Hello! Hello to you and you and especially you, sir or madam!
Like the prodigal sons of yore, Bluebird Blvd. has returned to its true home, WordPress.com, after three years on an offsite server.
You may have noticed that a thousand or so stories appear to be missing from Bluebird Blvd. Fret not! We are in the process of cleaning up many of your favorite stories which got jostled in the move and lost photographs, keywords, et. al.
Some older posts may not meet our current standard of publishing, and those will be removed indefinitely or permanently depending on individual quality.
If you have a particular story you fear will go missing, feel free to leave a comment or for that matter pop into any story on Bluebird Blvd. and chat with us. You can also send us a private note through our contact button the bottom of this any page of the site.
Now that we’ve got that settled, please be aware that we’ve missed you all and are truly happy to be on WP.com writing versus doing double-duty writing and wrangling code elsewhere.
We’re especially excited for some new stories and features we have planned, and excited to put a new twist on some perennial favorites.
Enough about us: How are you doing these days? What’s been keeping you busy? Listening to any new music lately? What was the last great book you read? Did you find any new interesting place on the internet recently? What is the square root of the color orange divided by the word mandible plus three notes on a wheezy accordion?
That’s it! That’s the stuff. As you may have noticed, we’re back, baby! Back on WP.com and back in the business of trying to make you feel just a little more, dance a little more, think a whole lot more, and laugh all the time.
Since we’re still in moving mode, please excuse our dust, duplicates of posts, all the missing pictures, and the general lack of panache. What we lack in style right now, we’ll more than make up for in substance. So tell me, tell me truly—
Nothing but nothing has gone quite right today: I missed an appointment. I burned my lunch, and I lost my wallet (inside my house!).
By the time I sat down this afternoon to make a grocery list, I decided that what I needed right this second was to design a new grocery list. (What I really need is food, but, you know what? I’ll get to the store tonight.) Putting my cranky energy towards designing something not on deadline put me in a much better mood. I’m always happier if I’m making something, and I bet making things makes you happier too.
I was in a terrible mood, so I designed a new grocery list.
Here’s the grocery list I designed a little while ago. I’ve made it freely available to all of you for personal use through Google Drive. (It’s a .PNG file. Your computer likes .PNGs just fine, but do let me know if you have any trouble printing it out.)
If you’re vegetarian or vegan and you ask me nicely in the comments, I can make a second grocery list that replaces the ol’ meat and dairy with something like grains and baking supplies. (Suggestions? Talk to me.)
The next time you’re having a weird day and have to go grocery shopping, I hope this printable list gives you a little pick-me-up. And who knows? Maybe you’ll use that bit of brightness to make something handsome for somebody in your part of the world. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?
I love “The Limiñanas.” I mean, I loooo-oooove them. This French garage rock duo manages to keep their sound fresh yet rooted in classic psychedelic sound, with a nod toward groups like “The Beach Boys,” “Velvet Underground,” and a host of crunchy psychedelic songsters from the early 1960s. (Think: “The 13th Floor Elevators,” “Them,” and “The Bad Seeds.”)
There’s an amazing live performance of The Limiñanas on the oldest and most awesome continuous free-form radio station in the U.S., WFMU, who has graciously posted for listening (or download) the whole thing on the award-winning Free Music Archive (FMA). The entire Evan Funk Davies Show set is here: The Limiñanas on WFMU in 2011. WFMU is my favorite radio station of all time ever, and the Free Music Archive has been a second home for me in the last three years. (Here’s my FMA user page: Bluebird Blvd. loves the FMA.
This, of course, was before I started listening to 20+ hours of music a week for our original feature the 5-Minute Dance Party on Bluebird Blvd., a practice for which I am forever grateful because it got me out of a music rut. Listening to new music trains my ear to like new things, and who doesn’t want to like new things?
There’s an old ruse that in your late 20s you lose the ability to listen to new music without prejudice because you are no longer being exposed to new music constantly, the way you were in high school and college. By American standards, you’re also no longer the target listening market, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Here’s my advice for what it’s worth: Keep listening. Just keep listening to new things and old things from all over the world and in many genres and you’ll begin hearing sound again like it was the first time you ever listened to the radio as a teenager and had the feeling that the music on the air was just for you, you, you.
Merry Christmas, dearest readers. Lots of love to you on this most silent night.
F**k terrorism. Seriously. Just f**k the whole thing.
Needless to say, this weekend was pretty weird.
I spent all Friday afternoon and evening reading Twitter and various international news sites whose reportage I trust.
On Saturday, I decided to lie in bed and read books and think. (I was having some pretty rotten allergy problems.) (Stupid allergies!)
Yesterday, I did some laundry and I made these supportive banners and profile pics just for you.
Today, you can download them for free from Bluebird Blvd.’s Google Drive. You don’t have to sign up for anything and it’s totally secure and anonymous. They’ll be up for download indefinitely.
FREE SOCIAL MEDIA ITEMS TO SUPPORT COUNTRIES AFFECTED BY TERRORISM
Here are two square profile pics, several Facebook headers, and a header for Twitter that show support for France, Iraq and Lebanon while they reel from the terrorist attacks on Thursday and Friday.
No one else seems to have anything out there to share besides the Tricoleur FB profile flag, which is nice, but. . . France wasn’t the only country to experience the loss of human life last week. (Banners including Syria to come.)
PAX ÆTURNA TRIBUTE TO FRANCE, IRAQ and LEBANON FB COVER IMAGE
(Click to see large slide show.)
PAX ÆTURNA SQUARE PROFILE PIC for ALL SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
PAX ÆTURNA TRIBUTE TO FRANCE, IRAQ and LEBANON TWITTER HEADER IMAGE.
A FEW NOTES
Again, here’s download link for all full-sized profile pix and banners shown in this post: PAX AETERNA
As you can see, I did not include Kenya’s terrible attack at Garissa College University as it took place in April 2015. I did read about it at the time, but I wasn’t in a space where I could do much about that awful day except feel sad.
Please feel free to post and share these social media pix and banners. I would ask that you do not share this design as if it were your own creation, and I trust you have the good heart and the good sense not to do so.
These days, it’s all we can do to help our fellow human and to live in hope. Even more importantly, I believe it is our job here on earth to provide comfort for others in need.
I know this isn’t a complex message or even a new idea, but striving to be kind to others is the backbone of my personal code. The words sound simple. But kindness in action can be complex.
Thao Nguyen is one of those polymath artists who can pick up any instrument and make it sound like home. Her latest project, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down is a blues-rich, folk-tinged ensemble with lots of rich little touches and sweethearted songs. Visit Thao & The Get Down Stay Down to for interviews and tour dates.
I am a writer: I live in my head most days, and if I do not set timers and automatic devices, I would forget to eat on time or consume adequate amounts of life-giving coffee. When I am writing or thinking about writing (which is almost all of the time), I live not outside of time but between time—I wake to a thin straw of light poking through the barkcloth blackout curtains The Husband built. At night, I go to sleep when it is dark and quiet and the arterial whoosh of cars gives way to the surreal winter bark-amidst-silence of a dog in a backyard two miles away.
Or rather, I should say this is how I think I live—suspended in a neural web of spacelessness and placelessness. Instead I live amidst life in all its screaming glory for I live with dogs, who are the natural champions of joie de vivre. Dogs don’t merely enjoy your presence, they require things of you throughout a given day. The needs of each of the three dogs who live with me (with whom I live) vary, but they more or less follow some pattern—a daily shape that helps me to pay attention, to step out of my own mind and the story unspooling (hopefully) through my fingers onto a page, either digital or physical, but no less real in actuality.
What is a dog but the lovely wagging of his tail?
My dogs keep me anchored here, sunk into my own real-life narrative of meals and tamed caffeinated vices and phone calls and clean laundry, and not that other here where the story has formed a ripe and tempting surface that begs to be sliced open like a pomegranate to allow the seeds to spill forth. That here lives in a luminous fugue of fog over my head—but that here can wait for me to bathe or to return that phone call. It will pause and swirl in place so that I may get down on the floor and roll around with Abelard, a dog who’s been known to grab you by the neck with his single polydactyl front paw to draw your face into a broad lick that swipes your schnoz.
If you’re wondering, that here and this here are not the same here. They don’t really shift and mix into a single soap bubble the way most people imagine writer’s reality and real reality to commingle. Most modern mistakes about writers begin with montages from b-grade movies and end in bad soft jazz. In these movies, you never see the writer writing, you see the writer moving about. They’re speed-walking with a neighbor. They’re browsing through the cozy bookstore. They’re talking over dinner, and it’s all okay because they’re writing in their heads again, all while wearing this year’s trouser and next year’s watch with an unstudied elegance that makes me ball my inky hands into inky fists.
There are reasons that writers have rooms with doors that lock. There are reasons why writers wake up at 4:23 in the morning to write while the rest of the household sidestrokes through a five-fathom sleep in tousled warm beds. There are reasons for the battered sweaters and the old shoes. (Who wants to get ink and newsprint on your good clothes, if you can avoid it?) And there are other reasonable things a writer does not mention because to mention them is to discuss the mechanics of the close magic that maps out the place where writers write. (It has little to do with speed-walking, I assure you.)
…the story has formed a ripe and tempting surface that begs to be sliced open like a pomegranate to allow the seeds to spill forth.
Regarding that close magic, here’s the hardest trick: To even get to that other here takes work. In order to write something new, a writer must put herself into a space akin to a trance state, which can be achieved by the following means: a daily routine that is never broken, a ritual space and/or time to write in which one is not disturbed for the duration of the writing experience; noise or silence—there’s no between on this aspect of writing—you either write with music or white noise or the only music you want to hear is your own words in your own head. And time. Lots and lots of time.
It is irregularity that will destroy the writer’s hyperfocused state— intermittent events of no particular pattern, e.g., the sounds that people make doing all sorts of ordinary everyday things as well as the normal goings-on of dogs. At our house, Abelard lives in the nowest of nows. He’s the most physical of our three canines. When we go to bed at night, it’s Abelard who will fall back into my or The Husband’s arms and asks to be spooned and skritched. It’s Abelard who flea-checks my hair every other day; Abelard who wobbles his girth into most of my desk chair while I sit and write on its precipitous edge. It’s the drowsing Abelard’s damp adenoidal breath deposited directly into my ear that levitates me into the deepest sleep I’ve ever entertained, night after night. As a result, Abelard walks through my dreams and into my stories in a variety of guises.
Abelard lives in the nowest of nows.
But it’s not just him—it’s Ilsa’s cold nose and her warning bark at the door (“Visitors! Visitors! Visitors!”); it’s Monkey’s soft, questing nudge on the leg—(“May we go out now?”; “Will you feed me?”; “Can I sit in your chair?”; “Do you know it’s time for bed?”; “Is this something I can chew up?”). It’s the day and it’s The Husband and it’s the words I will set forth, which live in that supraliminal space between my head and my heart, my inner eye and my outer sight. It’s word meshed to action and action braided to word. It’s the part of my person that knows to get up once an hour from the wrecked Hollywood Regency desk to reach and shout and move around the house. It’s the dogs barking at glossy black Sapo the fence-jumper who never barks back. It’s reading a poem from a book out loud in my office and Abelard sauntering into the doorway to hear it because he thinks the poem is for his ears, and in a way, it is.
It’s the metronomic beat between idea and expression, betwixt thirst and glass and water, behind every gesture I make, even the ones I make at my desk, especially the ones I make at my desk: I studied dance for 20-odd years of my life and to live with dogs and words is to live in the constant space of the dance studio and its sweaty, silent rituals punctuated by the shouts of the teacher in the room: “HIGHER!” “FASTER!” “DO IT AGAIN!”. And so we do.
When Abelard is drowsy, he will often curl up against my back—or drape his head across my torso—and drop into a wild and natural sleep.
Abelard snores: his breathing is wet and sonorous and deep. This dog shows himself to be a true slumberer, a gourmand of snooze, an enthusiast of rest, a sleeper of great gusto.
In other words, Abelard is the young canine Orson Wells of deep sleep and I love him for it.
But there’s something funny about Abelard and his sleep, and by funny, I mean strange. I’ve discovered that I have to make sure I’ve finished getting ready for bed myself before I settle in with Abelard because his sleep-sounds are a natural soporific.
It’s a shock, I tell you, to wake up and discover that I’ve managed to fall asleep with my clothes and street shoes on. Again. I’m a lifelong, honest-to-goodness, there-are-doctors-involved insomniac—this sort of thing doesn’t happen in my world, ever.
Yet, thanks to Abelard, I sleep. It’s suddenly very simple. I brush my teeth for two minutes; attend to my skin; straighten the covers; listen to Abelard gulp and snore and fuffle, and WHAMMO!—I’m out.
Gee, just thinking about Abelard’s artful torpor makes me want to head off to Snoozeville. Let’s see if Abelard is ready for bed. Abelard? Bed?
Ah, here he comes.
Hand me that butterfly net, will you? I want to catch some z’s.
Some stories are more impossible than others. Take the story of my friend Mark. I’ve been trying to write something about him for nearly three weeks.
Ever since I received the quiet phone call from my friend Phillip regarding Mark’s death, I’ve sat at my desk at varied hours in different arrangements to do just this one thing. To this end, you would find me here in the morning staring at the French gray walls of my office, and again, in the afternoon, holding my $5 fountain pen over my $2 notebook. Late at night I remain rooted here— hunched forward, scowling at the screen while a 70 lb. three-legged dog attempts—in a show of loyalty—to co-occupy my office chair as I write.
Or not write, as has been the case, about Mark and Mark’s life. My stalled fingers hover and tremble at the keys not because of the dog in my chair and not because I’m constantly losing my $5 pen in my cluttered office, and not because I don’t know what to say—because goodness knows I have yet to run out of things to say about everything and everyone, even if it takes me all night or a whole year or a flaming hot deadline to figure out what to say and how to say it.
What has halted me again and again are the facts and the figures. There is so much of Mark to know, and so many shared experiences with Mark to consider, the tenure of our two-year friendship creaks and wobbles under the weight of all the abundance that is Mark himself.
If you wanted to find the shape and substance of a man like Mark, you could measure him by his heavy shelves of wonderful books or the many gorgeous frames of film he shot in his storied travels. You could, if you liked, measure him in cultivated silences—because he was a man who considered your question with judicious care before offering an answer.
You could easily measure Mark by his stories, which were legion and inclusive, or by the sweet banter he shared with the love of his life, Dawn.
Many of you will study the length and breadth of the man based on the size and shape of his strong friendships, or maybe just one friendship, the one he had with you. I know I will measure him by the conversations we did not yet have, the notes for which I’d ferreted away for a sunnier day when Mark was feeling well enough to talk, and I will also measure him through the books he introduced to me and I, to him.
But this is where I leave off the checks and balances and the counterweights because what has occupied the center of my sadness at the loss of Mark is the Mark-shaped hole in my heart, and that absence cannot be measured or weighed or explained with ease.
A person’s life is not a playbook, you see, or a morality tale or a pithy epigram; a man like Mark is not solely the sum of his stories, his books and his papers, nor is he a proof to be deduced solely by his devotedness to his family, his spouse and his friends.
Mark was Mark, and he is Mark still. I would give every book in my library to hear the sweet scratchiness of his voice again; to listen to him tease Dawn and Dan and his parents in his funny, gracious way. But no one’s offering me an exchange rate on my books for the width and breadth of this dear man’s life.
Instead, I’m left to my office in a crooked little suburb in a cranky old city, standing upright but leaning against my desk. I am paying close attention to the rain that burbles against the panes of my dusty aluminum-framed windows, and the darkness outside seems unceasing at this time of night. Still, the dog with three legs slumbers on the floor, running the length of the room in his dreams. Still, this house sleeps on and on.
All the while, one part of my mind continues to cross and re-cross a single moment in another November, when I walked into a local diner ten minutes late to meet Dawn and Mark and Dan and Mr. and Mrs. A— for the first time.
Here. Look.—The noonday sun holds up the sky. I open the chrome and glass doors of the diner and clatter inside, searching for faces I’ve only seen in pictures.
The cashier, seeing my confusion, steps from behind the counter to lead me around a wall of sturdy glass blocks. The first person I see is a bespectacled and smiling man rising from his seat to greet me, followed in no short measure by his brother and his father, while his spouse and his mother look up and offer me two equally lovely grins.
Oh, Mark, I am so very nearly embarrassed to tell you how much I’d be willing to give up just to have this one moment, with you, again. But no alchemy of mere words will bring you back from the places you had yet to go. And there is no way to measure and shape the entirety of you into a single, small story. Trust me, Mark, I’ve tried. You know that I’ve tried.
If a man’s life is a river, your life is—and was—a place where even the rivers have rivers of their own.
I believe your rivers have reached their headwaters now. Godspeed, Mark.
This is a self-portrait of us taken by The H. when we were first dating. At the time, he worked as a furniture maker. The H. specialized in mid-century bent-wood designs, but he could make anything.* In this photo, we’re standing in his workshop. The Husband had no idea that he’d set his little point and shoot camera to panoramic. That’s why the top of his head got cut out of the frame.
But, wait! It gets better.
So, right after his camera took that first picture, The Husband (who was only The Boyfriend then) tried to pick me up, but he didn’t have a solid grip. The camera captured him trying not to drop me on my head. We are laughing hysterically, of course.
I’ve got to be honest, y’all. Every time I look at these pictures, I just laugh and laugh. There are actually four of them. There’s another with my head chopped off at the top because of the panorama setting, and one other of The H. standing by his circular saw, half in darkness. It was very cold in his shop. The building in which his workshop was housed used to be a grocery warehouse at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Husband and I had a charmed courtship. We were friends for nearly a year before we decided to start dating, and we weren’t any hurry to get anywhere. I never had more fun in my entire life up to that point than when I met him. Even now, the most fun I ever have is with The Husband—even though he makes me half-crazy almost all of the time.
But, that’s life, right? That’s what marriage can do to a body—especially if you’re in a marriage of equals. And we laugh a lot—because that’s marriage too. Above all, we talk about every idea that can be built with common words. I look at these photos and I can see how we built the kindling for a lifetime of conversations, stick by stick and story by story.
*And by anything, I mean anything. He made Japanesque Art Nouveau-style carved cabinets and Moroccan tiled octagonal tables offound wood and all sorts of cabinets with crazy tricky parquetry.
Of our three dogs, Abelard requests the most constant companionship.
While Ilsa will wander off to mull a chewy over under her favorite wing chair and Monkey might curl into a drowsy ball in a corner of the couch, Abelard will almost always insist on draping himself across your person in an artful shape wherever you may sit, however you may stand.
But Abelard’s favorite thing* to do—his utter and absolute favorite—is to climb up in The Husband’s lap and tuck his head into a corner of The H.’s shoulder and drowse like a babe in arms while they both watch the evening news.
*(Abelard’s second favorite thing is to throw his one front paw across my shoulder as he and I swim towards sleep.)
As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting to Bluebird Blvd. for nearly three whole months.
I’ve been having a problem. A writing problem.
Is it writer’s block?
No, it’s something worse than writer’s block if you can believe it.
Writer’s block is bad enough. And it’s real—don’t give me any of your power right through nonsense, okay? I’ve done that. You can do it, but it’s like dancing on a broken leg. Super painful.
If you write, you know what I’m talking about. You’re sitting in the chair with the paper and the pen and the clock going, and you wait.
For what?!? You ask.
Words. You’re waiting for words.
Well, there are words everywhere, you say. Just pick up a dictionary. Hell, turn on the television. People are speaking them things all the time.
Um. They’re not the right words. That’s the whole problem.
So there you sit. Or you used to—staring at the wall. Waiting for something to materialize. The more you sit and wait, the more you believe you’re going to be sitting and waiting forever. But of course you don’t.
The words come—terribly at first, then a little better, and if you’re lucky, pretty well, and then either you go for broke and it’s hours later and you look up and go whaaaa? —because you’ve totally lost track of time and it’s late and the dogs need their supper….
Again, this is how it used to be.
Now every writer I know has a completely different writing problem.
There are too many words now, dammit. Too many freaking words.
Every day, I wake up to a phone that insists on throwing words at me. I sit up in bed and grab the glass of water I set on the nightstand every evening. I take my pills and pull a book onto my lap—I like to wake up slowly, you see. But there are all of these things that are asking for my attention.
There’s a television set in the other room blathering about the best way to sew a Hong Kong seam. (Yes, The Husband watches his sewing shows before school.)
And my phone beeyooops! because someone on Facebook “likes” the photograph I re-posted yesterday from Humans of New York. (Dude, I love HONY. Best thing on the internet.)
And then Twitbot 3 ker-bleeps! because the alert I set for our current Texas Guvi, Captain Hairdo is blowing up this morning because—oh, is it Christmas already?—he’s being indicted. (For something. Finally.)
Yeah, I know. You’re saying, “This is a problem? I should have such a problem.”
Oh, but it is. It is!
Do you realize that I haven’t even gotten out of bed and my ears are being crammed with words that aren’t my words? They’re not even the words in the lovely book that’s fallen open on my lap like a goofy disembodied grin. These words are semi-random things, mostly banalities, that I’ve personally selected to disrupt me throughout the day.
Yes, yes. You’re getting it now. I did this to myself. It’s a nightmare; it’s a terror. I gave my brain a raging case of writer’s block, but what’s going on isn’t actually anything like writer’s block at all.
Writer’s block is turning on the faucet and only getting a dribble of rusty words. Around here it’s a damn DELUGE. I’m being pelted with a stream of blah-blah-blah seam ripper, blah-blah-blah HONY should win a Nobel this yearii…blah-blah-blah GUESS WHAT CAPTAIN HAIRDO DID NOW!
It’s no wonder I started to have serious problems with writing. There are simply TOO MANY WORDS. And they’re also ALL THE WRONG WORDS.
Look at me. I’m so upset that I’m writing in italics for emphasis. And that’s really, really bad, y’all. It’s the cheapest writing trick in the book. The only thing worse than using italics to hit your paces is… JUST LOOK AT ME. —oh, there it is. The caps-lock gambit.
I’m a mess. But it’s not just me. This word problem is a worldwide emergency.
Some writers have gone as far as locking up their devices when they’re working on deadline. (Hint: If you’re a journalist, this idea may not work.) I know of two novelists (not personally) who disabled the internet capability on their computers.
One of them literally grabbed some glue and gummed up the works in his laptop. The other novelist pulled out the little bit that connects to the internet and put it in a vault and spun the lock.
And these are good writers. The Contemporary Lit kind with the sad smile and the little bald spot and the Ivy League education and the author’s photo on some street on the Eastern Seaboard and everything. If those guys can’t pull out of a writing nosedive caused by looking at crap on their phones, what the hell am I supposed to do?!? You know me—I am as ridiculous as I tell you I am. I may be even more ridiculous than I report to you—I don’t know.
Well, this is what I’ve come up with so far: WALLPAPER. Just hear me out. You know how the first thing you see when you turn on your computer in the morning after it warms up is your desktop wallpaper, right?
Why not write something to REMIND you to write and make it into DESKTOP WALLPAPER, so that EVERY TIME you look up from some bullhound conversation you’re having on Twitter instead of writing your novel, you’ll get the point.
It’s better than guilt or an alarm or an expensive POMODORO system or GET ‘R’ DONE or any of those marketing things that help you yell at yourself to get work finished.
Or so I thought at the beginning of this summer.
In June, I designed this desktop picture and put it on my Mac so that it was the first and last thing I ever see on my computer.
Cute, right? Okay, well that was a novelty for about a week. Then I pretty much forgot it was there and still was struggling with writing.
As you can see with this next one, I ratcheted up the noise. I didn’t want to miss this when I looked up from my browser with three tabs open that have nothing to do with me writing at the moment: The Mary Sue, Pinterest, Facewitter. Something like that.
And so that wore off in a few weeks as well. Around the beginning of July, I started to panic. That’s when I created this beaut right here:
But you know what? I ran the first part of my writing career based on fear. I’m pretty immune to fear at this point.
Plus, I am a born existentialist. You figured that out, right?
Also, I’ve been to graduate school. I was already a professional writer when I entered graduate school at 25. Graduate school is way more scary than the actual writing world. I kid you not.
Finish an MFA and you’ll be hard-pressed to be afraid of anything ever again. Deadlines. Coral snakes. Mortgages. I’m serious.
None of this mattered by early August. I guess I made this? It’s all kind of a blank here on out:
And, um, this.
Here’s the last thing I haven’t really tried lately—plumping up my ego.
You know that writers have notoriously fragile egos, right? Well, mine is not so fragile. But as a writer, I am kind of like Peter Pan in that I like it when you look up to the sky and think of me from time to time.
Geez, I’ve missed you all.
Oh, just one more thing. I know the social media stuff is just witchy for writers. Actually, it’s so bad that it’s made me nostalgic for old-fashioned writer’s block.
Sweet cracker sandwich, has it come to this?
i That spelling is intentional. In Texas, you have the Guv and you have the Lite Guv. The Lite Guv is the guy with the power. The Guv. is usually a figurehead. Usually. (Anne Richards was no figurehead, darlin’!)
ii (Brandon Stanton is hitting all the right marks with his ongoing Goodwill tour. If you’re not following him right now, you should go and do that immediately. Then come right back, okay?