Coyote Ugly

Luckily, I am worn out.  So, rather than spend the whole day fuming that my car is looking more like an entrant in a demolition derby than the car I know and love, I spent it watching the Coyote Ugly show on CMT with the Professor.

I spent a lot of time just staring at my television in confusion.  But finally, about half way through the second hour, I realized what bugged me.

I really don’t give a shit if women want to stand on a bar and flaunt their tits and shake their asses to make some money.  It’s not going to win any of them Feminist of the Year, but, if that’s your thing, who gives a fuck?

No, what bothers me about Coyote Ugly is that everyone on the show seems to just unquestioningly believe that this is a job women should aspire to.  Not just a job that a woman might get because it pays the bills and is somewhat amusing, but a job women should want so much that they’re willing to compete for it like it really matters.

I just find this ludicrous.

The job is to be an entertaining bartender.  Fine, that’s a cool gig if you can get it.  But it’s not something worth aspiring to.  And yet, the whole premise of the show is that it is.  That just blows my mind.

Awesome Things We Ate

“Healthy” jelly beans at the marathon.  Wow.  They were very good.  They were from Jelly Belly.

Onion rings from South Street.  Also very good.  Though, in all fairness, it’s hard to fuck up onion rings.  And our waiter was nice and funny.

Brisket at Judge Bean’s.  Good god damn, that was yummy.

French toast at the Hermitage Cafe.  The french toast is made from just plain old white bread and sprinkled with cinnamon.  It is my favorite food in all of Nashville, and I love me some chicken fried steak, so that’s saying something.

Pie for breakfast dessert.  Who knew you could even have breakfast dessert?  But at the Hermitage Cafe, you can have breakfast dessert and no one thinks that’s weird.

My Hair Smells Like Brisket

Y’all, here’s what I realized tonight.  First, I am cute.  So, fuck y’all if you don’t want me.  I am cute and I am nice and I am smart and what I’ve got going for me over all your overly made up thin beautiful put together women is that I’m alive.  I mean it, really alive.  And I don’t take an hour and a half in the bathroom in the morning.

Any of you motherfuckers would be lucky to have me.  If you don’t know that, fuck you.  I’m fun.  I have a good time whatever I’m doing and I’m loyal like a dog and I’m wicked and smart.  And my hair smells like brisket.  Which smells damn good.  You’re lucky to know me.  You’d better start acting like it.

Sarcastro, stop your stupid fucking boycott, right this minute.  Yes, you’re a fucking oaf, so what?  There truly is a middle ground between ‘I’ll say whatever mean ass thing I can think of’ and ‘I’ll treat B. like a porcelain doll.’  Find it and stick to it.  If you want to pamper me in some way, come over and rub my feet.  Otherwise, just be nice to me.  Like medium-gentle.

Knucklehead, I want some god damned poetry in my comments every once in a while, again.   You used to write me poems all the time and now?  I’ve got no poetry in my comments.

Lee, continue to crack me up with off the wall comments about when you wear mascara.  I suspect that you’re going to surprise me.  I don’t know how, but I’ve got my eye on you.

Boy Scout, keep on keeping on.

Bridgett, you are the smartest person I know.  That’s not an order, but only because I can’t think of what to order you around about.

Peg, keep the beer cold for me.

Ceeelcee, I’m ready for you to be home.

Amanda, get a god damned blog already.  You’re cheating us.

Here’s the thing.  I went to appetisers and dinner with the Shill and her awesome friend and the Professor and Tiny the Wonder Fetus and god damn.  It was so awesome.  We talked about cooters and blow jobs and men who make sure that you come first and what the definition of “multiple” orgasms is and who has a surprisingly narrow penis and whether or not you can cure lonely.  And I realized that I’m damn lucky too.  I know such awesome people who churn up my soul and plant tiny seeds there and nurture the things that I find precious.

I love you guys.  I love beer, too.  But you knew that.

My point is… I don’t have a point.  I just mean to say that I am one lucky girl to have friends who are so smart and funny and thoughtful and I am always grateful, always, to know you.

Some of you don’t appreciate that, but that’s because you’re big old cowards.   Fine, I’m a coward, too.  But let’s be up-front about what’s going on.

Only not right now, because right now I’m going to bed.  We can sort through this stuff in the morning.

2 Degrees of Separation

Y’all, you can, if you ignore the fact that we emerged out of the same cooter and now live together, connect the Butcher and me in just two degrees.

Check this.  I have a reader, we’ll call her “E” and the Butcher has a friend, we’ll call her “S.”  E saw a picture of the Butcher here and then saw a picture of the Butcher over at S’s place and, apparently, E was all like, “What the fuck?  That looks like the same dude!”  She asked S about it, but S only knows the Butcher and E only knows Tiny Cat Pants.  No one was really sure if he was the same guy or not.

So, a flurry of emails between S and the Butcher are exchanged and there it is.  The Butcher knows someone who knows someone who knows me.

I don’t know why that tickles the shit out of me, but it does.


As a side note, it’s too bad that the boycott of Tiny Cat Pants by a certain party… some parties… hmm… come to think of it, I have no idea how many people are boycotting Tiny Cat Pants.  I know we’ve lost one commenter, but he could have taken with him a few silent observers, as well.  Anyway, if you’re a silent observer, I’m glad to have you here, but, for obvious reasons, I’m not going to be heartbroken if you boycott me.  In fact, I won’t know that you’re boycotting me.  Part of the only way a boycott can be successful is to announce said boycott, in which case you are no longer a silent observer, just by definition.  Anyway, let’s just assume there’s only one boycotter because only one has made himself known.  Said boycotter sent me an email saying "Eh, Caesar’s?  Not so much.  Other folks like it, but it’s not that great."  Now, I could have taken his wise council, but how could I trust it was wise council?  He’s boycotting Tiny Cat Pants.  He could have steered me away from a perfectly good restaurant as a way to escalate the boycott.

Sadly, no.  He was just giving me his honest, and, it turns out, correct opinion on the place.  On the one hand, that’s good news, as the shape and scope of the boycott remains clear and relatively reasonable.  On the other hand, I wish I’d listened.

So, listen to me young people standing in line waiting to get into Caesar’s: Do you see that Turkish place just down the plaza?  There’s no line there.  Go there.  Get their Turkish ravioli.  You can thank me later.

So, Caesar’s… overall, not that great.  I would not recommend it, since you can do the same thing at home. 

However, they do have this awesome appetizer that is three little loafs of garlicy bread with folded pepperoni on top and then covered in melted cheese.  This thing is so good that I would recommend you go there and just get that.

Anyway, Tiny has made the Shill look more like an overstuffed sausage than a wise Buddha, and she has this plan to get a t-shirt with barbed wire printed on it so that people will know not to touch her stomach.  At Walmart, she used various fruits and melons to give us an idea of how big her uterus is, which was good fun.

And then, through a series of misadventures, we learned that Davidson county has a special wing of the jail for pregnant women.  Ha, I’m just kidding, Legal Eagle.  We did not go to jail.  But I had you scared there for a minute, didn’t I?


Ivy’s given me a letter and some instructions.  So, here I go.

Poetry–I really believe that we could all benefit from learning to love poetry.  Like beer, it’s an acquired taste, I know.  But you don’t have to love all poetry.  Just find one poem or part of a poem that reminds you that what we’re doing here is something magical.  "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want."–You could start with just that much and have enough for a whole life.

Potato–My grandma loved potatoes.  She would make us mashed potatoes when we went to visit her or she’d buy us extra large fries at McDonald’s.  After she died, as she was laying in her casket, I put a potato in there for her, tucked it under her arm.

Dead people are like seed pods, really.  They look like the people you love, but there’s something so frail and dry about them that you know the thing that made them really them is gone.

I like to think of that potato as a stand against the chemicals and the locked box and the concrete bin we drop our remains into.  I hope that potato takes root and returns my grandma to the ground that sustained her when she was alive.

Prairie–The natural prairie is gone, for the most part, replaced by corn and beans.  Still, when you stand on the edge of the field, the Queen Anne’s Lace and the cornflowers tugging at your clothes, and you shut your eyes, you hear that same sound–endless acres of tall grass rubbing against each other–it’s a dull, ceaseless roar and you think, if only you listened hard enough, you could hear what it was saying.  I suspect, though I don’t know, that the corn says to the deer, "eat me" and the deer say to the wolves "chase me" and the wolves say to the moon, "light my way" and the moon says nothing at all.

Pig–My grandma used to sing us this song, when we were little about an old woman who goes to the market to buy a pig and she’s bringing the pig home and they come to a style and the pig won’t go and so she goes a little farther and she meets a dog and she says, "Dog, dog, bite that pig.  Pig won’t go.  And I see by the moonlight, it’s almost midnight.  Time pig and I were home an hour and a half ago."  But the dog would not.  And so she went a little farther and she met a stick…

It goes on and on until she meets a hammer and then the hammer begins to break the knife, the knife begins to cut the rope, the rope begins to hang the butcher, the butcher begins to kill the ox, the ox begins to drink the water, the water begins to quench the fire, the fire begins to burn the stick, the stick begins to beat the dog, the dog begins to bite the pig and the pig begins to go.

I really loved that song.

Pen–The whole side of my hand would turn a shiny blue black from my pen by the end of the day and I could smell the ink on my skin.  I really felt like writing would be my salvation.  I think it has been.

Portent–I think the difference between a sign and a portent is that a sign indicates that something is happening and a portent indicates that something will happen.  The real question is–what is the difference between a portent and an omen?  I have no reason to make this distinction, but I believe that a portent is more general than an omen.  Like, if you drop a fork, that’s a portent that company is coming.  If you drop three forks and they form a letter "N" that may be an omen that your brother Nick is planning a visit.  But I could be talked out of that.  Maybe there is no difference.

Police–I still have nightmares about the police knocking on my parents’ door and barging in with badges and guns and dogs and swarming over the house.  I can see my mom’s look of blank confusion, probably followed by tears.  I imagine how my dad feels, all impotent rage and looking for blame.  I wonder about the red Grand Am headed back for Georgia and I can’t even begin to know what the driver of that car is thinking–"Lucky I got out of town."?  The dogs are what bothers me the most, something about the police coming through the house with dogs.  It makes everyone in the house the criminal.  I don’t think either of my brothers ever got that, really, how what they were doing made inadvertent criminals of us all.  I wasn’t there, but I still have nightmares about it.

Pants–Arguably the funniest word in the English language.  It sounds like it should be an onomatopoeia of some sort, but, if so, I’d think the word would actually be the noise a paintball makes upon leaving the gun or that a dart makes upon thudding into the board.  But, no, instead it means trousers.

Pagan–According to the OED: "The older sense of classical Latin paganus is ‘of the country, rustic’." Ah, early Christianity! You’ve got to love that, even then, folks knew how much people are influenced by advertising. "Come join the cool church or everyone will know that you’re a hick."

Potluck–I loved when we had potlucks at church.  It’s such a good and simple idea.  Everyone brings a dish.  Everyone eats a little from all the dishes.  Everyone helps to clean up.  Potlucks are the unacknowledged cornerstone of much church life.  They build community and reinforce the notion that everyone can contribute and everyone benefits from those contributions.

Strawberry Blues

I love strawberries.  I make a mean strawberry shortcake from scratch.  But I also like just popping a big, luscious juicy strawberry in my mouth and slowly sinking my teeth into it so that the sweet juice fills my mouth and runs down my chin and…

Yes, I love strawberries.

Right now, on the table, there is a vanilla cake with strawberry filling.  I want a piece of this cake more than I want Bill O’Reilly to suck my butt.

Alas, the older I get, the more allergic to strawberries I grow.  So, for you jackasses, I’m going without.  You don’t say it, but I know you’d miss me if my throat swelled shut and I died.

I hope you appreciate the sacrifices I make for you.

Rex L. Camino, Professional Music Nit-Picker

I was watching Keith Olbermann last night and I realized that I may have inadvertently stumbled onto Rex L. Camino’s purpose in life.

Before I share that with you, I must say this: “Rex, if you go to the LOC website, you can search for music and you will find MP3s of all kinds of crazy stuff that they have in their collection (like the Lomax recordings) that you can then download, at least until the LOC figures that out.”

Okay, so what the world needs Rex for…

I was watching Olbermann last night and it was that other dude subbing in for Keith and he was talking to Dan Was about the current crop of anti-Bush songs and Was was pulling that insufferable music snob crap about how these songs are not as good as songs from the 60s because they’re too specific, as if ambiguity in a protest song is good.

I mean, could you imagine if Woody Guthrie had been all like “This land belongs to some folks/ let’s not get too specific.  This land belongs to some other folks / clear to the Pacific.  Which is an ocean I have no opinion about.  This land is here beneath my feet.”?*

Anyway, my point is that Charles Wolfe, god rest his soul, is dead, which means there isn’t anyone who can just be like, “Excuse me, but I believe you’ve over-looked the grand and important contributions of…” whoever.  I don’t known, because I don’t know that much about music.

But Rex L. Camino does and he could learn more.  It could then be his job to call up places while folks are on the air and be polite, yet firm, as he corrected their myopic notions of what American music is.


*Shoot.  That’s kind of good!  Maybe I should get into the ambiguous non-offensive protest song writing business.

Good Night, Folks!

Once a girl uses ‘heteronormativity’ in two posts on the same day, she’s allowed to go to bed without doing the dishes, even though she has company coming tomorrow.




1.  I’m a little envious of Mrs. Wigglebottom.  She’s sleeping on the afghan and looking so cute I just about can’t stand it.  I love her freckly nose.

2.  I’m a little more envious of The Nashville Knucklehead.  If I could write like him, I’d quit my job and spend my days locked in my house masturbating and writing sentences like “As I was falling, I heard a very loud scream. Much to my surprise, it was me. ”  I would quickly starve to death and die, but it would be a life well-lived.

3.  I’m a little envious of Newscoma, who meets the divine Patrick, who says, “Damn, having Bush do a probe on gasoline and oil is like putting a pedophile in a preschool.”

4.  I’m very envious of our Wayward Boy Scout.  No, it’s not just because he’s got this sweet old disconcerting way about him that he keeps hidden behind a thin veneer of scary right-wing propaganda.  It’s also because how awesome would it be to have someone as cool as me constantly flirting with me? 

Does Kleinheider appreciate how awesome it is when I flirt with him?  No.  Apparently once you become a professional right-wing pundit, you want to be teased by other professional pundits, not us lowly amateur ones.  Your loss, Kleinheider.  If you won’t flirt back, I’ll just move on to Terry Frank.

Oh, wait, Frank is in favor of heteronormativity.  I guess it could never work between us, then.  That’s too bad, because she’s like our very own Nancy Grace.  It’s kind of cute.



Science Made Me a Feminist

Well, actually, my mom inadvertently made me a feminist.  It was during the church picnic and I was four.  The boys all had their jeans on and I was wearing one of those sun dresses with the scrunchy elastic top that matched what she was wearing.  This totally sucked, because it meant that I had to "keep my dress nice" instead of running all over and kicking up dust and acting like a wild yahoo.  I argued that it wasn’t fair if the boys got to wear jeans and I didn’t.  I cried.  I refused to come out of my room until someone showed up with a bunch of dilly bars from Dairy Queen.  But all to no avail.  I had to wear the dress and behave myself.  Fie on that crap.

But that just seemed like church stupidity to me.  I had no idea how widespread the problem was until I was in third grade and a man came in to talk to us about science and he was telling us about some delicate electronic procedure where they needed a single eyelash to do something.  And then he said, "And we never use women’s eyelashes.  Can you guess why?"

None of us could.  And he said, "Because women wear mascara and the mascara can irreparably damage the equipment."

I raised my hand.  I said, "But what if I never wear mascara.  Can you use my eyelashes then?"

And he said, "No.  Women look pretty.  That’s their job.  You’ll wear mascara."

God, I should hunt that dude down and punch him in the arm.  Then I should ask him to kindly shove his heteronormative head up his sexist pig ass.

Republicans Want to Give Me $100

Who comes up with this shit

Senate Republicans want to give taxpayers $100 to counter high gas prices.  Gee, thanks, Senate Republicans.   Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve actually purchased your own gas but when gas is $3 a gallon, $100 only gets you thirty three gallons of gas.  For me, that’s a little more than two full tanks.

So, that takes me through May, if I don’t go anywhere too out of the way.  Then what?  Gas will be miraculously cheap again?  I doubt it.

Maybe they think that, if they give us each $100, we’ll spend it on booze, thus temporarily not giving a shit how much gas costs*.




*On the other hand, if we each get $100 to spend on gas, some of you could spend it on driving to Nashville and giving me birthday smooches.

All, right, then, Senate Republicans!  Let’s get this passed and the checks issued before the 22nd.

50 Cent Fights Childhood Obesity

Via Radley Balko, word that 50 Cent–the man who has made a career out of having a bunch of one-hit wonders, the man shot nine times (or whatever) when he was a drug dealer, the man who is a multi-millionaire for some inexplicable reason–is helping to fight childhood obesity.

Just read this:

50, who has bared his washboard abs on album covers, said he wasn’t always so physically fit.

“I had all of the unhealthy habits,” the 29-year-old rapper said. “Soda … a lot of fast food, all those things.”

Today, he exercises regularly and _ thanks to a personal chef _ eats nutritious meals.

“I have someone that I can actually have prepare the food for me, so it’s a huge difference than just getting McDonald’s or Burger King,” he said.

Well, well, well, Curtis Jackson–look at you sending the inspirational messages to the fans.  It is those fat little punks’ fault they’re fat.  If only they would just do like you and get a personal trainer and a personal chef, they could look just like you.  My god.  Why didn’t anyone think of that before?

And I’m sorry, but fuck you, Jackson.  You know why so many kids are fat?  Because assholes like you roam the streets selling crack and shooting each other and recruiting young kids to do your dirty work because they don’t go to jail for as long and so a lot of parents are like, “Why don’t you kids stay inside?  And maybe play video games?”  Kids who can’t play outside get fat.  Kids can’t play outside because of assholes like you.

You want to fight childhood obesity?  Stop trying to sell kids on your magic water and start trying to make the streets safe for kids to be out on. 

Oh, wait, if no one thought hustling was cool, you’d be out of a job.

Okay, then, go back to what you were doing, you con artist.

Argh! A Hair

1.  Do you ever have those times when you can feel a big old hair just laying across your face and no matter how hard you try, you can’t brush it away?  I had that in the shower this morning.  I let the water run over my face, even, and to no avail.  I still felt like there was a hair covering my eye.  What kind of hair can stay in place with water running over it?  Will bridge designers start studying my hair in order to use it to make superior bridges?  Anyway, when I got out of the shower, I saw that part of the hair was in my eye, which, I guess gave it superior staying power, I don’t know.

2.  As I was looking for photos last night, I came across this one of two German American chicks with bowling balls.  Seriously, look at those women and tell me those aren’t my people?  I look just like that.  I’ve even had that chick on the right’s hair cut.

3. Ha, Ryan, I’ll never talk you into drinks and cigars now, will I?  In my defense, I wouldn’t wear those dresses.  Okay, maybe the one on the left, if it had different pockets.

4.  Anyway, I could get lost at the Library of Congress’s website, very happily, for days.  And so I share it with you.  Those of you who hate taxes may want to stay away, as I’m sure you’ll just be outraged at the crap the government wastes money on.  For those of you who don’t mind, check out the Clark sisters.  Or Nashville.  Or did you ever wonder what it would be like to have danced in a juke joint in Clarksdale, Mississippi?  I’ve seen this picture blown up large.  That thing in that guy’s earIt’s a quarter.  I’d bet for luck.

An Open Letter to Kleinheider

Dear Adam Cantankerous Kleinheider,

I read you loyally, and not just because you’re surprisingly cute.  And also not just because I cannot help but develop small crushes on cantankerous men; I’m genetically predisposed to that.  Trust me, the only way Mother Nature could assure men of German heritage they’d ever get laid is by instilling in women and gay men of German heritage a soft spot for cantankerous men.  

No, I read you loyally because I’m eagerly awaiting the day when you step back and say, "My god, I come from one of the least assimilaty people on the planet–people who came to America and refused to speak English, who set up their own German newspapers and churches and business districts and, in some spots in Pennsylvania and the Midwest, whole towns.  For hundreds of years.  And we didn’t ruin America.  In fact, we gave America a lot of cool shit that it’s better off having, like beer and dachshunds and Aunt B. Maybe other immigrants who don’t speak English and don’t immediately assimilate will also have a lot of good things to offer America, too."

But again, today, I’m faced with this bullshit over at Volunteer Voters.

Since 1965, we have fundamentally changed the character of our nation. Never have we had a massive and constant flow of immigrants arrive in such an assimilation-optional culture.

Kleinheider, we are the result of a massive and constant flow of immigrants who refused to assimilate.  You–Kleinheider–me–middle name Teckla.  That’s our story, too.

Have you forgotten so soon how they threatened to hang us from lamp posts?  Have you forgotten so soon how our very names made us suspect?  How commonplace signs like this were?  How much they hated and suspected us because we didn’t bother to only speak English?  Because we still kept our culture alive and vibrant?  Because we still felt a kinship to our families still in Germany?  Because they thought we were refusing to behave like "real Americans"?

Kleinheider, we used to be the very problem you’re constantly rallying against.  How can you not see that?  How can you, in good conscience, turn the things that were used against us on others?

I just don’t understand it.


Your internet aunt, B.

In Which You, Dear Reader, Help Me

The Shill is going to be here this weekend for the big race, along with her friend and Tiny, the wonder fetus.

I need to know of a good, but inexpensive, restaurant for pasta on Friday night and I need to know whether the long-rumored BBQ joint in Berry Hill is going to be open by Saturday.  If not, where should I take them?

Keep in mind, Tiny is leeching off the Shill and Tiny can’t have alcohol or overly smoky conditions.

The Brilliance and Marvelousity of Dr. J

Dr. J is graduating this weekend and I cannot be there, as the Shill is going to be in town.

So, if there is a round of toasting her greatness, I will not be able to participate.  Which is too bad, because I could go on for a long time about how great she is.  Shoot, I could go on for a long time just trying to make my way through all her various degrees. 

So, I thought I would just publicly decree my love for Dr. J right here, right now.

J., you have it.  You totally do.  You’re one of the smartest people I know, but you never retreat into your intellect as a way of hiding from the world.  You don’t make fortresses of big words in order to keep your ivory towers safe; you force words to be bridges between people, you use them as tools for sharing ideas.  Your scholarship has always been brilliant but open and available to anyone who took the time with it.  You put into practice every day the idea that education is for everyone and that our cultural heritage should be accessible and understandable to everyone, even as you question what that heritage is and whether it’s inclusive of all the amazing stories we have to tell.

You are the least snobby person I have every met, especially in that way.  Your students are very lucky.

I am inspired every day by the ways you live with poetry, like some folks live with a well tended garden or a wallet full of pictures of their kids.  For you, poetry is an everyday source of beauty and meaning.  You live with it in your heart and I think that’s a brave and pleasant way to live.

I also am in awe of your love of beauty and transcendence.  For you, it never has been about finding the right analytical or theoretical tool in order to nail down your subject and open it up and pick at its parts and kill it, dead, dead, dead.  It’s been about enjoying and living in and among and with the things you write about.

I know this next little bit is going to suck so hard–especially the job part.  There are so many good scholars out there and all competing for so few jobs.  My fingers are crossed for you.

But my fingers are also crossed for that profession we love and hate.  When I see you, I see the antidote for so many of the problems of the discipline and I really worry that we’d rather die doing things the way we always have than go through the painful rebirth that scholars like you represent.

Anyway, there’s a time and place for worrying about that.  This is not it.

Instead, I’ll just say that I love you and am so proud of you and am every day honored and lucky to be your friend. 

Don’t trip and don’t start cooking anything before the ceremony you don’t want to wear to the ceremony.

Headbutts for Everyone!

I was just sitting down to write my ode to the brilliance and marvelosity of Dr. J when I looked over and saw that the dog was curled up under the window and that the tiny cat was headbutting her.

You know how cats do, when they want to love up on you, they will butt their heads against you?  Well, the tiny cat is totally butting her head against the dog’s.  Mrs. Wigglebottom does not know what to think, I tell you.

And now?  Now the cat is curled up against Mrs. Wigglebottom’s belly and the dog is looking like it’s Christmas.  Those of you who have been here through all the trauma of the cats not giving Mrs. Wigglebottom the time of day can imagine how excited she is.

Aw, shit.  She couldn’t bear it.  The happiness was too much.  She got up and came over here, tail wagging.  And now the cat is shooting her dirty looks.

But briefly, briefly there was cat on dog cuddling in my house!  It’s only taken five years, but cuddling has occurred.

In Which I Teach Martin Brady A Little Something About Baseball

Via Brittney, Martin Brady bemoans the fact that women move about freely in society  and thus threaten to ruin baseball

You just have to go read it for yourself.  It’s worth it, believe me.  The whole thing is hilarious.  But here’s the best part:

Women masseuses in the dugout? Next the head trainer will be a woman. Then the third-base coach. Then the manager. Meanwhile, the minor leagues will be forced legally to put women on the field. Don’t doubt that any of this can’t happen. In the past 40 years, our society has seen the unmitigated ascendance of women in all social and employment realms. Legislation has been enacted to protect—and also to encourage—their insinuation into once-male-dominated domains. Have you watched television lately? Aside from ESPN, with its mostly (but certainly not all) male talking heads, women are everywhere in places of media prominence. On any given night, a typical local network affiliate will have an all-female team handling anchor, weather and sports duties. What are the men who used to have those jobs doing now? Working at day-care centers?


My god!  He’s right.  Women are everywhere and we’re ruining everything and, worse than that, when we take men’s jobs, we force them to get really gross jobs like raising children!

I want to call Brady hysterical, just for the fun of it, but I’m worried he wouldn’t get the joke.

Anyway, Brady, here’s what I want to tell you about baseball: Baseball is not about your penis.  Baseball is not some holy sanctuary for men who feel oppressed by the presence of women.  Baseball is a business.

Baseball’s business is making money.

If baseball teams find that the best personnel they can get for the money are women, they will hire women.  If those women then stand in the dugout or near third base, as a business, baseball could not give a shit–even if individuals raise a stink.  And believe me, if there is a woman out there who can consistently throw a ball at near 100 miles an hour in the strike zone, some team is going to give her a shot, whether you like it or not.

Is baseball ever going to be overrun with women?  I doubt it.  But a day is going to come when there will be a handful of female major league players.  If they’re good enough to compete with the men and cheap enough to make it worth the teams’ while, it’s going to happen.

If you don’t like it, start your own league.  Set your own rules.  Make it a he-man woman-hater’s club if you want.  That’s your business. 

But don’t expect baseball to keep the girls out just because you find them ooky.  Don’t complain about them making business decisions that don’t reinforce your notion of the aesthetic meaning of baseball.  That just doesn’t make sense and it’s hateful.

In order to show you how idiotic you sound, I did a little find and replace.  Here’s some of what you wrote with the gender stuff changed to race:

Hernandez, in a moment of pure and (God love him) thoughtless honesty, was only striking a blow for a bigger cause: Whites’ right to have their games and to play them in the sanctity of blessed whiteness. The dugout is only an extension of the locker room, which is where whites change their clothes, shower, scratch, fart, belch, and otherwise act like white guys. Is the right to act like a white guy in danger of being legislated out too?

Listen, it’s not whites’ fault that the games they play are cool and executed at the highest physical level, and that blacks want to intrude. There’s been such a fuss over Title IX funding for so many years, and blacks got their way with that. Their opportunities to play sports have increased tremendously, and more than ever blacks are making livings throughout the sports world. The encroachment of blacks into American sports is unprecedented. And, no, we shouldn’t be surprised that the San Diego Padres have a black massage therapist working out the kinks of a third-baseman’s strained hammy.

Does anyone really think that Keith Hernandez, a guy who’s been around the block a few times, was making some kind of statement about where blacks belong in society? I think not. My guess is that Keith has a handle on the big picture. Which is, that whites, just like blacks, are entitled to their own competitive worlds, their own oneness of race, their own privacy, their own camaraderie, their own right to express themselves at a unique personal level, and, most of all, to behave freely as whites. The major league baseball dugout has always been a place where these things have been allowed to happen. Kelly Calabrese’s presence raises a potential red flag signaling the end of all that, and yes, whites have a right to be concerned.

There isn’t a damn thing wrong with Hernandez speaking his mind. It’s a free country, isn’t it? He’ll have to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous PC fortune, of course, and hell, I don’t even care that he had to issue a PC-inspired statement to cover his ass.

Would you even write that?  I doubt it.  But if you can see how much that line of thinking sucks, then why can’t you see how much your line of thinking sucks?  If a person can do the job and do it well, she should be allowed to do it.  If you want to critique Calabrese, critique her on her ability to do her job, not on whether or not she’s ruining baseball with her girl cooties.

Things I Like About You, Gentlemen

1.  I’m a little in awe of how strong and open some of you are.  It’s not a kind of masculinity I’m very familiar with–strong, open, up-front honesty that feels agenda-less.  But I like it and I always feel very honored to be in its presence.  There are a couple of you, specifically, who, I think, inherently get what it means that strength is as much about making the people around you feel safe as it is about being able to kick ass, even if you claim that you don’t.

2.  I also feel very honored that you often disagree with me… okay, regularly disagree with me and still come back for more.  I pick on you, but I learn so much from you.  I really hope you get that.

3.  I’m amazed at how generous you are with yourselves.  We hear so much about how men don’t share things, they don’t express their feelings, etc.  With y’all, I don’t find that to be the case.

4.  Y’all are some funny motherfuckers and smart.  Again, we often hear about how knowledge lately is all vertical, that people know as much as there is to know about their little corner of the world and have no knowledge or interest in other things.  But you guys make me feel connected to people who are connected to the world.

5.  Even though I suspect that most of you hate all the feminist talk, and I know, because you won’t shut up about it, that you really do believe that this is just how things are and women just need to learn to suck it up, you make me feel hopeful that things between us in the future will be better than they were in the past and better than they are now.

So, thanks.

Also, you have magnificent penises.  Each and every one of you.  Now that I have the car back, I’ve spent a lot of time driving around and peeping in your windows, so I know what I’m talking about.

The Rash and Its Friend, The Other Rash

Did I ever tell you guys about my triumphant arrival at grad school?  As you may recall, I was fleeing for my life from a small town newspaper and my parents’ house and moving to North Carolina to get my MA in English.  I ended up writing my thesis on experimental electronic writing.

Ha, that’s kind of funny.  Doesn’t seem so experimental now, does it former self?*

But this was long before that.  In fact, it was before classes had even started.  My dad had come down with me to help me move in and the apartment was all settled and we were in the laundry room doing laundry when we ran out of quarters.

I said, “I’ll run down to Kroger and get some.”–the Kroger being right down a small hill directly in back of the apartment complex.  Halfway down the hill, I lost my footing and fell and slid down the rest of the hill.  I felt like a doofus, but I didn’t seem hurt, so I got up, walked to Kroger, got the quarters, walked back and told my dad how hilarious it was that I’d slid down the hill.

We finished up, went out to dinner and halfway through dinner my ankle hurt so bad I thought I was going to throw up.  I looked down and there was a softball sized lump on the side of it.

We went to the emergency room and they looked at my ankle and x-rayed it and had a loud discussion about whether or not to go ahead and break it to relieve some of the pressure.  This talk also made me want to throw up.  Eventually, they decided not to break it and I was sent off to a foot and ankle dude.

He gave me a regimen of hot and cold baths, exercises, and a boot like something Darth Vader would wear.  This was bad enough, having to meet all my new colleagues and wander around a new campus and such with a huge boot on my foot.

But I also had poison ivy.  It covered my feet, both my calves and ran up my thighs and, on the right side, right up my right butt cheek–pretty much covering every place that had touched the ground when I’d fell.

This was also very bad. And embarrassing.  And itchy.

But then, I started to get all these tiny bubbles all over my hands and up my neck and on my face.  The looked like tiny albino clumps of grapes.  And they also itched.  So, one half of me was covered with red puss-leaking scabby poison ivy nonsense and the other half of me was covered in tiny itchy blisters.  And I had a giant boot on.

I was not pretty.

And try sleeping.

Not pretty and tired and grouchy.  What a great first impression I made!

So, back to the doctor I went for some relief at least from some part of it.  “Doc, at least, tell me what the itchy blisters are.”

“Well, Aunt B., you appear to be having some kind of allergic reaction to the poison ivy rash.”

“I’m allergic to an allergic reaction?”

“In layman’s terms, yes.”

I’m sorry, folks, but that just cracks me up whenever I think about it.  And I’m glad it’s never happened again.



*Yes, I think I did just talk some smack to myself.