Thursday, May 31, 2007



Good evening from the drought stricken wilds of East Tennessee, where smoke from the various brush fires about the area cover the area with a thin blanket of smoke.

Seriously. It's not rained for (I'm thinking) weeks around these parts. I don't even have a smartass comment to give over the matter.

The Grass is DYING!!!!!

There is only clover to mow.Dabney Coleman was a superhero

As an aside, I think "Clover to Mow" would be a good name for a racehorse. As would "Big Stupid Tommy," all you horsebreeders out there. It was much to my chagrine that I watched the first couple legs of the triple crown and saw that there was no "Big Stupid Tommy" horse running in either race.

The cartoon image I got in my head after that statement was one of me running down the stretch at Churchill Downs, carrying Bobcat Goldthwait to victory in the biggest horse race of the year.

Which reminds me: Have you ever gone back to watch a movie that you loved as a kid? Just a movie that you loved the absolute crap out of? That you watched over and over until the tape wore out, and you weren't able to see it again?

Did you ever go back, some years later, to watch that movie?

Were you shocked at what an absolute stupid shit you were? Were you appalled at your taste, or lack thereof, even at that early age? Have you watched that movie that you loved, and just said to yourself "How did I become a productive member of society after having watched that dreck 183 times?"

I'm glad that's not true with the movie Hot to Trot. Because that movie is fucking awesome!

How that movie didn't win the Academy Award that year for Best Picture, Actor and Director, I'll never know. I'll take it as the Academy's prejudice against comedies, John Candy, horse movies and the fact that you can't understand what friggin' Bobcat Goldthwait says. Ever.

I always enjoyed Bobcat's early movies, because it kinda left it open to interpretation just what Bobcat really was saying. You got to make up the story and dialogue as you went along.

Here's a little bit of trivia for you about the movie Hot to Trot, via the Internet Movie Database:

Tim Burton was offered the chance to direct this one, after Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. But he declined.

I guess there just weren't enough Daddy-issues loaded into the script of Hot to Trot to appeal to Mr. Burton.

Anyway. I hate puns, and I just now looked really closely at what Don the Horse is saying in the poster I've attached to this post. That really makes me mad, and I'd have expected more from a film that stars Dabney Coleman.

Anyway. Going to pinch this one off. Move on to better things. Besides, I gotta go piss like...some manner of animal...the metaphor eludes me....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night

I hate this particular brand of insomnia. It's hit me three nights running now. I've woken up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water, or use the commode, and I end up lying there and lying there after returning to bed, thinking all the stupid and insecure thoughts that my brain saves up for times like this.

"Hey!" the brain will say, "he can't sleep. It's 1:24, let's pick right now to pick apart every minute detail of that that awful, awkward conversation he had with that girl he wants to go out with. Let's especially dwell on the wording that she used when she couldn't go to a movie. Is there any way we can turn 'I can't because I'm going out with family.' into something about his weight? What about his male pattern baldness?"

Or: "Hey, remember how his boss pulled him aside and talked to him about all the things the D.M. wanted fixed in the store? Is there a way we can snowball that into a complete analysis of his competencies, whether they have anything to do with work or not? Seems like 1:42 is the perfect time for such a thing."

Or: "Can we turn the chicken breast we burnt tonight into a spiral of torture that somehow ties in to every rejection letter he's ever gotten for stories his submitted for publication? And tie that in to his mail pattern baldness?"

Or even: "Do you think he roots for the Cubs so that he won't feel so badly about his own shortcomings in life?"

That last one's a personal favorite.

So, the brain's one problem. Both in the tormenting me, and in the speaking in the third person, as if it were a wholly separate entity. I'm working to kill it with alcohol, so I'm thinking it won't be a problem for a whole lot longer.

The lack of sleep will be. The last couple of days, the insomnia in and of itself hasn't been a problem, since I've either worked late or not at all. So what if I can't sleep? I'll just sleep until 10 to make up for it. Which is nice.

However, I gotta open the store in approximately five hours, so the past 90 minutes have been an extremely trying combination of the aforementioned insecurities and that vexing bit of math we all do when you gotta get up, where you have Rain Man like ability to get 3:42 until the alarm goes off out of having to get up at six and it being 2:18 in the morning. I can do that, but I have to break out the ten-key to balance my checkbook.


Just stressed.

I look at my blog sometimes, and I wonder just how much it reflects my personality. I've met a couple folks now who've read before they met. I think their reaction was that I'm a lot quieter than my blog would lead you to believe. But beyond that, I haven't really asked.

Looking back at a lot of stuff I've written, I think people think I'm a lot whinier a motherfucker than I actually am.

This post will do little more than feed that perception.

But, whaddaya gonna do? Just add it to the list of things my mind will torment me about when I try to go back to sleep in a few.

Just a couple more notes on things that pop into my head:

The Chicago Cubs thing is pissing me off, this fact that they're 2-12 or 2-13 in one-run games (don't remember what Sunday's loss took them to). Between the bullpen and the lack of situational hitting, I'm wondering whose walls will have more holes in them, mine or Lou Piniella's?

I don't think Lou has a security deposit to worry about, so probably his.

Watched the movie Babel last night (or this night, depending on how you want to describe these things). I enjoyed it a lot more than I would have thought. It's a bit slow, but I loved the way things tied together across three continents. Big props to the girl playing the Japanese deaf-mute--she knocked it out of the park

I also tried the movie Robots, which has one of the best armpit fart jokes I've ever seen in a flick, but beyond that didn't do much for me. There's something about these animated flicks coming out of Dreamworks--they just don't seem to have heart. I say much that same about most animated flicks coming out nowadays, actually.

When is it going to frigging rain?

I'm wondering just how personally I'm going to take it when the Transformers movie turns out to suck, later this summer. And it's going to suck. Mark my words. I wonder just how pissed off I'm going to get, especially considering that I'm sure it will suck, some five weeks or so before it opens.

Do you think Gary Larson ever gets a goofy idea, and gets pissed off that he no longer does Far Side? Or does he still jot them down, in case he decides to release some manner of one-shot collection?

Hey! I just yawned! That's a good sign. Maybe I've purged some of the ugly from my head, and tired my brain out enough for it to let me sleep!

Pray for me, people. Pray for me....

Monday, May 28, 2007

Buy his book

Buy his book

Hey! I know your time is precious here on the interweb, and you've stepped out of the mists of the Googleverse looking for pictures and measurements of Tommy Lee's cock, and before you starting mucking headlong into the world wide web, I want you to help a brother out.

Click on that link. Buy Elisson's book. He's a cool guy with an excellent blog. Check out his foray into the paperized publishing world.

What were you going to do with that money, anyway? Buy a dime bag? Pay for a subscription to a site with many pictures of many rock stars' private parts? Fix the transmission on the car?

Pfft. That's crazy talk.

Throw your money at something worth your while.

Buy his book.

Failing that, throw the money at me. I've already bought my copy. Need to pay for it now.

I'll dance for the money.

All sexy like.

Sunday Night

Sunday Night

Shitty day. People suck.

Just say what you mean. That's all I ever ask.

Anyway. This is my favorite clip ever from Scrubs.

It is now your favorite clip from Scrubs.

See? I just said what I meant. See how easy that was?

Friday, May 25, 2007

In which we do another test

in which we do another test

Lunch plans fell through. So I ate a big bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. They were excellent.

I also found this out:

How smart are you?

I wouldn't worry about it though. I'll more than likely die when I pull a heavy object down on my head. I'm a pretty good candidate for the Darwin Awards.

In which I have the interweb to tell me who I am

In which I have the interweb to tell me who I am

You scored as Agnostic, Agnostics consider the possibility that they may be wrong about God's existence, no matter which side of the fence they stand on. Always willing to objectively evaluate the most ridiculous proof, nevertheless, these guys are skeptics of the Nth degree.



Scientific Atheist


Spiritual Atheist




Apathetic Atheist


Militant Atheist


Angry Atheist


What kind of atheist are you?
created with

Good to know. Saw this here, and now we move on....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In Which Those Assholes at Lost Kill my Favorite Character

In Which those Assholes at Lost Kill my Favorite Character

He was a minor, minor character. Probably not even as important as Bernard.

But I liked Tom. I thought there was potential there. For maybe one Tom Flashback episode.

But they killed him.

A good finale, I reckon.

Except for that part where they killed Tom.

That part was awful.

In which his mind plays tricks on him

In which his mind plays tricks on him

I had a weird dream last night. Confusing, daunting. It made me feel like there's something inside of me that's messing with me as much as it is the rest of you people.

In the dream, I'm lying in bed, drifting in and out of sleep. I wake up every now and then, look at the clock, do the math in my head to figure out just how long it is I have to sleep before I go to work. I do this a few times.

Then, my phone beeps. I wake up, and look at my phone. I got a text message that the Cubs had just lost to the Padres.

I roll over, look at the clock, and see that it's not yet 1:00.

It took me several moments to sort out that I'd been dreaming that I had insomnia.

Not cool, subconscious. Not cool.

Still, it was neat to realize that, after all that "waking up," I still had 5 hours left to sleep. So, take that, brain!

Dig me as I revel in the silver lining.

Saturday, May 19, 2007



(Tomorrow, we pillage).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Movie Game Meme

Movie Game Meme

Wandering the interweb this morning, I find a game at Ken's, and Tainted Bill's. I'll play along:

Pick out your ten favorite movies, then look them up at IMDb. In the overview at the top of each movie's page, there are "Plot Keywords," usually five of them. (Plus more, if you click the link.) Take the first five, and post them. Then the rest of us get to play movie buff and see if we can guess them.

In no particular order:

1. Corrupt Prison Officials / Falsely Accused / Poster / Maine / Shot In The Head

Barry got it. Shawshank Redemption.

2. Cult / Affair / Female Nudity / Chainsaw / Gross Out Comedy

3. Time Machine / Time Portal / No Opening Credits / Ham Radio / Time Ride

Gunny got this one. It's Contact.

4. New York City / Mission / Whimsical / Scientist / Demonic Possession

Gunny on this one too: Ghostbusters

5. Poisoning / Farce / Dysfunctional Family / Grave Site / Spinster

Barry again. Arsenic and Old Lace.

6. Young Boy / Idealism / Political Protest / Social Commentary / Red Scare

7. Salesman / Tennessee Valley Authority / Gunfire / Fight / Hanging

Gunny here, too: O Brother Where Art Thou?

8. 1990s / Vomit Scene / Civil War / Border Crossing / Jeep

9. Good Versus Evil / Cult Director / Cult Favorite / Severed Arm / 1860s

10. Anachronistic / Jewish Humor / Nazi / Actor Playing Multiple Roles / Nazis

I may post second clues later--I feel like each one has a one keyword that just gives the whole thing away, but as I found out when playing the others, it's much easier to post than to try to figure them out.....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

In which I am tagged...

In which I am tagged....

A food meme? Alrighty.

I was tagged by Alice, who was tagged by Joe.....

The rules:

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the city/state and country you’re in.

Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, USA)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Todd (Louisville, Kentucky, United States)
miss kendra (los angeles, california, u.s.a)
Jiggs Casey (Berkeley, CA, USA! USA! USA!)
Tits McGee (New England, USA)
Joe (NE Tennessee, USA)
10K Monkeys (Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA)
Big Stupid Tommy (Athens, Tennessee, USA)

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

I'm gonna have to stretch--my neck of the woods is eaten up with Hardee's and Subways. While those places truly are godly and wonderful places to eat, it doesn't do much for the geographic identity. So, I'll start local for my five, and stay as local as I can, but the circle may widen as far north as Knoxville or south at Chattanooga before I'm done....

1. Legends...not to be confused with the sporting good store of the same name, whose signs appear on I-75 and 411, here in Athens...Legends does a helluva good messy hamburger. There may not be a lot I know in life, but hella-messy hamburgers are tops on the list. And Legends does a fine, fine job. They're only open for lunch, and their restaurant is a converted house just off Madison in Athens.

2. The Gondolier...It's a smallish chain nowadays, but I remember way back when The Gondolier was almost by itself here in Athens. Gondolier does great thin-crust, almost no-sauce, extremely garlicy pizza. I missed Gondolier pizza a lot when I moved out of Athens. As an aside, when I was a kid, Ernest Borgnine once landed at the local airport for some reason (weather, maybe; perhaps mechanical), and ate at The Gondolier. It made the front page of the newspaper. I shit you not. I recommend the House Special, in which they throw everything except sausage gravy onto the pizza. Comes with a side of sausage gravy*

3. Michael's...Michael's is relatively new, and in its second incarnation over in Etowah, since the first owners ran into some legal trouble. Good, good barbecue. A pretty good steak. The chef knows his shit.

4. Jenkin's Deli....We used to have a Jenkin's here in town, but there was a divorce and suddenly, the only Jenkin's is the one in Cleveland, Tennessee. More a pub atmosphere than a deli, they still have great sandwiches. If you can be a man, and order it in public with everybody watching, the Zippy Chippy Chicken Sandwich won't disappoint (except for that part where people make fun of you for ordering such a thing.) The only downside is that they've let their beer selection dwindle in recent times. You can still get a Bass or a Guinness, so I'm pretty easily pleased....

5. The Sitar....There's a location in Chattanooga, and a location in Knoxville (as well as Johnson City and Nashville...). The Indian cuisine has grown on me in recent years, and if I'm heading to Knoxville, there's as good a chance as any that I'll wander into The Sitar. Across the board, I'd have to say that the Chattanooga branch is spicier than its Knoxville counterpart--still, the staff trips on itself to make a pleasant dining experience in Knoxville. I really dig going there.

*No it doesn't.

(Of course, after thinking of these five, I keep remembering places...Either of the Mexi-Wing's here in town do hella-fine wings; Witherspoon's in Cleveland is another fine sandwich (although they've gotten really hit or miss here lately); My sister and friend Jillian both are to blame for my fascination with Lupi's down in Chattanooga; you can't go wrong with Mellow Mushroom; and Big River has to be commended for their I.P.A.; and though I've only hit it a couple times, the Half Barrel has pleased me immensely each time I hit it up in Knoxville....)

3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

I'm going to tag Shyam (for the local counterpoint), Chris, NewsComa, Dave and Danielle (because I like tagging somebody on the other side of the planet)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wrasslin' Match

Wrasslin' Match

Here's a Wrasslin' Match for you.

I got up at 6 this morning. I wrote for a couple hours, and then I got online to try to get my facts straight on Sherman's March to the sea. From there, I ended up on Fark, where I watched a fight between Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler, and then I ended up watching wrestling on Youtube for the past hour or so.

This is one I saw. Paul London vs. Chris Sabin for NWA-TNA's X-Division title. I never actually saw it on TeeVee. This is from the day where TNA did weekly shows from Nashville. The Evil Hippy and I would make our way every Wednesday, see some really cool stuff.

I watch this match, and it's a pretty good show between X-Division guys. It features an appearance by C.M. Punk, and that's what triggered my memory of the match...



"By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth."

George Carlin.

George turned 70 yesterday. Fark had this link, to a list of a hundred of his best lines...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

End of the Week Re-Run

End of the Week Re-Run

After this work week, I'm looking seriously at retirement. I think I've served my time, and could easily settle into a life of leisure. Me, my RV, and perhaps a chimpanzee.

Katie Couric moved from the Today show to the CBS news this time last year. I can safely say that I've thought of Katie Couric since then a maximum of 7000 times.

So, not that much, really.

Anyway. From about this time last year:

Katie's Sendoff

Katie Couric had a chimpanzee visit her today on The Today Show. As part of the sendoff she's getting. I thought that was really cool, until I realized that she wasn't going to get to keep Lucky Louie.

That'd be a helluva sendoff, for your services: getting to keep the chimpanzee.

It'd almost make it worth getting up at 3:45 in the morning every morning for the past 15 years.

That's why I couldn't make it on the Today Show. All that constant early-rising. That, and my non-telegenic nature, general ignorance of and apathy for current events, and the complete, violent animosity Al Roker and I would have for each other. But mostly, it'd be the 3:45 in the morning thing.

If I had to be at work that early every day, I might consider just sleeping during the afternoon, and get up around 8 in the evening. Act like a vampire all night, and then go into Rockefeller Center and report on the news with Matt, Al and that chick who I refer to as "Ann Rice," even though I know that's not her name. The problem would be whether I choose to get drunk as I'm up in the middle of the night.

Given my stick-in-the-mud nature, I'd say I'd probably just sit up and read a book, or watch TeeVee.

Or wander the night, fighting crime.

Whichever struck my fancy on that given night. It would largely depend on how cold it was outside. And, of course, how much crime there was to fight.

Speaking of 3:45, do you think Katie wakes up then on her day off? When I had jobs that required my being there early in the morning, one of the things that bugged me was my inability to sleep late on my days off. I had a hotel job one summer that had me getting to work at 4:30 every morning....and on my days off, I could only sleep to 6:30 or 7. Do you think Katie Couric has that problem? What time do you think she'll get up when she's anchoring the CBS News? 10 in the morning? 11?

Have I mentioned Campbell Brown? Why the hell not? Have you seen this woman? She's huge! She's like 6'7". And BeeYooTeeFull. Dude, if you're looking for somebody to play Wonder Woman, this would be the woman to do it.

But I've wandered off my point.

Katie didn't get to keep the Chimpanzee. Which is maybe a gyp. I'd take it as a gyp, but then, I don't have all the nice things that a Katie Couric would have in her home. I tend to think that having a chimpanzee in the house, while cool, would probably be detrimental to any collections of fine art, or fragile china that you might have on the premises. Owing to that chimpanzees like to do hilarious things like tear up fine art, and break fragile china.

But since I own neither fine china nor fine art (with the possible exception of my original one-sheet of the film Police Academy II: Their First Assignment), I think I'd be cool with having a chimpanzee around the house.

If only to have as a conversation piece.

"What's that?"

"That's a bowl of Black Cherry Jell-O."

"No, not that....That!"

"Oh. That's my Retirement Chimpanzee."

If I survive in my current position long enough to have a retirement, I'll say this:

Fuck that "Gold Watch" bullshit.

You know what? I might even forego a pension.

If I can have a Retirement Chimpanzee.

But he can't smoke. I don't want a smoking chimpanzee. In my retirement, I don't know that I'll have the extra money to buy cigarettes (or cigars, or pipe tobacco) for a chimpanzee, especially if I've foregone a pension in favor of said chimpanzee.

Now, if the chimpanzee has money of his own, perhaps through some manner of court settlement or extended lottery winnings, then he can smoke. Outside, or in the garage during winter.

But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

I wonder if Katie Couric would let a retirement chimpanzee smoke in the house.

My gut says no, but there's a part of me that thinks she might, on the basis of "as long as he shits in the shitter."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thoughts on the Movie 28 Weeks Later...

Thoughts on the Movie 28 Weeks Later...

1. I think Robert Carlyle is a cannibal in real life, and takes roles like this and his in Ravenous to come out of that cannibalism closet, if only for a short while.

2. My two favorite actor names are now Imogen Poots and Mackintosh Muggleton.

3. It is astounding to me that Kevin Costner, he of the "Man Against the World" role, has not yet found his way into a zombie movie, a niche in a genre that exemplifies "us vs. them" and "man vs. the world" more than any other type of flick.

4. And yes, it's a zombie movie. Anybody who stops to explain why this and its predecessor are not zombie movies needs to be shown into the Picard vs. Kirk Discussion Room, and then gassed.

5. Not as good as the first, which I enjoyed muchly on a reviewing the other day. But a decent enough way to pass an afternoon. I wasn't sorry I went.

6. It took me the whole friggin' movie to realize that the Helicopter pilot was Harold Perrineau, who played Michael on Lost. I hate when I get that thing going in my head, where I can't figure out who the person didn't take me out of the movie (as has happened), but it tends to be a distraction. It should be noted that this is not an indictment of the movie, rather another notch in the post cataloging my potential mental illness....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Big Stupid Definition

Big Stupid Definition

Because today, I'm just not fucking sure who I am. I might be pro wrestler Low-Ki. Because I am a mad monkey (he said, in a reference that he and maybe a couple other people might truly understand).

But this quiz says otherwise:

You are The Hierophant

Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.

All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.

The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

I don't know about all that shit, but today I've been especially irked by the Designated Hitter rule...enough so that I'm willing to start small wars over it....

Via Newscoma...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007



It's felt like Wednesday all day.

Either I'm not sleeping, or it's the beginnings of dementia.

It is important to keep in mind that one being fact does not preclude the other from existence.

However, it's just Tuesday.

Good Morning

Good Morning

Closed the store last night, opening it this morning. It's all good, though. Ran across a little Cool Hand Luke...Fark had "Failure to Communicate," but for me, it's really all about the car wash.

It might not be safe for work, if you work with overly sensitive retards.

For the rest of us, it's simply a classic.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spider-Man Trois

Spider-Man Trois

Wandered out to see the third Spider-Man flick today. I went for an action flick, and I figure that I enjoyed it, about the same amount that I enjoyed the first couple Spider-Man flicks, though I figure my ultimate response will be about the same: I saw it the first time, liked it, but don't figure I'll ever need to sit and watch it again.

Don't know why, but the Spider-Man movies don't engender that "need to watch it over and over" response in me. Sam Raimi movies do that. Even the ones I thought were really friggin' cool, like Army of Darkness....

So, we establish that Spider-Man 3 is no Police Academy 4.

Actually, two more thoughts:

This was definitely the most "Dawson's Creek" of all the Spider-Man movies.

And: I was a little disappointed with the relative lack of screen time for Venom. I thought his was the best part of the flick, and this is coming from a guy who found the comic character nearly as worthless as Snapper Carr. The lack of screen time here made me think that the franchise is wandering into Batman movie territory, where the screen is crowded with too many characters, with not enough time for characterization given.

I have little else to say about the movie itself. If you liked the first two, you'll probably like this one.

I will finish this post by linking to something Bill wrote around the time of the second Spider-Man flick, concerning the actions of the car salesman ostensibly in charge of baseball. One of the funniest things he ever set to paper....

(Also, Steve Silver had a thought or two, and he beat me to the Batman comparison by a couple hours....)



Is the average age of the New York Yankees pitching staff 109? Or is my math a little off?

At least this way, I feel like I have double the reason to boo Clemens.


Sunday thoughts....

Sunday thoughts....


1.) Have I ever mentioned how Comcast sucks? Seriously. I've been a little busy this week with work and real life, but there were a couple of sizeable gaps in my internet connectivity this week, and that bugs me. At least it wasn't like the last time, where one of the neighbors had tried to splice into my cable connection. But serioulsy, how am I supposed to look at internet porn blog and look at baseball statistics if I don't have a decent internet connection?

2.) We had grocery inventory last week. If you have the opportunity, I'd skip it.

3.) Went out last night for an evening of Indian food and a flick. Wandered away from my normal Korma, and took in some Mangoed Lamb. Very, very tasty...

4.) Also saw the Flick Year of the Dog, which I liked when we were done, and like even more this morning. Molly Shannon's performance kicks a lot of ass--every now and then a role and a performance comes a long that reveals that a lot of humor comes from a dark place, for both character and performer. I saw a little bit of that in this flick, especially at a Christmas scene involving Molly and Laura Dern.

5.) I ate two (2) Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuits for breakfast. I brought them home and put a tomato on them. Because I like to work as many food groups into one greasy-ass sandwich as possible.

6.) Pictures from my stroll this morning:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Nothing gets the blood flowing like a little rebellion against unjust political machines. There's a book or two floating around about it. I keep meaning to wander over to Village Book Shop to get a copy, but I'm usually distracted by all the candy rattling around in my brain.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I like to think of this as Eastern philosophy and Western Commercialism coming to meet right in the Buckle of the Bible Belt. I like to think that, because it bothers me to think that the Religious Right is building an army of ninjas.

If this page had an IMBD "Mistakes" or "Bloopers" section, it would say that: if you look close in the picture of the Oneheart Dojo you can see the cameraman reflected in the window.

But we all know this blog is pretty much one long blooper section.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Tuesday Decompression

Tuesday Decompression

Even though it's technically Wednesday, and has been for 52 minutes in this time zone....

Woken early, after just 3 hours sleep, by another manager, who managed to leave his keys inside the store, thus making it impossible to unlock it from the outside.

Could not tumble back into slumber--instead, my mind kept replaying a conversation with my meat manager Neil, about his chemical past. The conversation kept playing on a continual loop, until I said "I need to get up, and write something, and stop thinking about the time Neil fell down into a gully while high."

And write something I did. Then, I went back and looked at something I wrote a few months ago. It's good, if I say so myself. And for some reason, I've got a desire to get a rejection letter from Oxford American. So I think I'll fix it up and send it to them by the end of the week.

Bought biscuits for myself, my Dad and my Aunt Annette, who was visiting from someplace called Virginia. Dad asked what I was getting him for mother's day. I told him that he'd be getting exactly the same thing I got him last year for Mother's Day.


Worked a bunch. Trying to get ready for inventory. It's a blast and a half. If you were anywhere near the lower east corner of Tennessee, and you heard a giant "Woo Hoo!" somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 o'clock tonight, that was me. I was overcome with joy, especially after a guy called me a prick for not giving him baby formula.

The baby will starve, he said. Then he bought cigarettes.

I loves me some people.

Weekend off. No baseball locally. Atlanta's in town. Might be able to convince somebody to go. Might find something else interesting to do.

Perhaps I will learn the mambo.

And become Mambo Jones.

Once and for all.

And they thought I was signing that in the high school yearbooks just to be weird.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The "Novel" part 5

The "Novel" part 5

This was probably the most incongruous part written. Incidentally, it was also my favorite....

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

In all honesty, this has probably been the most fun to write, so far. It came easily, and that's fun. I've not even really proofread it, so since it came so easily, it probably has the most typographical errors. And since I'm so pleased with it, it may turn out to be the worst section so far. Just formatting it for the site, I think I've got a date issue or three, and I may have switched a characters name a time or two--but such is reading a first draft....

I'll be posting all these to a web page later on. But I'm already running late...

The ambitiously named Trainersville Herald-Frontier found its headquarters on the top of a hill at the west end of town. From the steps leading up to its editorial department, you can turn and see pretty much the whole of Trainersville.

I did this, before heading to the door of the newspaper. Looked north, and south. Saw the First Baptist Church (the other Baptist church, the one with Air Conditioning, for those keeping score) bounding the town on the north, and Mt. Zion’s A.M.E. on the south. The newspaper and the Elementary School (on my right) up on the ridge effectively formed a town proper border on the western end of town. To the east, you could see the six-story building the Bank of Trainersville had built a decade or so back–Trainersville’s first “skyscraper,” and past the bank, you saw a mix of houses, trailers and open land. Dots of farms and open land lined the route from Trainersville to Quincy, down State Highway 16 toward the McAllen Paper Mill and the Hiwassee River.

Want a short history of Trainersville and Dickerman County?

I took the bulk of this from a paper I wrote in the seventh grade, though I did some research for this very tome you’re reading now, at the Trainersville Public Library, on a night when a softball game was rained out.

Those first settlers of Dickerman County, religious outcasts who believed that the Holy Trinity actually consisted of God, Jesus and John Quincy Adams, founded a church and a post office on the banks of the Hiwassee River in the early 1820's, appropriately after the third leg of the Trinity.

The county was named after Jonas Dickerman, a hero of the Revolutionary War of much lesser renown than he desired (though twice as much as he deserved) and later Indian Removal Artist, who recieved a huge tract of land in payment for his services to our young country.

Jonas found religion late in life, after a meeting then president John Quincy Adams. It was a brief meeting, at which the President Adams shook Dickerman’s hand, thanked him for his service to our country. Not long after the meeting, Dickerman’s many maladies cleared and quickly.

Dickerman, a pleasant man, to be sure, was renowned less for his Revolutionary War heroics and more for his many, many maladies. At various points in his life, Dickerman had been laid up with any number of maladies...indeed, it might be remarkable that he made it to the ripe old age of 93, except that you need to consider that the man spent more than half his life in bed, recovering from any number of illness or injury. Granted, he spent much of his life sick, but he spent more than equal amounts of time in various states of recuperation.

At various points in his life, it is written that Dickerman found himself laid up with busted knees, shoulders or in one case, what is described as “Busted Skull.” Likewise, records and Dickerman’s own journals show that the colonel found himself suffering at various points from any number of influenzas, respiratory ailments, bronchial infections and pneumonias as well as a vague but long-lasting bout Dickerman suffered during his years spent living hunting in upstate New York , something his doctors refer to simply as “The Dropsy of Five Nations.”

Nor were his lungs the only issue: Various intestinal maladies seem to be something of a speciality of Col. Dickerman. For a great deal of his life, he could only stomach a weak corn-mush and milk as his only form of sustenance. Dickerman’s journals are lined with descriptions of the stomach issues he suffered from most of his life, most of which doctors would probably ascribe to severe lactose intolerance. But along his way, in his travels as an Indian Tracker, Dickerman seems to have picked up every water- and food-borne intestinal bacteria that one could pick up in late 18th and early 19th century America.

“Dickerman suffers again from diarrhea,” is a line found in a great many doctor’s journals of the time. Little can be attributed to this, with the exception of one physician’s opinion that “Dickerman would do well to have his meat cooked a little more....” though this is less a medical opinion than a statement of a doctor who served as his hunt party’s launderer as well. It seems that Dickerman believed rather stringently that it was entirely too easy to cook all the taste out of a piece of meat, be it deer, pork or beef, and often times a hunt on their party would end with an entreaty from Dickerman that they “run a hunk of meat on a stick through the flames a couple of times and feed me it [sic].”

And the opinion of the launderer was that Dickerman might have better luck keeping clean white shirts if he weren’t constantly dripping the blood from barely cooked meat all over his apparel.

Despite standardized medicine not quite having come into full effect in the time, there is one thing the medical professionals of the time all agree upon: Dickerman was a man of prodigious appetites, but he was also incredibly picky about what he ate.

In that there was little besides meat that he would eat.

Let it be known that there was not an animal Jonas Dickerman would not eat. Cow. Pig. Chicken. Duck. Sheep. All were game. Squirrel, rabbit and possum were not all that unusual for the day, either. But Dickerman’s own journals detail the eating of dogs, cats, rats, snakes, gophers, woodchucks, moles, voles and field mice. There is one story, highly debated, about whether Dickerman’s late return from the War of 1812 was truly because he wouldn’t pay an innkeeper’s price for a meal, and decided to follow through on his threat that “he’d cook and eat the horse he was riding before paying 7 cents for an overcooked hunk of steak!”

One local scholar maintains today that Dickerman’s intentions in moving to the Appalachian mountain area was simply the first part of a plan to lead a winter-time expedition across the mountains, in hopes of getting trapped in the ice and snow, so that Dickerson might be able to dine on his traveling companions, and that the only thing that kept that course from being taken was Dickerson’s discovery of religion.

It’s a meandering history, but I’ve said all that to say this.

On the day Dickerman met with President John Quincy Adams, he was in sad shape. It was October of 1827, and doctors were in a frenzy to determine the reason for Dickerman’s declining health, this time around. He arrived to meet the president, suffering from a pallor in his complexion, covered in bruises. His gums were bleeding, his hair was falling out. Dark circles surround his eyes, and he had suffered two nosebleeds that day, the second of which he’d unsuccessfully attempted to stifle with the cuff of his shirt.

Further, Dickerman’s tongue had inexplicably swollen on him, and rendered any attempt at speech a matter of untranscribable and undecipherable gibberish.

The legend says that Adams shook Dickerman’s hand, granted him the huge tract of land in lower East Tennessee, and soon thereafter, every one of Dickerman’s symptoms cleared up.

Clearly, it was a miracle.

Jonas Dickerman had most likely intended to curse Adams. As much is said in his journals: “the man who stole the presidencey [sic] from General Andy Jackson deserves to be spat upon, and to be made to clean out the stables with his hands and mouth....”

But because his tongue was swollen, he was not. Dickerman took this as a miracle from on high. John Quincy Adams then granted Dickerman a huge tract of land on the Hiwassee River in Tennessee, in thanks for his battles against the British, the Indians and all the enemies of the United States of America. Dickerman likewise took the presentation as a divine gift, a display of God’s, Jesus’ and John Quincy Adams’ forgiveness.

There are two more things that need to be mentioned here.

It is most likely that day that neither God nor Jesus, and especially not John Quincy Adams stilled Jonas Dickerman’s tongue. Also, most likely, they did nothing to cure him of his hair loss, sallow complexion, bruises or bleeding gums.

More likely, it was oranges Dickerman had eaten for breakfast that cured him. Dickerman had requested two pounds of bacon that day, but was denied such by the hotel staff, as none was on hand (Dickerman had eaten the whole inn’s supply in the previous two days–remarkable, as it was easily a month’s supply for an inn the served many an important guest in nineteenth century Washington, DC). In lieu of bacon, Dickerman had to settle for a pair of oranges. Oranges he enjoyed so much he bought 3 crates to take with him on his return home, to prepare to travel to his new land in East Tennessee.

Looking back, Dickerman’s diet of meat and little more had left him a little wanting for certain nutrients, all part of what we now call “a balanced diet.” Chief among them that day was Vitamin C.

It now seems that Jonas Dickerman met with the president while suffering from the worst stages of Scurvy. And it was not John Quincy Adam’s divine intervention that saved him. Rather, it was a now constant source of Vitamin C.

And while we can discuss the scientific vs. religious ramifications of having met John Quincy Adams until John Quincy returns with Jesus, there is one more thing: The last thing we need to talk about in the particular manner is the fact that records show that Jonas Dickerman, in fact, never shook that hand of John Quincy Adams.

Jonas Dickerman, as we said, was a man of large appetites. That appetite was not limited to food and drink.

I suppose it depends on your stance on such stories, but it is either fortunate or unfortunate that the ladies of the night of the late 18th and early 19th centuries did not keep as detailed a record as did the medical professionals of the time.

What is known is that Dickerman was renowned for his sexual appetites and his near nightly use of the ladies of the night. Indeed, it was such that kept him from being a prominent member of the puritanical church society of his native upstate New York.

And the conditions of contraception and protection being what they were in pre Civil War America, there are any number of maladies that Dickerman could have (and probably did) pick up. And spread, for that matter.

What is generally agreed upon now, is this:

In 1827, when Jonas Dickerman met John Quincy Adams, the President of the United States, he was suffering from the tertiary stages of syphilis. When Dickerman was supposed to meet with Adams, he was very nearly blind because of his sickness. He told his closest confidant that he could tell “light from dark, but little else.”

“Point me at the President,” Dickerman told that confidant, reportedly at the time when Dickerman was supposed to meet the president. Now whether that aide could understand Dickerman with his swollen, scorbutic tongue is not known. So we don’t know if the aide simply pointed Dickerman at the wrong man, or if John Quincy Adams, upon seeing the ghoulish, thin-haired, bleeding, sallow man decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and sent an aide of his own to shake the hand of Jonas Dickerman.

Either way, it was never told to Jonas Dickerman that he did not meet with John Quincy Adams. He went to his grave (some 16 years later...if you can believe that....) having founded the First Church of John Quincy Adams on the banks of the Hiwassee River in Tennessee, some six miles from where present day Trainersville was founded.


It is also not known whether Adams intentionally gave the tract of land that became Dickerman County to two men or not...perhaps he expected Dickerman to be dead of whatever number of curses he was carrying soon enough.

But in truth, John Quincy had indeed gifted the tract of land to two men.

The second man, a James Quentin Edwards was also gifted the land, for his brokering of a logging treaty with the Five Nations in upstate New York.

Dickerman’s party arrived first. They founded a church, and the post office. And they set up their own logging camp on the banks of the Hiwassee.

Edward’s party arrived three months later, surprised to find a port, a church and a working brothel in a town called “Quincy” on the land he was supposed to have owned.

I mentioned that Dickerman County was founded by Religious Outcasts. I apologize if I misrepresented them in this way. They were outcasts, to be sure, but not necessarily because of their religious beliefs. These people were outcasts, but largely because they had been deemed by the society of the time to be less than worthy. Some were petty criminals, expelled from their towns...some were physically deformed, others mentally challenged. And a few were just plain ornery folks who didn’t take with the ideas of the time, including quite a few women who just enjoyed wearing men’s pants. They had all fallen behind Jonas Dickerman for various reasons, but there was one thing that had bound them. They were all Terribly, Wonderfully religious. Devout, devout creatures.

And they had fallen behind Jonas Dickerman after he had taken the Lord, Jesus and John Quincy Adams as his saviour. Also, they fell behind him because he was practically giving the land away in his new county–Jonas Dickerman was a lot of things: Indian Killer, Wonderful Singer, Blind as a Bat...but good with money, he was not....

Anyway. The initial populace of Dickerman County was made up largely of Outcasts who were Religious. Hence: religious outcasts.

Although that stuff where they believe John Quincy Adams was the third leg of the Holy Trinity would have been enough to make them outcasts in that society, had word of their unique beliefs made it much further than the banks of the Hiwassee.

There was a skirmish between the two camps. The Dickerman Camp won out. The fact that their fighting force was made up mostly of the deformed, whom it was believed had little to lose, combined with the Edwards Party’s consternation at having traveled 1100 miles overland when there was a working boat dock on the river, made the fight a short one.

There was one death.

James Quentin Edwards was hanged. In part because of the tiresome, overland route his party had taken to reach his claim. In part because a blind and (almost certainly) crazed Jonas Dickerman believed Edwards to be a spy for the Indians. But mostly because his name, James Quentin Edwards, was taken as a perversion of the name of one of the holy trinity, and he was deemed blasphemous.

Luckily, attitudes had changed somewhat when Jesus Estrada moved into Dickerman County, in 1970.


Trainersville’s history is a little easier to tell.

Trainersville is called what it is because it was built at what became confluence of several rail lines that wove themselves through the south, hauling coal, timber, hogs and people from some place or another. Trainersville most probably wouldn’t have come into being if it weren’t for the railroads, as the only other tangible assets we seem to have are pine trees and mosquitoes. In fact, legend has it that the Cherokee word for the whole area was “Mosquito Swamp,” and that they laughed at the white people when they moved in, for their ignorance.

The original settlers’ name for the town had been Fulgation, and it was founded some 6 years after Quincy, by some of those original settlers of Quincy. Shortly before the Civil War, work began on the train lines that would run through Trainersville, even through the Civil War. Depots were built. Any business that catered to the train industry, whether it be iron works, timber cutters, or watermen found root in Trainersville. Hospitality businesses came into being, be they inns or restaraunts. Even the burgeoning whorehouse industry eventually moved its headquarters from Quincy to Fulgation.

More and more, though, people were calling the town Trainersville, since most of the population had moved in to support the railroad.

And Fulgation, it was decided, was not an appropriate name for a town dedicated to the railroad. Mostly because it was such an ugly sounding word, but also because of the religious implications it had for the small area: most of the natives believed Fulgation was called that as an attempt to add on to the mythos of most Christians strived for heaven as their prize, those who listened to the word of John Quincy Adams strove for a whole other level of heaven: Fulgation.

Plus, in 1848, John Quincy Adams died.

By 1853, he had not yet returned from the grave. Not in a manner so that he announced himself, anyway. So, it was pretty much decided that John Quincy Adams either was not holy, or he was simply enjoying heavenly fulgation by himself, and he was not out to help the settlers of the town against the onslaught of railroadmen.

Trainersville became that officially in the fall of 1853.

There’s not much left to tell about Trainersville, except this:

General William Tecumseh Sherman leveled Trainersville in his March to the Sea, during the Civil War. It was a railroad hub. It held strategic value. And a great many of the deformed that had founded the county still had their ingredients in the genepool.

Sherman is supposed to have said, as he made his headquarters in the Velvet Shrub, what had been up until 1862 the nicest brothel in town: “Even if this wasn’t a filthy rebel haven, I’d wipe this horrid, freakish place off the face of the Earth simply to satisfy my own sense of human self-interest.”

Trainersville, in all logic and honesty, probably shouldn’t have been rebuilt.

Using the reasoning that so many have always used: we did it this way before, folks rebuilt the train lines despite the sand and clay soil, despite the scourge of God mosquitos and despite the fact that the Appalachian wilderness seemed to encroach upon the attempt at civilization as soon as you turned your back on it.

But rebuild they did.

Little else exciting or pertinent to this story has happened in the 150 years since. We were the last county to outlaw prostitution in the state, doing so right around the same time Congress placed a prohibition on alcohol. The legal booze came back, the other did not. There was a brief gun battle over voting fraud just after World War 2.

There is one more thing.

In 1966, Jesse Cochrane, the one and same whose ass-crack hangs out of the AMC Gremlin, made national noteriety when, as a 10-year-old, wandered into one of the many limestone caves, in the area, and emerged 21 days later, after having been given up for dead, from a cave not far from where my Dad lived with his parents, off route 38.

To this day, Jesse has no memory of his time in the cave.