Mama Paquita: “Why would a baby need a sombrero?” and other problematic questions.

This isn’t a real post.  It was a rambling email I was writing to my sister and then it sort of got away from me and so I decided to flesh it out and share it here because maybe we weren’t the only ones who were taught this song in school.  You can ignore it if you want.

When I was little there was this song called “Mama Paquita” that we’d have to sing in music class.  According to our music books, it was a 1930’s Brazilian Carnivale song but it was kinda fucked up.  It was about some salesman trying to convince a mom to buy her baby a banana, a papaya, some pajamas and a sombrero, but she was like “Who has infant-sombrero money in this economy?  Let’s go dancing!” (I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly) and I remember thinking, “Why would a baby need a sombrero?

(Side-note: I just googled” “Why would you buy a baby a sombrero?” and I got a lot of vaguely racist pictures, and also a link to a poem, which includes the lines “He had heard stories of a baby sombrero wrestler who would one day rule the world, but he had never thought that it would be his son” and “Hey, do you want to go get some soup, and maybe have a baby?” {Which might be the best pick-up line ever.  Or worst.  Depends on who you’re trying to pick up, I guess.})

Anyway, when I was in third grade I asked the music teacher why we didn’t just  sing the original Brazilian song, Mamãe eu Quero, (which I’d memorized from Carmen Miranda movies and old Tom & Jerry cartoons) but she shook her head disdainfully, saying only that there were “too many nipples in that song”.

I was confused about that for years, but in high school I told a friend that I knew the words to a risqué Brazilian nipple song, which I then sang.  She knew a little Portuguese, and she told me my song was about breastfeeding and that my pronunciation was atrocious.  Then I said, “Oh wait.  It gets worse” and I sang her the bastardized English version from my childhood music classes, and she was like, “What kind of racist bullshit is that?” and I said, “The extremely problematic kind taught to small children in the 70’s?”

Then she looked at me in confused bewilderment and I nodded in embarrassed agreement and said, “Honestly, I don’t understand it either.  I apologize on the behalf of white people.”  (Which is a phrase I should just put on a t-shirt because that shit needs to be said A LOT).  She gracefully accepted my apology and offered to teach me how to curse convincingly in Spanish if I agreed to never sing that song again.  Our cultural bridge was built on a shared love of profanity, and although I never mastered the accent to her satisfaction, I will forever treasure the phrase: “I SHIT ON EVERYTHING THAT MOVES!” which is easily the best thing to scream when you are stuck in traffic, or when the copier eats your overdue report, or when life is just being an asshole in general.

ishitoneverythingthatmoves

This was all before the internet existed so I had to take my friend’s word on the translation, but then my sister reminded me of that song again and so I decided to go online to try to translate the Portuguese version.

And here is the (probably horribly butchered) translation:

Mommy I want, mommy I want,
Mommy I want to suckle!
Give the nipple, give the nipple, give the nipple
Give the nipple so your baby won’t cry!

Sleep, son of my heart.
Take the bottle and join my dance party.
I have a sister, she’s called Anna.
She blinked so much she lost her eyelashes.

I look at the little ones, but this way
I’m sorry I’m not suckling.
I have a sister, she’s phenomenal.
She’s the boss and her husband’s an imbecile.

And now I’m even more confused, and I can’t get the fucked-up English version out of my head.  And (if you were also taught it as a small kid) it’s probably stuck in yours too now.

Awesome.

I am part of the problem.

PS.  Again, I would like to apologize on the behalf of white people.  Seriously.  White people fuck shit up for all of us.  Including white people.  It’s baffling.  I’m so sorry.  Let’s go get some soup and maybe have a baby.

I don’t even have the words, y’all.

My friend sent me a link to a book she thought I needed to check out:

This is a real book.  No shit.

This is a real book. No shit.

I can’t actually recommend the book because I haven’t read it yet, but I do have to share the list of related books Amazon suggests for me because HOLY SHIT, Y’ALL:

So.  Yeah.

So. Yeah.

A few of my favorite things about this list:  “Related Searches:  Extreme Ironing.”  Also?  The fact that this list is categorized under “Women’s Biographies” and “Volunteer Work.”

No words.

**************

And now, time for the weekly wrap-up:

sid

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit that I’m vaguely involved with on the internets:

Shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Sean Fox, author of Room Service is Closed.  From Sean: “There are a great many horror stories from people who have stayed in hotels and had a miserable experience. No offense to those people, but working there isn’t all rainbows and sausages either. The front desk is where the vast majority of foolishness takes place. One of those front desk agents was me. Armed with bitterness, sarcasm, and general unpleasantness, I try to survive the world of The Hotel, a place filled with overly perky HR people, mind numbingly dull coworkers, and managers sent straight from the darkest pit of Hell. That’s not to mention the guests, a whole breed of crazy all on their own. Join me on my journey where I learn that the hospitality industry isn’t very hospitable and perhaps I don’t have the right attitude to be in it.”  You should check it out here.

Nancy Pelosi is extremely disappointed in me for destroying the Democratic Party. In my defense, I can’t even load the dishwasher properly so maybe it was a mistake to give me that much responsibility.

Yesterday my friend Laura and I decided we needed a break so we went camping (fine, glamping) and it was very relaxing until we checked our phones in front of the camp fire and realized that we’d gotten tons of frantic, distraught emails from the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) who was using some fairly odd tactics to get us to donate cash to fund ads battling the ads that the Republicans were seeking donations for.  I’m not into politics so I’m sure I explained that wrong, but what I do know is that all night we were flooded with so many doom-filled emails that if the DCCC was a person I would have called the police to have them do a well-check.  I realize this is partially our fault, as Laura and I have each donated before, and that we could have unsubscribed if we wanted to, but at a certain point it became so insane that it crossed over into baffling entertainment.

Just a few of most terrifying:

From: Nancy Pelosi <dccc@dccc.org>
Date: September 30, 2014
Subject: we. will. fail.

We will fail to hit our goal tonight

Laura, we’ve tried everything.

– President Obama has emailed you.
— Hillary Clinton has emailed you.
— I’ve emailed you more than I can count.

But with this new Republican outside spending, we’ll still need 28,OOO more online donations to be able to compete.

It’s hard to see that happening with just 4 hours until the deadline.

We have a meeting set to figure out how we’ll slash our campaign plan. But for right now, we have to ask one more time:

Can you please donate to President Obama’s call-to-action, and help us limit the damage?

MIDNIGHT DEADLINE: All Gifts Triple-Matched!

Thanks, Nancy

Nancy’s disappointment in us was palpable and we suspected we would soon be grounded.  Then more letters flooded in from equally frantic DCCC members asking for donations and saying things like:

“We’ll be blunt:  We need help.  And we don’t know where else to turn”

“It’s just awful.”

“We’ve got nothing left, Laura.”

“YOU ARE ON NOTICE.”

“If we fall behind now, we will be past the point of no return. We will lose.”

 

The subject lines alone made me need xanax: “no time. just read.”  “PUMMELED.” “BEGGING.”  “we. will. fail.” “Please help!”  “TRAGIC Conclusion.”  You could almost hear them pulling their hair out and tearing at their clothes.  Honestly though, the “BEGGING” one did push me into action.  Here it is:

From: James Carville <dccc@dccc.org>
Date: September 30, 2014
Subject: BEGGING

I’m not going to sit by and let the Republicans buy this election.

Will you chip in $5 or whatever you can right now to turn this election around?

(If it helps, I’ll beg too.)

We’re still coming up short.

When we say we’re begging, we’re REALLY begging.

Control of Congress is at stake. President Obama’s agenda is on the line. And we’re in serious danger of falling short here.

If we can’t pull it together TODAY, we’re going to get demolished.

We’re begging, Laura. We need 13 donors from your zip code to answer President Obama’s call-to-action. Can you step up today?

MIDNIGHT DEADLINE: All Gifts Triple-Matched!

Sure, it was a little unsettling that our own party was sending us emails that made us feel like we’d all spontaneously explode that night, but in their defense, that terrifying email shamelessly entitled “BEGGING” was the one that spurred me into action.  Sure, I could donate the $5 they were asking for, but I’d already done that before and it obviously wasn’t enough to stem the hysteria so Laura and I decided to use some good ol’ DCCC tactics to raise morale and money:  Apocalyptic-sounding emails.

We replied directly to James Carville’s email:

Date: September 30, 2014
To: “dccc@dccc.org”
Subject: Re: BEGGING 

Dear James Carville:

I am begging you right back.

Please, please, please, for the love of God, send me a photo of yourself holding a Popsicle or other frozen confectionary by midnight tonight and I will not only donate five dollars, I will match that five dollars.

If the frozen dessert is an ice cream sandwich I will triple match it.

And I’ll use that photo to raise money for our party. Your gift can make or break us.

DON’T LET US DOWN, JAMES CARVILLE.

Unsurprisingly, the DCCC recognized the power of vaguely threatening emails and responded immediately.  They must have been confused though, because their email read like a form letter and began like this:

From: <dccc@dccc.org>
Date: September 30, 2014

Thanks for emailing us at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)!

If you have a question or request, we want to get you what you need as quickly as possible:

1. Want to donate online to our campaign to elect Democrats?  CLICK HERE TO ACCESS OUR SECURE DONATION FORM…

We stopped reading at that point because they seem to have misread our initial email.  Suddenly I understood how frustrated they probably were.  It is awful when people ignore your histrionic emails.  But we took a deep breath and (following standard DCCC procedures) we decided to send another email explaining the severity of the issue and the level of shame they need to feel:

Date: September 30, 2014
To: DCCC
Subject: Re: Thanks for emailing the DCCC Membership Team!

Dear DCCC:

Thanks for emailing us at Laura’s laptop!

You said: “If you have a question or request, we want to get you what you need as quickly as possible” but the quickest way would have been to respond to my original response asking James Carville to send a photo of himself holding a popsicle (or similar) by midnight. Please see original email for details as it could be worth up to $15 to our party.

PULL IT TOGETHER, DCCC.

“1. Want to donate online to our campaign to elect Democrats?” Yes. Desperately. But I can’t help you until you help yourself. As Nancy Pelosi said to me moments ago, “I’ve emailed you more than I can count.”  (Twice, actually. So I guess I can count how many times. Sorry.  I’m bad at hyperbole.)  At first I thought Nancy was shaming me a bit much considering that we don’t know each other, but I understand her frustration now.

If we don’t get the photo of James Carville holding some sort of frozen dessert the Republicans will have already won. As you said to me a few hours ago, if we don’t have your cooperation “We. Will. Fail.”

YOU ARE NOW OFFICIALLY ON NOTICE. Your chance to get my donation TRIPLE-MATCHED will end at midnight tonight. Control of Congress is at stake. Please, don’t delay.

Also, that last paragraph was taken almost directly from the email you sent me moments ago but I don’t know how to do it in the flashing yellow warning letters like you did. Please know, however, that I am just as serious, regardless of font.

Shockingly, no popsicle pictures came.  Apparently the DCCC were just as immune to our threats as we were to theirs.

We checked on twitter to see if we were alone in getting these terrifying emails every few minutes.  We were not:  (You should see a box of tweets here that you can scroll down through when your mouse is inside it.  If not, just go to the link)

[View the story "I thought it was just me." on Storify]

We waited for the whole hour(s?) for a follow-up after the midnight deadline passed, but all was quiet.  We had expected another email.  Possibly something with the subject: “WE. ARE. DOOMED. And it’s mostly your fault” with a picture of orphans and kittens and orphaned kittens being speared by gleeful Republicans making giant shish-ka-bobs.  Instead?  Silence.  They were serious.  It really had been our last chance to donate and be triple-matched.  We felt a bit bad and said a prayer for the people at the DCCC, who we hoped were being given sedatives by helpful nurses.

The next day this came from Nancy:

Date: Wed, Oct 1, 2014
Subject: we. fell. short. 
I was being dead serious when I said we’d miss our goal last night.

We fell short.

Despite emails from President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and myself…we just couldn’t get it done.

It was one of the most aggressive fundraising goals we’ve ever had. We even surpassed our initial goal of 1OO,OOO online donations in 5 days. But we were forced to raise our goal when we learned that Republican outside groups put in 12 million dollars at the very last-minute.

I’m not giving up. And you shouldn’t either, Laura.

We have one last chance to right this ship. To do it, we need 11 donors from your zip code to make a triple-matched donation by midnight.

TRIPLE-MATCH EXTENSION: (for donations made TODAY ONLY)

Chip in $5 immediately >>

Chip in $35 immediately >>

Chip in $50 immediately >>

Chip in $100 immediately >>

Chip in $250 immediately >>

Or click here to donate another amount.

Thanks,

Nancy

PS. For those of you who might be new here: This isn’t a political post.  It’s more about marketing.  Also, it’s a waste of your time to debate politics in the comments section because this community is fairly divided politically but united in the fact that you have the freedom to believe whatever you want no matter how wrong you are.  I’m a Democrat but I’m married to a Republican and we can both agree that there’s a lot of crazy bullshit on both sides.  If you can’t recognize that you probably need to seek help right now.  But first give me $5 immediately if you believe in America, or else all the American eagles will become so despondent that they’ll lay out in the middle of the road and just let you run over them.

PPS.  I wrote this yesterday but forgot to publish it.  This is exactly why I should never be trusted with deadlines, Democrats.

Cats never have to empty the dishwasher

Cats are very lucky because they can hide just about anywhere.

I’m sure there are downsides, but it would be nice if when Victor was calling me to show me how I’d loaded the dishwasher wrong again I could just disappear, and then hours later when I showed up I’d be like, “You were calling me?  Sorry.  I was asleep in the dryer.”  Or “I couldn’t hear you because I got shut in a drawer. My bad.”  You can’t get mad at that.

Plus, he couldn’t yell at me for loading the dishwasher incorrectly because I’m a cat and cats don’t clean.

Or rather, they do, but in different ways. Like, they clean their butts with their tongues. Which actually sounds much worse than having to load the dishwasher now that I think about it.

Never mind. I guess the grass is always greener on the side of the fence, until you realize you have to lick  your own butt-hole on that side, and then you decide you prefer your original side, where all you have to do is just poorly load the dishwasher enough times that your husband will just loudly huff and passive-aggressively reload it for you.

PS.  I still think it’s a little unfair that I can’t hide in the dryer, but I suppose we can’t have everything, and I think I’ll remind Victor of that small injustice next time he yells at me about the dishwasher. That way he’ll know that I’m suffering too.

And that's why you always check your dryer.  Also, this dryer looks improperly loaded.  It's a damn epidemic.

This is an old picture but it fits here.  And that’s why you should always check your dryer. Also, this dryer looks improperly loaded. It’s a damn epidemic in this house.

I’m just not going to talk anymore.

Victor and I are currently arguing about a large number of words which I apparently mispronounce, but I suspect that if those words are mispronounced it comes from the fact that I read much more than I speak, so (in my head) lots of words sound different. Victor says he agrees, if “different” means “wrong”.

For instance, I pronounce the word “homemade” as “wholemade” whenever I’m referring to something lovely that’s made from scratch, and Victor can’t stop correcting me.   But I think it makes sense because even though the word is spelled the same, there is a big difference between “wholemade” and “homemade” because (to me) “wholemade” implies that it’s wholesome and hand-made with love, but “homemade” is more like stuff you make at home but that you wouldn’t sell at a Farmer’s Market.  It’s the difference between wholemade bread and homemade bombs.

Example:  Most meth is homemade, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good.  It’s only wholemade if it’s wholesome.  That’s how words work.  Victor says “That’s how society breaks down” and I was like, “I agree.  Meth is a real problem” but then he explained that he was referring to me using the word “wholemade”, which I think is a pretty good indicator that Victor really needs to reexamine his priorities.

Also, spellcheck is weighing in by trying to change “wholemade” into “whore-made” and I don’t even know where to start with that because it’s so baffling.  I was like, “What the shit, spellcheck?” and I showed it to Victor and he said, “WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

I have a feeling I’m not winning this argument, but it’s become a weird tradition to do polls on Sunday, so here you go:

 

**************

And now, time for the weekly wrap-up:

sid

 


Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit that I’m vaguely involved with on the internets:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Chasing the Donkey, a travel blog that focuses on traveling Croatia like a local.  It’s written by SJ Begonja, an Australian expat who lives in a small Croatian village after she and her Croatian husband and son packed up their lives to go and rebuild the old house they inherited.   And now I want to go to Croatia.  Thanks a lot, SJ.

UPDATED: Hey. You there. You probably need this.

Hey there.  You.

It seems like everyone I know is having a really rough month.  Me too.  But things are going to be okay.  Promise.  October is right around the corner.

Until then, here’s a kitten meeting a donkey for the first time.

aLQ84m6_460sa_v1

The only way this could be more adorable would be if Benedict Cumberbatch was riding the donkey, while hugging a sloth, who was giving a hedgehog a bath.

UPDATED:  My extremely talented friend, Darth, just sent me this:

Byfajx9IIAEMj_t

Granted, it sort of looks like Benedict Cumberbatch is making a tossed salad of sloths and hedgehogs while his donkey eats a kitten, but somehow it still makes me incredibly happy.

See, world.  It doesn’t take much.

How did this happen?

Happy birthday, Hailey.  You are our sunshine.

mygirl

Now please stop growing up so quickly or I will be forced to freeze you in carbonite, like a tiny Han Solo.  And this is the first year that you will totally get that joke and you will make another, far more obscure joke about Clone Wars and I won’t get it at all, and you’ll give me that look like, “Aw.  Old people are adorable.  Bless your heart.”  And I will still love you because you’re amazing.  But I’ll also be stockpiling the carbonite.

You’ve been warned, my sweet girl.