Monday, January 11, 2010

New year - new blog

So I'm finally breaking down. I'm going to blog. Why now? Mostly because I was talking with friends this past weekend and stumbled over a name that inspired me. Or maybe more accurately, a by-line. My friends (and not a few strangers) have heard my "barbecue-is-a-noun-not-a-verb" rant many a time in the past few years. But "keeping Southern" that just exploded the idea to something a lot broader than food (not that I have a thing against food - I have no doubt food will be a prominent feature on this blog). And while it's something that really resonates with me, it's also a lot bigger than me. "Keeping Southern" is a way of living, a way of embracing life. I won't come anywhere near covering its geography here, but I can delve in.

But just to be clear - keeping Southern is not about griping about Chicago. I love Chicago. It's not perfect (no Chick-fil-a, the Cubs), but neither is the South (no crazy-multi-ethnic grocery stores, the Braves). Living here has made me sift through what it really means to be Southern. That holy Southern trinity of food, faith, and family are a big part of it, but they look a bit different here. The barbecue's not Speedy's, my church doesn't have Sunday night services, and while I've still got my Southern family, I have a family here that's a lot more diverse. I think it's going to be fun for this Southern girl to explore up North and who I am becoming here.

It's one thing to be from the South. It's another thing to keep Southern.


  1. welcome, welcome welcome to the blog-o-sphere! :) Can't wait to keep up with you more, this way.

  2. Way to go! We misplaced Southerners need to keep it real.

  3. Welcome to what could either be a rewarding obsession or a constant source of nagging guilt over neglect! Or both! Let's hope for the former.

    I like the phrase "keeping Southern"; like "keeping kosher," only the rules about pork are reversed: in this case, pork is pretty much a requirement! Especially if it's barbecued. (Oh, no he dih-un't!).

    So clearly there's room for debate on your title. I see you take the Frasier Crane attitude: "I'm not one of those people for whom 'antique' is a verb." I have to point out (being me) that "noticing," "over-complicating," "taking," etc. (from your "About Me" section) are darn close to verbs, though in noun form.

    On a theoretical level, I'm liberal toward language; in reality, for any living language, definition and correct grammar are determined by usage, not the other way 'round. That's why they keep adding words and definitions to the dictionary; and why words like "oversight" can have two opposite meanings. But at the same time I'm prone to notice (even point out) errors as I see them (and I see them often); my gut makes me a Word Nazi. So if I don't live consistently in one reality all the time, why should I demand that you do?

    I look forward to your posts!

  4. Love the notion of Keeping Southern. Have fun with it!!!

  5. Thanks, y'all! ;)

    And Mark, it would actually be "especially if it's pork barbecue," of course!