I finally got a Tennessee drivers license.  I did this for many reasons;  one being that I have finally, after exactly four years, accepted I no longer live in California and besides, I was coming dangerously close to becoming a jury-duty fugitive (which is very unlike me because I happen to love jury duty). Another reason is that I figure I should probably vote this year, if only to stay in fashion. I took a free bumper sticker from the Obama campaign so it is the only right thing to do.  (Tennessee happens to be one of the states that adopted one of those totally wack voter ID laws). The other big reason is that I had to re-up my Memphis Library Card and those folks there are real sticklers about residency.

With my new schedule I have had more time, but less money to research so I have been hitting the ol BenjHooks Library like crazy.

Their new books section is fantastic. Really.  I've already read the new Julia Childs bio, a war memoir from a soldier who disarmed bombs, and a couple insane diet books (those are my favorite. I am drinking a beer right now). I'm currently reading a true crime book called "People Who Eat Darkness" and it is giving me terrible panic attacks and nightmares (sign of a great book). But all of those are really time wasters that are distracting me from my astrology and Nancy R research.

What my research is uncovering (in addition to straightforward historical facts) is that people interested in Nancy R and Astrology are hands down, the most vanadolous, criminal-minded bunch of all library goers!  One book about Nancy had pictures carefully exacto-bladed out in sharp squares!  To cut photos out and return them as if nothing happened? Bold!

And nearly every astrology book that features a worksheet or astrology blank has writing in it!  Look at the posted example! Morrie! Pink pen!? Has no one ever heard of a photocopier?

I guess it is hard to have nice things for pblic property. Especially when the library only requires a TN driver license and not a full astrological chart to check out books.  You can trust a gal who takes years to let go of the west coast, but you cannot, ever, trust a gemini with a pink pen!


Cooling Out

It dropped over ten degrees over the weekend! It was actually safe to be outdoors for more than ten minutes so B and I drove down to the Hummingbird Migration Celebration in Holly Springs, MS. 

Hummingbirds are tiny. Real tiny. And fast. Real fast. They have a resting heartbeat similar to that of a grown man on cocaine: 250bpm. Because they are tiny and happen to be on their way to South America, there isn’t a whole lot of actual bird action to see at this celebration without some effort and patience. We waited in line to see them tagging the lil fellers. They do this to collect scientific data on their migration.

They lure them in with sweet bird feed and then plop them in white netted bags. This to me was the most visually disturbing image of the day (so I got a picture – see below) but it is for science so I say bag em up!

After they measure, weigh, and tag the birds, a lucky bystander gets to stet it free back in the wild. I really wanted to to this and feel that at my advanced age, my contributions to society are greater than any small child and I deserve to feel a freshly un-bagged hummingbird in the palm of my hand, but some aggressive mom had been behind us in line for fifteen minutes working on the volunteers with a screechy story how her son “really wanted to let one go back in the wild.” Of course, when the time came, the passionate five-year old birder was off somewhere looking for ice cream. So when they asked the crowd who wanted to let it go, all of the adults were super busy being polite and embarrassed while a young couple stepped up and handled business. Although I think the teenage girl was giggling too much to appreciate the delicacy of the situation, I was happy to see the bird fly off (to Chile, I imagine). 



(measuring a beak – they hold it in a nylon foot sock – the kind you use when trying on pumps at Bakers -  seriously!)


This fatso weighed in at 3.5 grams!

The Strawberry Plains Audubon Center is lovely. I would go back there even if they weren’t selling home-made pickles and hummingbird crafts.

We stopped at Phillips Grocery for burgers on the way back. If you haven’t been to Holly Springs, I think one could safely say that it offers the total southern tourist package: Graceland Too, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Phillips Grocery, and lots of kudzo.

According to legend, Phillips Grocery was originally a saloon in the 1800s. It is located near an old railroad depot on the outskirts of town. There are about ten things on the menu including fried pies and tater tots. So you should go there.