Friday, January 02, 2015

more novel synchronicity and the history of british rule

Yesterday I chose a movie to watch instantly, Restoration, starring Robert Downey, Jr. Restoration takes place during the reign of King Charles II, mid-17th century England . I had never heard of this movie despite loving RDJr and old English period pieces. The Restoration Period, I learned from the internets, occurred during the second Reign of the Stuarts, the "first kings of the united kingdom." The Stuarts were restored to the throne following a brief, early period of parliamentary rule headed by Richard Cromwell.

So. In the midst of my internets history lesson, I came across this brief timeline of British rule:

1066 - 1154 The Normans

1154 - 1216 The Angevins
(The first Plantagenet kings)

1216 - 1399 Plantagenets

1399 - 1461 The House of Lancaster

1461 - 1485 The House of York

1485 -1603 The Tudors

1603 - 1649 and 1660 - 1714 The Stuarts

1714 -1901 The House of Hanovarians

1901 -1910 and 1910 - Today Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and The Windsors

My eyes settled on The Plantagenets. Strange name. Never heard of this family or tribe or whatever they were. Or if I had, it hadn't sunk in. But I corralled my impulse to go down yet another wormhole of TMI and instead resumed watching my movie.

Fast forward to later that night. I'm in bed reading my latest novel, The Quincunx, set during early 1800's England. About 30 minutes into my reading I come across the following description,

"My own people, the Bellringers, he went on with considerable bitterness, are connected with some of the most ancient families in the kingdom. The blood of the Plantagenets runs in my veins."

Bizarre coincidence or mystical synchronicity? Maybe not so bizarre considering my interest in early England, both in novels and film. But to have researched the who's who of the British throne the same morning as the Quincunx paragraph the very same night? (I'm typically not that industrious).

I think that is eerily weird. And as I've said before, this kind of synchronicity isn't all that unusual with me. It happens once or twice a month.

My husband, Sam, told me he doesn't want to hear any more of my mysterious mind events until they involve a long string of numbers. As in lottery winning numbers.

But of course I have to share. So the next day (this evening), I tell Sam my latest happening. And I give him the background of the rulers pre-Plantagenets, the Normans and the Angevins by way of timeline.

To which he gets a strange look on his face.

You're not going to believe this, he says.

This morning he had randomly picked up a National Geographic in a friend's living room and what does he read? A piece about historians' increasing understanding of the early Anglo Saxons, the early Angiven people, the Normans and ... Ok, no, not the Plantagenets. He doesn't recall reading that name.

But still. The Plantagenets were direct decendants of the Angivens.

Maybe not all that freakish, but pretty dang close, right? Random National Geographic read during a random day of waiting on an inspector in a random living room.

So what do you think, reader? Do I have some kind of special extra-sensory power I should try to harness? Or are we just a couple of nerdy, boring Anglophiles who read too much?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

alternative prayer

Hearing the outrage of the religious right over the lack of prayer in schools and government institutions irritates me down to the tiniest molecule of my being.  Just recently the Supreme Court heard a case over prayer in a legislative setting.  I heard about the case on public radio  and had one of those driveway moments, or in this case, garage moments, where I get home, sit in my car and listen, delaying my all-day-long anticipated homecoming, until the story is over.  I listened to the bitter end in hopes of hearing confirmation of my belief, which is, if you need prayer before school, or before you govern, do it in silence, or attend church before you get to the tax-payer supported building.  Do not take up the time of those of us who disagree.  Atheists and agnostics, Hindus and Muslims, Jews and Buddhists, we're all paying for the air conditioning in the room, the carpet upon which the teacher stands, the podium upon which the teacher lays her good book.  If we're not all represented, don't do it.

We can all benefit from a moment of silence, however.  To breathe, to reflect, to give our minds a bit of space to detach from the stress in our lives.  It seems pretty simple to me.

Lest I appear to be an unspiritual being, I will share what words I prefer to be said at my dinner table. Itadakimasu.  It's a phrase said typically in Japan. I first heard it from a friend who is of American and Japanese descent.

Itadakimasu means, I humbly receive.  It's meaning is to express gratitude to all who played a role in growing, harvesting, shipping, selling, buying, preparing, and serving the meal.  Many human hands are involved in any given meal.  I believe it's right and good to acknowledge the work of those who made the meal possible, which may or may not include a higher power, depending on your own beliefs.  I like it because it honors without separating believers from other-believers.  It gives thanks without offending.  And it shows appreciation for those who got up early and sweated in a hot kitchen to put the turkey on the table, to make that homemade pie crust, to clean the house before guests arrive, as opposed to those who sat on their rumps and swilled beer watching the all-important football game.  Because no, drinking beer does not count toward the Itadakimasu.

My kids like to say it, maybe less as act of appreciation and more as a means of letting on that they too, participated in the Itadakimasu.  I set the table, my daughter might say.  I cut the green beans and made the salad, my son once chimed. It lets them know that, they too, are important in the giving of thanks.

Whatever you and your family say at your table, or don't say, I hope you have a happy thanksgiving.

Friday, January 06, 2012

in which she mandates chick flicks and cute puppy videos

So many times in my personal life and in my office I get asked some version of the eternal question, Why is he so selfish? A wife or partner of a man tells me that while she is always thinking of his needs, he seldom recicprocates.

I hear things like,

I go to his action movies but he refuses to come with me to a chick flick.


For weeks I think of the perfect present for him but he barely remembers my birthday.


After twenty years of marriage why can't he remember that I don't like mayonnaise on my BLT?

Ok, so that last complaint is mine.

The point is, women are often frustrated and hurt by the lack of compassion and understanding they get from their men. The fact that lesbian couples are also frustrated by their partners for the same reason is besides the point and will be largely ignored for the purpose of this discussion. Big wink here.  

Why, I often ask myself, are there so many of these complaints? Are men less compassionate? Or are women overly needy and overly sensitive ? (Insert lesbian examples here.)

I type this knowing my question is largely rhetorical among so many readers but I ask so that I might suggest ... what we have long suspected...

It's in the biology.

Or so says Dr. Paul Zak, PhD.

So his PhD is in Economics. He's validating my long held theory so I'll take it.

According to the research cited by Dr. Love, as he has been dubbed, testosterone inhibits the release of the  cuddling hormone, oxytocin. I will say that again.  Testosterone inhibits the release of oxytocin.

Many situations contribute to the release of the bonding hormone.  Women release oxytocin when they breastfeed and when they have sex. Especially when they have sex. When we are moved to tears, when a small child snuggles against our neck, when we see, at the end of The Way We Were, Hubbell looking wistfully at Katie as she smooths back his hair.

It's that warm, grabby, squeezy feeling in the chest.  The feeling that makes us want to get close, to hug and connect with someone (or puppy), take care of, protect, soothe their hurts.

So, says Dr. Love, in the presence of testosterone, or extra testosterone, feelings of compassion decrease.  Administering additional testosterone to men also leads to them become "more selfish."  However, men who watched videos designed to elicit compassion were found to release more oxytocin.

Ok, so what is the practical advice here?  How can we oxytocin soaked wommens get our menfolk (or women partners) to crank up their oxytocin levels?  Take them to sappy, romantic chick flicks, that's how. Expose them to sensitive, caring pictures.  Videos that make you go, awwwwww.  Give warm hugs.  Show appreciation.  Compliment them, authentically, especially for loving deeds or a job well done.  And - always good couples therapy advice - cut back on the criticisms. Way back.

Oh, and one more... have sex more often.

Not a bad exchange when there's a chick flick in the bargain.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

driving pet peeve number 328: aggressive courtesy

Like most people, I find the holiday season one of such mixed feelings. On the one hand there's the season of love and giving and Santa and of course the baby bejeebus (credit, Hokgardner), all combining to bring out our kindest selves.

On the other hand there is Christmas shopping and navigating a crowded parking lot.  This recent spate of frantic beat-the-rush browsing has brought to the fore one of my driving pet peeves:  Aggressive courtesy.

Or is that, courteous aggression?

Not sure.  I'll let you decide.

Yesterday was the latest and a typical example.  I'm in my car wanting to make a left into a parking lane.  There is an oncoming black truck with darkish windows.  It's drizzlingand his windshield is foggy.  With my blinker on, I'm waiting for him to pass by me, but he's not moving, he's ... what?  Waiting for me to cross in front of him?  Then I see movement through the windshield. I believe he is signaling to let me pass.  Not quite sure so I sit.  I don't want to take the risk, I can't really see for sure and anyway, he has the right of way.  If our fenders crunch insurance is gonna make me pay.  So I wave him on.

But now he waves harder.  Oh I see, another man driver insisting on playing the gentle man

I wave him on, thanks but no thanks.  He proceeds, gunning it.  And now he drives by me, waving his hand in a display of disgust, shaking his head, scowl on his face, as if to say... what?  How dare I not take advantage of his seemingly courteous gesture?  When doing so would require that I trust a complete stranger, in the rain, in a monster truck the color of evil?

I have a hard time shaking off these exchanges.  It seems as if these courteously aggressive drivers insist on asserting some sort of power or, why else the angry gesturing when I don't comply?  Does a generous offering in a vehicle by a man (some men) demand the woman assent?  Because this you go... no, you go exchange happens with women drivers, too, but it never ends with them proverbially flipping me off with an angry wave. I am left believing it is some kind of chauvinistic ritual from the era we now know as Mad Men.

I used to wonder how the show got its name.  Now I know.

*Yes, we in the land of worst-drought-in-history (yes, I blogged about it, here and taken pictures of it, here) have been getting rain.  Several days of it.  Ground is soaked.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Mother Nature!

Friday, December 09, 2011

a little bit of texas (no football, promise)

Husband and I spent our 20th anniversary in San Antonio.  Some random pictorial highlights:

First things first.  Thanks to Karen for her restaurant suggestion.  Homemade hot sauce with roasted .. peppers or tomatoes, or both... was superb.  Cheese enchiladas... perfecto.  Margarita... excellentay: Sweetly sour, salt around the rim and stout.

A word about the corn tortillas.  When it comes to restaurant tortillas, Sam always orders corn and I order flour.  But here?  When I reached into the tortilla holder, I grabbed the flour tortilla on top.  Halfway into my soft taco Sam noticed I was eating one of his corn tortillas.  Thin and mashed very fine, I didn't taste the difference.

I had an instant feeling of love in the women's room.  Lots of great prints by Mexican artists here and throughout the restaurant.

Sautillo tile floor in the bathroom, plastic slipcover on the couch.

In the ladies room stall.  Way to make a woman feel, well, like a woman.  I want this print in my home bathroom.

Because I've never taken a picture of myself in a mirror. 

Husband Sam used to visit his grandmother in this house, King William District, back before it was gentrified.  It was a four-plex back then.  She lived in the upper right hand side.

I wonder who lives here and has a loved one overseas.

View from E. Guenther St. of the Pioneer flour mill.   Sam could see this tower when he looked out his grandmother's window at night. Used to scare him.

I could look at the King William District architecture all day.  Beautiful front porch made for sipping lemonade. Or margaritas.  

Love the board and batten siding and the standing seam metal roof.  Sam pointed this house out to me, said he thinks someone from New Jersey must live here due to the single candles in each window (my hometown tradition).

Relaxing back in our hotel room.  Yes, that's prickly pear cactus juice in the pink drink.  I'm seldom without my prickly.

Holiday lights on the Riverwalk. Arched footbridge in the center of the trees.

Flags atop the Tower Life Building on the Riverwalk.  They've got their priorities straight.

Love the way the tower is lit up at night.

Flowering Spanish Olive tree beside the Alamo.

Fuzzy olives. Security guard said they sell the olives in the gift shop. Wish I had stopped to get some the next day, but then, you can't have your Alamo olives and eat them too.

View of lights as we sat shivering at Waxy O'Connor's eating fish and chips.

In case the night view wasn't clear enough, that's an Aggie flag atop the Tower Life Building.  Owner is a big alum.  One spring break a few years ago my husband and kids went to the Riverwalk.  We were invited to walk up on that octagon balcony at the top. Very cool views of San Antonio.  Can see for hundreds of miles.

Enjoying Texas Sized margaritas at Rita's on the Riverwalk.  Driver, Sam, ordered his Jersey Sized.   That's my high school friend in red and her daughter who were in town for a wedding.  Tempting picture of the margarita taken by Middle Age Mom, here.

Hope you enjoyed my motley crue photos of San Antonio.  I didn't take too many because it was (1) cold and (2) my anniversary (better things to do).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

turkey may never taste the same

We interrupt the preparation of your family's Thanksgiving feast to bring you a special announcement.

Be it stuffing your turkey with oranges (like we do) or making a last minute grocery store run for parker rolls (like I wish we didn't do) or preparing a blender full of liquid fortification in anticipation of Aunt Martha, who, every year, without fail, puts on her unique version of the martyr syndrome, I want you to stop and hear what I have to say.

This evening at 8pm EST, on Kyle Field, the Texas A&M Aggies will meet the t.u. Longhorns on the gridiron for the 118th time and for what might be the last match up ever.

Here's my message: The Aggies want to keep playing the 'Horns.

No matter what you hear on ESPN, no matter how many times the announcers infer that the last game is due to the Aggies leaving the Big 12 conference, no matter what you read in the rag of a newspaper, know this:

Aggie head coach Mike Sherman has publicly stated he wants to play the Longhorns every year.

Longhorn head coach, Mac Brown, has publicly stated he wants to keep playing the Aggies.

The chancellor of the Texas A&M University system, John Sharp, has publicly stated he wants to keep playing the Aggies.

"We want to make it abundantly clear we will play the game anywhere, any time."

Even the Texas Legislature might get into the act and mandate the annual rivalry.

So who is responsible?  Almost single handedly, the t.u. Athletic Director, DeLost Dodds, is responsible for the end of one of the longest running college football rivalries in U.S. History.  DeLies Dodds is the one who insisted on keeping the Longhorn Network (LHN).

DeLoser's choice to sign a $30 million deal didn't just piss off Texas A&M.  It also pissed off Missouri.  They've signed to leave the Big 12, too

Insistence on keeping the Long Hate Network also blocked the 'Horns from moving out of the Big 12 and into the PAC 12.  PAC 12 said, in effect, no to LHN and no to UT.  The 'Horns, much to their consternation, were left holding the LHN bag, stuck in an ever diminishing conference.

Ok, that's it. We conclude this special announcement. You can now go back to your pre-turkey dinner preparations and your liquid libations.  Just needed to set that record straight.

Gig 'em Aggies.  Beat the hell outta t.u. This year and any other year t.u. feels up to the challenge.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

she jumps out of the recipe rut and into the frying pan

You could say I've been in something of a cooking rut. With three teens going three different directions, a dog, five chickens, and one sorely neglected beta fish named Molly, I haven't had much time to think cook let alone experiment with new recipes.

Mention a new dish and I cringe at the thought of reading a recipe, shopping for extra ingredients, more time in the kitchen to get the recipe right.

But, amazing for my track record, I tried two new recipes in the past week.

It started with fresh shrimp on sale at the grocery store and fresh tortillas in my cart.  Not having made shrimp tacos in recent memory (and I call myself a Texan?), I went searching and found a recipe that included Lime Cilantro Sauce here at Life's Ambrosia.

Now, usually I skip a new recipe's sauce because I'm lazy but this one sounded way too good to miss. And it was. Really tangy.  Amazing on the spicy shrimp. Out of sour cream, I substituted with plain yogurt - still amazing. Add chopped avacados?  Lawd have mercy.

The second recipe venture started with wilting strawberries in the fridge. The idea of another banana berry smoothie sent me to the edge and then to the internet in search of something different.

Thanks to Cookies on Friday, I came up with this wonderful Fresh Strawberry and Cream Cheese Bread.  Adding walnuts and ground flax seed changed the look considerably but everyone loved it, including four girls at my daughters' sleepover.

So two new recipe successes in one week.  Pretty pleased with myself.  My family's palate is pretty pleased, too.

How about you? Tried any new recipes lately?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

the ides of twinness

Beware the Ides of Twinness.

Because it's a guarantee. One of your twins will beg you to get braces. You will spend fifteen minutes at the dinner table explaining the many reasons why she does not want braces.

And then? The other twin will be told she needs braces. And you will spend fifteen minutes during the car ride home explaining mom doesn't always know what she is talking about the many reasons it's not so bad having braces.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

fare thee well coffee yogurt, sort of

How exactly does one announce a blog name change? How does one inform of a profile name update? Send out cyber printed announcements? Commission a video? Hire a plane to pull a banner, a la Mrs. Brightside's post?

I came up with Coffee Yogurt one night in December several years ago. I didn't know what the blogsphere was all about. I was looking for some virtual connection with fellow psychologists. What I came across was a bevy of witty, creative, humorous and real people bloggers. So, I did what any sane 40-something on winter vacation would do: Take up residence.

Before you could say psychoanalysis I had clicked on the Create a Profile button. Presto-chango I had to come up with a moniker for myself. Hmmm. I gave it some about 15 seconds worth of thought. What was something I love and couldn't live without? I spied the empty cup of coffee yogurt on my coffee table.

Lurrve Dannon's coffee yogurt since I sold it at the local dairy convenience store - my first real job. The unwritten, unspoken rule was - if it was sold on the shelf it could be consumed on premises.

Dannon is the yogurt I love but have all but stopped buying because two of my teens seem to love it more than me, even, and those cute little white plastic cups I purchase on sale only pretty much disappear by the next afternoon. Fear not the empty nest; welcome the Dannon-stocked refrigerator shelves.

And in case you don't mind a further trip down the sentimental path, I miss Dannon's waxy cardboard cups. I miss the pleated lids that you had to lift and unfold in accordion fashion, to reveal the tabbed, round, colorful cardboard discs

I never really meant to be known 'round the cyber world as a semi-solid sour-ish bacteria fermented food stuff but I was too noncomittal lazy to do anything about it. And so this morning, quite without purpose, I hit the Design button on the dashboard and gave it a looksie. Wahlah, just like that, I deleted Coffee Yogurt from my Header and a Shrink was Born!

Not a very deep or insightful reason for the change. But then, some of us shrinks are not known for our profound insights. We're known for figuring out the problem and fixing it. Fast.

Well, maybe not so fast, but it's done.

When a Shrink Gets On The Couch is the name of my blog. Shrink on the Couch will be my stamp of visitation.

For the time being.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A huge thanks and nod of appreciation to my regular readers who haven't given up on me. Especially those who continue to leave comments despite my EPIC FAIL as a reciprocal blogger.

My excuses are as follows.

Work has been kicking my boo-tay.

Playing limousine driver to my not terribly grateful twin tweens has been kicking my boo-tay.

My husband's rants about the Aggies leaving the Big 12 Conference and joining the SEC have forced me to feign active listening whilst playing Pogo's Poppit ad infinitum.

As you can see, it hasn't been all work and no play (see Poppit). I've been getting to bed earlier and doing more reading. Of the book variety. Rah! My favorite genre, historical fiction. Pithy reviews for those who share my enthusiasm:

Jude Morgan's Charlotte and Emily: A Novel of the Brontes was somewhat slow but one I could sink my teeth into. I can't get enough of 19th Century women authors.

In Manette Ansay's Good Things I Wish You, a contemporary woman writer speculates on the relationship between pianist Clara Schumann and her husband's protege, Johannes Brahms, while also relating to their mutual hardship of balancing career and motherhood. Good stuff.

So here I am, between books, with the aim of reconnecting to bloggerville and finding more entertaining and intellectually stimulating ways to pretend listening. Let's see how well I do.

jenn's sensational high coup

Join the fun!

Today Jenn's Sensational Haiku Wednesday theme is ...

beautiful man, there
graceful handsome courteous
dance with ... who me? yes!

Friday, October 14, 2011

don't include me in the 99%

Am I willing to march with the 99% protesters?

Meh. Not so much.

Am I willing to march with the 90% protesters?

Hell to the yeah!

Who can support this growing economic disparity? Better question: What the hell is wrong with Tea Partiers and other tax cut harpers who think the way out of this recession is more of the same?

Thank you Mother Jones for the above chart and others that point out the glaring unfairness faced by the middle class and the poor.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

attachpicking: parental bonding of the highest order

For various reasons, I didn't get to breastfeed my kids. Not beyond the first few weeks, anyway. So I wince a little when I remember those shark nibbles hear breast feeding moms make claims that nothing brings a mother and her baby closer than the feeding the way mother nature intended.

Used to be, when I heard smug mommies claim breast is best my stomach would lurch. I wondered if I missed out. Worried that there really is a special bond that only nursing mothers can experience. That maybe my children were deprived because they didn't receive the highest expression of their mother's love.

Well, move over breast milk magnates.

Regrets be gone, ye of the dry breast.

Because I am here to give witness to a heretofore never revealed, far more powerful form of parental bonding. It doesn't matter how many children you have nursed or for how long, you have not thoroughly attached to your child until you have engaged in this most tender, most intimate, this pan-ultimate ritual of self-sacrifice:


Or as we nitpicking shrinks call it: attachpicking.

Whether you attachpick in your back yard under the golden rays of the murderously hot summer sun or in the comfort of your family room huddled under the harsh glare of a florescent lamp, attachpicking is guaranteed to bring you and your child closer than you could ever have wanted imagined. Your child will open up and scare the snot outta you share secrets of her soul and confidences heard only at the cafeteria table. Not for the faint of heart or the weak of vision, attachpicking is an extraordinary bonding experience.

Best of all? Dads can do it. No more will fathers be forced to stand helplessly by and watch their wives become the sole super-bonder.

So the next time your child comes home from school for the third time in almost as many years complaining of a scratching head? Do not flinch, groan or roll your eyes. Do not blame the other mom because she allowed a sleepover despite knowing her daughter had head lice.

No ma'am.

With gratitude in your heart and a nit zapping comb in your hand, grab your coke bottle 3.0 strength reading glasses and feel fortunate that you and your child have been granted the privilege, yet again, of luxuriating in this crowning achievement of motherhood.

Either that or see if this little guy is available:

Friday, September 30, 2011

do cry for me, austintina

A few Friday mornings a year I manage to take a solo walk around the Lady Bird Lake, formerly known as Town Lake, or, in the case of most longtime Austinites, stubbornly referred to as Town Lake.

This morning I walked (highlighted in yellow, above) from the south side of the pedestrian bridge at Lamar Boulevard (PFLUGER Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge), crossing onto Congress Avenue Bridge (aka Bat Bridge), up into the Shoal Creek Trail and back down across the pedestrian bridge. A little over two miles total.

Best thing about today's walk, I remembered to take my camera.

First stop, the Women in Construction Pavilion, located on the south shore of the lake, right next to the South 1st Street Bridge. I didn't know it was called WiCP until I Googled it just now.

By the way, the Google blogger's spell check doesn't recognize "Googled" as a word. You'd think blogger would have corrected this glitch by now.

The pavilion is usually one of my favorite stops. But this morning? It made me cry.

Below is what the pavilion looked like when I walked with my girls in summer of 2009:

Political graffiti under the pedestrian bridge, Texas' latest, but far from greatest, presidential contender:

I thought it was important to post both vantage points of Governor Perry Goodhair (so dubbed by Austin's own Molly Ivins).

More graffiti under the pedestrian bridge, this time with a romantic twist:

On the trail that runs on the north side of the lake, along Cesar Chavez Street, a longhorn that even an Aggie can appreciate:

Artist: Nichelle Notabartolo.

It's part of the Cow Parade Austin 2011. This is probably one of the least creative of the cows located all around town. I saw this one too, at the south entrance of the pedestrian bridge, but was too lazy to walk up to get a decent picture (pathetic blogger, yes):

Artist: Angi Gahler

I did not see this, the cleverest cow, below. I'm pretty pissed off that I missed it because I'm sure I walked almost directly under it. (If it's hanging on the Austin Statesman side of the bridge. Anyone know?) Had I known it was there I think I could have found the effort to look up and snap a picture of Bat Cow hanging from Congress Avenue Bridge:

Artist: D.J. Stout and Faith Schexnnayder

Back to my walk and pictures:

Written on these steps that take you from the ground on Cesar Chavez up to the pedestrian bridge, "100 Year Flood Plain June 2001." I don't think water reached that high in 2001 but it sure makes me wish Mother Nature would see this and cry her rain tears.

Last stop, atop the pedestrian bridge at Lamar Boulevard, one of Austin's Ghost Bikes:

I did not take the above photograph. Thank you Jon Pratt for taking a picture the way it's meant to be taken, i.e., where the subject is visible. As opposed to the picture I took this morning:

I do think, however, my picture captures the "ghost" aspect of this Ghost Bike.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

shame on Tennessee

Shame on the Tennessee Department of Revenue, Taxpayer and Vehicle Services for denying their citizen, Ms. Whitney Calk's personalized license request because they jumped to the conclusion that she intended something "vulgar."

Leave it to a red state, pork barbecue eating, bible belt bureaucrat to miss the wholesome, health promoting, true intent of a vegetarian enthusiast.

Redeem yourself, Tennessee. Get your collective minds out of the gutter. Reach into the depths of your government issued desk drawers and find the rubber stamp that says

and give Ms. Calk the freedom of expression our American forefathers intended. Just like you did for this upstanding Tennessee citizen: