"Since flesh can't stay, we keep the breath aloft. Since flesh can't stay, we pass the words along." --Erica Jong

Monday, July 07, 2008

Some Things I Thought You Should Know....

Saturday, February 02, 2008
WI: Do Unto Others

They buried my prophet today. When he was asked "How are you?" he'd reply, "Better than ever! And the best is yet to come!" The leader of one small country once claimed that Gordon Bitner Hinckley could "charm a donkey or a king," and attributed this gift to his love of people, and his great humility. I will miss his gentle ways and his quick wit. It's reported that when he learned Mitt was considering a run for the White House, he said, "If you decide to run and you win, it will be a great experience. If you run and lose it will also be a great experience!"

I will miss the twinkle in his eyes. I will miss seeing him throw kisses toward the crowds in China, and Africa, and in the Philippines. I'll miss his waving hello's and goodbye's with the cane he was supposed to walk with.

Someone in the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas said they would all be out to picket at the funeral, calling President Hinckley a "fraudulent old fool." I don't know if they actually came or not. If they did, none of the news chanels reported it. WBC also says "God hates Hinckley ...and all Mormons without exception. All such go to Hell." I think these nuts are a very small fraction of evangelical Christian folks. I also would hope if they really came, that President Hinckley could've hit 'em over the head with his cane--but I'm positive he would have simply turned the other cheek.

But that's not saying I wouldn't have hit 'em over the head with MY cane (if I had one)! Here's the word from Bill Keller, host of a Florida TV program. It says: "this information has been given to you in love, and we can assure you that it is accurate and honest." Yeah, right.

And why in the world are they so obsessed with our "magical" underwear? Is anyone out there so obsessed with your underwear? I think not. My underwear is my business.

Well, then.--I'm off to spend eternity in Hell. But really, when the time comes, I'm taking my cane with me...and my magic underwear.

Posted by Joyce Ellen Davis at 6:02 PM 17 comments
Friday, January 25, 2008

This is a picture of my big brother, Gaylen, and me. I called him "Brother," because for many years I thought that was his name. He hung out hundreds of my diapers on the clothesline for our mom, he carried me around on his back, he paid me pennies and nickles to smell his feet and scratch his back. I first time I ever heard Mairzy Doats and Dozey Doats was when he sang it, drying dishes after supper one evening. I thought it was the funniest song in the world. He built model airplanes and hung them from the ceilings all over the house. There was a perpetual smell of balsa wood and model glue. He flew them in circles over the desert with our cousin Billy. He learned to play the trumpet. He listened to Stan Kenton jazz records, and to Woody Herman, subscribed to Downbeat and Metronome magazines.

Walkin' with my baby, she got great big feet...
Caldonia! Caldonia! What makes your big head so hard? Hunh!

That was the second funniest song in the world.

He said he wanted to be an aeronautical engineer, and fly real airplanes. He bought his own plane with money he earned reading gas meters, and took flying lessons. But when he went away to college, he studied music, and became a performer and a composer, and a teacher. Igor Stravinsky liked Woody Herman's scat and screech Caldonia too, so much, in fact, that he wrote music for Herman's band. WHen my brother composed his own music, years later, much of it echoed the sound of Stravinsky. For his PHD at the University of Utah, my brother wrote music for a ballet gala, performed by the U of U Ballet (which became Ballet West), That piece, TOXCATL, based on Aztec history during the periodic "War of the Flowers," was no doubt inspired and influenced by Stravinsky. This is where he met my sister-in-law, Marianne, a ballerina with the company. They married and had four children, two boys and two girls. He played French Horn with the Utah Symphony under Maestro Maurice Abravanel for years.

He set a poem I wrote when I was seventeen to music for a 75 voice choir, performed and recorded with brass and timpani. He also used a text of mine called JAEL, for a short opera written a few years later. Most recently (April, 2000), I was pleased when he asked me to provide and edit the text for an ambitious piece called APOTHEOSIS, based on the writings of Neal A Maxwell and performed by the Ricks College Chamber Orchestra and Collegiate Singers. A CD was made for Tantara Records as part of their Heritage Series, called Three Sacred Works. An absolutely fantastic piece of music! The last thing he wrote was a piano piece called Fallen Angel, for a special project uniting LDS classical composers with LDS visual artists, performed by Grant Johannesen, called Mormoniana.

He accompanied the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on several tours around the world, he was invited by the Chinese Minister of Culture to spend time in China lecturing and performing at three of the conservatories there. He's performed with George Shearing (on bass), Mannheim Steamroller (on horn), and has accompanied Margaret Whiting, the Lennon Sisters, Liberace, Ray Charles, and many others. He played a jazz concert once with Paul Horn, Conte Condoli, and Milton Bernhart.

The last three years, my brother has suffered with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and diabetes (which took his sight a year ago). But it never, ever, took away his spirit, his sweet nature, or his sense of humor. Now he is dying. We all went over the night before last to say goodbye -- but I hate goodbyes. I said "Goodnight," and he said, "You've been a good sister." We said our "I love you's," and I asked him to please hug Mama and Daddy when he sees them, and to tell them I miss them. And to "leave a light on" for the rest of us. (You know, like that Motel 6 commercial).

Night before last he said to my sister-in-law, "Did you order this?" "Order what?" she asked. "This music," he said. They were playing Faure's REQUIEM for him. Whoever they were, bless them. And bless him.

(Please click on the link to hear a bit of Fallen Angel)

Posted by Joyce Ellen Davis at 11:57 AM 15 comments
Friday, December 14, 2007
Last Words.

But, hey. This is my last word on the subject, I promise!

When Lawrence O'Donnell, in his little fit of anti-Mormon rhetoric said that the Mormon Church was "racist" and "ridiculous," he also said that it is "based on the work of a lying, fraudulent criminal named Joseph Smith" he was treading on ground that got Don Imus fired. Maybe O'Donnell should be fired for his lack of on-air civility. Had he lived in a less forgiving culture, say, Islamic, and said that about the Prophet Mohammed, they would undoubtedly put out a bounty on his head. Here in America, while we tend to take a dim view of name-calling and slander, such statements are usually overlooked. We don't behead folks for their views here in the land of free speech. But I saw the broadcast. You could almost see the spit flying from his enraged lips.

I was shocked. Sort of. We Mormons are, historically and intellectually, pretty resilient. So, just for the record, let me offer another view. Joseph Smith was a farm boy from upstate New York. Yale literary scholar Harold Bloom, who has written many, many books, has written one called The American Religion, in which he writes of Joseph Smith: "I can only attribute to his genius or daemons his uncanny recovery of elements in ancient Jewish theurgy that had ceased to be available either to Judaism or to Christianity, and that had survived only in esoteric traditions unlikely to have touched Smith directly." Joseph had a third-grade education. His mother described him as a "relatively quiet" boy. When he was 14, reading in the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which says: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him, he then went out into the woods behind his house, knelt in prayer, and said he had a vision, in which two "Personages" appeared before him; one pointing to the other said, This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him.

Ministers of the day told him his "vision" was of the devil, and that he was "deluded," but he knew what he had experienced. "I had actually seen a light," he wrote, "and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision, and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it...."

And I, and thirteen-million-plus other people believe him. He assured us that God continues to speak to people, that he is alive and well, and that he had not said everything he had to say thousands of years ago and has nothing left to say: "For unto him that receiveth I will give more."

Joseph Smith taught that the glory of God is intelligence, and that Man is, that he might have Joy. He taught us that "Families are Forever." He taught that whatever principle of intelligence man attains in this life will rise with him in the resurrection. And that we are to seek wisdom and to "study and learn and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues and people." He taught us that we are not alone in the universe.
"And God said, Here is wisdom, and it remaineth in me...And worlds without number have I created...But only an account of this earth give I unto you, For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine, and I know them." And, "Every spirit of man was innocent from the beginning." And animals have souls. Well, there's more. But you get the idea.

As for the the "racist" thing: we believe that God has not only spoken to the Jews who wrote his teachings in the Bible, and to the people who wrote them in the Book of Mormon, but "Know ye not that there are more nations than one?...and because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another, for my work is not yet finished...for I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them." (And I say, yes! there is Truth and Beauty in the words of Black Elk, and the Buddha, and in the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad -Gita, and the Koran.)

A Book of Mormon prophet says, "Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another," and "one man shall not think himself above another." And because every single one of us is a literal child of God, we are all brothers and sisters, and are loved equally.

So, Brother O'Donnell, I forgive you for saying that we are ignorant and gullible, misguided and ridiculous racists.

God bless.

Posted by Joyce Ellen Davis at 7:44 PM 5 comments
Thursday, December 13, 2007
We all know Mormons are evil...NOT!

So, Lawrence O'Donnell, a panelist on "The Mclaughlin Group" is lamenting on TV that Mitt Romney Did not "Take the opportunity to distance himself from the evils of his religion," calling us "racist" and "ridiculous." So O'Donnell is a nasty bigoted little man.

But I am disappointed in Mike Huckabee, who, after saying "I would never try, ever, to pick out some point of your faith and make an issue of it," did just that, and then blamed his statement on the New York Times reporter Zev Chafets. Apparently after describing himself as the "only Republican candidate with a degree in theology," Mike was asked by Zev if he considered Mormonism a cult or a religion, and his answer was, "I think it's a religion. I really don't know much about it," and then surprised Chafets with a question of his own. Chafets says Mike asked "in an innocent voice, 'Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?'"

Well, Mike, that was about as slick a maneuver as any other remark designed to inflame anti-Mormon prejudice against Mitt. I thought you were better than that, Mike. I even thought you were kinda cute. Now you're starting to scare me....

To quote from a letter to the editor in today's paper: "What does scare me is that the same folks who hold major sway in presidential nominations in Iowa are the same folks who believe [God] created the universe 7,000 years ago, 9,000 years after human beings domesticated dogs."

So, I am still in Obama's camp (even though he was raised Muslim, and simply declares himself to be a "Christian" of no particular brand). Another letter to the editor says: "As the American public stumbles over itself trying to figure out who the 'real' Christians are, who was 'raised' Muslim and who is more beholden to whose God, the presidential candidates likely feel a sense of relief. They don't have to worry about explaining their stances on real issues of real importance."

I say, "Amen" to that.

Posted by Joyce Ellen Davis at 1:00 PM 6 comments
Friday, December 07, 2007
Mitt's Speech

Like Mitt Romney, I am a Mormon. I won't be voting for Mitt. Unlike most of the people in Utah, I am Democrat, and I'll probably vote for Obama. Nevertheless, it ticks me off that Mitt should need to defend his faith as a candidate for President of the United States of America, that he has to somehow prove to other Americans that he is a Christian. Or, that he is as Christian as other Christians. Like Mitt, "I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it." It defines who I am (a child of God), informs me where I came from and gives my life purpose.

In today's Deseret News, Lee Benson writes that "Weirdness, not religion, is the real issue." He says Romney's "problem is this: 160 years since they drove us out of Nauvoo, people still think Mormons aren't normal.

"They think we're weird.

"This is perplexing to us who are actual Mormons, and not just because it bugs us that our beliefs, rites and rituals attract a great deal of ridicule when other religions can have their chants, creeds and ceremonies and no one seems to look twice.

"Nope. We don't like it because we know we are every bit as normal as they are."

And as moral, and as intelligent. We are a lot like everyone else--we don't have horns, as people once believed, we are born, we marry, we love our children, we teach them to be honest, to tell the truth, to love each other, we try to be good role models, we laugh at jokes, we go to the movies, we eat at McDonald's, play with our dogs, pay our bills, dress up on Halloween, blow out birthday candles, grow old, and die. Like everyone else, some of us "get it right" and some us us "screw it up." We give, we take. We are a lot like you. Our similarities are much, much greater than our differences. In our hearts, we know this. And we hope you do, too.

One UK newspaper reporter wrote that Mormonism is a "pop-art cartoon" of mainstream Protestantism. I hope, when the first Jew, or the first Buddhist, or the first Muslim, or the first Atheist runs for President, that he/she will be chosen because they are good, and decent, and honest, and smart. I hope people will not think they are "too weird" because they are "less mainstream."

Orson Scott Card (also a Mormon) wrote in today's paper: "...when it comes to choosing a president, does a person's opinion about the nature of God make any difference at all? What makes a difference is the candidate's character. Does he actually live by the rules he professes to believe in? Does he keep his word? Character is the only issue that matters, in my opinion. A person who professes correct opinions but has no honor won't be much good as a president, while a person of honor can believe what he wants about God and still be a president we can trust."

So, did Mitt persuade the evangelicals? I doubt it. Lee Benson wrote, "He might have been better off just wearing a badge that said "Vote For Me. I'm Normal" and leaving it at that. Anyway, he gave it a shot.
Posted by Joyce Ellen Davis at 1:43 PM 5 comments
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Labels People Have Given Me over the Years

I borrowed this idea from January, Choir-girl, Up and Comer, Democrat, Good-cooker, and Poet-Mom, and had fun doing it!

* * * *

Latter-Day Saint*Mormon*Child of God*Desert Rat*Californian*Brownie* Girl Scout*Girlfriend*Loner*
*President of Art Club*Artist*Grand Prize Winner*Sweepstakes Winner*President of Drama Club*Graduate*Best Friend*Joycie-My-Joycie*Juice*Beatnik*Bohemian*Flower Child*Single*Passive*Agressive*Actress*New Girl*Not A Bulldog*Married*Newlywed*Mrs.*That Girl*That Lady*That Woman*Wife*Sister-in-Law*Daughter-in-Law*Joy*Poet*Author*Writer
*Cancer Victim*Patient*Survivor*Neighbor*Book Award Winner*American*Democrat*Protester*Activist*Pacifist*Telephone Operator
*Lens Polisher*Waitress*Usher*Telemarketer*Teacher*Poet of the Year*Renter*Homeowner*Pet Owner*Animal Lover*Credit Card Holder*Sis*Aunt Joyce *Editor*Moviegoer*Right-Brained*Reader*Utahn*Mother*Mama*Soccer Mom*Pedestrian*Pianist*Mother-in-Law*Grandmother*Gramma*Big Apple*Gram Cracker*Librarian*Retired*Vacationer*Senior Citizen*Spacey*
*Blogger*Contributer*Pepek the Assassin.

Posted by Joyce Ellen Davis at 7:47 AM 9 comments
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
My First Meme...!

Wendy, who is quiet about a lot of things, answered 5 questions sent to her by her friend Karl. Now she has given me five questions (of her choosing) to answer. I'll do my best, okay? Then, if YOU want to play, let me know in the comments and I will personally craft five questions for YOU!

1. Compare and contrast women now and then.

Women then were tougher than they are now. They wore hats and bustles and corsets and shoes that required a crochet-hook to button. They didn't have zippers and snaps and velcro, or cute Nikes. They had to go out and gather their own nuts and berries and grind it into pemmican, whereas now we can put on our Nikes and run down to the Safeway, or better, the Olive Garden. They looked funny. Just look at a photograph of your great grandmother, for instance. We look good--we pluck our eyebrows and Botox our wrinkles and color our grey hair.

Women were tougher then than they are now. There is no way in hell I could ever walk a thousand miles through the snow (in my high-buttoned shoes). Or lose most of my children to flu or diptheria (as my great grandmother did), or watch them die of hunger, or cold, and bury them and leave them on the plains. I just couldn't. My children had all their vaccinations, and parkas, and braces on their teeth.

Women were tougher then than they are now. They had to read penny dreadfuls, or the Bible, or nothing at all. We have Blogs!

2. I'd like to know a bit about your faith...

I am LDS (Mormon). I believe that "the Glory of God is Intelligence," and that I am a child of God, that I have a Heavenly Mother as well as a Heavenly Father. I believe that life is eternal, that I existed before my birth on this earth, and will continue to exist. I believe that the universe is filled with light, and with life, and that those are probably the same thing. I believe that "Families are Forever," and that "Man is that he might have Joy." (Joy: being loved, learning to love others, having free agency to make bad choices, learning things -- languages and histories and cultures, planets, stars, galaxies....) I believe that God speaks to men, that there are many 'holy' books, that Mohammed and the Buddha, and Black Elk were inspired with truth. I believe the Old Testament, and the New Testament are testaments of Jesus Christ. I believe the Book of Mormon is ANOTHER testament of Christ. I believe that Christ's Atonement was universal and applies to everyone, to all people, to animals, to "every blade of grass." So, yes, I kiss my dogs. But not on the LIPS. (Does this answer your bonus question, somewhat? --but, I didn't even talk Baby Talk to my babies!) I believe that animals have souls--if any of our lives are eternal, they all are. I believe that I will have the opportunity to hold the baby I lost, and kiss his neck, and raise him to a perfect adulthood as a part of our family. There it is. In a Nutshell. And, though this is not part of the original question: what do I regret the most? I most regret that I did not adequately teach all my children that what is most important in their lives, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, is that they seek first the Kingdom of God. I regret, too, that I have not always done this.

3. You said you traveled a bit...(from Home) as a young woman...How did your parents and peers feel about that?

I joined a theater repertory company when I was young and had decided to become a great actress...it was a lot of fun and I loved the people I travelled with, the people I met, and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. I have a lot of good memories. But, my parents weren't as enthusiastic about my "bumming around the country" with a bunch of actors. But they got over it. As for my peers...I was kind of a loner (not the kind that suddenly buys a gun and 50 rounds of ammunition and shoots people!) but I kept pretty much to myself...so I don't know what they thought. My folks were supportive, in spite of their misgivings.

4. Did your sons marry women like you...or not like you?

Um, probably not like me. THEY (my sons) are a lot like me, but their wives--not so much. One of my daughters-in-law is Japanese, is a wonderful housekeeper (which I am not) and a fantastic cook (which I am definitely not). She is tiny and beautiful, a good mother to Bookworm and Starfish. Another daughter-in-law is Filipina, also tiny and beautiful (which I am not), teaches school, is a good mother to Chime and Cake, and loves to eat stuff I think is hideous--like pig's blood over rice, balut (half-grown duck embryos in a half-boiled egg *shudder*) and fish heads; another is tall and fair-haired and beautiful, and Lutheran, and Swedish, (all good things!). She has a Master's of Social Work degree, is a family counselor, and is the mother of my two fair-haired, blue-eyed and hazel-eyed grandsons. And the most recent is a Baptist/Episcopalian, dark-haired, attorney (much smarter than I!), who is a victim's advocate and looks like she should be on TV in Law and Order... and is the mom of my littlest, so handsome grandson. So, no, they're not like me...They are all four of them beautiful and smart and kind-hearted, and I love them all ENORMOUSLY! We have really interesting Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!

5. What food soothes you?

What food? ALL food (but not blood, balut or fish heads). I am like a vacuum cleaner, soothed by old crackers, stale cake, cold spaghetti, ...anything. Unfortunately.

Bonus question: Do you kiss your dogs? How about Baby Talk?

I love my dogs. See question/answer #2.

Directions for the Interview Meme:

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview Me."

2. I will respond by asking you 5 questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them 5 questions.

** Photo of my great grandmother, Laura Ann. Thanks, Wendy. That was fun!

Posted by Joyce Ellen Davis at 10:07 AM 10 comments
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Metaphor: The Tree of Utah (Or, What I Did Last Summer)

Monday, May 15, 2006
The Wild God's Grace

A nice piece I found in some old papers today while looking for something else. This article appeared in SUNSTONE, August, 1990. It's written by an old acquaintence, Levi S. Peterson, and was presented at the 1990 Washington D.C. Symposium.


...Prairie dogs are rodents which live in burrows. In prehistoric America their subterranean dwellings covered hundreds of miles of grassy plains. Viewing them, I thought of the birds to whom St. Francis of Assisi preached, for these prairie dogs seemed like a congregation of worshipers--curious, attentive, and devout. I join St. Francis in declaring the plants and animals of the earth to be my closest brothers and sisters. I rely on my mute intuitions to inform me that the impulse to to live I find everywhere on this fecund earth, in grasses and algae and pine trees as well as in prairie dogs and human beings is godly. This inorganic planet of magma, rock, water and air, is divine; but even more divine is the life that has occupied it and made it home. I love the wild world because it is so replete with an unapologetic impulse to live. The plants and animals claim their birthright. They do not agonize over duty; they listen to an inner commandment and strive to exist. And in their presence I worship, for God has spoken them, and they are his Word.

...I do not limit culpability among animals to the carnivores, for herbivores are guilty of maiming and killing plant life. For that matter, plants too participate in evil as they ingest, inhibit, and kill other plants or animals. It is the inborn curse of the mortal order whereby all living things are under the grim necessity of devouring other life. To achieve the goodness of developing my own life and the lives of other human beings and the lives of the plants and animals I choose to favor, I must sacrifice innumerable other plants and animals.

...I do not try to clear God of complicity in this tragic state of affairs. It was God who ordained that the original protoplasm from which life has evolved should be mortal. So on Judgement Day, if there is to be a Judgement Day, God will stand indicted under a law of his own devising. On that day I will be ready to forgive God, as I hope he will forgive me. I will forgive him because I do not believe he can intervene in the natural order he has established. My only certitude regarding God is this: he is the creative force of the cosmos which expresses itself in natural law. But of course, I am pleased to imagine, to hope, he is much more as well. I hope God is the guarantor of certain outrageous miracles, one of which is the immortality of individual human beings...I hope he is the supernatural destiny toward which consciousness and spirit in the natural world are tending.

...Each Sunday as I partake of the sacrament, I devote a portion of my meditation to a prayer for pardon. I do not ask Christ to forgive me, because I do not believe he has ever condemned me...I must forgive myself, over and over for failing to be a saint. I affirm that the best and purest expression of God in this wide universe is in the imperative of the human conscience toward self-sacrifice in behalf of others. "If any man will come after me," said Jesus, "let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me...." The cross of our new ecologically oriented age is vaster, weightier, more hopeless of being borne than the old cross of earlier ages. We are asked to be eco-saints. Though our duty to our own kind is in nothing diminished, we are now asked to love and cherish the wild world as well. We are asked to covenant ourselves to the cause of clean air, pure water, and natural soil. We are asked to engage ourselves in behalf of snails, meadowlarks, kelp, moths, and earthworms, too. The living world is our temple and we are asked to keep it holy."

(It's LONG but it's worth it.)
Posted by Joyce Ellen Davis at 4:10 PM 6 comments

Monday, August 01, 2005
The day after the tsunami hit South Asia, taking nearly 30,000 lives and causing incalculable destruction, Elder Subandriyo called Bertha Suranto to take leave of her job and travel to the city of Medan in northern Sumatra. As a volunteer for her church, she began purchasing building materials, tents, food, clothing, cooking stoves, and materials for thousands of hygiene kits. As each truck was filled, Sister Sutanto phoned ahead to her husband who was helping out in Banda Aceh, and he helped distribute the items among those in need--99 % of whom were Muslim. Everywhere they went, townspeople ran out to greet and welcome them. "We felt as though we were movie stars," Sister Suranto said. One village chief said more than anything else, his village needed copies of the Koran, as theirs had been swept away in the tsunami. A few days later, the LDS Church presented the village with 700 copies.

I say, Good for them. My question: if the shoe was on the other foot, would the Muslims have done the same with copies of the Book of Mormon?

About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.