Other Exciting News about Lavender!

The Professor brought over lavender treats–truffles that tasted like I imagine Erik Northman tastes, cold, dark, and clean without being soapy. So… yeah, not quite delicious. But then! Then there was lavender pound cake and it was amazing. It was like something fairies would have for tea.

And I’m totally going to give her all my basil and she’s going to make me pesto.

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The TVA, My Uncle, My Dad, and Their Uncle

Oh, I forgot to tell you all about the big fight my dad and my uncle got in over what their uncle did during the war. They were going through all the relatives who’d served in various wars and they got to their one uncle  who my uncle said hadn’t done anything during World War II except work for the TVA in Oak Ridge.

My dad proceeded to call him an idiot. They got in a big shouting match. I stared dumbfounded. “What,” I asked, “do you think your uncle could have been doing for the TVA in Oak Ridge that would have kept him out of the war?”

“What,” my dad asked, I’m sorry to say in the same know-it-all tone I’d just used, “do you think he could have been doing for the TVA in Oak Ridge that would have ended up with him and his daughter both dying of weird cancers?”

My grandma told me her brother had been working on the Manhattan Project, a long time ago, so I just assumed that was common family knowledge. But you can see now why I’m a little wary of taking my uncle’s word for who our Jewish ancestors are. Sure, could be the Phillipses. Maybe the Hildreths. Maybe nobody. Who knows?

Also, we all will be bickering condescending asses to each other for no good reason, all the time, like it’s our job. But what can you do?

The Harrow and the Harvest is Something

I have been holding off on talking about The Harrow and the Harvest because I don’t have any coherent thoughts about it. I feel like it’s very in-line with Welch’s other material while also sounding really different. I feel like there’s something really different about how the songs are structured compared to what she usually does, since so often I find myself with her old material wanting to sing along, and with this album I find myself wanting to immediately listen to each song again and again to try to get at whatever’s niggling me about it. I feel like “Scarlet Town” sounds like some other song of hers that I can’t quite bring to mind. I think the way she contrasts all this kind of terrible stuff–Becky Johnson ODing and her brother having to bury her–with buying “little baby clothes” and that somehow marking the end of friendships in “The Way it Goes” is really brilliant. I think “Tennessee” is the best song on the album and the lyrics are incredible, especially “Now, even so I try to be a good girl. It’s only what I want that makes me weak. I had no desire to be a child of sin. Then you went and pressed your whiskers to my cheek.” I mean, holy shit, right?

But I can’t help but feel like I’m standing before a Picasso with no sense of art history. Like, I know, listening to this, that I’m hearing something extraordinary, but I don’t really know why it’s extraordinary. I’m finding I really love it, but I also can’t quite get it. I want to flail around for someone to tell me what the fuck is going on here.

Engine 145

I believe nm already mentioned this, either in the comments or in an email to me, but some of the folks who used to write over at The 9513 are now writing over at Engine 145, which I just got around to putting in my RSS reader.

But, if you love music, and I know you do, you might want to check it out.

Grouching around the Neighborhood

It’s disgusting outside. If I thought New Salem was like walking in the sweaty ass-crack of Lincoln, it was only because I hadn’t yet lived to see today. I guess this would be like walking in the sweaty ass-crack of Jackson, which means that, instead of believing you might possibly see a President/Ann Rutledge/Joshua Speed threesome before you finally succumb to the heat, you feel the momentary exhilaration of a man who loves a fat woman who smokes a corncob pipe spread out before you in all his naked glory before he turns and hands you a kid he stole as he massacres all your neighbors. And then you succumb to the heat.

The sweaty ass-crack of Jackson sucks, my friends. It just sucks.

Anyway, so there I was, walking along Jackson’s ass cheek, the dog romping gloriously towards the small of his back, me sweating miserably in the thick humidity, when I fucking tripped over a branch in the AT&T yard. I mean, yes, let us stop and snicker at the fittingness of AT&T being lodged somewhere near Jackson’s butt hole (I love you AT&T and I give you hundreds of dollars a month, but let’s be honest…). But I am a grown woman! And there I was, just like, “Oh fuck it. Fine. I will fall on my face and then I’m just going to stay there, in the hot, wet grass until someone comes out to mow the lawn and runs me over like they did that dead possum and then I will die.”

But somehow I did not actually fall. Me, the least coordinated person in the world, brain already throwing its hands up in a gesture of “don’t expect me to help with this nonsense,” and somehow my feet got under me and I stayed upright. But my shoes came untied twice on the walk and I was just hot and grouchy the whole time.

This kind of heat makes you mean. Which probably explains a lot about local history.