A Little Day Brightening

Shoot, it’s been a week of serious, deep conversations around here, it seems like.

Which is cool, don’t get me wrong.  But it puts me in the mood for something completely different to wrap my mind around.

I pick Napoleon Strickland.  If this link works, you should be able to hear a very nice fife & drum piece. If not, holler and I’ll try to get it straight.

I remember where I was the first time I heard this type of music.  I was driving over Briley Parkway on Lebanon Road, headed east, when Othar Turner’s "Glory, Glory Hallelujah" came on the radio.  I about had an accident I was so "what the fuck is that?!"  It sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before

Some folks don’t like it.  But I do.  It makes me happy.

**************

It also brightened my day to be called a ‘suspected communist.’  

Just saying.  Don’t think I didn’t see that. 

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The Butcher Terrifies His Customer!

I was running late for work this morning and as I was coming down West End, this black Suburban starts honking at me.  I look over and there in the passenger seat is this poor guy just looking terrified.

In the driver’s seat is the Butcher.  I pointed as sternly as I could at him and then smiled.

The look of relief on the poor passenger’s face was hilarious.

I told y’all how the Butcher and I got in a “fight” once (using skills from the amateur professional wrestler I mistakenly dated) at a party and how no one realized it was fake even though I was still on my feet after three seconds?

God, I’m sorry.  I just love that guy.

If anyone needs his own vblog, it’s the Butcher.

Oh, and I forgot to tell you that, not only is Mrs. Wigglebottom surprisingly well-behaved when she is attacked by puppies, she has finally learned to jump up on the Butcher’s bed and lick his face when I say “Go get that boy!”

She still doesn’t know our names, but she does now know the world’s most useful trick.

What a good dog! 

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The Problem Now Clear, Mrs. Wigglebottom Calls for a Ban on Puppies

Today, as we were walking along Murphy Road, minding our own business, a puppy came hurtling across the busy street, dragging its leash behind it.


The puppy, of course, got across the street with no problem, but I had to watch in rapt terror as its owner and the other puppy she was walking dodged the sudden onslaught of cars. 


Finally, everyone made it over to our side of the road where there was a tangle of leashes, terrified blond women, puppies, hot tea, me, and Mrs. Wigglebottom, who was the odd calm in the center of a great churning hurricane of mammals and supposedly soothing beverages.


Once everyone was untangled and we were on our way, Mrs. Wigglebottom gave me a look as if to say, “Can you believe that shit?” 


I could not.


And then, after we’d turned to head home, there was another puppy, a scrappy Jack… excuse me, Parson Russell Terrier who was so anxious to get over at us that he was leaning practically parallel to the road.  Luckily, his owner had him more firmly grasped than the earlier owner.


Still, I had a good laugh over how ‘ferocious’ my dog is and how throughout our walk, she seemed to be the one under attack.


Of course, Mrs. Wigglebottom does not really want to ban puppies.  She’s against dog bans of all sort, but especially puppies, because, after a hard day of baby mauling, drug dealing, evil-doing (in her spare time, she’s a gun runner and popular right-wing radio host), there’s nothing she likes better than bathing in the blood of a hundred puppies.  It helps keep her youthful appearance up.

If the Eight of Cups were a Blog Post about Feminism, This is How it Would Read

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I’ll admit that, when that woman accused the Duke Lacrosse Team of raping her, I believed her.

And I’ll admit that, as it became obvious that her story was “problematic,” I kind of just refrained from writing about it because I was secretly hoping that the prosecution had evidence that the rest of us have not seen, that would back up her claims.

That doesn’t seem to be the case.

Slate has a story up right now about how the New York Times has all but convicted the three suspects. Here’s the part that made me feel kind of sick to my stomach:

Imagine you are the world’s most powerful newspaper and you have invested your credibility in yet another story line that is falling apart, crumbling as inexorably as Jayson Blair’s fabrications and the flawed reporting on Saddam Hussein’s supposed WMD.

This is, as you may note, the opening paragraph of the story. It’s pretty much down-hill from there for a girl who believed that the Duke Lacrosse Team was the epitome of evil.

Tangentially, can I just say that I’m reluctantly in the “You just can’t trust the New York Times.” camp?

Anyway, this is not about blaming the New York Times, this is about taking stock of where we are and then some side notes about how I feel about feminism.

So, where we are. In some ways, we’re neck-deep in the same shit we’ve always been neck-deep in. It’s easy enough to assume that groups of young men will easily do evil. It’s easy enough to assume that sex workers are untrustworthy and fucked up. That cops lie and that the justice system isn’t often actually about achieving justice.

I was thinking about how one in twenty-two college men admits to having forced a girl to have sex with him. I was thinking about Plimco* and my other friends who’ve been assaulted and how I can count on one hand the women I know who’ve never felt they were in danger of being hurt by a man, at least once.

Most of the women I know who’ve been attacked never reported it to the police because they were afraid they wouldn’t be believed.

I think, at least for me, it’s hearing all these stories over and over again told by women I deeply love that makes it very hard for me to believe that any woman would ever lie about being raped. It’s such a horrendous thing and the aftermath can be gruesome and the justice system is perceived of as no safe place for rape victims–it’s hard to imagine who would ever claim to have gone through a rape knowing that the scrutiny the claimant faces is also its own kind of hell.

And yet, I’m now convinced that this is my own blindspot–that I don’t believe women are capable of lying about rape.

I’ve gone off here before about this very danger: about how traditional ideas about women are that we’re either idiots in need of a big strong man to guide us or that we’re morally superior to men (at least, I believe this to be the dynamic on the ‘Madonna’ side of the Madonna/Whore dichotomy). And I do believe that feminists have a tendency, while fighting against the idea that we’re innocent idiots who need male guidance, to gladly latch on to this idea that we’re morally superior to men.

And, frankly, I think that’s what I did in this case. I thought that a woman wouldn’t lie about being raped and that, of course, a bunch of entitled jackasses at a prestigious school would feel entitled to her body if they wanted and that they’d then protect each other. In other words, I believed her to be morally superior to them.

It’s more than a little embarrassing to admit that and to take my lumps from those of you who will line up to do the lump handing-out, but I think it’s necessary.

As for feminism, I’m still a feminist. But I have to say that I’m kind of at the “what the fuck?!” point with other feminists. I’m a feminist because I want to live my life in as pleasant a manner as possible. That’s my goal. I find being a feminist pleasant, for the most part, because I like being smart, funny, obnoxious, and independent. I like knowing that I can take care of myself, if need be. I like having a set of theoretical tools to help me understand certain societal dynamics and to help me work on dismantling the ones that get in the way of my pleasure.

Where I went wrong with the Duke case was clearly to react out of fear instead of proactively moving towards increasing my pleasure. I don’t mean that in some “why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” way. I mean it in some sense of the deep satisfaction that comes from striving for wisdom**.

I don’t think that it’s just me who’s not trying to strive towards wisdom (though, honestly, I may be the only feminist in the world striving towards the pleasure of wisdom–whatever I might mean by that). I’m not being clear, in part because I’m just watching from the sidelines and it’s not all clear to me. But I love I Blame the Patriarchy and even though I thought that Twisty’s post about blow jobs was ridiculous, I thought it was supposed to be ridiculous for the sake of making a point.

And I love Pandagon and have learned a shit-ton from Amanda Marcotte.

And I love mocking the stupid as much as the next person.

But I wonder if they’re happy. If happiness is even a goal of their feminism. Maybe it’s not and that’s fine. But maybe I need to stop reading so uncritically feminists whose goals don’t align with my own, even if I adore them.

*Sorry, Plimco, maybe I should have warned you about how having a forum sometimes seems to be a catalyst for dealing with things you’d rather have left behind you.

**Well, well. I had until this moment no idea that I so closely linked wisdom and pleasure. That’s interesting.

Mainstream Media! I Await Your Call!

B-Dub has some interesting thoughts about how the mainstream media is slowly changing to accommodate bloggers and the blogging aesthetic.  He’s got good meaty stuff to say, but I want to focus on the fact that, like it or not, audience expectations have changed.


People do a great deal of reading on-line and they expect things to be easily available for them online.  I think if you look at the Scene‘s website*, it’s fairly easy to find your way around.  As much as they rag on bloggers, the folks over there do seem to understand that your online presence should be a compliment to your dead tree presence, but useable in its own right.


On the other hand, the Tennessean is a barely useable mess.  Their designer would do well to sit down in front of the New York Times online and steal as many good ideas from them as he or she can.


And I think that affects my opinion of the Tennessean, the fact that it’s hard to navigate and you can’t find everything you’d like to find and you can’t be sure you’ve read everything you might want to read.  Shoot, they could improve their site by leaps and bound by hiring a blogger to highlight the day’s top stories and point readers to them, someone who had enough sense of the paper to point you back into the archives to old stories for needed context, and who can watch stories come off the wire and understand how they affect things here.


In other words, I hope the mainstream media will come to see bloggers not only as producers of content, but as folks who have a knack for distilling content into reader-friendly chunks, and making use of that talent as well.


 


 


*Shocking, I know.  I’m mentioning the Scene in a complimentary way.  I guess I’m getting soft in my old age.

Pie Wagon!

The Butcher and I went to the Pie Wagon for lunch.  He had the meatloaf; I had the Cajun fried chicken.  We both had the mashed potatoes, which were fantastic.

I have half a mind to get my hair cut like Colette.  Shoot, if I were that hot, I’d sit around all day at the Pie Wagon in a man’s suit smoking and making folks nervous, well, and eating pie.  Because, folks, they have the most fantastic pecan pie.

Yum.

Also, I would make such an awesome zombie.  My fingers are turning purple and green from the whole drunken iron chandelier incident this weekend and I must say, I think I look cute purple and green.  Some of the Fugates were dark enough to be purple… But I don’t see how that does me any good.

There’s something to mull over.  Is turning the Fugates pink good or bad?  Is being blue a defect that needs to be fixed or did we lose an extraordinary bit of diversity?

Any Sleep Experts Out There?

Recently, when I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or tell the dog to stop whining or to discover that the cats have stolen all the covers, I have a clearly formed thought in my head.

Last night, I got up to go to the bathroom and I don’t remember what I was dreaming right before I got up, but there in my mind was this thought: "And that’s why we don’t put mustard on Steve."

What the fuck?

They’re all like that.  These weird little resolution-thoughts right before I wake up.  "And so I never did get to Europe."  "That’s how come no one in your family eats blackbird pie."

Am I being visited in the night by a ghosts who tells preposterous stories?  If so, why can I only remember the ending of them?  Or am I telling myself stories I don’t remember as I sleep?  Or do certain dreams have structure and I’ve just been having the "stories get resolved" dream over and over again?

I don’t know.  It’s strange.

The Shorts of Infamy

So, I complain about the photos my dad sent and then don’t post any of them, even after Tatiana complained that I never post any pictures.

Well, fine.

Here’s me and the littlest nephew playing in the fountain down to Bicentennial Park.

Those are the shorts that fall off for no good reason. That is my curly hair, which is going gray, which, thankfully, is not yet apparent. But look at those curls!

If you can’t be thin, have curly hair and big tits, I always say.

Okay, I don’t. I just made that up right now, because I’m so tired I’m slap happy, and for some reason that strikes me as hilarious, even though it’s probably not actually that funny.

Oh well. What can you do? Some posts kick ass. Some posts are like this.

picture_of_vacation_2006_048.jpg

Unseemly Complaining

1.  I’m tired.

2.  I’m monumentally grouchy.

3.  My dad sent me photos they took on their vacation.  Some are of me.  And I’m pissed.

This is so stupid, but when I was little, I used to hate how my grandma seemed both so big and sturdy and yet also had this way of moving around with her whole body, but especially how she holds her hands and arms, that makes her seem so delicate.

How can something be both big and sturdy and seem also so delicate?  It’s just not right.  I assumed the delicacy was an affectation on her part, a way to make herself seem fragile, even though her size would never ordinarily make you think that about her.

And I really loathed that about her, that she would fake being weak and girly so as to make up for being fat.

But you know what, folks?  I hold myself the same god damn way.  It’s not conscious or intentional.  Shoot, I want to look like the kind of girl you should not try to pull any crap on, but I look like a girl who will giggle when you squeeze her (and I will!) and whose hands flit about her like excited pink birds. 

I’m convinced that life will eventually make you eat what you hate and so here I am learning the hard way that I’ve been wrongly hating something about my Grandma that a.) she couldn’t help and b.) that I do, too.

I feel kind of shitty.

And tired.

And grouchy. 

“A kind of neurotic oversharing”

Wow, KF’s got a really thought-provoking post about how one presents oneself on a blog and how such presentation might affect one’s professional presentation.  Those of you who think about blogs in a scholarly way for fun should go check it out.

Here’s been the little burr in my brain all day about it.  I was thinking about how, when I worked at the writing center, it used to bug the shit out of me that we were supposed to teach these kids the "right" way to write.  

 I hate that attitude–that the method of communication you use with your family and peers is inferior to proper English, which is, of course, not how anyone actually talks or writes or thinks or whatever.

I wanted to say to kids, "Listen, we’re a hugely diverse group of people in this country, let alone the whole English speaking world and these rules are made up so that the most people can understand each other with the least amount of confusion.  That doesn’t mean that how you talk or write or whatever is wrong; it just doesn’t have those goals.  And part of being educated is to learn this fake way of talking and writing that will allow the most people to understand you with the least amount of confusion."

I think that we forget that, though, how much of our lives are devoted to presenting ourselves (in language, appearance, job performance) in ways that most people can understand with the least amount of confusion.

Ha, no, I take that back.  I think a lot of our self presentation is devoted to reassuring the people in power that we understand how people with power present themselves and thus it is safe to give power to us.

But you know, that wears on a person, the dissonance between faking proper behavior and being who you are.

I’m all for resolving that dissonance through refusing to fake proper behavior.

I don’t blog about work.  I’m not unprofessional in that regard.

But I write unprofessionally here.

Some of you know me through work first and I’ll admit that, sometimes, I cringe when I think of you reading what I write here and worry about what opinions you must be forming of me.

But then, I’m not anyone here that I’m not at work.  I’m funny and charming and wildly insecure that I secretly suck and no one is telling me.

I think that, sometimes, the "professional behavior" we’re supposed to exhibit is not just to prove that we can handle a little power and responsibility, but also to reassure everyone else that we’re just like them (which is the same thing as the first part of that sentence, but from a different direction).

There’s this word–hegemony–which I normally hate because I think people throw it out there to mean a lot of different, though related, things and so it’s not very precise.  But when you use it to mean the way that the dominant group dictates how things go to the extent that how things go doesn’t seem contrived any more, but natural, god damn, it can be useful.

I think the hegemonic order* demands that everyone pretend to live similar lives.  Part of how that’s done is to disallow real talk of how people live, to draw a firm line between what is appropriate and what is not.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do think some topics, even here at Tiny Cat Pants, are inappropriate.  But they’re inappropriate because they might come back to bite me, not because "that’s no one’s business."

I think, when people respond with concern to the fact that academics are blogging, that there’s a hint in there of "Do you think it’s wise to remind people that you’re not just like them?"

That’s a legitimate question, but it’s also the biggest bullshit question.

If universities really want to promote ‘diversity,’ they should not be so afraid of the diversity of experience that blogging makes apparent. 

 

*Sorry folks, in for a dime, in for a dollar.  Jargon, jargon, jargon. 

The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

In my head, I have these two ideas, which seem to be unrelated in real life, but feel to me connected at some basic level.

The First

There’s a great deal of glee in certain circles over the high price of gas.  Andrew Sullivan, for example, advocates a huge tax on gas so that it’s upwards of $5 per gallon so that people will be forced to find alternate, more environmentally, safe ways of getting around and so that car companies will feel the market pressure to make more fuel efficient cars for those of us who are still determined to have cars, even though, is this high-priced-gas world, miraculously, we would all live near plentiful and efficient public transportation.

This has always pissed me off because rural people often don’t live near their jobs or their jobs involve driving things for a living and so it seems like a way to punish non-urban people without too much cost to the urban folks.

There are other flaws, but that’s been my complaint.

I was thinking about the folks in New Orleans, though, who didn’t have cars to evacuate.  And I was thinking how funny(sad) it is that here they were living some environmentalists’ dream of urban public-transportation depending folks and how, when they really needed plentiful and efficient public transportation, it never came.

In other words, I think the "give up your car" movement overlooks the hard lesson we’ve learned that we cannot depend on our local, state, or federal government to give us help when we need it and we must, if we’re going to be as safe as possible, depend on ourselves and each other.

The Second

At lunch on Saturday, Coble and I were talking about a mutual acquaintance we have whose life has passed the point of "a series of unfortunate mishaps" into "I’m fucking myself up for reasons known only to me" and how this would be sad except that he’s managed to parlay his ability to make only the wrong decisions in any given circumstance into occasional free housing, lots of free meals, and lots of other good, cool stuff that any of the rest of us might like, but not only don’t we go around asking for them, we’d be embarrassed to ask others to provide them, and mortified to accept them, if someone figured out we might like, say, a car.

And I was thinking about how the libertarian ideal is that there won’t be any government hand-outs; people will just give charitably.  Previously, my objection to this has been that people’s money tends to go where their attention is.  You give to SIDS-related stuff one year because a co-worker’s sister lost a kid that way.  The next year you give that money to hurricane victims.  After that, it goes to the Humane Society.  This leaves non-profits scrambling for money, year after year.

But I’m seeing that the related idea–that your money goes where your attention is–is very exploitable by the squeaky wheel.  The person with the audacity to ask for things tends to get them, where the people who have been trained to suffer quietly or to make the best of circumstances, no matter how bleak, never pop up on the radar of people who are willing to help.

I don’t know.  Maybe these two ideas are related by the fact that it’s the people who are doing the right thing, who are doing the things we want to encourage, are the ones that get hurt. 

Most of us want to ease the suffering of our fellow community members (however we understand community), but figuring out how to do that without causing the suffering of others seems nearly impossible.

Mrs. Wigglebottom Calls for a Ban of German Shepherds, Before Something Bad Happens

You may recall the house on our walk where the mean-ass black dog lived, and how the owners just left the mean-ass black dog, its running buddy–the white dog; and the old dog who always barks so that the other dogs know you’re walking by.  And you may recall how terrified I was of that black dog, because it would often run right up to us barking and once tried to bite Mrs. Wigglebottom

And you may also recall how, over the past year, the black dog and the white dog have both disappeared (though the old dog has remained) and how the people in the house got an adorable German Shepherd puppy that the owner would walk around the neighborhood, while the old dog walked proudly behind them.

So, I will give you three guesses as to what puppy was standing unleashed in that front yard this morning when Mrs. Wigglebottom and I walked by.

Citizens of Earth, I ask you: How can this end well?

These aren’t people renowned for their ability to train up dogs to not be aggressive.  And this is a dog that’s going to be too large to kick in the head when it decides it doesn’t like everyone walking by the yard.

I’m not a big fan of tying up dogs and leaving them out in the yard.  I think it leaves them at a real disadvantage if they should have to defend themselves.

However, if you’re not going to fence up your yard and you’re still going to let your dogs outside unsupervised, put them on a fucking chain.

You know, I gather they got a big scary dog because they think our neighborhood’s not that great.  Funny how it is that our neighborhood’s not that great because someone lets their scary dogs run around unsupervised and unleashed.

If My Drunken Blogging Didn’t Amuse Me So, I’d Go Delete that Post

So, yes, the Recovering Baptist had her birthday party last night and it was fabulous good fun.  Except for the bruise and except for the fact that I have no idea what kind of point I was trying to make last night, but it was an enthusiastic one.

I did a birthday Tarot reading for the Recovering Baptist, which was very cool, because everyone at the party gathered around and it was loud and raucous and the energy was fun and loving and nice.  I usually read one on one or with a very small audience who’s sitting quietly so that the right mood is maintained–that right mood being one of reverence and awe (kind of). 

But I liked doing it this way, too, with no one taking it very seriously, but everyone chiming in or poking fun or shouting "That’s right" when it needed to be shouted.

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I Learn The Hard Way So That You Don’t Have To

If you pick a fight with a large iron chandelier–for whatever reason, I’m in no position to judge–you will lose.

You will, however, also end up with a cool bruise that stretches across the first three knuckles of your right hand and on up your ring finger.

That is all.

—–

The Quintessential American Song

I think it’s beyond discussion that the Great American Novel is Huck Finn.  And clearly the most American of poems is “Song of Myself.”


But what is the song that captures that certain it which is America?


I nominate “Lovesick Blues.”


Here’s a tin pan alley tune first made popular by a minstrel but made famous by the quintessential country & western star.  It’s got that unique yodel in it, is damn sexy, and seems simple until you sit down to sing it.


Plus, it’s the kind of song that, no matter who sings it, it can be their song.

Baby Dismorphic Disorder

Check this out over at Suburban Turmoil. I have to say that seeing the real live cute girl next to the fake airbrushed version of her is the best argument against kiddie pageants I’ve ever seen.

Do they do these things for boys? Not that the hooligans in our family would take well to that.

Here’s the only way we can clean them up around here:

lick1.jpg

And that’s just to make them presentable for doing what we do all day in our family:

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This Is Exactly Why I Hated New York City

You’re in New York City and you have an idea: I know, let’s dress up like JFK and go eat pancakes in the middle of Time Square!  It’ll be cool.  It’ll be weird.

And you show up and there are ten other people you don’t even know also dressed like a Kennedy eating pancakes or maybe waffles.  Still, close enough that you’re like “Damn, can a girl have an original idea in a town this big?”

The answer is no.

In that vein, I give you Kittenpants

Needless to say, I have a thorough case of the heebie-jeebies. 

I am in Love!!!!!

It was nice knowing you all but I’m quitting my job, packing up the dog, and moving to Iowa to throw myself at the feet of one James Hill, who is running for Congress… I should add, who is the only drunken pirate running for Congress.

What a sad testimonial to our political system when a degenerate like me, feels like the most honest candidate on the ballot.

[…]

 Every day I fight the urge to drink, debauch women out of wed-lock and beat people on the street. One urge I do not have is to sell myself to the highest bidder. I see new accounts every day. These ‘men’ who sell their influence like common whores. Duke Cunningham and his bribe menu sound familiar? William Jefferson with $90.000 k in his freezer ring a bell?

I’m sorry.  "Every day I fight the urge to drink, debauch women out of wed-lock and beat people on  the street."  I’m dying!  He has awesome facial hair.  He appears to like to fish in the Mississippi.  And he has dimples.  That’s all I ask for in a man.

 David Weigel, who is guest blogging for Andrew Sullivan pokes fun: "Yeah, whatever. Not that impressive, in this era of ‘YouTubes of the Day,’ until you realize Hill is running for Congress in Iowa. Which is, relatively speaking, totally landlocked."

I would just point out, Mr. Weigel, that Pirates of the Mississippi is not just a bad country band, but an actual phenomenon.  Who do you think that good ole Midwestern boy, Popeye, was beating up with those big muscles?

 

—–

What I’m Getting Tiny

Shill, Legal Eagle, read no further!

 

 

 

Okay, now that they’re gone, let me just say that I read through their baby registry over at Amazon and apparently they already know they’re having a nerd–all books.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  I just don’t want to get Tiny something it can’t use right away.

So, I’m buying Tiny two CDs. 

The first is The Bottle Let Me Down which is worth it just for the cover. I love this album.  More importantly, both of my nephews love this album and the oldest nephew only listens to country (growing up in rural Georgia) and the other prefers rap music (probably from spending his formative years in strip clubs in Champaign, Illinois).  If you have children and have not bought this CD for them, you clearly hate your kids.  I bet you also give them five dollars and tell them to go play in traffic.

The other is  The Johnny Cash Children’s Album which I have not heard, but will be perfect for them.  At their wedding, they played “Ring of Fire” which was both awesome and hilarious, because, even though these two people had floated gracefully around the dance floor through every other song, they could not figure out how to dance to that one.

Also, I think I’ve come up with the perfect name for Tiny: if it’s a girl–Roxie Bell Pepper  and if it’s a boy–Thomas Edison.

 I kid.  Still, I kind of wish I knew someone named Roxie.

B., Girl Detective

I’m a little slow on the uptake, I have to tell you, but when I do make connections, I make all kinds of them.  Three things I realized when standing, yet again, knee-deep in water in my tub.

1.  The drain is up!  It’s not back to the bad old days.  Just let down the drain and down the water goes.

2.  When cleaning the kitchen, I will take the trash bag out of the trash can and fill the trash can with recycling.  But neither the bag nor the can is full, which means I tend to just leave the bag sitting on the floor next to the can.  But what if I just went ahead and bought another can for recycling?!  No more garbage bag on the floor.

3.  And folks, this one is the worst.  I’m so embarrassed by it that I wish I were making it up.  A while ago, one of you sent me a link to a blog and it turned out that we both knew the writer of that blog.  You, dear reader, signed your full name, and so, I could see that your initials were nm.  You also, in that email, said you lived here in Nashville.  Today, in the shower, having my drain and garbage epiphanies, I realized that the very same person who had the initials nm who write me that email so long ago is beloved commenter nm.

If I had my own Cold Cases show, it’d be hilarious.  I’d get all the clues and then six months later, be walking the dog and BAM! case solved. 

The Good Wife’s Guide

I will admit right up front that, when Tatiana said there was something over at her blog I would like, and I found this, my very first thought was to title this post something like "Tatiana Finds Kleinheider’s Master Plan!"  But then I see that Kleinheider has gone and pissed off the Tennessee Guerilla Woman.  And so I thought maybe it wouldn’t be nice for me to add to his discomfort.  Still, there’s a lesson in there.  I’m not going to spell it out for you, but I am going to laugh about it.

I saw this before Mrs. Wigglebottom and I struck out for our morning walk and our whole walk, it just made me really sad and angry.  I’ve got some questions:

1.  Who wrote this article?  Was Housekeeping Monthly staffed by women or men?  Because if men wrote this, it pisses me off, but I give them props for their ingenuity at trying to insure a cushy life of ease for their fellow men.  But if women wrote this, if women who worked all day actually had the gall to lie to other women about how hard a life the people with "real" jobs have and how those people need to be coddled when they get home, fuck them.

I am not a stay-at-home mom.  Obviously.  But I do have some nephews that my brother has left me in charge of occasionally and I have babysat and from that, I have extrapolated that there’s nothing about my job that is as difficult as spending all day alone with small children.

Really, 1950s wife, unless your husband is a police officer or emergency room doctor, your husband’s job is not as stressful as yours.  No one might die if your husband goes into his office after lunch and takes a nap.

The worst part is that it’s 1955; if that wife didn’t have a job outside the house fifteen years ago, her sisters or mom did.  But let’s all pretend like women never worked outside the home and so life out there is a big mysterious question answered by lies about how hard it is.

2.  I’m struck, also, by how shitty a life this must have been for the husbands whose wives tried to adhere to it.  It seems to me that, as nice as it would be to have someone take care of me from the second I walked in the door until the second I left it again, some of this shit would make me awfully lonely.

"Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night."

"Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity."

Coupled with

"Have dinner ready.  Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return.  This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs."

"Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him."

Do you see what I’m saying?  I have some experience with married men and the thing that strikes me about them is that they like to talk.  They answer questions.  If they’ve done something for a reason, they like to explain the reasoning behind what they’ve done.  Unless they are abusive assholes, they want to hear about your problems and they want to help fix them, if they can.  In other words, they aren’t mysterious.  They’re just people.

And nothing about this set-up is geared towards either the husband or the wife really acknowledging the humanity of the other.

Shoot, gentlemen, think how, whenever we have the discussion about how I can’t understand why y’all would rather be needed than wanted and you all chime in with how ‘want’ can fade or change its mind, but being needed feels permanent to you.

Now think of that home life.  What is that husband needed for?

The whole point of that life is to give the husband the illusion that the household runs just fine without him.  No wonder he stays out all night.  And even him staying out all night can’t provoke the human response he must be so desperate for, because his wife has been told to never bother him about that stuff.

That version of married life is great for abusive assholes–because it’s far easier to treat someone like shit when they’re trying very hard to keep their basic humanity hidden from you for fear of running you off.

But for real people?  Who want very much to love each other and be there for each other?  That kind of life would have to be hard and lonely as hell–a marriage where neither needs the other as a person.

Nice Things

1.  When the Butcher went to get me asprin, he also brought me a Snickers.


2.  I’ve emailed Lee about Colonel Sanders.  Hopefully, he’ll have an answer.  Why else would God have sent him this vision, if not as a sign of his destiny of knower of all things Kentucky?


3.  I got the invite to Tiny’s baby shower.  I laughed so hard that I cannot even tell you.  The Shill is the first one of my close female friends to have a baby (we’re late bloomers, I guess) and everyone should have a good snarky pregnant friend.  The Shill is the kind of friend who will tell you the truth about pregnancy–everything from the gas to the weird in-laws to the way you both want it to stop moving because it’s uncomfortable and how scared you get when you can’t feel it moving.


She’s the least girly pregnant woman ever and so the fact that the invitation came with a cute little bow just about did me in.


I have but two questions–1. Do I have to RSVP or is my plane ticket enough? and 2.  There’s going to be a keg at this thing, right?


4.  I found this awesome blog of a Nashville professor.  I don’t know him, but I should.  He’s already thinking some really interesting thoughts about blogging, especially from the perspective of a historian.

Kleinheider Exhibits a Tiny Bit of Sense

Kleinheider’s got a post about the morning-after pill.

While it has one foot firmly on nutty right-wing ground (notice the superb slut-shaming–“It’s use may show a lack of foresight and personal responsibility”), I am falling over in shock that the other foot seems to be firmly placed on the ground of logic, reason, and fact–“It is a drug that stops fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterine wall. Something that occurs naturally quite often.”

I about don’t know what to say.

Um… well… okay.  Good half a job, Carter. 

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