This Post is Not About Hockey

By Katie

So I get my new Newsweek yesterday, and the cover story is all about Michelle Obama’s big crusade to eradicate childhood obesity. Now, the cause itself I like;  it’s a perfect “first lady” cause; something really obvious that everyone agrees on because first ladies are supposed to be beloved by all. 

Down with fat kids! Hells yes.  Fat kids turn into fat adults, and next thing you know that fat adult is sitting next to me on an airplane, hogging up the armrest and sweating all over my peanuts. And my snack (rimshot). Unless I’m on Southwest, but they never fly anywhere I want to go.* But I don’t really want to talk about that, I just want to know why the first couple keeps writing articles for Newsweek. 

I’m serious. A few weeks ago, the Pres himself penned the cover story. 

This disturbs me.

Dear President Obama and the Mrs.,

Why the moonlighting? Does the presidency not pay enough, you need the buck or two a word from Newsweek to cover the cigarettes? Don’t get me wrong,  I know the tax on smokes is out of control, but I actually think Michelle in particular could do better selling Silpada or something. I mean if I got an invite to a Silpada party from Michelle Obama, I’d probably go and probably even buy something. Does Southwest fly to D.C.?

I don’t know, maybe it’s just a sign of the times. Everyone I know has two jobs right now, why should the first family be any different? Or maybe it’s Newsweek’s desperate attempt at a “get”; it’s no secret they’re hemorrhaging  money. They changed their whole format a while ago, hoping to cull their readership to a select few of wealthy intellectuals willing to pay more for (supposedly) better content. Joke’s on them, they got me instead. Joke’s on me, I keep getting cover stories from people I thought already had pretty good jobs.

Dear Newsweek,

You should think about getting Snooki next time. I’d pay extra for that.** 

Best, 

Your One Reader

P.S. I miss the “My Turn” page. 

* you are horrible! Southwest airlines flies to lots of neat places you’d probably love to go!

**you are horrible! Saying you’d pay extra to read something written by Snooki only shows you and people like you are part of the problem! True obesity is on the inside,  and you. are. fat.

Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 3:10 am  Comments (3)  

Toe Pick!

By Katie

Watchin’ the Olympics, pairs skating…the girl on one of the U.S. pairs is apparently living with the man-half of the other U.S. pair. You can’t tell me that doesn’t cause some tension at home.

Two in-love pairs figure skaters lying in bed in the dark after a big meet or whatever skating events are called…they are not, however, paired with each other…

Girl: “G’night, Pookums,”

Boy: “G’night…hey honey, you looked great at the competition today, I’m really glad you and Rodney won a silver medal. You totally deserved it.”

Girl: “Thanks, sweetheart…you and Bitsy were good, too…I mean fifth place is nothing to be ashamed of.”

(pause)

Boy: “I’m not ashamed. Not at all. We skated well.”

Girl: “No, you totally did…I just meant you guys were great and once Bitsy loses that ten pounds, you guys could maybe take fourth next year.”

Boy: “Bitsy doesn’t need to lose ten pounds.”

Girl (snorts): “Uh, nope, and she doesn’t wear too much makeup, either. When you lifted her over your head,  you grunted so loud I thought your intestines were going to come shooting out your ass.”

Boy: “At least I didn’t jam my fist up her hoo-ha. What was Rodney doing, giving you a hysterectomy?”

Girl (indignant):”Rodney is gay, you idiot.”

Boy: “He didn’t look so gay when he had his hands all over your–”

Girl: “Silver medal? All over my silver medal? Rodney is dedicated. Maybe if you skated half as well as you watch TV with your hands down your pants, you and I could be partners, ever think of that?”

Boy: “You know, Bitsy might be fat but she’s not a–”

Girl: “Just shut up and go to sleep.”

aaaaaaaaaaand scene. 

I love doing that…aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhnd sceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeene…

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 3:10 am  Comments (1)  

Id Gone Wild

By katie

Just got back from Where the Dull, Whiny Bastards Are.

I know what you’re thinking; “But Katie, you have pig-flu! What on Earth are you doing, taking time out of your busy sleep schedule to bring your kids to the movies? You’ve just been short-listed for a Nobel Prize!”

Oh, stop, you sillies…I think we can all agree I’m way over-qualified for that. But my pig-flu seems to have dulled it’s roar somewhat, and anyway, I was excited to see it. I’d heard it was controversial, and there’s nothing I like more than exposing my children to controversy. I mean we all know the best “kids” stories explore sophisticated themes, and so long as they’re wrapped in something entertaining, I’m all for it.

I’ll try and keep this brief. There’s this kid, Max, and he’s a really bratty pain in the ass. He throws fits and scowls and plays games most 11-12 year olds outgrew 2 years ago. This was red flag number one for me…if they’d cast a 7 or 8 year old, Max might have come across as endearing and lost, but the Max in this movie is just plain old enough to know better than to pull some of the stunts he does. Max has a sister, who is a bitch, and a mom who is totally impotent in the parenting department.

One night, mom has a date over and Max dresses up in a wolf costume, stands on the kitchen counter and yells “Feed me woman!” at her. She, instead of doing what any normal mom would do (again, if he’d been 7 or 8, that would be to look at him and say “Get off the counter”. If a 13-year old actually did this in real life, I think most moms in this day and age would draw the logical conclusion that Max was probably just stoned) immediately starts screeching at him and telling him he’s “OUT OF CONTROL!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!!” Uh…that’s a pretty short fuse you got there, mom…I wonder why daddy’s off doinking his secretary?

Anyway, Max takes off out of the house, jumps in a boat and sails off to the land of All The Demons Who Reside In His Id. There’s Carroll, a rage-a-holic whose gal left him. There’s the gal, who is mopey because no one understands why she left. There’s goat boy, a suicidal depressive who can’t get anyone to listen to him. There’s a sharp-tongued lady-demon who seems like she might be voiced by Joy Behar, but I wasn’t sure. There’s her mate, who seems depressed because he’s her mate, and there’s a big ox-looking thing with human feet who never talks.

Max and the demons spend the next 5000 hours or so working through their issues of alienation, abandonment and disappointment. I know, it’s sounds super fun, but trust me, it wasn’t. Like I said, the best children’s stories take on deep issues, but they do it in an entertaining way. This movie, on the other hand, was like having front-row seats into some unhappy family’s therapy session. If only Spike Jonz had remembered the wise words of Mary Poppins: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” It was so stupefyingly dull, I was begging for someone to come out and shoot Bambi’s mom.

My son leaned over and asked if we could leave after half an hour, my daughter fell asleep with her socks on her hands. We stayed until the bitter end. I don’t know why.

I’m back home, back in my jammies and the boy is burning through the Harry Potter books for the third time in a row. Now that’s a story.

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 10:54 pm  Comments (3)  

On Birthday Parties…

By Katie

…which are  things children think are fun but I do not. 

Yes, I did have fun at my own birthday party last fall, and there is mucho embarrassing photographic evidence out there to prove it. But for the most part, I’ve hit that stage of life where celebrating my imminent death is not something I really enjoy. And those around me seem to enjoy it a little too much, if you ask me.

“Happy Birthday! Soon the world will be free of you,” the message seems to be. And when I grouse about it, some Pollyanna-type invariably says “Well, it beats the alternative.”

Presumably, the Pollyanna means having no birthday to celebrate due to the lack of a pulse.  And I have no argument for that, though I doubt being dead would keep my loved ones from enjoying a chocolate-cherry cake in honor of my day.

“Well, it beats the alternative. But even if it didn’t, we’re making a cake.”

My oldest turned 14 yesterday. I’m currently holed-up in my bedroom writing this, hiding from 6 screaming teenaged girls and a filthy kitchen. Now, I’ve always told my kids they get one giant, invite-your-friends birthday party  whilst on my watch. They can pick the year, but they only get one. Annual intimate family party? Of course. I’m not the devil. But I can’t be thinking about clowns and inflatable jumping devices and gift bags and whatnot every few months, every damn year, people.  

But my daughter kind of stealthily slipped this one past security by informing me a few days ago that she’d invited a group of gals over to hang for the day, go swimming and cook burgers and watch a movie and stuff, oh, and since it just happened to be her birthday they might be bringing a few gifts or whatever but it wasn’t a party per se. 

It certainly sounds like a party. A pretty good one, actually. The truth is I don’t care, they are old enough to basically entertain and clean up after themselves, so no skin off my nose.

I only had one “friend” party myself as a kid, and I thought it was weird. I’ve written before about how we didn’t get presents, but we were fussed over and treated like royalty by the family all day, so it was all good. Better than good, it was great. For some reason, though, when I was in third grade, I asked my mom if I could have an actual, send-out-invitations-type party and she agreed. 

I invited over the eight girls in my class, and we ate lasagna and played “clothespins in a bottle” and they all gave me presents, and the whole time, all I could think was how much I wanted them to leave so I could hang out with my family. They were all nice girls, they were my friends, for Pete’s sake. It was just such a strange shift from the norm, it made me really uncomfortable.  And I remember after it was finally over, I was left staring at my pile of presents and feeling bad that I got presents on my birthday but none of my siblings did. Especially my sister, whose birthday is the day after mine. It was an empty victory. Maybe that’s why my mom let me do it; maybe she wanted me to learn to not ask for extra things when what I had was enough. Maybe that’s a little too profound and I just had such runaway OCD that any deviation from my routine sent me into a funk. 

OCD, you ask? I dunno, let’s see…I had to swish exactly nine times every time I brushed my teeth, I had to put my hands on the exact middle of what looked like a tombstone in the neighbor’s yard on the way to school every day and I had to chant my own version of the Glory Be six times before bed every night, you tell me.  

It seems to be quieting down down there. Happy Birthday, sweetie.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 2:58 am  Comments (3)  

A Happy Fourth Indeed

By Katie

Just got back from a weekend at the Wisconsin Dells, friends. I am pooped. That is not to say I have pooped, no…I’ve been hopelessly clogged since that first slice of pizza hit my gut on Friday. Three subsequent days of ingesting anything edible and a few things that quite frankly, probably weren’t, I don’t expect to poop again for quite some time. I’ve actually been suffering from a throbbing left eyeball for the last 24 hours, and I’ve decided to attribute it to packed bowels. It is not a detached retina. It isn’t.

The Dells.

Fantastic.  Should be re-named Fat Tattooed People Flopping Around Happily. The pounds of flesh I saw this weekend…folks, I hate to tell you this, but we are not in very good shape. Maybe that’s why my eyeball aches. I’m too tired to write much now, but I’ll  give you this: at the last water park we visited today, there was a ride wherein patrons float around on inner-tubes in a chlorinated faux-river, which has various hills and rapids and other exciting features often found in a real rivers. Real rivers such as the gigantic one right next to the water park. But it’s obviously way better to float down a fake river so you don’t have to deal with any of that annoying nature crap or get run over by a water-skier. Anyway, one portion of the ride was a long, uphill incline that took the inner-tube riders momentarily out the water until they were deposited to the next section of the fake river.

Picture a line of half-drunk, nearly naked midwesterners splayed out on inner-tubes, being pulled up a conveyor belt. I nearly wept with joy.  You think I’m being facetious, I’m absolutely sincere. God Bless America.

Published in: on July 6, 2009 at 3:51 am  Comments (1)  

I Feel Her Pain

By Katie

I’m afraid to talk to my doctor about my bladder problems.

Not really. In fact, on the list of things I’d be afraid to talk my doctor about, bladder control doesn’t even crack the top fifty. 

I just got back from my daughter’s soccer game. She actually seems to like it, which shocks me since she’s absolutely hated every sport she’s ever signed up for with a red-hot firey passion. If she could’ve harnessed her hatred and put it on the playing fields,  she would’ve been mvp on every team. Except now. Just when I had her pegged as a goth-rock, graphic-novels kind of kid, she goes and decides soccer is fun. Kids. 

You know, I pretty much hated all the team sports myself. That may come as a surprise to some of the people who know me, since I played everything and was commonly thought of as “sporty”.  I say some of the people who know me, because those who know me and were actually on the teams with me back in the day knew I hated them.  And the reason was always the same: I just couldn’t pay attention to anything long enough to learn how to play anything properly. Sure, I probably have ADD. It’s no secret I have the attention span of a gnat.

My hair feels like it has build-up.

Anyway, the coach would always just blah-blah-blah for hours on end at all the practices, pick your sport it was always the same, and then when it was time to scrimmage, I’d have no fookin’ clue what to do. While he was droning on about God knows what, I’d be writing a play in my head about how all his ear-hair grew out his ears and  around his face and smothered him. 

A glimpse into a typical seventh grade girls basketball practice, St. Thomas the Apostle, circa 1982

Coach: (blows whistle) “Blue!”

All the other girls  start running around, amok-like to my eyes, so I follow suit and do the same.

Coach: “Katie! Where are you going! I said blue! Molly is under the basket! MOLLY IS UNDER THE BASKET!”

At this point everyone would stop running around and would be staring at me. And I’d look at them and say helplessly, “Oh, Blue. I thought he said Red.”

Volleyball and softball, pretty much the same thing. I was expected to “set the ball up” (???) and would instead, bunt it under the net. I was always relegated to some made-up position in the outfield, something like “semi-left-extra-deep-might-as-well-just-go-home-field”. 

I tried golf, which isn’t really a team sport, meaning you don’t have to be on a team to play a game of it.  I realize I just totally stated the obvious, but I can already see the heaping piles of steaming hate mail explaining to me that they’d been on their high-school golf team and it was too a team sport and who the hell did I think I was?

Well I wasn’t a dork on the golf team, that’s for sure.

Sorry.

Anyway, everyone else in my family played golf and my dad kept telling me I “had a beautiful swing”, so I took some lessons and tried it. After three holes I wanted to impale myself with a putter just to have something to do.

Track and Cross-Country seemed to work for me. Yeah, they’re “team sports”, but let’s face it, not really. They’re slightly more team-sportsy than golf. Plus there aren’t a lot of crazy rules and plays and balls and weird uniforms involved. At first I thought I’d like to run hurdles, because my older sister did and I thought she was pretty cool, but even that was too problematic for the likes of me. Wha?? Do what every three steps? Do what with my arms? Can I just do the one where you get from here to there as fast as you can? 

That’s all I got. My bladder is acting up again.

Published in: on July 1, 2009 at 2:14 am  Leave a Comment  

When It Rains, It Pours…

By Katie

Crap. 

My toilet broke. Literally, crap. Everywhere.

No, no, that isn’t really true, it just seems like it should be true and let’s face it, it makes for a funnier story to say my toilet exploded and sent crap hurtling through every breathable bit of airspace in my house than to say “The toilet came off the floor and created a moisture problem in my walls”. 

But really, aren’t toilets supposed to stay attached to the floor for longer than 18 months? ‘Cuz that’s about how long ago this happened the first time, folks. I mean I know small appliances like toasters and computers are meant to fritz out after a couple of minutes these days, “planned obsolescence”, I believe it’s called. But toilets? 

There was a lot of talk about a wax ring between the plumber and I this afternoon. He kept summoning me into the bathroom to discuss it, as if I knew what the hell he was talking about.  

“Your seal is broken. On your wax ring,” he kept saying, in the kind of voice usually reserved for informing a loved one that Uncle Bob didn’t make it.

“Huh”, I said in return. I found it difficult to match his gravitas.

Not because I don’t care, OK? Of course I care. I want my bathroom floor to stop being wet and I want the moisture source that is creating big stains on the walls downstairs to be contained, y’hear? But if I knew why it happened or how to fix it, I wouldn’t be paying a plumber 10,000 dollars a second to show me his ass crack.  All I know is  that “wax ring” sounds like something for purchase in a Key West porn shop, and every time he said it I had to stifle a smirk.  

He fixed it. I think. I actually have no idea. But he said he did and I have no reason not to trust him, I’ve practically seen him naked, for Pete’s sake.

My oven broke, too. And my kitchen cabinets are melting. More later. I have to go to bed.

Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 3:48 am  Comments (4)  

And Then There Was Nothing

By Katie

Tuesday evening. I’m supposed to be watching American Idol right now but I can’t because it isn’t on anymore. And now I guess I’m supposed to just sit here and figure out what to do with myself on Tuesday evenings between 7 p.m. and 8. 

I dunno whose bad idea that was; “Oh, we’ll just make this really great show, right? The kind of show that when people see it, they won’t believe they were able to muddle through some thirty-odd years of their lives before it ever existed. They’ll cry bitter tears over the wasted years that no one had thought to invent it, wasted Tuesday nights watching Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley and not American Idol. They’ll hold candle-light vigils over whatever stars went undiscovered all those years during those dark ages of it’s non-invention. And we’ll show it every year, and people or maybe one person in particular will get super invested and have dreams about Adam Lambert and how maybe she’s the woman who can turn him around. And then we’ll take it all away.”

We’ll take it all away. And leave nothing but an Adam-sized hole in her heart in it’s place.

Because surely, she’ll be strong enough to wait until next January until she sees us again. 

Lots of people don’t understand my dependence on American Idol. “Think of all the other things you could be doing,” they say. Like I’m going to go cure cancer or something for an hour every Tuesday.

I’m trying to fill my time. I made cookies. They’re OK. I helped my son with his homework. Well, I tried to, but I don’t know how to do his math. And by “his math”, I mean “math”. I swept the kitchen floor. 

I flipped on the TV. 

All that did was depress me; remind me of all I had that got taken away. TAKEN AWAY.

I don’t know where Adam is, or when I’ll see him again. Hell, I’d even take Kris right now. And Danny, poor, sweet Danny…Alison. She was like a sister to me. 

Ten minutes left of the loneliest hour of the week.

Published in: on May 27, 2009 at 12:51 am  Comments (3)  

Take a Bow

By Katie

I’m about to say something that isn’t going to make me very popular. Now, I know what you’re thinking; “Katie,  you were never popular” or maybe “You know what? Stop always saying you know what I’m thinking. If you knew what people were thinking all the time, you would be enjoying a very successful career in the circus, not writing that stupid blog while you stuff your hole with Fig Newtons.”

Both good points.

Susan Boyle is not that great a singer. 

See? See that? You hate me now, don’t you? She’s adorable, after all! It’s just so fun to buy into the fairy tale that this endearing old spinster, who admits right out loud she’s got cobwebs on her cooch, is suddenly the World’s Greatest Singer…but she isn’t. She’s OK. 

But that’s all. 

I’m sorry. It’s how I feel. 

Please address the hate mail to Bill.

Published in: on May 26, 2009 at 2:47 am  Comments (3)  

Stay At Home Actress

Headline courtesy Melanie

So it’s been an awfully long time since I’ve shown my face around these parts, but there’s a good reason for that. Actually there are many good reasons, but listing them here seems silly and boring. I know what you’re thinking, “Why Katie, ‘silly’ and ‘boring’ is what DAK is all about!” and while that’s true, I think it’s a little rude of you to say that while I’m still in earshot, and  find your emphatic punctuation especially cruel.

Hurt feelings and cogent explanations aside (don’t act like you’re not impressed by my use of the word ‘cogent’. There are lots of people who don’t know what that means. I know this because I am one of them. Seriously, did I use that right? Here’s another word I don’t know, one I hear all the time and heard today, as a matter of fact: bi-monthly. I never know if that means once every two months or twice a month. I know I should know, but it’s one of those things that it seems to me,  the statute of limitations on asking for clarification has passed. Maybe it means a month that enjoys dating either sex), there is a point to this post, and it is that I am a terrible gardener. 

I like the idea of gardening, love the idea of wandering happily through the rosebushes in a floppy hat and matching rubber boots, gathering blooms to display with haphazard charm throughout my house. I imagine giving bouquets as gifts to my neighbors. If only any of them were speaking to me.

The reality is, every spring I go outside with the best of intentions and ruin whatever might be working and downright destroy what isn’t. My latest escapade involved trying to edge the grass around the landscape bricks in my front yard. The same bricks I installed several years ago, which have now sunk so far into the sod you can’t see them anymore and the wood chips won’t stay contained. 

I bought an electric edger from a delightful, little-known hardware boutique called Home Depot. They may have a website, I don’t know. Anyway, I brought it home, plugged it in and then did what any good wife would do: I told my husband to go out and edge the grass. Which he did. Or at least, he attempted to. The last thing I saw before leaving to go enjoy some margaritas with my girlfriends was him dragging the edger across the sunken bricks, surrounded by a large cloud of wood chips, grass and the occasional spark. “I love gardening,” I thought, as I licked the salt around my glass. 

The next day, I went out to observe the result and while I commend Miguel for the ol’ college try, the edge of the grass did not quite have the hospital-cornersy sharpness I was hoping for.  I went and got a kitchen knife and for the next three hours, hacked large divots away from the bricks until where were once a few tufts of unruly grass was now a large trench. Which quickly filled with wood chips.

It looks I hired Scott MacIntire to do my yard.

I guess this story really belongs under “landscaping”, not gardening. Let’s not split hairs.

Back when I was writing YSWB, I wrote a story about spraying my entire lawn with Round-up to kill three dandelions.

I once killed a houseplant by spritzing it with Windex.

I planted petunias in a pot a few years ago, and they “failed to thrive”, to borrow a phrase from the medical community. I put the pot in the car, drove to the garden center and showed it to the fellow who worked there, sure that he would shamefacedly refund me for the faulty plants. He looked at me with a smirk and asked, “Did you ever water them?” 

No. No I did not. 

There are many things I have oddly romantic ideas that I’d be good at or enjoy, sometimes despite proof to the contrary.

I’ve always thought it would be fun to be a soldier. I hate getting up early, getting yelled at and I imagine, getting shot at, but for some reason I think I’d love it. 

And being a stewardess. Not a flight attendant, that sounds hard and I hate handling food and talking to angry people and flying. I mean a good-old-days, old-school stewardess, who wears a short skirt and a beehive hairdo and spends the entire flight mixing sidecars and playfully slapping away the hands of rich businessmen. 

Bartending. I don’t like staying up late, or touching sticky things or loud music, but wouldn’t it be fun to dole out sage advice to friendly regulars, tear-up when they remember my birthday and chip in on a gift card, when I thought no one cared about my life? 

Yes, I do know what all these things have in common. I probably would’ve enjoyed being an actress. But I would’ve wanted to be the kind who goes to fancy awards shows and gets my hair done and laughs along with the ladies on the View, not the kind who goes on auditions and has to listen to some fat buffoon tell me I’m too old or has to learn a bunch of lines.  I wouldn’t have had the stomach for that. 

I’m going to plant a vegetable garden tomorrow. I’ve got the overalls, the hoe, the chicken wire and I’ve been practicing a small town, east-coast, ‘Pepperidge Farm Cookies’ accent, and blowing a tune into a brown jug.  I’ve settled on a single braid in my hair. I feel like I’m ready, but I have this sinking feeling I’m forgetting something.

Published in: on May 23, 2009 at 2:05 am  Comments (6)