Things Afoot

I meant to give you guys a gardening update.  Did I tell you I nabbed all the crocuses at the grocery store up on the Rim once they went on sale?  And how I planted them along the dry creek in the back yard?  And how I drag everyone that comes to my house around my yard to point at all the places there may be plants at some point?

And, doing that, I’ve noticed a couple of things–One, the bulbs saraclark brought me from Andrew Jackson’s have sent up a couple of tiny green leaves just poking up through the dirt, as have the bulbs NM brought me, as has one of the daffodil bulbs that got planted in the front bed.  I hope that’s okay, since we’ve not even had winter yet, but I’m trusting that they know what they’re doing.  Also, I’m pleased to have some proof of life, as I was afraid I’d screwed up planting them.  Two, we still haven’t settled whether to pull the pine trees out of what I’d like to see become a peonie… peony… bed.

Dad is sure they’re there for some reason.  I think the reason that they’re there is obvious: because they grew there!  What I’d like to see there eventually is an archway covered with a climbing rose.  I wonder if I could transplant the one growing near the clothesline?  And hopefully people would walk through the archway rather than through my peonies.  I’m talking to you, especially, dog.

But also, I noticed that we have a shit-ton of moles.  So, I’m looking for a line on about a hundred pinwheels to set out in the yard to encourage them to go elsewhere.

Ha.  Our neighbors will love that.

In sad news, all the dead trees that could have been the basis for my bottle tree have now been chopped down and turned into fireword.

An Open Letter to Brantley Hargrove about Boobs

Dear Mr. Hargrove,

It has come to my attention through numerous emails to me and reading Pith that you are today blogging about boobs and from your blogging, it is clear that your experiences with boobs must be rather limited.  Luckily for you, I, myself, being Nashville’s (and now Whites Creek’s) resident token feminist and a boobular American have had quite a bit of experience with boobs–growing them, touching them, finding appropriate undergarments for them, developing a small fan-base for a faint freckle on one of them.  I have not yet mastered the skill of crushing a beer can with them, but that’s only because I’ve not yet found someone to teach me.  I’m sure my boobs are up for it.

I write this letter, in part, to inform you that I am greatly, greatly displeased to discover that I have to defend Saxby Chambliss.  I mean, my god, if only he had accidentally grabbed his grand daughter’s boob!  Oh glorious day of me laughing about that and emailing it to the large feminist cabal just waiting to descend upon Tennessee once I give the word.

Don’t make me defend that old fart.  It makes me a little nauseous.

But second, some day, a woman may want you to touch her boob and I feel compelled to write you for her sake.  Here’s what worries me.  You say, “He grabs her boob. She’s a little girl, no denying, but this isn’t just some accidental brushing. We’re talking straight-up cuppage.”

And yet, I have watched the video (and again, thanks, because there’s nothing more delightful than having a bunch of people ask you to watch some video that may contain old men groping little girls and then you watching it in fear of what you might see) and I see no boob grab.  No “straight-up cuppage.”

Women, usually, have two boobs.  There are certain circumstances in which they might have more or fewer, but, in general, we have two.  Those two boobs are usually easily found, even by touch, by starting at a woman’s shoulders and brushing lightly down and in.  You will feel a rise of flesh and–tada–there is a boob, located on one side or the other of her chest.

We would have to ask Rachel over at Women’s Health News, but I have never heard of a woman having one boob located on her torso right about where her stomach or liver is.  And it’s highly unlikely that Chambliss’s grand-daughter has one, lone boob right there.

So, clearly, he’s not grabbing her boob.  Her boob is not located in the center of her chest.

But second, let’s talk about “cuppage.”  Here’s a general rule for telling if you’re cupping a breast.  Put your hand on your desk, palm down.  See how your hand is flat?  You cannot cup something with a flat hand.  To successfully cup a breast, you should, at the least, bend your fingers slightly.  It’s a more successful motion, depending on the size of the breast, if you also tilt your wrist slightly to support the boob as you are placing your hand around it.

Again, as a general rule (and all women are different, so please be sure to ask the woman you’re with before trying any hand-to-boob contact), cupping a breast, with rounded fingers and a supportive wrist, is a pleasant experience for a woman (or icky experience for a girl).  Open-handed patting on one’s boobal area?  Normally not very erotic (unless we’re playing “Stacy Campfield and the Naughty Planned Parenthood Volunteer” but that’s a whole other letter).

Open-handed patting in the middle of one’s torso?  Nothing to get too worked up about.

Which brings me to my last, non-teasing, point.  Are we really to the point where a man can’t pat his prepubescent granddaughter on the belly without it being suspect?

It’s like this morass of stupidity–a man can’t touch a girl because we ascribe a kind of sexuality to little girls and so his touching her might be misconstrued by someone as being sexual, even if it is clearly not.  And yet, what fucks little girls up is not being touched by relatives in ways that others might misconstrue, but it’s when they’re touched by relatives in ways that are sexual.

I don’t know.  This just strikes me as wrong on all kinds of levels.  I think it’s wrong to insinuate that there’s something untoward about a man patting a girl on the torso, when we all can plainly see there’s nothing weird going on there.  It both makes too big a deal about something clearly innocent and, by extension, makes real claims of groping seem less serious.

And to what end?  Chambliss is despicable for all kinds of reasons.  But this is just not one of them.

Yours truly,

Aunt B.

Edited to Add: I can’t believe I’m about to get deeper into this nonsense.  And yet, now that Jack says, in the comments over at Pith, “Aunt B, I hope you’re kidding. If that’s where your liver is, I’d get to the emergency room immediately.” I, of course, cannot let this go.

Here is Chambliss holding his grand daughter:


Please note where his hand is.

Here is a man’s torso with his liver visible:


Please note that, even adjusting for the girl being smaller and, well, you know, a girl, Chambliss’s hand is square over her liver, not her boob.  If you’d like to learn more about livers, you can check out the website where I borrowed this photo.

Anyway, the fact remains that I am right.

Well, That Was Fast

So, the Tennessee Legislative Session hasn’t even convened (won’t until January) and already the Republicans are pissed at each other and shocked, shocked, shocked to find evidence of secret backroom deals being made.

It’s all very interesting, but I do want to touch on one thing that seems to be shaping up as conventional wisdom.

Terry Frank says:

Well allow me to correct them.  Tennessee Chairman Robin Smith made it very clear that if you are Republican and you abandon the party on crucial votes such as leadership votes, then adios amigo.  The Party Structure stands ready and willing to do the heavy lifting.  The enforcing.  (Example:  like the Democrat Party with Kurita!)

Two things, one minor, one major.  The minor thing is that it’s pretty obvious that the Democrats’ treatment of Kurita helped cost them the election.  The major thing is that the Republican majority in the house is one.

Yes, I know, we’ve all been acting like it was a landslide, but it’s just one.

So, Robin Smith can say all she wants that Republicans need to fall in line on crucial votes or they’re out of the official party system, but that’s a hell of a game of chicken she’s playing.  She’s really going to oust Republicans when it would cost Republicans their majority?

I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

The Acorn Situation

Okay, Science-y types, you’re going to have to take a minute to explain this acorn situation to me.  I get that, throughout the east coast and sneaking west towards the Mississippi, there are no acorns.  I heard it on NPR last night.  I read about it online.

And I listened to your explanation that different oak trees have different cycles for when they produce acorns and that some years they produce more and some years they produce less and this year, apparently, they’re producing none.

All well and good.

How is that decision made?

See, I can buy that each kind of oak might have a cycle that it acquires genetically, so that a particular oak produces acorns one year and not another.  And I can see how every tree of that kind that is that age (or the right number of years in the cycle older or younger) might not produce acorns in the same year.

But what, exactly, is the mechanism for conveying to a whole population, across different types of oaks, across different states, that there should be no acorn production?