Thursday, May 31, 2007

Who Would Buy From This Guy?

From my friend Doug comes this little gem from Ebay; when you get to the Ebay site, check out listing #330124662011. Look fast; the listing only has a few more hours to go.

Please try not to scream too loudly. I know I probably disturbed you, woke up your babies, and made your dogs howl when Doug first sent me to look at this listing, and I'm really sorry about that. I'm still on vacation and it's been a few weeks since I've seen writing this bad.

I think I've had this guy's kids in class.

There are more people teetering on the firly brinkmire than I had supposed.

If Doug hasn't updated his blog when you click on over there, let's all tease him. I mean, Doug, REALLY? Not since JANUARY? Don't make me have to go to school and change your permanent record, now.

I am speaking of "teasing" in the friendly-but-firm manner of kindly, mutual fun. NOT the other kind. And not that kind, either.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:20 AM | |

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Post Where I Do That Macaulay Culkin Thing

Hub, the kids, and my MIL are flying out to California tomorrow: the San Francisco area. I could have gone, too, but I opted for that trip to see my brother, and BlogHer, instead. I hope they have a great time. They're taking the good car to the airport, so I probably won't be leaving the house much.

If the little neighbor gal goes into labor while her husband is at work, I hope she can climb up into our old van. Or, if the van won't start, the 4-wheel-drive pickup. If all vehicles and Father Time fail, I did make a good grade in "childbirth" when I got my School and Community Health endorsement back in the seventies not all that long ago.

I'll have the house to myself for a few days, and that hasn't happened for many years. Knowing they'll all be back, I'm kind of looking forward to the alone time.

Actually, I won't be alone. I've got my three kittie-girls for company. You know how people make jokes about women going to the public restroom in groups? These three kittie-girls use their litterbox together. It would be adorably cute if not for the poop.

While they're gone, I think I'll do a little painting, lawnwork, laundry, carpet-steaming, and general cleaning-out of cabinets goof off and surf the 'net pretty much 24/7.

Is anybody free for lunch?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:54 PM | |

Sunday, May 27, 2007

BlogHer, BlogHer, Blogher. . . . I'm More Excited Than The Pointer Sisters!

I'm going to BlogHer this July. I've wanted to go ever since its inception but it was always so far away and I just didn't have the money. This year it's in Chicago, and I still don't have any money but Chicago is so central, so much more FAIR, and I can drive that far! Oh, hoorah for the centralness of the location this year! A kazillion thank-yous to whoever was responsible for the Chicago decision!

Okay, I won't be driving, but my daughter is going with me, and she's an expert driver and navigator.

I'm looking forward to BlogHer so much, it's indescribable, so I won't try. The gushing would be maudlin and make you all say 'bleh.' Besides, it's probably silly to many of you that a blogging conference could possibly mean so much to me, but the truth is, it does.

I plan to have a wonderful time. I plan to meet lots of lovely people whose blogs I've read for years or months or maybe even just weeks, but who seem as familiar to me as if they lived right next door.

I'm rooming with Grace, and I think maybe meeting her will be the most wonderful part of all. Grace has been my blog-idol ever since I read that first word on her blog some three or so years ago. In the Blogosphere, four years is a lifetime. Without Grace, my life would have been far bleaker than it often is. I cherish Grace. So should all of you.

I had intended to lose a million pounds before BlogHer so as not to startle you all with my immensity, but it didn't happen, so be prepared. I've seen pictures of past BlogHer participants and everyone looked so young and trim. . . . they had pretty clothes, too.

On the bright side, everybody will be able to pick me out of a crowd easily. On the dark side, ditto.

Time is getting near, my dears. I hope you are all registered and planning to have a wonderful time in Chicago. July, July, July!

Grace, my darling, it won't be long now 'till I'll be screaming your name. No, not like that, you pervs. Oh, I do love the mentality of the Blogosphere!

I'll be getting a sub for my Thursday classes and getting up there Thursday late afternoon, I hope. Belle is taking a couple of days off work to accompany her Mommy to the Big City. If anybody lives between Bedford and Chicago and needs a ride, let me know. If you're not too far off the beaten path, we can work something out!

Oh, BlogHer, BlogHer, BlogHer, BlogHer. . . . .my summer mantra is BlogHer.

BlogHer, and "meow." And "yum yum eat 'em up." Bonus points if you know where THAT quote came from.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:26 PM | |

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Three Graces

Vera spent last night in the Big Bathroom, curled up on my dirty t-shirt that she'd nuzzled for hours. This morning I opened the door and she looked up at me with those huge blue eyes and my heart just melted. I put her out on the deck, thinking that she'd never be able to climb down, and she'd be safe there.

I drove to town and spent the afternoon with Mom and my Tumorless Sister. We had a blast.

Tumorless came home with me to see Vera. She wasn't on the deck.

We called and searched and finally found her. She was next door, cuddled in a heap with her sister and her cousins.

They were all beautiful. Tumorless and I were enchanted. There is something about a pile of baby kittens. . . .

I may have been hypnotized by cuteness tonight. Wouldn't you have been? And it would be a shame for Vera to grow up alone.

Meet Millicent, Helga, and Vera. As I type, they're all in the big bathroom, in a furry purry pile on that same dirty t-shirt.

We played scratch-scratch in the kitty litter and they all caught on.

We showed them how to lick wet cat food mixed with condensed milk, and they all caught on.

As you can see, they are all very good at washing up after supper.

Tumorless and her husband have five cats that have a better life than most people's children, so she was right with me, with this decision. She even bought presents for my new babies.

My actual human children are coming home tomorrow. I can't wait for them to meet the new additions.

More importantly, I hope Hub likes them. I caught him snuggling Vera earlier today, and he went to town and bought a lot of kitten food, so the battle is partly won. If he doesn't want three, well, it's his house, too. I am hoping that after seeing the wiggly pile of kitties, he'll agree to keep them.

The thing is, he hasn't seen the wiggly kitty pile yet. Cross your fingers.

Honestly, could anybody resist a snuggly loving little kitten? Times three?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:37 PM | |

Friday, May 25, 2007

I'm Not 64, But Vera's Here Already.

My very aged cat died a few weeks ago and I've really been missing him. I gave away all the cat food, the extra flea drops, the cat toys, etc. Pretty much the only evidence the cat lived here, besides the nine million pictures, is all those smeary pawprints on the lower half of the French doors. I'm not sentimental about them; I'm just a lazy housekeeper.

People have offered us kittens and cats, but we weren't ready.

This morning, I heard what sounded like a large raucous bird on the front porch. I opened the door and there was a tiny kitten, screaming its head off. It took one look at me and ran for the shrubberies. (A Monty Python kitten; how cool is that?)

Later this afternoon, I heard the screaming again. This time, I went out and sat down in the porch chair and waited. The kitten peeked out at me from behind the azaleas but was too scared to come out.

A couple of hours ago, I heard it again. I went out again. This time the kitten climbed up my leg and nestled into my arms as if it belonged there. As I type, she's walking all over my keyboard. She's too light to type anything. She's loving and purry, and all black-and-gold-and-gray.

So far I've pulled about two dozen little burrs out of her fur. And two ticks, yuck. She hasn't poopied yet but it's just a matter of time. She can't handle any kind of solid food, and she was desperately rooting all over me so I knew she was hungry. I dipped a rolled-up paper towel in condensed milk and let her suck on it, and drew her mouth down to the bowl. She caught on fast, and was able to lap up the milk. I made a litter box out of an old paint tray (she won't have far to climb up into it) and we had a little digging session which I hope she remembers when the time comes, and it will come.

I wish I'd had my camera when I opened the door and saw this tiny black and gold screamer on my porch. She's so little, and her bones feel incredibly fragile. I think her mother was Hester, the whore-cat, but it's a moot point because Hester didn't look both ways when she tried to cross the road a few days ago.

I know it's ridiculous to be so happy over a tiny little kitten that just showed up at my door screaming, but it's been a lousy week and to be chosen by this innocent little ball of fur feels like such an honor.

Last week, I wasn't ready for a new cat. Today, I am.

Welcome, Vera, to my house. Please don't poop on the carpet.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:34 PM | |

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Basium Nex

I have my own computer back now and it's such a relief. There's always a catch, though. . . . it's been wiped clean, and my Microsoft Word code no longer works (the year "2003" probably means something) so all of my Word files are useless until I figure out what to do. There are several options, of course. I think the smartest thing for me right now is to wait until my extremely intelligent son comes down this weekend and perhaps if I bribe coax him with food, he'll give my computer a thorough once-over.

Seriously, I hold the patent/copyright/all possible rights to the Kiss of Death. Not for people, so come back here right now! For anything mechanical or electronic, and for restaurants, shops, bands, and entire strip malls.

Once Karma finds out that I like/love/frequent anything, it's as good as gone. I've personally wiped out dozens of restaurants and small shops, and any band liked by me goes immediately on hiatus, never to be together on a stage again.

I did realize that having the Parental Controls on high was slowing me down. That's gone now, so I can surf porn wholesome family and educational websites freely now.

And Scotty dear, I promise not to inflict my technopoison on YOUR computer. When do we have supper? So far I haven't shut down Grecco's yet. Call me. Tomorrow's good, but I have a dental appointment on Friday morning.

I'm still up.

Two more weeks of vacation before I go back to school. Will I ever get used to NOT having a pile of essays that need to be graded? No, I don't think I ever will.

And that small fact makes me so happy. . . .
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:29 PM | |

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pyromanic in a Petrified Forest

That's how frustrated I am right now.

Is this just Tuesday? This has been a very trying week.

Everything is breaking.

Mowers, computers. . . . all the things I need the most.

I took my computer to the shop this morning (yes, I got up early whilst on vacation!) and of course, there was no scary white screen for any expert to see. We were just in time, however, to see the tail end of one of the 'recovery' F10's I tried last night but couldn't finish because the screen kept going white. At the end of this recovery, there seemed to be nothing left on my computer. I am hoping against hope that I imagined it, but it did seem to be wiped clean. Ten thousand mp3's and all my files and logins and passwords, gone gone gone.

Magic Jack is going to try to retrieve them but I don't have much any hope, not really.

It's very hard to do my 'thangs' on a computer that isn't mine. Hub is wonderful to let me use his but it isn't the same. We are both extremely territorial about our computers, and I would never feel free to download anything or 'play' on any computer that wasn't mine.

I left Magic Jack my flashdrive in hopes he could find some things on it that would help him retrieve my stuffs. <--Look, Cousin C, I'm talking like Mamaw now.

In the meantime, the grass is two feet high, and I'm full of ideas I'd love to write about but can't because I don't remember my stupid logins for the business blogs. My
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:58 PM | |

Monday, May 21, 2007

There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.

Here we go again.

There I was, sitting right here right next to where I'm sitting now, typing away because that is my JOB and also because I love it and writing means more to me than it meant to Emily Starr * even, and I looked up to see that my monitor had turned whiter than the little wisps of hair by my ears. Just, white. Not black, as my monitor usually gets when my computer dies and eats all my music and files as it descends into hell, but snow white.

And it won't come back.

It tried, but before I could hit F10 and recover anything, it went white again. And again. And again.

Now it doesn't TURN white, it's white when it comes on.

So, I unplugged everything and carried it gently into the living room and placed it beside the piano and my huge hideous ten-ton black leather purse-which-looks-like-a-saddlebag, not to be confused with the big ones I carry all the time, and tomorrow I'll take it to Jack and Linda at the computer repair store; you know, where they know me by name because I've spent half my life there. . . .

And I'll beg them to revive it. I'll get down on my knees if they ask me to. I've got all my passwords and log-ins stored on it and I don't remember what they are. Magic Jack, I'm remembering to say "please" and "thank you." Mom says those are magic words.

Hub is letting me use his computer in the meantime, and I appreciate it mightily, but I can update my business blogs and do my 'thangs' elsewhere on the internet only from the computer that knows my logins and passwords. Yes, I know I should have written them down somewhere else. No, I don't think anybody else knows them.

And if my computer, which is only two years old for crying out loud, is really dead, you will all hear me wailing like Westley in the Pit of Despair. And without Mandy Patinkin and Billy Crystal to fix me. **

Although, Mandy, if you were to stop by to 'fix' me. . . . .

Okay, never mind.

Wahhhhh, my computer whited out on me. And I think it's all dead this time.

Stupid computer.

*Bonus points if you understand this reference.

**No bonus points for this one because everybody should know it.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:11 PM | |

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I'm Baaaaaaaack

I'm back. Did anybody miss me?

I had a lovely visit with my brother and his family. We really didn't "do" anything, but sometimes that is the best kind of visit. Mostly, I just lived in their house with them and did what they did on a daily basis. I went to the Scholastic Book Fair with my sister-in-law a few times and pitched in, and I cooked for the family. One of my nephews was in a band concert. French horn. I went with my brother to one of his jam sessions. Bass. I loved it. I loved the entire week.

More and more I think that I was meant to be Mrs. Bridges, or Mrs. Fairfax, or some old fat housekeeper/cook for a big quirky family. I would rule the downstairs and the gentry upstairs would cater to me in every possible way rather than lose me to another family.

If I ever see anything like that advertised in the classifieds, I'm applying. I'm not going to hold my breath but you never know. Somewhere out there, a big family with a big house needs someone to cook for them, and that is what I love to do more than anything else.

I could still be an English professor and a pro-blogger. And an astronomer, a poet, an educational critic, and a ballerina on the side.

Oh, and if the house ever needs a new roof? I can do that, too.

In the meantime, I'm on vacation for another couple of weeks, and tomorrow I'm going to start on the lawn. The riding mower is on the fritz and I can't handle our huge tractor, so I'm hoping the push-mower will start.

I can certainly use the exercise. I look like Mrs. Jabba the Hutt.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:24 PM | |

Monday, May 14, 2007

I'll Be Back In A Week.

I'm out of state for a week and blogging will be sporadic if it happens at all. I miss everyone in the Blogosphere already, but it's always lovely to visit my only favorite brother and his family, and their home nestled in the mountains is absolutely beautiful. My two nephews, who are both taller than I am now (when and how did THAT happen, I need to know!) are fantastically creative and interesting young men, and my sister-in-law is one of my very favorite people in the world.

The flight out here was fun, too. I can't imagine ever getting too old to love me some adventure.

Gorgeous weather, great people, a big affectionate kitty-cat to love on, a big kitchen to play in. . . . the week has begun well.

Some day I will have a laptop and when that day comes, there will be no gaps at all in my blogging. Okay, well, the thought makes ME happy. :)

Have a great week, everyone.

P.S. I'm in Idaho. Any bloggers here?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:37 PM | |

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

I have realized something today and I don't like it. I only hope it is something I can change before I morph completely into something I am not liking a single bit.

I have realized that I am becoming like Javert.

This must not happen.

Javert was, of course, not a bad guy. Javert was a policeman who was throughly convinced that if every single person simply obeyed the law and did what was right, the whole world would be better off. He was, of course, correct.

The kicker was, and is, that we are all human. Things happen. We make mistakes. We all make mistakes. And people who make mistakes, even big ones, can still be nice people. We are allowed to love people who screw up.

Javert never screwed up. He was law-abiding to the nth degree. He was an excellent policeman, showed no favoritism whatsoever, and cut no slack. Ever. He stood for justice. Mercy had no place in his heart. And justice without mercy can be a very harsh thing.

There is more than one kind of justice, of course. Absolute justice, where motive and intent play no purpose, is harsh justice. One gets exactly what one deserves for whatever breach of decency, ie broken law. If you killed someone, you were a murderer, and all murderers get the same punishment. Things like 'self defense' carry no weight. People who kill are murderers, period. No slack.

Perfect justice, on the other hand, is tempered with mercy. It still requires that people pay for their mistakes, but it takes into account motive. One who kills out of self-defense is not the same thing as one who kills out of greed, or hatred. Stealing a piece of bread to save the life of a starving child is not the same thing as stealing the payroll from the corner deli to buy drugs.

Javert stalked Jean Valjean for twenty years because Valjean stole a loaf of bread. It didn't matter to Javert that Valjean served twenty years on a chain gang for that. It mattered only, to Javert, that Valjean, after being released from prison, broke his parole and moved away. Javert considered Valjean nothing but a thief, because when one steals, one is a thief. A thief is a thief, and the fact that a loaf of bread might have saved a life meant nothing. Those who steal are thieves, period. Forever and always, nothing but a thief. No slack.

It was only when Valjean showed mercy to Javert that Javert's eyes were opened. And upon discovering that the philosophy on which his entire life had been based was flawed, and on being shown mercy by the man he had shown no mercy to, Javert committed suicide.

Seeing children suffer year after year because of their parents tends to make a person very hardnosed about decisions other people make. Nobody has that right. We don't know what is going on in these homes. We can only assume, and assumptions are sometimes wrong.

And even when the assumptions are correct, we must still remember that we are all flawed, and that we all make mistakes. And that most of us are nice people in spite of it. Those who are not genuinely deserve Javert's justice, but those people are rare.

There, out in the darkness,
A fugitive running,
Fallen from grace.
Fallen from grace.
God be my witness:
I never shall yield
Till we come face to face.
Till we come face to face.

He knows his way in the dark.
Mine is the way of the Lord!
And those who follow the path of the righteous
Shall have their reward!
And if they fall
As Lucifer fell,
The flame,
The sword!

In your multitudes,
Scarce to be counted,
Filling the darkness
With order and light!
You are the sentinels,
Silent and sure,
Keeping watch in the night!
Keeping watch in the night.

You know your place in the sky!
You hold your course and your aim!
And each in your season
Returns and returns
And is always the same!
And if you fall as Lucifer fell,
You fall in flame!

And so it has been, and so it is written
On the doorway to paradise,
That those who falter and those who fall
Must pay the price!

Lord, let me find him
That I may see him
Safe behind bars!
I will never rest
Till then.
This I swear,
This I swear by the stars!

No, I do not want to be like Javert. I want to be like Valjean, who knew how to forgive, and who knew how to keep a promise no matter what hardship befell him personally, and who knew the real meaning of love.

Don't think for a minute that I won't call CPS on someone's abusive sorry ass if I feel it's necessary, but I do think I need to back off on other people until I become perfect myself.

Don't hold your breath, because that just ain't gonna happen any time soon. I've learned an important lesson, though.

We meet again.

You've hungered for this all your life;
Take your revenge!
How right you should kill with a knife!

(Valjean cuts the ropes which bind Javert.)

You talk too much,
Your life is safe in my hands.

Don't understand

Get out of here.

Valjean, take care!
I'm warning you...

Clear out of here.

Once a thief, forever a thief
What you want you always steal!
You would trade your life for mine.
Yes, Valjean, you want a deal!
Shoot me now for all I care!
If you let me go, beware,
You'll still answer to Javert!

You are wrong, and always have been wrong.
I'm a man, no worse than any man.
You are free, and there are no conditions,
No bargains or petitions.
There's nothing that I blame you for
You've done your duty, nothing more.
If I come out of this alive, you'll find me
At number fifty-five Rue Plumet
No doubt our paths will cross again.

Who is this man?
What sort of devil is he
To have me caught in a trap
And chose to let me go free?
It was his hour at last
To put a seal on my fate
Wipe out the past
And wash me clean off the slate!
All it would take was a flick of his knife.
Vengeance was his and he gave me back my life!
Damned if I'll live in the debt of a thief
Damned if I'll yield at the end of the chase
I am the law and the law is not mocked
I'll spit his pity right back in his face
There is nothing on Earth that we share
It is either Valjean or Javert!

How can I now allow this man
To hold dominion over me?
This desperate man that I have hunted
He gave me my life. He gave me freedom.
I should have perished by his hand
It was his right
It was my right to die as well
Instead I live. . .but live in hell
And my thoughts fly apart;
Can this man be believed?
Shall his sins be forgiven?
Shall his crimes be reprieved?
And must I now begin to doubt
Who never doubted all these years?
My heart is stone and still it trembles
The world I have known is lost in shadow
Is he from heaven or from hell?

And does he know
That granting me my life today
This man has killed me, even so?
I am reaching but I fall
And the stars are black and cold
As I stare into the void
Of a world that cannot hold
I'll escape now from that world
From the world of Jean Valjean
There is nowhere I can turn
There is no way to go on

Ah, Javert. Too late smart. Too soon dead.

No. I don't want to be like Javert. And when I tend to be, please hit me. Hard.

And then do it again. And again. Please.

Just kidding.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:40 PM | |

Weedeater Rage

Dear Person Who Winds The Weed-Eater Stuff Around The Coil Thing,

I can just see you there at your workplace, winding weed-eater stuff around the spool, tying little knots, melting strands together, changing direction, putting weak spots here and there so the stuff will break every few yards. . . . smiling, and loving your job and picturing me, trying to use what you have created, having to stop every thirty seconds to disassemble the $%^& thing, search for and eventually find the end even if I have to cut a new one, poke it through the little hole, get the spool back on, plug it in again, pull the trigger, and trim maybe a full square foot before it breaks again and the whole process starts over.

I've been out in the front yard trying to use your product, and after 16 breaks, 16 disassemblies, 16 attempts to find the end of the stuff to poke through the hole and finally giving up and using scissors to create one, I surrendered. You win. I fought with this weedeater for over an hour and my nerves are shot. Oh, and I was able to trim maybe ten feet along the sidewalk. Maybe.

There will be no Beautiful Lawn award for me this summer. You might, however, be reading about a woman driven insane by a shoddily-made weedeater spool who climbed to the top of a railroad bridge and threw the thing into the White River, laughing loudly all the while.

If you do, just move along. She'll go to Appleacres for some peaches after she climbs back down, and all will be well.

I'd be better off, and get the job done faster, if I just crawled around the yard on my hands and knees clipping with the manicure scissors.

Stupid weed-eater stuff on the spool.

I mean it! Sincerely, Mamacita
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:07 PM | |

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Each family deals with its own dynamics in its own way. This is, of course, as it should be. I wonder sometimes if each family might benefit from thinking a little more in terms of how decisions made by the parents will affect its various members in locations other than the home itself. As parents, we see only what's going on at home; we don't see how what's going on at home also changes what's going on at school. Sometimes I think we just don't want to know.

As a teacher, I saw, year after year, children who went from top-of-the-class to little staring zombies, because of a decision made by parents. I had to watch promising young people deteriorate before my eyes because of a decision made by parents. I watched children become virtual caretakers. I saw kids put in charge of younger siblings, and held responsible for anything that happened. I had to see children carry messages from parent to parent or, worse, wait in vain for some kind of message from the parent who is no longer there. I saw kids standing in front of the school after dark because each parent figured the other parent was picking up that night. I saw kids crying in the hallways because they were going to miss a dance or a party because it was the OTHER parent's weekend and there was no switching allowed. And so, so often, things the child used to do are no longer possible because the money situation has changed and every little thing now means outraged outbursts from the parent who is supposed to pay. I hated seeing children worrying about lost notebooks and new school supplies because they were scared to tell either parent about yet another expense because it always triggered a fight about whose turn it was to pay. I've had kids tell me outright that they feel like the rope in a tug-of-war, and that the winner DIDN'T have to deal with the kids.

I've read essay after essay about being forced to share all their things with Mommy's new boyfriend's kids, or Daddy's new girlfriend's kids. Kids lose their rooms, their possessions, and huge chunks of time rightfully theirs, with Mommy or Daddy, because of, as one of my students put it a few years ago, ". . . kids who pass in the night." And while it's hard enough to have to watch Mommy or Daddy kiss and hug someone who isn't Mommy or Daddy, try to think how hard it must be to watch Mommy or Daddy kiss and hug someone who isn't you. . . . .

Children who were finding success were ripped from their classroom, separated from their teacher and from their friends, and placed in a new school more convenient to the parents' new living arrangements. Children had to adapt not only to a parent moving out, but also to a new school, a new teacher, new friends, new curriculum, new home. . . and you know what? Sometimes, for a child, that's just too much new stuff at once. What are we thinking?

It's easy to think that any parental decision will affect the children only in the household, and that if adults work out routines that are mutually beneficial and workable to each other, that the children in that household can automatically adapt. Often, of course, they can. Just as often, they can't. At least, not for a while. Often, these children are traumatized, and they need familiar surroundings in at least one aspect of their lives. Their home has been destroyed, through no fault of their own, and their trust in adult loyalty has been compromised, and now their school lives are being disrupted, too.

No matter how often and how sincerely parents assure their children that none of these things are their fault, most kids believe that if they'd only been better behaved, if they'd just made the team, or scored higher on that big test, or helped more around the house, etc, their parents wouldn't have fought so much until one of them moved out. With tiny children it can go even deeper, because they don't have the communication skills to articulate their pain. They only know that Mommy or Daddy is gone, and all the explanations in the world aren't sufficient to reassure them about. . . . really, much of anything.

Teachers see this daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, year after year after year. We never get used to it. Even at the college level, I am reading essays about the bewildered heartbreak still inside a grown man or woman, because their parents pulled the rug out from under them twenty years ago and it still hurts.

Sometimes I think it might do these parents good if they read what their children are writing about the home situation. I wonder if these parents realize how severely some of them are disrupting their children's lives. It's so easy for adults to do their thing and assume the kids can cope, but the truth is, sometimes, it's far more important for adults to do their kids' thing and put their own lives on the back burner. And I also think that many adults simply don't want to think about the possibility that their decisions have devastated their children. That's too hard, and it's not fair, either, because "don't I deserve a little happiness?" Answer: No, you don't. Not if it means compromising your children's lives.

I saw more heartbreak and bewilderment than you could find in a country music playlist. I saw too much disillusionment, and disillusionment is hard enough to take in an adult; when you see it in a child's eyes, it's even worse. I saw it every day. I have never been able to build up any immunities to it.

If I seem harsh when I write about such things, it's because of what I have seen. I think perhaps if parents can look outside of their own situations and see these same things, more people might put their children first and themselves last, because once we have children, we are supposed to cherish them, not desert them, and not require them to change overnight because of decisions we make.

Children will always come first with me. Promises come second. Yes, I can be severe when I think about adults who put themselves first. Yes, I can be harsh when I think about adults who make and break promises easily. When it concerns people I care a lot about, I can be even harsher. This is ironic, really, because I am by nature a complete and total wuss, and there are footprints all over my back. Right now, there is a pile of soggy Kleenex by my keyboard.

Dumbledore was right. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, and even more to stand up to your friends. I do not feel particularly courageous. I just feel sad.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:57 PM | |


Some people I love are hurting right now, and that means my heart is hurting for them. I'd make it all better for them if I could.

But I can't, and that makes my heart hurt even more.

Dear friends, if I had three wishes, I'd give you the first one. And the second one, too, if you still needed it.

The third wish I'm keeping, and if it ever really happened, you'd all know exactly what I used it for.

No, my boobs are big enough, thankyouverymuch.

But it's something you'd all notice.

Oh friends, I hate it that you're in pain. You can have the third wish, too. Please, take it. Use it well. Be happy.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 5:08 AM | |

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I Won't Win Any Friends With This One, By Golly

There is something I want to say, but it's harsh, and I am by nature pretty wimpish, and it's hard for me to say things like this but I truly believe it needs to be said.

I mean, when it comes to my job, I can be direct, and just SAY IT. But this has nothing to do with my job, except indirectly, because it has to do with life, and our jobs are part of life, and I'm rambling now because I don't know how to say what I really, really want to say, so maybe I'd better just out with it.

First of all, I can only speak for women, even though I would LIKE to speak for the men, and I know what the men really ought to be thinking and saying and doing, but when it comes right down to it, I have never been a man and therefore can't really speak for men. even though I know what the men should be thinking and saying and doing and so do they and why they don't do the right thing is beyond me but I've never been a man. . . . I am a woman and I can speak only as a woman. The woman's role in this is only half, but it's the only half I feel qualified to speak for.

So, here goes. If I hit you below the belt it's because you had it coming.

Why do women treat each other so shabbily? This holds true in many areas of our lives but lately it seems that we are even less loyal and considerate and compassionate and kind towards each other than usual. Well, not all of us, actually; just a few, really, but ladies, those few of you are giving all women a bad name.

Oh, did I say "ladies" up there? Excuse me. Women who treat each other badly are not ladies.

It is very true that it takes two to tango. It is also true that both dancers have to agree to tango. If only ONE of those dancers refuses to tango, then there will be no tango, even if the other dancer still wants to tango. For a tango, there must be two. BOTH must have agreed to tango.

Women, why do some of you insist on doing the tango with someone else's partner? Yes, yes, I know that much of the time you've been asked to tango by that partner, but nowhere is it written that you are obligated to tango, ever. Getting up to tango is a choice you make, a free-will choice. Some of you are choosing to betray a fellow woman in this way, and this makes you a whore.

I will not sugar-coat the word for you, in spite of your insistence that "these things happen" and "I didn't mean for it to happen" and "I'm so sorry, it just happened" and "I fell in love, what can I say" and "this is best for MEEEEEE" and "I'm not a whore!" and "I'm a nice person, really" and, and, and, and any other excuse you come up with, because the truth is, the happening or not happening was up to YOU, and if it "happened," it's because YOU LET IT HAPPEN.

Don't try to give me any of that "I was swept off my feet" shit, either. I don't believe you, and neither does anybody else. CHOICE. You made a conscious choice. Is your self-control that pathetic? How old are you? Are you an adult? Is this the kind of choice you want your children to make? Do you ever use your brain? Is your promise worth anything at all?

Of your own free will, you CHOSE to betray another woman and, in many cases, a man as well. It has nothing to do with love, or magnetism, or wiring, or anything else except your choice to let your hormones rule your actions. Nobody is forced to follow their secret longings and temptations out the door and into the back alley. Nice women, classy women, smart women, kind women, do not betray one another in this way. Whores do that. Whores.

There is much talk of women changing the world. I do not believe this will ever happen until women change the way we treat each other.

As long as we are willing to betray one another, we will betray the universe. And by the way, when women betray one another, they are already destroying the universe for little children, for partners who trusted, and for entire family units, all for the sake of a tango.

Is destroying the universe for someone's little children, devastating a partner, and betraying the trust of a friend worth a tango? If it is, then you are indeed a whore.

Enjoy your tango. Don't be surprised if the person who asked you to dance is already looking over your shoulder for the next sucker hormonal whore. The internet just made it easier, and you were ripe for the tango-ing.

Oh, and by the way. Everybody knows.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:29 AM | |

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Flice Watter

When my children were tiny, they often used words or expressions that were. . . almost correct. In fact, some of their words and expressions were better than the actual word or expression they were trying for.

We still use some of them in our everyday speech.

For example, if we need to go from the first floor to the third floor of a department store, we often step onto the velvagator. You know, those moving stairs?

One hot summer day, there was a pesky fly in the house. After watching his father bat it away several times, my tiny toddler son finally spoke up:

"Daddy, why don't you flice it?"

Um, say what?

"Flice it, Daddy!"

And how does one do that?

"With the watter, Daddy. Flice it with the watter."

And he did, and all was well.

We still call it the watter, and we still flice with it.

And now I'm in the mood to watch "Clash of the Titans." You know, Clash. As in, "Anne of Green Gables." Anne. Clash. Anne. Clash. Anne. "Susannah of the Mounties." Susannah. Clash. Anne. "Tess of the d'Urbervilles." Tess. Clash. Anne. Susannah. Clash

Ah, sweet semantical grammar: how it can betray us if we don't pay attention to the details.

Harry Hamlin will always be "Clash" to me, forever and always. I first met Clash while staying at the Indianapolis Hyatt, helping to chaperone the yearly high school Beta Convention. After spending possibly eight days riding up and down in their Great Glass Elevator a la Charlie Bucket, my toddlers and I crashed on one of the two twin beds in that grand suite and watched Perseus Clash slay Medusa and defeat the Kraken, all the while having a torrid illicit behind-the-scenes-but-everyone-on-the-planet-knew-it affair with Aphrodite who later bore his child out of wedlock. My tiny son misunderstood the title, and Harry Hamlin became Clash. I am not a Clash fan, because a celebrity's real-life behavior completely colors any character he/she portrays, and I consider Clash just one more horndog who can't keep it in his pants, (ever and always a choice!) but the memory of that night at the Hyatt, three people on one twin bed, watching Clash pretend to love Andromeda whilst actually lusting away for the older woman who played Aphrodite and who had no ethics either, will stay with me forever.

It's after four in the afternoon. I really need to get dressed. I'm going to the theater with Mom tonight, and I've got to do enough laundry so we can make a path through the piles before she picks me up. I hate it when we have to step on the clothes to get from the garage to the stairway. Not that it ever happens here.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:53 PM | |

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Size DOES Matter

Verbs. How important can they be? I mean, if it were so important to choose verbs carefully, why do most of them have a million synonyms, thank you very much Mr. Thesaurus.

Well, kids, I'll tell ya.

Let's use a couple of common verbs for examples.

"Stop." "Block" Denotatively speaking (dictionary definition) they are almost identical. In a thesaurus, their synonyms overlap.

Thesaurus entry for "stop" and for "block:"

Main Entry: stop

Part of Speech: verb

Synonyms: arrest, avoid, bar, block, bottle up, break, can, check, choke, choke off, clog, close, congest, cut off, disrupt, fill, fix, forestall, frustrate, gag, hinder, hold back, hush hush, ice, impede, intercept, interrupt, muzzle, obstruct, occlude, plug, rein in, repress, restrain, seal, shut down, shut off, shut out, silence, stall, staunch, stay, stem, still, stopper, suspend, throw over, turn off, ward off

Main Entry: block

Part of Speech: verb

Synonyms: arrest, bar, barricade, block out, blockade, brake, bung up, catch, charge, check, choke, clog, close, close off, close out, congest, cut off, dam, deter, fill, halt, hang up*, hinder, hold up, impede, intercept, interfere, occlude, plug, prevent, shut off*, shut out, stall, stonewall, stop, stop up*, stopper, stymie, tackle, thwart

And these two fraternal twins differ. . . . how?

Like this:

Back in the day, when I wore shorts and began my descent from the car in a public place, I could stop traffic.

Now, that same action would block traffic.

Any questions?

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:52 PM | |

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Anguine Wheelbarrow

I really enjoy working out in the yard most of the time. However, there is one chore that I absolutely loathe, and that is picking up fallen limbs and branches before I can mow the grass. For some reason, this really hits me in a bad place.

Today, when I got home from school, before I even went into the house, I decided to get rid of the branches and limbs that were in the front yard, so I could rev up the riding mower and get some serious cutting done. Then, I went over to the side yard where I had left the wheelbarrow, upside down, last fall.

Yes, I really hate picking up fallen limbs and branches, putting them in the wheelbarrow, and dumping them on the absolutely humongous brushpile we're building in the back yard.

I especially hate this chore when I turn the wheelbarrow over and see this.

Oh, I'm not afraid of them. I just don't want them to get in my house again.

And I didn't poison, blind, or throw caustic acid on them this time, either. Nor did I set their den on fire, or blow it up from the inside.

But I do know where they live, and I'll be back.

So then I cut some grass for about fifteen minutes until I ran out of gas.

I said a few naughty words, got my tests and my ugly 500-pound purse out of the van, and came inside.

The end.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:59 PM | |

April Perfect Post Award: California Teacher Guy

The Original Perfect Post Awards – April 2007

I'm giving the Perfect Post Award to California Teacher Guy this month, because his blog is one of the most inspirational and poetic 'teacher' blogs in the blogosphere today. I might go so far as to say, his blog is literature.

I also agree with him most of the time, not that that would have anything to do with it. :)

The nominated post is called "Saying Yes to the Holy," and it is not only absolutely and 100% correct in every way, it is also beautiful. While you are there, be sure to read as many of his other posts as you can, too. Actually, once you start, you won't be able to stop until you do.

Thank you, California Teacher Guy, for reminding me what teaching is supposed to be about, and for making me nicer every day. Heaven knows I need all the help I can get.

Thanks also to MommaK and Suburban Turmoil for being the masterminds behind the Perfect Post Awards. Way to go, ladies! Your great idea has taken off like gangbusters, and it (and YOU) are wonderful reminders that there are lovely people all over the Blogosphere.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:11 AM | |


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