Archive for June, 2009

Contrary to what you might think, I am actually a native Texan and not originally from Arkansas. I was born near Amarillo, Texas, later lived in the Houston area and then moved to Arkansas when I was 10 years old. After being raised in the Natural State, I gladly left home for the University of Oklahoma and later married a wonderful guy from Edmond—hoping that he would take me back there someday. And as crazy as it sounds, we still live in Little Rock and actually like it.
But as we have been traveling a lot lately, and I’ve begun to think twice about the land-that-I-love. After going to Texas two weekends ago for a wedding and then to Oklahoma City last week for a friend’s 30th birthday, I began to wonder what it was about Arkansas that we liked so much. For instance, if Arkansas faced-off with Texas or Oklahoma, which state would prevail?
1. Let’s start with the obvious: Sports.
What kills me is that people in Arkansas hate OU and the University of Texas. Arkansans even tell Aggie jokes which strikes me as completely ironic because the state is well-known for Tyson foods, Hogs and soybeans. But back to sports, who would ever question the dominance of OU and UT over Arkansas? Hell, as much as I hate to say it, OSU could even stomp the Hogs. I know Arkansas will occasionally win a hard-fought battle against these arch enemies who aren’t even in the SEC, but overall—if I’m being honest, this is a point for Oklahoma and Texas.
2. Targets/Shopping.
With a state as large as Texas, it is inevitable that the shopping is going to be better than Arkansas. So let’s just throw Texas out on this one, and focus on the shopping debate between Arkansas and Oklahoma. First, I think it is important to say that I’m not talking about designer shopping, because I’m really only concerned with essential purchases. And I could argue that most essential shopping can be done at a Target store. Except not in Arkansas. In the land of Wal-Mart, (Wal-Mart was founded in Bentonville, Arkansas) there isn’t even a single, solitary, Super Target. If I want to buy the creations of Mossimo along with an ear of corn, I’m out of luck. Even on the shampoo aisle in Edmond, Oklahoma’s Target I started to get depressed. Who knew there were more than five choices of shampoo and conditioner? Point to Oklahoma and Texas.
3. News coverage.
While in Texas two weekends ago, my husband and I learned of the conflict in Iran, and thank goodness. If we’d been in Arkansas, watching the local news, who knows what local grass-fire would have eclipsed this international crisis? To be fair, in Arkansas, local stations do cover national and international stories, but honestly, one station actually brags about only covering the local news, as if we aren’t insulated enough from the rest of the world. Yes, we have the Internet and wear shoes most of the time, but after watching a night full of Channel 4, you have to laugh as we perpetuate our own stereotypes. Point to Oklahoma and Texas.
4. Accents.
Most people who have never been to Arkansas would think that we have beautiful Southern accents. Designing Women and Gone with the Wind’s Tara come to mind. And then you hear an Arkansan talk. It’s this “Arkansas” accent that hits you right between the eyes and the terms, “hillbilly” and “hick” come to mind. Now, some people can’t help it. They’ve been raised here and while they might be well educated and very non-Hillbilly, the accent is just as unavoidable as it is distinct. Case-and-point: (And I am not making this up.) When traveling in Europe one summer during college, my travel companion and I were literally standing in the middle of the Forum in Rome. When suddenly, I was frozen in my Chacos, listening to the distinct and somewhat jarring sounds of an Arkansan speaking. I immediately told my travel-mate that I was sure those people were from Arkansas, and to make things even more hilarious and small-town, I knew them. It was my preacher, his wife and daughter. We had a nice chat with Mrs. Anne and went on our way.
To contrast, let’s examine the Texas and Oklahoma accents. Texas: I had a pledge sister in college from Panhandle, Texas. She had a beautiful drawl that everyone loved. It endeared us to her. The accent of this cattle-rancher’s daughter didn’t cause us to wince, we actually thought it was sweet. Oklahoma: Most people from Oklahoma are accent-neutral. In fact, it’s such an ambiguous accent that when my husband first went to training with his company in New Jersey, people couldn’t guess where he was from. Now, eight years of Arkansas later, his teammates are making fun of what he has accidentally absorbed. I said it was unavoidable. Point to Texas and Oklahoma.
5. Fun things to do.
Little Rock is the capital city of Arkansas and one of the largest cities in the state. We don’t have a professional sports team, or even a Cheesecake Factory, but we do have the Skatium. The one skating rink in the city is so hopping on Sunday nights that the police are called out to manage all of the pre-teens who take to the street. Some wander their way up to Wal-Mart to get a coke while others hangout at the snow-cone hut and make it a perfect weekend.
In Oklahoma City, they have an area called Bricktown which is quickly becoming Oklahoma’s version of the San Antonio Riverwalk. The Oklahoma City Thunder shoots baskets at the Ford Center and Billy Joel and Elton John actually had a sold-out concert in Tulsa. Snow cones on Sunday begin to pale in comparison to these Oklahoma and Texas attractions. Point to Oklahoma and Texas.
I could go on.
But as I write all of this, I begin to feel like a horrible person. After all, I defend Arkansas all over the U. S. when people make fun of Bill Clinton’s home state. Although Texas and Oklahoma are clearly the winners here, I’ll continue to pay that high Arkansas-state income tax with a smile on my face; I’ll faithfully save for my future-children’s private-high school education; and I’ll cheer for the doomed Hogs as they willingly enter into an eight year football contract with Texas A & M. It’s a pride for Arkansas that is unexplainable. Tiger Lily to Arkansas.

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One of my favorite past-times is blogging- both reading and writing. I love it when I get a really good idea for a post and get exited when I open my Google Reader and have a menu of entries awaiting me. However, with the onset of the heat, a back-breaking schedule of school, work, travel and more work, I haven’t really found any Lily-inspiration lately.

I’m Lily-less.

I’m not motivated to blog about Michael Jackson. It’s only proper to make fun of someone when they’re alive.

I don’t want to point to the Iranian conflict and say “I told you so” to all of the readers out there that commented on my “Tweet Resistance” saying that Twitter is a fad, so I won’t.

I considered blogging about the U.S. Open and Bethpage Black. But with Rocco, Tiger and Ernie all out of it there was no use. I need more excitement like a play-off, not a rain delay.

I need inspiration. I need time off. I need the air conditioner pumped up to the next level.

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She fought tooth and nail for her rights to free speech while defying the pageant tradition of touting world peace and vowing to help starving children. She defended those racy photos where the photographer accidentally took picture after picture of her boobs. She pleaded with Donald Trump to save her Miss California crown, and now after all that controversy is behind her, Carrie Prejean has a blond moment. She forgets to go to her Miss California appointments. Trump was not as forgiving this time, and she was fired.
I am not only giving Miss X-California a Tiger Lily, but I am here to say that I am now officially irritated with her. Let’s just run down her moments of brilliance from the last few months:
Statement against same-sex marriage during the Miss USA pageant: My reaction—So what, free speech. She should, however, be prepared to lose the Miss USA competition even if it’s not fair.
Nude pictures that were an “accident”: My reaction—Liar. An accident? Right. Especially because she changed her story when more pictures surfaced on TMZ.com that were obviously not an accident. She quickly pulled the, “I’m not perfect” card. Close call, Carrie! You should be thanking your lucky-porn stars that the men on the evaluation committee allowed you to keep your crown.

I can just imagine how that meeting with Trump went:

Trump: “Well Carrie, I can see by these pictures that you didn’t mean to pose nude. (wink, wink) My wife, who is also a model, is constantly having accidental nude pictures taken. You can keep your crown.” (Taps her on the butt.)
Accepting pageant-funded fake boobs: My reaction—who cares, tons of people have fake boobs that were given to them by people who now regret footing the bill.
Not appearing at her Miss California appointments: My reaction—totally ridiculous. After being scrutinized, criticized and demoralized on national television, you don’t bother to show up to work. Nice.

Carrie had such potential for a positive Tiger Lily. She could have received what would have been a Tiger Lily for being a fantastically outspoken beauty contestant who spoke her mind no matter what the consequences. But now, thanks to her lack of attendance, my Tiger Lily is awarded to the Beauty Queen that that made just one too many mistakes.
This Tiger Lily is dedicated to a friend that is one of my most loyal blog followers and just happens to be an x- killer-smart beauty contestant. She’s beautiful, poised and shows up to work on time.

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