Friday, August 24, 2007

And now, something topical...

My A-Hat of the week (or month, it seems) is Elvira Arellano. You know, I don't have a large dog in the immigration issue. However, Ms Arellano finally received her due last weekend when she was arrested and deported back to Mexico.

Here's a brief Flyover view of her story:

Arrived illegally. Deported. Returned. Got pregnant and bore a citizen. Used false Social Security information to get job at O'Hare. Get arrested in a postt 9/11 sweep of illegals. Convicted and sentenced to probation.

Side note #1: If you are an illegal alien and get convicted of a crime, why is probation even handed out? Probation just about implies that you need to stick around to meet with your probation officer regularly to show you aren't misbehaving.

Back to the overview:

Told to face immigration hearing. Hides out in storefront church, daring arrest by Immigration Authorities. Cites citizen child as reason for staying. Stays in church for one year. Boldly announces leaving safe haven to speak in Washington. Instead goes to LA and is arrested and deported. It rained a lot last night, and here we are today.

If she had not commited a crime (other than entering illegally) and could somehow show that she would be a productive resident, I don't think I would have had a problem with her sticking around to raise her citizen child. However, her repeated run-ins with authority (prior deportation, arrest, failure to comply, challenging authority, hiding out, etc) leads me to believe that she thought she was above the law. I don't even mind so much that she refused to learn English after 10 years here.

Side note #2: Are you kidding me? She was here 10 years and spoke through an interpreter? Maybe that's urban myth, but we in Flyover like to see an effort made.

The issue of anchor babies and breaking up families is serious. I'm not about to revise the Constitution over this. Parents are responsible to and for their children, and children belong with their parent(s). Citizenship is farther down the hierarchy of needs, if you ask me.

When this citizen child reaches 18, I'll welcome him back. In the meantime, go with mama.

Dog Days

Although work has been absolute hell, I've managed to take 4 1/2 vacation days this month to attempt a battery recharge.

"The Man' at work has cracked down on personal internet use. That's okay by's not like I'm addicted or something. Well, maybe just a little bit. I didn't surf 'not safe for work' sites, but I did find myself reading all sorts of news items. I knew our company was tightening the noose when the Ohio Turnpike website was blocked. Hey, I was just trying to find out what the tolls were going to cost.

I'm writing this from my computer at city hall, where no one cares if I blog or not. And it is 'technically' my lunch hour, although I'm not much of a lunch eater.

Whenever I have a good post, it is usually the result of some sort of research that I conduct on the fly as I'm writing. My 'personal' posts are crap, which I'm sorry that I put you through.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

You might be able to go home again

I last visited Houston in 2001 for my 20th class reunion just a week before 9/11. Prior to that, I last visited in 1984.

I learned to drive in boomtown Houston, lots of traffic, aggressive drivers, shotguns and open beer cans. Today, thanks to the construction of two large toll roads, it seems to be easier to get around. 610 loop is still there, but Beltway 8 has replaced it as the main suburban loop. FM 1960 can be up to 7 lanes wide, and the Velvet Ghetto I came from is more like a real ghetto now.

Suburban flight now goes up to The Woodlands, a mammoth planned development which was still just getting off the ground in 1977, when we first moved to the area. While mocked by the hipsters that live 'in town', I could see myself living in just this type of area. Lots of shopping, lots of things to do, a riverwalk, office buildings, hotels, and even an outdoor venue for concerts.

My friend, David, and I were invited to an informal get together on Saturday. Hosted by Linda (see First Kiss blog 2 1/2 years ago) and her husband, Joe, in attendance was Lori, the one that broke (crushed, removed, stomped, etc) my heart so very long ago. We're all still friends. I think being friends with Lori was pre-destined...escalating the relationship as we did in the early '80's was not meant to be.

Meeting up with Lori, even 25 years after the fact, can be somewhat anxiety producing. Perhaps she symbolizes what can happen when I make dumb mistakes. Perhaps she is the symbol of some ideal that I thought I was entitled to in my romantic youth. I'm not sure.

This time, however, the years have cleared my vision quite a bit. Lori is Lori. Petite, blond, perky. At 44 however, she's becoming her mom: prim, proper, and almost matricarchal. I think for the first time in the 30 years I've known her, I question what my attraction was. Well, I know what my attraction was, I guess now I feel a whole lot better about myself for the way things turned out. She's still petite, blond and perky. But I realize that she isn't some type of 'standard' that I should be measuring myself against.

I'm hopelessly in love with my wife. She is a better match for me than Lori ever could be. I think I spent a lot of time thinking that it was some deficiency on my part that never met Lori's expectations. I will never meet her expectations, but it's not because there is something deficient in me. It was just never meant to be.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, etc

I'm flying to Houston later this week to see some baseball, visit College Station, and put my toes into the Gulf of Mexico.

Over the last 8 months, my brain has turned into complete mush - to the point where I can't write down a phone number unless it is repeated several times, I can't remember facts and figures that I depend on to do my job, and frankly, it is difficult for me to recall what month and day it is.

Either it's stress, or a tumor.

I'm hoping that a few days out of the rat race will somehow invigorate my desire to wake up in the morning.

While not a doctor, I am prescribing myself plenty of Tex-Mex, BBQ, and Shiner Bock.

If I can't get out of this funk after I get back, I'll go to a real doctor.

Cubs vs Astros, Wed night
Thursday, off day
Brewers vs Astros Fri night
Brewers vs Astros Sat night

With the Astrodome all but gone, I won't get the chance to have the "Coldest Foam in the Dome" as the beer vendors used to shout.