Thursday, March 30, 2006

Blogger, Farewell!

Aw, y'all. I'm a little sad to be leaving Blogger. It's been a fine place, but the weird outages with no one to bitch to and the lack of categories and just my general wish to have something a tad spiffier that I could change as I liked without having to worry that I was ruining things forever means that I'm hitching up my skirts and tromping over to Squarespace. Go on over. See what you think. This stuff is all staying up right here, so we can always come back and visit when I want to prove to you how right I remain about something. Anyway, as soon as I can, will point over there. It doesn't now. Right now, who knows where it points? Probably still here. So, that's going to be hinky for a whole (sorry, Brittney), but bear with me. It won't be better or worse, just different.

Well, that wasn't so great

Tiny Cat Pants is too huge to move over. So, the question is--stay here or break TCP in two and just pick a date when we all agree to stop meeting over here and start meeting over there?

Hold Your Breath

I'm going to see if I can't get all this over to Squarespace. No commenting until I see if we're going over there or staying here.

Not Paid for by the Committee to Elect Bob Krumm

Nashville, I think it's time we talk frankly about Bob Krumm. Not about any issues or where he stands on them. But about the man himself. I have met Bob Krumm on one occasion and my first impression of him was, "Wow. He's really charismatic and charming." He's very personable and has a kind of presence that connotes authority and ease with that authority. In person, Bob Krumm comes across like someone you could not help but vote for*. If you look at the picture on the front of his website, you can get a hint of that. That's a photo that says, "Yeah, I'm kind of a cutie in a weird way and the sun is right in my eyes." But you look at that photo and you kind of get what kind of personal energy he has. However... Yes, I think we both knew there was going to be a "however." However, the picture on his blog does him no favors. He looks fine; he looks like himself, but he also looks like he's been caught off-guard and you don't really get a sense of his charisma. Bob Krumm, I'm not going to say it again**, but you are an attractive guy. You come across as kind of charming and intriguing. If you can get a photographer to capture that on film... Well, actually, I don't know what will happen, but something and I'm sure it will be positive. At the least, if your political career flames out in some drug-addled, floozy-laden, bribe-taking, covert-war starting, baby-kicking, dog-running-over, blaspheming scandal the likes of which Tennessee has never seen before, you would have some fabulous photographs that they can show them on the news. * Not that I will be voting for him, since I'm not even sure what he's running for or if I'm even one of his potential constituents. ** I don't think. I don't intend to make this an ongoing thing.

Raw Cookie Dough

Even though we are crazier than a box of rabid raccoons and we're mean and ornery and sometimes burn our eyelashes off while attempting to learn how to breath fire (Butcher), there are still some people left on the planet who enjoy spending time with our family. Ha, okay, let's just side-track here for a second. We're about to talk about chocolate chip cookie dough, but I was thinking about my crazy family and all of a sudden I was reminded of the winter when we lived next door to the church and there was a huge gravel parking lot out behind the church and one wintry Saturday it had completely iced over. There was a good three or four inches of ice on the parking lot, and it was pretty smooth. So, my dad, who was supposed to be snowblowing, instead put on his ice skates, and--I wish I had the pictures of this--wearing a bright red sweatsuit and a big black fur-lined hat and big black mittens, he skated around the parking lot. My dad is a showman. It's part of what makes him a good preacher and also what makes him a difficult person. He's always got to be the center of attention. But that morning, in the early dawn, he didn't think he'd be seen at all. We were all supposed to still be asleep. And there he was, gliding effortlessly across the ice, one large lone Midwesterner looping around a frozen parking lot, lost in his thoughts. What you learn about men when you see them when they think no one is looking can tell you a lot about them, I think. Anyway, chocolate chip cookie dough. From the time I was old enough to grab a spoon, we've always eaten a portion of our chocolate chip cookies raw. Even now, it makes me sick as shit to do it and so I don't do it very often, but there's nothing that makes me feel more like a member of my family than sitting down with a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough, especially if it has oatmeal in it, and eating it with a big glass of milk. And, in fact, if one wants to be accepted into our family, one must be happy about eating raw cookie dough. Sure, the raw eggs pose a slight health risk. But that's what bonds us together--the thrill of staring death in the face and then eating it--or something. Anyway, I used to think it was the raw egg which would make me feel like shit the next day, but my mom is convinced that it's actually the baking powder. She says she's been experimenting, and, if she leaves it out of the dough she intends to eat, it doesn't make her feel gross. And, America, that is why I love my mom. Sure, now, she's teaching little kids how to read, but in her soul, she's a scientist, experimenting away on how we can continue out family traditions and feel good about it.

"What About Your Readers?!"

The Butcher accused me of having sucked him into my crazy bloggy universe last night. He feels he's come to care far too much about your well-being. But, I'm thinking of leaving Blogger, and when I mentioned it to him, the first thing out of his mouth was, "What about your readers?" Y'all, in my heart, I've already left Blogger. In my heart, Tiny Cat Pants lives someplace where I can categorize things, where I can show who's commented on what last, so that, even if I've moved on from a topic, y'all can keep talking about it and see that y'all are still talking about it. And, in my heart, there is a cat wearing tiny pants out where y'all can see him. And there's red. I've talked to both Sarcastro and Mephistophocles about Squarespace, which they use, and they both are happy with it. And I've been kicking some tires and poking around in the CSS and I'm thinking of switching. Do y'all have any objections?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Thing at Duke

I keep trying to figure out what to say about it. I've got nothing. Check this shit at Pandagon and over at Alas, A Blog. Or follow it in closer detail at Justice 4 Two Sisters. It wasn't that long ago when Ivy linked to Flea's letter to her sons. I keep thinking of that letter when I think about that poor woman in that bathroom in a house full of men. Flea writes:
It is your responsibility, as a man, to protect those who can not protect themselves. If you fail at this, you have failed as a human being. It is your duty, even when refusing to protect, or even causing the harm yourself, has no visible consequences for you.
The prosecutor who is working on the case says that, even though there were forty men in that house, not one of them is cooperating with police. Not one of them will step forward and say who was in that bathroom with her. Short and Fat, a guy I like the hell out of, says:
As a guy, unless I knew 100% that a woman had been raped, I'm certain I'd be part wall of silence as well. Particularly, with the DA threatening me with charges and subpeoning me for a DNA sample, despite my innocence.
and I'm at a loss for words. Maybe it's because I can't imagine what it would be like to be those guys, but I can imagine all too well what it would be like to be that girl. I cannot help but put myself in her shoes. Sometimes I wonder what it will take for you all to take us seriously when we rage and grieve over this kind of shit. I know that even the Butcher thinks that rape and attempted rape is something rare and that false accusations are all too common. But right now, I'm not talking about what happened in that bathroom. I'm talking about what happened in the rest of the house. There were two women who tried to leave. Someone was concerned enough about them leaving that he was seen by a neighbor talking them into coming back in that house. Someone saw that woman go into the bathroom, either alone or with his teammates. Someone saw her come out of that bathroom. There are witnesses. There are men who were there who could help this investigation. And they're silent. How can that be? How can they think they are any kind of man at all if they won't stand up for the truth? How can they be a man and not come forward? How can they live with themselves? I just don't understand it.

The Little Fantasy that Get Me Through the Day

Sometimes, when I'm sitting in here eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I imagine a better life for myself. It's very similar to this one, except that someone is paying me to write, the Butcher has a car, we live in a little house I own, and I regularly have lunch with Ludacris down at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Lunching with Ludacris is the part of the daydream I spend the most time in. I like to imagine what he'll have and what I'll have. We'd people watch. We'd wave at folks who looked at us strangely, wondering what that famous rapper was doing just eating at the Country Music Hall of Fame. We'd ask that guy with the guitar to play something we could sing along to. After a few lunches, we'd come to have a kind of shorthand way of talking about all the types of people who hang out in the Hall of Fame, and he'd kind of gesture as someone came by, say something like "She's embarrassing her kids" and I'd look over and almost choke on my Diet Coke. And after a while, the folks at the Hall of Fame would realize that we were eating there frequently and beg us to take a look inside. Most days, we'd have shit to do. But sometimes, we'd take the tour. And it'd be weird, but nice.

Inadvertently Sad for Sharon Stone

The Wayward Boy Scout has posted about Sharon Stone's weird sex advice for girls*. Stone says:
Young people talk to me about what to do if they're being pressed for sex? I tell them oral sex is a hundred times safer than vaginal or anal sex. If you're in a situation where you cannot get out of sex, offer a blow job. I'm not embarrassed to tell them.
Our friend the Boy Scout retorts:
If I had a daughter, I think my teaching would be more along the line of standard self defense accompanied with a healthy dose of "be your own person and don't let some pissant boy make you do something you don't want to do", as opposed to the "offer a blowjob before bending over for the forced anal" school of thought.
And I agree, wholeheartedly. Really, I don't know how young my audience skews, but boys and girls, if you "cannot get out of sex," you are being raped. Now, if you are being raped, good fucking god, do whatever you can to get through it as safely as you can. And I will fight anyone who tells you differently. But bargaining down to a "lesser" sex act to keep from having to have sex? As if that's just a nonchalant way to deal with being pressured to do something you don't want to do? Someone needs to set Stone straight and ask her to stop talking to young people. Good lord. But the side thing that disturbs me is that it sounds like this is something Stone has done and feels fine about having done. That's just a glimpse into the way her world works that makes me feel kind of sad and weirded out. *Can I just say there's something about seeing the Boy Scout thinking big feminist thoughts that makes me feel a little ooky about constantly teasing him. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's a fair trade--he's corrupted me with his naughtiness and I've corrupted him with my feminism--but I feel like I should now apologize about openly discussing how big his penis is. Sorry, Wayward Boy Scout. I hope this will make it up to you.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Babies Killing Babies

I don't know what it is, but today just seems to be the day of baby women killing the babies dependent on them for life. First we had the baby woman in Egypt who was smote to death by God for aborting the baby growing from her head. And now we have an evil Pakistani baby woman who had two fetuses removed from her uterus. Sure, the doctors claim those fetuses were dead, but even so, today's events set a dangerous precedent. Perhaps there should be some kind of investigation to see if this baby woman was perhaps negligent during her pregnancy, thus contributing to the deaths of the babies in her womb. And sure, the Egyptian baby woman is dead, but certainly we can demand the Egyptian government hold her doctors accountable for the death of the person dependent on her. I'm sure our darling Kleinheider would agree. We've got to stop this dangerous trend of baby woman baby killers before it gets out of hand. Who's with me? Kleinheider?


1. Why "Tiny Cat Pants"? I think "pants" is just about the funniest word ever and once, when someone asked me what I thought was funnier than pants, I blurted out "Cat pants. Tiny Cat Pants." I imagined some shiny gold pants on a stylish cat and it just cracked me up. So, when I started to blog, I thought it'd make for a good, strange name that people would remember. 2. So, are the pants tiny or is the cat tiny? The pants are tiny compared to normal pants. They are, instead cat-sized. They are tiny cat pants, not tiny cat pants, though, if such pants really existed, I would certainly not dissuade tiny cats from wearing them. 3. For a blog called "Tiny Cat Pants," you sure do talk a lot about your dog. Why don't you write more about your cats? Honestly, my cats are pretty boring, especially in comparison to Mrs. Wigglebottom. One cat goes outside a lot. The other cat sheds all her butt hair in the winter. One of them peed in the drier. That's about it. Mrs. Wigglebottom, on the other hand, is always the cutest funniest dog ever and even right now, when I look over at her sleeping on the couch, with her paw nestled up by her cheek, I just about can't stand it. 4. What kind of dog is Mrs. Wigglebottom? She's an American Staffordshire Terrier, it's one of the pit bull breeds. 5. You have a pit bull?! How can you be so irresponsible?! Don't you know she'll snap and kill your cats, kill your neighbor kids, and then kill you with her jaws that are genetically mutated to clamp down and never let go? Thank you for your concern, but if her jaws are indeed genetically mutated to clamp down and never let go, she would have starved to death days after taking her first bite of solid food. And shoot, as long as I'm third on the list, I've got time to run. I kid. 6. Is she scary looking? Not at all. In fact, most people who don't know what kind of dog she is assume that she's a giant Boston Terrier. 7. Is she nice? Yes, she's very sweet, even though she has terrible manners. 8. Are you really an aunt? Yes. 9. Is the Butcher real? Yes, everyone I talk about is real and all of the things I say about them are how I recollect them. I'm not saying that everything is 100% factual and accurate, as I come from a long line of storytellers, con artists, and preachers, but they're how I remember them. 10. Why do you blog anonymously? It started out as a joke. My audience was people I knew in real life and so it was just a thin verneer of anonymity for the sake of funny. Now, I do it out of courtesy for my family. 11. Can I meet you? Maybe. 12. Can I make out with you? Maybe. If I'm drunk, probably. 13. Are you the same in real life as you are on-line? No, I'm much more awkward in real life, I think. 14. You're not Christian, are you? No. 15. What are you? Let's just say I'm an optimistic hard-core polytheist. 16. What does that mean? I'm not sure there are any gods, but if there are, I think they're all real and all distinct from each other. 17. But isn't your dad a minister? Hence one of the reasons I blog anonymously. 18. Jesus loves you. Yes, I know. 19. But you know you're going to hell, right? One way or another, I'm sure. 20. You sell Tiny Cat Pants products. How are sales? Well, you know, better than I expected, considering that I expected to sell a t-shirt to the Corporate Shill, a t-shirt to the Professor, and a t-shirt to me. How CafePress works is that you have to earn $25 before you get a check and each of my products is just marked up a few dollars. So, keeping that in mind, I've gotten one check for $30. With the next batch of money I was supposed to get, I bought a t-shirt from Tim Morgan and one from Flea. And I think I'm going to get a third check here in a bit. So, it earns me about $25 every three months, which I do, usually, spend on beer or other frivolous nonsense I wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. 21. What kind of feminist are you? The kind with a very cute boob freckle. 22. Will you ever convince the libertarians to sound their barbaric yawps over the roofs of the world? I hope so. Who more than they is not a bit tamed? 23. Why do you flirt with everyone? Because I can. 24. Are there any rules for commenting? One. You must respect and strive to maintain the frith of the community. We argue, fuss, and fight because there are folks here from a wide variety of backgrounds who disagree on just about everything. The only way it can work is if everyone agrees that having a space like this is worth-while and worth treating well. That can only happen if everyone respects each other, even when, or especially when they disagree. 25. But what if I'm just a giant jackass who cannot behave? Then prepare to have your ass handed to you by people who are smarter, quicker, and funnier than you. 26. You're liberal, right? Don't you know taxes are stealing? Taxation is fundamentally immoral. So is exchanging your body for money, capitalist pig. 27. You're liberal, right? So why are you so hard on liberal men? Because liberal men claim to be on my side. 28. When are you going to run for President? Will that get in the way of my being Queen of the Planet? Because, if I can get that gig, I think that's probably all the power I need. 29. Why is there only one boob freckle? I have just gone into the bathroom and turned on the light, stood in front of the mirror and scrutinized my tits. For the record, there are three official boob freckles. There is the famous boob freckle, which resides on the top part of my right boob, right where it can peek out when I wear button-down shirts. There is another freckle right at the point where the left boob goes from being shoulder to boob. I haven't really been counting this one. But then, I also found another freckle on the bottom side of my right boob. Cute as hell, but unnoticed by me, because, unless I was doing a boob freckle search in front of a mirror, I could have never seen it. These freckles never fade. They're just there. Occassionally, like right now, I have some faint boob freckles that showed up just because my tits have gotten some sun. I don't feel it's fair to call these official boob freckles as I can't guarantee that they'll be there when you see my tits. So, the official count is three. But I'll be keeping a closer eye on things, to see if there are any changes, since I know how important this issue is to y'all.

Making My One Wish Come True

No, not the wish where the Wayward Boy Scout and Sarcastro and I all go out drinking and they recite
The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and my loitering. I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. The last scud of day holds back for me, It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow'd wilds, It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk. I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun, I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good health to you nevertheless, And filter and fibre your blood. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one place search another, I stop somewhere waiting for you.
to me from heart. The one where I finally come up with a FAQ for this place. The only drawback is that I don't really get a lot of frequently asked questions. So, I guess I'll make some up. But here's your chance, if you have some, to ask away.

News of the Gross

Folks, is there any other blogger you read who is plumbing the depths of weird things one might look at? I highly doubt it. Anyway, via Slate, here's the story of a girl born with a parasitic twin head. Sadly, she died. Probably as a punishment for letting the doctors murder her sister. Kidding. Kidding.

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Long Post in Which I Once Again Flirt with Libertarianism

Y'all, I'm not even sure how to formulate this. Let's start with Kevin, who was kind enough to come by and point me to a quick "how we ended up here" when it comes to gun rights. He quotes a very interesting part of the Dred Scott decision, which I quote here:
[Citizenship] would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.
Just keep in mind "to keep and carry arms wherever they went." We'll be coming back to this. Then we've got Jon, with his Ayn Rand quote:
There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted -- and you create a nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt.
Hmmm, as well. As y'all know, I've been following the saga of Say Uncle's friend with interest and Blake has said all I have to say about the issue better than I could. Can a liberal heathen feminist and a conservative Christian gun nut find common ground? On this issue, apparently. Anyway, it was one of Blake's commenters that made me suddenly go "Well, duh." This commenter says
If you don't like the law get em to change it, don't blame the cops for enforcing it. As for me, I don't want felons owning guns or voting. Posted by: TWM at March 26, 2006 07:50 PM
And I stared at my computer screen dumbfounded. Then I read this:
the other side of the Republican coin on immigration is the Bush plan to create a "guest worker" program that is nothing less than the realization of corporate America's wet dream of having a labor force that cannot vote. It would create a permanent underclass of disenfranchised workers
The light went on and I immediately called the Professor and asked, "Why can't people see that rap music and country music are the same?" But what I really meant is that--duh--we've created draconian laws to "punish" behavior that doesn't hurt anyone--like say, outlawing drugs--and the result is not a reduction in the use of drugs but prisons full of poor men. Yes, those poor men are disproportionately black, which means that the war on drugs has allowed the government to find a way to follow the spirit of the Dred Scott decision even now--the war on drugs makes felons out of many black men, which means that they cannot carry weapons or vote. Which means that they cannot legally defend themselves and they cannot change the way they are governed. Both are equally troubling. Black men are left with no way to force the government to hear them. But it's not just black men who are fucked by this--it's really poor people in general. As folks over at Say Uncle and Blake's have pointed out repeatedly, there are all types of felonies, from having too much weed to killing your boyfriend, but the stoner and the murderer are stripped of their rights just the same. And who most needs to have their rights protected? The people who are most often chewed up and spit out by various law enforcement entities. Who do we strip of the ability to hold our government accountable? The people who are most often chewed up and spit out by various law enforcement entities. It's really brilliant, if you think about it. Who's going to best know the ways that the government fucks people over? People who have been fucked over. What can they legally do about it? Nothing, it seems.

Our Darling Kleinheider

Folks, our darling Kleinheider has hit the big time! Check this shit. He's getting paid to blog. Live the dream, Kleinheider, live the dream.

Men, Think Back to When You Were Young

The Professor sent me this link to the "Men Can Stop Rape" campaign. I couldn't quite decide what to make of it. I sent it to Brittney, who also couldn't decide what to make of it. But it occurs to me that we are not the target for the campaign, so maybe it doesn't matter if we can make sense of it. So, here's what I like about it. --I like that it's a campaign directed at men. After all, at the end of the day, women are not raped by some third, evil, easily identifiable gender. We're stuck in a world where rapists look just like ordinary men, which gives ordinary men some stake in trying to end rape. --I really like that it's about reiterating that being strong is not just the ability to force your way on people, but also about keeping the people you love safe. --I like that there are a lot of different men and they talk about a lot of different situations. What I don't like. --Are these men supposed to be bragging to other men? Maybe, and lord knows I'm not clear how y'all work, but does hearing someone brag make you want to be like him? --If they're not supposed to be bragging to other men, I'm not sure I get the point. I mean, are we supposed to be glad that they don't rape? I have this theory that there are two broad categories of men who rape women. There are evil fuckers for whom rape really is primarily about terrorizing women, because it makes them feel strong and powerful. And, for men to combat those rapists, I think the best strategy would be to frame rape as an act of cowardice and weakness and evilness and toss those assholes in prison for long, long times. But the other broad category, I think, is made up of guys for whom rape is about sex coupled with feeling strong and powerful. And I think these guys are primarily immature or inexperienced or, for whatever reason, lack the ability to find willing women to have sex with. Couple that with the belief that part of being a real, strong manly man is having sex as often as they can, and you have a recipe for disaster. These men don't intend to hurt women--which is why they convince themselves that the women really wanted it--but they also don't intend to not have sex. For these guys, maybe redefining manhood would be an effective way to combat rape, because it would uncouple power from being able to force people to do what you want. But I don't know. What do you guys think? Edited to add: Everyone should be so lucky as to have librarians who read their blogs and will dig around for answers to their questions. Check out Rachel's mad libraring... librari-ing... research skills.

Strip Clubs for Straight Women

I'm not that big into male strippers. I just don't find all that gyrating and thrusting while wearing g-strings to be that erotic. It can be fun and funny, but when I see men at strip clubs, looking at female strippers, I know I'm not having the same experience when I look at male strippers. Today, though, on the ride home, as I was attempting to think of things to improve my day, I realized what the ideal strip club for straight women would be. Imagine this, women. There are three rows of benches on the stage, perpendicular to the front of the stage. Twelve handsome men in well-cut suits come onto the stage and slowly take off all their clothes. They are not wearing g-strings, but boxer shorts. Anyway, off they come. And then! And then, the men slowly put on baseball uniforms. They exit the stage. The next group comes out and changes into hockey uniforms. And so on as we work our way through all the cool uniformed things that men do. How hot would that be? I can't believe that no one has thought of this before.


That is all.

Good Looking Boys

For some reason, the recalcitrant brother's camera phone makes everyone look like they've been run through some weird Photoshop filter. But at least we get to see some photos of the boys.

So, for those of you who are curious, there's the recalcitrant brother and my nephews*.

And girls, the recalcitrant brother is kind of single!

*I don't know if it's clear, but there are just two nephews. The littlest one is in both photos. And I think that we see evidence that the biggest nephew is a better photographer than his father, but I could be reading too much into things.

Last Chance

There's still an hour before I have to go back to work. If there's anyone out there who wants to pay me to blog or to sit around their house sassing their pets or to lay in a hammock on their private beach, you have just 60 minutes to let me know. Otherwise, I'm rejoining the work-a-day world.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Married Tennessee Conservative Men Admit to Viewing Pornography

I could not find the recent dust-up over Harold Ford Jr.'s University of Tennessee campaign chair to be any funnier. First we've got Nathan Moore posting a link to a "lurid" photo* of her and then Bill Hobbs insinuating that she's a slut. Brittney calls them on their bullshit over at Moore's and at Nashville is Talking and I get some digs in at Hobbs over there as well. The whole thing is hilarious, I think, even if you don't know the players. But Moore says something in his comments that I can't leave unaddressed. He says
People... this is funny. There is no hate. There is no sexism. Ha to there being a lick of fear. And this certainly has zero to do with any falsely perceived role of women in politics - a man doing this would have been eminently more entertaining. The overreaction is amusing.
Let's just start with some Feminism 101. No, you know what? Let's set aside the feminism for a second. Let's start with some Common Courtesy 101. Calling people names is hateful. Calling someone you don't know a slut is hateful and rude. Continuing to call her a pornographer because she posted a photo that showed her bellybutton on the internet is rude and hateful and makes you seem like an uptight prude. To say that, in the face of people saying that this poor woman is a slut and a pornographer, there is no hate is insane. Now, onto the feminist stuff. Let me put this as simply as possible: if two people are engaged in the same activity--in this case enjoying the production of naughty pictures on the internet--and the woman gets called a slut and a pornographer and no one calls Nathan Moore or Bill Hobbs perverts or questioning their fidelity to their wives that is sexism. When two people are doing the same thing and one is punished for it and the other is not, because one is a woman and the other is not, that is sexism at its most basic. But, y'all, this isn't even basic sexism. If you just consider this bullshit for a second, another layer of sexism reveals itself. It's hidden behind another layer of rudeness, so let's go to Common Courtesy 102. It common courtesy to not judge others if they do the same things you do but for different reasons. We all know that Moore and Hobbs don't think there's anything wrong with them looking at this photo because they're not looking at this photo out of purient sexual interest. They're looking at this photo so that they can make fun of this chick. Well, my pervert readers, that's just rude. Everyone has their reasons for looking at pictures of semi-naked women. Why do Moore and Hobbs get off the hook just because they're not enjoying it in a sexual way? Either it's wrong or it's not. Or they've found themselves a hell of a loophole--"Yes, I was looking at a picture of a hot woman, but I wasn't enjoying it sexually! I swear. I was only enjoying it because I love to shame sluts." But on to Feminism 102. It is sexist when men who look at pictures of women criticize those women for being immoral, because it assumes that the woman has been tainted by the existence of the photo in a way that the men are not. To assume that the enjoyment of the production of these photos is corrupting to women but not to men is sexist. And yet, there's even another layer of sexist assumption here--that it's Harold Ford Jr.'s job to police this woman's sexual behavior. The assumption that any man with authority over a woman in any realm of her life gives him some level of authority over her in all realms of her life is sexist. And to insinuate that it's not going to play well with voters that Ford can't keep his woman in line is really just gross. Which, you know, is fine, at the end of the day. As Coble attempts to point out repeatedly, a lot of this sexism isn't really about promoting misogyny; it's about directing the discussion towards something people feel roused up about and away from the lack of discussion of substantial issues. It's a lot easier to say "Oh, Ford's got a slutty co-ed working for him. This is just more evidence of his immorality. Let's all take a moment to ogle her." than it is to explain why Ford's platform would be bad for Tennessee and the rest of the nation. That's fine. We all take the easy way out occasionally. But to claim that the easy route you've chosen in this case isn't hateful or sexist makes you look like liars or idiots. * I feel like I should warn you that, if you like to look at actual lurid photos of women, you're going to be disappointed by Moore's offering. As I told Bill Hobbs over at Nashville is Talking:
This whole thing is making you seem like the most uptight old man ever. Really. The girl, if it's even the same girl, says she took "naughty" pictures of herself and you're calling that porn. Have you ever viewed pornography? Because if you think some girl posing naked or semi-naked in her boyfriend's bedroom constitutes porn, you evidently have not viewed any pornography since about 1867.

An Important Question for Medical Professionals

Can one suffocate on her own boobs? Not me, of course. I have this friend who's been on vacation all week and so hasn't bothered to put on a bra since late Sunday and who felt, yesterday, when she was walking in Murfreesboro, that she was having trouble breathing. And even now, she tells me that when she lifts her boobs up to where they normally sit when she's wearing a bra, it does seem easier to breath. Should this friend be concerned? Is suffocating under the weight of your own tits one of those things that falls under "dying of natural causes"? And most importantly, if it turned out that my, er, her boobs are making it hard to breath, should I make more of an effort to sleep on my stomach?

Let Me Be Your Emily

Folks, I have had the most restful vacation ever. I didn't see anyone I didn't want to see. I faced no crowds. I went to bed when I was tired and got up when I wasn't. I took long, hot showers. I drove around some. But most importantly, I came to realize that I'm just one in a large mess of eccentrics and that if wandering around Middle Tennessee with my dog and hanging out on the internet makes me happy, I'm not going to worry too much that it makes me weird. I am weird. But I was thinking how awesome this would be if it were always my life. So, to that end, I'm offering to be your Emily. For a mere $50,000 a year, I will come and live in your house, not really talk to you, hide from most of your guests, flirt shamelessly with your minister and your sister-in-law, and write about what may or may not have happened in cryptic entries here on Tiny Cat Pants. You must accommodate Mrs. Wigglebottom and my benign neglect of any housework. Just think of the contribution you'd be making to American arts & letters.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Women, You Too Can Join Our Disorganization

Bridgett had this brilliant idea that we should form some kind of anti-DAR, for those of us women from less than proud lineages who might want to band together to commiserate and, I presume, drink beer. In general, I think the only requirement to join such an organization, which would, by definition, be a disorganization is that you come from a family that makes you carefully consider how you'd ever explain them to your co-workers. But I thought that some of you might need a handy quiz in order to decide if you should join. So, here goes: Family 1. Count the number of children in your family conceived out of wedlock. (+1 for each of them) 2. A relative named "Bubba" or "Bub"? (+10) 3. Relatives who have two names, like Betty Anne or Billy Joe or Mary-Margaret? (+5) 4. The names in your family have a theme, like beginning with the letter "B" or all the girls sharing the same first or middle name or the boys all having Biblical names (+5) 5. Folks in your family have made up names like Kayden or Latrell (+5) 6. Give yourself five points for every living generation of your kin. 7. Give yourself a point for every "relative" you have that's not really related to you, but comes around so much everyone just calls him Uncle Jimmy or Aunt Sally or whatever. 8. Your mom and her sister married brothers (+10) 9. Your mom and dad are step-siblings (+25) 10. Ten points for every relative living with you. Money 1. You make more right now than your dad did the whole time you were a kid. (+10) 2. And you have a job that doesn't pay that well. (+10) 3. And you feel really, really guilty about it. (+5) 4. It's just assumed that the more successful people in your family will give money to the less successful (+5) 5. You win $100 million in the lottery. What do you do? a. Take your loved ones to a fancy restaurant to celebrate. (-25) b. Take your family to Red Lobster to celebrate. (+5) c. Red Lobster was your idea of a fancy restaurant. (+25) d. Buy your momma a real house. (+10) e. Don't tell anyone in your family because you know the second your dad finds out, he'll tell your uncle who will tell your cousins and the next thing you know you'll have thirty people showing up at your door looking for handouts (+50). Education 1. You're the first person in your family to go to college (+50) 2. You're among the first generation of people in your family to go to college (+25) 3. You're the first person in your family to graduate from high school. (+75) 4. You were pregnant or already a mother before you finished school. (+20) 5. You went to school with your cousins (+5) 6. Your high school was in the same building as the grade school (+5) Religion 1. One point for every preacher in your family. 2. One point for every Bible in your home. 3. Your family belongs to a church on the FBI watch-list (+30) Illegal, Semi-Legal, and Unpopular Activities 1. A point for every gun in your family. 2. A point for every scary dog. 3. A point for every hunting dog. 4. Ten points if there's more than twelve beers in your fridge right now. 5. Twenty points if there's moonshine in your house. 6. Someone in your family grows his own pot (+10) 7. Cooks his own meth (+25) 8. Shops at Walmart, happily (+25) 9. Works at Walmart (+30) 10. Works at Walmart for access to the pseudoephedrine (+40) 11. Five points for everyone in your family sitting in jail right now. 12. Go ahead and give yourself five points if you thought about calling down to the jail and asking the sheriff for an accurate head-count. 13. You can trace your ancestry back to a penal colony (+20) 14. Your family has ever been run out of town (+20) 15. When you see a police car in your neighborhood, your first thought automatically is that someone you know is going to jail (+30) Whoo. Well, I could go on, but I'm out of funny things to say and I think you get the point. If you've scored more than 300, you're welcome in the club. If you didn't, well, don't be too hard on yourself. There's still plenty of time for folks in your family to fuck up.

The Murfreesboro Greenway Review

I have many hobbies, such as driving around and looking at things and driving places to walk around. Today, Mrs. Wigglebottom and I combined both of those hobbies into one fun-filled trip to the Murfreesboro Greenway. My take: Wow. How beautiful! You can walk right along the Stones River and it's not very crowded, so it's peaceful. Plus, I saw something I've never seen at a Nashville park--a clown and a princess filming a movie. Mrs. Wigglebottom's take: There are a lot of things to sniff and plenty of rocks that need peeing on. The water in the Stones River is too cold for much splashing, but the splashing that did take place was marvelously fun.

The Top Five Outrageous Things that Happened at My Grandma's Funeral, in no particular order

1. Though I asserted that people in my family don't go to rehab, they go to jail, I should have clarified and said that we don't go to rehab unless we've found someone we can con into paying for it--tax payers or church goers. My cousin, G., was in court-appointed rehab for his decades-long coke problem, when my grandma died. He was there ostensibly to get clean, but really, he was there because he owed his drug dealer a couple of thousand dollars and he was hiding from him. Unfortunately for G., my grandma was a prominent citizen in her famous small Midwestern city, and when she died, it was in the paper, where G.'s drug dealer saw it. He and his associates hung out in the parking lot of the wake in order to discuss my cousin with my uncle and they, like many of us who had little idea one could leave court-appointed rehab to go to the funeral of your grandma, were surprised to see G. strolling into the funeral home. They cornered him in the vestibule, had a little meeting with him, came to some kind of understanding, and the next thing I know, he's going around to all my younger cousins, begging them for money, saying he's going to be killed--knowing that they would both not have the guts to say "Well, then, tough shit for you" or "Someone's trying to kill you? Let's call the police." The attempted change-based appeasement of the drug dealer did not go over that well, but G. escaped back to rehab before they could exact their revenge. 2. It just so happened that the same week my grandma died one of the people my dad and uncles and aunts had gone to school with died. Now, here's what you must know to understand the funny. My Aunt C. is crazy, has been for as long as I've known her. Crazy to the point where you wonder just what the fuck my parents were thinking when they let me spend the night there when I was little. She steals things and never pays her bills and the second my uncle died, she took up with some ancient guy down the street whose kids are still begging my other uncle B. to help them ensure she doesn't con their dad out of his money. Anyway, after my grandma's wake, my Aunt C. waited for almost everyone to leave and went around and took all the little cards out of the flower arrangements, replaced them with cards appropriate to the dead friend, and packed up all the flowers--none of which she'd actually paid for, mind you; these are all flowers poor unknowing souls thought they were buying in commemoration of my grandma's life--and took them to the dead friend's wake, thus giving the dead friend's family the false impression that my aunt was generously supplying them with heaps of flowers. 3. So, it's no wonder that C.'s daughter and her husband were acting strange throughout the funeral festivities. The weirdest? They were carrying around a cooler with them, every place, even into the church. Finally, at my uncle B.'s house, the husband went to the bathroom and the wife went to get in on the divvying up of grandma's shit, and my cousin A. and I, who had been sitting in the kitchen talking smack about everyone, saw our opportunity. A. ran over and opened the cooler and there, inside, was an almost empty liter of Wild Turkey*. We both laughed so hard we nearly peed ourselves. I mean, as a people go, we spend a lot of time strutting around like sanctimonious jackasses who have the whole world figured out. It was nice to see that some of us have as much trouble as others of us facing the family stone cold sober. But Christ, to get through that much whiskey undetected by anyone but the two catty cousins in the kitchen in two days? I bow to that. 4. My sister-in-law is an evil liar and a crack whore. Well, technically, because she's an evil liar, I don't know that she was actually a crack whore, because I wouldn't believe her if she said that dirt was earth, but she told me that she met the recalcitrant brother when she was living at her old boyfriend's house and sleeping with his friends for drugs. Who knows if that's true, but that's what she told me. Anyway, my sister-in-law had met my grandma a whole total of twice, but when my aunt J. brought out all the little crap that hadn't been designated for anyone and began to divvy it up among the grandchildren, my sister-in-law got right in on it, justifying it to my aunt by saying that she was just getting stuff for my nephew to have to remember his grandma by. But you know, my sister-in-law is the kind of woman that, when she and her husband get thrown out of an apartment, my brother's stuff is nicely boxed and left on the curb and her stuff is left burning in a big pile on the driveway, while the landlord stands by with a hose to make sure the flames don't spread to the yard (actually happened), so really, all that stuff was as good as gone the second it touched her hands. Luckily, my uncle B.'s wife is assertive in a way that no other adults in my family are and she, after two rounds of "crack whore takes shit that means nothing to her" grabbed the stuff out of her hands and said, "Really, this is for Grandma's relatives, not you." My sister-in-law was pissed, but I thought it was pretty funny. 5. You've got to understand that the kind of shit my aunt was passing out was just the crappiest crap that my grandma would have been mortified to find that my aunt was giving away instead of throwing away--sun catchers, tacky jewelry my grandma never wore, broken Christmas ornaments, etc. And my aunt J. wanted us to all sit there and decide who should get what, as if anyone really wanted a half-done needlepoint bookmark no one ever remembered Grandma using. So, y'all, imagine my shock when I went into the living room after almost everyone had gone home and there was my aunt J. tossing old photos into the garbage--photos of my grandma and her brothers in front of their old one room schoolhouse, a photo of my grandma in an audacious stripped dress the year she taught at that same school house, old photos of her parents right before they got married and of each of her parents' fathers, photos of my grandpa as a young man. She said, "Why would anyone want these old things?" I waited for her to leave and scooped up all the ones full of faces I recognized. Edited to add: I asked the Butcher what he thought the weirdest thing to happen at my grandma's funeral was and he said that it was when my cousin took him to a strip club in Kalamazoo to help him overcome his grief, and where he met a stripper who claimed to be a school teacher in Grand Rapids** and wanted to take the whole lap dance to tell him about her students. *I should point out that, though people in my family drink, we all, for some reason, pretend we don't, hence the reason that, if my cousin wanted to drink, she had to hid it. **Where, tangentially, both the recalcitrant brother and I were born.

Some Things Are Worth Fighting For

It's a good thing Mrs. Wigglebottom is so cute, because she's not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. She and the orange cat have been having a vicious fight all week and Mrs. Wigglebottom has yet to notice. For instance, the orange cat was sitting on my lap. Mrs. Wigglebottom, of course, wanted in on the action. She got up on the couch and proceeded to put her head on the orange cat. Back go the orange cat's ears, out come the claws, commenced is the hissing, and the orange cat smacks Mrs. Wigglebottom as hard as he can with a full paw of claws. Does Mrs. Wigglebottom notice? I see no evidence. Then today, there was some disagreement over who would sit in the sunny spot outside the bathroom. The orange cat was sitting there and Mrs. Wigglebottom came up, put her cold nose right in his butt, and tried to scoot him out of it. He rolled over so that he was all teeth and claws and started swatting at her and she just shut her eyes and kept pushing and then settled into the sunny spot herself. As those of you who know her know, Mrs. Wigglebottom is not a laid-back dog. I sincerely believe that, if she knew she was in an epic week-long battle, she'd do at least a little barking, since she knows the cats don't like it. But here she is, just obliviously annoying the shit out of the orange cat. It's pretty funny.

Friday, March 24, 2006

This One's for the "Bag of Dicks"

So, it turns out that the Uncle's friend is a felon, thus making his gun problems a little stickier. Uncle says he feels "like a bag of dicks for bringing all this up, though I did so based how it was presented to me. I wasted everyone's time." Uncle, I understand your embarrassment, but really, you have no reason to be. It got me thinking of how, a couple of years ago, one of my upper middle class acquaintances asked me if I could recommend a good rehab program because people in my family have had "drug problems."* Without even thinking, I just blurted out, "People like us don't go to rehab, we go to jail. I have no idea what good rehab programs are, because that's not an option for us." I know how much you conservatives love to believe that all a person has to do is work really hard and keep his nose clean and he can rise up from abject poverty and become president, but it's late, we're all tired, let's just admit that some of us, no matter how hard we try, seem to have the deck stacked against us. And, true, sometimes we do some of that stacking ourselves. But people fuck up. They fuck up all the time. And you guys, good god, it's like you go crazy at 15 and don't rejoin the land of the sane until you're in your early to mid twenties. It's not the faultless who need our help and protection. Those above blame almost always emerge from shit unscathed. It's those of us who royally fucked up at 18 or who spent their thirties in the bottle or who sold their brother out to keep from going to jail or whatever, it's those of us who have something that can be used against us who need to be protected from the government most of all,precisely because it seems like we deserve it less. It's like Blake says, this is how it works--"they will more than likely try to pin something...anything...on him. When a government's wheels are set into motion, there's no stopping it." The only mistake you made was not realizing that, in this case, the government's wheels were set in motion against this guy a long, long time ago. *Remind me some day to tell you about my grandma's funeral. The most alarming part was when my cousin's drug dealer showed up to collect some unpaid debts and my cousin talked all my younger cousins into letting him have the spare change out of their cars. I think the only thing worse than not paying the man who supplies you with coke is trying to pay him in change you've conned your little cousins out of. Though it's pretty damn funny.

Three Ways of Knowing

The Professor and I went to the Murphy Loft for lunch yesterday and both got the chicken salad wrap. I will tell you that their chicken salad is the least noteworthy thing I regularly eat. It literally tastes like nothing--not chicken, not Miracle Whip, not whatever else is in there that I also don't taste--nothing. The only reason I continue to eat it is that, nestled in the nothing are grapes. The genius of putting grapes in chicken salad is so monumental that I'm willing to overlook the blandness of the rest of the chicken salad in order to enjoy the surprise of the grapes. If there were just a few walnuts or pine nuts in there as well, you might have a perfectly weird but delicious chicken salad. Hmm... I should try that. Anyway, I was trying to tell the Professor that I feel like I have three levels at which I know something. There's kind of the "I'm semi-aware of something" level, the level where I know it intellectually, and the level at which I know it in my heart. It's not until I really know something in my heart that I feel like I really, honestly, know it. To use an example unburdened with emotions, let's talk about the Butcher's friend who lives on Blair by Harris Teeter. I have a friend who lives on Blair just down the street from there, so I know that part of town. I also used to know someone who lived on Love Circle, which is between here and Blair. And, in a kind of ephemeral way, I knew that you ought to be able to get from here to that part of Blair by way of Love Circle, but I didn't know how. The other day, the Butcher showed me. Now, I know it in my head, that it can be done and done easily. If I get to the point where I can drive it without thinking about it, I'll know it in my heart. That's the way the flow of information usually works, from out there to head to heart. Sometimes, though, you know something in your heart first. I think this is what people mean by "intuition" or "reading between the lines." You can see a situation and some deep part of you makes sense of it even if you don't know it in your mind. The Professor was saying how I'm pretty good at that--understanding the deeper currents of what's going on in a situation. And I said that I thought it was because, growing up how we did, I had to find some way of reading situations in order to protect myself. It's a good skill to have; it's not fun to have to develop it. Here's the thing. None of my friends like my dad. Some of them tolerate him better than others. But none of them, I don't think, would choose to spend time around him except for the fact that they care about me. Intellectually, I've understood this since I was in junior high. But it hurt me; it hurt my feelings. Because I really love my dad. But the other weekend I was telling Divalicious about the two things he said to me that I just cannot get past--1. That being with me will be some man's personal hell and 2. That I'm a good daughter and all, but the recalcitrant brother is the oldest son and that's the most important position in the family--and she said, "Wow, that's really emotionally abusive." It caught me off guard. I think if someone I knew better had said that to me, I'd have been really pissed off at them. It's weird, but I would have felt betrayed by them. But hearing it from someone I don't know that well? For the first time in my life, I really finally knew it in my heart, this thing I'd known intellectually but couldn't just say to myself. My whole life, I've been saying to my brothers and the other reverend's sons and the Super Genius and even lately to the Professor that, considering how my dad was raised, he was a pretty good father. And he was. I mean, that's true. But that's not how it works. You don't get to get out of being fucked up by a fucked up person because the fucked up things he's doing to you are less fucked up than the fucked up things that were done to him. But I have been insisting my whole life that I'm not fucked up, especially not because of the fucked up things he did to me, and getting pissed at anyone who tried to tell me differently, who tried to express concern about the fucked up things I was doing. In my adult life, all my first kisses and fucks with a person have been while I was drunk. I've never had sex with someone as an expression of our mutual caring for each other. I'm not sure I even know how that's done. And thank god Sarcastro is so fucking obtuse because I pulled the biggest fucked-up nonsense on him twice this week and he let it slide. But I will tell you. Sarcastro is one of my favorite people on the planet. I'd trust him with my life, if it ever came down to it. He's dropped me off at my house on average once a week for the past seven or eight months. He's been in my house three times, two of which were this week, when he was here fixing the door. And both times when he was here to fix the door, he had to push his way past me to get in the house. Seriously, what the fuck? But there I was , standing in the way of him coming inside. Someone I know and trust and I'm so uncomfortable with him coming in my house that I physically put myself between him and the fucking door? That is fucked up, folks. But you know what? It totally is fucked up. Because I am fucked up. And just saying that outloud and admitting it and knowing it it my heart is kind of a relief. It's not some failure on my part that I'm fucked up. It'd only be a failure if I didn't try to stop being fucked up in ways that hurt me or keep me from doing what I want. Ha, you know, it's been a worthwhile vacation just to have the time to work that out and articulate it for myself.

A Little Help from the Gun Nuts, Please

This shit over at Say Uncle just freaks me the fuck out. Ha, here's where you guys discover the fatal flaw in my liberalism--I firmly believe that no good can ever come of a person coming to the attention of the government. Anyway, this makes me realize that I know next to nothing about gun legislation in this country, beyond the fact that it's illegal to own certain types of guns. But I'm looking at the Second Amendment and it says, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." How has it happened that we can have wording as clear as "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" and have any type of gun regulations? Is there some kind of gun laws for dummies book y'all can point me to? I'm naive about this shit, I'll admit, and I'm confused about how we've ended up here. Point me the way, folks.

My Blood Runs Cold

Check this scary shit out over at Say Uncle's. The ATF has raided his friend's house.

Y'all know that I'm no gun nut, but I find the whole thing frightening.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Progressive Men, Are You on Our Side or Not?

Let's just go back to the Maggart thing here a second, because I'm still pissed off about it and yet... See, here's the thing, Progressive Men--I'd like to feel like we are all working towards the same goals. Let's broadly sum up those goals as "social justice for all through the excessive taxation of everyone we consider richer than us (oh, and more conservative than us, regardless of wealth)." And sometimes stuff happens, like Maggart revealing herself for the skeevy bigot she is and progressives on the internet rallying against her. And, honestly, I guess I feel some desire to be a part of that. I want to point out how stupid she is and laugh at her with all the cool kids. But... Okay, once Katherine Coble accused me of always taking women's sides in debates. I can't find where to link to it, but, as is my way, I've pondered that for a long time and, honestly, I think it's a fair accusation. I'm not sure I hold women up to the same scrutiny I hold men up to. And, reading this post and the comments on Maggart that follow it really clarified for me why I really don't like to criticize women. It's not that I think that women are so much better than men, it's that I hate how, whenever you criticize women, it quickly degrades into shit a woman can't defend herself against. I mean, you want to call Maggart a despicable homophobe? Fine, because she can either defend herself against that accusation or accept the criticism or whatever. And calling Maggart a despicable homophobe is an accusation that only reflects on her and her accuser. But look at what's going on over at Wayne Besen's. Here he's characterizing Focus on the Family as a hate group, which I might agree with, in theory and says of Maggart, "It is sad that some people will do and say anything to maintain a belief system that is rotten to the core." Then come the comments that prompted me to write this all in the first place--"this cunt is homophobic" & "This bitch is a fucking lunatic!" Progressive men, this annoys the shit out of me when it comes to y'all, that this is how you talk about women who piss you off, that we're cunts and bitches. I mean, we're right here. We read what you write. You want us on your side and yet, you toss around bitch and cunt like that's a fair way to fight. How are we supposed to defend ourselves against that? Do you not get that I have a cunt? It's right down there and it's not something terrible. To have a cunt is not a curse. How dare you take my good things and throw them in my face. "Oh, but B., we call men dicks, too. It's equal opportunity degradation of associating people with their sex organs." Oh, really? If I call, say, Bill O'Reilly a dick, how uncomfortable does that make the rest of you men? "Oh, but B.," you say, "Maggart being a cunt has nothing to do with you. She is a cunt. You're not." To which I say, do you live in America? Do you not get how "cunt" sounds like a threat? You say it about one woman and every woman within hearing range gets that you'll use that word against her if the opportunity arises. And we don't want that. Let me explain it to you. When someone calls a woman a cunt, what he or she means is that that woman needs to be taken down a peg or two. AND it sounds like a suggestion for just how that woman could be taken down a peg or two--just make sure she knows that all she is is her cunt. And I think we all know the easiest way to reduce an uppity woman to her cunt. God, do you see why I hate seeing "cunt" come up in political discussions? It sounds like an endorsement of the worst kind of violence against women. And to see progressive men using "cunt" to describe a woman, even a woman I disagree with, and going uncalled on it really pisses me off. Because y'all are supposed to be on the side of women, at least to some extent, at least enough on our side to not think that using our bodies as an insult is okay.

Okay, Tennessee, Listen Up.

Today, I'm over at Nashville is Talking and I'm looking at the various stuff going on in the state. Peruse with me right quick.
  • A murdered pastor's children are missing. Authorities presume his wife has them and, I would suspect, presume she is the reason he's murdered.
  • A Robertson County teacher's aide has been arrested on charges of molestation.
  • Some guy shot a little kid.

Who are the most dangerous people in Tennessee for children to be around? On any given day, if one follows the news, it appears that the answer is straight people.

Straight people are all the time killing their spouses and running off with the kids, beating their kids, molesting other people's kids, and randomly shooting kids.

I don't have any statistics handy, but anecdotal evidence would seem to prove that there's some link between heterosexuality and crappy treatment of children.

And yet, we don't ban heterosexuals from fostering children, even though most crimes against children are committed by heterosexuals.

Why do you suppose that is?

Maybe because monsters are monsters regardless of their sexual orientation? Or because it doesn't take a genius to see that if heterosexuals are most of the population and they have most of the kids, they're going to be most of the people NOT committing crimes against children as well as most of the people committing them? Or maybe because what one does sexually with other consenting adults has little to do with what kind of parent one is?

To go off on a tangent, for a second, there are some people who believe that every child should have a mother and a father who are married to each other and that the state ought to make getting divorced as difficult as possible to ensure that it's hard for people to break up two-parent households. And, when rhetoric about this gets heated, it often devolves into this idea that single women make shitty parents and cannot provide children with everything they need.

So, you'd think that a single mom like Tennessee State Representative Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville) would be a little bit sympathetic to homosexuals who are willing to foster children. She, after all, is in another group often accused of being unfit parents.

But no.

In a story I first saw at Pandagon and followed to Out&About, Maggart is running around telling people that the reason she's opposed to allowing gay people to become foster parents is that

I don't believe taking these children out of one precarious situation and putting them in homes where there is an abundance of evidence that homosexual couples do not make the optimum family unit. We also have seen evidence that homosexual couples prey on young males and have in some instances adopted them in order to have unfretted [sic] access to subject them to a life of molestation and sexual abuse. Some of the evidence we were presented showed that lesbian and gay couples have a higher rate of breaking up than heterosexual coupes as well as higher rates of promiscuity outside of their relationships.

Jesus Christ.

I don't even know where to start because the fucktardedness of this situation should be so obvious to anyone who thinks about it for three seconds.

But here we go.

1. There are not enough foster parents to go around. How can we, as a state, in good conscience run around begging women to choose life if we don't have a competent system in place to make sure that the life they've chosen to inflict on those kids isn't one of perpetual hell?

2. Most child molesters are straight men. By and large, study after study shows this. By Maggart's "logic" we should pass a law making it illegal for straight men to foster children. Look at that poor Russian girl last year who was adopted by that monster who sexually abused her and posted the photos on the internet for his evil internet buddies to enjoy. That was all over the news. We know straight men do this. And yet we don't pass sweeping legislation barring straight men from being foster parents because we know the vast majority of straight men don't have any even remote interest in fucking children.

3. In our society, a father and a mother who are married to each other is the optimal family unit. Does Maggart believe that single women such as herself ought not to be allowed to foster children?

There are already not enough foster families for all the kids who need them. If we ban homosexuals from fostering children because some homosexuals are child molesters and some are promiscuous and some break up with their partners frequently, aren't we also obliged to ban other groups with members who exhibit unfavorable characteristics, such as straight men and single women?

And, if homosexuals, straight men, and single women are not allowed to foster children, who's left? Wives of servicemen who are overseas? Women whose husbands are in prison for life? Nuns who are married to God?

Is it so important to punish gay people that we'll hurt children to do it? Is that what it comes down to? That it's so important for us as a state to make sure gay people know we think they're sinning evil freaks that we'll do it at the expense of suffering children who need someone, anyone, to give two shits about them?

Because that's pretty fucking disgusting. And Representative Maggart, I'm pretty fucking disgusted with you.

The Picture on My Fridge

The Butcher hung a picture of the five of us--me, him, the recalcitrant brother, and the other Reverend's two kids--on the fridge a while ago. I think I'm thirteen or fourteen. I might as old as fifteen, though, looking at the fact that I was wearing a long sleeved sweater and a coat in the house, and I spent much of my first two years of high school trying to work up the courage to kill myself outright without being detected and stopped. I had to keep the evidence of that hidden. My earliest lame attempt was to just stop eating, which was nice in some ways because I got all these compliments from the people in my church about how good I looked and so I was convinced, in that pathetic, narcissistic way you have when you're a moody, self-destructive teenager, that if people noticed me, they would feel really bad when I was gone and boy did I want everyone around me to feel as bad as I felt. My grandma caught on, though. Because you don't decline Grandma's beef and noodles without there being some problems. She did not get up at five in the morning to roll out noodles so that you could sit there sullenly refusing to eat. After that, I made sure to keep what I was up to hidden. Anyway, the picture. I think the Butcher likes that picture because the five of us are all together and we're all doing our best to look bad ass and we've all got toy guns and we're all getting along. For him, it's a great moment. I look at that photo, though, and I have really mixed emotions. I've known the other reverend's boys all my life and I love them like brothers. And, until I got to college and met the Super Genius, there was no one else on the planet I felt like I could talk to about what was going on in our home who really intrinsically understood it--who knew how shitty the job was, in general, and who also got what it meant to be living in the fallout of some nasty family crap. I look at that photo and I see five hugely fucked up kids at a moment before it's about to get much, much worse and my heart breaks for them every time I go to get the milk. And this is a change. For a long time, I had no sympathy for them. I felt like, if only they'd tried harder, they wouldn't have ended up in the messes they ended up in. But I see now that we were so young. I mean, I really get that we were children and that we were trying as hard as we could and if that wasn't enough to keep our lives from being shitty, that wasn't something we really had control over. It's weird, but I think it's that slow realization--that you aren't responsible for everything that happens to you--that makes it easier to be an adult and take responsibility for the choices you can make. Does that make sense? You can stop blaming yourself for the shit you can't do anything about and you can get to the business of doing the things you can. Hmm. I guess I can't quite articulate what I'm getting at. Anyway, when Sarcastro was over yesterday, he saw the photo and he asked me if that was during my "Goth" phase and I laughed it off. But I was embarrassed, a little, that it was that obvious how depressed and pissed off I was. I mean, why would a person look at a picture of a sullen, selfish, thirteen year old every day? But it's because I love her. Finally.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

You Can Tell a Lot about a Man... how much he loves his dog. So, so sorry, Boy Scout.

Cecilia Fire Thunder

Egalia and Twisty already posted about this, but it's so awesome I just had to share it with you, too. Cecilia Fire Thunder, the President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation has pledged to open a Planned Parenthood on the Reservation to serve all of the women in South Dakota. She says, "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction." [emphasis mine]

Come On, I Know You're Dying to Know What Happened

First, let's just be thankful that Tiny Cat Pants is not all failed home improvement all the time. Then, let's get on to the gory details. Saraclark and Peg were right. I ran that zipper thing down the sink and pulled up some black sludge the likes of which I hope to never see again. I couldn't get it down the tub drain, sadly, because of how the drain is set up, so I was unable to discover any weird gross things down there. I did, however, pick up this awesome foaming cleaning stuff that they say you just have to spray on and wipe off. I wish I were kidding when I tell you that I had no idea how gross my shower was until I saw the grime this stuff pulled off. Now, I'm making a half-hearted attempt to finally clean the kitchen. I've been half-assing my way through it since yesterday and finally, I think I can clean the stovetop and the counters and call it done. As for the door, Sarcastro came over to "help." So, really, I got him some water and admitted that I would not have been able to do it myself and he took care of everything like a true pro. Then, not only did he put the door back on, he rigged it so that it will swing shut on its own, which was a step beyond what I'd hoped to accomplish myself. I'm thrilled. Maybe I should make him a commemorative plaque to show my appreciation.

The Door Saga Continues, But with a Minor Resolution

Here in about five minutes, I'm going to have to call Sarcastro and admit that I can't fix my door myself, not because I don't know how to use tools or follow his eminently brilliant advice, but because I can't measure for shit and cannot shop. Here is Sarcastro's brilliant idea: the screws, as they knock around in the door, are making the holes in the door larger than the holes in the hinges, as I said, therefore, I should get me some little plastic anchors and sink them into the door holes and then run the screws through the hinges and into the door. Genius, right? Well, so, I go to Lowe's. I flirt with old men. I find the anchor that appears to fit the measurement I made for the hole. I'm not sure. I call Sarcastro. He's all going over the whole plan. I'm like no, I get the whole plan. I have no confidence in my abilities to execute the important details. He's all like, this is your chance to throw off the yoke of your patriarchal oppression and empower yourself by fixing the door. Don't fail now. I'm like, great, that will be very comforting when I've fucked this up. And, I was right. Failing for feminism sucks. Y'all. Here's another stupid thing I do. I take things like this as if they're indicative of some larger issue. I bought anchors slightly too large and I'm sitting here all like, this means I'm incompetent. In real life, it doesn't. It just means I need to go back and get some smaller anchors and, thus, some smaller screws. I wonder if this is a problem inherent with being an English major. In literature, if a character is always making 4 trips to the hardware store when she really could just make one if she knew what she was doing, it means something larger about her character and the themes of the novel. The author doesn't include little details like that without a larger reason. And I think I've gotten used to that, that I take this simple shit that's really not a big deal and I extrapolate from that something larger and more terrible about the state of my life. So, you know what? Fuck it. I'm not going to call Sarcastro and complain that I'm an idiot and don't know what I'm doing and beg him to help me. I'm just going to go back to Lowe's and get the right shit. If I have to call and beg for help, I want it to be because I can't both hold the door in place and put the screws in, not because I need someone to hold my hand in the store. *************** Also, I finally found the drain zipper things that Exador told me about many months ago, that's supposed to unclog your drains by, I guess, cutting up the hair stuck down there. I'm not sure. They come with a crazy warning about being careful to not cut yourself. Folks, I am so excited to be doing something potentially dangerous in my tub that I'm going to go try it before I head back to Lowe's.

Media Bias

S-town Mike has a good post today about the problem with Channel 2 making a big deal out of the fact that some recent protestors came from out of state and he wonders if the media ever asks conservative protestors where they're from. It's only tangentially related to my point, but if you can't use the internet to make spurious, yet interesting, connections, what can you use it for?* So, to my point--media bias. I already watch a shit-ton of news. But being on vacation? I'm up to my elbows in news. And I've been watching with an eye on whether television media is biased towards a liberal or conservative viewpoint. And, I have to say, I've noticed something even more disturbing than blatant political bias--television news is biased towards the stupid. Yesterday, we watched a cat fall out of a tree at least seven times. Today, MSNBC briefly mentioned that the IRS is going to expand the companies to which it sells our tax returns. I thought they were saying that the IRS was going to sell our information to these folks without our permission. The Butcher was under the impression that we could opt out of the program. This would seem to me to be the kind of story that could use a little explanation if two smart people are confused by your fifteen second story. But no, if the news were to do more than just mention it in passing, if it had to take another thirty seconds to clarify, we couldn't spend three minutes talking to the girl who found money in the walls of a house hit by Katrina. On national news. No wonder we're a nation of ill-informed idiots. *Yes, porn. Very funny, smart-asses.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Maybe I'm a Poltergeist!

So, we all know about the door. And there was the period of time earlier today when all the shit to the right there just vanished (when I republished, it came back). But get this, kids, I just blew every lightbulb in the downstairs except two. Went to the bathroom, flipped the switch--lightbulb blew. Went to the kitchen to do some dishes, flipped the switch--lightbulb blew. Turned on the light in the dining room/laundry room/narrow spot between here and the kitchen, and one bulb blew. Walked back under it and all of the rest of them blew. I'm afraid to go upstairs, because we don't have any more lightbulbs after I replace all the ones down here. Am I magic? Did I bring home something disgruntled from Puerto Rico? Do I have superpowers? I wonder if I can ask my neighbors to let me in their house to see if I have the same effect on their lightbulbs.

In Which I Confess My True Feelings for the Legal Eagle

Back when we were in college, I admit, I had a little crush on the Legal Eagle. Not as big as the crush I had on his brother, but they're a charming lot--the Eagles. Dangerously over-armed, all married to women with the same first name, prone to drunken inappropriateness, but charming nevertheless. And smart. How could I resist? It's funny because I knew both the Legal Eagle and the Shill in college, but they didn't really meet until our libertarian friend decided to run off to Asia, which was after I was already in grad school. I missed that meeting, though I hear that it happened while one of our friends was peeing himself while passed out drunk, so I'm always a little sorry I missed that party. That's how it is with the Shill, though. She's always almost doing things. She's almost going to show up for class on the day you have a joint report to give. She's almost going to meet her future husband, but she's shut herself up in another room with a boy who's got no future with her and doesn't know it yet. And so on. If she ever does anything, it always seems somewhat inadvertent. She sold me my first car, the beloved Cavalier, which I ran into the ground, literally. I bought it right after college and it died parked right out front here. Anyway, she sold me her car as some kind of afterthought before she ran away to New York City. Later, she was inadvertently dating our libertarian friend without knowing it. And now that I think about it, I'm not sure she even ever lived in the same city as the Legal Eagle before they got married. That was just a minor detail, not something to stand in the way of her doing what she wanted. And now? Now she's pregnant. I hear it happened inadvertently, which is exactly what I'd expect. I'm predicting that the baby will not be born at the hospital. I imagine she'll be at work, she'll go into labor, and she'll call the Legal Eagle and tell him to meet her at the hospital. Then, she'll decide she needs to call her mom or go for ice cream or, maybe, call Dr. Schultz and finally give her half of the presentation, and before you know it, it'll be some paramedic or taxi driver delivering the baby on the side of the road. Whatever happens, it's going to be hilarious and I cannot wait to hear about it over beers.

Congratulations are in Order

The Super Genius is getting married. This is so awesome I cannot even tell you. And she quotes Zora Neale Hurston as she explains why--"Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place."* Congratulations, old friend. I can't wait to dance at your wedding. *Good god damn. Does Hurston kick ass or what? As does the Super Genius.

Muddy Paws

Mrs. Wigglebottom and I just got home from the dog park. We went out to the Warner Park one, because it was raining and no one was there. At first, she didn't do anything differently than she usually does when we're out on walks; she stayed just a leash length away from me. But when I went to throw her poop away, she realized that we weren't hooked together and so she began to slowly gallop over the field. I threw some balls for her, which was hilarious. She'd get really excited to watch them arch in the air and then--plunk--they'd hit her right in the head and she'd wag her tail and stand over them and look at me with this huge grin. Who knows what the fuck is up with that, but it was funny. I already knew she was never going to be a dog that played fetch, because she never lets things go. But it was hilarious to see that she's also lousy at catch. She was enthusiastic about it, but lousy at it. I wish I felt better about having her around other dogs--I'm just so afraid that if anything goes wrong, she'll automatically be the guilty party, just by virtue of how she looks that I'm afraid to be there when other people are there--because I think she'd really like it. But it tickles me to see her making happy circles in the mud and waiting for me to toss tennis balls so that she can watch as they hit the ground around her.

The Orange Cat is Evil and Other Observations

Well, maybe it's both cats that are evil. The tiny cat was standing right by my head just staring at me this morning. I couldn't sleep with her looking at me so intently. It unsettles me. The Butcher also could not sleep. The orange cat had discovered that the animals were out of water and, in order to rectify the situation, dumped the Butcher's water onto the Butcher and all over his bed. The Butcher is now trying to sleep on the couch. I'm watching music videos. I'm wondering if The Pussycat Dolls aren't this generation's Spice Girls. Ha, Buddy Guy just said "I thought we were singing wrong lyrics until I heard some of those hip hop guys." Ooo. And John Mellencamp is on tour. The dog and I are going to take the Butcher to work and then we'll try to get up to something. I don't know what, but something. Hurray for vacation!

Monday, March 20, 2006

I'm a Mess

Here are the reasons I'm tempted to just go to bed right now and forget this day and try again tomorrow. 1. I've got this weird thing on my right arm. It's a little hard patch the size of my finger tip and on top of the hard patch are six really hard shiny round things. Sometimes they itch. They hurt when I poke at them. I cannot stop poking at them. 2. My lower legs itch. Really bad. Fortunately, it hurts so much to scratch them that I have not scratched them. There seem to be a few random hard shiny round things on them, too, but they don't map up to the itchy parts. 3. My face itches. Well, just my cheeks and my forehead. I think this may be the sunburn remnants, so I'm not too concerned, yet. 4. Work called and wanted me to deal with some mess. That ate up two hours. 5. I've done no dishes or laundry. Instead, I've played Roller Coaster Tycoon and sat by the dog and cried about how cute she is. There's no reason to cry about how cute she is, so clearly something internally is fucked up. Perhaps whatever alien insects are living subcutaniously in my arm have a soft spot for really cute dogs with big brown eyes who curl up on the couch and snore softly while you're trying to encourage 3,000 people to visit your amusement park. 6. The fucking door and, to that end, my completely ridiculous response to the Boy Scout's rational suggestion. Yes, America, I keep hoping someone will ride in on his white horse and rescue me from my shitty self. Yes, I know that's utterly stupid, but fuck it. I'm entitled to a shitty fantasy or two. 7. Me. God damn. I used to write about things that scared the shit out of me here, because it did me such good to name them and drag them out into the light of day and just get them out of me, because they sit in here, these things I fear, and they spoil on me in ways that are really bad for me. But I've been pretending lately that I'm all competent and together and smart and thoughtful and tough and strong and I am those things, don't get me wrong, but because I really want you to think of me that way, I've been writing only about those things. Part of it has to do with losing my anonymity--not that most of you didn't already know who I was. I keep telling myself that, that you knew who I was anyway. But it still shook me. Knowing that you have a name to put with these words made me want to put my best self forward to you, instead of my most honest. Before, I felt like I could say things to you because I could draw a clear line between how I presented myself in real life and how I presented myself here. I'm still angry that someone else got to choose to conflate those two things and not me. And clearly, it a move intended to scare me and knock me off my game and I'm pissed that it worked. And I'm pissed that it's taking me so long to get back into the groove of really enjoying writing here, because being able to write here is important to me. How can I know what I think if I don't sit down and think it? So, here's the thing. I'm jealous of people who have people they can count on, who can just call out "hey, I need help with the door" and someone comes to help. And I'm tired of feeling like I'm only barely competent when it comes to the ordinary things that people do--like home repair and car repair and doing the laundry and cleaning the bathroom--and I'm afraid that I'll always be the only one I can count on to do those things anyway. And the worst part is that I also know that there are at least three people I could call right now and say "Hey, I need help with the door," and any one of them would come and help me. So what the fuck is my problem? Why can't I ask for help when I need it and accept it graciously when offered? Why must I live my life like a delicious chocolate cake laced with toothpicks? Heh, delicious chocolate cake laced with toothpicks... Fuck it. That's pretty damn funny.

Who Will Fix My Door This Time?

I know March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, but this March seems to be storming around like a drunken boy friend who's sure I'm in here fucking around on him and he's going to break the god damn door down if he has to. Now the door is attached to my home by the latch and one last hinge. It's not so much "shut" as it is propped up in a closed position. But at least it is closed, which is an improvement over how it was a few minutes ago, flapping wildly in the breeze as the dohicky* that has the thingy that slides in and out that is supposed to keep the door shut bent in such a way that it now instead holds the door open. Or did until I took the pin out. So, now the door is holding on by one hinge and the dohicky is flapping freely in the wind. I'd call the landlord, but this is an ongoing problem with the door and my repairs to it have always been more successful than his. I've never had a bent dohicky before, though, and I'm not sure what to do now. Replace the dohicky? Replace the whole door? At least replace the screws that came out of the hinges, right? *I believe this is the technical name.

Left Hand Vs. Right Hand

The Butcher has spent the morning shooting darts. It's totally making me laugh. He's playing himself--left hand versus right hand. And the right hand is winning, but not by an overwhelming amount. So, the Butcher is busy giving pep talks to the left hand, reminding that hand that it's got to make a good show, so that it can prove that the Butcher is not dominated by the tyranny of the right hand. He told me that he was inspired by The Princess Bride and wants to get good enough left handed that he can regularly beat people so that if he meets someone who's a little better than him, he can switch hands and win. That boy cracks me up. Though I remain confused why we still have the dart board, as I thought it was supposed to be a gift for the recalcitrant brother. I guess it just goes to show that if you never come to visit us, we'll just keep your shit.

Vacation Day 1

Plan: Sleep late. Take dog to park, maybe, depending on how late I slept. Call the Professor and see what she's been up to. Go back to bed. Reality: I'm wide awake and it's only 6:30. I wonder if it's too early to call the Professor. And I guess I need to do some laundry, as all my clothes got run over by some airport vehicle and covered in deodorant.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My Late Reply to the Uncle and Kleinheider

My god. I leave the continent for five seconds and return to find that Say Uncle and Kleinheider both have used the time to argue against me and remain unrefuted by me. Well, I'm back and, boys, I've got some questions. For the Uncle: 1. Tubal pregnancies can't be carried to term. Is ending those pregnancies "heinous, disgusting and deplorable"? 2. Is it "heinous, disgusting and deplorable" for a doctor to abort one fetus in order to give its twin a better shot at making it to term? 3. Is it "heinous, disgusting and deplorable" to abort a fetus with disabilities that will mean that it will die a horrible and painful death shortly after being born? For Kleinheider: 1. You say
However, abortion is violence. It is murder. Once you have established that, as Uncle seems to, the negotiation must stop. At that point you must stand on principle and find a way to accept and/or alleviate the consequences of a prohibition that is morally and ethically necessary.
What is the proper punishment for women who have abortions? Life in prison or the death penalty? 2. You still have not addressed my concern that you don't believe that women can have full citizenship. So, I'll bring it up again. If a fetus has a right to life that ALWAYS trumps the right of the woman to do with her own body what she likes--including not carrying a pregnancy to term--you are saying that women have rights only as long as they don't infringe on the rights of the fetus. There is no other group of people singled out by the law and told that their rights can ALWAYS be curtailed by another group. Your position leaves no room for the woman's rights to ever trump the rights of the fetus, therefore making me a different, lesser kind of citizen than you. Maybe you believe this--that the state has such a compelling need to control what happens in a woman's uterus, that women cannot be citizens to the extent that men can, but I'd appreciate you saying this out loud. If you believe that women are equal under the law to men, how can you abide by the state controlling one of her internal organs?

I Did Fly through the Bermuda Triangle...

Orlando is some kind of hell, where parents and bratty children go to spend an eternity crammed into a small basement at the airport waiting to be herded onto a small plane and, then, hopefully, home. For those of us who are childless, it's not quite so hellish, more like a terrible seemingly-endless heck. But finally, I got settled in my seat on the plane, and just as I was wondering if the woman who had been screaming at her son, blaming him for losing their tickets, would make the plane, one of the baggage handlers came up to me and said, "Ms. Pants? Ms. Pants. There's no easy way to tell you this." And, World, I'm sorry, but I come from a land where the phone ringing after 9:30 or officials with worried faces means only that someone is dead. And so my heart leaped into my chest and I grabbed the arm rest, ready to hear that my life was ruined, that I had lost the Butcher. So, when she said that my suitcase had been run over by something, possibly a plane, all I could do was laugh. "That's all?" I asked. "It appears everything is there." "Well, then," I said, "what can you do? That kind of stuff happens." It'd be something if that were the weirdest thing that happened on my trip, but I called Sarcastro on Friday to see how the Wayward Boy Scout's visit was going. They were busy punching each other in the head. In traffic. Driving down Charlotte, punching each other in the head. Grown-ass men. I am sorry I missed that. The Wayward (or Semi-Reformed, I guess) Boy Scout offered to meet me at the airport today. Of course, he did not. Odin in the Havamal gives a long list of things one should not trust, including "the bed-talk of a woman, or a broken sword, the playing of a bear, or a king's child, a sick calf, an independent-minded slave, a seer who prophesies good, a newly killed corpse." To that, we'd be wise to add "the suggestions of a drunken married man." Shoot, if you could rely on the suggestions of any drunken man, I'd be married myself four or five times over. That's neither here nor there. I just wanted to give our semi-reformed Boy Scout a little trouble, as I have two new boob freckles and I'll probably only get to show them to Sarcastro's sugar momma before they fade. Anyway, where were we? My suitcase. Clearly, it was run over by something. But the only damage was to my deodorant, which was decimated. Everything else seems fine. And they gave me a snazzy new suitcase, so who can complain?