Let’s Be Vague

Today something happened to me that can only be explained one of two ways: either I suck or my situation sucks.  Since I spent all weekend hearing from everyone how great I am, I’m going to gather that it’s not me who’s the problem.

Here’s what I want to know.  How do I feel proud of what I do regularly?

This feeling I had this weekend, this sense of starting a task, seeing it through, doing something deeply meaningful to myself and other, and then seeing it reach a larger audience and having that celebrated by people I care about… How can I have that more than once every ten years?

How can I do what I love more often?

My Dad’s Two Big Announcements

1.  He’s now a pragmatic anarchist.  He’s not going to work towards the total overthrow of the government, but will instead work towards the total overthrow of incumbent politicians.  I have also thought that might be a good idea, but never considered that an anarchist position.

2.  He’s going to sue me if he discovers that I’ve shared with you his favorite story to tell about himself.  This puts me in a somewhat tricky position as I believe that I may have already, years ago, told y’all said story.  So, my hope is that, if we never discuss which story of my dad’s is so beloved by him that he would threaten to sue me for telling it, and thus ruining his ability to successfully tell it to you (if he should happen to meet you, say over at the Mothership).  I’m not even going hunting around in my archives to see if it’s there, so afraid am I of his wrath.  I mean, what if it turns out that dsmith or that fellow Tennessee blogger’s charming partner or someone else with a bone to pick with me is a copyright lawyer?

I’m sure my dad could find someone willing to help him sue me in order to make my life miserable.  For instance, Nathan Moore.

And certainly, I know some lawyers, but I can’t imagine that I could get them to stop laughing long enough to be of any help.

I’m Not Complaining, But I am Disconcerted

The weirdest thing happened yesterday, too.  My mom called and said how she and my dad had been talking about how nice a time they had on Saturday, not just at the play, but how the whole day was just enjoyable and fun.


And then she said how much she and my dad had loved the play and how great they thought it was.

Wait some more…

And how she wanted me to try to round up the write-ups about the play so she could send them to my grandma.

Still, keep waiting…

And how my dad really wished there’d been someone to video tape the play so that they could show it to all my family and make it easier to brag on me.


And nothing.  A phone call full of pure compliments and pleasant, heartfelt goodness and no snark at the end designed to undermine how good they’ve briefly made you feel.

Talk about things I don’t quite know how to process.  First there was this whole new experience of feeling proud of myself.  Then my family didn’t do anything to ruin that feeling.

Y’all, can I tell you something stupid and you promise not to laugh?  I’m a little scared.  I’m used to my life being at a certain level of shittiness, where we can’t have things too nice or do things too nice or be too nice to each other or it’s like we’re tempting the gods to squat down and take the biggest shit on us they can.

But, you know what?  This was such a nice and amazing weekend.  I was surrounded by people I love who witnessed something that was incredibly important to me and they genuinely liked it.

I would really like to get used to that.  I would love for that to be the new normal.

But holy shit, am I afraid that having things too good will draw something as equal in badness to me.

Well, ha, there you go.  No one other than me has to undermine my good mood, because I’m more than up for it.

Here’s what I’d like.  I’d like to get used to the idea that good things can happen without being counterbalanced by terrible.  I can just have some nice stuff happen without feeling uneasy about it.

I’m going to try to believe that and see how it goes.

“Southern Comfort”

So, the thing we saw at Cheekwood that blew my mind was this piece by Rico Gaston called "Southern Comfort."  It’s part of his African Fractals exhibit so it’s a large rectangle covered in four sets of triangles that point to the middle of the piece.  Each set of triangles is made up of a bunch of thin lines in purple, orange, green, and red.  And there are thin stripes that make an X between each of the triangles.

So, I was looking at it for a while trying to figure out if it meant anything or if it was just some cool funky piece to look at and JR notices that there are bumps in the triangles.  The surface of the piece has little raised bumps like some kind of no-slip surface, but just under those triangles.

But once you’re close enough to the triangles to check out the bumps, you quickly notice that the surface under the stripes isn’t smooth.  In fact, there are stars.  A big X of stars obscured by the four color stripes*.

It’s the kind of piece you kind of want to mull over for a long time. 

Just whose battle flag is it now?




*You can see a not-so-hot picture of the piece here hanging on the wall next to the cross.

Another Day of Crazed Insanity

Today we went to the Hermitage Cafe, where I had chicken fried steak for breakfast and JR had this beautiful omelet of joy.  The Butcher had biscuits and gravy.

Then we brought the Butcher home and went off to Cheekwood where we saw beautiful flowers, lovely peppers, and the most amazing piece of art I almost don’t even know how to tell you about it.  And since my computer is acting like a complete and total fuck-up, I’m going to hold off for a minute.

Then we went to Kroger.  Then we did a whirlwind tour of the local cemeteries of interest.  There was a lot of garbage strewn about the city cemetery, but some of it, like the whiskey bottle and the chewing tobacco on the grave of one of the Seviers looked more deliberate than litter.

We poked around Adelicia Adken’s mausoleum and then went and had dinner with the Professor.  Then we got JR a rental car and now I’m blogging and she’s examining a map of Nashville, for tomorrow, she and the Butcher are off on their own exciting adventures and I will be back to my usual thoughtful, less harried self.

Ha, maybe.