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It just got a whole lot quieter.

First off, I owed dooki and crazydiamondsue calls last night, and I just dropped the ball. Too much to do - and I'm heading to the airport for Tree City in about three hours, so... Home on Sunday, jiggity jig. Plane reading material: The Liar, Stephen Fry (almost done - loved it) and Confederacy of Dunces. also taking Book 6 of the Outlander series. And a journal to write! Okay, the plane ride isn't that long, but I believe in being prepared!

Seriously: hit me with a link to your fics, etc. here so I can CATCH UP. I'm not even going to bother going back through a week and a half of my flist - I do know that lettered has some fic I want to read, the scranton_times has TONS of good-looking Office fic I want to read... Hit me up!

And now, a personal little note for my own posterity...



Ann Richards finally succumbed to esophageal cancer. She's been in a bad way for the past several months, and her death coupled with Molly Ivins' illness makes me sad for my home state. If you ever wondered what a real Texas woman was like, that's it. The state's full of them, too, but none as funny, as passionate, and strong as Ann. Well, maybe there's a sixteen year old in Student Council thinking she's got a chance. I'll root for her, too.

I grew up believing women were strong - that they were capable. Hell, all of my favorite people were strong women. My local mayor - one of the most beloved in Dallas' history - was Annette Strauss. Pretty, feminine, and stronger'n a bois d'arc stump. Ann Richards was our State Treasurer and looked like my grandmother, but with money. (You know - she didn't go to the Beauty Box to get her hair done on Saturdays - she probably could do it up a few times a week?) Just as I was nearing the age where I could vote, I started paying attention to politics. Reagan was in office, and I knew I didn't like him. (Comic Relief showed me that his administration was a good reason for all the homeless people.)

The Democratic convention was big news in 1988. And so was Ann. Remember hearing someone say "Ginger Rodgers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in heels?" Yep, that was Ann. Dry humored, smart-mouthed, perfectly coiffed hair. Yeah, that was my role model.

Texas was still a Good Old Boys club before she took office. And for a fantastic period of time - a time with grunge music, with environmental awareness, with a new President that the world over STILL loves and pines for - Texas was progressive. It was just like in the beginning, and any upstanding Texan who knows their history should remember that our state was based on independent thought, on less government interference, and on strong men and women who stood up for what they believed was right for us.

Her governor's race was the nastiest on record. And that's saying something, considering one opponent shot and killed another opponent back in the 1800s. Clayton Williams was a lock. They thought. He had the good graces to open his mouth one too many times and practically held the door open for Ann Richards to waltz in with a toodle-oo over her shoulder. Clayton, you may remember, was the asshole who was on a camping trip with some "buddies" and remarked off-handedly how rape was a lot like the weather: "as long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it."

Thanks for going on record, Clayton; it wasn't a lock before. Sure, he tried spinning it as being "out of context" and "I was just shooting the breeze with my buddies, camping." You can't spin that and Ann won with a sigh of relief. She celebrated her 60th birthday by getting a motorcycle's license. She hired more women and minorities into her cabinet than any other governor or elected official before or since. How can you not love a woman who's hair is perfect, used to be a teacher and homemaker, has a mouth that can cut you to ribbons or soothe you with a mother's love, who then decided to step up and make a real change? As far as I'm concerned, you can't. You point to her on the tv screen and tell your daughters they can be just like her. You watch her, you listen, and you change yourself and better yet, follow her example and try and change the world. I loved Ann Richards as a symbol of the Texas woman, but more importantly, she perfectly embodied everything I love about my home state.

She was a house wife that decided to get involved and make a change. She showed me that it's never too late to start fresh and make a difference. I will miss her presence terribly.

Some of my favorite quotes (because lord, could that woman make you laugh):

  • I am delighted to be here with you this evening because after listening to George Bush all these years, I figured you needed to know what a real Texas accent sounds like. [1988 keynote address, Democratic National Convention]

  • They blame the low income women for ruining the country because they are staying home with their children and not going out to work. They blame the middle income women for ruining the country because they go out to work and do not stay home to take care of their children.

  • The here and now is all we have, and if we play it right it's all we'll need.

  • Poor George (Dubya Bush). He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.

  • Someday you're going to look in the mirror and your hair is going to be as white as mine. And people are not going to hire you because of your good looks. They're going to hire you because of what you have in your brain. (to a group of students on her weekly address to groups of school children)

  • In looking back on my life, I could of course say the predictable thing: that the greatest thing I've ever done is bear my children and have grandchildren, and all that kind of stuff. But the reality is that the greatest part of my life was the opportunity to be in public service. To make a difference for the community I live in, for the state that I love, to be able to try to make things better, whether they turned out in the fashion I expected them to or not. Sometimes it's serendipitous. Good things happen accidentally. But they're not going to happen unless well-meaning people give of their time and their lives to do that.

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Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
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brandil
Sep. 14th, 2006 01:30 pm (UTC)
Have fun, be safe
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC)
I did, I was!

*squish*
a2zmom
Sep. 14th, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC)
Ann Richards will be sorely missed.

Have fun, fun, fun.

I have a drabble about Connor.

I love "Confederacy of Dunces".

Now, you have a good time, ya'hear?
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:04 pm (UTC)
I did have a good time, I got caught up in other things, so I'll hit Confederacy later this week, she's a terrible loss for Texans, and I'm off to read your drabble!!

*hugs you* Again: your CD was the fave of Mr. S this weekend while I was gone. :D
tinpanalley
Sep. 14th, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)

Ann Richards was an amazing woman and she will be missed.

Have a great trip!
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC)
I bawled watching the funeral - GAH, I loved her.

I had an EXCELLENT trip, thanks!
entrenous88
Sep. 14th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC)
I am so you (or you are so me?) on planes -- I always bring 1,001 things to keep me occupied, just in case, omg!

Have a safe flight and a *fabulous* visit! I will be watching the calendar for you to come home! *snug*
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC)
I had plenty to do on the plane! Which was good, because we had NO PILOT for 40 minutes! Um... THAT is why you bring extra reading material, friends. o_O

*loves you alllllll up*
seadriftmare
Sep. 14th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uxTpyCdriY

not sure if you've seen this yet...thought of you when i saw it...
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. That's by killabeez - it went viral, which isn't great because it's not as perfect as the version on her site. (IF you want the GOOD version, check out her journal for the vid link. I'ts WELL WORTH IT!)

You ROCK for linking me, because I want people to think of me when they find something awesome!!! Heeee! *hugs*
leila82
Sep. 14th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
RIP Anne Richards. I honestly didn't know much about here; we moved to Texass in '94, when I was 12, and couldn't care less about politics, but reading about her - I wish there were more people like her around and in leadership positions.
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
*erases that extra "s" from Texas, for I am proud of my state, yo*

Yeah, I wish there were more like her, too. Hopefully there are some that are just a bit nervous about getting involved - and they'll feel inspired to come forward and be a new face. *crosses fingers*
... - leila82 - Sep. 18th, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, Sue, I just bawled. I watched her funeral, and when Clinton choked up, I had to excuse myself. WAAAAAAAAH.

We had a GREAT time, I'm all tuckered out, but in a good way. AND!! I got my PACKAGE from you, and you are AWESOME for my super cool tee-shirt. I ♥ it!! I'll wear it tomorrow with GLEE!
redbrickrose
Sep. 14th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love Confederacy of Dunces so, so much. I had a great story from one of my professors about how John Kennedy Toole's mother showed up on Loyola's campus with the (I believe hand-written?) manuscript and demanded to talk to Walker Percy and everybody was just like "Uh, no. You're crazy." But of course Percy got it and loved it. That book is hysterical. Have you read it before?

I didn't know that Ann Richards had died. I'm sorry to hear that.
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)
I haven't read it before (I know. I'm practically illiterate!!) so I'm looking forward to it. I ran out of time this weekend, so I didn't crack the spine yet, but I'll hopefully start and finish it this week. It looks terrific!

I was sorry about it, too. She was a fantastic human - funny, smart, and as compassionate as humanly possible. *hugs*
wolfling
Sep. 14th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC)
Anne Richards sounds like she was a hell of a lady.

Oh, just a suggestion - you might want to put the Project Runway stuff behind a spoiler cut? There's a lot of people like me who follow the show who are dl dependent and may not have had a chance to watch it yet.
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:14 pm (UTC)
I am SO SO SORRY. I ran out the door, knowing I had put an LJ cut on the post, but not realizing it was BELOW the spoiler. I'm so very sorry if I ruined that ep for you!!!

I've since removed that paragraph, and posted a public apology to anyone else I screwed over by that. A thousand apologies!! (I had no internet access over the weekend, to FURTHER compound the craptasticness that is me. GAH.)
southernbangel
Sep. 14th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC)
Ann Richards will be sorely missed.

Have a great trip, sweetpea!
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:15 pm (UTC)
Gah, she will be. She's who got me to care about politics in the first place. :(

BUT: I had a fantastic weekend, and I'll be looking for your journal to catch up!! *squishes and hugs*
fiveandfour
Sep. 14th, 2006 03:41 pm (UTC)
Our country's culture works in such a way that if a person isn't from Los Angeles, New York or Washington when speaking on "issues", we (aka the media) hardly pay them any attention. Which is a shame in a lot of ways. But it also means that when people like Ann Richards come along and grab the attention of the nation, they come to be somewhat representative of everyone in their state or region. Thus it was that she came to be a sort of prototypical Texas woman in my mind, though I felt a bit sheepish in admitting that because I didn't know if anyone actually from Texas would agree with the sentiment. It's a relief to know she was loved and admired and looked up to in her home state. I'm sure I know only the smallest fraction of things about her, but I recall taking immense delight in hearing her speak - which was always with good sense and a wicked touch of humor (a killer combination in my book).

And on a completely different topic, I've been told under no circumstances should I read beyond book 3 - or at the very outside, book 4 - in the Outlander series if I want to have any hope of still loving the series. (The typical comment is along the lines of "book 5 was a crime against humanity".) So I'm verra verra curious to know your thoughts on books 5 and 6 - you're the first person I've come across that seems to be sticking it out and reading book 6.
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
I will say that Ann Richards *is* a prototypical Texas woman. She's a lot like the women in my family - the mouthiness, the sassy humor... She was loved by women and men alike, here. Except for a handful of Good Old Boys, but who likes them, anyway? ;)

As to Gabaldon's Outlander series... Okay, I know what they mean with Book 5. It becomes the Brianna/Roger story (the children) and while it wasn't as engaging as the first books, has its own merits, too. I liked the historical bits in that particular book, and evidently I'm a rare duck. *g* But definitely the first three books are the best. I'm a weirdo that will follow a series to the end, even if certain books aren't as compelling as the others in the series, however, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I like Gabaldon's books because they read like elaborate fanfiction. Easy to slip in and out of, vivid imagery, and fun characters. So far I'm liking 6 - it's no Voyager (#3) but then, it's better escapist reading than most, so there's my endorsement. :)
lynnenne
Sep. 14th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
I loved Ann Richards, and she will be sorely missed. As will you! Have great trip. *huggles*
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:20 pm (UTC)
I *looooved* her. The state's memorial begins in a bit, so I'll be tuning in for that. I had a GREAT trip, sugar booger, but I missed all my girls! I think you've posted some recs I need to check out....

*loves*
brutti_ma_buoni
Sep. 14th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)
Will Ferrell interview - UK Times 14 Sept
Hi there. Great quotes from Ann Richards - I can see why you'll be missing her.

Saw this (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,173-2356289,00.html) and thought of you... (You may still have to register for the site - let me know if it's a problem).
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
Oooh, that's a great one! Man, I love Will. (Uh, tell us something we DON'T know, Laura.)

Thank you for thinking of me and linking that!!
julia_here
Sep. 14th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)
Echoing your Ann Richards love, and adding that I love d her, as a person not from Texas because she was comfortable in her public persona the way politicians usually aren't- she could talk about her emerald ring (which is on my objects of hopeless desire list) or her alcoholism with equal aplomb, could stand on a bridge next to Dale Chihuly (like a gazelle and a warthog, those two) and cackle at the sight of glass going into the Grand Canal of Venice and sit in a ring of welfare mothers and talk about social change as if they were her equals.

And she looked like Mr. Space's Aunt Betty, who was a country doctor's daughter and OKC third grade teacher.

Julia, and esophageal cancer is such a damned long hard way to go
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
She looks like a classier version of my grandmother, truth be told. (G-ma just went to the Beaty Box on Saturday's, so she didn't benefit from more regular "blueing" treatments. :D)

Hope you're doing well, and I'm loving your new icon! (skimmed your journal, and saw your post about it. Look at that HAIR!)
lettered
Sep. 14th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
Sadly, I didn't know much about her. I was pretty young when she was governor and then I don't pay attention to Texas politics as much as I should. Thanks for sharing. She was a great lady.
stoney321
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:26 pm (UTC)
SHe sure was, and is what *I* think of when someone mentions the quintessential Texas woman.

Hi, Joy!! *hugs*
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Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

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