Saturday, December 27, 2008

What I'm Reading

I vowed not to post until after the new year and I'm generally sticking to that commitment. Still, I just couldn't avoid sharing what's on my nightstand.

I'm riveted. After her father's death, Bliss Broyard discovers he hid his black heritage and chose to "pass" as white for most of his life. "One Drop" is part biography, part memoir--and a MUST READ for anyone who has questioned his or her own racial background. Broyard's careful, sometimes tedious genealogical analysis is tempered by a powerful depiction of her father's life and the motivations that shaped his decision to disavow his black heritage. Equally compelling is Broyard's struggle to determine what her newly discovered racial identity means for her personally.

I haven't been able to put it down.

More on this later, no doubt.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to All Five of You!

My baby sister Meghan is the 30 today! I still remember seeing her for the first time through the viewing glass at O'Connor Hospital in 1978. Can that really be 30 years ago??

And to those no-longer-little-siblings who all just happened to be born on the same day...Happy 16th birthday Matt, Tim, Sarah, and Ryan. You're goin' mobile kiddos!

Christmas is calling ...See You in '09

My Christmas preparedness level is less than what it should be. So, I have to lay off the blog and just get it all done. I'll be back shortly after the new year.

As a parting gesture, I leave you with a few memorable Tacky Christmas Yard photos...

Merry Christmas everyone!

Violations: W.T.H.?!?!, Unharmonious Arrangement, Griswold Family, King Kong Complex, Frequent Lighter, More is NOT Less, Multiple Clauses, Intermingling, Snowman Inlaws

Have a Merry Christmas and a Goodyear.
Violation: Less is not more.

The birth of Christ is like a carnival...Violations: Unharmonious Arrangement

Violations: Frequent Lighter Card, More Is NOT Less, Multiple Clauses, Snowman In-Laws, Intermingling

Friday, December 12, 2008

How Do You Rank?

Sister Mary Martha just posted this and I LOVE IT. Some of you know I have been complaining for years about the way some women CHOOSE to dress, especially at Mass. The ones who sashay up to Communion in attire that is fitting for a night club in Las Vegas. Or dare I say...the street corner. (Yes, I said it.) Anyway, I'm glad Sister decided to weigh in.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for stylish, attractive, etc. We don't have to run around in prairie dresses like we're fresh from the compound. I'm not suggesting that bathing suits extend past the knees. I'm just talking about clothes that flatter but don't display everything you have to offer. Or don' the case may be. I think of women like Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Their style epitomized femininity but was never about vulgarity. On the flip side, Pamela Anderson stands out. Sometimes I just shake my head and wonder what she could possibly be thinking?? (As a side note, she really is a beautiful woman who actually looks her best when she's not all tramped up ((Oracle calls it tarted out)). I once saw a photo of Ms. Anderson with very little make-up and wearing casual jeans with a modest t-shirt. She was far prettier that way. Oh well.)

Anyway, I'd like to see the concept of modesty addressed with our Church-at-large. John Paul II alluded to this concept in his Theology of the Body. Check it out sometime.

Bottom line, it's all about respecting our one and only Holy-Spirit-filled-temple.

Just my two cents (and a few from Sister).

Pardon My Appearance

Blog under holiday construction...Working out the template kinks while trying to do ten other things!

Update: Construction complete. Christmas season is in full swing!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Gangsta Lean

Is it just me or has anyone else happened to notice that the gangsta lifestyle has completely arrived in middle, suburban America?

Just today, right here in Leave-It-To Beaver-ville, a mom in a mini-van was rollin' down the road with her right hand on the wheel and her seat back waaaaay reclined. Mom's blond head bobbed to a beat that vibrated my dental work. And get this...the kid in the car seat sported sunglasses and mean mugged anyone who happened to look his way. I almost expected him to roll down the window and tell me to "peak this" with his hand held in the gat (gun) pose. 'Sup beeeaaach".

OK, maybe I'm exaggerating. But just a little bit.

It's hardly coincidental that also today, my most mainstream, suburban friend sent me an e-mail which included instructions on how to make your name more gangsta. From here on out, let it be known that I am the Momizzle.

Even my kids, whom I pride for their edited exposure to pop culture hype, are not immune.

You gonna step-to E-Dawg?!!!

I told him to turn his hat around and take a picture like the nice little boy I raised. His reply?

But mom, I'm cool. Ya feel me?

No, I'm not feelin' ya. Cut it out...NOW.

It's fair to say he was feelin' me right about then.

I know he's just thinking he was cool, like many kids try to be at one point or another. Here's my problem: The gangstas of my day were all about fighting, killing, selling drugs, and getting high.

Rollin down the street, smokin indo, sippin on gin and juice
Laid back [with my mind on my money and my money on my mind]

Snoop Dog's words-to-live-by back in the 90's. Not exactly the inspiration most parents desire for their children. Oddly, however, the young ones don't even know about the old-school persona. They just think Snoop's a funny guy with a reality show that they're not allowed to watch. And what about Ice Cube? Isn't he the same hood rat made famous by Death Row Records, who openly bellowed F*** the police? Now he's a family entertainment star, making mad cap, Disney-esque movies with broad based appeal.

Sometimes, it really is a nutty world.

Oh well. I guess it's not unusual for the underground to seep its way above grade. I just hope that anyone of any ethnic background, realizes that some behavior is just not cool, no matter how much pop culture has sanitized or reinvented it. Admittedly, the occasional reference to all things gangsta is nearly impossible to avoid. At this point, I think even I say "It's time to bounce" when we need to leave. Just a few days ago, my mortgage broker was talking about someone having street cred. I'm thinking this guy knows as much about street cred as I know of quantum physics.

I know. I know. The Momizzle can't shield my peeps from everything. But I'll keep watching out for them wherever I can. Yes, I submit to the ranks of the decidedly uncool. I used to think that doing so was a costly premium exacted from once-blissful-hipsters-turned-parents. Now, it's kind of a relief to have the license to just avoid what's in or what's out. You have a lot more time to focus on the stuff that really matters.

Fo' shizzle.

Monday, December 01, 2008

E's Financial Advice

E approached me today with a look of worry written all over his little six-year old face.

E: "Mom, do we have Nationwide Insurance?"

Mommy: " We don't. We use another company. Why are YOU asking me about INSURANCE anyway? Do you even know what insurance IS?

E: "I just know that you have to have it or you won't have anyone to count on when the going gets tough."

Mommy: "That sounds like something you heard on a commercial, E. Don't worry, honey. Your Daddy and I have got this one covered."

E: "So you mean, if our house burns down, the insurance company that you guys picked will pay for stuff and help us get a new one?"

Mommy: "Right. You've got the idea".

E: "So, which company is it mom?"

Mommy: "Oh for crying out loud E, it's State Farm. Stop worrying about it. We've had them for years. This is nothing you have to worry about!"

E: "OK, OK! But I'm telling you right now, Nationwide is better.

Mommy: "Why do you say that?"

E: "Because if the house burns down, we're not going to need a good neighbor. We're gonna need a lot of cash".

E: "Mom, why are you laughing?"