Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Tree for Zoo Animals?

I wasn't quite sure what to think when I received a press release Monday afternoon with the headline, "Giving Tree spreads holiday joy to Abilene Zoo’s animals." I've seen trees to benefit children in need and the elderly...but zoo animals? Really?

Let me begin by sounding a little hypocritical. I like animals. I have a dog that I probably treat way too well. Sadly, I'll give him his favorite toy for Christmas. It's a little pink pig that I probably give him twice a year. Every time he gets one, he rejoices...and three days later it's a pile of stuffing. So yes, I buy stuff for animals.

Back to the point at hand: When I think about giving trees, I think of something pretty sacred. I think about the poorest of poor children who won't otherwise see a Christmas. I think about elderly residents who won't get a Christmas gift because they've been abandoned by their family. With all due respect to Ryan the Rhino, the humans seem more deserving.

I think this highlights a bigger issue....humans versus animals. I can remember going on a trip with friends a few years back and driving to an intersection where a homeless person stood begging for donations. The driver quickly rolled up the window and everyone in the car acted disgusted. Moments later, we spotted a 3-legged dog stumbling through a parking lot and you would've thought they just saw Robert Pattinson. Why do we show more compassion for animals than we do human beings?

GMC DFW is currently running a poll to donate $20,000 to the most popular metroplex charity on Facebook. Users can pick between Big Brothers Big Sisters, the SPCA, and Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Guess which organization is currently in the lead? The SPCA.

I'm not saying the SPCA isn't a deserving group...but do its animals deserve money more than the children with birth defects and neurological disorders treated at Scottish Rite?

When we air stories about abused children in our community, no one calls. No one emails. When we air stories about abused animals, the phones ring off the hook with outraged people or people who want to do something to help

The Abilene Zoo's wish list for the Giving Tree is posted online. It contains more than 125 items. The items range from $8 Bath & Body Works body splashes to $795 scales: http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/PUAR94KY4JNS/ref=cm_wl_sortbar_v_page_1?_encoding=UTF8&page=1

Again, I have no doubt the animals and trainers would love these things....but should they be part of a Giving Tree?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Same-Sex Homecoming Court

Students at the University of North Texas, my alma mater, are deciding whether same sex couples should be allowed to run for homecoming court.

Voting ended Friday afternoon, and results are expected some time today.

The Student Association Guidelines currently state that a homecoming couple must be a male and female. After protests and heated discussions over the school's nearly 120-year old tradition, it was decided that students should vote on the issue.

A yes decision would make the University of North Texas one of the first schools to allow the crowning of a same sex couple.

In my opinion, tradition aside, let's talk about fairness. Homecoming kings and queens aren't couples to begin with. They do run as pairs, though. For instance, you don't pick your favorite man and your favorite woman, you have to vote on one pair. Let's say you have a man/man pair that wins, that's not fair because no woman gets to be represented that year.

What do you think about it? (Note: I will not tolerate any hateful comments.)


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What is a Doe to Do?

As football season approaches, our men get this certain wiggle. I think it's the only time that my husband and my dog resemble each other. Wiggling their little butts and panting... and then, once that bone comes, chomping down as hard as they can and severely growling at anyone who threatens to take it away.

I imagine it's the same for women during deer season. My husband doesn't really hunt, but other family members do. So, what is a doe to do during deer season?

Stephanie Harris brought this point up in the newsroom yesterday -- women have to find something to do when our bucks are away. Maybe it's girl time. Maybe it's time spent getting chores and projects done that can't be tackled while the men are around.

This year, my husband is participating in the annual hunting weekend held by the men on my side of the family. I strongly encouraged him to go along for two reasons. No. 1, I think he needs some male bonding time and I'd like to think that the men who share my flesh and blood are good guys to bond with. No. 2, I want my mom to come visit me for a girls' weekend! We've never spent a weekend alone, that I can remember. But, with dad, husband, brothers, uncles, cousins all holed up in a little ranch house for the weekend, we get to have our alone time! Can you tell I'm excited?

So what about you? Let me know what you get to do during deer season that you wouldn't otherwise be able to. Leave a comment here, or email me a picture at lkellerman@bigcountryhomepage.com and I'll post it!

Actually, I'll give a girly little prize to the most fun, creative or interesting submission. Can't wait!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lamar Grad: Do I Root Against Abilene High?

VFND - Viking Fight Never Dies...

It's one of the mottos of Lamar High School in Arlington, TX.

I grew up going to Lamar football games. It was the "it" thing to do on Friday nights in town. It was the place to be seen. It was the place to see girls. It was what you looked forward to all week.

I went on to play quarterback and lead the team that I once dreamed of being a part of as a kid in grade school.

Wait, that's not true at all...

However, I did root for the team from the comfort of the bleachers behind my bass drum. I'd scream and yell after every touchdown...wear far more yellow sweatshirts than any teenager should own...and I may have even shed a tear after we lost in the first round of the playoffs my senior year.

It's been more than a decade since those days. They're fond memories...but they're memories. They aren't right now. Now, I live in Abilene.

VFND - Viking Fight Never Dies...or does it?

I couldn't help but smile when I read that Abilene High would play Lamar at Cowboys Stadium. First, what an awesome opportunity for all the students of Abilene High to experience Cowboys Stadium. Secondly, AHS is battling my old school. Who am I supposed to root for?

I called home to tell my mother about it. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Hey mom, Abilene High is going to face Lamar in the playoffs!"
Mom: "Lamar made the playoffs? But they aren't any good."

The heart of my viking fight started to slow down a little....

When I told David Robinett I went to Lamar and briefly considered going to the game, he told me it wouldn't be any fun to watch my old school get destroyed.

My viking fight went on life support.

I've always been a bandwagon kind of guy...and I can admit it. When the Dallas Mavericks became a good team, I started to like them. When Michael Jackson died, I pulled out the old MJ albums. And when Abilene High battles Lamar, I can't help but root for....Abilene High. What can I say? I'm a fan of a good story. Abilene High winning and advancing the playoffs is the beginning of a great story.

My viking fight died. Time of death 5:57 p.m., November 9, 2009.