The Truth About Raccoons

Here at the end of the Bush administration, as we pray for greater transparency as regards our torture of enemy combatants, violations of civil liberties under the USA PATRIOT Act, and the lack of gender parity in the workforce (not to mention in who is allowed to marry and who is not), I would also ask the exiting party to reveal another awful secret to the American people:  What is a raccoon?

Raccoons are one of the only land mammals who can also walk on the bottom of riverbeds, holding their breath for up to an hour.  They eat both live prey and carrion, and can consume up to 20 pounds of raw meat at a time, then go without food for a week.  Their skeletal structure is found in no other animal, and that, combined with their ferocity and complete lack of moral fiber, make them perhaps our most dangerous enemy.  Pictured below is the subspecies Procyon Hitchhijackus, the highway bandit.  Their modus operandi is to hide in undergrowth and then saunter out into the middle of the road late at night.  The reflection of headlights on their neon green irises temporarily blinds the driver.  Under no circumstances with the Hitchhijackus yield its position, eventually taking over the vehicle after robbing all passengers of their beef jerky and Metallica CDs.


Of course, even during the information blackout of the past eight years, there was no disguising the most horrific and unavoidable fact about Procyon Carnivora:  They tend to work in the funeral industry for a reason.  Masterfully, they have learned to remove the hands of the dead and reattach them to their own wrist stumps; even the nerves are fully functional.  [Ed. note:  Avoid photograph below.]  A raccoon uses its hands just as we do:  to slap their young, to dig enormous holes in otherwise attractive lawns, and to hack the Twitter accounts of their high school lovers, leaving messages such as, “Am such hore!  My poo just falls out.  Still fat of baby wait, am looser where my shoes.”


You meet a raccoon in a bar.  He seems nice enough – asks questions about your work, mentions how kind he is to his mother, pays for all your meat.  Before you go home with him, please remind yourself of one all-important detail.  Your date has a penis bone.


Raccoons loooove to claim they fight fair.  They say that ten years of therapy has taught them valuable lessons, and no really, they want to hear your side of things, please – show me your heart, they’ll say.  All of those years of borderline personality disorder, alcoholism, inappropriate sexual behavior, speaking in Latin backward?  All better now.  So you say, “It really hurts me when you won’t hold my paw in public . . .” and that’s as far as you get.


Here’s what all raccoons really want:  they want to spend days on end indulging in role-playing games with other penis bones.  They want for Second Life to finally develop real sex, not just jerky avatar nonsense.  They want you to shut up and get them a turkey pot pie.  No, three.  And also those beers aren’t going to walk in here on their own.  They’d like you to tell your problems to someone else’s stolen leather hand, and they would very much like to eat the insulation and wiring in the attic undisturbed, OKAY, SWEETHEART?  Because inside, this is how they see themselves:


In truth, they look like this:


A few last words of warning:  if you find yourself in combat with a raccoon, don’t.  They all have rabies.  The last person who took one on was Ann Coulter and look what happened to her.  Most importantly, raccoons fall under the category of You Think It Can’t Get Any Worse, but merciful heavens, that’s when this shows up at your door.


Scott’s advice is absolutely the best:  if you suspect you have a raccoon in your attic, burn the house to the ground.  You know, get the kids out, then burn it until nothing is left but cinders and traces of evil.  Sprinkle salt around the foundation, and consider Scientology.

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 12:35 am  Comments (694)  


  1. Or call my Aunt Dawn, the Raccoon Bounty Hunter.


    (Also, Linus wants to be one. But he calls them “Balki Hunters. Yes, like Bronson Pinchot on Perfect Strangers.)

  2. Also? That obese raccoon is going to be attacking me in my nightmares tonight, probably with his penis bone.

  3. what a service you have done here Haven. Because rabies has a flexible incubation period ranging from ten days to two years, diagnosis has proved difficult. While the symptoms of moodiness, restlessness and general feeling of unease pretty much describes me on a normal day, the frenzy and excitement I can’t control coupled with the increased output of saliva caused concern amongst my family members. It was after reading your post we looked back at pictures of me with my ex husband. It was the hands that drew me to him, you know what they say about big hands, but I can see now I was playing house with Procyon Carnivora at his worst.

  4. Caryl, I live to serve. I tried to find one of the most terrifying photographs I’ve ever seen (it probably vanished in a puff of smoke): whilst my sister and her fine husband, Wayne, were removing the seventeen raccoons that were squatting in her farmhouse, my niece Abby decided to go out and take a little look at one cage containing two or three in the back of Wayne’s truck. She took her camera with her. In the first photograph the animals are looking at her quizzically, almost as if they have souls. Their masks have a certain charm. One might almost believe they wanted to communicate with her. In the next, they have propelled themselves against the side of the cage with demonic violence, clinging to the sides with your ex-husband’s claws. Their expressions are so malevolent all who gazed upon the image cursed God and became hedge fund managers.

  5. Kate, you said penis bone.

  6. Dear god. I scrolled through the post first and the picture of the paw scared me senseless. I no longer love raccoons Haven. Thanks. 😛 But I see now that it’s for the best. :: sad little sigh ::

  7. Oh Lord above this makes me shudder. The text alone enough to have me lie wild eyed awake, jumping at every twig snap (I live SURROUNDED by woods that are certainly, now I am forced to consider it, lousy with raccoons), but visual aids, too? A penis bone?

    You think we are strong, but I don’t know that we’re this strong.

  8. Still, Caryl is spot on — you have done us all a valuable public service, Haven, even if you had to bite a sheet while writing it. Let us take pains and every possible chance to work the word “raccoon” into conversation until it makes its way into the vernacular as the elegant, evocative pejorative that it is.

    The trident and jerkin says it all to me.

  9. Haven – I just woke the children laughing!

    We had a rabid raccoon in the barn one morning when we came in. It snarled and twirled in the corner, reaching out malevolently with its horrid little hand-thing. Andy had to dispatch it with a tuba-four.

    Happy inauguration day everyone!!!
    As I told our wonderful Guatemalan employee yesterday, (in my twelve words of Spanish which I just constantly rearrange, mix with Italian, Japanese, and Latin and supplement with body language)
    “Manana, adios presidente diablo Bush!” At which point I enacted a drop-kick. “Presidente nuevo viene! Soy mucho feliz!” I jumped up and down, raising my arms.

    He smiled knowingly and translated all that into something that made sense. (He is a former photographer and bicycle racer. Unemployment in Guatemala is 40%).

    If anyone at your places of work says it is NOT legitimate to be watching the swearing in, quit immediately. They are troglodytes.

  10. I love raccoons, and other than interference by humans, autombiles, and rabies in my raccoon life, I’d ask Merlin to change me into one in a minute. I once held a tiny recused baby raccoon. It wrapped its perfect little hand around my finger, and I loved the little girl immediately.

    Walk on the bottom of a river bed for up to an hour? Are you kidding me? I’d do that!

    As Frankenstein might say, “Raccoons are misundahstood.”

  11. Hi Jodi – Are you allowed to let your students watch the swearing in today? For the music, of course?
    I cover Civics for my kids so it’s totally legit.

  12. We of the Marsupial Anti-Defamation league (MAD, one D) hereby tender a formal protest against the innocent and, I’m afraid, from the evidence, nursing mother opossum cited in your final illustration. However revolting, appalling, unmitigated by even passing moments of cuteness she may be, we can assure you she is devoid of a penis bone.

    We do, however, think that “penis bone” should be the new high-school corridor riposte to “doucebag,” and urge you to trademark the phrase immediately, thereby making your fortune and securing the future of American literature.

  13. Is that a real penis bone in the picture??? If two people hold it and break it apart, do their wishes come true???

  14. Amy in Ohio, if two people hold a penis bone and break it apart, only one of them is going to get the wish, I can guarantee it.

    And Rams, my friend, I am sorely loathe to tell you, but that last illustration is a genuine raccoon mutation: an albino Procyon. I know! I know it hurts to admit that nature’s shenanigans never cease, but the truth is all we have. Especially now that we’ve given up our rifles.

  15. Oh, Haven, you never cease to amaze and enlighten me. This is fabulous. Reading this in addition to it being inauguration day has made my whole life complete. Thank you! I am going to forward this on to my friends Greg and Phil as they had raccoons invade their attic recently. They were asking everyone how to get rid of them and our friend, Lou, said he knew some coon dogs he could probably borrow and set loose in their house. Oh, how that made me laugh and think of my very favorite Zippy story.

  16. I bought Kat the most AMAZING gift to commemorate Obama’s inauguration. Alas, I can’t tell you what it is because she could be reading this. One never knows with her. She can sneak up on a person.

    Have I ever mentioned what my mastiffs hate more than the Devil himself? Raccoons.

  17. I am so excited about the inauguration. I am watching it right now on WGN tv online (Chicago station for that hometown vibe) My daughter’s high school is having an assembly to watch the swearing in together. I think that is so great. My son’s school is bigger so they are all watching it in the classrooms. What an amazing day!

  18. Oh my, they are indeed terrifying. We had a couple of squatters in a tree behind the fence in our composting area. I spent many days hoping they wouldn’t decide they wanted the house too. I really think you must write a book on animal psyche, Miss Haven.

  19. Do they really smack their babies with those little hands of theirs?

  20. thanks haven. i needed a laugh bc i have already cried twice today (happy tears-but still) and as the day unfolds there will undoubtedly be more tears. as history unfolds, i find myself elated, overwhelmed and ready for CHANGE!

    so, raccoons are horrible. there was a rabid one in our garage when i was a kid…i will not get too graphic, but let’s say there was a trash can and pitchfork involved. we called in our neighbor who has a farm and is a serious animal lover–he did the deed. it made us feel better bc if he thought the raccoon had to go, he had to be right!

  21. and that penis bone is horrifying. for some odd reason, i sorta like the hands…

  22. Raccoons were once very scientific creatures before reverting to their Luddite existence sometime around the Jurassic Period. But back in their Golden Age, they had thoroughly researched many biological functions, including erectile dysfunction and discovered a type of Viagra growing wild in the forest. This wild Viagra was produced in vast quantities in an intricate process involving the distillation of poke berries. What science now knows is that the penis bone is actually calcified natural Viagra.

  23. George, not to mention that they invented The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the numeral zero.

  24. Yes, that’s true. Many people believe the hanging gardens were developed for aesthetic purposes, but among raccoons, that wonder of the world was dedicated to actual lynchings of woodchucks and hyenas and crocodiles. About their mathematical prowess, from what I understand, they had to come up with the integer zero as a way to account for the number of people remaining in a house after a typical raccoon family moved into the attic.

  25. While the raccoon paw gave me the willies I was kind of intrigued by the penis bone. Just sayin’.

  26. The evolutionary success of the penis bone reverberated throughout the mammalian kingdom, giving rise to the wild popularity of raccoons, particularly males, who were ultimately forced to evolve masks which they use to disguise themselves while indulging themselves and their interspecial consorts in dens, caverns, nests, lodges and holes. Interesting creatures.

  27. Haven: we owe you much thanks for opening this discussion on raccoons. You should be given a public service award by the city of Durham or Moreland, Ind.

  28. Penisbonepenisbonepenisbone.


  29. I agree. This was a public service, and someone should take the information given here, and make one of those fabulous PSAs for TV. My son is (actually) terrified of raccoons, and now I understand why.

  30. I have a truly breathtaking and perhaps mind-shattering story about a man named Pork Dog, his coon dogs, a possum, and a dryer vent, but I don’t think this is the time to tell it. We’ve probably had about all we can take over here.

  31. My prayer for this great day and historic inauguration.

    Our gracious God,
    May our nation sow goodness and reap greatness.
    May our new president sow service and reap leadership.
    May our Congress sow civility and reap unity.
    May our courts sow compassion and reap justice.
    May our people sow faith and reap purpose.

  32. oh my lordy you are SO right, haven. we did battle with a FAMILY of racoons in our attic last summer. they not only destroyed things stored in the eaves of our house, they brought an unbelievable FLEA INFESTATION with them. it was biblical. they are hateful creatures, and i have absolutely no use for them. i’m sure there is SOME purpose for their existence on planet earth, but i have yet to meet a person who can tell me what that purpose is, aside from the utter shredding of a mother’s last damned omg-there’s-a-flea-on-my-baby’s-eyelash nerve.

  33. oh, and btw, i was a weepy mess as i watched the inauguration today, surrounded as i was by the student body and various faculty and staff of the medical school where i work. we were treated to the whole shebang on the big screen in one of our lecture halls. it was an incredible experience, since the faces in that lecture hall truly represented america, in every color, shape, gender and faith. i am REALLY proud to be an american today. it’s a great day. and hopefully, just the start of greater things to come.

  34. O shoot Haven
    Do you see actual alive raccoons in your yard?

    I ask because ever since I got my chickens this summer, I live in fear that I will have one find us…Every single chicken book I read before the chickens moved in portrayed the raccoon as the devil of the chicken universe. Vivid descriptions of carnage and anecdotes of violence and trickery…

    And I might live near you…

    I am not a stalker. It was an innocent conversation that went like this, in a friend’s car on the way home from the Arts Council:

    Friend: “Hey, you really love Haven Kimmel’s books right?
    Well, she lives right there, no wait not there,it’s the next block, just beyond Starlight”

    So if you do live just beyond starlight, I live very close to you, up the hill behind Foster’s Market, and raccoons might go that far?

    Of course from my house To the Arts Council you would live “just this side of starlight”… either one sounds like a good place for you!

  35. I can definately believe the racoons were so scientific and all that they found natural viagra and evolved it into a penis bone. Of course, this is where the term ‘country boner’ came from.

  36. Good bye GW Bush if you ever need oral surgery I am fresh out of anesthesia and I have an open chair for you.

    As I posted in a previous thread I was attacked by a unrelenting vicious wereraccon or maybe just a really pissed off one.
    Now I do live in this century however I have not given away my rifles, and I do buy silver bullets.
    Yes my old wereraccon nemisis you have cause my wrath on many of your decendants.

  37. I know I have not been here in awhile, and that I’m going to be in the minority here but….

    I like racoons. I think they are cute. Steph and I have one living undr our deck who comes to back porch at night for a handout.

  38. I was just doing a little reading and, as vile as hyenas are, they do not have a Baculum, or, to the vulgar masses, a penis bone.

  39. Lorraine –
    I watched the inauguration with my 17-year-old students and I was crying. They did not completely get it, but I was overwhelmed to feel such pride and inspiration and respect for the first time in so, so long. The overwhelming message of cooperation and idealism and love and brotherhood was just beyond uplifting.

    I thought, THAT’S my president. I TRUST my president. I AGREE WITH my president. I RESPECT my president. I LIKE my president. THAT is the voice and cadence and smile and style and the ideals of America now.

  40. ok, so i completely forgot that i have another horrifying raccoon story. my husband and i were driving cross country one of the times we did it, and we decided to camp somewhere in either wisconsin, new york or iowa. i don’t remember where it was, but this raccoon came to our little serene camping area and started charging right at us. naturally i screamed and started running in circles. once i had my wits somewhat gathered, i jumped on a table, forgetting that the raccoon could climb the bench and GET ME on the table. my husband was already elbow deep in the cooler, pulling out cans, throwing beers (full ones) as hard as he could in the dark toward the general direction of the raccoon and ME. i became hysterical again as the raccoon closed in on me and all i wanted was higher ground, of which there was none. finally john had a direct hit, bc that animal recoiled. all night i was convinced he was coming to get me. that crazy, greedy little beast. this sounds horrible, i am an animal lover, but i have had some scary encounters with these big rats. yek. heebie jeebies for sure!


    THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. i had no idea.


    ok, so the penis thing is bonkers. and i thought i was fairly educated. this is like a head tornado (wow, and that was not an intended pun)

  43. I went to my city’s downtown civic theater around 11:30 to watch the Inauguration on the big screen. I’ve been a staunch Obama supporter since sometime in ’07, and I know that one of his catchphrases this whole time has been Hope, but that Hope really REALLY hit home with me today as I looked around the theater during his speech, heard the absolute silence of the crowd and saw how glued the eyes were to the beautiful, intelligent, brave human on the screen. He’s not infallible, his administration is not infallible, and there are bound to be screw-ups along the way, but for the first time in nearly a decade, we as a collective nation have Hope.
    Praises be to God.

  44. Also, Steph, the movie playing in my head right now of a woman crouched on a picnic table in the dark while her husband throws beer cans at the raccoon circling menacingly underfoot is sure to keep me entertained for the rest of the day…

  45. First of all,

    HAIL TO THE CHIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is the most glorious day of my entire life and I wept to see Our President swear to defend the Constitution and I CHEERED to see that crabby old man – the one in the black hat and riding in a wheel chair – drive away from the House he has all but destroyed.

    Also? I know God loves me because we are snowed in too watch it all happen. Myself and my Best Fiance Dave.

    What a loooooooong-awaited day.

    Finally, Dick Cheney could use a few raccoons unleashed at his new house. How do we catch them, even though Haven obviously advises us to stay far, far away?

  46. Nora, I used to live near Starlight but I moved; now I’m close to East Campus — a few blocks from 9th St. And let me tell you, raccoons do their evil slinky walk up on to my porch every night. My dogs wait in the foyer and as soon as the Snake With Fur gets near the cat food, both dog rise up on their hind feet and hit the front door so hard I’m quite certain property damage is imminent. And you know what the raccoons do? They wobble their fats side to side, taking their time, as a dog six-and-a-half-feet tall standing up gets closer every day to simply undoing the house. Then Raccoon Man goes on slouching toward Bethlehem to be born.

  47. Also, almost 100% of Raccoons carry Baylisascaris Procyonis, the raccoon roundworm. They deal with them well, but if a person (especially a child) or dog gets infected, it can cause a fatal encephalitis. If a family of raccoons has made a latrine in your backyard, it can take a heck of a lot of digging to remove the threat.

  48. I don;t know about racoon’s being misunderstood, except by people who think they can be domesticated into pets.

    Several years ago, here in Muskegon, a young couple thought such a thing. They caught a baby raccoon and raised it as a pet and thought it was incredibly adorable until it ate the face off their infant.

    It crawled in the baby’s crib while the parents weren’t paying attention chewed away half the flesh off the baby’s face.

    Yep. True story.

  49. I live in a suburb outside of Boston. This is not a wooded neighborhood, we are not near a state forest or undeveloped land, and yet my quarter acre back yard has been a breeding ground every spring for all the nocturnal beasts. We host the- screaming like babies getting scalded- neighborhood cats, followed by the orgy humping skunks and finish the evening with the rubbish drunken raccoons.
    Their penis bone circle jerks around my newly annual plantings make them snort with their encoded laughter.
    The appalling exhibitionism they display when the porch light goes on. It seems as if their beedy little eyes are calling for the audience.
    And they end their evening tipping over and finishing off my bird seed..All of my bird seed.
    This year I am leaving out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter..maybe they will stay away from the seed.

    Thank you Haven for clearing up what Anne Coulters problem is…I recently saw her on the Today show and thought her eyes had gotten awful dark circles around them. Obviously, noone in hair and makeup went near her to help her out..And she was wearing that black mini skirt with black hose again..It was 7 a.m….I can’t imagine she would not have gone home from an evening before….Although, those legs could have been sticking out from under my deck at one point and I mistoook them for kindling.

    One more thing..Pork Dog, coon dogs, a possum and a dryer vent started to sound like a very familiar drunken (maybe a little more) evening I had when I drank…Could that have taken place at a bachelor party with strippers? I may have exposed too uch already……

  50. Okay that baby eating story is far and away the most horrifying thing I’ve heard in many a day. It hurts my heart.

    I had hoped my overwrought Australian Shepherd would be a foil, but I’ve seen a picture of one of Haven’s dogs, so if the evil creatures aren’t ascared of them, I better hire a bodyguard for my sweet chickens…

    Do they mess about with cats?

  51. Oh Anne…that is HILARIOUS!!
    P.O.Spirit…now I have that image stuck in my head! Bad, Bad, Bad.
    Must go to thrift store after work…maybe I’ll find a stuffed racoon? (I swear I’ll buy anything stuffed I ever see just to make up for Dana the B&T not picking up the javalina)

  52. penis bone in black leather hand thingy

    I had a glorious time watching pre-inauguration. I was jumping up and down, then cursing wimp-ass-M*#)%$)-Cheney and Braintwisted Bush . . . . I was flip off, birdy, double-flipping them – then do the 1980’s Cheerleading sidekick for Biden/Obama.

    After Obama walked on the stage, I high-tailed to the waiting, warming up van which was already tuned to NPR and I listened to his swearing in/speech on my drive into Nashville. Only one thing could have taken me from that TV . . . the crating/shipping of my first national traveling museum show . . .

    it is a new era for me, the nation, my children, I am running over with completeness and hope . . . Still working on my pledge . . .

    Still not having DSL . . . new computer arrives tomorrow . . . so my hiatus will, thus, be ended.

  53. A few years ago we were celebrating Thanksgiving at Sunset Beach with my Otters, my children, and Orri. Dennis and Augusten had brought four different varieties of cheeses so delicious they were probably illegal and had to be smuggled across the NC state line by Augusten pretending to be pregnant. Now as it happens, Christopher had brought with him FROM NEW YORK some kind of magical turkey (you know how these gourmand types are) that had memorized all of Tennyson and recited prime numbers for giggles. However, the turkey was dead at this particular time. The refrigerator became full and fuller and fullerest. The night before Thanksgiving we went out for dinner, and when we got back to the beach house we put a number of things out on the desk (which had a gate that locked) in lieu of the refrigerator.

    The next morning we discovered that not only had BEACH RACCOONS opened the very carefully sealed cheese and eaten it all, they had opened the styrofoam suitcases our leftovers had come home in. My only hope is that their cholesterol went through the roof and they ended up too fat and out of breath to enjoy their retirement, the sneaky creepmongers.

  54. Stolen cheese…the very idea makes my blood boil. Stolen GOURMET cheese? OH NO YOU DI’NT!

  55. May I speak on behalf of raccoons? Raccoons are just being raccoons. If they cared what humans do (and other than humans interfering with raccoons, they don’t) they’d be appalled at how humans brazenly run over small rodents, mutilate them for fun, kill them for sport, and otherwise move into raccoon territory. If a person had been raised with raccoons and had to kill them to escape, some might applaud the person.

    Raccoons are not pets. The parents who left a raccoon loose in their home with their infant are the ones at fault. The raccoon was trapped in non-raccoon territory, and it did what raccoons might do when entrapped.

    Have raccoons an agenda to inconvenience humanity? Um, no. They are being raccoons. What does any living creature do when their living space is compromised and they have nowhere to go? They make do, and raccoons get credit for their ingenuity in the face of human cruelty and indifference.

    Animals do not exist to be pets. They are separate nations, and expecting them to behave as humans, or with humans in mind, is ludicrous.

    Give raccoons a little credit, wouldja, and a little respect. They are God’s creatures, too.

  56. You COULD speak on their behalf Jodi…but that would ruin the fun.

    See, now I know how the girls on the website I work for feel when I chastise them for fantasizing about auctioning off their virginity.

  57. Good bye GW Bush if you ever need oral surgery I am fresh out of anesthesia and I have an open chair for you.

    As I posted in a previous thread I was attacked by a unrelenting vicious wereraccon.

    Now I do live in this century however I have not given away my rifles, and I do buy silver bullets.

  58. Yeaaa I can post again

  59. What Kate said. 🙂

  60. Okay, Kate and Linda. Uncle. That’s me cheering for the raccoons, though. I like the little buggers.

  61. For the record, of course you are RIGHT.

  62. Scott likes them too, Jodi. They are kind of cute as long as they don’t get into your house, your yard, anywhere near anything or anyone you love, on your deck, or near your cheese. 😉

  63. Kate and Linda, You are True Friends. Thanks for accepting curmudgeonly me and my beastly opinions. Sometimes it’s fun to play devil’s advocate. =0)

  64. Maureen???!!!!????!!!!
    My package arrived today, you are a magical, witchy woman!!!!! Thank you a million times for your kindness

  65. Ok, I don’t have any personal experience with racoons, but do you know what I do have LOTS of experiences with?


    And let me tell you, children. Do not fuck with armadillos. They carry the PLAGUE. THE ACTUAL PLAGUE. They dig up your bulbs and eat them. Even the ones that are supposed to be poisonous.

    THEN as if destroying my GARDEN isn’t bad enough, those little bastards dig little holes in the yard. Just large ENOUGH to catch your toes as you chase a run-away bassett (or your neighbor’s runaway horses). These little holes make you skin your knees when you are TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS OLD and too oold to have skinned knees.

    Also, armadillos GROWL at you.

    I am not ashamed to say that I myself have gotten the gun and shot them. Bastards.

    I do not know what their penises are like, but I DO know that a pregnant female can PUT HER PREGNANCY ON HOLD if she senses danger. SHE CAN DELAY GIVING BIRTH FOR TWO (2) YEARS. YEARS. YEARS.

    I’m just saying if you want to talk some devil talk, armadillos are where it’s at.

    And also, you people are fricking hysterical. Haven. You’re a genius.

  66. Earlier, I called armadillos “little bastards.” That was me having only 6 hours of sleep in the past 48. They are not little.

    No, sirree bob. they are fully the size of a large basset hound but on short ugly little yucky appendages that dig holes in the shape of THE DEVIL’S FOOT.

    Awful. Truly, every bit as much the stuff of nightmares as racoons.

  67. Go Bug Go you are a dream girl out there blasting armadillos. Being from MI I have never had the pleasure. I bet they are mean bastards tho

  68. Amy in O–isn’t Maureen awesome? She’s just fabulous like that, isn’t she?

    So hurry up and read. I’m ready to get down with more discussion. 🙂

  69. Michael T. Dream Girl? I like the sound of that!

    But really. Armadillos don’t have any natural enemies this side of the ol’ Mississip’ and they are mean bastards.

    When Racoon husbands finish throwing their termagant wives around, they call up their Armadillo friends (who secretly envy the Racoons their penis bones) who are also habitual domestic violence perpetrators, and they go drinking and paint the town red with the blood of all the scraped knees they’ve caused.

    Nasty little bastards.

  70. Bug are you in TX

  71. Nope. If I were in Texas, I wouldn’t mind them. I am in Georgia WHERE THEY SIMPLY DO NOT BELONG.

    I was born in Texas though. 🙂

  72. Molly~
    I am on it!!! Will read some more before I hit the hay. I have a super busy several days coming up so I won’t be able to read as much as I would like but I am going to give it all I’ve got!
    By the way, your knowledge of armadillos is incredible, as is Haven’s raccoon trivia. It’s like watching Jack Hanna!

  73. Oh oh, all of you Hoosiers…I was in Indiana today on a fire inspection and I ate lunch at Pizza King…hmmmm, pizza ( I say this in Homer Simpson’s voice)

  74. Pizza KING??!?!?!? What is this? It sounds divine.

  75. I am so glad that they finally got that dumb ass racoon out of the white house today.

    That penis bone picture should have never passed by my eyes, I am now scarred for life Haven.

    Anyone catch the heavy middle aged white lady getting down with Obama during the Stevie Wonder singfest during tonight’s live party? OMG, it was hysterical, she looked SOOO happy and carefree to be dancing with her new hip president.

  76. Amy in Ohio: If you find yourself in a Pizza King again, you MUST, MUST, MUST order the Royal Feast with Bar-B-Q sauce. Oh! My! Lord! I’m salivating just thinking about it!

  77. armadillos are opossums on the half-shell

  78. I know not of this Pizza King and I am sore disappointed. Jim Shue, will you take me to Pizza King?

  79. My birth father’s mother & her family lived in Texas in the 80’s . . . there were armadillo races at Luckenbock Tx and my sister road on an electric bull and I bought a white 10-galloon hat when I was 12 . . . driving to FL Gulfcoast from Atlanta in the EARLY 90’s I hit an armadillo . . . Donny refused to believe that waas what it was . . . I turned around to prove myself right – he was from NJ and didn’t think they lived in FL – they literally invaded the SE . . .

  80. I seriously live down the street from Pizza King, I have lived near one my entire life, and I’ve never eaten there. Wait, that’s not true…they catered my brother’s rehearsal dinner.

  81. I am afeared of the penis bones of the racoons, but I think they are kinda cute . . . but I have only ever had positive interaction with them (i.e., at Doc’s farm in English IN – he was the vet for the Louisville Zoo, they had a pet racoon). HONEY was at least 60 lbs and filled the rocking chair – she would come inside, sit with her legs spread wide, and eat a whole box of Fruit Loops . . . one at a time . . . it was adorable.

    Otherwise, all I know of racoons are the dead ones that my brother hunts . . . they look rather innocent as they are tossed in the air by the tree huntin’ dogs.

    I LOVE, LOVE “Over The Hedge” . . . it is from the animal’s perspective . . . .

  82. KATE – we can meet at the Pizza King on my next FLY THROUGH in Evansville . . . here is the new plan . . . drive to YOU, then Jim Shue, et al, then John M in Champaign and then wave at my Mom while she is sitting on her porch in her new Cracker Barrel Rocking Chair . . .

  83. PS anybody else on this TN-IN-IL flight plan?

  84. Rad sweetheart, as long as the time after that I can take you to Lic’s Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop!

  85. Kate is your interview tomorrow//?????

  86. LIC’s Ice Cream – — yes, let’s go – do they have Lemon Custard??????

  87. I would go anywhere with that name – Lic’s Ice Cream . . .

  88. My interview IS tomorrow!!

    I don’t think they have Lemon Custard, but they have awesome Cookies and Cream ice cream, and during Thanksgiving they have AMAZING pumpkin ice cream, and during Christmas PEPPERMINT STICK!!!

    Also, I am in love with the house dressing, and I never get any sandwich but the gourmet sub, which I dunk in a vat of the stuff.

  89. Kate – it is a date, and we can toast your new job – I am weeding through tons of email, but I can’t wait to check in tomorrow and hear some GOOD news . . . isn’t 2009 miraculous? Obama, art reviews, the Hunter Museum, your job, Haven is writing a new book with her injured finger, Maureen is writing, marriages are in the works, it just keeps getting better and better . . . I am just happy, happy, happy!

  90. Good LUCK (just be yourself), Kate “Lic’s Ice Cream” Cake!

  91. Steph, that link is very interesting, esp the story about Adam and Eve. But the walrus…who knew? All I can say is thank goddess they only showed us the bone and not the whole meat and potatoes.

    I had a raccoon when I was fifteen, who I named Martha Berry because she made the same facial expressions of a girl I went to grade school with. She was given to me after my boyfriend found an abandoned raccoon nest in the woods. He knew I always wanted one so he brought her to me, and she was so small I fed her with a baby doll bottle. She was inside with me all summer (using a cat box for a potty) until the following winter when she started to get too wild and I let her outside. Then she came to the door every night when I called her for her dinner. Eventually hibernation time came and I didn’t see her again. I was glad she was able to go back into nature, although she was hilarious and believe it or not even affectionate with me. For the months I had her she slept with me and was completely tame. She was very intelligent and her paws were incredibly sensitive and beautiul, imo. I would never take an animal fron the wild like that again because now I know better, but it was a wonderful experience while it lasted. I guess the call of the penis bone just got too hard for her to resist. (Haven, I said Hard.)

    Wasn’t the inauguration inspiring? And it was so fun seeing the retired presidents and their families, seeing the old and the new together. I didn’t start work until 1 today so I got to see a couple hours this morning. What a great historic day it was.

    I like your new avatar, Jim. You must’ve added it while I was in CA with Suzanne. I’ve started listing her books on eBay so if anyone wants to check them out my seller name is pkfrompa. I have many more to come, and today eBay removed a listing I had for her signed Obama book, which really upset me because it was a good listing with six bidders watching it and might have sold on this historic day. I have no idea why they removed it, except that sometimes sellers report competitive sellers if they want their listings removed, just to be nasty. Other than that sort of silliness I can’t imagine why they took it off, so hopefully I’ll get a reponse tomorrow and be able to relist it. It probably would’ve sold today if they hadn’t taken it off the market, damn it. Later this week I’ll be blogging about my visit with her, but suffice it for now to say she is fabulosity personified.

    Well, the babbling has commenced so it’s time for bed. I missed everyone while I was gone. TTYS.

  92. Me too!!

    Ok, here is my swan song for the the night. I gained a LUDICROUS amount of weight over the holidays…like TWELVE POUNDS, and today I am carrying an extra 2-3 pounds of water weight. So I get the brightest idea EVER…and I ask Hugh to bring me home a diurectic so I can actually fit into one of my wool pencil skirts tomorrow.

    SO, I look at the box, and he brought me a LAXATIVE. Because “it soaks up all the water and makes you poop.”

    Um, no honey.

    It’s just as well, I was probably going to have to wear an adult diaper to my interview if I did that, and you KNOW what that does to one’s silhouette.

  93. ha! Kate!!!! I did great during the holidays but am now being bad (eating an orange chocolate as I type) . . . it is too cold to go pee . . . maybe that is why my Mii got a tad rounder this week….yep, water weight for me, too – that and PMS . . . hence, the chocolate!

  94. Kate,

    I hope it goes well tomorrow! You may want to lay off the potato skins, broccoli, and dairy products in the hours leading up to your interview. Just a helpful thought.

    ~ Sarah

  95. night!

  96. Now it is very very important not to get me started on my sworn enemy for life, the hyena. I will NOT talk about how the females have a hemi-penis, which is the same thing you find in a Dodge Ram truck. And do you know what a hemi really is? A half-a-spherical cap over the spark plugs, but it makes men get all jiggy because it reminds them of hyenas. Oh, Matt in Nebraska and I have gone ROUND AND ROUND about the blasted creature of darkness, and in about five minutes M. Stuteville is going to pop in with his observation that hyenas make good mothers. (George didn’t grow up in Mooreland, so he missed some of the hyenas I knew.) In other posts on this blog I have outlined, neatly and in bulleted points, precisely why they must never again be seen or spoken of; I probably needn’t do it again. Okay, since you must know — their jaws are hinged and have to be oiled by little children stolen from villages. They can exert (an estimated) 4000 lbs of pressure per square inch, this would be the spotted variety. We always marvel in fear at the bite strength of a North American wolf, which is 1200-1500 psi, in comparison. A wolf will kill you with gentle little nips compared to a hyena. They are also not dogs; nor are they cats. What does that leave, chickens? No, they belong to the family Herpestidae, as do mongooses and a certain young woman with whom I went to high school. Here’s a fun thing! They can breathe and swallow at the same time, allowing them to eat something as it’s running in terror. AND they have this weird teeth situation; their meat-slicing mandibles don’t get in the way of their bone-crushing molars, and in this way they eat every single part of their prey: fur, bones, organs, accessories like belts, if the dead thing happens to be wearing one. They have very effective anal glands. My friend Tim calls this ‘ass hooch,’ and if you have ever been ass-hooched by a domestic dog you know that it can make you question your own existence. Multiply that by horror and you’ve got what hyenas do for kicks. I know I mentioned the genitalia situation, but to get the full story you will have to go elsewhere because I simply can’t repeat it, and yes there are pictures, and no you will never forgive yourself for looking. I’m focusing on striped hyenas because they’re the most numerous and recognizable and oh, hey, did I mention their MANE GROWS BACKWARD? You know who else had backward fur? Rosemary’s Baby.

    Of course much about Hyaenidae can be forgiven because of their charming giggle. Goodness, they laugh a lot! Matt and I listened to recordings of hyenas watching The Dave Chapelle Show one night; what a party that was. Alas, on one of the World Wildlife websites I learned that the noise hyenas make “is not related to humor as any human being would use the term.” Darn! And they’re always so cute in Disney movies.

    Because I love you I will warn you: many reference sources will mention something called “hyena butter.” Some provide links. Under no circumstances are you to read the definition, let alone follow the link. Are we clear? The FBI keeps track of the hits on those sites, and if your name shows up you’ll be called ‘gay’ by the government for the rest of your life, even if you are. This isn’t random: for centuries Europeans believed hyenas were homosexual, because of that . . . so, thanks for stopping by. Next week? THE CHIGGER: FRIEND OR FOE?

  97. Ah, JimShue and Sher and Kate ~

    Pizza King AND Lic’s Ice Cream!

    JimShue, my FAVORITE Pizza King pizza is barbeque sauce and ham. Cut into squares instead of slices, per Pizza King tradition. Glad to know you’re also a fan of their barbeque sauce.

    Lic’s Ice Cream in Owensboro, Kentucky had ice cream bonbons that I could eat by the tubfull back in the 1980s when I lived there. So Lic’s is still thriving across the river in Evansville, Kate?

  98. Ms. Jodi, as to WHY JimShue is keeping it a secret that our very first conversation took place at Clara’s Pizza King, I could not begin to tell you. Best pizza ever. Although of course at that time the Shark Bite was the issue. It was the issue in more ways than one.

  99. I have seen a few armadillos here in Nashville, but all have been dead on the highway. After reading Molly’s post I will take that to be a good thing.

    The newspaper has not arrived yet this morning. I wonder if it is because it is probably an extra large inauguration issue or if the delivery person just stayed up too late or went to one of the balls. Who knows?

  100. Kate–GOOD LUCK!!!!!

  101. Ahh Clara’s pizza king..I am so glad you all share in my joy of this restaurant. And yes Jim, the barbeque sauce on their pizza is divine. Once I actually ate meat on Friday during lent because I just had to have a barbeque ham pizza cut into squares. I explained this to God and asked him to please understand!

  102. JimShue, Do you have an answer to Haven’s prior comment regarding your first meeting at Pizza King? Do you?

  103. Ass hooch, brilliant. At our house we refer to it as butt juice. Will I use it in a sentence? I sure will. ” Hey Jeff, Mya got butt juice on the sheets last night while she was sleeping with us and now I have to wash them.”
    FYI, Mya is a dog.

  104. Jodi…not only is Lic’s THRIVIING, but they just introduced White Chocolate Bon Bons. I have not tried them. I always get too distracted by turtle pie, though the shine has worn off since they stopped using the chocolate graham cracker crust and stooped to plain graham crackers.

  105. Ok, LB…Armadillos are officially something I am scared of and you know what? My friend Kat from Fresno used to go to a movie theater that had one JUST RUNNING LOOSE IN THERE. Just flinging it’s plaugey little tail all over the stale popcorn. Oh lordy.


    just kidding. XOXOXO

  107. Haven, I am not scared of you. Ass Hooch = Hyena Butter

  108. Okay, I am totally unable to process the concurrent mention of Ass Hooch and ice cream.
    Talk about the HOOKY SPOOKS!! Good Gawd.

  109. Oh yummy ASS HOOCH ICE CREAM.

  110. Miss Haven, during anatomy of speech systems last night the good Dr. held up a small rib bone. Do you know what a small human rib bone looks like? My mind was screaming RACCOON PENIS RACCOON PENIS RACCOON PENIS!?!@)*$# But by the miracle of too much coffee, I believe my classmates assumed I was trying to hold my pee instead of my tongue.

  111. And difference between you and me? I would have said it.

  112. Brandy, Kate would have said it. She just used the phrase “its plaugey little tail all over the stale popcorn” with abandon. I don’t even know what a plaugey little tail is, but I find myself turning away from my breakfast cookies.

    The worst thing is when a dog ass-hooches in the car. Basically you are in your own casket there. As much as I hate to admit it, the amount of hooch produced by my beloved Iorek could make enough hyena butter to feed most of Henry County, Indiana.

  113. Haven Haven Haven!!! I was just looking at Augusten’s blob and saw this:
    Durham, NC
    Thursday, 09 April 2009 00:00
    location tk
    * Appearing with Haven Kimmel, author of Outlaw Quaker Girl.

    Is this scheduled for certain? If yes, I sooooo feel a road trip coming on. AND AND he also lists this:
    Nashville, TN
    Wednesday, 08 April 2009 00:00
    location tk


  114. oH, btw, here is the link to said schedule:

  115. mmmm…breakfast cookies.

    Out of cheapness, I started grooming my sweet idiot poodle myself. In the middle of being glad he doesn’t have to suffer through peer pressure after my hideous haircuts, it occurred to me, I never touch the ol’ ass hooch. I hope that doesn’t damage his psyche or butter production.

  116. Brandy,
    If his ass hooch needs to be released he will discretely let you know but scooting on his butt across the floor. Preferably in front of company at a dinner party.

  117. Wait…why do I want a dog again?

  118. just popped in while at home for lunch… Two things: Chigger? Friend or foe?!?! Are you freakin’ kidding me? Anything that burrows itself under your skin just for the sole purpose of tormenting the person it has burrowed into is no friend of mine. There’s just no relief once one has decided that your skin would make a mighty fine home. And you can’t even see them!

    Pizza King as our first talk? Hmmmm. Later on that one. I have to go back to work now. And haven’t we gone over this one before?

  119. Oh, Amy in Ohio, you fail to mention the spontaneous explosion of the hooch which can occur if the dog is startled, frightened, or sound asleep doing nothing. Iorek has been known to be snoring away and THENCE TO HOOCH UPON THE WALL. Those are the times I yell for John as if my uterus was on fire and hie my own behind out the door. Sometimes I am forced to actually drive away.

    My vet Marjorie, whom I otherwise love — as does George Stuteville, who has gone MISSING — once offered to teach me to “express” the glands myself, at home. I told her that while I do have some facility for expression, it does not and never shall involve the rectum of a 135 lb mastiff, thank you.

  120. Oh yeah! I’m doing an event with Augusten, I forgot. Lord have mercy, we did a reading together in Vermont in an old art deco theater and had an audience of 800 people. It was PACKED. We should always read together; we’re basically the same person, except one of us is bald and gay. And then Augusten has tattoos. Otherwise, twins. He puts terrible, awful peer pressure on me to dress like Tippi Hedren or Grace Kelley, but really Tippi Hedren, because he wants me to be a REAL WOMAN. So I surprised him in Vermont by having my hair up-did in a beautiful French twist. Except my hair is so thick and mountainous and full of bad intentions that it really really hurt. I kept saying, “Assy, this HURTS ME. I have to take it down.” And he would say, “NO. You must suffer for beauty.” After the reading and signing we got back to my room and he began to pull out the 8000 gigantic pins holding the hair volcano in place, and some of them WERE COVERED IN BLOOD!!!! Ask him, he will tell you! Oh he how LAUGHED!

  121. Haven, doncha just love the vet putting the KY on their finger and saying ” oh it’s so easy you just stick your finger…” I told them no thank you, I will gladly pay you kind folks to do that. I cannot even fathom the ass hooch from your mastiffs. Mya is 9 lbs and the stentch from her is just evil.

    Great story about th

  122. Great story about the bobby pins..

  123. “My friend Kat from Fresno used to go to a movie theater that had one JUST RUNNING LOOSE IN THERE. Just flinging it’s plaugey little tail all over the stale popcorn. Oh lordy.”

    Kate. I couldn’t help myself. I just ran to the nearest phone booth, ripped off my sweater and cords and am now appropriately super-hero attired in tights and magical bracelets I borrowed from Wonder Woman herself. I also flew home to get dad’s .45. You tell me where in Fresno, and I will go blow some armadillo ass up.

    Speaking of ass. Ass hooch–is this only in un-fixed dogs? I have seen my dogs drag ass before (I doubt I will refer to myself being super tired as “dragging ass” ever again) but never before seen EVIDENCE of ass hooch, much less ass hooch that is capable of SPRAYING the wall.

  124. Well, my hair was really pretty while it lasted. I think it also caused an aneurysm of some kind.

    Mya is 9 lbs. Iorek produces 9 lbs of hyena butter, that’s all I’m saying.

  125. Bug, what kind of dog do you have? Hunting and working breeds produce it with much more frequency, and dogs will also do the floor dance if they have pin worms.

  126. Ho-kay, so maybe talking about guitars wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Carrie, are you still out there somewhere? Please?

    And, y’all just know Maureen’s going to show up with some outrageous, out-stinkifying Cow Story.

    Steph, I’m still laughing about you standing on a picnic table in the dark while your husband throws full cans of cold beer at you. That’s called Making a Memory.

    ~ Sarah

  127. I know there are no gay people in Georgia because they all, if born here or transplanted by military families LEAVE AS AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE…

    but do you think you and Augusten could come to GA some time? We have a tiny, cool used/independent book store called Judy Bugs with big ol’ piles of book stacked everywhere in an order I can’t quite figure out and Amber and Kimbits and I would LOVELOVELOVELOVE to see you in person. hmm. It just occurred to me that I think Kimbits was the CSU theatre major right? Or did I just appropriate someone else’s handle?

    Either way, Columbus would love you to come.

  128. i have 3 dogs who all emit odor as well as ass hooch. one of the dogs, ginger (aka stinky) is a super hoocher. it is gross and she often decides to do it in our bed when we are not home. we have to leave the dogs inside when it is so freakin cold here in CT (go home at lunch to run and give them a pee break) and stinky thinks the bed is the perfect place to make a deposit. she is 65 lbs, 5 of which must be ass hooch

  129. Molly,

    EVERYONE leaves Georgia as soon as is humanly possible.

    ~ S.

  130. Your hairpin story reminds me why I keep my hair VERY SHORT, and also about the time I was in A Christmas Carol in college. I had to play several roles because there were only 6 cast members, one of which was Belle. Because of my 20s bobbed hair I had to wear a satanic wig that itched my scalp something fierce…after a performance I nearly RIPPED it off my head. Everyone thought I was angry but honestly I just felt like I had a chigger colony in my scalp. The costume department was very pissed at me because they had to redo that ugly ass wig that made me look nothing like Scrooge’s object of desire and more like the woman in American Gothic.

  131. Haven, I have 2 older bassets (5 and 13) and a golden retriever.

  132. See, expressing anal glands is the main reason I would want a dog. I always request permission to do disgusting things. But cleaning up unrequested ass hootch? The thought makes me woozy.

  133. Sarah, given my situation, that was not very nice.


  134. Also, LEAVING GA is exactly what gay big brother (Bro 1) did as soon he could. He’s 30, left at 18 and has been back approximately 6 times. That is it. He HATES Georgia.

    Columbus, unfortunately, is like a vortex and sucks you back. I left for a year then was inexplicably drawn back. If I could get out now, I totally would.

  135. Molly,
    my dogs are spayed and neutered. Mya is the only hooch sprayer and but Sanchez is the floor scooter.

  136. My job interview is in 2.5 hours…I start getting ready in 25 minutes. Keep me entertained…I’m getting nervous and sick to my stomach.

  137. kate, although expressing anal glands was not my drive for getting dogs, i do enjoy gross things, too. specifically, I LOVE TO POP OTHER PEOPLE’S ZITS, especially blackheads. there i said it. i get a very strange satisfaction out of it. my husband thinks i am bananas.

    also, you are gonna do GREAT at the interview. be yourself! you are a shiny person 🙂

  138. we call my dad, to this day…NJTD (no job too disgusting). that man has dealt with every horror imaginable. baby poop. puke (adult, child or dog). clogged toilets. pee on the carpet. lice. i will leave the rest up to your imaginations, but it only gets worse….

  139. Bug said I will go blow some armadillo ass up.

    And for that she has my eternal respect.

  140. Your dad and I might’ve gotten along, Steph. 🙂 At school, we had a very … lazy toilet and it would clog constantly. Apparently, none of my other roommates (four) knew how to operate a plunger. It was my duty. EVERY. TIME.

    Oh and by the way – this ass butter stuff? It applies to cats as well.

  141. It never ceases to amaze me the directions this blog takes off in! Eclectic doesn’t even begin to describe it. But since anal glands are the topic du jour, here’s something I remembered reading on another blog I follow, 15-Minute Lunch:

    “Best 30 bucks I ever spent.

    One thing you don’t want to see two days before you leave on a trip is your cat dragging his raw ass across your rug. OK, granted, you probably don’t want to see that ever, but two days before a trip it’s extra-special, in that “Great. WTF is wrong with the cat’s ass and how can we get him to the vet before we leave” kind of way.

    We managed to take him to the vet this morning and now I’m waiting to go pick him up. It turns out he had to have his anal glands expressed.

    Before I read that article, I had no idea what anal glands were, or why they apparently needed to be delivered somewhere overnight, but that’s how it goes. I’m always learning new things about cats that make me think I don’t want to know anything else because there’s nothing left to know that won’t cost me a fortune and/or turn out to be totally disgusting.

    This wasn’t too rough on the wallet, surprisingly. I think my wife said it cost $30 extra. From reading a few things on the web, I found out that you can learn to perform this procedure on your cat yourself. Dear god in heaven, why?? Why would anyone want to do this? Trust me, If I can pay someone else to root around in my cat’s ass and fix a problem, then that’s a bargain at any price. Although I could definitely live without having deep and meaningful anal gland conversations over lunch.

    I think if I were a vet, I’d have to charge a minimum of $15,000 for anything ass-related. I realize I probably wouldn’t get much ass-business, but one or two cat butts a year and I’d be on easy street. I really think vets should charge by the relative grossness of the procedure and the size of the animal. For instance, if you have a giant dog with a giant ass problem, that’s gonna cost you a lot more, ass-wise, than a ferret’s tiny one. That’s the price you pay for wanting a pet with a giant ass.

    They should also charge by how smelly your animal is overall. If it smells disgusting, there should be a stankification surcharge. They could just have a line item multiplier on the invoice:

    080-54: Anal Gland Expressed $30.00
    080-887: Smelled like that dude at the Phish Concert (x3)
    Total: $90.00

    Speaking of smelly asses, I’ll try to keep you all updated on my Nerdfest 2008 conference. Picture 8,000 sweaty geeks in one giant hotel complex. You’d think they charged extra for the soap and water or something.

    It’s always good for a laugh or two.”

  142. Hi everybody –
    I received my Migraine of the Month Club delivery two days ago and I’m still enjoying it.
    **Attention all Imitrex users, I got the new cheaper generic version and it does not work as well!!!**
    So I have been lying low, walking around with one finger permanently pressed into my right eye which is drooping because a Lozenge of Pain has been inserted under my eyebrow.

    Amy – Glad you got the book! Molly and I are excited to chat.
    Jodi – Almost done with Girl with No Shadow!
    Suzanne et al. – Finally got Owen Meany today. It’s next on my list.

    Sarah – I had to read back through a bunch of weird stuff above to see what I was being challenged to outstinkify. I believe the current bid is hyena butter? or is it butt-scooting dog hootch?

    I could most certainly tell some foul tales, but I don’t want to damage the already fragile milk market by divulging what truly happens down on the farm. 🙂 But if pressed, I guess I could cough up one or two.

  143. That is great Carol!!
    It reminds me of something my brother said ( he has 3 pugs)
    “I’m a cheap bastard but anal glands is one service I will gladly pay for.”

  144. KATE!
    whoever your interviewer is…if there is a zit anywhere in evidence, you can THINK ONLY about popping it and maybe that will lighten up the situation? (Oh Steph, I really didn’t want that image in my head either but it seems to be that kind of day on the blog today).
    Really…you’ll do fine.
    Big Breath In
    Big Breath Out
    You Go Girl!
    Oh yeah…I totally agree with everyone on letting the groomer or the vet do the anal glands. No way Jose.
    BUG and HAVEN..can an armadillo beat a javalina? Just wondering.

  145. i didn’t even get started on ear wax. i forgot about that disgusting guilty pleasure of mine.

  146. Steph – You would love life in Japan! They have little tiny scoops for ear wax removal, and usually one person does it for another. It’s kind of like nit-picking – it’s a social bonding experience!

  147. maureen, you are absolutely correct. i would LOVE that

  148. Dear lord in heaven! Carol, I was nearly sent to the hospital for laughing so hard I had tears! Robbie kept asking me what was so funny and I could hardly breath let alone tell him what I was reading. His response was “you must be really tired” which sent me into an even greater paroxysm of laughter. And then, I looked up and our dog was scooting his ass across our carpet!

    “…but one or two cat butts a year and I’d be on easy street.” I can’t stand it!

  149. So glad you enjoyed it, Jim! 🙂 Glad to be able to contribute something to the discussion, even if I didn’t write it! 😉

  150. Carol made me left too.

    I had lunch with my Aussie crush, Luke, today. And, his partner, Phil. No funny business here, people. They are both adorable.

  151. Kate, I am going to just go ahead and say congratualations.xoxo

  152. Omigosh…so much to cover. Popping zits? YES. Ear wax removal? OH HELL TO THE YES. Pulling things out of my husband’s belly button? You betcha!

    The job interview went great, on my end. The bad news? Probably less money than expected, and more office time than I would like. So, we’ll see. In this economy I will be grateful for anything.

  153. Go, Ka-ate! Go, Ka-ate!

    I am still trying to adjust to loving my president.
    I heard him at his press conference today and kept thinking, stunned,
    “I agree with him. (stunned) He’s intelligent. (stunned) He’s personable. (stunned) He’s humble (stunned). He’s good. (stunned)”

    I can just barely stand it. A handsome, cool, decent, educated president. He has MORE moral fiber than I do. I have spent my politically aware life being embarrassed to be American, and now I’m actually proud. Oh, I just pray for that man.

  154. Sometimes you need to do a little sidestep to get ahead.

  155. congrats ms. cake! so glad to hear it went well. and i forgot about bellybutton lint. thanks for the reminder…i love that, too 🙂

  156. Oh dude…it was not lint…I’m still not sure what it was.

  157. Yay, Kate!!! I KNEW you’d kick ass!

    And Sher! I’ve been meaning to say, YAY!!!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!! MUSEUMS!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!

  158. Oh, I forgot to say I don’t have the job yet…I won’t know till next week.

  159. Man, I wish I had extra income so I could buy Suzanne’s books on Ebay. Cripes she has a collection.

  160. Glad it went well, Kate. No doubt you’re a shoe-in.

    Scoops for ear wax? Heaven.

  161. There’s a LOT more to be listed, Amy. And I’m still trying to get eBay to put back the Obama book item they removed yesterday. Suzanne bought it on eBay in the first place so how can they claim it’s not legit?

  162. I love Lost. You might think I’m crazy, addicted to TV (which I really kinda am–Haven, I know you’re disappointed in me…)

    But I love Sawyer. LOVE him.

  163. You did a great job listing the books so far Polly. I will keep a look out for more.

  164. Molly’s going to teach me how to write! Is the woman a saint or what?! 😀

  165. What a silly woman. Kittery, like so many before her, has issues with commas; otherwise she’s an EXCELLENT writer. I’m just helping with the grammar.

  166. My mother always reads my stuff and immediately tries to correct my spelling and crap like that and I’m like “TALK TO THE HAND! What do you think of the CONTENT?” I have her trained now, but lordy. That woman is a walking RED PEN.

  167. Hello! I thought I would pop in after my Inauguration-watching hangover subsided and I missed quite a lot about hyenas, job interviews and anal glands. I can only guess that the odd smell my lab/chow mix emits periodically is due to her neglectful parents who refuse to express anything. Ass hooch, is it? I’m sure we are supposed to do something about it but that’s not gonna happen.

    Also, my goodness, L Bug (is it Molly?)–you haven’t been to midtown Atlanta in a while! We are the gay mecca of the South and the Pride festival is alive and well here. Teeming with rainbows and Obama stickers and fabulous people.

    Maybe we should road-trip to Durham to see Haven and AB!

  168. OK Haven, so I cannot not post on this…

    First, the Ann Coulter dig was wonderful. As a bookseller, I will say that almost everyone who comes up with one of her books in hand gives off this bitter, gristly vibe that puts me on guard…

    And second, I have a raccoon story. I have only ever seen a raccoon — live, in the flesh — once in my life. And it was on the campus of the University of Colorado late one night following an open-air performance of some Shakespeare or other. My brother and I were standing there, talking about the production, theater-goers milling about — and here comes this creature lolloping past that was so big, it took me a moment to register what it was. And even when I realized it was a raccoon, the thought that it might be a lolloping human being in some skillfully made raccoon costume occurred to me. He just loped past us all and off into the shadows…

    In the years since, I have received much guff for my descriptions of this critter. My wife thinks me given to hyperbole where the raccoon is concerned. But I swear: it was enormous. I swear it would’ve tipped the scales at 90 or 100 pounds. It seems to me that raccoons living in the foothills and subsisting, in part, on the McDonald’s and Burger King remainders of university students might grow to such a size, but no one believes me when I launch into conversation about it…

    I sometimes feel as though I’ve seen the largest raccoon in history…

  169. And Kittery is SCHOOLING me in cutting down on secondary characters. ::deep sigh:: but unfortunately I think she’s right.

  170. See, Sarah? Carpe ass hooch! Your readers are true students, voracious consumers of any and all arcana. I am sadly damaged for days; I have a delicate dream mechanism that seizes on particularly graphic images, of which there are no shortage of in this blog. (And now we are promised chiggers?) Lord above, though, you are all on FIRE today.

  171. Also, Vanessa, I automatically love you because you post here. BUT I HATE ATLANTA LIKE THE PLAGUE ITSELF. HATE IT.

    But I would go for Haven. 😉 I can get away from the ‘rents and their health for a few hours, but not for a REAL road trip. sheesh.

  172. I must needs talk about the ongoing sense of well-being I have had since ca. 9:15am (PST) yesterday. I feel a tangible glow follows me about, and everyone I meet has the same glowy look about their shining faces. What it means to have, for the first time in my lifetime, a president in office that I feel embodies the principles on which our illuminated experiment of a nation was founded I can’t even begin to express. For the first time, there is a man front and center in the (global) public eye modeling what it means to be a grownup. Here I shall quote Beyonce: he makes me want to be smarter, he makes me want to be more involved (and Maureen) he has more moral fiber than I do. Think of what effect that intent will have, times several million. Oh, it is a glory, glory, glorious day!

  173. And I am now officially over the moon in love with Keith Olbermann.

  174. LB, I read very gladly of the good news re: your pop. How is his recovery going?

  175. Good heavens I am BORED. Where is everybody?

  176. Kate looked hot on her interview today.


  178. Kittery and I have now decided to use the word “Raccoon” instead of “Bastard.”

  179. Yes. We feel that it better encompasses the horror of certain people’s personalities/actions.

  180. Kate Bettie Paged that interview out of the PARK, she was so hot.

  181. Is that Bettie Page as an adjective or a verb?

  182. WHO CARES?

  183. Jason, I completely believe you about the Raccoon of Great Size. Good heavens, the one in the photograph in this very post outweighs my toddler! Also I’m very sensitive to people who spot large, unlikely animals, as for many years I was shown no mercy in my family because I saw a moose run across the Wilbur Wright Road outside Mooreland. I am perfectly willing to grant that Mooreland is not the native habitat of mooses as a general rule. Nonetheless, one crossed the road, and it had a reason. Just because the moose had not been in our cornfields BEFORE, nor was he seen AFTER, does not change the fact that he was there ONCE.

  184. Kate Cake VERBED it, Caryl. I saw the dress, the hair: we’re talking about transformational grammar, the serious stuff.

  185. I once saw a deer in my backyard, in the city, the very same deer that had just been in Francis Joseph Reitz High School’s Bowl a few days before. That was one confused deer.

  186. Oh god, we’re talking about grammar? I need Molly!
    But yes, to anyone that didn’t see a picture of Kate, they need to. She looked perfect. 🙂

  187. Before I dated my husband he was my boss, and he interviewed me. I would love to know the verb he would use to describe me??

  188. You should ask, Caryl. 😉

  189. That entire outfit cost me less than $40. Except for the bag.

  190. Oh my gosh Caryl I had a dream that the guy who interviewed me gave me an APRON to wear to the office. And I was so pissed, because it was sexist, but then you know what? I Love APRONS, so I wore it. And we were dating. Good lord, that was a weird dream.

  191. Another one of Kate’s odd nightmares that she’s too fond of to hope they go away. 😉

  192. Exactly. Sleep is just so INTERESTING when I have them!

  193. God I love that Kate. I swear thats not what happened to me, except sort of in a metaphorical way.

  194. Ok, now that I learned Haven and Augusten read together I’m totally jealous of those of you who can travel to go see them. I wish more authors would come to stupid old Michigan. I can’t drive all that way! How fun to go to a reading with 800 people.

    Haven, I love the bloody bobbie pin story. Your poor head!

    Also, anyone up this late who also watched LOST? Its 2:00 am and I have no one to discuss the show with!!! I’m dying!

  195. Talk to Molly, GftG – she’s quite enamored, it seems. 😉

    Oh and while we’re offering suggestions – MAINE. I know Augusten gave a reading a BLOCK away from where I used to live and I found out a week later. That was awful. So you both should come here! 😀

  196. Kate, John mentioned that he really should start wearing an apron because he cooks every day, and — well — every night, and he was noticing stains on a lot of his clothes. I told him I’d be happy to get him one. He wore it tonight, as a matter of fact: it’s plain white, and in red letters it says I LIVE WITH A QUAKER. I know my sense of humor is idiosyncratic at best, but I think that might be the single most random thing ever printed on an apron, ever. Ever. It SLAYS me. He looks really hot in it, though.


    I need a picture.

  198. I have an apron that says “How to Keep Your Husband” and it’s chock full of excellent advice that everyone in the world would deem sexist and awful. I LOVE IT.

  199. Last night at this time, Charlie rode his scooter from my bedroom, where he sleeps, with bottle in hand and when he found me he said “hi mama, more milky ba?” like it was the most natural thing in the world. To be awake at midnight when your 2 1/2, riding a scooter in the house.

  200. I have no words Caryl…!!! WHAT A BOY!

  201. Kate, Iam not sure if it was mentioned, but what job did you interview for today?

  202. Head of a website I work for…it’s a local one for moms.

  203. I just took the dog out and its raining. A week of heat and winds and to out and smell the rain, I think I will sleep with the window open. I can do that because I have fat baby heat next to me.

  204. Kate, do you ever do any writing for

  205. Haven –
    I hate to mention this, but in light of the above discussion, I looked at your new avatar and thought “I hope that’s not anal gland expression.” Perhaps I read a bit too much Kurt Vonnegut.

  206. Maureen,

    Thankfully, Haven’s avatar is a pink dandelion.

  207. Oh, thank God! Now I see it!

  208. Man. I still have Haven as a bear.

  209. Like a damn fool I just looked this up…
    “1. Enlist a friend’s help to secure your cat, preferably on a counter, table or workbench that will give you easy access to your cat’s hindquarters.
    2. Locate the anal glands. Near your cat’s anus, you will notice small openings approximately the size of a grain of rice at the 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions.
    3. Insert the tip of your forefinger slowly in the cat’s anus and locate the gland.
    4. Squeeze the glands gently between your thumb and forefinger until an oily substance is secreted.
    5. Cleanse the area after you have expressed the glands. The secretion is oily and will require a gentle pet shampoo to remove.”

    NO, I will NOT be doing that. It’s definitely worth $30 to have it done by an anal-probe professional. But does anyone know if this has to be done to both male and female kitties? And does it make a difference if the kitty is fixed?

    I’m asking because for the past three days our little furry guy Sophie has smelled like bad cat farts, even though he appears to be clean and we haven’t changed his diet. He is fixed. Could it be that the dreaded anal gland expression is required?

  210. Molly-I’ve lived in Atlanta for 35 years so what can I say? It’s not so bad, but I was 10 when I got here. I was surprised your brother didn’t move here–all my gay friends are from small towns in Georgia who moved here for an accepting community. And we do have that in abundance.

    We can still be friendly blog babies, right? 🙂

    my hubby and I are watching Lost…we missed all the first 4 seasons and netflixed them so we would be all caught up for the new season. We tivo the new season…all I can say is I love Sawyer, too…way sexier than the doctor and our favorite character is Hurley…DUDE!! I am addicted to my netflix and tivo because t.v. and books are the only things keeping me from being a total alcoholic in this life. Skating on the edge of a nervous breakdown…2.5 years left to retirement…can’t quit or you only get 1/2 pension because it’s backloaded. Can’t quit or you don’t have health insurance (Please fix that president Obama! Just make it affordable!!)….enough whining…anyone wants to discuss books or movies or fun t.v. shows, I’m there.
    HAVEN: any chance ever, at all, that you and/or Augusten will ever cross the continental divide and come to the west? We’re really not very wild any more..not at all like Deadwood.

  212. Good morning blog babies!

    I am still in Obama glow, too.

    It will take awhile, but day by day we are going to get better as a nation and a people because our courage has been unleashed by Obama. We will no longer be held back by the fear that so marked the Bush administration.


    Caryl Hayes, I love your story. I miss the days when my guys were little and could pull off such a stunt. Can you imagine how now in their 20s that scenario would unfold? One would come roaring into the bedroom on a motorcycle and the bottle he’d be wanting would likely be one autographed by Jim Beam or ‘ol Jack Daniels!


    I love aprons…when I used to develop my own photos, I had a hippie tie-dyed one with about a billion pockets. Wonder whatever became of it? I know it’s down in my basement someplace with the t-shirt I have been searching for to give Haven. I’ve started referring to our basement as the archives!


    Haven, I’m in need of some silence and I will travel to get the experience. Let me know when the meeting is in session!


    Love you guys…haven’t been to the blog much…a very busy time at work. We are putting on a huge meeting in Vegas in three weeks. I’m contacting speakers, designing forums, writing scripts…


    Maureen and Kate: I just finished Drinking Life by Pete Hamill. Good lord, it was a wonderful read. So evocative of newspapers when I first got in the business. Now I am reading a book by Joe Coomer, Pocketful of Names. It really resonates. He is a slow and still writer. Nothing screams in this book. Soon as I get done, I will hunt out the sequel to The Sparrow.


    Later everyone

  213. I just watched the inauguration.

    What an amazing speech. There were a few parts that I thought were unsubtle digs, but 99.9999999999% of it was pure inspiration.

  214. Molly and Maureen~
    Half way thru Something still my heart, I am in love with this book. Going home to Indiana this weekend ( 2 of my best friends had babies within the last 2 weeks!!!) and will have no time to read. Should be done by the beginning of the week.
    I loved,loved, loved the reference to Mr. and Mrs. Bojo Jones in the first chapter. I have read that book a dozen times and really thought I was the only one!

  215. Vanessa, of COURSE we are still friends!

    Bro 1 went to Philly (college) then NYC (NYU Tisch School of Arts). He lives in Chelsea with his husband. 🙂

  216. My wife said the same thing about “digs.” but I don’t think they were…that’s not Obama’s style. I think they were point-blank assertions of the way he sees politics and policy. I think if there is any nastiness to play against Congress, or even the residual mess of the Bush administration to air in a public way, I believe that responsibility will fall to Biden…ironically, even McCain.

    It’s going to be fascinating to watch this unfold over the next several months.

    I hope events don’t overtake his ability to define a new presidency suited to the 21st Century.

  217. I dunno, George. Saying that NOW we were ready to lead seemed kinda dig-ish to me.

    BUT I loved the “we’re going to kick ass and take names” portion; for me, that made up for it. With Bro 2 in the military, my biggest fear about this election was Obama would cut off funding and get Andy killed OR that McCain would continue funding and get Andy killed. It really seemed like a lose-lose election. I almost voted for Bugs Bunny. 🙂

  218. What is Divinecaroline?

    Nevermind I’ll check.

  219. Bug, thanks for saying what I was thinking. You’re good lke that.
    Kate, I will email you what I know about it, but you will probably suss it out for yourself at the site.

  220. I cannot add to the anal gland situation, but I have had some experiences with trimming the dingleberries off a cat (i.e., my poopectomy injury) . . . it required stitches. I no longer GO there . . .

    Obama – wow. I am aglow as well. It is almost post-coital satisfaction. A nefarious racoon is Cheney (yoda speak). Cackled madly as I pictured myself pushing his errant wheelchair down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I think I would make a lovely assassin. Alas and alack, I have no gun.

    Pink Dandelion (sigh) . . . can’t wait to read more about him. When, oh, when is the newest Kimmel coming out.

    Watch out – my Bellsouth Dude just fixed my DSL connection – I will be on fire. But now I have to go hang another show . . . perhaps I should try to do some new work at some point . . .

    Kate – is the pic of you in your interview outfit on Yahoo??? I found one picture (but only the waist up) of the 50’s retro pink/black outfit . . . still combing the photo albums for the full-length, black buttoned pencil skirt.

    Re bosses as husbands. Don was my physical therapist, and I was also dating my dentist, my doctor, and a stock broker at the time. The all had great cars . . . which my friends thought was a requirement. Then I end up marrying Don who was driving his granny’s 15 year-old, no a/c oldsmobile. See, he didn’t have to stand on his wallet to impress me!

  221. This is what I think of aprons: adorable, I have a collection. They hang in the laundry room on a clothes-line I hung on the wall. I actually have my great-granny’s “Sweet Adelaide’s” singing club apron for the early 20th century.

    One time (at band camp), no it was in IN, my friend’s poodle (Preppy, gag me with an 80’s spoon), was ass dragging on the floor – there was something white hanging out his ass. These were farmfolk, so they just proceeded to pull it out . . . I thought it must be a tape worm – but, no – it was a long piece of white fringe from one of the area rugs. Unfortunately, Preppy seemed to really enjoy the sensation.

  222. Oh no that photo is OLD…it’s my facebook picture! Much more job appropriate.

  223. I sold my vast vintage apron collection in a fit of decluttering.

  224. Am on the new desktop (to match the new router) which we didn’t need because it was the stupid ass modem all along . . . and my facebook isn’t logging on . . . perhaps I should go work today. It is what almost 2. Note: I got up at the crack-ass of dawn today to drive my son and his forensics team to some hick town for a competition – get to the school and am told I am not needed. Crap. Me, dealing with stolen sleep, is not a purty picture.

  225. Kate, perhaps I bought some of your aprons on ebay – we both have such great taste! My favorites are the bib ones . . . with buttons at the waist . . . gorgeous

  226. Will check in later . . . missed you all – wished I could have been with you all at the moment of Obama’s swearing in . . .

  227. I get it, I finally get access again and everybody runs away. I have hung an art show and made a very successful trip to Goodwill in the meantime . . .

    Realizations Today:

    1. I would homeschool, but then my kids would be home.

    2. My children are schooled, but they are unchurched.

    These could be issues which require counseling later in life.

  228. Sher,
    That made me think of something one of my girlfriends told me when her daughter started 1st grade this year. She was having a hard time with her being gone all day and asked her if she would like to be home schooled ( she was serious) and her daughter rolled her eyes and said ” no mom, that would be boring.”
    I was secretly thankful that my mom never offered that to me because I would have taken her up on it in a heartbeat. I hated ( still do) getting up in the morning.

  229. In keeping with the Quakeresque anti-war posture of this blog. Here’s an article from the Post that I think pretty well captures my own belief about these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  230. Very nice, George. 🙂

  231. After these last eight years and the unthinkable sacrifices of so many Americans, waging peace is a concept that will be hard — possibly impossible — to introduce to this generation of citizens. But it is the only path to the security we seek and the freedom we claim for ourselves and everyone else.

    I have often wondered how different things might have turned out if Bush had possessed the true courage to respond to the attacks of 9/11 by following the dictates of a just peace instead of a unjustified war.

    Folks, I apologize for being so darned preachy.

    I have been reading stuff on Gaza and I am just sick of all this killing.

  232. Hear hear, George. It’s time for it to end.
    (And you’re not being preachy. :))

  233. Thanks for the article George, and its not preachy when you’re so darn smart.

  234. Confession to George and Jodi – I am enjoying my re-read of Owen Meany and find his comments regarding the Vietnam War eerily similar to our current ‘war(s)’

    Blog Babies – sounds like April 9th might be a good as time as any to converge upon Durham for a UNION/MEETING, whether silent or otherwise. Shall we research some B&B’s, and or cabins near the independent bookstore????

    Why not travel to NC for a 2-fer ???? Imagine the peace sit-in we could have.

    Atlanta – lived there from 1987 – 1994, loved it – worked downtown, among the Peachtree Center . . . this was pre-Olympics, lots of musicians and artists around Little 5 Points, hello – Junkyard’s Daughter, and Taco Macs . . . don and also did a sit-down strike in the middle of Peachtree Street one night after leaving Club D’s and mislocating our designated driver . . . and Calico Jack’s and American Pie???? Party late 80’s style . . . memories . . . vague as they are . . .

  235. Sher, if you could find out anything I would love it. I researched the flight from Ca. but all of the hotels that came up were Hiltons and Embassy Suite types. I am looking for something with a little character..

  236. What about: Blooming Garden Inn
    Old North Durham Inn
    Arrowhead Inn
    Washington Duke Inn
    I haven’t looked at their sites, but the pictures look good so far.

  237. Washington Duke Inn is great but extremely pricey…I have stayed there only because someone else picked up the tab. Look for something around Hillsborough.

  238. My tween-age son, quite the quipmeister him, came up with a joke about ye raccoon.

    “What is the difference between a raccoon and an italian sportscar?”

    I said I dunno.

    “Tonight there is NOT an Italian Sportscar in our garage.”

    I have high hopes for the boy. Perhaps he will be a TV weatherman, or a car salesman.

  239. Matt, your son in hilarious.
    George, if we know how many people are interested in going, I will make some calls on group rates. By the way, is Washington Duke in a good location?

  240. “Matt and I listened to recordings of hyenas watching The Dave Chapelle Show one night; what a party that was. Alas, on one of the…”

    But Haven, I have never met you in person! Unless it was during one of my black-outs…and I don’t know who Dave Chapelle IS. Is he a TV person-man?

    Hyenas! If you like – I can tell you all about their horrid physiological quirks. Or their too-awfull-for-Disney lifestyle choices. Oh wait, I did one time…And not just hyenas! There’s the deep-sea angler fish. There is the garden slug. Good lard you wouldn’t believe it. And who could forget The Surinam Toad! JE-zuz that thing looks like some kinda playschool toy, all those little baby-toads’ heads sticking out of it’s back.

    Oh! And Haven… there is a particular unpleasntry about brer possum’s man-part that may be of interest to you. I didn’t believe it until one time I helped a guy skin one. Two words: double trouble.

  241. Washington Duke is right on the edge of campus. A great, safe, woodsy location with an even greater, and I might add, historic, golf course.

    Hey, if anyone wants to go with me, I am heading out in a few minutes to go see Benjamin Button.

    I’ll give a review when I get back.

    But this makes me wonder: Should we have a blog discussion on movies seeing as how Oscar season began today?

  242. I’ll tell you the truth about raccoons.

    Take a look at that paw! A good, long look!

    If we, as a species, drop the ball, those bad boys are right where they need to be to pick it up! Prehensile thumbs and all!

    It’ll take them awhile to master the flush toilets and microwave ovens, but they’ll do it.

  243. “That’s the price you pay for wanting a pet with a giant ass.” (from above)

    why is this line making me laugh sodod hardsllllk

  244. Sher–I had to laugh out loud when you mentioned American Pie! I lived near Piedmont Park during those years and it was awesome. Taco Mac is alive and well but A.P. just closed last year. My daughters take piano/guitar at the L5P Music Center. I believe in 1987 I had big hair.

    Matt–the paw is still creeping me out.

  245. As well it should! Someday, if we aren’t carefull, our afterlings will be living in THEIR garage.

  246. Good heavens, what a coincidence. Only a month or so ago, I woke in the dead of night to see a wee stripey round creature hissing & snarling & carrying on in the corner of my room. I thought it all a bit too much of a dog and pony show really – I don’t go in for hystrionics you see – so this cute little badger-type chap is yowling, unreasonably I thought, in the corner and I felt, as any animal lover would, that the right thing to do would be to attempt to calm him down. WRONG ANSWER. Ever since, I’ve been nursing my mummified and post-rabid self back to health. Bloody varmint raccoons!How did one get to Sydney anyway? Hmmm, a stowaway I suspect.
    So you see, dear Haven & fellow blog babies, this is why I have been rather quiet of late. I am, however, on a mission to catch up on all the fun and bloggedy-blogs that I’ve duly missed.
    Love Tex

  247. And to all, I offer my sincere Congratulations! Out with the old crackpot and his damning administration and in with Barak Obama! It’s a triumph that the world shares with you!

    (and a relief after that bloody twit W.)

  248. George, a friend of ours was the editor of Benjamin Button, and he was just nominated for an oscar yesterday! I am waiting to have a copy passed to me so I don’t have to sit for 3 hours in a theatre, but I hear its worth it.

  249. Tex, my lord, are you okay?

  250. I bought my sister an apron. It said Wine Country across the chest. Then it had a line drawn on it like a map, and the places were called “Kitchen,” “Back porch,” “Bedroom,” “Living Room” etc…it was perfect for her.

  251. Tex! We have been wondering about you. Sorry about the injury but glad you are back!!!

  252. Good news! My sister (who is fan-tabulous) is coming to help me next week! This would the mother of Liam and Aiden (Aiden of the “I is about to faint with excitement”…fame). I am so excited and relieved. She can help get my mother off my back. My mother, who WENT OFF ON ME LAST NIGHT. Anyway. Yay!!

  253. Good news Molly, who is unbelievably young to have all of this responsibility. I mean really young..have you seen a close up of this girl?

  254. Aw, shucks, Caryl. I only LOOK young.

    My secret? Oil of Olay Regenerist serum. As a Virgo, I was practically born with lines engraved on my forehead. I love my lines; they add character…but I thought, why not slow down them down a bit? My lines did show up earlier than most people’s.

  255. Time to hit the sack, babies. Sleep well!

  256. In California its not a secret, its botox.

  257. …just got back from seeing Benjamin Button.

    my first impression is that it is the most unusual movie I have ever seen.

    i have to track down the Scotty Fitzgerald story upon which it is based.

    Tex: geez!

    Bug: I only look old.

  258. I am so UP for the NC Durham trip . . . I am picturing a rough cabin with an outhouse . . . but if we get something with a working kitchen I (we) other cooks can make a big, or several, dinners . . . that is my ultimate fun – having people to cook for.

    I share rooms, but not beds, not even with my husband. I will pay for 2 people if I get a bed all to myself . . . and I have to run water when I go pee. As far as I know no sleepwalking or anything like that . . . will also check our timeshare, I don’t know if they have anything available in Durham and it would be fun to be closeby.

  259. nope, closest thing is in Whispering Pines . . . will keep looking

  260. George – I want to see Benjamin Button – I love long movies. It reminds me of a book I read a few years ago (the story that is) – Max Tivoli. And, hello, Brad Pitt at any age . . .

  261. God, I know. I was just saying to my husband, what do you think its like in that house at night, do they just stare at each other..he mentioned the 6 kids they have to put to bed and then it just sounded like my house.

  262. Maybe HAVEN knows somewhere (either a cabin/B&B/nice retreat hotel) near 9th Street or near her neck of the woods . . .

    I am seriously up for this trip . . . I can do some research while we are there . . . I could leave Thursday and head out on Saturday or Sunday . . .

    The Nasher Museum at Duke is fabulous . . .

  263. Did you get a chance to look at any of the ones I mentioned? Maybe they would have availability to book the whole house.

  264. Oh goodness, I have much to catch up on! …and yes, I know it sounds strange, perhaps a tad on the surreal side, maybe even a tiny little teency weency bit of a stretch that I ran into a racoon in my bedroom… But it sounds good duzn’t it!? Lovely to be back tho guys. You really are all so funny and hysterical and precious. I really have missed the lot of you. xox

  265. By the way Sher, I just checked into our yahoo group and not only am I down with your questionaire, but it reminded the left side of my brain that I forgot about the “dinner party” hypothetical that I had once proposed and duly forgot to even participate in. I’m so sorry. Shall we start again??

  266. I like it though. We’re on the same wavelength. Sneakily, we are trying to elicit personal information about people… shhhh..don’t tell anyone.

  267. Sher – I will share a room with you! Two beds. One for each of us. I kind of feel the same way except unfortunately i have to sleep with my husband. LOL

    We can drive down together too. Maybe we can pick someone else up on the way? Who knows. Whoo hoo.

    What it the date again? I know I posted it originally but the cold medicine I am taking is spaciing me out big time.

    Tex. You slay me.

  268. I just got an offer of two free JetBlue tickets in my e-mail. Any caveats before I click and check this out?

  269. I could just weep. I have to be in PA until the 10th of April for work. I WANT TO GO TO NC WITH THE OTHER BLOG BABIES.

  270. Amy, you and I can get together and raise some hell in PA. It won’t be the same as being with the BBS, I know, but it’ll be something!

  271. Amy – I’m working that day, too. Boo hoo. My vacation starts the NEXT day. In TeacherLand it’s a big bad no-no to take a day off on either side of a vacation.

  272. Yes Polly!!!! I cannot wait!!!

  273. Haven! I was just looking at The New York Times online and there is a “One in Eight Million” spotlight piece on Melissa Dixson “urban taxidermist”
    Hopefully this link works:

    And- she says in it that she works in a bookstore!

  274. WAAAAH! I can’t go either! No one to do the mom/dad thing. Shoot.

    Well throw back a cold one for me. For those of you who abstain from the fruit of vine/barley/potato/sugar cane/honey…..I love Coke-A-Cola. Throw back one of those for me.


  275. Molly Bug –
    I think we both need respite workers: to watch your parents and to watch my husband.

  276. Molly and Maureen,
    Expect an email to both of you the beginning of next week about Something Rising..I have started forming my thoughts..

  277. As far as not throwing back a cold one…. today is my 9 month sobriety anniversary. whoo hoo. I am drinking some green tea with mint in celebration. 🙂

  278. I wish I could gather you all in and look after you…but alas I live in a Tiny house with a pretty humble kitchen…

    I am more than happy to help in any way I can though, since I am On Site and one idea that comes to me this morning as I read your hopes for the trip is renting the Durham Friends Meeting house facilities in some form…

    I will post a link to their site so those of you who are seriously considering coming can see if it would suit your needs/expectations.

    I use to be the scheduler for the Meeting House when I was a regular attender, and I am familiar with the old Meeting House, but not the new one.

    I have many good friends there though, who I can ask any questions you might have, and I can get a more concrete quote about costs for you.

    This would be a place to gather, and cook, etc. Not to stay over night, so you would still need to make those arrangements.

    The Meeting House is down the block from the Nasher, and walkable to Ninth Street…the right neighborhood!

    I can ask around about places to stay if you like…
    Let me know if you would like me to find out more details for you…

  279. Hooray, Linda! Congratulations.

  280. Linda, that’s wonderful news. I’m so happy for you.

  281. YAY LINDA!!!! I like tea, too, so you could drink a couple gallons of that for me. 🙂

  282. I know I’m new to this place and not really established as one of the blog babies, but I would SELL MY SOUL- on eBay, or even at a garage sale if necessary- to see Haven read (and Augusten, too, of course). I start a new job in a week and a half and thus am unsure about what sort of time off I’ll have come April, but even if it means arriving just in time for the reading and driving the eight hours back immediately after, I plan to do everything in my power to be there. And it meant I had the honor of meeting some of you brilliant and hysterical people (and HAVEN!), I’d even start auctioning off some of my unnecessary limbs. (I mean, c’mon, does a nurse NEED two arms? Really.)

  283. Linda, that is awesome and I know just how long 9 monthes is, really. Good for you.

  284. Polly, is it you that has the ebay site, and if so can you please post it again. Thanks.

  285. One person pity party here.
    Why do I have to live way the hell over here in Arizona?
    and work full time, besides?
    it’s not fair.
    I want some gourmet cheese with my whine.

  286. Pity party of 2, please, Brenda. I can’t go either. 😦

  287. Sad and Pathetic, aren’t we Bug?

  288. Linda! Hooray for you! Congratulations!
    Has anybody else received the e-mail offering free JetBlue tickets? I am afraid to open it thought I would love free airline tickets.
    Almost done with Girl with No shadow then on to Owen Meaney.

  289. Linda: Good Job. I’m Proud Of You.

  290. I am wondering how April 9th became a date ?? Its a Thursday. I may be the only conventional worker here on the monday-friday thing but why not a Saturday ?

    Well if I cant meet Molly maybe i can join the pity party …grrrrr

  291. April 9th is the date of Haven and Augusten’s reading in Durham. However, the party could continue through the weekend..

  292. ahhh I see yes going into the weekend would be cool !

  293. Haven and Augusten also read in Nashville the day before, April 8. So, if any of y’all are closer to Nashville we could perhaps have a little meet up here too – or instead. Just a thought.

    Or- OR – we could ask/beg Haven and Augusten to have a special reading day in the future for us. Reading / Barn meeting / Big old party to celebrate all the various things we all need to celebrate. Hmmm. Put on your thinking caps…

  294. ok, first of all, linda: CONGRATS! 9 mos. is an husband will be sober 3 years on july 13. keep on keeping on! i am so proud of you!

    i would also like to attend the pity party as i cannot go to the reading in north carolina. i live in CT and have a regular old job, M-F. i think haven should meet augusten in massachusetts or even connecticut for another reading some time. that would be sooper-fab-uh-liss.

  295. Jodi – I am right now listening to an interview with Joanne Harris. The Girl with No Shadow was really called The Lollipop Shoes in Europe.

  296. But Jamie, could you really get top dollar at a g-sale? I just know your soul is premium.

    Here’s a sad story (to my own personal me, that is), relating to following Polly’s link. I clicked on the “In Cold Blood” link and gagged at the price: I gave away a copy (which I know was first edition) last year to my local library. I just hope they have someone with sharp eyes checking the donations before they go on sale.

  297. Linda: what you are doing — have done — is remarkable!

  298. George – Did you change your mind and go to the inauguration? I saw someone that looked remarkably like you on TV.

  299. Hum, well I didn’t see Haven listed on the Davis-Kidd site for Nashville, but they do have Augusten listed . . . if Haven really is going to be there as well . . . we could just stick with Nashville. But, are they only in town one night then . . . I would at least like to do dinner together or late dessert/drinks somewhere . . . it takes 1/2 hour to get back to my house or I would COOK . . .

    I am now thoroughly confused . . .

    wherever they both are, there I shall be . . .

    Maureen, it would have to could as a business/educational trip for you as you are a teacher and writer . . . we can even give it an official conference name if you need and we can print up a certificate for you, ok? If they are both in Nashville, my house is open for whoever wants to stay here . . . all the kids can go in the rec room or we can have a slumber party in the rec room . . . I can be in the same room, but cannot share an airmattress or sleeping service with another body . . . quinkydink.

    Haven, if you are coming to Nashville – you and Augusten are OFFICIALLY invited to my house for lunch/overnight or WHATEVER you might need. I will be your chauffeur if you need that, too.

  300. Congrats Linda . . . my brain is bleeding out of my eyeballs right now (I inherited Molly’s headache) . . . will now escape Nickolodine, take a Frova and pass out . . .

  301. Sorry I’m late …

    … I have a truly amazing racoon story. This is a story about Husbands, Wives, Neighbors who borrow tools and return them broken. Rifles, snow-shovels, garden hoses.

    But I can’t write well. So I’ll try to put the story together as a narrative. The title “Never Suck on a (Garden) Hose” is fixed, and the story has the added benefit of being True.

    I’ll get to it …

  302. Linda – well done mate! As Caryl said, 9 months can be a really long time. So true when it comes to kicking addictions, I reckon. As I’m sure you’ve discovered, though, it does get easier as time goes on. Love to you darling.

    “Pity Party for 2, please”, that is fucking hilarious lightning bug. Can we make it 3? I’m in Australia so what hope have I got?! I really can’t convey to all who are going to meet Haven & Augusten, just how incredibly jealous I am. Plus I’m dying to meet all of you lovely nutcases too… humph. (I can’t wait to hear all about it after the event though, yay!)

  303. Sine_30, hurry up, I’m intrigued….

  304. Hi Sher! I feel like I’ve always missed you on here for about three weeks! It must be national PMS week – I just finally just over my brains-bleeding-our-of-my-eyeballs migraine of the month. I’m ready to get a hysterectomy and just be done with this nonsense.

    I’ve noticed that Lauren still is toward the top of Tristan’s MySpace friends list.

    I like the conference idea very much! I got my work to pay for me to go to the Calvin Festival! I’ll see what I can do. Might have to sleep with my boss again. 😉

  305. somebody please, what is Polly’s site?

  306. Mo: No, I didn’t go down there among the hordes, but it is quite possible you saw someone who looks like me. I think I have a lot-alike (or he has a look-alike) and often someone will say they saw me where I was not. (God, I sound like Yoda.)

  307. Sound like Yoda, you do not. Use Force like Yoda, yes you do.

  308. I think Polly has a wordpress site, but I could be wrong. Perhaps, just do a little check cos that’s what my brain is telling me…

  309. Pardon my ignorance, but what is a yoda? It sounds like something I’ve heard Fran Drescher say on ‘The Nanny’, no? Whatever it is, it sounded funny George.

  310. Tex – Yoda is a character from the Star Wars movies – the little green guy with the pointy ears and the three-pronged hoof – very wise, very powerful.

  311. Oh christ, so I’m way off. How funny. I thought it was maybe a yiddish thing. Thanks maureen! As you can prob tell, I’m not a sci-fi fan. Oops

  312. Gawd, now I feel like a right dickhead, not being familiar with a character from such a culturally iconic phenomenon that is Star Wars or Trek or whatever. But please, in my own defence, said movies just don’t register on my radar. I have, however, read Huxley and indeed enjoyed Burroughs’ sci-fi work. So please, I hope this exchange doesn’t forever go down in time as proof that I’m retarded. Fanks.

  313. Is anyone still here?? This is what sucks about living south of the equator: in blogland, my timing’s just not right.

  314. Been a looong and very anxious week in which I did many, many things for which NO ONE PAID ME ANYTHING and then at the end of it I sat down with a glass of cheap domestic wine and this post, and one of them choked me and I’m not entirely sure which. But it was therapeutic, in an erotic-asphyxiation sort of way. Except not erotic. Is there a term for when you laugh so hard you black out? … Not that I blacked out entirely. I did hit my elbow and excuse me, OW.

    All right, enough, now I’m just trying to be clever to impress your friends. Who are probably not even listening anymore. Hey, I’ve played to empty rooms before! Enough to know “just imagine them naked” doesn’t work if there’s no them.

    I’ve REALLY got to invest in some better wine. Anyway, thanks for posting this, it was disgusting and hilarious.

  315. I just read some of the comments above mine and the idea of transitioning from racoons to Yoda is a little unsettling. Though not as much as raccoons to Fran Drescher. I have to go back and read what everything said now. I’ll report back when I’ve caught up, which should be, oh, Easter.

  316. Caryl
    Polly’s seller name on Ebay is pkfrompa…just do an advanced search and type in her seller name.

    I ‘m proud to call you a friend in that you used sex to persuade your boss to fund the Calvin trip. Atta Girl!

  317. Linda you are a strong, fantastic person. What pride you must feel!!

  318. Maureen,

    Yeah, I’ve always liked The Lollipop Shoes as the title for Harris’ book. How was the interview with Harris that you heard today? Is she coming out with something new?

  319. I have never seen Star Wars or any of the movies that followed.
    But my dogs look like Ewoks if that counts for anything.

  320. Thank christ(dodged a bullet), amy from ohio, I was beginning to feel a very lonely girl.

  321. No Tex, I am right there with ya, we are a rare breed though I fear:)

  322. My cat, her name incidentally is The Varmint, she likes the blues. Dusty Springfield gets her going too.

  323. Robert: Only occasionally empty. And I’m impressed.

    Jodi — just picked up Girl With no Shadow today. That and Abide w/Me. (Plus The Science of Leonardo, Fritjof Capra’s newest — looks promising.) Looks to be a Jodi-list week.

  324. Amy, I’ve tried that, but when I do advanced search and put her name in sellers, it doesn’t come up. I am doing something wrong..

  325. Thanks Amy, it’s true too!
    “You can only enter if you can name a character from Star Wars episode 7, scene 3″… ummmmm, I guess I’ll go elsewhere tonight then… carry on…

  326. All the auctions are currently completed. Check the completed items.

  327. Tex it is so good to see you back here! Was it really a rabid raccoon? Where there shots with large needles involved?

    That you and AmyO have never seen Star Wars (and in your case, do not really know the difference between Wars and Trek) is somehow refreshing, in the way conversation with a Mennonite (who grew up without TV and so is not mired in my own cultural references) would be. God bless you both.

  328. KateCake, Cupcake, lovely to see you! I may have stretched the truth just a tiny little teency weency miniscule bit,just slightly, in reguards to the raccoon bit (we don’t get ’em in australia), but the whole point is, I’m rapt to be back! You, my darling, are as funny as ever!

  329. Thanks Kate, no point in looking it up then.

  330. Carrie-
    Thanks for the ego boost regarding the cost of my soul. 🙂 I’m actually not sure what the going rate for souls is these days; I guess I should determine that before proceeding with either sale option. However, if it would get me to Durham on the 9th, I’d give it away. (My soul… I’d give my soul away. Just thought I should clarify what “it” was.)

    To Linda, and Steph’s husband-
    Congrats. I have so much respect for anyone who is able to accomplish such a feat. A good friend’s dad struggled with alcoholism for years and has now been sober for a year and a half- witnessing his struggle from the outside has given me a chance to see what one goes through. Also I just finished Augusten Burroughs’ Dry- wow. God bless you!

  331. KateCake is funnier than any of us, but that was me, Carrie, and I do think telling the story well does require a small bit of dress up. You’ve recovered fully, it’s hoped?

  332. Carrie,

    Let me know what you think of those two books. Both are wonders, in my opinion. Remember to watch the movie “Chocolat.” The Joanne Harris books are so atmospheric, and watching the movie (which is the prequel to “The Girl With No Shadow”) makes it all so much more sparkly and magical.

  333. I loved Chocolat — the book and the movie, for very different reasons (I think I said before those reasons begin with JD). I’d have been so disappointed if the movie sucked, it did not, so all is right. I’m onto “Shadow” right after I finish Agee’s “A Death in the Family,” which is a wonder, too.

  334. “Shit-Fuck-Cunt-Whore”, as my step mother used to say…
    Carrie, I do apologise, I must have glanced at KateCake’s avatar whilst reading your message – duh! And you’re right, Kate is funny, but how are you? and more importantly, how’s your singing going? I’ve not only played your song to all my friends, but the muso’s in our bunch, they have been doing covers of it when we get together! Truly, it’s quite amazing when you think about it. It germinates.

  335. I’ll endeavor to put my two cents in, reguarding the film Chocolat, if I may… I thought it was brilliant. Julliette Binoche was spell-binding, perfect. And Johnny Depp, he can’t go wrong. I’ve not read the book though.
    All this talk did remind me, though, of “Like water for chocolate”. Has anyone else read that? It got me on the path to Isabel Allende……

  336. Wish I’d had a stepmother quite as candid — Tex, I don’t believe I’ve ever been so flattered. Your friends cover my song? Damn. That’s unbelievable. — Singing going well, writing going well, playing better every day, thank you so much for asking. Do you play/sing/write?

    Here’s another:

  337. Ooo, Carrie, you’ve got a stellar library, including the Agee. Have you read his movie reviews, from the 1960s, I think? They’re as fresh and bitingly honest today as they were then. Reading them tells so much about Agee and how he thought, which was pretty deeply.

  338. No mate, I’m a talentless/off-key/illiterate. But I love music and strangely, most I’ve my friends are rather gifted in that arena. So yeah, we often sit around, a case of beer in the fridge, and jam. My best friend has an amazing voice like yours, so she loved it when I first played it to her. Now she sings it all the time. I can do back-up, at a stretch, but we now do your song together.

  339. Oh I do have an excellent library, Jodi — King County Library System! They have everything, I mean EVERYTHING, and if they don’t, they get it. They probably have a collection of Agee’s reviews, I know it. — I promised myself, after years of obsessive collecting and then the reduction by 30% every time I moved (which hurt, hurt I tell you), that I wouldn’t buy books unless I made room for them on my existing bookshelves (which I’ve held to two 8’x4′ and one 4’x3′) until I bought a house.

    The Agee, however, was a gift from our lovely hostess.

  340. Giddy-Up darling… gimme a moment while I listen to your new song. I’m sooo excited….

  341. Well, Tex, I’ll believe the middle descriptor, if only because I’ve never heard you sing.

  342. Yep, Jodi — just put Agee’s Library of America version of Film Writing and Selected Journalism on hold. Thanks.

  343. HEY every one I wanted to say bye for a bit I am going snowmobiling in the UP of beautiful Michigan for a week. Take car babies talk to you all soon.

  344. Love it. Love it. Love it!
    And love the reggae beat too. Your voice is so , I dunno, it’s got that husky honey yummy thang.
    Make an album mate, I’ll buy it and so will everyone with a brain who likes to swing!

  345. your voice oozes sexuality. It’s so jazzy, sexy, raaahhh. Love it. (If I hadn’t yet said it enough!).

  346. Thanks, Tex!

  347. Bye Michael T. — watch out for raccoons!

  348. My pleasure darling. You started it..haha.

  349. Listen everyone, this is an historical moment.. why?… because I promised that I’d telephone my girlfriend Clea at 2pm. (It’s now 2pm Sydney time). The reason I bring this up is because I’m going to introduce this precious friend of mine to this site. I do believe that she’ll fit right in ‘cos she’s a voracious reader, smart and she’s really quite funny – in a dry, quiet sort of way.
    Anyway, I’ll be back….

  350. hotdiggetydang,

    i miss all the fun . . . went shopping for wine, as I have been unsatisfied with the american selection of italians (yes, I have drank all the cases I brought back) I have switched to Chilean again.

    Although I did dribble a bit on my favorite Goodwill shirt and then realized I was out of SHOUT! which I didn’t know because I have not done laundry for WEEKS (no kidding) . . . but I did cook chicken parmigiana last night, and my son (16) begged for “that pasta like we used to do” . . . I was like ” well, I will do it but don’t get used to it or anything” . . .

    that is the key to not being taken for granted, only do it once in a while (although sex is allowed whenever, with my husband, not my son, you evil thinkers) . . . then you won’t be taken for granted, but actually appreciated when you do any little thing . . .

  351. hum, somebody asked about ‘passing’ out from hilarity or joy or sexual satisfaction . . . Jamie? not sure, anyways, that is called ‘ la petite morticia’ – a.k.a. the little death? I believe and I don’t know wehre that information comes from . . .

  352. I have just been on the yahoo site. Linda, the new haircut is terrific, you’re blessed to be able to pull off short hair. I look like what you would assume my brother would like when I cut mine short. Amy in Ohio, how cute are you, and your fiance’? And Carol in Kansas, the waterloo shirt..are you British? You and your kids are beautiful. It was fun to catch up, I am going to try to post some new pictures soon, right now its hard enough to get them onto my facebook.

  353. Sher, do you cook from favorite cookbooks, or collect recipes? Or do you just come up with recipes on your own? I love to cook, but hate the everyday drudgery of dinner so I do it less frequently than I should.

  354. hum, I like to watch cooking shows, then wing it from there . . . sometimes I use cookbooks as a starting off point, but then ususally add something along the way . . . kind of like free diving, but in food?

    I LOVE to bake, fun, fun, fun . . . making croissants, yes, from scratch and they take like 2 days, and with homemade strawberry freezer jam . . . heaven….

    I do like Wolfgang Puck’s pizza dough recipe (it includes honey) and I like Tyler Florence’s double-dipped double-breaded chicken parmesagna . . . italian is probably my favorite to cook . . . I love to make soups, but I am the only one who eats it (my hubby and kids are major ANTI-veggies) . . .

  355. Sher, don’t take this the wrong way/please take it the right way – you’re a funny muthafucka!

  356. Tex – I make every attempt to be a funny mutha fuckr, because it gets me through the day and the past~! right back at ya, Tex!

  357. Just met a great artist from Brisbane, Aust. – Chrisy? she makes art a lot like mine which was freaky-linky!

  358. Okay, so tell me what you made for dinner this week.

  359. one of my post-parochial school friends and I used to say “if, but, shit, fuck” in place of some language arts rote . . . now I can’t even remember the real thing!

  360. In a strange way, and I know that this ain’t right, ‘cos I’m 27 years of age, but I’d love a mum like you Sher.

  361. now my teen is home from the movies and wants her laptop – if, but, shit, fuck – my won’t let me on the new DSL connection – I think I will have another glass of wine, mixed with the FROVA, I can no longer FEEL my bleeding-eyeball-headache . . . hallejeh! Obviously, I. can. not. spell. 2. nt.

  362. …..I’m laughing uproariously……

  363. Tex, I, too, would love a mum like me. but I am considered “weird, but in a good way” by my kids’ friends . . . not to mention my husband does Partyboy (a/k/a Jackass) all around the house when they are here – at least he amuses me. Someday we believe we will see him on video chasing ‘adolensents’ around Disney World . . . it drives the kids bananas and we have had oriental tourists shooting pictures of him like it is a candid camera or something!

    Gotta go . . . Lauren is chomping at the bit for her My Space and Facebook . . .more later . . . miss you all!

  364. um, really signing off now . . .

  365. good luck darling!

  366. caryl…thanks, sweet of you to notice! The Waterloo shirt is actually from Waterloo records in Austin, TX…a large independent record store where I spent much money during my first (and so far only) visit to Austin in the summer of 2007.

    And sher, you are SO right about the whole getting taken for granted thing…I wish someone had told me that 20 years ago, as it’s a pretty deep hole I’ve dug myself by now!

  367. Hey Caryl, Suzanne decided not to sell her books at this time because the market is so bad, just like every other market out there. We did sell one book, but eBay removed one of the more valuable ones (Obama’s The Audacity of Hope) saying that we needed to have the autograph authenticated. That was ironic since Suzanne bought it on eBay in the first place just five months ago. I was sure that was going to sell on inauguration day because we had six people watching it, so that was a disappointment. I don’t think Suzanne realized how long it would take them to sell, which is common if you’ve never sold before. The experience from the sellers’ perspective is very different from that of the buyers’. Even if the market was good it could take months. You just never know with eBay. I think she did the right thing by waiting until things pick up, although I wish I hadn’t spent hours taking pictures and listing the ones I was able to get to. I really loved visiting Suzanne and her son and now wish I’d spent more time talking and laughing and less time listing! But who knew this was going to happen? It’s all a learning experience.

  368. I just got done playing Lips on x-box 360 with my friend Joi. We were singing up a storm, rockin’ the house. Has anyone else played it yet? It’s like SingStar (PS2 and PS3) but for X-box. Fun! We also played Jumbo Sequence.

    Isn’t it great having a good library, Carrie? Our small town librarians get me anything. I call them my personal pit bulls because they can ferret out the most obscure books. Whatever I want, they get, I have no idea how. And it’s a good thing too, because my attic is full of at least twenty boxes of books and I think Ken would divorce me if I brought many more into the house. He doesn’t get my relationships with books because he reads them once, then passes them along, whereas I am still attached to books I read in high school. Hey it could be worse…I could collect taxidermy! 🙂

  369. I am a foaming, frothing SNOW REMOVAL JUGGERNAUT!

    Just got done.

    Somebody told me “No two of them are alike.”

  370. Markets of the world (whether it’s gold, silver, soyabeans, barley, coffee, cocoa beans or whatever), they’re all going to plummet in the long run. Why? Because we are in a bare market.
    Notice that T.V. is just intolerable. It’s all reality TV bullshit. Music. It’s depresseing I want to kill myself crap. We are in a bare market. Unfortunately.

  371. Sorry folks, I didn’t mean to be a downer. Enough of all that stuff I say……………..

  372. Carrie: what a voice

    Hi Tex, how’s it down under? And yes, tv is pretty much a wasteland.

  373. Amen to that. I do find myself with a few hbo and showtime favs, and Damages with Glenn Close on Fx is good, but most of it, and all of the reality stuff, is mind-numbing horror.

  374. Tex – I am back, now just slightly buzzed, the Frova having kicked in and all hubbies (singular) and babies (including teenagers are tucked into bed with their laptops (hopefully NOT watching porn) and/or listening to ZIPPY . . .

    Claire was indignant today that no body on her bus (except for my best friend the friendly bus driver TRISHA) believed she could right in cursive.

    I got this same response when i wrote in cursive in 1st grade. Mrs. Read wrote a note on my homework, in cursive I MIGHT ADD “1st graders do NOT write in cursive yet” . . . fuck if they don’t – I did!!!

    That really chaps my ass.

    even now.

  375. oh, and I was watching PLANET EARTH with my hubby while we played 2 handed spades (not an easy feat) . . . searching dually on-line for new vacation spots . . . and here is my realization, call it an Oprah ‘ah-ha’ moment if you will . . . I think all men should act like the male Birds of Paradise from New Guinea . . .

    wait, I think that is what John Travolta was doing in Staying Live and Saturday Night Fever, never mind, I take that comment back, and Don does it on the tennis courts . . . and Brad Pitt when he breathes . . .

  376. The mysteries of life? Give me one, quick! I am in my oracle mode.

  377. if, but, shit, f)#))# – where did ya’all go?

  378. Reality shows – I LOVE all the cooking ones – Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen and, hello, are you kidding, you don’t watch Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, nor, the Girls Next Door?

  379. Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms, big fat juice ones, little skinny slimy ones . . .

  380. I was told today that Jack, my ten year old, doesn’t need any more cursive than writing his signiture. I had to ask because I home schooled him last year, and cursive is standard 3rd grade, but we didn’t do alot of schooling so he never learned it. Plus, how do you teach it? I do a combo of print/cursive that was no help. Apparently, cursive will soon be obsolete which is what I was hoping they would say because he is a genius other than that.
    Having said that, Claire is obviously a child genius herself.

  381. resonating words/excerpts from WOLF AT THE TABLE by Augusten Burroughs . . .

    . . . in my wake . . .

    Dude, let’s complete this sentence from page 4 . . .

    “My first whole memory is this:”

    from Sher:

    shadows on the wall, screams in the night, blood on the wall

  382. But once upon a time there was Firefly…
    I just, moments ago, lent out my DVD set of Firefly AND my copy of Zippy. I felt a bit like a overprotective parent sending her kids off to summer camp.

  383. Gad, I never would have thought that I would have had to retrieve a memory about penmanship, but Caryl, are you old enough to remember the Palmer method? If so, do you remember those workbooks?

  384. hum, I feel that penmanship is a lost art. I am appalled at the penmanship of my teenagers . . .

    Claire learned it from Kindergarten at a parochial, private school she attended. They were based on the BEKA books program . . . I was freaked out the first day, but she loved it – and I had the choice (because she was born 21 minutes after the cut-off date) to pay for another year of pre-school (of which she had just graduated) or private K, which was the same price, then sending her to public.

    The public school if rife with BUSY work . . . she has more homework than either of the honor student teens . . . it is very frustrating. If I were a more sacrificial mother, I would keep her home and teach her myself. BUt then she would be home, which is against my solitude that I need to create the art . . . it is a quandary. I say Thomas Jefferson’s penmanship diary at Monticello – it ws gorgeous . . . I think it is sad that the kids don’t know how to write more beautifully. What will happen to the science of handwriting analysis? we will all come across as psycho mass-murders, I guess!

  385. Jamie – i just loned all three of haven’s midwest triology to an art friend today . . . as I put them in her backseat, she was saying “I’ll give them back, I promise”. And I know she will.

    That being said, I had to indian give my IODINE copy back from my sister, because I couldn’t stand the thought of it being more than 10 minutes from my house!!!!

  386. egads, who knew the truth could be so fucking depressing . . .

    I, hereby, create a fictional truth (whatever that is) for myself as a first whole memory:

    “my older sister took my hand and helped me along” . . .

    that is the biggest fiction I have ever heard, she probably tripped me on my first step . . .

  387. i type too fast. i type too fast. we need to get voice recognition blogging . . . i type too fast

  388. Twenty years ago, when I was a young parent, I thought that penmanship wasn’t all that important. My thoughts are now almost reversed. There is a relationship betwen writing clearly and legibly and thinking clearly and coherently. My mother-in-law gave me a couple of really good pens for Christmas. I was so touched by the gift because I do remember a time when I had a real fountain pen and used it to write my book reports and such. There is something psychologically connective between using a pen and paper and the notion of commitment.

    If I homeschooled, I think I would use curricula from the 1920s as a teaching guide.

  389. George, if I had done it right, and it was my intension of course, I had books that were amazing. There is a series of books called The Well Trained Mind, Classical Education for the Home. The philosophy behind it is very old school and pretty amazing. But, alas, we hung out and had the best year ever, and it became imperitive he go back to school if he were ever to leave our home.

  390. Someone who spells intention – intension- should not homeschool. And I agree, with the end of hand writing it feels like we are losing one more piece of what makes us human, our identity. I feel the same way when I think of kindle. If I can’t see my books, feel my books, I actually can’t imagine.

  391. Caryl: you and your son were fortunate to have that time. I like to think I supplemented my sons’ education by setting an example of reading classics, going to art museums and orchestral concerts even when it wasn’t a field trip, offering them uncommon experiences by taking them with me to press conferences and to my old office in the National Press Bldg.

  392. Why weren’t you my dad George? I know I have asked this before, and I mean it. You should write a book on parenting boys, from a real man’s, not a doctors, experience.

  393. And George, I am not implying you are old enough to be my father.

  394. Caryl: Ha! I might be your dad; where did you say you are from? I am probably old to qualify. Thanks for giving me a good laugh. Best of the night.

    I have an old chautauqua lap desk — the kind with printed panels on rollers — that I think would be a good way to homeschool. Mine looks something like this:

    I would use it as a guide and supplement it lesson sequence with computer-Internet and lots of outdoor opportunities.

  395. time for me to pack it in….

  396. Night everyone.

  397. good night to you, Caryl. I’m always glad to see you here.

  398. when I get lonely I feed the hungry by playing vocabulary at

    it is fun, and please let me know if anyone makes it past 46 . . . that is the farthest I have gone….warning, though, it is addictive!

    nigh, nigh . . .

  399. George, thank you.

    Polly — KCLS is like Christmas every day. I have 50-60 books out at any given time (though a lot are reference). There was a seminal Swiss graphic design book, out of print, that they borrowed interlibrary for me, then told me “it has to be back in a month, but you can photocopy to your heart’s desire. As long as you do it here.” Did you know that’s legal? Thank you, founding fathers!

  400. I love to write. And I mean I love everything about it. I took calligraphy in seventh grade and it opened up a world to me. I used a fountain pen (clipped and filed on a wetstone so the end was squared off) until well into my 30s, when I finally gave up because the ink ran so badly if rain or moisture hit it. I love Crane’s paper, the creamy, luscious tooth of it, I love writing on vellum with a pigma marker and how it looks all spidery. I’ve changed the way I make every letter in the alphabet a dozen times since childhood, looking for the way that gave me the most satisfaction. I think my writing says a lot about me, on the sly.

  401. Sher, thanks for the link — that was FUN! Got to 48…

  402. See what I mean?!?!?!?! Whenever I hit the sack, all you lot come to life and I miss the party.

    Hello George darling, life downunder is bloody hot at the moment – 40 degrees! That’s celsius, which is of heatwave proportions. We’re all camping out in front of fans and popping into shopping centres for a dose of air-con on our way to meetings and such. Thank you for asking. How, pray tell, are you?
    It seems that we are discussing handwriting and I must say Carrie, that you must be the high priestess of penmanship. I’m very impressed. Not only does she sing, she writes her own set-lists in cursive with a fountain pen that was used by Oscar Wilde himself!
    Yes, I love good hand writing too. And take pride in my own. However I have noticed that some very intelligent, funny, out there people often have really crap handwriting. So there you go. Who am I to judge.

  403. George, I had to use the Palmer Method! A Beka was selling it at the time. I *hated* it, but now I appreciate it because I look around and adults write like fourth graders and kids/teens like they’re in Kindergarten.

    Fountain pens *are* amazing. Whenever my grandmother noticed hers was missing, she usually didn’t have far to look. 😉

  404. Hi Kittery, yay, someone is awake apart from me!
    Strangely enough, I write exactly like my father, who writes like his father (my grandad), who writes like his father (my great-grandad). We literally, seriously, all have the same handwriting. I dunno what that says for the handwriting analysts out there ‘coz believe me, we’re all incredibly different. Stratospheres apart I tells ya. Odd though, innit!?

  405. Even our signatures – they’re identical.

  406. Welcome back, Tex!!
    I am just so happy it’s Saturday and I don’t have to go to work..haven’t even had breakfast yet and I’m starving…..Sher..come cook for me?
    A friend of mine in Maine joined Facebook and invited me in so I am trying to figure it out…I am computer literate only as long as I need it for work…here in the ethernet world I feel a little old and stodgy….I invited you as a friend, Sher, just to see if it works…I don’t have much of a clue..hell my avatar is still the same as always….gotta go eat. Getting faint…..

  407. Cheers Brenda – ( I love the quinky dink.. did you get that from Sher? Or her you? Anyway, it’s funny, I like it!).

  408. I love what Haven said about facebook… something like – I’m just not a facebooker but if there was a sight for people who hide in barns, by golly I’d sign up pronto! – or something like that. Haven, darling, you are the Queen of Funny! I swear to god.

  409. …and to jesus and mary and joseph, the sacrificial lamb (who I believe was Mary’s), and anyone else who’ll listen and/or submit to be sworn upon.
    The FACT of the matter is, you are downright hilarious! And I thank you for sharing your thoughts ‘coz they brighten my days!

  410. Yes, Tex, the whirlwind that is Sher gave me quinkydink as her word for coincidence which tied right in with my love of synchronicity so there is that convoluted relationship…I love this site.
    Words and laughter.
    Now I am off to the garage where Dana actually cleaned off my designated tables and is leaving them to me, by which I mean none of his tools or camping gear are on them! Off to organize the space and hopefully make some art.

  411. That’s perfect. I love this site too, it’s such a wonderful community of like-minded souls – all smart, perverse, hysterical, loving characters. Yeah I dig it. Go to the garage and create darling!

  412. Back to raccoons… I’m just astonished to learn that these creatures have PENIS BONES! The picture that dear Haven provided for us looks very similar to a walking stick that my geriatric neighbour uses to steady himself with. What a spin out. I do feel sorry for the female of the species if that’s what Mr Raccoon has hiding in his shorts. Although, perhaps I’m underestimating Mrs Raccoon; for all I know she could be kinky and really into that sort of thing, so I retract that statement. Raccoons, wow.

  413. Sher- You’re so much stronger than me. All three of those books at once? I’d shake while handing them over. I’ve known this friend since 7th grade and thus trust her completely, and yet felt like I should give care instructions, or schedule a pickup time in advance. I’ve never had such trouble loaning a book before. But it seemed worth it to pass on to goodness that is Zippy.

    Tex- What part of Australia are you from? I have a friend from Adelaide (but living in Brisbane now) who has sent me beautiful photography books from around the country. Australia (tied with Africa) definitely tops my list of places to visit next, especially now that I hear you have no raccoons (with their penis bones) there.

  414. Yes, lending precious books, a hazardous act, fraught with peril. I have problems with it too. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m a libran who likes to share knowledge, I’d probably fortify my bookshelves and jealously guard them, working shifts on patrol.
    Anyway Jamie, I’m from Sydney but have family in Adelaide and know Brisbane well. I’m lucky enough to live right on the harbour, in fact as I sit here writing with The Varmint (my cat) on my lap, I’m directly under the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and staring at the Opera House. Where abouts in the States are you from?

  415. I forgot to add, definately come to Oz, I’ll show you a good time! It’s lotsa fun down here. And yes, very beautiful.

  416. And no raccoons. Or armadillos.
    We do have spiders and snakes and other assorted reptiles, but hey.

  417. I had a pet raccoon, an orphaned one, as a child.

    I am here to report, Haven, that you have a fan-club of sorts on facebook. Of which I became member #91.

  418. Heavens to murgatroid! I have missed me some Tex!! Where have you BEEN? You don’t have to answer that. I’m just glad you’re back.

    I’ve been missing in action for a couple days because I’m trying to write a chapter of the Quakerism book and it’s so tricky it’s making me physically ill with worry. If I get it wrong I will simply die. I told Carrie I’m tempted to lie face down in the dirt until I starve to death. I skew toward the dramatic.

    And Polly, you are SO right that things could be worse. Collecting taxidermy is one of the most astonishing, inexplicable decisions I’ve ever made. And now of course I can’t stop, because I love them all — I adore them. I recently purchased one of the most flawless mounts in my entire collection, and Christopher, because he’s a genius, named it Bob Jarvis. How to let you see it?

    Carrie, can I tell them about my experience of you and penmanship?

    Also I have a new blog entry all written in my brain. I will post it soon, after I make some progress on the chapter which is draining my life away as if with a tube in my JUGULAR VEIN.

    Matt, my old friend, it worries me that I have a fan-club ‘of sorts.’ That could mean all manner of things. You are funny, and I love and miss you.

    Same to all of you. Nothing but the love.

  419. Haven! You’re back!

    Can you post Bob Jarvis’ picture in your gallery link up top?

    And I am all curiosity: what experience of me and my penmanship?

    In re: the jugular vein — call those Duke doctors up and have them hasten down with the life-fluid IVs and calming pills. Either that or get yourself a Life-AlertTM for when and/or if you find yourself face-down in the dirt. Nothing but the love back at you, you know.

  420. Have, perhaps you will enjoy this, ie fan-clubs.

    (I am cramming this into a thimble, it is a great big story, all true)

    Oscar Wilde came to Lincoln Nebraska in 1886.

    Half the town loved him. They wore little sun-flowers on their bosom – to show their solidarity.

    Half the town HATED him, went to a minstrel show/dog vs. bear fight across the street.

    It was a Saturday night.

    Oscar was snide and brilliant. Nobody knew what he’d say next. Reporters followed him around. He was a head taller than all of them – and dressed like a gawdamn mardi gras float.

    He stepped onto the stage. His audience cooed and squirmed. He looked to the cieling, held out his hands and said –

    “Heavenly Father, please protect me from my adoring public!”

    The crowd roared!!

    True Story.

  421. I wanna Bob Jarvis action figure for my dashboard. You got those here? I got my card ready.


  422. Tex-
    Right under the Sydney Harbour Bridge? That’s like very nonchalantly saying “yeah, I live under the Eiffel Tower.” Amazing. I’m heading to my Australia Wide book in a second to form the most accurate mind-picture possible of that. I’m from Ohio. Cold, wind-swept Ohio, where we have an abundance of raccoons, but luckily, no armadillos. At least not yet. I read an article saying that although they don’t like the cold, their lack of natural predators means that they are moving farther and farther north and are expected to soon reach Ohio. Just a little warning for my fellow Ohioans. I read it online, and we all know everything online is true.

    Matt (in Nebraska)-
    I’m on Facebook, and I’m really curious to see what this Fan Club Of Sorts is for Haven. Can you tell more?

  423. Heavens to murgatroid, I have missed me some Haven!! Seriously, I’m sooooooooo happy to be back. My days shine brighter now.
    Haven, what is all this bother with the new chapter? The new chapter of what, your next book?!I’m a bit in the dark, you see, on account of the ol’ disappearing act. Excited is welling up inside of me if that’s the case. And as you’re a writer, I’m assuming so. Yay!
    Regarding the obstacles that you’re facing with this chapter, perhaps alert John now,in advance, that if he does find you face down in the dirt and hungry,that he better get you a cup of tea and a toasted crumpet quick smart!
    Love, Love, Love, Tex

  424. Jamie, (haha)you’re right, I did kind of blithely mention that I live under and opposite two rather world famous landmarks didn’t I… shame on me for sounding so, I dunno, posh or something – believe me, I’m not! I just happened to be able to give you a good mental picture of exactly where I am.
    A native of Ohio, you say. I don’t know much about Ohio to be honest, but it’s fair to say that they must produce fine people (yourself) and are smart enough not to house armadillos – yet.

  425. Matt (in Nebraska), I love that story. I’d not heard it before. Ya gotta love our Oscar!

  426. Tex, I’m writing a book for Penguin’s non-fiction division called Outlaw Quaker Girl, only sometimes I call it Outlaw Quakerism. Sometimes I call it What The Hell Was I Thinking, and also I Am Not Worthy. Oh, I could go on but you get the idea. It will be out all too soon, I fear. After that, the horror novel.

  427. Matt, the combination of you and Oscar Wilde is like chocolate and peanut butter.

  428. Wait… that’s not the horror novel? 😛

  429. Haven, darling, you are too funny. And modest. In fact, your self-deprecation makes you an honorary Aussie; that’s our stock in trade – taking the piss out of ourselves! I’m very impressed, you do it effortlessly!

  430. Plus… Outlaw Quaker Girl…. fuck fuck fuckedy fuck! That’s so funny. And so you!

  431. Wanna know something funny?
    Oh go on tex, tell me….

    Strangely enough, when I first discovered you, Zippy and your blog, I of course could not stop going on about it to all and sundry & to anyone with ears and a brain that functioned, at least on the left hand side. One night I had dinner with my dear Dad and proceeded, as had become usual, almost a tic even, to tell him about you and Zippy and..etc etc
    This was my dad’s response – “Haven Kimmel? Sounds like a Quaker name… is she?”.

    NO WORD OF A LIE. I dunno if he’s psychic or what. But it was very funny.If you don’t believe me, he’ll tell you.

    By the way, said father thinks you’re tops!!!

  432. Plus, who knows what “A Quaker Name” would sound like..
    Very intuitive though, I thought.

  433. SHER AND TEX:
    I just spent the afternoon photographing my ‘art’ archive and organizing my space in the garage and then downloaded pics onto the computer and asked my husband to pretend he didn’t know me to browse through them all and see if he would be interested in purchasing anything.(he got cornchips all over the keyboard while browsed, the redneck slob) I secretly watched him from the doorway to see what he paused on the most. Unsurprisingly, it was the nudes from the life drawing classes of 10 and even 20 years ago. (Yee Gods…don’t they ever grow out of that?) But at least he liked them and didn’t say they all sucked.
    HAVEN!! OH HOW I LOVE TO SEE YOU BACK…Bob Jarvis as taxidermy….As I live and breathe.
    I have my entire entourage at work on the lookout for taxidermy of any kind.
    Me and Matt in Nebraska want a Bob Jarvis action figure for our dashboards..right now I just have Fatima. Holy, Holy, Holy.
    HAVEN…Dana the beloved and tolerant (the above mentioned) is reading Couch right now and had to call me AT WORK about the part where you got kicked out of brownies for streaking (regarding your experience with tents), and he REALLY wants to know what that was about? of course he is loving the backpacker guy since he is one.

  434. Sound’s like a huge feat Brenda(quinkydink)!
    I’m lucky enough to be gay. However that duzn’t protect me from lovers who just don’t get it. Or parteners who just give a vague nod – ignoring the sartorial elegance and wit with which we write and correspond and dine out on – duh! Nope. Sexual preference duzn’t mean a drop

  435. so I take that back. I’m not lucky to be of the gay persausion. we’re all the bloody same. Nitwits and all. Humph

  436. Haven. Don’t let your beauty make you sick. As my friend’s dad says, Keep your chin up. You will do any amazing job because you are you. Some people are just lucky that way. You could even TRY TO SCREW this book up, and you would Just. Not. Be. Able. To. And I know everyone here agrees.

    Amy in O and Tex. Really? No Yoda? That’s just sad. The new first three suck. The Original 3 are awesome. Also, Tex, you are welcome to my pity party any time!

    Michael T—you are welcome at the Pity Party too! Sorry, but I’m not getting to Michigan any time soon. What were you thinking living there? THOUGH at the rate we’re going, half the babies will be at OUR party instead…

    Jamie—you mad me laugh. I’d be more than willing to give IT away in ADDITION to my soul to cut loose from GA and all the crap for awhile.

    Sher—I did not mean to send you my headache. If it makes you feel the tinsiest bit justified, my NEW GLASSES (WOOT!) need to be adjusted and cause pain behind my ears that’s a lot like the headaches I was trying to give up. Sheesh.

    My friend Dave showed me this link, and it made me laugh laugh. BUT MOSTLY because of the last 10 seconds where it mentions the state where a certain bug (me) lives.

    Vanessa, I know you love GA. And mostly, I do too. So don’t click the link. ***SPOILER***(when the DEVIL makes fun of GA, you know you’re really in trouble…)

    Mmmmmmmmm. Chocolate and peanut butter. DELIGHTFUL.

  437. This is a test…

  438. So I had a post earlier that WOULD NOT POST. Damn thing.

    Haven, don’t make yourself sick. You are a wonder. And if anyone can write a book about this topic, it is you. You know what else? You could NOT screw this up if you tried. You. Just. Couldn’t. And I know everyone on this blog agrees. So. I just wanted to say that.

  439. I couldn’t agree more lightning bug ( or is it molly?)..

  440. All of you are so kind. John said today that the entire book is already in the marble and all I have to do is chip away the detritus. I have the tools in my hand and I’m the only one who can see it. I thanked him, as I’m thanking all of you, and then I started crying.

    I love Australians so much. Augusten and I were going to see if we qualified as people of significant enough importance to emigrate there, and also would our pets add value to the society. I think we forgot to follow up, though.

  441. From what I’ve gathered, lightening bug, you and I are the same age; ie 27.
    That is where the similarities end though. For one, you are a hell shot, capable of knocking off raccoons. And I, I am a rubbish shot, incapable of shooting tin cans off a wall. Not that I’ve tried. I’m just imagining.
    (Plus, we’re not allowed guns).

  442. I am both Lightning Bug and Molly. LB is my Superhero name.

    My secret power? Not killing people who piss me off.

    Fantastic, isn’t it?

  443. No, no, no, Tex! I have no personal experiences with Racoons.

    Now those minions of Hell, the pets of the Dark One himself? Armadilloes? Yeah. Those I kill.

  444. I like your style though; you’re a very funny chick!

  445. This is a bit late but what the hell…

    Michael T—you are welcome at the Pity Party too! At the rate we’re going, half the babies will be here too…But what are you doing in MICHIGAN? We’ll never get to meet.

    Jamie—I’d be more than willing to give IT away in addition to my soul to cut loose from GA and all the crap for awhile.

  446. Oh, right, sorry LB! Got it!

  447. Armadillos are the enemy, not those bloody cute raccoons.

  448. I just can’t type fast enough…
    (yeah, Tex, that’s a good excuse for not being witty enough)

  449. Also, Tex, you are welcome to my pity party any time! Any person who uses the word “fuck” that much is a DEAR, long-lost friend of mine.

    I think Racoons are cute too. But I’ve never had a rabid one in my house.

    BATS, on the other hand, bats are definitely something I have oodles of experience with as well. They LOVE my attic.

    I have a story about a red whiffle bat, a naked 300 pound man, and apoor little lost bat with wings (not of the Louisiville slugger variety).

    Actually, I don’t even think you need me to tell the story. 🙂

  450. Shit-fuck-cunt-whore! (as I’ve said before, I borrow this lovely turn of phrase from my old step mother Holly. She was indeed dextrous with language. An alcoholic Libran she was!)….. Haven, christ almighty, I somehow managed to miss your last response. However I happened to scroll back… May I say that forgetting to follow up is so completely Australian that you’ve both unwittingly become members of our gang – incredibubble!

  451. Amy in O–do you need my email again? I can’t wait to talk with you. Something Rising (and this is a compliment, my dear Haven) almost makes me afraid to write because of it perfectness.

    in case you do, mollyhtouchton at

    anyone else who wants to chat could email me too. 🙂

  452. Molly, darling, you make me laugh! Please excuse me for a moment – The Varmint (my cat) is having a coniption fit and I have to attend to her and it… back soon funny lady…

  453. Good evening friends (and Friends.) I found something fun in my attic tonight and thought that it might be of interest to some of my fellow BBs. Would anyone be interested in a free Easy Bake Oven? It’s in its original box and still works as far as I know. If anyone wants it let me know and I will be happy to send it to you.

  454. Also, George? Can I adopt you as my dad too? (there is no punch line here.)

  455. George, you sound like a great dad. I’d also love to see you write a parenting book, from a man to other men, about raising boys into compassionate human men. In your spare time of course.

  456. Tex, I’m sorry. Been at the hosp most of the day and am whooped. Almost midnight my time.

    Now that you’re “back,” I expect we’ll have plenty of opportunities to chat!

    Good night, dear ones!

    Haven–remember not to stress. John is right. Everything’s exactly where it needs to be with OQG. It will wait for you to find it.

  457. Can’t wait to read Haven’s horror novel. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    must…sleep…now…nighty everyone.

  458. Nighty-night Molly, and ne’er a truer word spoken regarding Haven and her pick! Hack away, Ms Kimmel, if anyone can get it right, you will.
    We all have faith in you!

  459. Sweet dreams Polly

  460. Free easy bake oven??? YEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

  461. LOL to you all, and nighty night..Actually posted some Facebook posts…don’t quite know if that is a good thing or not…don’t know how public it is.
    Hugs to you all…off to Sunday Breakfast with our good neighbors tomorrow morning and then the laundry…mundane things are what makes it life, I guess.
    LOL again.
    Easy Bake Oven…OMG..never in a million years would I have gotten one of those…my mother was sure I would die some grisly death

  462. dude, i got in first…. i’m first in line for the free easy bake oven. don’t push or I’ll slap you.

    Just kidding.

    Go for your lives people…..

  463. Whatevah. I have a REAL oven.

  464. I’d love to write a book, but I have never, ever considered doing a parenting book. You guys flatter me. Long day today…I spent it swapping boring electrical receptacle covers with some really beautiful ones we bought in Peru. The new ones are ceramic and have all kinds of mystical Inca designs on them.

    Me…write a book on parenting…I am smiling…what a nice thing to have heard.

    Hi Haven! Missed you.

  465. i never had an easy bake oven, but OH, how i longed for one. then of all the injustices in the world, my sister got one for christmas. i truly thought i was being punished by santa.

  466. I had a Suzy Homemaker oven that, for a brief period of childhood domesticity, was my pride and joy.

    You opened the Real Oven Door (none of this Easy Bake presto-change-o sliding stuff), put your batter-filled cake pan inside it just like a Real Oven, turned on the oven by plugging it in, then waited for the heating/baketime indicator to change from green to red and back to green again before opening the oven door and removing the finished cake. I loved it.

    Evidently, Stupid Children didn’t wait until the indicator turned from red back to green before opening the oven and burning themselves. Whether or not the oven people issued an actual product recall or just a safety warning, I never knew.

    What I did know is that my grandfather, concerned for my safety (as if I was one of the Mo-Ron people) and without consulting me, clipped the plug off the wire on mine so I could not plug it in At All.

    So he thought.

    Oh, was I offended. I determined to Show Him. I filled up my cake pan, placed it in the oven, and spent concerted, angry energy trying to jab the raw wire end of the severed electric cord into the outlet.

    I vaguely remember ending up suddenly sitting somewhere else in a daze, similar to when I was much smaller and tried to plug my brother’s night light into an extension cord while holding onto its metal prongs.

    Some people just don’t understand safety.

    ~ Sarah

  467. things (bc everyone knows that stuff is what matters most:) i had as a kid that i LOVED:

    1. a cabbage patch kid named adolphie brahm (aka A. B.) that i had to buy with my own money. it took me almost a year to save for it.

    2. a 6 foot tall and i dunno how wide, but very…Paddington Bear–i have collected his likenesses since i was wee. my son now has mr. paddington to play with.

    3. an enormous clock that hung on the wall that looked like a swatch watch wrist watch.

    4. a pogo stick.

    5. stilts. contests almost daily. i could almost walk indefinitely on them. my friend kate and i had a serious competition going on.

    6. a tony little beagle stuffed animal that i named homer (as in baseball) and dressed in a red and white striped gingham looking night shirt.

    7. a stuffed animal fox named lucas. i rubbed so much sunscreen on him once (if i had to wear it, so did he–plus i didn’t want his fur to get all singed from the sun) that he smells like coppertone to this day.

    as already noted, i DID NOT have an EZ bake oven. i could list the living that influenced/still do influence my life, but that list would get log and probably weepy (at least for me).

  468. tiny beagle, not tony

  469. steph –

    Cabbage Patch kids, oh, how that takes me back. I had a red-headed one for some reason (I was a natural blonde at that point). How I loved and adored her! I wish I could remember what I named her, but whatever she was called, it can’t have been as fixed and proper as Adolphie Brahm!

  470. You must have been a very definite little girl,very sure of yourself, were you? Are you a virgo?
    See I just flipped from – “Listen dolly, your name’s Primrose today, but don’t get used to it, coz tomorrow you could be called Jane.”…. to…. well I’m sure you can imagine…

  471. I was a bit unstable.

    Certain people could ascertain or even point to the fact that I’m STILL a tad unstable.

    Don’t listen to them though, they’re just, oh I don’t know, unworthy twits!

  472. I just can;t believe that whoa yes, crikey, we are allowed to muck up & get all crazy n’ dirty in the name of the lord….. I’m astonished. I truly am!

  473. Bloody hell, sorry. The Varmint just nonchalantly sauntered across the keyboard and thought nothing of it. Saucy little minx that she is!

  474. God I love her! Cats really rock my boat!
    As my dad says, “Cats, they’re Zen Masters”.

  475. It’s true too.
    My particular little feline is quite adept at snoozing – re. meditating – she can do it anywhere she damn well pleases. Talented, she is. And educated enough to give a course on being a monk. My cat, she’s too clever for words!

  476. It’s the truth I tells ya!

    Where is everyone anyway? I feel a tad lost and ….

  477. G’day mates! (said that in honor of you, Tex)

    I am elder of the day at church which basically means I get to carry around a wooden block with a giant jangle of keys on it. I get to be there first and unlock all the doors and turn on the lights and push automatic thingys and hope I don’t break anything. And then I get to stay all the way through both services and be the last one there and do everything in reverse. Oh the responsibility! Whew.

    My daughter is going to her first college honors program interview and overnight visit today. Her dad is taking her. I still cannot believe my baby girl will be 18 in March and off to college in August. Surreal.

    George- I think you would write a fantastic parenting book. It would be from your particular view and experience, of course, but I tell you the world needs more dads like you. Actually, the world just plain and simply needs more men like you but I don’t want to boost your ego up too much at one time. LOL

    Have a great day everyone!

  478. G’day!

    Linda, you are such a sweetheart! To be honest, I thought it almost impossible to be as lovely as you. But there you go, you’ve proven me wrong!

  479. Hey Linda,

    Although I’m a rather private person, I figure that admitting to a human foible on this blog will neither attract criticism nor contempt. So here goes….

    I’m in the midst of getting off heroin. However I took the silly way out by getting on methadone.

    There we go. I said it. Out loud.

  480. News From Under the Rock here in Chenango County:

    I read the first two chapters of Owen Meaney last night and immediately realized that I had seen the movie Simon Birch and never put the two together!!!!
    Honestly. It’s prehistoric here in rural New York.

    Actual conversation I had Wednesday morning with our Hired Hand (HH).

    HH: Mornin’ Mo. How are you this mornin’.
    Me: Actually, I am feeling really inspired. I was just watching some inaugural balls on the internet. I’m pretty psyched about Obama.
    HH: Now, he’s the first colored to be president, right? That’s what all the big deal is?
    Me: (stunned) Right …..
    HH: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
    Me: (stunned) No …..
    HH: Actually, I’ve met quite a few colored that are smarter than lots of white guys I know.
    Me: (stunned) Yep ….

    Ye gods and little fishes! I have GOT to move before my brain atrophies.

  481. Maureen.. Hello. We’ve not before (excepting the whole Yoda debacle).
    Pleased to meet you. My name’s Tex and I will admit to being a right spaz at times. How, pray tell, are you??

  482. What I meant to say was – we’ve not met before….

  483. Hey Tex! I’m a relatively new blog baby, since about October. But I’m an addict. I love Haven and all her books. And I have found so many new wonderful friends here.

    I live in a very rural area of New York State, after I married a farmer and we bought a farm here. I had been an English major (and I’m a teacher) and I just love to read, and remarkably, I have found people here who read as much as and the same kind of books I like.

    I had seen your picture on the Yahoo site (I have pictures there, too) and I am pleased to finally meet you here on blog.

    My brother lived in Australia for two years. He was an engineer for General Motors and was testing a heating/cooling system for an Australian car manufacturer. He loved it there!

    Anyway, pleased to meet you! Glad you’re back. It looked like you had been a regular but I hadn’t yet chatted with you in the three or so months I’ve been here.

  484. Pardon me Maureen, (my pussy cat is insisting on sitting on my lap; thus making it rather difficult to lean forward to type!).

    So Maureen, you’re a teacher??
    Golly gosh, now I’m going to feel all insecure about my writing and grammar and vocabulary…. Or lack of…

  485. Sorry, forgive me, please for being so utterly self-absorbed! It’s not the real me, I promise…

    I’m more interested in learning from you Maureen. I may be silly and act cute, but I do love to learn and a good teacher is worth fistfuls, no wait, pocketfuls of gold dubloons if you ask me.

  486. what I meant to say was – please FORGIVE me etc etc

  487. Fucking hell is it just me, left on my lonesome to talk to myself? Or are there some other blog babies around?

  488. Tex – Don’t give it a second thought. I am also a farmer, so I can turn off and on my grammar-police head at will and devolve into “barn talk.”
    I can swear a blue streak and lose all my ability to speak grammatically.

  489. Hey, Tex – Still here! Just had to deal with a husband/kid issue. But I’m still around.

  490. God love you Maureen! Not only have you made me feel adequate, but you’ve induced laughter!!!

  491. I’ve never actually met so many people who dwell on farms! I myself am a city slicker. But I’m intrigued…

  492. Seriously…

  493. It’s not as fun as it sounds. Sometimes it really stinks.

    Did you say you live in Sydney? Very cool. It’s summer down there, right?

  494. Oh-oh, she’s gone. Disappeared. Poof!
    No matter, I’m rather good at talking with myself anyway!

  495. Shit, sorry, I thought you were gone..

    Yeah, I live in Sydney. It’s more romantic than it sounds though Maureen.

  496. Sorry, Tex! 🙂 Hey, I wonder how much time lag there is being your posting to me, it getting to me, me posting back, and you getting my post?
    This is complicated by the fact that I am also working on a writing project in between chatting with you and having a protracted discussion with my husband and at some point I need to grade papers. Argh!!!
    I am going to jump over to yahoo and remind myself what you look like and I’ll be right back.

  497. 40 degree heat at the present time. That’s a heatwave!

  498. You are funny Maureen… and thus, fit right in!

  499. The photos that I’ve posted in yahoo are old.
    However, Santa Claus just gave me a digital camera, so I’ll upload some recent shots soon!

  500. Just back from Yahoo! I thought I remembered that you had a pretty happenin’ style! That 20th-birthday pic is awesome! It looks like a CD cover. Who is B-Boy?

  501. Kate, come on down, you are the winner of the Easy Bake Oven! My email addy is pollykahl at msn dot com. Just let me know where to send your brand new, er, used prize, and it shall be delivered. May you enjoy it and may many cookies and cakes be baked by lightbulb in your stead.

  502. Hey there, I followed suit and went to our yahoo group. You and your offspring are remarkably good looking, it must be said!
    Strangely Maureen, I thought you were older, but alas, you are young and pretty and your boys are much of the same!

  503. I am an ancient almost 43, actually, Tex. But thanks. That might have been the airbrushed shot I posted. 🙂

    Hi Polly! Long time no see simultaneously on the blog!
    My sister had an Easy-Bake oven. In fact I will post a pic to Yahoo of the two of us with the Easy Bake in the background.
    Are you and Amy truly meeting up in PA? Whereabouts?

  504. Haha, b-boy is a good friend of mine. Ben, his name is. Otherwise known as benny, b-boy, badabing and so forth.

  505. 43? Lord in heaven, he’d never guess!
    Are you being serious or are you bullshitting? I just can’t believe it. I just wish and hope and pray to look as youthful as you do when I reach that age.

  506. 43?
    Nup. No way. I still don’t believe it.
    Pure fantasy that is!

  507. Unfortunately, not kidding. My husband turns 50 this year. It’s been a shocking revelation lately that I am no longer young. The joints are stiffening, the energy level is dropping.
    I have my 20th college reunion and my 25th high school reunion both in June.
    I kind of cruised along, feeling perpetually 23 for a long time, and then it was like falling off a cliff.

    Sorry – don’t mean to be a downer. I’m having a bad day here.

  508. Polly –
    My sister claims that the green thing to the right in this photo of me (the messy one) and my beloved sis is an Easy Bake. Yes?

  509. I can’t tell, Maureen. It may be one of the original ones. The one I’m sending Kate is old but not that old. It’s one I bought used to bake with my sons about twelve years ago. Ours/Kate’s is pink. Over the years I don’t think they’ve changed much except for maybe the colors.

    Tex, love the picture of you sharing a bite.

  510. Thank for checking, Polly. Now that I have divulged my true age I can fess up that this photo would have been 1967ish.

  511. You’re just a wee lass.

  512. Greetings . . . took some time off to reinstall my brains into my skull . . . They are currently being held in by the tightening band around my head/eyeballs . . . might actually go see a Dr. tomorrow.

    I had bizarre dreams/nightmares about kinky aliens . . . I am stunned.

    Also visuals of pricetags pooring forth from mouths/lips . . . the tiny white ones with the strings attached?

    Also played Yahtzee with the hubby, number 1 soon, and little Claire last night . . . Claire finally got her first YAHTZEE and then was so flabbergasted she couldn’t figure out a YAHTZEE dance . . . which is a family ritual . . . let me just say, number one son is a WHITE BOY . . . of course the number one daughter was too cool to play Yahtzee with the family.

    will check in later gators, I need some fuel, painkillers and to color with claire . . .

    Haven – what is the real story on your readings??? Will you be in Nashville with Augusten on April 8 or only reading with him in Durham April 9th????

    THE BB’s are gathering . . . we just need the destination . . .

  513. I can’t believe you just said that Maureen. Even I, at the tender age of 27, still feel as if I’m 23. No kidding. Perhaps the mind, and ego perhaps, ceases to age around then ? Oh who knows. All I know is that I should still be able to get around bare-legged in tiny shorts without fret or worry about the ol’ varicose veins.

  514. A yahtzee dance as a family ritual.. it just gets better and better. Sher, my darling, you are indeed precious.

  515. Thanks Polly!

  516. I love the name Polly. And Molly. Anything with an “Olly” in it, really gets me going, I guess.

  517. Sher, Sher, you still there?
    I think I have the same headache. I am currently wearing a baseball hat, very tight, as the only way to counteract the pressure. Argh. Maybe it’s just that grades are due tomorrow and grading papers has come to be the task most likely to make me slit my wrists. I have cabin fever and I need some respite relief to care for my Aspie husband who is making me bonkers. This is a bad day. I see a bad moon rising or Mr. MoJo Rising. Something bad is rising.

  518. Um, I’m not a person who suffers from migraines, but last week, down the chemist, I noticed that there was this thing called, wait for it.. MIGRASTICK! Bloody drug companies in collusion with advertising agencies; what will they come up with next?
    I only noticed coz my ex used to get migraines, but anyway, apparently this migrastick stuff works. So head down to your local drug store and get yourself one.

  519. Tex: have you been up ALL NIGHT??

    Re: your foible. I’ve seen it kicked, but never without NA. I’ve known quite a few who did the NA 12-step (all NYC musicians) and they are some of the most enlightened, consistent, compassionate, evolved men I’ve ever known. They all went that route after the mythical methadone shortcut. I hope you’ve found your group, ’cause it’s a very long waltz without. I don’t know much about it, and what I do know is all anecdotal, but I do want to say: good on you, and all my prayers go with you for the coming months.

  520. Now I’ve got a certain tune i my head that contains the lyric- mojo rising or something…

  521. Carrie darling- no, thank fuck. I just woke up!

  522. Oh Maureen and Sher, you make me wish I still had my magic wand. I’m so sorry you suffer migraines.

  523. Now that I’ve read the rest of your post, Carrie, may I say Thank You! And I’ll take all that on board!

  524. I’m not a “Group” sort of person to be honest. This is about as group as I get. However, if I could meet cool New York Musicians, perhaps then, I’d try a group.
    Your concern though, dear Carrie of The Voice, is muchly appreciated!

  525. Jeepers, Tex, in the midst of my bad headache (thanks for the tip on the Migrastick) I somehow missed your comment just above mine way up there about the chemical journey you’re on. Man oh man, I’ve heard that’s quite the hard row. Good for you. Use this blog as a distraction if it helps at all. It got me through a very bad time last month. There’s always someone around when you need to talk.

  526. Jeepers (that’s an americanism that I’ve picked up), Thanks to you too Maureen!
    You are all really just too lovely for words!!!

  527. Pardon me for intruding, and you don’t have to answer this, but my curiosity compels me to ask – what happened last month? Was it just a female menstrual cycle type thing, or worse?? Sorry. I’m such a busy-body, I know!

  528. Thanks, Carrie. I wonder about hitting myself in the head with a hot rock? Think it might help? Quitting my job would be the other option, or moving into an apartment all by myself. Whenever I get in this space I have to reread Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler. I finally bought a copy to have it always on hand.

    Jodi – I finished The Girl with No Shadow! Really enjoyed it and now onto the Joanne Harris thang. I never even knew about her. I’m two chapters in to Owen Meaney.

  529. I’ve been told that I’d make a good reporter. Not of the tabloid kind, but the REAL kind. Why? Coz I’m not afraid to ask the hard questions and thus, get to the bottom of all this caper.

  530. No problem, Tex. My life is an open book. It was female menstrual thing PLUS change in anti-anxiety medicine PLUS lack of daylight PLUS finding this blog and realizing how lonely for friends I had been. I was just a big old yucky melty mess. Also, my husband has Asperger Syndrome – we just figured it out about a year ago. Speaking of which, it seems that Australia is WAY ahead of us on that front. I believe Tony Attwood is Australian? The stresses of that go up and down and they have been up.

  531. God I’m up myself. I’ve been reading too much Russell Brand! My ego and his ego have made friends, dismissed other pleasantries, made whoopie and multiplied!And yet still, I’m not as well read as you lot!

  532. No, Maureen! No hot rock! I like your head just the way it is!

  533. Maureen, I don’t know where to start. Perhaps my saying thank you will do! I was being all vain and stupid but now that you’ve divulged this personal information, wow, I feel privilidged! Thank You again! (Listen, I’m gonna send this, coz I need more time to digest this information and mould some sort of proper reply) here goes…

  534. Ok, firstly, have you read Augusten’s brother’s book – “Look Me In The Eye”? He suffers from aspergers and he’s a right genius. Particularly, in my humble opinion, coz he’s been able to put it all down on paper!

    Secondly, menstrual cycles, they come, they go. Then they come again, the bastards! I should know, I’ve got endometriosis. No matter though, it’s just a good excuse to have a fit! Take advantage!

    Thirdly, we are all happy to have found one another and filled the lonely, empty void that existed before. I do believe that it’s called: Pre-Haven and Post-Haven.

    Much love to you Maureen!

  535. Aw, thanks, Carrie. I was just thinking that maybe if I affixed a very hot one to my right sinus it could only help and might also look decorative.

    I listened to your song that was linked to above – wow, I am way overwhelmed by the talent of the blog babies. Is there a place to hear more of them? Do you by chance know the group Daisy Mayhem?

  536. Tex – I have read Look Me In the Eye and just about every other book on Asperger’s I could find. Look Me in the Eye was especially good – very funny and a great read.
    Hey, if you can’t deal with a group NA, I just did a little surfing and saw some online NA chats.

  537. Sorry. I should have known that as a smart lass, you’d have read everything on the topic.

    Regarding NA groups: an online version is there?! I’ll check it out, but only because you’ve been kind enough to care and point it out!

    Maureen, you’re an angel!!!!!

  538. Raccoon: It’s What’s For Dinner!

  539. Oh My God Kate – NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!
    Reminds me of the local East Pharsalia delicacy, Road-kill Stew.
    My class also once hosted a Shot or Grown in Chenango County meal.

    When do you hear back on the website job?
    And also, congratulations on the Easy Bake Oven.

  540. There’s a thing called SMART. S to the M to the A to the R to the T! It’s a group for recovering drug addicts that doesn’t resort to the whole 12 step thing, which, to be honest, frustrates me. I do go regularly, however I refuse to call myself a member, coz that’s just not my style!

  541. Tex, that sounds like “I would only belong to a group that I didn’t have to belong to.” 😉

    Just kidding. I can’t believe the strength you are demonstrating to do this. I have only ever witnessed the process on movies. You go, girl!

  542. Oh. Oh. I don’t think I could get past the “ick factor.” — and yes, what do you hear?

  543. Thanks, Maureen. Most of the few others are straight-ahead jazz. Here’s is one more — very old but it’s always been my favorite recording.
    [audio src="" /]

  544. That online NA chat is a great idea, Maureen. (an aside re: all those NA guys — they said the main obstacle to getting straight was that they weren’t “group” people.) It’s that when this kind of siesmic change is contemplated, you have to think about who you are surrounded with and how they will support you.

    I go on and on because I care, Tex!

  545. Thanks Maureen! And yes, I am a tad stoic. That’s what made me such a dedicated heroin addict, I just refused to give up!

    Carrie: another song. I dunno if I can cope! Nah, fuck it, bring it on!!!

  546. Carrie – I love it! I am a big jazz fan. My beloved dad, who died 15 years ago, played tenor sax and used to go down to jazz clubs in New York back in the 40s when he was the only white guy in the place. When I saw Barack and Michelle dancing to Etta James, I knew Dad was just groovin’ up in heaven. That’s all I heard in my house on the weekends, mostly big band era: Duke Ellington, Count Basie.

  547. Oops – didn’t mean to indicate that Dad PLAYED in the clubs – way too shy. Just soaked up the scene.

  548. I’m watching the Golden Globes (I know, I know), and Bruce Springstein is accepting by thanking Mickey Rourke for his description of the character: “some people invest themselves in their pain; they turn away love and the things that strengthen and nurture their lives, and this was a guy who hadn’t figured that out.” Bruce said, “yeah, I’ve known a few guys like that.”

  549. Thanks, Maureen! I love the Big Bands, I could listen to them 24/7. I missed my time. Oh, how I envy your dad. I worked a couple blocks from Swing Street (52nd street) in NYC for years and lamented my late birth every time I passed it.

  550. Oh and Daisy Mayhem — I do now! Thank you for the tip! Great —

  551. Thanks Carrie, you are so very generous!

    ‘Nuff about my drug problems, right, coz guess what? I just listened to you, Carrie, sing another song. And by golly, I’m sooo impressed!!!!

    You are indeed a talent!

  552. Thanks, Tex: and here is my secret — I always hired players much better than me.

  553. Craziest thing ever. My post that would not post last night? IT’S THERE NOW! Now I look like a total spaz. For crying out loud.

    Tex. Thank you for sharing. I wish, for your sake, that it HAD been a rabid racoon keeping you away (if indeed that would have been healthier for you.).

    Oh, I am also an English teacher. 😉 And I agree with you that Maureen is awesome. AWESOME.

    Speaking of Maureen (and let’s throw SARAH in too), I have something in the works for you. I will keep you posted. Whatever my “something” is is pretty cool. 😉 No modesty or anything here.

    I gotta go back to hosp then home to clean before my sis (who is a lot like Mo’s from everything I’ve heard) comes tomorrow. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll start a recipe thing-y on my blog so I can share all the ambrosial food she’ll be making-including 2!!!! nights of creme brulee!!

  554. Maureen, if you and your dad are fans of the big-band era AND literature, I must nudge you towards reading Mandy Sayer! Her books changed my life!

  555. LB, you really are a naughty little miss aren’t ya!?

    How goes it, girlfriend? How is your dad?
    Lucky you that your sis is coming. Enjoy! and the boys? I miss my sis like I’ve had a limb torn off!
    You have got my curiosity very much piqued now. ….
    Did you say you bought The Shack? I bought it too. Finally just had to, like I finally gave in and got Eat, Pray, Love. I’m into Owen Meaney right now, but it’s a light school week for me and I might have time to read both.

  557. Tex, Mandy Sayer, hmmm? What would you recommend starting with? I just checked her out and I see lots to choose from. I am years and years behind on keeping up with Australian writers … I think as far behind as The Road to Coorain! I could certainly use a literary trip Down Under since it’s negative 10 F here today.

  558. Mandy Sayer! What can I say about this beautiful woman?…

    Dead-set, she’s an incredible writer. She used to be married to Yusef Komminyaaka, the poet. They lost touch, then she married Louis Nowra, the playright!

    I happened to bump into her and her chihauha recently, up the cross! We spoke about cross-ites and stuff. Howevwer, I was dying, literally choking, to ask her about herself and how fabulous she is…

  559. Molly,

    It doesn’t have to do with furnaces, does it?

    Maureen, the last two furnace guys through here were a “Jess” and a “Tim”, respectively. Neither had a “Maureen’s Ex-Brother-in-Law” vibe, so I didn’t do any smiting.

    ~ Sarah

  560. Sounds like me when I saw Haven – from afar. I just kind of hid behind trees and peeked out and watched her and her mother walk from one building to another, gasping for air.

  561. That was ME gasping for air. Misplaced modifier from the English teacher.

  562. I believe that you should begin with “Dreamtime Alice”!
    It’s rollicking good fun, mesmerising and, well, a mus read!

  563. Hahahahahahah… hiding behind trees! I dig it!

  564. That’s the thing right – I’m not amazed by rock stars or actors. I can count a few of them as friends. I am, however, completely numbed by writers! They make me weak at the knees.

    Haven Kimmell, Mandy Sayer, Augusten Burroughs, Honor De Balzac, Flaubert and so on…. Fuckedy fuck, I may faint!

  565. Maureen…that story absolutely CRACKS ME UP. I would have just asked her to sign my boob or something.

  566. Kate, if I had boobs to speak of, I might have! 🙂

  567. Hey Tex,

    hideously personal question – this endometriosis .. what exactly is that like? Last month Vicodin (and an overdose of Midol) didn’t cut the pain and I was still in tears. Now, I could just rip people’s heads off .. I’d rather not have the doctor (male with bad eyesight, so he’s got to get close, as if you needed that image) there unless he has to be. In other words, I’d rather diagnose myself first.

    Ahem. Shutting up now. If it is too personal, nevermind. Just tell me to shut up.

  568. Kittery .. the death of the party. 😉

  569. Kittery – Let her rip, girl! I think this is a blog-worthy topic of discussion. I have also been a raging psycho for the past two days. Maybe there’s an astrological explanation for all this? Position of the moon?

    I almost took on the UPS driver the other night when he pulled in the driveway after me. I thought it was the teenaged driver who had been on my butt for the previous five miles and whom I had been excoriating: “You little fucking idiot! Get off my ass! What are you doing, driving with your dick? This is why your damn insurance premiums are so high!!’ Etc. That kid must have pulled around me and then the poor UPS driver pulled in to our driveway to deliver a package.

    I was climbing out of the car, saying “Come on, punk! Bring it on! You gonna’ give me a hard time for driving slow? I’ll fuckin’ smash your taillights out.” I was every inch Cassie Claiborne and my son was pulling my arm saying, “Mom, chill out! It’s the UPS guy.” I scare the crap out of myself when I get like that. I keep praying, “Please God don’t let me kill anyone.”

    I’m ready to get a hysterectomy and just be done with this.

  570. Oh my god, about the hysterectomy, I so understand. I’ve wanted one since I was thirteen.

    The poor UPS guy .. I’m not as violent this time as I was CHRISTMAS EVE (yeah, that was *great*). All I wanted to do then was just hurl glass objects as far as I could throw them and listen to that delightful tinkling sound smashing glass makes. And I’m a sweet, sane girl (in my opinion) and not psychotic. 🙂

    God. Life can get pretty sucky twelve times a year, can’t it?

  571. I’ve got to go, but feel free to commiserate without me .. and I swear, if my mother makes one disparaging comment about how the movie we’re going to watch (The Duchess) has too much sex or WHATEVER, I may pop her little head like a zit.


  572. Kittery – I am guiltily relieved to hear your tale of Christmas Eve. Solidarity in monthly psychosis. I was more an emotional basketcase just before Christmas than psychotic. Kind of lumping around in a big oozy mess of self-pity. I think it’s the short day length up north. Seasonal Affective Deficiency Disorder plus PMS equals very bad.

  573. You know what really chaps my ass (to borrow that perfect phrase from Sher ;))? When guys make fun of women saying how they’re all basketcases and should be locked away for everyone’s own good – and then I actually feel like this? It’s kind of hard to tell someone they’re being a sexist ass when .. in fact .. a cozy, padded room wouldn’t be all that unwelcome.

    And SAD is a bitch too. Mine hasn’t been all that present this year (amazing and incredible), I’m kind of paranoid and waiting for it to hit me like a brick wall.

  574. Indeed. I like the Native tradition of a lodge where the women just go and be alone there. Heaven.

  575. goodness gracious me! The Varmint is yowling and I’m not sure if I’m kind.

  576. Agggh, I go away for 2 days, and I miss all of this????? No kidding, I visted all of my besties this weekend and my adorable parents, had a wonderful time, yet I kept thinking ” I wonder what the babies are doing on the blog? I wonder what they are talking about? I wonder what I am missing?” I image this is what internet porn addiction is like.
    Anyhoo, I stayed connected by listening to my zippy audio and took my copy of Split with me to read before bed.
    I believe Polly and I are meeting in or near Harrisburg/Mechanicsburg.

  577. “you know what really chaps my ass “- goodness that’s funny!

  578. Tex – How did you end up with a name like Tex? That’s the ultimate American nickname!

  579. Has anyone seen The Duchess?

  580. Kittery,

    No, I haven’t seen The Duchess. Too much sex or WHATEVER.

    Kidding– KIDDING! Please don’t pop off my head.

    How are your ears?

    ~ S.

  581. 😛 Sarah.

    All there was in The Duchess was one flabby bum. I think there’ll probably be more in Brideshead Revisited which (oh my!) I saved for myself. 🙂

    I discover the fate of my ears on the 27th, so .. we’ll see.

    I’m feeling slightly less homicidal .. won’t everyone come out and play? 🙂

  582. All you ladies experiencing female problems…try vitex (chasteberry), evening primrose and red raspberry leaf, maybe throw in some wild yam cream. Do your research of course, but those are my suggestions.

  583. Evening primrose for sure, and milk thistle, calcium, magnesium,chaste tree, st johns wort, and omega 3’s. I have the recipe ie; dosage if anyone wants it.
    Happy Sunday everyone. Sher I know from facebook you are a Big Love fan, I have an hour and 1/2 to go and I am so excited.
    Tex, email please.
    Kittery, you are well? Molly, how is your dad?

  584. Carrie, are you the one who is reading Agee? I just got a beautiful book with his fiction and the collaboration with photographer Walker Evans. The pictures are haunting, I haven’t started Let Us Now Praise Famous Men but I am dying to. What are your thoughts?

  585. Anyone thinking of going to Durham in April needs to go to the blog babies yahoo group, or send me a facebook message and let me know! I’m thinking of cooking up some things!

  586. Just think Kate, now you’ll be able to cook up some things with your Easy Bake Oven. They may not be the best-tasting things you’ve ever cooked, but at least they’ll be adorable.

    Amy, let’s coordinate. My email is pollykahl at msn dot com. I work long hours on Mondays and Tuesdays so I hope we can work around that. Let me know the exact dates you’ll be here so we can make plans.

  587. Kate I am planning on going. I will get back to you on yahoo.

  588. Kittery, my love, shut the fuck up will you!
    Nah, I’m just kidding. You are very welcome to ask such a question and this is my answer: endometriosis is a bitch of a thing. It’s a cyst (or cysts) on the ol’ ovaries and very painful indeed. Plus, it can make women infertile. This fact duzn’t bother me much – I’m queer and would rather adopt – however it duz hurt a lot of other people’s feelings, not to mention, loins.
    Every month, I, Texas Lee, become a homocidal maniac. Yee who get in my path, better watch out. Or at the very least, wear protective head gear and a bullet proof vest. I get nasty, see.
    The pain propels me. It’s so severe that evening primrose oil and all that stuff, just fails to work. Heavy narcotics fail to work. It’s a right pain in the bum I tells ya!!

  589. And how was it diagnosed? Just a regular pap smear, or something more?

  590. Or a right pain in the groin, as the case may be.

  591. You are inquisitive, ain’tcha?!
    A laparoscopy. They put this wee camera inside the ovaries, they tunnel in the tubes really and bang! – “You have endometriosis my dear!”
    A very sorry state of affairs really. Why? -Coz it can’t be cured.

  592. Fun.
    Thanks for answering. 🙂

  593. Oh yeah, by the way, Tex is my nickname. My real name is Tahlai. Very unusual I know. I’m yet to meet a person who can pronounce it correctly on first introduction. But all my friends, strangers too, they call me Tex.

  594. My pleasure Kittery.

  595. Doesn’t it sound the way it looks? Tah-lay?

  596. or Tah lie?

  597. It’s pronounced – Tar-lay…. Tahlai…

  598. damn, not even close. Did you get my email address above Tex?

  599. Exactly Kittery. You’ve got it in one!

  600. oh shit, I forgot to answer that… Caryl, my email address is – – don’t ask why…
    Thanks for offering up your personal email address, and the offer to talk. Much appreciated. So let’s chat. And waffle on. And, oh I don’t know, give a nod to Chomsky and communicate! (wink)… X

  601. I am still having computer problems and brain leakage from my eyeball (only one which is a great thing).

    Goodnight girls . . . I can’t even begin to deal with the issue of female problems . . . one thing I haven’t had is endometriosis, most of the friends I’ve had with it have ended up with hysterectomies – but then they lost their sex drive, so to me that is just not an option . . .

    Tomorrow will be a stellar day for all . . .

  602. That frightening option (a hysterectomy) has come up, which just goes to show you, how bloody severe and horrid and awful and unsettling this damn thing is. I’m 27. I can’t be removing my innards just yet. ‘specially not if it plays havoc with the ol’ sex drive! No sireee bob, not in my bloody name.

    Night Sher. May your dream-weaver deliver exotic & pleasant fun and fantasy for your subliminal enjoyment!

  603. Tex, you’re like a poet doing free verse sometimes.

  604. Caryl, it’s the Library of America volume of Agee you have, right? Aren’t those Walker Evans pictures stunning? In Haven’s last post, George had some interesting details on the evolution of Famous Men (see Jan 18, 5:36pm). I said it there, and I have to say it again that I find it stunning that a man 50 years dead should write how I feel on a cellular level. That opening italicized couple of pages (“when I lived there so successfully disguised as a child”)? Just took my breath away. Besides his reveal of the sensual microscopic detail (e.g., the sound of train cars uncoupling, cricket song), his description of light, a dozen different kinds: well, I actually felt my heart beat faster. His writing is so lush. He makes you fall in love with the world, all over again, and with the small details of what makes your loved ones, loved ones.

  605. You mentioned you are ready to start Famous Men: have you then read A Death in the Family (which is the book I was talking about)? What did you think?

  606. That’s one of the nicest things that you could say. Thanks Caryl.

  607. While the world is quiet, I’d like to second (third? fourth?) the request for George to write a book on how to raise boys up to men. Or just how to be a man. The world is in dire need of such a book, and you are the man to write it.

  608. Time for book and bed. ‘Night Caryl, ‘night, Tex!

  609. Yeah, totally. He’s such a good one isn’t he!? (man I mean). I imagine too, that his sons are fine young men having been under dear Mr Stute’s tutelage.

  610. Night mate!

  611. And Haven’s young-un’s, they too must be gems. I can’t imagine a better parent than what Haven must be. She’s made of the right stuff I reckons. Lucky little brats!

  612. For Carrie in the am. I just purchased the book on Friday night. A Death in the Family, which is where your quote is from, is after Praise Famous Men, so I am starting at the beginning. Is there a reason you started with A Death in the Family? And yes, the pictures just make you stop breathing, and that this was only 70 years ago. I find myself looking at the eyes, at the sadness like resignation, even the children have this look. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  613. “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member”. – Oscar Wilde
    Is that the quote that you were referring to Maureen?
    It’s exactly how I feel about NA anyway!

  614. Thanks Tex – I believe that is the quote I was casting about for. I thought it was Groucho Marx!

    Anyway, off to work today here. I had major anxiety dreams about neglecting my teaching duties so I’m going to try and be a good employee. I will not allow myself to blog again until after 3 PM. … At least I’ll try.

  615. Hold on a tic, you might be right… was it Oscar Wilde or Groucho Marx??? Now I’m flummoxed.
    Have a hell day teaching, darling. I hold good teachers in very high esteem and I believe that you are one of them.
    Tally Ho!

  616. Nah, you’re definately right, now that I think about it. Groucho, bloody Groucho. God love ‘im.

  617. Hey Tex- is Lee your real middle name? Because it is mine as well! Spelled just that way. Oh, and, while you were looking at photos, I hope you saw the one of me with my Aussie friend, Luke. He will be returning home at the beginning of March to finish up at school. Hopefully he will be back in the states next year for graduate school, assuming he gets in which he should because he is brilliant. Luke and his partner, Phil (who is from Toronto) are both adorable and brilliant. They are 28. So, you could become friends with my Luke when he is back home while I keep Phil company so he does not miss Luke too much. Anyway, I think you two would definitely crack each other up!

    Well, off to work. Have a great day everyone (and a great night to you, Tex)

  618. Hi Linda –
    Did I catch you before you left? Do I remember you saying you went to a class about lectio divina?

  619. Tex – You still there, girlfriend? Obvious I have already broken my vow about no blogging.

  620. I believe endometriosis can also be what’s supposed to be uterine tissue that’s growing in the wrong place, like say OUTSIDE your uterus, on your fallopian tubes, ON your uterus. I have it too, and basically, I constantly feel like someone is pressing hard on my right side (that’s a good day). On a bad day it’s like being stabbed (or what I imagine being stabbed is like). It seems to ease during the Red Tent times and worsens as the tissue waxes with the month. To cure it, my doc said, “Have your boyfriend knock you up.” since my doc has been my doc since I was 18 mos old, I was a bit stunned–I went to Catholic school with his daughter, and he knew I was teaching at the very same school. He prescribed birth control and that makes it some better.

    READ Eat, Pray, Love. I avoided it at first becasue I thought it was going to be a Christian thing (I mean this to mean a Southern-Baptist-of-the-crazy-variety-so-don’t-take-offense-if-you’re-regular-Baptist-variety) and would prefer to puke my guts out before TOUCHING it much less reading it. Then my sorta pagan sister said “YOU MUST” and so I did. It was fabulous. And life changing. (her desription of her relationship with “David” was uncanny for me.)

    Maureen and Sarah–no, my nephews won’t be coming. sigh. I asked her to bring Aiden at least. Liam prolly wouldn’t be able to stand the atmosphere here. Anyone who knows anyone with autism KNOWS how sensitive they can be to bad vibes… 😉 maybe not social cues (and Tazbergers is its own thing)…I did buy The Shack. And no, Sarah, the thing I have is nothing to do with a furnace. Though if I could find a tiny one, like a miniature, I certainly would do my best to attain it. It would be good feng shui.

    Haven, since you’ve been quiet, I’m guessing you’re writing or planning ways to beat yourself up for not doing a good job on Outlaw Quaker Girl (which we all know to be a spurious self-accusation). As my Buddhist friend John says, “Be kind to yourself.”

    Sally forth, dear ones, have a fabulous day!!

  621. I was about to say Maureen, your lack of comittment astounds me! No, just kidding.. I’m just happy to chat with your lovely self.

    By Linda, we can only hope that you will be as lax as our dear Maureen and thus, get back to us shortly! hehe…

  622. Fuck Molly, you’re good!

  623. And right on, you have described the pleasures of endometriosis just perfectly! Stabbing pains, oh I feel like killing myself etc. Well done, that’s exactly it. The pill duzn’t work for me though, duz it work for you?? As for pregnancy – no thank you very much, I think I’ll pass and just deal with the pain.

  624. I went on the pill when I was 18 and stayed on until the spring of my 25th year when I ran out of money and couldn’t afford it. That is when I first noticed the pain.

    I thought I had appendicitis.

    I was in NH at the time (a place I usually laud beyond any other) and the hospital there SUCKED, and I didn’t have insurance so I got a piss poor diagnosis. I called Mom in GA, she called my doc in GA, and when I moved back to GA in July, he was like, well, you still don’t have insurance, and it will cost a fortune to be 100% sure, but yeah. I think it’s endo.

    I went back on the pill (which my insurance doesn’t cover because it’s Catholic insurance!), and it helps, but I am never pain/pressure free. It’s weird. I (apparently) rub my right side all the time, and even my students have picked up on it. They ask me what’s wrong, and I just say I have a stitch in my side. One of my smart ass boys (who really doesn’t realize how he’s stepped in it) said, “But you haven’t been running….” I laughed and shrugged.

  625. But I would LOVE a baby. Or 5.

  626. God you’re funny!

    Well at least the pill works for you, that is something. I ended up having my doctor inject a pill, yes a pill, the size of a five cent coin it was, into my ovaries, through my stomach. My girlfriend at the time was with me, and she threw up just watching! Not only that, this torture could only be resorted to for 6 months coz otherwise I’d get cancer and die. That’s how fucking lethal that tummy injection was!
    Bloody endo.

  627. But it worked.

  628. Have you some babies then Molly! I’m sure that your sense of humour, and thus, sense of fun, will stand you in good stead with the children. Kids dine out on mischief so I do believe that you are well equipped and ready to go.

  629. Oh, Tex. I would love to just have some. UNFORTUNATELY, no boyf, no babies. Sperm banks are scary…plus I’d lose my job if I got pregnant out of wedlock.

    THROUGH YOUR BELLY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! SWEET MARY MOTHER OF GOD. I can’t believe the treatment is so UNhealthy. You’d think they’d do something else…like **strongly suggest** a hysterectomy (even a partial), rather than give you something that might cause cancer…

    Maybe you should move to the US.

    Also, I was wondering if your lip ring hurt? I have my belly button ring and my tattoo, but a lip ring? That just looks owwy-ka-zowy, as my newphew would say. You are very pretty by the way. 🙂

  630. …continuing on from before… about the tummy injection.. I forgot to add that I’d never before encountered a syringe of such large proportions. And I’m a recovering heroin addict. I’ve seen 10 gauge, 12 gauge fits, with corresponding barrels, but never before had I seen a metal prod so big. Frightening it was.

  631. Also, you make me laugh like crazy.

  632. Oh, why thank you Molly, you are too kind!
    (that , and anything else I say, must be read in an English accent, not an aussie one. Why? Coz for some reason, I no longer find anything funny unless it’s being said in an English accent. Daft, I know. But anyway. Them’s the breaks.)

    I know I know, through the belly!! And risk of cancer too!! Bloody luddites!!

    Regarding the lip ring, which I no longer have, or technically, no longer wear, yes it did hurt. But only for a second really. I too had my belly button pierced once and that duzn’t seem to hurt at all hey?!
    Plus I’ve had my clit pierced too. And eyebrows. (a sucker for punishment, I know). All very quick and worth it if you want it.
    What tattoo have you got?

  633. btw, you make me laugh hysterically too!

  634. Hi y’all. I am at work so of course I start my workday by checking email and then one more peak at Havenland while i have a cup of coffee.

    Maureen, we did do a class on the spiritual practice of Lectio Divina at my church. It was just a sampling. Yesterday I “sampled” centering prayer and the Sunday before that was journaling. I must say that I like journaling best. I like Lectio, but it is not a solitary endeavor. You really need to do it in a group, I believe. But, I like reading scripture out loud several times and seeing what occurs to me that I might not have heard in the first or second reading.

  635. I’ve got a fair few tatts myself

  636. Oh my. No, thank you. I believe I will leave the rest of me un-pierced. 🙂 **shudders** good God, woman. you are a glutton for pain.

    If you click on my handle, my blog comes up and you can actually see my tatoo. 🙂 It’s a lemur handprint. It looks an awful lot like a human hand print…but it’s not. At least not to me. 🙂

  637. Linda! You sneaky little sheila. I’m addicted to havenland now that I’m back. Have a lovely day at work, okey dokey! And do check in, in lieu of a cigarette break if you must. X

  638. Oh my god – the Ann Coulter line? Priceless! Jeff’s (Boykin) been introducing me to your work (and your blog) and I’m loving every minute.


  639. Hey Linda!

    I didn’t know this before yesterday, but the pope has dedicated this year to Paul as like a 2000th birthday celebration. I have never really been a fan of Paul because he’s such a mysoginist (yes, I know he’s a product of his time, but still. People today use his words to beat down women…) but my priest was really helpful yesterday, talking about how God had to blind Paul to help him see. Paul had to suffer to realize what he needed to realize.

    While I still think that sounds very medieval, very “keep the masses in their place by telling them their trials are holy” it still made a point for me, that somehow suffering can burn away the extra crap and leave you better for it.

    Anyway, a theologian I ain’t. But it got me thinking just the same.

  640. Curiouserx2, what a great name.

    Molly – a lemur hand print? really? You are imaginative!
    I like it!
    Funnily enough, I no longer sport any of my prior piercings, but most of the holes do still exist. So if I ever feel like it…
    My clit ring, I actually managed to lose that in a threesome I once had (too much information? Probably) but anyway, yeah, that’s why I no longer have a piece of jewelry down there! hehe

  641. Lost it? Sounds painful…

    Gotta run now. On my way to ATL!!!!!!!

  642. Bug and Tex and Sher:
    Good mornin’ and another day in paradise here in Arizona.
    I get on just to check up and you all are talking hysterectomies and endometriosis…jeeeez…my nemesis twice.
    my adivce: Don’t let them take your ovaries and your sex drive will be okay.
    Endometriosis is NOT TO BE MESSED WITH!…if it is outside the playground it should be in (the uteris) it attaches to all kinds of places and can travel to some really scary needs to be surgically removed and then you need to be on a hormone cocktail so it doesn’t grow more…I have to take prempro even tho doctors try to take everybody off of it because the damn endo grew AFTER a hysterectomy cause it loves girly hormones…sorry about the girly stuff guys, but this is scary…and NOBODY told me it could still grow and travel like a cancer but not REALLY cancer, which was what the doctors thought it was….So don’t mess with it!!
    See, now I am scared for you Bug. Listen to the old lady.

  643. click on a handle? what handle? I’m dying to both visit your blog and catch sight of your lemur hand print!

  644. See ya bug, tell me later. It’s a must.

  645. Quinkydink, greetings! You’ve got me frightened. Can the ‘ol endo really come back AFTER a hysterectomy??? Coz my doctors keep telling me that that is the only solution! Not that I’m gonna take that route, but yeah…

  646. Oh yeah, I just remembered –
    No Linda, Lee isn’t my actual middle name, but it’s my mums name. Spelled just like that too. My mother is no longer with us, so I like to call myself Texas Lee. Part nickname, part ode to my mother. Plus it sounds nice.

  647. Yes, Tex, I am sorry to say I am living proof it can come back after a hysterectomy…but it was because after the hyst. they put me on only estrogen and not the cocktail, so the estrogen fed the endo. You would need the combination hormones for it not to grow is what I understood.
    Don’t let them take your ovaries unless there is something wrong with them, either.
    Sorry, I don’t mean to be giving any medical advice since I am way not qualified, but that is what happened to me.

  648. I’m sorry about your mom, Tex. I can be your US mom if you’d like. I am 48 so I would have been young when I had you, but there you go. My daughter is going to be 18 in March so all of a sudden I am feeling very old.

    I want a tattoo. Just don’t know what to get although I have thought about a 4 leaf clover. I love them and have them represented in different places in my life. But, how big and where would it go? Again, I am 48. LOL

  649. Hi guys – this is a lunch-break hello. (I know, Tex, I am really being bad. I can’t help myself.)

    Linda – One of my very favorite spirituality books of all time got me interested in lectio divina and I have practiced it for almost eight years now. The book is In the Spirit of Happiness by the Monks of New Skete Monastery.

    I cannot recommend this book highly enough to everyone here. It’s along the lines of “what does monasticism have to teach the non-monastic world.” Very non-denominational. They are the same monks who raise and train German Shepherds and have written various books about dog obedience.

    They also have a new book out called “I and Dog” about the spiritual dimensions of the person-dog relationship.

    Off to find food.

  650. i have 2 tattoos. one on my ankle that is a sun and i got it 3 days after i went to college. my then boyfriend (now husband) also got one, but he picked a better spot to hide his (thigh). i am not such a fan of either of these tattoos, but they are there.

    i have a small blue star on my back and i love that one. my sister tiff has a red star and my sister mandy has a green one. it wasn’t planned, it just sort of happened.

    i had my eyebrow pierced when i was in college and i didn’t tell my parents. when i came home from school, my mom took one look at me and as she was leaving the room, told me that i used to be pretty.

    john has a tattoo on his arm–the underneath part–so if you turn you hand up and go all the way to your elbow–that’s where it is. it is an infinity sign in a box. the box is not fully sealed–there are openings in it (you have the power to make a decision every single day, even if temptation is all around you). in tiny numbering is his sober date. he drew it in re-hab and it is a physical reminder if he is ever having a bad day. i love that tattoo.

  651. I cannot FREAKING believe this but WordPress just ate my own comment and it was LONG and important and I’ll never remember it all.

    1. Mention is made of Jeff Boykin, who is my — what are you, Jeff, honey — my brother-in-law? What on earth kind of kin are we to each other?

    2. Tex, you are doing an imcomparably difficult and brave thing, kicking heroin, but I don’t know enough about the process to understand why methadone was not necessarily the best way to go? I do agree with others here that 12-Steppers are not to be dismissed (especially if you get to dosey-do) — I attended ACOA for a year when I was 21 — Adult Children of Alcoholics NOT MY MOTHER, for heavens sake — and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. Others of you have heard me say that I agree with many native philosophies of alcohol and drugs; they are actual ‘spirits.’ We still refer to liquor that way. You have a spirit in you, and it’s a demon. It speaks out of your mouth, it thinks your thoughts for you, it lies, it protects itself at the expense of everyone you love. You must articulate the contours of the spirit and first render it impotent and then dead. Please forgive my crassness, but if such a beast were controlling me? I would look it in the eye or whatever such a thing has and say, “Oh excuse me, FUCK YOU.” Nothing, nothing gets to be the boss of you. God alone, sola deus, as Martin Luther said. One of the biggest lies of addiction is that it’s powerful. YOU are powerful, Tex. You are running this show.

    The single best book (and one of the best memoirs, period) I’ve ever read about endometriosis is the incomparable Hilary Mantel’s GIVING UP THE GHOST. Consider it recommended.

    Sherilyn, I am NOT reading in Nashville on April 8th; that was a whacky Intertube rumor. I AM reading with Augusten on April 9th here in Durham. Tom Campbell, who owns the Regulator, is moving the venue because he’s expecting a crowd. I hope we don’t disappoint him and end up with four people, three of whom I gave birth to. My lovely, lovely friend Dianne has offered room for two people in her upstairs apartment. I’m looking around for other places.

    Sarah, people do not in any way understand enough about safety.

    GAH, I forget the rest. Must go finish new blog post.

  652. Molly, you gave me the great monkey toe socks, yes? BABY GUS WEARS THEM AS GLOVES. I can’t say more without melting.

  653. Just trying to catch up on the posts here, which requires much concentration on my part, when I realized Charlie was eating his cantalope rind because I was too self absorbed to notice he need another piece.

  654. Thanks for the book rec, Maureen. I just put it on my amazon wish list.

  655. {{HUGS}} to all.
    Going lunch hour thrift store browsing.
    It’s MONDAY..GAAAH!!

  656. Baby Gus in sock monkey socks as gloves….too cute it makes my stomach go fluttery.

  657. I know where I’ll be on April 9 and I hope to see a bunch of y’all there, too.

    As far as piercings. I don’t have any, unless you count a comment a city editor at the Sunday Courier & Press in Evansville once made to me in 1971 when I was a high school student desperately trying to break into the world of newspapering. I wrote my heart out on a story about an arts festival in the city. I was told the story should be about ten inches (300 words). I went out and interviewed all the artists…I think I even interviewed vendors who would be selling hot dogs. In short, I turned in an epic and I was proud of it and so sure that the editor would be convinced that I was the best writer since Ernie Pyle. This editor took a look at it and said: “What is THIS crap!!!!!” That comment pieced me to the core and still does whenever I recall it.

    In terms of tattoos, I did have one of those once. I think I was 8 or 9 and I bought a package of them from Jim the Bread Man who used to drive a white paneled truck to our neighborhoods selling Bunny Bread the mothers and Milk Duds to the kids. The tattoos were the transfer kind, like human decals, and came packaged with some bubblegum, and if memory serves me, I rubbed the one that said: Ka-Pow! on my right forearm. Being interested in preserving this body art, I was careful not to bathe for several days afterward. Eventually, friction got the better of it. That was the beginning and the ending of my tattoo period.

    About other piercings and tattoos, I am just not qualified to offer personal perspective.

    I will say this about demons: they are real. My own particular demon is a smoking fiend. Folks, I have kicked smoking for a total of 17 years since I started the nasty habit when I was 17. But it climbed on my back a couple of years ago, and I am having a “devil” of a time shaking it.

    But Haven is right. I’m stronger than this. So when you see me in April, I won’t be out there huddled with the other smokers during the break when Haven and Augusten are doing their readings.

  658. Ok, I just finished re-reading most of the posts during lunch and I missed a bunch of stuff. Eek gads.

    First, Tex, thank you for sharing your recovery with us. When I went to rehab last April I was really surprised at the wide variety of stuff people were coming off of. Alcohol really seemed to be in the minority. When I moved to out patient treatment for a month there were far more people trying to kick cocaine than anything else. But, you know, at the end of the day we are all going through the same thing and we are all in this together. I tried to stop drinking about 8 years ago but it didn’t stick. I just did not get AA or the whole 12-step thing. I do this time around. Maybe I am just more open to the idea. The 12 steps are just suggestions. They are not orders. But, they have helped millions of people since the 1930s so there must be something there. What works for me might not work for you. I am at a different place in life. Just take it one day at a time – or even one hour at a time if you need to. And, if you’d like to chat more one on one, just email me at

    Now, Carrie. Your voice is sublime. Wow. Just listened to both of the clips and what a talent you are.

    George – maybe you and I can get a tattoo together in Durham. That would be a bonding experience, eh? Ok, don’t tell my kids I just said that or they will be rolling their eyes at me and sighing in disgust for days. Moooommmmm….ewwwwwwww…LOL

  659. Linda, you deserve a tattoo, damn the eyerolling, full speed ahead! What do you think you’d like to get? — I don’t think I’ll ever see myself getting a tattoo (I am far too wary of needles), but if I did, I think I’d ask Steph’s husband for his permission to use infinity in an unclosed box. I thought that was BRILLIANT, both for the concept and for the thought behind it. Hmm, maybe I could dummy up a bunch on some human decal paper. — Thanks also, for your kind words, Linda. Very appreciated.

  660. Oh, and Caryl — it was Death in the Family first, because a few days after I got the LofA volume, Haven sent me a copy of DitF. I read anything she tells me to.

    My dear friend Linda (a different Wonder Woman than the one on this blog) got me a subscription to ODE for Intelligent Optimists for Christmas. Each issue dedicated to a theme (e.g, silence, giving). Does anyone know this magazine?

  661. Hey all! The rest of this week is “Regents Week” here in New York State, which means that the high schoolers are taking high-stakes tests and only go to school if they have one. That means – ta-da! – that I have no students the rest of the week! Hoorah! Hoorah! I love them all to pieces but we all need a break from each other. It also means that I get to spend time in my classroom dealing with obnoxious piles of stuff I have not filed since school started.

    I am chewing my arm off in a desire to go to Durham April 9. Google Earth says it’s a ten-hour drive. I’m looking at plane tickets, thinking maybe I’ll click on that e-mail for the free Jet Blue tix …

  662. Carrie: thanks so much for what you said earlier today and….MUCH higher up in these posts. You are beyond kind. If you ever need someone to write a press release or liner notes for your CD, I’m your guy.

  663. I just love you guys!
    Oh and Tex..I had to reread some of your comments twice because, well because I was laughing so hard and gasping in horror/glee as well!
    I cannot seem to find the comment about you kicking heroin though ( god bless you for this) did I miss this somewhere?

  664. Linda,

    I will go to a tattoo parlor with you…as a designated driver…since you will be in shock and awe and unfit to navigate the wily, curvy, hilly roads there in Durham.

  665. Maureen, if the Jet Blue doesn’t pan out, try Like travelocity, but better.

  666. Oh, are you ever my guy, George! Thank you, that’s more than enough motivation to get it done.

    Congratulations on your much-needed respite, Maureen. A gradual return to sanity, just what you needed. I was afeared for all the pressure around you.

  667. Thanks, Carrie. I just followed the JetBlue trail and was heading toward “Learn Spanish in One Day with our special offer. Enter Visa card here.” Nein danke.

  668. War on Terror (raccoons) Fun Fact:

    Before this post goes away, and before our memories of the past eight years fade, it is worth noting that the USA PATRIOT Act is in fact an acronym. It stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.

    I plan to spend the afternoon acronyming USA WAR CRIMES Act.

  669. An afternoon well-spent, I would think, Scott. Report back here, please, on all you come up with. (I’ll just bet there’s an online acronym engine somewhere.)

  670. You’re right. Here’s what it came up with:

    Under Spring Addition We Aircraft Risk Class Receive Issue Management Every So

    Kinda catchy.

    The Republicans are so much better at this kind of thing.

  671. Also:

    Unemployment Speed Association Wear Anyway Revenue Coffee Relief Image Mass Empty Station

    Understand See Attack Wait Appeal Rapidly City Route Indicate Metal Eventually Somewhat

    Understanding Soft About Wonder Aim Right Comment Relief In Marriage Enough Stone

    Upon Start Attach Widely Apparent Refer Contribute Red It My Except So

    Used Support Award Well Act Right Clean Reader Important Mental Effort Survive

    Under Speed Apparently Well Although Relative Campaign Revolution Interview Man Empty Secretary

  672. Damn, when Scott wakes up, LOOK OUT.

  673. Hi Haven!!! I also did an ACOA group for a few years – very helpful. I was most definitely the Mascot in my family.
    What time is the reading on April 9?

  674. “Used Support Award Well Act Right Clean Reader Important Mental Effort Survive”
    I think I’ll go embroider this on a pillow.

  675. Think you could squeeze Ann Raccoon Coulter in there somewhere? 😉

  676. More about raccoons (or specifically one particular raccoon). And who knew they had raccoons in Russia:

    A FIESTY raccoon has bitten off a pervert’s PENIS as he was trying to rape the animal.
    Alexander Kirilov, 44, was on a drunken weekend with pals when he leapt on the terrified – but toothy – fur ball.

    “When I saw the raccoon I thought I’d have some fun,” he told stunned casualty surgeons in Moscow.

    Now Russian plastic surgeons are trying to restore his mangled manhood.

    “He’s been told they can get things working again but they can’t sew back on what the raccoon bit off,” said a pal.

    “That’s gone forever so there isn’t going to be much for them to work with.”

    Here’s the link:

    (like I could ever make up such a story as that)

  677. Rocky and The Angry Inch.

  678. Christ on a cracker.

    That’s better than the guy where I used to work .. when we’d go out back to take out the trash (or other people for smoking breaks) they’d find this guy humping the picnic table ..

  679. Understated
    Regard for
    Rules, or

  680. Damn George. 😀

  681. I think George just outed himself as a Republican.

  682. I’m sorry but any human who attempts any sexual act with an animal should be shot in the face. No questions asked.

  683. How true Amy. When I was a kid, I always played in the living room when the news was on (and my parents allowed it .. yet again, proof they weren’t thinking, lol). One night, I was young, about seven – there was a report that one of the students in a nearby college (the one my brother attended) had raped one of the female horses with a knife. I just sat there, in the middle of the living room floor, thinking, “WHAT?”
    Obviously, the memory of that has never quite left my mind..

  684. hahahahahaha! George as a Republican!!!!

  685. Oh, Kittery — that will be seared in my inner eye forevermore. How awful.

  686. Rocky and the Angry Inch. When I see you tonight, Scott, I’ll give you your tiara. You EARNED it.

  687. Oh Kittery, that is so disgusting. I’m sorry you had to hear that!
    Oh by the way, I finally watched Christian the Lion and lord did I cry. Oh my word, it was just pure joy.

  688. George- I’ve read your comments here and admired your genius, but never mentioned my admiration before. Kittery used the only response I can think of. Damn, brother. You’ve got some smarts goin’ on up in that head of yours.

    And seriously, I’m not a violent person by nature, but I’m with my fellow Ohioan Amy on this one. Attacks against animals (and children!) should result in some sort of corporal punishment. Especially attacks of that particular nature.

  689. Wasn’t it amazing? I swear, Christian smiled when he hugged them.

  690. What we have here is a clear case of a raccoon biting off a little more than it wouldn’t chew.

  691. Jamie: You’re a kind soul. Tell the rest of these people that I am a left-wing, liberal, bleeding-heart, socialist and if that makes me a Republican, then so be it.

  692. And here I was thinking that Raccoons were cute an innocent. You’ve set me straight! I now know they are tools of Satan; creatures of darkness if you will. I am thoroughly frightened yet informed. Thank you.

  693. WoW~Words cannot express my gratitude for this post. If only someone had provided me with this vital information say, in 10th grade—how different my life would be today—-at almost, dare I say—40! Reading this post was an ephinany for me, having recently removed a raccoon from my domestic environs where it had been sleeping on my couch for the past two winters. After expelling this demon from my home, this particular raccoon was arrested for assaulting the next unsuspecting host, although I will say, he never raised his paw to me, I am all-to-familiar with the teeth bared and hissing photo seen during psychotic breaks when his narcissitic personality reared its ugly snarling head. Thank you again for this invaluable post. After you finish your current epistle, seriously consider a work of non-fiction on this subject matter “Raccoons I Have Known.” I am certain it would be a best seller.

  694. […] reagarding last week’s raccoon question, clearly an emotionally charged issue involving many complicated […]

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