Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Joy Of Six

The Dept. of Nance is six!

I know.  I share your astonishment.  I, too, thought that by now The Authorities would have dismantled this site for its shameless refusal to Have A Central Theme And Purpose, or for its unmitigated temerity in acting so contrary to most Online Tendencies in not simply fading away and becoming a Twitter feed or a commercial repository in its host's desire to Brand Herself, thus hoping to score a mention on the Today Show or in TV Guide's Hot List.

Oh, wait. My other site already got both of those things.  Sigh.  And I'm still not famous?  WT--?

Anyway, the Dept. is six, and in six years, I've covered a lot of territory.

With SIX You Get Eggroll:  Rick, Sam, and Jared all provide me with a great deal of blog fodder.  Being the only woman in the family of three huge men, at least there is that tradeoff.  These days, the boys live out on their own.  When they do come over--and at the same time--it's exhausting.  I'm thrilled and grateful that they are each other's best friend, but the constant ribbing and riffing is like being part of an Abbot and Costello/Lenny Bruce routine.  They toss me around like a beanbag, defy my MomLogic, and exchange dubious glances with their father, who is largely no help at all. I have No Idea why I had all these children.  Here are a few of my favourite posts about all this Madness:  If You Are Ever Invited To DinnerAnd That's What's Known As Relativity; I Ain't A-Scared Of You!; and Premature EjacYULEation.

SIX Feet Under:  Here at the Dept., I've even dealt with the subject of death a few times, and that's one I'm not entirely comfortable with. I will be vastly annoyed by my own, I'm sure, especially if it inconveniences me, such as if it occurs when I am not suitably dressed, not wearing makeup, or if it causes me to do anything unseemly, like make an inappropriate noise or facial expression.  I prefer the old cinematic deaths wherein the woman can lie in her bed and look pathetic and wistful, then flutter her eyelids a few times and sigh while her Significant Handsome Male holds her pale, manicured hand.  Aside from all of that, though, here are a few posts wherein I did chat about The Grim Reaper, in a very Nanceian way:  If A Blogger Falls In The Forest;When Walt Whitman Said "To Die Is..."; and Reports Of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

SIX A.M.:  For all six of the years I've been writing at this site, I've been teaching English and Creative Writing I and II at a "large urban public high school with a significant minority population."  I set alarms to get up, but my internal clock got me up by 6:15 every morning.  All this summer, I still get up before seven, even without Piper and Marlowe tugging at my hair and nudging me to fill their dish.  I wrote quite a few posts about my days at The Rock, as it was known before the New Place was built, and it's a bittersweet look back.  My Dept. Faithful will no doubt remember some of these:  It's A Perception Thing; Ahhh, Youth; Of Edgar And Literature And Abraham Lincoln; Somewhere In Here There's A Great Pun...; Hostage Crisis Ends Without Bloodshed; and Flamingoes: They Don't Teach You This In Teachers' College.  That last one...well, every teacher should read it when he or she is feeling like Society's Whipping Boy, which is all the time these days.  Kind of a good reminder.

Concession Road 6:  This phrase won't mean anything to you, but it brings a smile of recognition and satisfaction to me.  That stretch of asphalt lies in Ontario province, Canada, and is home to one of my favourite wineries, Cattail Creek. Rick and I discovered it when it first opened and we were hooked.  Thus began our love affair with Ontario's wines.  We laugh now when we think back to our initial foray into a winery:  we walked in, looked around, were immediately overwhelmed and intimidated, and walked out. Finally, we took a tour of a winery which included an instructional group tasting, and our obsession was born. Right now, we have a pretty well-stocked cellar, and you might want to do a little Time Travel and Tasting here:  A Taste Of My Vaca-hic-tion; Day 2, So Much Wine...; and I Don't Look At It As Wine....  There has been so much more wine, and so many new wineries have opened up since then; I just haven't described them.

The SIX O'Clock News:  I've been a news junkie for most of my life.  My father read the paper religiously, even reading it aloud to my mother as she cooked dinner. We watched the news at six and discussed it during and after meals. And I was a papergirl back in high school. I delivered the local paper to 43 customers seven days a week, reading one as I tossed its companions into front and side doors all along the route. Politics--well, that goes without saying. Our local Cleveland news at six is horrendous. I wait for Brian and his tie at six-thirty, but I wander among CNN, MSNBC, and HLN all day when I'm home. And if I'm not on a break from NPR, I grab that in my car.  What can I say?  It's an addiction, as you can tell from:  I Need The Cronkite 12-Step Program; If There's A Law Against This,Then...; Christmas Kickoff...Complete With Crocs And A Six-Pack; Extra! Extra! Read All About It!; In Which I Worry Whether I Am A Bad Person; In The End, It's All Politics; and It's Called Priorities, America.

SIX Degrees of Separation:  Often, I have lamented the distressing reality that is my life in Minutae, Ohio Northeast.  I have Zero Chance of ever seeing anyone of note in the local establishments.  This does not stop me from writing about them here. Here at the Dept., I can freely discuss my decades-long relationship with Daniel Day-Lewis, my on and off dalliance with Johnny Depp, my puzzlement over my attraction to Hugh Laurie, my devotion to the President (only a couple get the capital P), and my List.  Oh, the List.  It's been overhauled as of late, but the top spot is still...well, we can talk about that later.  (You've got one, right? Oh, everyone should!) To dish, start clicking up: DoN Takes A Look At Her Cabinet; DoN Weighs In On Infidelity; The List; Politics Make Strange...; O! Whatever Should We Do Without Men?; and Why Daniel Day-Lewis And Ohio Are Really Irritating Me, to name a few. 

And those are only SIX things that the number SIX made me think of.  We didn't even get into cows, bunnies, polar bears, stupid smackdowns, fashion, food, grammar, or oh, so very many things that I feel are under the purview of this, the Dept. of Nance

It has been my very great pleasure to host you here.  For those of you who have been here for all SIX years, you hold a Very Special Place In My Heart.  For those of you who have arrived because you found one of my comments elsewhere and became curious, or who read me and comment even though Blogger is tedious, or who are former students and colleagues and family and friends, you also hold a Very Special Place In My Heart.  Thank you.  Now, please, won't you all have some cake? You're certain to find one that you'll like.


  1. From the title of this post, I thought it would be a reference to the Science-Fiction show Babylon 5.

    "We have six, you see. First there's one, and that's nyaaah, then there's two, and by the time you get to five--"

  2. Nick J11:59 PM

    Speaking of Six Feet Under, did you ever watch the series on HBO? If so, what did you think? Personally, I loved that show, as I love the movie American Beauty, which has the same creator as the series.

    I started reading the Dept. about a year and a half ago and I thought it was amazing because none of your students ever knew much about you. It was wonderful because I always respected you and wanted to know more.

    Anyway, keep up with the blog. Definitely entertaining.

    Oh one last thing: Why Brian Williams?

  3. Six Feet Under. Yes! Use your retirement to catch up on this via dvd, if you haven't already done so.

  4. Happy anniversary! I'll have one smallish slice of EACH cake please.

    I watched a hilarious Jimmy Fallon clip with Brian Williams in it. I got it from this friend's blog post:

  5. Many congratulations on six years! I've enjoyed every post and hope for many more. It's such a reassuring feeling to know that there are a select number of people whose writing chronicles their lives in such an interesting, smart, absurd, and just plain fun way, and that I get to be in the audience. So many of the people I know in the everyday world are boring, oblivious, and stupid. The Dept is one of the few places that I can always count on to brighten my day. Oh the Joy of Six, indeed!

  6. LaFF--Thank you, and thanks for being here. I miss you over at your place. Maybe you'll start things up again one day.

    the Bug--Jimmy and BriWi have slow-jammed the news a few times. One thing about Brian, he does have a sense of humor. (If not always of Fashion!) Thanks for hanging out here at the Dept.!

    S. Warehouse--The fact that the phrase "six feet under" is now the name of a tv show never occurred to me. I just brainstormed phrases that used the word SIX in them and went from there. LOL.

    Nick--Thank you. And thanks for being a Real Person and not blabbing my bloglife all around school for all that time. That's one of the best things about the students who are In The Know about the Dept.--they're cool enough to respect my privacy. Anyway, I get asked "Why Brian?" in almost all the media interviews I do. The answer is always the same: LAZINESS. We watch NBC's Cleveland affiliate for local news at SIX, and are too lazy to change the channel, so we watch Bri at 6:30. The rest, as it is said, is history.

    The Merry--Oh, hello! Welcome to Comments at the Dept. No, no SciFi ref. in this title. It's a play on the classic Alex Comfort bestseller "The Joy of Sex." Wow. I feel OLD. You probably didn't get the reference to the old Doris Day movie title either. (With 6 You Get Eggroll.) Sigh.

  7. Congratulations, Nance!

    I don't always have the time to comment, (blame the toddler who is actively trying to kill me, I think) but I have you in my feed reader and I read EVERYTHING you write.

    And love it.

    Please don't let the English teacher in you have a fit with that last sentence, or even my use of parenthesis up there. I'm operating on four hours of sleep, so you've got to cut me a teeny bit of slack. ;)

  8. Hi Nance,

    Congratulations on your Sixth Anniversary.

    I have enjoyed reading your essays ever since you were first discovered in Schwab's Drug Store wearing a tight sweater.Oh.Wait! That's somebody else...

    I discovered you in 2007 when you left a comment on another site that made me laugh and I followed that chuckle to your blog and have been a loyal commenter ever since.

    You are interesting,funny,sharp,and diverse. I never know what to expect when I click on D of N.

    Here's to six more years for both of us ...

  9. Nancy--Trust me when I say that a tight sweater would hold no charm for anyone. Even with the relatively recent acquisition of slightly padded brassieres, my 'assets' are modest, at best. Thanks for the kind words and the continued loyalty and audience here. I look forward to your comments and humor, and I also like reading your memoirs at your spot, too.

    Gina--Oh, how lovely to see you here! How the hell are you, dearie? So glad that you still keep up, and so glad that you're still able to struggle to a keyboard and tap out something other than "SOS" or "HELP!". Your words flatter me, and there is never a need to apologize or worry over grammar or syntax in comments, honestly. I'm just so thrilled for participation, and for me, the content is the thing here.

  10. Many congratulations on a wonderful 6 years!! Here's hoping for many more. Someone's got to show me the pathway to retirement:>)

  11. So. Md.9:34 AM

    still hear.

  12. is also six this month, and I can't quite muster a party mood. I can't remember when I first visited the Department, but you and I have covered a lot of ground together. I raise my glass to the Joy of Six!

  13. My lucky number:
    Six! —because I won a prize
    In a number game

    Bad haiku. True story, though. When I was (yes!) 6 years old and taking catechism classes in preparation for my FHC (First Holy Communion), the teacher asked us all to guess a number from 1-10, and I got the prize for guessing number 6. A rosary. Don't even ask me where that is now. Lost in the shuffle of an old jewelry box along with widowed earrings and other such treasures. But ever since then, 6 has been my lucky number. Not that I ever won the lottery on it or anything.

    So, Happy 6th Blogaversary! And while I haven't been around for all 6 years, I have read (and continue to read) lots of vintage posts and consider myself very lucky indeed to have stumbled upon The Department, where sagacity and humor are alive and kicking.

  14. I'm new, I have no focus to my blog, and I find you always leave me smiling. :)

  15. Mage--Oh, I love New Readers, too! How did you get here, or did you divulge that once already? No matter, I'm just glad you're here. Chime in any old time, and do take some cake home with you.

    Ortizzle--I smile every time I see your name in my Inbox, knowing you've stopped by here to comment. Now that you've written some Haiku, I realize it's been far too long since I've revisited the Snarku, and we really should. It's also been too long between emails for us. Probably my turn. Sigh. Oh, catechism class, the instigator of Monday Headaches for me for at least seven years of my childhood. How horrid. That's why I am now a Recovering Catholic and the parent of at least one card-carrying atheist. Is Oenology a religion? :-)

    V--Did we really start up shop together? That cannot be! I thought you were an old hand at this gig long before I ventured out into cyberspace. Well, happy Sixth to you as well. I always enjoy my time over at your place, revelling in your gorgeous prose and poetry.

    So. Md.--And for that, I am very glad, in so many ways.

    dbso--Hey, thanks. And I love to be a Beacon Of Enlightenment, believe me. (I miss your previous avatar, but the new one is a giggle. I used to play the flute, you know.)

  16. Nance--Belated, but happy 6th! I think your six years of extremely high-caliber blog posts is amazing. I applaud you for it. Seriously. Your posts always brighten my day, make me laugh, make me think, and more. Life at the Dept. is never dull and for that I'm grateful!


  17. Happy 6 years, Nance! You know I'm a fan. :)

    I'm thinking November will be 6 years for me. Wow. Blogging seems to have changed quite a bit, but perhaps that's me.

  18. j.@jj--I think it has changed. It's become an Older Folks Thing, thanks to MyTwitFace, but that has changed, too, thanks to The Old Folks getting on there as well. Blogging has become a more sedate medium, I think. And, sadly, in some arenas, more commercial and egomaniacal, too. It's become a launchpad of sorts, a branding mechanism for hopefuls who want to Become Something. In a way, of course, I am jealous, but I hate the relentless narcissism of it all.

    Shirley--Thank you. I'm pretty proud of the writing here, and I'm glad it's noticed by my faithfuls. There are some posts (and years!) where it has been better than others, but I've tried to maintain a certain level, so thanks for the kudos.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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