catelin: (Default)
( Dec. 15th, 2001 12:19 am)
...I struggle with enormous discrepancies: between the reality of motherhood and the image of it, between my love for my home and the need to travel, between the varied and seductive paths of the heart. The lessons of impermanence, the occasional despair and the muse, so tenuously moored, all visit their needs upon me and I dig deeply for the spiritual utilities that restore me: my love for the place, for the one man left, for my children and friends and the great green pulse of spring.

--Sally Mann, Still Time catalogue
Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center, 1988
It's official. I will be the new soccer coach for Max's team in the spring. His coaches last season were these awful men who would scream at a bunch of six-year-olds about how badly they were playing. It made me want to follow them to their cars and beat them to death with lead pipes. I'm certain it had to do with their complex about...ahem...well, you know. So I bitched. Then I decided that I would do more than just bitch. I decided that I would be the most double damn fun soccer coach ever!! I decided that I'd run this little wolf pack of kids around the field and laugh and play until it was time to drink juice and eat snacks! I decided that I would wear funny hats and buy myself a whistle! The name of the game will be F-U-N...and the guys with the complex about the size of their....er...well....they can just sit on the sidelines grumbling while I do my "Go Team" dance!!! So that's what I'm doing in the spring. I am still an activist. In my own small way. : )
I had lunch (work-related) the other day with group of people...you know, the kind who remind you of Mr. Howell and Lovey on Gilligan's Island. They were talking about a wedding that I'm not invited to--evidently a big social event, the joining of two very big political families. I don't know about elsewhere, but these kinds of "arranged" marriages do still happen here. Then came the Bridget Jones moment. One of the frilly pink ladies turned to me and said, "Well, I think we can all be safe betting that Cate won't ever marry." There was a bit of twittering laughter after that...they're like a bunch of turkeys, these people...one starts gobbling and they all have to make some kind of noise. I simply smiled demurely and said, "Why marry when you can simply take a lover?" It was perfect. Same effect as if I'd said, "Why marry when I'm busy fucking all of your husbands?" Of course, I'm not. Fucking their husbands, that is. I sat through the rest of the lunch wondering, though, have I missed something? See, I'm one of those ninnies that's holding out for Big Love. Not that I haven't had plenty of Little Love along the way. But you get married for Big Love. That I don't know what it feels like but I'll know it when I feel it Love. Even when I've wanted Little Loves to be the Big Love...I knew. Which is why I'm still holding out. And with all the talk about beaded gowns and what style of veil and who's catering, it just seemed a bit insane to me. I've watched so many of my friends get married just because they felt it was "time" or that the idea of Big Love was foolish---mostly, they just got tired of waiting to have a wedding. Shit, I find Big Love and my "wedding" can be licking our palms and giving each other a whooping high five for all I care! The eyes of these people, these frightened, lonely men and women who gave up on Big Love a long time ago, make me sad. Turkeys. Depressing.
I'm cleaning tonight. My house is a wreck most of the time. One of the drawbacks of being a single mom....I get to do ALL of the housecleaning without any help or cheering on. It's when I'm cleaning that I sometimes wonder if I've missed out by turning down offers of marriage and otherwise. I think of how nice it would be to, just once in a blue moon, have someone else take out the trash or fold the laundry. Someone to help me put the sheets on the bed, someone to cook breakfast with on Sunday mornings. I look around my house some nights and just want to burst into tears from how much I have to do. It would be nice to have someone that would tell me, "Hey, don't worry. We'll do it together." So that's what I think of...and then, when I'm done feeling sorry for myself, I move on to other things---like:

--Am I the only woman my age who still wears an apron around the house?

--The Remains of the Day is probably one of the saddest movies I've ever seen...that part where she moves to see what he's reading...it breaks my heart.

--I need to paint my toenails. Poor upkeep of the pedicure is a sign I'm falling apart here.

--Should I call him? Should I not call him? Or should I wait for him to call me? Keeerrrrist! I am such a dork!

--Is that another grey hair???

--I've got the perfect ending for that short story that's been languishing for the last few weeks.

--I'm going to take a nice long walk across the dam with my kids tomorrow.

--And I'm going to figure out where I hid that plane ticket from myself!! I hate when I do that!!

--I'm going to Seattle to visit Shae. Emergency Friend First-Aid, you know. : ) I'm completing a circle in a lot of ways...someone reached out and helped me years back when I was caving in on myself. Now it's my turn to repay the kindness that saved me so long ago. Gotta call my mom and figure out how soon I can get out there.

--Trial coming up in a couple of weeks.

--They took a biopsy from a spot near my collar bone yesterday. I won't find out anything until next week. I'm not that worried....no point in worrying. So I won't.

--The boys are being so good tonight. It's too quiet...which means I probably need to see what they're up to!!!

And now I must go scrub the toilets! I don't need a husband. I need a maid!! ; )
I woke up this morning believing, in that space before you really wake up, that I was back in my little bungalow on Wilcox with my legs wrapped around my long-haired boy genius, both of us still sticky sweet with Crème de Cassis. Nothing like a dog's nose in your face and kids jumping on your bed to remind you of exactly where you are. After breakfast there were some words exchanged with their father...not an even exchange really; just me sitting there while he bitched. I'm not an argumentative person. I argue for a living and don't care to do it much in my personal life. On the other hand, I am cursed with one hell of an Irish temper. I just got up after a few minutes and quietly hurled his favorite chair out the door...all the way to the street. Who knew I was so strong? Completely childish and totally gratifying...a gesture more laden with meaning than 1000 sour words. Perhaps I should take up the Caber Toss. I'm cleaning house today. And I mean it.

Oh, and I pilfered this from one of the last real southern gentlemen around:
current mood: Where's the Ajax?
current music: "Jesus Christ Pose" Soundgarden
current taste: giant goldfish crackers with spinach dip
current hair condition: unruly
current dress: bare feet, jeans, Low Pop Suicide t-shirt that's on its last leg
current grievance: people who insist that half-ass is good enough
current annoyance: the clutter underneath my feet
current smell: gardenia candles and rosemary hung to dry
current stupid musing: that I could hop a plane bound for Italy like NOW
current longing: the usual
current game: I'm teaching Max how to play Chess
current thing I ought to be doing: laundry and editing stuff...Max and I are making Shrinky Dinks instead
current windows open: my kitchen and living room ones...ok, really Windows, IE, LJ, Morpheus
current desktop picture: Georgia O'Keefe "Poppies"
current favorite artist: Siqueiros (art)/Cafe Quijano (music)
current favorite group: the deer family that hangs out in my yard
current book: Turn of the Screw, Moll Flanders, 2002 Herbal Almanac, and Three Lives
current cds in stereo: only one...I'm so low-fi...Miles Davis "Someday My Prince Will Come"
current dvd in player: No DVD...I'm hopeless....Video: "Inspector Gadget" Helloooo!! It's for the kids!!
current color of toenails: fire engine red
current earrings: silver goddess earrings
current refreshment: water
current worry: Court of Appeals arguments on Halloween in front on an audience
current favorite book: "Winesberg, Ohio" by Sherwood Anderson
current malicious intent: brutalize any armchair that crosses me
current misguided opinion: that I really know what I'm doing
current crush: I'm a recovering crushaholic
current favorite (semi) celebrity: Dennis Hopper...always my favorite
current time wasting wish: if only I could be Empress of the Universe for a while!
current hate: got no time for hate...too much housework to be done
catelin: (Default)
( Oct. 7th, 2001 11:27 pm)
I mowed the grass today, probably for the last time until the spring. The boys moved rocks in the back yard for entertainment...little boys can always find pleasure in the simple things. Went to a birthday party for a couple of boys the same age as mine. I've known both of them since they were babies. Their father was the hostest with the mostest. Evidently, when I wasn't paying attention, he and his wife divorced. I'm pretty obtuse when it comes to come ons...unless I'm really looking for one. But about half-way through the party, I figured out that this guy was slobbering all over me. Was it the straps on my clunky funky Mary Janes? Was it that I finally waxed my eyebrows this morning? Or that I actually wore a bra for a change? Was it the lipstick that, according to my best guy friend at work, screams "I give great head?" Who knows? One thing I can say is that it was nice to be the center of that sort of attention for a change...my libido's probably been wondering if there's even a body attached to it anymore. Nothing will come of it, of course...it'd just be...well, too Harper Valley PTA. My overly developed sense of loyalty, even to a pseudo-relationship, keeps my body in limbo and my sexual peak (which is supposed to be happening sometime this decade, right?) hollering "What a fucking waste!" And so it goes.

In other news---and those of you who know me best will be the most shocked by this---I actually quit smoking. I haven't said anything about it because I didn't want to jinx myself but it's been a week now and I'm the stubborn type so once I make up my mind to do it, it's done. I love to smoke. I mean, really really really LOVE to smoke...but I'm getting old, and it was starting to make me feel like shit...not like when I could smoke a pack a day and run cross-country track back in high school. Things change. I want to live to see my kids have kids...and I want to be able to breathe. I'm even thinking of taking up running again. Yes, E., I have gone insane!! ; )

Blast from the past news...seems an old (and I mean ancient!!!!) beau from way back when has tracked me down. He's from Mexico and evidently now very high up in the new Vicente Fox administration...something to do with the federal police. I spoke with a friend of his from Laredo and he should be contacting me sometime this next week. Weird. I haven't seen him in over 20 years...since I was 15. I was soooooooo in love with him back then....in that all or nothing teenage dreamy sort of way. I still have all those old letters he wrote boxed up in the attic. I think I'll read them again, just for fun.

Other messages for people I care about---sort them out amongst yourselves. You owe me an e-mail...and I'm growing hopeless right under your nose, do you not see? Thank you for making me laugh my ass off when I was in dire need of it. I will call you sometime this week...and I've been missing you like crazy for some reason the last few days. Do you think about me? The thing you and I talked about regarding that certain person I was thinking about...not going to happen...for a lot of different reasons that he has nothing to do with. You owe me a road trip!!! You owe me some direct words in the daylight instead of writing your name in my ear with your breath nights just because you know I won't remember it when I wake up. And you...well, you I just plain fucking love. Period. : )
I'm sure I'm not the only one who's overcome with this horrible feeling that nothing I write means anything anymore. I catch myself thinking, "Ok, who do I want to propose to today?" and then I think, "Why bother?" Not that I've really been thinking that, but it illustrates my point. My day-to-day life seems so ridiculous now. It seems so completely boring and small compared to the headlined news that I finally shut off but still the traces linger in my head. The goofy anecdotes, the stories, the poetry...I think, does anyone even give a rat's ass anymore? Why is it that I feel that everything I write here should now be something profound? Something so much more full of meaning than anything I wrote before? I suppose it is natural to search for words to fix things. After all, that is my business. People get hurt. I write words that fix things. I speak to jurors and judges and tell them, "This needs fixing." I wait for verdicts with white knuckles, nervous...but still always certain that things will be fixed. I've always been certain of that. Proud that I help people. Proud that I stand up for the weak and voiceless. That I roar with their stories, feeling like Clarence Darrow or Atticus Finch in a pair of heels. Knowing that my friends on other side of the room were just as committed to doing right by the Constitution...even when their clients were despicable, we all had a sense that we were doing just what we should be doing. That we were fighting the good fight...even from different perspectives. All of what's happened has made me maudlin. It's made me feel stupid and small, and worse...trivial. It's made me want to push my breath into the hollow of your neck, to lie down with you and forget anything else but flesh, to look at your eyes and know that there's still someone who really sees that I'm still here. I want to tell you about my day, and laugh about almost being thrown in jail for contempt of court by the crazy judge...you know, the one we always giggle about. To have you brush my hair back from my face and tell me yet again that my Irish temper will be the end of me. I want to tell you about the boys. How they found a clear green marble yesterday in the dirt and told me that they were sure it must be a treasure that someone had buried a long time ago. How Max told me that he was sure the treasure had some sort of magical powers, but he just had to figure out the right words to make it work. I just want to find the right words. But how do you find magical words when you feel that your voice has left you?
First day of soccer for Max. He loves it and I love watching the abandon with which he throws himself into running after this little ball. Pure joy. We're lucky. We live in a town (if you can even call it that) where everyone still remembers that the point of the game is to have fun. No one minds that I bring my dog to play with the kids, or that I show up a little late in baggy cut-off overalls and my favorite pair of old flowery Docs, or that Jacob and I comb the outskirts of the fields for herbs. I had a surprise call from Verian today at work, which put me in the best mood for the rest of the day. We talked about kids, work, writing...and of course, we dished a little...gotta have a bit of gossip. ; ) It was a golden day...one of those days when everything just seems right with the world.
catelin: (Default)
( Jun. 20th, 2001 12:38 pm)
From a recent post in Feministas:

I have pondered for a while what to write here in the way of an introduction. Here's my story:


I was the greatest hope (like all the other women born in this age) of my mother's generation. Born in the sixties, I was raised to believe that I could do anything without regard to gender. Like all of us born then, I discovered that others didn't see it that way...men and women alike. I was heartbroken when I was forced off an all boys soccer team (the only kind back then...girls leagues came much later) because "someone might hit my breasts." I learned quickly that smart girls were not popular in school. I did what any self-respecting teenager of the time would do...I sold out. I chased boys; I giggled; I flirted; I wore too much makeup; I dreamed of being the Barbie in Barbie's Dream Wedding. I even met Gloria Steinham briefly when I was fifteen. She impressed me, but couldn't compete with my crush on the guy who sat behind me in algebra. I became everything that my mother had hoped I wouldn't.

In college, I became an art house feminist. I read all the books. I quit wearing make-up. I dressed in black. I kissed and groped girls instead of boys. I sat with my self-anointed nouveau Bohemian friends, railing against male-dominated culture between sips of espresso and drags from our overpriced imported cigarettes. I knew all the right words. I could argue theory with the best and brightest. But it was all show. I didn't start to get it until I had my own kids years later. Until my father quit speaking to me because I wasn't married. Until I had to explain twelve-thousand times that I wasn't divorced--I'd just never been married. Until I started to think about what kind of men I wanted to raise...how I wanted them to see the women they knew...and women in general. I look now at the girls who start painting their faces and their hair when they're in elementary school, who start fucking when they're barely old enough to have periods. I live in an age when women are objectified (and, quite frankly, objectify themselves) more than my mother's generation could have ever endured or imagined. I still read the books. I still listen to my mother. I still think Gloria Steinham is cool beyond cool. And I still hold out hope that one day we can all get our shit together and start this revolution from the inside out.
catelin: (Default)
( Apr. 30th, 2001 10:19 am)
For those of you who've been wondering if I've been kidnapped by one of the many right-wing nut job paramilitary groups that I'm always ranting about, no need to worry. I'm still here. Just had a rough week. Highlights?

Monday 4/23: Physically threatened by a berserk old crusty defense attorney at work. My instinctive thought was to stab him in the balls with my pen (hmmmm...something suggestive about the term "ballpoint?"). My rational side won out since I just bought a new house and can't lose my job for beating the shit out of someone at work. Nevertheless, it was upsetting...more so because I had to behave myself instead of stomping this fucker's head in. Oh, yeah...and I got home to discover that my modem was kaput from a big electrical storm (which is why some of you haven't heard from me...should be fixed this week sometime.)

Tuesday 4/24: Woke up to find the pop-off valve in my water heater had blown. There was about an inch of water in the garage. Normally wouldn't have been a problem, except that's where all my boxes were from the move...yeah, the ones I still hadn't unpacked.

Wednesday 4/25: The electrical storm messed up something in the house and some of the plugs weren't working. It took me two days to figure it out.

Thursday 4/26: Had to go to Kerrville for a speaking engagement...that meant getting up about two hours earlier than normal. This was actually the best day of the week.

Friday 4/25: Woke up to my youngest son's gasping for air at about 2:30 am. He had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Turned out that he had the croup and his throat had swollen almost shut. Needless to say, this made everything mentioned above seem of no consequence whatsoever compared to my kid's well-being. He's fine now, though, but I'm sure that's another 5 years off my life span from the stress.

Saturday and Sunday were uneventful, but the fun was still not over. I locked myself in the garage last night at about 12:30 am. Sometimes I am such a moron. I made it to work alive, though...so perhaps that's a sign that this week will be a little better.
Snooty Prozac Mom (I should note for the record that I don't know if she's actually on Prozac, but that's what I call her because she bugs the shit out of me.) came up to me this morning as I was dropping my son off at school. She's always giving me the eye...you know, the look that is part "Jesus loves you" and part "I would kill you if I could, but the Lord will send you to hell if I pray hard enough." (Her husband is a pervert who gets a hard-on everytime I see him at school. Not sure if it's me or the kids...he's that kinda creepy-crawly guy.) She once had the nerve to ask my five-year-old if his mommy took him to church. I told him that we go to church every time we go outside. Anyway, this is some background on why this religious nut case was on my last nerve this morning.

So Snooty PM comes skippity-skipping up to me, gives me her silly putty smile and says,"Oh, hello dear! We were thinking about meeting this morning to discuss the possibility of a before-school prayer group next year. Would you be interested in joining us?"

"Gee, that's very nice of you," I replied sweetly, "but I have to be at the jail in about an hour to interview some guy that got ass-raped with a toothbrush holder by a couple of his cell mates. Maybe some other time?"

I know, I know. Bad, bad Cate! Not nice to pick on the poor inbreeds of the world! But just thinking about her pasty green face still makes me giggle.
catelin: (Default)
( Feb. 4th, 2001 09:32 pm)
I was the badass spring cleanin' mama today! I even used power tools to put shelves up in my garage. I went to Home Depot. I bought wood!! Big long planks of the shit, twice my size and then some. I bought brackets, screws, washers, all sorts of hardware-y kinda stuff. Then I hit the garden section and got some nasty evil poison to kill the several colonies of fire ants that will soon regret infesting my little yard. I put on my goggles and my boots, with my white trash t-shirt that shows off my sagging tits in all their glory, and told the kids..."Get outta the way, Mama's fixin' to use the Weedeater!"
.

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