oxymoron67: (Default)
Which made me chuckle!

bigbird
oxymoron67: (Default)
I posted a family story about the Pulitzer, but I should tell you another story about this car, that explains just how "special" it was.
Click for a story of family love and togetherness. )
oxymoron67: (Default)
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I'm not sure, but DEFINITELY before third grade.

See, my mom, being a practical woman and living in a house with four children and precious little free space, would put our gifts in green garbage bags, staple them shut and, then, inform us that if we opened our bags (which were clearly labelled)m all the gifts would be returned.

Since mom never (ever) bluffed, we never tried to open them.
oxymoron67: (Default)
“SHE SAID WHAT?!?!" my mother exclaimed as my sisters were crying in the backseat of the car.

“Sister Mary Agnes said that we would have to take our pants off and sit in our underwear if we ever wore pants to CCD class again." One of my sisters replied.

“How dare she?" Mom said. "It’s winter and you have to walk from school to church for CCD." Then, her tone of voice changed to that scary, threatening tone she had when she was angry at us. "We’ll see about this."

Once we got home, mom called grandma to talk to her about it. Grandma suggested that mom make an appointment to see the parish priest. Unfortunately, nothing came from that meeting. Mom and grandma discussed it over dinner a few days later.

Mom: ...even though he agreed that Sister was out of line and had no right to threaten the girls like that, he said that CCD was Sister’s responsibility and he didn’t like to interfere. Then he told me to talk to her myself.

Grandma: He’s scared of her.

Mom: Probably.

Grandma: ...and it takes away from his drinking time. You know he’s a drunk.

Mom: MOTHER. That’s not a nice thing to say.

Grandma: Your Aunt Jane is his secretary. You’ve heard the stories.

Mom: I know... you’re right. Just not in front of the kids. We want them to respect him, even if he was no help. He’s our priest, after all.

Grandma: Don’t worry. He’s leaving: transferring to a different parish. Jane told me so. Maybe you could get Jane to talk to Sister.

Mom: No, that won’t work. She and Sister hate one another. They’ll just scream at one another. Again. Like they did over Confirmation. That won’t fix anything. I have to deal with Sister Mary Agnes myself.

Grandma: Then go kick her ass.

To this day, I don’t know what happened next. I have visions of my mom, in full righteous fury mode, attacking Sister and reducing her to tears. However, mom is decidely vague about what she said at that meeting. I DO remember walking with my pants-wearing sisters to CCD and hearing other kids say, "Those are the girls allowed to wear pants at church." So whatever mom did, it worked.
________________________________________________________________
A few notes: this actually happened. I don’t recall Sister’s name: I know it was something that begn with an "A", so I went with Sister Mary Agnes. Also, while mom and grandma had a conversation, I don’t recall the specifics.

CCD class is a weekly religious class for Catholic kids who go to public school.
oxymoron67: (Default)
And to celebrate: storytime!

Catholic kids who go to public school are required to attend CCD, Catholic religious classes. When I was a child, we had to attend these classes at Holy Cross (not our parish) one year. This was a Tuesday? Thursday? afternoon thing. We'd finish school, which was a few blocks away, and walk over to Hply Cross to be berated by taught by the nuns.

This particular year, because it was right after school, we got a little snack before class: milk and a cookie or milk and an apple, nothing big.

The head nun, Sister Mary Somethingorother, complained that we public school students were so much messier than her delightful Catholic school students. She did this in front of my mom. The following conversation happened.

Sister: Well, they are just so much messier than MY students.
Mom: How?
Sister: They leave crumbs all over my baseboards in the hallway. My students never do that.
Mom: Do you let your students* eat in the hallway?
Sister: No, of course not. That's what the cafeteria is for.
Mom: So why not let them have their snack their?
Sister Too much hassle to re-open the cafeteria. Besides, the children are noisy as well. I can't get any work done in my office.
Mom: So... all of this is happening while you sit in your office?
Sister: Yes.
Mom: And no one is out there supervising the kids?
Sister: No.
Mom: Well, shouldn't you get out of your office to watch the kids? Aren't they your responsibility?
Sister: Are you telling me how to do my job?
Mom: I'm asking where the supervision is.
Sister: Don't you dare tell me how to do my job!
Mom: Do it properly and I won't have to.

*Mom was also irritated at the whole "my students/not my students thing" -- we may not have had sister full time, but we were also her students, but waited until the parish priest was around to bring that up.
oxymoron67: (snoopy)
Mom and I talk every Sunday at 7 pm. This week we talked about all sorts of things, but here are two highlights.

I told mom about this exchange with a student on Weds night in my class.

(Handing back a homework assignment)
Me: The grades here were... a little disappointing.
Student (sarcastically): Does anyone ever get an A in your class?
Me: The students who earn them do.

My mom's reaction? "Good one!"

Mom then told me a story about her early days teaching. She was teaching the middle school science class, since she had the least seniority, she got the lowest level classes. One of her students would get sick every day mom had a quiz, and would have to see the school nurse.

Mom and the school nurse had lunch together a lot. See, the school nurse was my grandmother. They saw this pattern with this student, who would come into the nurse's office sick as a dog, but would miraculously recover forty minutes later, and decided to put an end to it.

The next week, mom was giving another quiz, and this student again was "ill." So, when he arrived at the my grandma's office, my grandma handed him the quiz, and said "Well, at least you won't waste your time while you're here."

This kid never pulled that trick again.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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My mom? A lioness. Intelligent, intimidating, fiercely protective of her own (although more than willing to swat one when they get out of line)... that's mom in a nutshell.

She never bluffs. When I was growing up and was tempted to do something that was out of bounds, I always had to weigh what I wanted to do versus what mom would do to me if I got caught. I learned a lot about cost/benefit analysis, let me tell you.

Mom also really didn't laugh much when we were teenagers. Of course, there were four of us... being teenagers... at once. And when my sister brought my nephew home, the household consisted of a 42 year old woman and her 21, 20, 19, and 16 year old children and her newborn grandson.

With only one bathroom. I still don't know how we all survived.

Anyway... lioness.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Scene: My mother's kitchen. Mom is making dinner as my sister Erin walks in. Erin has been called in to work at the hospital for an emergency and is visiting before heading to work.

Erin: I come bearing gifts!
Mom: Merry Christmas
(Hugs all around)
Erin: Here is something for our sister and a tin of coke.
Me: A TIN OF COKE?
Erin: Yes.
Me: Wow. The family sure has changed....
Erin: What?
Me: On the other hand, we really WILL have a White Christmas...
Mom: That's not what she...
Me: The family that snorts coke together... becomes cokewhores together... or something.
Mom: THAT'S NOT FUNNY! (while giggling) ... and it needs work.
Erin (giggling)
Me: I thought we were an old fashioned family. I figured we'd just get drunk. But this is a new twist on that.
Mom: It's a COOKIE TIN with the COCA-COLA insignia on it.
Me: Although if we really wanted to join the 21st century it would be a tin of crystal meth.
Mom: GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN

At this point, my mother chases her two laughing adult children out of the kitchen.
oxymoron67: (dino head)
The unemployed sister rocked her teaching interview, and filled out the paperwork for the background check, etc. So she should be teaching soon.

Because that's what my family does. We teach. It's our default setting.

_________

Mom attended the second day of training to be an annulment counselor for the Church.

I've found a few things out, the most interesting of which is that you can;t file any of the paperwork for an annulment until the divorce is final because otherwise the Church can be sued for alienation of affection.

Also, nowadays, annulment means that the marriage wasn't spiritually valid, but says nothing about legal validity. This dance is done to ensure that the children are considered legitimate.

Last week, mom substituted for the lady who normally teaches Bible study. They're doing Revelations right now, and that's... not Mom's (nor my) favorite book of the Bible. I said that she should open the class with questions like "So, what drugs do you think St. John was on when he wrote this?"

She chuckled, then ignored me. Class went well. No screaming, wailing or gnashing of teeth (like there was when mom told them that Adam and Eve was a metaphor and not a true story). I'm kind of upset. I expected mom to stir up SOME controversy. Maybe she was under the weather.
______________________

Meantime, the other is having relationship issues. Which will probably be its own separate post (as will the Georgian branch of the family). Suffice it to say that when one dates a 46 year old white trash man child with trust issues because his (now ex-)wife turned out to be lesbian, one shouldn't expect romance.

Television

Dec. 17th, 2009 11:01 am
oxymoron67: (Default)
I love Martha Stewart. I can't help it: she's so over the top... it's amazing to watch.

The Fine Living Network has been running lots of Martha Stewart holiday specials since early November (I've counted at least four separate specials). I've watched all of them, a few more than once. Here are some thoughts:

1. How many sweaters does Martha Stewart own? "It's a new segment! She must be in a new sweater! And that sweater must tastefully match the room she's in AND the outfits of all those in the room with her." Yes, I know all these segments are actually clips from other shows, but I'm still amazed by the dazzling array of sweaters.

2. She just doesn't know where to stop. Every time I think "Okay, it's not over the top, damned if she doesn't just raise that bar. "Every year, I pick a color theme for my Christmas Tree, this year it's red!" And that poor tree looked as evil and slutty as Scarlett O'Hara in that red dress at Melanie's party. Does anyone really want a slutty Xmas tree?

3. As it is Martha's show, I have no real problem with how she treats most of her guests. How she treats her mother? Not so much.

On her Xmas cookies show, Martha has her mom chopping walnuts and breaking eggs while the camera focuses on her.

If I were to ever have a cooking/lifestyle show and I would invite my mother...

Me: And here's my mom! We're going to make cookies together!
Mom: Hi everyone!
Me: Okay, mom, while I and the camera go over here to do fun stuff, you get to chop this cup of walnuts!
Mom: You brought me to this studio in New York to chop walnuts?
Me: And when you're done, you can pour molasses into a measuring cup!
Mom:...
Me: And then break some eggs!
Mom: Let me break those eggs now (Throws them at me)
Me: Mom...
Mom: You dragged me here TO CHOP NUTS!?!?!
Me: That and for that special joy family adds to the holidays.
Mom: I can spend my time in much better ways than chopping nuts.
Me: Fine. I let you toast them in the oven.
Mom: (sarcastically) Yes, that makes it so much better.
Me; You have that "You're not a child anymore so it's no longer abuse" look in your eyes.
Mom: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Me: I think I'll just turn the entire segment over to you, and sit here quietly.
Mom: That *IS* the responsible choice.
oxymoron67: (Default)
(Background information: mom recently bought an SUV and she's not much for camping. Her idea of roughing it is an extension cord.)

Me: So how do you like your new Outdoor Adventure Vehicle?
Mom: It's nice. I thought it would be harder on my knees, but it isn't.
Me: That's great! Plus, now, you can do things you've always wanted to do but never could...
Mom: (suspiciously) Like...
Me: Why you and your sister could go camping together!
Mom: Now you know...
Me: Think about it: just the two of you sitting by a campfire...
Mom: Getting eaten alive by mosquitos...
Me: looking at the stars...
Mom: wrestling with the tents...
Me: You'd get to a good spot, but before you could pitch the tent, your sister would pull out her outdoor vacuum cleaner* and start cleaning... she;d say "it'll only take a minute..."
Mom: But she wouldn't be happy until she vacuumed down to the earth;s crust...
Me: Ha! If then... about 30 minutes in, you'd look at her and say "We passed a hotel a ways back... let's just stay there." and you'd have room service.
Mom: Ha! Yes, that part sounds about right.

*Yes, my aunt actually has an outdoor vacuum cleaner.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Me: So Dawn and I were talking about retirement.
Mom: Oh?
Me: Hopefully we'll live on the same block. She'll be the crazy cat lady
Mom: Hee.
Me: I'll wander around my front yard yelling at those damn kids while wearing my snuggie.
Mom: YOU MOST CERTAINLY WILL NOT!
Me: I... what?
Mom: No child of mine will appear in public in one of those... things.
Me: Well, it's not like it'll be the only thing I'll be wearing.
Mom: Doesn't matter.
Me: I'll have a bathrobe on...
Mom: A snuggie! No way. I will not have it.
Me: Although, I figure that, at age 70, underwear becomes optional.
Mom: WHAT? Who do you think you are? Lindsay Lohan?
Me: No, I'm aging better than she is.
Mom: I raised you better than this.
Me: It's not like you can stop me.
Mom: What do you mean?
Me: When I turn 70, you'll be 97...
Mom: No, I'll still be 29.
Me: Okay... when I'm 70, we'll be closing in on the Diamond Jubilee of your 29th birthday.
Mom: hahahah.
Me: You won't know that I'm doing.
Mom: You're saying this just to upset me.
Me: I think of it as my version of extreme sports.
Mom: What?
Me: Some people snowboard down glaciers, I tease you.

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