Friday, April 27, 2012

Enjoying the Little (and Big) Things & Blah, Blah, Blah

Even trailer park girls get the blues.  Mine hit me from behind early this week;
Originating from a variety of sources and resulting in the ever-hated, most-dreaded, writers’ block. 
I did what any normal whack job would do.  I posted a plea to my Facebook friends, asking for blog topics in time of such crisis, hoping to get the rev back in my engine.  I got 2 responses.  Which is depressing if you think about the number of peeps on my precious friends list..

“Earth day...overpopulation...reflection on global warming, lack of employment opportunities and as Angela says so pointedly, "blah, blah, blah...."

“Living life to the fullest with the one you love. Enjoying the millions of little things that make it clear why we love each other.”
Aww to both you cutie-pies and thank-you!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am ever so grateful to Cynthia and Carolyn for their responses.
Hell, I’m just happy as a tick on a hound that they even read my plea, but I needed a bigger hunk of meat this morning. Something juicy.  Something I could sink my bicuspids into and chew on for a while.  Then, I turned on the mainstream news…

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at length in defense of President Obama’s foreign policy on Thursday. Referring to a famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt,
Speak softly, but carry a big stick”
Biden said, “I promise you, the president has a big stick.”

Hey, now! TMI Joe. TMI.  My only question, burning outta control like a fire flare-up on a bunch of pre-fabs is, “How the hell do you know that, Joe?”

Yesterday, Dorothy, the check-out girl at Trader’s Joe’s, responding to my debit card requiring a second slide through because it didn’t work the first time, and my pressing concern that my hard earned cash might be deducted twice,
Spouted, “It has to connect to work.”

Ain’t that the truth, Dorothy!!” I blurted out as the entire 5:00 pm checkout line burst into laughter.  Oooh, you could just see their imaginations swirling around the display of stacked four-to-a-box artichokes and winding through shelf after shelf of 85% Cacao dark chocolate bars.
It’s true that it does have to connect to work, but does it really have to be humongous to be satisfying and effective?

Seems the gentlemen think so or at least they’ve been conditioned to think so; that bigger is better and bigger is more powerful. And some powerful men think they can control women.  Now I’m not professing to know the length and circumference of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger’s stick, but Pope Benedict XVI and his cronies are sure flexing "theirs" with the American nuns.  Seems these boys just had to form a committee and decide that American nuns “promote radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith."  They concluded that the sisters had contradicted church teaching on homosexuality and on male-only priesthood in public statements that "disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church's authentic teachers of faith and morals." 
YOWZA! Hail to the mighty Bishops, the authentic teachers and hail to their big sticks!  Seems their quiet, sneaky little investigation has been going on for 3 fucking years and what have they come up with?
The sisters aren’t submissively toeing the line to their standards and liking.

While the sisters have been quiet to respond, a former nun has a big stick of her own.
Mary Johnson served for 20 years in Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. She calls the Vatican’s harsh new rules for American sisters “disrespectful” and an “insult.”
 “The main complaint is that sisters are thinking for themselves. No one says it in those words, but that’s the bottom line:
You’re thinking for yourself and we don’t like that.”

Fitting, that exactly two years ago today, in 2010, a memo, written by Steven Mulvain, a Foreign Office civil servant was passed around.  One of Steve’s suggestions was that Pope Benedict endorse his own brand of condemns for his “stick” and the sticks of all men everywhere…
It's not a bad idea actually, although that might not only go against "church doctrine" but it might actually help curb the world's over-population crisis. Hmmm...

In case you missed the nutty nun news…

Let’s face it.  Men have been carrying big sticks since the beginning of time.

And of late, the news is still on fire with stories that back this theory regarding boys and their rods…
Ashley Judd’s “puffy, not pleasing enough to men, kind of face”
“Ashley Judd’s Puffy Face Explained” was a breaking headline in the tabloids on the recent rewind. Respectable news outlets such as HuffPo and MSNBC even joined in to debate if Botox was to blame for her "chubby" face.
The news sparked a viral frenzy speculating how much “work she got done” along with warnings that she “better watch out” because her husband is likely “looking for his second wife.” 
Some reporters called her a “pig” and a “cow”, labeling her as fat because of the fact that she was now a size 6/8. (How many of us girls know or have known a dude like that?)
The most troubling fact of all is that mostly women initially broadcast the conversation about Ashley’s face.  But as Ashley writes in her now infamous rebuttal, “That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate.”
How about Julia Louis Dreyfus once being told that her “curly hair wasn’t fuckable?”  
It’s an election year and I think women are being placed in the media spotlight to benefit the two gentlemen running for the highest office in the land. (The one man who has a big stick and the other one who has a big dog in a crate on top of his car.)

Trailer Park Manager; It’s Not a Man’s Job

Three men applied for the management position at the park when I put forth my application.
Tommy in space 6, Eliseo from space 27 and Rafael in 10.
All three collectively agreed, ‘It’s a man’s job.’
Tommy had plenty of “plumin experince” and was “always home” because he was “waitin to get a settlement of boo coo bucks” from the company that had fired him.
Eliseo was bilingual, which was a plus, but had been just caught and cited for having a rabbit breeding business behind his unit days prior to him submitting his application for the manager position.
And Rafael…Oh, Rafael.
Well, for starters, he usually had tequila on his breath early, as he headed out to work. His position?
Long-term substitute second grade teacher in a neighboring community. 
I got the job; clearly a known fact.  Maybe I’m the one with a big stick.  Or maybe guys are just knuckleheads who just think with "theirs."  Obama brought the term back recently when referring to the Secret Service team caught with their pants down. 
“A couple of knuckleheads shouldn’t detract from what they do. What these guys were thinking, I don’t know. That’s why they’re not there anymore,” Obama said.

Years ago, a group of gal pals and I were returning home from the Arco Arena in Sacramento after a night of women’s basketball.  As usual, I fell asleep on the ride back.  My partner, unannounced to a snoozing me, kept a straight face and proceeded to tell the carload that I was unfortunately born with a single testicle. No joke.
When I woke up, a bunch of sad, sympathetic and perplexed faces were all staring at me.    
She’s a keeper, my partner. 

I’ll let you decide the fiction and the non-fiction of today’s blog.
Blah, blah, blah and live life to the fullest with the one you love ('fo sure!) and God save the American nuns and all that jazz.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Got Compassion? Yea, You Do Baby!

Good morning pals! This is a "quickie" and y'all know how I like those!  A dear-heart of a girlfriend reached out to me the other day and asked that I network through my readership for a cause worth networkin about.  
I know. I know. Y'all give give give and the price of everything from Kraft Macaroni and Cheese to diesel is going up up up... yet your paychecks are going down down down.  I get it. But let me tell you about this organization and let me tell you about The Human Race. (Oh, god. Are we part of that?)

about usCompassion Without Borders was founded in 2001 by Christi Payne and Juan Ramon Camblor.  

The focus of the organization is to alleviate the suffering of unwanted companion animals in Mexico and other low resource regions through a multifaceted approach which includes international rescue efforts, extensive spay/neuter campaigns, humane euthanasia and humane education.The board is made up of veterinarians and professional animal advocates with decades of experience from around the country. CWOB is staffed by nearly 100% volunteer labor – which means 100% of all donations can go directly toward the work!

My girlfriend(she wishes she was but I keep tellin her I'm taken) Nina is walking(probably running 'cuz she's a belly dancer and has great stamina) in The Human Race on Saturday, May 5 in beautiful Sonoma County, Cali. This wonderful event raises hundreds of thousands of moola for so many great non-profits.  It's hard to choose which one, but I'm gonna help ya! I was supposed to walk with her but I double-booked, which is one of the repeated, boring and ridiculous stories of my life.  All I'm askin y'all to do is go on this website for a couple minutos and pledge/donate/give! Damn it, $10.00 bucks!
If each of you gives just $10 bucks, we can help save these dogs which suffer, in unfathomable numbers; far more than our rescue dogs here in the U S of A. (Mexico's got bigger catfish to fry than helping sick, stray dogs that's for damn sure)  TEN BUCKS, pals. That's nothin.  For me, that's 2 G&T's during a Happy Hour, and I can certainly afford to give that up.  (If you're a distant relation of Mitt Romney, please give $20) 
Now just click here. Please do it right now on Earth Day.  'Cuz your compassion, my compassion 
has no borders.

My pals, Nina sends a HUGE grassy-ass. I thank you too and your heart will wag itself to sleep tonight.
Oh! And check out this way cool (not horrific or sad; more like Cinderella ending) video. It'll warm your dog-lovin faces this mornin in only a way Etta James can.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Live at Five

Breaking news today from Action News Live at Five:
Monterey County has received about a ½ inch of rain in the last couple of hours.

Yep, top story of the day. News you can count on.
What’s more disturbing and gives my ears a little perky perk, are stories that came after the phenomenal weather story: the 2 local high school teachers that have been arrested this last week (separate cases) for child porn, videoing teens in the shower, and a drug and alcohol counselor accused of secretly filming students having sexual encounters with one another in his office; 
using a minor to do or assist in prohibited acts, possession of child pornography, contact with a minor for sexual offense and lewd acts upon a child.  Oh my!
And oh yea, the drive-by shooting at a downtown park at 3:30 pm; in the damn afternoon!  
But hey, Live at Five opens with their own breaking news:
A half-inch of rain fell in Monterey County.   Which, I suppose, is worth highlighting; especially significant, if you’re a calla lily.

But there’s bigger, huger news today: Mr. “No Premarital Sex” Santorum pulled out of the race. Yep. Now that’s worth talking about. But just so you don’t forget him and forget all that he stands for, here’s a few Live at Five quotes straight from the “not-so-straight” horse’s mouth:  

“There are no Palestinians. All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis. There are no Palestinians. This is Israeli land.” ~Rick Santorum, falsely claiming that there are no Palestinians living on the West Bank.

“I believe the earth gets warmer and I also believe the earth gets cooler. And I think history points out that it does that and that the idea that man, through the production of CO2 — which is a trace gas in the atmosphere, and the man-made part of that trace gas is itself a trace gas — is somehow responsible for climate change is, I think, just patently absurd when you consider all the other factors.” 
~Rick Santorum, claiming that man-made CO2 is not responsible for climate change despite the fact that CO2 levels have doubled since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

“You can say I’m a hater. But I would argue I’m a lover. I’m a lover of traditional families and of the right of children to have a mother and father. I would argue that the future of America hangs in the balance, because the future of the family hangs in the balance. Isn’t that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?”
 ~Rick Santorum, comparing his fight against homosexuality to the war against terror.

And finally, one of my personal favorites:

“One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. [Sex] is supposed to be within marriage. It’s supposed to be for purposes that are yes, conjugal…but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen…This is special and it needs to be seen as special.” ~Rick Santorum, opposing contraception and frighteningly suggesting that he would make pre-marital sex illegal. 

It is special, Rick.  And you’re “special” too.  More special than Sarah and I thought Sarah was “special.”
But since he’s out, let’s get some 411 on Romney, whom I’m predicting (duh) will be the GOP nominee this fall.  (I’m also predicting that he’ll take one of these SOB conservative nutcases to be his running mate; possibly a woman? YOWZA!)  Anyway, don’t be so sure Barack will just waltz right in without a problemo.  Hey, I thought California would say No to Prop 8 and look what happened!  I thought Al Gore had won but look what happened!  Be careful.  Be afraid.  
Be very afraid…but laugh.

So Mitt “Corporations are people” Romney, who the hell are you?
Mitt’s the guy who signed a budget that cut K-12 spending by $181.6 million (4 percent) and higher education spending by $100 million (10 percent).
Poor folk:
As governor, Mitt Romney vetoed a minimum wage increase to $8 an hour.
Peace Activists:
Mitt wanted "bombardment" of Iran.
Mitt Romney set up shell companies in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda to avoid U.S. taxes.
Romney said the Clean Air Act doesn't apply to carbon emissions.
Women & Men with Brains:
Mitt Romney wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
Seekers of Truth:
Mitt falsely claimed he saw his father march with MLK Jr.
LGBTQ Folk and their Friends:
Mitt Romney has signed the National Organization for Marriage anti-gay campaign pledge, calling for a federal amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.
I didn’t make this shit up. Here’s a link to more Romney facts; complete with dates and sources.

And for those of you who just can’t seem to get enough of Rick, here’s a link to more of his, as the article states, frothy mixture of hate, bigotry and insanity.

Remember kids, we gotta laugh about it; laugh until it all makes perfect sense, right?
And speaking of special, I remember when the ambulance showed up at the park a few years back to take Julie to the psych ward…  I remember my “special” neighbor phoning every Tom, Dick and Harriet to let them know that “the manager had a nervous breakdown and the ambulance was at her unit, taking her away.”  I love "special" rumors and I love dumbass, nosey neighbors.  Reminds me of the time space 29 peered through her superabundance of boxes of Captain Crunch cereal, which lined her window sill, and spied on this young Latino man I had hired to help me pull weeds and clear a hillside.  She couldn’t wait to get on the phone and start the ringy dingy, “special” rumor that  “the manager has a man living with her” Apparently, she saw him “helping me” and us “laughing together.” I also made him a turkey and cheese sandwich, but that didn’t mean he proposed to me for Christ-sake.

I miss the park though.  I really do.  I think what I miss most about it are the characters that reside there, because they are all weird bundles of interesting dichotomies.  Where else can one meet folks who fly Confederate flags, pack guns, drink Keystone and go to Bible Study twice a week; poorer than shit, but they spend fifty bucks on Girl Scout cookies each year?  Where they talk shit about their neighbors and then drink with ‘em on Friday nights.  Where else do you see kids running butt-naked down the middle of the street and their moms’ “live-in” boyfriends chasing after them in practically the same attire?
At a trailer park, there’s always news live at five...and two, and ten, and midnight.  
And that you can count on.
This is tpg, reporting to you live from my comfy floor chair, with Diego; the dashing, black feline, curled up on my lap and sawing some big-time logs…
Just keeping it real.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Laugh Until Life Makes Sense

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.  
~Woody Allen

It was pouring rain and we were downtown Austin at the Speakeasy.  A folksy, country rock band of three; one on the guitar, one on the harmonica and the other dude on the bass were playing to a whooping crowd of five.  It was my birthday and I was doing everything in excess, including laughing.
My pal, Amy, is a fantastic storyteller.  She’s a natural, not just on the dance floor where she’s got the swag goin on; but also on a barstool, where she had us all falling off our stools with stories of pilots who lock themselves in bathrooms, flight attendants who go postal and run down the aisles screaming, “We’re about to crash!” and Kindergartners who make executive decisions to wash their hands in the water of a toilet bowl.  Amy is more entertaining and visually detailed than any prize-winning novel or award-winning film.
This is why I invite her to all my parties.  Pure and deliciously selfish…
She makes me laugh.
On a breezy dusk evening, a couple days before, I stumbled on an outdoor beer garden; 
whose tables were shaded by mighty Texas oaks and wisteria vines. 
The band had just finished and by the looks on the faces of the crowd, 
they'd been damn good.
As a young woman was clearing the small stage, I noticed a stack of CDs for sale, a sign-up sheet for their mailing list and a cool black and white bumper sticker; evidently, their philosophical logo:

Instantly, the words shot straight to my soul and continued to other various regions of my body.
“This has got to be my motto for 2012.”

How much are these stickers?” I asked her. “They’re free.”
Wow. They’re free.  Just like laughter. 

Such a simplistic offering yet, packed with so much power-punch because the world according to tpg, is filled with confusing things that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.  Things like hatred, war, poverty, cruelty, greed, veal…just to name a few.  And how many excruciating moments have I lingered in hellish limbo attempting to process the “why’s?” Digging myself deep into wells of depression because of my inability to find fucking solutions to all these things that not only make no sense, but leave me frustrated, pissed off and sometimes, catatonic. 
And to think...
All I had to do was laugh.
Laugh until it all makes sense.

Now that’s something to mull over, my friends.  And not only that, but it’s something that might outta be put into to practice ASAP!   We need to laugh more, damn it. 
I mean when folks are laughing, they’re usually not killing each other, right?

For years, I’ve hung onto the thought that if I don’t get heavily (and emotionally) involved in every single struggle, problem or issue that pains me, then I have become complacent and thus, become part of the problem and not the solution. Hmmm...
But now, I’m thinking that maybe I’ll just laugh about it; laugh about it, hard and wholly, until it all makes some sort of acceptable sense.  I’m going for it for 2012!  I feel as if I can do it with most issues and situations, 'cept maybe trips to the dentist. 

Austin rocks y’all!  I’ve been twice in this lifetime and I suspect third time will be a charm.
It’s bright lights and clean sidewalks.  It’s people who happily walk their dogs and clean up 
the poop.
It's all kinds of families. It's parents who encourage their children to sell duct tape art.  It’s yummy grub prepared and served daily out of shiny Airstreams.  It’s where hemp burgers are called Janis Joplin burgers and live music bursts through every window, archway and sidewalk corner for miles and miles. There’s an abundance of rivers, neon-lights, boots and BBQ.   
And folks are friendly; Texas hospitality I’m told.  They give lots of eye contact and I dig that. 

If you’ve been scared shitless of Texas, like I once was, and have purposely kept your distance for fear of your life; 
fear no more. 
Austin is waiting for your liberal ass.

And there's lots of protests and marches.  And y'all know I'm always down for a march.  

But my friends, can you explain to me, please, why we’re having to march for women’s reproductive rights in 2012? This is beyond my fucking comprehension. Can they turn the hands of the clock back any further? 
But I cheered, whistled and marched along side my favorite Texas crones, who I adore more than life itself.  These gals wore red, ‘cuz we're all seeing red, and they banged their pots and pans in front of the Capitol while handsome, young, white Texas “good ‘ole boys” made their way between us and up the steps to their big ‘ole Texas legislative desks.  “Good morning y’all” Thea greeted them from her wheelchair. “How y’all doin?  We’re here for women’s rights, y’all.”

I met Thea last October when my gem-of-a-friend, Barbara, took me to New Braunfels, Texas for lunch and good conversation with her pals.  I instantly fell in love with Thea. She has more stories than a field has Mustard-Weed.
She told me of her "early days" marching in the late 1940’s down these streets of Austin; the very streets she’s marching, from her chair, today.  In those days, 60+ years ago, she marched to protest The University of Texas’ policy of not admitting African American students.  Thea is too cool for school and a role-model in every sense of the word.  
Her life is a precious example of speaking up for the voiceless, fighting for social justice and equality, and all the while, carrying her sword of kindness.  She told me last week, on the steps of the Capitol, “I’ve been thinking about what I want people to remember me for.  This kind of thinking happens when you get to be my age…I want to be remembered for “4 L’s” and they’re all intertwined:
Listening is first.  Loving.  Learning. And finally, Laughter.”  
(There’s that word again; Slapping me across the side of the head.)
She went on and on and girl, can she go on!
“There’s one thing I think I’m good at, and have been my whole life, and that’s loving people.  And it’s so easy cuz look around; people are everywhere!”

Thea is one ball of big inspiration. 

Everything in Texas is big.
Big margaritas, big people, big hair, big Heritage Hogs, big guitar-sound, big smiles, big hearts.  And now, I’m bringin home big laughter…And I wanna share it with y’all, my faithful readership, because I deserve it and you deserve it too. :)


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thank God Ima Country Gal

Before I head out of town, I have this routine that consists of watering the plants, setting out the cat toys, writing a detailed “instruction list” to the cat-sitter, make those long overdue phone calls, dusting (Why the hell I dust before going on vacation, I have no clue.) I also clean out my spam folder. Deleting spam gives me a sense of organization, efficiency and control.  And somehow getting all these things done ensures that I can board that plane without a fucking care in the world. Today in my spam mail, I found 8 emails from Viagra companies,
3 from some group called Seniors Over Fifty and 6 emails from
Christian Mingle stating, “They have a match for me.” 

One time, space 19 (the park’s watch-dog) told me that Alexandra in 22 met her second husband on Christian Mingle.  Alexandra, btw, looked and acted the part of a washed-up roller derby queen from the ‘70’s.  She was big, bad and used Clairol every 6 months, whether she needed it or not.  She had the mouth of a truck driver.  I knew that first hand, as I was the recipient of many of her burly “uncorkings.”
One time, she let loose on me because I (the hippie chick manager) let in some “for sure gang members” in the space next to her and she was going to “sue my ass.”
She’s also the resident who chased me down the middle of the road, screaming and swearing, because I hadn’t trimmed some tree limb (that was actually growing on the property that backed up to our park) because it was “almost scratchin” her husband’s '64 Camaro.  That wench scared the shit out of me more than once, but evidently, the Lord told her that she and Gil were a match made behind the pearly gates of heaven. Christian Mingle worked for them.

Space 19 always let me know “the happenings” of the trailer park; who was into drugs, who was cheating on their spouse, who was staying in a unit but hadn’t filled out the required paperwork…
She was my “second set of eyes.” 
She was also the Florence Nightingale of all the park’s strays and then some; feeding every four-legged critter, stray or someone’s pet, including one of mine, just because she “knew they were all so hungry.” 
I called her the “Squirrel Whisperer.”  Sometimes,  I'd be out on my rounds and see her; hands filled with peanuts in the shell, outstretched to the skies, and I am not shitting you, there’d be a squirrel eating out of her palm.  Once, I saw her “playing” with the varmint. No joke.  She had her broom extended out and the little guy was laying on the bristles as she slowly turned round and round; bringing the broom up and down like a horse on a carousel.  That squirrel was digging the ride.  Once I said to her, “Hey, Penny, you know squirrels are wild animals, right?"  And she replied, “Yes. I know. That’s what I keep telling him.”

Over the years, I watched her feed the Steller’s Jays, crows and sparrows pretty much from her hands, or at least closer to her hands than you or I will ever come to feeding a wild bird. But the truth is;
I’m drawn to these kinds of things and these kinds of people.  Always have been.

I’m returning to Austin this week.  This time, I’m dragging along my partner and some of my gal pals.  There’s going to be a lot of dancing, drinking, and Wrangler shirts with snap buttons.
I dig this city and I hope to go where no trailer park girl has ever gone before.  With my camera, I hope to capture the “color’ of the people, the culture, the architecture, the food.  And I’m going to learn to two-step!
Yep, it’s on my bucket list and has been for quiet awhile.  You know my country roots run deep.
I’ve told you before that my immediate family all lived “the park life” at some point, but the real secret I’ve been carrying all these years is that my kin are all from the deep valleys, where the Bluebonnets blanket the fields: the great states of Oklahoma and Texas.

My mom’s side hails from Tennessee. I came out of the womb singing,  “Rocky Top you’ll always be home sweet home to me…”   Like many, my grandparents ended up in California during the Dust Bowl.  I know very little about my maternal grandmother. 3 things told to me by my mother were:
1.     She loved yellow roses.
2.     She was a vocal, staunch Republican
3.     She had large breasts.
I know a great deal more about my mother:
1.     She was also a staunch Republican.
2.     She had an impeccable work ethic.
3.     She loved football, Kent cigarettes, the color orange, and her children.
4.     She also had large breasts.
5.     Her last 2 homes she owned were pre-fabs; complete with fake wood paneling and gold shag carpeting.

I know less about my daddy’s side because there was lots of drinkin and feudin and other nonsense going on and no one was giving a damn about that side and even less about the genealogy.
But recently, I found out I have two uncles.  Yep.  Seems my dad had two brothers and like everything else in trailer trash families, it was kept secret.  Well, I found them a couple of months ago and to no surprise of mine; one lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma and the other one in northern Texas up near Corpus Christie.
My “Deliverance roots” run as deep as The Duck River in Tennessee, which is a big sucker; about 284 miles long.  This is why, I suppose, I felt comfortable, most days, in the trailer park.

Tommy (space 7) listened to Cash and Cline; I could hear it blaring out of his CD player when he was out in his carport working on his “rig.”  I love Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash too and although I rebelled in a gigantic kinda way for decades, if you were to put on one of their albums right here, right now, I’d know all the words. 
My newfound relatives are welcoming of me.  They’ve sent me pictures of my grandfather and some of my greats and great greats.  They’ve written me very nice emails and we’ve even shared a phone conversation or two.  But there’s some big elephants in the room as you might imagine there to be;
big clues telling me I better not give them my Twitter page, blog link or pictures of who I like to kiss.
And let’s just say I didn’t tell them who I voted for, what petitions I've signed or the march on the Texas Capitol I’m going to attend next Tuesday for women’s reproductive rights.  No siree.
I may be a girl who likes cheap linoleum, but I’m not stupid.
We cleared up some things about some “sketchy” individuals in my lineage; misnomers of Texas and Oklahoma (mine) and of California (theirs) and I must admit, I want to know them.
I was pleased to know that I was not the first member of my family to go to college; that in fact, as hic as we all are, my paternal grandfather, Bert Agustus Clampitt, graduated from the University of Oklahoma and got his "teaching certificate" there.
As the conversation between us continued, 
I didn't get the sense they liked Austin; seems Texans refer to it as the “Ba-zerk-ly of Texas.” 
And that’s bad?
Naw...that ain't bad and I'll tell y'all about it soon!
Meanwhile, stay out of trouble and watch out for spam mail.