The 3 dumbest things I read concerning American school childrens this week:

1) Rather than allow a lesbian student to attend with her girlfriend, the local school board in Fulton, MS, votes to cancel Itawamba Agricultural High School's senior prom for everyone.
2) A middle school student who was handed Adderall and handed it back was suspended because having it in her hand constitutes possession.
3) "The board approves the amendment, taking Thomas Jefferson OUT of the world history standards." I...just...how...this...aaarage stroke.

Going for the EGOT in civic duty:

1) I did my part on Tuesday, voting in the special election on whether or not to legalize the sale of alcohol in this city only. By a margin of 28 votes, the measure is denied. The city stays dry.
2) Via buccal swab, I donated samples to the marrow registry. As I was doing so, I laughed about my family's commitment to medical science--I was, after all, giving this sample in the same building where I have anthropology (and Psychology and Law). I was complaining about the tables in that building when my sister said, "You know that's where PawPaw is, right?" I did not know that. See, my paternal grandfather died last fall and that's when we found out that he'd donated his body to UAB. And now he's in Campbell Hall, where I am twice a week.

[By the way, speaking of my family and our association with medical science--people can have all sorts of opinions. Isn't that great? A world full of people with opinions. It's nice. And you can express those opinions whenever you want. But see, here's the thing. If you are a Gonstead chiropractor who's anti-vaccination, please don't use my family's name in association with expressing this viewpoint. The Gonst(e)ad family is strongly pro-vax and we want no part of your monkeyshines.]

Also, Tuesday, I developed a raging toothache. After realizing that I'd downed 6 OTC pain relievers in the first coupla hours I'd been at work, I called my mother and begged her to break the glass on my emergency Vicodin stash, which she did. I was supposed to have a filling last week, but the appointment was canceled the day of. So, I went to the dentist Thursday afternoon, following a long day of school. This visit, like the last visit, I saw the other guy who works there, the newer guy, not the practice owner whom I'm used to.

He asked me if anything aggravated the tooth pain and I said only cold drinks and foods. He asked if anything relieved the pain and I said painkillers. I wasn't sure what else I could say. The same night my mom brought the Vicodin, she also brought some eugenol. That worked somewhat, but really it only masked the pain around the tooth and oh yeah, it tasted like fellating a zombie. I'm not sure if this was some sort of tell that triggered the addiction interrogation procedure, but that's what it felt like I got, which, look. I've been going to this practice for a few years now. I've gotten a sum total of two prescriptions for Vicodin issued before Thursday, each for ten pills each. Each prescription was issued at least a year ago. If I were feenin' for Vicodin, one would think I'd be working a little harder to get it.

Dr.: Do you have any allergies?
Me: Not really.
Dr.: "Not really"?
Me: Nothing that would affect anything here.

I am allergic to liquid All detergent and I have a strong sensitivity to dextromethorphan. As long as we're not doing laundry and/or robotripping, it's cool.

Dr.: Do you take any medication?
Me: No.
Dr.: When's the last time you visited a doctor?

I am going to assume he meant more of a general doctor, not specialists, and doesn't want to hear about my visit last week to talk about my upcoming "lid eval" for my Forest Whitaker eye. Anyway, the last time I saw someone for something other than a specific body part was that time I ripped my artery open and they stapled me back together.

Dr.: So no medication?
Me: I take a multivitamin. And biotin. Sometimes I take extra vitamin C and iron.
Dr.: No birth control?

Is "birth control" code for any of those things I just said? Then, no.

Dr.: Are you pregnant or is there a chance you could be pregnant?
Me: Oh, child. Bless your heart.

It was so irritating. They knew there was an outstanding problem--I'd had the filling scheduled, after all, and he'd noticed himself that there were issues with the teeth that were hurting. I'm sorry that they couldn't pinpoint for themselves what exactly was causing the problem, but gah. At one point, he asked if a root canal would be something I'd want to look into and I was like, "Just give me a root canal. Just do it. I don't care." And I don't. Root canals don't scare me. I am more haunted by the fact that I can't eat the delicious frozen mango in my freezer right now.

Finally, I got my Vicodin and I have my mango so I've got that going for me, which is nice. Also, I'm not sure if you know this, but Christoph Waltz won an Oscar.* Below: The photo metaphor of my deepest wish.



PS: I see what you did there, Colbert.

*This has been my favorite thing to say to everyone this week.
Sally Bloodbath did a lovely comic about her childhood memories of Michael Jackson*. I know there's been a glut of stories everywhere regarding him and you're probably sick to death of it all, but I encourage you to read it. I myself am overfull of the media, especially because as Jon Lajoie points out [lots of naughty words!], so much of it is the complete opposite of what they were saying when he was alive. ["'Oh, it's so sad that Michael passed away--we loved him so much.' Really, really--did you love him? Because from where I'm standing, it kind of looked like you hated him and that you called him a freak and that you wanted him to die."]

Since I was so young when I loved him, I guess I sort of thought of it as something that I'd outgrew and not surprisingly, in the aftermath of his death, I've been digging back into that music and I won't lie. It still hurts when I think that I went so long taking it for granted and when I realize again that it's all gone. Because I've long believed that it's never too late to have a happy childhood, who now has their very own keyboard t-shirt a la the "Beat It" video? This girl. I may or may not also own this watch:



I saw Funny People last night. I think the last hour and change dragged--the peanut butter game could've been cut, but thanks for the Boston terrier inclusion--but overall, I really liked it. I was struck by how lovely it was visually, but of course, when you've got Janusz Kamiński, that's to be expected. There was a mix of ages in the audience, unlike when I went to see The Hangover and felt old as balls because I was seemingly the only person who could recognize Mike Tyson on sight. I did overhear a teenage girl in my row sigh, "This is the longest movie ever." I thought of Sátántangó and its 450 minutes of running time. But that's because I see too many movies.

We've been cleaning out things and finding some letters that have been very interesting. There was one that was dictated by my great-aunt, my grandfather's sister, and it sounds like a suicide note. It also sounds like the beginning of her paranoid schizophrenia. My mother remembers when they drove her to the nervous hospital and that was a few years after this letter.

We also found a letter that must have been from one of my grandmother's pen pals. Apparently, they'd had an argument about something, because the letter (postmarked June 1965) is all about how the writer hopes that she and my grandmother can still be friends. Judging by context, the argument is over the civil rights movement. The friend says, "You've had the race problem shoved down your throat!!!"** The friend also writes, "My sister-in-law Barbara Massar went to Jackson, MS in May 1963 for CORE. My brother, Ivan Jr, the photographer, went to Selma, Ala, just recently on a job for Black Star Agency--He and Barbara and Mother were among the 'Marchers to Montgomery.'" Finally, there is also the last letter my great-grandmother wrote to my grandfather before she died. He was at Fort Benning and she died before he got it. On the envelope, written in my grandfather's shaky cursive, it reads, "Take care of this for me."

After my grandfather got the phone call notifying him of her death, he refused to answer the phone. When I was a child, we worked out a secret code of rings, so he would know it was me. I don't know why, but I just remembered the time I got chicken pox and none of the parents on our street would let their children play with me. My mom drove us to this house, my grandparents' house and my grandfather greeted us in the driveway, lipstick pox marks all over his face. That also reminds me of something that happened the other day, but I'm going to save that for a locked entry, along with the other thing that I've still to tell.

It made me laugh when I was reading the NY Times article about the New Antiquarians, because all that stuff just sounds like the stuff I grew up around and still have. Like the Andy Rooney piece about his kitchen drawer. That's my drawer! I didn't even know what the strawberry destemmer was until I saw that bit. I was thinking about giving my room a Mad Men-over and so I poked around a few places online, before realizing that I can find all that stuff--rotary phones, old embossers, etc.--in my closets. I guess it makes sense that I'm so into history. I live in a time warp.

*God knows I too spent hours alone in my bedroom dancing. Also, the key change in "Man in the Mirror" always tears me up, too.
**My grandmother got into arguments over social issues that ended in her refusing to speak to people? That doesn't sound familiar at all.
wolfpangs: (made a swiveling chair--now I nap)
I'm making this face, too!-------->

Just doing some more genealogy research and I've found some really interesting stuff. I've managed to trace my family back to the 17th century! In Virginia! I read about my great^5 grandfather, who went to court at 73 to get the pension he was rightfully owed for his military service. The court found that "the above named applicant George VEST was a revolutionary Soldier and served as he states." So I really am a daughter of the Revolution. Oh, but wait.

Going back further, I found some information on his brother James, who seems like quite the righteous dude. On Nov. 14, 1785, James signed a petition supporting separation of Church and State. And then there was his will. After specifying the distribution of his possessions, including his "horse mountain" (I want a horse mountain!) and his "utenshuls," he said, "I do appoint my two trusty friends Thomas Burfoot and Archer Trayler for my Executors to this my last will and testament whereunto I have set my hand and seal this day and date above written."

That's where a light flickered on in my fevered brain. Archer Trayler, one of the trusty friends of my superb uncle (that's gotta be better than great), is a descendant of Christopher Branch II. Christopher Branch's great-grandson was a man by the name of Peter Jefferson, who gave his father's name to his third child, a boy he named Thomas.

Y'all. Now if there were someone in Virginia who would have had something to say about the separation of church and state, I wonder just who that could have been.


You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

Happy holidays.
wolfpangs: (storyville)


Yeah, I dunno but it probably made sense at the time. That's my grandfather on the right.

From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere. )

*Yet another album I wore out.
**Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'.


Any time anyone made a move toward us, like they wanted to take her, I just gave 'em the Heisman.
wolfpangs: (I am available for translation as well.)
I was passing through a room when I noticed something in a set of photos I've yet to scan.

Some things are genetic. )

More of this later after I've been properly breakfasted.
wolfpangs: (storyville)
More family picture scans! I am not done, but here's the first batch.

EDIT: Oops! I realized while looking at some other, better photos that the younger man in the photo with my great-grandmother is her older brother. That's been corrected and a photo of her real husband has been added. In addition, I've added some details that my mother gave me.

I was a long time coming... )
Okay, y'all. So earlier I was reading a news story about some guy who's suing the webmaster of Don't Date Him because he's butthurt about his profile on there. Never having heard of the site, of course I went immediately to it and ran a search for Alabama to see if I knew anyone. After about ten pages, I thought, 'I'm not going to see anyone I know.' Then I saw my cousin's name. I clicked on the profile and there was no description of his misdeeds.

I was curious if he knew about it and also curious if he had a myspace. I ran the search and there he was. I clicked on the profile.

At first it was the background that struck me. It was familiar. I scanned the about me section. "Blah blah best girlfriend..." This sounds like something I've heard recently. "Blah blah pitbull named Duke..." "Blah blah girlfriend [girlfriend's name]..."

OMG! )

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