Wednesday, December 17, 2008

your moment(s) of zen.

i know this person.

okay, i can't say any more than "i know this person" because then it would violate their privacy and possibly embarrass them (although i think it's an awesome story) and i only do that to my children here at sillymortalmama. not actual live people who could kick my ass or just call me up, and you know, be really really mad at me.

so, i know this person. and one day we were talking and this person told me how much they wished they had their own custom choreographed dance to michael jackson's billie jean. then every time billie jean came on they could bust out with the smooth moves.

now THAT'S awesome! to have your own song with your own moves and every time it came on you just stopped and then busted out with the awesomeness? how cool is that! and billie jean is an AWESOME song.

the only problem would be that i would like to know exactly where one might get even a whiff of billie jean being played on any sort of regular basis. or, at all. because you'd have to hear the song to dance to the song. and i don't hear a lot of billie jean on the radio or you know, at all.

for it to really work you might have to resort to carrying a portable cd player with you. with big enough speakers so everyone around you could hear. then, then you'd probably have to carry like a piece of cardboard or linoleum or something like that to put down do that you could properly bust your move.

now THAT would be awesome. too bad no one ever thought of that.

but, i digress.

anyway, i thought how rad this would be. and considered a few songs for myself. what would i choose to be my signature choreographed just for me song?

but, then i gave up the wondering when i gave up dancing in public for good.

yes, the former dancing on the speakers at the clubs girl has given up public dancing. i know, sad but true.

BUT i'll tell you what's really sad. the day i found myself throwing my arms up and saying "whoo" a few too many times COUPLED WITH what i am sure is just a slight variation on the white man's overbite. now THAT'S sad, and THAT'S when i knew it was all over.

it was not pretty.

and so it shall never exist again.

BUT just because i don't dance in public doesn't mean i don't appreciate people who want to get their groove on. people who let the music take them and their body to boogie wonderland. just because i'm a narcissistic killjoy doesn't mean i don't appreciate those who aren't.

and so it is with that spirit in mind that i wish each of you much dancing in whatever form you feel comfortable with and present to you the following video. which you might be tempted to dismiss right off the bat, but please don't. it's so worth it.

(click on the link and when you get to the page click on the video arrow)


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the duke.

the duke has a pair of converse and has needed better shoes for awhile. they really aren't winter shoes at all, and the holes starting in the sides didn't help.

anyhow, yesterday he went with the lord of the ring to big5 sporting goods because i saw they had a reasonable pair of winter boots on sale for 20 bucks. and i didn't tell him this, but 20 bucks was the best we could do right now so i was happy to find that sale.

they ended up coming home with a different pair and the duke was going on and on about how they were only 15 bucks! and weren't they cool and how warm his feet were and how comfortable they were and didn't they make him look taller.

and the thing that struck me is here's this kid, this "tween," and how the media portrays them and panders to them and how as parents we're supposed to just throw up our hands and say whattaya gonna do and give in to it. that it's developmentally appropriate for them to become voracious consumers and to go after the new the shiny the pretty and our job is to just supply the checkbook.

and here's the duke, wearing this pair of boots that aren't "cool" by any stretch of the imagination and aren't a brand anybody's even heard of and he's proud that he found them at the store and that they were even less than i thought they'd be.

and i was just so proud of him for not being that kid. the kid that has to have the big ticket item. he's the kid who is just happy with having the boots because now playing outside is going to be much more enjoyable AND "we won't have to buy me another pair of hiking boots for the spring."

i have a friend in a similar financial situation that we now find ourselves in. and regardless of finances she has ALWAYS shopped second hand. her kids have always looked adorable and have never minded. recently she was given a pair of nearly new $80 basket ball shoes in her 10 year old son's size. she thought he'd be thrilled because they were a popular brand, but he wasn't. he was disappointed and asking is there a way to get a new pair. he's getting into the thing of new and popular and brands. she is less than thrilled with this new development.

as parents we really do try and do our best. and sometimes it's really really hard. sometimes there's not enough time or energy or money or whatever and so our best can and does fall short of some perceived mark sometimes.

that in and of itself is hard enough WITHOUT the added pressure of a child's disappointment that our "best" doesn't even come close to their "acceptable."

i'm just glad that right now when everything is just a little harder than usual that i'm not dealing with disappointment on top of everything else.

i'm just glad that the duke can be and is happy with what he has, what we are able to provide for him.

because that's it right there. being happy with what you have, what you can afford to have.

because we are all blessed beyond belief, it's just remembering to remember that that we lose sight of.

happy tuesday.


Friday, December 12, 2008


today is the feast day celebrating the virgin of guadalupe.

she is the patron saint of the americas, and she embodies and encourages peace and unity for all men and women through the spirit of brotherhood and justice.

but i love her because she is love.

she has brought me many an hour of peace when most needed. mostly in the form of lighting her candle and sending up all the crap. and while i'm not prone to established prayers or scripture or anything like that, i do like the prayer on the back of the candle.

Dear Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother and help of all Christians since you appeared to Juan Diego in the mountains of Mexico, the problems that torment me I place in your blessed hands. Remember Oh Blessed Mother that never has it been known that anyone who sought your help was left unaided, with confidence, humble and repentant, full of Love and Hope, this favor I implore.

so tonight we will have a meal in honor of the virgin de guadalupe. i will light my candles and count my blessings.

but before all of that i will get to hang my brand spankin' new virgin de guadalupe automobile air freshener (in the "spring bouquet" scent) from the rearview mirror! su-weeeet.

be blessed.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

your moment(s) of zen.

a lot of people don't know this about me but i am wacky for christmas music.

i love christmas carols like nobody's business. i distinctly remember being 11 or 12 and thinking silver bells was about the best song ever written. i thought it was classy.

and when i would sing the babyboybarians to sleep, if a few rounds of amazing grace didn't work (which it never did with the duke. only an hour and a half of walking and bouncing to bittersweet symphony by the verve would work. and mostly not even then) i would launch into christmas carols.

anyhow, the day after thanksgiving the cheesy radio station around these parts goes all christmas all the time. whoo hoo! and then i'm a goner.

now, i'm not sure why it is, but ave maria has become a "christmas song." maybe it's the whole jesus' (fake) birthday season and all that, who knows.

anyhow, there are a million different renditions and most of them suck, well, not suck. it's a beautiful song, after all. but if you're playing all christmas all the time you gather what you can for variety. even the "poorer" choices.

did you know that ave maria comes from an epic poem? sir walter scott's lady of the lake. i didn't know that, i assumed it came from the hail mary prayer. which some versions do.

there are several versionsof the song, of course, and each one takes liberties with the wording depending on the language, singer, etc. but the original is taken from the poem and the music is schubert.

a few days ago, maybe last week i was driving home from yoga. it was pouring outside and i was pouring inside. absorbed in my thoughts, mostly stressful and what-ifs and not of the positive nature. all of a sudden ave maria came on the radio. a particularly beautiful ave maria. i kinda recognized the voice, i thought.

but there was something in the quality of the music, the depth of the lyrics. i was mesmerized. i was so mesmerized in fact that i had to pull the car over and stop a minute. it was beautiful. and as i listened i was overcome with a sense of peace, a sense of being okay in the world. in this world. in my world.

it wasn't until the song was finished that i realized that i had been crying. there were tears running down my face. but they were tears of comfort, tears of joy.

shit man, music just totally rocks! doesn't it? i mean my god if you could bottle that and sell it it would be illegal! or, i guess, you could just get an ipod. or, uh, play a cd, or turn on the radio.

anyhow, i wondered about the singer and after a bit of research i found the exact version online and i am somewhat amused to report it was celine dion. i know, i know. who knew?

i did a little further research on ave maria and was really fascinated by its origin and the different versions and all the opinions, etc.

so, i would like to present to you a particularly beautiful version of the song. and no! it's not celine dion, though i encourage you to listen to that one because it was beautiful, too.

and if you ever see me type that last sentence again then you'll know i've finally gunned the t-bird over the cliff.

but this ave maria is just gorgeous and it's all in german. there's a video montage accompanying it that could be construed as cheesy and silly, especially so coming from me. but, the music and particularly the singer's voice is not. and all together it's quite beautiful and quite moving.

there are a thousand ways to kiss the ground, rumi said.

and i think, in the grand scheme of things, watching a video of pictures of children in prayer or pulling the car over to cry in the rain while celine dion sings both. fit. right. in.

ave maria.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

and joy.

in the past few days i have had the pleasure of opening e-mail only to find pictures of babies whom i love and never get to see.

my goddess son's 4th birthday (wearing what inexplicably has got to be a vintage run dmc shirt?) along with his nearly two year old sister who is a pistol and a half. i don't know where i this comes from, but i have the distinct vision that she is the kind of child you'd WANT to take on a foreign vacation to a strange land.

and a photo montage of a month in the life of a delightful little girl baby way over in india whom i probably will never see as a delightful little girl baby but rather will (if i am incredibly lucky) encounter as a sassy preschooler type.

they are precious and adorable and sorely missed by me.

there is something special about your nearest and dearest having babies after your babies have long been non-babies.

i imagine it's a lot like being a grandparent. the want to fawn and spoil and offer WAY too much crappy advice.

every child is a blessing.

every. single. one.

and it brings me joy to know that those babies are out there being raised by awesome women and their awesome partners. it brings hope and joy to an otherwise can be looked at as dismal world. but with babies in the world nothing can be that dismal.

anyhow, i would love to share these babies with you but instead you get the picture above.

now, i don't really know what's going on in this picture. i can surmise, but we are talking about the boybarians here, so i've learned that anything is possible. best just let the picture speak for itself.

i can say this is what happens when you let them use the camera "for five minutes, with the strap around your wrist only, and not a minute longer!", YOUR camera, that you NEVER let them use because the last one turned into THEIR camera and then got lost.

which is a shame because they had a ton of fun with that camera but there is no way your little pink camera is going the way of the other one so five minutes and that's it!

but, five minutes was obviously plenty to mess around with as you can see from the picture above.

which, if you look pretty closely, brings its own measure of joy.


Monday, December 08, 2008

tidings of comfort.

these are the blankets we made to give to homeless teenagers.

i maintain that if your resources are slim and you feel like despairing over your circumstances the last thing you should do is contract. the last thing you should do is be stingy with what little resources you do have.

rather you should throw open your heart and your resources and share what you do have with those who have even less.

this was a nice project for us. and i hope these blankets bring a measure of comfort and warmth to whoever needs it.

give! give! give!