Saturday, April 30, 2005

A meme doesn't busk on the street corner.

Robin, at Funky Bugs, has thrown this Meme Challenge my way.

So here I go.

The Meme: Pick three professions, then tag away. They are...
If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a backup dancer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be a midget stripper...
If I could be a proctologist...
If I could be a TV-Chat Show host...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be a judge...
If I could be a Jedi...
If I could be a mob boss...
If I could be a backup singer …
If I could be a CEO...
If I could be a movie reviewer …
If I could be a filmmaker...
If I could be a sherpa...
If I could be a ninja...
If I could be a cab driver...
If I could be a secret agent. . .
If I could be a hobbit. . .
If I could be on Michael Jackson's jury. . .
If I could be President. . .
If I could be a disc jockey. . .
If I could be Celine Dion. . . .
If I could be a blackjack dealer. . .

1. If I could be a movie reviewer. . . . I’d at least WATCH the thing before expressing any opinion about it. And if it was based on a book, I’d read the book before I watched the movie. And if I still didn’t understand it, I’d get another job.

If I could be a lawyer. . . . I’d unleash all my skills on the school system, and force them to use common sense, a little wisdom (that’s all a school system has, a LITTLE wisdom. if THAT much) and try to make them understand what the words “fair,” “sensible,” and “asinine” mean. I guess I would need to be a magic lawyer, but as long as we’re wishing. . . . .

If I could be a librarian. . . . I’d study the Banned Books lists and order every one of them, every single year. And I’d put them on a shelf right in the front of the library, and recommend them to everybody.

Now, I’m supposed to tag three people to take this same meme.

I tag. . .

Miguel (Everything you do is awesome.)
Grace (I can’t wait; you’re just the coolest person!)
La Luna (Won’t you please update? I miss you!)

I want a Magic Bullet. The kind that makes juice. It's not what you're thinking. And I know what you're thinking. I thought of it, too. But not this time.

This time, I want a Magic Bullet that makes juice from lemons and oranges. The kind my sister and I were playing with last night.

Oh hell, I'm going to quit before this gets really complicated.

'Night all.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:36 PM | |

The Leafs call me up to drive the Zamboni.

I've had such a good time the past two days, it's little wonder that I forgot to say. . . .

Happy Birthday to my Blog!

A year ago I began this blog. It started out as a silly sharing of funny teacher stories. It changed abruptly into a cry in the wilderness about injustice and the horrors that await us when people make unfair and untrue assumptions. And then, somehow, it turned into. . . me.

So, Happy Birthday, Blog. You've become a vital extension of my life, and I don't know what I'd do without you.

Because of you, I've met and learned to love a lot of wonderful people, and I sincerely hope they all know how very glad I am to know them. When I look at my blogroll, I feel as though maybe, just maybe, the sun has begun to shine on me again, after a long, long feeling of being in the dark.

A 'saying' I've often heard is: "The only place you'll find sympathy around here, is in the dictionary between 'shit' and 'syphyllis.' " (Aristotle Onassis)

But I've discovered, this past year, that there are many places where a person can find sympathy. And friendship. And lively discussion, and debate, and sharing and advice, and awesome loving loyal people who allow us to peek through their windows and share little pieces of their lives.

And even more importantly, there are many places where a person can GIVE and SHARE these things.

Just because we don't SEE each other, doesn't mean we don't KNOW each other. Because we do.

And it's even better when we are privileged to actually meet someone we already felt we knew and liked immensely, just from reading a blog.

Several of us went to see this last night, and then we went here for some awesome Chinese food (and stayed till they practically had to sweep us out the door so they could lock it and go home), and then we went to my sister's house and ate cookies and drank coffee and diet coke and freshly squeezed lemon juice and played movie trivia and decided once and for all which celebrities were hot and which were not. And why. Important decisions and discoveries were made, and a lot of talking, laughing, and opinionated statements flew around the room. One more night and we would have cured AIDS and done away with world hunger.

Well, THEIR statements were opinionated; mine were factual. Ahem.

The internet can be a beautiful place full of wonderful people. I'm glad I finally found you all. You have enriched me. I was barely alive. You rebuilt me. You made me better. Bigger. Stronger. Faster.

I am the King of Spain.

(references, anyone?)
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:06 PM | |

Friday, April 29, 2005

Showing up, rain, and ambience.

Yesterday was a happy, busy day.

Only three students showed up for class. Three. I started the review for the final and one of them asked if they could just skip the review and start their test early. The other two eagerly agreed.

So I thought, what the heck? And I gave them the test.

And I explained the directions and the procedure, and told them to read each set of directions because every time the directions changed, the procedure changed, and it would determine exactly HOW the questions were to be answered. And whenever any of them had a question about something, I answered it. Two of the three finished. The third student gets to finish up next Tuesday, when the rest of the class begins.

You know, in many aspects of life, just simply showing up when others don't show up, proves something about dedication and responsibility. It impressed me.

And that's good, and that's bad. It's good because it's good to know that SOME people, at least, recognize that showing up is necessary because if you don't show up, you can't do the job. And it's bad, because just showing up should be a given, not a reason for reward.

Dependability is important. We all need to be able to depend on people.

But all is not lost yet, because there are still a few dependable people out there. There are three in that one class. Three out of fifteen.

I'll take them.

Whatta you bet some of the others don't even show up for the final? And whatta you bet they'll be upset when they get their grades?

Anyway. Those three lovely people worked hard all morning. Then I worked hard, listening to panel discussions about community activism and volunteering, and donating a little time to the visitor's table in the entryway of the commons.

Oh, didn't I mention that the college is hosting a huge institute about community connections? Well, we are and it's awesome.

Back in the radical sixties and early seventies, young people held protests, boycotts, demonstrations, etc, to call attention to various societal wrongs. Many of those demos led to the creation of a community institution, such as shelters, food banks, etc. These things still need volunteers and donations to keep them up and running. The college's 'connections' institute reminded us old former hippie-types, and taught the young thangs, about the origin and purpose of many of these agencies, and what needs they still have that people can fulfill.

A few hours of our time every week can change the life of someone we will never know. Or even SAVE a life.

Most of my volunteering experience has been connected with school, but now that that period of my life has ended, I will be checking out other needs in the community that perhaps I could help with. It will be something new for me, but I'm not so old quite yet that something new scares me to death or is just too much trouble to begin. I welcome it. Bring on the new stuff.

After my shift was over, I went back to the lab to do some more work. I was there for about fifteen minutes, and then I looked up and someone was standing in the doorway smiling at me.

Talk about lighting up a room. . . . .


We did some cruising around town, ate pizza at the divine Cafe Pizzaria on Kirkwood, had pictures printed off at Staples, walked around the downtown area looking at jewelry and art galleries; walked into an awards presentation for a local community leader, talked about how we loved everybody on our blogrolls, bragged about our families, and went home. Oh, just you wait, Robin. . . .

Speaking of the Pizzaria, their menus used to have this printed on the back. It was there for a zillion years and it was kind of a shock NOT to see it there any more. It was tradition.

Hub and I used to bring the kids up at least once a week for pizza. It was a smallish, funky place back then, and it hasn't changed a bit. Oh, except for one thing.

I noticed today that their humongous Wurlitzer juke box was gone, and they were piping in the music from a radio station. How the mighty have fallen.

Sure, they were able to crowd another table into the room, but a lot of the 'cool' was gone.

Why do businesses DO that? My kids loved that jukebox when they were little.

So did I. Hub used to give the kids a quarter apiece and they got two songs for that. Yes, it was a long time ago.

The piped-in radio must be cheaper. Sigh.

But the ambience of that huge juke box. . . . . priceless.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:24 AM | |

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


My final exam is all finished! And just in the nick of time, too, for I have a student who needs to take it tomorrow, instead of next week, because she's going to have surgery.

I didn't want her to have to take an "incomplete," so I just wrote the final early. She's coming in tomorrow (which is not really her day, but it's the same test so what the heck!) to take her final.

I teach the same classes on both Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday, so I told my students today that if Monday didn't work for them, next week, to just come in on Tuesday. And tomorrow I'll tell my Tuesday students the same. Only reverse the two days. Eh.

I know that my students are busy with jobs, families, problems, etc, so any little thing I can do that will help them, I'll do.

Then, next week, they can come in to see me on Wednesday or Thursday and I'll have their tests graded and their grades computed.

Otherwise they'll have to wait till almost midsummer to find out their grades, and that's just silly. So I'll be doing math next week and I won't be happy doing math and I'll probably let you all know in no uncertain terms just how unhappy doing math makes me.

Thank goodness for calculators, that's all I can say.

Yes, I know how to use a spreadsheet, thank you, but my computer was so wonky all semester, I couldn't rely on it. So, I kept my grades in a book. On real paper. And I will add all their scores together and divide, giving me an average.

When dinosaurs ruled the earth.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:46 PM | |

I'm nice, really I am, apart from my terrible taste in pie. . . . .

The elementary teachers in my building used to complain and worry about a student I shall call Alucard. Alucard was violent and disruptive and disobedient. Alucard tore up the turf on a regular basis. Alucard hit and kicked and bit and cut and stole and pulled hair out by the roots and stuck pins into kids and destroyed their artwork and threw things. Alucard used profanities that would melt the paint off the walls. Alucard's mother never once came to a conference. Alucard's mother refused to come and get her son when the school called her about the day's violence. Alucard spent a lot of his time in the sickroom, tearing posters off the walls and pulling the pipes out of sinks. Everything else had been removed from the sickroom, because Alucard was always in there. It was safer for the other children when he was in there. When he was in the sickroom, he couldn't hurt his classmates or tear up their stuff. The school did its best but a little country school just doesn't have the resources to handle an Alucard.

Child Protective Services said that since Alucard wasn't being abused, they couldn't do anything. Alucard's mother, who shall hereafter be referred to as Mucs, gave orders to the school that her son was never to be punished, deprived of privileges, spanked (it was Indiana and it was the dark ages) physically restrained, or reprimanded in a 'loud tone of voice.' Mucs claimed that Alucard was sensitive and had a fragile ego. Mucs threatened lawsuit every two or three days, based on Alucard's version of his day. This had been going on since, yes, you knew I was going to say it, kindergarten.

The other children were terrified of Alucard. Every day, in every way, he spoiled everything for them.

Mucs blamed the school. She blamed the teachers. She blamed the other children. She blamed the other parents. She blamed everyone and everything except Alucard.

Alucard used to laugh and brag about how he had the system twisted 'round his little finger.

He was in the fourth grade. He never did any work and failed everything year after year, and yet he was promoted. Mucs insisted on that.

Alucard was tested and scored an average intelligence. Mucs would never allow a psychological evaluation of any kind. She claimed that the only thing wrong with Alucard was his environment.

On the upper level, we used to hear the stories about Alucard and dread the day when he was finally promoted to secondary status. We never figured we'd have to deal with him before that. And the way he was headed, we hoped it would be a while before we saw him on our floor.

I had to deal with him anyway.

When Belle and Zappa were in elementary school, they used to come up to my classroom after school to 'check in,' and then they would scamper off to play on the playground till I was ready to leave for home. There were several other teacher's kids, who were older, who were always out there and who loved to watch over the younger children.

When Zappa was in the second grade, I couldn't help but notice that he was coming upstairs after school with a black eye on occasion, and so were his little friends.

Well, when your little boy is feisty and adventurous, the occasional black eye is only to be expected. He never made a big deal about it, and neither did the other little boys, so after making sure it wasn't a serious wound, I kept my big mouth shut about it, too, and didn't nag.

Then he started talking about the big scary boy in the restroom after school, who stuck pins through his lips and got mad when a little boy had to use the restroom for 'other ' purposes.

"Is that the boy who gave you those black eyes?" asked his naive mother.

"Yes, but don't tell anybody. He said if anybody ever did, he'd throw us off the slide and laugh at our bloody bones." replied my little son. His friends nodded agreement.

I'd had no idea. Almost every afternoon, my little son and a lot of other precious little boys had been watching Alucard stand in front of the mirror in the boy's restroom and stick pins through his lips, threaten them, and occasionally punch one in the eye.

I reported it, but since "no adult had seen this" nothing was done. However, the principal did post a 'guard' in the hall by the restroom.

Not long after that, Alucard went berserk over being told not to eat paste, and kicked his teacher so hard she fell to the ground, where he proceeded to kick her some more.

Mucs tried to make excuses, and then she tried to make trouble, but this time it didn't work.

When the Child Protective people came to investigate, Alucard ran out into the parking lot and keyed all their cars. And finally, FINALLY, someone called the police. It was a great day.

The last we saw of him, he was riding in the back of a patrol car, screaming and yelling and trying to break through the windows.

If he'd been handcuffed, at least a few other people might have been spared some bruises.

Duct tape would have been a step in the right direction.

And when people say that a child couldn't possibly pose a threat to an adult, they haven't been in the schools lately and seen the likes of Alucard. He was a real kid, and his clones are marching two by two through the hallways of every school in the world.

I say, make sure they know who's boss before they ever hit the kindergarten, and maybe then they won't hit the kindergarten students. Or the teacher, or the principal, or anyone else who tells them not to eat the paste.

Mess with my little boy, or anybody else's little boy, Alucard, and you're going to get busted. That's a promise.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:19 PM | |

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Cranky, sleepy, and set in my ways.

The semester is almost over; this week and next are IT. Monday and Tuesday are finals, and I've been sitting here writing a final exam for the past several hours. There's one included in the teacher's folder but it's not good enough.

My students are absolutely awesome people. They've worked hard and they've been a treat and a joy to work with. I love them. I want their final exam to be a true reflection of what they've learned from this class. They deserve no less from me.

That's why I always make up my own tests. Sometimes, they're more difficult than the template tests. Sometimes, they're not quite as difficult. They always address the subject matter completely. I've found too many mistakes, spelling errors, stupid useless questions, nonsense, and typos in the stock tests. I just don't trust them.

I have my own ways. I'm set in them. And my ass is so big, whatever I'm setting it on you don't wanna mess with.

Not without a crowbar and a stiff drink.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:36 PM | |

And how was YOUR day?

When I walked past the Math Lab and saw that someone had once again changed the sign to read Meth Lab, I laughed and snorted coke out my nose in front of important visitors wearing expensive suits.

When I apologized, one of the men laughed and said, "Aren't you SUPPOSED to snort coke in a meth lab?"

And another of them replied, "In the lab, maybe, but not out in the open where people can see you do it."

And then they all laughed, and one of them sounded like a circus seal begging for a fish and being forced to balance a striped ball on his nose for it.

The sound made them all stop laughing and look around for the seal. Nobody admitted to being the seal.

And then they left. And so did I.

And now I'm home.

The end.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:10 PM | |

Monday, April 25, 2005

Emily and the Amazing Blog Transformation

Emily at Ciao My Bella has made my blog beautiful! Go to her site and hire her immediately!

A while back, I won a blog makeover from HeroineGirl's fabulous BlogAuction. You see before you, the amazing results.

Thank you so much, Emily. I love it!!!! And thank you, too, HeroineGirl, for making it possible.

Two lovely, lovely people who have made me quite proud of my blog. I liked it before, too, but then it was kind of like having a big homely dog you loved in spite of its plain and dorky ways. Now my blog is truly beautiful, no thanks to me, and MANY thanks to Emily.

As for you, Heroine-Girl. . . . well, I think you already know. I hope you do, anyway.

Having a blog this cool-looking makes me think seriously about getting my hair cut and getting some makeup advice. Not seriously enough to do anything about it, but seriously enough to think about it.

The picture on the upper left is the Bluefin Bridge, which leads to the beautiful house we used to rent for a week in the summers, on Ocracoke Island, NC. Sigh. That was when we had two incomes. This summer, we'll be lucky to hit Bruester's Ice Cream once a week, and stand in the hose when we water the impatiens.

But at least we can hit Bruester's Ice Cream, and at least we have a hose, and at least we have water. So far. We don't have the impatiens yet.

Some poor people don't HAVE Bruester's Ice Cream where they live. They have other things which claim to be ice cream but some poor people don't even realize they're being fooled.

And while I'm thinking about it. . . . what's the deal with that "If there are more than three people in line, we will open another register. That's a PROMISE!" sign at WalMart? What's the punch line? I assume it's a joke; people were laughing at it. All nine thousand of us in line at the one open checkout.

Oh, Emily, thank you. And, thank you again!!!
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:36 PM | |

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Bring it on.

Regarding the violent kindergarten student who was handcuffed by the police and taken away in a patrol car. . . .

Am I the only person in the world who thinks that if we all calm down and think about it rationally, we could probably hear the neighbors applauding?

I'm sorry for the child, but aren't all those other children in her classroom important too? Why should sweet precious well-behaved children with decent citizenship have to put up with a classmate who is repeatedly life-threatening, obnoxious, disruptive, and dangerous?

I don't think they should. I don't think anyone should.

There comes a time when the rights and safety of the other children should take priority over the self-esteem and "stated opinion of choice" of a violent child. Get her the hell out of the classroom and let the good kids learn something besides the fact that society, these parlous days, seems to favor those who choose to behave poorly over those who choose to behave properly.

I'm not a mean person, honest. I'm just tired of putting up with this scheisse. Our children deserve a safe haven inside their school building.

(By the way, I went to the Genuine Bash too! Doesn't anybody remember me there?)
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:50 PM | |

The last time.

Later this afternoon we're planning to go out to my uncle's house again. Hopefully, this will be the last time. Anything that is left in the house, after this trip, will just be, well, left in the house.
We'll be removing two bookcases this trip, both packed full of books about VietNam and the military in general. One of the bookcases will go in my living room, and the other will go to my sister's house in Fishers. My bookcase is a tall plain wooden one, that he bought in a store. The other bookcase, he made in shop class in junior high. That bookcase is beautifully carved and would cost a fortune if anyone tried to buy it in a store. Junior high shop class. My uncle was very talented.

Zappa will be taking all the books.

Then we'll walk through the house, making sure there's nothing left in it that we want.
So many people have been in and out of his house, removing things, NOT removing things, etc. It makes me sad. It makes me wonder how people will, some day, deal with removing the things from MY house. Accept, reject, accept, reject, SCREAM, reject, mock. . . . .

And when I think of all the things my uncle had in his house, things he chose, things he liked, things he kept, that nobody else cares enough about to even bother to store, it makes me sad.

But, I don't want them either.

All those other trips down there to his house were made in warm, then HOT, weather. Today it's freakishly cold, even for unreliable Indiana weather. Maybe it will be easier to load and unload in this weather.

There are still tons of sealed boxes in his garage. We are all so worn out with opening, inspecting, accepting, and rejecting all of his things, that probably nobody will even open them to see what he packed away and sealed up. From a military standpoint, there are some real treasures in there.

I do not generally have a military standpoint. There is nothing of that sort that I want. Zappa chose a few things weeks ago, but nobody else wants them. And we are all just too tired of dealing with it now, to advertise or haul it away ourselves. We don't have the means, the energy, or the time. It's a shame, but we just don't.

There are also a lot of household treasures in there. Dishes, glassware, pots and pans, etc. Somewhere, there is someone who would really welcome these things. Everyone seems to want them delivered. We just can't do that.

In his living room, on a built-in bookshelf, there is a huge perfectly round grenade. The older people (older than me, just imagine!) are frightened to death of it. Zappa looked it over and is pretty sure it's a dud. Key words: "pretty sure." I had never seen such a large shiny grenade. It's almost pretty, in a death-dealing creepy kind of way.

Heaven only knows what's in some of those sealed boxes. Heaven only knows, and we will never know.

It all makes me want to go through my own house and pitch everything that could possibly make someone else say "Gross, why would she have kept THAT?"

But there is also that part of me that says, "Because I liked it. What's it to ya?"

You'd think a person would know which is which. But I don't.

Sentimental things are just that: sentimental. How could someone else possibly 'judge' what is good sentiment and what is tacky sentiment? The greatest sentimental things of all, are often 'tacky.' And they mean absolutely nothing to anyone else.

I myself have a large sealed box down in the garage, full of school notes, ribbons, ticket stubs, restaurant receipts, bronzed baby shoes, old pictures, jewelry, programs, etc, that are as I type, decomposing. They are tacky personified. Nobody else would ever want them. I haven't looked at them in years.

But I know they're down there. And once in a blue moon, I think of them, and smile.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:35 AM | |

Friday, April 22, 2005

There is no solace anywhere, for anyone who dreads to go home.

The title of this post is a quote from an autobiographical novel. Which one, and who said it?

This post is from an article for teachers and librarians that I wrote many years ago. I found it in a box of old papers, just tonight. I'd forgotten about it, and this bothers me, because we should never forget about such things.

Here it is. And please bear in mind that it was written years ago.


I was reading the newspaper the other day when my eye was caught by a 'filler' - you know, one of those inch-high insert pieces that a newspaper squeezes in on the third or fourth page as a kind of :"oh, by the way" sort of thing.

This particular filler stated that a certain disreputable citizen had been arrested and charged with the rape of an eighteen-year-old girl, said rape having occurred several years ago when the girl was fourteen years old.

Now, working in a school, where such things are seen and heard of daily, some people get hardened. They hear, or see, or read about it, and its too bad, such a shame, tch tch, but that's about it. They call the police, or Child Protection, and go home and have dinner.

I am not one of those people. I get crazy, because I love my students so thoroughly, that the thought of any of them being harmed in any way, breaks my heart into thousands of tiny little pieces.

You see, when this particular girl was fourteen years old, she was my student. I remember her well. How could any teacher forget Terri?

Let me tell you how. It's easy.

Our classrooms are full of Terris. Right this minute. You may have to stop and think, but sandwiched in among the brains, the nerds, the cheerleaders, the druggies, the jocks, the hoods, the goths, the freaks, the hillbillies, and the geeks, you will find the Terris. You have to look carefully for them, but they're there. They look alike. Thin. Stringy hair. Quiet. Too quiet. Terris are usually very well-behaved. Rabbity. We tend to think of them - when we think of them at all - as vague, shadowy girls who sit alone in the back of the room.

We don't usually pay much attention to them. After all, we are very busy people. Our time is taken up with many different, very important duties. We are occupied with paperwork, disciplining the hoods, paperwork, shaking down the druggies, paperwork, signing release forms for the cheerleaders, paperwork, helping a band geek fit a sousaphone into a locker, paperwork, assuring the jocks that "no pass, no play" means exactly that, and oh yes, more paperwork. Lunch money. Milk tokens. Attendance slips. Honor roll. Demerit reports. Phone calls from and to parents. Announcements. Convocations. Parents who don't bother to make an appointment. Constant interruptions. The quiet Terris? Oh, please, give me a break. At least they're no discipline problem. . . .

Terris are voracious readers. They check out books by the stack and read them cover to cover. They take good care of their books, too. No dog ears for the Terris. What kind of books do these quiet little Terris read? Funny you should ask.

Back in 1986, when Terri was my student, she made a list for me of her all-time favorite books - the books she read and re-read and even memorized passages from. Before I looked over her list, I predicted to myself that I would be able to guess fairly accurately the types of novels that a stereotype like Terri would enjoy. Blume, of course, and Hinton; maybe Kerr, Neufield, Greene, etc. The usual bunch of books about troubled teens for troubled teens. Right?

Wrong. So wrong it is to laugh. But I didn't laugh and I don't laugh, because it is Terri we are talking about here, and believe me, Terri's life contained and contains nothing to laugh about.

She called this roster of books her "Fantasies." As you look over her list you will notice that her fantasies are not technically fantasies in anyone else's opinion. Terri's books are nothing more than a list of titles that exemplify loving, stable, warm, supportive family life.

Her fantasy books are about normal families and their normal lives. Normal. To you, maybe. But To Terri, and all the Terris, these titles are fantasies.

Most of her "fantasies" are at the very least twenty years old, many are even older. One would be hard put even to find most of these titles still on the library shelf; they've been discarded to make room for the trendy troubled teen novels that circulate faster. And to classify them as fantasies is unusual to the point of absurdity. On the surface, that is.

Let us then go beyond the surface.

Fantasy. "The power, process, or result of creating mental images modified by need, wish, or desire; the free play of creative imagination." Webster, 1967.

Let us return for a moment to the scene of the crime. This rape resulted in a pregnancy - a very difficult pregnancy. After a long and arduous labor, Terri was delivered of a stillborn son. Her obstetrician remarked that if ever he had seen a child who had a reason to be traumatized for life, it was terri.

Yet, Terri is not traumatized. Why????? What protection does she have that shields her sanity and her sweet personality from the horror that is part of her everyday existence?

Maybe you are wondering what is so horrible about Terri's everyday life.

The answer is, a lot. Terri's rapist was her father.

Now, about these 'fantasy' novels. . . . . it is quite comprehensible to me that a child of Terri's mental calibre, who had a home life such as hers, could easily console herself in part by fantasizing about - families. All of her titles - unlike many of today's teen novels- have in them loving parents, or surrogate parents, congenial siblings, love, and security. In other words, for the Terris of this world, these books are FULL of fantasy.

Terri herself, in an essay on fantasy, wrote: "People can share many fantasies, such as witches, aliens, space travel, dreams. But after school those kids go home to a nice clean house where nice people live who are nice to them and to each other. That's a fantasy to me, but I can't share that fantasy. Other girls have a room with pink walls and a bedspread with ruffles; they have a lock on their door, too, but they don't really need it, and at supper there's always enough to go around. I can't even dream of all that. I can't even imagine."

All these memories came flooding over me as I read that filler in the newspaper. I dug out Terri's file. I wish I had done more for her.

And I wondered, how typical were Terri's reading habits compared to the reading habits of other stereotyped Terris? I decided to become an amateur detective.

First, I asked several teachers in our system for the names of some Terris. I collected twenty names. Then I started snooping through the library files, junior high and high school. The results of my snooping were astounding to me.

Of those twenty Terris, nineteen had read every single book on Terri's original 'fantasy' list.

I'm thankful that the Terris can at least have loving homes in their 'fantasies.' But here is something that worries me about that.

So few teens read these older titles any more that the libraries won't keep the books. Now, I realize that shelves have only so much room, and that logically that space must be taken up by those titles which "move." This is only good business.

But what about the Terris? They don't always want to read about divorce, abuse, alcoholism, unemployment, poverty, pregnancy, rape, drugs, etc. They go home and deal with those things face to face, every night. They want fantasy, to help them dream of a better life.

So please, librarians, teachers, bookstores. . . . don't discard Terri's fantasies. They just might be the only thing standing between a Terri and a horror beyond the comprehension of most of us.

Terri's mother was in the hospital several months ago. Terri and her father were left to watch over all the little brothers. I saw Terri a few weeks ago. She had a black eye.

And oh, yes. She was pregnant again.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:40 PM | |

First times. Not the kind you're thinking about.

The semester is almost over and soon summer school will begin. This will be the first time I've ever taught summer school and I feel really lucky to get my three classes. There are bills to be paid, and Bruester's Ice Cream to be savored. Move out of the way, you undisciplined troupe of Girl Scouts; I want my ice cream. It's summer. On Thursday nights, if you bring your own banana, the banana splits are half price.

You've not seen 'funny' till you've seen a big long line of old people, all holding a banana. From across the parking lot, in the silhouettes of dusk, it's almost pornographic.

Well, after I get all those pansies planted, it will be officially summer for me. And the impatiens for the planter under the hickory tree; those will be beautiful, too.

This past year has been a long unpleasant list of first times. I've said this before but in the mood I'm in, it bears repeating. "I hate taking the consequences of someone else's actions. " There. I feel a little better now. I'll never be the same, but I feel a little better.

Sometimes I think that misjudging people and making assumptions are two of the worst things people do to each other. In a way, it's a kind of murder. A lot of trust is gone forever.

There were at least a dozen deer in the back yard about an hour ago. Big ones. I didn't see any antlers but they were all big deer. When the weather gets really hot, they come out of our little woods and lie down on the basketball court. The cool concrete must feel good to their stomachs.

I'm going to start keeping a camera in the kitchen. Maybe then I can share some of the pretty scenes that are played out in my back yard, every day.

Then, all I have to do is get a computer that will stay on long enough to get something done. My computer is once again being serviced. I think the Powersource people should really start giving me a discount and shelf space with a name tag on it. Jack? Linda? I'm giving you free advertising here, how about it?

If Hub's computer ever goes out at the same time as mine, I'll have to bring a cot and a cooler of diet Coke to the library, elbow little kids away from their video games, and settle in for the duration. I wonder where my library card is.

Summers, when the kids were little, used to mean going to the library (it was air conditioned!) twice a week, and stopping at a nearby campground on the way home to swim in their pool. I'd had all of the owner's kids in school, and at the end of the year she used to give me an envelope with free passes to her campground's pool; what a fantastic gift that always was! We had no money (kind of like, NOW) and if it hadn't been for her generosity and kindness, my kids would have had to play in the little plastic pool every day, and get sprinkled with the hose for further delight.

Well, we did that anyway, almost every day. Till the water ran out; we had a well back then. I had my routines down pat: I couldn't run the fans and the oven at the same time or I'd blow a fuse. I couldn't run bathwater and fill the little plastic pool within two or three hours of each other. When I finally did get a washing machine, I couldn't run any other electrical device while the washer was running.

Yeah, we spent a lot of time at the library, and the campground pool, in the summer.

Don't worry, kids. I won't tell about how I used to let you run naked in the yard, in the summer. Or how I used to sit on the front steps with a bar of soap and the hose, and wash you down before letting you back into the house. And how you didn't even realize you were having a shower.

And I won't tell why I stopped letting you do that, either. Darn tourists. Voices sure carry out in the country.

And remember how you used to beg me not to stay at the campground pool and watch over you, every time? Remember how embarassed you were because yours was the only mom who sat on top of a picnic table under a tree just outside the pool fence and never took my eyes off you?

Yeah, well, forget about getting an apology from me. I'd do the same again. There was no way I was going to leave you in a big swimming pool that had no lifeguard. And my opinion of all those other mothers who dropped their kids off and left to go to the store? It hasn't changed, either. I do apologize for the word that you heard coming out of my mouth about those other mothers, though. At the time, it seemed like the appropriate word to use, to describe them. In fact, even now, years later, it still seems like the right word to use.

I'd tell you what it was but you've probably figured it out by now. Hint: think, "kennel."

Our weather is so beautiful; I love it when it's breezy.

I need to write a final exam this next week. I hope I don't put it off till the last minute. But then, why should this time be any different?

Hub wants me to check out getting another Master's degree at IU. Mine is in secondary education, english major, young adult literature focus. If I get one just in English, I can teach more classes at the college level. It would also be easier, and faster, than going for a doctorate.

At this stage of the game, "easier and faster" sound good.

Then again, the students I love the most, are the lower-level students. The students who made C's and D's and F's in high school. The students for whom 'school' has a bad connotation. The students who have been out in the world for a while and who have made the decision to return to school and try again, so they might better themselves both for themselves, and for the ever-changing job market. Honestly, many of my students have stories to tell, that would curl your hair and bring tears to your eyes. I wish I could share, but I'd never betray their trust. Such lovely people, most of them.

And I can teach the lower levels with the degree I already have.

It's odd to me, that the most challenging classes are taught by people with the lower degrees, while the higher level classes, which are a lot easier to teach, are taught by people with the highest degrees. There's something wrong there.

And now I am going into the kitchen for a sandwich. And maybe some lemonade, because I've already had three diet cokes this morning.

And how are all of YOU today?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:00 PM | |

Thursday, April 21, 2005

. . . summoned by my bookies. . . .

I'm a sucker for this sort of thing, and since both Guusjem and My So-Called Strife have asked me, here are my answers for their Book Meme.

Books. . . . Mmmmmmmm.

I adore books. These answers would change every week.

1. If you couldn't get out of "Fahrenheit 451," what book would you like to be?

The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

2. Did you ever have a crush on a fictional character?

Adam Eddington, in several of Madeleine L'Engle's books. Among others.

3. What was the last book you bought?

Something Rotten, by Jasper Fforde

4. What was the last book you read?

And Both Were Young, by Madeleine L'Engle

5. What book are you reading now?

Jane of Lantern Hill, by L.M. Montgomery

6. Five books you would take with you to a deserted island?

Everything by Jasper Fforde
Everything by Madeleine L'Engle
Everything by L.M. Montgomery
A King James Bible
"Phantom," by Susan Kay

7. Three people you're going to pass this on to, and why?

SaraLiz, just because. Besides, she HAS to obey me.
Miguel, because he's my newest regular read and I admire him very much
Goldie, because she's my other newest regular read and I wish she lived next door.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:22 AM | |

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

M. Night Shyamalan had "The Village," but we ARE the village, my friends.

I think sometimes that if there had been online journals, blogs, when I was raising my children, I might not have made quite as many mistakes.

Often, during those years, I felt very isolated. I was sure that nobody else was feeling the same emotions, having the same problems, trying and failing at so many things, when it came to baby/child care. I felt like I was the only one, struggling with this and that, with the babies, and later with the children. I was embarassed to ask some questions, because I knew that nobody else in the universe could possibly have my same problems.

I used to wish that there was SOME place where I could find a lot of advice and sure-fire plans to help me. I used to wish that there were people who had BEEN there, who could share their successes and failures; word of mouth is still the most believable way of selling anything, and advice has to be sold, you know. We SAY it's 'given,' but if it's not packaged and presented juuuust right, nobody will take it.

Yes, there were relatives who were laden with advice. Friends, who had a lot of advice. Much of it was good, too; and just as much of it was horrible. And, the 'supply' of relatives and friends was limited. So limited, there was no way their experiences could help me with very many of the problems and questions I had. Besides, they were, well, relatives. And friends, however beloved, don't always agree with our own parenting methods or theories.

Now, though, this has changed, and changed drastically. For every question or problem a blogger posts, there are potentially millions of people who have BEEN THERE, and somehow survived, and who therefore have believable and practical advice for a young parent who is wondering, puzzled, or even at the end of his/her rope.

It takes a village to raise a child?

Bloggers, WE are the village!

For someone like me, with grown children and a shipload of experience but no takers, blogging about the past is a cathartic thing, a trip down memory lane, with a lot of the bad memories miraculously erased. But to a young parent, some small thing I mention might make a world of difference! I hope so, anyway.

This applies to many areas, of course; but parenting is the most important job in the world, so it is the one I am thinking about right now.

I tried to care for my first baby by using charts in those free pamphlets the hospital gave me when I checked out. Imagine. With my second baby, I felt confident enough to laugh at myself, but even so I made tons of mistakes. We all do; they're unavoidable. People who tell you that they don't make mistakes are liars or amnesia victims.

Now, when a parent has a problem or a concern, one little mention of it on a blog or a forum, and the whole world wants to help.

And hey. A piece of advice about, say, diaper rash, from a parent who has battled diaper rash and won, is worth a lot more than a pamphlet about a diaper rash product. Even if there's a coupon, and Marsh is tripling coupons that week.

Parents want answers to their questions. They want the latest answers to their questions. Our Moms/Dads may have been perfect, but a perfect answer from 1953 isn't necessarily the perfect answer to the same question in 2005. And then again, sometimes it is. When our peers chime in with solutions that have been proven to work, perhaps it's the solution to try.

I am not downplaying the role of grandparents and friends, in regard to parenting advice. I am merely saying that no matter how old we are, our peers' opinions mean a lot more than we think. Blogging is a big collection of peers, and friends, and parents, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles and cousins and their next-door-neighbor's sister-in-law's beautician's second cousin once removed. It is the biggest pamphlet in the world. It's the biggest forum in the world. It's the biggest therapy couch in the world. It's the biggest sounding board in the world. It's the biggest reference book in the world.

Just as there are kooks at the family reunion, whose opinions you wouldn't touch with a 2x4 and a pair of rubber gloves, there are also kooks online, whose opinions we wouldn't touch with TWO 2x4's and a long knife. At a family reunion, laughing, screaming, mocking, and facial grimaces are not allowed. Online, we don't have to be that polite, because the person can't see us anyway, and we can click away any time we want. Or, if the advice is good, we can comment and thank the blogger, and come again as often as we can because maybe they'll say something equally good or helpful again some time.

On my blogroll are people I wish lived next door to me, or WITH me, because I've come to love them as dearly as though we met for lunch daily. I've also BE'd to some blogs that made me laugh out loud at the pompous stupidity of the blogger, or cringe in horror at the close-minded prejudice, or smile at the picture of a child in front of a birthday cake.

Blogging is conversation. Checking out our blogrolls is seeking conversation with people we like. Sometimes, there isn't time to read as many as we'd like, and we feel as though we should apologize the next time we're able to come by! Well, I do, anyway.

We're all busy. Most of us work and raise children and try to nurture them and a marriage and our friendships at the same time. Many days, something's gotta give. With blogging, the conversations can wait till we can get there. Bloggers are true friends who don't put any kind of time limitation on us. We are here, and we'll be here tomorrow if you can't stop by tonight.

We post about our lives, and if some aspect of one life can touch and help another life, well, that's what friends are for. Enough friends together, make a village.

It takes a village.

And that village, my friends, is us. We are a phenomenon. We are the village.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:40 PM | |

I've not been the same since the house fell on me.

Random mp3 mix from last night:

1. Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness
2. Lou Reed & John Cale – It Wasn’t Me
3. Los Lobos & Antonio Banderas – Cancion del Mariachi
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Porcelain
5. Wilco – How To Fight Loneliness
6. Moulin Rouge – El Tango de Roxanne
7. Gary Wright – Dream Weaver
8. Steve Miller Band – Keep On Rockin’ Me Baby
9. Barenaked Ladies – Rap #2
10. Holst’s “The Planets”
11. Evanescence – Haunted
12. Willie Nelson & Johnny Cash – Ghost Riders in the Sky
13. Cake – Stickshifts and Safetybelts
14. Brak – Front Door, Backside
15. Lifetime – 25 Cent Giraffe
16. Harvey Danger – Flagpole Sitter
17. DaVinci’s Notebook – Sgt. Pepper
18. D12 – My Band
19. Ben Folds Five – One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces
20. Mest – The Innocent

I like my mixes a little strange. Good thing, huh.

Today in class, I will give each student an instructor evaluation form. Then I have to leave the room while the students fill them out. I've never been evaluated by students before; I admit that I am a little scared. I'm strict but I'm never unfair, at least not on purpose. A few of the students have taken issue with me because I take attendance and do not allow makeup work for unexcused absences. The students who attend regularly have expressed appreciation for that, though; I don't blame them, either. Why should those who do the right thing (attend class and turn in work) have to sit there while those who do NOT do the right thing (skip class and try to hand in late work) get the same grades? Not fair. So I "show a bias" towards the students who show up on time, regularly, and turn in their work.

Silly me. I thought doing my job properly had something to do with the students doing THEIR job properly. I'm so old-fashioned.

It's been a long time since I've spoon-fed anyone. I'm a little out of practice.

Seriously? I've never spoonfed my students, no matter how old or young they were, and I certainly do not intend to begin now, on adult students.

Those who come to class, try hard, and are dependable, will get better grades than those who skip class, don't work very hard, and can't be relied upon. If any of them wish to take me on over those issues, I'm ready.

For the sake of the students who consistently do the right thing, I'm ready to take on those who don't yet expect the same benefits. They can bring their mothers if they want to make a REALLY big laughing stock of themselves. Yes, and their little dog, too.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:34 AM | |

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Today, I was in the right place at the right time. Except at the end when I missed the turn.

This has been a really nice day. Not the Shakespearian 'nice,' but the modern 'nice,' meaning 'really, really good.' Great, even. It was a superlative day.

I had previously anticipated that this afternoon would be a long and boring one, spent wandering in the mall, alone, while my car was being serviced.

Lo and behold, however, it did not turn out that way at all.

I was privileged to spend the afternoon with a dear, dear friend, dining on Chinese food (ask him what his fortune cookie had to say!) cruising Kirkwood Avenue, and finally (the best part!) watching him at an aspect of his work. The particular aspect, I shall keep to myself.

Who was this friend, you may ask? Sure, you may ask.

I hung out all day with a celebrity. At least, some people seem to think so. An increasingly large number of people think so, in fact. Tee hee.

He certainly looks like a celebrity. Key words: LOOKS LIKE.

And he is having fun with that.

Ah, but today I had proof. PROOF! A signature on a VISA bill is proof, right? Can't argue with a signature on a VISA bill.

All I'll tell you is that he looks a lot like this. A WHOLE lot like that. It's astounding how much he looks like that. Yes, a whole lot like that.

Only nicer.

(Don't forget to click on over to Patriside's blog and sign up for MixMania! Come on, it's fun!)
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:30 PM | |

Monday, April 18, 2005

My kitchen is haunted.

I keep a hammer, two screwdrivers, a wrench, and several pairs of scissors in my kitchen.

How come there are no hammer, screwdrivers, wrench, or scissors in my kitchen?

And where did all these mechanical pencils by the telephone come from? I hate mechanical pencils.

I want my hammer.

Oh well. I was able to pound the little nail into the deck railing with the handle of the meat tenderizer. We got it for a wedding present in 1977 and it's never been used.

But it's been used now.

Stupid disappearing tools.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:58 PM | |

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Decomposing Composers

Mellie Hellen over on Golly Blog Howdy has a post today about children, classical music, and WalMart. It is, as her posts always are, great. Click on over there and experience her wit, humor, and intelligent parenting and personality. She's a lovely person.

Her post, naturally, reminded me of some things that happened years ago, when Belle and Zappa were learning about classical music.

They loved it. Cannons, and drums, and loud horns, and people playing pianos and violins really well instead of like Momy played. . . .

Soft, soothing orchestral arrangements. . . .

Sigh. I loved those years. In retrospect, of course, as are most of my musings here. It makes a big difference, you know, retrospect really does.

Retrospect is like a big sieve; all the bad things drain out the little holes but the good stuff stays in the bowl so you can savor it.

I used to make up songs for them, using classical melodies.

And lest you think me uninformed, I used baroque, romantic, and 20th-century melodies as well.

I made up lyrics to all the Mario Brothers melodies, too, but that's hardly classical. Or is it. . . .

Zappa was about three years old, and was napping on the sofa one afternoon; I put the 'William Tell Overture' on the stereo. It must have blended with his dreams, because he sat bolt upright, shouted "Hi Ho Silver, awayyyyyyyy," and crashed back into the pillows again.

My question was, where in the world did he hear about the Lone Ranger? The only tv we had then was a twelve-inch black-and-white jobber, hooked up to a tower antenna that was mecca to red-headed woodpeckers who couldn't tell the difference between metal and wood, but which was stuck pointing north because it was so old the clicker didn't work. We used it mostly for bird-watching. The kids used to love it when the 'retarded woodpeckers' came in flocks and droves and pecked uselessly away on the metal rods.

They brought that expression home from pre-school; don't start in on me. ThankYouVeryMuch.
But their all-time favorite piece of classical music was the Taco Bell Canon.

I'm sure Pachelbel would have peed his pants laughing.

Now, where did the title of this post come from?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:18 PM | |

Saturday, April 16, 2005

A View From The Bridge

To get to our house from any town, there are main roads or well-known and much-used side roads. We are well off the beaten track but easy to find on mainstream roads.

However, out in 'these parts,' there are even more backroad ways to get to our house. One of our favorites requires us to cross an old one-lane stone bridge, build in 1891. The bridge spans a wide creek which was once used by flatboats to carry cargo to the White River, which connects to the Wabash River, which connects to the Ohio River, which empties into the mighty Mississippi River.

You can still see some of the old slaughterhouse docks, slowing crumbling away along the creek banks.

Did I say 'slaughterhouse' up there? I sure did. Ghosts and all. But that's another post.

This bridge is just a hoot and a holler from our house. From the slaughterhouse, our home is just yonder. Travel the road a piece and turn right. There we are.

Hub can't go over the stone bridge without stopping and taking some pictures. Thanks to him and his keychain digital, we have this view in all its glories, over every phase of all four seasons. Today, it was breathtaking.

How pretty was this view today? It was beautiful. Too bad I can't seem to post a picture of it big enough to see without squinting. If you know how, please tell me. If you want to see it in a bigger version, email me and I'll send it to you. If the stupid picture will send. Stupid internet.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:28 PM | |

Who are you calling 'late?'

I most certainly was NOT late with my taxes this year.

I'll have you know that when I stopped by to sign the forms tonight, H & R Block still had another twenty minutes until closing time.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:48 AM | |

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Yes, please come right away with a big gun!

Some of you won't like what I'm going to say. I'm saying it anyway.

A woman called 911, complaining that her twelve-year-old daughter was 'out of control' and she couldn't do anything with her.

The dispatcher said, "Do you want us to come out and shoot her?"

The woman was all upset and wanted the dispatcher heavily disciplined.

As for me and Hub, the same word escaped both of us at exactly the same time. "Bitch."

Complaining woman, you are a loser and you have no sense of humor. Grow up.

Speaking as a mother who once called the police on my own precious son, I feel that I can safely tell you that the dispatcher's comment should have cracked you up. I know I would have appreciated a little humor that morning. What's wrong with you?

Scheiss, people have no appreciation for humor these days.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:06 PM | |

Imperfection is my first, middle, and last name.

I have a confession to make. I am not perfect. I have never been perfect. I will never be perfect.

Most terrible of all: I never expected to be perfect. I don't even WANT to be perfect.

Perfect is a done deal. Perfect is carved in stone. What person wants to be 'finished' before they're even dead? Not me. I'm still perking. Changing every day. Finding out. Learning stuff. Revising my opinions. Listening to smart people. Listening to stupid people. Learning from both.

Oh sure, we all know people who've just quit. I've met people who might as well have been buried six feet under years ago, for all the good they do now. The only difference between some people and a corpse, is a detectable heartbeat and a string of complaints.

I've also met people whose faces looked like their own tombstones. Prunes and prisms and priss and mold. People whose features all seemed to be afraid of each other. Not because of any physical makeup; because of their expression.

That will not be me.

I'm too imperfect.

My kids' friends have always told me that I was a cool Mom. After my kids grew up, they told me I was a cool Mom. This trait became apparent to my own kids only after they grew up. Did you catch that phrase? "After my kids grew up" I was suddenly cool.

However, when my kids were younger and needed a Mom who mommied regularly, they did not tell me I was cool. There is a good reason for that. I was not cool then. I was whimsical and quirky and odd, but I was exceedingly strict with the things that counted, and exceedingly liberal with the things that didn't. My opinion of the things that counted and the things that didn't, differed greatly from my own mother's opinion, and from the opinion of many of the other moms. That never bothered me. I mom'd by instinct, and when my instincts left me clueless, I winged it. Even when I was bathing newborn Belle via a chart in a baby-care pamphlet, I was winging it. (there is NOTHING as slippery as a soapy baby.) I made a lot of mistakes; some were big, most were stupid, but none of them killed the children. Other people's mothers were always way cooler than I was, anyway. I know because my children told me so. I was the uncoolest Mom on the MomList of FriendMoms. Ha, because their friends told me I was the COOLEST mom on the MomList of FriendMoms. Funny, isn't it, that nobody's own mom is ever as cool as other people's moms, at the time. And we are all other people's moms. Therefore, we are both cool and uncool, as the judge changes.

Imperfect. That's me.

I was an imperfect baby, staying up all night and sleeping all day. I was an imperfect child, questioning everything at school and trying to help other kids and occasionally getting into trouble for loaning them things or becoming impatient with them or telling them to "shape up and at least try, stupid!" I was an imperfect teenager, loaning out everything I owned to people who 'needed' them, and often never getting things back, overflowing with hormones yet feeling that there was a time and a place for everything, and now wasn't the time, and feeling perhaps a little superior to my friends who were getting knocked up and 'caught in the act' and being talked about in the restroom. I was an imperfect young adult, making up for lost time in the hormone department, loaning out everything I owned to people who 'needed' them and often never getting things back, dating all the time and not extremely particular, thinking I was wild, maybe drinking a little bit, taking dares, traveling, riding on the backs of motorcycles. I was an imperfect Mom, trying my best to 'do the right thing' yet constantly waking my kids up at 2 a.m. to see the full moon, letting them eat cupcakes or ice chips for lunch, not insisting they sleep in a darkened room (Belle still sleeps in a brightly lit room. Big hairy deal.) , not insisting that their clothing matched (we were so poor that I was making most of their clothes out of my clothes, anyway.) piercing my daughter's ears when she was three years old, letting my son grow his hair really long and wear sweatsuits to school until fifth grade, not letting them ride bikes in our road because it was dangerous even though all the other kids did, never letting them swim in the campground pool without me sitting right there because there was no lifeguard even though none of the other mothers stayed. . . . constantly humiliating them with my motto of "I don't care WHAT the other kids' mothers are doing. . . ." Eh. You can see how hard it must have been to be mothered by me. I screwed up a lot. But my heart was totally in it; I was a mom, buster, and make no mistake about it. Anything that smelled 'wrong' to me that came close to even THINKING about approaching my child, and I was up on my hind legs and ready to swipe someone's face completely off with my big bear claws. I still am. I still would. Try me.

I was an even more imperfect teacher. Nobody else in the building seemed to be in as much trouble as I constantly was. The thing is, I could never just give up on a student. There was always a way, and I still maintain that. None of the other teachers stayed in the building until five or six o'clock. None of the other teachers spent most weekends chaperoning or arranging contests or riding in a bumpy bus so four kids could be in a spelling bee. Nobody else seemed to care about kids with no lunch money, or kids with no paper, pencils, binders, backpacks, shoes, warm coats, mittens. . . . hell, some weeks I spent more than my paycheck on other people's kids, while my own had to eat scrambled eggs and toast all week long. When I was in the middle school, I drew no distinction between my own kids and other people's kids. At home, I was Momy. At school, I was the person the kids came to for emergencies during school hours, and Momy after three thirty. To the masses. Belle and Zappa sometimes resented sharing me, but as far as I was concerned, other people's kids were more than just my job. They were my life. I lost count of the times I called Child Protection Services, and hated to, because of a tale a child told me. I hated to, because most of the time, the child was questioned, the parent was questioned, and the child was returned to the home. I'll blog more about that travesty later. Grrrr. I couldn't turn a deaf ear to a child in need.

I loved kids so much, it was like my entire life revolved around them. My own. Yours. Strangers' kids. I couldn't understand why everyone wasn't crazy about them. I couldn't understand how anyone could hit one in anger, or not hock his soul to make sure a child had shoes. I still can't comprehend how any adult could buy cigarettes for himself and not mittens or socks for his child. It's unthinkable to me. It's unspeakable to me. I co-signed loans for kids. (only got burned once!) I let them borrow my car, my coat, my spare beds, the contents of my refrigerator, my cell phone, my time. . . .

Sometimes, I would wonder who I was, me, myself. I was so caught up in helping kids, I barely recognized myself when I caught a glimpse in a mirror. (who IS that huge fat old chick? Gross!) It was like I had no identity, sometimes. My kids were first. Your kids were also first. Hub usually aided and abetted my kid-centric behavior, even while trying to get me to back off a little and be a little selfish. I couldn't. My selfishness was in believing that I could never be selfish. Sometimes, we have to be. For our own good, and for the good of others who need us.

And then my computer was hijacked and I quit that job and got another one and I'm still reeling a little bit. But somehow, I am finding out that maybe I was overdoing the "Mom for the Masses" thing a little bit. Or a lot.

My blood pressure is better now. It was over 200/115 there towards the end. Not good.
I learned many things. One of which is: You can't save the world all by yourself.

I still believe, however, that if we stop trying altogether, the world will be lost.

I also learned that even though there is terrible want in our schools and in this world, my own kids should have come absolutely first. If I had it all to do over, I'd change. But not much.

Belle is a lot like me. Give, give, give, to the point of absurdity. But she's also got a streak of opinionated toughness in her that I never had, and would have been better off if I'd had it.

I also discovered, to my horror, that much of the world does not care about good motives. They care only about politics, and public opinion, and coincidences, and assumptions.

Don Quixote said it best: "Facts are the enemy of truth."

He was right.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:25 PM | |

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I am aware that I have a lot of odd music on my hard drive.

Tonight's mp3 mix:

1. William Shatner - Rocket Man
2. Van Morrison - Someone Like You
3. Tori Amos and Tool - Amazing Grace
4. Coven - One Tin Soldier
5. Ben Folds Five - Hava Nagila
6. The Bangles - Walk Like An Egyptian
7. Leonard Cohen - Dance Me To The End of Love
8. Maroon Five - Harder To Breathe
9. Radiohead - True Love Waits
10. Hayley Westenra - Pokerekare
11. Norah Jones and Eva Cassidy - Tennessee Waltz
12. Corey Taylor - Bother
13. Chocolate Genius - Julia
14. Mandy Patinkin - Anyone Can Whistle
15. Coolio - Gangster's Paradise
16. Animaniacs - I Am The Very Model Of A Cartoon Individual
17. The Electric Amish - Give Me Three Pigs
18. Foo Fighters - Live-In Skin
19. Dvorak's New World Symphony
20. Goo Goo Dolls - Iris

Yes, I have a lot of strange music on my hard drive.

Yes, I like it all.

The word is 'eclectic.' Or maybe, 'bizarre.'

I love it when bloggers put music on their blogs to share. I'd do it if I knew how.

I love it when bloggers recommend their own favorite songs to the blogiverse. If I like someone's blog, I often like their music.

It is seldom that this house is without music. I do not do well without it.

Everyone should go to Patriside's blog and sign up for MixMania. The more people who sign up, the more music we can all share!

There is a serious post mulling around inside my head but it's not ready to come out into the light yet. But it's mulling.

Why this sudden craving for cider? I'm not even that fond of cider.

I met my two Wednesday restaurant friends, Frau and the Menopausal Loan Officer, for supper tonight at the Chinese place. We had our usual great time. As Monty Python sings, "I like Chinese."

I think I'm just tired. Really, really tired.

Therefore, I shall crash early tonight.


Hear that? G'night.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:50 PM | |

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Because I said so. And because it will make you a better person.

1. If you haven't already, go on over to Patriside's blog and sign up for his incredible MixMania!

2. While you are there, read it all, because it's one of the great blogs. Dig down through his archives. I mean it; he's awesome.

3. Comment about how you think he should post a picture of himself doing his nekkid blogging thing. Call him on his threat.

4. Then go to Michele's blog and tell her how much you love her. She's got a troll, and even when we know we're right and they're wrong, it still hurts. She's much too precious to have to deal with a troll. Where is that smallest Billy Goat Gruff when you really need him?

5. Next, click on over to the esteemed blog of the three good doctors, and inform them of their impeccable taste in women, their intelligent and thought-provoking writing, and their innate natural coolness.

6. Why, you might ask, should you do these things? Why indeed. Didn't you read the title of this post?

7. Do any of you have a winning lottery ticket you can spare? Things are gettin' really sparsical around here.

8. Yes, I made up that word.

9. Why does my computer constantly black out, forcing me to use Hub's computer which is set up completely differently from mine, which makes it WRONG, all wrong, and yet I can't change anything because it's not mine.

10. Would one of you please fix me a sandwich and bring it to me? Some lemonade would be nice, too. If you spike it for me, I can claim innocence of the matter. Thankyouverymuch.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:09 PM | |

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Belle and Mamacita have breakfast with a Blog-Friend!

I'd never met a blogger friend before. Not in real life.

I'll never be able to say that again, though.

A blogger friend, someone on my blogroll, was going to be passing through here on his way up to Indy, and asked if we could make arrangements to meet.

Heck yeah.

Belle and I met Garrison Steele for a leisurely breakfast at the Uptown Cafe, and a stroll around the IU campus. He's an extremely nice person, and I'm looking forward to seeing all the pictures he took of the town I like so well.

We laughed a lot, and talked a lot. I hope he had as good a time as Belle and I did; as my daughter warned him, we're a lot more interesting online, than we are in person.

He, on the other hand, was just as interesting in person as he is on his blog.

Thank you, Garrison, for the lovely visit. And by the way, he was really, really cute.

Why was I too stupid to bring a camera? Well, he's promised to post some of his pictures when he gets his internet and computer together in his new home. Because, you know, we really did meet, honest, we did. He's got pictures.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:29 PM | |

Saturday, April 09, 2005

I'm going to get my house in order and I'm going to do it now, lest strangers come in and do it for me.

We've spent all day cleaning out my uncle's house. It isn't easy. His house is very small but it was packed full.

I felt guilty, prying into all of his things. My cousin and I packed up his UNDERWEAR, for crying out loud. We emptied his closets and all of his drawers. His privacy was totally invaded.

There are hundreds of big awesome-looking books about the military, esp. Viet Nam. There are hundreds of LP's. Hundreds of cd's. Hundreds of cassette tapes. (Mostly country, some Billboard-type sixties music.) We don't know what to do with them. I will probably try Ebay.

There were two big locked trunks in one room, and we had a hard time getting them open, to see what was inside and whether it was something to be saved, etc. We finally found a key that opened one of them; the other lock, we had to smash.

One was full to the brim of his old military things. Not just medals, papers, etc, but also letters, pictures of him and his fellow soldiers, in the barracks, in Saigon, in Tokyo, in places not labeled. There were pictures of pretty girls 'back home' with messages scrawled on the back that really embarassed my mother and my aunt. (Oh right, you young ones thought such things were modern, didn't you! Guess again.) Apparently, my uncle was writing to several girls 'back home,' none of which knew about the others. Item: we did not open and read any of his letters; letters are private. We only read the backs of the photographs. Tons of photographs.

I wish I knew the names of the other soldiers in the pictures; I would make copies and send them to their families. I wonder how many of them came home.

The other trunk was full of his old high school things: yearbooks, athletic letters, more pictures, ticket stubs, napkins from Proms and dances, tassels, and other typical high school things that a guy who went to school in the sixties might collect. Report cards.

Two trunks full of personal, private things that meant enough to my uncle that he locked them into their own trunks and kept them forever.

In the two trunks, there must have been at least two dozen pictures of pretty girls, with VERY personal messages on the backs; some made mention of, um, things that would be done when he came back. Others were just expressions of love and longing.

My uncle went to Viet Nam a high school hero; one of the most popular boys in his class; a letterman; a ladies' man; a walking definition of cool. Fonzie would have begged to hang out with him.

He returned from Viet Nam a drunk. He didn't marry any of the pretty girls whose pictures promised eternal love to him. He never married at all until he was nearly fifty, and that awful woman was a terrible mistake on his part. He was lonely.

Once the drinking was under control (if it ever really is for men who were in 'Nam) he straightened right up and became my mother's travel buddy, her repairman, her company in the evenings to watch tv with. He was, after all, her baby brother. They went on trips. He drove her car, and kept it in good repair. He took good care of her, and she took good care of him. They had a lot of fun.

Before he went to Viet Nam, he was a Golden Boy and could have had his pick of jobs in this town. After he came back, nobody would hire him for he was incapable of holding down a job. The contrast was terrible. I was just a child but I could see it.

For the past ten or so years, he was happy, helping Mom and feeling useful. He connected with the rest of the family again, and all of us were always happy to see him. He always brought the ice and the pop on Thanksgiving. He always gave us McDonald's coupons for Christmas. He was a tradition.

And now people are cleaning out his house, and looking at all of his things, and talking about them, and about him, and approving and disapproving as each 'find' is announced.

I hope he knew how much we all cared about him. I hope he knew how welcome he always was, at our homes. I hope he knew how grateful we all were to him, for all the things he did for us.

I really hope he knows. The thing is, you see, I don't think anybody ever actually TOLD him how special and important he was. He was big, and quiet, and a little scary-looking, and it wasn't easy to warm up to him. He loved to help people out, fix things, find things, go on trips with Mom. My brother's sons are still young and they are crazy about him. When Zappa was younger, so was he. Children don't judge; they accept and love.

We all loved him; but we weren't as accepting as the children were.

I hope he knows we are sorry. I hope he knows we all loved him very much.

We're cleaning out his house. It's been sold. We cleaned out his car and truck. They've been sold. His big riding mower has been sold. Most of his clothing was given to Goodwill. His treasures have been divided and scattered all over the state. We'll finish cleaning out the house by the end of next week. There's not much left in it.

Hub and a few of my other uncles were joking as they loaded tools into boxes. Hub said that if Larry regains consciousness, he's really going to be pissed at what we've done to his house and his cars. Everyone laughed.

That's the thing, you see. He's not dead. Not yet. He's in a semi-responsive state. He's been that way ever since the stroke, a month or so ago. He was moved from the Veteran's Hospital to a Veteran's Rehab Center just yesterday.

Feeding tube: check. Blood-clot stockings: check. Little tubes emerging from all over his head: check. Other tubes emerging from under his hospital gown so I don't really know their point of exit: check.

Eyes open: not really; they flicker sometimes. Voluntary movement: we're not sure. Machines and tubes and dials: check. Definite responses: eh.

Scary decisions to be made in the near future: check.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:58 PM | |

Meat loaf. Not that big singer, athough I like him, too.

I want you all to know that I make VERY GOOD meatloaf. I love it. My brother out west loves it.

Why doesn't anybody else like it? It's good, I'm telling you! But NOBODY likes it, except for my brother and me. And when I say 'nobody,' I also mean "nothing."

I like YOUR meatloaf. I've seldom encountered a meatloaf that was inedible. But can you imagine. . . . my own family hates my meatloaf. You should hear the whiny complaints. Jeepers.

In spite of all my claims that my meatloaf is delicious, however, they have proof that (sigh) perhaps it leaves something to be desired.

Darn that owl.

We live out in the country. We have wildlife. Besides us, I mean. This one time, in band camp. . . . um, I mean, one Thanksgiving morning, as we were getting ready to go to Mom's house, the kids came running into the house, all wide-eyed and excited.

"Mom, there's an OWL in the front yard. We think he's got an injured wing."

I looked out. There was an owl in the front yard. I had no idea that owls were that big. It was enormous, it really was. And it was definitely injured.

What do you do when you've got an enormous injured owl in your front yard? I had no idea. It wasn't exactly a 911 call. I mean, "Hello, I've got a limping owl in my yard?"

So I called Animal Control. They weren't in on Thanksgiving morning. I called the sheriff. I got a recording. I called the Forestry people. The one guy on duty couldn't leave to come and get the owl but he told me to keep away from it as owls can be pretty mean and might attack.

The kids were worried about the owl. It was injured, and unable to swoop down upon mice and snakes and devour them. They knew that owls eat meat, so they were looking in the refrigerator for some.

"Hey, let's throw Mom's leftover meat loaf out to the owl!"

"Yeah, owls eat mice and snakes and stuff, they might like Mom's meat loaf!"

So they did.

The owl limped up to it, sniffed, made a gesture that was definitely 'outraged disgust,' and limped away.

The owl hung around our house for about a week, and then disappeared. I don't think the Forestry guy was really interested. The owl especially liked to limp up to the side door of our van as the kids were getting ready to come out. It was creepy, it really was. That owl was enormous. Reminded me of R2D2, a little. Enormous, and fearless.

The lump of meat loaf sat in the yard for several days. The cat wouldn't eat it. The deer wouldn't eat it. Even the insects didn't swarm over it. Racoons, possums. . . . nothing would eat that meat loaf.

It kind of hurt my feelings.

I guess next time I should put a little more salt in it.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:47 AM | |

Friday, April 08, 2005

"Ick" and "ire" warning.

Still sneezing, still coughing, still shaky, still drowsy, still cranky. . . . .

And that little tag pasted to the side of my antibiotic bottle that warned me that my, um, urine and feces might be discolored? They weren't kidding.

Too much information, huh.

Well, it "brightened" my day.

There are some serious conversations over at SC&A's blog; you might want to jaunt on over there if you haven't already. There is nothing on the planet as important as our kids, and we really need to keep aware of what's going on in their world. Even when we don't like to admit that these things are happening.

Oftimes, those things that are the hardest to believe, are the very things that are really happening.

I wrote about our kids and sex over there. I'm going to rant about bullies here.

As parents, we sometimes hide behind the "not MY kid" philosophy. I'm sorry, but that one doesn't work all of the time. It IS your kid, and it's MY kid, and it's HER kid, and it's HIS kid. It's all of our kids. And even if your kid isn't actually (insert popular but inappropriate activity here), your kid is being exposed to other kids who ARE.

There has always been peer pressure. It's worse now than it's ever been. There have always been bullying, and name-calling, etc. In the old days, such vile little creeps were kicked out of school and sometimes even hauled down to the station and sent to "reform school." Now, bullies and harassers have "problems," and need "guidance and understanding," and should be "coddled" so their "anger issues" can be kept under control. Well, I suppose that's easier than telling the little shithead to control himself OR ELSE. And then making sure the "or else" is some kind of memorable deprivation.

I wonder why it is, that the parents of the worst and most dangerous kids, are almost always the ones who stand the tallest to fight for their 'rights?' Don't sweet well-behaved kids have any rights? Why are most of the rewards given to kids who terrorize and sneer? Two days of bringing a pencil to class should NOT be grounds for a limo ride. Where is the limo ride for the decent kids who brought pencils to class every single day because that's what decent kids are SUPPOSED to do? Positive reinforcement is one thing, and barking idiocy is quite another. Oh, it's for 'self-esteem?' Don't even get me started. Besides, I've already ranted about THAT one.

I have a real problem with bullies. I think a school's focus should be to refer them to some outside source for help, get them the hell OUT of the building so they can't hurt anyone else, and to concentrate on the feelings of the victims. Why do the bad kids get all the attention? It's not fair. A school should be a safe haven for all kids. Why has it turned into a safe haven mainly for rotten kids? When did school become the best place to bully and torment and tease? Why don't we put a firm and heavy foot down on these nasty little terrorists? Oh, right. Their parents. Sorry. I forgot there for a minute. Oh, and they have rights. More rights than nice kids have. "Anger management problems." Right.

Money talks, doesn't it. Loudness is heard over fairness. Excuses make more sense than doing what's right. It's too hard to be well-behaved; don't punish a kid for being a kid.

Guess what. Normal kids don't terrorize, beat up, taunt, attack, and blackmail other kids. Even games penalize for unnecessary roughness; why doesn't real life? Because schools are afraid of terrorist bullying parents, that's why. Or even weeping, whiny parents who 'don't know how to handle him" but who will take you before the board if you don't coddle him in every possible way. One irate parent's opinion is usually enough to cave in an entire school board. Above all things, they fear loss of money and adverse publicity.

Oh sure, I know that LIFE isn't fair. But shouldn't it be? And wouldn't it be, if we all worked harder to make it so?

I have to go to the bathroom. La, la, la, red and yellow and blue and green and purple and. . . .
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:10 AM | |

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Hit and run. Unless you are Colin Firth.

I believe that different buildings contain different germs.

For 26 years I taught in the same building with the same people and I was hardly ever sick. Not so much as a bad cold, most years. Even when they dug all those rotting bird carcasses out of my venting system, I didn't get sick. When I realized I'd been breathing deeply of air filtered through carrion for several years, I almost puked; but I didn't get sick. Seven periods a day, 30-35 kids per period, sneezing and coughing and blowing their noses straight into the wastebasket and wafting their germs in my general direction, and I hardly ever sneezed back.

When you factor into this equation the fact that I have almost no immune system left, it's incredible.

But. Now I am in a different building. This building is full of adults and adult students. They use kleenex to blow their noses and they cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough. The building is clean and beautiful and well-kept. All the outside vents are screened to keep out birds. Everything is bright and new and in excellent working order.

And I have one of the worst colds I've ever had. I am MISERABLE. I'm snarfing down long-term cold capsules like there's no tomorrow. I'm drinking NyQuil right out of the bottle. I've put a box of Kleenex in every room, because when I need it, there's no time to get up and run to the bathroom for a tissue. It's now or my sleeve. My eyes are watery and my nose has turned into one of those backyard fountains. You know, the kind that runs constantly and makes you have to go to the bathroom every thirty seconds when you try to sit out on your patio and listen to it.

I'm reminded of the time I put a sound machine in my classroom and turned it to 'tinkling brook.' We all had to pee, constantly, all day long. And no, it was not soothing. "Ocean waves" was just as bad. Run, run, run, all day long.

But I digress.

I'm sick, and I want orange juice, which we have. I want grape juice, which we have. I want a Hostess cupcake, which we have. What I don't have, is a butler to bring them to me. I want a butler who will wait on me and then go away and mind his own business. I want a butler, to wait on me and never hover and annoy me. I want a butler, who won't come into the room until he's summoned by way of a bell or buzzer. He will scratch my back and give me orange juice and scratch my back some more. And then he will get the hell out. And he will never ask me to scratch HIS back, because he's a butler, and they just don't ask. They serve.

The only difference between my dream butler and my husband, when I'm sick, is that back scratching thing. He's the best back scratcher in the world, but he thinks he's entitled to a back scratch in return. Can you imagine? What nerve.

So, I want a butler. A butler who will be just like my husband, but who will never expect a reciprocal back scratch. A hit and run butler, that's what I want.

I do have standards, though.

Sebastian Cabot can bring me orange juice but I don't want him touching my back. Alfred can bring me cupcakes and grape juice, but I don't want him touching my back, either. Batman might, but I don't. I don't want Jeeves touching me, either.

Colin Firth, though. . . .

Heck, Colin doesn't even have to bring me juice and cupcakes. Unless those are euphemisms, in which case, come on in, Colin; let's see the cupcakes and juice. . . . .
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:35 PM | |

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Look, everyone, all my money worries are over!




We are pleased to inform you, THAT AS A RESULT OF OUR RECENT LOTTERYDRAWS HELD on the 31ST March 2005.Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: 27511465896-6410 with Serialnumber 4204-777 drew lucky numbers 5-21-23-34-61-72 which consequently wonin the 1st category.

You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of 2,500,000 (EUROS)(Two MILLION, Five hundred thousand EUROS)

Note that All participants in this lottery program have been selectedrandomly through a computer ballot system drawn from over 200,000 companiesand 30,000,000 individual email addresses from all search engines and websites.

This promotional program takes place every year, and is promoted andsponsored by eminent personalities like the Sultan of Brunei, Bill Gates ofMicrosoft Inc and other corporate organizations.

This is to encourage theuse of the internet and computers worldwide.For security purposes and clarity, we advise that you keep your winninginformation confidential until your claims have been processed and yourmoney remitted to you.

This is part of our security protocol to avoiddouble claims and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants.

We look forward to your active participation in our next year USD50 millionslot.

You are requested to contact your claims clearance officer as named below,to assist you with the processing of your winnings and subsequentpayments.

All winnings must be claimed not later than one month after thedate of This notice.

Please note, in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications,remember to quote your reference number and batch number in allcorrespondence. Furthermore, should there be any change of address doinform our agent As soon as possible.

Congratulations once more and thank you for being part of our Promotionalprogram.


Sincerely yours,Mrs. Janet Freiburg,(LOTTERY COORDINATOR)CLAIMS AGENT:Mr. Tony WaleStandard Securities and Vault Services.mailto:Services.tony_wale1967b@yahoo.co.uk

STATEMENT OF CONFIDENTIALITY The information contained in this electronic message and any attachmentsmay contain confidential or privileged information intended for theexclusive use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient,please notify the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of theoriginal message and any attachments. In accordance with ElectronicCommunications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C.§§ 2510-2521.",0]
Congratulations once more and thank you for being part of our Promotionalprogram.NOTE: YOU ARE AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIED IF YOU ARE BELOW 21 YEARS OFAGE.Sincerely yours,Mrs. Janet Freiburg,(LOTTERY COORDINATOR)CLAIMS AGENT:Mr. Tony WaleStandard Securities and Vault Services.tony_wale1967b@yahoo.co.ukSTATEMENT OF CONFIDENTIALITYThe information contained in this electronic message and any attachmentsmay contain confidential or privileged information intended for theexclusive use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient,please notify the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of theoriginal message and any attachments. In accordance with ElectronicCommunications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C.§§ 2510-2521.


I'm so lucky. I know I'm the only recipient of this letter, because I'm the WINNER. Funny, I don't exactly remember entering but hey. Technicality. Soon I shall be rich.

Soon I shall be living a life of ease.

Soon all my bills shall be paid up.

Soon I shall owe no one.

Soon I shall have no overdue payments.

Soon I shall have no payments at all.

I will be rich.

I will be famous.

I will be thin.

I will be gorgeous and sought -after.

Monkeys might fly out of my butt.

Pigs will fly.

Lead will turn to gold.

No one will ever grow old.

I shall resign from my slot as a Jerry's Kid.

Did I mention the flying pigs?

What kind of people believe this scheiss? I swear, some folks need a keeper.

Actually, I could use a keeper. . . . . Do they do windows?

Sometimes I think that people who fall for that stuff deserve the consequences.

Sometimes I think that people who put out that stuff deserve to be dragged out into the streets and shot.

And then I remember that I once fell for a scam . . . . .And that sometimes people don't prey on the stupid as much as they prey on the trusting, and the helpful.

And then I feel like punching the wall and screaming.

And then I eat a bunch of cupcakes, and I feel better. Also, the sugar buzz makes me type fast.

And then I'm myself again, whoever THAT is.

Stupid spammers. Stupid scammers. Stupid suckers. Stupid f. . . . .

Whoops. Hey. It might rhyme, but I just don't use that kind of language on my blog.

Unless I'm really ticked off. Or unless it's a quote. Or unless I just feel like it. Or for any reason or rationalization I decide on.

Tonight, I decided against it.

Tomorrow, I might not. Who knows? Mamacita is an enigma, a mysterious and shadowy figure who wanders the night and looks into your windows and blogs about your oddities.

Oh wait, those were my windows, and my oddities. My bad.

I am the blogger mater. I am bigger than any two of you. I do as I please. Because I can.

Why is that? Because I am the blogger mater. And because I said so.

If that's all right with you.

Did I mention that I'm just a tad high on NyQuil right now? That's good stuff. All green and packing a punch.

Nyquil. The drug of choice for sleep-deprived moms everywhere.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:13 PM | |


. . . and what's with all these spams that are simply a string of odd unrelated words?

"giraffe alarm clock beads television monster gargoyle airplane donald duck spaceship remote control receiver static electricity calendar seashells mardi gras closet purse easy chair pudding"

What the heck is that?

I also got a couple of word strings that were WAYYYY more interesting than that one but I don't think I'd better post it here. Use your imagination. Yes. Those words.

And I again quote from the "Moonstruck" grandfather: "I'm conFUSED."
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:41 PM | |


I got a lot of spams today, but I only got four different messages. People with different names sent me identical emails.

Boyer McFadden, Fabrice Mendez III, Palazzo Royale Jones, Esperanza O'Sullivan, and Monsignour Louis Nanchez all sent me the exact same message about my mortgage. They've all been worried because I had not responded to their earlier message about my mortgage. I think they must know each other, because they all spelled it "mergage." And how sweet that they were so concerned about my "interst rats."

Tinsel Tooters, Hattie Halpern, Roderiguez, Orlando Mama, Big Whoppin' Dick, Madame Robespierre, and Thelma's Thighs all sent me the same email, too. I really do appreciate their concern, but I do not personally have a "p:n*is:):):).," therefore, I have no need of your "prudoct," excellent as I'm sure it is. And yes, I am aware that it comes in "variant culurs."

Mallie McFarland, Mallie McFarland Jr, Mallie McFarland IV, and "Mallie's Suggar Daddy" all sent me informative spams about Viagra. I think they might all be related; that name thing is way too much of a coincidence, don't you think? That, and the one email address.

And as for all of those invitations that said "Hi Vernon, you busy? I'm 18 and it's my birthday; want to join me in front of my webcam?" I hate to have to break the news to you, dearie, but I ain't Vernon, and I don't think they make webcams with a wide-angle lens.

However, since I forwarded everything to Mallie McFarland, I'm sure you'll get some takers.

Stupid spammers.

If I ever got one written in proper English I might even buy something. Hahaha, like THAT'S ever going to happen. Where do they GET these people?

And what's with all the symbols? Some trick I don't know about?

Bah. Stupid spammers.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:05 PM | |

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

"That pride which inevitably brings about one's downfall."

We had these friends who had just built a new house. This was WAY back, when we were really young and newly married and almost everybody we knew lived in a tiny apartment or a trailer or a small rented house. But these friends had just built a brand new house. They were more than just a little bit cocky about it, too. Can you spell "hubris?"

They had just moved in, had been living there only a few days, when they spotted the first sign that perhaps they were not alone in the house.

The empty snakeskin garlanded across the top of the door frame between the kitchen and the family room gave it away.

And it was about a week later that she opened the silverware drawer and discovered, coiled atop her new flatware, the owner of the discarded skin.

It was taken by surprise at the sudden opening of the drawer, and made a rude gesture her way, and she slammed the drawer so hard, the snake fell off the back and down into the bottom of the cabinet behind the drawers, where nobody could get to it.

For a little over a week, they could hear the snake furiously thrashing about back there, but they couldn't do a thing about it. Except sweat.

Eventually the noise stopped. And then, the stench began. Again, there was not a thing they could do about it, unless they tore out the whole cabinet system in their brand-new kitchen.

Eventually, the smell went away. Things were back to normal. If, by "normal," you mean living in a house with the skeleton of a snake back behind your silverware drawer.

She wanted it kept a secret. He wanted to brag about it. He said it was as cool as living in a haunted house. She said it was like having a graveyard behind the cabinets.

Eventually they sold the house. They did not tell the new owner about the skeleton behind the silverware drawer.

Depending on the personality of the new owner, they might have gotten a little more money out of the deal. Or not. Depending on the personality of the new owner.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:24 AM | |


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