One More New Blog

Basking in the warm glow of compliments from Loretta, I’m going to be generous to someone else (and, no, for a change, it is not Rex L. Camino) and point y’all in Ryan’s direction.

He’s a hell of a writer, knows the importance of a good cigar, and he’s another blogger I learned about this weekend. Some of you (Legal Eagle) will be happy to know that he called me on my bullshit when he thought it was necessary.

Anyway, check him out. He’s good.

I’m Sorry, I Know They’re Corny, But I Love These Things

Okay, folks, a new rule. Well, two new rules. One, I will finally learn my cell phone number, even if it means I have to do like Mike Jones and put it on a t-shirt I wear all the time. I will also endeavor to put some numbers in my phone, other than just the Butcher’s and my Dad’s.

But rule two: If you tap me for something, cripes, email me and make sure I’ve seen it. The email’s in the profile and if you’re too lazy to look there, you can get me at appropriateaunt at yahoo dot com. Just know that I’m much more likely to answer you if you write me in rhyming couplets (okay, that’s not true, but it’d still be cool).

So, Dorcasina hit me for this and I’m obliging.

1. What were three of the stupidest things you have done in your life?

  • I lost the tread off my right front tire coming down Black Mountain at 80 miles an hour. This was not the stupid part. I managed to keep control of the car and get over to the side of the road safely and empty out my trunk and get the spare out before I realized I wasn’t strong enough to turn the lug nuts. This was not the stupid part, either. The stupid part was that I GOT IN A CAR WITH TWO TOTAL STRANGERS and let them take me to a gas station. God, it chills me to the bone every time I think of how wrong that could have gone.
  • I made no contingency plan for after college in case I didn’t get into grad school. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t and so when I didn’t, I just moved back home and loathed my life for a year.
  • I spent all four years of college being way too cautious. I should have at least kissed Andy Kulak and the Legal Eagle’s brother because I really, really wanted to, instead of fumbling around with drunk frat boys I didn’t care about one way or another, but I was afraid that, if I did and they didn’t like it, we wouldn’t be friends anymore. Of course, we aren’t friends anymore as it is, so what would have been the harm?

2. At the current moment, who has the most influence in your life?

The Butcher, of course. Not only because he’s always around and doing things that affect me, but because he’s taught me a lot about being creative and open and brave and friendly.

3. If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to only pick up to five people to dine with, who would you pick?

Walt Whitman, of course, even though I suspect he’d dominate the conversation.
My Grandma A., who I miss so much and who would insist on making the dinner and what I wouldn’t give for that. Her beef and noodles would instantly put everyone at ease.
Zora Neale Hurston, who was always brave enough to go see for herself. Why did no one ever bother to ask her about what she’d learned? Is there anyone else who has both her scholarly and personal experience with African American belief systems?
Dean Martin. Tee hee. I hope he’d spend the meal winking at me.
Gillian Welch. They don’t have to be dead, right? She just seems like the kind of person would would really get how cool it would be to be in the same room with Whitman, Hurston, and Martin and she and my grandma could sing all kinds of old songs together.

4. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?

  • Better times for my brothers
  • Security and happiness for my nephews
  • Easy deaths a long time from now for the people I care about.

5. Someone is visiting your hometown/place where you live at the moment. Name two things you regret your city not having, and two things people should avoid.

I regret we don’t have free parking downtown or a really good Chinese restaurant. People should avoid the interstates and the Hard Rock.

6. Name one event that has changed your life.

Getting this job. I make the same now as my dad did when I graduated from college, so this job has really meant moving myself up into the lower middle class (or upper lower class). Hurray!

7. Who else to tag? Taketoshi and Steve Pick and anyone else who wants to.

"God Bless America" is for sissies

Can I just tell you how much it irritates me that “God Bless America” seems to have become our minor league national anthem–the national anthem for folks who can’t quite bring themselves to like “The Star Spangled Banner”?

“God Bless America” is for sissies. It’s for people who like certainty and ease of singing and easy-to-identify-with but meaningless imagery and any efforts, serious or half-hearted to change our national anthem to it ought to be met with a great deal of laughter.

Give me something hard to sing and full of uncertainty. Give me something from the point of view of someone fearful but brave. Give me a song with proof that we can survive terrible times right there in the middle of it. Give me a song that doesn’t locate our essence in the blessing or lack thereof of the same Guy who everyone else thinks is on their side.

In other words, keep giving me what we’ve got. We’ve already got the perfect national anthem, one that implies a great deal about our national essence and nothing about the outward trappings.

Seriously, look at this again, and tell me it’s not perfect:

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

My Dad Reads Something I’ve Written

So, my dad has been hinting around for weeks now about how curious he is about Tiny Cat Pants and I’ve been coy about giving him permission to read it.

Obviously, he can read it without my permission, but the unspoken family rule has always been that if you sneak to do something, you must, forever and ever, pretend you haven’t done it. So, he may be reading already, but I’ll never know.

But anyway, I sent him a link to Nashville is Talking so that he could satisfy his curiosity about this whole blogging thing without poking around here. And so he called me up to tell me what he thought.

And you know what? He also loves Rex L. Camino and thinks he’s funny as hell and, I think, ended up spending more time reading Camino’s blog than mine. I don’t know if that tickles me or hurts my feelings.