Archive for October, 2007

Happy Birthday WSM (a little late)

img_1734.jpgI’ve sorta become a collector of photos of the WSM Tower.  I’ve written before about how much and why I love pictures of that tower. I’m crazy about it.

A few weeks back, Mr. Smiff and some of Them were guests on WSM Radio the day they were celebrating the 82nd birthday of the historic radio station.  Because Mr. Smiff is getting elderly or because he needs to borrow some of my medicine, he did not mention to me until he was literally on his way to do this interview, that the interview was on the grounds of the WSM tower, a stones throw from my childhood home.  Had he not won Entertainer of the Year the night before, I mighta got a little testy with him.  I’ve never been on the actual grounds of where the tower sits. 

Anyway, my new pal Emy Jo Bellenfant-Bilbrey (Mrs. Keith) said I could show you some pictures she took from that event that day. I’ll show the pictures while I sulk at the same img_1735.jpgtime.  Even #2 got to go.  He was way more impressed with riding in Jamie’s red convertible than anything else.

I LOVE this picture of George Hamilton IV.  One of these days, I want a picture of me img_1747.jpglike this. 

Oh…Emy Jo is a Williamson County native and has a super cool antique store.  She’s having an Open House this weekend.  Go read about it here.

My Talented Kin Peoples

I swear…I’m related to the most talented people.  We’ve got former college scholarshipped-to-big-name-schools-for-football people, I’ve got one cousin on Broadway in Phantom, I’m even kin to former society writer Catherine Darnell.  That’s not mentioning the Smith’s and O’Bryants and such…and the father, etc.

I had no idea this cousin of mine was one, even an artist, two, was so talented and three, sells his paintings for large amounts of dollars.  Go see Cousin Joey’s work.  Dang. Go say hi to him.

I’ve actually only met Joey (I bet nobody calls him that anymore) once.  In 1986, I went with my mom to California for her brother’s funeral.  Joey was maybe 5 or 6 then.   He was cute as a bug and so quiet.  I don’t think he said two words the whole time we were there until the day before we left. Joey and I had this conversation.  I remember it like it was yesterday:

Joey:  You talk funny.

Sista: Oh really? What do I sound like?
Joey: You sound like a cowboy.

Joey’s grandmother was my sometimes discussed here Aunt Tee Wee, my moms oldest sister, who died in 1977, before he was even born.  the_sullivan_girls.jpg

I wish I could afford to commission him to paint this picture of the Sisters.

sandra.jpgHappy Birthday to the formerly zaftig, but, now svelte sister. She is older than I.  Just wanted to make that clear.  Oh, there is a gift on the way, but, you are the organized one. It might make it in time for Easter.

Over It

Don’t ask me how school is, k?  I’m about up to here (the top of my head) with the whole thing.  Not just that I took on too big a load with the classes I’m taking (that’s about to drive me totally insane).  I can deal with getting in over my head and biting the bullet. 

What I’m having a hard time dealing with is the Math office saying they have not gotten any homework from me.  One, they most certainly have, two…I’ve busted my rather ample behind trying to keep up with the homework.  I got a little behind, but, am now caught up. 

To hear a voice on the other end of the phone tell me when I inquired as to why my attendance for the Math class said “Never” when I checked my stuff online, was a little more than I could handle today.  If I weren’t fearful of setting a bad example for my kids, not to mention the money I plunked down to take this class,  then I would stop now.  I also realize it’s not like I’d be hurting anybody at Vol State’s feelings if I quit going.  It would hurt my feelings though.   They have my money in hand already.  I am starting to feel like I paid to have my self esteem lowered and blood pressure raised.  Everytime I go into that Math Lab, I feel the systolic and diastolic go up a few notches. 

I should probably go talk to the people up there and get it all straight but I know I would use profane language and make a fool of myself and they’d probably fail me for that.  I feel so ignorant about the way college stuff works and more than once have had a grade suffered because I misunderstood  something.

This stuff gets me all emotional and nuts.  I don’t know if it’s subconscious stuff from years ago or what.  This was an expensive way to be reminded that I’m really, really bad at formal learning.

On a lighter note…I find it interesting that the top thing that brings people to this website (I’m talking random Googlers out there) is people doing a search on Eddie Munster.  Maybe it’s cause it’s Halloween and all. 

They could make a great mask of me right now…all PMS-like, haggard, weary, bags under the eyes.  It would be a scary mask, fo sho.

There To Greet Me Is My Mama and Papa….

opry0705porterwagoner.jpg I look at this picture I took in the summer of 2005 and all I hear in my head is…”Hon’…you have to turn the thing on to take a picture.”  (Hence, the laughter from the Grascals.)

Dave’s Not Here

Back in April, when I started what was then the “New” job, I had the great fortune to be the new person with another new person, who was also beginning his new gig the same day, Co-Worker Dave.  Dave sat next to me then and from that first day, he won me over as Coolest Co-Worker Evah.  I think it was his story of Dougie that sealed the deal.

I could babble on and on about all the things that made Dave such a great co-worker, but,  I won’t.  I’ll just say what I said to him that I was really grateful to have been able to start at the new job with him because that first day, I was scared to death of being somewhere new, after so long at the other place.  He helped make the transition for me a lot easier.  We clicked from day one. 

Dave’s  last day with us was yesterday.  He’s moving on to another, better position and I am glad for him.  He is a family man with a wife and child and another one on the way.  Another one on the way that I told him was coming before he knew it.  I’ll miss him a ton.

In honor of Dave’s leaving, I give him this….I don’t know if he’s ever heard it and I think I mighta tried to describe it to him, but, didn’t do so good.

I Should Be Asleep…

Mr. Smiff and Them will be live on your radio airwaves today at 1:00 Eastern Time.  Maybe it won’t be “airwaves” for most of us.  Perhaps “Interwaves” would be a better term.  They will be on that fantastically, wonderful WNCW out of North Carolina. 

I’m considering a big decision tomorrow.  Nothing life-threatening or anything like that.  In the Grand Scheme, it’s not brain surgery.  It’s common sense.  I’m going to sleep on it and see how I feel about it in the morning.  I’m not one to be stressed out, but, of late, I am VERY stressed out and it just doesn’t bode well for me and those who live with me. 

Saturday is looking to be totally action packed with the School Carnival.  I’m a bad mom.  I did not sign up to work at the “fun-filled” carnival.  Anybody who’s read me any length of time can figure that one out.  I’m not good at playing PTO/Muffia. I’m not able to play along and say “Hiiiiiii-iiii! How are yeeewwwww?” To the other parents.  I dread having to go to this thing in the first place.  I managed to skip it last year. No such luck this year.

The Manchild is in a school play this weekend. First show was tonight.  I had to miss it cause of school but even his sister commented on how her brudder “stood out” even though he doesn’t have a major role.  That is quite a huge statement coming from the Holy Tara.  

I may actually hit two school plays Saturday…the MC’s and a friend of mine from church is in “Brigadoon.” This girl…teenaged girl, I think she’s a senior…amazingly talented.  I hope I can get away from the Carnival and see her.

Ok, I’m really going to bed now.

Funny Line of the Hour

It’s lunchtime in the office.  Somebody had apparently attempted to toast some bread in the toaster.  It was not a succesful toasting.

One of the doctors who works up here…a truly hilarious individual…walked through and said, very non-chalantly in her Canadian lilt (what do you call a Canadian accent?) , “Somebody lost the recipe for toast.” 

What I Love Most On Television These Days

Have I mentioned how I adore Jimmy Kimmel?  I can’t think of anybody on television who makes me laugh more than Jimmy except maybe the crew from The Office and maybe the 30 Rock people.  I think Jimmy should take David Letterman’s spot when he retires.  Or Jay Leno’s.  Whoever hangs it up first.

This week, Jimmy is filling in for the vacationing Regis Philbin.  While doing the Regis and Kelly Show, Jimmy is also flying back and forth everyday to Los Angeles, taping his show and flying back to New York.  Crazy, yes.  If those stinking fires weren’t happening in California, I think this would’ve maybe gotten a little more press.  (They even pre-emptied Boston Legal last night, come to find out on my dvr tonight).  I fear Yimmy’s going to collapse in a heap just like Marie did the other night.  He wasn’t looking so good on the R & K show this morning.

Jimmy has a cast of hilariously funny sidekicks on his show…Guillermo (I crack up everytime he says “Yimmy.”) Veatrice is a trip, but, I think Jimmy’s Uncle Frank and Aunt Chippy are one of the funniest comedy duos on tv these days.  Or maybe the funniest comedy duo that doesn’t mean to be a comedy duo.  How many old couples does everybody know like this? 

Hysterical. Uncle Frank looks EXACTLY like the dearly departed stepfather. The Late Stepfather was not as robust as Uncle Frank and had a midwestern accent that made me cringe everytime he called my mother “Chickadee.” :shudder: Uncle Frank is also an obsessive compulsive neatfreak like the Late Stepfather was. He would follow us around at Christmas, when we were unwrapping presents, with a trashbag. Drove me insane.

And I Watched It Burn…

fallbrook_fire.jpgMy cousin Bart and his wife, Barbara live near San Diego.  I’m going to let Cousin Barbara guest blog what’s going on in their world….Hard to imagine. She has pictures, too.

WE ARE ALL FINE!!!   Fires in the County started yesterday and by this morning they were everywhere.   We are abt 2 miles from the coast and we have not even a breeze but inland the are expecting hurricane like winds…up to 80 miles a hr.   They were expecting the winds to die down over the evening so they could gain ground on them and the winds kept blowing.   Jason was sent home from work as they expanded the evacuation area.   Brandi’s FI was sent home as there was too much smoke.   A major freeway in our area has been closed as the fire has jumped that freeway and everyone is told to stay off the highways and not go to work if you can.   We are probably abt 20 minutes North of the evacuation area but the way the winds blow it should stay away area but with those winds you never know.   Fire is heading West.     It shouldn’t come our way but if it does I will be heading to the beach…won’t be any where else to go.

It’s abt 1:00 pm and before this last group of evacuations there were over san_diego_fire.jpg250,000 people in the County evacuated and there are more areas of mandatory evacuations that have since been added.   Winds have been clocked at 102+.   We live on the North side of Highway 78 and the evacuation areas goes up to the South side of the Highway.   They predict it to burn to the coast (Coast South to us)

  Just went outside to put mail in mailbox and we are in the only section of blue patch of sky.   To the South of us   all the way to the coast is dark and covered in smoke and we also have a smoke section to the North of us.   Although there is no ash falling like the last time…probably because the air is so still where we are.   Very eerie!   You watch the news and the winds are so bad yet so still here.visitors.jpgThese are misplaced horses who have been bunking at a local ballfield, being misplaced because of the fire.     

Stay safe, Barbara.

The Cold, Hard Facts of Life

Ironic that I wrote about Tater Tate and Brent Burkett dying from Lung Cancer the other day and mentioning that Porter was hospitalized when come to find out today that he is also fighting lung cancer.

And he’s another one of those that I can see, plain as day on their way to the Opry stage, with the ever-present ciggarette in their fingers.  Dang. 

Porter is still vital to country music, as you can <a href=”“>see on this clip from his recent appearance on David Letterman and from his new cd.

Keep praying for Porter.

Happy Fall, Y’all

scarecrow.jpg#2 looks like he’s about to be attacked by the Scarecrow.


We thought the white pumpkins looked like garlic.


I tried to talk the boy into getting one of those pumpkins with the tumors, that it would be kinda like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, a Charlie Brown Pumpkin. He wouldn’t go for it.

Now, the challenge will be listening to #2 ask everyday, “When can we carve the pumpkins?”  I keep telling him if we carve them too early, they’ll rot, especially since it’s so warm.  It’s funny that all three kids get a pumpkin every year.  Who ends up doing most of the carving? 

Grand Ole Opry Sorta Stuff

I hear that  Porter Wagoner, is in the hospital.  I don’t know why or what, but, say a porterwagoner.jpgprayer for the Wagonmaster, would ya?

I meant to mention last week, the passing of Brent Burkett, who was part of The Fabulous Four Guys that were featured on the Opry for many years.  These guys, I think were the only act to ever become members of the Opry without the benefit of a record deal/hit record.  It’s a shame they never had a major record deal because I watched them perform many times from the side of the Opry stage from the time I was about #2’s age on up til I was grown…those guys ALWAYS lit up the crowd and got them guysmembers2_2_ssss-313x275.jpggoing.  Always.  They were great singers and entertainers, always dressed impeccably…I never saw them not wake up a sleeping Opry audience.  (I’ve seen many sleeping Opry audiences, too.) Interesting trivia about Brent is that he hailed from the same hometown as Dean Martin…Steubenville, OH. I don’t remember ever knowing that little tidbit.

And somebody else I want to mention, who died a couple days ago is Clarence “Tater” Tate.  Tater was extremely well known and revered in the Bluegrass world.  He was a tatertate.jpgmember of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys as a fiddler and a bass player.  He worked with all kinds of people through the years and even played on Patty Loveless’ most wonderful Mountain Soul album.   One artist he worked for was Wilma Lee Cooper.  He worked with a teenaged Mr. Smiff in those days.  Mr. Smiff has a hilarious imitation of Tater.  He will be missed.

Thing about Tater and Brent though…one of the things I remember about both these guys is I never saw either of them without a cigarette, except when they were onstage.  I can remember as a kid, all the way up til I had my own kids,  seeing Brent at the side of the Opry stage, looking at the show schedule, in his fancy suits and he seemed huge to me when I was a kid, but always had that cigarette between his fingers.  I believe both men died of lung cancer. 

Kerr & Bishop

The last surviving member of the Rat Pack is gone.  joey.jpg

(Check out young Regis)
Also, the woman that made lots of women want to go to the top of the Empire State Building and make out on the beach with waves crashing around us, Deborah Kerr, passed away this week as well.  She was great in An Affair To Remember, From Here To Eternity  and The King and I,  but, I think my favorite movie with her is Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison in which she played a nun opposite Robert Mitchum. 

Kerr and Grant were a classic combination though.

Not In Nashville, TN

Mr. Smiff and them played a show Downtown night before last for a bunch of talent buyers.  It was an important show cause these people look for acts to book at fairs and stuff.  Not your usual, yee haw, kinda Grascal crowd. 

I was not thrilled when Mr. S. said he had to go do this show cause he had just gotten back in early that morning (Monday) after being gone since the previous Wednesday night.  I’m sure I was really sweet about the whole thing since he said it “wouldn’t take long.”  I’ve heard that before.  I’m so jaded by show bidness, ya know.

As I sorta expected, Mr. Smiff’s thing took way longer for him to get home.  Not cause the show went over but cause some brilliant, motorcycle riders had parked their bikes in front of the bus, blocking them in their spot on Broadway.  (They played at the place that used to be where the NASCAR cafe was).  He called a few times, telling of the inconvenience and each time I spoke to him, he was using more and more colorful language to describe said Motorcyclists.  They ended up taking a cab home (of course, the bus followed right behind them once they decided to take the cab route).

Something else really crazy happened while they were blocked on Lower Broad.  They saw a guy die of a heart attack.  This guy (I believe he was a program director from West Virginia) collapsed inside the club (still can’t remember the name of it…Cadillac is in the title).  Mr. Smiff saw a waitress come outside, very excited, saying something about pounding the chest.  Because he is a dirty old man, he assumed somebody in the club must’ve grabbed her bosom. 

Instead, this gentleman inside grabbed his own chest and it was nearly 20 minutes before the paramedics arrived.  The waitress called 911 and was PUT ON HOLD.  I don’t know if a quicker arrival by the paramedics would’ve saved this guys’  life (he was not an older guy, probably in his 30’s or 40’s according to Mr. S) or not but, I’m still befuddled as to why they were put on hold by 911 in the first place and why it took an ambulance nearly 20 minutes to get to one of the main drags of the city?  I can’t understand that, for the life of me.  Mayor Dean?  Somebody? This should not happen in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee, or anyplace that has an adequate number of emergency personnel.  

I can’t help but think of that gentleman and wonder if he had a wife and kids at home.  One of those situations that makes me realize the fact that I can’t get anybody to take the trash out at home or help with the laundry…is not really that big of a deal in the grand scheme.