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.