Friday, September 30, 2005

Indisputable Evidence

I was hoping that it wouldn't come to this, but I see now that I'm going to have to scientifically* prove that II is a better album that Physical Graffiti--by using math**. 1. Number of songs: II has 9. (+9) PG has 15. (+15) 2. Number of songs that blatantly rip off awesome blues songs and artists that I love: II has "Whole Lotta Love"--originally Willie Dixon's "You Need Love" "The Lemon Song"--borrows from Howlin' Wolf and Robert Johnson "Moby Dick"--Sleepy John Estes*** "Bring it on home"--Willie Dixon (+4) PG has "Custard Pie"--Sleepy John Estes "In My Time of Dying"--Blind Willie Johnson (+2) 3. Songs with lyrics that make Dungeons & Dragons players or Lord of the Rings fans wet: II has "It's to a castle I will take you" and "How years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air. It was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. But Gollum and the evil one crept up, and slipped away with her." So, that's "castle," "magic," "Mordor," and "Gollum" (-4). PG has "Converse the planet, when heaven send me, I saw the kings who rule them all" and "Is the new world rising, from the shambles of the old?" and "From the door comes Satan's daughter" and "There's an angel on my shoulder. In my hand a sword of gold" and "I am a traveler of both time and space" and "sit with elders of a gentle race" which gives us "conversing with planets," "heaven sending people places," "kings," "new worlds," "Satan's daughter," "angels," "swords," "time traveler," "space traveler," and "sitting with elders of a gentle race" (which really ought to count for two, but I'll have mercy on this crappy album) adding up to (-10) 4. Best Led Zeppelin song ever: II has "Whole Lotta Love" (+1) PG does not (0) 5. Best opening to an album: II has the ba-dump-ba-dump-ba-dump etc. (+1) PG does not (0) I won't belabor the point. Obviously, by a score of 11 to 7, II is a better album than Physical Graffiti. You can't argue with math. * Well, you know, scientific in the same sense that Intelligent Design is scientific. **America, if numbers are good enough to prove that Bill Bennett is an idiot, numbers are good enough to prove that I'm right about this. ***The more I think about this, the less comfortable I am with it as a claim, so maybe it's 10 to 7, but still a substantial lead.

Not that You Asked Me

Mr. Roboto--or I guess the Ghost of Mr. Roboto--points out today that All the Rage, the corporate alternative to our alternative corporate newspaper, now has an advice column. And, wow, does it stink. Ladies, there probably could not be a shittier advice columnist than Terrance Dean and yet, there he is getting paid to give you advice. Well, let me give you a bit of free advice--whatever he says, don't do it. Let's take this gem from yesterday. So, Normal in Nashville writes that her fiance dumped her because her vagina is too large. She writes specifically that "It takes me a long time to orgasm, but I do, especially when he touches me in the way that I ask." What does Dean tell her? That she should have worked harder to please him in bed. Yes, you read that right. His inability to give her an orgasm is some kind of punishment for her not using her psychic powers to discern that he needed more variety in their sex life. Mr. Dean, let's just talk frankly here, you and me. Look at that sentence that I quoted: it takes the woman a long time to orgasm, but she does "especially when he touches me in the way that I ask." You don't have to be a genius to see what the problem is. Her fiance doesn't know what the hell he's doing. All the skimpy negligees, all the lunchtime trysts, all the unpredictable stuff in the world isn't going to solve the problem that her man sucks in bed and that, rather suck it up and do what it takes to bring her to orgasm, he blames her vagina for his problems. So, don't be blaming her even more, like she just wasn't trying hard enough. She just fucking told you she has trouble coming to orgasm purely through vaginal intercourse and that, if her man touched her how she asked (i.e. played with her clit), she could come. Who's at fault here? Her? Or her idiot fiance who couldn't let go of his ego enough to do what made her happy, but instead blamed her anatomy for his poor performance. Here's the advice poor Normal in Nashville should have gotten: 1. Masturbate. Often and with various techniques. If you don't know with great certainty what makes you orgasm, you'll have a hard time communicating to your partners what you need them to do. 2. Talk to your partners about what you need during sex with a lot of positive reinforcement. Yes, yes, yes. More. Like that but lower. Whatever. 3. Check in with your doctor to make sure everything's working how it should. She will probably recommend some Kegel exercises, even if everything else checks out okay. 4. You look that sorry-assed excuse for a coward--who would ask you to marry him and then not have the balls to go through with it because he can't bring himself to pleasure you in bed--right in the face and say "It's not that my vagina is too big. Clearly, your penis is too small." Then call all your friends and tell them. Mention it to your hair dresser. Get a shirt made at Cafepress that says "My ex-fiance has the tiniest penis ever. " And don't feel bad about it for a second. You're better off without that fucktard.

Egad, Bill Bennett is a Moron. Obviously, We Need to Talk Seriously about Aborting Males

Maybe dining with the Libertarians has tainted me, but when I think about the fact that my hard-earned tax dollars paid this idiot's salary under Reagan* and Bush I, it makes me want to punch someone. All right, let's take this slowly for the idiot ex-Secretary of Education. You, Bill Bennett, said: "But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down" and then went on to say that such a suggestion was "an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky." People got pissed off. You defended yourself by saying, according to Yahoo, that your "comments had been mischaracterized and that [your] point was that the idea of supporting abortion to reduce crime was 'morally reprehensible.'" No, idiot Bill, people got pissed off because you suggested that aborting BLACK children would reduced crime, thus feeding into the widely-held belief that black people are all criminals and that most crime is committed by black people and that getting rid of black people--if that were possible--would reduce crime. But, let's go to the numbers, America. For instance, I'm looking at the DOJ's 2002 statistics and the numbers tell a different, albeit interesting, story. Seventy percent of all federal arrests that year were of white people. Forty-four percent of the violent crime arrests were white people. Almost seventy percent of the federal arrests for drugs were of white people. Should we encourage white women to have abortions to reduce crime? It would reduce crime as much if not more than suggesting, even satirically (As dear Krumm believes Bennett was being), that aborting black babies is a solution, albeit a far-out one, to our crime "problem." This would be a "solution," but a more effective solution presents itself in this number: 86% of the people arrested by the Feds are men. FBI numbers on state law enforcement show a similar state: 70 percent of arrestees in 2003 were white, 60 percent of the violent crime arrests were white people, AND 76.8 percent of all arrests were of men--82.2 percent of the violent crime arrests. Clearly, if we drastically reduce the number of men in America, we'll make a much more effective dent in our crime rates than considering how "tricky" it would be to implement the "morally-reprehensible" option of aborting all black fetuses. As happy as white male Bob Krumm is to defend white male Bill Bennett's position--"Bennett is unfortunately correct that aborting every black child in America would reduce crime. Instead of being shocked that he said it, we should be shocked that it's true."--I eagerly await Krumm's insight into what we can do to make men behave themselves and sharing a hearty laugh with him over the thought experiment of aborting all male fetuses in order to reduce crime. I mean, really, why should we even consider forcing black women to abort their fetuses, when the obvious solution is to just ask all American women to sacrifice their male babies for the good of the nation? *Okay, actually, I don't think I had taxable income during the Reagan years, but let's ignore that.

Things that I Didn't Do at Dinner with the Libertarian Elite

So, I went to dinner with the Libertarian Elite. As usual, I was nervous as hell. Right here is why I could never get a small dog, because, though I appear all calm, cool, and collected, internally, I'm yapping and shaking and pissing on the floor. There can't be two of us. As you know, the chances of me doing something utterly stupid and off-putting are very high when I'm that nervous. Some of you even made suggestions for stupid and off-putting things I could do. So, here are the top ten things I thought I might do or you thought I should do, which I did not. 1. I didn't ask "Women Libertarians? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?" as the Butcher thought I should. 2. I didn't ask "Are there Libertarians outside of Chicago?" as the Professor's cute guy thought I should. 3. I didn't get there thirty minutes early and sit in my car and read a book, so that I could both be sure I was there and not sit in the restaurant by myself. 4. I flashed no one--not even the waiter. 5. I showed no one my cute boob freckle. I know! I'm always whipping that puppy out when I get nervous like "Yeah, I'm a total nerdy dork, but look at this and love it. How bad can I be with a cute boob freckle like this?" (Though I did wear a shirt in which I could do that, if it came to that.) 6. I didn't kick anyone's ass. 7. I did not wait until the most unlikely moment to stand up at the table, throw down my napkin, and say "I can't share a table with anyone who doesn't like II better than Physical Graffiti." 8. I did not let the Professor's cute boy sit at a nearby table. Nor did I let him come over about halfway through, say something very suggestive, and escape with me. 9. I didn't order the most spicy thing on the menu. 10. No Libertarian orgy... though I'm not sure how that would work anyway, since they're all about everyone taking care of themselves first. Can Libertarians have orgies? Or does everyone just sit around and masturbate while contemplating all the people living off the Taxpayers' Teat? Anyway, I had a very nice time and I think they had a nice time and no one got mad and there weren't any fights, since we had a lot of common ground, as their quiz suggested we might.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Back from Lunch Early

The guy down the hall took me to Ted's for lunch. As always, I'm up for some large game animal in patty form. But we got back early and now the office seems to be channeling Peg. Some folks are walking around barefoot. I'm trying to convince my boobs to be cuter--perkier, less excited about seeing what my knees are up to. Someone is singing and someone else is fighting with UPS. Now, the police are here*. But the most important thing is that this marks the second opportunity today I've had to drive my car. Oh, car, how I've missed you and that feeling of freedom you give me, even when you only have a quarter of a tank of gas. *Apparently there's some law about whipping out and lecturing your tits in public... No, I kid, the police are here on a totally benign mission. Though the whole thing reminds me of an important lesson I learned at the Tin Roof one evening right after it first opened: Just because there are two bachelorette parties getting drunk some place, that's no guarantee that the man in a police uniform who comes up to one of their tables is a stripper and no matter how drunk you and your cousin are, the two of you should not try to unbutton his shirt.

Why the Butcher's Getting Searched at the Airport

You know, I used to think I only needed two things to be happy--a car with a V-8 and a hound dog. Well, I've got 6 and a pitbull and I realize that the car and the dog are important, but what I really need to be happy is some gas money. America, I was trying to take the Butcher to the airport, but I really just wanted to drive out and see what was going on in the rest of the state. Instead, I'm headed into the shower and back to work. Anyway, here are the reasons why I bet the Butcher's getting searched at the airport. 1. Single male traveling alone. 2. One way. 3. On a ticket purchased with a credit card not his. 4. No checked baggage. 5. Awesome, yet strange, moustache. 6. Wearing a lightweight straw pith helmet 7. And a blue leisure suit. God, I love that boy. Blue leisure suit. He rules.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Google, Don't be that way

Dear Google, Liar, liar, pants on fire. I don't blame you for lying. You've done something very stupid and you want to back out of it in a way that still lets you keep your brilliant idea. Let us imagine what this might have looked like, had you gone about it the right way: "Hello, Publishing World. I am Google, a vast search engine that makes all kinds of nifty things findable on the web. Imagine how awesome it would be if people could search the content of your books on Google. Imagine how awesome it would be someone typed in a phrase--say "Gertrude Stein criticism"--and relevant phrases from your book popped up in the search list. Now, the searcher won't be able to see the whole book, but they'll see enough to know if the book would be useful to them and we'll give them ways to then buy the whole book. "What? You think that's a great idea? You're sending me books right now? Well, thanks Publishing world." Now, let's reminisce on how you really did it: "Hey, Libraries, wouldn't it be awesome if people could search every book in your collection through Google? Yeah, I know, it'd totally rock. So, why don't you start sending me all the books you've got and I'll totally start scanning them in? I mean, you own the books, right, so you can like totally do whatever you want with them, right? "Aw, fuck, you know what, Libraries? I wonder if you actually own the right to make copies of all these books. I mean 'copyright' being, literally, 'the right to make copies' and all. Shit, I wonder if you can really give me permission to make these copies so that I can do what I want with them... Well, best not to think about it too hard. I'm sure once the Publishing World sees how awesome this is going to be, they totally won't care." Well, surprise, the Publishing world like totally does care. Don't get me wrong. It's a brilliant idea. But the fact is that the premise of your brilliant idea was contingent on you and libraries agreeing to intellectual property theft. Excuse the Publishing World if they're a little distrustful of you now, especially since you've never come out and said, "Shit, we have a great idea, but we totally went about it the wrong way. Sorry. Please let us try to do this right." And really, attacking people who distrust you after you've given them every reason to distrust them is really distasteful. The Publishing World is ready to get on-board with your brilliant idea if you'll just calm the fuck down, stop acting so defensive and say you're sorry and have learned from your mistake. Love, Aunt B.

"This disgusting trade in human misery"

So, you can go to Chris Wilson's website and look at naked women--wives and girlfriends of the men who post them--and dead Iraqis. Apparently, the military is taking the matter seriously, because soldiers using Army equipment to take pictures of dead folks would violate the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. What the fuck ever. Let's get on to the more important fact: the website "offers access to online pornography in exchange for corpse photos." Wrap your head around this, America. On this site, a picture of a corpse will get you a picture of some fucktard's naked woman. You can exchange a photo of a dead person for a photo of a naked woman. Really, there could not be any more apt description of this than a "disgusting trade in human misery." Do all of these women know that their images are being passed around the internet? Is that the fate they intended for those images when they sat before the camera? As you all know, I like porn as much as the next person. Yes, I know all of the feminist reasons against it and I, in theory, agree with them, but you know, at the end of the day, if everyone is consenting and no one's getting hurt, more power to you. But one of the things that scares a lot of feminists, and me, is how violent some pornography is--how closely it links women who look scared and appear to be in pain with men's pleasure.* Well, though this is not the same thing, shit, I don't know how much more closely you can link pornography and violence than having a place where men can both look at pictures of naked women and corpses. Which leads me to my next question. I can understand why you'd want to look at naked bodies. And, honestly, I can see why you'd want to look at photos of bodies in various states of deadness. But looking at them both together? Exchanging one for the other? I'm not a man, so, at the end of the day, I don't know how it works for y'all. But for me, thinking about sex and being turned on by images of people fucking sets off entirely different parts of my brain than looking at images of dead people. One gives me pleasure. One causes me great distress. I would not want to look at both of them at the same time. And I have really grave concerns about exactly what type of people would. Of course, the vast majority of folks are probably not looking at both at the same time. They upload their dead folks and download their porn or visa versa and the two things never quite link up in their minds. But god, the thought of the few of them who look at both, together, who see all of those bodies as bodies made available to them without the owners' consent--without the owners even being able to consent--and they see the sex and violent deaths all as part of one great big fucked up source of pleasure. That makes me sick and really scares me. *Some anti-porn folks claim this is always an undercurrent in pornography, the implicit power the viewer has to see a bunch of women who otherwise would not consent to show him their bodies naked. I'll acknowledge that I suspect there's something to that, but I'm not comfortable completely linking implicit power with inherent violence.

Yes, I am a broken record

Shaun Groves writes this morning about Ashley Smith. Apparently, in her book, she admits that she supplied Brian Nichols with crystal meth. Shit, I was wondering how she got him to listen to her read that sappy, drivel, The Purpose Driven Life. But that explains it: he was on drugs. Anyway, back to my point: so what? So she's a drug-addled whack job. Does that mean her faith is somehow invalid? That she was wrong about being used by her god? Does the Christian god ever wait around for perfect people? No, on this point, he and I are in agreement. The superheroes aren't coming. He's not sitting back and waiting for you to get your shit together in order to put you to work. He's got adulterers leading kingdoms, drunks building ships, unmarried pregnant teens giving birth to gods--he's not waiting for people to deserve whatever he's got in mind. Christians, your god chooses the most unlikely people to do the most important things. He can certainly use a meth user to talk down a killer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A blog like any other

Sorry, America, I have this long involved rant about S&M scenes and what they can teach us about how we deal with each other and reciprocity with the divine, but I'm frazzled from being back in the office and just can't put my thoughts together in any meaningful way. Let's just say, as usual, I'm interesting and absolutely right. Meanwhile, I'm going to do what everyone else does and send you elsewhere. Check this shit out: The Rug Designer seems to have somehow given birth to a member of my family. Note the way her son failed to realize he'd graduated. Who else but someone related to me could manage that? I'll see you at family reunions, Rug Designer! A.C. Kleinheider is interesting and not just because he proved the cutie rule in reverse, but also because he asks the obvious question about the Kitten Killer. How the hell is Frist going to salvage a political career out of this mess? The man kills kittens; diagnoses people from hundreds of miles away... excuse me, wrongly diagnoses people from hundreds of miles away; says one thing, gets chastised by the White House, comes back tail between his legs and says another; and now supposedly miraculously sells his stock in his family's business before it goes down the toilet. The republicans have made him their dog, and, to make a broad generalization, if there's one thing conservatives won't forgive, it's any sign of weakness, so I don't see him getting much support there, and he lacks the charisma and charm that appeals to independents. Being the President is out, though he should run. That would be good fun. But Kleinheider thinks he may try to stay in the Senate and I have to agree that it's probably his only option, if he wants to stay in Washington. Fritz has a lovely photo of another favorite White House whipping boy (Yes, I did bring this post full-circle, back to the S&M stuff. No need to applaud; it's just a gift I have.). Some day there will be an explanation as to why a male prostitute had such access to the White House. I, for one, hope that explanation includes the words "Karl Rove" and "passionate romance." All right, I'm off to scrounge up some dinner and stir up some trouble.

Vinny Testaverde

I'm delighted to see Vinny Testaverde back in the news. God, I love him. Not because he's a great quarterback. I have no idea if he is or not. I don't give a shit about football. No, I love him because, inevitably, a football question will come up in Trivial Pursuit and at least a third of the time, "Vinny Testaverde" is the answer. I always answer "Vinny Testaverde" to football questions I don't know. One out of three times, I look like a genius, like I have some obscure knowledge of the New York Jets, or the Browns, or the Buccaneers, or even the Cowboys. Plus, Vinny Testaverde does not look like Sloth, from The Goonies, unlike some old Cowboys quarterbacks I could name. What's not to love?

Halloween Attire

I just want to point out that Flea has the greatest shirts ever--yes, even greater than Tiny Cat Pants shirts--available at her website. Yes, she sells sex toys and awesome t-shirts. Could there be any more perfect confluents of stuff I need to spend my money on? I don't think so. Anyway, look for me around town in my National Organization of Witches t-shirt. I'll be the girl with the wiggly dog.

The Neighborhood

So, the rooster is still there. As much as I'd be pissed off if I had to live next door to it, I have to tell you that it delights me when I'm just walking by. Mrs. Wigglebottom is awesome. No, really. This morning a big dog barked and lunged at her and she turned and gave him a look like "I'd totally take you out, motherfucker, but I'm on a walk. I can't be bothered." (I'm going to run around all day practicing that look: "I could kill you dead, but I'm busy.") Yes, the girl who just two weeks ago was still acting like a guest on Jerry Springer every time we saw another dog has somehow decided that collected and bad-ass is a more appropriate posture for walking. Hurray! Also, the strange quasi-medieval apartments are almost done and yesterday the landscaping started to take form. They will be trimmed in pipe-cleaner shaped evergreens. No word yet on whether the bus stop sign will continue to be obscured by rogue morning glories as a part of the greenscape or if someone will eventually weed whack that mess. Also, there seemed to be thousands of cats out this morning. Many of them were looking back over their shoulders at us, so we appeared to be scrutinized by a series of very angry, furry s-es. (If you are familiar with cats, I trust you know how they appear to twist themselves into various letters of the alphabet.) When I was visiting JR and Elias, we figured out that Mrs. Wigglebottom is not merely months older than the littlest nephew, as I've been thinking, but actually almost two years older than him. The recalcitrant brother got the dog in the spring before my parents moved. She was already five or six months old. They moved in June. That next winter, the littlest nephew was conceived and born in the late fall. The dog moved in with us in December, probably just having turned two. Therefore, since the littlest nephew is about to turn four, the dog is about to turn six. Yes, six. Just now at six, she's starting to behave herself on walks. Ah, well.

Monday, September 26, 2005

In Defense of Kate Moss

Well, I hate to see that Kate Moss's only defender seems to be Naomi Campbell. I mean, really. Kate Moss uses drugs. Big surprise. Why is everyone acting so shocked? Of course Moss uses drugs. Supermodels don't just spring forth from the earth that thin. You get that thin by not eating. You stomach self-imposed starvation by doing drugs. If you are a company that wants to show off your products by placing them on tall, skinny women with gaunt spacy looks, it only makes sense to hire drugged out models. That's the easiest way to get skinny, gaunt, and spacy. We all know slim women who are slim because they eat well and exercise. They don't look vapid and scare-crow-esqe and they are not supermodels. So, what's interesting about this whole incident is not Moss's drug use, which is hardly surprising, but the rapid response of the companies she was working for, who fired her, not because she was using drugs, which clearly, they had to know, but because she got caught using drugs. I really wonder how much of this is punishment--not for the drug use directly--but for letting the illusion slip. In order for advertising to work, it must create in us a need and then provide us with the means to fill that need. Burberry, for instance, wants us to buy their clothing, so their advertisements show glamorous women and men wearing their clothing. We're supposed to look at those images, wish we had lives like that, and think to ourselves "maybe if I owned that coat, I could have a life like that girl, at least a little bit. I, too, could be thin and pretty and stylish and have a jaunty boyfriend with a dog." But there's Moss, making it obvious that, if you want to be like that girl, it's going to take more than the coat; it's going to take a wicked coke habit. So, she's kicked to the curb, not for her drug use, exactly, but because her drug use reveals the many ways in which the stuff she advertises can't even give her the kind of life the advertisements promise.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Renewed Sense of Optimism

As you probably noticed, before I went away, I was feeling a little burnt out on having public opinions. I mean, really, what was left to say about Katrina or our misguided idiocy in Iraq or our failure to find Osama bin Laden or whatever that hadn't already been said? The thing I like about Blogistan--that everyone shares their opinions on the exact same things--is also the thing I hate about it. And sometimes it feels very much like you're just shouting into the wind. But I've been thinking a lot about hope. I've been trying to formulate some ideas about hope, but I haven't really come up with anything coherent. Hope is, on its surface, an utterly stupid thing. It only thrives in uncertainty and most people hate uncertainty. ***** Let me try to get at this another way. I've also been thinking about life versus not-life and how many of us focus all of our attention on not-life, on denying or vilifying the very accoutrements of life. Think of how much our culture trains us to turn our backs on life. Just think for a minute how often you hear that the things you enjoy are "bad" for you. Too much TV, too much food, too much sex, too much sitting on the couch. If you walk, you should be jogging. If you jog, you're hurting your knees. Your own self is not good enough; hack it open, break it apart, expand this part, reduce that part. But over all, don't trust your own experiences. If you aren't suffering, you aren't doing it right. If you aren't sufficiently suffering, you don't deserve help. We reward suffering and punish enjoying life. ***** Think of how many churches teach you to turn your back on life and put all your faith in being rewarded in the afterlife. Of course, the afterlife and not-life walk hand in hand. ***** "Choose life," the anti-abortionists say. But how many actually have? How many have not placed their hope in some place they believe to be better than this? Some place not life? ***** I think of this, too, with the abstinence-only crowd, how anti-life that world-view is. How it denies pleasure, denies connection, denies life itself. It's this twisted world-view that sees pleasure as inherently evil and children as the proper punishment for sex. But clearly, the default is pleasure and happiness. The default is pregnancy and children and fucking, fucking, fucking. None of these things is evil. And yet, of course, those things are not always desired. And so we take active steps to prevent them. We stop the pregnancies; we use birth control; we are careful about when we have sex and with whom; we wait until we are married; we don't have sex at all. But that--abstinence--is not the default. It's the most extreme choice we can make. Self-discipline we call it, this learning to deny ourselves pleasure and happiness, learning to deny ourselves life. ***** The certainty of the not-life crowd has no use for hope. Everything is already known. On the other hand, life and hope are intimately entwined. If one chooses life, then one always has hope. This time, things might be better. And why not? Nothing is certain. There are always exceptions. ***** The scariest way most people choose not-life is to say "If I might have to sometimes say 'no,' I refuse to ever say yes." ***** I think that's my problem with operating on a metaphor of economy. Is it "worth" it to invest money in public education, for example? Is it "worth" it to make college education as widely available as possible? In a purely economic sense, no. Most people don't make the most of their opportunities, so continuing to supply them with opportunities is a "waste." And yet, clearly, that's not sound social policy. ***** Life versus not-life. Whether you're going to invest in the present or whether you're hording your resources for the future. The problem with the future is that it's such a slippery thing. The present is, instead, always with us. Hope, I think, straddles those two places in ways that make both those of us who live in the present and those of us who live for the future uncomfortable because hope lives both places. Hope says, "I can make a choice now that will change things, and in ways I can't know." Operating from a position of hope is hard, then, because hope requires uncertainty. It exists only because most of the time it is dashed. And yet, those times when hope triumphs are magnificent enough to make hope very worth-while. ***** Anyway, obviously, this is going someplace. I don't know where, yet, but it's churning around in my brain. So, we'll be back to it, I sure.

The Cutie Rule and Other Things

1. Hurray for the park! I've missed the park and it's filled with beautiful and fragrant wildflowers at the moment. I've also missed walking Mrs. Wigglebottom, but she was acting like a giant doofus, so for most of the walk we played "Who's in charge here?" which was not as much fun as our usual walks. Still, a happy dog rolling in the grass... as the song says, if there's anything better in the world, who cares? 2. I forgot to tell y'all that crazy folks ride their bikes all over Colorado--on the top of the national parks, on the interstates, through the streets, etc. Listen, if you have a desire to take your bike up on the highest road you can fine, with nothing between you and a giant cliff on one side and cars on the other but a slim stretch of gravel, you are a nut. In case you were wondering. 3. Elias and the Legal Eagle both have names that have the letters i and e in the first syllable. For as long as I've known either of them, it's been impossible for me to remember which order the e and i came in. The sound is "ee" and both of them have names that start with letters that regularly make an "ee" sound when followed by an e--like "he" or "we"--and so, the confusion. But, here's the important and brilliant question Elias asked me--"How do you spell cutie?" Voila! Using the cutie rule, I can now remember with ease how to spell their last names. 4. Baking soda all over the affected carpet has had an immediate and positive effect on the musty smell in our house. 5. Get this! The Butcher--who is not, unlike the recalcitrant brother, a plumber by trade--is actually the one who fixed our leak. He climbed into the ground and turned the main water thingy off himself and repaired the pipe himself and got everything turned on and working again himself. Seriously, that man could not be any more awesome, unless he'd actually washed the towels he used for mopping.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

America, I ask you for very little

But today, I really do need your help. 1. Is it better, if the weather it hot and humid, to dry out the carpet by opening up the house and running fans or shutting up the house and turning on the air and running fans? I'm of the opinion that it's better to run the air because air conditioned placed tend not to be humid and so air conditioners must help with stuffiness, right? 2. The smell. Please. It smells musty and unfortunate. Will anything help? Will it ever go away? Please advise, America. Love, Aunt B.

I'm Back

I'm home. The house smells and is a mess. There are towels draped all over furniture in the back yard and someone, I think, is trying to mow the lawn, but I'm too tired to face my landlord and I haven't yet talked to the Butcher and I want to present a unified front. So, I'm hiding here at the computer. Will it smell like this forever? God, I hope not.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Chopsticks Stop Working

Last night, I was picking up sushi with ease and suddenly my perfectly formed California roll was in pieces on my plate. "Yeah," JR said, "You always reach a point where the chopsticks just stop working for you." That, my friends, is the point at which I am. I got lost on my way to my morning appointment--very lost--for no good reason. I've been navigating my way around new places all week with no problem. Here, in a city I now have a feel for, I'm utterly disoriented. I want to be home. I want to sleep in my own bed with Mrs. Wigglebottom curled up under my butt. I want to eat cereal for breakfast and I'm about done trying to figure out how to stay hydrated. I want to see the Butcher and watch his face as he tells me about the flood. I want to tell him about the mountains. And how I finally found my morning appointment, and I was early, so I sat in a rocking chair in the sun and realized I was done being gone.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Last night I had a weird dream that I was drowned in a few inches of water and then took Mrs. Wigglebottom to the beach, where she behaved pretty well until the last second, when some jackass wouldn't put his dog on a leash and Mrs. Wigglebottom had to warn that dog away. This morning, I got out of the shower and the phone was wringing. It was the Butcher, calling to tell me that the downstairs was flooded. I don't think the dream was a premonition. I think it just seared itself into my conscious mind because of that phone call. After he called, I called the Professor and asked her to go over and help him. I hope he doesn't mind. I'm frazzled and wishing I could be at home at the same time I'm glad it's not my problem to figure out where the shop vac is coming from. One thing that always strikes me when I travel--overhearing people who handle uncertainty even worse than I do--is that we're all fucked up. Deeply fucked up. We cling too tightly to things that don't matter and don't pay enough attention to the things that do. And yet... And yet, I'm struck by how profoundly generous people can be and how brave and open. Again, as I say all the time, there are no perfect people, no superheros who get to act while the rest of us just sit on the sidelines and watch. There's just you and me--the boy who shuts off the water; the girl who watches the dog and hopes for better things; the kids going to college for the first time in the family... My favorite stories are about rag-tag bands of misfits who set off on adventures. And it occurs to me, over and over again, that we are all those misfits, banding together, and this is our adventure.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Unbeknownst to Them, the Libertarian Elite about Kills Me

America, as you may recall, the Libertarian Elite were patronizing the hell out of me for not knowing what Pad Thai was, among other things. Well, the Progressives could not let the insult stand, so tonight we went out for Thai. Elias ordered. Later, his face appeared to be melting off. I couldn't be sure, though, because I was crying. Three times the proprietors of the restaurant came to check on us. "Very spicy," they said, snickering and pouring more water. The soup we had was so hot that I thought it would kill me. And yet, so tasty that I kept eating it. Now, I'm laying here wondering if I'll start to hallucinate, because the only other time I've ever felt this way--hot, unfocused, hyper-alert--was after dropping acid. Err, allegedly dropping acid. Many years ago. In the 70s, when I toured with Led Zeppelin... Speaking of which, 2 out of 2 people who had an opinion about it at dinner totally agree that II is a much better album than Physical Graffiti.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Pike's Peak Update

So, it turns out that big bald mountain is Pike's Peak.

Me & me

Every place I go, things are open and sun-lit. As you can imagine, I've had some problems with the stairs, the many different ways they seem designed to defy gravity--concrete slabs suspended in open cages of metal. I can't go near them. I spend a little time every place asking about the elevators. Elias asked me what it's like to be so irrationally afraid of something. At the time, I couldn't answer him because I had my eyes shut tight and was occupied with holding onto the car for dear life as we drove across the top of the national park. But today as I stood near the open staircase in the parking garage, getting my pass for the day, and I realized I both could not reach the buttons and could not will myself to move closer, I realized what it means to me. To me, it's a regular and yet unexpected reminder that I'm not always a unified whole, that there is both the rational mind and the animal brain and body. Almost always, we never have to be aware of this, because the mind is in control of conscious thought and the brain just chugs away in the background keeping the heart beating and the lungs inflating and the temperature regulated. The brain has a level of consciousness, I think, but devoted to the primal things--try to fuck that; no, that feels bad; yes, that feels good; oh, scary; ooo, fun; go pee, etc.--and since most of the time the rational mind and the animal brain work in concert to keep you up and moving around, you can convince yourself quite thoroughly that there's just some singular "I." But say the animal you are is terrified of something the rational mind is only afraid of--in my case, heights. It's not unreasonable to be a little afraid of heights. You could fall. That's true. But the overwhelming likelihood is that you won't. So, rationally, you approach an edge or an open staircase and you say "Okay, be a little more aware" and that's the end of it. And, internally, I do the same thing. But the other part of my brain is not having it. "No, oh god, no!" it screams as if we are already falling and as much as I'm like "Get a grip, B., you are fucking fine," the rest of me does not get the message, can't hear it over the beating of my heart and the dizziness and the sweating. And I think that's what really terrifies me--not just what's going on externally, but internally. I don't, in those moments, trust myself. I don't know what I might do, because the body isn't taking orders from the part of me I recognize as me.

The View

I remember when I started Tiny Cat Pants, the joke was that my hobby was driving around looking at things. Here, I don't feel like that's such a joke. I could spend a lot of time driving around looking at things and be very happy about it. Yesterday, I went north, and the mountains sat far off to the west, like they marked the edge of the world. Up in Fort Collins, the locals give directions using the mountains in the west as an unchanging point of reference. "Go east three blocks," they say, "then turn south." Always, with the mountains visible, you know what direction you're going. My drive today was even more beautiful. Heading south out of Denver, the mountains sit just to the right, like an enormous wall protecting the towns beneath them. Right now, I'm sitting outside in the shade, jotting this all on a yellow steno pad, intending to type it in either tonight when I get back to Denver or tomorrow, if, at some point, I get tired of reading by the pool. Out in front of me, somewhere, must be Pike's Peak. I don't know which one it is, though I feel like I should--just to show some solidarity with the sweet girl who crossed the wild prairie with her lover, Ike. I may ask someone today if I can see it from here, and, if so, which peak it is. From where I'm sitting, the mountains look like interlocking pyramids, giant ones along the spine of the ridge, then a series of smaller ones stretching like big-knuckled fingers towards the valley full of sparkly windows and cars below. The mountains are mostly green, with some craggly rock faces, except for the one most to my right, with the obvious tree line. Do you remember those fake fur covered plastic bunny banks? You know how, after a while, the fur on the outermost parts wears away, exposing the plastic beneath? That's what this mountain looks like, as if the trees have been worn away from the high spots.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Tundra

We were over two miles up--Elias, JR, and I--above the tree line, up where there was still some patches of snow. Tiny rugged scrubby plants live up there and not much else. I'll admit, to get that high, I had to close my eyes. The road was too narrow and the drop-off too sharp for me--your chicken-shit host--to stand it. Below the tree line, I was fine. I just kept looking up. But eventually, there was no more up to look. Just me and the sky and the cold wind and, far below us, some evergreens and aspens just starting to golden. Everything in the world looked up from beneath us. I was dizzy and sun-burned and I had to sit down. I half-heartedly suggested they just leave me there to die, but JR and Elias bundled me back in the car and slowly twisted and turned the vehicle back down to earth. Then, to make up for scaring the shit out of me, they took me to Bear Lake and I saw a glacier. It's so beautiful here I don't even know how to tell you about it, and so varied. In the span of a day, we went from flat land to mountains, aspen groves to tundra, clear placid lakes to rocky streams. The mountains vary too. I saw charcoal grays and blacks and greens and reds, depending on what the sun was up to. It's really incredible.

The Stanley Hotel

When we pulled up to the front of the white wooden hotel with the distinctive red roof, there was a wedding reception in one of the outbuildings. It's a beautiful hotel under an ominous mountain. Still, most people would probably choose a different place to start a marriage than where Stephen King wrote The Shining. I'll admit, while I sat in the wicker rocker watching the late afternoon sun move across that mountain and pondered how many layers of white paint you could put on a hotel built in 1909, I kind of thought it might be cool. And when Elias walked me up the recently-vacated aisle doing our best to step like Outkast in the "So Fresh, So Clean" video, it seemed a perfectly lovely place to start something.

Renting a Car

I found my way to the Hertz shuttle and the driver stepped off and grabbed my bags for me. "Are you a Gold Member?" "No." "Well, I have to ask that." We sat in silence for a while; me staring at the mountains to our west, him watching traffic. "I've got to make another stop." He said. "I'm sorry." "That's fine with me. I'm in no hurry." "Hmm," he said, "Nobody's in no hurry." "Well, I'm in no hurry." "You think people hurry too much?" "Maybe most people are more important than I am. Maybe they've really got someplace they need to be." "Now, don't say that. If you're not important and I'm driving you around, what does that make me?" "Fair enough." "Plus, that's just how it is. It's about class. They got to make you think you aren't good enough so you'll want what other people got. Think of how many people run around trying to get all made up and here you are on my bus all relaxed and you got a natural beauty. You're a real natural beauty." Yep, a natural beauty. Let me tell you, when that's the first thing you hear upon arriving in a city, you become immediately predisposed to liking that city. When, after a leisurely stroll, you find a place that sells Jack Daniels chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, you start to love said city.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Mrs. Wigglebottom Keeps Watch

Mrs. Wigglebottom is keeping an eye on things while I'm gone. She loves shenanigans, but does not take kindly to cruelty. Don't cross her.

What? Are you checking again?

I told you I was going to be gone all week. Still, I'm not going to leave you without some shit to look at. Try these: From whence my liberal marching orders come. Pandagon--My blogging day starts and ends here. I love it. I Blame the Patriarchy--So funny. So life-affirming. So patriarchy-blaming. The Folks With Whom I Love to Fight (AKA the Libertarian Elite). Sarcastro--Dimples, brains, and a legendary talent*. Miss Kitty--She causes me to regularly have to put my head down on my desk. Two Blogs New to Me on Which I'm Totally Digging. Theogeo--Her writing is so good and thoughtful. Huck--He leaves awesome comments everywhere and now he's got his own blog. All right. That should tide you over. *You know, you admit something like that in public and I've just got to keep bringing it up. That's just the way it is. A more mature person would let it go. I am not that person.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Professor Plots Against Me

The Professor is tired of hearing me say that I feel vaguely unfulfilled. And she's demanding I do something about it, sit down and really figure out what I want from my life and go ahead and do it. This is a plan, of course, but I'm a giant chicken-shit. In high school I took a sociology class with the guy in charge of Athletics. I spent most of the class watching the back of the quarterback of our football team. In fact, I only remember two things from that class. One is when the teacher asked said quarterback and the rest of the football team how many of them wiped their bodies with their towels first and then their faces. They all did. He thought that was hilarious, that they would put something that had been on their butts on their faces. The other thing he'd talk about all the time is how none of us could really ever plan on succeeding at what we loved--that if we wanted to be a baseball player, we ought to satisfy ourselves with writing about baseball for the local paper or if we wanted to be movie stars, we should just satisfy ourselves with going to the movies. I thought that was kind of bullshit. I mean, sure, not everyone can pitch for the Cubs... well, okay... not the last few years anyway. Some years, sure. But back to my point, someone's got to do it. Right? I mean, someone's got to be the one person who overcomes the odds. I'm going to be honest with you. I thought he was wrong, but I think that's what I'm doing. I think I stick my knife in boxes full of books and then my nose in the pages of those freshly printed books and I tell myself this is exactly the job that would make me happiest because I don't have the balls to actually try to do what would make me happiest. Those boxes should be full of books full of pages full of inky shapes of my words. I know that. The Professor knows that. Fuck, even the Professor's brother knows that and he barely knows me. And yet, I read back over this post and I have to say that I barely have the balls to hit publish. I can barely admit this to myself. I don't know why the hell I'm telling you. I could try. I've got the perfect job for it, one that rewards artsy-fartsy yakkity-smakkity-ness and, without a car or kids, I have a lot of time in the evenings. It's not like I've never written anything before and if TCP has taught me anything it's the joy of having a routine of writing. But even writing it here, where I can stumble back across it in the future and hold myself accountable to it, to see if I actually did anything about it, is pretty terrifying. I don't know what will come of it--the admission, not the realization, or maybe the admission and the realization. But fuck me, if you don't come to Tiny Cat Pants to see what scares the shit out of me, I don't know why you come.

More Neighborhood Shenanigans

This morning, right down the street from the house with the "no overlay" sign in its front yard--that sign sits there like some vestigial tail, since we don't live in Sylvan Park--and from the big new quasi-medieval apartments where the dog likes to shit, we heard a rooster. "Craw-caw-coo." The dog and I both stopped, looked down the street, looked at each other, and shook our heads. We started walking again. "Craw-caw-coo." There was no mistaking that noise. It's definitely a rooster. Our neighborhood is so awesome--friendly people, lots of birds, a big brown fox, some stars at night, and now a rooster--and all right in the heart of the city. Could it get any better? I mean, other than handy access to the fruits of the hobo still.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Return of "Hermaphrodite Porn"

So, my dad's side of the family all resides in a small, but famous Midwestern city, famous enough that I'm willing to bet that you all have one of its products in your kitchen right now. None of them know or can ever know about Tiny Cat Pants. And yet, on sitemeter, I just saw the name of said city. "Oh, fuck," I thought. "Is the John H. of the comments actually the John H. that is related to me?" But, no, thank god, it's just some idiot looking for hermaphrodite porn. [edited to better clarify: I have a cousin named John H. He lives in a small city full of my other family members. When I saw said city appear on the site meter, I suddenly thought "Oh, fuck, what if the John H. of the comments is my cousin John?" But then I looked more in-depth and the person from this small city was just looking for hermaphrodite porn. It still could be a relative of mine, but our John H. is not my John H., and our John H. has no interest in scouring Tiny Cat Pants for traces of hermaphrodite porn.]

Well, that answers that question

No, apparently Lizzie Grubman, famous publicist to... whomever... is not actually a man in drag. (Link is work safe, but clicking on the photo will take you some place very not work safe. I'm warning you. It's not even 'I want to be able to shut my eyes and not see that flash before me' safe.)

"Star Trek" and Pedophilia

Clearly, Ellen Ladowski is an idiot. I'm no social scientist, but let me tell you why pedophiles are "Trekkies." Pedophiles are Trekkies because Trekkies are, in broad, general terms, individuals with a high tolerance for strangeness. Now, clearly 99.9% of Trekkies' tolerance for strangeness does not extend to child molesters, but that's not important. One only has to wade very shallowly into the scary end of the internet to realize that many pedophiles don't consider what they're doing to be harmful to their victims. Read some of NAMBLA's stuff and you begin to realize that they think that they are just one more put-upon sexual minority and that, given enough time, they will be as tolerated as other sexual "deviants." (This is why it remains ever important to differentiate between what goes on between consenting adults and what happens to people who do not consent. We can't afford to let these fuckers associate themselves with us.) They really believe that the problem is not that they're doing anything wrong, but that society is just not yet prepared to accept them. What better place to wait for acceptance than among other people society deems strange? What Ladowski fails to see is that this has nothing to do with Trekkies or Star Trek and everything to do with the failure of these sick fucks to understand that what they're doing is not as harmless as putting on some pointy ears or learning Klingon.


Aw, y'all, I came so close to finally being an insufferable smarty-pants by inventing the word "televisual" and then using it in a sentence at work. Then I googled it and it turns out, I didn't actually invent the word "televisual," but that it's been an obvious insufferable smarty-pants construction since, well, since there's been television. That's good because once you start coining your own nonsense jargon, you're just a short step away from simplisticly quoting Foucault. Well, in truth, you don't actually have to quote Foucault because the number of people who've actually read Foucault is approximately 63. The rest of us are just pretending to have read Foucault when really we've just read what other people pretending to read Foucault have written. Therefore, it's very easy to pretend that you are an insufferable smarty-pants. Just follow these simple rules.

1. Create a seemingly plausible fake word--like 'televisual.' 2. Make some off-handed reference to Foucault. 3. Use either "hegemony" or "praxis" or both, if you can. 4. Reference some dead guy most people have heard of--usually Aristotle or Nietzsche.

Now, combine those elements into a sentence:

"In order to overcome the hegemony imposed by the Aristotelian world-view, it's necessary to create a new, more Foucaltvian praxis more in line with our televisual age." You throw shit like that around, you'll be standing in front of undergraduate classes in short order and working your way into grad students' pants in no time. Note: it's not necessary to even know what 'hegemony' or 'praxis' means. I don't know what they mean. I have to keep calling the Professor and reading sentences out loud to her to make sure they actually make sense, and they still let me use them.

Nashville's Hobo Villages--An Investigative Report

Yeah, that's right, a post about Nashville's hobo villages. And just when you were wondering why you kept coming to Tiny Cat Pants; here it is, a shocking tale of harrowing danger and killer hobos. I don't see WKRN covering this kind of shit. Do you? As you can imagine, I only have three rules I expect the hobos in my neighborhood to follow: 1. Don't kill me, even if you are a killer hobo. 2. Don't approach my house, especially when I'm there alone or I will turn the dog on you (and she will promptly leap on you and lick you, but her licks can be quite alarming and her elbows are pointy and uncomfortable). 3. Don't be offended if I stare at you as you run across the tops of the trains wearing nothing but your little white briefs. But in general, the hobos are just another part of our neighborhood--much like the crazy Christians (who, it turns out, are very nice) and the poor guy who always seems to be mowing his lawn on the hottest hour of the hottest day of the week and the dog's favorite women, or the old guy who always comes out of his house to tell me he's alive, or the young woman who's got one very nice suit she wears every day to her new job that she leaves for at 6:30 in the morning, or the kid who loves my dog, or the guy who's always coming out of his house to update me on the hobo situation--and I don't normally give them much thought, unless they're laying in the low spot next to the 440 bridge and don't seem to be moving. Then I worry and call the cops. But today, my neighbor who's constantly updating me on the hobo situation came out to tell me about the three most famous hobo villages in Nashville (note, I didn't actually do any investigating for this report, so I have no idea if any of this is true). Here they are ranked from most probable to least. 1. Back behind us under the bridge that takes 440 over the train tracks (as opposed to the bridge that takes us over 440). I knew about this one already as our neighbor stumbled upon it while exploring and was promptly chased away at gunpoint. Supposedly, they have a still back there. (Note to hobos reading this, if you're actually making good moonshine and want to leave some on my back porch, I can happily suspend rule number two in such instances.) We rarely see these hobos, but the ones that aren't cranked out and running across the tops of the train cars seem nice and polite enough and some carry books and bags and so they seem to be just your run of the mill hobos with one or two drugged out freaks the trains bring in. 2. Under Lifeway Bookstore. Supposedly, according to my neighbor, this is the most dangerous hobo village in town and even the railroad cops are afraid to go into it. 3. Under the Belle Meade Kroger. This is supposed to be very small, but the oldest hobo village in the area. The Butcher used to work at the Belle Meade Kroger and I asked him about it. He seemed skeptical and said it would have to be quite small, but who knows? The hobo-aware neighbor also said that the railroad police hear that hobos have taken to standing on the couplings between cars and surfing through town that way. Hobos, I hope that's not true, as that's a good way to lose an arm or a hand or a leg. Well, that's all I know about our neighborhood hobos, but hopefully this hard-hitting report will embarrass the Mainstream Media into investigating whether there really is a still back behind us, and, if so, how one might let the hobos know that she's willing to trade, say, afghans for liquor.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

354 Days

Dear Readers, I had planned on sitting around on Tiny Cat Pants's first birthday getting drunk and reminiscing about things, but since I'm going to be out of town, I thought I'd do it today. Sadly, there's no liquor in the house, so you're just getting rambling, not drunken rambling. I enjoy blogging a whole lot more than I would have imagined. I like the immediacy of it, that I can write something and get feed-back right away. I like the people I've met through it. I'm constantly surprised and grateful for the ways in which total strangers open themselves up. Bridgett put it best yesterday--y'all sustain me. I'm also eternally curious about how weird it is. In many ways, you guys aren't real. You're just some words on a screen attached to a name--as am I--and what that means is constantly hard to say. Still, if I have to have so many imaginary friends, I'm glad they're you guys. When I started Tiny Cat Pants, I had six readers and got about twenty hits a day. (To those original six--The Professor, The Super Genius, the Shill, The Legal Eagle, Miss J., Ms. B.--I hope you're still entertained.) For a long time, I could call all of my readers on the phone. I knew where they lived and what their real names were--first and last. Then, slowly, some other folks started poking around--Steve Pick, Peggasus, and then Twyla--and they were cool. It was weird, to write for folks I didn't know, but they were kind and generous while I was cutting my teeth. After Bitch PhD linked to me, though, I went from having seventy five hits a day to having between 120 and 150. Now that Nashville is Talking aggregates me, I consistently have between 180 and 225 hits a day. This week I'm running at about three hundred, but that should settle back down after I fall off the front of Jesus' General. Still, I think there are a core of about one hundred of you. This might seem like a very small amount, but it often intimidates the shit out of me. I'm not sure I've often navigated the switch from "I can kick your ass if you upset me because I know not only where you live, but where your mom lives" to "a lot of people who I don't know read this" very elegantly. I get embarrassed by things like Rex L. Camino or Steve Pick saying, "Yeah, I know that dude you just lambasted and he's actually quite nice." They never say "jackass," but I often feel it. Not to mention Aaron Fox showing up and demanding I remember that he's a real human being. Oops. I keep thinking maybe I should try to be nicer, but I don't think I'd be very good at it. Still, though this has always been a different kind of blog, it's changed a lot in response to how I perceive you. I have no goals for Tiny Cat Pants. It'll be more of the same old shit it always is. As always, I'm glad to take requests or answer questions or whatever. If you've got anything, you can leave it in the comments or email me. All suggestions will be considered and then probably ignored.


Aunt B.

Paul Chenoweth is Looking Out For You, Dear Reader

Many of you have been griping for a long time--"Where are the actual tiny cat pants? Why aren't there pictures of tiny cats in pants or cats in tiny pants?" etc. etc. Lucky for you, Paul Chenoweth, local blogger and internet guru, has found some tiny cat pants and alerted me to their existence. There you go. Thanks, Paul.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Like Diamonds, Like Ten Thousand Jewels in the Sky

I'm leaving y'all next week. I'm going to the mountains to see what I can see. JR and Elias are going to drive me around and show me elk and reindeer and assorted other beautiful things. Some guy I don't know is taking me for a long walk on Monday and I'm going to rent a car for the first time in my life. It was a mere seven years ago that I took my first plane ride--a trip to Boston to see a kind boy who smoked and smelled dark and woodsy and drank too much and didn't quite know what to do with me. While he looked on in amusement, I called the Butcher from a pay phone outside Fenway Stadium because I knew no one else would understand what it meant for me to be there at that moment, to know for sure that Fenway Stadium was a real place. I'll be honest with you. I was embarrassed when Sarcastro brought up Pad Thai and I didn't know what it was. And along those lines, I'm already fretting about having to go to the counter at the rental place and doing this very ordinary thing that people do all the time that I've never done before--get a car. When I first got to grad school, when I first had my own apartment, I would sometimes worry that I was going to be found out. I was having such an awesome time, living on my own in the big city, making friends, hanging out in cafes and pubs, reading important books, and making myself acquainted with unseemly German philosophers. Like all grad students, we'd get drunk and stay up late trying to solve all the world's problems. It was amazing, and I was constantly afraid of being sent home. That someone finally would say "You don't belong here. You aren't one of us." and send me on my way. Eventually, it sunk in that no one was going to send me back to Illinois. I was free to make my way in the world. Still, sometimes, when I'm confronted by the fact there are a range of ordinary experiences that most people can draw on--they rented a car or they've been to a Thai restaurant before or whatever--and I'm all like "What do I do next? Where do I go? What do I sign? How do I work this?" I feel that same feeling--that anxiety that wells up and almost overwhelms me, followed shortly thereafter by a good deep laugh at my own self. I'm considering getting a t-shirt that says, "Sorry, I don't get out much."

Happy Birthday, Mom!

It's my mom's birthday today. I won't tell you how old she is, but she's at that age where she looks like my mom most of the time, but every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of her holding her right arm at a slight crook or leaning a little forward as she walks, and I get afraid that the woman I know and love will grow into an old woman and then go moldering in the grave long before I'm ready to let her go. Have birthdays, Mom. Many more birthdays. And we'll celebrate them together as the defiant 'fuck you's they are to our eventual mortality.

Even as I'm writing this, I know it marks me as an old woman

Dear "The Features", I heard your song "Blow It Out" on the radio this morning. It is a fun song and I love the prominent use of the poppy organ. Your band seems mighty fine. And you've got a killer hook-- "If you're happy and you know it, turn the volume up and blow it out." But as much as I'd love to follow your directions, I cannot, for your lead singer's voice makes my ears bleed, even at low volumes. I know that my saying that will instantly probably render you vastly successful and give proof to the fact that I'm too old to enjoy popular music. But in case that doesn't happen, I recommend you immediately license that line to some talented rapper and let him put it in a song without a screechy-voiced dude singing. Then you can get rich from the subsidiary rights deal. You did keep your subsidiary rights, right? Love, Aunt B.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

"I Like Peeing on the Wall, Thank You Very Much"

So, the littlest nephew just had my dad call to tell the Butcher that he can pee better than him. I hadn't given any thought to the two stages of potty training boys: first the using the toilet and then the peeing like the big boys. But he's practicing the art of peeing while standing up and feels so certain of his mad peeing skills he's already bragging. God, that kid tickles me.

This is For Your Own Good

I don't believe in tough love. There have been plenty of times when I've heard that bullshit "I'm doing this for your own good" or "I'm doing this because I love you" spoken by the parents of my friends to them right before they got whooped. There've been plenty of times my whole life when I've come home to find some broken fucked up kid on my couch who doesn't think he can go home and face what's waiting for him there. I have known my share of fucked up troubled people. I'm related to quite a few. And I've seen a range of responses to the fucked-up trouble--from kicking the kids out and cutting them off to the eternal support in the face of ever-larger crises. And I know that somewhere there must be people who benefit from tough love. But I've never met them. That's not to say that I believe in putting up with all manner of bullshit just because you love someone. Sometimes--often, unfortunately--you have to protect yourself from people you love. If that means you've got to cut them out of your life, then you've got to cut them out of your life. If you can't do anything more for them because you can't bear it, then don't do anything more for them. But to pretend--no, to fool yourself into thinking--that it's for their own good? That's bullshit. Who are you to know what's best for anyone other than yourself? Who are you to presume to know what other people need? And why do you still insist that some other person, who is hurting you, is worth more than you are? That such a person's needs still come before your own? If you are hurt and scared, why can't you just say "You can't come around here any more because you hurt and scare me."? Why do you have to continue to sublimate yourself to them? So, let's talk about poor people. Gods come disguised as them--a one-eyed beggar or a wandering preacher. Poor people. We have a superstition in America that says, if you only try hard enough, you can succeed. And just like the fools who pick up pennies thinking it will make them lucky, enough of us are fortunate enough to reinforce the belief in the superstition. I am successful. I think. I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge and a job I like in a field I love. I'm not making shitloads of money, but I feel like, barring unforeseen events, if I just keep working hard and living frugally, I can reach my modest goal of financial security and home-ownership. I am not the hardest working person I know. There are a lot of people I know who work a whole lot harder than me who've not gotten the breaks I have. Why am I here, at a computer in a medium sized city on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning with nothing else to do but nurse a hang-over and walk the dog? Why is my best friend from junior high still stuck in that same piddly little town with two kids and a jackass boyfriend? Do I deserve this life more than she does? No I don't. You can't tell by looking at my paycheck or the car I drive or the fancy words I can put on a screen what my value is as a human being. I am not worth more than any of my friends, just because my life turned out like this. We are each immeasurably beyond worth. Often, when we talk about what to do about poor people, we operate under the assumption that, by this point in American history, people are poor because they want to be, because they aren't trying very hard to make it. And because they "want" to be poor, they don't deserve anything from us. For their own good, so that they are forced to rise up out of poverty, we need to stop helping them. I can't accept that. I don't believe that anyone knows better than me what I need and I refuse to believe that I know better than another what she needs. But I also believe it is an affront to do nothing. A grave insult to do nothing. But to whom? One could make an argument that it's a grave affront to the Christian god. But how then to motivate non-Christians to help? One could argue that it's insulting to the community that we would turn our backs on other community members. But in a country that believes so strongly in the myth of the individual, how does one even begin to talk about communal responsibility? I guess one could say that it's a long tradition that richer people take care of poorer people, and not doing so is an affront to tradition, but when so many people in this country think that the types of heterosexual marriages we have right now are in keeping with thousands of years old tradition, it's obvious to me that "tradition" has nothing to do with historical accuracy and everything to do with justifying our discomfort. And one could say that it's an affront to posterity, that we were so wealthy and hoarded it instead of making things better for our children. But why are future children more important than current children living right now? And what if conservatives are right and the help isn't really helping, but actually harming people? Here's where I ended up last night, in this bleak spot. There IS NO REASON to help poor people. There's no one who really matters all that much who is going to hold you accountable for your failure to help. Even if you try to help, you're probably fucking up most of their lives worse. And if you can live with that, fine. I'm tired of fighting with you. It's obvious to me that my belief--that we have to do whatever we can--is insane. It makes no sense on its surface and it makes no sense after innumerable beers and it makes no sense after laying up all night thinking about it. You all are right. It makes no logical sense to help people who seemingly refuse to help themselves. But here's the thing. I can't live with that. Because the world does not operate according to logic alone. Often, love interferes and works its madness. And that's what I choose. Loving madness. I will reach out and help. I will insist that my government continue to throw money at the problem. I will demand that we continue to do something, even if it's not the right thing, because, if we keep doing what we hope is best, we make room for miracles. We make room for love to work its insanity. If we do nothing, because that's the only logical response, then there can be no miracles. And I refuse to accept that.


Silverado's is one of those country dance clubs that before you move to Nashville you imagine are on the corner of every major intersection, a club where large groups of white people get together to drink, listen to country music, and do some line dancing. There's free beer until eleven. It's six or seven dollars to get in and I aimed to not let them make a profit on me. But this post is not about me, other than to say that a woman who did not eat dinner and who's already looking to kick someone in the face should probably not view Silverado's as some kind of all-you-can-drink challenge. But anyway, I hadn't ever been to one of these things before, but all the women from work were going and I didn't want to be left out. From the outside, it looks pretty non-descript, like it might have been a Red Lobster in a former life. But the inside really surprised me. There was, as you'd imagine, a lot of wood and corrugated tin. But in the middle of everything was a huge dance floor under a mirrored ball and there were all kinds of couples gracefully moving counter clockwise around it. For a brief moment, I thought I was at a roller rink. In fact, that's very much what it was like, from to the railing that only let you off the dance floor near the bathrooms or bars to the fact that beginners kept to the outside and more experienced dancers passed in the middle. There were some couples there that were really good. One couple even had the black and red get-up and they danced most of the night. There was a bride and her bridal party there, and though I wish her and her husband the best of luck, I'm almost sure he's going to lose her to her maid of honor. There were lots of kids who looked like they'd come down from Fort Campbell and some, too few, bikers. My two favorite dancers to watch were these two young guys. One was so much taller than his partner that he had to slouch a little to fit her. But he was good and I think his buddies were near us because every time he came by, he smiled up in our direction like he'd won the lottery. You don't often see people giving themselves over to joy like that, but that guy was having a great time. The other guy was hilarious because he looked so bored. He was wearing a gray t-shirt and some kind of flower-print shirt over that and jeans. And he sauntered around the dance floor so nonchalant and naturally that you thought he must just move that way all the time. He's got such a low-key way of dancing, who would be able to tell on the street that that's what he was doing? But just when you thought he could not be any more over this whole dancing thing, he'd just pick his partner up and toss her around in these intricate spinning aerial maneuvers and his expression would not change! I mean, seriously, he's tossing some chick around with the ease with which I toss laundry in the hamper. He's not breaking a sweat. He's not even looking like he's concentrating. It was something to see. Anyway, it's definitely some of the most fun people watching I've had, so I would highly recommend it to y'all.

First the apology

Before we start, let's talk a little about Tiny Cat Pants. A metablog moment, if you will. As you all know, having so kindly put up with it, occasionally I find something about myself that I must think out and talk through and this has been an important forum for that. Last night I stumbled across some part of me I had no idea was there; I didn't know what to do with it when I found it; and I didn't sit down and have some heart to heart with a dear girl friend or call my mom and talk it out with her. No, instead, I got dressed up and left the house. You know when you see those jackasses at the bar that you know just showed up looking for trouble? They're going to grab somebody's ass and get all belligerent with that someone's date and, for some inexplicable reason, punch the bouncer? The whole "I don't know what to do with myself so I'm going to take it out on the world" thing? That was me. So, to the two Republican chicks I dragged to the party full of things (legal and not) that made you so uncomfortable that you left me there--sorry. To the boy in the Professor's car who I totally flashed for no good reason other than to do it--sorry. To the guy on the phone in the parking lot at Silverado's who I hooted and and yelled, I think (if I didn't yell it, I sure meant to), "Show me your tits."--Sorry. To the women in the bathroom ahead of me, at whom I yelled, "Hurry up ladies. It doesn't take that long to piss."--Sorry. To the little law student who had to ask me not to speculate about the size of his penis--Sorry. To all the folks trying to dance who actually knew the dances and couldn't get around me--Sorry. If you were groped, pushed, leered at, or fought with and I've neglected you specifically--Sorry to you as well.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

What Do You Get the Blog That Has Everything?

A facelift, of course. I haven't seen it on any computers but this one at home, so let me know if you encounter anything weird.

Holy Shit! (Just wait, it's a profanity and a pun.)

I just looked at sitemeter and was like "It's nine in the morning. Why do I have 93 visitors already? Is the cable out? I hope not. Some of us are planning on watching the Michigan/Notre Dame* game." But no, it's better than that. That manly fount of patriotism and theology (no, not Sarcastro) has turned his loving heterosexual gaze my way: Jesus' General has linked to Tiny Cat Pants! I'd promise I won't forget you now that I'm famous, but come on... * I think. I said "Do you want to go to the Australia Day Festival?" and the Butcher said "I'm watching Michigan blah blah blah." My brain totally shut off. Start playing football shirtless, boys, and I'll start giving a shit.

Friday, September 09, 2005

That Was Quick

Well, since I found out that I was secretly an unreconstructed Washingtonion conservative (it was very secret, as even I was unaware of it) and that I was doomed to marry a conservative, I did the only thing I could: I asked A.C. Kleinheider to enter into one of those thousands-of-year-old traditional Judeo-Christian marriage with me and let me be his fourth wife. Surprisingly, he said yes. If only I had known that the only thing standing in the way of me being married was my reluctance to let my dad offer someone I don't know seven cows to take me off his hands! All kidding aside, one thing that always amazes me is how often Mr. Kleinheider and I end up on the same side of issues from entirely different directions. For instance, Kleinheider doesn't think that the state should sanction gay marriage. I, of course, think that the state should sanction gay marriage; if they're going to sanction one type of consentual relationship between adults, they ought to sanction them all. Discriminating against a group just because you don't like them or they make you uncomfortable is, on the one hand, an American pastime, and decidedly un-American and keeping gay people from getting married because it offends your religious sensibilities is a fight you should be having in your churches, not in my government, where I'm supposed to be assured that the church and state will remain separate. But, on the other hand, I really don't think the state should sanction marriage at all. Since marriage is no longer about transferring property rights from the bride's father to the bride's new husband, why does the state give a shit about it? For all the shit conservatives give liberals about being the soft, froo-froo bunch, this need to have the government acknowledge their personal sexual arrangements and give them special rights because of it seems a little soft and froo-froo to me.

***In Case You Want Another Chance to Die in an Administration Fuck-Up

According to Josh Marshall, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Army recruiters volunteering in the Astrodome will be approaching refugees "with options for the jobless. 'Our intent is to approach the evacuees at the right time for them,' says Army spokesman Douglas Smith."

National Geographic October 2004

If you need a good psychic, I'm recommending Joel K. Bourne, Jr.

***Yes, It's More Liberal Crap

Both Sharon Cobb and Ripley pointed me to K-Otix's remix of Kanye West's "Gold Digger." This, America, is something else. A funeral dirge you can dance to. Here, in under four minutes, is how I feel about that whole thing--rage, impotence, and defiance. You've got to laugh in the face of your enemies. It's the only unimpeachable offense we have. Laugh and bring these motherfuckers down. I was thinking about it this morning and I checked around and I don't see anyone else saying it, so I will. Vote them all out. Democrat, Republican, Independent. Fuck them. Vote them all out. Start as soon as you can. Vote and vote against incumbents. Things are fucked up. They are fucked up so bad that people are dead. Blame Bush, but that doesn't go far enough. Blame the mayor, blame the governor. There's enough blame to go around. If every person in a position of power had to take responsibility for one dead person from this storm, we'd run out of politicians to blame for this shit before we ran out of dead folks. So, fuck the Republican party and their heartless leader. Vote them out. The Democrats too busy angling to look like they're not soft on terror to ask why the government needs to have mechanisms in place to see what books I'm reading but not a plan for dealing with a wide-spread unpredicted catastrophic event in a major U.S. city (which is the kind of terrorist attack they've been promising now for four years)? Vote them out. Why should anyone who's in power now remain in power? There's no good reason. We'd be better off to start fresh. Get some people in there who haven't gotten too accustomed to their power and too used to basically being able to keep it. We're supposed to be a democracy. We don't need a ruling class. Vote those motherfuckers out.

Ma'am, step away from the ROTC

One of our local bloggers, Short and Fat, seems to have been in every branch of the military--Army, Navy, Air Force, Salvation Army, Old Navy, Merchant Marines--you name it. And yet, whenever a question of military etiquette comes up, I never think to use him as a resource. Here are the questions I wish I'd asked him and the hard-learned answers. Question: I used to drive by the Navy ROTC every day on my way to work. Recently they've moved. Today, though, I saw what was obviously some grown up associated with the ROTC laying on the ground in their old parking lot doing what looked like to me weird convulsions. Is it impolite to get out of the car and turn him on his side so that he doesn't choke on his own vomit? Answer: Those were some kind of exercise. Attempting to touch a member of the military while he's exercising will get you thrown to the asphalt. Do not approach said member of the military, but, if you must enquire into his well-being, it's probably best to hide behind a car so that he can't see you and call out "Does the big old Navy man need a woman to help him get up off the ground?" especially if you know you can't outrun him. Question: Top Gun is gay, right? I mean, obviously, it's gay. It's not just Tarentino and Avery that think so. The girl's name is Charlie, for god's sake. Answer: Never ask a military man this question. Don't attempt to point the gay subtext out to him. Don't offer to watch the movie with him and show him. Let's just say that Antonio Alfonseca and I used to have a great deal in common and the military painfully took care of it. I didn't know you really could just rip those things off, but you can, and ouch. But here are two questions I've never gotten good answers to. Perhaps my military readers can help. Question: At Christmas, I notice that Santa Claus spends a lot of time shilling for the Salvation Army. But he also flies all over the world on Christmas night. Why isn't Santa with the Salvation Air Force? Answer: No one seems to know. Question: In my younger days, I dated an Air Force dude. He was stationed in Maine at one of the now defunct bases. His job seemed to consist mostly of chasing raccoons out of hangers. Are raccoons especially prone to pirating jets? Are these nefarious Canadian raccoons trying to steal our technology? Is my tax money really going to paying for young lonely men to talk all night on the phone to their girlfriends while their buddies chase raccoons around large empty buildings? Answer: Apparently. Thanks America. Your tax dollars once bought me the most beautiful bouquet of roses I've ever seen.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Brilliant in Two Places

Yes, it's true. Over at Tangled Up in Blue, I did compare Missy Elliot to Gertrude Stein. Also, over lunch, the Professor looked at me and said, "Of course you'll end up with some conservative jackass. Probably a Confederate Civil War re-enactor. You'd never be happy if you have someone who constantly agrees with you." To which I say, "That'll be Mr. War of Northern Aggression to you, missy."* *Note, I didn't actually have that witty comeback at lunch, because, as much as I like to pretend like I'm all smooth, I never come up with this shit until like five hours later. That's why I have to put it here.

Rambling on about my Dog

Thanks to Katherine's post about her devotion to her dogs--"My dogs represent a commitment I made to Life."--I'm in even a bigger funk about the dog. Unlike a lot of people, I don't consider Mrs. Wigglebottom to be like my child. Hell, I've met my nephews. I know what our gene pool is like. My kids would be a lot smarter than Mrs. Wigglebottom, but they'd lack all her loyalty. I don't consider Mrs. Wigglebottom to be anything like a person, though I enjoy anthropomorphizing her. It's because she's so utterly not human that I love her. It's in comparing and contrasting myself and her that I appreciate her engagement of the world and find my own conceptions challenged. I'm a pissy, mopey, uncertain, surly, smart, funny, fucked up hermit. If I were to revert to my natural state, I'd sit on the couch at my parents' house drinking Mountain Dew and eating Oreos until I felt sick while watching hours of TLC and sending snarky emails to my few remaining friends and feeling sorry for myself. My dog is brave and open to new things. She insists we walk every morning. She is the whole reason I go to the park every weekend. Not for my own health, though I've benefited, but for her well-being. It makes her happy. She's utterly un-self-conscious. If she likes you (and who, except for any dog walking too near the car does she not like?), she runs over to you. She gets all up on you. She rolls over on her back and insists "Rub my belly." She says "There's no place we can't go." She says "There's no trouble you can't get me out of." As much as I was her reprieve (come and live with me and learn to behave or die), she is my reprieve (learn to play and live). She came into our lives through nefarious means, as is the way with all the best things we have. The recalcitrant brother acquired her in a drug deal. After it became apparent that he had no intention of doing anything more with her than driving around the Quad Cities looking tough, my parents took her in. This went poorly, as she is a great deal stronger than my mom, and was still poorly trained. She pulled my mom off the front porch, pulled her across a sheet of ice, pulled her here and there, and resulted in a bruised and scraped mom regularly visiting the emergency room. Meanwhile, my dad was training the dog to do all kinds of "tricks," useful tricks like "grab a person's balled up fist in your mouth and clamp down so that when they shake their fist, your head goes back and forth in a fun manner," and "run as hard as you can at someone, leap onto their belly and push yourself off into a backflip," and "box." I hated her. When we'd go to visit, she wanted to be all up in your lap. Once I was trapped for fifteen minutes after church when I pushed back in the recliner and started to doze and she leaped up into the chair and stood straddled over my head and refused to move. She always jumped up on everyone and she had big floppy lips full of drool and she was ugly--with this strange round head and stocky muzzle and big bat-like ears. And then she bit my cousin. He was partially to blame, trying to take her bone out of her mouth, but kids will do that kind of stupid shit. My aunt wanted her put down. And who could blame her? I thought it was the best solution as well. But my dad couldn't stand it. He tried to find someone who would take her, but as I kept pointing out, who but a monster is going to take a full-grown pitbull who's not trained and can't be trusted around children? Someone who wants to fight it. I said, "Your choices are two. You can give her a kind death or leave her to an unimaginably cruel one." And then my crying dad, who I've only ever seen cry once before, when my mom's dad died, said, "You could take her." Though I hated her, I couldn't say no. It was pretty disastrous for a long time. She was afraid of odd things, like trash bags, and would freeze up and fall over whenever she saw one. She'd stand at the edge of the bed like a tiny killer Martian and make weird noises while I was trying to sleep. She jumped on everyone who came over. If we wanted to have guests for dinner, we'd put her out in the car. And when we walked it was more like tug of war than orderly strolling around the neighborhood. But little by little, things got better. We're still not going off-leash around other dogs. But things are better. People can come visit us. We can go to the park. Small children regularly squeeze her neck and pat her head and give her treats without incident. We walk around the neighborhood with ease. But I still don't like the idea of leaving her to go to this wedding. Maybe it means I'm not quite as convinced of the slow, miraculous transformation from terrible to just fine as I pretend to be. I guess I don't trust her to behave herself if I'm not around. But the plan now is--Surprise Professor!--to take the dog and the Professor to the park one or two weekends and let the Professor take her, let her hold the leash and navigate the other dogs, and if that goes okay, to try to talk her into spending the weekend we're gone at our place, so that the dog has a butt to curl up against in the night.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"What are you gonna do? You got rules and government everywhere."

"Triple X." What an awesomely bad movie. We're watching the whole thing and I'm having a hard time telling if it really makes no sense or if somewhere there are people who understand this movie. I know this: Vin Diesel is an ugly kisser. We must have laughed for five minutes when he first kissed that girl. M&Ms. Greatest junk food ever. The Butcher's plan to find Amelia Earhart's plane and make millions. Almost as stupid as "Triple X." But funny. The Redheaded Kid is singing "America, Fuck Yeah" and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Mrs. Wigglebottom. Cutest dog ever. The idea of strapping her to me grows more appealing as a solution to the wedding dilemma. Strapped to my chest, she'd be unable to jump on anyone, and I could still use her as a crime deterrent on the trip to the wedding. After reading this whole thing, you probably have a question. The answer is yes.

In Which Our Hero Pouts and Feels Sorry for Herself

Y'all, I'm down in the dumps. And it's not just because I'm sure George Bush is going to definitely pick Mr. Roboto to fill the Supreme Court vacancy and I really want it. Mostly its because I love order in my lunchtime food--one peanut butter and jelly sandwich, one serving of baby carrots, one apple, a few cookies, and one diet Dr Pepper--and we've not had any apples or baby carrots up in here since last week. Instead, I've been eating potato chips and Ding Dongs. Yummy while I'm eating them, but they make me surly for the rest of the day. Ah, I remember being young and being able to eat whatever I wanted with nary a thought to how it would make me feel. Obviously, the Butcher is still in that phase, as he's the grocery procurer and I'm missing my regular lunchtime repertoire. Yesterday, I shuffled into the kitchen, saw a huge glob of margarine on the floor in front of the refrigerator and could not bring myself to bother to clean it up. Luckily, Mrs. Wigglebottom found it a few minutes later and took care of it. Speaking of Mrs. Wigglebottom, we still are at an impasse about what to do with her for my cousin's wedding. Listen, I know she'll be fine if she stays here and the Professor and the Red-headed Kid come by to check on her regularly. This is not about her. This is about me not wanting to leave her if I don't have to. She is my most frequent traveling companion and the guardian of my car when I'm on the road by myself. Who's going to protect me from killer truckers? Who's going to stand on the center console and lean far forward and keep me amused? Who's going to sit in the passenger seat and snore? Plus, I'm going to be gone for a week every month for the next six months, as far as I can tell (hmm. How will I blog?) and traveling for work makes me lonely. I have to go and meet with people all day and when I'm done, I don't feel like meeting any more people. I don't want to go to the hotel bar. I want to lay in bed and watch Law & Order reruns until I fall asleep. I'm aimless. I'm lost. I have no career goals other than to continue to receive a check. And Saturday my co-workers are taking me to a place called "Silverado's." Being a hermit, I've never been to this place, but the youngest one assures me that it's full of cowboys and bikers and whores. I will go to watch the bikers and drink enough beer that I feel brave enough to flirt with them. I'm so not a biker chick and I'm going to be there with my co-workers, who are even less biker-chicky than me, if that's possible, so I doubt they will flirt back, but you've got to try. I'm a hermit. I'd rather be a hermit, except for the excruciatingly lonely part, and so I keep going out and keep chatting up men who are way out of my league. Because, damn it, one day, one of them is going to say "I used to own a pit bull and he just died after 20 fight-free years. I know just what to do when they get rambunctious on walks. And so, Darling B., I'd be happy to come over and sleep in your bed and look after your dog while you're away."

Why It Should Be Me

The AP reports: "Bush: List for Second Vacancy 'Wide Open'." Wide open enough to include me? Why the hell not? Here's what I've got going for me:
  • I'm not a lawyer, but I know some.
  • I'm a woman.
  • I'm pro-choice.
  • I'm pro-gay marriage.
  • I'm pro-First and -Second Amendment.
  • I'm pro-Affirmative Action
  • I'm pro-Equal Rights
  • Conservatives already hate me, so Bush could be seen as throwing a bone to liberals.
  • He could also be seen as appeasing his weblogging critics.
  • He'd be giving Bill Hobbs a lifetime of blog fodder. Think of all the ways Bill would hate every opinion I rendered.
  • I'm young, so a lifetime appointment for me would really be a lifetime appointment. Both my grandmas lived well into their eighties and one is still going strong. So, I've got at least fifty years to give to the Court.
  • I'm not very politically active--The Tennessee Democratic Women keep sending me emails and I keep deleting them & I vote, but that's about it--so there wouldn't be a lot of paperwork for the media or Congress to have to sort through.
  • Bush needs to do something to throw the restless Republicans for a loop. Nominating me would certainly do that.
  • I hate Bush. Nominating me would prove that not everything he does is pandering to the extremists in his party or his friends.
  • It'd be great fun to whisper "Oh, I'd love to fuck you up the ass, big boy" to Rick Santorum as I walked by him on my way to my Senate confirmation hearings. And when he turned, outraged, I promise I'd give him a big long, delicious wink and pull the tip of a big rainbow dildo out of my purse and wiggle it at him salaciously.
  • The Democrats would love me and the Republicans would have to approve me or face Karl Rove's wrath. No filibuster problem with me!

So, President Bush, nominate me! You could do worse.