Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday at Wal-Mart

Happy Thanksgiving to Y'all! I'm busy with family, festivities, food, fun, and flippin'-thing-to-do-after-flippin'-thing-to-do. I'm sure you are as well. So, today at the Wonderland, we are servin' up a healthy portion of laughs smothered with a frothy topping of whipped, light heartedness. For today only, this is a "No intellectualizing" space.

I am hosting a Guest Post written by my sister, BichyMama. This is an exclusive, Wonderland premier of BichyMama's work. As far as I know, she's never posted, publicly, any of her thoughts and unique perspectives of life. Heck, I can barely get her to answer my e-mails.

If you think she's going to come across anything like me, you are wrong, horribly wrong, and totally and completely devoid of any concept of my baby sis. Today I am thankful, not only for my family, friends and all of you but, for my sister. She is the peanut butter in my chocolate, the dark in my light, the Yin in my Yang. Enjoy!

The following is BichyMama's response to my e-mail asking if she has to work on Thanksgiving:


I do have Thanksgiving off. Although, I have to work the next day, Black Friday, from 3:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. It's kind of scary if you think of all those loony shoppers that make this day a free-for-all, family outing.


I can see it now. Mother and daughter, alike, with the same generation-after-generation body type and weight problems. Big (HUGE), SAGGY, NO-BRA-BEARING-BOOBS--flopping and slamming--to and fro--like four, over filled water balloons (but without any elasticity at all) under their new, over sized, Christmas T-Shirts that they got each other for Thanksgiving.

Mom and daughter both know they will keep warm while waiting out in the cold for the store to open. Their two-or-more-sizes-too-small sweat pants will be hugging them both very tightly in all the right places. Just like a bug in a rug! What they don’t realize is their warm, hugging sweat pants will be showing off all of their beautiful Butt-Dimples, Camel-Toes and a crotch that looks like a Woolly Mammoth-Pu**y Monster.

Mom and daughter's shoes are either bootie-type slippers or open-sandal-type-Birkenstock's. They wear the kind of shoes that are easily slipped on, with no bending over, because they get too dizzy while trying to tie their shoe laces. This must be due to Gut-Roll Constriction, GRC--otherwise known as LOO, Lack of Oxygen.

Oh, it's a sight! Watching mother and daughter running...well, fast walking...well, it's more like an animated, slow motion walk...with arms pumping up and down and back and forth. Their mouths are open and gasping for air. Their faces are a bright, cherry red. Their chests heave in and out like marathon runner's after a long distance race.

As they swish by, I hear mom complain to her daughter (still breathing hard and gasping between words), "That BITCH! I can't believe that old bitch beat me to the last electric scooter."

"But mom, cries the daughter, grandma is 90 years old and only has one leg!"

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! That odor! That odor which took my breath away, made me cough and caused a couple of dry heaves. What was it?

Oh s**t! It's a combination of Woolly Mammoth-Pu**y Monster, smelly, sandal feet, sweaty B.O. and, y-u-c-k, BED HEAD!! Plus a few other smells I don’t even care to figure out.

In the beginning, I thought it would be scary working Black Friday, but now, I am really EXCITED and can't wait! So here I am Wishing all of you…

"Happy Thanksgiving
Welcome To Wal-Mart
And Have A GOOD Day"

Disclaimer: Similarities put forth in this article to any animal, vegetable, mineral or entity on this planet or any other, in this or any other galaxy, or in any universe, known or unknown, is simply a mathematical statistic.--Blog Administrator

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Gravel crunching under the tires of his '67 Buick Skylark GS, the Wonder Husband rolls up the driveway. With the sapphire metal flakes of the paint sparking in the low angled sun, he silences the rumble of his powerfully muscled motor. This is not his normal routine. He usually gets home from work two hours late instead of early.

His face is set with a sly grin. A come hither statement shines from his eyes. Taking my hand, he pulls me to him. A quick kiss. A whispered sentiment laid softly in my ear.

"We just have time for a quickie."

"Are you sure?"

"YES! Let's go."

Hand-in-hand, we gently let the door close behind us...

He heads for the tool shed and I head for the green waste container. He, swift and strong, goes ahead and lops the tree branches. I follow behind as clean up crew.

"Husband, do you know what today is?"

"The day after my brother's birthday?"

"Uh, no. This is two days after your brother's birthday. And you'd better call him tonight since you obviously haven't! No, it was one year ago today you were in the hospital having your heart attack. This is your one year anniversary and look how far you've come!"

I look away as a painful shudder passes over him and a remembrance, dark and deep, clouds his eyes.

"Oh. This is a much better place to be," he says quietly with a far away voice.

In no time at all, just as darkness threatened an end to our assault, we had our dropped tree limbs stuffed into two containers and wheeled out to the street for pick up. The Wonder Husband was right. We did just have time for a quickie. Now it's time to go inside for a warm and proper anniversary celebration.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's Not Too Late

Sometimes people make incredible gestures that showcase goodness, humanity and creativity. I just love being a part of serendipitous surprises, as either a giver or receiver. This time, it was my pleasure to receive.

I spied the small, brown mailer packet lying yonder on the coffee table the minute I walked in the back door. With a sense as keen as any critter noting a new object in her territory, I stalked the target. Getting closer, in bold black letters, I read my name. Yippee! It's for me!

The Wonder Husband has an EBay biz, so it seems the booty is always for him. "Take that Wonder Husband!," thinks I. I can see by the way Wonder Husband set it clearly in full view of our thrones that he's curious...and a little yellow too. His is careful about not bringing my attention to the package. He cagily pretends to watch TV while glancing, with his primal, side-eyes, for my reaction. I give him nothin'. He must wait...even if it means I have to squelch my excitement for a bit.

"That's it girl, just keep the conversation casual, keep talking about stuff that makes men's eyes dull and their ears shrivel," whispers my inner siren. I relate my day, my feelings, up coming holiday plans, his honey-do list. Just to add to my amusement, I toss in an imaginary hot flash. With deadly precision, the instant I catch him doing the nod-off-head-bob and picking up the invisible Wife Remote Control, his finger poised on the volume-mute button, I have my way with him.

Swiftly and deftly, I slit the flap of the envelope and tip out its contents. Eureka! There's gold in that there brown mailer. Pirate's gold. A couple of CDs in crystal, plastic cases. Their white play lists are stamped with the logo of that infamous, black pirate, Hammer. From between the CDs, slips this folded letter:


First off, please read the final
Throwing Hammers blog post if you haven't already. What this is and why you're receiving it will make a hell of a lot more sense that way.

Dang! Final post? I loved that blog. Totally original and thought provoking on every level. Although his blog has run for five years, I only found him 6 months ago. In his last post, among other things, he poses the question, "What does your blog sound like?"

These CDs are filled with songs that "were quoted, referenced, or embedded in this blog at some point." Feel free to pass the music forward if you like - as I said, there are no strings or expectations here. And if you do, and if someone asks you about where it came from, just tell them, "There was this guy who used to write this blog. It didn't always make sense but he seemed to have fun with it. One day he left, but on his way out the door, he made us a mixtape."

Thank you for not just accompanying me on the journey, but helping to shape it and give it direction. I won't say goodbye though. If you're reading this, then I'm pretty sure our paths will cross in the future.

And as I type this, I'm listening to his mix CDs and thinking, "Yep, that sounds like Hammer alright." And across time and space these words float in from the Hammerverse, "If you ask me, there aren't enough pleasant surprises in this world..."

It's not too late! It's not too late to dream up a way to brighten someones day. All it takes is a thought...a unexpected little somethin'...a song. No, it's not too late at all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lady of the Night

I'm somewhat of a Lady of the Night. A true professional, but not THAT kind. As a massage therapist, I work a lot of late evenings because clients need to get in after their work day...which extends mine. I don't really mind. I made my choice. Work by "The Man's" hours and rules or work by mine. Being a "woman," I chose mine.

So, it's about 9 p.m. as I pull into the driveway. Dragging my duffel bag full of soiled linen to the washer, like a dead body, I stop a moment on the pathway and look up to the frosty, November sky. Crikey! It's getting cold in the evenings now! The sky always looks different to me in the colder part of the year than the warmer. Don't know why, to me, it just does. Clearer, maybe. Sharper.

Heck, right then and there, I plop my tired glutes down to sit on that soft, body of sheets. Shiver-upon-shiver ripple across my human landscape, but still, I sit, mesmerized by the belt of Orion. The damp coolness of the earth rising up around me. Knees bent. Elbows on knees. Arms crossed and folded across each other. Neck extended back. Eyes pointing to the black sky, sparkly stars pointing back to mine, I contemplate.

And it hits me. We are all occupying the surface of this massive rock that is traveling at enormous speeds through space. There are billions of other rocks, smaller and bigger, flying around just like we are. Just waiting to hit us. Or we hit them. Or whatever! Something WILL hit something...eventually! We ride around on the outside of our planet waiting, like a jouster about to be knocked off his horse by his opponent, for our turn. One big smack and we're all goners. Maybe it would be safer if we could somehow ride inside the Earth for some protection. But, NO! The Earth's core is a huge fire ball of raging, molten Hell.

Earthlings are carried around the sun, another massive fire ball, at nearly 67,000 mph. 670,000 miles per hour! At the same time, the Earth is spinning nearly 1000 mph at the equator. So fast it causes our planet to bulge. Our entire solar system, including Pluto which is no longer considered a planet like it was when I was in school, is buzzing around the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, at nearly 560,000 mph. Our galaxy is moving in respect to other galaxies. And maybe, just maybe, the entire universe is moving too.

Did you know that, #3 on Top Ten Ways to Destroy the Earth is: The Earth is pulverized by impact with blunt instrument. Feasibility rating: 7/10.

Or, something hits us and Earth is Hurled into the Sun, the #1 way for Earth to be destroyed. Feasibility rating: 9/10.

And, maybe even scarier, there are folks who spend time making these feasibility ratings.

I think I've just discovered the source of my, albeit occasional, free-floating, can't-put-my-finger-on-it anxiety.

Maybe we spend too much time worrying about all the wrong stuff. Spend too much time in self-analysis, self-absorption and introspection. Too much time debasing ourselves and others for our lacks and losses. Too much time thinking we can't have this or do that. Maybe just staying on the ride without getting bucked off is good enough. Yep, probably plenty good enough for me. I wonder what the feasibility rating is that I won't have to have to fold all this laundry?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Phone Home, Clark Kent

Superman, aka Kal-El, from the planet Krypton, was jettisoned to Earth by his father, Jor-El, just moments before its destruction. He was found by a childless, Kansas couple who adopted and raised him under the name of Clark Kent. They passed on to Clark the moral values of human kind. His superhuman abilities began to show at an early age. When he matured, he took on the role of protector of humanity.

A mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet and on again-off again, love interest of co-worker, Lois Lane, Kent became supportive of the underdog. Stepping into telephone booths to change from his work suit into his primary colored, super crime fighting costume, he protected the weak and the righteous. And, although, he could blurringly spin villainous predators into silly putty, being an alien endowed with the magnificent power of finality and all, he chose to uphold human moral and social codes.

And the day became as if it were night. A chill noir fell over the western world and spread, like fog, from California to Miami. Hades, Lord of the Underworld, lurked under the crusty skirt of Mother Earth. He sucked, like a gopher in a garden filled with tasty, tender greens, telephone booths from her surface. A grim realization settled in among mortal top dwellers. Super Power, absolute, was scurrilously being stolen by inhabitants of lower realms, the Netherworld.

The last of the telephone booths rapidly disappeared from existence. The codexes of information they once held, known as telephone books, became even rarer. Superman was rendered impotent by the demise of his Bell tower of power. He was no longer able to shed his wool, wide-lapeled, Zoot suit jacket in favor of his flying cape, magic Speedo and jumping tights. His dabber downed, he joined the ranks of mortals.

In this world, man, forever changed, must now take responsibility for his own future. No more relying on immortal, super beings to right grievous wrongs. The great shift came, one subterranean-sucked telephone booth at a time. One mortal at a time, the era of the Power of Man began. (from

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Positive Infinity

My dad (L) with his best friend Al (R) holding me~1953

Photographs...hung in the ethers.


Some are happy.

Some are sad.

Some are in between.

I see that, even at a young age, my attitude showed. "What obstacle?"~ Ronda and Mark~1957

Stepping stones

Yep, I pretty much act the same way today. Me~1957

along the timeline

Me and my sistah, Tami-1967 (she doesn't think we look like each other, what do you think?)

of life

Sophomore, fall of 1968 proudly wearing the dress I made that summer. Sheesh! Need to wax those brows, girlie (we tweezed in those days).

leading from one to the

Senior, 1971. Hmmm, eyebrows are a little better but it was about this time that shaving or tweezing legs, axillary (arm pits) or anything went out of fashion. That fad didn't last long for me.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Once Upon a Time, There was Castle-mania

When I was growing up, I loved being read to and loved reading. I loved stories about castles and the princesses who lived in them. I would get lost in stories for days and could easily forget my current incarnation as Ronda. When I read fairy tales like Rumpelstiltskin, The Princess and the Pea, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, I WAS A PRINCESS AND I LIVED IN A CASTLE . I knew those stories by heart. I built castles out of sand and boxes and sheet covered chairs. As I fell asleep, my bed became my castle, the floor a moat.

Me and Mrs. Jones

I have had many careers in my life, but that was the first thing I ever remember truly wanting for my future. I longed to be a princess. To live a romantic life in a castle in which my every whim and desire was provided and attended to by everyone in residence. But, alas, being a daughter of hard working, responsible, practical, lower middle class, suburban parents, my royal reign never materialized. Instead, I was taught to be a hard working, self-sufficient, responsible individual. I found myself a hard working, self-sufficient, responsible husband. And although he can fix a mean toilet and put new windows and roof on our house, he doesn't have a gallant, white steed or a castle and he doesn't treat me like a princess. But now that I think about it, once upon a time, he did have a Mustang...a 1965, to be exact. Does that count? Anyhoo...

No one in my life ever gave me royal treatment except this man, "M."

Queen of Hearts

He was one of my best friends from high school and beyond. His step father was a well-to-do doctor and his mother was a connoisseur of haute couture. He was artistic, handsome and gay. Not something you wanted to be in Red Neck Country in the late 60s and early 70s. After a suicide attempt, and a court mandated stint in mental health, he got his stuff together and attended cosmetology school.

Partridge in a Pear Tree

For a few years after he got his license, he participated in hair show competitions. His specialty? The Fantasy Division. He picked me to be his model. Don't really know why. I'm not anywhere near the model type. I'm short, don't yearn for the spotlight and would be described as closer to cute than beautiful.

But he made me feel beautiful and spoiled me with a privileged existence. He took days and weeks trying my hair in different colors (pink, green, red, silver) and styles, had my gowns custom designed and sewn, spent hours picking exactly the right shade of lipstick and nail polish, arched my eyebrows, painted my nails and taught me how to walk a run way and behave with proper castle etiquette. In return, being the hard working, reliable one, I showed up to ALL of his numerous rehearsals, fitting appointments, make up appointments and the big events.

The Ice Princess
Yep, I'm wearing a candelabra on my head. It is large, silver, and wrought iron complete with crystals and lit candles.

The hair shows were nothing short of torture in many cases. Fun torture, but torture none the less. Those head pieces weighed a ton and I won't even tell you about how they were stapled to my head. Try wearing one all the while smiling and walking regally like a princess. But he won many trophies, gained notoriety, moved to San Francisco, about three hours to the south, and styled the hair of 70s celebs like The Pointer Sisters. He met his future husband, "B". Later they adopted two children, a boy with Autism and a daughter from an abusive situation. The kids are grown now and he no longer lives in Frisco but, he and "B" are still together and in love. "M" did get his fairy tale ending.

As for me? Thanks, "M," for letting me live "La Vita Princess." But being a princess can be hard work and I believe I'm happier with "La Vita Plain and Simple." Ta ta, royal subjects, ta ta!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

By the Garden Gate

By the Garden Gate by Preston "Bud" Morris
Ronda and Mark

Reya, from After the Gold Puppy, was on a walk down Nostalgia Avenue a week or so ago. She invited us to post old photos of our own journey down that street. The blast of emotion that hit me upon opening the first of my many, many boxes of photos (no, they are not organized as I would like) smacked my gluteus maximus down hard into the seat of The Way Back Machine. It spun me into the past like a Whirling Dervish. For the next few posts I'll display photos and memories of my origins.

My father was a photographer. Out of the earliest files in my brain, flew images of him and his camera. Inseparable. The cameras changed over the years but he always seemed to stay the same. Calm. Quiet. Tall. Dark. Creative. Strong. Consistent. Reliable. A teacher. Yep, great qualities for a dad. Any dad. My dad.

In addition to his private photography business, he worked as a photo finisher in the days before 1-hour photo kiosks and digital photography. Sometimes he would take my brother and I to work with him. We always were excited and thought he was giving us a special day. But, in retrospect, my mom probably had to do something and he got stuck with us. Early in the morning, we would go to the retail store where he worked and pick up bags of film people had dropped off. Then we went around to other businesses around town that had film drop-offs. He always took us inside with him and proudly introduced us as he picked up unprocessed film and deposited the previous days finished photos.

With a box full of canvas, zippered bags and us in tow, he would take us to a little hamburger stand for lunch. Then we headed several miles out of town to the lab where he would develop all of those pictures. As we watched, he would open those zippered bags, dump out the little, metal, cylindrical tins with rubber caps holding spools of film. Into the dark room, with its special light that wouldn't ruin the film, we would go. He would open the tins, look at the negatives that looked like they were from a Reverse Bizarro World where light is dark and dark is light, and begin his magic alchemy.

I don't really remember what he did with the negatives, but some how he embedded the images from the negative film onto paper. Then with his magic trays of clear potion, he moved the pieces of paper from tray to tray with tongs. In the last tray, the paper started changing from plain white to, at first, faint, ghostly underwater images to, at last, exact replicas of living people and solid matter. Taking the photos out of the solution, he hung them by clips, on a long wire stretched across the room, to dry. The chemical smell of photo developer still makes me happy and is forever linked with my father.

Unbeknownst to us, he, apparently, had been submitting pictures to different contests and magazines over the years. While he was alive, the only affirmation of his work came from his family and local clients. He died in 1977 of a massive coronary. About 20 plus years after his death, my mother received a royalty check from the American Greeting Card Company for $125 for the top photo. It is called By the Garden Gate and is of me and my brother, Mark, at my Aunt Dot's house in Stockton, California.

We tried to find out what they were going to use his picture for, but never received a reply to our query. But, within a year after the check was received, all those mugs, cards and items featuring a little girl and a little boy, dressed in cute clothes, started appearing for sale. We'll never know for sure but, we think it was dad's photograph they used for their promotion.

I got a visit from dad on All Hallows. It was a very soft and gentle meeting. He just sat on the edge of my bed and looked at me for a while. Then he held out his hand and my mother joined him. They haven't been together for over 30 years. No words were spoken but, I could feel their love, strong and truer than ever. Just because people are gone doesn't mean they're not with us. Immortality is often far different than we think.

Preston "Bud" Morris, high school graduation picture, age 18