My Happiness Resolutions: Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project

  • Health
  • Wear my c-pap mask
  • Go to the gym 4x/week
  • Never take more than 2 days off in a row from exercising
  • Grocery shop every 2 weeks or less
  • Cook at least once a week
  • Buy less frozen food
  • Eat more fruits and veggies
  • Stick to the plan

 

  • Make a Sanctuary
  • Get rid of clutter and keep it clean
  • Get rid of things I don’t like/that don’t bring me joy
  • Get organized
  • Cultivate a collection

 

  • Embrace Creativity
  • Finish my interior design course
  • Finish my TX scrapbook and photo albums
  • Make more jewelry
  • Pay for blog and web domains
  • Post regular blogs
  • Finish and publish my book
  • Take a quilting class

 

  • Money
  • Pay off debt
  • Tithe
  • Save and spend wisely
  • Renew my passport
  • Give to charities

 

  • Spirituality
  • Focus on gratitude
  • Praise God
  • Offer assistance/volunteer
  • Be generous

 

  • Attitude
  • Do it now/make time
  • Think of others
  • Quit complaining
  • Laugh out loud
  • Say I love you more
  • Make new friends

 

  • Free-time
  • Read more—finish the books I have
  • Read my magazines
  • Use my DVR/catch up on TV shows I like
  • Watch the news occasionally
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My Advice to High School Graduating Seniors

I have been feeling nostalgic. Last year I wanted to post a blog with my paper “Wendy’s Advice to Her Fellow High School Graduates” but never did.  I see I wrote it for Mrs. Buice.  I had her third period according to the paper, and it was due on May 18, 1992.  She was my senior English teacher at Brookwood High School.  We learned about all kinds of grammar, but what I remember most is learning about Dante’s Inferno and Shakespeare.  I could go on and on about the Inferno, but it was in her class that I found my favorite Shakespeare poem:  Sonnet 116.  I had to memorize it and write it for a quiz grade.  I remember cramming in biology class trying to get it all committed to my brain, but procrastination doesn’t always produce the best work.

Mrs. Buice is one of my top three favorite teachers ever. My #1 best/favorite teacher was Mrs. Adcock from third grade at Monroe Elementary School.  We learned so many important things that year:  multiplication tables, cursive writing, about the clouds, California Condors, Mt. St. Helens (and how to make a volcano using a chemical reaction), we had a trip to the courthouse to learn about the legal system, and we learned about Sally Ride from our English books (I wanted to be an astronaut or a teacher back then).

My 2nd favorite teacher is Mrs. Roberts also from Brookwood.  Partly because I had her for four semesters: all of American and European Histories.  I liked Social Studies all throughout school, but History is what I ended up majoring in when I attended college. I received a full academic scholarship to West Georgia College. They changed their name to State University of West Georgia the month we graduated, so my class received two diplomas.  Now, they are known as the University of West Georgia.  I have a third diploma with that name too!  I am proud to say I graduated Magna Cum Laude and probably would have finished Suma Cum Laude if I had finished my last two classes on my double major Education degree.

I went back to school (at the University of Georgia) for a Masters’ Degree in Secondary Social Science Education, but when I got to student teaching, I got scared and backed out.  By the time I wanted to complete my degree, I no longer lived in Athens and I didn’t have money or a way to go back then my credits expired.

The desire to teach never left me, and when I was 38, I finally had enough self-confidence to actually make that dream a reality.  I was both an excellent and a terrible teacher.  I wonder if any of my students will ever remember me as their favorite or best.  For many reasons, I am no longer an educator. However, I know those seeds I planted are percolating.   I wonder what kind of vine my students will produce and how and when they will bloom.

So, my first set of 8th graders whom I taught at church graduate this year.  My assignment I referred to at the beginning of this blog was to give “Advice to Any Group (cover subject)”.  That was written on the back of a handout–Mark Twain’s “Advice to Youth”. So, on the front page of my typed paper, I have hand written: “BEWARE. Literary License in Use.”

I received a 90 for content and an 80 for mechanics (because I had a comma splice). Mrs. Buice’s comments are: “You’re an interesting girl!  You’ve a fine mind—you’re inquiring and you hold on to your opinions.” She also wrote “Oh, I’m feeling faint” and “Right”.  I’ll let you figure out where.

Wendy’s Advice to Her Fellow High School Graduates:

That night you’ve all been waiting for is finally here! Get naked and streak across the green at Stone Mountain. Ride through the streets of town shouting obscenities.  Drop your pants on stage when receiving your diplomas.  Stay up all night; drink beer; smoke pot!  When all that childish play is done, you must settle down to reality.  You, (Yes, you!) are an adult and must act like one.

To look like an adult it is always nice to find a job.  Whether you work, or not, really doesn’t matter. Call in sick every so often when you want to soak up some rays, but spread those days out.  You don’t want to get fired!  Keep the job for appearance’s sake.  Make the maw and paw happy.  When summer’s over and you’ve made a little dough, it’ll be time to do the college thing. Try not to spend all your money the first month, though.  If the professor takes attendance go to class, but don’t worry about attending if he/she doesn’t. Do study for tests.  Write all papers the night before they’re due, not the morning of!  Have fun, but for crying out loud, practice safe sex! Finally, don’t fail out of college unless you want to join the working class full-time.

On a more serious note: graduation is a time to be proud. You should be proud of yourself. Your family is gonna be proud of you too—it’s a given.  Send out those invitations so the money will start rolling in. Don’t spend all of it on booze; put a little in the bank. When accepting your diploma, hold your head high, and if you’re bold enough, I still maintain that it’s all right to drop your pants.

About the summer job—brown nose a little to make up for the days you call in sick.  Try to think about the future.  Make enough money so the funds will last two months of college instead of just the one.

I don’t want to lead my dear old classmates astray, so I’ll change my tune a little.  Listen closely: life is short; party hard and make the most of it.  Do what you will; why listen to someone else? (Including me with my infinite wisdom.) Remember the man upstairs, because you’ll have to answer for your actions someday.

EPILOGUE

The preceding was written to dissuade (by showing the ridiculousness of) the wildness and “I don’t give a S*!T attitude” displayed by most of America’s youth upon graduating.  Party within reason and remember moderation is the key to ‘most anything’ you do. Guarantee you will keep a life worth living and enjoying, and that you will be there to see all your buds come reunion time!

Ode to My High School English Teacher

Grammar Poem 03/02/92
Six weeks of fun,
and what have I learned:
parallelism, danglers, subject-verb agreement,
essentials, non-essentials, and tautologies?
Quizzes, papers, but will it all stay
thru college, work, and my everyday?
Can I speak correctly;
do I care? I am a Senior
and Southern at that;
the last thing on my mind is a comma splice!
I do; however, refuse to be ignorant.
I tried to be complacent and let it sink in,
but grammar will never be my friend.
I sang “Come Monday-it’ll be alright”.
Monday came, and grammar ends tonight.
Line 16, now I am through,
and Mrs. Buice–I know I’ll thank you.

I meant to post this on 03/02/13 which would have been twenty-one years after the date on this assignment. Thanks to Mrs. Buice and my college english teacher Ms. Bagby, I scored second highest on my grammar test out of the entire school the year I took it in college! I’m a little rusty on my grammar skills these days, but they have served me well through editing at work, for fun in my writers’ group, and in life in general. Mrs. Buice’s class was one of the best and most useful and interesting that I took in high school. The world needs more good teachers! And, I still love the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.” It has one of my favorite lines: “With you I’d walk anywhere.”

Oscar Snubs (Continued) “Legends of the Fall”

Spoiler Alert!!! Here is my rant about “Legends of the Fall.” After seeing it I read the short story it was based on. The movie is much better than the original book. Sometimes the movie sucks in comparison to the book. I loved “Dear John” the movie until I read Nicholas Sparks’ book. I don’t know if I can ever watch the movie again, because the book is so much better and they changed the best parts just to have a happy ending. “Message in a Bottle” is a toss-up. Both the movie and book are good in their own ways although they are different. “A Time to Kill” and the “Client” the movies stayed pretty true to the books and are excellent, but I thought the book “The Firm” was much better than the movie even though I liked the cast. I don’t want to read “The Notebook” although I really like Nicholas Sparks, because I love the movie and don’t want to ruin it.

Anyway, not to get side-tracked, “Legends of the Fall” was nominated for only three Oscars at the 67th Academy Awards hosted by David Letterman, and only won one. I looked it up because I thought it was nominated for eleven Oscars, but I see it is thirteen total awards out of all the various film societies. Do you know which Oscar it won? We’ll get to that later. Since watching the pinnacle ultimate superlative award show in 1995, I have always been curious about who wins this category if I ever sit through the Oscars. But first, some awards I would give “Legends of the Fall”—some really exist as categories and some I think should be considered.
1. The best use of the words “passionate” and “f..k/f..king”
2. Best movie quotes (“You guys all look like a bunch of ice cream cones”; “I will hide it away with all that’s left unsaid and undone between us”; “Forever turned out to be too long”; “Did I damn everybody around me as well as myself”; “You’re not damned—I won’t allow that”; “How much I wanted to take scalps but it was not my kill”)
3. Best Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) scenes (after Samuel dies and when Tristan sees the zebra’s heart)
4. Best fingernail biter Julia Ormond
5. Best lasso scene Julia Ormond
6. Best Criers-Male Brad Pitt when he visits Samuel’s grave after finally coming home; in the horse-petting/leaving scene; when Isabel Two dies; when Susannah visits him in jail
Female Julia Ormond when she visits Tristan in jail
7. Best restraint of crying-Julia Ormond when she finally gets a letter from Tristan; the hair-brushing scene when she hears about Tristan and Isabel Two’s upcoming wedding and while she is lying in bed next to Alfred; when she meets Tristan’s children
8. Best Lighting-the sunshine in the garden when Tristan and Susannah meet after he returns from his sojourn and when he tells her to keep the bracelet because they told him it was magic and whoever wore it would be protected. Also during Samuel and Tristan’s deaths.
9. Best song-when Samuel Sings “Twilight and Mist” on the soundtrack it’s listed as “The Ludlow”. Best original music would go to James Horner
10. Best Indian character One Stab Gordon Tootoosis and use of subtitles (I thought there were more at the movie theater than appear on my DVD but maybe I’m wrong.)
11. Best Sex Scene Julia Ormond and Brad Pitt although Mr. and Mrs. Smith comes close
12. Best first kiss Julia Ormond and Brad Pitt
13. Best use of horses in so many places
14. Best use of barbed wire
15. Best Costumes Deborah Scott
16. Best foreshadowing when Susannah cuts off a piece of her hair from both sides to leave to the two men in her life prior to committing suicide
17. Best Prodigal Son Aidan Quinn
18. Best political statement ties with Brad Pitt’s wife Angelina Jolie’s “Beyond Borders”
19. Best use of Trivia-Who had ever heard of Ierapetra or knew where it was prior to the movie?
20. Best/most appropriate use of smoking both Brad Pitt and Julia Ormond
21. I also think Anthony Hopkins deserves some kind of award for his portrayal of a stroke victim
22. Best use of a rifle Julia Ormond, Brad Pitt, Paul Desmond, Anthony Hopkins, and Aidan Quinn
23. Best use of a knife with an apple ties with “Sleepless in Seattle”
24. Best use of a pitch fork ties with “Far and Away”
25. Anthony Hopkins almost wins the best use of the bird finger, but Tom Cruise still has it in Top Gun
26. The part devoted to World War I is not very long but it does a good job of showing the war of attrition; however, Gallipoli is better as a composite of World War I

The Awards “Legends of the Fall” deserved and won were from the Western Heritage Awards (Bronze Wrangler Awards) for Theatrical Motion Picture
(Best Director-Edward Zwick
Best Writer/Producer-William D. Wittliff
Best Principal Actor-Anthony Hopkins
Best Principal Actor-Brad Pitt)

So, if you read my prior blog about Oscar Snubs-The Last of the Mohicans, you may have guessed that the only Academy Award “Legends of the Fall” won, was for Cinematography. Such a great movie in so very many ways—one of my favorites of all time for so many reasons—and only one Oscar. Wow.

In all fairness, when you look at Oscar snubs, you have to look at the competition—what movies it was/is up against. In the case of “Legends of the Fall” it was up against “Forrest Gump”, “Pulp Fiction”, “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Quiz Show”, “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, “Blue Sky”, “Little Women”, “The Madness of King George”, “Nobody’s Fool”, “Bullets Over Broadway”, “Tom & Viv”, “Martin Landau”, “Three Colors: Red”, “Speed”, “Clear and Present Danger”, “Wyatt Earp”, “Maverick”, “Queen Margot”, “True Lies”, “The Mask”, “Heavenly Creatures”, “The Lion King”, “Interview with the Vampire”, “The Client”. (Wow, didn’t I just mention that movie? Total coincidence.) “Hoop Dreams was also out at the time, but was also snubbed even though it was on more critics’ top ten lists than any other film that year. Okay, now I can see why there were only three nominations for “Legends of the Fall” since those are some pretty incredible movies!

I don’t watch it often, because “Legends of the Fall” makes me cry, but it is a prime example of a quality movie. If you stuck with me until the end of this post, thanks for reading and watch “Legends of the Fall” to see if you agree.

Oscar Snubs

I had bought “The Last of the Mohicans” due to all this “Lincoln” business, because I had a bit of a crush on Daniel Day-Lewis after seeing him as an Indian in the first movie. He is very choosy about what movies he acts in from what I hear. My brother likes the classics, so one Christmas I gave my niece the novel “The Last of the Mohicans” and I think I gave my nephew “The Three Musketeers”. I’m not sure if the books were really age appropriate, because I think the kids were in middle school at the time, and I don’t know if they ever read them. (I don’t think I have ever read them.) I think I saw them on the top shelf of my brother’s bookcase once many years later, so I think it was a pretty good gift. At least he probably read it if my niece and nephew did not.

So, I tried to watch the movie the other day, but it was early morning and the sound needed to be turned up to understand the accents, and I did not want to wake my roommate, so my best friend and I finally watched it last night for our standing dinner and a movie night. This led me to rant to her about Oscar snubs and so today I was curious about whether this movie received any attention from the Academy.

Wikipedia (love, love, love this site!) Indicates the book is a historical novel by James Fenimore Cooper first published in February of 1826. The extended title which one may not know, is: “A Narrative of 1757”. What I just learned, is it is the second book of the “Leatherstocking Tales” pentalogy (does that mean there are five books in the series?); the sequel to “The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757” is “The Pathfinder”.

The name Mohican was actually a blend of two tribe names the Mohegans and the Mahicans. Did Fenimore Cooper really confuse them, or did he do it on purpose because he was writing historical fiction or was it non-fiction? Who knows. Wikipedia indicates a federally recognized tribe of Mohegans are presently based in Connecticut. The Mahicans were based in the Hudson River Valley and now live in the Stockbridge-Musee Community in Wisconsin so neither tribe is really extinct, thank goodness!

So, to get to my point, I told my friend that the 1992 version of “The Last of the Mohicans” should have won an Oscar for Cinematography. What awards/recognition did it receive?

Oscar (Academy Awards, USA): Won Best Sound
Eddie (American Cinema Editors, USA): Nominated for Best Edited Feature Film
ASC (American Society of Cinematographers, USA): Nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases)
BAFTA Awards: Won Best Cinematography (finally!) and Best Make Up Artist
Other BAFTA Awards: Nominated: Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis (I didn’t know he had a hyphen in his name!)
Nominated: Best Costume Design
Nominated: Best Original Film Score (both my friend and I were commenting on how we loved the music)
Nominated: Best Production Design
Nominated: Best Sound
BMI Film & TV Awards: Won BMI Film Music Award (Randy Edelman recipient)
British Society of Cinematographers: Nominated for Best Cinematography Award
Evening Standard British Film Awards: Won Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis
Golden Globes: Nominated Best Original Score-Motion Picture
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists: Won Silver Ribbon Best Male Dubbing (for the voice of Daniel Day-Lewis). Interesting.
London Critics Circle Film Awards: Won ALFS British Actor of the Year (Daniel Day-Lewis). I forgot he was English.
Political Film Society, USA: Nominated for Category (Peace)

So, it is good to know that this movie received some good recognition even though the Academy Awards snubbed it. Don’t get me started about Leonardo DiCaprio and Titanic or Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line. I wikipediaed Joaquin, and didn’t realize he originally went by Leaf Phoenix. I agree Reese Witherspoon should have won Best Actress, but come on. Joaquin was Johnny Cash. He was the movie. I understand Leonardo was snubbed again in “Django Unchained”. I haven’t seen that yet, but want to, so I’m not sure if that’s a good call or not. I wikipediaed him, and discovered he was named Leonardo, because his mom was looking at a Leonardo Da Vinci painting at a museum in Italy when Leonardo first kicked. Very cool.

I love the internet and what you can find out. My next blog will be about my feelings about “Legends of the Fall” and the Oscars, so stay tuned.

Another great poem by an anyonymous author and two cool quotes.

The Loom of Time-Author Unknown

Man’s life is laid in the loom of time

To a pattern he does not see,

While the weavers work and the shuttles fly

Till the dawn of eternity.

 

Some shuttles are filled with silver threads

And some with threads of gold,

While often but the darker hues

Are all that they may hold.

 

But the weaver watches with skillfull eye

Each shuttle fly to and fro,

And sees the pattern so deftly wrought

As the loom moves sure and slow.

 

God surely planned the pattern:

Each thread, the dark and fair,

Is chosen by His master skill

And placed in the web with care.

 

He only knows its beauty,

And guides the shuttles which hold

The threads so unattractive,

As well as the threads of gold.

Not till each loom is silent,

And the shuttles cease to fly,

Shall God reveal the pattern

And explain the reason why

 

The dark threads were as needful

In the weaver’s skillful hand

As the threads of gold and silver

For the pattern which He planned.

 ***

A man’s greatest strength develops at the point where he overcomes his greatest weakness.

Elmer G. Letterman

 ***

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.

General George Patton

Cool quotes to start the New Year off right:

My Creed: Howard Arnold Walter (1883-1918)

I would be true, for there are these who trust me;

I would be pure, for there are those who care;

I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;

I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

I would be a friend of all the foe—the friendless;

I would be giving, and forget the gift.

I would be humble, for I know my weakness;

I would look up—and laugh—and love—and lift.

 

A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been wrong, which is but saying that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

Alexander Pope (English poet & satirist 1688-1744)

 

That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful.

Ninon de L’ Enclos (French author, courtesan, and patron of the arts 1620-1705)

 

Difficulty, my brethren, is the nurse of greatness—a harsh nurse, who roughly rocks her foster-children into strength and athletic proportion.

William Cullen Bryant (American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the “New York Evening Post” 1794-1878(1794-1878; speech December 15, 1851)

 

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do  not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.

Abraham Lincoln quoting scripture to the Republican state convention nominating him to run for U.S. senator, Springfield, IL June 16, 1858

 

Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.

Abraham Lincoln 1866

 

We shall sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it.

Abraham Lincoln 1865

 

My best friend is someone who gives me a book I have not read.

Abraham Lincoln

 

Speak softly and carry a big stick.

Theodore Roosevelt regarding Trust Busting

Far and away, the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

Theodore Roosevelt

 

Politics, when I am in it, makes me sick.

William Taft

 

Let us reason together.

Lyndon B. Johnson

 

It is neither wealth nor splendor but tranquility and occupation which give happiness.

Thomas Jefferson

 

I’m not smart enough to lie.

Ronald Reagan.

 

Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

John F. Kennedy

Only dead men have seen the end of war.

I originally had that it was Aristotle, but it is usually attributed to Plato

 

When one receives from students the kind of glow that says you have touched my life, satisfactions flow that exceed whatever it is that sabbaticals and vacations can provide.

Elliot W. Eisner, The Art and Craft of Teaching Education Leadership

 

The aesthetic in teaching is the experience secured from being able to put your own signature on your own work to look at it and say it was good.

Elliot W. Eisner, The Art and Craft of Teaching Education Leadership

 

Minds, unlike brains, are not entirely given at birth. Minds are also forms of cultural achievement.

Elliot W. Eisner

 

The future is not something we enter. It is something we create.

Leonard I. Sweet

 

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.

Linus Pauling

 

Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

Unknown

 

Time ripens all things. No man’s born wise.

Cervantes, Don Quixote

 

Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark our coming, and look brighter when we come.

Lord Byron, Don Juan

 

Love reckons hours for months, and days for years; and every little absence is an age.

John Dryden

 

Priestly Benediction

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make His face to shine upon you

And be gracious unto you.

May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

(Cruisin’ peace.)

Numbers 6:24-26

 

 

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them—work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four Balls-Family, Health, Friends and Spirit—are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

Bryan Dyson (CEO of  Coca-Cola Enterprises during a speech at the 172nd Commencement Address to Georgia Tech graduates, Sept. 6, 1996