Instead, let’s dwell on the other important news. The guac signal worked! And the Professor and I were able to go to the store and procure fixings and eat it all up. Well, mostly me. Even now, my lips are all a tingle from the yummy of the jalapenos.
I was all set to marry that bowl of guacamole, but I’m already married to Diet Dr Pepper and we all know I’m not leaving Diet Dr Pepper if I don’t have to.
My point is that the Missus rocks and you should check out her recipe in the comments of the post below, which, being earlier in the day was back before I was jaded about my chances of ever finding a house.
I am such a baby, you guys. I hope, if you’ve learned anything from reading me all this time, it’s that.
I know 8:26 is too early to call the Professor, but I want to be doing something completely different today. I don’t know what “completely different” looks like, exactly, but I know that, if the Professor’s not busy, she’ll be game for it.
I’m starting to wonder if the Clinton game plan, to just push ahead in spite of what all everyone says isn’t slowly working on me. I mean, in my understanding, there is no way for her to win the primary–that it is now mathematically impossible. And it is my understanding that, back when everyone agreed, everyone agreed that Florida and Michigan would lose their delegates if they moved their primaries up.
And yet, I have to tell you, I find her continued campaigning and her continued insistance that the Florida and Michigan votes should be counted oddly compelling. Not in the “Oh, god, I hope Clinton can squeek this out!” way, but in the “maybe there’s some validity to her claims and I’m just not reading or hearing from the people who can make me understand the argument.”
I don’t know.
What I really want to do is eat homemade guacamole.
But I have neither homemade guacamole nor the fixings for it nor the Missus/the Primary Wife’s (I think they’re both using the same recipe) recipe and so I’m kind of stuck. I wonder if it would be rude to call either of them before nine in the morning?
And I need to clean out my car.
But, maybe, by the time I clean out my car, I can kidnap the Professor and make her make me guacamole using a recipe which I will procure by posting my hopes for it here in hopes the the Missus reads it and sees this post like a Bat Signal… or, in this case, a Guac Signal.
The drawback to a real Guac Signal of course would be that it would look like a giant green blob, which would be oh so easily and oh so tragically confused for the Booger Signal. I can’t even begin to tell you how gross and traumatizing that mix-up would be. I leave it to your imaginations, dear readers.
Anyway, as you may have guessed, I’m dancing around the subject most dear to my heart at the moment. What they want for the house is too much. Not too, too much, but more than other houses in the area are going for per square foot. I want to pay what other houses in the area are going for, roughly. So, I’ve made them an offer that is just a little too little, hoping they’ll come back and say “What about this price right in the middle?”
So, that’s that. There’s not much more to say at the moment, other than, if you’ve ever been inclined to buy, say 8,000 Tiny Cat Pants t-shirts to hand out at your family reunion or your church picnic or just as a way to make sure your street gang is easily identifiable (I’m looking at you, Brown Pride! You’re BP; I’m BP. You wouldn’t even have to change your graffiti. Hell, British Petroleum, same with you. You wear my logo; I’ll wear yours.), now would be the time to do it.
I’ll admit, I’ve had a soft spot for the theory that Edward De Vere is secretly Shakespeare ever since I read a book in grad school that purported to show how the Earl left all kinds of clues in the text, such as writing his name over and over and over again in some kind of secret code throughout the plays.
And I’m a little in love with the theory that Shakespeare is actually Cervantes or visa versa.
When I was a kid, I had a friend, K. whose dad was an urepentant Southerner in the middle of Illinois married to a woman with the same name as his mother, which was a pretty uncommon name. K’s mom, the aforementioned woman, was one of the first people who talked to me like an adult, not a kid. I’ve always been grateful for that.
She also crochetted large afghans and told ghost stories. So, I guess you could say that she was a formative part of my young life.
They desperately wanted another kid. And finally K.’s mom got pregnant. And then she miscarried.
K’s dad cheated on K’s mom. And I can’t remember if this was how he dealt with the miscarriage or if the baby was supposed to help bring them together after the discovery of his affairs. I always thought his affairs were about him being homesick. I don’t know why, now that I think about it. I have nothing objective to base that on, just that that’s how it seemed to me, that he never was quite settled in the North.
I don’t suppose it much matters, just that there was a lot of pain between them, a lot of tragedy that most people couldn’t overcome, but K’s mom was determined to.
K’s dad, though, is who first introduced me to Pink Floyd.
So, in the middle of all this, when K’s mom had learned of her husband’s dogging ways, but had not yet decided if she was going to leave him, we were driving around in the car, and K’s mom was trying to see if people she didn’t know would wave at the car, trying to judge, I guess, how much of a life her husband had without her.
There had already been an incident when she was driving the car and a woman ran up to it only to back away in embarrassed surprise when she realized it wasn’t him.
And Pink Floyd came on the radio and K and I began to sing along–“We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.”–and K’s mom got very upset and turned off the radio and said “Yes, yes, you do need an education. What a horrible song. You should never, ever sing it.”
It was raining and she had not yet turned her wipers on and I was afraid, both because of how upset she was, and because I couldn’t see out of the window.
Finally, she pulled into a store to get some cigarettes. She put Fleetwood Mac in the tape player, searched for the exact right track, then said to us, “Here is the truth” and got out of the car and walked into the store.
Later, when she decided to stay with him, she gave my mom this huge suncatcher with that “Love is patient, love is kind” nonsense, by way of explanation.
That pissed me off so much I can’t even tell you. It was hard for me to explain it even to my dad when he was trying to understand why I was so upset. It just seemed to me so deeply fucked up, like some revelry in suffering, like just taking it and taking it and taking it made you righteous with God.
The first sermon I was ever aware of my dad writing for me was about that same chapter, about how it wasn’t just a list of ways you were expected to behave if you loved someone, but traits you should look for if you want to know if you are being loved.
I was always glad for that sermon, really.
Anyway, I didn’t listen to Pink Floyd again until I was older. I didn’t really have any way to. But by the time I was in middle school, my cousin S.–the same guy who used to take us down in my grandma’s basement and tell us ghost stories so scary that corner of the basement frightened me into my adult years–had made it his mission to teach us about good music.
And, he said, you have to listen to The Wall.
I still think that’s one of the most perfect albums ever made. I’ve owned it on tape twice, both times played until it stretched out beyond all recognition, and on CD, and it’s sitting on my computer. I can’t let go of my VCR, because then I won’t be able to watch my movie.
Not that I do anymore.
It’s hard for me to listen to it. It reminds me so much of the times in my life when I did listen to it nonsto–and I don’t guess that you turn to an album like that when everything is going your way–that it’s hard for me to listen to now.
I still love it, though.
And thinking back on K’s dad listening to it… I don’t know. It makes me feel like there was a lot more to him than I knew. I mean, I know even dicks can like good music, but… I don’t know.
I knew I was supposed to see him as the bad guy who about broke his wife in two, but the fact that he loved that album always made me suspect that there was more going on than I could understand.
One weird side-effect of the whole house-hunting thing has been witnessing people’s weirdness about the Butcher. And, honestly, I can’t decide if it’s weirdness about the Butcher or weirdness about money. Maybe a little of both.
See, I’m waiting to make an offer on the house until after the Butcher sees it. And, apparently, this is shocking. But he lives with me. He helps pay bills. And I trust his judgment. And yet, even this morning folks were like “Who’s paying for this house? Who’s name is going to be on the mortgage?”
But I trust the Butcher. Even if he didn’t live with me, I’d want him to see the house before I made a commitment to it. And not because he has a magical penis (because, of course, that’s why I had Mack take a look at it), but because he knows me better than most people and I trust his opinion about whether I’m doing the right thing. And it’s not that I’d let him override me; I just want to have his opinion to take into account.
But the whole “who controls the money in the house” issue has been one that’s been ongoing–not for us, I don’t think–but for the people around us. I remember some of the Butcher’s crazy Christian friends who I took to Noshville where they proceeded to pray loudly and then steal things. They were so obnoxious to the waitress that I gave her a 50% tip. When we got home, they told on me to the Butcher, said I was being a bad steward of his money. You know, since he was the man. And men are supposed to control the household money.
This is kind of off-track, but in my mind, linked, because it feels like that same kind of ridiculous surety, someone might let Pastor Pete know that “sincere” DOES NOT mean “without wax” and any quick trip to the OED or even Wikipedia would have told him that he’s spreading an untruth. I can’t say that it’s a “Breaking the Big Ten” level of untruth, but it does go to show that sincerity of belief and the Truth are not the same thing, which is probably a good lesson.
I don’t mean that as a snark against Pastor Pete. He seems like a fine guy from his blog. Maybe it’s not fair to call him out, not being a member of his community. I think I won’t link to him. No need to butt in and be rude.
But, since we’ve decided not to butt in and be rude, can I tell you how much I love that he’s taken a word that is probably pagan at root–“Oxford English Dictionary and most scholars state that sincerity from sincere is derived from the Latin sincerus meaning clean, pure, sound (1525–35). Sincerus may have once meant “one growth” (not mixed), from sin- (one) and crescere (to grow). Crescere derives from “Ceres,” the goddess of grain, as in “cereal.”–and, through his pseudo-etymology, untroubled it for himself theologically?
There are certain songs, I believe, that sound better when the weather is hot. Two spring immediately to mind for me. One is Madonna’s “Ray of Light” and the other is Sublime’s “Doin’ Time.” Neither song is of any interest to me once the weather starts to turn cold. But on days like today, when you want to roll down the windows but you also want to run the air conditioning and you want to drive around and you want to drink beers until you don’t remember where you left your shoes, these are some great, great songs.
The best part of “Ray of Light,” I think is how she says “Got herself a universe” over and over again until it sounds like she’s saying “Goddess of a Universe.”
There’s probably nothing good about “Doin’ Time” but I don’t care. I like it anyway.
Anyone who lives in Nashville can tell you that it’s still a pretty segregated city. I wouldn’t say that it’s segregated with the same kind of brutality as northern cities. For all our talk of bad neighborhoods that white people don’t go into, I’ve never met a black person in Nashville for whom I’m the first white person they’ve ever talked to in real life, whereas I have had the weird occassion to be that for a couple of black folks from Chicago.
On the other hand, driving around looking at houses really brings it home for you how we all here in Nashville live in quite a few cities nestled in among each other.
I firmly believe that kids should go to school in or near their own neighborhoods, unless their parents choose otherwise. It matters that kids can walk to school or take a short bus ride. It matters that a parent can work near where their kids go to school, so that, when there’s trouble or things to be celebrated, parents can get there.
Whew, I’ve got a big day ahead of me, if I’m going to prove myself to be a true-blue American with a righteous sense of history and the refusal to learn from the mistakes of my ancestors. I’ll start by reading this book. And then I’ll get on to repeating the exact same shit folks have been saying for 150 years, but I’ll keep swapping out groups to whom it applies.
I had two dreams last night. In one, I was putting a compost pile in my back yard and wondering if I could put dwarf lavender along the side fence.
In the other, I realized that Bridgett wasn’t just showing up to chat about the Civil War but that I was taking a class from her and that I had a paper due in two days. Her TA, an old, old man, would not accept it late. I had decided to write about Civil War Tent-Makers.
This morning, when I got up to walk the dog, we were greeted by a large crow, who flew, just ahead of us from tree to tree and then called to us until we caught up. Finally, when we hit the house of the dog who looks like Dr. Phil, it flew off over the interstate.
The only thing worse than watching a cute man go through your iPod with a furrowed brow is watching a man go through all the houses you’re considering buying and pointing out things like “They don’t appear to have actually put any support there” or “Hmm. That’s some mold they’ve got there” or “Is that some kind of weird insulation or have we stumbled upon a huge coke stash?”
But, after much hmming and ahmumming and manly grunting, one house, the house brought a slight smile to Mack’s face. Slight.
And then he said, “Yeah, I think you could put my chair right there.”
So, I have to talk to the Butcher tonight, but this may be it.
Do you want to see pictures? Of course you do. Okay, here are some.
I swear, sometimes this state makes me laugh so hard. You may remember Robin Smith, who is Bill Hobbs’s boss over at the TNGOP, and who has been very public in her support of Hobbs’s efforts to inform the whole world that Tennessee is a state that hates Muslims and likes to pick on women.
What in the world is Smith doing on the Human Righs Commission in the first place?!
Why would she have been asked? Why would she have accepted? Is this a case of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer? Is the Democratic party in this state so screwed up that they’d not recognize a spy in their midst?
I mean, it’s like putting me on the Republican Welcoming Committee.
Ha, ha. Is there such a thing? Because the governor should totally appoint me to that.
Thor has two goats who pull his cart–Tooth-gnasher and Tooth-grinder. You can eat them, and as long as you put their bones and hide back in a pile, complete, Thor can make them whole again. Other than that, I assume that they’re ordinary goats.
But I’ve been watching Mack’s goats with an eye towards Thor, wondering what it was about goats, of all creatures, that would lend them to being associated with Thor.
Frankly, I haven’t yet figured it out. But I’m having a good time watching the goats. One thing I noticed about them is that they have a surprising amount of dexterity in their hooves. I guess it’s the cloven thing going on, but when they’re trying to stand on something they’re unsure about, you can see their hooves wiggling in interesting ways to find purchase. And they seem to take great joy in climbing up on things, even if it’s just a pile of wood.
It’s interesting to watch them with the horses, because, at one level, they seem to get that the horses are herd animals and they are herd animals and so, as such, they might herd together. On the other hand, they seem tentative, unsure if they’ll be accepted by the horses, who seem convinced that running off the goats is good fun.
I have yet to figure out how I’m going to smuggle my lone sheep onto the farm. I could get a sheep that resembled a goat and see if Mack noticed. Or I could get a sheep with good wool for spinning and just claim it was a weird looking dog…
I don’t know. We’ll have to see. I’m going to have to learn how to spin first, I suppose.
I watched part of “Recount” yesterday but couldn’t stand to watch the whole thing. I won’t go into all the reasons I didn’t like it, but I do want to get on one: the portrayal of Katherine Harris.
To me, Katherine Harris is a really interesting figure. She’s motivated by deeply held religious beliefs, but she’s also clearly a little tyrannical, and a little in over her head, but with some core of shrewdness.
It’s a type of women you come to know well living in the South, the “I’m not a feminist but…” chicks who aren’t feminists, but they want to be in charge, based not on some belief in their own value as human beings, but based on their core belief in their own exceptionalism as women, granted by God. They are not like those other women, thank you Jesus.
I’m not sure that I could have done a better job writing Katherine Harris for Recount, but I watched it thinking that they got her all wrong. They had all of the ingredients right, but somehow all in the wrong proportions. She came off looking like an easily manipulatable fanatic. And not that that’s not true, kind of, but it’s not right.
And it’s too bad, I think. Because she does seem to me to be a really rich person to base a character off of, so particular to a certain place at a certain time, that I was sorry to see them so miss in their characterization of her. And this is not to say that Laura Dern was bad in it.
In fact, I thought she did an extraordinary job with what she was given. I saw repeated hints that Dern got what Harris was about–the precise, almost hypnotized way she put on her make-up, the way she delivered her Queen Esther speech–but I still think the writers didn’t get Harris.
I am so tired. I can’t even begin to tell you. I blame the 100 proof vodka. But I’m trying to stay up until at least 8 p.m. so I can sleep through the night. Here’s a cartoon I wish was about me. But none of my cats would stand for shit like that. Kathy has found me a house or two I might could live in. She for sure found me one I want to spend some time sitting at a kitchen table in, while staring out at that back yard.
Here’s what’s wrong with it.
The interior is a few hideous colors.
The gutters have issues.
The bathrooms are outdated.
The washer and dryer are in an outbuilding.
It’s farther north than I wanted to be.
It’s off Dickerson, not in Inglewood, and it’s suburban in a way that I can’t decide if it bothers me.
The kitchen will need updating in the next little bit.
Here’s what I love about it.
It needs to be painted, some colors we choose to suit us.
The bathrooms and kitchen are in solid shape, which means that we’d just be fixing them up for aesthetic reasons, not for any pressing need and, again, we could redo them to suit us. And I believe the one bathroom is next to a rather large closet, so we could consider bringing the washer and dryer in the house.
There is beautiful wood paneling in one of the rooms.
The backyard is fenced in.
The house backs up to a church, so you have no neighbors across the back, but instead look upon the church’s lawn.
The yard is exquisitely landscaped and, though there are lots of trees, there’s also a big sunny spot in the back yard where a girl might have a garden if she liked.
There are three bedrooms, a living room, and a great big eat-in kitchen, as well as a den with a massive fireplace.
The window in the kitchen is huge and overlooks the back yard.
There are windows in the bathrooms.
It’s a little more than I can afford, so they’d have to come down on the price some and I have to have my trusty advisers take a look at it before I can say for sure that I want to put an offer on it. But it feels like something I could make mine.
I wonder what Mrs. Wigglebottom would make of having a yard…
Usually, Kathy T is like a real estate sherpa. She walks into a situation, instantly finds her bearings, and can expertly guide you around.
But yesterday, we saw a house so ridiculous that I came into the living room to find her sitting in a dazed confusion.
They wanted one-thirty for the house, in a nice, but not too nice, neighborhood in East Nashville, kind of near the greenway. There were three big pot-holes in the driveway.
The two front rooms were so charming you about couldn’t stand it. And even the kitchen tile was dated in a way that was on the verge of coming back into style. But we started to make a list of all the things you’d have to do to make it possible to live there–make it so the kitchen cabinet doors shut, peel off every inch of wallpaper in the house in order to keep it from falling on you in the night, either carpet the floors or finish pulling off the tack strips, redo the bathroom, or at least the floor and the tub, replace the missing light fixtures and fix the remaining ones, replace all the rotting linoleum. And that’s just what you’d have to do to get in there and be able to live. It was going to need a complete kitchen overhaul very soon among other things.
Anyway, I think what stunned Kathy into shock was that the wallpaper was just curling off the walls. It would have been nothing to take it off, because it was coming off on its own.
We also looked at a house on the river, in a neighborhood near some gasoline containers, with only one way in and out of the neighborhood, near those gasoline containers, which means, I suppose, that, if there is a fire of some sort, you’re in trouble.
I’m afraid I’m about at the point where Kathy’s going to say “You will live here and you will like it” at the next remotely plausible thing we find.
In a way, I’m embarrassed to admit that it took seeing that Tribe and Play had been singled out for scrutiny under our bizarro anti-immigrant laws for me to start to wonder how the two things–hatred of homosexuals and hatred of Hispanics–might be linked.
But I saw this post over at GoldenI’s about how, for the first time in ten years, people can get married in Tennessee without having to prove their immigration status and that sent me over to this article in the Tennessean. I point you to the following:
Multiple state and federal courts have upheld that the government can’t bar a person from marrying simply because they or their partner are a member of some specific group, said James Blumstein, a Constitutional law professor at Vanderbilt University.
“There was a case rather appropriately called Loving v. Virginia that settled that matter,” Blumstein said about the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case that struck down laws barring interracial couples from marrying.
He said the government has to prove a marriage it opposes would have a negative impact on the country.
Arriola, elected clerk in 2006, said he never wanted to turn couples away over immigration-related paperwork. “That was the state law, and I was obligated to uphold it,” he said. “Personally, I think anyone should be able to marry.”
He predicted a spike in marriage license applications once couples heard about the policy change, but it was quiet Friday inside the back room of the Davidson County Clerk’s Office where couples come to complete marriage license paperwork. Only the department’s employees and its Web site signaled there was any change at all.
Arriola said he is a friend of the Rev. Joseph Breen, pastor of St. Edward Catholic Church, who pressured him for years about the law. Last year, St. Edward coordinated a trip for 20 mostly Hispanic couples to obtain marriage licenses and legally wed in Kentucky, where clerks don’t require immigration-related paperwork. Breen then married them in the church when they returned.
“Truly, everybody should have the right to get married, and the state should not have any rules or regulations against that,” Breen said. “What we’ve been doing here is a real shame. So we wanted to help these couples.”
Theresa Harmon, co-founder of Tennesseans for Responsible Immigration Policy, said she worries Davidson County’s new policy will draw illegal immigrants to Tennessee from surrounding states and make it harder to deport them. She plans to talk to lawmakers about overriding it.
“Marriage is a human right, and I believe in families,” she said. “But I’ve had to do some hard soul-searching on these kinds of issues.
“Marriage licenses are just going to be another way to legitimize people who aren’t supposed to be here in the first place.”
How can you read this and not see, waiting in the wings, the US citizens in our country who want to be able to marry each other?
And seeing Theresa Harmon saying so clearly that marriage can be a way of legitimizing people who aren’t supposed to be here in the first place, to me, strikes me as being so true that I had to sit back in my seat.
Of course, I disagree about whether gay people or brown people or whoever are “supposed” to be here, but what I’m saying is that, to me, this seems like a clear articulation of what the stakes are. Some of us are running around trying to legitimize people and others of us are trying to prevent that from happening.
I don’t know that I had really gotten that until now.
I usually put in a good chunk of time at the International Country Music Conference every year, but this year I got to be there for a grand total of six hours.
Still, in that time, I got to talk to Michael Betrand (who, you may recall, is brilliant), hear all about Hank Williams deeply, deeply fucked up sister, hear a bunch of different version of “Lovesick Blues” and hear all about Jimmie Rodgers.
The brilliant thing I want to think about some more before I decide if I agree with it that I heard and want to share with you so that you can mull it over and decide if you agree with it is paraphrased as following from a man we shall call Mr. M. Mr. M says that there were two modes of Southern white boy rebellion in the early 20th century, the Tom Sawyer trouble-maker who was clearly smart and knew it and was clearly destined to marry the judge’s daughter and eventually enter polite society. And then there was the Huck Finn mode of boy from the outskirts of society who sympathized too much with black folks and who was a constant challenge to the way things were done.
Mr. M’s argument is that part of what made Jimmie Rodgers so compelling was that he was the first in a line (that includes Elvis) of Southern White Male figures who would combine the Tom Sawyer with the Huck Finn.
To which I say “Hmm. I have to think about whether I agree with that.”
He had an awesome clip of Odetta doing Muleskinner Blues, which I could not find on Youtube, but I bring you this instead. Points if you can follow my train of thought.
Kathy and I went out looking at houses. I only have one thing to say: Nashville, what the hell?
“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know I just, I don’t understand it,” she said, dismissing the idea of dropping out.
What the fuck?
I know campaigns are long and grueling. But to act as if–especially in the context of her citing her appeal to discontented whites–bringing up Kennedy is not some way of saying “Well, hey, someone might shoot Obama and then I would be the nominee” seems hard to believe.
Have we ever had a campaign where one candidate suggested he should stay in the race in case the other candidate was killed?
Folks, I have been looking all over the internets to find out what an “English Garden” is an coming up more and more confused by the seeming disconnect between what people are calling an English Garden and what an English garden seems to be.
But I just discovered, it’s a cottage garden. They mean a cottage garden.
Which, if I had a home, I could grow.
I wonder if it’d be wise to just buy a lot, put my garden on it, and then, once the wisteria over the deck got thick enough, use that for shelter.
I just walked into the office (I was a little late because I was on the phone with my spiritual adviser having a fight about how I never answer my phone. Perhaps the Man from GM should call him and they can commiserate.) and found a big pile of roses on my desk from the Man from GM. I wish I knew how to work my camera on my phone, because they are the most beautiful hot pink things.