Complete and Total Panic, but No Crying Yet

I am in a complete panic.  This is the irrational stage of panic, where I’m just panicked in complete disproportion to the actual need to panic.  I mean, the Shill and I got a lot accomplished.  My room is about three boxes away from being done, if that.  The downstairs is about half done and the bathroom can’t be tackled until right before we go.  So, I mean, for it being a week before we move, we’re in fine shape.

But holy shit.  No, I am no good.  I yelled at the Butcher on the phone because the house is not ready–his room is not painted.  The paint supplies are all still in the sink in the kitchen, which means the kitchen still feels like a mess to me.  None of the outlets or light switches have face plates on them again yet.  And I wanted to sweep and Murphy Oil the floors one more time and we’ve got some paint to get up off the floors.

It’s not an enormous amount, but it’s a lot considering that we’ve still got to get this place packed up.  I am begging the Universe that the Butcher actually has people lined up to move us on Saturday.

And I yelled at the Butcher because he spent the weekend watching football instead of… well, and see, this is where I think I’m really unfair to him.  I want him to be as panicked and upset as me.  That’s what it comes down to.  He’s all like “Don’t worry.  We can finish up on Friday.” and I don’t feel reassured by that.  I feel like he just fucking doesn’t get it.

But I am in such a fit that I literally cannot turn the bitch off to express that in any kind of rational way.  So, I feel bad about that.

So, my dad’s coming back.  He’s going to get the house taken care of.  Yes, it’s crazy.  Yes, there’s no gas in town.  Yes, again, I know, it’s crazy to have him drive down here from Illinois to get the house done, but you know what?  I don’t give a shit.

When I talk to my dad, I hear in his voice that he gets it–how completely fucking freaked out I am and how I just need one other fucking person on this planet to understand how enormous this feels to me and who, when they understand that, is moved by it and I need that person to be related to me.

I mean, don’t get me wrong.  I am so grateful, I mean, cross the parking lot on my knees grateful that the Shill came down and that we got as much done as we did.  Holy shit am I grateful for that.

So, it’s fucked up.  There’s deep ancient family shit going on with this whole move thing and, if I had time, I’d sit around and analyze it and come to some understanding.  But right now, I’m just like “Thank the gods that I have friends and family who are willing to put up with my shit and continually help me through messes of my own making.”  I am so deeply, deeply thankful for that.  Soul deep.

Packing and More Packing

The Corporate Shill’s son and the Redheaded Kid have the same name, so my dad calls and I’m all “Zach’s coloring and watching SpongeBob” and my dad’s all “Why are you talking about him like he’s an idiot?”  “Because he’s two!”

I clearly need to hire the Shill as my personal motivator.  She’s all “pack this. Pack that.  Pack some more stuff.  Here’s our plan for tomorrow, which will involve more packing.”  I’m all “Noooooo.” and she’s all “You can whine and cry and pack at the same time, B.”

Even though someone stuck tape to her belly, Mrs. Wigglebottom was surprisingly good… Um, I mean, completely expectedly good, just like I’ve spent hours a day training her to be… with the kid.  She had to show him her bone and then act a little distressed by the tape on her belly and after that, she pretty much just slept by the door in that manner dogs have where they seem to keep one eye open while they snore.

I think our goal for tomorrow is to conquer the altar and the books in my room.

Monday, the cable is gone, so I’ll have nothing to do in the evenings after work but pack.  I have to back myself into corners about packing like that or it would never get done.  My dad said we could just leave it for Saturday, but that seems unfair.

I went shopping today for a bookcase, too.  That was an adventure in stupidity.  I want something nice for the den because I made a promise to myself that there would be no particle board shelves in my actual house.  I basically want a large box with an open side, with five or six shelves.  I want to pay, I don’t know, around $600 for it, I think.

I went to that furniture place on Whitebridge Road and, first, to find a bookcase that didn’t have fancy lights or glass shelves that also lit up was nearly impossible and then, when she did find me something I liked, it was $1,600.  I mean, it was good looking, but it’s not like it fucked you until you couldn’t stand and then sang you to sleep and then left you a poem about how much it longs to be with you because you are the most magnificent girl in the world and if only it had met you under other circumstances it could happily spend its whole life losing itself in your eyes but alas, it must return to the village of its people and continue to fight for their freedom.  I don’t require that poem to actually be true, mind you, but I expect a lie I can cry wistfully over later for $1,600.

I also feel like I should have picked up a bunch of small plastic trays at Target, but I did not and so I’m sitting here wistfully over that.

The Shill and I also had a good head-shaking laugh at the giant line of people trying to get gas at the KwikMart on West End.  People, if you would stop buying gas like nincompoops, we would have gas.  There is no real shortage yet, just a bunch of panicking assholes.

An Evening of Fairy Tales

I finished watching Pan’s Labrynth and came upstairs to check my email and found that one of you had sent me a link to Neil Gaiman’s “Snow, Glass, Apples.”  That seemed like a pretty big coincidence, but you never know with stuff like that.  What’s coincidence?  What has actual meaning?  It’s up to each interpreter I suppose.

I loved Pan’s Labyrnth and I can’t believe I waited for so long to see it.  But my success with The Devil’s Backbone made me feel like taking a chance on this one.  And so I did and so, as you know, it’s beautiful and amazing and everything you’ve heard.  Like The Devil’s Backbone, it’s subtitled, so if you’re not a quick reader, I guess it sucks, but the thing I thought, as a non-Spanish speaker, that was so good about Pan’s Labrynth is that reading is such a critical componant to the movie that reading along while watching seems like an intrinsic element of the movie.

I keep thinking of these two and The Orphanage as a group, which may or may not be exactly fair.  But the thing that strikes me about all three is how they are movies with children at their center but they are not children’s movies.  Maybe I just don’t watch enough movies, but I’m struck by that.  It seems to me with American movies, if children are at the center of the movie, it’s a movie for children.

I’m also struck by the way, in all these movies, that the supernatural elements might be perceived as scary, but they are never as threatening as the real world events in the movie.  Anyway, I thought it was great.

And I like that Neil Gaiman story, so you should read it.  I’m mulling it over, that retelling of stories we all know.  I wonder how our modern ideas about copyright affect that.  Are there modern characters we all feel are ours so much that we want to configure and reconfigure the elements of their narratives?

I guess we do in movies.  It’s funny.  The other day I was looking for that quote from Ulysseus, the whole “yes I said yes” thing that Molly says at the end of the book and the Wikipedia entry about it says that Kate Bush wanted to use it in a song, but she couldn’t get permission from the Joyce estate.

I ask you, have you ever heard anything so counter to Modernism?  That there should be things off-limits to your reworking?

Anyway, I find that funny.

Feel Good Friday–Tent Revival Edition

Okay, somewhere between these two songs is everything you need to know about a certain strain of American Christianity.  I will leave it to you to work out for yourself what that “everything” is.

This first clip is… is… Okay, I’ll just say it.  It’s a karaoke performance apparently in and during church of Ray Stevens’s “Dooright Family,” which is one of the songs on the soundtrack of my childhood.  Why folks would be singing this song in church, I don’t know.  This either makes them the most awesome congregation ever or the least self-aware.  I choose to go for “most awesome.”

(As a side note, best Lee Greenwood story I ever heard was how he was coming in to play at Opryland and the girl who was at the artists’ gate about fell over gushing over him, telling him how much she loved him and knew all his songs.  He thanked her and was feeling all great until she said, ‘You have a good show, Mr. Stevens.’  It kind of makes me love Greenwood a little bit that he’s willing to tell that story about himself.)

And here are Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers doing “Born Again, Again.”  I couldn’t find the lyrics to post for you, but the best part is something like “Born again again.  In and out of sin and back in.  Guess I’m a little noncommittal.  I’m born again, again.”  There are no obvious penises that I saw in this video, but if you like scrawny white boys, this one’s for you.

How Can a Post Like This Even Be Written?

No offense to y’all, but how can it possibly be that Old Norse scholars are sitting around wondering how publishers can sell their books?  This is quite possibly the most mind-boggling thing I’ve ever read in this history of reading about publishing.

Old Norse scholars and publishers, here is my advice for you, free of charge.  Get your heads out of your asses about your audience and, even if you feel like folks who worship the gods of the people you study are stupid or ridiculous or spent too much time playing D&D or being in prison or smoking pot or all three as youngsters, suck it up and MARKET YOUR DAMN BOOKS TO THEM.

The number of books on anything having to do with Old Norse I would expect to be able to sell to scholars and academic libraries?  Um.  500.  Maybe.  Possibly 750 if you can guilt your non-English reading colleagues into buying them out of fondness to you.

Here’s my question for you, then, Old Norse scholars and publishers.  Do you think Hilda Davidson’s books have only sold 500 copies?  No, and why not?

Because folks who describe their belief system as “the religion with homework” will buy scholarly books about their gods and ancestors if they know abou those books. And they know about her books and buy them.  Every book about Old Norse and Old Icelandic literature I have on my shelves I learned about from Asatru and other heathen sources.  Do not discount or disregard that market.  It’s just so stupid it makes my brain hurt to write this post.

Sell to the amateur enthusiasts who are interested in your subject.

Do that and your discipline will thrive.

Are you going to sell 5,000 copies or 25,000 copies?  No.

But you know what the difference between a project with a potential for 350 sales and a project with 1,000 unit sales?  A project with a contract, on a list with a future in a field with some excitement surrounding it.

Edited to Add: I was all snarky in this post, but it’s stuck with me.  I’ve been thinking about this all night, because it does boggle my mind that people who have information that people want feel so unsure about whether they can find an audience for that information.  I mean, how many universities are developing courses on neo-pagan religions?  You know what lecture I want to go to?  The one where the professor of neo-pagan religions brings in the Old Norse scholar and the Old Norse scholar says “Here’s what the popular conception of these gods is.  Here’s what we really know.”

I am at that class.  I am liveblogging that class.  I am crowding the dude afterwards like a lunatic.

My point?  Maybe viewing yourself along the model of “Language and LIterture” as if you fall in with the Spanish and Russian and English departments does make you seem like Old English, but for an even smaller audience.  But what if you are a vital part of someone’s MDiv or their Anthropology degree?

Then not only do you save yourselves, you’re the model for how less popular language programs save themselves.

Yeah, Him and a Thousand Other People

Listen, Conservatives, Sarah Palin’s emails were hacked by a… how best to describe them?… loose affiliation of millionaires, billionaires, and babies who make up a semi-organized group called “anonymous.”  If Mike Kernell’s son was one of the people who hacked Palin’s email, he was only one of a large, large group.

There’s a good article over at Slate explaining it.  Here’s the important part–about why it’s so stupid to use Yahoo (or similar programs) if you are a well-known person and you don’t want others looking at your email.

Alaska’s private e-mail system probably does not include a “Did you forget your password?” function. Yahoo, of course, does—and that function presents a key method of entry for hackers. The forgotten-password system is all the more vulnerable for addresses belonging to public figures like Palin. When you forget your e-mail address, Yahoo asks you a “challenge question” to verify your identity before giving you your password; because we know a great deal about Palin (her kids’ names, her husband’s favorite sport, her date of birth), the challenge question might not have been much of a challenge for the hacker. Indeed, that was the case in the other celebrity e-mail theft of recent memory: Paris Hilton’s cell phone was hacked because the thief knew that her pet Chihuahua was named Tinkerbell.

Is it more of a scandal that a politician would be stupid enough to use Yahoo thinking it was secure or that another politician’s kid might have been involved in showing that it isn’t?  And what if it turns out that Kernell’s kid was the one who reset the password in order to save Palin further embarrassment?  Will that be a “bombshell” or not?

Swinging Between Terror and Euphoria

I have not yet picked out a secret back way to my house from work.  The straight up back way is to just get on DB Todd and drive north until I hit the house, but it’s just a hair too long to really be a back way.  It’s like the back way of last resort.

No, a back way needs to keep you moving and out of a lot of traffic, so that even if it takes longer than the interstate, you feel the satisfaction of forward motion.  I’ve tried going down Charlotte and hitting Briley and swinging up.  And I’ve tried going down Charlotte, hitting 55th, going to Centennial, taking Centennial to Briley and up.  And last night I ended up going up the street that Swett’s is on (did we decide that was 38th?), cutting over on Albion, hooking around the underside of TSU, and over to Centennial and up Briley.

It’s necessary, I’ve decided, for my back way home to contain that stretch of Centennial.  For one, it reminds me of a real city, when I drive along that, with old stuff still in use and places you want to stop, but are afraid you’d be sucked into 1948 if you did.  Then, you get to drive by the Pilot with the really cheap gas and you get to see the old prison.

It’s my new favorite street in Nashville.  Not that I for sure had an old favorite street, but Centennial reminds me that Nashville is a working city and not just tourist destinations and suburbs.  So, I am left with figuring out those three pieces in a route–must contain my work, Centennial Boulevard, and my home.

Driving back from my house to this place, the thing that struck me most last night was just how fucking dark it is out there on Briley.  Someone who works for TDOT, explain to me why we can’t have reflective paint on our roads.  Is it a matter of there not being enough tax money?  Is there a shortage on reflective paint?  Are y’all hoping I will freak out and have to turn my brights on on a 4 lane highway like an idiot so that you can laugh at me?  What?  What?!

I cannot wait to get into the new house.  I can’t wait to sit on my porch or in my living room.  I can’t wait to cut my lawn or plant my plants.  One of the things I’m jealous about Mack about is how, when he’s thinking on something, he grabs a cigarette, opens his back door, and looks out over his yard towards the horses.

I don’t know what he’s thinking.  Possibly he’s thinking “I don’t even like smoking, but it buys me three minutes’ distraction from this woman.”  But in my head, I imagine he’s just taking stock of the beautiful view and imagining what the land might bring him in the coming months.

I’m so envious of that–the look he gets on his face when he’s just looking out his back door.

And I cannot wait to sit on my porch, looking out over my front yard, mulling over what I want to do where and when with it.  I wonder if I’ll be able to see a lot of stars from where we are.  It sure seems very, very dark out there, but I keep forgetting to look up and see if there are stars.

I’m worried about how this is all going to happen in ten days, terrified actually.  But the Butcher says he’s got moving day under control–friends to help and all.  So, I’ve got to trust but verify that.  It’s hard, really, for me anyway, to not just rip this from his control and ask all my friends for help and just roll on over him.

I keep reminding myself that he’s not an idiot and he deserves my respect.  I know that, of course, but I can’t let my stress keep me from treaing him with respect.  Just now he called to say he was going to track down the fridge, which I had forgotten about, so see?

It’s going to be fine.  Even if I have to call ever singing one of you and ask you to come over with two empty boxes and a willingness to just pack them.  See, and that wouldn’t be too much to ask, right?  That’s going to be my back way out of this month.  If I can’t do this, I will ask for help.

Even though I’m no good at asking for help.

Okay, I feel much better.  Woo hoo.  Whew.

“Pitch” Perfect

So, we were obviously at Richard’s last night, which is a fine place to eat and you should go there.  But it’s also the kind of place that, for better or for worse, is getting a reputation for good music.  Which means that you’re sitting in there eating your delicious barbecue stuffed shrimp wrapped in bacon over a bed of rice with the largest heaping of vegetables you ever saw laughing at your dad complaining about a lack of zydeco for him to dance to when all of a sudden you see them: The Industry Folks.

I don’t know why it is that you can always spot the industry folks, but you can.  Sure, they’re wearing jeans, but they’re just a little too tight or a little too stylish.  Sure, their hair says “long and carefree” but with every curl perfectly in place.  And when they enter a place, they do that subtle look to see if anyone is looking at them.

I don’t have anything against industry folks, but when they show up, you know a band has buzz and when a band has buzz and there are industry folks, forget about getting your Diet Coke refilled, that’s all I’m saying.

Well, it’s not all I’m saying.  I’m also saying this.  I hate when you can tell by listening to a band what their pitch is.  Not what range they most comfortably sing in, but what the little hook the Industry Person who gets her fingers into them is going to use to sell them to the rest of the company.

Last night, the band that was starting just as we left was Dixie Chicks meets Little Big Town.  Which, as you know, is basically Dolly, Linda, and Emmylou meet Fleetwood Mac and if you understand why getting excited in 2008 about that act is somewhat troublesome for me in terms of country music, you’ll understand why I was less excited about the band than everyone else in the restaurant.

But it did get me thinking, what is a pitch that would make you have to see a country act?

For me, I think it’d have to be something like “Hank Williams meets Dave Brubeck” or something that just made you go “What?!”  I don’t want a pitch that gestures me to something I can imagine.  Gesture me towards something I have to see to believe.

Like that dude who used to play down at the Bluegrass Inn who could play the piano with his butt.

I ask you, once I say “There’s a dude who plays the piano with his butt.” don’t you have to see that?

Granted, I can’t say for certain if there’s piano playing with butt in this video because I can’t get YouTube to work this morning, but you can get a feel for how it might happen.

I Ate This Thing!

It was this: shrimp, stuffed with I don’t know what, which was succulent and spicy, wrapped in bacon, dripping with butter.  You put it in your mouth and your mouth said “Eat this every day.”  Which was alarming, because your mouth normally does not talk to you like that.

Living around the corner from a Louisiana-style restaurant is going to be so damn awesome.

The Malleus Palinficarum

Courtesy of Katie Allison Granju, we learn that Sarah Palin was blessed by a man whose works include terrorizing a woman with a pet snake into leaving her home.  The comments over at Gawker are pretty hilarious.

In keeping with the theme for the evening, I would point out that, in the actual Malleus Maleficarum, you can read a long discussion on whether witches can actually make a man’s penis disappear or if they can only make it seem as if a man’s penis has disappeared.  Actual quote:

Peter’s member has been taken off, and he does not know whether it is by witchcraft or in some other way by the devil’s power, with the permission of God. Are there any ways of determining or distinguishing between these?

And you thought your day was difficult.

Two Random Observations

1.  Did you ever know someone who just seemed like the kind of person who would end up half way down the block in the middle of the pouring rain without realizing that he needed his umbrella?

Not that it’s raining, mind you.  This is a metaphor.

The question is not “Do you know someone who goes out without an umbrella?” but “Do you know someone who seems to be the type of person who would be constantly caught up in his own thoughts so much that he would regularly go outside when it rained without his umbrella?”

Can you imagine his wife calling him up, “John (not that John is his name, I’m just saying), dear, did you remember your umbrella?” to which he would answer “Yes,” though in a grumbly way because he’s soaked to the bone because, though he remembered his umbrella between the house and the car, he was so distracted by something on NPR, he did not remember it from the car to the office?

And if you know someone like that, my question for you is–is it then the least surprising thing in the world to learn that he went to the University of Chicago?

I say, “No.”  Or is it “yes”?  No, it is not surprising. Yes, it is the least surprising. Yes, I think yes, is it and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

Ha, I’m such a nerd.

Did I ever tell you that the license plates on my first car were PLDY 616 in honor of that?

2.  One of you sent me this lovely description of Walt Whitman’s blow job technique and I’m sharing it with you because it made me so happy this afternoon

“Edward Carpenter said that he had had sex with Walt Whitman and that the poet “thought that people should ‘know’ each other on the physical and emotional planes as well as the mental.” Carpenter in 1923 demonstrated to the young Gavin Arthur just how Walt Whitman gave a blow job. “He snuggled up to me and kissed my ear. His beard tickled my neck. He smelled like the leaves and ferns and soil of autumn woods… . I just lay there in the moonlight that poured in at the window and gave myself up to the loving man’s marvelous petting… . At last his hand was moving between my legs and his tongue was in my belly-button. And then when he was tickling my fundament just behind the balls and I could not hold it any longer, his mouth closed just over the head of my penis and I could feel my young vitality flowing into his old age. (Gay Sunshine Interviews, l:l26-28). Carpenter ~ like Sidney Morse ~ had first met Whitman in 1876 and felt he was carrying on the older man’s religion by communing in this way with the bodies of young boys.”

(I feel I should point out that Arthur was 20.)

I am so in love with the phrase “tickling my fundament” that I want to work it into some conversation today, and yet, how?


And also!  Also, don’t you know that smell?  “Leaves and ferns and soil of autumn woods.”  That’s one of my favorite man-smells.

The World is a Handkerchief

A Spaniard I know just emailed me saying “The World is a Handkerchief,” since she and I know each other (obviously) and have come to discover that we have a mutial aquaintance we didn’t know we had.

She said it’s a saying in Spain.

It put me in mind of Uncle Walt, of course, who compared the grass to God’s handkerchief.  Though today I can’t tell you even remotely about what it means.  Poems are like rituals.  Sometimes the words are full of meaning.  Other times, they just give you something to do with yourself while you wait for meaning to come again.


A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more
than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green
stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see
and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I
receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them,
It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out
of their mothers’ laps,
And here you are the mothers’ laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues,
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken
soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the
end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

Is Obama a Baby Killer?

In spite of the fact that they’re running a vice-presidential candidate who believes in abortion only if the life of the mother is threatened by continuing the pregnancy…

And let’s stop and think about what this means, just a second.  Not only does it mean that, if you’re raped, you’re expected to carry any resulting pregnancy to term; not only does it mean if you’re some 12 year old girl being molested by an uncle, you’re supposed to carry any resulting pregnancy to term; it means that is no room for nuance.  What if it’s merely your health that’s threatened?  Tough shit.  What if you’re pregnant with triplets and the doctor says you must reduce the number of fetuses in order to give any of them a chance?  Too bad for you.

And now Republicans in our state are pushing “Define Obama as an abortion extremist” as a winning strategy.  (I know.  You’d think “We think making little girls carry their rapists’ babies to term is swell” would be the extremist position, but there you go.)

Let us offer up some facts.  Two facts.  Just two.

1.  The partial-birth abortion ban does not outlaw late term abortions.  It does nothing to reduce the number of late term abortions.  All it does is legislate that doctors cannot perform the procedures safest for the mother or other fetuses in the womb.  It is the hollowist and most cynical of recent anti-abortion victories because it doesn’t do anything to reduce abortions, puts women and other babies at greater risk, and relies on a belief that anti-abortion activists must be, in general, too stupid to see they’ve been sold only a pyrrhic victory.

2.  While we here in Tennessee like to outlaw things twice–such as gay marriage–just to be sure that everyone gets that we really, really mean it, people in other states just need something to be illegal once for it to stick.

So, you ask, why did Obama vote against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act?

Here’s what the Illinois state law is and already was–“physicians must protect the life of a fetus when there is ‘a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb, with or without artificial support.'” (see here.)

In other words, you already couldn’t legally kill a baby that was born during a failed abortion attempt.

Why, then, would anti-abortion folks be pushing for yet another law that would make it super-dooper illegal to kill a baby born during a failed abortion?

Frankly speaking, because that’s been their winning strategy–to pass legislation that doesn’t actually have any effect, but gives them a mark in the win column.

And I guess it’s effective so there’s that.  Hell, this will probably be an effective rallying cry for them.  But I just thought someone should point out the truth.

The Curse of the All You Can Eat Shrimp

We went to Red Lobster tonight for all you can eat shrimp.  I did not order this because I know the amount of shrimp that is all I can eat and it is not $15 worth.  The Butcher, however, was cursed with a waitress who kept bringing and bringing and bringing him shrimp until I felt like barfing in sympathy for him.

Then they wanted to go to Walmart*(*), which is against my religion, so I refused.

But stuff did get done around the house.  All the tape is off the painted portions of the house.  The light fixture in the dining room survived its first run-in with a ladder with all but one glass thingies intact.  We have GFI plugs in the kitchen and bathroom, with cute little lights on them so you can see when they’re working.  I have a grounded outlet for every major appliance in my kitchen, including the dishwasher, which doesn’t yet exist.  And the garage is clean.

I’m not sure how all this is actually going to happen in 14 days, but somehow it will, I guess, and we’ll be better off for it.

They’ve cancelled Blogher Nashville, which I’m very disappointed about.  I already got my “Busy Mom Rules” tattoo and that’s just not going to be nearly as effective at, say, Thanksgiving as it would have been at BlogHer Nashville.

And I’ve got to send this person that Coble knows a two paragraph biography of me and I’ve been putting off sending it because what do I have to say?  “Oh, you know, I’m just a potty-mouthed corrupter of children and crusader for Leftist causes in a state that thinks carpooling is communistl.”

Heh, actually, that’s pretty good.

*I put the first astrisk there just to remind you that Walmart’s logo now includes a butthole.  I put the second astrisk there to explain that.

Best Unintentionally Funny Line of the Day

Okay, so as a brief background on the funny you’ll recall that two local fellers made up some boxes of Obama Waffles featuring a bug-eyed, big-lipped Obama on the front and this familiar image on top.  You may recall said image from this little press release, released by one Bill Hobbs and roundly denounced by just about everyone on the planet for misidentifying Obama as being in Muslim garb, when he was in traditional Kenyan garb.  And so you’ll recall that the national GOP took quite a bit of grief for Hobb’s actions, which, to those of us who remember his long history of anti-Muslim hysteria, was completely unsurprising.  (See here for Hobbs’s political art.)

With all that in mind, I bring you this quote from Hobbs, from today:

Candidates, campaigns and parties aren’t responsible for the actions and messages of every single freelancer from the grassroots and should not be subjected to constant calls to denounce, defend or explain the actions of freelancers.

Yes, that’s right.  Candidates, campaigns, and parties don’t have time to denounce, defend, or explain the actions of freelancers because, in general, they are too busy denouncing, defending, or explaining the actions of BILL HOBBS!!!!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

I guess ole Bill doesn’t like the competition.

I Succumb to teh Patriarchy

So, we were talking this afternoon about how happy men are when they have a task.  I was embarrassed to admit that I find this to be true.  I mean, one of the ways the Patriarchy fucks up men is to teach them to base their self-worth on what they do for people rather than just on their inherent niftiness.

And it seems wrong to exploit that.

And yet, when my dad has tasks, he’s much happier than he is when he doesn’t have tasks.  Today he’s cleaned my tub, changed out the shower curtain, purchased a bath mat, scraped all the dirt dauber nests out of my garage, discovered a box of honey, bug-bombed the shed, cleaned half the shelves in the garage, taken two showers, bought a fridge, discussed lawnmowers, helped in the purchase of a microwave/exhaust fan, and conferred with Mack and his wife about various things.  And he took the dog for two walks.

How many discussions have we had about how fat I am?  Zero.

About any other topic I find unpleasant or heartbreaking?  Zero.

How delightful and fun has it been to have him around?  Very.

Fine.  I give up.  Patriarchy, you win this round.

Trying to Buy Gas

Y’all, I had to go to two different gas stations on my way home to find a gas station with, you know, actual gas.

I have never, ever, ever in my entire life been to a gas station with no gas to sell me.

I found it very unsettling.

Can We Come Up with a Different Term?

Calling the near-complete meltdown this morning on Wall Street a consequence of the “unregulated” market seems to me to be, at the least, problematic.  We don’t have a completely unregulated market, as proved by the Feds stepping in to bail out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

If the market is free, then we have to allow corporations to fail and fail spectacularly, it seems to me, or else the whole promise of self-regulation never happens.

And, if we cannot have actual free markets, because of the enormous risks to us all inherent in leaving things regulated in such a half-assed manner, then let’s just acknowledge that and stop talking about things being “unregulated.”

They are regulated.  They are just regulated poorly.  And they are regulated poorly deliberately, because that’s how the corporate class wants it.  They want to be free to succede without government intervention and without having to pay their fair share in taxes.  But oh boy when they fail do they want that same government to step in and bail them out.

True Blood

Is anyone watching this?  I can’t decide whether it’s very good or not.  On the one hand, I just did not buy that Sookie would instantly fall in love with Bill across a crowded bar and I think I’m getting too old for unrequited love, because I find the whole “will they or won’t they” stuff to be ridiculous.

But I do find myself at the end of every episode wishing it were about fifteen minutes longer.

Have I Turned the Corner?

This cold kicked my ass, but I just now almost threw up.  I could not be more thrilled, because I am certain that, if I finally can throw up, I will feel worlds better.  I’m happy to finally feel like an end is in sight.

The Tiny Cat is So Weird

She’s sitting in there right now eating the dog food.  There’s an enormous bag of cat food not two feet away, and a bowl of cat food up on the table, but the dog food is where her heart is.  And her mouth, apparently.

If I Were the Professor…

I’d come over here in a HASMAT suit and kick my ass.  Folks.  I am sick.  I’m running a fever I can get to subside, but I can’t get to break.  Dayquil just makes me sick to my stomach and Nyquil stuffed me up so bad I had to get up and walk around just to be able to breathe.

The Professor helped me yesterday over at the house.  We got a second coat on the kitchen and finished up my room and I got the first layer of gunk off the tub.  And then I was done.

My landlord is coming back over today, at any second, to show another contractor through the place to get bids on making this side match the other side.  He’s due here at any second.  I’m not sure how long I can actually stand outside with the dog.

And my dad’s coming in today to help the Butcher get the garage clear of dirt dauber nests.

There’s so much to do, and all I want to do is sleep on the couch.  I really feel terrible about exposing the Professor to this.

Um.  That’s all I’ve got.  I’m going to try to go through today as drug free as I can, because I’m not convinced they made me feel any better.

In Which I Speak Ill of the Dead

So, David Foster Wallace is dead.

Fuck him.

Philosophically, I believe you have the right to do with your body whatever you like, including killing yourself, if that’s what it comes to.  But, emotionally, when you read that he hung himself and left himself for his wife to find?

Fuck him.

As much as you first and foremost belong to yourself, you belong to other people, who need you, to whom you owe trying everything else first before you give up. To whom you owe the courtesy of, at the least, at the very least, you fucker, not putting finding you like that on them.

My deepest, deepest sympathies to his wife.