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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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Location: United States

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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    Tuesday, February 28, 2006
    "Thank you for being a friend... Traveled down the road and back again..."

    Last weekend I took my children to Borders so they could hang out in the children's books section, browsing new titles, reading aloud to each other, and incessantly whining, "Mooooooommmmmmaaaa, please buy me this book, please! Please, Momma! Please, please, PLEEEEEEEZ!" Because I'm DUMB.

    Anyhoos, my son had been going on and on and on about some book search thingymabobber at Borders and how he totally needed to look up this awesome book his teacher had been talking about and did I know if it cost money to look up books because he remembered seeing a spot for swiping credit cards on the machine and would I help him figure it out because he REALLY wanted that book and how dumb is it to charge for looking up books, anyway?! He continued along this vein throughout the drive, while parking the car, even as we were walking up to the store, so it should be no surprise to anyone that the first thing I did as we walked through the doors was to make a beeline for that damn kiosk so he would just STEP OFF.

    Unfortunately a whitish-blueish-haired octogenarian was using the machine, so we parked ourselves at a respectful distance from her and patiently waited for her to finish her search.

    "See, Momma? See where you put the credit card? Do we have to pay to use it? Because that would be dumb, right?"

    I leaned a little closer to the machine, and by golly, there was a slot for credit cards. By leaning a bit to the left I could just... make out... the side... of the screen, which listed the functions of the machine. "Oh, that's just for pre-orders, Buddy. The search part I am SURE is fr--"

    "ExCUSE me!" a voice interrupted. "Do you need to use this machine? Because I am ALMOST. FINISHED." (Translation: "You better back the hell away from me and my search machine, Miss Rudesby McWhippersnapper, or I will freaking cut you! That's right, biznitch!")

    Well, I never. Of all the ill-tempered... Grandma was being SNIPPY, y'all. She had turned from the machine, apparently bothered by my presence in what she obviously considered her "personal space." Her tone was dismissive and her whitish-blueish helmet of hair actually trembled with the force of her righteous fury. But we so did not deserve her anger, I promise you. We were at a respectful distance!

    I tell you what, my own dear grandmother would NEVER act this way. No, indeed! My grandmother rocks the hizzouse! But I digress.

    I blinked at her. Once. Twice. Then, "Um, yes, but we're just waiting... we've never used this machine before... we were just wondering how it worked... Wait. Why? Am I bugging you?"

    She glared daggers at me and my son for a half-second, then-- and I am so not kidding here-- hissed, "YES! You are!" and stormed off in a huff. STORMED OFF! Well, okay, as quickly as an old bag can "storm," that is. Which isn't very fast, actually. It was more like she hobbled or tottered. Perhaps doddered? Yes, she doddered off. In a huff.

    Of course I took the high road, you know, played nice in the face of her obvious rudeness... basically set a good example for my boy. "Okay, thanks!" I called after her. "Have a grrrrrreat day!" Okay, so my voice (perhaps) may have been laced with a bit sarcasm-- just a tad, mind you-- but honestly. I'm only human. And a little obnoxious.

    "Ooooooo-KAY," my buddy boy said to me, raising his eyebrows. "She was rude."

    We approached the machine and took a look at the screen she had neglected to clear in her haste to dodder away. In a huff.

    Search: Gospel Music.


    "Ooooh! Gospel music! Maybe she'll find God and be nicer, eh?" I said loudly. Um, because I'm horribly rude?

    Sadly, this conversion to God and the Golden Rule was not to be, as ten minutes later I saw Grandma Geezer approach a young boy using the book search machine, whisper something in his ear, then push him to the side so she could use the machine.

    Search: Senior Romance and Sexuality.

    Okay, fine, I am totally kidding about that last search topic. But seriously, if gospel music ain't helpin' the Golden Girl chill the freak out, maybe she should be looking into getting some octogenarian tail. That's all I'm saying.

    That being said, I hope she's there the next time I am dumb enough to haul all my kids to the bookstore. That was the most fun I've ever had at Borders. No, really. Ever.

    link | posted by Cat at 9:47 AM

    Friday, February 24, 2006
    "Why don't you just call it ice-ket-ball?"

    Man. Don't you just love it when TV and reality come together?

    I mean, seriously... how cool is that?! Turning on the television and seeing your life played out right on screen?! In front of God and everybody?! And you're all, "What the freak?!" And jumping up and down with excitement? But also feeling a little scared? Like Twighlight Zone scared? Because of the freakiness? But still totally excited?

    Good times.

    Last week, thanks to my mad TiFauxing abilities, I watched How I Met Your Mother for the first time (because... Willow?!) and experienced just such an extraordinary melding together of life and entertainment.

    Okay, so I saw an episode in which Lily (Willow!) goes to her fiance Marshall's hometown of St. Cloud to meet her future in-laws and it turns out he has five or six brothers and they are practically giants! With the tallness? And the aggressiveness? And the eating of fat-laden food in mass quantities? Seriously. The family consists of several huge men who eat seven-layer salad full of gummi bears, potato chips, sixteen cups of mayo, and funyons, and who play bas-ice-ball, a dangerous combination of basketball and hockey. ("What are the rules?" "There are no rules! We just wale on each other!") Honestly. Lily looks like a Hobbit person next to these people. And of course everyone in town seems to know "those Erickson boys."

    Okay, creepy. I about peed my pants laughing, I kid you not, because that? Yeah, that would be TGIM's family. Exactly. Well, except the seven-layer salad thing for which I am thankful because there is just not enough ew. Biscuits with sausage gravy would be TGIM's family's poison.

    To illustrate:

    Live in a small, close-knit town? Check.

    Eat mass quantities of fat-laden food, bitch-slapping anyone who dares get in the way? Check.

    There are, like, a gazillion of them? Check!

    Everyone in their home town knows them AND gets all up in their (and my) bidness? O. M. G. There is not enough check.

    Shoot each other with paintball guns at point-blank range causing huge welts and bloody wounds, wrestle around on the floor until someone screams like a girly-girl begging for mercy, and play vicious games of tackle football on the front lawn? Ch-ch-ch-check.

    Dwarf me like a little Hobbit person, even the girls? You better believe it. And check.

    Just look at 'em, all big and shizz:

    Motley Crew

    Keep in mind that TGIM (see his hair, in back there?) is 6'1"... and a half. Also keep in mind my youngest sister-in-law is scrunching down in front. Yeah. (I have no idea who the kid in front is. Probably a cousin who will one day be huge.)

    And that is not even all of the boys! There are seven total. Yes, SEVEN.

    At least my mother-in-law is not so much with the largeness. I don't feel so alone. So very, very alone... you know, what with the shortness and all? Okay, fine, in my in-laws' defense I should disclose that I am only 5'3", but still! Giants. All of them.

    @SUU gaame

    However, since it is apparent to me even now that in a few years my Mack and TD are going to look almost exactly like the cuties in the pictures below, I suppose I can forgive TGIM's family their freaky bigness.

    A hunting we will go

    (Did you know that in small towns you can carry around large shotguns while wearing an excess of camouflage-- which pretty much flatters any figure, by the way-- without anyone looking twice? It's true! I am so serious.)

    Hans and Candice


    But I digress. The show ended with Willow-- I mean LILY-- getting arrested for public urination after going to the store to buy a pregnancy test. Honestly. How surreal is that?! Oh, not that I've ever been arrested for public urination, but it could have happened! You don't know!

    I'm totally watching again this week, I tell you what, just to see if anything else resembles my life. Ooh! Maybe someone will be arrested after she finds a hotel room key (while drying off with a towel she found on a deck chair after being thrown into a fancy shmancy hotel pool fully clothed), decides to take just a quick little peek at one of the fancy rooms, gets caught "breaking and entering" by the Chief of Police whose key she happened to swipe and whose room she happened to take a peek at while he was innocently chillin' in the jacuzzi (even though he was totally drunk off his ass and confused, and she didn't even go into his room at all, and she certainly didn't steal his keg because, I mean, where would she have PUT it, right?!), then subsequently gets cuffed, escorted through a lobby of curious onlookers, and hauled off to jail! Hoo! FUH-NEE!

    Not that I've ever done that either. As if.

    link | posted by Cat at 9:14 AM

    "Kevin's planting his little seed!"... um, ew?

    As Simon would say: America, you got it wrong, you freaking idiots! (Okay, maybe I added that last part.) I mean, another week of Ho-Sway? Boomhauer? BRENNA?! (and oh, dear lord did you see her hair last night? Woo! ShaZAM!)


    And I love that Ryan had to actually cue the crowd-- and the OTHER GIRLS-- to clap for Brenna when he announced she was safe. Because I'm evil. Like the devil. But hoo! Priceless. I SO hope that wasn't orchestrated, because DAMN. Good times. But NOW who's gonna have to bunk up with Brenna? Awkward.

    Okay, I'm so not crying over Becky or Bobbie (although I thought Bobbie was fun, you know?), but I actually feel a bit sad for Stevie, as her performance last night was so much better (at least the first half) than on performance night. Too bad they didn't mention she was sick when she sang on Tuesday night; it may have influenced voting. You know, sympathy vote and all that? Either way, it totally sucks for her, you have to admit. Not really a fair shake. I think she could have "brought it." Girlfriend should have popped some Airborne, that's all I'm saying.

    But Patrick? Yeah. That was a mistake. What really chafes my sensitive, winter-dry skin is that I am POSITIVE the dude did not get the second lowest number of votes. Oh, sure, he probably got the second lowest number of votes out of the boys (which he so did not deserve and yes I'm looking at you Sway and Bucky), but no way did he get fewer votes than, oh, say Brenna or Hhhhhheather or Melissa or Kellie "Pick Pickler!" (I know, right? It never gets old!) In fact, I would guess there were at least five or six girls who received fewer votes than Patrick. But two guys had to go, so there you are.

    Honestly, I find it unfortunate that a genuinely talented singer, who is charasmatic and nice to look at in his Ed Norton sort of way (and I thought he was hawt in the sunglasses at his audition, I don't know WHAT Simon was going on about), was sent home before guys like Gedeon and Kevin, who-- come ON-- although talented singers, are not right for national television and do not have a shot in hell of surviving to the Top 12. Am I wrong? Hey! Kevin is NOT SQUISHY, people! NOT! And hello? Sway is not long for this competition either, with his pimptastic faketto and overall ick factor. And what the HELL is up with Boomhauer?! Huh?! Bucky? Growly McLooksLikeAss? How is HE still in this competition? Huh?! What is wrong with people?

    Personally, I think Patrick could have made it to the Top 12. He's definitely one of the six best boy singers. Not win, duh, because Katharine or Ace will SO win this competition (with Taylor and Mandisa-- hopefully-- giving them a strong run for their money), but he would have been entertaining. Because he can SING.

    That being said, Patrick being booted is tragic in the classical sense: tragic heroes always have a fatal flaw, and Patrick's was his stupid song selection. Everyone knows Come To My Window is the kiss of death on American Idol. Duh.

    As an aside, kudos to the producers for giving us one hell of a group sing, right? Ah, the awkward group sing alongs! How I've missed them. Good LORD. Although I must give props to the producers for original product placement: "It's a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin' down to take a look at me!" Tricky! Ah, well played, American Idol and Fox. Well played. Oh, and hee... who else felt the un!comfortable! when Mandisa's pose at the end just went on... and on... and on...? Just me then?

    Wow. This amount of verbosity over an elimination episode before we even have a Top 12 is indicative of obsession far surpassing that which is healthy.


    Oh, and finally... Paula? One word: BOOOOOOOOOOOBS. Now put those bad boys away before you hurt somebody.

    link | posted by Cat at 5:23 AM

    Thursday, February 23, 2006
    Soul Patrol! Woop! Woop!

    (Forgive me in advance. This? Is a bit on the longish side. Do not judge me for my AI weakness.)

    Hey! Was my Ryan on last night or what?! Woo! He was cracking my shizz up, you know what I'm saying? I just want to put him on my keychain and carry him with me wherever I go, he is THAT cute. Quite honestly, he's doing a fabulous job this year, in my opinion. I mean, what's not to like? In addition to genuinely caring about the contestants (it appears, anyway), he's a smooth and quick-witted host who doesn't hesitate to joke at his own expense. Heh. I'm still laughing at his deadpan "I'm taller than Tom Cruise" comment from Tuesday's show. And his jabs at Simon for not offering any constructive criticism, plus that Chippendale's bit? Hoo! Awesome. I can totally forgive his blazing metrosexuality.

    Ooooh, brain fart: He should totally be a judge. God knows Randy and Paula (AKA: Drunky McSmurf) are useless.

    Which leads me to this... how many veiled Connie digs were there from the judges last night? So, SO many. I had to laugh. Gosh. They must have REALLY disliked him...

    Oh, and Paula? If you stand up during EVERY SINGLE PERFORMANCE the standing O sort of loses it's bloom, you know what I'm saying? SIT. DOWN. And stop hitting on the contestants in front of God and everybody! I mean, honestly. That look you were giving Ace? That's right, the I Want To Jump Into Your Pants And Make With The Sweet, Sweet Love look? I don't know about anyone else, but I felt like I needed to leave the room so I wouldn't have to watch you jump him right there and have your nasty way with him (which... ew)? Good heavens. Girlfriend made me blush.

    Enough o' dat. Here's my rundown:

    Patrick - I like him, I do. That being said-- and maybe it's my Etheridge Hate talking-- but meh. And why is Paula telling him to stay with what he does best? Contradict yourself, much? Seriously. "Go outside your convert zone!" "Be original!" "Take a chance!" then "Dude. Do what you do best..." The contradictions inherent in the judges' comments constantly amaze me.

    David - The judges are on crack. That song was absolutely perfect for him. I enjoyed it. That being said, how much do I HATE crooners? Unless they are Harry Connick, Jr.? Well, let's just say a whole freaking lot, and leave it at that, okay? He must go. Which is sad, because, you know... dimples?

    Bucky - Dude? Bo you are not. And you must shave the pornstache right quick if you want me to take you seriously, a'ight dawg? And maybe invest in some dental work? What?! I'm just saying! (Total veiled dig at Constantine from Simon, here. Rockers who play weddings? Heh! Poor Connie.)

    Will - Johnny Bravo? Is that you? Oh, wait, that was GREG, right? My bad... Overall, good vocals, tons of charisma. But he needs to not dance anymore.

    (And someone please shoot the writer who came up with "where theres a Will, there's a Sway." Please. And Ryan, If you made that up on the spot? Never do that again and I mean it.)

    Sway - Urgh! Blech! The hell? Why would a person DO that his first time out of the gate? The falsetto was WAY weak even if he did have that one sweet note at the end. There is only one man I can think of right now whose falsetto voice I will willingly listen to, and since you are NOT Prince, I suggest you CUT. IT. OUT. And give Mario back his pimp hat, mm'kay? Again, the judges? CRACKHEADS! All of them!

    Chris - LOVED THIS. I admit... I love me some Bon Jovi. Of course, he sang it with no originality whatsoever-- which the judges so did not call him on, the crackheads-- but so what? It was Bon JOVI. And he did it beautifully. Rock on, dude.

    Kevin - I like his voice, I do, I really do, but he's awkward, and lispy, and quite frankly rather painful to watch. I do not want to squish or pinch him. Vocally, he sort of impresses me, but he annoys me visually. And the blinking is reminiscent of He Who Shall Not Be Named And Yes I Am Looking At You, Scott Savol. That is never good.

    Gedeon - I am having trouble getting past this dude's fuh-REEKY personality (good LORD he's a weird one), but the song was a'ight. Didn't make want to shout, though. And just a thought: they shouldn't let him talk, like, ever. Just sing. Because his intro? Again with the fuh-REEKY. ::whispering:: And his smile bugs me, too.

    Elliott - Okay, I think Simon was simply trying to get a rise out off the Claymates with his "BEST. MALE VOCALIST. EVER" comment. Because come ON. And honestly? I am having a bit of trouble getting past Elliot's teeth. I know, I know, right? *sigh* Me? Shallow. Get over it.

    Bobby - Buh-bye, sweetie. Nice knowing you.

    Ace - Ooooooh, PRETTY. And dude sang a George Michael song. GEORGE MICHAEL! Whom I adore! Honestly. Could he be any more perfect for me?! I want to pinch HIS *ahem* cheeks... Heh. He totally said "naked." Heh heh. Naked... Oh, sorry, I was somewhere else for a minute there... Er, good on you, Secret American Idol Luvah. Good on you.

    And hello? Ace is so much more talented than-- Ooooh, um, that other guy from last season? Help me out here... What was his name again? Hmmm... with the eye-fugging of the camera and whatnot?... Okay, honestly, I do see why some are comparing Ace to Constantine, but there is a HUGE difference here that I think they must factor into the equation: Ace? Can actually SING, y'all. That's right. I said it. He can! Thank God. I need him on my TV, guys. No, seriously.

    See, Ace is the guy Constantine was trying to be, except he doesn't have to try. He just IS. And, hey, bonus points for the HAWT brother, yes? Say it with me now: DAY-UM.

    Taylor - Awesome. During auditions I admit I felt a little put off by the way he bobs around as if his knees can't... quite... support his weight, but there is just something about the way the genuine musicality seems to pour out of him when he performs. That sounds strange, I know, but I don't know how else to say it. (Oh, dear lord! I must be channeling Paula!) Anyhoos, dude can apparently rein in The Bob (well, at least until the post-song banter with Ryan, that is. But how cute was that?! Because of Ryan? Aaaw!) which I would strongly encourage him to continue doing. All I'm saying is this guy has some major talent. MAJOR. Which makes the Jay Leno hair all the more tragic.

    Wow. If I would have known I was going to go on this long, I would have brought a snack. Chips, perhaps. Or a toasted coconut cake donut. Maybe even a fruit of some sort.

    Man. I so need a life.

    Cat, out.

    link | posted by Cat at 8:16 AM

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006
    *GASP*... can't... breathe... must... fix... internet connection...

    I have NO internet connection! I am hacking on to someone else's, so I'll be brief:

    How cute was my sweet wee Ryan last night, huh?! So, SOOOOOO cute! What with his wisecracking and his red-checkered shirt that matched... nothing else he had on, and his darker, less highlighted, flat-ironed hair and whatnot... MAN. LOVE! And he finally cut Simon, and GOOD, right?! "Well, I would have worn a t-shirt under that sweater, but we all make mistakes..." Woo! Go wee'un! GO!

    HATE Brenna Gethers. She must DIE.
    LOVE Katharine McPhee girl. She must WIN.
    No, really. I have a total girl-crush on her. She's lovely. LOVELY.
    LIKE Paris Bennett, althought the helium voice BUGS, yo?
    LIKE Lisa Tucker. She's way too talented and confident for a 16-year-old. AWESOME.
    The rest of the girls are pretty, but memorable? Not so much.

    But tonight? BOYS! That means *sigh* Ace Young will be on! ACE! My NEW Secret American Idol LUVAH! Oh, he is PRETTY. I absolutely cannot wait! Sing for me, luvah. Don't think I don't see you looking at me with those bedroom eyes...

    OMG. I just said "bedroom eyes"!! Who says "bedroom eyes"?! Old people, that's who! Good LORD.

    Well, now I'm just depressed.

    Okay, totally over it. William kicks ass, too, the little cutie-pie, but he is, what? Like 12? So obviously we can't be secret luvahs. Sorry, dude. Wasn't meant to be. Really. You gotta move on.

    So, I should probably bail. People are staring at me. What?! Haven't you ever seen anyone stealing bandwidth (or something) before?! Move it along, people! Nothing to see here!

    Gosh. Freaks. And seriously, if I don't even know the proper term for this internet access theivery in which I am apparently engaging, I really don't think I can be held responsible for my actions. Right?

    Damn straight.

    Cat, OUT.

    link | posted by Cat at 12:49 PM

    Tuesday, February 21, 2006
    Got Some Dancing to Do... Revisited

    William, DUDE, in response to the comment you made yesterday, allow me to say that in my personal opinion there can never be too many bad 80's references... or allusions to that classic cult roller skating-cum-disco dancing hit Xanadu starring one Olivia Newton John and... um, you know, that other guy.

    If you will forgive my effrontery, allow me to take all y'all back to some thoughts I shared on this topic back in January of '05...

    (cue the Wayne's World flashback effect... doodle-ooh, doodle-ooh, doodle-ooh...)

    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? Totally sucks. I can't bring myself to repeat any of its 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 in which 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 and over again, enthralled. Because who in his right mind would roller skate right into a wall? Even if it has a cool mural of beautiful Greek muses tantalizingly you to "come hither" and whatnot? Because it's a wall! A huge, solid, crack-your-head-like-a-melon wall! But he does, and I'm all, "OOOOOH!" every time. Honestly... that is cinema. 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.

    But 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 boogie scene-- hand gestures and all (slap, slap, clap-clap-clap, arm-cross, arm-cross, arms thrown wide, yell: "Xanadu!")-- and he's like, "Does it have that guy from Pulp Fiction in it?" and I'm all, "No, 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 5:43 AM

    Monday, February 20, 2006
    We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep...

    It is always so strange to wake from an especially vivid dream with a full recollection of not only the general plot of the dream, but the accompanying emotions. It is not unusual, in fact, for TGIM to be awakened by one extraordinarily pissed off wife punching him in the arm and hissing, "Jerk!" In my defense, he usually totally deserves it... in my dream. Hey! Don't be judging! I can't be held responsible for my actions during that split second between sleeping and waking, right? It's a fine line, people! A fine line!

    Anyhoos, all I'm trying to say is that it is not unusual for me to wake from a dream under the influence of strong, very real emotions: maybe in tears, or sometimes giggling, every once in a while literally trembling with fear. I once woke up silently screaming, which sounds completely strange, but that is what it was and I can't explain it, except to say that my mouth was open and my heart was racing, but all that was coming out of my mouth was a hoarse, whispery "aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh..." (okay, so maybe I can explain it after all). And then upon waking I will ofttimes hold on to those emotions for, oh, say a few to several minutes as I struggle to shake off the confusion of wakefulness (is that a word?) until I finally come to the realization that it was all a dream, and that TGIM did NOT actually leave me for the lady that runs the cash register at Dunkin' Donuts, or that I didn't actually meet Donny Osmond (shut up! totally during my Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat phase! in which he was wicked hot!), or fly my car down into the Grand Canyon to buy hand-made Navajo turquoise necklaces as a Christmas gift for my neighbor's cat. The dream slips ever so slowly away from me, vanishing like, hmm... perhaps like ripples in a pond, which spread so far and so wide that all that is left behind is a stillness, and sometimes a vague remnant of scattered emotions.

    But some dreams? Stay with me long after the sleepiness is gone. They do not necessarily have to be nightmares, although some of my craziest nightmares usually fit into this category (but that is a train of thought for another day); they just have to resonate with me. Move me. These dreams may cling for days, weeks, months, perhaps even years. Obviously these dreams will eventually sink to the back of my mind, dormant, but all it takes is something small-- a voice, a smell, a sight, a word, a phone call-- to bring memories of the dream and all its accompanying emotions back to the surface.

    Last night I had one of those dream.

    That being said, how colossally unfair is it that someone like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, upon waking from just such a vivid dream (sure, albeit drug-induced, but still! making a point here!), could put pen to paper and capture Kubla Khan, one of the most beautiful and hauntingly surreal poems ever written-- and I'm not just saying that because there is a flippin' sweet cult classic movie named after the Xanadu in the poem-- but this morning when I woke from my own vivid, seared-to-my-brain dream, all I get is a lousy memory of driving around town with Kevin Federline and two of his groupies hanging out in the backseat of my car? (I know, right?! K-Fed has groupies? The hell?) I can't write about that! And, oh! They were totally making out to Kevin's horrific new "song" Popozao! And heck yes those are sarcastic quote marks. Good lord. Shizz ain't right, that's all I'm saying.

    The most embarrassing part of this whole horrible situation is the fact that K-Fed-- sporting cornrows... CORNROWS!-- was wearing a pair of his signature fugly manpris which I-- in a stroke of apparent genius-- wittily renamed "bops" (you know, for "boy crop pants"-- I know, right? INSANE), a name which I cannot for the life of me get out of my mind. And I wasn't even trippin', y'all! There was no NyQuil involved. Not even a little Tylenol PM! There is absolutely no excuse! Because bops? BOPS?! What am I supposed to do with that? Where is my Kubla Khan?!

    Or was this strange dream simply my subconsious mind juxtaposing the normality of life with hints of something sinister? Is there a moral here? Could it be a premonition? Will bops become a nation-wide craze? Huh?

    Whatever. All I know is now I'm left with these lingering feelings of anger toward K-Fed for cruising town with the groupies while Britney's probably sitting home with little Sean Preston, all depressed and whatnot, eating herself into a Starbucks frappuccino- and Cheetos-induced coma.

    So Coleridge gets Xanadu and I get bops and Popzao?

    I KNOW. I may never sleep again.

    link | posted by Cat at 2:48 PM

    Friday, February 17, 2006
    Dinner? Now? Can't you see I'm in the middle of "Monk"?!

    The problem with TiFaux is that you can record too many damn shows. I know, right... have I met me? Seriously. I admit I never thought I would utter these words, but DUDE-- there is simply not enough time in the day to watch the twenty-six hours of television I have already recorded in the past four days since the heavens opened up and the gods of entertainment brought me some frickin' cable. It's crazy, I tell you! I mean, I haven't even had a chance to watch this week's episodes of American Idol yet. I KNOW! I'm all over the place, skimming through the TV menu, clicking "record" like nobody's business-- "Ooooh! Monk! I haven't seen Monk forever!" "OMG! Did you know David Boreanaz has a new show? I am totally all over that one! Rawr!" "Home Alone is on?! Like, the actual movie? On TV?! Nuh-uh! We are SO there! Er, for the children!" "You mean I can record Gilmore Girls AND American Idol?! At the SAME EXACT TIME?! HOT DAMN!"-- and then life happens and I commence with the doing of the homework, and the making of the dinner, and the purchasing of the groceries, and the preparing of the birthday celebrations, and the bathing and tucking in of the children, not even to mention the spending of the quality time with iFred ('member? my new Powerbook G4?)... oh, and TGIM, of course...

    My point? Well, besides cutting back on all the time spent on homework assistance and cooking and personal hygiene and whatnot-- like, duh!-- I obviously need to be more selective. Life is too short for indiscriminate TiFauxing.

    link | posted by Cat at 8:18 AM

    Yep, Buddy Boy. Your days in the single digits are SO OVER...

    when we were young
    Aaaaw, LOOK! Pretending to get along and all! CUTE.

    Hannah AW
    *heart melting... can't type...*

    Hannah zoo
    Seriously. I totally do not know this weirdo standing next to me... (Go, Wildcats!)

    Heck, yes, I'm the big brother! GOSH!

    hike 15
    "Baby... my sweet baby... you're the one..."

    Okay. I could get used to this...

    Happy 10th birthday, buddy. We love you to pieces. And tonight? We shall eat cake!


    link | posted by Cat at 6:12 AM

    Thursday, February 16, 2006
    Don't tell me! DON'T TELL ME! (I'm not listening! LALALALALALA!)

    I haven't had a chance to watch this week's narrowing down of contestants on American Idol ... YET. But thanks to the wonders of the modern age and the eight frickin' hours of "strenuous" manual labor by the Verizon Cable crew (and I'm using my sarcastic quote marks), I have Tuesday's AND Wednesday's episodes recorded all nice and tight on my brand-spankin'-new TiFaux and I will totally be watching them at my leisure with absolutely NO commercial interruptions. Take that, Coca-Cola Company! That's right, Ford, I drive a Honda! Shove off, Cingular! I'm Verizon's biznotch (for another two years as of yesterday, that is, but... Pink Razr!).

    What? Will I be watching the episodes soon? Heck, yes, I'll be watching them soon! GOSH! (/end Napoleon Dynamite voice) Tonight, actually. And then we shall dish.

    That being said, I'm hoping they didn't boot my cute little gay cowboy. You know, with the big ol' cowboy hat and the big ol' wide eyes and the little ol' voice that causes all the fur on the back of my poor little Imaginary Because I Am WAY Allergic dog to stand on end?

    Yes! That one!

    Sure, his voice sucks, but he's so wee! Like my wee Ryan! But, you know, wee... er. And I have a soft spot for weeishness, truth be told. And big ol' cowboy hats on little gay cowboys.

    I know, right? Who doesn't?

    DON'T. TELL. ME.

    link | posted by Cat at 7:42 AM

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006
    We interrupt this regularly scheduled program for a li'l o' dat "questionable political analysis" I'm always bragging about...

    How glad am I that Dick Cheney accidentally shooting his friend with a 28-gauge shotgun full of buckshot has become front-page news? And how happy am I that the leading controversy of the day involves Mr. VP totally allowing the Corpus Christi local media to scoop the story of the incident without any regard for the Washington Press Corps' right to the story whatsoever? How glad?!

    So, SO glad.

    Because all the other stuff going on in the world-- the on-going worldwide Muslim riots and killing in reaction to a stinking cartoon, the election of the why-you-be-hatin' Hamas in Palestine, Iran's nuclear weapons development sitch, not to mention the criminal leaking of integral NSA secrets to the New York Times, Congress's namby-pambying around a threatening financial collapse of Social Security and Medicare, the Iraqi crisis, and duh!, the fact that President Bush and his goons are totally spying on me and probably reading this post right this very second-- well, it's all just such a downer, right? Who wants to hear about all that? Huh? Right?

    But Quailgate? (Too hackneyed? How about "FriendlyFireGate"? Nah, too long...) Now THAT'S entertainment, I tell you what! But an important question I haven't heard answered is this: Did the quail survive? And if not, has PETA been notified? I'm just saying.

    You know what I think? Thank God the mainstream American press has its priorities in order, that's what. Because truth be told? I was beginning to feel a little bummed out.

    No, really.

    link | posted by Cat at 12:14 PM

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006
    Lost in Translation II

    Okay, you know how sometimes something your child says, or rather, the WAY your child says it, just strikes you funny and you can't stop laughing and of course then your kiddo is thinking "Okay, Momma has gone completely nuts and they will probably come to take her away in a straitjacket and-- oh, no!-- does this mean we won't be getting dinner tonight because I am HUNGRY, yo?" because in your child's opinion she was just making a perfectly reasonable statement when suddenly you go all bat-crazy on her? Because of The Funny? Even though other people may not understand why you think it was so freaking hilarious in the first place because the humor is lost in translation? Do you?

    While driving home from the library with my daughter yesterday I had one of those experiences.

    After an exhaustive cataloguing of all the animals my eight-year-old would like to own if only her stinking mother weren't allergic to every freaking animal known to man, totally ruining it for the whole family, I am so serious, GOSH!, she asked me this stumper:

    "How come the fish we buy always die, even though we feed them and take care of them and change their water?"

    Ever the conspiracy theorist, I replied, "Well, I think the store just sells us bad fish. See, they're just about ready to croak when we get them. It's a wonder we keep them alive as long as we do, actually."

    "Oh." Brief pause. "Well, I think we should get another fish. They are SO easy to take care of."

    What, other than the dying thing?

    I glanced at her in the rearview mirror and could see her sweet little face all full of eagerness and hope with a side of certainty that our next fishbowl denizen would live a long and prosperous fishy life. Which, again with the conspiracy theories, it probably would NOT, despite my best efforts-- and note, I do stress "MY"-- if recent forays into pet ownership were any indication.

    (Honestly. I knew I shouldn't have let them watch Finding Nemo for the gazillionth time. Stupid Dory--thanks, CK!-- and her "I will call him Squishy" hilarity.)

    I tried to break it to her gently. "Well, sweetie, you have a bird already and all you have to do is give him food and water... which you NEVER do, I might add. That's pretty easy, don't you think?"

    (Translation: There is no chance in hell I will buy you another pet because I am sick to death of taking care of the one you have now and if I weren't terrified of his little birdy spirit coming back to haunt me all Grudge-style I would totally let the caged bird sing and fly away for one glorious day of unfettered freedom before the neighbor's cat caught him and ate him for dinner.)

    Hannah whipped out what I am SURE she believed to be her trump card: "Well... you forgot that I have to clean his cage! Yeah... and... YUCK."

    Oh, no she d'int.

    "Que'?" I asked holding my hand cupped around my ear, a gesture clearly lost on the occupant of the backseat. (I hate when my witty gestures are used in vain. It's a little embarrassing, too. Like the knee-jerk "Ta-daaaa!" I always do when I trip over a crack, even when there is no one around to see it. And when I just said "I" I totally meant "people." Because I totally don't do that "ta-da" thing. Seriously. Uncool, much?!... Wait. What was I talking about?) Righteous indignation swelled in my bosom! (Heh. I said "bosom." Okay! Focusing!) And I was like, "Um, excuse me? Hello?! Child, I am the only person in our family who has EVER cleaned that bird's cage!"

    I waited for her usual vehement rebuttal, her impassioned cry of "nuh-UH!" or perhaps "whatEVER!", but... silence. I glanced in the rearview mirror, curiously anticipating what I was now expecting to be a well-thought-out refutation. She's the dilettante of disputation, that one. Then--

    "Huh... good point."

    (Good point? GOOD POINT?! Okay, missy... who are you and what have you done with my daughter?)

    Then, in a surprisingly detached "Eh, you got me" way, she shrugged and summarily dismissed me by picking up one her newly checked-out books and beginning to read.

    I couldn't help it. I burst out laughing. It was so unlike her to just give up a perfectly good fight like that. I mean, I practically slapped her across the face with the proverbial glove, you know, threw down the gauntlet, for heaven's sake! (Did anyone else ever think a gauntlet was some sort of cup? Maybe confused it with a goblet? No? Really? Me neither.) I admit to feeling a bit let down by the quick surrender. And the way she said it?!... Woo! Cracked me RIGHT up.

    "Huh... good point." BWAH! I mean, can you imagine?!

    Through my paroxysm of laughter I had the presence of mind to steal a glance at her in the rearview mirror where I saw her look up from her book for a minute and shoot me one of those "What the heck is HER deal?" looks-- which, incidentally, I get from the kids quite a lot, actually-- before returning to her book with an air of indifference only known to a child who is not at all new to the whole Momma Is Driving Down The Road While Laughing Herself Silly thing.

    Honestly. I laughed so hard I cried. Seriously. Laughed my butt off.

    "Huh... good point." Hoo!

    Ooooo-KAY... I guess you had to be there.


    link | posted by Cat at 10:48 AM

    Friday, February 10, 2006
    "Close your eyes..."

    Love is...

    ...lying in bed with your hubby watching the Season Two finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and desperately holding back sobs through the last twenty minutes-- especially during the part where Buffy runs a sword through her one and only true love, and as the haunting strains of Close Your Eyes crescendoes he whispers, "Buffy...?" right before he is sucked into hell-- until the ache in your throat is too much to bear and you burst out genuinely bawling and hysterically sobbing "Whhhhhhyyyyyyyyy, God, whhhhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyy?!?!", especially when Full of Grace by Sarah McLachlan starts up as Buffy leaves Sunnydale-- because girlfriend just knows how to sing the My Poor Heart Is Breaking blues, you know what I'm saying?-- and your hubby does not even make fun of you, not even a little bit, because honestly it really is one of the most heartbreaking Season Finales ever, and truth be told he may just be busting a tear or two himself... the big baby.

    I mean it. I really do. That? Is LOVE. Because how he restrained himself from his usual "Are you cryyyyyyiiiiinnnnggggg? (begin sing-song voice here) You are cry-ing! You are cryi-ng! Na na na na NA na! Cry-ing Cry-ing CRYYYYYY-IIIIING!" I will NEVER know.

    link | posted by Cat at 12:42 PM

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006
    I'm an embarrassment to myself... no, really.

    Let me preface this wholly unpleasant tale with an honest fact:

    Okay. I admit it. I love to run. I do. LOVE. IT. It's the one time during the day when I have the opportunity to break away from the sometimes overwhelmingly silent grind that is my job. Although I absolutely love what I do and wouldn't (at this point in my life, anyway) want to work anywhere else, I would be lying if I didn't admit that being what can only be termed as a Loud Talker is honestly the bane of my Cubicle Land existence. Of course being a Loud Laugher comes in a close second. Especially when I am dumb enough to read hilarious stories like this while at work, thank you VERY much Kelly, you rascal, you! The icy stares. They wound me. Well, sometimes. Okay, not really. But those people don't know! They totally could! Wound me, that is!

    So at lunch I break free from the ofttimes almost stifling sounds of silence and head out on the trail that runs for miles back behind the building where I work, through a thick forest, under bridges, past tumbling creeks, alongside the local airstrip, around a lake. It's just me, soothing nature, and my tunes. Oh, and usually my running buddy because hello? Solitary much? I'm not completely insane. Just a geek. But I will get to that in a moment. My point is that I am free, unbridled, alive. And I can and do push myself to the limits of my endurance and beyond and when I am finished I can take pride in what I accomplished-- acquire instant gratification, if you will-- and not even mind the fact that it feels as if I might just vomit. Because once that feeling passes... runner's high, baby! There's nothing like the euphoria of a runner's high, I swear. Well, okay, except for, er, well, um-- heh-heh-- you know... but still! Feels good, that's all I am saying. And that is a fact.

    My point, you ask? How is any of this an embarrassment, you query? Good questions, all. Allow me to elucidate.

    You see, I am a geek. No, really. I know, right? But after a good four-miler, when that runner's high has kicked in and I am feeling that sheer, unadulterated euphoria, yes, that oh-so-good endorphin rush, the geek in me apparently cuts loose, shakes out her legs, maybe flexes her fingers a bit. I just can't seem to help it. There may be a Snoopy Dance O' Joy as I head to the showers or an intensely emotional "Woo-HOO! YEAH!" accompanied by the universal High-Five Me gesture directed towards anyone in my vicinity.

    Or, as in my case yesterday, it could be in the form of an... interesting exchange in the locker room.

    Because it is embarrassing enough that I never know where to look when Miss Uninhibited sits naked and spread-eagle on the bench across from me (ew! germs?! hello?!), slathering on lotion and baby powder, I usually keep to myself rather than participate in the friendly banter going on around me in the locker room amongst the several other women in various stages of undress. It's not that I'm a prude, it's just... where do I look?

    Then yesterday this totally familiar-looking girl who was undressing next to me was talking across the locker room to some random chick I did not know, not even a little bit. "So, did you quit smoking?" she yelled, and I mean loudly.

    "Oh my God, yes!" was Random Chick's also loud reply.

    (Author's Note: Okay, you need to hear/picture her with a Valley Girl accent. Because she totally sounded like she was from the Valley. Like, oh my God, I am so serious! And this is totally not important in the grand scheme of things. I just thought you should know.)

    "Wow! Congratulations!" said Familiar-Looking Girl. But they didn't high-five. I totally thought they should high-five. Because... endorphins?

    (Author's Note: Please note that though I am following this conversation, I am not by any stretch of the imaginiation even remotely a part of it.)

    "Yeah, it's a total drag," Random Chick said as she fiddled with her socks, "but, like, I knew I totally needed to do it."

    I waited, but... nothing. Oh, come ON.

    Suddenly, "Heh! It's a drag... Bwah ha ha!" Honestly, I don't know where it came from. But there it was.

    Random Chick and Familiar-Looking Girl turned and stared at me, not unkindly, but more... oh, let's say warily.

    Random Chick was the first to respond to my little outburst. "Um, yeah," she started, "it totally was, but..."

    I swear. People never get me. What is up with that?

    "No... No! It's a drag? You know, DRAG!"

    At their obvious confusion, I held an imaginary cigarette to my lips and took a good pull on it. Actually, I'm pretty sure it looked a bit more like I was toking up, but either way I have to ask: could I be any more ridiculous?

    "A DRAG?!" I continued. "You know... Smoking?! A DRAG?! Ah ha ha! Woo!"

    To my credit I at least had the presence of mind to restrain myself from throwing the High-Five Me gesture out there.

    So then Random Chick was like, "Oh! Yes... um, that's funny... I get it..." as she made a quick beeline for the door.

    And... that was about the time the stark realization that I had spun completely out of control hit me, and I said to no one in particular, "Oh. Ooooooh... Okay. I am such a geek."

    Familiar-Looking Girl heard me and was all, "Oh, no. That was funny. Seriously. I could never think of something like that! It was funny. Really. 'A drag'... Good one."

    "Oh my GOSH!" I yelled, smacking myself in the head. "IDIOT! I am such a GEEK! What a stupid thing to say! STUPID! GAH!"

    (Author's Note: Okay I made that very last part up. Because remember when Chris Farley used to say that?... and he'd be all, "GOD! That was STUPID! What an IDIOT!"?... and everyone would totally laugh because, um it was, you know, hella funny?... Do you?.. Oh, of course you do!... I'M SUCH AN IDIOT!)

    But the rest of it? Completely, unequivocally, painfully true. I made good my escape and trudged up the three flights of stairs to my office, totally lost in thought, pondering why in the world I felt compelled to join in on a conversation that I was absolutely NOT a part of in any way shape or form, period, finito, end of story. I mean, sure, it was a wicked funny and completely unintentional pun-- which was just SCREAMING to be pointed out, I might add-- but honestly. Who DOES that? Just butts right into a conversation she is absolutely not a part of and makes a complete ass out of herself?! I ask you, WHO?!

    Me, that's who. Yes, me. A geek who can usually keep the geekier components of her nature on a tight leash, but who is completely unable to utilize The Filter when those endorphins are a-flowing. That's right. I'm Euphoria's bitch. It's a sad truth, y'all, but at least I am woman enough to admit it.

    Especially since when I came home and sheepishly relayed this story to TGIM, he looked at me for a moment and then said with his all-too-frequent Damn Woman, You CRAZY snort, "Yeah, Cat. You ARE a geek."

    Love you, too, TGIM.


    link | posted by Cat at 1:14 PM


    How happy am I that there are no more stinkin' American idol auditions to suffer through? So, SO happy. Gosh! The sheer suckiness and the apparent lack of awareness of said sheer suckiness on the part of the auditioners is not only appalling, but quite frankly not just a little depressing. Isn't there enough pain in the world, guys? Huh? Well isn't there?! Honestly. It's enough to make a person want to actually TURN OFF THE TV. And that's really saying something, because CRAZY, much? With the turning off of the TV and whatnot? But the auditions! They are sucking my will to veg! It's madness! I need my veg time, people.

    Speaking of the the auditions-- which admittedly I did not watch because come ON, watching Rory and Paris fight HAD to be better than the crap I saw in the previews for the Boston auditions (and it totally was, because Paris? Is roll-on-the-floor-laughing hilarious!)-- did I mention that another reason I may not have watched American Idol was because my little iFred arrived after work last night and she is freaking AWESOME?! Seriously! It's true what they say, y'all... Once you've had Mac you ain't never goin' back, you know what I'm saying?! Eh?! Eh?! Am I right?! So it's not as if I could watch Gilmore Girls, set up Fred, install Microsoft Office:Mac onto her, rip all the songs from my iPod to my new iTunes library, all the while getting my girls ready for bed-- What?! Hello? It's called multitasking-- AND flip to Fox during commercials. It just can't be done. I am not Wonder Woman, y'all. There are limits to my greatness.

    Anyhoos, tonight, we go to Hollywood. If it sucks, I am going to do it. I swear. I will freaking turn that damn TV right off, I am so not kidding here...

    Well, until VERONICA MARS comes on at 9 pm, that is. Like I'd miss that, what with it being the best show ever (Joss Whedon and Stephen King say so!), and all. 'Cha! Not freaking likely.

    link | posted by Cat at 9:44 AM

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006
    "There are few things, apparently, more helpful to a writer than having once been a weird little kid." - Katherine Paterson

    I have recently made the most incredible discovery: Writing a novel? Is freaking AWESOME! I am so for reals, y'all! SO. FOR. REALS.

    Okay. Here's the dealy-o. I made a New Year's resolution this year-- a pact with myself, or, dare I say a "goal"?-- to finish the novel I have been working on. Which in itself is no small feat, I tell you what, because the first book I ever wrote took, like, a whole year to complete! Of course, that was when I was twelve and there was all that angst and puberty stuff going on, not to mention all those gymnastics meets, and hello? home computers and word processors hadn't even been invented yet, so the whole thing was completely handwritten, but GOSH! I so wanted to be the next Erma Bombeck because she? Cracked me right up. I mean seriously, have you ever read Just Wait till You Have Children of Your Own! or The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Septic Tank? HILARIOUS! And the other day I scrounged up an old paperback copy of If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, Why Am I Always in the Pits? at a thrift store where I was attempting to shop the sale, and I snagged that bad boy before anyone could beat me to it. The people at the store obviously had no idea of the treasure they were practically giving away because they only charged me a QUARTER for the book. A quarter! For a book which, granted, was in remarkably poor condition, but still! Twenty-five cents! For Erma! The original Dave Barry! But not really! Woo!

    But I digress.

    Anyhoos, thing is, I am learning that for me, writing this book is almost as fun as reading a brand-spanking new novel that I have been dying to get my hands on for, like, ever. A book that sucks me in, chews me up, and spits me out ONLY when I have read the final line of the book. And even then the actual story sometimes still doesn't loosen its grip-- not for an hour or two anyway-- because I am still completely wrapped up in the characters and can't... seem... to... get it.... all... out of my mind. So you would probably think that actually writing the story wouldn't be as fun as reading fresh, unknown material, what with the exciting twists and turns that the author can and will throw at the reader, but you would be absolutely incorrect, sir! and ma'am! Well, at least in my case this was an erroneous assumption because it turns out that my characters? The ones I make up? Well, they surprise the hell out of me. All the time, in point of fact. Isn't that strange? I mean, of course I know my characters' backstories because duh, and of course I have a clear idea of where I want the story to go, but the specifics? Ka-BAM! They come out of nowhere, I tell you what. And as I type I am all, "Nuh-freaking-uh!" and "Oh, no she d'int!" And obviously there are the occasional laughing fits and those sporadic crying jags, too. Because they are alive to me, my intimate companions as I spin their story; I absolutely KNOW them and WOE unto the fool who tries to interrupt my Alone Time with the new people in my life.

    Honestly. It's a mercy TGIM hasn't had me committed.

    And today Fred (AKA: my new Mac laptop-- see, I'm a Mac girl now) is being delivered and I get to set her all up and begin playing with her, and then I can take her to the park or to the library with me and the children and when the mood strikes I can just let it all OUT and how fabulously exciting is that?! Huh?! Pretty darn exciting, and that's the truth.

    In fact, I may even skip the whole American Idol Boston Auditions crap that will be gracing the tube tonight. Because I have discovered that writing a novel is also more fun than watching Simon, Paula, and Randy openly mock the trash-talking-but-not-walking-the-walk-walking singers (and I use the word "singers" loosely here) that we have to suffer through before the good ones actually pop out of the woodworks. Even more fun than that, y'all. And that is truly saying something.

    I KNOW, right?

    Life is full of fun little discoveries, isn't it?

    link | posted by Cat at 8:57 AM

    Monday, February 06, 2006
    I never felt so beautiful, baby, as I do now... now that I'm with you.

    Okay. After thirteen years of marriage I must admit there are times when I ask myself, "How the hell did I end up with this man?!" Of course, these times are usually at 2 a.m. when I am desperately trying to put an end the hacksaw-like snoring going on next to me by struggling to roll TGIM over to his side, which, incidentally, is no small feat as he is twice my weight and virtually impossible to wake when he's in a deep sleep. Plus, he PUSHES BACK. Of course he apologizes in the morning, but by then I've had only four hours of sleep and am in no mood to do anything but mutter darkly veiled threats of smothering a certain person in his sleep if he doesn't buy himself a box of Breathe-Right strips, like, RIGHT NOW, so help me God.

    Then, inevitably, I run across something like this:

    Fishing FUN

    I realize now that even twelve years ago there was absolutely NO EXCUSE for the ratty, red-checked tee and unflatteringly oversized cut-off jeans ensemble I have on. None. Nada. The fact that we were roughing it out in the boondocks (AKA: the in-laws' place) is absolutely not an arguable defense for this stanky, no-makeup look, as I had full access to both a mirror AND a shower. And don't even get me started on the bangs. Seriously, BANGS?! With MY out of control with the frizzies hair?! I know this was the early 90's, but good LORD. What was I thinking?!

    I tell you what, the only thing saving this outfit and pulling the look together would be the falcon feather-- which I spied as we hiked (read: snuck) through Old Man Truelock's land on our way to the Little Colorado River for a little fishing (read: poaching) expedition-- that I oohed and aahed over before sticking it fashionably through my ponytail, American Indian-style. Totally saved the look, I'm so dead serious. Well, the feather and that major hottie totally willing to stand next to me while proudly showing off our hard-earned kill. Oh my, my MY, what a fine specimen of a man... RAWR!

    Seriously. What a catch (the man, not the fish, I mean duh!). Yep. Just look at him. The Lacoste tee, the fashionable yet appropriately distressed Levi's jean shorts... and the red paisley bandana expertly tied to keep the sweat from his manly brow and those unruly curls out of his face... The curls. Oh, yes. The curls. Now you know the truth.

    Because sure, he had the sweet ride, the sparkling personality, the gorgeous grassy-green eyes, the hawt bod, the absolute willingness to put up with my big banged, frizzy-haired, crazy-ass self... and he even claimed (and still claims) that this was one of his most favoritest pictures of me, like, EVAH (I know, right?!), but not in those exact words because that would be weird. And kind of gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just saying.

    So, he had all these things, oh yes he DID-- which when you come right down to it made him, as I already said, quite the catch-- but truth be told, y'all? Truth be told?

    TGIM had me at The Hair.

    And he still does.

    link | posted by Cat at 6:17 AM

    Thursday, February 02, 2006
    Dueling Sequels...

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or Prince Caspian... Which movie am I looking forward to more, they ask? Which one?! Are they frickin' kidding me?! That's like asking me which one of my daughters I love best... it just can't be done! (But if pressed I'd have to say my favorite daughter is-- oh, just kidding. I kid! Put DOWN the rocks!)

    But how THRILLED am I that Disney is sticking to C.S. Lewis' original order of the Chronicles by filming Prince Caspian next? So, SO thrilled. Because the publishers who decided all higgley-piggley-like to publish the books chronologically rather than sequentially? Morons.

    That is all. And WOO!

    link | posted by Cat at 10:57 AM

    Ramblings... because I can do whatever the heck I want to! GOSH!

    Veronica Mars is, like, the best show ever. EVAH, I say! I mean it. I DO. You should just take my word for it.

    Um, American Idol? Can we puhLEEEEEZ get to the people with, you know, actual talent? Because that would be GRRRRREAT. Thanks. Although the mortician dude was hella hawt and he definitely had some pipes, come to think of it. And was totally hawt. Hella hawt.

    Seriously. If you are not watching Veronica Mars on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. on UPN (soon to be the CW!), you are totally missing out. There. I wash my hands of it. I can do no more.

    And will someone please, please, PLEASE go and freaking bitch-slap American Idol contestant R.J. "Everybody Totally Loves Me Because I am Hot and Sexy and a Total Playah So Bow Down Before Me!" Norman-- who, incidentally, is quite possibly the worst human being I have ever come across, like, EVER in my entire life-- before I have to drive on down to Hollywood and open a can on him?! Dude could sing, and sing well, but I feel completely within my rights when I say that he needs to drop off the face of the earth, and I mean NOW. Because honestly. Worst. Person. Ever. And what kind of self-respecting girl falls for the shizz he was pulling, anyway?! Eh?! Oh. I see. The operative phrase here would be "self-respecting," right? Gotcha. Whatever. Die, R.J.! Die!

    Is it weird that I would SO love to live next to the ocean and write for television and movies, but I utterly despise the shallow, self-aggrandizing aspiring writers who inundate the fair and pleasantly temperate city of Hollywood, California? And this is not even to mention the utter vapidness that is the L.A. entertainment industry (better, ern?) social scene! No thank you! Then again... beach!

    The weirdo stalker contestant who brought the truckload of ginormous, poorly executed sketches of Paula FREAKED ME RIGHT OUT, I kid you not. All the little hairs on the nape of my neck suddenly stood up when she appeared in all her psycho scariness on my screen, and it was not just due to the fact that she wore quite possibly the weirdest, fugliest ensemble imaginable. Fuh-REEKY. Seriously. Was it just me?

    I sure hope Logan and Veronica kiss and make up one of these days. Because hello, chemistry! Where YOU been?! Aaaaaw... I just love those crazy kids. And the part where they kiss and stuff is fun, too. Just sayin'.

    link | posted by Cat at 9:25 AM

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006
    We don't need no education... Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!

    Last night when my little Drama Queen burst into my room with a stack of six Magic Tree House books, plopped herself next to me on the bed, and offered (read: demanded) to read them ALL to me so she could put a checkmark next to "Reading Aloud" on her homework planner, I sighed and put down the book I had been reading-- up until that moment, anyway-- with no distractions.

    "Fine," I said while covertly re-opening my book and sneakily searching for the place where I had left off, "but just one, okay?" I know, right? Hey. What can I say? My children and their homework come before me and my selfish alone time with a book. Even if I have been dying to read that book for weeks. Even if I am at a SUPER exciting part in the story. These little sacrifices come with the territory, that's all I'm saying. Plus if I didn't let her read to me right then, there was a good possibility I wouldn't be able to get her into bed before Gilmore Girls started.

    She grabbed the book at the top of the stack-- I think it was Dingoes at Dinnertime or maybe Good Morning, Gorillas, I can't be sure-- and opened it with a flourish. She opened her mouth to read, but nothing came out. Well, that was unusual. Unprecedented, even. She wrinkled her little nose as she thumbed through the first few pages of the book. After a moment she threw the book on the bed, let out a huge sigh, and announced, "Okay, wait, Momma. Let me get a book without a bunch of chapters. I can't read these ones."

    As she jumped off the bed and pirouetted (because why walk when you can dance, right?) across the floor, heading for the door-- leaving the ENTIRE STACK OF BOOKS ON MY BED, I might add, the little slob-- I said to her in my best, I Am Totally Into This Kick-Ass Book I'm Reading But I Want To Be Supportive And Not The Mommy Who Squashes Her Child's Fragile Ego So She Has To Go To Therapy When She Hits Adulthood voice (because I'm a giver, y'all), "Oh, come on! You are getting to be such a good little reader! You could totally read those books to me, silly girl, no problem. Come back and try it."

    She skidded to a stop and looked at me as if I had just suggested she read aloud War and Peace, Les Miserables, and that book by Dostoevsky, then give a full report and bake a triple layer chocolate fudge cake for dessert.

    "Um, yeah," she said in her best DUH! voice, "but that's just... you know... too much work."

    I threw Tigers at Twilight at her as she spun and skipped out the door.

    link | posted by Cat at 12:47 PM

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