Current Events: A Quick Re-Cap From The Crankyzone

Photo Sher Fick

Photo Sher Fick

As you may have heard, I recently shared a stage with Augusten Burroughs as he passed through Durham on a book tour, and a surprising number of commenters from this very blog showed up. They flew and drove from various distant parts of the colonies, and what do you know: people you’ve never laid eyes upon in your life are precisely as good as you think they are, if not better. Funny you can find anywhere – you can find funny in any Morality Free Zone. Earnest is also easy, because as long as you behave earnestly you can toss honesty out the window. (If you think I’m wrong, corner an Earnest Type and really push against their convictions. In response you won’t get the results of deep soul-searching, believe me. You’ll get a wide-eyed, “But you know I mean well, I always try to do the right thing,” and then the conversation will be OVER.) All the human characteristics that can be manufactured: sweetness, patience, solicitude, tattoos, hair, and attention span – these are not Of Which I Speak. Goodness is singular. Consider how many friends or acquaintances you’ve known who have been the sole good person in a family, or in the building where they work, or in their church. The majority of the Good don’t even know how far apart they stand. I’m looking at you, Shanna: if you want to know why I laughed so hard in the lobby of the Inn when you revealed how cranky you felt? Because, Hello Goodness. I’ve personally had my fill of the type who live according to the code of “What Makes Me Appear To Be A Good Person,” and I’ve come to the conclusion that if THAT’S how an individual rolls? He or she might be a liar, might be psychotic, could be murderously vicious, could be merely confused, maybe is actually good: I don’t care, and I’m not sticking around to sort it out. Life’s too short. I’ll take Sher, thanks, who is better than you can possibly imagine, and in so many different ways I do NOT deserve to know her. Show me a person like Caryl – whose generosity I won’t begin to reveal here (trust me: it’s staggering) – who, when a Stranger I didn’t care for came over and started asking questions, allowed me to rid the group of said Stranger by telling her Caryl was a prostitute I met online, and I had no idea who anyone else was. Not only allowed it, Caryl didn’t blink. Just picked up the ball and ran with it. From Lightning Bug Mollie to Kathleen and Maureen and everyone else – I won’t keep singling you all out in case you’re in the Witness Protection Program, and I’m not referring to Girl from the Ghetto, unless I AM – you are among a group of strangers you can trust. I don’t trust anyone based on surface cues, I doubt I need point that out. Name a category meant to confer immediate trustworthiness and you’re also naming the place criminals go to hide. That’s been the case for a good . . . 6,000 years or so. You’re a Christian, you say? Yeah, Judas Iscariot was an apostle. You only eat organic food from the Temple of the Free Range Fowl? Okey-doke. In Mooreland virtually everyone raised the cow, killed the cow standing face-to-face with it, did the butchering and the wrapping in brown paper, stacked the meat in the chest freezer, and no one thought twice when a father beat the crap out of his son for failing to put “sir” at the end of a very short sentence. In a world that routinely glorifies the cynical, no one gets a free pass from me, and I’m telling you: these are good people. I don’t know how they all wound up in the same place, but I’m thinking they might have little magnets hidden in their pouches. What a mystery. To those who came: I’ll never forget how many sacrifices you made to be here – it meant the world to me. Being present is the better part of friendship, and it’s compassionate and true-blue, and you can be sure I noticed. My gratitude to you is immense.




Photo: Girl From the Ghetto


Augusten, Kate Cake, and Caryl's Blue Jeans

Here are some things making me unbearably cranky; unbearable to ME, I don’t want to know how other people feel about my crankiness or I’ll just get worse, thanks.

* Writing a book that includes a chapter on the figure of Jesus – in literary, historical, or religious renderings – is a terrible, terrible idea. In a lifetime of Wow, SO Stupid inclinations (and I include going all the way to the TOP of that tree, as well as taking up every dare; every event that included the phrase “upside-down”; and yes, Bethy, stopping that random stranger and forcing him to drive us to Market Square Arena because it was too far to walk), THIS takes the Stupid prize.

* I know – I do, I swear – I know that save one other Crank who comments on this very blog – I alone was horrified by the Susan Boyle video, and because it continues to be covered everywhere, in all the news sources I typically read, every day, I grow increasingly crankified. Robert, especially you, angel – I understand what you told me and I respect why you were moved by it, I do. But I’ll skip what I saw and what I said to John, after I regained the use of my jaw. Just look at the Times headline, “Unlikely Singer Becomes YouTube Sensation.” NOT “Singer Becomes Unlikely YouTube Sensation,” and if you think the New York Times doesn’t know what they’re doing when they write a headline? Sure they don’t. It’s elementary, Haven, who doesn’t know there’s a 1:1 connection, dictated by reality itself and supported by the laws of logic, stating that Talent is the sole province of 14-year-olds surgically manufactured for sexual attractiveness? Duh. And Susan Boyle broke through all that, reminded us of our better selves, did she? That would explain the article the next day, about how she must constantly fend off offers for “make-overs” and advice for self-improvement through fashion and cosmetics; our Better Selves love her so much we’ll do it for free! In the past few days, an article appeared in the Huffington Post – finally – by a crank who said he supposes we’ll have to rethink our position on ugly people having no value whatsoever. What a pain in the ass THAT will be. I’ll have to give it to Simon Cowell though – really, bravo, Mr. Machiavelli of popular culture. He currently OWNS the Lie Factory, and he’s made it profitable for himself for years, even as the industry itself nosedived and went up in flames. He’s so smart he saw someone who didn’t fit the Lie and used her to make himself look like The Hero Who Stopped Lying For Just A Minute. “Let’s take a couple minutes before she walks onstage to edit so she REALLY looks the fool, yes? Play it up from every angle, I even want the Three Stooges-like score in the background. And NO REAL BRITS in the reaction, hear me? Only the pretty people we had shipped over from the Hollywood division – they’re in the cages marked Extras and Walk-Ons – fill the front rows with them, I want their orthodontia in the money shot.” Well-played, y’all. And Susan Boyle, god bless her dear heart. I hope she means it when she says all she wants to do is sing, I really do. Because when this moment’s over, and it will be very very soon, she’ll still be able to. To her friends and neighbors. In her tiny village in Scotland.

* Another way of looking at that video is this: live television exists and perishes by seconds on a clock. Time isn’t just money, it’s everything (of course, everything is money but stick with me). The column in the newspaper, the page or portion of a page in magazines, air-time in radio and television: all are known as “real estate.” Start to finish the Boyle video is seven minutes – a lot of real estate – and the producers heavily tilted the clock toward the build-up, rather than the performance, then gave as much real estate to the reaction as to the song. Make of that what you will.

* Did I NOT confess to the cranky up front?

* If you are one of the 2,000 people who have sent e-mail I haven’t answered, it’s not because I don’t love you, it’s because I haven’t read them, either. The larger the number in my in-box the more panicked I become, a situation that is NOT assuaged by writing about Jesus, nor by my old friend, popular music. In fact, I don’t know where to begin with the e-mail problem. Does one start with the most recent, or the most egregiously late?

* Please discuss: Miss Madonna was thrown from a horse again – the second time in four years. Horses People, explain why a trained rider being thrown from a trained horse is unusual. Those familiar with the Hamptons, explain why the paparazzi scenario is highly unlikely. Everyone else, could we suggest another animal for her to ride, like something closer to the ground and more fitting to her personality?

* For the record, there are things I am not mad about: Obama, who is extraordinarily well-suited for his job. Cake. My children, who – how curious is this? – share the bizarre trait of finding my worst moods the most amusing. My friend Dean, who three days ago had an exchange with Jerry Lewis at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi, one of the most sublimely hilarious exchanges in the history of humanity. THANK YOU, Dean, thank you VERY much. Everyone who sent me the link to Barbie Turns 50 on SNL, even when I used to be happy I was never SO happy. But later? Angelina and Madonna on Weekend Update? As all who live near me can attest, I was hysterical for days and days. The real pay-off for not watching television is that your friends will winnow all the crap away and give you just the bright, shining bestness.

* Less crank-inducing than fascinating, a few days ago I saw an article about four people being sentenced to prison time for piracy, and I automatically assumed they were actual pirates. It took me a whole paragraph to understand they were guilty of trademark piracy, which is just so tired and five years ago. There are real pirates again; online file sharing is trifling and crappity by comparison. The ship’s captain from Vermont who offered himself as a hostage in exchange for his passengers and crew? Now there is a hero. He did exactly what a captain is supposed to do. We should all send him candy and free health insurance.

* The Chinese have a vast army of trained dolphins, who rose up against the Somali gangster-ships and shared the bejesus out of the pirates. They are men with AK-47s who don’t fear the wrath of U.S. Navy SEALs, they routinely terrorize other Somalis by driving their Range Rovers up to the door of the home where the young woman they plan to abduct is living, and they are quite, quite high. The whole operation is conducted by warlords who make Dick Cheney look like your kindly granddaddy, and those dolphins made them scream REVERSE! in the manner my daughter calls Pink Frilly Dress. I’m wildly enamored of this turn of events, although I do understand that China has trained fighter dolphins and we do not, and this is bound to cause rampant paranoia among a certain group of people, I know you know who I’m talking about. DOLPHINS.

Blog Babies who traveled here: thank you, thank you. You are what love can do. I have to go back to that awful, awful book – NO COMMENTS ABOUT THE BOOK, I can’t take it, even encouragement is ghastly at this point – and will post again as soon as I’m mad about enough YouTube videos. In the meantime, look at all that I gave you to work with!! Take it and run!!

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm  Comments (658)  


  1. for what it is worth, i was horrified by everything about the susan boyle video except susan boyle herself.

    your cranky makes me feel better about my cranky.

  2. THANK YOU, Cloudness. I had begun to think I truly was alone on my lonely planet, population 1, and the atmosphere is just short of enough oxygen. Only there’s no one to tell me so.

  3. You big crankpot! So good to see you. I do love your take on earnestness. It is a notion rooted in money, and boy oh boy it trades 2:1 against the currency of irony on the human emotion stock exchange. When you want to kick-start your laugh track, get yourself some Jincy.

  4. Perfectly said, George — it’s a notion rooted in money. I’d go so far as to add that it’s become a recognizable form of currency itself, one that buys the acquiescence of everyone around the Earnest Person. “He’s earnest, so I can’t question his motives,” and even “She’s such an earnest person, all the loony discrepancies in the conversation we’re having MUST be an accident, because she MEANS well.” Put me in a room with such a person? There go Haven, climbing the wall! She gots suction cups on her extremities — look at that!

  5. Haven, you know I reside PERMANENTLY in the crankyzone, with only occasional (and usually short-lived) forays into other zones that have better marketing and PR.

  6. George, do you mean Jincy Willett? Have we had that conversation here? (My memory is a SIEVE, I tell you.) Jincy Willett is crankyzone dweller of the HIGHEST order and I ADORE her. Jenny And The Jaws Of Life is filled with crankyzone nuggets of bliss.

  7. Yes, I mean Jincy Willet and, yes, this has been the site of a conversation or two (I think she even visited here.) And yes, she is the Queen of Crank…I’d love to hang out with her for a couple of days. I would be her foil, set up her rants!

  8. I mentioned Jincy once, Shanna, quite some time ago — mentioned her in a positive way, I mean — and she appeared! We all love her; I’d say she’s one of the near-universally agreed upon greats in the Havenblogworld.

  9. oh, by the way, does the Jesus you’re writing about save parking spaces for you at Wal Mart? because that’s the Jesus my mom says she has. i would love some seriously scholarly input on this. 😉

  10. Things I am cranky about today:
    1. I have to return a phone call to my future mother in law tonight. She is lovely but I hate the phone. Like anxiety hate the phone.
    2. I ate carrots for lunch.
    3. I have to talk on the phone tonight.

  11. Haven, all those good people ended up in one place because of you! I’m really sad that I missed the whole shebang.

    My baby just turned 18 Friday. I can’t believe that little tiny thing that constantly expelled puke for the first 5 years is 18!

    – And she has a date for the prom!!

    The bad news is I only need two more classes to graduate and the well has run dry.

    The good news, my business is starting to pick up.

  12. p.s. i am the type to think jesus would rather be crucified again than go to wal mart, but he may very well be a “whatever floats your boat” kind of guy.

  13. Dorothy Parker. Dorothy Parker. Dorothy Parker. (I mean, just in case there’s some sort of summoning voodoo afoot.)

  14. shanna, you are awesome.

  15. This may piss you guys off and really offend your crankiness, but I am feeling pretty darned chipper, positive and i-don’t-know-what-else today. I am living above — way above — anything and anyone that may honk me off. Why? Because my fucking big toe is gout-fucking-free, flexible, and no longer the size of my elbow. It amazes me how little it takes these days to put me in happy camperville.

    So, there, I have stated my truth…and if it makes you cranky, you can thank me for it by sending a small token of your appreciation to my Paypal account.

  16. So I read the first news report about Madonna’s fall from her horse and said out loud — to myself, obviously — “Well, that’s a lie from beginning to end.” I expected thousands of people to emerge saying the same, and no one did. I brought it up in this post, and five minutes ago I read that the POLICE are saying her statement was an attempt “at spin control,” and nothing she said could be true. Don’t worry, she won’t be charged with anything! Making false statements to the American public is not only acceptable, it’s expected. As I said to Scott earlier, given how willingly we accept being lied to it’s really no more than what we deserve — that seems to be the mindset behind a falsehood so blatant. “Oh, just lie, find someone the public finds more distasteful than they find me and blame them.” Not so long ago it would have been a minority. Now the paparazzi will do JUST FINE.

  17. Amanda, how funny you’d mention such a Jesus! Jodi and I were chatting earlier and I called that figure Jesus My Babysitter and Personal Butler. He will find your car keys, your favorite houseslippers, and you betcha he’s waiting in the Wal-Mart parking lot with his Jesus-flare, gesturing in semaphore: Here Is Your Perfect Parking Space Which I Have Saved Solely Unto You. There is no task to small for Babysitter Jesus, and THAT’S how you know he’s divine. What a sweet fella.

  18. POS, I remember when my own first-born turned 18. It’s a shock that only gets more shocking with each milestone. This year we’re looking at 25, and all I can say is YOWZA CHILE.

  19. I spent the weekend among Jesus My Babysitter and Butler kinds of folks. Not surprisingly, they also equated Obama to Hitler.


    For cranky times I highly recommend Lucinda Williams’ Little Honey album.

  20. I love how George DEFIES the crank with his chipper toe.

    Can one say, “chipper toe”? I think not.

    Shanna, typing your name last night caused me to remember I still have notes for you. Oh yes — I completely forgot about giving them to you, and oh yes, I remember every word of those pages of yours. This may be the definitive definition of my memory: I will hold on to the first paragraph of A Farewell to Arms forever, and forget every practical consideration in real life.

    Hey, where my Secretary Jesus at?!?

  21. A lot of people don’t know this, but in Jesus’ early life, he was an intern for the Galilee Seafood & Salt Co., and was actually hired and worked for a few years as an administrative, and later, an executive assistant. A lot of people don’t know that. I stumbled across that fact while reading the works of the famous Hebrew-turned-Roman historian, Josephus.

  22. Haven: once you’re a gout survivor as i am and can appreciate a chipper toe, you cannot help but have some spring in your step, lilt in your leap and life will always looks rosy.

  23. Haven! Hi (waving wildly)

    Sam and I were so very delighted to meet and chat with you and Augusten. To have Sam’s attention diverted from sports like that for an entire evening without a peep of discontent was perfection. Sam is just in awe of Augusten and thinks you are very funny.

    What about all those polo ponies (ponies? they look like full grown horses to me)that died in Florida. I was going to ask Maureen about this since she knows about cows I figure she knows horses too. It made me so sad.

    I posted Emma and Chance prom pictures on our blog baby yahoo site. She has chosen Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. I have started a list for her:
    1. boots
    2. warm socks instead of those little half sock thingys she wears here year round)
    3. something called a blanket (also not used much in Nashville)

  24. Linda, did you not relay this conversation we had to Emma?

    Linda: “She’s thinking of going to school in Minnesota, she says she can layer when it’s cold. You’re from Maine, what do you think of that?”

    Kittery: “Layer? :: snorts ::”

    Anyway, congratulations!!
    And I saw the picture – she’s so pretty. 🙂

  25. ah, what’s a little 20 below weather? LOL

    She will probably end up looking like I did when I was a toddler and my mother bundled me up so tight that I could not bend my arms or legs and my head came to a point.

  26. Haven, at least your memory nuggets are highbrow. I, on the other hand, can sing the Flinstones theme song start to finish and remember all of my childhood phone numbers, which was so long ago that they had a letter “exchange” (GRanite 3-5384). Of course, I’m drooly and impatient to have your notes, but you could substitute a lot of things in my life for “have your notes,” so it’s excellent practice for me to wait quietly.

  27. Oh lord, the horses in Florida. That one — the headline alone — made me see stars. Whatever it was, a toxin or a virus or a poison of any variety, horses are delicate animals and die fast. I’ve seen it happen: bacteria in bedding alone can kill every horse in a barn before the vet can even get to them. Terrible. The story is heartbreaking, if you love horses.

  28. Don’t forget wind chill .. that always adds a pleasant nip to the air. 😉

    Oh well. She’ll learn the value of hot chocolate and walking at a brisk pace. 😉

  29. Shanna, I actually wrote most of them out in English sentences but I can’t remember where — they aren’t on the document itself. I’ll find them just as soon as I rise from the emergency nap calling my name. Or I won’t find them, and I’ll start over.

    Wind chill! It’s like being home again, Kittery! Except hooty-hoot, I now live someplace the term never ever applies and I’m not so very sad about that.

  30. Kittery,

    You know it’s cold when the inside of your nose sticks together. At least, that’s how I can tell.

    Shanna, I can sing 3 tuna fish jingles and two different hot dog songs from the days of yore without being prompted by any obvious stimulus (ask my children), but can’t remember why i just walked upstairs.

    ~ S.

  31. Didn’t you just love it when you lived there, though? Feeling like your thighs had steak knives driving through them ’cause you were THAT cold?

    I have a feeling that one day, when I’m able, I will make my home elsewhere .. although I may end up like my brother..he moved to Florida and then came back a year later. Said he missed Maine and didn’t want his babies growing up to be Florida babies .. they belonged in Maine. :: sigh ::

  32. Hey Kittery: Do you get the Lincoln County News? If you do, I have something to tell you offline.

  33. Kittery- I guess my thought is that Emma will want to come back home to Tennessee after she spends 4 years in Minnesota. At least that is my hope.

  34. Kittery,

    I need me out of my current state in many ways, and on whatever level you choose to interpret that. Start with, “Pennsylvania,” and you’re well on your way.

    New England, it’s in my bones.

    “The mountains are calling and I must go.” ~John Muir

    Some day.

    But ohhhh, I get c-c-cold.

    ~ Sarah

  35. numbers, childhood phone numbers . . .in Olivet we used to be able to ring just the last 4 number . . . ours was 2182 .. . . then had to add the preceding and finally all 7 . . . still while on the rotary dial.

    I’m a completely crank ass today . . . George can attest to my testiness . . .I am repeating Haven’s fussing of pre-thanksgiving and ‘cleaning’ . . . retail therapy did me no good today . . .

    but now it will be the kids faults as I have to go taxi driving . ..

    this is what happens when you choose 8 months out of the year to be happy-go-lucky and ignore the household…

    freaking out, crankass, I did manage to re-pot the aloe plant – big whoop.

    perhaps we could all bypass the house and use the studio entrance and have everything DOWN there! this is a brilliant plan, except I have only my blue bucket down there . . .

  36. Sarah,

    If only there was a way to combine living someplace that didn’t cause physical pain AND be under the shadow of the White Mountains .. 😉

    Sher (and Haven),

    I heart you both. I had the stunning revelation a few days ago that if I wrote only ten pages a day, I would have my story finished in 13.5 days. And what am I doing right now? Anything but and it’s making me feel like crap. Your “I did manage to re-pot the aloe plant – big whoop” .. sums it up beautifully.

  37. This is what I do this morning, new artist directory online, posted the new series . . . which I haven’t even gotten posted on my own blog . . .

    is there an APP for cranky?

  38. Ohh. Dancing in the Rain ..

    If I ever make my millions, I’ll be your Medici, Sher. 😉

  39. I am already stressing out about my parents and my sister coming to visit next month for Emma’s graduation. I hate to clean my house. Hate it. There are piles of clothes in my bedroom that look like trash washed up in a flood. I really need two houses, y’all. One to live in and the other one where I can store all my crap.

  40. Yeah but Linda, your bedroom? They’re not going to see that, are they?
    Now that George is feeling better, invite him over. 😉

  41. That’s one of the benefits of living in a place too small for overnight guests.

  42. Not having to clean for company, I mean.

  43. I will attest to the fact that Sher seemed very cranky this AM but some good old-fashioned housework restored her smile just as it does to all you gals!

  44. I would add that it’s not the housework, it’s the result, George. 😛

  45. Yeah, Linda, invite me over. You need a closet cleaned?

    Kittery: I cannot access Facebook from here at “work,” so anyway, I just wanted to mention that a good friend of mine from The Indianapolis Star, Joe Gelarden, was hired by the Lincoln County News. Joe is 68; a darned fine writer, great reporter. He retired a couple of years ago and moved to Boothbay.

  46. They will see my bedroom because they will open all the doors and look in every room. And they are not even staying with me because our house is tiny and has no guest room. They stay at a hotel. I should say they sleep at the hotel and then spend all the rest of the time at my house. Sam’s room is worse than mine at least. I guess it is kind of sad to take comfort in the fact that my bedroom is not as messy as a 16 year old boy’s bedroom. LOL

  47. Oohh. Nice. 🙂

  48. Put locks on all the doors they have no business snooping behind. 😉

  49. George – I need more closets. I do not have my own closet because I was an idiot and gave my husband the entire closet in our bedroom when he moved down here from PA. That is why I have so many piles. The few things I hang are on the bedroom door. Oh my gosh I am like a hobo.

  50. George just said that to make us cranky!

  51. That was funny, George, but would have been even funnier if I thought you were using the word “gals” ironically.

  52. Boothbay is pretty.

  53. Ironically, Shanna, I was using it ironically.

  54. Liz: Long experience tells me that mere presence is often enough to set off someone’s crankiness, besides, I wouldn’t be so offhand with you lit chicks.

  55. I knew you were using it ironically, George.

  56. I got the joke, George! 🙂

  57. You have a window into my heart, Linda.

  58. Jeepers Criminy, as my mom would say, before I even read any other comments..Haven, you sound like me AFTER I have to take sinus medication…it ALMOST makes mad enough to kill kittens.
    whew!! {wiping drops of sweat off of brow}.
    No one I’d more like to have on my side in a righteous argument than Haven….
    But wait a minute…wasn’t it SFC that posted the link to Susan Boyle on this very blog? I seem to remember.
    ‘Pink Frilly Dress’ :-)…frilly ‘itchy-lacey’ dress makes me very cranky too.

  59. I have to confess that I sent a Susan Boyle link to Haven. Also Carrie…and maybe some others here, too; I can’t remember, I’m on medication.

  60. I’m telling you, George — you crack me up; those must be some good meds. Meanwhile, I’m typing with my ring fingers because they are the only ones not covered with lavender paint….

  61. Shanna!
    ‘What Fresh Hell is This?’ Most favorite Dorothy Parker quote.
    I thought it was important to be Ernest? cannot say ‘Chipper Toe’ without thinking of that scene in FARGO!! eeewwww….Georges Toe…I’m glad it feels better George and don’t call me a ‘gal’ either, it makes me cranky.

  62. Several years back I became fascinated with Dorothy Parker and I believe I read everything she wrote. Here is a link to some GREAT quotes.

  63. Dorothy Parker: Some pretty young thing held a door open for her and said, “Age before beauty!” Parker swept through, responding, “Pearls before swine!”

  64. dolphins are evil gang rapers. evil, evil dolphins.

  65. Maria, DOLPHINS ARE EVIL GANG RAPERS. The truth has been spoken!

    George and SF are among the people who sent me the Susan Boyle video, along with a dozen other friends I love and respect, which is why I had to begin my rant with an apology. Of course beginning with an apology loses its sorrytude if one ends with, “And get off my lawn before I shoot you, you little cretins! And I’m KEEPING THIS FOOTBALL!”

  66. Amy-in-Ohio, I have profound phone anxiety at all times, no matter who I have to call or why. It’s been true for years. And ANSWER the phone? No, umm, no I really . . . I think . . . well, dagnabbit, it’s gone to voice mail. Maybe next time!

  67. Thanks, George..I loved them all even if I am bitterly disappointed that ‘what fresh hell’ wasn’t among them, in the top ten at least.
    Dolphins? Gang Rapers? boy do I lead a sheltered life…I thought that was just kittens.

  68. George, you darling man, I know you were. BTW, ironic is one of those words I consistently misplace the definition of (also egregious, and the pronunciation of etagere), and I have a running joke with my close friends wherein they disabuse my usage (in deadpan voices, “that’s not ironic,” they say, on their way to other topics). My further confession, George, is that I wrote that bit with an eye toward Caryl reading it, as we had many laughs in Durham over our combined predilection to use the word “gals” with evil glee.

  69. It’s a well-known fact that most of the dolphin population was offended by America’s love affair with Flipper. In the 1960s, they began defecting to our various enemies, but during this decade, recruited, no doubt, by huge infusions of Beijing’s money, thousands of dolphins have enlisted in the Chinese Navy. Over Easter, squadrons of jet fighters were scrambled from Langley and Pope Air Force bases to monitor a suspicious pod of dolphins reportedly taking photos of U.S. Navy ships docked in Norfolk, Va.

  70. Folks, the dolphins were never our friends!

  71. See, Haven? I never knew…just like you said…we must LIKE being lied to. The truth comes out about dolphins now? Seriously, do you think anyone thinks ONE word of say, People Magazine, is true? Well, maybe the prepositions.

  72. Okay, George and all, apropos the above topic of “what makes gals happy,” I just received THIS serendipitous link in my inbox:

    WARNING: It is a parody and it’s foreign (I’m not even sure what country of origin) and the last 5 seconds are a little risque.

  73. Has anyone seen the “Ugly Cat”? I for one, think he’s fabulous. 🙂

  74. Your right about people Haven, this is a conversation I just had with someone I went to high school with who asked to be my “friend” about a month ago.


    this was her status message along with a blurb from Fox News:

    Cathy —— Miss California is not backing down from the answer regarding gay marriage she gave on Sunday night’s Miss USA telecast! Good for her!!

    Dee Cox at 6:41pm April 21
    Why exactly is it good for her?

    Her negative opinion obviously ruined her chances, as she states, but how will gays marrying honestly affect her life in any way?

    Cathy —–
    Because she stood up for her beliefs and didn’t back down to the politics of the pageant.

    Yeah but how does that make her world, or the world of people around her, better?

    Cathy —
    Because it made me and my husband feel good.

    Dee Cox at 7:12pm April 21
    That makes me very curious?

    Why would it make you feel good that people who love and respect each other cannot legally be a couple and gain the same type of benefits as you and your husband?

    I just don’t get why it makes you so happy?

    Cathy _____ at 7:14pm April 21
    That’s all I got to say about that!

    Dee Cox at 7:18pm April 21
    The conversation always stops about the same place.

    …..then she promptly “unfriended” me.

  75. Buh bye, Cathy.

  76. yeah buhbye. Who needs her, any way? 🙂

  77. Not you, Dee. Find some open-minded folks from high school.

    I’m sorry, but does the invocation of the word “gals” remind anyone else of Sarah Palin?

  78. dudes, being part of this might have rescued me from cranky hell.

    no matter how many times I was forwarded the Susan Boyle link – I NEVER FELL FOR IT. She looked too much like Ms Trunchable in Matilda. I was verily afeared. I still don’t know what ya’all are talking about and that makes me verily happy that I saved my 7-8 minutes of time.

    I was on YouTube watching “Black Tape for a Blue Girl” “Kate Bush” and “Midge Ure” videos.

    that was worth every minute . . .

    since 5 pm I have been to Home depot twice and Lowe’s once . . . trying to find replacement blinds for my bedroom because CLAIRE decided to use the silk drapes as a mount climbing rope, thus bending the curtain rod AND breaking a bunch of the wooden blinds . . . arg! I really, really, really don’t have time for this today . . . we are considering black paint to block out the light, it has to be cheaper, also – who knew that 36 plus 36 equals 72? I didn’t. Obviously.

    Dolphins are huge motherfoes! I swam with 3 in the wild . . . and they are BIG, and loud

    I love them, but I got bejesus scared. but they are my totem.

  79. Also LIZ – a girl after mine own heart . . . typing with the non-lavender fingers…..

    slays me

  80. don came home, I started to cry, went upstairs to take a nap . . . turned off the light for 3 minutes, then popped up and we did a home improvement run together.

    he now understands why I am headachy, cranky and overwhelmed. It was a good thing.

  81. Linda – I gave my closet to my husband when he moved in.

    what? what?

    i am in utter shock, this is something I have never heard of before.

    My sister showed me her ‘closet’ (being generous) one time and I said “where are your clothes” and she said “that’s all I have” . . .

    I said, “we are not pioneers, you need more than a day dress, a church dress, and a nightgown”

  82. What, Haven called me a prostitute? I am such a good friend I didn’t hear it. The ways you can use me are endless.
    SHanna, you cannot say gals without being ironic, can you? Not in California.

  83. Caryl!

  84. A man asked a woman if she would sleep with him for a million dollars.

    she said yes.

    He asked if she would do it for a thousand dollars.

    she said no.

    He said, in reality you are a whore, but in theory you are a millionaire.

  85. I don’t know what that means, it just came to mind out of the prostitute comment.

    I think I would sleep with somebody for a million dollars. Guess that makes me a prostitute.

    I do it for free now . . . what does that make me?

  86. Oh Sher, we never really do it for free, do we? Maybe in highschool but not after that..

  87. Ok, so I am glad that I am not the only person in the world who is hell bent on being a crank-ass ho today.

    Blah blah all this crap at school.
    Blah blah all this crap at home.


    My 20th birthday was 9/11/01. So on my 21st birthday (which was a few weeks after Rob broke up with me for the first time) I refused to watch any TV except National Geographic and WHAT WAS ON BUT A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT DOLPHINS.

  88. ME: Dolphins! Yay! Happiness!!!!!


  89. Woman to Dorothy Parker: Use the word horticulture in a sentence.

    Dorothy: You can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make her think.


  90. BUT, I did just have dinner with Amber, and that made me feel human again.

    Yay, Amber!

  91. Goodnight, darling Babies. Here’s hoping tomorrow is infinitely better than today was. 🙂

  92. Proof that… sometimes… the world still contains its fair share of truth, beauty, and goodness.

  93. People swim with dolphins on purpose, wearing little swimsuits. The people, that is. Why not just walk naked through a RAPE COLONY?

  94. I streaked as a boy scout does that count ?
    well I could have gotten raped.

    I wonder if I lived in a swiming pool if I could train a Dolphin to get me a rum and coke. They dont scare me from the boat but the bitch better make a good rum and coke and have a great disposition of I would run away like the pink frilly dress runner.

    Love you it looked like a wonderful time in NC

  95. Again I say, it’s just the kittens…they lure you in with their fuzzy wide eyed cuteness and then,
    Don’t I eat dolphins accidentally in certain made for wal-mart tuna fish cans?

  96. Naw Brenda I believe thats carp.

    24 hours can make a huge difference blog ladies.

  97. MWAHAHAHAHA…thanks Michael T. for the it’s good night Kitty for me, too.
    LOL, Brenda

  98. good night Brenda
    I will be here for a bit if anyone is around

  99. Good grief people I have a PHONE. 98 comments!

    I just want nothing but good things for Susan Boyle, she can sing, and she’s so EARNEST.

    Also, I have nothing to add. For once I don’t feel cranky.

  100. First – I’m cranky that I missed this post earlier today.

    Madonna is an ass, and even though I blog about celebrities on occassion, (I still have Barbie tunrs 50 on the blog!) I won’t waste my time with her. She grew up near me. And she is an ass with her fake contrived and weasly Brittish Accent. I did enjoy reading all her nasty secrets in the books her brother wrote last year.

  101. Madonna who?

  102. And, I’m purging my cranky list here so that i can sleep good:

    1. Three ER visits within six months.

    2. Anoop always picking the wrong song choices.

    3. Having so few groceries I was forced to make mac & cheese w/bacon bits. I mean, crap, I don’t even have butter in the house.

    4. After six telephone calls to the Mayo Clinic, I finally got my 14 pages of paperwork to fill out, and tomorrow I have to pack, sort 700 pages of medical records, copy them, type up a doctor and medicine list and update my symptom list. Then someone’s husband was trying to get them to go to AAA for maps, too. I don’t friggin think so buddy.

    5. After having no advanced notice that I need my immunizations records for Mayo, today I visited one health department and called three others. Each visit or call began this way, I swear to god “Hello, my name is —-, I’m going to Mayo Clinic Thursday, and I just found out that my mom has no idea where she took me, if she took me, to get my shots as a child. You see, she is an unmedicated bipolar, and I’m not even sure if I’ve even been immunized. Can you please help me on the phone, and not force me to drive an hour when I’m on short term disability for my polyneuropathy and I can’t drive?” Then I had to come home and dig through every old box to see if it was maybe in there, and it wasn’t.

    So, needless to say, this big bitch is cranky. I love being a total nutty crazy bitch. I will say anything to people, I am not afraid of shocking or horrifying them. I’m tired, in pain, and getting too old to worry about people’s feelings. Plus they made me stop drinking caffeine, and i’ve been cheating, and the back and forth is killing me.

    I found something from my time as a camp counselor for emotionally impaired boys called the Sunshine card, and my fellow staffers said this about me:

    “You do seem like you couldn’t say a mean thing to anybody.”

    “I’ve never felt that you are critical or judgmental.”

    Tell me, what has happened to that girl? What a joke, and to think, I found this card @ 8:00 pm tonight. I love when things just happen like that.

  103. I won Camper of the Week at Church Camp for memorizing the most bible verses . . . then look how I turned out?

    I totally give it for free . . . I harrass Don to give it to me for free . . . lord, now I don’t know if I am a prostitute . . . although I told Don if he would get me a Diet Coke, I would give him a little special surprise . . . and, I meant it.

  104. Haven – I love you have a cranky side. You’d fit right in with my crazy ass real life friends. Even my hubby onced introduced me to his co-worker as “This is Amy, she’s cool, she hates people like we do!” LOL, even though I love people and volunteer, I still do hate people from time to time.

    I’m very sad I was scared of you and missed most of what you were saying because I was too nervous to go sit next to you. So stupid, what were you going to do, smack me? And yes, its crazy how great everyone is. I love that I didn’t hate anyone on the trip.

    I had a boyfriend in college who was going to be a shark brain surgeon. STG. Two classes shy of his masters he switched to being a stockbroker. We still talk, shall I get some dolphine dirt from him?

  105. What, WHAT is a shark brain surgeon? I have to know NOW!

  106. Sher – I always won for reciting the bible verses. Hee hee …

  107. No, I meant to write the books of the bible. I can still say the first 25 or so.

    Wait, I forgot to say I love the whole prostitute thing. Caryl, can you come move to Michigan? I need you on a daily basis.

  108. Plus, also, in addition, I am outta step today. I cannot be cranky (though I will save all your rant talking points up there, Haven, for tomorrow when my feet touch ground). Something really really good just happened, and Sher will know exactly what I am talking about.

  109. GiGi I am so sorry they don’t automatically appoint personal assistants for those going through the kinda crap you’ve had to to prepare for the Clinic. It’s ain’t right.

  110. Carrie – His dad is like the smartest man in the world. President of the Developmental Neuro-Psycho-Biologists Association or something. A shark brain surgeon is part researcher, part biologist, part zoologist, part scientist, part professor, part author. He had the market cornered. My hubby still tells me I should have married him, lol!!!!

  111. Damn. No time to get bored, there.

  112. Carrie – Oh, I have mad skills in organization and task mastering. Two things I can say that I’m better than anyone else in the world – Waitress & Planning/Researching/Organizing anything. Well, maybe not either in the conditions I’m in, but my BFF keeps trying to get me back into grad school to be a librarian. But we can’t afford it, and i’m doing things like dumping a whole pan of cooked noodles into a sink without the strainer in it, so i’m sticking to being an unpaid blogger who mistypes everything and a civil servant. (Thus the cover up as to my true identity. Afraid of THE MAN!)

  113. Carrie -Congrats on the good!

  114. Wait, I forgot to say Haven I wish you were on Facebook if only to take this quiz on old Rolling Stone Covers. It was so hard, and I bet you’d get all of them right. I need you to someday do a music blog post when you have time, say like nine months from now. Pretty please?

  115. I would just love a music blog one of my favorite lines is

    “he shot me once but I shot him twice”

    A present for the one who knows the name of that one

  116. Thank you. It’s really quite spooky. I am beyond over the moon. Somewhere out beyond Pluto.

  117. Bang Bang? S&C?

  118. That is a stones song. Too tired to guess what and I don;t want to cheat and google it. Tell me so I can go to bed.

  119. Bug needs a present for that horticulture quote.

  120. Bug needs a persent for being Bug


  121. ok my Michigan sister its from a Stones song called

    Hand of Fate

  122. OH MY HEAVENS. Here is a video of a baby evangelist. He can’t actually speak. You’ll either be filled with terror or will pee on your sofa. I must add that O. went through a phase of something similar, but while standing on his little climber in the backyard, and the only preacher he’d ever seen was Martin Luther King — one DVD Kat and I watched on King’s birthday — and it stuck. O. preached to the trees and the grass and was altogether more civilized, but it’s still an odd coincidence.

  123. GiGi, once you are past letting the sink strainer serve as colander, you could always hire on. A dear friend at the design firm I worked at in NYC went to school for librarying and they paid for her schooling. So few are spontaneously choosing the field, it might be a possible way in. It sounds like it would be your perfect profession.

  124. My speakers have all of a sudden gone MIA. Still, that baby has the moves DOWN.

  125. I just pissed myself what the hell was that a baby evangelist or a hitler youth in training I am really laughing my ass off

  126. Gigi, I wasn’t even cranky while you were here! It doesn’t happen often but whoa, when it does. And I too had repeat all childhood immunizations, but at some point in college. PLEASANT.

    Michael T — CROWN.

    Carrie, whatever your good news is, no one deserves it more.

  127. OMG I JUST SAW THAT. Oh freak of all freaks…and everyone was PRAISING THE LORD because he hath anointed another one!

    I FINALLY Remembered to watch Madonna and Angelina on SNL.

    “I got a baby from Russia. It’s a baby…inside a baby…inside a baby!”

  128. Carrie- Trust me, my BFF is a colleege professor, and knows how sad I am that i’m not working in a school. I was actually told by WSU basically its almost impossible to get a job her in MI with that degree. We have an almost 13% unemployment rate. I don’t even use my degree now.

  129. Haven – Yeah, I’m already scared of getting the Spinal Tap. Now i have to get shots, too. Ahhh!


    that scared the CRAP out of me. not helped by all the people praising jesus in the background.


  131. Makes ya wonder about that kids future.

  132. Ok, that baby is way cooler than any of those Gosselins kids. He has mad acting skills.

  133. The thing that I find so terrifying is his cadence…that is what “the good news” sounds like? Those horrible squawks?

  134. I might squawk too if I was in that enviroment.

  135. All I know is that I’m tired. Why am I still online? Help me …

  136. It is indeed KateCake. That cadence I guarantee you were learned from the preachers on stage with him. 🙂 I had a friend back in crazy conservative days who had one voice when speaking to people and an entirely different voice when “preaching.” He actually took classes on it at Bob Jones U.

  137. but girl from the ghetto your right the kid has a movie career ahead of him if he can escape

  138. Clouds you are on the money. That’s what I meant exactly. It makes me want to hide under the pews (which, let’s face it, are the COOLEST PLACE to do some commando crawls anyway.)

  139. Amanda – the only time, I mean only time I ever called my mother in tears, begging to come home was when I was locked inside Bob Jones University (my high school went there for a basketball/cheerleading tournament), they confiscated my Pepsi can at the dining hall, they locked me in, and I had to wear a hat to church . . . oh, I am getting claustrophobia right now . . .

    my sister and her then fiance got kicked out of Bob Jones Univ. for having #($ in a bathroom . . . it was shameful . . . they were shunned in the Fundie Baptisty Shunning way

  140. ok one last one here is a poem you tell me who wrote it answer in 5 min

    even Eve in Eden
    voices tried deceiving
    with lies that showed the lady the way
    at first she stopped turned and tried to walk away
    man he was believer
    lady was deceiver
    so the story goes but you see
    that snake was he
    she just climbed right up his tree

  141. Sher – I like your sister already.

  142. One of my dearest friends went to Bob Jones for a year…it boggles my mind to this day. He says he got a great education, even when he was called on the carpet for interpreting the dress code to mean he could wear a pea green leisure suit to class.

  143. and that kid reminds me of the evangelicals in training at Pensacola Christian College (where my little sister went) . . . they stood on the street corners with their bibles yelling in that manner at passersby . . . yikeso . . . too close to home…..

  144. GiGi . . . yes, but the bathroom . . . I much prefered utilizing the church nursery

  145. Sher, HOLY CRAP. Where did you go to high school?!?! I used to go to BJU for various “tournaments.” It is indeed one of the scariest places in America.

  146. I went to Hope (less) christian school in Danville IL . . . it was frightful and damaged me for the rest of MY life, for sure

  147. Thank you, Haven, that’s incredibly kind. — I swear I’m not being all coy, it’s just not a done deal. (Though even if this scenario doesn’t pan out, one like it certainly will, as the motivations on behalf of my new landlords remain the same.) I think I may have found an answer to studio space, adjacent to my living space. Vented and plumbed (natural gas) and WINDOW SIZE to my specs, metal shop capability, and I get to pick the wall color, rugs, appliances, too, in the house itself. I can’t get over it. I only gave this over (to Spirit, or whatever you call that most excellent Intelligence) maybe a month ago.

    Damn, I wish my speakers were working!

  148. If you can believe it (obviously Sher can) Pensacola is more conservative than Bob Jones. Pensacola has a rule against what is fondly called “optical intercourse” in which members of the opposite sex may not hold a gaze for more than some-odd seconds.

  149. also, I had to go to the bill rice ranch for summer camp sometimes

  150. it was harder to find makeout spots there, for some reason . . . but the bus, at night . . .


  152. amanda – this is totally true!!! They also have boy and girl sidewalks.

  153. and girls cannot sit on the same mattress together . . .

  154. Optical intercourse??

    I have sinned with my eyes many times…many times indeed…

  155. now Pillsbury Baptist Bible college . . . there was some fun had there . . .

    And which one is in Chattanooga . . . yoozers, open campus there – very, very good time

  156. optical intercourse = foreplay in my house . . . we can’t even ‘tease’ each other much because the teenagers get grossed out

  157. when will these bible colleges ever figure out that dresses equal easy access . . . hello! a tight pair of jeans will slow you down anytime, anywhere

  158. Michael T, that LOOKS like the poetry belonging to the school of Aerosmith.

    I didn’t know preachers screamed like the baby. From now on I shall say, “He was the sort of preacher who did scream like the baby.”

  159. Something about spending your college years being told when to get up, when to go to bed, what radio station to listen to, what version of the Bible you are allowed to read, where to go to church, how to dress, what to read, ETC. ETC. ETC. makes me doubtful of a graduate’s ability to sustain any semblance of Real Life as an Adult. Half of my graduating class in high school went to Bob Jones afterward. As they find my on facebook I try to make sure my tattoo is visible in pics and that the “liberal” of my political status gets updated.

  160. and amanda, I now live about 20 miles away from the bill rice ranch . . . I am in conniptions every time I drive by it . . . all I can think of is that I was told that my culottes were ‘too narrow’

  161. I’ve seen many a preacher scream like a baby . . . and are much LESS sentient than any 2 year old!

    gads . . . my underworld is breaking through the surface tonight . . .

  162. I thought of something to be cranky about! Jarvis has to have a steel crown put on one of his back teeth. I looked in his mouth and poof! It just disintegrated!

  163. I went to bed, but now I’m back again – that child is SCARY. I sat in open-mouthed horror until 1:45 and then I laughed, in a terrified sort of way.

    Being homeschooled for a painful decade and a tenth, I had A-Beka textbooks and every year advertisements and pamphlets would arrive for Pensacola ….. Optical Intercouse. Dear Jesus.

  164. Optical intercourse ??? I have sinned with all the pics here I am not sorry ladies hehe ( well there were pics from NC after all.

    And I thought being Catholic was rough wow Bob Jones and I would have had a donney broke.

    happy for you Carrie !!!!

    Pillsbury Baptist Bible college ? I always thought is was quite sexual how the Pillsbury guy got poked in th stomach

    btw Steven Tyler from Areosmith is tonights poet

  165. If I were being stalked by fundies my political status would be “Satan.”

  166. amanda . . . you are deadon on that front . . . conformity, conformity . . . then they move to the workforce and conform there, and then to a church and conform there . . . hopefully, once they are married, they at least have some good sex . . . because, what is the point of it all if they don’t?

  167. Sher, I know people, from my past, who currently work at/are employed by the Bill Rice Ranch. If not for that I might suggest a little “accident” in the barn.

  168. I SLAMMED on that one, Michael T.

  169. Please see above comment for correct Aerosmith SLAM.

  170. I went to a homeschool convention last year and the ABEKA salesmen gave me major heebie jeebies. I felt bad, because it wasn’t that dudes fault he looked like a cross between Augustus Gloop and Tattoo from fantasy island, but the undertaker suit wasn’t helping.

  171. I am being stalked, yes – stalked – by some of my former schoolmates . . . it is terrifying, I have been getting witnessy letters in SNAIL mail for goodness sake . . .they are very concerned for my soul.

  172. yes you did Haven

    I must share at some point my time in salt lake city where I opened my door naked after the 4-5 times the mormons knocked ( got black listed thank you very much)

  173. Sher, you are one of the LAST people on earth whose soul I would be concerned about. I think you have that one in the bag, sweetheart.

  174. I employ the alternate method of asking them in for coffee, Michael T. (thx, btw!)

  175. Ha –

    isn’t it amazing that to me it is all rather Nazi-esque in memory . . .

    for years I couldn’t look at a bible or a cross without feeling constricted and judged . . . now I can see that they are separate issues . . . but the contradictory nature still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    I do understand that some people need to follow, that they have none of their own self-control, so they have to hand over the decision making to a higher power . . .

    but, jeez, where does that leave evolution?

  176. Sher,

    I’d take that as proof you’re doing something right.

  177. Kittery – yep! That is what I think, too

  178. calm as the owl glides. keine cranky huete.
    i’d like to think i am attracted to people for who they are. i get what you say about boyle. a set up for sure. but at the same time. it was a perfect bullseye for getting a talented person on the boob toob for to see. and it was an ENGLISH version so it follows that they are always having opera on regular tv. she is talented. but, right now, at this moment, i’m listening to alela diane. maybe tomorrow i’ll listen to jean-phillippe rameau

  179. I cannot remember where/what website I saw this, but recently it was something to the effect of, “my aunt sent me this Bible in the mail with a note saying ‘I know you’re not religious, but you might find this helpful.” and the person sent back a vibrator with a note saying “i know you’re not any fun, but you might find this helpful.”

    i paraphrase.

  180. Evolution? Sher, Mary and Jesus didn’t ride around on donkeys – they rode dinosaurs.

  181. nothing like a couple puffs at 17 and some S. Tyler

  182. I think I got black listed from the Mormon boys on their bicycles when I replied

    “I am spiritually opposed to organized religion”

    it worked.

  183. The last time I had Religious Visitors — years and years ago, I never see them in Durham, never — I invited them in, we sat down, and I said, “So, LET’S DO THIS.” And they panicked and dashed, poor things.

  184. OMG amanda – hysterical!

    I can’t even respond, I am so happy!

  185. Yet another reason to move to Durham. Summer around here is referred to as Mormon Season.

  186. Amanda Clouds!! HAH!

  187. Haven – that is smart! I’ve done the ‘let’s debate’ and it always ends up with “god said” . . . I’m going to hell . . . and I say “yep, and I am having a picnic and taking wine”

  188. also when I am told I am going to hell, I say, well, that is o.k., cause I’ve been there and survived it. What’s so scary?

  189. I think people who tell people they are going to hell are going to hell.

  190. I am an unbiblical good samaritan . . .

    one day I saw this little, bitty old lady walking down the highway and I stopped to offer her a ride . . . she was a Jehovah’s Witness and told me I was interferring with her Lord’s Work . . .

  191. Durham sounds like a good place for me I have scared enough fundie door knckers I really should retire

    btw is there a way I can connect my face book pic site to this one so you all can see me ?

  192. GRIS: I nearly added that I worried about how Boyle is no Renee Fleming, then realized Fleming is also beautiful, and I almost caught myself in a meta-argument no blog post can afford.

  193. I have this awesome picture Don took of me as I looked at a portrait of Savaranola in Florence . . . I am literally snarling at that man . . . it is one of my favorite images . . . me snarling at the man who convinced botticelli to burn his own artwork . . . I’d torch his ass if I could . . . I’d travel down there to poke at him in the flames . . .

  194. Michael T., you can post a link and other Facebookers can see it, I bet. OR you could put a photograph on the posse page.

    Sher: Anytime you’re being threatened, remember the animal kingdom. It’s not time for a debate, it’s time for a smack down.

  195. Fleming = very hot soprano opera singer

  196. don also reminded me that I once said this to some visiting church folk:

    “No f$(%*(^% way, what you are selling, I’m not buying” and that I slammed the door in their faces and turned off the porch light (they came after dark).

    I barely remember that . . .

  197. I went to the home page for the blog and could not find the posse page can a brother get a link ?

  198. Haven, I do believe I will cross-stitch myself a little sign that says that. Well, if I cross-stitched, I would.

  199. “if I could cross-stitch I would!!!” good one Carrie . . .
    after the 4th trip to the home improvement wards Don suggested I ‘make’ the blinds for our window . . . I

  200. Poor Don. Two steps forward, one step back.

  201. Now Haven, this is very applicable, because only now (at 41) am I beginning to realize that I am not the tiny little bunny being chased, but that I am more like the snarling lioness or some other vicious thing . . . I’ve always wanted to be “ricky ticky tan the mongoose”

  202. Oh, this week Don is so far ‘back’ he needs a walky-talkie.

  203. but he stills has an adorable ass and if you saw him in his ‘muscle’ shirt, oh my . . .

  204. Don really is a cutie.

  205. he is, he has no chance really, with me . . . . when i am cranky I chew people up and spit them out . . . they should just learn to stay clear . . . trying to help . . . he gets the opposite of ‘optical intercourse’ – it is more ‘eat shit and die’ laser eye

    somedays, even I feel sorry for Don

  206. Don has great taste in women, that’s all I need to know.

    Somebody give Michael T a link-boost! I have to search and search for that bookmark, I don’t know why. It vanishes somewhere in between the Catholic Encyclopedia Online and the Hebrew Dictionary.

  207. Michael T.:

  208. arg – I never talk bad about him – – – I apologize from the depths of my cranky ass (not too deep tonight, obviously).

    I should be bowing at his feet . . . perhaps I have early menopause today . . . just today

  209. thank god somebody else offered that because I can NEVER never find that group and I have even ‘favoritized’ it and it disappears

  210. I want those links. In my work, I quite frequently need to refer to something like the CEO and the HD. Lying. Just want ’em.

  211. michael t – I had to open a wordpress FREE account to upload an avatar (which I will have you know I switched to Pippi Longstocking today and it NEVER showed up)….

  212. Yay! Pippi Longstocking!!!!!

  213. Carrie is fantabulous! obviously, the heavens are raining molten skydrops on her soul

  214. Oh, dear Sher, that’s so… ow!! Hot! HOT!!!

  215. Here is a theory I am working on for a blog post – how all my childhood heroes have a common thread: Laura Ingalls, Pippi Longstocking, Holly Hobbie, Anne of Green Gables . . .

    and I think it is audacity. they had audacity to be individuals.

  216. thanks Carrie …. trying

  217. like laura wouldn’t say ‘obey’ in her wedding vows! neither did Elizabeth Cady Stanton . . .

    obey . . . I don’t think I would have been able to say that with a gun pointed at my head.


    rather die right there.

  218. Sher I cannot wait to read that…we essentially had all the same heros!!

  219. isn’t it amazing . . . that we are drawn to these independent revolutionary souls as children, but then we are beaten down emotionally and physically to break our spirits . . . blech.

    my girls are sassy, but they sure have their own spirit. and I teach them to stand up for themselves . . .

    today, Claire was using her Razor scooter like a hot wheels . . . she looked like a manic hells angel and I though – now that is something Zippy would do!

    Then I heard her . . . “Get out of my way, you stupid idiot”

    I claim innocence (not).

  220. of course, I do not condone road rage.

    but, some people should know that I know they are stupid.

  221. I can’t tell you how many times my kids tell me “Mom, don’t say stupid.”


  222. according to WordPress, I should appear as a Pippi . . . but, no

  223. I didn’t know ONE of those characters as a child, Sher, isn’t that odd?

    I kept my eye squarely on Ed Ames as Daniel Boone’s Faithful Indian Companion.

  224. Thanks Carrie !!

    I added a photo in a albulm called Michael T

  225. what is wrong with the word stupid?

    I once had a snotty three year old, Elizabeth Ann, I say in a snotty voice . . .

    “Lauren said a bad word, Lauren said stupid!”

    I said, “when, how did she say stupid”

    Elizabeth Ann, in a snotty-sing-songy voice”
    “she said, stupid ant, and stepped on it”

    I said, “well, there you go” and walked away.

  226. Carrie, I just chose a bookmark randomly. This is a Papal Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. Enjoy!

  227. Thanks Carrie !!

    I added a photo called Michael T in my albums michaelt

  228. “Ames a bow and arrow like a real Indian.”

    Jarvis has invented a game called “Mad, Bad, Indians” and I am hoping that watching “We Shall Remain” on PBS might give him some reference. I don’t want him insulting the Native American population, nor do I want to censor Peter Pan.

  229. Haven, that is odd!!!!!

    I also had other heroes/heroines: Daisy Duke, Isis – Mighty Isis, Wonderwoman, All the Charlie’s Angels, and Friday from Robinson Crusoe . . . but I liked me some saucy girls, too

  230. The opportunities Jarvis will have at his age for insulting Native Americans face-to-face, in Indiana, are tres tres small. I know: I looked for them everywhere. Peter Pan, however, is abundant and can’t be defeated.

  231. See, I don’t think stupid is a bad word, but kids are so black and white. If I tell them not to call each other stupid, then they think it’s in the realm of terrible wickedness. It’s so VERY bad that they are convinced that STUPID is the terrible word that Ralphie says in a Christmas Story when he drops the bolts that hold on the hubcap.

  232. Sorry, Carrie — forgot the Encyclical link:’

  233. Haven, my daddy says I should tell you that your mother is expecting a package, so she doesn’t freak out and not open it or something. I said that seemed unlikely, but he just shrugged his shoulders in a “on your own head be it” sort of way. So. If you speak to her, could you pretty please tell her she’s expecting a package? 🙂

  234. wonder woman kicked butt and Jaclyn Smith is my favorite actress of all time she is a very cool woman

  235. We have Native American Days at Angel Mounds. I want to take the kids, but it will require de-briefing.

  236. I’m sure I could think about the girl/hero thing more deeply, but off-hand I don’t think I really knew there was a difference between genders, not really.

  237. I certainly will tell her, Miss Kittery. How exciting!

  238. :: grins :: I hope she likes .. what’s in the box. 😉

  239. I was about to say something about renacting the scene from ” A man called Horse ”

    but its late

  240. kate, this is very subtle, how to train a young one not to demonize others. Of course, I fail constantly because I demonize idiot drivers all the time, it is the reason I do not carry a gun, because I would be shooting lots of lame ducks . . .

    here is a sample:

    one of the preachy idiots (there I go) said “the ball is now in your [my] court because I know what is right” . . .

    I refuse to play tennis. which probably comes across very condescending? but, why waste my breathe and energy. I’m not running around thumping my art work, shoving it in peoples faces, saying “believe like me or you will go someplace really bad for eternity”

    whatever happened to ‘if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything’?

  241. Lois Lane. That’s my hero. She’s a journalist, she dates Superman AND Clark Kent, and she has saucy black hair and great suits.

  242. Michael T –

    A Man Called Horse . . .the hook dangling scene . . .


  243. This sounds vaguely familiar … hook dangling .. might that be where giant fish hooks are thrust under the man’s skin and chest muscles and …. yeah?

  244. my grandfather took me to it when it came out in the theaters I am 46 now and it is still in my head

  245. we would stand on my step-dad’s abandoned truck bed topper, dangling from ropes hanging in the tree (looped around our armpits) and try to bend backwards to be the dude hanging from the hooks . . . and we would grimace, but never yell

  246. that’s it kittery – I think that is where Chriss Angel got his ‘mind freak’ from

  247. chris could not hang with that only Richard Harris and maybe Clint Eastwood hehe

  248. Gaahhh. There’s a scene like that in The Last King of Scotland. I nearly threw up. I think it’s the premeditated cruelty of it, I dunno.
    In other words, I’m a wuss and I can’t take it. (Never seen this Man Called Horse movie, so it’s possible I have no idea what I’m talking about..)

  249. One of my old friends from high school does this for funsies now. Hook-hanging, I mean.

  250. “One of my old friends from high school does this for funsies now. Hook-hanging, I mean.”


  251. well, if it is a rite of passage and the participant is willing, that is different, somehow, from enforced torture.

    my step-brother is helping shut down Guantanimo Bay site right now . . . he is totally depressed, he was pretty good after Afghanistan, but GiMo is keeping his spirits, bad.

  252. Oy.

  253. I’m just trying to participate in the conversation! I never saw either movie.

  254. yep, that is the adrenaline seeking . . . endorphin addicted activity . . . bungee jumping is too tale now.

  255. Kate – anything you have to offer will beat my pitiful acronyms and one word sentences. 😉

  256. too taMe now . . . lords, i promised Don I would try to get some sleep tonight

  257. A lot of people do a pierced/hanging ritual. It can go okay and it can go veerrrry wrong. I used to follow the blog of someone who was PRECISELY that sort of person, and she did horrific nerve damage to one arm and hand.

  258. It’s hard to sleep…I have been craving some time with the BB and time to work…

  259. while I tend to get ‘hooked’ on sharp items, it is never ‘on purpose’ or ‘for fun’ – but nerve damage – oh, yeah!

  260. Thanks so much, Haven — before, when you left it out, I was thinking, I’ll have to call a Catholic Church and ask for pre-Vatican II.

  261. Hah. How is your poor thumb these days?

  262. lauren asked for snakebites recently (I think she was testing me, those are the piercings at the corners of your mouth, or at ‘fang’ location) . . .

    my reply “no”

    hers “ok”

  263. The forked tongues are what really give me the spooks.

  264. Exactly Sher, I have branded my hand on accident far too many times to seek out any kind of ritual scarring. And my leg bruises? Very “heroin-chic” (boy, someday I am going to pull that one out and really date myself. And I would NEVER date myself. Too needy.)

  265. Carrie — hahahahahaaa!!!!

    Today he sent me an e-mail saying he would be out of town until Friday, at a pastor’s something or other. I wrote back that I’d tried to come up with an “How odd! I’m currently at a Quaker minister’s conference, except I’m the only one here and I’m not making a sound,” but it was all too obvious.

  266. thumb, post crochet hook, is fine, but I have gray spots under the thumb nail . . . but it doesn’t hurt!

  267. At least she didn’t ask for this…

  268. Tiger Man…now HE makes me want to cry.

    Carrie…nice one.

  269. Kittery, that could BE the person whose blog I used to follow. It became too disturbing, even for the WEALTH of information on the human condition it provided.

  270. oh my

  271. The only piercing I ever wanted was a librette. And I’m awfully glad I didn’t go there…I like my gum tissue right where it is.

  272. The information on the human condition … was any of it NOT nightmare inducing?

  273. Disturbing at 11 years old and trying not to freak in front of grandpa

  274. Haven…YES…I know how that feels. On one hand, this is life, this is truth, this is what people are doing AND on the other hand…why subject myself to this?

  275. we have gone so far in our ‘shock’ culture . . . it used to be scandalous to show your ankle . . .

    there is nothing left to ‘show’ anymore

  276. How about the gauged earrings? The ones you could drive a truck through? Have they SEEN what it looks like when they take the piercing out? It’s like someone shot a cannonball through Dumbo’s ear.


  278. Okay, EWW.

    And Haven, if you and your brother were ever doing the Liturgical Humor tour, I’d fly to Minsk to be there. He’s heartstoppingly witty. It appears to be genetic.

  279. body modification . . . beauty is in the eye of the beholder

    I keep wanting to time travel back to Rubenesque times so I could be the siren and not the ‘she would be so pretty if she wasn’t chunky’ lady

  280. every time I think about what we call disturbing or ’shock’ culture I think about some of the shocking things people delt with 100 years ago and before

    TV / movies are one thing but at least we have penicillin

  281. A break from the gross stuff ~

    Carrie? I don’t believe I’ve thanked you for my bead. I got the light purple-white swirly one, with black on the top and bottom. It’s BEAUTIFUL. Far, far from fugly.

    Thank you. 🙂

  282. i don’t want to be no big fat meatball

  283. I’m trying to find a truly horrifying picture of a guy with pierced cheeks…they are literally holes the size of grapefruit.

  284. Kate, how does he eat?

  285. Haven et al

    I was driving around with a friend the other day and we went by house which had lots of ‘yard decor’ as in the wooden cut outs of ladies bending over, gnomes, plastic things . . . you get the picture, plastic fences 8 inches high and, we think, plastic tulips, and she said

    “where do they think we live, Indiana?”

    and I about wrecked the car

  286. *SNORT* Hahahaha Sher…and I am with you…I am a pasty vision of Reubenesque dough…

  287. All I can see in the early ones are my mistakes, Kittery — so I’m so glad you like it!

    A good friend of my ex’s did the piercing ceremony. He was Native American and was immersed in native spirituality. No nerve damage, but horrific doesn’t begin to describe it. He had some visions, though.

  288. Kittery…I…don’t…know.

  289. Kate – 150 years ago – we would have devote fans and men writing poetry for us . . . see, I think it is a movement against volumptiousness . . . that is now a ‘bad’ thing . . . not fair, not fair

  290. It’s good it went to a home where it’s appreciated then, Carrie.. 😉

    Kind of like this blog, actually.

  291. Eh, that’s ok. I can only handle one man at a time anyway.

  292. I get visions without the hook hanging . . . I think it is from sleep deprivation though . . . and it happens during the day . . .

    perhaps I should be worried?

  293. pasty visions are from northern Michigan like bees on honey

    goodnight ladies the The Sirens of Titan by Vonnegut is calling me

    just love MT

  294. Vonnegut / / / I would ditch us, too, michael t

  295. I had visions, too, from a little thing called “natural childbirth.”

  296. ‘Night Michael T …

    Sher — worry? Hmmm…do you get creative push from your visions?

  297. But your version, Haven? — anyone would have visions.

  298. Exactly H, who needs body piercing? I pushed a 10 pound human OUT OF MY VAGINA. I’d like to know what gauge that area of my body is now.

  299. I recall all your labor pain for all 3 packed into a compact 45 minutes, no?

  300. Sher, that is THE funniest thing I’ve heard in — ever. Good lord.

    Kittery, I followed this blog for years, and I watched a person go through fascinating evolutions publicly. Not one of them made any sense to me, personally — in my interior. But if I ever needed to draw a very specific character from southern California who elevated “sex work” not only to art, but to the Transcendent, I’d know how. And yes, it was all disturbing but not because of the S&M. There was a huge past narrative never revealed but hinted at; phenomenal family cruelty, that sort of thing. It was very like reading an unreliable narrator, only this person chose what to reveal and what to hide.

  301. I bow to the Ladies of Precipitous Labor (sounds like a convent.) You don’t know pain until it happens not just very hard but VERY FAST.

  302. humm, usually I feel the need to sit down when the walls start disappearing and my hand goes through them . . . this happens and I think . . . oh, now what, what am I supposed to do with this?

    Definately, nothing is solid in my life, certainly not the walls. Outside, I feel a little safer, not much earthquakyness going on.

    childbirth = head banging on the bars of the hospital beds . . . ugh,

  303. Exactly, Carrie, the longest 45 minutes of sentient existence. Had the total been any longer I would no longer be able to speak English. I would be the Screaming Baby Preacher Tuxedo baby.

  304. Now might not be the best time to talk about my birthgasm.

  305. Kate, that’s rarely recognized, but it is much worse in some ways. It’s sort of like being on a horse with a lung-crushing gait, and that would be bad enough. And then it bolts, and good luck hanging on. Also watch that tree branc — too late.

  306. Kate! I have heard rumours of that elusive experience . . . but NOT ME, and the drugs I tried to use on the last fiasco DIDN’t Work!

  307. it is funny when the comments get all tangled up in sequence . . .

  308. Sher, you know I routinely stay up working so long the taxidermy starts to move? I don’t even bother getting nervous — I just tell it to knock it off, and conclude it may be time to hang up my typing hat.

  309. out of sequence

    mush for brain

  310. Haven – yes, also I feel ‘good’ when the words or images I am working on start to ‘dance’ . . . but it could also be the fact that we forget to eat or pee and isn’t that what all those nuts are doing, starving and fasting and walking in the desert for visions . . . they should just work all night , 3 days in a row and they will be dreamtiming their asses off

  311. Haven, that’s what I have heard. I have met a few ladies who have experienced that…my midwife actually woke up from a nap and discovered her son was crowning (her second labor lasted 15 minutes, I believe that was her third) and everyone last one confirms what you just said.

  312. I know! I thought for a brief moment Haven was saying a birthgasm is rarely recognized, and much worse in some ways. And I was so intrigued to know in which ways. Then I said, DOH.

  313. Yes, Carrie – that is how that read . . . funny!

    I am so ‘not into sex’ while giving birth. I can tell you – it is the FURTHEST thing from my mind . . .

  314. Sher, it only happened the one time, with Jarvis, and woo-boy that was STRANGE. I will never forget it. I finally understood what it means to “hurt so good.” But alas, with the other two it was just “GET THIS THING THE HELL OUT OF ME.”

  315. The ability to be clear, concise and articulate has left me. 😦

    Haven, you said that family cruelty was hinted at in her past, do you think some people can’t let go of that history in a way? I don’t mean like forgetting things ever happened or pretending they had a pristine childhood, but .. being masochistic because it’s familiar? Only they’re in charge? And that’s why they do it? Or am I over-simplifying things way too much?

  316. Oh definitely…and I don’t think of it as sexual…it was just a very crazy, pleasurable feeling that took my breath away right as he moved down the birth canal. I was shocked by it.

  317. however, I always made Don my deposit stud for the weeks prior, because my midwife told me sperm softened the cervix . . . then I would make him stay awake during the long labours, because if I had to be awake, shouldn’t he?

  318. That whole birthgasm thing gets my hackles up, I don’t care if it’s true (ha! that I would say such a thing! but I really don’t). I’d like to go teach their children politically incorrect jokes about minorities, leave them with THAT mess. Try to add some sort of pleasure to an event we ought to get MEDALS for surviving? My ass.

  319. Kittery…that is what I want to know…I’ve never known a person to indulge in that sort of thing who wasn’t disturbed, and much of it related to the family…

  320. Kate, I knew a woman who described her labor in the same way. She did the whole thing with hypnosis as her only “drug.”

  321. dylan’s birth was so easy . . . I napped between contracts, then pushed twice, NO MEDS and I was like “what is the big freaking deal” . . . I was punished and tortured for that thought with the girls’ births . . .

  322. Well ex-cuuuuse me! It’s not my fault! I wasn’t trying for it! And I personally think they are stupid too, but then I go and HAVE ONE.

  323. snorting . . .

  324. My dad was a hypno-baby in 1955…how often did THAT happen I wonder??

  325. Kittery: That’s exactly what interested me. What I was able to discern (it took a long, long time) was that she had been so completely ostracized by her entire family of origin that they had written her out of photo albums, etc. But I couldn’t tell if it was connected to the life she was living or preceded it — just that she had been marginalized so thoroughly she treated the margins as if they were the center. There was no acknowledgment of all the rest of the continent and its mores. No Minnesota, no Oregon, no New England, no south — just southern California on the far far edge of its ownself. Amazing.

  326. I personally believe each woman should be allowed to squeeze her husband’s testacles with every contraction, then wrap their penises over their head when the babies are crowning.

  327. No Kate, no! I can’t hear you I can’t hear you Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse!

  328. I dunno. She swore she had no pain. A reasonable sister of a reasonable friend. I did have a passing thought that there might be some propaganda lurking, however.

  329. See Sher??? Jarvis’s birth would have been that easy for me too if I hadn’t insisted on a really asinine pushing position. And yes, my entire pregnancy with Alice has to be penance for some sin, oh my LORD. Sickness, horrible pain, infections, all ending with a 36 hour labor and the hugest baby I have ever seen outside of

  330. We have to ask, Kate…

  331. wait – what about disassociation? do they go ‘out of body’ which is its own kind of ‘high’ while engaging in self-torture?

    same thing with girls and guys that do self-cutting, they talk about releasing the pain/pressure . . . almost like popping a blister . . . you know it isn’t ‘good’ for you, but you are compelled to do it?

  332. How big was Alice?

  333. Haven, I think you need to accept JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR (said in squawky baby preacher voice.)

    Even with my so-called birthgasm, and the hot water, and the breathing, YES, birth is excruciating. But so is a gall bladder attack. I’ve had both. One of them gets you a cute baby, the other one gets you diarrhea and vomiting for hours.

  334. Wow.
    Was part of it recognition, then?
    Even if her own family wrote her off, there would still be people noticing her .. ?

  335. are birthing daughters more difficult than birthing sons?

  336. Alice was 1 oz shy of 10 pounds, a full pound and half bigger than Linus, she looked like a PIGLET. I saw them toweling her off and said GOOD LORD, that is a TODDLER.

    Even my midwife, an expert in the field who has delivered thousands of babies, said when her head came out “That’s a big baby!” OH THANK YOU JUST WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR.

    She had shoulder dystocia, but we got her out quickly thanks to my entourage.

  337. They might be, Sher .. my mother has horror stories about me and my sister (mine is totally better though) and I can’t recall any about either of my brothers..

  338. do women REALLY forget that pain? I don’t . . . let me tell you. All these women that immediately want another baby. the experienced major brain damage. part of my fear with being pregnant with Claire was that I had to do that again, almost on purpose. talk about self-torture.

  339. “I personally believe each woman should be allowed to squeeze her husband’s testacles with every contraction, then wrap their penises over their head when the babies are crowning.”

    Sher et al…. I came back while waiting for my soup to warm before Vonnegut I do hope the penis can be soft during the “wrapping”


  340. honking . . . sorry Michael T. . . we are doing labour war stories now . . . you should be afeared!

  341. My poor mother was in labor two days with me, “36 of it hard!” She never forgot it.

  342. Between Sher and MT’s comments, I’m cackling like a chalk-pooping hyena over here…very unbecoming. 😛

  343. MICHAEL T!!!! HAH!!!

    I can forget the pain long enough to want another baby, but no, I pretty much remember exactly how I felt. And I look at my beautiful, curly haired moppet who today ran around the house on all fours, naked save for her easter shoes, screaming “MONKEY! OOH OOH!” and yes, I’d do it again and again.

  344. Sher: NO.

    Kittery: She was often hurt, humiliated, degraded — and that was the point, it was her role. Except she couldn’t maintain it; she’d post things about how was sick of the way the person who held her leash ignored her or whatever. And she didn’t start out with a chain around her throat, in the beginning she was much more of a free-spirited Burning Man type who just happened to be naked a lot. And after a few years the downward spiral sped up very very quickly. There was no farther down to go, as far as I could tell.

  345. I try not to speak of “it/them” [the bad labours]

    we were watching a movie one time with a woman giving birth and Claire said

    “that makes my vagina hurt”

    and I said


  346. Good Lord, Kate. I never heard of an infant that large.

  347. Did anyone read Linus’s questionaire on facebook? One question was “What is your mom not very good at?” and he said “I think pushing out babies because you scream alot.”

  348. a friend had an 11 lb 2 oz baby . . .she got her tubes tied before she left the hospital. that is twice as big as any of my babies.


    cross legs REALLY tight.

  349. he wore 6 mos. baby clothes on the way home.

  350. Carrie, they can come bigger, but not too often.

  351. Here’s the problem with getting all of one’s news from online publications: the front page includes stories about the PIRATE (I’m looking for that one) as well as world events, and also every single outlet put the real news right beside the pretend battle over the Miss USA hoo-ha, and there’s no way to ignore it. I end up knowing far more than I wish.

  352. kate – I remember that now that you said – his was/were my favorite answers. he’s a hoot

  353. Exact quote from Linus “Growing babies because you always scream because it hurts you.”

  354. Yes, I’m trying to change the subject because I remain traumatized.

  355. Out of questions … that’s just sad.

  356. ” I end up knowing far more than I wish.”

    Haven me too

  357. I ignore everything . . . have my homepage down to all art news and the world stuff is all at the bottom, and I refuse to scroll down . . .

    did you know Leonard Cohen is exhibiting his art in Canada and he is on tour singing again? that is news.

    the ‘news’ has no ‘news’ anymore.

  358. night for real now

    Kurt Take me to our place

  359. Miss USA’s Hoo-ha?

  360. It was sad, Kittery. One day I read her post for the day and thought, “Enough.” I never thought I was exploiting her. If anything, she kept a blog because she needed some sort of witness. But it was never going to be okay, she was never going to be okay.

  361. Ohhh, yes. Miss USA. I love that one of their hobbies is “Armadillo watching”.

  362. You need people to sort through all the junk who’ll then pass on all the shiny stuff. Or maybe an RSS feed. Damn editors who can’t tell the difference between the real news and the pretend news.

  363. Michael T, Vonnegut is the answer! Whatever the question, I forget. Still the answer!

  364. pageants. they also make me afeared

  365. BBC news . . . if I watch anything, that is it.

  366. I personally enjoy getting my ‘current events’ here

  367. Do you think people can get better? That they can recover? I ask because I wonder if some of my family members are ever going to be able to dig out from the tunnel they’re in (through absolutely no fault of their own).

  368. When you guys find out, let me know. That’s my eternal question.

  369. Kittery, wow. You’re looking at Sher and Haven, both awake at an ungodly hour, both still trying to figure that one out.

  370. Kittery –

    I wonder if there isn’t some intangible spark of resilience. Because i don’t know where that faultline is – will you become an eternal and self-fulfilling victim, or will you become a triumphant victor?

    This is why I am in awe of augusten, because why did he not attempt suicide given his biography as a child. I did, thrice. I was really bad at it.

    Now this 11 year old that just committed suicide by hanging himself in his closet? Psychologists like to say that the human mind doesn’t even consider ‘suicide’ until mid-teens.


    an escape is an escape.

    but, I don’t know if I will ever know the answer to your question. at some point, though – even if the past isn’t ‘their own fault’ they should become self-determining of their own future.

  371. Kittery – this is the crux of my work for sure. I’m still searching.

  372. I have to take my kids to an Earth Day thingy tomorrow during my “nap time.” I should SO not be awake.

  373. No matter what, change has to bring more advantages than remaining where one is stuck, and I know countless people who are perfectly adaptive — as long as their adaptations keep them stuck.

  374. NO ONE should be awake, except for me. I shouldn’t drag the rest of you into Mobile Taxidermy Land.

  375. If I could shave off a sliver of resilience, I would pass it around.

    Amber, Molly and I had a deep conversation about this exact issue in Durham (before the slumber party).

    A lot has to do with the abusive tolerance level. I have a high tolerance for pain. It is what I was trained for emotionally, physically, and sexually. but I do not seek that out in my adult, self-determined life.

    Why did I go this way, and S&M girl went South, self-seeking pain?

    One thing we decided is that each person has their own ‘breaking’ point . . . it might be ‘nothing’ to one person, but devastating to another.

    Your cross to bear might seem like just a splinter to me – but the damage can be equal? if that makes any sense . . .

  376. Hmm.. good points .. all of which I can only think of ‘hmm’ or ‘yeah’ to respond with..

    Open Question – my sister is having her sixth kid soon, and my mother was telling me another ‘sister story’ and I said, “I hope when the kid comes out, her uterus comes out too”. My mother looked at me, scandalized and told me that was wrong and that I was being judgmental.
    I disagree.
    However, if I’m being a bitch, I would rather hear it from people I respect than my mother (who has a warped, warped favoritism is the wrong word, but close enough).

  377. OMG – Haven, we must make you a MOBILE out of your small taxidermy. It will save you space and you can blame any ‘movement’ on air currents!

  378. It does! That’s what I was thinking and didn’t have the brain cells to write down!

    Also – I’m very glad you didn’t off yourself. I would miss you, and so would a lot of other people. ❤

  379. Kittery, I don’t want to hear “nice day” from someone I don’t respect, so I’m the WRONG one to ask.

  380. Oh, 1am-5am has always gotten such a bad rap for godliness. To my mind, it’s sacred time. I ask the hard questions! I get the hard answers!

    You know, I wonder about that, too — where the fault line is. A fear of finding out how bad it really was by admitting the story you tell yourself about how the world is is just a lie you tell yourself so you can get up in the morning, walk through the day, go to sleep at night? There has to be an element of real courage in resilience. And I wonder if a native intelligence is a factor?

  381. Or not even intelligence: curiosity? Questiness?

  382. Kittery, you are still very close to your ‘growing up’ time, it takes a while to disengage from caring what anyone else thinks of you . . . emotional independence takes time to develop, and it takes lots of practice.

    sometimes, seeing clearly is a curse, because you can’t share the truth with others. they can’t see it. they have different eyes and they filter their worldviews through those smeared souls of theirs, so it is all distorted for them.

    they can’t see.
    no matter how you explain and point it out to them. they are incapable of seeing. they are blind to the truth.

    but, it is hard not to try.

    I had to have Haven confirm to me once, that I wasn’t the insane person . . . that meant a lot to me.

    I’m telling you, you AREN’T the insane one.

  383. Kittery, next time just tell us. Your mom can’t appreciate your humor, obviously.

  384. Carrie, I was trying to find a way to say you have to be willing to educate yourself, without sounding as if I meant intellectually. Whatever the broken area — that’s where you have to learn as much as you can about why and how to fix it. From what I understand, rehab is intensely educational about addiction. Maybe the problem is a personality-disordered parent, or violence, anything, but there’s a way to gain wisdom from people who have walked the road before you.

  385. Yes Sher! My mom calls it “Following the light that they have.” She is always urging me to show grace to those people who see things as you put it “Through their smeared soul” and I confess, I find it difficult.

  386. Curiosity and questiness make everything in life better, Carrie, I think. If you can endure being surrounded by a world of the uncurious, that is.

  387. “World of the Uncurious” was the name of my first band.

  388. I truly don’t care what my mother thinks of me. I just .. want to make sure I’m not becoming some critical, sanctimonious cow.. 🙂

    And thank you for telling me I’m not insane. It helps. :: hugs ::

  389. Carrie/haven . . .good points.

    hum, I still don’t know what resilience is, except for me:

    at some point I decided/ nay, I recognized, that I could go . . . down there.


    I could start climbing the hill, keep going even if I slid down, pulled my boots out of the mud, or just went on barefoot . . . but I kept grasping

    now, I found myself on top of the plateau, i never thought I would make it hear, soul-wise. but I am.

    I was cranky today, but I am really happy with my life and what I am and who I am becoming.

  390. brilliant band name . . . wow, I would by that music . . .

    Michaelangelo’s best trait: curiosity. he was dying at 92 and said – “I have only begun to learn”


  391. Note: I have never been in a band.

  392. My challenge these days is


    to truly wait with a quiet heart.

  393. Kate – I totally fell for that! still brilliant, patent it! or copyright it, or whatever!

  394. My first band was called Baby Evangelists of Deutschland. We met on an archery course.

  395. which leg are you pulling . . . whether real or unreal on this plane – I love it!

  396. Sher, here’s a way to make lots of people irritated: be curious, and have HIGH STANDARDS. Oh lord.

  397. so true!!! that KILLS them. they get their granny panties in a WAD!

    so we can have imaginary bands with our imaginary friends?!

  398. don says I am too impatient to be patient.

    damn it.

  399. Well, whatever you do DON’T PRAY for patience. Because God will make sure you GET SOME. In a variety of unpleasant ways. This according to my granny.

  400. ok . . . I will believe your granny.

    perhaps this one of those things which appears to be a negative, but in reality, the drive/audacity/ pugnacity (word?) is a gift! a benefit! it gets me there!

  401. I think I am going to go to sleep while the Baby Evangelists of Deutschland (my spell check wants to change this to Deuteronomy) are doing their sound check. I mean really, who can top THAT?

    G’night, chiclets.

  402. I want to go back to “Grannie’s Panties” – it was so heavenly and I didn’t buy enough Lucite balls . . . oh my,

  403. Night, Kate. I love the idea of never praying for patience. I can see the trap in that maneuver, for sure.

  404. Oh weird…my sister in law started a new wordpress blog and she is using THIS EXACT template. I don’t know if I can read it now…

  405. perhaps I will sleep through Earth Day after putting claire on the bus . . . hum,

  406. And those are the people I’m always attracted to. This can’t possibly be why I’m so often irritated. Oh yes — now I remember: it’s living in the World of the Uncurious.

  407. KAte – that is so WRONG on so many levels . . . it is like polly pockets trying to wear Pippi Longstocking’s ensemble!

  408. Ooh Grannie’s Panties!!!! How I miss thee!

  409. Yes Carrie, we are revolving in an opposite orbit most days (from the uncurious), but when we wizz by one of us on the our own spirit-orbit . . . it is like surging with the best!

  410. We are spirits…in the material world…

    Ok I promise I am going to bed. Really.

  411. Carrie, Uncuriosity is general over the land.

  412. We must write an “Ode to Grannie’s panties”

    How I miss thee, and thy sediment.
    How I mourn the lasting orbs of light,
    How I yearn for thy colorful flotsam and jetsam . . .

  413. And yet, somehow, they/we elected Obama!!!!

  414. How I yearn for the brooch that I did not buy(t)

  415. ha! good one . . .there was a teal boudior chair that I didn’t buy, it was only $40 and I forgot to go fetch it . . . I am lamenting that loss as it would so exactly be nice in my bathroom . . . it was very 50’s 60’s . . . wah, wah, wah

  416. My poor husband is dreaming about work…he just said “Hold on…let’s see…we’ll put this in the translator.”

    Yes, he is a voyager on the Starship Enterprise.

  417. LOL!

  418. ‘nite, Kate.

    Haven, to your post above: I didn’t realize you were talking about addiction, and believe me, I’ve been collecting, for their comfort and insight, the random bits of light you have been strewing tonight…I was awoken at 3am last night with this particular problem coming to a head. So oh dear God I hope so (that they can get wisdom from those…), this time. They’ve both been through rehab before, they know the why and the how to fix it, she in particular knows things about the inner workings of Spirit that leave me slackjawed when I see how stuck they are, now. But the start: it’s been the “how to begin” (or rather, stop) that is the sticking point. It’s been a getting ready to quit, going to quit soon, going to, going to… two of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known, who know everything about addiction, and still in this corner. The hardest thing is sitting with the fact that there is NOTHING I can do. Except just say I love you. Which I guess is not nothing.

  419. I did not see that!

    Oh I am a liar, liar pants on fire. I need to sleep.

  420. Children, do continue without me. In fact, solve many problems in my absence. I must return to the chapter I’m working on, but thank you for the lovely respite — I can’t believe how much I miss during such times.


  421. Carrie…it’s not nothing…and I don’t envy your position, but I hope you can rest in that. I hope your love works in this situation.

  422. Carrie – the best thing to do is let them take that all important first step alone.

    but it sucks being nearby.

    you are being very brave . . .

    i need to go nigh nigh . . . I am in spasms of tiredness (my body, not the room).

    It has been so long since we had our virtual slumber parties, glad to be back for the fun, silliness, and the spiritual depths we reach.

  423. Kate, thank you. I hope so, too (and they’ve got that love coming from all directions, so I can hope freely). Sleep sweet.

  424. oh, my – we all said good night almost simultaneously (while I was in the potty) . . .

    Carrie – I want details . . . when you have time. or if you have already, will be email checking in the morrow

  425. can you believe the morning birds will have to deal with 424 comments? poor souls.

  426. This ole worl’ is nuthin’ but a schoolroom, right? I don’t feel so much brave as impatient with myself when I realize I’m wanting people to fix their shit because I want them here and safe, instead of just acknowledging their need to learn what they need to learn, in their own way, and for their own evolution. But, thank you anyway. — Spasms not good. Sleep the rest of the righteous, you’ve earned it! — Details a-winging. You will laugh out loud.

  427. Godspeed on the Book, Haven — can’t believe I’d forgotten just how much uplift you give — the lasting sort, and so freely! xoxo

  428. There were 77 comments when I went to bed last night… and 427 when I woke up. I’m going to be doing a lot of catching up tonight.

  429. Oh, damn.

    Michael T and Carrie have effectively taken the cranky wind out of my snappy-ass sail.

    Thank you. *sniffle.

    I love you guys too.

  430. I sure wish I could have hung out with Haven and Augusten. Maybe one day. I loved looking at the pictures though.

    Too bad & so sad I missed the birthing chat last night while laying on the sofa last night NOT sleeping. Too tired to get up the stair case these days. 5 weeks to go, and i sure hope I don’t have a big baby, but considering the extra 70lbs on my used to be size 4 body, I am getting SCARED.

  431. AmandaClouds–you da devil!

    “and the person sent back a vibrator with a note saying “i know you’re not any fun, but you might find this helpful.””

    YOU try explaining to your 11/12 year olds why you just sprayed Coke out of your nose…

    I really, really almost peed myself laughing.

  432. You late night chatters kill me!

  433. So I caught up on all 8,657,984 posts and forgive me, but I’m about to spew. 😦 Here goes:

    Ok. I want to revisit the discussion Sher, Amber and I had because Amber and I rehashed a bit of it last night at dinner, and then you all talked about it indirectly all night.

    Sher said something about finally just accepting that her body has its own clock and she’s just going to follow it.

    I WANT that freedom. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to get it. Haven’s friend Katherine wrote a great blog the other day about how so many people are drowning in a foot of water and all they need to do is stand up. I feel like this is a great sentiment, and I want to stand up, I do, but I just can’t. I don’t know how, and when I do try, something happens (a foot in the back, maybe?) that presses me right back down in the muck.

    And it’s waking up and realizing that I’ve missed important conversations with people I really respect and hold dear that wings home the idea that I don’t think I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing. I don’t think I love my job anymore; I’m not sure if this is because I’m not obeying my vows of “good times and bad ” and hanging in there with the new administration or if it’s something more. I had an angel reading done before moving back to GA and the reader said to me, “You won’t be teaching in a classroom…soon. You’ll still be educating…but I don’t see it in a school.” Though I HUGELY respect the person who gave me this reading, I scoffed. How could I do anything but teach? But now…I want to do more than what I can see I’m actually accomplishing.

    Addiction comes in so many forms: I’m addicted to paying my bills and the security of having insurance. I’m addicted to having a good credit score (well, probably passable at this point). To use some more symbolism, I really feel like my back’s to the wall, and the only way out is praying (and having the prayer work) the floor rots out beneath me. Of course, once that happens, I hit rock bottom, and I’m afraid of that too.

    Wow. This could be why I’m feeling cranky. I’m a fricking nutcase. Mail me some Xanax please.

  434. Molly my love, I have no advice. However, I do have … :: hugs :: ❤

  435. Oh, and you’re not a nutcase.

  436. Oh my god. I just remembered one of my dreams last night … jumping off tall buildings to commit suicide. Over and over and over again. How great/terrifying it must be on the way down, feeling the lights “go out” at impact .. the mess afterwards .. what would compel a person to do that on and on.
    Good grief.
    What’s wrong with dreams about fluffy bunnies and rainbows?

  437. Thanks, Kittery. I feel better saying it “out loud.” Doesn’t change anything, of course, but it shifts the load a bit.


    Your family’s f-ing crazy, and don’t think for a moment that you haven’t started the process of NOT being crazy. You recognize where they’ve wronged you, one another, the new children they’re bringing into the world. And that’s a big step.

    You’re not crazy either. Fluffy bunny and rainbow dreams are for pansies. Not real people. 🙂 *hugs*

  438. Molly, that was great and touching to read, and I related to it strongly. I feel like my family and I are in the process of re-inventing right now, and it’s frightening, but ultimately good. I hope you find your peace, and go for the gusto, and all that. You are awesome!

  439. You guys were like a gathering of angels last night — loving each other, making each other laugh, causing each other to think. Knowing that, gives me a lot of comfort. It’s a difficult thing to describe. But I sleep so much easier if I can rely on the notion, that somewhere, people are caring for one another.

  440. I am sure my employers would be thrilled to know that they just paid me to spend my entire morning catching up on the posts!

  441. Yep. I know what you mean. Keeping things to yourself, well, stuff can fester and seem insurmountable. Said, ’tis what it ’tis, and you go from there.

    Shanksh love. 🙂
    But pansies are pretty flowers! 😛

  442. Amy, is there a better way to spend your time?

  443. My kids are working on oral presentations–they have to employ any manner of propaganda to make us buy their products. It’s hysterical.

    It’s also a great cover. I get to look like I’m working at my desk while they work at theirs.

  444. Kate, you are a light in the dark. So’s Kittery. And George too.

  445. Hahaha. What kind of stuff are they selling?

    A light in the dark? Why thank you. Mostly, I just feel rather dim. 😉

  446. I didn’t mean to insult any of you by calling you angels, for you are all too earthy to be angels. You are profane and funny and oh-so-smart, and gorgeous, and so ironic as to discuss how many of you could be found dancing upon the head of a pen.

    Yes, a pen, not a pin.

    FOR YOU, BUG: When I fly anywhere, I am always intrigued when the plane suddenly banks left or right or when we climb or shed altitude. Those movements assure one of my deepest beliefs — that nothing in life, trip-taking, flight, mountain-climbing, sailing, golf or human relationships — is linear by mass, volume, speed, or direction.

    The other thing is most of the stuff I worry about most either: 1. NEVER HAPPENS or 2. DOESN’T REALLY MATTER EVEN IF DOES HAPPEN.

    The other thing is what I seldom or never worry about: 1. USUALLY HAPPENS. Which means, I walk around surprised and even astounded often and curious about what’s next.

    The other thing is that most of the really smart people in the history of people usually identify courage as the greatest of human virtues. When you consider that, bear in mind that courage IS NOT the absence of fear.

    Now, go ye forth Lightning Bug.

  447. Coming late to this post as usual ; ) My spam filter keeps blocking even though I continually say “add to safe senders list”.. I want to add my cranky thoughts even though that was WAY back at the beginning. I’m cranky because:
    Caption on a photo in this week’s Raleigh News and Observer read ” there will be over 3000 clothes.” Do they not have proof readers at this newspaper??!!!!
    Also, I can’t stand Simon Cowell and his smary, smirking face. He makes me ill. I’d like to cast him as Snidley Whiplash. If he and Madonna had a child it would be the anti-christ for sure.
    Furthermore, I’m cranky because I’m looking for a job and I keep going to these networking events where I’m accosted by (well meaning???) people who want me to sell Mary Kay, Shaklee, Nu-Skin, Pre-paid Legal Services, etc. I think I should come up with a new entity – KayShakSkinLegal – We do your make-up, sell you vitamins, fix your skin and cover your legal expenses all for one low, low price of…….. What do you blog babies think?? Will it sell? Maybe I should include taxidermy?

  448. Terri – Oh, I love Simon. He is so real to me. I like mean people as much as I like nice people if that makes sense. As for the new job thing, my doctor MADE ME stop looking. I started blogging and I feel better about it. I’m just happy to have a job, and its sad that I’m not using a degree.

    Bug, you are so not a nut. And there are many ways to be a teacher, which is I’ve always wanted to be, and so I do it in small weird ways.

    Amy In Ohio – Don’t forget to mention your time talking about Motley Crew! I often wonder what people did for fun at work back in the 80s? Coke? Booze? What was office life like before the internet? I have no idea …

    Kittery – I was raised by a family so crazy that I fear my brother is a serial killer in training. My mom’s bipolar. I had mice try to sleep in bed with me, and I existed on welfare cheese, wonder bread and coco pebbles. I open admit that I’m crazy, which frees me to act a little goofy and silly, and I’m one of the most sane and functional people I know, because I have the freedom of laughing at my past, talking openly about my issues, and letting (Well most) people know exactly how I feel. I was a scared girl when I was your age. All I know is time heals all wounds. And that I never want to be normal.

  449. No shit, what did people do at work? Also, how anyone ever planned a wedding without the internet and email is completely beyond me. Seriously, this wedding planning is slowly driving me to the edge.
    Speaking of which..I did the dreaded phone call to the fiance’s mom last night ( I do those calls while I am driving so I have an ending point-“I must go, I just got home and I have to feed the dogs.” Also, this way I don’t pace, because when I talk on the phone I am so anxious that I pace like a caged animal.)So we talked and it was fine. However, I realized that she thinks I am nuts. And not just about the wedding stuff ,but about life in general. I was raised so completely different from the way she raised her boys and like GfromG says, I think if I survived all that I did, then yes, by all means, I am going to be fucking strange if I feel like it.

  450. George darling, “angel” is hardly an insult.

    Amy, I think “normal” and “healthy” are used interchangeably, and they shouldn’t be.

  451. Amy – Wht was the dreaded phone call? My own sweet and miniature-sized Italian mother in-law who is in her 70s can’t understand my disease so she just told me Tuesday “Oh, so you have nothing?” I love her dearly, but she … oh, boy, yeah …

  452. Yeah, have I mentioned my my sickness includes neurological stuff? I’m sorry I can’t spell/type anything correct anymore.

  453. No one is normal and what is normal anyway? Who gets to decide that? I think you are all fabulous. Our histories are our own and they make us what we are today.

    I read this on this morning and I thought it was such a good reminder. Sometimes the only thing we really need to do it breath. This is for you, Molly Bug:

    “Gracious God, at my beginning, you breathed into me the breath of life, so that I would become a living soul. I offer you my thanks for continuing to sustain me, day by day, with that breath of life. Help me remember how precious a gift it is, and give me an awareness and attentiveness to my breath throughout the day. Keep me from being so distracted with life’s activities that I forget the one activity that makes all the others possible. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.”

  454. Sher and Kate…
    I can go to Everything But Grannies Panties to see if the missed items are still there and mail them to you if you yearn for them in the physical sense rather than the dreamlike longing that connects you to memory…

  455. :: sings :: Nora is made of maaaagiiiic.

  456. The whole Susan Boyle has had me in an uproar since it first started airing. I’m so sick of the judges being portrayed as hero’s because they’re now apologizing. Even Larry King asked her if she was going to get a makeover…WTF? How rude is that? And what kind of people continue to watch a program where the judges say things like “that voice came out of THAT?” What the hell is missing from their lives that they live vicariously through people who diminish others? Probably the same people who always smile and nothing ever gets to them ( the world cult also comes to mind here)

    I’m always in the crankyzone I think…oh well…the world needs a certain amount of sarcasm to point out it’s foibles…we can’t all have sunshine and sparkles coming out of our asses can we? 😉

    I’m jealous, jealous, jealous of any who got to attend and meet you and Augusten. I live in a hick town in west central ohio…your basic BFE…

  457. Nora/Cheryl, you are a sweetie. If I didn’t have a bunch of dental bills I would take you up on it. I did VERY well at Granny’s Panties…I paid $20 for a dress, a purse, a Pillsbury Dough Boy and four pairs of earrings so I am satisfied. Thanks though!

  458. This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine…

  459. AmyO, they are so paying for the magnificent entire you, to which this blog contributes significantly, does it not? They don’t get to part you out.

  460. Carrie: didn’t realize you had good-good news. I hope for you that today it is good-good-good. I cannot think of a better person good-good-good show go to.

  461. Bug. What a beautiful, moving post. Michael T. is correct: you need a present for just being you. (Oh yes… that’s right — there is a present due you. Check your email.)

  462. George! You are too kind! Haven’t heard yet, but the situation is such that if not this, then the next … it just might be a month later. I will have studio space of my own soon, and I am over the MOON!

  463. About 973,000 posts ago, there was some conversation was life-altering books…I’ve been chewing on that for several days, considering the very first book that really nailed me. When I consider how many books I have read over the nearly half-century I have been able to read, it was difficult to isolate individual ones.


    It is this one: Angel Unaware by Dale Evans (wife of Roy Rogers.) I bet I read this book in 1960 or 61. So I would have been eight or nine.

    The book was about the short life of their Down syndrome daughter. At the time I read it, I probably didn’t understand a tenth of it. What got through to me was the emotion that the words conveyed and that was such a quantum leap for a young reader. I remember feeling so sorry about that little girl and so angry about what had happened to her.

    I remember being really sad that the little girl was never on her parents’ tv show — unlike Annette or Gidget.

    Weird? Anyway, that’s my first memory of books that started messing with me.

    It’s been that way ever since with damn near everything I read.

  464. About 4000 people gathered in Augusta today to discuss the bill that would legalize gay marriage. It went on for twelve hours, ending almost an hour ago.
    I wanna know how it went….

  465. Oh man, I missed so much.

    Carrie – congratulations on your good news. I absolutely love the bead I got, and I was creating plans to part Molly, Kittery, and Maureen from theirs. I talked myself out of following through.

    Bug – I too loved the horticulture quote. Gosh, it just sounds so familiar, like I’ve heard it before. Like twice a semester? Lol.

  466. Amber–like any time the real word “horticulture” get used? There I am, with Dorothy Parker, just stalking opportunity…

    Also, I can’t thank everyone enough for the outpouring of love. Thank you. Thank you X a gagillion billion.

    A gagillion billion IS TOO a real number.

  467. Nuh uh

  468. Yuh huh!

  469. Ha! George and your 973,000 posts… that’s perfect!

  470. Linda–that was beautiful. Thank you.

    George. I go forth with a torch you lit.

    Carrie, I SO emailed you back. 🙂 You’re so…great. I just don’t think their are words for how awesome you are…and hell yeah–you deserve your good news!!! Woot!!!

    Kate, grrr. I sang that damn song ALL FRICKIN’ afternoon. lol. Until I got out my iPod after school and started listening to The Killers.

    Oh, The Killers. I owe another huge thank you to SARAH who is a SAINT.

  471. HEY!!!

    This is a surprise I’ve been waiting to share with you all for quite some time!

  472. 😀
    Tell your mommy she’s awesome.

  473. That was lovely Molly the Bug…
    You human women are all really cute, but oh those lemurs!

  474. amazing Bug and Bug’s Mum . . . can you give her a hug from me?

    “the end” – that is perfect. everybody go see bug’s video

  475. sherrill – hum, I will consider this idea of an extra trip to Grannie’s Panties . . . the boudiour chair would be too big for shipping . . . I will be in Cashiers, NC the last week of July . . . I am planning at least 1 day to visit Grannie’s Panties and the Scrap Exchange and perhaps lunch with all the Durham local blog babies and blog master? I’ll let you know.

    I am drowning in ‘to do’s’ right now . . . I spent today tracking down 400 hundred dollars worth of art supplies which had been erroneously delivered to my old house while I was in Durham . . . that fiasco took almost every second of today, but I found them!!!!

    I am through layer a) clutter and can now get to layer b) dust and grime . . . considering using the maid service for that layer . . .

    but Don insists that is what the teenagers are for . . . while see, I don’t like overseeing teenagers cleaning . . .

    I wish you all could be here with me Saturday . . . it makes me sad.

    haven and the angels last night cured my crankyass. but I had the blog hangover all day!

  476. I am so glad you liked it. 🙂 My mom’s been working on pretty much since Amber and I came home from Durham.

    I am going to bed now, but I just wanted to say one last time how cool it is that you are all so wonderful and supportive and just fabulous.

    Love you!

  477. Thanks Bug. Now I’m a really cranky camper for having to miss the great Blog Babies get together! Yeesh! Sounds like it was a lot of fun.

    And am I to understand that there was swag involved?!?!? Crankiness level increasing!

    Missed everyone. I’ve been checking in from time to time. Long story. Short version is that I went into hibernation. Darkness descended and pharmaceuticals were involved. Attention span at a all time low. Kinda like a goldfish in a bowl.

    Love to you all.

    (But still jealous that you got to see both Haven and Augusten on stage together!)


  478. Haven,

    It’s good to hear from you.
    Who’s Susan Boyle?

  479. Molly, I am seriously considering “Mr. Brightside” for my ringtone, except I am worried that songs for ringtones are passe. Are they?

  480. Jim,

    Here’s the thing. A few weeks ago I was sitting with friends listening to them talk, and as their conversation swirled around and overhead, I found myself suddenly still and praying for you by name. You, whom I know only through this blog, were on my heart, and I held you there before Love as quietly and purposefully as I knew to do.

    I won’t cheapen the sense of those moments with a glib, “And now I know why” (in light of what you’ve written above), but simply say: it’s good to hear from you.

    ~ S.

  481. Thanks Sarah. I’ll just say that I had a hard decision to make regarding the relationship I have with my mother. I’ve heard from her exactly one time in a year. The first time was in February and I counted at least three lies in a 10 minute conversation.

    The second part with her was a few weeks ago when my aunt, my mother’s youngest sister called and asked hom mother was doing. Turns out she was in the hospital that day getting her carotid arteries cleaned out. I debated if I should go see her or not since she was in a hospital only 10 minutes from me. A very smart woman I work with said to me “I don’t even know the woman and I don’t like her. If your mother wanted you there, she would have got the word out to you.”

    And just like that, the guilt was gone. I’m just done with being treated like that. Ask Haven. I’ve put up with a lot of crap over the years. And I think I have enough manure now to grow the best garden anyone has ever seen.

  482. Jim, you are a good man. It is SO hard to get past that sort of thing with family…but I am proud of you for doing it.

  483. :: hugs and hot chocolate for Jim ::

  484. Thanks KateCake. All this time I’ve withdrawn away from everyone (the nature of the beast) when the support I needed was right here all along.

    My nephew is getting married this Saturday. It’ll be interesting to see if she’ll be there.

  485. Oh Jim – I have been thinking of you, too – I am with in all minds and heart on this heaviness to do with family members.

    One brilliant friend once asked me – “when you speak of someone, you are either building them up, or tearing them down.”

    I got that on my own end but then I realized it worked in the reverse “Are they building me up, or are they tearing me down” – if the latter, then that is not a two-way relationship. Which means I then either hold up my “STOP” sign or “YIELD” sign.

    It was like being hit with a boulder . . . now I think, shall I STOP or shall I YIELD . . . just knowing that I am in charge of my own actions and not at their mercy, that was strengthening.

    It was a very courageous choice to remain inactive. that is big and I am very, very VERY proud of you.

    all my love to robbie and riley!


  486. “It will be interesting if she’ll be there” – that is the ticket, Jim Darling – consider it a day at the zoo, because she has locked herself in her own cage and tossed away the key. Enjoy the observation instead of being on exhibition!

  487. “Enjoy the observation instead of being on exhibition!”

    Good god, that’s genius, Sher.

  488. Babies, my body is weary so I need to go rejuvenate it with some sleep or at least with some horizontal quietness . . . will be thinking of you and SNAPS and FIREWORKS for Carrie, she has called for the Universe and it is at her command!

  489. Dear Lord! I do love all of you so much! And I really was cranky that I couldn’t make the Durham trip. (Though I probably would have embarrassed, or pissed myself meeting Augusten.)

  490. I can’t stay up either…but I wanted to say love to you all, and mucho good vibes to Carrie, whose fugliest beads were still grand little masterpieces.

  491. And I too should head off to bed. Sweet dreams everyone.

  492. Jim, I took care of pissing myself when I met Augusten . . . I blathered, I swear, and cried in line before going up and making an idiot of myself . . . get this, the line/page I had him sign was “my mother . . . couldn’t protect me” . . .

    he didn’t even blink an eye. he is hot. hot. hot, too! a boy in ripped blue jeans, cowboy boots, tshirt and an awesome jacket . . . yum!

  493. Jim, we could embarrass ourselves together…I am the Queen Bee of Making an Ass of Myself.

  494. And a jacket he swears was designed by a lesbian! I put my hand in that pocket. HAH! 😀

  495. there is also a sockmonkey/haven painting for you .. . I have your address somewhere . . . somewhere…


  496. you got your hand in his pocket . . . omg . . . I would die . . . I think I need to get Don one of those jackets AND a pair of cowboy boots – Yippee Ki Aye!

  497. Hahaha, Sher. He told me to. I willingly obliged. 😉

  498. oh, yeah – I would have obliged!

  499. seriously, good night, love you all dearly and more each day!

  500. Goodnight! *muah!

  501. Everyone send Sock some swag.

    Jim, I’m so sorry for your dark days. It’s hard doing time in the cellar, even if (especially if?) you are the one holding the keys. But the epiphany seems worth it: being in the hole is sometimes payment rendered for the blinding flash of clarity. Oh very glad to see you back, my friend. xoxoxox

    Sarah is a serious Intuitive.

    Also, thank you, thank you Amber and Kittery (Kit: Sanditon waiting at the library — thx!!) and Kate for saying such wonderful things about my infant attempts. And thank you Sher for the snaps and the fireworks! Like I told you, it makes me want to weep for the Grace of it all.

    Bug, you are adored and beloved and I’m going to make you something you’ll want to wear every day, I promise.

    It is now officially Linda’S one-year anniversary! (Linda, I am very glad you like your spring-green-new-beginnings earrings!) We could sing happy birthday OR the most excellent one-off verse of “Ode to Grannie’s Panties” authored last night by our own resident smithies Kate and Sher. Altogether now:

    How I miss thee, and thy sediment.
    How I mourn the lasting orbs of light,
    How I yearn for thy colorful flotsam and jetsam,
    How I yearn for the brooch that I did not buy(t).

    Alternatively, we could substitute any of the hits of World of the Uncurious or Baby Evangelists of Deutschland. We all know the words.

  502. Sine_30: rim shot!

  503. Hello everyone. I just had to mention something that made me very happy in the midst of my own personal cranky fest that has been going on since last Thursday.
    Tonight I met my Amy, as in our Amy who lives by me, for a hug and fantastic conversation, which involved me purging and Amy listening with her serene smile. And then Amy sharing and me trying not to interrupt because I wasn’t blessed with her grace. I love Amy and for all of you who didn’t get to meet her in Durham because of her jet-setting career, you missed out on something wonderful. I will force her to come next time.
    All of this after Shanna talked me off the ledge this morning, as only Shanna can do, and I am feeling blessed again for all of you and the friendship you have so graciously offered to me. I have had a hard time jumping back in after Durham, and I find that I miss you all. Sweet dreams to everyone and happy day tomorrow.

  504. jim shue! i too have been thinking of you. i’m glad to see you back. you held your own in the face of something tough. right on. what else? renee fleming is beautiful but then i find anyone with a beautiful voice beautiful. i cannot help it. to be able to sing well? it’s a gift i’d trade writing for in a hot second. what else? i can’t speak for anyone but myself but every time i’ve felt morally or physically superior to someone — including all celebrities — i have been bitch slapped by a force greater than i/me. it usually happens with extraordinary swiftness and in a surprising way that might easy to miss, if it didnt happen with such alarming frequency. and….my father went to bob jones university and met my mother there! it was illegal to hold hands, as i recall her telling me. i never saw the significance of them meeting at bob jones, but i am certain my mother has begun to sense the irony, like, about five seconds after i was born and about ten minutes after he began to run around with hookers. oh! and just when i get out a really good crack about someone like Madonna or The Media, I find myself in a worse mood than ever. it doesnt relieve the tension, as it is supposed to. it increases the tension. oh, and yes, i have also hallucinated while under the influence of creativity and i just think WOW. far out! i hallucinate while reading, i see words differently and it;s almost always perverse. i have no reading or eyesight disability, i have perversity ability. george, you are particularly funny on this thread. CROWN TO GEORGE. sher also had me laughing out loud three times at least. i LOVE cranky sher. as for cranky? my son can sense the cranky vibrations in me the way animals sense earthquakes, and his whole face tenses up and he backs away from me, which makes me feel like a monster, even though i am a good mom, MOSTLY. caryl, i am so glad you have both amy and shanna, it’s excellent, we all need someone to talk us off the ledge periodically. i WAS on the ledge when i lost my job and the house plummeted in value just as i was trying to sell it (still trying, but with much more lack of expectation, now) but then i stepped off the ledge (too narrow, too confining) and have been free falling since — oh, i;d say around september. it’s not nearly as bad as one would think, free falling. there is a marvelous feeling of surrender to it. i can almost recommend the free fall as a coping mechanism. that and, of course, fried chicken. biscuits. white chocolate. naps. but i have to say, my son has trained my eye toward something higher than myself and what i think of other people. he has set it on the horizon line. i try to keep my eyes on my own paper, as they said in school. just keep my eyes on the horizon line and my own paper/test that is so very clearly laid before me. oh god has made SURE i won;t miss this lesson. very, very sure. i have aced the cosmic pratfall so often as to be amused by the ground looking up at me. i have become well acquainted with the night, to quote the poet. and oh, the poets know a LOT. free falling and poetry go well together, they are the vodka martini of my life now: extra dry, with a twist.i honestly feel — and i say this without self pity or irony — that i became sober precisely so i could be 100% lucid on the way down, as i free fall toward what? foreclosure? obscurity? bone-crushing solitude/celibacy? what?? whatever i’m in for, i will be present. and you all will be here, making me laugh and have little epiphanies all over the place. thank you. you are so amazing. love, love, love. hope, hope, hope. Lights Out in California xoxoxoxo SFC

  505. Good sunny morning, babies!

    I love you Carrie!

    Molly- the video was so awesome. Perfecto. Hugs to your mom.

    Jim- you are doing the right thing. You have a beautiful family of your own and they are a reflection of the light and love in you. Focus on Robbie and Riley and all will be well. Love you!

    Sher- I am so looking forward to seeing you Saturday night. Can I bring anything?

    I felt horrible yesterday but this morning it is as if a veil has lifted. xoxo

  506. Morning, all,
    It’s been a rough re-entry after Durham and a week of vacation. I simultaneously went back to work and entered the monthly Bat Cave of the dreaded Sinu-Migraine-of-the-Month. I’m creeping out and need to catch up on the 367 comments since last I commented.
    I’ll comment on Cranky-ville Dairy Farm Style later today.

  507. I have been thinking about you, Maureen. Feel better!

  508. Linda, Linda …. Linda, Linda, Lin-DA-AA (Did anyone else see that quirky Japanese girl-band movie?)

    Many, many, many congratulations! This is one year today?! I don’t know if I told you, but my dad also became sober, while I was in college. It was a revolutionary change in my family and showed all of us kids just how bravely and profoundly a person can change.

  509. Linda – yourself is all that is reaquired for Saturday night . . . I’m making Italian beef, gnocchi, orso, nibbles, cheese trays, non-alcholic and alcholic beverages (two separate bars a non and an an)and bring someone if you want, or just yourself, Lauren is sad Sam is unavailable, but she wants to do the Steak and Shake thing SOON!

    Celebrate good times, come, we gonna celebrate . . .

  510. Linda’s sober smile . . . it is a thing to behind. It is full of light and goodness and JOY . . . I just love your smile, Linda.

  511. Love and congrats to Linda today.
    All my hugs and love to Jim Shue..parents are puzzling creatures, yes?
    Molly your mom is awesome. I adore the video. And seriously, how flippin sexy is Augusten? I love a man with tattoos. And he writes like a genius. Swoon…
    But the best part of the video????? Seeing Kittery’s face! You are lovely and it is great to know who I am talking ( typing:) to!!!!!

  512. Amy – Question for the font of insurance info:

    Let’s say a person owns a farm and one of the calves gets loose, and the calf — out of the 200 acres available for running through — decides to get through a small opening onto a pool deck and falls into the pool, ripping the liner and drowning, all during the one ten-minute period of time when no one is between the house and barn to see this happen and prevent it.

    Cost: $700 for the calf. $1000 to replace the liner.
    Could this be a claim on a farm insurance policy?

    Just asking …. hypothetical of course ….

  513. Linda, happy anniversary today. I am jealous of the fabulously fun time you will have with Sher. Gnocchi? I’m green with envy. And lol on Sam and Lauren doing the “Steak and Shake” thing. I’ve found that can only be done best at 2a.

    Maureen, you just have the most unusual situations. A few days ago you had your finger in a cow udder. Wow.

    And Molly’s mom’s video IS fabulous! The very best picture of Kittery was the very one she protested against. I took it anyway 🙂 I love the big group shots, and the end! And the lemur that looks like it wants to kill you is my favorite. He looks decidedly hungry.

  514. Linda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!! I know you got your earrings on!!! You are strong like bull! Tell Sam I said hi, and congrats to him too. He must be happy.

    Maureen. I’m so sorry. Your hypothetical situation totally blows. 😦

    Jim–families are so complicated, and I just don’t know why. Keep your chin up. That way Riley and Robbie can reach it easier, and chin kisses are excellent.

    Augusten IS sexy, and it breaks my heart the same way Neil Patrick Harris breaks my heart. Gay men. Sigh. But really? Gay people deserve a break SOMEWHERE, so I guess (DEEP SIGH) you can keep your unbelievably good looking talented peeps. I’ll just sit and be jealous here.

    Amber, you take some good pics!

  515. Thanks everyone. You all have helped keep me sober. I mean that sincerely.

    Maureen- insurance should damn straight cover that!

    I love seeing Kittery’s pretty face too. Kittery you are one of a kind!

    Sher- Sam will be at the Dave Mathews concert but hopefully Emma can come with me. She is headed down to Memphis as we speak for the Junior Classical League state competitions (Maureen!!) and she is supposed to get back around 4:30 on Saturday afternoon. I really want her to meet you and see your studio.

  516. Seriously, Molly- why are all the best men gay? Jim, why?

  517. Wow, thanks for the sympathy on the bizarro calf incident. That was the start of the bad farm week which seems to be trickling out …

    I just finally found and watched Blog Babies Gone Wild. What a happy, happy, happy thing that I shall bookmark and watch over and over. Molly Bug, thank your mom a zillion times for Gestalting that so perfectly!

  518. Mo,
    Shit! Okay, it depends on the farm policy you have. Our standard farm policy does not cover drowning for cows but if you have the added animal perils endorsement then it would be covered ( along with death by wild animals and shooting) In regards to the pool it will, again, depend on the policy you have. On our standard homeowners an animal falling into the pool and ripping the liner is not a covered peril. Just the standard wind, fire, lightning, etc. Let me know.

  519. Oh but wait Mo, I was assuming ( hypothetically of course:) that this was your pool! If it was a neighbor’s pool then under your liability, their pool would be covered. Same rules still apply to cow.

  520. A college friend once told me,

    “You know why parents can push your buttons? Because they’re the ones who installed them.”

    The person who’d told her that? Her own mother.

    ~ S.

    (Carrie, Hello Hurray, and someday could you please ‘splain to me how you get i-talics in your posts?)

  521. Thanks, Amy. I’ll call our agent and see what we’ve got for coverage on this.

    Hi Sarah! What an apt quote about parents.

    Hi everyone else! I’m still creeping around under the swooping bats of head pain, but I’ll catch up later.
    I hear students calling ……

  522. Sarah, I wrote that quote on the board.

  523. Oh Sarah, perfect quote.

  524. Simulataneous posting, Amber! I love it when you’re not at work. I think you should come spend the day with me.

  525. I’m a huge dork, but I sent it out on Twitter, lol

  526. I was going to ask you to update my facebook status! HA! We are true-blue dyed in the wool friends.

  527. Bug: Loved your Mom’s video…it was so cool seeing the camera pan on you gorgeous people.

    Linda: Awesome, awesome! A year of quit is one thing, but what I really admire is the self-knowledge, resoluteness, and guts it must have taken to get that first day of quit behind you. Simply put, I admire you.

    JimShue: About two weeks ago, I rambled over to your blog to see what you were up to. Isn’t that strange? I remember thinking: “Here is a man who has created a family.” I sure would like to meet you when I get back to Indianapolis.

    Sarah: Your posting about JimShue blew me away…not your obvious clairvoyance, but the notion of holding someone up to the love. I can barely get my mind around that, but I did dream about Durham last night. Go figure.

    Suzanne: It’s the same deal with me. I seem to end up munching down on every disparaging remark I make when it comes from a sense of my own superiority. I want to say this to you, however: Singer? Writer? Either way, the world is better for your voice. I’m nosing my way through Split again.

    Carrie: You are totally in the moment. I sense good things coming your way. Thanks for the tip about The Bear Comes Home. I am going to scout it out as soon as I finish another one by Alice Hoffman.

    Caryl: Every time I read a post here, my own crankiness level goes up because I so wanted to meet you in person…

    KateCake: You have been killing me with your cracks lately…I wish I had half your sense of humor.

    Sher: So, I see that hiring that maid service is beginning to look more palatable, eh? You’re going to have a great weekend.

  528. Maureen, that’s not students calling…

    That’s the sound of the cattle lowing as they begin to sense that you are taking out life insurance on them all. It moooooooooves them to greater sense of suspicion whenever you come near.

  529. Thank you, George. It is such an honor to know you.

  530. Pa Rum Pum. That was the drum roll at the end of George’s cow joke.

  531. KAte–I don’t think song-ring tones are passe! I have 2 In The Heights as ringtones currently! You should check out The Killers song “Human” and Dustland Fairytale.” 2 faves of mine right now.

  532. Linda…this is a poem that has been in my head for many years for times when I am suddenly lighter after darker, and it came to me today when thinking of you…

    i thank You God for most this amazing
    day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
    and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
    which is natural which is infinite which is yes

    (i who have died am alive again today,
    and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
    day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
    great happening illimitably earth)

    how should tasting touching hearing seeing
    breathing any-lifted from the no
    of all nothing-human merely being
    doubt unimaginable You?

    (now the ears of my ears awake and
    now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

    e.e. cummings

  533. I have now skimmed through everything above and feel more up-to-date.

    Molly, Kate, everyone – I think the theme of re-inventing is happening all over the place. Andy just called my in TEARS after hearing about that murder/suicide in Maryland. He said, “I just wanted to drive around town and pick you guys all up (me and the boys) and just bring you home and CHERISH you.”

    I am feeling the same, like I run around like a nutcase to provide for my family and nurture my students and keep myself a little sane and then I have NO time to actually CHERISH my family. I’m too tired and stressed to be PRESENT with them. How do you do that AND do what it takes economically to not face the stress of bills that can’t be paid? (I hear, you, Molly. It took us YEARS AND YEARS to reach the point where I can comfortably sit down and pay our bills. I do not want to go back to THAT).

    Zillions of little scenarios float through my head: homeschool the boys, quit my job, go back to farming part-time, sell it all and hit the open road with our pop-up camper.

    I think this economic situation is forcing so many people to re-invent and re-evaluate. So, so sad when the wall people run into causes a break-down and they do harm to others or self.

    George – Cow life insurance ….. good thought.
    I remember Angel Unaware by Dale Evans. My sister found it and read and re-read it as a teen and I read it too. I can’t remember much except the feeling it left me with.

    Whoa, dog, I’m getting kind of serious here. Let me end by joining in after the fact on the cranky-fest.

    I watched the Susan Boyle video and thought she was awesome, BUT I wanted to kick the crap out of that female judge, don’t even know her name. She sits there looking all beatific, all “Look at me, being so warm-hearted that I am CRYING that I appreciate the singing of this ugly woman. I am so beautiful AND so open-minded and kind and I practice noblesse oblige (beautesse oblige? the obligation of the beautiful to deign to admire the talent of the not beautiful?)”

    I would Susan over that b-tch in high heels ANY day. How much time and money and energy does she spend to look like that? Can she even CONCEIVE that some people just don’t care about how they look? That they find it a waste of both time and money and MORALITY to obsess over their own looks? It takes a major COMMITMENT to look like that judge looks, commitment to the glory of SELF.

    That was my I-conquered-bulimia speech. Sorry.

  534. Maureen, I just love you.

  535. Thanks, Bug. That got a tad rant-y. Apologies. I’ve calmed down now.

  536. Well, this is a safe place, and as Haven said, full of Good people. If you can’t rant here, where can you?

    I thought Andy’s reaction was wonderful. I hope you do get to have some extra time to cherish him and your boys.

  537. NoraB (Sherryl, whom I have met!)
    Thank you for that poem.

    It reminds me of my first encounter with e.e.cummings in seventh grade when I read “in just spring”

  538. Maureen, Maureen…you and your sister…please come adopt me as…I don’t know what. I just NEED YOU GUYS!

  539. Before I try to catch up with everything above, here is a bit from today’s news:

    The original 7-minute clip, perfectly edited and resembling a short film about the ultimate ugly duckling, has so far been viewed about 40 million times on YouTube and shows no sign of slowing down. Since then, it’s been Boyle-a-palooza even in the United States, where the show doesn’t air.

    The ever-savvy Cowell is ready to capitalize on the craze and sees gold dust in Boyle’s salt-and-pepper hair. “We will ship between three million and five million copies of a Susan Boyle album,” he told the New York Times this week.

  540. Gack! Gack! Gack! She better get EVERY PENNY!

  541. Maureen — I love that your husband responded the way he did to the tragedy in Maryland (all over the local news here in the Wash. DC area). The response was similar around here (though the scale was different, obviously) on September 11. Parents at my kids’ elementary school came straight from the Pentagon to the school to get their kids — some of them still smelled like smoke. Their reason without exception was, “I WILL be with my family now — try and stop me.”

  542. Linda — late responding, but Happy Anniversary!

    My mom quit drinking on my birthday, two years before she died. I treasure her “sober” coins: 1 day sober, 1 week sober, 1 month sober, etc. I have them all. I was so proud of her — and of you.

  543. Kate –
    Can I adopt you as a younger sister? I suffer from Perpetual-Kid-Sister Disorder(PKSD). I ALWAYS think everyone is older than me, or, more accurately, I always think I am younger – i.e. less wise and experienced – than everyone around me. I think this is the result of 18 years of my brother saying “Duh” and rolling his eyes in response to my every utterance.

    So having a younger sister would be good practice for me.

    Haven – are you up for air?

  544. I think the same thing too. And I am the oldest. Go figure. But yes, I would adore being your younger sister as long as Kathleen can play.

  545. Haven, if I were there I would force you to eat this sandwich I just made. It’s SO GOOD.

  546. Thank your for that wonderful poem, Sherryl.

  547. Maureen, like you, I was pretty young when I first read e.e.cummings, and don’t even know if he is out of favor in our modern world, but I think I don’t even care! The things that speak to the heart just do. (Like Susan Boyle without the judges)

    Of course, my “pretty young” is way earlier than your pretty young, since you are a spring chicken and I was at Woodstock (and NOT a naked toddler following my hippie mom) back in the Age of Aquarius.

    I wish I had talked to you more when you were here, as I feel like my secret parallel life is akin to your real life. I have always meant to marry a farmer and take care of children and animals, but never got around to it. The fact that you have to have a job too was not in my fantasy, and must be really hard.

    I do have my little flock of urban chickens, and pretend to be you with your cows when I go out to feed them each morn!

  548. Kathleen can play, but she has to play baby sister of everyone – she has been the responsible one long enough (this from the thread of parents pushing buttons).

    Speaking of Play Like Plays, I had to – had to – start my annual re-read of Louly by Carol Ryrie Brink last night. Any other fans out there?

  549. Actually, ANY book by Carol Ryrie Brink:
    Winter Cottage
    Two Are Better Than One
    Magical Melons
    Caddie Woodlawn

    Ooh, my darling boy Elliot has arrived. I’m off ….

  550. And Linda, I also wish I had had more time to get to know you, as I feel from several things you said about yourself that we are bit alike in what kind of readers we are, and how we respond to words and music, and you send out a really kind and gentle vibe.

    Your love of Fair and Tender Ladies alone is enough to make you a kindred spirit, as Anne would say.

    “Now Ivy, this is how spring tastes. This is the taste of spring.”

  551. Maureen: Does Caddie Woodlawn have a golf connection? I thought I had read most of the golf-related canon, but life always surprises me.

    Also, your husband is a compassionate person to react to the news that way. As a reporter, I probably covered something on the order of 300 plus murders, and I am ashamed to admit that I became nearly inured to the fact of it, though not always the individual cases. Seems like there are lot these recently all over the nation.

    Nora: Oh, so that was you over at Yasgur’s Farm!

  552. My first e.e. cummings?

    Buffalo Bill’s dead….


    I’m just home with a new book of poetry that includes CDs of the included poets reading their own works. TS is currently reading me Prufrock, and then William is going to read me The Second Coming, and Dylan’s going to read me Fern Hill, and after that Robert will read me Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. I’d say Nanners, but this might be the death of me. And that’s even before getting to Theodore’s The Waking.

    ~ S.

  553. This is totally random, but I had to share. It’s so delightfully twisted.

  554. Defunct.

    Buffalo Bill’s *defunct*.

    Just thought I’d fix that before the rest of y’all started to twitch.

    ~ S.

  555. Buffalo Bill’s
    who used to
    ride a watersmooth-silver
    and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
    he was a handsome man
    and what i want to know is
    how do you like your blueeyed boy
    Mister Death

    — E. E. Cummings

  556. Amber, I love that website, I visit it all of the time! I am going to order the voodoo doll notpads for my desk at work.

  557. my favorite ee cummings . . .

    she being brand

    that is the sexiest, hottest poem I have ever experienced.

    I like to pretend to be Maureen in, too . . . if you Facebook, you can visit my virtual farm “nature’s gifts” on my profile page . . . I like to MMMMMOOOOOOOve my cows at night

    Sherrill . . . that poem . . . wow, printing it out to have in the garden window . . . spectacular.

    I miss, miss, miss everybody . . . maybe we will have to start the skyping, how many feeds can you do at a time? 6 party skyping . . . ? or more???? any skype masters here, let’s figure this out.

    Heaven, I’m in Heaven . . .

  558. Haven . . . I found some fabulous miniatures today . . . ooooo la la . . . you would love them . . .

  559. linda — how splendid. i’m quite sure you’ll be dry always; unquestionably, the first year is the hardest.

    were there any books you read that were helpful /soothing during the past year?

  560. Oh, I love you too, Linda! Happy anniversary, big congratulations, I kissa you!

    Sarah — that’s going right on my monitor. Funny, and perfect. Italics and bold are two of the few HTML tags wordpress allows. Here’s a picture:

    George, thank you — I have the same feeling. And as Jodi so sweetly reminded me, it was Haven’s recommendation to read The Bear, the book about which I have now become as tedious as Haven says she is about Little, Big. — And truly, hasn’t Kate just been outdoing herself lately? I have to brace myself before reading her.

  561. Oops, the picture doesn’t show you how to “close” the tags. Let’s see if wordpress allows me:

    For italics, you put a “” before the word, then a “” after it. Use a “b” instead of an “i” for bold.

  562. Nope. No go. Trouble is, this blog is in html, so it wants to render every html character as the markup language it is. (Molly’s eyes glaze over right about now.) I’ll send you an email.

  563. Amber, the taun taun sleeping bag is a favorite in our household…it even has the guts!!!

    Carrie…brace yourself, eh? Is that a compliment?

  564. I LOVE that someone here owns it. I think Molly will be buying it for her nephew.

  565. By bracing myself, I mean swallowing my coffee first. Yes, a compliment, Miss Cake!

  566. Oh, and I need a refresher on the bon bon recipe that you were so kind to share with us. I know it was super simple, but I get lost in my own city where I’ve lived my entire life. I consistently screw up simple things.

  567. Oh we don’t own it, we just want to!

    Oreo bon-bons:

    Mix 1 package crushed oreos with one package PHILIDELPHIA Cream Cheese. Chill, roll into balls, dip in melted almond bark, decorate as desired. Store in fridge.

  568. Oh, and THANK YOU CARRIE!!

  569. Oh, Kate…. you are just the best. Thank you!

  570. Yes George
    That was muddy me at Yasgar’s Farm
    with a few(a half a million strong?) friends,
    a bag of potato chips
    a dozen boiled eggs…
    And I had to pee for the entire five days

  571. I am really in the mood for a BB party tonight, even though it’s probably a bad idea…

  572. i kontraire kate cake . . . bb party is superburb….

    i am shredding 26 lbs of italatian beef . . .

    party one

  573. Mmm…save me some!

  574. fyi – upper body workout = shredding 26 lbs of italian beef

  575. I am picturing you doing this with…I have no idea. Do you have a deli slicer, or are you using a grater the size of a washboard?

  576. nashville is driveable to 60 percent of all americans . . . it is the quinticential c rossroads. . . .I bhave room at the inn . . .lcome one come all bb’s . . . party starts at 4 pm central and goes tot he wee hours .. .

  577. pippi never appeared and i am offended. i am eating butter popc orn, drinking sicilain wine which i absconded from the party supplies, ice water and caffeine free diet coke. i think that makes me an official split personality.

  578. Sher, don’t tempt me…do you have room the first week in June?

  579. you betcha kate cake . . .

  580. Just don’t get me drunk.

  581. ok. you don’t need to be drunk to have fun111

    dyland nand lauren leave for nj shorehouse on june 16th….the subdivision pool opens may 5th….it is good, then the rec center outdoor pool open may 16th h… it has zero enbtry (like a beach) spquirt toys, water slide, etdc. .. .. it is 1/4 mile from myh house…yhipppeee….everybody is welcome! after june 16 I have 6 weeks of 2 extra bedcrooms with attached privaqte baths…seriously…come see me…all artists can cop a scquat in the studio,with kiln and an encaustic workshop for fREE…come



  582. obviously i cannot type with buttyer, grueasty fingers tonight, for give me!

  583. Sher, we will talk…My precious Rachael cannot host me the first week in June as originally planned…do you take ornery boys as well?

  584. kate – am shredding 26lbs of italian beef with 2 forks which is the only way acceptable

  585. I will file that away on a 3×5 index card tucked into the pocket of my frilly apron.

  586. absolutley….ornery boys can play with CREED our recident ornery boy next door, they have 40 acres, a creek full of crawdawds…multiple parks, 2 pools, and a rec room to destroy, what more could they require…and a blonde to disgust and impross (i..e Claire)…????

  587. I can see Mr. J developing a HARDCORE CRUSH on Claire.

  588. that could be ultimately convenient for us, no?

  589. Do you believe in arranged marriage? I already have Alice matched up to Mr. Gussy Pants. But there didn’t seem to be any sparks in Durham.

  590. it was too distracting – at 2 they are still in love with their mother’s breasts, you can’t judge chemestriy until after age 6

  591. Well who can blame them? I mean, look at our racks!

  592. claire still likes to push on my rack, it drives me crazy, she says “they are so bouncy!!!!”

  593. ok, I was saving this for my recipe book, but since you bb’s are so special I will share my very own adaptation of italian bee fwith you !

  594. heehee…bouncy…

  595. I doiuble this for a real party:


    1 chunk of 6 lb. beef round (usually 2-$4 per lb.( with FAT!!

    1 full fat italian dressing
    1 elephanet garlic
    bay leaves
    various other italian herbs (i use rosemary/basil from my herb garden and thyme only if fresh (dried it is rather bitter).

    extra virgin olive oil & real BUTTER , no salt.


    allow beef to come to room temp (takes about 2 hours from grocery chill)

    heat olive oil, rosemary (full sprigs), and coriander to sizzle, add sliced elephant (extra large) garlic cloves to sizzling oil, basil and beef simulanteously ( do not CHAR the cloves or basil or it tastes like b urnt matches) . . . sear beef on all sides, turning each 4 minutes until evenly browned….add butter to last few minutes of searing on each side….

    place seared beef in crock pot….cover with water, add bay leaves and any other FRESH italian herbs you have on hand…..

    place on high until simmering, then turn to low (usually for 8-10 hours, or until a fork placed in beef easily shreds)….

    turn off.

    place beef in shallow pan and shred with 2 forks . . .

    refrigerate until 2 hours before serviing.

    return shredded beef to crocke pot…add 1 bottyle of full -fat (not FAT FREE italian dressing), stir and heat….serve out of crock pot with

    hoagie rolls,
    provolone cheese slices,
    high grade “poupon” mustard,
    banana peppers….


  596. Oh my lord…that…sounds…incredible.

  597. ’tis…i guess i quadruppled this recipe for saturday..i have 34 confirms and 52 maybes, how do you plan for that….

  598. carrie is skying, but I also have big news from yesteraday….I am oficially one of the founders of RALLI, Inc. (Rural Arts & Letters Leadership Initiative, Inc.), a non -profit founded by me and Eric Hansen, and with his dear wife, the poet StelleSue Lee . .. we are filing our non-profit papers and will be officially in 60 days . . . it has been a long road. Our goal is to support all rural artists (theatre, writers, artists, etc. from all over the country)….I am so excited.

  599. I’d curl up and cry and cry, I’d be so nervous.

  600. CONGRATS SHER!!!!!!!!!!

  601. oh, you should see the studio Kate, you wouldn’t recognize it – it is so clean . . .

  602. things are good….last thursday I went to a lecture by one of the artists I am in the TAKE CARE show with, and ended up goin from the FRIST CENTER (our art museum) to MEl Zieglers’ (he is head of the art dept. at Vanderbilt Univ)….it was surreal and yet so comfortable, and I knew virtually everone there….

  603. Kate, I seriously wish you could be here,

    it doesn’t feel complete with my bb’s…I am so happy that Linda AND EMma can be here….

  604. I want to move. Like, now.

  605. ok, i have a great realator!!

    i have to go tobed, I have so much for tomororw….

    miss you!!!!

  606. Me too…Goodnight Sher!

  607. night night kate cake! miss you A LOT

  608. I feel very warm and hugged. YAY!

  609. hugged is the MOST awesome feeling! alll beef is in tyhe fridge and I am bedward bound! night!

  610. Carrie,

    I looked up news on Susan Boyle (we don’t get TV) so I think I’m up to speed there.

    But I don’t understand what you meant by ‘rimshot’. Does it mean ‘almost good in basketball?’ Do you mean ‘rimfire’ like 22 caliber rounds? Is it something a middle-aged white guy is better off not knowing?

    Please Clarify,

  611. Sine_30 — your comment played as a very funny joke, though as it turns out, unintentionally. I think it’s even better that you didn’t know who she was, as I was forwarded the link by at least five people (and you’ve seen the number of hits). — A rim shot is what the drummer does when Conan makes a joke. Stick to the rim of the snare drum. Ba-dump-bump. Like that.

  612. Carrie,

    a sharp sound produced by striking a drumstick either against the rim and head of a snare drum simultaneously or against another drumstick held so that it rests on the rim and head: also rim shot

    Is this it? My post was a cheesy joke, then. Well, I honestly hadn’t heard of her before; but now I’m up to speed, thanks.

  613. Sher, that is most amazing. You are the epitome of a “mover and a shaker.” Congratulations, that’s wonderful news! Get yourself a gavel.

  614. Sine_30: I’m always grateful for anyone who demonstrates that it is possible to be off grid. I’ve spent only a dozen years of my life without a TV, and they were the most productive, original, luxurious times of my life. My old one is dying (I bought this one only when 9/11 happened); the jury is out on whether I’ll replace it. Doing without is just good psychic and emotional hygiene!

  615. Carrie, you’re so dear I know you won’t think less of me for admitting this–I can’t live without Lost.

    I mean I guess I could, but really? No.

    And The Mentalist. GOT to get my Simon Baker love in.


  616. Bug – This is for you. It might have passed you by since you were a mere tot when it came out.

  617. This morning:

    Me: “Claire, your chocolate chip pancake is ready, come eat”

    Claire” screaming at the top of her lungs from 2 ft away –


    She then purposely looks at me while she specifically pets the cat for 2-3 minutes.


    Note from Lauren, lying atop a book “CRANK” . . .

    “mom, Instead of your lame books, read this”

    I never thought I would see the day, this note is going into my “forever treasure” drawer . .. everybody hates Stephenie Myer (not me), but she got my 14 year old daughter reading . . . she is Lauren’s VC Andrews!


    I decided to be a ‘nice’ mom this morning and drive Claire the less 2 miles to school. it took me 45 minutes. gak. i could have walked faster.

  618. Mo:

    That song must have been heaven-sent, because it unleashed a sweet memory of a day in the mid-1980s when that song was playing on the radio of my brother’s car when we were taking our kids to the museum in Evansville, Ind.

    It came on the radio and all the kids — they were like eight or nine years old then — started singing right along with The Jets.

    I watched my son, marveling that he even knew the words and didn’t miss a beat. I figured it was part of the soundtrack he must have heard in day care — a part of his life I knew little about except the daily pressure of getting him there and picking him up.

    My heart was bursting with love and admiration for him on that day. Still is more that two decades later and the memory is just as fresh and poignant as the real experience.


    Are we BB’ers tuned into each other or what!

  619. Sher, CONGRATULATIONS. Your non-profit news is amazing. I’m so happy for you.

  620. yippee….it might be awhile before we get it really rolling, but what we are hoping is that with non-profit status we can help artists/writers/musicians, etc with applying for grants and eventually provide some of our own . . . we shall see, but this is the first BIG step . . . june 20th stellasue is doing a reading at a nearby civil war plantation . . . so it is off and rolling

    eric is in long beach, Ca for 4 months so this will now be a virtual endeavour….

    i think I need a nap before I tackle this day….

    see you all later, inbetween cleaning and cooking and running errands….

  621. Are you running the Music City Marathon tomorrow, Sher? LOL

  622. Linda – yeah, right…..

    Not!!!!! but most of our acquaintances are so I have had a few pullouts on the party . . . but perhaps they will be tired and ready to relax, we shall see…I say more food for us!

  623. I have tons and tons of correspondence to catch up on (plus that pesky book to write) but if any of you know something secret Caryl Hayes is craving — I would BE the one to know this but just in case) please e-mail me, subject line: Caryl Hayes Is Craving This, so I know it isn’t farm porn.

    Also, and please please please I beg you: I got a letter from the most trusted friend of my life (besides Beth) who attended the event and she said that what she saw was what she always sees: that Gus makes my skin crawl, I can’t stand John, and no one on earth can ever serve me well enough. I wasn’t conscious of enough to know if I did any of those things, but if you were at the Inn on Wednesday night, if you know me at all, if you were at the event, I have to know if that’s who I really am, because I can’t live with the possibility that it’s true. I’m asking from the bottom of my heart. I would pose the question to Augusten, but guns would be drawn, and you are all measured people. This has kept me awake so long I just tried to take a nap and four hours passed. It’s killing me — I’ve cried an entire box of tissues. I called Kat who laughed and said, “Ummm, NO. You shouldn’t think about it another single second, not one.” But I am, many, many seconds.

  624. WTF? That’s all I have to say about it….

  625. Is this a DIFFERENT person than the one that insulted you before and we all didn’t put out a contract on because you wouldn’t tell us who it was? Cause if it’s the same person, then there is some detective work to be done.
    Tell us they were joking?

  626. Haven- your “friend” is wrong. Anyone- ANYONE – can see how much you love and adore your entire family. Especially John and especially your 3 children. Do not give that another second’s thought. xoxo

  627. I’ve never been so wounded. It wouldn’t matter coming from anyone else, anyone. This is someone I trust. I have BEGGED John to tell me if there’s a shred of truth in it, even a shred, but he doesn’t know how to say it 5,000 ways, and who can blame the poor man.

  628. I’m pretty confused about how a trusted friend could speak with you in that way…it doesn’t sound like constructive criticism.

    But aside from that, at the Inn, I observed much hand holding and touching that looked loving, combined with some equally sweet eye contact between you and your John. Objectively, it didn’t appear phony or forced to me.

    At the reading. there was some teasing from Augusten about your need to be looked after, with the little story about asking for water…It seemed to me to be just joking around from someone who knows and loves you enough to feel comfortable exaggerating your possible weaknesses for a laugh…could that be misconstrued as your not being adequately served by humanity?

    All though I don’t know you intimately as a real human, these are my feelings about what I saw with my own eyes at the same event as this other person…Can you let it go? Or is this person important to you? I know it’s hard to shrug off stuff that comes from someone you care about…

    The part about Gus is really mind boggling…that one defies understanding…

    I’m trying to sound rational and supportive, but I’d rather give you a hug!

  629. Is it possible this person suffers from Asperger’s? That they might have missed gesture, tone, inflection that cued irony/sarcasm? It’s so hard to reconcile these two things: what I know of you (from your words and your actions just how much you love your family to distraction, and the value you place on kindness), and your having chosen a friend who is at once both trusted and unkind. To write such a letter is incomprehensible — if she is a friend, and she “always” sees this, I’m assuming you see her occasionally, in person. To say something so unkindly and without thought as to what damage it will do to a friend — well, it should have been a conversation (not a letter), where any misconstrued statements or actions might be clarified. But to be so … all right, let’s call it what it is: cruel (absent a viable excuse such as Asperger’s) … makes me wonder: what is it about her that you trust?

    It’s important to me that my friends call bullshit when I have done something graceless or hurtful. But they are never unkind when doing so, they are, in fact kinder. Given that Kat & John are this dismissive of her claims, she’s either reading you wrong, or your trust has been misplaced.

  630. The one thing I can’t wrap my mind around is what she said about Gus. It’s incomprehensible that there could be any basis, misread or otherwise, for that statement. So I’m back to Dee’s comment: WTF?

  631. Thank you. Suzanne has been around longer than anyone — ask HER if I treat Gus or John that way. She’d have a word of two on the subject. I haven’t even told her about this for fear of her Mighty Suzanne sword.

  632. Dear Lord! I said to Mollie, “If you knew EVERYTHING about John? I would just be boasting.” I said the actual words!

  633. There was some outside influence — psychological, spiritual, substance — that inspired what is purely a lie that is evil in its origin.

  634. Oh God, you’re right. Don’t let Suzanne know about this!

  635. hurry delete the message before she gets here!!

  636. Norabarnacle, you leave me breathless…I love you. (you know what I mean, in all the ways I can in this blogspace) I really regret not meeting all of you lovelies this time and am counting on the next. We have low tolerance for any Haven bashing whatsoever from anyone. And Baby Gus is always surrounded by our layers of hugs on top of his families impenetrable bubble.

  637. emailed you, sweetheart.

  638. Nora hugs sound excellent. I’d like to request one, please.

  639. I’m launching one to you Mollybug, and I’ve learned how to do this virtual kind from watching and listening to all of you…

  640. Then I shall send one back! Just like Kittery does!


  641. I have been thinking about this and I believe this person must be an alcoholic. And not a recovering one.

  642. Haven?

    GOOD GOD NO. Please stop crying and using up all the tissues, you have done NOTHING to deserve that.

    When you and John walked in Wednesday night, all I could think was, “ohmigod Haven is HERE” and “John adores her, and she adores John”. Your “friend’s” take on life boggles the mind. I’m certain I could be drunk AND high AND strung out and I still wouldn’t be able to see what she sees.
    Other people have already used this as an example, but whatever – on Thursday, when Gus called out to you? YOU LIT UP. You didn’t ignore him, or talk over him, waiting for John to make him be quiet. You were happy he was there. You were happy John, Kat and O. were there. Because you love them, all of them, and they love you.

    SO. I would tell your “friend” that she’s a bitch, and stop talking to her. Or, if my charming New England ways don’t seem quite proper, realize that there is something not right with her. She has hurt you in a way that you never, ever should have been. And that’s not okay.
    Please feel better. :: hugs ::

  643. In the voice of Elizabeth Taylor at the 2000 Oscars

    I’m emotional enough from my own crisis, (Read your newst post) but now I’m sick for you. Who would say such a thing to you? I need to kick their ass. Do they live anywhere near Rochester, MN, because my bad ass husband and I will go hunt them down and I’ll scream at them for hours for you. Dear lord, NONE of that is true. This person HATES themself, and took it out on you for some reason. My friend did something similar to our other girfriend who grieved for two months and I still refuse to talk to the one who did it, but since she is paralyzed, I know where it came from. She wants to kill herself, and she took it all out on her best friend, so maybe your friend is in a secret crisis of her own? Still, asses need to be kicked. Please please I hope you get over this soon Haven. I am just a mess for you.

  644. Haven, I am horrified at what this person has said to you. I could kick their ass, ghetto style. But, my last three comments haven’t went through, so I sent you an email with my theory.

    I am so sorry this happened to you.

  645. “SO. I would tell your “friend” that she’s a bitch, and stop talking to her. Or, if my charming New England ways don’t seem quite proper, realize that there is something not right with her. She has hurt you in a way that you never, ever should have been. And that’s not okay.” WELL SAID Kittery!

    And Haven, why would you ever believe those heinous things that were said about you? Of all people! I think you really do need a nap and then let loose your Ms. Cranky pants on their sorry ass!

    Love ya!

  646. Haven,

    I have composed a limmerick about Madonna falling off a horse, just for you!

    I hope you like it.

    Here goes:

    An untalented rider, Madonna.

    She fell off the horse she was on-ah

    She lit on the grass,

    Rubbed her sore ass

    Then bit the horse like a piranha.


    Matt (In Nebraska)

  647. OH MY GOD.



    ps all of your comments made me howl with laughter.



  649. On April 25, 2009 at 1:11 pm suzanne fennimore cooper Said:
    OH MY GOD.





    You know, this brings back memories. When Miss Linda on Romper Room used to always say this just before the kids had their cookies. Good times.


  650. Haven,

    Was Satan’s wife at the reading? And she’s writing you hateful letters a-GAIN? Listen to Kat — she is all-knowing, all-seeing. Jealousy is such an ugly accessory. Mrs. Satan never could accessorize worth a damn.

  651. Matt, first you kill me with your poem, then you use my trademark phrase “Good times.” You just rock my blog babie friend!

  652. Matt, first you kill me with your poem, then you use my trademark phrase “Good times.” You just rock my blog babe friend!

  653. Matt, first you kill me with your poem, then you use my trademark phrase “Good times.” You just rock my blog baby friend!

  654. LOL Matt. I just love limericks. All of my favorites are about Madonna

  655. Haven,

    Just checked and I was quite shocked to hear about the devastating comments from your “friend.” I wasn’t at the reading but those who were are quite vehement about your all-encompassing love for your family.

    What I know is what I have heard you say over and over on this blog…how much you treasure your gifts and how fortunate you feel to have them. You have been an inspiration to me as a mother to have more patience with my own children.

    I hope you have found some comfort from your fiercest defenders (aka blog babies) and will rest knowing Suzanne is on the job. She would certainly be the first person I would call!

  656. If any of you are reading this at 1:30 CST Sunday, turn on your TV set and go to channel 66 – it is the bonanza episode where Hoss encounters Leprechauns on the ponderosa.

  657. Matt, I didn’t need to watch it. Just READING that was enough.

  658. “dolphins, who … shared the bejesus out of the pirates.”

    The spellchecker has nearly taken the fun out of reading, but at least not quite. The thought of it, sharing the bejesus out of a pirate. Must be related to that book thing.

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