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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, September 29, 2005
    Tag sucks. But NOT TODAY!

    I always hated being It. I don't know why. Honestly, does anyone ever REALLY want to be It? Really? Really really? I'm sorry, but I just can't fathom the possibility. Everyone runs AWAY from you! It's so unfair! Nevertheless, here I am, a grown woman, tagged. Yes, I am IT.

    Wait. I'm kind of feeling this type of It. Nobody's running. Nobody's shouting "Nanny nanny boo boo!" at me. Nobody's coming just... so... close... then running away again. Weird. Huh. I shall not let you down, Vajana!

    Here are the instructions:

    The Rules:
    1. Go into your archive.
    2. Find your 23rd post.
    3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
    4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
    5. Tag five other people to do the same.


    Monday, January 03, 2005
    From "Got Some Dancing to Do."

    "I wanted it; God forgive me, I wanted it!"

    Wow. Sounds like maybe I wanted something?


    Charlotte, Kristine, Amy, Crayonz, and Ladybug? TAG! You're it! Woo-hoo! Nanny nanny boo boo!

    (*runs away laughing maniacally*)

    link | posted by Cat at 7:09 AM
    12 comments

    Veronica Mars: Normal is the "watchword"? BAH! Give me LoVe!

    Rob Thomas giveth (Logan was at the door!)... and Rob Thomas TAKETH AWAY (Logan reverts to Obligatory Psychotic Jackass! Again! So DUMPED.)! The classic bait and switch, y'all. I totally called it, when everyone and their dog kept referring to Veronica's boyfriend as, well, "your boyfriend" instead of saying his name, but still. What a tease.

    Man, I could hardly breathe throughout that entire episode which, while heavy-handed in the voice-over and flashback department, still packed a HEFTY punch, I tell you what. I was alternately laughing hysterically, almost in tears, and literally (no, really) banging my head against the wall. You know, when Logan hopped into bed with Whoredelia? (I loves me some Charisma!) GAH. They sure crammed a ton of information into one little episode. It seemed a little, I don't know... rushed? They totally did that with the pilot episode, too, so even though I think some of it could have been stretched over into the next few episodes, I still have high hopes for a KILLER season.

    Likes:

    Deputy Leo!

    "Seniors RULE!"

    Keith: "What, no premarital sex?"
    Veronica: "Oh, yeah. Yes. But don't worry, Dad - I swear you're going to like these guys."

    "Where's my turkey pot pie, woman?!" (Gotta love Daddy Mars...)

    Veronica: "Can you think of anyone who doesn't like you?"
    Wallace: "Well, there's the Klan..."

    Logan's worried "five more minutes" gesture and accompanying "I'm in love with you."

    "Also, pinching your own nipples works sometimes..." (Classic.)

    OPJ Logan, who incidentally rocked the best use of a prop pillow EVER. Ha!

    Stoner Meg ("Let's go, let's go! L - E - T- S ....???")

    Stoner Wallace rockin' the Jamaican, man.

    "Can Dick and Beaver come out to play?" (Hee! How do they get AWAY with these lines? Sure, those are Logan's friends' actual names, but still. And the dirty little hand gesture with Dick at the pool? OMG. I was APPALLED when I realized what that meant! EW! Logan, you skanky little man-ho, you!)

    All of Dick's lines.

    Lilly "saving" Veronica.

    The Shock and Awe of the Yellow Submarine.

    Poor Meg... bitch. (Will she haunt Veronica now?)

    Dislikes:

    Veronica and Duncan! (SPEW. Boring, much? And what's romantic about STALKING?! Huh? Nothing, that's what! Now I realize Veronica just wants her "normal" life back, but ARGH! DONUT?! You can't go back, sistah-friend! You can never go back. Yeah, I give that relationship two or three more episodes, TOPS.)

    PCHers going all Lord of the Dance atop Logan's head at the bridge.

    Guttenburg's DAUGHTER! Mia? Gia? Whatev? Blech! Please let her be murdered or something at some point. You know, early on in the season? Super duper early? PUHLEEEEEZ.

    OPJ Logan, burning down a community center (BUT, did he really? Dun, dun, DUN...).

    Still, WOW. I am so very glad it's back.

    Breaking down the Mystery(s):

    Who killed Felix? Why? To spark a class war? Revenge? What? And does Weevil know?

    Who murdered everybody(?) on the Yellow Submarine of Death? Why? Why did the bus smell? Is that important? Who were they trying to kill? Veronica? Annoying Journalism Teacher? Poor, not-so-saintly-anymore Meg? Who?!

    Will Aaron Echolls be convicted for Lilly's murder and his attempted murder of Veronica, or will he get off a la OJ Simpson? Will we get to see the trial? Oh, I so want to see the trial.

    Will Logan redeem himself? Please? Pretty please with sugar on top? And a cherry? Mmm. Hungry.

    Yeah, so all in all it was a'ight, yo?

    Pure Speculation (I am unspoiled!):
    My guess: Whordelia wants the Casablanca money, somehow rigged (had someone rig) the bus, and spent the afternoon boinking Logan to establish an alibi. How you like them apples, eh?... It could happen!!

    Right, then...
    Is it Wednesday yet?

    link | posted by Cat at 7:01 AM
    4 comments

    Wednesday, September 28, 2005
    "My heart! It beats so!..."

    "... I can scarce hear my lovah's approach!" (Hardcore Gilligan's Island fans will know EXACTLY how that should be pronounced. Gotta roll that R, yo? Couldn't resist.) But, seriously? My heart? It totally DOES beat so.


    You have been reminded. I wash my hands of it. That is all.

    link | posted by Cat at 12:09 PM
    6 comments

    Hey, cheerleaders! HOW DO YOU FEEL?!

    Um, horrified, maybe?

    Okay, here's the thing. Yes, I was a cheerleader in high school. Yes, I was full of Badger Pride, okay? I'm just putting it out there. If you haven't figured out yet that the whole ex-cheerleader thing was a distinct possibility, then you obviously have not read enough of my blog. Do you have all the jokes out of your system yet? DO you? Yes? Ready? OKAY!

    So I was rooting through our attic this morning searching for the "Winter Clothes" box, hopeful of finding my daughter's poncho which she NEEDED because her new pink one felt itchy and kept snagging on the scab on her elbow and probably wouldn't keep her warm enough and totally didn't match her outfit anyway. Huh. Seven years old and already Miss Fashionista.

    Sadly, I did not find the poncho, but fortunately I did find a kicky new hoody we had completely overlooked when unpacking. SCORE! I also happened across a huge bin that was chock full of pictures that I will someday use to create elaborate scrapbook pages that will be the envy of all the other Scrapbooking Mommas out there. You know, someday. Like, when I'm 80, at the rate I'm going. Seriously. There are THOUSANDS of pictures in there! The stress.

    The ones in particular I zeroed in on were from my years as a PHS Cheerleader. Go Badgers! (Gah. It's reflex even still. Sorry.) Now don't think I was all vain and shizz and made my parents come to the games and snap picture after picture after picture of me performing. No, indeed. To the best of my knowledge, my parents never snapped a shot. Not one. I don't know why. Maybe they were watching the game? Or I forbade them? I can't remember. But, whatev. SO not important right now.

    What IS important is that as I browsed through these pictures, I recalled this kindly old man who sat front and center at every game, yes sirree, Bob, every damn game-- be it football, basketball, whatever--and he had the 80's equivalent of a Big-A Mother eFfing camera, oh, yes he did. And he would just snap away throughout the game-- sideline chants, time-out cheers, halftime performances, the works-- and on Monday morning our cheer coach would have envelopes just FULL of pictures for each and every one of us. Seriously. Envelopes. With our names on them. Neatly sorted pictures. For free. It was AWESOME! I mean, FREE PICTURES!! Right? None of us knew who the hell this guy was, but we didn't care. FREE! PICTURES! For which we paid no money and could keep!

    Looking back, I think it's a little creepy. Maybe WAY creepy. All right, maybe MAD WICKED creepy.

    See for yourself. (I don't have a scanner so these are pictures of pictures. But I think you will get the gist.)

    Exhibit A:
    Aw. How cute. (I'm in the middle.) Nothing creepy here, you say? Except that I look EXACTLY THE SAME NOW as I did when I was 15? Almost 20 years ago?! Okay. That IS creepy. Moving on...

    Exhibit B:

    Not too bad, I guess. I was a gymnast. I flipped around. Um, a LOT. In leotards. It was part of the gig. Shameless, I know. (Look how short those boys' basketball shorts are! Woo-WHEE!)

    Exhibit C:

    Okay, hmmm. Good catch there, old dude. I mean, my eyes are closed and everything, but maybe that's not what you were looking at?

    Exhibit D:
    Wow. It's true what they say. Flashbulbs DO make clothes look see-through! Noted.

    Exhibit E:
    Yep. Here's the money shot. Back then, I was all, "Ooooh, look at that extension! Gnarly!" Now? I'm leaning more towards a "Holy MOTHER of HEAVEN! Coooooooootch!" type of reaction. There are SEVERAL more just like this one, by the way, of me and my co-cheerleaders. Say it with me now: FREAK!

    So I ask you. Was this (A) a nice elderly gentlemen bringing joy to young girls by taking and personally developing hundreds of pictures-- at a great cost to himself in both time and money, I am sure--every single week, rain or shine, out of the goodness of his heart? Or (B) MAD CREEPY OLD DUDE using his own copies of these cootchie shots for his own icky, personal perverted pleasure?! HUH?! I mean, if we had the internet back then, I betcha we would have totally been featured weekly on some "Hot Hot Hot Underage Cheerleaders!" website!! ! Oh NO! Maybe there are old black-market porno mags out there with me in them!! What if THERE ARE?!! There TOTALLY COULD BE!! OH MY GAWSH! And EW!

    Call me cynical, but I am going with Option B.

    link | posted by Cat at 7:38 AM
    13 comments

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005
    Rather long, but the ending kicks some ass.

    Okay. I admit it. I like TV. A LOT. God help me, I DO. I want to buy it flowers and sweet-talk it and have my way with it. I do try to limit my intake of television, but it is just so HARD right now, what with the dearth of decent television programming over summer hiatus followed by the virtual smorgasbord of simply fabulous season premieres we've got going on right now! (*cough* Veronica Mars *cough*) It is not my fault! I have been STARVED for good TV! Resistance is futile!

    And though I may come off as a bit fan-girly at times when it comes to my favorite programs (*cough* American Idol *cough*), I pride myself on my ability to exude professionalism and maturity while at work. Don't let my Reef flip-flops fool you. I'm all business, with comfy feet to boot. But on occasion-- seriously, like practically never, I swear!-- I must admit that the fan-girl in me has flared up at the most inopportune times. Such was the case the other day, I am sad to report, when an event transpired that has caused me to genuinely reflect upon and reevaluate my TV-watching habits.

    But first, a little background: A coworker (he occupies the cube across the aisle from me) and I were discussing high school class reunions the other day. Now, I must confess, though I went home for my 10-year reunion, I didn't "officially" attend it. Because it was, like, $400, or something! I don't remember the exact amount! But that's in the ballpark! FOUR HUNDRED FREAKING DOLLARS! I don't care if it is open bar, that is just too damn expensive, you know what I'm saying?! Can I hear a big "hell, yeah!"?! Good lord. $400?

    Okay, I must admit that my reluctance to fully and officially attend may have had something to do with the fact that the reunion fell on a date two weeks after I gave birth to my Tater. TWO WEEKS. So I was, um, chunky, let's say. And embarrassingly mammiferous. Those suckers? Working breasts. We're talking ha-yuge. Well, for me anyway. Might I add that I simply do not understand the desire for big boobages? I've had 'em. Didn't care for 'em. But I digress.

    So anyway, I sort of-- what do you call it? "crashed"?-- the mixer held at the ritzy resort on the hill (which already held bad memories for me related to a little mix-up with the law). I couldn't stay long, you know, due to the working breasts and all-- oh, and the two-week-old baby incessantly attached to 'em, of course-- but as I trolled the lounge with Di and a few other close friends, I noticed several things: (1) the Homecoming Queen did NOT age well; (2) people are just as stupid drunk at 28 as they were at 18-- quite possibly even stupider; (3) people really DO decide to reinvent themselves, concocting shamefully outrageous fantasies of wealth and success; and (4) many of the people I could only vaguely remember-- the shadowy kids, the fringe crowd, the geeks, the goody-goodies, the book nerds (I won't divulge my category)-- well, a majority of them had totally made good for themselves: doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, university professors, even a major network executive, for cripe's sake. And some of them? GOT HOT. OMG, y'all. I kid you not. HOT.

    So I was commenting to my coworker that teenagers have a hard time seeing beyond "popular" and what the crowd perceives as "good-looking" and they miss out on some really spectacular kids in the process. My coworker was all, "Yeah, the kid that created Google with one of his friends? Sergey Brin? He was one of the biggest geeks at my school. We all knew he was smart, but total geek. Now look at him. Number 16 on Forbes list of world billionaires."

    Huh. Not bad. I was suitably impressed. To the best of my knowledge there are no PHS Badger Billionaires. Shame, really. Wait. One girl did do a Taco Bell commercial. Oh, and I am pretty sure her breasts made a brief yet impressive appearance in the movie Breast Men. I believe IMDb credits her as "Pleased Post-Op Girl." So there's that.

    Where was I? Oh, yes, my descent into fan-girliness. I'm getting there! Just hold on! FREAK.

    My coworker went on. He was all, "Blah, blah, didn't go, blahdy blah, was in the Bahamas, blah, blah, blah, my friends told me all about it..." yackety yack and so forth, but I have to confess something. In truth, I was not paying attention to him because suddenly? I found myself transported into this little daydream where Mr. Sergey "Google" Brin arrived at his 10-year reunion a la Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, you know, in an Armani suit, flashing a little bling, arriving via helicopter and whatnot. And all his classmates were all, "Ooooh! Sergey!" I do that sometimes, the daydreamy thing. I can't help myself. It's a hardship on TGIM, I tell you what. It's a mercy he hasn't just completely given up speaking to me.

    Anyway, I had just reached the point in my fantasy where Sergey and some random hot girl he had crushed on in high school were on the dance floor performing a dreamlike interpretive dance, when something my coworker was saying caught my attention. And it is important to note that this moment? Right here? Is where my unfortunate descent into fan-girliness began.

    "Wait. What?" I interrupted him.

    "Yeah, this guy, friend a mine in junior high, he showed up and all the girls were flocking to him. 'Oooh, Jamie! Ooooh!' Some sorta actor or something..."

    Oh, ho, ho. An actor, you say? Intriguing. I needed to know more.

    "So, what? Like, a D-list actor doing extra work or something?" I asked. Obviously, as he was so laid back about it, I knew it couldn't be anyone really famous.

    "He was on CSI a few time. You watch CSI?"

    I nodded, losing interest quickly. I mean, "on CSI a few times"? YAWN...

    "You know the one with the pro athlete who was accused of murder? He was one of the cops, or a lawyer or something..."

    "Oh... I think... maybe... hmmm..." I began fiddling with my keyboard, the universal signal for, "Well, better get back to work! Nice chatting with you! Good day! I said 'good day'!"

    "...yeah, his name is Jamie, but I think he goes by J. August Richards--"

    I twirled around in my chair so hard I almost tipped over. "GUNN?! You went to school with GUNN?!" I turned back to my computer and quickly typed "J. August Richards" into Google and brought up his picture. "This guy?!"

    "Yeah, that's him."

    I'm pretty sure my eyes were bugging at least an inch out of my head at this point. "Oh. My. Gawsh. Why didn't you SAY so! Forget CSI! Good LORD, man, he's GUNN! From Angel!"

    Blank stare. I must say, I admire his fortitude. If our roles were reversed I would have been backing away... slowly...

    "You know, Angel! The TV show!... C'mon... Joss Whedon? Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Angel?! GUNN!... Still nothing? SHUT. UP. Really? Wow! Wait. Gunn's from Maryland? Who knew?... OMAHGAWSH! You know GUNN!"

    Okay, I was in full-on fan-girl mode. I mean it. FULL-ON. And on that last exuberant "GUNN!" heads starting popping up over cubicles, y'all. I'd be lying if I did not admit to turning twenty shades of red, but DUDE. My coworker knows Gunn.

    Luckily for future office harmony, my coworker did not completely freak out at my unprecedented and not a little embarrassing departure from office etiquette. Dude even promised me the next time he ran into old Jamie he'd hook me up with an autograph. GOSH.

    "I didn't realize he really did have fans," he said with a chuckle, to which I replied, "'Cha!"

    It took me the better part of an hour to settle down. I found myself periodically whispering, "Huh... Gunn!" under my breath and shaking my head in disbelief, which just goes to show you that too much television will indeed rot your brain and accelerate your descent into fan-girliness at the least provocation. Such as finding out a coworker attended school with a bonafide TV star. A TV star whose show is not even on the air anymore, but still. You may use my story as a cautionary tale for all your boob-tube-riveted friends and family if you wish. It's my gift to you. Oh, and one more thing:

    The season premiere of the freaking fantabulous Veronica Mars is tomorrow night! 9 PM! UPN! With Angel alumus Cordelia Chase, I mean Charisma Carpenter! And Buffy's Willow, I mean Alyson Hannigan! Tune in! Veronica kicks some ass!

    What?! I KNOW I told you resistance is futile. Sheesh. Pay attention.

    link | posted by Cat at 8:38 AM
    17 comments

    Monday, September 26, 2005
    My eyes! They BURN...

    Okay. I have officially STOPPED feeling any kind of sympathy for Cindy Sheehan. I have! So sue me! I don't care! The Grief Pimping has evolved into full-fledged Media Whoring.

    Someone's gotta say it. May as well be me.

    And good LORD I hope they arrested the topless women with GINORMOUS knockers who were protesting outside the White House because DAMN sistahs! BRAS are your FRIEND! BOOOOOOOOOOOBS. It's like the National Geographic out there!

    Um, that is all. For now.

    link | posted by Cat at 5:04 PM
    9 comments

    Sunday, September 25, 2005
    Our house... in the middle of our street.

    For any in the Blogosphere who are, like, WAY bored, and have nothing better to do than peruse a pictorial essay of the Befores and Afters of Cat's new home, thrown together all willy-nilly for family back home, feel free to click here, and here, and here.

    That is all.

    link | posted by Cat at 6:02 PM
    8 comments

    Friday, September 23, 2005
    Just a Day In My Life

    Yesterday, as I sat on the grass at a park watching my oldest daughter work the field at her very first soccer practice ever (how very suburban soccer mom of me!), I suddenly felt the most peculiar, faraway sensation. One minute I could hear my youngest child, who was seated next to me, belting out Kelly Clarkson's Since U Been Gone over and over and over and OVER while thoroughly engrossed in perfecting her performance by singing into the silvery backside of my iPod (which I have discovered makes a FAB impromptu compact mirror). The next moment her voice abruptly faded-- in fact, all the noise around me faded-- as if the volume at the park had been turned down suddenly and inexplicably, and I had the most amazing feeling in my heart. A sort of quiet fullness is the closest I can get to describing it. And in the stillness, I could almost feel the dusk pressing down around me, but in a breathless, deeply exciting kind of way.

    I investigated this feeling further, in a kind of hazy, contented fashion, absently plucking strands of grass, scratching at day-old mosquito bites, breathing in the earthy, warm scent of the newly mown grass. And as the afternoon light began to wane, fading behind the trees that circled the park, I watched my daughter-- who seemed to be so far away from me, as if only a lovely dream or a pleasant movie playing on a huge outdoor screen-- zigging and zagging, chasing the ball, passing, her blonde hair flying, damp, curly strands sticking to her forehead, shouting, laughing-- and I had the most wonderful feeling of happiness and well-being as I have ever had in my life.

    Just then, a sharp little tug at my shirt caught my attention. My youngest, bored with performing for the masses, was begging for a snack.

    "Can we get cake?" she asked from a long distance, though she was almost nose to nose with me. "I think we should have cake." (She is SO my daughter.)

    Suddenly the volume came blaring back and there was an almost strident cacophony of sounds, which rather than unpleasant were undeniably real-- parents calling to their children, girls giggling and tackling each other, the coach screaming something about gathering the balls, dogs barking to each other in the distant backyards, and my daughter chanting, "Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!"

    At that moment my soccer player ran up, all stinky and excited. "Cake!" she echoed happily.

    I handed her a water bottle. "We'll see," I said as I tousled her sweaty hair.

    As she gathered her new team jersey, I took one last, furtive look around. I am not sure why. Perhaps I was trying to recapture the moment, but it had slipped away. It was just a soccer field, just a grove of trees, just a suburban neighborhood...

    ... just a day in my life.

    I smiled as we all walked hand in hand to the car.

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

    "I was hoping it would be you."

    O! M! G!

    I KNOW WHO IS AT THE DOOR!! I saw a super secret clip! Oh, yes I DID! And there are still FIVE agonizing MORE DAYS until the season premiere!

    Oh, good lord, my heart.

    link | posted by Cat at 6:34 AM
    6 comments

    Thursday, September 22, 2005
    How to Frighten the Everloving Bejeebies Out of Me

    Wake me from a relatively sound sleep-- I say "relatively" because really? How sound asleep can a gal be when dreaming of alien invaders taking over the body of her six-year-old daughter? (Damn Must See TV! DAMN Invasion!)-- by whispering in my ear, over and over again, in the dead of the night, a whispery, guttural, slightly wheezy, MAD creepy, alien invader-like, "Heeeeey... Heeeeey... Heeeeey... Heeeeey...", your face inches from mine so when I open my eyes all I can see is FACE, looking at me all slack-jawed and glassy-eyed, causing me to scream like a girly-girl, smack you with my pillow, then roll you and your sorry, fast-asleep-with-eyes-half-opened self over so I can get back to sleep. Oh. This is not even to mention the fact-- the FACT, I say!-- that I came THIS close to piddling in my pj's. THIS close!

    I mean, honestly. Who snores like that? Huh? WHO?! Creepy-ass alien invaders, that's who!

    I am seriously contemplating separate bedrooms. Or, you know, Depends Undergarments. Because FREAKY.

    link | posted by Cat at 8:51 AM
    7 comments

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005
    I have the BLAHs, y'all.

    Home sick. No motivation. In windowseat, rereading I Capture the Castle. Good book. Will perhaps eat slice of yummy banana bread. But later. Now? Read. Be still. Ah...

    link | posted by Cat at 7:01 AM
    4 comments

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005
    The rhythm IS gonna get you. Eventually.

    Oh GOODY! Lookit! It's Karaoke Night at Cat's house!

    phantom 1

    You know what I freaking LOVE about this picture? No, not that my girls have the cutest dang matching pj's, or that one can see the bad-A cable lights TGIM installed, or that one can't help but appreciate the SWEET carbonized bamboo flooring he laid which is utterly dazzling in its bambooiness. No, not even that upon closer inspection one can see my little Mack's televised face reflected in the mirror behind Little Miss Drama Queen there on the couch. It's not even the books! Library books! Full of information! Strewn everywhere! All willy-nilly-like! Nope. None of these.

    What I love about this picture is the oblivious look on TD's face as he concentrates on the string magic he's teaching himself, utterly ignoring, nay, blatantly disregarding, the karaoke moment going on around him. Because he is 9 years old and apparently WAY too cool for Karaoke Night. To which I say, good heavens! How is he my child?! Is it possible he is a changeling? Switched at birth? The child of a woman with no dramatic or karaoke-loving tendencies whatsoever?! Because WEIRD!

    Then? Then, guys? THEN?! TD was made to realize the impossible-to-ignore hypnotic pull of The Phantom of The Opera. You see, Mack and Alli were just about to the part in the song when the Phantom commands Christine, "Sing my Angel of Music!" and she begins those opera chords which (as I have explained before) grow higher and higher and HIGHER until she is singing so high and so beautifully that you can barely STAND IT? And glass trembles, but doesn't quite shatter? And just as they hit THAT note, you know, the note which pierces your very SOUL? It was at that point that TD suddenly succumbed to his roots.

    phantom 2

    This here's what you call "Bringing It On Home." And my faith in genetics? Restored.

    link | posted by Cat at 11:25 AM
    10 comments

    Monday, September 19, 2005
    Donning Rose-Colored Glasses Once More.

    My mamacita called me over the weekend, and we had a good laugh over my last post. You know, the one detailing my totally rocking fourth grade year? She informed me that the musical chairs thing was not, in fact, an isolated phenomenon; it actually occurred every year from kindergarten right on up. Huh. Imagine that. I totally do not remember. Or maybe I've repressed it? I'm very good at repressing. I should have majored in repressing, that how good I am at it. Ask anyone! Especially a member of my family! They will totally tell you.

    I mean, that time I angrily carved a nasty message to my sister in her brand new solid wood captain bed? Repressed. Or the time I pulled a Jan Brady and told my entire family I wished I were an only child so I could get good STUFF like my friends who were only children? No recollection. Oh! Or how about all the times I bossed my two older sisters around? And they totally did my bidding? Until my mother told them to freaking cut it out and stop encouraging me? Doesn't ring a bell. Thank goodness for sibs who take a fiendish pleasure in reminding me of these teensy little lapses in etiquette every freaking time we get together. C'mon, guys! I was a child! Let it GO!

    Something I have NOT repressed, however, is the memory I have of my overwhelming desire-- nay, obsessive NEED--to earn candy at school. Mmm! CANDY! Seriously. Whatever it took. 100% on a spelling test? Check! Memorize my multiplication tables? Check! Stealing candy from Gabriel's desk after losing a round of Spelling Bingo because I was totally robbed and he probably cheated anyway?! CHECK! Hmmm... I think this is what you call "selective memory." But I digress.

    Wait. Where was I? Oh yes, the phone call. Seems the reason my momma called was to share with me a conversation she remembers having with my "Best Teacher Ever!" back in the day (has a mind like a steel trap, my momma, I kid you not). Apparently, after informing my mother of my antics in the classroom, Miss M who is now Mrs. H revealed, "You know, sometimes? when she takes over the class? I just sit back and watch her go! After a while I realize, 'Hey. Wait. I'M the teacher here!' and I wrestle back control. But it is fun to watch her."

    Um, "takes over the class"? "Wrestle back control"? I categorically deny all of this. I have no idea what the crazy woman was talking about. LIES! All LIES! My mother-- who was not unjustifiably horrified-- tried to apologize for me. But Miss M who is now Mrs. H simply silenced her with a laugh.

    "Oh, no!" she said to my momma. "Cathy's a joy to have in class! I would never crush that spirit in her. That girl's going to be a leader some day."

    Gosh. I almost busted a tear, y'all. What a lady, that Miss M who is now Mrs. H! What an educator. I must say, I suppose an adult's perspective, an educator's perspective, ain't such a bad thing after all, yo? And guys? GUYS? I hope to someday live up to her expectations.

    link | posted by Cat at 8:53 AM
    8 comments

    Friday, September 16, 2005
    Who walks in the classroom, cool and slow? Who calls the English teacher "Daddy-O"?

    (WARNING: TGIM? Just so you know? This is a tad longish. Power through, man! That is all.)

    I was just telling my son-- who is bloody well starting the fourth grade this year! FOURTH!-- how much I loved the fourth grade. No. Seriously. LOVED IT. I was all, "Oh my gosh, Buddy! Fourth grade is, like, the best grade EVAH!" Of course he threw right back at me the dreaded, quite often unanswerable, "Why?"

    To be honest, let's just say I was not surprised with this trumping of my absolute parental authority on the subject, as this boy has been questioning my totalitarian rule since the day he was born, the little bugger. However, though I was not surprised by the question, I was deeply shocked by my response.

    "Because my teacher totally loved me," I proudly informed him and my other children who had gathered 'round, smelling a story. At their collectively raised eyebrows, I assured them: "No, seriously. LOVED ME."

    And then it hit me. That woman-- the wondrous teacher I have held in a special "Best Teacher Ever!" place in my heart-- did not love me. Oh, no, no, NO. Indeed she did not! Matter of fact, that woman more than likely hated my stinking guts!

    Well, I may overstate the matter a bit. But when I searched my memory for all the absolutely super fantabulous reasons WHY I loved this grade so much, when I looked back with an adult's perspective, an educator's perspective, I made some startling, and I must admit not altogether happy, discoveries.

    To illustrate:

    Why My Fourth Grade Year ROCKED!
    Reason #1: Best Teacher EVER.


    My teacher, Miss M, helped me meet so many new people. Seriously! I remember sitting next to Joy during the first week of school. Oh, the fun we had! I usually finished my work first, so I would amuse her by sharing witty anecdotes and singing little songs to her as she completed her work. I would also hurry her by periodically asking quietly, "Are you done yet? Because I really want to go play at the Science Center with you. Are you almost finished?! Are you stuck? Number five is '1776.' Write that. COME ON!" Miss M would ask me to be quiet, so I would whisper, "Areyoudoneyetareyoudoneyetareyoudoneyet?..."

    The next week, I got to sit by Christopher. I loved him. He had wavy brown hair. Like Donny Osmond. I would hurry through my seat work, then crawl under my desk with my dog-eared copy of Myths and Enchantment Tales and I would pinch his ankles. Oh! The FUN! He would kick at me and I would laugh! Then I would chase him at recess (though I may have been the shortest kid in my grade, I was arguably the fastest runner, as-- hey boy!-- those waffles I ate for breakfast gave me some ZIP!), and when I caught him? I'd give him a big ol' punch in the gut. Because kissing? Gross.

    Then, a few weeks later I walked into the classroom and my desk was all the way at the back of room! I kid you not! Right up against the wall! Under the coats and lunch boxes! All by myself! My very own Special Spot, Miss M called it! I could lean my head against the bricks! Which were scratchy! But still COOL. When I finished my work, however, I scanned the room and realized I was a little too far from the nearest girl, Vanessa, to be able to ask her to go to the Reading Center with me. Plus, the bricks were beginning to snag at my naturally curly hair. So I grabbed hold of my desk and scooted my way right up next to her--THUMP! screech!-- looked over her shoulder, and began the "are you done yet?" litany.

    Then? One day, y'all? ONE DAY?! I came to class and my desk was right next to Miss M's! RIGHT NEXT TO HER! You can imagine the jealous stares I received. I admit to being a little puffed up in my own esteem, but can you blame me?! I mean, I was, like, the Teacher's PET! Oh, ho, ho! Yes, I was. But this time, when I finished my work? I looked up to a sea of bowed heads stretching before me like the sands of the sea... Huh. What to do, what to do?...

    ... until I turned to Miss M, who was busy looking over our spelling tests. I watched her for a moment. Then, "What'cha doing with that red pen, Miss M? Are you grading? Is that my test? Did I get 100%? I think I got 100%. Do we get candy if we got 100%? Because I am pretty sure I got 100%. Except I may have missed the bonus word. Is 'accelerator' spelled 'A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-T-O-R'? That's what I put. You are making a funny face right now. Your lips are thin. Can I help? Do you want me to help? I will help you if you want me to help. I like your red pen. And when's lunch? I'm hungry."

    Which brings me to Why My Fourth Grade Year ROCKED!
    Reason #2: Lots of Special Projects!


    Excerpt from Fourth Grade Diary:

    Dec. 10, 1980

    Dear Diary,
    Today Miss M let me go to the library all by myself to do a Special Project! Do you know what malaria is? It's a DISEASE. I know because Miss M is letting me do a Report on malaria. I am using an encyclopedia. Which I can spell because Jiminy Cricket sings that song.
    Love,
    Cathy

    P.S. Only 65 more days til Valentine's Day! I hope I get LOTS of valentines!
    P.P.S. I love Christopher!


    Why My Fourth Grade Year ROCKED!
    Reason #3: No Arm Cramps.


    In Miss M's class, I did not raise my hand in vain. I did not have to utilize the dreaded Arm Prop, wherein the patient student-- anxiously waiting out the stream of kids who have absolutely no idea what the freaking answer is-- raises her right arm straight in the air, while propping it up with her left hand, her left elbow firmly digging into her desk (chin resting on right arm is optional). I did not have to bounce in my chair doing the "Oh! Oh! I know! OH! Pick me!" thing. She did not say, "Anybody besides Cathy know the answer? Anyone? PLEASE?!" until someone blurted out something. Um, usually me. She did not ignore me. She called on me. First. Every time I raised my hand. Which was, well, every time she asked a question. And, granted, sometimes I forgot what I was going to say, but I always managed to stutter out some pearl of wisdom, such as, "Um, uh, why do you wear braces on your teeth when you are a grown-up?" and Miss M would unfailingly respond with something kind, then add "Thank you for sharing that, Cathy!" before moving on. And I would beam with pleasure and look around at all the others to make sure they were sharing in my greatness.

    Gosh. I hearted Miss M. I did. So, SO much. I was utterly devastated when she up and got married, then left us to go on her honeymoon. And, boy, that first substitute did not take kindly to my gentle hints on how things were supposed to be done in Miss M's Fourth Grade Class, I tell you what!

    "Um, excuse me, but that's not the way Miss M gives us our spelling words."
    "Wait. That's not the way Miss M takes our lunch orders."
    "Hey! We are supposed to line up shortest to tallest! That's how Miss M does it!"
    "Miss M does not say 'Zip Your Lip'!"
    "But Miss M always lets me go to the library when I finish my work! I need to use the encyclopedia!... Want me to spell that for you?"

    I recall that we went through a few substitutes, but then Miss M came back-- or Mrs. H, as we now had to call her, GOSH! HARD to REMEMBER!-- and things got back to normal.
    ---------

    So there you have it. Definitive proof that my fourth grade year rocked. Except... not.

    You know what? An adult perspective SUCKS, that's what.

    I don't know where you are or what you are doing now, but GOSH! I am so, SO sorry, Miss M who is now Mrs. H! From the bottom of my bossy, hyperactive, nine-year-old, know-it-all heart!

    Thank you for making me feel special and smart, even though I must have driven you INSANE.

    Thank you for giving me Special Projects instead of piles of busy work.

    Thank you for explaining how hiccoughs work, and why grown-ups sometimes wear braces on their teeth, and how sometimes, yes, lady teachers DO look a little scary when they forget to wear makeup to school.

    Thank you for treating me with respect and love. You were the first teacher to give me that.

    It is teachers such as you who make a world of difference in a child's life. I hope my little Tater Tot gets teachers JUST LIKE YOU. Oh, yes, I DO. Because, poor darling, she's just like me. My spitting image. And God knows she is going to need them.

    link | posted by Cat at 7:33 AM
    13 comments

    Thursday, September 15, 2005
    Oh, no you di'nt, Spice!

    *sigh*

    Back in July I posted a mini-expose on this lady (and I am obviously using the word "lady" in the loosest sense imaginable, believe you me!), a paragon of virtue who was promptly and fittingly dubbed Spice, the Porn Lady. Anywhoos, this morning as I approached my cube, I saw this lovely message posted outside her cubicle:



    (The caption under the picture of Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment from The Sixth Sense reads as follows: "I see dumb people.... they're everywhere... they walk around like everyone else... they don't even know they are dumb... and some of them... THEY WORK HERE.")

    Oh, really? Are you freaking kidding me with this? I mean, do you really want to go there, Spicy McNasty? DO YOU?! Because it sure seems to me that the one streaming PORN during work hours on a GOVERNMENT ISSUED, totally BIG BROTHER-MONITORED computer for God and all the world to see may just be the dumb one, you know what I'm saying?! DO YOU?! Uh-huh. That's what I thought, biznitch. That's what I THOUGHT.

    (*rushes off to brainstorm witty retaliatory message for own cubicle...*)

    link | posted by Cat at 2:15 PM
    12 comments

    Whoa there, Trigger!...

    balance

    OMYGAWSH! CK?! You are freaking QUICK with the creating of the creative... creation! A big shout out to Amy and Circus Kelli for this scrumtrillescently pimptastic rendering of my little Cutie McCuteness. (I have no idea what I just said. Work with me.)

    link | posted by Cat at 11:36 AM
    5 comments

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005
    For this shot alone...

    ...the weekend trip to the lake (or "Loch," in this case-- how very European!) was TOTALLY worth it.

    lake 1

    link | posted by Cat at 2:43 PM
    10 comments

    Reasons Why I Love My Job, #82:

    My boss-- who has the most unfortunate likeness to Tim Curry I have ever seen (unfortunate in that my mind occasionally dresses him in lingerie, a la Dr. Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show... I KNOW, right?!)-- sends out Business Meeting of Excruciating Boredom reminder emails such as the following (names have been changed [note brackets] to protect the innocent and prevent possible Doocelike consequences):


    Writers' Meeting AGENDA:

    Entrance hymn.

    Read minutes of last meeting, argue whether the minutes of the last meeting should include mention of the reading of the minutes from the meeting before that, which, if so, should then include the minutes of the meeting before the meeting before that meeting; decide it's all too silly and abandon reading of minutes.

    Solemn observance of September birthdays.

    Update from [Veronica Mars] & [Buffy] regarding [insert acronym here] and [again with the acronyms!], respectively.

    Updates on Tier One & Tier Two documents from their writers.

    A word or two about paperwork figures & when you can/should send a document to [seriously, we like acronyms].

    Update on progress toward compliance with the [last acronym, promise!] peer review bulletin.

    Brief but furious exchange of limericks in igpay atinlay (tentative).

    Recessional hymn.


    You see?! You don't get THAT kind of humor in the public school system, I tell you what.
    *sigh*
    I heart my job...

    link | posted by Cat at 12:02 PM
    8 comments

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005
    Best damn show on TV starts up in 15 days!

    But who's counting?

    watchvm

    OMYGAWSH, y'all! Summer Rerun Season is ALMOST OVAH! You know what that means?! Do you?! Veronica Mars! Back on my screen! On UPN (I know)! Right AFTER America's Next Top Model! Which I don't watch! But maybe I WILL! 9 PM! September 28th! Which is a Wednesday! In case you were wondering! I will see who's at the door! A brand spankin' new mystery to solve! Witty, kick ass characters! I am so excited! No, REALLY! EX! CITED! Exclamation! Point!

    Oh, and listen, y'all.... the Gilmore Girls season premiere? Is totally tonight. Dead serious. Woo-whee! Be there! or be-- Ah, whatev. I'll be there, of course, but you don't hafta if you don't wanna... BUT YOU TOTALLY SHOULD! Talk about a talented cast! Talk about witty banter! Oh my my MY! This show's got it in spades!! SPADES, I say! I heart Lauren Graham!

    And speaking of ADHD, I think I need drugs.

    link | posted by Cat at 11:48 AM
    11 comments

    Monday, September 12, 2005
    The boy doth protest too much, methinks.

    This weekend my daughters took a much-needed break from their Phantom of the Opera Love Fest and indulged themselves in a little R & R with Barbie of Swan Lake.

    TD was not happy with this arrangement. I mean, there was Xbox to be played, right?! RIGHT?! Stupid girls. Freaking hell. To demonstrate his displeasure, he would periodically walk into the living room and make deprecating remarks regarding the movie. Now, the girls were so involved in the world of beautiful princesses and unicorns and enchanted forests that they were not a bit bothered by this. I, however, being less enraptured, grew more and more impressed with my son's dogged perseverance and critical ingenuity. He was brilliant, y'all! A veritable geyser of wit and sharp punditry! A genius of epic proportions! An illustrious career in political commentary or the entertainment industry surely awaited him! I was lost in dreams of his greatness!...

    Until he walked in, took a quick look at Odette and Lila the Unicorn deep in conversation onscreen, then said in his very best disparaging nine-year-old voice, "Well, that's just stupid. I mean, REAL unicorns can't talk!"

    We laughed him out of the room, poor boy. Ah well, there's always McDonalds.

    link | posted by Cat at 6:50 AM
    8 comments

    Friday, September 09, 2005
    Um, Governor Blanco? I think Tom Ridge wants his duct tape back.

    Oooh! September is National Preparedness Month! Gosh. I don't think I need to point out the inherent irony here.

    Okay, so here's my new disaster plan:

    I'm putting together some freaking GO KITS, that's what I'm doing! They will contain the following:

    1. Water (Lots and lots of it. Water = Good.)
    2. Food (Healthy, non-perishable stuff. And donuts.)
    3. First Aid Kit containing-- among other things-- copious *FHP's (Especially Midol. I mean, hello?! Me in a stressed out, premenstrual state in an emergency without an adequate supply of ibuprofen and tampons?! At the ready?! Please! Be serious.)
    4. Gun(s) and ammo (Up in the air regarding body armor...)

    Anyone have suggestions/recommendations regarding handguns vs. shotguns? I'm shootin' to kill, mind you. I am leaning toward the handgun (it's daintier!), but there is definitely an argument for bringing out the ol' sawed-off in an emergency situation, you know what I'm saying? No real aiming skills required with one of those bad boys, I tell you what! Woo-whee!

    Yep. That about covers it. Can't be too prepared my momma always says. And she knows. Woman has more toilet paper in her house than can be found in ALL OF FRANCE! She calls it her Year Supply. Well, one must never underestimate the importance of buttloads of TP, I suppose.

    Hee. BUTTloads? Too obvious? Whatev. I totally crack myself up.

    What? I'm just sayin'.

    *Feminine Hygiene Products. Duh.


    (Hmmm. Too soon to be flippant? Sorry. It's what I do when I am upset. This you know. I COULD harangue and bitch and moan and point fingers and pass the buck, but there's been enough of that going on to last a lifetime and a half, thank you very much. People in high places are NOT playing nice in the sandbox. BAD politicians. BAD media outlets. Naughty! Time Out for ALL OF YOU! Shut up and PITCH IN, I say. My heart, and my prayers, and YES, my money, and even hygiene kits put together by my extended family, are going out to all of those who were devasted by this tragedy. Even the stupid people who even still refuse to leave New Orleans. May the Red Cross bring you relief. May God bring you comfort. And--hopefully-- donuts.)

    link | posted by Cat at 5:10 PM
    12 comments

    Thursday, September 08, 2005
    How to Charm My Socks Off

    Race up to me after church and excitedly relay the news that your older sister was chosen as the Spotlight Child for the week, and you so totally guessed it was her because, obviously, YOU knew your sister wanted to be a vegetarian when she grew up, and after I correct you with, "I think you mean 'veterinarian,' honey," you look up at me with those gorgeous baby blues, owlishly intensified through sassy, hot-pink, coke-bottle glasses, wrinkle your nose, put a hand to your suddenly jutting hip, roll said eyes, and drawl out, "Whatever."

    Ah. Yes. That's called 6 going on 16, y'all.

    That's my girl.

    link | posted by Cat at 11:58 AM
    8 comments

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005
    Disjointed Thoughts During Business Meeting of Excruciating Boredom

    (WARNING: Too much caffeine, not enough food, and little sleep makes Cat a cheeky monkey! And WAY incoherent! And rambly! Proceed at your peril! Okay! Carry on! Or NOT! Whatever!)

    * Therapy

    My sister's boyfriend's ex-wife's dog's previous owner's therapist shared with her that when he was a young child he used to write letters to himself-- evidently using his left hand to communicate to his right-handed self any thoughts or issues he needed to share or explore-- and he suggested she do the same. You know, for clarity? He assured her he still regularly composed left-handed letters to himself and often wrote thoughtful, right-handed responses to said communications.

    I contend that any shrink who since nine years of age has seen fit to play fast and loose with his penmanship skillz by creating an alter-persona of the left-handed variety, a persona who at one time informed him "I was very angry today when you made me steal Janine Cooper's Hostess Cupcake" may be-- perhaps-- in need of some therapy himself. That's all I'm sayin'.

    * "Clear Writing Through Critical Thinking" training

    Passive Voice = BAD

    For example: At the meeting, donuts were eaten by all.

    The above sentence is not only passive, but patently untrue. Which makes me sad. Well, the "patently untrue" part does, anyway. I mean, me? I like donuts. Especially at Business Meetings of Excruciating Boredom. Mmmmm. DOOOOONUTS. Doughnuts, if you will. No? Fine. Be that way. I am no discriminator of donuts. All donuts are created equal, and as such shall be eaten by me-- if put in my vicinity-- posthaste and forthwith. I'm talking IMMEDIATELY. Even plain glazed. Not kidding.

    Huh.

    Redundancy = BAD, too. Just so you know.

    * Cool accents and stuff (brought on by Kalki's travel-klogging)

    I love the way those Brits talk. I DO! Sounds all proper and shizz. Even when they are being rude. "Oh, sod it! Bloody 'ell!" See? PRETTY. It's simply beastly that we don't have the flair for the pretty with our slang. I mean, I admit that when I was visiting London my sisters and I may have indulged in a fit of the giggles-- perhaps, I say!-- when a young teenaged boy leaned over to his friend and proffered a cigarette case, asking, "Fancy a fag, mate?" Hee. Fancy a fag. GOSH! I LOVE those guys!

    I wonder if, conversely, the Brits love the way we say "Yo, dawgs!" or "What a dork" or "Hey! I ain't no hollaback girl!" or "That's HAWT!" Riiiiiight. Don't be daft, mate! Of course they don't. They think we're ign'ant! They DO! And paranoid! I mean, you KNOW that every time Randy Jackson barked out, "Yo, yo, yo dawgs! That was a'ight!" or Paula slurred, "Wow, I am really feelin' you tonight," Simon Cowell wanted to scream out at them: "What a load of bollocks!" Which would have made American Idol loads more fun, actually. Whatev. You know I speak true. Regular dicked in the nob, Simon was, throughout most of the season, think on.

    Mock us and our colloquialisms, will you?! Bah. Elitist snobs.

    CAR(RRRRRRRRR)! Take that.

    link | posted by Cat at 12:27 PM
    16 comments

    Thursday, September 01, 2005
    DWM End-Of-Summer Hiatus

    Holy COW. Week Before School Starts craziness going on! Amongst other things, must brave the crowds to scrounge the ravaged Back to School racks for some cheap yet stylishly cute clothes for naked girls!

    Yep. This could get ugly.

    Back in, oh, let's say a week, mm'kay?!

    Blog on, y'all. Blog ON...

    link | posted by Cat at 7:35 PM
    8 comments

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