I've been meaning to write about Graceland, which is where Adam took me on my special secret surprise pre-birthday pre-book-tour weekend, but I'm really still kind of confounded. For one thing, it wasn't as big as it felt like it should have been -- just your average nice-sized house that looks kind of average in a land of Toll Brothers monstrosities. And the 1970s decor is not aging well. The Pool Room was pretty, but the Jungle Room just looks kind of cheesy and sad.

And strangest of all was the absolute lack of context. Touring the house you're never told that Elvis was anything other than a sweet singin' man who swiveled his hips, loved his Mama, wore a lot of outlandish jumpsuits, and had a bad problem with the prescription drugs (no, the taped narration doesn't shy away from mentioning it). There's no sense of what he meant in terms of the history of pop music the youth revolution, no instance where he's placed in the larger cultural context of the Beatles and Nixon and the Vietnam War.

I can remember when Elvis died. But I can't remember listening to much of his music. There was much more Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in our house, and I know Elvis mostly from songs about him -- Chuck D. and Dan Bern.


Adam and I spent large portions of the weekend talking about who the modern-day Elvises (Elvi?) are. Like, which rock star's house can you imagine paying twenty-five bucks to tour thirty years from now? I thought about MC Hammer, but I'd want to see his house for all the wrong reasons -- not because he was a pop icon, or important in the scheme of either music or pop culture, but because it would be the perfect example of wretched 1980's excess, a cautionary tale of having it all and losing it all.

We also enjoyed some delicious barbecue. And the Peabody ducks. Of course, ever since he heard about them Wendell had decided that his every entrance and exit should be heralded with a John Philips Sousa march. Which makes things kind of noisy around here.

Meanwhile, from the post-Rosie front, two fabulous examples of why committed gay couples should be allowed to adopt -- the news that Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton have availed themselves of a tot from Cambodia, and that newlyweds Liza Minnelli and David Gest are eagerly seeking a ready-made brood of four.

I mean, really. If we're letting these people adopt, why not the nice gay men in Florida?

Jen