Liz Phair and Other Things

Liz Phair is an artist I found too late. I finally heard “Exile in Guyville” about three years ago and I wanted to talk to everyone about how brilliant “Help Me, Mary” is, how it says in two minutes what I tried much of my teen years to say. It says a lot about how awkward and afraid I felt, and how I really wanted some supernatural force to help me channel those feelings into a way not to be angry, but also have my revenge. “Temper my hatred with peace, Weave my disgust into fame, and watch how fast they run to the flame.”

But everyone already knows that album is great. They’ve listened and loved it and moved on.

Sometimes, I think about writing a horror novel.

The problem is that I don’t know what I’m afraid of, supernaturally, that could sustain me through a book. I mean, I think ghosts are freaky, because I don’t know. If I knew, I’d get used to them, used to having them around, and the messages from them would seem more like postcards from a stranger than fearsome missives from beyond the grave.

Vampires? God, who hasn’t see The Lost Boys and thought Michael was crazy for wanting out?

And the monsters in real life–murderers, child molesters, etc.–I don’t really care to spend so much time with.

The things I fear, like losing my family or having to be vulnerable with someone I care about without two or three stiff drinks before that, aren’t really the stuff of horror novels.

Could you imagine?

He came into the office and stood there before her, while she finished up a phone call. She looked over at him, at the same time she was pretending to pay attention to Amanda’s latest in-law story. He was just as cute as always. She could hardly wait to hug him hello.

She winked at him and slowly opened her desk drawer. The cool darkness slowly revealed the shimmering glass of the small whiskey bottle. She could almost feel it in her hand, the warm liquid burning down her throat.

But then, as she reached for the bottle, she realized it was too light. She gave it a shake. And another. “God, no,” she gasped. Ignoring Amanda’s worried inquires, she dropped the bottle to the ground.

Gentle reader, it was empty!

See, America, I don’t think you’re coming to Barnes & Noble to hear me read that shit.

Well, knowing you, America, you would show up just to point and laugh.

Another post about New York City!

When I lived, briefly, in NYC, I really enjoyed the Cloisters.

When I met Brittney from Nashville is Talking face to face, I was struck by how familiar she seemed.

Tell me it’s not just me. Brittney is clearly the Queen of Heaven, isn’t she?

Either that or Tim Morgan has gotten into the Cloisters website and worked his photoshopping magic.

The New York Times

I would not ask you to do this if it weren’t important. You must go, right now, to the New York Times website and look at these photos. If you do not have a login, you must scrounge around on the web for one, or break down and give them your hotmail address (we both know you don’t use it except for porn).

When you go, what you will see is, perhaps, the most beautiful display of womanly power. The picture I’ve been staring at all day shows a woman in a long yellow skirt, some black pumps, and a nice jacket with her arms up in the air as she comes flying off the top rope of a wrestling ring towards her opponent.

If you go through the slide show, you will see women in large pink skirts and matching pumps throwing each other around, a gray skirted woman standing triumphantly over her opponent, and some awesome fire-breathing.

There’s something here, among the artistry and the athleticism and the shock of seeing your mom’s wardrobe on wrestlers, that really gets me right in the gut.

I think it has in part to do with the fact that these women are throwing each other around in get-ups that, when you’re in them, feel designed to keep you demure and calm and careful. But it also has to do with how triumphantly present they are.

I’m in awe of that.

I wish I were comfortable enough in my own body that I knew that, if I came flying at you from the top rope, I could hit you and we’d both be okay. Bruised, maybe, but okay.

The Rise of the Redneck

So, I’ll admit, the Salon article from yesterday got me thinking about whether or not the least misguided premise of it was true. Are rural folks making a comeback?

When I was at the airport waiting for the Man from GM to arrive, I saw, much to my delight, many teenage boys sporting the same hairstyles teenage boys I smooched or wanted to smooch when I was a teenage girl wore: the parted down the middle, falling in your face, with the slight flip over at the ends.

When I was a freshman, there were these two fine boys–Tim and… for the life of me, I can’t remember the other guy’s name, but Tim was hotter–and they had longish, blond hair they wore this way. And, often, when I was standing inside the school, right at the doors, waiting for my dad to come and pick me up, they would be standing right outside the doors, smoking.

Sometimes, when it was raining, the smell of them, the rain, and the cigarettes was just about too much for me. I wanted so much to be the kind of dangerous girl they would love.

Ah, young stoners. The boys of my dreams.

If that’s what’s coming back, the aimless, stoned, kid with long shaggy hair, GM ought to be kicking itself in the ass right about now for discontinuing the Camaro. If that’s what’s coming back, I don’t know if that’s fair to call it “redneck.” In my towns, the rednecks beat up kids like that.

Mom & Cats

So, just one short story this evening. Another one about the cats, who almost never make an appearance at Tiny Cat Pants, or about their litter.

The Butcher had spent a great deal of time cleaning out one of the plastic kitty litter tubs and then filled it with twenty pounds of rice, which he picked up at the store.

My mom came down and went on one of her cleaning sprees, and, for reasons that remain unknown, she combined one tub of kitty litter with the tub of rice.

For even more indiscernible reasons, the Butcher has proceeded to use the ricey litter for the cats.

America, let me tell you, this worked okay for a while, but now that the bin is mostly rice, it’s really, really gross.