Saturday, December 31, 2005

Miss J.

So, my darling Miss J. came to visit me last night. I stayed in bed, under my big peach blanket, and she sat at my bedside in a little green chair. I was glad she came by, because it seems like a millions years since the last time I talked to her, just girl to girl. We have these sprawling conversations that cover everything in a fine coat of discussion. The places where the discussion pools, she's happy to linger there with you, to explore the underlying landscape, to help you see the shape of hidden things. I'm more an more convinced that your best friends are the ones who can remind you of your best self, who love everything about you, but know your best parts and can tell them back to you when you've forgotten. The Old Man says*:
You know, if you've a friend whom you really trust and from whom you want nothing but good, you should mix your soul with his and exchange gifts, go and see him often.
"You should mix your soul with his." God, you can tell that One's a poet. That's so nice. And isn't it just exactly right? The best times are when you feel like you're mixing some vital part of yourself with someone who trusts and likes you enough to do the same. *Have I not convinced you yet to love the Havamal? If not, what's wrong with you?


Happy Girl Well, except that I'm sick and that I've only been gone a week and Sarcastro's already found other destitute liberals to hang out with, it's been a great trip. Between the drugs and the usual travel stupor, I'm not really sure what day it is. Sarcastro told me it's Friday and so I'm coming home tomorrow. I don't feel like I've really lost track of time, just that it's gotten away from me in whole day increments. That could be the drugs. I'm sad I've gotten to see none of DC. I was really hoping to at least figure out where to go to get my share of the Republican pork. But I'm too sick to do much of anything. Happily, if one is going to be sick, better to be sick someplace where people will bring you food and clean up after you and where you can watch TV in between napping on your great big bed. If I could breathe, or at the least, if someone were here to rub my head, it'd be a perfectly lovely afternoon.


Witches Everywhere I've now been coming here long enough that I feel like I have a tiny circle of cool folks I can count on to show up and refresh me. I've spent a delightful amount of time talking about magic. One person's researching the ways women used magic as a recourse against powerful people when they had no other. Another told me how she keeps her boss's name--written on a piece of brown paper bag--frozen in her freezer, to thwart his power over her*. Last night Miss J. took me to dinner with a women who shares my same name and who reads old Norse. How jealous am I! But we sat in a Japanese restaurant wrestling with our chopsticks and talking about giants. We talked about the "What the Fuck?" factor in the Poetic Edda, that pretty much forces you to the original language and your own dictionary--Loki ties his testicles to a goat's? What the fuck? Is that right? Oh, yes, yes, it is. She's reading Egil's Saga in the original. I am envious. I also talked to someone who is memorizing Eugene Onegin. I think it's a known fact that if one is gong to memorize anything in Russian, you cannot go wrong with Sasha Pushkin. He's like Byron, but with talent. I've found that my trip to the strip club, with an armed libertarian, makes for a popular topic of discussion, though, oddly enough, people are more fascinated by the fact that I spent an evening with a conservative man carrying a gun than they were about the fact that we spent it in a strip club. Which I think brings me nicely back to my breakfast discussion on Tuesday--that this is a large group of people with life experiences limited to and by their life choices (which, of course, is true of us all and I know I'm being a patronizing jackass but I'm a self-aware patronizing jackass so... well, so nothing... anyway) and they're fascinated by folks whose life experiences are vastly different. Hmm. Maybe I could make some money on the side by taking liberals on a bus tour past the Wayward Boyscout. He could stand outside, looking sufficiently libertarian, and they could point and stare, and then he could have dinner with them and I would take them back to their hotels and we could split the profits. And, if he's not game for such two-way exploitation, I'll just dip his name in sugar until he feels compelled to change his mind. Or until I acquire an ant problem... whichever comes first. *She also told me that if you want someone to improve his behavior towards you, you should encase his name in honey and he will have to become sweeter to you.


The Impostors This morning I had breakfast with a woman who said that she sat in a classroom and had a teacher tell her she would never go to college. I threw back my head and laughed. I asked, "Do you ever feel like someday they're going to find you out? Do you worry that someone will look at you and know you don't belong?" "You mean, do I feel like an imposter? Of course." "Oh, god, me, too!" It's funny, sometimes, to run into someone who can articulate what you're feeling. I spend a lot of time with people who think they are so aware of and sensitive to differences between people and who make me feel like a freak. Obviously, not intentionally, but the gulf between me and them is so vast and they refuse to acknowledge that there's any gap at all and it makes me feel bad. It feels patronizing--this kind of liberalism that promotes diversity as some abstract goal without working to actually make room for people in here, so that the people in here who don't belong still never find a way to fit in and yet the do-gooders never have to be aware of it. I feel very lucky when I stumble across someone else who also feels like a big fake. No, I'm not "fake" in the way someone from the barrio is "fake." I don't have any idea what her life is like. But I know what it means to feel like the very way you inhabit yourself marks you as never being able to fit in. What we have in common is not anything more profound than not being like the rest of the folks here. And yet, the delicious irony is that we are the very people they study, they very types of people they think they feel a kinship to and, not only don't they know how to know us in particular, why certainly don't know how to relate to the rest of our folks. It's funny to me to listen to conservatives bitch about some kind of liberal agenda in higher education. Because here I am at one of the largest meetings of "liberal" academics in the country and everyone is mostly white, mostly nerdy, mostly middle class, mostly just like they've always been, but with more women. What I'm saying is that it's hilarious that conservatives are made about what liberals are saying on college campuses because it's only talk!!! There's nothing actually going on here that is that upsetting to the status quo. In fact, I'd argue, that this white, male dominated power structure is even more insidious and deeply rooted than most because it disguises itself behind a rhetoric of inclusion. It talks such a good game that most folks never have to be aware that it's all talk--that these are just folks performing a type of "tolerance" and "diversity" that looks good and means very little.


The Psychic Doorman My hotel is amazing! My room is huge with a huge closet and a beveled light fixture. Everything is peach and green and the bathroom is so clean! The first thing the doorman said to me was "Hello, Ms. B." I about fell over and he laughed. "Are you psychic?" I asked. "No, Homeland Security." I gave him my patented "What the Fuck?" look and he laughed and said he saw it on my bags.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Holiday Wrap-Up

Well, all in all, I'd call that a successful holiday. My pot roast turned out very nice. The Butcher and I folded some laundry. And we watched some stirring anti-corporate documentary on the Sundance channel. The Butcher is off to the airport to pick up one of his friend's mom. It was very cute watching him sit here with a box lid and a sharpy making a little sign so that she could find him at the baggage claim. I'm about to go upstairs and pack. That's right, I'm leaving y'all again. Well, not all y'all. I'll be hanging out with Miss J., and some of you, if you have the jobs I suspect you have, will be hanging with me, you just won't know it. But the rest of you, you're going to have to make due without me. It'll be hard, I know. Who will you fight with? Who will laugh at your jokes? Who lets you tell your mom that she's your girlfriend because your mom likes me so much and would never understand about that other chick? But I'll check in when I can and be back before you know it. Take care.

It's Christmas, Pretty Baby

The plan was to live vicariously through Sarcastro, but his mom forbid him from live-blogging Christmas. Which means that we've been denied all access to family fun, because the Butcher and I are doing Christmas by ourselves. The Butcher is trying to whoop up some ambiance by fighting with the television, but it's not quite the same thing. I'm making a roast and thinking about some potatoes. No one except our uncle B. has called to wish us a merry Christmas. We didn't realize that my dad had lied and told his family that he and Mom were down here with us. Oops, needless to say, we accidently let on that we were down here alone. Ha, I guess we can have some freaky holiday drama even when we're apart.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

"If today was Christmas eve and tomorrow was Christmas day"

If today was Christmas eve and tomorrow was Christmas day All I would need is my little sweet rider Just to pass the time away, to pass the time away --Robert Johnson, "Hellhound on My Trail" Mrs. Wigglebottom and I went to the park, even though it was raining. I was tired, am tired, and she was wound up. About halfway into the walk, when I started feeling the rain seeping through my coat, I knew it was raining too hard for us to keep walking, but by then, going forward or turning around was the same difference. It's hard when you're cold and wet and tired to be glad to be at the park. And I'll admit, I was shuffling along, eyes downcast, being snippy with the dog, who was trying to catch up on who all had been to the park since last week. But then we came over the hill and there was my favorite stretch of road, fully puddled. And as we walked through the shallow water, the trees seemed to stretch down beneath us towards another sky in another world mirrored below us. For a moment, it felt like all that was keeping us from falling into that vast sky below was that we were standing on the feet of two folks on a walk in that world, who, when I looked down at them, were looking back at me just as curious. I spent last night first in a room surprisingly full of people who spoke a little Russian at Chris and Amanda's party (you can read an awesome rundown of it here) and then I headed off to the Queen's house and had dinner with Miss J, the Divine Ms. B., the Queen, her lover, Miss J's lover, and their mom and dad. The Butcher is bummed that we're alone for Christmas. But I have to say, I'm kind of glad. It's so easy to get caught up in all the shit you're supposed to do just because everyone expects it of you. But if there's one thing I like about that Jesus guy, it's that he never got caught up in the shit people expected of him. You've got to appreciate a guy who rarely did what he was supposed to do. A radical in the good sense of the word. Anyway, I'm going to go sit on the couch and work on my afghan and, with my little sweet Mrs. Wigglebottom, pass the time away. I hope y'all are safe and warm and dry and well.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Well, Now There's No Need to Clean

Dad called to say that the recalcitrant brother is not coming for Christmas. He's spending it in North Carolina with his crazy wife and her boyfriend instead. I'm a little bummed, but now I don't feel so bad about procrastinating about getting his cigars.

Is Mrs. Wigglebottom Better Than You?

Take this handy quiz and find out: 1. Are you so cute? 2. No, really, are you so cute? 3. Do you get in the bathtub without any hassle whatsoever? 4. Can you scare off killer hobos with just one look? 5. Do people rub your head just so you fall asleep because you have the most darling snore ever? 6. If I said to you right now "Let's go for a car ride!" would you be game or would you have too many other obligations? 7. Do you have awesome ears that look like big bat wings that open up whenever anything strikes your curiosity? 8. Do you love cats? 9. Do strangers stop you on the street to tell the person you're walking with that you are awesome? 10. Do you give me kisses whenever you can? If you answered no to any of the following, it's safe to say that Mrs. Wigglebottom is better than you.

Mrs. Wigglebottom, Community Blogger

We were on our way to the park when my phone rang. I didn't hear it right away because I was busy singing along to the Violent Femmes. But finally, I answered it and it was the Butcher asking for the car back because he's been called into work. Cancel one long walk at the park with the dog. Instead, we went over to Centennial Park and checked out the new dog park. From the looks of it, there will be two fenced-in areas--a smaller area by the parking lot (Mrs. Wigglebottom gave it a couple of sniffs but didn't show much more interest than that) and a huge area facing the Parthenon*. (Mrs. Wigglebottom seemed much more interested in this area and peed on many of the new fence posts.) The fencing is not completely up and there's some kind of trench being put in, but it looks like it should be very cool. Mrs. Wigglebottom seems very excited about it. Sadly, she does not play well with others, so we will be able to enjoy it only when it is too rainy for other people to bring their dogs. So, the plan for today was to go to the park, give the dog a bath, take her out in the fifty degree weather to dry out (yes, fellow Yankees, I did indeed say fifty degrees), go to the bank, buy the recalcitrant brother some cigars, go to the liquor store, and be back here by five to get whatever's coming via DHL. Now that the Butcher is taking the car, the plan has been reduced to "bathe the dog, work on the afghan, do the dishes, get DHL delivery." You'll notice that many of these things seem like actual work and not fun. Ah, well. It's hard to get up to no good when you don't have a car, but I'm sure Mrs. Wigglebottom and I will find a way. *Some of you may be unaware that Nashville has an actual replica of the Parthenon in one of our city parks. Well, now you know.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Spending Time with the Conservative Boys

1. Are women more complex than men? I don't think so. I think men, in general, are obtuse about their own complexities. Are women all crazy? To put up with some nonsense, it would seem. 2. I have a huge crush on Ryan*. Not as huge as my inexplicable crush on Kleinheider, but closely rivaling it. Ryan writes beautifully and Kleinheider calls me Young B. How can I resist? 3. I have a secret crush on the guys over at SayUncle, too. There's no reason. They just seem smart and well-thought-out and I would love to pick a fight with them, just for the fun of fighting with smart people, but I'm not feeling antagonistic lately. 4. That cutie, Bob Krumm tickles me with his insightfulness. 5. Lee almost spontaneously combusts. Eh, only five conservatives (not counting Sully) that I regularly read. Well, there's your evidence that Tiny Cat Pants is indeed biased towards the good. *Eh, it occurs to me that I don't actually know that Ryan's conservative. But tough shit, I'm mentioning him anyway.

I (Heart) TV on the Fritz

Joey Fritz Lang over at TV on the Fritz says I have a granite vagina*. I'm not sure what that means, except that maybe he thinks I'm easy to keep clean and look great in a kitchen. But every once in a while, I feel compelled to have some kind of navel-gazing "What the fuck is Tiny Cat Pants doing anyway?" post. I worry that I really don't know. And then along comes Joey Fritz and sums it up so nicely:
To hear the meandering tales of Mrs. Wigglebottom and The Butcher, the whole wonderfully constructed cast of characters. Oh mama. I'm coming in my pants just thinking about her blog. She's like David Sedaris only less gay.
Here's the part I especially like--"meandering tales" and "whole wonderfully constructed cast of characters." Yep, that's exactly it. I want you to read this and get a sense of what it must be like to sit next to me at a bar or across from me at the dinner table. I want you to care a little bit about the people I care a lot about. I want to take our ordinary moments and put a little shine on them. And I'm glad that's coming across. That makes me happy. *Edited to add that Fritz also apparently thinks I might fuck him up the ass. I don't know. He's young, but what the hell? It's not like he's looking to marry me. Let's put it in the "Up for Consideration" column.

I have to admit, though, that it puts me in a bit of a quandary. Not many of you know, but I have a Gay List, a list of all of the people who will never sleep with me, no matter what, and that list is comprised basically of gay men and a handful of libertarians.

Of course, the libertarians have complained. "Why can't it be the Gay and Libertarian list?" they ask, to which I reply, "Because I'm holding out hope that one day I will meet a libertarian who wants to fuck me." To which they reply, "I doubt it because you're crazy." To which I say, "Crazy? Oh, that's very nice. Yet another reason the Gay List's name is not getting changed. Maybe if you weren't so entrenched in your heteronormative ways, the name of the list wouldn't be such a big deal. Patriarchal Jackass." "Insane feminist." Etc., etc. You see how I fight with them. You know how it goes.

But never in my life had I considered the possibility that any gay men might want off the Gay List. Here is my list of men I can have flirty fun with and know that the line between what's going to happen and what's not going to happen is clear and bright and we can have all kinds of fun over on this side of the line and never have to worry about anyone taking it the wrong way. And now? And now here's this young upstart who's gone and fucked up my system.

It's about more than a girl can handle. Do I just have to give up and change it to the Libertarian list? The Libertarian and 99.9% of Gay Men list? What to do?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Wiccan Witch of the West

I'm afraid that I'm going to have to start doing a series of "I read so you don't have to" posts similar to my "I read so you don't have to" posts, for today I have read the most craptastic thing on Slate, so craptastic that I almost was reduced to awe. Today, Mark Oppenheimer writes about Wiccans. I'm not a Wiccan, but I'm mistaken for one often enough that I feel qualified to discuss the problems with this article at some length. Before we get started, let's make sure we're all on the same page vocabulary-wise. There are witches--the quasi-mythical women who worship the devil and make your cow's milk curdle. There are witches--modern day folks who practice some form of magic. And there are witches--people who follow Wicca, a young religion based on the idea of either one divinity worshipped in both its male and female aspects or two divine beings, one male and one female. So, one might say that while all Wiccans are witches, not all witches are Wiccans. You can have monotheistic witches, polytheistic witches, atheistic witches*, as well as Wiccan witches. Wicca has the same problem that every other religion has, which is that there's a large contingency of idiots. Wiccans even have a word for these idiots--fluff-bunnies or fluffy-bunnies**. And, in fact, many Wiccans are open about the fact that the fluff-bunny stage is kind of a typical way of coming into Wicca. You see one too many episodes of Charmed or you watch The Craft and the next thing you know you have yourself a nice "Never Again the Burning Times" bumpersticker and you're walking around with a huge pentagram sneering at Christians. After a while, hopefully, you grow up some, you read up some, and you come to the happy conclusion that your religion is personally meaningful and so you don't give a shit if it was made up 50 years ago instead of 5,000. Anyone who reads even a little about Wicca is very familiar with this whole controversy. And yet, here comes our idiot friend Oppenheimer reporting like he's blown the lid off of a big secret scandal. That's his first mistake. Here's his second:
Now 50 years old, the earth-centered faith (also known as paganism or witchcraft) has thousands of adherents and many more occasional dabblers in the United States and Europe.
Wicca is not earth-centered. One might say that Wicca is nature-based, as its sacred calendar is based on natural phenomena, like the solstices and equinoxes. But Wiccans worship the Lady and the Lord, not the earth. Wicca is not the default grouping for any non-Christian white folks. Paganism is. Wicca is a smaller group inside the larger umbrella term of paganism. Pagans, as they've reclaimed the word, are mostly white folks who worship gods other than the Christian one. Wiccans worship two specific gods. Witchcraft, as we've covered, is just a magical practice, not necessarily associated with any one pagan religion. Oppenheimer continues to shoot off his mouth:
But Wiccan teachings are for the most part a stew of demonstrably false historical claims. There's no better time to examine this penchant for dissembling than at winter solstice on Dec. 21, which Wiccans say has been their holiday for thousands of years. For it's just such unfounded claims to old age and continuous tradition that may keep Wicca from growing to be truly old.
Within Wicca, there are many subsets of Wiccan belief. While it's true that one can look at Gardner's teachings (the ones available to non-Gardnerians) and show how he fudged some facts, this is no secret. And most Wiccans, once they're past the fluff-bunny stage--don't cling to the veracity of those claims even in the face of historical fact. But Oppenheimer is doing something patently unfair to Wiccans throughout this article. Since he's conflated pagans with Wiccans, he can take a demonstrably truthful claim--like that the solstices have been pagan (in the sense of non-Christian European religious) holidays for thousands of years--and use it to impugn Wiccans. Of course, since Wicca itself is only 50 years old, the solstices have not been Wiccan holidays for thousands of years. But most Wiccans wouldn't claim that in the first place; they'd only claim the truthful statement, that pagans have been celebrating the shortest and the longest days of the year for a long, long time. I think it's telling that when Oppenheimer makes such broad claims that he doesn't actually point to any Wiccans who actually say such things. But let's move on:
Wicca is not a unified movement; it comprises "good" witches who use spells and charms, feminist worshippers of a monotheistic Goddess, and earth-cultists who propound nature worship. But the many strands overlap. They're gynocentric; they're all concerned with nature; they all celebrate eight holidays, or "sabbats," that include the equinoxes and the solstices. Adherents typically say that those eight holidays were celebrated by ancient Wiccans or pagans, primarily Celtics or Romans, whose traditions the contemporary Wiccans are carrying on. These seasonal festivals, they add, have been co-opted by Christians, who turned Samhain into Halloween and Yule into Christmas.
Again with the conflating of Wiccans and pagans and the sloppy use of Wicca to mean all kinds of paganism, which is clearly not the case. It's true that Wiccans do align themselves with what they believe are old Celtic beliefs. I don't know what he's talking about with the Roman holidays. I'm not sure what he means by "earth-cultists" as someone who worships the earth would pretty much, by definition, not be Wiccan. And on the nonsense goes, with Oppenheimer declaring what he believes Wiccans to be and to believe and then tearing them to shreds for being so foolish as to believe the things he's made up about them believing in the first place. Really, Slate is pretending to be an online magazine, which means that Oppenheimer is posing as a journalist. As such, shouldn't he be required to, oh, I don't know, talk to a few actual Wiccans, maybe hang out in their Beliefnet threads for a little bit, do some actual research rather than just creating his strawman so that he can burn it down? *And, depending how one feels about Pow-wow, even Christian witches. **Can I just say how awesome I think it'd be if all religions referred to their idiots as "fluff-bunnies"? Would we have the same problems with people taking radical right Christians seriously if other Christians called them "fluff-bunnies"? I don't think so.

Has Someone Kidnapped the Butcher?

The car is here, but he is not. But what morons would take the Butcher and leave the car? The car is the only thing of value we have. If there's a ransom for the Butcher, I'll have to sell the car to come up with the money. Why not just take the car in the first place and save some steps? I thought maybe he was passed out on the couch, but I got down here and the couch is empty. And then I worried that he was passed out in the car, but I checked the car and it's empty. I asked Mrs. Wigglebottom, "Where's the Butcher?" She looked at me, tilted her head to one side like she was very interested in what I was saying to her, and then sat down. Make of that what you will. But anyway, the car is here, the Butcher is not. I guess that means I get to drive to work. Right?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"Ain't good looking, but you know I ain't shy"

Dear Readers, let's think back to that moment when I saw our friend Sarcastro for the first time:
And last, but not least, of the new folks I met and ended up talking to for a long time, is Sarcastro. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but he was both exactly what I thought he'd be like and not at all. He has dimples and a kind of cocky way about him and I kept having to check and make sure I wasn't touching myself while I talked to him. Towards the end of the evening, he was surrounded by the three hottest girls in the room and I knew, out of all of us there that evening, he'd be the one most likely to get three people to come home with him.
And, as long as I've known him, my opinion hasn't changed. He remains one of the sexiest motherfuckers I've ever met. And yet, after I wrote that paragraph above, many of you asked me if he was cute and I said, as you can attest, "I don't know." Because, frankly, I didn't. He's attractive, in my opinion, in a way that totally bypasses any rational part of my brain and just plugs right into something primal, where you'd not be surprised to find yourself touching yourself in front of him. So, he has this bullshit idea that he's like something out of a Bob Seger song, that women want him because he's not "afraid to look a girl in the eye" and I went along with it because I couldn't tell. Last week, I was standing on one side of his truck bed and he was across from me, leaning over a jackhammer. I said something, he looked up at me, and I was like "My god. Is Sarcastro cute?" But I was a little drunk, so I chalked it up to the tequila. But yesterday, I was bloated and crampy and tender and grouchy and unsettled and sober. In other words, I was as far away from thinking about sex as a primate can be. And I came out of my office building, looked across the parking lot, and there, sitting in the truck, was a good looking man. I got in the truck. I checked him out again. Have you ever had this moment? When you finally see someone the way everyone else in the world must see them? I can remember when this happened with the recalcitrant brother. He came to my college graduation and I saw him from across the room and my first thought was "God damn, that's a boy who looks like he could show you a thing or two about being up to no good" and then, when I realized it was him, I was like, "Yep, I'm officially grossing myself out." Well, that was me again yesterday--looking at this guy who had, up until that moment, looked just like Sarcastro looks, which is to say, like himself, and realizing that I finally had an answer to y'all's question. Yes, he's good looking. Maybe not "cute" exactly, at least not all the time. But worth your while to look at. . . if you don't mind looking at old men.

The Thrill is Gone

Yesterday, when the Butcher took me to work, we were both just sitting there silently at the stoplight and I said to him, after long, quiet minutes. "I feel like the magic has gone out of our relationship." "You're just now noticing? I haven't loved you since I was seven." "Is this the point where we start looking for outside siblings?" "Well, my brother is coming over on Christmas Eve and I don't want you to be a bitch about it." I laughed long and hard then and I laughed again when I was thinking about it while walking the dog. I know I complain a lot about him, and rightfully so, but I hope y'all also get a flavor for just how fucking funny the dude is, constantly. And, he's growing a beard, which makes him look like an overly earnest Presbyterian minister, and every time I get in the car with him, I look over and invariably he's got a little piece of green fuzz stuck in it. I used to do him the favor of pulling it off, but now, with Christmas being so close, I leave it there like a little decoration.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Right Wing Just Does Shit Differently

Nate over at the Pan Galactic Blogger Blaster just asks chicks to send in risque photos of themselves so he can post them on his blog and they do. What the fuck? I can't decide if I'm appalled or jealous.

Some Enchanted Evening

Tomorrow is our office Christmas party. I have not prepared for it. I had even made plans to be busy this evening so that I would be unable to prepare for it. But, alas, fate and the Butcher have conspired against me. My plans fell through and here on the oven are those awesome peanut butter bars, which I will whip up for my co-workers because I'm nice. The real question is, what do I bring as my crappy present to exchange? We've got quite a few lighthouses that neither of us like. But my grandma gave them to us and my mom would notice if they were missing. There's the puppet that the Butcher uses to hit on my friends when he's drunk. No, then, not that. I think I'm going to have to go with one of my hideously ugly afghans, from the days when I didn't know what I was doing. As a present, it's got two things going for it. One, it's ugly so no one's going to want it. But it's handmade by me, so I will be able to revel in folks' discomfort as they pretend like they don't not want it. Yes, I think that's really the perfect thing to bring. That or the jar of peanuts my dad left here at Thanksgiving.


I was thinking just now of my friend Christy's mom who took us into the bathroom when we were in eighth grade and tried to teach us about tampons. Up until that point, the only thing we ever used tampons for was to shoot them at my brothers after church. In fact, I'm almost certain that it was upon being caught flinging tampons around the sanctuary that we were forced to endure the tampon lesson. Basically, this involved us sitting on the edge of the tub, hoping to god that Christy's mom couldn't smell the cigarette smoke on us, while her mom lined up a series of glasses on the bathroom counter and tampons of all different brands. She explained how to use them, handed us each some instructions, and then made the stupidest mistake a mom can make while administering the tampon lesson. She proceeded open each tampon, take it out of its applicator, if it had one, and drop each one into its own glass. And there they swelled, like... well... unless you've seen it, it's hard to describe. But tampons come in a small variety of shapes. Some open up into little mattresses (Tampax) or unfurl like billowy umbrellas (Tampax Pearl) or untwist into some other uncomfortable shape. The thing is that, when left to their own devices, unfettered by a vagina, tampons will balloon up. And Christy and I looked at these cottony messes growing larger and larger in the glasses and looked at each other and Christy looks at her mom, eyes wide in terror, and says, "Jesus Christ, Mom, how the hell does that fucker come out?!" "Well, hmm, now they don't get that big..." "The fuck they don't! You think I'm going to put that thing up inside me when it does that?!?!" "Well, they're very convenient." "Are you fucking nuts?" "There's no need to swear." "Does B.'s mom know you're telling her this shit?" "Yes." "Has the world gone fucking mad?" Needless to say, neither one of us were converted to tampon use that day. But I remember when I got home, my mom sort of wanted to continue to talk about it. I'm sure she'd been briefed about the disaster. She handed me another sheet of instructions and said, "Now, you may have discovered that you have a hole. I just want you to know that such exploration is natural and that even though I don't want to know about it, you shouldn't be ashamed of it. Just read this and if you have any questions..." "Yeah, ma?" "Maybe we can ask your Aunt B. to answer them. She's a nurse."

What Went Wrong with Kong?

Yahoo! is reporting that King Kong had an "unremarkable" opening weekend. Hmm. And one would have thought that a movie that moves manly men to write poetry would do gang-busters at the box office.

Dr. Phil & Recent Comments

There's a big shepherd that lives a couple of blocks from us who, I swear to god, looks just like Dr. Phil. I think he has a perfectly fine dog name--Jag or Jack or Jet--but I don't know for sure since the people in our neighborhood are terrible about remembering dogs' names. Mrs. Wigglebottom is regularly Sophie or Sally to them, so I can't be assured that they actually know Dr. Phil's name, either. So, I just call him Dr. Phil. Which is not a problem usually because he's a dog. He doesn't really know what the fuck I'm saying. But on Saturday, when he was out walking around the neighborhood with his owner and I drove by, windows down in an effort to get my hair to dry, I shouted out "Hey, Dr. Phil." And I couldn't decide which part was weirder. That I was shouting hello to a dog or that I was then knowingly calling that dog by the wrong name. Anyway, I added a "Recent Comments" section over there on the right. I'm not in love with how it's set up, because it gives you the comments in the order of the posts--so, say, if Exador and the Church Secretary were to continue to fight on the post about Bush's law-breaking ways, they'd never be at the top of the comment list, even if those were the most recent comments. That's kind of annoying, but I think if I can figure out how to get it to say which posts those comments are on, at least that will be clear. I'll work on it. In the meantime, let me know what you think.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Fighting a Pit Bull

Mrs. Wigglebottom and I are having a enormous fight. I am losing. I want to lay on the couch under my half-finished afghan and sleep while Detroit loses to Cincinnati. She wants to lay on the couch under my half-finished afghan and sleep while Detroit loses to Cincinnati. I don't know why we can't reach a compromise, since it seems we have similar plans, but every time I get up to go to the bathroom or throw some more dishes into the dishwasher, she's sprawling all over the couch like it barely has room for her, let alone her and me. And if I throw her onto the floor, she's all like "I have to poop, right now. Take me out so I can poop." which I do, because I'm a good dog owner, but really she just wants to sniff around the side yard and see if anyone else has been there recently. I'm about to stuff a bone full of peanut butter and dog treats, just to lure her off the couch. It's not fair, but I'm exhausted and I need the couch.

The Return of the Man from GM

So, I didn't just spend all my time on the phone yesterday with the Man from GM rubbing it in his face that his company is going to ruin his life and didn't he want to hear some Tom Petty before he discovered he'd never be able to retire? No, we were also talking about New Year's, which he is now threatening to come down for. Many of you may recall how it goes when the Man from GM visits. Everything is fine for a while* and then he feels like my "slutty" friends ought to have sex with him, if only he finds the right "secret" place to put his hand or foot. Almost always, this involves him putting his hand on their feet or his foot on their asses. Then, when they decline to have sex with him, because--I suspect--they don't know him, he has no flirting skills, and he doesn't even seem to have a general sense of what body parts go where, he gets all bitter and angry and mean. Then I get pissed off and by the time he's going back to the airport I'm not even speaking to him and he's sitting on the plane stewing and then he's calling me the second the plane lands in Detroit to continue to fight about all the ways he's better than all my friends. The last time he was here, I swore I was never going to let him come back, because he was such a fucktard and it ended up costing me a lot of money** and self-respect. And, as you may recall, I was still so pissed at him months later that I rescinded his invitation to my cousin's wedding***. But now, in typical Man from GM fashion, we're supposed to pretend like we've worked that shit all out and not what actually happened, which is, as pissed as I am, I'm amazed and amused by his ability to just insist on the rightness of his own understanding of the world--if women don't want to sleep with him, it's their problem, not his. If his friends are frequently pissed at him, he just has moody friends--and so have just gotten over it. I guess we'll see if he actually comes. And, if he actually comes, we can all take bets on who kills whom first. *And in all fairness to him, over the course of our friendship, a "while" has increased from 3.5 seconds to approximately 18 hours. **Because, did I mention? Cheap-ass motherfucker. ***So, in an indirect way, he's responsible for my mom running around warning everyone that I was gay.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Three Cheers for Days with Cars

Yes, so not only did I sleep well, but I took the dog to the park, which was nice because Mrs. Wigglebottom and I need our bonding time. She ate some poop. I said, "Can't you behave for three seconds without me having to watch you?" And she said "Behaving is against my religion." To which I said, "I believe it." And then I said, "Possibly, I anthropomorphize you too much." And she said, "Yes, probably." Then, I took the Butcher to work and we fought the whole way about which was the best 90s band. I said Nirvana, of course, and he said that they were obviously the most influential with the most kick ass songs but did that make them the best? And I was like, Dude, what's you're definition of best? But it was too late to find out, because we were there. Then, I rushed home, threw off all my clothes, hopped in the shower, hopped out, threw on different clothes and rushed out the door and headed down to Smyrna for the Rutherford County Blogger doohickey. I even wore a skirt in case Kleinheider was there. Ivy says I have "some AWESOME hair, and of course, great tits," so your loss, Kleinheider. The Rutherford County bloggers were hilariously awesome. Michelle even showed me how to kick someone in the face, which was pretty damn impressive. Then I drove all over the countryside because I haven't driven my car anywhere in days and I listened to the radio and the awesome CD Brittney made me and the Man from GM called and I teased him about GM's problems and he got a little mad, but not as mad as he got when I called the lake he lives on "a puddle." And then I sang him some Tom Petty and he claimed he had another call, but we both know he didn't. Ah, well, his loss. And then I went to Jack in the Box because I thought I was hungry but I totally just came home and fed half of it to the dog, who is now letting stinky farts and trying to get me to take her outside. And, you know, I've just reread this and realized, obviously, I never drink coffee, because, when I do, well, this is what I'm like. So, thanks Rutherford County Bloggers. And thanks Chrysler. What a nice day I had.

Precious Sleep

Can I just say that I love that moment when you wake up and you're like "ah, I was sleeping so well..." and you roll over and the clock reads 4:43 and so you can back over and go back to sleep?

Friday, December 16, 2005

We've Left 'Outrageous' and Entered 'Unrecognizable'

I'd like to say something intelligent about this, but I've tried now three times and I'm reduced to incoherent rage.
MR. LEHRER: First, the New York Times story this morning that says that you authorized secret wiretaps by the National Security Agency of thousands of Americans. Is that true? PRESIDENT BUSH: Jim, we do not discuss ongoing intelligence operations to protect the country, and the reason why is that there's an enemy that lurks, that would like to know exactly what we're trying to do to stop them. I will make this point. That whatever I do to protect the American people, and I have an obligation to do so, that we will uphold the law, and decisions made are made understanding we have an obligation to protect the civil liberties of the American people. MR. LEHRER: So if, in fact, these things did occur, they were done legally and properly? PRESIDENT BUSH: So you're trying to get me to talk about a program-- MR. LEHRER: Yeah. PRESIDENT BUSH: --that's important not to talk about, and the reason why is that we're at a war with an enemy that still wants to attack. I, uh--after 9/11, I told the American people I would do everything in my power to protect the country, within the law, and that's exactly how I conduct my presidency. MR. LEHRER: Well, Mr. President, with all due respect, wouldn't you think--don't you believe that answer is going to lead people to believe that you're confirming that in fact you did this? PRESIDENT BUSH: We don't talk about sources and methods. Don't talk about ongoing intelligence operations. I know there's speculation. But it's important for the American people to understand that we will do--or I will use my powers to protect us, and I will do so under the law, and that's important for our citizens to understand.
The Philadelphia Daily News has more about how the New York Times (that supposed bastion of the liberal elite) sold us all out by declining to report this story back when we voters could have done something about it. Or maybe we just are all fine with the federal government wiretapping us and spying on us. Who the fuck knows any more? Maybe this is all fine and I'm the crazy one. Let's hope to god that's so. 12/18/05--edited to add: We've clearly entered crazy land when Bob Fucking Barr and I are in agreement. Preach on, Brother Bob:
BOB BARR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order.
BARR: Well, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution is the Constitution, and I took an oath to abide by it. My good friend, my former colleague, Dana Rohrabacher, did and the president did. And I don't really care very much whether or not it can be justified based on some hypothetical. The fact of the matter is that, if you have any government official who deliberately orders that federal law be violated despite the best of motives, that certainly ought to be of concern to us.
BARR: Well, gee, I guess then the president should be able to ignore whatever provision in the Constitution as long as there's something after the fact that justifies it. ROHRABACHER: Bob, during wartime, you give some powers to the presidency you wouldn't give in peace time. BARR: Do we have a declaration of war, Dana? ROHRABACHER: You don't have to do that. BARR: We don't? That makes it even much easier for a president.
BARR: Here again, this is absolutely a bizarre conversation where you have a member of Congress saying that it's okay for the president of the United States to ignore U.S. law, to ignore the Constitution, simply because we are in an undeclared war. The fact of the matter is the law prohibits -- specificallyprohibits -- what apparently was done in this case, and for a member of Congress to say, oh, that doesn't matter, I'm proud that the president violated the law is absolutely astounding, Wolf.

Universal Salvation

When I was in grad school, it wasn't just Miss J and I in the cute house on Polo Road. There was also our roommate, who we shall just call Missy. Missy was from a strain of Christianity that talked in tongues and anointed each other and their houses and believed that the end of the world was rapidly approaching. She also believed that most of the people around her would rue the end of the world, because they'd not be as happy as she would with how things turned out. I was not aware of how literally she took her beliefs until the most uncomfortable evening of my whole grad school career*. Miss J was housesitting for a professor so Missy and I living in the house on Polo Road without her. But we'd all been together that evening getting shit-faced and, I assume, though I don't remember, acting like wild heathens. Still, nothing too outrageous, I don't think**. But when we got back to the house on Polo Road, I sat down on the futon and Missy sat across from me on the loveseat by the window, and she started sobbing. I was really alarmed, because nothing had happened that evening that would lead one to cry. But there she was. And so I was drunkenly trying to console her. "My god," I said, "What's wrong?" "I just love you and Miss J so much." "Well, we love you, too." "I mean it. I just love you and Miss J so much. I don't ever want to be where you aren't." "What do you mean? Are you going to start stalking us?" "No, I mean when you go to Hell." Now, here's the point when your dear aunt, had she not been drinking, would have probably gotten very angry and quiet and walked away. But I had been drinking and, in general, when I've been drinking, I love everyone and want them to feel good. And so I became distraught because, drunkenly, I thought her beliefs deserved respect and a kind response. So, I did not punch her or sit her down and ask her about universal salvation, I just asked her this question: "Do you think you love me more than God does?" "Oh, no. Of course not. God is love." "Okay, and if you're this upset about me not getting into Heaven, how upset do you think God is?" "That's why you and Miss J have got to repent." "No, listen. You like me, even unrepentant. I'm sure He does, too." She didn't get it. Fine. Here's another way to get at it. My uncle B.--the oldest one--was a motherfucker. I'm not going to get into all the ways he was a motherfucker, but the dude made my mom cry and that is enough for me. I sat there in the driver's seat of the van listening to her tell me about how she'd taken him to the store because he claimed he couldn't drive and he grabbed her leg and her arm and tried to pull her on top of him because, as he explained, it was his right as the oldest member of the family. And she fought him off and drove him home and then sat there next to me, begging me not to tell my dad, because she didn't want to upset him and I was like, "Fuck telling Dad. We're going over to that motherfucker's house and you'll lure him out and I'll run his fat ass over." And she smiled a little bit and said it wasn't worth damaging the van. And when he died, I laughed. I laughed for days. Good riddance. But my grandma, who I love dearly, was devastated. I don't think she expected that my awesome Uncle B. would outlive her, but she thought for sure that her other four children would. And so the death of her oldest son hit her hard. And I know that, if that son of a bitch is not there in Heaven with her, she's miserable. Which leads me to universal salvation and how I first knew I wasn't going to make a very good Christian. I just don't believe in Hell as a place where bad people go to be punished after they die. If we can love each other so much that we would be miserable being separated from each other for too long, why would the Christian God arrange the world in a way that would make him miserable--guaranteeing His separation, for eternity, from some of the people He loves. It makes no sense to me. I might buy that Heaven and Hell are the same place and that, if we are made completely aware of the implications of our lives--fully aware of the joy we've spread and the pain we've caused--that some folks might be very happy with eternity and others might be miserable. But I keep thinking of my grandma, who, bless her heart, would be miserable watching my uncle suffer in all the ways he so richly deserves. I just never could get past that. My grandma was a good person, faithful to her god. How could her god have the afterlife set up in such a way that my grandma would be unhappy? [Thanks to Miss Kitty for getting me thinking about all this.] *And I think we remember that my grad school career included the incompetent man who bit me, hard, on the elbow, so that's saying something. **Do you recall, Miss J?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Walmart, How I Hate You

Let me count the ways:
  1. The jackass in the Cavalier who came speeding the wrong way down the row and tried to swing around in some suave manner into the parking spot right in front of me. A., Ha, ha, fucker. A Cavalier can't maneuver that suavely. B. That was the last parking spot in the row. You were in a hurry to get to that?
  2. The jackass in the cream Toyota truck also speeding the wrong way up the row.
  3. I had to park one million miles away and hitch a ride on the back of a distracted, overworked mother.
  4. Old people on those motorized scooters blocking up the aisles like they think they're fucking semi-trucks keeping jackasses from cutting in line. We're in an aisle. Just because you need to stop and compare prices on pot holders doesn't oblige the rest of us to wait for you.
  5. Teenagers using Walmart as some kind of dating service. "I need some service, Darnell." No, sweetie, you need a better pickup line, because Darnell is walking quickly in the other direction.
  6. No, I don't want your Barbie crap. You don't have to grab onto it like fucking Gollum and glare at me when I go by.

On a happier note, my cashier was utterly competent and got me checked out quickly. And I thought Darnell's hair was cute as hell. A lot of the kids seem to be wearing their hair like Sean Paul, but it looks much better on them, because they're tall and lanky and those long braids look better on tall lanky kids.

To My Gentlemen Readers

Just a note to say that, if you can still smell your cologne at 1:08 in the afternoon, you are wearing too much. Tone it down. The rest of us will thank you. With smooches, if you're lucky.

Lunch with Brittney

I just got back from lunch with Brittney from over at Nashville is Talking. She was wearing a skirt so cute I about died of delight when she walked in the restaurant. I gave her the somewhat purple afghan, which she liked, and then we spent the rest of the hour talking about the joys of liberal feminism. I would share them with you, but they are secret joys, and many of you, I know, have not even gotten around to learning the Tiny Cat Pants theme song. I'm not going to be sharing secret stuff with you if you aren't willing to learn and regularly sing the Tiny Cat Pants theme song--which, I will point out, is short. Come on, now, all together:
Aunt B. is so great Aunt B. is so fine Like a star in the night sky Her greatness does shine. All of the straight men And some of the girls Would like to make Aunt B. The Queen of their world.

Jean Claude Van Damme has a healthy ego

I just caught a few minutes of the Jean Claude Van Damme movie before work. I don't know what it was called, but the premise seemed to be the same as Pee Wee's Big Adventure, in that he was very anxious to find his bike. Anyway, that's not important. What's important is the scene I saw, in which he fucks two women while some old woman looks on. Cut to the exhaustedly-fucked women sleeping while he gets up in search of his bike. One of them asks the other where he's going. The other explains. The first asks where he gets all that energy. They resume their post-coital slumber. Then, he goes outside, grabs a blanket off the line and covers up the old woman who is now asleep on the ground outside the window. Yes, Jean Claude Van Damme made a movie in which he insinuates that even watching him fuck is exhausting. I'm convinced that Van Damme thinks modesty is a city in California.

More About Why the Democrats Suck

As I see it, then, the Democrats have themselves in a bit of a bind with this whole "elite" business. It's actually complicated in two folds. The first problem is that you can't both project an aura of elitism and attempt to appeal to the middle. You can't both say "we're better than everyone else because --we don't live in a red state --we went to a private school --we live in New York or LA --we read the Times --we go to the theater --we're artsy and pretentious --or whatever" and "we're really the party of moderation, unlike those extreme crazy rightwingers. Our values best represent middle America's values." You see what I'm saying? There's no way you can be snobby and think everyone who's not like you sucks and is retarded AND convince "mainstream" America to vote for you (though, I'll admit, I firmly believe you can convince "mainstream" to vote for you if you think everyone who's not like you sucks and is retarded; it's the snobbery that sticks in the craw.) But the second problem is that even if such a strategy worked to attract these mainstream voters, it alienates your middle America liberals. Liberals out here don't have the luxury of being surrounded by a bunch of other liberals who have a lot of power. We don't get to stand around at cocktail parties in our big Democratic stronghold urban areas secure in the knowledge that, even if the rest of the country hates artists and queers and uppity bitches, we can always jet to Europe and bitch about America there if things get too uncomfortable here. We don't need a party that's just like the other one, but with less backbone. We need a party that puts our interests first. Maybe the Democrats in power haven't noticed, but, if we want to vote for people who don't like us, there's already a party for that. When we hear you say "we're going to find the middle ground and govern from there," it doesn't make us want to vote for you. It makes us want to throw up our hands in despair and not vote at all. Vote from the middle? Have you seen the middle? Have you seen most leftists? We don't want to support a party that attempts to reflect the values of middle America because 1. The agenda-setters for the party don't live in middle America. They live on the coasts. So they don't actually know what the values of middle America are. They have their Hollywood ideas of what they imagine those values to be; and 2. Those values that you imagine all of the heartland sharing come at our expense. Your imagined middle America has no room for gay marriage or women's medical autonomy or free artistic expression or even real liberalism. Why should we remain onboard for that? [Edited to add that Jackson Miller has some smart things to say about this, as well. Go check it out.]

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Liberals, Fox News Knows Our Weakness

So, it's true that many liberals are patronizing, sanctimonious jackasses. It's hard not to be patronizing when we're so clearly right most of the time, but the trouble always has been that we're not just patronizing about the stuff we're right about--it's better to be good to each other than to our wallets, our commander in chief misled us into war, Andrew Dice Clay never was that funny--we're patronizing about shit that doesn't matter, like where people live. There's a reason that "liberal elite" caught on so quickly. Not because liberals in general think we're better than everyone else, but that it's clear that there's a noisy faction of us who thinks that, if you don't live on one of the coasts, you live in a vast cultural wasteland that must only be observed from either up in a plane or while being guarded by folks who will show you what the local customs are, but protect you from actual locals. Once you become acutely aware of this coastal elitism (and, if you watch any Hollywood movie about the center of the country, how can you not think that we're all semi-retarded, even if we might be nice enough), I just don't think it's such a short leap from "coastal elite" to "liberal elite," even if such a leap is unfortunate. Former Fox producer, Charlie Reina outlines the clever ways Fox News helps folks make such a leap, especially by manufacturing some "war" against Christmas. Joe Conason has a nice take on this nonsense as well. I especially like his closing paragraph:
Honoring old traditions, respecting newer arrivals and maintaining constitutional freedoms is often difficult. The important thing is to seek that balance in a spirit of kindness and decency rather than promoting anger and suspicion. For those who profess to honor the prince of peace, particularly at this time of year, that ought to be obvious.

Another Half-Assed Post

Here's a poem I wrote just now in honor of my dog: Dear dog, I'm eating breakfast I'm sure you noticed as you were laying right beside me farting out your ass. There's nothing more delightful Than dog farts and OJ. I hope that's a smell/taste combo I don't encounter again today.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Totally Half-Assed Post

I'm trying to get a project done before tomorrow and so I'm distracted this evening from enlightening posts and witty banter. I am contemplating, though, the awesomeness of rap music and my continued love for David Banner. Did you see him on Cribs wearing his "boxer drawers" this weekend? Okay, just me then.

And this surprises who?

Today must be the most boring day in the history of twenty-four hour infotainment as just about every article I've perused during my lunch hour has caused me to exclaim "Well, duh." Here are the stories that most failed to seem like news (in no particular order):
  1. Colin Farrell is on drugs. Yes, why else would he have done DareDevil?
  2. Iran's president expresses doubts about the Holocaust again. The first time he doubted the Holocaust, it was the least surprising "news" ever. I don't know what to call the fact that it's a story again that he's doubting again. The least, least surprising news? But do two leasts make it a most? Hmm.
  3. You soon will be able to pay to go down to New Orleans and look at the extent of people's suffering. I can't wait to see the t-shirts "Grandma went to tour the devastation in New Orleans and all I got was this stupid t-shirt, which, I guess is more than the folks who lost everything have."
  4. You should marry someone you like. Let's not even get into what a nice girl like me is doing poking around

Okay, but let's at least consider this: apparently, there's a large enough group of people who are smart enough to work the internet, but stupid enough to not realize that, if they don't miss the person they're considering marrying when that person is not around, there's a problem, to give this Prager dude an audience.

Shoot, you'd like to believe that people are smart enough to figure this shit out on their own, but look at the recalcitrant brother. He once showed up at my door with my future crack whore sister-in-law and proclaimed, "Our friends are trying to kill us." Perhaps Dennis Prager could have explained to him that, once they're trying to kill you, they are, by definition, no longer your friends.

Walnut Pie

When I was in grad school, I once went to the Farmer's Market. I think I was looking for flowers, though I can't remember why. What I found instead was this ancient man in overalls sitting on a bench with a flimsy card table in front of him loaded up with what his hand painted sign claimed was "Walnut Pies 50 cents." Well, Citizens of Earth, I don't know about you, but I find a sign like that intriguing. So, I came over to peruse his pies. "Walnut pies?" I asked, picking up the palm-sized dessert. "Yes, ma'am," he said, pointing with his cane towards the boxes next to him, which were also filled with tiny pies. "I make them myself." "I don't even know what a walnut pie is." "My son don't let me work no more and I got nothing to do all day but sit around his house getting old. So, I make walnut pies." "What do they taste like?" "You got fifty cents?" "Well, I have two dollars." "Good enough. Here's four pies. I even got you a little bag. You like that? My daughter-in-law found them." "That was nice of her." "You enjoy them." "Are they like a pecan pie?" "Pee-kahn?" He thought that was hilarious. "Pee-kahn? No, they ain't like a pecan pie." "Okay, well, thanks." I wandered back to my car, got in, and opened one. I bit in. It was amazing. Unbelievably good. Like walnut brownie batter in a crust. I've never had one since, but damn. Anyway, as part of my fantasy of running away to the outer banks, I would like to believe that there's a small community of very old Southern men who all know how to make these delicious pies and, if I ask sweetly enough, they will teach me.

Monday, December 12, 2005

My Mood Dramatically Improves

When I got home today, there was a small box in the mail from the Wayward Boy Scout. Inside? A note that says only "Follow your dream" and six yellow, smiley-faced ping pong balls. He'd already set the bar dramatically high as far as establishing what fun things Tiny Cat Pants readers might do with me, and now? Now he's sent me the best gift ever. My readers rock, even the ones who vote Republican.

Lexington Barbecue

That's what I'd have to eat as my first lunch as a free woman--Lexington barbecue--, if I were to get into my car this evening and decline to go home. I'd get the slaw on the meat, because, Christ Jesus, that's where it goes. And the crinkly fries. And by tomorrow or the next day, I'd be sitting on the beach watching the ocean, just me and the gulls and the few locals who wandered out to see who would bother to drive out to the outer banks at this time of year. Sometimes, I just get tired of being predictable. Of course I'll go to work and come home and let out the dog and bring in the cats and go to bed and get up and do it again and again and again. I'll continue to bitch about the shit I always bitch about. I'll be here tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. I've got shit to do and stuff and folks depend on me. I can't just cut and run. But... Ha, maybe it's a good thing I don't have the car that often.

Hours of Emotional and Mental Preparation?

Could this day get any better? First, I have the car. Second, the Butcher is cleaning the living room, which will hopefully get rid of the weird smell. And third, from Harper's, via Broadsheet, this gem from the government's abstinence-only materials:
While a man needs little or no preparation for sex, a woman often needs hours of emotional and mental preparation. 5 Major Needs of Women: Affection, Conversation, Honesty and Openness, Financial Support, Family Commitment 5 Major Needs of Men: Sexual Fulfillment, Recreational Companionship, Physical Attractiveness, Admiration, Domestic Support
No, wait, it gets better:
Sexual relationships often lower the self-respect of both partners--one feeling used, the other feeling like the user. Emotional pain can cause a downward spiral, leading to intense feelings of worthlessness.
Anyway, go check it out for yourself.

Dad Wants to Talk about the Men in my Life

So, my dad called me up last night to ask me about the men I met at the park. "What?" I asked. "Your mother said you met some men at the park and that they took you to dinner last week." Now, here's the thing about my mom. She just makes shit up. I mean, she uses real facts--like I know some guys, I go to the park, and I go out to dinner when I can swing it--but she puts them together in ways so interesting that you'd think anyone she was talking about would barely have time to sleep or work*. "Mom told you I was dating two guys? Is this still about Thanksgiving?" "Those drunk gay guys that called you? No, not them." "Gay?" "Your mother said they were partners." "Really?" I hear my mom in the background yelling, "They were drunk? I thought they had Parkinson's." "What?" I ask again. "Oh, Parkinson's," my dad says. "Not partners." "You always accuse me of making up stories and how can you know if I'm making things up when you never listen to what I'm saying?" "Why should I listen to what you're saying when you're always making things up?" "Anyway," I interject. "Okay, listen, you need to be a cheap date. When I met your mom, we went on three dates. I took her to the movies. And I took her out to eat a couple of times and then she said we should get married. And I figured, she had bad eye-sight and a teaching contract, I could do worse. So, we got married." "I thought you got married so quickly** because you didn't believe in premarital sex and Mom had needs." "Who told you that?" "Mom." "Well, there you go. Your mother's always making things up." * I just realized that my mom would make an awesome blogger. **They met in September of 1968 and were married in June of 1969.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

You Might Not Be a Redneck

Comedy Central is playing "Blue Collar Comedy Rides Again" at this very minute. I flipped by and was reminded of David Cross's eviceration of "Larry the Cable Guy," who, it turns out, is not even really named Larry. Yep, he's pretending to be a good ole boy. Cross explains:
But you also specifically dumb down your speech while making hundreds of purposefully grammatical errors. How do I know this? It's on page 17 of your book wherein you describe how you would "Larry" up your commentaries for radio. What does it mean to "Larry" something up? Take a wild guess. The reason you feel the need to "Larry" something up? Because you are not that dumb. I mean you, Dan Whitney, the guy who's name the bank account is under. You were born and raised in Nebraska (hardly The South), went to private school and moved to Florida when you were 16.
That bugs me. I don't know why. I guess if Larry the Cable Guy's audience doesn't feel like he's making fun of them, if they think he's laughing with them, not at them, I guess it's not my business. But it still bugs.

Oops, I hope you didn't go outside on my recommendation

When Mrs. Wigglebottom and I got to the park it was gorgeous and warm and sunny. But we started up the hill near the swingsets and I looked over at the big dead tree and saw behind it, also coming over the hill, a steel gray wall of clouds backed by a cold wind. The white trees* seemed to glow in contrast to the winter clouds. And all the birds were darting from tree to tree or falling out of the sky into the bushes in big clumps. There was so much noise. Everyone chattering back and forth, the squirrels rustling what few leaves are left. There were only four other humans and one other dog at the park, but I could barely hear myself think. But I did ponder one thing--which is my favorite tree? The sumac or the magnolia. The sumac has those gorgeous red leaves that seem to turn about eight million different shades before they finally fall and those crooked branches that look like art. But the magnolia has that smell and you can hide under the branches and keep cool in the shade even on the hottest days. So, I never could decide. I think I like them both equally. While we were waiting for the Butcher to pick us up (he'd gone to Walmart to pick up supplies for me before leaving me carless again), I explained to Mrs. Wigglebottom that her fans are requesting more stories about her and so she'd better start doing some cute shit for me to write about. Sadly for y'all, she doesn't understand a whole lot of English and so once she realized that nothing I was saying corresponded with any of the words she knows, she went back to sniffing around and ignoring me. *Does anyone know what those are? They look like frozen lightning strikes out there in the woods.

Simple Questions

If a man says "Put the whole bill on my card," and throws his credit card on the table and goes outside to have a smoke, why should he be surprised to come back to the table and find that he has spent $65 on dinner? If a woman, say our charming Professor, is continually falling down, does it not seem reasonable that we should try to design a giant baby walker for the Professor, that she could use to maneuver around campus without putting undue pressure on her ankles? Is that any weirder an idea than some kind of helper dog? Though, in all fairness, I suppose if the Professor had a mastiff on either side of her, they could lean in on her a little bit and prevent her from falling. But where would two mastiffs sleep in her tiny apartment? What kind of name is "Frank" for a boob freckle? Thanks for nothing, Sheik. Could it be any more beautiful out? The dog and I are going to the park just as soon as I throw some clothes on.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Why I Will Not Be Answering My Phone Today

There are different kinds of hang-overs. There's the kind where you wake up and wonder why the phone is in the bathtub and you can't for the life of you remember why. And then there's the kind where you wish to god you didn't remember why. I think we can guess which applies to me.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I Scandalize my Co-Workers

As mentioned, the Sheik is in town and so I got semi-gussied up for work because I'm not going home before we all go out. And so I thought today would be as good a day as any to try out the new bra. I'm a little self-conscious about it and am, I thought, making a much bigger deal out of it than necessary, basically because I fear change. But, I thought, if I could arrange to just touch base with an objective outside observer who could take me home to change underwear if he thought I looked ridiculous instead of hot, it'd be fine. It seemed like a fine plan and I had convinced myself that I was making a mountain out of a mole hill, until my coworker just now pulled me aside to inform me that my tits looked "shocking." Needless to say, my office door is now shut. [4:25--Edited to add that my objective outside observer is all "I have a job. I have to work. I'm not at the bar like normal people." so I'm just going to have to brave it alone. Still, it doesn't bode well that I can't talk a healthy heterosexual man into staring at my tits.]

My Heart is Already on the Weekend

I've got people to see, books to read, dogs to walk, Christmas cigars to buy, I can't get anything done today. I started a post on whether al Qaeda actually exists, which was well-researched* and would have been brilliant. I was going to tell you how hot my new bra is making me and I don't mean in the sexy way. I meant to mention that the Professor's Guinness beef stuff last night was fantastic and that we should all take a solemn vow to cook our roasts with Guinness, even if we don't have lovers buying us crock pots. But, y'all, I'm already thinking about settling in with a bottle of Bailey's under the afghan I made for the Professor, listening to the Sheik describe his latest adventures and why he doesn't think he needs to put doors on the Jeep, even in the winter. I'm already half way around the loop at the park with Mrs. Wigglebottom. I'm laying on the couch watching VH1 Soul. I'm sassing the orange cat. He's sassing me back. I am already fantasizing about my ordinary life away from work. But it's more than that. If I had a car, I'd ditch out of work right now. It's cold, it's sunny, there's a feeling of trouble to be made hanging in the air. I should be out corrupting cute boys, slow dancing with old men, drag racing bleached blondes, telling fortunes to sailors, talking upstanding citizens into gaudy tattoos, not eating lunch and playing Bejeweled. Today is a day for a little adventure and I'm sad I'm not having one. *Well, you know, in a bloggy kind of way. I didn't actually travel or talk to anyone.

Happy Birthday, recalcitrant brother

Today is the recalcitrant brother's birthday. He's twenty-nine. It's weird, but the fact that he's twenty-nine makes me feel a lot older than just me being thirty-one. My age is just my age, but holy shit. To have a younger brother who's almost thirty? Well, darn my socks and call me 'Granny.' Also, I remember being twenty-nine. It was not so long ago and not so much different than being thirty one. The recalcitrant brother used to be so much younger than me and now, for all practical purposes, we're the same age. My earliest memory is of driving away from the hospital in the back of my grandparents' car, going to stay with them while he was being born. My second earliest memory is climbing up the dresser next to his crib intent on tossing him out of the crib and reclaiming it for myself. One broken foot and a near-miss with a large marble dresser top and I was quickly disabused of the wisdom of that plan. I remember when his first son was born. The recalcitrant brother was wearing a Beevis and Butthead t-shirt and driving a shitty Camaro. He stood next to his girlfriend, who was holding the baby with this look like a deer caught in headlights. I remember thinking, "My god, this baby would be better off being raised by wolves." And yet, seeing him with his sons now, he's kind of grown into this "dad" thing in a much more graceful way than I would have ever guessed. It's true that we have our ideological issues, but I'm glad to know him, and glad for another year with him. I hope someone made him a cake.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Short and Fat is On Fire

Ever since he was sick, Short and Fat has been raising snarky humor to a new art form. I don't know where this new energy has come from, but I, for one, love it. Mr. and Fat, I tip my hat to you, sir.

This Nice Girl Act? I Don't Buy It

Lately, the "He Done Me Wrong" songs in R&B have sucked. First was that stupid "Girl" by Destiny's Child, which, especially in the video, suggests that the way to get over your cheating ass of a man is to handcuff him to something and then bond with your girls. And now is the hilarious Trina/Kelly Rowland song "Here We Go." Now, before we get to the song itself, let's just point out the obvious, which is that Trina looks like the kind of woman who, when she found out her man was cheating on her, would subdue him in some way, take great pleasure in breaking each of his fingers and toes, and then leaving him hog-tied on his grandma's doorstep. There is no way that dude's going to cheat on Trina and all that happens is that she pouts to Kelly Rowland and then gives his stuff away. No, a guy who cheats on Trina is going to end up begging for death. So, the premise of the video is unbelievable. But the lyrics? The lyrics are great*.
You treat me like a random chick You done forgot who introduced you to rocks And poppin all that cris an shit Who letchu hit it from tha back Anyway that chu like And any debts i can pay tha price I thought i was a chick you would make your wife And now a bitch cant even stay tha night I cant even look in ya face Witout wantin ta slap you Damn i thank God i aint get that tattoo
Yes "I thank God I ain't get that tattoo." Really, once you hear that line, how can you not love this song? But again, it points to my firm belief that any girl who almost got your name tattooed on her is not leaving the relationship non-violently. Now, Adriana Evans** is missing her man and when someone steps between them, she goes to a voodoo woman. I ask you, Citizens of Earth, doesn't this make more sense than going to Kelly Rowland***? *Though I'm dying to know if it's the song writer who spelled it "witout" or just the idiot who transcribed the lyrics. **And check out how sexy she looks smoking that cigar. Which reminds me, Ryan especially, any good recommendations for a cigar one might buy her recalcitrant brother for Christmas? ***Unless Kelly Rowland is a voodoo woman, in which case, my apologies.

'I wear the chain I forged in life'

'I wear the chain I forged in life,' replied the Ghost. 'I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?' I've been thinking about the Yankee Transplant and her poor Bleeding Heart Attorney*, who is beset with some scary unknown medical condition. But I've also been thinking about the ways I see her all over the blogs we share in common, quick with a kindness or a word of support. And Sarcastro, sitting across from me at a restaurant, picking the day out from under his fingernails while watching women come and go. And the Professor sitting on the futon at her lover's house, listening to him explain to me how to make his famous rice dish, her eyes sparkling with delight. And poor Dorcasina, who is struggling to live through the death of her young husband. One of the things that strikes me is that real people are infinitely interesting. Maybe not to themselves, but to me. Better than the best book** or poem*** or movie****. It's easy to lose yourself in fiction, and I like as much as the next person giving myself over to a created world with vivid characters. It's harder to do that with real people. But I find there's something a lot more compelling about the boring ordinary lives of the people I care about--their struggles and their triumphs hook me in a way that fiction doesn't. I think because, in part, I suspect that all we have is each other. We are just some fucked-up imperfect people who come together in whatever half-assed ways we can to do as much for each other as we can stand to do. Most of the time, that's not very much. Which leads me to the best movie ever--almost any version of A Christmas Carol. Is there any better story*****? A grouchy, miserly, hard-hearted man is transformed because his equally grouchy, equally miserly, equally hard-hearted friend shows up as a ghost and scares the shit out of him. When I was little, it used to bother me that Jacob Marley was still wandering the earth weighed down by the chains he forged in life. I wanted some kind of redemption and happy ending for old Marley. But now that I'm older, I think that's the most amazing part--that Marley would show up to help Scrooge even though it makes no difference to Marley. God damn. That's tremendous. That's friendship. And that's a lesson--that we ought to try to do right by each other when we can, even if it makes no difference to us. But also, Scrooge is surrounded by people who are trying to reach out to him--his nephew, Bob Cratchit, etc. The problem isn't that he's inherently alone, it's that he makes himself alone. When he's ready to not be alone any more, there are people waiting to receive him. Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs! I think there's something very hopeful about a story in which we redeem each other. And, since I am a sentimental fool, I watch that movie, in any version, as often as I can. *Fuck you, America, for giving me no proper word to call this woman. Partner? As if Yankee Transplant works at her law firm? Girlfriend? As if they are children? Lover? As if their days together are always carefree and languid? Hogging the words that carry the weight of love and commitment all to yourselves is cruel, very cruel. **Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, in case you're wondering. *** "Song of Myself" of course. **** We're getting to that. *****When I lived out in Donelson, one of the churches advertised that they were going to perform a "Christian" version of A Christmas Carol. Whoa, I thought, did they not get the original at all.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Judge For Yourself

Was the Pequod a den of sin? Edwin Yoder says "No."--"Melville has been overserved of late by those who see veiled homosexuality in practically any scene of 19th-century male bonding." Your dear Aunt wonders. Ishmael, tell us how you spent your favorite days aboard the ship:
Squeeze! squeeze! squeeze! all the morning long; I squeezed that sperm till I myself almost melted into it; I squeezed that sperm till a strange sort of insanity came over me; and I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers' hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this avocation beget; that at last I was continually squeezing their hands, and looking up into their eyes sentimentally; as much as to say,- Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill-humor or envy! Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness.
Now, Ishmael, certainly that just sounds kinky to our 21st century ears. What happens after the sperm squeezing?
Had you stepped on board the Pequod at a certain juncture of this post-mortemizing of the whale; and had you strolled forward nigh the windlass, pretty sure am I that you would have scanned with no small curiosity a very strange, enigmatical object, which you would have seen there, lying along lengthwise in the lee scuppers. Not the wondrous cistern in the whale's huge head; not the prodigy of his unhinged lower jaw; not the miracle of his symmetrical tail; none of these would so surprise you, as half a glimpse of that unaccountable cone,- longer than a Kentuckian is tall, nigh a foot in diameter at the base, and jet-black as Yojo, the ebony idol of Queequeg. And an idol, indeed, it is; or rather, in old times, its likeness was. Such an idol as that found in the secret groves of Queen Maachah in Judea; and for worshipping which, King Asa, her son, did depose her, and destroyed the idol, and burnt it for an abomination at the brook Kedron, as darkly set forth in the 15th chapter of the First Book of Kings. Look at the sailor, called the mincer, who now comes along, and assisted by two allies, heavily backs the grandissimus, as the mariners call it, and with bowed shoulders, staggers off with it as if he were a grenadier carrying a dead comrade from the field. Extending it upon the forecastle deck, he now proceeds cylindrically to remove its dark pelt, as an African hunter the pelt of a boa. This done he turns the pelt inside out, like a pantaloon leg; gives it a good stretching, so as almost to double its diameter; and at last hangs it, well spread, in the rigging, to dry. Ere long, it is taken down; when removing some three feet of it, towards the pointed extremity, and then cutting two slits for arm-holes at the other end, he lengthwise slips himself bodily into it. The mincer now stands before you invested in the full canonicals of his calling. Immemorial to all his order, this investiture alone will adequately protect him, while employed in the peculiar functions of his office.

Sperm squeezing, penis wearing... I just keep thinking that if any fundamentalist Christian had bothered to read Moby Dick, no high schooler would be allowed to touch it.

The Place that Makes My Soul Happy

Thanks to Brittney over at Nashville is Talking for drawing my attention to these awesome posters. This one, though, makes my whole day. This is where Mrs. Wigglebottom and I spend at least an hour almost every weekend. Those are the rocks she pees on. Those are the trees we walk through on our way back to the car, which is parked, almost always, in the shade of the big yellow trees on the right. I trust you can all see why that place refreshes me every time I go there. I also trust that you will continue to stay away from that side of the park. I appreciate you leaving it to me, Mrs. Wigglebottom, and the bikers*. *No, not the fun kind.

LuckyBuzz Steals My Heart with the Most Awesome Meme Ever

LuckyBuzz says:
I love this meme so much I can't even stand it. I love this meme so much I want to whisk it away to Vegas for the weekend. I love this meme so much I want to feed it blueberries in bed on a snowy morning.
And LuckyBuzz is right. What I am about to hit you with is indeed the best meme ever (I guess, if your readers aren't unimaginative jackasses... If they are, then, whoa boy does this suck.). I'll let Ms. Q, who seems to have invented it, explain:
Whether you know me or not, even if you have never been here before, make up a fake memory of us. That is, post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - but it has to be fake.
Y'all. Do you not see how awesome that is? Do you not know me well enough by now to see how I'd think that this is practically Christmas morning in a meme? I love it. I want you to try it. So, go ahead. Delight me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Feminism and Power

Yes, we're back on the question of just what kind of feminist I am. Not because anyone else has been asking, but because I've been kind of shook down to my feminist foundations lately. One was seeing the Wayward Boy Scout refer to his spouse as "the missus." It hurt my heart. Being someone's wife? Eh, whatever. You bake some cookies. You get the kids to school. You clip coupons. You sit around all day pretending like you give a shit about vacuuming. "The Missus?" She's out drinking Tom Collines. She's going on road trips. She's an art thief and at the center of international intrigue. She's well-versed in poetry and poker. She drives a vintage Jag. "I've got to get home to the little wife."? Fuck you, buddy. "I've got to get home to the missus."? Sign me up. See, god, what the fuck is wrong with me? And the other is my growing, sneaking suspicion that the problem with the patriarchy* is two-fold. It's not just that men have power over women; it's that they wield it so poorly. I've been thinking a lot about this. Remember when we talked about how men rape women and so, if we want to stop rape, it's pointless (and misandrous) to insist women change their behavior; men have to stop raping women? And some of you rightfully raised a stink and said that it wasn't all men who were raping women, so please refer to them as rapists and don't lump them in with y'all? Here's what I've been thinking, though. They are men--the men who rape or beat or kill women. But I think, as much as I've been arguing that feminism is not a moral position, I've failed to internalize that power is not inherently evil. Having power over someone is not inherently a bad thing. As the Professor keeps saying, one can use one's power for the betterment of the people you care about. Being powerful is not always to be the victimizer and being vulnerable is not always to be the victim**. But people who don't understand how to wield power can do a lot of damage. It's not just the rapists and the wife-beaters, it's also the mother who takes the electrical cord to her kids. But it's the same thing: a belief that the most effective way to wield power is through violent oppression of the vulnerable. But clearly, that's based on a mistaken understanding of what power is and how to exercise it effectively. Insisting that men give up their power is stupid and short-sighted. Why would they do that? No, what we have to do is two-fold. One, we've got to become aware and comfortable with our own power. (Of course, we're going to have to move some folks out of the way to achieve this.) And the other is to insist upon the same thing from men. They need to be aware and comfortable with the ways they are powerful. * Now that the children are asleep, the adults can talk. ** Though, of course, as must be pointed out--linking power to maleness and vulnerability exclusively to femaleness is utter bullshit.

How Do You Expect a Man Not to Get Lost?

This morning, as we came out of the house, the sky was black overhead, but pink and lavender around the southeast edge. There was a light layer of frost over everything and the dog's feet made quiet crunches in the grass. I was thinking. I wonder if Mrs. Wigglebottom was. They say now that dogs laugh, so I suppose they can also sit around pondering. Somehow I doubt it, though. I think, based on my own observation, that dogs are pretty satisfied with themselves, fairly happy. They might wish they had a bone or that you were home from work, but they don't dwell on it. They're lucky that way. I'm home from work early because it's so hot in the office I can't get anything done. I got a ride because I'm tired of walking, though, admittedly, I wouldn't be in such a piss-poor mood if I had. I hate walking home, but I feel better for doing it. I brought stuff home to work on, but I can't bring myself to look at it. I'm in a funk. I spent Sunday on the couch staring at the ceiling. I spent yesterday failing to console old people. I spent today looking at the pile of shit I have to get done and not feeling the least bit motivated to do it. I got home and the house still wasn't clean. But the storm door is finally up and two of the windows are covered in plastic, so I feel bad about complaining. At least the house is being slowly transformed into something ready for winter. That's more than I can say for me. The Old Man says two things* which I've been neglecting: 1. Foolish is he who frets at night, And lies awake to worry A weary man when morning comes, He finds all as bad as before. 2. The generous and bold have the best lives, Are seldom beset by cares, But the base man sees bogies everywhere And the miser pines for presents. "Generous and brave men live the best." If I'll just admit to myself that worry is a form of cowardice, then the reason I'm so bummed becomes clear. I am afraid of a lot, and afraid of a lot I can't really do anything about. Mrs. Wigglebottom is brave and generous, always ready for an adventure. Content with the slow changes and ready for surprises. This Christmas marks her fourth year with me. When my parents brought her here, I expected a nightmare. Much like my uncle, who called me up the day after Christmas and said "First she'll kill your cats and then she'll kill you," I expected that having her with be terrible. But I've been lucky to know her. See, I started out this post all mopey, and watching her curled up on the couch has healed my day. She should become a therapy dog for people who don't mind being jumped on. *At least in the Auden & Taylor translation. Larrington (who I love best) puts it thusly: 1. The foolish man lies awake all night and worries about things; he's tired out when the morning comes and everything's just as bad as it was. 2. Generous and brave men live the best, seldom do they harbor anxiety, but the cowardly man is afraid of everything, the miser always sighs when he gets gifts.

I Have Questions

As you may recall, I owe Sarcastro thirty nine billion dollars. He's been lording it over me for months now, but finally, we've arranged a repayment plan. For starters, last night, we went to the Army/Navy Surplus Store and then I took him out for dinner*. As a result, I have some questions: 1. No grenades? No spare cotter pins laying around? No enemy skulls? Surplus what, then? Long johns? 2. Isn't there some OSHA rule against having someone without steel-toed boots moving around construction equipment? Especially if that someone is in her brand-new work shoes? 3. How in the hell has Sarcastro made it to his advanced age without being stabbed by some enraged woman? Can dimples really protect a man for 40 years? 4. Is there some mathematical rule, whereby if you take the length of the buffet in feet and divide it by the number of people sitting in the restaurant and, if you come up with a whole number larger than say 1, you should flee? 5. Eh, let's face it. This was a lot funnier when I was thinking it through walking the dog this morning. I had a tangentially grueling day yesterday where a guy I don't really know died and everyone he knew called me to tell me. Very considerate on their parts, but I started to think that maybe they didn't have a funeral for him or something, because I spent the better part of my day on the phone listening to very old folks with that "proper" Southern accent that lets you know that they're of a certain age and that they went to college, talk very lovingly about a man they were devastated to lose. By the end of the day, I was sad the world had lost him, too. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy, both from my interactions with him, and from the things his people have told me about him. And it seems that so few of us know how to be good to each other and to ourselves, it kind of bums me out that someone who seems to have had that figured out died so unexpectedly. *No, he didn't suddenly crumble to dust when I whipped out my wallet. But I, too, wondered if he would.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Is It Opposite Day and No One Told Me?

I agree with both Chris Hitchens and part of what Bush says. Hitchens:
This time, someone really does have to be fired. The revelation that Defense Department money, not even authorized by Congress for the purpose, has been outsourced to private interests and then used to plant stories in the Iraqi press is much more of a disgrace and a scandal than anyone seems so far to have said.
"My message to corporate America is you need to fulfill your promises," Bush said. "When you say to a worker, 'This is what they're going get when they retire,' you better put enough money in the account to make sure the worker gets that what you said."
I may have to go lay down.

My Christmas wish list

1. I wish Chris Wage would have some kind of anti-Christmas party where we all sat around and got drunk. Perhaps there could be fire-breathing. 2. I wish I had a nifty nickname. In my whole life, I've never had a nickname other than B., which is not so much a nickname as the first letter of my real name. I've never been Shorty or Rusty or Badger or anything cool like that. Granted, Kleinheider calls me Young B., but I suspect only because he's hoping that, if circumstances allow, I'll make out with the other Young B., which, of course, I will. 3. I want to meet Fritz of TV on the Fritz fame. 4. I'd still like to learn how to kick someone in the face. 5. Now that I have such a kick-ass bra, I'd love a big fur coat, some sparkly earrings, and some high heels to wear with it. Since I have no balance, I'd be unable to leave whatever chair I sat down in to put said shoes on, but I'd look damn fine in that chair. Perhaps some professional wrestlers could carry me around in that chair, while I lorded my tits over Nashville. 6. I wish for the return of Jon Jackson or at least a career retrospective.

Oh, So This is How the Liberal Media Gets Its Marching Orders

So, I got an email this weekend from Jonathan Edwards. I've now read through it a couple of times and I can't decide if it's just brilliant spam or a genuine email from someone who thinks I have a lot more ambition than I actually do. In the "it's spam" column: It's about religion from a dude named Jonathan Edwards. It was unsolicited. It's titled "for watchers of the Religious Right." In the "it's not spam" column: I actually do like to observe the religious right. It contains the line "Do what thou wilt," and we all know how I love me some off-handed Crowley references. And it didn't come with any weird attachments or anything. Anyway, I keep hearing how the Liberal Media marches lock-step on stuff and I always wondered how it was that the liberal media got its marching orders, but now I know: you just start receiving email from people you don't know full of information you didn't know you needed. I'll spare you the email, but it is, in general, concerned with the fact that folks who believe in a pretribulation Rapture are deliberately misreading the Bible in order to advance their own agenda. For those of you who read the words "pretribulation Rapture" and have no idea what they mean, rest assured they are like little flashing red lights warning you that you're about to encounter some boring ass shit having to do with people who take John the Revelator* a little too literally. So, obviously, I could not give a shit about whether the Rapture will happen pretribulation or post-tribulation, because I have cast my lot with the folks who will not be taken up at any time, should such taking up actually occur. But I think it's important to point out that interpreting the Bible differently from how you would is not really the same as "deliberately misreading the Bible in order to advance their own agenda." People can be sincere in their beliefs and sincerely believe differently than you. No one takes the whole Bible literally. Nobody. You may think you do, but ask yourself this: When was the last time you stoned anyone? The last time you sacrificed a cow? You don't because, based on your interpretation of the Bible--how much emphasis you put on the importance of certain parts, what things you think are no longer required based on early Christian understanding of the importance of Jesus, etc.--you don't think those things are necessary any more. You have made a judgment about how important those things are. You don't believe that the Bible literally means you have to do those things; you have interpreted the Bible to mean you don't. Which is fine. Just don't come to me pissing and moaning because someone else's interpretation doesn't match up with yours. *Which is a great song, as well as a freaky dude.