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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Boxers or briefs

Evidently this blog has a split personality because just when I think it's time to load up on politics, other issues and thoughts get in the way.

Oh well, this is sort of politics. A comment on a news program this morning reminded me of a friend, Leticia Thompson, now known as Tisha Thompson, about boxers and briefs -- a comment that has become an American colloquialism.

Tisha (and I'm using her real name because she's been on every media outlet talking about this, so it's not a secret) was just 17 when she asked then President Clinton the famous question on MTV. You know the boxers or briefs one. Tisha's mom is Ann Thompson of NBC fame. And, though Tisha said that she was not prompted by anyone to ask the question, I have doubts that she's being truthful. After all, the infamous question landed her a series of interviews on the Today Show and other outlets. And, with her undergrad from Princeton, Tisha was finishing her master's degree in Journalism when Clinton was leaving office. Since she was job hunting, it didn't seem like a tour of interviews on the morning shows would hurt. I don't think it really helped either.

She's doing ok. Her second job landed her in Baltimore ( near Mommy and Daddy and that's always a plus. It's tough to be in the shadow of a successful mom, but hey kudos to Ann Thompson, she's 40+ and still on prime news.

I think it's rather funny to know someone who in an odd way is part of American culture. So though we weren't particularly close, I'll always think of Tisha when I hear someone ask, boxers or briefs.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Delay -ed

There's a joke that resurfaces around the state Capitol in Oklahoma periodically that deals with former Gov. Frank Keating's sheningans, among them taking a "gift" from a well-heeled friend who also had a stake in a hefty contract that involved the meds being given to prisoners at the state's prisons. The joke usually ends with the line, "If Frank Keating had been a Democrat, he'd be in prison."

Well, Oklahoma is not alone in rubber-plated Repubs. Let's talk about Tom Delay. This morally bankrupt lawmaker not only avoids any official investigation, he keeps his power in the GOP despite numerous well founded charges and accusations. Still, no official investigation from Congress. Heck, Americans spent millions on an eight-year investigation into the Clinton's and the only thing they finally found to get Bill with was that he got a blow-job in the oval office. But we can't spend a dime on an investigation into Delay?

Come on Texas, kick this jerk out of office. There are several good candidates, and even if you don't like one of them in particular at least lobby your congressman for an independent prosecutor. This site (Nick Lampson's site) makes it easy to send a letter --

Here's the tip of of the iceberg: (for the entire article by Lou Dubose log on to ) Note the Oklahoma connection a few graphs down.

March 1, 2005 "It might surprise and even disappoint a few people to learn that this case is not about Tom DeLay." So began Terry Scarborough's opening argument for the defense in a civil suit against the treasurer of the political action committee Tom DeLay set up in Texas in 2001. The House majority leader won't be in court in Austin, where a former Texas legislator who roomed with him 25 years ago, in the party house called "Macho Manor," is defending himself in a suit filed by five Democrats who lost statehouse races in 2002. But no one looking for a DeLay connection to the proceedings could have been surprised or disappointed. In fact, after the first day in court, it's surprising that no DeLay DNA sample was introduced into evidence and testimony that included an account of DeLay himself accepting an illegal $25,000 contribution.
The five plaintiffs claim that DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee raised and spent illegal corporate, or "soft," money in the 2002 election in Texas. Specifically, they allege that of the $1.5 million TRMPAC spent in a campaign against 23 Democratic candidates for the Texas House, $723,737 was unreported soft money -- which, with a few exceptions, cannot be spent in political campaigns in Texas.
The Sugar Land, Texas, congressman who was known as "Hot Tub Tom" when he lived at Macho Manor, may not be in court in Austin, but the case -- in fact the entire season of litigation -- is all about him. "Tom DeLay was up to his eyeballs in it," plaintiffs' attorney Cris Feldman told National Public Radio reporter Wade Goodwyn a few days before the trial began. "It was Tom DeLay's people, all the way down to his daughter, helping to run TRMPAC."
In court Feldman was more specific, revealing for the first time that some of the corporate money, $25,000 to be precise, was handed directly to DeLay. In his opening statement, Feldman referred to a Reliant Resources lobbyist giving the House majority leader $25,000. In the plaintiffs' exhibits is a letter (I found it in those exhibits six months ago) from Oklahoma-based Williams Companies conveying an additional $25,000 contribution -- addressed to "Congressman Tom DeLay." Williams is one of eight corporations indicted by the Austin D.A. Reliant was not indicted but is accused by Earle of giving an illegal contribution to TRMPAC fundraiser Colyandro.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Speed blogging

Wow, it's been days. Days since I had a moment to sit and write. Sit and watch t.v. Sit and think, or even sit and eat.

It's the four-year-old. Boundless energy. Here are some more words of wisdom from said four-year-old:

"Farts just happen."
"I don't eat green stuff."
"Wrinkles are pretty." (my personal favorite)

It's also "the move." We're moving to a bigger house. Sounds easy. Nope. Said house has proven to be a major project. First it was the unknown hole in the backyard. How did we miss that? Then it was the supposedly fast job of painting. Selecting and finding the right shades, tints, finishes of paint took two days. Then the bubbles. What bubbles you ask? The "some fool painted over wallpaper bubbles." Not just one layer of wallpaper. That would have been too easy. THREE layers of wallpaper. In every room, but one.

And then we discovered the bugs. Yes, bugs. Roaches, nasty, crawly things who keep on multiplying even after two professional treatments.

So we will live among boxes for at least two more weeks, because I refuse to move in until the bugs move out. I like my small house more and more.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Lessons from a four-year-old

Play hard, daylight's burning. Change your mind several times in 10 minutes about the movie you want to watch again. You can never watch The Incredibles too many times. Saying Al Pacino's line "You talkin' to me" every time you're asked to do something will drive grown ups crazy. Pizza rolls and spinach dip (with carrots) make a perfectly balanced meal. You can look cute and mad (or sad) at the same time. You can go to Subway and have chips, a drink and a cookie and not worry about what Jerad would do. And last, but not least, you can be the master of your own universe.

That's just one day's worth of lessons. We'll learn more today, I'm sure.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Tom and Katie show

Enough already. I was aghast (yes, aghast) Friday when news reports led with the fact that Tom Cruise had proposed to Katie Holmes. That's news?

It's free publicity. I mean, maybe they are in love and the age difference doesn't matter. But geez, do we need a play by play?

The cynic in me, says this is a convenient way for Tommy boy not to have another bust at the theatres. And Katie? Well, I'd never heard of Katie Holmes until this all started. I'm sure I'd seen her act somewhere, but really didn't know her name. Good career move, Katie. Now everyone who listens to any kind of news has heard your name.

But it goes on. With Matt, Ann, Al and Katie (Couric) spending much of the morning gushing and guessing about the wedding date. Serious journalists, my ass.

How about we begin taking odds on how long this marriage will last? Tom's third? My money's on one year -- tops.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sucker punch

I hang on to friends from high school, from various places I've lived and worked. Friends, like family, are what define us when all is said and done.

So it's especially hard when a friend is hurting and there's no band aid to fix the hurt. My senior year in high school, I made a great friend -- two actually because E & J were a couple even then.

Through the years, we've stayed in touch. Not day-to-day, but we had that connection. Be it Christmas or another time, we always touched base.

We were looking forward to seeing each other at our high school reunion this fall. But E just told me that her husband of nearly 29 years walked out in May. He left for a younger woman.

I'm still trying to process this. Growing older is scary. Scariest thing I've ever done. Each day you notice new wrinkles, you need your glasses more and feel a few more aches and pains. So I understand the panic and the feeling of wanting to go back, be young, feel the thrill of dating and new love.

Sane people don't act on it. So I'm a little pissed off at J. How selfish. He's hurt my friend, her children and countless others by his selfishness.

Maybe I'm being a bit of a witch when I take a little joy in learning also that the younger woman has now left him. Good. Hope it hurts.

My friend is actually trying to salvage her life, her marriage and has agreed to go to counseling. It might work out. It might not. She's brave for trying, for not giving up on a life built. Maybe this crisis will put that life on even a stronger foundation. I wish only the best for her, and really I do hope that both E & J find happiness again.

It's tough to see friends go through this, and it makes you feel a little more vulnerable. I'll probably hold my husband a little tighter, a little longer tonight, and I'll wonder if that's enough.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

On being an Okie

When I first got the offer to come to Oklahoma for my job, I had to really think about it. After all, this was OKLAHOMA. Growing up in Texas, we are sort of biased against Oklahoma. I took the job and had to work up the courage for three days before I actually called my parents and admitted to them that I was moving to Oklahoma.

That was a few years ago. It didn't take me long however to fall in love with Oklahoma City and the state. What's not to love? It's a great place. You have the amenities of a big city and few of the headaches. Unlike the east coast, the commute to most places is fairly smooth and fast. I used to drive for an hour on the Interstate to get to my job 10 miles from my home in Virginia. Most of the time traffic was so slow that I could actually read my morning paper on the way to work.

Cost of living? Just try buying a house for $90,000 to $150,000 in any other big city in this country and see the small house in a not-so-great part of town you will land in.

People? Oklahomans are just plain friendly. Truthfully, I sort of excuse east coast residents for being rude -- they're not rude, just in a hurry -- but I recently traveled to one of our western states. That was the first thing I noticed. People were just rude. Waiters, waitresses, clerks, everyone in general. No smiles, no hellos, just rude. Count your blessings in Oklahoma -- they are usually your neighbors.

Which brings me to my point. Today, a native Oklahoman asked me why I moved to Oklahoma. I say why not? I really really really hate to quote our governor, but Oklahomans do seem to be their own worst enemy. Oklahoma is a great state. There's much more here than football. And Oklahomans need to quit putting this state down.

By the way, I'm not a Sooners fan. I'm not a Cowboys fan. I don't root for Texas (well not too much) I do cheer for all those teams (Big XII) when they are playing against another conference though.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Severe Weather in Oklahoma

Growing up in Texas, thunderstorms, tornadoes, high winds and such were all just a part of life. You knew in spring and summer, you needed to have good batteries in the radio, a flashlight, candles or oil lamp ready should your power go out. And, if the wind got really bad, you and your family would go spend some quality time together in the cellar.

Our cellar had dirt walls for much of my growing up. My daddy had dug the hole himself. Over the years, he added improvements such as wooden walls, lights and even some benches that lined the walls. After I left home, I bemoaned the fact that it got really luxurious with the addition of a cot -- something my brothers used frequently when they were in high school -- but that's another story and I digress from the original topic.

"Severe" weather in Oklahoma is an event. This year in particular one of the local stations got some new-fangled weather machine that shows you in living color when the tornado is going to hit. Heck, it's so good that it might even tell you where to find all the mosquitoes in your back yard. As luck would have it this past May Oklahoma had no reported tornadoes. None. Zippo. That was a major disappointment to those weather and television folks who were dying to show off their new toy. Heck, they even went down to Lubbock, Texas to chase a tornado one evening. Despite the fact that a tornado in Lubbock posed no threat to viewers in Oklahoma, the television weather gurus interrupted regular programming.

Weather reports interrupting regular programming also are not a casual event. These weather reports feature a reporter, weatherman, anchor screaming into the camera as they warn of impending doom.

Last night, we had wind and rain. Wind and rain. No tornadoes. No hail. Just wind and rain.

You would have thought the apocalypse was upon us. The stations posted reporters at every intersection in the state. The screaming reporters warned us to take cover. They scared me. They scared my cat.

We watched the rain being blown around outside. Yep, it was pretty cool. And, yes, we had to admit it did remind us a little of the typhoons we experienced when living in a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific. Pretty cool, but not the end of the world. And certainly not worthy of a full scale "kiss your ass goodbye" alert.

When we had those storms when we were young, we would watch through the window, or climb into bed and listen to the rain pounding on the roof. It was a safe feeling. Everything was as it should be -- a summer storm that would bring needed rain to the area, maybe some puddles to play in the next day and occasionally we would collect some branches out of the yard. NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.

Wouldn't it be nice if Scary Gary and the rest of the crew could quit peeing on themselves in excitement over a dark cloud and some wind and let the rest of us enjoy the weather? Don't get me wrong, it's great that these guys have the technology to tell us when a tornado is really on the ground. And, heck, I was real impressed when I saw that crazy weather guy that chases the tornadoes in his helicopter.

But how about some self control and moderation?

So after last night, I've decided to take matters into my own hands. The next time regular programming is interrupted by these screaming weather reports, I'm going to pop in a movie and ignore them or just watch the storm move through. If a warning siren goes off, then I might consider tuning back in. But then again, I do have new batteries in my radio...

Saturday, June 11, 2005


I was recently introduced to the fun world of podcasts -- short "radio-type" shows over the Internet is my description for them. Friends, Bart and Cindy are producing their own. I've found it's a great way to keep up with what they're doing. And, I'm learning a lot about my friends.

Interesting and fun. To tune in check out

Friday, June 10, 2005

Hit me baby...

I feel like this is the confessional. Forgive me father...and I'm not even Catholic.

But here goes: I actually watched the sad reality "competition" that pits has-been bands against each other. The only redeeming value is that the weekly winner gets $20,000 donated to the charity of their choice.

This week's show featured such talent as Vanilla Ice and Haddaway. It was sort of sad actually, because here you have these people who were great in their day and now older are trying to relive some of their former glory. This reminds me of a concert I attended (free tickets) in Odessa, Texas. Sammy Hagar -- this was 1997 -- was playing a venue with about 20,000 seats. But only about 2,000 people showed up. It was sad.

Anyway, back to the NBC show. I even sang along with "Ice Ice Baby." I'm so ashamed. As we should all be that television has fallen to this level. I wonder who's competing next week?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Deep Throat

The first time I heard about Deep Throat -- the source not the porn movie -- I was in high school. Watergate and President Nixon's resignation defined my generation as much the Vietnam War.

It was a sad moment in history, when we realized that "no" we couldn't trust those we elected to office to always do the right thing. I think we always knew that, but for those of us who were desperately trying to believe in our government when the nation was so deeply divided politically.

Deep Throat was in many ways a hero and in many ways a villain.

He was a hero because he brought to light something that though unpleasant Americans needed to know about. He was a villain because he shattered the collective innocence of a country.