Friday, December 31, 2004

Something different didn't work either.

I just submitted another banner to BE; this banner is stored on a different site than my others.

None of them are showing up. Not the old ones, and not this new one.

Maybe when BE looks at it for approval, they will see that it's invisible and help me then.

Till that day does arrive, I hope people will click on the invisible banner anyway. And come here, and read about the invisible banners, and think things like, "Wow, that poor thing, her banners are invisible but she's still trying to win. I shall vote for her because she is so pitiful."

(actually, that's my usual state. . . . .)

I do have a handicap parking hanger. I fall down a lot. Lately I've been eyeing those motorized grocery carts with something other than speeding between the Duncan Hines cake displays and zipping past little kids in those carts that look like race cars, in mind. Some day, Jerry Lewis will feature me on Labor Day. Could I maybe pimp the pathetico vote?

Oh, and I'm funny-looking. Shouldn't that count for something?

And I'm wearing mismatched socks. And bell-bottom jeans. See? Truly pathetico.


So, ungrateful unappreciative people who are complaining about the Bob Awards. . . . . was that enough begging for ya? Huh? Was it? (Whiners. )

Some people are very lacking in gratitude. For shame.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:12 PM | |

Why now?

I'm a finalist for the Bob Awards!

I'm so excited. I'm so honored. I'm so blown away with anticipation and smileyness.

Not a good time for my BE banners to show up blank.

What's up with that?

BE says they look fine.

I say they are all blank. As blank as a, well, blank. Empty rectangles. Empty 468 x 60 rectangles.

Empty. Rectangles.

Why would anyone click on a blank space? I wouldn't.


My banners are invisible.

Please remember me anyway? I'm the finalist with the blank banners.


Maybe the element of surprise will entice people to come here. You know, surprise that there's a blog advertising itself by saying nothing.

Such timing. Oy.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:48 PM | |

The Big Boy is multi-talented, and probably quite rich by now.

On the trip home today, I learned many things, one of which was that the Big Boy can make really good chocolate shakes. And his double decker special wasn't bad, either. Plus, he's a comic book hero! And he had the World's Biggest Christmas Stocking hanging on the wall of his restaurant. Right beside the restroom, which was a one-seater and not the cleanest in the world, but hey. World's Biggest Christmas Stocking.

How big was it, you are all wondering right now. . . . .

It had a stuffed SHARK in it. Lifesize. Well, if it was newborn. But newborn sharks are probably just as vicious as their parents. Heck, they would have to be, to keep from being eaten by their own family members.

It had a lot of other things in it as well, but the shark was what caught my eye as I stood in line for the one-seater restroom. I liked its sharp-looking felt teeth. So out-of-place inside that friendly grin. And the big blue eyes. And I poked through the net and discovered that it was very plush and soft.

If you are the owner of a restaurant which has only a one-seater restroom, may I suggest that it is NOT a good idea to have a tinkling fountain within hearing distance of the women in line for that one seat? Although I must admit it was very pretty. And very effective.

Another little suggestion, this one to the parents of the two little girls who sang the alphabet song non-stop and at the top of their lungs for thirty minutes without drawing a breath: Feed your kids at home. Thank you.

My ears are still ringing.

The World's Biggest Christmas Stocking. I guess my main question is, why was it still there? They should have given it away to a needy child.

That baby shark was MADE for hugging.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:16 AM | |

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Positive, comparative, and superlative.

Golly whilikins, we just got back from Michigan about an hour ago, and I threw all the bags across the kitchen floor and ran in here to go online to see what all I missed and found out. . . . I'M A FINALIST in the BoB Awards!

Thank you! And, thank you again. Here, take this large lawn-and-leaf bag of thanks and keep it; the contents are all for YOU.

Now, when the voting starts, PLEASE vote for me?

Truthfully, you all have no idea how thrilled I honestly am.

This discovery far outclasses the fact that even though Charley Gordon escaped from the garage and ran wild in the streets while we were gone, he knows which side his bread is buttered on and was waiting for us in the driveway when we arrived home.

I'm so happy I've decided NOT to describe in goopy detail the one large poopy-coil I discovered on a pile of Belle's dirty clothes on the laundry room floor a few minutes before we left for Michigan on Tuesday morning. Nor will I go into detail about how when I picked up the dress and tilted it into the toilet, it slid off the pretty navy-blue dress (the one with the tiny white flowers) just a fraction of an inch too soon and cascaded down the side of the toilet like hot fudge at the Dairy Queen. Or how the smell was so bad that I dry-heaved all the way to the 465 bypass, which is about a hundred miles from our house. Good thing I hate breakfast.

I really ought to go downstairs and throw that dress into the washer. I was so grossed out at the time, I just threw it against the exposed pipes beside the laundry sink and ran out to the car.

But I'm not going into any detail about any of that. I'm too happy over being a FINALIST!!!

Thank you!

Oh OKAY already. Here's the darn meme:

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
I resigned from a job I loved, and got another one that I also love.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I’m still really fat, so I guess, “no.” As for next year, I can just recycle last year’s ‘losing a lot of weight’ fantasy.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

4. Did anyone close to you die? This will sound odd to (most) of you, but I am not sure.

5. What countries did you visit? Poverty-land, Rude Awakening-land, and Aren’t You Ashamed Of Complaining After Reading About Other People’s REAL Problems-land.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004? Assertiveness. Savvy. Removal of “sucker” tattoo on forehead.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? The entire summer was a nightmare.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting my new job.

9. What was your biggest failure? Befriending someone who totally hijacked my computer and my life.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I have no cartilage in my knees. I have muscular dystrophy. If not for those, I’d be Olympic material. Yes.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Stuff for the kids.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My beautiful children: I celebrate their very being daily. My husband: I’ve been remembering a lot of reasons why I married him in the first place. I can’t post them here.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted? A certain former boss. A certain group of people online.

14. Where did most of your money go? Bills. Doctors. Medicine. (Scheiss, we’re old now. . . . .)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Every time someone links to me I get all weepily happy. Oh, and Christmas.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?” Gollum’s Theme,” sung by Emiliana Torrini

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? Mostly sadder, but happy about a few things b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. Holy cow. c) richer or poorer? WAYYY poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Being cautious with certain people. Laughing.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Trusting people. Worrying. Despairing. Etc.

20. How will you be spending New Year's Eve? With dear friends.

21. Did you fall in love in 2004? No, I was already in love.

22. How many one-night stands? None. I’m kind of into the every-night stands these days.

23. What was your favorite TV program? MASH. (This hasn’t changed for thirty years.)

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Yes, very much. I hate to say ‘hate,’ but to be perfectly honest, I hate now. I don’t think I ever did before. I'm ashamed of it, but it's true. I'm trying to work through it but so far no go. But I'm still trying.

25. What was the best book you read? Harry Potter. All of them.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Too many to mention.

27. What did you want and get? A new job.

28. What did you want and not get? Justice.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Azkaban. (Hey, I have a degree in Young Adult Lit!)

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I became even older, if such a thing be possible, and we ate pizza and laughed a lot. It was “before.”

31.What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying? Justice.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004? Nonexistent.

33. What kept you sane? My family. Truth. Loyal friends.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Tough one. Liam Neeson? Alan Rickman? Hugh Grant? Samwise?

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Education. Our kids are being screwed by the administration.

36. Who did you miss? Nancy and Kristin.

37. Who was the best new person you met? All of you bloggers. I want to make cookies for you. I want to play euchre with you. I want to watch movies with you. I want to have your babies. (one way or another.) I want to hang out with you. And in a way, I already do!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004. Be careful who you trust. Trust most people anyway. Sigh. People like me never learn.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Okay, how about this one:

”I saved you," cried the woman,
And you bit me, even why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I'm going to die.”
"Oh shut up, silly woman," said the reptile with a grin
"You knew damn well I was a snake before you brought me in"

End of meme.

Hey, you know those awesome Hostess Snowball cupcakes, the ones that look like an igloo, and leave you all coated up with coconut, that you can never find in the grocery store but interstate gas stations almost always have them? Yeah, those. I love those things. And Sweetarts! It's never a road trip without Hostess Snowballs and Sweetarts. I'm heavily into the health food thing. Well, speaking of health food, I am a firm believer in it. (hastily flicking stray coconut off chest, where things of that nature almost always find a foothold. . . . .)

And when we got home tonight, almost all the snow was gone! I could see CONCRETE! I could see MUD! (Wait a minute. . . . . )

It was kind of strange, to go that far north to get away from the snow. . . . .

The family reunion was, as always, awesome and replete with new memories. And incredible food.

I'd post a picture but I don't think, even with a wide-angle lens, it would fit on anybody's monitor. Besides, I don't know how.

Um, that's ME I'm talking about up there. Not the rest of Hub's family. Just me. I'm the large Auntie. Auntie Chubs. That's me all right. Auntie Bigguns. A cartoon show about me would be called SpongeMom LargePants.

Belle and Zappa couldn't go to the reunion. They both had to work. It's the first time they haven't been with us there. It made me feel funny to go without them. I kept looking around for them; it was like forgetting toothpaste or underwear or something else really important when staying overnight in someone else's house.

Yes, my children are every bit as important as toothpaste and underwear. I know this will make them very happy.

Speaking of underwear, though, we did stop at a few Outlet Malls (northern Indiana has a million of 'em, while here in the southern tip we don't have many at all. ) And those Hanes/Bali stores were having great sales. I was able to buy great sails for cheap. (I am referring to my underwear in case any of you are puzzled at this time. . . .)

Enough about my underwear. Let's talk about yours.

Just kidding.

Family trips are fun. Family reunions are funner. But you know what, coming back home is funnest of all.

(I teach English, yes; but I'm off duty for one more week.)

Plus, and maybe this is odd but it's absolutely true: I missed all of you bloggers. I really did. It's like coming home to friends.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:04 PM | |

Monday, December 27, 2004

Scat. And I don't mean "go away," or "jazz."

We're leaving in the morning for Michigan. Christmas isn't over for us, not just yet.

Hub's family lives up there. They are quite possibly the nicest people on this or any other planet. I can't wait!

We were supposed to go on Sunday morning, but we couldn't get anything but the truck out of the driveway. The snow has melted enough now, that we can get the Honda out.

So yeeHAW, we're going up North in the morning!

I gave the three children up there a Christmas present on Thanksgiving, but I'm bringing more with me tomorrow. Don't tell!

Because I dare, that's why.

The downstairs poop hunt has not produced a winner yet. I can only vaguely smell it, but it's definitely vaguely there.

The vagueness tells me that it's perhaps concealed underneath something. Something that will have to be burned, because it touched poop.

I checked both beds down there; they're clean.

So if you visit, you need not fear poop in the middle of your bedspread.

Some future time I will relate something that happened to Hub a year or so ago. It was hilarious, for two reasons: 1) the look on his face, and 2) it wasn't me that touched it.

Details at a later date. Although I will tell you that I threw the bedspread away.

My snow boots are hideous. They look like something Ruth Buzzi would wear, whilst appearing as Gladys Ormphby on Laugh-In. I have no doubt that Ruth, in real life, buys her clothes from Versace, but Gladys would dig my snow boots. Nobody else does, that's for sure. Belle has something to say about them every time she sees them. But they do their job, ie keeping my feet dry in the snow. Looking good isn't their job, so I forgive them for being hideous enough to draw stares.

My winter coat is ugly, too, now that I'm on the subject, but you know what? I've discovered that the older I get, the less I care about clothes. I almost always WEAR them, don't get me wrong, but all those mismatched hideousities I used to make fun of when the geezers came out at night, are now on my own back. Belle has style and taste, and Zappa has chutzpah, but Mamacita just doesn't give a rat's nether region any more. Keep me warm. Keep me dry. Keep me from going to jail on indecency charges. I'm happy.

Zappa got me the coolest computer lamp I've ever seen. It's two HUGE bloodshot eyeballs, on bendy stems. I'd post a picture if I knew how. It kind of reminds me of the long tentacled eyeballs on the original 'War of the Worlds,' only bloodshot. And way cooler.

So my home will never make the cover of "House Beautiful." So what? Those people in magazines like that never let their kids drink Red Creme Soda on that white carpet, or went on poop hunts rather than let the Cat freeze to death. If they ever came to my house, they'd pass out cold. And Charley Gordon would poop on their stomachs.

I'd rather have a bit of a mess, than have a house that people couldn't LIVE in.

And believe me, I usually have a mess.

But people LIVE in my living room, and EAT in my dining room. Isn't that what they're for?

I was finally able to buy milk tonight. There has been no actual food on the grocery store shelves in this county for a week.

Unless you wanted cereal named after cartoon characters that you've never heard of. You know, the kind that turns your milk blue. Or brown.

If I wanted brown milk, or brown nuggets, I'd throw myself into the poop hunt with a little more enthusiasm.

Baby Ruth, anyone?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:46 PM | |

Sunday, December 26, 2004

"What a DUMP!"

The kids left about twelve hours ago. I've had plenty of time to clean up the Christmas mess. Oh, I don't necessarily mean the CHRISTMAS mess I told you about before. I mean, the mess they left behind this Christmas.

You know, all those cans of cola with four sips missing, that I'm finding underneath almost everything I pick up.

All those inside-out socks I'm finding under the beds and the coffee table.

All those plates with the dried-out food that I found under the daybed that we use as a sofa in the family room. (long story. . . .)

All those wet wadded towels on the bathroom floor.

The forgotten laundry in the dryer.

The empty DVD cases, and the discs piled on top of the tv downstairs.

Things like that.

I used to clean up messes like that daily. Oh, okay, weekly. I can't fool any of you any more, can I?

All RIGHT. Monthly.

Now I clean up messes like that a few times a year. Sigh. I miss it.

Holy cow, do you hear that? I miss those gross messes and the inconvenient putting-things-back-together, and wiping up all those spills from tipping over concealed half-full cola cans.

The really bizarre thing is, I actually DO miss it.


Certifiable in all fifty states, plus territorial loon rights in Europe and Asia. Take me away.

(Title of post: what movie? who said it?)
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:39 PM | |

All kinds of 'messes.'

Well, it's over. The kids are gone again, and I'm left with a VERY messy house.

It's Christmas mess, and I both love and hate it.

I love it because it's the Christmas mess, and it represents family and togetherness and fun, and it's wadded giftwrap and bits of ribbon and shredded styrofoam and SLABS of styrofoam and empty boxes and funny-shaped pieces of cardboard and candy wrappers. It's little (and big) pieces of cellophane, invisible on the carpet unless the light is juuuuust right. One can also find those by slipping on them and nearly (or actually) falling on one's large butt. It's those metallic gold coin wrappers that the kids kick under the furniture. I am still finding those in midsummer.

I hate it because the Christmas mess means the Christmas fun is over.

The snow is so deep, Belle had to leave her car in town at Grandmother's house. She brought Zappa down with her, so a few minutes ago Hub drove them both away from our house so they could drive home to their own homes. She has to go back to work today.

I'm not sure I will ever get used to my kids talking about "home," and having it NOT be this house.

The Cat stayed inside all night. He dozed and paced all over Belle's bed, and awakened her constantly with his snoring. I told her it was practice for marriage.

The kids couldn't fit all their loot in Hub's truck, so on top of the mess I also have several large black garbage bags of Christmas loot, to be taken 'home' after the snow has melted enough to let a regular car come down the driveway.

It's always (okay, 'usually') hard to say goodbye to my kids. I kissed them and hugged them and told them I loved them. I think Zappa was sleepwalking.

And after all this precious sentimentality, and as they were walking through the garage to the truck (we can't even open the front door because of the snow. . . . .) Belle turned and said "Mom, I smelled cat poop down here but I can't find it."

And they were gone.

Darn Cat.

I guess I'll go downstairs after while and conduct another poop hunt. The search isn't really that bad, but first prize really sucks.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:58 AM | |

Saturday, December 25, 2004


Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.

Christmas Eve with the MIL was lovely.

Christmas morning with the family was awesome.

Christmas afternoon with my family was great.

Zappa found the Cat; he heard some pitiful howling clear through the walls, went outside, and followed the sound till he found poor Charley Gordon far from the house, wailing like a banshee, trapped in a drift, and held prisoner by the height of the snow. Once rescued, Cat showed his appreciation by a massive scratching frenzy, then going limp in Zappa's arms and recovering only when dumped on the living room floor. He's been in the house ever since. That would be HOURS.

Belle went sniffing for poop when we got home but neither smelled nor found any.

I am beginning to suspect that Charley Gordon's mother was a camel.

There is nothing as wonderful as family. Immediate family, extended family, family-in-name-only, friends we consider family. . . . we are all part of a UNIT, and we share memories that nobody else knows or would understand. The family unit reigns supreme over all over groupings.

I looked at my children and my husband with more than my eyes this morning, as we opened presents in the same way and in the same order, ate the same breakfast we always eat on Christmas morning, disposed of the wadded-up giftwrap the same way we've always done (It's Indiana; basketball rules, here.) As I looked at my kids, my mind flashed back and saw, not two lovely adults in nightware they purchased themselves, but two precious tiny children, in new pajamas purchased by Santa, their eyes alight with belief in fairies and elves and Santa and his reindeer. It seems impossible that those days are past. How could those days possibly be gone?

I can't remember the last time we left cookies and milk for Santa. I remember many times, but not the last. I've posted about this subject before, but Christmas brings it to my mind again.

Oh parents, create worlds of fantasy for your children, at Christmas and whenever else you possibly can. It stretches their imaginations, and enables them to dwell in worlds far more wonderful than the real world. Listen when they tell you about it. Reality has many definitions; the reality of the adult world is only one of countless others. Ours is NOT better than theirs. But ours is better than it would have been, had it not been for theirs.

I firmly believe that adults who used to dwell in the realms of fantasy, have an easier time dealing with some of the drab realities of life. And that adults who still peep behind the curtain of fantasy deal best of all.

Last night, we reminisced about my kids' childhood Christmases, and got the MIL's perception. She added much to our collective memories.

This morning, we added more, all on our own.

This afternoon, we added even more, from the point of view of the other side of the family.

Other people's memories of my children, enriched my own memories. My mental stockpile of data about my children's lives gets bigger with every reunion. Their stories and memories, plus mine, equaled more. And you can't have too many good memories of your children. It still makes me feel funny that other people, even relatives, know things about my tiny children that I don't know. But after last night and today, I know a few more.

I love my family. All of them. I love Hub's family, too. At Christmas, that love is multiplied a thousand-fold. Sometimes I think I will burst from sheer love of my beautiful family.

I love watching them open their gifts. As adults, they are able to be appreciative and enthusiastic even when they aren't. When they were children, it was easier to tell when they really liked a present or not. Sometimes, I miss that blatant honesty. Not always, but sometimes.

I miss buying Spiderman underpants for Zappa; he favors silk boxers these days. I know this only because I sometimes do his laundry for him when he comes home. I've never mentioned it, for which fact I'm sure he is grateful, but I'm not blind, and I know dude underpants when I see them.

I miss buying Strawberry Shortcake underoos for Belle. I'd describe her underwear for you all but she reads this blog and I don't want her to see the word "lingerie" used in reference to her.

See, honey? Mommy didn't tell anybody about all that lace.

The only toys this year were thumb drives. I don't even know for sure what those are. Good thing for me that Amazon knew. Gift cards. Perfume. Cold-weather socks.

No self-respecting child would stand for it.

But my children are not children any more. They are adults, and they've done a darn good job of it.

I sure miss those sweet dollies and action figures, though.

Christmas will be over, officially, in about an hour and a half. But only if you let it be over.

I hope you all are having a wonderful day. I hope you are all making memories.

Merry Christmas.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:01 PM | |

The season of hope.

So here I am, at ten thirty on Christmas morning, blogging. My kids are still asleep. I wish they'd get up so the wild rumpus could begin.

Later today we will pile into Hub's four-wheel-drive truck (an amusing sight, I must say. . . .) and try to navigate the long icy driveway again. Last night, we almost didn't make it.

Also, we are very worried about Cat; we put him out to poop last night and he hasn't come home yet. It's cold out there, and even though he was wearing his fur coat, well, it's really cold out there. The kids were frantic last night.

I've already forgiven him for the poop on the family room floor. Besides Belle cleaned it up so I wouldn't know it was there.

I knew it was there. I just left it for her.

It's hard to keep floor poop a secret. It's the stink factor that gives it away every time.

I hope Cat comes back.

I hope we can get out of the driveway.

Christmas. The season of hope.

Merry Christmas once again, to all of you. May you always find the floor poop before you step in it, may the cat always come back, and may you love each other enough to crowd into the cab of a truck on Christmas day. And, may you love your mother enough to let her sit on your lap in public, because four adults just can't squeeze into the cab of a truck gracefully.

Hark. I hear stirrings that just might be adult children rolling out of bed. I go now, make blueberry muffins and scrambled eggs for huge babies.

I love Christmas.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:35 AM | |

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Meme Game: Pass It On!

Mellie Helen, here you are! Thank you for including me in Busy Mom's Meme Game!

Three names you go by:
(insert real name here)

Three screennames you have:
(insert real name here)

Three things you like about yourself:
Sense of humor

Three things you hate/dislike about yourself:

Three parts of your heritage:
Numenorian (Tee hee)

Three things that scare you:
Early morning doorbell
WalMart after 3:00 p.m.

Three of your everyday essentials:
Diet Coke

Three things you are wearing right now:
Hideous multi-colored striped socks
Red very old microfiber Sun Valley shirt
High water jeans, faded and holy

Three of your favorite bands/artists at the moment:
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Ben Folds
Josh Groban

Three of your favorite songs at present:
Christmas songs, all kinds, except barking dogs, chickens and adults pretending to be children
”Once Upon A Time,” by Jay McShann
”1985,” by Bowling for Soup

Three things you want to try in the next 12 months:
Going to at least three live shows.
Meeting with the Girlfriends at least once a month.
Learning how to make a real webpage.

Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given):
Affection and attention
Personal space.
EXACTLY half of the bed and blankets.

Two truths and a lie:
I was on the Board of Governors at Indiana University.
I used to set trap at a gun club.
I love Mexican food.

Three physical things about the opposite (or same) sex that appeals to you:

Three things you just can’t do:
Lose weight

Three of your favorite hobbies:
Making mix cd’s

Three things you want to do really badly right now:
Go back in time.
Cure my husband’s bad cold.
Color all these white hairs before my sisters see them tomorrow.

Three careers you’re considering:
General Manager of the Universe

Three places you want to go on vacation:
Outer Banks
Golden Isles

Three kids names:
(Here are the names we almost used for our kids)

Three things you want to do before you die:
Win the lottery.
Sit on the floor and play with grandchildren.
Get massive apologies from (insert names of creeps here)

Now, the following people must copy this list and answer! Enquiring minds want to know.

Garrison Steele
Walk In Brain (lots of politics, but he's an old and dear friend so I read his blog anyway. . . .)

I want to know, too. Ohhh, you have noooo idea. . . . .

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:54 PM | |

So many nice people to love. . . . .

Merry Christmas to all you lovely bloggers out there.

I'd post a pretty holiday picture if I knew how. Unfortunately, as many of you (especially the Firefox users) already know, I am, technologically speaking, mediocre at best with the webpage stuff. I don't know how to post a picture.

I've met so many great people through Blog Explosion: people I wish I could meet in real life. Physical real life, that is; there are all kinds of 'real life,' and getting to know people online is as real as anything could be. Everything but the eye contact.

Recent experience had left me VERY disillusioned with the online trust factor; I wasn't sure I could ever relax and learn to enjoy and trust people online again, after the way I was treated. But I did, and I am, and I have learned that the majority of people are sincere, and truthful, and, well, nice. I was unfortunate enough to encounter the other kind of people first, and it left scars. Those scars will always be there, but you BE people have more than made up for the unkindness and, yes, horrors, of my first internet encounters. I was too naive, and people took advantage of that.

If I write somewhat anonymously, and seem a little reluctant to share actual details sometimes, that is why.

Thank you, nice people out there in the great internet world of mommies, and daddies, and singles, and young people and older people and coots like me. . . . .

Online, we are on common ground, and are able to share and laugh and talk and learn without distractions. Just being bloggers gives us something in common.

Merry Christmas to all of you. Every. Single. One. Of. You.

No blogger left behind.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:35 PM | |

I am a shameless hussy and not above begging. . . .

Dear Intelligent and Fabulously Attractive Readers,

Please, oh PLEEEASE, dash over to the BoB Awards site and vote for me? I'll love you forever, honest I will. Oh wait, I already do. Okay then, I'll, um, I'll. . . . . .I'll. . . . .

That was a really pathetic plea. Let's try this one:

If you get time, please vote for me over at the Bob Awards site. I'd really appreciate it.

Nah, that didn't sound like me. Too grownup and polite.

Okay, how about this:

Lovers of Eddie Izzard, Monty Python, Princess Bride, Star Wars, Love Actually, Jasper Fforde, children, kittens, puppies, sci fi, fantasy, dragons, families, education, children's books, Christmas. . . . hasten over to the BoB site and cast your vote for me? I love all those things, too.


Please go to the BoB Awards site and vote for me. If I win, I won't post about the baby's diarrhea running down the restaurant's high chair leg that time.

Nah, you people love reading about stuff like that. I know I do. Sigh.

Sarcastic yet loving? Whining yet grateful? Perhaps a little bit dysfunctional, but in a good way? Then you must live here! And I must be your mother! I THOUGHT you looked familiar. Wash your hands and get over to the BoB site right away, or you'll wish you had! And vote for me! Because I said so!

I greatly fear that one might have sounded just a teensy bit like me, but I'd rather get votes for coolness, rather than simple obedience.

Unfortunately, I forgot how to be cool years ago. I'm not sure I ever knew how.

Therefore, may I just say, please go to the BoB Awards site and vote for me? I'd be forever grateful.

And if you don't like me, then please go there anyway, and vote for someone else. There are a LOT of really good blogs out there, and they deserve some recognition. And, you'd be doing yourself a favor, too. You'll have lots of great reading, and it never says 'the end.' Well, sometimes they do but they never mean it.

Several awesome people have worked really hard to set this up; please tell them 'thank you' and that they're wonderful.

Thank you.

Love, Mamacita

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:49 PM | |

Thursday, December 23, 2004

It wasn't a speech defect. It's the way it's SUPPOSED to sound.

I was remembering the time when friends were visiting us, years ago, and they brought their daughter who is the same age as Belle. (Daughter) Both little girls were about four years old. Their daughter was reciting nursery rhymes and cute little poems, and it was really sweet. We had taught Belle a lot of nursery rhymes, and 'A Child's Garden of Verses,' and Dr. Seuss, etc, so when it was her turn to recite, we were all lost in the incredible cuteness of it all. We told her to recite anything she wanted. She looked like a little doll, of course, and she stood in the middle of the living room and began to recite:

"Mawwaige. Mawwaige is what bwings us togetho today. Mawwaige, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam wifin a dweam. Wove, twue wove, will follow you fowever, and ever. . . so tweasure your wove. Have you the wing?"

It was a hard act to follow for the other little girl.

We might be somewhat quirky, yes. But it's good quirkiness.

And it might have been worse. She also knew 'The Lumberjack Song' and the 'Dead Parrot' sketch.

At least she picked one that was rated 'G.'

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:00 PM | |


My children will not make it home tonight after all. The snow is just too deep. They both live about thirty miles away; under ordinary circumstances, it's a quick and easy drive. Heck, I teach in their city; that drive is nothing.

But when the snow is three feet deep, it's impossible.

So Daughter is going to work all day tomorrow, in place of someone who couldn't get through the snow, and come home afterwards. She'll bring Son with her. She's hoping that the extra day will perhaps mean more time to clear the roads, plus a little melting.

I hate to tell her, but when the temperature is -4, there's not going to be much melting.

A day's delay. Well, I can deal with that. Not gracefully, but I can deal.

At least they're coming.

The Cat still hasn't pooped. Hub says the Cat made two trips down to the family room, so I'd better go sniffing around down there in a minute. If I find any odiferous PILES, I'm going to be "very put out." (What movie? Huh, huh? What movie?)

The Grandmother's road is impassable, so Daughter will have to park in the K-Mart lot. Hub will pick her and Son up in the truck tomorrow night.

Now I must go back to my kitchen and make lots and lots of sparkly star-shaped cookies.

When my kids come home, they HAVE to have cookies.

That's what I tell them, anyway.

It's something to do.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:19 PM | |

My science project.

Cat is back in the house. Hub threw him out into the snow for about an hour earlier today but footprints in the snow indicate no traveling off the deck to poop. Tiny clear area behind folded beach chairs shows no evidence of poop.

Conclusion: Cat still retains the poop.

Theory: Cat will either explode within the next few hours, or find my missing shoes and poop in them.

Possibility: I will discover this only after sliding my feet into said shoes.

Consequences: Cat will be flung out onto the deck, and if he wants a path he can make one by intense tail-swishing between high bunny-leaps and frenzied rolling.

If I had a hypothesis, I'd have a science project here.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:41 PM | |

Groovy stuff.

The path we shoveled yesterday is full and overflowing today. The snow hasn't been this deep since our wedding day.

I should probably unplug the outdoor lights. The bushes are buried so deep in the snow, the light's don't even show now. But then, that would require me going outside, and going outside would require shoes, and I can't find them. I took them off somewhere in the house last night and I forgot where I put them.

Hub finally made it up the driveway with the truck. The snow is so deep, he had to use it like a snowplow, going a few yards, then backing up and charging forward again and pushing some more snow away, then backing up and charging forward. . . well, you get the idea. He did that about two dozen times before he made it to the road. He's going to town to check on the two moms and get some eggs. He'll forget the eggs, of course, but I bet he comes home with two or three grocery bags of something. It's very expensive to send him to the grocery store.

I need to call Daughter in a few minutes, to warn her not to try and bring her car down the driveway. There is no way it could work.

It's very dry in this house. I feel like I've touched Rogue's bare skin.

I'm tempted to dig out the Christmas stocking chapstick. There's an old tube of Daughter's in the big bathroom but it's cherry-flavored and I loathe flavored chapstick. When Santa bought the chapstick for the stockings, the old fella had a coupon for a package of three, and since there are only two stockings hung on the piano, I figure he meant the extra one for me. I'm taking it, anyway. Hmm, I wonder what kind of bulk deal the old guy found for stocking candy? Maybe there's some extra there, too. Sweet.

Speaking as Santa's personal shopper, I already know there's no extra candy. I did it on purpose, too. When there are Snickers and Reese's Trees dangling in my face, I cave every time. But Santa knows I would never touch my children's Christmas candy, so he buys JUST the right amount every year. Darn him.

The hour is approaching fast, my dears. Soon it will be Christmas Day. Hey, that's catchy! Do you suppose. . . nah, nobody would ever hum a phrase like that.

I'm making almond bark. All you have to do is step on its tail.

And pecan pies. And cinnamon rolls.

Aren't you all sorry now, that you didn't invite me to your Christmas parties? You'd have been safe to do so; I can't get out of the driveway, and Hub's gone with the truck.

He's going to stay in town till the children drive down. We've told them to leave their cars at Grandma's house and to ride home with their father in the four-wheel-drive.

We are supposed to go to Michigan the day after Christmas, but I don't know if we'll be able to in this weather. We'll have to wait and see.

I hope we can, though. Hub's family lives up there, and what is Christmas without a joyous reunion?

We do his mother on the eve, my family on the day, and this year, his extended family on the day after.

Families are wonderful things. They sing, they laugh, they play, they bicker, they share, they kiss and make up. . . . they're like kindergarten. And as we all know, everything we ever needed to know, we learned in kindergarten. Not everything we learned was good, unfortunately; but sometimes a bad example is a better example than a good example. Most of our families are mostly good. There are a few bad apples in every barrel. I've been really lucky. The baddest apple in my family is probably me. Oh, okay, maybe not. It depends on who you're talking to.

Hub reports that our entire county road is BAD; unplowed and dangerous. Once he got to town it was better, but still bad.

I'm glad I went to the grocery store before it hit. Too bad I've already used most of the eggs; I hope he remembers.

BE tells me that most of you have big family plans coming up in the next few days. I think that is wonderful. I hope all of you, every last one of you, has a holiday beyond your wildest good dreams. Sit around the table and really look at each other. A tableful of snowflakes, no two alike. Appreciate each other. Groove on each other. Promise you'll always be together, and keep that promise no matter what somebody does or says. Love each other. Sometimes you have to force yourself, but do it. Unlovable people need your love more than the cuddly ones do.

Love them all. Whether they love you or not.

(Did I really say "groove on each other" up there? Holy shit, I'm old!!!)

And now I've gone and said 'shit.' Twice. And Hugh Grant isn't here to console me for it!

(What movie, huh? Huh? What movie?)

Back to the kitchen with me. Like the scullery maid I was born to be.

Poetry in motion. Lots of motion.

For example, when I turn around really fast, my fat is still facing the other direction. I'm like a wacky window walker. Only I don't glow in the dark.

Not till New Year's Eve, that is.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:34 PM | |

More nostalgia. And adult diapers.

The snow is still coming down like mad. I can hear it swooshing even through the walls!

Cat still can't figure out the litter box. He looks at me like I'm crazy when I kneel beside it and dig dig dig with my finger to show him how it's done. I probably AM crazy, to try and potty-train a geriatric cat. Maybe I should just throw a Depends, size small, on his butt and forget it.

I can't put him outside in a blizzard. As soon as he stood still for thirty seconds he'd be buried.

I've closed all the doors to rooms that have closets. And locked them. He might be incredibly stupid but he knows how to open a door. I've seen him bat at a doorknob with his paw till it turned enough to open the door. Who needs opposable thumbs? It's not like he needs them to hold up the bottoms of sandwiches, like we do.

Why do I post about a Cat all the time? Is it because my kids don't live here any more, and my own life is boring?

Well, probably.

You lucky people with small children at home: enjoy it while you can. Come on, Visine-up those bloodshot eyes, shoot some caffeine into those sleep-deprived bloodstreams, and try to appreciate what you've got while you've got it.

Some day you'll be like me. Well, hopefully not JUST like me, but in my position. Well, not THAT kind of position, but in the same situation as me.

Lost for hours in memories of when my children were small, and lived here, and were tiny and needy and helpless (but less so every day) and it seemed like they would never change and it would always be chaotic and smelly and WIDE AWAKE. . . . .

And how some days I'd give my right arm for some SLEEP.

And then suddenly those days are gone, and you finally have the opportunity to do all the things you couldn't do before because of those little kids, and you discover two things: 1) YeeHAW, you can do those things now, and 2) those things aren't such a big deal after all; you'd rather have your kids back.

Those two sensations come and go with no regularity, by the way. One second you're in tears, sitting in your quiet house, looking at photographs of tiny children clinging to you and wishing you could turn back the clock, and the next second you're cranking up the music so your house won't be so quiet, looking at those same photographs and thinking, "I thought those days would never end."

You feel guilty no matter which mode you're in.

There are always things we should have done, or shouldn't have done, or could have done and didn't. Regrets can blindside you if you let them. I can only advise you to cherish your children while they are still children. The day will come when they will be obnoxious teenagers and you'll wonder what went wrong. And then the day will come when they will be lovely responsible adults and you'll look at them with pride and wonder, that anything that awesome could possibly have come from you.

People always say things like this to parents when their small children are in the middle of a particularly horrible phase, so parents seldom believe these old coots who give out all the annoying free advice.

I didn't.

And now I know it was true, a lot of it anyway. And speaking as an old coot, I tell you these things: No matter how horrible the phase may be, this too shall pass. No matter how obnoxious your teenagers may be, this too shall pass. The tantrums, the mess, the neediness, the clinging. . . . all of it shall pass.

It doesn't last very long. It's a tiny tiny fraction of your life. If you blink, you'll miss it. It will pass.

And when it's passed, you will miss it more than you ever thought possible. You won't wish it back as it really was, but you'll romanticize it and want the good parts back. Remembering is good, but sometimes forgetting is better. Not everything, just some things. Like vomit down your back. Or diarrhea in a baby backpack. Emergency room visits. Public tantrums. Blood. Words.

Be especially careful with your words.

Cultivate your memory. Cultivate your forgetter, too.

Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. . . . all this snow, and no children to track it into the house. We have sleds; they're collecting dust in the garage now. There are no snowmen or forts in our yard. Unless the stereo is on, and it's always on, the house is quiet. Sometimes, I can't stand it.

I want noise. I want childish giggles. I want musically horrible songs about bunnies and kitties and little ducky duddle. I want a mess that smacks of fun and playfulness. I want buttercup cookies on my little finger. I want to see that Gerber baby on my pantry shelves. I want finger plays and action rhymes.

I suppose if I wait a few more years, I'll be doing all those things myself, in the nursing home.

Including wearing the Cat's Depends. Not size small, though.

Hopefully by the weekend, there will be noise in this house. If the kids can make it through the snow.

If they can't, we'll have Christmas whenever they can get here. It doesn't have to be on the 25th, you know. Christmas is whenever you say it is.

I hope everybody's families can get through the snow. I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas.

I hope somebody brings strawberry pie.

The end.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:15 AM | |

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I hope you will all still respect me.

Since Garrison's wish is my command, here is my random playlist:

1. Korn - Freak On A Leash
2. Nick Drake – I Was Made To Love Magic
3. Steve Martin – The Grandmother Song
4. Bon Jovi – Blaze of Glory
5. Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant
6. Shakespeare’s Sister – Stay
7. Barenaked Ladies – Green Christmas
8. Neil Finn – Don’t Dream It’s Over
9. Opera Band – Canto Alla Vita
10. Old 97’s – Up The Devil’s Pay

What can I say? I have eclectic tastes.

I was actually kind of relieved. You have no idea how odd that list could very well have been.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:52 PM | |

Deja Vu all over again.

We are sooooo snowed in here.

The snow is taller than the cat. Poor thing, he tunneled his way to the deck, shimmied up the post, plowed through the snow again, and scratched at the patio doors till I heard him and let him in. He looked like one of those Hallmark snowbunny statues.

Because him's a good boy, he licked himself dry in no time at all, and took up residence on the sofa.

He's been in the house for several hours and still hasn't peed. At least, I don't think he has. I don't smell anything yet, so we're probably safe. I put a litter box in front of the patio doors but he doesn't seem to understand what it's for. Usually cats catch on really fast but this cat is a bit of a dim bulb where anything at all is concerned, so I'm hoping he isn't padding about the house peeing in our shoes.

We had over a foot and a half of snow when we got up this morning and it's coming down again.

Hub cleaned off the sidewalk and truck, and we did make it to town for a few hours. His truck badly needed some rear tires, and for some reason the tire store wasn't overly busy, so we left the truck there and walked across the parking lot to Bob Evans and had some supper. We picked up the truck, new tires and all, and started for home. On the way, he had a DVD to return to Family Video. I have a pretty good idea which Family owns that business, because if you're late, they come after you big time.

Or so I've heard. We've not been late yet, but I've heard the rumors.

Oh, the snow is really coming down! It's so beautiful. Already our tire tracks are nearly covered up. Our brand-new rear tire tracks, mingling with the pitiful smooth old front tire tracks.

The average will keep us safe.

All the way to town and back, the roads were lined with cars that just couldn't make it. Foolish mortals, didn't they know there was no way a regular car could possibly plow through snow that deep?

Hub's truck is very tall. I'd hate to see a video of me getting in or out of it. It would probably win first prize on 'America's Home Videos.' That wouldn't bother me too much, since I never watch it. And I could sure use the money.

I stopped by to see my cousin C, who is also one of my best friends, and we exchanged presents. Her Christmas tree was huge and gorgeous and REAL. Her whole house smelled good.

We made a few more stops to drop some gifts off to some beloved aunties, and then we started for home.

The snow had started to FALL, again, and it was slow going. But we made it.

And now here we are, all snowed-in, out in the country, all alone.

Just like we were all those years ago.

And we're probably going to do a lot of the same things.

You know, like play board games and make cookies and steam up the windows and things.

And check all the shoes for cat poop.

And watch a movie or two.

When all those things are done, I'll grade that woman's exam.

If I remember.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:30 PM | |

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Blast from the past. . . . .

There are no stars to be seen, and the air has that 'snow' feeling. You know, that feeling in the air that fills your lungs with COLD when you breathe?

Aussie Mama's comment that being snowed in might be romantic, has made me lean back in my chair and do a fadeout, like movies do when they have flashbacks.

I'm flashing back to years ago when Hub and I were first married.

It was January. There had been blizzards by the dozens in the few weeks before our wedding date. Snow was piled high everywhere; the highways all looked like tunnels through high snowy walls. Tall trees were covered. Schools had been closed for weeks. Few businesses were open.

And we were getting married.

The church was buried in snow; it isn't even recognizable in the pictures. Hardly anyone could get there.

No vehicle except a really good four-wheel-drive could get out of the driveways, let alone make it down a street.

We got married anyway, in a nearly deserted church that not even the chandeliers could completely lighten up, since the windows were buried in snow.

I wore my sister's wedding dress. Hub wore a rented tux that was too short; it was the best the store could do for him. He's nearly seven feet tall, after all.

After the wedding, everybody ran like mad to their cars so they could make it home before the next blizzard hit.

The little suitcase I'd packed wasn't going to be enough. We had to change our plans a little.

I went home with my parents, to gather more stuff for a longer stay.

Hub went home with his parents, to gather his stuff and to borrow his father's pickup truck. No car could make it to our little house out in the country.

In about an hour, he pulled up as close to the porch as he could; the snowplows had left huge icy piles alongside all the streets. I ran out, threw my suitcase in the back of the truck, and off we drove to the only restaurant that was open in the entire town. We told them we'd just gotten married and they put a rose in a vase on our table. We had kinda hoped for some free stuff, but the rose was pretty.

Then we got back in the truck and drove home. It was hard going, because the storms had started up again and the roads were already nearly impassable. We made it to our little house and set up housekeeping. We might have done some other stuff too; I don't remember. It was a long time ago.

Seriously, those iced-over windows thawed right out.

It was several days before we could get out of the driveway. When we finally made it, we drove to my mom's house to gather up all our wedding gifts.

Then we drove back home, only to be snowed in some more with still more blizzards. And more. And more. The blizzards kept us snowed in for almost a month. It was great.

I had taken three days off work for my wedding and a weekend honeymoon. I ended up with two weeks before, and nearly a month after, with PAY.

We live next door to that little house now.

Whenever it's snowing, I think of those days. I always feel the most at home, when everything is covered with snow. Because, you see, that's how it was when I first came home with Hub.

So let it snow, if it wants to. We're ready.

We do have our own truck now. And I can still heave my huge self up into the passenger's seat, in spite of my knees.

I love to feed the birds, in the snow.

The only real fear I have, when things are snowy and icy, is losing my balance. It's not good in the best of circumstances, and when I slip, my entire self is thrown off-balance. Fortunately, when I fall in the snow, it's a soft landing.

Little cat-prints in the snow. . . . is anything more delicate and beautiful?

The little cat-prints are usually in the middle of a lot of dainty little bird-prints, but I try not to think of the consequences of that.

It will probably not even snow tonight. But I hope it does. I'm ready for some nostalgia.

And maybe some window-steaming.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:35 PM | |

Tut tut, looks like snow!

Hub says it's clouding up out there. Weatherman says it's going to be a big one.

I say, Hah.

It might snow some, but it's not going to be a big one.

I know, because I personally prevented this storm.

It's not going to happen, folks.

We have plenty of milk, bread, cheese, cereal, and pop. And most important of all, we have plenty of toilet paper.

Heap big snow coming? I think not. We're NEVER snowed in when we've got toilet paper.

And if I'm proven wrong, well, we'll just have to go out and play in it, that's all.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:44 PM | |

Boy. You raise a kid to always tell the truth and they tell it to everybody.

Dear Daughter,


Bring your own cola.
Bring your own water.

Nobody would ever have known if you hadn't tattled.


I know I taught you to ALWAYS tell Mommy everything. I didn't know it would backfire on me like this, with you telling everything to EVERYBODY.

Now I don't feel so bad about putting the cheap crackers in the empty-for-a-zillion-years Ritz box.



P.S. Please don't tell Dad. I've still got him fooled.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:06 PM | |

I run a classy joint here.

The sun is shining outside, there's a winter storm warning on for later tonight, the lights are twinkling inside AND out, I'm starving and there's fresh deli ham and swiss cheese in the 'fridge, Diet Coke was on sale so I stocked up, and I'm in the mood for some serious 'Prisoner of Azkaban' in a few minutes.

I call it Diet Coke, but it's really Diet GenericCola.

But who cares, if it tastes the same. I only hide the labels from guests because it's more tasteful and sophisticated and stuff if they are served with a glass instead of a can. I find the striped straw adds a touch of class unequalled in any fine dining establishment. And since I throw all the cans in a recycling bag out on the deck, they'll never know.

I love these few days before Christmas. The anticipation is the best part. Those few days before the DAY, when it's all before us, in the immediate future, beckoning us on toward delight. When it hasn't happened yet. But you know it's going to. But not yet. Not. . . just. . . yet. . . . .

Anticipation. Such a grand word.

There are all kinds of anticipation, of course. The looking-forward-to kind is of course best.

The kind you feel the day before your dental appointment is another story altogether.

I suppose 'dread' is the bad kind of anticipation.

I greatly anticipate these next few days.

My daughter is coming home very late on the evening of the 23rd. YAY!

My son isn't sure yet about his work schedule but I am hoping he will make it on that night, too. If he can't, I know he will come home as soon as he can.

We are all children at Christmas. Parents most of all, I think.

Well, I know two who are, anyway.

It's, um, nobody we know.

I absolutely LOVE planning for Christmas. I love making lists. I love ordering gifts off the internet. I love undoing the boxes that come in the mail, and checking the contents carefully to make sure it's exactly what I wanted for that person, and I love wrapping it in sparkly paper and covering it with ribbons and trinkets and candy canes. I love placing each package 'just so' under the tree.

I place the packages 'just so' under the tree for two reasons. The main reason is, of course, so it will look all festive and pretty and even. The other main reason is, that everyone in this house is inordinantly clumsy and we tend to not look down when we clump about and I don't want any packages stomped on.

I bought my sweet MIL a cell phone. She is not technologically gifted at all so I went ahead and opened it, activated it, programmed the phonebook, and set up her voicemail and text messaging.

She already had a cell phone but it was very old and very large and she never did figure out how to use it. It was a complicated thing; I had a hard time figuring it out, too.

This new one is very simple. VERY simple.

And since she never used the old one, she was throwing forty dollars a month down the terlet. This new one is a TracFone, off the rack at Staples, and she can buy the minutes when she needs them. I'm starting her out with 150 minutes, and I would guess that she'll never need any more. But she's on the road a lot, and an older lady who doesn't know how to change a flat tire NEEDS a cell phone.

Oh, it seems like I just can't WAIT for Christmas.

At my age, you'd think I'd have calmed down about it, at least a little bit. But no, NOOO, I just get worse with every passing year.

I have all the stocking stuffers for my kids' stockings. Some people stop hanging a stocking for their kids once they're grown and moved out. Not me, buddy. My kids will have a stocking hanging off the sides of the piano till I'm dead. I mean, how else would they get chapstick and AA batteries? Buy them at a STORE? I think not.

I'm on vacation now. This is awesome. Of course, I don't get paid but even so. VACATION!

I might even find the time to grade that woman's exam.

After I watch 'Azkaban.' And eat.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:04 PM | |

Monday, December 20, 2004

My son is cute, my knees are painful, and Hostess cupcakes are good.

While I was in the City I picked up my Son and took him grocery shopping. His half of the basket was full of fresh vegetables, chicken, Captain Crunch, olive oil, whole milk, and Pepsi. My half was full of deli ham, cheese, two gallons of skim milk, sour cream, bananas, grapes, strawberries, and Hostess cupcakes.

Ten years ago those halves would have had the opposite ownership.

It's funny how people change.

Son eats mostly healthful nourishing foods that he prepares himself, unless an indulgent parent takes him to a restaurant. He's an excellent cook, partly because he has a natural talent for it and partly because he's had several girlfriends who were in the culinary school.

When he lived at home, he ate pretty much anything I fixed for him, and when he was little I fixed healthy foods. When he was in high school, he subsisted on cereal, pizza and grilled cheese. When he visits, he still wants pizza and grilled cheese. And fried eggs. On his own, he's Mr. Healthy Diet.

I felt a little funny as I compared the two halves of the basket. It was sort of a combination of "Obi-Mom has taught you well," and "Gross, where's the Kraft cheese?"

The Captain Crunch tells me there's still a little boy inside that very, VERY tall young man. With the clear, bright blue eyes. And bright red hair. (Michele, are you listening?)

On the way home I took him to Red Lobster and watched him rip into a platter of flailing clawed legs and tails. He used the cracker well. (On his own I have no doubt that he probably occasionally rips into flailing legs and tails but I want no details, none whatsoever.) (I mean it.)

My Son has grown up. He is courteous to the servers, and considerate of his doddering mother. He still rails against the Establishment, but then, so do I.

As a child, my Son was precious, sweet, sensitive, creative, cuddly, and precocious. As a teenager, he had some serious rebellions that had serious consequences. He learned from them. We all learned from them. As an adult, he's again precious, sweet, sensitive, creative, cuddly, and precocious. Plus, he's cool. (I mean it, Michele; pay attention!)

It's an endearing sight to see a grown man eating Captain Crunch. And digging inside the box for the prize. And playing with it at the table.

My Son has turned out to be a really great person. I'd like to take credit for that but I can't. He did it himself. As parents, we are there and we try our best to help, but we can't do it for them.

Parents are kind of like the officials at a basketball game. We show them how the game is played. We dole out rewards, and punishments, and time-outs, and keep score. But ultimately it is the player who is responsible for the outcome. Outside interference is a foul, and brings penalties. Each basket is two points, and if there are no points scored, it's no one's fault but the player. No basket, no points. Just like life.

As for my doctor's visit, it seems that my knees are in so much pain because I have little or no cartilage left in them. Grind, grind, grind. My doctor gave me some pills to take, and some more pills for intense pain. I will also need to get cortisone shots under my kneecaps, occasionally. All of this is actually good news.

I had feared the Muscular Dystrophy was getting worse. The Jerry Lewis Telethon will be looming up before us next Labor Day, and I had visions of myself on stage, wobbling pathetically and inspiring people to donate money for the poor old rickety woman. And worse, pretending Jerry Lewis was funny.

I'll get the results of the blood work in a few days. I'm really not too worried about it.

Oh, and I found chocolate-covered coffee beans for my brother-in-law. Shopping's officially done.

My knees still hurt terribly, but now that the fear is gone, it doesn't seem to bother me as much.

Also, I want one of those Hostess cupcakes. And I want it now.

Gluttonously yours,
The end.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:19 PM | |

. . . . now that I can daaaaaaance. . . . .

In a few minutes I'm driving up to the City for a doctor's appointment. I used to smirk about how well I dealt with stress, but I think my smirking days might be over. The stress is winning, and even though I haven't started screaming and yelling and throwing things on the outside, my insides have been having hissy fits that are off the Richter scale. Added to which, my knees are in such pain that some days I laugh out loud at the shadow I cast when I walk. The Creature from the Black Lagoon walks among us. . . . . If you can picture Catherine O'Hara after she twisted her knee in "Best In Show" you might get some idea of how it's going these days.

I should be grateful I'm still walking. And I am. I just wish I was walking without pain.

I want to be a ballerina. A figure skater. I want to be Ginger Rogers.

And then I remember that there never was a chance for any of those. Even when my knees were good, the rest of me was about as graceful as a water buffalo on roller skates.

In my mind I was gliding and grooving like Sonja Heinie or a Degas ballerina all decked in tulle, but in reality I was making Elaine look like Fonteyn. Gene Kelly would have puked up his elegant toenails at the sight.

And now it's even worse.

In about an hour I'll have a verdict. Cross your fingers if you wouldn't mind. I've crossed mine.

I've been too fat to cross my legs gracefully for years. It's not a pretty sight.

No, indeed it is not.

Got to go.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:31 AM | |

The Mother-In-Law.

My sweet MIL took us out for supper last night, as she so often does on Sunday nights. She knows we don't have very much money and she likes to treat us whenever she can. Bless her heart, she doesn't have all that much money either and I know it's a sacrifice on her part, but just try to snatch the tab out of her hand! She might be getting a little teensy bit old but she's still Quick Draw McGraw when she wants to be.

(Does anybody else remember Quick Draw McGraw? And his sidekick Babalouie?)

While we were sitting at the table in the restaurant, the conversation somehow turned to auctions. I think it possibly had something to do with the incredible amount of accumulated 'stuff' in our house and in hers, and how we sometimes have to traverse through little tunnels to get from room to room. I mentioned that I didn't have many dishes locked up behind glass; that we used almost everything we had.

She told me that she had a beautiful set of Moss Rose dishes, that her husband had bought for her over thirty years ago, stored away in the bottom of her hutch.

She told me that she had only used them once.

She told me that the one time was years ago, when I came over to her house after an appointment with my obstetrician, and it was pouring rain, and cold, and miserable, and she made supper for me.

I looked at her in wonderment.

"You've only used them once, and that once was for ME?" I asked.

She said yes, that was true.

"Why would you use those special dishes just for me?" I asked her in even more wonderment.

"Why would you have to ask?" she replied.

See what I mean?

She's just simply wonderful.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:27 AM | |

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Are any of you a bloodthirsty psychotic, by chance? Or on purpose?

Whenever I go to a favorite diary for my daily read, I always check out their blogroll.

When BE first exploded onto the scene, and I was finding and reading the journals of total strangers, and discovering all kinds of awesome people 'out there,' I discovered very soon indeed that many of us have more in common than we can possibly realize. It was like making a new friend every thirty seconds.

After a week or so of surfing, I started looking at other things besides the entry itself. Other people's blogrolls didn't interest me at first, because, well, more strangers? After reading the innermost thoughts of a stranger every thirty seconds, I couldn't deal with even more strangers.

But after several weeks, certain people did not seem like strangers any more. They seemed like, um, friends. Real friends. Lovely funny people, all over the internet, with much in common and much experience to share and much advice to give; people who are able to find humor and laughter in little things, and to show us that the really important things are universal, and that people can disagree and still be friendly, and that faceless strangers can sometimes comfort us and sustain us from miles and miles away.

And when you really, really like someone, it's entirely possible that you will also really like their friends.

Hence, my checking out the blogrolls. Because, you know, if you find you have much in common with someone, and really like them, the chances are pretty good that you will feel the same or nearly the same about their friends, too.

It's true.

Before I start to surf, I check my own blogroll for updates, and check out their blogrolls for any new additions. Then I begin my surfing, and catch lots of new journals, many of which are awesome, too.

Finally, I noticed that most of the diaries I frequent most often, have most of their blogrolls in common! I don't know if this is a result of finding each other via BE, or not, but I rather think it's a byproduct of BE. BE has many faults, but I really do think it has brought lots of people together who would otherwise never have met. For this, I am thankful indeed.

Whenever someone adds me to their blogroll, I am humbled and flattered beyond description. It means, I hope, that they visited my blog, and liked what they read, and intend to come back. It is childish, I am sure, to interpret this action as an indication that maybe they liked ME, since a blog is a reflection of a life; and I try not to get too caught up with thoughts of that nature, but I really hope it's true, a little bit anyway. I'm one of those 'trusting' types, and I love people.

I know first-hand how dangerous the internet can be for the 'trusting' type, but I don't think anyone I've met yet would fall into the 'scammer' category. Most of the bloggers I've "met" have been awesome people. The kind of people you'd invite over to sit on the porch with you, or play killer poker, or just hang out in whatever way strikes you both as fun. The kind of people you'd invite to parties, and send birthday cards to, and buy Christmas presents for. Nice people. Fun people. This is my impression of most of the bloggers I've become fond of; if any of you are actually bloodthirsty psychotics, please don't tell me until just before your picture is on the front page.

Before this post becomes completely maudlin, let me also say. . . . . wait, that would have been all mushy too. And so would that. Shit. Now everyone will think I'm overly sentimental and gooshy. I don't want to give you a wrong impression. No, indeed. I'm really hard and sarcastic and logical and harsh; no softness here, unless you're talking about thighs. THEN you're talking to the queen.

I guess my point, if there even IS one, is that there are all kinds of ways to meet cool people, and maybe BE is a kind of friendship broker; and one that apparently works.

Disclaimer: Political blogs, advertisements, services, and boring stuff not included in above positive rant.

Update on knees: Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh. (Doctor's appointment in the morning.)
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:15 PM | |

Live sex in the classroom.

There is a huge fly buzzing in this room somewhere and I can't find it. It's not driving me crazy (it's far too late for that) but it's bothering me that I can't pin it down and murder it in cold blood. It is VERY loud.

It reminds me of an instance years ago, when I was very young and had just started teaching 8th grade.

There was no air conditioner and a smallish classroom with no ventilation system, full of sweaty teenagers in close proximity, mixed with the odors of chalkdust and furniture polish and those weird beads the janitors throw on the floor and sweep up with the dust, really makes for a stench. We had opened the tiny little windows and I had brought in a square fan to blow the smells around.

The three kids (out of nearly forty) who had actually done their homework were sitting in front of the fan. It was a reward.

The flies were buzzing into our room from outside, in HORDES. It was disgusting. But it was worth having the flies, to have the windows open. Occasionally a little breeze came in with the flies.

The kids were also enjoying trying to catch them by the wings and throw them.

And most unbelievable of all, they were all quiet. This was no big deal; it was a fact of life in this building. Amazing.

But I was going nuts.

I kept hearing this incredibly loud buzz, right in front of me, but I couldn't find it. I noticed the kids in the front row elbowing each other and giggling, but I didn't associate that with the source of the buzzing.

Finally I saw it. The biggest fly I'd ever seen in my life, sort of hovering like a heliocopter, right in front of my desk. Hovering. In mid-air. Like a spider does, on its web-strings.

An immense fly. The buzzing sound was amazing.

I asked a boy in the front row to come up and swat it for me. (swatting flies for sissy teacher was a big treat.) He came up eagerly, with a rolled-up paper in his hand. (it was his test, but I was used to grading spotty papers.) He started to hit at it but stopped short. He looked closely at the huge thing, then back at the class, then at the fly again, and then at me.

"What's the matter?" I asked.

He seemed embarassed. This was unusual for him.

"Could I do this in about a minute?" he asked.

"Why wait?" said I. "Clobber it now! Before it flies away!"

"Well. . . . ." he didn't seem to know how to say something.

"Well what?" said the stupid teacher with the poor eyesight.

"It's just that I hate to interrupt such a tender moment." he finally admitted.

I got up and walked up to the fly. Or, rather, as I saw on closer inspection, flies.

It wasn't one big fly. It was two big flies. Mating.

Two absolutely huge flies, mating in midair, in front of my desk, in front of my class.

They were enthusiastic, too. That's what all that buzzing was about.

The whole class burst out laughing. Including me. It was hilarious.

And when they were through mating, he bashed their horny little heads in with his test.

And then he turned the test in to me, and I graded it.

The gross spot covered two of his answers but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

The end.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:45 PM | |

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Which old witch? The wicked witch!

We spent most of today in a big shopping outlet. I feel like I've been running the gauntlet in a bumper-car arena, for hours and hours. My arms hurt from being scratched and scraped by frantic scurrying shoppers with pointy-edged packages, and bumped and battered by laden frenzied people bearing large bundles and bags and waving them wildly like pinwheels in the wind.

They each and all needed a space around them. A safety bubble, for their own sakes and for the sakes of anybody near them. Some kind of buffer.

In a shopping outlet the weekend before Christmas, however, there wasn't much free space to be found.

Those people with the huge VW Beetle-sized strollers were out in full force again.

Why do so many old men just stand aimlessly in the middle of the aisle? Couldn't they at least move to one side so people could get through?

And if you are out shopping and it's VERY crowded and you meet some friends and wish to play 'catch-up,' it would be nicer both for you and for the others if you'd GET OUT OF THE WAY AND GO TO THE FOOD BAR or something. Anything except what so many were doing, namely: standing in the middle of the aisle with the aimless old men, blocking traffic.

And why in the name of all that is holy would a person bring a DOG to a crowded outlet? There must have been hundreds of dogs there today. Big, medium, tiny. . . . you name it and it was there. Taking up space. Pooping on the floors. Growling at little kids in the huge strollers. Causing massive allergic reactions. Twisting around in the leash. Obviously miserable, and wishing they were back home chained to the doghouse and lapping up their own vomit. None of the dogs wore the 'service dog' sign. They were just somebody's 'widdle babykins' and "wanted" to go shopping with Mommy and Daddy. Right. Poor dogs.

Kids who open box after box of toys and sit in the aisles playing with them should be hung upside down in the store window and flogged.

Oooooh, I'm witchy tonight. Can you tell? You can? Oh. I'm sorry.

I love crowds. Mobs, however, are another story altogether. Mobs are scary. Mobs are dangerous. Mobs do stupid things. Desperate shoppers in groups are not crowds. They are mobs. And with no burgermeister to lead them to a single Frankensteinian goal, these mobs push and shove and flail their way through a mall like piranha through a herd of wading cows.

I went shopping today. Hopefully I won't be back till next year. In the meantime, I'm content to sit home and click on Amazon and Ebay and Half.com, with a smile on my face and my ear peeled towards the doorbell, which will announce the elfin delivery of the majority of my Christimas shopping.

Don't these people make lists before they leave the house?

Anyway, we're home now and I'm going to go to the kitchen in a minute and maybe make some grilled cheese. It sounds good on this cold night. And then I get to wrap presents! I LOVE doing that.

There's really not much connected with Christmas that I DON'T love, in fact.

Maybe some of you had noticed that little fact already. . . . .

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:00 PM | |

Friday, December 17, 2004

I might be a little bit lit up.

The inside of my house looked so twinkly and bright that I decided to try and find the outside lights and put them up.

It took some digging but I found them.

And I draped them all over the shrubs and bushes in front of the house.

The only outdoor-safe extension cord I could find is, unfortunately bright orange. But it can't be seen from the road, in the dark.

In the daylight it looks like a pile of pumpkin intestines but I won't go into any more detail than that.

Can anyone explain to me why the middle section of my strings of lights always goes dark? Both ends twinkle and the middle is dead.

I know how to change the fuse for the two ends, but what do you do about the middle? I mean, besides hide it in the bushes?

It didn't take as long as I thought, draping those lights. I was finished in about a half hour.

Up close and personal with the shrubberies, I did notice that we did not weed or trim any time recently. Hub thinks that once the wild raspberry and poison ivy freeze and die, they'll just disintegrate and the problem will disappear. He assured me that dead poison ivy has lost its power to kill.

I hope he's right, because our evergreen shrubs are very soft so I anchored those lights on the dried poison ivy interspersed with the shrubs. I'm VERY allergic to poison ivy. I hope I don't have a rash for Christmas.

He IS right, isn't he? Please tell me he's right. I took a shower immediately afterwards but the power of suggestion is strong and already I'm scratching my, um, self.

We always trim our holly the week before Christmas; this year we're going to have a LOT of fresh holly. If you'd like to have some, come on over and help yourself. It's lush and beautiful.

Mom came over tonight and we watched "Moonstruck." One of my favorite movies.

My printer insists it's out of paper but it's lying. I can SEE the paper and there's lots.

Our old mortgage company doesn't want to lose us, and apparently it thinks it can keep us by refusing to acknowledge our payoff and our new mortgage company, even though the old company has already admitted getting the payoff check and going crazy at the mall with it. We know they're refusing to acknowledge our payoff because they're having a collection agency phone us with the news that we're delinquent with our mortgage payment, even though we no longer have a mortgage with them. (bad sentence. BAD sentence.)

News flash: we're not coming back to you, CitiMortgage, because you charge too much and you keep bad records. And phoning Hub at school about a delinquent payment on a loan we no longer have with you was the last straw. You left me no choice.

I told Janice, the Menopausal Loan Officer, about it.

She had it taken care of within hours. She's AWESOME.

Our friendship is as glowing and wonderful as my glowing and wonderful Christmas lights. But unlike the glowing and wonderful Christmas lights, our friendship will never burn out.

Now I'm off to the kitchen. Mom and I did some baking tonight and it's cool enough to bag up.

My entire front itches. That's a massively large area to scratch. I hope it's just nerves. Breaking out in itchy pustules over Christmas was NOT on my to-do list.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:24 PM | |

You want perfection? You're in the wrong place. Go check out my mom.

. . . let me check. . . .

Have I done it all just the way Mom used to do it for us? Yes, I think I have.

Because anyone who doesn't do Christmas like my Mother did Christmas, just isn't doing Christmas right.

She did Christmas perfect.

This same post will no doubt appear just before every major holiday. She did them all perfect.

The word should actually be "perfectly," but somehow "perfect" hit me in a good place.

Cuz she's the perfect Mom.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:56 PM | |

Twinkly stars and glowing lights, and witches' cats to wipe your hands on. . . . .

My kitchen is all clean and shiny and Christmassy. The house smells like pine and cinnamon and baking meatloaf. (Hey, it smells GOOD!) I haven't put away the wrapping paper and ribbons but I'm not finished with them yet. Besides, they make the table-top look kind of Christmassy EXPERIENCE instead of merely Christmassy Picture.

The children's stockings are hung on either side of the piano, and all the twinkly lights are turned on. Candles and lanterns and creches and little jingle-bell trees are everywhere. The stereo is playing old-fashioned music box carols. Anyone entering this house would immediately think, "these people love Christmas!" and they would be right.

As I looked around my house, my heart nearly burst with love for my family and friends and all of YOU. And for Christmas.

Come over, all of you. Plan to stay a while. We have plenty of room, both in the house and in our hearts.

We are ready for Christmas, and it wouldn't be complete without you.

Please try not to notice the Halloween paper towels in the dispenser by the sink.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:29 PM | |

I'll get around to it.

I feel EVER so much better today. Don't be afraid to read my journal now; it might be still boring but it won't be a downer. Not intentionally, anyway.

The hardened ice cream story is really my daughter's story; if she would like to guest-post, everyone just tell her to feel free.

She would also tell the Boone's Farm/assorted cheap wines story better. I sat in such shock through that conversation, I'm not sure I remember it well enough to tell it right.

As for my tardy, I'd-hate-to-have-her-nerve-in-a-tooth student of last night, well, it's my own fault if I'm such a gutless wonder at my age. I'll grade her exam later tonight. Much later. Maybe after I've sat through the three Harry Potter movies, the Star Wars trilogy, and War and Peace. Oh, and surely there are a few Christmas specials on tv tonight. And I really ought to make some phone calls, and do some cleaning.

But I'll get it graded. Later. After I wrap some Christmas gifts and organize some tax papers. And the cat needs a new flea collar; that always requires at least a half-hour and some major holding-down and sweet-talking. And that's just to get the old collar OFF. Add another fifteen minutes to get the new collar back on. Well, I don't want him to be TRAUMATIZED. . . . .

And then I'll grade her exam. After I cruise Ebay and Amazon and Half for some last-minute ideas, and drive a few bags of clothing to town, to the Goodwill station.

But then I'll grade her test. Honest I will. I have to; it's my job. I take my job very seriously, and I try to be conscientious and sincere in its every aspect. So I will grade her test.

After I organize my kitchen spice cabinet, and throw out all the old pediatric medicines that have been in the bathroom cabinet for over twenty years. And everyone would surely agree that it is ridiculous for me to hold onto that bottle of nausea-prevention pills that were prescribed for my first pregnancy over twenty years ago. And after I empty out those two cabinets, it would be a perfect time to scrub them before putting all the still-good stuff back into them.

I knew it had been a while since I'd cleaned out the magazine basket, but could anyone guess what I found at the bottom of mine? The "TIME" magazine with Pope John Paul the FIRST on the cover. It's a good thing nobody else saw it there, or it would have been very embarassing indeed. And I'm counting on all of you not to tell my mother.

I also have all the Princess Diana Death magazines but I kept those on purpose.

It was embarassing enough when my mom found all those tiny toddler clothes at the bottom of a clothes basket that had high school-age clothes on the top.

Sometimes it takes me a while to put things away.

Get over it.

I'm lonesome today. Why don't some of you come over and visit. I'll blow the dust off a box of cocoa (expiration date unnecessary) and we'll listen to some music and chat.

And then I'll grade her exam.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:05 PM | |

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Whine, whine, whine, and no cheese? Nope, not for me.

Pretty soon I won't have any secrets left at all! Fish shit indeed. How could any of you IMAGINE I would say such a thing.

Oh, that many of you?

Damn. Busted.

Speaking of fish shit, though, today has been a long, long day. Hub made an appointment to get the car serviced, and I had to drive to the city and leave it there. It was the "Big" overhaul, to the tune of $400, and it was to take four or five hours. The Honda people drove me out to the big mall, oh joyous day, and left me there stranded for five hours.

I hate that feeling of being stranded.

And when I said "oh joyous day" up there, I was being sarcastic. I hate crowds of shoppers. I love being among large groups of friendly/interesting/musical/occasionally drunken people, but desperate shoppers are unpleasant.

Get enough strollers the size and weight of a Sherman tank, together in one place, and nobody's ankles are safe. Why are so many of these mothers such awful drivers? It frightens me for their children's sakes. Some of them can't maneuver a stroller. What must they be like in a car, on a highway?

So I drifted aimlessly up one side of the mall and down the other, till the Honda people called my cell and told me they were on their way to get me and return me to my vehicle. Fifty minutes later they pulled up in front of the door, I got in, and was whisked across town via a route I'd never seen in all my life. Boy, you think you know a town. . . . .

All those viaducts! And abandoned car lots!

I went to pay for the car's examination and overhaul, and happened to read on the receipt: "Customer reported cargo light malfunction. Service indicated cargo light would not turn on because the switch was set to 'off.'"

I tried to explain that WE turned the switch off because the cargo light would not turn off by itself, and it was distracting at night.

"Customers do that all the time. Report a malfunction when all it takes is a flick of a switch. Hahaha" said the grinning customer representative.

"My husband turned that switch off. The light would not turn off by itself, and he couldn't see out the back at night with that light on." said I.

"Hahahaha, it was just that switch that needed flicking. Happens all the time. Don't feel bad."

"You were supposed to FIX THE CARGO LIGHT. We had to turn it off because it would not turn off by itself. My husband phoned you yesterday and told you." I was getting really frustrated.

"Well, next time it won't turn off, bring it by. Park on the side and leave the car running."

"You close at five. We don't notice the light back there unless it's DARK. It's not DARK ENOUGH when you are open."

"Oh yeah. Well, we can't fix it if we can't see it malfunctioning. Them wires run ALLLLL over the car."

Next time, Hub can bring the car in for servicing. I don't seem to know how to talk to this mentality.

So now it's six o'clock and I'm at school and ready to give my final final. Everybody but one woman is there and ready to rock with the literary elements and proof-reading. The test is hard, but short. Everybody finishes by seven fifteen. They are happy, and eager to know their grades. I take the time to grade their final, and average all their scores, and give them their grade. They are all thankful. They all wish me a Merry Christmas, and I wish them the same. We are all ready to go home. An early night! It's a dream come true.

As I am gathering all my gear together, the missing woman shows up, and wants to take her test.

Dammit. I'm so wishy-washy when it comes to myself, I let her.

It takes her until nine-fifteen.

She asks me to grade it and average her scores and give her her grade.

I say no. And I'm out of there.

She can find out when the college mails out the report cards.

Enough is enough.

Now I feel bad.

Hub says I should have told her it was too late to take the test. Other teachers said the same thing.

She didn't have a good reason to be late, either. She got caught up in a tv show and lost track of time. And then she had to take a shower, and you know how it is.

I thanked her for bathing, but I don't think she 'got' the sarcasm.

She was extremely late for almost every class meeting this semester. When she showed up at all.

Without this test, she would have failed for sure. She had a really hard time with the test, so she could still fail. I haven't taken her exam out of my briefcase yet. I'm really mad. At her, and at myself for letting her walk on me.

I always do that, you know. Awful things have happened to me because I let people walk on me. I complain afterwards about the NERVE of some people, but the fact is, I let them do it to me. I want to help so badly, I'm taken advantage of a lot.

I tell myself it's because I always try to be kind.

The truth is, I'm just not assertive enough. I need to learn how to look someone in the eye and tell them to back off. Instead of letting them use me for target practice and complaining about it later.

Oh well. Maybe when I grow up, I'll be less wussy.


I was so bored I went online at school and made comments on people's blogs. I hope they don't check the server too carefully tonight.

This is a whiny post. Boring, too. But it was my day.

My brother-in-law wants chocolate coffee beans for Christmas! So he can put them in his new coffee-bean-grinder. Where do I find those? I don't drink coffee, and I know nothing about the fancy kinds and where to find them. Starbucks didn't have them. Marsh didn't have them. I'll keep looking, I guess.

How is it that a person can have no self-defense mechanisms whatsoever, and yet be ready to take on anyone and anything for their children? It just doesn't make sense. I want to defend myself, too! Well, actually, I have never felt all that important compared to my kids. I'd take bullets for them. I'd put myself between them and the powers of evil under any circumstances. But when it's just me, I stand there and take it. It doesn't make sense.

And why is my journal so messed up on Firefox? I don't know how to fix it! Help me? Please? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH.

Yes, I've been up to my elbows in fish shit today. Again.

Go ahead and laugh. It was one of those two-dollar siphons. And you know what you have to do to get one of those suckers sucking.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:09 PM | |

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Guinness Book wants me.

. . . speaking of medicine, I'd better take mine. Since my schedule has changed so drastically these past few months, my routine of medicine-taking is messed up and I often forget.

This isn't good.

Stress is also taking its toll; the last time I checked my blood pressure, it was 198/99. Also not good. The stress is tapering off; it's gradual but it's happening. So I look for that to get better. And if it doesn't, well, there's always the Guinness Book of World's Records section on humans exploding in public places.

I think sometimes that it wouldn't be possible for the stress to get any worse. But somehow it usually finds a way.

I'm still struggling with the forgiveness issues. It is very hard.

You wouldn't think four tiny pills daily would be any big deal to remember.

Next semester, when I teach all day instead of all night, it will be easier to remember.

I prefer night classes but maybe considering the fact that my memory seems to be shot all to pieces when it comes to self-maintenance, a more 'regular' routine will be good for me.

Can you guess what the coolest thing about teaching college, as opposed to middle school, is?

It's being able to go to the bathroom whenever I want.

For over twenty years I could never go to the bathroom. I went when I got up in the morning, and couldn't go again till the last bus left the parking lot at 3:45. Every school day for over twenty years. I had 23 minutes for lunch, and that was my only interaction with adults the entire day, so I usually chose a sandwich over the restroom. Besides, the teacher's restroom was at least a mile down the hallway and around the bend, and if we chose to go to the restroom during lunch, we got no lunch.

I can't offhand think of ANY kind of personal emergency that would entice me into the students' restroom.

Although I did once spend the better part of a Saturday night dance, kneeling on the floor in front of a toilet in the boy's bathroom, with my entire arm past my elbows buried down the flush-hole. Wiggling my fingers to try and break up the blockage. And I did.

That is a memory that the Alzheimer's can have, and gladly.

But it was either that, or mop up the whole top floor after the dance. Not to even MENTION the interesting and foul-smelling things that had already started cascading down the sides of the toilet, to float across the floor, out the door, and onto the gym floor.

That is a kind of poem but I don't think Authorhouse is going to pay me for it any time soon.

The shower that I took when I got home that night might be a Guinness Book contender, too.

My doctor told me that most of her patients with bladder or urinary tract problems were teachers. Teachers simply can not leave the students to go pee. If anything bad happened in the room while we were gone, we would be held responsible. The elementary teachers downstairs could cover for each other. The middle school teachers on the upper level did not have that option. We were assigned an area and we were responsible for everything that happened in that area. We didn't dare turn our backs. And there was no one to substitute, not even for a few minutes.

In college, we have BREAKS! I'd forgotten about those. They are wonderful! Fifteen minutes here, fifteen minutes there . . . . . I can pee freely again!

Well, maybe not 'freely,' but certainly whenever I want to!

If we all peed* freely, I'd be back on my knees in front of a toilet, arms buried up to my elbows and with wiggling fingers, again.

I'll pass**.

* includes any and all bathroom elimination processes
**bathroom. pee. pass. HAHAHAHahahahahaha

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:18 PM | |


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