Friday, November 7, 2008


Dear Blog,

I'm sorry I've neglected you. We've taken a little trip to Crazytown in the Comer household lo these past few weeks. Although, for once it was not My Crazy that was driving. In fact, My Crazy stayed locked in the trunk duct taped to the spare tire for most of the ride. Whoo-hoo, go me! Although I did succomb to few new pairs of boots, brown patent leather flats, and some clothes. But chile, they is fierce! Mostly, I was in the passenger seat trying to naviagte my husband's crazy away from the edge of the cliff. It seems we have finally found our way back on to the interstate and are sailing along back to Normal (or least our equivilant).

Can I just take a moment to encourage you (okay me really, I know no one reads this) to say it out loud one more time ... President Obama. Yep, still makes me grin. I still find myself getting weepy. It's better than Christmas. There was much crying and laughing and toasting and crying at our house Tuesday night.

Thank you. Thank you to all those folks who struggled and fought to make this happen - those who fought literally and those who fought quietly in thier daily lives to move us just a little bit closer. Those folks who who were turned away from better schools and jobs. From a simple seat on a bus. Thank you to all those folks that despite being spit on and hosed down, they never let bitterness get the better of them. Thank you to my mother in law, who when her son and I - some white girl she didn't know from Eve -needed some where to go ... all she said was "come home". This is for y'all. For our kids. For all of us. Today is little bt better than yesterday.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mommy Dearest

She asked me did I feel abandoned when she asked me to move out. I lied and told her no. Really the truth lay somewhere in between. I did feel abandoned, but not because she asked me to leave. I had been an ill loved dog tied in her yard so long; the relief of being turned loose was like shaking a stone from a shoe.

And so I left. And my sorrow and indignation were utter and righteous all at once. I have held it, fondled it, examined so many times it’s worn white and smooth like a scar. My prized possession. My battle wound. Trotted out to titillate and disgust like an incision from a particularly gruesome surgery.
I have no interest in forgiveness. I need the scar to remind me of where she used to be. I’ll never have her, but I’ll have the scar from where she used to be. Closing together the two halves of me make me whole.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Senator Obama's attacks against Sarah Palin are not sexist. In fact, trying to play it like the big scary black man is beating up on the wee white woamn is more than just a little racist. If Obama can't "play the race card", y'all need to lay off "the gender card".

Let me clue you in on a few things, Republicans.

Never in the hostory of ever have I kissed my boss. Why?

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Because it's sexist.

Not supporting women's access to birth control and oppsosing abortion? Sexist.

You keep using that word. I do not think that it means what you think that it means.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Open Letter to Anthony Bourdain

I see it’s been about a year since anyone has suggested Baltimore (other than the clip of that crazy lady with the MICA squirrel in the Travel with Tony montage). It appears to be time to reassert the need to do a show here.

First, some things you should know about us. We have a huge inferiority complex and a chip on our shoulder.

1) You dissed us in Kitchen Confidential, and we won’t let it go till you give us another chance. Granted, that diss was deserved. All you saw was the Inner Harbor. That place is a tourist trap shithole. There … I said it! Bring it on Baltimore Tourism Bureau. I ain’t skeered a’you. Going to the Inner Harbor and saying you’ve seen Baltimore, is like going to Five Points and the Coca Cola Museum and saying you’ve seen Atlanta. You haven’t. But, we don’t blame you. That place is an assault on the psyche. It’s okay. We understand. But, let us show the rest of city that will be a healing balm to your scarred, scarred soul.

2) You’re doing a show in DC. The only thing Baltimorons hate more than being dissed in public is DC. We are everything DC isn’t. A very wise friend of a friend described Baltimore as DC’s ugly, older sister who’s a lot more fun to hang out with. Growing up around the DC area, Lord knows I love me some go-go and Ben’s Chili bowl perhaps a little more than is healthy. But, eventually you get tired of playing SoWhoDoYouKnowAndHowCanThatBenefitMe game. Yeah, there are great museums and stuff, but DC is such a see-and-be-seen town. And it gets old … fast. In Baltimore we ask all the same getting to know you questions, but it’s because we’re certain that we have a friend in common – we just have to figure out who it is.

3) Fucking Cleveland??!? You did a how in Cleveland? But still you won’t come to Baltimore? Harvey Pekar is an American subculture icon. And you got to hang with Marky Ramone. Either of which I would give my left tit to do. I understand the appeal. But, how can you ignore the city that gave us Frank Zappa, John Waters, and The Wire? Baltimore is a weird place. But it’s good weird. Yeah, we’re Bodymore, Murderland. But we’re also still a place where folks dance in the streets. You see folks dancing at bus stops. We will literally stop our cars in the middle of the street to get our groove on. There’s a weirdly awesome dichotomy here. We’re the Northern most Southern city. We’re not New York or DC. We all the best of those things and all the worst of them at the same time. To quote John Waters, New York City is weird and everyone there knows they’re weird. Baltimore is weird and no has a clue.

4) The food. The fooooood! We know you love a public market. Baltimore has 6. Some of which have been in continuous operation since the 18th century. Each one has its own neighborhood and vibe. And the crabs, of course. But, like so many other local cuisines, you have to do it with a local to do it right. No one but tourists goes to those schmaltzy crab houses. To do it right you need a bushel of crabs, lots beer and good friends, someone’s back porch, an assload of newspaper, and whole an afternoon. Crabs are a slow food. They cannot be rushed through, assembly line fashion, in some bustling crab house. Sure, they are better/bigger/meatier crabs than the blues. But crabs are really about the picking, and picking is an art form learned on lazy afternoons filled with talking shit.

So, the choice is clear. Either give in and do a show here, or continue to be hounded until you do. We promise to make it worth your while.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Words I Hate

Well, not really so much words, as phrases.

On a flow basis

This is the latest bit of corporate speak to circulate around my office. What does this mean? Stringing random words together is not insightful, folks.

Full Time Mom

This one makes me want jam a stick into the eye of the speaker. Really? Full time mom? So I guess that makes me a part time mom? I assure you mothering does not come with full and part time labor breakdowns. I’m a mom all day long. I don’t have a nanny or housekeeper. Kids don’t come in the less needy part time models. I still have doctor’s appointments and sports practice and school plays and all the same crap your kids have. You know what else I have, in addition to all the crap you have? A full time JOB.

Values Voter

Why is this always applied to the Christian Right? Isn’t wanting everyone to have the same basic human rights a value? The right to marry and love who ever you want, the right to healthcare, the right to an equal and adequate education? Aren’t those values?

Words are powerful. Language is meaningful. Be conscious of the words you use.

To quote Orwell …

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.”

Pay attention folks. Listen not just to the words people use, but the implication. Think it through.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


So, I was reading Robby Johnson's blog this morning about the potential hurricane in the Gulf Coast, and it’s got me musing on Katrina again.

Hurricane Katrina’s impact on my life was profound. No, I wasn’t there. No, I don’t know anyone there. It had no direct personal connection to me whatsoever. But, it touched me in a way that no other event that didn’t happen to me or someone I love ever has.

I can remember watching the weather maps as the storm loomed toward New Orleans. I had knots in my stomach for all those folks. It was the worst possible of all combinations. A huge storm headed directly for a city shaped like a soup bowl. Pleaseohpleaseohplease don’t let it be too bad. The storm moved. I was relieved for New Orleans and devastated for Mississippi and Alabama. But, my stomach unclenched a little and it seemed like it might be okay.

Then the levies broke.

And I sat in front of the TV for days and just cried. And cried. And cried. I cried on my way to work. I cried on my way home. I carried a lump in my chest all the time. I cried from sadness and anger and helplessness. Did I mention that I’m crazy?

Finally, help came and people got food and water and access to functioning plumbing. I wasn’t crying in my car anymore and my chest was looser.

Until the blaming started. Did President Bush deserve blame? Certainly. FEMA? Hell yes. State of Louisiana? You betcha. Mayor Nagin? More than likely. But to blame the people who suffered? Inexcusable.

How can you look at those boarded up houses with body counts on the doors and blame the people for staying? For building houses there in the first place? Most them weren’t rentals, throw away places so often inhabited by the folks who can’t go anywhere else. They were homes. Bought and paid for by generations of blood and sweat and tears. Paid for by Black GI’s coming home from WW II in uniforms but still not allowed to live anywhere else. Paid for by Black women leaving their own children to wash other people’s floors and care for other people's children so theirs would have a place to live. Maintained by those kids doing whatever they could to keep that house and to give their kids and often nieces/nephews/grandkids a place to live.

Fuck y’all.

So with another hurricane potentially bearing down on the Gulf Coast, I just wanted to take a moment to say some of us have not forgotten. It may not be on the news anymore. But, we know y’all are still struggling to make it back. And our hearts are still with you. In foul weather and in fair.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My New Favorite Word

I love words. I love language. I love how precise it is. "The OED2, the largest English-language dictionary, contains some 290,000 entries with some 616,500 word forms." Six hundred and sixteen THOUSAND words. Each one with a slightly different meaning. I love finding the perfect word for exactly the right thing. Petrichor is just such a word.

Petrichor is the scent that rises from pavement after rain has begun to fall.

It’s my favorite smell in the whole world. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, that smell immediately takes me back to my great grandmother’s house in the summer. I grew up way out in the country, and paved driveways were a rarity. But Mun had one. And I loved being at her house. I could ride my bike or Big Wheel on her driveway which had a big hill to coast down and it felt like the fastest thing on earth. I was always a kid who liked amusing myself and her yard had an endless supply of amusing things.
But when it started to rain, when I smelled that smell, it was time to come inside.
Mun’s house was always neat and filled with beautiful things and good things to eat. And most importantly, it had her. When I was at her house, I was a kid. I wasn’t the closest approximation to a grown up. I didn’t have to take care of my brother, or do laundry, or feed us, or make sure we got to school on time.

When I smelled that smell, it was time to come inside and wash my feet ( they were always dirty because I only wore shoes when we went into town). Get fed, then climb into one of her big carved beds and snuggle in the sheets so old and soft they felt like cotton balls. And then get up and start all over tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Conrad-Comer Hierarchy of Crazy

My friend Allie and I have this theory … The Theory of Crazy. The theory states that everyone is crazy. But we are all crazy to different degrees and about different things. Conflict occurs when you are forced to deal with someone outside your level of crazy.

I’ve been thinking about how this theory apples to my life. There is some shit that only happens to me. I swear I must give off a smell only the krazeee can detect.

I used to live in Atlanta, near the intersection of Peachtree and the major east/west thoroughfare (Ponce De Leon for those in the know). The part close in to Peachtree was near the big Fox Theatre and was often frequented by trannie and male street trade. And when I say trannie, I don't mean Miss Gay World trannie. I mean 3 days worth of stubble, crooked wig, stripper shoes, and a mini skirt trannie.

Exhibit A. So, one day I was chilling at my apartment and decided I wanted some fries and a chocolate shake. So I threw on my baseball cap and barn coat and headed up to McDonalds. As I was walking, I noticed a dude driving by in a green wood paneled Family Truckster. Didn't think anything of it. A block later, there he is again going slower than ever. Weird yes, but I'm still all about my fries. The 3rd time he creeps by I finally catch on that I'm being cruised as a male prostitute. So, scream from the middle of the sidewalk, I'M NOT A BOY, CHESTER!!! After which he looks horrified and speeds off. Awesome day for my self esteem.

ExhinitB In addition to the trade we had a plethora of other local characters. One Dreadlock Dude and James Brown the most notable. The James Brown dude would walk around in full a full JB getup(permed hair, tight polyester pants, white belt, white shoes, sparkly shirt) carrying a boom box playing James Brown. Every block or so he'd put down the box and perform a JB dance number complete with HEY! and WATCH OUT NOWS! One night I was at MARTA waiting on my bus, and JB Dude shows up. He makes a beeline for me and starts pulling on me. I push him off and try to ignore him (I'm 5'9" he's like 5'5"). He comes at me again and we rinse and repeat. I guess I pissed him off because now he's on me like a howler monkey on acid. It took 2 big ass construction worker dudes to haul his ass off me and guard me till my bus came. so.awesome.

Exhibit C. At the same MARTA stop this deaf/mute guy comes and sits beside me. He's got a big ass legal pad and he starts showing me notes. I'm deaf, Can I have a dollar, etc. I try to brush him off but I feel kinda bad so I chat with him for a few seconds. Pretty soon his notes turn into, I like to have sex with little boys, do you? what.the.fuck.

If the Theory of Crazy holds true, does this mean I am more or less crazy than previously thought?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Welcome to My Crazy

Dear Blog,

How are you? I am fine. Today, anyway.

Recently, I was watching one of those stupid eHarmony commercials, and was struck by the question, "Do you find humor in anything?" And I realized ... yes. Yes, I do. Some days you have to either laugh or cry, and fuck it ... I'd rather laugh.
I'm gonna talk about my crazy life. The fucked up shit that happens. How I'm trying to not carry the crazy shit my parents did for the rest of my life. And how I'm trying to do better for my kid than they did for me. What it's like to try and manage that all with a helping of OCD and anxiety. But, this will not be a place to find inspiration. So, if that's what you're looking for, it's not for you.

To paraphrase Chris Titus, I wanna here your pain - just put it in joke form.

Remember, I can and will laugh at anything.