Ugh

Um, yeah, for some reason my lips taste like earwax and I have a headache.  So, we will have our regularly scheduled Sunday gardening post here in a second, but I’m going to have to ask you to type quietly.

Drunk, Drunk Drunk Drunk Drun k drunk drunk

Bully Hill’s Sweet Walter is a little like drinking pure sugar until the very end when it sours up nicely.  If you drink it, the shape of your mouth will be OOooooo-Oup!  We bought it because the green is a shade I don’t have for the bottle tree yet.

I have moved on to Blue Nun.  At this point, it seems fine.

And we had a fire.

And the orange cat came by.

I decided to have a confession.  To name which of you was the one who should come over to fill my bed.  But I couldn’t decide.  And so I named all of you.  And I decided that made me whitmanesque.  And so yes, I said, yes, I said yes.

And that’s how you know there’s not yet enough poetry in the world, that you had to come here, to me, who is not a poet, to rhyme Walt with Molly.

Every day I am so grateful and so lucky to have you, every day.  I don’t tell you though I should.  But I love you.  Each and every one of you.  Yes, you Bridgett, Lauredhel, Casey, Sam.  All of you.  I love you like the pillows in my warm bed.

And, I for one, believe the world can only be improved by drunken confessions of love and so I stand before you drunk and in love.

Edited to add: I love the fiddle.

Edited again to add: SEe?

Even you.

I love you.

Ha, yes, I say, yes.

Non-fat Fat

So, at work, one of us is working on this project about obesity and poverty, which occasionally leads us to this weird thing where we’re sitting around talking–and by “we” I don’t mean “me” because I am not participating in these conversations because when I participate in the conversation it goes something like “well, poor people are fat because they don’t eat well and fruits and vegetables are too expensive blah blah blah and you can’t buy fruits and vegetables with food stamps.”  and I say, “First of all, that’s not true and second of all, not every poor person is so poor that they qualify for food stamps and not every person is fat because they don’t eat right.  Kids need time and space to run around, but if you don’t have a safe neighborhood, you’re not going to let your kids go outside unsupervised.”  And they all nod and act like they’ve heard me and then go back to discussing whether people are poor because they’re fat or if they’re fat because they’re poor.

I am fat.  I have been poor.  My lived experience and my observations do not matter.

So, this week we were talking about, again, how fat people just don’t eat right but whether it’s up to the government to force them.  And I tried again to bring up my suspicions that our Kroger does not get fresh food.  And I know it makes me seem all crazy and conspiracy theorist, but I don’t.  I’m deeply suspicious that fresh fruits and vegetables are sitting out at, say, the Belle Meade Kroger for a week and then, what’s left, which may still be fine, is brought up to my Kroger for another shot at the market.  Let me reiterate, I have no proof of this.  But I’ve shopped at both Krogers and sometimes the produce at my Kroger is fine, beautiful, and sometimes the produce looks old and nasty and my Kroger is always busy, so it’s not like the produce is getting old and nasty there.

And don’t even get me started on the difference in case space given to milk and gallons of purple or red or orange drink between the Belle Meade and the Bordeaux Kroger.  I went off on that and they were all just like “Well, Kroger wouldn’t have a case of purple/red/orange drink right next to the milk if people didn’t want it.”  And I was like, “Yes, that’s true, but why would people rather have a gallon of red drink instead of a gallon of milk unless you didn’t want to shell out a bunch of money for milk only to find out, when you’d gotten it home, that it was bad.  Red drink doesn’t go bad.” I mean, seriously, yes, people make their own choices, but let’s not act like they’re making those choices in a vacuum or on some even playing field.

Anyway, so these discussions always end up with a bunch of average-weight people sitting around talking about why fat people are so fat in front of a fat person whose possible reasons are dismissed.

It feels bizarre to me and uncomfortable.  I mean, first of all, I don’t want to talk to my co-workers about my body as if it is a social problem that all of society has some stake in fixing.  Who else’s body at that table ever gets talked about in the abstract like that?

And when they start talking about fat as a class issue, which is, frankly, something I agree with, I still feel like “Oh my god, these people don’t feel like I’m a part of them.”

But you know, maybe they do.  As Kate Harding has repeatedly pointed out, when people talk about fat, they often are talking about people they think are gross and out of control and, if my co-workers don’t see me as gross and out of control, then it doesn’t matter that I could carry of my spare change under the roll of my belly all day and not be a penny short in the evening, that I shop at the very grocery store they all see as contributing to the problem, but have never shopped at, that I am living the experience they want to talk about abstractly, it’s not me they’re talking about.

Over at Feministe, Kai is talking about how hard it is for white people and people of color to have meaningful conversations about the interactions of white people and people of color–

Once again we see detrimental impacts of whiteness on discourse within communities of color, even when it is well-intentioned, because the very discursive tools of whiteness are tools of colonization which are designed to destabilize people of color, exert power, assert a cultural assemblage point, and prevent communities of color from establishing footholds on social legitimacy and autonomy.

–and at first I was thinking about that in terms of the discussion from the other day (obviously, since that’s what it’s directly related to) and nodding in agreement.  This is what I was trying to figure out how to say from the angle of being a white person–the ways that we’ve been taught to discuss things, to take them out of the realm of the personal and into the realm of the theoretical, the way we believe that there is such a thing as an (almost) objective understanding that we can achieve, the ways we expect to be able to have discussions about the actions of real people and for those people not to be hurt or affected by it, because it’s just a discussion for the sake of knowledge, that, because we know words like “colonization” and “token” we can throw them around like we know their full weight (while at the same time, practically forcing the people we’re throwing them against to not acknowledge their full weight).

And it would be nice and it would be justice for us to not do those things because they are so terrible for other people.  But you’d think we would not do those things because of the fucked-up twisted ways it makes us.

Which is a giant sidetrack to my point.  It’s those words–“discoursive tools” and “destabilize”–which hit home for me in the context of these bizarro fat discussions where the non-fat people sit around and talk about the problems of obesity while the fat people sit quietly and wait for the discussion to run its course.  Because how can participating in it for me or for my other fat co-workers not suck?  Not be destabilizing?  Either you discover this strangeness that, even though you are objectively fat, the discussion isn’t about you because they mean those problem fat people.  Or, because of the ways that class and weight are related, you discover that, even though you think you’re a peer with your co-workers, you have to discover that they don’t think you are.

And I guess what Kai’s point makes me wonder is is this about whiteness?  Is this kind of discourse, where there’s this “us” and there’s a “them” and the them is often poor and often not white, but is also, say, me, who is not poor (anymore) and is white, this discourse, which is happening in a room full of white people a discourse about being White?

Do you see what I’m asking?  I mean, I’m asking from inside of being white, so it’s hard for me to get the perspective I need to see clearly what’s going on, but I kind of feel like there’s this whole way the conversation goes–theoretical, not about “us”, about how we can best understand and fix a problem (i.e. take control of the situation)–and in being present for the conversation, I am, implicitly, being asked to privilege my shared whiteness (by understanding that it is not me they are talking about) over my shared fatness with the people under discussion.  And yet, no one in that room thinks we’re talking about “whiteness.”  I’m not even sure that’s what’s going on.

But I wonder, is that how white supremacy is trained into white people and perpetuated by white people who would never in a million years consider ourselves to be white supremacists?  How many of those moments pass by, where the implicit message is “we’re not talking about you” and we just say “Oh, okay, then, great.  That’s not me.  I’m like you.”  Where we are confronted with the pain of being recognized as not a part of the group and then, through our shared race, given a way back into the group, a way to negate the pain?

The SS Tattoo

So, I had to run by the grocery store before the evening started and there, walking up and down the aisles with me was some jackass with a huge SS tattoo on his arm.

I have nothing snarky to say.  I just don’t like it.

The Letter I Sent to Senator Marrero

Dear Senator Marrero,

I’m writing because I am gravely concerned about the implications of SB 1065 on the women of Tennessee and because I am confused and depressed to find that you are sponsoring it.  You have always been such a strong advocate for women’s rights in this state and someone who understood the importance of keeping the State out of a woman’s medical decisions.  This bill, though, is the exact opposite of that.  It gives the State unprecedented abilities to intrude into the lives of women and to force conforming behavior that isn’t necessarily in a patient’s best interest.

I know that you are deeply concerned about the infant mortality rates in this state, especially in Memphis.  I, too, am deeply concerned.  The picture of the tiny coffins in the Commercial Appeal is heart wrenching.  But this bill not only intrudes upon pregnant women in ways that basically give control of their bodies to the State for the length of their pregnancies, it places the blame squarely on mothers for tragedies that often have no cause.  Women lose pregnancies all the time.  It doesn’t mean they’re drug addicts or alcoholics.  It just means they have bad luck.

And while, yes, any doctor will tell you that the best way to assure a successful pregnancy is to see your healthcare provider regularly, using the threat of drug testing women if they don’t can only backfire.  Women who are on drugs will not go to the doctor if they know it means they’ll be drug tested.  Any doctor will tell you that when a patient is unhealthy–and drug use makes one unhealthy–it is even more crucial for women to go to the doctor while they’re pregnant.

My concerns are that this bill gives the State the power to coerce me to seek medical care and to punish me (though conveniently not through legal mechanisms) if I don’t.  I am also gravely concerned that this bill, if passed into law, will discourage women from seeking prenatal care.

But discussion of your bill has spread around the internet.  I am the blogger at Tiny Cat Pants.  I talked about it there yesterday.

https://tinycatpants.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/just-call-me-tennessee-brood-mare/

I also posted it at Shakesville, a large feminist blog.

http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/02/just-call-me-tennessee-brood-mare.html

The health community is also now aware of it.

http://womenshealthnews.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/about-this-i-have-some-concerns/

And I invite you to read the comments on those posts and to follow the links to other posts discussing this to see the problems women have with this bill.

In closing, I’d like to ask if you’ve met with Barbara Clinton, who runs the Center for Health Services at Vanderbilt, which oversees the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) programs that operate throughout the South.  The MIHOW program in Memphis has had dramatic success in lowering infant mortality rates among participants.  And I am convinced that the successes they have can be replicated on a broader scale.  If you’d like me to arrange a meeting, I’d be more than happy to.

Sincerely,

[Aunt B.]

A Brief Note about the Spam

Sorry.  Usually when the spammers seem to have fixated on one post, I just close the comments on that post and the problem goes away.  Unfortunately, they’re now focusing on my pitbull advocacy post and I really don’t want to close the comments on that one.

Please bear with me.  Or bare with me, depending on the time of day.

Breaking News, Sadly, Not of the Douche Kind

1.  My peppers have sprouted.  I didn’t think it would be warm enough for them, but, like sullen teenagers getting out of bed, they seem to be shrugging, looking at the sun, and saying, “Whatever.”

2.  I am Republicanless, so I assume his woman took him back.

3.  I am also Butcherless, so I don’t know how his interview went.

4.  My recalcitrant brother bought my mom a beer steine.  Let me remind you that my mom doesn’t drink.

5.  Breaking douche news still cracks me up and it’s been days.

An Open Letter to Newscoma

Dear Newscoma,

The economy is in the shitter.  People are losing their jobs and homes left and right.  I have a homeless Republican sleeping on my couch right now*, which is depressing on a couple of levels.  Our State Legislature is trying to figure out how to deprive people of their liberty and are filled with people too chicken-shit to even face the people whose lives they are ruining.

Every time I open my browser or turn on the TV, it’s more bad news.

In times like these, you have practically a moral obligation to continue to post photos of your puppies.  Every time I look at them, I think, well, you know, things are bad, but there are puppies.

I really benefit from that.

So, please, don’t apologize for posting pictures of puppies and please, don’t stop.

Love,

Aunt B.

*That’s right.  A Republican!  And people say I’m partisan.

Just Call Me “Tennessee Brood Mare”

Rachel has, for your perusal, SB1065/HB0890, which we might call the “The State’s Bodies, Our Selves” bill.  This bill would make manditory drug testing for women who don’t act right during pregnancy.  If you don’t get pre-natal care, the State wants the right to drug test you.  If you don’t come in for prenatal care promptly once the fetus is viable, they want the right to drug test you.  If you don’t get the right kind of prenatal care, they want the right to drug test you.  In other words, if you act in any way “abnormal,” the going assumption is going to be that you must be on drugs.

But here’s the best part.  If your pregnancy just isn’t going right–the placenta comes open or the fetus dies or you go into labor early for no discernible reason, or the fetus isn’t growing fast enough, or the fetus has congenital anomalies–and let me remind you these are all things that just happen during pregnancies; things go wrong, for no reason, all the time–the State wants to drug test you.

And let’s say that they do.  Let’s say that you start to miscarry.  You have spotting and cramping and it’s pretty obvious and inevitable what’s going on.  Maybe you have a bottle of wine to help you through.  You’ve just done into labor early for no discernible reason and your fetus is dead for no discernible reason and when they drug test you, they’re going to find that you’ve been drinking.

What do you think is going to come of that?

This is what I mean when I say that the reproductive rights fight is going to be had on the bodies of women who miscarry.  And these legislators, Hackworth and Marrero are Democrats.  These are the folks who are supposed to be on the side of women and they want to give the State the right to start sniffing around if your pregnancy doesn’t go right?

This bill opens the door to the State blaming women who miscarry for those miscarriages.  Shoot, it doesn’t just open the door.  It opens the door and escorts the State right in.

They cannot make it illegal, still, thank god, for you to be pregnant in your own way.  They cannot legally require you to go to the doctor.  They cannot hold you legally responsible for the death of your fetus.

But they want to.  And so this is an end run around that.  If you won’t do what they want you to do, they will drug test you and force you into treatment if they don’t like what they’ve found.  In other words, you will be punished for, in the case of imbibing alcohol, something that is perfectly legal.  Something most doctors will tell you is fine on occassion when you are pregnant.

In other words, the precident they’re setting is that, once you are pregnant, your body is not your own.  You no longer know what’s best for you.  Your doctor no longer knows what’s best for you.  You are not allowed to not realize you’re pregnant.  You’re not allowed to be afraid.  You’re not allowed to be too poor to go to the doctor.  You have to do what the State tells you to do while you’re pregant, because, while you’re pregnant, your body is not your own.

And here’s the other thing.  Can we just not beat around the bush about the subtext here?  It’s no coincidence that Memphis has an infant mortality rate so depressingly high that it might as well be a hundred years ago over there and that Marrero is bringing the bill.  You cannot be a human being with a soul and look at what’s going on in Memphis, or shoot, in neighborhoods here in Nashville, and not have your heart come right out sobbing into your hands.

But treating women like, once they’re pregnant, the State needs to control them is vile.  It just is.  There’s no way around it and wanting to protect babies doesn’t make it okay to assume that the problem lies solely with the mothers.

If Marrero makes a medical decision I don’t like, should I have the right to force her to take a drug test, make sure she hasn’t been drinking too much?

The sad truth is that pregnancies end for all kinds of reasons.  Some women can go their whole pregancies not even knowing they’re pregnant, drinking and drugging it up, and their kids come out with no ill-effects.  Many, many women in this State try their hardest to do the right thing every step of the way–doctor visits, vitamins, no alcohol use, etc.–and they still lose their pregnancies.  They still have babies who are too sick to make it through the year.  It’s not anyone’s fault.  It just happens.  And I know my fair share of women in that situation and they all blame themselves at some level.  Adding to their suffering by having the state step in and act like they’re to blame is cruel.

And I have to wonder if any doctors were consulted on this, because I have to believe that, even if you’re addicted to crystal meth and crack cocaine at the same time and you’re so desperate for your next heroin fix that you’re licking it off of floors in bathrooms, your OB wants you to come in for prenatal care.  If the option is “drug addicted mother/no care” and “drug addicted mother/care,” the doctor is going to advocate for a patient seeking care, even if and especially if the patient is not in great health.

Threatening to drug test drug addicts if their pregnancies don’t go well is not going to encourage drug addicts to get clean, it’s going to discourage drug addicts from going to the doctor.

And I cannot believe that that’s the outcome Marrero and Hackworth are hoping for.

Edited to add: This has been cross-posted over at Shakesville and the discussion over there is astute and passionate.  I encourage you to check it out.

Edited again to add: This post does a great job of getting at things from a couple of different and important angles.

Edited a third time to add: It’s also being discussed at Feministing now.

Edited yet again to add: Rachel made RADLEY FUCKING BALKO’S blog and I died of jealousy.  Um.  I mean, even the libertarians have been alerted to this.

Things

Two things.

1.  A funny story.  So, I work at a place that will give you a free sample of our product if you are thinking abour requiring a bunch of people to purchase that product.  All we ask is that you pay shipping and handling.  $7.50.  Well, today, a person wrote and asked if she could return the free sample and get her money back.  That made me laugh hard enough as it was.  I mean, shoot, if you just wanted to look at it, there are whole buildings devoted to the acquisition of our product for people who just want to browse through it.  Why would you ask us for it and then want to return it?  And who refunds shipping and handling?  No.  But most hilarious–we didn’t charge her shipping and handling.

I can’t decide if she’s just a moron or a scam artist.

2.  Oooooooo. Puppies.  The first photo will crack you up, I promise.

In Defense of Naming Names

I read littlelight regularly.  I also read a lot of people who read her and say “Did you see this thing littlelight wrote?  You must go read it.”  So, I have the impression of littlelight being a Big Blog.  I think this has to to do, also, in part with littlelight’s experience being so different than mine.  Every time I read her I learn something new or am challenged to think about what I do know in a new way.

On the other hand, I read Daisy regularly and I learn a lot from her, but my impression of her, as a reader, is of someone I’d be sitting at the kitchen table with, snapping beans or shucking corn.  I don’t perceive her as a big blog.  And yet, I’ve seen lists that rank her in the top ten of big feminist blogs.

I mention this for two reasons.  One is because, if I hadn’t seen littlelight’s post today, I would have never known about Mandy Van Deven and Brittany Shoot’s post about the feminist blogosphere.  I’m not saying this to mean that my experience is definitive.  But my point is that no one person’s experience of the feminist blogosphere is definitive (or, in this case, even two people’s).  Because, for one, we’re not talking about a mutually agreed-upon set of blogs.  My feminist blogosphere, even the blogs in it that I assume to be widely known to be “Big Blogs,” are going to be different than other people’s.  I don’t, for instance, read Feministe or Feministing unless I see that someone has said something about something happening there, because I feel like the audience for those blogs is younger and hipper than me.  I rarely read Pandagon because I feel ambivalent, to put it mildly, about how stuff over there plays and has played out and whether my role as reader makes me complicit in it.  I do read Shakesville, though I find that to be a more “nodding in agreement” place than a “whoa, yeah, I didn’t see that” place.  I love Shapely Prose, because I feel like that’s a community of people who are also struggling with what it means to be in a body like this at a time like this.

But are those the big blogs under discussion?  I don’t know.  Are there others that are bigger?

If you don’t give people concrete examples of who you think is doing something uncool or problematic, how can we check for ourselves to see if we agree?  How can the people who are being critiqued answer those criticisms if they don’t know they are the ones being talked about?  If the blogosphere works through linking and engaging, how can that happen if we not only don’t link or engage, we don’t even name?

Van Deven and Shoot say

The prevention of small business growth is also present. If a blog replicates this corporate structure or becomes co-opted into the mainstream network, it can grow and compete with the bigwigs. But if a blog continues to simply work on its own, it tends to remain stagnant. In the blogging hierarchy, the system doesn’t allow for egalitarianism because of the competition for revenue. The big blogs will only let the smaller ones get so big, because they don’t want them getting as big as they are and pulling away their own sources of income.

And yet, they say nothing about what this mechanism is by which the big blogs only let the smaller ones get so big.  And don’t get me wrong, I am as aware as the next person of the behind-the-scenes emailing and such, but it seems to me that, at most, all the bloggers who don’t want people to read you can do is not link to you.  And all that means is that the people who read them will not hear about you from them.  Okay, well, that kind of sucks, but they don’t have all the readers there are, right?

Amber Rhea says

I’m sick of the constant policing of each other (which I refuse to partake in, but I’m talking about what I see others doing), of who gets to speak and who doesn’t, the hierarchy of who’s the most oppressed; yes, the Oppression Olympics.

I agree (and wonder if that will surprise her).  And I ask, [using what Amber Rhea says as a starting point, how is what Van Deven and Shoot not problematic?*] How is talking about people you won’t name (though clearly everyone participating in the discussion has some good guesses about who you mean) not about who gets to speak and who doesn’t?  Because, frankly, once you’ve said “This blog, which I won’t name, is doing all these things wrong in ways that colonize space (re: oppresses people) and we need to discuss it,” how can the person you’re talking about defend herself?  You always have plausibile deniability.  So everyone can, say, know you mean Pandagon but you never have to admit to Marcotte that you mean her.

What good comes of that?

Again, I return, again, to what I always say, which is a.) one point of feminism is that we are all supposed to be figuring out how to be the boss of ourselves, each individually, and running around trying to figure out when and how it’s okay for you to monitor other women’s behavior to make sure they’re doing it right does not serve that end.  You do not get to dictate what other women do.  If they do stuff you don’t like, fight with them openly.  Name them. Try to change their minds.  But address them.  and b.) one of the ways that women are fucked up by the patriarchy is that we are taught that our power comes through our ability to manipulate, to not be active actors, but to move behind the scenes to get our way without having to be clear about what we’re doing and thus open to confrontation.  I feel, though, of course you are free not to, that we have to learn how to fight publicly with each other.  Not naming names, claiming we’re just talking theoretically, not addressing our critics, not responding genuinely to criticism–all of that, and everybody does it, it seems to me, is manipulative.  And I don’t see how it serves a feminist purpose.

And it’s not like I’m free of those impulses.  I’m only human and I, too, was raised in this world and am colored by it.  And I have done every single thing here that I think we should struggle not to do.

But I still think it’s important to struggle against the impulse to police the behavior of other women and to manipulate them into doing what we want.  It’s just now how we should treat each other.

—-

*I added the part in brackets for clarity because I wanted it to be clear that I was agreeing with Amber Rhea, not holding her up as another example of weird behavior.

The Number One Reason Harold Ford Should Go to Commerce

Oh, sure, there may be legitimate reasons, but let’s not overlook the most important one: The Fords as a political dynasty are going to make someone the most entertaining book every written about goings-on in Tennessee.  Ever.  Hands down, if done right, it will become a classic of American Literature.  Don’t doubt me.  I knew a play about a vibrator would be awesome and look!

But here’s the thing.  Right now, the story basically goes “There were the Fords of Memphis.  They had a tremendous rise to political power.  Then they had an enormous and often hilarious and mortifying fall from grace.”  But what comes of it?  What good are the side families and the drug problems and the shootings and the funeral homes and the indictments?  Is this a tragedy or a story of one man’s triumph over and place-taking-in his family?  And until we know what Jr. makes of his life, we can’t know the shape the story takes.

And me?  I’m a fan of ludicrousness followed by salvation.

So, that’s what I’m hoping for.

“Tiny”? Check. “Cat”? Check. “Pants”? Check. “Okay, send it to Aunt B.”

One of you sent this to me and I love it so much I sometimes look at it at that point in the afternoon when you’ve given up on the day but the clock says keep working just to get through.  And I now have permission to share it with you.

I am making Lucy an honorary Tiny Cat Pants cat.  She is the only cat to hold such a prestigious honor (okay, mostly because I just made that honor up right this second).

An enormous “Thanks” to the man willing to have his drawers shown to the whole internet.

lucy-in-pants

Those Poor Bastards

I will say this for Hank III, the man has good taste in music.  Not that I have anything bad to say about Hank III, mind you.  I’m just saying that I was listening to the three songs off Those Poor Bastards’ new album that I picked up off the internet somewhere and I was thinking, who are these people and why have I never heard of them?  And I go to their website and, of course, they’ve been touring with Hank III.

Anyway, the three songs I’ve heard of theirs are a cover of “Walk the Line” which, frankly, isn’t very good, and “Crooked Man” and “The Bright Side” all off of their “Satan is Watching” album.  “Crooked Man” and “The Bright Side” are brilliant.  Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.  From their website, they seem to be trying to pitch themselves as “gothic country” in a way that suggests that this sounds like some old, true strain of country music.  That is, of course, as the song says, “bullshit, fucking bullshit.”  It’s more like, if Rob Zombie and Gillian Welch had a baby that they let Hank III babysit, assuming Hank III was on drugs during the lullabye portion of the evening.

So, I guess it’s traditional in that sense of “Here’s what we wish country music would have sounded more like all along,” a la Welch.  But it’s got the theatric evil of a good Rob Zombie song, but without the sense that it’s all a put-on.

Finding out that they were out of Madison, Wisconsin, was about the least surprising thing on the planet, as it’s country music for kids who grew up on Metallica.

Anyway, since I like Rob Zombie, Gillian Welch, Hank III (and II and I, for that matter), and old Metallica (though I haven’t heard anyone say anything about their new pussy-as-grave album.  Was it not very good?), I like what I’ve heard of Those Poor Bastards.

Ha, in all my justifying, I have run out of time to talk about the stuff I like best–the crazy interesting lyrics and that I discovered them for free on the internet from the comfort of my own home.  And I’m tickled by all this bullshit myth-making.  I like to see it in action.

Menfolk

So, I had lunch with the Gentlemen from Louisiana, though we never did get around to talking about Nat King Cole.  We did talk about New Orleans, photography, and ghosts.  One Gentleman was a firm unbeliever and the other was in my camp, which is mostly disbelief except when weird shit happens.

But interestingly enough, both men were convinced that, if a ghost could exist, it would, clearly, either haunt where it was improperly buried or haunt a person–that a ghost has to have a reason for being here.  He’s not just hanging out.  And, once he’s achieved whatever he needs to achieve, he can go on to the afterworld.

So, they seemed to be of the opinion that the backyard could not be haunted unless the old man was buried there.

But I’m fairly certain that the only things buried in my back yard are a few housepets and the dead cat the Butcher found a couple of months ago.

I also, obviously, talked to my dad.  It’s been a year ago this month that he had his bypass surgery, so he’s going in for a lot of check-ups with a lot of different doctors.  I have my concerns, obviously, that he’s not doing as well as he pretends to be.  But lately he seems better, so maybe January was just a bad month for him.

He’s really frustrated because, even though he goes to the gym every day and is following the nutritionist’s guidelines, he has ceased losing weight and is, in fact, gaining it.  He thinks he needs to start walking in the mornings again.  This will be, then, about three hours a day that he exercises (right now, he’s spending between an hour and two hours a day at the gym).

I am of two minds on this.  On the one hand, I about want to strap him down and force him to read some Shapely Prose and to learn to just have some mercy on himself.  If he’s able to exercise as much as the doctors want him to and his health metrics otherwise look good, well, we come from fat people.  He is a fat person.  Being fat is not some great failing.  It just is what it is.  On the other hand, though I thoroughly reject the weight gain or loss as a cause of or solution to problems stuff, I do think that it’s obvious that weight gain or loss can be a symptom of some problem or problems.  Granted, I’m biased because my whole life I’ve been just an uncontrollable glutton who refuses to exercise and eat right and that’s why I’m so fat and no one will ever love me, when really, when I completely revamped my diet and got a dog and walked every day, I still gained weight because I had a medical condition it would have been nice if someone had picked up on instead of seeing my fat as proof of my shittiness as a person.  Not that I have a soapbox about that or anything.

So, my point is that, if he’s eating the same stuff he ate when he was losing weight and he’s exercising the same amount as when he was losing weight and he’s gaining weight, there may be a problem.  And I hope he doesn’t get all caught up in the “I’m just not trying hard enough” bullshit and has the doctors view it as a possible symptom of some other problem.

You know what I’m saying?

And the Butcher is bummed and I don’t know what to do for him.  I don’t know that there’s anything I can do for him.  Still, I worry.

Some Things for You to Look at While I’m Having Lunch…

…and I think we’re going to be talking about Nat King Cole!  I swoon!

1.  Senator Diane Black finds it too inconvenient to meet with the people of the state that she wants to fuck over.  Well, Senator Black, it’s not nearly as inconvenient as discovering that your state legislature continues to try to treat you like you’re not quite human.

2.  Kevin over at Lean Left just about blew my mind with this.  His walk-through of how liberals v. lefties view To Kill a Mockingbird is pretty amazing.

3.  Yep.  That’s one of the weirdest things to adjust to.  When you’re working a shitty job, not only do they want your body for 8-10 hours a day, they want to control your attitude about doing the job.  When you’re working a middle-class job, you do what you’re told 8-10 hours a day, but no one seems to expect that you like it.

4.  I’m actually glad to see Sarah Palin talking about how we have to get beyond the ideal of abstinance.  That’s the kind of folksy truth-telling I can appreciate.

5.  If you’re interested in how Facebook is doing you wrong, Rana’s got a great explanation.  The best part, though, is how she reveals that, in order to have discovered that, by using Facebook after the TOS changed, you had to have used Facebook after the TOS had changed and thus, in discovering the change, you implicitly and accidentally agreed to it!

6.  Holy shit is right!

Terry Frank Strays Off the Path

Well, folks, you will be happy to learn that there are “fidelity rates of 75-90 percent in heterosexual couples,” according to Terry Frank.

Seventy-five to ninety percent?  Man, if that’s true, I guess that means DNA testing all fathers before they go on birth certificates is a huge waste of time and money.  Whew.  I’m glad to know that’s off the Republican agenda.

On a more depressing note, Pith goes over what is on the Republican agenda.  Basically a whole litany that can be summed up as “If we’re not oppressing you, we don’t feel free.”

Douchy McDoucherson

I know it’s bad form to complain about people on the internet and you know you’re only getting my side of the story so maybe there’s some reasonable explanation for all of this and I’m just such an evil giant bitch that no one can actually stand.  But, if you go from my bed to my friend’s bed and I have to find out by seeing your car at her house the night before you told me you’d be in town on my way to the grocery store… I mean, my god, when you don’t even think enough of me to pull the car around back where I won’t see it on a route I have to take every day or two…

The chances of me meaning it when I say never contact me again are at about 99.9%

But, 35 year old man, if you are going to contact me again, ” i hope u are well.  what’re u up to these days?  hope all is well.  talk to u later.” is not going to cut it.  You want to contact me but you’re too lazy to use the shift key?  You can’t be bothered to spell “you” out?  You’re not 15 and you didn’t text message me.  And that’s the first impression you want to give?

Jesus Christ.

Breaking Douchbag News! So, I called my dad to chide him for not telling me the information I needed to keep from stepping in it the other day and he apologized and was mortified (thus leading me to believe that this may indeed be the end of days) and we were talking and I mentioned getting an email from Mr. McDoucherson and how I couldn’t believe that, after all this time, he’d contact me and my Dad said, “That is strange.  You’d have thought that, after I refused to give him that money, he’d have been done with our whole family.”

“WHAT?”  McDoucherson asked you for money?!”

“To start a children’s ministry.  I said ‘no’.”

Folks.  Can you believe it?  You do me wrong in a most non-Christian way and then you hit my Dad up for money?!  To start a ministry?!

I am speechless.

And I can’t believe my dad never told me that until now.