After Oklahoma beheading, churches call for peace

I am so sad that such another violent, senseless act happened in OKC. I hope all will remember this crime reflects only on the perpetrator, not his faith.

CNN Newsroom

Oklahoma Christian and Muslim groups call for peace after a local beheading shakes a community and causes backlash on local Muslims.

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Blake Shelton has been on my mind lately because of his efforts to help following the devastating tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma on May 19. Which version do you prefer?



Visiting the Fam: Oklahoma

Last Monday, Ysabel and I flew to Oklahoma from San Diego. Ardmore was very relaxing, except for the heated games of Pictureka! Grandma was the only one who would eat at Veggies with me, but we had lunch there twice, I taught Ysa to make bracelets and necklaces with Stretch Magic, we spent time at Lizzie’s new house, I drank a ton of Diet Coke from Sonic, and we even managed to find time for Kelli to cut my hair.

Ysa on the plane…
Playing Pictureka!
Ysa showing off newly made bracelet…

Me, Ysa (in a pair of Lizzie’s old glasses), and Kelli.

Mother, Grandma, Lizzie

Painful Car Culture

Today, CNN/Money published an online article, “Oklahoma’s Painful Car Culture.” In a survey of fifty cities best able to deal with the high gasoline prices, Tulsa and Oklahoma ranked 49th and 50th respectively. (San Francisco, New York, and Chicago were the top three, due to the public transportation infrastructures these cities enjoy.)

In Oklahoma, people often drive long distances to work (Lynnie spent several months commuting from Ardmore to Oklahoma City–100 miles, and I drove from Oklahoma City to Norman when I worked at the University of Oklahoma Press). Few alternatives to driving exist. In Oklahoma, folks LOVE their vehicles, and, usually, it’s the bigger the better. Oklahoma City, due to its large area, makes creating a public transit system difficult. And, in Oklahoma, we don’t really bike or walk, even for a couple of blocks–and watch out if you do. (One time, Anna visited me when I was living in Norman. I had to work one day she was there, and she went out walking. I remember her reporting that she saw no other pedestrians and that people looked at her askance.)

Several years ago, Grandma said that Oklahoma’s economy was inversely related to that of the rest of the country. When oil prices are high, it’s good for Oklahoma, but the rest of the country often suffers. Now, it seems that the gas prices are affecting Oklahomans as well.

Perhaps the car culture in Oklahoma is changing. One commuter from McLoud started organizing carpools to and from Oklahoma City. Tulsa and OKC are investigating ways they can increase public transportation options. These alternatives are promising.

Oklahoma is OK

Oklahomans are modest folk…no amazing, best, or wonderful for us. Instead, it’s “Oklahoma: OK!

Despite having lived outside of Oklahoma since 2003, I am an Oklahoman, and I imagine I will always be an Oklahoman. The universe likes to remind me of this by ensuring I see a car or truck with an Oklahoma license tag every day without fail and by peppering my path with those who like to snicker when I say “y’all” (which I ignore since I maintain it is a proper and economical way to address a group of people).