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Protected: The Past

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jan-12-2020

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Protected: Walden

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Oct-20-2013

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The Fetal Pig

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-19-2011

When I was about 15, oh, to 17, I lived in Concord, Massachusetts. I went to a brilliant high school, CCHS. Really, I did. This was a public school and Concord Academy was right down the road. So was Walden Pond, but I am wandering. But you could never begin to believe how many of my classmates got into the Ivy League and Seven Sisters, I won´t say how few from oh so very expensive Concord Academy did not.  My parents gave me the choice , I could have gone there, I was on the waiting list, they where willing to pony up all of that money. Just for me. But I said, I like CCHS just fine.

And I did. But my life was influenced.. to a large degree…by members of the hockey team.  You really have to be from New England to understand this. I nearly slashed The Father´s throat when we had to go through Canada to get to Detroit, see Frenchy.  I told him not to mention the Bruins. Of course he did. He could not understand this. But you do not do this. I am still surprised that they did not throw  him into that river or large body of water up there at Windsor.

I knew that I was in trouble that first day at CCHS. Drew was sitting behind me. He was on the hockey team and I know his full name but I shan´t write it down.  I was toodling in from Bangkok, Thailand. And he said, Bangah ! I love Maine. And I knew I was lost. I knew that there would never be any point to me even trying.

I really liked that school. They had no idea what to do with me, you see, I did not talk, I still don´t,I provoked, but it was a really good school. And I kept getting the meta jocks as lab partners.

I was good at science. I wanted to go to Brown. That is another story. I followed the path that I have because it was my weakest link. It was a challenge.

I liked my Biology teacher. It is still beyond me that the cherubs are not fascinated by Biology. He had good hair, and he just thought that I was the cat´s ass. His father in law was working with teflon, of all things, to make red platelets. And then we got this fetal pig.

I got this lab partner. I think his name was Richard. He was on the hockey team. He was tall, and except for his eyes, he looked just like an albino.  And he would not touch that pig. Piglet. I did it. I thought that it was very interesting. Really. But it made me a vegetarian for many, many years.  And I still like to say that formaldehyde is the best nail polish remover.

And then I had chemistry. Who on earth decided who my lab partners would be . I had three.  I had the second guy from the hockey team, he had Bozo the clown hair, and that little Italian guy, again , from the hockey team and Jack, the Quarterback. He was an Arrow collar boy. His girlfriend was the head cheerleader. This was high school, this was Janis Ian. And this class was a no brainer. Every test was open book, we did titration. I liked titration. Our teacher was really into the double hellix. Maybe it was new then. He did that whole business with helium, you know, sound like Donald Duck. I spent most of the class laying out tarot cards for my jock lab partners. The teacher did not care. And he was a good teacher.

The fetal pig is why I cannot eat most meats.

Then I took a class in Science Fiction. Bozo the hockey player was in that class.  The teacher was quite honked off with me. She wrote romantic novels and had a large opal ring. This class was for jocks who needed that English credit. She knew me very well. She made me write about Medea. She did not like Science Fiction. I had her for World Lit. and Concord Authors.But she was wrong in the end.  Most people do not really understand what falls into the category of science fiction, we are not just talking androids.  There is Bradbury, Vonnegut, Heinlein, even  George Orwell, Frank Baum and Madeleine L’Engle are considered Science Fiction writers. We are talking Wizard of Oz and A wrinkle In Time here.I floored a very distinguished professor , from North Carolina, oh, the very best accent of all, I had him  for that crap about Arthurian legends, and my last year, all that I needed was that intro to be an English major. That is it. First year class. I have a really bad sinus infection, I sound worse than Donald Duck. And I explain why Robinson Crusoe is like science fiction. Isolation and focus are what we are reading. He does not have to worry about pampers and food bills.  He knew that I was right. And seeing that look in his eyes,worked for me.

I can also talk about furniture in Henry James. I am good at this. But nobody cares. And it is indeed nothing to care about.

What is the last thing that I did at that school. I was taking this philosophy class, and I had to give a… presentation. Ok, I had to stand in front of the class and talk. I decided to talk about Schopenhauer´s theory of the attraction of the sexes. This is actually a good topic if you are talking to teenagers in a philosophy class.  It works. I knew it would.

I wonder what happened to Daniel. He liked my presentation. He was an exchange student from Argentina. And things went really bad in Argentina about the time that he went home.

.

L.L.Bean

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jan-8-2010

It is cold here, in The Netherlands.

And I am receiving a lot of comments about my inability to deal with this cold snap : why, you grew up in Massachusetts ( don’t I just love spelling that without SpellCheck ? ), you lived through one of those famous blizzards in the 70′s, when the snow was so deep you could not open the front door of your house, your family had a snow blower and you knew how to use it ( as we took turns every hour snow blowing the driveway), you know what a cord of wood is and your brother knows how to split a log.

After so many years, the only remnant of my shivery past is a well stocked larder : our family of five, two dogs who each weigh more than I do, that fool Sparrow and all of our fish could survive a nuclear war just fine for about two, maybe even three months Perhaps not a very healthy diet, but I do suppose it is better than gnawing upon one’s leather shoes.

But we are so ill prepared for this cold weather, as a family and as a country. None of us has a down vest, no one has insulated boots, the few and chosen actually still have gloves that fit and hats, scarves.

I am not a member of the chosen few.

As a country, we ( they ?) are running out of salt to put on the roads and are actually taking to using bath salts in some areas. You know, pink and green stuff which, rumor has it, smells lovely. Here in Town, I have yet to see a speck of sand or salt on the roads, most likely because it might damage the granite cobblestones from Sweden, who knows. Doing the daily shopping is a teeter- totter affair, and many of the elderly are not leaving their homes at this point.

Snow tires have never been a part of winter in The Netherlands. As well as salt, there is a run on snow tires. At times, we use the company truck, as The Father’s Business Man car cannot handle the ice and snow. Although I must admit that a few weeks ago saw me, 5’2, 48 Kilos, pushing the truck and giving a very Rocky like hands over my head as a salute when the truck finally was released from it’s icy prison.

Our children never had a sled, for until last year, there really never was enough snow to sled upon. Imagine that, The Girl is almost 17. This year was the first winter that the children could make a *life size* snowman ( oh well, boys will be boys…). Last year, it was cold enough that The Baby learned how to ice skate. The other two were too old to care about it, didn’t feel like falling on their….posteriors …in public.

Teenagers, dontcha know.

The Baby’s favorite movie is * Ice Princess* ( recently chomped to pieces by our Pyr). Last year, she skated exactly 3 times. I walked with her to a very safe place, run by some skating club, about a mile away. They measure the thickness of the ice, have big lights, a few trailers where one can buy warm things to eat or drink, and blast out music- the dutch version of a Bruins game.

After a while, though, I was frozen, and so I dragged her off of the ice and we made the long march home.

This year, The Father and his Business Mobile will take us to the ice. I am hoping that we can take turns sitting in the car, having our butts warmed by that fool seat heating.

And this morning The Baby asked me if her skates needed sharpening. Uh….

And where were those plastic protectors for the blades..

Uh…

And should we have oiled the blades ?

Withering

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Dec-14-2009

Age is indeed withering me.

I have always slept with a fan blowing full blast upon my face and the windows wide open. Even back when I lived in Massachusetts and at times we were three feet under snow.

My Father and Mother did the same, and each wore hats at night ( Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap), Dad a Greek sailor sortof thing and Mom with a fancy Irish cable knit cap.

But it has been cold here for the last few nights and I am not sleeping well. And for the most odd reason : my nose feels so cold that it might just decide to fall off. I clamp myself against The Father’s back, hoping that my nose will defrost.

Cozy, but I am not sleeping well at all.

Age has withered me, the window closes today.

Bottle Feedings

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Aug-14-2004

The Father, Dad and the kids went out to the lake today, again. But today was a bit different, as Uncle Jimmy took them out on the boat and to a special gas station, just for boats.

As well as being able to fill up the tank, one can buy sodas, ice cream and candy at the store. And bottle feed catfish.

One…rents- I suppose is the correct term- a baby bottle filled with crunched crackers. You dip the bottles in the lake and squeeze a little water into the bottle and huge catfish come up and actually bottle feed. The Boy and The Girl loved it- holding a bottle while a large fish sucked on it.

Wicked Step- Mother made us a Thanksgiving dinner tonight. I have requested meatloaf for my last meal, The Girl , a 12 course dinner composed entirely of potatoes ( The Girl : never met a potato that she didn’t like).

I help The Father to take The Baby’s bike apart after dinner- it actually fits back into the box it came in. He is packed. He leaves tomorrow. I wish he was staying.

As we drive along the road past Dad’s house and admire the new houses which have popped up since our last visit, The Father day- dreams about moving to the States, as he always has, since the day that I met him. And- as I have since the day that I met him- I squash that puppy, the Netherlands is a better place for our children, a safer place, a more affordable place.

But The Father would move in a flash.

As an aside, anybody know of any truly tasteless Bush campaign articles ? I have been looking around here , but seem to be at a bit of a loss.

In the elections of 2000, I spent a long and emotional evening / morning watching the elections and sharing both joy and horror with a friend of mine. I’m guessing that we shall be doing much the same thing once more, this November. I should very much like to have some tasteless thing to give her for this election- the flashing Bush pin ? The nodding refrigerator magnet ?

And, tell me, election friend, does the Jedi Knight have a …uh…laser ? sword ? Does he covet some small relic ? I shall, in any case, look about.

And The Moon Rose…

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Aug-2-2004

Yesterday was the second day which we spent in the car , during this, our- let’s – all- go- look- for- America summer vacation. As we piled back into the van after lunch, The Father asked the children a hypothetical question : America, he said, is a big country. Now, we could just hop on airplanes and fly from town to town, but by driving, we can see just how big America is. And that’s far more interesting, don’t you think ?

Now, the children’s mother didn’t raise a passel of little fools, so all three heads bobbed up and down in agreement. Yes, Daddy- Dearest, you are just so right.

Now, if you lean very close to me, I shall whisper in your ear the Reader’s Digest version of our road trip. I shall deny having ever said anything so inane, swear- in fact- upon the head’s of those three clever children just mentioned that I never breathed these words : I have never seen so many stinkin’ trees in my whole life.

Mile after mile, hour after hour, nothing but trees on the left, trees on the right and the pale grey road ahead of us. My eyes begin to hunger for variation, I read the slogans on the backs of trucks ( Drivers and independent operators wanted ! Call…), the green markers boasting the mile ( Georgia, 200 miles wide…Alabama, 208 miles wide) anything for some diversion.

We miss the turn-off for I-95 somewhere in Nowhere South Carolina and my eyes feast upon the scenery- the bright signs boasting Sweet Potatoes!, Hot Boiled Peanuts !, the roadside stands with mounds of melons and bushels of corn. My eyes drift over the fluff of tobacco fields, gobble up the sight of the small homes in the distance.

But after about 10 minutes of driving through somewhere in Nowhere South Carolina, I find myself wondering just exactly where the novel ‘ Tobacco Road’ is set. And after about 20 minutes of being lost somewhere in Nowhere, South Carolina, I realize that I have seen the movie ‘ Deliverance’ one time too many. I am frightened being lost somewhere in Nowhere, South Carolina. And I realize then, that no matter how many summers we spend in the South, I could never live here. Not because it isn’t beautiful- for it is- or because the people aren’t fine and friendly- for they are, but for the simple reason that the South will never be familiar to me, in that way that Massachusetts is, from some place deep in my bones, my soul.

Having ridiculed and mocked our trip since the very day of it’s inception, as we enter Alabama, we all notice and luxuriate in the rugged landscape. The mountains ( or they could be hills, what do we know- we live in one of the flatist countries on this good earth) delight us and we find Alabama beautiful. As we swing over Birmingham and shoot off Arkedelphia Road, we find Alabama familiar, in a way.

As we pass Uncle Mort’s, I tell the children to put on their shoes and they begin to sing a song in dutch, one that says that we are almost there.

And then we are there, at the home of my father and my wicked step -mother. Being a rather bright bunch, we have already figured out that this summer will not be like other summers of the past, but we will make the best of it, find new things to do.

You see, my father forgot to mention to me that he can’t walk right now. It somehow slipped his mind.

My Opinion

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jul-23-2004

I – for one- would find going here much more interesting than going here .

Yes, Mummy had that room right by the bell- see that little window in the middle ? Lovely room, but her hearing hasn’t been the same since.

And that stinkin’ ticking, day and night….

A Question

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jul-23-2004

Does anybody know just exactly where the Sheraton on 128 is ? Their website sucks and it’s not clear to me at all where it is.

Dad tries to convince me on the phone this morning to seriously consider the children and me jumping on a plane with him to Hartford after The Father leaves.

Wants to show the kids my alma mater ( *boring* although I seem to vaguely recall that Edith Wharton had a summer home around that part of the state that I would much rather see-), make that beautiful drive east, see the old house, maybe my brother. He could seriously tempt me with two words : Crane’s Beach.

And of course, after 22 years, I most likely would have to go and pay my first visit to my mother’s grave since the day that she was buried.

The Curse

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jul-21-2004

One year in the ’80s, my brother went to about three concerts- right in a row- and right after the concerts, someone from the group simply dropped dead. In fact, he still has a ticket for the last concert Ray Orbison never gave. He began to wonder if there was some occult connection, whether or not his presence at a concert was basically a cosmic kiss- of- death. A portent of doom.

I find myself beginning to wonder the same thing about myself : recently, a high percentage of sellers whom I have bought things from at Ebay are finding a member of their near- and- dears dead.

Am I a cursed Ebay buyer, sure to open the door to your peaceful home, allowing in a scourge of destruction and death ?

Or is this simply the Ebay equivalent of The dog ate my homework ?