My working mom’s Pop Culture & Politics notebook this week is filled with random notations, gripes mostly because it has been a lousy week. Among my early April complaints:
Why Don’t More People Use the Word ‘Moxie’ Anymore? I think “moxie” is an underrated word that’s only found in old movies and shows like the much-missed, now-cancelled “Gilmore Girls,” featuring the ultimate, working mom with moxie. Other words I wish would be used more regularly: Sassy, saucy and kerfuffle.
Another Entertainment Industry Strike? Seriously? While it’s true that last week’s column  was about what I’ve been watching in the post-writers’ strike era, as well as a schedule of returning programming for some of my favorite shows, let me say for the record that I’ve grown very impatient waiting for the new, post-writers’ strike programming to commence. I’d like to turn on the TV to something that isn’t an inane reality show or humiliation-oriented program. (If I want humiliation, all I need to do is to make and serve my three kids a healthy meal and listen to the feedback.)
Then I read in Entertainment Weekly  that there’s a strong possibility of an actors’ strike: “Just as your favorite TV show is emerging from reruns, Hollywood seems to be sinking into one. Blustery union bosses, hard-line demands, and painful-sounding phrases like ‘DVD residuals;’ The town is bracing for another potential strike – this time by the actors.”
Ay caramba. What does this mean, we’ll have to start reading books or something?
The ‘Women’s’ Vote. I am sick, sick, sick (oh, what’s one more for emphasis?) SICK of hearing people prattle on, ad nauseam, about the “women’s vote ” in the Democratic presidential primary contest and whether women will rally behind Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign or “betray” the sisterhood and vote for Senator Barack Obama. Hel-lo people. Women do not vote in lock-step. Voting  for someone other than a female candidate doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman is a self-hating kinda gal. Capice?
Please Save Me From the Blizzard O’Paper. At this time of year, I typically find myself swamped with paper. From income tax stuff and students’ papers I must correct, to all the bazillion pieces of dead trees that are sent home from school with my kids each day, I can never shake the feeling that I’ve forgotten something, because most likely I have. Therefore, I’ve come to resent every paper that crosses the threshold of my house. At the same time, my kids’ spring sports activities heat up with what seem like the intensity of a CEO’s schedule of practices and games to the point where I feel like I’m their personal secretary. And I don’t like it, my friends. Makes me wanna cancel everything, burn all the paper and close myself off from the world . . . with the exception of being separated from my DVR, one of the best presents I ever got. And my BlackBerry. I’ve bonded with it.
The Working Mom ‘Rush.’ Why is it that when a working mom gets her work done efficiently, puts in face time – albeit brief -- with colleagues, but maintains a tight schedule so she can get home to fetch her children, she’s perceived negatively as “rushing” out the door?
Horton: Gender-Biased? I was planning on taking my kids to see “Horton Hears a Who” during their 1,047th school vacation/days-off-when-they-really-don’t-need-them-and-they-mess-up-my-tight-work-schedule. Then I read this blog entry from Parent Dish  suggesting that the film may have a gender-bias thing goin’ on seeing that the mayor of Whoville in the film has nearly 100 daughters and one son, but wants his one son to become the next mayor like his pop, without giving any thought to his daughters succeeding him in the public arena. Good grief. Makes me wanna hop on pop. And not in a good way.
Third Graders + Steak Knife + Handcuffs + Duct Tape + Plan to Kill Teacher = Horror Story. Yes, I too was shocked upon reading this story  about a group of 11 Georgia third graders plotting to kill their teacher after she had the nerve to tell one of them not to stand on a chair. The children brought a steak knife, duct tape and cleaning supplies (to clean up after the attack of course) to school with plans to attack the teacher. However one of the kids thought better of it and divulged the plot to authorities. This item shouldn’t be considered a gripe. Rather, it’s an example of how you just can’t make up this stuff up.
What’s Up With the ‘MBA + Women = Bad Love Lives’ Stories? I’ve had it with people, those pesky researcher types, who constantly come up with studies that inevitably conclude that women who achieve in the world of business wind up with unhappy personal lives. Like this recent study which says that women with MBAs “are twice as likely to get divorced or separated as their male counterparts,” according to the Wall Street Journal . Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett told the Journal that career-oriented women who pair up with career-oriented men find that they “can't summon up the TLC and support that high-earning men need.” Instead of constantly sending us bad messages about working women, why don’t researchers put their energies into something really productive and happy, like, oh, I don’t know, maybe studying how if husbands provide their wives back rubs and a nice glass of merlot at least once a week, both spouses will have happier, longer lives?
‘Friday Night Lights’ Gets Green Light. Okay, this one isn’t a gripe. In fact, it’s a full-out, “Ya-hoo!” “Friday Night Lights ,” y’all, is coming back to NBC next year for a third season. We’ll get to see more of Kyle Chandler’s cute-as-a-button Coach Eric Taylor and his sassy, saucy wife Tami Taylor, as they try to lead a happy life while fulfilling their career aspirations and parenting their moxie-filled teenaged daughter and newborn baby. Kerfuffles always ensue.