Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Excuses, Excuses

The reason I am not posting today is that I am busy reading the archives of Things I've Bought That I Love, which I highly recommend.

By the way, I have found the maximum number of blogs to which one can subscribe without being completely paralyzed with keeping up. That number is 63. I am currently subscribed to 81. You see the problem.

Monday, July 30, 2007

What mamacita is ...


Finished doing: a list of 101 Goals for 1001 Days. [I won't bore you with the details.] The finish date is April 26, 2010.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Kate and Andy Spade are leaving Kate Spade, Inc. I hope they'll still be involved in something, though -- maybe more books?

I mock your pain

So maybe you're having a good day; you're not feeling too old and decrepit. Good for you. I'm here to ruin it for you. The Princess Bride is now twenty years old. Didn't jump off the bridge yet? Take a gander at the cast, then and now. That should do it.

Hat tip to The Bloggess.

Friday Two-fer

Since I missed making a YouTube post last Friday, this week you get two. Ain't I sweet?

Babies Eating Lemons

Sony Bravia Commercial

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, George Bernard Shaw!

GBS is one of the best people ever for quotes. Here are some favorites:

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. [This is all you ever needed to know about raising Becca.]

All great truths begin as blasphemies.

Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there were a fire? The one nearest the door, of course.

Lack of money is the root of all evil.

If all the economists were laid end to end they'd never reach a conclusion.

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous thing.

I know of only one duty, and that is to love.

An Abecedary of ...

… family sayings.

(Forgive the inside jokes. BTW, I once asked my mother if she read my blog and she said, “I don’t have time to read all that shit.”)

Annie story [“A long and unnecessarily convoluted tale”.]

Ben done told [“I’ve already heard the news.”]

Colder than a well-digger’s butt [“quite cold”]

Don’t know sheep shit from Shinola. [“Uninformed”]

Erin Len [“You are exasperating.”]

For forty years [“a long time”]

Well I fucking guess. [“That is not going to happen, ever.”]

Hunker-jaw [“off kilter”]

I’m fucking this cow, you just hold the tail. [“Kindly do as I ask without interfering.”]

Jee-haw [“exist in accord” (Something about mules…)]

Kara Brooke [as opposed to all the other Karas in the house]

Like a cow pissing on a flat rock. [“raining very hard”]

Can’t see through muddy water. [“You’re blocking my view of the television.”]

Now I've had worse than that in my eye. ["I mock your pain."]

The Office [“the local tavern”]

Saving it for Pearl [“It’s too good for the likes of you or me.”]

Queen No Fun [refers to mamacita -- can you believe it?]

The Red Ass [“a state of irritation”]

Sorry don’t feed the bulldog [“Your apology does little to placate me.”]

Running his traps [“going about his unimportant daily activities”]

Umpteen times [“many times, indeed”]

Verklempt ["overwhelmed"]

Watch his head [“You clearly don’t know what you’re doing.”]

Xenu loves you. [Oh wait, that's the Cruise family.]

You can want in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up faster. [“You are not likely to get what you want.”]

Z okay, no Z this week

I would love to hear your family sayings in the comments.

The New Jane Austen Movie

Evidently there is a movie about Jane Austen coming out August 3. Here's the trailer:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What Papi Chulo Is...



Listening to

Nobody Puts Percy In A Corner

Girl con Queso pointed me to Entertainment Weekly's list of the 25 Greatest Love Songs of All Time. I was all excited to read it, especially when I saw the object of my fervent devotion, Percy Sledge, in at number 13. But then I kept reading and I saw that THEY PUT GUNS 'N ROSES FIVE PLACES AHEAD OF PERCY AND AHEAD OF OTIS FUCKING REDDING AND THAT IS SO NOT OKAY, PEOPLE, YOU NEED TO GET RID OF YOUR LAME-ASS HIPSTER-WANNABE 80s-REVIVAL NITWITS AND REPLACE THEM WITH PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY LIKE MUSIC OR I SWEAR TO GOD I AM GOING TO COME OVER THERE AND KICK ALL OF YOUR ASSES.

Nom Nom Nom

Did I somehow fail to tell you about coco jam? Read about it here and know that my ice cream is now 500% tastier than yours.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Long Now

If I were smart, and I understood phrases like neap tide or nano-anything, I would be reading this blog. I don't even understand the art information -- visual music? generative software? Um, okay.

This is probably the sort of thing that would expand my mind if I could listen to more than two words of it without saying, "Oh God, I'm bored." So if you're smart and you're reading WWJAD (highly unlikely), would you please read that blog and translate it into English benighted redneck for me?

Big Day in Literary History

Today is the birthday of Alexandre Dumas, John Graves and Zelda Fitzgerald. Reading the synopses of their lives makes me think I want to celebrate today with a happy ending for a change. Off to the massage parlor I go!

Okay, maybe not. But it does bring me to one of my soon-to-be-patented Theories of Life. Since you asked so nicely, I will share it with you:

One day, when I was stuck in a rough spot in my life, I happened to pick up a copy of Time magazine. In it was a brief article on Narrative Therapy [click for a very lame explanation]. The idea is that therapists can help their patients get through their problems by having them write and understand their personal stories. What I took away was that, in many cases, I could get "un-stuck" by trying to write the happy ending to whatever story I had going on. It doesn't sound especially revolutionary, but I have found that to be a good way of looking at things. I am always telling myself that things will be all right; I just need to write the happy ending.

Useful advice on this blog? Now I have seen everything.

What E & B are...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Found! Becca's To-Do List


  1. wake up late and throw a fit about putting on my clothes
  2. wreak mayhem and destruction on a church nursery
  3. throw a fit about chocolate milk at McDonald's
  4. find time to hit my brother a lot
  5. perform usual miscellaneous acts of defiance
  6. pour milk over Mom's laptop, destroying it
  7. throw a plastic wrench at Mom's face and leave a bruise

That daughter of mine is no slacker.

What mamacita is ...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Need a Baby Gift?

Yep, those are diamonds. And white gold, duh -- you want the baby to get his ass kicked on his Boppy for wearing yellow gold?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Liveblogging the Texas PTA Summer Leadership Seminar, Part II

I promise I will slit my wrists if I hear one more word about scrapbooking.

2 Things I Didn't Know Last Week

1. Nero was a cross dresser.
2. He played the lyre, not a fiddle.

I must have gotten really smart -- I was down to only two things I didn't know.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Liveblogging the Texas PTA Summer Leadership Seminar

Not. But I am attending, so I'm not sure that I'll have any posts again until Monday. I don't like it any more than you do, but there it is. BTW, it is NO FAIR having fun at BlogHer this weekend without me. I assure you I am not having fun here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Continuing the Theme

The new nerd saying: "I have been there, done that and edited the wiki." (Mia Timpano in Frankie magazine).

Introducing the Blogging Friends of Mamacita: Part II

Okay, more friends:

Manuscript Transcription is one of the many projects of my friend Ben Brumfield. I can't say I have any idea what he's talking about most of the time, but it's probably really interesting and groundbreaking stuff. That's the kind of guy Ben is. Ben is one of my oldest friends; when he was a senior in high school, he let me steal his acolyte and turn him into Papi Chulo, so I'm ever so grateful for that.

But the best thing Ben ever did was marry Sara of Sara Brumfield's Blog. Sara is a native of the Austin area, a software developer, an entrepreneur and a Parenthacker extraordinaire. She always runs across interesting things.

Ben also introduced me to John, a.k.a. Soletrain, of The Last Shall Be First. If I cared at all about men's shoes or whiskey I would probably even read his blog. Well, okay, he does have other posts, and they're all kinda good. Plus he makes a mean limoncello. And he's also babysitting for me tomorrow, so I guess I'd better be nice. But don't read his blog -- he doesn't want you to.

Finally we come to The Unbearable Lightness of Blogging, where Angela makes regrettably infrequent updates on the goings and doings of the Pixies. She also has excellent taste in music and, of course, in friends. I'm ready for her to come home and play with me again!

Honorable mention: Emily of EmilyStyle is an inspiring blogger, fully worthy of the "Sublime" category. We've only exchanged a couple of comments, but I'd like to think of her as a friend. If her blog isn't in your reader, well, it should be!

And Emily's blog mentions that today is National Friend Day. Now ain't that a coincidence?

Introducing the Blogging Friends of Mamacita: Part I

I've been unusually busy this week and haven't prepared much for this here blog. Will that stop me from posting? Of course not. Today seems like a good day to introduce the friends whose blogs I have listed off to the right.

Biddy's World is run by the most excellent Biddy, and is that felicitous combination of funny and frequently NSFW. She is my spiritual twin (except she's all talented and crafty and stuff) and, as it happens, almost my real twin except she is years younger than I am and also half black. But other than that ...

And I think it's really swell of her to keep a countdown to my birthday on her front page :-)

Blog con Queso
is run by Girl con Queso, who sometimes goes by "Laura." I call her my friend because I met her one time in person, so that totally counts. She is also one of the four ladies behind sk*rt, where no one ever votes for the stuff I find, but I post it nonetheless.

is the brilliant and inspiring Danielle, who recently moved to Chicago. She loves and posts about all kinds of food, and she has two of the cutest kids anywhere. I haven't met Danielle, but she sent me cookies one time, so of course she's WAY up on my list of favorite people.

Helmet of Mambrino
is the brainchild of Mike Van Campen, husband of my dear friend Letitia (whom I plan to hit up for babysitting services soon, so let's call her a dear dear dear friend). Mike is one of those in the new generation of cool librarians (as is Letitia). Mike likes books, banjos, bluegrass, birding and baseball. He's gonna have to branch out if he plans to challenge me on my Abecedary Throne.

Dammit, now I have to go be busy again. Second installment later today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Now We're Up in the Big Leagues

I have the theme song from The Jeffersons stuck in my head. Now you do, too!

What Papi Chulo Is...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday, J.D. Salinger

I missed it yesterday. It would have been so sweet to celebrate by hiding out in a cabin somewhere and refusing to have contact with anyone. Oh well.

I really liked The Catcher in the Rye when I read it a lifetime ago. But I also love this satirical review, which appeared in The New York Times when the book was published in 1951:

"This Salinger, he's a short-story guy. And he knows how to write about kids. [But] he should have cut out a lot about all these jerks and all that crumby school. They depress me. They really do."

Speaking of ...

Eww! Bring back the mullet!

What E & B are...


Watching (ugh)

Listening to

Monday, July 16, 2007

Super Six

Yesterday we had a John Deere party for Emmet's 6th birthday. We had more than 50 people in our little house; it was crowded but fun. I was worried that we didn't have enough for the kids to do, but they managed to occupy themselves with the trampoline, the Wii and the piñata. The cake was the best part, though -- a tres leches from El Bolillo on Airline Drive. It was even better this morning as breakfast :-)

What mamacita is ...



Listening to ...
the dulcet sounds of my children's whining.

Putting a Name to a Face

Did you know that many classic computer icons, like the cute little Macintosh bomb, the Windows Solitaire cards and the ubiquitous e-mail envelope can be traced to a woman named Susan Kare? Here's a description of her work:

  • Since 1983, Susan Kare has designed thousands of software icons that have become familiar to anyone who uses a computer. Designed on a minimalist grid of pixels and constructed with mosaic-like precision, her icons communicate their functions immediately and memorably.
MoMA sells items like notepads and coin purses with her work; as it happens, some of those items are included in the big sale they have going on right now.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

This article in The New York Times about cooking for the family is absolutely BRILLIANT in its simplicity and sophistication. I demand that you quit wasting your time here and go read it right this second.

10 Things I Didn't Know Last Week

1. Taking a daily dose of 100mg of vitamin B1 subtly changes your body odor so as not to attract mosquitoes. (according to renowned herbalist Joan Collins)

2. Thoreau was the first member of his family to go to college.

3. Harold Bloom's first language was Yiddish.

4. Lyndon Johnson's father was a Christadelphian -- a religion whose members avoid politics and organized political affiliation.

5. Lady Bird Johnson had a Secret Service detail for 44 years -- longer than anyone else in history.

6. Barack Obama now has a Secret Service detail.

7. Batman is Episcopalian!

8. So is Lex Luthor.

9. And if all that weren't enough: not only is "gay American" James McGreevey* headed to Episcopal seminary, so is porn star Rod Fontana. [*Okay, not that there's anything wrong with That, but there is a lot about McGreevey that I don't like.]

10. Retired justices of the Supreme Court are not "ex-" members of the Court -- they assume "senior" status .

It's Bastille Day!

Am I going to celebrate by eating French food? Probably not! I have a ton of stuff to do today, and I think chiens chaudes are on the menu for dinner at my mom's house tonight. But let's stay in the platonic world of the blogosphere for a moment longer. I might have Martha's French Toast for breakfast; lunch could be a salad dressed with Nora Ephron's vinaigrette; and, what the hell, I'll let Alice Waters make dinner for me.

Orangette is definitely my favorite French food blog. Do also give Patricia Wells a visit. As far as Chocolate and Zucchini goes -- I want to like her, I really do. I just can't imagine Leslie Caron sitting down to a lunch of quinoa, can you?

If you're interested in anything besides food (do I know you?), you could check out these other Frenchy-type sites:

Chitlins and Camembert (possibly the best blog title of all time)
Cote de Texas (decorating)
Ma petite Théière (blog of a French children's book illustrator -- in French)
French Heritage (shopping)
Source Perrier (shopping)
Quel Objet (shopping -- insanely gorgeous dishtowels)

Expatica has a whole list of other Frenchy blogs. Add yours in the comments.

Image source

Friday, July 13, 2007

Oh Yes, They Did

I'm not sure there's anything I can add to this. Via AT: The Kitchen.

Panda Prison Break

Thursday, July 12, 2007

An Abecedary of ...

Southern Humor

Andy Griffith
Roy Blount, Jr.
Jill Conner Browne
Dave Barry
Eudora Welty
Kinky Friedman
Greater Tuna
Bill Hicks
Molly Ivins
John Kennedy Toole
Florence King
Lewis Grizzard
Steel Magnolias
Being Dead Is No Excuse
Buck Owens and Roy Clark [how have I lived this long without the 13-DVD set of Hee-Haw?]
Tyler Perry
Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena
Celia Rivenbark
David Sedaris
Mark Twain
Forrest Gump
[stuff it, Cusey]
Vicki Lawrence as "Mama"
Tom Wolfe
Dixie Carter
Maryln Schwartz

Add more in the comments.

Hail Caesar

So today is the birthday of Julius Caesar -- how to celebrate? A Caesar salad, perhaps? Go for a swim with George Clooney perhaps? So many options. Gosh, that water looks nice and cool.

Surely you didn't expect me to illustrate this post with a picture of some ancient Italian dude. But aren't you glad George moved on from that Caesar haircut? It didn't really do much for me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Oh my God, I am gonna be so RICH!


For those of you lucky enough to live near a 7-Eleven, I have good news: today is free slurpee day! Huzzah! Unfortunately for me, there are no 7-Elevens in Houston (Stop N Go bought them all in 1987). There are several in Austin, though, and in San Francisco. Check out this tool on the official website to find a 7-Eleven near you.

I'll make do with an Icee and just a dash of rum. It's the white trash daiquiri.

Mamacita's Junkie Confessions

I can't believe I've never told you about the Crack Sandwich. Papi Chulo named it that because I am quite addicted to it. It is available at Stone Mill Bakers and is comprised of: soft jalapeño cornbread, the condiment which dare not speak its name, lettuce, smoked turkey (not lunchmeat) and thinly sliced cantaloupe. It is sooo good. I definitely need one today. If you go to the store, you probably want to ask for the #5 (as opposed to "The Crack Sandwich"). I can also highly recommend the sugar cookies there. [Pictured: a fellow junkie. I feel his pain.]

What Papi Chulo Is...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Planning Emmet's birthday party on the fly, since our original plans fell through...

What E & B are...


Writing -- their birthday lists

Sleeping in -- their new comforters, etc. from Aunt Winnie

Playing in -- the swimming pool at the YMCA

Monday, July 9, 2007

How to Green Your Sex Life at Treehugger

Another Meme

This one via I'm Andrea
four things to do before I die:
1. make final arrangements, so no one in my family can screw it up :-)
2. visit Argentina, Austria, Czech Republic, England and Switzerland
3. accumulate assets to leave my heirs
4. write a book

four things I'm surprisingly good at:
1. navigation
2. planning
3. solving problems
4. remembering long series of numbers

four things I'm not so good at:
1. singing
2. dancing
3. math or science
4. self discipline

four things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1. how he smells
how he dresses
3. sense of humor
4. interests
and now, consider yourself tagged!

What mamacita is ...

Reading (Sample quote: "It's useful to have two sets of makeup...")


Listening to

Sunday, July 8, 2007

ruh roh

I think I might have screwed up the feed for this blog. Have I mentioned before that I have no idea what I'm doing? Please let me know if this shows up in your regular RSS reader. Thanks.

The Ladies ... have a nice post up about the Astros.

The Best Blogs Currently On Hiatus

I have been a fan of Jason Kottke's blog for a while now. I found out on Friday that he and his wife just became parents. The baby announcement was the first I'd heard of his wife, Meg Hourihan, who is an excellent blogger herself. They both say that they're going to be taking a couple of months off from blogging to hang out with the baby, but I hope they'll still do some infrequent posts. Check out their archives while you have a chance to catch up with them.

Here are some of the best links I found through Meg in just the last two weeks:

I couldn't even begin to enumerate all of the great links I've gotten from Jason over the months, but here are a few:

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Papi Chulo also taught Emmet to play chess this weekend. 'Cause he's an awesome dad.

Austin Round-up

On our trip to Austin, we went swimming at Deep Eddy (so cold!), scarfed ice cream at Amy's, visited the jumbo games exhibit at the Children's Museum, saw Littlefield Fountain, climbed Mount Bonnell, shopped at Toy Joy, and had dinner at Waterloo Ice House on Loop 360 with Sara, Ben and the positively edible Miss J (who needs her own blog). Since we stayed with my aunt Winnie and her ever-accommodating pup, Molly, the trip was cheap as well as fun. I'm looking forward to doing it again.

10 Things I Didn't Know Last Week

1. Pixar artists consulted with Thomas Keller for their work on Ratatouille.

2. Vegan ice cream, which is made from oats, tastes awful. Take my word for it.

3. Hello Kitty has a pet ... kitty.

4. I'm now too old and dessicated to be an egg donor. Thanks for pointing that one out, Letitia!

5. Washington Nationals pitcher (and Orange native) John Patterson has to go to Canada for treatment of a nerve problem in his elbow. Four previous treatments in the U.S. haven't worked for him, and the new treatment doesn't have FDA approval.

6. Men are just as chatty as women are, they just lied about it in previous studies.

7. A wife's affection is worth $4,802.

8. Evelyn Waugh's father was a sadistic asshole.

9. Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock has a (very expensive) wallpaper coming out.

10. Your refrigerator should be set at 40 degrees; your freezer at zero.


Is it weird to have a crush on Merlin Mann?


Uh, never mind.

Friday, July 6, 2007

10 Things I Didn't Know About The Beatles

There was an excellent article on Paul McCartney in The New Yorker last month (only the abstract is available online). Granted, I'm no Beatles scholar, but there were an awful lot of things I didn't know about them.

1. Paul McCartney can't read music.
2. Neither could John Lennon.
3. McCartney met George Harrison on the school bus.
4. The name "The Beatles" is a play on The Crickets, Buddy Holly's band.
5. In their first year of friendship, McCartney estimates that he and Lennon wrote more than 100 songs.
6. Between 1963 and the end of 1965, the Beatles recorded six albums.
7. Until 1969 the band's royalty rate was 39 cents per LP sold.
8. It wasn't Yoko Ono who broke up the band so much as it was an intra-band dispute over a change in management.
9. McCartney now owns the Buddy Holly music catalog.
10. As well as the music for Annie, Guys and Dolls, and Grease.

Paul McCartney wrote John Lennon a letter (in 1984, after Lennon's death) on the occasion of Lennon's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's a great letter.

It Was 50 Years Ago Today

On this day in 1957 John Lennon met Paul McCartney. That, my friends, calls for a celebration. Let's start with some YouTube of "Revolution." The other day somebody asked me to name my favorite Beatles song -- as if one could choose! Anyway, this one would be close.

An Abecedary of ...

... things to do in Austin with kids.

I know it's a day late, but it's a good one --for everything on this list, admission is $5.50 or less per person, excluding food.

Alamo Drafthouse children’s movies – last Saturday of each month (free!).

Watch the Bats at Congress Avenue bridge (free!).

Tour the state Capitol (free!).

Watch the water rush over the Dam at Red Bud Isle (free!).

Swim at Eilers Park, a.k.a. Deep Eddy (adults $3, kids $1).

Find fossils at the Dino Pit at Austin Nature and Science Center in Zilker Park (free!).

Play Peter Pan Mini-Golf ($5 adults, $3 for kids 5 and under).

Visit the Texas State History museum ($5.50/adult, $3/kid over 5).

Eat Ice cream at Amy’s (easily <$5 per kid).

Play with the Jumbo games exhibit at Austin Children’s Museum ($5.50/person over age 2).

Visit Kiddie Acres (admission is free, but the rides will cost you a little) (Wednesday is discount day). Also, Kerbey Lane -- kids eat free on Tuesdays.

See Littlefield Fountain on the UT campus (free!).

Climb Mount Bonnell (free!).

Walk the Nature trail at Stacy Park (free!).

Browse Over the Rainbow children’s bookstore (has a few things under $5) (no website).

Let the kids play on the playscape at Phil’s Ice House (free!).

Eat Queso, quesadillas or anything else at Güero’s, which has an indoor fountain (free!).

See the Rutamaya Coffee House Sunday morning free kids shows (free!).

Attend the Umlauf Sculpture Garden kids’ workshops in Zilker Park (kids <6>

Browse Toy Joy (lots of cheap toys – not hard to get out of there for $5/kid).

Go up inside the UT Tower ($5/person).

Bike or rollerblade on the Veloway (free!).

Eat at Waterloo Ice House on Loop 360, which has a great sand play area (free!).

Explore Goat Cave Karst (free!).

Play at the Yates Park playground (free!).

Spend the day at Zilker Park, which has a playground (free!), a botanical garden (free!), mini-train rides (free?) plus Barton Springs pool ($3 adults, $1 kids).

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Where In The Hell Have You Been?

Sorry for the radio silence over the last couple of days. I've been way busy with kid stuff. I'll be back shortly.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Supersize This, Morgan Spurlock

You may be pleased to know that, the next time you need to take your children to McDonald's to eat some nutritionally suspect food and play on a bacterially suspect playground, you can take your laptop along and, for $2.95/2 hour block, connect to the tubes of the interweb.

What mamacita is ...



Listening to

Still kicking myself for not having a Strangebrew- and poutine-fest yesterday.

UPDATE: Sorry, I was trying something new for the links, which didn't work. Should be fixed now.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Oh, Canada

I totally forgot that I wanted to make poutine today. Here are the ingredients:

french fries
brown gravy with a dash of hot sauce
grated cheese

When the fries are ready, you put the cheese on them and the gravy on top of that.

Now, I've never made this (dammit, I can't believe I forgot today!) but if you make it, let me know how it goes.