Monday, August 02, 2010

Reclaiming my life--and a pink flamingo and a bit of plagiarism

For  years, I threatened to put a pink plastic flamingo in my front yard as the sort of ultimate in tackiness, but I could hear my oldest daughter's reaction. I've seen in other yards flocks of them that are periodically rearranged and they're really fascinating. For my birthday I got my pink flamingo--metal and classy, not plastic and tacky--from the Houston Alters. Lisa said it would match my pink cone flowers, which are, alas, now faded and gone--but it will next year. It's just in front of the "jewel"-encrusted stepping stones that Morgan and Kegan made me for my last birthday (the Houston grandkids). I keep having to stop Jacob from pulling the "jewels" off and carrying them away as prizes.
Today I began reclaiming my life. Last week, because of the tooth, I was pretty much a recluse--and realized how seductive that can be for one who has insecurities about getting out. Then there was the wonderful weekend, but today I was back to reality. Of course, it's my confidence in my balance that bothers me. I did well, though at one point I found myself paralyzed, couldn't let go of the banister I was holding on to in order to take that first step. Finally the rational part of my mind stepped in and reminded me that I was expected somewhere for lunch and couldn't hold on to that bannister all day. I stepped and nothing bad happened. I should have taken the cane with me because I'm finally learning to use it when those momentary panic attacks come. They pass quickly and if I have the cane to steady me, I'm off and running. Anyway I did two errands, went to meet folks for lunch--and got stood up! Turns out he was sick and they forgot--profuse apologies and we'll reschedule. I didn't mind sitting in Carshon's for half an hour--sort of time to collect myself.
This afternoon I wrote about 1400 words on Gail Borden and read a bit of the mystery I've almost finished. So it's been a good day.
Read today about a  young woman, seventeen, who freely steals whole passages from other works and incorporates them into hers. She calls it "borrowing" though the rest of us would call it plagiarism. Worst of all, her work has won some sort of prize. I remember a student in my writing for publication class who was a poor writer at best until he turned in an almost perfect paper on yachting--with help, I found the magazine it came straight from, word for word. I called him in, he told me an F would end his college career, and I said, "Sorry." His mother even called and said to blame her, she'd told him to do it (can you imagine?). I gave him the F and have no idea what happened to him. But the times, they are a-changing if plagiarism can win a prize. Or am I an old fuddy-duddy?
So tired last night, but here's a picture of Jacob that says it better than I ever could. We were on our way home from Frisco yesterday afternoon.

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