Which Democrats Put Themselves Ahead of You Tonight?

Barker, Bass, Borchert, Ty Cobb, Curtiss, Ferguson, Fincher, Fitzhugh, Fraley, Litz, McDonald, Shepard, Tidwell, West, Winningham, and Yokley all have decided that their need to stand up for glorious Arizona is more important than passing a budget.

While I can’t help but think Gary Odom is right–stunts like this hurt tourism, which we need, since we’re all out of work and someone’s got to pay the bills, the whole thing is actually kind of funny, if you think about it. I mean, if Arizona really wants the rest of the country to think they’re not ruled by a bunch of racist jackasses, having a bunch of powerful white Southerners, like, oh, the State Legislature of Tennessee, congratulate them is probably not helping to make their case.

“No, no, we’re not racist! The fact that we have a great deal of support from the Confederacy is… um… just a coincidence.”

In slightly different news, it’s interesting how this list lines up with Chip Forrester’s hit list. Only Coleman and Bone are missing (and they both abstained from voting on the resolution). This raises an interesting, and deeply troubling question. Why do those lists have so much overlap? Did the people on Chip’s list vote for this because they’re vulnerable? Did the folks who voted for this who aren’t on Chip’s list just signal that they believe they’re vulnerable?

If you’re counting, that would make it 18, not seven, vulnerable Democratic seats.

That’s scary. Or it would be if you could count on Democrats to not vote for crap like this, which you can’t so…

I don’t know.  I wish I had more snark in me, but I swear, all I keep thinking is that these sixteen Democrats thought this was important. Not our jobs. Not making sure we seem like a friendly and awesome tourist destination. Not our national and international reputation. Not passing a budget. But standing in solidarity with Arizona.

And to what end? So we could continue to look like petulant assholes on the world stage?

The only comfort I take in this is that our support makes Arizona look bad.

This is all I’ve been thinking about all afternoon

Not all, but it’s weird. Newscoma has been tweeting the flooding going on in West Tennessee and I keep thinking of Mel, who used to call me “Sally,” and how she lost her house. I want, very much, to write another October of ghost stories. I enjoyed it so much last time.

But all I can think about is how even my fictional ideas about Nashville have changed. How my ideas about what it means to haunt and be haunted are changing, and what it is I think the kinds of ghost stories we tell each other do. Often, they’re about how these things we think we know so well have a bit of unrecognizabilty to them. But after your whole region has been rendered unrecognizable to you? Then, it seems like telling stories is a way of putting things back into their familiar places.

More on Henry Mitchell

I don’t like to blog about my job. I love my job. But mixing blogging and having a job doesn’t always work. So, normally, I just don’t do it. But I will say that one terrible side-effect of my job has been that I pretty much have no interest in reading for pleasure any more. At all. People recommend books to me. I think they sound good. And then, the old push that used to send me to the bookstore or the library is just gone. I used to be the kind of person that had to finish a book if she started it, even if the book was terrible.

Now, I’m the kind of person that doesn’t even finish books she’s enjoying. People talk about the books they’re reading and I find it almost oppressive, like hearing about an awesome place you don’t get to travel to any more.

This has been the saddest trade-off about my job.

So, I’m surprised to find that I’m already a hundred pages into Henry Mitchell‘s book. I honestly can’t tell you if it is as truthfully delightful as I’m finding it or if it’s just that it has been so long since I’ve taken great pleasure in reading that I’m feeling unnaturally giddy about it.

But, holy shit! I love this book. First of all, the man hates trees. Hates them. Thinks you’d be better off to just stick a large stick in the yard and let some honeysuckle grow up it. He’s all the time complaining about gardening vulgarities. And, even though he seems to have been in DC while he was writing the columns that became this book, he’s from Memphis, so there are lots of asides about Memphis and that area. Today, in the part I’m reading, he’s complaining about how seed companies are always telling you that things can grow in shade, when really they mean that the thing only needs five or six full hours of sunlight, which, as he points out, is practically a whole day.

He’s a little male-chauvinist in that way you expect of a man your grandpa’s age, but charmingly so, since he doesn’t believe women should be allowed to rake leaves. Fine, I say! I am glad to leave the leaf raking to the menfolk.

And he has this charming take on planting crocuses right by the sidewalk, because they delight children. And he has a little rant about how it’s now the modern fashion to teach your children not to pluck flowers out of people’s gardens, but that this fashion ruins all of the fun of a gardener getting to see a delighted child holding  a crocus.

I feel similarly about my billions of daisies. I will be disappointed if the neighbor baby doesn’t grow up to be a girl who toddles over to pick them and tie them into crowns and necklaces.  There is no use, I think, in having a garden too much like a museum, where you just look, but never touch.

Anyway, I’m so digging it.  Here’s a website that’s pretty crappily formatted, but interesting anyway, about Mitchell.


I still get birthday money from my Grandma, which I find so charming. It’s kind of corny, but there’s something nice about getting a small amount of money for your birthday, from your grandma. A large amount of money would obviously have to go to something like, oh, getting the driveway repaired. But a small amount? You feel like that’s okay for you to spend on something frivilous.

So, I went over to Bates and spent it on poppies. Not a whole bunch of poppies, mind you. Bates’ poppies are still deciding whether they’re going to come back from the flood. (And who hasn’t felt that, a little bit?) But I got three that looked like some new green growth was happening in there. And I put them at the end of my garden, where the bulbs whose names I can’t remember have decided that it’s just too muddy for them to bother.

I’m not sure how much water poppies need. But that’s the sunniest spot in my garden, so I think it’s worth trying them there.