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Totally Missed Fiesta

Totally Missed Fiesta

The other day I happened onto a message board where they were asking if anyone had tickets for the Flambeau Parade, the illuminated night parade that’s traditionally the last function of Fiesta.

I said, “Wait. What do you mean, Flambeau? Has Fiesta already started?” Well, it had started and ended and I was somewhere else. Deep in the throes of a book, which is my only excuse.

I don’t participate in Fiesta functions anymore. Too many people, too much beer – that sort of thing. There’s a lot of pageantry surrounding Fiesta, but they sometimes take it WAY too seriously. Like the Order of the Alamo and their crowning of the Queen and her court each year in a ceremony at the Majestic Theater.

You have to admit, however, that the dresses of the court are magnificent. They’re showcased on the parades, with the court (and the Queen) on individual floats with the trains of their dresses falling down behind them. They’re spectacular, especially with all the glittering jewels sparkling in the Texas sunlight.

This year’s theme was America the Beautiful and here are just three of the dresses.

We always seemed to come back to San Antonio when we went overseas. Japan, San Antonio, Canada, San Antonio, France, San Antonio, Italy, San Antonio – so I was able to go to the parades a lot when I was younger. (I didn’t particularly WANT to go, by the way.) When my kids were little I dragged them to a few parades just to satisfy my Mommy Quotient. I used to enjoy the sight of the dresses the most. Now I’d just as soon look at them online.

Here’s a link to see them all.

Who I Am

Who I Am

This morning I wrote a post about a baby who lived only forty minutes after her birth and how that story made me cry. Then I compared that beautiful tribute I’d read from a member of her family to the video of pro-Planned Parenthood protesters here in San Antonio who bragged about having abortions.

I deleted that blog post just as I’ve deleted most other blog posts that touched on controversial subjects. Recently, I deleted 94 out of 200 draft posts on my site. That’s how much I censor myself.

Yet I’m a woman who believes passionately in certain things. I have very strong political views. I love my country deeply. I was an Air Force dependent, active duty Navy, and married to a Marine. It is difficult for me, sometimes, to keep my mouth shut and not to post about certain things. The more insane the world gets the harder it is.

You can always tell when I’m having a difficult time because I will go radio silent for days.

You see, I’m a writer. That pretty much defines who I am. I tell stories and I love telling stories. The one I’m working on right now, for example, excites me so much that I can barely wait to start work every morning.

So, I have to ask myself what’s more important to me? The identity my strong opinions gives me or my identity as a writer? There are times when it’s almost a tossup, frankly. More and more lately I’ve felt that it was necessary for me to stand up and say: this is who I am. This is who Karen Ranney really is. I’ve gotten the feeling that we’re reaching critical mass, that the time has come for people of conscience to declare themselves, for us to say, “No more,” when it comes to certain things.

So let me put it to you this way. If it’s a choice of life over death I choose life. If it’s a choice between being crazy or sane I choose sanity. (And sanity isn’t that difficult to define, lately.) If it’s a choice between tolerance and violence I choose tolerance. If it’s a choice between facts and feelings I choose facts. If I must choose between being a victim or being an independent, rational, thinking human being who accepts responsibility for the stupidity or validity of every choice I’ve ever made, I will take the latter, thank you.

After this post I will once more retreat to the mild mannered writer I appear to be most of the time. Just know that there’s a thumping heart beneath each post. If there’s something stupid, hideous, anti-American, or just plain wrong happening in the world I probably know about it and I’m no doubt ranting silently. However, I’ll try to keep my true nature under wraps for the most part.

I just thought it was important that you know who I am. Karen Ranney, teller of stories and passionate woman.

Dental Issues, Ugh

Dental Issues, Ugh

I don’t know about you, but dental issues are way up there on my Oh No, I Have to Do That? list. In other words, ugh.

I have implants because of a car accident I was in years ago. They have worked perfectly for years. However, I cracked – at least that’s what it feels like – part of a bridge a week ago and I’ve been nursing it along until I can find another prosthodontist. My brilliant dentist retired, so it’s been a case of calling, researching, calling, etc.

Today is the day I will trot off to the new person with my nerves of steel. Not. Stanley is going to the day care, so hopefully all will be well there. I swear, if anyone is rude to me I’m tempted to say something right back to them. If I can talk, that is.

Curses, foiled again.

How do you feel about the dentist?

In Which I Confess to Being Shallow

In Which I Confess to Being Shallow

Just as an aside – my WordPress theme had a major update yesterday. Ever since I haven’t been able to write a blog post in the “normal” way. I’ve had to go back to the old way of doing things, so hopefully that remains up and running while they track down the current problem.

Now back to the post…

Last night, in one of my fits of insomnia, I started watching a show that was touted as one of NBC’s new popular series. “Wildly popular” is the term the marketing people used. I frankly suffered through the first episode, made it through the second, skipped the third and fourth, then found an online site that would give me a synopsis of all the remaining episodes.

I found the acting truly awful, but the writing was sucky, too. But what distracted me the most – and the reason for the post’s title – were the main character’s eyebrows. Yep, eyebrows.

Every time there was a break in the scene I was yelling at the screen, “Pluck your damn eyebrows!” No kidding. They were doing something to me. Even Stanley noticed. I realize the sheer shallowness of my occupation with her eyebrows. I tried to distract myself. Whenever the character came on screen I’d look away. The bad acting forced me to look in her direction from time to time, however, when I said such things as, “Are you freaking kidding me?”

I gave up, finally. I couldn’t subject myself to that torture anymore. It was honestly a cross between the eyebrows and the acting. Or maybe the writing.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been distracted by a physical characteristic of an actor?

Get the Hell Out

Get the Hell Out

A woman is missing in San Antonio. Her husband is considered a suspect. Unfortunately, the authorities don’t believe that she’s still alive. 

I bring up this story for one reason: her friends have come forward to say that she told them that if anything happened to her it was the husband’s doing.

I have, unfortunately, some experience with being in an abusive relationship. I won’t go into all the gory details because I’m not a victim, have never been a victim, and will never be a victim. Trotting out the whole story strikes me as being part of the victim mindset. Just trust me when I say I know what I’m talking about.

If a friend or a family member or an acquaintance or a work colleague or someone on a plane/train/subway ever makes that comment to you, tell them to get the hell out, NOW! If you’re in that situation, RUN. When someone gives you an indication that you’re in danger, believe them. Act on it. Don’t wait around thinking that there will be a happy ending.

And don’t, for the love of all that’s holy, think that awful things can’t happen to you. They can. They do.