Mama Sayz (02/24)

Mrs. Smith has some crazy energy this week, which is a good thing. Out-of-town visitors will do that sometimes. Read all about that and much, much more – it’s “Mama Sayz”:

Hey Jeff, STOP PREDICTING THE GAMES! (J-MART NOTE: I know, right? I’m awful).

Man, that was a tough one to give up… Oh, in case anyone’s wondering, yes, we made it to the Nebraska game in Lincoln. Calvin, Miss Tiff and I were joined by my co-workers Lucy and Ms. G-Phi herself, Nikki, on our road trip. I really got a kick out of traveling through the small towns on our way north and seeing how content people can be in their surroundings. It’s very similar to how I’ve settled down here in “The Little Apple.” I remember traveling back east to The Big Apple for the game against Notre Dame. It was so exciting hanging out with Mona and Keisha and the rest of my family in the fast-paced world filled with the things that were so familiar to me for most of my life. However, when I finally made it back to Manhattan, Kan., I felt like quoting Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz –“THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!”

Lately, I have been apologizing to everyone for not being on time with my blog and once again I have to apologize again. Work has been so stressful over the last week that I haven’t been mentally able to sit down and do any writing at all. (J-MART NOTE: I know the feeling… except this is my full-time job.) I did see something on ksufans.com suggesting that I may have left town but as you can see, I’m still here.

Last weekend, Mona and Keisha were in town for the Mizzou home game and boy, did they have fun. We were trying to Wabash but Mona is so uncoordinated that she messed it up for anyone around her. A few people actually came up to welcome them to Manhattan and they were baffled about how total strangers (to them, anyway) knew their names — until I had to pull up the latest edition of “MAMA SAYZ” on my phone. (J-MART NOTE: Nice…) After reading it, they just started sucking up their 15 minutes of fame. They (including Lucy) really expect me to send them the link every week, which I refuse to do because they need to become more familiar with their computers, right? (J-MART NOTE: The powers that be appreciate the page views. Send the link as many times as possible.) I tell them that I don’t have to send it out to the people who follow it week after week but they just give me THE LOOK… They’re so lazy. I’d save myself a headache by just sending the link!

tima and mo

The amazing thing about seeing Mona is that when we see each other, it seems like we’ve never separated. We just pick up from were we left off and keep it moving. There’s never any sad goodbyes where we hug and kiss each other — we just say, “Bye, girl, call me when you land,” and be done with it. We went to my favorite store in town, GTM, to pick up some new gear for the folks back home and before you know it, I started bickering with Mona because Keisha and me were taking too long with our purchases. Apparently she doesn’t know that I can spend the morning in that store and never have too much K-State apparel — and still return the next week for more.

doe’s

We did have the opportunity to dine at Doe’s on this visit and they had CRAB LEGS! I just dove right in and didn’t want to share with anyone at the table. I figure why should I share with them when they can get crabs back home in Maryland on a regular basis.

Curtis was in town, too, and it’s always fun to just hang out with my “brother from another mother.” (Now that’s funny!) I think he and his wife, Monica, will be back for “Big Monday” against Texas. Some of the coaches on the team have been calling me the “paparazzi” because I carry my camera around all of the time and whenever they see Dalonteme coming they cover there faces as if they are camera shy. They drive me crazy! What they don’t understand is that I need to capture the moment at the click of a button so that my readers can get a better idea of what I’m writing about. Besides, I like to catch people when they least expect it… LOL! That reminds me… Who do I need to see about a media pass to some of the events, like the press conferences, access to the players, etc? Oh J-E-F-F-R-E-Y! (J-MART NOTE: I think you want to speak to Tom Gilbert, the basketball SID. He’ll appreciate being mentioned here, I’m sure.)

Bob Boozer

I met some of the former Wildcats and I considered it such an honor. Bob Boozer is a very kind and sincere man and he was such a joy to talk to — as were the rest of the guys. We even met the voice of the “Flying Dutchman” from Sponge Bob. Now that was impressive, although it kind of takes the fun out of the idea that Sponge Bob is not really who Lil’ Mike thinks he is. Which reminds me, there was a young lady who wrote to Lil’ Mike a little while ago and asked a question about the name of the snail on Sponge Bob and I just wanted her to know that it is Gary. He’s Sponge Bob’s pet. Now that’s scary… You don’t even want to know how I know that! Anyway, enough about the little yellow guy.

The tribute to Vanessa Stewart was touching, to say the least. The family’s message on her behalf touched many, including Mona, who lost her only child, Stevon, to cancer at the age of 14 years almost three years ago. It’s always hard to lose a loved one but God gives us the strength to continue it’s least expected.

tiff-and-jordan.JPG

Speaking of the Stewart’s… Miss Tiffany has made a new little friend, Jordan, who is Clent’s nephew. He was so cute and they got along just as good if not better than Mona and I — imagine that!

My life has been non-stop from the time that Mona and the gang rolled into town up until Friday evening when I punched the clock to end a very long week of work. Now I have to mentally prepare myself for the upcoming weekend with Calvin’s brother, curtisBrian, and friends (Rush and his high school buddy), as well as the founder of the D.C. Assault himself – with wife and daughter in tow. (J-MART NOTE: I’ll do the ‘Five’ with Curtis this week. It’s a lock.) Oh, by the way, Monica Smith-Malone will be celebrating her birthday, which is TODAY (Feb. 24) in Manhattan. Now that says a lot! I can’t wait to see her and Sidney, who is Tiffany’s twin that just happens to be 18 years older (they share the same birthday).

I’m not sure if anyone can relate to this but let me put it out there. Growing up in a house with six kids, my dad basically had six human remote controls that allowed him to take comfort on the couch and never have to move for anything except bathroom breaks. Although I hated it, I have managed to adopt the ways of my dad in my household today, only not to the same extreme (I promise!). In my house, the one who runs my errands now is Malik. It’s just something that goes on, no biggie, right? I don’t ask of him the impossible, just normal things. He doesn’t complain because it’s just in his nature to be helpful and that’s one of the greatest qualities he possesses, and I consider myself truly blessed to be his mom. I brought this up because I have adopted a “Malik” (for a lack of better words) within Bramlage. He is so helpful in getting my messages to Lil’ Mike, the coaches or practically anyone that I need to contact. If there is a question I may have, he usually has the answer and he even humors me when I need to be in group photos… He’s the best. I just want him to know that nothing he does is ever taken for granted and it is appreciated, so I just wanted to say, “Thanks Sam!”

Sam

At a later date I will dedicate a blog specifically to the guys and gals behind the scene of the basketball team. Uh oh, I’ll bet they’re shaking in their boots now! I’m just sitting here cracking up at the thought of how fast their office doors will close when they see me coming… I’m going to have fun with that, so watch out now, here I come!

To finish our weekend Tiffany and I went to visit the girls of the Gamma Phi Betag-phi-t.JPG House and had dessert with them after touring their house… Tiffany says they all remind her of her favorite fashion characters, The BRATZ, and was pretty upset that she had to go home. So, Ladies of G-Phi, if you ever need company, PLEASE let me know! (J-MART NOTE: Somehow, I think Lil’ Mike and the fellas would appreciate the invite more.)

Now on to the good stuff… You!

FROM: 3DCat (Jennifer)
WHEN: Feb. 15, 2008

Ms. Smith!! YOU MADE MY DAY!! I am so glad you and your family appreciated the cookies. It was my pleasure to do something for you. Give Lucy my love. (We ran track together in high school). Isn’t she a neat person? Win or lose, I am there for you. Have a wonderful weekend with your visiting family. Mizzou is not going to know what hit them!

Jennifer,
You made my day by helping me to figure out what Lil’ Mike’s favorite cookies are… I would love to have the recipe, if it’s not a family secret — LOL! Thanks so much and I can see why you and Lucy hit it off for so many years. Take care!

FROM: James
WHEN: Feb. 15, 2008

Thanks for sharing. It’s a good time to be a K-STATER.

James,
You’re welcome! It’s a GREAT time to a K-Stater! It’s like being a Redskin fan… A true fan will stick with their team through the wins and especially the losses. I will forever bleed PURPLE (and burgundy and gold!).

willie.JPG

FROM: Lori
WHEN: Feb. 17, 2008
That was a great win against Mizzou. The whole team played great. I sure enjoy reading your blog. Thanks! Just watched YouTube with Mike and some of his post-game interviews, such as the I-pod one. He is so funny and witty. Was he like that as a little boy, say 4 or 5?

Lori,
Yes, Lil’ Mike has an I-pod! I can’t figure out the fascination he has with seeing the I-pod during the press conference. In the beginning, he really didn’t know that he was being taped but when he found out about it, he was a little embarrassed at first but then got a kick out of it. That boy does make me wonder sometimes… He and the rest of my kids have always been entertaining. I can truly say there has never been a dull moment in the life of “Tima’s Kids,” which is how my sister would describe them.

FROM: Nicka
WHEN: Feb. 18, 2008

Ma,
I was at the mall today and Mike walks by. He was on his phone so I didn’t want to bother him but the urge to get a picture with him and my six-month-old son was too strong. I asked him for a moment to take a pic and, true to form, he was kind enough to say yes. In the end my camera phone never saved the picture (which I found out when I got home) but I now have a memory to share with my son when he gets old enough to understand. I hope to raise my son to be as kind as yours.

Nicka,
I’m sorry your camera didn’t work because a picture is worth a thousand words. Don’t worry, if you see him again, I’m sure he would pose for you. He really has a big heart when he’s not being pressured.

FROM: Rog
WHEN: Feb. 21, 2008

Yikes! Nebraska was a train wreck! We need to get a solution to the defensive struggles quick or we’ll be playing ourselves out of the tourney! I couldn’t believe the number of backdoor lay-ups the Huskers were able to create with their offensive picks. Mike had the hot hand and they stopped feeding him the ball in the later stages of the game.

Mama – what do we need to do to win on the road?

Rog,
It wasn’t quite a train wreck. Don’t get me wrong, I hate to lose but it happens. As far as winning on the road… Your guess is as good as mine! I can tell you this. That was as tough an environment that I have seen so far…I can only imagine how the KU crowd will be. (
J-MART NOTE: Oh, boy. That was nothing. Prepared to be shocked in Lawrence.)

FROM: Grape Ape
WHEN: Feb. 22, 2008

Mama,
I love reading your thoughts on “Mama Sayz.” You are in a truly unique situation. Best of luck to all of your family. What are your dreams for the future? Do you plan to move back to D.C. after Mike makes his jump to the next level? I hope to see the Cats figure out their road woes and make a strong run at the end of the season.

Mr. Ape,
Thanks for wanting to read my thoughts. I keep wondering, week after week if “Mama Sayz” is continuing to draw readers (
J-MART NOTE: It does extremely well, and we couldn’t be happier with Fatima) but I’ll keep writing until Jeff gives me the boot (J-MART NOTE: I’m not going to give you the boot) and maybe even beyond that in some form, who knows? My dreams for the future would be for my children to be successful in their choices in life and to be in great health to see how everything shakes out. I’m not too sure when or if I’ll be moving back to the DC area. Being here in Manhattan has changed my thoughts on being secluded in one area. I may choose to branch off and move to a foreign country… Now imagine that!

Well folks, I really have to get to my other full-time job of doing laundry, cleaning windows, washing the dog, cleaning out my car, etc., etc., etc…