knoxville gets a skatepark

My skaterboi son, Henry, will be very pleased to hear the news that Knoxville is finally getting a skatepark.

first friday in market square

My friend RANDALL BROWN wrote up this excellent overview of what's happening in Downtown Knoxville Friday night, July 1. It's a lot:

First Friday in the Market Square District
When: Friday, July 1st 5:00 - 9:00pm
Where: the Market Square District
What: a special downtown evening showcased by a unique experience provided by 20+ restaurants, shops and galleries!
please include: FOR MORE INFO CALL 256-2469

Special Musical Performance: Quartjar - Rock with bluesy hints and smart lyrics.

Other Highlights:

Open for their First First Friday - Shonos In City & Tijuana Taco!

The UT Downtown Gallery will present "Through the Lens of Ed Westcott: A Photographic History of World War II's Secret City." Westcott was the official photographer for the Oak Ridge division of the Manhattan Project.

Three Flights Up Gallery invites you to stop by for an evening of art, food and music featuring work by several local artists including Matt Peterson, Nick Hankins, Elizabeth Aaronb, Lauren Karnitz, Ben McKamey, and Ryan Sale. All works in the show are for sale, and participating artists receive 100% of the sale.

Reruns will feature LIVE Mannequins.

The Arts & Culture Alliance presents "Vigil", a new photo and video installation by Mignon and Wolf Naegeli. "Vigil" honors the courage and dedication of the international peace network, Women in Black, particularly its Knoxville chapter. Hear live sound art by Seva and brief literary performances by other Knoxville artists. Complimentary international hors d'oeuvres are served.

Sapphire offers iSFR where you are the DJ! Bring your iPod or digital music player and you can show 'em what you got.

One Vision Plaza hosts the Writer's Block LIVE Concert Series with special guests SARAH PIRKLE & JEFF BARBRA. The duo's latest album, "The Barb Hollow Sessions" debuted at # 6 on the Roots Music Report National Bluegrass Airplay Charts. Tickets $7.

Preservation Pub has extended Happy Hour and FREE Pizza til 6:30 and will host The Twilight Sentinels (rockabilly blues meets surf jazz), Kenneth Brian Band (Honky-tonk fun from Nashville)and The Cogburns (great garage rock from Atlanta)

Bliss HOME will the feature the works of local artists Clark Gillespie and Lauren Karnitz.

Downtown Grill & Brewery extends Happy Hour until 10 PM and has free popcorn in the bar area until 7 PM.

the twilight sentinels

My friend Patty Cottongim just pointed out to me that The Twilight Sentinels, the fabuloso band playing at Preservation Pub tomorrow night has a website RIGHT HERE.

So check them out online and then come join us at the show downtown Friday night.


paparazzi mother

June 30 001
Originally uploaded by kgranju.
My daughter Jane says, "No more pictures, Mom!"

But of course, I did take more pictures (at the Fiesta Farm Gymkhana the other night) and you can see them RIGHT HERE

Jane did very well and had a lot of fun.


I find THIS PHOTO and the accompanying backstory disturbing on so many levels that I'm not even sure what to say about it.

More later.

class matters?

I disagree very strongly with this OP-ED BY DAVID MOBERG in which he argues that class and race limitations are holding more Americans back than ever before.

We still have terrible problems with racism, but I believe classism is at an all-time low in this country. Anyone can now get into the country club...or the co-op building...or the chi chi preschool, if they have the funds. At one time, there were more explicit class barriers; you had to have the right last name and the funds.

I'm one of those patriotic progressives -- the kind many conservatives like to say don't exist -- who believes in the promise and reality of the American dream. It happens every day, all around us.

Moberg is flat wrong. 

some things i don't like about being divorced

-My car is making a totally funny noise and I think it needs to be sold or fixed or something and I'm very girly about car things and fixing things and selling things and I feel sort of paralyzed at the thought of doing anything at all. This was the sort of thing I never had to worry about when married. I think my gutters are screwed up too, but damned if I can tell for sure.

-Sometimes, when I run into friends who are married, even old friends -- like I did tonight at this new martini bar in downtown Knoxville (which is pretty darn nifty, by the way)-- the male friend with whom I have always flirted quite harmlessly (since we were both married) seems scared of me, and his wife seems scared of me in a different way, saying things like, "Have you lost weight?" or "Is your hair different?"

NOTE: I don't want to take up with anyone else's husband just because I no longer have one.

-I have no one to laugh about bizarro people at the end of a day/night out. Tonight, a flower bucket guy -- the guy who sells flowers downtown at night, decided he would serenade people outside my office and it was really funny (and I even got a pretty good picture of it)-- but it's late at night and anyone I called to tell would be pissed because I was calling so late, while someone who actually shares my house would HAVE to listen to my story ;-)

-When I get dressed to go to a party or whatever, I have no one to bounce things off of.
Do these earrings look good with this shirt or do my toes look too scrunched up in these shoes...?

That used to be one of the favorite parts of going out when I lived with someone -- sometimes we ended up bagging the party altogether.

Now I can only rely on my own judgment and I probably make far more fashion faux pas, and I certainly never end up staying in, having more fun at home...


knoxville magazine

So the new Conley media venture has launched: KNOXVILLE MAGAZINE.

Have you read it? Seen it? What do you think of the inaugural issue, and its shot at long term viability?

Comment below.

my musical to-do list for the next few days

There is so much good music happening in Knoxville in the next few days. Can't wait.

I already mentioned that SLEATER KINNEY will be headlining SUNDOWN IN THE CITY Thursday night, but I didn't mention the bonus feature: THE TIM LEE BAND will be opening.

Tim Lee was with The Windbreakers and also played with the dBs and Swimming Pool Qs and lots of other fab powerpop bands, and his own stuff is great as well. So get there early to catch his band before SK takes the stage.

On Friday night, my friend Randall Brown's band, QUARTJAR will be playing on Market Square as part of the monthly First Friday festivities, and then later that night, I'll be watching rockabilly-meets-surf-thrash band, The Twilight Sentinels at PRESERVATION PUB. The band features the uber-talented Brandon Cottingim on stand-up bass, and they rock. I saw them in February and have been looking forward to seeing them again.

So come on downtown Thursday and Friday nights and I'll see you there.


the purpose-driven psycho

Could your boss be a PSYCHOPATH?

If you suspect he/she might be, you can take this handy-dandy ONLINE QUIZ from Fast Company to confirm your hunch.

Hott Fest

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
Again, this is another example of why people should consider moving to my neighborhood, Oakwood Lincoln Park.

HOTT FEST (earlier this month) took place at the aforementioned (see post below) CORNER LOUNGE, right up the street from me on Central.

I like the poster


more on jimmy buffett

At least five clever, clever people have called me in the last day or two to tell me I should have gone to "Jimmy Buffett Night" at the local farm league baseball team stadium last Saturday.

(Slapping forhead) Gee! I can't BELIEVE I missed that!

Sadly, I was in Atlanta, listening to GOOD music with someone who also DETESTS BUFFETT MUSIC and who never wears pleated pants or pointy shoes.

hee hee


Nestle is AT IT AGAIN.


One more reason to stick with THE NESTLE BOYCOTT.

sleater kinney

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
SK is one of my very favorite bands and I've never seen them live. But they are playing a FREE SHOW (!!!) Thursday night on Market Square in Downtown Knoxville. I am very excited.

My friend Randall Brown over at the Knoxville News Sentinel just had his interview with the band published and you can read it RIGHT HERE


I am really excited about this wonderful news story out today about how critically important it is for premature babies to receive breastmilk.

A quote from the story:

""We emphasize to the mothers how the milk is really a medication for their babies," says Paula Meier, a Rush nursing professor."


I've been writing about this for years: breastfeeding vs. artificial feeding is not a lifestyle choice akin to what color to paint the nursery or what brand of stroller to buy. It's a critical infant-maternal health issue.

Breastmilk is far more like human blood than it is like cow's milk. It's full of living hormones and enzymes and antibacterial elements that simply cannot be replicated in powdered or liquid manufactured milk that sits on a store shelf in a can.

My youngest child was in the NICU for almost a month when he was born. He was tube fed (breastmilk) for the first two weeks. He never had one drop of infant formula and went straight to nursing when he got the tube out of his nose.

Not only did I know breastmilk would help save his life, it helped me feel less freaked out and franticat having my newborn near death in a hospital for several weeks. I felt like I was mothering him, even though for 10 days, I couldn't even touch him insidethe oxygen tent.

The difference in infection and death rates betweeen breastmilk-fed preemies and preemies who get no breastmilk at all are really quite dramatic.


Tuesday, June 28th at 6:30 pm will be a gymkhana night at FIESTA FARM, the stable where my daughter and I ride.

If you have never watched a gymkhana, it's very fun. It's competitive games on horseback, including a jumper course, some bareback stuff, etc.

Anyone can come watch and it's free. Jane and I will be there -- she's riding and I'm helping. Bring your kids and come on by. The directions to the farm --in west Knoxville -- are on the website (click on link above).

corner lounge

My downtown neighborhood, Oakwood-Lincoln Park, just keeps getting better and better. I now have discovered TWO cool pubs/music venues within only a few short, walking blocks from my house.

The one I've been visiting most recently is THE CORNER LOUNGE. They seem to be getting good bands in on a very regular basis now and it's a real neighborhood hangout...

Here is their CALENDAR LISTING of upcoming bands.


more on the News Sentinel/South Knox Bubba/Metro Pulse/Brian Conley flap

The Knoxville News Sentinel's Michael Silence has apologized for the omission of Conley's e-mails in his article from last week. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, get yourself up to speed RIGHT HERE.)

I've written more about this RIGHT HERE.


I had a nice time. I had to go to a looooooong meeting, but after, I did get to check out the corndogorama at The Earl. It was a very happy crowd, but I only saw two bands.

One was The Woggles (yes, I did keep wanting to call them The Rutles), whose lead singer reminded me a great deal of Bill Nighy's character in "Love, Actually." (One of my all time, ever favorite movie characters. Watch the movie immediately if you haven't seen it.) The band was okay, I guess.

The second one I saw was called, I think, The 45s. They also wore matching shirts, as did The Woggles. Not sure if that was a coincidence or not.

So the music was good but not great. I'm sure there were lots of other great bands playing, but I was only there for a few hours because I was at that meeting for so long before and we didn't get there until 11ish.

I did have one very bizarre encounter there with the ex-girlfriend of the person I went there with, who essentially told me I should watch out for this guy. She didn't elaborate, although I think she would have with only a modicum of encouragement from me, which she did not get. It all felt very freshman-year-of-college to be at a club, with live music, and have a girl tell me this about the guy I came with.

The Earl is a very cool place and I did meet several other very interesting people while there.

Also while I was in Atlanta, I went to look at a house my friend is considering buying. It's a great little house - a craftsman cottage with all the original wood and fixtures. It's only about 1500 sq feet, but it has four fireplaces, including one in the kitchen. I really, really loved this house. It's a big mess at the moment, but with not too much effort, it could be awesome, and really, it's livable now if it were cleaned thoroughly. It had all my favorite small house things, including a good flow through the rooms with french doors, and a bank of windows over the kitchen sink. The original wood windows are all double hung and intact... a great house. I love finding a house like that-- completely wonderful but inderappreciated and underloved. This house needs some love. And window boxes with gerbera daisies.

It's a cool neighborhood too. I really like Atlanta. I may be spending more time there for work stuff going fwd, and I am liking it more every time I'm there.

I did have a bad run-in while there a misogynistic cat. She pounced on me and punctured my arm. But I'm always so beat-up anyway from various horse and other mishaps (I'm a bit clumsy) that it wasn't too big a deal. I have a goal to make this cat like me, though. It's a challenge.


knox rocks

You can see the last in my series on Bonnaroo RIGHT HERE. It focuses on all the Knoxvillians who were part of the 2005 Festival, and has interviews/footage of Ashley Capps, Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere, Dishwater Blonde and Dixie Dirt.

(For some reason, the person who cut and streamed the video included 30 seconds of traffic and weather at the very beginning, so don't think you have the wrong video - just wait a sec until the traffic guy finishes his spiel and then the music stuff will start.)

Roman Karpynec shot and edited the footage. He and I have more on-air music features in the works, so stay tuned...

motion city soundtrack

I bought this record after reading former Knoxvillian Shelly Ridenour's review of it in the new Jane Magazine.

Oh how do I love this record? Let me count the ways... It's powerpop perfection with a little 80s synth underlay, and a touch o' tongue-in-cheek grunge thrown in for good measure.

Go get it or download it. You won't be sorry.


I am going to Atlanta this weekend and while I'm there, I am visiting my friend Quentin.

In his typically cryptic way, he told me we would check out something called Corndogorama while I was in town. I assumed he was either joking or that it would be some smallish, hotdog and circus peanuts sort of event somewhere in the exurbs or something.

But this morning I got curious and Googled it (just to see how bored I might be since I hate corndogs as a real food. I like them as a concept and an icon, but eating them grosses me out.). It turns out that Corndogorama is actually a for-real, neat-o sounding musical event spread out over several days at The Earl  in East Atlanta.

So now I'm looking forward to it. Maybe I will even eat an actual corndog if I get into the spirit of the whole thing.


well, DUH

From Alternet today:

EMILY's List, the Washington, D.C.-based political network that supports pro-choice Democratic women, has some not-so-subtle advice for Democrats: hijack the family values debate. And do it by targeting the interests of female voters.

According to a research study released by EMILY's List on June 22 entitled "Women at the Center of Change," Republicans are losing the support among women that won them the White House in 2004. The national survey of more than 2,000 women and 600 men found that one third of women who voted for Bush are not planning to vote Republican in the 2006 Congressional election.

"There is a clear message from the women we spoke to: never stand between a woman and her desire to protect and care for her family," said EMILY's List President Ellen R. Malcolm of the study.

Read the entire article RIGHT HERE

the anti robin hood

A very astute op-ed piece from Arlie Hothschild on why Americans with the shakiest grip on economic security are increasingly voting for Republicans, and Bush in particular.

Same territory explored in What's the Matter WIth Kansas last year, but still well worth a read.



This morning my daughter Jane told me that the flashcard on her grandmother's cell phone holds "thousands of memories."

I think she meant it has a lot of memory, but her way of saying that was much more charming and evocative.

mic harrison and xavier rudd

The two Sundown shows I'm most excited about this summer are tonight and next week, when Sleater-Kinney plays (see Katie become giddy fangrrl in their presence).

The show tonight should be terrific. It's Mic Harrison (formerly of the V-Roys and Superdrag) opening for Xavier Rudd who plays the didgeridoo, among other things.

See you on Market Square tonight.


south knox bubba gets the shaft

East Tennessee has a media/blogging controversy this week. I've written about it RIGHT HERE


Clothes are really boring and homogenous right now. Has anyone else noticed this?

I am so sick of silk camisoles in all their many variations that I could, well, I don't know...not buy any.

I generally love to shop, but I don't love anything in any of even my most favorite stores right now. I am not only sick of silk camisoles, I am also sick of all the godawful hippy tunics that everyone is wearing/selling. They look terrible on everyone -- making even my best looking friends look like rejects from a canasta game at a retirement home in Florida.

I really liked the Chanel-ish suits last winter and I like all the great long, low-slung skirts I can get right now. I'm glad my Lilly Pulitzer skirts and Pappagallo flats from 1984 are a la mode, but in general, I am just incredibly bored with everything I see these days.

I have a meeting this weekend, so tonight I figured I'd go buy something fabulous to wear. No luck. Very depressing. Granted, I live in Appalachia, so I'm limited to Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and the like locally (meaning I shop like a fiend when I'm elsewhere), but generally I don't come up as totally empty-handed as I did today.

I'm looking forward to something new as Fall approaches.

Yeah, I know, this is a really inconsequential concern, but hey, what can I say, I like clothes.



Originally uploaded by kgranju.
Have I mentioned my addiction to yarn? I'm a knitter, an enthusiastically inept (but improving!) knitter, and I buy yarn by the bagful even when I don't know what I plan to do with it just yet. Get to know me and I'll certainly knit you something.

Anyway, check out this cool new yarn store I discovered today.

are political parties over?

Gary Hart (yes, THAT Gary Hart, whom, coincidentally, got me into several good colleges. I wrote my entrance essay on why he represented the future of the Democratic Party. This was in 1986. In 1988, I lived in DC for a while and dated his campaign manager's son, which was an interesting time to know people in that campaign, to say the least. But I digress...)...

Anyway, Gary Hart opines in Arianna Huffington's blog this week that political parties as we know them ARE NO MORE, and that the sooner candidates own that fact, the better shot they will have at winning elections.

rural journalism

My mother was the editor of the only daily paper in our rural Tennessee congressional district for some of my growing up years (she went on to become the state bureau chief for UPI in Nashville).

I loved hanging out in the tiny newsroom at this small-town daily, watching folks cover local news. I loved listening to the single police scanner radio on the single police reporter's desk. I liked the way the real printing press smelled and sounded. I liked sitting in the darkroom with the lone photographer, watching him work with the chemicals under that single red lightbulb (actually, everyone who worked there did some of the photography at one time or another). I loved watching the single page designer manually cut and lay out the news pages with her exacto knives. While my mother typed at her desk, I woud sit under the desk and scribble my own news stories, which she always told me were absolutely brilliant.

The publisher was a dying breed - this was a family owned newspaper -- and he was a real, old-time, elderly, southern newspaper publisher who had a hand in every editorial decision. He was very gruff but also very sweet. He always gave my brother and sister and me a hug and a piece of candy when we were hanging around my mother's desk. He also always asked me very specific questions about what I was doing at school (he was particularly pleased, I recall, that I was studying Latin) and he always asked me how I had done in my last horse show.

I have a fondness for smalltown newspapers -- particularly in the south.

So I am happy to learn about this rural journalism initiative at the University of Kentucky. Protecting and promoting citizen journalism in rural areas is important -- I like to think that new media may breathe life back into this area of news reporting.

bad dog

I don't have a real bed. I have a box spring and a mattress on the floor (although I have had a bed being made for me for months now -- it appears to be on hold...)

But anyway, I don't have a bed. And now, I don't have much of a mattress because my dog, Fiat, went berserk for some reason and demolished it. I am so, so annoyed with him. I cannot imagine why he did this.



mic harrison

As I wrote RIGHT HERE, I really loved seeing both the Mic Harrison shows I caught at Bonnaroo earlier this month.

He'll be the opening act this Thursday night at Sundown in the City in Market Square, so despite my bad crowd experience last week, I plan to go watch (sans children, who will be with their father that night -- I'm not sure I could convince them to come back anyway after they almost smothered at The Neville Bros).



All you blog-readers who find me hopelessly unwilling to be openminded about men should enjoy this: I have agreed to go out to dinner with an actual functionary of the TN Republican Party.

That's right; I have a DATE with a guy who makes a LIVING being a REPUBLICAN.

I did meet him at a good music show, so I know he likes good music at least ;-)

get paid to write for MSN

I can't apply to do this because of the small matter of my non-compete clause with my employer, Gannett (which makes sense), but this is too cool not to pass on. I hope someone I know gets one of these gigs:

To find out more about this job, go to:

Position: Bloggers Wanted
Company: Microsoft
Location: Telecommute
Job Status: Freelance
Ad Expires: July 22, 2005
Job ID: 524227

Blog for MSN!

MSN is hiring freelance contributing editors to moderate, write and produce blogs in five topic areas: television, music, technology, sports and fashion/food/style.

Contributing editors will be responsible for:

*Writing and producing five-10 daily posts for their blog, drawing material from user submissions, the MSN network and the wider Web

*Reviewing user e-mail submissions and turning the best of them into posts on the blog

*Monitoring blog comments and feedback

You must be passionate about your subject area; familiar with the tools and trends in blogging; a natural writer with an inviting, engaging style; and attuned to the broad interests of MSN’s huge audience.

Send us five sample posts written over the course of a single day. In addition to the posts (which should reflect a variety of source links), in a paragraph or so, explain why you selected those items and how they reflect your vision for this project. Please include a list of sites you scanned to find your material and other favorite sites and blogs.

Attach a résumé or short note to tell us what you’re doing now and what you’ve done in the recent past. And finally, in the subject heading of the mail specify which blog you’re applying for.

We estimate this project will require approximately 15 hours’ work per week.

Send your submission to: When applying, mention you saw this opening listed at Job ads copyrighted by - (c) 1999-2003.

to edit or not to edit?

I'm a wordgeek for sure, so I read The Slot,  the copyediting blog, regularly.

This week's entry is particularly interesting. It addresses the issue of whether or when a reporter or editor should edit quotes from a source. Read it RIGHT HERE.

What do you think? Comment below.

New Todd Steed

Originally uploaded by kgranju.

The new Todd Steed record, "Heartbreak and Duct Tape" comes out today. You can pick it up at The Disc Exchange or order it online.

I heard some of the new songs when Todd et al played at Bonnaroo and it's terrific. My favorite song is a sequel to Freebird. And of course, I like any record that references Chapman Highway.

I heard Todd Etheridge interview Todd S. on WKVL this morning and he says the CD release party will be in a few weeks when he returns from a trip to Asia. In the meantime, however, you can hear a free show by Todd Steed and the band today, June 20, at noon on WDVX.

Or you can head downtown and actually enjoy the lunchtime live, free show at the WDVX studio at the corner of Gay and Summitt Hill. That's where I'll be at noon.

ADDENDUM: I did go watch Todd, along with Ed Richardson, Doug Nichols and Bob Deck play at WDVX at lunchtime and it was toe-tappin' good. Nice crowd and the best part was that Ed played a cardboard box rather than actual drums. The box sounded great. I want to learn to play the box.



Originally uploaded by kgranju.
I think this is my favorite Flora magazine cover


My friend Coury turned me on to this book, which I ordered last week and got yesterday. It was waiting for me in my mailbox when we came home from the horse show. I pored over it in the bathttub until like, 2 am. It's awesome. I'm going to start buying Flora stuff for the walls.

downing street memos

This really EXCELLENT TIMELINE puts the Downing Street Memos in useful context to the whole run-up to war.

I'm disgusted with the way the U.S. press has almost totally ignored the memos in favor of more in-depth Michael Jackson coverage.

The scariest thing in this timeline is the comprehensive info on the neocon group headed by Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld before Bush took office. I knew about this cabal, but didn't know enough to be as disturbed by their roles as I am now.

fathers' rights on fathers' day

Sarah Buttenwieser has a very well-written, long feature on the "father's rights movement" in MMO today. I helped her with some of the research and she references my recent NYT piece.

She's more than fair in her assessment of this social movement.

Then Judith Stadtman Tucker, MMO editor weighs in with an Op-Ed piece on the same topic, titled What's Wrong With the Fathers' Rights Movement? (a lot).

You should check out both pieces.

Jane & Me

Originally uploaded by kgranju.

I like having such a cool daughter.

fox news & neurotoxins

Fair, balanced and apparently, highly, highly toxic

allison crews memorials

From Bee Lavender:

For those who knew her or her work:

Allison Crew's funeral will be this Saturday, June 18, 1 p.m. at Fallbrook Presbyterian Church, 463 S. Stagecoach in Fallbrook, California. You can call the church at (760) 728-5804. Fallbrook is a one hour drive from San Diego and an hour and a half from Los Angeles.

Additional memorials are:

Saturday evening June 18
email sal at for details

Saturday, June 25
email rebexxx at for details

BookWoman (918 W. 12th St. Austin, Tx.)
Sunday June 26th at 6:30 pm

All public. Kids welcome.

If Alli touched your life in any way, you are invited to write a letter (or post a picture) for Cade--for now or for when he is older--letters that tell him things about his mom or about him that he might not know or remember.

Dear Cade

happy father's day to my dad

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
This is my father, circa 1969


I've been listening to the new White Stripes record for the past day or two and I like it better each time I play it through. It's definitely an album meant to be played all at once, one song after the other. It's sort of thematic and has a story arc that works really well with the music.

I've been very into piano rock lately, so the lack of guitars that others are complaining about actually suits my current mood quite nicely.

This one feels to me like maybe Meg had a bigger hand in it. There are definitely more of her vocals on this record.

I have the Cold Mountain soundtrack and also the Loretta Lynn record Jack White produced since the last White Stripes record and I hear some of both those albums lurking around the corners of this one.

Jane & Sydney

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
We had a good horse show today, although Jane took a terrible, terrible-looking fall going over a jump.

Although I didn't realize I had done it, I apparently let out quite a loud and horrified shriek and then cleared the railing around the ring in one leap. I sprinted over to where she had come off and she was too dizzy to get up for a minute or two.

The pony stepped on her (helmeted) head after she came off.

I was so proud of her because after she got her bearings and sat down for a few minutes, she got back on her pony and finished the show, winning some good ribbons. I told her I'm prouder of her being tough and getting back on than I am of any ribbon she ever wins.

More horse show pictures from this weekend ARE HERE

End of the show -- sleepy child, sleepy pony

Originally uploaded by kgranju.



A new, mainstream study is out that confirms previous studies demonstrating that home birth is a safe, affordable, satisfying option for women with no complications.

I've written about this HERE and HERE.

If I have another baby, it will be at home.

new car

I am thinking of buying a Honda Element. Anybody have one they like? Dislike? Recommended or no?

new brutalism rocks knox

The band New Brutalism (architecture students - get it?) will be playing in Knoxville this weekend. My friend Elise tells me that they make all of their own instruments...out of aluminum.

She describes them as "part AC/DC, part art band."

So, catch them at Barley's Upstairs 7:00pm on Friday, June 17th and at the Pilot Light 9:00pm Saturday, June 18th.


Last night at Sundown in the City on Market Square, I had a terrible crowd experience. My two youngest children and I tried to get closer to the stage, so we waded into the crowd. Within 30 seconds, we were crushed into a crowd of people so tightly that the children were literally having trouble breathing. It was the first time I have ever really understood how these terrible crowd trampling deaths happen at concerts and stuff.

I pushed and yelled and argued our way out of the crowd, but it took fifteen minutes to move twenty or thirty feet. My children, who are short, and thus were below the fresh air at adult level, were crying and shaking by the time we got out. Other smaller people, including this elderly lady about 5 feet tall, were crying and begging to be let out of the crush.

I have NEVER been smashed up into a crowd of people like that, and I've been to hundreds of concerts. It was unquestionably a dangerous situation. If anything had happened that had required people to move out of Market Square quickly, someone would have been killed. It was that bad.

I think the problem is that Market Square is so narrow that the crowd can only move back and forth, not side to side. After we got out, I found a fireman and told him, but he didn't seem that concerned.


need fence guy

I need to find someone to work on my already-existing fence
to secure it all around on the bottom so my sneaky dogs can't keep
wiggling out.

Can anyone recommend a fence person or even a handyman-type person in the greater-Knox area who might be good for a job like this?

Do not suggest that I attempt to fix this problem myself. I am Not Good at fixing anything. (Too bad I can't hang on to a man who will do this stuff for me. Must be all that feminist garbage I'm always spouting.)

E-mail me directly with names at KatieAllisonGranju@...

bonnaroo video now online

Here is PART ONE of the TV Bonnaroo feature I did with Roman Karpynec.

This first piece is a sort of road-trip video diary, with music and people-watching and our commentary and such...

Let me know what you think.


mrs. somebody

I have been living sans husband since September of 2002, and have been divorced since September of 'o4, yet I continue to get mail for "Mrs. Christopher Granju." I got some today, in fact.

I wasn't "Mrs. Christopher Granju" even when I was married. I never agreed to change my name to Christopher or even Chris. And if folks want to give me an honorary title, I would prefer "Dr." or "President" to "Mrs."


don't judge, just read

This is a very, very, very funny book.

Do not, however, leave it lying around where your children might pick it up ;-)


If you live in the WBIR-viewing area, today you can watch the first of the two part series Roman K. and I have done on our trip to Bonnaroo. It will air Wednesday on Live at Five (5:00 pm on Channel 10).

The first part is a sort of video diary. Part II on Thursday will be about East Tennessee's many ties to the Festival, including interviews with a number of East TN performers and fans who were there, and a sit down talk with Ashley Capps from AC Entertainment.

If you miss the stories on-air, I'll post links to where you can find them to watch after on

male pattern baldness...

is so very punk rock.


It's after 11pm and I am still in the newsroom (since 8 am today), working to write and edit the two longish features I have running on the 5pm news tomorrow and the next day. I am tired (imagine little stars all around "tired" to show you how tired I am.)

I am looking fwd to chilling out this weekend at a horse show HERE, and having some friends over, and just sitting on my front porch in the nice summer evening with a glass of wine, watching the kids catch lightning bugs and play kick the can in the yard (very big lately - neighbor kids vs Granju kids and cousins)..... and I want to get at least one chapter of my novel written in the next five days... I've been slacking on that.

Back to the editing booth...


the housewife theory of history

I've been saying for several years now that what I really want to be is a housewife... but no one will hire me.

Random levity aside, someone sent me this really interesting commentary today about how in a wide variety of cultures, "housewives" quietly change the way things are done in major and minor ways, shifting politics in a more organic way than traditional political action groups.

From the editorial:

"This might be the secret of the housewife theory of history: These women take the qualities that are supposed to render them irrelevant and use them defiantly as well as strategically. Starting with what they love, they cut straight through the quicksand of motives and purposes to point out that harm has been done and should be stopped. In some sense, they depoliticize politics, which is what makes them so politically potent."


I need more input for my article. Talk about it HERE You can also read my mostly-complete list of what I like/don't like in a man -- well beyond my Jimmy Buffett issue.

They're home!

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
My munchkins, back from 10 days away with their Dad at the beach. As you can see, they returned tanned, rested and ....dirty. (And happy)

They had fun while they were gone, and so did I, but I was so happy to see them that I kept taking pictures all evening.

H, E and J - June 13

Originally uploaded by kgranju.

Supper on the porch, June 13

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
Note my son Elliot's friend Caleb's interesting headgear. Plus the periscope on the table. He said he needed these items to catch lightning bugs.

Henry, June 13

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
Note scary necklace.


Check it out. There's an entire store devoted to proboscis monkey-themed clothing

rock on

You know those ubiquitous church signs that say things like (this is what's on the sign at the church at the end of my street at the moment): "Give Satan an inch and he'll become a ruler"? Those signs?

Well this morning I saw one I just don't get. It said : "Pay more attention to the Rock of Ages and less to the Age of Rocks."

Can anyone explain to me what this means? Post comments below.



be a kickass mom

From ARIEL GORE, about Allison Crews:

"The community is heartbroken with the news that Allison Crews, fierce
maternal activist and longtime editor of, has passed away.
She was 22 years old.

Her mom, Kim, asks you to light a candle for Alli. And to do something in her name. A few suggestions from Girlmom are: Go back to school, leave a shitty relationship, fall in love, start a movement, be a kickass mom, get to know the young mama down the block .
. .

For the next issue of Hip Mama, if you have notes, tributes, pictures or stories about Alli--whether you knew her personally or simply through her work--please send them my way (even if you've already posted them online). You can email them to me or snail-mail to Hip Mama, P.O. Box 12525, Portland, OR 97212. Unless you need them back, I'll send the originals to Alli's mom for Cade.

A funeral and several memorials and benefits are being planned around the country. If you'd like information on those, please let me know and I will make sure you are in the loop as I get details.

no first date

Apropos of this discussion, sparked by my surprisingly controoversial anti-Buffett dating stance, I have now been asked to write an article for a magazine about the things people consider an absolute no-go when it comes to going out with someone even once or twice.

So share your thoughts below (add a comment) and if you are willing, I may include your thoughts on the topic in my magazine piece.

Is it bad breath? A certain item of clothing? A body type? Bad underwear? Liking a type of music or movie that you hate?

What can't you get past when considering whether to take a potential romantic interest up on an offer to go out (or stay in)?

-- Katie

when i was garbage

I found that essay of Allison Crews' that I published five years ago (see post directly below). Reading it made me cry. I am still crying now.

I am pretty sure this is the first thing Alli ever had published. Remember, she was SEVENTEEN when she wrote this. She was tremendously talented. What a loss.

You can read it HERE.


Oh my God. I am in absolute shock. I just found out that while I was out of touch at Bonnaroo, someone I respected very much killed herself. Her name is Allison Crews and she was a force to be reckoned with.

I first met her five years ago when she submitted an essay to me when I was an editor with the Oxygen network. It was about how she had decided to keep her baby (she was 16 when she had him) rather than give him up to the adoptive parents to whom she had already promised him. The piece was terrific and I ran it and I've been reading her stuff ever since.

Alli was the driving force behind this site, for young mamas. I wasn't a teenager when I had Henry but I was the youngest mother I knew (23) and I would have loved to have had a community like the one Alli created and nurtured there. is part of and Bee Lavender has written about Alli's death and how you can help her son HERE.

Please consider making a donation to a fund to help take care of him. He's still very small and they didn't have much.

blogging from bonnaroo

katie blogs
Originally uploaded by kgranju.
Nice work if you can get it.

Complete Bonnaroo story from me HERE


we are here

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
roman and i stake a claim to our campsite at bonnaroo



I am off to Bonnaroo for 4 days. I'll be blogging from the Festival RIGHT HERE

marriage, a history

I just finished this book. It was a very fast, compelling read and I have to say that I agree with Coontz's central premise: that marriage as an institution became somewhat doomed in western culture when romantic love became the defining characteristic of marital relationships. Before the Enlightenment, romantic attachment was considered far too flaky a foundation for something as important as marriage.

Marriage was for economic stability, childrearing, community structure ... not for romance.

Romantic love is almost always time-limited. Sometimes that time frame is two weeks and sometimes it's twenty years, but it's rare for two people to stay "in love" for a lifetime, especially as people are living longer and longer. And Coontz argues that this is why so many marriages fail today. I tend to agree with her that this is one major reason.

But she doesn't suggest that we go back to arranged marriages. She says romantic love as basis for marriage is here to stay and so is our high divorcerate. She sees a marital future that supports serial monogamy in a healthy, economically viable way for adults and the children they raise.

good genes/bad genes

This is a very interesting story today about the fact that a woman's ability to have orgasms appears to have a significant genetic component.

At the end of the story was an aside that I found interesting: in surveys, women say that orgasms are not a key component of their overall happiness with their sex lives.


chat me up

Hey there. Pop on over to the Mothering Magazine special event chat room at 1pm EST today. I'll be answering questions from readers about stuff like making a living freelancing (writing) and the politics of breastfeeding.

Same kind of stuff I talk about when I am invited to speak, but neither you nor I have to leave the comfort of our own desk chairs.

Elliot's baseball team

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
I love this picture of Elliot in the dugout. He's the second kid - in the hat - grimacing slightly.



Originally uploaded by kgranju.
Jane, age 4.

Read her t-shirt.

Henry in Charleston

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
I miss my children. They are gone to the beach with their father for 10 days. That's the longest I've ever been completely childless since 1991. I've had one or two of them gone for that long before, but never all 3 at once.

I wasn't missing them as much until I found a CD with a bunch of pictures of them on it that I hadn't seen in a while. They are HERE

By the way, Henry hates Jimmy Buffett music, too.

hooray for birth control!

Today is the 40th anniversary of legal birth control in the United States.... On June 7, 1965, the US Supreme Court -- ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut -- struck down state laws that made birth control by married couples illegal.

It was the first Supreme Court case that provided constitutional protection for the use of birth control. The landmark ruling came five years after the FDA approved the birth control pill and 49 years after Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States.

It wasn't until 1972 that a court ruling expanded the protection of birth control to unmarried women.


I can't figure out why, when I write about my personal social/love life, I get twice as much ">heated discussion from blog readers than when I write about important stuff like this.



Last week I was at the park at Cherokee Blvd. with my youngest child and his dog, Mabel, when we ran into a guy I used to know through a freelance project I did with TVA. He had his dog with him too.

So he and I were chatting while boychild and dogs frolicked happily nearby and before I left, he asked if he could have my phone #. I said sure, yadda, yadda, yadda.

So now he's left me a phone message asking if I want to go have dinner, but then the message ended rather tragically with: "And I hope you like Jimmy Buffett."

End of message.

OK, first of all, I most certainly DO NOT like Jimmy Buffett in any way, shape or form. I just don't. And really, anyone who thinks I might probably wouldn't enjoy my company.

Second of all, I have no idea what this rather cryptic signoff meant anyway. I mean, is he being funny? Is he just really clever and funny? Or is he serious and Jimmy Buffett has something to do with having dinner with him? Does he have some kind of strange JB fixation?

I'm thinking now I will not return his call.


I get to go to Bonnaroo. For work.

Read about it HERE.

Provenance of Fellini Kroger unmasked?

I shop at the Fellini Kroger because I live in Oakwood-Lincoln Park. Actually, I mostly shop at the store-previously-known-as-the-Knoxville-Community-Food-Coop (now known as Three Rivers Market). And like most North Knoxvillians, I've always wondered who started calling this particular Kroger "Fellini."

Well, according to this guy who wrote a letter to Metro Pulse this week, he is the man who coined the term. Just like W. Mark Felt, he can stay silent no longer and has decided to step into the light and own his legacy.

what 1,000 miles in 48 hours looks like

Photo of me, after post-marathon-drive. Hair washed, and I've managed to muster the energy to get changed into sweats and favorite ex-boyfriend shirt, but still somewhat delirious from excessive mileage and general lack of food and sleep (although I must publicly thank my sweet friend JP, who actually cooked me ribs and homemade mac and cheese and served them to me on his front porch with good beer after I finally got back into town tonight. He is the best cook on the planet.)



Wow! The blog's been hoppin' in my absence the last few days.

At the moment, it's midnight-ish and I am sitting on my brother Robert's couch in Bell Buckle, TN. In the past 48 hours I have driven from Knoxville to Nashville when someone in my family had to go in the hospital there. Then I drove from Nashville to Bell Buckle, only I somehow got lost trying to take backroads and the trip took 2 hours (instead of 50 minutes). My little brother, who was with me, became more than a little irritated with me and finally made me get in the passenger seat. In fact, he became so annoyed that he had a nosebleed. Really! I actually caused him to have a nosebleed without laying a hand on him.


(This is a photo of Robert giving me the look he was giving me when he realized we were hopelessly lost on a route we've driven literally thousands of times in our lives. Unhappy boy ;-)


Then I drove that same day from Bell Buckle to Atlanta, spent the night in Atlanta -- but didn't get much sleep -- and then today, I was headed from Atlanta to Knoxville when my hospitalized family member took a turn for the worse and I had to basically turn around and drive all the way back to Nashville. And once ICU visiting hours were over, I had to drive to Bell Buckle from Nashville to spend the night because despite the fact that I have many friends in Nashville, none of them seemed to be in town tonight.

I think I must have driven, like 1000 miles in 48 hours. Exhausting.

And along the way, somewhere in the southeastern U.S., I somehow managed to lose my passport, which I had grabbed at my mom's house as I ran thru Bell Buckle the first time Friday morning. So now I may have my identity stolen (which might be okay, I guess, if I can get some supercool new identity.)

So... I am very, very tired, but that kind of tired where you aren't really able to sleep.

The only good thing about all that driving is that I've had lots of time to listen to some new music (new to me, anyway). Have you heard the single "Disco Ball" from Saucy Monkey? If not, you should.

And I can also recommend this band Aqualung (no, not a Jethro Tull tribute band.) Very good stuff also.

And tonight I've been listening to this band Fisher. I love half the stuff on the CD and detest the other half. Some of it is extremely cheesy, but there are a few really catchy, infectious, sing along in the car pop songs on it that I like, plus you don't often hear pop songs that are written about motherhood, but Fisher's are.

Last but not least, the new John Davis CD is very solid jangly guitar pop.
( JD, formerly of my college pal Sam Powers' band Superdrag) One thing that surprised me, though, is that the CD is almost 100% about Jesus. Seriously. That's what most of the lyrics are about. One of the songs is a straight-up, old-time gospel number. No irony either; it's a record about being a Christian. Quite a departure from Superdrag. It sort of sounds like if Brian Wilson and Marshall Crenshaw became born again and made a record about it together.

Oh yeah, and if you want some fab new music to mope around with, just go ahead and toss that dated Belle And Sebastian CD you've been dragging around since 1999 and replace it with The Decemberists' new one, "Picaresque."

OK, off to bed. Or couch. Or floor. Or something...


If the Bugaloos had been hyper-patriotic...

This is something you need to watch. Take my word for it.

Imagine Nigel from Spinal Tap getting all, "I love America and my head would look better displayed in a brandy snifter" a video... produced by Sid and Marty Krofft.

It's just that good.



I breastfed baby# 1 for three weeks (Bad medical advice. Classic early weaning story.). I nursed baby #2 for 5 years. I nursed baby #3 for 3 years. Baby #2 was totally self-weaned. The week of her 5th birthday, she announced she was done with nursing. I urged baby #3 along some with his weaning. I was a bit more ready to be done that time. But he had never been as dependent on nursing as his sister, so that went easily.

Basically, my two fully breastfed children weaned when they were ready. And nursing them was one of the most rewarding parts of mothering so far.

(The only part of nursing that I disliked were the bras. I'm a girl who likes a nice La Perla or Calvin Klein push-up bra. Always have been. Cotton nursing bras were a burden I had to bear until I could get back into the good stuff.)

Given my own experiences and views on breastfeeding, I am very pleased to see that a mainstream parenting magazine like PARENTS has published an essay this month from my friend Dia Michels about the fact that she is still nursing her five year old daughter.

I'm really happy that those of us who go with child-led weaning are getting our say amongst all the infant formula and plastic bottle ads that clutter up the mainstream parenting mags.


new book coming out

My friend Andi Buchanan is the brain behind and editor of this soon-to-be-released tome.

I have an essay in the book - on parenting an adolescent boy and how sometimes I feel like I'm flying blind.

Anyway, you can pre-order the book on Amazon now (just click the book cover). I am friends with several of the other contributors -- and an admirer of others I don't know (like Jacqueline Mitchard and Jodi Picoult) -- and I'm hoping we get to do some readings together in various spots around the East coast when the book hits the shelves. That would be super fun.

The complete list of contributors includes: Stephany Aulenback, Karen Bender, Kathryn Black, Robin Bradford, Gayle Brandeis, Faulkner Fox, Katie Allison Granju, Ona Gritz, Gwendolen Gross, Melanie Lynn Hauser, Marrit Ingman, Susan Ito, Suzanne Kamata, Katie Kaput, Jennifer Lauck, Caroline Leavitt, Jody Mace, Jennifer Margulis, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Catherine Newman, Sue O'Doherty, Marjorie Osterhout, Jamie Pearson, Lisa Peet, Jodi Picoult, Maura Rhodes, Rochelle Shapiro, Kate Staples, and Marion Winik.

Lotsa terrific writers in there. I actually can't wait to read the whole thing.

deep throat

As the eldest child of 1970s liberal, California journalists, suffice it to say that I was taken to see "All the President's Men" more than once. (The parents wouldn't let us watch mainstream TV-- too commercial and trite -- but did make sure we had the living daylights scared out of us by truly important movies like ATPM and "The China Syndrome." No nukes! But I digress)

Anyway, discussions of who Deep Throat might be dominated many a dinner table conversation at my house from the time I was 6 years old. Each family member had his or her theory.

And today, even though I work in a newsroom, I first got word of the possible revelation of Deep Throat not from the AP wire or a reporter, but from a former reporter (turned PR flack), my mother, who sent me an e-mail with exclamation points in the subject line.

And only an hour or two later, Woodward and Bernstein confirmed it. It's W. Mark Felt.

A couple of things struck me about this huge news today. First of all, as my little brother pointed out to me when we talked about it on the phone, it's very ironic that the Washington Post didn't get to break its own huge story. It was scooped by Vanity Fair; competitive journalism was sacrificed on the altar of good journalism. What I mean is, even though it meant losing the story, Woodward and Bernstein kept their pledge of anonymity until the source himeslf revealed it. Bummer for the Post.

Second of all, I had always assumed that when and if the identity of DT was ever revealed, it would turn out he did it for all the right reasons -- because Nixon and his people were lying and stealing and breaking the law. As it turns out, however, Felt fed info to Woodward and Bernstein because he was upset with Nixon at being passed over for the FBI's top spot. No altruism there.

Third, when I read the Vanity Fair article, I was rather shocked to learn that Felt's own middle-aged daughter had NO IDEA who Bob Woodward was when he came by her house recently to hang out with her elderly father. This is even though Woodward apparently introduced himself by name.

How can any Boomer-age American NOT recognize Bob Woodward? And especially how could someone whose father was a high ranking FBI operative long suspected as a possibility for Deep Throat not know who this guy was? Did she grow up under a rock?