Did you like Ed McMahon on the show?

I never saw him on the show.

9. What else will you remember McMahon for?

I will remember Ed McMahon most for his last appearance on the Larry King Show a couple of years ago. The image of this dignified elderly man, who I knew best from the days when he hosted Star Search, explaining that his home was in foreclosure, absolutely broke my heart. Here was a man who, after giving the entertainment industry his life, was now too old to find the work he needed in order to pay his bills. I found it utterly shameful, and the image of Mr. McMahon looking so frail and vulnerable is forever etched in my memory.

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Why did the chicken cross the road?

Bob Dylan: How many roads must one chicken cross?

Jack Nicholson: ’cause it (censored) wanted to. That’s the (censored) reason.

Hamlet: Because ’tis better to suffer in the mind the slings and arrows of outrageous road maintenance than to take arms against a sea of on coming vehicles…

Martin Luther King, Jr.: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question

The Bible: And God came down from the heavens, and He said unto the chicken, “Thou shalt cross the road.” And the Chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing.

Lord Baden-Powell: To earn a road crossing Badge.

Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends upon your point of view. The chicken did not cross the road – it transcended it.

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 it, I’ve not been told!

Mark Twain: The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Anderson Cooper: 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.

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.

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.

Nancy Grace: That chicken crossed the road because he’s GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

Ernest Hemingway: To die. Alone. In the rain.

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Post about 5 favorite things from the past week. It can be anything that tickled your fancy: favorite quotes, posts, happenings, scriptures, recipes, pictures, great internet finds, etc., etc. Be as detailed as you like, the more detail the more fun for those of us visiting. Susanne, the hostess, just asks that it be kept family friendly. Click here to play along with us.

1. Going back to school as a student instead of the instructor is a blast. Who'd have thought that I would actually look forward to doing homework again?

2. A friend sent the following to me in an email:

Stupid Questions with the smart answers…

Boy: May I hold your hand?
Girl: No thanks it isn't heavy.

Girl: Say you love me! Say you love me!
Boy: You love me…

Girl: If we become engaged will you give me a ring??
Boy: Sure, what's your phone number??

Girl: I think the poorest people are the happiest.
Boy: Then marry me and we'll be the happiest couple.

Girl: Darling, I want to dance like this forever.
Boy: Don't you ever want to improve??

Boy: I love you and I could die for you!
Girl: How soon??

Boy: I would go to the end of the world for you!
Girl: Yes, but would you stay there??

MAN: You remind me of the sea.
WOMAN: Because I'm wild, roman tic and exiting??
MAN: No because you make me sick.

WIFE: You tell a man something, it goes in one ear and comes out of the other.
HUSBAND: You tell a woman something, it goes in both ears and come out of the mouth.

MARY: John says I'm pretty. And says I'm ugly. What do you think, Peter??
PETER: A bit of both. I think you're pretty ugly.

Girlfriend: "…And are you sure you love me and no one else?"
Boyfriend: "Dead sure! I checked the whole list again yesterday."

Teacher: "Which is more important to us the sun or the moon?"
Pupil: "the moon."
Teacher: "why?"
Pupil: "The moon gives us light at night when we need it, but the sun gives us light only in the day time when we don’t need it."

Teacher: "What do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?"
Pupil: "A teacher"

Waiter: "Would you like your coffee black?"
Customer: "What other colors do you have?"

Tom: "How should I convey the news to my father that I've failed?"
David: "You just send a telegram: Result declared, past year's performance repeated."

Teacher: "Now, children, if I saw a man beating a donkey and stopped him, what virtue
would I be showing?"
Student: "Brotherly love."

Teacher: "Now, Sam, tell me frankly do you say prayers before eating?"
Sam: "No sir, I don’t have to, my mom is good cook."

Patient: "What are the chances of my recovering Doctor?"
Doctor: "One hundred percent. Medical records show that nine out of ten people die of the
disease you have. Yours is the tenth case I've treated. The others all died."

Teacher: "Can anybody give an example of coincidence?"
One Student: "Sir, my Mother and Father got married on the same day and at the same time."

Teacher: "Gorge Washington not only chopped down his father's Cherry tree, but also admitted doing it. Now do you know why his father didn't punish him?"
One Student: "Because George still had the axe in his hand."

3. Reeling from the surprising news of Michael Jackson's death yesterday. His life is a shining example of how true it is that money can't buy happiness.

4. The kids have come over for dinner three times this week, which has been a blast for us. It gives the Amazing Egyptian Dude a chance to show his son-in-law what a great cook he is, and it gives the son-in-law the opportunity to eat plenty of really good Egyptian food.

5. I am absolutely not looking forward to the weekend! It will be frantically busy, and I never do well under circumstances like that. Fingers are crossed that The Brain cooperates throughout.

And before I forget, thanks for the Peach Cobbler suggestions. My dad says that he's pretty sure my mom used the one on the Bisquick box, so I'll be using that one to start with. I'll just keep experimenting until I find just the right one. How horrible to have to eat so much peach cobbler, LOL!

Happy Friday, all!
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More Friday Fill-Ins are available here. we go!

1. She had a great head of hair.

2. The Amazing Egyptian Dude is by my side, always.

3. I know this: 6-25-09 totally sucked!

4. I can't believe that I'm awake still.

5. These words apply to me: beat it.

6. Like the proverb says, we made hay while the sun was shining.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner and discussion with my friend, tomorrow my plans include attending a housewarming party in a city that I call the armpit of the state, and Sunday, I want to finish my homework!

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I am officially sad today. The world has lost two remarkable entertainers with the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson; I have lost two more pieces of my childhood. Both of these entertainers played a significant role in my formative years; I grew up watching Charlie's Angels and listening to The Jackson 5 and later, just Michael when he embarked on a solo career. So many fond memories are wrapped around these two artists. May they both rest in peace.
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I think that. . .
  • I will survive today's class without falling asleep again. Why? Because I'll have my laptop with me and can do my own work. If I have to work, I have to stay awake, right?
  • Camry might not forgive me for getting her spayed. I'll know for sure in a few more days as her incision heals. Although she still wants to sleep with me, she is doing a really good job of ignoring me the rest of the day.
  • I could get used to the June gloom that has brought wonderful summertime temperatures to Southern California for the past three weeks. Usually by this time, I'm running the a/c whenever I am at home; however, open windows and doors, supplemented by a ceiling and floor fan, has been adequate to keep the whole house cool.
  • I'm going to splurge and get a blog template specially made for me. I'm still thinking on this one but at the moment, I'm leaning much more to the go for it side.

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Most people are familiar with the literary masterpieces that are often called the "great books." Mark Twain joked that a "classic" is "a book which people praise but don't read." My list today is made up of thirteen "great books" that I believe everyone, irrespective of language, gender, culture, or religion, should read because they express themes that transcend all of these boundaries designed to make us think we're different and demonstrate just how similar we really are.

1. The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone by Sophocles
  • fate vs. free will
  • Is it better to be "blind" to the truth or to uncover and "see" no matter the cost?
  • laws of man vs. divine laws
2. All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  • horrors of war for all involved
  • dangers of nationalism
  • war is not a romantic adventure
3. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  • change vs. tradition
  • What does it mean to be a "man"?
  • importance of language
4. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  • qualities of a strong leader
  • the power of political deception
  • types of governing strategies
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • laws vs. customs
  • compassion vs. justice
  • importance of education
6. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • the necessity of law and order
  • individualism vs. community
  • man vs. nature
7. Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya
  • man vs. nature
  • knowledge vs. ignorance
  • western civilization vs. eastern civilization
8. Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz
  • the importance of memory
  • new ideas vs. old traditions
  • tyranny vs. justice
9. 'On Liberty' and Other Writings by John Stewart Mill
  • civil liberties
  • importance of free speech
  • social contract
10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • censorship
  • life and death
  • knowledge is power
11. King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • political authority vs. chaos
  • father/daughter relationships
  • If both the wicked and the good die, what is justice?
12. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • appearances vs. reality
  • frailty vs. strength
  • revenge vs. justice
13. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • law vs. morality
  • selflessness vs. selfishness
  • freedom vs. slavery

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