i make no excuses about who i am! love me, hate me, just read me!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Being 10 again and remembering the Chowchilla Kidnapping Ordeal:The kidnappers are deemed "suitable for parole"

I remember being ten years old in the summer of 1976, a time when walking down the street to the 7-11 or to the store for bread was an everyday occurrence. When doors didn't get locked at night and when I could sleep in my back yard and not worry about being bothered. That summer changed the lives of a small neighboring community forever. It was an ordinary day in July, summer school was in session and kids were catching the bus in the small town of Chowchilla, a central valley neighbor to Madera, surrounded by miles of agricultural land. What these carefree kids and their veteran bus driver didn't realize was this day was a day that would shake a community to its core and leave devastating effects on them for the rest of their lives. I have vague  memories of my parents and older sister being glued to the tv set as news that kids from Chowchilla and their bus driver Ed Ray had mysteriously vanished. The bus was found empty, it was not until 27 hours later that this town learned the fate of their children. This was pre-Amber Alert, pre-mutiple lines and 911. These kids and their driver had been kidnapped at gunpoint by three masked men, loaded into vans and driven into an enclosed area that turned out be a quarry owned by one of the kidnappers father. A draft of what appeared to be the ransom note for 5 million dollars was found in the quarry owners house. Frederick Woods the owners son and his partners the Schoenfeld brothers who were all in their twenties, never got through because phone lines were tied up with incoming calls to the Sheriffs from the concerned families and the community of their victims.
Ed Ray and some of the older schoolboys had escaped from the confines of vans hidden in the quarry to freedom, a freedom that would never be the same for they, and the other children who lived through this ordeal.
So here it is 35 years later and the legal system that fought so hard to put these monsters behind bars are supporting their release for parole because the lovely state of California cannot afford to house them any longer. They are deemed "suitable for parole". The now adult victims of the kidnappers have spoken with anger that they are "deemed suitable for parole". These men may get to go free, but their victims will never be free from the fear that held many of them hostage for years, irrevocably changing the course of their lives. Where are their rights? I cannot fathom how any of them have dealt with this haunting memory, I imagine being 10 again, no worries in the world , and seeing a man point a gun at  my head and being scared and hot, thirsty and hungry and wondering if my mom or dad were trying to find me.....the lasting scars that it would leave. I remember being held a little closer and hugged more in the months that followed. I pray that the survivors of this tragedy can gain a peace that they must have surely been looking for their entire lives.
The thing that pisses me off is that prisoners like the Schoenfelds' and Woods get the luxuries they do. Prisoners have too many rights! I think chain-gangs and rock soup are in order especially for criminals who perpetrate certain crimes and to me that is even too good! Some predators should just be put to death. I know I will probably offend some with my thoughts on prison reform but in my opinion when a prisoner gets more money spent on them than the family that is homeless and stays at the mission there is something wrong. Liberalism aside being in prison that long makes you learn how to be more of a criminal, people will argue that these men were young when they committed this heinous crime, and that they pose no threat to the communities that they will be released into, tell that to their victims.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Sandy Fonzo  should be aggravated as one well meaning  poster described her. I would be pretty fucking pissed off if I found out the judge who had sent my child to a youth detention center and then lined his pockets for sending basically good kids who made 1 bad mistake, like Fonzo's child did to serve ridiculous sentences. She had every right to rip (judge) Ciavarella and I use the term loosely to shreds verbally. I don't know that I would have been as tame as she was. The thing is her anger is getting a lot of notoriety and so it should. This poor womans son shot himself in the heart, comitting suicide . The one defining factor in his life  the thing that changed him was his placement in the detention center, when in reality he should have had probation or even a dismissal. I watched her interview on the Today show and Ann Curry states 'It did not seem as though yelling gave you any peace....', Shut the fuck up Ann Curry, really? Is that what yelling is supposed to do? The only thing that will give Sandy Fonzo any peace is when this judge pleads guilty and apologizes to all of his victims and their families. And possibly when he burns in hell!!!!!

Mom rage has been around for a long time and let me tell you I have had my share of it. When I have felt that my kids were threatened be it a teacher making a stupid comment to bullies and their parents... I have too like Sandy Fonzo ripped people new assholes. I only do this if I strongly feel that I am right. If my kid is the one who is in the wrong I spew on them.... My rage does is not just reserved for teachers or bullies, it can happen anytime anywhere depending on a situation and how impassioned I am. But mess with my kids and you better get the fire department to come and shovel your ashes...... Volcano Woman arrives without warning. I can only pray that I will never ever know the grief that Sandy Fonzo knows all too well.

So why is it that Fonzo's rage became front and center news... would she have gotten the notoriety if she had spoken quietly and politely without all of the obscenity? In my opinion it was because she is a woman and women in general are not to behave in such a manner as spewing obscenities and wishing someone dead in public even if their son committing suicide is the reason they are so upset. So no Ann Curry stop playing anger management therapist. Sandy Fonzo does not feel better, for yelling and cussing, and putting the tragedy of her childs life on public display. Grief is a powerful thing it moves people to action  whether it is politically correct or not. I only hope Sandy Fonzo's grief subsides over time so that she can focus on the beautiful memories of her childs life.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

thoughts on CATFISH the movie, by a reformed child liar

This weekend I rented a movie from my supermarket kiosk, love those things.... called Catfish, I had no clue what it was about but read the little brief synopsis on the screen that said something about two filmakers who make this documentary surrounding the brother of one of them. It involved romance and intrigue in the online world. So I took the bait and rented it. Two of my girls and I sat and watched it and at first they weren't to involved, since it was a documentary. One third of the way through the movie we became entranced in the online Facebook relationship between Nev and Megan, the people the filmakers are documenting. The filmakers are Ariel Schulman, Nev's brother and and Henry Joost their friend. As the story unfolds we see how Megan/Angela has lied her way through this whole online relationship she develops with Nev, who has fallen in love with someone he has never met. Nev finds some inconsistencies in some of  Megan's postings and decides that he will make a surprise visit to her home in Michigan.
He finds that an intricate web of lies was spun by an ordinary plainjain wife, mother and stepmom to two disabled sons. Angela, as we meet her seems like the proverbial kid caught in the midst of a lie and I was mad at her for a very brief moment. Then I saw the fragility of the human soul as I sat and watched as Nev confronted her about the "truth". That their was no Abby the child prodigy painter she claimed was her daughter, rather there was an Abby who was just a typical eight year old. There was no Megan who Angela claimed was her daughter, that she in fact was the sole person pretending to be all of these other people.... why? I surmise that Angela's life had become predictable and drained her of all of  the Angela she once was, she painted the pictures that had been sent to Nev, she danced  when she was a young woman, something 'Megan', Nevs love interest did. Angela had lost herself, something that I believe all woman who are mothers, wives, daughters, lovers, and others, do.Angela had taken random photos of people she knew and did not know and created this world of hers. She had built a world that  she controlled and one she could take comfort in at the click of a mouse.
We get so caught up in taking care of everyone else we become in Angela's words "remnants" of ourselves, she used that analogy to explain to Nev how she was able to make up all of the characters, she said they were remnants of who she once was. Thats when it hit me! That is a powerful way to describe the diminishing that happens to a woman when she gives too much to others and neglects herself. I felt sad for Angela, and sad for Nev who really wanted to believe that Megan existed.
When Angela spoke to Nev, you could see that she had fallen in love with him as 'Megan'. In the end you have mixed emotions about Angela, who has a host of real friends on Facebook now, and you really hope Nev is not jaded by the lies of this web and still believes in true love.
What is it in the human makeup that would prompt one to lie? I, as a former child liar, know that it is purely the need for acceptance. We all want it, we all crave it, we all flourish under it. But as a reformed child liar I realize, it doesn't matter if I took dance lessons, or if I have ever traveled to some exotic place, or eaten some exotic food, or if my parents could afford to buy me whatever it was I thought I wanted. True acceptance had to come from within, I had to learn to love myself enough to realize what I had was enough for people to like me. 

Friday, February 11, 2011


As someone who had worked in the floral industry for oh at least 6 years I am soo glad that I am not feeling the pressure of Valentines Day. I miss the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but the one thing I do not miss is the drama of Valentines Day! So listen up guys of all ages here are my thoughts as a woman and a florist on giving Valentines.

Guys are the main customers on this day and let me tell you, some of them wait up until the last minute when the shop is about to close. They'd come in begging us for some sort of arrangement that would redeem them from the silent treatment or  a fate worse yet getting shut down from sex completely for some terribly long time that to them would be an eternity. So this blog is directed at you men who seem to be idiots when it comes to things like birthdays, anniverseries and the grandest of them all Valentines Day!

It is already friday the 11th and you, by industry standards are running late on your order if you have not yet placed one, I personally would reccommend Floral Fantasy in Madera and Frankos in Full Bloom in the Fresno area, because they do not compromise and because they both hired me!  Floral Fantasy also has some candy usually and lots of other cute gift ideas. They offer some of the better quality higher end flower arrangements that will be sure to please the one you love. You can go in and get an arrangement right out of the cold box, but let me warn you that you will be paying quite a bit for any arrangement. Valentines Day is the floral industries most marketable holiday.....everyone wants a Valentine. For those women that say they don't. They are EFFFING LYING!

Thats right they are LYING, they have probably been burned by some dumbass in their life somewhere  along the line, but don't let them fool you. They would be as happy as a pig in shiz to get an arrangement at their job like anyone else. But of course Mon Cheri this means they are tres aime, ('very loved' for you numbskulls). Who does not want to show how much they are loved to the world.

Roses come in a wide array of colors now, everything from deepest burgundy red/almost black to lavender to beautiful serene lime green. These are ordered by men who usually know what they are doing and know their Valentine very well. As far as the general rose colors for Valentines day remember these tips as far as color.
Ok so here are some key things to remember
Red roses signify true love
Pink young love or early stage of the relationship
Yellow are for friendship
White is pure love
Roses are sold in the following ways;
tube rose is a rose in cello with a vial and a smallbow no greenery
wrapped roses, with greenery and filler like baby's breath usually in cello and a tissue liner and a nice bow
all vases have greenery and filler flower unless you prefer greenery only and are sold in the following ways;
bud vases either single, double or triple
half dozen
two and three dozen
I would not go over three dozen roses in one vase as it is very heavy and awkward to carry 2 dozen roses are best. Some will get the number of years they have been together or add a single special rose or other special flower to signify something that only they and their valentine will understand.

Roses are traditionally filled with baby's breath, I prefer purple wax flower to baby's breath and greenery to kick it up a notch gold bows or twigs are sometimes added, as are butterflies or other little symbols of nature like birds or dragonflies. These would be categorized as Deluxe arrangements.
A classic look for roses that I enjoy making or getting, are roses with greenery only and maybe a twig, nothing too frou frou.
You can also get them wrapped in cellophane but you are better off ordering one in water, if for some reason a vase is not what you want when presenting it have the designer take arranged roses and wrap them in cello, so that they can be added to the vase later, but remember roses need to drink  that water, the longer they are left in vials the shorter their lifespan.

As designers we long for that classic rose with a nice firm head as consumers our wants in roses are varied, some want their roses open if that is the case with your valentine, remember that by the time the heads are open the lifespan of the rose is already halfway through.

As for other flowers mixed arrangements are always pretty too, usually you can get what is called a spring mix, you can specify colors or flowers, but in general they include flowers like snap dragons, larkspur, belladonna or gladiolas mixed with daisies and carnations, lilies or gerbera daisies, roses, and and assortment of other smaller filler flowers. Higher end arrangements are more often than not arrangements that include some type of tropical flower. The orchid is the flower most often used in tropical, as are the antherium, and protea.

To keep your arrangements long lasting remember to never place in a window or in a hot area, they like cool areas. Water should be changed every other day and you can add a baby aspirin or a pinch of sugar to the water help them take up nutrients.

If your Valentine likes plants send one with a few roses tucked in with water vials, ask for a green plant with freshcuts in vials. Same goes for silk arrangements, women say oh flowers just die, so then send a nice silk arrangement with freshcuts added in for the day.

Add ons are things like candy, stuffed animals and oh yes balloons, seems the bigger the better, but stop and remember what kind of car they drive are they going to get in an accident trying to tote this stuff home? Personally my favorite add on is jewelery the kind you add yourself if you are presenting your Valentine with the arrangement personally. Most shops shy away from doing anything special with jewelery because they do not want the liability. Another popular gift seems to be lingere although I did not see much of it pass through our doors at the shop, this too can be something you give along with flowers. Other touches like gift certificates to the nail salon or spa or even Starbucks gift cards make great add ons. Personal touches like a cd burned with your songs or  a picture of you together in a heart shaped frame, or maybe an origami paper heart you dont need a lot of money for some of these ideas. Or take my challenge and head out to Childrens Hospital and take a pic in front of the Central Cali's Biggest heart and send that pic to your love saying "this is how much I love you!"or better yet print it and put it in a frame! These are all sweet ideas!

Sweets, my favorite part of Valentines day. I remember getting Valentines Day cakes shaped like a heart from my dad all of us me, my sis, n my mom would get one almost every year, until Perlongos Bakery went out of business. If you don't want a cake or cupcakes from Nonnis in Madera then you better book it to Sees or better yet check the Madera Community Hospital gift shop they sell Sees. If you want to give some wine to your Valentine I highly reccomend Quady wineries  "Electra" I have had both the red and the white and I hate wine, but these I loved!!! (thanks Pauline) They were sweet and not overpoweringly bitter, you can find it at Savemart on Howard road or at Cost Plus World Markets in Riverpark, it is a little pricey but well worth it!

Finally a word about cards and what to write on them, as a florist I often times had to find just the right words to put on my clients' card. To me the simplest things are the most memorable and always if possible in your own hand! A heart with your initial, or the word "Always" before your initial or name, or some cute quirky phrase that only your Valentine would understand. I dont want one of those big giant cards that do everything except your laundry,some women might, but to me the simpler the better. If you must write an ode to your love do it in your own hand and write her a true love letter, this is something she is sure to cherish.

However simple or grand you make the occassion, whether you are in the first date stages of your romance or have loved this Valentine of yours for 20 years or more, always remember never to forget to tell your Valentine how much you appreciate and love her the way she is. Well I hope this helps some of you guys out there! Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Its not like they wanna wear the skirts! 3 Male cheer leaders not allowed to perform because it would look funny?

Well I never thought I would be blogging about male cheerleaders in high school, no less. But yes, well I am. I recently read in the paper that one of my three local high schools, Madera High North, would not allow three boys who were on a "competition team" that had been disbanded to perform with the 65 female cheerleaders because "it would look funny". What an overt sexist statement to make! The athletic director has memory loss when asked about making this statement and had said that they were "only" members of a competition team that had broken up because one of the performers had left the group.The boys trained and paid for their cheer uniforms. Which aren't cheap by the way. They started a  petition to be reinstated and in my opinion they should be. Is my lil town that backwoods that they think cheering should be reserved for girls? Years ago in the fifties there were male cheerleaders on the pep and cheer squads in the same school that is barring these boys from performing. I bet those guys are rolling over in their graves... hmmm or still kicking either way they should be pissed at their alma mater. Good ole Madera High!

The boys admitted that it was for kicks at first and of course the draw of all those girls around them but then as they trained they realized how hard it was and became serious about it. So when the athletic director banned them from a school performance they were upset and felt like they had been wronged. I believe they have earned the right to perform and represent their school, and so do the students who signed their petition.

My concern then lies in the future, will the high school not allow a girl on the wrestling team or football or baseball teams? These are all sports my daughters play(ed) and I can guarantee you that if anyone told them no I would have slapped a lawsuit on them quicker than greased lightening. Lets not forget boys that Title 9 applies to you too! I think you should take 'em to court and Gloria Allred should represent you! These three young men should not be penalized for the fact that the competition group disbanded and instead should be compensated and reinstated by the school district. I applaud them and they have my respect for pushing the envelope. I asked a small group of young people male and female from Madera South and Pioneer Tech if they had heard about this and what they thought. They were all in agreement that no one should be banned from anything in school because of their sex, and 2 of the guys in this group were the most vocal even siting Title 9. I told em they were way smarter than some of the grown ups who run the school!

Would you let your son cheer for my daughter while she played football? Yah I knew you would your so smart too!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

i vageled, bet you dont know what the fuck that is.....

I have been off on a hiatus well that is what I was calling it. I was taking a break from all things electronic, computer, phone, internet, even TV. Partly because it was not a priority to pay my internet phone service bill, and partly because our church was doing what is called a 21 day Daniel fast. Then there is always the part that I had a lot of paperwork to deal with. The fast ended yesterday and I was  proud of myself for not getting on Facebook or worrying about my email or what TV show to watch or even what to blog about.
Two weeks ago after church I was having literally one of the best Sundays ever, my eldest lovely decided to go to church with us and that meant my grandson would be going to the Childrens Church. He just about made it through the whole service. We left feeling somehow closer as a family and looking forward to a lazy Sunday. I came home and made chilibeans for the cold blustery day even putting a meatless batch aside for my vegetarian lovely. My oldest made cornbread and we all sat down to watch "The Blindside" one of my favorite feelgood movies. We sat there stuffed and even opened the door to let some rare sunshine in. My grandson was in front of the door facing outside and our backs were to him, he was too quiet for my comfort and I glanced over at him and watched him gag himself with a belt he was sticking down his throat. I told my daughter and she looked over at him and told him to stop and we started to laugh.

My really good friends know how I laugh. I laugh so hard sometimes that no sound comes out....and sometimes I will pee my pants. This was exactly what was about to happen and having just changed into some comfy lounging type pants I made a run for the bathroom. I could not quite get there, I started to pull my comfy louinging type pants off and I peed like one of those lil naked boy fountains. My youngest lovely stood in the door way and laughed at me and all I remember after that was a rush of heat to my face and waking up to my girls in hysterics. I had passed out and fell face first onto the floor, I know this because well I woke up to the grains of wood 1 inch from my nose and blood droplets, a really deep crimson color, on that wood. I remeber uttering "What the fuck??" and my oldest lovely screaming and telling me, "Mom stay there I just called the ambulance they are on their way!" AMBULANCE?

I pushed myself up and went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror there was blood on my face, my lip was cut and I was saying, "I'm o.k. really I will be fine....." I said this in hushed quiet tones something I usually don't do. So this worried my kids and they were scrambling as I plopped on my bed and instructed them to get me some clean clothes and a bag of ice. I could feel the right side of my face puff up like a puffer fish. The fire department got here first and man were they fast I sat on the couch as they examined me and then my living room was filled with men. Too bad they weren't there to strip but anyway. So the paramedic examines me, my kids tell them what happened and he tells me. "You vageled."  I laughed so hard that I somehow put pressure on my vagus nerves, nerves that run from your head down to your lower torso. Seems I cut these off laughing so hard. Apparently the vagus nerves control things like blood pressure and heart rate, two things that slowed down due to my laughing, and well voila I face planted. Literally. 

Not the particular fall from grace I was thinking of, but nonetheless  so typical of me to be the one in a million that this kinda shit happens to. Lucky me, no I can't win the lotto but shit I can vagel! Yay for me!

After opting to see my own doctor the next day I sat on the couch and no sooner had the paramedics left were my kids acting out the scenario and laughing. They saw my leopard print underwear and the vision of I, their mother face down on the floor with pants around my ankles somehow became less scary to them and more and more and more funny to them. I will admit I would fall on my face again to get such wonderful love and affection like I got after the fall. They have told me they love me everyday and sometimes more than once and I think it hit them that they need me just as much as I need them. Oh to realize that one day your parent may not be here.

Well I still have remnants of a black eye and my lip is scarred inside and I cannot whistle! I love to whistle hopefully its temporary, my face hurt up until yesterday even the roots of my teeth hurt! I had x-rays and wow was I lucky! I think it was the hook on my schnozola that saved me from a far worse fate! I have always loved my nose, it was never a petite or cute kinda nose but rather a bulbous and wicked witch kinda nose. Its fine too. So that is one of the adventures I have had on my hiatus from the blogosphere and web. So now you have a really good story to tell and I bet that if you ask someone if they know what vageling is they could not tell you.

Look it coulda been worse people vagel when they are trying to poop and are constipated. Yeah it coulda been way worse!