Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Body Movin'

Hey, Joe White, it was nice to see you at the White's Building today! It made me happy, and I'm sorry for the Kid n' Play reference. But, really, the flat top... I'll admit it was poor planning for to have worn a sweater in the middle of an Augusta summer day, but at least I wore a sweater from the 00's, and not hair from the Cosby show. It makes me think you inspired this scene with Jean Claude van Damme. Happy viewing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Rumble (I Feel Pretty)

S.S.: "Did my phone ring while I was gone?"
Me: "Yes. It played Ozzy Ozborne very loud and scared me out of my chair. I was like this..."
[jumping down and taking what I intend to be a kung fu stance]
SS: [laughs]
Me: "I was looking for ninjas to take on in battle."
SS: "Oh, in battle - not in a dance?"
Me: "Well, it would be a dance-fight. Lots of high-kicking."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stupid Headline of the Day

"Toilet has to have proper suction to work correctly"
Augusta Chronicle, Sunday, July 20, Page 5E

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend Mania: Lake Oconee

Scott and Emmie on the swings at the day-use park at Lake Oconee.

Emmie is not a punk rocker. She is a blazing ray of sunshine and happiness, rainbows and unicorns - so long as she gets her way.

The preschoolers dove into the remaining cake together. It was serious business.

We passed a goat munching grass on the side of the road.

My nephew, Jacob, actin' classy.

Granddad applies sunscreen to the weirdly patient and obedient preschoolers.

This child never met a camera she didn't like.
We're going to rename her "Ham"-erson Renee McGowen Hudson.

Mom sleeps through the festivities in her honor. She turned 29 - again - on July 24.

Emmie with a purple tongue after scarfing down a grape-flavored Now-n-Later.

A cherub's bare (red) ass in a garden in Summerville.

First, yes she did dress herself. And I was just tired enough to appreciate her complete lack of color coordination. Emmie doesn't even know who this is, but she wanted me to take her picture with this stupid Ronald McDonald statue in the Wal-Mart in North Augusta, SC. I don't want to be cliche, but does this thing freak out anyone else? I kind of wanted to snatch her away and hiss, "No! We don't like clowns!" But I held my tongue as best I could - while still hurrying her along.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Doesn't Rhyme With Orange

I traded some computer tinkerage for some fresh squash and zucchini. I haven't had fresh zucchini in forever, and it's so good just raw that I want to write an ode to it.

Things that rhyme with zucchini:
  • genie
  • meanie
  • weenie
  • teenie
  • bellini
  • bikini
  • fellini
  • houdini
  • linguine
  • mancini
  • martini
  • mcsweeney
  • puccini
  • rossini
  • rotini
  • Yemeni
  • Benito Mussolini
  • lamborghini

Putting the "Ass" in Passat

This person was just so much fun to be stuck behind all through downtown Augusta. So I put the "Pass" in Passat. Or... the dodge in Dodge... or... The "sphere" in stratus? Mmm.... maybe not.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Maybe the Third Time Will Be The Charm...

AUGUSTA, GA. - Morris Communications employees load up the street boxes that held their latest failure: the second coming of the former-glossy-turned-"mostly-online" pub Lounge. With millions of debt to pay in a mere few months, it looks like they're cutting corners wherever they can.

Not-So-Hidden Message

Is the New York Times trying to tell us something?

Well, That's Not Very Nice

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses. This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

: does not like recipient.

Well, I'm sure that recipient doesn't like you either,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stupid Headlines of the Day

Looks like the Chronicle has come down with a serious case of Obfuscationitis.

"Proposed tax increase questioned"
Has anyone ever said, "Those politicians know exactly what to do with our tax money. Let 'er ride!"

"Sport bike riders often go too fast"
Kind of like saying, "Birds often fly."

"I'm Coming to Kick Your Ass, Batman! Okay, thanks, bye!"

S.S.: (looking at telephone handset in irritation) "I hate it when people don't say 'Bye.'"
Me: (articulate as ever) "What?"
S.S.: "You know. When you finish your conversation on the phone and you say, 'Okay, thanks, bye,' and they just hang up. They do that a lot in movies and it drives me crazy. They'll be on the phones like, 'I'll meet you there at 7. See you then.' And then..." [click] "I mean, even if I was a bad-guy, I'd still say 'bye.'"
Me: "It's the little niceties that get us through life."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Livin' the Stereotype

AUGUSTA, GA. - J.C.: "So, are you gonna buy, like, a boat and gold dubloons and stuff with all your mad sales money?"
Me: "No. I don't want a boat."
J.C.: "Salespeople always end up with stuff like that."
Me: "We should probably buy a house before we buy a boat."
J.C.: "You could buy a houseboat."
Me: "Could. But we're not gonna."

Today I'm driving down Riverwatch to pick up Emmie and my husband calls on my only extravagance, a new cell phone. It was free, and the plan is actually cheaper than my old one, but I felt all reckless, splashing out $16 for a memory card upgrade so I can add more songs to it... if I ever figure out how to add songs to it at all, that is. Anyway, so I answer the phone.

Scott: "Guess what I'm going to get right now?"
Me: "I dunno. Crunk?"
Scott: "What?"
Me: "Nothing. What are you going to get?"
Scott: "A boat."

Aw, man...!

As it turns out, some dude was giving away a 44-year-old boat on craigslist, and my husband is just the kind of guy to see that and think: "How practical! A half-century-old broken-down boat!" To which I reply: "For me to poop on." I mean, he got irritated that I bought a fireplace screen for $5 at a yard sale because we might one day have a fireplace... and it was pretty. And he goes and buys a broken boat in anticipation that we might one day fix it.

Yet here it is, in our backyard - the backyard that we only rent - sitting on a trailer that my car might be able to haul if it's in a good mood that day. It has no lights, no seats and a hole in the windshield. The throttle hangs from a wire on the side of the boat, and the trailer is coated with rust. The motor works, though, and the fiberglass is in good shape - but I'm pretty certain that the yard sale we had on Saturday was for the explicit purpose of ridding ourselves on junk... not making room for bigger and badder pieces of junk.

I'm sure this will be a 2-year odyssey of biblical proportions. But I'll be honest: no matter how hard my husband works on it, I'm not getting into it until I see with my own eyes Moses part the Red Sea... or, in our case, Clarks Hill Lake.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Embarrasment. I has it.

Due to scheduling difficulties, I had to pick Emmie up from school and take her with me to the Augusta Harley Davidson dealership for a little photo session. We're waiting at the front desk with the lovely Miss Bebe, who looks and acts like a sweet woman in her mid-60s, but whom I've dubbed The Velvet Hammer. There is no screwing with Miss Bebe. She controls all situations and no one questions it.

Miss Bebe has plied Emmie with fresh popcorn and questions, given her a (highly age-inappropriate) Harley Davidson calendar, and chatted comfortably with me. Just then, the side of Miss Bebe that I secretly covet for myself peeks out.

"A man with no shirt on just rode past the doors," she said. "Go take a picture of that!"
"Take da picher, mama!" Emmie orders me, picking up immediately on Miss Bebe's tone and mannerisms.

And I do. I peer through the glass and get a shot of an older man with no shirt and a pot belly dismounting his bike. Seconds later, he walks in the door, fully clothed. I say nothing. Miss Bebe is unconcerned.

"Did you just ride by here without a shirt on?" she asks him.
"No," he says, in a way that lets us know that he totally did. But now he is wearing a grey T-shirt and a bandana over is silver hair. I hear Emmie gasp, and turn, seeing her grinning a huge, popcorn-revealing open-mouth smile, eyes wide and pudgy little hand to her cheek in a cartoonish version of delight.

"Are you a pirate?!" she asks.

Oh. My. God. I consider laying down to die right there on the concrete floor of the dealership, but at the last millisecond it occurs to me that I would then miss the joy of giving her a time-out for hurting someone's feelings.

But the guy just laughs: "No, but I am an 81," he says. I have no idea what that means. But at least he didn't get mad.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Graph Jam Used My Favorite Song!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lesson Learned: Never Turn Your Back

Emmie: Mama, can I hab sum i-cream?
Me (distracted): I don't think we have any, sweetie.
Emmie: Oh. Okay. (toddles off to play)

Minutes later, she sprints by me, grabs her chair and drags it from the room.

Me: Whatcha doing, Doodle?
Emmie: I go to da kichen and (devolves into mumbling as she turns the corner)...
Me (still distracted): Mmkay...

(clunk clunk clatter registers somewhere in my consciousness, but I'm so tired and stressed that it does little to jar me out of my marketing campaign planning)

Emmie (shrieking): MAMAAAA!
Me (fully jolted): What?! What is it?

I tear into the kitchen at a dead run and stop. She stands on her red wooden chair and points, having managed to pull open the freezer door.

Emmie: See? We HAB i-cream! I foun'it!

I bend over, laughing into my knees. It doesn't matter what you tell her. I should remember that she was born with a healthy sense of "I'll believe it when I see it," a skepticism that permeates everything around her. It makes her watchful, but unafraid; cautious, but still headstrong. Although some parents would firmly remove her from her perch, scold her for dragging furniture through the house, and feel some sense of power-struggle pending upon her questioning of my statement that, as I believed, there was no ice cream in the house...

I like it. I want to encourage her to think independently; to not accept things at face value. She wasn't mean-spirited about it. She's just learned early on that Mommies make mistakes, too, and I make sure to own up to them and to apologize when I possibly can. If I expect her to do it, I have to hold myself to it. So she reacted with her characteristic enthusiasm when, this time, the mistake went her way.

So ice cream it is - low fat peach ice cream that tastes like something akin to old feet, if you ask me. Emmie isn't asking. She knows it's cold and fruity and full of the carefully regulated substance that she craves: sugar.

Me: Emster, how was your ice cream?
Emmie: Good. I got a poo-poo.

You're welcome.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Here's Your Sign

AUGUSTA, GA. - We went down to Aquaduct Park this weekend - both days - to swim and picnic. It's free and it's fun, so there's no reason not to use it. Jumping off rocks into the water, climbing the waterfalls, diving down to look at the fish, rooting on the bottom to find shards of old pottery or spare change that fell out of someone's pocket in 1976... it's nice.

One guy, though, kept climbing around and grunting while shoving things into a plastic bag. I didn't understand what his problem was until I pulled Emmie out in the water on a bright orange inflatable mattress. "Ayyyy," he said to her, eyes wide and mouth grinning. "Oo flow!" She smiled up at him and nodded.

Hey. You float.

He had no problem. He was deaf. He didn't know he was making noises usually reserved for porny 70s "art house" films. He was just enjoying the water and picking up trash along the way.

My husband looked like a chicken dancer at a hockey game trying to communicate with him.
"Hey, the trash?" Scott showed him our own plastic "picnic basket." He gave him a thumbs-up. "Good job, man. Thanks."

"Eyh," the guy said. And made a gesture like he was drinking from a bottle or can. "Dose pepoh!" He chopped down and out with both hands, indicating no tolerance, and pointed up at the rocks surrounding us. "Ow!" He would kick those people out. Heck, yeah.

"My nay iz ess ee ah nn," he said, closed his eyes and concentrated. "Shhan. Shhahn. No. Sean," he said. "Was your nay?" He indicated that Scott should write the letters in the air, which he did, sloppily, while yelling them at Sean. "S! C! O! T! T!" he shouted, and Sean still couldn't hear him. But he understood. "Sot. No. Way." he closed his eyes and concentrated again. "Suh-cott. No." He shook his head in frustration. "De see an kay aw hahd," he said, indicating that those letters are all throat work. C's and K's are hard, buddy. Half the time they make the same sound. After a couple more tries, he got it. Scott spell-shouted my name for him.

"Was heh nay?" Sean asked, pointing at Emerson. Scott started to spell it out in the air again. Screw that. This will take all day. I stopped him and finger-spelled her name in sign. "Gah! No! Wait!" I used the sign for s instead of e. "E-M-M-I-E!"

"Haaaah!" Sean pointed at me, made a gesture for finger spelling, and then blew a raspberry at Scott. We laughed. It's a gesture I make at Scott quite frequently. "Emmie," Sean said, perfectly. "See byooful." Yes, she is, thank you.

"Scott, can't you finger spell?" I asked. Didn't everyone learn that in elementary school?

Apparently not, even though his Aunt Diane is 100% deaf. It's a simple thing. In no way could I expect to have a real conversation with Sean that way (think of conversations where you have to spell things in front of your children. I always get lost mid-word) and yet it made Sean's life that much easier for a few minutes. It wasn't necessary for him to gesticulate comically or try to make himself understood with guttural speech.

So, please, take the time to browse the chart below. It's actually an easier thing to learn than you might think if you say it out loud as you try. That combines both aural and kinesthetic learning. You'll be surprised how long you retain something like this. I mean, even if you only took high school Spanish 15 years ago, don't you at least remember the alphabet? Of course you do. Sign language is no different in learning and retention - but there aren't any online translators to help these folks write their papers. It's a daily struggle in a hearing world, and no matter how hard they try, they're still not going to make it without a little effort on our part.

Speaking of high school Spanish, I had a similar experience later at Teresa's on Walton Way. "Hi!" I said, when I went in to pick up dinner. "Ooh, what's the specials?" The host stepped aside so I could view the board. "Pollo fajita," it read. "Camarones racheros." Chicken fajita. Shrimp rancheros. And something I didn't recognize. "Mojarra frita."

"Excuse me; what is mojarra frita," I asked the host.

He looked at me cautiously: "Eh.. ees feesh, eh, dorado... I sorry. I no speak Eengleesh very well."

"That's okay. So, it's fish fried golden brown?" I asked. He brightened and nodded. Frito means fried, and it was on the menu board. He said fish - that much was useful - and dorado, which mean gold. That was my clue. As it turns out: Mojarra is also known as Pacific Flagfin, a fish I've never heard of. It's defined as any of several species of small, silvery, mainly tropical American marine fishes of the family Gerridae.

This guy was probably fresh out of the cargo hold of some awful coyote, or else he is the green-card-holding distant relative of one of the owners or managers. He was working a crappy job that an American college student would consider beneath them, trying to accomplish what was expected of him with a language barrier taller than any Mexican border fence. As with Sean, my slight ability to interpret what he was trying to say made his life easier for a couple of minutes. He tried hard to hold a conversation in English with me while I was waiting, and I tried to understand the Spanish words he had to rely on. We laughed at each others' mistranslations and at ourselves.

I'm not saying that anyone has to go out and learn Spanish, or vote against a giant wall along the Rio Grande, or relax immigration laws. I'm just saying that a little effort on your part - on my part - makes life easier for others. I've been reminded of that during just one day where I coincidentally encountered two people who communicate in ways that are vastly different both from each other and from the mainstream. I think I should have put a comma somewhere in that last sentence but I can't slow my roll to go back and edit.

I'm going to try my best to remember this when I go into an Asian restaurant and try to ask a question about the menu. Instead of getting irritated, I'm going to smile and try to make the waitress feel more at ease. Maybe her poor English will be improved by one word by they time I leave, and I'll know a little more - say, Chinese - than just "hello, how are you" and "thank you."

Anyway. Thanks for listening to me. I'm just struck by how easy it is to dismiss other people when communication becomes a barrier. I find those situations as exciting as uncharted ocean territory, and I like to explore them.

Here's Your Sign (Language)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Like Shiny Things

AUGUSTA, GA. - Hey, y'all. Wouldn't mind being nominated for Metro's Best Personal Web Page or Blog... just thought you might like to know... you can nominate me here, if you want.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What Time is it? I - I've Been Watching You...

So another epic battle of wills between me and Emmie tonight about bedtime. We have the same routine every night:
  1. jammies
  2. brush teeth
  3. responsibility chart
  4. read 2 stories
  5. turn on soothing music
  6. smooch and hug daddy
  7. get tucked in my mama, with smooches and hugs
  8. lights out, night light on
  9. door closed, goodnight.
And yet, many nights, you chuck several hundred pairs of wooden shoes into my finely calibrated machinery. Tonight was no exception. About 20 minutes after we'd parted ways, I went to check on you. I opened the door and you froze in place - but I didn't see you at first. That's because my eyes were watering from the smell.

But when they cleared, there you were, perched on your bed with two books, with a pull-up on each leg, each arm, and your head. I put on what I hoped was a stern face, took a step back, gently pulled the door closed, and heaved silent laughter until I thought my lungs would burst. Then I put my stern face back on and opened the door.

"Mama?" you said with concern - you knew you weren't supposed to be awake right then. "I change my pull-up."

And you had. You had made a giant reeking poopie and very diligently cleaned yourself, changed your pull-up and even tossed the old pull-up and wipes in the trash can... and then decorated yourself in other pull-ups. The cone of diaper atop your head was particularly fetching. I was proud of you, and told you so, while gently removing the unused pull-ups from your appendages. You beamed: "I do it myself!"

Yes, you did. And I thank you for it.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Sanitary Butt Shave

Scott: "Where's my shaver?"
Me (killing zombies on the computer): "Idunno. GAH! Stupid stupid stupid!"

Scott: "Seriously. Where'd you put it?"
Me: "I didn't put it anywhere."
Scott: "So where is it?"

"In the bathroom."
Scott: "I looked there."

"In the medicine cabinet."
Scott: "I looked there."

"In the bathroom closet."
Scott: "I looked there."
Me: "Obviously not well enough."

I go to check it out myself. Nothing. We stop and think.

"My shaver."
Me: "Yeah, I know."

Scott: "My silver-colored electric shaver."
Me: "Yeah, I got it, honey!"

I fight the urge to kick him and go back to my zombie game, but instead I close my eyes and try to picture the last time I saw it. Eureka!

Me: "Oh! In the console of my car."
Scott: "No it's not."

Me: "I'm pretty sure it is."
Scott: "No. I just used it."

He stands before me, an inch of stubble on his face, completely serious.

Me: "I'm almost positive."
Scott:"Fine! I'll go check again!"

He harrumphs out of the house like a teenage emo fan. I go back to killing zombies. He comes back in, running his shaver over his chin.

Scott: "Why you gotta hide my stuff all the time?"
Me: "Told you. Hey, do that over the sink!"

Scott: "Because you put it there."
Me: "Whatever."

Scott: "Stop taking my stuff."
Me: "Excuse me. I have a world to save from the walking dead. This is way more important than your shaver."

Icky Poo Poo

Scott's cleaning out his car. It smelled so bad on Friday that I refused to ride in it. So he's emptying his trunk, the apparent source of the bunch o' funk. Thirty minutes later, he still hasn't identified it.

"I don't know what it is!" he exclaims, as he wanders back in the living room, arms stuffed with clothing, books, fast-food bags and other assorted items previously located in the car.

"Keep searching," I advise strongly. "Whatever it is... it's leeching life out of my body just from the memory of the stink."

He goes back for more and returns with a grin and a pair of dirty socks. "I don't know what it was, but the smell seems to have gone away some," he says, oblivious to the stink bombs in his hands.

I decide not to press the issue: "Toss those in the laundry basket and I'll get a load started in a few," I say. "And why don't you grab the Oust out of the bathroom cabinet and hose down the car?"

"Why don't YOU..." he sticks his head back in the room with a thoughtful pause. "Just have a great idea?"

He wanders off to clear the air. Thank god. And while he's outside hosing, I put the socks in a plastic bag and dump them in the garbage can outside. It's the next best thing to setting them on fire.

Starting Kindergarten Soon

Monday, July 07, 2008 By

It's my blogoversary! Momnesia has now been annoying the crap out of random viewers sent by the almighty Internets for... [counting on fingers] THIS MANY. Dear God, FIVE years! That's almost as long as I went to Augusta State University. (Go Jags! Go... away... no, I'm kidding!)

I don't have a blogoversary post, or anything. But it's odd how this blog began. Long before the success of Waiter Rant, I was blogging about serving and bartending to get the stench of stupidity off at the end of a long, hard day. I had a number of posts on an old site (that I hate very much) that ate a year of my recorded life. So, really, I've been blogging for six years. Wow. That's incredibly lame. Meh. What's new?

Hey, I think I do have a blogoversary post, after all. Five/six years, Internets! Suck on that!

So here are some posts I've enjoyed re-reading. Hope they make you laugh.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

SO Amusing...

Michael Moore used to have a TV show called "TV Nation." Anyone remember when it was on for 10 minutes of history? Janeane Garofalo was on it, too. Anyhoodle... didn't last long. But this is one of the gems it produced.

Older, but Wiser? I dunno...

Saturday, July 05, 2008 By

You know life is different when you leave the bars with your husband to go home together (ahem...) and then you think, "Hmm. At this hour, I bet there's no one in the grocery store. I can get the shopping done in minutes!" Oh, what, huh? Oh, hi honey! You're still here. Do you think they have toilet paper on sale? Where are you going? Was it the toilet reference? Hello?! I'm still naked! Hello? What?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Do the Munster Mash

S.S. (pointing out a photo of a local real estate agent online): Would you buy a car from a guy who looks like Eddie Munster?
Me: No way. Let's prank call him.
S.S. (chuckling): We should find out the address of the Munster Mansion and tell him we're interested in viewing that property.

That's the kind of thinking we need around here. Incidentally, the address of "Munster Mansion" is 1313 Mockingbird Lane in the fictional Mockingbird Heights - that is, according to Wikipedia and the Internets folks who have too much freaking time on their hands (like, you know, bloggers).


Emmie's grandparents are taking her to Alabama over the weekend. She'll be gone for FOUR DAYS...

What am I going to do?

Part of me says: "What are you going to do?! Fool! You're going to sleep, clean, sleep some more, watch zombie movies that start before 9 p.m., possibly go see a movie IN AN ACTUAL THEATRE... or see a band... or GET SOME!"

But that part is small and quiet and has long been subdued by this new part of me that guards my toddler like a rabid lioness. Instead of the voice of my 25-year-old self - free of responsibility and full of the joy of living - I hear the high-pitched hoodle of my mother. The hoodle. Oh, how for years I tried to avoid it. But the downward slope has begun. Now I worry aloud, my voice spiraling up into octaves only dogs can hear. Blurgh. Someone shut me up so I can have a little fun.

I'm already all teary-eyed thinking about being away from her for four days. FOUR DAYS! God! It's been 3 years and 9 months since I've been away from her for that long.

Someone help me.