Bellwether Vance

Hounds to the Left of me/Jokers to the Right

Bellwether Vance

Bellwether Vance
December 31
You'd like me. People like me.


Editor’s Pick
MARCH 4, 2013 11:10PM

The Empty Next

I’m reading James Patterson’s newest novel. Lately, his books have been written by a sock puppet on the paw of the world’s dumbest Irish Setter.  My reading material should give you insight as to where I am right now, how my brain feels starchy, like it’s full of mashed p… Read full post »

AUGUST 2, 2012 9:05AM

My Olympic Season

On the first day of summer rec, the boys were lined up on one wall and the girls on another. The male coaches divided the boys into teams, soccer and basketball.  The female coaches looked down the line of girls to determine potential for the girly activities – gymnastics,… Read full post »
MAY 25, 2012 8:47AM

All Will be Made Clear

There were so many words we were not allowed to say (not just the obvious ones) and gestures that were considered too vulgar for our body parts to participate in communicating them. We couldn't point, or stick our tongues out. We couldn't say "shut up" or call someone… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MAY 1, 2012 6:33AM

Saddle Up, Cowgirls

I heard that Kendra is bringing chips and salsa to Sue's Cinco de Mayo party. So I call Mary Tom and say, "Can you believe Kendra is bringing chips and salsa to the party?"

Mary Tom pretends to be outraged. "Well the salsa had better be homemade. That's all… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 10, 2012 9:09AM

If the Creek Don't Rise

Since before dawn, Daddy's been tending to the brisket like it's a colicky beefbaby. Much later, with everyone waiting, plates outheld, he uses an electric knife and cuts down through the layers of crusty seasoning, white fat and tender meat. This is his favorite recipe, the best he has to offer… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 21, 2012 8:49AM

The Anger Games

Have you ever been so mad, so violently angry, that your upper and lower teeth started biting each other and you had to put a stick in your mouth to keep them separated? I have.

It's Spring Break, 1984, and I'm on a road trip with Ellen and our friends… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 28, 2012 8:50AM

Sweet Surrender

I hope I never get a total on the number of hours I spend watching awful television. Utilizing that time productively I could have cured cancer with lentils (it is possible!), mastered another language, or at least learned to order off the menu of our favorite Thai restaurant without cracking up… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 10, 2012 8:28AM

Down Under the Rainbow

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. That's the plucky platitude from Nietzsche, of all people, who also declared "God is dead." Attempting to annihilate a professional nihilist is presumptuous, but I think my version is truer and bleaker: What doesn't kill us will try again.

I know the manner… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 10, 2012 10:04AM

Petty Crimes

I can't remember who gave us the hamsters, Brownie and Blackie (guess what color they were?), and the ten gallon tank that served as their home. My recollections are dim, censored, fraught with Freudian undertones.
The hamsters were two of a succession of pets that were deliberately not a puppRead full post »
Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 19, 2011 9:26AM

The Optimist's Lament

I'm not naturally pensive, or I say I'm not. I've been chirping so long I've lost my lower register, maybe never allowed it to develop, and who's to say if my natural song is canary or whale? In any case, I don't inhabit unhappiness comfortably.

It is common for happy… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 22, 2011 8:29AM

An Attractive Cadaver

My father-in-law passed away last week. He'd only partially recovered from a stroke in March and when it became obvious his life wasn't the shit it once was, we hoped he wouldn't linger too long in a truly crappy state of being, while at the same time we dreaded his final… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 7, 2011 8:43AM

I am a Cutter

Every morning I saw  my mother tease her hair into a floss that floated at least six inches above her scalp. At the height of it you could look through into other worlds, her hair filtering the light like a church window. So I stole the comb and sat my brother… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 11, 2011 9:21AM

Daydreams Du Jour

The idea took shape after a dispute with my husband regarding distribution of labor, wherein I cried, "You are so spoiled! You think everyone has two soups to choose from!" A ridiculous statement that nevertheless allowed me to win the argument and spawned a dream.

I have a fridge full… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 8:45AM

What a Quarter Will Buy

I'd never heard my father hiss like that, with such force. Not the slow stream of air from a leaking tire, a despairing deflation, annoyance at one thing or another, my tenth refusal to buckle  my sandals or let anyone else do it for me. This was a burst of venom,… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 30, 2011 8:40AM

Mule Day Pie

Make plans now to attend Mule Day!  Mule Day is held the first Saturday in November in Calvary, Georgia, a tiny town north of Tallahassee, just across the Florida state line, between Havana and Cairo. My fear-of-flying self thinks -- Georgia also has a Rome! Why would anyone need to leaveRead full post »
Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 9, 2011 9:00AM

Pea Picking Minutes

If you've ever picked peas, you know that pea picking minutes are some of the longest in existence. I'm told only cotton picking minutes are longer, but I have no experience with cotton and pea picking minutes are plenty long enough.

These are pea picking minutes: The sleep is still… Read full post »
JULY 14, 2011 9:25AM

Goodbye Girl

Picking up her food bowl, that was hard. I left it down for days. A week later, while shopping online, I was prompted for a password. For more than a decade I've used her name, or a version of it, to buy yoga pants, spices, books and music. I knew I… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JUNE 22, 2011 9:45AM

A Necklace of Birds

My Odysseus set sail last September on a twenty-seven foot, forty-year-old,  triple keel sailboat named The Albatross.  I suggested he rename it Safe Passage, Home in One Piece or Mama Said No.  "It's bad luck to change the name of a boat," he said, and anyway, he liked the name. He/… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MAY 17, 2011 8:55AM

I Love the Unknown, A Recipe

Sandy runs the Asian Market downtown. I think of her as my Thai doppelganger. We're the same size and shape, and about the same age. We have small oval faces that square at the jaw, and similar haircuts -- dark bobs with bangs. Her studious, black-rimmed glasses could be exchanged for… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 28, 2011 9:20AM

Years Without Cake

The woman selling the treadmill tells me it belonged to her husband Richard. Six weeks ago, he collapsed in the Walmart parking lot and hit his head. She runs her finger in an arc from her temple to behind her ear to illustrate the length of the incision doctors made to… Read full post »
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Editor’s Pick
APRIL 5, 2011 8:07AM

Red Dirt Boy

The family moving in next door had a daughter my age. Her name was Darla Larson, and seeing the Barbie Dream House coming off the moving truck, I knew we'd be best friends. Standing in the driveway, my mother and Mrs. Larson made friendly small talk. My father and Mr. Larson,… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 4, 2011 9:22AM

The Teen's Speech

On the last day of my sixth-grade year, I waited outside Mrs. Barber's busy classroom for my turn to say goodbye, to give her the book of Robert Frost poems I'd purchased with my allowance. Next year I'd begin Junior High, far from the protective gaze of my mother and her… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 22, 2011 9:25AM

Fish in a Box

One thing keeps me from being insufferably smug about all the vegetables and fruits I eat. That one thing is fish.  Other than beer and lying, fish is my only vice. While I can't eat calves, lamb, piglets, chicks or their grown-up counterparts, fish remains something I can't not eat. 
Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 8, 2011 8:43AM

When the Moon Hits Your Eye

A few years ago, we invited our new neighbors, Evan and Nora and their two young daughters, to a Mardi Gras parade. I explained our strategy, how we'd arrive early, take up posts at the beginning of the parade route, before the street widened from two lanes to four to six,… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 11, 2011 10:27AM

A January State of Mind

The streets of our neighborhood are clear; the driveways contain cars I recognize, no out-of-state plates. The visitors -- the parents, the children, the college students, the grandchildren – have all gone home. 

On my morning walk I follow their scat: Spent bottle rockets and twined rows… Read full post »