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Author: toni

~ 06/30/09


Why is it every single time there is a holiday weekend where people are likely to drive, the gas prices mysteriously go up!?

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Oh “they” try to make you believe that gas prices are tied to all kinds of unpredictable events. Like – a hurricane that disables an oil refinery in the Gulf, a pipeline breakage in the Mideast, a factory somewhere that goes offline for “cleaning”, a butterfly in Africa that flaps its wings…

Well, I’m here to tell you it’s all B.S!   We make two visits a year to Northern California where Randy the perfekt husband’s relations live. One at Christmas and one at the 4th of July. And you know what? Every single year for the last ten years, no matter whether gas is $2.50 a gallon or $4.00 a gallon, just before the holiday…the price goes up!

“They” try to be subtle about it. The price creeps up a few cents a day, leading up to the holiday. Until BAM! by the time the holiday hits and I have to fill my tank, it’s SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive than it was the week before.

And don’t tell me this isn’t on purpose! That this isn’t gouging at it’s most insidious! Because guess what? As soon as the holiday is over, it mysteriously creeps back down.

This happens right before Memorial Day weekend and any other 3 day weekend that occurs during the course of the year, too.

And “they” think we’re not going to notice this?! “They” think we’re gonna believe their denials that they are NOT manipulating gas prices?  These companies that SWORE they had nothing to do with the prices going north of $4.00 a gallon? These same companies that made record profits during the worst of that gas price crisis? That continue to make record profits during this recession? What do they think we are? IDIOTS?!

Well they’re right! We are idiots.  Because after decades of warnings that we’re going to run out of fossil fuels, here we are still completely reliant upon them.  Still polluting our environment with them.  

What about the Hybrid boom, you ask? There are loads more on the road the last couple of years. Yeah. That only happened after gas prices got so ridiculously high people felt forced to change. NOT out of a sense of duty to the future and our planet. But because people didn’t want to spend the extra money.

We have our priorities straight all right. I know we do where I live. I see a lot of well-tended mommies driving Hummers or the more feminine H2. And they’re not heading for paramilitary maneuvers in the high desert, no siree bob. They’re parked in front of Simply Nails. Nothing but acrylic tips for a woman who tools around the burbs in a vehicle that gets 3 miles to the gallon.

And you know what? When I’m standing at the gas pump, taking it in the tank like everyone else on this planet, I get the tiniest bit of satisfaction when I see the shocked look on Ms. H2’s face when she fills her vehicle at the pump next to me. I guess there’s an upside to everything, if you look hard enough.

Bottom line. Silence is complicity. And people don’t change until they’re absolutely forced to.

And that is my RANT for today.

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Author: toni

~ 06/29/09


I know. I’m a BAD MOM! I DO feel guilty about it. That guilt is made WORSE because she’s an only child who lets me know on a regular basis how HORRIBLE it is to be an only child. And how having a puppy of her very own to love would make being an only child so much more tolerable. Yeah. She’s working me. But there’s some truth to it.

I know how many hours of fun and companionship the dog would bring her. I got a taste of it recently on our trip to West Virginia where Julia played with Great Grandma and Great Aunt Vada’s dog CHAUNCEY (pictured RIGHT). They were instant pals and hours of fun were had.

On those days when a playdate isn’t possible,  when her dad and I are busy with adult things or when she’s feeling a little lonely and needs something a little warmer to snuggle with than LAMBIE PIE (the hot water bottle in the shape of a lamb my friend Ann gave me years ago to help with cramps)… a dog would be the ticket.

WHY WON’T YOU GET HER A DOG, YOU SELFISH MOMMY?!…you ask, knowing full well your judgmental attitude will likely push me over into the guilt abyss.


Well, let me count the reasons:

1) POOP. So much poop, so little desire to clean it up. Although Julia SWEARS she would clean up after the dog, I know how those promises end (cuz I made the same ones when I was a kid). With mommy doing ALL THE WORK

To make matters worse, pet ownership etiquette has changed from when I was a kid in the Midwest making shallow promises to my own mom. Back then, if your dog needed “to go”, you let them out, they did their “business” I don’t know where, and came home. Not so today. Today, you must follow your dogs (leashed of course) with a plastic baggie and be their personal pooper scooper. And as someone who holds a Master’s Degree, this just doesn’t sit well with me.

2) DESTRUCTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY. Randy the perfekt husband is kind of fussy. He likes things nice and neat. And it would MAKE HIM CRAZY to have our nice furniture and hardwood floors destroyed. And truth be told, it’d make me a little crazy too. The answer of course would be to KEEP THE DOG OUTSIDE. But apparently we can’t keep the dog outside like we did as kids, because there doesn’t seem to be any such thing as an “outside dog” anymore. No one has a doghouse anymore. Know why? They’re cruel. It’s too hot or cold for modern day dogs apparently. Today’s dogs need to sleep inside where it’s temperature controlled, preferably in the same bed as their owners AND with their own set of bed linens upon which you can have their names stitched. And a biscuit in bed on Sunday mornings would be nice too, thank you very much.

3) FREEDOM. We like to “go go go” on the weekends. Day trips to various places. Gone hours. And apparently, you CANNOT leave a dog alone for hours. They will get sad and to show their “disapproval” at being left alone, will chew ONE of every pair of shoes you have. Oh, and pull out all the dirty underwear from the laundry basket and RIP them to shreds. And if that doesn’t get the point across, they will SIT on your azaleas until they wilt and BITE HOLES in the bottom of your work slacks.

4) COST. In addition to the Personal Property Damage they inflict out of disapproval, medical bills for dogs are so steep these days, they are akin to bills for humans undergoing organ transplant surgeries. When a relative’s Border Collie went herd-loopy and chewed off its own tail, the resulting surgery was $900! A friend paid thousands to put a glass eye in her blind dog. A neighbor’s ailing dog required $200 dollars in X-rays. And of course if you have a dog, you will pay this. They are part of the family…unless you DON’T get one and then they’re not!

5) ALLERGIES. Here’s the biggest reason. I spent my entire childhood struggling to breathe. Granted, the asthma attacks were brought on mostly by cats (to which I am HORRIBLY allergic) but the dogs didn’t help either. I look at pictures of myself as a kid and see the dark circles under my eyes from the oxygen deprivation. Returning to that NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD state makes me cringe.

Ah, but what about the hypoallergenic breeds, you ask? That’s so perfect! I’M ALL FOR IT! ….As long as the dog also doesn’t shed, poop or get sick AND can be left alone for hours without detriment to my shoes…


So what do you think? Am I a BAD MOM for not getting my kid a dog? Should every kid have a dog? Does an only child DESERVE a dog? Is the ONLY way out of this guilt hell a trip to the pound?

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Author: toni

~ 06/28/09


HAPPY 4TH OF JULY WEEK! I can’t believe it’s here already.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty done with all the celebrity stuff from last week.

I’m looking forward to a week full of fun, family, food and fireworks. Well, maybe not so much the fireworks. Like most kids Julia is WAY TOO CURIOUS about them and like most moms, I’m WAY TOO CAUTIOUS about them. Although really? Can you be too cautious about fireworks?  

Despite the holiday, MAMMAKAZE will be posting…albeit erratically. We hope you have time in your BBQ schedule to come take a look.

Here’s what’s in store:

1) Today’s post: My child isn’t growing up, she’s GROWING AWAY!

2) On the Mammarazi Pages, I FEEL GUILTY CUZ….I won’t get Julia a dog.

3) A review of the movie HANGOVER. Okay, maybe it’s not a family film, but there’s a baby in it. Oh and breastfeeding.

4) Whatever else comes up that requires my opinion.


Hope you mommies declare your own Independence sometime during the holiday. Make some time for yourselves! And don’t feel too guilty about it. You deserve it!

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Author: toni


Yeah. You read that right. While Julia is indeed GROWING UP (as evidenced by the fact that all the jeans she got for her February birthday are, only 4 months later, now capris).  Julia is also, and more disturbingly,  GROWING AWAY.

The signs have been there for a while. It started happening part way through 1st Grade. Suddenly, she didn’t want me walking her to the gate at drop-off. She certainly didn’t want me to HUG and KISS her in front of her friends. That would be met with a look that was something out of the possession by Kandari demons scene in THE EVIL DEAD.

When she would come home from school, instead of the customary HUG and FLURRY OF KISSES that I used to get after her 3 hour stint at kindergarten, she began RUSHING PAST ME without so much as a “hello” and went straight to the play room or TV room or pantry for a snack – and this after 6 WHOLE HOURS of being away from me for first grade!

But I took solace in the fact that at bedtime she was still my baby snuggle bug. Something about being tired and in that twilight just before the Sand Man took her to sleepy land, made her “want her mamma”. As I read to her or she read to me, she would still press her little body (all 52 inches and 52 pounds of it) against mine. Her head against my chest, as she did as a baby when she sought out the sound of my BEATING HEART – her constant companion during those nine/ten months when we shared my body.

Maybe she ignored me in front of her friends, but during story time she would still look up at me with those big eyes straight out of that Van Morrison song, and delight in my accents (Hagrid, Harry, Hermoine, and the Joneses – Skippy John and Junie B. ).

But since the end of 1st Grade, my now official 2nd Grader has changed yet again. The way we interact at home, it’s like two ships passing in the night. Where one ship only drops anchor long enough to ask the other ship for a snack or lunch or where her cowboy hat is – the one that looks like Jesse’s from Toy Story 2.

And at bedtime now, she curls up with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and reads silently to herself! And when she does ask me to read to her, like she did last night, it’s only after I ask her if she wants me to read to her, she says no, I look disappointed and she changes her mind – obviously out of some 7 year-old sense of pity.  And as I read to her she stays on her side of the bed, keeping a distance. And when I move my feet under the covers to meet hers, she pulls hers AWAY!

I have to ASK for the hugs and kisses now. And she gives them…grudgingly. I see the great effort and annoyance in her every movement. And it makes me sad. No one wants to ASK to be loved. It’s like having to ask your husband to keep his distance when you’re PMS. I mean, after all these years, shouldn’t he JUST KNOW?!  

Anyway. Randy the perfekt husband WARNED me about this. Whenever I would complain that she liked to spend too much time snuggling in our bed and watching “How It’s Made” or when I’d MOAN about the fact that I NEVER got any time to myself…Randy would say:

“One day she won’t want to have anything to do with either of us…and then you’ll miss all this.”

I knew he was right. What I didn’t know was that it would start happening so SOON!

So now I must take solace in the fact that when she gets sick, and she WILL get sick as all kids do, she’ll NEED me. See, I’m the only one in the house willing to clean up puke. Also, I KNOW where that Jesse hat is.

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Author: toni

~ 06/27/09

Yep. When I wrote my EARLIER POST about Kimberley Vlamick, the Belgian Teen who said she SLEPT through getting 56 tattoos on her face, I KNEW she was lying. I mean, I wake up if a fly lands on the end table NEXT to my face. I can’t imagine sleeping through needles piercing repeatedly into my skin. Not unless there’s an anesthesiologist parked on a stool next to my head, anyway.

Know what’s behind her lie? Yep. An angry parent. Specifically an ANGRY DAD. And as we all know, those are scarier than ANGRY MOMS.  Why is that, by the way? I hate that. It’s very frustrating when I’m meting out punishment and it’s met with derisive giggles instead of concern.  Which is I guess where the term “WAIT ‘TIL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME!” comes from.

Julia, if you’re reading this (and you shouldn’t be until you’re 16) you’d better NEVER do something so stupid OR ELSE YOUNG LADY, I’LL, I’LL… tell your father!

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Author: toni

~ 06/26/09


Since my RANT in my EARLIER POST about the whole MICHAEL JACKSON THING, I am now hearing that DEBBIE ROWE, the biological mother of Prince I and Paris DID NOT relinquish custody of her children. Though she tried in a court of law. The JUDGE, in the end, refused it.  Uh, good judgment, Judge…I guess. 

Soooo….looks like she has a claim to the kids after all! What does this mean?

1) Prince I and Paris would likely get split from their brother Prince II (aka Blanket).

2) They will be raised by a mother who gave them up for a cash payment and a lifetsyle and will take them back because there’s the possibility of more cash and a continuation of said lifestyle.

That’s just great. Like these kids need any more trauma in their young lives. I hope they don’t get split up. What a horrible thing to do to these young children. I’m sure they love each other. And they NEED each other. These kids probably relied heavily on one another to survive the freakshow that was their life.

I don’t think it’s gonna be that easy. Look at the custody nightmare that ensued after Anna Nicole Smith died. Nope. I foresee a long, ugly battle in the making. People will be coming out of the woodwork to stake a claim to these THREE YOUNG LIVES in the hopes that they will reap riches off their Father’s name.

Michael Jackson’s former wife, LISA MARIE PRESLEY said on her blog that Michael was afraid of ending up just like ELVIS. Well, it’s looking like his fear has come true. But perhaps, like Elvis, he will end up making more money AFTER his death than when he was alive. Because reports are surfacing that Michael Jackson was apparently in debt to the tune of $400 million dollars! Geez. I suddenly don’t feel so bad about my student loans.

What the heck do you spend $400 million dollars on? Ostrich masks? Comic books? Or right, HUSH PAYMENTS and DEMEROL..oh, and that BMW lease for your live-in DOCTOR who keeps you tweaked.  

What a mess! I hope his kids have the opportunity to profit from their father’s talents and that some gold-digger posing as a guardian doesn’t come in and take it all from them.

And if Debbie Rowe DOES get them, I hope that somewhere on a cellular (biological not Sprint)  level, there is some iota of maternal instinct in her. That she feels that connection and stirring within her that a mother feels for her child. And I’m not talking about the thrill that comes with the idea that they might get you a book deal and a wax figure at Madame Tussauds.


UPDATE: The Jackson Clan has announced that they will fight DEBBIE ROWE tooth and nail should she try to get custody of the kids. They say the kids belong “within the family”.

Those kids are lost.

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