Apart from Mr. Toad's Wild Sidewalk Ride, the weekend was pretty quiet. We left Jackson at Grandma's with his uncle and aunts and cousins and went over to a nearby golf resort to get some sleep. We didn't even watch any hotel porn, even though we went through the list and saw that they were showing one of Snoop's movies and I really wanted to see what was up with that. I did manage, however, to go out to actual movie theaters THREE TIMES. I hadn't seen a movie-movie since about four days before Jackson was born, when we went to see The Fast and the Furious and I spent the whole time clutching my belly, trying to block out the sound of all those nitro-burning street racers so as not to scare Jackson-to-be into an untimely fetal death. (Untimely Fetal Death. Ugh.) Anyway, I saw Chicago (good, but made me want to go watch All That Jazz again, i.e., both the movie and I needed a dose of real Fosse); The Hours (very good, especially very sad if you're a parent, and I loved Nicole Kidman's nose because it made me forget that I was watching NICOLE KIDMAN -- hooray for anything that obscures the offscreen life of the celebrity so that I can focus on the story!); About Schmidt (pretty good, but go ahead, show me a poignant little kid-related scene and watch me snuffle to death in my own popcorn-greased napkins of extinction). After that I told Jack that I could not watch one more movie that made me cry, so we ordered room service and watched Catch Me If You Can (is it okay to like Leonardo DiCaprio yet? Good).

Part the Second

Jack's brother was visibly and verbally disappointed that St. Patrick's Day didn't turn into a big fat Guinness-pounding Irish-American love-fest, but the plage of vomit did again come upon us and those who had already been through it thought it impolite to fill the air with the aromas of boiling beef and cabbage, plus nobody wanted to get wasted. Also, Jack's mom gave away her tape of The Quiet Man, leaving the rest of us in anaphylactic shock. (Actually, that's one movie I don't need to see again. The whole taming-the-uppity-woman thing wearies me, and I still have enough knee-jerk feminist in me to be annoyed despite the different social context in which the movie was made and blah blah blah. So shoot me.)

Thirdly and Finally

Jack checked his phone at one point and saw that the neighbor who was watching our cat had called. So Jack told me to call him back, the implication being that something had gone horribly wrong and that I should be the one to hear it first since she was technically my cat. So I called him back all nervously, and I'm like, Aaah! What's wrong! And he's like, Nothing, can I borrow Jack's truck to go pick up a free ball machine? (You know, one of those things that hurls tennis balls at you. Our neighbor is a superhighpowered electromagnet for free stuff.) And also, being a good neighbor, he did quench my thirst for Cat News with a few cat-related observations. (1) How is it possible for a cat to eat, like, three kibbles a day, and then shit out two pints of Liquid Gold? (2) No, she was not eating her pills that he put in her food like I told him to, did I want him to start shoving them down her throat? (No.) And (3) Does anyone ever pet this cat? Because she seems severely emotionally deprived and was doing the sluttiest things a cat can do to make him stay and pet her more. She was always a needy cat, and Jackson's arrival has meant that she gets only the leftover affection these days, i.e., almost none. Does anyone want to adopt a fifteen-year-old cat with no teeth and a hyperactive thyroid whose farts can clear a room? I didn't think so. No angry e-mails, please -- I will try harder, I promise.

In Conclusion

Did that take your mind off Iraq for a moment? Not that there's a shortage of distractions in your life, I know, but at times like this it's hard to think of anything else, and as someone who thought the whole thing was too absurd to get any worse, I am now in the position (and I have a lot of company) of saying, well, now we started it, how can we get through this without everybody losing their ass?