My grandmother was much more ready for her funeral than the rest of us

In September 2016, my extended family got together to celebrate my grandfather’s and first-cousin-once-removed’s 90th and 80th birthdays respectively. We didn’t all get together again until June 2017 with my grandmother’s passing. 

As my father said after the gravesite ceremony, ‘You know, I think we had a lot more fun at the birthdays.’ But we had a lot of fun at the funeral, too, just with more crying and sobs mixed in. This was my euology at the service.

Thank you all for coming here today. It means a lot to see all of you here and know that Betty impacted your lives, as well.

I’m going to try to not go on and on or get choked up too much. My Mama had only so much patience for long-winded speakers, and she was about the least sentimental person when it came to the idea of her funeral.

Some of you probably remember her joke about going grocery shopping. ‘At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas anymore.’ And she thought it was very funny! But it was harder for me to find it funny.
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Without a windbreak in the country, Hollywood liberals will destroy America

Donald Trump is and remains president-elect despite earning, to this point in the counting, 1.7 million fewer votes than his opponent nationwide, or roughly every man, woman, and child in the Dakotas.

So despite having a plurality of the electorate, Democrats and the left have 0 percent of the power in federal government, and full control of six state governments compared with 26 for Republicans.

Part of this is by design: voter suppression and gerrymandering are ongoing efforts to disenfranchise minorities and other Democratic voters. But it’s a lot easier when people you don’t want to vote move to places where it doesn’t matter whether or not they do.

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Law is obeyed of respect, power obeyed of fear

The other day, the Odessa American reported on the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute’s event on policing, and as reported, the featured guests said some troubling things.

First, both outgoing Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson and Odessa Police Chief Tim Burton suggested folks ought to comply with whatever an officer tells them to do in order to protect themselves.

Now, women in the audience might not feel completely comfortable following that advice if interacting with former police officer Salvador Becerra during a traffic stop or former deputy Alfred John Herrera once in jail.

Or maybe that’s not fair. Only rarely do peace officers sexually assault people they have in their custody.

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The Armstrongs each stretch the imagination

The other day, retired cyclist Lance Armstrong gave up his fight against doping accusations. The other day, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong  died.

Both were inevitable, but in the way you don’t want to think about and for entirely different reasons.

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My interactive editor sense is tingling

I don’t have an electric car.

One day we probably all will, and pedestrians and bicyclists will die in even greater numbers because they can’t hear the vehicles coming their way, but I don’t.

Yet for some reason, I keep confusing the battery life in my cell phone with the amount of fuel in my gas tank. I “feel” like I’m driving on fumes when my phone says it’s at 3 percent, even though I know this is stupid and I know that I’m doing it.

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Yeah, but what was Paul Ryan’s split in the 4×100?

The other day, I reread the first column I wrote for the Odessa American because I remembered it was about the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and I was very upset about the fact that we hadn’t won the “true” medal count.

Don’t tell me we have the most medals, list us first and pretend that matters. Don’t tell me we still got second and ought be pleased with ourselves for that. Don’t tell me the Chinese girls cheated and are younger than they claim to be and our poor 16-year-olds didn’t have a chance.

We lost, and I don’t care if it’s basketball, diving or dressage, we ought to bring home the gold. We ought to win. We’re American. That’s what we do; that’s who we are.

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Phillip K. Dick is too famous to use less than his whole name

The other day, I heard they were doing a “Total Recall” remake. Then I heard they were casting Collin Farrell in it, and I became much more interested in it — but completely disinterested in ever actually watching it.

That’s not a knock on him in particular, but the more I learned about the movie, the more I came to think it wouldn’t be the sort of thing I care for.

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In an alternate universe, Jack Kevorkian is a rich man

The other day I was talking to someone, and a friend of hers came up in conversation.

He’d killed himself, and he let everyone know why, and it was in its way a very good reason — or at least the sort of reason that came as a surprise to no one.

Someone else said he didn’t have the courage to do that himself. There’s nothing courageous about killing yourself to deal with a problem, but it’s not weak or cowardly, either. The decision to end all future decisions can, occasionally, be the product of a rational thought process.

More often, though, it’s the result of depression, the irrational chemical composition of the brain. Suicide comes at a moment of weakness, a bad night, hitting bottom.

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DOWNTOWN: All we need to revitalize downtown is a flux capacitor

The other day, and by that I mean today, the Odessa American started running a series on downtown Odessa, what it was, is and might one day be.

It’s a project that really grew out of the mind of city editor and fellow columnist Celinda Hawkins, who has her childhood and inherited family memory to draw on, but it’s funny because in my lifetime, downtown hasn’t been anything, and I hate the northeast sprawl more than most anyone I know.

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