Tuesday, October 26, 2010


October 26, 2010

As if you weren't already sick of reading Let's Do It! and finding links to campaign ads, early voting schedules, and reasons to vote for Chet Edwards, along I come with even more political-y stuff.

That's right, Davis had to get in on the act. Here is his letter to the Ohio State University school newspaper, The Lantern, that appeared on Sunday, admonishing his fellow students to vote:

The Nov. 2 election is just two weeks away and each of us has a choice. We can either vote or stay home, but with either choice we send a message. Voting expresses your opinion and shows interest in your future. Not voting, however, is tantamount to saying you don't care, that either choice is as good as the other. If common every day citizens don't demonstrate interest through voting, we run the risk of extremists or flawed candidates winning the day. Without voting, we leave it to others to make important decisions.

Congress passed many bills last session (including the TARP, the stimulus, Cash for Clunkers, the Health Care bill, and Cap and Trade) that will greatly affect our lives. TARP and the stimulus both hugely impacted the economic climate and could have saved us from a second great depression (we will never know how bad it could have been), but each came with a large price tag that will need to be paid down eventually. Cash for Clunkers allowed thousands of people to upgrade their automobiles, making the American roads safer and more fuel-efficient. The Health Care bill and Cap and Trade could drastically change each of their respected industries. These issues matter and will change our lives.

We are not without choice though. On the issues presented in this election, a clear distinction between the two parties exists. Real choice is before us. With our vote, we express whether Democratic policies like the Health Care bill should continue and whether Cap and Trade should be instituted. With our vote, we can indicate our preference between the cutting the budget or cutting education. We can stand up and make a choice or we can sit on the sidelines and accept whichever outcome happens. As for me, I don't want to be a bench warmer. I choose to play the game.

Frankly, we are in the game (as Davis puts it) because we care. We care more than we ever have before because Erin made us care. She was an all-in player. She would never understand why people wouldn't take the time to vote, to talk about issues, to call their Congressman, to be involved. She loved going with me to the polls, visiting with the election workers, and dreaming of when she would get to vote.

I sat at the congressional debate between Chet Edwards and his challenger last night and missed Erin. She and I had gone to every other debate Chet has had locally.

I missed her muttering "liar, liar pants on fire" when his opponent said something she thought wasn't true.

I missed her tallying up the number of times his opponent said "Pelosi" or "Obama" on her own personal scorecard (40 times, for the record) and whispering to me, "If Mr. Flores wanted to run against Speaker Pelosi why didn't he move to San Francisco instead of Bryan?"

I missed her pointing out the subtle change in Chet's expression (little more than a small nostril flare, quick parting of his lips, and a little steeling of his eyes) when something his opponent mentioned made him mad enough to provoke a hard response. When she saw that look, she would always nudge me and whisper, "here it comes" and boom, here it would come, raining down like fire.

I'm not going to tell you who to vote for (as if you didn't know already), but I will say, if you are thinking of sitting this one out, DON'T!

Vote for Erin's sake.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


October 24, 2010

One of Erin's dearest friends, Clayton Sue Benson, spent the weekend at one of the Happiest Places in the World--Mo Ranch. She just sent some photos of the pavers she added to the sidewalk that the two of them loved to stroll down when they shared time at summer camp and at the Mo Ranch Family Retreat every spring. I'm so glad they shared their love for Mo Ranch and that Clayton Sue and the rest of the Benson's honored that love with these permanent pavers.


From Mo Ranch Slideshow

From Mo Ranch Slideshow

From Mo Ranch Slideshow

Saturday, October 23, 2010


October 23, 2010

Because Becky Smith asked so nicely to see my "casual eyes" and smooth skin.

Friday, October 22, 2010


October 22, 2010

Here is Walter's letter to the editor in The Eagle this morning:

A good man who has done a fine job

Chet Edwards deserves the vote of every citizen of the 17th Congressional District - not because of how he did or did not vote on the high-profile issues that received so much play in the media, but for the multitude of steps he has taken on behalf of all of us in the district.

Here are just three examples.

* He secured funding for 12 new, efficient, clean-fuel buses to replace an aging fleet and improve the mobility of those dependent on public transportation to get to work.

* He supported an increase in Pell Grants so that less well-off students can afford to attend places like Texas A&M.

* He helped pass the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act so that fewer children have to die long before their time.

These may be small things to some. Yet they make up 90 percent of what a representative does, and they vastly improve the lives and provide greater opportunity for success, prosperity, and good health for all of us.

Contrast Chet with his opponent, Bill Flores, a Houston millionaire who came to our district to buy a trophy seat in Congress, who will tell any lie and stoke any irrational fear to satisfy his latest whimsy.

Ask the many who have met him and they will agree, Chet is a good man who has done a fine job serving his district. He identifies with those with everyday problems, and he has earned our vote.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Slip Away

October 18, 2010

Vote! Early vote starts today at 8:00!

Arena Hall on Tabor Road
Brazos County Administration Building
College Station Utilities Meeting and Training Facility
Galilee Baptist Church
MSC, Room 146

Oct. 18 - 22 (Monday - Friday)
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Oct. 23 (Saturday)
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Oct. 24 (Sunday)
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Oct. 25 - 29 (Monday - Friday)
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Believe me, it departed faster than it arrived.

Last Sunday, I had someone selecting my outfit for me. The wardrobe specialist held up my jacket in front of the camera and jiggled it around to make sure it wouldn't "dance" even if I sat still. We went through three or four choices about blouses, trying for the exact right effect. Rae spent forty-five minutes fussing over my make-up and hair, giving me "casual eyes" and really smooth skin.

The ad started its one-week run on Wednesday.

But nothing lasts forever. Saturday found me cut loose and on my own. Nobody to choose my clothes or even care. Instead of a private dressing room near the sound stage at the recording studio, I found myself changing from shorts, flats, and my coaching shirt into cocktail party attire in a one-seater bathroom at a nursery in Navasota (thanks, Denise, for dropping me off on the way back from the game, so Walter could pick me up on the way to Austin). I touched up my make up and smeared on some lipstick using the side-view mirror of the van in a parking garage under the downtown Courtyard Marriott, before striding confidently (?) into the Texas Book Festival reception in the penthouse of the Four Seasons with ALL the beautiful people in Austin. If I had had a dresser, I know I would have worn black (everyone else did) instead of fall colors.

I think the ad is still running, but my head is no longer swollen. A necessity, because imagine how big I would look if "objects in mirror are closer than they appear?"

Saturday, October 16, 2010


October 16, 2010

I hope all my friends will meet me at The Corner in Northgate next Friday for a special event with Robert Earl Keen and Governor hopeful Bill White. These fliers are downloadable, but I can also mail you the full jpeg if you want.

Early vote starts on Monday and both Bill White and Chet Edwards need your support. Last night in Waco Chet surprised me and Walter when he told a crowd of 600 all about Erin. I'm not sure how any of us (Elaine, Mark, Carmella, and George were also there) made it through his speech. He had to stop and recompose himself more than once, and let's just say I was sure glad I hadn't applied mascara. He ended his speech by telling the crowd how he relied on Erin's example when he faced tough days, knowing that her struggle was so much more than any challenge he faced as a Congressman or on the campaign trail.

And special thanks to Jamie who left a lovely message on the blog recently. Erin fans should pay her a visit on her outpost on the web, Stuck Outside the Box which is exactly where I find myself most of the time!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Match or Not

October 14, 2010

Following on the theme of "Vickie really has acted like a doofus lately," I will confess to having issues on Tuesday.

I finally had a normal sleep cycle on Monday night (or so I thought) after accumulating sleep debt for several days. I did my usual routine: dog walk, coffee, newspaper, breakfast, shower. I decided I needed to wear the kicky black-themed jacket my mom gave me for my birthday. I pulled on black pants, found a contrasting blouse, black socks, and black loafers before slipping into my jacket (and yes, I remembered undergarments).

I taught well, back-to-back classes discussing some momentous decision Boeing had to make at some point. I made it to my office for office hours, first stopping for a bathroom break. I noticed I wasn't wearing a belt, but then remembered that my black pants didn't require a belt.

Finally, after I had visited with a couple of students, responded to some emails, and checked my news feeder, I noticed my sartorial FAIL. Blue pants.

Not hideous, just doofus-y. Since I purposefully chose a contrasting blouse, I now found myself in an outfit that nothing matched at all (well, almost. My socks did match my shoes.). Unfortunately, I also failed to achieve that stylish mismatched look either, since everything I had on was fairly similar. Just similar enough to look like I had tried to match, but somehow couldn't quite pull it off. And, of course, I had no belt on pants that obviously require a belt and the right belt might have pulled it all together.

Oh well, since my third class was so focused on the exam I gave, I doubt they noticed my pitiful wardrobe choices, or if they did were too polite to mention it.

I am, however, left wondering about Walter. He is usually my last line of defense against clothing blunders. Perhaps he needs a check up?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Laugh and Appreciate

October 10, 2010

So I missed starting this post at exactly 10:10 this morning or this evening, so I won't even pursue the multiple 10 date/time theme which I first explored on Cinco de Mayo in 2005 and then again on August of 2008 right before we learned of Erin's progression that led us down the path with no return.

Instead, let me share a couple of things.

Here's the laugh (courtesy of my friend Jimmie) in celebration of my post about tucking in or out.

The appreciation is to my long-time friend and hero, Raymond, who has talent beyond imagination. Both he and his Poppy carry heavy health burdens--Raymond carrying the strains of neuroblastoma survival and long-term effects and his Poppy with various serious health concerns that bounce him in and out of the hospital.

Raymond is an outstanding advocate for neuroblastoma and has been since he was a very young man. He has honored Erin by placing her at the top of his annual Kid's Cancer Tree. If you visit his site you will see scores of beautiful young people who need your support and prayers and many who have left behind families who also need your support and prayers. Raymond also runs a huge annual toy drive that you can read about and help fund if you click over. Here's his appeal:

Please Help me buy new toys this Christmas for a play room in a hospital or clinic for cancer kids and other sick kids. click the paypal button [on the Kid's Cancer Tree] to donate. If you have a new toy you wish to donate email me. Or you can donate a new toy to a pediatric hospital playroom in your area if you wish to help a local hospital to you. To see previous success, click here. If you wish to send a check then follow directions here: send a check through the mail payable to: Alex's Lemonade Stand Fund - 333 Lancaster Avenue - #414 Wynnewood, PA 19096. Checks go to Cancer Research, my toy fund is not set up to accept checks. Other donation choices are on the Kids Cancer Tree spring/summer page. Click Here

Monday, October 4, 2010


October 4, 2010

Faculty like me don't always get paid during the summer months. Last Friday was my first payday since the first of June.

Don't worry about us. First of all, we are pretty disciplined about saving, and secondly, Walter gets paid every month because he is currently an administrator.

We do cut back some during the summer months and use the credit cards a bit more.

So, when I noticed that Walter's favorite clothing store was having a huge tent sale with 60 and 70% off suits, sports coats, and some of their nicest items, I pulled in.

I thought Walter deserved a little treat. The summer has been tough around A&M. Too many budget cuts. Too few options. Headaches. Endless meetings. Limp leadership. People's jobs on the line.

I went in looking for Lew, who has outfitted Walter for years. It turns out Lew moved to Houston to be nearer his grandkids. An admirable move, but one that helped me not at all. The new owner, Harley, came out and offered his assistance. I explained that I didn't think I could shop without Lew. He chose all of Walter's clothes, freeing up Walter to choose all of my clothes.

Harley asked a bunch of questions about Walter's height, weight, shape, and tastes, then started pulling items off the rack. I was attracted to one jacket, but it was pretty bold--cashmere with a lavender and a bright blue stripe embedded in the pattern. I felt like a "little treat" wouldn't be quite that daring nor quite that pricey (even on sale). I picked a jacket that looked similar to the one Walter had just bought me for my birthday last month, on the theory that we could almost be twinsies if we wore them at the same time.

I had it partially right. Not partial twinsies, but exact twinsies. But not with me.

Friday evening, I excitedly waited for Walter to appreciate my thoughtfulness. I happened to be walking the Willie when he got home. He met us on the road as we returned and asked about the jacket in the living room. He didn't seem that excited.

It turns out, I got him a jacket he already had (I'm thinking, "No wonder I thought he might like it."). Doh.

That little mistake actually helped me out with my Christmas shopping. On Saturday, after I left for soccer, Walter returned the replica jacket. Apparently, Harley took me at my word that I was depending on him to get to know Walter, so I would have a clue about Christmas gifts and Walter's January birthday. He helped Walter pick out the cashmere jacket, two pair of complementary (not complimentary) slacks, two shirts, and three ties. Walter told me I could pick them up in a couple of weeks after their alterations and hide them so he would forget about them. Then I can wrap them for Christmas.

I think I'm set for my shopping for a while, at least for Walter.

Since I have just revealed that I don't have the sense not to buy my very own husband a duplicate gift, it will surprise no one that I can't get my days straight either.

You may remember last week that I let the first odd Friday of the month slip up on me (and past me) without scheduling a lanyard workshop. To make up for it, and in honor of the Crosstown Showdown between Bryan High and A&M Consolidated, I will host the Crosstown Beaddown Lanyard Workshop this Friday, October 8. I'm going to order tamales from Maria's tamales so that anyone that needs to go to the game can stop in, bead a lanyard, and have a bite to eat before they leave for the game. See you there.