Nefarious Presbyterian Churches: Zion, Bear Creek, and Bethesda

I have wanted to find the Bear Creek Church since I moved down here, since it is the source of some of Middle Tennessee’s greatest urban legends (or rural legends, as the case may be). It’s supposed to be haunted or used for devil worship and it contains a cursed Bible, supposedly. My hunt for Bear Creek Church has been thwarted by the fact that there are a number of Bear Creek Roads near Columbia. But today, I found it.

More importantly, though, I went out to Zion Presbyterian Church outside of Columbia, where Jack Macon’s first owner and the father of his longest owner is buried. It was really moving. They’ve kept the place up beautifully, but it made me cry to realize I was looking at a building that, in all likelihood, Jack, among others, was forced to build and then wasn’t even allowed to attend. I stood in a graveyard where I know Jack’s friends and possibly family were buried, but who can know, since they were denied last names?

The most remarkable thing about the Bear Creek Church is that anyone can get a good look inside it thanks to Alan Jackson:

Ugh

I’m so ready to not be sick. There’s yard work to be done and I’m bored of having nothing to talk about here. I want adventures! Creepy graveyards. Baffling historical facts. At least to get my oil changed.

A Life of Reports

I keep having this experience where I’m doing something that is normal consumerish doing something–buying a book, paying for lunch, visiting an exhibit–where, when I’m just about to complete my transaction, I’m encouraged to go review it on Amazon or Yelp or whatever. Like now, getting a product from you obligates me to not just give you money, but to turn in a report on my experience.

And I know I’m not the first person to make this observation. But it was like every interaction I had this week.

Yes, I am a blogger, but Christ, maybe I don’t want to be constantly telling the world about every instance of handing over money and whether it was worth it.

Falling Short

Yesterday was not a good day. I’m completely freaked out about my ability to get through April in one piece and yesterday just made it seem like I was in over my head and destined to fail.

I don’t really feel any more confident in my ability to get my head above water today. But at least today I feel like I at least have a better sense of what needs to happen in April and what things I can get started now.

I don’t know. Who knows? Maybe it will go easier than I think. But here’s the thing. We have two seasons. Each season has ten to twelve books on it. In April, we’re getting seven books in from the printer. A fully staffed department that knew what it was doing would have trouble getting those all in and then back out the door.

So… yeah.

We’ll see how this goes.

Blerg

I’m so grouchy. Like even just sitting here I’m getting annoyed with myself about how much work I have to do on the afghan but I’m not doing it. And I’m tired. And I’m waiting on the photographer so I’m nervous and just feel fat and ugly and stupid. And I’m too tired to stop myself from going down that path.

Life requires, sometimes, a kind of steadiness I just don’t feel capable of generating.

Bah, This Year

I was thinking of thinking of this year as the year of big changes. But between the car repair bill and the plumbing bill and the heating bill in January and the heating bill and the tax bill here in February, I think this may be the year that takes all my fucking money.

I’m depressed. I know I should be relieved that I had a plan to have a little extra money set aside in order to take care of a couple of non-essential things and thus have the money to cover this essential shit. But I’m bummed.

And there’s some fucked up in my student loan, them saying I’m overdue, when they pull my loan payment straight from my account. So, I have to call on Monday and see what that’s about.

I know, I know, I know this is a better feeling than the one where they send you overdue notices and you know it’s because you haven’t paid them.

I know all this shit is supposed to make me feel like a responsible person–my financial issues are all manageable these days. But I still hate it.

Reasons I Think This is a Sinus Infection

1. Snot

2. Dizziness

3. A headache that is alleviated by pressing on my forehead or rubbing behind my ears.

4. My ability to sleep for 11 hour stretches.

So, I’m feeling better, but still terrible. The headache is killing me. I don’t how to explain it, but even when it doesn’t hurt, it still feels terrible.

But it’s not as bad as yesterday, so I’ll take what I can get.

The Fun Part

I am somehow both too cold and too hot. My head is too hot. My one thigh is too hot. The other thigh is too cold. My hands are too cold. My back is cold and sweaty. My one eye is just watering like I’m at half a funeral.

And this is better than this morning.

I wish I were in bed.

I am 85% sure everyone else does to.

I’ll Just Be Over Here, Throwing Up

The car is in the shop today. The problem is expensive.

And the plumber came by the house this afternoon and the two-year-old bullshit thing on top of my water heater is fucked. As is the 60 year old bullshit thing in the crawlspace. And my crawlspace has a glacier. A glacier, people! You want to see a river of ice? Fuck going clear to Canada. Just go stare in my crawlspace.

To get that shit fixed? More than the car.

You know that feeling when you’re just cresting the hill on the roller coaster and your stomach goes up to your throat and your head goaes all woozy and you just have to wait to hit bottom, because there’s no getting out of it?

That’s how I feel.

A Litany of My Woes

The plumber still hasn’t called me back.

My car’s real check engine light came on this evening. And my car smelled like wet paint all the way home. So, that’s probably not good.

And I have a million meetings this week.

And I need to get over to the Metro Archives but time and car are conspiring against me.

And the stressful thing that threatens to consume my whole winter is actually forcing me to respond to things more quickly than I had anticipated.

I have feelings. Many stressful feelings.

 

The Things that Trip Me Up

I think that, because she died how I hoped she would, in some ways, Sadie’s death has been fairly easy to deal with. I’m sad, but not devastated.

But sometimes, it’s really terrible, just for a second. And it’s always at the moments when I’m like “Oh, crap, I dropped that. Well, Sadie will eat it.” or “What was that noise? Well, I’m sure if it’s a psycho killer, Sadie will bark.” It’s those seconds when I forget that she’s dead and then it becomes real all over again that really suck.

Fortunately, they’re few and far between, but I hate them.

Falling

You ever dream that you’re falling and what wakes you up is the feeling like you’ve just hit your mattress? It’s disconcerting. Were you floating and fell? Was your consciousness out of your body and pulled hard, back in?

Anyway, that’s kind of how I’m feeling. Like I’ve been pulled to earth and I didn’t even know I was flying.

Diet Dr. Pepper, Why Have You Foresaken Me?

You are in the fridge at home. I am here at work. My lunch bag is full of all the other crap that’s supposed to be in there.

But you, beloved, are absent.

I wrote this song for you:

WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhy, God, why?

I think you can pretty much figure out the tune.

Edited to add: So, I went downstairs and got a regular Dr Pepper, which, like I told my co-worker, is like getting tickets for Led Zeppelin and it’s the motherfucking singer from Whitesnake.

It’s Not As Hard, Hard, Hard as It Seems

One thing I’m surprised about is how much there always is to do. Because, I have to tell you, except for when he was trying to impress a girl, the Butcher didn’t do all that much around the house. But someone else half-assed sweeping and half-assed cleaning out the litter box is an immense improvement over me having to do it.

If I ever have money, I will happily pay someone else to clean my house.

It just feels like so much to be aware of and responsible for. And, my god, if I can find the trimmer and figure out how to use it, I’m going to. The yard so needs it.

I feel like I’m doing well, but then this morning I realized that the Professor and I aren’t going to have a long lunch in my office ever again and I just felt so sad.

What can you do but get used to it?

It’s the year of things I feel ambiguous about. I want the people I love to have rich, full lives of wonderfulness. I don’t want to be left behind.

I want to put on “Going to California” and mope about it, but, if you listen to the song even twice in a row, it becomes painfully obvious that it’s incredibly stupid. Like the kind of dumbfucking stupid that makes you start to question whether Led Zeppelin is even a good band. Don’t ruin Led Zeppelin for me, Led Zeppelin!

At least all the animals want to cuddle with me. That part’s nice.

Miserably Happy

You guys, I had such a nice weekend. But I also am covered in bug bites, the worst of which are places I picked ticks off. I spent yesterday sleeping in and then writing a Pith post and working on a baby blanket for my cousin and working on the Sue Allen project. And then I went to bed early. It was lovely. Except for the seed ticks I had to pick off.

Seed ticks are the devil. The big black ones are annoying, but you can feel those. But those little red seed ticks will get right in the creases of your knees or at the leg band of your underpants and just… ugh… The Butcher told me he once found a seed tick on his dick. I was like “And you still go outside?!” Because, I tell you, the first time I find a tick in my vagina, that will be the moment I start walking outside with a flamethrower. Just FSSSHHHHHHHSSSHHHHHH to clear burn a twelve-foot radius of charred death around me wherever I go.

A tick on your genitals is how anti-environmental super villains get started. It’s an origin story no one would argue with.

Perhaps I should add that in to the Sue Allen project. The villain is evil, but it’s understandable because he once had a tick on his dick. It makes him sympathetic, I think.

God, I hope The Butcher doesn’t become a supervillain now.

Anyway, I have to laugh a little bit because, revising the Sue Allen project, I’ve come to realize that the ending still doesn’t work for me. It’s still where my hang-up is. But, the switch in narrator and my desire to focus on the characters who change means probably the middle third is going to change majorly and then the last third… I’m going to end up rewriting it again.

But let me just explain my failure to you. My goal in the old structure of the book was to briefly introduce you to John and his dad here in the present. Then we switch to focusing solely on Sue and her life at which point John reenters the narrative as the bad guy. Kind of like Hemlock Grove. But, while I don’t think that Sue’s story is actually that boring, the absence of John isn’t as much mysterious as it is confusing.

So, instead, I’m reshaping the story so that the narrative focus is on these two women who both see ghosts and who share a complicated relationship with both a ghost and Lee Overton.

I think it works better, but it’s a strange process–creating a first draft of something out of a failed eighth draft of another. I’m not sure how revisions are going to go.

The Tick God

How many ticks can you find suckling at your breasts before you accept that you are, to them, the nurturing life-giver and the destroyer of worlds?

One?

Two?

How about three motherfucking ticks on my boobs.. Latched on to my boobs.

I need therapy. Years and years of therapy.

I Won the Headache Lottery!

I went to bed at 10, woke up at 8. Migraine gone. Sinus headache in its place. Both have the same root cause–this cold front that can’t quite get motivated to get here. But at least, with a sinus headache, I don’t feel like throwing up and I trust myself to drive, if need be. And medication should take care of it, whereas migraine medication gets rid of the pain, but not the loopy crap.

So, it’s aggravating, but an improvement.

The Old Reader

Since Google Reader is going away, presumably because Google hates America and Superman and baseball and Mom and apple pie and the thrill of riding around in an old V-8 with a backseat as big as a couch, I’m switching to The Old Reader.

I hate it, on principle. Because I hate unnecessary change.

But I am attempting to get used to it.

Dragging

I wish I were at home on the couch reading a book and napping.

Instead, I will be doing a spreadsheet.

Young people, learn one thing from me–there’s always some damn spreadsheet. You could major in flutes of the ancient Romans and get a job in flute curation and still there are going to be spreadsheets.

Learn them as soon as possible.

I’m not sure today could have been much weirder. At least, I hope not.