Feuding in the holler

I have been in trial almost non-stop for nearly four weeks. This makes me unhappy for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is an appalling lack of time to do anything remotely interesting and fun.

I could be here. Sadly, I'm not.

Instead, I am in rural Tennessee in court dealing with a land feud between a family whose tree has zero branches and a Californian who moved in to this county to buy acreage for horses. Guess which side the judge is (distantly) related to?

I believe this family may actually be related to the Hatfields.

Some actual quotes from the witnesses:

“I was raised up in that there holler by my sister, Mama”.

“It’s always been known that we owned that there land since my great great great grandpappy got it for fightin’ in the War of 1812.”

“We was squirrel huntin’ up yonder when she throwed me off the property.”

Tennessee is beautiful, but man, we have some dumb ass people living in the woods.

On behalf of those who can string together a noun and a verb, I apologize to the world at large for the backwoods parts of the state of Tennessee.  Tennessee may be the Volunteer State, but I think we need to volunteer to teach everyone who lives here how to read before we do anything else.

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Betty Crocker is a communist

Need I say more?

Woefully behind on posts from the lengthy December vacation which was followed by endless trials and whining clients, I decided I needed a chocolate infusion stat. Everyone knows that brownie batter is a cure for bad breakups, cancer and stress.  I have stress, therefore I need brownies, and pre-brownies in the form of brownie batter while I wait for brownies to bake.  Then I saw this on the box. “Fuck off Betty Crocker”, said Jean as she licked the spatula.

 

Fashion crisis: drown or look bad

Under the best of circumstances, clothing for active women with a substantial chest is difficult to find.  Flat-chested nymphs who wander the earth with six-pack abs doing yoga and prancing about in tiny sports bras can officially kiss my ass.  Those of us who tend more to the DD size range understand the trauma of shopping for sportswear and yes, tiny flat-chested women, we do hate you.

I kayak. Kayaking in certain conditions requires that anyone with a brain wear a lifejacket.

This is what the Coast Guard says I should wear.

Now let’s talk about Exhibit A, my boobs:

Seriously? This is supposed to pass as functional for a kayaker?

Sweet Jesus on a breadstick. It looks like I have taped a red backpack to my tits. I am not amused.

Thanks Lifejacket manufacturer. Now I can look like a giant slut because my boobs are squeezed upward by the foam packed into the jacket and strapped tightly to my ribs.

I won’t drown, but I look like the fucking stay-puft marshallow man in red.

An Open Letter to the State of Missouri

Dear State of Missouri,

Because my extended family lives in Kansas and I live in Tennessee, I am routinely forced to drive through your state.  I have always loathed this drive because  your roads are poorly designed, heavily-trafficked and generally awful. This year, though, you outdid yourself. The plan you had to control the masses driving through your state on I-70 was sheer diabolical genius. Stationing highway patrolmen every 8 miles in the median was a fabulous way to utterly fuck up traffic. The speed limit in your state is 70 miles per hour, but I doubt I made it much over 55 all the way through because every time the very heavy stream of traffic would approach the actual speed limit en masse, your highway patrol cars in the median would be spotted and my fellow drivers would panic and slam on the brakes, creating a chain reaction fuck up that would only clear up 8 miles further down the road. This hellish cycle repeated every 8 miles in an endless Groundhog-day-style loop. Instead of the three and a half hours it typically takes to drive from Saint Louis to Kansas City, you held me an unwilling captive for six long hours.

I was presented with some “fun facts” about Missouri at one of their rest stops which presumably exist to give you hope that you may someday get out of Missouri. Tourist bureau, you might want to edit your tourist information:

  1. Missouri is known as the “Show Me State”. Yes, show me how to get the hell out of this state as fast as possible.
  2. The ‘Show Me State’ expression may have begun in 1899 when Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver stated, “I’m from Missouri and you’ve got to show me.” You’ve got to show me how to get out of this state.
  3. The first successful parachute jump to be made from a moving airplane was made by Captain Berry at St. Louis, in 1912. Even flying over the state leaves you suicidal.
  4. The most destructive tornado on record occurred in Annapolis. In 3 hours, it tore through the town on March 18, 1925 leaving a 980-foot wide trail of demolished buildings, uprooted trees, and overturned cars. It left 823 people dead and almost 3,000 injured. Nature abhors Missouri.
  5. Josephine Baker was born in Missouri. And promptly ran screaming to Paris to get out of Missouri.
  6. The first Capitol in Jefferson City burned in 1837 and a second structure completed in 1840 burned when the dome was struck by lightning on February 5, 1911. I think someone is trying to tell you something.
  7. Creve Coeur’s name means broken heart in French, comes from nearby Creve Coeur Lake. Legend has it that an Indian princess fell in love with a French fur trapper, but the love was not returned. According to the story, she then leapt from a ledge overlooking Creve Coeur Lake; the lake then formed itself into a broken heart. Because she was trapped for eternity in Missouri.
  8. The most powerful earthquake to strike the United States occurred in 1811, centered in New Madrid, Missouri. The quake shook more than one million square miles, and was felt as far as 1,000 miles away. Hello, Missouri, the planet wants you to go away.
  9. Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis, Missouri is the largest beer producing plant in the nation. If you lived in Missouri, you’d need buckets of beer to tolerate it, too.
 I never thought I’d be so happy to see this sign:

75 mph speed limit and 100% less annoying.

Suck it Missouri. Kansas is a much better state, Gov. Brownback lunacy notwithstanding.

A note to our esteemed friends at the Fish and Wildlife: mountain lions are alive and well here

Earlier this year, our friends at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared eastern mountain lions extinct.  Across Tennessee, we all laughed. Here in heavily populated middle Tennessee in the suburbs of Nashville, we all know someone who knows someone who has seen a mountain lion. Some of us have seen them ourselves.  This poor dog came in to rescue with Big Fluffy Dog Rescue after a very clear mountain lion attack and she took the worst of it defending her flock:

Athena after her tangle with a mountain lion

Still, after all the sightings and all the evidence (puncture and slash marks on Athena, tracks, etc), the Fish and Wildlife people said there are no mountain lions here.  I wonder how they will explain this:

Oversized house cat hit on Hwy 109 near Gallatin TN on Tuesday, October 11

I think we’re going to need more catnip.

Note: Athena was attacked in 2008. She’s fine now and living large as a house pet. The picture needs proper attribution as I did not take it, but I am not sure who did. Suffice it to say, it’s not me, but the original can be found here.

Why Eric Northman would make an awesome lawyer, with pictures

I am shallow and require mindless entertainment on occasion, which is why I adore True Blood. For sheer pretty scenery (I never thought I had a thing for Nordic blondes, but I have generously made an exception for Alexander Skarsgard), it’s hard to beat. Man prettiness plus cartoon violence = perfect Sunday night.  Last night I realized that Eric Northman is actually a lawyer at heart.  He broods, he is always rescuing someone, he owes allegiance to someone above him (King of Mississippi or managing partner – there’s very little difference) and he will rip someone’s heart out and drink their blood. Awesome.

So for our Sunday night recap (Soul of Fire episode for our more devoted friends), in pictures:

Eric is seriously pissed off. Probably how I look when someone files a stupid motion.

This is an excellent lawyer look. If I could grow fangs, I would totally do it.

Sookie is screaming (as usual) just like every whining client.

Clients are a problem. Mine rarely get trapped in a circle of literal fire, but Eric has a problem with this one. Clients ALWAYS expect their lawyer to rescue them. Of course, he will rescue her:

Best line of the night: "You'll have to go through me to get to her." Eric: "OK."

Ripping the heart of your client’s enemy out is a total lawyer thing. I greatly admired it, but Eric goes one step past awesome into the lawyer hall of fame:

Using your now-deceased enemy's heart as a sippy cup is epicly awesome. Well done, Eric Northman.

It appears of course that this was largely wasted as managing partner/King of Mississippi Bill only killed the evil witch and did not dispense with her spirit who is going to just fuck everything up next Sunday night, but that’s just like actually being a lawyer. You do all the hard work and someone higher than you on the ladder just goes and fucks all your good work up. Eric Northman, go to law school. You would be an outstanding lawyer. Sure, you’ll have to stick to night court, but still.

The Grim Reaper Report: National Park deaths

I have noticed an uptick in people who find this blog with searches for people who die in various national parks or as dinner for a shark or grizzly bear. Y’all are clearly a morbid, bloodthirsty bunch. This morning, these searches found this blog:

Searching for dead people

As a public service, for those of you with morbid curiosity wasting time looking for information on people who have died in National Parks and how, here’s where you need to go:

Yellowstone deaths

This bear in Yellowstone did not eat us as we stayed a long way away. If you surprise a bear with cubs, you can expect to be dispatched to the hereafter. Note the grainy picture which denotes long distance away from danger.

 

Yosemite deaths

3 people just died here. We didn't, but we stayed behind the rails.

Zion National Park deaths

This is why people die on Angel's Landing. It's 1200 feet off to one side and 900 on the other. I'm not insane enough to climb this, but Troy was. He's alive.

Grand Canyon deaths

Death Valley National Park deaths

Mount Ranier National Park deaths

Great Smoky Mountain National Park deaths/statistics

People die in Great Smoky Mountain National Park every year. Mostly because they are stupid. Waterfalls are dangerous.

 

Acadia National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Channel Islands National Park

Biscayne National Park

The water at Biscayne National Park is crystal clear. You can drown here or be eaten by a shark. According to Troy, who has to my knowledge, never set a toe in the ocean.

Big Bend National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

I did not drown, fall off a waterfall or get eaten by a mountain lion in Rocky Mountain National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Troy hiked all 19+ miles of this trail in Grand Teton without dying

Badlands National Park (click on the compendium for details by year)

The Badlands are named that way for a reason. Troy survived it. Because he's not an idiot and took water and knew where he was. Also because I was not there for him to argue with about which way to go.

Canyonlands National Park

Just past the arch is a drop of over 1500 feet. Don't go to the edge and pose.

Haleakala National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Sequoia National Park

Kings Canyon National Park

Denali National Park

Sadly, there’s no statistics kept on who had it coming. Darwinism may be at work in many of the deaths.

For those of you even more determined to track down who met their fate in the form of being dinner for a wild animal, here you go:

Mountain lion attacks

Black bear attacks

These baby bears are adorable. Mom is pissed off. We stayed a respectful distance away.

Grizzly bear attacks

Polar bear attacks

Shark attacks

Killer bee attacks

Snake bite deaths

You’re welcome.