Thursday, July 31, 2008

Think of giraffes cumming all over each others' faces...

I thought I'd post the poem that was the inspiration for the blog title as well as a reading during our wedding. Good ol' Peggy Noir (that's a really smart nickname, Dave; especially for those of us who have an issue with the pronunciation of the word "peignoir") was crying but still did a very nice job, as I knew her textual studies ass would.

Now, I've never really been a poetry fanatic, but one night, right after B & I started getting kind of seriously serious about one another, which was pretty much as soon as we met, I got tipsy and discovered this jewel in my original copy of Our Bodies Ourselves, and left a voicemail reading of it for him. Then he thought I was really bitchin'.

Love Song of a Species
think of
long tall animals
making love
into themselves
breaking themselves
each other's air
each other's songs
think of these
not knowing
their species
their strangeness
think of them
trying to tell each other
all day long
with words
think then
of the most
way of
I love you
a place
there is a place
that has no thoughts
think of something
of a thing that cannot think
inside a place
that cannot contain thoughts
think of these things together not thinking
think of the most natural way to think of this
then unthink everything that follows from that
then sleep
a sleep
in which all dreams
and these words
are stolen from the dream
you are having

-- Cora Brooks

When we rehash this reading, B always says that he had forgotten how dirty this poem is, and goes onto parody it with lines like "Think of great hippoes fucking each other, ropes of jism ejaculating from their swollen members." And I think that's funny.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

He hit me, and it felt like a kiss.

Arrgh my head hurts and all I want to do is dumb internet shit, but the first of the month arrives in two days and I am trying to prepare myself for the onslaught of interviews and having cases up to my neck. It doesn't help when I try to be nice and really help my clients out instead of giving them the bureaucratic runaround, and they do things like roll their eyes when I ask them for the kids' GD shot records. Listen, lady, I know you've brought them before? But that was 2006, and this is 2008 and IT'S JUST THE RULES. I CAN'T CHANGE THE RULES. Be responsible for your shit, in other words.

I got some prints of vacation pictures and the like and put them up in my darling adorable little cubicle. Did you know that the cubicle turns 40 this year? Oh, tis true, tis true. I don't love this cubicle, but I do appreciate the fact that if I start crying from a particularly stirring episode of This American Life, I can just hide my face toward the inside of it and no one will try and ask me what's wrong. People die tragically, that's what's wrong, dumbass. Anyway, as you may have picked up or know, I interview applicants for food stamps daily, and I thought it'd be pretty insensitive to put travel pictures of myself & Mr. Husband on prominent display for people who don't have any money to buy themselves food, so I cleverly placed them to the side of a cabinet, so they won't be like "Goddamned white girl is rich." Because I'm not. I just saved my tax return and some other money, man.

Those are my heroics for the day.

Also, after letting my birth control prescription run out, yesterday I finally got to replace my best friend, the Nuvaring, in its warm safe home, and next Tuesday it's game on again. FINALLY. Jesus.

I have to go home today and prepare my home for this weekend's visit of my mom & niece, which pretty much means removing any trace that humans live there and have bodily functions and drop things on the floor. Or that I have cats. My mother would never say anything, but if I went in the bathroom while she was there and saw, oh, I don't know, let's say some dust on the floor, I'd be horrified because she had seen it and 9 months from now she'd casually mention that I'm fucking nasty. Which sucks because I am fucking nasty and although we can keep the dishes washed pretty much daily, we don't really notice things like the bathtub, and these are the places in which grime forms and makes my mom puke a little in her mouth.

They're coming to town because I invited them to go see Gone With the Wind at the Orpheum Friday night and do some other city stuff. My niece is 11 and lives in the same little-shit town I was raised in, so I am hoping it will be fun for her to come spend time in a place where you don't have to drive 15 minutes to buy a gallon of milk. Last fall she stayed with us a night, and ended up feeling pretty intimidated by the whole thing, but maybe it will go better this time around.

If there are any Memphians out there who have not experienced the movie series at the Orpheum, you should really check it out. It's only $5 for an adult ticket, and the theater is just breathtaking. Upcoming showings can be found here; we saw To Catch a Thief last week and it was fucking awesome. Things that puzzle me in old movies: the men are always just whapping th women across the face, really hard, and then they kiss, just as hard. Of course I don't approve of this behavior but I find it utterly fascinating.

I know, I know, GWTW is completely racist and inappropriate in a lot of ways, but it's a movie I had a lot of love for as a little girl, before I became politically aware, and to see it at the Orpheum will be some sort of pinnacle of cinema-loving-Southern-womanness for me. Be there or be square.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jim Beam wrecked me, body & soul

We had a pretty quiet weekend. Saturday was spent recovering from a gargantuan hangover that experienced as least as many stages as death and loss. Technically, the first stage was confusion as B summoned me to bed early that morning from the couch in the sunroom. I had angrily stormed out of the bedroom the night before, sobbing, after he had accidentally spilled a huge cup of water directly between my legs in an attempt to urge me to hydrate myself. Every morning, noon, and night, this man urges me to drink more water, and this is only heightened in the times that I try to replace all the H2O in my body with alcohol (both beer and Jim Beam on Friday night, if you are keeping score). Also, you should know that I am very prone to sobbing in the early hours of the morning after a serious bender like that. One night B stuck his finger in my belly button, I suggested this act was akin to rape, and, of course, left the bedroom, sobbing.

The second stage of the hangover was headache, of course. Although I took 3 aspirin tablets, this was the kind of hangover that makes your head as heavy on your neck as a baby's, and all you can really do is lay in bed with your laptop on your stomach and webstalk dead girls on Livejournal while you wait for the Indian buffet to open so that you can try to soak up all the booze that's left in your stomach with some naan. Yeah, that kind of headache.

When the clock struck 11:00 AM we trucked it down to the India Palace. Although we always walk there, it's only about 2 blocks from our apartment, I had reservations regarding whether or not I could make it this time. It is July in Memphis and I was already experiencing symptoms of the next stage of hangover: clammy sweatface. B always expresses this stage as what happens when your body's trying desperately to eject any leftover alcohol in whatever means necessary, and while he is a person who might randomly vomit 2 hours after waking up with a hangover, I am a sweaty girl anyway, and as soon as I stepped out in the hot late-morning sun, beads of JB broke out all over my face, with a particularly high volume emitting from my upper lip, or, as I call it, my sweatstache. I grunted all during the trek to IP, holding my stomach, which should have been a warning of what was to come.

Stage Four: Debilitating stomach ailment. This was the final stage of hangover that stuck with me all day, making me both the laziest and whiniest person on earth. I don't know what's wrong with me kids, and why I can't hang like I used to, but Goddamn, all day I was wracked with the most vicious tummy ache that ranged from full-out monster poop to a huge gas bubble that makes you feel as if you're pregnant with a stomachful of wriggling ghost puppies. We went to see the new Batman movie at 8:00 that night and I was still limping around and pitiful from it. I bet you are thinking that maybe the Indian food did it, but I wouldn't blame anything on that lovely naan and tandoori. Palak paneer wouldn't try to hurt me.

I never learn my lesson though. I mean, I didn't touch a drop on Saturday, and I rarely booze it up on liquor anymore anyway, but by next weekend I will have forgotten all about my troubles and, if offered, will swill again. This heat is oppressive and it makes me want a tall drink beaded with drops of cool sweat.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Man-hating fodder (with regard to the fact that there are good guys out there)

There are so many dark stories coming out of Iraq that you don't even hear on the nightly news... here's a very tragic example.

Suicide or Murder? Three Years After the Death of Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq, Her Parents Continue Their Call for a Congressional Investigation

It is so heartbreaking to hear this soldier's father describing having to look at postmortem pictures of his daughter in order to investigate her probable death himself, since the military has apparently done a cover-up of some sort.

"98 military women have died in Iraq, Kuwait, and Bahrain; 40 of them have died of 'non-combat incidents' as the military terms it. 19 of those 40 are under suspicious circumstances; 13 of them have now been termed suicides by the military." --Ann Wright, who spent twenty-six years in the US Army/Army Reserves and was a diplomat in the State Department for sixteen years before resigning in March 2003, protesting the then-impending invasion of Iraq

Ms. Wright goes onto describe other specific examples in which the families of dead American soldiers were lied to about how their family member was killed.

I can't imagine being in an environment like Iraq, and being sexually harassed, raped, or abused and unable to take action because the perpetrators are higher ranking officials and members of the good old boy network. It makes me so incredibly sick to hear stories of women like Suzanne Swift, Tina Priest, and LaVena Johnson. Why are there so many sick, violent men in the world? God, being aware of things like this makes it so hard not to be a man-hating feminists. All the men I know are decent, but why are there so many assholes in the world??

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shitshy: One Woman's Tragic Struggle

Although anyone who knows me is aware that pooping is one of my favorite topics of conversation, and anyone who has spent time with my husband and I has been either inundated with, or possibly even chosen to take into their own lives overuse of the word "shoo shoo," some might not be aware that I am afflicted with a common affliction I like to refer to as "shitshy." Just this morning, I had an attack of shitshyness, when, upon approaching the bathroom, I was disheartened to find another woman entering at the exact same time. The situation was further impacted by the fact that there were only two stalls that had toilet paper in them and they were right next to one another. I can't make this stuff up people. I locked myself in the stall, unable to do my business because not only had she seen my face, we were in neighboring stalls. I mimicked doing my business, noisily putting down a paper seat cover, sitting down briefly, and then even unrolling toilet paper and even wiping, although there was nothing there to wipe. She was going about her merry way next to me, using the ol' flush-to-diguise-the-sound-of-plopping routine. I had to go back to my desk, wait 10 minutes to ensure the coast was clear, and then return to scratch the shoo shoo itch the large McDonald's coffee had delivered upon me this morning.

I know that pooping is normal, and for God's sakes, every man, woman, and child on earth does it every day, but I cannot help but feel enormous shame when someone knows I am doing it. I want to be at home, alone, with the door closed, reading Southern Living quietly when my time to shit comes.

Onto other, not-poop-related topics: so long Estelle Getty.

I remember that in high school, my tight group of girlfriends and I would watch umpteen episodes of The Golden Girls and always argue over who we were. No one was ever happy to be assigned to the role of Blanche, the slut, or Rose, the airhead, but among our friends, the stereotypes were evident and too hard to deny. When it came down to it, I always wanted to be Sophia, but was forced to be Dorothy because of both my height, and, I suppose, my awkward unattractiveness at the time.

Ok, I have to process cases and listen to the news now. For some reason, every time I try to listen to Democracy Now, I cannot concentrate. Too stupid, apparently. Maybe I'm just an optimist and the truth about the imminent destruction of everything good in the world make me unattentive.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Josie's on a vacation far away...

In my house, we have a new deep obsession with The Outfield's "Your Love" [The assholes have disabled embedding, so I can't put the cheesey video on here for your viewing pleasure. You will not be sorry if you go to the link above and listen to this song, especially if you like 80s songs that seem to have been written to provide you with a platform to screech lyrics such as "I DON'T WANT TO LOSE YOUR LOVE TONIGHT!!! I JUST WANT TO USE YOUR LOVE, TOOOOONIIIIIGHT!! (YEAH!!!)" in your best eardrum-splitting falsetto.]

What's up with this heat haze in Memphis? It's humidity, I am thinking? I think I've been told it is humidity. They put it on the forecast, along with warnings about not leaving your house. This time of year I start developing elaborate fantasies about living in a part of the world where the peak temperature in the summer is 80 degrees. Our apartment has 3 window unit air conditioners, 2 of which work pretty well (especially if you are sitting directly in front of them, which I am known to do), but considering we live on the second floor of a house built in 1925, with piss poor air-conditioning... well, yeah, it is Hot as Hell. I have tried to tell B that he is going to have to run the AC when he's at home by himself, but he refuses. I imagine that I'll come home one day to find him passed out cold (hot?) from the intensity of the heat. August is coming, be afraid, be very afraid. These are the dog days and senior citizens will start kicking off any minute now.

We are supposed to go to a BBQ this evening and last night I made bettedavislies' Church Lady Creamy Lemon cake to take, and I'll put some presliced & seasoned eggplant slices in a baggie too, for the hosts to throw on the grill. I don't know about you, but I get very impatient when waiting for a cake to cool down enough to spread on the old icing. The afforementioned Mrs. Lies gave me the most handsome, thoughtful handmade cookbook for the wedding, and as of late I have been trying to cook a recipe a week from it. My mother and I recently had a conversation questioning how young Bette maintains her lovely figure with her well-known penchant for sweets, and came up stumped. I suppose her allegiance to exercise could be the answer but the lazy American in me refuses to believe that moving could be good for you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

more clever than ever

When I was home this weekend, my mother cautioned me to look out for snakes when venturing out to her walking path. Tuesday in Overton Park, the thought to watch my feet didn't even cross my mind until, mid-run, I looked down to find myself just about to step on a small snake. Now, I'm not trying to be an alarmist, but when I saw it, I noted that it had a diamond-shaped, rather than rounded head, and some nugget of wisdom buried deep in my skull reminded me that this was a trait of a venemous snake, and sure enough, when I investigated on the internet, it seemed pretty certain that my little friend was a southern copperhead:

He was pretty ittybitty, I'd say 9" at most, but I felt pretty smart leaping over him in the nick of time. Apparently although I was surrounded by woods, it didn't occur to me that a snake might want to leave the comfort of leaves and dirt for pavement.

I am pretty excited for a weekend in which I do no travelling; I have been coming or going every weekend for the past month, it seems. The flea market is in town this weekend and I'm thinking of going and see how it compares to the big one in Nashville; also, I think we'll go see the new Batman. Summer's the only season I can really get behind the idea of seeing blockbusters; maybe it's just that 1 or 2 per year is all I need.

Tonight: chilled avocado soup & tomato sandwiches with basil mayo. Yum yum.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mystic '06 (sounds like an energy drink)

I returned from Decatur county on Sunday with approximately 20 pounds of fresh produce; 6(!) eggplants, multiple ears of corn, tomatoes, okra, squash, zucchini, & cucumbers; a head of cabbage. I love it but it's a lot of pressure to receive this much stuff because it ROTS and you have to DO SOMETHING with it before it starts stinking up your fridge and all you're left with is the incredible guilt that your family's blood, sweat, and tears has come to ruin in a big runny mess in your crowded fridge. Last night I made moussaka, a dish that we had in Greece. I kind of bastardized these two recipes, substituting ground beef for turkey and adding a boatload of fresh basil, which is par for the course for most recipes I prepare these days. I think baba ganoush is next because I still have 4 eggplants! My mom has them coming out of her ears.

When I was home (even though I'm grown and I live with my husband and we have a whole separate existence, also referred to as "home," I think my mother's house will always be Home with a Capital H). I went for a run on the walking path she mows behind our house. I saw a rabbit and multiple deer, and as-yet unripe blackberries growing on stickery bushes; but I also saw myself, in the summer of 2006, walking down the same grassy strip, listening to PJ Harvey and experiencing the undeniable feeling that everything was changing. I have attached a lot of significance to 2006, particularly the summer, when I left Murfreesboro at long last and lived at home with my parents for 4+ months, watching my father first undergo a horrific surgery for pancreatic cancer and struggle to recover; he didn't, because the cancer was so aggressive and wanted to eat him from the inside out, and it did. I am incredibly grateful that I had those months with him, although considering it now, I can only think of the selfish parts of myself that was so restless and spent weekends in Nashville getting wasted and pursuing an old, bad relationship that gave me physical satisfaction and not much else.

2006 was the year I became a woman, though. I seriously believe this 100%. I was an uncertain, unhappy alcoholic kid at the beginning of it, and by the end I'd gotten my shit together. I lost things in 2006; I lost my father, I lost my first love, I lost my best friend, but I gained so much: the man who would become my husband, friends with whom I share a lot of love and respect with, and confidence and maturity.

I know that this probably sounds really egomaniacal. I'm not trying to show how great I am; growing up is just something people do, eventually. I feel like I was just in a fugue state for so many years, going to work at whatever shitty job I had, coming home to hit a bong or drink a lot of beers and '06 was the year I woke up and tried to change things for myself. When I thought of it in the hayfield the other day, with an identical sky over me, that light mist seeping over the landscape, I felt like I was back in time, in those days and weeks that I was waking up.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Please don't let me be misunderstood

I'm listening to the All Songs Considered "Best CDs So Far" show, and I've got to say that I'd always heard of Panic At the Disco! but I didn't know how much they truly sucked until a few minutes ago. Goddamn, I hate shitty music that is just a ripoff of bands too old for kids to know the difference. They sound just like The Smiths to me. I'm always desperately trying to find some new music that's not too whiny or overproduced. Sometimes I have good luck with ASC, plus, I love Bob Boilen; he's so earnest and sweet. If I haven't found a new band in awhile, I start to feel dead inside. I have a couple of good leads from this show.

So, I am starting the Masters in Social Work program @ UT Memphis this fall, and I was really pleased and surprised to find out just how cheap my tuition's going to be since I'm a state employee. Yippee for cheap schoolin'. I can't believe that I'm going to be back in school again... this time I plan on actually studying. I was struck yesterday by the idea that I might be ready to leave Memphis by the time I get done; it will take 3-4 years for me to get my degree, and I'll be at least 30. It will more than likely be baby-making time, unless I inherited my mom's reluctant eggs (that's unfair, could've been my dad's sperm that were reluctant). Do I want to raise kids in the South? Do I want to stay here myself? Etc. etc. Just your normal "Oh jeez, I guess I'm a grown-up now" confusion.

There is a rather complicated debate about navigating to a certain resturant going on in the next aisle of cubicles. It's getting heated. Every once in awhile, you can hear punctuations of "Ridgeway!" and "LAMAR?!" For some reason, I love to hear people trying to give directions, it always ends in a big debate.

Well, I am heading to Decaturville for the weekend. B is still tied up in Memphis Most photography work, so I decided to head to my mom's for some family time. I bought some smoked salmon, cream cheese, bagels, orange juice and champagne so we can have a special breakfast one morning. What a sweetheart, huh?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why am I such a pussy??

Well after procrastinating for several days I did my first installment of Couch to 5K today. Just got back actually. I don't see how running for 9 minutes* (OK, more like running for 3 minutes, limping excitedly for 6) can make any non-elderly person so fucking weary and exhausted. I am in such terrible shape! The good news is that even though I really wanted to quit after the third run, I mean, really REALLY wanted to quit, I kept going, and even got a second wind on the very last run. It was a perfect day to start because a) it is very overcast out right now, and the heat doesn't possess anywhere near the raw violence it does on a clear afternoon; b) I drank a Red Bull at around 3:30. Red Bull is just like beer; the first time I tasted it (in a Jaegerbomb B made me in our apt. in East Nashville), I was like "Ugh, disgusting, this is some sick shit!" and now I crave both its taste and mind-spinning after affects. 

Okay, now I'm going to go watch the end of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Fell asleep before it ended last night. I love that movie, it's so purposefully cheesy. Please behold, my favorite part of this fine, fine film: 

! NSFW unless your boss is kosher with vampiric wolf sex !

If you get bored, skip to 1:33; your day's not going to be complete without this little Coppola gem. 

*FYI, Couch to 5k eases you into running by having you run/walk for specific combinations. Today I did "Week 2," which, after a 5 minute brisk walk, has 6 intervals of 90 seconds of running, 2 minutes of walking. If someone tried to make me run 9 minutes without stopping at this point in time, I would cry, then collapse. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I hate it when bad things happen to good people...

Especially when it makes me so sick inside.

On a brighter note, I made the most gorgeous salad ever for dinner:

red cabbage
beet root
tomatoes (from Ripley, TN)
zucchini (from Mt. Carmel)
red pepper

Topped it with basil lemon dressing with a fuckton of fresh garlic in it. I'm now having honey nut cheerios for dessert, and Django's trying to put his shit paws in it and drinking the milk. My cat loves cereal milk. I love to eat cereal before bed, makes me feel like a kid.

B is shooting the Robert Plant/Alison Krauss show tonight at Mud Island for the CA. I can't begin to imagine what kind of music they've made together. Must investigate online.

health, life, and fire

I have a terrible pretzel addiction. Why, oh why, do I go to Kroger and buy the enormous bag of pretzels?? I will not stop eating them until they are gone.

So we returned Sunday from our lovely, lovely honeymoon in Key West. I had been there once before, on a cruise ship stopover when I was a pissy 14-year-old. B lived there for 5 months in 2005, working as a bartender and living on a busted ass trimaran with a few other guys. I have teased him many times over what a panty dropper "I live on a boat, wanna check it out?" must have been.

My memories of Key West were faint at best; it is a truly gorgeous place. All the lush tropical vegetation and stunning old houses left me speechless. If you don't know me, you should be informed that big old houses are my bread and butter; I think that's one thing I especially love about Memphis, because old Southern homes, in particular, absolutely dazzle me and break my heart. It hurts inside and I don't know why; I don't have any grand fantasies about living in a mansion. I do know, however, that my deep appreciation for old homes is a genetic trait passed directly from my mother.
We ate and drank like pigs down there. We are cheap as fuck in our normal lives, and "allow" ourselves to eat out once, maybe twice a week, but on this honeymoon we went batshit crazy, eating out three times a day sometimes. Highlight: fine dining on the porch of a huge pink house that butted up on the edge of the Atlantic; lowlight: shitty Indian buffet that featured a side dish that was mostly canned green beans. We've been so spoiled by India Palace that we couldn't imagine a bad Indian buffet, apparently. Luckily we ate much more good food than bad: guava ice cream, a blackened grouper reuben, key lime pie, fish tacos, cuban sandwiches & coffee, fried plaintains... yummers. Also I discovered Root Beer Barrel shooters, signature shooter at the Green Parrot bar; small glass of beer with a shot of root beer schnapps set down in it. Fucking delicious.

I think the reason women get so fat when they get married is that they are on such a superdiet before the wedding, trying to be as thin as possible, then they go on that honeymoon and feel like it doesn't matter anymore, and thus the spread begins. Anniversary one comes around and they've gone up two dress sizes. I've seen so many fat wives (not to mention fat husbands, God knows they're around too) that I am determined not to become one, and after much big talk about restarting a running program in MARCH for God's sakes, redo Couch to 5k. Yes, it is 100 degrees outside and I'm a whiny bitch about the heat, but I feel so lazy not exercising at all. I don't want to die as an overweight miserable diabetic at 60 just because it's not always fun to move your body.

We have returned with a huge collection of pictures that you can find on the flickr. B has organized them painstakingly. Subfolders are his primary disease; this can be verified by clicking on the "Honeymoon" collection.

I have said many times in the weeks following the wedding that I don't feel any different, which is true in a lot of ways; however, sometimes I am struck by the gravity of marriage, and I think about how the roles we play in each other's lives is so much more important now that it's definitely for keeps. Before B, I always kind of thought the idea of soulmates and true love was bullshit, but I do know that there is some completely undeniable force that holds me to him and vice versa. Something I never felt in my prior relationship, I don't think. I was overcome by many beautiful feelings on this trip, that travelling is something that we will do with one another for the rest of our lives, and that all the important things we ever do, we will do together. It is certainly not always easy and fun but I am starting to consider the beauty of marriage is a shared commitment to make the hard things as easy as possible for the other person.


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