Monday, December 19, 2011

It’s a Wonderful Life: Was Mary Bailey the Ultimate Supermom?

It just isn’t Christmas unless I watch the black-and-white classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Starting from the impressionable age of seven, this film has never lost its effect on me. With each passing year, this simple but compelling tale doesn’t fail to pull harder on my heartstrings, redefine my age, or my current post in life.

The plot may revolve around the plight of one man named, George Bailey that comes to terms with his existence and the lives that he’s touched, but for me, it’s his female partner in life that is the real hero.

Early on in the film, Mary (who is to become George’s wife and partner in life) witnesses George (then a twelve-year-old boy) getting the shit slapped out of him by his drunk boss who got the sad news that his own son had died. Not only does Mary confess her very true, and undying love to him in his “bad” ear, she takes this bittersweet scene to her grave.

I don’t know if I would have had it in me to toss away my entire nest egg and honeymoon loot on an inherited business that my husband hated, but Mary was the first one to offer in order to avoid a “run on the bank.” Once again, saving George’s hide.

Before George lassos that stork, Mary is at his side helping him build his business. In one heartwarming scene, Mary is wrangling the Martini family children, but still finds time to buy symbolic homecoming items and even deliver a speech to the delight of a small crowd. Way to go!

While George is battling the film’s villain, Henry F. Potter (played by Drew Barrymore’s great granddad), Mary is busting her ass restoring their house, volunteering for the USO, OH and popping out four kids. One of which is trying to spell Frankincense in one scene and the other one trying her hand at playing the piano. Although, I have to side with George on this line, “Janie, haven’t you learned that silly tune yet?”

In spite of George’s weaknesses which come into play thanks to his drunken Irish Uncle Billy, Mary sees something in George that is darker but very out of character for him. So, she essentially creates an impromptu prayer circle, which gets God on the case.

In the end, it was the strength of an amazing woman that helped a man find his way. But that's life I guess, and if you're lucky enough, a wonderful one.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rats! I Found a Weird Website

Every once in a blue moon, I stumble upon some of the weirdest f***king websites that I have ever encountered. And honestly, it happens most often when I am looking to diagnosis another strange skin affliction that is troubling me. But that is another topic for another time. I’m gonna call this new website discovery, “you dirty rat.”!

Somewhere out there in cyber space there is a Rat Fan Club. For starters, I am not sure why in the world a rat fan club even exists, but why anyone else outside of a vet office would want to take a gander at a scabby-skinned rodent with mites or lice.

I had a decision to make. Do I fall into the ahem...rat hole, or get the hell out of this site? They say that curiosity killed the cat, which would have pleased these poor rats, so I went for it.

One immediate observation is that there is a Rat Health Book out there as well, and this article is quite recent. The first few pictures at the top show a magnified shot of a rat with mites. Other gross-out photos include an albino rat with a scabbed-out tail. But if you those pictures weren’t enough to turn your large intestine inside out, the photos of a rat with bumblefoot will do the trick.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I have just spent the last week plus in a state of acceptance and unexplained anger over the death of my ninety-four-year-old grandmother. Sure, she had spent several years beyond life’s expectations on this earth, but in lieu of her not getting a proper “spoken’ eulogy, I wanted to share the one that I was never able to do so. So, here it goes.

Tonight we celebrate the life of Pauline Cavallari. During her ninety-four-years of life she would be called a devoted wife, sister, and friend but most of us have come to know her simply as, Grams or Grandma.


Grandma had a laugh that was so contagious, it could travel straight from your belly and into your soul. I like to think that this was a part of her inner child that never seemed to fade even until her final days on this earth. Grandma got so much enjoyment out of the little things in life: the turning color of leaves in the fall, the glow of Christmas lights during the holidays or studying birds outside of her window. Grandma was an animal lover. During her life, Grandma bred and showed fox terriers and later had a number of beloved pets that we all remember. Who could forget the gentle nature of her salt-and -pepper miniature schnauzer, Minnie and a black miniature schnauzer named, Chance.

When her Granddaughter Lisa was born, Lisa’s parents worked many hours, so Grandma took Lisa under her wing. As Lisa put it, Grandma always wanted her around. Grandma’s relationship and kindness to Lisa came full circle, and Lisa had the opportunity to be there for Grandma throughout her life until the very end.


Take for instance the day that she carted her three children, Susan, Philip and Tony over 11 miles from Lansing to Grandpa Cavallari’s parents house all to help her daughter earn a Girls’ Scout patch. Those of us that are moms, know that this was no easy feat. Several blisters later, they accomplished their mission.

Perhaps one of Grandma’s best talents was her gift for knitting, quilting and creating thoughtful and original works of art. If there was a tissue box, Grandma knew over a million ways to turn it into something unique or special be it a present, package or storage container. She loved knitting her famous booties that warmed the feet of generations of babies across the country.

One of my most cherished items was a box that Grandma made for me on my tenth birthday. On the cover, was a hand-stitched message that read: Angela’s Own Correspondence Box. Inside, it was filled with stationary items so that we could exchange letters, and we did.

As a young adult, Grandma once rode the famous Cyclone roller-coaster at Coney Island in New York. The experience stuck with her so much, that she decided to share her thrill for well....thrills with her children. So, one sunny morning, Grandma took her children to Chicago’s Riverview Park at Western and Belmont. The mission that day? To ride every roller-coaster in the amusement park. The first coaster that they rode was the The Green Streak, followed by other popular park staples including: the Comet, Greyhound and of course, The Bobs. What is commonly described as a, “scream fest” by her son, Philip, turned out to be one of his most cherished memories.
These are just a few of the many memories that Grandma left us with, and I know that we would do Grandma proud to share her stories and keep them in a special place in our hearts where we can call on her anytime.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to Tell the Difference Between an A’hole and a Jerk defines jerk as: a slang term for a foolish, rude or contemptible person. But what about a’hole? I got some needed clarification this past weekend and here is my takeaway. A jerk is best characterized by that annoying guy or gal that is behind you in the checkout line and when another register opens, swoops in front of you with a mound of groceries and whips out a WIC check. Which can take an additional twenty minutes of product research before they go their separate way. You can also run into a jerk while driving. This is the guy that will risk lives to keep you from merging onto the interstate all in the hopes of knocking an additional 2.8 seconds off his commute. It’s annoying, but most of us leave it at that and go on about our day. Now a’holes take jerk to a whole new level. For instance, it may not be enough that they refuse to let you merge or do the right thing and allow you take your rightful place in line. When cutting you off is not enough, they resort to giving you the finger or they go through the psychotic trouble of engaging you over something that should have been a minor annoyance and just shrugged off. I once had a gal write an unsigned note that was at least 12 paragraphs in length about how bad of a driver I was because I turned on my signal too late before my turn. Yes, she actually went to these great lengths. See? That is an a’hole. Sometimes its inconsiderate house guests that seem to think that crapping all over evening plans plays second fiddle to their moods and trouble within their own relationship. It’s the heightened level of mean and the more psychotic yet personal attack that separates the two. My wish for the week is that you are able to avoid both at all costs, but if you are's to jerks!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Salt and Pepper Shake Things Up

It’s a deep thoughts blog today on Motherhoodintheraw and particularly on race relations. Some of my closest friends are African American, and I sometimes struggle when things of this nature kind of bubble up. Here goes... I was at a neighborhood outdoor event where one vendor was promoting birthday parties. Cool, right? I’m always on the hunt for good ideas. However, this particular business model was for parties for black girls. The immediate message I got was: this is not for you or your little girl because you are white. Now, I will never know how much harder it is to be a black American. However, I truly want to further understand and break down racial road blocks that have plagued our nation for over a century. That being said, does having ANY party where only one race is the center of the concept sending a message of pride, or does this further bold the racial line that continues to cause our divide? I am not proposing any answer here, just sharing thoughts and inviting you to do the same.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

When Wine Doesn't Work Try Soothetube

One overcast afternoon, I fumbled with the remote to find some zone-out television programming. After ten frustrating minutes and fifty eight channels later, I stumbled upon a gem. There it was, the tail end of a Joy of Painting episode on PBS. I am a huge fan of the late Bob Ross, but not because I have any interest in becoming a budding artist, but because his voice that has always had a relaxing and almost bewitching effect on me. Yes....happy little clouds...zzzzzzzz. When the show ended, my journey began to seek out full JOP episodes. First stop, YouTube. Much to my chagrin, the Ross family is hellbent on protecting their empire and each video is restricted to just three minutes-hardly enough time to satiate my taste for tranquil speech. A few forgettable search words later, I stumbled upon the answer to my prayers, Soothetube. It seems that I am not the only one with a strange hang up. Soothetube touts itself as the most relaxing site on the net and for good reason. Take for instance the video of a guy demonstrating how to build a chuckbox. Now, I have no clue or care of how to build one, but its the rhythm of his voice and the monotony of such a mundane task that takes me to a place of sheer and utter relaxation. If male voices are not your cup of tea, then check out a gal named, YanHaiYing, pour one! This insightful Asian gal has some 6,000 videos with her doing nothing more than making pre-packaged, processed desserts or flipping through a magazine. However, if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the same holds true for relaxation. Some of Soothetube’s videos walk a fine line between creepy and customary. Blame it on M. Night Shyamalan, but I find the sound of someone whispering to be downright freaky. But don’t take my ears for it, check it out for yourself.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It Hurts When You Can’t “p”

It all started with a wet bathing suit. About a month ago, I had the bright and unrealistic idea to schlep my Mac down to the pool while my kids frolicked with friends in a water wonderland. Let's just say that I was drinking the supermom Kool-Aid that day.

Anywho, one of my adorable offspring thought that I would get a real kick out of being squirted with one of those soft foam water blasters. Kids love the shit of using these things. They’re kind of cross between a Nerf ball and a bazooka and the blast radius on these bad boys rivals that of a nuclear warhead.

I never cared for having water squirted in my face, and I have to say it wasn’t funny in it’s heyday in the 1920s and it’s not fucking funny today.

Long story short, the most miniscule amount of water that did land on my keyboard shorted out the “p” key and ever since then has caused me to have to copy and paste a “p” each and every time a word or phrase has called for the use of this letter.

I have never put a strong emphasis on this letter in particular. I guess if my name was peter, paul or.......perry, I might have noticed it before. And for pc users this may not seem like a huge pain in the asp, but for those with a Mac, the “p” in Apple falls very far away from tree.

This is issing me off!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Definition: Blog Tease (noun)

I searched the internet far and wide for a definition of what I was called this past weekend, a "blog tease." So I decided to write the definition myself. This blog is dedicated to Megan Hood. Here’s your definition.

Blog Tease: (noun)
One who provokes or disturbs their online audience through witty or sometimes crappy written content posted to their blog site on an infrequent basis; Unlike prick or cock (tease) most commonly associated with this term, this person frustrates its current and potential blog readers by posting infrequent short stories and further torments those readers through shameless self promotion on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ without returning for an undisclosed period of time. A blog tease can best be characterized through an uncanny ability to tell good stories both online and in person without notice of when they will return again.

See: Angela Cavallari Walker

Friday, June 10, 2011

This summer find out what's in store for your kids

It’s SUMMER!!! and I have had to drag my kids on my many missions and excursions including the supermarket, home improvement store but for today’s expedition it was the kinky and kitchy suburban shopping mall staple, Spencer’s.

Not only have I not set foot in this store since the late 1990s but I have not been there with kids under foot. In case you haven’t been there in quite some time, not much has changed in the variety of tacky and unique inventory. For instance, for a mere $29.95 you too can have a beer pong raft. I, ummm checked the price for a friend. And if you can recall, the inventory gets even “kinkier” as you venture farther into the bowels of this retail establishment.

However, what has changed is that I now have children AND ONE THAT CAN READ! Before I had the chance to come to this realization it was too late for us. My ears tune into my six-year-old son reading the following message slowly on a t-shirt. “ If you can read this, you are too..., his voice trails off and before I can distract him with the Angry Bird stuffed animals hanging from a makeshift zip line over our heads, he begins sounding out the first letter through his new adult chompers-too big to fit his mouth. The first letter “F” comes easy then “u” then the rest of the phrase...”fucking close.” I couldn’t have been prouder.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hats off to you

BAM! Traditionally, Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the summer season. This year, it’s so powerful that my teeth are dangling. Today is Tuesday, and one of my busiest for my clients. It’s also the end of the month, so because I am self-employed I wear many hats. Today, it’s my D.U.N.C.E hat.

Foolishly, I thought that my children could entertain themselves for just 90 minutes while I sent out invoices and tried forming a sentence. From the next room, I can hear my son calling my daughter a “poop.” Now, it’s time to wear my “mommy hat.” What I really just want to do is put on my “fucking bitch hat” and scream at them about how they should be able to refrain from talking about or calling each other a piece of shit for less than say....6 minutes. What can I say, fantasy is my coping mechanism.

While they are celebrating their freedom I am freaking out about how I will handle their sovereignty. It also has not dawned on them that they can sleep in past 6:30 a.m. It looks like it’s gonna be a bumpy start to a long summer. But hey, my loss is your gain. Think of all the crazy material I will have for the blog!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Motherhoodintheraw is back and mediocre as ever

Your Motherhoodintheraw blog is back and just like the "Rocky" movie series will hang around longer than it should but will bring you stories that you would rather forget. Either way, it's an escape. Which is why you are reading this or maybe you are really bored and your annoying facebook friend that is a new parent posts anything with the word "mom" on it. Hey, I'm not knocking. I love you gals!

Upstairs, I can hear the awful sound of a cavernous plastic bin mixed with mega-blocks, Legos and a bastard brand of Legos, spilling out on the floor. This sound is more unnerving to me than breaking glass. I am a self-confessed neat freak. However, I never know what's going to set me off. For instance, every morning a pack of determined spiders spins the most intricate webs on my kid's playset. To me it's beautiful and reminds me that I should never give up on my dreams no matter how many times my hours of work is destroyed the next morning.

Which brings me to the bin of blocks. I know that making my kids pick up every block is what I should do. And I do try. I even make idle threats about throwing away the scattered chaos on the floor. For effect, I grab a garbage bag and sway back and forth. What always stops me is the memory of buying this shit and that in a few weeks my almost four-year-old daughter will look for a small plastic princess comb from a fucking happy meal toy that she took from the lunch box of another preschool classmate. ~Breathing break~

But being a neat freak is not always a bad thing. For one, I recognize the origin of each item in my home. Mind you, I can't remember to buy coffee filters or peanut butter on a trip to the local Kroger. But I can recall that I bought that knock-off brand of sunblock (that was not the continuous spray kind) at the Walgreens around the corner from my parents house in Florida. I know when to pat down a child after a playdate or when to pat down mine.

And I remembered how much I missed writing this blog. Not because anyone asked me to start it again. But because I was watching Oprah's final episode air and I remembered that I was watching her show when I first started this blog four years ago. Which makes me feel freakin' neat to share my mundane thoughts with you. Thanks for coming back. Now move your finger off the trash button.