Sunday, August 03, 2008

Scheiss Weekly Has Moved!

All the cool kids seemed to be moving their blogs to their own domains, so I did it, too! I'm such a follower!

You can find Scheiss Weekly HERE, so please update your blogrolls and readers thusly. I don't want to lose any of you!

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:35 AM | |

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Quotation Saturday

Where did last week go? Finals Week always whisks by quickly, but it seems like five minutes ago it was Monday and now it's already time for Quotation Saturday! I haven't had a moment to catch two breaths in a row yet! With almost three weeks before fall semester starts up, I'm hoping to get some sleep and do some serious cleaning.

Here we go: Quotation Saturday!

1. He who limps still walks. --Stanislaw Lee

2. Sadness is almost never anything but a form of fatigue. --Andre Gide

3. Look at the stone cutter, hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet, at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before. --Jacob A. Ris

4. You manage things; you lead people. --Grace Murray Hopper

5. No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. --Lily Tomlin

6. How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given my waist and shirt size? --Woody Allen

7. The man who has ceased to learn ought not to be allowed to wander around loose in these dangerous days. --M.M. Coady

8. The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work. --Harry Golden

9. Experience has taught me this: that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health. --Michael de Montaigne

10. Did you hear about the dyslexic satanist? He sold his soul to Santa. --anon

11. Did you hear about the guy who lost his left arm and left leg in a car crash? He's all right now. --anon

12. Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich. --Sarah Bernhardt

13. Not only is life a bitch, but it is always having puppies. --Adrienne Gusoff

14. He who backbites an absent friend, who does not defend him when others find fault, who can pretend what he never saw, who cannot keep secrets entrusted to him, this man is a dangerous individual. Beware of him. --Horace

15. Books are. . . the symbol and presage of immortality. The dead are scattered, and none shall find them, but behold! they are here. --H.W. Beecher

16. The bigot for the most part clings to opinions adopted without investigation, and defended without argument, while he is intolerant of the opinions of others. --Charles Buck

17. Good nonsense is good sense in disguise. --Josh Billings

18. There is something in our minds like sunshine and the weather, which is not under our control. When I write, the best things come to me from I know not where. --G.C. Lichterberg

19. Of the world as it exists, one cannot be enough afraid. --T.W. Adorno

20. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength. --Doris Rodriguez

21. You can't expect to win unless you know why you lose. --Benjamin Lipson

22. If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think. --Clarence Darrow

23. Any nation that thinks more of its ease and comfort than its freedom will soon lose its freedom; and the ironical thing about it is that it will lose its ease and comfort too. --W. Somerset Maugham

24. You will never find time for anything. If you want the time, you must make it. --Charles Buxton

25. Nostalgia is to have a deep longing for a place you wouldn't move back to. --anon

26. One of the weaknesses of our age is our apparent inability to distinguish our needs from our greeds. --Don Robinson

27. Nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say. --Will Durant

28. It is not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game even starts. --Addison Walker

29. Never take a "no" from someone who is not empowered to say "yes." --Unknown

30. Don't let an old negative person creep into your body. ---Beverly T. Glassberg

31. Let's face the obvious. Yesterday we were nerds. Today we are the cognitive elite. Let's conquer. --Chester G. Edwards

32. To me, nature is everything that man is born to, and art is the difference he makes in it. --John Erskine

33. The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes. --Stanley Kubrick

34. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. --J.F.K.

35. Jesus throws down the dividing prejudices of nationality, and teaches universal love, without distinction or race, merit, or rank. A man's neighbor is everyone that needs help. --John Cunningham Geikie

36. Help thy brother's boat across, and lo! Thine own has reached the shore. --Hindu proverb

37. When I give a man an office, I watch him carefully to see if he is swelling or growing. --Woodrow Wilson

38. Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. --Oscar Wilde

39. He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his mistakes, and will never be wiser on the morrow than he is today. --Tryon Edwards

40. One of the commonest ailments of the present day is premature formation of opinion. --Kin Hubbard

41. Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time. --Theodore Roosevelt

42. There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone has been too long away from home. --Eisenhower

43. When I walk with you, I feel as if I had a flower in my buttonhole. --William Makepeace Thackeray.

44. When your mind is already made up that you're being singled out for persecution, reading between the lines will only substantiate your misconception and make you look like a fool. --Anon

45. Some women grow old gracefully - others wear stretch pants. --Robert Devlin

46. He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder. --M.C. Escher

47. A person who is quick to recommend a psychiatrist for others might do well to look in the mirror. --Unknown

48. The mystical thing is not HOW the world is, but THAT it is. --Ludwig Wittgenstein

49. Water which is too pure has no fish. --Ts'ai Ken T'an

50. Be not too quick to judge, lest you forget to add your own actions to the calculation, thereby rendering your first impression inaccurate. --Anon.

My mother's birthday is Tuesday, but my sisters are coming down tomorrow and we're having a little party for her then, so Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.

I'm also looking forward to seeing my sisters. I don't always agree with them, but I will always love them, whether they like it or not.

It's nice to have my blog back again after being labeled "spam" and disabled by Blogger for two days. However, this was the last straw, and I'm in the process of moving this blog. As soon as this process is complete, I'll put the new url on this blog and then forevermore keep myself only unto the new domain. Nothing will change except the url, so be ready to update Scheiss Weekly's address in your blogrolls and readers.

I have slept most of today away. I didn't realize that I was so completely worn out. I do that all the time; you know, run on energy pulled out of nowhere, and then collapse. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:15 PM | |

Friday, August 01, 2008

Perfect Post, July 2008: Steve Spangler

I am nominating Steve Spangler's "How The Mentos Geyser Works" for a July Perfect Post Award.

All over YouTube there are videos of people dropping Mentos into big bottles of Diet Coke and running away screaming with laughter as the liquid shoots high into the sky like a, well, geyser. Old Faithful, indeed! Steve Spangler's Mentos Geyser is more fun than fireworks, and a LOT less expensive!

Item: Although there are several people claiming ownership of the Mentos Geyser concept, let it be known that the Mentos Geyser was first done by Steve Spangler.

My kids and some of their friends did the Mentos Geyser experiment in my back yard last weekend, which is why I ran Nathen's clothes through the washer and dryer, which is why I took his driver's license out of his pant's pocket and put it on top of the dryer behind the bottle of stain remover, which is why he put on his clean pants and left the license on the dryer, which is why he couldn't find his license the other day which is why he tore his apartment apart searching, which is why he and my daughter drove all the way back down here again yesterday to get it, which is why he got first dibs on being the driver for his trip down to Georgia, beginning this morning.

A lot of people like to do the Mentos Geyser experiment, but not everybody knows the reason why it works. After they read Steve Spangler's blogpost, they will!

Thank you again, Kimberley and Lindsay, for thinking up the Perfect Post Awards, and for encouraging us all to pat someone on the back each month by awarding him/her this honor.

There was one big bottle of Diet Coke left over after the bonfire/cookout/Mentos Geyser party, so I drank it.

No apologies here, and it was soooooo good.

P.S. Someone, and I'm not telling who, dug the Mentos out of the bottom of the Diet Coke bottle after the geyser and ate them, and the rumor mill tells me they were even better than before.

P.P.S. It might not have been me. There were many others at the party. Did you see me do it? Then you don't really know for sure who it was, do you.


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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:01 AM | |

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Northern Rockies Folk Festival

If any of you plan to attend the Northern Rockies Folk Festival, please clap extra loud for Steelhead Redd, the band that opens on Friday night at 5:00.

That's my baby brother on the bass.

Clap for all the bands. Just, you know, be extra enthusiastic about Steelhead Redd. Buy the cd, too, but only if you have fantastic musical taste want to.

Thank you.


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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:26 PM | |

Ask Me Nicely First

Are your child's toys his/her very own? Do you allow your child to think that her toys belong to her?

Or are you just letting your child play with them while maintaining ownership yourself?

I am what might euphemistically be called "middle-aged" now, but there are some things that still bother me, a LOT.

I was the oldest of four kids, and nothing ever really belonged to me, even when I bought it with my own money. I was forced to share it all, and it didn't even matter if I was home. If a sibling wanted to play with it, or wear it, or eat it, the sibling got it.

Even as a child, I was very careful with "my" things. Santa brought me a doll every Christmas, and those dolls are, as I type, residing on the top shelf of my closet, as pristine as dolls that old could possibly be. Some of them, however, bear the marks of not-as-careful-as-I forced borrowings.

I still have my Tiny Thumbelina doll, but she stopped moving after less than a year because a visiting cousin, who threw a fit for her, was allowed by Mom to play with her. My cousin's idea of playing was far different than mine, and it didn't take her long to overwind the doll and therefore break her, forever. My opinion of that cousin is still colored by that example of her nature. I was a careful child, and I adored things with keys, such as music boxes. I was extremely careful with such things, and I dreaded having company who brought their kids, because my parents always made me bring out the very things that I loved best, and that were the most easily broken, and watch strange kids play with them roughly and usually break them. If I protested, or cried when it happened, Mom or Dad would give me the routine "Shame on you; don't be selfish!" speech, which didn't ring true even back then and still doesn't. If you know someone, whatever their age might be, is going to break it, why would you MAKE the owner of it just hand it over?

Unless, of course, the child isn't really the owner at all. That would only work if the PARENT actually owned the toy, wouldn't it. Aha!

I know that Mom didn't like it when our toys were mishandled by visiting kids, but her kind heart and generous nature wouldn't let her be anything but sharing, even when it was OUR things that were being shared.

Some adults are horrified when a child doesn't want to 'share' certain toys, but I'm not. Kids can usually sense when another kid is going to be careful or not, and frankly, it's only common sense to NOT allow a careless, rowdy kid to play with anything that's fragile or special, such as a beloved doll or other toy. Embarrassed parents who then FORCE a child to hand it over are not doing anybody any favors. Parents of careless kids who break everything they touch have no business expecting someone else's child to willingly hand over a favorite toy only to have it torn to pieces before their very eyes. "Well, they sure don't make 'em like they used to!" is NOT a good response when your kid breaks another kid's toy. "Oh, that's all right, don't worry about it!" is likewise not a good response when some kid breaks your kid's favorite toy.

It's wonderful to have a sharing, giving, generous nature, but a person can still have that while using common sense. No child should EVER be required to share beloved toys with another kid. Bring out the box of blocks, or the tinkertoys, or something that's usually shared anyway and that ISN'T precious and kept pristine and beloved. Unbreakables are good for sharing with an unknown quantity, or with a quantity you KNOW is going to be rough with it. I'm all for sharing, really, but I'm completely against REQUIRED sharing, and a child should get to choose which toys he/she wants to share and which ones are to be kept on the shelf when company comes.

I considered that my kids' toys belonged to THEM. If we had company with kids, I shut and locked my kids' bedroom doors, unless they were there, in person, to give or not give permission to enter. As long as the toys were put away, they did not belong to me. I had given them away to someone else - my children - and only the owners could say what happened to them. I had - and still have it - a huge box of sharing toys, and there is some pretty cool stuff in there. But my kids' most precious toys? Nobody touched them without permission from that child. They belonged to that child. I bought or made them, and then I gave them away. Once you "give" something, it then belongs to the one who received it. Once you "give" something, your rights over its use have been passed to someone else.

Of course, if, after several days' warning, those same toys were still on the floor, pieces scattered, they became mine again, and my kids didn't like what I did with them. But that was their own fault.

Perhaps it's because modern kids have so many toys, that the concept of a few precious toys has gone its merry way. But I'd bet money, if I had any, that even a modern kid has a toy or two that's extra-special, and that he/she would really prefer NOT to have to share with just anybody.

Sometimes, when I'm looking in my closet, I'll gaze at Tiny Thumbelina and remember the days when she still moved. And I know that if I hadn't been forced to hand her over to that wild, destructive cousin, she would still be alive moving today.

Kids desperately need things of their very own, that are undebatably THEIRS, that can not be touched without permission, EVER. I used to find my only respite in my school supplies, which lived in my desk in my classroom. At school, if you helped yourself to someone else's stuff, you were correctly labeled a thief. Now, of course, even at school there is no possibility to learn pride of possession, because in most classrooms the teacher makes everybody dump their school supplies in community buckets. This is catastrophically wrong. It would have finished me off for good, I think. A child with no absolute possessions can't understand the concept of other people's possessions, and this is the beginning of the end. I blogged about this once before and I haven't changed my mind about it. I never will. I sent my children to school with their supplies and I expected those supplies to reside in my child's desk. Anyone, including the teacher, who took my child's possessions without permission and against their wishes, was a thief.

A parent or sister or brother who helps themselves to your possessions is a thief, too. But don't call them that or you'll get grounded. And the injustice of THAT still burns, too.

I'm not selfish, and neither are my children. Almost anything we have, we are happy to let you use, too. Just don't ask to borrow those very, very few extra-precious things we have set apart from everything else, pristine, beloved, and our very own. And if you just waltz up and help yourself without permission, we'll by golly slap the daylights out of your reaching hand.

Nobody is entitled to whatever they want, without first jumping through some hoops. One of the jumps might be to pay for something in a store. Another jump might be asking permission to touch or use the property of someone else. But a person who just assumes that everything exists for his/her use is asking for trouble, and one of these days, he or she is going to try to help himself to something that isn't theirs and all hell will break loose, legally. If our children learn at a very early age that they are allowed free usage ONLY of their own things, and NEVER with someone else's, without permission, perhaps we'll populate the earth with adults who respect each other and each other's belongings, and who don't expect carte blanche to help themselves to anything and everything they want, without jumping through the proper hoop first.

To sum up: nice people of any age don't grab other people's things without permission. EVER.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:39 PM | |

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No Heart/No Fart: This Explains a Lot

Today was the first day of Final Exams - every student's favorite day, naturally. My class today was up on the main campus, and the classes on the main campus have a far larger percentage of absenteeism than do the regional campuses. I have no idea why this is so, but it's so.

In this morning's class, three students didn't even show up to take the final exam. I predict that they will come to class on Wednesday and be all astounded and sputtery that the summer session is over and they can't take the final, when most of this kind of student didn't even know when the final WAS, or what it was about. It happens every semester, and it's scary. For the nation, I mean. SCARY. Sometimes, even at this level, a parent will call me at home to tell me why Junior was absent and to tell me that he'll be at the college on such and such a day to take the final which I will please hand-deliver to him at his convenience. To which I reply that I am not permitted by law to even acknowledge that I've ever heard of Junior and there is no way I would ever tell someone over the phone who is and who isn't in my classes. Then the parent will get all huffy and imperious and I'll start to snicker silently on my end, because after 26 years of having administration force me to kowtow and give in to this kind of parent, I am finally allowed to be sensible and professional about it, and simply hang up on the jerks. College administration will back me. If the parent tries to go over my head, it won't work. At least, it hasn't yet. Helicopter parents are a pathetic joke at any level, but if this attitude extends into a kid's college years, heaven help the universe!

Tomorrow, or, rather, later today (Holy cow, LOOK AT THE TIME!) I will give this same final exam to a group of students at a regional campus, and I'd bet money, if I had any, that every single student will be there, pencil sharpened, alert, and ready to take that test.

Most of the main campus students are just out of high school, and most of the regional students are older. Have work ethics changed much? Darn right they have. And not for the better, either. Sigh.

Dear Helicopter Parents of College Students: Your kid is raised. Stop raising him. If he's still an immature weenie, let life hand him/her some consequences. It's about time somebody did.
Love, Professor MeanJane P.S. Your kid is nineteen years old and still can't remember to bring a pencil to school. And no, he can't borrow mine. Suck it up. If he wants a grade on a test, he can go down to the bookstore and invest in a two-dollar collegiate-licensed pencil. Yes, they are too expensive and yes, it's ridiculous. At Target he can get a whole package for a dollar, but then he'd have to remember to bring one to class. You are not allowing your kid to grow up, and he doesn't have what it takes to do so himself. This is your fault. Back off. Let him struggle and fail, and then perhaps he will struggle and succeed. No, this is NOT being cruel. Cruelty is keeping your kid a kid too long, and doing all the work for him. Step back and don't give in when he comes crying to you about how hard life is.

This is one of many reasons why I am a firm believer in mixed-age classes. At this level, I'll have students from 17 to 80 in one room, and each has something invaluable to give to the other. The best thing of all? We don't really have many discipline problems, and if we do, the student is escorted out of the building immediately. As such students should be at ALL levels, so our nice hardworking kids might be able to climb higher and see farther and accomplish much more, without being constantly albatrossed by discipline problems that are allowed to get worse each year by spineless administrators and parents who can't see beyond their own child.

Remember Helen Keller, who had to be removed from her doting parents' home in order to be educated properly, because her parents were so sorry for her that they gave in to her every whim and turned her into a smelly obnoxious beast who demanded her own way and got it in every situation. Poor little Helen, let her have it; she's been denied so much! Annie Sullivan, however, knew better. Why can't modern parents and administrators see it?

After this week, the summer session will be over and I'll have two weeks of vacation before the VERY busy fall semester begins. I've peeked at the rosters and all of my classes, so far, are BIG! Of course, "big" at the college level means between 18 and 22, whereas "big" in the public school meant "over 40." And yes, I had several 8th grade classes of over 40, where kids had to sit on the floor and lean against the wall because no more desks could be crammed into the room.

Now, if the class grows too big, they lock the door and say "Sorry, try again next year." Much better!

I am a firm believer in playing my best with the hand I'm dealt, but that only works when there are 52 cards to be dealt. Add "just a few more," and the rules are changed, and it becomes a different game.

My roses are blooming and the petunias are beautiful and my upside-down tomatoes are doing well. The gerbera daisies are putting out new blooms and the salvia is purple and pretty. Come on over and smoke smell them.

Five years ago my life did a complete turnaround, and I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to adjust to it. Now? I'm happier than I've ever been in my life, and I know I am right where I am supposed to be. I know who my friends are, and who they aren't, and even though the blow was undeserved and terribly unfair, I'm glad now because I know that God led me through it and guided me straight to where I am now.

I wonder if we have any orange juice. . . . I still miss that BlogHer orange juice. And pretty much everything else about BlogHer, for that matter.

Life is good. Dig it.

And when life isn't good, dig it anyway. If you keep digging, you'll strike gold eventually.

Oh, and bring a pencil to class on test day. Them nasty ol' professors will show you no mercy; they can't, because they have no hearts. Nope.

They have no heart, and they never fart. That's why they're so mean all the time.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:57 AM | |

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quotation Saturday

Coming home was both a downer and a relief. Does traveling affect anybody else like that? As I was changing the sheets and then mowing the lawn today, I was thinking things like "I love to make my home lovely and good-smelling, inside and out," whilst simultaneously thinking things like "If I lived in that hotel, I'd NEVER have to mow the lawn, someone else would change AND wash the sheets, and I'd get to sleep with Monty every night!" Because, of course, in my fantasy world, BlogHer is still going on and will never stop.

As are many other things in my many fantasy worlds. . . .

But now it's Quotation Saturday, and I do love me some wise and pithy quotations:

1. "It is not the shilling I give you that counts, but the warmth that it carries with it from my hand." --Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo

2. "We have no more right to put our discordant states of mind into the lives of those around us and rob them of their sunshine and brightness than we have to enter their houses and steal their silverware." --Julia Moss Seton

3. "Statistics are no substitute for judgment." --Henry Clay

4. "The slander of some people is as great a recommendation as the praise of others." --Henry Fielding

5. "A sense of shame is not a bad moral compass." --Colin Powell

6. "In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." --M.L. King

7. "Soft soap is always a sign that there's dirty water about." --John Dickson Carr

8. "Obstinacy and heat of opinion are the surest proof of stupidity. Is there anything so assured, resolved, disdainful, contemplative, solemn, and serious as the ass?" --Montaigne

9. "The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides." --Henri Fredric Amiel

10. "A day is a span of time no one is wealthy enough to waste." --Anon.

11. "Without deviation, progress is not possible." --Frank Zappa

12. "Dollars cannot buy yesterday." --Admiral Harold R. Stark

13. "Never let go of the fiery sadness called desire." --Patti Smith

14. "If people are made to do what they dislike, you must allow for a little ill-humour." --Lord Melbourne

15. "I don't want people who want to dance. I want people who HAVE to dance." --George Balanchine

16. "Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known." --F.S. Fitzgerald

17. "A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

18. "Being a politician is like being a football coach: you have to be small enough to understand the game, but dumb enough to think it's important." --Eugene McCarthy

19. "Truthfulness is a cornerstone in character, and if it be not firmly laid in youth, there will ever after be a weak spot in the foundation." --Jefferson Davis

20. "Character is built out of circumstances. From exactly the same materials, one man builds palaces, while another builds hovels." --George Henry Lewes

21. "There is something that is much more scarce, something finer far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability." --Elbert Green Hubbard

22. "Faith in the ability of a leader is of slight service unless it be united with faith in his justice." --George Washington Goethels

23. "Administration not only has to be good but has also to be felt to be good by the people affected." --Nehru

24. "Art is running away without ever leaving home." --Twyla Tharp

25. "I'm tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay." --Madonna

26. "Some men are like a clock on the roof; they are useful only to the neighbors." --Austin O'Malley

27. "People are so brainwashed by the rules that they don't know what really matters." --Mick Jagger

28. "The brain that doesn't feed itself, eats itself." --Gore Vidal

29. "On ships they call them barnacles; in business they attach themselves to desks and are called vice presidents." --Fred Allen

30. "Few people do business well who do nothing else." --Lord Chesterfield

31. "The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it." --George C. Scott

32. "No shirt is too young to be stuffed." --Larry Zolf

33. "If 'A' is a success in life, then 'A' equals 'X' plus 'Y' plus 'Z.' Work is 'X,' 'Y' is play, and 'Z' is keeping your mouth shut." --Einstein

34. "The less one thinks, the more one talks." --Old French Proverb

35. "Let him that would move the world, first move himself." --Socrates

36. "It is as expedient that a wicked man be punished as that a sick man be cured by a physicial; for all chastisement is a kind of medicine." --Plato

37. "The canary bird in the coal mine theory of the arts: artists should be treasured as alarm systems." --Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

38. "The artist brings something into the world that didn't exist before, and. . . he does it without destroying something else." --John Updike

39. "First to know, then to act, then to really know." --Bishop Hafifi

40. "Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind." --Seneca

41. "When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision." --Lord Falkland

42. "The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are." --John Burroughs

43. "To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness." --Erich Fromm

44. "If we only knew the real value of a day." --Joseph Farrell

45. "If ever there was an aviary overstocked with jays it is that Yap-town-on-the-Hudson, called a bureaucracy." --O. Henry

46. "The aging process has got you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball." --Doug Larsen

47. "As a preventative to mental old age, a daily mile trot with your imagination cannot be equaled." --Roy Giles

48. "The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee. And I pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun." --J.D. Rockefeller

49. "Mum reckoned that getting lost and finding your way were just different sides of the same coin. You couldn't have one without the other." Fynn, from Mister God, This Is Anna

50. "There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees." --Victor Hugo

We're having a huge bonfire here tonight, and finally getting rid of the absolutely humongous pile of limbs and brush that's been accumulating for YEARS. Come on over.

Seriously, stop by. We're setting off Mentos Geysers, and it's going to be, if you can stand one more quote. . . .

51. "Fierce!" -- Christian Siriano

There will be food. And blueberry cobbler.

And probably rain. But we've had mighty and majestic bonfires in the rain before.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:01 AM | |

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One More BlogHer Perspective

. . . soooooo many posts about BlogHer! I LOVE THEM!!!

Strange as it may seem, since I am such an opinionated blowhard somewhat assertive on this blog, I am actually very shy in real life. It's difficult for me to walk into a room full of people and approach someone; I always assume that nobody would care to associate with a boring person like me. My panel went well, thanks to Shireen, Marilyn, and Monty; I knew that even if I flopped, they would carry on without me. They were so good.

At BlogHer, people spoke to me. People sat with me. People listened to me. Holy cow. I felt like SOMEBODY there.

Was it the other-side-of-the-continent atmosphere? Had I changed when I got off the plane? Are BlogHer people just nicer than other people? All of the above?

Possibly that last one.

Hanging out with Monty and Fausta and Kimberle did wonders for me, too. They are, all three of them, so very outstandingly wonderful!!! We traversed Chinatown and ate sushi and oysters and drank sake and took pictures of each other with dragons and in front of shop windows containing duck feet and beheaded waterfowl of various sorts, and tackled the crowds and the disco lights at Ruby Skye, and dodged all the Saving Grace misc, except for that one gigantic poster which we posed in front of and pretended we were part of. It was a marvelous lot of fun. I would kill to have Kim's hair. It's just simply gorgeous.

Food? There was food everywhere I turned, at BlogHer. I will have to say that the box lunches were not all that, novelty that they were, and for people on low carb diets, they were a disaster. Bread, bread, more bread, and pasta. They were all gone by the time I got to lunch on Friday, but as I'm too fat anyway, it wasn't a big deal. As for breakfast? For once in my life, I had all the orange juice I wanted. It was just so delicious, and so COLD. I do love me some ice cold, and I mean ICE COLD, orange juice. Room temp? Can't drink it. BlogHer orange juice was perfect. I couldn't eat the doughnuts, etc, because I'm diabetic, but I got by. Besides, we were accosted (the good kind) by hors d'oeuvres and wine everywhere we went, and the bottled water and diet Pepsi were abundant.

My ability to make a hardship out of the simplest things reared its ugly head at Sunday lunch, when I bit into my really delicious sandwich and speared my lower lip with a concealed toothpick. Seriously, it went all the way through my lower lip and out again. It still throbs, but now it's just funny. Who but me? I didn't know whether to just sit there and laugh at myself through the shock and tears, or run back to Chinatown and buy a lip ring. I mean, the piercing was already there and all . . . .

It's still there. How do you put medicine on the inside of your lip? I'm hoping the saliva will fix it, because I don't have any other options. I'm sure it will be fine.

Don't panic, Westin St. Francis. I'm not one of those people who sue. I'm a nice person. But after this, I'll be feeling up all my sandwiches before I plunge into them with my body parts. So to speak.

I learned so much over that weekend that I'm really kind of disoriented sitting here and trying to remember it all in ways that can be translated to the written page. I know for a fact that my brain had to have grown a new section to store it all.

One thing I'm very happy about: so many websites and conferences and literature and whatnot that welcome women of, how shall I put this, a 'certain age,' are very condescending even when they don't realize it. Yes, I'm over the hill forty (a LOT over), but I am not remotely interested in a website or conference that talks to me of Depends and AARP and declining vision and Alzheimer's and Ensure and velcro fasteners for my housedress and cell phones with one big button and ways to entertain the grandchildren and Big Band music and recipes for soft foods and electric grocery cart wheelchairs and great denture adhesives. I'm interested in writing and electronics and social media and marketing and books and makeup and purses and hanging out with friends and laughing out loud and eating in funky restaurants and navigating around Chinatown and computers, all about computers. BlogHer did so many things just exactly right, and one of them was that it treated all of us the same. There were people there from 18 to 80, and everybody did whatever she wanted most to do. Mixed groups? I'll say! Isn't that how the world really is?

As for the hotel itself, well, I was overwhelmed by its beauty, its accessibility, and its class. All the staff were gracious and helpful, the room was glorious, the shower was amazing, and nothing went wrong. Um, except for my credit card being declined and all, but that wasn't the hotel's fault.

Whoops, did I really confess that? My bad. It's fixed now.

I loved the sessions and the food and the people and the vendors and the loot and the vicinity and the sights and the parties.

Sunday was perhaps the best of all. Small and intimate and with handpicked topics. People still sat with me and my self-consciousness melted away. Of course, that's also when I pierced my lip with the toothpick. Sigh.

My adorable tiny pink computer was a real conversation-starter, too. Thank you, Asus Eee Pc! I love my little laptop - it does everything a big laptop can do, and it's light as a feather and fits in my purse.

I had no problems whatsoever at the airport, and the fact that I couldn't slow my brain down and get some sleep on the red-eye wasn't anybody's fault but my own. My daughter picked me up at the airport at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning and took me straight to the college, where I taught for several hours while trying desperately to stay awake. I could have used that toothpick for my eyelids!!! I am not a napper, but when I finally got home around 4:00, I gave in and took a four-hour nap. Then I got back up, wrote four articles, ate a sandwich (no toothpick), surfed the 'net, read a few posts about BlogHer, and went to bed for real around 2:30 a.m.

I had more than just a good time. It was more than a great time.

At BlogHer08, I found myself, and discovered that I'm not such a bad sort after all.

And oh, my BlogHer people, I can't WAIT to do it all again next year!!!


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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:59 PM | |


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