July 16, 2008

Houston Missed the Last Fifty Years.

Somehow, school officials in Fort Bend County have not realized that we're not living in the 1950's.
A Houston-area school board will decide if a boy's long hair should keep him from attending school after a superintendent denied the request, KPRC Local 2 reported Tuesday.
- Click2Houston.com
The student's family, who are members of the Apache tribe, argue that according to their religious beliefs, hair should only be cut if one faces a life-shattering change.

Enrolling their son in what is a apparently the last bastion of McCarthy-era bigotry might actually count as that.

One wonders were in the hell schools superintendent Curtis Rhodes has
been living, because it obviously can't have been THIS planet. Not only does he betray his complete lack of connection to the morés of the 21st century, he's trampling all over the US Constitution.

Curtis Rhodes a prime example of what we only wish was a vanishing breed: the American Redneck. One need look no further than Needville to see what ails our country. Too many small towns cling to ignorance and bigotry instead of enlightenment and decency.

It's probably safe to assume that the local chamber of commerce also hosts a Klan Night.

July 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandma

My grandmother turned 90 today. She's still as sharp as ever.

My grandparents met when my granddad was asked to direct a play by a friend of his who ran a community theater group.

"I'll do it," he said, "as long as you get me a knockout blonde for the lead." Enter my grandma.

My grandmother had been onstage since age four, when my great-grandad, Nilly-Willy Tibbitt, decided to create a children's act with my grandmother, and her older brother, Winfield. They'd already been doing their daddy's act for play for years. So they entered Vaudeville as "Winnie and Ginny, The Tibbitt Twins!"

So she was a seasoned actor when she met my grandfather at age 20.

After my mother was born, the family moved into a house in Mullica Hill, NJ. After a few incidences, my grandmother realized that the house was haunted, and that launched a lifetime of examining the periphery of the known universe.

She investigated dozens of hauntings in South Jersey, aided by my grandfather's knowledge of local history. She documented the evidence, eliminated possibilities, and kept careful records. This resulted in a lecture that she gave throughout South Jersey and the Delaware Valley for decades.

She studied the paranormal, corresponding with reknowned psychic Arthur Ford for years. She opened her home to strangers and refugees: she learned yoga from a swami who traveled the US on a pilgrimage in the 1950's; he stayed in my grandparent's home for several weeks, giving yoga instruction on their broad porch. She opened her home to Jordanian painter Nabeela George, who gifted the family with one of her paintings.

And in a what might be weird coincidence, they took in a Cuban couple, a doctor and his wife, who fled Castro's revolution. The doctor's wife gave birth to a daughter at the local hospital just a few months before I was born. What's weird about that? I was working on a tour and met local actor Elena Garcia. We became good friends on the tour, and over the course of it I learned about her background: her father was a doctor, and her parents were taken in by a Quaker family in New Jersey. Elena was born in Camden, NJ, in the same hospital as most of my family. (I was born in Dayton Beach; dad was down here working on the space project).

My grandmother fostered my interest in reading, and early on stopped giving me children's books in favor of more mature fare. Once it was a book on quantum physics, but it was always something interesting, and something that fit me.

A few years ago, a mutual friend called looking for my grandmother; he was directing a play he had seen her in years before, and wanted to know if she was still around. "Well, she's in Iowa," I said, "but she's always asking me to find her a good role in a play."

She stayed with me while she performed GOING TO SEE THE ELEPHANT, reprising her role as Granny. Of course I saw the show, and we went out with the cast afterwods. She had them all enthralled; she was telling the youngest cast member, a girl of nineteen, about yoga and the value of stretching.

She still performs: she did a "Senior's Follies" thing in Iowa City a couple of years ago. Just today she was telling me about a recurring gig: at the local medical college, she portrays an old woman in the early stages of Altzheimers; the students have to correctly diagnose her ailment based on an interview. She's quite popular with the staff.

She's also part of a continuing study on aging: once a month she goes in, and they measure her reflexes, stamina, and so on.

She's still doing very well: last year, we through her a surprise birthday party. My aunt had thought about waiting until this year, but then decided "why wait?'" It was a great party.

And here's my beer-swillin' grandma, toasting her self:


Happy Birthday, Grandma!

July 8, 2008

McCain Campaign Crushed Free Speech

I expected better than this from McCain.

Will you vote for a man who's afraid of dissent? Will you vote for a man who can't tolerate free speech?

July 2, 2008

Flakkee Doodle Dandy

Friday is the Fourth of July, and you know what that means!!


That's right, Friday is national "Lead Rain" Day here in The Banana Republic. Every Fourth of July, latin americans immigrants people patriotic citizens celebrate their right to bear arms by firing their weapons INTO THE AIR.

Of course, it's only a small number of patriots who do this; after all, only one in four Americans actually legally own a gun.

Those who don't have guns have to do with illegal explosives fireworks they obtained by telling the dealer that they needed M80s and Cherry Bombs firecrackers "noisemakers" to deal with their children the neighbor's brats that sonofabitch "birds."

*791.07 Agricultural and fish hatchery use.--Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the importation, purchase, sale, or use of fireworks used or to be used solely and exclusively in frightening birds from agricultural works and fish hatcheries; and such use shall be governed entirely by the rules prescribed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Time to dig out the flak gear!

Angelina Jolie in flak gear during a recent visit**

*5A-3.001 Application to Sheriff for Use of Firecrackers. Any person who is engaged in agricultural works or who operates a fish hatchery may use firecrackers solely and exclusively for the purpose of frightening birds from doing harm to any such person's agricultural works or fish hatchery operation; provided that any such person shall first file with the sheriff of the county in which he is engaged in agricultural works

**to Iraq