Posts Tagged ‘Mother’s Day’

The Confidence of a Child

May 20, 2019

I almost completely forgot to talk about this story because Mother’s Day was a long (but good day). For Mother’s Day, I went with my mom to the Orioles game because we are both diehard fans. We are also not fairweather fans as it was pouring rain when we went down there. This was actually the second Sunday in a row that we tried to go to an Orioles game. The Sunday before, we tried to go to the game and it was also pouring down rain. Spring in Baltimore where it only rains when you want to be outside (and all the time). We waited under cover for an hour eating barbecue sandwiches from Boog’s and then they announced that the game was canceled and we were ushered out. We ended up eating nachos at Dempsey’s and just had a chill and chilly day.

The next weekend, on Mother’s Day, my mother only asked for one thing and that was to try again. I was definitely game for it and neither of us got our hopes up. This time there was a two and a half game delay but we were happy to just sit and talk while the rain came down. We ate chicken tenders from Boardwalk Fries, a place that I had not been to in years and years. (Mostly because I have not been to a mall in forever). Mom gets cold easily so we moved around a lot, going from our seats to go browse stores. It was just a really chill time in one of the coolest places in Baltimore. Finally, the game started and we got to watch a game that the Orioles actually won. It felt like the kind of day that was meant to be. We ended the game back in Dempsey’s having some good food (with a really distracted server but we were in too good a mood to care).

But that was not the story I wanted to tell. While that in itself was a pleasant story, I had another one in mind when I started this. I tend to ramble sometimes. That was all backstory for one of the weirdest stories that has happened to me and luckily my mom was there to witness it. At one point in our day, we went to the Team Shop somewhere around home plate. The store is a little alcove where you can step in and buy Orioles merch. It feels like a Hudson News but all orange. They had run out of the largest size of the big orange blanket because it was cold and wet and everybody had the same idea except they had it before my mom. While we were waiting for them to restock, my mom and I were standing next to the wall of hats and chatting.

Out of the blue, I felt something hit me square in the back and then drag down my spine. It was a soft something. I turned around to see a little kid with a giant orange foam set of talons. A foam finger that actually looked cool. I was not mad since the little guy had not hurt me but when I turned around I expected his eyes to bug out as if he had mistaken me for his older brother or dad or something. Instead, he just stared at me like “What? Yeah, I scratched you with my claws.” Before Xanax, I would have been more weirded out and would probably have gotten angry as my anxiety levels raised. Instead, I was like “Whoa, little dude.” The kid just peered at me and then pointed at my hat. I was wearing a blue WYPR hat which I had gotten for donating to the local NPR affiliate that I had listened to for over two-thirds of my life.

So, the kid points at my hat and says “Didn’t they go out of business?” and I blink and tilt my head to show how confused I was. “No, I’m pretty sure they’re still going,” I said. My mom chimed in with “They’re a local NPR station, they still exist.” The kid furrows his brow and says “No, I’m pretty sure they went out of business.” I was absolutely floored by the confidence of a small child who was absolutely sure and stuck to his guns when challenged. I was a much meeker child and I would have backed down immediately. My mom counted with “You might be thinking of WJHU which did go out of business a while ago.” I looked at my mother and then the kid. Only later did I realize that WJHU went out of business well before the kid was born. I have no idea what the kid was thinking as he got bored and walked away. I still wonder about it but it is a mystery I will never solve. Still, I have to admire the kid’s chutzpah.

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Mother’s Day (1980)

October 24, 2016

I love my mother. I have been on record stating that before and I do not think is a very controversial statement. I think most people love their mother even if they do not actually like their mother as well. I not only like and love my mother but I trust her. Thankfully, she never abused that trust as I grew up and never told me to do things that I should not. However, there are plenty of people who grow up without learning right from wrong. Their parents, if they were present, plant hate in their hearts instead of love and they grow up trusting that hate more than human kindness. If they were born with empathy, it can be dulled by being taught that only your family’s feelings matter. I have met these people who feel they are right no matter what and even if they were wrong, they still would hurt people. This is a scary notion to think that just down the block or even over your neighbor’s fence, there are people who just do not care. The worst thing is, you cannot spot these people by sight alone.

This movie is written and directed by Charles Kaufman but it is not the Charles Kaufman who wrote Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation. Instead, this Kaufman is the brother of Lloyd Kaufman who founded Troma Entertainment. You might remember Troma from the Toxic Avenger movies and Cannibal: The Musical. If you are familiar, you know that Troma is one of the most tasteless yet strangely popular film studios in history. Today’s selection is an exploitation film. This means that the violence and gore are usually increased a lot. This movie also has quite a bit of rape in it. Obviously, rape is an unforgivable act and the people who commit it in the movie are evil. They also kill a lot of people. I thought long and hard about including this review but I decided that if I can watch Law and Order: SVU, I can watch this. If you want to refrain from watching this movie or reading this review you would be in good company. Roger Ebert gave this movie zero stars.

As the IMDB description says, this movie is about an elderly mother who raises her two sons to kill. The movie is set at the dawn of the eighties when disco was dying buy cocaine was still on the rise. Thankfully we get a rest from teenagers and college kids as the usual targets of horror movies, especially in the Eighties. Instead, the killers are after women who are at least in their late twenties if not mid-thirties. It also takes place in one of the nicer areas of New Jersey although they definitely make sure to highlight a lot of the crummy parts. They use a lot of fictional place names but some of the areas are definitely familiar or similar enough to the area I lived out in the middle of nowhere in Jersey. The main characters are kind of stupid. Like the grown up characters in It, they have not grown up much. There is a lot of bad Eighties humor and slapstick leading up to the violence.

This movie uses a lot of popular horror movie tropes in it. It has your spooky synth music to mimic Halloween and Friday the 13th. It has the old man warning the victims before they head into danger. It has the tight group of friends who like to play pranks on each other. It has the jumpscares that lead to nothing, jangling your nerves so that you are already unsettled when the bad stuff starts. It has a lot of naked female breasts. It has masked killers and killers with mutated faces. It has vulnerable people out in the wood away from any possible help. All of these familiar elements are both played straight and parodied. There are plenty of moments played for comedy even after the crap hits the fan. The same comic timing is applied to the horror elements but it is not funny. It is all the more terrifying that these people are having a really good time.

Overall, it is not a great movie. However, I think it was worth watching. The rape scenes were mercifully short considering movies like I Spit on Your Grave and Last House on the Left. That does not make them any less disgusting or horrible. The movie is supposed to be scary and awful and it definitely succeeds at that. The actors playing the villains are actually pretty good and terrifying. The titular mother is especially unnerving with her horrible smile and cheery demeanor. The movie is cheap and dirty and that serves it well in some places but not in others. By trying to parody horror movies, it falls into similar traps but there are some new bits that I did not expect. The movie did succeed in its mission as a horror movie and it did provide scares and horror. I would recommend it but only to horror connoisseurs with strong stomachs.

Mother’s Day

May 10, 2015

Squirrel Chairs

The picture you see above are squirrel chairs. The idea is that the squirrels sit and eat the cobs of corn impaled on the chairs (the corn is impaled not the squirrels). The intent of such an idea is apparently to keep squirrels away from bird feeders by giving them their own food. Apeasement policies aside, this is a weird idea, right? It’s an idea that makes sense and makes no sense at the same time. This is the brainchild of my mother, the woman who birthed me and raised me. I’m not kidding, a grown adult thought of using this invention (and somebody invented it but let’s set that aside).

My mom is an incredibly intelligent woman and she’s one of the nicest people I have ever known. I didn’t show you this picture to ridicule my mother or illustrate a flaw. I’m showing you this picture because it always makes me laugh. My mom was a lawyer and is now a judge and proud mother of three boys. She has several college degrees on top of high school and trade school. She’s Superwoman in my eyes.

She’s also the woman who taught us how to howl at the full moon regardless of what the neighbors might think. She obsessively plays Mahjong to the point that it’s become a running joke. She came north from South Carolina and didn’t get married when everybody else was. She became a lawyer at a time when women in the profession were called Lady Lawyers as if it was an oddity for a female to practice law.

On this Mothers Day, this is just a little note about my mother because I get a kick out of her and I love her.


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