Wednesday, November 29, 2006


so, fellow closeted wiggle fan, i'm sure you've already heard that greg page is rumored to be leaving the wiggles... :(

see here and here and here and of course.... here.

i know that another member of the wiggles crew is subbing for greg right now (GET WELL GREG!!!!!), but just in case "the powers that be" pull a "miss melanie > leo > nina" dealio...

i thought i might offer some visual aids:

let's look at the top three -

lance bass - i don't see the resemblance frankly but, this would be a perfect match considering he's already experienced in singing and dancing in front of thousands of children and starring in/providing the voice for characters on many kids tv shows. so, maybe they slip a little grecian formula in his shampoo and darken up the brows a bit... they may have to reconsider the yellow shirt though- i don't think it complements his skin color....

paul celan - um, not so much. cause he's um... d. e. a. d. the poetry thing might've helped though...

adam corolla - omg. i can't believe i didn't see the similarities before!!! it's kinda eerie in that "separated at birth" way... if only we could put lance bass' brain into adam corolla's body...

whoa. maybe they already did....

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

whaddya want for christmas?

i hate answering that question... i always give up and say the same thing all the time, "just get me a gift certificate." i figure this way it saves both of us time and energy. they don't have to think about something and then shop and wrap it. and i don't have to pack a gift away with so many others (that i can't/wouldn't wear/use) and walk all the way to the thrift store to donate. horrible, i know... i don't do this with all my gifts, but there are a fair number that are well intentioned and wonderful, but... no.

so. for those of you who have asked the question (and you know who you are) - i will finally answer it for you... with the help of wists. (thank you, barb aka cat mom, goalie, closet genius)

basically, wists allows you to save all the goodies you want in one big wishlist. and here's mine:

i dunno about you but i'm pretty hooked on the whole wist thing... everyone needs to get in on this action....

Monday, November 27, 2006

great expectations

great expectations
Originally uploaded by mamazilla1972.

personally, i'm not one to have too many expectations. this goes quadruple for christmas. but, i wasn't always this way....

every december 5th, i'd write my santa letter and place it gently inside my stocking - making sure that it was not too deep 'cause who knows how bad santa's eyesight really is, right?

and every morning of december 6th, i'd wake to find the letter gone and a small candy or random bric a brac in its place. to me, it was a diminutive guarantee that i had indeed made contact with santa. i was assured that there was "something" in the works.

well, christmas day would finally saunter in and i was almost always disappointed. and i started to think there was something developmentally wrong with ol' kris kringle. don't get me wrong - it was ALWAYS great to get anything for christmas. i was ALWAYS thankful. but, i just never got quite what i wanted, despite the letter... i mean, i even started to suspect my penmanship or my spelling... and i was a champion, C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N, champion speller...

one year, i asked for twister. and who doesn't know what twister "the game that ties you up in knots" is, y'know? the game with the dots and the hands and feet and the bodies and the laughter, etc... on christmas morning, i knew from the small wrapped rectangular box that i didn't get the game. instead, i got a knock off, wanna-be barbie doll named "twister" (seriously people, they sold them at woolworth's).

another year, i asked for a pair of "candies" - i don't know why - i just wanted a pair. yes, i was much too young to have them. but i remember i wanted to be the "bad sandy" from grease - starting with the shoes (shut up. i knew plenty of boys who wanted to be "bad sandy" too) and lo and behold, i peer inside a shoebox (i sh*t you not) and there were a pair of candies... DOLLS. there were two, candies brand, wanna-be barbie dolls - a blonde and a brunette.

mind you - i NEVER asked for barbies in my santa letters. i thought dolls were so weird... i totally did/do not get the whole "doll play" thing... intellectually or physically... even when the paloma wants to play with dolls, i have to admit, i try to steer her to another activity because i just hate to play with dolls. i'm so glad that she has other friends who will play dolls with her because i just... i'm just not wired for it...

years later, after "the secret" was out, i realized how hard my mother (an immigrant who didn't know all that much about american culture to begin with and certainly did not have the money to buy the presents i asked for) tried to get me the things i "wanted" - not just the stuff i "needed". i'm making my mom a pair of those silly clogs.... i know she'll get a kick out of them, especially since she was the one who taught me how to knit and purl in the first place. :)

anyhoo... i do have a point to this post - chicago's empty stocking program.

some friends of mine have been doing this for a year or two now and if we actually have some $ to spare, i hope to start this tradition this year too. approximately, 20,000 letters are written by chicago area children from low income families to santa. if you send the sun times your contact info, they'll send you one of these letters. you are asked to spend at least $25 and that your gift be delivered by december 20. i've seen some of these letters and they just about break your heart with either too much cuteness and/or too much sadness...

well, we've been stricken down with "The Cold Virus That Ate Our Immune Systems"... i hope your holiday seasons got off to a happier start than ours! *cough* *hack* *wheeze*

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Originally uploaded by MetroManilan.

i was going to post some cute pic of an innocent baby pig sleeping on a bed of clean sunlit hay but the reality is there's filipinos out there getting ready to pig out on some pig... 'cause well, we don't do turkey. so, look out, porky, wilbur, babe... your days are numbered. oink, oinky, oink-y, oink, oink!

anyhoo... one of the things i enjoy about blogging is that i can look back at what i was pondering in 2004 (halloween decor, knitting, the beastie boys, toys for adults but not "adult toys", blog explosion, nigella lawson,the lamb purse, women bloggers cycles, gay men and boston market) and 2005 (howard stern, toilets, child free zones, popzillas b'day, snow, harry potter, contractions).

i can't believe this time, last year, i was already dilated and eagerly awaiting the birth of the porkchop. (and yes. i promise. i will not eat him.)

i realize now that this time of year i'll probably always be doing about the same thing(s)... fantasizing about eating lots of food, thinking about what i did the year before, planning/signing/mailing christmas cards, frantically buying/making christmas presents, stressing out, contemplating therapy and the pros and cons of a lifetime on meds, etc, etc...

this year, we'll also be back at my aunts house, where the usual filipino feast (lechon, rice, pansit, lumpia, chicken adobo, empanadas, dinugguan, leche flan, etc...) will be laid out. MASARAP!!

as usual, i feel guilty that the thin man will have to go without the traditional american thanksgiving meal he's so familiar with and that he usually shares with his mother's side of the family. i have been lucky enough to share in the big thanksgiving lunch... snack... dinner... late night snack... next day turkey shake...

i hope that the paloma and the porkchop enjoy our thanksgivings with our extended family. i wasn't always so fond of them. as a child, i often wished i could have a thanksgiving like all the "other kids" (the ones outside of logan square) with turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes...

which got me thinking... does the filipino feast have more in common with how puerto rican americans celebrate thanksgiving? i've heard filipinos called "the puerto ricans of the orient". so, i did a very itty bitty limited amount of googling and found that boricuas also have lechons as the main "foodporn" of celebratory meals, but i guess they do turkey "con sabor" for thanksgiving.... i also found this great puerto rican thanksgiving menu. i can hear the kids rousing from their naps so i don't have time to google re: how polish americans and mexican americans celebrate thanksgiving.

so, dearest thin man, tomorrow, let's just pretend you're kicking it in san juan with your dad and your primos (we'll pretend "the crazy lady" is in costa rica...) dude, you have to get in touch with the puerto rican in you 'cause i need in on that coquito action...

the paloma was telling me that she is thankful for trees - "because trees let birds make nestses in them and squirrels live in them and they scrub the air and they don't fall down if i don't use too much toilet paper."

i'm thankful for so many things, my family, my friends, my (deteriorating) health, my home, the blessings and daily miracles that i always neglect to acknowledge, the trees...

so, happy thanksgiving everyone! now, GO GET THAT PIG! :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

no. i don't have better things to do...

111606 002
Originally uploaded by mamazilla1972.

so, i like to hide (from people, responsibilities, impending doom aka the holidays) behind stuff...

i was most recently hiding behind a pair of GARGANTUAN fiber trend clogs that i was making...

but i'm done now... they're felted and embellished with felt flowers (that i made) and everything...

111606 021
Originally uploaded by mamazilla1972.

so, now i have to find something else to hide behind...


wait... i'll just make more!!!!

and read a book....
and rear children...

who wants clogs? anyone? anyone? bueller? bueller?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

nothing to see... everything's fine... just dandy...

111606 007
Originally uploaded by mamazilla1972.

truth be told, the past week or so has been really insane... i've only thought of institutionalizing, four times.

things i have learned from this experience...

1) the next time we pay someone to redo anything in the house, we're also going to go away - even if it means we're sleeping in a storage space for a few days

2) double the time estimate. two days = four days.

3) sometimes homeowners will install linoleum over perfect hardwood floors and then decide they don't like it. but instead of just ripping out the linoleum, they will install a plywood underlay (with 2 inch long screws, 2 inches apart from each other) and incorrectly install ceramic tile on top of that with grout that constantly cracks and breaks off. and there is NO way to restore a perfect wood floor after all that. there is just crying and more crying and voodoo magics...

4) dust will find a way into everything. so, pack the room, like you're moving. what the heck, just repack the house and move.

5) ceramic floor demolition & replacement = an arm and a leg
eating out for every meal for four days = all the change in child's college fund
child not eating grout = priceless

111606b 001
Originally uploaded by mamazilla1972.

Monday, November 13, 2006

happy birthday thin man!!!

dj baby pic
Originally uploaded by mamazilla1972.

just so you know - there is stuff and people, older than you:

your mom
your gram
our house
our neighborhood
the lake
the city
the president
the mayor
frankie manning
coca cola
the shoe
the book
the lightbulb
cars (in general, not the animated film)
the continents
your fraternity
kidney transplants
mickey mouse
the interstate
the music you listen to... (well, except those justin and kelly people)

so, yer old, but not THAT old...

see... i can be one of you glass half full, silver lining types...

happy! happy! yada yada yada! :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

south siiiiide!!!

110806 004B
Originally uploaded by mamazilla1972.

the nameless, faceless and almighty "THEY" have finally begun (re-?, de-?) construction on the park nearest and dearest to our hearts (and our address) hurley playlot park.

this morning, we were passing by the site on our way home and saw the above sign. it says:

"Put in a Pirate Ship or we will eat your SOULS! (questions?) 1-708-229-XXXX"

nuff said.

don't mess with beverly.

we train pirates.

(just an fyi - this is what used to be at the park...)

Making a run for the slide on Hurley Park, Longwood Dr
Originally uploaded by YoChicago1.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

i look like...


first row: holly hunter, laura dern, norkys batista, matsu takako
second row: anastacia, jolin tsai, maggie cheung, angelina jolie

i must've broken the program if they think i look like ANY of these women.

...and i married greg brady aka "johnny bravo"...

first row: simon le bon, barry williams, aidan quinn, kenneth brannagh
second row: franz beckenbauer, roy livingston, tom petty, mark bautista

thanks to bloggo chicago for the laughs!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

is it just me?

flying ice
Originally uploaded by ten-nine.

or is it cold in here?

three mornings a week, 4 times a day, the kids are bundled up and we walk a handful of blocks (twice downhill and twice uphill) to and from the paloma's preschool.

this morning, i open the door and a strong gust of wind blows right through me. it felt like dull metal scraping against a cold dry hollow bone.

since then, i've been trying in vain to get warm. i have the space heater on, as well as a sweater and some socks (ok, they're holey). but, i’m still cold.

lots of stuff leaves me cold lately.

i worry about this war, and all the constant "us v them" conflicts in real life and online - whether its the democrats vs the republicans, white people v poc, poc v poc, sahm v. wohm, childfree v. the parents, the mommybloggers v. the mommyblogger haters...

most of the time i want to say something... i want to enagage in the dialogue. but i never feel like i have enough information about an issue which makes me feel like an idiot so i'll just keep trying to get more educated about something. i need to see all the sides, all the shades of grey. i just keep reading and reading… but i don’t have enough time in a day nor enough brain cells to read and process all this information, but i obsess and do it anyway… i don’t get any smarter about any issues… don’t even get me started on voting.

for example, i know TOO much about melinda duckett. among many things, i just recently found out that she and her sister were adopted from korea. i keep wondering about her sister and how she's coping. i also found out that melinda kept a myspace account under what people speculate was her korean name, mee kee ong lee. i wonder what she was like and who she was and how brave she was to become a parent at 21. i hope and pray that trenton is alive and well.

on a related note, since the celebrity adoption of angelina jolie’s zahara, i’ve been reading a lot of transracial adoptee blogs. so, madonna’s adoption of david banda has been on my mind a lot recently as well.

i saw the madonna interview last night on dateline nbc with meredith viera. there are links to the interview videos here. in the interview, madonna said something like, “in american orphanages, children get all their basic needs met. they have clothes. they have food. they have medicine. they have adults that look after them. there is nothing like this in africa... it’s a state of emergency....”

so, i reluctantly click on the video of david’s orphanage, home of hope. i expect to see footage like this heartbreaking 45 min video of homeless children from north korea. instead, i see smiling children who are clothed, who have what looks like a lot of food (not necessarily food that an unadventurous american would eat, i suppose) and though most of the footage is of the children, you see adults in the background caring for them. so, of the thousands of malawi orphans who truly live in dire straits, who are in need of basic things for survival - immediate medical attention, clothing, food, shelter, love - she chooses david - a child who isn’t an orphan, who isn’t ill and is cared for?

granted i don't know squat about malawi. it wouldn't surprise me if home of hope was the only orphanage of its kind in malawi. i guess what bothers me most of all is the portrayal of developing or newly industrialized countries as incapable of providing the necessities that define a “good” life. compared to what? life in america? don’t get me wrong – my life in america has been a blessing. thank you God! *knock on wood* but, it’s not perfect. whatever that is... the last time i saw "the third world" i was living in san francisco.

how would i know? well, i’ve lived “over there”too. and i’ll let you in on a secret – it ain’t all that bad. sometimes i think there's a note on maps that says "here be savages" instead of "here be dragons" anywhere that isn't "a first world".

back in the philippines, near manila, where my family lives, i think we were/are considered middle class. anyway, in the 70s, i remember that the kitchen was the only room with running water. there was an outhouse in the back with a porcelain toilet - no seat, no tp. next to it, there was a large plastic barrel of water with a small plastic bowl floating in it – used for flushing and washing. there was also a large cement room with a green plastic roof. in the middle of that room there was a steel pan, maybe three or four ft in diameter that looked like a giant bottle cap, crimped edges and all. there was another large plastic barrel of water with another small plastic bowl in there too – used for washing. there were two bedrooms. my parents had one and the kids (four of us) slept in the same room - my oldest sister had a hammock. my brother had a bed and my youngest sister and i slept on the floor on a mat.

brownouts were common. so, we did our best to do most things without electricity. we didn’t have air conditioning. very little was kept in the refrigerator where it could spoil. our clothes were cleaned by hand. out on the street, sewers were open but somehow we all avoided getting sick. often my parents tried "alternative medicine" to help with my cystic hygroma. nothing worked. but my grandfather lived many years on these "alternatives". and there were mosquitos everywhere. but, that’s what mosquito nets and caladryl are for. we kept pigs and chickens and roosters in nearby pens. and we had dogs. AS PETS. i remember a man would come down our street with a huge ox covered in beautiful shiny pots and pans for sale. i always wanted to stop him so i could touch the ox.

we ate almost every meal together. the only canned good we had was powdered milk. everything else was purchased fresh from the market (see refrigerator). my papa built our home over his hvac business. so we would often eat together with extended family and the workers. my father was around the office or the house whenever he wasn't at a job site. i did without so many luxuries we take for granted here. we lived very happily with very little. it was not a sacrifice. it was not pitiful. it was a very full good life. it's insulting to hear that that just isn't good enough in the eyes of the industrialized world.

of course, the philippines has its overwhelming share of poverty and corruption. i saw that too. i remember getting stuck in traffic over a bridge. it felt as if we moved an inch or so a minute. the bridge straddled a thin black river. on either side of the river bank, there were cardboard shacks. people were in the river washing clothes. there was a big pothole in the bridge near the shoulder. as we got closer to it i noticed the sky was getting darker and that soon it would rain. and it did. within a few moments a little girl had made her way to the pothole with a towel and a bowl and began to take a bath with her clothes on. i've never forgotten that girl and i wonder if she's still alive and if she's ok.

anyway, i continued my search for something warm and i finally found something. i just read this really inspiring story at harlow's monkey about an american family who lived in africa for a short time and during their stay adopted a sick baby boy. they cared for him in africa, until he was well and could be returned to his extended family. decades later, after they returned home to america, they were reunited with him and they continue to help him and still consider him their adopted son.

why doesn't this happen more often? why isn't this considered just as viable an option as surrendering a child to an orphanage or transracial adoption (not that i'm against either or that these things are bad) but couldn't this have been an option for david banda and his family as well?

ok. i think i'm done now... somehow, i just lost my train of thought...


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