Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here's to YOU!

A frightening thing has happened.............
I hate this............
But I feel compelled to let it out.........
I've been inspired!!!!!

I first read my friend Bunny's blog and then jumped on over to my cousin Anita's blog but it didn't stop there.  There was Ruben and Debbie and Comet and Blitzen......Wait, wait, wait! As you may be able to tell, I become quite engrossed in the Christmas spirit.  And why not!  The Holiday's are but once a year which means I've only had the fortune of enjoying Christmas and New Years 54 times in my lifetime.  Not nearly enough for someone my age.

I think it's quite unfair that Christmas is only celebrated once a year.  It's such a joyous time.  People overall seem to be in better spirits, which may be due to the consumption of spirits, or due to the excitement of giving and/or receiving gifts.  There are parties to go to, caroles to be sung and the big fat lie we tell our children about Santa delivering gifts.  Don't get me wrong, I lied too.  I loved telling my children about Santa and the excitement it created in them.  I loved the innocence with which they believed.

New Years Eve; another reason for the joy.  Except for those who still don't get the connection between drinking and driving, New Years Eve is so exciting.  I think back on so many New Years Eve parties.  Parties with my parents, parties at my parents home (when they weren't there shhhhhhh)...parties with friends, parties with dancing, parties with laughter, parties with good old fashioned clean fights....I know, but it's funny after the fact.  Uncles who cry when intoxicated.  Aunties who dance with EVERYONE.  New Years Eve at the Rose Parade and New Years Eve's with a small group of friends.

 I'm getting all sentimental....

The older one gets the more stories there are to tell, ain't it so?  The story I love most is the one about you.  How you and I met.  How we spend time together.  How we play together.  How we shop together.  How we adventure together.  How we travel together.  How we learn together.  How we grow together.  How we write together and how we read together.  Each of you created special memories for me.  Some old, some new.  Some educational, some spiritual.  Each of you brings something different into my life that no one else can. 

So if I've never told you, thank you for your companionship this year and in those past.  I couldn't have made it through another year without your support and kind words, your prayers, your honesty and encouragement.  There is nothing that compares to you, your stories and the laughter and tears we share.

Here's wishing each of you love enough to fill your cup, money enough to keep you dry and fed and faith enough to know that when you're running low, God Himself will hold you up and send friends and family to gather around you.

Happy New Year 2010 Comments and Graphics for MySpace, Tagged, Facebook

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Main Entry: ta·ma·le

I was over at my cousin's blog the other day. She wrote about "the best little cake with a flaky outside layer, which if made properly, is chewy and dense. The treasure inside of a cannelé should lightly reveal a moist, golden miette, like the inside of a fresh bread pudding".  It took everything in me to stay seated, finish reading, and not run into the kitchen looking for something to snack on.

This time of year, especially, everything looks and smells so tasty.  Everyone begins baking and offering the most delicious of delicious cakes, cookies, candies and tamales.

I grew up in a home where it was mandatory to make tamales every Christmas.  Man.da.tory.  You had to be present and accounted for if you even thought you might want to eat one during the holiday season.  We learned early on how to hold the oja in one hand, spread the masa on, spoon in a bit of meat, add an olive and close the thing up for consumption at a later time or date. 

We generally made them Christmas Eve during the day.  That night family and friends would gather at the house and we'd eat tamales all the way through to New Years Eve.  I never tired of them and gained at least five pounds every year during the holidays.

We made a variety of them; pork, chicken, cheese, I can even remember making bean tamales.  If that ain't Mexican, I don't know what is!  Bean Tamales!   Some tamales were laced with jalapeños, some sweet and some were filled with corn.  There isn't anything we didn't try.

I haven't made them for a time now so I wonder if I still have a hand for it.  I really should give it a shot.  Christmas is just not Christmas without them and my family has gotten into the habit of buying them instead of making them.  So now that Christmas day has passed, and before we get into New Years Eve, I've decided I just have to try it.

This week I'll be going out to buy all the ingredients.  I'm not the best of cooks, but neither am I the worst.  I frequently feed friends and family.  When there are parties, I'm often elected or offer to do the cooking.  It all gets eaten and we haven't lost anyone yet so my cooking can't be all that bad, right?  Humor me, please.

Wish me luck, I'll report back after the first of the year.  If I gain 5 pounds, you'll know they were good.

The most sexiest food in the world. Once you taste one tamale, u will fall completely in love with them.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas at the Bozas

One of my favorite things to do at Christmas time is wait until everyone has gone to bed, turn off all the lights but those on the tree and lay on the sofa to watch the reflection of the tree lights on the ceiling.  I've done it since I was a young teen.  It's a time to dream, reflect and focus on the real joy of the season; Christ.

I found myself doing the same thing this year and then took some pictures with my phone.  They're somewhat grainy because they were taken with my phone, but they're warm.  I hope you enjoy and feel the spirit of Christmas. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sanchez Ranch

One of the things I most looked forward to as a kid was our family trips to the Sanchez Ranch.  The Sanchez are family friends from way back, who live in Malibu up in one of the canyons.  I don't recall my first trip there to be honest, I must have been a small child but I do remember our camping trips at the ranch.

As with all things my dad did, going to the Sanchez Ranch for a weekend camping trip would mean taking an entire group of people. I don't suppose it would be much fun if it were just our family anyway, or maybe it would be, but I never had the chance to experience a trip to the ranch that way.  I suppose that my dad being 1 of 9 children, simply didn't know how to do anything alone.  I remember mom telling me they never went anywhere alone when they were dating.  I doubt that it had anything to do with not wanting spend time with just her, it was simply that he was accustomed to running in a pack.

So, our trips to the ranch were planned way in advance.  One year my dad got a big truck and loaded it with a sofa, area rug, a refridgerator and various other pieces of furniture.  The Sanchez were probably half freightened to death when they saw us coming thinking we were moving in on them but these are people whose families crossed the Mexican boarder into the United States, if they could make that trip and survive, certaintly they could survive Dan Leonard and his pack.

As a kid, I of course wanted to do kid things.  You know, climb on rocks, go on hikes, take a ride at night with the Sanchez boys at the wheel who would drive like crazy in old trucks without doors.  And then in the middle of a winding road where you could fly off the side, as in a CLIFF, hello!, they'd turn the lights off and laugh like mad men while we all screamed at the top of our lungs thinking death was surely knocking at the door.

I recall one trip when my brothers brought a few friends along.  They were in high school at the time and thought they were invincible and decided to hike to the top of "Boney".  Boney got it's name because it was a hill that was mostly rock at the top.  From where the campground was, it looked like a hop, skip and a jump so the boys being brave or dumb as I prefer to think, took off with little else but some smokes and a lighter.  We'd had breakfast (a group breakfast of course) so their bellies were full and they thought sure they'd be back by lunch.

During the day there would be different groups going out on short hikes up through the unpaved roads or to the grotto where there were beautiful trees lining the path.  It was fairly safe so as long as we went out in a group, which almost all did, there were rarely any problems.

Lunch came and went and no sign of the boys.  Mom being ... mom ... began to worry.  It's what she did.  For a living.  I believe my Aunt Camille paid her to worry for her too so that she wouldn't have to do it herself.  Dad assured her the boys were fine, not to worry, they'll be down before long with a huge appetite.   Pepe (one of the Sanchez brothers) tells her not to worry, "the kids love to hike up to Bone".  Pepe can call it "Bone", because he lives there.  He's earned the right.  They're on familiar terms he and Bone-ey.

It's Summertime so there's still plenty of sunlight left.  It's time to get the accordian out and start singing old songs in Spanish that none of us kids know the words to but have heard a minimum of 1 billion times. Uncle Joe plays the best but unfortunately for the rest of us, there are two accordians.  Dad and Pepe share their talent.  I always wished Pepe would just say "No Dan, you can't play so don't even ask" but of course, he's far too kind and lets my dad have a turn at it.

After a few hours appetites start to build and the whole camp begins preparing for another meal.  Not all the meals are group meals but you know when you're around that many people with food, you just kind of slip your hand across the table and devour a bag of chips while in conversation which gives them the right to kinda slip they're hand across the table and slip a steak off your plate during dinner.  Whaddya gonna say "hey! I only ate your chips, leave my food alone".  So either you share or you sit across the table from a friend and drool while they eat ambrosia salad when all you have is raisins.  I don't know...maybe it's just my thinking.

Dinner has passed and the sun is starting to go down and you know who is worrying enough for herself, my aunt and anyone else who wants to get in on the gig and they're not even paying mom.  My dad, who is Mr. tough guy, is "concerned".  He'd never admit to "worried".  Ever.  For "mom's sake" he goes over and talks to Pepe about the boys not having returned and Pepe says he could get one of his earth movers and start up the side of the hill to see if maybe he can find them but then with the sun going down, it might not be the best time to be driving up.
A small group of men get together and start hiking up while yelling "Rusty, Greg, Barry" and whoever else went on this up and down, be back in five hike.  The men are a little smarter though, they only go so far because even with flashlights, hill climbing is not wise when you can only see a few feet in front of you.  The women have stayed down at the campsite and they're all calling out the boys names too thinking that if they can hear and they're lost, at least they'll know what direction to go in, even if we are in a canyon and the sound bounces all over the place.

I still remember the second we saw the first flicker.  There was a huge roar from the crowd as if the torch runner was coming to open the first day of the Olympics.  Which ever one of the bone heads took the lighter, even though they didn't smoke..wink, wink.. was using it to light their path.  They must have been moving at a snails pace but that little flame, it turns out, was a life saver.  Luckily they didn't actually start a fire and burn the whole canyon down because my guess is, long time family friends or not, the Sanchez may not have invited us back.

The boys finally make it back starved, thirsty, scared and exhausted.  My mom and all the other ladies make a big stink over them.  Pampering them, bringing them food, wiping their mouths as if they were the Prodigal sons.  Brats.  They do something that dumb and they get babied.  I remember thinking they were just plain dumb.

So that was the highlight of that trip.  We talked about it for weeks on end half way rubbing it in to make them feel rediculous and the other half because, it was a dumb thing to do but they got back alive.  I don't think they ever hiked up to Boney again.  Big Chickens!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Building Addiction

For the last 1,000 years I've been trying to get my husband to put the socket plates on, in our kitchen.  He say's he can't find the right screws and if you ask me it's cause he's lost his.  Ok, enough about him and on to my dad cause I don't want to dog my husband completely...just a little.

Unlike my husband, my dad loved to build things.  I think he considered himself less than an expert at building but didn't give a flying banana, he did it anyway.  He started projects and then hoped he had enough smarts to get it right.  One of his favorite sayings while he was working and it was pointed out that something wasn't quite right was "it doesn't matter"; something I heard often because I was always pointing out the somethings that weren't quite right.
First Kitchen Addition
When my parents bought the home I grew up in, it had a large back yard, 3 bedrooms, one bath and a single car garage.  At some point, dad decided the single car garage would make a wonderful enclosed patio.  So he went to work on enclosing the garage door, putting a nice sized window in it's place and then adding sliding glass doors to provide the patio feeling and allow easy access to our large backyard.

After some time it occurred to him that the yard was still large and he could build more.  So, in his downtime he made little drawings of what it would look like to add an outdoor patio to the already enclosed one with the sliding glass doors.  Before anyone had a chance to voice their opinion on the subject the cement slab had been laid and viola!  Patio #2.

2nd Kitchen Addition

It wasn't long before  Mr. Winchester Mansion, was hard at work again.  All I know is, he put some walls up around Patio #2, added a little cement and brick on one end with some god awful green plexiglass to create "effect" and our outdoor patio was quickly turned into an indoor patio.  The sliding glass doors were left in place until 2, too many kids attempted to run through them.  It's a shame we didn't have a video camera back then.  Who knows we might have won Funniest Home Videos.  Makes me sad to think about it the missed opportunities.

Eventually the sliding glass doors came off and the two rooms were combined to make a huge den.  It got mighty cold downstairs.  I must explain.  There were only two stairs but it was downstairs to us all the same and about as close as we were gonna get to having a stairway.  I remember when we'd invite people to "go downstairs", they'd prepare for the long walk.  Women would lift their skirts so as not to trip on them and men would immediately look for the handrail only to be disappointed that after one, two we'd arrived.  I remember some visitors would actually keep the march up for a while, sure they were still moving downward.  It was entertaining as all hell.

So things didn't end at the den with two stairs, noooooo, not that easy.  Having enclosed the second patio gave us no where to sit outside in the Summer time, except in chairs on the grass.  And I know you know what's coming next but what the heck, I'm the writer here so I'm gonna tell you; Patio #3.
Kitchen Remodel

Corrupting a Grandson
Patio #3 was a little unusual in that the cemented area extended out more than it did along the back of the house.  I'm not really sure what the thinking was but "it doesn't matter", that's how it was planned, that was how it was gonna stay.  I just stood by and watched without question because the truth of the matter, doesn't matter.  By this time our Patio left little space to build outward and our big back yard was....well, no longer "big".

Following the patio's came the extension of the kitchen, the add-on of the washroom, the remodeling of the kitchen, the new window in the living room, and so on, and so on, and so on.

At this point, we all thought Dad should be admitted for evaluation.  Seriously, the man went to bed with nails hanging out of his mouth and a hammer in his hand.  My mom woke up with drawings of various parts of the house etched all over her body and Lord knows what they did with the level but no one ever slid off that bed. 

There really isn't enough time to take you through to the end of his building escapades; there were so many.  But I will say, he never filed for a building permit.  You know why he didn't get that permit, right..."it doesn't matter", that's why. 

After a hard days work, teaching the kids to play the innocent
Many years after he'd run out of energy to continue building on, he'd gone to the hospital for a pre-op to angioplasty.  He had a terrible reaction to the dye they injected into his veins and it ended up cracking the heels on his feet so badly, he couldn't walk.  The doctor gave strict orders for him to come home, put his feet up and rest.  Yea, right!  During a time he swore he'd be resting I walk into the room and find him crawling on all fours with what else but a hammer in his hand.  The doctor didn't say he couldn't crawl.

Well, dad certaintly loved to build.  My husband doesn't but then again, if you'd like him to write you a song, move over daddy cause the music man is here!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Open Apology

Dear Cousin,

For years I've lived with the guilt of my misdoing.  I realize we were young, but there is no excuse for my behavior on that dreadful day, so many years ago.

Mom and dad took their annual excursion to Mexico but decided to leave me in your parents care.  Perhaps I was angry for being left behind and not included in the two day trek.  Maybe I was concerned that they would forget to bring my supply of cajeta and I'd have to resort to munching on wood chips with caramel to feed my addiction.  I honestly do not recall what triggered my ill temper, however, I do know an apology is long overdue.

I'm certain you recall the day; we woke early and quickly drank down our ponche, followed by a soft boiled egg.  We played in your bedroom for a while; Barbies, I'm sure.  We laid on the floor and drew, or rather you drew while I watched your skillful hand fill request after request for yet another of your sketches which  I later took to school to show off.

Before we knew it, it was lunch time.  Sandwiches were on the menu that day, followed by scrumptious homemade greasy donuts. Thinking back, I don't doubt the effect those donuts must have had on me.  Being the glutton I was...okay, still am....I recall eating more than my share until Auntie cut me off putting the donuts beyond my reach and sent us outside to play. 

We hit the backyard with purpose; both headed for the tricycle without regard for who might go down in the process.  One trike, two bodies, someone was gonna cry.  I still blame the effect of the donuts for slowing me down, doesn't matter now won.  The tricycle was yours; for the time being anyway.

I tried to entertain myself by running around after you as you skillfully took every turn in that 12 x 12 foot patio.  A speedway it wasn't but man you could maneuver that trike, Mario Andretti had nothing on you.  I'd forgotten how long it had been since my last visit but it was obvious you'd  been practicing.

Initially my chasing you around was fun enough but after about the 10th round, it was starting to get old...I wanted my turn and I wanted it now.  You refused.  I whinningly expressed my frustration and concern that you had had a fair amount of time but you just weren't ready to give up the trike.  I pleaded, begged and attempted sweet offers but you weren't biting.  Finally, I lost it. I called you something I'd regret for the rest of my life; "Stupid".  Even I had a hard time believing I'd said it, but I had "Stupid, stupid, stupid!".  I still recall the look that washed over your face.  I went from being your loving cousin to pond scum within seconds.  Crusty old gum at the bottom of a chair had more worth than I at that very moment.  I can hear your voice as you called out to me repeatedly to stop.  It was too late, I'd gone too far, I'd lost respect not only for you, dear God, but for myself.  My voice rang out again "Stooo-ooo-ooo-pid!".  I was out of control but the pain I was causing you gave me a sense of power until....I the doorway stood, your mom, my auntie, listening in disbelief.  I didn't know which way to turn.  Not only had I used foul, filthy, disgusting language, I'd been caught.

Regret immediately swallowed me up followed by shame for having used such language.  When had the "S" word had crept into my vocabulary?  How could I have stooped so low, I'll never know.  I tried playing the victim to your mom but she wasn't buying.  I, crusty old gum that I was, angered your mom so much I doubt she was ever the same.   I know she limited my donut intake from that day forward.  Could I blame her?

Now, so many years later, I find it necessary to free myself of the guilt by asking your forgiveness.  I'm not sure that I'm deserving, but it's a chance I have to take.  I know the distance has made it impossible for us to share as much as we'd like but just so you know I've tattooed a tear drop below my right eye in your honor.

Just as dry, crusty gum cannot bubble, until I hear you have forgiven me I will find no joy.  I apologize from the depths of my heart.

Unable to bubble in L.A.,

Elizabeth    well....Marie Elizabeth...Leonard    well...Marie Elizabeth Boza

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not long ago a friend and I got on the topic of the how and when we "became young ladies".  Funny how for us woman this is something we have no problem sharing with friends.  Funnier yet might be how, when and where it did happened.  So, since it crossed my mind, and only God knows why, I may as well tell you my experience.

In the Summer of 1967 and at the ripe young age of 12, I became a "young lady".  Seconds before that, according to my mother, I was just a young girl.  I'd attended the 6th grade assembly at my elementary, only because mom had signed a paper in agreement. Heck! you don't think she wanted to explain the birds and the bees to me, do you?

From my recollection there were both girls and boys in the cafeteria that day and oh, how embarrassing it was.  I don't recall a whole lot except that when the lights went down there were giggles and snickering from both genders.  We sat and watched a little film with little drawings because we were little kids on our way to becoming young ladies and gentlemen.  Afterward, we walked out making every effort not to look each other in the eye which was not too difficult considering we walked back to class in single file.

As Summer rolled right up to my doorstep, so did my first period.  I recall entering the bathroom a child, yet, the hush in my mother's voice explained what had happened and with what I needed to do, I realized I was now a young lady.

Mom was always quiet and shy and this day proved to be no different.  When I called, she walked into the hallway and up to the bathroom.  I told her of my findings as quietly as humanly possible; she nearly fainted.  I wasn't afraid in the least bit for what was happening to me but mom on the other hand, must have been sitting in fear since the day she signed that dreadful note sent home suggesting I see the "little film".  I watched her as she walked to her room holding on to the wall so as not to fall.  When she returned she came prepared with the necessary supplies and either she took the time to apply the whitest foundation I've ever seen or the woman was near to passing out.  She was shaking so much she had a difficult time showing me how to wear that awful belt we wore in those days so she left me in the bathroom to tend to the awful deed of  figuring it out on my own.  I opened the bathroom door slowly and looked both ways down the hall.  Once sure there was no one around, I made a bee line to my room and stayed in there until the next morning.

As the days went by and the reality of womanhood set in I realized why everything was said in hush hush tones.  This was merely a quick training in how you must express yourself when you felt as if the A train itself was passing through your ovaries.  We mustn't scream.  We mustn't let anyone know we're no longer naive little girls, we're "young ladies" and young ladies go through cramps and mood swings and cravings and break outs and pure hell.   Sometimes we want to kill someone just because they look at us, but it's ok, it's part of being a young lady.  So, I came to terms with what life had dealt me, knowing soon enough all the other girls in my neighborhood would become equally insane during their time of month too. 

I remember wanting to lock myself in the house some days and it was during one of those that mom asked me to take the trash out.  Hesitantly I loaded up the bags and headed for the back gate.  My biggest fear was that I might run into one of my neighbor girlfriends and of course they'd know with one look that I was no longer a child.

Sure enough, I open the back gate to the alley where my best friend Sheron, who could smell me out across miles of desert, comes running over to ask me to go swimming.  Our conversation went something like this:
Sheron: Hey whatcha doin'?
Marie:  Taking out the trash
Sheron: Wanna come over and go swimming
Marie:  My mom won't let me
Sheron: Why not?
Marie: She just won't
Sheron: But Why?
Marie: Because
Sheron: Ask her
Marie: She won't let me
Sheron:  I'll ask her
Marie:  No
Sheron: Why?
Marie: Because she wont' let me
Sheron: What if I help you do chores
Marie: She won't let me

And on and on it went.  Sheron was a determined child.  I, wasn't smart enough to say "I don't want to, now leave me alone".  But, even if I had, Sheron did not like losing.  She was an only child and used to getting her way.

Of course, I was dying to go swimming but 1.) My mom had told me you can't swim when you're on your period and 2.) I didn't have the guts to tell Sheron I'd started my period.  I didn't want anyone to know.  It was possibly the most embarrassing thing that had every happened to me and telling Sheron was like telling everyone. Besides wasn't it obvious enough?  Couldn't she just tell by looking at me?  I was a young lady now; not a child.

I remember my mom asking me to go with her to the store one day.  We drive into the Thrifty parking lot and she says "here's some money, go in and buy some Kotex".  WHAT!? I felt like she was asking me to kill the president right then and there.  My jaw dropped and I cried "Mom, I can't".  She said "yes you can, what's so hard about that?"  I was thinking I'm too young, I have no experience at this, people will be staring at me, they'll know!  I fought and fought to not have to go into the store that day but she was convinced it was time for me to learn.   OMG!  From the time I walked in until I got back in the car, it felt as if I was under a spotlight.  All eyes were on me buying feminine products.  They knew! Everyone knew and I'm sure they went home and talked about it at the dinner table.  What was my mother trying to do to me?

Eventually I told Sheron and she was understandable mad at me for not telling her that day.  She was actually envious of me....poor girl, what did she know.  At that age we were in such a hurry to grow up and Sheron couldn't wait for her turn.  I wonder....does she feel the same way now?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Nicknames.  They're a strange thing, arent' they.  Take mine for instance; Bedgie.  Not one I would ask for but there it is, Bedgie.  You may or may not care to know how it came about so if you care, read on.  If not, catch ya on the fly.

So I'm, what, maybe 8, 9 years old.  My oldest brother, Rusty, little sister Michele and I are in my mom and dad's room.  She's on the bed and brother is trying to teach her to say my name.   Agh....that's another story because....deep to shorten it.  Ok, just read middle name is Elizabeth (Marie Elizabeth, very regal, I know) first name Marie.  Dad wanted to name me Elizabeth and mom won out, naming me after my grandmother....argh....well, kind of; Marie is not exactly Maria de Los Angeles, thank you Jesus, but I'm trying to get to my point here.

So Michele is on the bed with Rusty and he says "say Elizabeth", come on bro, she can hardly say "mama", so she says "Bedgie".  Can you blame her?  She's on the spot.  She's being asked to perform in front of a crowd of one.  She panics and out comes Bedgie.  Of course I laughed, are you nuts?  I was young too.  Insensitive to how much damage I could do to a mere toddler.  I laughed, he laughed....I thought we were over it and moving on but NOoooo.  Rusty insists on calling me Bedgie.  Did he consider the life long effect it would have on my very being?  Did he consider we'd have to come up with the proper spelling?  Did he consider giving my sister a second chance at the pronounciation and the possibility of her blurbing out something a little cuter?  Of course not.  Why would he do that when Bedgie sounds utterly rediculous.  Way to go brother!

Aaaaah, how could I have overlooked that he has a nickname as well. His name is not Rusty.  It's Daniel A. Leonard V.  Apparently our parents thought we'd be royalty some day and gave us names that would be acceptable within the court.   My brother being a red head, blue eyed, first born and suspect to being the Helms man's son (OK, dont' take that anywhere, it's a family joke) gets a nickname that's a little more acceptable.  Rusty.  I'm sure he's not the first Rusty you've head of.

My brother Greg, royalty as well, is Gregory James Leonard.  And consolation prize, as my dad called her, Michele Camille Leonard.  I'm not sure it's got a royal ring but it does sound upper middle class at the very least.  These two for some odd reason are left to short cut nicknames only.  Gregory being Greg, like who wouldn't figure that out and Michele being Shell.  I wonder if they didn't feel cheated and maybe we should think something more engaging up for them.  After all, when people hear my name for the first time, it's always followed by conversation.

I suppose I just wanted to bring to your attention the fact that I enjoy nicknames.  I saw a picture of a friend of mine recently and his.....dare I say it?  His....nipple was showing.  Nothing meant to be portrayed as risqué, but there it was...his nipple.  I suggested we nickname him Nipples but got no response.  Why?  What's wrong with Nipples as a nickname.  People just don't take me serious.

My husband Juan Carlos Boza is called a number of things.  Some I can actually print are Juanca, JC or Juanchin.  It's obvious to me by our names, he and I were meant for bigger things.  And we're still waiting, mind you.

My friend Bunny.  Her's is not totally unusal either, except for the fact that it was originally Bumpy because she bumped into everything as a child.  How and when it changed to Bunny, I don't recall but I've known her since kindergarten and she's always been Bunny to me.

My friend Marsha. We call her Marsh.....that came out of pure laziness.  Adding the "a" to the end of Marsh was just too much to ask.

I'm sure we all know someone with a nick name.  Are there any as rediculous as mine?  Just a one?

Kreativ Blogger Award

My good friend Bunny from I'm Just Say'n passed this award on to me.

Thanks Bun, for thinking enough of me to do so and Congratulations on being a recipient!  

I've been blogging for just a short time now and find that it allows me an opportunity to express myself and share with others just what I'm feeling; good or otherwise.  Of course you never know who'll be reading what you write.  Some will agree, others disagree with what you have to say and that's all part of the fun.

The other part is that there truly is an amazing amount of creatively interesting people in this world.  So to those of you if fit into that category, my hat is off to you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable to the rest of the world.  Continue to use your talent in which ever way you see fit whether it be designing, storytelling, encouraging, writing, performing or blogging, for in the words of William Shakespeare:
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...

One of our parts seems to be that of the blogger, no?

As a recipient of this gracious award I am required to follow certain steps in order to keep hold and not have my award withdrawn.  Darn, nothing in this life is free!  But, in this case, I find it a joy to be able to share my friends and their talents with you so here are the rules.  Read carefully for if you received an award from me,  you too will need to follow through.

1. Thank the person who gave this to you
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog
3. Link back to the person who nominated you
4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know....
5. Nominate seven 'Kreativ Bloggers'
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate
7. Leave a comment on each blog letting them know you nominated them...

Seven Things about myself no one really knows..................
1.  I'm afraid I've lost my ability to sing.  Since having laryngitis earlier this year, I feel like I never recovered completely. 
2.  I had two surgeries in one week.  One planned, the other a total surprise.
3.  I'm totally, absurdly allergic to calcium in any form.  Yes, really.  
4.  I always wanted four children and even though I have four, only one is my natural child.  God does answer prayers even if it isn't in the way we expect! 
5.  I miss acting and dancing something terrible (like all the time).  I'm sad that, for the most part, my time has passed. 
6.  My first car was a Volkswagen bug.  Because it's so small, I was always afraid I would get in an accident and break my legs, leaving me unable to dance.
7.  I often dream of moving to Spain.  I think I'm just not over Flamenco and wish I could still be dancing. Hey!  I can dream.

Here are 6 bloggers I would like to pass this award on to...(sorry, I know it should be 7 but some of those I follow are not blogging these days..hmmmm...)

2. Norma @ Blogeritaville
6. Ruben @  Rattus Scribus

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Deep down inside, we're still the same

Earlier this year I started a group on Facebook called "Rio Hondo College 1976 - 1982 Theater Group".  If you're not familiar with FB (as all the cool people call it), it's a connecting site.  Lots of fun but if you don't watch it, time consuming.

My reason for starting the page was to reconnect with some wonderful people I met years ago while learning the art of acting.  Rehearsals leading up to performance take a great amount of time so whilst your sitting around waiting for your turn on stage, you really get to know the other actors.

The first few months, after starting the page, were a little disapointing.  I invited friends but only had three become members.  Three.  Not four, not even five; 3.  As happy I was to have those three on board...muah, muah, I love all three of you....(just in case they're reading), I was hoping for so much more.  So much for connecting.

Finally I asked the 3 members to invite anyone they'd kept in touch with, since I alone was not able to get results.  Either they lied to me about having invited others or the four of us were much less popular than I'd imagined possible. I wondered, have I been reminiscing about my past and making the whole thing up in my mind or did it actually happen.  Am I as immature as my daughter says I am and no real adults really join this FB thing; can't be half my church is on there.  Okay, maybe my entire church is made up of immature adults.  What's going on that we cant' attract any new members?  

Then one day I get an invitation (on Facebook) to join a small gathering to see a friend (also on Facebook) who's visiting from out of state and would like me to be in attendance.  Yippie!  Of course I go and there at that little gathering, a dear friend sits claiming he doesn't have time to join FB or anything of the like.  Aha!  Bet me!  Some how I talk him into checking it out, send him an invitation to be a "friend" and after much deliberation, he joins.

Well, long story short, to date we have 25 members.  Now that isn't a huge number but considering we had a sloooooow start, I'm excited.  I'm thrilled.  I bowled over.  The really amazing part is, after all these years (approximately 28 or so), I'm finding that we just don't change.  We may change in shape, we may change in financial status, we may even change in religious beliefs but deep down inside, we're still the same.  We're loving, we're funny and we're creative. Some have continued on in the arts. Others, like myself, moved on to do other things making the artistic part secondary while still holding on to some of  the dream.   

It's been a joy "hooking up" with these long time friends.  It's as if time stopped and we're still the same young whipper snappers we once were.  Or maybe they're all just as immature as my daughter insists I am.  Either way, I'm so pleased that we've reconnected.  Can't wait until our reunion next Saturday night and the next one to come at the end of January. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When did I age and how did I not see it coming?

So I suppose I'll have to admit here and now; age has crept in.  Like an unwanted weed it seems to keep showing up in the most unlikely places.

I get out of bed; age shows up.
I bend down; age shows up.
Eat the wrong food......who invited you?
Stay up too late, Leave me alone!.

I consider myself blessed in that most people are surprised by my age.  I know this because they frequently comment "Wow!  I never would have known".  Is that supposed to make me feel good?  And I tell those who ask what my secret is; "immaturity will keep you young and admit your age to everyone but yourself".

Of course those who are older will always say, "tisk, tisk, your still young".  For the most part, I agree...I must be younger than someone.  But when the majority of your co-workers could be your children, well, let's not fool ourselves; we're getting up there.

One of the things that makes me more aware of my age is looking at old pictures and just recently a friend posted a picture of me when I had no waist.  I don't mean because it was so grown out, I mean because it was so darn small I could have wrapped the tape measure around myself multiple times. Why didn't I appreciate it when I didn't have it?

This picture really discourages me from taking full bodied pictures so I try to focus on the face, if only I could find the right angle to take a picture. If my head is lowered the little pockets (ok, BAGS), under my eyes look as though I'm over packed for a 3 week trip to Europe. If the lighting isn't right it looks like they've mapped the United States all over my face; who needs a GPS?    

Although I'm still quite agile there are positions that are better not attempted.  I was helping my daughters choreograph a dance for church and removed my heeled shoes so as not to fall.  I attempted to turn my foot, stuck on the wood flooring and pulled a muscle that had me limping for a week.   No, I'm not kidding.

Today someone at work asked me what I used on my face "so I can use the same thing when I get old".  Talk about a back handed compliment.  Good thing I don't like him, it saves me the trouble of getting mad at him. It's lucky for him my memory is going too; by tomorrow I'll probably forget the whole thing and like him all over again. 

I've decided I must do whatever it takes to make myself look younger.  For that reason I am accepting friendship applications.  For those interested in applying you must meet at least three of the following criteria:

A full head of gray hair
Arthritis in at least one limb
A notarized birth certificate from 1945 or earlier
Nylons that bag at the ankles
Facial hair growing from unusual places
Veins that protrude from your hands and feet
Thick, curled toenails

 For those seriously interested, please include your weight.  Anyone weighing less than I, will not be considered.  Sorry.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yummy first love

If you've never had cajeta, you must, must, must have some before you give up the ghost!  I'm not suggesting you'll be leaving us anytime soon but I am suggesting you not chance it.  You never know when your time is up and why risk breaking the hearts of those who love you by not endulging yourself in cajeta at least once.

Just the mention of the word suggests love in it's purest form.  Say it.  Go on...say it! CA..HET..TA.  Now say it in a breathy whisper...Caheta.  It's enough to drive your husband or wife into a jealous rage so before you get into trouble with your significant other who's probably wondering why your calling out to cajeta while sitting in front of your computer, maybe I should explain how my love affair with cajeta began.

Over 50 years ago, yes we go that far back, in a small town in Mexico, my sweet little tia turned me on to what would prove an incurabel addiction to Cajeta: She and I were home alone.  My parents had gone out for the evening, my brothers were invited to spend the night with a friend and my sister...well, my sister was still an egg I suppose (don't tell her I told you).  I was bored stiff and my aunt being old could think of nothing to do to amuse me.  I can still see her shuffling around in her little black china shoes, black mourning dress and shawl, searching desperately for some way to entertain me.  It happened shortly after she'd lifted me up to see a very sleepy parrot for the 3rd time that she was suddenly hit with an idea.  I saw her expression change from despair to hope.  She grabbed me by the hand, I could tell in that very second something was about to happen.  Even at my very young inexperienced age I knew without a doubt something was a'comin.

With my little hand in hers we skated across the floor to her bedroom, a place few had ever entered.  She immediately shuffled over to a makeshift closet and there in the corner sat a small box tied with twine.  After taking a quick glance about the room to ensure there were no evil doers standing in the shadows, she reached for the box, stopped, and then unashamedly stopped to wipe the spittle that had accumilated around the corners of her mouth with her sleeve.  Although the room was dimly lit, I could see the excitement on her face and the glow that seemed to emanate from around the little wooden oblong box.  I could hardly contain myself from reaching out and grabbing the box from hands that moved far too slowly for a five year old.

Before the lid could be removed, she said, I must sit like a good little girl.  I nearly strangled the old woman!  I have no evidence of the fact but believe that day was the root cause of my life long struggle with high blood pressure.

Finally after what seemed an eternity the old bag opened the lid and instead of the toy or money I thought she would produce, there was a gooey, caramel colored substance.  Had it not been for the very rich, very creamy and most favorable aroma flowing through the air and up my nostrols, I might have kicked her a good one.  The woman was trying my patience!

Finally, and I mean FINALLY, she produced from inside the lid a little wooden spoon.  It was cute, sure,  but by this time I had little interest in cute.  I wanted to get to the point of all this secrecy and NOW.  As if in slow motion, she dipped the tip of the spoon into the goo and then with the most careful intention proceeded to spoon feed me but not without stopping within a millameter of my lips to promise me I would love it.  I could feel my eyese buldging with rage; I wanted to strangle her already.  Had she no memory of what it was like to be a child?  Was this some form of torture and was she getting her kicks out of watching me wiggle with anticipation?  After what seemed to be a billion years, the spoon finally touched my lips.  For the first time in my young life I knew the meaning of unconditional love and NO, I'm not talking about that for my aunt. 

Lordy!  Holy Toledo!  Gee Wizakers and Wow!  That stuff was good!  I found love on a wooden spoon and couldn't get enough of the stuff.  I insisted on holding the spoon myself, something my aunt was not too happy about.  She fought to keep a grasp on it but I was much quicker than she.  We were about to throw blows when we heard the dogs begin barking signaling the return of my parents and the end of my first encounter with what would soon become my sole purpose for living.

Before leaving my aunts room, I watched to make sure she returned the box to the same spot.  It would take skill and planning but one way or another, that box was mine!

She guided me (against my will) out the door and into my mothers arms then turned and locked the door behind her followed by the chain and then the wooden bar.  My entry would take some planning but it would be worth time behind prison bars if it came down to it.

So, there you have it.  The story of how I, so many years ago, fell into the pit of no return.  Sadly, my beloved cajeta is now made and sold in plastic containers which totally RUINS THE FLAVOR!!!  The original packaging was in little wooden boxes and yes, the candy flavor hinted of wood but I'll tell you, if you spread it on tree bark I'd still eat it.

Every year we travelled to Mexico was a spiritual experience for me knowing I'd be re-united with my cajeta and the chance to stock up until my return a year later.  The very few times my uncle actually traveled to the U.S. to visit us, he arrived with a generous supply knowing it would gain him entry into the kingdom as work done for humanity's sake.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fun or Not Fun, that is the question...

A few days ago my husband invited me to accompany him to a gig he had today.  It was a benefit event at the  Conga Room in Los Angeles and he was on bongo and back-up vocals for OPA OPA.  It was a nice event and from what I could tell it was a benefit fund raiser for cancer.  He told me to wear a dress and that some of the other significant others; wives and girlfriends, would be there as well.

Guess what.  I was the only wife there.  No girlfriends showed either.  Not a terrible thing except that once we walked into the green room, I immediately noticed I was the only female besides those working for the event.  Again, not a terrible thing except it leaves one wondering if the other guys didn't think I was just the busy body wife tagging along.  My husband told me not to worry and said "well at least we get to spend time together".  My response "kind of".

I don't mean to sound ungrateful that he invited me to go along but since there was no table for the musicians or their others, I really had no where to sit but in the green room.  So when they went out on stage (and they only went on stage for four numbers) I sat in the green room and watched them play on the big screen.  So glad I got all dressed up.....

The numbers they played were split up, meaning they didn't play all four numbers at one time.  The first number they did was all percussion which meant Juan Carlos would be on stage.  I got up and tried to walk out to watch but one of the guys (a very nice guy, I might add) stopped me and started up a conversation or should I say a monologue.  Like I said, he's a very nice guy and though I've seen my husband play a gazillion times, I wanted to watch.  Instead I was stuck/trapped in "conversation".  At that point I couldn't even watch the big screen because they had a football game on.  So there I stood trying to politely get away and then gave up all together after about five minutes realizing I was going to hear everything he had to say like it or not.

They came down off stage and sat down to do what guys do while they're waiting to go on stage and play; B.S.  Carlos was sitting with a few guys and I was kind of .... there.  I stood to go get coffee when another of the guys approached me.  And so that it's understood, I've known most of them for quite a few years.  So, this guys comes over and starts talking to me about how unappreciated musician's are.  This is no news to me.  I've been there and know exactly what he means, problem is, this is a person who, to put it lightly, has little class.  He's talking to me as if I were another one of the guys, complaining about the other musicians, musicians from other groups and singers who think they're hot stuff just because they sing.  Of course, according to him, none of them are any good.  And then there's the woman who sings and she "ain't no good.  She thinks she's all that because she does stuff on the computer", whatever that means.  Supposedly, he's better than any of them and if he has to sing in a group with them, he may as well "stay home and scratch his ....s".

Now tell me, what kind of man takes a look at a woman, a friends wife, and feels the need to tell her what it is he does at home when he's alone and what body part it is he scratches?  I'm listening and trying to be somewhat agreeable but when he gets to the part about his "scratching", I'm beginning to lose patience.  I know I have some facial hair but is so noticeable that he's forgotten he's talking to a woman?  Maybe I'm not the most high class woman in the world but I am a woman.  Couldn't he have left that part out so that every time I see him I don't get this ugly, verrrry ugly image of him at home doing this disgusting thing?

I had half a mind to tell him what I thought but then realized he probably wouldn't get it anyway and as he continued to talk I stood there looking at him wondering what possessed him to tell me this ugly thing. Is it just me or all woman he tells his intimate, very personal habits to.  I started thinking I should tell him about my hystorectomy or what it's like when I get cramps.  I thought maybe I should ask him to expand on the details.  Ask if he gets any relief or if he ends up having to use baby powder in order to get relief.  Maybe I should have told him about that stuff that jocks use or suggest he vist the doctor. 

Then as I was finally able to get away I turn into a conversation and hear one of the guys saying that he just went to the mens room and thought no one should go in for a while unless they wanted their nose hairs to burn off.  Was I in the wrong place or WHAT! 

Thankfully, they were called back on stage...all of them.  I was able to recover when some intelligent individual finally changed the big screen to show them playing.  I was grateful to be alone for a while.  When they finally returned I nearly ran them over as I grabbed my husband and sat him down next to me as quickly as I could so that no other teller of tales would sit by me. 

The next time my husband invites me to go with him I think I'll wear army fatigues and a moustache.  If I'm gonna be treated like a guy I may as well look like one.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dance ~ The Great Temptation

A few days ago I read my cousin's blog in which she reminisced about her desire to dance ballet since childhood.  I began to think back on my own life and how at an early age I had that same dream.  I felt such a strong connection to ballet even though I was only a tot and knew little to nothing about other forms of dance or ballet for that matter.

At about eight years of age, my mother shared with me how a family friend made it a habit to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up because he got a kick out of hearing me say I wanted to be a "belly dancer".  Of course I meant ballet, but being as young as I was, it was all the same to me.

Mom being quite shy had yet to share with me her strong love for dance.   In fact the only reason I had any inkling at all that she loved dancing is that during our family parties, which in those days were almost every weekend, she would jump at the opportunity to dance with anyone who would ask.  Dad preferred talking.  Anyone who danced with him could attest to the fact because when he did dance, he talked the entire time and only stopped when he stepped on your toes which was almost every dance.

You can imagine the excitement I felt one day when I stumbled across this photo in mom's old album.  I wanted all the details of the picture and clung to every word as she told me about her dance classes and how much she loved dancing.  I would stare at her feet, in the picture, with amazement that my mommy could stand on her toes and wondered what it must be like to slip your foot into one of those shoes.

Mom had carefully saved and hung the little dance outfit in the front closet in hopes of keeping it for memories sake.  It was light blue with dark blue trim and the material was a thick cotten.

Although mom's intention was to save the dress, I had other plans and one day snuck into the closet, reached way up, manged to pull the dress off the hanger and with great difficulty slipped it on.  Even though it was far too big for me I couldn't bring myself to take it off.  I fell in love with it and the thought that it would make me dance.

When mom found that I had taken it out and was wearing it, even though she probably wanted to strangle me, she tried her best to explain that it was something to be saved, not worn, to remember the time when she danced.  I begged and begged but in the end, back in the closet it went.

Days later with no one around, I managed to sneak back into the closet and slip the dress on again.  I recall being scared to death that my mother would catch me but could not fight the temptation to wear it.

Somehow I slipped out the back door and over to the neighbors yard where I wore the dress for quite some time before mom found me out.  To this day, I'm not sure if it was her weakness or my stubborn desire that allowed me to begin taking the dress out for a fling on a daily basis until it was all but ruined.  At the time there was no guilt involved in my wearing the dress but after some time the material started to fray and as it became dirty and stained I could see the disapointment in my mothers eyes but by that time it was too late.  I'd ruined her dress.

Years later as she and I were looking for something in her cedar chest she took out a bag and unwrapped the most ugly, used, beautiful toe shoes I had ever laid my eyes on.  Luckily for mom I'd learned my lesson years before with the blue dress and kept my hands off the shoes unless she was around to supervise.

My daughter who is running slightly behind in ballet, due to my difficulty in paying for dance class, often takes the shoes out of their plastic bag and slips her foot in "just to see what it feels like".  Fortunately her foot is a bit bigger than the shoes and I'm not nearly as nice as my mom was when it comes to laying down the law in what we can and cannot do.

Earlier today I had the urge to look at mom's shoes.  I pulled them out of the plastic bag they've been in for so many years and gave them a good inspection.  There on the side of one of the shoes I spied, for the very first time, her name hand printed right on the silk (on the top shoe, near the arch, printed in faded letters it says "Thelma"). 

I wonder did she write that as a child so as not to confuse her shoes for someone elses or is it possible she wrote it there when I was a young girl to remind me just who those shoes belonged to.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Performers from the good old days

Bringing up my girls I felt it important to try and keep them away from watching too much junk on tv.  You know, movies that would have a bad influence on them.  I  owned enough Shirley Temple movies to keep them occupied for hours on end and worked hard at finding a balance between television, music, movies, reading and other playtime activities.  As a result and without even realizing, I introduced them to Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Red Skelton, Carol Burnett and the like.   

We own such a collection of Classic movies and musicals on video, DVD and CD that as they started school and began to make friends, some of the other kids thought they were plain strange when they'd be excited about watching an old movie.  They normally had no idea what my kids were talking about. 

I can remember the girls bringing school friends to the house and then playing some of their favorite music.  They'd be singing along as if everyone should know the songs.  Sometimes I'd have to tell them that maybe they should put something on their friends could enjoy too.  It took a while for them to get it.  And yes, they were different. 

Today as I was scrolling through Facebook, I noticed Karina had a post that said "I love this video".  This is what she posted.  If you haven't already seen it, enjoy!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Not with my Mommy, you don't! What?!? No! Not with me either!

Being a Massage Therapist can be an exciting career.  It can be lucrative when the economy is on the upswing but at times it can also be a misunderstood profession.

I can't begin to tell you how many times I've seen that raised eyebrow at the mention of my title Massage Therapist.  Of course I've never seen a woman react with the raised eyebrow and why is that?  A woman understands and appreciates the benefits of therapeutic massage while many, many, many men have ill misconceptions of what it is we're trained to do. 

I'm currently working a temp job as a receptionist.  Many people, the majority being men, approach my office to ask for supplies or mail.  Frequently they come by for nothing more than a chat and it was during one of those chats that the subject of massage came up. 

Before I go any further let me say that any time I speak to a man who seems just slightly flirtacious I make it a habit to make sure he see's my wedding ring (I never leave home without it) and then fit my husband into the conversation; something I've learned to do over the years due to mens inability to understand that my friendliness is directed toward everyone; male and female.

As I sat chatting with this individual about the lack of work in the massage field, another employee walks up and overhears our conversation....Bingo! Bango! Wango! Antenae up, sonar bouncing off the walls!  This individual who so "respectfully" refers to me as Doña Mari, frequents my desk with little business and much bla, bla, bla.

Please don't think me conceited, but as a woman I know when a man is trying to "play me".  There is something in his voice that rings of bad intent and beyond that I'm incredibly perceptive and intuitive.  It's something that was passed on to me by my father who at times, like I, chose to close his eyes to some very obvious signs so as not to insult anyone.

Just a little example of that:  Dad had a friend, a political buddy, who I took an imediate disliking toward.  I expressed this to my father many times but because he liked this guy he brushed me off each time.  At first I wasn't sure what it was that bothered me about him until one day while we all sat in the kitchen talking.  I realized that besides his outright arrogance, he was subtly hitting on my mom.  There, directly in front of my dad, he was flirting with mom.  Straight out flirting.  Of course mom, being the humble woman she was would not acknowledge that any man outside of my father would even think to do such a thing.

To make a long story short, one evening dad finds himself more tired than usual and decides to hit the sack early.  While he's in the bedroom snoring to the tune of "Whistle While You Work", a knock comes on the door.  I'm in my jammies, watching tv with mom so I suggest she open the door.  I move around the corner so as not to been seen when I hear the Big Bad Wolf asking if Dan is around.  My first reaction is Wait! this character doesn't belong in this story but Snow White apparently has forgotten that every fairy tale has a villan.  So our villan asks (oblivious to the hero lurking in the shadows), "well, if Dan is sleeping why don't you let me in so we can chat?".  Sweet mommy doesn't get it. She trys to say no but the villan grows impatient and says "look he doesn't have to know".  OH NO HE DI-INT!  This is where I, without cape or magic wand, decide to pluck this fool outta da story.

I calmly walk around the corner, jammies and all, step in front of mom and say "I think it's late, you heard my dad is asleep.  If I ever get the feeling your making a pass at my mom again I'll go straight to my dad.  Bye, bye!"  The jerk left and no, I didn't wait for the next time.  I reported the whole incident to my dad the next morning.  I'm not sure exactly what happened after that point, only that the wicked Queen, AKA the ugly 'ol witch never did show up with that red apple.  End of story.

You know how it is when you know what you know.  So in my story Mr. Suave shows up at my office to talk the day after he hears I'm a MT.  Suddenly, he has shoulder and hip pain.  He say's I hear your a MT.  I say yes, already knowing where he's headed.  "Ahhhh", he says, "because I need someone to work on me, I just cant' take the pain anymore".  Before I can get a word out he says "but! It can't be on the weekend because I'm very busy on the weekends".  I was dying to ask "Is that with the wife, by any chance?".

My story is taking far too long so before I take you right into tomorrows lunch time, I'll just say that I told him I'd check with my husband to see what day he'd be home and that I wouldn't think of working on a man without my husband being around (partly true).  The bafoon had the nerve to ask if I would consider doing it somewhere else.

I wish I could be accused of making this up in my head but after his attempt to sing and recite poetry to me, I'd have to say YOUR WRONG!  I may not be young and I may not be the size 9 I was when I met my husband but even fat, old ladies get hit on by desperate men trying to meet their quota.  Do they actually think this one more score will get them that much closer to paradise?

Men, I apologize if I sound like it's pick on men day.  That's not my intention.  But as they say one bad apple spoils the bunch, my pretty.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Thursday eveing as I was driving to pick Karina up from RevX, the church youth group, I drove past the 91 and 605 freeway junction.  That particular spot always smells of stagnent water.  I'm not sure what goes on there but it smells something awful.

Although I was alone in the car, I immediately started laughing and called out Fuchie!  For anyone who doesn't know, fuchie is a word I've heard since I was a kid and I imagine it comes from the word poochie, which means smelly. I guess it's a Mexican word, meaning a word in Spanish but used by the Mexican community.  So I'm in the car alone but I had to say it anyway.  

Just a month prior I drove past the same spot with 3 teenaged girls in the car and they all yelled out the same thing; "Fuchie" and then immediately went into hysterics pointing fingers at each other as if it were one of them causing the stench.

The other evening after dinner (thank God), the subject of passing gas came up.  See Matthew, our 23 year old, just moved in with us and until we were able to move the two girls back into their room together, Karina was sharing a room with him.  She said, and I quote, "I don't mind sharing a room with Matthew, his farts don't smell that bad."  Matt quickly responded, "that's cause I don't fart much".  The conversation was open for discussion at that point, so Carlos chimes in saying we all fart in our sleep and then begins to make fart noises, with his mouth, saying that he and I do concerts at night and we rarely hear anything because we're asleep. Here's a grown man, making different toned fart noises with his mouth to show how it might sound.  I lost it.  I couldn't help but laugh because this is a man who until about five years ago would never even mention the word fart much less focus on making different sounds to amuse his children.  What happened? 

So as I'm driving along, all alone, laughing, I start to think of all the comedians in the world who have spent entire monologues on the subject.  George Lopez frequently works them into his act as has George Carlin, Eddie Murphy...well, all the funny guys.  What in the I am writing about it and maybe it's cause I still cannot figure out why we must discuss it at all.  It's a gross, disgusting subject yet, the second it comes up people of all ages and races start to laugh.

And why are we laughing? 

What happens in a persons life that they find it necessary to discuss and point the blame onto someone else.  Why can't we just be like dogs....we even blame dogs when someone leaks one out, poor little things.  Do you think they laugh about it.  Or maybe they blame each other....better yet, I wonder if they blame us for their exhaust.  I just don't know.

Us human's are a strange bunch aren't we?  Something smells bad, we quickly look to blame someone.  I say we start a movement...we'll call it Proud Farters of America.  We'll just relieve ourselves anywhere, anytime and not be ashamed.  We can distribute fart literature and have fart concerts...okay, maybe that one should be up for discussion...but how about parades, parties, and a national day of farts.  There are gay parades aren't there? Why shouldn't we have our own? The only way to get past the shame is to bring it out in the open.  Let it to speak. 

All those in favor say aye!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Could it be?

Last night at 1 o'clock in the morning................wait, wait, wait...that makes no sense! Let me start again.

This morning, 1 o'clock a.m. to be exact, I found myself in the kitchen.  No idea why, I just walked myself on over and then stood there looking.  What the heck for, I have absolutely no idea.  While I was standing there dumbfounded at how I even got there, two friends immediately came to mind; Debbie and Bunny.  Reason being, these two long time friends (I no longer use the term "old friends"), recently expressed their inability to sleep at night.  Both admit they've been exposed to that dreadful, incurable plague "Midnight Munchie Syndrome".  While it's yet to be determined how one contacts such a plague, we do know that it attacks the body and mind around the same time as pre-menopausal symptoms hit.  As I stood there thinking I was suddenly hit with the image of those walking bodies in "Night of the Living Dead" except in our case, we're not looking to munch on bone....(oh, yuck!  I can't believe I said it) we're looking food, or whatever we can sink our chops into.

(I especially like the picture of the dead to the far right.  Is it a man, woman, he-she, what?  Looks like a skirt and breasts but it also looks like it has a moustache.  Of course hair does continue to grow after you die OR hit menopause!)

Normally a flour tortilla with butter or a piece of starchy white bread with peanut butter would do but this morning was different.  I craved something sinful.  Something my family would stop me from eating had they an inkling of my whereabouts.  And then as I opened the cupboard door I immediately realized what I'd come to do; down some Puffed Cheetos.

Five in total slipped down my throat all too quickly.  Before I could stop myself from sealing the bag back up, they were gone.  I turned and stalked out of the room angry at myself for not grabbing a handful, brushed my teeth and went to bed bearing the shame. 

I havent' been to the doctor yet but I'm beginning to wonder if I too am part of the pre-mem group.  I had a hystorectomy in 2000 but asked the doctor to leave my ovaries in if they looked ok.  Apparently they were quite a site to behold because they're still tucked away deep inside.  Last check-up I had the doctor burst my bubble when he told me they were "shrinking".  Of all the heartless things to say to a lady...some people just have no tact.

Like Debbie and Bunny I sleep much less than I used to and have been known to have hot flashes.  After my surgery I suffered one night of sweats but other than that, my mood only swings when I get a push.  And I'm perty even keel most of the time.  You might have to ask my husband and kids if it's proof you want, but I'm sure they'd tell you I'm the wicked witch reincarnate.  They lie.

I supppose I'll have to go to the doctor soon and find out if I can start blogging about living with menopause. Why should Debbie and Bunny have all the fun. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Times have changed..........

a statement we've all heard and said ourselves. Today as I sat at my desk answering phones I was reminded of just how much.

Back in 19cough, cough....I worked for a leasing company as an Accident Claims Processor.  Being the outgoing, ready and willing to learn person that I am, the office manager asked me to be one of many back up's for the receptionist.  Without hesitation I agreed, thinking it would be fun, exciting and a plus in furthering my career with the company or at least put me in good light with my direct supervisor. The more you know, the better asset you are to the company, right?

If you're too young to know, too old to remember or just unwilling to admit that you might be old enough to have been around at the time, this was when the switchboard looked like an octopus being pulled every which way; a la Lilly Tomlin snort, snort.

The hairdo isn't quite right, but the board, albeit small, is very familiar. 

My first training session was frightening, to put it lightly.Within just a matter of minutes I gained a new respect for my friend who had been on the job for a few years already.

I recall sitting there watching her in awe as she, with the biggest head set known to man, pulled the cord of an incoming call, answered "National Car Rental, how may I help you?", then stretch that puppy from the base of the board (incoming lines) to the wall board (in-house lines) while moving on to the next caller in lightening time.  And if  that weren't enough, while she was answering a new call, and without blinking an eye or hesitating for thought, she could spot an ended call and pull the plug without so much as a hiccup.  How she managed to spot that in the middle of this cord hell, I'd yet to figure out.

I began to wonder if I'd made a mistake by so readily accepting the challenge.  All those feelings of self doubt; "What was I thinking, I'll never be able to do this", followed by "I'm not capable of learning this", and "I just know they're gonna fire me".

After my watching for sometime she said, in a perky little voice, "Okay, ready to give it a try?"  WHAT! Ready? I'll never be ready....EVER!  Everything in me wanted to grab her by the collar, scream and run as quickly as I could for the rear door.

Instead, like a fool I responded "Sure, let me give it a try".  After the words left my mouth, I nearly grabbed my own collar and yelled.  Dumb, dumb, dumb... all I could think to myself was that I'd be the laughing stock of the company.  So much for being in good light in my Super's eyes.  I mean, what happens if I disconnect the President of the company?  How long does it take to get your first unemployment check anyway?!

As frightened as I was, and as much as my hands trembled, my dear friend simply moved to one side and threw me head first into the beast with a million tentacles, coming at me from all sides.  I could have sworn I was under attack.

First call, I forgot the company name.  I must have sat there frozen for all of 3 seconds but it felt like 20 minutes.  I had a blank look on my face as fear poured over my entire body.  My hands and feet began to sweat profusely when I suddenly detect a voice next to me say "answer....answer!  Come on....Nation....."  My voice finally came out but it was an out of body experience.  Thank God my friend failed to tell me not to touch the metal prong as I plugged it into the socket because I got a shock that ran all the way up my fingers through my arm and directly into my heart which is why I survived the whole ordeal.

After a days training my friend felt confident that I could survive it alone while she ran to the bathroom.  I admit the second she walked away I felt like a 3 year old being deserted by the only parent I'd ever known but I determined to do my job like the adult that I was. 

Just a few days later and a number of hostile callers asking why I'd disconnected them "again", I was finally able to grab the octopus by the tentacles in full, or at least partial control.

Today as I sat answering the phone with a smile in my voice and with mouse in hand I grabbed a call on the computer screen to drag in into the extension the caller requested.  I pushed a few buttons and napped in between calls.  The beauty of technology; something you learn to appreciate with time.