This Rain

I opened my car door, put one leg out and then the next.  The rain fell so hard on my thighs I blushed.

—–

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“You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to”

I’m just listening to Nina Simone singing "You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to" and one of the things that just kills me about it is how song starts off all instrumental and it builds and builds and builds and you think that she’s just going to come in and hit that "You’d be so nice to come home to" as hard as she can, to match the ferocity of the band.

But no, the band circles around and around and around until you just about can’t stand it and she just sneaks in there under the piano and smoothly just lays in "you’d be so nice to come home to/ you’d be so nice by the fire / while the breeze on high sings a" and then she just belts "lullaby / You’d be all my heart could desire" like she and the piano are entwined.

I just love it–how she can take a simple song like that and turn it into something that makes you dizzy to listen to it.

How Can I Say I Miss You When I Can’t Get You to Leave?

The nephews are back in Georgia with the recalcitrant brother.  The Butcher is at work.  The parents are either on the road back home or will shortly be on the road back home.  The dog is walked and now sleeping on the living room floor.  Breakfast is over and I am alone in the house.


It’s nice. 


I love having them here, but when they’re here, it’s just on from the second they show up until the second they leave and I think, in real life, I spend a lot of time just quietly staring off into space thinking about nothing.  It’s hard to do that with a constant barrage of “Where are we going to eat?  What are we going to do?”


But I will say this about you, Nashville.  Whoever put the fountain up at Bicentennial park is a genius and deserves one thousand sweet and tender smooches.  We took the nephews there and just wore them right out with an hour of running and jumping and splashing each other.  And is there anything cuter than watching great big daddies with their little bitty girls walking along the edge of the wet areas and laughing with delight when they get tiniest bit splashed?


I can’t think of anything right now.


I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend about my sister-in-law.  It’s funny.  I think of my parents as very strong and powerful, even now, even though I should know better, that they’re just, actually, frail and ordinary just like me.  But I don’t.  I still imagine they have knowledge and wisdom that I don’t.


And so I wait for them to stand up to her, in their own ways, and they just never do.  All the stuff they preach about how my cousins or my nephews or whoever know that my parents have their backs; it’s not completely true.  Often, when the fight needs to be fought, my parents can’t do it.


Which, again, is fine.  It’d surely be nice to believe in a black and white world where the right thing to do is always clear and where, when people insinuate that they’re on your side, that they’re on your side all the way.  But that’s not how it works.  My parents are loyal to you as far as they can be, as deeply as they can be.


And when they fail you, it’s not because they’re mean or hateful or malicious, it’s just that that is as far as they can go.


Anyway, my parents really should call DCF in North Carolina.  But they’re also afraid of fucking up custody for the recalcitrant brother or causing her to disappear with the nephew or whatever.  So, instead, they tell me.


So, I told them yesterday after telling the recalcitrant brother the day before, that, if I hear any more nonsense about the littlest nephew, I’m going to the police.  The sister-in-law is not some evil genius.  She’s not going to be able to convince a judge that she should get custody of the boy if my brother puts even the slightest effort into fighting against her.  She’s bipolar; she refuses to take her medicine, which she knows she needs; and she’s violent.  Plus, she’s a crack whore.  Weighing that against a plumber with a shitty apartment, I think any judge is going to choose plumber with a shitty apartment.  And where’s she going to disappear to?  Her whole family thinks the recalcitrant brother should have the kid.  And she can’t hold a job.  Where’s she going to hide that she can’t be found?


Fuck.  Sincerely, everyone in my family is just waiting around for a grown-up to reassure them and tell them what to do and to do all of the scary stuff.  I mean, look at me.  Who did I call the second I got nervous about my fucking plumbing? A plumber?


No, Sarcastro–a grown-up who can reassure me and tell me what to do.  What fucking bullshit.


Sorry about that Mr. Smartypants.


Anyway, because I was the one who got into a screaming match with my sister-in-law in which she threatened to kill Mrs. Wigglebottom and I threatened to kill her, which makes me the only person in my family to have ever scared the shit out of her, I think I’ve been made the de facto adult in this situation.


Which I really hate, because now, instead of all of us who have an interest in the kid’s welfare sitting around and strategizing like adults about how to wrestle the kid away from her permanently, we’ve got to play out our old familiar family dynamic where there’s one person–“the adult”–who must be protected from all of the worst information, because, if he or she has information, he or she will feel compelled to act on it and if he or she begins to act on said information… I don’t know.


That part I don’t get.  I mean, I don’t get it all, though I can map the dynamic out for you.  But I don’t get what the fear of having the person in the adult role act on the information is.  Is it some fear that, if the adult should act, that the adult’s actions might not be confined to just the person who deserves to be acted against?


I don’t know.


But, hey, if you want years of fun, get you a family shaped by generations of physical and psychological violence and install yourself in the generation below the generation determined that “things will be different for my kids.”


Obviously, I use “fun” in the loosest sense.

The Littlest Nephew Tells a Joke

"Knock, Knock."

"Who’s there?"

"How did Paw Paw and Grandma meet?"

"…um…"

"He found her under a rock."

"Dad, did you teach him that?"

"Of course."

"That’s not a knock knock joke."

"Well, he’s only four.  He doesn’t understand knock knock jokes.  I can’t wait for him to tell it to your mom."

—–

The Recovering Baptist’s One Man Fan Club

I know many of you read Martini Ministry and are fans of the Recovering Baptist.  So, I thought you’d get a kick out of the following exchange in my living room this morning.

"Who was that girl who had all those guys hitting on her and trying to get her to go to the strip clubs with them?"

"The Recovering Baptist."

"Damn.  There’s just something about her.  I don’t know.  She was hot as hell.  Did she go home with those guys?"

"No."

"Well, damn.  I’m glad to know someone had a worse night than me.  Those poor guys were hitting on her for hours and hours and she didn’t even notice?"

"I don’t know.  I don’t think so."

"But she’s hot as hell!  I would have hit on her, but I didn’t want to horn in on their action."

The Undertaker

Sometimes, when I think about how my nephews live, Tiny Cat Pants seems very futile, like bedtime stories I tell myself as a brief respite.

When the recalcitrant brother wakes up, I’m going to have to ask him if he knows about this shit.  If he does, what the fuck?  I don’t even know what to say to him.

Those boys deserve better than they’ve gotten.

Anyway, I didn’t want to forget to tell you that sometimes, The Undertaker rents equipment from our Home Depot to fix up his parents’ house.  At least, that’s what the guy who works there says.

I hope it’s true.

It’s a nice story and I like nice stories.

Reason Number 512 I Hate My Sister-in-Law

When counting reasons you hate your sister-in-law, do the most egregious reasons move to the top?  In other words, has this become reason number one I hate my sister-in-law or is this number 512 because it just comes latest on a long line of things that piss me off about her so much I about can’t stand it?

I guess it doesn’t matter.

She beats my four year old nephew with a belt.

I cannot tell you how strong my urge to drive over there and take a belt to her is.

I just hate that woman.  I hate her so much that I cannot wait until the moment comes when I’m not hearing this shit second and third hand.  Because the second he says that shit to me, I’m calling social services. 

Hit a four year old with a belt.  What the fuck is wrong with her?

I hope she dies. 

Soon.

You’d think a mentally ill crack whore would only have a life expectancy of twenty-five, but I guess we can’t get that lucky.

It’s Not That I Don’t Trust The Recalcitrant Brother…

I just trust Sarcastro more.  See, it’s like this.  Sarcastro, as Exador will tell you, is physically incapable of being wrong.  So, if you call him up and ask, “Is my brother going to explode my pipes if he puts a snake down there?” and he says, “Probably not,” you know things are most likely going to be okay.


But if you ask the recalcitrant brother, “Are you going to explode my pipes if you put a snake down there?” and he says, “Probably not,” it’s only just because the pipes are actually going to catch fire and aliens will land and you’ll end up explaining to the FBI why Jimmy Hoffa’s corpse has suddenly launched onto I-440.


But I’ve got to tell you, it went just fine.  I mean, true, the recalcitrant brother is a plumber by trade, so he ought to be able to do this stuff just fine.  But it was still cool to watch him be all professional and competent and…


Ha, he says if I’m going to be blogging about him, I’d better call him “Heroic.”


So, the heroic recalcitrant brother has fixed my clogged drain and done it in such a way that the Butcher and I now think we could do it ourselves in the future.


—–

It’s Just Like Last Night’s Post But With Knowledge

First, the Butcher and I revisited Ryan’s all night.  Would eating Blogger Ryan’s cigar butts have made us less sick?  Probably.


Second, my dad will not have to beat up anyone at the Scene because the review in the Tennessean is awesome.  But I really wish y’all could have heard him rant against the Scene, which he was just sure was full of old hippies who were rendered incapable of appreciating my genius by their lifelong pot smoking and blue jean wearing.


Ha, I know I shouldn’t enjoy that as much as I do, but it’s nice to have him be proud of me to my face, as opposed to him going home, bragging to the other Reverend who then tells me about it six months later.


Okay, y’all I have to interrupt this mostly pointless post to tell you that the dog is sitting with her nose in the Butcher’s shoe, giving me a look like, ‘I know it’s pathetic, but I can’t help it.’  I wish I had a camera.

I Love These Folks Enough to Eat at Ryan’s

We went to Ryan’s for dinner.  Sadly, it was not this Ryan, but the restaurant full of every disgruntled family in Donelson.  Dinner at blogger Ryan’s would have been better, even if he’d just let us sit out back and chew on his cigar butts.


Still, the nephews liked it and I guess that’s all that counts.


The oldest nephew can set up a camper like a pro, that’s for sure, but he got pissed off when we tried to play “Ahab the Arab” because he doesn’t speak Arabic.  I tried to point out that Ray Stevens doesn’t speak Arabic either and that he could safely enjoy the song because it was making fun of people who are different than him, which I’m pretty sure is an acceptable pastime among his people, but he wasn’t having anything to do with that.


The youngest nephew was wearing a blue camouflage outfit.  I know I have some military folks who read, and so I must ask, where does one need blue camouflage?  When you’re hiding near the ocean?  Or in a pile of hospital scrubs?


And my dad threatened to beat up the Scene, which I thought was pretty sweet.

Men, Help Me Understand

I just got off the phone with the Shill.  On the one hand, I’m totally gloating because I’ve been saying since 1994 that this dude we went to college with was madly in love with her.  On the other hand, he hasn’t talked to her in ten years.  Why would he email her out of the blue to confess his love and his sadness that he’d heard she’d gotten married?


Menfolk, this is what I need help understanding.  What are you thinking when you tell a woman, long after it’s too late to do anything about it, that you used to love her and still morn that you never got together?  Do you think we’ll find this flattering?  Do you think we’ll suddenly be all like “Well, praise Jesus, I just happen to have some divorce papers right here.  Let me sign them and run away with you!”


Don’t get me wrong.  I can understand the whole “We run in the same social circles and sometimes there’s some weird awkwardness and part of that is because I used to really like you and even though I’m over that, I still get wistful” conversation.  It’s unpleasant, but we know each other; we’re actively friends; so sometimes you just have to say that shit so that you can acknowledge it and move the fuck on.


I mean the whole “I haven’t spoken to you in years, but I’m going to take my one chance to admit my feelings, even though nothing can come of it.”  What do you think is going to come from that?


Do women do that?  I used to have a huge crush on Andy Kulak in college.  I pined for him epically.  I never told him, which was stupid.  But I haven’t spoken to him in ten years. I’m not going to look him up on the internet and drop him a line just so I can tell him I used to love him.  I have no desire to do that.  I hope he’s fine and happy and has a good life.


I’m not a part of it.  I don’t feel bad about that.  I don’t wish things were different.  I don’t think about him often, except when I’m talking about college with the Shill.  If we ran into each other in Starbucks and recognized each other, that might be cool.  But I have no desire to search him out and contact him.


So, I don’t really get the motivations of people who do.


Obviously, the Shill doesn’t either, so she’s asked me to ask y’all: What the fuck?

Queen of the Dairy Queen

Did I tell y’all how I used to work at Dairy Queen?  Of course I worked at Dairy Queen!  Come on.  My family once took a vacation that consisted of nothing but driving around the middle of the country stopping at every Dairy Queen that hit our fancy.


When we were little, we used to all pile in the… shit.  You know, I used to think that I couldn’t remember anything vividly from before about third or fourth grade.


But I was all set to tell you about how, when we were little, we used to pile into the car and drive clear from Nokomis into Taylorville, listening to the Cards on the radio.  And we would stay strapped in the back seat and Dad wouldn’t want to miss any of the game, so Mom went up and placed our order, paid, came back with napkins, came back with waters, came back with a peanut buster parfait for Dad and either small cones dipped in chocolate or Dilly Bars for us, and we would eat them and listen to the game and watch the other families come and go.


And then, after a long time, we’d slowly pull out of the parking spot and head home.  I was always asleep before we got there.


I remember that as clear as anything.


That was before the Butcher was born.


Hmm.


Anyway, so yes, no surprise that I ended up working at Dairy Queen.  I did a little of everything.  I learned to pull the soft serve.  I worked the grill.  I even regularly worked the drive-up.


Still, it was a boring job and I had to do things to amuse myself–such as instituting the policy that, whenever someone ordered a Hawaiian Blizzard, we would hula dance for them.


Good times.


Anyway, my mom’s apartment is right next door to a Dairy Queen (one of the reasons, I suspect, she’s having a hard time giving the apartment up) and she likes to regale me with tales of how handy it is to know someone who used to work at Dairy Queen when ordering at a Dairy Queen.


And I though, shoot, it’s summer time.  Dear readers, get in the car, turn on some baseball, and go treat yourself to some Dairy Queen.


Here’s the inside scoop (so to speak) on the important things you need to know when ordering:


–You don’t have to have the toppings that come with any Treat.  For instance, you could order a banana split and get all chocolate or hot fudge, hard shell, and chocolate.


–That’s a useful thing to know, too.  There are three chocolaty toppings–chocolate syrup, hot fudge, and hard shell.  The hard shell gets hard when exposed to the cool of the soft serve because there’s a lot of wax in the hard shell.  Be sure your server gives the hard shell a good mix before he uses it on your item.


–The absolute best thing you can get at a Dairy Queen is the following–an M&M Blizzard made with strawberry instead of chocolate sauce.  It is so good.  If I weren’t allergic to strawberries, I would get it all the time.


–The rumor was, when I was working there, that the yogurt was actually more fattening than the soft serve.  Soft serve is full of air (and calcium) so it’s practically good for you.


Aw, shucks.  I wish I’d never brought up the strawberry M&M Blizzard.  Folks, you can develop allergies as you get older and sometimes, those allergies are a cruel, cruel joke played on you by the universe.

Other Random Nice Things

1.  The Diet Coke at the Mothership–even though it squirted on me today.  It’s got a nice, smooth taste to it.  Everything at the Mothership is good, but the Diet Coke is just a nice little surprise.  You don’t expect anything extraordinary, but BAM! there it is.


2.  Purity 0% Plus milk.  I hate skim milk.  I let the Butcher talk me down from 2% to 1% when he was working out at the airport because we were trying to be healthier after the “incident.”  But blech.  Too watery.  And skim milk?  An insult to milk.  But Purity’s 0% Plus?  It’s fabulous. I don’t care how they do it.  They might ground up babies or puppies or use the sweat of hairy butt cheeks to get it that way.  I love it.


3.  Page 97 of this book I’m reading.  It has a great big picture of Ernest Tubb’s band playing downtown, on a make-shift stage that looks to me to be right about where the Library is now.   Butterball Paige is on the bass.  You don’t meet a lot of dudes named Butterball any more.

Thanks

I just got a dozen yellow roses.  They’re beautiful.


And, in honor of how nice they are, I will refrain from asking y’all if you want to play “The Sender–Elderly or Married?” even though we both know those are the two genres of men who love me.

The Recalcitrant Brother Has Become a Fretter

My dad is the biggest fretter in our family.  He can’t sleep until everyone is home.  He worries that we’re not eating well or that we’re about to run out of money or that the Butcher will never get his life together.


I used to be a big fretter, too.  But I’m trying to get better about it.  I’m still not great.  I still would like to know weeks in advance when I have to do something and where I’m going and when I need to be there.  I want to know if the Butcher is coming home or not.  I’m concerned the cats might have scurvy and that I should be observing them carefully for signs.  I really want Sarcastro to come over and oversee the unclogging of my drain.


But those things are not necessary.   The world will not stop spinning if I’m not fretting about it.  And so I’m trying to learn to let that stuff go.


The recalcitrant brother never used to fret about anything.  Hence part of the reason I call him the recalcitrant brother.  A man who knows about fretting would never vanish for six weeks and not tell anyone where he was; he’d know how painful that would be, especially to a family of fretters.


But lately?


He’s called up concerned that the reason the Butcher keeps wrecking my car is that the Butcher has an undiagnosed brain tumor.  And now, he and my dad are down in Georgia fretting over the state of my tub drain.


Y’all, I’m sure that, in a decade, this will be as annoying as all get out.


But for now?


I can’t even begin to tell you how nice it is.

See, This is Why I Can’t Give Up on Kleinheider

Check out this fantabulous post!  Never mind the set-up; it’s a little awkward.  But skip right to the part that starts

The article doesn’t explicitly state this but this is an attack on Ms. Rice by the neoconservative cabal who have been directing American Foreign policy since 9/11, if not before that. The neocons have for years been doing an end run around every foreign policy entity in the Administration.

America*, I ask you–Is this not worth it? 

For all the bullshit "Women are precious scary messes best kept on a short leash in the kitchen" or "Gay people have ruined man on man hugging with their mental illness," sometimes the man comes through with a post like this, which is smart, to the point, witty, and insightful.

I read it and I think, "Yeah, I hadn’t really understood what the big deal was, but that explanation makes sense."

Y’all, I read this post and I found it useful.

So, thanks, Kleinheider.

Good job.

 

 

*I’m pretty sure all of my non-American readers are Australian and I sincerely hope that you guys do something else during the boring posts, like masturbate to the thought of me or get a snack from the fridge.

The Bug

Mrs. Wigglebottom was dead asleep on the couch when she woke with a start, leaped into the air, and knocked a bug onto the ground.   Then she pawed at it repeatedly.  Then, she put her nose right up against in and then shook her head like she’d just had the worst tickle imaginable.


Now, she’s hell bent on sniffing the bug, putting it in her mouth, going all mlewlwemmlew with her tongue and spitting it out on the floor.


Sincerely, I think she’s chewed this bug into a tiny pulpy bad tasting mash.


This wouldn’t be so funny to me except that the woman can swallow a delicious steak in three big chomps.


And yet this tiny bug requires fifteen minutes of sniff, chew, spit out, repeat.  She could have swallowed the bug whole and never known it tasted bad.

My Brothers, Biological and Osmotic

I told the Butcher about the review in the Scene and he basically said what Sarcastro said, which is, was it really any worse than anything he said about the play?


Then, he said, “B., I am your brother and I love you more than anyone else on this planet.  If you’re going to be more hurt by what some stranger says than what I say, I’m going to leave in a huff.”


The door slammed behind him as he left in a tremendous huff.  Then it opened back up.


“You don’t mind if I take the car, do you?”


Far be it from me to ruin a good huff by refusing the man the vehicle necessary for his dramatic exit.


Then, the recalcitrant brother called.  He’s bound and determined to get my tub flowing again.  He called to tell me that I needed to rent a… oh, shit… a… something that is basically just a snake on the end of a very powerful drill.  Well, shoot, I think we all know I’m going to have to get a hold of Sarcastro tomorrow and ask him what it’s called and where I can rent one for Saturday, the day of drain reckoning.


Poor Sarcastro.  If only he’d known I’d end up treating him like another sibling, and imposing on him constantly, I bet he’d have pretended to be a lot stupider–“Golly, B., I’d love to help you, but I don’t know nothing ’bout plumbing.  Is that what it’s called when you pick them?”

We Get Our First Bad Review

It’s probably bad form to read and mock your reviews in public, but since I’m not an official theater person, I don’t think I’m bound by convention.  Therefore, I must take issue with our terrible review today in the Scene.

(Though, just as a side note, I must say that I am shaking with delight that something I helped with has been reviewed in the Scene.  How cool is that?!  I mean, really, what the fuck?  I write here every day and the only person from the Scene who ever says anything good or bad about it is Gandalph Mantooth, and never in the pages of the Scene.)

I have two big criticisms of the piece.  The first is that Martin Brady’s whole critique rests on the notion that he’s just a little too jaded and worldly, too tuned into what "art" should be to sink to the level of actually enjoying the piece.

The second seems to be that Brady articulates the point of the piece, but doesn’t seem to understand what that actually means.

Let’s start with the second.  Brady says, "Actual recorded faith testimonials serve as a springboard for the 14 scenes and four songs that make up this dramatic review."  But then he complains about "strangely bloodless writing" and that "When it’s not naive, faith/doubt comes across as preachy, an odd outcome for a show that purports to show the blessedness of all faiths and creeds.  Neither its obvious sincerity nor its focus on our most dearly held beliefs guarantees success.  The show is long on uninspired storytelling and short on universal meaning."

Well, dear Brady, it seems to me that you didn’t really get what we were up to, then.  The faith testimonials were not a "springboard."  They were the whole piece.  We took what people actually said and used their actual words.  We didn’t rewrite anyone’s stories in order to come up with something "better" or more properly theater.  We took those words that came out of y’all’s mouths and said them back to you.

A different kind of piece would have sorted through all the words folks in Nashville said and soaked them in and then come up with something different from but inspired by what we heard.  That was not our mandate.  Our mandate was to take this material and make people’s everyday faith stories new to them.

If you think the goal of the piece sucked, then say that the goal of the piece sucked.  But don’t deliberately misunderstand the piece in order to criticize it for not being something it never set out to be.

If it’s sincere or naive or "bloodless," well, those are the stories people told us.

If Brady thinks that it fails because it "never really probes what it means to live in a frightening modern world or how faith sustains hope or fortitude to a person at a spiritual crossroads," I almost don’t know what to do for him but laugh.  Most of the folks we talked to don’t think we live in a frightening modern world.  Most folks either didn’t have those spiritual crossroads moments or, I would posit, didn’t find those moments to be the most meaningful moments of their spiritual lives to talk about.

Which brings us nicely to my first critique, that Brady thinks the piece isn’t sophisticated enough, that it doesn’t deal with big enough themes, like fear or doubt or ambiguity.  But, when faced with the set, he complains "the actors settle into what presumably are church pews, but look suspiciously like jury boxes, leaving viewers to wonder whether what they’re about to witness concerns celebration or judgment."  I mean, my god, yes, exactly.

That’s exactly what you’re supposed to wonder when you look at the set.  Why is that a problem?  If the play is too sincere and unambiguous for his tastes, why does he turn around and bitch about the things that don’t quickly reveal their meaning to him?

Anyway, I could go on.  I won’t.  I’ll just mention that it’s interesting to me that the same man who a week ago recommend it as a critic’s pick, this week hates it.

Should We Count the Funny Or Not?

Kleinheider links to the story of Ann Coulter’s pronouncement of Bill Clinton’s supposed latent homosexuality.


Yes, in an unfortunate turn of events for the Straight American Male, it turns out that fucking women is an indication that you are gay.


Poor Kleinheider.  It’s bad enough that “a man cannot appreciate ballet or express anything approaching true respect or tenderness for a fellow male without being seen as ‘a bit sweet’ or a closet case.” According to Coulter wanting to put your penis in a vagina nestled in between the legs of a human with soft round curves and beautiful boobs also makes you gay.


It’s pretty funny.  And, it’s probably wrong to admit this, but I think I’d pay good money to watch Kleinheider and Clinton make out.  Considering that both of them are self-admitted pussy lovers, which, thanks to Coulter, we now know is code for “Gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay,” I think my chances are pretty good.


 


 


 


Gay folks, as always, I am in awe of your nefariousness.  First, you take over Hollywood.  Then you ruin marriage by linking it with love, and now, now you hold before America the prospect of some Bill on Adam loving.  I bow at your genius.  But whisper what you want from me and I will march across state lines to provide it for you.  My only criticism is that you’re not aiming high enough.  If you have the power to turn straight men gay merely by exposing them to a number of cooters, why aren’t you holding all of the homophobes in this country hostage?


Get on Fox News and tell Bill O’Reilly that, if he doesn’t support gay marriage, you’ll turn him gay.  Demand George Bush come up with a peace plan for the Middle East, pronto, or you’ll turn him and Cheney gay.


Think big, people!

How Do You Even Know to Do These Things?

I think about class a lot.  More so now than I did before I moved to Nashville.  Even when I first moved to Nashville, I thought about class but only in terms of how normal I was compared to the Vandy kids who had so much.


Later, I learned that it wasn’t that other folks had so much, it was that I had so little.  But fine.  We don’t want for much, I don’t think.  My own house with a fenced in yard so the dog and I can play without the leash in the way.  A car for the Butcher.  To be out of debt.  I can’t get the Butcher’s shit together, but I’m slowly getting my own.


But I have an acquaintance who’s just gotten a new job.  And I’ve been thinking about how he got that job.  I don’t know the details, but at some level, it comes down to him realizing that they would need someone to fill that position.


I had access to all the same information he did.  I saw all the same people talking about the same things.  And I said, “Oh, great, look.  Folks are talking and having a good time.  Okay, let’s see who else needs a good talking to.”  I didn’t say, “Hey, wait a minute!  How can I use all this information to my advantage?”


It never occurred to me to say that.  I go around being open to possibilities.  I do. Even when something scares the shit out of me, if I’m asked to do it, I do it.


But I’m no good at creating my own possibilities.  I know how to meet large numbers of people and talk to them and be delighted with them.  I don’t know how to turn that into some kind of opportunity for me.


I don’t know if that’s a class thing or just a me thing.  But here I am feeling like I desperately need to bring more cool stuff into my life and I don’t think I know how to do that.  I want to just be open and have you recognize my worth and bring me in.  Because I just don’t know how to do this other thing.


In fact, until very recently, I had no idea other people were working it any other way.


I’m kind of a naive idiot.  I think that contributes a great deal to my frustration with myself.  I sense the world works differently than I think it does, but I’m not quite smart enough to figure out where my assumptions are wrong.

Thanks, Mrs. Wigglebottom

It’s nearly impossible to have a bad day with a dog like Mrs. Wigglebottom.  You come home and there she is waiting in the doorway with her head cocked to the side like she’s wondering if it’s really you.  And when she sees that it is, she turns and runs into the house, leaving  big open, welcome space for you.  Her little bottom is just wiggling away while she searches for her bone.


I was thinking of my uncle B.’s dog, Freckles, who, bless her heart, was just as dumb as a post.  Bassetts are notoriously dim as it is, but Freckles took it to a whole new level.  I swear, every time my uncle would come in the house, she would bark at him for a good ten minutes because she didn’t know who he was. 


She’d just stare at him like she was seeing him for the first time in her life and bark and slowly back away from him.


My Uncle B. has two “bassetts” now.  I use the term loosely because I don’t believe that they’re purebred.  Supposedly they’re from the same litter, but the male looks like a full blooded basset and the female looks like a cross between a bassett and a beagle.


They are smarter than Freckles, though I’m pretty sure my shoe is smarter than Freckles, so that’s not saying much.


My Uncle B. and my dad had a dachshund growing up–FiFi, who would pee on the other Reverend whenever he came over.  My dad has long contended that there is some mystery patch of old fashioned large dachshunds that are roughly the size of bassetts but shaped more like dachshunds.


I’ve checked Wikipedia and that confirms that there was indeed an ancestor to our breed that looks bigger.  But this one has long legs, so I’m not sure that’s what he was talking about.


Anyway, obviously, in a perfect world, I would talk more about what’s got me bummed and stressed, but in this one, discretion is the better part of valour and so we’ll talk about dogs or pick fights with whoever we can or whatever distracts me.


Aw, don’t mind me.  I’m just in a mood.