Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I just wanted to check in with you and let you know I'm doing well. I've really worked hard to develop an attitude that appreciates and enjoys the station my life is currently experiencing. It's easy to embrace the great job and the busy (and fun) social life, and I am really glad you've helped me fold in some meaning (like the volunteer work, etc.) into these chapters I call Life.
I just wanted to let you know that some people are trying to bring me down about my being single, and I'm trying to be strong through all that negativity.
I can take seeing my friends prosper with expanding families. My Christmas cards reflect a veritable menagerie of beautiful children you've blessed my life with knowing. I enjoy hearing those stories about how Baby X is growing and thinking and learning about this wonderful adventure on Earth.
Those moments are really rad.
I'm just not so down with the tough times like when my kid sister calls me a loser for being 30 and single.
Now, I know the amazing Mickdizzle is brilliant and omniscient and the epitome of wisdom. I just think her aim might be a little off on this latest opinion.
It's these lovely exchanges that truly grate on my strength and determination.
God. I can already hear you. But Kate. She's 20 years old. She doesn't know her ass from her elbow. Why do you give her the time of day? Oy vey.
Well, G. It's not so much that I give credence to what she says (because yes, she is still learning the difference between her posterior and her anterior ligaments), it's just that her kind remarks are akin a mosquito biting away at a brown, bloody scab, trying to peel away my confidence.
And I guess that's when I second guess myself.
Am I alright?
Am I a freak for not being married yet?
Why am I still single, anyway?
The questions start swirling in my noggin and then I begin to doubt my independence and circumstance.
Maybe you could do something like put a force field around me blocking all negativity regarding my lack of plus 1 status. Maybe you could whisper little nuggets of positivity in my ear when I'm sleeping.
Or maybe you could just give a swift kick to my sister's ass or elbow.
Whichever one hurts more.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
1) The new trip on my horizon. Rome in September. Maybe a stop somewhere (Switzerland/Portugal/Ireland? The world is my oyster) on the way to/from the Colisseum etc.
2) A skinnier me. At least 10 pounds skinnier. I've gained about seven pounds since my dad carved our Thanksgiving turkey. I think major plans are in order once the calendar sweeps its way to 2007.
3) A boyfriend. I imagine this will be perpetually on the list until Cupid decides to have his way with me. The holiday break did give me a bit to be positive about...
4) More time. I cannot wait to shout a big Be gone with you! to the holidays. I mean, spending time with friends and family is a blast, and I haven't enjoyed so much good food in a very long time (see #2) but it's time for me to get a chance to hang out in my apartment and be all by my lonesome. I really thrive on alone time - it helps me power down and renergize so I can return to my crazy ass self.
5) A nice pair of winter heels. I loves me some shoes. My dad repeatedly teases me about my affection for a well cobbled heel and sleek construction of leather. I am in need of a nice pair of heels that are big on style and made with more than a few strappy strands of leather. This one will probably be the easiest dream for me to make a reality...
Monday, December 25, 2006
We've been passing the time together doing many holiday cliches like catching the Nutcracker at Music Hall and Festival Lights at the zoo.
We've also been hitting the area's culinary highlights - Dee Felice Cafe in Covington, the original Montgomery Inn near my parents' home and our favorite joint for a Cincinnati tradition - Blue Ash Chili (get a six-way. They add deep fried jalapenos to the top of your mound of noodles/chili/beans/onions/cheese).
Saturday night my sister, brother-in-law and I went to the Hofbrauhaus in Newport and the Wine Cellar in Mt. Adams.
Over the course of these lovely experiences, we've had several entertaining conversations - many of these interesting moments involve my mother hearing something completely different from what was uttered.
So, I guess my whole partially deaf thing runs in the family.
There we were, taking the back roads from Montgomery through Indian Hill, destination Symmes Township, when my mom blurted out "What? Redneck erotica?"
I honestly cannot recall what was said. We were likely talking about Christmas gifts or perhaps my BIL was discussing his thesis project for his last semester in grad school at Georgia Tech.
I don't know whether there's a market for Redneck Erotica, or whether that unusual concept even exists. It's almost like that Google game some computer freaks play - pairing unusual words together to find something with no search results.
Remember when Chick Lit was brand new and started a firestorm of talk? Perhaps my mom has invented a literary market just waiting to be tapped.
So, Redneck Erotica. That's the big joke in the family right now. Go figure.
My sister, Bridge, and my BIL are teasing me quite a bit right now. They met at Clemson U. in South Carolina a million years ago for college.
Take one guess as to which school is playing my Kentucky Wildcats in the Music City Bowl next Friday... one guess.
Yes. A family rivalry is always wonderful this time of year.
Here's to wishing you find lots of Redneck Erotica under your Christmas tree and that your family can take (and carry on with) a joke as well as mine can.
Kate the Great
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
While you all were watching football, my kind decided to have an annual Global Sisterhood of Femininity meeting in the shoe section at Macy's. We held a vote and it was determined that someone had to tell y'all what to buy us girls for Christmas.
I was assigned that heavy duty, so here goes.
1) We want something special under the Christmas tree. No blenders. No vacuums. We do not want anything boring or necessary like tires for Christmas. No. No. No.
It is quite likely World War III will erupt (or at the very least, we will break up with you) if you give us those kinds of presents.
2) We especially invite you to buy us gifts that we really really want but would never buy ourselves. Things that are sparkly and shiny or good smelling. Things that make us wanna sing Man, I feel like a woman just like Shania Twain when she wears that top hat and corset.
3) No matter how much we reluctantly say we would love to have a stripper pole installed in the basement, we really hate that idea. Really. We realize that's probably the kind of gift that would keep on giving for you, and so that's why we say we'd agree to a gift like that. Also included in this rule: gifts from Hustler or Fredericks of Hollywood. The Victoria's Secret Clause is an exception (but only by a narrow margin).
4) Every chick is impressed by something that's really nice. Tiffany. Chanel. Prada. These are good places to start - there are lots of options to consider. Most luxury brands offer a variety of goods including jewelry, fragrances, scarves, leather goods. Maybe your gal is a Smell Good type. Maybe she'd prefer a great day planner. Just pick a big name and go from there.
These are some simple suggestions you all should consider when buying members of the Sisterhood a gift for the holidays.
Follow this advice and Peace on Earth is sure to spread for weeks to come.
You are, above all else, a Family Man.
You are kind, talented, ambitious and modest.
You are loyal to friends and your sacrifices know no bounds where loved ones are concerned.
George, you are the example I compare every man to.
I love you, George Bailey.
Your movie is my most favorite ever, and every Christmas I anticipate watching you develop into an amazing man who struggles with challenges and personal anguish, only to discover the beauty of human generosity.
George, I think you're amazing. I love how you pine over Mary for years and years and years and I love how you make a joke of yourself when you fall into the pool at the high school dance.
I love how you carry Zuzu's petals in your pocket.
Every Christmas I watch It's A Wonderful Life and I realize just how wonderful my own life is.
And how someday I'll find my own George Bailey.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
If you appreciate high-brow humor, then perhaps you should move on to another blog.
If you do not like dirty words or saucy topics, then the following video clip is not for you.
If you prefer the kind of humor found in sewing circles and bingo halls (as opposed to the kind of jokes told on elementary school playgrounds) then you should definitely avoid clicking the link below.
The rest of you dirty birds - y'all will really like this one.
ps- I hope Justin Timberlake does not stick with this fashion style.
Double PS - Thanks to Double Platinum for the heads up on this on Monday... (you finally get a shout out...)
Monday, December 18, 2006
Well, folks. She's coming back.
And for a brief moment the planets will be aligned and there will be peace around the globe.
Wait a minute. Haven't I seen you on tee vee before?
I just had to share the sheer glory and happiness getting ready to infect the United States.
First Circle: One of the most infuriating experiences of the season is the wretched traffic you encounter anywhere within a five mile radius of the area shopping centers. At this juncture, be prepared to exchange impolite hand gestures and cursing with your fellow drivers. The stop and go traffic and spontaneous braking of indecisive drivers is enough for you to swear like a sailor and pray for the very destruction of these peoples' lives.
Second Circle: Almost as frustrating is the line at practically any checkout counter. It appears stores strategically calculate how many shoppers they have on the premises and then determine which employees should take an immediate break from ringing up customers at the register. Michael's Crafts is a perfect place to experience this sheer madness. You will literally question your existence and what moral indiscretions you may have made in a past life as you are forced to listen to Jose Feliciano's rousing rendition of "Feliz Navidad," all while waiting to buy some extra gift wrapping ribbon and double sided tape.
Third Circle: You could very well be inspired to pull out all your hair as you try to pen the most creative and catchy of Christmas Cards. Families have gone to war over this one. Someone always ends up sounding like the white-trash cousin when you type up a little ditty about who did what during 2006. And if your card isn't juicy, then it's likely your red or green photocopied note is used to wipe dirty bottoms at your grandma's Old Folks Home.
Fourth Circle: I am surprised the media does not report more stranglings by Christmas lights. These little strands of light should come with a warning label. Some people may choose to kill themselves with their icicle lights, twinkle lights, white lights or flashing lights after encountering the most frustrating of challenges when hanging said lights. Other people may die at the hands of a loved one who is too critical about lights hung on the family tree, the outside bushes, or the home.
Long Live Clark Griswold.
Fifth Circle: Speaking of Clark, Dante would surely describe the seasonal excessive time spent with family as a hellish experience. There is no other masochistic experience like subjecting yourself to the familial rehashing of old arguments, sibling rivalry that refuses to die once everyone involved reaches 20 and the passive aggressive attitudes as prevalent as tinsel. It's just something you have to do, and once it's all said and done you'll come out of the moment a braver, more resilient person.
That which does not kill us makes us stronger, right?
Sixth Circle: There is a special place in Hell for the person who invented the scale. Let's face it: you confront every holiday season with a brave face - You make vows to stay out of the work break room and steer your cart away from the obligatory Egg Nog section in the grocery store cooler. Nevertheless, every December you manage to gain a pound or two Okay, fine it's really eight pounds but I am an emotional eater. Back off! and remain powerless while attending a full schedule of parties.
Seventh Circle: Don't you just wish you could sometimes punch the lady wearing the crazy ass holiday sweater? Okay, it's not bad enough that she's got homemade earrings made out of little jingle bells. This is the lady in the office who manages to find any sweater made with a battery pack to include real light up lights. I think you know who I'm talking about. The very smear of Rudolph Red lipstick on her face (it actually covers a quarter inch ring beyond the border of her mouth) makes you want to gnaw the heart out of your chest cavity. This is the lady who is humming Jingle Bells while working in her cubicle. Here's what I wonder when I see this lady: Does she have no worries about how she'll pay for Christmas? Does this woman not experience the same frustrations I encounter?
Does this woman take drugs?
Eighth Circle: Happy Holidays Schmolidays. Doesn't the status of modern American culture just suck? I mean, where is the justice in the fact that the Politically Correct have totally dissolved any genuine Christmas spirit? I love all the many people and cultures around this globe, really I do, but I'd like to highlight a minor point. I do not celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. These events are super neat-o and I love love love what they symbolize, but I belong to a religious community that celebrates the holiday marking the birth of Christ. You know, the holiday where we're required to decorate pine trees and wrap gifts with brightly colored paper and sing carols while wearing scarves knit by Grandma. I'd like to continue calling that holiday Christmas if that's okay with you, ummkay?
Ninth Circle: One of the worst moments of the Holiday season is being trapped in Voice Mail Hell while calling Customer Service. Maybe you're calling to buy your honey a really hawt Blackberry, maybe you need help replacing the thingamajig for your Wii controller. Either way, it is assured you will be a) put on hold for all eternity or the duration of your life (which ever one comes first) or b) your call will be transferred to an individual who does not speak your language well and will likely not know the whereabouts of the city you live in, even if you live in a metropolis like Chicago.
God bless us everyone, indeed, Tiny Tim.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
1.Where was your profile pic taken? Um, I actually think in a car??
2.What exactly are you wearing right now? Very minimalist. Black pants. Black sweater. Black glasses. I want to direct all of my creativity into my work.
3. What is your current problem? I have not even begun my Christmas shopping. I know that if
that's my only problem in life - then my life is super blessed.
4.What makes you most happy? Spending time with my family, friends and volunteering.
5. What’s the name of the song that you're listening TO? I am in love with Nelly Furtado and I have a confession, I am intrigued by the Gwen Stefani Sound of Music rip-off.
6.Has anyone you've been really close with passed away? Grandparents and extended family
7.Do you ever watch MTV? Actually, no.
8. What’s something that really annoys you? The long line at Starbucks. The seventh ring of Dante's Inferno (also known as the checkout at Michael's Crafts.) Traffic jams. Immaturity.
1.Middle name: Louise
2.Nickname(s): Kate, Peanut, Punkin, KC, Babe
3.Current place? The Tall 12.
4.Eye color: Blue
1. Do you live with your parents? That would be a negative.
2. Do you get along with your parent(s)?Most of the time. Since we've all become adults, we get along fabulously.
3.Do you have any Siblings?2 sisters
Chapter 3: Favorite...
1. Ice Cream: B & Js Phish Food or Graeter's Peppermint Stick
Chapter 4: Do You..
1. Write on your hand? Not unless I'm really desperate
2. Call people back: I am really bad about this one. I have a habit - I don't listen to voicemail.
3. Believe in love: Absolutely
4. Sleep on a certain side of the bed? Not really. Which ever side is closest to the exit and or the television.
5. Have any bad habits? I just fell off the wagon of the non-nail biters' club.
6. Any mental health issues: I think Alzheimer's has started to set in. I guess that's what happens when you hit 30.
Chapter 5: Have You....
1.Broken a bone? Nope.
2. bought new stuff in the last two weeks? New stuff? How vague. I guess I bought a new travel coffee mug. Now, isn't that special?
3. Had physical therapy?:nope
4. Gotten stitches: No.
5.Taken painkillers? When I had my wisdom teeth out eight years ago.
6.Gone SCUBA diving or snorkeling:no.
7. Been stung by a bee? Yes, when I was six and I freaked out.
8. Thrown up at the dentist: Never.
9. Ever sworn in front of your parent? Yes. We are a family that likes to communicate and express our feelings.
10. Had detention: Once when I was a freshman at Ursuline - I got to class late one too many times.
11. Been sent to the principal's office: When I was in Fourth Grade because I was trying to be cool and I said the S word.
12. Been suspended: Never
Who/What was the last...
1.Movie(s) you watched? Casino Royale 007.
2. Person to text you: I think that would be Johnny G in C-Bus.
3. Person you called?: My co-worker Allison P.
4.Person you hugged: Johnny Lo
5. Last person you talked to? Double Platinum
6. Thing you touched: My keyboard silly. It's super clean.
7. Thing you ate: A cookie left over from the consultants' meeting
8. Thing you drank: Diet Coke
9. Time you cried:hmmm.... the weekend before my birthday. Over two weeks ago.
10. Wished on a star: When I watching for some shooting stars this summer with friends.
No, not with Ugly Betty, though I think that girl looks cute and helpless in a Molly Ringwald Pretty in Pink kind of way.
And I haven't traded you in for the sweaty dirty people on Survivor: Cook Island.
I've just been too damn busy to check in with the folks in Scranton. Oh, how I miss your office guerrilla warfare. Your tiger like instincts that hone in on the inappropriate office hy-jinks.
And your manliness. Oh, the manliness.
Dwight, hopefully we'll be able to reunite after the holidays. After I'm done with my seasonal volunteer commitments, the many parties and perpetual baking obligations through the holidays.
Until then, my love.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Welcome to all the new and old friends reading my blog.
Welcome to all the people in Frankfort (yeah, I know about y'all).
Welcome to our friends at Delta (is that you, Honorary Big Sis?)
Welcome to Jeregano at UC and to Southern Son stealing his neighbor's WiFi.
Welcome to our friends in the United Arab Emirates and Canada and Germany and Israel and Egypt and Great Britain (cheerio, D-money!)
Welcome to the late night reader at Procter and Gamble and welcome to the friend getting to the blog from my MySpace page.
Welcome to the people searching Google for "peed my pantyhose," "my stomach was upset," "kate's eyelash salon" and pictures of Gwen Stefani.
And welcome to the people searching for my many odes to Dwight Schrute.
It feels so great to know y'all love me.
Monday, December 11, 2006
I think we've pretty well established that.
Sometimes I get all morose and funky and super aware of my mortality. You know - realizing that some day when it's all said and done this curvy body of mine is going to end up in something that looks more like a pared down Buick than a pine box.
Other days I'm all Pollyanna and sunshine and bursting with optimism. I am fully aware this overly positive outlook has a way of grating on people. Hell, I used to be one of those people back in the day.
Still, there are other days when I get into a funk because I care about something too much. Maybe it's something at work, maybe it's a person I'm attached to - either way - my brain festers on something unpleasant that makes me feel a bit down.
And I'm not so down with that, y'all.
I've decided - I am not going to let anyone steal my sunshine.
I hear by declare that I will do my best to treat people the way that I want to be treated. I will kill negativity with kindness and remain committed to brushing off bad attitudes.
I spent so many years in stuck in a cloud of frustration, anxiety and insecurity and realized life is too short to live that way.
Live and let live - just please let me live happy.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
By trophy I mean the glossy, firmly constructed bags dispensed at the most luxurious of shopping venues - each bag symbolic of a significant purchase in my shopping career.
Tiffany offers a bright, robin's-egg-blue bag to carry off your sparkly gems. I have three of those bags...
Coach was big into their crazy colorful Scribble C logo a couple years back, but more recently they returned to an understated white bag with red trim. I've got one of each in my special Trophy Shopping Bag collection.
Sephora. Victoria's Secret. These bags are wonderful items to recycle. You can drag your lunch to work in them (the smart design and sturdy material can last you weeks to and from work) and you can use them to bundle up things - like library books - that need to be toted to and from home.
The latest bag I've added to the collection is none other than the much coveted Prada.
Confession time: I did not shirk the rent to buy a fancy schmancy handbag. No, I bought something that was long overdue and far more reasonable - a new pair of eyeglasses. Simple, black and mostly covered by my vision insurance.
The Prada frames were a bit more than the $150 allotted (so were most of the other Gucci, Chanel, Oliver Peoples, Dolce Gabbana, etc. offered in the eyeglass shop. Note to self: if you're buying glasses on a budget, do not go to the neighborhood eye doctor's office in Oakley) but they were so beautiful. And. They. Were. Prada.
Fancy fancy fancy.
So the glasses came with a case, a firm cardboard box to hold the case, a special lens cleaner, and the much coveted Prada shopping bag. Almost as if you walked into a Prada boutique and decided to pick yourself up some 20/25 lenses perfect for astigmatism.
Here's the silly part.
I don't know why I save most of these bags. I will never ever ever recycle most of them.
I cannot tell you how pretentious and showy I would feel if I tossed my Dinty Moore beef stew and mandarin orange fruit cup in a Tiffany bag and brought it to work. The whole Dinty Moore lunch completely contradicts the aura, the essence de Tiffany. I would feel so gauche throwing my personal planner, my mittens and my makeup in the Scribble C Coach bag.
I mean, how showy would that be?
Now, the second tier bags like Victoria's Secret and Sephora - those are fine for re-use in my book. Almost everyone and their mother has discovered the secret of Victoria, so re-using that bag isn't any obnoxious, ostentatious statement of conspicuous consumption. That kind of recycling basically just tells the world you like nice underwear.
And that statement is a-o-k with me.
So. I've put the Prada bag with all the others - in a big messy pile on the floor of my pantry.
A trophy case of sorts that never sees the light of day. Bags just sitting there basking in their single use glory.
Will I ever have the heart to throw them away?
Friday, December 08, 2006
It's a fact of life we all know to be firm and resolute, yet there are occasions that crop up and try to draw us back to yesteryear.
Last night I had the pleasure of catching the latest production of A Christmas Carol at Playhouse in the Park. I took my 20 year old sister, Mickdizzle, for a nice evening of sisterly bonding. She's home on break from her sophomore year at Ohio University, hanging around in a town she doesn't know very well with two people whom she sometimes wishes she didn't know very well.
So, I decided to give her a break from our parents. Or perhaps it was a break for them.
I love love love Mickdizzle. She's ten years younger than I am and I've really enjoyed watching her grow up.
Kate the Great's High School graduation many moons ago. The expressions are priceless. Bridge (left) is saying "Dad, ohmygod I so don't want to be here stop taking my picture or I'm gonna die." Mickdizzle (middle) is thrilled to be mugging for the camera at such an important event for the family. Mom (right, with the pilgrim collar dress on) is just glad nobody is wrestling or pulling hair in public.
I remember Mickdizzle when she was the stinky kid with the messy curly hair, hanging in the trees in her hole-y leggings and untied tennis shoes. Those were the days when she worshiped her big sister, Kate the Great. To this day I have a picture on my refrigerator that little Mick drew for me when she was a wee eight years old. A picture of our house and me behind the wheel of a car with a scrawled "Please be carefull when you drive Katy, I love you."
It still makes my heart melt. But boy, have things changed.
Burberry. The North Face. Coach. That's pretty much the only language Mickdizzle speaks.
So, my relationship with Mickdizzle is going through some growing pains right now.
She so desperately wants to be treated like a grown up. She's always snapping at me when I correct her on a word pronunciation or when she thinks something I say is patronizing and condescending.
I try and bite my tongue most of the time. Really, I do. I work so hard to treat Mickdizzle the same way I'd treat one of my friends.
Then she says something like, "Yeah. So am I going to be sitting next to anyone smelly tonight?"
I really wish I could go back to the days when it was easy.
The days when I was allowed to treat her like a kid because that's what she wanted to be - hanging in trees and riding her bike with the little plastic streamers coming out of the handle bars.
It was way easier back in the day.
Even when we were pulling hair and and yelling and stealing hairbrushes.
Speaking of going back in the past:
A great tune came on in the car as Mickdizzle and I headed back to home base in Oakley.
Fiona Apple's Criminal - it's one of my karaoke classics. When I sing Criminal my voice sounds like something half way between strong and sultry. I think my rendition could very well give Ms. Apple a run for her own one-hit-wonder money.
So there I was belting out And-I-need-to-be-redeemed-to-the-one-I've-sinned-against- because-he's-all-I-ever-knew-of-a-love... when my voice box came to an abrupt halt. I was sitting at the intersection, getting ready to turn right onto my street, and I was caught off guard by the car in front of mine.
I recognized the model immediately. The plates were what I expected them to be, and the driver was sitting in the pose I once made fun of him for.
Someone whom I didn't expect to see on my side of town. Someone I guess I didn't want to see on my side of town.
It's easy to run into someone in the place you expect them to be - you get ahold of the intestinal fortitude to prepare for that chance happening. Maybe at a bar they like to frequent, a gas station near their home.
But not on your home turf.
Not in a place where you feel safe and warm and protected from the past.
Because we can't go back. We can't change what happened. We can't get a do-over on the mistakes we make. All we can do is second guess and play the scenario in our mind over and over and over and hope that the next time we're dealt those cards we play the game a little better - and hope we can keep our poker tell to ourselves.
So I went to One World Wednesday on guess when Wednesday.
The theme was London and I loved it because it reminded me of my trip a month and a half ago.
The friend whom I was supposed to go with was caught in a meeting in Louisville, so there I was standing alone with a beer in my hand next to some interesting gold bowl honoring King Whateverhisnameis from Persia/Egypt/some other place prominent in history a million years ago.
I don't do well with reaching out to strangers. I am much better at cruising crowded spots on my own - appearing to be extremely interested in the back story of the gold bowl like why it has a special rippled rim because it's a unique design feature representing bladdy blady blah.
So there I was enjoying the unusual artwork, the British house music and the samples of fish and chips (uh, yeah, they're exactly the same in the States as they are in London) when I ran into a friend from my past.
I cannot express to you the sheer glee I felt upon seeing a familiar face.
I'd had enough of Let's pretend we're the foreign visitor in London and was grateful to know I wasn't alone anymore.
My friend informed me that he didn't have time to chat because he was on his way to volunteer at a wine station (how come I never get those kinds of volunteering opportunities?) but that we'd catch up later.
I ended up running into some coworkers whom I don't know very well, and spent the evening getting to know some kind people who bide their time at the same great work place.
But not before participating in one of the evening's forums regarding whether Britain is the United States' only friend.
Yours truly was the primary contributor to this debate.
I guess the others in the group that evening aren't as passionate or critical as I am in regards to world affairs.
God, that statement says volumes about the people in this city.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
True, a kind soul will likely say hello and offer to get you a table, but that's not really what grabs ahold of you.
It's the chartreuse.
The neon, yellowy-green walls and adjoining pomegranate rooms stop you in your tracks and immediately give you a heads up that this is not like any other restaurant you've been to in a long, long time.
The Covington eatery is the latest effort by cooking genius Jean Robert de Cavel in his campaign to take over all gastronomic endeavors sizzling in the Tri-State.
And sizzle is what Jean Robert does best.
The Greenup Cafe has a distinct bohemian feel that welcomes all diners, including those getting their first bite of Jean Robert food. Unlike other JRdC restaurants, prices here are easy on the wallet and the food is a type of French comfort food that hits the spot both for foodies and those who are easing their way into more daring, dining territory.
The restaurant takes up the space inside an old home a few blocks from the river. The living quarters have been turned into cozy dining spaces with simple benches lining the perimeter of the rooms and intimate tables dotting the periphery. Classic French, almost Toulouse Lautrec posters (and some more modern in design) hang on the walls to add to the foreign feeling.
Now, I am balls out daring when it comes to eating.
My fork has never grazed through something I didn't like (well except for maybe that black pudding in Scotland, but that's another story for another day) so I decided to try the seafood crepes. Delicate crepes stuffed with everything in the sea - scallops, shrimp, bits of fish - and mushrooms, all swimming in a creamy sauce of gruyere cheese. The pair of crepes were carefully tucked in a dish atop a bed of mossy green spinach.
The only thing that disappointed me about my meal was that there was nothing left when I was finished eating. I think my dish was about $10.50.
My dining companion had the omlette du jour - sausage and ratatouille with cheese, served with beautiful, rusty colored red potatoes and a dainty salad of mixed greens with bits of radish. A light savory dressing did not detract from the fresh flavors of the lettuce. The omlette was substantial and cooked perfectly - sturdy enough to hold the cornocopia of stuffing and yet not overcooked. The potatoes made my mouth water, as they looked like something a grandmother would whip up for her family with a well seasoned cast iron skillet. The omlette et cetera checked in at a more than fair $7.50.
The Greenup Cafe also does dinner and as I recall the prices topped out in the neighborhood of $15.50 per entree.
On this particular afternoon the restaurant was full of all kinds of people savoring the amazing dishes.
Young professionals grabbing a leisurely bite on a Friday, a bunch of 50 something women celebrating a special event. A couple spending some quality time over some quality food.
And a chick and her friend celebrating a 30th birthday.
I hope to visit the Greenup Cafe many, many more times before I reach 31.
The Greenup Cafe serves coffee and quick pastries early most mornings. Breakfast and lunch are available Monday through Friday, and dinner is served up Wednesday through Sunday. Brunch is featured Saturday and Sunday only. Check here for specifics on hours.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Things got rolling along last Thursday and we didn't put the cake away (literally) until this evening. Over the past five days I've enjoyed:
- Three fabulous meals with great friends and family (a write-up on Covington's Greenup Cafe is coming - stay tuned
- Several several rounds of drinks at bars on both sides of the Ohio
- Two birthday cakes, some chocolate chip cookies and a Bavarian cream puff
- A Dance Party complete with In Da Club and Sexy/Back
I guess if there was one birthday that was to get the extended remix treatment, it would be the 3-0, wouldn't it?
I bring home the bacon and can fry it up in the pan.
Actually, lately I haven't been frying much bacon, but I have been a cooking machine. Yesterday I fixed my own version of a Chipotle burrito (I'd say it was way better, but then I'm a bit prejudice) and I also whipped up an interesting wasabe and dill tuna salad.
Tonight it's all about some Christmas cookies.
Tomorrow I'm pitching in to throw a holiday party for some kids living in a local shelter, so tonight I'll be up to my elbows in flour and colored sugar sprinkles.
Hopefully I can save some for Santa.
The holidays are already making a dent at the scale. The gravitational pull on my body appears to be increasing thanks to Thanksgiving, my birthday and the litany of treats making their way to the newsroom.
Thank goodness gravity appears to working on my behalf to ensure I don't float away.
A business sent me a t-shirt today. It's brown and it has a gold scroll font with the lettering Mostly Evil on it.
Is the universe trying to send me a message? Whassup with that?
The Cincinnati Art Museum is holding its monthly One World Wednesday event this week - with the theme being The Queen's fair city.
I won't be able to see my sweet friend D-Money but I will be able to enjoy English beer and check out the museum's version of a London shopping bazaar.
I wonder if they'll have my favorite - any trios like the kind I found on Portobello Road.
D. I miss you. When are you coming back to the Motherland?
Friday, December 01, 2006
It's a frightening number when put in perspective with the circle of life. Considering the life span of my grandparents, the age of 30 likely means I've already lived a third of my days.
If you compare life to seasons (and we're assuming I'll live to see 90), then I've already lived through the Spring of my life and I've got 14 years left until I hit Autumn.
Summertime happens to be the hottest, steamiest time of the year, so perhaps I am in for a real ride over this next decade. That actually coincides with what most biologists say in regards to a woman's sexual peak. In fact, this website says the 30 happens to be the magical age of orgasmic enlightenment.
I don't really know about that.
Some articles say a woman should have a laundry list of crazy experiences under her belt by the time she hits 30. Things like parachuting, threesomes, living in a foreign country, abseiling, bondage, motorcycling, shagging on your office desk, singing karaoke and lesbian sex.
I've got the karaoke singing down pat. The other stuff, not so much.
I don't even know what "abseiling" is.
Kiplinger has quite a different list of things to do before 30. Most of them either bore me or terrify me (or perhaps both). The traveling mention at the bottom is a big TO DO on my Life List of interests, so I'll stick with that and hopefully the others will fall in to place over time.
I was thinking about it a month ago, and I decided hitting 30 means that I'm old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway. I've survived the pain and heartbreak that goes along with growing into adulthood and I've firmly planted some fantastic (and sometimes totally outrageous) memories in my past.
And I intend to continue with that theme well into this next decade.
I had a near-nervous breakdown the night before my 20th. I freaked out because my 20s were all about officially leaving the next and striking out on my own. Graduating, getting a job, getting my own apartment. Car payments, being responsible for the costs associated with leaving the living room light on all night long. Dating. Like, big girl dating. None of that silly college party shots and making out dating. But real dating with real men on real dates.
I've gotten down most of that. This decade is all about fine tuning the rules of being Grown Up.
Now, I'm kind of freaking out because I'm sans home. Sans husband. Sans kids.
But I know full well all of those things will come in time.
Until then, I'm loving every minute of riding the wave that is life.
A couple links related to the milestone that is 30
Thursday, November 30, 2006
There's a tease if I ever heard one. Stay tuned.
Like Nat said on her blog (she is creeping towards 3o as well) my 20s have been exceptionally good. I've accomplished some good things over the past decade and I've confronted several life challenges. Most importantly, I've had so much fun (sometimes too much) experiencing all that life has to offer and I've met some incredible people.
I'm working up a bang up post for my big day (yeah, part of that stay tuned business) but I wanted to leave something behind on my last day of 29.
And what's more appropriate than a Top Ten?
So, this one's for the ladies. A Top Ten of sorts for you to tick down as you spend your days moving towards your own 30th birthday. I'll be honest, I'm not a hundred percent on each factor, but I am certainly trying.
Top Ten Things To Take Care Of Before 30
10. Buy a great pair of black stilettos. Not the cheapies you buy at Target. A fantastic brand with a super sexy heel that makes you feel hot whether you're clomping around the house in your yoga pants and an apron or during a pub crawl across London.
9. Have a good story to tell in your back pocket. I've got tons. You wanna hear about my doing shots of tequila with Woody Harrelson? How about the time I stuck my tongue to a stop sign pole? Have a good, entertaining tale you can tell just about anyone. Nothing too racy. Nothing boring. And it's got to be all about you.
8. You've got to know one recipe you can ace. This is something you will rely on through the years - trust me. Something you can use whether you are whipping up a dish for a new boyfriend or your new in-laws. Something that's simple, impressive and tasty.
7. Nail down a good face regimen. Let's face it, girls. We're not getting any younger. You don't need to spend a fortune to keep wrinkles and pimples at bay (I rely on a system involving Ponds Cold Cream, St. Ives Elastin Face Moisturizer, Vaseline and Oil of Olay. Seriously.) but you DO need to do something to keep your pores clean and your skin moisturized. Do it. I promise, you'll be thanking yourself when you're 50.
6. It's all about the O. I don't care whether you are more of a stick shift/manual girl or someone who likes to drive automatic - you just need to know how to get yourself to O-town, if you know what I mean.
5. Believe in something. Have a cause that drives you crazy with passion. Dedicate your time to a worthwhile cause so that you can make this world a little bit better than it was when you got here.
4. It's in the bank. A sugar daddy isn't going to wave his credit card and make things all better for you when you're 80. Start squirreling some cash away. Set up a 401-K. Pay off your credit card debt. Cut up your credit cards! Buy a house. Save 10% of your paycheck - every paycheck. Chances are, Social Security won't be around when we need it, so it's time to take our retirement plans in our own hands.
3. You've got to work it. I mean, like, at the gym or something. Get out there and move that beautiful body! Whether you're a fan of walking or like to pump hard core iron with the gym bunnies, you've got to take steps to stay healthy so you live a long life.
2. Find and cherish your Soul Sister. Everyone needs one best friend, a touchstone, to help survive the ups and downs this world dishes out. She's probably the first person you call with all your big news and your lousy crises, and she'll be there for you until the day you die.
1. If all else fails, have hope! Optimism and determination are what will get you through anything in life. It's good to have goals and even bigger dreams.
I'll see you soon on the other side of 30.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
No doubt you will be just as shocked as I am when you read this article from cbsnews.com.
The recent Borat flick may have been the impetus for the divorce between Mr. and Mrs. Rock.
Apparently Kid Rock was appalled with Pamela Anderson's performance in Sasha Baron Cohen's flick, saying the implant laden woman had humiliated herself, yelling 'You're nothing but a whore! You're a slut! How could you do that movie?' in front of a crowd of friends.
Kate Sez: It was apparently not only the first time Kid Rock had seen the Borat flick, but actually the first time the Detroit rocker had ever seen Pamela Anderson in person as well...
Check that. Ol' Bob must have never seen a single photo of his bride. Or an episode of Baywatch. Or any of the cheesy calendars in the mall kiosks this time of year.
If only he had seen the Tommy Lee sex tape before hand, he would have been able to avoid all this trouble.
Monday, November 27, 2006
I just love this movie, and I guess it's because I am a very Capraesque kind of person (according to Double Platinum). I have a positive outlook on life 95 percent of the time, and that's damn good in my book. To be quite honest, I think DP gets downright annoyed with my Pollyanna disposition.
But every once in a while life gives me a bad hand of cards, and I have a tough time coping with it.
I don't do depression well - it bums me out because it's such a 180 degree experience from the majority of my life.
True confession time: I am horrible with my finances. I don't balance my checkbook and am often faced with the rotten consequence of 34 dollar overdraft fees - like, several (several) a pay period. Granted, it doesn't happen all the time, but it happens frequently enough to make a dent in my account balance.
My financial follies make it very difficult for me to save any money for a rainy day.
Like when I have car trouble. Like, 600 dollar car trouble.
One of the tragic flaws of the hero called Kate the Great: I am hardwired to learn from my experience. I can try to read up on stuff or garner a snippet of knowledge from advice shared by a loved one. But the best way I learn - it's the hard way. The way that makes things uncomfortable and emotional and challenging. That's the best way I can ingrain things in this brain o' mine.
So, it looks like I'm on the brink of 30 and going through some appropriate growing pains.
I'm not too old to learn this important lesson, just a late bloomer. And that's okay with me.
Well, that's how I feel right now.
I guess even the good guys can have a bad day now and then.
I know I'll be able to look back and laugh (or be amused at the very least) in six months, but right now I'm struggling a bit.
Hopefully things will right themselves in the next few days. Until then, I may be a bit lack in posting.
Where is the moment when you need it the most
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
Tell me your blue sky's fade to grey
Tell me your passion's gone away
And I don't need no carryin' on
You're standin' in line just to hit a new low
You're fakin' a smile with the coffee to go
Tell me your life's been way off line
You're fallin' to pieces every time
And I don't need no carryin' on
'Cause you had a bad day, you're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know, you tell me don't lie
You work on a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day, the camera don't lie
You're comin' back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day... you had a bad day
Well you need a blue sky holiday
The point is they laugh at what you say
And I don't need no carryin' on
You had a bad day, you're takin' one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know, you tell me don't lie
You work on a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day, the camera don't lie
You're comin' back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day...(mmm... holiday)
Sometimes the system goes on the blink and the whole thing it turns out wrong
You might not make it back and you know that you could be well all that strong
And I'm not wrong... (Yeahh!!)
So where is the passion when you need it the most
(oh, when you're down)
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
'Cause you had a bad day, you're takin' one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know, you tell me don't lie
You work on a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day, you see what you like
And how does it feel, one more time,
You had a bad day... you had a bad day
You had a bad day 3x
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
H ungry Man dinner for those who can't cook.
A rguments over who gets the wishbone.
N neighborhood bar that offers an escape from too much togetherness.
K razy ass arguments over the wishbone.
S tuffing. Sweet potatoes. Sweet decadence for dessert.
G everztraminer - the kind of white wine my family drinks with turkey.
I ngenious creation that is the Turkey Pop Up Button.
V olunteering (or not volunteering) to clear the table.
I gnoring Aunt Ethel when she asks you to wipe the mashed potatoes off her mouth.
N FL. Miami vs. Detroit on CBS.
G luttonous exhaustion.
I don't need to be anything other than a prison guard's son
I don't need to be anything other than a specialist's son
I don't have to be anyone other than a birth of two souls in one
Part of where I'm going is knowing where I'm coming from
I don't want to be anything other than what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do is think of me and have peace of mind
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms wondering what I gotta do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
By now, you've no doubt heard about the racial tirade made by Michael Richards at a Los Angeles comedy club.
The world was so much kinder when he masqueraded on Thursday nights as a man who was known as Cosmo.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Most of you come to read the hideously ridiculous or embarrassing exploits of my single life. Some of you are curious about someone who would actually write about their silly, sad, and vulnerable moments. The rest of you voyeurs are interested in the comings and goings of someone you know/may have once known.
Well, today I want to get a little serious, so y'all are going to have to wait another day for another confession.
I had the pleasure and honor of spending some of my Saturday with some local children who are far removed from the love and comfort of a wholesome family life.
These are kids who spend their days at a local facility that takes care of, feeds and clothes them. Around 40 children ranging in age from six to 14, all ticking off the days until they either make their way to a loving home or grow up and escape to their dreams of adulthood.
In the meantime, they spend lots of time longing for something better, and that's exactly what I tried to do with a couple hours of my time.
I showed up in jeans and my sleeves rolled up, ready to get dirty - we were bringing with us icing for frosted cookies and puffy paint to cover some little canvas bags. We had all kinds of crafts and games planned to shed a little sunshine on some children in dire need of a heaping helping of TLC.
Most of my time was spent at the word search table. We had several different games and puzzles and things for children of various capabilities. During my time there I talked to one teen about his cool gelled up mohawk and his passion for the Cincinnati Bengals. I met a young girl who wants to be a teacher and discovered she has an aptitude suited for her dreams as she helped another child finish his own word search puzzle.
My heart pretty much melted when one of the older kids bubbled over with appreciation and enthusiasm for the fun she had over the course of our two hours there.
A few bucks in supplies.
That's all it took for us to make a great moment for nearly 40 kids.
And I really don't know who had more fun, the kids or us volunteers.
I started this volunteering thing this spring when I realized I waste too much of my time. Sure, I have a demanding job and spend some time at work off the clock to get stuff done. I try and keep a well rounded social schedule, too, and also have to take care of silly things like exercise, cooking and home maintenance.
But a couple hours a week?
I can scrape that time together to try and change a life, or at the very least, make somebody a little happier.
And that somebody might just be me.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I think I've aptly proven that point. I'll change my own damn tire, I'd be happy sailing past the rock of Gibraltar on my own. I would even be brave enough to go it alone to a gala I've got on my calendar in April (though I may just dig up a date for that cha-cha formal event).
But drinking a glass of wine? Alone? In a bar? Ooooh that's so scary.
Friday night started innocently enough. Casino Royale with a new friend. A drink and a bite to eat before hand and then we decided to cap the evening with yet another drink at another fabulous Newport institution. 80 cent drinks (appletinis, merlot, G and Ts - you name it) for chicks and fun 80s music. I was a bit apprehensive to go back to Tropicana considering I was there two weeks earlier and I accidentally (yes, accidentally) tossed my cookies. In the bar. Seriously.
I guess Kate the Great is going to march into her 30s, uh, gracefully.
SO there I was, sipping on some uber-cheap booze and enjoying the fine musical stylings of Bon Jovi (or was it Poison?) and rubbing elbows with some guys who are battling the Saints today (D Money, I saw SG's hideous two-tone Benz again. That guy makes my skin crawl) when my friend and I decided to bail.
But I wasn't ready to call it a night.
I thought about how my good friend D told me she likes to enjoy a good glass of wine by herself from time to time. And so I heard her voice echoing in my head, encouraging me to sack up and be a big girl, unafraid of the solemnity of sitting solo at a bar.
I left Newport, destination Hyde Park, headed for this quaint little wine bar that is dimly lit and appointed with sleek and cozy love seats and a stunning, curved granite bar. The intimate room kind of glistens like a secret jewel-box hideaway in one of Cincinnati's most exclusive neighborhoods.
The bar would be a perfect spot to baptize my first foray in drinking wine alone in public.
I crept in, dressed to the nines and confident the sparse crowd would be kind to the girl drinking wine alone. I took my red overcoat off and hung it on the back of the chair and flipped open the wine list.
Then I pretty much stopped dead in my tracks.
I realized that the sparse crowd included the very guy I had my sights set on last February. Irish. Two seats away and on a first date of his own.
That's when I wanted the tectonic plates that lie beneath Hyde Park to rumble and create little fissures, leading to a massive hole that would have swallowed me to the hellish depths below.
At this point, there was no going back. There was no chance for me to flip closed the wine list with a Thank-you-very-much-but-no-thanks quip and throw on my coat to head back to the safe corners of my messy apartment.
Instead, I had to sack up and order a glass of wine. Two. Seats. Away. From. Irish.
I picked a 10 dollar glass of merlot and took the biggest first sip I could. The faster I could drink, the more quickly I could be out of there, right?
Doesn't that just blow - having to drink an excellent glass of wine fast? Too swift to even enjoy the tannins and smoky undertones and hints of berry and chestnut or whatever Miles would say?
My stomach was sick about half way through the glass. Not too much alcohol sick. More like oh my god how pitiful do I look sick.
I know he saw me. But we both observed some strange code of silence, failing to acknowledge the other's presence.
The agony inside that wine bar lasted about 20 minutes. 20 minutes from first sip to cash out. 20 minutes to ponder the existence I call my own.
20 minutes to consider whether I have the cojones to actually go have wine alone again.
Granted, it's not an ideal situation. I'd do cartwheels naked down Cincinnati's Main Street (which says a lot considering I'd likely get shot during my stunt) to sip and sup with a standing date.
But I'm not going to let my solo status, or Irish, steal my drive to enjoy life the way I'd like.
I sure as hell won't be 60 and wishing I had done more with my life or took more opportunities during my single years.
Kate the Great
Friday, November 17, 2006
But I didn't walk away feeling the Wow factor.
That doesn't really bother me - I'd be happy to go out with him again as he appears to be nice and is likely not a serial killer. I don't necessarily think fireworks have to go off at every first date, but it's nice when they do.
I'll keep you posted.
*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Going to see Casino Royale tonight. Not so sure about the new Blond, James Blond -er- Bond. This is the film that sets up the rest of the movies that have come before it. I will always be a Connery fan. There's something about the accent and his uber-cool confidence.
Clooney would make a great Bond. This new guy, though? I don't know. All I remember him as is the bully son of the Irish mob boss in The Road to Perdition.
*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
I've got another volunteering venture this weekend. Tomorrow I'll be spending a few hours making crafts with some children at a local orphanage.
I didn't even know they still had orphanages. It's such an Oliver Please-sir,-can-we-have-some-more? archaic concept. It's hard to believe there are so many children in this world without loving families to call home - and yet I know lots of couples in this world struggle with conceiving their own babies.
I guess these orphanages are better than keeping these children in the heartbreaking, dangerous circumstances that may exist at home.
My understanding is there will be 34 kids tomorrow between the ages of six and 13. We'll be making mini-pumpkin turkeys, Thanksgiving themed hair barrettes and playing games. I'm looking forward to the chance to be silly and creative with some kids who need a little TLC.
*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
I'm two weeks away from doing away with the 20 something part of my blog description.
It feels so surreal.
*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
My apartment is a disaster yet again.
The kitchen has recouped a bit since I did some major dish washing a week ago. The living room looks like the scene of a massive closet explosion. Clean clothes all over my couch and love seat, shoes everywhere. A trail of stilettos leading from the front door to the bathroom... a variety of tennis shoes strewn about the floor. An opened suitcase with remnants of a trip I took almost a month ago.
I really need to get my ass in gear if I'm going to be inviting holiday company over starting next week.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Nervous and yet surprised because I kind of don't care. I mean, not in him as a person because I try to have a general respect and interest in all of humanity, more like an I don't care in the way that this feels like number 57621 in a long list of first dates. A first date - blind date.
Oh, what a doozy.
OMG. Swirling in my head: will I be wearing the right outfit? Is this guy going to be something completely different from what he says he is over the phone?
Do I need to go to the bathroom right now? How about if I take a Valium?
Do I even know anybody with Valium?
And why does there have to be all this hype over a first date in modern 21st century Western World culture?
Right now I'm torn between downing a glass of merlot (Miles, lots of people actually like merlot) and half assing it and swaggering in to our particular meeting spot with my ripped up jeans and my red glasses on. Because some people think girls in glasses are cute, right?
And for all my pent up tension, all my nervous anticipation - I realize I am in a wholly unoriginal situation. Practically everybody and their mother has been on a first date. And congrats to that mother because obviously she was successful with her first date (but hopefully not *too* successful, because that would make an awful Lifetime movie starring Tracey Gold).
Everyone's been on a first date. That doesn't make it any less freaking scary.
Monday, November 13, 2006
But in the mean time I'm enjoying everything that life is blessing me with, because right now my life is really rocking, and I'm loving every minute of it.
And then I was hit with a whammy that pretty much sucked the air right out of me.
I found out a former co-worker of mine just passed away after a battle with brain cancer.
This man was a photographer at my former television station. 48 years young and the picture of health. Duane was perhaps the most physically fit of all my co-workers at WTVQ. He was always busy riding his bicycle or playing disc golf, and I got the impression that everything he ate was uber-healthy.
Duane was also one of the most laid back people I've known in the television business. The epitome of California Cool, which is where Duane called home.
In an industry that is based on frenetic energy and irrational, split-second decision making, Duane was one of the people in the newsroom who would aptly put things in perspective. We weren't in the business of saving lives, we were in the business of moving pictures and talking heads. In sea of hot-headed managers, a revolving door of reporters and a cavalcade of inexperienced producers (including yours truly), Duane was a member of the brotherhood of photographers who offered stability, knowledge and peace in a manic newsroom. The rotation of key players never changed, they rarely got all hot and bothered about what we wanted them to do.
That doesn't mean Duane was perfect.
Sometimes he didn't like shooting what I asked him to cover. He wasn't always a big fan of doing live shots for my 6 pm newscast and he also wasn't the first to jump at covering breaking news.
But Duane was such a nice guy that I never really held it against him.
And I guess that's what people remember about us when we're gone. They don't remember whether we wrote dynamite VOSOTs or whether we were the first on the scene to shoot the house fire.
People don't keep track of when we win or lose at work. They keep track of when we were kind to them.
And Duane was a King of Kindness.
Always there for a smile. Always ready for a toss of the frisbee in the back lot. Always toting his bike around for the next ride.
Ride on, Duane. Thanks for the calm.
My opinion has changed in light of some heartbreaking events involving someone I know.
I'll update when I have the time, because I can't rush through this one...