I, Too, Hope to Stick Around and Haunt People

Via The Wild Hunt:

 “I love that story about Susan Anthony that Zsuzsanna Budapest tells in her book. Some journalist asked Susan Anthony, because she didn’t believe in orthodox religion, I suppose, “Where do you think you’re to go when you die?” She said, “I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay around and help the women’s movement.” So even if I don’t live long enough to see these things, I’ll be around to make a nuisance of myself.”Doreen Valiente, the Mother of Modern Witchcraft.

I plan on spending my afterlife haunting folks who pick on Dan Abrams.  Well, that and following my enemies around and farting loudly while they’re in important business meetings.

I Really Want to Marry the Oxford English Dictionary

Y’all, if there’s one thing I love, it is snarkiness.  I think we all know that.  So, today, on a whim, I looked up “snark” in the OED and would you believe that it’s a word?

Not just a word, but a word with a history.

We see evidence of it being used to mean to find fault with or to nag back in 1882.

But look, look at the etymology!

“Corresponds to MLG. and LG. snarken (NFris. snarke, Sw. and Norw. snarka), MHG. snarchen (G. schnarchen, schnarken)”

More than one language has “snark” in it?

That’s going to tickle me all day.

In Which I Increase Nashville’s Tourism Dollars


It’s too bad we hate Mexicans.

Oh, I know.  We don’t really hate Mexicans.  We just hate the ones that are here illegally and, if we have to terrorize all brown people to get that point across, we will.

However, if we didn’t hate Mexicans, think about how awesome this week would be.

October 30

The Butcher’s birthday.

October 31


November 1

All Saint’s Day

November 2

All Soul’s Day

It would be like Mardi Gras, but here in the Fall.  We have beautiful cemeteries around town (and, in fact, the city cemetery needs, desperately needs, our love and funding), a large Hispanic population, and a city full of artists.  Why are we not spending all this week in costumes, eating candy, drinking tequila, paying homage to our dead folks, and freaking ourselves right the fuck out?

I mean, talk about your ecumenical holidays!  What gods don’t love this week?  You’ve got the Christian god involved, the Celtic gods, Mictecacihuatl (the Aztec goddess of death), Mexican syncronous religous deities like Santa Muerte, and, shoot, if we accept the tradition that the Wild Hunt starts tonight, we could involve everyone from Odin to Pertcha to a bevvy of saints and demons.

This idea is so genius I can’t believe no one’s thought of it before.

Oh, Boy(s)–A contest

Today, Mark Rose says “Feminists ostracize masculinity in men while at the same time trying to make themselves appear more masculine.”

Lord knows, the evidence of my trying to make myself appear more masculine is all over this blog.  So, you know, I wondered maybe if I was just half-failing as a feminist.  Maybe, at least, I was succeeding in ostracizing masculinity in men.  So, I wandered over to the blog of the man I spend the most time with and what do I find?

Roger Abramson accusing him of being too manly for liberalism:

I found it interesting, for instance, that you (Mack) were one of the prime defenders of the masculine rite of pointing out attractive women to other men, given your generally lefty tendencies. NOTE: I didn’t say it was necessarily incompatible with those tendencies, just interesting. Even more interesting is the fact that that’s not the first time you’ve taken a very strident traditionally “masculine” point of view on something (I remember you getting bent out of shape when I half-jokingly suggested that men should be allowed to carry handbags or purses around–would make it a lot easier to carry our junk with us). You are, in fact, much more traditionally masculine than a lot of male conservative bloggers. [Emphasis mine.]

Well, fuck me.  This day was going so well and now I find out that I’m a failure as a feminist.


Well, that’s it.  I’m growing a handlebar mustache and… and… well, I’m not exactly sure how one ostracizes masculinity, but the second I do, I’m all over ostracizing Mack’s a little bit, just for the sake of our local conservative bloggers.

Edited to add: Wait a second!  Do you think “ostracize masculinity” is a euphemism for some kind of sexual position conservatives think liberals engage in?  We should have a contest.  The person who comes up for the best description of what a straight woman does to a straight man when she “ostracizes his masculinity” wins.  I don’t really have anything for you to win, but I would be happy to crochet you something.

I’m Gonna Take This Itty Bitty World by Storm

So, where were we?

Ah, yes, the Butcher and I were headed off to the surgeon for the initial consult.

Well, we went and I must say that I have been very, very pleased with everyone over at St. Thomas and find them all to be pleasant and professional.  This doctor was no different.  I filled out all of my paperwork and then the Butcher and I went back.  I got my vitals taken, handed him Rachel’s list of questions, and before I could tell him about my foray into bizarre genital mutilations, the doctor was in there to basically tell me that he had consulted with the previous doctor and they were all in agreement that cutting me open was necessary.

And so I sat there and agreed that cutting me open probably was the best course of action and just as he was about to leave, the Butcher was all, “Wait, we still have three questions to cover on my list” and he proceeded to ask them.

I was disappointed to learn that I probably wont have a gruesome scar.  The Butcher was disappointed to learn that there really aren’t any complications from this surgery more than just some bleeding that will resolve itself.

And the doctor was all, “Shoot, I could work you in tomorrow.” to which the Butcher was all “No!  Absolutely not.”

This startled the doctor, but the Butcher explained that my parents want to come down for the surgery and there’s no way he’s going to spend his birthday cleaning the house so that it’s presentable for them.

So, next week it is.

Wednesday, I’ll go in for all the pre-surgery tests and bloodwork and anesthesiologist consult and then Thursday the 7th, I am first on his list of people to hack into.  A couple of days after that, we’ll know what the biopsy results are.

I’m sure I’ll go through a variety of emotions, but right now?  I just feel like kicking ass and taking names.  I’m like a man with a new truck.  I’m a kid with pockets full of candy.  I’m a girl just properly smooched.

I have a plan and there’s something to be done and we’re going to do it, no more pussy-footing around.

And that feels really good and so I feel really good.

Apparently Being Terrified Makes Me Hot!

Two days in a row I’ve gotten compliments from people about how good I look.  Ha, I know it’s only because to read here you’d think I was hiding under my bed, gasping for air, looking like some cross between Emily Dickinson and John Keats.

But it nevertheless kind of freaks me out that the farther along we go to finding out what’s wrong with me the better I feel.

Anyway, the Butcher is taking me to the surgeon and I will have news when I return.

Keep your fingers crossed, because the sooner we get this shit straightened out, the sooner this blog can return to the crap it used to be full of.

After the Altar

First off, America, I ask you–have you ever seen a paw so cute?  Tucked up under her cheek so demurely?  I about can’t stand it.  And look at her nose spots!  You can practically hear her honk-shoos.

Second, I took down my altar for this year without taking pictures of it.  Lucky for y’all I set up a smaller configuration devoted to my health and wellbeing so y’all can stare at that and pretend like it’s the same thing, which it basically is, except the tiny cauldron is moved and I took all the food products off.

That’s Mack’s handywork, there under all the woo-woo shit, for those of you who remember that he was putting this together for me.


Here’s a close-up of the candles.  If you look in the upper right hand corner, you can see Robert Johnson, or at least the lid of the container that holds dirt from all three of his graves.


I’m a firm believer in using a physical object to focus your intent on, a place to let your good energy accumulate and to let the work go on even when you’re not present.  The red candle, for instance, is burning away my health problems and the spell on the wall is accumulating good health to work on me as the opportunity arises.


Random Things I Never Want to See Again as Long as I Live

I seem to recall hearing a story about a prince with two penises who spent his whole life looking for a woman with two vaginas with whom he could live happily ever after (trust me, read the post below this and it will make sense) and he never found her and so his spirit still roams the land, but much smaller than it was in real life, copulating with people’s noses and that’s why we have snot.

It’s stupid, but I could have sworn we learned about it in my folklore class in college and yet the internet let me down.

But I did stumble onto a body-modification site and, good sweet Jesus, I would return to Christianity if I could purge the sight of the things those men have done to their penises out of my head.

I don’t consider myself a prude and yet, yet, I have found a line I cannot cross nor support a loved-one in the crossing of and cutting yourself a cooter-like entrance on the bottom of your penis so that your loved-one can lick your urethra or cutting your penis in two or just cutting half of it off is that line.  Pierce away!  Tattoo away!  Not for me, but more power to you.  But hacking away at yourself?


That’s where I have to part company with the body modifiers.

My Nerdiness Reaches New Heights!

Okay, so I was all set to write a post that would rehash the whole Tiresias question, because I grow more and more convinced that we have it better, but then I decided that it might be a heterosexist question and I got all caught up on trying to remember Tiresias’s name to begin with and then I read that “Since Cronus ruled over the earth, the heavens and the sea, Adamanthea hid Zeus by dangling him on a rope from a tree, suspended between earth, sea and sky, and thus invisible to his father.”

Cool, right, but it got me thinking about that dude who can only be killed when he’s got one foot in a tub and one foot on a goat and I for the longest time could not convince myself that it wasn’t Taliesen, who, you may recall, as a child is given the task of stirring the witch Ceredwin’s cauldron of wisdom and three drops fall on his finger, burning him.  He sticks his finger in his mouth (Much like how Fionn mac Cumhaill ended up eating the salmon of knowledge) and is immediately granted great wisdom, the first instance of is the realization that Ceredwin is going to be pi-ISS-ed at him.

But no tub/goat straddling.  Finally, after a lunch hour of research, I remember that it’s dear Lleu Llaw Gyffes, who also has a kind of jerk of a mother figure who has to be tricked into giving him the stuff he needs in life (so you can see why I was confused).

Anyway, it turns out that Lleu’s Gaulish counterpart, Lugus, is sometimes attributed with three penises, in which case, I think, we’re brought nearly full circle, because it’s hard to say whether a man with three penises is having the best of times or the worst of times.

Say Uncle Oppresses Me and I Missed It?!

All I can say to that is that maybe you need to be a little firmer in your oppression of me, sir!  So to speak…

Ha, no, it’s very cute, the gun bloggers are all worried that linking to women in bikinis shooting guns will hurt the gun-rights campaign.

I decided to interview well-known internet feminist, Aunt B., to get her take on the whole thing.

Me: Do you find straight guy’s fascination with women in bikinis doing things to be somewhat ridiculous?

Me: Yes.  However, in this specific case, not so much.

Me: Why is that?

Me: Well, first of all, it was clearly labelled so that, if you are a reader of Say Uncle’s blog, you would have known that you were going to, if you followed the link, get a picture or a video of women in bikinis shooting guns.  Second, there was nothing in his commentary to indicate that he or other gun nuts think that the only way women should be allowed around guns is if we’re all bikini-clad.  In other words, there was nothing prescriptive.

Me: So you weren’t annoyed?

Me: No, and I’m a feminist; you know how we are.

Me: Ha, ha, ha.

Me: Ha, ha, ha, ha.

Me: So, the problem is not that men find women sexy.

Me: No, of course not.  The problem comes when men act like the only thing women are good for is being sexy or that, if women want to participate in things, we have to be sexy.

Me:  But might women be turned off from the gun-rights movement by videos such as this?

Me: I think it depends.  If the gun-rights movement is filled with lots of images and stories of ordinary women enjoying shooting and owning guns and going to the range for our own reasons and videos of sexy women shooting guns are just a small subset of the images of women shooting guns, then, no, I don’t think it turns women off to guns.  If anything, we see that men who are gun-nuts do the same things that other men do–one of which is enjoying looking at women in bikinis.

But if those are the only kinds of images available to women who might be interested in guns, then, yes, it becomes a problem.

So, you see, it’s not the video itself, but the larger context.

Me: Isn’t contextualization some of that hippie liberal shit?

Me: Yes.

Me: Okay, just wanted to be sure.  I think that’s everything.  Thanks for your time.

Me: You’re welcome.

Edited to add:  I will say, though, that it impressed the shit out of me to see men sitting around talking about this stuff and, though I tease, I hope you don’t take my teasing as anything more than an indication of my loving delight.  I am tickled that y’all would see something like that and worry about what women who see it might feel.  Wow.

And thanks, really.

Brittney, I love you, man!

I realized last night that I’m almost always the one moving away and never the one moved away one and, frankly, there’s a way in which being moved away on really sucks.

So, Brittney’s moving.  To San Francisco.  And turning thirty.

It’s fun to watch her pout and piss and moan about turning thirty, just because she obviously doesn’t know.  I mean, shoot, the Butcher and I were watching some show yesterday that was all about how “You’ll never be healthier or feel better than you do in your 20s” so I know the cultural narrative is that you peek (peak… pique… shoot, you guys have me all paranoid now that I know I don’t know one peek from another) in your 20s and after that, the boobs head south, the chin sprouts hair, and your life is basically over.

But, clearly, those shows are not written by people who have actually been women in their thirties, because, dear Brittney, let me just warn you, you are about to hit it.  I don’t know if there’s a name for it but now’s the time (well, you know, after you get to San Francisco.  No need in buying this stuff just to pack it) to load up on the KY, the condoms, the sex toys, and the BenGay to keep the boyfriend limber.

It doesn’t happen right away, but sometime very soon in your early thirties, you’re going to learn what it was like for boys to be in high school.  Everyone seems plausibly fuckable and you’ll spend a great deal of time distracted by wondering how soon it will be until you can get laid again.  You’ll wonder if it would be rude to go into the bathroom at work and masturbate.  You’ll start looking around the grocery store like vegetarian isn’t just a food preference.

Everyone I’ve had the balls to ask about it agrees that it happens (I hear rumors that you get another go-round at feeling like a total out of control sex fiend closer to menopause, too.  I look forward to that.), but it’s not something anyone tells you about ahead of time.

But I’m telling you.

As for the moving, well, I don’t like it.  But I know it’s the right thing and I’m excited to hear all about it.

I just wanted to say publicly thanks for everything.  When you asked me to be the first weekend blogger at NiT, I was so excited I called everyone I knew and bragged about how I was going to be writing on a real live TV station’s website.  And I do think that writing on NiT gave me a level of respectibility and plausibility as a liberal voice that would have taken me a lot of time to develop otherwise, if at all.

The other thing I love about you, and it must have sucked, but I really appreciate your willingness to be human online–to be snarky when called for, to get pissed, to make mistakes, and to be willing to acknowledge them and live with the consequences.  There’s a really ferocious bravery in that, especially as a woman, especially as a person others were constantly gunning for, and I find it truly inspiring.

I will miss you, but I’m so proud and honored that I know you and that I’ll get to see you do this thing and the next and the next.

Your friend,


p.s. Someone may have been spreading the rumor that JAG is having TV on the Fritz’s gay baby, just to liven up the Nashville blogosphere.  I’m pretty sure, that it’s not true.

Just Saying

I make a mean chili.  In fact, if I knew someone who made chili as well as me, I would give her smooches whenever I saw her.

You know, just so she’d be predisposed to making me chili.

Freedom and the Alleviation of Suffering

Yesterday I watched Trudell, and I have to say that it’s had me thinking since then about just what it is that I’m working to accomplish, if anything.  I mean, what is it exactly that I want from the world, what am I working towards?

I think what I want is freedom and the alleviation of suffering.  It irritates the fuck out of me about the Democrats that they so often just get hung up on the alleviation of suffering–they’ll tell us what and where to eat and where and whether to smoke and if and when we can own guns and such–and they lose sight of the necessity of also advancing freedom.

Still, isn’t that better than giving up both in order to feel safe?

Anyway, I liked Trudell a great deal and also felt like it was not enough, that it was more infomercial than gripping documentary.  I felt like I came away from it knowing something about Trudell, but really nothing about Trudell; what I mean is that I feel like I learned some facts, very thought-provoking facts, but not much about him as a person.

It also got me thinking, though, that there’s a certain strand of Christian thought that just drives me crazy, the outlook that teaches people to think of this world as, at worst, evil and at best, somewhat meaningless overall, and teaches them to only focus on what comes after this.

Clearly, this is not endemic to all Christianity, and I hope you see that I’m trying to make a specific criticism about a kind of mindset that allows us to assume that suffering is not something we can really do anything about and so why bother?  I wish, instead, that those folks saw that their god loves this earth and the people in it (deservedly or not) and so we should treat this world and each other like things god loves.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Okay, this is going to be the nerdiest post I’ve ever written and I’m embarrassed to tell you that I’ve already done an hour’s worth of research on this, before turning to you for help.

For folks who are not nerds, let me explain a little how this process went.  Last night, a non-nerd called me from his sick bed and demanded an explaination for why some words, when they end in “ked” are pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable–like “I peeked around the corner”–and other words, sometimes even the same word, is pronounced with the emphasis on the “ked”–like “The child is looking peeked and has a fever.”

I heard the “k” sound and immediatedly suspected that this had something to do with Middle or Old English words.  So, we tried to decide if it’s when words with etymological roots in Middle or Old English that can be verbs and end in the “k” sound (or, even a hard “ch”) are made past tense and then that past tense is used as an adjective.  So, could you say, for instance, that a piece of wood that you bent has been crooked (crukd), resulting in the piece of wood being crooked (cruked)?  Is it an aural clue that an Old English-descended word is being used as an adjective instead of a past-tense verb?

Clearly, there’s an answer to this, which I set out to find on the internet this morning by looking at all of the “ked” words I could think of.

And I came across “wretched.”  And, holy shit!  If this doesn’t give you an insight into the human condition, I just don’t know what will.

Get this:


O.E. wrecca “wretch, stranger, exile,” from P.Gmc. *wrakjan (cf. O.S. wrekkio, O.H.G. reckeo “a banished person, exile,” Ger. recke “renowned warrior, hero”), related to O.E. wreccan “to drive out, punish” (see wreak). Sense of “vile, despicable person” developed in O.E., reflecting the sorry state of the outcast, as presented in much of Anglo-Saxon verse (e.g. “The Wanderer”). A Ger. word for “misery” is Elend, from O.H.G. elilenti “sojourn in a foreign land, exile.”

Okay, we see what we’d expect to see if our “ked” hypothesis is true.  Wretch has its roots in Old English.  But that’s not what the nerd in me got caught up on.

No.  I have been utterly distracted by the fact that wretch comes to us from reckeo and that the word has a hint of meaning both an exile and a hero.  I mean, come on, folks!  If you are a nerd, and I know some of you are, did you not just have the biggest holy shit moment?  Do you not want to hold that in your head just a little bit, roll it around in your brain and see what kind of stuff sticks to it?

Here’s what I thought about?

I thought about Odysseus coming home after being gone 20 years and how he was both the returning hero and the miserable outcast.  Which made me think about our own service people, who will be returning heros (knock on wood), but also separated from the general population just by what they’ve been through.

But I also thought that it was interesting that in Old English, wrecca has both the sense of exile and adventurer.  Recke just means hero.  And going back even farther, to our friend Old Norse, rekkr just means man.

So, can we see, through the changing meaning of this word, a change in attitudes towards the man who travels?  In its oldest state, the man who travels is just that–a man, traveling being just a fundimental componant of the state of being a man.  And then we see that the man who travels is a hero and adventurer.  But as the Germanic language folks start to settle in to villages and towns, the word starts to take on its current meaning–that the man who has to travel to strange places isn’t fortunate, he’s miserable.

I don’t know.  It just made me wonder.

It made me think about Odin and Thor, because, in the Lore, they’re regularly wandering and, I think, we see, just in the recounting of their travels, that there’s some really ambiguous feelings about the traveller.  On the one hand, you have the beloved (ooo, there’s a word that does it that doesn’t have the ‘k’ sound!  Yet, you can be beloved and beloved.) Thor who goes out in the wider world, but his purpose is clear.  He’s just going out to kill the folks who are different than him.

But Odin?  Yeah, sometimes he’s killing folks who are different than him.  Sometimes, though, he’s killing the folks who are on his side.  He’s fucking whoever lets him in her bed, regardless of where she’s from or what group of beings she’s a part of.  He’s gaining knowledge and learning customs from strange people that even makes whether he’s still a man suspect.

I don’t know.  It just gave me so much to think about this morning.

And “wicked“?  What a cool, cool word.

[Origin: 1225–75; ME wikked, equiv. to wikke bad (repr. adj. use of OE wicca wizard; cf. witch) + -ed -ed3]

See that?  How wicked is basically, literally, the state of being like a witch? (Check out the etymology on that word, for more cool fun!)

Dang, I love that so much, just rooting around in the etymology of words, getting that feeling that, when you open your mouth to talk, that you are speaking a haunted language, that each word has trailing behind it phantoms of old meaning, each whispering their histories through you.

It makes me think that the poet’s job is akin to fishing, that feelings and deep knowledge are fish and each word a net designed to capture just that one kind of thing that, when words are just used ordinarily… It’s like this.  Ordinarily, when we use words, it’s like one fishing line after another going down and picking up the precice meaning we want to get across to our readers.  Sometimes there’s a problem because we can’t decide what kind of fish it is there on the hook.  But, in general, we operate on a one-to-one corrilation.  I say this: I mean this.

Poetry, though, to me, when done well, is like casting net after net.  A word has a meaning, but from there, it spreads out and out.  You could, with a poem, spend a half an hour looking at just the word “wicked,” for instance, and trying to keep in your mind that feeling of a wide net of meaning and history so that when you move on to “this” and “way” and “comes,” you feel like you’re wringing every ounce of that poem out, getting at everything it has to offer.

Words, words, words.  I love them.  I feel blessed to (oh, there’s another one.  I feel blessed, but I have blessed assurance that Jesus is mine) have them, my magic charms, to carry with me and to share with you.

But here’s the thing.  One of you must know.  What is with the “ked” words?  A name for it?  A rule that sometimes holds true?

Is Out & About Calling Me Fat?!

Woo Hoo!  I made Out & About, Tennessee’s finest resource for gay and lesbian stuff.  Okay, well, they may be Tennessee’s only resource for gay and lesbian stuff, but in a conservative state like this, a girl can’t be picky.

Check it out:

While all the pickup trucks outside town may have revved a bit harder and louder at that statement, execs at the Steve Gill Show were probably salivating at the free press while Rich–who’s primary message that day was that we should all support Fred Thompson–was left to defend himself to the online masses.  (More mass here.)

And need I even tell you that the “More mass here” links you right back to me?

Very cool.  I am a one-woman mass.

Hot Kabobs

The food is delicious, inexpensive, and did I mention delicious?

But here’s the thing I don’t understand, Nashville.  Why isn’t that place packed with straight men and gay women?

Are there three hotter waitresses in Nashville?  In Tennessee?  In the whole world?

And women-attracted folks, I would expect you to be making any excuse to be there staring at them.

I’m disappointed.

One Long and Lonely Bridge


I explained it to Imfunnytoo like this the other night and I found it to actually be a metaphor that stuck with me, just because it makes sense of my predicament for me in a way that makes it seem possibly manageable.

This is what it’s like. I used to be on firm ground. I will end up on firm ground. But to get from firm ground to firm ground, I’m faced with the scariest bridge I can imagine.

Sure, it’s not going to drop me. Sure people use it every day and live. And I’ve got no choice anyway.

But I’m terrified, still.

Tuesday, 9:30, I meed the surgeon.

It’s the Butcher’s birthday. He gets to come with me because I want him to understand what’s going to happen so that he can make wise decisions when I have to give him power of attorney over me.

He’s already threatening to sell my car and empty my bank account.

Joke’s on him. My bank account’s already empty!

When Was the Last Time We Closed Our Doors and Danced Around Our Offices Together?

It’s been too long, my friends. Far too long. As far as I’m concerned, this song is the perfect song for dancing around your office to, because, if you’re alone, you can just sit in your chair and spin back and forth to the rhythm while you’re busy typing away at whatever still lingers from a long week.

But if you’re lucky enough to have someone in your office with you, woo, are you in for a treat! Here’s what I recommend. Drop your arms to your side, let them just hang there loosely. Now, you put your left foot on the outside of your partner’s right foot and your right foot on the other side, everyone with their feet a comfortable shoulder-width apart. You both should adopt an air of slouchy indifference to the presence of the other. Perhaps look away from each other with pretend disdain.

Now, start to wiggle just a little bit to the song, swaying to Julie Driscoll’s voice, coming ever closer to brushing your hip against your partner’s. Oh, did you slow down just as Driscoll hit the chorus, letting your hip rest just for a second against the hip of the person so… close… right… next… to you?

No worries. Go back to behaving yourself. Wiggling in time to the music, pretending not to give a shit about the person so close to you you can smell the lingering scent of the soap they used in the shower this morning right… there… on the small of their neck… where your nose has nestled itself as you find your body leaning against theirs since it’s so much easier to enjoy the music if you just shut your eyes and sway together…

First they lean into you so that you both move in one direction and then you press against them so that you can move in the other direction and then, you get to the funky organ solo (tee hee!) and both take a step back to smile at each other in acknowledgment that you’ve completely overstepped some bound.

Smiling and swaying and staring into each other’s eyes. Staring, staring, moving closer.

It’s strange. It’s very, very strange.

Bodies pressed back together, music louder and louder, your eyes are shut.

Mistakes about to be made.

Whew, thank god it’s over.

Want to hear it again?

Pitbulls in My Neighborhood and How I Predict They’ll Go Wrong

1.  Mrs. Wigglebottom.  After we find her and the car missing, we discover this list–

Peepl I Lik

Rowp-steeln man

Cudle on the cowch grl

Womn wth treets in panc

–shortly before the police arrive to ask us about the disappearance of Mack, the Professor, and the old woman down the street.

2.  The beautiful blue and white unfixed male whose owner, when he gets mad at the dog, slaps it with the end of his leash, while the dog just stands there now cowering or submitting in the least.  Well, come on.  That’s a disaster waiting to happen and we all know it.

3.  The staffie next door.  He already catches and fetches!  If that’s not a pit bull gone wrong, I don’t know what is.

4.  The white puppy next door.  After 180 consecutive days of listening to it whine, a concerned neighbor breaks in the house, frees the puppy from wherever it is, and locks the owners in.  I’m all for crating your dogs.  But if it’s continually whining, it needs something–the crate covered in such a way as to make it feel more secure, a ticking clock, something that smells like you.  I don’t know what, but something.  Poor guy.

Hmm. Well, I Guess I Was Wrong.

Y’all, I swear to god, I thought that, if any musician in town used to be a woman, it was John Rich. It’s not just that he’s small and so obviously would make a relatively attractive woman, it’s that he also seems to go to such lengths to hide his chest–the guitar or overalls or jackets over shirts–and to read as “male” with the facial hair and the overly perfect scowl.

So, imagine my surprise to learn that he hates women and gay people is anti-abortion and anti-gay-marriage.

But there you go.

Still, I don’t want y’all to miss this bit from the Tennessean.

The pro-lifer is against gay marriage.


John also is known as a woman-loving party animal. “I’m probably somewhat of a walking dichotomy, I guess. Some of my favorite singers were that too, like Johnny Cash.”

Yes, he did, America. He admitted to being a flaming (oops, wrong word choice) unrepentant hypocrite and then hid behind Johnny Cash!

Is this the new standard? If Johnny Cash did it, it’s okay? Well, slap me full of amphetamines and bring on the pretty girls!

Seriously, he’s anti-abortion, but he also wants to be able to just fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck, fuck whoever he can get his hands on. If that’s not pretty much the patriarchy in a nut-shell, I don’t know what is.

Hee, patriarchy in a nut-shell. Tee hee.

Edited to add: John Rich has decided to clarify his comments. He doesn’t hate gay people. No, he loves them. He loves everybody! People should be judged on their merits. Hmm.

Well, Mr. Rich, see, it’s like this. You can say today, “My earlier comments on same-sex marriage don’t reflect my full views on the broader issues regarding tolerance and the treatment of gays and lesbians in our society,” but yesterday, you felt it was fine to say that gay people wanted to get married was “unsavory” and “unnatural” and joked that two consenting adults who aren’t related wanting to make a legally recognized commitment to each other was on par with incest. So, explain to me again how those two things jibe?

How in the world do you think promoting the idea that gay marriage is “unsavory” and “unnatural” and on par with incest is not intolerant, bigoted, and hateful?

If we judged you on your merits, I’m afraid we’d find one fucked-up dude.

Edited some more to add this: You know what really irritates me? Take a look at this:

Shall we count the ways in which Big & Rich are horsing around in ways that owe a great debt to gay culture (yes, I know, it’s a problematic term) in this video?

1. Big Kenny’s “Love Pirate” shirt

2. Cowboy Troy in his satin shirt

3. Big & Rich marching around with their umbrellas and walking arm in arm

4. The fur coat

5. All the fringe

6. The two beauty queens

7. The fact that the “girl” in the car with Big & Rich is supposed to be a mannequin, as if it’s just a fake barrier in the way of them being together.

8. The dancing women–the ones in the business suits and the cowgirls–are all interchangeable (which, I guess, the beauty queens and the band members are as well) and the unique folk, the ones who have meaningful interactions with each other, are just the guys.

9 (kind of). In the cut of this video I used to see on my TV, Gretchen Wilson, looking just about as butch as a girl can look is riding a tractor. I don’t see her in this cut, though.

My point is that they want to horse around with gender expectations and flaunt conventional modes of how men in country music are supposed to look and act and yet, they don’t see their debt to the very folks Rich is calling “unnatural.” That bothers the shit out of me.

If you’re willing to steal from folks, you should be willing to acknowledge their value to you and go to bat for them, even if it makes you personally uncomfortable.

I Know! Let’s Play “Force Strippers to Turn to Prostitution in Order to Eat!”

Here’s my feelings, up-front, on all sex work (including stripping): It should be legal, it should be well-regulated in a way that is easy for the sex workers to negotiate, the regulation should not be so cost-prohibitive as to reasonably exclude anyone, and folks who don’t get in the system should be come down on hard, with both feet.

I don’t think sex work is a great long-term career choice.  But, if one is not strung out on drugs and if one is there of her own choosing, it can be a very lucrative way to make money for a short time.  People, okay, women put themselves through college stripping.  High end prostitutes live comfortable lives.  And, if you’re poor with limited options but a good head on your shoulders, it’s a good way to quickly put together some capital in order to make big changes in your life.

So, I’m for legalizing and regulating all forms of sex work.

Which means I’m incensed that Metro Nashville is talking about raising the licensing fees on strippers.  And it’s on a couple of levels.  First, we started regulating the hell out of strip clubs under the auspices of making sure there wasn’t any untoward prostitution going on.  Now, we’re talking about raising the fee to be a stripper from $50 to $500.  If this isn’t trying to drive these women out of work, I don’t know what is.  I mean, I’m sorry, but to compare them to plumbers or electricians is just ludicrous.  If a stripper doesn’t know how to do her job, no one is going to lose their home or business.  But if these women find sex work to be lucrative, isn’t raising the fee to such an exorbitant amount pretty much guaranteeing that they’ll have to do a little work on the side (wink, wink) to come up with the fee?

We don’t want strippers to prostitute themselves so we’ll pressure them so much that prostituting themselves looks like a better option than dancing?

But second, and maybe this means I’m turning into a libertarian, there are 10 strip clubs left in Nashville.  What the hell costs $77,000 about regulating them?

So, I mean, let’s be clear about what this is.  We taxpayers are paying the Metro Sexually Oriented Business Licensing board a shit-ton of money to screw these girls over.

Wasn’t the point of all this to reduce the number of whores in town?

All Idiots Together

The thing I hate most about going to the doctor, aside from the seemingly inevitable “God, you’re fat!” lecture (though, in all fairness to this batch of doctors, it hasn’t come up) is that doctors in Tennessee treat you like you’re an idiot.

In fact, I have only ever had one doctor in Tennessee who didn’t and he asked me right up front how much education I had, how familiar I was with medical terms and how comfortable I was with talking about complex procedures.

Yesterday, this doctor tried to explain to me where my tonsils were.

I have to tell you, I’m afraid I was snippy with him.  I mean, please!  I know where my fucking tonsils are.  Shit.  I know more about lymph nodes than I ever cared to.

But I think probably what caused the look of horror on my face was realizing first that he was going to explain to me where my tonsils were and then realizing that he was going to explain to me where my tonsils were because most of his patients don’t know.

And, Tennesee, I love you.  You know I do.  But I have to tell you something from the bottom of my heart.  There is no amount of money in the world that is too much money to make sure that your residents have a basic knowledge of things–a basic knowledge of anatomy, math, reading, etc.

Listen, I know public schools can mismanage funds.  But that just means you have to keep on them.  I only have a high-school amount of biology in my background and I know where my tonsils are and other basic anatomical features of my anatomy.  If I can know that, so can you.

The fact that you don’t says to me that there is something deeply wrong with your educational system.

Another Day, Another Trip to the Doctor

Well, I now know the same thing I knew last week, but with better tests.

I had a moment where I needed to cry, but it passed.

They’re going to cut a hole in me and make their way down to my lymph nodes and take one out and pull it apart and see what it is that’s going on.

I don’t know when, yet.  I guess the next step is to wait around to hear from the surgeon.

The new doctor thinks it might be sarcoidosis.  I think Dr. J had that in the pool.

Also, apparently I have the hugest tonsils he’s ever seen.  He thinks they might be causing my apnea.

If I think about all the “what if”s, I start to feel dizzy and I have this raw spot in my throat and it’s hard for me to concentrate on what the doctor is saying.  Instead, this is what I think about–a tobacco-tanned hand, roped with veins.  That’s something that exists out there in the world, in the waiting room, in fact.  And that’s something that will be there no matter what the news is.

I don’t know why other people need people, but that’s why I can’t do this shit alone.  I have to have someone for whom life is going on in an ordinary way, so that I can let go of him, walk into the room where they poke and prod you when they’re not making you sit by yourself so long you start to forget why it is you’re there in the first place, and, when I’m done, come back out and steady myself again by him.