Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ain't your Dog, Ain't your Chicken

Surely some of you enjoy perusing my dad's blog, which he created to set the record straight about any lies I might be perpetuating on The Internet, but which he now uses as a forum to discuss the subtleties of being a grouchy old hippie man. Well, a couple days ago, he wrote a post about something he doesn't know a whole lot about, which is minding his own business. He says that his wife Janice (of baby-wrangling fame) sometimes calls him to order when he gets in a dither about somebody else's personal life with the following admonishment: "Ain't Your Dog, Ain't Your Chicken."

Now, Janice is a woman of few pretensions and fewer words. She is from the for real Country--meaning rural east Georgia, meaning she cooks with Crisco and considers most stuff I do to be hipster nonsense.  Dad is fascinated with people who can mind their own business as thoroughly and heroically as Janice can, and I'm pretty sure they both know that she's providing 100% of his street cred out in Madison County, where Dad routinely makes himself ridiculous in front of the locals by speaking in paragraph form and publicly admitting to voting for Obama.

ANYWAY. "Ain't your Dog, Ain't your Chicken" is a bit of family lore associated with the time the Dove Boys, which are a family of ne'er-do-wells out in Danielsville who can also roof THE HELL out of a house, were re-shingling my grandmother's roof. Be it known that Virginia has chickens and she used to have a whole lot of chickens until she got Russ, who was, during his lifetime, the scariest German Shepherd of my acquaintance. Virginia was passionately attached to Russ, and as he was intimidating and aggressive, it was necessary for her to set up a pretty extensive scaffolding of delusion around him in order to maintain the love. For instance, he detested the UPS man and would riot whenever the truck came up the driveway. He bit several delivery men in his day and also bit Jane one time when she hugged me in front of him. But whenever anyone complained, Virginia would say "Russ has never bitten anybody; he sometimes just grabs at people with his teeth."

Anyway, Virginia also refused to believe Russ killed chickens. But as he was a chicken murderer in his heart, it was only a matter of time before he got caught in the act by someone who was not blinded by love. That witness ended up being one of the Dove Boys, who was hammering away on Virginia's roof one day when he witnessed Russ' attack and brutal disembodiment of a Barred Rock hen. Understandably, said Dove Boy felt it his duty to climb down from the roof, trudge into Virginia's kitchen and tell her about it. Unsurprisingly (to me, anyway), Virginia's response was, "Oh, it's fine. Russ doesn't kill chickens--he just plays with them in his mouth." In his defense, Dove Boy had no way of knowing that when it came to that bloody-muzzled dog outside, the old lady in front of him was harboring a severely distorted view of reality bordering on what one might experience during a trip on psychoactive street drugs, so his response was, "Yes, Ma'am, I just saw him do it--he's out in the yard eatin' its neck right now."

And this is when Daddy Dove Boy yelled down from the roof through the skylight, "David, get back up here, boy! Ain't your dog, ain't your chicken."

Very wise. Thank you, Daddy Dove Boy. And thank you, Janice, for the periodic reminder.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I love you

I do! And so I'm giving you my favorite YouTube video I've ever seen for Valentine's Day. Because the Italians are the most romantic people and THIS is what they think of us. I went to Italy when I was 16 and was sort of scandalized by how many people were making out in public. I swear people were getting to all kinds of second base in broad daylight, right there on the sidewalk. But by that time I could totally recite Room With a View verbatim in its entirety, so frankly, I was into the PDA in a Lucy Honeychurch sort of way (by the way, LOOK at her hair. I mean just look at it).

So, today is gorgeous and so far I've fought off a stomach virus, lay on a blanket in the sun with Audrey reading aloud Mr. Darcy's letter to Elizabeth Bennett (you've got to admit that's preeetty romantic), and made a bunch of impromptu Valentines for the kids in Odessa's class. And tonight Bryan and I are going to a yoga class together (what a sweet, sweet man he is) and to dinner--probably at Larry's Giant Subs or someplace equally classy--because where else is there to go on V-Day in your yoga pants?

Anyway, here's your video:

Lo ti amo,

Monday, February 7, 2011


I'm getting ready to tell you something that may make you think less of me. Are you ready? Okay, awesome:

I've been trying to interest Odessa in television. I know, I know--sacrebleu! In my defense, I'm doing it for Bryan--they spend a lot of time together, and since Honeychile has only three interests--reading, snuggling and bossing stuff--it's pretty exhausting for Bryan. And so I thought a solution might be to start early cultivating her interest in the televisual arts.

So, I'll sit her on my lap sometimes and find a nice Sesame Street video on YouTube, and she'll pay attention for about a minute. But honestly, Odessa couldn't give a whoopty crap about Elmo. Seriously, I'm all "Dessy, look at that--he's pink! And squeaky! And ooooh! He's discussing the letter J with Heidi Klum!" And Odessa's like, "You know what book is really good? This book you've read me elevently grillion times. Have a seat, Mother."

Anyway, so this has been going on for about a month. But this weekend, Bryan cracked some sort of code: it turns out, Odessa really only likes television when she's the one on TV. So now she spends about 3 hours a day making eyes at herself in front of the PhotoBooth application on my computer:

(Note to Parents: narcissism is a really good diaper changing sedative)

So I guess Odessa actually has four interests: reading, snuggling, bossing stuff, and Odessa. You're welcome, Bryan.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sick and Twisted Things

Bryan and I went to dinner this week--just us.

Aside: You know what's weird? Sometimes two people who are married to each other can go for weeks without saying anything meaningful to one another because there's just too much freaking shit to do. Unfortunately, these are some of those times. Seriously, for the past two weeks, 77% of my conversations with Bryan have had to do with which car the baby seat is in, occasionally punctuated with speculation over whether that's jock itch or diaper rash that has Odessa clawing at her butt in the middle of the night. FRENZ!!!!!REMEMBR TEH BIRF CONTROL!!!!

Anyway, so we went on a date on Tuesday night, and something about seeing Bryan sitting across from me at Just Pho and More (the very best restaurant name, am I right? It's only pho and also some other things! YES!) made me remember that I was married to a person instead of a moose or a sentient peppercorn or whatever, and I was so relieved that I just started talking in this way I sometimes do. It's like I go into a talking trance. And you know what I started talking about? Ani DiFranco.

Yep, Ani DiFranco. Turns out, while in my talking trance, I discovered the wrinkle way in the back of my brain where Ani DiFranco lives. And so I told Bryan about that one day my first month of Preppy College when this sophomore girl named Cara gathered everyone on Hall 3 of the Wilkerson Girl's Dormitory into her room to listen to this song on her CD player:

And then she stood there while 9 girls sat on her bed listening to her super cutting edge music find, feeling preeeetty pleased with herself:

A Comprehensive Glossary Of Gifs

Because for some reason, in 1996, this sounded Uh.Mazing. to a room full of 18-year-old white girls. I guess because the F-Bomb still constituted explicit language back then.

Anyway, that sooo wasn't the end of Ani DiFranco. Oh no. I ended up going to Hippie College after that--one where most people arrived with poorly-kept dreadlocks and some of the straight girls wore backless shirts and all the other girls shaved their heads at least once and many, many people went by names like China Cat and Sundog and Osha, and you never really knew if those were the names their parents gave them or not. So yeah, I heard a crap-ton more Ani DiFranco.

And I distinctly remember sitting in the bathtub of this house I was living in up in Ponderosa Park, trying to read Lolita for a class during a snow storm while my roommate Annie and her boyfriend (who was a really tan climber and mega-douche) argued passionately about whether Ani DiFranco did or did not "do sick and twisted things to women." I would like to emphasize that this is a direct quote.

Anywhoodle, after Ani DiFranco took that convenient and completely unnecessary opportunity to worm her way out of my subconscious during my only time alone with my husband in weeks, I listened to some of her music on YouTube. And you guys--it is not super good. But it made me think of the time when Annie broke up with that tan climber and she moped in her room with this song on repeat for at least two weeks:

Which totally did sick and twisted things to me. So, in a way, I'll have to side with the douchey guy on that one.