Entregando Los Tenis

Entregando Los Tenis

A few years ago, my mother had a heart attack.  The event scared her because she thought she was “entregando los tenis.”  Basically, my very active mother thought her number was up, and her phrase for that wasn’t something as irrelevant to us as “kicking the bucket,” but something more practical and to the point, like “the time has come to turn in my tennis shoes.”  Every now and then (mostly when she wants to make the point that I’ve disappointed her) she reminds me that she’s ready to “entregar los tenis.”  I’ve finally learned to respond that that I’m going to buy her a bunch of pairs of Keds so that she doesn’t ever have to give them back or hand them in.

 © Laura Genao 2006

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Thinking About Laughter

Thinking About Laughter

I was looking for a book to make me laugh out loud, so I decided to reread Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.   Because the book does make me work my abs through laughter, this time around I was struck by the description of laughter contained in its first few pages.  I think my laugh is like Vivi’s or the “mama” in this passage. 

Oh, how Mama and the Ya-Yas laughed! . . . Caro’s chortle sounded like a grin doing a polka.  Teensy’s giggle had a bayou flavor, as if somebody sprinkled Tabasco on it.  Necie’s hee-hee-hee sounded exactly like that.  And Mama’s head-thrown-back, open-back, open-throated roar always made people turn around and look at her when she laughed in public.

Let me know if you have any books that make you embarrass yourself through laughter.

© Laura Genao 2006

The Things Moms Say

The Things Moms Say

My mom and I were sitting at the dining room table arguing about when it is appropriate to take out the trash (a worthwhile mother-daughter topic) when she got up and ended the argument by stating, “tu te crees mucho porque estas flaquita.”  Her attempt to end the debate by telling me I was full of myself because I am thin sent me into hysterics. 

I am neither thin, nor particularly arrogant.  And, if I am arrogant it isn’t because I’m now a size 12 and not the high end of 14 (as I was for the past few years).   My mom’s remark was a funny reminder of the things parents think about their offspring (ok, or maybe it’s just my mom and what she thinks of me).

© Laura Genao 2006

Ya No Hay Más–Raul Velasco Dead at 73

Ya No Hay Más–Raul Velasco Dead at 73

Raul Velasco died yesterday.  For those of us raised by Mexican parents, this means a lot.  The guy was the host of a weekly, three-hour-long variety program named “Siempre en Domingo.” 

As its name suggests, the show was on every Sunday night and we watched it (some of us were forced to), every Sunday night.  We made fun of it, calling it “Siempre en lo Mismo” or “Siempre es lo Mismo” because many of the musicians who appeared, appeared week, after week, after week.  We also made fun of that little hand sign, that now looks like a gang sign, he made that signaled “aun hay mas” or “there’s more to come.”  We hated the show when Raul got ill and his daughter tried to fill in. Read more

Holiday Card-i-ology

Holiday Card-i-ology

I am not a holiday person. 

I don’t get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday to go shopping (ok, in the interest of full disclosure, my sister did drag me to Downtown Crossing in Boston, once–I was in college, and we were young).  I’m also fortunate because I do not have to buy many gifts (mom has declared this year a no gift year), and I relish this good luck. 

I also don’t put up Christmas lights, wreaths, or a tree (again, my sister once made me do this and I won’t ever again, and, to illustrate our differences, she called this weekend to report that she’d pulled out all her holiday decorations, and, to my dismay, it seems my two-year-old niece is impressionable and enjoying the bright lights and colors of the season). 

I do, however, really, really, really enjoy sending holiday cards.  Despite my desire to be totally low key about Christmas and my desire not to buy unnecessary items for people who already have everything under the sun, I love holiday cards.  I love thinking that for a split second, I’ve made my friends laugh and know that I’m thinking of them.

My love of holiday cards forced me to start my holiday shopping just before Halloween at THE BEST CARD SHOP EVER–Pulp, 456 S. La Brea, L.A.  That’s near the corner of 6th and La Brea for those of you who are local.  (No, I’m not obsessive or compulsive or overly organized, it’s just that if you don’t buy them before Thanksgiving, a lot of the good cards are gone).

The cards at this shop are funny, political, sarcastic, politically correct, snarky, smart alecky, beautiful, large, small, you name it, they have it.  

Some of the cards they have can be found by going to the cards’ sources: 

www.smartalexinc.com;

www.mikwright.com; and

www.eevil.org.

Take a look and enjoy.  And, for those of you who’ll get one from me, they’re on their way (or at least they are for those blessed with first names in the early part of the alphabet).  For those I don’t get to before Christmas, just remember, I also love New Year’s cards. 

© Laura Genao 2006

Sunday Paper

Sunday Paper

I like reading the NY Times’ Sunday edition because I always find something interesting among its pages.  Today’s find was an ad on the last page of the Week in Review section.  It didn’t seem to advertise a product, and that was some of why it drew my attention.  Additionally, its author and words made me think in general about how peace is still a goal to strive for every day, even if you don’t agree with her or how she thinks or what she suggests.  The ad read:

FORGIVE US

December 8th is near again.  Every year on this day, I hear from many people from all over the world who remember my husband, John Lennon, and his message of peace.  They write to tell me they are thinking of John on this day and how he was shot and killed at the prime of his life, at age 40, when he had so much life ahead of him.

Thank you for your undying love for John and also for concern for me on this tragic anniversary.  This year, though, on December 8th, while we remember John, I would also like us to focus on sending the following messages to the millions of people suffering around the world:

To the people who have also lost loved ones without cause:  forgive us for having been unable to stop the tragedy.  We pray for the wounds to heal.

To the soldiers of all countries and of all centuries, who were maimed for life, or who lost their lives:  forgive us for our misjudgments and what happened as a result of them.

To the civilians who were maimed, or killed, or who lost their family members:  forgive us for having been unable to prevent it.

To the people who have been abused and tortured:  forgive us for having allowed it to happen.

Know that your loss is our loss.  Know that the physical and mental abuses you have endured will have a lingering effect on our society, and the world.  Know that the burden is ours.

As the widow of one who was killed by an act of violence, I don’t know if I am ready yet to forgive the one who pulled the trigger.  I am sure all victims of violent crimes feel as I do.  But healing is what is urgently needed now in the world.

Let’s heal the wounds together.

Every year, let’s make December 8th the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable. 

Let’s wish strongly that one day we will be able to say that we healed ourselves and by healing ourselves, we healed the world.

With deepest love,

Yoko Ono Lennon

New York City 2006

© Laura Genao 2006

The Tooth Fairy is a Tired Stalker

The Tooth Fairy is a Tired Stalker

A few nights ago, my neighbor’s pre-teen daughter, Bri, lost a tooth just before bedtime. Because the kid still believes in the Tooth Fairy, she looked at her mother and said, “Mom, all I hope the Tooth Fairy brings me is a South Dakota quarter.” Impressed by her daughter’s tenacious pursuit of the nation’s quarters and wanting to hold onto her daughter’s innocent belief in benevolent, otherworldy forces a little longer, my neighbor ignored her own fatigue from a long day of work and running her children around to endless seasons of after-work sporting events to go out for “an evening errand.”

She got into her PT Cruiser and zoomed down the hill. Going into the first gas station, which also doubles as a taco stand and bakery, she asked the evening gas attendant if he had any South Dakota quarters to exchange for the bicentennial quarter she held up to show him. He was puzzled by the request for only a half second before he obliged and looked through his change. “No,” he shook his head. Read more