Sunday, October 31, 2004

My home decor is the envy of House Beautiful. Or maybe I'm just on their "Do Not Acknowledge" list. Either way, I don't give a toot.

Ordinarily, my jack-o-lanterns sit on the front porch wearing out their welcome until the day before Thanksgiving, when I start to smell something, look down, and notice for the first time that they're actually still there, and then I have to scoop them up with a shovel because they're too far gone and mushy to pick up with my hands, not that I would want to actually DO that, because who wants to stick their fingers through mushy stringy pumpkin flesh and get that stuff all over them? I don't know how surgeons stand it.

And I probably only notice them then, because I host the Thanksgiving reunion for my family, and they've all got eyes like eagles; no out-of-place ANYTHING escapes them. I'm not saying they wear white gloves to my house, but they might as well do it and give up the pretense. If they ever saw those moldy mushy pumpkins still sitting there in November, I'd never hear the end of it. Oh, okay, only one of them would notice. But it would still be too much for me.

Besides, leering jack-o-lanterns wouldn't go with my Christmas decorations.

I never mix my decorations. Putting up a new holiday is a good time to look around the house and make sure all remnants of the old holiday are gone.

Yeah, white gloves wouldn't work in my house.

Of course, those gloves wouldn't stay white very long, in my house. And do you know why?

Because people LIVE in my house. And we leave our mark all over it. If Good Housekeeping ever sent a crew to my house, they'd pass out cold, because I don't think I've ever seen a house in a magazine that people actually lived in on a daily basis.

Think about it. Magazine shots never show a house with a stack of cereal bowls in the sink, or dirty socks under all the coffee tables, or dirty words written in the dust on all the surfaces not covered by piles of old magazines. I look at those pictures and think, has anyone ever really been comfortable in that house? Sure, all the colors match, and the cushions are all poofy, and there's no cat hair on anything, and the wall art is uniformly impersonal and represents nobody who actually lives in the house (where are the photographs of the family, for crying out loud?) but where is the personality of the people who sleep under that roof? An antique ten thousand dollar bed might be a thing of beauty, and the envy of the neighborhood, but to me, the thing of beauty would be the filthy little boy lying on top of the bedspread, wearing equally filthy SpongeBob pajamas and curled up next to the shedding cat.

You can always wash a child. You can always wash his pajamas. If absolutely necessary, you can even wash a cat.

And a ten-thousand-dollar bed that has to be coddled and never jumped on, or used as a pirate ship, isn't worth jack shit to me.

I do remember, though, that if you sleep on TOP of the bedspread, you don't have to make your bed the next morning.

Also, I seem to be the queen of the long, rambling sentence tonight. Is there a prize for that?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:11 PM | |

Butterball turkey. In drag.

A big thank-you to the 400-pound woman in the low-cut mini-skirted witch costume, sitting across from us in the Pizza Hut tonight: we didn't stop for ice cream on the way home because your image was tatooed across our brains.

I never thought I'd say this about a woman that big, but honey, fish-net stockings might have been an improvement.

At least in those, all those dents and convolutions pock-marking those immense flabby thighs of yours, would have been covered up. Or at least camouflaged.

And a word of advice from one fat chick to another: when your thighs start to fall down over your kneecaps, NOBODY wants to see it. Cover it up. Please. (Much appreciation from the known universe. . . .)

Thank you very much, in anticipation of a more appetizing view next Halloween.

I have now seen what a Butterball turkey would look like, in drag. Big boobs. Big thighs. No taste.

And the only thing worse than having no taste, is having no shame.

(On consideration, most males in drag have exquisite taste. And better legs than most women.)

Nobody wanted to bring the leftover pizza home this time, either.

In fact, I don't think any of us will ever eat again.

Not for a few hours, anyway.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:29 PM | |

Every year I make big personal sacrifices for the sake of the orphans.

The trick-or-treating is over for another year. Now, if only there was something I could do with all this leftover candy. . . . . Hmm, think, think, think. . . .

Something charitable. Something practical. Something that would benefit mankind.

However, nothing of that sort comes to mind, so I guess I'll just eat it myself, like I do every year anyway.

Well, it would be awful to let it go to waste!

Therefore, I'll let it go to waist.

All that candy wouldn't be good for the orphans anyway. It would rot their little baby teeth, and send them reeling with hyperactive sugar-highs that would frighten baby animals and piss off the nuns.

Sigh. So I will make my usual Octoberly sacrifice and save them from the dental potholes of refined-sugar-hell, and protect them from the wrath of pursuing nuns and the mothers of little terrified squirrels.

I feel so heroic.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:35 AM | |

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Booooo, and ho, ho, ho.

I am so old, I actually remember when holidays took turns manifesting themselves. Holidays didn't step on each other's toes. One holiday waited until every trace of the previous holiday was gone. Stores waited until the day after Thanksgiving to put out their Christmas merchandise. Valentines were sold only in February. Carols played over loudspeakers only in December. Peeps were sold only in the springtime. Peanut butter kisses could be found only in October. Dinosaurs ruled the earth.

Not like nowadays.

Holidays meant more when we experienced them one at a time. They were more fun, too. A major part of any holiday is anticipation, and when something lasts too long, it loses its individual thrill. A person can't look forward to something if it's all around him five months out of the year. Where's the coolness of transitory celebration?

I'm frankly creeped out by Holiday M&M's in October. Christmas decorations were never meant to be displayed side-by-side with cauldrons and ceramic ghosts. Cornucopias are not part of summer decor. Grass seed and candy canes have no business sharing shelf space.

I know, I know. . . . it all boils down to money.

Maybe if we all went on strike, and refused to purchase holiday things until it was TIME for that particular holiday. . . . .

Oh well. Rant over.

I think I'll drive down to the 24-hour WalMart, and buy some Halloween candy, a Thanksgiving centerpiece, and a box of candy canes.

If I wait till it's really time, they'll be stale.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:01 AM | |

Some rules.

There are two rules for success:

1) Never tell all you know.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:41 AM | |

Friday, October 29, 2004

Illiteracy rears its ugly head on Ebay.

I love Ebay.

I love to surf around on Ebay. It's like a big store with lots of windows full of stuff. I love to buy and sell things on Ebay. On each of my listings I put this disclaimer:

"My PayPal account will not allow me to accept a credit card. Please do not try to pay with a credit card. I do not take credit cards. NO CREDIT CARDS. If you try to pay with a credit card it will be denied. PLEASE do not try to pay with a credit card. No credit cards. Your credit card WILL BE DENIED."

So. . . . was this too subtle?

Sixteen people tried to pay with a credit card anyway, just this week, and had it denied. I feel bad about that, but does anyone else suppose that if they had read carefully, it is just possible that this misunderstanding might have been avoided?

I still love Ebay, and I thank everyone who bids on my auctions. But please, people, READ THE DIRECTIONS.

Whenever I bid on someone's auction, I read all the instructions carefully. I don't think it's asking too much to expect everyone else to do the same.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:16 PM | |

My vote is like a Christmas tree. . . . .

Politics. Politics. Politics. I am so bloody sick of politics.

There are so many signs all over the place, a person can't even tell which houses are for sale and which houses just got new vinyl siding and which houses are telling you that IT'S A BOY and which houses house a fanatic.

The only yard that warranted a second glance from me was one I drove past just tonight. It was a very big yard, and a can of spray paint had divided it evenly down the middle. On one side, Republican signs. On the other side, Democratic signs. On the line, pink flamingoes, all in a row.

I'm tempted to write in 'Pink Flamingo' on the ballot.

What are some of these one-dimensional bloggers going to write about after the election is over? There's nothing in some blogs except political blather. Once it's over, what will replace it? What will these people do with their lives, after the election is over?

I mean, after the recount is over?

Actually, what I mean is, after ALL the recounts are over?

Truthfully, I don't much care about politics. I know I should, but I don't. I always vote, because people who don't vote forfeit their right to whine.

I have never missed an election yet. Neither has my husband.

We've cancelled each other's votes for almost thirty years now. It's a tradition we have. Kind of like the Christmas tree.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:46 AM | |

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I know where the Weapons of Mass Destruction are.

My poor cat is getting really old. He was quite the brawler in his younger days, and has had more than just a few anatomical parts torn off and surgically re-attached.

We'll just not mention those anatomical parts which were deliberately and surgically gashed off, before they were ever even noticed and used. . . .

He has also lost most of his teeth, which, of course, remain gone. Most of those teeth were probably swallowed whole by marauding bully-cats, along with great fluffs of greyish swirly hair.

Hairballs harfed out by these cats must have been incredible things. Weapons of the most unexpected and therefore brilliant calibre. Grey swirly hairballs, each with a tooth in its center. Not unlike a snowball with a hidden rock in the middle. Or maybe a Tootsie Roll Pop that's been in the glove compartment of the car through too many weather changes. However you describe it, one thing is clear: The Weapons of Mass Destruction have been discovered.

The most frequent target of the local woodland mafia of hungry-yet -lazy racoons and possums seemed to be his tail. A cat's tail must be made of strong stuff, because this tail has been revived after hanging by a thread. A THREAD, mind you. Brought back to life after being dragged a foot behind his body by a THREAD. And even now, that tail could knock over an anvil. Imagine what that tail could do if it had not been for the many reconstructive surgeries.

Poor cat. His nine lives were used up long ago. He's living on time borrowed from those selfsame woodland bullies, now.

What brought on this ramble, you might be wondering. Well, I had intended to post about something else, and then the Cat put his face in my face and grinned like a Cheshire Cat. The sight of that huge wide grin, with all those missing teeth, reminded me that I really ought to carve some pumpkins before Saturday night. Big wide faces with big wide grins, and lots of missing teeth.

You know, so the Cat will have a little something for his midnight snack tonight.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:36 PM | |

Tidy whitey tighty whities.

I am having way too much fun with Blog Explosion.

I didn't realize just how much fun, until my husband asked me yesterday morning if he had any clean underwear. I vaguely remembered throwing a whole lot of it into the washer fairly recently, but after that my memory shifted back to other people's blogs, and potato chips.

When I got home from school tonight, that conversation popped into my head and I went downstairs to the laundry room to check. I found his underwear. About twenty pairs. Still in the washing machine, soaking in soapy water, lid still up, no action. I closed the lid and tiptoed back up the stairs.

I set the kitchen timer to remind me to go back downstairs and put them into the dryer.

When it rings, I hope I remember 'underwear' and don't start searching the oven for hidden brownies.

Or answer the door. I've done that before, too.

Speaking as the domestic guru that my cat thinks I am, I can say with much assumed authority that soaking in soapy water from Saturday to Tuesday will only make your husband's tighty whities that much more tidy and whitey.

And, he'll never know unless YOU tell him.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:50 AM | |

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Treat and Trick and the Omen of the Personal Stall.

My students seemed unusually happy tonight. They laughed at all my jokes, answered questions with great enthusiasm, and seemed to really enjoy tonight's topic. They worked hard, and everybody finished the assignment. I gave them a Halloween treat (even adult students like to get treats!) (maybe even more than kids because kids get treats all the time and adult students seldom get treated) and they all thanked me, smiling.

I was so impressed, I gave them very little homework and dismissed them early.

Hey, wait a minute. . . . . .

I knew tonight would be a good session. I knew, because when I arrived at the college, nobody was trespassing in my Personal Stall.

Of course, after I got in there, and after it was too late, I realized there was no toilet paper. Fortunately, the lady in the Next Stall Over had never seen any episodes of Seinfeld and was happy to Spare a Square.

As we were standing side-by-side at the sinks, I noticed that she had a Superman pez dispenser hanging from her bookbag. A double omen of positive karma. Triple, if you count the spared square. Quadruple, counting the unoccupied Personal Stall. It could only have gotten better if she'd given the pez dispenser an assigned seat. Or put it on someone else's.

Yes, a happy and productive evening was had by all.

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

Monday, October 25, 2004

There are all kinds of payoffs.

I think sometimes, that if we knew what the people around us, in any context, went home to every night, we would all work harder to be nicer to each other. When you think about it, you might be the only pleasant person someone meets all day. The only smile someone gets. The only "please" and the only "thank you." You could be the only person who doesn't hit, or scream, or abuse. You could be the only person who ever listens. Or acknowledges someone in any way at all.

When you are absent, you might be sorely missed by someone you hardly know. When you are busy you might forget to smile at someone, and that will mean NO smiles at all for that person, that day.

Let's all work a little harder to be a little nicer. It doesn't cost anything. That person you speak to in the elevator might have been going UP so they could jump DOWN. Your niceness could change their mind. Maybe we have all been responsible for saving lives every day, and we will never know. Let's keep on doing that. Let's all keep on doing that.

Besides, some old rich guy might leave you a million dollars in his will.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:10 AM | |

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Bambi's mother didn't show up tonight. I hope nothing happened to her. . . .

My husband and I drove a few miles north tonight, to have dinner at a "good, consistent, reliable" steakhouse. We didn't know that 'consistent' and 'reliable' covered a multitude of sins, only one of which was that if no matter how a customer requests a steak cooked it comes back well done, that can be considered 'consistent.' If this happens more than once, that can be considered 'reliable' as well. And if the outside lighting isn't very good, and I step on a piece of red lava stone that got kicked onto the sidewalk, and go down like a ton of bricks, that can be considered a 'good fall,' though not necessarily a 'good thing.' On the bright side, I gave everyone in the glassed-in patio room of the restaurant a show along with their dinner.

I don't fall down gracefully. The earth moves, when I fall down.

Other people use that expression to describe something else.

To all the nice people who asked if I was all right, whilst stifling their guffaws, I thank you all. And I don't blame you one bit for laughing. You have to pay out the ass to have a Cirque du Soleil clown fall like that for you.

On the way home, we picked up our son so he could spend tomorrow with our refrigerator.

We like to drive home on a small country highway, which cuts through a National Forest. Naturally, we see a lot of wildlife along the side of the road, some of which is still alive. Tonight, we saw some wild turkeys, and some deer. My husband mentioned that the turkey sure looked tasty. I replied that I can not IMAGINE looking at a live animal and thinking it "delicious." My son chimed in with the old oft-repeated notion that a cow was merely a steak wrapped in shoes. I sighed a few mom-sighs, and then gave up and watched for Bambi's mother to jump out in front of our headlights.

Did I mention that the waitress brought our salads to us after our meal was already served? It's understandable that she was flustered, though. After all, a table of two old coots couldn't BEGIN to compare with that big corner table of football players.

Think twice next time, sweetie. Us old coots usually tip big. Not this time, but usually.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:55 AM | |

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Pantylines and Federlines.

In the parking lot tonight I saw several women with jeans down below their pantylines, and several young men with their jeans down below their federlines. When will they learn that gravity is a force not to be reckoned with? One of these days, those kids will be chased by a herd of rabid wolves, and the ones who are dragging a pair of Levis between their ankles are going to be messily devoured.

I get knocked down, but I get up again.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:09 AM | |

Friday, October 22, 2004

Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Tourettes, Oh My. . . . . . .

I took my mother to the doctor today, and had an interesting experience in the lab waiting room. A cherubic little boy of about four was sitting on the floor playing with blocks. He had the kind of face and eyes that make people want to rush home and make babies of their own to look at. He sat there stacking blocks, singing sweet little songs from Sesame Street, and occasionally interspersing the lyrics with Mr. Rogers quotations. The waiting room was crowded and everyone was practically hypnotized with enchantment at the very essence and being of this beautiful child.

"Rubbie duckie, you're the one, you make bathtime lots of fun, so won't you be my neighbor, on my way to where the air is sweet, I thought you would, I thought you were, rubber duckie I'm awfully fond of you, doo-bee-doo-doobie- SHIT ! FUCK ! SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT ! FUCK FUCK! It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, every day when I go to play in my tubbie, some people are fancy on the outside, SHIT ! FUCK ! SHIT SHIT SHIT!"

Oh, did I forget to mention the Tourette's?

I think some of the older people in the waiting room noticed.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:05 PM | |

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Get off my toilet, you poacher.

It's okay with me if you want to use MY PERSONAL STALL in the restroom at school. Honest, I don't mind that you're in MY PERSONAL STALL. Take your time in there. I don't mind waiting.

I'm sure all the other stalls are both functional and attractive, and they no doubt have reading material glued to the inside of their doors that is interesting and educational. I'm sure that in the long run, they are no different than my own PERSONAL STALL.

The fact remains, however, that each of those other stalls is someone else's PERSONAL STALL. You, intelligent being that you obviously are, used unerring judgment in choosing MY PERSONAL STALL over all the other choices you might have made. I salute your taste. I don't blame you one bit for wanting MY PERSONAL STALL.

Therefore, please understand that I mean what I say, when I say, take your time. I'm fine with the fact that you are in there. The building is kind of chilly tonight, and I'm sure your ass is doing a fine job of warming the seat. If I ever get a chance to use MY PERSONAL STALL, I will be grateful for your thoughtfulness in warming it up for me.

Did I mention that I don't mind waiting?

And what in the world are those noises?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:03 PM | |

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I would watch a political debate only if Space Ghost was the commentator. And if Zorak got to eat the loser.

I am really having a lot of fun with Blog Explosion. I've always loved reading other people's journals (I am both literary and nosy) and it's cool to think that these same cool people are also reading mine.

Leave more comments, though. Please? Let it out. Don't hold back. Most of the personal journals I've read, have been great!

I do wish there was some way to filter out topics which are of little or no interest to me. Politics, advertisements, and sports, for example. Journals which are written out entirely in Teenage Cutesy Code. Blindingly pink journals. Journals that are nothing but sports stats. Journals that look like the Wall Street Journal. I read them all, for at least the required thirty seconds, but sometimes I get antsy, waiting for the countdown. But usually, I stay far longer than required, because some of those journals are LITERATURE, folks. There are some excellent writers and thinkers out there. It's so nice to know that other people have something on their minds besides politics. I'd rather read about "which Jem and the Holograms singer are you," and how to get baby shit off a white shirt, than have someone try to force their political or religious beliefs on me, which by my mind is the same thing as someone trying to sell me a used car at gunpoint. (Item: I hate reading about quiz results and baby shit.) Or computer software, or real estate, and I'm sorry but I get up and go to the kitchen whenever those journals pop up. It's really annoying to have someone try to sell me something when what I want to do is read about someone's life. I'm a people-person, and I like to read about people. Those commercials disguised as blogs are as annoying as those horrible little cardboard postcard inserts that clog up our magazines. Or telemarketers.

A blog is a personal journal. If someone's personal journal contains nothing but ads for real estate in southern California, then so be it. That's pitiful, but it's your journal. I don't have to read yours, and you don't have to read mine. And if I want to buy a house, or a car, or computer software, I'm not about to find one on an advertisement-disguised-as-a-journal. But probably somebody else will, so blog away.

But keep on, Blog Explosion. I think I might really, really like you. I just don't like all of your relations.

I am sooo the curmudgeon. I really do not give a tinker's dam which Disney Princess you are.

However, I am really interested in how you are dealing with life.

Of course, if you are dealing with life by being a Disney Princess, then we might have a winner there. Unless you are Pocahontas. That was the most boring Disney movie I ever tried to sit through.

Let's have her debate politics with Bush and Kerry. Even I might watch it then.

I would also watch a political interview if Space Ghost did it. I would even tape it to watch again.

But only if Zorak ate the loser.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:59 PM | |

Grog. Not the one from B.C.

The word 'groggy' is very descriptive, but hardly fair. I mean, here I am, nodding off from lack of sleep, being all groggy over the keyboard; and yet, I've not touched a drop of the stuff. And it looks like it might be pretty good stuff, too. Check this out:


1 shot rum
1 teaspoon sugar (preferably superfine)
Squeeze of lime juice
Cinnamon stick
Boiling water
Stir all ingredients, adding enough boiling water to fill mug or glass.


Oh, let us all go out and be groggy together. . . .

Groggy because you haven't slept for months isn't quite so cool, though.

I've had a lot of traffic to my blog these past few days, and I'm assuming it has something to do with Blog Explosion, for which I thank you very much, and hope you comment. Oh, and please come back any time. And often.

I never know myself what kind of rant will be found on this blog. It takes me by surprise every time.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:27 AM | |

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Coffee and toilet paper.

On Tuesday nights, my husband, son, and I have formed the habit of stopping at Burger King on the way home from our classes. Not much else is open at that hour, and Tuesday is 99 cent Whopper night. Tonight, as I made my usual pilgrimage to the restroom there, I noticed for the first time that the toilet paper holder was made by the same company that made the coffee machines. Which somehow led to my next thought, which was, what are the coffee machine filters made of?

If you know the answer, please don't tell me.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:51 PM | |

Night owl, interrupted. Does your homeschooled child know how to tell time? Or read? And as a matter of fact, do YOU?

Whenever the phone rings before noon, I know it is one of two things: a family emergency, or a stranger who wants to sell me something. Knowing this, I always answer the phone at that hour in a voice that would qualify for a Hitchcock movie.

Emergencies and intruding strangers are often greeted with the same tone of voice, I've noticed over the years.

No one who knows me well would EVER call in the morning.

We live out in the country. It's amazing how many home-schooled kids are running wild in the road all day. Or selling candy door-to-door. Or distributing pamphlets which tell me that homeschooled students of a particular religion are the salvation of the universe. With all that running wild, selling candy, and distributing, I wonder when they learn to read, write, and use their brains? And who is home-schooling them? Because I know for a fact that most of those parents have day jobs. In other words, those kids are alone all day with a Beka workbook, a case of Reese's cups, full access to Jerry Springer, a bicycle, and at least two younger siblings. I'm sorry, but it all smacks of free day care to me.

And speaking of smacks, if one more kid rings my doorbell and tries to sell me a candle or an overpriced candy bar, with a complimentary Watchtower, I just might do that.

For a real school, I'm glad to help. But not for this. Absolutely not for this.

REAL schoolkids do their soliciting in the afternoon. When it's time to get up anyway.

I'd put a 'do not disturb' sign on the door, but I don't think these poor kids could read it. Nobody ever taught them how.

Some people who homeschool their kids do a fantastic job. But most do not do any kind of job at all. They just got mad and pulled their kids out, and now they haven't a clue how to do a job they were very good at criticizing someone else for doing, before.

I wonder why it so often happens that the people who criticize and complain the most, wouldn't know how to do that particular job if they were trained for ten years? Whine, whine, whine.

You know, like I'm doing right now.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:53 PM | |

Monday, October 18, 2004

It must have been an 'episode.'

Pouring pouring pouring down rain. My newly-planted flowers must be in root heaven.

Not flower heaven, like all my other poor dead flowers. Root heaven. Totally different. In root heaven, the blossoms still have a chance. In flower heaven, all is already lost.

Class went well tonight. I have a big pile of papers to grade, and that is a wondrous thing indeed. It means 1) most of the students showed up tonight, thunderstorm notwithstanding, and 2) I have a big pile of papers to grade. I really do love my students. They are lovely people.

The cat was screaming at the front door when I got home a few minutes ago. I let him in, and he went screaming up the stairs, across the kitchen floor, and straight out the patio doors. I thought he was miserable, being wet and cold, and wanted to stay inside for a while. But I guess he was just having an 'episode.' I've had many of those myself, lately, so I'm all sympathies with him. I've often wanted to run screaming through certain places, and so have you. Admit it.

Maybe it's the new 'streaking.' Instead of stripping naked and running through a building, people should now consider 'screaming.' Same thing, minus the stripping, and plus vocals.

Everybody knows the words and the tune to a good running scream.

There were so many colored leaves on the front porch tonight, that it looked like cobblestones in the darkish glare. Slick, too. And the pile of little pumpkins I placed beside the front door, a la Martha Stewart, looked like cannonballs.

Yes, I am a skilled and talented decorator, just like Martha Stewart. Oh, okay, maybe I just shop a lot at K-Mart. Isn't it the same thing?

I spy my daughter, reading my journal. . . . . Hi, honey.

Across the hall from my classroom tonight, there was live Mexican music. Some kind of presentation, good and loud and GREAT. It was great! Well, I thought it was great, and most of the class thought it was great. It's too bad we had one party-pooper who couldn't concentrate with music. Because of her, we had to shut the door. Actually, SHE got up and shut the door, all on her own. Sigh. Oh well. Fortunately, the music was loud enough that we could still hear it through the walls.

When did it happen, that the minority gets their own way all the time, and the majority just has to sit there and take it? I mean, it was 15 to 1 in favor of the music. And we ended up with the door closed because of the one.

Oh well. It's over now.

As are many other things in my life.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:34 PM | |

Insomnia, table saws, Freddy Krueger, and idioms.

Four o'clock in the morning. I still can't sleep. Insomnia. Worse than usual, even. I went for a walk around the house and realized very quickly that I should have grabbed a sweater. Or even a coat. I picked up the cat, for warmth. His fur was cold. The leaves were crunchier than usual. Even the stars looked cold. The outside of the car was like ice; that little kid from "A Christmas Story" would have lost his tongue to the door handle. The car windows were frosted over.

Our car has to sit outside, even though we have a big two-car garage.

The garage is so full of 'stuff' that there's no room for any vehicles. It's the bicycles and the toys and the lawn mowers and the luggage and the table saw that take up all the room.

Poor cars. Evicted by a table saw.

But then, who or what in its right mind would willingly go up against a table saw? Heck, it's so crowded in there, Freddy Krueger could be hiding behind something. Our wise cars wish to take no chances.

Maybe when all that frost melts in an hour or so, the windows will be cleaner. At least in streaks.

By the time I have to go to work, the weather should be better. Of course, by the time I go home again, the windows will be frosted again.

Indiana. Where we turn on the heater in the morning, the air conditioner in the afternoon, and the heater again when the sun goes down.

No wonder our cars are all confused.

Hoosiers know what it means to blow hot and cold. It's our climate. Our idiomatic climate.

I'm assuming you all know what an idiom is . . . . .

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:51 AM | |

Outer Limits, chicken fat, bbq sauce, and diaper pins.

I can never title my entries until after I've written them.

I was looking through the freezer a few minutes ago, trying to find something to thaw, throw into the crockpot, and have for dinner tomorrow night. The pickings are mighty slim in there. Kind of like a deserted igloo. But I dug around all the bread heels and burritoes and mystery foil and found a big pork tenderloin. I took it out and looked at it, and suddenly all I could think of was that episode of "Outer Limits" where the abused wife killed her husband with a frozen leg of lamb, and then put it into the oven to bake. And when the police came, she served them the murder weapon. I mean the leg of lamb. A classic episode.

So I thawed the tenderloin in the microwave and cut it into rounds and threw them all into the crockpot with a sliced onion and a bottle of barbecue sauce. I figured that if I looked at it in its frozen state for too awful long, I might be tempted to go bash something. Or get up a game of baseball.

Bash something. Bash it really hard.

Not my husband. He's a sweetie. But something.

Even just thinking about it was kind of cathartic.

Anyway. We're having barbecued pork tenderloin for dinner tomorrow. I guess I should fix something to go with it, huh. I'll check out the mystery foil in the freezer tomorrow. Maybe I hid some vegetables or something in there.

When the kids were little I used to hide candy bars in the freezer, wrapped in foil and labelled 'chicken fat.' I stole that idea from Erma Bombeck. It worked, too.

I searched that freezer for candy years ago, though. Some prowling candy thief already found it all. It might have been me, I don't remember. It was all too long ago. And I've slept since then.

Not much, mind you. I've never slept very well, and lately I haven't slept at all. Seriously. My nerves are shot. Disillusionment really takes a toll.

Life can be so unfair.

Facts, as Don Quixote de la Mancha so often said, are the enemy of truth.

Oh well.

I can already smell the bbq sauce wafting through the house. There's nothing like the smell of good barbecue. And when you cook it in a crock pot, it will melt in your mouth.

Maybe I'll make some biscuits. And some potato salad.

Anybody want to come over for dinner in a few hours? A pork tenderloin the size and shape of a baseball bat will go a long way. C'mon over.

My beautiful children have gone back to their homes. I love it when they visit.

I realized tonight that when I do laundry, I pin socks together with my son's diaper pins. And he is 24 years old. Can diaper pins be antique? (Item: he has not personally used the diaper pins for many, many years.)

When I cruise around Blog Explosion, I realize that the majority of bloggers are much more interesting than I am. Sorry about that.

Maybe next time, I'll use the frozen tenderloin to really bash something. That would be interesting. Already done, and filmed, and archived, but interesting all the same.

They re-made "The Twilight Zone," didn't they?

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:10 AM | |

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Condiments, dorm refrigerators, Empire Earth, and the internet. . . .

My son is sitting at the computer beside me, playing "Empire Earth." That game has a good soundtrack. A lot of games these days have great music. No wonder there are cd's of them.

My daughter is sitting behind me, writing on her laptop. She's a writer. She's a very good writer. She and I discovered, just today, that our writing styles are almost identical. We are both feeling a mixture of horror and delight over that little discovery. Mostly delight. On my part, anyway. It's always cool to see a little of your own genetic material manifested in an offspring.

Need I mention that we are a very internet-ish family?

My husband is downstairs, grading papers and wishing we had more networked computers in our house.

In our garage, and indeed in almost every closet, is a wonderland of outdated stereo and computer equipment. Our house is the legendary "Obsolete Tech Graveyard" that people read about in books and magazines.

Pong? We have it. It still works.

That ancient TI, that used actual audio cassettes? We have that, too.

We are the stuff of Geek Legend.


The refrigerator is now full of leftover pizza. This means I can put off going to the grocery store for a few more days.

With all those Pizza Hut boxes in there, there's no room for food anyway.

We've been married for almost thirty years. How come our 'fridge still looks like the 'fridge in a college dormitory?

We've grown up in so many other ways! Our 2 x 4 and concrete block bookshelves were replaced by actual furniture years ago. We are no longer embarassed to leave our geezer-meds out where people can see them. We own a sofa. Heck, we even own a hutch! I had a yard sale once! We hire someone to rotate the tires and change the oil and do our taxes! People use us as references! Our college loans are paid off!

But inside our refrigerator, the disguise is foiled. We are not adults, we are actually very, very old kids who own lots of condiments and a lot of Pizza Hut boxes.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:06 PM | |

Sunday afternoon. A good time to get out of bed.

. . . . and go out to EAT again!

My lovely mother-in-law often takes us out to eat on a Sunday afternoon. Bless her. Bless her sweet generous heart. I've been very lucky with the whole mother-in-law thing. Some people aren't. I'm sorry for them, because my mother-in-law is a kind helpful person who has always been good to me. And my kids are both home today! How cool is that? Way cool, I'm telling you now.

We used to eat out a lot, before the Apocolypse hit us so hard. In trying to find some good that came from that, I guess I do know the names of the four horsemen now. Is that a positive or a negative?

Actually, I have also discovered that there are more than four.

Hey! The flowers I planted yesterday are still alive!

Neil Finn and Ben Folds and Finlay Quaye. This is one of the best mixes I ever made.

I think I'll pose my kids beside my flowers and take a few pictures, before they wilt. The flowers, I mean.

I love how my husband buys me those pretty bouquets all the time. There is just something about fresh flowers in a room. . . . He knows I love them, so he buys them for me. How sweet is that?

I hear voices in the living room. My family is having fun in there without me! I must join them and participate.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:58 PM | |

Chopsticks, squatters, and political opinions. . . .

We love to eat in Chinese Restaurants. Especially really late at night, when the customers have thinned out, and the employees are sitting at the tables all around you talking in Chinese, eating with chopsticks, breaking long shiny green beans, and probably wishing we would go home.

We also love those huge all-night bookstores. You know, the ones that have squatters in all the corners; people who spend so many hours reading the books and magazines for free that they take a razor with them to take care of the five-o-clock shadow. People who take sponge baths in the public restroom. People who keep a case of diapers under the changing table in the family restroom. People whose kids take their naps under the little round tables. All the time.

Some of those people read so many magazines, and then put them back on the shelf, that at least half the magazines on the rack are already second-hand. I always take the one at the very back. Sometimes, the ones in the back have the least coffee stains.

I love to walk all the way back to the music section, and make mental notes about the cd tracks that appeal. Then I go home and download them. And if I really, really like them, I buy the CD. Usually on Ebay or Amazon.

I'm not a music thief. Back off, recording industry billionaires. But you need to take note that most people will not pay a dollar and a half for a box of doughnuts without sampling one first. Why should we pay eighteen bucks for a mystery cd? We won't, that's what. Live with it. Ask your butler to bring you a Tylenol or something.

It's really cold tonight. I got our coats out of the back of the closet. We needed them.

Need a good laugh? I sure could. Check this out:


I'm not really 'political.' But I'm not stupid, either.

Anyone who can't put together a basic declarative sentence has no business in charge of anything.

Vote. People who don't vote forfeit their right to whine, later on. And if we don't vote, we'll have plenty to whine about.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:54 AM | |

Saturday, October 16, 2004

I desperately need to somehow make SOMETHING better, right now. . . .

. . . so I guess I will go out and plant the new flowers.

I wish I could replant myself, in some other place, maybe in some other time, even.

My husband is a gem. He brought me new flowers to plant. Somehow, he always knows. . . .

I should cook him a meal some time.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:37 PM | |

No downside, this time. Just good stuff.

Have I mentioned yet about how much I love my job? Well, let the lauds begin now. I love my job! I love the campus. It's so bright and shiny and new, and everybody from the top to the bottom is adamant about keeping it that way. The administration is helpful and friendly, and the students are the greatest. The curriculum is the best I've ever used. When I need something extra in my classroom, all I have to do is dream about it in the night and magically, it's there when I go to work the next day.

Okay, that last might have been a slight exaggeration but you get the general idea.

My students are determined, dedicated people, of ALL ages, who have made the effort to go back to school and get that degree. They are trying to fit their classes and homework in, among, and around their serious job and family responsibilities, and sometimes, the classes suffer. But you know what, to me, that means their priorities are right. I intend to help them in any way I possibly can. If this means having some tiny children playing quietly in the back of the classroom because somebody's childcare fell through, then so be it. If this means giving a lesson review over instant messenger because someone got called in to work unexpectedly and missed a class session, well, I'm more than willing to do that, too.

I just can't praise it enough. So I'll stop, because anyone reading this has already gotten the message.

I love it when my daughter phones me in the middle of the day, just to talk to Mom.

I love it when my son emails sarcastic political videos to me.

I love the chrysanthemums blooming in the planters. My flowers are always so beautiful right before they wither and perish from lack of watering.

The leaves are at their peak. The yard is crispy when I walk through it.

I predict maybe one more mowing-of-the-lawn this season.

And, best of all, it's time to start the Holiday Planning! Oh happy day, caloo-calay. I love the holiday plannings.

We have absolutely no money now, for reasons explained elsewhere, so pickings are slim this year. But we're going to have happiness anyway. The happiness part was always free, anyway.

Where is the downside to all of this, you might be asking yourself? This blogger ALWAYS has a downside!

Well, not this time, buckaroos. For the first time in a long time, I feel kinda good.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:13 PM | |

Grammar ain't just for kids. And it ain't just for school.

I think teachers should have a firm grasp on the language of the country in which they choose to teach. I think all teachers should be clear and concise and easy to understand. I think all teachers should have good large vocabularies, and be able to put together a simple, compound, or even a compound/complex sentence in front of a group of people who gathered expressly to listen to him/her. I think a teacher who can not communicate properly, professionally, and well, should consider another kind of job.

As should a President.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:18 AM | |

Friday, October 15, 2004

My Nano is going well.

Of course, officially nobody has begun their Nano's yet. Of course not. Neither have I. Of course not.

Unofficially, my Nano is going well.

"What is a Nano?"


Did I hear you right? Surely not. Bloggers know Nano, don't they? DON'T THEY? Well, don't they?

If you don't, you need to. Go here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Sign up. Start writing.

Not officially, though, of course.

No no. Not yet.


Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:32 PM | |

BRRRRRRR. . . . . . . . .

Besides which, we still haven't turned on the heat, and I need to get up and put on something warmer before I freeze to death while sitting here at my computer, and my husband finds me in the morning frozen stiff and covered with frost, like those homeless people in "Scrooged."

Although I will have to say, that one old frozen guy had a way cooler watch than me. At least his still ticked when it got cold. My watch is more eccentric than a Red Hat lady. When it doesn't like the climate, all its little gears just withdraw unto themselves and it stops working until the weather suits it better. All my watches are eccentric like that. I used to throw them away when they stopped working, and then I realized that if I just let them thaw out a little bit, they worked again.

They better work, by cracky. Sometimes I pay up to twelve bucks in the WalMart bin for them.

Anything that costs a two-digit number should last forever.

Did you all notice that I actually said 'by cracky' up there? See, I TOLD you I was old!
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:17 PM | |

Blah blah blah

Some people interpret any kind of question as an attempt to start a debate, or even an argument. Why is that?

It seems to me like questions are what keeps us on track. Or maybe rather the answers we have FOR those questions.

Does anybody else out there think that a person who discourages questions either doesn't KNOW the answers, or doesn't want YOU to know the answers?

Either way, it's creepy.

Questioning is healthy. We should all do more questioning.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:52 PM | |

Sunday, October 03, 2004

A Temporary Parting of the Shock Waves

We're going to a wedding this weekend. Sometimes, in the midst of life-crisis-horror, there is a little pocket of delight.

Good thing. Otherwise I'd be swinging from the rafters by my neck by now.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:36 PM | |


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