stupid comment of the day

Well, despite our need to regulate rubber nuts and baggy pants, when push came to shove the Florida Senate actually got one right (by the skin of our teeth). A proposed bill that would have required women to pay for an ultrasound and view it before having an abortion, didn't get the required votes needed to pass. On behalf of, well, pretty much every gal I know who has ever had heterosexual sex, I'm mighty relieved. Abortion is expensive and emotionally draining enough.

But I had to note Sen. Ronda Storms (R-Valrico) quote from that article: “Women use abortion or self-induced miscarriage as entertainment.”

What the fuck? Yeah, those hordes of unmarried, atheistic sluts out there punching themselves in the bellies and unbending clothes hangers for the fun of it are getting out of control. You can barely drive from one end of town to the other without detouring around the crowd in front of a Happy Fun Time Abortion Clinic and All day Liquor Store.

This isn't Rhonda's first time as Stupidest Floridian of the Day, either. Remember these greatest hits?
- "I am pro-life, you are pro-death." (To a representative of Planned Parenthood, after Storms had all funding to PP in her county cut off.)
- "We can get them through law school, but we can't get them to seem to pass the Bar." (In regards to opening a branch of the FAMU law school in Tampa, which she opposed - the school finally opened in Orlando.)
- "I don't support putting at-risk children in homes that I think are at-risk themselves." (re: gay foster parents)

Hey, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Polk - way to live up to your stereotypes.

spotted at the pub

So, there I am at St. Mike's, doing my part to help the local economy (aka, drinking draft Pabst and hearing all the gossip from a local fancy pants restaurant kitchen), and a woman walks up to me.

"Excuse me, do you do the Tallyhassle blog?"

Busted! Anyway, I got a major kick out of being spotted. The whole point to something like this, especially as locally focused as I have kept it, is to meet cool folks and swap ideas. So, if you see me at the local watering hole or at Decent Pizza or even just sitting up on my stoop watching the clouds roll by, say howdy. Introduce yourself. It's a small town, really, let's keep it neighborly.


not up to snuff

It's not the sore throat. Not the developing drippy nose that threatens to glue my septum ring to my face. Not the overwhelming urge to nod off in my chair with a quilt over my lap like an old man. No, it's not the physical symptoms that make me hate being home sick.

It's daytime tv.

Talk shows and court shows and game shows and dance shows, and all I want is a god damned story that doesn't involve one of the Ten Sitcom Plots.

Mom brought me mango sorbet and fruit salad, and that's making the whole thing easier to take. But I wish there was a service that delivered John Waters movies and mind altering substances. Now that's how you get through a bad spring cold.


4 weeks, 4 shows

Normally, the most annoying thing a friends' band can do is play out too much in too short a time. Burnout ensues. It stops being fun to sing along and starts feeling like an obligation to show up to most of the shows.

My bros the Lucky Scars are playing 4 shows in the next four weeks. For once, I'm looking forward to the whole thing. They're hitting all my favorite venues - The Shed off Macomb, St. Mike's on Gaines, and The Beta Bar - plus that new oyster joint next to the round Holiday Inn. Bird's, I think it's called, and I hear they serve up good grouper sandwiches and $1 Pabsts. I think I'll work up a piece for my music zine comparing the joints, the sound systems, any bouncers present, price of booze, how the rest of the crowd reacts - you know what I mean.

Plus, the cast of characters playing with them is changing up each time. I'll be catching a few local acts I really enjoy - Neon Touch, County Hell, some other fun bands - and a few I've been told I have to see to believe.

As long as they don't make a habit of it, I think this should be a good month for oi and punk here in Tally town. It's going to be a long, dry summer for touring acts. When gas hits $4 a gallon, no one's going to be taking their music to the masses. So this strikes me as a good way to really dig into the homegrown heroes and watch the boys rock out.


hitched up tight

In case anyone was there and couldn't hear, or was simply curious as to what was said, I wanted to post up the words of the ceremony from my sister's wedding this past weekend. We couldn't have had a more beautiful day for it. Jason's face, when he was Lily in her dress at the other end of the aisle, made me damn glad to have him as my brother-in-law. It's obvious that they love each other completely, and I suspect they'll make it all the way through. (By the way, that's me in the picture standing behind the bride and groom - I was up on a milk crate, as Lily is about 6 feet tall, and I am, well, not.)

Lily and Jason gave me an example of the sort of ceremony they wanted. We had to walk a line between his side's Christianity and my side's general heathenism, and I think I managed to pull in what they had in mind and tie it all up together. I dialed the pomp and ceremony WAY back, reworded most of it, threw out any references to possessing each other, and here's what we got:

(Dad and mom walked her down the aisle, one on each side. When they got to me, I asked, "Who brings this woman here?" and dad answered, "Her mother and I." He could hardly speak. I then asked, "And whose blessings does she carry?" and mom answered, joyously, "Her family's." Then they kissed her and sat down and Lily and Jason faced each other.)

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today to celebrate the joining together of Lillian Rose Moon and Jason Thomas Hartman.

There are many things to say about marriage. Wisdom concerning the joining together of two souls has come our way through all beliefs and from all cultures. With each union, more knowledge is gained and shared. Though we are unable to give all this wisdom to these two who stand before us, we can hope to share with them the knowledge of love and all its strengths. We can anticipate the wisdom that they will discover with time and share with us in turn.

The law of life is love unto all. Without love, life is nothing. Love brings on birth and redeems death. Love fuels creation and gives form to the world. If we learn no more in life, let it be this. Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable time and reflection. As with all unions, it has its cycles, its ups and downs, its trials and triumphs. Understanding this, Lily and Jason have come here today to be joined as one in marriage.

Please join hands with your betrothed and listen to what I say. Above you is the wide open sky and below you is the Earth, and as time does pass, remember:

Like a stone should your love be strong. Like the north star should your love be constant. Let the powers of your minds guide you in your marriage. Let the strength of your wills bind you together against all troubles. Let the power of love for each other make you happy. Let the strength of your dedication to each other make you inseparable. Be close, but allow space for growth. Be bound as one, but be understanding of the differences that arise. Have patience with each other - storms will come, but with your cooperation you will pass through them safely.

Be freely affectionate and warm. Have no fear and be calm in the face of unease, because the blessings of this day will go with you always. Do you have the rings?

(Each turned to their second - our sister Jessie for Lily and his brother Chris for Jason - and took their rings.)

Jason, do you take this woman, standing next to you here in front of friends and family, to be your lawfully wedded wife?

Jason: I do.

Please place the ring on her finger and tell her how you feel.

(He did, and his hands were shaking. He's a soft spoken guy, and many people told him beforehand to really speak up so they could hear. I told him, as long as Lily knows what you say, that's good enough. I wish I had his vows to show you, but I don't. I do remember that he spoke of his love and then said he'd adore her even when she wears heels and he has to stand on a ladder to kiss her.)

Lily, do you take this man, standing next to you here in front of friends and family, to be your lawfully wedded husband?

Lily: I do.

Please place the ring on his finger and tell him how you feel.

(Her hands were no steadier than his, but you could hear the truth in her voice when she pledged to spend her life with him. Also, she promised to give backrubs and learn to make the best brownies ever.)

May you drink your fill from the cup of love.

(I handed them a small glass of wine, and they offered each other sips and then handed it back.)

By the power vested in me by the State of Florida and the will of those gathered here, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Brother, you may kiss the bride.

It couldn't have been better.


post this

For a while there, it looked like the wide, wide world of web killed the art of the show flyer. Local venues started to rely more on myspace and email updates, and their posters seemed to be little more than monochrome handbills. Name, date, some image lifted from the internet. 10 minutes to create, tops. Ugly and fairly useless.

Since Truewill bought the Beta Bar, though, I've been seeing some really beautiful art stapled to pizza joint walls and community bulletin boards around town. Bright colors, killer graphics - a real departure from the overly computerish looking flyers that are everywhere these days. A couple times, I thought hard about taking a poster for a show I had no interest in, just for the look of it.

See, my bedroom is pretty well papered in show ads. Most of them are reminders of music I've heard and bands I've seen rock out on little stages from here to Atlanta and back again. After years and years of gathering and displaying them, I can tell you that we've got a really cool thing going locally right now. Mostly due to Jerrod Porter, I think, local artist and man-about-town.

I hope the trend spreads. I'd love to see bright posters promoting punk shows at St. Mikes, diy events at the OAF House, ska blow-outs at The Shed. The internet is cool and all, but you can't hang a myspace event invite above your bed.


down the rushing glen

I nearly got flooded out and washed away this weekend trying to pull out of the Pitaria parking lot onto Tennessee Street. A flash flood took over one whole lane. I sat for a while and watched to make sure a few other small cars could pull through it, and in the end everyone made it safely. The things I go through for a chicken pita.

As a kid, there was nothing I loved more than a stream or a flooded field or a ditch full of running water. Disregarding temperature, bacterial infections, and strong currents, I was happiest up to my knees in run off. Cobb Middle School's athletic field and the creek that runs through Indian Head Acres (aka "Ne Ne Land") were my preferred haunts.

I wasn't completely crazy. I mean, I pretty much stayed away from the orange water, kept an eye out for snakes and crawdads, and didn't spend too much time barefoot in storm water overflow. I've just always had more Rat than Mole in me. Plus, all the best stories take place in or on water. There was Following The River To Its Source or Throwing Off The Scent So I Can Escape or Giant Beast In Shallow Seas.

I need to go swimming.


put your money where your mouth is

Someone just slipped me a very cool link showing where different celebs donate money. It breaks it down to Dems, Reps, and Special Interest (Director's Guild, etc), and then further down into specifics.

A few are no surprise at all. Michael Moore, for instance, ain't funding any fundies. A few sort of are. Traci Lords, actress and former underage porn star, gave $300 to the Republican National Committee. A few are sort of depressing. I really didn't want to know how much money Loretta Lynn's donated to the right wing. A few gave me a chuckle. Is anyone shocked that Burt Reynolds' entire donation history involves Bill Clinton and Bob Graham?

But the one that stuck out to me, just flipping through there, is Bonnie Raitt. There's no way she makes as much as some of those people. You don't often hear her up on a soap box. But she's donated $189,734 (the vast, vast majority of it to liberal causes). You have to respect someone willing to support what she believes in.