In Which I Laugh Out Loud

These folks are going to tell me about civility?! People, there are a lot of folks in this state whose whole goal is to position themselves as the people who make trouble in private and spend their time in public squawking about civility.

And, Woods is right, looking at who’s on that panel?

It’s rich. It is certainly rich.

Well, I Hope We’re Not Pinning Our Hopes on the Examiner to Save Media

So, poor Julia Hurley out east is being slut-shamed like it’s going out of style because… well, you know, basically because she’s a woman running for office and the easiest way to get rid of a woman running for office is to insinuate that she’s a slut. As we all remember from high school, being a “slut” is just being in some way on people’s radar as needing to be taken down a peg. You can be a slut without sleeping around. You can be a slut and be a virgin. Almost any behavior a woman has to, by virtue of living in this world, participate in can be turned around on her so that she’s a slut.

Hurley is a slut because she worked at Hooters and was a model. Yes, having a job or two can make you a slut.

Whatever. Some day the women on the Hill are going to get sick of this double standard–that the men can act like coming to Nashville is winning the “Act Like You’ve Never Even Heard of Morals” sweepstakes with very few repercussions while a woman can’t even fulfill the duties of her job without her morals being called into question. And when they start talking openly about who’s doing what, that shit will get home to wives and voters as fast as you can press send on an email.

Just by technological necessity, we’re living in the last days of “As long as I do it in Nashville, I can keep it a secret from everyone back home.”

But that’s not my point. David Oatney writes for The Examiner, which is supposed to be some kind of news outlet. He has the photos. And The Examiner won’t let him publish them.

In the comments of his post, “Examiner” says:

This is copyright infringement regardless of whether the owner complains or not. A crime is a crime even if you don’t get caught. (Also, it is against Examiner policies to use copyrighted pictured without permission.)

Wow. Have you ever read something so stupid in your life? This is supposed to be a news outlet. One of their writers has copies of the images at the center of a huge, albeit incredibly stupid, story. And they think posting them would be copyright infringment?

And these are the folks who are supposed to be coming up with a sustainable model for media?

This is exactly the type of circumstance the fair use exception was created for. This is a news story. The Examiner is purporting to be a media outlet of some type. And a writer they pay to write new-like items has photographs at the center of a state-wide story, photographs that the public has now been told are prurient and politically damaging. The public does have a fair-use right to see those photos (whether they have any business looking at those photos is another matter).

Is there not someone at The Examiner who can make a fair-use determination when one of their writers is sitting on the material at the heart of a state-wide story? Or are they so busy being the processed chicken nugget of media that they have no flexibility in their rules?

Sincerely, could there be any stupider a policy?

Don’t get me wrong. I’d have a hard time being convinced to cross the street to pee on Oatney if he were on fire. So, part of me is having a good laugh here. But he’s being wronged by The Examiner.

The Couchville Zombie

Ha, y’all, I think the Couchville story is going to be a good one. There’s a zombie, of sorts. And ghost lights. And it’s a better ghost light story than the story about Fort Negley I wrote, so I’m going to have to come up with something better for that.

I’m sorry to go on about these. I just have such fun writing them and I love the anticipatory delight of waiting to see what y’all think.

I tried to watch Cadillac Records tonight, but I got to the part where some girls show up at the hotel room and I was just like… I don’t know… not in the mood to watch a story about men getting laid. It’s not that I don’t mind those stories, but when it’s my evening, to do with what I want? I went outside and looked at the flowers instead. I think men can get laid without needing me to be an audience for it.

I get like that now. It’s hard for me to stick with something if I get the feeling I’m not the audience. I just lose interest.

Whew, Doggies

I am so relieved to have that grouchy cat back that it’s about all I can think about. That and the shape of the Couchville ghost story. It’s hard, this late into things, to come up with ghost stories that don’t feel repetitive to me. But I guess I can only imagine so many reasons people would haunt places.

You know what’s weird? In 1918, Nashville was home to one of the worst train disasters in U.S. history. Over a hundred people were killed. They estimate that over 50,000 people came to look at the wreck on the day it happened, as rescues were going on. And, for context, in 1920, Nashville had just over 100,000 people in it. Now, certainly, some of the folks who came were from surrounding communities, but those surrounding communities were not that big. So, basically, we’re talking that somewhere between a third and a half of the population of the area came to see that wreck on the day it happened.

But I’ve never heard, nor have I found online, any instance of there being ghost stories surrounding that wreck.

It makes me wonder what the mechanism for something becoming a ghost story is. I find it hard to believe that there’s not been one strange occurrence in the whole White Bridge area, no doors opening for seemingly no reason. No cats staring weirdly at nothing. No voices mumbling in an empty room, even? And, when that ordinary, inexplicable stuff happens, no one at all connects it with the tragedy of historic proportions?

I find that strange.

Where Was Couchville?

If you’ve driven around town, you’ve probably encountered Couchville Pike and you know, if it’s got a “something” pike formation, it’s a road that probably went to that “something,” and usually that “something” was a place. So, Couchville.

Comparing the TSLA map to the Google Map, I think I have a pretty good guess. But I’m not sure. Also, extra credit to those who can point out Bryant Grove. Every site I found that gives a location for it, gives a different location–west or east or south of Couchville.

The Best Post You Will Read about Bo Diddley Today

First, it’s this kind of writing I sit in jealous delight of.

E. McDaniel is the name the songs were published under, spirits having no use, apparantly, for songwriting credits.  Bo Diddley is something else.  Something deep, something in the air, in the land, something that Jes Grew, that may have been sleeping until it chose to inhabit E. McDaniel, but which now stands Paul Bunyanlike astride the continent, one foot on either side of the Mississippi Delta, facing north toward Chicago, grinning in his cowboy hat.

It’s how there’s a medium length sentence that kind of strikes you as funny. Then there’s that short declarative sentence. And then there’s that long, winding sentence with both that delicious “Paul Bunyanlike astride” and “grinning in his cowboy hat.” That’s a sentence I just want to cheer at the end of, it does such a good job of putting an image in my brain.

Second, while I’m sad I didn’t get this in a letter ages ago, I am delighted that I get it in a form I can share with you without feeling like I’m letting you peek at something that’s not your business.

It Was Like it was Me Day over at SouthComm Yesterday

1. I had a column in the City Paper. Graph I hope sticks with you:

No astute politician, male or female, would make a joke involving the forced undressing or groping of women (regardless of their political persuasion) in front of a group that included women who had any power. Very, very few women, if any, want to sit around and hear people tell jokes that imply some kind of sexual assault. A person can only tell that joke if she feels pretty confident that the audience is receptive, and if she’s fairly certain that the people who won’t like it can’t really do anything about it.

2. I had this post at Pith about media bullshit. Favorite line?

You just read a post by a woman referencing posts written by women, and you didn’t die of exposure to woman cooties and you got to think a little bit about some things you probably weren’t thinking about before you read this post.

3. I had this post positing that Jesus was an illegal immigrant. People disagreed. Note to self: a lot of people in Nashville know a shit-ton about first century politics in the Middle East.

4, And this post about the domestic violence unit and how they’ve known for at least a year and a half that this could be a problem.

And I watched that “For Memories’ Sake” documentary again and sent the filmmaker a bunch of in-depth questions about the film so I can write about that for Pith. And then, today, I hit them with my park review of the awesome Moss Wright Park up in Goodlettsville.

Whew. No wonder my blogging over here has been sucking lately.

Two Thoughts

1. I can’t find the orange cat and I can’t remember the last time I saw him for sure.

2. I actually paid for chicken poop to spread on my corn. What a weird world we live in.

I hope the orange cat comes back soon. I am bummed about his absence. I know he was around Thursday. I’m pretty sure he was around Friday. But I don’t remember seeing him after that.

For Memories’ Sake

The Professor told me about this documentary she saw at the Nashville Film Festival. She made it sound incredibly interesting and so I tried to find local reviews of it. Nothing. So, I decided I’d write something up about it for Pith.

I just watched it last night and I am so floored by it. So, the basic premise is that the documentarian’s grandmother, who lives up by my vet, has taken photos every day for the past thirty or forty years and, in that time, become a really talented artist. She doesn’t seem to really see herself that way, though. But still.

I don’t know. I have about a million questions for the filmmaker about some of the interesting choices she makes. But it’s really got me wondering about how much of being an Artist is recognizing the necessity of marketing yourself and developing those skills.

I’m also really interested in talking to her about what it’s like for her to go away and become an Artist and come back and make Art about her grandmother’s art. Her family has some really interesting aesthetic ideas about what her grandmother is up to and why. It just made me think, again, that a lot of people have a vocabulary for talking about art, they just think they don’t because they don’t think of it as art.

I really loved this film and I’m excited to interview her.

Shoot, I Want to Live in Devaney’s World

From here:

The GOP gubernatorial candidates were introduced by Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney, who told the crowd “we have a good candidate” in Democratic nominee Mike McWherter.

“We can all argue whether Phil Bredesen has been a good governor … but the bottom line is Phil Bredesen does not have coattails,” Devaney said. “Mike McWherter is a liberal. He’s pro-choice. He’s for expanded state and federal government. We’re going to beat him.”

Mike McWherter is a liberal?! I wish.

On a side note, I’ve decided that one of the problems I have with Forrester has been clarified by Devaney here. When the people who are supposed to be behind the scenes step forward to interject their own opinions into matters, it makes me feel like they have no confidence in their candidates’ ability to deliver these points.

True Blood Season Three, Episode Two

I find myself tuning in at 7:55, hoping I can will the show to start earlier. Ha.

Has the TV-MA part always dripped blood?

A Snoop Dogg tribute to Sookie Stackhouse?! Are we all on drugs? Or is that a real thing?

Bill ripped a dude’s ear right off!

Oh, Bill, I love that you’re all snarky about Cooter.

Dang, the King is very mean and hilarious. And kind of badass. I thought the whole royalty crap was a little cheesy, but this is definitely going better than I’d hoped for.

I really love Lafayette finally just being badass.

Off-kilter Erik is kind of intriguing.

So, these vampires can see themselves in mirrors.

OOOOOOO. Erik backstory!

I really love how subtly they’re holding Bill captive.

You know, I really like Tara and Lafayette’s relationship, not just because they’re awesome actors, but because people have cousins and cousins they are close to and yet, you rarely see that on tv.

I also feel like Hoyt and Jessica are really good portrayals of young love, with all the violence and the heartache, or at least, that’s how I remember it.

Jason wants to know if Santa’s real, too?! Oh, god, that’s awesome.

“Don’t move. Get out of the car.” It’s as if my family were on this show.

Shoot, Sam’s brother is pretty good at this acting crap, too.

Oh, lord, Terry with the silent stalking. Genius.

“God killed him, because he a faggot, but he keep coming back.” Already, this part is breaking my heart.

So, is Lafayette’s mom Tara’s mom’s sister?

Oh, the air kiss! Blech.

Yep, “there’s some darkness in this family.” They are sisters. That’s a really nice touch.

I like the Stephen King name-drop.

Sam, of course you didn’t imagine you had a brother. That’s difficult enough. But imagining a brother with such shitty sideburns? Who could do that?

The stripping off and revealing the scars is straight out of the version of Huck Finn we had to watch in grade school. And I am pleased with the pit bull appearance.

Oh my. Bill has gotten so much more interesting now that he’s been kidnapped. And weirdly hot.

Jason Stackhouse: Prettier than most girls.

Crap, Sam’s brother’s mean! And crafty.

And someone with hot boots has just walked into Bill’s house.

And found his file on Sookie!

Is Sookie smart enough to have put silver bullets in her gun? Oh, it’s Erik.

I’m really glad we’re seeing Godric, too.

I do, though! King of Mississippi, I need to say everything I’m thinking. At least, about this show.

I would like to think that this show will end with Terry being the only sane one.

Terry has an armadillo that sleeps under his bed! I hope he doesn’t get scabies or whatever. Don’t they carry something? Rickets? Someone tell me.

Ooo. The new vampire is the one with the sexy boots!

I wish Andy Belfleur had someone to smooch.

Or Kenya will end up being the only sane one. I forget. Is Kenya related in with Tara and Lafayette?

Nothing says “I’m happy to see my ex” like lighting her on fire, I guess.

That wasn’t that exciting of a cliff-hanger. I don’t even believe Sookie had silver bullets.

But normally the court intrigue isn’t that intriguing to me, but I’m kind of fascinated by it this season.

I can’t decide if this video is terrible or awesome. It’s both. I don’t understand what the brownhaired chic is there for. Hmmm. Well.

Okay, so obviously, they needed to separate Sookie and Bill if only to give Bill something to do that was sexy and intriguing. I also expect, after all this nonsense, for Bill to be one of the signers of some kind of Vampire Declaration of Independence. These monarch seem unhinged.

I’m intrigued by the new vampire and his sexy boots.

And I kind of hope Sookie does throw herself into fucking all these hot dudes. She’s too young to settle down with Bill.

I get such joy watching these actors, though. It feels like they’re really having a good time. It’s kind of a treat to watch them just taking this cheesy ass crap and making something kind of compelling out of it.

The Farmhouse at Fontanel

The Professor and I went over to the Farmhouse at Fontanel, which is a new restaurant run by the people who do the Loveless Cafe. I was more enthusiastic about it than she was, but I think that’s just because I have a higher crap tolerance as proven by the fact that I am eating frozen taquitos from a box this evening, topped off with some fudge striped cookies while she is, I’m willing to bet, eating something that has not been made on an assembly line by a machine.

Plus, I’d really like to have a restaurant that close to my house that has good service and isn’t overwhelmed with live music.

I got the BBQ sandwich with mashed potatoes. The barbecue was wet, which is weird for Tennessee. We usually favor dry rubs with sauces of various heat presented on the table (or counter) for you to apply yourself. Still, fine. I thought it was delicious, but I like Manwich flavor. So, um, yes, you should not make your barbecue taste exactly like Manwich flavoring, I think.

But then, I thought, maybe when you’re trying to give tourists from all over the country something to eat? Maybe you do. Let them acquire a taste for how the locals eat it someplace else.

I don’t know. But it’s kind of an interested problem.

The other problem they have is that, on our side of town, for locals, they are in direct competition with Southern Bred. And The Farmhouse’s mashed potatoes sucked. I mean, sucked. Like the potatoes they used were just bad tasting and then, whatever they were trying to do to them after that? It didn’t help.

But, I don’t know. I like a restaurant there and I like seeing people working and the service is great.

So, I’m going to go back and get something else and see what I think.

Unbelievably, My Creek is Dry

In spite of just living through the wettest May on record and being in the middle of a pretty wet June, my creek is dry. I find this annoying, that someone upstream can just shut off our creek whenever he gets a mind to (and he seems to usually get a mind to about the beginning of June). But it really pisses me off this year, because, if he had closed his dam or whatever on the Saturday of the flood, who knows how differently Sunday would have gone?

It seems to me that, if you want to be able to stop a creek from flowing when it suits you, regardless of the wishes of people downstream, you might act neighborly to them about stopping it when they need it to stop.

And I’d like to kick the person who gave this person permission to stop my creek. I mean, you can’t just dam up a creek without a permit, right?

If I Were Married, I Would Leave My Husband for Moss Wright Park

Granted, I would cheat on Moss Wright Park with Lock One Park all the time, but still, I love this park.

Two Must-Read Pieces

1. Tom Humphrey’s post about how all this “Washington’s wasteful ways” bullshit so popular among local politicians neglects to take into account that the only reason our state budget is balanced is because of Federal money. There is more federal money in our state budget than state money. Regardless of your political party, I think that should be disturbing to you. We’re not paying our own way. The Federal government is paying our way (and by extension, the whole nation) and yet we have the gall to talk about giving Washington the boot? Or meeting them at the border with guns?

2. This story about what’s going on in Nashville’s domestic violence unit is also something everyone should read and think about.

Father’s Day

So, yeah, Father’s Day. My dad is in Arizona on a trip that has some meaning for him I can’t quite understand. He is, I think, slowly coming to terms with the fact that he can’t save his grand kids and my brother won’t.

Whatever salvation in this case would look like.

The church down the street from me has a sign that says “Happy Father’s Day. God made man in his own image.” Every time I drive by that sign, I want to go into that church and put my finger right into the chest of that minister and say “That’s a lie that hurts you.” Unless we assume that God was staring in His reflection in a puddle of water and reached through said reflection in order to grab the mud that made Adam. If men are just mud that has been shaped in water bearing the reflection of God, I can kind of accept that as an accurate belief.

That’s not what they mean, of course.

They mean something like that fathers are the tiny demi-gods of the house and should be treated as such.

The rare moments when my dad is just a man are when I like him best.

And I feel like fighting with him, when we both so aware that he’s living in time his father and brothers never had, seems so pointless.

I don’t want my last words with my dad to be angry.

I’m not happy with him, but I’m not going to fight with him, either.

I have no faith in his god and no love for the idea that my dad is a miniature version of him.

But I count on the power of the words of my god, to bring him safely back. Someday his luck will run out. There is no escaping that.

Just give us as much time as we can get.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.

One Blossom!

It’s kind of a pathetic blossom, but it’s a blossom never the less!

In Which Kids Hang in My Hammocks

The Corporate Shill and her husband, the Legal Eagle, and their kids and her parents all stopped by on their way to Florida yesterday. We hung out in the back yard and grilled out and the kids both fell out of the hammocks. Good lord, it’s a good thing that kids are made mostly of cartilage. They seem to just fall down, cry, and then get right back on with life.

The dog was pretty obnoxious at first, but then, it was so hot that she eventually just hung out under the table and ate whatever fell on the ground. I learned that dogs aren’t supposed to eat grapes, which I did not know.

I have been known to give the dog a grape or two, but no more.

Anyway, I have know these two for a million years, and it’s really, really nice to have friends to whom you can say, “Listen, I’m in a really fucked-up head-space and I’m going to be terrible company, but please come anyway,” and they do and they don’t mind if you can’t really think of anything to talk about.

This is not a quality I used to even know people had, but it’s definitely one I tend to search out in people as I get older.

Then I had the weirdest headache all night. It wasn’t very painful as far as headaches go (and I get migraines, so I know pain), but it was unignorable. Like, it wasn’t enough that I even took medicine before I went to bed, but then I couldn’t sleep from it.

It was like, if you heard someone singing slightly off-key, quietly, in another room.

But I think it may have just been this storm pulling itself together; that’s what I was feeling. And now it’s finally here, all rolling thunder and fat rain drops.

I really loved yesterday. It’s weird to look around and be like, “this is a fine, fine life.” But that’s how I feel.

Mrs. Wigglebottom also finally figured out what the kiddie pool we got for her last year was for and she had a wonderful time splashing around in it.

And then, when the kids were in it, it broke! Damn you cheap Walmart kiddie pool!

On the other hand, it was a cheap Walmart kiddie pool. You can’t really complain if you get as much fun out of it as we had yesterday.

I wish I could afford to fill it with dirt, because it might be hilariously awesome to have a giant plastic kiddie pool planter.

Edited to add: They said I had an accent! A slight Southern accent. I blame you, Tennessee.

Ghosts and Gardens

Whew, I finished what I think might be my favorite ghost story, about the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention building downtown. This year I’ve been more aware of how weird it is to root fiction so firmly in non-fictional places.  There are some places, like New York, where, by now, the city is just kind of instinctively a place and a fictional place. It’s a place you can visit and a place you hear stories about and a place that serves as a backdrop to fictional stories, some of which let a lot of the real leak into them.

And, certainly, parts of Nashville are already fictional places–the Ryman, the Grand Ole Opry, the Hall of Fame, WSM, WLAC. They are real things and they are also a part of our national dreamscape.

And last year I didn’t really fret about pulling a fictional blanket over some factual places. I kind of liked wondering if any of the stories would become true. This year, though, I do fret a little about it. Not enough to stop me, but just enough to give me something to wonder about as I reread.

I can’t remember how I was going to tie this into gardens, but I like the two “G” sounds there in the title of the post, so I’ll leave it.

Here’s how the story opens, at least the first draft:

Cities scar and bruise like people do. A wound opens and tissue builds around it when an interstate slices through a neighborhood. Folks will worry the loss of a beloved church like they worry the tender spot where a tooth has gone missing.

And then, in some cities, there are spots where the routine evil done there can make a place feel gangrenous. You turn your head from it. You catch your breath in your throat. You deliberately stop knowing what went on there. It was something that happened a long time ago. Something that doesn’t matter any more.

And you make your way past it like that city block is the shadow at the far end of a dark hallway. You will yourself to not look. You will yourself to not see. You close your eyes and dash past, and feel like you have just avoided having to know something about how the world works that you can’t explain.

Such was the case for the old hotel at the corner of Cedar and North Cherry. Patrons would complain about the loud cries and moans and wails. Other patrons would complain about the spectral men who stood outside their doors, engaged in casual discussion about selling people using words polite people now kept quiet.

An Open Letter to the TNDP

Dear TNDP,

Yet again, I have received another press release from you on a Friday that reads like it was put together by the guys who make Mad-Libs–Chip Forrester is [a negative emotion] about something some Republican has or hasn’t done.

In this case, Forrester is demanding to know if Haslam is sufficiently frowny-faced about the Gulf Oil Spill.

“Mr. Haslam’s family business has made a fortune selling gasoline and diesel fuel,” Forrester said. “Is he more worried about the fortune of his Big Oil buddies or the struggles of ordinary people like those affected by the oil spill in the Gulf?

Let me be very clear in what I am about to say.


People died. People lost their whole life’s work. People are getting sick from what happened there and they may die. Whole ecosystems have been damaged probably beyond repair. And, let me repeat, people fucking died.

And you want to score political points on the corpses of those dead people?!

What the fuck is wrong with you?

Not only is this not a way to have a discussion about who should be our next governor, this is not a way to have a discussion about how to make sure what happened in the Gulf isn’t repeated.

God damn. Y’all maybe better get out and walk around some and interact with the general public and remind yourself that this is not just some kind of rhetorical game here.

Deeply grossed out,

Aunt B.

I’m Easily Startled

After the whole dome light incident last night, I was a little freaked out and having trouble sleeping. Every noise was a killer zombie ghost who was going to touch my shoulder in a spooky manner before… I don’t know… slamming a bunch of doors. I was doing the whole little kid thing where you pull your covers over your head, like they will magically deflect the axes of any supernatural serial killers.

The trouble is, when you live in a house with another person, three cats, a dog, and possible a mouse that some idiot cats won’t catch, there are a lot of noises in the night. Is that ghostly snoring or just regular snoring? A ghost is walking down the hall! No, just the cats. A phantom peed and forgot to flush.

All thoughts I had last night.

Finally, I just had to convince myself that, if there were a ghost making odd noises, the dog would bark at it. So, no matter what I was hearing, if the dog was sleeping through it, it was just the noises of the house.

And so I was finally able to sleep.

I also need to remember to check and make sure nothing from my car is missing, in case a living person is the one who switched on my light.

The Ghost Messes with My Car?!

So, when I got home from work, it was raining. I parked in the yard for reasons that don’t matter. Just that I was parked in the yard. I was yakking to the Butcher on the phone, while I went and shut the shed door, which had come open in the wind. Then, I popped the trunk, got one load out, put it in the house, got the dog, got the other load, shut the trunk and went in the house.

When I went out with the dog just now, five hours later, the dome light in the car was on.  All the doors were shut. So, the switch had been flipped. Could it have been kids digging through the car while I was in the house? I guess. But I didn’t see any evidence and I’m not going back out there to look too closely in the dark. And I didn’t hear anything.

I don’t know. Freaked me out, though. Still shaking a little. I’m trying to convince myself that I could have somehow hit the switch on the dome light getting out of the car. The car started right up. So, I’m not sure it really could have been on this whole time. I’m trying to talk myself into ne’re do wells.

But just in case, when I got in, I said that folks needed to not freak me out. We can all live peacefully together, whoever in the back yard; me in the house as long as whoever’s in the back yard is courteous about not scaring the shit out of me.


I had to get some cheese for this event, which is always very stressful for me because I know people really like cheese and that I don’t know shit about it. It’s like wine, but different in that people’s tastes in wine vary enough that, even if you pick out a wine that ends up being bad, someone might be like “Oh my god, the oak undertones are exquisite, even if the fruity notes are way too harsh.”

You don’t have to know what an oak undertone is or a fruity note, but it seems like you’ve at least bought a wine that, though not good, challenges the pallet.

With cheese, though? I don’t know.

So, I was all worried.

But I went to the Bordeaux Kroger, which apparently means that your choices of non-slice cheese are whatever Laughing Cow is and cheddar. So… that was easy enough.

Hurray for Friends

I have been a little down, lately. Um, as you may have noticed. But dang, have I felt well-cared for. Thanks again, mystery flower person/people. The Corporate Shill, who I have known since we were very young adults, is swinging by for a few hours tomorrow.

This is part of the reason it’s good to have old friends. I said, “Please come. I am so bummed and I can barely leave the house and it’s covered in dog hair and there are dishes in the sink, though,” and she said, “Hey, I have two young kids. If everything isn’t covered in a sticky sheen of milk and juice, you’re a step ahead of me most days.”

It’s good to have friends you can see even when you don’t have it completely together. Who understand that you need to see them even when you’re not completely together.

I’m really lucky. Really lucky to know you guys.

The Dog and the Boy

For a long while, the dog and the nephews did not get along so well. Since my cousin hit her in the head with a bone, she has had a distrust of small children, especially boys. Which is too bad because she also really loves small children. They just wig her out and when she’s around them, you need to keep everyone very closely supervised (though, really, you should keep all dogs and children closely supervised when they are together).

I know I had this conversation with Say Uncle a while ago. I thought it was in the comments here but I can’t find it, so it may have been in the comments there, about how there’s something about the size of five and six year old kids that seems to be kind of difficult for the dog to navigate, in terms of figuring out how to treat them. Mrs. W. is pretty good with kids at the “okay, everybody be very careful” stage, but has trouble with the “they will be loud and uncareful but we still have to be careful” stage.

So, my nephew is now almost thirteen, as I’ve said repeatedly because I just can’t believe it. And he says, “Mrs. Wigglebottom is a lot nicer now than she used to be. I’m not even afraid of her.”

Well, people, my dog has not become better around kids. She’d be a terrible dog for a family of small children. But my nephew is big enough now that the dog clearly feels at ease around him. I don’t even know how to explain it. But her whole body language when it comes to him is different. If you’re sitting on the couch with him, instead of her constantly trying to get on the couch to make sure she’s getting your attention and not him, she was getting up on the couch to sit next to him and put her head in his lap and basically just hang out with her buddy.

They played some great, rousing games of tug-of-war throughout the house. And, when he left, I’m told, she tried to get in the van to go with him.

Of course, she may also have been trying to get in the van because she thought that missing my flower garden with the van was so easy even a dog could do it, so she was angling to drive. Who knows?

Still, it’s been with great interest and pleasure that I’ve watched the dog take to the boy and the boy take to the dog in return.