Life-Saving Sex

Affairs are the answer: This story made me wonder. I wondered what society would be like if having an affair wasn't taboo ["Lindsey's Loss," by Steven Long, April 8]. People have affairs all the time! In most cases, no one can remain faithful for an extended period of time.

Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. Now, more marriages are ending in murder! Why? Most people leave because they are tired of having sex with the same person over and over. Romance is lost and trivial things take first place. So, instead of fixing the problem, you suck it up or go find someone else. If you don't want to leave or can't leave, have an affair!

If you look in other cultures or even in the wild, having more than one partner is natural. There are even couples that swing. Not a bad idea if you both play by the rules. Yet here in civilized America we don't do that sort of thing, and if we do and get caught, we get killed over it! I can't help but wonder that if we accepted affairs, how many relationships would be saved? Hell, a father and his teenage daughter's life might have been saved. I think we should all look at this tragic story and examine mankind and our own scheme -- it could save a life!

Monica Mosier

Chasing Excellence

Trustees according to Twain: Gee, how neat that the Chronicle took only two weeks to catch up to your column on school discipline ["Watching You," by Margaret Downing, March 18].

As Mark Twain once wrote: "First, God made idiots; that was for practice; then, He made school boards." Katy ISD, please note.

Philip Snyder

Festering Fest

Reliant wrongs: Let me get this straight: According to Houston International Festival organizers, the festival is cheaper to produce at Reliant Park, even though it costs more to attend and to park ["Thai One On," by Steven Devadanam, April 15]. And that's better? And it's being staged not in a parking lot but in a field next to a parking lot -- except for the stages that are in the parking lot. And that's better, too?

Hmmm, sounds like bullshit to me. I think it's better that I keep my money and not attend.

R.T. Castleberry

Greed wins out: I have attended the Houston International Festival for many years. I have always looked forward to the great lineup of music, in its downtown setting. The wind whipping through the buildings, the shade under the trees, the many friends I would see year after year. No more.

As with the demise of the Westheimer Festival, the promoters of one of the greatest festivals in Texas -- or anywhere -- have killed the soul of the HIF by moving it. Houston has gone to a lot of trouble, never mind the money, to beautify our downtown. Now that much of that work is finished, they move the festival to a frigging parking lot! Total insanity.

As much as I will miss the music, the people and mainly the atmosphere, I will not attend the festival ever again at its current location. I'm urging others to boycott the festival until the promoters work out their differences in the permitting fees. Like everything in the world these days, greed has become the driving force behind this change of venue for the festival.

It's sad; I and a whole lot of others will really miss this festival. It was always an integral part of springtime in Houston.

Chris Hedrick

Crossing Over

Legal advice is best: Thank you for your up-close and personal journey through the immigration quagmire ["Flight of Angels," by Josh Harkinson, April 15]. As you are most likely aware, the Schymas' story is representative of many people's experiences with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. As an immigration attorney in Houston since 1997, I have witnessed firsthand many heartbreaking episodes. In fact, it is not uncommon for loved ones to be separated for years because of the restrictive laws that prevent the reunification of families.

However, the Schymas' situation could have been avoided if they had sought competent legal advice. Given Mr. Schyma's prior experience immigrating to the United States, I was surprised by his naïveté and lack of foresight. Did he honestly think it would be as simple as driving his new bride across the border? Moreover, every day we read stories in the press about the horrendous service, delays and screwups at CIS.

Also, I was somewhat confused by your terminology. There is no such thing as a marriage visa or a travel visa. By the way, to add insult to injury, effective April 30, 2004, CIS will significantly increase application fees for immigration benefits.

Joanne M. Houck

Cecil's Complaints

Bow-tie tradition: First, I don't think writer Keith Plocek had never been at Cecil's till after the restoration ["We Want the Funk," April 22].

Second, if he indeed ever visited, he would have known that Teresa always wears a tuxedo shirt and bow tie. Third, that chemical smell, it's called Pine-O-Pine. Also, I note that you so glibly use the word "suburban," or that statement about Bennigan's. Dude, get out more, or at least check your references, or better yet, go to Sherlock's.

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