Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Whatever

Bjorn has a really nice understanding of how Santa Claus and Father Christmas work together this time of year:

There are attempts to limit use of the phrase, “Merry Christmas,” and replace it with a more generic, “Season’s Greetings.” I hear about these things, and I think about Santa Claus (who I still believe in), and I think that this cannot be the way. If a Turkish bishop and a Pagan / Heathen spirit from the north can overcome their differences and be as one in promoting a sense of cheer and giving, then why can’t so many of us do the same?

I like that.

Complaining Ahead

If I had five husbands, one of them could bring me lunch.  I can’t fix lunch because there are no clean dishes.  I can’t clean the dishes because standing that long is out of the question.

In fact, I think I need to go lay down.  I really hope the Butcher gets off work early.

Here’s How I Die

Not in the near future, even though this cold/flu has done me in, but, you know, when the time comes.  After all, a girl can’t die until she finally runs into Little Old Kleinheider at a bar where he introduces her to his husband, Harold Ford Jr., and she has to have a drink because she both can’t imagine anything more perfect and never saw that coming.

I keep having this dream that Sarcastro and the Butcher have created a pill that will cure me of this cold/flu.  The only drawback is that it gives me incredibly noisy, nonstop farts, which they think is hilarious.  I wake up from this dream realizing that I’m choking on my own innards; that’s the noise.  Even now, I can do it, if I tilt my head forward enough, I can’t breathe.

I think that’s why I get more rested when I sleep on the couch–I’m sitting almost upright and everything stays open.

Anyway, that’s how I go.  I either drown or suffocate in my own self.

I’ve had pneumonia six times, all before I was 25, and every time I get a chest x-ray done, the doctors tell me I have to quit smoking because my lungs are shot.  I don’t smoke.  There’s nothing to quit.

I hope to be old when I go, but if I go naturally, I bet it’s because I can’t breathe.

God Has Commanded Me to Take Five Husbands

Via Pandagon, I have learned of this sect in Mississippi which practices polygamy.    As some of the commenters point out, it sure is strange that God never commands women to take multiple husbands.

No, it seems that, whenever there are religiously mandated multiple spouses to be taken, it’s we women who are supposed to lay there in a big pile quietly with our hands where everyone can see them while the lone husband fails, yet again, to keep any of us fucked as often as we would like.

So, I decided to go have a talk with God about this and off I went.

Getting in to see God is kind of a pain in the ass.  You’ve got all these guys lined up in the waiting room, which, as you an imagine, sits at the top of a lofty mountain overlooking the most spectacular views of Earth you’ve ever seen.  And they’re all convinced they’ve got some ‘in’ with God so they’re all sauntering over to the secretary saying "Yeah, me and the Big G, we go way back.  He’d love to see me, I know." and trying to push whoever’s in line ahead of him out of the way.  Or they’ve decided to not bother with actually seeing God; they just shout out the window "Hey, God, yeah, is it okay if I beat my kids?" and the echo off the valley below rings back "yeah… beat… kids…" and they jump up all satisfied that their question has been answered.

I get up to the secretary, finally.  "Hey, can I get in to see God?"

"Do you have an appointment?"


"What?" the secretary looks a little startled.

"I don’t.  I just showed up."

"Well, goodness.  Come on in.  You’re the first person all day to answer that question honestly.  Can I bring you some tea?"

"Oh, no, I’m fine.  I brought a Diet Dr Pepper."

And with that, I was ushered into God’s office, which is, as you might imagine, filled with a lot of toys, coloring books, and M&M dispensers, as if, at any minute, a lot of children might come bursting in and need to be made welcome.

"Hey, God." I say.

"B.  What are you doing here?  It’s been a long time."

"I have a question."


"Do you really give a shit who marries whom?"

"Well, I am love and love is…"

"Hey, now, let’s not get all theological…"

"Up here that’s ‘meological’."

"Very funny.  Just tell me this, how come a bunch of men who follow you get to have multiple wives and I can’t have multiple husbands?"

"Where are you going to put multiple husbands?  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."

"Oh, that’s great for the old self-esteem, to have God laugh at you."

"I’m just wondering what kind of schedule for the shower you’re going to work out.  Seven people through one shower in a morning."

"I could marry a carpenter who could build me a house with more than one shower."

"I do have a soft spot for carpenters…"

"Wait, seven people… Does this mean I can have six husbands?"

"No, five.  You can have five.  The Butcher’s not going to move out just because you marry five men.  I think we both know that."

"Seriously?  You’re cool with me having five husbands?"

"I’m cool with humans trying out all kinds of arrangements that bring them happiness.  Hell, I tried to convince Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe to just take multiple husbands, but they wanted to do it the old fashioned way and get divorced between each wedding."

"So, if I can find five guys to marry me, it’s okay with you?"

"B., if you can find five guys willing to marry you, you have my blessing."

"All right."

"At the least, it’ll stop your dad from nagging me nightly about getting you married off."

So, there you go.  I have God’s blessing to have five husbands.  If you’d like to be considered, please answer the following questions:

1.  Will you keep my house clean?

2.  Are you good with children?

3.  Will you treat my dog like the amazing gift she is?

4.  Will you keep my fridge and cupboards stocked with food?

5.  Can you do minor household repairs?

6.  Are you willing to keep your facial hair at a delightfully scruffy length?

7.  Do you have, or are you willing to procure, a pick up truck?

8.  Do you get along well with other men?

9.  It’s probably unfair of me to ask five men to remain sexually faithful to me while I have the fun of having sex with all five of them.  Edited to add: But tough shit.  Will you promise to pretend like I’m the wittiest, cutest, most charming girl you have ever had sex with and all those other girls are were fun, but boy are you glad you married me?

10.  Would you be willing to dress up like a baseball player, specifically a catcher, just for fun?

11.  Can you score the whole family good tickets to hockey games?

12.  Will you build me a house?

13.  Can you cook?

14.  Will you be insanely jealous if you see any of your other brother-husbands gently kissing my boob freckle?

15.  Would you have no qualms about using your paycheck to support my God-blessed lifestyle?

A Minor, Yet Weird, Miracle

I just broke a glass in my drugged out state.  I reached down, picked up the pieces, and stood up to throw them away.  I heard a loud crack under my heel, like I’d stepped on a potato chip.

No such luck.

I’d stepped on and further broken a large piece of broken glass.

And yet, I was unhurt!

Isn’t that weird?

Has The World Gone Mad While I Was Sick?

1.  Sorry, Smiley.

2.  Today I learned that I can snore without being asleep.  That’s weird.  I’ve never heard myself snore before, but, as far as snores go, mine’s kind of cute, like a large cat purring.  Or a small monster getting ready to take over the world.

3.  So, let me get this straight.  Michael Richards, an obviously white guy, calls some black guy a racial slur, one that white guys have been calling black guys in a disparaging manner since at least the Revolutionary War, according to, and Jesse Jackson’s response is to call on "the entertainment industry, including rap artists, actors and major studios, to stop the use of the racial slur that triggered the scandal involving ‘Seinfeld’ comic actor Michael Richards."?

Is this insane to anyone else but me?

Richards didn’t call anyone a nigger because he thought it was okay because black folks use it.  He pulled that puppy out because he knew, as does every fucking white person in America, that it is a conversation-ender, a deal-breaker, a word with no analogous retort.

It doesn’t matter if every black person in the world stopped right this second using the word; that wouldn’t stop white people from using it against black people.  Which Jackson surely knows.

So, what’s the deal?

My guess is that Jackson is largely irrelevant to most rappers and young black entertainers and that this gives him a chance to throw his weight around a little bit, especially because white people, such as Richards, would love nothing more than to have just one black guy they could go to, say Jackson, and make amends.  It benefits Jackson to perpetuate the belief that he’s the go-to guy for doling out black understanding, both in terms of cementing his place in the larger culture and making some waves among young black entertainers.

But let’s be clear–the word did not trigger Richards’ scandal.  Black entertainers using that word didn’t trigger Richards’ scandal.  Richards triggered Richards’ scandal.

Destroy All Humans 2

The Butcher has been playing Destroy All Humans 2.  I wish I had video game talents, as it looks like an awesome time.

In other news, I want to take a nap, but the Butcher is hogging the couch.

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

I went to bed some time last night.  I’m going to say about seven.  I couldn’t breathe.  I was dripping snot all over the place.  I had to pee.  Finally, I was really hot, so I got up and walked the dog.  That was a few hours ago.  It was still dark.

I read some blogs.  I fell asleep.  I ate some breakfast.

I want to take a shower, but it’s clear upstairs.

I also want a big cup of hot chocolate.  And for someone to rub my head.  And to sleep in a manner that is actually restful and not just my body turning off like some crappy old car.

I need to call in to work, but all the clocks in the house are on different times.

I think I need to wait a bit, is what I’m saying.

Gosh, a shower would be nice.

Okay, Fine. I’m Sick.

I’ve been put out with Sarcastro all afternoon because he hasn’t answered my hard-hitting email, which read, in part, “Yes, where is my five figure income?” and “I think I smell like hamsters.  Is that a problem?”

And just now, I discovered that I didn’t actually send the email.

I have two criteria for deciding if I’m really sick and not just a little under the weather:

1.  Do I not give a shit about how much work I have to do?

Right now, no.  I care about laying down.

2.  Am I irrationally mad at someone for something way beyond their control?


Therefore, I am actually sick and need to just admit it to myself.


Arby’s Chicken Salad Wrap

May we talk frankly about Arby’s for a second?  Is there any more non-descript a fast food restaurant?  Their food is bland.  Their decor is bland.  Even their employees, though sweet, are bland.

Ask anyone, "Do you want to go to Arby’s?" and that person will have to pause and ask him or herself "What the fuck does Arby’s even have?  Is that the one with the roast beef?"

And yet…

America, I went to Arby’s twice this weekend to eat their fucking Chicken Salad Wrap.

I ate it on Saturday and was overcome with a level of "Holy shit!  Is this good!" that almost caused me to wreck my car.  But, I thought, maybe I was just really hungry.  So, I went back yesterday.  I had it again.  Was it a fluke?

No, that chicken salad wrap is still the best thing I’ve ever eaten at a fast food joint.

I’m having lunch with Smiley today and it was all I could do to not say, "Meet me at Arby’s!" so that I could eat another one.

Who knew?  Who knew Arby’s could whoop up something so yummy?

I give it five out of five stars.

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Crowley-Scientology Connection?

Y’all, the things you can learn digging around Wikipedia! 

So, Jack Parsons (which, you must admit, is a name so perfect for an occultist one almost wants to run right out this very minute and write a story in which a Jack Parsons, occultist, is a character) is a central figure to our rocket program here in the U.S. and co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Crowley appointed him the head of the Agape Lodge in California.

Who should happen to be working magick with Parsons (and working some love magic on his girl)?  L. Ron Hubbard.

I shit you not.

If wikipedia is to be believed, much of Hubbard’s ‘Dianetics’ is derived from Golden Dawn ideas, which, it would seem, probably came to him through his association with Parsons and Parsons’ connection to Crowley* (**).

There’s something so funny about this I almost don’t know where to place my biggest laugh.  I keep thinking of that South Park episode where they talk about the fundamental beliefs of Scientology–all the thetans and the aliens and the levels of nonsense that only come to seems more nonsensical because the Scientologists take them so seriously.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous than how Matt & Trey depicted it, you find Crowley back there as some spiritual grandfather to the movement.

Crowley has his issues, to put it lightly, but you have to give a man props for being such an enormous influence on the twin evils of heavy metal and Tom Cruise.

I’m sorry.

I just can’t get over that.

When we were young and allowed to wander off to church things unsupervised by my dad, I remember being told that Scientology was just a front for the Satanic Church.  Of course, one gets older and comes to doubt that the Church of Satan could organize anything more complex than a backyard cook-out, but if one is calling something "Satanic" based on the long shadow cast by Crowley?

Then such accusations begin to make sense.





*I have got to find me a good book on the Golden Dawn.

**It always strikes me how short time is.  Crowley was in college when Wilde was being persecuted for being gay.  And Crowley lived long enough to see the middle of this century.

The Butcher’s Still Not Home

The Butcher went in to work at five this morning.  He was supposed to be off by noon.  Then he called to say he wouldn’t be done until 2, so I went and got his cell phone and traded it in for a new one.  It’s now just after three and there’s no sign of him.  I want to call and ask if he needs a ride, but I have his phone.

The closer we get to winter, the less I like that he doesn’t have a car. 

Vegetarianism and Veganism for Moral Reasons

Brittney has decided to become a vegan, for mostly moral reasons (though she does have some health concerns as well).

I have some questions.  I don’t mean them to be snarky and they’re not just for Brittney; they’re for all you moral vegetarians and vegans.

1.  Many of you become vegetarians/vegans because of concerns about whether animals are treated humanely during the farming process.  Are you not also concerned about the suffering of human beings during the farming process?  Are the hands lost to augers during your soybean harvest less of a concern to you?  What about the inhumane treatment of migrant workers brought in to harvest fruits and vegetables?  Is it because you perceive they have some choice in participating in farming that makes their suffering more palatable?

2.  We have removed most of the top level predators from our local ecosystems, leaving deer populations to reach increasingly large sizes, which puts stress on other local plant and animal populations, and spreads devastating illnesses throughout the herds.  Like it or not, since we’ve removed top level predators, don’t we have an obligation to keep the herds at safe, sustainable sizes, in order to alleviate suffering?  If so, isn’t it better to make use of the harvested animals, including eating them, than to let them go to waste?

3.  The pesticides dumped onto our plants makes its way into our water supply and poisons us and the things that live in our streams, rivers, and lakes.  Does the suffering of those animals not also concern you? 

4.  Do you believe it’s possible to live a morally uncompromized life?

Now is the Time for New Phones

The Butcher’s ‘8’ fell off his phone.  Mine survived being set on fire last year, but lately, it won’t hold a charge worth a damn.  I was talking to Coble at the park and I was fully charged and the battery completely drained as I walked from the top of the hill to my car (about a 20 minute walk).

So, as a Christmas present to us, new phones for everyone.

We brought two carloads of folks back here last night and so the boys put Mrs. Wigglebottom in the recalcitrant brother’s car where her job was just to eat all the shit the nephews have left in the car.  I was concerned that there seemed to be a lot of M&Ms in the backseat.  I’m more concerned now that she’s letting farts that smell like something out of the depths of hell.

Did I tell y’all that my Aunt B.’s daughter is a writer?  She let me read some of her poetry and a story she’s working on.  It’s unpolished and very rough and is all action, no exposition, but damn, for a freshman in high school?  It’s incredible.  She already has such a nice, snarky authorial voice.  I’m trying to talk her into coming down for Act Like a GRRRL!!!  I hope she’ll consider it.

Anyway, I have to answer some emails and then the morning is mine.  I’ll probably be masturbating.


Ha, ha, ha.  Hello, folks who found this through my dad’s Christmas letter!  Heck, hello, Mom & Dad! for all I know.

It’s Good To Be Home

My brothers have gone to get milk and pizza.  My oldest nephew is playing video games.  The dog is asleep at my feet.  The youngest nephew is in the bathroom singing "Does my chain hang low?" which somehow is morphing into B-I-N-G-O as he poops.

I’m glad to be back.

Can’t Win for Losing

I finally got my dad to sing “House of the Rising Sun” for us. There are two Youtube videos here for reasons that should be apparent, but I’ll admit, I don’t understand.

The file the camera creates is a .mov file. I uploaded it and the quality is pretty good, but the picture and words are out of sync. How this can be when it comes straight from the camera is beyond me.

This one is worse quality, but at least when my dad’s mouth moves, words come out.

Also, my mom says to please excuse the open cabinet in the kitchen. And my dad says that he used to be able to hit those high notes with ease, but is too old now (though he also said he may practice and try again at Christmas).

Happy Thanksgiving!

My parents new big old house is full up with folks–my parents, my two brothers, me, my two nephews, the dog, and the coolest Siamese cat ever.  In a couple of hours, my Aunt B., my uncle, and my two cousins will arrive.

My dad is fixing the littlest nephew’s bike.  The oldest nephew is taking a shower or beating my brothers at video games (I don’t know how it’s possible, but he seems to be doing both at the same time).  The dog is hiding and my mom has only filled the house up with smoke once. 

Since my parents are distracted by the constant cuteness of my nephews, I’m able to escape from the chaos long enough to type this up.

Hey, my oldest nephew just brought me a Jolly Rancher!  How awesome is that?

And I continue with my plot to get my dad to perform "House of the Rising Sun."

Anyway, it’s crazy around here in a big fun way.

I realize now that grandkids are the Big Get Even that Tom Petty mentions.  Grandparents get to smirk as they watch their kids go through what those kids put them through.  Kids get to watch Grandparents run ragged by small folks who have them wrapped around their fingers.

Today already we’ve conquered such questions as "How come Grandpa has a wife and Grandma doesn’t?" and "Uncle Butcher, why aren’t you married?"  Good fun. 


I went over today to spend the afternoon with my favorite professor from college.  We solved the world’s problems, again, and I thanked her for opening up my mind and stretching it as far as she could, again, and then she read to me and I mulled over the trouble I’m having figuring out how to end this play I’m working on and she listened and talked it through with me.

I think a problem I have with other forms of writing, besides this, is that I think it must be very difficult, almost too difficult for me to do, in order to be any good.  And so I imagine that it must be very difficult for me to write a play and so I struggle with it.  But really, it could instead be pleasurable and good, like this.  And so the ending could just be the end and not something too difficult for me to accomplish without struggle.

That’s good to realize.

I got back to my parents and the recalcitrant brother and both nephews were here.  The oldest nephew has been taking martial arts.  I flicked at him with my wet hands and said, “See, I used my water bending skills to defeat you.”

And he said, “You watch The Avatar?  So do I.”

Dinner With My Grandma

Here are how the folks on the matrilineal side of my family met, as learned at dinner tonight.

My Mom and Dad

My mom went down to meet the student pastor at my grandma’s church and invited him over for brownies.

My Grandma and Grandpa

My Grandma and Grandpa were in the same church group after high school.  Somehow they had to deliver treats somewhere and after they did, my grandpa asked my grandma, "What do we do now?" and my grandma said, "You can take me to the movies."

My Great Grandma and Great Grandpa

They met at a party and my great grandpa decided he liked my great grandma so much that he would make the hour and  half street car trip out to Morgan Park from Chicago just to call on her.

My Great Great Grandma and Great Great Grandpa

My Great Great Grandma came over from Gamleby, Sweden when she was 16 years old and took a job as a cook’s helper in a big home in Chicago.  My Great Great Grandpa, who spoke five languages, was supposed to just be over in the States drumming up business for the family distillery.  Once he laid eyes on America, though, he was determined that he wasn’t going back to Germany and so he took a job as a delivery boy… delivering to the big house where my great great grandma was a cook’s helper.  Later on, he worked for some union cashing people’s paychecks, so he always carried a gun.

My grandma was also telling us about the Chicago World’s Fair and how her mother organized some PTA singing group so that they could get into the Fair for free.   My grandma remembers being there when Italo Balbo landed.  And she complained that it was deathly hot and that everything except for the home tour cost too much money and so she didn’t get to do anything but sit around and people watch.

She also sometimes rode her bike up Lake Shore Drive, but thinks it would be foolish to do so now.

And she has the love letters my great grandma and great grandpa wrote each other during World War I, but she and my grandpa burnt the love letters they exchanged during the Second World War, thinking they were too hot for anyone else’s eyes.

That tickles me.

It was good to see her.  She seems old and frail, but she seems to be in better spirits and more alert than I’ve seen her in my entire adult life.

In Gamleby, my family built ships.  And collected taxes.

That tickles me, too. 

Lunch With My First Unknown Reader

Peg was the first reader I had who I didn’t know.  And today, I finally met her at a little dive bar in Champaign.  She made me spaghetti sauce.  I didn’t think to bring her anything, and yet, I should have.

I told her if word got out that she brings gifts of spaghetti sauce places she might suddenly have a lot more strangers clamouring to meet her.

It was cool.  Peg is just how she is in her comments–straightforward, funny, and deeply compassionate.  She also seems like someone you might get drunk with and end up mooning folks on the interstate.  Not that we did that, of course; you have to save something for next time.

Every Led Zeppelin Song Ever Created

The Butcher went up to see our overly tattooed friend, who I’m sure must have had a nickname at some point, but I can’t remember what, which is probably an indication that said nickname sucked, so he’s probably better off without it… Anyway the Butcher went up to see him.

And came back with every Led Zeppelin song ever created, I estimate.  Seriously, there’s like ‘Groupie catches Robert Plant singing in the shower–1975" and "Page hums a merry tune while wandering around Crowley’s house."

I’m looking forward to listening to them on the way home. 

Hellhounds on My Trail

Again, as we were driving back from Farm & Fleet, my dad said, “I told you never to put anything in writing.”

This is still the fight about whether he should mention Tiny Cat Pants in his Christmas letter, though I’ve resigned myself to the inevitability.

I sometimes think that my dad is as stressed out by me as I am by him.

When the Butcher got home from visiting friends today, my dad was more than happy to see him.  He seemed relieved.

I told him I had to work this morning and he wanted me to pick up sticks in the back yard instead.

It seems kind of unavoidable, that it would come down to this: I need to write.  I need to dump as much into my head as will fit there and then see what happens when it flows through me, what order it takes, what sense it makes.  And I need for nothing to be off-limits.  I need to be able to tell the truth as I see it and measure it against common knowledge and often against fact.  I need to set words in orders I find pleasing.  I need to articulate things to myself.  I need to connect my particular experience with the experiences of others.  I just have to do that.  

He needs to feel that he alone is in control of how he’s perceived by the world, I think.  He desperately wants me not to write.  And yet, I think, he’s extremely proud that I write well.  So, under the guise of bragging about me, he’s trying to ruin this thing I enjoy by exposing it to people I’d rather not have read it.  I don’t even know if he gets that that’s what he’s doing.  I kind of think he does.

I feel like such a fuck-up, I can’t even tell you.  I love my dad and I feel like the things I need to do in the world in order to survive and thrive are painful to him.  I about can’t stand it.  And yet, as much as I know he loves me, I doubt he’s sitting around worried about whether the things he does are painful to me.

Today he also said something about my pig collection, hinting around about whether I was going to take it back to Nashville.  I don’t know why I collected pigs.  I didn’t really like them.  I always just thought he thought it was appropriate for me to collect them because I resembled them.

Maybe that wasn’t the case.  I don’t know.

God, could this be any more disjointed?

I just am torn and I kind of feel like I’m going to throw up and I’m not sure if any of this is making sense.

I’m constantly mad at him and I’m tired of being mad at him.  I just want to accept that this is how it is and make my peace with it, but I don’t know how to do that, because I can’t stand it when he’s upset and I can’t yet resign myself to the fact that this is just his way.  He just does it because he does it.  I want to believe he does it because he’s deeply hurt.

If he’s hurt, I can change and make amends.  So, I cling to that, but it’s stupid.  All I can do is take responsibility for what I do, not for how it makes him feel.

So, bring on the relatives, I guess.  What the fuck. 

I think I’ll just go to bed and see what tomorrow brings.

Mom Dances

On Saturday, my mom was telling me about her understanding of how hip hop rose up out of the salsa clubs on the lower east side of New York. I have no idea if this is true or not, because, frankly, I didn’t get any farther than my mom saying “It’s my understanding that hip hop…” before I was blindsided by a giant “WHAT?!?!” and everything that came after that was lost in the ensuing confusion.

But who knows? Over cards tonight, we were listening to Outkast and trying to explain to her that awesome move in “So Fresh, So Clean” and she hadn’t seen the video but she asked me to teach her.

If the fates are kind, I hope I’m sixty years old and dancing around my kitchen to whatever the kids are listening to in those days having as good a time as my mom did tonight.

Anyway, here’s the video worth emulating and the emulation.

(First video was removed from YouTube at demand of Viacom)