They’re having some big thing up in Kentucky which I am neglecting to link to because I closed the tab and cannot figure out how to get it back, though it seems like it should just be in my history, and… I don’t know. Clearly I’m fucking it up somehow. It’s there, I just don’t know how to get it.

Anyway, if you go to this think in Kentucky, you’ll get to meet the guys from Ghost Adventures, which is, hands down, the best ghost hunting show on in America right now. I mean, if by “best” you mean most hilariously ridiculous.  Every show they yell at ghosts and someone gets possessed and things that should scare the shit out of folks fail to while noises that are clearly just the noises the world makes are cause for screaming.

But anyway, at this Kentucky thing, you can also meet a demonologist. I really love that word. Demonologist.

I think it’s the three different ways the “o” goes–uhn, awl, oh. It’s just nice.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what I want to write about at Feministe and I’d like to talk some about tarot card reading, I think. I don’t know what I want to say, exactly, but I’ve been thinking about this post I saw over at Mary K. Greer’s, showing some Harry Hermon Roseland pictures of tarot readers.  And seeing them all together is really cool, I think.  You get a real sense of the kind of intimacy that develops in a reading, just a a first look, these women all leaning in and touching each other.

But if you look more closely, I think you can see the reason that Roseland’s images are unsettling. Though the reader has a lot of power–she has a kind of literacy that the women she’s reading for don’t have–there’s a lot in each photo that gives you an indication of just how precarious a position she’s in.  Clearly, she’s much poorer than the women she reads for. In every image, the reader seems to have been interrupted while knitting.  Look at how she has balls of yarn at her feet in each picture, like she has to put down her work to attend to these wealthier white women.  And look at how many of the women being read for leave their hats on, as if they have some sense of themselves as being in a public space, where just anyone might come.  And how they all have umbrellas, most of which are pointed sharply at the readers’ legs, as if to provide a kind of weaponized barrier between them.

I don’t know. I started off someplace and have ended up here.

My mom has poison ivy, too, and I have had to hear about it for two nights in a row. Which is fine, I just find it funny that my dad will call me and tell me something and then the next night Mom will call and say the same thing.

I am covered in calamine lotion and it smells like summer.

I don’t know that I’ve made any progress towards having goals, but I guess I have one goal–to have goals. And that’s something.

Feel Good Friday

I must warn you that the following song contains an ear-worm so effective that a girl will wade through pages of videos for Poison’s “Cry Tough” to find this and inflict it on you.

“How can a man be tough, tougher than the world?”

World, Fix This Crap

1. I don’t have a million dollars, but if I did, I would pay a million dollars to figure out how to make this woman aware of this and this. Let me be as clear as I can. If you disapprove of someone’s lifestyle or the choices they make, but it does not affect you, it is not your business. Going after someone’s livelihood, especially in this economy, just because you think they’re immoral, is cruel.

And if you think that a person being in porn is so immoral and evil and wrong, going after her source of non-porn money is a funny way of showing it.

Good lord, did we not leave that “Let’s all talk bad about the ‘whore’ and try to ruin her life” crap back in junior high?

2. This article at Slate about shamans annoys me. I am, apparently and happily, not the only person it annoys. I have a couple of different criticisms than Jason over at The Wild Hunt. A.) “Shaman” is a culturally specific term. Using it to broadly mean any indigenous non-Christian healer is grouping a lot of very disparate practices together under a word that is really not designed to hold them all and doing so lets people ignore a lot of very important distinctions. B.) Many traditional shamans were women and many current neo-shamans are women.  Wright mentions no women in his article.

3. Megan McArdle talks about obesity with Paul Campos and then again here and her readers have a shit-fit. You see, if we don’t keep telling fat people how much they suck, they might not know! Oh, I mean, they might stop trying. It’s weird to watch people argue that they should have a right to act like an asshole for someone else’s own good.

I have to tell you, I think we need healthcare reform, but if this is just going to be a way for rich politicians to try to control the bodies of poor people, it’s going to make me barf. Like we’ll help people get access to healthcare, if they agree to let us oppress them. I don’t like that dynamic.

It’s not your business, but if people feel like its their tax money, they’re going to feel like they’ve bought the right to make it their business.

While We’re Contemplating

I have a new post scheduled at Pith, for supposedly 12:15, though I can’t ever work that fucker right. Every time a post of mine actually shows up, I about die of shock.

Anyway, I think it’s a good one, some funny stuff and some thoughtful stuff.

But I wonder if I’m not wrong. I mean, I, too, want to legislate morality–I want there to be rules that say, “Don’t fuck your intern and, if you must, then here are the steps for how to mitigate the stupidity.”  But I still think that’s different than what folks like Stanley do.

But maybe it’s not.

Do I Have Goals? I Don’t Think I Do.

So, we were sitting around drinking Monday night and my drinking buddy was going on about how he and his other drinking buddies sometimes sit around and shoot the shit about what their goals are and how they plan to achieve them.

Then he asked me, “What do you want?”

And I was a little frozen in terror, because I could not think of a damn thing I wanted.

Now, it’s not that I don’t want things. I mean, right? This is how I’m trying to do better than the generation before me. I don’t want life to be something that just happens to me while I sit around and try not to come to the notice of anyone who might fuck me over.

Not that I’m very good at not doing that. Just that I see that’s what we do and want to struggle against it.

Though it’s hard to struggle in a way that leads to being free when you don’t know what you’re doing.

You know what I mean? Sometimes you struggle and the ropes loosen. Sometimes you struggle and they get tighter.

Anyway, so I don’t think it’s that I don’t have goals or desires.

I think it’s that I don’t know them.

I don’t say them outloud to myself because I’m hiding from disappointment. If I don’t know what I want, then never getting it isn’t a problem. I don’t want anything. Woo hoo! I have it right now.

I win.

Maybe most people do not experience themselves constantly as the horse’s ass, but that’s how I feel my conscious mind works. The body is going somewhere, we are doing something (my body and me), but I’m just back here spewing shit, hoping the-body-I knows where I’m going, because I’m not even facing that direction.

This is one reason I remain a religious person even when I’m full of doubt. I need a way to hear my own heart. (of course, I think it’s more than that, but even when I think it’s only that, that’s something I need.)

So, yeah, clearly, I need some goals.

I think, also, I probably already have some goals.

I just need to figure out how to articulate them to myself so that when asked, I don’t just sit there like a dumbass.

In Which I Complain about Books

So, for work I’m supposed to be reading Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail, which is written in this tone that can best be described as “I am really happy to be writing this book for idiots.”  Maybe that’s not fair, but I kind of feel like I’m being talked down to a little bit. I’m also not sure how much more I can learn from the book than I did in the introduction.

But we shall see.

I just think you should write like you would explain something important to your friends. I feel like Anderson is lecturing to a class of freshmen.

I find that tone a little off-putting.

Edited to Add: It’s been a long time since I’ve though so much about writing, though, and that makes me very happy.

In My Dreams, I Need a Ferry

So, I dreamed that the dog and I had to go grocery shopping and we were trying to get some food for us and then some food for the folks who were working on our roof.  But we were at Walmart, so we had to go by all these aisles of clothes and other junk and I never could see if we’d found all the food we might need, though, happily, at the last minute, I did find some macaroni.

Then we had to get on a round pontoon boat with the groceries, and float across the Cumberland to the other side. And, if we didn’t make it directly across, we wouldn’t get to a ramp, we’d have to somehow get up the bluff.

Well, you know, we’re in a pontoon boat, on the Cumberland of my dreams, so of course we couldn’t get upstream far enough to arch back down to the boat ramp. We had to go over to this rope like contraption that we had to figure out how to hook the boat up to so that a series of pullies and wenches could lift us up the bluff, boat and dog and girl and groceries.

And I never could figure out how to get things hooked up right.

And then I woke up.

p.s. I know it was a dream because, through out the whole boatride, the dog was asleep.

Shoot, I’m Running for Office

So, I think this morning was the moment when you could watch the Republican strategy shift from “Smear Morrison” to “Smear Stanley.”  This morning, Morrison was a homeless, trashy crack user. By lunch, Stanely was a serial affair-haver who drinks too much and (warning, hard to take scandalous conduct about to be mentioned) charges it to lobbyists.

I will wait for you to regroup.  I know many a Tennessean is unfazed by affairs, but getting drunk and making someone else pay for it?  Whew, I have to fan myself here a second. How practically Democratic of him!

Anyway, I wanted to take  a second to look at Woods’s post about the scuttlebutt on the Hill, about whether we should think of Morrison as victim or vamp–

Her life is back on track. But her psyche remains fragile and she is susceptible to temptation, right? Hello Paul Stanley, the lech.

That’s one way to look at it. The other way doubtlessly will appear shortly on conservative blogs across the state. McKensie Morrison’s low-down past proves what some Republicans have been suggesting from the beginning: She’s a Mata Hari who used her feminine wiles to lure the innocent senator into sin and ruination.

Because Woods suggests that they’re both to blame, both bear responsibility.

And that’s nice, isn’t it?  Quite feminist of Woods, really.

But here’s the thing–it doesn’t matter if Morrison was a girl who fell on extremely troubled times after high school, and who moved to Tennessee to ably put her life together and do something with herself, who was preyed on by Stanley or if she is a brilliant evil genius who plotted late at night in her high school bed of a way to be the perfect lure–troubled young woman with shady past and bad taste in men–in order to trap some politician, any politician into ruination in order to get, um, sex and… um… embarrassment and shame for her and her family? Maybe she wasn’t such a brilliant evil genius after all. But she was young. You have to fail a few times before you hit upon the perfect plan that allows you to take over the world.  Shoot, ask Bill Hobbs about that.

The reason that we should have rules in place that clearly state that legislators cannot carry on with interns is so that we don’t have to sit around and debate whether a young woman was victim or villain (madonna or whore) and whether she deserves our sympathy or our scorn.

Politicians who have sex with people who need a paycheck or a letter of recommendation from them are doing wrong, regardless of how skanky the politician’s friends can smear the intern as being. When you are the boss, you don’t have sex with your underlings. Period. You cannot be sure that they are willing. You cannot know if they feel they have to do this in order to keep your favor.  You cannot know how the other people who work for you feel about it, if they feel like the undering you’re fucking is treated special by you.  It creates a toxic work environment.

Now, I have been repeatedly accused of standing in the way of love, of not understanding these poor awkward men, who need to be able to awkwardly flirt with or fuck these young women, or else what will happen to true love?

Because it’s so difficult to say, “Darling intern, I am falling in love with you, but it wouldn’t be right for us to carry on. Could I see you once your internship is done?” or “Darling intern, clearly our relationship has crossed over into something serious and true and lovely, the best thing which two people can share. So, it turns out that I happen to know of another legislator who has fallen in love with his intern. Let’s talk to the intern coordinator about the two of you switching jobs so that you don’t work under me, so that I can quickly get you working under me. Wink wink nudge nudge.”?

Folks, I am not even a skeevy politician old enough to be someone’s father, and I can think of that in two second. You’re going to tell me that folks who want to sneak around and carry on can’t come up with a way of doing it that doesn’t cross clear ethical lines?

Shoot, maybe I should become a lecherous politician. I’m going to start auditioning fine-ass twenty-year-olds this afternoon.  If you want to apply, leave your contact information in the comments.

Hugs from Strangers?

Oh, I forgot to tell you the weirdest part about the whole roofing thing (which, did I mention, looks amazing?  It makes our house look just a little sharper, like when you get a new haircut and it makes you feel all sassy. Our house keeps checking itself in the mirror, it’s so cute.) is that after they were done, the dude thanked me for the job and hugged me.

Is that weird?

I think it’s a little weird, but it seemed okay.  Just… I don’t know. I’m not sure I want, like, my cashier at Wendy’s to hug me, you know?

The Roof

The new roof is on and it looks very nice. I should take a picture, but I don’t guess it’s actually that exciting to anyone but me. Also, I feel like a complete chump because I was supposed to have coffee with John Lamb at three yesterday, which I put on my calendar as three today, so that when the roofers called at two thirty and said, “Shoot, we’re going to be done way before five. We’re fixing to finish up now,” I just jaunted home to pay them, with nary a care in the world.

So, that sucks.  And I’m obsessing over it, so I’m writing it here, even though it’s not that big a deal.

I’m just going to be honest with you. I often feel like the world’s biggest most awkward mess. Which, I guess you know, since you read this blog. And even though I can write here with no shame “I am the world’s biggest most awkward mess,” I still feel a lot of… I don’t know… guilt is not the right word.  If guilt and embarrassment had a baby, that’s the emotion I feel when I feel like I inflict my awkward mess on others.

And I feel like I did that to John. He assures me it’s fine. But that doesn’t matter. At this point, it’s not about rationality and the real world. It’s about that nagging bullshit you carry around.

So, thats’ that.

In other news, though I drink like once a month, I think I’m going to have to give it up, because there is no denying that beer gives me the shits. I remember hangovers. Remember those? You drank a lot, you wanted to die. You threw up. You went to bed. You threw up again. Then you had a raging hangover which could be cured by drinking a lot of water, napping, and eating greasy foods.

Those were the days.

Now, you have a few beers, you have a good time, you sober up, you go home, and you spend the night trying to come up with some way to just sleep on the toilet.  I mean, I think I could just about rig it, but I’d have to have a stable platform for the CPAP machine near the toilet and near a plug and that’s a little hard to pull off in a bathroom as small as ours.

So, yes, come to Tiny Cat Pants for the embarrassing revelations. Stay for the even more embarrassing revelations!

Good times, America. Good times.

Tennessee Virtual Archieve, Consider Yourself Virtually Made Out With

So, my curiosity about the Congress Inn remains piqued.

Here’s the Google view of the house we’re talking about:


As you can see, the house has a certain pre-Civil War appearance to it, with the book-end chimneys and the looking like it’s been added on to, but it’s hard to say.  So, I go to the Tennessee Virtual Archive (I’m not sure how this link is going to go, but roll with me here, folks.) and I find a map from 1907.  In 1907, as best I can tell, there are two candidates for ownership of this home–A.N. Inman or R. B. Jones.

Doesn’t tell us anything about 40 years prior, but it tells us something.

Four Things

1. I’m getting new shingles today. I couldn’t afford a whole new roof, and I have been waiting through every single storm hoping we would get enough “storm damage” to get some insurance help, but alas, you can pull near tornadic conditions on my roof repeatedly and the thing is like “Is that all you’ve got?” But you sit too near it on a regular sunny day and crumbly roof parts fall on you.

The funny thing is that, like everyone who’s worked on my house, this crew is a bunch of tattooed Christians. If I were feeling monotheistic, I’d try to discover if they all went to the same church and check it out, because they all seem sweetly sincere.

So, I mean, I suspected they were Christian  by the Bible on the dashboard, but they didn’t say anything at all religious until after all the paperwork was signed, when the one guy turned to the other and said, “Just when we needed a job, God provided.”

I know that sounds corny, but in person, you could hear a little bit of desperate relief in his voice.

I’m a little freaked out about spending that much money. I keep reminding myself that the inspector told us the roof was on its last legs and that the whole reason I had that money in savings was for the roof.  This is exactly what I had planned and now I am executing it.  It’s all fine.

And, yeah, it’s a lot of money, but even if this guy has no overhead, if he’s praying for work, and that thankful for it, I can’t shake the knowledge that it’s a nice amount of money for a day’s work, but it’s not much money if you don’t know when the next job is coming.

2. This sure seems like a poison-ivy rash, but I have been no place exciting to get into poison ivy. I didn’t even get outside as much this weekend as a girl should. I wonder if I’m allergic to some of the weeds in my garden and this is their revenge.

3.  I really like my silver hairs. Sometimes Coble will say something to me–like about how people seem to find certain things pleasurable that they then spend a lot of time acting like are gross–that I realize is broadly applicable.  Silver hairs are supposed to be terrible and you’re supposed to cover them up lest you look old, but I like having shiny silver hair.  It’s like free jewelry growing out of my head.

4. So, I’m trying to get together 31 fake as hell ghost stories about Nashville to post in October. Yes, I know, it’s July and never in this history of Tiny Cat Pants has there been this kind of planning and, quite frankly, we may never see its likes again. But I am slowly working my way up to 31.

Anyway, while doing research (yes, I know, research. What is happening to me?!) I discovered this story about the Congress Inn on Dickerson Road. I should take a short side-track to explain to you the joke of having a hotel called the “Congress” Inn on Dickerson Road. I know on its surface, it sounds like a dick joke, but it becomes even more junior high funny when you understand that Dickerson Road is notorious for being the road in Nashville where the working girls ply their trade.

Where were we?  Oh, yes, the ghost story is a simple one of the sleep paralysis genre. A man reported being held down by some being he couldn’t see and being unable to move, even though he sensed someone in the room.

That’s not what interests me.  What interests me is the explanation for why the place is supposed to be haunted.  Supposedly the main house was used as a hospital during the Civil War and they had so many people die there that they just walled the bodies up in the basement.

You can see why I’m intrigued.

Here’s what the story has going against it. 1. Walling dead folks up in the basement is a quick solution to getting rid of the bodies?  Why not just throw them in a heap outside? 2. While much of downtown Nashville that didn’t serve as giant brothels was indeed used as hospitals, I’m unfamiliar with any Civil War hospitals in East Nashville. My understanding is that the east bank of the Cumberland was kind of bottom-y–marshy, prone to flooding, not that fun to traverse–until you got to right about where I-24 is.  So, it’s hard for me to believe that a Civil War hospital that saw any great use would be located, across the river, through the bottoms, and almost halfway up Dickerson Pike towards Briley.  If that’s true, no wonder they had so many dead people. That would have been a hell of a journey.

But it’s intriguing. Have any of y’all heard of this?  And, say I did get into that basement, what would I be looking for in order to judge if there were bodies there walled up?

Am I Actually Home On Time to Watch True Blood?!

I wonder if we’ll see vampires flying at some point. I really would like to see flying vampires.  I would also like to see the Stackhouses become less dumb-ass, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in that.

Is Eric depressed?!  He seemed a little down with his blood hooker.

You know, a girl wonders if vampires would rather, in real life, if there were such things, hang out with really old people.  I would think that as annoying as it is to hang out with teenagers for us, it would be like that multiplied for Bill in real life.

Lorena is not a pleasant looking person.  Not a bad looking person, just she looks like a tremendous pain in the ass.

I’m tickled to learn that Bill sings.  That’s pleasant.

I am probably digging this whole Bill as flapper storyline more than I should.

Finally Sam gets around to asking about the scars? I mean, it’d be one thing if they were not giant animal scars, then it might be polite to not ask.  But if you are in a creepy woods and someone has creepy woods-living animal scars, you might get to the bottom of it sooner, I’d think.

Nose kisses, though, are about as annoying as forehead kisses.

Someone owes me a dollar if it turns out Sam and what’s her face are related.

I think this is the first time we’ve seen Eggs and Maryanne together.

Sookie had never though about growing old while Bill stays the same?

Oh, finally Eggs is interesting.

I mean, more than normal interesting.

Shut up, Tara and let a man have his existential angst.

Don’t surprise the man with PTSD!

“You weren’t on any damn gay cruise, ’cause you would have come back with more pizzaz, not less.”

I think we just saw the three most fucked up normal people in this show all in one place.

I’m still agnostic about sex on a pool table, at least a good one. You’d have the hard slate and the felt seems like it would give you bad rug rash.

Man, I have to tell you, Bill was much more interesting when he was evil.

Shut up! Daphne is the pig?!  Well, I was wrong about that.

Also, Sookie remains an idiot.

Oh, the old distract him from asking questions about your being a pig by giving him a blow-job technique.

Good lord, this is the world’s biggest church. It takes all day to walk around it?

Shoot, I hope folks aren’t watching this with their kids.

Aw, Hoyt is so damn cute. And kind of skeevy, considering his age.

I’m sorry.  I’m still stuck on the fact that Sookie would not have even considered that they would know and recognize her after they tried to kidnap her in the first place.  Good lord.

Though I’m not that convinced that the Reverend’s wife is as shockingly naive as she’s suddenly seeming.

How convenient that God is commanding her to get on Jason.

Now I’m trying to guess how many people have just stopped watching the show.

Holy shit! I wonder if they would actually kill off Sam. No, surely not.

Ha, well, wow. I have to say, I am finally feeling like the writing on this show is coming together, finally.  And for the first time, ever, I can’t wait to see what will happen.

Mysterious Things


So, yes, if you have seen me two or three times since you handed me this bag, and if you’ve even been to my house once, you should know that, though your bag is not being used to save the environment, it is being used.

wierd building

I saw this weird building in Cross Plains yesterday and I took a picture of it so that Bridgett can tell me what it is.

opposite freckle

Gaze upon my opposite freckle and quake!


Or, if the opposite freckle doesn’t do it for you, look at my rash.


And between this new gray hair and all my earrings, my left side is totally sparkly now.

Oh, You Know How Men Are…

Some days you are planning on happily lounging around in your pajamas and contemplating maybe doing a little weeding when you read something that causes you to have to think seriously about going down to the State Capitol and flailing around where everyone can see you and making a big scene.

World, look upon this bullshit:

Connie Ridley, the legislature’s director of administration, says she does “spend time talking with the members of the General Assembly about our sexual harassment policy.”

But Ridley says lawmakers haven’t set rules about consensual relationships between them and the interns they supervise.

In the case of House Democratic leader Gary Odom, he ended up marrying his intern.

Referring to the interns, Ridley said, “We do not want to find them with their picture on the front page of the newspaper having done something that’s going to embarrass the legislature.”

By contrast to Tennessee’s policy, New York prohibits members “from engaging in personal relationships with interns,” saying it did so “to prevent favoritism, morale problems, disputes or misunderstandings, potential harassment claims, and inferences of impropriety.”

Tennessee puts the responsibility on the interns, saying they “should avoid conduct” that might embarrass the lawmakers.

“I have even used the Monica Lewinsky intern incident,” Ridley added, “to remind them that those are the types of activities that we don’t want to see them involved in because it is very much an embarrassment to the institution, to themselves, to their family and to the legislators.”

Let me say that for you again: “Tennessee puts the responsibility on the interns, saying they ‘should avoid conduct’ that might embarrass the lawmakers.”

Let me be blunt, the fact that Connie Ridley can say outloud that it is somehow the responsibility of the interns to keep men with a lot more power than them in line shows that the program is deeply flawed.

It is not the responsibility of the person with less power, the employee, to keep the person who has authority in line. It is the responsibility of the person with authority to keep in line.


Listen, we all can see this for what it is.  Politicians, in this case men, want to behave like gigantic assholes who can use their power and authority to get access to women who otherwise wouldn’t even be in their same social sphere. So, the system is set up to put it on the young women to monitor and enforce the proper boundaries while the men with the power over their paychecks and (in this case more importantly) letters of recommendation can push those boundaries as much as possible.

And we’re all supposed to act like men just can’t help it.  They’re thinking with their dicks all the time.  It’s got to be on women to be the responsible ones.

But let’s be serious.  Most men don’t suck. They are concerned about their loved ones and the safety of others.  So, if men were constantly and always thinking only about their penises and how and when they might get to use them, most men wouldn’t do many of the things you see men doing every day–operating heavy machinery, driving a car, running major corporations, engaging in complex policy negotiations, making beer, etc.  They would, instead, put women in charge so that the world could operate while they sat at home and suffered under the burden of their compulsions.

But no, instead, somehow men manage.

So, this idea that they can’t be held responsible for their own behavior–that it’s one their underlings to keep the in line–is insulting to men.

And why, if they knew they were going to be held responsible not only for their own behavior but for the behavior of people much more powerful than them, would any students participate in the intern program?  Talk about a stacked deck.

The Tiny Cat as Art Director

Here’s something fun. Try to find the tiny cat in the following pictures. She’s not in them all, but…

Simple Gal

I was feeling bad about going to the freezer to eat the last ice cream bar at nine in the morning, but then I realized I had miscounted and I was only eating the second to the last ice cream bar.

Maybe I’ll have that at ten.

I don’t know.  I’ve got to tell y’all that I’ve been stuck in this rut where I feel like I just don’t know anything and that I don’t really have the authority to speak on anything anyway, even if I did know it, which I don’t.

I mean, yes, it’s just a passing phase and it’s gone from being a heavy weight to being kind of funny.

But the truth is I just don’t feel like I have any insight lately into why the things that are going on around me are going on.

I just don’t know.  People are fucked up.  They do the fucked up things they do because they are used to doing them.  Me included.

There’s a lot I don’t understand and lately I don’t really care to try.

So, I’m going to go hang out with my dog and take some pictures and just be happy that I don’t have to know shit.

Ha, this sounds weirdly like some “I’m never blogging again,” but actually it’s not that at all.  I’m just saying, this is where I am and it’s interesting in some ways and kind of sucks in others.  And I shouldn’t avoid talking about it, just because I think it sounds stupid.

“Lady Blogger”?

Weirdly enough, you only have to change about ten words to make Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy appropriate for a lady blogger.

Tom Humphrey himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of ladies
Into the blogosphere. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen words see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry ‘Hold, hold!’

While We’re Busy WTF-ing on Plants

Let me ask you about your morning glories. Mine took forever to get going.  Forever.  And for a while, before they really took off, I had one lone ground flower.

But now, I have a lot of green leafiness but no flowers.

I also have to tell you, much to my shame, I am not yet an experienced enough gardener to have a wild flower garden from seed.  I have been trying to weed my wildflower garden, but I have no idea what the hell is wildflower and what is weed.

I don’t know.  It kind of cracks me up.  I know peonies, some kinds of marigolds, the coneflowers, and the morning glories.  But even the marigolds sometimes surprise me, becuase I have a couple of three-footers.  Who has three foot tall marigolds?!

I also have mixed feelings about my herb garden.  I know everything is just very small right now, but it feels so bare.

I’ll have to take some pictures so you can see.

Who Cares?

I love that the discussion has now turned to whether Paul Stanley’s intern/mistress is a dirty slut.  As if there’s some “dirty slut” get-out-of-trouble-free card?

“Oh, yeah, Stanley abused his position of power and proved himself to be a hypocrite by trying to legislate morality for the rest of us while he was busy acting like his employees were also potential concubines, but don’t you see, Tennessee?  She was a dirty slut.”

“Oh, well, then.  Carry on, Stanley.”

As if girls who carry on with blackmailers normally have such unsullied reputations?

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I know there usually is a get-out-of-trouble-free card if you can prove the girl you got in trouble with is a dirty slut. That’s one of the reasons the howling on this thing is so loud.  It used to be and often is still the case that a man with a little power and authority could use that to get access to women who otherwise would not give him the time of day and if he crosses the line a little bit, if it becomes more coersion than seduction, he just reveals that she’s a dirty slut and everyone agrees that it was probably just a misunderstanding or that she really wanted it or that she deserved it and life goes on.

And when folks discover that the “dirty slut” revelation works on less and less of the population?  That the old rules, that they all agreed to and used to their benefit, don’t work as well as they used to?

Well, of course there’s some complaining.

That’s to be expected.

But here’s the weird thing, Tennessee, and the thing you ought to ask yourself.  As far as I can tell, Morrison’s not saying she was coersced into anything with Stanley. It seems to have been consentual.  And we already know that she runs around with married men and cavorts with blackmailers, so it’s not like the sanctimonious church crowd didn’t already have moral character issues to cluck about.

So, why is it so important to air her dirty laundry now?  Why is it necessary to show that, if you get caught running around with a legislator, your whole life is up for public examination and that everyone will know your dirty business?

The TBI is already involved. It’s too late for Morrison to keep her mouth shut.

So, why’s it necessary?

Whose mouths exactly need to be kept shut?

Times like these make you with there were women reporters on the Hill.

Dear Editor

The other day we were talking about the role of a good editor.  Not a copyeditor, though they’re nice, too, but a good developmental editor.  Someone who can say “Um, yes, wasn’t that character a girl 30 pages ago?” or “I think you’d be better served by moving chapter 6 up some,” or if you were Stephen King’s editor, “It’s really great until the end and then it kind of seems like you aren’t sure how to wrap things up.”

It’s hard to explain to folks what a good editor does and so they’re kind of becoming a dying breed.

But a good editor is your most intimate reader.

And, to me, that’s the thing about writing. It can’t be separated from reading.  They are, I think, actually different parts of the same act.  And having a reader who lets you in on his end of things, if you’re a writer, is invaluable.  It sucks and it’s hard on the ego, but it’s invaluable.

I don’t know if we’ll have publishers like we do now, so it’s hard to know if we’ll have editors.

And I’m a little sad about that.

Until I think of you, dear reader.

We do out here in public what used to be done in private.  (Isn’t that part of the joke of this Vanity Fair thing? That they are shaming her, not only by editing her, but by showing work publicly that we perceive of as being done in private?)

I push; you pull. Things that aren’t clear are made clear or fights ensue.

Ha, I can’t remember where I was going with this.

I want to talk about how intimate it feels to edit someone.  But I don’t want to talk about how I came to feel like a whore.

So, let’s just leave it at that.


Okay, fellow gardeners, nm and I have both realized that we have now had a garden full of green tomatoes for two weeks. Tomato plot to drive us all mad?  Not enough sunshine to turn them red? What?

Are we alone?

Also, let’s have some consensus on turning pumpkins and watermelons. I say unnecessary and bound to harmfully twist the vegetable equivalent of their umbilical cords.  The Butcher says, “But they’re getting a white spot on the bottom!” What say you?

Born in Boston in 1587

So, yes, I love, but you have to be aware that, in many cases you are just trading one family myth for another.

I set out, for instance, to try to figure out who my earliest American-born ancestor is.

And I came up with this line–me, my dad, Grandma Avis, Sadie Robinson, Abraham Sanborn, Abraham Sanborn, Daniel Sanborn, Daniel Sanborn, Dorothy Smith, John Smith, Robert Smith, John Smith.

This John Smith, my 9-greats grandpa was supposedly born in Boston in 1587, less than a hundred years after Europeans refound the Americas, which we had forgotten about.  This is quite a feat, considering that there wasn’t a Boston until 1630.  In fact, if John Smith was indeed born in America of British parents in 1587 in the area of Boston, I think I’ve just single-handedly solved the mystery of where the Roanoke colonists went.

But I have to say, I always experienced myself as ethnically bland-German with a little exciting Swede thrown in there for good measure, so it is cool to reconsider myself as a person with a lot of British ancestors on both sides.  It’s also weird, because I assumed we’d all come over in the late 1800s, with the exception of my one strain of Civil War fighting folks, and that is also not the case.

So, yeah, hmm.