Miss J.

So, my darling Miss J. came to visit me last night. I stayed in bed, under my big peach blanket, and she sat at my bedside in a little green chair.

I was glad she came by, because it seems like a millions years since the last time I talked to her, just girl to girl.

We have these sprawling conversations that cover everything in a fine coat of discussion. The places where the discussion pools, she’s happy to linger there with you, to explore the underlying landscape, to help you see the shape of hidden things.

I’m more an more convinced that your best friends are the ones who can remind you of your best self, who love everything about you, but know your best parts and can tell them back to you when you’ve forgotten.

The Old Man says*:

You know, if you’ve a friend whom you really trust
and from whom you want nothing but good,
you should mix your soul with his and exchange gifts,
go and see him often.

“You should mix your soul with his.” God, you can tell that One’s a poet. That’s so nice. And isn’t it just exactly right? The best times are when you feel like you’re mixing some vital part of yourself with someone who trusts and likes you enough to do the same.

*Have I not convinced you yet to love the Havamal? If not, what’s wrong with you?

Friday

Happy Girl

Well, except that I’m sick and that I’ve only been gone a week and Sarcastro’s already found other destitute liberals to hang out with, it’s been a great trip.

Between the drugs and the usual travel stupor, I’m not really sure what day it is.

Sarcastro told me it’s Friday and so I’m coming home tomorrow. I don’t feel like I’ve really lost track of time, just that it’s gotten away from me in whole day increments. That could be the drugs.

I’m sad I’ve gotten to see none of DC. I was really hoping to at least figure out where to go to get my share of the Republican pork. But I’m too sick to do much of anything.

Happily, if one is going to be sick, better to be sick someplace where people will bring you food and clean up after you and where you can watch TV in between napping on your great big bed.

If I could breathe, or at the least, if someone were here to rub my head, it’d be a perfectly lovely afternoon.

Thursday

Witches Everywhere

I’ve now been coming here long enough that I feel like I have a tiny circle of cool folks I can count on to show up and refresh me.

I’ve spent a delightful amount of time talking about magic. One person’s researching the ways women used magic as a recourse against powerful people when they had no other. Another told me how she keeps her boss’s name–written on a piece of brown paper bag–frozen in her freezer, to thwart his power over her*.

Last night Miss J. took me to dinner with a women who shares my same name and who reads old Norse. How jealous am I! But we sat in a Japanese restaurant wrestling with our chopsticks and talking about giants. We talked about the “What the Fuck?” factor in the Poetic Edda, that pretty much forces you to the original language and your own dictionary–Loki ties his testicles to a goat’s? What the fuck? Is that right? Oh, yes, yes, it is.

She’s reading Egil’s Saga in the original. I am envious.

I also talked to someone who is memorizing Eugene Onegin. I think it’s a known fact that if one is gong to memorize anything in Russian, you cannot go wrong with Sasha Pushkin. He’s like Byron, but with talent.

I’ve found that my trip to the strip club, with an armed libertarian, makes for a popular topic of discussion, though, oddly enough, people are more fascinated by the fact that I spent an evening with a conservative man carrying a gun than they were about the fact that we spent it in a strip club.

Which I think brings me nicely back to my breakfast discussion on Tuesday–that this is a large group of people with life experiences limited to and by their life choices (which, of course, is true of us all and I know I’m being a patronizing jackass but I’m a self-aware patronizing jackass so… well, so nothing… anyway) and they’re fascinated by folks whose life experiences are vastly different.

Hmm. Maybe I could make some money on the side by taking liberals on a bus tour past the Wayward Boyscout. He could stand outside, looking sufficiently libertarian, and they could point and stare, and then he could have dinner with them and I would take them back to their hotels and we could split the profits.

And, if he’s not game for such two-way exploitation, I’ll just dip his name in sugar until he feels compelled to change his mind. Or until I acquire an ant problem… whichever comes first.

*She also told me that if you want someone to improve his behavior towards you, you should encase his name in honey and he will have to become sweeter to you.

Tuesday

The Impostors

This morning I had breakfast with a woman who said that she sat in a classroom and had a teacher tell her she would never go to college. I threw back my head and laughed. I asked, “Do you ever feel like someday they’re going to find you out? Do you worry that someone will look at you and know you don’t belong?” “You mean, do I feel like an imposter? Of course.” “Oh, god, me, too!”

It’s funny, sometimes, to run into someone who can articulate what you’re feeling. I spend a lot of time with people who think they are so aware of and sensitive to differences between people and who make me feel like a freak. Obviously, not intentionally, but the gulf between me and them is so vast and they refuse to acknowledge that there’s any gap at all and it makes me feel bad.

It feels patronizing–this kind of liberalism that promotes diversity as some abstract goal without working to actually make room for people in here, so that the people in here who don’t belong still never find a way to fit in and yet the do-gooders never have to be aware of it.

I feel very lucky when I stumble across someone else who also feels like a big fake. No, I’m not “fake” in the way someone from the barrio is “fake.” I don’t have any idea what her life is like. But I know what it means to feel like the very way you inhabit yourself marks you as never being able to fit in. What we have in common is not anything more profound than not being like the rest of the folks here.

And yet, the delicious irony is that we are the very people they study, they very types of people they think they feel a kinship to and, not only don’t they know how to know us in particular, why certainly don’t know how to relate to the rest of our folks.

It’s funny to me to listen to conservatives bitch about some kind of liberal agenda in higher education. Because here I am at one of the largest meetings of “liberal” academics in the country and everyone is mostly white, mostly nerdy, mostly middle class, mostly just like they’ve always been, but with more women.

What I’m saying is that it’s hilarious that conservatives are made about what liberals are saying on college campuses because it’s only talk!!!

There’s nothing actually going on here that is that upsetting to the status quo. In fact, I’d argue, that this white, male dominated power structure is even more insidious and deeply rooted than most because it disguises itself behind a rhetoric of inclusion. It talks such a good game that most folks never have to be aware that it’s all talk–that these are just folks performing a type of “tolerance” and “diversity” that looks good and means very little.

Monday

The Psychic Doorman

My hotel is amazing!

My room is huge with a huge closet and a beveled light fixture. Everything is peach and green and the bathroom is so clean!

The first thing the doorman said to me was “Hello, Ms. B.” I about fell over and he laughed.

“Are you psychic?” I asked.

“No, Homeland Security.”

I gave him my patented “What the Fuck?” look and he laughed and said he saw it on my bags.

The Holiday Wrap-Up

Well, all in all, I’d call that a successful holiday. My pot roast turned out very nice. The Butcher and I folded some laundry. And we watched some stirring anti-corporate documentary on the Sundance channel.

The Butcher is off to the airport to pick up one of his friend’s mom. It was very cute watching him sit here with a box lid and a sharpy making a little sign so that she could find him at the baggage claim.

I’m about to go upstairs and pack. That’s right, I’m leaving y’all again. Well, not all y’all. I’ll be hanging out with Miss J., and some of you, if you have the jobs I suspect you have, will be hanging with me, you just won’t know it.

But the rest of you, you’re going to have to make due without me. It’ll be hard, I know. Who will you fight with? Who will laugh at your jokes? Who lets you tell your mom that she’s your girlfriend because your mom likes me so much and would never understand about that other chick? But I’ll check in when I can and be back before you know it.

Take care.

It’s Christmas, Pretty Baby

The plan was to live vicariously through Sarcastro, but his mom forbid him from live-blogging Christmas. Which means that we’ve been denied all access to family fun, because the Butcher and I are doing Christmas by ourselves.

The Butcher is trying to whoop up some ambiance by fighting with the television, but it’s not quite the same thing.

I’m making a roast and thinking about some potatoes.

No one except our uncle B. has called to wish us a merry Christmas. We didn’t realize that my dad had lied and told his family that he and Mom were down here with us. Oops, needless to say, we accidently let on that we were down here alone.

Ha, I guess we can have some freaky holiday drama even when we’re apart.

"If today was Christmas eve and tomorrow was Christmas day"

If today was Christmas eve and tomorrow was Christmas day
All I would need is my little sweet rider
Just to pass the time away, to pass the time away
–Robert Johnson, “Hellhound on My Trail”

Mrs. Wigglebottom and I went to the park, even though it was raining. I was tired, am tired, and she was wound up. About halfway into the walk, when I started feeling the rain seeping through my coat, I knew it was raining too hard for us to keep walking, but by then, going forward or turning around was the same difference.

It’s hard when you’re cold and wet and tired to be glad to be at the park. And I’ll admit, I was shuffling along, eyes downcast, being snippy with the dog, who was trying to catch up on who all had been to the park since last week.

But then we came over the hill and there was my favorite stretch of road, fully puddled. And as we walked through the shallow water, the trees seemed to stretch down beneath us towards another sky in another world mirrored below us. For a moment, it felt like all that was keeping us from falling into that vast sky below was that we were standing on the feet of two folks on a walk in that world, who, when I looked down at them, were looking back at me just as curious.

I spent last night first in a room surprisingly full of people who spoke a little Russian at Chris and Amanda’s party (you can read an awesome rundown of it here) and then I headed off to the Queen’s house and had dinner with Miss J, the Divine Ms. B., the Queen, her lover, Miss J’s lover, and their mom and dad.

The Butcher is bummed that we’re alone for Christmas. But I have to say, I’m kind of glad. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the shit you’re supposed to do just because everyone expects it of you.

But if there’s one thing I like about that Jesus guy, it’s that he never got caught up in the shit people expected of him. You’ve got to appreciate a guy who rarely did what he was supposed to do. A radical in the good sense of the word.

Anyway, I’m going to go sit on the couch and work on my afghan and, with my little sweet Mrs. Wigglebottom, pass the time away. I hope y’all are safe and warm and dry and well.

Is Mrs. Wigglebottom Better Than You?

Take this handy quiz and find out:

1. Are you so cute?
2. No, really, are you so cute?
3. Do you get in the bathtub without any hassle whatsoever?
4. Can you scare off killer hobos with just one look?
5. Do people rub your head just so you fall asleep because you have the most darling snore ever?
6. If I said to you right now “Let’s go for a car ride!” would you be game or would you have too many other obligations?
7. Do you have awesome ears that look like big bat wings that open up whenever anything strikes your curiosity?
8. Do you love cats?
9. Do strangers stop you on the street to tell the person you’re walking with that you are awesome?
10. Do you give me kisses whenever you can?

If you answered no to any of the following, it’s safe to say that Mrs. Wigglebottom is better than you.

Mrs. Wigglebottom, Community Blogger

We were on our way to the park when my phone rang. I didn’t hear it right away because I was busy singing along to the Violent Femmes. But finally, I answered it and it was the Butcher asking for the car back because he’s been called into work.

Cancel one long walk at the park with the dog.

Instead, we went over to Centennial Park and checked out the new dog park.

From the looks of it, there will be two fenced-in areas–a smaller area by the parking lot (Mrs. Wigglebottom gave it a couple of sniffs but didn’t show much more interest than that) and a huge area facing the Parthenon*. (Mrs. Wigglebottom seemed much more interested in this area and peed on many of the new fence posts.)

The fencing is not completely up and there’s some kind of trench being put in, but it looks like it should be very cool.

Mrs. Wigglebottom seems very excited about it. Sadly, she does not play well with others, so we will be able to enjoy it only when it is too rainy for other people to bring their dogs.

So, the plan for today was to go to the park, give the dog a bath, take her out in the fifty degree weather to dry out (yes, fellow Yankees, I did indeed say fifty degrees), go to the bank, buy the recalcitrant brother some cigars, go to the liquor store, and be back here by five to get whatever’s coming via DHL.

Now that the Butcher is taking the car, the plan has been reduced to “bathe the dog, work on the afghan, do the dishes, get DHL delivery.” You’ll notice that many of these things seem like actual work and not fun.

Ah, well.

It’s hard to get up to no good when you don’t have a car, but I’m sure Mrs. Wigglebottom and I will find a way.

*Some of you may be unaware that Nashville has an actual replica of the Parthenon in one of our city parks. Well, now you know.

Spending Time with the Conservative Boys

1. Are women more complex than men? I don’t think so. I think men, in general, are obtuse about their own complexities. Are women all crazy? To put up with some nonsense, it would seem.

2. I have a huge crush on Ryan*. Not as huge as my inexplicable crush on Kleinheider, but closely rivaling it. Ryan writes beautifully and Kleinheider calls me Young B. How can I resist?

3. I have a secret crush on the guys over at SayUncle, too. There’s no reason. They just seem smart and well-thought-out and I would love to pick a fight with them, just for the fun of fighting with smart people, but I’m not feeling antagonistic lately.

4. That cutie, Bob Krumm tickles me with his insightfulness.

5. Lee almost spontaneously combusts.

Eh, only five conservatives (not counting Sully) that I regularly read. Well, there’s your evidence that Tiny Cat Pants is indeed biased towards the good.

*Eh, it occurs to me that I don’t actually know that Ryan’s conservative. But tough shit, I’m mentioning him anyway.

I (Heart) TV on the Fritz

Joey Fritz Lang over at TV on the Fritz says I have a granite vagina*. I’m not sure what that means, except that maybe he thinks I’m easy to keep clean and look great in a kitchen.

But every once in a while, I feel compelled to have some kind of navel-gazing “What the fuck is Tiny Cat Pants doing anyway?” post. I worry that I really don’t know.

And then along comes Joey Fritz and sums it up so nicely:

To hear the meandering tales of Mrs. Wigglebottom and The Butcher, the whole wonderfully constructed cast of characters. Oh mama. I’m coming in my pants just thinking about her blog. She’s like David Sedaris only less gay.

Here’s the part I especially like–“meandering tales” and “whole wonderfully constructed cast of characters.” Yep, that’s exactly it. I want you to read this and get a sense of what it must be like to sit next to me at a bar or across from me at the dinner table. I want you to care a little bit about the people I care a lot about. I want to take our ordinary moments and put a little shine on them.

And I’m glad that’s coming across. That makes me happy.

*Edited to add that Fritz also apparently thinks I might fuck him up the ass. I don’t know. He’s young, but what the hell? It’s not like he’s looking to marry me. Let’s put it in the “Up for Consideration” column.

I have to admit, though, that it puts me in a bit of a quandary. Not many of you know, but I have a Gay List, a list of all of the people who will never sleep with me, no matter what, and that list is comprised basically of gay men and a handful of libertarians.

Of course, the libertarians have complained. “Why can’t it be the Gay and Libertarian list?” they ask, to which I reply, “Because I’m holding out hope that one day I will meet a libertarian who wants to fuck me.” To which they reply, “I doubt it because you’re crazy.” To which I say, “Crazy? Oh, that’s very nice. Yet another reason the Gay List’s name is not getting changed. Maybe if you weren’t so entrenched in your heteronormative ways, the name of the list wouldn’t be such a big deal. Patriarchal Jackass.” “Insane feminist.” Etc., etc. You see how I fight with them. You know how it goes.

But never in my life had I considered the possibility that any gay men might want off the Gay List. Here is my list of men I can have flirty fun with and know that the line between what’s going to happen and what’s not going to happen is clear and bright and we can have all kinds of fun over on this side of the line and never have to worry about anyone taking it the wrong way. And now? And now here’s this young upstart who’s gone and fucked up my system.

It’s about more than a girl can handle. Do I just have to give up and change it to the Libertarian list? The Libertarian and 99.9% of Gay Men list? What to do?

The Wiccan Witch of the West

I’m afraid that I’m going to have to start doing a series of “I read Slate.com so you don’t have to” posts similar to my “I read Salon.com so you don’t have to” posts, for today I have read the most craptastic thing on Slate, so craptastic that I almost was reduced to awe.

Today, Mark Oppenheimer writes about Wiccans. I’m not a Wiccan, but I’m mistaken for one often enough that I feel qualified to discuss the problems with this article at some length.

Before we get started, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page vocabulary-wise.

There are witches–the quasi-mythical women who worship the devil and make your cow’s milk curdle.

There are witches–modern day folks who practice some form of magic.

And there are witches–people who follow Wicca, a young religion based on the idea of either one divinity worshipped in both its male and female aspects or two divine beings, one male and one female.

So, one might say that while all Wiccans are witches, not all witches are Wiccans. You can have monotheistic witches, polytheistic witches, atheistic witches*, as well as Wiccan witches.

Wicca has the same problem that every other religion has, which is that there’s a large contingency of idiots. Wiccans even have a word for these idiots–fluff-bunnies or fluffy-bunnies**. And, in fact, many Wiccans are open about the fact that the fluff-bunny stage is kind of a typical way of coming into Wicca. You see one too many episodes of Charmed or you watch The Craft and the next thing you know you have yourself a nice “Never Again the Burning Times” bumpersticker and you’re walking around with a huge pentagram sneering at Christians.

After a while, hopefully, you grow up some, you read up some, and you come to the happy conclusion that your religion is personally meaningful and so you don’t give a shit if it was made up 50 years ago instead of 5,000.

Anyone who reads even a little about Wicca is very familiar with this whole controversy.

And yet, here comes our idiot friend Oppenheimer reporting like he’s blown the lid off of a big secret scandal. That’s his first mistake. Here’s his second:

Now 50 years old, the earth-centered faith (also known as paganism or witchcraft) has thousands of adherents and many more occasional dabblers in the United States and Europe.

Wicca is not earth-centered. One might say that Wicca is nature-based, as its sacred calendar is based on natural phenomena, like the solstices and equinoxes. But Wiccans worship the Lady and the Lord, not the earth.

Wicca is not the default grouping for any non-Christian white folks. Paganism is. Wicca is a smaller group inside the larger umbrella term of paganism. Pagans, as they’ve reclaimed the word, are mostly white folks who worship gods other than the Christian one. Wiccans worship two specific gods. Witchcraft, as we’ve covered, is just a magical practice, not necessarily associated with any one pagan religion.

Oppenheimer continues to shoot off his mouth:

But Wiccan teachings are for the most part a stew of demonstrably false historical claims. There’s no better time to examine this penchant for dissembling than at winter solstice on Dec. 21, which Wiccans say has been their holiday for thousands of years. For it’s just such unfounded claims to old age and continuous tradition that may keep Wicca from growing to be truly old.

Within Wicca, there are many subsets of Wiccan belief. While it’s true that one can look at Gardner’s teachings (the ones available to non-Gardnerians) and show how he fudged some facts, this is no secret. And most Wiccans, once they’re past the fluff-bunny stage–don’t cling to the veracity of those claims even in the face of historical fact.

But Oppenheimer is doing something patently unfair to Wiccans throughout this article. Since he’s conflated pagans with Wiccans, he can take a demonstrably truthful claim–like that the solstices have been pagan (in the sense of non-Christian European religious) holidays for thousands of years–and use it to impugn Wiccans. Of course, since Wicca itself is only 50 years old, the solstices have not been Wiccan holidays for thousands of years. But most Wiccans wouldn’t claim that in the first place; they’d only claim the truthful statement, that pagans have been celebrating the shortest and the longest days of the year for a long, long time.

I think it’s telling that when Oppenheimer makes such broad claims that he doesn’t actually point to any Wiccans who actually say such things. But let’s move on:

Wicca is not a unified movement; it comprises “good” witches who use spells and charms, feminist worshippers of a monotheistic Goddess, and earth-cultists who propound nature worship. But the many strands overlap. They’re gynocentric; they’re all concerned with nature; they all celebrate eight holidays, or “sabbats,” that include the equinoxes and the solstices. Adherents typically say that those eight holidays were celebrated by ancient Wiccans or pagans, primarily Celtics or Romans, whose traditions the contemporary Wiccans are carrying on. These seasonal festivals, they add, have been co-opted by Christians, who turned Samhain into Halloween and Yule into Christmas.

Again with the conflating of Wiccans and pagans and the sloppy use of Wicca to mean all kinds of paganism, which is clearly not the case. It’s true that Wiccans do align themselves with what they believe are old Celtic beliefs. I don’t know what he’s talking about with the Roman holidays. I’m not sure what he means by “earth-cultists” as someone who worships the earth would pretty much, by definition, not be Wiccan.

And on the nonsense goes, with Oppenheimer declaring what he believes Wiccans to be and to believe and then tearing them to shreds for being so foolish as to believe the things he’s made up about them believing in the first place.

Really, Slate is pretending to be an online magazine, which means that Oppenheimer is posing as a journalist. As such, shouldn’t he be required to, oh, I don’t know, talk to a few actual Wiccans, maybe hang out in their Beliefnet threads for a little bit, do some actual research rather than just creating his strawman so that he can burn it down?

*And, depending how one feels about Pow-wow, even Christian witches.
**Can I just say how awesome I think it’d be if all religions referred to their idiots as “fluff-bunnies”? Would we have the same problems with people taking radical right Christians seriously if other Christians called them “fluff-bunnies”? I don’t think so.

Has Someone Kidnapped the Butcher?

The car is here, but he is not. But what morons would take the Butcher and leave the car? The car is the only thing of value we have. If there’s a ransom for the Butcher, I’ll have to sell the car to come up with the money. Why not just take the car in the first place and save some steps?

I thought maybe he was passed out on the couch, but I got down here and the couch is empty. And then I worried that he was passed out in the car, but I checked the car and it’s empty.

I asked Mrs. Wigglebottom, “Where’s the Butcher?”

She looked at me, tilted her head to one side like she was very interested in what I was saying to her, and then sat down. Make of that what you will.

But anyway, the car is here, the Butcher is not. I guess that means I get to drive to work. Right?

"Ain’t good looking, but you know I ain’t shy"

Dear Readers, let’s think back to that moment when I saw our friend Sarcastro for the first time:

And last, but not least, of the new folks I met and ended up talking to for a long time, is Sarcastro. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but he was both exactly what I thought he’d be like and not at all. He has dimples and a kind of cocky way about him and I kept having to check and make sure I wasn’t touching myself while I talked to him. Towards the end of the evening, he was surrounded by the three hottest girls in the room and I knew, out of all of us there that evening, he’d be the one most likely to get three people to come home with him.

And, as long as I’ve known him, my opinion hasn’t changed. He remains one of the sexiest motherfuckers I’ve ever met.

And yet, after I wrote that paragraph above, many of you asked me if he was cute and I said, as you can attest, “I don’t know.” Because, frankly, I didn’t. He’s attractive, in my opinion, in a way that totally bypasses any rational part of my brain and just plugs right into something primal, where you’d not be surprised to find yourself touching yourself in front of him.

So, he has this bullshit idea that he’s like something out of a Bob Seger song, that women want him because he’s not “afraid to look a girl in the eye” and I went along with it because I couldn’t tell.

Last week, I was standing on one side of his truck bed and he was across from me, leaning over a jackhammer. I said something, he looked up at me, and I was like “My god. Is Sarcastro cute?” But I was a little drunk, so I chalked it up to the tequila.

But yesterday, I was bloated and crampy and tender and grouchy and unsettled and sober. In other words, I was as far away from thinking about sex as a primate can be. And I came out of my office building, looked across the parking lot, and there, sitting in the truck, was a good looking man.

I got in the truck. I checked him out again.

Have you ever had this moment? When you finally see someone the way everyone else in the world must see them?

I can remember when this happened with the recalcitrant brother. He came to my college graduation and I saw him from across the room and my first thought was “God damn, that’s a boy who looks like he could show you a thing or two about being up to no good” and then, when I realized it was him, I was like, “Yep, I’m officially grossing myself out.”

Well, that was me again yesterday–looking at this guy who had, up until that moment, looked just like Sarcastro looks, which is to say, like himself, and realizing that I finally had an answer to y’all’s question.

Yes, he’s good looking. Maybe not “cute” exactly, at least not all the time. But worth your while to look at. . . if you don’t mind looking at old men.

The Thrill is Gone

Yesterday, when the Butcher took me to work, we were both just sitting there silently at the stoplight and I said to him, after long, quiet minutes.

“I feel like the magic has gone out of our relationship.”

“You’re just now noticing? I haven’t loved you since I was seven.”

“Is this the point where we start looking for outside siblings?”

“Well, my brother is coming over on Christmas Eve and I don’t want you to be a bitch about it.”

I laughed long and hard then and I laughed again when I was thinking about it while walking the dog. I know I complain a lot about him, and rightfully so, but I hope y’all also get a flavor for just how fucking funny the dude is, constantly.

And, he’s growing a beard, which makes him look like an overly earnest Presbyterian minister, and every time I get in the car with him, I look over and invariably he’s got a little piece of green fuzz stuck in it. I used to do him the favor of pulling it off, but now, with Christmas being so close, I leave it there like a little decoration.

Some Enchanted Evening

Tomorrow is our office Christmas party. I have not prepared for it. I had even made plans to be busy this evening so that I would be unable to prepare for it.

But, alas, fate and the Butcher have conspired against me. My plans fell through and here on the oven are those awesome peanut butter bars, which I will whip up for my co-workers because I’m nice.

The real question is, what do I bring as my crappy present to exchange?

We’ve got quite a few lighthouses that neither of us like. But my grandma gave them to us and my mom would notice if they were missing. There’s the puppet that the Butcher uses to hit on my friends when he’s drunk. No, then, not that.

I think I’m going to have to go with one of my hideously ugly afghans, from the days when I didn’t know what I was doing.

As a present, it’s got two things going for it. One, it’s ugly so no one’s going to want it. But it’s handmade by me, so I will be able to revel in folks’ discomfort as they pretend like they don’t not want it.

Yes, I think that’s really the perfect thing to bring. That or the jar of peanuts my dad left here at Thanksgiving.

Tampons

I was thinking just now of my friend Christy’s mom who took us into the bathroom when we were in eighth grade and tried to teach us about tampons.

Up until that point, the only thing we ever used tampons for was to shoot them at my brothers after church. In fact, I’m almost certain that it was upon being caught flinging tampons around the sanctuary that we were forced to endure the tampon lesson.

Basically, this involved us sitting on the edge of the tub, hoping to god that Christy’s mom couldn’t smell the cigarette smoke on us, while her mom lined up a series of glasses on the bathroom counter and tampons of all different brands.

She explained how to use them, handed us each some instructions, and then made the stupidest mistake a mom can make while administering the tampon lesson. She proceeded open each tampon, take it out of its applicator, if it had one, and drop each one into its own glass.

And there they swelled, like… well… unless you’ve seen it, it’s hard to describe. But tampons come in a small variety of shapes. Some open up into little mattresses (Tampax) or unfurl like billowy umbrellas (Tampax Pearl) or untwist into some other uncomfortable shape. The thing is that, when left to their own devices, unfettered by a vagina, tampons will balloon up.

And Christy and I looked at these cottony messes growing larger and larger in the glasses and looked at each other and Christy looks at her mom, eyes wide in terror, and says, “Jesus Christ, Mom, how the hell does that fucker come out?!”

“Well, hmm, now they don’t get that big…”

“The fuck they don’t! You think I’m going to put that thing up inside me when it does that?!?!”

“Well, they’re very convenient.”

“Are you fucking nuts?”

“There’s no need to swear.”

“Does B.’s mom know you’re telling her this shit?”

“Yes.”

“Has the world gone fucking mad?”

Needless to say, neither one of us were converted to tampon use that day. But I remember when I got home, my mom sort of wanted to continue to talk about it. I’m sure she’d been briefed about the disaster. She handed me another sheet of instructions and said, “Now, you may have discovered that you have a hole. I just want you to know that such exploration is natural and that even though I don’t want to know about it, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Just read this and if you have any questions…”

“Yeah, ma?”

“Maybe we can ask your Aunt B. to answer them. She’s a nurse.”

Dr. Phil & Recent Comments

There’s a big shepherd that lives a couple of blocks from us who, I swear to god, looks just like Dr. Phil. I think he has a perfectly fine dog name–Jag or Jack or Jet–but I don’t know for sure since the people in our neighborhood are terrible about remembering dogs’ names. Mrs. Wigglebottom is regularly Sophie or Sally to them, so I can’t be assured that they actually know Dr. Phil’s name, either.

So, I just call him Dr. Phil.

Which is not a problem usually because he’s a dog. He doesn’t really know what the fuck I’m saying. But on Saturday, when he was out walking around the neighborhood with his owner and I drove by, windows down in an effort to get my hair to dry, I shouted out “Hey, Dr. Phil.”

And I couldn’t decide which part was weirder. That I was shouting hello to a dog or that I was then knowingly calling that dog by the wrong name.

Anyway, I added a “Recent Comments” section over there on the right. I’m not in love with how it’s set up, because it gives you the comments in the order of the posts–so, say, if Exador and the Church Secretary were to continue to fight on the post about Bush’s law-breaking ways, they’d never be at the top of the comment list, even if those were the most recent comments. That’s kind of annoying, but I think if I can figure out how to get it to say which posts those comments are on, at least that will be clear.

I’ll work on it.

In the meantime, let me know what you think.

Fighting a Pit Bull

Mrs. Wigglebottom and I are having a enormous fight. I am losing. I want to lay on the couch under my half-finished afghan and sleep while Detroit loses to Cincinnati.

She wants to lay on the couch under my half-finished afghan and sleep while Detroit loses to Cincinnati.

I don’t know why we can’t reach a compromise, since it seems we have similar plans, but every time I get up to go to the bathroom or throw some more dishes into the dishwasher, she’s sprawling all over the couch like it barely has room for her, let alone her and me.

And if I throw her onto the floor, she’s all like “I have to poop, right now. Take me out so I can poop.” which I do, because I’m a good dog owner, but really she just wants to sniff around the side yard and see if anyone else has been there recently.

I’m about to stuff a bone full of peanut butter and dog treats, just to lure her off the couch.

It’s not fair, but I’m exhausted and I need the couch.

The Return of the Man from GM

So, I didn’t just spend all my time on the phone yesterday with the Man from GM rubbing it in his face that his company is going to ruin his life and didn’t he want to hear some Tom Petty before he discovered he’d never be able to retire?

No, we were also talking about New Year’s, which he is now threatening to come down for.

Many of you may recall how it goes when the Man from GM visits. Everything is fine for a while* and then he feels like my “slutty” friends ought to have sex with him, if only he finds the right “secret” place to put his hand or foot. Almost always, this involves him putting his hand on their feet or his foot on their asses.

Then, when they decline to have sex with him, because–I suspect–they don’t know him, he has no flirting skills, and he doesn’t even seem to have a general sense of what body parts go where, he gets all bitter and angry and mean.

Then I get pissed off and by the time he’s going back to the airport I’m not even speaking to him and he’s sitting on the plane stewing and then he’s calling me the second the plane lands in Detroit to continue to fight about all the ways he’s better than all my friends.

The last time he was here, I swore I was never going to let him come back, because he was such a fucktard and it ended up costing me a lot of money** and self-respect. And, as you may recall, I was still so pissed at him months later that I rescinded his invitation to my cousin’s wedding***.

But now, in typical Man from GM fashion, we’re supposed to pretend like we’ve worked that shit all out and not what actually happened, which is, as pissed as I am, I’m amazed and amused by his ability to just insist on the rightness of his own understanding of the world–if women don’t want to sleep with him, it’s their problem, not his. If his friends are frequently pissed at him, he just has moody friends–and so have just gotten over it.

I guess we’ll see if he actually comes. And, if he actually comes, we can all take bets on who kills whom first.

*And in all fairness to him, over the course of our friendship, a “while” has increased from 3.5 seconds to approximately 18 hours.
**Because, did I mention? Cheap-ass motherfucker.
***So, in an indirect way, he’s responsible for my mom running around warning everyone that I was gay.

Three Cheers for Days with Cars

Yes, so not only did I sleep well, but I took the dog to the park, which was nice because Mrs. Wigglebottom and I need our bonding time. She ate some poop. I said, “Can’t you behave for three seconds without me having to watch you?” And she said “Behaving is against my religion.” To which I said, “I believe it.” And then I said, “Possibly, I anthropomorphize you too much.” And she said, “Yes, probably.”

Then, I took the Butcher to work and we fought the whole way about which was the best 90s band. I said Nirvana, of course, and he said that they were obviously the most influential with the most kick ass songs but did that make them the best? And I was like, Dude, what’s you’re definition of best? But it was too late to find out, because we were there.

Then, I rushed home, threw off all my clothes, hopped in the shower, hopped out, threw on different clothes and rushed out the door and headed down to Smyrna for the Rutherford County Blogger doohickey. I even wore a skirt in case Kleinheider was there. Ivy says I have “some AWESOME hair, and of course, great tits,” so your loss, Kleinheider.

The Rutherford County bloggers were hilariously awesome. Michelle even showed me how to kick someone in the face, which was pretty damn impressive.

Then I drove all over the countryside because I haven’t driven my car anywhere in days and I listened to the radio and the awesome CD Brittney made me and the Man from GM called and I teased him about GM’s problems and he got a little mad, but not as mad as he got when I called the lake he lives on “a puddle.” And then I sang him some Tom Petty and he claimed he had another call, but we both know he didn’t. Ah, well, his loss.

And then I went to Jack in the Box because I thought I was hungry but I totally just came home and fed half of it to the dog, who is now letting stinky farts and trying to get me to take her outside.

And, you know, I’ve just reread this and realized, obviously, I never drink coffee, because, when I do, well, this is what I’m like.

So, thanks Rutherford County Bloggers. And thanks Chrysler. What a nice day I had.