Tennessee Soybean Festival ’08

3 09 2008

I went back to work full-time yesterday still coming off the ‘roids which gave me a killer headache. I’m not a headache person so I felt like my eyes were falling out, but it was fine.

In Hoots, we are holding the 15th Annual Tennessee Soybean Festival. (Incidentally, Laura Carson, who I pointed out on Sunday, didn’t win the Aimee Mann contest but did win the Best Overall Preliminaries at The Bean’s Talent Show and will be competing in the Mid South Fair in Memphis.She’s also going to see her idol tonight in Nashville. So here’s a shout out for her.)

My cunning plan yesterday was to go and hang out with the carnies who were setting up. I am enamored with carnies every since I saw Robbie Robertson be one in the movie “Carny” but I didn’t see anyone who looked anything like him.

Man, they were a surly bunch.

My aim was to talk to someone who might be from New Orleans as the name of the carnival outfit was Crescent City Amusements. In a moment of trying to dig up a story, I thought someone here would have some insight on Hurricane Gustav. They are from New Orleans but none of the actual carnies are. No dice and they pretty much told me to scram. One female carny told me to basically get lost. So I went and got Badger Beth and returned. Not that Badger could do anything, I just wanted a witness to the snide glory of it all.

Well, they told me three times, so I kept going back. The carnies were not fond of me, so harassing them seemed like a good idea as I apparently needed their approval and adoration. Random Question: Every year they put up a “Help Wanted” sign.

The Sign From Last Year

The Sign From Last Year

Should I apply?

Anyway, in my steroidy head, I decided to go up on top of a building where I could take a picture. However, there was no building to be found and I looked for a couple of hours. (Problem is that many of the building are boarded up.) I’m going to haunt the roof of the local library today. It’s my last best shot.

So, we are honoring the glories of the Soybean. It’s pretty much a fun event.

One thing I think the organizers of this event got right was that there are three nights of entertainment in a stage built smack downtown. Thursday night, Corey Smith is performing (which I hear the college students are stoked about although I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with him.) Friday night, Marshall Tucker and Saturday is Lonestar. So I guess there is something for everyone.

I roamed around as the stage was being built, eyed the carnies who wanted no part of me (WHY DON’T THEY LOVE ME?) as, of course, I’m smitten with them and took some more random shots around town. I checked in at Cadillacs, where some of you know, to see if my zombie-inspired darts had come in yet (They haven’t) and was going to head back to my beloved carnies but Squirrel Queen put a stop to it.

She is more reasonable than I am.

So, I’m guessing this is a Hooterville Exclusive.


TennViews Weekly Round-Up

31 08 2008

Russ has done a great job again rounding up liberal bloggers thoughts on the Democratic Convention in Denver, Sarah Palin and other goodies.

Head over to Tennviews and catch up with a cup of coffee, a good book and your cyber buddies.

Annoying Autobiographical Pause #287

24 08 2008

Yesterday, I rambled around aimlessly with the posse of Squirrel Queen, and later, with Badger Beth.

It was one of those days that didn’t make a lot of sense, there was beer and Biden Talk (in the same location. Note to self, asking a proprietor of a dive if you can “borrow” the television to watch Obama/Biden’s first press conference brings up some awkward conversations thus demanding that more beer must be consumed as we listen to old fogies drinking Natty Light talk about that we are in the apocalypse. Sigh.)

I thought Biden came out swinging and, as I have said before, some of Obama’s naysayers I deal with on an ongoing level, seemed somewhat pleased. We still have lots of time though before the big day in November.

We played darts (and I sucked) and ate at not one but two restaurants. The first one for lunch sucked so bad as our water had floaters in it and everything tasted like four-day old catfish. The shame of it all was that we did not order catfish. Nor did the waiter get us new waters. Nor did he receive a tip which is a shame because I’m an awesomely good tipper.

The second restaurant was a new Italian themed place that was actually quite tasty. I was surprised. Hoots Central has two Italian restaurants now. Imagine my surprise. We still have sushi rolls with bologna in them which saddens me to no end and also makes me queasy. What next? Squirrel Sushi. Blech.

Squirrel Queen was apparently looking for redemption and anger management classes after being very, very tired from her 2 billion hours of working overtime which happens about every five years so BB and I got her home. (I tease because of the love.)

As her tiredness overcame her, BB and I had a slumber party watching television, talking politics and thinking about what the future holds us.

Every once in a while, having a sleepover is fun no matter what your age is.

We all realized we were somewhat bored and were wondering if all roads lead to Hooterville and we decided that they, indeed, do not.

These are the days we appreciate and that are also quite telling.

Aimless, summer days aren’t too shabby.

Annoying Autobiographical Pause #489

26 06 2008

I’ve sort of been in a cave for the month of June in an angry, bitter battle with my very own psyche that has given me internal chiggers.

Yay. I suck.

Steve Austin is still missing in action, I’ve got a wicked sinus infection of some sort so I’ve been taking random antibiotics just lying about the house that I think were for a UTI or for ailments which could be anything from Cootie protection to PMS help which is only known to the Gods, but I digress. Due to the lack of wheels and motivation, I’ve had to put the Goosepond Swamp Monster excursion on hold. All I know is that I feel like platypus vomit.

So I’ve been wondering about the innertubes, whining to my friends as I am human and then staring at a pair of yellow Crocs that I haven’t worn in over a year thinking this might give me some sign. Yeah, that’s my kind of interior design, campers. The Official Church of the Smelly-Assed, Ugly Crocs has given me no visions other that I probably should just throw them away.

I also bought a 24 oz can of Miller Lite the other day, not once but twice, which means I’m just too damned depressed or becoming a crazy dog lady with an inclination to ugly shoes.

Anytime that I believe anyone is planning life changing ideas, it can get very easy to hold on to the familiar that isn’t really healthy or productive as a lifeline. Here’s what I mean. It’s easier to do nothing and be angry/martyred about it then to DO something.

In the past year I have been trying to learn things outside my box. I fail sometimes, other times I do all right.

The one thing that escapes me is that after a very sad journey last year on a project that was halted before it even got up and started, I lost my mojo and became afraid of …. dun dun duuuuuun …

Technology and Movement.

I’ve been reading and trying to train myself but I think I’ve gone as far as I can go on my own. Now, I follow a ton of technology geeks who embrace their geekdom where I’m more of a pop culture/news/political geek. I don’t understand why Dave Winer and some guy named Loren are fighting on Friendfeed over some other guy named Shel Israel.

It seems very insidery to me and involves puppets.

You can’t make this up but I think it goes further than that.  I don’t understand the monetization of a website as well as I would like but I’m trying to learn. I may not be a techie but I am a pretty good DJ blogger for lack of a better term. I hear a lot of talk about rankings (I have a Google Page Rank of 5. I didn’t know what that meant until about two months ago. I also know I have 273 reactions on Technorati.) I think that’s alright, isn’t it?

I also know I like Brie, Import beer and sushi which I cannot get here in Hooterville, and yes, I’m still digressing.

I realized, in my daily ramblings though I do know one thing, and that is people. I’m not perfect but I forgot that was a pretty good skill to have. I’m a good listener when I can hear. (Heh, heh, I crack myself up.) I also am pondering the same life changes I was looking at a year ago. I think it’s time for me to shut up and do.

So, it’s an annoying autobiographical pause. I would like to thank Badger, SQ, Russ, Ivy and Ginger for listening and supporting me. This is a thank you to all of you.

And now that I’m done processing the unprocessable (I just made up a word. Yay Me!) go over to Sharon Cobb’s and wish her well. She’s having a rough time and everyone needs a kind word now and then.

Go on.

Carpooling In Hooterville

3 05 2008

In an effort to save money, I’ve been carpooling. It’s not convenient nor is it fun but I’ve been doing it because right now it’s just a smart thing to do. In a small town and a county that has less people than let’s say Donelson in Nashville or Mid Town in Memphis but much more acreage, there is no public transportation.

You cut where you can.

I’ve heard from three different people asking me why my car has either been sitting in the driveway at Chez Coma or why sometimes I leave it at the office and ride with SQ. When I tell them I’m saving money on gas by riding with someone else or they ride with me, I get some weird looks.

You see, cars and trucks around here are tools and necessary. And for some folks it’s their identity. For me, I could care less as long as I get where I need to be. And I find it so peculiar that me not driving as much has people talking. It’s not that interesting actually.

The one thing about where I live that bugs me is the lack of sidewalks in my neighborhood. When I was a kid, our next door neighbor was plowed over by a car and died just up the road from where I live now. I do not walk on the highways here. It freaks me out. But I digress. (Reliving childhood moment, pardon me for a second.)

When I lived in Montreal and Amsterdam, I walked everywhere and I loved it. I took the trams, the underground, trains and buses. It was no problem and to be honest, I liked it. I was in the best shape of my life. Of course, when taking mass transit, you have to be scheduled or you will be sitting in the middle of nowhere at 3 a.m. I learned that lesson quick. It takes just one time to get it.

Needless to say, reading Brittney Gilbert’s adventures in mass transit makes me a bit nostalgic.

Back to carpooling, it’s something that I believe is saving me some dough-re-mi. And why this is on my mind this morning I have no idea but I do know that it does make a difference as the price of a gallon of gas is something that in my household at least, has to be put into the budget and that even driving 60 miles round trip just up the road goes off in my brain with a cash register ring that says 8 bucks.

I’d get a scooter but Homer and Squirrel Queen have nixed it.

“You will die,” Homer has said more than once. “And I’m not cleaning it up.”

“But it will save gas,” I argue.

“You have no coordination, Newscoma,” Squirrel Queen always says giving Homer a look where I know they’ve been talking about it. “Seriously, you can’t even walk without there being an incident.”

There is truth in this statement so instead of fussing I just do what everyone needs to do at least three times a year.

I pout. It only makes sense.

So, as my car sits at certain times, I’ve decided to make up elaborate reasons of why it’s parked instead of telling the truth that I’m carpooling because for some reason that is beyond my grasp, people just don’t like that answer.

I’ve decided to say Homeland Security is making me park it in a master plan to catch Guatemalan drug dealers.

That’ll get folks talking.

The One Where Newscoma Is Wicked Sick

30 03 2008

Last week, I was feeling like I lost my mojo. I was a bit disconcerted, not a bit of fun to be around and just felt peculiar and odd. It was one of those times that I just couldn’t get my rhythm.

Have you ever gone through that? It’s very strange. I just felt tired and cranky and a bit depressed/angry. Friday night, I felt really strange. It was almost like my head was coming off my brain stem.

Well, there must have been a reason I’m finding out.


Squirrel Queen, the nieces and I have had a lovely bout of the flu this weekend. As none of us could lift our heads off the cool tile of the bathroom, the idea of going to a doctor was not possible.

We are talking a house full ‘o sick.

I feel as bad as bloated up roadkill on one of our roads here in Hoots.

I would give you the lowdown on the nastiness, but I’m thinking you would sort of gross out. God knows I have.

Just hoping the week doesn’t kick my hiney this week. Bronchitis and now this is making me wonder if I need to move to Arizona or seriously forget about a life coach and get a damned doctor’s visit.

Bear with me, campers.

For some very good reading about small business and the election, go see Vibinc.

And then go over to Squirrel Queen’s. And then hit Jack’s for a really good essay on news and the Internet which is fierce.

Going to pass out in front of the game.

Send Squirrel Queen and I reinforcements if you don’t hear from us.

“… as though they were adults.”

20 03 2008

As I told you earlier this week, I’ve been busy and I was taking a much-needed sabbatical from watching the democratic candidates try to tear each other up.

Of course, I saw something this morning that reminded me why I’m not too bothered about the whole Jeremiah Wright/Barack Obama thing this past week. If you want to know the truth, I could care less what Wright said.

I was listening to what Obama said.

Having a few days to process this because I wanted to sit down and actually listen to the 37 minutes of his speech from Tuesday, I didn’t want to be swayed by what other people are saying. I wanted to have my own opinion. On Twitter, I saw people going at it about the speech with folks taking very broad strokes articulating which camps they were in. Don’t get me wrong, it was intriguing.

I have two lines of thinking on this. I am an adult. I pay taxes. I work at a job I go to everyday. I am paying medical bills off from my Ednaectomy from a year and a half ago still. I have ups and downs like everyone I know. I have a car that needs work. I have a family that I love. And I have people in my life that are good influences, and some who aren’t so positive. I am flawed as everyone is.

And I go back to I am an adult.

And I agree with Jon Stewart to a large degree about the speech. After five minutes of his opening bit on The Daily Show, he said one sentence that made me think. He said:

“at 11:00 on a Tuesday, a prominent politician spoke to Americans about race, as though they were adults.”

I want to be spoken to like an adult about politics.

Race issues are real. Gender issues are real. If you are for Obama, it doesn’t mean you are anti-woman. If you are for Clinton, it doesn’t mean that you are anti-black. The party that has commended themselves of being diverse through my life has taken to playing some really jacked-up games recently. And I don’t like it.

Are American citizens the ones beating these issues with a hammer? Is it the media? Is it the strategy of political spin from the Rove handbook, as I’ve questioned before?

I needed to sit down and process the speech given by Obama without interruption. I didn’t want to be swayed by other people’s opinions of the speech. I thought it was a good one and I agree with Stewart, we were spoken to with bluntness that, and this is my opinion, treated me with the respect I deserve as a voting American.

And most of the folks talking about what he said probably weren’t going to vote for Obama anyway. But, in a thoughtful discussion at Ginger’s, people were talking about hesitations about the candidate. This kind of discussion is a good thing. It’s best to have “adult” conversations about politics instead of a bunch of name-calling and I commend Ginger for being upfront in her uncertainty.

I respect a person’s right to question the whole Wright thing. As Americans, if it bothered folks, they need to process it out. I pay him about as much mind as I did Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson (who at one time openly spoke of assassinating Hugo Chavez.) Preachers (as they are called around here) are human beings too with flaws, emotions and beliefs. I had grandparents on both sides of my family who went to church every time the doors opened. Homer is a regular church attendee. I don’t think Homer and the preacher are voting for the same guy.

As for me, I saw it and didn’t put too much thought in it. Others did.

There are no easy answers here. The one thing that I do want to stress is that quite frequently a group of us here in rural America get together for a couple of beers. Politics invariably comes up. Cravens voted for Edwards, Squirrel Queen voted for Hillary and I voted for Obama on Super Tuesday.

The issues of race and gender rarely come up although they do occasionally. We are all adults who had a preference. We voted for whom we thought would be the best person.

What we do talk about is the economy, the war, how we are having to stretch our dollars further than we have had to since our days in school and the personal realities we have faced with healthcare.

You know, because these are the issues impacting us personally in our adult life.