I Need A BIG ORANGE Sign!

They say that you should set your goals so high that unless God shows up to help you, you’ll be a miserable failure. 

God, I need a sign. I need a sign that you’re there, that you see me, that you’ve been there all along. You know how tired I’ve been, how worn down I’ve been,  you know how much I’ve been carrying. I need to know that you’re right there by my side, saying that it’s okay to stand up for yourself. It’s okay to refuse to let anybody treat you like you’re nothing. It’s ok to refuse to be a victim one more day. To say, I might not have a choice when I was younger, but I have a choice now. And to refuse to live one more day letting anyone — be it a relationship or friendship — make me feel like I’m less than. That it’s okay to speak out, to use whatever tools I have to make it through this crazy thing called life. While everybody else is calling me names and calling me crazy, with your help and some really good friends along the way, it’s been a decade since I’ve had a drink and that’s more than I can say for the people calling me crazy.  I need to know that you’ve never left my side, that you believe in me. That you believe I have a right to stand up for myself, to not be silent, to not suffer and just take it, but to use my tools to become a better me — a stronger me. Regardless of who likes it.

I need a sign. And I need that sign to be Tennessee beating Alabama. I’m putting that out there so that if it doesn’t happen — I look like a dang fool.

I’m going to trust in you to make it come through.

Tennessee is going to beat Alabama.

They’re going to win this game.  They’re going to win it for me. This season is for me. This team is for me. And for all the mes just like me all over the state. I believe in Josh Dobbs. I believe in J alen Hurd. And I believe in my Tennessee Vols.

Let’s have some of that Tennessee Magic, 4th quarter, boys. I believe!! I never stopped.

Now make that declaration come true, Vols!

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Sweet Tea and The GOP — Not Exactly Southern To Me

I went to Good Wings to get my first meal of the week — I can’t eat when I’m feeling blue — and I actually got my unsweet tea order correct. As I took a big sip and said Hallelujah, it occurred to me that being southern must mean different things to different people. I don’t know when Southern become synonymous with sweet tea. I don’t drink sweet tea, it taste like obesity. I don’t eat greens.  I damn sure don’t want a fried pickle. 

I once had someone say to me, “You know, it’s like… how do you eat an elephant?” Only I’ve never heard of the expression ‘how do you eat an elephant,’ so I replied: “What? How do you eat an elephant!? I don’t know, here in the south, I guess you’d deep-fry the son of a bitch.”

When the room stopped laughing and explained it to me, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so humiliated in all my life.
If not, tickled.

So I’m perfectly aware that we have customs that are a little strange. I’m also aware that being Southern doesn’t necessarily mean that I coat everything in Crisco. Being Southern means that I still say “yes, sir” and “no, sir” to the man at the fast-food window. Being Southern, to me, means that I recognize your right to be who you are in the freest nation on Earth. Being Southern means that nobody’s a stranger. Meaning that when God commanded go out into all the world and preach the gospel, he didn’t just mean white people that are American. And when he said ‘Thou shalt Love Thy Neighbor,’ he met Syrian refugees, too.

It means dignity. It means prayer. It means a throwback to a time gone before, and a life lived immersed in lessons imparted by generations that have past by. Singed in ashes from the smoldering remnants of a brighter, more ravenous time. When the desire for American citizenship and the flames from the spark of patriotism and pride burned hotter and higher than any on Earth. The bonfire of America’s Greatest Generation lives on inside of us, still.

For all time.

That’s what it means to be Southern.

Where we do onto others as we’d have them do onto us. Where we do not covenant thy neighbor’s tractor — or their wife. We eat chicken strips from the gas market and make it a meal. We don’t call the pound on a loose dog — no, we just round them up and take them back home. Where there’s no such thing as someone else’s children or none of our business, and we believe life begins with football in the fall.

Southern means a spring of things, a fountain of  renewing freshness in a world gone stale. The ripeness of life here is in the quality of goodness of the people that pass by.  Which is why my southern white ass cannot understand the popularity of the Republican party and a man like Donald Trump in these parts. There’s nothing southern about either of those at all.  Just bullying, selfishness, hypocrisy, and lies.

You can keep your liquid glucose and that tangerine-tinted twat, neighbors.

Tennessee, Twitter Trolls, and Trump (Re-post)

I wrote this in May 2016. I’m re-blog-posting because it’s the only way I know it’ll reach the intended target.

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So it happened again. And it will continue to happen. Every time I write a scathing dissent on The Tennessean’s coverage of the University of Tennessee or every time I pen a moving passion piece on my devotion to the Big Orange,  I  gain followers from “Vol Twitter.” Then I write something Pro-Hillary Clinton, and they unfollow.  Then I write something on UT and they come back;  leave again.  Repeat the cycle over and over over the last few years.

Stop it.

I’m not changing.

And more and more it’s beginning to anger me — and let me address why. It’s the expectation that because I hollar “Big Orange!”  and because Rocky Top is my favorite song that I’m supposed to be politically ignorant enough to waste the most precious of rights in the United States — the right to vote — on a twat like Trump. I’m supposed to believe that he can actually build a wall around Mexico.  (He can’t.)  Or I’m supposed to believe that Rand Paul’s “tax code” will ever actually happen or work.  (It won’t.)  Or I’m supposed to believe Ted Cruz can actually abolish the IRS. (Again, not happening.)  Or believe that the answer to gun violence is to 86 any gun laws and stash loaded guns everywhere, while simultaneously believing
that abortion laws will suddenly, miraculously, stop abortion.  Required to believe wholeheartedly that the government has the right to tell me which interpretation of a Higher Power to subscribe to and/or which Biblically-unfounded form of Jesus to worship — only the one good red-state Republicans approve of.  And I’m somehow supposed to be confused about who it was that wrote the Constitution — and here’s a hint, it wasn’t Jesus Christ. That’s what is expected of you, or demanded of you,  if you’re a Tennessee Vol fan. (Or SEC fan, right?)

Although the contradiction in that is another testament to the ignorance of those that spew it. Because why?  Because this: Even though Barack Obama got his ass kicked in Tennessee twice, he carried Knox County both times. The students at University of Tennessee don’t even believe what you’re selling, Tennessee Vol fans, so why am I expected to?

Nobody likes their politics mixed with their football. But that’s the difference.  I run my Twitter account as me — I use my name, I use my picture, and I’m a real person with opinions and a lifetime of knowledge acquired trying to form those opinions. Unlike most of these “football” turned Hillary-hating accounts which use a fake Avatar and hide behind some Tennessee title in their profile, I don’t use fabricated names  or camouflaged photos under the pretense of masquerading as a “Tennessee football”  account. Despite the protests of multiple followers, some suddenly started talking about politics a year ago and usually — ok, always — with detrimental tweets about Hillary Clinton.

Like “how can Hillary control the country when she couldn’t even control her own husband.” (Real tweet, btw. Former “Peyton Head’s” guy.)  To which I promptly asked the man that ran that account if he were seriously suggesting infidelity was the fault of the person being cheated on and not the person doing the cheating. At which time I wished that he never found himself on the other side of his wife having an affair, lest his professional capacity be called into question because she couldn’t keep her britches on.

It’s nothing but chauvinism, misogyny, and sexism wrapped into some Big Orange football paper and tied with a “Go Vols!” bow — and it’s aggravating, infuriating and insulting. And if you don’t subscribe to the small-minded beliefs:  unfollow. Which is fine by me,  but yet the Big Orange Bros will never stop shoving their political beliefs down your throat. When asked: “Are you a poli-sci major?” It’s almost always met with, “No.”

And, retweet. Which translates:  ATTACK!

I was a declared political science major before I even really understood what it was, I’ve mentioned many times that I was campaigning for Michael Dukakis on the playground, and — as I always say — I come from a loooong line of Southern Democrats who didn’t abandon the party that saved the nation during the Great Depression simply because they suggested that black kids go to school with our white ones. I’m closer to 40 than I care to admit and still live life through books.  I can read 147 in 8 months out of the year and still take time off for college football and postseason baseball.  I live vicariously through other people’s babies because I don’t have any of my own, and that’s why I’ve come to love them no matter what jersey they wear. I pull for these kids no matter what schools they are at and I love them all, defend them all — and I’ve been attacked by the Tennessee Twitter trolls for that very thing. And I found their actions shameful, juvenile, disgusting and well beneath the reputation of the University of Tennessee. I’ve seen the Tennessee Twitter trolls bitch because at the end of the game, some coach extends a first-class, Manning-esque statement or their fans wish us well, and I’ve seen them respond with: “Wait, that’s not how Twitter is supposed to work!”

Like Twitter is supposed to be solely the cyberspace of people that are angry at life, who get online to anonymously project hate and verbal vomit onto others that they don’t even know.

I don’t work like that. Not all of us do.

Some people don’t hate people that we don’t even know. Some of us love kids that play ball no matter who they play for. And some of us are eternal aunts (with state championship-winning nieces, by the way) and it’s because we always dreamed of adopting children.  Because there’s so many in this world that still need love, we don’t see the point in bringing more into it — so don’t ask me, or those like me, to turn my back on any just because they wear the uniform of a team playing against mine.

Some of us don’t get our kicks online (and those that do need some damn exercise) and we don’t go around spewing hate in the name of the Big Orange simply because we are secretly resentful over the fact that we’ve never played a down of football in our overweight and uncoordinated lives. (And by overweight and uncoordinated, I mean the majority of the men that are Twitter trolls.)

I’ve seen the whining. I’ve seen the attacking Butch Jones.  I’ve seen the overgrown and in need of exercise men on Twitter complaining when we didn’t win a football game. Or worse, bitching, moaning, critiquing and chastising our players —  like a loss really hurts you more than it hurt Josh Dobbs.  And when they dabble in politics, most of the misogynistic
Big Orange-tinged rantings which are strictly sexist tweets moonlighting as Hillary Clinton-hate sound as ridiculous talking about the political course of our nation as I would if I tried to tell Jalen Hurd what to do with his footwork.

Stop it.

We’re already at war with The Tennessean — where they print everything I write and submit (including two recent letters in the Sunday edition) but refuse to print anything I pen in defense of The University of Tennessee and the pending civil litigation that is alleged so often as truth by The Tennessean. So we already know that they’re biased against our beloved state school, we already know the verbal jabs and character attacks on our team are putting a bad image out there, but assholes like you men online (you know who you are) don’t help.

And I particularly hated that Twitter account that tweeted chauvinistic and common insult to Hillary Clinton and loosely attached it to Peyton’s name (although I stopped caring about his opinion once he, thankfully, changed it) — because Peyton Manning has never disrespected anybody in his life. Even when he should.

There are women like me that are willing to fight back — liberal, Democrat, feminist women —  against the slurs being lobbed at the University of Tennessee, but if a chunk of the Tennessee fan base really wants to do the University a favor, some of them could stop acting like such immature, ignorant assholes online. 

Hell, I was attacked last basketball season for simply being a friend of — and defending — Ashley Judd.  Most were harmless, but still. The troll attacks are just juvenile and petty.

Or, to use a word that seems to be the only insult your beloved party’s presidential nominee knows, the defining characteristic of a “Loser!”

And the demand that I’m supposed to subscribe to the mouth ramblings attempted to pass for words that are spewed by that half-illiterate, oranged face dick with a third grade vocabulary, is dull and depressing.

I demand better from anybody wearing orange. Because all I’ve ever seen pouring out of that University is kindness. I won’t let some dimwits online darken that reality.  And if you’re an irrational Hillary hater, stop following and unfollowing me.

I’m not changing. You could say I was raised to be a Democrat, but it’s more accurate to say I was born to be one. And like a true Vol fan, I don’t abandon anything I love.

Sincerely,
Candice Mathis

Sad Little Fellows, Those Tennessee Twitter Trolls.

Aww, I pissed off one of the top Tennessee twitter troll with this post  below and his band of obese keyboard commandos starting coming at me — over 300 views to this blog post in a matter of minutes. Kinda made me giggle a bit. He took the bait as easily as these local Trump supporters. Bless their little supposedly orange hearts.

But look out, ladies,  you outwit a man who only speaks 140 characters or less, he’ll unleash his widdle Twitter trolls on you. Ooooo!

* shaking *

Unless, of course, blog traffic is exactly what you’re after. (Always!) At which, their ability to follow instructions is impressive.

Still, not having a life to that degree is exhausting! Ding, ding, ding! How do they stomach it?  After about the 200th time my Twitter went off, I just told them that as flattering as I found their replacing their inability to pick up real women with cyberstalking one and passing out her information, that I had an off button and, unlike their collective dicks — it works.

Something tells me that’s not gonna be the end of it. Oh, an internet troll in his Mommy’s basement with a bruised ego is a fragile thing.

Have these boys ever heard of cardio — or even a book — or is this, pathetically, what they do for fun?

So sad. When I was in Knoxville, we were national champions and I was too drunk to give a damn about stalking somebody I didn’t know.

The good ole days…

* cue longing *

Is this what happened to “Vol fans” during Dooley days? Sad.

Seriously, it’s not going to help you pick up a piece of ass to keep tweeting me, bros.

http://wp.me/p4ye3i-yX

Not Ready To Make Nice: A Big Orange Girl Defends The Dixie Chicks To Tennessee Twitter

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Some Tennessee Twitter troll that’s always retweeting to start Twitter trash — Popcorn Chicken, or Popcorn Nugget, or PopCorn Sutton (@PopcornSutton_), whatever — tweeted about the Dixie Chicks yesterday in response to the media hype over their return to the Nashville stage, and it just didn’t sit well with me. Particularly given what we know now about the war in Iraq.

He tweeted that the “Dixie Chicks don’t support the troops and people seem to forget that.”

No, what people are seeing now is how right they were in their vehement opposition to the war in Iraq.

I don’t know how old this Twitter troll is, or how old any of the eager Tennessee Twitter trolls are, but I am a child of the generation of parents that went to war in Vietnam. And what we know about war is it’s messy;  can be unnecessary; is a form of state-sponsored human torture;  is hell on Earth; and is G-ddamn ugly. I wonder how many children of the war in Iraq will think the same thing? Our grandfathers stormed that beach in Normandy to take down Hitler and take out Japan, and to bring  peace throughout the entire globe.They are named America’s greatest Generation for a reason. Because they will never be surpassed. My granddaddy didn’t have to be drafted. Like so many others of that generation, after Pearl Harbor, he knew what he had to do.  Like so many young Americans after 9/11, they did the same thing.  Only we sent them to die without cause. They willingly signed their lives on the line and they trusted the President when he told them that we were going after the ones responsible for 9/11.  As did so many in Congress — and Hillary Clinton is a part of that.

They made the mistake of trusting  the then sitting President when he said:  “I can’t tell you all of what we know now, but here’s what we do know — we have reason to believe it was Iraq,  we have reason to believe it was Saddam. If you give us clearance, and the time — we’ll prove it to you.”

They never did.

Their mistake was giving the President of the United States the benefit of the doubt. We know, as a nation, we will never make that mistake again. Because President Obama hasn’t been given the benefit of the doubt on anything.

After the invasion, after we got there,  after we saw American soldiers coming home in body bags daily, and we begin to  witness the hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians slaughtered — children, women killed;  blown apart —  we began asking for the truth:  Where are those weapons of mass destruction?

They never materialized.

Shortly after the invasion in Iraq, the UNJUSTIFIED American-waged war in Iraq was becoming widely unpopular — as we begin to witness that we have no business being there — the Dixie Chicks spoke out. And they paid for it. They paid for it in the form of a price you can’t possibly imagine sitting behind your Twitter screen with your Tennessee troll account. It cost all three the careers that they worked so hard for. 

They could have backed down. They could have said they were sorry. They could have issued a statement of apology — released by their PR person. They didn’t really even have to mean it, they just had to say it. But they didn’t. And they paid for it.

That’s grace; that’s grit, that Meryl Streep spoke about.

And the Dixie Chicks were right. So if the world, or if America, has come around to the Dixie Chicks, it’s not because they “forgot” that they don’t “support the troops.”  It’s because they’ve seen how much Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks gave up when she stood up for what she believed, and when her band mates stood behind her. Because it cost them. Dear God, did it cost them.

Don’t ever make the mistake of confusing disdain and opposition for unnecessary war and the unjustified killing of innocent civilians and the unrequired deaths of our soldiers, who are so freely willing to give their lives for our freedom, for the same thing as not supporting our troops.  It’s cowardly.  It’s unbecoming.  And it’s uneducated.

It’s also ironic, to say the least, to see men knock the Dixie Chicks for publicly fighting back because she, Natalie Maines, didn’t want any more deaths of our American Military — by one who didn’t have the guts to join that military himself.  Like the Greatest of All-Time, Muhammad Ali, and so many heroes who have gone before, Natalie Maines had the guts and the conviction to stand up for what she believed in — no matter what it cost. And so did Martie and Emily. THAT’S standing behind our troops. And our troops deserve somebody that will fight for the sovereignty of their lives even when it’s unpopular.

Our men and women in uniform are not numbers. And they sure as hell aren’t ‘boots on the ground.’ They aren’t casualties of war. They are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers.  They are not political props to be sent to give their lives for some war that is not ours, that will never make us any more secure as a nation. Particularly when they don’t belong there in the first damn place. Their lives should be taken with the same regard we would take those of the ones that we love. And I cannot stand quietly by and watch some coward on Twitter or some Republican politicians — who has no idea the definition of sacrifice,
or the price some have paid to stand up for their convictions or to defend our lives — talking about “boots on the ground” and wanting to leave more children without mothers and fathers to invade Syria in a war that we did not start, that we cannot end, and that will not make us any more safe.

That’s patriotism, and that is support for our troops, sir.

With the highest regard and love for those who defend our freedoms daily, as well as my right to tell some man that he’s a spineless talking twit — thank you, American Military.

And thank you Dixie Chicks. 

Now, goooo Vols!

Candice Mathis

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Candi is a lifelong reader, writer, Democrat, and kid keeper. She lives in Middle Tennessee and rants coast to coast.

A Feminist, Fed Up With Country Music.

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I always refer to Geno Auriemma as the coach that won’t ever be Pat Summitt, and now I have another one. Every time I see Gwen Stefani’s bony butt, I think to myself, “Look… there goes the chick that will never be Miranda Lambert.”

Miranda Lambert is Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Reba McEntire all rolled up into one. She’s Carrie Underwood with a twang. While Carrie is my go-to for grace, Miranda Lambert is the go-to for ache.  She wails pain like nobody this side of Johnny Cash. From the moment I heard her on Nashville Star, she wore heartache like nobody in country music had seen in a  generation.  And Miranda Lambert will always be the biggest mistake Blake Shelton has ever made.

Leaving her is up under “bad choices” in Blake Shelton’s life list right behind the wardrobe choice he makes every damn day.

We all know I love country. Am country.  Have always been country. How many of the modern day “country music” fans paid to have custom made black and white canvases of Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton made to hang over your fireplace? I did.

I am country music. Will always be country music.   Raised in and right outside of Nashville, it’s in my blood the same as Big Orange. And if you hadn’t seen a George Strait show a handful of times before you graduated high school and met Reba McEntire at Green Hills mall in the 90s, you’re not doing this part of the country right.

But when I’m setting in line at Dunkin Donuts — I’m sorry, country boys, if I see the Yeti sticker on your truck, the only thing I think is:  “You paid how much for a cooler?”

I, personally, am way more Dolly Parton then I will ever be Jason Aldean. When I make my millions, I’m spending it on books — and then giving it away. I just don’t see the need for all that fancy stuff to keep my drink cold. And, when the hell did country music become a three-minute track that’s nothing but a commercialize plug for the Bass Pro Shop, boys?

And what’s up with Dierks Bentley?  I used to adore him.  He used to be on my daily running playlist, but lately he always sings solely about bedding — and understand, I’m using that term loosely —  some random girl. Now country music has always been about the walk of shame, but lately it seems to be missing the “shame” part. Instead of singing about the remorse of drinking and picking up a stranger to heal your broken heart, we’re bragging about it. Advertising it with pride.  Dierks’ last few hits are all about rubbing it in your ex’s face that you picked up an equally drunk bed hopper,  but maybe if you weren’t such a slut puppy yourself, she — that girl you really love — wouldn’t have left you. Ever think about that, Dierks-in-the-song? The men in country songs used to, you proud male whore.

Country music has gone to some anti-feminist, female degrading horsesh*t.  Long before Maddie and Tae wanted to slap the hell out of Luke Bryan every time he told me to “hand him another beer,” I always responded to the radio myself, ” I’ll give you another beer, but it’ll have something else in it, big boy.”

What the hell happened to country music?

This bro-bonfire female bashing music fest is making me throw up  my throat.

But I’m sure Jason Aldean has some liquored up sex I could take with my antacid to make it feel better.

Bring back the ‘Amarillo by Morning’s, not the Luke Bryan taking a selfie with some drunk chick in a bar. By the way, Luke Bryan, if you’re still texting me about how happy you are with someone else — do you not see the problem in that?

Does her drunk ass not?

Over it, country music. Over it!  What happened to my Nashville?

Signed,
An Unhappy Tennessee Girl 

Welcome to Tennessee, where we stalk the stalkers before they can stalk you.

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The only time I’ve ever taken a picture of someone else’s property without their permission  and, in particular, posted it,    was the “Honk, if you think Hillary should go to jail!” window paint guy.  Because I feel like he was asking for it.

I find it creepy when people do that. I really find it creepy when women sneak pictures of other people’s rear ends to post on social media to body shame them.
You should never take somebody else’s picture without their permission — it’s rude.

I was sitting at Dunkin Donuts by the interstate having a coffee and this man rolls up and just snapped a picture of the back end of the car next to me. Everything about him seemed creepy and shady when he did it. When they walked out with their coffee, I noticed that they were 3 women alone.  I also noticed that they had a Michigan plate, so I knew they were traveling. 

I rolled down my window and said,  “Ma’am, I just noticed a man in a newer, red Honda Accord taking a picture of your license plate,  I thought you should know.”

I asked her did she have anything on the car that he might find interesting. She said she had a personalized license plate, but  I, personally, didn’t see anything fascinating about it. She mentioned they were from Michigan — she must be visiting Nashville because she seemed incredibly happy to talk about her visit with somebody from Tennessee — and I gave her the guy’s description and asked if that sounded like anybody she knew or had met. They said no, and I told her that I thought they might just want to be careful, and I just thought she should know.  I also noticed he was  setting at the gas pump about  four rows away if they wanted to go get his license plate picture.

They thanked me repeatedly for taking notice and for alerting them and I said, “Just be careful on the road,  there are creepers out there.”

Welcome to Tennessee, ladies. Where we stalk the stalkers before they can stalk you. We VOLUNTEER to have your back, Michigan girls.

Ha, ha, ha!

I’m what happens when women watch too much Law and Order and read true crime.