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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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    Friday, February 25, 2005
    Tell me...

    Is there any phrase grander than "TGIF!"? Is there? HUH?!

    I didn't think so.

    link | posted by Cat at 2:20 PM
    4 comments

    Thursday, February 24, 2005
    D'oh!

    Judd? JUDD?! America, are you freaking KIDDING me?!!
    The others I totally agree with, couldn't agree more, actually, but JUDD?!
    Nooooooooo!

    Boo. Hiss. Other catcalls of utter displeasure.
    Stupid American Idol.

    link | posted by Cat at 1:52 PM
    1 comments

    Why-Yah!

    Alli: (running into house, out of breath) Hannah talked to a Stranger Danger!
    Momma: She did wha'?
    Alli: She told him where we lived! He can probably kidnap us now, huh?
    Momma: Well... I don't think--
    Alli: But don't worry, Momma, 'cause I will do karate on him! Like this! Why-yah! WHY-YAH! (proceeds to demonstrate that she really DOES pay attention when Momma does Tae Bo, "why-yah!" notwithstanding.)

    Despite the frightening lapse in city safety on my older daughter's part (which was discussed at length, I assure you, so we will move on), it is slightly comforting to know that my youngest little spitfire is determined to give any would-be attacker-slash-kidnapper a run for his money.

    Why-yah, indeed.

    link | posted by Cat at 9:23 AM
    5 comments

    Wednesday, February 23, 2005
    Right. As if I wouldn't at least MENTION it...

    Carrie "Farm Girl" Underwood is solid. I know some American Idol viewers are probably not convinced, but I think she will surprise them. And cornfed homegirl sang Tiffany! I SO wanted to see Tiffany during her mall tour ("The Beautiful You: Celebrating The Good Life Shopping Mall Tour") back in '87, and this was ALMOST AS GOOD, ya'll! Now I can die happy. Oooooooooh, maybe she'll sing "I Think We're Alone Now" next! Dare I dream? I'm getting chills...

    Um, Mikalah Gordon? Babs called. She wants her shtick back.

    link | posted by Cat at 2:45 AM
    0 comments

    Life Lesson #314: Humidity is NOT My Friend

    Having been raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where the temperature is known to soar above and beyond "just plain hot" into "fiery depths of hell," it has always bothered me to hear tourists from the east coast declare, "Well, at least it's a dry heat!"-- which, let's be frank, shall we?-- seems like an ignorant thing to say, really. Ignorant. I mean, as far as I am concerned, 120 degrees is hotter than hell, no matter how dry you spin it. I often wondered how much worse a little humidity could be?

    What a revelation, let me tell you.

    Maybe I have a bit of the claustrophobic in me, but I don't even like going into a sauna. Besides the obvious Unattractive Naked People Sitting Too Damn Close thing, I feel as if I can't breathe in those suckers; it's too steamy, too close, if you know what I mean. I had no idea that walking a few piddly miles along the sidewalks of the crowded, east coast city streets during the dog days of summer could be worse than a sauna, but it won't be the first time I have been the victim of my faulty cognitive process. I have never been good with syllogisms.

    And did you know that when the air is so wet and thick in your crappy, dirt-colored, swamp-cooled, studio apartment your bread turns to mush and your crackers disintegrate into an unrecognizable pseudo-masticated mess? Did you?

    And did you know that if you accidentally spill milk on your crappy, snot-colored, shag carpeting in said crappy, dirt-colored, swamp-cooled, studio apartment, as God is my witness, even armed with an entire box of baking soda and Febreeze, no amount of frenzied scrubbing, hysterical crying, or frantic blow-drying can remedy the awful, vomitous stench of milk spilled and allowed to sour on dirty shag carpeting? I didn't think so.

    And, oh ho ho! Don't EVEN get me started on the horrific Bigness that is my naturally curly hair.

    Carpe dry heat, I say.

    link | posted by Cat at 2:34 AM
    1 comments

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005
    Not Just Eye-Candy...

    I apologize in advance to any who are not jumping on the American Idol bandwagon. I can't help it if you don't recognize quality entertainment, now can I?

    Okay, who voted for Bo, eh? Eh? He was awesome! You gotta love the two "rockers" who have infiltrated the AI ranks, you know what I'm sayin'?

    Hello? Moon River? Who sings Moon River on a show like American Idol?! In front of millions of viewers?! Who aren't, like, 70 years old?! Don't get me wrong. I like Anwar, but I felt like the judges were trying to push him on us, cuz Moon River?! Honestly. Just, uh-uh, Anwar. Uh-uh!

    Um, Scott was GOOD, but the dude is STRANGE. I call him Blinky. Did you know he has a son? I am intrigued by this news. Intrigued, I say!

    I really like Judd Harris, he's FUN to watch, but can he SING? I was forcibly reminded of Elvis. Why? Wasn't that an Elton John song? Hmmm. I'm not sure. I was too busy trying to repress that one disastrous "date" with that freaky Elvis-impersonating dude. Yeah, buddy, you know who you are.

    Mario needs to drop the hats. He looks gay. And not in a good way. And truthfully, even though it pains me to say this because he's all cute and dancey and shiz, I didn't care for his song choice. Why did Paula give him the standing O? I HATE the way the judges try to sway our vote. Like we don't see right through it! RIGHT?! Right?

    Um, yeah. Right, then.

    Lambson out.

    link | posted by Cat at 12:00 PM
    4 comments

    Friday, February 18, 2005
    Message to Lady in Public Company Restroom

    Hi. We don't know each other very well, so I'm not completely sure how you will take this. But it must be said. Oh yes, it must.

    Here's the thing: I don't want to talk to you in the ladies restroom. I don't want to shake your hand and I certainly don't want you to pat my shoulder and ask, "So what's going on with you? I haven't seen you in a while!" I don't want to stand next to the sinks chatting while folks are pooping and peeing just steps away with only an ineffectual metal barrier between us. And do I even need to mention the smell? Do I? I don't want to get you "caught up" on the latest project. Not in there. I really, REALLY don't. I just want to do my thing and GET OUT. So why do you keep approaching me. WHY?!

    I mean, do men do this? Or do they just compare sizes and get the hell out of there? I guess I may just be imagining that they do that, actually. I better ask my husband. Like he would tell me. But I would totally do that if I were a guy. I'm just sayin'.

    I've decided the next time this happens, I'll beat you to the punch, okay? I'll shake your hand, pat your shoulder, look you straight in the eyes and say with aplomb, "I couldn't help but overhear that frickin' awesome bowel movement you just had. Do you take fiber?"

    link | posted by Cat at 5:28 PM
    4 comments

    How To Be My New American Idol

    Fly into the most hilariously unscripted piece of stream-of-consciousness verbiage EVER when told you made the Top 24 on American Idol. You go on keepin' it real, Mikalah, you hear?!

    Run a close second by uttering words which will soon be forcibly erased from your vocabulary via Hollywood De-Patterning Techniques if you make it big in the industry: "I'm so happy!... I need a donut."

    Aloha? You = hilarious. Don't ever change. No, really.

    Damn. Now I need a donut.

    link | posted by Cat at 10:06 AM
    2 comments

    Thursday, February 17, 2005
    One More Reason Why Having Kids Drives You Insane

    Today my baby boy, my firstborn, my buddy, is nine years old. Nine! Years old! Wow. You know, truthfully, I am not really sure how I feel about that.

    Hey, don't misunderstand. I don't mean "I don't know how I feel about having a nine-year-old son," because he's basically the same kid he was yesterday, but with birthday attitude. He's having some friends come over after school today, so and I am leaving work early to go into Birthday Momma Power Mode with the swimming, pizza baking, cake eating, younger sisters placating. All low-key stuff, nothing out of the ordinary or crazy. No big deal, right?

    No, it's not even that he's nine, which makes me oh-so-OLD in a "When I was your age GameBoys weren't even invented yet, buddy, so you can live without one!" kind of way. It's just... he's nine. That is 108 months old. Or 468 weeks old. Good lord, my baby boy is 3285 days old! But nothing to lose it over, right? RIGHT?!

    But... he's not my baby anymore. He's a BOY, which-- of course-- is just this side of a young man, with crazy PERMANENT front teeth, spiky hair which he likes to style on his own, and gorgeous hazel eyes that still gaze at me as if I'm cool. Who still tells me he loves me and puts his arms around me or holds my hand. Even in public. Who still thinks I know everything and is genuinely shocked when I am forced to admit I don't know something (3rd grade math is HARD, y'all!). Who still likes me.

    And I'm realizing, hey, this is it. He's never going to be in the single digits again and he'll get older and be a teenager and scowl and think he is smarter than me and play loud angry music and kiss girls and Just Say No! to Drugs and... and... and he won't look at me like that anymore. Because he's growing up. And I'm not sure if I'm preparing him for the world out there, if I'm doing it right, so he'll be happy and healthy and make good choices... I just don't know.

    And I just sooooooooo do not feel ready for this.

    link | posted by Cat at 2:46 AM
    4 comments

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005
    Does Anyone Know Where I Can Find An "I Could Have Cheated But I Just Said No" T-shirt?

    My Significant Other, otherwise known as That Guy I Married (TGIM), is away on business. You know what that means, right? Yep, once the kids are in bed I get full, unbridled access to the remote, and I can stretch my legs and take up the whole couch while eating my very own pint of Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream without TGIM looking lustfully at it while smacking his lips. So it's all good, you know? The absence of his fierce flatulence is an added bonus. None of his "Woo-hoo! Cat, you may not want to lift those covers! Oops, too late! Ha ha ha ha ha!" Yep. I miss him.

    So last night TGIM called to chat and quite possibly engage in other phone services. Men. Anyhoos, sensing my distraction (Hey, I paused Gilmore Girls, but it's not as if I can pause my imagination. I'm only human!), he managed to capture my attention with an astonishing (ASTONISHING, I say!) revelation:

    "Guess what?" he said, in his most nonchalant, I Have Nothing To Hide Because I Am a Good Boy voice. "Two girls just slipped their room keys into my pocket."

    Hmmm... I mean, Luke and Lorelei are breaking up here and it's ripping my heart into little tiny pieces because if THEY can't make it work then what hope do the rest of us have? Plus, Lauren Graham looks really strange paused mid-cry and its totally freaking me out and--

    Wait. What? What's that you say?

    But I am totally secure in my relationship with my tall, muscular , handsome, charismatic TGIM, so I was all, "What?! WHAT?! WHO ARE THEY?! WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?! DO THEY HAVE BIG FAKE BOOBS?! ARE YOU HOOKING UP WITH THEM?! GAH!!"

    I mean, honestly. What kind of Man Eating Hooker Thong Skank Ho slips her room key into the pocket of a married man? Even if she happens to be intoxicated at the time? And quite possibly high? And very, very stupid? With big knockers?

    What? Did she mistake him for Nick Lachey? Brad Pitt, perhaps? Did he somehow stumble onto the set of Temptation Island? Does he have "I Want to Cheat on My Wife With a Man Eating Hooker Thong Skank Ho" tattooed across his forehead? Because, FREAKING HELL, ladies! And I am playing fast and loose with the "ladies" moniker, I assure you.

    I suggested that perhaps these women were just messing with him-- which in retrospect, may have wounded his fragile male ego, but in these times of high emotional distress, can you blame me?-- but he proudly assured me they were in earnest regarding a little extramarital fling.

    Oh, WERE they?

    Have you ever wanted to climb right through the ol' transcontinental telephone wires-- or the wireless airspace-time continuum thingy-ma-jigger, whatev-- and open a can of piping-hot, delicately-seasoned whoop ass on someone? Have you? SCREW Luke and Lorelei, I've got me a Situation!

    Then TGIM sighed and hit me with the timeworn classic: "But don't worry. I'm a good boy."

    Oh, no he DID NOT.

    So, of course, I sweetly responded with, "What do you want? An award? An "I Could Have Cheated But I Just Said No" t-shirt?"

    *sigh*

    I know. I know. WHY?! Why do I say things like this?! Seriously. Why didn't I just encourage him to take those keys and have a fabulous time, but be sure to use protection, oh, and call me in the morning, don't stay out too late, okay sweetie, buh-bye?

    It's just this type of question that keeps me up at night, folks.

    link | posted by Cat at 9:58 AM
    4 comments

    Tuesday, February 15, 2005
    Rubbernecking on the WB

    Oh no, no, NO!

    Um, you guys?

    You guys?

    Oh my goodness, guys!

    It was like a car wreck! I couldn't look away!

    OH. MY. GOODNESS.

    Seriously. I tell you, I have never been so utterly HORRIFIED for other people in my whole entire life. Never. EVER. Honest To Goodness Eye Squinching Dear Lord Make It Stop Cringing In My Seat HORRIFIED.

    Holy hell.

    I mean, there I was, minding my own business, innocently biding my time until Everwood, when I happened upon the scariest thing EVER: 7th Heaven... the Musical.

    You heard me. MUSICAL.

    Um, if you're going to do a musical, shouldn't the cast have an ACTUAL ABILITY to sing, you know, ON KEY? Seriously? Just a little?

    Or an ability to dance without looking concurrently constipated, physically challenged, and secretly gay? Or, not so secretly?

    Cuz, DAMN.

    What were these actors thinking? Who's going to pay for their therapy bills? Who's going to pay for MINE?! I'm scarred. SCARRED, I say! For life.

    Also, a little frightened, actually. I will have to sleep with the lights on for a week! Ruthie? "Singing" and shaking her groove thang in the school hallway? Hello? Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME?!

    You guys?

    OH MY GOODNESS!

    link | posted by Cat at 9:02 AM
    0 comments

    Monday, February 14, 2005
    Valentine, Shmalentine

    Remember Valentine's Day? Do you? Huh? Remember when you lovingly decorated that magical receptacle of love, oh yes, the traditional Valentine shoe box, with all manner of red, white, and pink paraphernalia, then excitedly yet tenderly placed it at the edge of your desk on The Day, you know, inviting-- nay, beckoning-- any who would dare to deposit into it notes of affection and possibly undying love? Remember?

    Remember how you would breathlessly open said Valentine Receptacle of Love and Possibly Broken Dreams and peer into the Valentiney goodness, just praying there would be enough valentine cards to cover at least the bottom of the box, so anybody who was sneaking a peek would KNOW that you had friends? Remember?! Some were homemade, some reflected the popular cartoons of the era, but all shouted out of their own accord, "You like me! You really like me!"

    Remember how utterly horrifying it was to NOT get a Valentine from someone in class? Do you? HUH?! Maybe the cute little boy with the big blue eyes who you chased, tackled, and smooched on the playground; maybe the silly girl who you may have laughed at (inadvertently!) when she took the dare to eat paste; possibly the snooty girl whose lunch box matched yours exactly and who could not seem to get over the idea that YOU were copying HER.

    But DO YOU REMEMBER? Good lord, do you remember the SWEET AGONY?

    *sigh*

    These days teachers eliminate the stress by sending home carefully prepared lists with names of every person in the class, including the teacher. Oh, and teacher's aides. Teacher's aides! On the list!

    I don't know how I feel about this. I mean, how are we supposed to gauge our children's overall popularity with this type of false, self-esteem boosting, namby-pamby behavior? Huh? I mean, is my kid popular or WHAT?!

    Honestly.

    link | posted by Cat at 1:16 PM
    9 comments

    Random, Unsolicited Company E-mails: Part II

    Posted at EXACTLY 3:30 p.m. on a slow Friday afternoon:

    If You Took My "Red Bull" Power Drink . . . Please return it!
    I have heard of such things happening, but never experienced it til now. Sometime between 2:00 - 3:25 p.m. today, some disrespectful person removed an unopened can of "Red Bull" Engery Drink from the 4th Floor Lounge (Freezer, Refridge).
    If you are that someone or saw that someone remove it, please call me on [
    phone number]. Thanks.


    Sure, maybe the caffeine headache was impairing any type of rational judgement calls or decision-making skills, or maybe the shakes were already kicking in... I mean, who really knows? But, just... DANG, dude. Desperate, much?

    (Note to self: Never send out unbecoming, hilariously accusatory emails regarding the snatching of my trendy, highly addictive beverages to the ENTIRE COMPANY in the heat of the moment. Um, EVER?)

    Would you HATE me if I told you I was "that someone" who disrespectfully removed the unopened can of "Red Bull" Energy Drink (AKA: Crack in a Can; Liquid Sin in a Plastic Tin...)?

    Would you?

    Oh, I kid.
    I'm partial to Jones Whoop Ass Energy Drink. It's tasty.

    link | posted by Cat at 10:39 AM
    3 comments

    Friday, February 11, 2005
    Yawn...

    Boring training today. Boring, boooooooooooring training.
    Excruciatingly boring, in fact.
    Brain cells have committed Jim Jones-style mass suicide. Hey, Kool-Aid!
    Must rest.

    link | posted by Cat at 5:42 PM
    2 comments

    Thursday, February 10, 2005
    VA Delegates are Droppin' those Droopy Drawers!

    Well, it's about time. Those clever, forward-thinking members of the Virginia State House of Delegates are well on their way to cleaning up crack in the fair state of VA. Personally, I don't see what the fuss is about. I mean, low-rider pants are SO last year anyway.

    Anyhoos, that's right, people, you will be fined $50 if you dare-- DARE, I say!-- wear low-riding pants that publically expose your "below-waist" underwear, or more importantly, what is under your underwear, in a "lewd or indecent manner" in Virginia. I say, hallelujah, forever and ever, amen! If I have to see one more fat chick squeezed into a pair of three-sizes-too-small jeans, with so much butt-crack showing you can hear an echo, I will vomit right into the cavernous depths of said butt-crack. Honestly. Those pants only look good on girls with zero body fat, ladies. I'm just sayin'.

    Hey, if the bill passes the Senate, I guess we won't have the likes of Britney Spears, Tara Reid, Lindsay Lohan, or even Cameron Diaz, showing-off their latest waxings here anytime soon. *sigh* Wait. Does this mean no Justin Timberlake or Puff Daddy in the hizz-ouse? No Paris Hilton?

    Oooooh, maybe next they'll pass a law banning UGG footwear! Awesome. I can see the slogan now: UGGs On Your Feet, You Take The Heat! (I know, I know, I SO should have gone into advertising!)

    Excuse me while I go write my congressman.

    ETA: Oh, sure. Typical. ONE DAY after I post this, the VA Senate kills the bill. WTF?! Because it was "embarrassing the state"? There was too much "negative publicity"? Please. Hmmm. Good thing I didn't take that bag of low-rider jeans to Goodwill...

    link | posted by Cat at 11:27 AM
    1 comments

    Confessions of a Desperate Working Momma

    It is always so utterly demoralizing to realize just how shallow a person I really am.

    Confession #1: The HSN Samurai-Sword demonstration accident makes me laugh. Oh, ho, ho... yes it does.

    Confession #2: During Alicia Key's touching Super Bowl performance of America the Beautiful-- accompanied by 150 students from the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind singing and signing their little hearts out-- I couldn't stop thinking about Napoleon Dynamite's Happy Hands Club performance of The Rose. Which of course, totally ruined the viewing experience for me. I giggled. A LOT. Thanks a whole BUNCH, Jared Hess! Idiot!

    Confession #3: I watch American Idol (gasp!), and I more often than not agree with Simon over Paula. Mm-kay, that one's not so bad, right? Right?

    Confession #4: I think fake boobs look, um... well, fake, but I secretly want a pair. Or not so secretly, as it turns out. Hey, I'm not talking Tara Reid here, think more Jessica Simpson... Heh-heh. Of course I'm TOTALLY kidding. Who wouldn't be happy with an almost B cup? I would never want fake melons. Heh-heh. What a kidder I am. Woo-hoo! Crazy Fake Booby Joke-Telling Lady! Gosh. Fake boobs...

    Confession #5: When I hear interviews on the radio, I tend to make snap judgements about a person by the sound of his/her voice. (And I'm from ARIZONA.) Last week I heard a man with a THICK southern accent-- thick as MOLASSES, I'm telling you-- being interviewed on the radio for a book he wrote or something. So I'm driving along thinking to myself, "Who's this moron?" I was pretty sure everything he said sounded completely ignorant. You know, stuff like "both mah wahf an Ah hay-uv middle-clay-uss bayuk-rands..." Yep. It was John Grisham.

    Confession #6: Sometimes, not very often, probably like once in the past few years-- really, I'm not lying, it's, like, rarely ever-- but sometimes, sometimes... [small, small voice, almost a whisper] I... don't signal. GAH! I'm sorry! I'm so, SO SOOOOOORRREEEEEEEEY!! Oh, the shame...

    Confession #7: It is possible that I may have faked my way through a few Presidential Debate discussions around the water-cooler, when in reality, I spent the evening watching Rory Gilmore TOTALLY do it with a very married CuteDean. Oh, ho, ho... yes I did.

    Wow. I feel SO much better now. Confession is good for the soul! Or something.

    link | posted by Cat at 10:00 AM
    0 comments

    Wednesday, February 09, 2005
    Feelings...

    Heh. No, silly, not the song.

    Have you ever just felt as if something was wrong? Just felt it, deep down? You know, that dark, niggly feeling that sets up camp right there in your gut and JUST WON'T LEAVE?

    Have you ever been right?

    Don't you hate it when you're right?

    link | posted by Cat at 1:08 PM
    5 comments

    Tuesday, February 08, 2005
    Topher Grace is a CUTIE-PIE!

    He is! He IS! Not a hottie, definitely a cutie, but it's better, guys, much better 'cuz cute really sticks with you, you know what I'm saying? It doesn't fade. It's all real and shiz. REAL, I tell you!

    Oh, I saw In Good Company last Friday and LOVED IT. It was, in the words of Topher's character, Carter Duryea, "Tasty." I'm telling you, the movie is a keeper. A must-see. Above par. Cream of the crop. I mean, definitely put it on your A-List. Um... freak. I'm out of hackneyed phrases. Sorry, weak effort on my part, eh? Anyhoos, BRILLIANT MOVIE.

    Even though Dennis Quaid is orange and Scarlett Johansson has lips bigger than my Gotcha Covered Body Pillow.

    Honestly. What's up with that?



    link | posted by Cat at 7:06 PM
    2 comments

    How to Make Me Freaking CRAZY

    Why does the woman one cubicle over think I want to hear her various, annoyingly LOUD, religious-themed ringtones? I mean, sure, I have no problem with religious music (Jesus Christ Superstar ROCKS! What? That's not technically "religious music"? No? Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat then.), but do I want to hear tinny covers of revival music blasting from the next cubicle? Let me help you out here: No, I do not. (It's 6:30 in the a.m., so sue me!) Nor, for that matter, do I want to hear her stilted attempts to record the world's most frightening voicemail message.

    Attempt #1: "Your call is important to me. And may the sun shine brightly on your day."
    (Tell-tale clickety-clack. Stop pressing those keys, already! Sounds good!)

    Attempt #4: "Your call is important to us, and may God shine his brightness on you today."
    (Someone a few cubicles down coughs loudly, mid-record. Dammit! Thanks a WHOLE LOT, Sick Person Who Should FREAKING Stay Home! More clickety-clack.)

    Attempt #7?:"Your call is very important to our... me... argle!"
    (NOOOOOOOO! Hey you! Sick Guy down the row! Please don't cough again, please don't cough again... My good friend E, from two cubicles down, comes by to give me the classic What The Freak eye roll. So I throw her the Hell If I Know But I Wants to Kill Me Some Crazy Cube Neighbor eye roll. Clickety-clack.)

    Attempt #13: "Your call is important. God be with you and may the sun shine brightly... on you. Praise Jesus."
    (Okay, I added that last part.)

    Then... finally.
    Silence.
    Aaaaah, blissful sil-- wait.
    Damn. There go the ringtones again.

    "Onward Christian soooo-ooold-dier, um, blah, blah, something, hmmmmm..."

    link | posted by Cat at 8:30 AM
    0 comments

    Monday, February 07, 2005
    Why Company Is Bad For The Momma

    *Caution: AARON, this post could be construed as long(ish). You may lose interest, due to this post's innate longness. You may have ALREADY lost interest. Because it's long. You have been warned. Continue at your own risk. I'm just sayin'.

    I love company. Really, I do. I am a naturally vivacious person, a veritable social butterfly, and nothing thrills me more than someone coming to visit. I break out the good sheets, I buy guest-sized toiletries for the bathrooms, I plan elaborate menus, I even clean the toilets! And I tell you honestly that nobody was more onboard than I was for my mother-in-law to fly out from Arizona for a three-week visit to help out with the kids while my husband was away on business.

    "How nice!" you say? You would think so, wouldn't you? But, then again, you don't know my mother-in-law.

    Sure. Sometimes I am astounded by my brilliant mothering skills. Astounded! I mean, I can pick outfits for my two daughters and son that are both cute AND color-coordinated while still allowing maximum flexibility for playground acrobatics. And I can french-braid like nobody's business, let me tell you. And my son's hair? Well, let's just say that a buzz cut always looks nice.

    With motherly wisdom, I shop the sales, I bake the treats, I plan the parties, I wash the sheets, I even sew the occasional Easter dresses (and once, a wickedly cute matching vest for my son, but he doesn't like me to talk about that)...

    But Grandma? That woman has it out for me.

    Yesterday I came home from work, rarin' to get started on my motherly evening duties which consist of simultaneously nagging my children to do their homework while checking out who is on a previously recorded episode of Ellen and making sure the almonds and chocolate chips haven't gone bad. But yesterday, my well-laid plans were shot to hell, all because of my mother-in-law.

    As I walked through the door, I ran into my three children, who were clutching a suspicious-looking piece of paper and peering curiously into the coat closet. Before I could ask the obvious question-- "Okay, who did you hog-tie and throw in there?"-- they cried out, "We're on a treasure hunt!"

    "A treasure hunt?" you ask? Oh yes, a treasure hunt. With actual treasures! Hidden throughout the house! Treasures they could eat!

    My children dragged themselves away from the fun for a few valuable seconds to show me the hand-sketched map of our home, with several X's marking the spots where they could conceivably find some sort of surprise. Yes, I did say "hand-sketched," in case you missed it. Or thought you heard incorrectly. Hand-sketched. In minute detail. Did I not mention that Grandma is an amazing artist?

    They proudly showed me a few treasures they had already discovered, consisting of such goodies as a tin container filled with tortilla chips, a sandwich bag swarming with Goldfish (of the snack variety, naturally), even some almonds and chocolate chips in a Tupperware container.

    Oh no she DIDN'T!

    "I thought it would be a fun way to give them a snack," she explained to me, in her sweet, sincere voice, when I gazed at her with wide-eyed, unqualified horror.

    A fun way to give them a snack?! What's wrong with slapping a bag of Goldfish on the kitchen table and reminding them to be sure to use a napkin, not their shirts? Huh? HUH? But NO, she had to go and whip out the Treasure Hunt O' Fun. A treasure hunt which, did I mention, culminated with the discovery of artfully layered lime Jell-O and whipped cream in the Only For Special Occasions Because They Shatter When Small Children Squeeze Them Glass Cups, hidden cunningly in the back of the oven? No? Well, it did.

    But the treasure hunt wasn't all. Oh no, no, no. In order to render me completely obsolete, my children had cleaned their rooms, completed their chores, and had gone and finished their homework. Without my help. Or tears. Or threats of eternal doom and a career at McDonalds.

    That is correct.

    My mother-in-law had brought about in a mere forty-five minutes what usually took me AT LEAST an episode of Ellen, a covert handful of almonds and chocolate chips, at least one outburst of stormy tears (sometimes my kids cried, too), and a good thirty-six-and-a-half minutes of threats, whining, and nagging to accomplish.

    What is this woman trying to do to me?! Does she hate me? She goes home in less than three weeks and where does that leave me?!

    The bar, people. The BAR! You see, don't you? It has been RAISED.

    link | posted by Cat at 11:17 AM
    5 comments

    Thursday, February 03, 2005
    Thinking

    I hate people who don't signal. Abhor, despise, loathe. Because they DON'T SIGNAL. You know, WHILE they are DRIVING.

    "Do de do de do.... I'm just driving along at 85 MPH... La de da de da... I'm surrounded by several hundred car moving along at equivalently high speeds, crammed together on this narrow stretch of freeway... Do de do de do... I guess I'll just cross five lanes of traffic without signaling RIGHT NOW... Oops, did I do that?"

    Of course at this point I have no choice but to shriek like a girly-man, stand up on my brakes, and engage in a wide repertoire of obscene ASL.

    It's called a signal, Doofs! USE IT! Who's with me?! Huh?! HUH?!

    Hm? What? Why, yes it was a bad morning on the Beltway, why do you ask?

    link | posted by Cat at 8:41 AM
    1 comments

    Wednesday, February 02, 2005
    I Was Only Dreamin'

    Have you ever daydreamed about running naked through a field of warm, glazed, fresh-off-the-conveyer-belt Krispy Kreme donuts? You know, with a rich chocolatey stream of steaming hot cocoa winding leisurely through it? Maybe a few marshmallows bobbing by? No?

    Oh.

    Me neither.

    link | posted by Cat at 11:12 AM
    0 comments

    Gothic Opera

    There's nothing like watching a pale-faced, kohl-eyed, streaky-blue-haired Gothic gal in a mismatched ensemble consisting of-- if I remember correctly-- a blue-and-white vertically striped fug blouse I would have rejected EVEN in the 80's, thrown over a magenta and purple horizontally striped tee, black mesh sleeves, and-- good lord-- are those blue-and-pink-striped leg warmers she's got on her arms?-- not to mention the pastel-hued, wrap-around rainbow mini and the heavy silver chain choker, oh, and OF COURSE the metallic silver, mid-calf, Watch Out Or I Just May Have To Kick Your Ass Doc Martin boots, sing "Phantom of the Opera" with full operatic abandon. Abandon, I say!

    When she hit that high note, you know the one, "The PHAAAAAAAAANTOM of the opera is there..." the glasses in my cupboard shattered, I kid you not. Into pieces. Shards everywhere.

    Now THAT'S entertainment.

    That's right folks, American Idol: Season 4 has begun. In the immortal words of Paris Hilton: "That's HOT!"

    link | posted by Cat at 9:46 AM
    0 comments

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