"Are we in the Promised Land?" "Not Exactly."

The Wife asked me this morning what I would rather be doing instead of working. I told her, “Wine tasting.” “And what about tomorrow, as long as you’re dreaming?” “Well, if I’m dreaming, then I’d like to go diving tomorrow. Either coast.”

But high-quality wine tasting here in Tennessee, a state with substantially no tradition of grape cultivation and a strong tradition of temperance (there are still dry counties here). There’s a few wineries that make Concord wine — ga-a-a-ack! There’s no diving of virtually any quality at all; the state is landlocked and about the best you could hope for would be a clear spring-fed lake or a quarry — if there’s sufficient visibility in a lake dive to see anything at all.

The nearest Trader Joe’s is a six-hour drive away. The legal procedures here are screwy. To get anywhere, you need to be a member of a socially conformist church or have a “Daddy.” I’m coming to hate the hot, humid summer almost as much as I hated the cold, dry winter — there’s so much humidity that even on a clear night I can’t use my telescope to see anything interesting — it’s like trying to see through ten miles of chicken broth. And people here drive scary bad. Maybe statistically speaking, it’s better to drive here, but I felt safer on the freeways of Los Angeles than I do on surface streets in Knoxville (for one thing, people are driving slower on L.A. freeways than surface streets here). Politics are more corrupt than the latest round of experiments out at the Body Farm. I haven’t even got away from earthquakes.

So what would I rather be doing today? Today, I’d rather be using the newly-gained lottery winnings that I’ve got a hold of in my fantasy life to get the hell out of Tennessee and move my critters, my stuff, my wife, and myself — maybe to somewhere like Cambria.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. Or you could come to the DC area…we may not have the weather, sane politics, or competent drivers, but at least we have Trader Joe’s!

  2. Wow, “…in my fantasy life to get the hell out of Tennessee and move my critters, my stuff, my wife, and myself — maybe to somewhere like Cambria.” Gosh, so glad I made it in the top 5 things you take with you when you make your escape from TN (but just barely!).

  3. Hey, at least I didn’t include you in the “stuff” category! And, you’ll get the office with the view of the redwood-forested mountains.

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