Memphis in mud

May 4, 2009 The person who thought it would be a great idea to mass produce rubber water boots must have been a female who got tired of getting muddy feet during the Beale Street musical festivals in May. In fact, I think those who peddle the rain ponchos around and at the festival could make a few bucks during the three-day festival by selling them. Goodness knows I’m glad I had my leopard print ones Sunday afternoon while standing in the rain and sloshing around in the mud.

Caught in legal snare

May 1, 2009 There is criminal law and there is civil law, there’s the long-running TV show “Law and Order,” and then there is the “law of unintended consequences.”Let’s hope that Indiana legislators will move soon to correct a bad case of the presumably unintended kind — one that unfairly and unnecessarily hinders student journalists, and which violates the spirit, if not also the letter, of First Amendment law.

Fiscal prudence is cool

May 1, 2009 The recession is now official, my teenager no longer shops at Abercrombie & Fitch.Yes, it’s true, teens who were once ashamed to be seen in anything but top-label, strategically distressed clothing are now ponying up to the register for $2 flip-flops and two-for-one tees at Target and Old Navy.

Elephant catch phrase

April 30, 2009 How many readers picked up on the meaning of the headline on this column last week?“Seeing the elephant” is a term that is almost 200 years old here in America. At one time, most people — even those considered very uneducated — knew what it meant.A voracious reader, especially about the Old West, hunting and trapping, the fur trade and early exploration, I’ve known the meaning of “seeing the elephant” since age 10 or possibly earlier.

Hammers, nails and tears

April 29, 2009 Remember when you were in grade school and at the first of each year you had to write an essay on how you spent your summer vacation? Well, here’s how I spent my first week of vacation.Monday started out bad and went downhill from there. I had so many things on my to-do list that I dumped lotion on my toothbrush instead of toothpaste. Ugh!!!

Dealing with disaster

April 28, 2009 It’s been three months since last winter’s ice storm, and many of us are still dealing with debris. This weekend, Gary and I went to his mom’s in Jonesboro, where some neighborhoods had such destruction that they looked like war zones, and that’s not an exaggeration, unfortunately. My mother-in-law has a sizeable driveway with pine trees lining both sides. Immediately after the ice storm, some of those trees were uprooted while others just had some major limbs snapped off or barely hanging on.

Wait’ll next year, part 3

April 28, 2009 It’s 2009. What rational human being can possibly believe in the power of curses in this modern age? Well…While my ego says “don’t be stupid, there’s no such thing as a curse,” my id disagrees.

California and the crown

April 27, 2009 I guess Perez Hilton, who’s gained fame for gossiping about celebrities though his online blog, was expecting to get a politically correct answer as a judge during last week’s Miss USA pageant.Boy, was he mistaken when Miss California, 21-year-old Carrie Prejean, opened her mouth.During the pageant’s question and answer segment, Prejean was asked her opinion about same-sex marriage. Now, others think it’s what cost her the crown that Miss North Carolina ultimately won.

GOP politics divided

April 27, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas Republicans say a contested primary for the U.S. Senate would give their party a chance to reinvigorate itself, but it may end up becoming another showcase for the factions that have long divided the state GOP.More than a year before the 2010 primary, the names of candidates and potential candidates can already be neatly placed into the categories that have divided the state’s GOP politics: northwest Arkansas versus central Arkansas. Fiscal conservative versus social conservative. Hutchinson versus Huckabee.