An Open Letter to the NiT Readers

Dear Folks Who Were Planning On Going to Lunch Tomorrow with Amanda Congdon,

No dice.  She won’t be there.  She will still be at Wolfy’s, but not at the Mothership.

So says my source at WKRN.

Ha, wouldn’t it be awesome if I really had secret sources at WKRN instead of Brittney just desperately begging me to get the word out?  Shoot, if I could have a secret source from any major media outlet (Hey, Liz!  Are you looking for a side hobby?), I’d be a happy woman.



Quick Question

How is this gossip and not news? A news anchor openly critical of the administration ends up with an envelope full of suspicious white powder delivered to his home and that’s not news?

What the fuck, America?

Also, how nice of the New York Post to treat the incident as if it were just obvious foolishness. That will be a comfort to the people who’ve died this very way, I’m sure. We can’t bring hair gel on an airplane even though no one has ever made a hair gel bomb and that’s reasonable, but someone mails Olbermann white powder and he insists on going to the emergency room and he’s a baby, even though five people died and seventeen others got sick from anthrax five years ago, and one of the letters even went to the New York Post.

If anyone might understand Olbermann’s jumpiness, you think it’d be them.

So, that’s why no one else reported it.

The Music Issue of the Oxford American

It’s time again for the music issue of the Oxford American.  I have not read a word of it, though it appears to be chalk full of many of my favorite authors: Peter Guralnick, Cintra Wilson, Tom Piazza, Bill Friskics-Warren, and Charles Wolfe.


There you go.  Who can bear to open a magazine knowing some of the last new words of his await you at the end?

Not me.

I did, of course, immediately rip open the CD and stick it in the player.

It’s good.  Strong all the way through, with some nice treats.  Uncle Dave Macon does “Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy” and the way he plays banjo is just creepy as hell.  Listening to it is a little like being haunted by a crazy moonshiner who died in 1931.

They’ve got a really nice version of “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep” which makes you want to grab hands with a small kid and dance around your living room.  I don’t know what it is, maybe how they drop the tempo just a little and give it a little swing, but it’s cool.  Bruce Springsteen has a much different version on We Shall Overcome which is also good fun, but Bruce sings like he’s motivating an army marching for justice.  The Swan Silvertones sing like the battle’s been won, if only folks would open up their eyes and see and bother to move their hips to dance.

Then there’s an incredibly sweet version of “Three is a Magic Number” by Bob Dorough.

Towards the end there’s Townes Van Zandt doing my absolute favorite song of his, “Nothin'” which is the kind of song that rips out its heart and eats it right in front of you.  This version sounds like it must be more recent than the one I love best, but I don’t think it’s worse, just different.

 Anyway, it’s, as always, good fun.

Well, You Can Smoke Pot as Long as You Don’t Like It, I Guess

I’m still waiting to get my hands on the Wall Street Journal article in which the “shocking” revelation that Constance Gee smokes pot is made, but alas, you have to pay and I’m not al that excited about paying for it.

I did read the article in the Tennessean though. And I think it’s pretty funny to watch all these folks trip over themselves to assure the public that even if Gee smokes pot, she only does it for medical reasons. No, god forbid she smoke pot and actually enjoy it. Can’t have that.

But it’s got me even more curious about the tone of the original Journal article, because, in a piece about Gordon Gee’s supposed out of control spending, what is the point of bringing up Constance Gee’s pot use? Is the insinuation supposed to be that not only can’t Gordon Gee keep his spending under control, he can’t keep his wife under control?

So, if you have access to those paragraphs that deal with Constance and can shoot them my way, I’d appreciate it.

In the fall of 2005, university employees discovered that Constance Gee, a tenured associate professor of public policy and education, kept marijuana at Braeburn and was using it there, according to people familiar with the matter. A few weeks later, several trustees and a senior university official confronted Mr. Gee in his office, telling the chancellor he shared responsibility for allowing marijuana on university property, the person familiar with the situation recalls.

Trembling, the chancellor replied, “I’ve been worried to death over this,” according to this person. Mr. Gee said his wife smoked marijuana to relieve an inner-ear ailment, this person says. The Gees decline to comment on the incident.

I’ll tell y’all what I told Sarcastro, which is that I’m convinced the UDC or their sympathizers have their hand in this somehow.  Mark my words.

The One-Man Vernacular Tow Never Ends Well

I grew up in rural America.  I have seen some half-assed things.  I have seen houses with mold stalactites coming down from the ceiling.  I have watched my mom fall through a hole in a porch that was “repaired” by putting some green fake grass carpeting over it.  I have put a washcloth on a baby in hopes that that would hold whatever might come out of said baby until someone returned with diapers.

But never, until I moved to Nashville, had I seen people just towing around other cars with nothing more than a pick-up truck and a rope.

I think that it goes without saying that if you tow a vehicle behind your pick-up truck with nothing more than a rope or a chain you are an idiot.

But at least, if you’re going to be an idiot, be a two-person team of idiots.  This is a hilly city, one, and so you need someone to break when you’re going down hill and you really need someone to sit in the car and steer.

Needless to say, the guy we saw towing a car behind his pick-up truck this morning had not taken such precautions.  As scary as it was, it was also amazing to see.  He got out, aimed the car in the direction he wanted it to go (into the street) and then got in his truck and started driving.  Of course, the car kept going straight, kind of diagonally across the street, and he had to jump out of the truck and grab the steering wheel and kind of scoot along beside the car and yank on the wheel. 

Once he got the car to a stop and it was actually in the road, he got back in the truck, shouted to us “I’m going to need to be in front of you” and started pulling the car up the hill.  The car, as one might imagine, started to gently sway back and forth across the road, first way over to mere inches from us, then way over to the other side almost into the electric pole, then back across almost into the boxy van of the cute neighbor who, unfortunately for him, was running late for work and so almost got hit by a driverless car.

And finally, it was at the top of the hill.

I pulled the dog’s leash and we hurried as fast as we could, because, at that moment, I realized that he intended to take the car all the way to the end of our street, to tuck his piece of shit car in our dead end, hidden from anyone who wasn’t looking for it by the curve of the hill going down into our dead end.  And boy, once I realized he was going to try to put that thing in my front yard, I really wanted to see it smash into his pretty truck once it had the momentum of the hill behind it.

Alas, he must have realized that the slope of the hill would have left him no way to control the momentum of the car, because he let it drift into the grass at the top of the hill and then hightailed it back by us as fast as he could.

I’ll be curious to see how long it sits there.