February 20, 2003

Room to let

I’ve got a room to rent in my house. I’ve been having a hard time filling it: I’ve been advertising the vacancy for a little over a month. Usually doesn’t take this long to find a renter, and this time, I’ve had very few respondents to my ad (and fewer who are remotely appropriate). It makes me wonder whether the lousy local economy is causing an exmigration of people looking for greener pastures, though I’m not sure where that’d be. Well, I’ve always complained about Austin getting too big. Guess I’m getting what I wanted.

I did have one likely suspect at the end of last month. A tall, attractive woman in her late thirties. Self-employed, she had recently moved here from San Francisco hoping to find a new market. She liked the place, and after calling her references, I was satisfied with her. I offered her the room, and she said she’d drop off the deposit check the next day. She didn’t. She called me to tell me she was moving back to San Francisco instead.

A few days ago, another candidate came by. A tall, attractive woman in her late thirties. Self-employed, she had recently moved here from Tennessee. She was enthusiastic about the place. I checked her references and was satisfied. I e-mailed her, offering her the room. No reply for over a day. Then she writes back to tell me she was moving back to Tennessee.


I’ve got a woman who just moved here from Houston coming by tomorrow…

As long as I’m on the subject…

Patrick Nielsen Hayden occasionally writes about the south with some very clear insights. It was on his site that I found the best counter-argument to the southern-apologist position that “the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, it was about state’s rights.”

Right. The state’s right to do what, exactly?

The past and the south

“The past isn’t dead. The past isn’t even past.”

I’m not sure who said it–seems like something that Faulkner might have said–but there’s some truth to it. Certainly it’s silly to imagine the south is still the old south…but still, sometimes a story reminds you just how weird things can be in the south. The Economist is running an article about a bruhaha in Richmond over installing a statue of Lincoln. This isn’t new–Plastic had a lively discussion on the matter a while ago–but the Economist article quotes one of the opponents of the statue, Brag Bolling (how perfect is that?), who says that the statue is an “unnecessary slight to our state with a not-so-subtle reminder of who won the war and who will dictate our monuments, history, heroes, education and culture.”

In other words, he’s saying “Please let us live in our little fantasyland where the south never lost.”