Monday, February 28, 2005

I was the Nintendo Queen.

There are all kinds of fancy-schmancy video games out there now. Cubes and boxes and you-name-it. All shapes, all sizes, all aspects of the geometric world. We have most of them down in the family room where there is el mucho space and el mundo toys and no kids to appreciate them any more.

Oh wait. I forgot. There is one kid down there a lot. Hub practically lives down there with various and sundry video game machines and vicious violent games wherein he saves the universe on a regular basis in between grading calculus exams and writing programs for electronics.

Zappa is down there many weekends, but the universe's well-being is mostly in Hub's hands. So, we're safe.

But do you remember, that before there were Cubes, and before there were Boxes, there was simply Nintendo?

And before gamers strived to save the universe, we simply tried to help Mario and Luigi find their way through various worlds and mazes and levels, fighting fire-breathing dragons at the end of every level, and rescuing the Princess at the very end?

You all know me as Mamacita, not-so-gracefully-aging sentimental empty-nester who rants about things and gets Gary all upset. But before I was Mamacita, I was the Coolest Mom in the World, because I could RESCUE THAT PRINCESS in less than ten minutes, baby. Go ahead and time me; I could do it.

The gang of little fifth grade boys at WalMart knew me as their Queen, because I could stand there surrounded by adoring hordes of smelly grade-school kids and teach them how to get through the MAZE LEVEL.

Yes. By day I taught prepositional phrases and point of view, but by night. . . . ah, by night, I showed most of this county's Boy's Club members how to rescue the Princess, right there in WalMart.

I brought a Nintendo set to school and let those who had completed all their week's homework and passed all their week's tests (in ALL classes, mister!) play Super Mario Brothers all through study hall on Fridays. They had to show me their completed, graded assignments, I added their names to the Elite Gamers list, and off we went, jumping on toadstools and slamming into blocks and letting the coins add up. The slackers had to sit there and watch, and do their accumulated homework assignments.

Every kid who had me for study hall could rescue the Princess. All my study hall kids also passed all their classes, once they figured out what they could do if they did. No other teacher had a pass record like mine. I was proud of that.

Now some of you will criticize me for bringing that Nintendo and that one little game to school. Go ahead. But I bet it was your kid who was proudest of himself for finally passing Basic Math and earning the right to a session at the Nintendo.

I was the Nintendo Queen. I wore that crown proudly.

These newer game sets, though, I don't like them. I don't like them at all. The games are too bloody. They're too lifelike. I don't like taking a jab at something that's three-dimensional. I prefer full control over flat two-dimensional cartoon characters who look like train engineers, fight dragons, and rescue the princess even though in real life she'd never have either of them.

Yes, I'm old now, but back in the day, I was the Nintendo Queen. Ask anybody.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:30 PM | |


It's snowing a little bit today. Pretty. Yesterday it was in the sixties and tomorrow it's supposed to be in the fifties but today it's snowing. Yup. Indiana.

I was reading an article somewhere, by somebody*, that stated that no matter how old we get, there are still times when we want our mother. Our fifty-year-old mother.

When our mothers are young, we don't consider them 'friends.' Sometimes we don't even consider them sentient all the time. They're just Mommy, when they're young. We don't even know they were young till we look at old pictures. And then we're blown away because, "Oh my gosh, look how YOUNG she was there!"

But as we get older, our mothers seem to stay the same, and somehow the years between us don't matter as much as they used to.

They stay the same, that is, until we take a good long look at them and it hits us that they look old. Not just mom-old, but OLD. Wrinkly. And you know there's white underneath the Miss Clairol. And they aren't as sure-footed as they used to be.

This is shocking, but it's okay, as long as the MOM is still there inside the stranger-every-day body. You know, MOM. The lady who can make magic with a word or a touch? Her? That's the one.

Good thing WE'LL never get old like that, huh.

I've read that when we are in our twenties, the fifty-year-old mother is somehow at her peak of Mom-ness and Friend-ness. Our fifty-year-old mother is an expert in so many things.

What we don't realize is that our fifty-year-old mother is still missing HER fifty-year-old mother.

And what very few of you know yet, is that your fifty-year-old mother is still as insecure and wondering as she was when she was in her twenties. Your fifty-year-old mother is beating herself to death over mistakes she made when you were three.

How do I know this? I'd rather not say.

The seventy-year-old mother is still cool. Still Mom. It's just that the fragility is starting to show, and the mortality thing comes to mind more than we'd like.

The fifty-year-old Mom is the epitome of Momitude. She KNOWS things. We should listen more to our fifty-year-old Mom.

Unless she's a meddling idiot with outdated stupid ideas and a lot of unwanted advice, of course. You don't have to listen then.

Chances are, however, that if your fifty-year-old Mom is mean and judgmental and delights in hurting people's feelings, she was exactly the same when she was in her twenties. Bodies change a lot**. Personalities seldom do.

If your own mommy doesn't appreciate you, come right on over here. I'm not saying exactly how old this Mommy is, but she's in her peak and prime of Momitude.

I have a lot of advice, but I'll wait till you ask me for it***.

*If I knew the author and the name of the article, I'd have mentioned it up above, silly.
**Unless you're Jamie Lee Curtis.
***Most of the time.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:02 PM | |

Sunday, February 27, 2005


This has been making the internet rounds for a long time now, and most of you have no doubt seen it before. However, I'm posting it anyway, because for some reason, it means more to me with each passing year.


The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE ~ My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE ~ My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 YEARS OF AGE ~ My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.

14 YEARS OF AGE ~ Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either.

16 YEARS OF AGE ~ Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.

18 YEARS OF AGE ~ That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE ~ Well, she might know a little bit about it.

35 YEARS OF AGE ~ Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEARS OF AGE ~ Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE ~ Wish I could talk it over with Mom.


Let's talk things over with Mom while we have the chance.

My awesome mother is, fortunately, in pretty good shape. Heck, some days she's livelier than I am. She's 73 years old, but you'd never know it by looking at her.

Her baby brother is in the Veterans' Hospital. He won't be coming back home.

Her BABY brother.

Things aren't supposed to happen like that, you know. It goes against the natural order of things.

Adult siblings are supposed to die in the right order. The first to be born, the first to die. That's how it's supposed to happen.

It doesn't happen that way sometimes.

My sweet MIL's baby sister was the first of the siblings to die, too.

My father was the youngest brother, and the first brother to die. His much-older siblings are still alive.

I'm GLAD they're still alive, don't get me wrong. But it doesn't make sense. Youth is supposed to live, it's old age that dies.

And old age is defined as any age that is at least fifteen years older than you.

We spent most of today in Indianapolis at the Veterans' Hospital with my uncle. Got home in time for the Genuine Bash, and to make grilled cheese and fried eggs for Zappa.

After a somewhat gruelling day, it was nice to go to a party. And just because it was online, doesn't mean it wasn't fun.

It was AWESOME fun. Thanks, G.

I'm the oldest sibling. I hope my sisters and my brother are taking really good care of themselves. They're too old to spank, and too far away to nag properly.

Zappa turned off the tv downstairs. Soon he'll be sleeping.

Belle's in California. Be careful, my little Princess. You need to be more cautious.

All of you: take vitamins.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:38 AM | |

Friday, February 25, 2005

We made a choice, and chose the child. Alliteratively speaking.

Before we had Belle, we had a Siamese cat. It was a sweet little cat, and we spoiled it rotten and lavished goofy affection all over it, and took a zillion pictures a week. We were disgusting over it, and people made fun of us. We considered them Philistines who just didn't understand.

I even entered one of those pictures in a Cat Calendar contest, and lost. I was outraged, because no other cat could possibly have been cuter than mine.

We were stupid over the cat. You get the general idea. (Blush)

As I lay in the hospital bed after having Belle, I worried about how the cat would feel with a rival in the house.

I found out.

The cat was furious. He would stalk around and around the bassinett, and make noises that I'd never heard before.

Still, we lavished attention on the cat. He expected it.

And then one day, Belle was lying on a blanket on the floor, and the cat approached her. He cased the joint, looking first one way and then another, and when he thought the coast was clear, he tiptoed towards her like a sneaky cartoon cat, unsheathed a claw and raked her across the cheek.

My reaction was swift. The cat, who had never been outdoors in all his life, went flying through the open door and out into the yard, and he never came into the house again.

We fawned over him, and petted him outside, but he never forgave us. After about four months of snarling under Belle's window, and pouting, he found a better deal down the road and we never saw him again.

Till the neighbor who had adopted him entered his picture in a calendar contest, and won it.

The caption under the picture said, "Oooh, look at the sweet kittie all ready for battle! 'Wonder who's making him think those fightin' thoughts!"

I could have told them, but I didn't.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:55 PM | |

Advice from an old junker

I've been reading the excellent, wonderful blog Chez Miscarriage for a long time, and recently the topic has been 'drive-by' mommy comments. I understood perfectly what the discussion was all about.

I added my own opinion, but I think I want to say something else.

Nobody's perfect.

No mommy is perfect, no daddy is perfect, no parent of any kind is perfect.

None of our kids is perfect either. Not even yours. Heck, not even mine! (Whoah, Nellie, ESPECIALLY not mine. Even memory can't cover it ALL up!)

We go into parenting as rank amateurs. Taking care of siblings isn't enough. Reading a book isn't enough. Seminars aren't enough. Advice from other people isn't enough. We are a rank amateur, even with our tenth kid. No two are alike.

It's kind of like learning to drive. We can learn a lot from a book, or from a long-time driver. But ultimately, if we are going to actually drive, we have to sit down behind the wheel and drive.

Nobody who has never driven, can tell you how to drive.

Nobody who has never been pregnant can tell you what it's like.

Nobody who has never given birth can tell you what it's like.

Nobody with kids can tell you what it will be like for anyone else.

A book written by a person who's done all these things can't tell you what it's like. Oprah doesn't know. Dr. Phil doesn't know.

The only way you'll ever really know what it's like, is to do it yourself.

And no two parents are alike. No two kids are alike.

Some of us are brand-new and fast and shiny and easy to start. Some of us are old and slow and sluggish and take a while to get going. Some of us were that way when we were young, too. Some of us are old junkers and aren't going anywhere for a while.

It's the same with our children. (Except for that 'junker' part; NO child is a junker!!!!!!)

I had one gas-guzzling stick-shift kid, and one automatic with great mileage kid. Was one of them more correct to have, than the other? No.

When people compared them, I got mad. So do you.

There were and are and will be times when the parent is not behaving well, the child is not behaving well, and the passers-by are not behaving well.

When the three meet, it can only mean disaster, with hurt feelings all around.

I think sometimes that if we could all remember that most people mean well, including us, that maybe we wouldn't go off the deep end so quickly or so easily or with such a huge splash that it knocks people down.

Sure, there are a lot of meddling busybodies out there, but there are also an awful lot of well-meaning people who just want to help.

What is the difference between a meddling busybody and a nice helpful person? Sometimes, nothing. It depends on our mood, sometimes. It depends on who it is, and where we are, and what's happening when they say something to us. It's like art. We all know what we like, but we can't always describe it.

A true meddling busybody is just rude, plain and simple, and no amount of politeness will shut her/him up or change his/her ways. Just smile and walk away. If it's a relative, or someone you see often, you might have to just lay down the law.

Nice people who just see a need and would like to help, should not be treated rudely even when their comment strikes us as rude and in fact brings out murderous tendencies we didn't even know we were carrying around.

The problem is, how to tell the difference. Sometimes, we can't.

I have always tried to respond nicely when people found fault with my methods of dealing with my children, but occasionally I have had to tell people to butt out. Not in those terms, but with that meaning. It's not just with young children, either. Wait till you have teens. Oh, baby, will you ever get the advice then.

Sometimes a stranger will make a simple comment that will set us off like a firecracker, and when we walk away and have calmed down, we realize that it was nothing to get all upset about. Or maybe it was. Either way, other people have had control of us for a few moments, and they shouldn't have. We shouldn't have let that happen.

We parents are so oversensitive when it comes to our children. I was. I still am. You are, too. Even when we can see that their behaviour or cleanliness or clothing choices or food or habits or hair length or girlfriend or whatever leave much to be desired, we don't like it when someone else points that out. We're insecure enough; we don't need to be made more so. People should never criticize someone else's child or child-rearing methods, unless there is some kind of danger involved.

But what about the occasional comment from a stranger that is complimentary, but it just came at a bad time and we respond poorly to it?

The other day, I saw a woman with a double stroller and a toddler, in the store. The children were filthy but smiling, and very well-behaved. She, on the other hand, looked as though she'd been rode hard and put up wet, as Dad used to say. When we got out into the foyer, I said to her, "Your children are beautiful, and so well-behaved! You must be very proud of them!" She turned to me and said, in full hearing of those children, "You must be nuts. These kids are nuthin but brats. They're lucky not to be pounded into puddles when we get home. So shut the hell up about stuff you don't know nuthin about, lady."

Excuuuuuuse me.

But her children WERE beautiful. Was it so awful that I told her I thought so?

We're all oversensitive and insecure about our children. But let's try not to let it affect our simple good manners when dealing with another adult.

No meddlesome rude comments and no hateful responses, okay?

Maybe we need to change ourselves before we try to change the world. Maybe we all need to take a long look at how we are treating each other.

Isn't that how we do change the world? Isn't it really the ONLY way to change the world?

And was I out of line? I apologized for bothering her, but it didn't seem to make any difference.

I always enjoyed positive comments from people about my children. I still do. Nobody of any age gets enough positive comments.

Now, go here. Her blog is awesome, and so is she, and she's talking about positive comments. And then obey her and go to her friend's blog.

Of course, if your kids are wild, shrieking monsters who are tearing the turf apart and endangering and annoying everybody in the place, then I would probably amend all the above advice with the disclaimer "except for you."

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:07 PM | |

Thursday, February 24, 2005

. . . one little Indian boy. . . . .

I used to panic when my children walked around to the back yard where I couldn't see them for a few seconds. We lived out in the country. There were snakes. There were wasps. There were rabid possums, and chipmunks on crack, and too-friendly racoons. There might be kidnappers lurking behind the trees. There were Anya's bunnies.

I worried about everything. I was so insecure as a young mother; I took everything personally. I was so afraid of some kind of harm coming to my children, that I followed them around the yard as they tried to play. I never let them out of my sight.

Our small country road is so full of sharp twists and turns, and the traffic is so heavy for such a sparsely populated area, that we never did allow Zappa to ride his bicycle on it. He had to sneak around and do it behind our backs.

One of the many, many things I did learn was that the things you don't allow your children to do out of sheer fear of the unknown, are usually simple harmless things that they will do anyway the minute you aren't looking. The sooner you realize that, and let go a little, the better off you will all be, both emotionally and physically. Just be sure they know the rules.

All those years of knowing where they were and what they were doing, every second of the day or night, and today, as I write, both of my children are. . . . well, I'm not exactly sure where they are.

Belle is flying out to northern California today. She gave me her flight information, but I think I wrote a grocery list on it and threw it away. Oh well. She'll get there. She always does. She was born with a packed suitcase and an airport boarding pass. Sometimes, she is so happy-go-lucky, that I wonder about her maturity. But it's there, too; and it always comes out whenever maturity is necessary. Whenever I picture her in my mind, she's always smiling.

Her high school senior picture is on the wall in the living room. She's smiling in that picture, too. But when I look at it closely, I can see something else. I can see a look in her eyes that reminds me that on the very morning that picture was taken, one of her good friends was killed in a highway accident.

Belle and her friends cried all day over her. The people at the photography studio had to work overtime to get the girls fixed up so their pictures wouldn't show their grief. They did a good job. Only we mothers can see it.

Zappa was always the home-loving mommy-hugging little boy, until he entered high school and became cool.

It was a long wait for me, till he became even cooler, therefore allowing him to be all mommy-hugging again at his age.

My point is, I went from knowing every single tiny thing about them, to knowing almost nothing.

Belle will be stopping over in at least two states. Which ones were they? I don't remember. This is the girl whose plane was layed-over for HOURS in Belgium and she didn't tell me because she knew I would worry. This is the girl whose return flight from Italy was delayed for HOURS because of a suspicious passenger, while I was waiting in the airport in Chicago watching the clock and picturing her being cut out of the underbelly of a great white shark. She's fearless. Too fearless. This is almost funny, because as a small child, she was afraid of everything. Everything. Possibly because her mother followed her around all the time. She was afraid of KITTENS, for crying out loud. And now she's this cat-loving world traveller who loves living out of a suitcase and can find anything without even using a map.

Zappa hasn't travelled much. He's still in college, and just hasn't had the same chances. It's taken him longer to grow up, than it did his sister. There are many reasons for that.

Zappa had the same best friend from day one of kindergarten until the summer before his sophomore year in high school. Both boys were straight A students, student council, honor roll, stud muffins, etc. Inseparable.

And on the day after Zappa's fifteenth birthday, his best friend sat down at his desk, in his room, and wrote a letter to his parents. Then, he took a gun and blew his brains out. They had to repaint the room. Zappa never did get over it, not entirely. Things took a downward spiral for several years. He has many good friends now, but no one 'best' friend. That, I think, will always and only be Joey.

He, and some of those good friends, are, as I type, at the funeral of still another friend. Another suicide. Zappa has seen three friends die, and two were suicides. He is 24 years old.

What's happening to our world? Why are these handsome well-adjusted intelligent beloved young men doing this? Where did we go wrong? DID we go wrong? When does the influence of the parents leave off, and when do independent individual free-will decisions kick in?

We as parents love our children so deeply and so dearly, that we would cut off our limbs if we thought it would prevent a single tear from falling. We do our best to protect them, and then, as Katie in "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" states, 'they walk out the door and straight into the heartbreak and danger and betrayal we would have done anything, ANYTHING, to save them from." (I can't remember that exact quote, but that's close enough.)

We know we can't protect them from everything; we know we shouldn't even try, because life can be hard, and they need to know how to deal with it. But wouldn't it be wonderful, if we really could save them from all the heartache we've known, ourselves?

Then again, it is learning to deal with ALL aspects of life, that makes us worthy.

I don't know the answers. I don't even know all the questions.

One thing I do know, however, is that we have to keep on keeping on.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:40 PM | |

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The most beautiful baby in the world.

Several blogs have had posts about bringing children to the workplace out of necessity, this past week. They made me remember back to this:

I was extremely fortunate in that for all of my children's elementary and middle school years, I taught in their school building. When they got to high school, their father was teaching in that building. They had no secrets. We knew it all. And we never once embarassed them in any way. Tee hee.

When Belle was two years old, and Zappa was newborn, I got a temporary teaching job in town, subbing for a semester for another teacher who was out on maternity leave. This teacher's baby was three days younger than Zappa. She was able to take a leave. I was humbly grateful to have a job at all. Hub had lost his, and was taking care of Zappa at home. She stayed home with her newborn baby, and I left mine and took her place in the classroom, dropping Belle off at my mother's house on the way, as I had enrolled her in a preschool. I tried so hard to do things right, and I messed up so often. Kind of like. . . . now.

Just another of life's little ironies. . . . .

Mom took Belle to "Playschool" at church, which is a post unto itself, because I would not be able to fit the idiocy into this post along with all the other things I want to say here. Boy, was I ever stupid to send her to that preschool. It's one (of MANY) great regrets. More on that later.

Ahem. Back on topic. . . .

Mom couldn't take care of Belle in the afternoon, and it was a long drive out to our house, so she would drop Belle off at my school, after lunch. I would send two of my students to the side door to meet Mom's car, and to get Belle, and they would bring her back into the room, where she played quietly and happily with her toys, in the back where she wasn't in anybody's way. The students took very little notice of her, except between classes when they talked and played with her, and she never once created or caused any kind of disruption. Not even a little one.

To this day, that principal doesn't know I did that. It never even occurred to me to ask permission. I just did it. It was an experiment that worked. I'd be afraid to do it now. I don't advise any of you to do it, either. It was very unprofessional. Very.

If she had been even the tiniest bit disruptive, I would have removed her immediately and never brought her back again. Fortunately, she cooperated.

I loved having her there with me. I'd be teaching, and our eyes would meet, and she would smile and wave at me, and go on playing. Sigh. She was the most beautiful baby in the world.

Zappa has had killer migraines all his life. When he was a little boy, these not only scared and worried me, they broke my heart. To see your precious child in agony, so very often, was awful. He was so little, there was no way to explain to him about a migraine, etc. I worried about him starting school. The classrooms were so crowded; the teachers, excellent as they were, had so many other children to care for; what would happen to my baby when the migraines came crashing down on him?

Here's what happened.

By that time I had a regular teaching job. My classroom was at the very top of the stairs, on the third floor of the school. I had two bookcases: I arranged them so that there was a little 'office' by my desk. On the bottom shelf of one of those bookcases, I made a comfy little bed. Zappa's migraines were always accompanied by eventual coma-like sleep, and when he woke up the headache was usually gone. His teacher would simply send him to my room to sleep off the migraine, and when he woke up, he went back down to his own classroom. I was deeply appreciate of his teachers' consideration and helpfulness. They were great, in dealing with this issue. Other issues, not so great, but this post is about the great part.

I would watch over him, sleeping in that little alcove I'd made for him, and go on teaching. It wasn't disruptive in the least. The students couldn't even see him in there; most of the time they didn't know if he was there or not. Either way, it made no difference in the atmosphere of the classroom, and in my teaching.

But he was so precious, napping there, with that bright red hair shining against the pillow. He was the most beautiful baby in the world.

He did this up through the fourth grade. The migraines got a little better after that, but he still has them. He never says anything now, but I can always tell. His big blue eyes have the exact same look of pain that they had when he was a tiny little boy.

I was lucky to be able to arrange those methods of watching over my children.

I was even luckier that nobody ever reported me for that first one, with Belle in the classroom.

And that she was so well behaved in there.

The luckiest thing of all is the fact that these two beautiful babies were mine. Mine, do you hear me, and you can't have them.

Well, now that they're grown up, you can have them if you promise to treat them well. I know they'll do the same for you.

And you have to let me borrow them once in a while. Thank you very much.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:14 PM | |

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Family pride.

Belle has quite the sense of humor. I'm not sure exactly where she gets it, but she's got it.

I got an email from her today. It was a totally irrelevant message about Michael Jackson, whose current face is channeling Helena Bonham Carter in "Planet of the Apes." Don't confuse this face with any of his previous faces, which, over the years, channeled everyone from Tim Curry to Sigourney Weaver. And please don't touch his nose. It will fall off.

Moving right along. . . .

As we all know, even though we wish we didn't, he's been accused of child molesting, and this is certainly no laughing matter.

What is a matter of a giggle or two is the list of celebrity witnesses, one of whom is Stevie Wonder.

Stevie Wonder is blind, which is also no laughing matter.

What IS a matter of yet another giggle or two was Belle's comment that: "I am a horrible, horrible person because after seeing the list of witnesses, all I can think of is Stevie Wonder getting on the stand and saying, 'I've known him for years and I never saw a thing.' "

That's my daughter, all right.

Does anybody else besides me remember when Michael Jackson's "Beat It" was being used in those drunk driving ads? And that the best ad of all was Stevie Wonder saying "Before I'd get in a car with a drunk driver, I'd drive the car myself!"

I think I need some sleep.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:26 PM | |

My cat is not really grayish white, but some people think he is. Here's why..

I have very poor circulation. This is caused by many things, the main one of which is the fact that I am fat and lazy.

But, having poor circulation scored me this great vibrating cushion. I'm supposed to recline gracefully on the couch, with my legs on this cushion, while the little robotic fingers massage my calves, and the heat lulls me into hog-heaven-slumber.

I keep it on the living room sofa. It's a bit of a jarring note, from an interior decorator's point of view, but then, any interior decorator who walked into my house would pass out cold from sheer horror before he/she ever left the foyer, so who cares.

Bluegrass Mama's dust has nothing on mine. Honey, the mites have CONVENTIONS on my wood floors, under the furniture. Parties. They invite their friends and all their relatives. You want dust bunnies? I've got dust elephants.

Why don't I mop it away on occasion? Well, on occasion, I do. I don't do it very regularly because, well, please refer back to paragraph one. The part about being really, really lazy.

Most days, the cat kind of mops it around when he runs in and out under the furniture.

Besides, if I wasted my time doing housework, when would I blog?

But I digress. This post is about the cushion.

And the cat.

Because, the cat has discovered the cushion. The cat has learned how to turn the cushion on to 'vibrate.'

The cat likes to sit on the vibrating cushion and dream. What does he dream about? I don't know for sure, of course, not being an Animal Psychic or a Dunk Tank Clown, but from the smile on his face, I'm guessing that maybe he's dreaming about the days before he was taken to the Vet and "tutored," as the kids used to say.

Ah, my very educated cat.

I also rubbed catnip all over his scratching post this afternoon. I did it for meanness. Remember, I'm mean. (If you don't believe me, ask Gary.) The cat enjoyed it.

Did I say "he ENJOYED it?" Hahahahahaha. . . .I thought he was going to suck the entire scratching post down his throat, in fact. He turned into a sentient vacuum cleaner on that thing. Actually, strike the 'sentient,' because he was nothing but a sucking, gasping, mindless drug addicted robot, for a full fifteen minutes.

No wonder he wobbled over to the cushion, turned it on, and sat down to dream about better days.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:07 PM | |

A splash of purple on the drab lawn.

I saw it! I really did! No matter what storms and weatherish horrors the winter might still hold, it won't be fooling me the slightest little bit!

Because, as I was parking in front of the Post Office this afternoon, I saw the little splash of blooming purple crocus that signifies the official start of the end of winter.

Oh, winter's not over. But it's starting to be over. To paraphrase Churchill, this is the beginning of the end.

There will be more freezing weather. There will be more snow. There will be more ice. This warm spell can't last; it's too unnatural.

But right here, right now, it's here. The flowers are starting to bloom, and the trees are starting to bud, and no matter what else happens with the weather, and it WILL happen (I'm excited but I'm not an idiot!) . . . well, to quote the Fabulous Gershwin Boys: "They can't take that away from me."

The crocuses at my house aren't blooming yet, but their wispy little stems are up.

I planted crocuses all over the yard and all around the house. Every year there are more in spots and fewer in other spots, as the bulbs divide under the ground, or as the squirrels and deer find and eat them.

And after all the bulbs have grown and bloomed and faded on three sides of the house, the ones on the North side burst into flower.

In my mind's eye I can still see Belle and Zappa, each with a little sack of crocus bulbs and a little digger, walking around the yard, bending to dig, standing to open the sack and take out a bulb, bending again to plant it, and then straightening up to tell me 'one more flower for later, mommy!'

If you plant bulbs with your child, it can be a lesson in patience.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:53 PM | |

The post where you find out how mean I am.

It has been suggested that it is entirely possible that I tend to get a little bit militant and ornery when it comes to the welfare of children. That perhaps I should be more lenient in my, well, "condemnations" of parents who don't take proper care of their babies. That people get tired and frazzled and do things maybe they wouldn't otherwise do. That I should cut these parents some slack.

Forget it. Children are just too important.

It is the ADULTS in their lives who must change their ways. Not "should;" MUST.

We can slack off about schedules, sometimes. We can slack off about clothing, a lot. We can slack off about a piece of candy before dinner, occasionally. There are many harmless slackings we can get by with and still be good parents.

But any parent who slacks off about a child's welfare and safety and health, does not deserve to have that precious child in his/her keeping. Remove the child, and place it in a better place. "Better place" can be defined as "anywhere the disgusting parents are not."

You put your child in harm's way, through laziness or ignorance or whatever excuse you can trump up, and it is my supreme hope that innocent child will be removed to a safer and better and more loving place. Same definition as above.

Anywhere, as long as it's far away from YOU.

What do you call a person who is obviously not a lady, who is a disgrace to the name of woman, and who is the farthest thing from a mother that anyone could possibly be? I shall call her IT.

We (those other mothers and I) were told yesterday that IT comes regularly to this supermarket; she buys a few food items with her food stamps so she can buy cigarettes with her change. (She gets more food stamps in change for the dollars, but real money for the coins.) She then buys cigarettes with the coins.

That's right, IT. Take care of Number One. Buy cigarettes so you can breathe poison all over your baby. Work the system so you can support your addiction.

Heaven help you if you should use your coins to buy something for the baby.

This person is even a disgrace to the word "bitch."

I just cannot fathom anyone treating a baby like that.

They say that when people who have commited crimes that harmed a child, and are put in jail where they belong, even hardened psychotic serial ax-murderers hate them. Sometimes, the other prisoners gang up on people who have harmed a child, and beat or stomp them to death.

Such a loss to humanity, that would be. What a shame.

Don't even get me started on people who lay a violent hand on a child.

I am mean. Yes.

Oh, well, not really. I try to act all tough but I'm not. I'm easy.

Until a child's welfare is involved.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:25 AM | |

Monday, February 21, 2005

I may be a little angry still. . . . .

Oh mother of that sweet baby in the grocery store today . . . . Why would you have put a tiny child in your grocery store basket and leave the basket in the aisle with the child in it while you go check out the deli line or worse, the restroom line? How could you do that? WHY would you do that?

Today at Marsh I saw a basket with a little red-headed boy in it. The baby looked so much like my son looked at that age: perky, smiley, friendly, and WIGGILY. This baby was so cute and wiggily, and NOBODY was anywhere near him, to make sure he didn't wiggle right out of the basket and onto the floor. NOBODY was anywhere near him, to make sure he didn't sample something out of the cart. NOBODY was anywhere near him to make sure a stranger didn't pick him up and walk right out of the store with him. The little boy was friendly and sleepy and wiggily and loving, and anybody on earth could have picked him up and cuddled him and this baby would have laid his precious little head on the stranger's shoulder and the two of them could have disappeared into the horizon never to be seen or heard from again. . . . .

Oh busy shopping parent: I hope you don't learn this lesson the hard way.

And may I say just one thing more: TAKE CARE OF YOUR BABY, YOU INSENSITIVE UNDESERVING CLOD! HOW DARE YOU JUST LEAVE THAT PRECIOUS CHILD ALONE IN A GROCERY CART IN THE AISLE OF A BIG GROCERY STORE WHERE ANYTHING MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED AND ANYBODY COULD HAVE DONE ANYTHING TO HIM. . . . a little baby who couldn't even talk yet, to call for help or say 'no' , who could barely sit up, who wouldn't have even cried because he would have welcomed almost anybody's attention, a tiny little boy who was friendly and loving and sleepy and who would therefore have gone into the arms of ANYBODY. . . .

I don't care how badly you needed to pee. Take the baby to the bathroom with you, or leave the baby with a sitter. Just don't LEAVE THAT BEAUTIFUL CHILD ALONE IN A CART IN THE AISLE OF A HUGE GROCERY STORE.

I was just one of three irate mothers who had come upon the baby in the cart, and were standing guard around it.

You, you rotten excuse of a mother, came bouncing out of the restroom by way of the deli, with a bag of sliced ham and an unconcerned grin, and had the nerve to be surprised by the militant mothers who confronted you about your baby.

"He was fine, I was just gone for a minute, jeez, lighten up ladies." She was still exhaling faint cigarette smoke as she talked. "Butt out, bitches. I was gone a minute. That's all."

It doesn't even take a SECOND, you consummate ass. She was gone for at least ten minutes.

We watched you push your cart and your baby through the checkout and out of our lives, but one of the militant mothers knew you for a regular customer, and if you ever do this again while any of us are in the store, we will call the police. I wish we'd done it today, in fact.

That is not a threat. It's a promise.

And I hope you rot in jail.

Some people don't deserve to have children.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:06 PM | |

Why don't you have Bambi and his mother for dinner?

My tulips are up, and so are the crocuses. No blooms, of course, and the tulips are only a few inches tall, but they are promises that soon I will have flowers.

I always get lost in nostalgia when I see my spring flowers. My children were fascinated by them, especially by the crocuses. So was I, for that matter. I still am. Maybe next post I'll go into details.

Crocuses here often come up through ice or snow. It's common to see a brave blooming flower that's burrowed through the snow, and is flaunting its purple or gold in spite of the temperature.

The weather here has been so unseasonably warm this winter, that everything is confused, and trying to come out too soon. I hope the March weather doesn't frighten or kill anything. Actually, I'm surprised that all these deer haven't devoured the tulips. They're eating everything else.

I am no hunter, nor do I like that quality in others, but if any of you would like to come over and sit on the back porch and gitcha a buck for dinner when the herds thunder past, come on over. They're everywhere, and they're eating everything in sight and in reach. I haven't seen such big racks since I found that porn magazine under Zappa's mattress.

Bambi Shmambi. Come and get him. And his mother, too.

I really think there's something to this Global Warning thing. That big blizzard last December was it, as far as winter weather violence is concerned. This is Indiana, for crying out loud. We're supposed to have hard winters.

If the winters are too warm, we have nightmare swarms of insects in the summer.

I haven't worn a coat to school in weeks. I'd rather be a little bit cold than put up with the bother and inconvenience and bulk of a coat. Unless I'm going to be outside for a while, that is.

The yard is so wet, my footsteps made this gross sucking sound as I walked on it.

This post is extremely boring. I do apologize.

Break's over. Back to grading essays.

And how are YOU all today?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:08 PM | |

Es war ein dark und shtormy Night. . . .

The Monk's Song, from "Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice: An Opera In One Unnatural Act

Et expecto resurrecreation;
Et in unum Dominos and checkers;
Qui tollis peccata mundi morning.
Mea culpa kyrie elei-
Sonny Tufts et Allah in Pompeii;
Donna nobis pacem cum what mei;
Agnus and her sister Doris Dei;
Lord, have mercy on my solo.
Et in terra chicken pox romana;
Sic sic transit gloria mañana;
Sanctus estes Kefauviridiana
In flagrante delicto Svetlana;
Lord, have mercy on my solo
.Credo in, at most, unum deum;
Caveat nabisco mausoleum;
Coitus interruptus bonus meum;
Kimo sabe watchum what you sayum;
Lord, have mercy on my soul so lowwwwwwww.

I wish he would do "Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice" at all the concerts. Sigh. And the Monk's Aria isn't even the funniest.

Here's tonight's program:


from LITTLE NOTEBOOK FOR “PIGGY” BACH, S. 3 LittleP.D.Q. Bach (1807-1742?)

Minuet in 3D Major

Chorale Prelude: “Scintilla, Scintilla”

Dance of the Various Body Parts


Das kleines Birdie
Der Cowboykönig
Gretchen am Spincycle
Es war ein dark und shtormy Night



Hedi McKinley
The Brothers Joad
D’Indy’s Turkey

Dear, If You Change
Blue Window
If You Will Try It

The Mule
3-Step Crab Dinner
O Serpent (the archaic musical instrument, not the reptile)

Songs From Shakespeare:
Macbeth’s Soliloquy
Hamlet’s Soliloquy
The Three Witches from “Macbeth”
Juliet’s Soliloquy
Funeral Oration from “Julius Caesar”

If you think any of these selections was serious, forget it. Each was funnier than the one before.

We sang all the way home. The pouring rain didn't bother us. Neither did the fog. We were just so happy and silly. And in the car, we could remember all the lyrics.

Now, sitting here trying to be witty, I can't remember them.

The Shakespearian songs brought down the house.

I love concerts and really almost any live production. But a show like this one has a unique audience. The audience tonight knew exactly what they were in for; they'd been before; they knew their stuff. They had background, so they could enjoy a parody because they enjoyed the original. It wasn't even necessary to speak English.

It was, however, absoLUTEly necessary to have a background in classical music. And, the audience did. Peter Schickele tore the classics apart and put them back together in such a way that none of us will ever be the same again. It was superb. It was genius. It was soooo funny.

I wrote up this night's experience over on Golly Blog Howdy, where I am guest-hosting today. Wonderful Mellie Helen favored me with her trust, to go into her blog, with all her passwords and secret stuff, and I only hope I don't let her down. Different people are privileged to guest-host there for the next two weeks. Mellie Helen is one of the nicest, coolest people I've ever known, so everybody get over there to her blog and support her even while she is absent.

Holy cow.
Jeez Louise.
Man alive.
I declare,
Now I've heard everything.
Can you beat that?

I want to perfect The Art of the Ground Round.

And now I think I'd best hit the sack before my incoherent ramblings become even more incoherent.

Oh, and no more news. Thank you for asking. I really appreciate the kindness.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:04 AM | |

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Sic sic transit gloria mañana.

In a few hours, my family and I will be sitting in the IU Auditorium, laughing ourselves sillier than we already are, over the antics and sheer class of Professor Peter Schickele and the PDQ Bach Jekyll and Hyde Tour.

Hub and I have seen PDQ Bach four times in our marriage, and each of us had seen it at least once before we got married. It's become one of those 'traditions' that becomes a 'tradition' only when we are reminded of it and start to think about how intensely cool it is. Or when one of the cd's comes 'round in the jukebox rotation.

I know that most people have never heard of PDQ Bach; really, you should run out and listen to some of it at the bookstore, or the library. Heck, download it.

Or go here and just click around. Don't eat M&M's or any kind of hard candy while you listen to PDQ Bach; you'll kill yourself choking.

I think "Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice" is my all-time favorite individual piece. You youngsters won't catch the movie reference, but those of us of, um, a certain age, will. Even the titles of the pieces are hilarious.

This Opera in One Unnatural Act is from my favorite PDQ Bach cd: The Intimate PDQ Bach.

Here. Have a listen.

Well anyway, that's where we'll be tonight. The sweet MIL has never been before, but she's majestically musical and I hope she will enjoy it.

Belle and Zappa have been before, but it's been a while. We started taking them to concerts, plays, musicals, and what-have-you, when they were VERY young. So young, in fact, that. . . . . well, let me just say that they've slept through some of the finest productions in the world.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, they behaved beautifully because they knew exactly what would happen to them if they caused a disturbance of any kind in a public place.

And now they're both live-theatre fanatics, just like mommy and daddy. Cool, huh.

(They really were too young for "Kismet;" that drowning scene kind of traumatized them for a little while. Fortunately, during the curtain call, one of the actors got bonked by a lowering curtain and felled flat, which took some of the edge off. It remains their only true memory of "Kismet" to this day.)

Ask Belle some time what she remembers about the circus. Hint: it wasn't the clowns, acrobats, trapeze artists, or popcorn.

And once when we went to see "Les Miserables" in Louisville, our cheap nose-bleed side-bar seats were pre-empted by the sound system, and we were routed to ROW FIVE CENTER ORCHESTRA seats, for the same price. We had taken a van full of Belle's and Zappa's high school friends, and we all got the great seats! For CHEAP!

So now, I'd best get busy grading papers, so I can laugh myself sick later tonight. I know we'll have a great time. I love it when my family does things together; that doesn't subside when they grow up, you know.

I hope all of you have a great Sunday, too. Maybe next time, you can come with us!

Tonight, we have some fun.

Unless, of course, the phone rings again.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:16 PM | |

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Life goes on.

The phone call brought no news. He is still unconscious, and they can't seem to stop the bleeding.

I thank you for all the good wishes. You are awesome loving people.

Life goes on, doesn't it. No matter what happens to us, life goes right on going on.

I can hear my son opening the front door. He will want grilled cheese and fried eggs. I will fix them, as I have fixed them for him for over twenty years now. Hub won't want any, but he will sit in his big chair and sniff appreciatively, even while saying "no thank you" when asked if he wants some.

They've let the cat in the house. It's hard to type when the cat is in the house, because he likes to lick my arms and pull my hands away from the keyboard.

Tomorrow, my family is going to see PDQ Bach. We've looked forward to it for a while now, and we are still looking forward to it. I just hope nothing bad happens while we are enjoying ourselves.

I seldom use my cell phone, but today it's been used a lot. I had such a bad experience with my old cell phone, because I used to loan it out to people I really didn't know well enough to loan a phone to, and I think I am a little scared of it now. Oh, not really, but I'm leery.

And now I'm going to go take care of my little 24-year-old baby boy.

They're never too old for Mommy to love on.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:56 PM | |

Incomprehensible incomprehendableness. I really don't think I can take any more surprises.

Life has taken a somber turn here in the much-mortgaged home of Hub and Mamacita.

My uncle has had a brain hemorrhage, and the outcome is, as I write, uncertain.

He is my mother's baby brother, and it is for her that my heart is breaking.

Sometimes the speed at which life can surprise you, is too much to be comprehendable.

Hub is out doing errands alone this Saturday afternoon, and I am here by the telephone, waiting.

What am I waiting for? I am waiting for news.

So far, it doesn't look good.

But sometimes, the speed at which life can surprise you, is too much to be comprehendable.

Good things happen, as well as bad. I am hoping that this time, the news might be good.

We here have had more than our fair share of bad happenings this past year, and maybe we're due something positive.

A few years ago, a good friend in "perfect health" died of a sudden brain hemorrhage. The suddenness was incomprehensible.

And now this.

Mom did okay last night, up until she watched her baby brother being loaded onto a heliocopter.

My uncle is in his sixties, but to her he will always be her baby brother. I can empathize with that. My brother is in his forties, but he will always be my baby brother, too.

I told you I was old.

Just as our children will always be our children, our siblings will always be our siblings. As adults, we may be equals in most things, but ultimately, somebody is the baby and somebody is in the middle and somebody is the oldest and therefore the boss.

Well, you get my drift.

Anyway, here I sit, waiting for the phone. And hoping that it will be news that beats the odds, this time.

On the bright side, I finally figured out how to post a picture that links to a page. Please click on the blogging! magazine picture on my sidebar, because it took me a really long time to learn how to do that, and it will make me very happy if you all actually take advantage of my new-found knowledge.

Besides, I'm really down today and if you click on it, it will be an act of kindness. Not to influence you or anything. . . . .

The phone is ringing.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:35 PM | |

blogging! magazine. It's blogtastic!

Bloggers, some of you have already heard about the fantastic new online treat, blogging! magazine. This is the very first magazine of its kind, and it is all about us, the blogging neighborhood of people who share their lives, opinions, and advice, online.

Our very own Genuine is featured in the first edition!

Most of you know that any business recommended by the blogging community is going to get a LOT of hits. blogging! magazine, with its online format, is the perfect place to place an ad. Be ready for the rush, though. You'll get so many customers, it'll make your hit counter crazy!

And now, please click HERE.

I am really excited about this new and innovative online magazine. The people at
One By One Media have done an excellent job.

This is going to soar, folks. Get in on it!
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:55 AM | |

Friday, February 18, 2005

Follow the poopie-ball trail.

So many things have changed, in the world of babies. I can remember Mom saying, as she looked at Belle's and Zappa's tiny little newborn clothes, that baby clothes were soooo cute nowadays, compared to how they were back in her day. I couldn't have agreed more. My babies' outfits were simply adorable.

But not nearly as adorable as the baby clothes now. Modern babies have the cutest clothes I've ever seen.

But I digress. I am not going to blog about baby clothes. At least, not the outer ones.

No, this blog is about diapers. Kind of.

Disposables have been around for a long time now. Heck, my brother is in his forties, and Mom used to buy disposables for long trips, etc, for him even back then. They did not, however, have the tape-tabs; she still had to use diaper pins on the early disposables.

By the time Belle and Zappa came along, much had improved. Tape tabs. I was so glad, because as I am unbelievably clumsy, one of my fears was of injuring my precious baby with a sharp pointy jab to the hip.

I would have liked to use cloth diapers, but I had no laundry facilities till later.

Both my babies were born in June. It's hot, in June. Therefore, on occasion, my tiny babies wore only a diaper around the house. Or their grandparents' houses. (I NEVER took them out in public in only a diaper, though. It's just not classy. Not then, not now, not ever.)

Elastic-leg diapers existed, but they hadn't for long. The early Huggies had elastic that was too tight; it created such a lack of air-flow across the buttal area that babies had the most fantastically awful cases of diaper rash you could ever imagine. Not many babies could 'take' the elastic legs on those early diapers. Belle couldn't, and neither could Zappa.

Therefore, I counted my blessings that at least I had Pampers. Pampers never let me down.

Oh wait. Yes they did.

I am about to put in writing something that parents of babies are never told about beforehand.

I am going to talk about. . . . poopie balls.

Yes. You all know about them. Admit it.

Your baby is wearing a non-elastic diaper. Your baby is crawling all around the house. You are, as usual, exhausted. You are content just to watch the baby play. Suddenly you see something on the carpet. It looks vaguely like a malted milk ball. You look closer. You realize what it is. It's poop. Poop, shaped like a marble. It's a poopie-ball. You are horrified. Then you see another one. And another. You realize that your baby is leaving a trail of poopie-balls all over the room. They are falling out of the leg-holes of the diaper. You walk around the house, bent double, picking up poopie-balls. Sometimes, you have to crawl. You have a handful of poopie-balls. You dash into the bathroom and drop the handful into the toilet. You rush back into the room, where your baby is still crawling about, leaving a trail behind her/him. You wonder just how many poopie-balls one small baby could possibly make in few minutes' time. You find out.

If your baby is wearing footie-jams, the poopie-balls sometimes drop down into the feet, and get crushed between the baby's toes. This totally grosses out all the little piggies. It even grosses out the baby's mommy and daddy. It's quite possibly the first thing your baby has ever done or produced that mommy and daddy do not find adorable. Sometimes, the footie-jams get tossed into the washer with poopie-balls still inside the feet. They do not wash out. Sometimes, these same footie-jams get tossed into the dryer. This makes an unfortunate circumstance even more unfortunate, as the dryer heat makes the poopie-balls shrink just enough that they can travel up the leg and out the snappie-holes, and become wedged in the vent-holes of the dryer. These vent-holes must be scraped out with human fingers. Your fingers. Poopie that has been through the washer and dryer is really hard to remove from under your fingernails. Poopie that has been washed and dried is still not clean. It's still poopie.

Plus, your entire load of laundry is streaked with brown and smells like shit.

All in all, a memorable cycle. It's enough to make you go out and buy Huggies again. Maybe your baby has outgrown the terrible rash that happens when a moist buttie is encased in man-made materials with no ventilation whatsoever. You give it one more try. Your baby breaks out in a rash that would interest the Guinness Book, and quite possibly the Child Welfare.

You sigh, and go back to Pampers. And you get used to walking around your house bent double, because you never do get all the poopie-balls at one fell swoop; there are always poopie-balls to be found later. Usually when you have company.

Don't forget to check the couch cushions, either. Your baby loves to stand up on the sofa. Poopie-balls fall out of the diaper every time the baby moves. Poopie-balls love to hide between the cushions. When you find those suckers later, it's usually because they've ripened and freshened your living room with eau d'pooparoma.

Be sure to check your pants, too. Sit on a poopie-ball and you've got a little brown circle on your butt. Every parent you see will know exactly what it is. And they will laugh. And then they will say to their spouse, "I don't have one on ME, do I?" And many times, they will. And then they will stop laughing.

The only thing worse than walking around bent double picking up poopie-balls, is slinging poopie that is not of a texture to form anything solid. This consistency will be dealt with in another post.

To prepare you for this future post, I leave you with this word: projectile.

Malted milk ball, anyone?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:09 PM | |

Today, I am an urchin peeking hungrily at the store window displays, and wishing.

Circuit City in Bloomington is going out of business, and from noon till eight today, everything is between fifty and eighty percent off.

Ordinarily I don't drive up to the city on Fridays but for this I'll make an exception.

I think I've got enough money to buy some batteries.

And I like to windowshop the laptops. Maybe some day, if ever we have any money again, I can get one.

Us, with money. Hahahahahahahaha, how funny. (That's almost a poem! A sadly ironic poem!)

But oh, what fun to dream about. . . . .
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:59 AM | |

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Women's Lib is only good if we also have Men's Lib.

Jay, over at the Zero Boss, posted a link to Blogging Baby, where a smallish debate is raging over whether or not Mother-Baby groups should allow Daddies to join.

Apparently, there are some wimmins out there who do not want the mens in their living room while wimmin things are being discussed or whipped out and nursed upon.

What came to my mind first, was how back in the seventies, women were protesting against all-male clubs of any kind, and suing to be included. And, still are. Women can't stand it if there is any kind of exclusively male organization of any kind. They want to be included.

Okay, WE want to be included. And by 'we,' I mean both you AND me.

But now some women are doing the same thing to men, that the men did to the women back in the days before the wimmins realized they could have been emancipated all those years. They want to be able to exclude men from their exclusively female organization.

Why can't we all be emancipated enough to include each other? Our kids need all the good parenting they can get. And no parent is so good, that he/she can't get better.

And, people get better at anything by listening to other people tell what made THEM better.

Let's try to be examples to our children, and to each other, and put the petty and, yes, stupid, prejudices aside. Why does it have to be a "Mommy Group," or a "Daddy Group?" Why can't we just have "Parent Groups?"

Our children can only benefit from the knowledge we would gather.

This, from an old seventies hippie who still has ratty "ERA NOW" t-shirts packed away somewhere. . . . .

Yes, I used to be a hippie. Now, I'm just hippy.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:08 PM | |

Won't you be my neighbor?

As I drove to school today, I noticed that oh, it's such a beautiful day outside. Cold, but sunny and bright and clear and just, beautiful. It's a lovely day to bundle up and do things outside. If I weren't on my way to work, I'd be home doing things outside.

After school, I was driving down the highway thinking that soon I'll be home, and I can do things outside because it's so pretty out.

And then I remembered that the Honda had another appointment at the dealership.


It was a beautiful day today. Cold, but sunny and bright and clear and just, beautiful. A lovely day to bundle up and do things outside.

Or, to sit in the lounge area of the Honda dealership while your seat belt is repaired.

Either way is, I'm just sure, equally fun.

There were no windows in the dealership lounge. But I'm sure the sun was still shining those two and a half hours while I sat there in the windowless lounge and read magazines and listened to soap operas on the tv because the two old ladies waiting in there with me were hooked on them, absolutely HOOKED, do you hear me, and when they walked into that lounge they went for the tv remote like piranha on a cow's hind leg and grabbed it from where it was sitting on the table in front of me and changed the channel from the program I was listening to, and changed the channel to the one they wanted, and found their stupid soaps, whereupon they provided LOUD non-stop commentary on every character, plotline, writer, and history-of, for four soap operas, each of which was more stupid and disgusting than the one before. . . . .

Notice that I said I was LISTENING to these programs? I don't like to watch TV. I never watch it at home. Sometimes I pop in a movie, but I just don't like TV shows any more.

I did read a good article in TIME while waiting; it was about schools, teachers, and parents-from-hell. Ah, yes. There will be letters a'plenty about THAT article. All teachers have horror stories about parents, as I'm sure most parents have horror stories about teachers.

It's too bad that the good parents, and the good teachers, and the good students, never get any attention. I think if more good students got the attention, there would be more good parents. But noooo, it's all for people who are NOT good. Sweet little kids are neglected in our schools. If you don't believe me, ask your child.

The parents in my blogroll are the kind every teacher dreams of. You people know. You know how to behave and what to say and how to treat a teacher right. Even when you rant and rave and find fault, it's done intelligently and with reasonable expectations. We are all a little blind when it comes to our own children, but you guys understand that even YOUR kids are not perfect and that maybe, just maybe, a teacher or another adult might occasionally have your kid pegged right. Or not, but even when it's 'not,' you guys deal with it properly. Not like many parents teachers have dealt with, I can promise you that. I've seen you admit it when you've been wrong, and forgive, and ask forgiveness, and ask for advice, and just about everything, concerning our kids. Whenever I read your blogs, I stand back in awe and great appreciation of your ideas, humor, attitudes, and reasonableness. Thank you. Someone should do an article on blogging parents as reasonable parents. Could it be partly because we all have each other as examples, so we know what's right and reasonable, and what isn't?

The fact that most of you can find humor in even the most negative of circumstances tells me that you are all intelligent, and awesome, and loving parents to lucky kids. It's sad to think of all the little kids in homes that contain no humor.

Being able to find humor in most situations is a great indicator of high intelligence, did you know that? Well, of COURSE you did. Becaue you are all funny, therefore, you are all smart.

People with lower IQ scores are usually the easiest to offend. Maybe it's because they do not always understand things, therefore, they get mad. Anger doesn't take much intelligence; humor does. Real humor. Every time you laugh, you are making yourself smarter. True story.

Even you few who aren't all that reasonable are still cool. Except for one.

Enough of that topic. I don't want to bring anyone's ire down on me again. It hurts.

But it isn't fair, the way children are treated in our schools. Especially the good little kids.

Hub will be here in a few minutes. We're having pizza at Grecco's again tonight. The sweet MIL is taking us out. Bless her, she knows we love to eat out, and that we can't very often now unless she takes us. So, she takes us. Frequently. (I loved her BEFORE we went broke and she started taking us out, too.)

As for that business up there of me doing outside work on a cold sunny day? I hope you didn't fall for that one! I'm the laziest slug in the whole Jabba family. But I would have opened the window and let the sunshine in. And faced it with a grin. 'Cause smilers never lose, and frowners never win.

Yes, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. A beautiful day for a neighbor, would you be mine?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:00 PM | |

Just a little test to see how progressive they are.

Several people have asked me what a TracFone is. It's just a cell phone with prepaid minutes. You can buy the minutes at WalMart, etc, but if you buy them over the internet, they often have specials and you can get extra minutes for free. I have one, too. I use mine so infrequently that it seemed like the best deal for me. I used to have a regular cell phone but I hardly ever used it; mostly I just loaned it to people. (Don't ever do that, by the way. . . .) Mom wanted one for long distance and emergencies, so it seemed like the best deal for her, too. Anyway, that's what a TracFone is.

Today I'm giving a test over progressive verbs, and fixed-form helping verbs. Don't you wish you were in my class? My lucky students will be thrilled, I just KNOW it.

That wasn't sarcasm; they really will be thrilled. I mean, why wouldn't they? Progressive verbs and fixed-form helpers, for crying out loud.

Oh, okay. Maybe they won't. But it's an easy test, as tests go, so that aspect will make them happy.

I am having a lot of absenteeism, and the college policy is "no make-up work," and the students are all aware of that policy, but they are missing class anyway. Why would they do that?

Probably for the same reason I did it back in the day. But back then, we could make stuff up. Now, they can't.

Some mornings, it was just impossible to wake up at all, let alone on time. I remember.

My students are trying to fit some classes in, among their already-burdened schedules of jobs and family. I cut them as much slack as I can, but some things are out of my hands. Sigh.

I LOVE my job. Love the campus. Love the students. Love it all.

It's never fun to add someone's grades up and realize what you already knew: they aren't passing.

When someone's grades have lots of blanks, you pretty much know how they're going to do at the end, and it's hard to sympathize with someone who just plain didn't do the work. It's the people who have tried hard and done every assignment and still average out below 70%, that break my heart. For them, I'd do almost anything legal to help them. For the slackers, well, I still try to help but frankly, a person who chooses not to do the work isn't very deserving of extra help. This is true of any grade level, all the way down to K.

Mom and I watched "Something's Gotta Give" the other night. I like it. I think she made the wrong choice at the end, but that's just me. I've never been a Jack Nicholson fan. He's creepy. I'm not a Keanu Reeves fan, either; but he was charming in this one, and at least it wasn't the Matrix. Brrr. Not a fan.

There's a homemade apple pie in this house. Want some?

Splenda is awesome. I use it all the time now. Hub is diabetic, but now he has options he didn't have before.

I've heard it causes acne but at our age, who cares? I still get the occasional zit anyway; they go nicely with the age spots. The best of both worlds.

I am so fat. This has got to stop!

Have a great Thursday, y'all.

I'm off to the city to check out the progressive verbs. You don't find progressives in this town, so I've got to go north a little to find them.

Feeble, wasn't it. Sorry.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:13 AM | |

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I used to hang out in alleys.

GHOCI spells 'fish.' In case you were wondering.

Last summer we planted two lilac bushes in the front yard. I've always loved lilacs; they bring back memories of when I was a little kid, and played all up and down the alleys in town. For some reason, those alleys were lined with lilac bushes, hollyhocks, and geodes.

Southern Indiana is full of geodes. We used to break them open with hammers and compare the crystals or weird formations inside. I still like to do that, and living here, we can. Geodes are just simply everywhere. I didn't know they were any big deal till people from other places told me so. I've even seen them for SALE in stores! Geodes! The roundish cauliflowerish rocks that make our mower blades duller and duller every summer! People BUY them! Golly, people, our driveway is covered with little geodes. And the large and larger and largest ones are peppered all over everybody's yard here. People glue them to the tops of fenceposts, and place the HUGE ones on either side of their porch steps. There's a house about a block from the post office that has five or six geodes the size of doghouses, all along the top of their front wall.

I think we all take for granted, things that we see every day. Someone else comes in from afar and can see the wonder of it, but we are just too close to see that unless/until it's pointed out. And even then, if it's something that's part of our everyday environment, we often still don't 'see' it like an outsider would see it.

Maybe that's why people who live on the borders of Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, drive all the way to Spring Mill in Indiana. It's something different.

As for the lilacs and hollyhocks, we used to make dolls out of them. Plus, just to smell those lilacs takes me back to those days of playing in the alleys. Broken glass? We didn't care. We just fell on it and picked out the big chunks and wiped off the blood with goldenrod.

I don't remember that the hollyhocks had any odor, but those lilacs. . . . mmmmmmmmmmmm.

My point? It's way up there in the beginning, where I said that we planted two lilac bushes last summer. One of them died, and we thought the other one did, too. But today as I was leaving for school, I saw a fearless little stick covered with tiny buds, peeking up from the ground.

It's going to smell really good in the front yard this summer.

I hope we are here to smell it.

It's getting harder and harder to make ends meet these days. There is a possibility that we will have to sell our house.

2004 brought us such incredible disillusionment, and heartbreak, and broken dreams. 2005 started well, and continues good, but the financial and emotional losses are still terrible.

I will never understand how some people sleep at night.

As for all of YOU, dear, dear people, you have restored most of my faith in humanity. Thank you.

I do have a message for the person who is flooding my inbox and comments right now: "Courtney Klein," please stop emailing me. I don't know you. I am not interested in whatever you want me to look at. I do not want your packet of information. I have no interest in reading about anybody's "last days." I do not care about what you want to tell me. You are a stranger. Get lost. I block your IP and you email me from another one. Go away. You're worse than spam. I don't know what you're selling but I am not interested. Now. Is there any part of this message that you don't understand?

That little bud-covered twig really made my day. It's beauty, waiting to be born.

I hope the cat doesn't eat it.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:06 PM | |

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I bought my Mom a TracFone so she would drive all the way out here to visit me. It worked.

Hub is teaching tonight and I've got me a date.

Yup. Mom is coming over and we're going to watch us some serious chick-fluff movies.

She hardly ever comes all the way out here to visit me. I'm always thrilled when she does.

Of course, she's bringing her TracFone so I can add some units via the internet, but I'm sure that was not an issue.

She's coming out here to VISIT ME, and we're going to watch MOVIES.

After I pump up her TracFone with units, that is.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:15 PM | |

How to tell smart people from stupid people. . . . .

Basic Elevator Etiquette for Dummies:

1. Push the appropriate button. If button is already glowing, do not push it.



4. The people coming out of the elevator have the right-of-way over the people going into the elevator.

5. WHEN THE ELEVATOR IS COMPLETELY EMPTY, calmly walk towards the open door. Do not push. Do not shove. The elevator is not going anywhere. It's not like a subway, or a train, or an airport shuttle. Step inside the elevator and position yourself as far away from the other passengers as possible. If the elevator is crowded, do not take up more than your fair share of space with a wheeled briefcase.

6. Anyone who has a lighted cigarette in an elevator is fair game for murder. Nobody will tell on you. Everybody will help. You might even get a medal. If not, you should.

7. Once inside the elevator, do not reach across people to push a button. If your button is not already glowing, ask someone near the buttons to push it for you. Be sure say please, and thank them nicely when they do it.

8. Do not violate any of these rules.

9. ESPECIALLY do not violate #'s 2 and 3.

10 If you violate #'s 2 and 3, you are an idiot. "Dummies" books are beyond your intellect. You suck. You're probably ugly. Your mother dresses you funny. You smell bad. Nobody likes you. Your spouse is changing the locks as we speak. Your children tell their friends that you are the boarder, and that their father lives in Paris and films documentaries.

There. Now you know one way to tell smart people from stupid people. It's a pretty good indicator.

Oh, are you upset because I was a little teensy bit MEAN up there?

(Good grief, are you back again? I'm talking about adults today. Go away.)

No, not you. You can stay. And, please do. You're awesome and I love you.

I guess it's obvious what kind of day I've had. To be honest, it was pretty good until the group of women in bad suits (all in red high heels, for whatever reason) decided to mob the elevator. They were wearing name tags. Apparently, an insurance convention was going on today. Yes, I know your names and place of employment, Loretta and Noreen and Sh'kwanna and Mrs. Ashe. Were any of you aware that your carnations were pinned on upside down?

Now that I know the name of their company, you can bet that I wouldn't purchase anything from them. They are stupid. They gave their company a bad name. Bad, bad impression.

And if they hadn't also been so pushy and scary, I would post the name of the company.

I am mean. Ask anybody. Grrrrr. Mean.

And why do I get the impression that Noreen rides tailgun on a Harley every weekend, wearing a halter made from a bandanna and a diaper pin?

Not that there's anything WRONG with that. . . .

(Yes, I'm mean. Are you still here? Go back to your own blog and post all about how awful my journal is, and how mean I am. That's your thing. We all know.)

NOT YOU. You, I adore.

Ordinarily I'm nice. Honest I am.

Just not right now.

Can you tell that I'm not really nearly as angry as I am hurt, by a certain person's opinion of me?

Yes, YOU.

(No, not YOU.)

He knows who he is.

My blog is NOT offensive. Is it?

Well, maybe this post is. But on a regular basis, is it?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:40 PM | |

Monday, February 14, 2005

Hub and Mama and Ted and Alice.

Let me see now. . . . Valentine's Day. . . . .

Well, there's a pretty bud vase with three yellow roses and two sprays of baby's breath on the table in front of the big picture window. I liked that very much.

There's a heart-shaped box of Hershey's kisses on Hub's chair. He will like that very much.

Later tonight we are dining out, having only to choose between McDonald's and Burger King. But to fancy it up a little, we plan to eat inside instead of our usual drive-through. Bags of cold fries and soggy buns just don't symbolize Valentine's Day.

Why such a prosaic choice, on this night of nights?

Because we have no money, my friends, and what little we do have, we're saving up because next Sunday we're going to the IU Auditorium to see PDQ BACH!!!!!!

Not just plain Bach. No no. Plain Bach we can get here at home. This is PDQ BACH. It's an experience unequalled in music geekdom. PDQ Bach is the Weird Al of classical music. I don't know how else to describe it.

Next Sunday. Look it up on the internet, get some tickets, and join us, why dontcha?

I wonder if Hub ever intends to open that box of Hershey's kisses? It's been sitting there on his chair for almost an HOUR now. Sheesh.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:43 PM | |

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Surprise! The eighties are back in full force in my house tonight.

My cousin and super friend C had a surprise birthday party this afternoon for her father. And for a wonder, it really was a surprise! She had it planned down to the nth degree, too. Her three sons picked their grandparents up in a limo and drove around town for a while, and then brought them to the party, where a rented hall of friends and relatives were waiting to shower my uncle with presents and good wishes. C had a wall of old photographs, a gorgeous cake covered with fancy spark-producing candles, and enough food to feed your average emerging third world nation.

You did a great job, C. Now go home and crash for a day or two. You've earned it.

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Uncle D. He's eighty years old and still cool.

When I got home, Belle and Zappa were sitting on the floor of the computer room (which used to be Zappa's room) in front of the open closet, and surrounded by boxes and crates of their old toys. I was greeted with "Sorry, Mom, there's no room for you in here right now," so I established myself at the dining room table and graded papers for a while. It was awesome listening to them, as they dug through the bins of toys and found old favorites. They kept a running commentary on each toy they brought up. And the biggest shocker of all was the fact that when they were finished, they put all the boxes and crates back into the closet!

Then they went downstairs to the big closet under the stairs and dug through some more big bins of toys. It was so cool to listen to their comments and memories.

Although, when your young-adult children start talking about their childhood memories, it really makes a person feel old. I remember all those toys. I bought most of those toys. But I don't remember their names. Belle and Zappa did. There must have been a thousand action figures and eighties memorabilia in those bins and crates.

They didn't get out all the sweet dollies. Just the small toys.

Zappa put batteries in some of them; they still worked! I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. He's taking his extremely annoying, incredibly loud, green Martian ray gun with the glowing tip and all the different sounds of destruction, back to the city with him. I told him to be careful, as a glimpse of a plastic toy with a glowing tip and a mighty and majestic sound scheme might send some casual glancer into a frenzy of panicky cop-calling. He laughed but I wasn't kidding. People these days are nuts. He can be foolhardy sometimes and I hope nobody freaks out if he attempts to transmogrify them with his glowing-tip ray gun. Yes, I am honestly worried about a battery-powered toy from the eighties.

They also dug up a whole bunch of Hub's various Rubik's puzzles. Belle could do those when she was pre-K, but I never did figure them out. There was even a newspaper article about Hub and Belle back then, about how he taught her to do the Rubik's Cube in just a few minutes even though she was only about four or five years old. I'm sure it made all the newspaper's loyal readers (both of them) feel not only personally smart but also hopeful about their offspring.

Hub teaches his math students how to do a Rubik's cube.

For me, I found that breaking the fool thing apart and reassembling it with all the colors together, was the only way I could master it. But I don't think that counts.

Even now I am not very good at puzzles, unless they are word puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles are torture, and I never could find Waldo.

Speaking of which, I found all Zappa's Waldo books the other day. Sigh. He went through a brief Waldo-loving phase when he was about four years old. I still have his Waldo sheets and bedspread stored in the linen closet. And his Pound Puppy sheets. And his dinosaur sheets. Sometimes I get them out and launder them and put them on the twin bed downstairs in the family room, when we have overnight company. I just love to see those precious sheets again. Come on over. You can snuggle down with Waldo.

All those sweet eighties toys are back in vogue again. I love to cruise the Target aisles and see Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake again. Although, they have changed Strawberry Shortcake into a gardening tomboy, instead of the chubby little cutie she is supposed to be. I refuse to buy anything Strawberry Shortcake on that principle alone. That is not her. Nope, not at all. And where are all her friends? Belle still has all those sweet dollies, too.

Let us all rise up in protest of the new politically correct Strawberry Shortcake. I don't like her. And I don't like the mentality that decided she was better than the original.

Bring back the chubby cutie in the dress and hat.

How come nobody important ever contacts me for advice before making all these stupid marketing decisions?

Pink dress on Sleeping Beauty my arse. It's BLUE. BLUE, you stupid mindless Disney marketeers.

But I've done that rant before.

Hub and the kids have gone out for supper with the MIL. I have too many papers to grade so I stayed home. Blogging is my break.

I will punish myself by having no snack during this break.

BLUE, do you hear me? BLUE!

Dumb marketeers.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:35 PM | |

Traffic jam.

This has been a really pleasant day. Well, technically YESTERDAY was a really pleasant day, but since I haven't even begun to get ready for bed yet, it's still today.

And my little baby boy Zappa is downstairs watching TV! He'll be here until tomorrow evening. My beautiful daughter Belle is dropping by tomorrow, too; she's bringing her laundry so it might be a long visit. I hope so, anyway. She will probably take Zappa back up to the city with her.

You know you're tooling along an Indiana backroad when you see three cars in a fifteen-minute time period and you say "Where did all this traffic COME from?"

And if two of the three vehicles are pickup trucks, then you must be in SOUTHERN Indiana.

They were. We are.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:19 AM | |

Saturday, February 12, 2005

We found it. It was yonder.

Hub had read in the paper that a former student of ours had opened a little gun shop out in the boondocks of the county. We like to visit our former students in their places of business, and patronize them whenever we can, and tease them about 'making good,' so off we went in search of this tiny little shop.

When I say that it was out in the boondocks, I am not exaggerating. We drove all over the place. We knew we were in the general vicinity but we just couldn't seem to find the right road.

Hub must have REALLY wanted to visit this shop, because after about an hour he did what few men have the courage to do: he pulled into the parking lot of a tiny little general store and went inside to ask for directions.

This part of Indiana is covered with those tiny little general stores. They're really cool. I love reading the hand-written signs all over the windows: "day-old chicks," "need yer wood splite?" "old barn wood wanted" "we got extra hay bales" "light housekeeping and dog walking" "maple syrup soon" "persimmon pulp froze" "deer serviced" "meat locker unit for rent" "free girl scout cookies with fillup" etc.

He came back out with two cokes and directions in his head.

So, we followed the old highway for a spell, then turned right at the old gym and followed the road till we saw the sign yonder. Turned left onto the gravel road past the new construction till we found the store.

Hub drooled over all the guns for a while, we talked with our former student, and then we got back into the truck to make the trip back.

Southern Indiana is the best place in the world for wandering aimlessly on a pretty day. And there is always something cool, just yonder. If you don't mind driving for a spell.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:22 PM | |

Friday, February 11, 2005

Fashion police back in the day. Not policies: POLICE.

Click please! Check out the raffle! Barefoot Principessa is doing this for the sake of all the precious babies in the world, and there are some awesomely good prizes to be won if you click, go there, and check them out!

I was checking out Michele's latest scavenger hunt, and it took me to Pesky Apostrophe, who was talking about miniskirts and a principal's method of discerning proper length.

She was also talking about a proposed Virginia law that fortunately died before it could be implemented, and I'm still laughing whilst the horrible images she concocted are hovering before my brain.

This is a really good blog, folks. Get over there now and read all about it.

My former school's former principal had a 'thing' about following handbook regulations completely and without footnote.

In the handbook, it stated that female students' shorts MUST BE NO SHORTER THAN THE LENGTH OF THE ARM. Fingertip length.

In real life, however, no two junior high girls' arms are going to be the same length. This rule would allow some girls to wear shorts that didn't even come near the crotch, starting at the waistband, and would force other girls to wear capris. It didn't matter. The handbook ruled.

Every warm day when the shorts came to school, this principal would be patrolling the hallways, putting girls up against the wall and checking out their shorts via their arm length.

This handbook also stated that 'no article of clothing may be worn in a matter for which it was not intended.'

This principal interpreted this to mean that no flannel pants could be worn to school. To her, flannel meant jammies. And jammies were not intended to be worn to school. When it was pointed out to her that flannel pants were being sold in areas of stores where Levis were also being sold, she took another slant.

She would come into a classroom, search for flannel pants, and then put the child against the wall and check for a zipper or buttons, or the word "nightwear" on the label.

If the flannel pants had no solid means of closure, they were jammies, and the child was sent home to change into school clothes.

Sometimes the child came to school wearing warm flannel pants that covered half the body, only to be sent home, and return in shorts that barely covered the subject, if you get my drift.

This principal used to patrol the hallways, pulling along beside her the skeleton from the health room, and use the skeleton to show random kids what was meant by 'shorts at arm's length.'

Can you even picture it? A principal, pulling a real skeleton on a wheeled rack, stalking up and down the hallways, stopping kids in groups and demonstrating 'arm's length' with a skeleton?

She also demonstrated this 'arm's length' rule at a convocation, wearing shorts herself and pulling them up to her crotch to show the 'right' and 'wrong' lengths. This did not endear her to the student population, as it revealed skin that NOBODY wanted to see. EVER.

Pesky Apostrophe blogged about how her mother, back in the sixties, had to kneel before the principal and have her miniskirt measured. I remember those days well, because we still wore miniskirts in the early seventies. The school nurse made us kneel, and if our skirts didn't touch the floor, we were sent home. This was before the days of pantyhose, too; I remember how hard it was to keep our garters hidden in those short skirts. Not the sexy lacy garters of today; these were UNDERWEAR garters; white and hideous and attached to an equally ugly girdle. Gross. They were just. . . . . gross.

I think what I remember most about high school in the late sixties and early seventies was the fact that the popular girls got by with just about any skirt length and underwear exposure, and certain other groups of girls got by with nothing.

Oh wait. It's still that way.

Never mind.

My miniskirts were size five.

This number is something else that's changed considerably. I'd tell you what it is now, but I'm really not that good at math. It would involve a calculator, and a really big number. And when I say "really big number," what I really mean is, a REALLY big number. You don't want to know. Honest, you don't.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:07 PM | |

Bambi's mother came over for dinner tonight..

I was sitting here at Hub's desk, surfing away on Hub's computer, when I heard Hub's voice calling to me from the living room.

He was shouting in a whisper.

"Come here!f" he whisper-shouted. "Quickly!"

I got up from his chair as fast as I could (which isn't all that fast, 'cuz I am one of Jerry's Kids, remember, and "ran" into the front room.

"Look." Hub pointed to a spot out in the yard. I saw nothing but holly bushes.

"LOOK!" he persisted, pointing again. I looked. Finally, I saw.

There was a large deer right up against the bushes, right up against the house, right beneath the big picture window. A large deer, enthusiastically eating something. It was beautiful. We stood for a while, in awe, ,watching. And then Hub realized. . . .

"Is he eating the holly?" Hub asked.

I looked closely.

"No," I replied. "He's eating the ground cover you planted last spring."

"Damn!" cried Hub. And he tapped on the window and frightened Bambi's mother away.

She took off across the meadow but I didn't hear any gunshots.

Maybe this time she made it.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:02 AM | |

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Devil may care, I love you Pierre.

The Honda had an appointment at the dealership this afternoon. After class, I took it over there and left it, alone. . . bereft. . . .badly in need of fresh oil, a light bulb, a seat belt thing to make it quit making odd noises, an air bag recall something-or-other, and a wiper blade.

The wiper blade was the most important thing, according to me, because it's been raining every morning all this past week, and the wiper on the driver's side was only pretending to work, preferring instead to make stripes, little skinny stripes, each one about four inches from its nearest neighbor. Its partner, passenger-seat-side wiper, was diligently doing its proper job, making the view out the passenger side of the windshield clear and wide and clean.

I've been driving to the city every day this week, either leaning almost completely over to the right so I could see out the GOOD side of the window, or bouncing up and down like a bobble-head in the rear window of a '57 Chevy, so I could somehow see between all the stripes.

I was looking forward to having a working windshield wiper on the trip home. But, of course, you guessed it: not a cloud in the sky on the trip home.

While the Honda was being serviced, their sweet old shuttle-guy shuttled me over to the College Mall to while away four or five hours.

Now you must understand this much about me: I hate malls. I am not a shopper. Besides which, I have absolutely NO MONEY even if I were a shopper. We are broke. None monies live here.

I spent about an hour in Target and then ventured over to the mall proper. I thought maybe it wouldn't be too crowded, early in the afternoon as it was.


Thursday is Senior Discount Day at the mall.

Since I wasn't actually shopping, this wouldn't have bothered me except for one thing.

All the benches were taken by old men.

Not a single place to sit and read my book, in the entire mall.

I guess I could have wedged my sizeable behind between a couple of skinny old guys, but the look in their eyes kind of decided me against that course of action. Besides, they were wearing berets.

Never wedge your sizeable behind between two skinny old guys if they are wearing berets.

The berets are a definite indication of recent Viagra usage. Besides which, a skinny old guy in a beret is just gross.


Oh, I did buy something while I was there.

I dug up enough nickels and quarters from the bottom of my hideous cavern of a purse to buy a slice of pizza and a diet coke.

Do you suppose those old men were at the mall to ogle the old women? Oh let's all just not GO there, ok?

Who was it who started marketing berets to old men? He must have been a marketing genius, because I think every fifth man in the mall today was wearing a beret.

Maybe it's the same marketing person who started pitching the red hats for old ladies.

Come to think of it, most of the old ladies today were wearing purple.

Red hat ladies and beret-sporting men.

It was cute. A horrifying glimpse into the future, but cute nonetheless.

As for the Honda dealership restroom, I will just say that the majority of their clientele must be really, really tiny. There was barely a foot of space between the throne and the door. And, of course, it opened INSIDE.

Also, their soap smelled like cornbread.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:52 PM | |

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hal: I know you and Hub were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

Hub unplugged Hal from the wall and put him on the kitchen table beside my briefcase so I won't forget to put him in the car tomorrow morning.

Hal looks so defenseless there in the kitchen. Disoriented, somehow, like a person in an emergency room waiting area.

The empty space on my desk makes me sad. Of course, any empty space in this house doesn't remain empty for long. Hub is such a pack rat; if there's a surface, he will place something on it. If ever any of you comes to our house, you'll probably have to clean off a chair or a spot on the sofa. But come on over anyway. Just set that stuff down on the floor beside that other stuff.

I called Powersource and made a reservation. Jack and Linda are expecting Hal in the late afternoon. I hope it's fast and painless.

I think it is a little unusual for a computer shop NOT to have a website. Maybe they are just too busy taking care of other peoples' computers to bother having fun with a computer themselves. What's the deal there, Jack? I would have given you a link there if you'd had one.

Already I'm hurting because Hal is gone. Hub is a sweetheart to let me use his computer but HIS computer is not MY computer. I don't feel free to download music, or make a cd; and Hub hates instant messengers.

I just don't think it's very nice to treat someone else's computer as your own. Even with permission.

Therefore, I am restricting myself to blogging, commenting, and email. And since he'll be home around eight o'clock tonight, and will no doubt have a selfish desire to use his own computer, I guess there will be some clean laundry in this house before bedtime. And maybe even some dust-free furniture. Possibly a swept carpet. I might even empty the dishwasher. And fill it again.

I got Patriside's mixmania in the mail today, and I'm already in love with it! More details on this awesome mix later. Thank you so much, Jim; your idea was super and I hope it catches on! (I almost sent you the Depeche Mode and Coldplay songs!)

Did any of you guys really think I was going to do chores tonight after Hub takes back his computer chair? That is so funny.

I've got this great new book to re-read. How can any chores compete with THAT? I do love a book that makes you want to hurry and finish so you can hurry and re-start, finding new details with every session. And I love a good series.

Tomorrow Hal goes to the shop. I hope the computer magicians there can fix him.

Thank you all for not singing that "Bicycle built for two" song. I know some of you wanted to.

Those of you who caught the reference, that is.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:01 PM | |


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