Tuesday, August 24, 2010

another texan tells a tall one

Gather up,
cowgirls and cowpokes.

You don't want to miss this.

The latest in a long line of Texas' finest
guv-mint 'fishals
spoutin' off at the mouth.

Without further ado, I inner-duce you
to one of Texas' State Representatives,

Debbie Riddle, Republican from Tomball, Texas.

Don't know whar Tomball is?

Why it's just east 'o Waller, down the road a middlin' from Stagecoach.

Whut? Don't know whar Stagecoach is?


It's up the road a piece from Houston-town.

So go 'head on. Watch the clip.

Where Anderson Cooper gets all swole up talkin' to Rep. Riddle on her claim that,

pregnant women are coming to the U.S. as tourists, having babies, and then going back home, quote, with the nefarious purpose of turning them into little terrorists who will then come back to the U.S. and do us harm as part of an organized terror element.

Terrorist babies. Now if that don't put pepper in yer gumbo!

Rep. Riddle goes on to spin a yarn that "it is common knowledge" that 81% of babies born in one Houston hospital are "anchor babies."

You know what that is, don't chee? Anchors are babies born to illegal aliens (undocumented immigrants to you and me) in the U.S. so they can later brang more immigrant relatives to soak up our well-far (tax payer supported health care).

But these anchors want more than our well-far. They're gonna be trained terrorists who come back to the U.S. and blow up our cars an' buildings an' ever'thang!

Contacted by staff from the Austin American Statesman, Riddle stated she "shouldn't have talked about the terror babies."

Whut? Nuh -uh! Of course you should, Missus Riddle! We Amaricans have a right to be cattle-prodded into voting booths out of fear of infant terror cells spewing out in our very own hospitals.

Who cares that Riddle's facts don't squar?

Facts she got from an opinion piece written by fellow republican and State Senator Dan Patrick, R-Houston. How 'bout that? Another republican't. Well, I'll just swaney!

Truth is, where truth equals fact published on paper, closer to 60% of mothers giving birth in Houston hospitals are undocumented. That's a sobering statistic, to be sure, but it ain't nowhar close to no 81%.

But hold yer horses. Only "a few percentage points" off, according to State Senator Patrick.

Hell fire f-ck, that man does some wondrous 'rithmatic.

But I'll swan that Riddle and Patrick know what their fellow Texans have to say about opinions:

They're like assholes. Some are just louder and smellier than others.

click here to see what this picture of "W" is made of

Dad'gum right.

Here's the clip again if you want to take a gander. Worth every one of them thar eleven minutes.

I love the way, at the end, she figgers out she's bitten off more than she can swally so she lapses into the usual clap-trap, "The people of Texas are demanding that our border be secure!"

Do you think by we Texans she's including the 37% that's hispanic?

P.S. I tried to embed the clip. "Embedded disabled by request." Hmm. I wonder who doesn't want this clip going viral?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

what have you done for me lately?

Here is one example of how the Democrats prioritize we the people: As of today, thanks to the Credit Card Act, gift cards must be good for a minimum of five years.

And thanks to President Obama for signing it. He promised change and in my book this is change worthy of a toast.

You can read more about how the law effects credit cards and fees, here and here.

I don't think I've ever had a gift certificate expire on me. But I have won several restaurant gift certificates at my kids' school silent auction fundraisers. And several times I have gone to use one of these cards only to find that it expired after 3 months. I assumed all cards were good for one year, so I didn't look.

Another benefit of the Credit Card Act that I will soon be grateful for: no credit cards issued to kids under the age of 21 years (unless they have a co-signer or can show proof of independent income). I've seen too many bedraggled parents in my office who sent their kids off to college only to come home with many thousands of dollars worth of credit card debt.

When I was in college, I couldn't get a major card even with a steady part-time job and despite having established a record of paying lesser cards in full every month. I now understand. Credit should be earned, not handed out to every college freshman willing to sign up.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

where a mother ponders back to school shopping and parking lot crematoriums

Sssssh. My girls are still sleeping.

Our plan for this morning, after much begging, whining, stomping, threatening, crying, doors slamming, and teeth knashing (ok, no teeth knashing, but only because I don't know what that means), which all took place yesterday between the hours of 11am and midnight, and most of which ill behavior was conducted by me, is to take them shopping for shoes.

Shoes they don't need, per se, but do want, per se, for their first day back to school.

Shoes that have a certain label as opposed to, say, any pair of lace ups from a thrift store.

Shoes that they have promised to use their own allowance money to purchase because they will be entering 7th grade and need to set a fashion plate example. No longer the wide-eyed, newbie 6th graders, after all.

Because me? I'm no longer into labels. I don't care what the little rubber tag says on the heel or the little fabric tag sewn into the side seam. All I care about is whether the shoes are comfortable and look to be in reasonable style from the past two decades. Because no, I will not wear saddle shoes or penny loafers or these

But then, I never would wear Jellies. Even at the height of their fashion, whenever that was, exactly. Seems to me like they would make my feet sweat. But I wouldn't have worn them even with cute little white bobby socks, Japanese wooden sandal style. I don't want to wear a shoe named after something sticky that gets smeared on breakfast toast. And because, as you may remember, shoes matter.

My girls promised me they would get up really early to beat the heat. It's now 10:30 am and by my way of thinking, they have already missed the window of shopping opportunity.

What I am trying to avoid is spending money coming out of a department store in the middle of the kind of heat we're having, entering a car that could now be substituted for a crematorium.

Hey, now there's business plan: cheap cremations in your cherished vehicle in the parking lot of your choice. Might fund my idea of retirement. Because you just know there are a ton of men people who would love nothing better than to spend their last flesh and bone moments sitting upright in their vehicle, as opposed to, say, reclining in a hammock, next to their loved one, watching a beautiful sunset, sipping Merlot, holding hands. I don't know how a cremation could be arranged in such a romantic scenario, but it's worth considering.

But back to the incinerator in the asphalt parking lot where you turn on the AC and feel like a blast furnace is smelting your earrings into a silver plated tattoo onto the side of your neck.

And your hair. No matter how much spray you use to keep your baby fine hair up in thirty clips of varying sizes and colors, you will look in the rearview mirror only to find this looking back at you

Or worse

So, the question is, do I wake up my slumbering daughters and try to get as early a start as possible?

Do I leave them be and hope they sleep until the stores are closed?

Do I take the hard line, Nope. Sorry. I agreed to take you shopping only if we left the house before the temperature reached 96 degrees. You are now three degrees too late.

Do I cave in like I always do, forget about the sweaty hair, thighs sticking to the car seat, bottled water hot as a cup of tea and embrace the Bikram-esque shopping experience?

Because in two days time my daughters will be right back at it, having forgotten all about my Herculean effort and my maternal caving, because they just have to have another particular fashion item that every 8th grader is wearing and why are you always so mean?!

What is your vote, reader? Generous, forgiving, hot shopping mom or lounging on sofa under ceiling fan watching Netflix freebies mom?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

what a heat index of 110 looks like

In one particular backyard in Austin.

One flower bed of parched and brown-leafed zinnias.

One evaporated and moldy bird bath.

Three forgotten and forlorn koozies.
AKA huggies, if you are blonde and live in south Jersey.

One empty and discarded beer can.
Too hot to pick it up.

Don't judge.
It's that hot.

And south Austin's official sign of a heat index of 110?

One downed pink flamingo.

Flamingo's have been known to revive when provided a bucket of ice and Corona Light. Or, I'm pretty sure that's what international flamingo expert, Debbie, told us. But only when there's a zesty lime wedge balanced on the rim of a long neck, I think were her exact instructions. Or was that for the revival of a heat-zapped landowner? I can't remember.

I do know one full-proof method for beating the heat:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

trusty travel tips or how to avoid airline hell

1. Check and double check the names on your plane tickets days or weeks before pre-boarding time, not 18 hours pre-boarding time, or at least check the names during the hours your travel agency is open.

And by double check I mean get your husband or best friend to check, because if you have a different last name than your husband and kids, you may not notice that the travel agent listed your family's last name as your own instead of the maiden name you kept when you married.

i.e., not

And the Transportation Security Administration? You might find after two hours on hold with your airlines 1-800-TRAV-HELL line that the TSA does not like it one bit when the printed name doesn't match your government issued ID; i.e., they just might ground you.

2. Or not, if you make a special trip to the airport the night before you are scheduled to depart, and find a kindly airline agent who was about to leave for the night but returned to the desk just in time to see your frantic face begging for assistance. She may not even need to see the thousand pieces of identification you gathered in a desperate attempt to prove you are who you say you are.

3. The next day, when you are flying into DFW airport at 11:30 am and read on your ticket that your connecting flight departure time is 2:35 pm,, you may not want to assume that you have a two hour layover; i.e., when the GATE column on your ticket reads, "GATE 1," but the travel magazine map in the seat pocket shows that DFW has no GATE 1, it might be a good idea to double check with the airline agent before you get yourselves all comfortable in the adjacent lounge area.

By getting all comfortable in the adjacent lounge area I mean lying on the floor, head on backpack, feet propped on a lounge chair, losing yourself in the book you've been waiting months to read, ignoring blaring calls on the loudspeaker which say something like,

Bradley, party of five, please report to the check in desk immediately

Because? The ticket might have been printed incorrectly, and, in fact, the depature time is actually 12:35 pm, not 2:35 pm

And? You might just find that you have missed your connecting flight.

And then? You might just find that all remaining flights into your destination city are booked for the rest of the day, ma'am, where were you when we called your name on the loudspeaker over and over?!

4. When the flight attendants use your family's last name to announce the gate numbers for connecting flights, i.e., "Bradley 15" equals American Airlines speak for Gate B-15, and you point this fact out to the annoyed airline agent and tell her this is the reason you ignored her repeated loudspeaker calls, she might look at you like you have grown an extra head and tell you that two-headed passengers require two tickets; i.e., she may not validate the fact that using a common last name as a Gate identifier might make it their fault that a party of five missed their connecting flight.

5. When you miss your connecting flight and learn that all of the remaining flights are full, it most definitely is a good idea to put on your most deferring and pathetic face when you ask that they please put your family of five on the stand-by list. If you do this, they might just bump you ahead of 15 stand-by passengers and get you on the next flight out.