Putting the "MO" in MOFO since 2004

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Friday, September 30, 2005

 

Saturday

It's Saturday! At least, it's almost Saturday!

And the commentary I wrote is right here

I miss that man so much it hurts.
 

hands off my zoo-zoos

Big things are happening here. I was informed that my commentary will be published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Saturday (that’s tomorrow!). It is my first real published essay. VERY exciting!!!

I will post a link on Saturday.

Jim is gone all weekend on a three day golfing extravaganza with friends. Basically that means that all seven of them will golf until they run out of golf balls and their eyes fall out. Then they will start blindly whacking their own eyeballs with their 9 irons until someone gets hit with one, and surely they will, because they will not longer be able to see to yell “FORE!” At that point we can only hope that someone puts them on a bus home. Empty sockets and all.

I can just hear it. “Please! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! One more round! I know I can improve my handicap (referring to the golf score, not the blindness)! I want to be the first blind golfer to win the U.S. Open!!!! I KNOW I CAN DO IT!”

I put together a gentleman’s rules of golf list in prison lingo for them. I am surprised by the apathetic response to my fun with prison slang. I find it so amusing. Apparently, this is a quirk I do not share with many. AH WELL! Don’t you even think about doing me greasy and giving up the the weedy weedy on where I stashed my clavo of zoo-zoos! BBEEYYAAATTCCCHH!

I will bring prison slang into the mainstream lexicon if it kills me.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

 

My mind is an illegal weapon in many states.

Got this from Julie,
who got it from Badger.
And I saw it earlier this week over at mothergoosemouse

In all my childhood sin and dysfunction, I deviantly read all of the highlighted books below on the "banned book" list. Most of them were read when I was in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest (But I saw the movie!)
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (But I sw the movie!)
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King Who can forget the euphemism "dirtypillows"?
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

SO THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME!! If I hadn't read all those books, I wouldn't be able to think as critically, or form my own opinions. Therefore, I would not be as disgusted by the BIGOTED MORONS who ban books! If only these books had been banned, I would have no idea how infuriating it is to have people try to tell you what your children can and can not read. Any idiot can use their powers of observation to notice what their children are checking out of the library. It takes a real control freak to try to control what is available in the FUCKING library.

I suppose they're right. I mean, after reading "Go ask Alice" I became a drug addled prostitute at the age of 12. Then, I became a lesbian after reading "The Color Purple". I also committed suicide after reading "Ordinary People" because those books made it all look so COOL.

Oh Dear... there I go again.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

 

I never learn

It’s that time of year again. It’s time for the most beautiful urban marathon in America, The Twin Cities Marathon. I have run 6 of the last 9 of them. Every year I decide not to run it, I get very wistful as the day approaches, and I wish I had decided to sign up and train.

The Twin Cities Marathon is a rite of fall. It is a tour of the Twin Cities that takes you through the autumn landscapes of the chain of lakes in Minneapolis and the Misssissippi river valley. It starts at the metrodome in downtown Minneapolis, winds through tree lined neighborhoods and charming business districts, follows the path of the Mississippi river valley, and ends at the state capitol in St. Paul. All in this idyllic fairy land of crisp blue sky and yellow, orange and green leaves. The course is breathtaking. The people of Minnesota come out in droves to cheer the runners on.

Having had just given birth to the smooth Madgerator last year, I refrained from training for obvious reasons. I mean, I would have collapsed and / or peed myself to death 3 miles into it. Then my female parts would have fallen out. This year I decided that finding time to train would be too stressful. Now of course, I am kicking myself. I am jealous. I want to run it. I just don't want to train for it.

Instead of running the marathon this year, I will ruminate on my past glory. Here is a breakdown of the emotions and inner dialogue leading up to, and following the completion of the Twin Cities marathon.

During training: Why the Hell did I sign up for this again? I am so sick of running I could scream. Running stinks. I am an idiot. I hate running. HATE IT.

As the date approaches: I am not ready. Fuck. I am not ready. There is no way I am going to be able to finish this thing. What was I thinking? Why didn’t I plan better? I am not prepared! The world is against me! Everyone and everything has conspired to prevent me from training! SHIT! I need to learn to say NO!!!

The night before: I have several nightmares about not being able to find the starting line. I am late getting to the race. I dream that I get lost and take a wrong turn, and I forgot my shoes, and there is no time to go back and get them. I forgot my runners number.

The morning of: Get out of bed. Nervous. This is going to be a long-ass morning.

8:00 race day: Line up with my projected time. I am an optimist. I go to the place marked “4 Hours” knowing I have never finished a marathon in less than 4 and a half, and more likely, it will take me 5. I am an eternal optimist. This is why I usually arrive places 5 – 10 minutes late. I nervously stretch and try to pretend I am a good stretcher. I never stretch.

Start of race: OOOO-kay. Here we go. Very exciting! Look at all the people! Pace yourself! Whoohoo!

Mile 5: Pacing myself. All is well. Feeling groovy.

Mile 7: Hi Jim! Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hi Molly, Betsy and Julie! Hi demigoddesses! My family rocks. They come out to see me every year. I love everyone.

Mile 10: Where is the halfway mark? I will be so glad when I know I have half of this bitch under my belt. Shit. My left butt cheek is killing me. I can’t feel my little toe. Should I be worried?

Mile 13.1: Halfway there! Yay! I am doing pretty well. I think I can finish this in record time. My ass is killing me though. Ouch. I still love everyone, but some of you get on my nerves a little, I have to admit.

Mile 16: Less than 10 miles left. Really want to stop running. But the finish line is calling. If I did not have thousands of witnesses, I would not be running. The cheering crowd does help though. You are all so nice to come out and cheer for us. I am not leaving without my T-Shirt and medal. I want my t-shirt and medal!

Mile 18: In the rhythm of my steps: Just keep running. Just keep running. Motherfuck, Motherfuck, just keep running. Repeat this little jingle over and over and over for the next 3 miles.

Mile 18.5: Where is that goddamned mile marker? This is the longest mile in the history of running. There is no way I have not gone a whole mile yet. I must have missed the 19 mile marker. Where is my family? What if I die here? Who will be my role model, now that my role model is gone, gone, he ducked back down the alley with some roly poly little batface girl. Is that Rob Lowe up ahead in the crowd? Oh. No. It’s an adolescent girl. I am now hallucinating. Nice.

Mile 19: You are fucking kidding me. I am only at mile 19? This is some cruel joke. Okay, don’t freak out. Just keep running. I am going to finish this bitch if it fucking kills me. Motherfucker. Motherfucker.

Mile 20: Okay. Just twice around Lake Harriet and I am done. This is one morning of my life. One morning. I will crawl to the end if I have to. And then I will get McDonalds and sit on the couch for the rest of the day. I will not move from the couch. I will become one with the couch. This is one morning of my life. I can do this. Oh my God I hurt everywhere. The only things that don’t hurt right now are my hands. And my eyeballs. My hands and my eyeballs feel great. I'll just focus on my hands and my eyeballs. Oh dear God this hurts.

Mile 22: Lalalalalalala… shitshitshitshitshit this hurts. Where is my family? Where are they? Keep running. Mommy! I hurt! Oh! There is the lady giving away cookies! Thank you nice lady! You are the kindest, most nicest lady of all the ladies in the universe. Your generosity, coupled with my delirium, make me very sappy. Sniffle.

Mile 23: Did I just pass the 21 mile marker or the 25th? What is 26 minus 4? Damn! What is 26 minus 4? Fuck it! Who cares. Just keep running. Uhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Mile 24: Who the Hell designed this course? A masochist? The fucking thing is flat as a pancake until the very end! The last three miles (or is it 7? I can’t add or subtract… too tired) are up hill. People cheering me on remind me I am almost done. I am not almost done assholes! 2.2 miles is not almost done! I could be dead before I finish the next 2.2 miles. 2.2 miles is going to give me a nervous breakdown! You people. You fucking people. I hate this.

Mile 25: Bitch, do not even tell me that was the last hill because I know it’s not, you fucking idiot. Do you know what that does to a person who is this tired? It makes them want to bitch slap you. I know you mean well but you are a stupid stupid human being. Oh look. Bananas. Wait. Too tired to cross the road. Screw it. I will be lucky to finish this in less than 5 hours. At this point I no longer care. I want to stop! Can I stop? Maybe I will just walk until the next mile marker. Why does it hurt more to walk than to run? Why did I do this again? Oh yeah. I am an idiot. What’s 26 minus 25? I am going to fucking DIE. I WANT TO DIE.

Mile 26: IS THIS IT? THE LAST HILL? The state capitol! There it is! I can roll down the hill to the finish line if I want! I get to stop running soon! I get to stop running! Must. Get. To. Capitol. Then I can stop running.

Finish line: I want to cry tears of joy but I can’t because I can’t spare the energy! I get to stop running! I get to stop running! I am never running again! Ever! I think I have to vomit! I stink! I am dizzy and confused! Where do I go? What do I do? What is my name again? I guess my time doesn’t really matter. I finished it! Or did I? Oh yeah. I’m done. Somebody take me home. But take me to McDonalds first. Definitely take me to McDonalds first.

Post marathon shower: OW! OWOWOWOW! The tag in my shorts wore a HOLE in my back! OW! The edges of my jogbra rubbed my skin raw! I have a giant scab necklace! The water. It stings! I have butt-crack chafing. BUTT CRACK CHAFING, PEOPLE! Whatever you do, DO NOT touch my feet. They may crumble upon contact. That or I will scream in pain. Mmmmm. I love McDonalds. Should have definitely super sized it. Coke never tasted so good. Mmmmmmm....

Next 48 hours: Can’t climb stairs. I am fine as long as I don't move.

72 hours post marathon: I am so signing up next year. I am signing up and I am going to train better and I am going to finish in 4 hours. I am so signing up next year.

Monday, September 26, 2005

 

Weekend recap

Here it is. My weekend in a nutshell:

Friday night:

Jim and I on our back patio after returning home from seeing the band Idlewilde at First Ave. We have consumed multiple beers:

Me: “So what was it really like watching Maggie being born? I was so freaked out I hardly remember anything. “

Jim: “Well, I was worried about you, getting tired and doing all that pushing, and then I could see her head, and then I saw a shoulder or a back or something and then they pulled her out really fast. And I was pretty much trying not to vomit or pass out. But it was beautiful.”

Saturday:

Me making chicken chili in the kitchen with Maggie (in high chair) 3 feet away.
Maggie, noticing me not noticing her. I am chopping things instead: “Hi!”

Me: (making chili) “Hi!”

Maggie: “Hi!”

Me: “Hi!”

Maggie: “Hi!”

Me: “Hi!”

Maggie: “Hi!”

Me: “Hi!”

Repeat about 300 times. I think you get the picture. “Hi!” is the preferable method of attention seeking, as opposed to whiny high pitched shrieking. I for one, am not about to complain.

Sunday:

The entire family (minus Jim who had to work) goes to the Renaissance festival which takes place in a huge field in Shakopee Minnesota:

We basically spend 4 hours looking for chicken on a stick for my sister Molly. I sample the wares of many food vendors with one hand while heaving Maggie’s stroller through 4 inches of mud with the other. I also spend a lot of time trying to keep Maggie from disappearing into throngs of people. No one informed Maggie that she is supposed to have separation anxiety. She is not at all wary of strangers. She runs towards all varieties of them screaming with glee. Where’s Mom? Who cares! The world is too interesting a place to worry about nonsense like kidnappers, toddler trampling horses, vicious biting dogs and tatooed gypsies. Does she worry that the next time I see her it might be 2016? During an episode of “Growing Up Carni”? Oh! There's Maggie! Now she's the child bride of a four toothed man named 'Ricket'! Gosh I miss her! She was such a great baby." No. Clearly Maggie does not worry about these things. This is my job.

Later Sunday afternoon:

In the car with sisters Molly and Betsy. Leean Rimes “how do I live?” is playing on the radio. We like the LITE F.M. Station. We mock the songs we don’t like, and we crank the ones we do because we think it’s funny to drive around in a minivan blasting LITE favorites like “wind beneath my wings” and pretending to be gangsters execpt we are in a minivan. And we are blasting lite rock instead of rap.

Oh, the irony.

We amuse no one but ourselves. But isn’t that the point?

Me: “Who is this Ow-Choo and why can’t she live with him? What kind of a name is “Ow-Choo? Chinese? Inuit?”

Leean Rimes: “How do I live with Ow-Choo? I want to know. How do I breathe with Ow-Choo? If you’d ever leave.. Baby you would take away everything good in my life. How do I live with Ow-Choo?”

Me: “Man that woman is all over the map. I love you I hate you I love you I hate you! Poor Ow-choo!”

Later Sunday night:

Sister Betsy’s 28th Birthday celebration dinner at Mom and Dads house:

Gasp! Dad is out of wine!! Double gasp! The Beaujolais from two Thanksgivings ago is absolute crap! It tastes of robitussin! No one will drink it! Triple gasp! Coffee anyone?

Someone brings up Shandi, the 3rd runner up from America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) season 1. I inform the 5 other dinner guests who are ANTM addicts that I just saw a mugshot of Shandi on TV. She was arrested for robbing a Mr. Bulky’s candy store. A MR. BULKY’S CANDY STORE. Tyra Banks must be PISSED.

Tyra: “I have never IN MY LIFE yelled at a convicted felon like this!”

My sister Julie’s child, demigoddess #2 runs upstairs for a covert google check, and produces a picture of Shandi’s mugshot which is passed around the dinner table. Everyone takes a look and offers their 2 cents.

“Shandi had a hard life.”

“Her mother was evil.”

“She cheated on her boyfriend on national television and then had a nervous breakdown. In the fetal postion on the floor. In Italy.”

“She was raised in a Walgreen’s or some crap like that.”

But MR. BULKY’S?? How embarrassing. Poor Shandi.

That pretty much sums up my weekend.

I have omitted “the bathtub incident”. When I amend my fear of being turned over to social services by my readers, I will tell you about that part of my weekend. This incident led me to utter a few spontaneous Hail Mary’s. And I don’t even know how to offer a proper “Hail Mary”. It was one of those moments that makes me glad parents don’t need licenses because mine would be revoked right now. And my daughter would be given away to someone with superior parenting skills. Or maybe just someone with parenting skills.

Riveting stuff, huh?

Friday, September 23, 2005

 

Dear Prison Slang Mommyblogger

Dear Prison Slang Mommyblogger,

My three year old daughter has a best friend. The last time she came home from her friend’s house she had a candy bar in her pocket. I asked her friend’s mother if she had given it to her and she said no. I think my daughter stole from her little friend. How should I respond? I want her to confess, and I would like to take the proper disciplinary action. Please help.

Yours truly,

Disappointed Mommy in Maryland.



Dear Disappointed Mommy in Maryland,

So your shortie jacked some wham whams from her ace-duce’s clavo?
Hmmm…

Was she playing on Ass? Maybe that is why she decided to go off the chain and doowop her crimey’s choney. This is not something to take lightly. Mommy, I suggest that you get T-jones on the child and say to her “Press you bunk punk!” It’s time to put on a heat wave and issue a Mickey mouse ticket.

She might try to tell you that you got her down bad, but if you press her friend she might give you the grapes on your little jitterbug. Now, that was a real dope fiend move, and your daughter needs to know that.

Now, no mommy wants to be a Toosh Hog. It maybe difficult to get her friend to give the weedy-weedy on her. If you think your child might turn into a three snap case, you might want to put grass under you and dip the spot until everyone calms down. Then you can tell your daughter that she was out there wrong, that she did her friend greasy, and that it’s time to rack in and red tag until she can learn how to be on the one.

After your daughter has B&B’d, you can tell her to put on her bo-bo’s and give her some bug nasties. You can even hook her up with some zoo-zoo’s if she has made amends to your satisfaction. I hope that helps! Good luck!

Best regards,

Prison Slang Mommy

Translation:


Dear Disappointed Mommy in Maryland,

So your daughter stole some candy from her best-friend's goodie stash?

Hmmm…

Was she without any money? Maybe that is why she decided to go crazy and go through the food line twice to steal her friend's candy bar. This is not something to take lightly.

Mommy, I suggest that you get motherly with the child and say to her “Lay down on your bed and be quiet!” It’s time to find the truth and issue a proper punishment. She might try to tell you that you have accused her wrongly, but if you press her friend she might tattle on your little juvenile delinquent. Now, that was really stupid, crazy behavior, and your daughter needs to know that.

Now, no mommy wants to be a tough disciplinarian. It maybe difficult to get her friend to tell the truth. If you think your child might throw a tantrum, you might want to walk away and leave the area until everyone calms down. Then you can tell your daughter that she was wrong, that treated her friend badly, and that it’s time to go to her room and stay there until she can learn how to be honest.

After your daughter has been freed from her room, you can tell her to put on her shoes and give her a bag lunch. You can even give her some candy if she has made amends to your satisfaction. I hope that helps! Good luck!

Best regards,

Prison Slang Mommy

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

 

ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Have you ever had a day when you discovered something right in front of you? Something that made you want to slap yourself HARD in the forehead for missing it all this time? Something new. A breakthrough of sorts. A new way of doing things that was so simple. SO SIMPLE. You wondered why it never occurred to you before?

Like your whole entire life, every second of every day, you have heard a song playing in the background. You heard it so much that you stopped noticing it. It was just part of the landscape. Something really shitty and lame, like, say, Billy Idol's "Mony Mony". That fucking song playing over and over and over again for all of your conscious life. Evey moment you can remember.

And then one day you decided to take that damn song off and play something else. You realize you have the choice. You change the song to something of your own choosing. Something that suits you. Like Ray Lamontagne's "Joleen". Like Patty Griffin's "Chief". Like Aretha Franklins "Never loved a man". And then after spending some time with the new groove, you realized how awful it was listening to the old stuff. The old stuff you listenend to for YEARS only because you stopped paying attention. And when you did notice it, you thought you had no choice. You didn't know to look for something else to play because you thought that was it. You were stuck with fucking "Mony Mony".

Part of me knows that I have not heard the last of the old music. It will start playing again when I am not paying attention. Some evil little troll that lives in the dark recesses of my brain will scuttle out giggling maniacally. That little troll will slip the old music in when I am not paying attention. That music that is so much a part of me that I might not even notice it for a while.

But I have the power to pay attention now.

Now I am capable of noticing it.

And on this, the first day of Fall. The season that has always filled me with dreadful longing. Torturous wistful regret. Sad memories enveloping me. The inevitable impending darkness. All summer long, I dread it. Creeping through the crack under the door. Coming to get me. Enveloping me in darkness. It's remarkable, the timing of this.

This is a breakthrough. A major breakthrough. And all there is to share it with right now are the dogs. But I don't even care. I feel the curtains opening. The light is shining in through the small gap in the drapes. I am peeking out at the vast expanse of sky and earth and light. I am seeing things I used to see. I recognize them from a long, long time ago. They warm my heart and fill me with peace. They make me want to sigh with contentment. Right in front of me are colors I forgot about. They were there all the while. And they are beautiful.
 

Fuck You Bud Mullins

I just received this e mail:

"Seriously...

Don't you think its about time you dropped a few pounds?

No di et, No exercise...No BS, Only safe, substantial results in a few weeks, period.

it only takes 24 bucks to see if this is what you've been looking for the last few years...we bet it is

http://365extra.com

-Bud Mullins,
WeightLoss-Specialist
Meta-Gen Research Inc.


Does anyone know how to instigate a malicious denial of service attack? Come on you technical wizards! I know you are out there!

I can excuse any poor fool for spamming people for the sake of trying to make a buck, but this fuckwad just called me FAT. Motherfucking Assbox.

Bud Mullins, you are one serious shitbag. You are a colossal MOFO. You have bad breath too. I just know it. Asshole.

Don't I think it's time I dropped a few pounds?
Why yes! But only if it's a few pounds of caps dropped right in your flatulent wieght-loss specialist ass. BitchassHO-motherfucker.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

 

Play date

If you have ever wondered how many small pebbles a one-year-old old can fit into their mouths before spitting them out in a drooley toddler pebble waterfall, I can tell you. Approximately 45.

If you have ever wondered how many times a one-year old can repeat this action OVER AND OVER AGAIN before growing weary of it, you are barking up the wrong tree. I can’t tell you. We left the park WAY before we got to that point.

Madge was taking her pebble tasting quite seriously. After spitting she would take notes on the nose, bouquet, and nuances of each batch before moving on to the next. She displayed a strong preference for the smoother variety with fruity undertones.

Sunday afternoon I had my first official "play date" for Maggie with a friend and her daughter who is just a little older than Maggie at 16 months.

The whole idea of a play date involving any child under the age of three is pretty comical. I mean, they don't PLAY. At least not with each other. Sure, they might saunter up and eye each other curiously. "Hey, THAT'S not the kid I see in the mirror after my bath! Weird!" They might ogle each other for a moment and reach out to touch the face of their strange new companion. They might even poke their little "playmate" in the nose or ear. If there is one bottle of apple juice between two children, there will be a brief conflict manifesting itself into staccato-like chimpanzee shrieks until the offended party is placated with some cleverly marketed child foodstuff.

And then, as quickly as their curiosity was roused, it’s all over. They toddle off in different directions to take care of very important business. Business like sticking small objects in their noses, climbing up slides the wrong way, and eating things they have no business eating. They wander off happily oblivious to the fact that the whole purpose of this outing is to play with the strange creature on the other side of the park, who, like themselves, also has large quantities of pebbles down her diaper.

Or, in Maggie’s case, they pick up fistfuls of tiny pebbles and bring them to their mouths, eagerly awaiting the obligatory “NO! YUCKY!”. The first twenty times this was followed by peals of squealing laughter. Then Maggie turned it up a notch, actually getting a pebble or two in her mouth. She did not appear to enjoy the flavor of pebbly goodness and made short work of spitting them out. This was repeated about thirty times. At this juncture, I was left to wonder “if you don’t like the way they taste, and clearly you don’t, why on God’s green earth do you continue to putting them in your mouth?”

Then Madge upped the ante once more, and began frantically stuffing fistfuls of pebbles into her mouth, watching eagerly for my reaction each time.

She may be trouble, this child. I am afraid her father and I are IN FOR IT. This was the point at which we decided it was time to head home.

On our way home, pulling the toddlers behind us in a red “Radio Flyer” wagon, the grown ups decided that our next play date would take place at the Liz Phair concert.
The children, of course, will be playing “asleep in their cribs” under the watchful eye of a babysitter.

Now THAT’S what I call a play date.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

 

dream a little dream

I was in the kitchen getting Maggie's lunch of quartered grapes, little cheese cubes and sliced turkey ready for her. Just another regular day doing regular things. I had just woken her up from her nap and she had that happy sleepy aura around her. Her hair was mussed, but she had that "just woken up" contented glow. She grasped a plastic "little people" kitten, in her hand and had popped her pacifier in her mouth. She stood by her highchair and looked at me clutching her little treasure with a face full of binky.

I looked back at her and thought "Can this be? Is this beautiful sweet creature actually my child?" Sometimes when I stop and really think about the fact that I am her mother, and she is my daughter it damn near makes my head explode.

Not to sound nauseatingly cheesy and trite, but being a mom has been a lifelong dream for me. A fantasy. The one thing in life I never had a question about. I always knew I wanted to have children. And I am there. I have done it. I am Maggie's mother. This beautiful child is mine, and how did this just happen anyways?

My life has been rife with struggles. I think underneath it all, I was truly afraid that I would never be here. The fates would never be so kind to me. This kind of happiness. It's for other people. Not me. Yet here I am. And it wasn't a struggle. Not at all. Here is this child who brings so much joy into the world. It is impossible to be unhappy in her presence. I smile so much more now than I ever have before. She is literally the best thing about my life, and I get to be her mom forever. Every single day. I wake up and there it is right in front of me. Sometimes I really can't beleive it.

In life there are events and there are moments. I have always thought that I was more of an event person, but I realize now that it's the smallest moments that have real meaning for me. The little realizations. The moments when time seems to stand still and I allow myself to feel things like gratitude and wonder. The times when I stop and think and feel what is happening. The moments when I Just GET IT. When I allow myself to be mystified. To let go of all my defenses and distractions and allow myself to feel pure unadulterated joy through every cell of my body.

It's just another Saturday, cutting up grapes and cojack cheese. And it feels good. Life. It is sweet, no?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

 

Damn Straight I Like Martha Stewart. You Got a Problem With That?








Peeps, I think Mama’s lost her snark. I have been loaded to the gills with introspective bullshit about homeless people and Katrina victims and “woe is me”, “the entire world is falling apart” and “I loathe spending 8 hours a day in this Godforsaken Hellhole getting my little puppy face shamefully rubbed in someone else’s doo-doo”.

All of this existential angst and pondering, blah blah blah……. It’s HOOEY! HOOEY I TELL YOU!

Fuck it people. It’s time for some fun. Do you know what it's time for?
It’s time for the emancipation of Motherfucking Mama:

Yeah, I like Martha Stewart. You Got a Problem With That? You think that’s funny? Cuz I got something funny for you. YOUR MAMA! Now that’s funny. And don’t be dissin me for copping her haircut. Miz Martha has the same luscious thick locks that I do and I know y’all are just a bunch of jealous Martha wannabes anyways! With flat ass hair! My hair is just like Martha’s and it looks GOOD. And all y’all just wish you had the poncho the fine lady got knitted by her bunkie in the can. No she didn’t jack it! Martha’s ace-duce hooked her up! You know you covet that poncho because it looks so fly and you all know you can’t have it and you don’t have the hair to be wearing it anyways.

Now, now. It’s gonna be allright. Now stop that! Stop your crying! Know why? Because Martha’s down with P-diddy and she can teach you how to make that damn bed right! Damn Straight! She can make all the shelves in your crib look real nice and decorative because Martha can do all of this shit herself. She can do that shit herself AND she can show all you fools how to do the shit just like she does! She’d just down like that! Now do you see why the woman is fly? Martha is fly! Martha can get rid of all the nasty stains in your crib and you KNOW YOU GOT EM BITCHES! She will show you how!

Now, baby, don’t feel bad. Miss Martha understands. The bitch can make a gourmet meal from ketchup packets and chicken wings from the vending machine in the clink for fuck’s sake. She turned her zoo-zoos into a nice meal for her poncho knitting Bunkie. She didn’t need a shank because the bitch just kept whipping up delicious ketchup wings! The woman can make a fart in Hell turn into a rainbow in paradise. Martha’s got magical powers just like that. And she will share them with you.

Now do you see? Do you see why Martha is fly? Martha is the SHIT, people. She can crawl out of prison looking more fine than she did when she walked in. And THEN she can cop a gig with NBC for some serious c-notes. THAT my friends, is why I like Martha Stewart. Shoot.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

 

Joyeux Anniversaire Madamoiselle Bettina!













Betsy Bettina turns 28 (today! I think? Or is it 27? 29? I think it's 28 but that's okay because she doesn't always rememeber how old I am either)

Youngest of the quartet of Von Trapp family singer wannabes is a year older, officially, as of today. Julie wrote a nice post recalling some funny and sweet things about Betsy that I had just about forgotten about.

Happy Birthday Beastie!

Here is my top ten list of things that are great about Betsy:

10. She can sing an opera in falsetto, while leaping about, and she can do it well.

9. She looks great in ass-pants (yes, I do hate her for this)

8. She can speak French fluently and was the interpreter for the Griswold, I mean our family’s, European vacation. She could interpret our requests for Vin Rooj! To the server in French while pleading with her eyes for forgiveness for the utterly crass American cluelessness of her family donned in athletic shoes and track outfits. For this, she used the universal language of an expression that read “Please take pity on me. I did not choose these people, being the youngest, they certainly chose me.” She may have wanted to heave herself off of the Eiffel tower, and I am certain she did, but she continued interpreting for her bumbling family nonetheless.

7. At my friend Janna’s wedding when the song “Dancing with myself” by Bill Idol came on, Betsy ran out alone to the dance floor to dance with herself and I nearly died laughing. Betsy will just do things like that.

6. She loves good chocolate, good food and good wine. And she likes to share those things with others. What’s not to love about that?

5. Betsy sewed versions of cheesy American Flag Aprons for her friends in France. Betsy gets Irony.

4. She if one of the funniest people I know. I just love hanging out with Betsy. She can make an afternoon of baking cookies the highlight of your entire month.

3. Betsy can HANG. She can watch a marathon of the real world, Little House on the Prairie (she possesses and encyclopedic knowledge of the series), Survivor, E! True Hollywood Stories, or a Lifetime Made for TV movie. She can make the mundane marvelously entertaining.

2. She cried the first time she heard Patty Griffin’s “Moses”. She is a tender hearted soul with a tough exterior.

And the number one best thing about Betsy……….Drumroll…….

1. Betsy is the only person I have ever gotten into a face spitting contest with. When we were young, we sat for 45 minutes spitting on each others faces. We both found this game extremely entertaining. There is a kinship that one has that goes beyond mere bloodlines when one gleefully expectorates onto their sister’s face, and then their sparring sister reciprocates, and both parties enjoy it so much you continue on with the game for a weirdly long amount of time. Our faces were covered in phlegm, and we thought it was just dandy. Gross as all get-out, yes. But fun nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

 

Bourgios ramblings

I found my suburban self driving my very suburban minivan this last Sunday afternoon, stopped at a red light on an exit ramp and facing a homeless person who held a sign that said “Homeless and hungry. Please help.”

The man looked dirty and smelly and down on his luck. I notice that a lot of similar looking people, presumably in similar circumstances and usually men, place themselves at stop signs on exit ramps. They must have better luck getting people to stop and donate money and food when drivers have to sit and stare uncomfortably at them for a few minutes, pretending to turn the radio dial. Some drivers might even pray for the light to turn green. I am not saying that the drivers stopped at the lights don’t pray for the poor hungry soul on the corner. I am pretty sure though, that there have been a few squandered prayers begging the big guy up there to make that light change faster so they can stop feeling so uncomfortable staring at the downtrodden soul on the corner.

As I waited at this stop sign feeling admittedly uncomfortable, my hand reached down for a box of cereal bars my husband Jim had placed in the van for me. There was a car ahead of me, so I was just a bit too far back to reach him. With one hand on the box, my other hand went for the automatic window. I saw the man look in my direction. Was that a glimmer of hope I saw in is eye? I rolled the window down a crack, and froze. I started to panic.

My one year old daughter was with me in the car. What if this man was dangerous? What if he wanted my car? What if he reached to grab me as I tried to hand him the box? What if he screamed and scared my daughter? Being a woman in this circumstance, I have learned to be extremely cautious. I know someone personally who accepted a homeless person into their home to do some paid work on odd jobs and the guy ended up severely beating his wife. I have passed by many a stranded male motorist when I was alone in the car. In the choice between compromising my own safety and helping someone in need I have always gone with my own safety and suffered the guilt of leaving someone on the side of the road. I drove right past, secretly hoping that there was a man behind me who could help without the risk of exposing themselves to potential predatory sexual violence.

I sat with my hand on a box of stupid cereal bars in my stupid minivan feeling like the biggest stupid bourgeois coward in the world. I was ashamed of my fat comfortable life. I was ashamed of my car. I was ashamed of the cliché I have become. I was mostly ashamed of my fear. My shame was not enough to overcome my powerful urge to protect my daughter and myself from even the slightest possibility of danger.

The light changed. My stomach flip flopped. In my mind: “Just do it! Give him the box!” and then “No! Your baby is in the car! Don’t do it!” Then I thought “Just open the window a crack and fling them as you drive past him!” and then I thought “No! That would be rude! Demeaning! You can’t just fling a box of cereal bars at a man standing on the corner. He would know I am afraid of him! That would make him feel bad!”

It was a ridiculous inner dialogue. Ridiculous. Yet, I must admit that it was my true inner dialogue all the same.

Caution won over and I shakily drove right on past him. I reminded myself that the cereal bars really weren’t even that good and they were only 90 calories, which was probably not enough to sustain him for long. They were just stupid cereal bars after all. And I was just a stupid mom in a minivan. At the same time, I was full aware that had I chosen to act in kindness and risked handing him the box, it would have shown him that someone cared about his plight even just a little. I had the opportunity to show him that, and I did not take it.

I recalled the time I was leaving a restaurant with a friend. I had just stuffed myself full of breakfast and a woman approached me asking for a dollar for a cup of coffee. I swelled with pride as I handed her a bill and she turned on her heel and skipped away merrily. She skipped right into the C.C. Club, laughing as she swung the door open. It was fairly obvious she was not planning to order coffee at the bar she had nearly sprinted into. My companion shook her head and laughed at me. “What did you think she was going to do with it?” I shrugged, feeling exposed for the idealistic bleeding heart, misguided, self righteous fool that I was.

I think my point, if I have one, is this: Is there anything in between? There was an episode of “Friends” where someone pointed out that all charitable acts are selfish at the core. They are selfish because people are selfish. When we donate, we make ourselves feel important. We want to be instruments of change. We are helping people, and we like that feeling of helping people, so really, it’s a selfish thing. Yet, it’s still better than sitting there in your stupid minivan at a stupid stoplight, facing a man whose obvious hard luck makes you very uncomfortable and DRIVING AWAY while pondering the etiquette of flinging a box of cereal bars out of your car at a homeless man on the corner.

Should I have flung the box at him? Should I have risked my safety and my daughter’s safety to stop and hand the box to him like a civilized human being? Should I find something constructive to do with my time instead of sitting here like the spoiled bourgeois cliché that I am, pondering the dilemma of charity in today’s society?

I should have done SOMETHING. And next time I think I will.

Monday, September 12, 2005

 

Mange

Maggie and I spent the afternoon at my parents house yesterday. She entertained herself by chasing Ernie, their itchy balding Shetland Sheepdog around the kitchen center island.

She toddled after him maniacally and he did his best to avoid contact, choosing to wait until she was on the other side of the counter to take a momentary pit stop allowing me to pet him. As she rounded the bend, he would make a hasty exit and avoid having what is left of his patchy fur pulled by her sticky chubby little fists. There was much happy shrieking.

Each time she rounded the island and caught glimpse of him she would scream in zany delight and he would leap away in the blink of an eye saying “dude, I’m outta here. That kid gives me the heebies” to which I replied:

“No Ernie, you do not have the heebies. What you have is what was misdiagnosed as the MANGE. The Mange is apparently spread by Coyotes in the U.P. of Michigan. It makes your fur fall out in chunks so we can all view your fully exposed bald dog balls every time you pick up again with that compulsive scratch scratch scratching. It also makes you look like your tail is about to fall off due exposure to Chernobyl –esque radiation leaving the top of your tail totally bald but the remainder of it fluffy, if not dull and dingy. Much like an inverted scraggly brown feather duster attached to your ass. But instead of a handle, it’s your freaky looking bald tail. This MANGE was in fact, later diagnosed as something as pedestrian as ALLERGIES. ALLERGIES. Not the Mange, and certainly not the heebies. Though the Mange sounds much more exciting. Like something you would catch in prison, or from spending time in questionable company. If anyone should be running in fear, it should be Maggie and I running from your crazy looking bald self, not you. Now go get yourself some cortisone or benadryl before you go totally bald and start scaring the neighbor children, gather your dignity and pick up the pieces for freaks sake.”

Ernie will have to wait until the first frost to seek treatment due to airborne allergens. We are all hoping for an early winter.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

 

Green Mile delayed indefinitely

I spoke with a dog behavior specialist. Black dog doesn't know her, but he should really send a thank-you card because she is the only reason he is not begging for attention from strangers at the Humane Society right now.

She was kind enough to take some time with me on the phone and offer insight into Black dog's behavior. She asked a lot of questions and I answered them.

Based on the fact that he has not shown any aggression towards people, we are keeping him.

If he ever shows aggression towards people, or God help him, Maggie, he will get his walking papers immediately.

We will watch him. CLOSELY.

This news may be met with dismay by some of his victims.
I can imagine that Tilly was looking forward to witnessing his execution. I think she wanted to watch his ass fry. And why wouldn't she? Lucy
is is still nursing her puncture wound and is probably still confused as to why her friend turned on her. I don't know why he did what he did. It's hard to get inside a dog's head. Let's just say the dog has issues. He is no longer allowed around any dogs at all. We will see to it that he gets no more opportunities to maim and maul.

I do love black dog. He will be watched very closely. If he even looks at Madge funny he is out of here. For now though, he will stay at home with us.

Friday, September 09, 2005

 

floating

Picture a vast expanse of green grass. Picture on it, a mass of snarling black and white, yin and yang, teeth bared, claws desperately trying to get a grasp on the neck of its former doggie friend turned vicious enemy. I stood frozen, dropping the handle of the red wagon I was pulling two toddlers in. My mind turned to slow motion. "OOOHHHH NNNNOOOOO. NNNOOOOTTTT AAGGAAIINNNNNNN...... They are friends, Rainier and Lucy. They have been pals since they were puppies. If I just sit here they will stop trying to kill eachother. I just know it. It will be fine".

I stood and stared in horror. They didn't stop trying to kill eachother. The snarling gave way to shrill pained yelping. Our good friend intervened just as Jim erupted from inside the house. White dog was pulled away to safety and then black dog was jerked up into the air by the scruff of his neck.

White dog started shaking and belly crawling. NOT GOOD. Something was wrong. The pizza arrived and sat, getting cold on the table as white dogs injuries were inspected. He did it again. Our dog maimed once again. White dog's owner had to take her to the emergency vet for stitches on a puncture wound on her neck and to find the source of the sudden inability to walk normally. Our fucking asshole dog did it AGAIN.

I went to a spacey place far far away. I apologized profusely. Jim started talking about how we might have to think about "putting him down" and instead of protesting I weakly said "We are not deciding anything tonight. He has never been aggressive towards a person."

Why Raininer? Why can't you just get along with other dogs? We can no longer take you to the cabin with other dogs. We can no longer invite friends over with their dogs. We can no longer leave you with our dog owning relatives when we go out of town. You just try to kill every dog that's not your sister Harriet. I worry some day we will find her in a bloody pile on the ground. You are so sweet to me, to Jim, to Maggie, and then turn into a full fledged demonic Hound of Hell as soon as any dog shows any attitude whatsoever. I want to keep you because I love you and when you decide to become a pet owner, you need to be prepared for problems. But WHY CAN'T YOU JUST GET ALONG? I love you black dog. I don't understand why you do this shit. I also don't see this getting any better. Ever.

White dog came back from the vet with stitches and THANK GOD walking normally again. I was so happy she was okay I could have cried had I not been in complete shock. I was floating miles above my true emotions looking down on them. Small and fuzzy and indiscernible. "Oh. THAT'S what dread and sadness and uncertainty look like from a mile up....hmm...."

Black dog. I love you. I just don't know what to do with you.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

 

Morning in Hell. I mean MALL. Morning in MALL.

I now know what boredom and incessant rain and living in the suburbs will drive a person to. This morning I officially became a MALL WALKER. I went to the Godforsaken Mall this morning just to have a place to walk around. THE FUCKING MALL, PEOPLE. I wandered around even before the stores opened because I was so mind numbingly bored. I thought to myself "Why on God's green earth don't they open the Mall earlier?"

I have been a stay at home mom for 6 days now. I took most of the week off to hang out with Maggie. It has rained on and off all weekend and I am damn near ready to lose my last marble. I do not know how people can stay at home with their kids in the winter in Minnesota. You can't go outside for like 5 months out of the year. No wonder people here can be a bit odd.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love my daughter and I have loved the getting into the rhythm of spending every day with her. I must admit though, that being able to go outside and walk around with her is the key to my sanity. When it's too rainy to go outside, Mommy goes full-on kuckoo nuts. Thus, the MALL WALKING.

Observations from my morning of Mall Walking:

Those kiosk's that are all made up of 50 gumball machines are a good way to entertain your child when you are waiting for Mall stores to lift their gates. You just circle the stroller around the stand over and over and let her slapslapslap all the colorful runt and sourball filled globes until Baby Gap opens.

If I was a stay at home mom, we would be penniless, but we would have a house loaded to the gills with crap from the mall.

What the Fuck is up with Yankee Candle Company? It reeks that rank dime store candle funk for a 10 yard radius around that store. Who buys those ugly stinky candles? Who? Tell me! who?

My daughter inherited my awful wide feet and high arches. She is 12 months old and already wears wide stride rites.

No I don't want to try on lotion from Miracle of the dead sea. Thanks anyways.

That pregnant lady with a stroller who raced to beat me in line at the pretzel stand seemed to be in a huge hurry UNTIL it was time for her to order. Then she stood in front of me and stared mindlessly at the menu with me growing more and more irritated behind her. Stupid fucking pregnant lady with stroller. Man, I wanted a pretzel but by the time I walked away in disgust I wanted to bean her in the head with a pretzel more than I wanted to eat one. She was perhaps the most irritating mall walker in all the mall.

I dread the day Maggie wants to wear clothes from Limited Too. They are totally hoochie mama. Yak. Eight year olds do not need asspants! No one should be looking at their eight year old butts anyways. What the Hell is wrong with people?

Like Chris Rock says "You gotta keep 'em off the pole!" and Limited Too is the last stop in pre-adolescence before pole-ville U.S.A. God help everyone trying to keep their girls off the pole. Word.

Monday, September 05, 2005

 

Dear Mrs. Bevans,

Dear Mrs. Bevans,

I am not sure if you remember me after all this time, but I hope you do. I have meant to write this letter for years. It's embarrassing that it has taken me this long, but here it is.

I was in your 5th Grade class at Lyndale Elementary. I was the one with a bad haircut who wore the same pair of jeans every day. I got in trouble for reading in class. I read in class most of the time.

I was very into Betsy Byers books, and "Where the Red Fern Grows", and "Summer of the Monkeys" and about a million other books. It must have driven you batty, but you were always certain to let me know you supported my READING, just not when I was supposed to be listening to how to add fractions. You made it seem like my pretty darn near obsessive compulsion for reading was a GOOD thing. You would suggest books for me and I usually loved them. You checked my eyes for tears when I finished "Where the Red Fern Grows" in class. When I got to that ending that tore your heart out. That was so bittersweet. It makes me sigh to this very day, thinking of those hound dogs, and the boy who saved his pennies in a coffee can in his barn, and the love that Dan and little Ann had for each other and for their boy master.

I have lovely warm memories of your classroom that year. The rest of my life at the time, not so warm and lovely. The 5th grade was a difficult time for me. My mom had gone back to work, and I was pretty much saddled with the child care responsibilities which meant I had to be home every day after school to watch my sisters. No play dates. Not that I had many. My best friends were my cousin Tiffany and Jenny, and Tiffany went to private Catholic school and that was the year Jenny decided she liked Amy Kibler better. I was friendless. And NO ONE wants to be friendless in the 5th grade. NO ONE.

Amy Kibler and my former best friend Jenny would terrorize me on the school bus. One afternoon they went up and down every aisle, whispering behind a "Fame" l.p. record. They would look at me and whisper presumably mean awful things about me to every single kid on the entire bus, all the way down the aisle. They probably said that I wore the same pair of jeans every day because they were the only pair I had. I tried so hard not to cry. SO HARD. But my tears betrayed me and let them know they had done it. They had hurt me. They had humiliated me and made me cry. There was a boy named Matt who was popular. He sat down next to me and said "Don't pay any attention to them. They're just being mean."

I still think of the kindness of that boy, and the compassion and bravery he displayed risking that. It could have been his social death. It could have made him the pariah of the school bus, sitting next to the dork that was getting her 5th grade ass handed to her in the popular wars on the school bus. God I hated that bus ride. Straight home on the bus every afternoon. 30 minutes of being on the losing end of 5th grade class warfare with that God Awful nasty Nancy Parsons, who along with Amy Kibler, seemed to have taken my friend to the other side.

I was so alone, and every day I had to face that bus ride home to take care of my sisters who didn't even care about my stupid bus nightmares. THEY had pants. Ungrateful brats. They got pants and they never had to ever DO anything but eat oreos and watch Little House on the Prairie in the dark of our basement. If my parents had paid me for my hours of latch-key services I may have been able to buy some fucking pants so I could stop being teased, but the needs of my siblings always seemed to trump mine. Someone always needed some fucking dumb-ass glasses or something. Stupid sisters. I wished so many times that I was an only child (and yes, I now realize that my sisters are the greatest asset I have in this life but at the time, hey, we were working for the same limited resources).

I was on the losing end of our own household trickle-down economics. Trickle my ass. There may have been a fine mist, but all I know is I never got my fucking new pants, which in turn led to the social impalement I received on a daily basis.

My bus torture continued. So did my long afternoons with my sisters. I tended to take out my frustration on them, and tortured them in turn. Then my mom would get home and yell about the mess I had made and something about how sick of kids she was after teaching the ungrateful urchins herself all day (she was a teacher too) and she was tired and yada yada yada.... There was not a whole lotta love in the afternoons at my house.

But that was the bus, that was at home, not your classroom, Mrs. Bevans. You didn't allow that bullshit in your classroom, and you called the ringleaders of social torture on their crap and I loved you for it. I am not sure how you cracked the code. But what you did was create an environment where I could actually learn. They should implement a special Maslow's Pyramid for 5th graders. Somewhere between self actualization and basic physical needs there should be a "not being tortured for having only one pair of pants" and that would be just under "learning fractions".

You met with my parents and came up with a set schedule of times when it was acceptable for me to bury my head in a book. You sat me down and pulled out my test scores (high) and laid it next to me homework scores (low and spotty) and pointed out the disparity. I wasn't stupid! I was just lazy! And you called me on it. You were one of the first people I recall telling me that I was smart. I so needed to hear that. I needed someone to notice me. And you did Mrs. Bevans. Thank you for noticing me. Thank you for encouraging my love of books and for convincing me that not only was I not dumb, but I was actually smarter than most of the kids in my class.

That was the year I started developing just a wee tiny little bit of self esteem. YOU seemed to like me after all. You were everybody's favorite teacher and you LIKED me. You made me feel like you even liked me a little better than Nancy Parsons and her minions, the instruments of pre-adolescent social impalement.

Thank you Mrs. Bevans. That spark you gave me lit a little fire that I still have burning today. I was in such desperate need of that little spark. Of all the teachers I have had, you had the largest impact on me. Thank you for caring. Thank you for being so good at your job. Thank you for not allowing social torture in your classroom. You are truly the best teacher I ever had. I know you lost your husband years ago and I was so sorry for your loss. I hope you have a lovely life because you deserve to have a lovely life. You made a difference in my life and I will always be grateful for that. You are a gifted teacher. I was lucky to be your student. My life is better because I was your student. Thank you.

Meghan

p.s. I have lots of pants now.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

 

Bless them

I put off reading about the human suffering caused by hurricane Katrina because I was not sure I could bear it. It seems this world just gets uglier and scarier by the day. I don’t want to become a passive gawker to someone else’s disaster. It seems so intrusive and invasive to view the loss and intimate pain of regular people. To watch their sorrow from the comfort of my living room. I do not want their suffering to be my entertainment. I do not want to be glued to my television getting my rocks off on the video clips of the desperation, grief and pain of human beings.

Our society seems, at times to be reduced to that. It sickens me.

Peace and healing to everyone who is suffering loss and grief and pain. Bless the souls of every man, woman and child who takes this disaster an opportunity to exemplify selflessness, love and generosity. It hurts to care sometimes. God bless you for doing it anyways.