Confessions of a Desperate Working Momma

June 30, 2006

Sometimes during staff meetings, words tend to run through my mental sieve unheeded as I daydream about the yummy waffles I ate that morning or ponder why I always giggle and think of boobs when someone says “cahoots” or wonder why it is that a mile is exactly 5,280 feet because seriously, what is up with that?

I don’t think Fun Size candy bars are fun at all.

I don’t know why it is, but I can’t help but sing. I’m a singing fool. Pretty much wherever I am, if a song I like is pounding across the airwaves, I will sing along. In my car, in the elevator, in American Eagle, at the doctor’s office, while I’m jogging (especially while I’m jogging), wherever. In all honesty, there doesn’t even have to be a song playing. I’m like that kid in About a Boy who burst out singing “Killing Me Softly With His Song” during math class, except, well, I’m not British, or a child, and I dress MUCH better. And sing better. And I’m not a geek. (TGIM, shut up!) Wait. What was my point again? Oh yes! I sometimes burst into song with no provocation whatsoever. To my chagrin, my colleagues will ofttimes tease me mercilessly when I break into a rousing chorus of Todd Rundgrens “Bang the Drum All Day” (my spontaneous song choices are often thematic in nature), but hey, someone needs to liven up those staff meetings, I tell you what. Honestly, it’s a hardship for TGIM, but he powers through. But my most favoritest place to sing evah is in my very own bathroom because hello? mirror? and hairbrush? I mean really. If I can’t SEE the choreography how will I know which dance moves make me look the coolest? Think about it. And everyone knows a solid vocal performance of Captain and Tenille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” is simply not as convincing without a mic. I mean, obviously.

I’ve been tempted on more than one occasion to set up a “Valet Parking: $5 (Tips Appreciated)” sign in front of Wal-Mart. Because I’m betting that would be good money, right there.

Sometimes in the night when I’m all alone in my home, I hear noises and get a little freaked out, so I grab a bat (or something equally smackdown-worthy; a tennis racquet will do in a pinch) and tiptoe from room to room, bat aloft, swiftly throwing open closet doors, letting loose with an ear-piercing “AAAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEGH!”, and swinging that bat with all I’ve got. This is called aerobic exercise and is very good for my fast twitch muscle fibers AND my heart…. once the violent heart palpitations stop pounding at three times the rate of my normal cardiac cycle, naturally. I don’t recommend this particular brand of personal home security for the faint-of-heart, however. Tachycardia is nobody’s friend.

I have a new obsession. It’s a good one.

June 29, 2006

(DISCLAIMER: Just so we’re clear, I have never watched Sex and the City in my life, so don’t even go there or I will freaking CUT YOU. I’m not even kidding…. What?! A vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend. [tm Willow Rosenberg of BTVS])

For several years now I have had a secret desire to do something that some people may call crazy. No, not bungee jumping… I’ve already done that. No, not rappelling a cliff wall, hundreds of feet in the air… I’ve done that, too. Skydiving? Pshaw! Been there! Cliff-diving? Train trestling? Driving down a highway in the dead of night at top speeds with my headlights off? Did it, did it, totally did it… unless my momma is reading this in which case I absolutely did NOT do that last one because how freaking stupid would a person have to be to go screaming down Williamson Valley Road with a carload of (totally sober) sixteen-year-olds with her headlights off even if she was totally sober (hand to God!) and even if she did have her hazard lights on so she could clearly see every few seconds anyway so it really was wasn’t as bad as it sounds and I was only SIXTEEN and whose dumb idea was it to let sixteen-year-olds have licenses to drive ANYWAY?! HUH?! Because hello?! Let me introduce you to DUH!

Seriously. I blame the government.

Anyhoos, in all honesty, I don’t know why I crave these things. I don’t know if it’s the speed, the danger, the physical exertion, or even the sheer awesomeness of spectacular stunting. I just always… have. Craved them, that is.

I was the kid who saw the couch not as a place to sit, but as an obstacle to flip over. Or as a springboard for flipping over other *inanimate objects in the room. (*I learned early that you don’t want to try flipping over things that, you know, MOVE. Let that be a lesson to us all.)

I was the kid who would suddenly be overcome by a burst of exhilaration while running across the neighbors’ lawn which usually resulted in the execution of some sort of crazy, airborne somersault, with no idea how to land it but a willful determination to get ‘er done, by damn! I mean, why run when you can fly?

I was the kid who defied the lifeguards at the public pool when they told me to get in the shallow end because I was too little to jump off the high dive. I was all, “Aw, hell no! I’ve been swimming since I was two, biznitches!” But it sounded more like, “No I’m not!” because seriously I was like five and who says “biznitch” when she’s five? And then I jumped and swam away very fast and they decided I was big enough after all.

I was the kid who took sharp turns on her bicycle while riding with no hands and no shoes on a gravelly city street… which actually turned out quite badly, what with the crashing and the gaping wound and the infected toe and the blood poisoning and all, so forget I mentioned that one. But you get the picture.

Some would say, “Damn, girl. What up? You have a death wish or something?” But truthfully, I don’t think the powerful rush I experience when I do these things is based on some sort feeling that I somehow cheated death. Because I’m not afraid of eluding life. However, I find that I’m vastly afraid of life eluding me. Which made sense in my head, but now… maybe… not so much? I think I do these things not to prove to the world that I am brave or strong– because, duh! I rock solid!– but to prove to myself that I am alive. And in control. And way cool, junior.

Because there’s nothing like spitting in the eye of the blood-rushing, gut-wrenching fear that bulldozes you as you ascend in a crane to a height equivalent to a 14-story building with nothing but a few flimsy bungee cords between you and the pavement below where you can barely make out the ant-like shapes of your friends shouting things you can’t quite hear because all sound faded out about eight stories ago and there is nothing but you, the wind, and the guy counting down from ten… nine… eight… (I’m going to die)… seven… six… (I’m clearly insane)… five… four… three… (Uuuh! No! I have to pee!)… two… one… (pleaseGodhelpmeohGodI’mdying)… GERONIMO! (aiiiiiiaiaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiighhhhhhhhhaaaarrrrrrrrg!… Oh yeah! WOOOOO!!!)

Hi, for those of you just tuning in, Cat is a crazy person.

And now? Guys? There’s this new obsession that I am just so, SO excited about! Something I’ve always wanted to do but I always thought I had to travel to New York City to do it, and I’ve just never made it over there. And now I discover that they have a place to do it in Baltimore… right down at the Harbor, even. And Baltimore is not far away at ALL. How perfect is that? And it’s not even very expensive and it is so much safer than skydiving, which is cool because there is a good chance I traumatized my children for life by flinging myself out of a perfectly good airplane as they looked on. Yep.

So guys? GUYS?! Guess what?! Just guess!

Okay, I’ll tell you. This summer? At some point? Before the kids come home? I’m going to Trapeze School. I know, right?! “I’ll be sooooooaaaaaarin’… flyyyyyyyyyin’…” (Oooh! Damn you High School Musical! Get out of my head!) And I shall fly through the air with the greatest of ease… and totally kick gravity’s ASS.

BOOYAH.

In other news I watched The Producers last night and it was WAY funny. Just thought I’d share.

What they do when the momma’s away.

June 28, 2006

O. M. G. What the hell was TGIM thinking?! Look at these cliffs! Look at MY CHILDREN! And their COUSINS! Honestly! I CANNOT BELIEVE they did this…

On a stroll

…hiking in… Note use of Big Sticks to keep wild animals (and any cousins attempting to pass to the front) at bay…

Sycamore Canyon Diving

…diving from big big big high rocks– Geronimo!…

Close up

…daredeviling it up!…

Jumping in

(Wow. Good form, Tanner)

Sycamore Canyon Fishing

… and fishing (a much better use of Big Sticks I’d have to say)…

…all THIS… this… this CRAZINESS!… without ME!!!

Man. I seriously miss all the fun. And I’m the one who discovered the joys of cliff-diving at Sycamore Canyon in the first place! (except I’d actually be DIVING, but we can’t all be as cool as me. I’m just saying.) Meanies.

*jealous*

The question ISN’T…

June 27, 2006

“Why was Rush Limbaugh in possession of a bottle of Viagra that was not prescribed to him?” Oh no. The question should be, “Good lord! Who the hell is hittin’ that?!”

I’m just saying.

I wish I could break free.

June 26, 2006

So here’s the thing… about a month ago, after a heartfelt explanatory treatise on the general kickassiness of the musical Grease— despite the frequent sexual innuendo and the puerile tawdriness and the underlying message that compromising your value system in order to win your guy is a GOOD idea– my good blogger friend Charlotte recommended that my kids and I check out something called High School Musical. “Nothing objectionable there,” she wrote. “Well, except for the overt cheesiness. But it’s kind of endearing.”

Now, Charlotte’s a good gal and totally cool so I took her advice to heart. But I tell you what, getting my hands on that movie was like trying to get my hands on Jason Dohring’s tight, sexy abs… impossible. (What?!) Seriously. Every time I went to Blockbuster all fifty of their copies would be checked out and people were obviously NOT bringing them back because I’d ASK and the teen at the counter would be all, “People aren’t bringing them back”– which, see? So every time I’d check, I’d get near the H section and see the DVD covers and get all excited and rush over, only to be disappointed when all I’d see were those cardboard cutouts of the DVD cases that stand behind all the movies, and I’d see the smiling, happy kids on the fake front cover silently mocking me, all “Psyche! You thought we were in, but we’re totally not! HA!” I mean really. Allow me to say rude.

Anyhoo, I finally had to put the movie in my queue at Blockbuster.com– which smacked of capitulation, but seriously, what else could I do?– and lo and behold, that sucker came just in time for TGIM’s birthday. Which he obviously wasn’t all that thrilled about, but hey, his birthday isn’t all about him, now is it? Some people can be so self-centered. I’m just saying. So we ordered pizza and the kids made a birthday cake and we popped popcorn and invited a friend and her daughter to come over and watch the movie with us and it was just a whole big thing. And despite the fact that there were two Movie Talkers of the Obnoxious Question-Asker variety, and one little Drama Queen who kept jumping up in front of the television to dance and sing along (not my Drama Queen, amazingly, it was my friend’s Drama Queen, but it goes without saying that it would have been mine also had she already seen the movie), let me just say, High School Musical equals Good Times For All. For reals. Good stuff.

So I simply wanted say… thanks a WHOLE LOT, Charlotte! I cannot get the damn songs from High School Musical out of my head! Gosh! So I had to go and buy the video, naturally. Er, and download the soundtrack. And now I’m sitting here at work and I Gotta Get My, Get My Head In The Game because those fruit fly regulations aren’t going to consolidate themselves, but in my mind I’m all, “We’re soarin’! Flyin’! There’s not a star in heaven we can’t reach!” I am embarrassed to admit– but a little proud, too! mostly embarrassed, though– that I now know the entire Bop to the Top song and dance number by heart. Because I may or may not have spent one or several hours yesterday afternoon pausing and rewinding the dance tutorial in the Bonus Features until I had it down solid. This is called aerobic exercise and is SUPER good for your heart. Plus the song is very catchy. “Ai ai ai ai! Quieres bailar? Mira me!” My favorite part is “…kickin’ and scratchin’, grinding out my best…” because I adore the little hip action she breaks out to “grinding out my best.” Seriously. Way. Cute. I’m just glad all those salsa moves I learned from Dirty Dancing have finally come in handy.

Now I don’t mean to knock Grease, because hello? still love it? but High School Musical is made up of actual teenagers (who, by the way, are just the cutest things!), has a much nicer, kid-friendly message to impart, and to top it all off features some admittedly zingy music and fancy footwork. Plus in the Bonus Features there’s this way cool Sing-Along feature and when you turn it on it’s like this whole big karaoke experience… while you’re watching the movie! Right in you very own living room! Not that I’ve done that or anything because clearly it’s for the children. Duh.

I’ve already called Grandma Sue in Podunky Small Town Arizona and have urged her to buy her own copy of the movie so my children can become truly obsessed with it (this summer’s Phantom of the Opera, if you will) and learn all the lyrics and dance moves and when they come home at the end of the summer we can have friends over and dance and sing together (because I’m a totally unrepentant musical theater geek and there’s no reforming me) and it will be this whole big thing.

Hey… check it out. It appears that in writing about the movie I have effectively purged my mind of the songs which have been running over and over and over in my head. Now I can finally settle down and do my —

— We’re gonna bop bop bop! Bop to the top! Slip and slide and ride that rhythm!…

*sigh*

Damn.

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