Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Year of Hope

Meet Hope, our delightful four-legged daughter, who joined the Eason family a year ago. It sure doesn’t seem like she’s been with us a whole year, and I can’t imagine life without her.

After deciding last year that we were ready for a dog, I studied breeds to determine which ones were best with small children. We settled on a beagle, and then found a wonderful rescue group in the area, Mostly Beagles. Julie Cuccia helped us settle on the right pet for our family, and Hope has been nearly perfect. Julie even gave us six weeks of obedience training, included in the nominal adoption fee (that’s her “graduation” picture above).

In the beginning, Hope would climb on the dinner table to eat leftovers, but we’ve trained both her and the kids to cut down on that problem. But she was house trained when we got her (at about three years old), and she just loves our kids, almost as much as they love her.

She’s a little spoiled, sleeping in our beds or on the couch. She loves all other animals and people, and she and Pogo hit it off great. That’s really saying a lot, considering he’s a crotchety, 15-year-old tabby who was used to ruling the roost.

She goes camping with us, and no longer runs off after every little scent. She’s scared to death of thunder and runs around the house like a mad dog during storms. She loves it when Daddy plays tag with the girls and tries to get in on the action. She hates being left home alone, and she has a perch on the couch where she can look through the window while waiting for us to return.

We lucked into the perfect pet, and it’s been a wonderful year having Hope with us. We look forward to many more.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Olympic Moment

For the first time in my life, I am actually looking forward to the NBA season.

There are so many incredible athletes who made indelible impressions on me during the Olympics, but I am most surprised by my newfound respect for the men on the USA basketball team. They represented our country well, both on and off the court, showing respect for their fellow athletes and the host nation. My usual disdain for the sport of professional basketball (college basketball is, of course, my single favorite sport) has been replaced by admiration and pride for this talented and gracious group of young men, and also for Coach K and the rest of the staff.

Way to go, Redeem Team!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fantasy Football Weekend

So my first fantasy football draft went OK, considering I didn’t begin preparing for the draft until yesterday morning. I picked eighth in a 12-person league. Standard scoring, start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3WRs, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 D/ST.

Here are my selections:

Round 1—Clinton Portis
Round 2—Larry Johnson
Round 3—T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Round 4—Jamal Lewis
Round 5—Calvin Johnson
Round 6—Thomas Jones
Round 7—Jericho Cotchery
Round 8—Eli Manning
Round 9—Vernon Davis
Round 10—Derrick Mason
Round 11—Reggie Brown
Round 12—David Garrard
Round 13—Green Bay Packers defense
Round 14—Neil Rackers

I planned to pick my second receiver in round four, but the top-tier wideouts were gone and there were still some good starting backs available. So I went with the best available player instead of choosing by position, and I did the same thing when I chose Thomas Jones in round six. My strategy changed to choosing running backs that hopefully will become trade bait, so I can upgrade at wide receiver and/or quarterback.

I’m of the RB-RB school of thought for my first two picks, and then I usually try to load up on receivers and backup RBs for the first six to seven rounds. I’ll never end up with a stud quarterback, because I always wait on that position until midway through the draft. It usually turns out OK for me, but if Eli and Garrard both bomb, there are still a couple of sleeper QBs who went undrafted. Some young quarterback surprises every year, so I might be grabbing one of those guys off the waiver wire.

One thing I’m not overly happy about is that I missed out on all the young backs. It just didn’t play out right for me to grab Darren McFadden, Matt Forte or Jonathan Stewart. I’m gambling on some older (but proven) guys. I like Thomas Jones’ chances for a bounce-back this year with Brett Favre under center.

Favre’s move to the Jets also improves Cotchery’s stock, and overall I’m happy with my wide receivers. Reggie Brown is a bit of a question mark, but since he’s my fifth WR I took a chance on his finally having that breakout year.

Draft No. 2 is tomorrow, and now that I’m a bit more prepared, I’m really looking forward to it. After that, it will be a long two weeks until the season begins.

Yes, I’m ready for some FOOTBALL!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Aunt Kelly is the coolest

It’s been a whirlwind week. Nina had her first full week of kindergarten, and Amelia is FINALLY learning to wake up and get moving in the morning. I’ve been working on three articles for the newspaper and conducted several interviews this week. We also had a parent-teacher meeting at school and a parent meeting for Daisy Scouts. I took Amelia to a preschool art class at a local museum, where we were meeting other moms and kids from one of our Meetup groups. We had our first fantasy football draft today and have spent much time trying to coordinate our second (on Sunday). I wrote two manuscripts and polished up four more to mail for the OCWI conference contests. I’ve been updating my blog every day. And I’ve been trying (though not entirely succeeding) to keep up with laundry, piles of dishes, and other delightful housework. I’ve not been sleeping well (worry-wart gene inherited from my mom), and last night I had one of those very rare splitting headaches that totally immobilized me, putting me behind on many of my self-imposed deadlines.

So to make the fantasy draft today I had to ask Aunt Kelly to watch Amelia for a few hours and pick Nina up from school. When she picked up Amelia (yes, she came by and picked up my daughter, making things even more convenient for me), I told her that we would watch her two daughters tonight, since Kelly’s also going to watch our kids on Sunday for the other draft.

I just called her a minute ago to arrange the transfer of kids, and she said (get this): “Why don’t I just keep them tonight and you and Kevin can go have fun.” I spent five seconds trying to convince her it's my turn to babysit, but she insisted.

WOW! Like that, we went from having four kids tonight to having zero, nada, zilch. I have no idea what Kevin and I are going to do on our undeserved but much-needed break tonight, but I know one thing for sure: we’ll raise our glasses and toast Aunt Kelly.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Busy Day

Here’s my schedule for today

  • Get kids and self ready for busy day
  • Take Nina to kindergarten
  • Take Amelia to Parents’ Day Out
  • Drive downtown for interview
  • Return home and write notes for profile based on interview
  • Conduct follow-up phone interview for a second profile
  • Call another source for quotes on second profile
  • Make final arrangements for photo shoot on third article
  • Write as much as possible on two profiles
  • Double check entries for writer’s conference
  • Run by post office to mail in conference registration and contest entries
  • Pick up Amelia
  • Pick up Nina
  • Devote an hour to Nina’s five-minute homework assignment
  • Prepare and eat dinner
  • Baths, reading and other preparations for getting kids to bed
  • Drink glass of wine to unwind
  • Battle Kevin for computer time to research fantasy football
  • Throw together strategy for fantasy draft tomorrow at noon (I’m totally unprepared)
  • Yell at Kevin for wanting to discuss his draft strategy (he’s been preparing for months)
  • Go to sleep around midnight, totally stressed about tomorrow’s busy day

Oops, almost forgot to fill up the gas tank and run by the grocery store!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rainy Day Dreaming

I’m having sleep difficulty lately (my problem isn’t getting to sleep, but staying there). After a terrible bout with hives a few years ago, they disappeared early in my pregnancy with Amelia, in 2004. I thought/hoped they were gone for good. Unfortunately, they resurfaced a couple of months ago (Kevin says I’m allergic to writing), and I often wake up itching and sneezing in the middle of the night. Not as much fun as you might think.

So I’ve been up since 3 a.m., and I’m waxed. It’s raining outside and Amelia’s tired, too. (Unlike me, her problem is getting to sleep; she’d probably sleep all morning if I didn’t have to wake her in order to get Nina to school on time.) If I didn’t have a dozen balls in the air and a cranky preschooler on my hands, it would be a perfect day to curl up on the couch and watch a movie or two.

Some people enjoy watching the same favorite flick over and over again. Me, I’m usually a one-and-done kind of gal. I do have a short list of movies that I’ve seen numerous times but would love to be watching again, right now, while it’s raining outside, and I’m soooooooooooo tired...

Bull Durham
A Christmas Story (which MUST be viewed at least once every year)
A Fish Called Wanda
North by Northwest
Pulp Fiction
Raising Arizona

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Horse of a Different Color

Thanks to Karen Markle for sending me this link to a really cool slideshow at

As a fundraising event in conjunction with the 60th Annual Germantown Charity Horse Show, 20 life-size horse statues, sponsored by local businesses and painted by local artists, are scattered throughout Germantown (a suburb of Memphis). The statues will be up for auction in October to benefit local charities.

For those of you in or near Memphis, check out this Commercial Appeal link, which provides a satellite map of the locations for the various horses.

Monday, August 18, 2008

TV's Most Memorable Moments

Here's something fun: The Emmys wants viewers to decide TV's Most Memorable Moment. There are 20 choices in both drama and comedy, and you can even watch the clips (a real trip down memory lane).

There were a lot of great episodes to choose from in comedy and it was a tough call, but I picked "Went With the Wind" from The Carol Burnett Show (largely because of the line “I just saw it in the window and couldn’t resist it.”) I wish they’d had a clip of Tim Conway cracking up Harvey Korman, though. I also wondered why there were no episodes of Cheers or The Andy Griffith Show.

It was a little easier to make a selection in the drama category, as there didn’t seem to be as many great shows (Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Really?) I went with Roots. I can remember my whole family crowding around the TV to watch it every night. Roots was TV at its very best.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Funny & Short Book Titles

Look! I got a few titles in's list of The World's Shortest Books.

My contributions:

"How to be Good" by Amy Winehouse

"People Who Respect Me" by Paula Abdul

"Gun Safety" by Dick Cheney

"My Boring Teenage Years" by Miley Cyrus

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Much to his chagrin, my husband has started up a little non-paying side business.

The Kevin Eason Shuttle is a free service for family, friends and co-workers in need of a ride to or from the airport or just across town. It runs pretty much 24 hours a day, ready on a moment’s notice.

Thursday evening, he drove to the airport to pick up Cousin Nicole, Rich and William, who were flying home after visiting Rich’s family in New Jersey.

Then yesterday after work, Kevin drove his co-worker Russ and wife Kirsten to the airport for their weekend trip to New York City.

Last night, our future former friend Greg called, stranded at Starbucks 10 miles away and in need of a ride home. Kevin went back out in to the rain to help helpless Greg.

When he returned home from that shuttle run, Kevin was dog-tired and ready to hit the couch. He headed back to our bedroom to change into comfortable clothes unload his pockets and take off his shoes and before joining the girls and me in front of the TV for the Olympics.

I didn’t hear his phone ring, but a minute later Kevin appeared in the living room, still in his uncomfortable clothes, pockets loaded, shoes on, shoulders slumped.

“Russ and Kirsten’s flight was cancelled,” he told me. “Back to the airport.” He walked out into the rain, at least able to laugh about the situation.

Fifteen minutes later, my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered it anyway.

“I’m 99 percent sure I left my phone in Kevin’s car,” Greg said. “Can you ask him to bring it back over?”

Needless to say, Kevin was not in the best of moods when he returned home from dropping off Russ and Kirsten, then Greg’s phone. Plus, he missed most of our Olympics Slumber Party. The girls and I had a great time.

So after three trips to the airport in two days, plus one too many trips to Starbucks, Kevin Eason’s Shuttle Service is taking a Lisa-mandated vacation for the rest of the weekend. He needs to tend to his wife, who spent most of Friday night on the couch in front of the TV, fighting off fits of side-splitting laughter every time she saw him walk back out the door and into the rain.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Aunts are wonderful creatures

All three of Nina's aunts called yesterday or today to inquire about her first day of school. She really appreciates Aunt Susan, Aunt Kelly and Aunt Gina checking up on her, and she hopes to make them all proud.

We've yet to hear a word from any of her grandparents, however, so you better get on the ball Popa and Granny Dee, Grandma and Pappy, Grandaddy and Grandma Terre, and Granny.

(Please note that the above aunts and grandparents are listed in order of age, from oldest to youngest.)

We just found out that Ms. Bogan is Nina's teacher this year, and we're very excited. Nina's Mother's Day Out teacher had a son in Ms. Bogan's class last year, and Ms. Karen says wonderful things about Ms. Bogan.

It's five p.m. on the East Coast, so Happy Weekend everybody!

UPDATE: Kudos to Granny, who called last night.


I had a rough day yesterday, but I'm not going to dwell on it. It's Friday (woo hoo), so here's a little Friday fun.

I found this Al Green video for "Everything's Gonna Be Alright." Lots of great shots of Memphis. I can't embed this one, so follow the link. And I have to slide this one in , too--the Rev. Al/Lyle Lovett duet of Willie Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away." The song and video make this Lyle-Lovett, Al-Green, Willie-Nelson-loving Memphis girl a happy camper.

Our friend Chase wears "Friday Fun Socks" to work. She gets her weekend off to an early start by sporting crazy, colorful socks under her business attire. Now, Nina calls all her own printed socks "Friday Fun Socks."

From's late-night joke compilation:

"Barack Obama said today he wouldn’t raise taxes on anyone over 70 . . . and McCain said Obama was just pandering to the youth vote." --Craig Ferguson

This Travel IQ game is a lot of fun and quite addictive. (Thanks to Gina and Jay for directing me to it a while back. Hopefully one day I can outsscore them.)

A friend and I were discussing Mike Royko recently, and I found a few of his columns online. I still love Slats Grobnik tales, though I wonder if any newspaper would publish them these days.

That's enough fun for now. Better get back to work. It's not officially the weekend, yet.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Media coverage of Bill Gwatney shooting

I spent much of yesterday afternoon reading coverage on the shooting of Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney. I can’t make sense of the senseless tragedy, and I’m very saddened by it.

Constantly updated, almost instant coverage of news events like this makes the reader/viewer feel somewhat part of the story, and I found myself really pulling for Gwatney to make it through, then heartbroken when news broke that he died, about four hours after the shooting.

I very rarely watch TV news, and in fact did not watch any coverage of yesterday’s events. However, I did find that the Web sites of TV news stations were much quicker to offer the latest information. That’s not surprising, but the fact that the state newspaper of Arkansas was constantly scooped by
CNN and other media outside the state is very bothersome. In fact, the newspaper’s online story this morning is much less detailed than the articles of many national publications, and it includes several typos and other mistakes.

It’s well known that newspapers around the country are in trouble, finding it difficult to compete in the internet age. While I don’t expect the
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to be the first with the story, I do expect the local newspaper to be the most accurate and in-depth. So far, I’ve been disappointed, at least with the paper's online coverage.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fly-by post

We’re busy, busy, busy. Nina’s first day of kindergarten is tomorrow, and we’re all prepping for the big change in her life and ours. She’s excited, and I’m thrilled for her.

We’re also tuning in to the Olympics daily, especially enjoying the swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball. (Daddy digs basketball). The U.S. men’s gymnastics team made us especially proud (ignore the naysayers, just believe in yourself and show the world what you can do).

As far as writing, I’ve turned in two stories to the newspaper in the past week and I’ve got two more assignments, both business profiles. I’m also working on a few entries for the Ozark Creative Writers conference, which I need to mail in next week.

And we’re vacation planning for the fall. Looks like we’ll take a camping trip Labor Day weekend, then Daddy and the girls are going camping with my mom, sisters and family in October while I’m in Eureka Springs. Daddy has a weeklong work trip in early November, then we’re headed to Hilton Head for Thanksgiving to see Grandaddy and Grandma Terre and the rest of our South Carolina family. Both my sisters and their families are going as well, plus maybe a cousin or two. Looks like we’re lining up a big family reunion on the beach. I can’t wait.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Learning a new reporting lesson

My BookCrossers story is in the paper today.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go as well as I hoped. Like the “observer effect” in psychology, I think my presence and that of the photographer changed the behavior of the article’s subjects. They usually do things very much on the sly, and I anticipated them lurking in the shadows and stealthily placing books throughout the plaza, then watching to see their books being “caught.”

I tried to avoid “observer effect” by interviewing the organizer on the phone a couple of days before the event and then meeting and talking to the participants before they left for Graceland. But they beat me to Graceland by a few minutes and the photographer was already waiting for them, so when I walked up all the books had been placed on a table for the photographer to take shots, and a crowd of tourists had gathered to select some of the books.

Anyway, no use crying over spilt milk, but I will try to figure out what I could have done differently and try to avoid “observer effect” in the future.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thoughts on the opening ceremonies

Geez, what am I doing awake at 3 a.m.? It’s not the hives and sneezing fits that roused me, but they are making it impossible for me to get back to sleep. I think I woke up a little worried because I never heard Kevin come in last night, so I had to make sure he was in bed. Now, if I had been in bed and needed only to roll over to verify his presence in the house, I might have been able to go right back to sleep.

However, I was on the couch in the living room, having fallen asleep watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. The girls and I decided to have a slumber party last night, and we all piled up in front of the TV, watching NBC in the dark, me on the couch, Nina on the love seat and Amelia on the floor (her choice). It was fun, something we’ve never done before, and since Daddy had gone to Jackson for Aunt Debbie's 50th birthday celebration, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Nina and I fell asleep around 9, but Amelia and Hope (our beagle) continued to play until close to 10, which I know because they woke me up every 10 minutes during that first hour I tried to sleep.

Anyway, before we all eventually dozed off, we were enjoying the ceremonies. I had been telling the girls most of the day that we were going to watch the Olympics, and they seemed excited. We had taken our baths/showers, put on our pajamas and set up tray tables to eat in the living room, another rare treat. Once we were all settled, I turned on the TV on and started the show, which I had recorded on DVR. It didn’t begin well, as Nina and Amelia both began clamoring for their favorite movies instead of the Olympics. Can’t say that I blame them, as the show started off with a little too much history, background and narration. I found myself chiding Tom Brokaw and other members of the NBC team: “Show, don’t tell.”

Once they finally began showing the actual ceremony, though, we were all rapt. It was beautiful, spectacular, breathtaking—in short, brilliant. I think it was the single-best opening ceremony I’ve ever seen, though I probably say that each time I watch the Olympics (much like our latest Christmas tree is always the best one ever). Still, this ceremony is going to be hard to top, especially considering that the most impressive part was the synchronicity of thousands of performers.

Was it just me or did the broadcast team talk entirely too much? There were moments where it would have been nice to just watch and listen to what the obviously incredible producer of the on-field show wanted the audience to see and hear, but Matt Lauer, Bob Costas and Joshua Cooper Ramo—who was as times very interesting but even more often long-winded—seemed determined to share every bit of information they’ve gleaned on China in their years of research. But hey, maybe they, like me, were in awe.

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite part, but I know what the girls liked best—the Budweiser commercial with Hank the Clydesdale and his Dalmatian trainer. The beauty of the DVR is that you can start a show about an hour after it’s begun and then skip through the commercials, but I remember that ad from the Super Bowl and knew they’d love it, so I didn’t fast forward. Then they begged me to watch it over and over again.

They’ll almost certainly ask to watch it again when they wake up, hours from now. I decided to embed it here, so maybe they’ll find my blog a little more interesting.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Olympics are coming! The Olympics are coming!

I took my girls and two of my nieces to the mall today and we released a few books into the wild. It’s part of, a unique book-swapping club and subject of my latest newspaper story.

Check out the BookCrossing website or the Sunday CA for more info, but basically we registered on the site, entered information about the books we were going to release, wrote journal entries about our contributions, put identifying labels in the books, then took them to the mall and left them in various places for others to find. Hopefully, when our books are “caught” (found), the recipients will log onto the website, write their own journal entries, then read and rerelease the books.

BookCrossing books end up all over the world, so this was a bit of research into what happens to our books. We’re all eager to hear about the travels of our tomes, and this was/is a fun project for me and four book-loving kids.

In other Eason news, we reconnected our cable today, which makes me a little nervous. As some of you know, I’ve enjoyed a “writing rebirth” since disconnecting our cable for the summer. I had become one of those lie-my-lazt-butt-down-on-the-couch-and-watch-TV-as-soon-as-the-kids-get-to-bed moms, but I vow not to fall back into that very bad habit again. I’ve been writing nearly every night for the last few months, so I haven’t missed cable at all. In fact, I’ve watched a grand total of about four hours of TV since pulling the plug on cable. It’s been pretty liberating, and I sure am having a blast writing every day and night.

HOWEVER, the Olympics start today, so I’m giving myself permission to watch a little TV daily for the next couple of weeks. I’ve loved the Olympics since I was a little kid, and I hope to give my daughters the same fond memories of this ultimate athletic and patriotic experience. I’ve been hard at work today on my various writing projects so I can take the night off and relax on the couch with Nina and Amelia as we watch the Opening Ceremonies. I just know they’re going to love it as much as I do.

Happy Olympic opening day to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hope you voted today

Good news! Another contentious election in Memphis is over. Kevin almost forgot to vote, despite the fact that I called three times to remind him. He got there five minutes before the polls closed.

Looking at the numbers and based on what I saw at my polling place, it looks like many Republicans voted in the Democratic primary to sway the outcome in the Ninth Congressional District race. Doesn't look like it mattered, as Steve Cohen garnered nearly 80 percent of the vote. Memphis made national news today due to the racial overtones of this race, with Barack Obama repudiating the ads of Cohen rival Nikki Tinker.

The prevailing emotion on the CA comment board is pride in our citizens for rejecting the racism of this campaign and voting for the most qualified candidate. A white, Jewish man won in a landslide over a black, Christian woman in a heavily black, Christian district. Cohen obviously had support from all segments of the community.

Some really good news: Trip Advisor named the Memphis Zoo best in the country in its annual top-10 list. The top two aquariums in the country are also in Tennessee.

So it's been a pretty exciting day for our state, and now we're all exhausted from the excitement.

Nighty night.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Whew! I'm tired... excuse my rambling, please.

It's been a long few days with Kevin out of town, and I'm really glad he'll be back tonight, even though we won't see him much until the weekend. The kids miss him, which is why they've been driving me crazy, I guess.

I wasted much of the day trying to find a source for a newspaper article, looking at the web site of pretty much every real estate agent in Memphis. Finally found what I needed, so I'll spend most of tomorrow on that job.

I got a teasing email from the Orpheum (Memphis) today. They wanted to let me know that I could buy advance tickets to "An Acoustic Evening with Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt," two great singer-songwriters. While I say I'm not a fan of country music, I love both of those guys, neither of whom is country enough for country music. They also both have excellent songs that mention Memphis: Lovett's "I've Been to Memphis" and Hiatt's "Memphis in the Meantime." If they added my other two favorite "country-but-not-really" artists--Lucinda Williams and John Prine--I'd just have to suck it up and go.

I made two submissions today: an essay to Work-At-Home Mom Magazine and five children's poems to Highlights. I'm falling in with that bad crowd at AW's JHS (Just Hit Send) freelance forum, so I'm trying to submit at least two ms a week, besides those to the newspaper. But hey, I've already met most of my August goals, and it's only the sixth!

I really need to be working on some entries for the Ozark Creative Writers Conference, but there just seem to be so many other things I need to do first. The next few weeks are going to be quite an adjustment for the Eason household as we all get ready for Nina to head to kindergarten, but I'm hoping we get it figured out soon (and that it gives me the time I need to write).

Speaking of kindergarten, I'm a little worried because I got a message today from someone initialled MP at Nina's new school saying Nina will meet with MP next week, but MP is not one of the kindergarten teachers I met yesterday. I'm really trying not to freak out, but it's just not at all what I was told at registration. My first thought is that they had more students than expected and have to add a kindergarten teacher., maybe someone fresh out of college, a teacher who didn't have a job until yesterday afternoon after the school finished student counts. But really, would that be so bad? Thanks to Gina for the reassurance. My sister is entering her first full year as a kindergarten teacher and has gone through her own registration nightmares the last couple of days.

Just heard the door open, so I'm going to go greet my hubby. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Uncle Pat's Birthday

Sure do miss you, Uncle Pat.

It's been three years since you left us, and I've thought of you each of those 1,186 days.

I forgot to call Erin today, but I hope she knows I'm thinking about her. We all miss you, but I know it's probably harder on her than anyone else. Putting Willie to sleep last week was just like losing another piece of you. He was a great dog, and he sure was crazy about you, as were we all.

Rest in peace.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Baseball and music

My short-story submission to the Memphis Magazine fiction contest included several references to baseball and music, so I was recently digging around for songs about baseball.

Thanks to Matt for directing me to this video of former Memphian Todd Snider's hotel performance of "America's Favorite Pastime" for legendary producer Don Was.

I loved going to The Daily Planet in the early- to mid-90s to hear Snider play. Glad to hear he's doing well, and I look forward to hearing his latest CD, Peace Queer, due out in October.

Check out Snider's
myspace page for another great song, "Mission Accomplished" ("fighting for peace, that's like screaming for quiet") or visit the Todd Snider official website.

But back to "America's Favorite Pastime." It's the story of Pittsburgh pitcher Dock Ellis' 1970 no-hitter against the Padres, apparently while he was under the influence of LSD. I'm embarrassed to admit I'd never heard this funny story before. I also enjoyed this tale from Wikipedia:

Ellis attempted "to hit every batter in the Cincinnati Reds lineup on May 1, 1974. In an effort to prove a point to teammates, Ellis hit Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Dan Driessen in the top of the first. The clean-up batter Tony Perez avoided Ellis' attempts, instead drawing a walk, and after two pitches aimed at the head of Johnny Bench, Ellis was removed from the game by manager Danny Murtaugh. Ellis' box score for the game reads: 0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K."

Is it still considered a wild pitch if you throw the ball exactly where you're aiming?

Chuck Brodsky is another great sports singer-songwriter, and I was lucky enough to hear him a few years back at That Bookstore in Blytheville, Arkansas. I fully intend to get my dad The Baseball Ballads for Christmas one of these years.

Here's a site dedicated to baseball music. (WARNING: Turn down your speakers before following the link!)

Baseball and music: two great tastes that taste great together.

Have you Googled your loved ones today?

I’m convinced that half the people who say they’ve never Googled their own names are lying, and the other half don’t know how to spell c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r, much less use one.

I confess, I Google myself occasionally--it just tickles a little. I’m not proud of it, but hey, at least I’m honest about it. I’m OK with (but not ecstatic about) what turns up, though I would like to reorganize things a little.

But tonight, for the first time ever, I Googled my husband’s name, and I found that he’s been keeping some pretty big secrets.

Kevin Eason is:

1. A former chief industrial correspondent for the Birmingham Post and Mail in the UK; Business F1 Magazine’s most powerful journalist operating in Formula One; and current
Sports Business Correspondent and producer of The Insider gossip column for The Times of London. (For the record, I did know that he enjoys gossip.)

Server Administrator/Assistant to Director of Finance for the Mental Health Association in North Carolina, Inc.; he is tentatively scheduled to graduate from the University of Phoenix in 2011. (For the record, I did know that he’s mental.)

3. A
darned good artist, apparently with a second address in New Jersey and possibly a third in Bikini Bottom. (For the record, I did know about the Tony Soprano obsession—perhaps I even caused it.)

4. A
Brighton skateboard enthusiast and video camera owner-operator who knows how to upload to YouTube but has strange taste in music. (For the record, I did know about the strange taste in music.)

5. A
sergeant in the Air Force. (For the record, I had no idea he likes to wear fatigues.)

6. Largely unknown to Google in his primary role as a wonderful husband, father and civil engineer from Memphis. (For the record, I did know that he's wonderful.)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday links

It's not online, but the CA ran a story today about a recent book signing in Memphis. I clipped the article for its lesson on creative book marketing, which (fingers crossed) I might need one day.

The book:
Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral.

How exactly do you market a book about funerals and cooking, especially if it was published three years ago? Well, for starters, you host it at a historic cemetery (
Elmwood) and make it a fundraiser. Charlotte Hayes read passages from the tongue-in-cheek book, co-authored by Gayden Metcalfe, and the hosts served dishes prepared from the book's recipes. It was a sold-out event, and reading about it made me want to purchase the book, which is saying a lot, since I get all my recipes online. Plus, my standard food offering for funerals/deaths is a six-pack of Three Little Pigs barbecue.

Synopsis: "In this dishy collection of Southern humor and recipes, inveterate hostess and Southern belle Gayden Metcalfe explains everything one needs to know to throw a proper Southern funeral."

Here are links to a few funny, interesting and/or clever sites I've come across recently:

Children's Books You'll Never See from Sample title: "The Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Book of Wild Animals of North Amer - Hey! Let's Go Ride Our Bikes!" also lists the
World's Shortest Books, including "Zagat's Guides to Cities Without a Starbucks" and "Motherhood" by Britney Spears.

Animator vs. Animation: You'll want to watch it over and over again to catch everything.

This is an oldie but still one of my favorites. Following the Memphis-UAB basketball fracas a few months ago,
Rumors & Rants posted this photo (a great one by CA photographer Mark Weber), turning it into a "search and find" game. Highlights:
-Middle finger count: 13
-Attractive female count: 2
-Angry white guy count: 60 (approx.)
-Three examples of Bama Bangs

Here's a
quiz on TV theme songs. Most of these shows were pretty bad, so scoring well on this quiz is rather depressing. There are definitely other things I could use those brain cells for.

The good, the bad and the ugly: Sunday edition

The good—My diesel fuel story ran on the front page of the CA’s business section today.

The bad—I got a rejection this morning for an essay I wrote. Still, the editor encouraged me to send more material and gave me a specific address to email submissions. At least she bothered to send it two days after my submission, and on a Sunday, no less. So it’s not too bad.

The ugly—It’s always interesting to read the comments on in response to a story. People often enjoy attacking and arguing with one another on a wide variety of topics, many of which have nothing whatsoever to do with the original story. Such is the case in the comments on my diesel article.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's been a good week

Sunday night the kids went to my sister's, so my wonderful husband and I had a date. We went to hear a local band that features one of his high school classmates on drums. The drummer's girlfriend (flashback--I once started a story called "The Drummer's Wife") is also a freelancer for The Commercial Appeal, so we had a great conversation about our writing projects and frustrations. We've been corresponing by email all week, alternately venting and then patting one another on the back.

I am sooooo enjoying getting to know other writers. It's such a wonderful, helpful community.

Tuesday I submitted my short story to the Memphis Magazine Fiction Contest. Yay! For 10 years I've wanted to enter that contest, but this year I finally did it.

Thursday I turned in my diesel fuel article to the CA, and my editor wrote back to say it will probably be the Sunday business centerpiece. It was a complex story with lots of sources (many of which I wans't able to use in the article), but I think it turned out pretty well. I've got my next assignment already, and when school starts, I hope to have time to write one newspaper article per week.

Yesterday I decided to go on record with my writing goals for the month of August, and I confided to the other freelancers on the thread that I would like to go to a writer's conference in the near future. Someone made mention of an October conference in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, which just so happens to be where my wonderful husband and I were married.

Boy, the wheels in my head started turning. That's Fall Break for my oldest daughter, and we already had plans to go camping that weekend with our extended family.

Could I possibly go to the conference instead of camping with my wonderful husband and two delightful daughters? Can we afford it? How much of a burden (financially and otherwise) would it be for my wonderful husband if I went? Who'll watch the kids on Thursday while my wonderful husband's at work and I'm driving through the beautiful Ozark Mountains? Could I borrow my mother-in-law's laptop and write during breaks, and late at night, and early in the morning, when I'm too giddy to sleep?

Stop! First things first. Talk to Kevin, my wonderful husband, and feel him out about it.

"There's a writing conference in Eureka Springs Fall Break weekend and..." that's all I got out of my mouth before he interrupted.

"I think you should go." Have I ever mentioned how wonderful my husband is?

Eureka! Eureka Springs, here I come!

I still have to work out the details, but...


And more importantly, I'm married to a wonderful man. :-)

My name is Lisa E, and I am a blogger

Uh-oh. My good AW buddy Round John Virgin found my blog, and apparently others can, too. So I guess I'm out of the blogging closet.

It's probably for the best, as now as my wonderful new writing friends can just visit here to find out what I'm up to--but only if they're interested--and they will no longer be subjected to my long-winded emails detailing my every thought.

Also, I posted on the AW freelance writing thread my goals for the month of August, and one of them is to update this blog twice a week. It's in writing, and there are people who will hold me to it.

One down, seven more to go.