TLC needs a reality check

June 19, 2009 There is always an aura of unreality that surrounds “reality shows,” but nowhere is that more apparent than on TLC’s expanding cable network, which features shows such as “Jon and Kate Plus 8” and “18 Kids and Counting.”The world is careening toward a climate disaster; an international food crisis looms on the horizon; and scarcity of fresh water, oil, and other resources are dampening future economic growth prospects, but Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 18 children are doing just fine, thank you.

Relationship priorities

June 19, 2009 This is for you “baby daddies” out there — for you and for those who know and love a man who has become a “baby daddy.” It’s Father’s Day, after all, and being a “baby daddy” seems to be a growing form of fatherhood. For those who don’t know the term, it describes a man who fathers a child when neither he nor the mother intends to marry or even stay together.I understand the cultural changes behind becoming a baby daddy. Some of them are positive changes.

Of buzzards, lightning

June 18, 2009 A storm came up Friday afternoon while I was laying blocks on a house foundation east of Batesville. Raindrops began falling but they were pretty far apart so I was not going to stop work — after all, that was the coolest it had been all day.But lightning soon drove me to take refuge in my car. Lightning can zoom 10 miles or more across the sky and kill someone.

At home and abroad

June 18, 2009 I went to the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Md., last year to train in Army Public Affairs as a print and photojournalist. Basically, I was learning how to write articles and take photographs in order to tell the story of soldiers as they defend our country against “all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I was there three months, which meant that I missed about a third of Gloria’s very first pregnancy. I am thankful that I was home in time for the birth of Zachary Neal Vaughn on Sept. 5.

Morning observations

June 17, 2009 What was left of the night was just barely hanging on. Many of my neighbors were still some time away from wiping the sleep from their eyes or having that first cup of coffee before they faced the day.My lazy Bichon had opted to stay in bed. He gave the impression he was irritated at having been awakened at such an early hour and threw one of his paws over his glaring back eyes for emphasis as I left for an early morning walk.

Cure for summertime blues

June 16, 2009 No more pencilsNo more booksNo more teacher’s dirty looks School’s out foreverSchool’s out for summerSchool’s out with feverSchool’s out completely                                 — Alice Cooper  Sometimes I wonder what I’m a gonna doBut there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues

Aunt Anj strikes again

June 16, 2009 I already know I’m a bad sister. I mean, my own grandmother tells me that much, and when your grandmother tells you, it’s gotta be true.But, I am a great aunt.Just ask my niece Abby. A few days aftershe and her brother Avery were out for the summer, they came to Batesville. I met their mom at Brockwell to pick up the kids, telling Abby about my friend’s kittens, which as luck would have it, were ready to leave the nest, so to speak. Abby was already broiling over with excitement, even though Avery was trying to quash it. 

‘Love’ bus invades Tunica

June 15, 2009 Standing outside near the Bluesville auditorium in Tunica, Miss., June 6,  I didn’t believe it when a member of Bret Michaels’ band said the lead singer would be performing at the Tony Awards in New York the next night.Why would the front man for the 1980’s rock group Poison be performing at an awards show devoted to Broadway musicals, I thought.