Tuesday, November 30, 2004

What A Difference A Year Makes

365 Days
A hundred Ways to save a life
and You pick one
hand cuffs and broken stuff
My heart hangs heavy
A crossroads without a map
then You
The light You shine
Clears up like a bad complexion
My Priorities

Oh God, Thank You for
The gift of life
my focus to be
A Good Wife
for a man I haven't even met
A happy marriage -
the winning bet
Thanks to those cop lights
Flashing near in the rear view
A look at a future while staring
At the past

One year later
A dinner plate -
or lunch, and yet no wine
And that's just fine
For my elixir is the thought
of mugshots versus
onesies bought
Two roads diverged in wood
A chilly thought, Frost,
Wrought with a second
chance to dance
To keep control and live the
destiny of my plans

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Look of Kate

Thanks to Poppy for inspiring me on this post :)

I was visiting the Popster's website when she had a link to Brighton and all the bag styles they have named after different folks. Mine looks like a big tote bag or diaper bag...

The Kate Bag by Brighton

It got me thinking about all the other fine handbags out there with names.

Shall we investigate further?

I think so...

Vera Bradley chooses to name many of their patterns... the closest one to honor me would be Katherine, my real name.

The Toggle Tote in the Katherine pattern

My favorite handbag designer, Coach, chooses to recognize places with the names of their handbags. I doubt the following design pays homage to my hometown, but it certainly is a possibility.

The Madison Satin Clutch by Coach

While I am absolutely head-over-heels in love with Coach, that one above isn't quite my style.

When we play the word association game, "Kate" and "handbag" jog my mind to a whole other, classic look.

The georgetown piper by kate spade.

Kate's starting to branch out into more trendy designs, but this bag embodies the classic lines and style she's cornered the market on.

Ahhh. I could sit all day and purse shop... but then some reporter will blow my cover and figure out what I'm doing in my corner of the newsroom all day long.

Just kidding, Dave.

Java Jonesing

This hell hole has run out of coffee filters.

I am considering throwing in a wrinkly Wendy's napkin... but then my coffee would have tiny bits of yellow floating in it.

Don't these folks here know my productivity is directly proportionate to the amount of caffeine I ingest?

Friday, November 26, 2004

Penal Code

Why is it most men (or at least the ones I've met) think with their genitalia?

My orbit of the universe sometimes has a way of crossing with that of a man I'll call Richard. It's a fitting pseudonym for a man who deserves the nickname "Dick."

Anyway. Richard and I run into each other every three months or so. I like to dance and he likes to watch the female species, and sometimes our respective endeavors take us to the same place. Our little run-ins happen so frequently that I can now pretty much predict with confidence where to go on which nights to "just happen" to run into ol' Richard.

I decided to visit one of my favorite watering holes in Lexington, it's a spot where the age skews to the just-out-of-college set and the music takes you to the heart of Compton. It's a great spot to pretend you don't have bills to pay or work to be responsible for.

Richard is a very attractive black man. I met him over a year ago and was instantly attracted to his beautiful bald head (get your mind out of the gutter), his juicy-full lips and his commanding confidence. Richard was attracted to my 38 DDs and my tipsy-flirtatious attitude (this was pre-sobriety). There we were... his friends and mine... standing in a little circle one September... exchanging pleasantries and compliments... when he silently mouthed with those ripe lips "I like you."

I like you.

What is this, grade school?

Flash forward (don't worry, I'm not really skipping anything juicy. Just a couple dates, dozens of phone calls, a few text messages and a handful of kisses. Really. Just kisses. I promise.) to yesterday, when the little red light on my phone was blinking. "Text message" said the screen.

Of course it was Richard. He's the only one (other than the Sprint man reminding me my bill is late) who texts me. My lungs filled with air as I sighed with an indifference I hadn't felt towards a man in a while. Some men I love, some men I hate. A few I really care about. Richard's probably the only one I really could take or leave. He hasn't wronged me enough to make it to that list titled I'd-never-sleep-with-him-even-if-the-species-was-dying... but my heart doesn't skip a beat when he calls, either. At least, not anymore.

Gobble gobble said his little, sweet nothing. A nice little message to share his warm wishes on the Thanksgiving holiday. And that's the little game we play. He calls me and we meet up on the 4th of July... I leave a message for him on Labor Day... we bounce back and forth in a literal game of phone tag that's marked by the holidays.

The last time I really went out with Richard... just the two of us hanging out... I was still sans license. He came to my work to pick me up and took me to a little hole in the wall for a chicken sandwich. Four star, this place was not. I opened my heart about the personal crisis I'd been weathering, and he gave me the most pitiful puppy dog stare when talking about how he gets women to do what he wants them to. I think that particular talking point focused on his asking for my forgiveness for being so inconsistent.

Out of nowhere, Richard asked me if I had gotten a boob reduction. It was the oddest thing I've ever been asked, I think. I explained that no, "black turtle necks are very slimming, and I'm wearing a minimizing bra. Plus, I've lost some weight."

He drove me home, kissed me, and said he'd be back in a couple hours... that he had to go out for a drink with a friend who had lost a loved one in a car crash a year ago. He promised he'd be back later. I woke up in my arm chair around 2 that night... all the lights on in the house and me curled up in a ball with a blanket over me.

And that's what Richard does. He drives into my heart to remind himself it's still there when it's ready. That was the excuse I heard one time, "Kate, I could see myself getting so serious with you, and I'm just not ready for that."

What a line of bull.

At least that's what I've reconciled it as being, because if I don't... if I hang on to that crumb of hope that he could be my future, I could spend the rest of my years a pretty lonely girl... while he's out there laying pipe, keeping his options open.


How much money do you plan to spend this upcoming holiday season?
$350 in all for my family (we're a small bunch and not so big on gifts)
That's not counting a few things for myself since my birthday is in a few days and technically in this upcoming holiday season.

What was the last television show you watched, and was it good?
The last show I actually sat and watched last was the Sunday night sequence of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Desperate Housewives," and "Boston Legal." I am SO addicted to DH. It's awesome. Very campy, full of suspense and a great way of staying on top of the trends.

If you had to paint the walls of your living room tomorrow, what color would you choose?
For years I would have picked azure blue, but about a year or so ago blue got ousted by red as my favorite color. I some day want a living room with a cream or taupe colored couch (there IS a difference) with crimson pillows. The couch would be the only light color in the room... the walls would be red and everything else would be black (not lacquer though... think dark hardwoods) with gold accents. Like a black lampshade that's painted on the inside in gold, for example. The room would just have a hint of Asian influences because of the color scheme.

Main Course
Name something clever or practical you have thought of that should be invented, but hasn't yet.
Why? So someone else can make my invention?
I often thought an invention should be made to keep a woman's, er, ta-tas warm in the winter. You know... something to keep them snuggly when you're frolicking on the slopes. I am envisioning a sports bra with pockets to put those little gel heater packs inside. It would be a twofer... a gal could could boost the size of her maracas and keep 'em toasty, too.

List 3 things you would like to receive as gifts this holiday season.
Romance (Ralph's perfume or the real thing), U2's new CD and a Coach wristlet.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Elastic Pants

If I were wearing a belt, I'd take it out a notch.

If I were wearing elastic pants, I'd sit back with ease and continue to shovel food in my mouth.

But I'm not.

I've got some cream colored cargo pants on... and a cream colored, wool cable-knit sweater.

So I feel incredibly uncomfortable.

And it's only lunch time at work.

So help me God, I just don't know if I'll make it through Thanksgiving dinner.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

If I had 10 Million Dollars

Well, I would buy you a green dress... but not a real green dress 'cause that's cruel. - Bare Naked Ladies

I was blog hopping when I found someone posing the question... what would you do with a wad of cash that jingled to the tune of ten million smackers?

Let me pick my jaw up off the floor.

If someone handed me that much money, I probably would spend a few moments in utter disbelief... then I'd hightail it out of this hell hole I fondly call work. I think I'd sing and wave to my work friends... and then I'd just be too darn busy to even give my immediate notice. My assistant (doesn't that much cash come with a little help?) would be good for that, and I'd expressly tell my personal helper to give a nice, smarmy smile to the General Manager while explaining how a legal team is "As we speak..." looking into the laws of mental cruelty and unusual treatment of employees and how "these kinds of conditions just must be breaking a law somewhere, sweetie." (I envision a personal assistant along the lines of Flo from Alice, complete with the gum smacking and the sweet talkin' insults.)

Then I'd drive my beat up little car (shameless promotion to another post) to the nearest Mercedes Benz dealership and pay sweet-mother-to-God cash for a CLK 430 convertible. Color: Big Pimpin' Black with a sound system so loud you'd hear me 3 blocks away... and flat screen tvs for every seat... even on the back headrests a la "Pimp My Ride."

Sooo ghetto.

I'd most definitely call my family... don't know if that would happen immediately after being handed the cash... or after the melee at the office, en route to the dealership. They'd hop on to private jets waiting at the nearest airports... where they'd be whisked away (I don't think my family has ever been whisked away to anything) to Bermuda... the scene of our collective second favorite family vacation.

My parents would receive the good news they'd be able to keep the family home, which they are planning on selling this coming summer (the Northeast is just too expensive for most retired folks), and I'd promise to put my youngest sister through school. I'd buy my middle sister and her husband a new home in the Atlanta area. Outside of that, I'd set up trust funds for my two sisters, something they'd be able to cash in on once they hit 30 (don't want them living high off the hog too soon and missing out on learning a good work ethic.) Money really has a way of ruining people, so I'd be cautious to spoil my family.

I'd take my own advice and turn over a majority of the cash to a financial advisor. Other than buying myself a home in Lexington and starting a little PR consulting firm (okay... and muzzling my way into on-the-court UK basketball season tickets), I'd most likely invest the rest and donate some cash to my favorite charities: MADD, American Cancer Society and some Catholic based charity.

Finally, I'd buy a new cell phone because mine is like, 2 years old, a new pair of tennis shoes because the ones I wear are older than the years Bush has sat in the Oval Office, and I'd get a nice North Face winter coat.

The fact that those few, trivial items are my big "needs" right now is enough for me to realize I am already incredibly blessed.

Turkey for Thanksgiving?

You better set the bird out to thaw now... or you'll be in a world of hurt tomorrow.

Click here to get answers to all your last-minute holiday dinner tips!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Sex, Religion & Politics

My mom always told me about the three taboo topics you just don't bring up when having a nice conversation at the dinner table.

Well, we're not at the dinner table, and as much as I hate to say it, y'all are a captive audience so I get to talk about whatever I dag-gum (I HATE it when people say that. There's this one redneck in my office who always drops the phrase like a wad of chewed tobacco in a spittoon. But anyway...) want to. So, days after the Presidential Election that many folks would like to forget, I'm going to revive a friendly political debate.

This is why I hate guns.

I'll paraphrase the article for you... basically this crazy ass hunter in Wisconsin shot up a bunch of other hunters after a dispute over a tree stand. That's a little spot in the woods where folks wait for big game to pass by. Five people are dead and several others are hurt. Two hunters were gunned down after confronting the hunter... and others were shot when responding to calls for help. Some victims were shot more than once. Here's the kicker: police caught the suspect after he got lost in the woods and ran out of bullets.

Now, I usually stick to self deprecating humor and overly revealing journaling... but today I've decided to take a critical stand on a matter I am very passionate about.

Before you jump to conclusions about my party affiliation or the kind of person I am, please take a moment to read why I so strongly oppose guns.

Years ago... in the 1960s... my dad grew up in crime-riddled Youngstown, Ohio, a steel mill town with a dead economy and abandoned businesses. To this day the town is still heavily divided between the Haves and the Have-Nots. My grandfather worked for one of the steel mills, toiling on the night shift so he could get overtime hours to provide for his family... teetering between those two divided classes. His hard work paid off, and he was eventually promoted to a foreman job. All those years in the steel mills were enough for my grandpa to realize he wanted something better for my dad, and a college education was the key for that better life far away from Youngstown.

My dad worked hard and was able to get out of Y-town for college... but he'd come home in the summer time to work (shoveling glass in the mills) and hang out with friends. One day he and three other kids were driving around town when my dad took a bullet in his face during a drive-by shooting. A driver traveling the opposite direction pointed a loaded gun at the driver of the vehicle my dad was riding in... but with speed and the fact my dad was seated behind the driver, my dad was hit on the right side of his face... about an inch away from his temple.

Both cars raced off in opposite directions, my dad's car rushing to get to the nearest hospital. Once there... doctors relied on the bone structure of the left side of his face to use as a map when reconstructing the shattered side.

I wouldn't be here if my dad hadn't survived that little incident. To this day, despite his Republican tendencies, my dad is a strong supporter of gun control. I've been raised in a culture to hate guns, and this latest incident in Wisconsin confirms my apprehension for the easy availability of hunting guns as well.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Dig In!

From Friday's Feast

What do you think is the perfect age to get married? To have a first child? To retire?
So funny because I was thinking about this the other day.

28 to 30 for getting married...

30 to 35 for having a first child...

60 to retire.

If you could change occupations tomorrow, what would you want to do for a living?
It would be a toss up between being a professional chef, Event Planner/PR consultant, or stay at home mom.

What does the color green make you think of?
I could say the traditional money, jelousy or the Packers, but actually it makes me think of the rolling exquisite hills of the Bluegrass.

Main Course
What is something that has happened to you over the last year that you didn't expect?
I have become completely confident in the person I am and have total faith God will lead me to the life he wants me to live.

How old were you when you had your first kiss?
12. Oustide my garage on a hot summer night when my sister and I were playing truth or dare with Frank O'Connell in Cincinnati.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

On second thought...

You know... sometimes things don't happen the way you want it to.

And that's God's greatest blessing.

What's that old saying my mom used to say? Oh yeah: Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

So glad I didn't get what I wanted.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Romance Bouncing Between My Brain Cells

I am all a-flutter.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

I am thick in the middle of a tawdry affair, and I love every minute of it.

It started innocently... with a social event for my bible study. It wasn't a hoedown, a prayer off or any other puritan thought that might jump to your assuming mind. About 12 of us spent the day playing in a local version of CBS's Amazing Race, and I was in charge of the whole operation.

I joined the group about 3 years ago, branded what many call in a "seeker" stage. My faith has grown stronger over the years and now I like to think of myself as a big contributor to our group. Long participating in the spiritual side of things, our little scavenger hunt was the first time I'd ever taken responsibility for organizing a social event for the group (I can't believe I had waited so long!)

Anyway, as Catholics, we make a point of adding alcohol to almost everything we do (it's a stereotype some folks work hard to live up to). We capped off the little race with a cookout at a couple's home... and then some socializing over games like Taboo and Outburst.

I had no idea how refreshing and how much fun playing games with a bunch of adults can be.

Especially with one adult in particular.

JC (not THAT J.C.) started coming to the study a couple weeks ago... his arrival bowled me over the first time I saw him. He's very attractive, and as I got to talk to him I discovered he's hard working, smart and even a little bit cocky (which I find terribly attractive.) He's active in politics and a business organization around town, and is discovering his own spirituality. Sounds like a winner in my book.

Anyway, JC showed up to my little scavenger hunt with a broad smile across his face. That same smile stuck through the night. During Trivial Pursuit, JC was crammed in the middle of a love seat, beaming with a girl on either side of him, I happened to be seated to the right. The other chick is, how do I say this nicely, perhaps asexual?? So I knew I was the clear winner where this threesome was concerned. Anyway, at one point the other girl got up to use the restroom and JC turned to me and said "If you're gonna flirt, flirt for real." And I kind of gave him an I-couldn't-be-less-interested response and facial expression.

But he saw right through me.

At the end of the night, he asked me if I wanted to go get a drink with him... and when we got in the car we noticed I had a flat tire. We put off changing the tire and instead (being the sober driver) I got behind the wheel of HIS car. We got to a cute little Irish bar with a great 80's band. He's a hard core Republican so I wasn't expecting him to cut a rug on the dance floor... boy, was I wrong. He was really jazzed about the tunes and asked if I'd dance with him.

Another endearing moment: I haven't had an alcoholic drink in almost 12 months. Not even a sip. Well... I am in the middle of telling him my whole journey with alcohol when the waitress brings my Red Bull and Cranberry. I take my first sip and immediately start panicking: it was my first sip of vodka in months. He waived down the waitress and had her switch out my drinks. I took a sip of this next glass... and immediately spit it back into the glass. This time it had coconut rum... Well, JC just couldn't believe it. He took a sip (despite my already discarded sip and yucky backwash) to confirm my claim.

So cute.

Doors held open for me... guiding me by touching the small of my back... I was head over heels... but holding my feelings close to the vest . I drove us back to my car and it's flattened tire... where he planted a big fat kiss on me. He proceeded to change my tire (so sexy) and kiss me simultaneously.

I'm not going to share all the gory details... even though I am sure some of you want me to. Let me just say I'd never had such a full service tire changing in my whole entire life.

It turns out even the chicks in the bible study can have a good time once in a while, too ;)

He called me the next morning to say hello and that he'd be calling me mid week to make plans of some sort. I'm unsure whether he'll actually make it to the study Wednesday, but his response this week is definitely the bellwether on what I can expect in the days to come.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Anna Nicole On Crack

Anyone see the AMAs Sunday night?

Anna Nicole Smith has got to be on crack... or those diet pills are getting to her.

Photo courtesy of PR NewsWire

The former Guess model turned reality show superstar introduced some guy last night, the trouble is, she probably upstaged the guy she was tossing to. Slurring voice, seductive gestures and barely coherent speech dominated her little appearance... leading anyone to wonder whether she was high, drunk or had been overly tasered by the local police department.

Poor Anna became the laughingstock for the rest of the AMAs, with even host Jimmy Kimmel taking a few pot shots at the unnaturally high blonde bombshell. If you missed the whole ordeal, you missed out on a few good laughs.

But I am dying to know, do those pills even work? I mean, I am truly stunned at how great Anna looks. But I guess I'll stick with my flabby physique if it means I'd be as loopy as she was.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Who's Hungry?

from Friday's Feast

Name 3 cosmetics/toiletries that you use on a daily basis.
Pond's Cold Cream... the perfect way to clean a face. No water needed, it's especially good when you're tired or lazy and don't want to spend 20 minutes clensing your pores. Very moisturizing, too.

Vivid White toothpaste by Crest. I guess it works, I have fairly white teeth so I suppose it does its job.

Degree deodorant. There's nothing better, in my book. Right now I use some scent called "cool cotton" or something equally vague.

Approximately how much exercise do you get per week, and what type of exercise is it (walking, running, swimming, etc.)?
OH.. my glutes and abs wanna brag about this one. For 3 weeks now, I've worked out at least three times a week. I try and do weight training once or twice a week... and cardio 3 times a week. I'm discovering muscles I didn't even know God gave me.

Write a sentence including your favorite color and your favorite food.
Kentucky's Big Blue faithful love to chow down on Derby Pie for the first Saturday in May.

Main Course
What famous person/celebrity do you think you look like?
I hear Kate Winslet or Monica Seles (minus the grunting.) An ex boyfriend once said Uma Thurman.

Name 2 simple things that never fail to make you happy.
A friendly, polite cashier or clerk.
Enjoying time (whether in person or on the phone) with a good friend or loved one.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

There's Nothing Better Than...

...a big bear hug from your dad... whom you haven't seen in five months.

...seeing your little sister, ten years your junior, visit your Alma Mater to consider it as her own school.

...sharing a simple meal of Cincinnati Chili and the best ice cream you've ever had (Oprah's favorite) with your family.

...after 4 months of utter neglect, cleaning your apartment/home/condo to welcome loved ones who've traveled far to see you.

...bringing a smile to someone's face by giving them a hand made gift (a crocheted black and purple scarf with those little spunky threads that pop out... giving it some texture)

...instead of being alone in the morning, waking up to some loving company... sharing a cup of tea and Good Morning America with your dad.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Submitted For Your Approval

Hello friends,

I have a fiery side to me, and I am just about to send off a letter to one of my past teachers. Names and places have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty, too).

Please read and tell me what you think, before I drop this in the mail.


Dear Ms. L,

A stroll down memory lane the other day brought me to the X Junior High School website, where I happened to discover you are now serving the school as a guidance counselor. Congratulations on your promotion.

From time to time I reflect upon my past, accomplishments and people who have influenced my life at one crossroads or another, and sometimes these little mental jogs bring me to my childhood. I have many happy memories of growing up in Cincinnati, to be sure. My parents worked hard to fill my younger days with joy, and from Girl Scout camp-outs, to learning how to ride my bike on X Drive, there certainly is plenty for me to look back on with fond happiness.

It gives me great pleasure thinking about the wonderful childhood I had, and all of the truly remarkable adults, brimming with class and integrity, who shaped me to be the fine woman I am today. Regretfully, I cannot say I hold you in the same regard.

I have included a photo of myself from "the old days" in this letter. I'm sure you can look through the yearbooks to help place just who I was those many years ago. I was a 7th grader for the 1989-1990 class year, and an 8th grader for the year that followed. There were many ways I shined amidst my class body: I was a stand out singer for my grade and a member of the exclusive X troupe led by Mary Doe. I contributed to the school paper and was even featured in one article as one of the best read 8th graders for that year. For one year I volunteered every Sunday at a nursing home in Grovers Corners and I was also a dedicated babysitter in my neighborhood. Those are just a few ways I respectably contributed to my class and community, unfortunately those accolades are tarnished by the memories of mean spirited character assassinations.

Do you remember me as the child who was viciously gossiped about in your Home Economics class? While I was painstakingly busy with scissors, pins and a Butterick shirt pattern, several of my classmates were consumed with passing on hurtful and untruthful comments about the kind of girl I was. At this juncture I won't criticize the way you were running your classroom, although I have strong disgust for a teacher who allows students to spitefully gossip about another child (we are talking about 13 and 14 year old kids, after all). I do, however, have several questions I'd like for you to consider about how you handled the situation at hand.

I am happy to be more specific If perhaps your memory is failing you about those days so long ago.

I was the subject of a hurtful grade school rumor, specifically focusing on my sexual orientation. It's laughable now, that anyone would even discuss the sexual orientation of a 13 year old girl, when children at that age are so innocent and not considered sexual beings. But those many years ago it was a topic that consumed the halls, the buses, in fact the classrooms at dear old X Junior High. The size of the school did not make my burden any easier, for every day hundreds of students would remind me of my "place" in the school. Despite my promising intelligence and talents, I was the lowest of the low in the junior high social food chain, and the taunts in the stairwells and at locker banks never let me forget it.

For months I didn't tell my parents about my daily burden. The taunting spoke of a subject far too embarrassing for a junior high girl to broach with her mom and dad. But one day it came out (no pun intended), and with it the pain and heartache I worked so hard to keep bottled up.

One day that year you called my mother to inform her about "my problem" and how you felt I needed to have a conversation with Mr. C in the counselors' office so I could talk about my issues. Ms. L., do you realize now how errant you were in that decision? Do you realize now how neglectful you were, in taking the word of a few mean girls as gospel, instead of sending them to an authority for speaking unkindly about another classmate? As an adult of 28, I look back on the situation with pure astonishment that you would send a young, teenage girl to a man to speak about such a sensitive matter.

I am bowled over with how incredibly wrong you were in your decision making that day. As a teacher, as a leader, as an adult, you failed me. You failed to help a student in need, and instead catered to the popular crowd inside that Home Ec. Class. You failed to defend a child under fire in her very own school. You failed to help a hurting child with crumbling self esteem and a fragile social circle. Most teachers don't get called out by their students, years down the road, for the mistakes they've made. But I've thought about how grotesquely wrong you were and how you deserve a correction, albeit 14 years late.

You deserve a huge F for how incredibly wrong you were that day.

Strength arose from somewhere inside me, no thanks to you, Ms. L. Somehow I was able to walk through those halls with a brave face, ignoring the comments that clawed at my confidence and mean jokes that tried to steal away my happiness. The rumor was more than junior high spitefulness; it was vicious, cruel and severely damaged my self esteem for several years. The halls of your fine junior high were full of hatred, and it was that very hated that led my parents to enroll me in X Academy for my freshman year of high school. It was that wretched cruelty that led my parents to move our family to Connecticut when the opportunity posed itself. It was that hate that led me to forget, to literally black out so many names and faces of people who hurt me.

But not yours.

Years later, I am a cultured, strong, intelligent woman. A success story by anyone's standards. I would gather to say I am far more successful than most of the X Junior High Class of 95. I have a college degree and have been working as a television news producer for over five years. I am a poised, well spoken woman brimming with confidence and joy. I am very active in my community and have a vast number of friends all over the country.

And, should your curiosity be wondering, I am straight and have an active dating life.

So, who's the fool now, for believing a bunch of junior high girls?

Ms. L., I did not send this letter to spitefully bring up the past, although I do take some delight in sharing with you how happy my life is, despite the pain I carry from so many years ago. Rather, I wanted to point out a moment you missed an opportunity to make a huge difference in a child's life, and how you still have a chance to redeem yourself.

Next time a young teen sits in your office, riddled with trouble, take a moment to examine the situation, and what you can do to correct the problem. Please put thought into your plan of action, for you really are in a position of power. It would be a shame to be so errant twice in your life.

One time in college, a history professor asked me which was worse: Being a Nazi in Germany during the Holocaust, or being someone who stood by and did nothing. I'm inclined to say some kind of guilt falls on both parties.

What do you think?

Kate X

Sunday, November 07, 2004

My Embarrassing Moment

Thanks to Patrick for the suggestion.

There are so many inopportune moments in my life to write about. Like the time my boob popped out of my swimsuit (doesn't every girl have one of those stories?), or the time I peed my pantyhose (yep, I didn't even have pants on to soak the mess up) at the Trocadero subway station in Paris. But I suppose the most embarrassing moment I had was in either 7th or 8th grade during art class.

Mrs. Pettitt was a freebird kind of art teacher, I guess they all are in some sense. If art teachers go through some kind of testing on how to be funky and "out there" in college, then Mrs. Pettitt passed with flying colors. Big frizzy brown hair and glasses with eclectic neck chains, she had a style that was all her own. Flowing skirts, oversized sweaters and caftans were in heavy rotation in Mrs. Pettitt's closet, despite what all the other teachers wore to that junior high school outside Cincinnati. Nary a Talbots suit or Ann Taylor dress crossed that art room threshold... No no no... Mrs. Pettitt was an eccentric kind of lady, firmly planted in a style all her own.

Junior high was more of a a no-man's-land where my style proclivities were concerned. Remember, this was circa 1990-91, and it was every young girls job to single handedly keep the hair spray manufacturing business afloat. I had the mile high bangs above my brow... almost a wall of protection against the insults that flew about like little molecules in the air; plentiful and impossible to avoid. My wardrobe in that era was very Blossom, with the occasional baggy pants or off the shoulder shirt. Charms and buttons everywhere.

Well, one day, I decided to appease my mother's wishes and dress a little more preppie. I had on this cute, red wool blazer with an embroidered crest on the pocket, and a pleated, above-the-knee red gingham skirt. Very cute, even by today's standards. The pleats gave the skirt a little swish as I walked and I thought the whole ensemble was awesome (funny how I still use that word that was so popular way back when).

I had to go to Art the same day I wore this cute little outfit. You remember the days in Art Class, right? The smocks or aprons, paint everywhere... the one place where kids were allowed to get down and dirty. I was always a very passionate artist where paints and clay were concerned, and several fights with my mom about ruined clothes were enough conditioning for me to know I'd need to wear my apron in class.

It was a rather plain apron. Gray in color with long strings in the back, probably a mix of cotton and polyester: a nice substantial material to protect my smart blazer and skirt. I tied the apron around me with care, making sure I was covered from the jewel tone tempera paints thoughtfully mixed in my partitioned paint dish.

The funny thing with aprons, and how they tie in the back, is how they can shift your clothing in the back. Shirts can bunch, pants can cinch and unfortunately, skirts can blouse up.

Remember that cute little gingham skirt I told you about? Well, it got bunched up in the ties, and pretty soon my little white panties were in plain view, for all the world to see. I remember this big blond boy named Gary shouting aloud in class "I can see Kate's underwear! Kate's underwear is showing!".

That moment was like when someone quickly pulls the needle off a record player, with the song screeching to a halt... Everyone freezing to catch my moment of weakness. I was so mortified that my ass was hanging out. I quickly pulled my skirt down and went on my way.

My junior high school years were pretty painful due to a situation I may talk about sometime, and this little undie baring incident was like pouring salt in an already huge wound.

But as I've gotten older, I've chalked that moment up as another laugh about my childhood. And I've learned that these days, men love it when any of your underwear is showing.

Must be why I had that flashing streak in college.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Reader's Choice

Writer's Block has infested my cranium.

How about you all pick what you want me to write about.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

100 Things About Me

Everyone else is doing it, so I guess I should, too.

1. I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina.
2. I have a pair of size 10 red glitter (a la Dorothy) shoes.
3. My first pet was a gerbil named Frisky. He had a brother (owned by my sister) named Midnight. One died (we don't know which) and the other ate it, so my mom let both the carcass and survivor go in the woods behind our house. We told my sister they ran away... and she didn't discover the truth until, like, eight years later.
4. I religiously use Degree deodorant.
5. My biggest vice is my nail biting. It's a bad habit I just can't shake.
6. I got my tongue pierced when I was a junior in college... and I put the stud back in once every month or so (the hole closes up a bit but I force the surgical steel back in and it's all good.)
7. Speaking of metal, I wore braces for 4 years. I had a snaggletooth, a major overbite and a nondescript chin, but my orthodontist slapped those brackets on me at age 11 and corrected the bite and wayward tooth, and even managed to pull my chin out of my neck quite nicely.
8. For some reason my butt is unusually muscle-y. It's always been that way even though I never do specific glutes exercises. Very weird.
9. My birthday is December First. I'm less than a month away to an age decidedly Late 20s.
10. I am the oldest of three girls.
11. At one time I considered majoring in Voice in college.
12. I am a registered Republican but refer to myself as a RINO (Republican In Name Only).
13. 13 is my lucky number.
14. Horseback riding used to be one of my favorite hobbies, but I've never ridden a horse in my current home state, Kentucky.
15. Woody Harrelson and I once did tequila shots together.
16. I didn't know how to drive stick shift when I bought my current car.
17. William Petersen of CSI is a distant cousin.
18. I am an extra (along with 4000 other people) in Seabiscuit. (Check out the pivotal scene at "Pimlico Parkway" (Lexington's Keeneland) between the Biscuit and War Admiral.
19. I am left-handed.
20. I grew up in Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Connecticut.
21. I wear glasses most of the time I read, do computer work or watch movies.
22. I smell the peanuts roasting at Lexington's Jif plant 3 or 4 times a week.
23. I am horrible when it comes to managing my finances and have extreme trouble disciplining myself to paying my bills on time.
24. Silver (or platinum) looks way better on me than gold does.
25. I rarely change my earrings from my favorite 10 mm. sterling balls.
26. My dad was married before he married my mom, and so they never had their marriage blessed by a priest. I am technically a bastard in the Catholic Church.
27. I got arrested the day before my 27th birthday.
28. I frequently facilitate the lessons at my Wednesday Night Bible Study.
29. I was driving near New York City on September 11th.
30. At one time or another, I have played tennis, soccer, competed in swimming, field hockey, took gymnastics lessons, and rode horses. I do not do any of these things as an adult (hence the spare tire around my waist).
31. I once won $130 dollars in a single bet at Keeneland Race Course.
32. My sister, Brigid and I used to have a horrible relationship. I once even smashed her little five-year-old hand into a bowl of steaming hot Chicken Noodle Soup (I was 7, people). Now we're the best of friends and I was the Maid of Honor at her wedding this past June.
33. I once toured overseas with my high school choir and even had a chance to perform inside Notre Dame in Paris.
34. I love to cook, and my favorite thing to make is banana bread. It's a recipe my grandmother got when she went on vacation with Bob Dylan's mom. Yes, THE Bob Dylan.
35. My middle name is Louise.
36. I am loyal to Proctor & Gamble products (remnants of a childhood spent in Cincinnati).
37. Sushi is probably one of my favorite things to eat, especially the eel, squid and octopus.
38. I wear a 38 DD bra.
39. My mom tells me I once got my head caught in the banister at the top of a staircase when I was 2. This was way before cordless phones... and my mom didn't want to leave me for fear I'd fall and strangle myself. Somehow she pulled the two balusters apart just enough so I could squeeze my little butterball noggin out safely.
40. Clinique's Amber Glass is my favorite lipstick ever.
41. I got an Honorable Mention in my 6th grade science fair. It was a project on soundwaves, and basically I used a coffee can, some plastic wrap and mirrors to use the movement of light to indicate how soundwaves move.
41. Speaking of plastic wrap, I have wrapped blue Saran Wrap around myself like a plastic tube top. It's the gettup I wear when I go to raves (these days, not as often as I used to) and the drag queens absolutely love it.
42. I once stuck my tongue to a stop sign pole. I think I was about 11 or 12 years old and I wanted to see if "what they say" was really true. Well, it is. Several months later, on a warm day in April I noticed my taste buds still on that poll at the corner where Applejack Court met Appleseed Drive. I picked them off and brought them home with me... saving them in one of those pre-ziploc plastic bags where you folded the top over.
43. Only two people in the whole wide world call me Kate.
44. As a kid, I went to a couple baseball games with former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. (Ain't nothin' to crow about).
45. I regularly take glucophage, an insulin managing medication for diabetics, even though I'm not diabetic.
46. I got my period when I was 15.
47. I aced my driving test (and the written part) the very first time.
48. Every new dentist I see tells me my teeth are beautiful and impeccably cared for. I owe all the credit to my mom, who used to yell at and chase me around the house at night to brush my teeth before bedtime.
49. After years of fighting with my mom to make my bed, I refuse to do it as a grown-up. No one sees my bedroom anyway, so it doesn't really matter these days.
50. I cringe at the sound of those styrofoam flip-flops scraping against the cement in the summer.
51. The veins in my right arm are far easier for nurses to find when donating blood.
52. Speaking of donating, I want to donate my organs when I die. I don't need 'em in heaven.
53. Out of habit, I say a Hail Mary and an Our Father before any plane I'm riding on takes off.
54. My grandfather gave my my own rosary beads for Christmas my senior year in high school. It was several days after my grandmother had passed away unexpectedly.
55. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
56. My first job was as a bus girl at The Wharf Restaurant on the beautiful beaches of Madison, Connecticut. I rode to the "interview" on my Raleigh ten-speed and was hired on the spot.
57. I used to collect those Absolut vodka ads in college and used them to wallpaper my dorm room all through my four years at UK.
58. Trinkets on my desk at work include a slightly bent slinky, a figurine of Saint Clare (patron saint of television workers) a picture of my family, a little glass bowl full of shells from the beaches at home, a dictionary/thesaurus set I've had since 7th grade, a Page-A-Day calendar with pics from Italy, an empty bottle of Evian water, a hard hat, and a colorbars mouse pad from the Guggenheim Museum.
59. I camped out in the rain to get tickets to the Final Four in 1997. UK made it to the game but lost in triple overtime to those damn Arizona Wildcats.
60. I hate Mountain Dew.
61. I sometimes pee my pants when I laugh too hard. It's a problem that has struck at college parties, girl scout meetings, and a subway in Paris. Fortunately no such trouble at work, but then again stuff at work really isn't that funny.
62. I used to eat cupcakes with the wrappers still on as a kid, even probably in 8th grade.
63. Coca-Cola is my favorite brand of soda (or 'pop' as I called it when I lived in Cincinnati).
64. I have never bought whole, 2% or 1% milk in my life. Skim milk all the way, baby! Even as a toddler.
65. I had my first car accident at 26 while I was changing a cd (I still have a hard time listening to Sheryl Crow's You're An Original because that's the song I wanted to hear when it happened).
66. Sometimes, when I'm nervous, I bite the insides of my cheeks.
67. When I was five, I had an imaginary husband named Dumas (pronounced Doomes) and we lived in Japan and took trips to Hawaii.
68. I really want to get a boob lift someday.
69. I was 19 the first time I had sex.
70. It's been 14 months since I last had sex.
71. Barry Manilow was the first concert I ever went to. It wasn't my choice.
72. When I was 6 I used to eat the frozen carrots off my snowmen while living in Minneapolis.
73. Our family home in Connecticut is haunted by a nice ghost named Maureen who sometimes folds laundry, opens and closes doors and turns on lights.
74. I've never broken a bone.
75. I once stopped drinking for a year.
76. I am a stickler when it comes to saying please and thank you.
77. I'm one of "those" people who use my cell phone as my only line.
78. I was one of the top five finalists in our high school declamation contest, a competition that had been around for like a hundred and fifty years.
79. I want to honeymoon some day in Rome and Positano Italy.
80. My mom wouldn't let me get a perm because my hair growing up was already really kinky and frizzy, kind of like a white girl afro.
81. I hate it when people say "girl" in place of a female's name.
82. Baby Ruth is my favorite candy bar.
83. I get cold sores from time to time (maybe once or twice a year) on the vermilion border of my mouth (that thin line where your lips and skin meet).
84. I failed two courses (one in sociology, the other in poly sci) in college but still managed to graduate in four years.
85. I wrestled my youngest sister for our other sister's bouquet at her wedding this past June. I was 27... the baby was 17... and the bride was 24. I was obviously the deserving side on that wrestling match. It wasn't as much of a ruckus as it sounds, but it turned out to be far more a contest then I was anticipating. Mom specifically told Brig to throw it to me, but somehow Mickie thought she would take a stab at getting it (even though she's FAR TOO YOUNG to get married!). Good thing I won out on that one :)
86. I once lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers and running. I gained it all back but am now only 10 pounds away from my record low. This time I'm adding some weight training.
87. I am allergic to penicillin and amoxocillin.
88. I have a pair of handcuffs leftover from when I went as a dominatrix one Halloween a couple years ago.
89. I once got caught stealing little toys from a friend when I was in second grade. My mom made me apologize to the girl's mother one rainy day (I was wearing my yellow slicker with the navy blue whale-print lining), and I've never stolen anything since.
90. I still don't own a computer.
91. Purses are my favorite accessory.
92. I used to be bullemic.
93. No one has ever sent me flowers. I keep thinking some day I'll send flowers to myself one of these birthdays, but I guess that's pretty silly.
94. I save fortune cookie fortunes. I have one on my desk beneath my family picture that says: Someone is looking up to you. Don't let that person down.
95. Red is my favorite color, with blue checking in as a close second.
96. I flicked off someone yesterday for the first time in years.
97. I only read the newspaper on the weekends.
98. I have six different email addresses.
99. I eat eggs way past their expiration date.
100. I lie about my weight, my SAT score and how tall I am.

Monday, November 01, 2004

My Dirty Little Secret

I have something I must confess: no one knows about my blog.

Well, not "no one," because if you're reading this then you know about it, and I'm thrilled you do. But you don't really know who I am... and for some reason I feel reasonably safe airing all my dirty laundry for all the Web to see. It's just those other people that I worry about.

By "other" I mean my family, co-workers, certain friends, folks I go to church with. The list is endless of people I'd rather not spill the beans to about katesrandommusings.blogspot.com. I've disclosed my little secret of internet publishing to a couple friends who take me for both the good and the bad, but I haven't breathed a word of it to either of my sisters (who are so normal they'd think me very weird for blogging). I haven't told my parents because, as tame as this is, there are perhaps a few juicy details (or colorful descriptions) I'd rather not tell them about.

My blog is basically a literary playground for my mind to exercise and romp on (or in), and I like it like that. No need to censor, erase scandalous posts or otherwise mediate the verbal ooze that seeps from my cranium.

Someone recently asked for my web address. It was this guy I've started corresponding to because of one of those zany internet dating sites. We've probably exchanged 6 or 7 lengthy emails apiece, so he has a good sense of who I am, but I don't think I'm at a point to share my blog with him. Is that bad? I feel both mysterious and selfish for not giving him the link, after all... you all read my blog and you have no flipping idea who I really am. This guy's kind of in the same boat. If he passed me on the street, I dare say he wouldn't even realize it. Still... there's a glimmer of hope the two of us will step away from our respective keyboards and meet face to face, and for that reason I'm a little guarded about my internet journal.