Thursday, January 29, 2009

What mamacita is ...

With all the fervor I used to save for the J. Crew catalog. "Look, Papi, aren't these tomatoes just precious?"

Because I'm down with the urban experience, y'all. Witness:
Approximate number of times I said, "Huh?" to Papi -- 75
Approximate number of times Papi said, "What'd he say?" to me -- 25

Listening to
I think I'm getting high just from listening to them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You Can't Take Me Anywhere

Why, oh why, did I feel compelled to make a reference to Viagra in a meeting with a church committee where I work? Am I now just incapable of being appropriate?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In That Case...

If meth is wrong, maybe I don't want to be right.

Seriously, Dave?

You expect us to believe that not even one of these is a porn site?

What E&B are...

This book is far too scary and violent for me, but they seem to like it.

Takes me right back to a happy place...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy, Y'all

I got totally obsessed with Chinese New Year this year. Papi and I have been cleaning out closets, bookshelves and cabinets, and we've thrown away tons of junk. Last night as he was drifting off to sleep, I woke him up in a panic because we still had a box stored under the bed -- bad feng shui. Today I threw out the paperwhites (white= color of mourning) and we hung up some paper lanterns. I also replaced the coins I used to have hanging in the corner of the living room (I gave them to my friend Shana as a housewarming present, and she came into a windfall immediately, FYI).

Which makes me realize that I'm rather superstitious for, you know, an Episcopalian.

Now Becca and I are about to work on the crafts we found here; then I'm off to buy a kumquat tree. Here's wishing you a prosperous new year.

Photo via flickr, with thanks to sachman75.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Poetry on Sunday

For the new President (this is his favorite poet) and for the lovely Karen, who is also from Trinidad. This is my favorite Derek Walcott poem.


Those five or six young guys
hunched on the stoop
that oven-hot summer night
whistled me over. Nice
and friendly. So, I stop.
MacDougal or Christopher
Street in chains of light.

A summer festival. Or some
saint's. I wasn't too far from
home, but not too bright
for a nigger, and not too dark.
I figured we were all
one, wop, nigger, jew,
besides, this wasn't Central Park.
I'm coming on too strong? You figure
right! They beat this yellow nigger
black and blue.

Yeah. During all this, scared
in case one used a knife,
I hung my olive-green, just-bought
sports coat on a fire plug.
I did nothing. They fought
each other, really. Life
gives them a few kicks,
that's all. The spades, the spicks.

My face smashed in, my bloody mug
pouring, my olive-branch jacket saved
from cuts and tears,
I crawled four flights upstairs.
Sprawled in the gutter, I
remember a few watchers waved
loudly, and one kid's mother shouting
like "Jackie" or "Terry,"
"now that's enough!"
It's nothing really.
They don't get enough love.

You know they wouldn't kill
you. Just playing rough,
like young Americans will.
Still it taught me something
about love. If it's so tough,
forget it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Here We Go Again

I'm having another one of those moments where I just saw an awesome movie that everybody finished talking about months ago. God dammit.

In Bruges is fucking excellent. Rent it. I found it on some list of "Most Overlooked" movies, and I have to concur. Here's Roger Ebert's review, which gives a little too much away, I think.

N.B. to Letitia -- Not for you.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I think I'm going to start a blog for all the furniture described as "unique"on Craigslist.

"This is a unique coffee table. It has a cowboy laying down with a glass top." I know I'm gonna have to arm wrestle Joni for this one.

"Awesome Wall Cube Decor." Decorate like the Flintstones!
'In the event that you live in a pineapple under the sea...

Unrelated: It gives me the shivers when someone lists a mattress for sale and describes it with the words, "No rips."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Favorite New Link

This woman really gets it.

I Am Not Going to Get Sick

Zicam: check

Tortilla Soup from El Rey: check

Hot toddy: in progress

I love this mug. It says, "Mom's Mug."
Not, "World's Greatest Mom!" or "I love Mom!"
It's, "Without Commenting On Her Parenting Skills, This Piece Of Crockery Belongs To My Biological Mother."

Which is why there's bourbon in it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What mamacita is ...

Reading & Listening to
As soon as I can find a copy.

Dude, Salma Hayek is on there now. Sssssweet!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Even Historic-ier Inauguaration Than Usual: Mrs. O

One of the things that I love about Michelle Obama is the way she moves in her clothes. Ballgown, First Lady Suit, slacks and a sweater -- she always owns it, and looks like she belongs in the clothes.

P.S. to M.O. -- Taking a cue from Mrs. Reagan was a good move. Poor Laura Bush looked like a centaur in 2005.

Update on the pots of dirt

I have planted:

Sweet Pepper "Chinese Giant" (Red)
Sweet Pepper "California Wonder Orange"
"Fine Leaf" Chives
"True Greek" Oregano
"Dukat Leafy" Dill
Italian Parsley
"Sweet Burpless Hybrid" Cucumber
"Slow-Bolt" Cilantro
"Super Bush" Container Tomato
"Chianti Rose" Heirloom Tomato
"Rainbow Blend" Cherry Tomato
"Alaska Mix" Heirloom Nasturtiums
"Hot Crayon Colors" Cutting Zinnias
"Cool Crayon Colors" Cutting Zinnias
"Italian Pesto" Basil

An Even Historic-ier Inauguaration Than Usual: How Old Is That Girl, Anyway?

Obama fun fact: President Obama is younger than the actress who played Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills 90210.

via Houstonist

An Even Historic-ier Inauguaration Than Usual: Mamacita Drinks for Charity

So there was a point to all this blogger-partying. Quaker sponsored the party, and in honor of the inauguration celebrations donate crates of oatmeal to the Houston Food Bank.

As it happens, you can join in the fun. If you log in your Quaker UPCs on Facebook, they will donate in your honor.

An Even Historic-ier Inauguaration Than Usual: The Problem with Blogger Parties

Karen: "How many comments do you have so far?"
Jenny: "Over 100."

An Even Historic-ier Inauguaration Than Usual: Bow Wow Wow

There is a move afoot to change the national anthem to something by Parliament.

An Even Historic-ier Inauguaration Than Usual: About the Poet

Yay, internet: Elizabeth Alexander

An Even Historic-ier Inauguration Than Usual: Part the Second

I'm at Karen's now, 1.5 hours late, of course. I'm glad I came -- the oatmeal is outstanding. The caterer simmered the oatmeal in milk with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and a pinch of salt. Then he added sunflower seeds at the end. Yum.

The new president is talking on the tv. Beautiful day.

P.S. -- Yay science! GObama!

An Even Historic-ier Inauguaration Than Usual: OOH, BURN!

"History will judge you on what you can build, not what you can destroy."

An Even Historic-ier Inauguration Than Usual: Part the First

So I'm supposed to go to this blogger party at Karen's (brought to you by Quaker Oatmeal). But I'm lying in my warm bed in an empty house with the day off. Oh, if only there were more to lure me to the party than oatmeal. The bottle of Prosecco is in my fridge.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Poetry on Sunday

I-Miss-Cayce Edition

Having a Coke with You

by Frank O'Hara

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, IrĂșn, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvellous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Seeds Started

Word to the wise: don't do your potting in the dining area. It makes a bloody awful mess.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It Almost Makes Me Want to See an Opera

Look how cute this drawing is. It's the ad for an opera they ran last fall at the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston.

Now, why don't I like opera? I love the costumes. The music I don't mind. And ... the costumes are gorgeous. The plots are awful, but other people seem to get past that. And you'd think it wouldn't matter compared to, you know, the costumes.

There's a little bit of the ballpark effect -- you have to shell out fat ducats to have a bad view of something. Even if you're sitting right in the orchestra pit, you can't see very well at the big venues. Is this helped by opera glasses and a high-roller balcony? Someone will have to fill me in.

Also it might help if I understood Italian.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Nearly Wet My Pants Laughing At This

I'll let Mr. Kottke describe:

Songsmith is a piece of software by Microsoft Research that automatically creates a musical accompaniment to a singer's voice. A MetaFilter member took David Lee Roth's vocal track from Runnin' With The Devil and put it through Songsmith...the results are pretty great.

You Know Who Always Looks Good?

Darcy Miller, who is the Martha Stewart Weddings editor.

She often wears this neckline.

And these great color combinations.

And patterned hose! Too few people wear patterned hose.
[Lousy picture because I had to enlarge it.]

Her wedding picture -- I really like the veil.

This isn't a great picture of her, but how cute is that jacket? I am noticing all of this, of course, because she's short and has no waist -- I can relate, let's say.

And she always wears such great jewelry.
I left this picture larger so you could see the gorgeous necklace.

Also of note: Martha's "behind-the-scenes" article.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Poetry on Sunday

This one goes out to all of you who are freezing your asses off right now.

Red Boots On
by Kit Wright

Way down Geneva,
All along Vine,
Deeper than the snow drift
Love's eyes shine:

Mary Lou's walking
In the winter time.

She's got

Red boots on, she's got
Red boots on,
Kicking up the winter,
Till the winter's gone.


Go by Ontario,
Look down Main,
If you can't find Mary Lou,
Come back again:

Sweet light burning
In winter's flame.

She's got

Snow in her eyes, got
A tingle in her toes
And new red boots on
Wherever she goes


All around Lake Street,
Up by St. Paul,
Quicker than the white wind
Love takes all:

Mary Lou's walking
In the big snow fall.

She's got

Red boots on, she's got
Red boots on
Kicking up the winter
Till the winter's gone.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Ultimate Kid Question

"Mommy, how do you spell 'why?'"

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Wedding Gift for Spencer and Heidi

Cayce was evidently shopping for high-end sex toys for her new house when she sent me a link to this: the personal condom dispenser. And it's German Design, y'all, so don't be making fun.

It's from a store called Canoe, which sells (obviously) sex toys. And yes, Lisagh, it would look smashing with an engraved monogram.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What E&B are...

Such a good book. It won the Caldecott last year -- the gorgeous black-and-white drawings are part of the story. Good for grown-ups, too.

Less Stabby Now

Go see Austenbook -- Jane Austen's characters on facebook.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


So very, very stabby. Back in a moment. Must take a pill and lie down.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Poetry on Sunday

The Best Cigarette

There are many that I miss
having sent my last one out a car window
sparking along the road one night, years ago.

The heralded one, of course:
after sex, the two glowing tips
now the lights of a single ship;
at the end of a long dinner
with more wine to come
and a smoke ring coasting into the chandelier;
or on a white beach,
holding one with fingers still wet from a swim.

How bittersweet these punctuations
of flame and gesture;
but the best were on those mornings
when I would have a little something going
in the typewriter,
the sun bright in the windows,
maybe some Berlioz on in the background.
I would go into the kitchen for coffee
and on the way back to the page,
curled in its roller,
I would light one up and feel
its dry rush mix with the dark taste of coffee.

Then I would be my own locomotive,
trailing behind me as I returned to work
little puffs of smoke,
indicators of progress,
signs of industry and thought,
the signal that told the nineteenth century
it was moving forward.
That was the best cigarette,
when I would steam into the study
full of vaporous hope
and stand there,
the big headlamp of my face
pointed down at all the words in parallel lines.

Billy Collins

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I Would Still Watch Him Read the Phone Book

"Why people, who have not committed any punishable offense, listen to country and western music, is absolutely beyond me." John Cleese, here

What mamacita is ...

Will I ever listen to another band? Maybe; maybe not...
Thanks, C(BMGD).

Planning a trip to...
Get the guest room ready, Oprah.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

new mirror

new mirror, originally uploaded by houston mamacita.

In the process of sprucing up the hizzy -- this was a Craigslist find. The mirror is bigger than it looks here, for some reason.