Do Unto Others

I don’t believe there’s a single member of either of these churches that is saying to him or herself right now, “You know, I hope that, if I’m ever in a tragedy so immense that many of my friends and family are dead, I am without a place to live, and I’m not sure which, if any, of my children, neices, or nephews are still alive, someone sneaks into my country and kidnaps my children and takes them home with them so that I never know what happened to them and they never know that I am still alive and searching desperately for them.”

So, one wonders why the fuck they thought it was okay for them to sneak into Haiti and steal children. I mean, seriously, if you are a part of a group that thinks Jesus is telling you to sneak into another country and steal their children, you are in a dangerous cult. You probably need to go to prison for your own well-being, if not for the well-being of the families you would victimize, because you cannot be trusted to be in society.

Unbelievable.

And that the minister is all “pray for our members, the Devil is working against them”?! Your members are involved in a plot to steal children. They are on the side of evil. And it is scary that no one in those churches seems to see that.

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When the Accessories Don’t Behave

I was reading Katie’s amazing post on Elizabeth Edwards. And I was just going to come over here and tell you to go read it. But I had to throw some laundry in the dryer and what was sticking with me from her post is that, in a way, it reminded me of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s post about Steve McNair (which I know I have linked to before, but finding stuff on the internet on this computer is pretty futile).

About how we don’t teach men to watch out for troublesome women. About how part of the “privilege” of being male is that you aren’t taught to view each potential mate for the trouble she might cause you, that, in spite of all evidence pointing to her being at best, a pain in your ass, and at worst, the destruction of you and your family, her nature is not your problem.

Or, if it is your problem, somehow this is some terrible violation of societal norms.

Men are actors. Women are acted upon.

Okay, I’m extrapolating from Coates a bit, but his point that how men are socialized to believe that they are or should somehow be insulated from things people can’t actually be insulated from is directly applicable.

Granju is right that women recognize women like Hunter. You do know exactly the type of woman that would sleep with a man whose wife was suffering from cancer. We don’t have a lot of good words in our language for describing those women and the words we do used–slut, whore, homewrecker, etc.–are used just as often for keeping all women in line.

So, it’s hard to talk about it. Or you hear folks just say “Oh, she’s crazy,” (which, I know, is a word I have a lot of balls to use after last week), but “crazy” still is a cover, like there isn’t any way to anticipate that her behavior will throw your world into chaos, as if it’s just going to come out of nowhere, rather than there being warning signs all along the way.

Or it’s hard to talk about it because you don’t want to blame the victims. We get into it here sometimes, about how armchair quarterbacking the behavior of, say, abuse victims, doesn’t really help at all.  But I still believe that there’s a firm difference between “Here are warning signs of an abuser–separating you from loved ones, making you question yourself, belittling you, threatening your children, etc.” and “Well, if you couldn’t see that he was doing x,y, and z and do something about it, then you’re just as much to blame as he is.”

But the thing is that Hunter’s behavior is pretty common and no mystery. But men are rarely warned away from trouble. After all, if Edwards wants a little on the side, it’s a sign of his power and his prowess that he can have it and, no matter how problematic she becomes, he can get it dealt with.

See? Edwards’ behavior isn’t really that hard to figure out either.

And Elizabeth?

Again, this is where I think Granju is on-point. It’s hard to imagine how any woman could read about what Elizabeth is going through–from the anger to the grief to the tearing of her shirt–and not have your heart go out to her. She’s dying of cancer and her husband was auditioning her replacement.

Who wants to believe that the man you devoted your life to could be so blatant about being ready to move on once you’re in the ground? Is, in fact, already moving on?

And yet, these male authors are outraged by her “wild” behavior. And this is baffling.

Is there some proper way to act when you realize that, not only are you going to die, but that, in dying, you will be leaving your children with someone you don’t even recognize as the man you married?

But it’s only baffling until you realize that her “sin” is acting instead of being acted upon.

They really thought that HE was the actor and she was just an accessory. Like Hunter is just an accessory.

Does your necklace grieve when you get a new choker?

Then why should your wife grieve when you get a new girlfriend?

I’m not sure how to undo that way of seeing the world, or if you can, or if we just have to wait for it to pass from the earth. But it’s pretty odious, and it’s damaging to everyone.  It’d be nice to see it gone.

(ooh, here’s the Coates piece.)

It May Be a Mess Elsewhere, But Here, It’s Beautiful

It’s weird the things that are in your bones, the things you don’t even know. Last night, I woke up twice expecting the noise of the snowplow.

There has been no snowplow.

We live on the road that curves so far north it eventually becomes Lake Shore Drive. A major, in its day, thoroughfare between here and everywhere else.

And there has been no snowplow.

You look out my front door and it’s white clear across to the neighbor’s front door.  I’ve been watching for a while and only seen one vehicle–a semi-truck full of food. It may be more apparent where the road is when you get closer to it, but I am only a front yard away from it and it is invisible.

I don’t think I’m going to make it to the dinner party tonight.

It’s kind of hard to believe we will go anywhere by any means other than by foot ever again.

I still can’t believe I get to live here. Every week brings something that makes me think I live in a spot where magical shit happens all the time.

I expected to wake up to dirty piles of snow pushed into the yard.

But there has been no one by to clear a path to us yet.

On the news last night, they said Davidson county only has 36 snowplows, but it’s more than that. None of our good old boys have snowplows on their trucks. There’s no neighbor to clear the road ahead of the county, no one to scrape out your driveway because you took care of their cat this summer.

I don’t know. I guess I’m a little charmed by this beautiful day, but it’s really things like this that remind you of how big our country is, and how deep the cultural differences run.

I need to take pictures.

I hear they have ice further south in the county, but we never got any freezing rain, only snow.

It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing! The Old Man is… Um, Something-ing

I went into work, even though we are having what is supposed to be another apocalyptical snow. But then no one else was at work and I got done everything I could get done without having input from anyone else, so I headed home.  It was definitely snowing more downtown than it was up here, but the roads were clearer.

I then went to Kroger and got pop and dog food and the world’s worst chicken, which I tried to feed to the new kitty, but it’s so bad she’s left a big hunk of it on the  floor. And now, I’m home safe and the snow is really starting to come down.

So, I’m going to start a fire and work on the weird afghan.

The Butcher is over on the East Side, and I told him that, if it starts to get weirdly icy, he is not to try to come home.

But so far, we’re just having a nice snow. It’s really easy to enjoy it from inside the house. I should take some pictures.

And then… when my new computer comes… I will post them!!!!

Edited to add: Bless her heart, I’m trying to feed the rest of the crappy chicken to the dog and she’s all “Um, I guess I’ll eat it,” but it pains her. People, when even the dog can’t eat your chicken, that is some crappy chicken.

Two Legal Things

Goldni has a good post about the Tiller case and how the judge has ruled that Roeder’s jurors can’t consider the lesser charges of manslaughter or second-degree murder. Roeder has admitted to planning Tiller’s murder, hunting him down at church and shooting him. It should be a clear-cut case. But I am terrified that Roeder’s attorneys will try for jury nullification and get it.

Jason, over at The Wild Hunt, has a long post on a case in California worth keeping an eye on.  Apparently, folks are now trying to argue that freedom of religion only covers “traditional” religions and that religions that fall outside of “tradition” (read: monotheism, with an exception made for Native beliefs because they are smart enough to not yet argue that those aren’t “traditional”) shouldn’t be granted the same first amendment protections.

I don’t think this will pan out for them, but it’s interesting to see what their agenda is.

Pinnacle Building

It was just yesterday that I realized what it is about the Pinnacle building that strikes a wrong aesthetic chord for me.  It’s really a beautiful sight, but it looks like some of the other buildings got together and buried it in the mud up to its shoulders.

If we all wake up one day and find it covered in honey, a trail of fire ants slowly making its way towards the building, we will know that the L&C Tower has had it with these young punks and is sending a message.

(If you’re not from here, to get a sense of what I’m talking about, here’s a picture Chris Wage took.  The bottom of the picture is pretty much the bottom of the building.)

(Also, it is now my goal to take a picture of moss this beautiful.)

We Need a Three-Tiered Tornado System

Right now, we just have two things–tornado watch and tornado warning.

Tornado watch means “head’s up. Conditions are favorable for a tornado possibly form.”

Tornado warning means “Hide in your closet now!!!!!!”

But with the rise of better technology, we get alerted, with a tornado warning, for cloud rotation that isn’t even yet on the ground. And may never be.

So, I would like to propose the “tornado alert.” A middle ground between the “watch” and the “warning.” A tornado alert could be when meteorlogists have seen rotation in the clouds and there may be a funnel on the ground. It would be strongly advised to take shelter.

And a warning could be reserved for actual funnels.

Today, I Love You

Pictures of past pictures.

Learn here about the gang of miscreants ruining America. Yes, you, Rachel. I mean you!!!!

Alabama anti-gambling taskforce head wins big gambling in Mississippi. You can’t make shit like that up. Well, you can. But you don’t have to. Life did it for you. First librarians are ruining the publishing industry and now life is making it harder to write fictiony-fiction.

Tim Tebow’s mom mad the hard decision not to have an abortion in a country where abortion is illegal. Good for her. I hope someday I can have a Superbowl commercial in my honor because today I am not smoking in the restaurant at lunch, which I am prohibited by law from doing.

The State of the Blah blah blah

I didn’t watch it.

Went out to sit and crochet while the knitters knitted. I saw an awesome technique for joining ends, drank some wine, and hung out and worked on my afghan.

I’m not in love with it. The idea is that you have a cool side and a warm side and the cool stripes run horizontally and the warm stripes run vertically.  I don’t know if it’s just that I don’t have enough warm stripes yet, but I kind of think it looks weird. And I added purple to the warm side just to give some continuity between the cool side and the warm side because it looks really disjointed to me.

Good thing the yarn is awesome enough to outweigh the strange look of the afghan.  If it doesn’t shape up soon, though, it’s being demoted from afghan for the person I was making it for to afghan for my dad.

That’s right. I will motherfucking demote an afghan if I have to. I am heartless that way.

I heard from Kitty and she got the contest afghan in the mail. I think she really liked it, so that’s very cool. Ha, yes, people, sometimes I still worry that you’re just humoring me. But I did end up liking that afghan a lot, so I’m glad she’s liking it, too.

In other weirdness, the dog was cracking me up last night. She was trying to get the tiny cat to play with her and so she was doing this weird bounce, where first her front legs would come up and then her back legs.  If she were a caterpillar, you might have said she was undulating.

Even the tiny cat, who is not usually one for nonsense, was transfixed by this strange bounce. It’s certainly not something we’ve ever seen the dog do before.

But here’s the thing, dear readers, this morning, I saw the new kitty doing that same weird bounce at the tiny cat before breakfast. As you can imagine, I’m forced to assume two things.

1. Unlike other dance crazes, that you do to a certain song, there’s a dance craze sweeping my house that you do to a certain animal. I’m calling it the “Tiny Cat Bounce.” I would invite you to try it, but I’m not sure how you can do it on two legs. I’m pretty sure that, on two legs, it’s very similar to the “Old-timey Prospector Dance.” So, if you do do it, your significant other might assume you think you’ve found gold in the living room.  If you have not found gold in the living room, this could lead to misunderstanding and hurt feelings.

If you do, for some reason, have four legs, you don’t want to bounce too aggressively or you will shade over from “Tiny Cat Bounce” to “Bucking Bronco.”

2. For all Mrs. Wigglebottom’s disinterest in the new kitty, I wonder if this is evidence that she’s watching the new kitty more carefully than I thought.

iPad

I don’t really have insightful things to say about it. I just wonder if this made the Kindle obsolete. It sure seems like it (even if the price is initially high). So, you know, I wonder what it will mean for publishing. I still think that we’re on a course where publishers have no warehouses, but instead have a giant printer/binder on-sight.  A book will be printed when there’s some indication that a customer wants it.

I still wonder if we won’t see a flip in the “publishing” model, too, where, instead of the publisher basically “hiring” a stable of writers, if we won’t see a stable of writers pool their resources to hire an editor, marketer/publicist, and copyeditor/designer (and, presumably, some kind of accountant).

I don’t know.

Strange times.

When the Professor and I were talking this weekend, I remarked, yet again, about how we all got email addresses my junior year of college, which we never used, because no one had computers and you had to go to the library to check your email. And they talked of some far off time in the future when everyone would have a whole gig of memory and you’d have every bit of content you ever generated with you for always and even then, you’d never be able to use a whole gig.

And now, not even 15 years later, we know, soon enough, you’ll carry around access to almost every book ever created, almost every bit of information generated by anyone else on a computer.

My own past seems so ancient. It’s hard to believe that my Grandma was born into a house without indoor plumbing or electricity and her family was wealthy.

I will never forget when my cousin M. and I asked my Grandma to tell us about the good old days and she said, “you can pry my microwave from my dead hands.”

An Update on the Whole TNDP Thing

So, I talked to Devin Brady last night about stuff, starting with the fundraiser and moving through the state of the blogosphere and whether progressives really were welcome in the Democratic party or if it was going to continue to be a case of us arriving at the front door with food and gifts, lavishly welcomed, and then escorted through the house and out into the back yard, while the real partygoers stand inside and laugh about how stupid we are.

I did not put it so elegantly, because I had been half alseep on the couch when he called, but that was the general gist.

He apologized and said that they hadn’t meant crazy to mean crazy but… And then, it was nice, because, as he talked he got that what he was saying sounded ridiculous.

I don’t know. I thought it took guts to call. I tried to make clear that I was upset that a lot of us thought the whole “Nathan Vaughn and his blackbird friends” thing was bullshit and the whole “Harold Ford, call me” thing was bullshit–all aimed at reminding voters that those men have some inherent trait that makes them unacceptable leaders. So, for us to turn around and say that there’s some inherent trait in Palin and the others that makes them unacceptable leaders gives us no moral high ground when we complain (and rightly so) about that behavior in others.

And I also reiterated that, for a lot of us further left than most Tennesseans, the Democrats are all we have, in terms of political shelter. This is not to say that we can’t vote green or independent or whatever. But, when bills come up that impact our lives, we know our only hope to stop those bills lies with the Democrats.

And when they shove us aside, it’s like, well, why even fucking bother?

I don’t know.

I sat up all night thinking about it and I’m still kind of, I don’t know, not satisfied. It’s not that I’m not satisfied with the TNDP. I mean, it’s more that I’m not satisfied with my role in this. Don’t get me wrong. I love to be taken seriously. It’s flattering as hell.

But I’m not the spokesperson for progressives in this state. Even if there were such a position, there are lots of good reasons why someone else other than me should be that person. So, it’s weird to apologize to me. And yet, I thought it was a nice gesture.

So, I don’t know.

And he asked if we’d ever met, and I was tired, so I told him the truth–probably not, because I make an effort to not meet people because it’s harder to be mean when you know someone.

The thing is that politicians and people who work in politics in this state have a tremendous amount of power over our daily lives. Power that they need to be accountable for to all of us.

But, they are also regular people–some of whom you’re going to like a hell of a lot if you meet them in person a couple of times.

So, when they ask you to email or call them if something comes up and it’s bugging you, it seems reasonable. They’re regular people. They want what’s best for the state, just like you do. Why not just pick up the phone and talk it out?

But the problem with that is that it’s ridiculous that anyone in politics  is accountable to me as a private person. They are only accountable to me as a citizen of the state.

Moving the discussion out of the public sphere and into the private, where we’re not having a public discussion people can follow, but we’re having a private disagreement that can be resolved before it becomes public, doesn’t do anything to help public accountability.

In fact, it gives the complainer, in this case me, a sense that things have been resolved to my liking, without allowing for any public accountability.

And the thing is, it’s very tempting to buy into that shit.

But once that happens…

You see what I’m getting at?

Once you become the kind of person who can pick up a phone and work things out, you’re not the kind of person who can do this.

In fact, you’re the kind of person people do this in order to work around.

Hurray!

Just got an email notification that the new computer has shipped! Soon, very soon, I will be able to have more than one window on my computer open at a time! I will be able to post photos again (which y’all will be very grateful for because I have a picture of a seed pod that looks just like a cooter. And who doesn’t want to see that?). I will be able to watch videos. Listen to music.

Charge my iPod!!!!

Sit in the living room!!!!!!!

Whew, it’s going to be awesome.

If I Ever Give Money to the TNDP Again, Please Smack Me Upside the Head

It was bad enough when this anti-Palin nonsense went out virally, but today we get the official email from the TNDP.

Did you hear? Sarah Palin’s coming to town – and you’ll never believe who she’s speaking to.

OK, it’s not that much of a shock. Sarah Palin, known for her outrageous lies, is speaking to the Tea Party Nation “convention,” known for its open embrace of conspiracy theorists. And Tennessee Republicans are falling in line, with Marsha Blackburn leading the way.

Our friends put together a little song to welcome her. You may recognize the tune.

Listen to “Sarah Palin’s Comin’ to Town” here: http://www.teapartycircus.com/

Never mind that before this email went out, it was already old news that Blackburn’s enthusiasm for the convention had cooled considerably. What’s a little truth-stretching when fund-raising is involved?

And the song.

I know that, when we talk about what Democrats stand for in this state, the eye-rolling gets so thick most of the state can’t see where they’re going, but it matters.

We’re not against people with mental illnesses. I can’t even believe I have to type that.

People have mental illnesses. It doesn’t discount them from serving in office. It doesn’t discount them from contributing to society. It doesn’t make them worth less as human beings. And we, as a party, are traditionally allied with advocacy groups for people with mental illnesses.

Mental illnesses are incredibly common. You know people right now on anti-depressants. You know veterans who live with PTSD. You know women who’ve suffered from postpartum depression. And so on. And the chances of you being mentally ill at some point in your life are about the same as you coming down with some other very common illness. It might not be chronic, for most people, but most people are going to experience it.

Whatever range of attitudes and behaviors might be covered by the “crazy” umbrella, we are all going to be crazy at some point.

Whether or not Palin, Blackburn, or Bachmann are crazy is not a reason to stand against them nor to raise money FOR the Democrats.

In fact, it’s deeply problematic and deeply disappointing to see the Tennessee Democratic Party raising money by mocking politicians for being crazy–“Lunacy’s headed to our backyard”; “They’re gonna fill up Opryland/ With their paranoid fantasies”; “She’s raising the bar on crazy again.”

I mean, I hate to point out the obvious BUT WE’RE THE PARTY OF CRAZIES. Even now, there are politicians in this state who believe that homosexuality is a mental illness. There are still people who believe that women who want to go to college or get jobs or put off having kids have something wrong with us, literally, something in our brains are broken. Even today, Jeff Woods is calling progressives “moonbeams.” And that’s just the tier of people who get accused of being crazy as some kind of slur against us.  We also are supposed to be the folks who care about and advocate for and with people with mental illnesses.

And yet we’re going to raise money on the idea that we can’t possibly allow the crazies to get power?

If everyone who votes Democrat who has a mental illness or has been accused of having a mental illness stopped voting Democrat, the Democratic Party would be in hot water.

Hotter water.

There are plenty of reasons to stand against Palin and the tea-partiers and there are ways of doing it that don’t get our allies caught in friendly fire.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is on On-Demand, so I watched it. For the first time in years. And I realized, it makes no sense that John Cusick’s character doesn’t get together with Lady Chablis, at least at a narrative level.  He buys her flowers, he takes her for car rides, he takes her to a dance, he shows up at her club and watches in admiration as she performs.

It’s really weird to watch. It’s as if they split John Kelso’s love interest in two. He courts Chablis and this somehow causes Mandy to desire him.  It’s honestly as if Mandy is just stuck in the movie to give the sexual energy that is being signaled by the interactions between John and Chablis somewhere acceptable to the audience to focus.

Ha, if it seems weird now, I cannot wait to hear what folks make of it in ten or fifteen years. I think the character of Mandy is going to just seem even more bizarre.

Ooo, and here’s a story about a guy searching for Minerva.

Child of Opryland?

Rumors are flying fast and furious all over town that, now that the new convention center has been approved, that Gaylord is looking to reinstitute a theme park over in their neck of the woods, in order to keep from losing conventions to the downtown.

Which proves that I was right this last summer when I said that the unspoken dynamic in the convention center debate was not that downtown wanted to compete with other cities for convention business so much as they wanted to compete with Gaylord without having to come out and say it.  That was always the subtext, but now it’s moved into actual text.

Is a new theme park a good idea? Who the fuck even cares?

Every summer when I was a girl, we would load up the car, pack up the trailer, hook it all together, and drive down to Lebanon to the campground just south of I-40. It has a swimming pool lined with wavy sheet metal that was so bright in the summer sun you almost couldn’t open your eyes when you were in it. Mark and Danny and their parents would drive down from Michigan and camp next to us.

Almost every year of my life is marked by a picture of the five of us kids  standing by the Michigan historical marker down at the Stones River Battlefield.

And I can remember sitting in the long line of traffic up Briley Parkway to go to Opryland. For years, I had over my bed one of those big-headed cartoons of me on rollerskates (which is pretty funny because I can only rollerskate on carpet) that was drawn there. My dad got a big hairy puppet at Opryland he used at Children’s Time in church every Sunday that we named Harley T. Davidson and dressed in a vinyl vest and a pleather tiny biker hat I found somewhere.

The guy that owned the campground was also somehow tied in with Crackerbarrel. And one day he put us all in his huge car and drove us around pointing out the “real” homes of stars. I don’t remember much except the huge interior of that car.

I guess what I’m saying is that I didn’t live here. I only visited every year. Maybe it did suck to live with Opryland in some way it didn’t suck to visit Opryland.

But those summers in Nashville, which revolved around our visits to Opryland, made me love this town.

I am completely irrationally enthusiastic about trying something like that again.

Argh! I Had Myself Convinced This Was an Irrational Fear!

A North Nashville man hears gunfire off in the distance and comes to realize he’s been shot. That’s the whole story, but it’s given me the heebie jeebies all morning, because I have this irrational fear of this very situation. And yet, here it is in real life.

Dude, I don’t know who you are, but you are in my thoughts.

Now, if there are any people who have grown third eyeballs in random places on their bodies, DO NOT TELL ME ABOUT IT.

Why, yes, it does make me crabby

It does indeed make me crabby when men brag about all the free parking downtown. I, too, wish that I could take advantage of the free parking downtown, but I don’t have a dick, so I don’t get to believe I can walk where I want with impunity. And, if something goes wrong, I get the “but why were you walking alone there anyway?” questions.

And what kind of jackass would flaunt that in front of someone who can’t take advantage of it?

So, yeah, I find it annoying that Davidson County residents have to pay to park in their own downtown. But I find it infuriating that the answer is “but there is free parking,” as if that parking is actually equally available.

No man has to have a chaperone to take advantage of the free parking downtown, but if I don’t, and if anything goes wrong, it’s my fault, at least in part.

And that, my friends, is bullshit.

The Pepsi Candidate

Here’s my question. Say the Supreme Court had, somehow, passed this ruling five years ago. And I’m Pepsi. I decide to throw all in for Edwards. You see anti-Clinton and anti-Obama ads paid for by Pepsi. You see pro-Edwards ads paid for by Pepsi.

Edwards is Pepsi’s guy. Pepsi is Edward’s drink.

But say, in every other way, it went down just like it has. Obama wins. Edwards is relegated to an embarrassing footnote of political history.

If I’m Pepsi, isn’t this terrible for me? Why wouldn’t Coke start running ads about how Pepsi is the choice of men who fuck over their dying wives and then fuck over the infant daughters that are a result of that betrayal?

“Be like John. Drink Pepsi. Or be like a decent human being. Drink Coke.”

If I’m a corporation, aren’t there limits to how publicly I want to be tied to a politician, knowing the stuff politicians get up to?

I’m just curious as to how this will play out. Right now, being able to kind of quietly funnel money to folks or to have the excuse to not funnel money to folks, has worked to keep corporations from being too tied to politicians in the public’s eye. I mean, yes, folks have a sense the politicians are bought and paid for, but not like NASCAR where you know which driver is sponsored by whom.

But what happens when you do know that? When John Edwards is the Pepsi candidate?

I admit, I’m kind of curious to see how this plays out. It seems like the unintended consequences of this may be the most interesting.

Things I’m Mulling Over, Including Such Exciting Topics as “Gardening”

1. Today is my dad’s 65th birthday, thus securing his spot as the longest lived Phillips man in three generations, maybe four, if you want to get the nephews in on the coversation.

My mom bought him a coffee maker.

My dad, however, does not drink coffee. This is very much in the vein of stuff my mom does and, on the one hand, I certainly can’t blame her for getting my dad shit he doesn’t want or need, because he’s one of those people who doesn’t really want much and will get what he needs when he knows he needs it.  On the other hand, I worry the only way we’re going to know when or if my mom starts to go senile will be if she starts buying gifts that make sense.

2. The biggest problem area in our yard continues to be a big problem and, with all the rain, it’s basically turned into a giant, muddy mess. As you may recall, it was impossible for us to do much gardening in the beds over there all summer because you couldn’t keep it weeded because it was too wet and muddy to get over there 90% of the time.

So, this fall, we just mowed it all down. But there definitely are some cool plants over there. A huge bunch of lilies and some irises and, since Christmas, the tiny, struggling Christmas tree, which has turned somewhat brown, but refuses to die all together.

This is not enough to really curb the problem.  And, when it gets so wet over there, water rolls across the driveway, into the side yard here, and then on into the front yard, making a vast, inland sea.

We can’t really let it go back to grass because it’s always so wet that you can’t get a mower into it.

Now, we could lay bets that we might go back to drought conditions soon enough and it could go back to grass.

But that would mean moving the lilies and the irises.

And what if we’re wrong?

So, I’m wondering if there are some plants, maybe even some ornamental grasses, that we could put in that part of the yard that would soak up some of the water and then, in the fall, when it gets too weedy (or full of my friend and yours privet saplings), and when it’s fairly dry, we could mow it all down and let it come back in the spring?

I found this mix, and the description of where you would use this sounds exactly like my circumstances.

“Low moist areas that tend to stay damp throughout the growing season” Check

“Periodic flooding for a day or two, as well as dry periods between rainstorms” Check

“Medium soils such as loam, sandy loam and clay loam” Check.

It’s as if they came to my yard, looked at my biggest problem spot, and wrote me up a description of how to solve it.

But $70? That’s practically my whole garden budget for the year! And I don’t need a thousand square feet, I don’t think.

Plus, a lot of the stuff that they have in their mix, I already have in the other big bed. But that stuff is all entering its second year, which means, I haven’t even seen it bloom yet. So, I wouldn’t, I don’t think, want to dig up and transplant anything.

But I also know I didn’t spend $70 in seed for that bed.

So, here is my question, internet, aside from just your overall thoughts on the problem, no matter what I do over there, what do I do about the problem of weeding? Last summer, it was only not muddy over there maybe six weekends. And I’m talking mud that makes pigs happy mud, not just “oh, I got a little dirty.”

Do you just succumb to the fact that there will be weeds? Is that the point of mixing everything together like they do in this mix, so weeds don’t stand out?

The Butcher thinks we should plant cattails, but I feel like that’s giving up and admitting half our yard is a bog.

The TNDP is Breaking My Heart

1. Don’t advertise conservative cultural movements for them.

2. Don’t spend money that should be going to recruiting and promoting candidates on making fun of Sarah Palin.

2a. If you have a good idea for how to make fun of Sarah Palin, pass it along to some bloggers with whom you’ve fostered an amicable relationship and let the bloggers do it while you stick to recruiting and promoting candidates.

2b. Oh, that’s right. You haven’t fostered amicable relationships with bloggers.

3. Don’t rub it in the faces of candidates you don’t support that you’re willing to spend time, money, and energy on crap that will do nothing to recruit and promote candidates.

That is all.

Takes the Sting Out of Not Winning the Cruise

Air America is no more.

We were talking yesterday about why it couldn’t make a go of it and the truth is, I know people from all over, but I don’t know anyone who listened to it.

So, there’s that.

I’m not sure why left-wing talk radio isn’t more appealing to liberal people. But we were also talking about Olbermann and about how none of us watch him any more.

I don’t know what to make of it. I want to jokingly suggest that liberals aren’t going to take to any format that doesn’t afford us the opportunity to lecture back. And I think there’s some truth to that, but I don’t think that’s the whole truth.

I wonder if part of it just isn’t the dynamic is different among liberals. I don’t want someone to speak for me. There’s not someone, not even John Stewart, who is saying what I wish I could say and be heard about to the people I wish I could say it to and be heard.

It doesn’t feel like some great victory if, say, Olbermann says what I’m thinking. I don’t feel vindicated or relieved to find a place where my ideas can be aired in public.

But from the outside, that appears to be part of the pleasure of listening to Limbaugh or Beck.

I mean, for better or for worse, if I want to say something, I say it here.

So, I don’t know. What do y’all think?