Hi, Intern just coming to preface this… thing.
So Mer’s head sucked today, and she was all “I’m avoiding the world blog blog blog.” Very mopey. Her friend Kazz came over, though, and they did stuff. And she was chosen to write a guest post? I don’t know.
But then! The Book Of Jane is scheduled for Saturdays, so one of those also happened. Um. Yeah.
I’m not good at explaining things. Anyways.
The Battle of the Guest Posters!!! Yay.
In which Kazz loves the Blumoffs
Hello all you beautiful readers of the giant blogosphere! My name’s Kazz. (www.thewildkazzbeast.com) You may remember me from the insane post with photos of Meredith on lortab and my harrowing adventures with slappy the squirrel.
I’m here because Mer is lortabbed out agiain and Jane’s sewing machine is busy mocking her by altering how it’s threaded ALL BY ITSELF. No, I’m not kidding. or exaggerating. you thread it right and somehow, the thing makes it wrong. Don’t ask. I gave up trying to understand it and I can fix anything.
So I’m giving you today’s Book of Jane. And I really didn’t know what the hell to post about. usually i just post whatever comes to mind that amuses me that day… But today has NOT been very amusing. In fact… today has sucked horribly. Or… well.. it DID… until I went home.
Home is such a funny term, you know?
It’s one of those things that’s subjective… the kind that, you can live anywhere and say that home is there, but it may not actually FEEL like home. Then again, they say that home is where the heart is.. and many times.. I find that even if I’m were my heart is.. I’m still not at home. and those times, I’ll get quite homesick, and miserable.. and can tend to become weepy. (yeah.. I get weepy. and it is NOT pretty.. i leave massive snot trails on shoulders.) Home has to have just the right combination of comfortable people, smells, sounds, etc. and it has to have the right energy. you can have all of the sensory bits in place and STILL not have it just right.
So today, when everything went to hell in a handbasket, I left and went to Mer’s house, because I knew I’d feel better there (well.. and I know she has a super capacity washing machine, and my washer has been broken for the last two weeks. If i can do that much laundry in as little time as possible, i’m all for it.) So I showed up, and she was in her bed. apprently, her migraine had come back full force according to her text this morning. I brought her my Bobster motorcycle goggles. theyre soft and cushy and put pressure in JUST the right place on the temples. she was pleased to have them. I should have taken a photo because they make ANYONE look ridiculous. like the bug man from mars. Its fantastic.
I hadn’t cried about my crappy day all day because well.. one whiff of weakness and certain people will be all over you like a rapist on a nun.. just itching to bite your head off. So.. when Mer asked me what was wrong, I did what anyone would do. I burst into tears and put my head down on her arm. at which point the WHOLE SLEW OF DOGS rushed my face to lick me. At which point I moved to her boobs. My preferred spot anyhow, as anyone would know from my waxing story. So I got it out of my system. Went downstairs, got my first load of laundry in, and helped Jane in with ze groceries.
Mer came down, and we set to work making salmon croquettes. My daughter helped dry the dishes I was washing in the sink. Mer graced us with her fantastic snark, and amused us with her lortab-induced forgetfulness and occasional standing in the middle of the room, with bug eye motorcycle goggles going “now.. what was i doing?”
We chatted abotut he usual while cooking. Men, my kid, artsy shit, books, spices (I grabbed her butt when she was reaching for the garlic powder. I think everyone should have their butt grabbed once a day just to remind them they’re hot.) We shelled shrimp, switched my laundry over, and Mer had a nice laugh at me when I pulled the tangled mass of my bras and pantyhose out of the washer. She didn’t bother offering advice on it, she just took the mass of Victoria’s Secret push ups (there, I said it. I wear pushups. but they make my tits look F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C) from me to untangle. She tends to know when I’m on a day that I just wont have patience for those things. I pulled the hanging rack off the wall and fell over it three times before Mer asked what the hell I was doing and came in to see what the ruckus was. luckily, by the time she reached me I figured out how the damned thing worked, so I looked like everything was hunky dory. We ate in the family room around the coffee table. Autumn and I took the floor spots, which meant the dogs swung by to check out laps often for tidbits. Autumn was not a fan of the croquettes… but she did try them. After dinner, we hung out for a moment, and then I took Autumn to her best friends house to stay the night.
I came back to find Jane and Charlie hunched over the sewing machine trying to figure it out. Jane asked if I dealt with these things at all, and I informed her I haven’t really bothered touching one since I sewed three fingers together once when I was a kid with my toy sewing machine. Jane didn’t blame me. Mer was upstairs already, so I puttered about behind Jane trying to help her figure out what was wrong. In the process of trying to look at the other sewing machine to get an idea of what was supposed to happen, she managed to get it to thread itself incorrectly as well. They were conspiring against her this evening, I swear. Jane is amazing at giving advice about things. And she reminded me that I am a good mother. Period. And to stop trying to convince myself otherwise.
I took my things upstairs to set up in my little room for the night.. and started making my bed with the sheets that were there and it struck me.
This is what it’s like.
It’s calm. It’s hilarious. It can be a little bit boring…. and all of the machines in the house can conspire against you. It can be a little maddening because of the pantyhose that the washing machine thinks are delicious, or the Man of the house who cant seem to figure out how to zip the ziplocky part of the tortilla bag. It’s a chaos of dogs, and cats with ticks the size of corn pops that have to be removed, and sewing machines running amock and pittbulls and parolees on TV, and friends coming over crying about their day or talking about the crazy baptist wedding where no one could drink, dance, or have fun, but the brides father could rip the bride and groom a new one in his “toast”…
But its a place where the sounds and smells are familiar, where the people support you, even if they disagree with you, even if you tend to get a little too loud for their migraine. It’s a place where you can breathe, for once. It’s where you find unconditional love. And lump dog meat. at the foot of the bed.
The Book of Jane: Dubious Family History
I’m cheating a little bit this time. I will recount a piece of my family history, as told in two documents:
one a military report and the other an excerpt from an obscure book.
My father, Charles T. McNamee, Jr., was proud of his Southern heritage and of his family. As head of our
immediate clan, he did his best to pass on that pride. It took a slightly different form in my brother and
me – we certainly weren’t defenders of the Southern cause in the retelling of stories from the “War of
Northern Aggression”, as the American Civil War was sometimes known in our neighborhood. But I did
enjoy the stories. Here is the story of one of my forebears, one John T. McNamee, as reported by Col.
Frank A. Kendrick, Second West Tennessee Infantry, African Descent, on September 27, 1863.
I have the honor herewith to transmit the annexed report of a scouting party which was sent out by me
on the night of the 27th ultimo.
One sergeant and 10 men of the detachment of Sixth Tennessee Cavalry Volunteers, stationed here, left
the lines at about 7 p.m., with instructions to patrol the roads toward Somerville to the distance f 6 or
7 miles, and discovered nothing until they arrived at Locke’s Mill, about 4 miles out, where they met 2
boys, aged about twelve and fifteen, respectively, who were acting as guides or advance of a party of 7
guerrillas, who were about one-quarter mile behind. The sergeant immediately formed his men across
the road a little under the crest of the hill and awaited their approach. The position of our men was such
that they (guerrillas) advanced within about 60 yards, when the sergeant called halt and immediately
gave the command to fire, and 7 of the number discharged their pieces at the approaching party, who
immediately wheeled about and fled toward Somerville, our men not pursuing, but advanced to where
they were when our men fired, and found one man mortally wounded, the ball taking effect in the right
side under the lower ribs and passed through his body, coming out at the left of the spine.
At daylight on Monday morning Lieutenant Smith (acting adjutant), with 20 cavalry, went out there,
and found that a citizen living near had taken the wounded man to his house, where he died during the
night, and from papers and his memorandum, which Lieutenant Smith brought in, he was second Liet.
John T. McNamee, Thirteenth Tennessee Regiment (rebel), and had been to Somerville visiting some
friends, and was returning with 6 recruits on their way south. McNamee’s family resides at Lagrange,
and from his papers and memorandum he has traveled through the country quite recently. He was
paroled at Nashville, Tenn. In January last.
From what I can learn of the position of our men, and with the knowledge of the number who were
coming, they should have captured the entire party, but they did not bring the 2 boys in with them, but
left the wounded man lying in the road and returned directly to the camp.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Frank A. Kendrick
Colonel Second West Tenn. Infantry, A.D., Comdg. Lt. D. T. Bowler, A.A.A.G., First Brigade, Second
Now for another version of the story. This comes from A. J. Vaughn’s book Personal Record of the
Thirteenth Infantry. I don’t have a publication date, but it is obviously a period of time later. The book
lists John T. McNamee as a member of Company G (Gain’s Invincibles). This Company was raised at
“Lt. McNamee had been wounded and captured following the Battle of Murfreesboro (Stones River).
Following his release he had been detailed by Col. Vaughn to go behind enemy lines in Fayette County
to bring out recruits. He leading a group of such recruits south on the Somerville-Moscow Road; their
destination was North Mississippi which lay below the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. The “MC”
formed the lien between Confederate and Union held territory.
Compatriot Harry McNamee Ozier, kinsman of Lt. McNamee, has recently visited the sight (sic) of
Locke’s Mill. He relates that the Mill sight can still be seen; the hill referred to above is plainly evident;
and the old roadbed can still be observed meandering north toward Somerville and South into North
Fork River bottom.
Several observations may be readily ascertained. One, the fact that the Southerners were referred
to as guerrillas infers that they were not in uniform nor were they wearing any other identifying
paraphernalia. The point being that these men must have looked just like a group of local citizens on
there (sic) way to the mill. If so, then this is another instance of cold-blooded murder which may lay
at the door of the Yankee occupation. Two, the Yankee sergeant called halt and fire at the same time,
murder! Three, they checked his body close enough to determine the extent of his wounds, but left him
in the road to die, Murder. Even Col. Kendrick admonishes his troops for there (sic) conduct, leaving one
to believe that he considered it murder.
I’ve never had a lot of sympathy for the Southern “cause”, but I understood what it felt like to be on the
losing side. Some of my earliest fights arose from taunts of “Yankee” (I was born in New York City during
my father’s brief assignment at his company’s home office – we returned to Memphis before I was a
So, um… that happened. Until next time.
Howdy, y’all! It’s Mer’s intern, taking over for Mer, who has gotten increasingly whiny. Seriously. Someone needs to buy her some of the things she’s blabbering on about for More For Mer!* if only to shut her up.
Just kidding, all her whinging is endearing.
Speaking of More For Mer!*, she has tasked me with writing tonight’s producty-reviewy-promoty-thingy. This time, it’s for a company know as Epheriell Designs. This is what she has to say about herself, with sidenotes by me in bold.
Hi all, I’m Jess, and I hail from the countryside about an hour north of Brisbane(Australia – the backwards cousin of the backwards cousin of America). My husband Nick and I are currently living with my parents while we subdivide their acreage – then we’ll be building our own home here, too! We love living in the country, it’s so quiet, with birds and animals all around. We’ll often take our cat for a walk around the property of an afternoon (no, not on a leash – he’s just very much a people-cat and will follow you around everywhere when he’s awake!).
Once upon a time I was going to be a research scientist. Then I was a teacher. Now? I run my business full-time, making jewellery, blogging, and launching a new Aussie zine called *bespoke*, all about handmade, vintage, photography, art, micro-business, eco-friendly goodness and much more – all in a sweet little A5 sized package that you can take anywhere(…wow. That actually sounds really cool)! I also build the odd website for fellow crafters. In short, I’m amazingly busy, all the time, and love, love, love it!
Until September 2008, I didn’t think of myself as a creative person at all! I was a scientist, a teacher – a logical, rational person… and I never felt totally fulfilled(I was going to write something controversial, but I figured that saying “BEARS” would be good enough. BEARS.).
Then, I went to Fiji. My boyfriend (now husband) Nick and I met a lovely fellow Aussie family. We became friends, and the day we left, the mother of the family gave me a novel to read – she’d read it, and decided to pass it on. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was a story about a woman who owned a yarn store in New York. When I finished that book, I decided to try knitting… and that’s where it all began(I should have read this beforehand. She seems awesome! I want to knit. I want that to be where it all began.)!
I discovered that I LOVED creating, making, working with my hands. The previously empty part of my ‘self’ was filled, and I finally became a whole person. I went from knitting to crochet to beads to resin to metal… and fell in love with metalworking(I know what she’s talking about, but it just seems like she should be making swords.). The Epheriell style as it exists now really started to come into being in mid-2009.
I love twitter, and it’s the best marketing tool out there! I have made so many friends (and sales) through twitter, and there is no way I could have launched *bespoke* so successfully if it wasn’t for the power of twitter and the connections I’ve made. It even landed me a radio interview (http://epherielldesigns.com/hello-radio )! (I have put 3 links to her Twitter – @jessvanden – in this post. Because Twitter is fun. And you guys might know that. So follow her. I guess?)
Info about Epheriell
I make sleek, contemporary jewellery using predominately recycled sterling silver – silver that is sourced from industrial processes and refined again to make eco-friendly metal! I love that I can use recycled materials in my designs. My work is modern yet fun – I want my jewellery to become people’s ‘go-to’ jewellery – something you love to wear every day, not just put away for a special occasion. I’ve had many people tell me that their pair of Urban Eco earrings have become the pair they wear every day, which is fantastic! (http://epheriell.com)
So that was barely altered. Anyways. I have no experience picking jewelery at all. Dangly bits for me are just zombie bait. So I had Mer choose her 3 favourite pieces of jewelery from Epheriell Designs. These are they.
So there. And turns out I do appreciate some jewelery. Here is my favourite.
Click on the pictures to be taken to their entries in Epheriell Design’s shop. Tech wizardry right there.
And to end this post, everyone got a lil’ crazy. Here are some questions Jessica answered for us here at Oh, THAT Meredith.
Oh, THAT Meredith: Is it too late to ‘pologize?
Jess Van Den: Never, but that’s not something I’m very good at!
OTM: Is this the real life?
JVD: Or is this just fantasy?
OTM: Favorite superpower?
JVD: Flight, totally! How cool would it be to soar up above it all…
OTM: What is your opinion on Nathan Fillion?
JVD: *fans self…*
On that last one, I can’t blame her.
Until next time.
Hi. It’s me, Jenn. Mer is all, “I’m in so much pain! Oh, my life is so terrible!” So I offered to post for her, just to shut her up.
(It’s not working. Now she’s all, “Oh, and can you tell my readers about this? Oh, and mention this…”)
Sigh. Being Mer’s friend is so much work. I mean, really, does she think I don’t have my own blog to maintain?
In all seriousness, this morning our beloved Meredith tweeted, “headache is back to call-the-doctor-in-tears levels. back into bed goes the mer.” The Great Autumn Headache of 2010 has now turned into The Great Autumn oh-my-god-what-if-I-have-a-brain-tumor Headache of 2010.
Fortunately, tomorrow she has an appointment with a new internist, who’s already scheduled a CT scan. I like this doctor already.
The good news is, she’s maintaining her sense of humor. From our chat today:
meredith: Oh no!
meredith: If is brain tumor?
Would lose HAIR!
meredith: Oh, this is terrible.
Much worse than I thought
I have always wanted to go all sinead o’connor
Just never had the balls
And cancer survivors everywhere will eviscerate us.
me: Do not use?
meredith: They’ll get over it when I’m diagnosed with A BRAIN TUMOR.
In the meantime, we’ve been instructed to prepare our very best brain tumor jokes. You know, just in case.
What? It doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
I promise to keep y’all up-to-date with any developments, whether Mer likes it or not. I know, right? I’m the best stalker ever!
So, this one time? I flipped my whole life upside down, moved across the country and spent the next six months building a new one, complete with way too much saintliness.
When I say way too much, I am alluding to the detail-free Great Autumn Clusterfuck of 2010, the packing, moving and hand-holding of two friends who divorced, volunteering (briefly) at a dog rescue adoption event, spending great deals of (wonderful; I really can’t whine about this fairly) time with my parents and lots of research and time for an anti-bullying group.
Why, yes, I am telling you all about this to boast. Obviously.
But you see, the reason there is still balance in this universe is that I have done an exceptional job bitching, whining and moaning through all of these activities.
Oh, yes! I have whined to twitter about every little step of do-goodery along the way.
I have called my always-exhausted Dr. Sister to kvetch and kvell.
I have detailed the intricate minor injuries I have incurred for all and sundry and all some more.
Yea, verily I have granted unto you my whining.
“So you’re the patron saint of whining.”
“And a Jew.”
“Hasn’t stopped ‘em before.”
And fuck it if y’all don’t just encourage that completely.
This is why I love the internet.
Alas, my scheduled do-goodery comes to a close this eve, with the latest of my favorite soon-to-be divorcees’ moves complete. Errrr, at least, moved. The picture-hanging / put-shit-away party comes next week.
Which means it’s high time for a few days of marathon (inexpensive) debauchery, with interludes of ambitious laziness and, probably, chili cheese fries.
If I’m being honest.
I do love chili cheese fries.