"But ah'm not afraid of dyin'. Cause I know that when I get to heaven there are gonna be these wonderful trees, and ah'm gonna climb them. But you know what? Instead of leaves and flowers, those trees are gonna have fried eggs, and delicious Virginia ham, and big heaping bowls of biscuits and sausage gravy. And one day, Sammy, you're gonna meet me there, and we're gonna climb those breakfast trees together, and it's gonna be delicious and we're gonna be happy until the end of time."


Where I Fall Like Small Dreams, and I Fade Like Bright Beams

Thanks again, for everything. I'm taking a little breather, so don't worry if you don't hear much out of me in the next few days, got a heap of family stuff to sort through, not to mention the pieces of my own life to pick up. Chances of Knoxville-ward travel for the weekend are disappointingly slim, but I wish everyone a frightastic Hallow's Eve, and I want pictures.



A small town outside Gary, Indiana

Thanks to everyone who has sent their love and sympathies. The rest of you are assholes.
I kid, of course, I love you all dearly. The truth is, I lost my grandmother to what was only recently diagnosed as Alzheimer's years ago. With her will go the hope of ever having her look at me with recognition of who I am today, but I seem permanently stuck in her mind as that silly little kid who would visit in the summers and lay waste to her marshmallow jar. Alzheimer's is the most evil disease; you go on living, but everyday you lose a bit of what makes that life your own. I don't know that I could take watching that happen to my parents, but I live with the fear that I will, and that may be the most difficult thing for me in all of this.

Enough of the sad stuff. If all goes well, we'll be going to Chicago for SOFA in two weeks. I've been waiting for a good road trip and all my favorite friends at school are planning to go; Anna, Rush, Jessie and I are taking the big purple van. Ross is a workaholic killjoy who is taking that weekend off from work to work. I've never been to Chicago, I wish I could just hit the fast forward button through the next two weeks.


Us and Them

To Cara, I'm so sorry you wasted your time (drawing of a sad, yet hopeful jack-o-lantern), David Sedaris

So goes the inscription on my new copy of Dress Your Family in Courduroy and Denim. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I arrived at school today to find my mother, bearing a sandwich, matching scarf and gloves, thirty dollars, and the news that my grandmother can't and won't make it through the week. She'd just come from visiting in Nashville. It was the second time in her life she'd seen my grandfather cry. I felt odd, wanting to cry on my mother's shoulder, knowing she must want the same thing, but still exchanging the same old bullshit smalltalk that defines our very relationship. One would think now, facing the loss of her mother, she would let the wall down for a second with her own daughter, but neither of us could allow the universe that satisfaction. We're tough, dammit. Strong. Yeah, that.

In a complete funk, I'd resorted to counting the figure 8's while hand-lapping, and I look up to see Anna beaming at me.
"Are you coming to Nashville with us tonight?"
"Probably not, way too much work to do."
"David Sedaris is at Vanderbilt."
"Fuck Midterms."

We called to get tickets, but they were totally sold out. However, they would be releasing some SRO tickets an hour before the show. Good enough for us.
Details, details, sushi, and we were standing in line to get on the waiting list, as the tickets were completely gone, of course. I looked to my left and noticed they were selling books, then I looked to my right and saw a long line of people clutching books, and David Sedaris at a table, signing away. Anna and I each grabbed a copy (thanks, mom) of his latest and jumped in line, praying he would get to us. We were trying our best not to be a two-person EdSullivan-audience-during-a-Beatles-appearance, but I think the jumping up and down and repeating "David Sedaris! David Sedaris!" wasn't helping.
He had a plastic bag beside him and he kept reaching into it and pulling out wacky things to give to people, such as swatches of fake hair, and fake limbs. Finally we're up. I gave him our sob story about how we drove all this way, but no tickets, and this was our consolation prize. He said he felt terrible, like he should give us his hotel key or something (don't let us stop you), and drew a very sad Jack-o-lantern in Anna's book. Then he gave me the slightly more hopeful, yet equally pathetic jack-o-lantern. Then, the icing on the cake. He pulls out pictures of mouth diseases, cut from a medical book, and autographs one for each of us. I got severe chronic periodontitis with deep pocketing and bone loss, and periodic neutropenia producing an intense gingivitis and inflammation of the whole oral mucosa.
If you'd told me this morning my new, most prized possesion would be pictures of decaying mouths, I'd have had you committed. That two minutes we stood there talking to him entirely made up for not getting in to hear him speak. Or so I keep telling myself.
The rest of the evening had a hard time living up. We hit a bar, did shots in Jack's dorm at Vandy, and caught the Red Sox and the Cardinals tied at the bottom of the eighth, then watched the Sox go on to win. I wonder what it was like in Boston last night, perhaps Tolsun would do the honors of telling us. Oh, and as much as it pains me to say it, GO VAWLS!
I feel as though I could write more, but this has gone on long enough.


Friday Night Rites

It feels as though almost every minute of this week came with its very own epiphany, not unlike a gift with purchase. I helped Alex make a breakthrough in the studio last night, which was highly satisfying. The night was clear, the moon was bright, and I actually clicked my heels on a run to the cold shop. Call it what you will, joie de vivre, lust for life, I felt damn good. When the slots were done for the evening, I followed the commotion from housing (since Thursday is the new Friday)to a rousing game of stump. Some of you have witnessed the isolation in which we live here, for those who haven't you probably don't understand why a game involving a hammer, nails, and a stump would be such weekend fun for us. The object is to hit the other players' nails down into the stump before your nail meets the same fate. The hammer goes around the circle, each player has to flip the hammer, catch it, and bring it down on a nail, then pass to the next player, who does the same. So fun. Anna and I had a sleepover and stayed up way too late. When she passed out, I sobbed through the last few chapters of The Secret Life of Bees. Sobbed, I tell you. Good fucking book.
My professor returned from his lecture tour, and brought me a gigantic evil eye from Turkey as a thank you gift for running (and not ruining) his life while he was gone. I am so teacher's pet.
I hope everyone's week ended on some version of up. I close with something I heard on of our outreach sixth graders exclaim as they were led back to their bus this afternoon:
"Yay! We get to go home! Them people's is crazy!"


New Low

I voted today. You're fired, assholes.
Every now and then I rediscover my favorite album ever, Dayna Kurtz's Otherwise Luscious Life, and I remember just why it is my favorite album ever. I have no other words for today, so we'll use hers:

I got no time and place for this
No room or space for this
And I got no need for those lips
Really, you know
they're just some ripe cherry on an otherwise luscious life
And if anybody's lookin'
I'll be hangin' with my girlfriends
I say these dykes, these queens, these jersey princesses
Got more balls
Than any man I ever laid
Ever laid


When the Earth Folded in on Itself

What did we learn this weekend? While the dark side of human nature has great potential for comedy, most of the time it's just alarmingly ugly. Today I am ashamed to be southern, white, female, and human.
Which grieves me to no end, because it was, overall, a very fun weekend. Humanity as a whole may disappoint, but my friends are the cream of the crop, and I can't believe my luck.
Thanks for that.


America....Fuck Yeah!

Yesterday was one for the books.
Sure, I bombed a few tests, but to cheer myself up I got quite possibly the best haircut ever. Anna Rockanova said I look like a movie star, which I will completely accept with zero modesty. The drive eastward was less painful than usual, with the re-introduction of cruise control into my life, and it was a lovely fall day for a drive along I-40.
Jon Stewart fully reaffirmed my desperate need to have him father my children by utterly SCHOOLING the Crossfire gang. Transcript here, entirely worth the few minutes it will take you to skim. I love that man in a way I will never be able to apply to another human being, but the funny was far from done with me for the day.
Dropped in on AnnaRandy to see their beautiful, hand-made snake environs, which is so nice, I want to move in. Cleo is one lucky reptile.
The main event, however, began when we got to Adam's for dinner. First of all, Adam cooked, and if that weren't enough, it was entirely edible. I'll even go so far as to say delicious. Dinner conversation is never dull with Adam, Holly, Anna, and Randy in the mix. We got a nice buzz on and headed for the movies, to meet up with Anna Rockanova, Jack, and Ben B. to see a little film called Team America: World Police.
Let me start by saying I went into this film expecting not much more than mild amusement. I expected a few moments of genius, a whole lot of poop jokes, and not much else. I so underestimated what we were in for, and that was readily apparent in the first five minutes, when I could no longer laugh and resorted to hand-flailing, violent shaking, and actual knee-slapping. At one point I almost spewed tequila-infused Sprite all over the people in front of me. I'll leave the real reviewing to people who know what they're doing, but this was not your little brother's South Park. First of all, I was blown away by the attention to detail. The sets were incredible. They lost points for the obligatory vomit scene, but they more than made up for it with the Star Wars jokes, the ferocious cats, LEASE, The Montage Song, Freedom isn't Free, Kim Jong-Il's Ronery, and just about every other minute of the whole movie. Good fucking times, I suggest getting off your high horse, grabbing some friends, and seeing it immediately.
The good times rolled right on to the Sunspot, where Anchor Steam and Arrogant Bastard finished the job Negra Modelo and Tequila had started. Adam, Holly, and I put the day to bed with a few episodes of Sports Night, and all was, indeed, right with the world.
I live in hope of what today brings, and feel as though I should get on that.



Consider this fair warning, there is a 70% chance of Cara in Knoxville on Friday and Saturday. Saturday is the Anna Rockanova Dynomite's birthday, and I'm thinking we still need to take her out dancing, since she's still never been. Plus, I'm aching for "the big city." Our fall break is Monday and Tuesday, but, you know, blowslots, plus impending mid-terms and critiques. I probably shouldn't be leaving town at all, given the amount of work I need to do, but no tv and no beer makes Homer go something something.
So, what are the plans? I realize UT's fall break is Thursday-Friday, will anyone be in town, does anyone want to get down? If not, I will frown, like a sad, sad clown.


Funny 'Cause it's True

Days until Bush leaves office.

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Grab your own copy here.

File Under: Women are Bitches

I have to relate this story because it's so screwed up. This is for all my men friends who think they have girl trouble.
Ross has a friend from CCAD who started dating this girl his Sophomore year of high school. They went to separate colleges and got engaged (on stage at a concert, no less) after they graduated. They lived together, engaged for two years. Ross was supposed to be the best man at their wedding this summer, but that's a whole other story. Anyway, they got married, went on their honeymoon, and the day after they got back she told him she is a lesbian and left him. I can't make this stuff up. The kicker is that they were, ahem, active the entire time.
I know, right?


He Hasn't Dropped Them, Forgot Them, or Anything

R.I.P. Christopher Reeve. Today I want to believe in an afterlife, and I hope he's running marathons up there.

Bacchanal went by in a blur. I haven't heard the final numbers, but I'm confident we will be able to continue our scholarship program thanks to the auction. After working the event for three years, I'm starting to recognize the monied Cookevillians. Bacchanal Sunday should be called the "Lost Sunday" because when you start drinking wine at 11:30 am, by 6 pm you're ready for bed, or Thai food. We chose the latter.
We are fortunate to have a fairly decent Thai restaurant in our metropolitan Cookeville, but god knows how they stay in business. When our rowdy crowd arrived, there were two other occupied tables, one by Susan and her parents, one by Jasmin, Kyle, and his parents. We took up about three, so five tables, all craft center kids. When we left, another table had been taken on the patio...by John, Sarah, and Kristin. My classmates and I were the sum total of their Sunday night business. I'll bet pennies to pad thai that Applebee's was on a wait all night long.
Nashville Public Radio is doing a three-part series on Meth cooking in Tennessee this week, today's story was focused where? Cookeville? Shocking.


Folly of Idol Worship

Salon sez:

"Bush snarls: Tell that to the Italian guy and the Brits. Hey, we've got 30 countries helpin' us out. Kerry says: You forgot Poland. Smoke coming out of Bush's ears spells out these words: 'Poland can kiss my grand coalition.' "

-Joyce McGreevy

Different Modes of Prophecy

It's 5:30 on a Saturday, and what is your humble narrator doing? Sitting on the couch in her bathrobe, margarita in one hand, cheez-its in the other ('how does she type' you ask. 'Carefully,' she replies) watching a football game. It is a widely publicized fact I hate the shit out of football, but when you only get five channels, one is quilting, one is PAX, and three are football, you choose the lesser of the evils, and the UT/UGA game at least offers some amount of novelty. I mean, I practically attended both universities (my freshman year at UT counts as practically attending, though I may have actually attended more classes at UGA, if you count that one time I sat in on Xian's bio lecture for the hell of it), and worked in bars in both Athens and Knoxville that forced me to profess a love for their team on any given Saturday in the fall. Fun, right?
Nevermind that I should be at school, on our last day of visiting artists, watching demos intently, "stealing with my eyes," being a part of the team, blah blah blah. I've had enough ass-kissing for a few weeks, plus a little voice keeps telling me not to leave the house today, and I usually try to listen to that voice.
Sometimes you just have to slack off. Otherwise, people start counting on you, expecting things, and we can't have that. I'm irresponsible dammit! Love me.
We made up our own presidential debate drinking game last night, with but one rule, drink whenever Bush is a dumbass. Needless to say we had to call it off after we ran out of booze in the first 5 minutes. Sure wish they'd had the debate on in the E.R. while we were having our stomachs pumped, I wanted to see the rest.
Kidding, I thought it was a good debate, if you define "good debate" as Bush being effortlessly trounced by Kerry. And I do. I think the un-NPRed masses are finally getting it, and I'm getting excited.
Tennessee 19
Georgia 14

Go DAWGS! Arf, Arf, Arf
(That was just for Holly, I don't give a rat's ass about the Dawgs, or anyone else.)


Took Some Hoes to Get Some Burritos

Today I joined the minivan-driving legion of fools. Big, purple Plymouth Grand Voyager, with a futon in the back. It kinda handles worse than my current piece-of-shit car, but it has cupholders and doesn't burn a quart of oil a day. Plus, you know, room for half the soccer team and their damn orange slices.
We have visiting artists for the next three days, so I'm chained to the studio. We're really excited about these guys, though, it will be worth every minute. It was announced today in department meeting I would be left in charge of the studio for a weekend soon (news to me). My professor is lecturing in Italy, and Ethan has a piece in the Pilchuck auction, so somehow I'm Speaker of the House. I feel very weird about this.
And that is a terrible picture of Ethan's wonderful piece. I feel I should mention Sean and Paulie while I'm at it, also not great pictures.
I'm going nowhere with this post, so I'm putting it out of it's misery here.


The Demons Still Mislead Men

I suspect my upbringing, but this is intensely fascinating to me. The titles of the chapters alone are worth a skim. And will probably be post titles for awhile, so get used to 'em.


Without a Hitch

You haven't lived until you've dragged your still-drunk/hungover ass from bed early in the morning to rehydrate, and found a tent city outside your kitchen window. I have no idea where the weekend went, but I had a wonderful one, nonetheless. I do not generally indulge in boastfulness, but I think I threw one badass party. But only because I heard about it all day today. The weather actually cooperated, and so did all attendees, with the exception of Bennett, who is on my shitlist for somehow (drunk?) using every dish in the kitchen to make simple hamburgers. A rousing cheer for Anna, Randy, Sewell, Ray, Amanda, and Adiffany for going those extra several miles just for my lil ol' shindig. My sympathies to Rhys on his vehicular woes, and a grand thanks to Tolsun and Rhys for transforming my last comment thread from barren wasteland of Chuck love to comedy gold.
Here I'll refrain from indulging in a huge recap, because you really just had to be there. I snapped a few pictures, but it was dark and drunk people hate flashes. Today, we enjoyed the finest in Smithvillian cuisine for brunch, and strolled about the school grounds until it was time to return to our repective realities. And the next thing I know it's Monday morning. What a great weekend, I hope everyone who didn't make it had a great one too.
That should get me through to Fall Break.