DWM Soundtrack

August 18, 2009

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written a post explaining exactly why one might describe me as an “Odd Duck.” You know, if one happened to be totally RUDE and stuff. Thus, I present Why One Might, if One Were Totally Rude, Call Cat an Odd Duck, Reason 216:

Sometimes after work, I hit my “On the Go” iPod mix and crank Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around Comes Around” as I step onto the escalators and begin my descent into the subterranean bowels of the Metro station. And as I stride along to the beat of my life’s soundtrack, everyone and everything around me seems to morph into slow motion because I am the protagonist in some super awesome dramedy and this is that moment in the show/movie– you know the one– where I freaking rock and take CONTROL of my life and everyone is all “Woo! You go, girl!” as I toss my hair playfully and twirl and smile triumphantly and then, just before the inevitable montage kicks in, my train has usually come so I am free to switch to a more mellow mix. You know, if I feel like it.

What?! Don’t judge. I mean, sometimes I go with less pop culturally controversial tunes such as The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” or Lee Coulter’s “Booty Voodoo” (shake it, shake it!). And when I’m feeling a bit retro, I kick it old school with Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” So, see?! That’s absolutely less Odd Duck-y than the Justin Timberlake track! Ha! Take THAT, Judgy McJudgerpants.

In other news, occasionally I am melodramatic and strange.

“Play.”

August 15, 2009

The other day my 10-year-old daughter kept calling me at work, for one reason or another– her sister called her “jerkface,” her brother kept stealing her beanbag when she would go for a snack, the mail hadn’t come yet, and she had this funny curl that kept falling in her face and she was SUPER hungry and WHEN was her new American Girl doll coming again, anyway?!– until I was finally like, “OH MY GOSH! You need to find something to do that does not involve calling me, okay?”

She paused for a moment, then, “Well, what should I DO?”

Seriously. I can barely manage my own schedule and she wants me to plan hers? What am I? Her mother?!

Stupid question. Scratch that.

“It’s summer vacation,” I said. “Play.”

“Oh,” she answered in a Wow, Really? voice. “Okay.”

As I ended the call it struck me– right in the gut, POW– that I couldn’t remember the last time I heard someone say to me, “Just… play.” Or the last time I had nothing but time in front me. Or the last time I could make plans to do something, just because I COULD, not because I HAD to do it.

I looked around at the seemingly never-ending piles of work still ahead of me, and an achy, wistful feeling stole over me, just for a moment, before another thought struck me.

“Aw, FREAK! I should have said, ‘Clean my bathroom’.”

Literally Speaking

August 9, 2009

You know that curse? That one the mother often calls down upon her recalcitrant daughter? You know, the one that goes, “Someday you will have a child just like you and then you will be SO SORRY, so help you God!”? You know? That one?

First of all, RUDE. I was a joy as a child. My teachers all said so. I’ll bet. I’m pretty sure. Probably. I mean, I was friendly, yo? With all the conversation-making and storytelling? And super helpful, too, especially when we had substitutes. They didn’t even need their lesson plans with me around, I tell you what. I mean, I was more than happy to point out all the class rules and procedures and not a bit shy to correct any divergance from The Way Things Should Be. I was just THAT helpful. The subs all thought so. I’ll bet. Probably.

Second of all, I momentarily forgot what I was talking about.

So… the curse. Right. Rewind to Sunday night when my kiddos insisted I watch (i.e., forced me to sit through) some random show about these real-life kid ghost hunters– whose legitimacy I totally call into question, by the way. I mean, what parent is all, “Sure, honey! You can stay out ALL NIGHT at that reportedly haunted hotel with a few of your friends and some super expensive night vision equipment, web cams, EMF devices, flux capacitors… Go on! Scoot!” Hey, I’m just saying the premise is flawed, is all.

Anyway, toward the end of the show, the token scaredy-cat girl was all, “Oh my gosh! I was literally scared to death!” and I grinned to myself because I AM just that much of an English geek.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one enjoying a bit of a laugh at the expense of the silly, scaredy-cat girl, who, quite frankly, should rethink her career choice because ghosts and haunted places? They’re SCARY, okay? That’s kind of the point. THINK about it. I’m only saying.

But I digress.

Before I could use this moment as a Teaching Opportunity (I think we’ve established my inherent geekiness, so shut it), I heard giggles. A smothered chuckle. Then, “Well, not literally,” my 13-year-old son drawled.

“I know, right?!” agreed my 11-year-old daughter in her I Scoff At Your Supreme Ignorance voice.

My 10-year-old daughter, perhaps for my benefit, added scornfully, “Because she’s still ALIVE?!” She turned toward me. “Right, Momma?”

Struck as I was by the astonishing degree to which my English Geekiness has rubbed off on my kiddos, I could only nod. She, apparently assured by my arrested expression that she had indeed got the joke, turned back toward the TV.

I couldn’t contain a small snort of laughter and a rueful shake of the head as it struck me that, by golly, my mother’s curse? Totally upon me. And you know what?

I’m not even a little sorry.

Taking Back the Blog

August 5, 2009

So, taking back the blog is actually much more involved than I initially thought. Turns out there’s, like, planning and time management and whatnot! Apparently blogging is NOT just like riding a bike. Blogging muscles atrophy if neglected, did you know? Well, DID you? Because if so, it would have been nice if someone had MENTIONED this to me! Good LORD, people! I’m stymied here! At a loss for words! No coherent thoughts! And I’ve MISSED blogging opportunities! Just missed ’em! Opportunities involving my CHILDREN! So, basically, I suck, as a writer AND a parent, and it is totally not my fault. Oh, ho ho, that’s right! My suckage is on the heads of all y’all who neglected to mention to me that blogging is HARD and must be constantly worked at for maximum awesomeness! Right?! Right?!

Honestly. What were you thinking?

And look at that! My grammar is all over the place! All! Over! The! Place! Didn’t I just misplace a modifier or dangle a preposition or something absolutely ungrammatical like that?! WHY, GOD?! WHHHYYY?!

No, no, it’s cool. I’m good. No problem here. *breathe*

It’s just, well, DWM was like my journal. My not-so-secret cache of memories and moments all in one place, all here, one-stop nostalgia… and I’ve missed so much!

Silly moments with the kiddos, wherein we learn just how much I’ve rubbed off on them and how very funny and sad and scary and sobering that can be;

Stolen moments with TGIM watching television or riding birthday bikes or hiding away in our room eating Nielsons chicken strips and fries– with fry sauce!– while our kiddos are downstairs making frozen tortellini;

How I’m missing my BFF Paige while she travels all over the place, and totally missing the opportunity to talk about taking care of her cute little buns while she’s on vacation, because honestly, how could I pass up the opportunity to talk about Paige’s cute little buns?!;

Not to mention all the television, movies, books, and, gosh, even WORK, that I have discovered, rediscovered, enjoyed (or not) over the past year and didn’t taken the time to make a memory, to show that, yes, I was HERE, a part of it all, with my finger firmly pressed against the pulse of pop CULTURE!

I’ve missed the moments, people! The MOMENTS! And try as I might to recall them– maybe just a few, right?– to set them away for the future, it’s not the same, I can’t bring them back like that, the moments, because I’m seeing everything with different eyes now. Distant glimpses. The rearview.

And that sucks. Big-time suckage, that.

So… I’ll be taking back the blog now, thank you very much. That’s right! Planning and time-management be damned.

Just so you know.