Uno de Mayo

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May 2nd, 2012
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Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in high school, foreign language classes were something most of us had to suffer through. We could take either Spanish or French, and somehow my slacker brain decided that Spanish would be way easier.

It wasn’t easier, but I was fortunate to get a teacher that was way cool to us all and just on the eccentric side of silly. She would read us children’s books and show us goofy animated movies about some poor girl named Maryann that had no shoes. She would teach us “almost” dirty words and how to ask directions to the library. (Never once have I been in a Spanish-speaking country and had a library emergency. Thanks for nothing, High School)

Now the offspring are navigating the high school, I find myself in the throes of Spanish class hell again. But suddenly the rules have changed. Oh, they are still conjugating verbs and probably learning how to ask where library is, but there’s a new twist. Food. Spanish food. And we’re expected to cook it and send it to school. TO BE GRADED.

Now I can throw some tacos together like nobody’s business, but microwaved nachos and generic shredded cheese is nowhere on the list of choices. All of this ranting is because I stayed up way too late last night baking something called Bizcocho de Chocolate.

(This is basically a chocolate layer cake with a custard filling and a diabetes-inducing amount of chocolate icing. It is also something tht I will never make again, because any recipe that makes me use a sifter AND a double boiler three mother-effing times is sent directly from Satan and should be avoided at all costs.

For the next three hours I sifted and stirred my way through many pages of vague instructions that included helpful hints such as about 30 minutes or so and the non-helpful until it’s sort of thick.

And where, pray tell, was the child that was supposed to be baking this delightful dessert to further her education? Sleeping of course. After school (which included a swimming test) and practice after school until 8:00pm, the little angel was tired and smelled vaguely of chlorine and the band practice room.

As I manned my mixer and sang softly to myself (Pobre, pobre Marianella no tenga zapatos)I mentally totaled the cost of ingredients and then kicked myself squarely in the ass for spending $28.00 on a cake so that my kid could get 10 bonus points for a class in which she was already getting an A. Even I am amazed at my stupidity sometimes.

In an effort to distract myself, I tried picturing the happy faces of the kids in her classs, gleefully chowing down on a fabulous cake…..(wait a freakin’ minute) at 9:30 in the morning! Twenty-five kids hopped up on sugar, fine chocolate, and sweetened condensed milk. Teenagers bouncing off the walls of their next Algebra or Chemistry class. Crap on a cracker.

And then my thoughts turned to the teacher. This woman, who teaches foreign language all day has convince a large population of parents to feed her for the next several weeks. I’ve sent 3 or four entrees or desserts for the eldest child over the last few years. Now a cake is sent with the youngest and I foresee a few more in my future. Take this times about, oh say, 150 kids a year, and we’re basically feeding this woman for most of the school year. Each kid is assigned a specific day to bring their offering assignment, based on what I can only assume are her dietary needs. (So I finished the cake and went to bed mad. The End.) ((Not really))

Has anybody else ever had to feed their kids’ teachers? Because I feel like I *may have* just bribed my kids teacher with delectable treats. Please send my Mother-of-the-Freakin’-Year check to Casa de Marianella. Because Mama needs new zapatos.

Yep, this smells about right.

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Apr 30th, 2012
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I’m pretty sure that I’m not doing this mothering thing correctly. The eldest child (Bette) is graduating in mere days and I’m sots happy about it

Am I not supposed to be weeping and wailing, roaming around my nest and lamenting my losses? Shouldn’t I be calling The Scooter Store and speaking with some helpful representative about my advanced years and inability to control my bladder when I laugh?

I have long suspected that I’m just not wired correctly. I’m pretty sure that most mothers haven’t created a complex formula concerning the number of hours I get back for myself with one less child in the house. And closet space! The sheer amount of space I’m gaining with which to fill right up with MY STUFF has made me giddy.

Some small part of my brain remembers the excitement I felt as my own graduation approached. In the weeks before commencement I could literally smell the freedom and independence. I think the kid smells it too. Is this that smelly teen spirit the kids speak of? I’m catching a whiff of it myself again.

Autumn is for falling leaves…and lowered expectations.

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Sep 12th, 2011
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It’s that time of year again. Time for our yearly trek to the local biker rally. Nothing says hard-assed biker like a weekend at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Campground. Rebels we ain’t. Thankfully we had various and sundry crazy folk to keep us entertained. We enjoy camping. Before we sold the camper, we spent many weekends “roughing it” with our expensive grill and ipod-compatible soundsystem. But camping at a biker rally? “That’s a whole ‘nuther dealio. First of all, we were sharing a camper with some friends. Their ’89 Shaggin’ Shack sleeps four people. This detail will become very important as the weekend progresses.

Weekend Address, Site 218. Once everyone is settled in and fed, it’s time to go tour the facility and take stock of what is available for our unbridled amusement.

Probably NOT sanctioned by the Health Department

Probably working in her “Official Capacity” During a party a couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to re-connect with a friend from high school. As she is currently on a man-hunt, she expressed an interest in attending the rally with us. Now, never being one to deny another living soul the opportunity to see with their very own eyes the train-wreck spectacular that is a biker rally, I encouraged her to attend. (This had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I anticipated giggling with glee at the horrific expressions sure to come to her in light of what she was sure to see. Pinkie swear.) For the sake of anonimity, I will call her “Shaqueva Jackson”. In fact, I may now call her Shaqueva forever. Or at least until I forget that I gave her a new name. After getting her settled and introduced to everyone at our campsite, I led her around the immediate area just to begin the acclimation process. (It’s important to exposse yourself slowly to these things, so as to avoid getting the bends, or questioning your belief system.

Showing off his “talents” to a slightly uncomfortable Shaqueva. Last year, I posted about all the field games that take place as some sort of Biker Olympics. Yes I made sure that I marched Miss Shaqueva right down there so that she could witness the weenie catch herownself. I am convinced that she is now in awe of the technical skill required to bite the end off a dangling Oscar Mayer while perched on the back seat of a motorcycle.

Generally accepted method for beer transport.

*I don’t even have any words for this, much less an explanation.* I took several more pictures of the field games, but honestly none of them were very good. In my defense, I was distracted by the Side-boob standing next to me.

I probably should put one of those black bars across her eyes like the magazines do, but she should really buy a damned mirror so really I’m calling it even-steven. As the weekend progressed more friends showed up and as predicted, much merriment ensued. We got a gander at the crowd gathered for the stripper pole contest, but since she was a first-timer, we generously gave Shaqueva the prime spot for viewing, complete with accompanying Cute Boy to hang on to for balance.

Trust me, you DO NOT want to see what was swinging around that pole. Shaqueva may have to bleach her brain to remove the image from her nightmares.

Some of the paint jobs on the bikes entered into the bike show were completely awesome. And the stuff nightmares are made of. (Sorry for the crappy picture quality, the bikes were parked under a red and white striped tent which made everything look like it was being viewed through some sort of bad 70’s video. Here’s pics of our gang in separate boys vs. girls pictures. Please do me a favor and count the number of people in these pictures.

*Not pictured, myself and Shaqueva. I was BEHIND the camera, obviously and Shaqueva had run off with a man who said he was a cop, but later his buddies completely ratted him out. He’s actually the Street Commisioner, and is only a cop on the weekends. Which I’m not even sure is legal. Plus it WAS the weekend and he was running around in a golf cart sporting a sign reading “Needs Laid”. Which actually is starting to make sense to me which only means that I need to wrap this up because I’m getting confused. So. To Recap..there’s me and Shaqueva (2), and the three lovely ladies in the picture above (+3), and the four studly men in the picture before that (+4). Grand total of person in our campsite? NINE. Remember me stating earlier that the camper sleeps four? Um, yeah. Now, two of the people pictured brought a tent with them. Neither one of which was me. Or Shaqueva. So, nine minus two still equals seven adults to fit in the space of four. Twas a dilemna. Thankfully, after a certain BAC is reached, no one is real particular as to where they may or may not sleep. All available floor space in the camper was full of sleeping, snoring, bathroom-door-blocking bodies. Even Miss Shaqueva Jackson, who had never camped before, bedded down on the floor of the camper without complaint. Pretty damned tough for a first-timer and she handled it like a pro. As an award for how puffed-up proud I am, I will not post the pictures of her sleeping on the floor. For your viewing pleasure, some random pics from the weekend. Because I’m tired. And I have an assload of laundry to do because everything we took with us smells like campfire smoke and water that large pigs bathed in. So just look at the damned pictures and I’ll be back later to answer any questions you may have.

Leave your questions in the comments and I’ll get back to them as soon as my therapist says I can deal with it, or the pills kick in.

A sneaky birthday celebration

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Aug 28th, 2011
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Have ya’ll ever seen this man? Better known as THE MAN on this blog.

Warning: That is one sneaky boy in that picture right there.

Even though he knows I have control issues,
Even though he has heard me say time and time again that I don’t like surprises,
Even though he has only met my oldest friends once or twice in the last eight years,
Even though there were probably a thousand things he would rather be doing,

SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!!!

It all started a couple of weeks ago while discussing birthday plans. I had spent so much money just trying to get the teenaged Divas in school that I just didn’t see any way to make big plans. Schedules were crazy, funds were low, and quite frankly I wasn’t too concerned. Yes, I was getting another year older, but it wasn’t one of the “biggies”. It wasn’t one of those numbers that ends with a “zero”. There was no milestone attached to this anniversary of the day that I shot out of my mother’s lady parts.

So we decided (he coerced me and I followed along like a well-behaved sheep) that we would have dinner on the way to a shopping location out of town, do some browsing and maybe a small amount of purchasing, then return home.

One of the towns on our way to our shopping destination is my old hometown. The birthplace of me. A veritable Smallville, US of A. And it was decided that dinner would be eaten there. Then we would proceed to shopping.

Did I mention that The Man was taking me to a Bass Pro Shop?

I joked on facebook and to friends that I was definitely getting some new rubber hip-waders for my birthday. Hopefully in pink camo, because nothing says sexy like a woman in a rubber half-suit.

*dead sexy*

(I did not get these for mah birthday. I am not sad about that.)

What I did get was a surprise party. My very first. The Man had contacted my friends and family and arranged everything. Food? Check. Cake? Check. Friends? Check. Booze? Double-check.

I had dinner with family and friends and drinks with friends that have only drank once or twice legally with me ever. We will not discuss drinks consumed while we were all of tender ages.

Long story short, (HA! fat chance of that) there was much merriment. I heard stories of niece’s soccer games, cousin’s motorcycles, sister’s concert trips, friends dating woes.

I ran in circles around tables while being chased by by small children, ate fried chicken with people I love and laughed so hard that I probably ruptured that bladder repair that I had in ’97.

Several hours and a goodly amount of bourbon (thank you Maker’s Mark for your contribution to my party-ness) we all hugged and hugged and hugged and said good-bye. Now at this point my buzz was about a 7 on a scale of ten. Which means that I was dangerously close to being that silly-ass drunk girl that hangs all over everybody and can’t speak in complete sentences. It was a good time to go home, is all I’m saying.

Have you ever tried to sit still, all drunk and shit on the back of a motorcycle and maintain? It’s a lifeskill I have recently acquired. It does help tremendously to have a big strong man to hold on to. So I did. For an hour. It was like the Olympic trials of drunk backseat motorcycling. And I won. Even though at one point I was singing silly songs to the night sky and grinning way too much for the number of bugs flying down the highway at me. Style points deducted – me.At the end of the night, it was a wonderful surprise that has left me smiling through the pounding hangover the next day.

Since that night I have drastically changed. I love surprise parties.

Thank you again and again and again to everyone that attended. I love ya’ll more’n strippers love body glitter.

Day Two. Which makes up for Day One. Almost.

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Jul 15th, 2011
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Do you remember that scene in the Indiana Jones movie (No, I don’t remember which one and I’m too lazy to look it up)with the little Asian kid that Indy “sorta” adopted, before Angelina Jolie could get her hands on him? Remember the scene where he looks off into the distance and says dreamily, “Fortune and Glory”? That’s exactly how I feel when someone mentions Memphis, Tennessee. I get all swoony (is TOO a word) and heart-mushy (also a legitimate word).

Day Two of vacation, which as I mentioned earlier, began with buying a new helmet for The Man and and cursing Jackson, Tennessee. There would be better, more powerful curses for them, but more on that later. Once the helmet was purchased we could not get out of that den of thieves fast enough. And the first road sign that looked interesting enough to stick in my addled brain.

Off we go!

Now when I say that Memphis makes me swoony (still a word, yo.) I mean it wrapped itself around my cold, black heart and gave it a little hug. From the lady that let us sneak into the “Members Only” parking garage so that the roving band of thieves that was surely chasing us couldn’t take all my precious jewels and fine lingerie, to the homeless guy with no legs that I gave a dollar to and watched him hand it back to The Man and wish him a Happy Fathers Day. It was sweaty hot, laid-back cool, and beautiful. Imay have sprained my shutter finger taking pictures of every single thing that passed in front of my sunburned nose. We spent the majority of our time there on Beale Street. Everyone should.

We shopped. We ate. We tapped our feet along with the street performers playing on every corner. We chatted with store clerks and tourists and waitresses. We tried on Elvis sunglasses and hung out in B.B. King’s Bar. In short, we had ourselves a ball. One shop in particular stands out because it’s where I purchased what surely will become a family heirloom.

My very own voodoo doll! Complete with instructions! (Jackson, Tennessee – you have been put on notice.) Sidenote: I never have to worry about The Man using it on me becuase he will not read instructions for anything. Ever. Which means that I may be in trouble anyway, because he is liable to just go throwing that thing around wily-nily and may likely throw an inadvertant curse on my ass. I think I’ll hide it in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator just to be safe.

After some damn fine barbeque, and many dollars spent on buying me foolish trinkets, we decided (read: I decided) to walk around and get some pictures. As we walked down a side street, me snapping pictures as fast as my Nikon could handle, we passed a gentleman sitting in a window sill shaking his head at us as if we were the most pitiful thing his eyes had ever seen. “You meeessed tha most emmpotant ones” he drawled.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Sonny James.

Mr. Sonny, as I now think of him, introduced himself as the “unofficial” historian of Beale Street. He launched into a diatribe covering architecture, music, city ordinances, outlaws, and the fact that every mention of Beale Street in any reference book EVAH was wrong. All this, while launching a bag of peanut M&M’s into his gold laden mouth. He smacked his lips and proclaimed “The Oh-Fishul Peoples of this town would have you believing that Beale Street began as a Cull-choo-ral Center, but Nossir. They’s wrong. Beale Street wus started by hoddlums an’ swindlers.”

For ten minutes we sat and talked…or rather he talked, and I tried to get my brain to record verbatim every word out of his mouth.

“See that building over there? The one with the large green braces holdin’ it up? Now the townsfolk would have you believin’ that they done went and put that up fo’ your safety. Lies! All Lies! There ain’t nothing worng with that there building. It’s all a scam.”

(It’s lies! All lies!!)

“Did ya’ll see that bar with the Diving Goats? Ya’ll be careful if’n you go in there. Them goats was raised on al-kee-haul, and they’s mean as can be, so don’t you go stand near’em with a drank, or they’ll attack.”

From Mr. Sonny, we learned where we could pawn our watches for the best prices, which bars watered down there beer, and where we could get a hooker if we so desired. (No, Mother. We did not so desire.)

(Big ass beer pic)

Eventually, Mr. Sonny leaned back against the window, took a deep breath that announced that the informative part of the lesson was finished, and finished off those M&M’s.

“Now if’n you folks found this info’mation at all helpful, any donation that you would like to pass my way would be much obliged. This is how I pay mah bills. The city don’t condone it none, but they can’t stop me from talking, now can they?”

Best five dollars I’ve ever spent. Thank you Mr. Sonny. You’re all right in my book.

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