Happy Hexennacht!

Tonight is Walpurgis Night, the grant exit to whatever Halloween let in and/or the grand entrance for whatever snuck out on All Hallow’s Eve.  It was believed that tonight was the grandest gathering time for witches and it marks the end of the Great Hunt for the year.

For sure there are other times during the year when the barrier between Here and There is thin, but now and at Halloween are when it’s at its thinnest.

If you’ve got any spells to cast, tonight is an optimum time to cast them.

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Were There a Lot of Soldiers Living with Open Sewage in the 50s?

So, apparently the folks in the 82nd Airborne returned to Fort Bragg after being in Afghanistan for 15 months and were given moldy, sewagey, paint-peeling crap to live in.  As if that’s not bad enough, read this and then come back here and tell me that, while Brig. Gen. Dennis Rogers seems to have a good grasp on how serious this is–“We let our soldiers down, and that’s not like us,” Rogers told reporters. “We let our soldiers down. That’s not how we want America’s sons and daughters to live. There’s no good excuse for what happened.”–, doesn’t it seem like the spokesman for Fort Bragg, Tom McCollum, is making it seem like the soldiers are just bitching like soldiers do?

“Are soldiers happy with living in the Korean War-era barracks? No,” McCollum said. They do not meet the expectations of today’s troops, although the Army has done what it can to improve living conditions, McCollum said, speaking by telephone from Fort Bragg.

“Today, no matter how hard we try, we can’t put enough lipstick on this pig to make it more pretty,” the spokesman said. “So are there soldiers complaining? Yeah.” He said they’ve been complaining for decades.

And I hate to ask a dumb question but, if we’re spending over six hundred billion dollars a year on the military, where is that money going? 

I mean, seriously, we can’t do any better by our soldiers than this?

Good god.

 

Semi-Liveblogging Working From Home

7:30–Still in my pajamas.  Dog not walked.

7:35–Decide to live-blog working from home, just to entertain myself.

7:40–Discover that my yahoo mail is not working on this old computer.  Use this moment to give a shout-out to Coble, who has sent me an email I can’t reply to.

7:43–Animals already bored with my continued presense.  They’ve gone back upstairs to bed.

7:51–I wonder if it hurts the cable box when the cat sleeps on top of it.

8:00–I think it’s just knowing that I can’t drive anywhere, but I’m already feeling a little stir-crazy.  I wonder if I can hotwire one of the neighbor’s cars.

9:11–Time for a crazy story.  So, once my dad told me he could turn me into a bird with a magic phrase.  “O” he said.  I repeated “O.” “Wah” he said and I repeated. “Ta” he said and I repeated. “Goo” He said and I repeated. “Siam.”  Then he asked me to keep repeating it until I was a bird. O wah ta goo siam. And then he laughed and laughed and claimed he’d succeeded, leaving me all day to be “What?  I’m not a bird.”  and he’s all “That’s not what you said a second ago.  I win.”  And it took me all day to figure out what he meant.

9:56–Is it lunch yet?

10:52–Broke down and ate lunch.  Laundry’s done, though, so score one for me.

11:30–Well, lunch is over.  The house is empty of Reese’s peanut butter cups.  The dog is empty of pee.  Emails have all been replied to.  Would it be wrong to take the dog for a walk?

12:03–Dog’s barking for no good reason.  I’m now yelling at her for no good reason.

12:13–Why don’t the Spanish Literature people have blogs like the medieval literature people have blogs?

1:26–mUST LEAVE HOUSE FOR A LITTLE BIT. Sanity depENDS on it.

6:07–I suck at liveblogging working from home.  But in my defense, my internet went out for a good part of the afternoon.  And I got a little sunburnt taking my dog for a walk in this beautiful weather.  Which I got to enjoy.  Because I was outside for a while in it. 

Also, I found a witch’s hat, which I must crochet as soon as I aquire some black wool yarn, so that I can wear it around my neighborhood while I walk the dog and when I garden to keep the sun off my face.

You’re jealous; I can tell.  No one blames you.

I just have to modify the pattern to fit my big ole head.

Home Work

Today, I’m about to do something I’ve never done before–work from home.  I’m kind of excited.  I have this idea that it will be like being at the office, but I don’t have to worry about anyone finding me checking my comments here, and I’ll be able to do some laundry.

I feel a little decadent.  I’m going to put on some tunes, throw on some pants, and work while the working’s good.

Wet Blanket

So, see, I’m totally justified in spreading out my completed, but sopping wet afghan on the Butcher’s bed to dry, not because he’s going to be gone for a few days only to call and ask what the name of the diamond building in Chicago is named (Smurfit-Stone) and not to tell me he got there, but because he took my house keys, so I had to break into my own house.

Is a Threat Free Speech? I Don’t Believe So.

I was thinking that Williamson County might be wise to ask Bradley Armoster to come back and administer some more spankings, considering that they’ve got a teenager called “Cooter”–a self-avowed white supremacist–running around a local high school with his truck full of Confederate Battle Flags and a noose.

I know we’re supposed to tolerate the Confederate Battle Flag because of this heritage, not hate nonsense (though, you’d think, if that were the case, the heritage-not-haters would fly the flag of the Confederate States of America, because being proud of their heritage, they would actually know said heritage, but whatever.), but a noose?

Come on.

A noose is a threat. In conjunction with a truck full of Confederate Battle Flags and a white supremacist driving it around? It’s a threat.

Tennessee State Code says that it’s a crime to engage in any activity that “injures or threatens to injure or coerces another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate another because that other exercised any right or privilege secured by the constitution or laws of the United States or the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee.”

There’s not any prosecutor in Williamson County who can make an argument that hanging a noose in your truck is a threat to injure black kids and that such noose-hanging constitutes an unlawful intimidation because some of those kids might not feel safe going to school?

I mean, really.

Bridgett, Speaking of Weird Dreams

So, I had this dream last night that I found myself in possession of a good occult shop in an old building with good high ceilings.  The only thing wrong with it is that the walls were a bright yellow-orange.  So, I’m standing there and a guy comes in, kind of crouched down, and dancing, wearing a wooden mask that almost looked like a lion’s face, somewhere between a human and a lion’s face, with long grass coming off it for a mane.

He pulled the mask off and stood before me and asked me what I thought of the place.  I said that I liked it, but I imagined that I would want to put some more cabinets along this wall and that I definitely wanted to repaint it because the orange made it too cheery.

And he seemed displeased by that.

He didn’t say that I should leave it how it was, but that was the implication.  Instead, he said, “We gave this to you” or “We got this for you” and he motioned to the back door where a shadowy man leaned up against the doorframe.  I could just make out a top hat.

Something about realizing that the two of them were in the room together with me freaked me out so bad that I startled awake.  It wasn’t a nightmare, but it was like a nightmare in that I was left with a lingering feeling of not being sure if I wanted to go back to sleep.

I’ve a Reason to Believe We all Shall Be Received

I come down to find that the Butcher has left me a note to put the camera in the car and my first thought is “You’re emptying an attic.  What do you need a camera for?”

But, of course, my friends, he’s taking his own journey.  It hadn’t occured to me that he didn’t want to take this trip with me, but that he has stuff he’s got to work out on his own, and that’s why he can only get time off during the week.

Fair enough. 

I’ve been thinking about those two Americas again, not the political two Americas, but the artistic two Americas.  It’s interesting to me to think about it in terms of this whole Miley Cyrus/Annie Leibovitz thing.  Because, it seems to me that both women have their feet in both worlds. 

On the one hand, Leibovitz is a member of what we here in the middle of America might term the Hollywood elite, some insider hipper-than-thou.  On the other hand, of course, she’s an artist and artists in general tend to have an uneasy outsider relationship to their communities.

And then, here is Miley Cyrus, who could not be any more mainstream, with her hit TV show and her hit concert tour, and a movie in the works.  If ever there were a child of craptastic opulent America, she is it.  And yet, now that there’s even the slightest furor about the photos, the Cyrus camp is all “We didn’t know them photos were going to look that way.  We is simple country folks, taken advantage of by them city slickers.”

Yes, it’s bullshit.  Her dad was at the photoshoot.  She certainly saw that she was putting a sheet around herself and thus had to know that the photos would be of her in a sheet.  And the photos aren’t trashy.  They’re beautiful.

I mean, come on.  Of course they make her look sexy, of course they make us uneasy to see her so blatently displayed as if she is sexy.  But people, Leibovitz is an artist.  She’s not taking photos so that you can say “Oh, that’s what Miley Cyrus looks like.”  She’s taking photos that are designed to provoke you in a way that art functions to provoke.

Cyrus, let me emphasize, is already made to look sexy.  That’s the whole conceit of Hanna Montana–that she’s an ordinary dorky teenage girl most of the time with a secret life as a super sexy awesome rockstar.  It’s just couched in such a way that the little girls get it while the parents can overlook it  (which, if you think about it, puts those little girls in a troubling position of being the ones who most clearly recognize Cyrus as sexy and who have to figure out why it’s okay for her to be sexy in some ways and not in others).

Leibovitz’s photos are designed to make you see what Disney only wants your children to see.

Disney doesn’t want you to see it because Disney doesn’t want you to think “Hmm, Disney… Haven’t they had a hand in Spears, Lohan, High-School-Musical chick, and so on?  Isn’t it weird that all these girls run through the Disney mill–the mill I sit my little girl down in front of every night–come out with such fucked up ideas about themselves and their own sexuality and where their worth as people is located?  Hmm, I wonder what it might be doing to Miley Cyrus, who I also let my little girl watch, and, by extention, what that might be doing to my little girl…”

So, instead, now it’s going to be framed as a naive good girl who just didn’t realize what that mean old corrupt Hollywood-type was doing to her.  And now she’s so disappointed and begs her fans to forgive her and for their parents to understand how she was duped (because if there’s one thing we find titilating, it’s young women begging us not to punish them, not that we’re supposed to recognize that on a conscious level, either).

Right now, it’s a battle of which story will win out.

Because, normally, there can be only one version of the truth.

Which, frankly, sucks.

Because the best stuff happens, I think, the most creative, the most positively that America in which I want to dwell stuff happens, when multiple, sometimes contradictory narratives are left to stand.

That’s why I’m so loving reading about the Boston contingency going to Graceland.  There is room for us all–the country folks and the drag kings and the Irish Rock Gods and the curious and the disbelieving–at Graceland.

Maybe it’s always the One Truth versus the many truthes.  Maybe that’s always what it comes down to, and the fight we have to have with ourselves, to recognize the difference between “The Way It Is” and “You’ve got your story, I’ve got mine” and to always throw in with the side of many voices.

At least, that’s what I think.

Edited To Add:  Ginger’s got a good conversation (and a copy of the image) over at her place.  The only thing I see people ignoring is the Disney angle and the fact that she’s already marketed as being sexy.

The Butcher Goes to Help My Dad

I always get anxious when the Butcher leaves.  And so I’m anxious, because he’s leaving tomorrow.  It will be fine.  It always is.  But still.  I worry he’ll do something stupid or something bad will happen.  I’m not one of those people who gets bad feelings and so the absense of any nagging bad feeling means nothing. 

I only once have had a premonition, and really, it barely counts.  In the moments between the first phone call that my Grandpa B. had had a heart attack and the phone call saying that he had died, I knew he had died.  I saw his funeral as plain as day before me.  I had just gotten my ears pierced and it was the day I took the studs out for the first time and, for some reason, I was having trouble getting them back in (or getting the back back on, I can’t remember, just that it hurt).  And so even though I knew my grandpa was dead, I didn’t cry because I knew that would take me days and I wanted to get the earring back in before I got started on something else.

Each of my piercings became associated with something I wanted to remember.  And I thought by getting them that it would mark me in such a way that I would.  First hole for Grandpa B.  And the fourth hole, the ones that Kimmie did by hand one drunken evening, got infected right before my Uncle B.’s funeral.  The third hole is a pair of earrings I split with my cousin, M., who I thought would be my dear friend forever.  She got one and I got the other.  We don’t really talk anymore.  We don’t really understand each other.

I don’t remember what the other ones were for.  But after they cut me open last fall, the worst feeling, after the nausea was the feeling that my ears were empty of metal and now not only had I lost the things they were meant to mark, I had lost the markers.

Things slip away.  You lose the things you care about.  That’s just how it works.

But always, I am praying “Not yet, not yet.”

My dad is still weak.  And I’m torn between wanting to talk to him every day and not being able to stand how frail he sounds.  I know he’s healing, and that there’s no reason to worry.  But he sounds different to me now, like someone who is too aware that he cannot hold Life’s hand forever and that one day, he will falter and his hand will slip and Life will keep walking, determined, forward, while he stumbles and falls.

The question is whether you pick yourself up after that, and move on without Life, in some different direction.  I hope so, but I just can’t be sure.  I doubt my own experiences, as if they are tricks played on me by a mind that can’t even bother to remember the things we changed form for.

Sheep People and Goat People

So, the other day a large apparently hand-typed poster was found in a local barn and presented to me for my amusement.  I didn’t keep the poster, because I know too many people who need copies of it before I can take the original in good conscience, but the poster is awesome.

And it’s awesome in that way that is more fear awe than delight awe.  It’s actually a giant, elaborate chart explaining which kinds of people automatically go to Hell (the Russians, the Siberians, Moscow, the Sumarians, and some kinds of Jewish people) and that only Judahites (the true Jews, who are the white Christians peoples of Northern European descent, of whom, apparently Adam was one, surprisingly, and some other kinds of Jews) have any chance of going to Heaven (though, apparently, people from England and people from the State of Georgia are shoe-ins, so congrats to my English and Georgian readers).

The author of the chart, though, seems to think it’s up for debate whether the Irish are sheep people or goat people.

I wish I could reproduce the whole thing for you, because it’s such a perfect example of the lengths that people will go to to justify their own prejudices with the Bible.  See, the Jews aren’t the real Jews.  Real Jews are the Judahites and the Judahites are the Northern Tribes of Israel and north really means “Northern Europe” and mentions of animals in the Bible were actually talking about people and so on and so on–these gymnastics of thought to make it okay to be racist fucks in direct opposition to what Jesus would have wanted.

I don’t know.  I lost my train of thought.

It just seems to me that, first, this shows a lot of anxiety on the part of a strain of Christianity that those Christians really don’t feel certain that they “belong” to God and so they have to rewrite history to remove real Jewish people from the role of “The Jews” and put themselves and their ancestors in that role.  That’s really ugly.

But what scares me is that it’s a kind of thoughtfulness.  It takes thought and a kind of reasoned contemplation to come up with this kind of stuff and I think so often I think that “Oh, if only folks knew better, if only they were more sophisticated thinkers, this stuff would be as obviously ridiculous to them as it is to me,” but seeing something like this?  Well, you know it’s not true.

And I don’t really know what to do in the face of that.

Hey, Representative Lynn! I Bet Some of These Kids Would Look Good Behind Bars

One of my readers has brought me the story of cute, but apparently potentially evil, children overthrowing the social order of the U.S. by learning English and putting out a newspaper.

Now, I don’t know if any of these kids are the children of illegal immigrants, but, on the off chance they are, I think the safest thing for Representative Lynn to do when reading this heartwarming story is to spread her fingers a little bit and put them very near her face so that she can have the illusion of these children behind bars.

I cannot wait to learn that this nonsense has died in committee.

Oh my

My intern is in the other room right this second telling my boss about how the girl who is going to be my intern’s roommate for the coming year does not know what a bank is.

“Is that my card?” she asked my intern.

If this is an example of the great meritocracy that brings young minds to this place… well… I got nothing.

What Kind of Person Steals from a Baby, Representative Lynn?

Today, I was standing around flirting with a wee baby when I heard about something so stupid and evil I thought “This must be a mistake. Surely, the man who is telling me about this has suffered a bump on the head right before I got here or is high on gasoline fumes from the auger he’s putting in the back of my car.”

But, no, I go to the Tennessee General Assembly home page, type in “citizenship” and it turns out it’s true.

Representative Lynn, who is “working hard for Sumner and Wilson Counties,” earlier introduced a resolution to try to force the U.S. Congress to clarify that children of illegal immigrants who are born here don’t qualify for U.S. citizenship under the 14th Amendment.

America, we have tried (and often succeeded) to deny citizenship to children born of non-citizens. You may remember the Dred Scott decision, which ruled that African Americans who were slaves or descendants of slaves were not and could never be U.S. citizens. The 14th Amendment was written in specific response to this. But other children born here–Native American and Asian being the two most obvious–have had problems establishing their right to citizenship because they, too, came from “undesirable” groups.

In other words, efforts to deny citizenship to children born here in the United States are always a part of a larger movement to hurt and punish the racial demographic to which they belong. (In fact, one might argue that, considering how much of the current hand-wringing is about “The Mexicans,” and considering where the traditional boundaries of the peoples living here before we got here, and the traditional boundaries of Mexico, we might read this whole thing as a continuation of our efforts to deny the people who were here before us rights that we have so that we can continue to move them up and out when we want their resources.)

But, I know, to a lot of you, that sounds like egg-headed mumbo-jumbo. So, let me bring up a few other points.

1. A lot of us have ancestors who fought and died to end slavery and to provide some basic legal recognitions of the humanity of African Americans, which would give them Constitutional protections. We tore this country apart and then bled it back together in order to ensure that people who were born here were “us.” Ending birthright citizenship is just about as fundimentally un-American as you can get and it is grossly disrespectful of the blood that was shed on this ground by our fathers and sons and brothers (and sneaky women-folk).

Why is Representative Lynn trying to encourage the passing of such legistation which is both anti-American and, by virtue of it negating the sacrifices of our soldiers, anti-troops?

2. Many of you are clinging desperately to the notion that the 2nd Amendment means what it says. Well, if Representative Lynn and her colleagues succeed in making the 14th Amendment mean something other than what it clearly says–“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”–what kind of precident do you think that sets for the next time one of us Lefty crackpots tries to argue that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t mean what it says?

What kind of precident is Lynn trying to set? And are you prepared to say that rights enumerated in the Constitution don’t apply should some Legislator gets a bug up her butt to undermine them?

3. Representative Lynn is a hypocrite. We are all hypocrites, of course, so this isn’t an world-ending charge. But here’s a person who is trying to get excused absenses for kids whose parents are in the military, whose trying to track and monitor people who prey on children sexually, who wants background checks on everyone who comes in contact with children, and so on and so on. But when it comes to providing children citizenship, which would safeguard them in important ways for their whole lives, Lynn wants to pick and choose which children to protect.

4. So, how would this work, exactly? Would Nashville’s local police work with ICE to infiltrate daycares looking for criminal babies? Will we see immigration raids on local schools? Does Representative Lynn have stock in a company that makes little handcuffs? And when these dangerous babies and small children are captured and arrested, where, exactly, will they be held? Can you stick a three year old in a juvenile detention center? Should you? What if you never locate the baby’s parents? Will we ship toddlers to Mexico and then… what… leave them at the airport unattended to die? I hope Representative Lynn isn’t claiming to be pro-life in that case.

5. Regardless of what Lynn claims, U.S. citizenship is the right of every baby born in the United States, regardless of who his parents are. That’s been established repeatedly in court. So, Representative Lynn is attempting to steal from babies.

That’s how classy she is. She’s trying to steal from babies and strip babies of their Constitutional rights.

Babies.

Folks, seriously.

SHE’S STEALING FROM BABIES.

It would almost be a joke if she wasn’t dead serious about it.

Weekly Liberal TN Blogger Round-up

I didn’t make it on this week.  I can only assume that’s because the Butcher was right to point out that no one is going to hire me to do documentaries, no matter how crappy.  Shoot, I should have kidnapped the documentarians who were here and taken them over and then posted the video here and then I could have made it on the list this week.

Oh, but except that I posted the Eno Road stuff last week.

This week, I’ve posted about Representative Lynn trying to steal from babies and you can tune in here next week to see if that makes it.

See, now there’s suspense.  That makes it better.

————

The Sunday “why aren’t you wearing a flag pin?” edition of the TennViews intermittently weekly blog roundup showcasing the best bloggers in Tennessee and what they are talking about…

• 55-40 Memphis: I’m a Hillary-hater now

• BlountViews: Republican County Mayor charges Sunshine Law violation against commissioners helping citizen investigate county finances. Plus: Local paper discovers blogs, interviews yours truly.

• Carole Borges: Hillary please do go gently into that good night

• The Crone Speaks: Abstinence Only Doesn’t Work, and Barrack’s Senior Problem

• Cup of Joe Powell: Search For Terrorism in TN Nets Seatbelt Violations , plus: this is not a pipe.

• The Donkey’s Mouth: Tennessee’s Republican Congressional delegation votes against Medicaid Safety Net, TN GOP doesn’t get the memo and blames Bredesen.

• Enclave: Beth Harwell has no interest in protecting Tennessee kids from dangerous toys (wonder why?), and any effort to regulate dangerous toys at the state level usurps the federal government’s right to not regulate dangerous toys.

• Fletch: See Chattanooga on a Segway, plus Temple of the Gods: When the temple is occupied, the gods will command a magnificent air-conditioned vista of downtown, the Tennessee River, and Lookout Mountain, while processing the paperwork and making life and death financial and health decisions for the mere mortals down below who pay their tithes to the gods.

• KnoxViews: Straight talk about real life, plus McCain wins Pennsylvania primary. Bonus: KnoxViews voted best local blog by Metro Pulse alt-weekly readers. (Instapundit was a runner up.)

• Lean Left: McCain Opposed To New Benefits for Veterans, plus: Lean Left: You don’t stop doing business with Pizza Hut because you don’t like their corporate policies. You stop doing business with Pizza Hut because they have sh**ty pizza.

• Left of the Dial: No Deal

• Left Wing Cracker: It’s time for some MISSIONARY work, my Democratic brothers and sisters, plus: Democrats for LAMAR!

• Liberadio: Steve Gill’s Gas Problem, and Phil Valentine’s Lying Problem

• NewsComa: Now famous in Pakistan.

• Progressive Nashville: Lamar Alexander Votes To Deny Justice to Tennessee Workers: Alexander and Corker both feel safe in their seats, so they had the freedom to vote party line over common sense. They should both be ashamed. Plus: What do coral snake bites and German rooftops have in common? Hint: the so-called free market.

• Resonance: Is Conspicuous Consumption Out? Plus, People Get Outraged Over The Silliest Things: And somewhere near the bottom of the list would be the horror of having my precious snowflake exposed to a few seconds of Spanish over the school public address system one day a year.

• RoaneViews: Becky Ruppe Officially announced her campaign for State Senator

• Russ McBee: McCain’s Pander Bus stops in New Orleans, lies to the Lower 9th. Plus: happy blogiversary!

• Sean Braisted: Let the Caveats Begin: John McCain is backtracking on his tough talk over earmarks… Plus: Willie Horton Part Deux

• Sharon Cobb: Reverend Jeremiah Wright Gives First Interview: I bring all of this up to underscore how much your average white person does not know about the black churches, and how Rev. Wright is going to get his words twisted. Plus: Hillary Clinton Runs Her Campaign Like A Republican, And It Will Backfire

• Silence Isn’t Golden: Dear Senator Obama: Hi. I know you’re busy right now, and you’ve got a lot on your mind. But if you can spare a few minutes, then for God’s sake, call this woman! Bonus: Awesome spring break, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. (And the amazing thing is, she still found time to blog for Obama!)

• Southern Beale: Rep. Jim Cooper recounts an embarrassing trip aboard Air Force One (“These are astronaut mattresses!”) Plus: Back to the Kitchen!

• Tennessee Guerilla Women: Chelsea Clinton at Duke On Hillary’s Position On Feminist Issues: In the video clip below, Chelsea Clinton campaigns at North Carolina’s Duke University (on Equal Pay Day) and points out that numerous feminist, um, human rights bills fail to pass in even a Democratic Congress. Plus: NY Times Whines: Hillary Made Politics Mean!

• TennViews: Democratic Convention 101, Plus: Fight higher grocery prices: Buy local

• Vibinc: Harrowing Healthcare Hedge, And: Whiners and Hand Wringers

• Whites Creek Journal: WhitesCreek Journal: No She Can’t: Ohmygod!!! Obama is Willard Scott! Plus: Pictures from the Morning Hike: My yard is a bit unusual, lying in three counties and two time zones, and having over 800 feet of elevation change from bottom to top.

• Women’s Health News: Drug-Addicted Women Need Medical Care, Not Jail Plus: Happy Earth Day – Alternative & Reusable Menstrual Products

Things on the Verge of Being Amazing

Here’s a couple of pictures of the front of my afghan (which, at the time, was not fully pieced together) and the back of the afghan. Both sides have their own charm and I trust that Miss Plimco will find occasion to treat both sides as the “right side.”

Also, here are a couple of pictures of the plants. I think that either my sage has a fungus or is about to bloom. I think I might be seeing the start of some lavender blossoms, too.

Take a look at my peppers and see how the jalapeno makes me look like I know what I’m doing.

“Woman Left Home with a Brown-eyed Man and I…”

I’ll admit that yesterday, upon saving the pork roast (which, for the record, included no garlic because we don’t have any in the house and I was hoping the garlic in the ketchup would do. I think it did okay, but you, America, should not be thwarted by my success.), I had half a mind to run around knocking on neighbors’ doors shouting “In your face” or singing a little song like “My porkroast is better than yours, damn right, it’s better than yours.  I could feed you, but you’ve got open sores.”  (See, and you thought there was no point to reading those posts about the open sores/Open Source guy and here it is, now, a little joke you can snicker at.)

But, I’ve got to tell you that yesterday, I had a day so quintessentially mine that I feel like, if I describe it to you, you will somehow come to know me better than you do.  So, here it is in short:

–Good morning to take the dog to the park; I told the Butcher he could take the car to work.

–Saved the pork roast; burned my boob

–Had more than enough Koolaid yarn to finish the body of the afghan but ran out of white when the boarder was a third done.

–Wanted to get to the yarn shop, but ended up instead fixing my toiled with a bobby pin and running the Butcher into East Nashville.

–Went to meet documentary film crew at local restaurant, turns out restaurant doesn’t serve beer (rectified that by byob-ing).

–Turns out restaurant seemed slightly uncomfortable with having the documentary crew there so we came back to my house, which looked like a girl had spent most of her day in her pajamas, weeding, fixing pork, and fixing a toilet with a bobby pin.

–The documentarians began to document the sweetest, most moving story ever, which was “enhanced” by the sound of Mrs. Wigglebottom gnawing on her very, very large bone.  I took her outside.

–After picking the Butcher up, I discovered I’d left the fridge door open since we got back from the restaurant.

–And the fucking bobby pin genius toilet fixing lasted, apparently, a whole total of eight hours.

And so I went to bed and was thinking about it all and I started laughing, which, let me tell you, is not a pleasant experience when you’re wearing the CPAP mask, because it lets in air through your mouth which means all the air being forced through your nose rushes out your mouth instead of down into your lungs, so you have this weird experience of feeling like you’re drowning, which seemed to me such a fitting end to my day that I laughed again and went to sleep and woke up to write this.

Can This Pork Roast Be Saved?

Clearly, though, the most pressing matter in Nashville this morning is whether I can salvage this pork roast. 

Here’s what I’m trying:

The end of two ketchup bottles floating around in the fridge

Generous dash of Worchestershire Sauce

Big squirt of yellow mustard

End of a jar of bbq rub

Cumin

Onion

Chili powder

Heap of brown sugar

Water

Pork

Sauce pan

Bringing it slowly up to hot.

We’ll see how it goes.  The BBQ sauce ended up unlike any other BBQ sauce I’ve ever tasted.  The Worchstershire sauce and the yellow mustard and the vinager from the ketchup is a little too strong for my tastes, but I’m hoping that bringing it up slowly to hot will mellow those flavors and let the other flavors come forward.  Right now, it’s almost like a Sweet and Sour sauce with a Texas kick.

Updated to Add:  Oh sweet and tender Jesus, I have fixed the pork.  It’s so delicious.  Yes, I burnt my boob in the process (don’t ask), but it is so good.  So, so good.  I should have written that recipe down exactly and sold it.

Links and Linking

So, as NM noted, wordpress has started sticking links at the bottom of posts.  They say that it’s about helping to drive traffic to blogs.  But between this and that feature that pops up the tiny previews of the webpage you’re about to go to, it’s enough to make me encourage folks to just retire to the safety of their RSS reader.

I don’t like it.  I don’t guess I mind that it gives you related posts of mine, but, to me, links indicate endorsement and when WordPress puts links on the bottom of my content, it looks like I have read those posts and think you should to, and that’s not true.

I’m ready to be persuaded otherwise, if people like it, but I’m giving it a couple days and if I don’t see the charm of it, I’m turning it off.

But traffic…

I don’t know.  I’ve been thinking about this thread over at Chris Clarke’s and I do think that there’s something to be said about carefully considering whether turning folks’ attention to someone is always a positive.  Is having more eyes really that important if those folks aren’t going to read

I don’t normally read Feministe, but I’ve been following things over there and trying to think about the implications for how we… for how I do things.

It’s funny (not funny ha ha, but funny weird) that I can articulate to you that I think things are fucked up and I want something different, but that I don’t trust myself to know what that different will look like, that I don’t know that I trust that, in my fucked-up-ness, I can dream big enough for what a better future will look like.

And yet, the other day, I was emailing Mag and I was all “I think what we have to do is…” like I’m going to be the general, or Moses or whatever.  I am not the leader. 

And more importantly, if I know it is fucked up how I was trained as a white woman to run around trying to smooth things over and coddle everyone and make nice, and if I know my own tendencies to try to appease abusive people in order to soothe them and try to de-escalate explosive situations, I’ve got to stop trying to appease, smooth over, coddle, smooth, and make nice.

I’ve got to be willing to let people’s pain and anger remain unresolved in the way that I’m used to seeing resolution, because how I see resolution is often deeply fucked.

I’m kind of meandering yet again, but my point is that more linking doesn’t, in and of itself mean anything.  More hits doesn’t constitute more blessings.  Buying into this idea that we should all strive to be popular and read seems to me to not be a small purchase. 

I mean, every day I come in here and I see that I have at least fifty more folks who got here looking for “Hermaphrodite porn.”  That post is, by far, the most popular post I’ve ever written.  Right now, it’s had 8,536 views.

I don’t regret writing that post.  Rereading it reminds me of a fun evening with a good friend.  I don’t have anything against porn, except, as I said, that no one in the porn I see ever seems to be having any fun.  I think porn featuring actual hermaphrodites might be very hot (if they seemed to be having fun) and I think that porn featuring women with dildos glued to their “ovary place” could be hot, too, again, if it seemed like they were enjoying themselves.

But, at this point, with that post being three years old, and with no new comments since it first went up, something about that 8,536 just grates on me a little bit.  My second most popular post, the open letter to Jesus’ General, during the incident that led to the demise of NiT as I loved it (yes, Christian, I love you too.), I’m fine with having out there as a representative piece of writing for what I do here.

Love me or hate me, agree or disagree with me, but, from where I’m sitting, I feel like, if you’ve looked at that post, you both have a sense of who I am as a person and a blogger, how I’m bringing a very localized lens to focus on larger issues, and how I situate myself in the world.

You read that Hermaphrodite Porn post, you’re looking for hermaphrodite porn on Google and it brought you here long enough to realize there wasn’t any hermaphrodite porn.  What the fuck does that matter to me except to know that all my blog stats are inflated every day by a hundred readers who aren’t actually reading me?

I do not give a shit about those people.  They do not count, in my own mind, towards any standard of judging whether my blog is “popular” or “important.”

So, on the one hand, yes, I see the benefit to having an easy way for people to explore other writers who might be writing about this stuff, even if those links aren’t endorsed by the author of the post (especially if everyone understands that they aren’t), but it also seems to me that promising authors more eyes doesn’t really mean much if those eyes don’t lead to thoughtful readers.

Have I Already Ruined My Jalapeno Pepper Plant?

Am I overwatering?  When I got home from work today, both the bell pepper plant and the jalapeno were drooping and kind of wilty looking.  And the jalapeno had black spots where the branches, you know, branch out from the stems.

So, I didn’t water them and they appear now–I just went out and checked because I am a giant nerd–to be perking up, so maybe I did over-water them.

But I feel like I have such emo peppers.  Soon they’re going to be listening to bands with boys who wear too much eyeliner and moping around their bedrooms talking back to me under their breaths.  What can I do to appease them?

And, and, to make matters worse, my feverfew and my chamomile are just like “Oh, we’re tiny.  We stay tiny, don’t mind us.”

Folks, do you know what chamomile and feverfew are fancy-talk for?  Weeds.  I’m some how failing to grow weeds.

On the other hand, my lavender is finally taking off like a mad-plant and the sage and rosemary are delightful.

A Tiny Post About Work

In my line of work, you sometimes get phone calls from people who want you to advise them on how to do business with other people vaguely in your line of work.  It’s like, if you coached a flag football team and had to randomly field calls from people who want to get into the NFL, but don’t quite know how.

Sometimes, you can offer them general advice just based on what they tell you over the phone–“Well, you’re going to need an agent, first”; “No, I don’t know of any teams that give special preference to people who’ve been to Korea.  Yes, I understand ‘during the war.’ I’m just saying…”

And sometimes you can’t really help them because, even though what you do is called the same thing as what they want to do, the fact is, they’re very different things.

Often, the people calling you know this.  It doesn’t stop them from going on for ten, fifteen, sometimes twenty minutes with their whole life story.  Sometimes, you can tell they just really think that, if you hear about their project, you will break all the rules and give them a contract.  Sometimes, they just need to say stuff out loud and have someone listen.  And sometimes they start going on about open sores or how they just need $3,000 to go to Israel to dig under Golgotha because that’s where the Ark of the Covenant is hidden and, inside it, the Holy Grail, which they have discerned through means they cannot tell you about.

Needless to say, I prefer the second kind.  Which, the open sores/open source guy turned out to be.

I think.

He’s going to get Ray Bradbury to help him, he says, which makes me think that he might have been slowly leaking over into the third kind of caller, but he got off the phone a lot quicker than those guys tend to do, so it’s hard to say.

Random Things I Can’t Quite Make Up My Mind About

1. How does a guy who puts pictures of his bare butt (which, yes, is quite cute in it’s own way) on the internet turn around and claim to be big on privacy? What kind of privacy is it that protects your words and not your ass?

2. On a similar note, Mack doesn’t believe that condescension is a type of hostility. All I keep thinking is that, if it’s not, I’m in big trouble. How will stupid politicians know how angrily opposed I am to their ideas if they don’t sense that I mean to condescend to them and I mean it hostilely? Anyway, you can go over to Mack’s and weigh in there. Ignore his obvious pandering to the feminist vote, please.

(Edited to add: 2.5  Mack says that he really did think that commercial was nice, about urging people to make responsible credit card purchase decisions, and not some effort to convince feminists he thinks all men should ask women for permission to do things.  Which is, I think, too bad.)

3. GoldenI needs some advice. I’m going to say, go “Missour-eh” striking a nice balance between the two obvious alternatives. “Illinoy” because it’s right. “Ioway” because who doesn’t sometimes like to sound like an 80 year old farmer? Arkans-ass because come the fuck on. You don’t see Kansas running around being all “Kensaw.” You cannot have Arkansas and Kansas in the same country and not have those rhyme. It’s just stupid. And you say “Cairo” like the name Carol, but without the “l” at the end.

4. What went wrong with my roast? Why do I suck at using the crock pot? Isn’t the point supposed to be that you put stuff in before you go to work and you come home to a magic pot of goodness? Oh, sure, it tasted good and it fell right off the bone, but it was dry as a stone.