Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Week

OK So there I was in OKC, all ready for the beginning of the Youth Summit. Our contracts Manager was in DC with one of our programs and ran into the state office director, who is our main funder. The state chick asks our grants manager if there is anybody to serve as a Subject Matter Expert at this state conference, and big person that she is, the Grants Manager volunteered me. It's not a bog deal, we are trying to establish ourselves as an agency that is willing to work with funders and not against them.

So there I am in OKC. It's a Kid's Summit right? SO I dress as professionally and authoritatively as possible so I can keep control of the little fuckers at the conference. Yes, I wear a full suit and tie. So I get there about an hour early because I am a dumbass and always get times mixed up and keep turning the clock up and up in my head. And I sit and wait for the building to fill up and I see this chick I know, then this dude I work with, then another person I know and another and then I notice something missing. Where the hell are the kids?

Want to guess what was NOT present at a Kid's Summit in OKC this year? Oh yeah! So I spent the next two days all dressed up like the usher at a wedding while in a room full of nerds wearing jeans and shorts because at a conference (which this turned out to be) clothing is WAY casual!

But the worst, most embarrassing thing to happen this week was on my way to OKC. A stomach flu or virus or death wishing superbugs have hit the area. Our Grant's Manager called in sick and asked of I would sit in for her for a TA call in Stillwater. I go over there and things are going fine. There is a lot of good discussion about stuff I really don't understand when one of the new co-workers comes back from lunch.

I notice she has some kind of toner smudge on her forehead. So, polite and thoughtful guy that I am, I try to discreetly point to my forehead. This didn't work, so I added a discreet point and sweep motion. Nuttin. Damn we hired some slow people! So I add to my pantomime by pointing, sweeping then morphing into a slow drawn out forehead wipe. Finally I get a dawn of recognition that maybe I am trying to communicate. I am about to discreetly point, sweep motion with a slow wipe then add a palm lick and pseudo scrub when the new chick says...

"uh... it's Ash Wednesday."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Not Blogging About my Meal

OK it is my second night in Del City. Funny how these road trips start off with a feeling of Rodney Dangerfield shouting "Hey! We're all gunna get laid!" but end up with me sitting alone in a hotel room blogging about what I had for dinner. Kind of the more pathetic version of Blogography... and as sick as Dave has been this week, it would have to be Uber pathetic!

Oh I looked over last night's post. Holy crap I was exhausted. Now, after a catching up on my sleep in the youth conference (kidding) I can see it was full of mistakes. I wonder of I should correct them or leave them as a testament of my sleepytude. Oh yeah, and the Children's Summit for Mental Health for Oklahoma...? Not one friggin kid at the whole event. Hell I even wore a suit and tie to look more "Mr. Know-it-all" and it turned out half of the people there were my coworkers! Now I look like a suck up for the state department.

I was introduced as a field rep by a lady in the department. I think everybody else would have made the correction and told her they were the Director. I confirmed I was a field worker, and mentally wondered why almost all other Directors would want to distance themselves from the real work? In fact, I hope I can do as much as before while training others to follow the same model. I believe .... oops this isn't about work. I am an entertainment blogger and that means I have to do as other big time bloggers do when they travel.

So after the conference ended today I went out and explored the one side of Del City I did not check out last night. Holy crap I was only a mile off Air Depot Road, which is a strip of restaurants running to the Air Force base here in town. SO I drove by about 20 different Asian food places and stopped at a place called Pelican Seafood and Steaks. It was nice, had a real Jimmy Buffet feel. SO I go in this place specializing in frozen drinks, sea food and steaks and order the blackened chicken and a glass of water. Then I came back to my room and didn't blog about what I ate or my job.

Don't hate me because I am living the life you always dreamed you could have.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Del City

Del City is the ugly neglected sibling of the Oklahoma City parent. It is squat and utilitarian. It's welcome to Del City sign is under and overpass for I-40. The center of town is a Wal Mart and here I sit in the executive rooms of the Sheri ton Hotel and Conference Center staring at the only freakin thing Worth looking at in all of Del City and that IS the WAL-Mart Parking lot.

I got a call last night asking of I could fill in for the sick Grants Manager and act like the know-it-all for big ass Tech assist visit on two different grants... one of which I KNOW nothing about. Sure! Why not? So I spent the longest day of my life in Stillwater going over the finer points of contracts and work plans. All in all it was probably very productive and educational for me. My fist time, if you will, so it will never be as pure and innocent from this point forward.

Then I drive in my lopsided circle rout to Oklahoma City, or OKC as we in the Okie state call it. I was also asked to act as the know-it-all for a two day youth summit for some group I have yet to meet or find out what their objective it. I have a feeling I will spend two long days imitating Mr. Mackey from South Park, "Don't do drugs, cuzz drugs are bayad. Mmmkayyyy? Drugs are bayad."

So now I have to wonder why suddenly this week I am known as Bullwinkle's fatter, balder, less Moosey, cousin? (For you readers under the age of 40... Bullwinkle is a cartoon moose who played a character called Mr. Knowitall.) Not that I mind. I believe I can be as pompous and overbearing as the next guy. Maybe ever pompoussier and overbearinger. So I will do my little job and I will be happy with the knowledge I am way over paid for what little skill I possess.

Oh once in the hotel I decided to forgo the customary lounge hookers and save up my Per Diem. Besides they both smoked and I had been working tobacco prevention grants all day. So I went out in search of food and fun.

Did I mention I was in freakin DEL CITY?? So I almost decided to get Wal-Mart chicken and a cheap paperback book, but I decided to drive on. I searched north, I went West, the I went eh... OK I got a little lost. But that is just part of the adventure. As I was about to go to the nearest Walgreens and scream Amber Alert until a friendly cop fed me and took me back to my hotel, I spied the famous Backyard Grill. SO I went in there and some guy with a heavy Greek accent told me his famous sandwich was actually a choice of three famed sandwiches. SO I went with the Philly Steak and cheese.

Yes it was good. As I sat in my booth, all alone and tobacco puffing hookerless,(by the way.. I don't want to promote drugs or nutting but them full figured gals were NOT crack hos... I'm just sayin') So anyway, I am reading this article about how Okies are intolerant because we want a state language. The article says we are stupid and backwards and redneck because we think people should speak English to do business in this country. And I start wondering, did the Greek guy serving me, the guy who obviously owns the business that is open around 18 hours a day, the guy who supports his family in style and greets people with warmth and proudly recommends the FAMOUS sandwiches, did this guy EVER even think when he moved here that the rest of the state would have to learn Greek so they could talk to him? He is the ultimate American success story. He is the role model all immigrants should aspire towards.

SO my meal gets there and I realize I am all for a state language as long as it is one I already know. And I am reading an article while holding a catsup bottle upside down waiting on the tomato crap to slowly ooze out while wondering if Del City Wal Mart Chicken is as good as Wal Mart chicken in Okmulgee and all the time agreeing we should have state language and... OMG I am a true son of Oklahoma!


So the President goes on the TV last night and puts a nation's fear at rest. We will rebuild. We will recover. We have a future where we are moving forward out of the decade of greed and stupidity. We see light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.

And then today's news reader reports the final sign of the apocalypse.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Little About the Parent Company

OK OK OK I can't keep up with all the letters and Emails and comments on the last post where I announced I sold out to heartless, ruthless corporate America for the sake of mere money. And to answer some of your questions, Yes I am able to sleep with myself at night, but then again if it wasn't for me I might not have any sex at all. Yes, I kiss my mother with this mouth and my children and even the dog if you must know. Although it always bothers me that when the dog kisses me it starts licking it's butt as if it is trying to get the taste out of it's mouth.

But enough about me. I want to tell you a bit about Syntelligent. This is one of those super secrete corporations that run the world and topple foreign governments for things like diamonds, precious metals and oil. They control the government via bribes and political puppets. All of the executives wear black and drive unmarked black cars. They scare the hell out of me, but I don't have to deal with them too much. Once every week or so a large unmarked black Lincoln Towncar drives into my yard and a dude dressed in black hands me a briefcase full of $1 bills and a cell phone.

As soon as I see the cell phone it always begins to ring. Its creepy dude! Then a voice on the other end of the line always says how happy the main office is with the blog and he is amazed how mature my children look when he watches them go about daily activities. Then he gives me an assignment, like the cover up of that plane that crashed over by Boston that was NOT the responsibility of Syntelligent nor any of it's subsidiaries. HONEST! I AM NOT LYING! So I think about the assignment and notice the driver of the car seems to be gripping something tucked in a holster of some kind in the back of his pants, and I begin to wonder to myself what would happen if I refused. I DO NOT like the images that pop into my mind so I always take the offer and the cell phone immediately kind of crackles and smoke pours out of it as it grows hotter and hotter in my hand. I toss it into the yard where it makes a popping sound and shatters into small pieces.

I always think this is such a waste because I would like a new phone and a free cell phone is even better. But I don't say anything, I just look at the driver and wonder if he is going to pull out a gun and spray my brains all over my front porch for the dogs to clean up. But so far he stares this intense stare then removes his hands from the back of his pants and leaves.

This has always worked as a kind of part time job, but then the main office seems to have heard about the near popularity of Opprobrious and they have assured me that Mike over at Okiedoke probably miscounted and that mistake will never happen again on an Okie Blogger Award or he will be missing some kneecaps. And of course I thought, "Damn, that Mike must be getting old if his knees are bothering him that bad," but winning sounds good so I agreed.

So I am real excited about the new partnership with Syntelligent and I am very excited about how we are paying off bankers for driving our nation into a Depression and wrecking the economy. Oops that reminds me, I have a new assignment to start. Plus another new briefcase! I think I might start my own eBay store for those dudes!

Oscar Sunday

So here it is on a Sunday night in February Sweeps month, and not a damn thing is on TV, other than what looks like a really gay Wolverine singing and dancing... and that just seems WRONG dude! So I can't follow through with my traditional Sunday night gig of sitting on my ever expanding ass and watching brain melting stupid shows I can't recall the next day. Thank God I spend nearly a hundred dollars a month on TV service.

Thus a young man's mind turns to the things he loves, and my mind turned to you, the reader. OK not really. It turned to them, the non-readers. And then I wonder why they don't visit Opprobrious and how can I build readership. Then it hit me. I am too small time. People love big time events and big time blogs.

Thus I am proud to announce that I now have a parent company to handle all of my sponsors, like King Nut Peanut Butter, who "likes to Kick America's Nuts up another notch" or former respectable individual OJ Simpson. I am proud to announce the big time partnership of Opprobrious and ...

I know, I know. You are thinking to yourself, "But this means Cris has sold out and now he will be all focused on the big corporate money and will lose interest in me, the faithful reader." And of course you are right. Like the mean kid in middle school I am willing to cut you all lose so I can hang with the popular kids. And in the Blogoverse that means the kids with money!

So please take comfort in knowing I will miss you and think about you often and will often look back at my pre-corporate sell-out days as the happiest times of my life as I quickly become a bitter, hate filled rich old man. Yesssss take comfort in that.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stupid Meme

So, Poppy put up this meme on her blog because Kristen put this up on her Facebook page and I thought I could turn it around and make it about Mrs. Cris

1. sHe’s sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen?
Local News.

2. You’re out to eat; what kind of dressing does She get on her salad?
Blue Cheese.

3. What’s one food She doesn’t like?

4. You go out to eat and have a drink. What does She order?
Wine, maybe a fruity drink. She can't finish it before she feels sleepy and wants to go home. Lightweight.

5. Where did She go to high school?
A little town that was the home of Miss America Jane Jayroe

6. What size shoe does She wear?
7 maybe an 8 after all these years of carrying my dead weight?

7. If She was to collect anything, what would it be?
Dust? Lint? Old magazines and newspapers she swears she will read one day.

8. What is her favorite type of sandwich?!
I believe she loves all her sandwiches evenly and refuses to play favorites.

9. What would this person eat every day if She could?

10. What is her favorite cereal?
I have no idea. nearly 30 years of living together and I don't know this answer. Our house is full of cereal boxes but I don't know which one is hers. I think it has dried strawberries in it.

11. What would She never wear?
See through clothes or a thong. Things I would want her to wear.

12. What is hER favorite sports team?
She watches sports to be near me and likes the teams I like. Like me, she is probably still emotionally tied to the 49ers of the 80s.

13. Who did She vote for?
She seems to be a flaming liberal. I am surprised we allow her to live in Oklahoma.

14. Who is hER best friend?

15. What is something you do that She wishes you wouldn’t do?
Breath, talk, wear clothes, take them off, eat, cook, not cook, home repair, not do home repair, buy cars, not buy cars, be stearn with the children, be too soft with the children, actually she has been sick and as I said a few days ago, "Saturday she started telling me everything I WAS NOT doing. She hasn't stopped yet."

16. What is hER heritage?
She has always claimed to be Black Dutch, I am unsure of the heritage of her mother's side.

17. You bake him a cake for hER birthday; what kind of cake?
German Chocolate.

18. Did She play sports in high school?
Nope. Band and choir

19. What could She spend hours doing?
Sleeping, watching HSN, reading, avoiding me.

20. What is one unique talent She has?
She has lived with me for nearly three decades. Nobody ever thought THAT was possible.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


You know when I grew up EVERYBODY had a phone in their house. As a kid I started talking on the telephone at an early age and that was how I spent time with friends, my father who divorced and moved away, and as an early teen that was the first form of dating. Heavy breathing into a telephone in the darkest corner of the house as you hope the middle school girl on the other doesn't notice you are so excited just from the sound of her voice you have start breathing through your mouth just to keep you body oxygenated. Also... all the blood left your brain for another part of your body... but that was NOT the fault of the telephone. That was hormones and THAT is how they are supposed to work at that age.

And NO I do not still phone school girls and breath heavily through my mouth while afraid to say anything more wordy that "Cool" for fear they will think I am a loser. I have added the words "awesome and radical" to my repertoire of love.

So everybody had phones and some had two different lines. A Parents line and a kid's line. Then we started adding phones to the bedroom, the den, we put phones in the computer room and soon loud ringing filled the house whenever an incoming call came to the house. Life was good and all was well.

Then we got cell phones. Our land line phones that were located in every room had a loss of service that grew more and more pathetic until the service was dropped. Now we each have a phone. We each have a different number. So now I come in from a long day of work, I place the phone on a charger next to the computer and I go about cooking dinner, splitting atoms and saving the world on a daily basis, as I do every night. But suddenly, for the first time in my life the phone doesn't ring throughout the house when I get a call. My little phone buzzes or plays bagpipes (all my ring tones are bagpipes except for Mrs. Cris... who is the theme song from the Grinch) but I am off living life in another room and oblivious to the calls of others. Suddenly I have four phone lines, I pay over five times more a month for phone services and yet I am nearly unreachable.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Work Spouse

So I still use AOL. I know, I know, pathetic, loser, doofus who is afraid to grow up and get a real Email account. I know! Still I use it.

So lately they have been running these pseudo news stories about how the "Work Spouse" is actually infidelity. OK here is where I tell you another story so I can get back to the first story that I didn't finish.

We were working late in my office one night and my co-worker started saying something to me that I knew was crap. I had a small stack of sticky notes in front of me and as she rambled on I quickly doodled out a picture like the card above, then I slapped it down on the desk in front of her and said, "Sorry, but I think I need to play the bullshit card here."

She loved that effect. She enjoyed it so much she had me make her about of dozen of them so she could start playing the bullshit card on her friends and family. For about a week she had the greatest time walking around and ripping out one of those little slips of card stock with a crudely sketched bull standing over an elliptical pile of steaming reality.

Ok with that in mind, I need to play the Bullshit card on AOL. If you take the implication to its logical end, you have to surmise that man and women can not be friends, can not be professional, can not be connected on a mental wave length without sex. And this is where I have to slap down a big steaming deck of bullshit cards.

First of all, as any dude who has been married to the same woman for over 26 years can testify; You can be perfect partners, share ideas, responsibilities, money accounts, parenting responsibility and even a bed without having sex. And the same is often just as true at the workplace as it is at home.

My co-worker and I have now been together for longer than most marriages last. Granted she gets the best of me and I get the best of her. There is no laundry, no cooking of kitchen work, no shared bank accounts and a shared state worker's aversion to real labor. We are close. We KNOW things about each other. We know when to push the other, we know when to hold back. We know when to cover for the other and we know when to call each other on our bullshit. We are very close.

I have gone underwear shopping with her, she has ironed my clothes in her office. We have bough clothing and other gifts for each others family. In fact most people think we are married and they have referred to us as married even AFTER I have introduced them to my wife, who is standing next to me. See, we mesh well together because independently we struggled to get to the same point. We came from similar backgrounds and similar socioeconomic settings to a professional career where we found we had common values and beliefs and work ethics.

That is a hell of a lot to have in common... plus... we crack each other up! But what we don't do, in spite of all the opportunity and often assumption of others, is we don't .... you know. You know?

Have you ever watched an animal eat? Ranching out in Western Oklahoma for years and years I would feed hay and protein cubes to our herds of cattle. Out in big ranch country, where it takes 10+ acres per cow unit, there were not fancy hay rings, you tossed out a half a ton of hay on the wind protected side of a hill. As the cattle ate, you slowly counted to make sure they were all there. And day after day I would count cows and watch them gorge on rich hay while the cow next to them wizzed all over the food they were eating and they crapped all over the hay behind them that the next cow was eating.

Now I told you that story to finish my first story that was about work spouses and bullshit cards. See, unless you are more stupid than a freakin western Oklahoma cow, you ought to know you never crap where you eat. There just ain't nuttin appealing about that and there ain't nuttin good that can ever come of it.

So in conclusion, I slap down my Bullshit card on AOL. Sure you have the occasional dumb moo cow asshole that step out on his wife with his co-worker, but that is the exception and not the rule. I say men can work closely night and day with the sexiest women on the face of the earth and still not have one bit more sex at the office than he has at home.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mardi Gras Bling

Just around the corner is the beginning of Mardi Gras with Ash Wednesday. If you are not familiar with this event, please allow me to explain. See, Ash Wednesday is a Catholic Holiday where Moses stepped forth and parted the Red River and allowed the Sooners to escape from Hell following yet another win against Texas.

Each year real Americans and even a few Texans celebrate this event by flocking to various parties across the country, consuming way too much alcohol and bestowing cheaply made beaded necklaces upon the pure souls who are willing to show their wholesome beliefs by pulling up their shirts and exhibiting the gifts God gave them.

Here's to you, the inventor of Mardi Gras celebrations parties who somehow linked drunken gutter slut behavior to a religious event... We SALUTE you! A REAL MAN of GENIUS!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

You're Grounded

I get a kick out of telling my son, for any minor or perceived offense, "You're grounded!" What strikes me as funny is he will get all flustered and as a retort he will fling back "No, YOU're Grounded!"

OK imagine for a second, if you can, what YOUR parents would have done if you threw that back at them. I know, I know, I was kidding around and therefore I don't take offense. But it really tickles me that he knows how to call me on my crap and we can laugh about it. He also knows when to fear the cranky old man, so I still have that going for me.

Currently he is really grounded. His grades are not what they should be, we all knew it was coming to this and we hoped he would put in the effort on his own (like we have trained him to do for all these years) but that level of maturity is not there yet. Please do not get me wrong. I am not mad. I am not angry and I do not want to set a standard for him that he can not meet. We have a line he has to meet and by all rules of child development, IF we stick to it, he will in turn, internalize those beliefs and standards. So when he starts bringing home grades less than a "B" he is grounded. We all know, his teachers all know, HE knows that with just a little effort there is no way he will make less than a B. The kid is very bright, but like many teens, he would rather play video games and watch TV than do homework.

My father likes to point out there are many ways the boy can grow up and take care of himself that do not travel down the road of academia. Actually he says it more like, "Hell, you don't need an education if you got common sense and are willing to work hard."

To which I can only respond, "Have you Never MET your grandson?? He has NEVER been WILLING to work hard! That's why his ass is grounded in the first place!" So the end result is when his grades drop he can no longer play video games (I will allow Wii Sports and Wii Fit)nor watch TV unless it is a show others are watching. There are no friend sleep overs and no computer. That grounding is until his grades are improved on the next report card. Trust me, that is a LONGGGGG time to be without when you are 13 or 14 years old.

But this year his life changed at a bad time. He was born on Valentine's Day and that means he was grounded over his birthday. No friends over, no sleep overs, and I nearly didn't let him play his video games, but he got a 24 hour reprieve for the day of the 14th. The thing is, I told him he was not living up to the responsibility of a real 14 year old and I did not think he should be allowed to turn 14 until his grades proved he merited the advancement.

"Wait! You said you would take me out driving some this summer when I was 14. You wouldn't let a 13 year old drive."

"That's right son, better luck next year. Maybe your grades will be up and you can drive when you turn 14 next time around."

"But... But.. But... "

"You see, as a parent I have to decide when it is appropriate to allow you to advance, and you are not showing the level of responsibility it will take to be 14. I only do this because I love you, and while you are way too immature to understand it now, it is for your own best interest later on in life.. when you are more mature and can understand."

Yes he knows I did this to his sister at age five. Yes he knows I am kidding with him. Yes I am having a great time and enjoying him squirm. Life is good and my kids are never allowed to grow up and leave me alone with the crazy nap lady they call Mom.

Well this year his shot hit the fan at a bad time of the year for him

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Take All The Loving You Can Get!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm Asking at a Bad Time

So I go to this seminar taught by an old friend of mine. She is training on how to blog for your job. Yeah, blog like you want people you know to read it. AWKWAAAAAARD! But then the topic comes up from some middle aged freakazoid in the back, me, asking what was the best frequency to post on a blog.

There was a brief discussion on how blogs need to post frequently in order to build a following. If you only blog once a week or so, you don't have people creating a habit to check you out. BUT, with the advent of readers, you just have to impress once or twice with your brilliance to get added to a feedreader.

Now we have a new problem. If you post too frequently and it is all about what you had for lunch, rather than something of interest to the greater world (like new Tagamilf products) then you have reader burnout. You literally burn out whatever interest you created in your readers because NOBODY can mine gold every day.

My friend teaching the class actually said, please don't ever post on a blog every day. Nobody has the time to read daily posts. Make it a few times a week and make it worthwhile.

So tonight, one day after bragging in a single $6.00 frozen, fruity alcoholic Outback Steakhouse drunken stupor that I blog every day, I have to ask, "Should I?"

And to be really fair, you, the reader are the person I really need to ask. Should I continue to try to post everyday? Is it a general waste of time? I would really like to know what you think. Both of you.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Blog Everyday

So there we were. Five highly respected professionals out for dinner after a day of conferencing in Norman, Oklahoma. We went to the restaurant of choice for discriminating conference goers, Outback Steakhouse. Yes there was some singing of the jingle on the drive over.

So there we were discussing the need to improve the services in our state when one of the others went off on a rant about the need to go to the internet and blog. There was a need to learn about this blogging technology and make use of it so we can inform people of how to create better health and make a better state.

And that's when I outted myself. I betrayed the lesson of Dooce, who taught us to never let work and blog collide or you will end up really famous and making more money than you ever dreamed possible in your real job. Yeah, I do not want to fuck up like her! Yet I clearly heard ME tell those other four respected professionals, "I blog every day."

There was stunned silence. "You do?"

"Cris! Why don't I know about this? I would read you!"

"Yes." I admitted. "I was even just recently voted to be not the funniest blog in Oklahoma."

"I think your funny!" exclaimed my friend who only knows me in a professional sense and maybe have been saying that as an insult.

"I would have voted for you!" said another who had just finished her second martini and was shifting her bra around in preparation to finding company for her lonely night's stay in an out of town motel where nobody knows her name.

"What do you mean you were not voted the funniest blog in Oklahoma?" was a reasonable question from some dude at a nearby table who was either eves dropping or hinting we were too freakin loud.

So I explained, "Look I don't tell people I work with about blogging because that's how you get fired. But I blog every day."

So there I was, a short, fat, middle-aged man with failing eye sight and lacking the respect of my peers. Almost as if at the same instant they all had the same realization and they nodded at me politely while deciding none of them were near nerdy enough to ever be bloggers.

Yup that's me. A dream killer.

Tornado Survival

It's been over twenty years since we survived the big tornado of Laverne, Oklahoma. My wife and I were living out near the panhandle to be close to her parents. One evening we were at home and there was just an odd feeling in the air, it had the feel of tornado weather. If you haven't lived it, I don't know how to describe that weather, other than the air is heavier, it looks stormy yet clear. You often have feeling of impending doom.

Out by the panhandle we were between all of the sophisticated Doppler radar systems that all the Oklahoma City News stations bragged about. We were used to it and all the old timers had their own "old fashioned ways" of monitoring and predicting the weather. On this day, I knew there was a risk but I had gone out back and couldn't see anything in the air. It was still light, so there was a good deal of visibility, but the trees blocked the line of sight to the south.

Then I started hearing weird traffic sounds. Now any traffic sounds were weird at our house since we lived on a very quiet side street. But I looked out and saw a couple of cars driving like a bat out of hell. Neighbors wee running out to the middle of the street to look at the sky. SO I did the same. That's when I saw the huge funnel cloud heading directly at us.

IN movies tornadoes seem to happen instantly and move so fast you have no warning. This has never been my experience. From a distance they are cone shaped clouds that seem to slowly advance one direction or another. The one thing we all agreed on was this big cloud was barreling down on our little town. My wife and I grabbed the dog and drove a block away to get her father, who was about 88 years old at the time. Naturally he had all the doors locked and latched from the inside and could not hear the knocking. Neighbors were running to tornado shelters and yelling for us to join them a the cloud seemed to be almost right on top of us.

We could feel the pressure of the wind currents and knew this neighborhood would be rubble in minutes. So I ripped the screen door open, breaking the latch and unlocking the front door. My father in law was standing near the door. To this day I don't know if he was in the process of answering the pounding or if he was standing nearby and ignoring the knock.

Without waiting for his protests I simply grabbed him and put him in the car. My wife had moved over to the driver's side and I piled in the back. The swirling black could was upon us! There was no way we could get her father to the storm shelter more than a block away so we decided to do the one thing you are told to never do, we had to out run it.

Mrs. Cris peeled out and started whipping through the maze of turns you face when leaving a housing addition. She was in a full panic and I am alternating between watching the dark cloud and her erratic driving. She got us to the highway and asked the fateful question, "Which way?"

We could go North, but that was the direction the storm was headed. We could go West or East. Out of habit I said East, since that was the way to the farm, which was familiar shelter to us all. She gunned the big Oldsmobile and all eight cylinders were kicking in when I had to talk her down from her panic. "Storms move slowly. We were ahead of it, we can move at two to three times the speed of the storm, so calm down and slow up a bit. We were at more risk of getting killed by the car than we were from the storm. I felt I was the voice of reason and sanity.

Then I looked back at the tornado and saw it had turned as we turned and was headed across country, right at us. It seems all calm and rationality left as I yelled, "Forget that crap! Drive faster!!"

We did outrun the storm. We got East of it and stopped at the top of a little hill with several other neighbors that had stopped along the highway to watch the twister pass. Keep in mind in the flat plains of Western Oklahoma you can see for miles and miles. It is not like other parts of the world where a half mile to a mile of visibility is the norm. From a good hilltop you can see 25 miles in Western Oklahoma. We saw the funnel cloud had stayed on the ground for miles. It turned just South of Laverne and stayed on the ground as it headed North East. It blew apart trees along the creek, ripped the grass out of pastures so it looked like a road grader had passed, it even blew down the old garage at our farm and tore a bit of the roof off of the machine shed, but all in all we were lucky.

The Laverne tornado was a video highlight on national news for the next week and then was forgotten by most everybody. Can you believe that? Most everybody forgot it ever happened. Nobody was killed, a town disaster was narrowly avoided so it was not memorable. Except I'll never forget the run for our lives.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nuttin Much

It's been a long day. I have consumed many carbs. I am sure I will be sick as my body can't handle the influx of extra sugar. Life at a conference is tough. Oh yeah, I brought along some books to read. It was the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlain Harris.

I got the series for my daughter but she took too long to read them so I started reading her present without her. But as I read the next to last book it seems there is a gaping hole, like a missed story in there someplace. So I went back and thought I found the book I must have missed. I brought it and the book I was finishing.

Last night, my first night here, I realized it was not a missed story in the series. It was a book I had already read. Grrrrr. So I have one last book in the series waiting for me at home. There is another new book out there, it was released last June. I drove around for about an hour looking for a bookstore and finally found the book at Borders in Norman. It is still at Borders in Norman.

They wanted Twenty-five fucking dollars for that book!! I mean, hey if it was $10 I was going to buy it. If it was $15 I would have bought it and bitched a lot. $20 was a deal breaker and $25 is just re-fucking-diculous for a damn book that has been out for almost a year. I can probably go to the library and read it for free.

OH, also... I have the feeling people around me think I am cheap.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stormy Weather

So guess where I had to go on business today? Yeah there I was driving into the mouth of hell as Gary England is yelling on the radio, "Edmond just got blown the fuck away!" OK I might be paraphrasing a bit, but it was exciting driving through Oklahoma City with all of the panic, because in times of tornado touch downs... you can drive as fast as you want! It's awesome. If you are ever pulled over, all you have to say is your four year old kid (or grandkid) is in a metal storage building hiding from the storms and just before the shone lines went dead he said the watermelon sized hail was breaking through the roof!

Come on, admit it! If you were a cop pulling over a distraught parent (or grandparent) with reported hail and tornados and possible death, and there was some poor kid stranded and all alone, you would Soooo let me go back to driving like an asshole. I'm telling you dude, disaster weather is the best!

Oh well, I arrived safe, got checked in and have already been signed up for more work PLUS told I have to resubmit contracts in about two weeks after I get back home. Yup, conferences suck, and this one hasn't even started yet.

I think I might hit the liquor store later.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Take My Leave Of This Place

OK so I have two meetings tomorrow morning, then I have to go to Norman for a three day conference. I was planning on hanging out with some family and getting some cool kid play going, but Mrs. Cris got Whooping Cough and I am considered a carrier for another week or so.

It;s just as well, I tried to do my weekend warrior thing a few days ago. We had a bad toilet in the kid's bathroom. So Jr and I went to McCoy's Lumber, got a new "Toilet to go" and set to work. We pulled the old one, stuck the new one in place and all was well with the world. Then sometime after noon the next day I started feeling pain. Yeah I somehow re-injured my back and have been in a bit of pain ever since. I did take my prescription muscle relaxers last night before bed and they worked as always... they made me feel like a zombie with a bad back the entire next day.

Wednesday some strangers will come by the house and hook us up to EC Blue Satellite Internet. We have been trying to work with wireless, but it just isn't dependable. I call and complain and they make small changes. Finally, after about a year and a half I am fed up and need more reliable service. Also I overheard a disturbing conversation I wanted to share with you before I leave. BUT I think I will have internet connection at the hotel, so I am guessing I can post while living on the road. But more importantly I heard this:

Lil Crissy: Jr? Jr? Where are you? (Open back door) Jr? Are you out here?

Jr: (Muffled sound from outside) Yes I am over here.

Lil Crissy: I was thinking we... What are you...?! Are you peeing off the back porch?!

Jr: ::::::: A sound I could not recognize:::::::::

Lil Crissy: Jr! After you come back in the house and wash your hands.. I'm going to give you a high five!

Yeah, that's the generation we think we can entrust our future with?!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Epic Fail At Side Bar Bling

Well it is official. I can't say it was a total surprise,because I noticed around 5:00 p.m. yesterday there was a shocking lack of concession email from the competition for the 2008 Okie Blogger Awards. Yes, I know it is shallow and empty but I want some bling to hang on my side bar that says I am better than every body else. Is THAT too much to ask for? ...and it has to be from somebody else, not something I make up or even make up and claim my mom did it. I mean REAL appreciation.

So, I kind of went all in for the Okie Blog Award. You know, even my best friends tell me I am the ONLY liberal they are willing to call friends, and they always seem to require copious amounts of alcohol whenever I am invited over. But still, according to the political temperature of my home state, THEY are more representative of the general population than I. So... maybe I sold out a little bit in my quest for power.

One of the top issues in this state is abortion. You can be a multi-generational murderer and rapist and still get elected around here if your opponent thinks women should have the right to choose an abortion. So, for political appeasement I clearly stated I was against abortion, while in truth my personal beliefs are greatly different. See, I am a parent and a professional educator. I not only think it is OK to kill developing fetuses, I contend we should retain the right to kill kids up until they are 12-14 just for pissing us off.

Then there is the issue of Gitmo. I think I messed up and accidentally outed the now defunct Hedonistic Resort for celebrities. It is possible that the photo of me in front of a Cub Scout troop, announcing I planned on spending my first six months as the state representative of Okie bloggers delving deep into all of the excesses Gitmo has to offer, MIGHT have had a negative impact on my bid for funniest blogger.

The end result is, even trying to fake it, trying to go negative and attacking wonderful people that are "to die for funny" like Redneck Diva and Monty at the Daily Bitch, and eventually even Georgie, was just not my nature. Diva never said she wished Sam Bradford would turn pro, Monty never said only poor parents spank children and Georgie never said she wanted to have my baby out of wedlock... well, not yet anyway.

At first I will admit it stung, this realization that other Okie Bloggers don't find me funny. And I have to tell you I brought my A game to this event. Tagamilf, New T-Shirts, awful sponsorships and eventually Tagamilf Silver. That's about as funny as I can get so I have no excuses other than the funniest person won. Georgie and The Lost Ogle are funny and deserve your readership and appreciation. Congratulations to you both and thank you Mike for holding the competition that I lost again this year.

Now, as I pick myself up and dust off this epic failure that happened in front of all my friends and reader. The big question is, how do I get some Side Bar Bling? I need the bling so new readers will know they are a quality blog and not some stupid loser blog that can't even win a little state blogger award. :::ahem::: Any ideas? Suggestions...? Awards I don't actually have to work towards?

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Only a few hours remain for Okie bloggers to vote on the most humorous blog in Oklahoma for 2008. Sure, there are many other (better) choices you could select than Opprobrious. You might think the best blog should be well written, spelled correctly or even slightly funny. See, this is the narrow thinking that has held our great state back all these decades. We could be the leader among state blogging awards if a few thousand Okie bloggers would simply vote for change (and maybe read my blog). Any change has to be better than the redneck stigma that has been placed on humorous Okie blogging these many years.

Also keep in mind the lucrative prizes and benefits that go to the ultimate winner wont simply be squandered in meaningless purchases of state made items. No, all proceeds will go to finance the exciting excavation of my back yard where our dedicated team of armature palaeontologists try to find the final missing link in the fossil record: homo disgustingus or Ball-Licking Man.

I need you to know that your vote will be put to good use. And granted, I intend to spend my first six months of Oklahoma's Representative at the exclusive celebrity sex spa, Guantanamo Bay. Oh yeah baby! I plan to gitmo at Gitmo! See, those of us in the know, realize America could NEVER hold prisoners without habeaus corpus, a right to a speedy trial or even torture the inhabitants. Nooooo, poor "I believe everything I read on the internets" reader. Gitmo is a super secret resort off the exotic beaches of forbidden Cuba. There, noted celebrities can frolic naked and indulge in their most hedonistic fantasies while shielded from the prying eyes of American media and paparazzi. This is why all of the local politicians are enraged at the prospect of the closing of the treasured get away. And while Obama says he will close the prison camp... come on... think about it! He HAS to say that because his wife knows about Gitmo! They will simply either keep it open, yet under the radar, or move it to another exotic locale that is safe from the press... Cheney's house.

So while the competition and "also rans" tend to claim I use prize winnings to force my kids to dig up a vegetable garden and indulge in demented sex acts that have been condemned by nearly all religions and state governments,I say I will represent the state of Oklahoma with all the dignity and decorum it warrants.

Thank you for your support.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Male Bashing

I can't stand a male basher. Foo-Foo bullies who sit back and take pot shops at poor defenseless men simply because they take joy from causing obvious pain. The heartless, self-absorbed wastes on society have no greater thrill than to publicly skewer a male's delicate ego in front of friends, loved ones or even his family.

Take my co-worker for example. Please. I have long contended she is a male basher from way back. She is convinced most men are scum, and she is the mother of two of them. Her poor husband worked all his adult life to provide for the family then worked on the farm to help his parents and still had time to become a local leader in the community. Yet she bitches that he never helps with the laundry.

OK I don't want to point fingers here or name names, but Mrs. Cris is not above the CONSTANT male basharama. Oh yeah, after the hours and hours that you, faithful reader, can tell I pour into searching the internet, writing and rewriting stories and creating one-of-a-kind works of art, PLUS holding down a semi full time job (state worker) she has the nerve to complain about where my dirty laundry is deposited at the end of the day. Me! Oh yeah! I know! It shocks me too!

OK then there are the mundane everyday occurrences that happen to undermine men. I can't tell you the times I have been working on an event, laboring to make things as perfect as possible, only to have my co-worker push me aside in disgust while growling, "You're such a man!"

Sure I am embarrassed and ashamed. I have been pushed aside and replaced by one who thinks they are better than me simply because I am a man?!! Where else on society do you ever hear about this being acceptable behavior? AND to make matters worse I buy into the whole concept and further perpetrate the myth of male incompetence. When I am dismissively pushed aside with the label that I am "such a man" I constantly fail to look her square in the eye and declare "Damn right!"

Yeah, I always realize too late that the correct way to handle the situation was to strut around and belch in victory. But I don't. Time after time I face the same situation, like many other men across the great land that are pushed aside simply because they "are such a man." And without the ability to stop ourselves we fire back... "What did I do wrong?!"

And there you have it. We were never told we were wrong. We were never even cast in a negative light. We were called men. Not just men, but men among men. Typical men that represent the entire male gender. Yet when confronted with a situation where we are pushed to the limelight as the essence of all things MAN, we strike a defensive posture and assume we screwed up. We have been conditioned to assume that being called a man is a bad thing. And at the end of the day I looked for the real male bashers among us, the worst one was me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Okie Blogger Award Voting Draws to an End

Parent Teacher Meet

Yes, yes, yes, I know it makes it sound like a wrestling match. And to be honest by the time I get out of that damn school I feel like I have been mauled by a fat sweaty kid in spandex tights. I have typically claimed Parent Teacher meetings were a diverse set of experiences that we have learned from years of practice, MUST be done correctly to ensure mental health.

The trick is to see my son's teachers first. After about two hours of apologizing and promising to never reproduce, ever again, nor even allow our children to continue the stupid gene. The smug looking instructors, filling with righteous indignation, spit on the floor at our feet and claim only the worst parents ever show up "to pretend they have any parenting skills" at parent/teacher meetings.

Then we get to go the high school and visit my daughter's teachers. Those guys always tell us we are the greatest parents and raised the greatest kid and quality parents always show up at parent teacher meetings. Granted we tend to treat both kids the same and we are the same parents that have spent WAY more time trying to help the boy than we ever did the girl... but this year I realized there is something really wrong.

As the math and history teachers were calling my son a "Space Cadet" who is "way out there" and "possibly on something." I began to suspect that maybe his new body hair and voice change could be clues as to a change in behavior. Yes, puberty has raised it's ugly head in the Cris household. Last night I was talking to my cousin in IMs. She has a son one year older than Cris Jr., and she grew up with two brothers. Her sage words of wisdom were, "You better have more than one bathroom, because that's where boys go through puberty."


I now have a litany of disturbing thoughts and images racing through my head as to what the hell is he doing in there, and my son has not (as of yet) become a bathroom recluse. All I meant was he has some extra body hair and his voice changed! Sheesh do we have to assume all little boys become perverts when they start producing a little man juice in their glands. I mean I remember back when I was an 8th grader and I..... eh....

OK she was right.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


So my precious little daughter is 16 years old, is about 5 foot one inch tall and weighs a bit over 100 pounds. She has braces on her teeth, glasses on her nose and me as a father. Yeah, she has a lot to overcome in life, and she is HARDLY what you would call intimidating. Except, she is kind of brilliant. I mean academically she is top of her class, she will have completed nearly all of her core college classes by the time she graduates high school and she is very social with a great core group of friends.

But still, she is so tiny I fear her driving because if she were to get hit she is barely large enough legally not to be in a child's car seat and by all reports, if the air bag were to engage, it would break her neck and kill her. I'm telling you, she is T I N Y !!

So as she wades into her Junior year of high school, with her cell phone and car and first part time job, she has picked up the teenager attitude. Now every time any of us (including the house cat) walks by her direction, she puffs out her tiny little chest, arms out, hands pointing down and demands, "Oh! Do you want to go? BizNitch?!"

OK it's funny because she hurts herself just walking through the house. It's funny that she reacts in the same aggressive posture regardless if it is her father, her brother or dogs jumping on her clean clothes. The thing is she says it ALL the time. Too much for me to ignore and now I find myself inclined to use the same phrase. I want to hand a stack of papers to a girl in the office and demand, "Make me some copies, BizNitch!" I want to order my coffee made, BIZZZZnitch!! There are all kinds of hand raising, chest thumping things I could DEEmand around the workplace...

..Except I work with all girls, including my wife... and they kind of scare the hell out of me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Word of the Day

WHOOP: intransitive verb1: to utter a whoop in expression of eagerness, enthusiasm, or enjoyment :

shout2: to utter the cry of an owl :

hoot3: to make the characteristic whoop of whooping cough

4 a: to go or pass with a loud noise b: to be rushed through by acclamation or with noisy support the bill whooped through both houses

OK ONE of these definitions fits a member of my family. You want to guess who it is? Hint: She JUST turned 51

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl Sunday: Against The Grain

So it looks like the cool thing among popular bloggers is to explain how little the Superbowl means as the ultimate of an over hyped event featuring a pointless sport of pampered millionaires. But THIS has never been a popular blog! So even though I have been surprised at the lack of hype in my internet neck of the woods, this was a fantastic game. I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat for the LONG last two minutes of the game.

I was thinking about simply posting about the political slant of the game. The Cardinals from the conservative right wing state of Arizona, home of John McCain. Captained by the poster boy of the right wing conservative Christian front and representing the state of elderly white retired people. Then on the opposite side we have the youngest coach to ever win a Superbowl title, the first black coach to win the Superbowl with a team called Steelers. Obama publicly supported the Steelers prior to the game. Yes, I saw all kinds of political innuendo, did you?

If you missed it, the Cardinals came from behind to dominate the Steelers in the second half of the game. They overcame a deficit where they needed three scores in the fourth quarter to lead in the final two minutes. Big Ben and the boys from Pittsburgh were soundly beaten in the second half, and then lady luck smiles on them one last time.

Stopping the Arizona pass rush and showing the pin point passing accuracy that had led the Steelers through the play-offs, Big Ben finally hit Santonio Holmes for a perfect toe tips down catch in the back of the end zone with 37 seconds left. Maybe it was the spicy meat balls I made for Superbowl Man food.. or maybe it was the spicy hot fire wings I made for MORE Superbowl man food... or maybe it was the nail biter of a finish of a real super game... regardless I was sweating the end.

Side note: It was really good to see former 49ers running back Roger Craig at the coin toss. We hear a lot about the old guard players but "Catfish" was a marvel in the 49ers heyday. He was the first running back to ever gain 1,000 yard both rushing and receiving and he was backbone of the greatest offense Football has ever seen. Plus the luck son of a bitch got to play with Joe Montana everyday.