Morgan Freeman

I like Morgan Freeman. While I may not agree with everything he says, I find him to be an interesting man and a fabulous actor. So it was no surprise that I watched The Biography Channel’s bio of him the other night. Twice. And it gave me hope.

Did you know that, at the age of 40, Morgan Freeman was named Broadway’s Best Male Newcomer? At 50, he was nominated for an Academy Award. At 52, he earned his first leading role in a major feature film (Lean On Me). At 67, he was awarded the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. At 72, Freeman played Nelson Mandela, a role that he says was a “forgone conclusion”, because Mandela had said that when a movie was made about his life, he should be played by Morgan Freeman.

Near the conclusion of the biopic, Freeman tells the interviewer “I think you don’t have life if you don’t have a dream. If you have something to aim for, put it before you. Put it on the medicine cabinet or the refrigerator door, so that every time you go to the refrigerator, you are reminded ‘This is what I want.‘ You’re gonna get it, guaranteed.

When I was about 5 or 6, my grandmother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. “A truck driver” I told her. “A truck driver? Like the kind that bring packages or deliver bread to stores?” “No Mama, a truck driver. You know, an 18-wheeler driver.” “Oh. Well darling, if that’s what makes you happy, go for it.”

I did not become a truck driver.

Over the years, the truck driver was replaced by a slew of possible occupations – teacher, lawyer, actress, priest (yes Mom, briefly), and librarian to name a few. I’ve taken dozens of “occupational assessment” tests, taken classes in different fields, read a lot, and tried a few things. I’ve made lists of the things I like to do and the things I’m interested in. I’ve looked to my friends and family to see what they do.

But I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

So it heartened me that Morgan Freeman was considered a newcomer at 40. Of course, at age 9, he was the lead in his first school play. I am getting closer to 40 every day, and I still have not found the occupational dream to post on my refrigerator door.

Do you think you can know who you are, even if you don’t know what you want to be? Or does knowing what you want to be make you, in part, who you are?

I continue to search. And that counts as chasing the dream, right?

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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


Travel Traffic Trips

I’ve spent a lot of time on the road the last couple of months.  While I realize that others may not spend as much time on the road, there are definitely some tips that others are in need of.  So, I’m sharing them. 🙂

  1. Unless you have bubble-lights and a badge, do not attempt to control my speed.
    The left lane, especially on the interstate, is for passing slower moving vehicles on the right.  If this is not clear enough for you, let me break it down:

    1. Do not park yourself in the left lane if there is no other traffic around you.
    2. If more than two cars whip around you to the right, they are not speed demons,  you are in the wrong lane!
    3. If you are moving slower than the vehicles around you, move to the right where you belong.
    4. You are not a hall monitor – everyone behind you is not required to drive at the speed you deem appropriate/safe/all your crappy car can handle.
  2. I only allow passengers on the inside on my vehicle, not the outside.
    Please do not ride my bumper.  I know you have places to go.  So do I.  But bumping bumpers will not get you to your destination faster.  In fact, it will cause me to slowly decelerate so that we all end up going slower.  And isn’t that annoying??And if there is a vehicle ahead of me and one to the side of me, where exactly do you expect me to go?  My Caravan does not come equipped with Go-Go-Gadget legs.  I know – crazy isn’t it??
  3. If it is raining “like pouring piss out of a boot”, please don’t pull evasive maneuvers and try to hide in the downpour.
    Use your lights. That is why they include them for free in your vehicle!  And those things that come across your windshield?  They’re called wipers.  And they are made for the rain.  Let them feel needed and useful – turn them on when it’s raining.
  4. Learn your signs. Please.

    The red one that says “Yield” means that through traffic has the right-of-way. See how it’s red like a stop sign? That means you STOP, then go when there is a break in traffic.  But, unlike a stop sign, if there is no one coming, you don’t have to stop.

    The yellow one that says “Merge” means that you join into ongoing traffic at the current rate of speed. explains it as the Zipper Method – “merging like a zipper.  Car in lane 1 goes, then car in lane 2 goes, then car in lane 1 goes, and then car in lane 2 goes.”  When you merge, you don’t STOP – you accelerate to match the speed of oncoming traffic.  And if you are the oncoming traffic, you don’t play “Block the Merger”.  Got it?

That is all.  Class dismissed.

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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Uncategorized


Where Do You Call Home?

A few weeks ago, a new coworker asked me “Where do you call home?”

Cue the crickets.

He tried again, “I live in Cobden.”

“Oh, I live in Herrin.”

There now, was that so hard?

Well, in a way, it was. He didn’t ask me, “Where do you live?” or “Where are you from?”, he asked “Where do you call home?”  Perhaps I’m putting too much emphasis on semantics, but those are two entirely different questions.

As I reflected on his question, and more on the hesitation in my answering, I started to ask myself, what is home to me?  I’m an adult now, happily married for almost a decade, with a child and a mortgage (and a minivan!).  Shouldn’t my answer have been as quick to “home” as to “live”?

It’s not like he asked me where I grew up or what my hometown was.  That brings the familiar litany of “Georgia, California, New York, North Carolina, Georgia again, Texas, Northern Virginia and college in Tennessee” and “No, not the Army, just a dad who got promoted every two to three years.”

He didn’t ask me where my family lives (New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, and Idaho.)

Where do you call home?

Singers, songwriters, and poets have expounded on home for centuries.

Elvis Presley sang “There’s No Place Like Home” (too much L. Frank Baum perhaps??).

Bing Crosby sang “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” (that’s for you Mom!)

Lynyrd Skynyrd sang “Sweet Home Alabama”

Blake Shelton recently had a hit with his version of Michael Buble’s “Home”

What is home?  What components are necessary to make something your home?  Is it the place you return to time and time again, no matter the troubles, no matter the triumphs?  Is it a place of rest and rejuvenation?  Is it a place where the memories linger and some old friends too?  Is it the place where your family lives? Where you grew up? Where you are raising your family?

Part of me thinks that my hesitation is because, despite the fact my name is on the mortgage and my husband and child are there every night, my current location has always intended to be temporary.  Troy and I moved here when we got married, he went to college, and then we were supposed to be gone.  Ten years ago.  We tried to leave once, but we came back, found out we were pregnant, and ended up buying a house.  So this is my home.  Right?

Can someone have more than one home?  I don’t have an “ancestral home.”  The closest thing to that is the house my grandmother has lived in since I was very young.  But everyone else has been in transition and even my grandmother’s house, and town for that matter, is not the place my father spent his youth.

Can home be a person or a group of people?  Can a relationship be home?

Raul Malo and Martina McBride sing Randy Newman’s “Feels Like Home”.

Folks in the West Virginia University Philosophy Department discussed the meaning of home as well.  Their thoughts can be found at

So, where is home?  To me, it is the place where you feel like you belong.  Where you feel comfortable and can be yourself.  Fortunately, for me, I have several homes.

Where do you call home?

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Posted by on June 23, 2010 in Uncategorized


EMW’s answers for May 2010

Not my best effort. Maybe next month will be better. Read it anyway.

The Questions.

The Answers:

  1. What are you doing extending your entire forearm through the space between someone’s crotch and the top of their pants?  But to answer, no, they should not consider…just pull ’em up!
  2. Ok, while I admit that I am looking forward to A-Team the remake (well, technically not a remake because there was never an A-Team movie, just a TV show), I have to agree.  I would hate to think that Hollywood has run out of creativity.  One has to wonder if Hollywood’s pursuit of money has finally thrown off any other pretensions and is just full-bore at the top of the list nowadays.  And yes, creative is a must; it doesn’t have to be big, mind-blowing creativity that invents a time machine, but if you don’t have creativity, how do you get through a day when life throws you a curve?
  3. Can you imagine the first time the guy who discovered fire showed it to someone else?  But anyway, to your question.  Things that are “new” and “different” are scary – just like change.  Haven’t you heard the saying “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.”
  4. If they are going to continue to call it The Real Housewives, could they please get some actual housewives on there?  And what about the eye candy for us ladies?  Can’t they come up with The Real Cabana Boys?
  5. First, he’s on an island – he doesn’t have a closet.  Secondly, if you were on an island where not bathing and eating bugs is an every day occurrence, would you be wearing your best MoJo Tees?  I think not.
  6. Oprah is not normal.  When do you think was the last time Oprah did anything domestic?
  7. Paula Deen is the shitznit.  She needs her own talk show.  Seriously.  Tell Oprah to hook her up.  Come on, did you see her on Craig Ferguson?
  8. Tonic is carbonated and has quinine in it. Soda is carbonated and has baking soda in it. Geez, how much more different can you get??
  9. Yes, it’d be wrong. But I’ll buy you one the next time I’m at the Dollar Store.
  10. Whoever put that in the linear notes the first time should be shot. That’s like saying “You could sing the encyclopedia” or “You could sing the manual for setting up your Panasonic DMP-BD70VK – Blu-Ray disc player/VCR combo.”
  11. Jamila is too smart for me. There is no answer to that question.
  12. Irregardless isn’t a word either. See Grammar Quickie for more. And learn to use apostrophes for Pete’s sake.
  13. I think Newsweek‘s editorial board was on permanent slumber when that little beauty slipped in. One can only hope. I mean, do we really want to think that a major news magazine thinks this is news or appropriate?
  14. So people can only portray who they are? Who would John Wayne have fought against had he had to fight real Indians? And would the movies have been any better?
  15. Yes. Betty White hosting the Academy Awards. ;-p
  16. Give here or here or here. Just give.
  17. Not fair. That would be like comparing the Law and Order and Sex and the City or Twilight and Interview with A Vampire. Similarity in location or subject matter is no reason to compare the buttery goodness that is artistry in motion.
  18. I don’t get Lost. But I love that the writers of Glee share my reverence for ’80s music. And mob dance scenes a la Thriller.
  19. Look at it as opportunity – you’ll find a new gem, or gasp, read. ;-p
  20. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
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Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Blog Wars


Blog War – Answers To JRL’s 20 Questions

My dear friend Joseph Riley Land has recently restarted, after an unscheduled hiatus, his 20 questions. Random thoughts and comments about life; I have taken up the mantel of answering his questions.


Why not?

Seriously – he sends the questions out into the void. I’m just one little slice of the void sending back an answer. Don’t like my answer? Submit your own dammit.

So, check back here monthly (or so) and see what I’ve said. And make sure you check out JRL‘s site too, k?

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Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Blog Wars