Fish nor Fowl

I had lunch with Mack today.  It was nice and I had a good time, but I didn’t like it.

That’s not Mack’s fault–I adore him–, which is why I’m filing this under “Ways I’m Fucked Up.”  He asked me a question and it was a good one, hard to answer, and it’s left me feeling all day like he caught me with my skirt tucked into my pantyhose.   

I don’t know.  It’s stupid.  I probably shouldn’t bring it up, but I still feel upset about it, like I’m transparently… I don’t know what… something… I guess if I could call it something that would help.

But here it is.  I feel like  everyone can see that I’m [something I guess I hoped wasn’t obvious] and only Mack has had the courtesy to tell me.

But I can’t figure out how to articulate what that something is.  And that’s really upsetting me.

I don’t know.

Sheltered.  That’s almost right.  He just inadvertently reminded me that I was raised up to flourish in a way of life I’ve walked away from and I’m not above my raising.  And I don’t know why that’s upsetting to me, but it is. 

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Bloggers Who Look Like Famous People

Sarcastro, of course, looks like the son of William Shatner (which, for some reason, he finds insulting, but I ask you, who [with the exception of the Nashville Knucklehead] did not want to fuck William Shatner back in the day?  Well, not me.  I was an egg and a sperm cell at the time, and thus had no desires, but you know…).

And we apparently have Christopher Meloni blogging over at Chez Bez!  Tee hee.

Born on the Bayou

1.  I wonder if I’m on some candid camera quiz show.  My dad keeps calling me and I answer, "Hi, dad." 

"Spell idiosyncrasy."

"Oh, god.  I D I O S Y N C R A C Y."

"Yep.  That’s what spell check says.  Bye."

*click* 

"Hello?"

"What’s that word that means surprised?"

"Umm…"

"I’ll call you back."

*click* 

What the hell?

2.  Carter, damn it.  I’ve vowed to try to be nicer to you this week.  Look, last night, I was in Murfreesboro and I didn’t drive by and put a burning bag of dog poo on your doorstep.  That’s nice.  And this is the thanks I get? (Warning, I am about to quote something that, out of context, is so funny it may cause you to spew pop out your nose.  If you have a soft drink in your mouth, swallow now before scrolling down.)

If Nashville wants to make this gesture, they should and they should not bend to the "open-minded" and "inclusive" elite.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.  Oh, no, not those inclusive, open-minded people, oppressing us all with their open-minded inclusivity.  Lording over the rest of us with their wanting to be nice to people.  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.  That’s it, Carter!  Stand up against the fascist forces of the kind and polite!  No more will we cower before their mighty gentle hugs!  Let’s burn effigies of Mister Rogers in the street; that’ll show ’em!

Whew.  

That’s too much.

3.  This morning, on my way into work, "Born on the Bayou" came on the radio and I turned it way up to the point where the do do dit do do dit dos of the guitar make your head wiggle almost involuntarily and then, if you have your arm resting on the window ledge, and the doo doot do do do part comes in, you can feel it vibrating up your whole arm, and I slid around the corner so smooth like the car and the song and I were all one thing just vibrating along the endless roads of America… 

Ah, damn, where was I?

I love cars. 

As the Neighborhood Turns

Y’all I was out pondering yet again the ridiculous “townhomes” that they’re putting up in our neighborhood when I remembered that I had a camera phone. I decided to take a picture so that you can see just what has me flabbergasted.

Shoot, I feel all S-Town Mike! Too bad my neighborhood doesn’t have a nickname, I could be all W(for Whatever)-town B in Mike’s honor.

Here’s the thing. This is the kind of neighborhood we live in. On the right there is the interstate. Straight ahead are some power lines. To the left is the train tracks. My place is right to your left (you can’t see it, but it looks similar to the one you can see) and straight ahead of you are where the interstate, powerlines, and train all come together in a disaster movie set-up so ripe you wonder what’s keeping Godzilla.

andtwo.jpg

And, about six blocks behind us, in a spot in our neighborhood where the distance between the interstate and the railroad has expanded to three whole blocks, someone is putting up $500,000 a piece townhomes.

We’ve talked about this before, how I think the same builder who’s putting up the townhomes is the same builder who put up the two really nice duplexes right along the train tracks and how I’m positive that one of the duplex renters is now sitting in one of the townhomes and also how, even though the old phase of the townhomes claims to be sold out, I’m pretty sure one is still empty.

And you may recall that they’ve moved on to phase two.

Which, I will admit, I thought were kind of cute. I mean, if you’re going to stick up expensive “townhomes” and encourage folks to spend a lot of money to live right across the street from train tracks and share a wall with some other idiot who also paid too much to live right across from a source of constant house shaking, like a mild earthquake four times a day (if not more), they might as well be cute.

And, in my opinion, these were looking mighty cute.

andone.jpg

Until I noticed this silver thing stuck randomly on the front of the building. You can’t really tell from this picture, but it sticks out probably about a foot (maybe less) and appears to be vented. I don’t know what it is, but it looks really weird, and it’s right on the front of the house!

What is it? Why does an expensive townhome need one marring up the front of it? Will it keep folks from buying? Can they disguise it?

Wonder

Tonight I was down to Murfreesboro to listen to Cedric Dent lecture about the history of black gospel music. Before I get started telling you about that, let me just say that I was sitting in front of these two people who talked through the whole thing, comparing notes on whether their opinions jibed with Dent’s or whether they’d ever heard of those songs; if they believed him when he was talking about how old a song was, etc. etc.

And I kept looking back at them, shooting them the dirtiest looks I could, but on and on they went and I’m just sitting there hating them up at storm and giving them the silent “shhh” signal.

Yeah, well, it turns out that they were blind.

My dirty looks were all for naught. And what the fuck? Who comes to a lecture to gab the whole way through it?

Anyway, the lecture was fun. Dent was charming and personable and had an incredible instant rapport with the audience. And the audience gave him a standing ovation until he came back and took a bow.

You know, his style was very much in the tradition of a good preacher, which got me to thinking of all the boring lectures I sat through in college and grad school.

I’m just saying, some schools still have divinity schools attached. It might be nice if graduate students were required to take a semester of preaching before we let them loose into the professional world.

When I was in college, I had already mostly stopped going to church, but occasionally, when I got homesick, I would go over and listen to Brad Watkins, Jr. preach. Reverend Watkins Senior was an old friend of my dad’s and Jr., when faced with that choice all minister’s kids face–whether or not to go into the family business–decided he ought to.

I liked to go and listen to him, because his style of preaching, the cadence of his voice, is very similar to my dad’s.

I was thinking about my dad tonight because he would have really enjoyed Dent’s talk, especially with all the piano playing and the singing.

I know it probably seems like I must have been a born rabble rouser who loves nothing better than to think about gender and race and class all the time, but I wasn’t always like this.

I just get intrigued by things and I’m like a dog to a bone (or maybe like a dog to its own vomit, come to think of it). I have to chew it over. I want to know why and I never feel like that question of why is adequately explained.

Why. It brings you down strange paths and into rabbit holes.

Why. It sends you through the pages of history and off on weird road trips.

Why. It gets you in trouble and back out again.

And I’ve been watching white people, which is not something I’ve ever done before, not with any real scrutiny, not to see if I thought there were quintessential white things and if so, what they were.

So, I was watching the white folks in the audience tonight. And I noticed that there seemed to be three reactions whenever we were called on to sing or turn to our neighbors or whatever. Some would sit there uncomfortably; some would participate uncomfortably; and some would just do whatever they were comfortable with (either sitting there or participating) and those three groups were pretty evenly split.

I’m going to have to think on that some, but it seemed telling. Of what, I don’t know, but something.

Okay, I’m still sore at Bob Krumm.

I’ll get over it soon enough, but I’m just appalled and offended by this idea that there are some things worth thinking about (like a play) and other things that just are what they are (like a football game).

Even when I think about it now, it makes me cringe.

The world is full of things to wonder about. And isn’t wonder rewarded?

I mean, along with feeling hurt and defensive, I’m baffled.

How can a person not enjoy wondering?

Maybe not about everything. I don’t wonder about how bridges work or how to put a circuit together (though, if I turned my mind to them for very long, I might begin to). But I appreciate that there are folks out there who do.

So, fine, you don’t wonder about race stuff or gender stuff or whether the world would be improved if all grad students had to learn how to speak in public like they were accountable to God.

But how can you belittle that? Dismiss it like wonder is a sign of weakness?

No, that’s just unacceptable.

Wonder and wanting to know are not bad things.

And, really, isn’t wonder rewarded?

Are there actually people out there who’ve never had their wonder rewarded?

You know what I mean? That moment when you turn towards seeking an answer and, as you start to make connections, it’s like something in your head kind of gives way and suddenly you feel like you’re onto something bigger than you, like you can see a hint of a pattern that resembles Truth or at least a truth, that excitement when you realize, if not how to put the pieces into place, that there are pieces and that they might fit together, and you have a firm grasp on one of them.

Doesn’t that feel good?

If you’ve felt that, how can you begrudge anyone else their wondering?

I just don’t get it.

Who wants to live in a world that small?