Saturday, September 26, 2009


Fall is festival time in Georgia, and Hoschton, once again decorated with scarecrows, is welcoming guests this weekend. Since we are experiencing some unusual bouts with rain, I am not sure we'll head out this weekend, but the list of events over in Hoschton looks like fun. There are plenty of things to do in our area, including the corn maze at Jaemor Farms, the upcoming Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega, Oktoberfest in Helen, and the Apple Festival in Ellijay.

We're recently back from a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. Hubby, Son, and I stayed at the Dunes Village Resort, which is a good place for families with children. This hotel is right on the beach, so we were entertained by beautiful sunrises and sunsets on the water, 30,000 square feet of indoor water park, and the usual attractions of a tourist saturated area.

Last weekend, we traveled a far shorter distance in the opposite direction, to Japanfest, in the Gwinnett Arena. There were many booths, martial arts and folk art presentations, and some interesting food choices. Green tea snowcones, anyone?

A couple of weeks' ago, we were on Peachtree Street, our destination being Atlanta's Shakespeare Tavern, for a play, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged. If you haven't heard of it, TCW is a comedy, performed by three actors, with some audience participation. The four of us laughed a lot, and the intimate nature of the Tavern makes it the perfect place to get involved. While we didn't get called up to the stage, we did get showered with silly string and artificial flowers, which is all part of the fun.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Commonplace Book

One of my friends, a long time instructor of high school English and an avid reader, has her students replicate an idea from the past, the Commonplace Book. For her class, the assignment is to copy, in longhand, a quote from daily reading that the student wishes to remember, or some brief excerpt which is worthy of further contemplation. As illustrated by the link associated with the title, the keeping of such a book was typical in times past.

My daughter kept her Commonplace Book when assigned to do so, since she was in my friend's class during her high school years, but now that she is a college sophomore, she tells me that she has returned to the practice. Recently, she shared this entry from her notebook— a brief, comedic poem by one of my favorite favorite authors, a skillful poet and a true cynic, Dorothy Parker. Some of the best writing is produced by unhappy people, as a study of Parker's bio reveals. Reading her verse reminds me that times may change, but the nature of humanity does not.

The Leal

The friends I made have slipped and strayed.
And who's the one that cares
A trifling lot and best forgot—
And that's my tale, and theirs.

Then if my friendships break and bend
There's little need to cry
The while I know that every foe
Is faithful till I die.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Gotta be very careful here. After all, this is a blog, which means "web log," and it is online. Lest this seem like a diatribe against the internet or any one online community, let me offer some reasons I like the internet. I buy books online, both eBooks and print books. Online, I check the weather, read the news, and I am one of the few folks who still likes email. Well, most of the time, I like email. My classes at my tech school job have an online component, which means I don't have to grade tests, which is a wonderful thing. I found my publishers online, my avenue to follow other authors' careers is mostly online, I even see how much I will or will not be paid online. However, as I spend time online and mostly offline, I see that the internet can and often does screw up relationships. Cases in point: Folks have actually sent some of my posts (some deleted, some still around) as evidence of my wicked character. My daughter has been the victim of cyberstalking by so-called friends, and she continues to have problems with long-distance venom. My son has also been lead astray by an online pal. Certainly, I have seen the dark side of online communications. Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled "How Facebook Ruins Friendships" and the premise behind it is sound.

Some years ago, I was at a store and someone I know came up and we chatted for about five minutes. My daughter was about ten at the time and she posed the question, "Is that lady your friend?" After we got out of hearing distance, I told her that the lady was an acquaintance. To further illustrate, I mentioned that someone who visits your house or you visit their house, someone you have lunch with, or someone you talk to regularly on the phone would be classified as a "friend;" but that someone I knew from a previous job, such as the lady I had conversed with, would be classified as an "acquaintance."

I have a Facebook account that I seldom use, and when I do access it, my purpose is to view my own children's public pages. Yet, I have "friend" requests from people I could not count as acquaintances, much less friends. To call folks whom I talk to only online as friends is to cheapen the term.

My circle of friends is not large, but they are real people, who call to have lunch, sit with me in church, or send cards when I am having a difficult time in life. I love my friends, for they are quite real.

This post is not to trash online sites, but to remind readers to get off of the computer, get out of the house, and invite a friend to lunch.