I Guess that Makes Me Out Out

I just did an interview for the Tennessean, to suppliment their coverage of the Kathy Sierra mess.

I gave the reporter my real name.

It’s already out there, anyway.  But now it’s kind of official.  I don’t know.  At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do.  Right now, I’m kind of hoping that the reporter does include the part where I claim to have a rabid pit bull trained to shoot guns, even though I was just joking when I said it.

Clearing Room on the Laptop

“You need to take some of your shit off the laptop. I have 80 gigs and it’s somehow out of room.”

“We can take all those music files off. The ones that aren’t iTunes.”

“Yeah, that’s a good idea.”

“So, that’s everything in ‘My Music’ right?”

“No, be careful, the iTunes files are in there, too. Don’t delete those.”

“What? No, I know.”

“Don’t just delete everything in the ‘My Music’ file because the iTunes are in there, too.”

“I heard you.”

[Time passes.]


Edited to add: He didn’t actually manage to delete all the iTunes.  I can’t want to tell him when he gets home.

What To Do When Your Comment Doesn’t Show Up

Hmm.  I should add this to the FAQ as well.

I have just fished two of Elizabeth’s comments out of the spam pond.  If you post a comment and it doesn’t immediately appear, drop me a note (appropriateaunt at yahoo dot com) and I will try to find it and set it free for you.

Usually, if it has a lot of links in it, that might get it tossed in the spam pond.  Elizabeth’s seem very short; that might be what’s getting her tossed as well.

Either way, there’s no shame in it.  Just let me know.

Some Like It Hot

So, yes, I should have bothered to learn the name of this ice cream place, but I’m just going to tell you to go there anyway.  Right next to Beyond the Edge over in East Nashville.

They have this ice cream called “Some Like It Hot” which is Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, and hot peppers.  You put it in your mouth and you first taste the chocolate and then you taste the cinnamon, but it takes a second for your brain to register that that’s what it is, and just when you’re all, “Oh, cinnamon!” the heat from the peppers spreads out all over your mouth.

It’s delicious.

I do love to go look at open houses, but I wonder if I’m too picky.  We looked at this place about five blocks (if that) from 5-points on Fatherland and the condos were about a quarter of a million dollars and the doors on the utility closet didn’t close tightly.

And the counter tops were a beautiful blue-gray stone (with flecks of pink), but the place itself was painted a green-gray, which made the counter tops look way too pink, so you’d have to repaint.  I’d have to repaint.

And your view was of the parking lot.

So, then we went out to Rolling Mill Hills… Rolling Hill Mills… Whatever they’re calling the stuff they’re putting up there across from the Hermitage Cafe.

These things are going to run between $300,000 and $500,000.  Very little construction has started and the Professor overheard one of the sales people telling another person that they don’t have all the permits they need yet because there are some environmental issues they have to get cleared up.

And they want to charge you $2,100 for a parking spot!

And they’re talking like they’re 3/4 sold out.  Who can do that?  Who can afford to pay a mortgage on a place that doesn’t even exist yet and won’t until Fall 2008, presuming they get the environmental clearances?

I know I’m a dumbass when it comes to money but Tennessee is a dirt poor state.  Half of us are functionally illiterate.  About a quarter of us have graduated from college.  There are only nine states poorer than us.

Our median income is $38,550 and, adjusted for inflation, from 1999-2005 our income has decreased by 8.7%.

Who the hell are all these people who can afford these places?

I should not think about it.  It’s only going to depress me.

But really, who’s going to live in all these places?  And how do they afford it?

Why It’s Important to Check Your Gauge

I started on Rachel’s prototype penis.  I didn’t bother to check to see if I had the right sized hook.  I just used a vaguely small one.  And, no, I didn’t check the gauge.  I just started crocheting.

America, just the tip of this penis is so large it could double as a place to keep your hard boiled egg.

And I royally fucked up the circumcision scar, so though the penis is large, it’s UGLY.  Maybe the stuffing will help smooth things over in a pleasant manner, but damn. 

I crack me up.

I have half a mind to just carry it around with me for the next week, just to see if anyone says anything.

Sunday Adventures

I had this brilliant idea to take Mrs. Wigglebottom down to the Bicentennial Fountain and photograph her playing in it for your amusement, but, alas, the fountain is closed.  So, instead, we went first to the old City Cemetery, which, folks, let’s talk plainly about.  That place is falling apart.  The Friends of the Cemetery are doing good work, but the amount of restoration and help it needs is clearly beyond what volunteers can do.


Look how beautiful this place is!  And they have doggy bags so that you can wander around there with your dog and enjoy how beautiful it is.  No, it’s not the safest part of town, but I think that, if more people were in and out of the cemetery, vandals would be dissuaded.

Mrs. Wigglebottom and I enjoyed a nice visit with some of the Fisk Jubilee Singers.  I asked Mrs. Wigglebottom where she thought Dr Jack Macon might be buried.  She’s pointing “in that general direction.”


After that, we decided to go check out the oldest African American cemetery in town, which is on Elm Hill Pike, just behind the Purity Dairy.  I told y’all how Zora Neale Hurston lived on Lafayette over by the City Cemetery?  Well, I took a picture of her block, or what I think was her block.


I assume it looked much, much different then.  So,we drove down this road and turned left at the Purity sign and then turned left into the Greenwood Cemetery, which is connected to the Mt. Ararat Cemetery, which is the cemetery we were most interested in.  We drove around some, but the only thing we saw of interest were these three graves here.


The one on the left is covered in white rocks.  I’ve seen that at the newer African American cemetery.  I’ve heard that that’s a throwback to African burial traditions, but this is a fairly new grave and I didn’t see any evidence of that on older graves (nor have I at slave gravesites here in Middle Tennessee), so I’m going to assume it’s a revival tradition and not an ongoing one.  The grave in the middle belongs to Baby Kenny, who was in his early twenties when he came to be here in the cemetery.  If you look closely, you can see the sparkley gold cone on his grave.  At the time, I didn’t notice it, but there’s clearly a third grave to the right of Baby Kenny, rest in peace.

While we were poking around, we noticed that this cemetery is enormous.  It crosses the road and goes clear back behind the Purity Milk plant.  Since we weren’t finding anything all that out of the ordinary in this part of the cemetery, we decided to go explore over there.

It says “No Trespassing” and so we pulled in and acted like we knew what we were doing.  Here’s Mrs. Wigglebottom leading the way. That’s Purity directly to her left and you can see the Batman Building straight ahead of her. I don’t know if you can get a sense of how large this cemetery is, but where the road curves up ahead of her is about halfway into the place and this is just the smaller, older part.  I really, really right about now wanted Bridgett or some other historian with me to explain what I was seeing.


The quality of the graves ranged from great to shitty.   Old Rooney here represents about the middle of the road.  A nice stone, but not great quality writing.  Bridgett, take a look behind him.  See that pile of dirt?  They were all over this part of the cemetery.  I wonder if people are being dug up or if someone is using this as a dump or what.  I don’t think they’re fresh graves, just because they didn’t appear to respect the boundaries of what are clearly other graves.  Any ideas?


Two graves really caught my attention.  I’m not sure how well you can make this out, but check it.  Clearly, this is just a concrete slab someone wrote in and placed on this grave.


Someone with a better camera or better photo editing equipment could have really pulled that into legibility for you.  I’m not that person.  But check this anyway, and have your heart broken.


As they say, click to embiggen.  As best I can tell, it says



Born September 3, 1950

Died October, 1951

[A?  My?] Little Baby

God damn, tears your heart right out, doesn’t it?  No wonder there are still flowers on that grave.  Who could hear about little Margaret and see those hand scrawled words, written, presumably, by a parent, and not want to mark her passing from the world?

And then check this.  I found this lying on the ground, but couldn’t make heads or tails of it.


If 1841 is a death date, that makes it, by far, the oldest grave we saw all day.  It’d also be weird because I’m not sure how old Mount Ararat Cemetery is.  My understanding was that everyone who lived in Nashville, black or white, was buried in the City Cemetery until after the Civil War.  If 1841 is a death date, this grave would disprove that.  Unless, and this could be, Mount Ararat started out as the slave cemetery on whose-ever land this was and grew from there into a general African American cemetery once the white folks started finding it fashionable to be buried out at Mount Olivet (which, funny enough, is not that far from this cemetery.

Anyway, good fun.  And then the Professor and I had ice cream over at that place next to Beyond the Edge in East Nashville.  Holy shit is that good ice cream! And then we went and wandered through open houses and wondered just who the hell has all this money to be able to afford 250,000 to 500,000 dollar condos.

That depresses me a great deal.

So, let’s not think about that, let’s think about ice cream instead.  Mmmm.  Ice cream.

“Those Williams Boys, They Still Mean a Lot to Me”

I’m about to put this dog in the car and head out.  I’ve got nothing to look for, no place to see, but I’m antsy.

Something’s itching at my soul and I want to relieve it.

Newscoma’s post reminded me of it, not that I haven’t been thinking about it for days, but there’s ways we draw connections, make meanings between things, that are powerful.

Sometimes, those connections are light, like the connections we make between Hank Williams and Tennessee Williams.  It’s only when Don Williams (see?) sings them together that the connection is pulled tight, that we can feel the aesthetic tugs that says, “This means something.”

I wish I had Chris Wage’s eye.  I would take a million pictures of Nashville and lay them all around me and see if, from that, I couldn’t discern some message, some meaning.

I am near-obsessed with this idea of putting Mack on the ground and drawing around him a circle of corn meal and lighting some candles and smudging him with sage.

Ha, I was thinking about a time when I did that with two of y’all, put one of you on the outside of a salt circle with pen and paper in hand to write down what, if anything, we came up with.  And the two of us sat knee to knee hands in hands, me trying to pull you across.

And who came across?  Not you, but the freaked out girl on the couch, talking about the things she saw with such clarity.

That’s the funny thing about all this woo-woo shit; they tell you–they being pretty much everyone–not to attempt anything until you know what you’re doing.  But how can you know what you’re doing if you haven’t tried some shit to find out?

If the world is covered in loose connections, sometimes you just have to be willing to grab a hold of one and give it a yank, see where it leads.

I was going to make Stumpy the Coyote a hat, but I’ve decided against it.  What the boy really needs is a pack, a pack to put the shit the Universe hands him in.

I’ve got a John the Conqueror root lying around I can contribute and a dime and a penny for luck.  Any good border crosser needs tobacco to offer to the gods, but I’ll leave that to Mack to contribute.

Stumpy the Coyote


I’m sorry.  This coyote just cracks the shit up out of me.  Check his stumpy extremeties and the way everything is slightly off-kilter.

I tell you what, this is a coyote the Universe has gotten a hold of.  This is a coyote with some wisdom.  I’d recognize that fucked-up way the Universe has of leaving a person anywhere.


What I want to say is something about Zora Neale Hurston, living on Lafayette Street, just south of downtown, watching her brother’s business as he struggles to raise a family and go to medical school, clear up to Meharry. That’s not an easy commute, logistically, if you have a car. If you are going by buses, it must have taken forever. And if the back of the bus is already full? I sometimes wonder about the future Dr. Hurston, commuting across our fair city.

Mostly, I think about Zora Neale Hurston living an easy walk from Dr Jack Macon’s grave, Nashville’s most famous, all but forgotten root worker. A doctor so powerful white women forced the legislature to make an exception for him after he was freed. He could live here, in Nashville, and open up an office there on Front Street, what is now First Avenue, probably about where the Hard Rock Cafe is, which, presumably, meant that his office was in the back of someone else’s store.

Jack Macon’s grave is lost. It’s in the City Cemetery someplace, but where? No one knows.

Zora Neale Hurston’s grave was lost for a while, but Alice Walker found it.

Marie Leveau’s grave is empty. We learned that one hot summer when we were trying not to worry about the inexplicable spots on my mom’s lungs. She was resting in what little shade Madam Leveau’s grave provided, leaning against hundreds of brick red x-es clumped in threes. The sweat from her back soaked through her shirt and transferred the marks from the tomb to her back.

I didn’t notice at first. I was busy listening to the tour guide explain how bodies in New Orleans are put in the tombs and the hot summers tend to quickly turn the carcasses to ashes, so that, after a year or two, there’s nothing left of you, but a pile of dirt and some clumps of bones, which are pushed to the back of the tomb where you pile up with your ancestors until the rain water seeps in and carries y’all away. This makes room for more family.

There are very few bodies in those cemeteries at any given moment. Just a lot of memories of bodies.

It’s those memories you wish there were a way to capture. If you knew Dr. Hurston’s route to school, could you follow it? And, if you followed it, if you could put your feet right in his footprints, what would you know? Could you see, even dimly, through his eyes? Would you catch a glimpse of that famous world-walker standing in his kitchen, putting plates around the table? Would you see her as the woman willing to interrogate gods if that’s where her inquiries took her? Or would you see only your sister, wonderful, but ordinary?

If you were in the presense of a holy person, would you recognize it?

I ask only because I know as well as you that Marie Laveau’s grave is empty and that, even if it wasn’t, there’s a way to do things to get her attention, relationships that must be formed and maintained, or so they say.

And when my mom stepped away from the grave, red x-es marked all over her back, there was nothing extraordinary about that moment. It was what it was. No chills. No great calm. No healing voice from out of nowhere.

Still, my mom’s lung problems cleared up.

I don’t know.

There are lessons to be learned there, about how people desperately searching for healing sometimes don’t get it, and people who aren’t, do.

I’m not wise enough to draw them.


I’ve had pneumonia a half a dozen times or so in my life, which sucks, because my lungs are shot, but I was thinking of it this morning, how I would sit sideways on one of the dining room chairs and he would sit behind me and drum on my back with his hands to loosen the crap in my lungs.

My dad was a drummer growing up, back in an era when you held one stick like a chicken bone and the other stick rested across your palm, which was face up, so that the drumstick could bounce along like the needle on Pinocchio’s lie detector. This drumming talent meant that my dad could knock out crazy rhythms on my back as I sat there waiting to cough.

I had a friend in college who was mostly deaf and when you would ride in his car with him, he would turn the bass up so loud on his stereo that you could feel it through your whole body. He loved rap and dance music. Anything with a beat strong enough to shake him.

Being shaken by the beat is one of the most consistent memories of my childhood. I remember parade after parade, standing on the edge of the crowd and there would always be at least one marching band with a bass drum so loud that it kind of made me feel sick to my stomach, like my whole body was coming apart from the tension of that rhythm threatening to replace the rhythm of my own beating heart.

I would listen to albums of just drumming.

Check this:

Or this:

You’re not going to tell me it doesn’t blow your mind to think that from that we ended up here?

America, you drive me crazy. Some swirling giant mess of rhythm, the drum beats borrowed back and forth across cultures. Long forgotten gods called up and put into motion. Drawing lines, connection, ties that bind. Pulsing, pulsing, pulsing.

I don’t know. It’s hard not to love America, with his cocksure swagger, hat tilted just so on his forehead, and he’s buying you a beer, and he’s whispering in your ear, and he’s grabbing your hand, and he’s pulling you outside and you’re trying to catch your breath and you’re hoping he kisses you and you’re running your finger up the inside of his wrist and you feel the curdle of a scar and you hold his arm where you can see it, the antique burn marks from some old cigarette.

“Oh, America,” you say, a hitch in your voice, “What happened to you?”

And America leans in, that gleam in his eye, and whispers,

I says to myself, if a body can get anything they pray for, why don’t Deacon Winn get back the money he lost on pork? Why can’t the widow get back her silver snuffbox that was stole? Why can’t Miss Watson fat up? No, says I to my self, there ain’t nothing in it. I went and told the widow about it, and she said the thing a body could get by praying for it was “spiritual gifts.” This was too many for me, but she told me what she meant — I must help other people, and do everything I could for other people, and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself. This was including Miss Watson, as I took it. I went out in the woods and turned it over in my mind a long time, but I couldn’t see no advantage about it — except for the other people; so at last I reckoned I wouldn’t worry about it any more, but just let it go. Sometimes the widow would take me one side and talk about Providence in a way to make a body’s mouth water; but maybe next day Miss Watson would take hold and knock it all down again. I judged I could see that there was two Providences, and a poor chap would stand considerable show with the widow’s Providence, but if Miss Watson’s got him there warn’t no help for him any more. I thought it all out, and reckoned I would belong to the widow’s if he wanted me, though I couldn’t make out how he was a-going to be any better off then than what he was before, seeing I was so ignorant, and so kind of low-down and ornery.

“Oh, America, that’s not what I meant,” you say, wanting him just once to be straight with you.

“Pap,” he says, and he turns from you to light another cigarette. He talks, but not to you, “Pap he hadn’t been seen for more than a year, and that was comfortable for me; I didn’t want to see him no more. He used to always whale me when he was sober and could get his hands on me; though I used to take to the woods most of the time when he was around.”

And then you’re sorry you asked, and you wish you could take it back, but America doesn’t seem to notice. His mind is elsewhere.

Edited to add:  Mack just called me to ask what the fuck happened to this post and I’m going to tell you.  You know how you have those dreams where you open what you think is going to be a closet and it turns out to be a whole other wing of your house, only it’s not your house, it’s your friend Amanda’s, but it looks like your grandma’s?  That’s kind of what happened to this post.  I realized that America opening his mouth and having Huck Finn come out was bordering on something so aesthetically perfect and utterly pleasing to me that I kind of just didn’t know what to do with it.

I meant for it to be a post with a small point that I could easily wrap up and instead, it opened up into something I have to mull over for a while.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

The Recovering Baptist had playing last night the most beautiful rendition of my favorite hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” 

God, I just love that hymn.  I like how it’s all “Teach me some melodious sonnet” right at the point where it’s gone from all plod, plod, plod, plod to a more melodious moment.  I love how the longing in the hymn is just palpable.

And I think the last verse (at least the last verse in the Methodist hymnal–looking online I see that dear Robert Robinson did not know that one does not challenge the Wesleys for longest hymns in the hymnal.  Shit like that will get your hymn cut down to four verses so fast your head will spin.) is some of the most amazing poetry in hymnody.

Check this out:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

You can’t get that kind of complexity across in a praise hymn.  Shoot, I don’t even think you can fit that whole verse on an overhead projector.

I tease.

Sucks to Be My Dog

Y’all, it is 7:58 and I just got up, like, ten minutes ago.  My alarm goes off at 5:30.  My alarm was still going off at 7:48, but apparently whatever’s going on in the world is not interesting enough to raise the voices of the folks on NPR to the point where my tired brain will notice them.

I have to say, though, except for the nagging cough, I feel better than I have all week.

Still, I feel bad for the dog because this is day two of “B. neglects to take Mrs. Wigglebottom for a walk.”

Even You Can Help Make the World Safe for Young Feminists

So, tonight we went over the tentative schedule for Act Like a GRRRL!, discussed the amazing things our cooters can do when in the mood, and ate ice cream sandwiches.

I just want to state for the record that, even though my sexual repertoire consists mostly of trying not to choke to death on my own self and trying to refrain from calling up various folks and announcing “I’m having sex, right now.  Yes, with someone else!” I had intelligent things to say both about the G-spot and female ejaculation. 

So, that was nice.

Anyway, we’ve decided to put together a cook book of simple but yummy recipes and that’s where y’all come in.

Give me your greatest easy to whoop up dish that a teenager with little experience in the kitchen could manage.  And I will collect them and put them in a little handy booklet for the girls in Act Like a GRRRL!

If any of you have any questions about female ejaculate or your G-Spot, I guess we could try to cover that as well.

Ha, no, really, it hurts when I laugh, but damn the thought of a long discussion about food and sex just makes me happy.

Here, I’ll ask a question to get us started.  Ice cubes on your cooterial region.  Whose bad idea was that?  Or, maybe more appropriately, what am I doing wrong?  It seems like it should be all erotic and fun, what with the cold and the hard and the messing around down there, but I find it kind of painful and then you’re numb and then what’s the point?

Saving the World One Cooter at a Time

I’m off to have dinner with the folks who are putting together Act Like a GRRRL! this year.  I’m going to feed them cheese quesadillas and chips and queso.  And I am going to sing this little song:

I have a cooter

You have a cooter

We have cooters together!

All who have a cooter, all around the world, yes, we are girls, together.

At which point, my dad will sense the desecration of a perfectly fine hymn, but be unable to reach me, because I left my cell phone at home.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, as the evil villains say.

‘Foreign’ Invasion

Brittney’s asking all kinds of immigration related questions over at NiT and David Oatney’s hollering about how “The feds are supposed to enforce immigration law and protect us from foreign invasion, which this influx of illegal aliens certainly is.”

Y’all, nonsense like this makes me have to put my head down on my desk.  Just for a minute, just until it clears.

America, from 1535 to 1821, this was the vice-royalty of New Spain.  Please take a look and see just how much of the current United States was covered by this.  Everyone who was living in this area at that time was, by definition, as a subject of Spain, Spanish.  In fact, your family could have been sitting in St. Louis and been French, Spanish, French again, and then United-States-ian all without ever leaving your home.

My point is that, while people from Mexico can certainly be in this country illegally, calling them ‘foreigners’ seems to me to be so intellectually dishonest as to cause me a headache.  That a man from Juarez and a man from Dubuque are from two different countries now is a fluke of history.  These are not people who are foreign to us.  These are people whose histories are entwined with ours and have been since 1492.

Also, yes, there are actual bad guys who mean folks harm coming over from Mexico illegally, but by and large, the folks who come here are unarmed civilians who are just looking for work and a better quality of life.  Calling them a foreign invasion makes you look like some kind of histrionic reactionary who doesn’t actually understand what an invasion is.

Listen, I’m a bleeding heart liberal.  I’m always going to stand with the downtrodden against the powerful*.  The thing that bothers me about illegal immigration is that we, as a country, seem to want to put all of the blame on illegal immigrants.  Let’s round them up and ship them off to detention camps in Louisiana.  Let’s have the cops check them against a database every time they pop up on the radar of the police.  Let’s continue to use language that makes it seem like illegal immigrants are dirty, disease-ridden vermin who are invading our country and ruining it.

And all this does is make it harder and harder for undocumented workers to receive anything like justice.  As long as their employers know they’re here illegally, those employers own them.  They can pay them whatever they like and do with them what they like, because, should they be found out, the unbearable cost of being separated from their families is on the workers, not on the businesses that hire them.

This level of immigration reform ought to be so damn easy.  If you are here illegally, you should be given a chance to rectify that.  Come forward, prove you’re contributing to society (either because you have a job or because you’re raising a family), get in the system, make restitution of some sort, pay some damn fines, and get right with the government.

And yet, our overwhelming desire for vengeance–How dare these folks sneak in here and steal our jobs?–prevents us from dealing compassionately with people who are here because we have jobs for them.

It should be on corporations to not hire illegal immigrants.  If that’s the law, that’s the law.  And if they can’t police themselves and if the feds won’t, the solution is not to turn around and punish the folks who just want a job.

My point is that we keep acting like these people, who work with us, who worship with us, who eat with us, who drink at our bars, whose kids go to school with our kids, are not like us, that they’re “foreign” and invasive.  But they are us; they are here with us; they share history with us.

Fearing them as a horde is intellectually dishonest and doesn’t actually advance any discussion about immigration reform.


*I hope.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll get a little power someday and embarrass myself with my rapid descent into corporatism.

Fine, I’ll Admit It

I’m still fucking sick.  It’s probably the same damn crap I’ve had since the Super Genius’s wedding.  I just can’t shake it.

Mainly, I can’t breathe and it’s making me grouchy and it’s negatively affecting my time with Mrs. Wigglebottom because I don’t have any energy, because I can’t breathe, and so I haven’t been taking her for walks like I should, because I can’t breathe, and I’m at the point where I suspect that a long walk, no matter how slow, might do me some good, but I feel so crappy that I’d rather not.

Still, I keep telling myself that I feel better now than I did.  I’ve been leaving that time I felt worse vague and undefined so that I don’t have to face up to how long I’ve just been feeling kind of crappy.

Because sitting down and admitting to myself that I’ve felt like crap for a month and that I’ve been on and off sick since last fall begs the question, why don’t I go to the doctor?

America, I’m going to be honest with you.  I would rather be sick than go to the doctor.

I’ll give you three guesses why and the first two don’t count.

I’m sick.  From the feel of it, I might have a little bronchitis.  I read what’s going on in the Nashville blogosphere–a lot of people have had a touch of the crud all spring.

But if I go into the doctor, it’s going to turn into some giant lecture about how fat I am.  I know this because every trip to the doctor, my whole damn life, has been a lecture about how fat I am.

Yes, from the time I was old enough to be lectured to about being fat, I have, indeed, been lectured to about being fat.  I get it.  It’s unhealthy; it’s gross; I’m going to die early; no one will ever love me.  Every weight I’ve ever weighed has brought me that lecture.

I get it.  I suck.  I’m not trying hard enough.  Don’t I understand the health risks, etc. etc. etc.

Yes.  I am not stupid.  I have heard you from the time I weighed 50 pounds until now.

And yes, I am being stupid, but god damn it.  I’m just sick.  I just need some antibiotics and something to loosen up whatever’s sitting in my chest.  I don’t need the lecture about how I’m a failure as a person and as a woman that goes with me showing up in your office.

So, I’m not going.

I am thinking about hanging out near the hospital and mugging pharmaceutical reps, though.

The Revolution Goes On Without Me For the Evening

I skipped out on both things I was planning on doing this evening.  I didn’t go down and help Planned Parenthood piss and moan over the SCOTUS ruling and I didn’t go over to the women from work group.

Instead, I stayed at home and crocheted two feet and I’m going to finish this post and go to bed.

I didn’t go down to the Planned Parenthood thing basically because I just can’t bear it.  I’m pissed that we lost this battle.  Come the fuck on!

How hard is it to say, “This is a very rare procedure used only in the most tragic of circumstances where women end pregnancies they want very much.  As gruesome as this procedure seems, it is very safe for the woman and allows families a body to mourn over.  People who oppose this procedure, though well-meaning, are making the loss of a wanted child even more difficult.”  But we blew it.

Fine.  I can live with that.

It’s harder for me to live with Kennedy’s decision and I am furious and embarrassed for the people of this land who claim to love women who can sit by and just shrug their shoulders while Kennedy recodifies into Supreme Court opinion the idea that women’s minds are too changeable for us to be allowed to make decisions about ourselves.

That’s going to be a fun bit of language for us to have to fight from here on out.

I didn’t go have dinner with the women from work either, just because I’m feeling a little futile today.

I could be wrong.

Most days I feel like we’re so close, that if we can just get everyone to understand and agree that we have the right to decide what happens to our body, we can finish up this battle for equality.

And other days, I hear about a woman who’s my age, with five kids, who can’t afford daycare and so she stays at home while her husband works and he beats her but she won’t leave him because she’s Catholic and she’s scared to death of getting pregnant again, but she can’t control that with any certainty, and I just think there’s so much to be done and the doing of it is overwhelming.

It scares me, but I don’t see any other way but to continue.  Maybe what we’re doing isn’t enough.  Maybe it’s never enough and never going to be enough, but we’ve got to keep doing it anyway.

Just because the alternative is so much worse.

Regular Citizens v. Corporate Citizens

My spies in Memphis tell me that there is no longer news radio on FM during the day.  Okay, I don’t actually have spies (though, wouldn’t it be cool if I did?).  Shannon told me*.

We were talking about this at the progressive thing (the Tennessee Alliance for Progressives All Get Pissed at Mack For Shooting off His Big Mouth meeting or TAPAGPAMFSOHBM, for short), how we own the airwaves, as citizens of the United States, they’re part of our collective** holdings.

And yet, not only don’t we have the ability to access and use the airwaves how we’d like, we can’t count on anyone to provide us with stuff we need–like the news–if it doesn’t fit their profit expectations.  And we can’t count on our public officials to act in our best interests and to protect our public property (see the AT&T debacle).

What options do we have, then?

America, I’m sorry to tell you this, but we must return to Pump Up the Volume.  We must make peace with being a nation of hackers and pirates.  There are worse things.  But, I think, we must stop playing nice with giant corporations that don’t play nice with us.

That is why, I must say, I am deeply tickled to discover that one can can convert one’s iPod into a pirate radio station.


*Memphibians, you can write here to complain.

**Let us all pause and wait for someone to go check on Exador, who is probably horrified at the idea that he owns anything in common with anyone except his wife.  Is he choking for real or just gasping in outrage?

Car Rides to Creepy Places

I taught the Butcher to drive.  It seemed necessary after going through the process myself of learning to drive from my dad.  For those of you tough guys who think that learning anything from my dad must be a walk in the park, I suggest you borrow a crazed pit bull who is determined to get in the driver’s seat while someone is yelling, “Turn right.  Turn left.  Watch out for that car!  Break!  Break!  Oh my god, you idiot, are you trying to kill us?  We wear seatbelts in this family!” while your mom sits in the back saying, “Now, now, let’s just go ahead and start the car.  It will be better once the car is started.” and see how you fare.

No, if the Butcher was going to learn to be a good driver, he had to learn from anyone other than my dad.  And so, on Sundays, I would come home from work, climb into the passenger’s seat, and off we would go, just driving to be doing something.

I think my biggest disappointment driving around is that it always seems to me, at some point, like some new paradigm is just over the next hill, just around the next corner, and if only you could squint hard enough or look at the right moment, you might see something that would change your whole world.

I just want to go someplace creepy.  I’d rather be spending my afternoon doing that.  Sometimes, I can talk folks into getting in the car with me and going creepy places.  It’s been a long time, though.

Let’s reminisce about spooky stories. Here’s my favorite spooky thing that’s happened to me.

Ha, it’s Day of Disjointedness, I think.  Maybe I need more sleep.

Out of Sorts

One thing I like about the Shill is her ability to distill any pop culture phenomenon down to either its essense or the important lesson we should draw from it.

When we were in college, she would regularly remind me of the bit of wisdom contained in Bull Durham, which I’m going to get wrong, but I’ll try, which goes something like “The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.”

I would be slightly embarrassed for y’all to know how often I reflect on that line and contemplate its truth in order to calm myself down during bad times. No, I don’t fit in here and it does seem like folks ought to be able to see how crazy things are and fix them, but the world was not made for folks like me.

I used to worry that this made me a snob, but, upon rewatching Bull Durham one evening, I came to realize that everyone in that movie is kind of a dork and so it’s really just a matter of knowing what kind of dork you are and figuring out how to get by in the world based on that.

I should be writing.

I’m also a coward.

I think you knew both of those things AND I have to say that neither of those things makes me unique and that pisses me off.

I’m tired, bone tired, of my own nonsense.

I wonder if I could call in, say I’m taking the day off to take a nap and write a book.

I don’t know anything about writing books.

Of course, I didn’t know anything about writing plays, either.

So, there you go.

My soul itches like something’s trying to break through, but I’m late for work, so there you go, as well.

Turns out I have ‘ethnic hair’

I went back to the therapist today, who told me I have ‘ethnic hair.’ I don’t think that’s a clinical diagnosis, but this is the South, so, who knows?

I also bought my plane ticket to go see my play.  How amazing and yet awesomely fucked up is that?  If any of you out on the East Coast are interested in seeing what my haircut looks like in person, I’ll be out there July 6-9.

I’m making a coyote for Mack, just to see if I can.  Ooo, I could show y’all pictures.  Hold on.

I’m really tickled by how cute he’s turning out.

Here’s him from the front.


And here’s a side view, where you can see his stubby tail.


I’m working on the arms and legs now.

I just used the teddy bear pattern and made some slight modifications, so that the coyote has pointy ears, a pointy muzzle, and a pointy tail.  Easy enough modifications, which I think just goes to show how nice that bear pattern is.  It’ll turn you out some good bears and it’s flexible.

Unchecked Power is Not Your Reward for Being Elected

I’m still fuming over watching the East Tennessee Conservatives, especially David Oatney, rake Coble over the coals (and question her religious sincerity) because she dares point out that Stacey Campfield is an elected official and, as such, has still to follow the rules of the State and Country and can’t just do whatever the hell he wants and never get called on it.

Unchecked power is not your reward for being elected.

Sadly, the amount of folks who don’t understand this is not limited to the meaner portions of the East Tennessee conservative bloggers.  Check this story.  Finally, Wiccans who serve and die for their country will be able to have a pentacle, an important religious symbol to them, on their gravestones.

Why, when thirty-eight other religions have their symbols represented did Wicca not?

Americans United’s attorneys uncovered evidence that the VA’s refusal to recognize the Pentacle was motivated by bias toward the Wiccan faith. President George W. Bush, when he was governor of Texas, had opposed the right of Wiccans to meet at a military base in that state. Bush’s opinion of Wiccans was taken into consideration when making decisions on whether to approve the Pentacle. [emphasis mine]

Hello, America?  Are you made of idiots? George Bush is a powerful man, yes, but he is the President of the United States; he’s not the king; he’s not the supreme dictator.  It doesn’t matter if George Bush personally hates Wiccans; you don’t get to take that into account when deciding whether to approve their religious symbol for use.  He’s just the President.  He’s not guaranteed a country in which he will never encounter anything he finds unpleasant or offensive.

Anyway, congratulations to the Wiccans.

Who Will Be the East Tennessee Torquemada?

Y’all, the Conservative Soap Opera has exploded into incredible ugliness.

I have a two-fold guess as to what the problem is.  1. I don’t think East Tennessee conservative bloggers are very familiar with the U.S. Constitution nor with how representative government works.  They seem to believe that it is elected officials’ jobs to run around imposing morality on us evil folks and punishing political opponents who step out of line, but when anyone who complains about having morality imposed on them or being punished, they immediately retreat to the “Well, he’s not your Rep.  Who are you to complain about the laws he tries to pass?”  With a straight face, y’all, they say that will a straight face, like a politician can try to pass whatever laws he wants that might affect you in whatever negative way but you can’t complain because he’s representing your district.  I’m sorry.  That makes me laugh so hard, I just about can’t stand it.  2.  Well, it’s not really a second point, so much as a slight illumination of a facet of my first point.  David Oatney says to Coble, “I am glad you are a devout Christian. I hope this devotion is a prayerful one that leads to the changes in worldview that a true conversion experience inevitably brings about.”  Y’all, I’m sorry.  This had me crying I’m laughing so hard.  Katherine Coble, who has done more than just about anyone I can think of here in Nashville to convince pagan and atheist Lefties that a Conservative, Pro-Life, Christian woman has a voice and a point of view worth considering and taking to heart, is having her religious conviction questioned by a man who is in that thread such a bad example of what Christianity is I felt actual relief knowing that there’s no chance I will share eternity with him?  Hilarious.

I’m sorry.  Hi-larious.

I’d be on the floor laughing about it, except that just when I’m ready to give myself over to a full-throated guffaw, I remember that they actually have access to folks in the halls of power and that tends to sober me right back up.