Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 2008 Perfect Post Award

Laurie Kendrick is my nominee for the Perfect Post Award for January.

If you are not already a Laurie Kendrick reader, let me tell you something: You've really been missing out on something wonderful.

Laurie is witty, and snarky, and sarcastic, and kind, and funny, and very very savvy, and intelligent enough to be considered a higher life form. She also has excellent taste in music, which means, she likes the same stuff I do. Laurie's blog is one of my favorite reads, and once you've gone there and seen Laurie's handiwork, her blog will be one of your favorites, too.

The Perfect Post Awards are the brainchild of MommaK of Petroville, and Lindsay of Suburban Turmoil, and these two lovelies have brought many bloggers together in good fun and the sharing of delights. I love them both, and there's not a thing either of them can do about it.

So everybody click over to Laurie's blog, and then click some more and go to visit MommaK and Lindsay, and then click some MORE and visit all the nominees.

It's Perfect Post Time, and that means, we'll all read some wonderful posts and add some wonderful people to our feeds and blogrolls.

You rock, Laurie Kendrick. I still can't believe someone else on this Earth remembers and loves "Softly Whispering I Love You." Amazing. I, I might love you now.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:58 PM | |


More randominities * that make me happy or sad or whatever, as my emotions can be as random as my thoughts sometimes. . . .

Why do food companies change the recipe for products that are popular and successful because of the old recipe? Noble Roman's Pizza used to have the best pizza sauce EVER; we went there whenever we were near one, and bragged on their fantastic sauce to everybody. Then one day we went and, in our usual jittery anticipation, took a bite of Noble Roman pizza and GROSSSSS! I actually motioned for our waiter to come back and asked him if perhaps there might be something wrong with our pizza. He shook his head and told us that headquarters had changed the recipe for their sauce and that so far, he'd heard nothing but complaints from the customers. I told him to add one more, and we left. We went back one more time to see if maybe Noble Roman headquarters cared at all what their customers thought, but apparently Noble Roman's cares NOTHING about their customers because the sauce still stank. We never went back. Never will. I think maybe they went under; I really don't care. They betrayed me.

I used to order a huge bag of frozen chicken nuggets from Schwann's every two weeks. They were absolutely delicious - oversized and tender and so good - there were no other nuggets anything like them. Then one week, I opened the new bag and saw. . . . something that looked exactly like any other chicken nugget on the market. I fixed them and tasted. . . something that tasted exactly like any other chicken nugget on the market. The only difference now was that I could buy this exact same chicken nugget for less than half what Schwann's chicken nuggets cost. When they were exceptional, it was worth it. Now that they're mediocre, I don't buy them any more. Never will.

It all boils down to the business trying to save money, I'm sure. But ultimately, it boils down to the business of cutting corners and hoping the consumer is stupid, and giving me a lesser product for the same - or even more - money.

Momy don't do that.

I'd be glad to pay more for more. But I won't pay more for less.

Fortunately, our local Grecco's Pizza has deep-dish pizza with the old Noble Roman's sauce recipe. Close enough, anyway. They get most of my pizza business now.

On a happier and less whiny note. . . How could I have let Lego's 50th anniversary pass by? My son was one of the biggest Lego fanatics in the world; we still have enough Legos in this house to build a life-size Eiffel Tower. Fortunately, my esteemed colleague** Dr. Steven Combs - the Lego Master of the Universe, by the way - remembered, so please click over to his blog and celebrate Legos with him! Watch his video, too. He's got a lot of videos. And, if you're an adult and still love your Legos, you don't have to be embarrassed any more. Just be a Lego Ambassador. Dr. Combs knows EVERYTHING about Legos.

As for the title, well, I'd say that's pretty random. It also reminds me of Evil Roy Slade. Holy cow, that was a funny movie.

"You know what nice is? Suppose there was a whole herd of dead cattle, dropped dead on the field, just for you. That's what nice is."

Well, maybe you needed to be twelve.

*I used to think I invented this word but apparently it's a real word. Bummer.

** Different regional campus, but my regard and esteem for this gentleman is sky high.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:04 PM | |

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Professional, Old-Person Daydreams

Did one of you say something? I was busy fantasizing daydreaming.

You know, about essays, students, grammar. . . stuff like that. Important stuff.

Absolutely. Yes.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:01 PM | |

Monday, January 28, 2008

Education and Music and Barbie, Oh My

I forgot to mention the latest Carnival of Education! How can any of us have viable opinions about education/schools/teachers if we don't keep current?

My music is set on random, as usual, and so far the selection has been, well, random. My musical tastes are so varied that when I set my player on random, boy, it's REALLY random.

1. Waiting For My Real Life To Begin - Colin Hay
2. Two Soliloquies - from South Pacific - Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza
3. What'll I Do - Allison Kraus
4. Symphony in C - Cake
5. Early One Morning - Nana Mouskouri
6. Pretty Women - from Sweeney Todd - Len Cariou
7. Time Is Running Out - Muse
8. A Tall Stand of Pines - Floating Men
9. Senza Catine - Il Divo
10. Two of Us - Aimee Mann and Michael Penn
11. Papercut - Linkin Park
12. Ah It Mek - Desmond Dekker
13. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
14. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien - Elaine Paige
15. Cam Ye O'er Frae France - Steeleye Span
16. Death Is Not The End - Nick Cave and Friends
17. Shenandoah - John McDermott
18. Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice - PDQ Bach
19. Flight of the BumbleBee - King's Singers
20. Falling - from Aspects of Love - Michael Ball, Ann Crumb, Diana Morrison, Kathleen Row McAllen, and Kevin Colson

As I type: Mr. Snow - from Carousel - Jean Darling (as Carrie)

On another forum, people are discussing Barbie. The doll.

I have never cared for Barbie. I never wanted one, and my daughter never wanted any, either.

Frankly, I wonder about a dolly that represents a fully developed woman's body. Why do people put that in the hands of a little child?

My daughter loved her dolls and couldn't get enough. She loved baby dolls and little girls dolls: dolls that represented HER.

I don't buy into the "I have negative body image because of Barbie, boo hoo" thing; I just don't think an adult doll with boobs and a career would be any fun for a little child to play with. It certainly never appealed to me.

And how DO you play with Barbie? I mean, besides dress her and undress her and dress her again? Wow, that's fun. Because I don't believe for one moment that a little child can project herself/himself into most of the "careers" Barbie has had over the year.

Baby dolls and little girl dolls - groovy.

Adult dolls with boobs and careers - boring.

Playing now: Jennifer Juniper - Donovan

Why yes, I do tend to leap from topic to topic much like Superman and his tall buildings. No, I'm not interested in reforming any time soon, but thank you for asking.


Feel better now, dear? Good.

I love Granny Smith apples. Also, my cats don't shed much, which is good because my sweeper is on the fritz again.


Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 7:26 PM | |

Saturday, January 26, 2008

You Wanted Politics, So Here Are Some Politics.

My email is overflowing with inquiries from people wanting me to get political on here and tell people who I feel would be the best president. Most of these emails are asking me to endorse Hilary for the simple fact that she is a woman and all of us women should stick together and elect one of our own to the White House because it's TIME.


I am not a political person. I vote, and I have always voted, because I firmly believe that voting is like being on a jury, and if a jury/senate/White House/congress is supposed to be full of my "peers," well, I want to be sure that it really is, and not full of the kind of people who were on some of the juries/political offices I've seen. Peers my ass. It was like a tour through Jerry Springer's waiting room, and those people are NOT my peers.

Besides, people who don't vote rightfully forfeit all whining rights. No votee, no whinee. Few things make me angrier than someone griping about a political decision, who didn't even vote. If someone didn't care enough to have a voice on election day, that person should shut up forever about anything political. If he really cared, he would have voted.

I know that many people see no connection between someone's personal life and his/her professional life, but I am not one of those people. I see a person's personal life as a reflection of their priorities in their professional life, and vice versa. I can not separate the two. If a person is an idiot in his/her personal life, I believe he/she will be an idiot in the professional life, also. And, again, vice versa. Perhaps this is not always the case; I really don't care. I can't separate them. We are what we are, and most of what we are we have chosen to be.

It's not just politicians, as you all well know, either. We all present an image to the public, but if that image is to be believable and viable in any way, we must give evidence that we are sincere by the way we live our personal lives. Politics is full of reprehensible people whose private lives are so filled with chosen horror that I could never in a million zillion years take anything they ever said, professionally, in any kind of serious way. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to fall, because it invariably will. I am not interested in electing a train wreck to political office.

I could never vote for Hilary, and it's not because of her sex. It's because I see her as an enabler of a man whose personal life is disgusting. I see her as an enabler of a marriage that is a joke. I see her as an enabler of a man who tries to pass off his inability to keep it in his pants as a 'disease.' Please. I also see one/half of a couple whose values are so far removed from mine that I simply can't accept them in any way. When I think of the Clintons, all I see is a dysfunctional family, a pack of liars, and a woman who stayed in an adulterous marriage so she could climb higher as a politician. I also see a person who supposedly represents a state in which she did not even live. This is a joke, too. Add to all this the fact that the Clintons are milking the taxpayers for all it's worth by charging the Feds rent for the extra residence they built to house the Secret Service agents - to the tune of the equivalent of their mortgage on that million-dollar home they bought to establish residence in New York - that's a 10,000 mortgage, folks -this means that the taxpayers are paying the Clintons' salaries, mortgage, transportation, safety and security, and the salaries for their 12-man staff. Looking out for the common people? The Clintons don't know what a common person is. They don't hang out with common people. No, I don't want either of them representing me in any way.

The Clintons are a joke. Worse, they are a joke without a punch line. A never-ending build-up without any resolution. He is a grinning, selfish, horny old man, and she is a scary cackling oaf with a hard chromium finish. Both are scrambling up the political ladder on each other's coattails, both are kicking the ladder away beneath them, and neither has a heart, or any kind of ethics other than the selfish kind.

I'm sorry, people who are constantly emailing me to endorse Hilary, but there is no way that will ever happen. Ever, ever, ever, ever.

I would never vote for someone based solely on his/her sex. That is ridiculous. I would also never vote for someone whose personal life was a shambles and whose personal choices were bad. People who break promises, commit adultery, cheat, can't keep it in their pants or out of their pants, lie, steal, ingratiate, or try to fool me into believing they'd be a good elected representative of me while doing any of those things, make me heartsick and disgusted. Nobody is perfect, but everybody could at least TRY to behave.

No, I could never vote for Hilary, and I will never be able to endorse her in any way, unless she was running for National Joke, or National Bitch, or National Poster Woman for Dysfunctional Relationships, or Enabler of the Year, or some such.

I will not be answering any more political emails, so those who are persistent in wanting me to say something about politics on this blog can save themselves the trouble. You wanted to know what I thought about Hilary and now you know. Are you happy? I bet not.

Besides, who in the world would care what somebody like me thought about a candidate? Certainly Hilary doesn't care about women like me. Hilary's "choice" is not the same as mine.

It's common knowledge that I am a firm believer in choice for all women, and for all men, too. The difference between me and a lot of other firm believers in choice is that I believe the choice comes BEFORE the consequences for the choice. Anything else and you're just someone who got caught with his/her hand in the cookie jar and now you want amnesty AND the cookie AND no consequences for putting your hand in the sugar; you know, as if your hand being there wasn't your choice in the first place. Baloney.

So, no Hilary for me. And if you are one of the many women who are planning to vote for Hilary simply because she's a woman, please stop and think, and think HARD, before you do that. It may very well be high time to put a woman in the White House - I look forward to that day - but this is not the right woman. Not for me, anyway.

I do have a candidate in mind, but his people are not bombarding me with requests for endorsement. That just makes me like him more.

To sum up: Hilary - Absolutely not.

Any questions?

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:30 PM | |

Friday, January 25, 2008


I am a person who tends to misplace important things, but there are three things in my life that I ALWAYS put in EXACTLY the same place the very minute I walk through the door/go to bed: my purse, my keys, and my glasses.

My purse lives under the piano bench during the day, and my keys live in a zippered pocket on the outside of the purse. My glasses live on my face unless I'm in bed. I never take them off during the day because I can't see well enough to be without them for any reason.

Summer before last, my keys disappeared. I mean to say, they were gone. Vanished from the face of the earth. They have to be in this house somewhere, because I got home somehow, but after that? Poof. Gone. I've scoured the house, removed the cushions from the furniture, looked in places I know very well I haven't been near, and those keys are nowhere to be found.

And, it wasn't only keys. The automatic remote for the Honda was on the keyring, too. House keys. Car keys. Post office box key. Every important key was on that keyring.


Well, we changed the locks on the house and Hub had a new Honda key made. (Those little suckers with the computer chip are EXPENSIVE!) I had to do without the car's remote for many months, but my sweet MIL financed a new one for me with her Christmas gift that year.

I haven't lost this set of keys yet, but I am really scared that I will. That's why, when I found one of those noise-making keychains that you buy for absent-minded old people, on the sale table at Goody's the other day, I went for it.

Got it home, took it out of the box, pulled out the little piece of plastic, and whistled. The keyfinder went off like gangbusters, flashing its very bright little light and giving off a piercing whistle of its own. Perfection.

Tonight, Belle took me out to the Roadhouse for my birthday, and we stopped at Kohl's on the way home. As we made our way through the store, that keyfinder kept going off. We couldn't figure out what was setting it off.

But eventually, as we listened to our incredibly squeaky cart, we realized what it was. Every time that cart moved, it squealed like a pig, and every time it squealed, the keyfinder went off.

What, you don't find that hysterical? I guess you hadda be there.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:06 AM | |

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rules Kids Won't Learn In School

Oh, I know, I know; this list is everywhere and you've all seen it a zillion times. Well, make that a zillion and one.

For some reason, it just hit me in a good place today.


Rules Kids Won't Learn in School

Rule #1. Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teenager uses the phrase "it's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule #1.

Rule #2. The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain that it's not fair. (See Rule No. 1)

Rule #3. Sorry, you won't make $50,000 a year right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president or have a chauffeur, either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a Gap label.

Rule #4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait 'til you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he is not going ask you how feel about it.

Rule #5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.

Rule #6. It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it or you'll sound like a baby boomer.

Rule #7. Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

Rule #8. Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers off. Nor even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don't get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on.

Rule #9. Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or as polite as Jennifer Aniston.

Rule #10. Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

Rule #11. Enjoy this while you can. Sure, parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. Something or someone is always annoying you. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be kid. Maybe you should start now.

Rule #12. If your generation behaves itself better than your parents' generation, maybe the example will inspire the next generation to behave itself altogether.

You're welcome.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 6:08 PM | |

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wave That Wand And Wonder Comes Out, Alliteratively Speaking.

My students, this new semester, seem like a nice bunch so far. I have the usual few young people fresh out of high school, and the usual many adults who've been cruelly let down by a corporation that had promised to take good care of them forever but reneged the minute things got tough even though the CEO's still get all their money downsized and who are trying to learn new skills so they can make a living for their families since their old skills are no longer viable in this new computerized society.

We've only met once so far, but I can tell it's going to be a good semester.

Tomorrow, they'll get their first writing assignment. I'll whine on here about how I've got this huge pile of essays to grade but to be perfectly honest, my students have something to say and I love to find out what that is. Their diversity of age and background keeps us all interested almost every moment. I don't remember a single class at this college wherein I didn't learn something really important and new; I only hope the students can say the same.

Yes, once in a while I get an essay so truly terrible that my brain starts throb, but most of the time there is viable gold in those piles of raw ore.

Here's the thing, or one of them, anyway: my students enter this beginning writing class believing that they personally have nothing to say that anybody would be interested in hearing about. My job, besides teaching them how to use the language properly, is to convince them that each and every one of them holds the key to stories and advice and examples and information that no other person in the universe knows except them. If they don't tell us, we'll never know. If they don't tell us, the world will always be lacking a wonder.

The pen in their hands isn't just a tube filled with ink; it's a magic wand that will show the world what is inside the head of the person holding that wand. Wave that wand and wonder comes out.

All of the students at Hogwarts were capable of producing a Patronus, but no two were alike. Why should they be? No two students are ever alike. We produce magic and wonder and creativity according to our uniqueness.

There is a Patronus in every student. Let us not encourage our students to produce the same sort of thing as the student next to them. One student's Patronus is another student's spell-gone-wrong.

One more thing: if you really don't know what a Patronus is, shame on you.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:02 PM | |

Thank You. Thank You All.

I still believe that adults who work with young people should be held to a higher standard than adults who, say, work in factories or offices, etc, where kids aren't looking to them to be what their own parents chose never to be, but. . . .

I take my slap knowing I deserved it.

Thank you, dear internet friends. This is exactly why I asked you in the first place.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:58 PM | |

"Why Is This Day Different From All Other Days?"

Why is this day a holiday in most communities? (This community doesn't consider it a holiday, but that's typical for Beffurt.) (Yes, Hub had to teach today, and none of our schools closed.)

It is because a man who dedicated his entire life to peaceful means of acquiring freedom for all people fully deserves to be recognized, and there are still, shamefully, communities that do not consider this of any importance. Making it a holiday forces people to look at his name on their calendar, if nothing else.

If he had advocated violence, it would have been different. Violence does not deserve recognition. If he had advocated "something for nothing," it would have been different. Bums do not deserve recognition.

But Dr. Martin Luther King advocated equal rights for all people, not just for whites and not just for blacks and not just for whites & blacks. He dedicated his life to gaining equal rights for EVERYONE.

And I can't help but listen to a speaker with such beautiful grammar. His grammar enhances his message.

May we all have this same dream.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:54 PM | |

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Need Some Quick and Learned Advice

I need to know if I am a judgmental hardnosed hateful old fogie who doesn't understand that times have changed, or just a person who wants positive role models for our children. I'm serious; I need to know what you all think.

Scenario: Public school teacher, pregnant, unmarried, living with boyfriend with whom she isn't getting along all that well and has no intention of ever marrying, standing before classroom of impressionable students being what all teachers are: a role model and an example.

. . . of. . . what?

The thing is, times really haven't changed; some people have always had trouble keeping it in their pants or keeping it out of their pants, and what people do in the privacy of their own homes is nobody else's business as long as they're not hurting or betraying someone else.

But. . . shouldn't certain professions hold people to a higher standard than others? We are disgusted when ministers have no self-control. A teacher, who is supposed to be a role model and a good example. . . shouldn't he/she be expected to try a little harder to control himself/herself when it comes to situations that can't be kept under cover of one's own household? Is there such a thing as moral standards these days? Am I confusing my own moral standards with somebody else's moral standards in some kind of awful old-person "nice girls don't do that" kind of way? Because, when I think of an unmarried largely pregnant woman professing to be some kind of positive example in a classroom, in front of young people who are quick to figure out the difference between what we say, what we do, and what we are, I feel heartsick.

Older students ask questions about our lives. What will they do with the answers this woman gives them? Run out and do likewise? What about her credibility in other subjects? If she tells a student to control herself for any reason, will she be laughed at?

Because I really don't think pre-teens and teens are going to dig deep into their shallow pool of wisdom to come up with "How inspiring that Miss Smith, even though knocked up and single, acknowledges that people make mistakes, and is going to shoulder her load of responsibility!"

Aren't older students going to see that their unmarried teacher is obviously letting someone HIT THAT, without any kind of protection? Even if we tell them that it's none of their business, which it isn't, students are going to focus on the fact that Miss Smith is throwing her legs up for her boyfriend so why can't they? MISS SMITH is doing it; doesn't that make it okay for us to do it, too?

Seriously, I really need to know what you think. I've never considered myself to be so conservative that other people's non-hurting-others business would bother me, but this one really does. It really, really does, and I guess I need to know if it really, really should.

Over on the teacher forum, where I am the resident mean teacher, most of them think a pregnant single teacher is just fine. Maybe it's just me. I need to know. If I need a reality slap, please do it.

Help. I need somebody. Help. Not just anybody. Help. You know I need someone. HELP!

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:04 AM | |

Friday, January 18, 2008

Culture Enriches Your Life

Sometimes, a person just has to have a little Portsmouth Sinfonia to listen to.

What? You don't know what that is?

Excuse me; I feel a little faint.

Next, you'll be telling me you don't know the Parrot Sketch or the Lumberjack Song by heart.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:49 PM | |

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yet Another Reason I Hate Sears

Dear Sears,

If you ever call me again at 7:45 in the morning, so help me I will get in my car in my hideous pajamas, drive to your pathetic never-any-cars-in-your-parking lot- store and burn it down write "Loser" on your windows with soap.

Love, Mamacita

P.S. It will be spelled correctly, too, which is certainly more than I can say for those three words on your last statement.

P.P.S. Key word up there: Last.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:45 PM | |

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eighteen and Sixty

Most of my students are older people now; my classes generally have only a handful of young students in them these days. I believe that it is extremely beneficial to have a mixture of many ages in a college class.

All too often, older people's association with younger people is connected to the authority figure/obedience thing. Ditto for the younger people, in reverse. Many older people have no contact with any younger people except their own children.

It's good to mix them up in a classroom and let them learn from each other, and teach each other, and discover what a different generation has to offer, with no family strings attached. It gives both generations insight into their own parents/kids, and into the world in general. Many ages, all with the same status, in one room. Gotta love it.

Back in the olden days, there was a lot of intermingling among the generations; the generations often lived in the same house and there was always somebody at home, and schools invited whole families to come and watch recitations and participate in spelling bees, etc. Now, grandparents are farmed out to assisted living facilities and, later, nursing homes, because nobody is home and those who are don't want to bother with the care; whereas, outsiders who try to enter a school are fingerprinted and treated like terrorists for wanting to watch Billy as "Dennis Hanks" in the social studies play. And while I understand that it's not possible to care for some people at home, I think people should try before they give up, and while I don't believe parents should be hanging around the school all the time, I do believe an audience for a little Presidents' Day presentation is a really good thing.

The generations don't mingle much any more, so my classes make me happy just to look at the sea of faces, no two the same age and all bringing incredibly diverse backgrounds into the mix.

I love it. LOVE IT.

Some of them are older than I am. I love that, too. Maybe a little too much. :)
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:51 AM | |

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stupid People. Why Are There So Many?

When an emergency vehicle with flashing lights and a siren is on the road, all the decent intelligent people on BOTH sides of the road pull over to give it plenty of room to pass.

The drivers who take this opportunity to speed past all the pulled-over vehicles to get in the front of the line of traffic? Honestly, I can't think of a word that is disgusting enough to accurately describe these people. I think we can safely rule out "decent" and "intelligent," however. I'm sure these are the same people who disregard stopped school buses with the "STOP" arm across the road, mowing down little schoolchildren and then telling the judge, "I didn't see no bus, and where did them kids come from?"

I'm reminded of a jury I was on once, years ago.

I seriously do not do well with stupid people. Dear LORD, I do not do well with stupid people.

And I can't think of a single good reason any of us should have to. Nope, not even one.

("Stupid people" are NOT the same thing as "disabled people." Don't even try to go there with me. I would only berate you for your lack of reading skills.)

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:12 AM | |

Friday, January 11, 2008

Waddle, Waddle, Pee, Pee. . . .

I remember being pregnant with my daughter.

I felt wonderful. It was almost euphoric.

Except. . . that I had to pee every ten minutes, except when I was at school, in which case I had solid classes from 7:45 until 12:30, and again from 1:00 until 3:30, and my classroom was a good quarter-mile from a restroom.

I can remember sitting at my desk at 12:35 and 3:35 afraid to move, because I was so scared I'd pee somewhere besides a bathroom. (I have a thing about peeing anywhere except in a bathroom.)

Finally, I'd muster enough courage to stand up and begin waddling down the hallway. The first restroom I got to was invariably closed for cleaning. Honestly? I think the janitor watched for me and hurried to put out the yellow cones and lock the doors. No amount of knocking or begging would help, so I quickly learned not to bother breaking my stride. If I stopped and then tried to go again, I might "go."

The next restroom was the one in the faculty lounge. The women's bathroom was almost always occupied by the resident immensely obese teacher that every secondary school is legally obligated to have, and she was there for the duration. If she wasn't in there, the janitor was; I think he crawled through the vents to get to the restrooms and close them, just so I couldn't pee.

That is why, almost every day at 12:45 and 3:45, I would be found emerging from the men's restroom with a big smile on my face.

We had a couple of other female teachers who regularly emerged from the men's restroom with a big smile on their faces, too, but it wasn't for the same reason.

My baby was due the third week of May, so I had a sub all lined up, plans made, copies copied, everything ready.

Somebody forgot to tell the baby, though; she didn't show up until June 15.

I worked until the end of the year and even went to a couple of auctions after school was out. The day before she was born, I fired up the riding mower and cut the grass.

My point? I don't think I ever apologized to the sub who didn't get to work after all and didn't get paid.

Sorry, Sub. Them's the breaks.

I feel so much better now.

P.S. Don't forget to enter this CONTEST!

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 12:48 AM | |

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

When Did "Valedictorian" Cease To Be An EARNED Honor?

The latest Carnival of Education is up and it would behoove us all to go there and read up on the state of education in our country.

I've always thought 'behoove' was a funny word. It's a good word, but it's funny. Lots of really good words are also really funny words. Sometimes, words are even funnier when you know their origins.

I might be ready to go back to school.

Speaking of funny stuff, and school, does anybody else think it's really funny (not the amusing kind) that so many high schools choose their valedictorian and salutorian after only seven semesters? Their excuse is, amusingly enough, still that it 'takes so long to compute the averages, so the counselors have to stop counting grades after seven semesters to give them enough time to get it done." Only in educational jargon, of course, so it doesn't sound so stupid. And after seven semesters, a lot of students drop the hard academic courses because, well, why bother with them since the school stops counting the grades after Christmas of your senior year? Honestly? I'm really glad many colleges have started asking for the full eight semesters of grades. Neener, neener, loser quitter kids.

The fact is, high schools should not start averaging grades for honors purposes until the last day of school. In this age of computers, it only takes a few seconds to find out who has the highest average, and unless there is some kind of politics involved, which of course is ridiculous, there shouldn't be any problems whatsoever. A lot can happen in one day, you know, and the competition for valedictorian shouldn't be over until the fat lady sings on the last day of school. The honor would mean a lot more if it went to the student who earned it EVERY day, not just seven semesters' worth of days. And if a few students are neck-and-neck up until the last few seconds of the last period of the last day of school, so be it. Honors mean nothing unless they're earned fairly.

It's not like the results will take anybody by surprise, you know. All the kids know who deserves the honors; it's just a few adults who feel the need to manipulate the numbers so certain people get the kudos.

The valedictorian should be the student with the highest average in actual non-accommodated academic subjects. The salutorian is second. And I really don't care who their parents are, how many clubs they're in, whether or not they've ever been in detention, or if they're even likeable or not.

It should be a strictly earned points honor.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:43 AM | |

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I Found Another Product Worth Raving About!

Every once in a blue, blue moon I discover a product that I think is good enough and smart enough and by golly, people like me worthy of mention on my blog, which is, of course, the equivalent of you sitting in my kitchen exchanging small talk with me and eating deep-dish pizza. Which reminds me, when are you coming over?

I have a nice deck, but I seldom sit out there because of the bees and mosquitoes. I have to save up my trash and haul it to the dump because we have no pickup out here in the north forty of all boondocks, and if I set so much as a dainty bathroom bag of seemingly unappealing human dregs outside, the critters pay us a call and we get to spend an hour bent double picking up used kleenexes and all kinds of creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, and altogether ooky sticky, shredded, often embarrassing remnants of our lives that were best left unseen and are even grosser after being licked by a possum.

But my problem has actually been solved now. I have discovered Repell-em products. Not only are they the best trash bags EVER, they have a ton of other uses as well.

Set out your trash two days early; the dogs won't touch it. Put pieces of a Repell-em trash bag under your sofa cushions; your cats won't shred your furniture any more. Cut a Repell-em trash bag into strips and put them around your ankles and wrists. You can now sit out on the lake all day fishing and come home with not a single mosquito or fly bite.

Hang a Repell-em bag in the doorway of your tent. You can sleep in peace and the mosquitoes, flies, and other insects won't come near you.

If you have tiny children and you worry about them putting "poison" in their mouths, you can rest easy, because Repell-em products are harmless. You can pack food in them. If you catch your child chewing on a Repell-em bag, you can marvel at his/her ability to relish the taste, but you don't have to call 911 or the Poison People; Repell-em bags won't hurt your child. Repell-em bags are also eco-friendly; they're REALLY eco-friendly, not just claiming to be but really not, like most products that make that claim. Repell-em products really are eco-friendly. The magic is in the smell, which insects and animals loathe. People just think it's a nice smell.

But here's the coolest part: Repell-em is having a CONTEST! It starts Thursday and they're giving away their products like crazy.

Listen, I know it's odd, raving about trash bags. But I hate mosquitoes and I hate flies and I hate having my furniture clawed by my cats and I hate not being able to sit outside because of the bugs and I'm allergic to bees and I hate having to constantly pick up my trash from all over the yard because dogs or other animals tore it to shreds and scattered it.

With Repell-em bags, I'll never have to do that again. Check them out. Seriously, these products are fantastic. I can just hang a Repell-em bag from my deck and the insects are GONE. No stinky sprays or little cups of poison. Nothing that could harm a child. Just instant bug-be-gone. INSTANT. No stray dogs or other potentially dangerous critters, either. GONE.

Go check out Repell-em. Then enter the contest. I'm going to. By golly, I'd LOVE to win me a big bundle of this stuff.

I'm going to order one of their picnic tablecloths next. NO ANTS! I can't wait.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:01 PM | |

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Official Always-On-Duty WalMart Ballbuster

I went to WalMart tonight, and I'm honestly sorry to be this kind of person, but it really makes me mad and yes, I really do think drastic measures are necessary.

When a grinning, ingratiating-type customer is one of many in line at the 20-items-or-less register, and when he starts piling his merchandise on the tiny little counter-space that was made for 20 items or less, and he says to the sweet little overworked cashier, "I've got about eight over the twenty; that's all right, ain't it, hyuck hyuck hyuck?" the answer should rightly be, "No, it's not. Please put your stuff back in your cart and move it to the proper line. This line is for people with only a few items, and it's not right to make them wait for you and your cartload." And then I think everybody in the line should mutter 'Jackass' under his/her breath but loud enough for the jackass to hear.

The person behind him with a gallon of milk, the person behind her with a bag of apples, the person behind him with four two-liter bottles of Coke, the person behind her with a case of Pampers, two giant cans of Similac, an infant and a toddler, and the person behind her with a sack of potatoes and a pair of Levi's, will be forever grateful.

It's not like the guy has any finer feelings or anything, you know. He's a JACKASS. And after all that, when he asks the little cashier to cash his payroll check even though he left his ID in the truck, and to run back and grab a pack of Winston's for him, wouldja honey, because he done forgot, hyuck hyuck hyuck, I think he should be castrated there in the store by the 24-hour always-on-duty official WalMart BallBuster because we've already got far too many of them kinda folks.

You think I'm kidding, don't you. Everybody who wishes that all stores, schools, institutions, offices, governments, and businesses of every kind had a 24-hour always-on-duty official BallBuster for people who think the rules are for other people, raise your hand and say, "JACKASS!"

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:08 AM | |

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Who Wants To Live Forever?

I adored Freddie Mercury.

I know there are a lot of popular bands for which fame is fleeting because there is no real talent to sustain it. It's always been so, and always will be. Sometimes a band gets its fifteen minutes based on novelty alone, but novelty alone ain't gonna cut it unless there is some genuine talent to back it up. Think of Weird Al. He's novelty, but he's also a master of parody and a fantastic mimic and a ham who can really do it.

There are many fantastic musicians in bands that give them no outlet for the legitimacy of their talents. This is, of course, a choice each musician makes.

Other bands are made up of individual masters in their chosen field, and they showcase this magnificence with music that will always be memorable. Not everyone will agree on which is which, naturally; everyone has his/her own individual tastes in music.

I love music; it sustains me and gives me outlets for emotions and feelings that might otherwise land me in jail, and it soothes me and strengthens me and I consider it as much of a 'being' as any actual person I know. I am very particular about my music, although my children wouldn't think so, and I only play and replay the music I especially love. I do not care for most country and some jazz, although the adjectives give those genres a little leeway.

What really reduces me to a quivering mass of incoherent protoplasm is a lovely voice. And when the incomparable voice is coupled with beautiful lyrics and heart-shattering melody and irony and fate and a knowledge of what is going to happen and what has already happened, it leaves me in tears, paralyzed with emotion, and the only outlet is to listen to it again.

I'm not a fan of Highlander, but the song from Highlander hits me right where I live.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 11:02 PM | |

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thises and Thats, Pt. 9

After several months of freakish spring-like temperatures so warm that the trees got confused and tried to bud, we've finally got winter here in southern Indiana. It's 15 degrees and getting colder, and it really makes me wish we'd gotten the chain saw fixed so we could have cut up the big tree that fell down in the back yard in a windstorm two years ago. Tonight is a woodstove night. Well, actually, it's a woodstove full of wood night. See how important one small element can be? Half is not good enough. Even with ten points thrown in for self-esteem purposes, 60% of this equation isn't going to put a fire in a woodstove. The woodstove doesn't care who you are or who you know, either. Sigh. Brrrrr. We're too broke cheap to move the thermostat from the 65 degree setting it's so used to in the winter, so there's nothing to do but put on some warmer and more sensible clothing whine.

Hub goes back to school tomorrow. I go back on the 14th. Yay, college!

I fully intended to take down the Christmas tree yesterday, but it was just so beautiful glowing and twinkling there in the big window, and I was sewing and looking at it and at my magic and mindbogglingly awesome wireless digital picture frame on the table next to it, and the next thing I knew it was four in the morning and who wants to take down a Christmas tree at four in the morning?

I can't take it down tonight, either, because, well, we're still looking at it.

The people down the road who decorated their home like a gingerbread house haven't started to take theirs down yet, either, and I don't want to give them any ideas. I love driving past that house; it's absolutely gorgeous. I just know that Hansel and Gretel are in there somewhere, Gretel slaving in the kitchen and Hansel in his cage being fattened for the witch's dinner. . . .

My sentences are not abiding by the parallel structure rules, but I'm off duty until the fourteenth.

Later tonight, I'm going to make a lot of fudge to send to my brother. I can't do it now because the only pan I own that's big enough is in the dishwasher, and I have to wait for the cycle to finish. If you go to Idaho State and know my brother, please don't tell him he's getting a big package full of fudge in a week.

For the past thirty years we have spent New Year's Eve with our best friends, and this year was no exception. Janice the Menopausal Loan Officer and her hubby are just simply the greatest.

I'll be spending the weekend with my Tumorless Sister and some mutual friends, and I'm looking forward to that very much. My sweet little niece is having a belated New Year's party and I'm looking forward to that, too.

This has been a lovely holiday season; we did nothing extravagant or large, but we gathered with family and friends and we're still gathering, and most of our best memories are made up of little things, which are, of course, really big things in disguise.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 8:47 PM | |


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