Sunday, July 31

Hey! You Hattiesburg musician-types!

Now that I have your attention, here are a few things you might be interested in. There are a couple of local people who are trying to make it easier for you to get your music out to the masses, one through mp3's, and one through podcasting.

Aaron at My Hattiesburg would like to feature bands at that popular site complete with profiles, interviews and pictures. Visit there and/or let me know if you are interested and I will hook you up.

Ross at The South Mississippi Music Sampler has this to say:

Each week we bring to you the best music south of the Delta. We will share with you live recordings that capture prime samples of Hattiesburg's rich music scene.

In addition, we have studio tracks of blues bands and other musicians from around the state provided by the bands themselves as well as

It is our intention to have two feeds; one for blues and a second for rock. The rock program should begin within a couple of weeks.

Both of these ideas are great ones, so please take advantage of this chance to get more exposure for your band.

I also wanted to remind you that the Dead Man is at the mercy of sometimes forgetful club owners to get dates to me. I also search the web periodically to try to pick up any local gigs I have missed, but sometimes I am the last to know things. If you have a gig in the Hattiesburg/Laurel area and you do not see it on Dead Man Dancing, please contact me though this site or and I will get it up for you. This goes for live music of any type, too, not just rock bands. . . .

Thank you for your attention. You can now go back to your regularly scheduled debauchery.

Saturday, July 30

These are the people in your neighborhood

My friend, Mark, is the type of guy who doesn't go to the party, but calls you afterwards--and sometimes, during--for a conversation that goes thusly:
Where was it? Who all was there? Really? Well, what was he wearing? Was so-and-so there? What did he talk about? Did what's-her-name come? Did she have a good time? Did they speak to each other? When did you get there? When did you leave? What were you wearing? Did they have food? What did you eat? Was it good?
Damn it, man, next time just come to the party yourdamnself.

Anyway, I asked had he been to Hattie's Blog (because even out in "meatspace" I am an insufferable bore) and he said no, and asked QuestionsMarkTM: What's a blog? Is that how you pronounce it? Why is it called a blog? What can you put on it? Do people come to read it? How do you know? What do they look like? (I am assuming blogs, not the people who read them, but I could be wrong.) Where can you get a blog? Etcetera. So, I'm telling him all of this, and happy to do so, because there is no bore like a BlogBoreTM, and in comes my friend Deadpan Ann. Without missing a beat, Mark turns to her and says, "Ann! I love your Blog!"

Mark. You bitch.

So, Mark has a little yapdog, Newton, who is a Newton of the fig variety and not the Isaac kind, I'm thinking, and Mark is so proud of that dog's smarts. To illustrate how very bright the little thing is, Mark will say to him, "Newton! Where's the kitty, Newton?!" And when Newton excitedly runs around in circles gawping skywards, Mark bubbles, "That's so good! You are so smart, good Newton." To which I say, Yep, he's brilliant. . . .'Cause I'm always ducking flying cats. Now, I do have to give it to Newton--that one time he did save Mark from getting arrested. But I'll leave it to Mark tell you that story.

My friend Greg

wants everyone to know this:

Sex toys are illegal in Mississippi.

Huh. Well, I wonder if this makes those sex toy parties we women are always having illegal. Here's the deal, ladies. If you get invited to one of these, GO. The first thing the hostess does is get you likkered up. The next thing you know, you are home with a plain brown paper bag filled with things you don't remember buying and you'll never figure out how to operate, or even which end is the "business" end. And you play some games in between that I still blush to remember.

But isn't this a silly law. Guns are legal (not that I have made up my mind about this), and who has ever heard of someone shouting, "This is a stick-up!" while brandishing a purple, double-headed dildo? Or, "All your money, now, or I'll vibrate ya!" (BTW, if this is your MO, I'll be a the corner of Hardy and 13th Ave. at 11 pm tonight.) I guess I just don't see where the harm is.

Ah, anyway, I think Greg may have made a big deal out of not only out of a sense of civic-mindedness as a citizen of the great country of the United States, but also perhaps to offer his services to women who are now toy-less. So contact me and I will put you in touch with him if you're interested.

Thursday, July 28

"Fantasy Karaoke Song" meme

Gwen has a great post about her "Fantasy Karaoke Song." Here's what she says: "That's the song I wish I could sing at a karaoke bar but so far haven't worked up the guts to sing. On Friday night, I sang my Fantasy Karaoke Song and kicked ass at it."

Mine is "Me Jane," by PJ Harvey. I once joined a band (the too-often-arrested Gutshot) in order to sing this song, but never got up the courage. Hey, PJ is tough, in all senses of the word!

I have taken Gwen's idea and am passing it on all meme-like to Deadpan Ann; Walley, er, "Bert"; Anne Arkham, and Alphabitch if you guys are listening; and the Left-handed Leftist (though as a real musician, you probably don't have a song that you want to do that you can't legitimately).

Pass it on, you guys.

Mississippi Goddam

Just heard on the Mississippi Gulf Coast's WLOX that prosecutors are meeting in Jackson to discuss reopening the case of the 1964 KKK killings of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee in Franklin County. The killings occurred near Meadville, a tiny, tiny town where my mother grew up as part of one of the "important" families. Meadville is also the scene of the story I told of my first inkling that the "race problem" is one of much more complexity than my young mind had imagined. (Incidentally, only about 16 years had passed between those murders and my experience.)

I simply do not know how I feel about Mississippi's recent fervor to prosecute these cases. Ya know I am an unrepentant bleeding heart, but these cases sadden and frustrate me. There is the idea that murder should never go unpunished, no matter how long between the action and the justice. This wars with the "propah" old Southern feeling that one should not stir up these old issues--what's past is past. Throw in a dash of, "oh, damn, here we go again" with negative international coverage of my state. The mix just leaves me tired.

Meadville is old school, y'all. It hasn't been that long since I finally convinced most of my relatives to avoid the "N" word in my presence, and they do so with an "ain't she a cute little liberal" condescension. The home page of the official Meadville website is a picture of the watertower, people! The population of the town proper, per, is 519. I'm sure that the re-opening of this case is burning up the partyline. (Do any of you whippersnappers even know what a partyline is?)

What do you guys, locals and otherwise, think about this issue? Is it simply too late to bring anyone to true justice, or must we do it, if only to further "healing"? And if you are not from Mississippi, does this change the way you feel about the state, positively or negatively?

Wednesday, July 27

Here's a coupla lighthearted links

to alleviate the "heavy" of the previous post.

Prognosticate - the news predicting game
Fun, for the nerdy. I.E., me. Although I sucked at it. Go figure. Actually, sucking at it is pretty fun, too--sort of like "Current Events Mad Libs."

Deconstructing "This Shit Is Bananas"
I happen to like this song. Don't give me no guff. And I like it even better after reading the "true" meaning. Via Backwards City.

Catproof your computer. Sounds like a joke, but PawSense is a legit product. And if this were a cat blog (which It. Is. Not.), I would now be telling you a cute story about how my Kelty Kitten lies in my lap while I type, smiling up at me, his eyes sparkling and body rumbling with purrs while he bites the EVERLOVING FUCK out of my hand.

Did you know that goldfish, which are just carp, after all, can grow to the size of Cadillacs* if in a large enough environment? The idea of meeting a Cadillac-sized goldfish (those horrid slowly gaping mouths!) scares me more than swimming in shark-infested waters. Which somehow reminds me of the Pink Pistols site.

*Facts in this post may not, in fact, be factual.

Monday, July 25

Hattiesburg American Editorial

Found this today in the American. I'm glad someone is thinking about the local implications of this.

Here's a link about the backlash of the Supreme Court decision that I posted in June.

Friday, July 22

There but for the grace of genetics

Back in the dim, distant days of my youth, I was a case manager for the chronically mentally ill. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and some of those folks will be with me forever, such as the young man who ran a glass of tap water, drank a sip and poured the rest on his head. Repeatedly. Hundreds of times a day, if you would let him.

By far, though, one of my most memorable clients was a young lady whom I'll call Kelly. Schizophrenic, and severly isolated while living with a family out of "Deliverance," Kelly was still no dummy. She had been attending college when she had her break, and some of her wit still shone through at times. Kelly had delusions that she was married to John Wayne, whom she met while hitchhiking. He picked her up and told her that it was dangerous for a young lady to hitchhike. This lead, inevitably, to their having 64 children together. He wasn't around currently, but they still got together occasionally. Once I challenged her, stating that John had died. Nope, she said, she had just seen him on tv the other night. Can't beat that logic. When it came time for me to move on, I introduced Kelly to her new case manager, and asked Kelly to tell us about her 63 children she'd had with John Wayne. She looked at me like I was out of my mind. "I don't have 63 children with John Wayne!" Delusions are pretty stable over time, and I was surprised that she had given this one up. Until she said, "I have 64 children with John Wayne." My bad.

If you ever want to test your ability to ignore rudeness in others, take a schizophrenic bearded lady to Krispy Kreme.

When I first started seeing Kelly, she had talked about using a dipilatory to remove the hair on her face. Come New Year's, I asked her what resolution she would like to make. After we had nailed down exactly what a "resolution" was, she was still drawing a blank, so I suggested she have that facial hair removed. I won't forget the anguish in her voice when she stood up and screamed at the sky, "Why me, God?"

Why her, indeed.

To find out more about mental illness, please visit the folks at the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

One reason I love my ex-boyfriend

Continuing on the "mall" theme from yesterday. . . .

A friend of mine tells this anecdote about my ex:
She saw him out somewhere and he had a smattering of glitter on his cheek. She asked him about it and he says, simply, "Damn mall."

Thursday, July 21

Some people don't get me

I love new people, all kinds of people. I would have to say the only type of person I will avoid is someone dumb and mean. I can deal with dumb, and I actually kind of prefer mean, but dumb and mean is a terrible combo.

New people, unfortunately, don't always love me. Or even understand me. Here's one example:

A friend comes over with her old roomate, who is a slightly larger-than-scale Barbie Doll. The conversation quickly degenerates into a discussion of make-up and the like. Barbie is singing the praises of her teeth-whitening product, and I am smoking. I have an off-white lighter--ecru, if you will--and I brandish it and ask if her teeth strips would make my lighter any whiter. "Honey," she says, shaking her head with pity, "It only works on teeth."

The really funny part of this is that Barbie is somewhere right now telling this same story and laughing about how stupid I am.

I was speechless

And folks who know me know how rare that is.

I don't shop. I don't shop at the mall, especially. I don't shop at the mall at McRaes, extra-especially, and here's a story illustrating one reason why.

My grandmother gives me gift cards, which I really like. (Much better suited to me than the Gail Pittman Hollylujah (!) dinnerware that an aunt started giving me, piece by evil piece, several years ago. Hey, Aunt S, have you ever even met me?) But Grandmother started giving me McRaes' cards. Now, I had never been to McRaes, but it is in the mall, so I knew the score--over-priced and girlie. Well, it's a gift, and perhaps I could use some girlie. So, I and a friend, J., went head on off to McRaes. I am short and uh, zaftig, and high-waisted to boot. Not an easy fit. After looking around for quite a while at jeans that would come to my neck and not finding any particularly petite items, I decide that perhaps the Juniors sections might have something, though I am several years past "Junior." We can't find that section (I am mall-illiterate), so we decide to ask an "associate" for help. My friend does the asking.

"Hi. Can you tell us where the junior section is?" The Ass. takes her pencil and waves it in a line from J.'s head to her feet while saying, in a disbelieving tone, "Is this for you? Or for you?", pointing the pencil at me. J. says, "I may be fat, but I'm not stupid," and we walk off. Well, this just chaps my ass. I get more and more pissed, at one point uttering the "F" word just as we pass a gentleman who turns out to be J.'s mother's pastor. J. is not having a good mall experience. Finally, I have decided to do something about this unexcusable rudeness. I have built up a head of steam, I'll tell ya.

A good head of steam is difficult to maintain while waiting for 15 minutes in a line of people checking out at McRaes, but I'm doing it. Giving myself little pep-talks. Saying things to myself like "How would you like it if I directed you to the sombreros just because you look Hispanic, Puta?" and "The Nerve!". Finally, I'm there. I say to the Ass., "I didn't like what you said to my friend." (That's telling her!)

And she reaches out, and pats my arm, and says, "That's ok."

Thank you, thank you!

To Alphabitch, for sorting out my italics problem. I wish all bitches were like Alphabitch.

Sunday, July 17

Vetted for your linking pleasure

Let us just say that my mother did not cook a lot (I have a recipe book put together by the children of my preschool--each child brought their favorite recipe from home. Mine said: "Spagettios. Open can." I do not lie.), so we ate lots of convience foods. Jetset Modern magazine features a fascinating article about the food revolution in the Fifties. Kraft boxed spaghetti dinner remains one of my favorite quick and cheap eats. I had no idea that the product was born before me!

Geocaching is an activity for people with plenty of time and expendable income. From the website:
The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache.
The Hattiesburg area has quite a few of these locations, many set in the last couple of days. Let me know if you are into Geocaching, I'd like to find out more about it.

I had not heard of nearby Palestine Gardens until catching loveable local color reporter Walt Grayson last night on WDAM. Palestine Gardens is a scale model of Biblical sites established in Lucedale in 1960. The website is under construction, but the actual site seems interesting, if weird. is a very complete resource for towns like Hattiesburg. Just about whatever you'd like to know about Hattiesburg can be found on the Hattiesburg ePodunk page.

Trading Up - Where do baby names come from? Interesting Slate article about the socio-economic implications of baby name choice. Sounds gripping, doesn't it?

Not all officers of the law are all fired up about the War on Drugs. LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) is an organization that is fighting for an end to that costly "war." Here's their Mission Statement:
The mission of LEAP is to reduce the multitude of unintended harmful consequences resulting from fighting the war on drugs and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ultimately ending drug prohibition.
(Thanks to DSMars for the link.)

Saturday, July 16

Trashy, trashy

Mississippi has an ad campaign about the evils of littering starring Pat Fordice, the wife of one of our ex-Governors. The one that I saw first, called "Tow Truck," just floored me, especially, I think, because I had no context for it. I didn't know that in addition to using Uncle Tom as an influence, the campaign also yukked it up with some true bubbas in another ad. ("Two Dudes.")

"Tow Truck" is amazing. Minstrel-esque music begins the ad, which features a skinny Black dude cheerfully throwing a water bottle out of the truck. He then almost runs slam over the blue-haired Mrs. Fordice, who stops him with the sheer force of her calves, then chides him with "I am not your momma," and tells him to pick the bottle up. Wall, yas, ma'am! Our litterer practically kills himself shufflin' on over to that bottle.

"Damn! Did I just see that?" I thought. What the Hell? And what the Hell will visitors passing through Mississippi think when they see this ad? So, I call the Mississippi Dept of Transportation, mainly to voice my concerns, partially to see if they have had other folks calling in consternation. I finally am connected with a liason, a very nice, very young Black lady who hasn't seen the ad, and doesn't have much of a reaction. Naturally, I never hear back, though I leave my number for someone higher up to call me.

The "Two Rednecks"-- excuse me, "Two Dudes"--ad is pretty offensive, too, but I wasn't quite as shocked having been broken in by "Tow Truck." It uses the same minstrelly music, as well, so perhaps I am being overly sensitive? Well, check them out for yourself.

Take Pride in Mississippi, people, and don't trash up the place.

Wednesday, July 13

A southern gal says, WTF??

When I was about 12, I visited my cousins in a very small town in western Mississippi. Lunch (or dinner, as my cousins would say) that day was being served by a Black lady named Agnes employed for years both by my aunt, and on other days, my grandmother. My male cousin, 10 at the time, uttered the word "nigger," though now I cannot remember if it was in direct reference to Agnes or not. No one is more righteous in his or her beliefs than a 12-year-old burgeoning liberal, and I immediately told him to apologise to Agnes, whereupon she whirled around and told me "not to talk to my baby that way."

That was my first clue that the issue of race in the South might be a mite more complex than I had expected.

Keep in mind that this was 25 years ago, and Black folks had not yet appropriated the term. Agnes' reaction was quite startling to me then, and remains so now. Made me think about how I do not have the right to speak for someone else, even (especially?) if I am "doing it for their good."

Tuesday, July 12

(Lies, Damn Lies, and) Statistics for the Hattiesburger

Despite what my guy friends think, in the 'Burg, gals outnumber them by quite a bit as this graphic from Maps and Stats demonstrates. (And the older you get, the better your odds, boys.)

Do you eat out? Of course you do. Head to the health department's inspection data for your favorite restaurant. Included are any complaints filed by customers. Not as horrifying as you might expect.

Here's a Google hack for finding real-time information on the cheapest gas in your area.

Here are some Hattiesburg crime statistics, and I have to admit I am surprised. A while back I had to go to the police station after I lost 600.00 dollars to a identity theft, and I saw a list of the unsolved murders in Hattiesburg. There were more than I expected, about ten in all, but the really surprising thing was that about 70 percent were of Hispanic males. Hispanics make up a larger percentage than you would think in Hattiesburg, but you guys probably don't see them unless you are up at 4:30 and drive by one of the pick-up points for day laborers. They are Hattiesburg's invisible minority. All that being said, I still think Hattiesburg is a fairly safe place if you use your smarts. These stats are also from 2002, so not really current.

One way to cut down on crime is to have a well-funded and effective school system. Public School Review provides a break-down of Hattiesburg area schools and some of the statistics are heart-breaking. The student teacher ratio at Hawkins is a staggering 1-to-75. Meanwhile, the Oak Grove Lower Elementary has a student-teacher ratio of 1-to-17. Lots of other information here.

No post about Hattiesburg stats would be complete without the Bureau of Labor Statistics link. Of course, the highest percentage of employees are working for the government.

Who among us would still be walking the streets if these Mississippi laws were enforced? Oh, right, street-walking is illegal.

Got any good info about Hattiesburg? Pass it on in comments.

Monday, July 11

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

Looks like we all got lucky, though Dennis caused upwards of 2.5 billion or more in damages in the US.

I enjoyed keeping a play-by-play as the storm came through, and thanks to those I heard from (including Hanan Levin from Grow-a-Brain, one of my favorite blogs!) during my "coverage." Watch this space when the next storm menaces.

Until then, we now continue our regularly scheduled snarking, pithy observations and cribbing from other folks' blogs. . . .

Sunday, July 10

A very blustery day

I took a nap, woke up and the house is still here. The power is still on. But the winds are kicking, and I wouldn't be surprised if we do lose power here in a bit. We have the doors open. I love bad weather, and it is so cool for Hattiesburg in July.

I may have a few people over (as long as it is safe for them to get around, of course). Slide me an email if you're interested. deadmandancing at gmail dot com.

FYI, if you lose power, the MS Power number is 1-800-itsdark. Cute. And useful.

To Coin a Phrase

. . . we have "dodged a bullet." You can quote me on that.

Dennis has come ashore in Pensacola, and though heading through eastern Mississippi, it now appears we in Hattiesburg may not even lose power. It's Ivan all over again--we ended up turning off the lights and using flashlights to mimic a more exciting event. Finally, we decided just to make cookies.

Mmmm, cookies.

Well, no wonder!

Here is an interesting link from my friends over there at My Hattiesburg.
Storm Prayer meeting in session

Must be working.

Such a Tease

Looks like the beginning of the rain and winds here in the 'Burg, but I think we may be getting off easy after all.

It is now after noon, so you have from now until curfew (if instituted) or 10 pm to get your Rolling Rock, New Orleans lady. But no liquor!

Current mood: Blase'

Back from the Sunflower, where a genteel calm reigned. In other words, apathy. It was sort of busy, but with people seemingly stocking a picnic. Sodas and chips were most people's choices. We actually looked to be doing the most preparation, but only because we got cartons of cigarettes, rather than packs. One lady, who appeared to be a New Orleans native, got caught by the Blue Laws trying to buy gallon of milk and a 24 pack of Rolling Rock (and nothing else). She left with just the milk, thanks to Mississippi's noble effort to save us from ourselves.

I just heard a transformer blow, but probably out of anxiety rather than weather. Still pretty calm here, though it is sprinkling and the wind is kicking up at times.

Here's where folks are chatting about Dennis. Warning: Java, weather geeks, and some mighty freaked out people.

D Day

I presume I am writing this for no audience, because all of you guys are busy making last-minute preparations for Dennis. The news outlets are using the "C" word--Camille--which is almost a curse word in Mississippi. Each year in school on the Coast they made us all watch the Camille movie, which duly scared the hell out of me. Long Beach, where I lived, was all but wiped off the map. This was all before my time, but invoking the name of Camille has still managed to panic me, just a little.

Heading to the store in a few. I'll be back to let you know the general mood out on the street.

Fond memories of hurricanes past

I live in a house near downtown Hattiesburg that was built in 1935, so you figure that it's pretty sturdy. The last big hurricane that came through here was Frederick, I think. Nope, that one was a long time ago. I can't remember the name offhand. Me and my boyfriend at the time decided to hunker down and ride it out here. So, he, I and the cat camped out in this little square hallway place in the center of the house. It was cozy, you could say.

I am a strange chick--I really like spiders. I have a corner of the back yard that I won't let anyone mow in order to provide a spider habitat. I am the person that people call to rescue them from marauding spiders. My ex was not so fond of arachnids and he is sure that any spider he sees is a brown recluse (icky picture warning). I am equally sure that I have never seen an actual brown recluse.

So, here we are in the tiny square room having a little hurricane party (meaning I am reading and he is thinking about music) when he slaps me on the back. I see legs flying. He has just "saved me" from a spider that was crawling on my shoulder. I'm like, damn! I had such a good relationship with the denizens of Spider-world up 'til now. Why'd you have to go and murdelize a wolf spider like that?

The spider was the only casualty of that hurricane in Hattiesburg, but we were out of power for forever. And you have never been as hot or smelly as the third day without power in the dismal humidity that is Southern Mississippi following a hurricane.

Here's hoping that D. (who now lives on the Coast) will have a safe and spider-free Dennis.

Saturday, July 9

This Update is for Jennifer

. . . .Who is in New Orleans for the weekend and wants to know what's happening with Dennis. It looks like most of the current computer models have Dennis coming in around Mobile, perhaps as a Cat 4, and tracking across the Pine Belt tomorrow night/Monday am.

You guys need to finalize your hurricane plans; Dennis looks like it will be affecting Hattiesburg more than we had thought earlier.

Update on Dennis

So, of course, I have prepared not at all for the storm. Kept meaning to, but its a cost/benefit thing with hurricanes, you know? You can go all out and tape your windows, buy water by the kilo, get canned food you'd never ordinarily eat, etc., then sit and have nothing happen. If you don't prepare, then it gets ya. Right now we are catching the first feeder band, and Dennis hasn't even made it into the Gulf properly yet. I don't think we're going to have it too bad, but let me know how things are where you're sitting. . . .

Speaking of hurricanes, here's someone who may be a little misdirected in her thinking about them.

Friday, July 8

Weather Underground

Weather Underground is a good resource for you guys concerned about Hurricane Dennis. Includes tracking maps (even blank ones you can print for your own tracking pleasure), the history of hurricanes, hurricane names, etc.

If you are new to the Hattiesburg area, keep in mind that a hit on the Mississippi Coast of a storm of this size/strength will impact us here, though we are and hour and a half by car. No need to panic (not that folks do, if you believe the post about panic, below), just keep an eye on things. And don't plan on getting a hotel room here this weekend if you don't already have one. I imagine that we are booked, or shortly will be, with Florida folks and some Nervous Nellies from New Orleans.

Take care, and feel free to post your hurricane stories in comments.

Update: Check out the "NOGAPS" computer prediction up there. That little square in Mississippi? That would be Hattiesburg. Still, no reason to panic. Unless you are in AL/FL. Then I could see it.

Update #2: All hotels in the Jackson area are booked solid for the weekend. For those of you visiting Hattie's Blog from other places ( I know there are a few of you), that's about an hour and a half drive north of Hattiesburg, 3 hours from the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Thursday, July 7

In light of the British bombings

This is a very interesting article about the way folks react to emergencies. Debunks common perception of panic. Via.

Wednesday, July 6

Before the Blog

Back before my addiction, I used to do things on the Internet besides blogging and reading blogs; I just don't remember what. The internet is a cornucopia of enlightening ideas, resources, and other mind-expanding stuff. Right? So I went looking for non-blogging activities today and here's some of what I found:

101 Fun Things To Do (Besides Having Sex). By the "Worth the Wait" guys. Among the suggested activities are:
Check out the rest of the site for more wholesome fun. You can download a printable Pledge Card, and make a wallet card to "remind you of your commitment to abstinence." (Keep it right there by the condom1, kinda like your "bad angel" and "good angel.") The advice column is also good readin'.

Apparently, some folks think that you can buy a legitimate British title online. Think, people, think! Now, a college degree, yes2. Being called Sir DeadManDancing, no.

There are people out there who love thier substrate-hugging monsters, which is fine, they are actually pretty interesting, but some of these folks also believe that if you spell the whole name of the fish out, you have killed it. (Under Pl*co in this glossary.)

The God Web actually kind of impressed me, dammit. Not enough to make fun of. (Though I can make fun of the Wall Street Journal for their blurb: ". . . it offers inspirational music, from Bach to Enya.")

Then there's Fun Things to Do with Your Old Coffee Grounds, including making a worm farm and using them for skin abrasion.

Perhaps I'll stick with the blogging3.

1. Do not keep your condom in your wallet. If I know you (and I think I do) the condom will have been subject to months, if not years, of damaging heat and pressure before you need it, rendering it useless when you do.

2. No, I do not think that you can get a legit college degree by doing no course work by simply paying some website.

3. Can you tell I have learned how to use superscript?

I asked for it.

The Victriolic Monkey tagged me for this meme after I begged for it. I was feeling all left out of the blogosphere, you see.

1. What were three of the stupidest things you have done in your life?
a. Volunteered for this meme.
b. Hit that cop car.
c. You think I'm gonna tell you?

2. At the current moment, who has the most influence in your life?
My significant other, Scott. In fact, I am thinking about making a webpage called "The Stupid Things My Boyfriend Has Said."

3. If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to pick up to five people to dine with, who would you pick?
a. Dorothy Parker
b. Winston Churchill
c. Freud (I'd pin him to the wall for changing his mind about childhood sexual abuse when It occured to him that he had symptoms himself to indicate that he'd been abused by his father.)
d. Mark Twain
e. Ben Franklin
Of course, with these folks, I'd need more than just a dinner--perhaps a long weekend? I was going to throw in someone not-so-bright to mix it up a little, but then I realized--that would be me.

4. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?
a. Health insurance (damn, I'm old)
b. Money to start up The Breakdown again. (A Hattiesburg arts/entertainment magazine that ran for a short period several years ago.)
c. Peace on earth. Or at least between my two warring kitties.

5. Someone is visiting your hometown/place where you live at the moment. Name two things you regret your city not having, and two things people should avoid.
Two things I wish Hattiesburg had:
a. Better public transportation
b. A Lemuria or Powell's-type independent bookstore.

Two things to avoid:
a. The Hattiesburg American. I hate to say this. I like newspapers and I read the American on a regular basis. But it is such a disappointing paper. It is a Gannet operation, and is weak on real local coverage. Even big Hattiesburg stories are taken straight off the AP Wire. Local entertainment is slighted for events occuring in New Orleans or at Coast casinos. I don't hate the American--I have friends who work there and care greatly about Hattiesburg--but I think the town deserves better.
b. Hardy Street. Buffets on Sunday after church. IHOP at 3 am. Ooops, I'll stop cheating now.

6. Name one event that has changed your life.
I'm supposed to get all deep here, huh?

7. Tag 5 people.
Shoot. Almost all the bloggers I "know" have been tagged already. I'm a newbie. But, Walley, ball's in your court. And Matt, you, too. Oh, and how about you, Left-Handed Leftist?? Ian, I see you ducking behind the furniture over there. . . .

Tuesday, July 5

Happy Birthday, Ma'am

I am an inveterate eavesdropper. Hell, it's free entertainment, and people sure are funny.v
One lunchtime, my friend and boss at the time, Greg, and I were eating at Panino's here in Hattiesburg. At the table behind me, two ladies were discussing what they were going to get because it was the birthday of one of the women. Damn, they were excited. "It's my birthday! Gosh, do I get a free dessert?" "I'd want a dessert if it were my birthday. " "On my last birthday I got. . . ." Birthday, birthday, you get the idea. This went on for a while until the waiter got there. Before he could even take the drink order, Birthday Gal exclaims, "It's my birthday!"

Cute waiter guy heaves a sigh and says, with absolutely no inflection, "Happy birthday, Ma'am."

Snap! That was the last Greg and I heard about her birthday. We still giggle about it.

Monday, July 4

Underground Pizza Man

If you listen to lots of Hattiesburgers, you might get the mental image of Hattiesburg as a Boschian pit with screaming hordes scrambling over one another to escape. It is true that the place seems to have some sort of vortex effect--perhaps you have heard of the young man whose car broke down each time he tried to leave, once at the very city limits. Most everyone I meet makes it clear that they are short-timers here, and headed, well, anywhere else.

I, on the other hand, adore Hattiesburg. (And yes, I have actually been to other places.) I do not feel stuck here, as I have chosen it. And one of the many reasons I did is the Underground Pizza Man.

I first heard of the Underground Pizza Man shortly after arriving here, and at first, I dismissed the stories as the hallucinations of my stoner friends. A guy you can call after the chain restaurants close to deliver you pizza from his home? You're kidding. I thought this was fantastic and somehow subversive.

The Underground Pizza Man is completely word of mouth and he is listed only in the white pages, so you have to be privy to his name. He flies pretty far under the radar, but the cops are aware of him. They don't give him any trouble, though. Once, a rookie pulled him over, and the partner told him, "Don't you know who that is? Don't pull him over--we may want a pizza later."

Over the years, several rumors have started about the UPM, including the perhaps inevitable stories that he will deliver you drugs, or beer for the under-age. He got started in the business by making and taking pizzas to friends' parties years ago, and at that time he might show up with a six-pack as well, but not for sale.

When you order your pizza from the Underground Pizza Man, pizza is all you're going to get. Pizza with a little taste of Hattiesburg entrepreneurship and what makes this silly little town home to me.

Sunday, July 3

help needed

If anyone can tell me how to change this template so that the italics doesn't do this, I will be indebted to you. I have tried everything I can think of, and I cannot correct it.

It is specific to this particular template, I believe, because I have seen other blogs with the same issue, and always this template. I have tried contacting the author, but no luck.

Piano Man

This story continues to fascinate me. If this was my cute, mute piano player, he wouldn't have been gone ten minutes before I found him.

My theory is that he is autistic, and perhaps his caregiver died or is otherwise unable to take care of him. That would explain pretty much everything from the non-communication to the mad piano skillz to the tags being cut out of his clothes. Doesn't he look sad?

Here's a great article that sums up why this guy should have been home safe and sound way back in April.

Serious waste of time links

How fast can you peel a digital potato? (Hey, I warned you that these were time-wasters.)

This is seriously disturbing. Reminds me of the Fly Guy, somehow, but creepier.

Yankee or Dixie Quiz I was surprised at my score on this--a healthy 94% Dixie. This for the only person I know who doesn't have to clarify "ink" pen, because I pronounce it "pen," not "pin."

I Used to Believe. Your humble blog host used to believe that "the bomb" was literally one bomb and resided in the White House, and I was fearful that some cleaning lady might drop it when dusting and that would be the end of us. I was an odd child.

Rate My Professors is fun. You guys can go and see what professors USM students think are hot. Oh, and incidentally, who are the best and worst teachers.

Bottom Feeder. Eating crap so you won't have to.

Longmire does Romance Novels is a brilliant site.

is one of the prettiest sites on the web.

Kitten War! I had to tear myself away from this site because I was getting depressed having to choose one kitten over another. (reminiscent of my current situation?) And I was starting to feel uncomfortably girly.

The ESP Game
is interesting.

The ESP Experiment. Read the comments section after you figure it out to boggle at the gullibility of folks.

Rock and Roll Confidential. I get aggravated with these guys' occasional gay-bashing, but their band-bashing is hilarious.

Saturday, July 2

My favorite "Southerner" joke

A Southern lady is hosting a proper Southern to-do, and somehow a Yankee socialite is in attendance. Our Southern lady says, "Where are y'all from?" And the Northerner says, "Where I come from, we don't put prepositions at the end of a sentence." The lady replies, "Well, then, where y'all from. . . . bitch?"

Which brings me to a joke that I made up:

This dyslexic guy is down on his luck and needs some cash, so seeking a get-rich-quick lawsuit, he goes to Chili's and puts a finger in Wendy.

Hah! I kill me!

Feel free to put your favorite Southern joke in comments.

©2005 TC Byrd - All Rights Reserved

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