Hobnobbing with Aliens

Mamacita says:  I grew up obsessed with astronomy, and the sci fi I got every few days from the library led me to believe that by the time I was grown up, we’d have established colonies on the moon and on Mars and would be hobnobbing with aliens and all kinds of beings from other galaxies.

My first sci fi novel. I was in the first grade. Andromeda galaxy indeed!

My first sci fi novel. I was in the first grade. Andromeda galaxy indeed!

I wanted to go to Mars.  I wanted to land on the moon on the way, to refuel and possibly pick up passengers, and I wanted to experience a comet near-miss.  It was in the book!

Mom forbade me to check out this book any more. But how could a little kid read it too much?

Mom forbade me to check out this book any more. But how could a little kid read it too much?

In the second grade, I discovered Danny Dunn.  It’s a series, and if you have a really young elementary-level child, I highly recommend it.  It’s even got a scientific girl in it, which was quite unusual for the times.

This is only one of a series of science fiction novels for really young readers.

This is only one of a series of science fiction novels for really young readers.

When I was in the fifth grade, I discovered Ray Bradbury by way of “The Twilight Zone.”  I have never looked back.

So well-written, it makes my head spin.

So well-written, it makes my head spin.

I still fantasize about going on a space journey.  I am lost in envy of book and movie characters who are on long journeys further and further into space.  That our government eliminated the shuttle program makes me sick at heart.

It's disgraceful that we are no longer making and using our own shuttles!

It’s disgraceful that we are no longer making and using our own shuttles!

In fact, when I think about the attitude of the general population and, sadly, our own government, concerning science and progress and creativity and innovation and whimsy and common sense and attitudes toward those who are somehow different, I feel really let down. This probably explains why I feel so at home with “Voyager,” and “Star Trek,” and “Harry Potter,” etc, and why I am so puzzled by people who are not comfortable and who even show hostility towards anyone who is different from them, and who are not curious about what’s “out there,” and who are content to just sit around and watch bridezillas and hoarders and who don’t care a bit about space exploration or even getting along with neighbors who aren’t identical with them in their appearance and beliefs, etc.. I’m different from them, and proud to be. Which, by my own logic, makes me one of them. And now I’m really upset.

Voyager. I want to be there.

Voyager. I want to be there.

And what makes me even more upset is the sad fact that even if we wised up and initiated a space program tomorrow, I wouldn’t qualify now because I’m too darn old. I mean, by the time we got “there,” I’d be long dead.

As for hobnobbing with aliens. . . once we’re in space, WE’RE the aliens.

How Teachers Name Their Own Babies

Mamacita says:  Teachers have a hard time choosing names for their own babies because every name in creation represents a student who behaved like a ______ and told us to _________ and tried to get away with ________ and had a parent who _______ and was responsible for a lot of tears and trembling and high blood pressure.

There are certain names that represent nothing but negativity and certain names that represent smiles and wonderful memories.

I named my own children for book characters.

I’m promising you – there are few, if any, names on this earth that don’t conjure up at least one memory of at least one student. I know I crossed some once-loved names off my list forever. Fortunately, my list of “when pigs fly” names was short, and my list of “maybe because of the love” names was a lot longer.

In the end, though, the book people won out.

It’s sad, too, that there are a few really nice names that not a single awesome kid had, and these names represent a lot of bread-kneading-because-it’s-therapy moments, as in, you give the lump of dough a name and then you beat the every-loving ___ out of it. Things we’d never in a million years say or do or even consciously think about a real student but, well, there ya go. Ditto with a small handful of parents. And administrators. Safe outlets.

I have been very fortunate that the wonderful people far outnumbered the not-so-wonderful people in my career. Thanks to my wonderful people for that. (My own kids still laugh about the way I used to get home from school and almost immediately blast a certain student to smithereens with a video game so primitive we used to give it sound effects with our voices.)

The sound a goat makes still reminds me of that student.  “Maaaaaaaaa” was his usual response to anything.  Go figure.

The High School Musical That Changed My Life

My first live musical!

My first live musical!


Mamacita says:  The first live musical I ever saw was “Oklahoma,” during my junior year of high school. There was no turning back. My life was so small-town, so provincial, so limited. I had never realized that my peers had the kind of talent people paid money to see. I had never before seen anything like it.

I was already a huge fan of movie musicals, but this was local and featured kids I knew. I just never knew they could do THAT. I wish there were a video of that production. And to the people who were in that cast who are on FB: Wow. (I saw it three times.) Thank you. You added an element to my life that I still consider wonderful. I will never comprehend the fact that there are people who do not experience as much live theatre as is humanly possible.

When I win the lottery, I will build real theatres for every community, and create 4-year free-ride scholarships for students who participate in music, art, and theatre. That scholarship will include free pizza twice a week, and season tickets to all things musical and artistic within a hundred mile radius. If they want to watch sports, they’re on their own. Sports makes enough money; they certainly don’t need mine, and I don’t want to give them any of mine.

I have nothing against sports except when my tax dollars go to support a stadium instead of an auditorium; I admit: I really resent that and I begrudge it and I wouldn’t let them use my money for that if I had any choice, and I wouldn’t even mind if they used my tax dollars for theatres, but the arts are cast out on their own, not supported. No, I wish I could designate my tax dollars for things I love, not things I don’t. I resent it. I wish my money could go for the arts, not sports. Not even my imaginary not-won-yet pretend fantasy money. But if there’s a production of “The Secret Garden” or “Les Miserables,” or “Guys and Dolls” or “The King and I,” my winners want to see, it’s a done deal. I’ll pay for the gas, too.

I never win anything.

I never win anything.

Now I guess I should buy a lottery ticket. These results don’t grow on trees.


Easter 2017: Rejoice.

One of two carved limestone Easter Island heads at the entrance to Thornton Park in Bedford, Indiana

Mamacita says: Happy Easter, everyone.

What? Oh, oops. . . . .

Vintage Easter card

Here. This is more like it. I do love those vintage Easter postcards. I hated growing up and finding out that those baby kittens were probably going to eat those baby chicks. I would also hate to have to tell you all how old I was before I realized that the bunnies weren’t really responsible for all those eggs.

THIS is Easter.

But ultimately, this is Easter to me.

And isn’t it wonderful that so many of us, with so many different beliefs, can hang out here in the Blogosphere and get along great and love each other without having to constantly proselytize and try to sway each other to our own beliefs?

Even after the election. . .   Well, in spite of all that, we’re still all pretty nice.  Those who aren’t, well, who wants to sit by them?  “Those” people aren’t what the rest of us are all about.

Oh, sure, those people are online too, but I don’t pay much attention to them.  You shouldn’t, either.  Let them rant.. .

It’s the people whose beliefs are quietly lived every day, the people who show me by example what their values are, who get my attention.

And who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor? If you don’t believe me, just look around for a minute or two. Think of your family.

And if you’re alone, look in the mirror.


Happy Easter, dear internet people. Eat chocolate. Smile. Have some eggs. Rejoice over something.

It’s a good day for rejoicing. . . .

Quotation Saturday: Easter

quotation saturday, mamacita's blog, jane goodwin Mamacita says: It’s Easter weekend, and Quotation Saturday begs your leave to take full advantage of said fact. Nah, I’m kidding, Quotation Saturday does what it wants; sometimes it makes itself known when it’s not even Saturday.

Easter is a wonderful, special time of year. For some, it marks the end of harsh winter and the beginning of beautiful spring; for others, it’s the holiest of holy days, and for still others, it’s a children’s holiday full of bunnies, chickies, candy, and colored eggs.

Quotation Saturday wishes to please you all.

1. We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine. — Dwight L. Moody

2. Easter is very important to me, it’s a second chance. — Reba McEntirehe is not here, he is risen

3. The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb, but rather the empty grave clothes – undisturbed in form and position. — Josh McDowell

4. I have always wanted a bunny and I’ll always have a rabbit the rest of my life. — Amy Sedaris

5. I’ve got great people who handle my schedule, and everything does revolve around the children. If there’s a parents’ night or an Easter bonnet parade or a Nativity play, whatever it might be, then I plan everything around that. — Victoria Beckham

6. I read the Scriptures at the American Cathedral on Christmas and Easter; that’s it. It’s a task I love. — Olivia De Havilland

7. Easter is reflecting upon suffering for one thing, but it also reflects upon Jesus and his non compliance in the face of great authority where he holds to his truth – so there’s two stories there. — Michael Leunig

8. Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song. — John Paul II

9. Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot. chicks, cat, Easter, devour, Scheiss WeeklyThe reality is so horrible it is not surprising that people should have found it a stumbling block to faith. — W.H. Auden

10. If anyone or anything tries to curse or kill the Goodness at the Center of all things, it will just keep coming back to life. Forever Easter. — David Housholder

11. Easter is never deserved. — Jan Karon

12. Love paid a price so hope could become a reality. — Susan GaddisPeeps, pink, Easter, Scheiss Weekly

13. Two thousand years ago Jesus is crucified, three days later he walks out of a cave and they celebrate with chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps and beautifully decorated eggs. I guess these were things Jesus loved as a child. — Billy Crystal

14. So with Easter. It was fun, as a child, to bound down the stairs to find seasonal sweet-treats under each plate, but again, with the passing of time, and the shadow of death over our broken family circle, I’ve seen Easter as highest necessity. If chocolate bunny, Easter, Scheiss Weeklyhope is to flourish, it had better be true. –Gerhard Frost

15. The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice. — Henry Knox Sherrill

16. Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things but in terms of ideals. — Charles M Crowe

17. The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. — Robert Flatt

18. Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, “Christ is risen,” but “I shall rise.” — Phillips Brooks

19. You’ll wake up on Easter morning, And you’ll know that he was there, When you find those Easter lamb, Scheiss Weeklychoc’late bunnies, That he’s hiding ev’rywhere. — Gene Autry

20. The resurrection asserts a truth which is by no means always written legibly for all men on the face of nature. It tells us that the spiritual is higher than the material; that in this universe spirit counts for more than matter. — H.P. Liddon

21. The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks. — Douglas Adams

22. It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart. — Rainer Maria Rilke

23. If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring. — Victor Hugo

24. It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you spring flowers, Easter, Scheiss Weeklydon’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! — Mark Twain

25. Strange as it may seem, the association of eggs and bunnies at Easter time are actually connected and, to discover more, we must once again turn our attention to the Saxon fertility Goddess, Eostre. — Carole Carlton

26.  There would be no Christmas if there were no Easter.  — Gordon B. Hinckley

27. The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb, but rather the empty grave clothes – undisturbed in form and position. — Josh McDowell

28.  Unfortunately there is nothing more inane than an Easter carol. It is a religious perversion of the activity of Spring in our blood.  — Wallace Stevens

29.  There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who love chocolate, and communists. — Leslie Moak Murray

30. The stone was rolled away from the door, not to permit Christ to come out, but to enable the disciples to go in. — Peter Marshall

Happy Easter, bunnies, chicks, eggs, Scheiss Weekly