Hey! Putting aside any sentimental attachment to blog titles that include the word mom, I am outta here. Please adjust your subscriptions, bookmarks, etc. to

andthenkate.com

Merci beaucoup. See you at the new digs.

Guess what? A month and a half ahead of time, I have already researched, chosen, and purchased my own birthday present. On August 3, I will turn 33, an age I have decided to be excited about because it involves a double digit and therefore bodes of Good Things, much like a four-leaf clover or photos of Kellan Lutz with his shirt off. Then, on August 6, I will roll merrily into New York City, where I will attend BlogHer ’10 with approximately one zillion other women.

I have big hopes for this BlogHer-for-birthday plan, though many of these hopes are thrashing and drowning in my pre-conference anxiety. Do they have a special seating section for people who own Eensy Weensy Blogs? Are women who write content that awkwardly straddles the mommyblog/humor blog/whoknowswhat blog shunned, or encouraged to skip the nightly cocktail parties? When I close my eyes and try to visualize the conference, all I can imagine is a throbbing mass of women, 30% of whom are skinnier than I am, 70% of whom have better shoes, and 99% of whom have better known blogs.

See? THEY'LL ALL BE WEARING THESE. EVERYONE.

Thankfully, wonderful, splendid Taryn is also going and has sworn to shield me from the waves of success emanating from Christian Louboutin-shod Amalahs and Finslippys and Chookooloonks. I’m hoping she’ll also warn me of any impending fashion mistakes. At the last conference I attended, a huge writers’ affair where I knew no one and was totally outranked, I chose to wear a bright-blue patterned shirt, which I thought perked up my black pants nicely. I was feeling fairly self-assured when a woman standing near me said, “Wow! Nice shirt!

“Thanks!” I said, thrilled to be speaking to someone finally.

“That color blue is so…brave,” she replied. Then I think she may have snickered.

Suffice it to say, I will wearing all black at BlogHer. THE ENTIRE TIME.

(Anyone else going?)

Since Friday morning, I’ve been wracking my brain for something to post about, something beyond a rundown of the numbingly boring drivel that became my weekend. But it’s SO MUCH WORK. Here, let me show you Post Ideas #1-3, all of which suck equally. I appreciate such equal suckage, though. It seems to make everything so much…fairer.

Failed Idea #1: The We-Discriminate-Against-the Vertically-Challenged Photo Booth

When you feed three hard-earned dollars into a photo booth at Bouncy Castle Kingdom,  you really do think that the camera will catch your daughter and her two equally diminutive friends posing. You believe, even. But no. The booth is apparently only for those 4’5″ and above. I’d write to the manufacturer to complain about the lack of proper warning signage, but when I looked for an address on the back of the machine all I could find was a label that said HAHAHA SUCKER I EAT PEOPLE AS GULLIBLE AS YOU FOR BREAKFAST.

Failed Idea #2: Mulch. A Big Pile of It.

You know that saying A picture is worth a thousand words? Well, in this case, I’m thinking I saved myself about 18 words. They go something like this: HELP HELP SAVE ME I’M STARTING TO ACT SUBURBAN KEEP ME AWAY FROM MINIVANS AND HYBRID DOG BREEDS.

Failed Idea #3: Bubble Guns and the Rage They Inspire

Oh, and by “rage,” I mean mine, not hers. She was fine with the fact that the bubble solution in the Fun Bubbles Gun! just pours onto the freshly hosed-down deck with abandon. And onto my shorts, the only pair that fit properly at the moment. And onto my soul, which may very well never be redeemed by a higher power because I said about five-and-a-half especially bad words in front of an impressionable child when the bubbles floated over to the grill and popped on the burgers. Turns out ketchup CANNOT cure all ills, after all. Effin’ ketchup.

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So, you see. I am completely and devastatingly out of viable fodder. Will you help? Please? Ask questions and I shall answer! Suggest a topic and I will try to address it! IT WILL BE SO EXCITING. OR SOMETHING.

Those who participate might even get a little envelope of mulch sent to them. Or a three-year-old. No promises, though.

Ding dong! The cat is gone! Which old cat? The wicked cat! Ding dong! The wicked cat is gooooooooone…. 

I could just keep singing and singing. You know why? Because singing is what you do when you are ECSTATIC and SUPER HAPPY and OVERJOYED. Such as when you kick your first soccer goal or fall in love or hold your newborn, or when you drive your mother’s devil-spawned, evil-incarnate cat back to Rhode Island, where he can torture the catsitter for a couple of weeks while Mom continues to rehabilitate up here with us. 

Of course, when Smokey Jo is at my mother’s house, he’s a different cat. I swear, I could wave the world’s most delectable leather couch in his direction, matador-style, and he wouldn’t even flex one claw. But here he tore and shredded and consistently pooped precisely two inches outside the litter box, usually while looking me straight in the eye. I would have almost admired his chutzpah if my faculties weren’t so clouded by pure, unadulterated hate and the fur he shed 23 hours a day. 

Presenting the household traitor. As well as He Who Shall Not be Named.

In other happy news, my mother received a glowing report from her hip surgeon during our short foray to the Ocean State, though she pulled a muscle last week, shortly before I twisted my knee on the garage stairs.  (Grace and coordination are not our strong suit. We are, however, geniuses at cribbage. It all evens out.)   

We were three generations of health in that doctor’s office, let me tell you. As my mother stumped into the office on her crutches, I hobbled feebly behind her, favoring my tender knee. An hour into waiting for my mother’s name to be called, Aura began her I-have-to-pee-but-refuse-to-do-it-anywhere-but-home routine, where she kind of drags her legs to prevent errant urine from escaping. By the time we left the waiting room, I caught the other patients sneaking sympathetic glances our way, the kind you’re prone to giving when you see a family made up entirely of cripples. I briefly considered capitalizing on the general atmosphere of pity and making a play for my own bottle of Tylenol #4 with codeine, but eh. My first preschool parent-teacher conference is tomorrow and I need to be SHARP. One cannot become too lackadaisical, or drugged, when it comes to discussing her child’s deftness with fingerpaints. 

Oh, yes–one more thing. I was glancing over the different search terms that have led people to this blog and was a bit taken aback. Think of how bitterly disappointed the person who searched for http://www.bangamommy.com must have been when he/she ended up here. (You’re curious now, aren’t you? I’ll give you a clue: It’s a .org, not a .com. Apparently mommy-banging qualifies as an organizational activity. Just so you know.)