I’m not sure what percentage of annual jewelry sales happen in December, but I’d be willing to bet it’s a lot. Between engagement rings and year-end bonus spending, the final quarter has to be critically important for any jeweler’s balance sheet. Hence the ads:

(B.C. Clark doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m going to talk about today. I just threw it in for Hank, who loves it so.)

No, I’m thinking about the female image in jewelry advertising, and the problem it poses for creative directors. Because here’s the thing: Generally speaking, you can’t afford fine jewelry until you’re a little older, but putting Mikimoto pearls on wrinkly necks isn’t going to sell too many of them. But if the model is too young, it just looks weird. Princesses can wear zillion-dollar necklaces when they’re 19. Everyone else should be at least 30. Which brings me to this girl:

She’s been in the holiday ads for a local jeweler — and nowhere else I’ve seen — for a few years now. When she started, she looked like the prettiest member of the Michigan State junior-varsity volleyball team, bedazzled for some rich creep, like the girls in some “Taken” fantasy. She still does, to my eyes. Do you think a girl like her would wear a snake around her neck? Someone that wholesome should be in pearls, or maybe a diamond pendant.

Sometimes you can get away with a young model — it all depends on the context.

I swear, I could search “jewelry ads” in Google images all day. Some strange ideas out there.

Of course, women aren’t jewels, they’re people. Here’s my jewel, Sunday night:

I remember her first bass lesson, the teacher said, “You’ll look at a lot of butts.” He wasn’t much of a teacher, but he was right about that.

That’s at Cliff Bell’s, a local jazz club. The DSO program she’s in has a jam session every month there. Show up, bring your fake book, and dive in. it’s intimidating, but it works.

And now the week begins. On Tuesday, the state legislature will pass right-to-work legislation, capping one of the most extraordinary lame-duck sessions anyone can remember. Push aside the vitriol, and this column captures the sentiment of the moment. It’s going to be a bear; I hope I can see enough of it to get a few pictures.

In the meantime, a little bloggage:

A look at a bottom-ender, trying to make her way out. Another great Anne Hull piece from the washPost.

Have a great week, all.

Posted at 12:17 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

63 responses to “Bijoux.”

  1. Dexter said on December 10, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Snakes give me the creeps, and I don’t even like pretty snake necklaces like this:

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  2. Hank Stuever said on December 10, 2012 at 2:49 am

    You remembered!

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  3. Linda said on December 10, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Dexter, a friend of my sister is terrified of snakes, even obviously fake ones. She is also a loyal Survivor fan, and one season, their gear carried the logo of highly stylized snakes. She was wigged out about wearing it.

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  4. David C. said on December 10, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I’ve seen the Anne Hull piece played out in real life with many of my nieces and nephews. There is nothing out there that will provide a middle-class living without training beyond high school. The ones who didn’t seek training are slowly sinking. The ones with ambition but no money went into the military hoping to get money for school. Unfortunately, it looks like the military encourages soldiers to marry young. So when most of them got out, they had young families, no skills, and not enough money to support their family and go to school at the same time. I stumbled out of the gate when I was young, but the system at the time was resilient enough that I didn’t fall. Now, it’s so much worse I don’t know how they will make it.

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  5. beb said on December 10, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Oh god snakes. Make me throw up before breakfast why don’t cha!

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 10, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Another thing I’m pained by are two kids I’ve known and worked with for years who played all their cards right, worked hard, and got education degrees (with no small amount of debt, natch), then finally applied and applied their way into a teaching job — and have found they absolutely loathe teaching in a middle school classroom. They both had student teaching, but there were lots of supports, senior teachers nearby, and they were in buildings where the kids all knew the drill.

    Now they’re both in crisis over classroom management. It’s simply harder than it’s been in living memory, and they find their personalities and skills aren’t up to the task. One has already quit after being put on a “work plan” by their principal (“I was never going to accomplish what she wanted out of me anyhow”), and the other has gotten through a work plan, but it convinced she will be on another before year’s end.

    Do I tell them to tough it out, even hating teaching as they now firmly assure me they do? Yeah, that’s a good idea. But they have in front of them no obvious other way to pay off the debt they have incurred to get into a field that now repels them. But training is half the battle, but not the whole conflict. I’m hoping they can find a position at a place like State Farm or MedBen, and my spouse found she didn’t thrive in the classroom, went on to grad school (but started without debt), and now is in higher ed in admin. But the paths forward for first-generation college kids are narrow, with deep pitfalls on either side.

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  7. beb said on December 10, 2012 at 8:31 am

    My niece teaches. Her first couple years were in a charter school with horrible administration. She finally found a position in what appears to be a much better school. So my suggestion is to tell the one girl to tough it out through the end of the year, thereby proving that she can stick to it, and try to find a better school for the next year. It’s a lousy solution but unless she can find a better non-teaching job it may be the best she can do.

    I see where Freep columnist and generally pretty reasonable man, Brian Dickerson, is trying to split the different in a column about how you can’t live with union and you can’t live without them. The only people who can’t live with unions are the owners who think they’re the Lord of the Manor and have the feudal right to do whatever they want to their workers. Snyder’s actions about RTW just proves that Republicans can’t be trusted. Ever!

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  8. nancy said on December 10, 2012 at 9:00 am

    The part in the Anne Hull story that rang out for me was the one about the argument between Tabi and her mother, in which the daughter excoriates her for having so many children. I can’t tell you how many Tabis I’ve known who, in the same circumstances as her mother (i.e., pregnant in eighth grade), opted for an abortion and saw it as nothing less than a life-saving experience.

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  9. coozledad said on December 10, 2012 at 9:05 am

    It must be an exciting time to be playing music. It’s noticeably smarter now than the era of the coke and heroin deluge. A lot of the indie stuff is heading toward a more orchestral format, and requires that musicians be able to read a score.

    I don’t envy you. I would always be afraid my child would ask for a fretless electric bass.
    There are already enough farty noises in the world for those things to exist.

    Then again, whoever has the fretless gets to be the butt everyone is looking at.

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  10. brian stouder said on December 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

    All this stuff – careers, new families, union-busting – is quite terrifying, really.

    I wonder how scarey it must have been, when the pendulam was swinging the other way; when union movements were asserting themselves, and big employers like United States Steel or Ford or whoever would hire Blackwater-style private armies (Pinkertons?), and people knew ‘there would be blood’.

    ‘Course, if this was 1966, and we were well into the hey-days of the big unions, I’d be terrified that my son is on the verge of becoming draft-age, so I guess I wouldn’t trade.

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  11. Dorothy said on December 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I hope Anne Hull might be able to do a follow-up story about Tabi in 4-5 years. I’ll have to write down Tabi’s full name and Google it in 2016 or so. Thanks for the link, Nancy.

    Dave asked in yesterday’s comments about the Drexel. Yes it’s the same one in Bexley. I have never been inside it, but three days after my hand surgery in November my husband and I had some time to kill before picking up our daughter at the Columbus airport. So we ate at the Piada down the block from the Bexley, then took a stroll around the neighborhood and walked past the theater. The premier of “Liberal Arts” was there a few months ago. I am in the movie for about 2.7 seconds (and that’s probably an exaggeration).

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  12. alex said on December 10, 2012 at 9:30 am

    The conservatives, of course, would have you believe that feminism is the culprit behind Tabi’s mother’s condition and in general why young unmarried women are having multiple children with multiple fathers. This is one right-wing chestnut that won’t die despite its patent absurdity.

    Feminism is all about empowerment and self-determination. If feminism were in any way a part of the consciousness of these young women, let alone a driving force in their lives, then 1) they’d sure know a hell of a lot more about birth control than they obviously do; 2) they wouldn’t allow themselves to be used by the kind of men who fathered their children; and 3) in the unlikely event they incurred unwanted pregnancies, they would sooner abort than relegate themselves and their children to a life of deprivation and second-class status.

    I think that abstinence-only sex education, which promotes the fiction that birth control doesn’t work anyway so you shouldn’t even bother with it, is likely responsible for a lot of single motherhood. That and the stigmatization of abortion by the pro-life movement, along with the relative unavailability of abortion these days thanks to the movement’s efforts. Conservatives are the reason why there’s been a huge spike in single motherhood. Hip hip hooray.

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  13. Suzanne said on December 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

    In the past few years, I’ve had more dealings with people in the lower socio-economic levels than ever before and was quite surprised to discover that they are, for the most part, very pro-life. I think this is something missed by the pro-life movement. I’m not sure who they think is having abortions, but I think hearing some single mother (on kid #3 who has no job and is not likely to get one) say “How could a mother do that to her child!!” in reference to abortion would surprise many pro-lifers.

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  14. brian stouder said on December 10, 2012 at 9:39 am

    So sometime over the holidays, we’ll have to see if the Redbox has Liberal Arts!

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  15. adrianne said on December 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

    My older sister went into teaching as a second career. She taught a horrific three years in a Philadelphia public school (terrible principal, very high poverty rate among the kids), got hired by a good local charter school, and then got laid off this summer by the same local charter school, which decided they didn’t want to offer elementary kids a second language. (She teaches Spanish, and her fellow language teacher, who teaches Mandarin Chinese, was also given the boot). She’s found a teaching job for the spring semester at a downtown Philly charter school, but after that, who knows?

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  16. DellaDash said on December 10, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Basset, I’m glad to see the ‘Elvis at 21’ exhibit will be at the here until January 8. Yay!

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  17. brian stouder said on December 10, 2012 at 10:00 am

    …and then got laid off this summer by the same local charter school, which decided they didn’t want to offer elementary kids a second language

    Yes – because who needs a second language? Particularly Spanish? And even if our society (and the employers therein) could profit from a labor pool that has language skills, we all know that you don’t need to begin that at the elementary level; it’s much easier and more efficient to start that in 10th grade, right?

    See, this is why I think the term “good charter school” is an oxymoron.

    Charter schools exist to make a profit, period.

    Public schools exist for the profit and advancement of the children within them, and therefore our society, which (as we discussed Friday) local employers have come to expect.

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  18. Little Bird said on December 10, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I’ve come to hate the jewelry ads this time of year. They encourage the idea that if he loves you, he’ll buy you expensive shiny things. And that implies that if he DIDN’T buy some expensive shiny thing, he doesn’t love you. And that’s just sickening.

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  19. brian stouder said on December 10, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Little Bird – the other thing that always kills me are the car ads, where some sexy red car sits in the driveway with a bow on it on Christmas morning.

    My lovely wife – and every woman I’ve ever known – would absolutely kill me if I cut her entirely out of the shopping/choosing process for a brand new car.

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on December 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

    The ultimate spoof of those jewelry ads was this highly obscene tableau I saw a few years ago, of a woman administering, um, oral happiness, while on her finger sparkled a huge diamond. The joke is that it was done in that shadow-cutout format that one of the major jewelers (can’t recall which one) used that year, where the jewelry is the only thing shown in detail.

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  21. Bitter Scribe said on December 10, 2012 at 11:03 am

    brian: Completely agree on the car ads Who the eff buys a car as a Christmas present? And the 1% wonders why everyone else loathes them.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on December 10, 2012 at 11:11 am

    All my friends who are teachers have been laid off* at least once, and a few had to find other jobs. Our daughter loved working with kids but couldn’t stand all the paperwork and politics and never even applied for her license after student teaching.

    *Or, “layed off”, as I spotted in a newspaper headline Saturday.

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  23. Jolene said on December 10, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I feel bad for those young teachers who find themselves in a field that doesn’t suit them and even worse for their students who find themselves with an ill-prepared teacher.

    But they are in good company–or, at least, in the company of many. According to the WSJ:

    Roughly 40% to 50% of new teachers quit the profession within five years. The proportion of teachers who quit in their first year on the job has increased steadily since the late 1980s, according to Prof. Ingersoll’s research, which also has shown teachers’ turnover rate is higher than that for nurses, lawyers and architects, but lower than child-care workers’ and paralegals’.

    Advocates of teacher-training programs say one reason for the relatively high dropout rate is the traditional teacher education, which they say relies too heavily on classroom theory instead of arming newcomers with practical tactics to cope with a packed classroom of students with divergent abilities, language barriers or difficulty sitting still for 30 minutes.

    The article* focused on efforts to provide additional training and support with a view toward increasing retention. It’s a tough situation. I taught under what I suspect most elementary and high school teachers would consider idyllic conditions–a private school, elective classes, advanced undergrads and graduate students–and it was still very challenging work. Can’t even imagine what it would be like to manage 25 or more kids with all the behavioral, emotional, and cognitive issues they bring.

    *The article is behind a paywall. To see it, google “wsj new teachers.”

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  24. Charlotte said on December 10, 2012 at 11:23 am

    My nearly 102-year old grandmother died last week — here’s a link

    What I couldn’t add in that piece is that she was a fierce advocate for birth control and abortion access. Saddest thing she ever said to me was “I only had sex four times, and got pregnant every time.” She was quite open about trying to find someone to terminate her youngest, who is 3.5 years younger than my mother. “I just couldn’t face four more years in Lincoln Park with a stroller,” she told me. She even went to an address, and said it was so dirty and so scary she couldn’t go through with it — and this was someone of means. Told me when I was about a freshman in high school that if I “got in trouble” to come to her — of course, at that point, no one had even thought about getting me in trouble, much less kissed me, so I was sort of cheered up to think someone had faith that might happen eventually. She was not a great mother and her kids resented her for it (all except the youngest, with whom she lived for the last 30 years of her life and who was holding her hand when she died). Certainly made me a lifelong pro-choicer …

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  25. nancy said on December 10, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I’m finishing two stories today, Charlotte, but just a quick skim of your grandmother’s obit tells me I’m going to want to read it closely later. What a woman. Condolences and celebrations — that was a big life she led.

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  26. del said on December 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Your grandmother was a remarkable person Charlotte. That was a great tribute.

    (In one of the other posts you linked to I enjoyed your remark about wearing Mrs. Baggott’s Ring when times get scary.)

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  27. Dorothy said on December 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Charlotte my sincere sympathies. She seemed like an incredible woman! How proud you must be to have been her granddaughter!

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  28. alex said on December 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it appears that we just lost one of our own. Bob hadn’t posted here much recently but back in the day he was a reliably witty regular commenter. I’ve known him for better than thirty years. He was an avid photographer and history buff and he managed to survive a wicked bout with cancer some years back. I hadn’t received his usual Christmas card this year — he always comes up with an extraordinary image from his archives of old Fort Wayne urban scenes and creates cards that are themselves such great works of art that I have kept every last one of them. Rest in peace, my friend.

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  29. alex said on December 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Here’s a link to Bob’s web site, by the way.

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  30. nancy said on December 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    That’s too bad about Bob. He was a great guy. I love the old picture of him; imagine being gay in Bluffton, Ind., in 1957.

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  31. Jolene said on December 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Do we know if this Bob was related to the incoming Indiana governor?

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  32. DellaDash said on December 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    As an old woman, she’d look at me and shake her head. “I don’t know why any of you girls would get married,” she’d say. “Now that you don’t have to.”

    Love love love that, Charlotte. Like Nancy, I’m going to have to put some time aside later to do your reminiscence justice.

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  33. MarkH said on December 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Very sad about Bob Pence. He took some spectacular photos, the inner city stuff. Just go to his website and be enthralled. RIP.

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  34. Kirk said on December 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Indeed, a most interesting collection of photos. Would anyone know what the one from Van Wert, Ohio, shows?

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  35. nancy said on December 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    If you dive into the Van Wert collection, it looks as though that photo is of some civic garden/pocket park with a trompe d’oeil painting on the wall behind.

    From what you’ve told me about Van Wert, I’d say that qualifies as super-fancy.

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  36. nitewatcher said on December 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    The young lady with the snake around her neck is very attractive, but she seems almost wax museum’ish. Not one single blemish. No mole, no wrinkle no anything. Somehow I just don’t understand how the ad people think these type of models help sell product.I mean do people sub-consciously look at models & think if I get that maybe I’ll look like that? Or are normal average looking people (99.9%) unconvincing or to poor looking? I just dont get. Anyways Good Afternoon from Idaho 🙂

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  37. brian stouder said on December 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    . Well, here’s a small, life affirming story. Our 14 year old has been wanting to color her hair (one way or another) – and mom finally agreed to it. So yesterday the two of them worked for quite some time applying a bleachy hair-product, to the lower layers of the backside of her head…and the effect was OK. Really, you can’t see any difference unless her hair is bunched up. So of course, she had her hair in a bun (of sorts) this morning, and hopped onto her bus with a smile on her face, this morning. We shall soon see how things went for her, today

    And indeed, the Hoosiers in Indiana wish our Idaho friends a good afternoon, too

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  38. alex said on December 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    What’s this new hair thing I’ve been seeing lately on middle-aged women — bleached blonde on top with an unnatural-looking brown poking out from underneath? It seems to be all the rage around here on the social x-rays.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Lovely essay, Charlotte. You can never get in everything you’d like to in a eulogy, truly. And grace and peace with Bob and all who knew him.

    Had a fascinating conversation with a lady just this past hour, 98, trying in a very non-depressed sort of way to answer the question “what am I alive for, anyhow? what does God want with me sticking around, when my legs are traitors and my eyes part-time employees?” We considered a number of options, some of which worked for her, others of which she said were clearly not her cup of chamomile, but I wonder: what would anyone else here say to a non-miserable, but largely non-mobile but clear thinking 98 year old asking “why live any longer?”

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  40. brian stouder said on December 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Well, the non-miserable part is huge; and indeed, I’d say that a 19 year old who has miserable days, and thinks she has all the answers, as opposed to a 98 year old who has pleasant days and really does have all the important answers, might do well to yap over an icy cold Diet Pepsi. If not ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ (or whatever) – maybe Wednesdays with Wendy

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  41. Basset said on December 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Della, don’t miss the exhibit of historic guitars right next to the Elvis pics… great history of the instrument.

    Meanwhile… Mrs. B. is getting a pacemaker next month, anyone have insights or advice? I know arc-welding will no longer be an option for her…

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  42. brian stouder said on December 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Well indeed, here’s wishing both Mr and Mrs B strength now and in the New Year; and hopefully the B-household is done ever being flooded again!

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  43. Kirk said on December 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Didn’t realize there were more pictures to be seen by clicking on the one. I definitely recognized a few things from Van Wert, though I haven’t lived there in more than 38 years. The Balyeat’s Coffee Shop sign is col; I tok a lot of meals there until I finally located an apartment.

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  44. Kirk said on December 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    As you can see, I’ve been having trouble typing double o’s.

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  45. del said on December 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Jeff, I’d say that she lives to make those around her stronger; she lifts up her family and friends, all younger no doubt; and inspires strength and courage in others. That’s a beautiful thing to do every day.

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  46. Bitter Scribe said on December 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I missed the open threads but just have to throw this out there, because I know you will appreciate it:

    I drove past a house with a lot of holiday decorations in the front yard, including a Nativity scene. There was a hand-lettered sign that read: “PLEASE RETURN JESUS.”

    Either somebody stole the baby Jesus from the yard, or this person can’t wait for the Second Coming.

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  47. DellaDash said on December 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Noticed the guitar exhibit, Basset…gonna buttonhole my songbird BFF for that as well as sexy Elvis.

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  48. Charlotte said on December 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Jeff — your elderly lady is exactly the situation we’ve been in with my grandmother for about five years — she couldn’t hear, which frustrated her enormously and made conversation nearly impossible. She could walk some, but couldn’t see well, and in the last year or so, has had trouble swallowing. A UTI about a month ago was the precipitating event — after a terrifying ER visit (because the antibiotics were making her panicky, not because of the ER staff) she told my aunt Molly that she wanted to go home, and that she wouldn’t let an animal she loved go through what she was. So, hospice was called, she went home, and it took nearly a month, but she managed to die at last …

    And thanks everyone for the kind words. She was certainly something — my cousin and I were talking last night about how much better it was to be one of her grandchildren than it was to be one of her children ….

    Condolences to everyone who knew Bob — as a newcomer here, I’m afraid I missed him.

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  49. ROGirl said on December 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Happy Hanukkah, bitches.

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  50. beb said on December 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Nancy might not be able to go to work tomorrow (Tuesday) since the governor is considering closing some roads around Lansing. Trying to forestall a protest by closing off the city.

    I love the smell of Democracy in the morning, smells like napalm.

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  51. nitewatcher said on December 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    ROGirl, outstanding mutha f*&&#@ 🙂

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  52. Deborah said on December 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    On my way back from NC visiting my 93 year old mother in law. Many of the comments today are relevant to our experience this weekend. My MIL is still very sharp mentally but she’s beginning to wear down physically, and I mean only beginning. She has been remarkably healthy and active all her life until recently she had to have one of her toes removed because of a mysterious bone infection. She is beginning the journey to the end, the long goodbye. Her kids and grandkids and great grandkids love her dearly, she will be missed. A sweet, sweet lady.

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  53. Sandy said on December 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Re: teaching. I am seven years into my third career, a math teacher. I do not make much money, but my students’ encouraging words keep me going. College “teaching methods” classes are a joke. No practical advice is on classroom management is taught. You must learn as you go and develop a thick skin. Too many of my students’ parents are simply not around ~ many of them work second shift. This leaves teenagers to fend for themselves much of the time. In my opinion, this is today’s largest education problem ~ the absentee parent. How am I supposed to overcome this when I only see them for an hour a day?

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  54. nitewatcher said on December 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Sandy, maybe you should think about a teaching job in CA. I just read this today 68K+ not to bad for a 9 month job.

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  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Sandy – a handy stat for those who doubt the truth of what you say: what percentage of a child’s time, from birth to age 18, is spent in school? People guess from half to a quarter . . . the correct answer is 9%. When you explain the math of 180 x 7 x 18 divided into 365 x 24 x 18, often folks will say “you can’t count vacation and weekend and sleep time” which of course is exactly the point. In school, you can’t control that your little pedagogees are only getting five or six hours of sleep a night . . . if you’re lucky. Et cetera.

    For those with elderly family members, a pair of generic pastoral notes (generic in that they are truly interfaith and small-c catholic in application): in picking a nursing facility, has a good rating system that proves out in practice (plus check their local health department kitchen inspections), and key in on bed sore scoring — the other is that I and many others on this board will be happy to explain, at length, how Hospice is not a death panel or hastening death (oddly enough, the data are clear that going onto hospice status actually extends lifespans), but a life affirming choice when you are getting into the narrow range of choices remaining. A fellow whose funeral I just did included a story he wanted me to tell: he “had” to put his wife on hospice status, and after he saw it in effect for her over a week, he went to his doctor and said “sign me up!” Hospice is not giving up, it’s giving life more room to maneuver in.

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Oh, nitewatcher, not the 9 month thing. Next, please tell me I work one hour a week as a preacher.

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  57. Little Bird said on December 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I grew up with a teacher. It’s sooooo not a nine month job. Not only that, but it’s FAR more than just the school day hours too. It’s a thankless job, and one that should be lauded. Good teachers are worth their weight in gold.

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  58. nitewatcher said on December 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Jeff, im not real sure about preachers salaries, im ashamed to say been awhile since Ive been in a church. I remember reading someplace “freely you have received, freely you shall give” tho’.

    Seriously tho’ a teacher has the summer off as far as I know unless they teach summer school. I was raised in a house that was right across the street from a school. My folks still live there. In the summer time its a ghost town. Same thing at Christmas, Easter, Just sayin to me it is what it is. Still pretty damn good pay and benefits.

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  59. Little Bird said on December 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Teachers must break down their class room at the end of the year, and trust me that takes time. And they must also put together the next years curriculum and set up the room. None of this is easy stuff. After the school day is through they have papers and tests to grade. Students to evaluate. Not to mention the students who might be lagging and therefore require a phone call to the parents.
    What I don’t understand is why we don’t pay teachers more. You entrust your children to them. They help shape and mold those young minds. They spend more active time with your kids than you do. Don’t teachers deserve more than they get?

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  60. Dexter said on December 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I was reading the posts here, saw Alex’s post about Bob Pence. I contacted Bob a few years ago about his great shots of downtown Fort Wayne. I then immediately lost touch with him, but this is sad news. At the exact time I saw the post here, I heard on WGN-TV that if you drink four cups of coffee a day you cut your risk of contracting cancer by 4x. I guess I am good, then. I drink about that much in the mornings and hours later I switch to tea, and that is good for health, too.
    Every year that passes reveals more and more damning evidence about both regular as well as diet soda. I have been a soda-head all my life—as far back as I can remember, about age three, I drank cola, Pepsi or Coca-Cola, as well as all the flavored Pokagon sodas and all the root beers, Mason’s , Dad’s Old Fashioned, Hire’s…and even though I find soda an aberration before the sun begins to set, I NEED it once or twice a day. Oh yeah, it’s an addiction, I am sure. I have a friend who quit all soda cold turkey five years ago. I wish I could do it…no I don’t. I hope two cans a day don’t kill me.

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  61. DellaDash said on December 11, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Way back when I was young and fit, it was my grandma that tugged at my heartstrings, so that I found myself in the foriegn country of Arkansas tending to her until she died.

    After spending Thanksgiving with my soon-to-be-87-year-old mother who’s short-term memory is gone baby gone, I have to agree with my older sister that Mom’s going to need some looking after sooner rather than later…even though she’s fiesty, active, and developed some ingenious coping mechanisms with post-its. We five scattered children have been trying to take care of her by remote…one brother just sent a router and an iPad, so I’ve got her wifi’d and starting to use the latest tech…but, of course, that’s not going to cut it. She doesn’t want to leave her own nest to go live in one of the many homes owned by my siblings…while we’ve all fled the harsh Iowa winters of our shared childhood.

    But here’s the crux of the matter…my brothers and sisters and I enjoyed the most wholesome, entitled childhood anyone could wish for. Not because we were particularly wealthy, but because we were loved unconditionally. How can we now bear for our remaining parent to not have the highest quality-of-life she can possibly have in her final years? I can’t bear it.

    A nursing home is out. I promised Grandma she would never go into one, and I feel the same way about Mom. Among the many reasons I wouldn’t trust an unmonitered (live-in) caregiver are the several I fired while taking care of grandma…lotta neglect, abuse and exploitation goin on out there.

    So…after much soul-searching and many inner tantrums…I’m preparing to pull up stakes from serene, beloved Nashville, in order to return to my roots on the banks of the mighty Mississippi.

    I hesitate to talk about this here, but the thread has goosed me into it. I’m no saint, nor martyr. I have my parents to thank for the freedom I’ve always felt to follow my passions…and because of that I’m now free to follow this passion. On the other hand, if I don’t, I’ll never live easy with myself again.

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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 11, 2012 at 6:30 am

    May the healing you bring your mother return to you many-fold, Della.

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  63. Dorothy said on December 11, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Della I hope you will be able to return to your beloved Nashville in due time. I think you’re brave to make that decision, and even though it will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, as you say, you will “live easy with yourself” once you’ve made the commitment.

    Little Bird thanks for going to bat for teachers and trying to explain to nitewatcher that they work waaaaay more than 9 months out of the year. I have siblings and an almost-daughter-in-law who teach and I see myself how much they do outside of the 7:30AM – 3:00PM time frame. Why we keep having to explain this to people over and over again is beyond me.

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