Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of the wonderful people in the Blogosphere Neighborhood.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:23 AM | |

Pay No Attention To The Cranky Old Woman Typing This

I spent most of today at the biggest flea market I've ever gone to! We got there in the middle of the afternoon, so it didn't matter which direction to turn once inside. (Ordinarily, if something big is just starting, it's best to turn left, not right; most of the crowd will go right. I learned this at Disney World.)

Much of the day was spent trying to keep out of the way of morons people who brought their dogs to this extremely crowded place. I guess the "No Dogs Allowed" rule is negated if the dog is wearing clothes and swaddled in a baby blanket, or, even more idiotic riding in a stroller. What kind of person brings an animal to a place that's already packed solid with people? Dogs are fine in their place, but their place is NOT IN A PUBLIC PLACE THAT IS FULL OF PEOPLE.

How insensitively rude. My allergies are really kicking me tonight. Plus, I'm sorry for the poor dogs. I like dogs, but dogs are not people. Neither are they ugly furry babies to be dressed in expensive clothes and jewels. They are animals, and they deserve respect.

Dogs. In bonnets and baby clothes. Wrapped in blankets. Sitting in strollers. I guess at home, they have their own place at the dining room table. Hopefully, they have their own dishes.

Nothing says fun like walking behind a couple of blue-haired old women who are pushing a dog in a stroller and parking it in the middle of a crowded aisle while they check out the Pet Bling booth for jeweled tiaras and boas. For a dog. A dog who has to poop and does, right there in the aisle. A dog, in a stroller, dressed like a hooker: boa, crown, and little sequined jumper dress.

Poor dog. How unnatural.

Between trying to avoid the dogs, and all the fat people in immensely large wheelchairs (who walked just fine when they were in the food court) blocking entire aisles and backing the crowds up hundreds deep, it took a while to navigate the entire thing.

Please forgive my politically incorrect stance. I know that consideration for the majority isn't cool these days. After today, I don't have much consideration left for anybody. Maybe tomorrow I'll remember to be kinder.


There are times when I would be more comfortable in a wheelchair, (Jerry's Kid, remember?) but I would NEVER go to a crowded flea market or mall in one, and cause inconvenience to others. As for people who dress dogs like fairy princesses and bring them along wherever they go. . . .well, it would be funny if it wasn't for the smell and the rudeness of the owners. And maybe the looks on their faces, and their tones of voice when talking to and about their pweshus itty babies animal.

There were about a zillion small children who were in hell throughout the whole market, yet were dragged along by their parents who were determined to have a good time, by golly. Poor kids, what a horrible day for them. What were their parents THINKING?

They were thinking along the lines of, "I'm on vacation and I paid to come here and we're staying for the duration so shut up, kids, it's all about MEEEEEEEE."

Here, kid, have a hot dog and some ice cream and a snow cone and a gigantic purple-smelling sticky drink of some kind and eat it all while walking along so you can drool and drop stuff on the merchandise. Besides, the tables, chairs, and benches are all full of old men, waiting.

Jeepers, have we all lost our minds? There are places that are not appropriate for dogs and small children and anyone who blocks an entire aisle, not even leaving squeeze-space on either side. Or maybe I'm just overly tired and cranky.

Or, perhaps. . . . . both.

Don't forget "mean."
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:15 AM | |

Friday, December 29, 2006

Purple Petunias and Ham

My trees are still up and my lights are still twinkling. I'm not finished with the holiday yet.

Out in Colorado, dear friends are getting ready to be buried alive in more snow, and I don't think the UPS truck has even delivered their Christmas packages yet! I fully understand why they're late (nobody can control the weather, after all) but a full WEEK after the promised delivery date and still no show? Ridiculous. Plus, the one package that I know was delivered, was delivered to the wrong address! It's not looking good for you, UPS. (How could you deliver one and not all, when they were all mailed together? And why did it go to the wrong address? I want explanations. Please.)

Sigh. I hope, by Valentine's Day, these precious people will have their Christmas boxes. I should have used the Post Office, surliness and 'no promises' notwithstanding. The "promises" I got from UPS turned out to be worthless.

But, enough about that. Let's talk about ME.

I lost at euchre last night, but at least Joel and I didn't get SKUNKED on a round like some people, mentioning no names, of course, because that would be tacky.

Oh, and that huge free ham I scored from Marsh? It was delicious. Want some? Come on out; there's about five pounds of it left over.

We'll be eating ham fairly regularly for quite a while.

Dear Colorado friends: stock up on toilet paper and milk and Kraft cheese. Diapers. I wish your packages had come.

I wish it would snow here, but I don't think that's going to happen what with it being in the low sixties and all.

I still have one lone, lorn living petunia on the patio. At the end of DECEMBER.

It's purple.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:05 AM | |

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

"Touch not my life's faire wyffe, for she doth give dandye heade."

Everyone who works at our local CVS pharmacy's drive-through window knows us by name. I suppose this is better than being known by name at the McDonald's drive-through window, but since most of the teens working at McDonald's in this town were in my study hall in 8th grade. . . . oh well, fame's price. . . . .

Tonight, waiting in the pharmacy drive-through line, behind a huge red jacked-up pickup truck, its sub-woofers thumping away, we happened to notice that on the rear window behind the driver, was the following sentimental saying: "Trucks are like wives; if it's not yours, don't touch."

On the window behind the passenger was etched "My wife gives good head."

All together now: "Awwwwwwwwwwwwww. . . ."

And they say that rednecks don't do poetry and romance.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:47 PM | |

Monday, December 25, 2006

God Bless Us, Every One.

Merry Christmas.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:50 AM | |

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Fifi: A Love Story

She looks pretty good to be 29 years old and full of superglue, doesn't she.

A few years ago, I thought I would try something new, so I put a twinkly-lights-covered star on top of my tree. It was beautiful, but after a few days, I took it down and hung it from the bannister, down into the landing, and put Fifi back in her rightful place.

Beauty isn't enough. It never is.

Fifi is supposed to perch on the top of the tree by jamming the tiptop of the tree into the hole underneath her skirt, but I only tried once. It just didn't feel right to be doing that. I mean, look at that face; I just couldn't do that. Let's not go there, okay? Is that a siren I hear?

So now I tie her to the tree with fishing line. Why that makes me feel better, I'm not sure, because one is almost as pervy as the other, but even so.

We found Fifi at a Hallmark store that is no longer there, well after our first married Christmas, for less than half price, which, back then, was just a couple of bucks. I've since tried to find other Fifis on Ebay, because it's the only thing on our tree that my children actually want, but only an idiot would pay that much. Apparently, I've got a rarity. Who knew?

I've spent this afternoon mostly in the kitchen, baking. I'm not artistic, but I am colorful.

Come over, and stay a while. We've got lots of cookies and other goodies. Nobody leave my house hungry.

My children aren't here yet, but I expect them at any time. Once they are here, it will really be Christmas for me.

Dear internet friends, friends who are as dear to me as any friend I've actually seen, I hope all of you are happy tonight. I hope your families are together, and everyone is speaking, and that love is ever a part of all your lives, tonight and always.

And, if I may, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:37 PM | |

Friday, December 22, 2006

. . . how lovely are thy branches. . . .

I took this picture a few minutes ago, in a darkened room, no lights except the tree lights. And, I guess, the camera flash, because look how light it turned out!

Is that me, reflected in the window? Gad, I'm fat.

Fifi the Angel has graced our tree-top since Belle was born; we've had only one Christmas without either of them.

It takes me about three full afternoons to decorate our trees. That's "trees." Plural. That's right, there's another one in the dining room. I can't take a picture of that one right now because it would also show the dining room table all covered with rolls of gift wrap.

A closer look at my tree will show you how packed it is with the ornaments I have collected all my so-called 'adult' life. Okay, since 1973, I'm old, all RIGHT.

Both big trees are like this. Also, Hub's tree down in the family room, which he never takes down. Why? Because he likes it. Sigh. I seldom go in there.

There are several foot-high trees here and there around the house. I don't really count those as Christmas Trees, although 'some' people have called them so. Those are covered with miniature ornaments, much like the bigger ones on the actual Christmas Trees.

Surprisingly, or maybe not, neither of my children is especially interested in my beautiful Christmas ornaments; they prefer the vintage 'fifties' look for their trees: fragile glass ornaments and swags of ribbon and tinsel, etc. Oh well. I saw Belle's tree a few days ago and it is breathtakingly beautiful. She has really good taste in spite of me.

I love this time of year so very much. I hate that it is winding down. It goes so fast, so incredibly fast.

Wahhhhhh, hold me. . . .
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:56 PM | |

Hit Me Baby, One More Time

We just got back from doing a little last-minute shopping in Indianapolis, and all I have to say is, where were all the people? The big malls and stores were practically deserted! We stopped at the big outlet in Edinburgh on the way home and ditto.

It was still pouring down rain this morning when we started out, but in the middle of the day, the rain stopped, the sky turned robin's-egg-blue, and the sun came blazing out. The puddles were STEAMING!

Indiana weather is always bizarre but this December is really weird. It's been more like April.

Anyway. I finished up nicely and have a few more things to giftwrap (Yay, I love that!) and when those are put under the tree, I will be done.

The thing is, I don't like to be 'done.' The planning and list-making and giftwrapping and anticipation are what I love best The two weeks BEFORE Christmas are the best time, the BEST TIME, better than any day all the rest of the year. There's not much anticipation time left, and I am (yes, I know it's foolish) already starting to feel the letdown. It's not even happened yet, but it's so close, I'm already let down.

Please come over and smack me up the side of the head and remind me that it isn't over yet. Would someone do that for me, please? Thanks. I needed that.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:31 PM | |

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Can Quit Any Time.

Yahoo Messenger won't work for me tonight.  I've got messages on my cell phone but since I don't have service out here in the boondocks, I can't access them.  It's pouring down rain so I really don't want to go outside, get in the car, and drive to the end of the driveway by the road, so I can access my cell.  If YM doesn't start working soon, I may have to do that, though.  If anyone needs to talk to me, feel free to just call my home phone.  I'm home and I'm not going anywhere tonight.
Please, internets, come back in full force.
I'm not addicted to my computer, honest I'm not. . . .
 Dear Colorado and Washington friends, I hope you are all fully stocked with toilet paper, milk, bread, Kraft cheese, batteries, and cereal, although if you're low on food, you might not need quite so much TP.  May your supply of board games hold, in case your power goes out, or goes out again, as the case may be.  Round up all the flashlights in the house and put them where you can easily find them if the house goes suddenly dark.  Pick the Legos up from the floor; they hurt when they're stepped on with bare feet in the dark.  Keep warm, and hope that UPS truck is able to make its appointed rounds soon.
Come ON, Yahoo Messenger.  Why won't you let me sign in?  Please?  Pretty please?
All I can do is keep on trying.  But I'm NOT addicted.  I really NEED to access it.
By the way, if any one of you can solve the mystery of why none of the cell phones I've ever had, with any company, will work in this house whereas everybody else's phones work fine, I'd love to know, because it beats the heck out of me.
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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:14 PM | |

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Lights Are On and Somebody's Home

I just got home a little bit ago. I'd tell you where I was but you'd laugh at me.

Oh, okay, I'll give you a hint: Wednesday night is "All-You-Can-Eat" night at Grecco's Pizza. (made to order for your individual table!) It's getting colder outside (only to be expected; it couldn't stay in the sixties in December, it just couldn't!) and it's raining lightly, and I had to wear a coat for the first time in weeks, and it was dark and gloomy and it was really, really nice to sit down in the tiny slice-of-pie-shaped restaurant amidst the hordes of starving greedy cheapskates like me. There's something about cold dark weather that makes me crave Grecco's pizza. Meeting good friends there made the evening even better, and there is no pizza on this earth that is as good as Grecco's, especially since some moron at Noble Roman's headquarters decided to change the recipe for their formerly delicious pizza sauce.

As we were driving home, we noticed several Public Service, or whatever their name is now, trucks along the road, blinking away. Bad sign. As we got closer to our house, we noticed that all the houses were dark, very dark. Another bad sign.

As we pulled into our driveway, we noticed that our house was dark, too. We wondered how we were going to get into the house, since the garage door wouldn't be working. We searched our pockets and purses for a house key. We found one.

As I was standing in front of the door, key in hand, the lights came back on. I heard Hub laugh, and then I heard the garage door open. By the time I found the keyhole with the key, he was in the house and up the stairs.

I guess I should reset all the clocks in the house before I go to bed tonight. And the microwave oven. And turn off my stereo receiver that always mysteriously turns on when the lights come back on after a blackout. Then again, I'm on vacation so who cares what time it is? Hub has to go to school to give final exams tomorrow, but we keep a battery-powered alarm clock for just such emergencies.

Oh, I'll set them all. I hate things blinking at me in the house.

I got my grades posted online with a couple of hours to spare (never say I put things off) and boy, are some of my students going to be upset. They shouldn't be surprised, but they'll be upset anyway. And whatta you bet some of them will be surprised anyway, even the ones who haven't come to class for a month or more, and didn't show for the final last week, either. Sigh.

Do these people really think I didn't notice that they haven't been in class for weeks at a time? Do they really think all those quizzes and essays they didn't take or write won't 'count' on their final grade? Do they really believe that a zero has no mathematical effect?

I'd like to have a nickel for every student who's said something to me along the lines of "How's come I failed your class? I got a 74% on the mid-term!!! Look at this homework; I got an 87% on it! How could I have flunked?" And the sad thing is, some of them honestly don't know why they failed. I mean, if you average 74% and 87%, you get a pretty good grade. And when I try to show them that yes, those two grades are passing, but there were forty-seven grades taken in all, and two good grades plus 45 zeroes divided by 47 comes out pretty disgracefully low, they still don't understand sometimes. Sicker Sadder still, often their parents don't understand, either. Fortunately, at this level, I don't have to deal with their parents. I had enough of that in the public schools, thankyouverymuch.

My shirt still smells like Grecco's. My grades are posted. The lights are on and somebody's home.

Oh, and I got a free 8-lb. ham at Marsh. I interpret that as an omen that we need to have another party, and soon, too.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:19 PM | |

Prepositions are more important than we might think

I am a very insecure person; I was insecure when I was raising my children, and I am possibly even more insecure now. When the children were small, I tried really hard to do everything right, but since I am a quirky and out-of-the-box person, as well as a bundle of insecurities, I made an awful lot of mistakes.

However. . . .

There is something about visiting my adult daughter at Christmas time, and seeing her beautiful glowing tree in the corner of her living room, and looking around and noticing little holiday touches here and there, that makes me feel as if maybe I did something right, after all.

I always worked very hard to try and make the Christmas holidays special FOR my children, and now it seems that the Christmas holidays are special TO my children.


Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:06 AM | |

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I hate you and your ASS FACE

I stopped to get some gas yesterday. I generally wait until I have to coast up to the pump on fumes, because A. I never have any money and B. I don't pay attention until the fuel light comes on and scares me to death.

I stopped for two reasons. The 'low fuel' light came on and I nearly jumped out of my skin, and as I coasted by the filling station, I saw that gas was a mere $2.06. (I remember when gas was a mere .29 but we won't go there.) All I had was a ten so that's how much I got. WHILE I WAS STANDING IN LINE TO PAY, the guy who changes the price on the sign came in, and we all heard him say to the clerk, "Let me know when the lot is clear so I can change the price."

Some people ran out and filled their tanks right then. I would have, but all I had was a ten.

Then we all heard the price- gouging changer-guy tell the clerk that it was a shame about all the drive-aways because that was one reason the prices were going up.

I know that people who drive-away at a gas station are far too stupid to be bloggers, but if any of you have a wuthless bum neighbor or relative who might do such a thing, please tell him or her that everybody in the universe despises them. Use small words so that kind of person will be sure to understand.

Thanks a lot, bums. $2.06 when I went in, $2.18 when I came out. And it's partly YOUR FAULT, and I hate you and your ASS FACE.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:20 PM | |

Monday, December 18, 2006

Rotting leather and semi-nudity *

This is my red sleepshirt, but this is not me. Add about a hundred pounds to this woman, and try not to picture her in this same sleepshirt, because that would be pretty much what I look like in it. Your sensibilities would never be the same again, believe me. Ick.

Yesterday, I got busted. Around noon, the doorbell rang, and I had to answer it wearing this sleepshirt. It was the young woman who lives next door, bringing me a Christmas card. I had a package all ready for her, but I couldn't go get it because then she'd see far too much of me, in this same nightie. I think too highly of her to subject her to a sight like that.

This morning, I got up, showered, and got dressed in actual clothes. I walked over to the neighbor's house and hung the bag containing their Christmas gifts on the doorknob, and slunk back home. Then I got in the car and drove to the UPS office, and finally mailed all those packages that had been in the back of my car for an inexcusable number of days. The Post Office could not promise delivery this week, but UPS gave me its solemn word that they would all be delivered Thursday or before. I opted for UPS. Sorry, Uncle Sam.

By the way, that picture really is my red nightshirt. I got it at Tar-jhay, and it's soft and comfy and it came packaged with a twin of a different color, which factual possibility was explained in great chalky detail by my freshman biology teacher, and that is the only biological thing I learned that whole year because he was the football coach and we spent most of each period down on the field while he yelled at the janitors about marking the grass and important things like that.

I recommend the nightshirts highly. They were inexpensive, and I really like them. My old red nightie is so old and horrible, it makes me kind of cringe whenever I take it out of the dryer and find even more holes and worn places that will soon be holes. It's still my favorite nightshirt, though.

I tend to wear nighties until they pretty much fall apart, just as I tend to carry a purse until it rots off my arm. Too much information, wasn't it. . . .

I'm on vacation and if I don't want to wear real clothes, I just won't, so there.

*Go nuts, Google.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:09 PM | |

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Eve Sarajevo


Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:01 PM | |

Anticipation, anticipation, is makin' me late. . . .

My last internet-ordered gift arrived in today's mail, so for all practical purposes, I'm done. With shopping, I mean. I still have a pile of boxes in the back of the car that need to be mailed, but if they're a little bit late, I figure there are people who will have some more Christmas joy a day or so after everybody else's gift-opening is over with. That's how I'm rationalizing away my inability to haul my lazy behemoth-sized behind to the post office, anyway. I know there are people who are anxious to get some of these boxes, so I apologize profusely. The boxes will eventually arrive, I promise.

Does anybody else out there love to sit in the darkened room and just look at the twinkling tree? It's as if some kind of magic was nesting there in front of the big living room window, for us in the house to see and for anybody driving along the road to share. I can't wait for my kids to come home! I don't think they can get away from their jobs until Christmas Eve, but it will be so good to have them here that night, to wait for Santa Claus (yes, we are a thoroughly believing household!!) and to once again watch them opening their gifts on Christmas morning, turning just for a few minutes back into the little giggling children they used to be.

I think one of the biggest 'transitions' of our lives is that first Christmas morning when your kids don't wake up at the crack of dawn, desperate to run into the room to see their presents. It's a real shocker, that first Christmas morning when you find out that your kids would really rather sleep in 'till ten or so, and open things up then. I'm all for sleeping in, myself, but on Christmas morning? I'll never get used to it.

I threw all the dirty laundry down the front stairs and now it's going to be really hard getting over them to the laundry room. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

And now, since it's almost four in the afternoon and I'm still bumming around in this ratty red gown, perhaps I'd better put something on before someone rings the doorbell and gets a nasty shock.

One more week, dear ones. And it's my favorite week of the year; it's still all ahead of us, and the anticipation is better than the actual day.

Merry Anticipatory Week, everyone.
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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:56 PM | |

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Dirties Eat Out

My Cousin C and I went to the city today, where we did a little shopping, hung out in a doctor's office, did a little more shopping, and finally had to take a little rest in a Chick-Fil-A while our enthusiasm caught up with our age.

In the booth next to us, a woman and two little girls ate politely, conversed quietly, cleaned up their clutter, and left.

In the booth next to them, a woman and two little kids-of-unknown-sexes ate loudly, conversed hysterically, and left. Notice please that I left out 'cleaned up their clutter,' because they did NOT clean up after themselves.

That woman left the booth a disgusting mess. Oh, she gathered up the easy stuff, the paper mess, but she left the real mess all over the table and seats: played-with food all over the tabletop, mashed unidentifiable ick all over the seats, and an aura of UNCLEAN in their wake. Person after person came up to the empty booth, but recoiled when they saw the filth this woman left behind. The restaurant was so busy, it was a while before someone was able to devote that much time to cleaning up after The Dirties.

Sometimes, I agree with Bill Engvall. THOSE people need to wear a sign.

I used to take my two toddlers out to eat on occasion. Yes, tiny children often make messes, and yes, it is often hectic to deal with them, and yes, it can make a person frantic. Are any of these things legit enough to justify creating a mess in a public place and walking away from it? No, they are not. What kind of person would do that?

I wonder what this woman's house looks like? Never mind, I think I know.

Sometimes, a mess is inevitable. Not cleaning it up is inexcusable. And if the server tells you not to worry, tip him. Big. But to trash the place and slink out, leaving it all behind you? Nice people just don't do that.

Sure, someone is paid to clean up the place, but they are not paid enough; at least, they shouldn't be expected to have to clean up someone's disgusting children's disgusting aftermath.

People with no table manners should eat at home.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:47 PM | |

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Metallic Class

The new Carnival of Education is up now, over at the Education Wonks. Click over and find out what's going on in the world of education. We owe it to our children to keep current. Those who don't, can't complain.

The semester is over for me, and I don't go back until after Christmas. I can relax and enjoy the Christmas lights, and I can do some of the planning I just didn't have a chance to do, before. Our budget is nonexistent, so there's very little shopping in store, but I am going to do some Amazon-surfing and maybe some Ebay-window-shopping.

I do have to put the grades into the computer and configure the final averages. The program we use will allow me to enter all the grades as percentages, and the spreadsheet thing lists them all as percentages, but the program won't average them. It just gives me total points, so I have to divide the big number into the small number for each student. I'm sure Blackboard has a button to push that would do this for me but so far I haven't found it, and I'm afraid my numbers will all disappear if I explore the options too thoroughly. Don't laugh at me; it's happened before. Schools purchase software, just as they purchase everything else, according to the lowest bidder, and we get what we pay for.

Today's test that I was so in a wad about last night? It went off without a hitch. I ended up with an essay test (the kind that really separates those who know from those who had planned to wing it) and the last two students were finished within two hours. One student finished in less than a half hour and she still did well. Good student. Speed isn't always an indicator, but this time it was. I had another student who finished in about forty minutes and DIDN'T do so well. Life is full of choices.

My favorite question was #12: What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Explain.

I got some really good stuff for that one. Great stuff.

I was going to relax, have a sandwich, and watch Going My Way, but Best In Show was on top of the stack and as I looked at the films I was seized with a desperate need for a Christopher Guest ensemble fix. Geniuses. Absolute geniuses, every one of them. Not living next door to them, and not being their best no-talent friend who gets to hang out with them anyway, is killing me sometimes. I suffer from Guffman Envy.

This time of year, I am completely obsessed with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Their Christmas music is so good, so differently good. . . . well, there are no words. Check out these videos. Oh, and don't forget this one. Such style. Such quirky, whimsical style. Such classy, different arrangements. I love it.

Then, my beautiful Belle gave me Il Divo and Diana Krall, so I gave her the book I was going to give her for Christmas after I read it myself, but now she gets to read it first.

Ah, Christmas. Everybody's house is beautiful with a glowing Christmas tree in it. Driving down our country road is like watching a widely-spaced Norman Rockwell infomercial. Which would be somewhat creepy, admit it.

Does the husband of one's niece have any kind of specific geneaological title? Enquiring minds want to know. Enquiring minds also want to know what the big hairy deal is with all these people supposedly obsessed with Brangelina and K-fed and all these other celebrity couplings who will, apparently, do anything for PR, including breed. Who cares? I mean, ultimately, who cares?

There is no candy in this house. We're both diabetic, but even so.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:03 PM | |

Make me. Please?

It's almost 2:00 in the morning and I'm still up doing little thises and thats and I haven't even BEGUN to finish reading that book so I can write that final exam so my students can take it tomorrow afternoon.

I had sort of hoped to find a test on the internet. But after frantically entering every keyword I could think of, I got nothing.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day. That's because it's already started. I am not going to bed tonight. Again.

It's a really good book. I've read the first four chapters, and I loved it. Why can't I get motivated tonight? Tomorrow is the last day of school for the semester, for crying out loud. I get to sleep in on Thursday morning!

Okay, as soon as I finish this post, I'm going in there and start. As soon as I finish this post, and maybe play a few rounds of Bookworm.

Would someone please come to my house and make me get up and go in there and get to work?

Also, I love to see my Christmas lights from the road. I really should turn off my computer, because it's thundering like crazy out there. I guess the weather doesn't know it's December.

This is ridiculous. I'm out of here.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:46 AM | |

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Colin and Hugh Appear In My Diary, Too

I'm feeling it now. The Christmas spirit, that is. I'm feeling it.

I watched White Christmas tonight on my new $25 dvd player, and it was, as always, beautiful. I've got all my Christmas movies on the top shelf; tomorrow night, I'm going to watch Going My Way.

I will probably watch Love Actually every other night. It's been my favorite movie for several years now. I watch it all year long but I feel justified during December.

When it was still in the theater, Mom and her Red Hat friends went to see it. That night, my phone rang.

Mom: Jane! You are NOT to go and see that movie.
Me: Mom? What are you talking about?
Mom: The girls and I went to see that new movie with Hugh Grant and it was PORNOGRAPHIC, that's all I can say about it, it was PORNOGRAPHIC.
Me: Hugh Grant was in a pornographic movie? I thought he saved that stuff for his personal life.
Mom: What?
Me: Nothing, Mom. Why do you say it was pornographic? What's pornographic about it?
Mom: I'm not going to go into details. I'm just telling you that it's pornographic and you are not to go see it.
Me: Okay, Mom, I won't.

And I didn't. We have no budget for the theater now.

But I bought it on dvd, used, from Amazon, as soon as it came out. I understand why an older person might call it pornographic, but heck, her warning just made me want to see it all the more.

I've been that way since I was a little kid. The best way to get me to want to do something was to forbid it.

To me, though, it's not porn. Well, maybe that one part. But most of it is just one incredible story after another. Besides, how could a movie with Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, AND Alan Rickman be totally bad?

Mmmm, Snape. Snape and Professor Trelawney, together at last. Colin. Mmm, Colin.

However, I am probably the only person on earth who absolutely hated Hugh and Colin in those incredibly boring and senseless Bridget Jones movies. Blech, she was sooooooo stupid.

Hugh Grant really plays the same character in all of his movies (himself) but much of the time it works. With Bridget, it didn't. But then, nothing did, in my opinion.

Christmas movies. And I have been wrapping presents! And packing boxes to take to the post office! Yay!

I'm worse than a child. I love this time of year.

I also have to write one more final tonight, to give tomorrow at 2:00, so I really should be starting that, or at least reading the rest of the book so I'll know what kind of questions to ask, but I'd rather do this, and then I'd rather wrap some more, and then I might watch Going My Way before I go to bed, if I go to bed. Maybe I'll watch it while I'm writing the final.

Or maybe I'll just crank my Christmas music up and groove on that while I'm working.

Yes, that sounds like a plan.

HEY. Get on over to Patriside's blog and sign up for the incredible New Year's Mixmania!

And then go HERE and nominate your favorite not-famous blogs for a BOB award!

Then kick back and watch a Christmas movie, or listen to some tunes.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:14 PM | |

Monday, December 11, 2006

Best of Blogs 2006!

It's that time again, bloggers.  It's time to look over your blogrolls and pick out some blogs that you personally believe are superior, but that most people might not know about.
In other words, it's time for the BOB'S!!  The Best of Blog Awards 2006!
Please, everyone click over to the BOB'S and nominate all those wonderful blogs that everybody would love, if only we knew about them.  YOU know about them, so please share with us all.
This is not a popularity contest.  Don't nominate Dooce or Wil Wheaton or any blog that's already well-known.  Did everyone read that carefully?  NO BLOGS THAT ARE ALREADY WELL KNOWN!!!
The main purpose of the BOB'S is to give some great bloggers some exposure that they might not have gotten otherwise.  We all have people in our blogrolls who are fantastic writers and put out a wonderful blog regularly, but nobody seems to know about them except us.  Well, those are exactly what we're looking for!  Nominate those really, really good blogs and then sit back and watch their hits soar.
Now, listen carefully, because I mean business here.  If you are a person who finds fault with pretty much everything, back off right now.  If your best friend didn't win anything last year, and you're still mad about it, get a life.  There are some pretty nasty people out there, and several of them ended up on last year's BOB comments, whining and griping and complaining and making accusations and pretty much making the people who worked really hard putting this together so the 'little people' can get some recognition, feel like two cents.  If you are one of those people, shame on you, and if you are still fuming over not getting your own way last year, volunteer to help this year or shut the hell up!  Sheesh, few things are more disgusting than a person who miraculously finds the time to complain and taunt and deliberately hurt somebody's feelings, yet won't put in any time to help make something better or give a guy a helping hand.  Those people who can't stop complaining about their favorite big-name blogger not being eligible, please read the instructions carefully.  It's not a popularity contest!  It's a way of getting some great blogs that nobody knows about, into the public eye.
If you don't like the way the BOB'S operate, don't hang out on the website.  It's not rocket science.
Genuine puts more effort into this 'small-blogger recognition' thing than any of you could ever possibly realize.  He deserves praise and help, not condemnation.  Shylah works harder than many of you ever will, helping to put the BOB'S together.  I don't want to read or hear about anybody putting them down, or making fun, or taunting, or calling names, or any other mean childish stunt that might show the world what a creep the name-caller is, but might also hurt Jim and Shylah.
There might be glitches.  We don't know yet.  But if there are, for heaven's sake, don't get all in a wad over it.  You nice people wouldn't BELIEVE some of the things the creeps said last year, and, yes, the year before, and the year before, too.  Some people just don't have it in them to be understanding, I guess.
Speaking of help, if you're interested in helping some small-time bloggers get some attention, click over to the BOB site and volunteer.
Did I mention that the winners this year will get prizes that are FANTASTIC!  I can't divulge any information yet but holy SCHEISSE, you'll all be blown away when you find out.  Jeebers.
The prizes are so cool, I get chills when I think of them.
Heh.  Cool.  Chills.  I'm good.
So come on, everybody.  Play.  Nominate someone who has a great blog but who is relatively unknown.  There are some pretty big blogs out there right now that got their start with these very same BOB awards.  The next one could be yours, or your friend's. 
Remember now, don't nominate a blog that's already well-known.  This whole thing is intended to give some readership to blogs that are not already big.
Some of them will BE big before this is over, but right at first?  This is for us little people.
Thankyouverymuch.  Let the nominations begin.
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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:19 PM | |

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Luck of the Draw

Some people are very, shall we say, "unlucky," in the grab-bag of in-laws. People talk about how awful their mother-in-law, or father-in-law, or siblings-in-law are, and they wonder how the person they married could possibly have turned out normal, raised in that house with that crew, and from that gene pool.

I have been lucky. I have been far luckier than I deserved.

My mother-in-law is a lovely, kind person who welcomed me with open arms and who loved me in spite of myself. She would not have chosen me, I'm sure, but once the deed was done, nobody would ever have known. She has shown me nothing but kindness since the day I first met her.

My children are her only grandchildren, and as a grandmother she has shown herself to be even more wonderful than anyone could have dreamed a grandmother to be. She loves her grandchildren unconditionally, absolutely unconditionally.

When we needed her, she was there. She has always been there. Good times, bad times, hard times, heartbreaking times. . . she was there, and she was on our side.

She's a writer. In fact, she's a newspaper reporter, and she's a darn good one. Sometimes I think she's the only one in that whole building who knows how to spell. Her column is probably the most popular thing in the entire paper. She gets letters from all over the world, praising her writing. And, like most people who are very good at their jobs, she's unappreciated and overworked and in spite of those things, she still produces a column that's first-rate, and she's never once raised her voice to anyone in that building. One of these days I'd like to, but that's neither here nor there.

She's generous, and forgiving, and warmhearted. She's musical from the top of her head down to her toes, and beautiful melodies flow from her fingertips. For almost thirty years, I have loved to sit in her living room and listen to her play.

She's a tiny little woman, barely five feet tall, and her only son is nearly seven feet tall. When they are walking together, it's almost comical. She has a granddaughter and a niece who look very much like her, or rather, like she looked when she was their age. Her niece is so like her that people assume they are mother and daughter; they are both very short and smiling, both very loving women and it shows on their faces. Her granddaughter, my beautiful Belle, looks a lot like her, too, only Belle is tall, far taller than I am. Zappa doesn't look anything like his grandmother but he has been crazy about her from the day he was born, and vice versa.

My MIL's life has not been an easy one. I have always hoped that some day she would write a book about her life, but so far, there isn't one forthcoming. I will still hope, though, because her life has been far too interesting to not share with the world.

I love my mother-in-law, and I hope she knows it. I am not a touchie-feelie person (no comments about my college years, please) and she has always respected that. I have always known, from day one, that if ever I needed her for anything, anything at all, I had only to ask. Sometimes, she was there for me before I had a chance to ask. She just knew.

She has played the organ at the weddings of most of the people in this county.

In this little town, everybody knows her, at least by name and reputation. Both are solid gold.

I love her. What I mean to say is, I absolutely and positively love her.

Ain't no 'bad MIL' stories comin' from this corner.

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

I Smell Something. Oh Yes, WalMart.

At one point this weekend, I felt the pangs of withdrawal symptoms. Being away from my computer, any computer, for very long makes me crazy.

However, I had a wonderful time with my dad's family all here Friday night, and with my sisters and our mother in Indy the rest of the weekend, and as I type this I'm exhausted and my kids are here and they both have migraines and I wasn't home five minutes before I found myself standing at the stove making grilled cheese and my daughter had a flat tire and as I type she's at WalMart (bleh) getting it fixed after waiting THREE HOURS for the automotive people to get around to her and she's still got a migraine and we're all more than a little sad that Big O Tires is closed on Sundays because that's where we buy all our tires and they fix them for free. If they're open.

But it's Sunday night and they're not open and WalMart is, and that's probably how WalMart gets a lot of its business. Pay attention, Big O Tires and everyone else.

Big O Tires is the best place in the world to get tires. We have always been treated well there, and Big O has one of the best replacement/repair policies EVER. But, they're not open on Sunday night and WalMart is. Sigh. I don't want my daughter to drive back home on that little doughnut thing.

Tomorrow, I'm going to tell you all about this year's BOB awards. On second thought, I might just make another post about them tonight before I get back to all those essays and quizzes I left ungraded, choosing to party and hang out with my sistahs instead. Oh, imagine.

Zappa is beside me at Hub's computer, being tutored (don't tell the cat; it reminds him of an unpleasant experience at the Vet's. . .) in physics for his final this week. Poor Belle is still at WalMart. Both of my babies are shaky with migraines. Hub's got papers to grade but he's helping Zappa instead. I'm taking a little break and a break, of course, means I get to do this.

Mom raised her kids with better manners than to diss a business in public, but if I didn't have so much class I would have to say, "WalMart, where do you get off making my daughter hang around for over three hours after you told her on the phone that sure, you could get her right in?" Oh, Big O Tires, if only you had Sunday hours, that you might help a damsel is distress with the warranty that is still good on all four of her tires, if you were open. But you aren't, and that's why she resorted to elbowing her way through the crazed hordes of WalMart shoppers, wending her way to the automotive department, only to be met with a reneged promise and an invitation to 'take a seat,' which is always a scary suggestion.

Did I mention that she's been there for over three hours?

Back to work. But I'll be baaaack. The BOBS are a-calling me, and I do love me those BOB's.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:27 PM | |

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dressing. Stuffing. Dressing.

The new Carnival of Education is up, and everyone needs to click on over there to catch up on the news. Remember, our children deserve only the best, and if we don't keep up, how will we know what the best is?

It occurred to me suddenly that since I'm baking a turkey for the Biggest Family Reunion in the History of the Universe tomorrow night, maybe I ought to make some stuffing dressing to go with it.

It's not 'stuffing' unless it's stuffed inside the turkey. I don't do that. I cut up several onions to put inside the bird and I bake dressing in a separate pan.

When I bake dressing.

The problem tonight was that I hadn't planned to make dressing because I forgot about the dressing so I had to scrounge for the ingredients for dressing.

We had a lot of bread, and in this house, it's usually stale. Check.

We had a lot of onions, because Hub loves onions and I hate onions so I buy a lot at a time for him and they last a while because I won't eat them. I found a can of chicken broth so I used it. Nobody will know it's not turkey, right?

There won't be any celery in the dressing for two reasons: 1. I don't have any, and 2. I hate it. It's too much like snot held together with string.

There was sage in the pantry because I think I might have made dressing four or five years ago at Thanksgiving, but ever since that memorable day, my mom has made it at her house and brought it over. Hmm, omen? I hope sage doesn't age. That would not be good.

Poem. Heh. Oh, even when I'm harried and everything in the house is falling apart or breaking and every knob I pull on in the kitchen falls off in my hand and of course the drawer that fell out is the junk drawer and I balanced it on a chair and the weight knocked the chair over and the junk was ALL OVER THE FLOOR and I'm still stepping on little tiny screws and twist-ties and when I was gathering all the stuff up I realized the hard way that there was a razor blade in there, who knew, and when the drawer hit the floor it broke apart and the hole in the cabinet where the drawer is supposed to be reveals all my mismatched and hideous fake Tupperware that I store underneath; ten thousand lids and forty thousand containers and nary a match among them. . . I can still write classical poetry.

Sage. Age. Would. Good. Drawer. Floor.

It's in the oven now and it does smell good. Cross your fingers.

I'll get up early and put the turkey in the oven. I enjoy baking a turkey, and when you're feeding a big crowd, a turkey is the cheap and easy way to go an elegant and impressive thing to display. Very Rockwell-ian.

Next week is finals week and after that I'm going to sleep for a thousand years. Prince Charming, be ready.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:07 PM | |

I Hate Unions

Let's get controversial. After all, it's almost Christmas.

I'll start.

I belonged to the teacher's union for over twenty years and guess what, I wish I'd just flushed the money down the toilet instead of letting 'them' have any of it At least then, I'd have had the fun of watching it swirl. As it was, I got nothing.

What a monumental waste. I begrudge and resent every dime they ever coerced from me.

Union rep: worthless.
Union dues: ridiculously high and very little of it went to anything local.
Union representation: it never represented me in any way. I'm embarrassed to admit that I belonged.
Union backing: nonexistent
Union benefits: what are those?
Union loyalty: say what? Mostly, it backed administration.

I bought a lot of carpet and wall-art for headquarters. I resent that, too.

Sometimes I think back and wonder if I'm being too hard on the union here. Then I remember all those thousands of dollars they got from me over the years, and I think of how I got nothing whatsover back from them, and there is that part of me that hopes those overpaid NEA people get their expensive and fairly new cars keyed on a regular basis.

Oh well. What goes around, comes around. It was years ago, now.

In the meantime, take this advice from someone who found out the hard way: Teachers, don't put much faith in your union. When push comes to shove, it will just push and shove you back.

If I were you, I wouldn't even join. I wish I never had. Waste, waste, waste.

Please, don't anyone start in on me about contracts or insurance or anything like that. School districts would do better to negotiate amongst themselves. The NEA is nothing but a racket. A successful, money-making racket.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:14 PM | |

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Home Alone

I had never lost a key in my life. Never "laid them down somewhere" or "left them somewhere" or "forgot to pick them up." I always knew where my keys were at all times because I am a person who, if I don't have special spots for certain items, I'll never find them. Keys, eyeglasses, purse. . . I always know where they are.

Well, there was that one time I put my purse on top of the car and remembered it ten miles from the house. Thank goodness for honest people who find purses on the side of the road and look inside for a phone number and call it and don't laugh until you're well gone and can't hear. But that was a long time ago. I've been years without losing keys. Years.

I am no spring chicken, so that's a long time without losing keys.

Therefore, I suppose it was a matter of time.

My keys disappeared last summer and I still haven't found them. Somewhere, someone has access to my house, my car, my mailbox, my Marsh discounts, and my prescriptions. Not to mention that he/she can lock and unlock my car from across a crowded room.

The thing is, those keys have to be in this house somewhere. I got home, didn't I?

Therefore, theoretically, the keys are not lost. They are just playful, and hiding.

Whatever, today I gave up, and used my sweet MIL's Christmas gift to buy a new set. I can now press a button and figure out which of those ten thousand maroon vehicles is mine open my car's doors from across the lot without having to set down my bag of groceries to fumble in my pocket for the loose spare key.

You know what this means, of course. In a day or two, the original set of keys will show up. That will be good, because we can always use a spare set. I only wish the remote came with a buzzer. Remember those 'clapper' commercials? Yeah, like that.

A sugar-free ice cream bar is calling my name. I must answer lest it be heard and devoured by someone other than me. Oh wait, I'm home alone.

Oh yeah.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:23 PM | |

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Wouldn't you know.  Friday night is the huge family reunion here and that stray slutty momcat Hester got locked in the garage, went berserk, knocked over everything in her path, and laid down the smelliest poop ever, only it must be invisible because we CAN'T FIND IT!!!
We can sure smell it, but we can't find it.
She was seen prowling amongst the comic books and I'm afraid to look over there.
But golly, there's nothing like the smell of fresh cat poop wafting all through the house, when you're welcoming aunts and uncles and cousins who've never been here before and who will probably think we live like this all the time.
Also, the track to one of the drawers in my kitchen cabinets fell apart, and there was smoke coming out of the microwave this morning.
I need to go downstairs and do some laundry but frankly, I'm afraid to touch the washer and dryer.
I'm hoping the stove and refrigerator accept bribes.  I bought a huge frozen turkey today and you know how those frozen thawing birds help the 'fridge do its thang.
Now, where did I put that Glade mist. . . .
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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:30 PM | |

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Text Message I Expected But Didn't Want To Get

Dear Darla,
When I first met you, we were both young teachers. You had a new baby, and I was still single and lovin' it. We used to walk from the parking lot to the high school together; you were usually carrying your son in one hand and swinging a large case of Pampers by the handle with your other hand. I carried your books and mine. We had some great conversations.
I always meant to tell you how much I enjoyed your company, but I never got around to it.
Then I was transferred to another building and we didn't see each other for a several years.
When I was assigned to the OTHER middle school, it wasn't my first choice and I wasn't the happiest of campers at first. But when I walked into the gym on that first official day and saw you sitting there, I knew it was going to be all right. Neither of us, it turned out, really wanted to be there at that particular school, but since we had each other, we could make do. You wanted to go back to the high school, and I wanted to go back to the city school, but we were both 'sentenced' to do some time at the little country school. I later fell in love with it, and later still fell out of love with it, and today I wouldn't care if it burned to the ground, but you never did like it much. You were glad when, years later, you were transferred back to the high school.
I always meant to tell you how glad I was that you were there, but I never got around to it.
We had some good times in that middle school, though. By the time my kids were in the seventh grade, we both had some serious experience under our belts. You had a reputation of being extremely strict and scrupulously fair. This did not, of course, sit well with some parents who were not interested in justice but only mercy, and there were some hard times for you. You never lowered your standards so the offspring of the system's political favorites could play ball without first earning the right, and this put you on the poop list for a long time.
I always meant to tell you how much I admired you for your stance, but I never got around to it.
My daughter liked you and your classes very much. She was a hard worker and good grades were important to her. It was also important to her that she like her teachers and they like her. You let her know, not with words exactly, but with your actions and your treatment of her, that you liked her as a student and as a person. She still speaks of you with respect.
My son was a difficult student. He challenged any and all authority, and simply refused to do any assignment he rated "stupid" or "unnecessary." In your class, however, he found challenges that he admired and he almost always did the work you assigned. His respect for most authority figures was nil, until they proved themselves worthy, and apparently you were among the worthy. You gave him a black canvas carrying case for his Nintendo games, and told him your own son had two and didn't need it, and after that he knew you were on his side. Yours was one of the few classes he paid attention in.
I always meant to tell you how much I appreciated your respect for and liking of my children, but I never got around to it.
A lot of parents didn't like you or the way you conducted your class. A lot of parents thought you needed to lighten up, relax your standards, and play ball so their kids could play ball. You chose to maintain high standards and require students to earn their privileges.
I always meant to tell you how much I respected you for not kowtowing to those parents, but I never got around to it.
After you went back to the high school, I didn't see as much of you, but whenever we did meet, it was like old times.
When I heard that you were so ill, I thought about emailing you and telling you some of these things. I really meant to do that, but I was busy and you were in and out of the hospital and the school, and I didn't want your sub reading my personal note, and did I mention how busy I was, and I really meant to do that, but time got away from me and I never did.
Then, at the beginning of this semester, I heard you were back in school, feeling better, and determined to finish out the year. I thought again that I really ought to email you and tell you all these things that had been in my heart all these years, but somehow it just didn't get done.
Then, I heard that the cancer was back, and everyone knew you were too exhausted to fight it any more. I meant to call you and ask you if I could bring you anything, or do something to help, but I waited too long. I waited too long.
I think that often the things we regret the most are the things we didn't do, not the things we did do.
This morning, in the middle of class, my cell phone 'told' me that I had a text message. When we went on break, I looked at it.
I'm so sorry, Darla, that I couldn't find the time to tell you all those things while I still had a chance to do it. I'm sorry. I'm just so incredibly sorry.
Parents, if your child has ever had a good teacher, please be sure to tell them you think so, and thank them. It's never too late, either. . . . until it really is too late.
Darla, you were quirky and funny and totally 'out of the box.' You were fun and funky. You were strict, STRICT, but you were always fair. I really think it was the 'fair' part that so many parents of athletes (smirk) hated so much. You went out of your way with students who weren't always appreciative, and more parents than just me knew it and respected you for it. I only hope some of them told you so.
I wish I had told you so.
Thank you, dear Darla, for being the kind person you were, for being a great educator, for being stubborn and whimsical and funny, and for never backing down, even for the rich people.
You will be missed. I miss you already.
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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:09 PM | |

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wasted Hearts: Not Just A Country Ballad

We played euchre last night and I was dealt this hand. Look at it. Was there ever such a perfect hand dealt?

I picked up those cards and slowly fanned them out, and time seemed to stand still. The child sitting behind me whispered "Oh. My. Gosh" and I turned slightly and said "shhhhh."

A perfect lay-down loner, in hearts. I could feel my "Old Maid-in-her-hand-full-house" dumb expression spreading over my face. (I never could bluff; everybody always knew if I did or did not have the good cards.)

I'd never been so excited about a hand of euchre.

And then, and then, and then. . . .

The enemy dealer, on my left, who may or may not have been my husband, picked up his cards and realized that he was a card short. Then he realized, oh, haha, he'd picked up the kitty instead of his hand, and the whole round was aborted and everyone threw in his cards except me because I was in shock.

I showed my hand and everyone was duly impressed. I got very little sympathy at not getting to use it, though. I needed sympathy, darn it! I still need it! I'm traumatized!

And then the enemy player to my right smiled and said, "You wouldn't have gotten to do it anyway. I was going to tell the dealer to pick up the spade."

That would, admittedly, have been even harder to handle.

OTHER THAN THAT, the evening was great. Thank you, dear friends, for coming over and for being such nice people even though you laughed at my hearts, and for just being your own lovely selves and sharing that with me for a few hours.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:47 PM | |

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Indoor Picnic

I just took a pie out of the oven. Earlier this afternoon, I made a chocolate cake. We're having some friends over, later tonight, to play some killer euchre and have some supper. It's not anything formal; it will just be laid-back and fun.

I hope the smell from the spilled-over and burned apple juice all over the oven floor will be gone by then.

We're just having sloppy joes, baked beans, chips, apple pie, and chocolate cake. Kind of like a Guinness Book fart contest an indoor picnic. We can't have it outdoors because the weather finally remembered that it was winter and is making up for all those lost summer-like weeks. The sun finally did come back out, after two days of torrential rain and snow-threats-that-never-materialized, and some incredible wind that blew our lawn chairs, charcoal grill, and trash can off the deck and all over the yard. Oh, and did I mention the big tree that blew over and fell on the basketball court right smack on top of all those weird slabs of sheet metal balanced on two sawhorses Hub was storing there some supplies and the big ladder?

The last of my blooming flowers fell victim to the cold snap, too. No more flowers.

Bright sunshine when it's this cold makes me feel as though Mother Nature were playing some kind of cat/mouse game with me, and I think I'm the mouse.

Anyway, tonight will be fun. Good friends, good company, lots of food, several decks of cards. . .

Oh, and the picture up there? That's not me, but that's what I used to look like before all the sloppy joes, baked beans, and chocolate cake back in the seventies. I have never cared for pie, although I do love to make them. If I liked pie, I'd look even worse.

Have a great Saturday night, all. If you're in the neighborhood, drop in. We'll have plenty of food. The house is easy to find. Just follow your nose.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:08 PM | |

Hit and Run

Why is it that the people with the most criticism and complaints and whines are also the people who leave no contact information?  Are they afraid someone will challenge them?  Or are they just the kind of people who hit and run in all aspects of their lives?
Am I the only person who has ever wondered about that?
It seems to me that if a person comments on the internet, that person should also be ON the internet, if that makes any sense.  Otherwise, they're just crashing the party.
Can anybody also tell me why I take such comments so seriously?  I mean, really?  Most people just sigh or laugh or take it in stride, but me?  I almost always feel as if I've been mown down by a faceless hit and run driver who laughs and gives me the finger as he or she drives away in their over-large vehicle with the license plate so mud-spattered that it's illegible.. 
I suppose I could set my comments so people who have something to say but don't want anyone to know who said it couldn't say it but I refuse to do it, at least not yet.  Most people really do have something productive to say and I appreciate them and their comments very, very much. And people who say negative things but aren't afraid or ashamed to tell me who they are, are welcome, too.  I love a fair fight.   But people who say negative things without giving their name or contact information?  There are many words but I'll just use this one:  Cowards.
Anonymous commenters are cowards.  And people who give you a false name and fake contact information are cowards AND liars.
And now back to our regularly scheduled program:  Christmas has arrived in my house, and even though there will be very few presents this year, the house is beautiful and I'm having company tonight and next weekend I'm hosting the largest family reunion in the history of the world, the kind where I have to clean more than the three main rooms because there will be so many people, they'll have to spread out over the whole house.
I'm not sure this has ever been done, at least, not all at once.
And the day after that, I'm going to Indianapolis to see what my Tumorless Sister has been doing all this rehearsing for.  I can't wait; her productions are always fantastic and she says that this year her students are, most of them, "professional quality."  Tumorless, herself, is a professional, so if she says that, I know this show will be great.  Hey, Tumorless, wotcher doin' after the show?
You know those cartoons where a kid gets out your vaccuum cleaner and runs it without a bag?  You know how it sprays crud all over the walls and all over the books in the bookshelves and you have to get down on the floor and pick it out of all the crevices in the jukebox and the tv/vcr/dvd stuff?  Sigh.  Me neither.
I'm not going to tell you about the garage.  No sense all of us being depressed.
If "Desperate Housewives" was really a reality show, it would tell me how to deal with these things without going postal.  But frankly?  I kind of enjoy the postal part, too.
I have not done one single bit of  Christmas shopping.  Not one single bit.
But I did make cookies last night. 
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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:35 AM | |

Friday, December 01, 2006

Tampons: Satan's Little Cotton Fingers

For most of my life, I've not had all that high an opinion of organized religion. Part of it is that I'm forever questioning everything, religion included, and part of it is that I don't always see those who are supposed to represent a particular religion behaving in any kind of proper or generous or even law-abiding way. Quite the opposite seems to be true, at least for those "preachers," and I use the term loosely, and please notice that I didn't call them "ministers" because they're not, who are in the public eye.
Nobody is perfect, of course, but it does seem that certain segments of our society are, and rightly so, held to a higher standard. Maybe I'm just still that naive, but people who claim to follow the tenets of just about any religion, yet who lie and cheat and steal and covet and have unashamed monkey sex with their neighbor's wife or husband or son or daughter or pet potbellied pig, are not exactly what most people would call any kind of mentor or even a person decent enough to tell anybody else what to do about, well, anything. Anything. Except maybe which parishioners will put out and where to buy some good grass.
Life is full of choices, and while "preachers" are certainly allowed to make mistakes, just like the rest of us, it seems to me that the kind of mistakes mentioned above go beyond the limits of the old "everyone is human" motto. "Preachers" do that stuff. "Ministers" are tempted but have what it takes to resist.
I can't help but believe that those who carry the torch had better walk carefully. Otherwise, the people who are following the person who is carrying the torch are going to be disillusioned to the point that they will stop going to church and find humor each and every time some top-lofty "do as I say and not as I do" authority figure falls from grace.
Perfection is a done deal. Perfection is carved in stone, and none of us are carved in stone nor do the smart ones wish to be. None of us aspires to be perfect because we know it's impossible. But knowing we are all imperfect does not give anyone any kind of leeway to willingly choose to be immoral. The way we all deal with the choices life gives us will affect not only ourselves but also those who look to us for comfort and advice.
I for one could not take seriously any kind of advice from a "preacher" who commits adultery, or who lays any kind of inappropriate hand on a person of any age. And any adult who molests a child is scum, and I really don't care how many letters of the alphabet accompanied his/her name in the school records, or what kind of childhood the molester had. Choices, choices, choices.
People who claim to be religious, yet cloister themselves with 'their own kind' within the confines of the church, are also on my poop list. Don't tell them; they'd be devastated, I'm sure.
However, I will have to say, that if "preachers" were also "ministers," and if they were all like Pastor Jeff, even someone like me who believes in God but who has seen too much to believe in many people these days, particularly anyone who claims to be a servant of God, might change their mind. And if you had any idea what a hard sell I can be on this topic, you'd click on over to his website right now and see what he's talking about that makes me talk about maybe. . . . believing some of those guys are actually all right.
Jeff helps me understand the difference between forgiving and condoning, and he doesn't even know he's doing it. That's because a great part of his ministry is done by his own example, not necessarily his words. Although his words help, too.
Temptation is one thing; acting on it is quite another.
Where am I going with this? I have no idea. I just read Jeff's post today and started thinking, and you know how that is: once you start to think, it's hard to stop.
By that same token, of course, once you stop to think, don't forget to start again.
Thank you, dear Jeffie. You have no idea what a breath of fresh air you are to someone who believes in God, but who doesn't put much faith in His representatives.
(I still love to watch Godstuff, though. I wish I could believe they were all like Jeff, but I can't. Not yet, anyway. Sowwy.)
(And I will always think that the Landover Baptist website is the greatest and most hilarious parody on the internet today.)
(Who can tell me where the title of this post came from? Bonus points, and my total admiration, if you know.)
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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:03 PM | |


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