Internet Craft Project

So, I have this idea.  I want a woo-woo creepy artsy thing to put in my room with my other woo-woo creepy artsy stuff.  I want to take a picture of me looking sufficiently creepy and some moon and stars and sun and I don’t really know what all else and decoupage it onto a board and sand everything down a little so that it looks sufficiently worn and stain it all a kind of antique brown.

And then, of course, hang it in my room.


I Think I’m With the Police on this One

If your dog bites a police officer, chances are that your dog is going to get shot.  That’s unfortunate, but that’s a fact of life.  If you don’t want your dog to get shot by the police or you want to have a credible way to dispute the police officer’s account of what happened, keep your dogs in the house where you can control them and witness the police’s behavior.

Knoxviews has a post this morning about a Knoxville police officer who shot a pitbull that bit him.  It just got me thinking that you could almost make a checklist for these kinds of incidents.

1.  “Pitbull” as a term used very loosely to mean “scary dog of terrier extraction.”

2.  Intact male.

3.  Dog unsupervised outside.

4.  Dog chained up unsupervised outside.

5.  Inadequate shelter for dog.

6.  Owners of dog insists dog is friendly and no one has reason to be afraid of dog and yet owner seems to have taken great lengths to ensure dog

a.) appears scary

b.) absolutely cannot get off chain

7.  Owners involved, even tangentially, in illegal activities.

Shall we check this incident against the list?

1.  Eighty-five pounds?  Short legs?  Thick fur on his chest and upper body?  Didn’t we just used to call those junkyard dogs?  Please, this is a pit bull in the sense of it being a large dog of terrier extraction.

2.  That appears to be a testicle peaking out in the picture of Kobe.

3.  Yep

4.  Check

5.  Plastic hut does not cut it.  Other than keeping the rain off them, what does that do?

6.  Look at the size of that chain.  Kobe was supposed to be a scary dog.  Is anyone surprised when he acted like a scary dog?

7.  Appears so.

I only have one quibble with CBT over at Knoxviews.  S/he* says “I sometimes feel sorry for responsible pit bull breeders and owners who treat their dogs with proper care. These dogs are more aggressive by nature, but so are other breeds.”

Sing along with me, folks, “Pit bull is not just a breed, it’s a type, and a job description.”  “Pit bulls” when you look at the number of bites and attacks they’re responsible for and then consider how many breeds of dogs (and mutts) which get called pitbulls and average them out, they’re not biting or attacking more people than other dogs their size with similar temperaments.

It’s like this.  Say you were tracking girl bites.  You noticed that Susans bit 6 men a year on average.  LaTonyas bit 5.  Marias bit 10.  Jennifers bit 15.  And Phillipses bit 60.

Well, damn, it would look like us Phillips women were problem biters.  But, if you consider that there are twenty different women all considered Phillipses, the numbers start to look different.  Bs might bite 10 folks a year.  As might bite 12.  Cs might bite one.  Ds might bite 20.  In other words, if you counted us the same as you’re counting everyone else, you’d find our behavior is very similar.

But because we’re convinced that it’s the Phillipses who are the problem, we count them in a way that reconfirms their problem status.

I believe it was Say Uncle that pointed this out–I’m going to give him credit for it any way–more than breed, more than training, more than upbringing, the one overarching consistancy in dog attacks is the dogs are usually unneutered males.

That’s a problem that’s easy enough to solve.

Fix your dogs, folks.

*Yes, I did use that formation just to annoy you.

I’m Mad at the Dog, Too, Even Though It’s Not Her Fault

The dog has a collar that looks like this:


If you open it from one end, it closes again very easily.  If you open it from the other end, it is a bitch to get closed.

The Redheaded Kid is notorious for opening and closing the wrong end of the collar.

Fine, you’d have to be a really ungrateful bitch to complain about how your friends take your dog out, especially friends who have shown such a willingness to dogsit in the past.

But folks, check this out:


I know it’s blurry, but you have to appreciate that it’s hard for me to focus when my fingernail has just been half torn off way down in the pink.

The whole thing needs to come off, there’s no two ways about it, because it’s just going to continue to get snagged on things and hurt even worse, but, though you can’t see it, the crack is like a sideways Y with the prongs being to our right.  If I pull it off, I don’t know how I can guarantee that the nail will continue to break along the top prong, which would be very unpleasant, but at least appear to be going to the other side of the nail, or if it would take the bottom prong, which is headed deeper in.

Most of all, I wish I had cut my nails yesterday when I was thinking about it. 

Blah, Blah, Blah, I Have the Travelling Blahs

I’m getting anxious about my trip.  It’s not a big deal, just the usual nerves about going away.  I’ll be fine once the get going gets going.  I’m just trying to distract myself until then, but so far it’s going kind of crappily.

Is crappily a word?  It doesn’t matter.  Spellcheck on this computer doesn’t work, so I guess I can call it a word if I want.

Heard from an old married man today.  It’s funny how things you thought were so charming once upon a time seem kind of sad a decade later.

I Clearly Have Spent Too Much Time Looking at Porn

If there’s one thing the internet will teach you, it’s that, if you have specific enough search terms, you can find just about any type of body doing anything you can think of to any other type of body.

Shoot, I spend most nights perusing sights that specialize in BSDM comics where a cute liberal girl pegs “unwilling” libertarian boys while those boys are wearing only kilts and have honey (or perhaps sweetened rosewater) smeared all over their manly chests. And I have about eight thousand of those sites to choose from.

And so, I feel compelled to ask, is “being thought of as desirable” different than “being desired”?

I think it must be and yet, how fucked up that being desired doesn’t always do much to assure us women that we are thought of and should think of ourselves as being desirable.

Via Kactus this morning, I learned about this site, adipositivity, which has, as its mission, “Trying to change attitudes about the aesthetic validity of big women, one fat fanny at a time.”

I’ve also been checking out Bessie Lee Mauldin (see here and here) because it just drives me crazy with delight to think of her, that dumpy blonde, as someone’s lover.  I mean, shoot, look at her and know that’s what a lover looks like.  It makes me want to take up a clandestine romance right now, just so that folks can gossip about me being someone’s lover.

Promise me, folks, if you’re going to gossip about me, you will say, “Oh, you know, Aunt B. is his/her lover.”

Ha, I got all sidetracked by Bessie Lee.  Um.  Where was I?

Yes, okay, the aesthetic validity of big women.  I want to call that “being thought of, even by yourself, as desirable.”  You look in the mirror and you’re like, “Oh, yeah, look at this curve, that soft spot, these tits, that ass.  Who would not want that?”

Does seeing pictures of women looking desirable help that?  I kind of feel like it does, but I don’t know.

But then does seeing pictures of fat women being fucked help that?  I don’t know.

Here’s the thing.  It’s not as if there aren’t pictures of fat women being desirable or having that desire consummated out there.

What we want, I think, is more complicated than that and it’s not something you can see in “aesthetic” pictures, though you can see it in porn; we want assurance that the gaze that falls on us will desire us.  For straight women, then, it’s not how we look that’s the whole issue; it’s whether what we look like elicits from the people we desire desire in return.

If a photo shows the face of the person who potentially wants to fuck us (us being the women who identify with the women in the pictures), it’s clear whether he is motivated by our or his own humiliation or by real desire  Once we’ve been assured that the woman looks attractive, I think it’s easier to settle down and enjoy what we’re seeing, two.  But if the women are being humiliated, it’s nearly impossible.

But in these photos?  Who knows?

And, as Twisty often says, do we want to even be in that type of contest, let alone trying to win it?

In Which I Try to Be Intellectually Honest

I don’t think marriage is the default best configuration for raising children.  I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to say that out loud, but I’m going to say it.

I don’t think marriage, as we sell it to people, is even a very good way for grown-ups to live.

That colors my discussion with Martin Kennedy and it’s not fair of me to not put all my cards on the table when he’s trying to put his (even though we’ve been giving him grief for doing it).

Families should be safe and nurturing places for everyone in them.  People should feel protected, supported, and free.  They should be safe.

I could start a list right now of every woman who I’ve heard dispare over how little her husband does compared to her in terms of keeping house and taking care of the children and just doing the emotional work of being present at home when he’s home and we’d still be here tomorrow.

At the same time, I could start a list of every woman I know who is married to a guy who doesn’t really have a job that could support him, let alone them, and who doesn’t seem the least bit concerned that he’s doing the equivalent of having moved back home with his parents, except he gets laid regularly.

And I could tell you stories about the men I know who are, in their hearts, done being married, but are afraid of leaving their kids unsupervised with their wives or the men who work full time and come home to find the wife and kids still in their pajamas in front of the TV, where they were when he left that morning.

My point is that, when I look around, I see a shit-ton of marriages in which one person feels (and I know you never know what goes on inside a marriage), and it looks that way from the outside, that they’re kind of in it by themselves.

Who wants that?

This is not to mention the bigger issues–the outragiously high number of kids who are molested by family members, the physical and emotional abuse, etc.–that far too many of us went through or witnessed.

It’s nice to believe that marriage is some cure-all for social ills–that it makes kids safer, that it makes men manlier, and that it fulfills women’s every need–and that if we just encourge people to get married, everything will be hunky-dory*.  But I don’t see it.

I literally look at all the married folks I know and I just don’t see that their lives are better or easier than mine.  I don’t think that I’m biased against marriage.  I have a hard time imagining being married–I’m old and I’m stuck in my ways and it’s not like folks are lining up–but I like the idea.  I like to imagine what it would be like to have someone who chose to be on my side at my side when I got home from work and what it would be like to watch that person grow old next to me.

That seems like a deep honor, for someone to share that with you.

But I don’t think you can blame folks for looking around and saying, “I don’t see how being married puts me in any better position than not being married.”  If marriage is such a great cure-all for the world’s ills, you’d not see only half of adults choosing to be in one and you’d not see half of marriages fail.

I want people to form loving families, where folks feel safe and taken care of and able to take care of the people they love.  If a man and a woman can do that through marriage, more power to you.  I will gladly dance at your wedding.  If a woman and a woman can do that through moving in with one woman’s brother and his son, Merry Christmas!  If two men, a father to one of those men, a baby they adoped, and a friendly neighbor can do it, great. 

Will gay marriage change marriage?

I think that, in some ways, it will.

But here’s what I remember and keep in my heart.  I remember being a suicidal fifteen year old in a town small enough to walk across who hated her life at every minute and who felt unsafe at school and less safe at home.  And I remember hearing about AIDS for the first time and reading about these families who were turning their backs on their sons, because having AIDS pretty much meant that you could not pretend you weren’t gay.  And I remember reading over and over again about these folks who had lost their families talking about moving to more gay-friendly confines and searching out and finding folks to be their families.

They made their own families.

You can go out in the world and find good people who love you and who want good things for you and you can make real, deep emotional connections to them, and they can be your family, if the one you have doesn’t work for you.

Forget everything else gay culture has given us; we’re blessed just by that notion.

And gay marriage?

If everyone had the idea that you marry the person you love, regardless of his or her ability to give you children, regardless of his or her ability to conform to gender norms, if you just go out and find someone you love and want to be with and want to take care of and can’t wait to fuck, and marry that person, that would be revolutionary.

It would change what marriage means to most people.

Obviously it would.

I believe it would change it for the better, though.

I can’t wait to dance at those weddings either.

*Hmm, that’s a phrase one wonders about its origins.  I already had to give up honyak.  Am I going to have to give up hunky-dory, too?  One doesn’t normally think of the Hungarians as being folks widely disparaged against, but I’m starting to suspect that all the nonsense words I learned as a child used to be words that made fun of Hungarians.  Explain that to me, people.

What Scholars Owe Each Other

An acquaintance I like a great deal is working on a country music book, has been for years and this person thought they’d found a publisher for it, but it turns out the publisher decided not to do it, even though it had two good reviews (and one negative one).  This person is concerned that there might be a small but significant faction of folks who’ve decided the project is stupid not because the project is stupid, but for political reasons.

This makes me sad because, right now, there are maybe four university presses who publish country music scholarship consistantly–Illinois, Oxford (kind of), North Carolina, and Mississippi (kind of).  That’s right.  The word on the street is that Kentucky is out of the music book publishing business.  And I’ll politely decline to comment on the local situation.

I know publishers have been asking themselves where the young country music scholars are, who’s doing good scholarship, and whether it behooves presses to continue to publish country music books now that Charles Wolfe is dead and his contemporaries are all retiring.

What a bad time for in-fighting!  If ever there was a time when you wanted to project to presses that good work is being done, now’s it.

That’s one thing about the Hispanists.  They write thoughtful readers’ reports and even when they can’t recommend publication, they tend to give good and meaningful advice about how a project might be redeemed through revision.  Even though the field is relatively small, the impression they give outsiders is that vibrant, vital work is being done in the field.

Not so with the country music scholars.  I imagine that, if the country music scholars are splitting into camps, it’s out of some sense of loyalty to somebody or other and, at one level, I respect that.  On the other level, though, I feel like I’m watching a slow suicide.

Country music has so much to tell us about ourselves, especially as rural folks, and white folks, and the kinds of folks who feel the Coasts are aligning against them.  You would think this would be a fertile field to harvest from, year after year, even if the group of folks willing to farm it is small.

I don’t know what it is.  I was talking to NM’s husband the other week and he was talking about the split in country music journalists, how some folks understand country music journalism as being just an extention of the labels’ PR machines, and how that makes it hard for journalists who really want to write stories about artists and music, because you can set up an interview thinking that you’re doing a story story and when the story comes out, you’ve got all kinds of angry folks from the label because they thought you were doing old-fashioned Nashville journalism.

I can’t help but wonder if that split is there in country music scholarship as well.  Maybe not that same split, but a similar kind of split.  Are you going to tell the story you find or are you going to tell back to folks the story they’re used to hearing?  And isn’t that Pete Peterson’s whole thing?  Authenticity and commercialism–the driving forces behind country music, twined and entwined until you can’t tell one from the other.

It’s hard to talk about country music, I think.  On the one hand, we like to pretend like it’s so easy we don’t need to bother with it, so we can focus on the performers instead.  On the other hand, the folks who really get it, who sit down wiht the music and know it inside and out and who can then turn around and talk about the song itself, those folks are very rare.  As far as I know, Heartaches by the Number, Bill and David’s book, is the only book-length attempt at such an endevour.  And they’re not scholars.

We lost something greater than Charles when Charles died, I think.  It’s like we lost the idea that country music scholarship was worth doing and worth supporting, even when people we don’t personally like are doing it.

It’ll come back, that notion.  I believe that.

But until it does, I guess we’re relying on journalists to keep things going.

Which is a shame, because journalism and scholarship are not the same tasks.

Criminalizing Miscarriages

Via Rachel over at Women’s Health News comes the story of a dead fetus and the police department that loves it.  This is what it’s come to, ladies.  If the police find evidence of your personal tragedies, they will hunt you down and demand you justify to them your behavior during said tragedy.

I mean, please, what crime do they think has been committed here?  That’s clearly bullshit.  They found something they consider weird and they feel they have the right to find the woman who produced it and demand she give an accounting of herself.

I just cannot wait for the anti-abortionists to turn this into Communist Romania where we all have to take pregnancy tests each month, abortions are illegal, and each miscarriage is investigated as a possible murder.  That will be good fun.

Conservatives: For a Government Small Enough to Sneek into Your Bedroom

Courtesy of Lil’ P, we learn that Martin Kennedy sees nothing funny about nor even particularly wrong with a self-hating gay man passing legislation that deliberately curtails the rights of other gay people.

I will let those of you who are married without children explain to Martin how deep in bullshit he stands when he says, “Extending the benefits of marriage to those who can not procreate renders marriage an arbitrary relationship.”   I, instead, ask you readers to consider the following:

Who better than Larry Craig to appreciate that allowing gays to serve openly in the military could be problematic?  A gay person’s right must be balanced with concern regarding the unique mission of the military – to fight and win wars.  Who better than Larry Craig to appreciate that gay marriage is not the same thing as traditional marriage?  The state has a keen interest in the state of the family.

I’m sorry.  I wish I had astute analysis but I’m too busy laughing.  Seriously, this is ludicrous.  It’s like there’s a huge fabulous pool we might call “Homosexual America” and all the folks who are in the pool are having a grand ole time, they just wish they had a diving board like the folks at the “Heterosexual America” pool.  Now let’s say that, for some reason, the folks at the Heterosexual America pool are the ones in charge of doling out the diving boards and, for some reason, they refuse to give the folks at the other pool one.  The folks in the pool are all “Hey, we’d really like one.”   The folks in the straight pool are split, but most folks believe, for some reason that giving the gays a diving board would somehow ruin their diving board.

And who do straight people like Kennedy turn to for guidance about this?  Not the vast majority of gay people who are openly in the pool and openly having a good time.  No, he turns to the fucked-up dudes who are standing in the bushes, peering through the fence at the gay pool, throwing rocks at the cute boys, trying to get their attention.

That is hilarious to me.

Reason Number 542 I Cannot Take PETA Seriously

They don’t like Bonsai Kitten.  And so, even though they acknowledge that “no kittens were actually harmed,” they want you to sign a petition to get the site taken down.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has so little to do with its time, apparently, that they’ve now taken up for imaginary animals.

In that spirit, folks, I ask you to boycott anything called “St. George’s,” since glorifying that terrible, cruel dragon killer only serves to promote the idea that killing dragons is appropriate behavior for men.

Oh, AP, You Tickle Me

Lil’ P reports on this hilarious line from the AP:

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a divorced, billionaire dad, said Tuesday that unwed fathers increase poverty and the government should take steps to get them back with their families.

Oh, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Bless Lil’ P’s heart, he doesn’t even give you the most sexist line of the piece (but, of course, I will), when Bloomberg says, “‘Fathers have been missing from the table,’ said the mayor, a divorced father of two who made a fortune creating an eponymous financial data firm. ‘We have to do more to connect fathers to jobs and to their families.'”  [emphasis mine]

Yes, you can ditch a woman and kids and skip out on child support, but as far as Bloomberg is concerned, that family belongs to you.  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.


You want to be a part of a family, you act like a part of a family.  You don’t have to be married–in fact, I think getting married just because you’re having a baby often compounds the problem, especially if you’re young–but you have to be there and pay your share.

A “dad” is not some name on a piece of paper.  A dad is the dude who’s there when the chips are down and who is fighting for you.

Does the system need to be reformed?  Yes it does.  The Butcher and I know a ton of people back home who have kids with their significant other but are intentionally not getting married because they can get more money single than they can together.  I don’t think there should be a marriage benefit–I don’t think you should get more money for being married–but you also shouldn’t be penalized.

So, fine, but, at the end of the day, those men are not the men Bloomberg is talking about.  They’re still a part of the family unit.  They’re just scamming the system.  If those men married their babies’ mammas, it would not reduce poverty because they haven’t not been contributing to the family.

Here’s my question.  Why would we try to encourage men who refuse to contribute to families they helped start to marry back into those families?  Never mind the problem with just ignoring whether the woman wants the man in her life in the first place, he has, by the very act of withholding child support, proved that he’s an evil jerk who doesn’t put his children’s welfare above his own needs.  What makes Bloomberg think that being married would reform him?

Do all poor women have magical cooters?  If we can just keep bad boys in them long enough, eventually they’ll be transformed into good fathers?

And what are you going to do with the men who have five kids by five different women?  Or even two kids by two different women?

What if the man’s still single but the woman has married someone else?

And, not to ask the stupidest question, but how, if he’s poor and she’s poor, is getting married going to magically make them not poor?

Seriously, is there some Harry Potter shit that politicians know about that the rest of us don’t?

God, That Michelle Malkin is Such a Lee

Lee says:

Calling a man ‘girly’ isn’t insulting to women, no more than calling a woman ‘manly’ is insulting to men.

It’s insulting towards the person who is being called the term, and really isn’t that nice. But it is not the disparagement of an entire gender to do so.

I have but one question for my charming conservative reader, if I started using “Lee” as a disparaging term to mean “a girl who acts like a cute, but bullheaded Republican man,” would you for a second buy this nonsense that it wasn’t a disparagement of you?

Listen, I’m not going to wait around to bust balls every time a man calls other men ‘girly,” but when men write posts about how men should be respectful of women and then turn around and use “girly” as an insult towards men who are disrespectful of women…in the very same post…

God damn, how can I pass up the opportunity?

Lee, imagine an analogous situation.  Say that you walked out on your front lawn tomorrow and found Ted Kennedy passed out drunk, maybe even with a picture of Marilyn Monroe in one hand and a Bill that would stiffen the penalties for killing someone while driving drunk.  Could you not write about that?


Sometimes you see an easy shot, you’ve got to take it.

Sean Braisted, If I Had Not Just Gotten Out of One Sham Marriage, I Would Totally Sham Marry You

Sean Braisted  says:

Dave, while good at dispensing advice such as “eat rice and beans” and “don’t buy stuff you don’t need”, isn’t exactly a public policy expert. Ramsey is the quintessential wealthy Williamson County Republican who thinks Social Security, et al, are just socialist schemes which take away from the duties of the Church.

Those sentences made me laugh so hard I had to run over here and tell y’all about them, especially the “socialist schemes which take away from the duties of the Church.”  Brilliant.

My Magical Cooter

The longer I read conservative bloggers, the more convinced I become in their belief that my cooter has magical properties.

I could, for example, not want to have a baby, but, if only the State could coerce me into passing a baby through my cooter, it would transform me into good mother who would be grateful to have a child and who would never neglect or mistreat it.

And a male, if forced by the State to profess loyalty to my cooter, might transform from a boy into a man (see the post Carter links to).

I can’t help but wonder what other things might be made better or more wholesome by a State-sanctioned trip through my cooter.  Might my hands now have healing properties I’ve not discovered?  I’ve just been throwing my tampons out.  What if they have the ability to cure cancer? If the State legislated that I stick pencils and pens for school children up there, would we do better on standardized tests?

A girl wonders.

Martin Kennedy, I Cannot Believe I Have to Explain this to You

There may come a time when you have to kill a dog.  Here are a list of acceptable ways to do so:

1.  Take it to the vet and have it put down.

2.  Shoot it, preferably in the back of the head.

Here are just a few unacceptable ways of killing dogs, as taken from Michael Vick’s indictment:

1.  Drowning

2.  Hanging

3.  Slamming to the ground

Perhaps you disagree.  You say, “Dogs were killed, though I don’t think there was any outright torture in the sense that humans engaged directly in inflicting pain for pleasure.  Rather, they killed dogs to put them out of their misery or because the dog was no longer performing well.”  And yet, when I read the indictment, it says, “In or about April of 2007, Peace, Phillips and Vick executed approximately eight dogs that did not perform well in ‘testing’ sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road by various methods, including hanging, drowning and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground.”

What kind of dogs need “testing”?  Not dogs that are “no longer performing well.”  No, dogs that haven’t been fought.  What kinds of dogs would a dog breeder have on hand that haven’t been fought?

Young dogs.

Dogs small enough that you can still kill one by slamming it to the ground.

There is no excuse for drowning, hanging, or slamming any young dog to the ground in order to kill it.  You do that because it amuses you to have power over something helpless.  If you were attempting to end its life in a humane manner, if you couldn’t take it to the vet, you could shoot it.

Acting as if this is no big deal, or as if people can’t be outraged both by dog fighting and by cruelty towards women is just ludicrous.  Also, please note, if you want to pretend like you care about women, please do not, in that very post, use the term “girly” as an insult towards men.  Your female readers will notice and suspect you’re not being honest with us or yourself.  You cannot love women and think that being like one is an insult.

It’s just not possible.

If you don’t really think that being like a woman is an insult, break yourself of the habit of using “girly” as one.


The Girly Aunt B.

Satanic Panics

Okay, Bridgett, I have totally failed to come up with relevant questions about witchcraft, but here’s what’s been nagging me.  In the book I’m reading, it’s kind of clear that the definition of “witch” can be as loose as “someone who’s in league with the devil,” whether or not they practice magic.

And it’s clear that we’ve had a few good Satanic panics in our time–from the “satanists run my nursery school” to “satanists play all the music my kids like.”

I wonder if we can look at the kinds of anxieties reflected in the satanic panics of the witchcraft scares and if we see similar anxieties in our own times?  I think we do.

If we see heavy metal as appealing primarily to young poor white boys, we see that same anxiety about poor people, the same anxiety about proper male-to-male inheritance (how can you leave what you have to a satanist, after all, and still preserve God’s order?).  And with the day cares, again, it seems like you might read that as “See what happens, moms, when you work outside the home?  Satanists molest your babies.”

What do you think?

Madras Bhavan

For those of you who knew about that nice little Indian Buffet on Church that seemed to disappear, well, it’s back.  And it is amazing.  Seriously, the food is the best Indian food I’ve ever had.  Each thing had about three flavors.  Let’s take the chicken tandoori.  First, you’d taste the kind of pinky-pinkness and then the tender chicken and then, at the last second, a hint of cinnamon.  Cinnamon!  It’s the perfect spice for that dish.

And they had this rice that looked like confetti.

And they had something, I don’t know what, but it was brown on the outside, kind of yellowy on the inside and covered in warm honey.  When I am Queen of All, I will take baths in that.  It’s that decadent.

I’ve always kind of been ambivalent, leaning towards positive about Indian food, but this was so good that I have decided that I like it.

I give it five Brown Things Covered in Warm Honey out of five.

Schoolgirl Crushes

I think one of the reasons I’m a good blogger–okay, fine, a great blogger, the best blogger you read–is that I have and have had for as long as I can remember, a running interior monologue that just don’t really shut the fuck up, which I have channelled, in part, into this.

Seriously, if you ever ask me, “What are you thinking about?” and I say, “Nothing,” frankly, I’m lying.

What am I thinking about?  Well, either my mind has wandered a million miles away and I’m thinking about driving around the Delta or camping or George Bush or something that has nothing to do with our day, or I’m probably thinking about what it would be like to have sex with you.


Well, it’s not just because you’re hot, it’s because, I think, a person can live in their head or they can live in the world, but it’s very hard to find the right balance between the two of those (and I imagine it’d be very different for everyone–what that balance is) and I have spent most of my life living in my head–for all kinds of reasons. (For instance, this weekend, I caused egg to be spilled all over the floor and it was a huge mess and I realized, as I stood there kind of paralyzed, that I was waiting to be, at the least, yelled at… okay, honestly, I was waiting to see if I’d be hit.  That’s so fucked up.  I’m embarrassed to admit that.  Let’s just let that stand as an explanation and not talk about it.  My point is that I’m kind of awkward in the world in ways that have been unpleasant for me and so I think it’s easy enough for me to just retreat into my head.)

I’d like not to live completely in my head.  I have a body that, while no means perfect, is fun for me and it feels good to be in it, moving around in a world that doesn’t actually hurt me regularly.  For the most part, days are beautiful; life is short and I want to be in it and present in it.

So, I spend a lot less time living in my head than I used to.  I meditate, to learn to quiet that voice, for one.  And for two, I force myself to get out there in the world and do things I’d rather not (and when I say that, understand that those are often perfectly pleasant things).

I think the voice in my head uses the lure of thinking about sex to entice me back into my head.  There I am, having ice cream with you and we’re talking feminist theory or talking about getting tattoos, and randomly, I start thinking about running my lips along the curve of your shoulder.

It doesn’t mean that I want to stop being your friend and take up as your lover.  It doesn’t mean that I’m waiting around for you to realize how much you want me in return.  I don’t think it means much at all, other than that some part of me wants me to be more present in my head than there with you–and that’s kind of an effective way to do it, because who doesn’t like to think about sex?

I don’t know.  I guess I just thought that this is how it is for everyone.  You meet people; you like them; you’re friends with them.  Some part of you is all “And be sure to pack your sexy pajamas so that when you get to Boston [or the town of your choice] you can seduce the Divine Ms. B [or the friend of your choice]” and the grown-up part of you has to be all “What the fuck?  No, that’s our friend.  I don’t really like him or her that way.”

Bleh.  This seemed clearer in my head when I was walking the dog, but I reread it and I see that it’s a mess.  Can we sum it up in three questions?  Let’s see:

1.  Isn’t everyone running around wondering what it would be like to fuck everyone else?  (Shoot, for instance, I met the Blue Collar Muse and his wife once and was all–“Four kids, really?  They must know what they’re doing.  I wonder if I could seduce them both…”  As if I’d ever knowingly sleep with a Republican. WTF?  But there you go.)

2.  Isn’t it fine as long as you don’t mistake it for meaning anything more than that?

3.  Is it stupid for me to even be wondering about this?

They Were the Best of Duplexes; They Were the Worst of Duplexes

So, both sets of duplexes that Mrs. Wigglebottom and I have been watching take shape over the course of our morning walks appear to be done.

I can only judge from the outside. But judge I must. 509 & 511 Acklen Park are on the market for $699,000 a piece. Though they are cuter than the ones they put up last year, I must point out two things.

1. 509 Acklen Park has a silver vent stuck right on the front of it. If the link works, you can see it clearly in this picture. Yes, spend seven hundred thousand dollars to have a vent stuck right on the front of your house. I mean, if that doesn’t say “My architect is kind of a moron” I don’t know what does. But also, check out the brick. See how nice it is?

2. 511 Acklen Park has its beautiful brickwork covered by a thin layer of plaster, which, if you see how nice the brick looks, you’d immediately want to have sand-blasted off. Believe me, this picture actually makes it look better than it does in real life, and that picture makes it look like someone has done a crappy job of frosting the house in butter cream.

$699,000 to live in our neighborhood. Folks, I don’t even know what to tell you. When I first moved to my neighborhood, the big houses along Murphy Road were only commanding $250,000-$300,000. $699,000 to share a foundation with someone.

I couldn’t find a listing for the duplex on Theresa (402 Theresa, I believe), but from the outside, these are cute as hell. First, they fit the scale of the neighborhood a lot better (because, let’s face it, we all know the first part of the above-discussed condo development doesn’t appear to be full and the next phase hasn’t begun and shoot, even the “for rent” signs are staying up longer and longer, so if you buy your $700,000 duplex, it’s going to be years before the neighborhood is full of other $700,000 duplexes, if it ever is, and not working class tiny Monopoly houses). Second, they’re a style that tickles me–part Prairie/part Pagoda. They’re a kind of faded John Deere green with corn-gold highlights and dark reddish wood trim.

Just darling as hell.

The only misstep visible from the outside is that the roof has, visually, a lot of weight and the poles at the back corners of the house are a little thin in consideration of that. Otherwise, everything about it from the outside says “Don’t you want to imagine yourself living here?”

I’ll be interested to see what they hit the market at and how quickly they sell, because, frankly, that seems to me a more realistic vision for how our neighborhood is going to gentrify.

Edited to Add:  I give you 402 Theresa.  Yes, mid-200s which is insane, but less, far less insane than 700.  I’m just jealous that I will never own a home and certainly never be able to pay a quarter of a million dollars for one.  On the other hand, this is a lot of space for $250, considering that just the other side of I-440, they’re paying that for lofts.

I Learn About Corporate Personhood the Hard Way

Sorry I was out of pocket yesterday. I got married.

It was very unexpected. I’m not pregnant or anything, just this guy I’ve been in love with my whole life was finally like, “Let’s Go For More!” and how could I turn him down?

Let’s just be frank. I have been putting this dude in my mouth for years, years, and, whew, he can wear a girl out!  He has this regemine–he calls it ten, two, four–and, if you follow it, I swear, you are just shaking by the end of the day.

He’s sweet.  He’s from Texas, originally, Waco, to be exact, but he spent formative time in St. Louis, so he appeals to my midwestern sensibility.  And he’s a doctor, so it seemed like a match made in heaven.

But, so, you know, we run down to the courthouse, get married, fittingly enough at ten and are getting our groove on for two and four when I get a call from the County.

Who even knew those folks made house calls?

“Ms. Phillips?  This is [name redacted] from the County Clerk’s office.  Did you get married today?”

“Yes, and please, I’m taking my husband’s last name, so call me–”

“About that.”


“Here in Tennessee, we don’t recognize those kinds of marriages.”

“Sir, I assure you.  I am a woman.”

“But your so-called husband…”

“Sir, my husband was born in 1885.  He received his medical degree in 1910.  Ergo, he must be a man.”


“Well, in 1910, there were only 7,000 female doctors, and we know he’s a doctor, right? So, the odds are damn slim that he’s a woman.”

“Ma’am, as far as the state of Tennessee is concerned, a corporation can’t have a gender.  It can’t legally get married.”

“A corporation has legal personhood, right?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“And, if it’s a legal person, it can enter into contracts, correct?”

“Ma’am, you just brought a can of Dr Pepper to the courthouse.  I don’t think a can of anything can make those kinds of decisions for the whole corporation.”

“Oh, okay.  I’m starting to see.  Dr Pepper, as a legal person, might go back to 1885, but my can of Dr Pepper is probably only a few months old.  A baby can’t enter into contracts, of course.”

“No, ma’am, that’s not…”

“Oh my god!  Does this make me a pedophile?  I married a baby!  Why didn’t anyone stop me from marrying a baby?  I feel dirty.  I might throw up.”

“Ma’am!  You did not marry a baby.  I don’t think.  Lord knows, you appear to have some issues, and I cannot attest to what kind of nonsense you might have tried to pull last week or the week before, but today, if the only wedding you had was the one down at the courthouse… Was that the only wedding you had?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then you did not marry a baby.  A corporation cannot be a baby.  Nor can a can of Dr Pepper.”

“But a corporation is a person, right?”

“Ma’am, I’m no legal scholar, but that’s my understanding–a corporation does indeed have legal personhood.”

“You can be a legal person without ever having been a baby?”

“You can be a legal person without actually being a real, live person.”

“So, let me get this straight.  Dr Pepper can sue me, but Dr Pepper cannot marry me.”


“Is there some easy-to-remember set of guidelines for what a corporate person can do and cannot?”

“Not that I know of, ma’am.”

“Well, shoot.  That seems like its just lending itself to these kinds of misunderstandings.”

“And yet, ma’am, in the whole state of Tennessee, you appear to be the only one with any problem.”

“I just assumed most people were comfortable living in sin.”

Anyway, so it turns out that I’m not married.  And that kind of sucks.  I mean, being single in general, is fine.  But there just seems to me to be something really perverse about extending rights, like marriage, to some people and not to others.  I mean, it doesn’t matter how much the law says “Dr Pepper is has legal personhood,” if Dr Pepper and I can’t get married, it kind of shows that the law doesn’t actually think Dr Pepper is much of a person at all.

Our wedding photo:


Also, I Have Had to Fire the Dog

After the Butcher sassed me about my pizza-making skills, I ordered Mrs. Wigglebottom to eat him.  You’d think that this wouldn’t be a problem, seeing as how she is such a vicious killer programmed by nature to destroy babies, children, and the good-hearted, but the dog utterly refused to eat the Butcher on my command.

So, I had to fire her.  As you can imagine, she was very excited to be fired, even when I spanked her bottom for both being fired and refusing to eat the Butcher

Now, the Butcher is sassing me some more and she’s just sitting there staring at him and wagging her tail.

I swear, it’s so hard to find good help these days.

“Aunt B.! Aunt B.! Put on Some Music and Dance With Me!”

Nieces and nephews, today we’re shutting our office doors and dancing around to Doug Kershaw’s “Diggy Diggy Low.” Here’s what I recommend. Hit play, stand up, bend your knees, start your hips rolling north, east, south, west, with a little hiccup in each direction. Reach your hands up over your head, spread your fingers like they might go ahead and wiggle on you and go ahead and give those wrists just a little twist to get them started and let them roll around on the ends of your arms like leaves on a windy tree. If it suits you, give them a little flick every once in a while. Now, lift your heel and, as it comes down, turn on that foot. Lift your other heel, pivot on those toes. Turn, wiggle, flick. Giggle.

There, doesn’t that feel like an afternoon worth having?