May 24, 2006

bumble flies & trumpet suckers

well, it's almost over. another school year burned up.

true had a great first grade year. ended the year reading on the fourth grade reading level, chapter books. he also had a picture he drew submitted in the hill country youth art exhibit. nearly every child was in that, but true's picture was something special. a treehouse complete with acorn gathering squirrels and he & brother alleycat waving at me from the top. and of course, did i forget to mention the ever present robot motiff?

alleycat graduates from pre k tomorrow. when true went through it, i was a pessimist. i thought, well, you pay someone eight grand to watch your child
then they feel like they have to give you a diploma, whatever. i softened up just as soon as my true was there in his mini cap and gown. instant waterworks, look at mommy's little genius. this time i'm wiser, i'm ready, i hope.
invent an insect true may 06.jpg

truett's latest homework assignment was invent an insect. i found these rough drafts that he must have considered using. as i look over the names, it's eerie how art imitates reality. i have been inundated with bumble flies and trumpet suckers lately. the kid is a freekin prodigy, i tell you.

i know alleycat is graduating from babyland and that means this part of mommyhood is gone for good. if i can't have babies, at least i still have brudders. nothing beats it.

just the other day, i was privy to this gem of conversation:

true, "ok, ok, i'm supertrue and i can fly, and what's your super hero name?"

alex, "i'm CAptaaaaaaain DIArheaaaaaaa, and no one can catch me."

true, "alright, captain diarhea, if you say so. do you even know what diarhea is?"

alex, "nope, it's just funny"

true, "yep, it's funny alright. woo, my brother is captain diarhea, lucky me"

indeed. and my sons are supertrue and captain diarhea, lucky me.

Posted by shoe at 11:41 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

May 19, 2006

heard at the office

slimey, low-life, scumbag broker from MY company at another branch to my client who was depositing a check at that branch, "you live here. why would you keep using a broker like her way over in town X?"

my client, "why? cause she has chunks of brokers like you in her stool."

i laughed all the way to the bank, i really did.

Posted by shoe at 06:17 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

May 18, 2006

promised land

i've been hiding out a lot lately at the casa de cripple. lot of folks over there seem convinced that barricades and vigilante justice are the best ways to nip our immigration issues in the bud. i think the conversations turn racist too often and the productivity gets lost in the fight.

lets talk about fourteenth things first. supply and demand. we provide a lottery to law breakers in this country and the ticket is absolutely free of charge. as long as we supply US citizenship as a birthright, i think you can count on the demand to boil over.

case in point, take a look at eagle pass, texas. according to US census data, it had a population of 22,413 in 2000, 95% hispanic. then i found a very interesting statement in this little article, "Immigrant students entering EPISD at the secondary level are placed in a beginning ESL class. Of the 4,606 students in the bilingual/ESL education program, only 929 or 20 percent, are in grades above the sixth grade." great, so 80% roughly are under 12 years old? ESL makes up a 6th of the city's total population? i don't know about you, but i doubt these baby banditos climbed a fence or toddled across our border.

i see instant presto citizenship as a much bigger carrot than low paying cash labor. who's going to deport your sole guardian if you enjoy all the perks of a full blooded citizen? plus, due to the US patriot act (thank a republican), i think the days of flying under the financial radar are already numbered.

if the immigration problem is to be solved, we must remove citizenship as a birthright. no fence can block supply and demand when across the border lies the promised land.

Posted by shoe at 09:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 14, 2006

mother's day wisdom

the boys have been wrestling and fighting since they got out of bed.

alleycat just came and told me, "mommy, i have a headache. i think i'm allergic to getting hit."

Posted by shoe at 11:29 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

the shoe tree


you know i'm your number one fan, right? no matter what my brother has said or done for you today, he doesn't have a clue

mr. perfect, brown noser!! he sure was a cutie pie, though.
two pictures of you stand out in my mind.

mom grade school.jpg

this one where you look like my brother in drag. damn, he looks just like you.

mom high school.jpg

and this one, not just because you are so beautiful. but because your expression is so natural and like you. i've seen those eyes look at me that way thousands of times, and the smile too.

Happy Mother's Day, Zapatamama! and Happy Mother's Day to all my mommy readers and mommy friends. having kids is gift enough for me today (although i received a mountain of homemade treasures). but having my mom's love everyday, i just don't have words for that. thanks, mom.

Posted by shoe at 09:41 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

May 12, 2006

faith in action

when i moved back to texas in the fall of 2002, i was a mess. newly divorced, grotesquely overweight, and at the time, not a friend in the world. depression isn't big enough to describe the rut i was in. hopeless doesn't even come close. all my woes and worries paralyzed me, and i was just buying time each day waiting for things to improve or the anxiety to swallow me whole.

i told myself i would just get home to texas. i would deal with what i was given on any given day. onward and upward, it sure as fuck wouldn't be getting any worse. so i settled, i got the boys in school and began looking for office space.

now it's hard feigning confidence when your insides are in shambles, even harder convincing folks to trust you with their money when you don't know how you'll pay your rent. but fact was, god had opened all the doors to get me home to texas and i wasn't going to stand idly by while my opportunity evaporated.

one very grey morning in the hill country, i went up to a row of homes to deliver some sort of sales literature. maybe the cd rates, maybe my business card, i really can't remember. i parked my car and walked to the top of a giant hill, thinking all the way if i can't get a new client, maybe i'll lose some weight. like i said, bleak thoughts occupied my mind pretty consistently. i must have stopped by 10 houses, every one vacant. the dogs were cursing me behind giant doors as i shlepped my disheveled ass down the block.

halfway down the sloping street, the clouds opened up and began pelting me with giant raindrops. there was nowhere to run, so i steadied my mope. once back at the car, i opened the door and saw a lone porch light on.

why not? i thought, and approached and knocked. a frail little woman opened her door and hastily rushed me in. "just what are you doing out in this weather?" she asked. i explained i was new in the area and starting my business and really just meant to get out and meet my neighbors when the storm seemed to be telling me to go ahead home.

i can hear her in my mind as if it were yesterday, "well that is interesting, because i don't believe that's what this storm is for. i hope you don't think this is weird, but i believe god brings people into your life for a reason. there are no coincidences, only fate."

she made me some coffee and asked if i would look at her finances. to which, of course, i complied.

she had a 90 page statement, one of the most frightening i had ever seen. she was 85 years old and invested 95% in tech stocks. straight tech stocks, most i had never heard of, and the damage was pretty evident. it was 2002 at the bottom of the market and printed clearly on those pages was her dissent from the 1.2 million dollar range down to the current worth of just under 400k.

within a week, she transferred what remained of her investments to me. we began a relationship, one that i felt was a true gift from god. not just because i needed her so much at that point, but moreso because she needed me.

i soon learned she was widowed years ago. since her husband and she had moved to texas post retirement, their entire family lived in and around chicago. she had very few friends, save for a "texas grandson"-a non relative that had set up shop bilking her for all she was worth under the auspices of being like family, her only family so far from home.

the closer i got to her, the more static that developed between the three of us. he showered her with attention and gratitude and was very cautious about letting me close. she had an enormous heart and deeper pockets, and was just lonely enough not to see that some love comes at a steep price.

initially, i think the "texas grandson" liked me. i think he thought i could explain away her losses as her ex broker's mistakes. but it became evident pretty quickly that she had withdrawn money faster than the dot coms went dot bomb.

shades of grey. there are no laws to protect a person from being conned out of their money. if you willingly write a check to someone who has no qualms with cashing it, well that is your business, and because of confidentiality, no one else's. fact was, i knew she was slipping, aging into darkness, not sharp and not able to see what was obvious to any bystander. even though i knew she had an enormous family, it would have been illegal for me to share personal financial information with any of them.

i can't tell you how much i worried about this woman's well being. she trusted me to help her but was deaf to my advice. her mind giving out was intensifying and she became almost hateful towards her family simply because they weren't there day to day. she forgot she loved them and they her.

finally, a couple of years ago, her german neighbor called my office. my sweet client being absent of mind had walked up that same sloping hill in nothing but a nightgown. once halfway up the hill to post office box, she lost her way and had no idea where she was going or how to get home.

i called her son. initially he was sore, thinking his mother had basically disowned he and his whole family. falling in love, so it seemed, with a man half her age. he knew his father was turning in his grave at what she had done with his life's savings. the biggest surprise to me being, they already knew.

people's perspectives get in the way of reality. i never had to disclose a thing about her finances. i urged him to come see his mother and see for himself that she wasn't there anymore. no matter what had transpired in the years since his father died, her mind was worn but her heart was pure gold.

he caught a flight that weekend and saw how ill she had become. within a month, he and his son, her REAL grandson, were there to pack her things and move her home. they stayed for nearly two weeks making arrangements. they took her out to eat, to church, to the beauty shop. just the simple attention shaved years off her disintegrating health, and she beamed like a school girl being doted after by the most handsome men she'd ever laid eyes on.

a year and a half has elapsed since she moved. i got the call this morning, she passed away last night. i tried to keep a dry face through the phone call, but it proved impossible. there's just no way not to mourn the loss of a person like her.

god bless you, miss jean. you were right. god knows your investment in me meant more than any investment i ever made for you.

Posted by shoe at 11:57 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

May 10, 2006

place your bets

believe it or not, i'm still extremely ill. allergies, i'm guessing, are to blame for my now 8 day headache with no relief. as a child, i referred to this as my summer cold. i must be allergic to beauty, because everything is sun-shiny, green and gorgeous.

i wish everything wouldn't have coincided with the first of the month and the end of the blodge meet, because i'm seriously behind in all aspects of my life. work is insanity. it feels in my office as it did in the late 90's, never enough time to meet the needs of the folks.

which brings me to my gambling scenario. if you are a profiteering soul and would like in on the action, listen up.

it's common knowledge that the stock market is a forward thinking mechanism. the market tries to predict on a daily basis what the worth of any given company will be in a month, 6 months, a year, five years. it's a market of prediction, by any standard. so when it's hitting six year records on a near daily basis, and just 100 points from an all time high, what do you think that means about our economy? are we healthy or over-zealous?

it's also common knowledge that the media is in direct opposition to the market. it is by nature a backward thinking mechanism. the media tells you what already has occurred, last hour, yesterday, a year ago (yes i'm sick of hearing from aruba!) it never tells how healthy our economy is, it tells you how it's been in THE PAST.

plus, if the media gave a rat's ass about investors, they would find realistic language to use in reference to the market, and stop with the sensationalist "rocketing" and "plummeting" lingo that stirs the mindless masses.

so, nearly daily, my feeble brain is being torn between two camps. the media, infecting all my investors with the diatribe that americans blame bush for our shitty economy. on the other hand, in my office, in real-time reality, no signs AT ALL of a shitty economy whatsoever. none. nada. zilch.

so place your bets. how economically healthy do you feel? are you better off today than you were four years ago? lets hear it, my lovelies. who do you love and who do you trust? is the media right or the market, because they definitely don't agree?

i love george bush!! i do!! with all his scowly wonderment, he IS responsible for this shitty economy. and people, it is the SHIT!! more of the same for me, please. and if you aren't enjoying the fruits of our nationwide productivity, you know who to blame, don't you? a capitalist can blame no one but himself. opportunity abounds, so stop whining and start working.

being the contrarian that you've learned to love, i'm going to stop working and start whining. i'm taking the boys to the pool to celebrate the fed's sixteenth straight interest rate hike. i know it's weird, but that's how we roll. may the sun shine on your portfolio and mine.

adios, y'all!

Posted by shoe at 01:30 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 04, 2006

like a blown star cowgirl

i'm alive, i am, and back buried again. work is an abject bitch, i shit you not. papers piled sky high on the desk when i returned. red is gone three days sos (i learned that from livey) i'm skating by on good will and glam shots.

speaking of glam shots, you blown star blodgers are some beautiful beasts. my favorite is the group shot i took sos i'm not in it. got some singularly great snaps of the crew. the photomat's cd maker was broken, so it'll be a couple of days still until i have digitals.

also, either i'm having a massive allergy attack, the weather is a little weird, or i caught something at the meet. sinus pressure so bad i can't post, i can hardly read. i'm sorry folks, i want to blodge, really i do, but i just feel so damned icky by the time i get home, i can't. imagine my surprise when i saw blight beat me to blogging. sick, sick, shit. i feel like such a slacker.

rest assured, it is only a total shut down of every functioning organ i have, no worries. it's not like i got in this state because you held me down and poured liquor down my throat. go on with your headache free lives, don't mind me and my moaning.

ooooooooooh, really, no guilt. i did update the blodgeroll with the new blown stars, so do me a favor and click through to my new homies. it was a willy nilly effort. forgive me if someone is missing (but let me know, i'm sick not an asshole) and i'll get to alphabetizing just as soon as i can stare at the screen some mo.

i do love all ya'll blown stars, keep on keeping on, and thanks for the memories, the dts, and the perma smile. happy trails.

Posted by shoe at 06:35 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack