I have FOCUS!

October 31, 2006

Here’s the deal…

I, Cat the Desperate Working Momma, have decided to take up the proverbial gauntlet thrown down by Veoh and the CW (read all about it here) and will be creating my own Weekend Update-style recap of each episode of Veronica Mars. I know, right?! Booyah! The only rule? I can’t use images or clips from the show. Well, snap. But whatever. There are prizes involved! PRIZES! Free stuff that I can win! For free! Yeppers. Major Awards. Official Veronica Mars swag, if you will. 

Oh, it is SO on.

So if you watch the show, feel free to email me with any wicked funny observations or ideas, and I– utilizing my mad podcasting skillz– will run frakking crazy with them!

Deal?

Hoo! Good golly, Miss Molly! This is going to be fun…

You know you’re an English Geek if…

October 26, 2006

Scene: Place of employment, in the hallway. We see an older gentleman pushing a large, heavy-laden cart almost overflowing with boxes down the narrow hallway.

Enter Cat, jauntily strolling down the hall, whistling a lively tune. She spots the Older Gentleman and…

Cat: Wow! That looks burdensome!

Older Gentleman: ??

As Cat passes…

Cat: (mouthed Baby “‘I carried a watermelon’?!” Houseman-style) “That looks burdensome”?

It could have been worse, I suppose.

I almost said “onerous.”

Dancing and Falling

October 25, 2006

The leaves are changing colors.

Alli is sitting at the kitchen table eating a chocolate creme donut (Hi. My name is Cat and I’m a pastry enabler.). Unlike TD and Mack, who speedily dispatched their own afternoon treats and are now happily picking their way through the boxes in the attic in search of those elusive Halloween costumes, Alli enjoys the thrill of the ownership. La la la, this is my donut and I will lick at it and take teensy weensy bites and love it forever or at least until TD and Mack come downstairs and are so so jealous of me and my donut because theirs are all gone and I still have mine la la la!

I look at her, hand tightly grasping a Halloween-themed pencil (black eraser! woooooo…), her little tongue sticking out from between her teeth as she works out the intricacies of alphabetical order. Every so often she is arrested by the discovery of some heretofore-unnoticed stray dusting of powdered sugar on her fingers, and it’s like Christmas all over again, I see it in her eyes, as she licks it off.

Beyond her, through the kitchen window, I see leaves floating by, falling and dancing in the wind. The thin branches in the trees are softly swaying and waving, shaking off the leaves, setting them free. And I think to myself that it is beautiful and sad, all at the same time. Beautiful because the leaves paint the air with lovely warm autumn hues of russets, burgundy, and brown. Sad because although they break free to dance with the wind, they have no place to travel but down to the earth where they will end up trampled and rain-battered, stuck in dampened heaps on my porch. Trapped, yearning for just a few more minutes– seconds!– of flight on the wind rushing by, but they are weighed down, too heavy. Tired. Weary. Done.

I look back at Alli. She has moved on to reading aloud a book of puppy riddles, and I smile as she giggles to herself. Then another leaf catches my attention. It swirls and twirls– loop-the-loop!– and disappears from my view. Go little leaf! I chant silently. Don’t fall yet! Fly just a bit more…

I hear worrisome noises coming from the attic: voices raised, loud thumping– a crash. There is a good chance the battle over the black dementor shroud will come to blows, but I smile anyway as the sound of my family washes over me, through me, and I realize I am like those leaves outside, gradually growing and changing colors, no longer the fresh, pale green of a newly budded leaf, but not yet the russet shade of the trampled, weary leaf, yearning for one last flight. I’m a shade in between. A lush forest green with hints of olive, goldenrod, and palest yellow, and perhaps even a thin streak of burgundy running throughout. And I’m dancing and swaying and floating, with really only one possible destination, but there are others dancing with me, and we fly together, always together, painting the sky with our myriad colors, for better or worse…

And the view? Is absolutely amazing.

Dangerous Lovers

October 23, 2006

No, I’m not talking about that Grey’s Anatomy storyline last Thursday with the lovers who were rushed to the emergency room, painfully– ah– stuck together thanks to a misguided piercing, an IUD, and their own cheatin’ hearts, although… hee. That was pretty funny. And gross. But mostly funny.

No, I’m talking about Bella, the new girl at the high school in the small town of Forks, Washington, who falls in love with the beautiful, mysterious Edward, who finds himself helplessly drawn to her, as well. In fact, Edward has a hell of a time controlling the blood lust Bella arouses in him. You know… him being a vampire and all?

Okay, I admit it. I have absolutely fallen in love with the New York Times bestseller Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. I know, right?! She totally had me at “Bella falls in love with a vampire.” The story is equal parts sensual (but in a dark, deeply romantic way) and heart-poundingly suspenseful, and quite honestly, I haven’t enjoyed a fantastical, star-crossed love story this much since Angel left Buffy…

Right, then. Just thought I’d share.

Carry on.

Missing Pieces

October 20, 2006

Last evening as I sat at my computer scanning the words of the email my sister had forwarded to me (subject: *sigh*), trying to make sense of it all, I was suddenly struck with a familiar, faraway sensation. One minute Alli and I were singing along to Steady Fools by Korben– “We’re always foooo-oooo-ooooools, yeeeeeeeeaaaaah!!”– the next moment the noise around me was abruptly cut, sucked from the room. It seemed to blare for one split-second before pulling back into itself, somewhat inanely reminding me of the sound a television makes at the exact moment the power is cut. I was breathless.

“I’d rather have told you in person, but take a breath…” it read. Thankful for the reminder, I breathed… in… out… in… out… But the words said the same thing no matter how may times I read them: “Warren has died.”

Warren. My sister’s ex-husband. A man I had known for seventeen years, and who had been a part of our family for eleven of those. Faint voices echoed from far away, children fighting, yelling, laughing, but nothing penetrated the numbness that had suddenly taken up residence in my chest, in my heart. In the stillness, a blanket of quiet sadness pressed down around me.

Memories began to flash in my mind’s eye: College and that guy who sat by me in Honors English constantly badgering me about how many pages I wrote for my literary critique–”My paper is ten pages long, and that’s not including works cited!”– what grade I got on my essay– “Hey, Cat, what did you get? I got a ninety-six!”– or whether or not I would go out with him on Friday night– “C’mon. Why not? It’s that Dason guy, isn’t it?” That guy pulling out his hair when I got a ninety-eight percent on a paper on which he scored a mere ninety-six, because he knew for a fact that I had only just finished my essay fifteen minutes before class while he had slaved for an entire week “crafting” and “honing” his.

The memories kept coming… The guy who threw around fancy-sounding word, like fortuitous and existentialism, then sulked when I called him on wielding said words incorrectly. The guy who made friends easily… with the professors. The guy with a true gift for photography and an all-abiding love of astronomy. The guy who drove me crazy yet I couldn’t help but find his competitive streak and utter geekiness endearing in some small way.

They were coming faster. San Diego and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Tijuna. Running up and down the strip of beach outside our hotel in San Diego, well after midnight, exuberantly singing Jesus Christ Superstar with accompanying hand gestures and dance moves. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats and T.S. Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Cycling together. Concussed and flashing his road-rashed buttocks at a horrified TGIM. Beautiful, deep blue eyes and a permanent five-o’clock shadow. A performance of Men At Work’s classic Who Can It Be Now in the most non-intentionally hilarious operatic voice ever heard at the country-western karaoke bar in Prescott, Arizona. Family picnics, children’s births, and hours spent developing pictures and hanging out at the photo shop he and my sister owned. Uncle Warren showing my children the world from a different perspective, taking them up in his Cessna for their first airplane ride.

Then divorce. My sister broken into pieces. Pain. Tears and Anger. Regret.

My eyes pulled back into focus and I saw Alli, far away (or was she?), like a pretty dream or a pleasant movie, still dancing around the room, singing and shaking her groove thing, her golden brown curls flying as she twirled and laughed. Only seconds had passed? It felt like years.

Warren has died.

“Momma! Look! I’m lip-synching! LOOKIT, MOMMA!”

Woosh! With Alli’s voice, the clamor of family blared out, recalling me from my stupor. Tanner absolutely positively needed to get on the computer but just for a second, please, please, please?, and Hannah was off somewhere making that dying cat noise that drives us all insane.

Mom-MA!”

I smiled at Allison, a watery smile (were those tears?). “You rock, babycakes,” I said as I carefully closed my laptop and set it aside. I closed my eyes for a second, just one second, overcome with seemingly inexplicable sadness and loss. He hurt my sister. He hurt me.

Then the memory of Warren and I dancing and singing on the beach overwhelmed me and a short, bubbly laugh burst out. My throat burned with it, but I knew I was going to remember him like that. Just like that.

And I realized at that moment how thankful I was for the scenes that came before the pain, adding to the whole, bringing it all into perspective, and I held on to the picture of Warren as he once was– antagonist, friend, brother, uncle– because even though he left us behind, killed in a plane crash at the age of thirty-eight, I knew he would always be there, woven into the tapestry of my life. In my mind and heart.

Forever.

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