Memorable Moments of Chubfest 2009
The House descended into absurdity over the weekend as Democrats took the full time allotted to "chub", or talk-to-death, various minor bills. The chubfest resulted in all kinds of insane time-wasters on the floor that were just-serious-enough to be allowed. I started a list of memorable moments of random chubness, but please add your own favorite moments from the weekend.

-- Dunnam's demonstration of how to properly fold the Texas flag, before then being asked to mime it. "Hence you will find the properly folded official flag of the state of Texas..."

-- Al Edwards missing hat

-- The pun-off between Rob Eissler and Joe Pickett, culimating in the best possible pun of the weekend, "No man is an Eiland."

Another characteristic exchange:

"It's interesting that your water district has a MUD," said state Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso. "Since you have a PUD, you have a PUD in a MUD.... or it could be a dud."

"Interestingly, it started with a HUD loan," said Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands.

-- The Saturday monarch butterfly back-and-forth, where state Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, is then questioned about perhaps having a monarch butterfly festival in Texas

--Voting down the bill making Grapevine the Christmas Capitol of Texas

--State Rep. Aaron Pena, D-Edinburg, using the extra time on his hands to get his name placard changed so it properly has the tilde above it

--Pena describing the quagmire as Pon Farr, perhaps the best metaphor for the weekend

--The childlike fight between state Reps Debbie Riddle, Charlie Howard, Dennis Bonnen and Tommy Merritt over Merritt's not-being-Republican-enough. "I am a member of the caucus," said Merritt. "You don't act like it", said Riddle. Charlie Howard was taping it all with his flipcam.

--Collectively confusing math: the various time calculations of "at this rate, this calendar will take...hours" to complete

--Activities to pass the time: Solitaire on the laptop, curling up under a fleece blanket and reading a book, carefully picking out the best candies from LHB's desk

--'Coffee goes with cream' comment by Senfronia Thompson

--All the side discussions of the various definitions of the word "chub"

--Any one of Kino Flores' near-meltdowns in the name of disabled veterans

Again, there are probably many that I missed, so please add your "most memorable moments" of Chubfest 09 in the comments.

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The Things You Do for Love
The mayor of San Angelo, Texas resigned abruptly, not "to spend more time with family", as they often say, but "to spend more time with his lover in Mexico".
SAN ANGELO, Texas — The mayor of a West Texas city abruptly resigned Wednesday, picking love over his love of office.

J.W. Lown told the San Angelo Standard-Times in a telephone interview from Mexico that he was involved in a relationship with someone who does not have legal status in the United States.

"I don't want to give his name," Lown, 32, told the newspaper.

He said the man attended Angelo State University and their relationship started earlier this year.

Lown said he didn't want to take the oath of office knowing he was "aiding and assisting" someone who is not a U.S. citizen.

"We had to do the right thing and come to Mexico and wait in line for a visa," Lown said.
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Wet 'n Wild
There's a line in the first Harry Potter book that I love, something about Ron, Harry and Hermione's first fight against a monster together. I can't find my copy of the book, but it said something like "there's nothing like fighting a snaggle-toothed monster to make you friends for life."

I inadvertently discovered a parallel. There's nothing like... embarking on a late-morning run only for the sky to turn and start pouring, rejecting a friend's offer to drive you to a dry spot to instead continue running through what becomes a drenching sideways rain for miles and miles, jumping and darting around street puddles, accelerating despite an added weight from all the water sloshing in your shoes, becoming so wet you can't get any wetter, making it four miles of a five mile misery run only to have a speeding bus splash you with a wave of water fast and heavy enough to temporarily blind you, nearly getting hit by a car and finally, finally making it to dryness... to make you friends for life.

"This must be what waterboarding feels like," said my friend Reeve. He, Brandi and I will at least have this bonding experience to remember forever. And it's instructional. It's the last time I'll ever try to outrun a storm system.
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Boo Flu
How useful for me to contract the hybrid/swine flu this week! It allows me to give a special "insider's perspective" of it all. (If you're going to get ill, get the "it" illness, right?)

I think I got the bug somewhere around the time I was stuck in a small room with Joe Biden. I followed him closely with a boom mic as he toured a domestic violence call center in Austin on Tuesday. He didn't take any questions. Two days later, I remembered why it's best not to let Biden answer questions.

As hysteria over the swine/hybrid flu reached into a new stratosphere, Biden, in his off-the-kuffness, accidentally told Americans to stop using mass transit.

When this all started Tuesday, I decided I'd beat it with a mojito and additional consumption of iceberg lettuce. Wrong. By Wednesday, my symptoms were exacerbated a migraine, only the third one of my life. Kept trying to work, writing about the killer flu while suffering from it at the same time.

Coworkers insisted I go home on Thursday since snot was getting all over the workstations and it sounded like my lungs might explode from my chest every time I coughed.

Of course, all my dreams of being a swine flu patient came crashing down this morning. The doctor said I have bronchitis.
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