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Showing posts from August, 2015

Songs of the South 1--The '86 Sugar Vols and a Handshake That Wasn't

Few fans can attribute their love of a football team to a single moment. I can. 

Don't get me wrong--I grew up in a Tennesssee Volunteers family. My father, uncles, cousins, and grandfather all were Vols fans. When I was little, I learned to love the game of football. Being the only little girl in a room full of guys rooting for one team brought said little girl advantages--like staying up late so I could see the end of the game and lots of junk food. When I reached high school, of course, I had other priorities--school, books, and boys. But I always kept track of how UT was doing, and in the late 70s/early 80s things weren't exactly top of the line for the Vols. 
When I graduated high school and went to college, my interest in football began to shift. My freshman year, I started to follow the Vols more closely, heading to Knoxville several times for games. So when the 1985 Tennessee Volunteers were rewarded for their 8-1-2 record with an SEC championship and a trip to the Sug…

Seasonal Song of the South: SEC Football and its Fans

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So, I've been thinking...

Whenever I started out with those four words in a business meeting, all the other directors and senior staff members would groan and try to hide. Hard to do that in an online meeting, though, so they always had to suffer through it. 
So, I've been thinking...about following up on the FAN vs FANATIC post of a few days ago. 
Growing up in the deep South as I did, the beginning of football season kicks off a string of highly looked-forward-to events that seem to escalate the rate of time. For me it goes like this*: 
Football season starts-UT's first game-Labor Day-UT-Oklahoma game-the Florida game-trip to Neyland Stadium to watch the UT-Arkansas game-leaves change colors-UT/GA game-my birthday-my granddaughter Rori's birthday-my husband's birthday-Alabama week-Halloween (UT/UK game in Lexington. May hit that too)-sweater weather-countdown to championship week-Christmas shopping-Thanksgiving-Army/Navy game-Vandy beatdown-SEC Championship-put u…

FANdom, FANaticism and Kiss My FANny

So today I got into a Twitter war. 

Yeah, I know. Big shocker. I usually try really really hard to avoid those, mostly because words are the primary tools of my trade. Getting into a squabble with a Twitter troll is really wrong of me. It's the equivalent of Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson squaring up in the ring with Pee Wee Herman--the audience knows Pee Wee is horrifically outmatched, but just cannot turn away from the carnage. 
Like taking an Uzi to a paintball game.
At any rate, what started the fight was an argument over what constitutes a fan. A guy who roots for Florida during football season and Duke during basketball season instigated the event, and even though I used small words and tried to type slowly he chose to ignore the point I was trying to make.

To me, there's a lot of difference between a FAN and a FANATIC, even though the first term evolved from the second. For example--

I am a University of Tennessee FAN. I have always been a UT FAN--one of my earliest memorie…

Character Studies of Life Can Be Found Online

All of us have to deal with people who aren't quite...well...right in the way they deal with people. But social media makes that interpersonal issue much bigger than it used to be. For example, right now I have social relationships with hundreds of people that I have never met except online. You do too. But what do you really know about those people? Only what they have in their social media bios and what they tell you. 

As humans, we rely upon our ability to gauge another person's behavior by hearing to tone of their voice, judging their physical movements, the motion of their eyes, how they gesture, and the context in which they make comments. Online, we don't have that ability. Instead of varying areas of gray, we have either black (everything he says is a lie, or bullying, or bigoted) and white (I accept everything said to me at face value). There is no middle ground. And that, in turn, leads to extremes of human behavior online that are fascinating for a writer to obs…

Back Again, Back Again Lickety-Split (NOT)

So, I've been waiting for my laptop's return from warranty repair since June. 
That's never what a writer wants to say, especially if it's followed by  "I've lost all my work since March." 
Yep. Left to the vagaries of a frighteningly unresponsive repair department, I'm sure the hard drive that my husband the ex-hacker  network administrator couldn't extract files from is proving to be equally bullish with HP. So since I mailed my laptop off--in JUNE, let's not forget that--I've been getting my online addiction through my phone and my writing addiction--
Well, let's just say withdrawal is tough. 
Funny. Before my laptop blew up, I wasn't able to write a word. Having never been decimated by writer's block before, I must confess I am now a lot more empathetic towards writers who are suffering through weeks or months of blank pages. And now I can say been there, done that. Two months of longhand scribbling in your journals will do…