Memorials for Ward

I have been with James and Julie some today. They are obviously in agony. Our family takes some comfort in the fact that several other families all over the country received word last night that because of J & J's decision to donate Ward's organs, other babies and toddlers will have a chance at life. At this point, we know for certain that children in Memphis and Indianapolis will be organ recipients.

Apparently James and Julie can write letters to the receiving families, telling them about Ward, and if the families want to, they can get in touch with James and Julie. I hope this connection happens.

All the young Allison, Tant and Granju cousins were told about Ward's death this morning and are each grieving in their own way. That's really hard for all of us. The cousins are a tight bunch :-(

My littlest, Elliot, really took it hard. Julie is his godmother and he just spent a week staying with them and playing with Jack, Gray and Ward. He had made a get-well package for Ward with, among other things, a quarter, a lucky buckeye, a feather, two yugioh cards and a picture of the great wall of china that he cut out of a magazine.

Ward's brothers, Gray and Jack, look shellshocked. Julie is so amazing; when I was over there earlier, she was bustling around fixing the boys their lunch. She's such, such a great mama.

As for me, I feel a bit like there has been a rip in the cosmos or something. I definitely have a "this simply cannot be happening" feeling a lot of the time. You read and hear about this happening to other families, but never, ever imagine it could happen to your own.

When I was walking my 4 year old nephew, Jones and my 6 year old niece Eleanor downtown for ice cream earlier, and we were talking about Ward, it felt completely surreal... I simply could not believe I was having this conversation with them about Ward.

One of the hardest parts for me was how my grandfather, who is 87, broke down and sobbed when I saw him today. My grandparents live less than one block away from James and Julie and they see Gray, Jack and Ward pretty much every day. This loss is incredibly painful for them. I am very close to my grandparents and I have never, ever seen my grandfather cry.

Our family is so grateful to everyone in Bell Buckle, the Webb School community and all over the country for all the calls and e-mails and general outpouring of love. All of Bell Buckle is festooned with beautiful blue ribbons in memory of our sweet baby Wardy.

The new playground in Bell Buckle is going to be finished in memory of Edward Locke Anderson.

Here is a note from my Uncle John, Ward's grandfather:


James and Julie have asked me to let people know that should anyone want to give resources in memory of Ward, they would deeply appreciate that they be given to the Bell Buckle park fund, designated specifically for the children's playground. Any donations can be sent to Town Hall with a note attached indicating that it is for the playground. James and Julie will be notified by the town and can then respond.

We have many children in our community and more as time goes by who would derive a lot of joyful pleasure from a nice, safe playground.

James and Julie are at home and their door is open.

A service for Ward is tentatively planned for next Saturday at the Bell Buckle Methodist church. As plans become more fixed, we shall get the word out.

Again, thank you for everything. - John
Ward died last night at Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital. Our entire family is completely heartbroken.

James and Julie, Gray and Jack, came home last night to Bell Buckle. J&J are in seclusion and are feeling the need for a lot of privacy right now, but you can come by my mother's house or call there if you want to talk or offer condolences or send something for James and Julie or the boys, and we will get it over to them.

No arrangements have yet been made, but I will keep folks apprised.



Ward has had a very, very serious setback related to his EEG results.

Please continue to hold him and his parents, James and Julie, as well as his brothers, Jack and Gray, in your thoughts.

I will update when more info is available.


ward update - friday nite

This photo of Ward was taken only an hour or so before his accident. He was apparently quite intrigued with this bug ;-)

ward with bug[1]

Here, from my little brother, Robert, the latest on Ward as of Friday night. We are cautiously optimistic. There have been small improvements and no deterioration. We'll take that:

"It has now been 72 hours since he was pulled from the water. This is significant in that, statistically, you have a much better chance of making it when you have made it this long. They have removed his neck brace and have pulled out his nose tubes. He is on a regular ventilator and his lungs are absorbing oxygen well (they were not doing this at first).

He is in a drug induced coma. The plan is to stop giving him the drug some time tomorrow. Then it will be two or three days before the drug is out of his system. Then they will try to ease him off of the ventilator. Then they will try to wake him up. Tomorrow he will have another CAT scan to see how the brain swelling is doing. We are all hopeful it will be as positive as the first one.

He will not wake up right away. If all goes well, he will wake up in stages with a finger moving one day and a vocalization a week after that, etc. This could go on for days or weeks or months.

Right now, all things considered, the doctors are very encouraged. Ward looks good. His color is good. His overall health seems to be improving. He is working through issues. He is a strong boy.

James and Julie are holding up OK which means that they are not crying all of the time. They appreciate everyone’s prayers and thoughts. Over the next weeks they will need everyone’s support as they work to make Ward better.

I will continue to keep you posted."

and here is a note from tonight from Ward's grandfather, my Uncle John Anderson:

"Dear friends,

We will never be able to give adequate thanks for all the wonderful support and love everyone has poured out for Ward and the family. The community, the churches, and individuals are filling the Anderson family's hearts and souls in a way that I hope will bless everyone. Please continue to pray when you can for Ward, Julie, James, and all other people who are in adversity. ( We see other families at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital whose own tragic circumstances make even Ward's troubles seem much less by comparison.)

We will not hesitate to holler when a need arises. We know that friends are everywhere who are most willing to help. Meanwhile, please do not neglect your own many personal needs and responsibilities. Every family in town has someone sick or troubled in some way. Please be sure to spread this love and help in all directions. I hope that I can come out of this a better person, more responsive to the needs of others. So many of you are so wonderful and shine your light so brightly.

I don't mean to wax maudlin, but you all really have touched us very deeply. Thank you. I know that I will never succeed at communicating the gratitude we all feel.


the week from hell marches on...

Last night I forgot to put my parking brake on and when I came out of my house this morning, my 2 day old new (to me) car had crashed into my fence, which was wrapped around the front of my car.

After weeping, cursing, and much gnashing of teeth, I managed to extricate the Jetta from the fence and discovered no major damage, just a lot of scratches.

My next door neighbor says I can get some sort of something at some kind of automotive store to buff these scratches out of the car. He says I should then wax it really well with some kind of special carwax.

Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to be able to provide any further details -- like what this buffing stuff is called or what kind of wax he means.

Anybody got any thoughts on this? Or should I just take it some kind of place that fixes stuff like this?

Katie, car idiot...or maybe just an idiot, considering I let this happen.

PS: Hey Betsy B.K. and Stephanie J.E. - It just occurred to me that this incident reminds me of a certain Bell Buckle Ford-Fairlane-into-closed-metal-gate incident. In fact, the scratch marks look remarkably similar. I kept saying to myself, "Why do these scratchmarks look so familiar to me?"


update on baby ward

Ward is still in a coma and on a ventilator today, but we had some encouraging news from his CAT scan, which he got last night.

The doctors say the next 48 hours are critical in terms of his longterm brain injury and how serious it is or is not. His brain will apparently continue to swell for the next day or two before beginning to heal, and how much it swells is an important indicator.

Thank you so, so much to everyone thinking of him and his parents and his two brothers, Jack and Gray.

Here is a recent photo of Ward that my mom sent me today


I feel especially thankful for a particular group of mother-friends I have all over the country and really the world, who have been with me through several really serious life events in the past ten years and who all lit candles for Ward last night. Thank you. You know who you are and how much I love you :-)

me first and the gimme gimmes

Last night I had to work late and after, I was invited over to my friends' Patty and Brandon Cottongim's house to go swimming at night (the kids are with their dad on Thursdays)

My plan was to NOT swim, since I tend to be more of a lounge by the pool and drink alcohol kinda girl, but Patty insisted that I get in the water (or,she said, I would be thrown in the water)

So I did. And it was a really good idea. I can't remember the last time I went swimming at night and the water was warm and there was a slide and the cicadas were buzzing and it was just really fun and exactly what I needed after the week from hell.

Plus, Brandon introduced me to this record while we were swimming, which somehow I had managed never to hear before. With a punk rock cover of "Seasons in the Sun," the evening was even better...

I have decided I am definitely going to learn to play bass. Patty and I are going to start a band. No, really! We really are.


the "hot dog informant"

I do love East Tennessee's small town newspapers and this is why: "Hot Dog Vendor Disputes Claim He Is FBI Informant"


It's an entire, long article on how this hot dog stand guy is NOT an FBI informant, but how he's afraid to re-open his stand because of the rumors running rampant in town that he IS an FBI informant and that the hot dog stand is just a front.

Apparently, folks in Cocke County do not thing it is a mere coincidence that their local hot dog stand closed up shop THE SAME WEEK the FBI came to town to crack down on cockfighting.


Originally uploaded by kgranju.
I've never felt compelled to read DETAILS before, but I have to admit they've grabbed me with this whole "Is Your New Baby Making You Gay" riddle headline.

I'll let you know what's up with it after I read it.

Any ideas?

I think that if I were a guy, this photo of yummy David Beckham would be far more likely to make me gay than my new baby, but that's just me.

Dr. Phil - Anti-breastfeeding bigot

Strangers Complain When I Breast Feed In Public!

Do you think it's okay to breast feed your child in public places but others complain that your behavior is inappropriate?

Have strangers told you that they are appalled by your breast feeding in restaurants, grocery stores, public restrooms, department stores, doctor's offices, etc. but you think breast feeding is such a natural and beautiful act that you should have the right to do it anywhere and anytime you please?

OR do you know someone who breast feeds their child in public and you are offended by it? Do you need Dr. Phil's help at confronting your friend or family member about their inappropriate habit to breast feed in public?

If you have personal experience AND very strong feelings about this issue please reply by emailing us your story. ONLY RESPOND IF YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO APPEAR ON NATIONAL TV WITH DR. PHIL.

baby ward

Thanks to everyone for the kind notes and prayers and thoughts.

Here is an article that was in my hometown newspaper today about Ward's accident

Baby Ward still hasn't woken up. He's still on a ventilator and he is still having seizures. Seeing him like this -- and seeing his parents suffer like this --is pretty much indescribable. No one wants to leave the hospital, ever, but we've been taking shifts. His parents still haven't slept and it's been 30 hours now since he came into the hospital.

But we are all very hopeful and will remain so. We've talked to some people who have had children experience near drownings with good recoveries and Vanderbilt is absolutely the best place he can be.

For those of you who know James and Julie, and who e-mailed and wanted to see some photos of Ward, these are a few of my favorites. As you can see, he's a beautiful baby. His personality is terrific too. He's very funny and full of himself.


I took this one of Ward with his Daddy


And here are some other favorites of mine of Ward with his cousins and the rest of our family.


It's funny how the things that seemed to be really irritating earlier this week now seem really, incredibly inconsequential...

It's 4:00 am and I'm in the Pediatric Intensive Care waiting room at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville. My sister and I made a mad dash from Knoxville tonight after finding out that our beloved two year old cousin, slipped away from his mother today and jumped into the lake near his grandparents' house.

He was in the water for several minutes before they found him, and had no pulse for at least twenty minutes. He was lifeflighted from Coffee County to Vandy and is in extremely critical condition. He's on a ventilator and they fear serious brain injury.

He's the sunniest, happiest baby you can imagine and we all love him so much.

Vanderbilt Hospital is very family oriented, so even though I am not his mother, I was able to sit with him some tonight in the ICU, and seeing his blond curls spread out on the hospital bed, still damp from the lake, was just almost more than I could bear. He hasn't woken up at all since they found him, and his mother and father, two of the people dearest to me in the world, look like their souls have just been sucked out of them.

Please keep him in your thoughts. And hug your children.


blue plate special

My friend Jack Neely and I are going to wander down to Gay Street at noon today (Tuesday) and watch Todd Steed and Mic Harrison play a live show on WDVX as part of their Blue Plate Special series.

You can eat lunch there - I had a good salad last time I went.

If you can't come watch the lunchtime show, you can listen to it live on the radio or on the WDVX website (click the link above).

UPDATE: The noon show was great fun. As a Jayhawks fanatic, I was happy to hear 'Save it for a Rainy Day'

Also, Todd played his North Knoxville song. I've been meaning to tell him that my son Henry is much happier about living off Central Ave (he was NOT in favor of moving there from our house in Bearden) now that he has heard 'Thank God for North Knoxville.' He points out to his friends that no one has written a song called 'Thank God for Lyons View' or 'Thank God for 37919'

contextual nonsense

I now use gmail for my email client and as you may or may not know, gmail actually searches your e-mails and then places contextual ads related to the content of the particular e-mail you have open right next to the email reader on your screen.

So like when I sent my mother an e-mail telling her I bought a Jetta, there were VW ads next to the e-mail, etc.

But one really amusing thing is that a lot of the time, the ads next to my e-mails are for DVDs of "The Complete First Season of 'Kate and Allie'" or "Kate and Allie posters"

(Get it? Kate and Allie/Katie Allison Granju?)

I had no idea the 80s sitcom "Kate and Allie" had such an enduring fan base...

new, used car

So I took a vacation day today to deal with getting a new car. With 3 kids and no car I can borrow for more than a day or two, there just wasn't a lot of time to put it off any longer. (although I am so grateful to my dear friend Jay who let me use his car today while he rode his bike in the 100 degree heat to teach his classes at UT ) I've been researching cars for weeks and today I went and test drove the ones I was interested in.

I ended up buying a 5 speed 2002 VW Jetta GLS with 32K on it. I learned to drive on a 5 speed VW Rabbit, and although I take a lot of teasing about my driving skills, for some reason I've always been pretty good at driving a manual as opposed to an automatic (I'm also a really good shot -- with a gun. Random skills I can't really acount for. Go figure). And I had forgotten how much fun it is to drive a zippy 5 speed German car. Lots more fun than driving the Ford Explorer I've been driving the past two years.

The whole experience went relatively smoothly. I was pretty comfortable being firm with the sales guys at the dealership and I insisted on the carfax thing (thanks blog readers!)

The kids seem to like it, and I'm hopeful it will do the classic VW thing and run like a top for ages...


wal-mart & tenncare

Study: Thousands of Wal-Mart workers on TennCare


Chattanooga - A study shows that thousands of Wal-Mart employees are on TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program, providing fodder for critics who say the retail giant and other businesses are shifting costs for low-paid employees onto the backs of taxpayers.

Wal-Mart, with 9,617 employees listed as receiving benefits from the program, said it offers health plan available to full-time workers after six months and to part-time employees after two years. Critics said the high cost of the retailer's insurance is out of reach for low-income workers who are forced to turn to publicly financed health insurance.

The figures come from a survey conducted during the past two months of TennCare rolls and labor Department data, requested by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. It shows the number of TennCare enrollees who were employed by Tennessee companies at some point during the year. The top 20 companies on the list employed a total of 68,303 TennCare recipients roughly 6 percent of the 1.3 million people now on the state's health care plan.

State officials said they were going to keep looking at the data, as it may be somewhat imprecise because of high employee turnover rates at the private companies. �The fact of the matter is there is a trend here that large employers have a large number of TennCare enrollees on the rolls, and we have to find out what's behind that,� said TennCare spokesman Michael Drescher.

Wal-Mart, with about 25 percent of the company's 37,000 workers on TennCare, tops the list of businesses with employees on the expanded Medicaid program. Wal-Mart is the state's largest private employer.

Wal-Mart spokesman Dan Fogleman called the retailer's benefits "competitive." If there are some of our associates who have decided for some reason not to participate in our health plan, we don't know the reason, he said.

Phil Mattera, a research director of Good Jobs First and a Wal-Mart critic, said the list of employers with Medicaid-dependent workers shouldn't include the largest and most profitable companies in the country. "There was a time when the biggest company in the land � Ford Motor Co. in the early 20th century and General Motors after World War II � set the pace for raising wages and benefits," he said. "But Wal-Mart seems to be leading us downhill and, in effect, using the government to help pay for its expansion by not giving its workers a sufficient health benefit plan, in many instances."

Last year, a study in California found that Wal-Mart workers there cost that state an estimated $32 million because of their reliance on public assistance programs. "Wal-Mart, in its effort to drive costs down, shifts part of their costs on to the public sector,: said Ken Jacobs, deputy chairman at the institute who authored the study on the Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart jobs.

Temporary employment agencies represented~ seven of the top 10 companies with employees on TennCare, while Chattanooga-based Krystal Co. was ninth on the list with 3,183 employees. Goodlettsville-based discount retailer Dollar General was 10th with 3,002 employees on TennCare. "It's egregious," said Jerry Lee, president of the Tennessee AFL-CIO. "The AFL has long been aware that these kinds of companies are putting their employees on the public dole."

Legislation in the works this year would require the state to track all companies that have at least 25 employees or their family members enrolled in TennCare.

Gordon Bonnyman, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, suggested that the state should offer reforms that allow large companies such as Wal-Mart with low-wage earners to buy into TennCare or other insurance health insurance. �It would be good if we could get private employers to pitch in and do their fair share, and take advantage of the economy of scale and volume that TennCare provides,� Bonnyman said, �Nobody understands volume discounts like Wal-Mart.�

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you are a TennCare patient who has received a letter stating that you have been dropped from the program, we'd like to talk to you. Please e-mail Staff Writer David McGee at or call (276) 646-2532.

Copyright January 21, 2005 Bristol Herald Courier


Here's another great Wal-Mart watch site: It has a great deal of detailed economic research about how Wal-Mart's poverty-level wages contribute to public assistance rolls all over the country.

bad week

It's been a long time since I've had such a terrible week.

First of all, I've had to work more than usual, and even though I love my job, I am feeling a bit burned out. Plus, I've had to farm my kids out to the grandparents and Aunt Betsy a lot more than usual to get all my stuff done and I have missed them.

Second of all, I had a very bizarre and unexpected blow-up with someone with whom I have been tentatively developing what I thought was a rather promising romantic relationship and I was left totally shaken up and upset by the incident.

Then, today, my car died on the side of 1-40 in the midst of speeding interstate traffic on the most steamy, hot day of the year - literally. My two youngest children were with me at the time and even though they were real troupers, it was scary to have two kids stuck on the interstate with me in busy traffic until someone arrived to help us. They left with their grandfather, who came to pick them up, and I rode with the tow truck driver and had my dead as a doornail car towed the 30 miles back to my house.

ALl the way back, this guy was very aggressively trying to flirt with me, while I just sort of felt like crying. When we got to my house, he asked for my number. WHen I said no - as politely as I could - he was very churlish and nasty unloading and dumping my car in my driveway. He actually peeled out down my tiny street in his huge towtruck.

Then, a friend whom I see very rarely (he lives in Atlanta) and whom I was looking forward to seeing today - we had plans - called and canceled on me with zero notice and in a way that hurt my feelings and left me feeling really crummy.

I think I officially give up on dating anyone at all for a while. It's just not going so well for me lately. Perhaps I am being punished by the cosmos for my anti-Buffett stance? I don't know. But I'm a bit worn out by it at the moment. You know? The clever, kind, sane, grown up Lloyd Dobler I am holding out for doesn't seem to be ready to make an appearance.

I did happen to see a really terrific Knoxville band play yesterday: Senryu. They are super talented and their songs are pure powerpop fun. I see big things for them.

This week has really taken it out of me. Let's hope next week is better, even though I have to deal with buying a new car, which I have never done before without my father or husband taking the lead (Yes, this is true. Yes, it's ridiculous that I have made it to my 30s without negotatiating a car purchas on my own. On the other hand, I've given birth and husband and father can't say they've managed to negotiate THAT)



From me, to you: I give you Steve Perry Fan Fiction

(Nope, not making this up)



new dBs song

Via Knoxville musician, TIM LEE: the dBs have a new record coming out and you can download Peter Holsapple's first single from it for free RIGHT HERE

metro pulse on eminent domain

Check out this unsigned commentary that appeared in Metro Pulse last week.

It tries to make the case that the recent Supreme Court decision opening the door for private property to be taken for the purpose of private, for-profit development is a Very Good Thing, taking the tone that anyone who opposes the decision simply doesn't understand the issue.

Interstingly, Metro Pulse is owned/published/edited by a very prominent local, private developer.


Today at lunchtime I swung by my house to leave money in my mailbox for my lawn care person, who is going to mow this afternoon. When I got in my car to go back to work and turned on the radio, my lawncare person's rather fabulous new single was playing on the radio.

Knoxville is weird that way -- we have all these amazing musicians living amongst us and even mowing our lawns.


blab exodus

The folks who were once regulars at Metro Pulse's Metro Blab and who then moved to South Knox Bubba's now defunct Bubba Blab have a new online community home with a rather intuitive name. You'll now find them at

best obituary... ever

From the Raleigh newspaper: check out this obituary, paying special attention to the cause of death in paragraph one.

king of the babydaddies

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
I fall on the floor laughing every time I read this K-Fed/Britney Journal that the clever, clever girls at have going on.

betty bean on skb's vanishing act

All of Knoxville -- well, okay, at the very least, all of Knoxville over the age of 30 who like to hang out downtown and drink beer on Wednesday nights -- has been abuzz this week over the abrupt disappearance of popular Knox blog, Not only did the blog vanish, so did the thriving online community called BubbaBlab that SKB had launched after Metro Pulse publisher Brian Conley killed off MetroBlab.

The puzzling part of SKB's vanishing act was how it came with no warning. Folks woke up one morning at it was gone. No explanation.

Since then, rumors have been flying around as to the "real reason" SKB closed up shop, with many surmising it had something to do with his recent,  unpleasant dust-up with Conley, but the only clue SKB has given is that the blog wasn't fun anymore and there was no graceful way to make an exit.

As she generally does, Betty Bean has the best information on the how and why of this latest bit of Knoxville media intrigue.


TV i'd like to see

Canceled regional morning TV shows AS IMAGINED BY MCSWEENEY'S. My favorites are:

Crispin Glover's Biloxi Morning Zoo

Please Phoenix, Let Us Never Speak of This Again

and, bien sur,

Wake the Hell Up Knoxville!

always low wages, always

This new anti-Wal Mart grassroots movement looks VERY PROMISING.

Also, lots of stuff going on at the I Heart Wal-Martwebsite, including a contest to come up with a catchphrase for the "evil smiley," anti-walmart icon. Here are some of the entries so far:

Jonathan suggests: "Always Low Wages, Always!"
Jill suggests: "Dollar shirts for penny lives."
Jill suggests: "I eat vegetarians."
nec suggests: "gotta love capitalism"
suggests: "Welcome to Walmart, leave your soul at the door."
Joel L. suggests: "Always Metastasizing like a Cancer on the Planet. Always."
Joel L. suggests: "Pay low prices, Pay no mind"
Joel L. suggests: ""Get out of my way!!!""
Joel L. suggests: ""The only thing lower than our prices, is our sense of responsibility to our fellow citizens.""
Carmen suggests: "If we have it, it will cost ya!"
Carmen suggests: "I have my hand in pockets all over America."
Jeff suggests: "We prefer slavery"
Jeff suggests: "Clearing a Community Near You"
Jeff suggests: "May I Help You...Destroy this Community?"
Jeff suggests: "How low can you get?"
Jeff suggests: "Born out of Hell...Nobody Goes Lower"
derwoooood suggests: "thank-you for your soul>:)"
carlooooooo suggests: "100 million people destroyed, please come again"
Dana suggests: "Because I Love Mexicans"
Lena suggests: "Goodbye social responsibility, hello cheap underwear!"

John Roberts

Still researching the guy, so no opinion from me on John Roberts yet, but here's a nice overview of who he is from Alternet.


cook without a book

My friend Jay's new cooking column has launched and you should check it out.

Jay's kitchen philosophy is that cooking should be freestyle - without strict rules -- as well as fun. And having eaten his meals many times now, I can tell you that he is perhaps the most talented cook I know personally.

He has a great voice and I'd enjoy reading his writing even if I weren't interested in cookery at all. Actually, I'm NOT interested in cookery. In fact, if you read the column, the "friend" to whom he alludes, the one with zero food in her kitchen, is me.

depression v. unhappiness

I found this via LES JONES (via Kevin Baker, in Theodore Dalrymple's "The Frivolity of Evil":

"There is something to be said here about the word "depression," which has almost entirely eliminated the word and even the concept of unhappiness from modern life. Of the thousands of patients I have seen, only two or three have ever claimed to be unhappy: all the rest have said that they were depressed. This semantic shift is deeply significant, for it implies that dissatisfaction with life is itself pathological, a medical condition, which it is the responsibility of the doctor to alleviate by medical means. Everyone has a right to health; depression is unhealthy; therefore everyone has a right to be happy (the opposite of being depressed). This idea in turn implies that one's state of mind, or one's mood, is or should be independent of the way that one lives one's life, a belief that must deprive human existence of all meaning, radically disconnecting reward from conduct."

I think this is a radically important commentary. It's true, one rarely hears anyone say they are "unhappy" any more. Instead, unhappiness has been replaced with "depression," which is a real, organic disease for some people, but isn'tthe same as unhappiness.

I was very unhappy for a period of time and was told by my family doctor that I was "suffering from depression." He was wrong, however.

I was, in fact, suffering, but the suffering was supposed to spur me to change what was making me unhappy, which it eventually did. When I made that change, I was no longer unhappy. My suffering was alleviated.

Clinical depression is unhappiness without discernible cause. Suffering and unhappiness are something entirely different from depression and are an important part of the human process of growth and change.

cecelie berry

HUGE congrats to my friend and fellow writermama, Cecelie Berry. She just found out that her book has won an American Book Award, which is a Very, Very Big Deal. I am so happy for her!!

chat with me

Tomorrow, I'll be the featured author chat guest at Here are the particulars.


Maybe if I had this record, I'd be a better housekeeper. Maybe even still married!

In any event, I found this LP cover while perusing the great collection of LP art that my friend (and former Metro Pulse editor) Coury Turczyn has at his fabuloso online magazine, I dare you to go dig into his site and not end up spending way moretime there than you have. It's just chock full of wonderful pop culture arcana, and the design is to die for. So go check it out.

liam and elliot - july 2005

Originally uploaded by kgranju.

I had to take a picture when Liam spent the night last week because A.) they are so cute together and B.) I don't think Elliot has ever before tucked in his shirt and put a belt on, ever. On Sunday, however, he insisted.

monday photo blogging from casa granju


July 18, 2005 - Jane teaches cousin Mac about the finer points of grooming Breyer horses, while cousins Eleanor and Elliot ("the El Twins," as they are known in our family) concentrate together on something important in the background.


My favorite songs for a summer evening spent writing fiction on the front porch, July 2005:

-God Only Knows - Beach Boys
-There She Goes - The La's
-Flowers in the Window- Travis
-Catch my Disease- Ben Lee
-Ways to Be Wilcked - Maria McKee
-I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Jayhawks
-Disco Ball - Saucy Monkey
-A Message to You Rudy - The Specials
-Incense and Peppermint - Strawberry Alarm Clock
-Tennessee Fire - Silos
-Groove is in the Heart - Can't remember band name
-It Takes Two - Rob Base
-Passionate Kisses - Lucinda Williams
-Galway Girl - Steve Earle
-Pink Bedroom - Rosanne Cash
-Heavy Metal Drummer - Wilco
-Dancing When the Stars Go Blue - Ryan Adams
-Cold Beer Hello - V-Roys


jude law's nanny

So Jude Law admits he slept with the nanny.

I have some advice for his fiancee, Sienna Miller: Run, run, as fast you can. Men who will cheat on you before you are even married certainly will again after you are married.

The yukkiest part of the whole story is that Jude & Nanny were discovered flagrante delicto by one of Law's children, who came into his hotel room after waking from a bad dream.

That's some bad dream, to find Daddy in bed with the babysitter...

what's goin' on

Note from Ed.: This is for real. Not from The Onion or


"The Washington Times... inadvertently published a photograph of D.C. City Administrator Robert C. Bobb misidentified as the late soul singer Marvin Gaye."


I have the first ear infection I've ever had and DAMN is it uncomfortable. Now I understand why babies cry so miserably when they get them (another good reason to breastfeed: breastfed babies are exponentially less likely to get ear infections and when they do get them, they are less severe and of shorter duration).

I went to the doctor this morning and then tried to go back to work but my ear hurt so much that the sounds of the police scanners and TVs and general cacophony of the newsroom made me feel slightly insane. I was already feeling a bit disoriented and off balance since I have not been able to hear fully out of my left ear for the past several days. This morning when I woke up, I couldn't hear anything.

I will appreciate my ears much more when I'm all well.


I got a first e-mail from my friend who was shipped to Afghanistan on July 4. He says that the best way to describe the place is that it's "like the Wild West on crack."


bring them home

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
Via my friend Dawn Friedman, I've found this great site: AfterDowningStreet.Org.

Check it out.

One of my oldest and dearest friends was shipped to Kabul last week. This is a photo of him saying goodbye the afternoon before he left to his wife, Kimi, who is the closest thing to a big sister that I have.



american gothic redux - the granjus- summer '05


Jane (9), Kate (37), Henry (13) and Elliot (7) - Summer '05

More Tryon Horse Show shots

These are the professional proofs from last weekend's show of my daughter Jane on her pony, Cinco.

Yeah, they're copyrighted, but I'm ordering all of 'em, as are the grandparents, probably, so I don't think the photog will be too upset at me posting them.

Cinco is really coming along. It's hard to believe he's the same fuzzy, fat pony I first saw last winter.


Originally uploaded by kgranju.


This morning the AYSO soccer sign-ups for fall were held at the local Greek Orthodox church. After I got Elliot all signed up and was leaving, I saw a car in the parking lot with a bumper sticker that read:

"Orthodoxy: Proclaiming the truth since A.D. 33"

wedding crashers review

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
I went to see Wedding Crashers last night with a friend. He liked it well enough, although he fell asleep and actually snored during the movie, but I liked it a lot.

Yes, it has Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in it, but this is a movie more in the tradition of American Pie or early Bill Murray movies than Dodgeball or Zoolander or Anchorman. There's less of the whole GenX ironic humor thing and more plot & character-driven, in-your-face, slapstick, sexual humor.

It's actually one of the bawdier movies I've seen in a while and it's very, very funny.

The story runs a little long, and there are a couple of scenes near the middle-end that I would have just deleted for pacing, but you never get tired of the characters.

I'm off to go riding and then to a partay, so I don't have time to say more , but I'd definitely recommend it as the funniest movie I've seen in a good while.

Unlike most comedies these days, the funniest bits are NOT in the trailer.

And after all, Christopher Walken's in it, so it's a must-see by default.

Originally uploaded by kgranju.


The other day my sister was watching my 3 year old nephew, McLean play in the pool and she said to him, "Mac, you're a little monkey," and he said "I"m not a monkey. I'm David Hasselhoff."



When I look at the traffic stats for my blog, I can see that some of the same IP addresses visit pretty regularly. Of course, I have no idea who these addresses belong to, but I'm curious.

So out yourself. If you visit the blog regularly or semi-regularly, and you feel like it, introduce yourself below (click on comments).

I'll start (see below)



new music from the new pornographers

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
I just found out that one of my very fave bands (thanks QMM) has a new record coming out in August. It's called "Twin Cinema." You can read about it and download the first single RIGHT HERE


I went to The Tomato Head for lunch and as I generally do, stopped in Reruns on my way back to my car. That is a great used clothing store. You should check it out if you've never gone in. I almost always find something good, and today I ran across a really groovy, black Prada bag for only $40.

punchlist on W.

This is THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE ROUND-UP of the history of the Bush admin I've ever seen. Read it and weep.


This is AN INTERESTING ANALYSIS of how Google's planned, new news search ranking system is going to have a really negative impact on smaller and alternative purveyors of information, commentary and news.


beautiful baby!


Welcome to the world, Caterina Astrid, and congrats to my friends Stefani and Eric on their 4th beautiful baby, born at home, just like siblings Sarafina, Eleanora and Tor.

Here is Stefani's birth story for baby Cat, born July 3:

I'd like to introduce a very young, very long little girl to you all... She's 20 inches long and weighs 7 pounds, 15 ounces, a full pound heavier than my biggest baby so far.

She was born at 6:56 this morning, and she's nursed like a champ and she and I have been napping all morning. She
has rolls upon rolls and is quite cute.

Here's the long story: Last night (July 2nd, my actual due date) about 9:30, while lying in bed listening to Eric read from Terry Pratchett’s Jingo_ to me, I sort of idly began timing contractions. Roughly every 11-7 minutes, lasting about a minute and a half.

At 11:30, I called the midwife, who told me to take a bath and try to get some sleep. In the bath, I started losing my mucous plug at 11:55 pm. At 12:15, I called her back and said I'd
just feel better with her here, given my history of precipitate labor.

She and my sister arrived about 12:45, and I labored all night long in the tub (after they drained and refilled it, as I'd done it in the afternoon and it wasn't hot yet -- it was definitely the Keystone Kops moments of the birth!).

The contractions felt really productive, but I didn't have to make any noise, just be kind of quiet during them.

Sarafina was the only one up, and she kept announcing the time. When
she said, "It's 5:00," I began to wonder if she was helping much : )
She also did a lot of running around and chatting, which could occasionally be difficult to deal with. But generally she did great and was very helpful.

At one point, everyone but Sarafina was asleep, and I was falling asleep in between contractions.That's never happened to me before. I woke from a silly dream about someone saying that the new gun ban had to be called the BerlinGunBan. Apparently I was in Germany, but I woke into a contraction, which was disorienting.

I finally asked Kristen, my midwife, if I was actually making progress, or if I should be doing anything more active. She said that if I felt like I wasn't, we could talk about things to move things along.

Apparently talking was what I needed to do. Contractions picked up and I stopped having a long break in between. I actually felt my water
break, with a distinct “pop.”

Kristen said that the intensity might
pick up now – I knew, I knew. . .

Around 5:00, I asked Sarafina to get
Eric. He got the cold washcloth that is his main labor responsibility.
Sarafina brought a bowl of cold water for him to use. Right about then,
I began to cry, then threw up a few times.

One part of me was rationally observing: Hmmmm, crying, vomiting, sounds like transition to me! The other part was, well, crying and vomiting. During the last part of birth, I really hang onto Eric, tugging and pulling on his arms
as I try to deal with it. He doesn't seem to mind. I also assume announcing that it hurts is somehow helpful, so I do it frequently.

Danue and Kristen were especially nice in telling me I was doing well,
that the baby was coming soon, and yes, it stunk and hurt a lot.

At about 5:50, Sarafina got Ellie because I was making pushing sounds.
At 6:15, she got Tor, and I was in full cry, really roaring through the

I dislike pushing intensely, but I realized this time that I dislike the moments immediately after even worse, when the baby's head pulls back over the ground gained. Apparently our Labrador, Mack, was upset by the noises I was making and kept coming over to investigate.

I was totally focused on what I was doing, although I did check the kids
occasionally to see if they were okay. Denise said that at one point,
the children were all in different positions, covering their ears when
I yelled, then popping up to see what was going on when I quieted.

The midwives had asked me if I wanted to catch my baby myself. After
this birth, I realized that the answer is clearly, "No." I want reassurance that I'm not tearing, and lots of support. She crowned after a few pushes, and the midwives gave me perfect encouragement/coaching on going ahead and having her head. I was only certain that I didn’t want it to pull back for another push.

After her head was out, I had to wait for another contraction to get her body
out. It hurt too, more than I remembered it doing with anyone except

There was some complicated cord unwrapping going on behind me, as
I was on all fours. It turned out that her cord was pretty tight twice around her neck, so they were unwinding her by spinning her. Kristen later said that she though the slow head descent might have been because of the cord, since she had thought it was slow for a fourth child.

I turned around and sat down against the side of the tub, and there she
was, handed to me. Fat cheeks, fat arms, really a lovely little chunk.

no commentary needed

Originally uploaded by kgranju.


The Short Life, Painful Death, and Unexpected Resurrection of the Kings of Power Pop

I can't wait to read this book (thanks to John Sewell for the tip).

Did you know that Big Star has a new record coming out?

36 candles?

I love the movie "Sixteen Candles."  Molly Ringwald's character, Samatha Baker,  and Molly herself, are exactly my age, and when I was 16, that movie perfectly captured the cultural zeitgeist of my teenage years.

Now I hear that Molly is in talks to star in a sequel to the movie. It would update us on what Sam's been doing for the past 20 years.

Boy oh boy do I hope they don't make this movie. Nothing good can come of it. I mean, I don't want to know that Jake Ryan eventually dumped two-years-younger Sam after she lost her virginity to him and he then went off to college, breaking her heart and leaving her ever-so-slightly bitter.

I don't want to know about Sam's two children and insurance salesman husband and the house they now have in the 'burbs of Chicago.

I don't want to know about her wistful, melancholy longing for her magical 16th birthday, when she fell in love and the world was spread out before her and anything seemed possible.

I certainly do not want to find out that Sam, unhappy in aforementioned boring marriage, tracks down Jake via Friendster or and finds out he's middle aged and balding, and also unhappily married, or worse, divorced and having a mid-life crisis.

The beauty of Sixteen Candles is the ending, beautifully ambiguous as Sam and Jake lean in for their very first kiss over her belated birthday cake.

Fade to black.

I don't want or need to know what comes after. I'd rather continue to imagine, just as I have since I first saw the movie when I was 16, twenty long years ago.

me and my mother - july 3

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
I have decided my mother is shrinking. I swear we usedto be the same height and I'm only 5'3"...

jane over fences


From Tryon - July 10

jumpin' jane


Here is one of Jane on Cinco from the Tryon show this past weekend.

Jane is 9 and Cinco is 6.

jane and cinco

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
This is a photo of Jane and Cinco at the Tryon "A" show in Tryon, NC this weekend.

She had her best show ever -- coming in 3rd overall in a very large, very competitive children's pony division with only 1 other small pony and one other medium. The other ten were all larges.

All the other kids were a lot older too; she was apparently the only child in the division too little to yet be wearing tall boots.

This is only their sixth show together and was her first really big A-circuit show. We went to Brownland in May but Conco colicked so she couldn't really show him...

More photos from this weekend's show are RIGHT HERE


i love the south

Recently, a "major cockfighting ring" was busted in Del Rio, in Cocke County, a few Tennessee counties east of where I live.

The FBI really came down hard on these folks in this tiny community, who have apparently been engaged in the activity for generations. It's been big news here.

Today, the Knoxville News Sentinel ran pro and con cockfighting editorials on the Sunday op-ed page.

I am not making this up.

You can read them RIGHT HERE

As I said over at SKB's blog, I'm not going to "defend" cockfighting, but I do think anyone who eats the chicken, beef or pork they buy at the local grocery or Ruby Tuesday doesn't have much moral leverage in arguing against the activity, given that the animals we eat every day are raised and slaughtered on unbelievably inhumane, cruel factory farming operations.

And of course, at least half of the detergents and moisturizers and shampoos we use every day are tested on poor little bunnies.

So for folks to get all worked up over cockfighting on a Saturday night in Del Rio, Tennessee seems a bit absurd to me.

I can't imagine how many tens of thousands of dollars were spent by local, state and federal law enforcement on busting up and prosecuting these folks. I'll bet that money could have been used quite profitably to buy shoes or food or housing or medical insurance for the families in that really, really poor area of Appalachia instead of hauling them down to Knoxville to face cockfighting charges.

Back to the Sunday paper...


I am very bad with handling my money. Always have been. My parents avoided discussing the topic, considering it somewhat tacky. This left me at a distinct disadvantage when I became an adult and had to figure money things out. Their approach hasn't served me all.

But I'm trying to do better. I still don't have a budget, per se, but I am trying not to buy expensive shoes, just because, these days. And it pains me, but I'm doing better with gritting my teeth and walking away from the (super fabulous boy oh boy could i use those really adorable lime green stiletto heels with really cute ankle straps) shoes instead of whipping out the debit card.

But I still DO feel pain when I have to spend a bunch of money on something ostensibly practical that I KNOW shouldn't cost so much. Like today, I had to spend THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS to have my fence shored up so my dogs don't keep getting out.

You must understand that I hate this ugly chainlink fence. I do not want to spend one penny on it. It came with my house, which I love, when I bought it. My intention is to either replace the ugly chainlink fence or at the very least, get flowering vines grwoing all over it so you can no longer see the fence. I haven't gotten around to doing either yet (have only had the house 11 months), but my three dogs have figured out how to wiggle under the bottom of the fence.

So after trying makeshift solutions (I'm not very handy with repairs), I called around to get estimates on fixing the bottom of the fence. Different people offered different solutions, but this one guy's idea -- to add tension wire along the bottom all the way around the yard -- seemed most sensible. So then I called and got estimates on having that done, and his estimate was the best, believe it or not.

So today this nice man and his son came and spent a grand total of maybe 90 minutes wiring up the bottom of my ugly fence, making it dogproof, and I forked over the cash.

I think I should go into the handyman biz. I would definitely make far more than I do working in television production and/or freelance writing.

And I am still not convinced that what he did will actually work. We shall see...



Can anyone tell me how to get signed up for gmail?


Hey Mom (or Dear Sister or Brother or...). You know, my birthday is soon and, well, you know how y'all are always complaining about how disorganized I can be? Well, check out this great stuff from THE ORGANIZED KNITTER.

My knitting bag (and probably my life in general) would certainly be far better organized, not to mention cuter, if I had some of these fab items.


Two college students from Knoxville were injured in the bomb blasts in London this week. Apparently, according to the KNS, they are GOING TO BE OKAY, and that's very good news.

But I find one quote in the article about their injuries and recovery in a London hospital really offensive:

""They were in the subway car that a bomb was in, so they believe that God spared them," according to the Web site of the family's church, Fellowship Evangelical Free Church in West Knoxville.

Do these folks not recognize that this is just another (in this case, Christian) variation on the religious bigotry and sense of entitlement that is the underpinning of Muslim fanaticism...the type of Muslim fanaticism that leads Islamofascists to, say, blow up subway cars during London rush hour?


Janeane! No!

Oh. My. Gawd.

Not only is the previously super-cool Janeane Garafolo starring in some bizarre Oxygen Network TV movie that looks really stupid (I used to be a producer at Oxygen, by the way), she has clearly had collagen injected into her lips.

Check out the horror RIGHT HERE

What is this world coming to?



I took the afternoon off today to get some errands done and my house clean. Instead, I find myself holed up on my couch, glued to newsradio (remember, we don't have television) listening to the word from London.

I love London. I spent a school term living there, interning with a member of the British House of Commons (got to e-mail her today to make sure she's okay) and going to the U. of London. It was one of the best times of my life and I would really be very happy to live there. I'm really feeling blue about the attacks today.

As I'm listening, I'm working on a pair of socks I'm knitting. Socks are my new knitting obsession. They are so quick and the payoff is very gratifying. Who doesn't love a pair of handmade socks in supersoft, babyweight wool? I still struggle a bit with double pointed needles, but THIS SITE has helped a lot, with its step-by-step photos and clear instructions.

Knitting is a very zen activity for me -- good to do when I'm upset about something and I'm definitely upset today about what's happening in London. One of the underground stations that was hit is right up the street from my London apartment...

birthday lama

Happy birthday to my hero, THE DALAI LAMA



Did you know that writers who pen obituaries for a living have a name? They're "obituarists." I knew that, but didn't know 'til today that they have their own International Society of Obituarists, which holds an annual conference. You can read about it RIGHT HERE.

I was lucky enough to know one of the great modern obituarists: the late Bob Thomas of the New York Times. He was a lovely, funny, clever man who threw wonderful parties.

This book is a collection of his best obits. Highly recommended.

best east tennessee bands?

I'm taking votes over at my WBIR blog for the best East TN rock & roll bands ever.

Pop over and share your thoughts on the topic.


call for submissions

I spoke in Atlanta in April and met this very cool woman who puts out a 'zine called "Scream Machine." She's looking for submissions for the next issue and here's the info she sent me. E-mail me (katieallisongranju - at - for her contact info if you want to send her something:

Ok, alright, I've officially been accused of resting on my laurels! Resting maybe, but... CHICKABUNGA! it's time to break a beak and get going on the summer issue of Screamachine!

I am blessed by knowing some extremely organized and prolific writers who have already submitted some primo pieces for the issue. One of my dear friends has a great idea for cover art and I'm hoping to press her into duty on that job. But I still need some more quality essays on motherhood (aka momoirs or creative mom-fiction). Would also love another poem or two. Fun, funky photos are always appreciated.

In addition, I'll be considering more of those fun tips for moms -- irreverent parenting advice. (Some headings to jog your memory: "I NEVER THOUGHT" "I NEVER KNEW" "NOBODY EVER TELLS YOU" "WE DON'T..." and anything else at all you can think of that you would never find in Child or Parents Magazines.)

As a final feature (and late Father's Day tribute) I'm asking everyone to explore how your relationship with your father affects your life as a mom. The mom-daughter relationship has been explored relentlessly, but what about papa? I for one, spend 90 percent of the time with my dad wondering what he thinks about the way I parent. I'm too chicken to ask, so I started writing little letters instead. The latest reads "Dear Dad, I know asking 'how are the kids?' is your way of asking how I am, too. Please can you ask about me first sometime? Even after all these years, I'm still your little girl. And in the thick of this parenting mayhem, I sometimes need your babying more than ever." If you have a letter to your dad you want to share, (signed or unsigned -- nom de plumes and childhood nicknames allowed) feel free to forward it. Please keep it fairly short and specific. If you have several topics to cover with the old man, please submit as separate letters.

Deadline for essays, stories and shorts for the next issue is FAST approaching. August 3 to be exact.

I need a show of hands of people who think they will be contributing. If you can specify what you think you'll be writing, that would be helpful for planning, too.

I know you've got the creative super powers, hope you can make a little time to share them with us! Thanks in advance for what I know will be another incredible issue,
A,©& J -- mEg

Proud creator of "Screamachine: The Mamacoaster Zine"
"30-some pages crammed to the margins with the messy, moving, miraculous tales of our many, varied, soulful mama lives."

child labor

elliot in newsroom2
Originally uploaded by kgranju.
I am childcare-less this morning, so Elliot has come to work with me. I used to hang around in the newsroom(s) with my mother and father and my mother did the same with her mother (also a reporter/editor). Elliot says he likes it and wants to be either a pro bass fisherman or a journalist.


more on the twilight sentinels

Last Thursday night, I went to Preservation Pub to see The Twilight Sentinels play. I'd seen them once before, a few months back, and thought they were great. This time, I was even more impressed.

The band reminds me of The Cramps; they have a very tight, very fast rockabilly sound, but with a punk overlay. There's definitely some surf music in there, and you can tell that Brandon Cottongim, the amazing bassist (that's a huge stand-up bass, by the way) is a jazz fan.

Tom Appleton, the guitarist and lead singer, is a Knoxville expat (and former Cyberflix guy) now living in Atlanta, which means the band hasn't had too many Knoxville area gigs yet. But as more people hear this band, they're going to be in high demand.

I plan to go see them whenever I get the chance, including in Atlanta when they play there, which I think Brandon's wife Patty told me would be soon. They're worth the trip.

I'll let you know when they play next and then you should go see them too. They're Knoxville's current great undiscovered gem of a band. I like being an early adopter, but I hope more folks get the chance to see them play in coming months. Then, when people rave about how great they are,  I can say I told you so.


PS: I am thinking of getting a tattoo, my first, and Brandon said he'd do it for me. He's a really good artist (check out his stuff on the site linked above), so... I'm the last person in America without any ink on her body, but I'm thinking of letting go of my tattoo virginity...

henry's hair

Originally uploaded by kgranju.

Check out my son Henry's amazing summertime hair. I covet it.

Elliot's Hair

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
Contrast big brother Henry's head of hair with little brother Elliot's lack thereof...

elliot 2

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
Not many teeth either...the Tooth Fairy has been busy at our house lately


shasta groene

Like every other parent, kidnapping is my most primal fear. And like many parents all over the country, I was both thrilled and horrified to hear that Shasta Groene was found alive yesterday, sitting in a Denny's Restaurant only miles from her Idaho home where last month, her family was murdered and she and her little brother Dylan were kidnapped.

Sitting with her in the restaurant booth at 2am ( a sharp eyed waitress spotted them) was a convicted sex offender with a history of child rape.

He is in custody. She's been reunited with her remaining family, but Dylan Groene is likely dead, based on what the police have been saying since finding Shasta Groene.

This morning I was reading some local (Idaho) coverage of this case and ran across THIS BLOG, kept by the sex offender who had Shasta. That's right, the man, Joseph Edward Duncan, kept a blog and only stopped posting in it a few days before the kids were taken and their family bludgeoned to death.

In his last entries, he said his dark side had taken over again and he knew something bad was going to happen.

If you read back through the blog, it's clear this guy NEEDED TO BE LOCKED UP...forever. He alternately claimed total innocence for the stuff he had done and then talked about his struggles with his own mind and impulses. Of course, he also refers to all the ways he was hurt and victimized as a child, which is probably completely true. I have a lot of compassion for the fact that 99.9% of child molesters were once molested children.

But the bottom line is that sex offenders do not, as a rule, ever, ever "get well." Yet we sentence them with an assumption that some level of rehabilitation is possible. Many of them, including John Couey, the man who killed Jessica Lunsford in Florida a few months ago have openly pleaded NOT to be released from prison (At one hearing, he told the parole board he knew he would hurt children if he were released. At his next parole hearing he told them he was all better, so they let him go.)

Many people who kill someone in passion will certainly never, ever hurt anyone again. They pose no threat to anyone, yet they are sent to prison for decades or life. Rapists, particularly child rapists, are highly, highly likely to commit more crimes and to escalate the violence associated with their crimes, yet we sentence them to much shorter sentences.

I am anti-death penalty. I am pro-rehabilitative services in prisons. But we have to reprioritize our sentencing laws to reflect what we increasingly know for certain about people who rape children. I don't want us sending a guy who sells crack to prison for thirty years and a child rapist to prison for six years. Child rapists should get life in prison or lifetime, locked mental hospital stays.


signs you've had a good evening out

1.) You return home with a flower tucked behind your ear

2.) you feel like jumping on the trampoline in your backyard even though you're wearing a pink, silk, backless dress

3.)You're still humming the bass line from the band

4.)You fall asleep smiling

5.) You hope and feel pretty sure that someone will call the next day


be still my heart!

Can it be true? It appears the dBs are BACK TOGETHER and making a new record.

Oh happy day!

in the name of the lord


sleater kinney/tim lee band

Sundown in the City last night was the best yet, in my opinion. The crowd was big, but not overwhelming, and was perhaps the most diverse group of folks I've ever seen gathered together in Knoxville at a non-political event. Young and old people. Mothers and daughters. Lots of gay families. The usual Downtown suspects, and many, many teenagers. It was great.

After threatened storms, the weather even held out all night.

The Tim Lee band was predictably awesome, playing some great new songs I had not heard. Don Coffey, Jr was on drums.

Sleater Kinney was simply one of the best shows I've ever seen in Knoxville. There was very little stagey-ness and not much banter with the crowd, but these women just got right down to business and played 90 minutes of near-perfect post-punk powerpop.

They played some of the stuff from their new record, "Into the Woods," but also many of my old faves like "You're No Rock and Roll Fun."

Everyone seemed to be having a great time. I chatted with Ashley Capps of AC Entertainment and he said he was very pleased with the size and make-up of the crowd. I told him again what a greattime I had at Bonnaroo, and he told me that AC is launching a new music festival in October -- Halloween weekend -- in Las Vegas of all places. The Flaming Lips will headline. I'll write more about it when I get more details.

jimmy buffett on my desk

Originally uploaded by kgranju.
This is my desk, today, with the tasty tropical beverage I am consuming. When I came in to work this morning, I discovered that the entire newsroom was celebrating...I swear to goodness I am not making this up ... Jimmy Buffett Day.

(Get background on my ANTI JIMMY BUFFETT STANCE)

There is JB music playing, coconuts scattered about...even a full size tiki hut set up in the corner.


Cosmic irony.

But the pineapple smoothies are good.

karl rove is wrong

His comments last week about progressives' response to 9-11 were TOTALLY MISGUIDED