Wednesday, December 29, 2010

11.8.62 - 11.1.10

I haven't been able to bring myself to do this until now,and am not entirely sure what prompted the action this night (early morning,actually). It all happened so fast and it seems as though the past almost-two months have been one long agonizing day.
But Halfglassistan carries on. Just with all flags at half-staff. And regular operations suspended indefinitely.
Never doubt that all glasses remain half-full. In fact, only half-full forevermore. But also never doubt that Mr. J left the best half remaining. 
I have plenty to say, just not the strength to turn any of it into coherent thought. And though my best muse may no longer be by my side, he is still with me.
And something tells me he'll let me know when the time is right.
Until then, I remain living on love. Living. On. Love.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Team Wedding

©1999 ccw/halfglassistan

The 11th anniversary of the Wedding Wedding, and the 13th anniversary of the day I fell in love with Mr. J are quickly approaching.

Snapped somewhere in that magic hour between a Friday as boyfriend and girlfriend and the Saturday in which we'd become husband and wife, that picture above is one of my favorites.

I look at our faces and see so much love and all of the hope and promise of a future stretching before us. And now, I still can look at that picture and see the very same thing.

If I had the chance to do it all again — I'd always choose to do it all again.

Because what Mr. J told me so many years ago has always held true.

We've lived on love, baby. We've lived on love.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Still Kind of A Big Deal Around Here

The following post is from one year ago today and was titled Kind of A Big Deal Around Here.

It still is.

Always will be.

And it's worth repeating.

Enjoy ... And LIVESTRONG.

Today is LIVESTRONG Day.

Why today? It's a cancerversary. On October 2, 1996, Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer, and before he knew whether he would survive, he started his foundation to fight cancer.

But the 
Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) does so much more than raise funds or awareness.
It helps people affected by cancer.

It inspires the 
will to fight — and the courage to keep going.

It keeps you 
fired up — and channeling your inner badass.

It makes you feel like you're 
part of something much bigger than yourself — and reminds you that you are never alone.

It reminds you to hang tough and keep believing that 
prayers will be answered.

It teaches you that 
"unity is strength, knowledge is power, and attitude is everything." 

It helps people affected by cancer. 
I know. 

And if you've been to Halfglassistan before, you know, too.

If you're new here, just click on those links above and see how a little yellow bracelet, a slogan, and 
everything they represent carried me and everyone I love through one hell of a year.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010



HALFGLASSISTAN, USA, August 20, 2010 — Be on the lookout for missing mojo. HRH Princess Snarkerella reports it was last spotted approximately two weeks ago. She added it may have been missing for at least three, but no more than four weeks. When pressed, she acknowledged it sometimes slips away without her noticing.

Cat Con, Snarkerella's official press secretary, stated: "This is the longest we've noted mojo's absence from Halfglassistan. However, we have no reason to believe it will not return. Be assured that we do have a transfusion protocol ready to implement, if necessary." Con went on to say that all citizens of Halfglassistan are in good health, and all non-reporting operations have been continuing without interruption.

If mojo is spotted, please advise the authorities as soon as possible via suitable communication channels.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Oh-Sweet-Irony Wednesday

(relocation site selected by gracious owners of smoke-filled squee quarters 
after famously hot hotel became flamingly hot)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Of Blocks and Blanks

"Better to write for yourself
and have no public,
than to write for the public 
and have no self."

– Cyril Connolly (1903-1974)

(better yet to just write)
(words, where are you?)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Able To Form Complex Rationalizations In A Single Bound

"here she comes to save the day ... or the day after tomorrow" 
(whoi am so loving lately)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

3 Girls + 4 Days - 25 Years = Priceless

CVZ 1985

CVZ 2010

SPG 1985

SPG 2010

CCW 1985

CCW 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


verb to express delight; noun term of endearment for one who squees; usage: "She squee'd when she realized she'd see her squees soon." Frequently adapted to form new words, as in squeeunion

Yeah. Call me cheesy. Call me silly. Call me goofy and girltastic.

I don't care. 'Cause you're right — on all counts — and you can also call me happy. And excited. And grateful beyond belief.

Tomorrow, Halfglassistan is hosting the inaugural Squeeunion.

Yeah. That's right. You can now call me what I'm currently (um, okay, always) calling myself: All. Kinds. Of. Awesome.

Over the past year, there have been few things that I could count on unconditionally, so those things on which I could rely became very precious. One of those things was a little red dot. Day after day, week after week, month after month, very little in Halfglassistan was certain.

(Kinda the whole point of founding this little land of mine. If you're new in this parts, I recommend starting here and taking a look around. I promise that for every anxiety expressed, there's equal or greater happiness to be found.) 

That little red dot, though, was a constant. A simple indicator that a message was waiting became so much more. A reconnection of three high school friends quickly evolved into a sisterhood whose story was being written in Facebook message threads. Seemingly random subject lines give no clue to the content within. We write of our pasts and our presents, of laughter and love, of tears and triumphs — and most importantly — how all of those have become intertwined.

Tomorrow after months of virtual hugs and hand-holding — and 25 years since the three of us have shared oxygen — my sweet SPG and CVZ are arriving in Halfglassistan.

Let the squeeing begin.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summertime, And The Livin' Is Easy

(oh, how I heart my Bowen babies!)

Friday, July 16, 2010

In Which We Wonder What To Do

"You can't stay 
in your corner of the forest waiting 
for others to come to you. 

You have to go get them sometimes." 

Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne, 1882-1956 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless "People-Let-Me-Tell-Ya-'Bout-My-Best-Friend" Wednesday

(sing it with me)

Thank You

If you joined me in voting on behalf of To Write Love on Her and The Kristin Brooks Hope Center to fund IMAlive, thank you.

If you told a friend, or two, or twenty, thank you. It helped IMAlive win $100,000 in valuable funding.

And if you just read my post and took just a moment to care about people who may have forgotten, or never knew, how to take care of themselves but so desperately know that there is a light, somewhere, if they could only find it — then thank you for that. 

Thank you for caring.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm Alive

click. vote. spread the word. soon.

One hello says a million words, and can scare a million hearts for a million different reasons. That's why millions of people in crisis may never — no, will never — pick up a phone, too scared, too pained, too absolutely unable to even speak. Too afraid of the voice on the other end. Will it be judgmental? Dismissive? Perky and dripping with misguided "but-you've-got-so-much-to-live-for"? Or worse yet, bored?

Now imagine just one of those same scared, pained, speechless hearts, online, seeking out someone, anyone who might begin to understand what they're feeling. Through the powerful social media presence of To Write Love on Her and The Kristin Brooks Hope Center, they find IMAlive.

And they find the strength and the courage to respond to a blinking cursor typing:

What difference might that make in just one life? What difference might that make in hundreds, thousands, millions of lives? Lives that might otherwise be lost forever to suicide?

The Kristin Brooks Hope Center — founder of 1-800-SUICIDE — has partnered with To Write Love on Her Arms and to develop IMAlive, the first live online crisis network with 100 percent of its staff certified and trained in crisis prevention. If The Kristin Brooks Hope Center wins the $250,000 prize, 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly toward IMAlive

Please vote — and soon — by clicking any of the links in this post, and you can help someone be able to say "I'm alive," because they sought and found help, and didn't follow the dark shadows in their hearts.

I know. Because even though I once followed my dark shadows, thankfully they didn't win. 

I'm alive.

The Kristin Brooks Hope Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1988 after the tragic death of the founder's wife, Kristen, by suicide. From the beginning, Reese Butler and the Hope Center have been dedicated to suicide prevention by providing easy access to a large network of crisis line workers, while helping to break down the stigma and other barriers to accessing help and hope. For more information, visit 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Because All-Awesome, All-The-Time Wears A Girl Out

"if i'm not huggin ya don't stand close enough for me to hug ya" 
(whoi am so loving lately)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Flashback Fireworks

Hey, hey, hey — happy, happy, y'all!

I love the Fourth of July, and can always find a reason to celebrate. A reason, that is, beyond the Army-brat-infused overwhelming pride of all things red, white and blue. Reasons as simple as a bright sun in the sky, a cool drink in my hand and the promise of a firecracker night.

Or reasons as simple as last year's: That Samuel L. Chemo was on the job, some chick named Neulasta was joining in, and Tilly was pulling LIVESTRONG duty right beside us.

Wow. This year's reasons to celebrate are that I'm feeling all kinds of awesome being back on the job, Mr. J is continuing to kick cancer's ass all over the damn place, and Tilly is still wonderfully Tilly. And just like last year, we're still celebrating simply being able to celebrate. Which is reason enough, in my not-so-humble-opinion.

And — because it's still a damn good story (check back next year; you'll probably see it then, too), from July 5, 2009:

Saturday. In The Yard. Think It Was The Fourth Of July.

I love the Fourth of July. This year, it will be a relatively quiet celebration, except for any neighbors in good-old-fireworks-legal-South Carolina who may be putting on a show. We can usually count on a few teens nearby to pop off more than a few sizzlers, and Jamie and I will venture into the backyard, beers or sodas (or bourbon) in hand, to watch the show. 

Remembering our first July in this house, I think that the kids thought we were coming out to complain about the playing-with-matches-and-what-not already in progress:
A round goes off, we take our swigs and holler a hearty "WOO-HOO!" their way. They think (or so I like to think), "OK, those old farts are gonna be cool." Then a real old fart (who, surprisingly, is younger than we are) comes outside and throws off a few passive-aggressive huffs and puffs, only to be ignored. She (it's always a she) even walks over and says something to the teenagers, and then arms crossed, head down, still huffing and puffing, she radiates bitch-energy as she skulks back to her house.
There's a pause in the show and we think that maybe the kids have bowed to young-old-fartista's will. Now I know they're thinking, "Crabby old fart," because we're saying, um, thinking, it, too.
But, no. They're just stockpiling whatever mini-munitions they have left in a pile in the center of the cul-de-sac. One by one, their cars fill up and drive away. We notice, however, they've only barely driven outside the neighborhood gate and pulled over to the side of the main thoroughfare, still a good vantage point.
When just one vehicle and two kids are left, our suspicions are confirmed. Ready ... driver starts the engine. Set ... passenger is poised at the end of a fuseline of sparklers. GO! Match is lit, dropped to the sparklers, and passenger hops in car, which pulls up even with our yard (I told you they knew we were cool) to watch the fuseline burn toward the pile'o'pops.
And ... BOOM! HISS! CRACKLE! SNAP! POPOPOPOPOPOP! SSSHHHHCCCCOWWWW-OW-OW-0W! (that's what it sounds like to me; feel free to suggest alternate spellings below ...)
The finale! 
We cheer! The kids beside us cheer! The kids on the road cheer!
Just as it ends, a chorus of car horns starts up and they speedily retreat ... probably to buy more fireworks (it's only 10 p.m.)and go to someone else's neighborhood (the night is young) and piss off some other old fart (they're everywhere, you know).
Our one-time "new" neighborhood is filled with homes now, with no more open cul-de-sacs in which to host impromptu sky shows. Not sure where Ms. Young Old-Fart is. She didn't venture out and complain much anymore after that night. She still may be huffing and puffing, peeking out her window every time someone's music is too loud, someone's dog barks, or someone laughs just a little too heartily. I feel sorry for her, and she doesn't even know why.
Those same kids have grown up and have better things to do than hang around someone's yard on a hot summer night, drink beer or soda (or bourbon) and shoot off fireworks. They won't ask, but if they did, I'd tell them that one day they'll learn.
I'd tell them: "Twenty, 30 — hell, if you're lucky enough to keep a laugh in your heart, 40 or 50 — years from now, you'll learn that walking into your backyard, holding hands, sipping on beer or soda (or bourbon); watching fearless teenage boys impress breathless teenage girls; oohing, ahhing, and woo-hooing while the grumpy neighbors harrumph wa-a-a-a-a-y before their time; telling each other stories of summers long ago, stories you've heard already, but love to hear again and again because of the twinkle in the eyes and dimples in the cheek of your storyteller; kissing in the moonlight before going back in the house  ... You'll learn. You'll learn there is nothing better to do than just that."
But they won't ask. And they wouldn't listen. I wouldn't have.
Happy, happy, y'all.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thumbs? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Thumbs.

image ©2010 ccw/halfglassistan
Hullo all. 

Tilly here, liveblogging from CCW's summer annex. Otherwise known as the kitchen, which is approximately 15 feet farther away from the sun than the winter quarters. Otherwise known as the room above the garage, which is approximately 1.5˚ warmer at any given moment.

It is a most comfortable change of pace. We are turning dreams into ideas in cool comfort. Dad is but a glance away, we're watching the Gamecocks in Omaha on the big TV, sipping on ice-cold tea and generally delighting in our consummate cleverness.

This migration of CCWHQ to the first floor also marks the fulfillment of a particular dream of mine. I've longed for a cozy perch from which to observe the magical feats of food on these kitchen counters. A spot that would allow me to be ready to jump in and assist at a moment's notice. (I've always thought I'd make a fine sous chef, given the chance.) Et voila! — Not only do I have a cushioned chair on which to keep vigilant watch over the foodstuffs, but also one with wheels to spirit me from table to counter to refrigerator (ah! do I dare?)!

Upon further inspection, however, it seems the bounty that has Mom so excited holds absolutely no thrill for me:

image ©2010 ccw/halfglassistan


image ©2010 ccw/halfglassistan
Excuse me. I have to go plan my Keep-The-Chair-In-The-Kitchen-'Til-Christmas campaign.

Tilly out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Think That Means Heaven

"where diet coke comes from" (c)2002-2010 natalie dee (whoi am so loving lately)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Morning-Beach-Musing Wednesday

image ©2010 ccw/halfglassistan

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Because I Believe In You Even When You Don't

"You gain 
strength, courage and confidence 
by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. 
You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. 
I can take the next thing that comes along.'

You must do the thing 
you think you cannot do."

- Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-1962

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Of Daddies and Daughters

I am one of three daughters. 

The middle one, to be precise. Which yes, since you asked (You did. I know you did.), does also mean the obnoxious, look-at-me-here-I-am, emotional and dramatic one.

(Really? Really with the surprise on that? I should think the pieces would be falling into place.)

Growing up, my sisters and I would ask my dad if he ever wanted sons. He'd reply, "No. I always wanted girls. Boys grow up and leave you. Girls always come home." Satisfied, we stopped asking.

When we got older and suspected that his answer, while clever and sweet, might have been a simple way to deflect an unanswerable question, we asked again.

Same answer. And we were clever enough to discern he meant what he said. Satisfied, we stopped asking.

And, we didn't need to ask. We never did. 

My father never gave us any reason to think there was anything wanting in his life. He taught us to love what he loved. To love how he loved.

My love of words and knowledge and adventure all come from my father. I don't remember a day when I couldn't read, didn't have a question forming in my mind or didn't want to explore whatever it was I saw around me. I don't remember a time when I wasn't surrounded by books, didn't have a desire to wander through a museum or didn't want to see for myself the things that other people only saw in pictures.

My father taught me how to read by reading to me. My father taught me how to learn by learning with me. My father taught me how to appreciate everything around me by not hiding his wonder in everything around him. My father took me to libraries, museums, zoos, parks and landmarks large and small throughout America and Europe, and I seek them out for myself now. Because I want to. I have to. It's in my blood. It's in every breath I take.

My father taught me how to love by loving. Unconditionally. And I can't elaborate on that, because there are no qualifiers. It simply is what it is.

I could, however, elaborate endlessly on everything else my father taught me — and perhaps I already do. Everyday. Right here.

But not now.

Right now, I'm going home.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Because I'm Also Sentimental And Like Alliteration ...

And, as always, because I can, I declare today another Flashback Friday.

(It's nice having your own imaginary world to rule. I highly recommend it whenever I meet another delightfully obnoxious egomaniac. It's quite choice.)

Today is about more than (just) being lazy, however. I'm kicking off Father's Day weekend with a memory of the man who called me his "Tomato Girl." 

Papa, this one was, is, and will always be, for you:

It's A Happy Tomato Kind of Day

My favorite food hands-down (and I've tasted plenty to compare) is tomatoes. 

I am, in fact, a tomato snob. I would rather go without than eat a sub-par, off-season, mealy, refrigerated (oh, the horror!) sorry excuse for my beloved red globes of joy. 

This morning, Jamie and I went to market. I now have a ceramic bowl on my counter overflowing with tomatoes in various stages of ripeness, just waiting to make me happy. This is not an adult-acquired taste, but rather one cultivated at an early age in the dark, black soil of the Calumet Region of Northern Indiana. 

My sweetest childhood memories are of gathering that day's vegetable yield from my Papa's garden. Snap beans, green onions, peppers, radishes, zucchini, and more would be plucked from their plants, each selected by Papa's knowing eye. The tomatoes, however, held no mystery. I knew exactly which were ready to pluck, which were salvageable from the ground, and which would be ready tomorrow. Best of all, I knew which ones would never make it across the yard and into the sink for washing. Those were carefully wiped with Papa's handkerchief and handed to me. They felt firm but tender in my hand, and with the warmth of the sun, I think I imagined them pulsing with life. I would lift them to my face with both hands. Mouth open as wide as possible, I'd bite the fragile skin and feel the fruit explode in my mouth, laughing and slurping as it squirted everywhere. 

I close my eyes and can still feel the hot black earth between my toes, the calloused skin of Papa's hands, and the sun on my skin. I smell a comforting melange of dirt, onions, and pipe tobacco. I hear the whir of dragonflies, chirping of birds, the creak of a screen door, and Nana's voice call out, "Reg!" And I taste heaven.
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