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Desperate Working Mommas
Your one-stop site for fanatical television snarking, questionable political analysis, occasional attempts to address the parenting issues facing working mothers, and halfhearted promises to stop obsessing about the entertainment industry, already! Oh, not to mention the random bitching and moaning. There's always that.
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I am one of many desperate working mommas. I am also a recovering Senior English teacher. I share my life with That Guy I Married (TGIM) and our three crazy kiddos.


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    Thursday, January 27, 2005
    How To Drive Your Type A Colleagues Crazy...

    My wiser, waaaaay older sister ('sup, Kimmie?) once told me there are two types of list-makers in this world:

    1) The type that makes a "To Do" list and systematically accomplishes every last little item on the list ('sup, Mamacita?); and

    2) The type that makes a "To Do" list, then promptly forgets ever making it, leaving her day open for going out and doing whatever the bejeebies she feels like doing. Because she MADE the list, for Pete's sake. Keep up. At some point she will actually do the stuff on it, so STEP OFF, bizzyotch!

    With no disrespect intended toward my much, MUCH ooooolder, wiser sister (still chillin', Kim?), I would like to humbly offer up a third type of list-maker:

    3) The type that makes a "To Do" list mainly composed of things she has already done that day (or week, whatev, it's all about pacing, pacing is key), thus enabling said list-maker to gleefully cross each little item off her lengthy "To Do" list with self-satisfied abandon. ABANDON, I say! She will then leave her heavily crossed-out "To Do" list in a prominent, high-traffic area for maximum exposure and veneration.

    Now that's what I'm talking about.

    link | posted by Cat at 1:56 PM
    2 comments

    Why I'll Never EVER Purchase a QVC Special Edition Samurai Sword

    I'm obviously a sick, sad little person, but I have to admit, this is FUNNY:

    http://www.uselessjunk.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=517
    (Click on "HSN Samurai-Sword demonstration accident.")

    "A piece of that tip just got me, Odell... Ooooh, that hurt good."
    Best. Line. EVER.

    link | posted by Cat at 1:02 PM
    0 comments

    Wednesday, January 26, 2005
    If You Can't Say Anything Nice... Write About It.

    What Brightens My Day:

    My five-year-old, Allison, after her doctor appointment (therefore alone for once in the backseat of my car), belting out Kelly Clarkson's Since U Been Gone. In tune and heartfelt, to boot.

    My seven-year-old, Hannah, creating a dioramic world of red-scarfed, pipe-cleaner reindeer, free-standing pipe-cleaner heart trees, origami snowflakes, and bejeweled Polly Pockets, blending almost indistinguishably against a lovingly painted background in an old cardboard box.

    My nine-year-old, Tanner, wearing his (thankfully!) lightweight airplane pajamas under his clothes all day at school because changing was apparently not an option in his mad rush to beat his sisters to the last two packets of instant oatmeal. Maple flavored.

    My husband, Aaron, kicking back in our IKEA Poang chair, eating a frozen Gogurt and watching a fresh episode (finally!) of Gilmore Girls with me. Oh, and making comments such as, "Ooooh, Rory shouldn't have said that, huh Cat?"

    What Bugs:

    Debilitating cramps and snooze-inducing guest speakers during high-powered, work-related meetings.

    Dry heaves brought on while unwittingly observing colleague scratch, peel and eat own skin during said high-powered, work-related meetings.

    Bobble Head Jesus and the God Almighty Action Figure (Mint In Box!) on proud display in my neighbor's cubicle.

    Honestly.

    link | posted by Cat at 1:53 PM
    1 comments

    Tuesday, January 25, 2005
    Spasms or Orgasms?

    "Can I borrow your trampoline?"

    This morning I received this rather cryptic email from my eleven-month pregnant friend/colleague. Cryptic, because 1) I don't own a trampoline (well, anymore), and 2) it's like, oh, I'd say ONE (1!) degree outside. With a wind-chill factor of negative freezing-my-buttocks-off. Oh, and the pregnancy thing. So, cryptic.

    Then I remembered a conversation we had several months ago when I regaled her with the tale of this crazy woman I know trying to induce labor by taking matters into her own hands and darn near killing herself-- okay, MYSELF, it was me, ME! gosh!-- on my mother-in-law's trampoline. Not to mention straining those freaking springs beyond all recognition. Man, those trampoline beds can really give, you know? I mean, like, honest-to-goodness, wide-load-slamming-into-the-ground give! Let's just say the nieces and nephews were NOT happy with Aunt Cat. And I must admit the broken springs flying every which way were obviously a potential hazard. (Heh-heh... Twang!) Oh, ho ho... good times, good times....

    What? Like you didn't try it.

    This simple question started a flurry of emails discussing the relative merits of every do-it-yourself pregnancy starter known to man.

    At some point I suggested castor oil, as my mother-in-law swears that felicitous elixir worked for her. Then again, she told me eating raw wheat germ would help me get pregnant (hmmm... I DID get pregnant the month I tried that! Dun dun DUN!) Apparently, the agonizing spasms caused by the-- well, ahem, heh heh, you know-- Get Things Going. It sounds twelve types of disgusting to me, but desperate times call for desperate blah blah blah...

    She apparently did not care for the idea of "spasms" (I can't say I blame her, really), and shot back a reference to an author who propounds that simply having sex is the better option, citing that the best course of action is to "frequently make love and have orgasms, whether by yourself or with your partner!" By yourself OR with your partner! Well! That sounds fun! Except, did I mention the eleven months pregnant thing? Oh, and apparently a generous amount of nipple stimulation is strongly encouraged. Well thank goodness she pointed that out, we both agreed.

    This conversation ultimately culminated with the reminiscence of my last labor experience. Coincidentally, TGIM and I had read an article similar to the one she was quoting. Do I even need to tell you how on-board he was with the whole "have lots of orgasms" thing? I was all, "No, honey, ME. ME!"

    In fact, if I recall correctly, while in the labor room he asked me if I wanted him to stimulate my nipples, you know, to speed things up a bit. That's right. He was offering to fiddle with my nipples. Right there. In the labor room. DURING LABOR. In front of the nurses, God, AND EVERYBODY. Oh, I do not kid.

    (In his defense, I am pretty sure one of the nurses suggested this whole nipple stimulation scenario originally. You heard me. Can you say "Awkward Moment"? When did I sign up for pregnancy porn?! "PUSH! boom chicka wow wow...")

    In between excruciating contractions and blissful Stadol haziness, I sensibly suggested we just have sex; I mean, why go half-way?

    That shut him up.

    Incidentally, I believe my friend is starting to lean toward the castor oil. Apparently, spasms are looking better all the time.

    link | posted by Cat at 3:19 PM
    1 comments

    Monday, January 24, 2005
    WAH!

    Oh, how I love thee, Work At Home day.

    link | posted by Cat at 10:10 AM
    2 comments

    Friday, January 21, 2005
    The Snot Heard 'Round the World

    I love my kids. They are my life. I love them more than anyone or anything in this world. Including New York Super Fudge Chunk Ben & Jerry's ice cream. And pumpkin-spice cake donuts. Even more than Joan of Arcadia. Yes. I love them THAT much.

    But no one, and I mean NO ONE, should be expected to respond to a sick, feverish little child who gets right in her face and coughs-- nay, HACKS UP A LITTLE LUNG-- in any way other than my way, which involves recoiling in surprised horror, wiping the spittle and mucus from my face, and bellowing-- in a nurturing, loving, and wholly instructional way, of course-- "GAH! Ew! CHILD! Cover your MOUTH!!"

    Hey. I see a teaching opportunity and I take it. That's just the kind of mother I am.

    link | posted by Cat at 4:00 PM
    0 comments

    Thursday, January 20, 2005
    How To Be My New Best Friend (or NOT)

    This morning my lovely 5-year-old came up behind me as I was getting dressed. Her constant flow of chatter stopped briefly. Mid "America, The Beautiful," I believe.

    Suddenly I felt a warm little finger poke me. Poke me! Well, more specifically, I felt a warm little finger poke my, oh, let's optimistically call it a slight "love handle," shall we? (I was bent over at the time, struggling into my exercise pants, so there may have been-- perhaps-- a slight bulge.)

    "Fluffy!" she said happily.

    Fluffy?

    I have quite recently (like, two minutes ago) come to the conclusion that children are bad for the momma's self-esteem.

    link | posted by Cat at 10:22 AM
    0 comments

    Wednesday, January 19, 2005
    Free Candy

    *Caution: AARON, this post could be construed as long(ish). You have been warned. Continue at your own risk.

    I don't normally eat candy, especially hard candy. It's not chocolate, so why bother? But there it was, tempting me. Free candy. Right there in a bowl. Candy for free. Which I could freely take and eat for free. So what if I don't normally like candy, especially hard, yellowish candy in little crinkly, clear, individual wrappers?

    But it was free, so I took one and popped it in my mouth. (I get a little crazy like this sometimes, which I suppose is a sad reflection of my weak character, gluttony, and parsimonious nature.) No, wait, of course I took the candy out of the wrapper first, then popped it in my mouth. I just reread that and thought maybe you would think that I just popped it right in my mouth, wrapper and all. Woo-woo, crazy wrapper-eating candy lady! But I didn't.

    The thing is, have you ever smelled something hauntingly familiar, something that reminds you of a specific place or time in your past?

    To whit: The other day I borrowed a friend's lotion, which turned out to be Johnson's baby lotion, and I was overcome with the memory of the first time I buried my face in the nape of my newborn baby boy's neck.

    And there was that freak thunderstorm during my friend's Fourth of July picnic, forcing all the party guests, including the host's dog, into the cramped living room. The dank smell of wet dog-- though a tad nauseating at first-- transported me back to my childhood, when my sisters and I could be found running through the backyard sprinklers with our family's two mangy mutts, Muffin and Foxy Lady.

    Or even the musky scent of an old boyfriend's unwashed U2 concert t-shirt that someone I know never gave back and never will because it's super comfortable to sleep in and it's his own freaking fault for leaving it at her place anyway before he snogged with my, I mean, her best friend and broke her heart... Wait. Where was I going with this? Oh yes. That scent can remind you, well, that you may need to seek professional help. No, really.

    "What does this have to do with hard yellowish candy in little crinkly, clear, individual wrappers?" you wonder. Patience, Reader-san, for truly, there is a point: That darn piece of candy was a butterscotch.

    A butterscotch!

    Well, I'll be jiggered if the smell if it-- and the taste of it, as well-- didn't overwhelm me with memories: sweltering Arizona desert heat outside, cool, smoky, air-conditioned air inside; air-popped buttery popcorn in enormous Tupperware bowls; the boisterous laughter of women playing cards; a crowded pool complete with rafts, floaties, and rousing games of Shark and Marco Polo; peeling, sun-burned noses and green-tinted chlorine-hair; too many wet kids in bathing suits slipping and sliding through Grandma's kitchen amid shouts of "Mommy! Look-it! MOMMY!" and "SHUT THE DOOR!"

    (I just used "jiggered" in a sentence. Huh.)

    Okay, coming to the point now, if anyone is still reading. Or wondering.

    Most importantly, the butterscotch recalled to me the glass jar Grandma kept on her kitchen counter, back behind the humongous, overflowing bowls of popcorn. This jar was always full of the same two types of hard candy: either the red-and-white-striped wrapper with a tongue-searing cinnamon candy inside, or the kinder, gentler, crinkly-wrapped butterscotch. Free candy. Right there in a jar. Candy for free. I always chose butterscotch. I had forgotten.

    The moral of the story is this, Reader-san: Never look a gift piece of hard candy in the mouth. Or something.

    link | posted by Cat at 4:06 PM
    3 comments

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005
    Shout Out to the Shelton Clan

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
    --Mark Twain

    *sigh*

    I wish someone would have mentioned this to Grandma and Grandpa.

    link | posted by Cat at 1:39 PM
    0 comments

    Said Mother

    What breaks a mother's heart-- even more so than the knowledge that her tempestuous bursts of temper, complete with loud yelling and angry, furrowed eyebrows, caused passionate, stormy tears and general unhappiness in one unfortunate child-- are the pitiable attempts of the not aggrieved children to convey love and affection toward the aforementioned angry mother.

    You know. Within the next few, tense moments, there are the spontaneous hugs or I love you's. Proffered gifts of hastily created crafts. A quickly scrawled card emblazoned with smiley faces and hearts, perhaps.

    All of which said mother totally doesn't deserve. All of which said mother knows are innocent, childish attempts to deflect her anger. Please, I'm the good one, please, still love me, please?

    All of which eventually manage to break through said mother's unwarranted anger and frustration, bringing mortification and shame in their wake. ALL of which break said mother's heart.

    Into pieces.

    link | posted by Cat at 10:43 AM
    0 comments

    Friday, January 14, 2005
    Ooooooh, pretty!

    Check it, a new template. Pretty!

    The other was, I must admit, a tad-- just a smidge-- depressing. All dark colors, with the beige, and all poopy-looking and shiz.

    I like.

    link | posted by Cat at 1:33 PM
    0 comments

    Random Thoughts on a SLOW Friday Morning

    It's nuts, absofreakinglutely CRAZY, how much I love Joan of Arcadia. I'm having heart palpitations right this moment, just thinking about watching the show tonight. Heart palpitations! This is not normal. But... tonight there will be singing! And zombies! Oh ho ho. That's entertainment.

    Britney Spears is beginning to frighten me. No, really.

    TiVo is a blessing. A blessing from God. What more could an impatient, obsessive-compulsive, control-freak woman want? Annoying commercials? Just click right through them. Children screaming? Pause. Phone ringing? Pause, again. Husband insisting you love the TV more than him? Press record and show him a good time (and still get to watch that episode of Without a Trace!) *sigh* Pure, unadulterated viewing pleasure. Yep. A blessing. A blessing from God.

    "Fun Size" candy bars? Huh. What's so fun about them? You need, like, twelve of them before they even begin to resemble "fun." I hate deceptive advertising. "Fun size." WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE KIDDING, MARS, INCORPORATED?!

    Why are people so cynical in their weblogs? I loathe cynicism. It's such a downer. I mean, I don't believe for a second that these people can possibly be as misanthropic as they let on. It's highly unlikely. And so ten minutes ago. Total poseurs. Honestly. I don't buy it. Boo.

    link | posted by Cat at 1:07 PM
    4 comments

    Thursday, January 13, 2005
    "Fresh" Episodes and Alarm Clocks

    You know you are watching waaaay too much television when you write, direct, produce, and air an entirely "fresh" episode of your favorite show in your sleep. And it is oh-so-good. OH. SO. GOOD. I mean, Joan and Adam were finally putting the sex issue back on the table. Sex! On the table! Oh, hey...

    Sorry, I was distracted for a moment.

    So you find yourself muttering grossly inappropriate words-- words that make your groggy husband's ears burn and perk up simultaneously-- in the general direction of the discordant alarm clock buzzing you right out of the episodic dream AND your warm, comfy bed at 4:30 in the morning, all so you can hit the Capital Beltway before the morning commute kicks into full gear.

    Honestly. And did I mention there was kissing going on? Kissing! With tongue!

    Damn you, alarm clock. Damn you to hell.

    link | posted by Cat at 1:12 PM
    0 comments

    Wednesday, January 12, 2005
    To Aaron, Who Is Full Of Valuable Constructive Criticism,

    Is this short enough?

    link | posted by Cat at 9:19 AM
    3 comments

    My Work (Related) "To Do" List:

    1. Check my email.
    2. Read Kristin's chat transcripts on E!Online (keeping abreast of current events is key!)
    3. Push some papers around on my desk, and rearrange things a bit (apparent industriousness is key!)
    4. Um...
    5. Work on my busy-walk around the cubicles (a solid, convincing busy-walk is key!)
    6. Run downstairs to the gym and work out.
    7. Play Solitaire on my new HP iPAQ.
    8. Work on a docket for a minimum of five minutes, but no longer than thirty minutes (pace is key!)
    9. Go two cubicles down to chat with friends (staff togetherness is key!)
    10. Update my Weekly Activity Report (inventiveness is key!)

    (Disclaimer: Of COURSE, this post is completely fictitious, bearing absolutely no resemblance to my actual daily work habits whatsoever. No, really. It is so utterly untrue. Absolutely false. Embellished for Artistic Purposes only. Except the Solitaire part. Oh, and the part about working out.)

    link | posted by Cat at 8:37 AM
    2 comments

    Tuesday, January 11, 2005
    Dear So Desperate For Attention You Post Madly Undesirable Things On Your Blog,

    Okay, maybe I shouldn't be blog surfing at work, this is so totally true. I fully admit that blog surfing is a dangerous undertaking. You know. Sometimes those weird, inappropriate pop-up ads, well... pop up, and won't go away when your boss suddenly ducks into your cubicle for a quick chat. You frantically try to switch back into whatever program you should actually be working in, but the pop ups, they linger. A testament of your slacker work ethic, if you will.

    And, of course, it goes without saying that you never can tell what you will come across as you hit the "Next Blog" button on Blogger, but OH MY FREAKING HELL! Do you have to post a picture of your vagina RIGHT THERE for God, my boss who just strolled by, and everyone else to see?! Goooooosh! I mean, who does that?! Is your vagina newsworthy? Are we supposed to care about your vagina? "Ooooh" and "Aaaah" over it?

    When I was a small child, a strange, naked man drove by my elementary schoolyard and tossed Polaroids of his penis out the window of his car at me and my sister. He was scary.

    And your Look At My Vagina post? Scary, too. Because, yuck. Pulling aside your panties to reveal your nasty, probably smelly, definitely scary vagina is just WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION. And you didn't even TRY to make it more presentable. Maybe a little make-up next time? An unstained pair of panties? Some glitter spray, perhaps? (And you might want to look into purchasing some Monistat-7... just sayin'.) Or, oh, I know! Maybe next time you could try showering, slipping into a fresh pair of underpants, and taking a picture of your FACE. Because, ew. I am so not kidding.

    link | posted by Cat at 11:30 AM
    0 comments

    Random, Unsolicited Company E-mails

    This is an actual email I just received at work. It was addressed company-wide. No, really.

    Subject: R U MISSING an Item

    Yesterday, I found a container of Coffee in the 3rd lounge. I waited to see if someone would post an e-mail looking for it. That did not happen.
    So if you are missing it and can described what type and brand it is, E-mail me with information and where I can call you.
    Thanks–Bev


    Oooooh, a Mystery... R U intrigued? Me 2! Or... is it? I bet she's just holding that Coffee hostage. Starved for attention, much?

    link | posted by Cat at 11:29 AM
    2 comments

    Monday, January 10, 2005
    Two Gumballs

    It started in the backseat of the Accord. Three bored, hyper children and one small, yellow(ish) gumball, molded out of chewed-up yellow and white Chiclets and old-fashioned ingenuity.

    "It's a hard-knock gumball for us, it's a hard-knock GUMBALL for us! No one cares for you a gumball, when you're in a guh-um-ball... It's a hard-knock gumball..."

    Honestly. At this point I'm regretting my decision to let these weirdos watch Annie, the special edition DVD of the musical my mother sent me for Christmas. Which, thinking about it, is funny in itself, her sending the DVD, that is.

    When I was a young, theatrically-minded child I used to listen to my Annie 8-track, Sony noise-cancelling headphones firmly in place (all right, it was the 70's, they were just honkin' big headphones, you remember, the ones with the self-adjusting headband and those squashy earpads as big as saucers that made your ears sweat and your head ache but you didn't care, by golly, 'cuz you had the music cranked so loud you could feel it in your soul), belting out such classics as "Maybe," "Little Girls," and-- of course-- "Tomorrow."

    Let me just say, not so much encouragement from the parental units, folks, nor from the sibs. Quite a bit, however, of "Mom, make her stooooooooop!" and "Will you go outside and play now, please!" Oh, and "Shut UUUUUUP!" I guess Mom felt it was safe, you know, now that I live 2500 miles away from her. But this is beside the point and I'm totally not scarred from the experience and have absolutely no remnants of stage fright or performance anxiety whatsoever. Or repressed feelings of inadequacy. Or self-loathing.

    Anyhoosy, as I was saying, at this point I'm regretting my decision to let my children watch Annie, and also, I'm regretting the copious amounts of Hi-C fruit punch I allowed them to consume at Chik-A-Filet. Because, gooooooooooosh (said with Napoleonic Dynamite fervor). These kids are loud. And there's traffic to deal with. And maneuvering.

    So, just as I'm this close to squashing their inventiveness (did I mention how loud they were?) they brought it home with a rousing "The sun'll come out, two gumballs! Bet your bottom gumball, there'll be gumballs, come what may!"

    A medley! I think to myself.

    Suddenly, a giggle escapes me, erupting from some hitherto deep-rooted, faraway place. A place where the pure joy of musical expression outweighs the heckling and abuse. A place where the sun will come out tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar. A shadowy glimpse of my chi, perhaps?

    Because, come on. Three sugared-up kids, in the back of my car, in rush-hour traffic, singing an ode to the slimy, saliva-covered, yellow-with-random-chunks-of-white, misshapen gumball painstakingly wrought, and lovingly held aloft, by my six-year-old daughter? I am aware of the irony here. Fate's little pay-back, if you will. Oh, and a culmination of that curse my mother invoked upon my head of me having children just like me someday, so help her God.

    Then Hannah bursts out, her penetrating voice soaring above and beyond those of her brother and sister, louder than you would think possible from such a teeny person, "Two GUMBALLS! Two GUMBALLS! I LOVE ya! Two GUMBALLS! You're only a GUMBALL!... A!... WAAAAY!!"

    I laughed so hard I got the hiccups. And that, my friends, is what you call pay-back.

    Are you happy now, Mom?

    link | posted by Cat at 9:20 AM
    2 comments

    Thursday, January 06, 2005
    Oh, Ashlee...

    Ashlee, Ashlee, Ashlee...
    Just... oh, no, honey. Just, no.

    link | posted by Cat at 7:18 PM
    0 comments

    Tuesday, January 04, 2005
    Forget Paris

    Sadly, I find myself wondering if Paris Hilton even knows what a tsunami is. And whether she cares. And then I vomit a little, in my mouth, and have to go wash my hands. Because 1) I am sickened by my shallow thought, and 2) I know the answer.

    link | posted by Cat at 9:07 AM
    0 comments

    The Bitch-Slap Heard 'Round the World

    Every once in a while, Mother Nature reminds us why we once feared and revered her. Why we still should, actually. I admit I am having a difficult time wrapping my mind around the massive destruction, the pain, the loss... Small children torn from their mothers' arms... Thousands of bodies littering the streets of Sri Lanka and Indonesia... Survivors and rescuers looking for living victims in the rubble... Lone surviving parents sending their children to orphanages because they cannot care for them alone... The missing posters, so hauntingly familiar to Americans, blowing in the breeze... I mean, I see the pictures, I hear the stories, but it all seems so unreal. So many died. So, so many. And so many more will die, despite the best efforts and generous aid of people around the world. It's a cruel card to be dealt.

    In the wake of this natural disaster, which has left behind it destruction and death, horror and sorrow, genuine acts of generosity, and seemingly endless recriminations by feuding governments, I am forcibly reminded that tragedy brings out the best in some people, and the worst in others.

    It's nice to see that a few celebrities have their hearts in the right place. Take Sandra Bullock, who donated $1 million after 9/11, and who has recently donated another $1 million to the American Red Cross to help in relief efforts for tsunami victims. Sure, $1 million may not be all that much for someone who makes several million dollars a movie, but it is generous nonetheless. I wonder what other A-list celebrities, professional athletes, and well-paid directors/producers are giving? Even Bill Gates has loosened the purse strings a bit. I wish I had more to give, I'm no millionaire, but with the donation tally passing $2 billion, I can see that our world, for all its faults, is still a wonderful place to be.

    Must go hug my kiddos now.

    link | posted by Cat at 8:18 AM
    2 comments

    Monday, January 03, 2005
    Withdrawl

    Only four more days until a brand new Joan of Arcadia... only four more days until a brand new Joan of Arcadia... only four more days...

    link | posted by Cat at 10:50 PM
    0 comments

    Got Some Dancing to Do...

    Recently, after viewing the movie Ella Enchanted, my children conned me into buying the soundtrack for their listening pleasure. Now, please note, my selection of music is usually much more highbrow, but I was all, "Okaaaaaay, if I must..."

    Fine. That's a lie. I wanted it; God forgive me, I wanted it! I mean, Anne Hathaway covering Queen's "Somebody to Love"? Need I say more? (Oh. Really? Uh...) Hey. If you've ever been forced to drive in the city with three children-- between the ages of five and eight, mind you-- subjected to the earsplitting screams of "Tanner's touching me!" and the ever-popular "I need to go to the bathroom AND I'm hungry!"-- not to mention the flying spittle projected during the inevitable spit war between sisters fighting for wardrobe control of the lone Polly doll someone remembered to bring-- well, you'd want the stupid CD, too.

    I honestly can't explain it. Something magical happens to my children when Anne Hathaway's tinny-- yet tonally correct and somewhat appealing-- voice timidly croons, "Can...any-bod-eey...find...me-he-he-he...some-bod-eey to-hoo... luuuuuuuuuv?" My children are magically transformed from little terrors into consummate performers and proceed to sing their little lungs out. And I just don't get it. This soundtrack is one painful remake after another. No song is safe, people. Not Katrina and the Waves' "Walking On Sunshine." Not Aretha's "Respect" (although Kelly Clarkson does a damn fine job with it-- she is the original American Idol, after all). And if I have to listen to Miss Hathaway butcher one of Queen's most cherished tunes, along with an admittedly catchy version of "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" and a warbling duet with Jesse McCartney-- Jesse McCartney!-- covering the ever-popular "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart," well, then, by golly, I'll do it. For the children.

    But I digress. As I was saying, no song is safe. Not even Olivia Newton-John's "Magic" from the absolute best flippin' movie ever featuring Olivia Newton-John (who I so totally wanted to be)!

    Aaah, Xanadu. Sweet Xanadu.

    Fine. Another lie. Not the part about me wanting to be Olivia Newton-John. That part is true. There are too many incriminating pictures of me in roller skates and leg warmers, with matching headband to boot, arms hand-jiving away in some intricate roller-skating slash disco-dancing gesticulation only known to the hundreds, nay, several hundreds of faithful followers of the cult hit Xanadu, for me to deny it. In my defense, every young girl in my day (and several young boys, I'm afraid) wanted to be Olivia. It's true. Ask... someone. No, I was referring to Xanadu being the "absolute best movie featuring Olivia Newton-John ever." Total lie. Personally, I think she was just pushing her luck after Grease, but hey, you gotta ride the wave, eh? Honestly. I have to admit the movie is bad, bad, bad, from start to finish, plot-wise. Bad. Oh, it's bad. And the dialogue sucks. I can't bring myself to repeat any of it's suckiness here, although I can probably quote the movie verbatim. Somehow, they even ruined the word "glitz" for me.

    Ew. Glitz. You see?

    But, hello? Animation sequence? ELO? Gene Flippin' Kelley?! Not to mention that awesome fantasy scene where two separate musical numbers totally converge--40's swing (Olivia) meets 80's pseudo-disco-punk glam (the Tubes)-- both literally and musically. Brilliant! Remember the lady in the leopard print cat suit, all chained up, just gyrating away? Do ya? And how she totally danced up all over those swinging sisters' asses? Uh-huh. You know.

    "Lover! I won't take a back seat tonight! Oooooooh!"

    Oh, and what about the scene where Sonny, floundering in his inability to Express his Artistic Soul through Real Art, slips into his roller skates and red and white-striped silk short-shorts and pounds out his frustration on the Venice Beach boardwalk? I mean, wow. Powerful stuff. I remember watching that scene over and over again, enthralled. Because who in his right mind would roller skate right into a wall? Even if it had a cool mural of beautiful Greek muses tantalizingly you? Because it's a wall! A Big Hard Wall! But he does, and I was all, "OOOOOH!" every time. I mean, it looks like he's just going to SPLAT, you know? But the movie is all gel-backlighting, kick-ass dance sequences, and sweet tunes from here on out, baby.

    Here's the kicker: Did you know my local Blockbuster doesn't carry this movie? And I live in the city! Where there's supposed to be culture! The twelve-year-old minding the register was all, "Xana-what?" and I'm totally reenacting the Xanadu grand finale roller skating scene-- hand gestures and all-- and he's like, "Does it have that guy from Pulp Fiction in it?" and I'm all, "That's Grease, loser!" and my daughter's all, "Mom, I want the Strawberry Shortcake one!" and I'm like, "Dude, get on the phone and CALL AROUND."

    If you can believe it, not ONE of the Blockbusters that Junior called in the area had the movie. Nada. Zip. Now how's a sistah supposed to expose her children to new horizons and the fugliest fashion trends of the late 70's if the local Blockbuster ain't representing? Huh?

    Got some dancing to do...

    Someone get Baz Luhrmann on the phone. I think we have a potential hit remake on our hands. I'm so not lying.

    Got some dancing to do...
    Got some dancing to do...

    link | posted by Cat at 1:13 PM
    5 comments

    Saturday, January 01, 2005
    New Year's Resolutions

    Okay. Must do the resolutions thingy. So here they are:

    #1 Be happy.
    #2 Make sure my husband and kiddos are happy.
    #3 Lose, like, I don't know, maybe 10 pounds? Do some Tae Bo or something? I'm so not kidding.
    #4 Stop obsessing about Joan and Adam's love life and whether or not Barbara Hall is going to totally jump the shark with this show.

    Except, #4 may be really pushing it, possibility-wise. I mean, we should at least attempt to be realistic when making New Year's Resolutions, right? So maybe just #1 through #3 then. Eh? Okay.

    Happiness and a tight butt = good.


    link | posted by Cat at 9:02 PM
    1 comments

    How to Be My New Best Friend

    Acknowledging the kick-ass merit of The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Then Known as Prince Again; proudly admitting to attending Prince's 2004 Musicology Tour decked out in Prince's colors from purple-paisley-scarfed head to purple-booted toe; saying things like, "And when he came out with his acoustic guitar and sang Little Red Corvette...I was like, OOOOH!"; and appreciating the colossal magnitude of my vast knowledge of obscure Prince lyrics such as these from the phenomenally under-rated Housequake, "But if U ain't hip 2 the rare housequake ... shut up already, damn!"

    link | posted by Cat at 8:02 PM
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    New Year's Eve--Lambson Style!

    pretty wall
    Hannah: Pretty wall!
    Tanner: It's an old fountain.
    Allison: I just said "Booger"!
    Momma: Yep, Allison just said "Booger."
    (Outside the Capitol Building--New Year's Eve--2004)


    Happy New Year! Wow. 2005. Hopefully this will be a year of peace, love, and good choices.

    Um, unlike the choices we made yesterday.

    Okay, we didn't necessarily make bad choices, but we certainly weren't thinking when we, like crazy people, decided to take our children on a little jaunt into the city, via the Metro, and check out the sights. This, of course, all the while knowing we would all be attending a New Year's Eve party at the Browns' residence later that evening. You know, 'til midnight. With the kids. Late, late at night. Yep. We're brilliant, we know.

    Anyhoos, we heard there was an outdoor skating rink--a la Rockefeller Center, NYC--near the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, so we were off on an adventure. And what an adventure it was! There is, in fact, a small outdoor skating rink, but it was sardine-packed, so we moved on to the Capitol, where the kids discovered a beautiful dry fountain and a really cool wall, and they walked on that wall, by golly. We've recorded the walk for posterity. Oh, and the pretty fountain, too, never fear.

    Let me just say, there are a rather large number of seagulls at the Capitol. And seagull poop. Very nasty. The guidebooks don't mention this, but it's true. Just so you know. BIG LOTS of seagull poop. Oh, and there are the thick-witted little pigeons that don't move until you are just about to trip over them and have to kick at them. (Did you ever see that "Seinfeld"? Har.) Dumb pigeons.

    Then we moved on to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where there were numerous airplanes, rocket ships, and space stations to explore. Did you know that astronauts sleep standing up in a "sleeping restraint"? Well, they do! We saw! And the whole toilet situation looks pretty dicey, if you ask me. Oh! And please note the way-cool picture I took while sprawled on the ground of the museum, much to the abject horror of my germaphobic children.
    air space
    They were all, "Hey! MOM! Get off the floor! There are germs down there!" Honestly.

    We hopped back on the Metro and hit Union Station next, but forgot to take pictures, which is really too bad, as it looks bee-oooo-tiful right now, all decorated for the holidays and such. The children were most impressed with the "real" wreaths the size of small Volkswagens suspended outside the building. They were a'ight, but I liked the food court best (hey, it was WAY past lunch at this point!).

    On the way home, Aaron dazzled Metro riders with his Aristotlian parenting skills. This involved asking the children random "thought-provoking" questions and giving out his spare change as a reward. The following is an excerpt of this shining moment of parenting:

    TGIM: Tanner, what are the oceans of the world?
    (Tanner lists them, a dime changes hands)
    TGIM: Hannah, what is the capital of Virgina?
    (Hannah yells "Richmond!", a nickel changes hands)
    TGIM: Allison, how do you spell "Dad"?
    (unbelievably, Allison pulls through on this one and a dime changes hands)

    At one point Hannah rattled off the seven continents of the world, Tanner named a big wave caused by an earthquake under the ocean, and Allison spelled "pop." There was a race to see who could sing the backwards ABC's the quickest, but I won that one easily. Disappointingly, I did not receive even a red cent for the feat. Rude.

    By the time we got home, there were only a few hours left before the party. And I didn't even mention that quick trip to Costco for party appetizers, did I?

    Needless to say, we are all a little grumpy today. A tad. But we all agree that yesterday was awesome fun, and the New Year's Eve party was a wicked success. (Remind me to write about the "Bouncy Bounce" in the Browns' basement. And "Deraoke." Emilie is hilarious. Seriously.)

    So here's to a new year. 2005. May this year be full of peace, love, and good choices, for all of us.

    capital
    TGIM: We are too cool.
    Momma: Whatever.
    (New Year's Eve--2004--Please note Tanner dodging a low-flying, kamikaze-like pigeon. Dumb pigeons.)

    link | posted by Cat at 6:53 PM
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