Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2 poems for fall. by Josephine T. Bibby

well, that last post about josephine's amazing literary skills was fairly popular. but it seems to have failed to sufficiently embarrass the daughter. so let's see if i can rectify that after the jump.

(you uppity little so-and-so. don't you roll your eyes at ME, missy!)



as a 7 year old, she was unquestionably and undeniably the brutally, unbelievable, underage, *poet lariat* of velasco street. or at least of our household.

she was the master of rap before rap was popular. and she can still talk your ears to a painful pulp.

before mtv existed, MC J-O Co0L ruled the universe from her yellow writing pad. singlehandedly.  

oh? you think i'm exaggerating? hah! take what follows as irrefutable evidence. read it and weep, suckas...

two seasonal poems from the master: 

move over lil' kim. MC J-O Co0L is darting.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

it's story time...

once upon a time there was a man. a very lucky man. this man had a daughter. the daughter brought him great joy. joy beyond his wildest dreams. the daughter amazed him daily. amazement greater than the sun and the moon.

every evening at bedtime the man and the daughter read books together. sometimes the man made up stories. one night during this ritual the man had to excuse himself for a bit. when he returned, the man picked up the book they had been reading and, mostly to himself, asked, "now where were we, daughter?"

the daughter, who was barely 4 years old at the time, pointed to the word 'the' and said... "'the' was the last word you read to me, daddy." and to the utter amazement of the man, the daughter read the words that followed.

and the man cocked his head in wonder.

"did you just read that?," the man asked.

the fact is, she had read it. she had somehow learned to read without being taught. by... observation? by...some mysterious gift of the mind? 

the man still cannot fathom it completely, much less explain it. what is...simply is. 

...and the daughter grew up to be the most extraordinary woman the man had ever known.

just in case the preceding hasn't embarrassed the daughter enough, i present to you now one of the first stories i know of that she wrote (and *copywrited*) herself.

6-7 years old:

ok...maybe she is just a little bit crazy. but what can you expect considering her early influence?

"who is the smartest and most beautiful woman in the world?", the man asked...

the daughter hesitated and the man answered his own question: "well it's Josephine T. Bibby of course. and don't you ever, ever doubt it."
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

a very brief family history on my dad's side

i recently found a booklet of 7 snapshots taken when i was about 3. 
oooh. ricky does not look so happy in this one does he?

no, that's just my serious look...

nice hat, lynn anne!

what follows are the only photos i've ever seen of myself with my great grandfather. and i don't remember him at all.


this next one is my favorite: great grand dad (Joseph Richard), dad (Joseph Richard, who died thinking he was a Joe Richard) and me (Joe Richard).

i grew up being told i was JOE RICHARD IV. turns out i am really the 1st...but i suppose i *am* JoRichardB, IV! and JB, V.                  

...making my daughter Jo B, V.  and JB, VI !  confused yet? hahahaahhaha

[i never met my grand dad* (Jesse Richard) or my g-g grand dad** (Josephus Byron).]

my grandmother (Granny) with my mom.

granny with my dad. granny was a real colorful character. she deserves a book to be written about her. i miss her the most. other than my dad, i guess. (i really like this pic, too.)

this is my great grandmother (Big Mama) in the next 3 photos. i wonder what reen and i are lookin' at in this 1st one? whatever it is, lynn anne doesn't seem at all amused...hahahaha

this was the last picture in the little booklet. uncropped. i love the partial image of my mom at the stove in the background. (click on it, or any picture, to see details.)


*i also found this photo of my dad and uncle with their dad, Jesse Richard. it's about 1" square so i taped it to the back of another photo to scan it. (yes, lynn anne, i finally got your scanner working. today!)

and this is the ONLY picture i've EVER seen of my dad with his dad.

**i can't find the tintype of my g-g grandfather, Josephus Byron, but this is the cemetery he was buried in. that's New York, TEXAS.  and he was buried one year before that sign was put up...
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

mom's exciting birthday party extravaganza.

i don't normally buy greeting cards. sometimes i'll look through all 200 available and find nothing *i* want. it's easier to get what i'm looking for in my imagination. so i usually just make them myself, but i was in the drug store the day before mom's 86th birthday and decided to see what i might find card-wise.

the Very 1st card i picked up seemed like such a perfect metaphor for alzheimer's i had to buy it:

now, i ask you. how often do you see that type of symmetry in life?

i also bought a bag of chocolate chip cookies (she loves them), and that was going to be the extent of my gift giving. until i woke up in the morning, that is...

do we dream these things? do our minds reboot and clear the clutter of old data, allowing fresh ideas to germinate while we sleep? whatever.

i woke with a near** brilliant plan. i would go to the grocery store and buy enough cupcakes for all the residents and aides. we're gonna have a cupcake party! (click on pic to drool. and i don't even hardly eat sweets.)

hey wait a sec. i just now noticed there's a chocolate one missing!

on the way over, i stopped and pilferred some crepe myrtle blooms.

and some turk's caps.

mom asked several times, "where did all these flowers come from?" and of course, each time i told her i had brought them. one time i even admitted i'd picked them out of peoples' yards on the way over. later when she -inevitably- asked again, joyce, one of the residents, said, "your son stole them. but i think he makes up stories."

hahahahahahaha. true on both counts, joyce.

at one point i asked mom, "how old are you today?" she tersely said, "i don't have to tell you that," and everyone laughed. but i persisted, just joking around. she thought for a few seconds, trying hard to come up with an honest answer, i think, and finally said with the slightest bit of hesitation, "65?"
i laughed and asked her how old she thought i was. she said she had no idea. i told her, "57, so i guess you had me when you were what? about 8 years old?" this made her laugh.

later on when i wanted to get a picture of her smiling i asked her again, "now how old are you today?" without skipping a beat she responded, "25."

complete and utter laughter ensued.

the aide passing out the cupcakes! asked each resident, "what color do you want?" i thought, "that's odd." i'd have probably asked, "which flavor," or mentioned the choices as being strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, lemon, etc.

mom wanted "pink." joyce wanted "white."
while joe, a very distinguished black man who rarely speaks, was offerred a vanilla one withouthaving been asked. (there were more of those left and the aide probably figured he wouldn't respond to her question, anyway.)

well, i'm here to tell you- joe spoke up. he replied with a sly grin, "no thank you, i'll take black."

one more cool thing about the party:
there are usually just 2 aides and a supervisor at any given time on the floor, but that afternoon there were also several new aides there doin' recon work or something. we got to talking and it turns out that...

2 are from ethiopia, 1 from eritrea (she was delighted i knew where that was), 1 is from nigeria (though she first claimed to be from louisianna), 1 is from dallas, and a nurse, whom i'd invited up from the 1st floor for the party, is from ukraine.
what an awesome melting pot we live in. mom is so lucky to be surrounded by such a caring group of people no matter where in our world they're *from*.

and maybe that explains the chosen semantics of, "what color do you want?"


** i said "near brilliant idea" because the better idea would have been to take cupcake mix up there and to have made our own. meh.
live and learn, right?

one cupcake at a time...


dear family, i hope this slide show of all the pictures i took yesterday works. (please come back later if it doesn't.)

ok. looks to me like it *worked* even if it is kinda blurry. lemme know if you wanna see any clear photos.

and a happy cupcake to all.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

yeah, yeah, yeah. i know...

it's old news.


not current.

not your cup of tea.

no longer relevant to you.

you may be saying, "get a life, man. give it a rest."

but i can't. so i'm going knocking on doors on saturday, the 20th. because i "have" to.

i hope you'll join me.

"Mission Accomplished." The lies about WMDs. Yellowcake. The Saddam-9/11 connection.
From start to finish, the Iraq war has been a disaster. But unless we work together, the politicians who supported it may be let off the hook.
And for the sake of history, if nothing else, we can't let that happen. So on Saturday, September 20th, we're partnering with our friends across the anti-war movement in one of the biggest days of action on the war yet. We're aiming for a truly ambitious goal: knock on ONE MILLION doors to talk to key voters about Iraq.
Can you join us?

Something like this hasn't really been done before—definitely not at this scale. Usually when people think of a canvass during an election year, they think it's for a candidate. But if this election is about real issues, like the ongoing occupation in Iraq, we can't lose.
Here's how it will work:
Just click the link and sign up.
Our partners at the campaign will send you a list of 40 people in your neighborhood. These are folks who either just registered to vote or are registered but don't always vote.
On September 20th, we'll talk to these folks person-to-person and ask them to sign a petition calling on the next president and Congress to bring our troops home from Iraq within a year.
We'll talk to folks from every political party.
On Election Day we'll get them to vote for people who will finally bring an end to this war.
This isn't preaching to the choir—this is making our movement bigger and stronger for next year. Can you join us?

Thanks for all you do.

and thanks to rick e. for this:

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

a fish called palin.

who would you rather be a heartbeat away from the presidency of the u.s. of a.?

, i may be sorta hot and don't believe in evolution or contraceptives, palin...

or...michael palin?

hey. i fully understand.
neither are qualified, but the point is: I STILL WISH IT WAS MICHAEL!
(thanks, caroline/sean. for the wit.)

this is pretty clever.
and Very right-on, in my opinion. (thanks chris. i hope they read it.)

the following is an email from a close friend of my daughter's. it's long, but informative.
plus, there're pictures!
so read it you turkeys...

(the electorate
needs pictures):

Hello Everybody:

From a friend. A voice from Alaska

As an Alaskan, I am writing to give all of you some information on
Sarah Palin, Senator McCain's choice for VP. As an Alaska voter, I
know more than most of you about her and, frankly, I am horrified that
he picked her.

Her husband works inthe oil fields of Prudhoe Bay and races snow mobiles. She is a life
time member of the NRA and has worked tirelessly to allow
indiscriminate hunting of wildlife in Alaska, particularly wolves and
bears. She has spent millions of Alaska state dollars on aerial
hunting of these predators -from helicopters and airplanes, dollars
that should have been spent, for example, on Alaska's failing school
system. We have the lowest rate of high school graduation in the
country. Not all of you may think aerial predator hunting is so bad,
but how anyone (other than Alaska wolf-haters, of which there are
many, most without teeth), could think this use of funds is
appropriate, is beyond me. If you want to know more about the aerial
hunting travesty, let me know and I will send some links to
informative web sites.

She has been a strong supporter of increased use of fossil fuels, yet
the McCain campaign has the nerve to say she has "green" policies. The
only thing green about Sarah Palin is her lack of experience. She has
consistently supported drilling in ANWR, use of coal-burning power
plants (as I write this, a new coal plant is being built in her home
town of Wasilla), strip mining, and almost anything else that will
unnecessarily exploit the diminishing resources of Alaska and destroy
its environment.

Prior to her one year as governor of Alaska, she was mayor of Wasilla,
a small red neck town outside Anchorage.The average maximum education
level of parents of junior high school kids in Wasilla is 10th grade.
Unfortunately, I have to go to Wasilla every week to get groceries and
other supplies, so I have continual contact with the people who put
Palin in office in the first place. I know what I'm talking about.
These people don't have a concept of the world around them or of the
serious issues facing the US. Furthermore, they don't care. So long as
they can go out and hunt their moose every fall, kill wolves and bears
and drive their snow mobiles and ATVs through every corner of the
wilderness, they're happy. I wish I were exaggerating.

Sarah Palin is currently involved in a political corruption scandal.
She fired an individual in law enforcement here because she didn't
like how he treated one of her relatives during a divorce. The man's
performance and ability weren't considered; it was a totally personal
firing and is currently under investigation. While the issue isn't
close to the scandal of Ted Steven's corruption, it shows that Palin
isn't "squeaky clean" and causes me to think there may be more issues
that could come to light. Clearly McCain doesn't care.

When you line Palin up with Biden, the comparison would be laughable
if it weren't so serious. Sarah Palin knows nothing of economics
(admittedly a weak area for McCain), or of international affairs,
knows nothing of national government, Social Security, unemployment,
health care systems - you name it. The idea of her meeting with heads
of foreign governments around the world truly frightens me.

In an increasingly dangerous world, with the economy in shambles in
the US, Sarah Palin is uniquely UNqualified to be vice president. John
McCain is not a young man. Should something happen to him such that
the vice president had to step in, it would destroy our country and
possibly the world to have someone as inexperienced and inappropriate
as Sarah Palin. The choice of Palin is a cheap shot by McCain to try
to get Hillary supporters to vote for him. when McCain introduced her
today, Palin had the nerve to compare herself with Hillary and
Geraldine Ferraro. Sarah Palin, you are no Hillary Clinton.

To those of you who, like me, supported Hilary and were upset that she
did not get the nomination, please don't think that Sarah Palin is a
worthy substitute. If you supported Hillary, regardless of what you
think the media and the democratic party may have done to undermine
her campaign, the person to support now is Obama, not Sarah Palin. To
those of you who are independent or undecided, don't let the choice of
Palin sway you in favor of McCain. Choosing her shows how unqualified
McCain is to be president. To those of you who are conservative, I
guess you have no choice for president. But please try to see how the
poor choice of Palin tells us a great deal about McCain's judgement.
While the political posturing inherent in the choice of Palin is
obvious, the more serious issue is the fact that the VP is, literally,
a heartbeat away from the presidency. Sarah Palin is totally and
unequivocally unqualified to be vice president, let alone president.

I know this is a lengthy and emotional email, but the stakes are high.
I thought it might help for all of you, regardless of political
affiliation, to know something about Palin from someone who has to
live with her administration in Alaska on a daily basis.


oh. i promised you pictures, didn't i?

judging from the collective intelligence of the american electorate as exhibited in the last 2 presidential campaigns...i'm afraid.

and you?
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