Friday, July 31, 2009


I've been traveling around the South for the past week, so I feel I'm qualified to address several common stereotypes about the American South:

1. People in the South are stupid and/or uneducated.

FALSE. People in the South are no more stupid or uneducated than people anywhere else, but they speak using the American Southern dialect, which makes them sound stupid. Anyone sounds stupid using a Southern accent. I firmly believe that, had Einstein been born in Mississippi, we never would have heard of him. He wasn't that smart, really, but he had a German accent, which in the hierarchy of intelligent-sounding accents, is really up there.

Hierarchy of Accents (in order of intelligence, from most to least):
1. British (super genius)
2. European
3. Neutral American
4. African
5. Asian
6. Canadian
7. Minnesotan
8. Boston
9. California Surfer
10. Southern

So you see, the good people of the South are doomed to fail. I heard Princess say, "I don't want to leave this ho-TAYULL!" and wept for the loss of her future.

2. People in the South are unfriendly and/or creepy and/or scary.

I must confess that I don't understand this one. I have met creepy and/or scary people in the South, but this fantasy of the backwoods sadist is just that: a fantasy. In the five Southern states we traversed, we met nothing but smiles and goodwill. (Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee, in case you are wondering.) The friendliness was present in everyone regardless of race or gender, except for the renegade bartender at Ruby Tuesdays who I suspect was a recent parolee.

3. People in the South have comical fashion sense.

People in the South certainly do have their own aesthetic. Walking through the Wal-Mart in Loganville, GA was like a fashion show compared to the ones I'm used to. People were clean and shod. If that's questionable fashion sense, we all need more of it.

I think people in the South do like things bigger and more colorful, but I really didn't see anyone there who looked any different from the hipsters we see on TV. A shame, really. I wanted some big, big hair.

4. Food in the South is delicious.

I can't defend this one. It is absolutely, completely, 100% true.

*If you haven't already, look at the bumper of the truck in the picture at the top. If you can't see it, click on the photo to enlarge. Stereotype?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It is with sadness that I reveal a shocking truth of which I had, heretofore, been unaware:

The History Channel has sold out.

Yes, my friends, that last bastion of wholesome, educational, boring television has gone the way of the sexy, go-go hipness of Discovery and The Learning Channel.

A few days ago, I was staying at the quaint Sky Harbor Bavarian Inn in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Really. Our room was nestled into the side of the mountain, with a balcony that extended into the cradling arms of the surrounding trees. As I lay on my side, the eastern window that looked out onto the balcony gave me a gorgeous view of a mountain sunrise.

That was the first day.

On the second day, clouds obscured the sunrise, Dexy was fussy, and Sven lost the remote control sometime during the night. The last thing he had been watching was The History Channel, so I was stuck. After two infomercials (Your Baby Can Read! and something about how to trick the government out of money) I watched a riveting documentary about the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel System. (Get it? "Riveting?" Because it's about road construction? And they use rivets? Never mind.)

By the time this documentary ended, we were all awake. The remote control was still nowhere to be found. Since the hotel used digital cable, we couldn't change the channel manually. Fortunately, the next thing to come on looked like something the kids would like: Uncovering the World of the Paleo-Indians. Computer animated Columbia Mammoths? Cool. Computer animated saber-toothed cats? Cooler.

Computer animated saber-toothed cats ripping the face off of a mother while her child stands there and watches? Not so much.

"Mommy?" Princess' anxious voice sounded as I ripped apart the bed in attempts to find the remote. "Mommy, what happened to that mommy? Did the bad tiger kill the mommy?"

"He bite! He bite!" exclaimed Dexy, looking concerned.

"Look! Handy Manny!" I bellowed, finally discovering the remote on the floor behind the headboard. And all was well. But it got me thinking: since when did The History Channel show such shlocky, over-dramatized pseudo-historical fare like this?

I don't know. But I'm not pleased.

And speaking of not pleased, I have something to say about remote control manners. If you and your partner go to sleep and wake at different times, it behooves the later-retiring partner to make sure the remote control is in a secure, easily accessible location for the earlier-rising partner. If it is not, the early riser is permitted to search the area around the sleeper, including ripping covers off and shoving the sleeper off the bed, if necessary.

That is all.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Premature Nostalgia

I remember, when I was a child, the fond look my mother would get in her eye when she talked about the television shows of her youth.

Mickey Mouse Club. Roy Rogers (though, I understand she was an infant then). She would stare off into the distance as my sister and I heaped spoonful after spoonful of white sugar on our "healthy" cereal, and say something like, "You know, in those days television was special."

I have decided it is time for me to become nostalgic. Since neither of my children will sit still long enough for me to impart fond remembrances, it is to you, my bloggy friends, that I turn in my hour of need.

(Pause while Deb dons Granny-style glasses, shawl, and white wig styled in a bun.)

Gather around, my children, and let me tell you about a time when television was TELEVISION. When I was a little girl, in the 1970's, we knew what made good TV: guns and bosoms. Sometimes together. All of the best shows of my childhood: The Love Boat, CHiPS, Three's Company, Dallas...they all had bosoms and guns galore. Except Three's Company. No guns on that one. But, double bosoms. Triple, sometimes. The best one was Charlie's Angels. You couldn't beat the bosoms on those Angels, though many tried...

In my day, there was only one night that could rightfully be called "appointment television." It was Thursday nights on NBC. First with The Cosby Show and Cheers, then later with Friends, Seinfeld, and ER. My word, what we wouldn't do to be home on Thursday nights! Weren't no such thing as a TiVo in those days, my dears, if you missed it, you had to set the VCR, and nobody could figure out how to program the dad-burned thing, so like as not you'd come home to a tape of the OJ verdict and nothing else...

Sorry, Children. Mamaw's colloquialisms are feelin' frisky as a cat up a chestnut tree today. Where was I?

Hey, where'd you all go?

Con sarn it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vacation Photos 2009: Part II, Chattanooga

This will be all. Your regularly scheduled blog will resume tomorrow.

Here is Princess, relaxing on the balcony of our hotel. It was one of the best places we ever stayed. She didn't want to leave.

Dexy also loved the hotel. He thought it was awesome that he could go outside.

At Ruby Falls, just by the hotel.

Our whole family in front of the falls. Really, it's us.

At the end of the cave tour. Princess decided she "needed a break" after we saw the falls, so I carried her the whole way out. Dexy was asleep.

Princess atop the lookout tower. I was holding the still-napping Dexy somewhere...

"You mean I slept through the entire morning, and all I got was this hat?"

"I begged for this hat through the entire cave, on the playground, and on the lookout tower. I can't wait to discard it and forget it by this afternoon!"

Dexy and Sven at the Chattanooga Aquarium (Ocean Side), petting a stingray.

"Is it time for the ice cream yet?"
It was.