Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Tuesday's Top Ten: Forget Rent - Things I'd Rather Spend My Money On
9. A spring/summery Coach bag, preferably a nice "going out" size
8. A wonderful, luxe pedicure at the Aveda in Hyde Park
7. Some fun clothes for my next trip (Las Vegas in August)
6. Some flowery house plants and a table and a pair of chairs for my back patio
5. 400 thread count, Egyptian cotton sheets
4. A First Class upgrade for my trip to London in October
3. A bauble from Tiffany & Co. (I'm thinking one of those coin bracelets or maybe a silver ring)
2. A couch and loveseat set from Crate & Barrel
1. An awesome, urban townhouse in Prospect Hill in Downtown Cincinnati.
Friday, May 26, 2006
How old were you when you got your first credit card?
19. It was one of the biggest mistakes I made in college. I am still paying off some credit card debt but I choose to spend only cash these days.
When was the last time you felt out of place?
I went to a party not too long ago were I felt a bit like a fish out of water. Most of the people there knew each other from high school. I was with a couple co-workers and a date so I kind of stuck close to the crew I knew. I still had a great time, though.
Did you have a curfew when you were a teenager? If so, what time did you have to be home?
I did have a curfew. I think it was in the neighborhood of midnight. I even had a curfew in college, that one was 1 am. My parents operated under the premise that they could tell me what to do until I started paying my own bills. These days I can go home and stay out as late as I want to, but I'm too old to actually live up to the dream!
Name a person from history with whom you feel you have something in common.
I can't really pinpoint anybody with whom I identify. I certainly sympathize with every woman who ever came before me in the career world. I value family tradition like JFK.
When you read a newspaper, which section do you go for first?
This is awful to admit considering I'm a journalist. I go straight for the "dessert" of the newspaper: the Life section. I'd rather read that over the local section any day.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Tuesday's Top Ten: Reasons That Make You Late
I'm going to try and run a Top Ten list every Tuesday based on random things happening in my crazy life. In classic Kate fashion, the concept slipped my mind yesterday, so here I am, starting the series a day late.
Tuesday's Top Ten: Reasons Why Kate Runs Late
10. I decide to "do" my hair and fail to allow for proper styling time.
I actually leave my house early and get ambitious and try to do something else with my time before I get to my final destination.
8. I underestimate the drive time.
7. I really don't want to go so I procrastinate and then come up with some lame ass excuse about my late arrival.
6. I decide to have a go with my BOB before I go somewhere and I take too long.
5. I can't find my keys in the hovel I call an apartment.
4. I get to the car and realize I barely have enough gas to make it to the end of the street.
3. I take a phone call from someone whom I haven't spoken to in forever and just don't have the heart to tell them I'm on the run.
2. I try on one outfit. And then another. And another. And back to the first before I make a commitment on my wardrobe selection.
1. I don't wear a watch.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Reversal Of Fortune
I am quite surprised myself, looking back on the growth that has come from a specific chain of events starting in November 2003.
Two and a half years later I am a lot more responsible after taking ownership for my actions and happiness. That joy has been helped out thanks to a change of scenery and the opportunity to professionally recharge my batteries and discover new challenges.
For years I struggled and sacrificed to win a losing battle at work. My previous employer was a company plagued by bad product, bad lawsuits and a bad reputation. Today I work in a shop that the AP named Outstanding News Operation for large markets in Ohio. It's nice to be finally fighting the good fight.
This weekend I learned that I have officially been accepted into the Cincinnati Junior League's 2006-2007 provisional class. That's an opportunity I am really hoping to take advantage of. I'll learn more about my community, I'll meet some new people and I will hopefully develop some contacts beneficial for work.
And after years of patience, I have finally met a great guy who at the very least is worthy of my weekend free time. I don't want to put too much pressure or anticipate too much about the situation, at the same time, it's great to to be comfortable and confident in a relationship.
Hard work always pays off. Maybe not where and when you think it will, but somehow fate (and faith) manages to reward the people who deserve it.
Friday, May 19, 2006
What is the last thing you had to have repaired?
My heart. Just kidding, that was in overly dramatic, Classic Kate fashion. I think it was a sweater, and I sewed it myself. Call me Martha...
If someone gave you $2,000 with the stipulation that you had to spend half of it on yourself and give the rest to charity, where would you spend the $1,000 and which charity would receive your remaining $1,000?
I would spend the 1000 bucks on my August trip to Vegas. I would treat myself to a high roller suite at either THE Hotel or the Bellagio. I would give the remaining 1000 dollars to a Catholic charity.
What is one of your favorite songs from the 1980s?
Gosh. Too many to pick. Take On Me, Eye of the Tiger, and anything Madonna make the list.
You enter a pet store. Which section do you go to first?
On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how athletic are you?
Right now I'm probably at a 6. I check in anywhere between a 5 and an 8. Trying to work up to an 8 right now. Lately I've been adding gym workouts to my morning, pre work routine...
Thursday, May 18, 2006
The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same
Ancestors and others from Ireland literally walked off the boat and scoured the streets of cities big and small to find work. Many were met with unwelcome signs, insults and sometimes physical confrontations when seeking opportunities to support their transplanted families.
My relatives made a move to cloak their origin. The family lore is that my ancestors took the "O" off the front of our name and dropped it into the Atlantic.
So the story goes.
In the early 1900s my great grandfather got laid off from a steel mill in Pennsylvania after he chose to do some campaigning for Al Smith, the first ever Catholic presidential candidate, in his off time.
My great grandfather Ignatius Aloisius was apparently one of the best employees at the mill, and so the Protestant managers had a change of heart, offering Ignatius his job back. As my dad tells the story, the managers showed up at the family house and asked to see my grandfather. He was out looking for work and so instead they struck up a conversation with my grandmother, who was busy changing my Great Uncle Bernie's diaper. The managers explained that they'd be interested in hiring Ignatius back, even if he was out campaigning for that Catholic Mick.
Well. Great grandma would have none of that.
She said, and I quote (in a third hand, loose translation kind of way) "Yes, he'll come work in your mill when you eat the shit in this diaper."
She was a feisty broad, and I think I inherited a piece of it, though I choose to reserve it for the most heinous of offenses.
The family moved to Youngstown after that little snafu.
The Irish people were lowest, most disrespected people during the great migration to America. They were forced to live in little shanty towns and Irish ghettos because they were considered bad for the neighborhood. People stereotyped the whole, freckle-faced lot as loud mouthed drunkards, and so they were forced to hang together and grow a community.
And grow they did.
Today Saint Patrick's Day is one of the most widely celebrated holidays on the calendar, right after New Year's Eve. Today you'll see Catholics, Protestants, blacks, whites, anyone drinking a mug of beer to be Irish for the day.
Today America's major cities are known for and proud of their ties to Irish heritage. Boston, New York and Chicago all have strong ties to Irish history and prosperous immigrants. One needs to look no further than the Kennedys to see an example of Celtic prosperity (no matter how drunk/unethical/shady/overzealous you may think them to be).
I am proud to be Irish. Every day, I proudly wear my Claddagh ring as a sign of my Celtic ancestry. My people have always been proud to be hard working, active members of their community, whether that be a community in the Land of Erin or a community in the Land of Freedom.
The Irish people were the lowest of the low a 150 years ago. Today they are source of pride and accomplishment.
Will we have to wait that long before our Hispanic friends earn the same respect?
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I Just Wanna Watch "Beaches" And Throw The Covers Over My Head
I feel very insecure and unattractive.
I feel like I want to eat a small town in Pennsylvania.
I feel like I want to just wear my yoga pants and a sweat shirt to work.
I feel like I need to probably go out and buy a bottle of Tylenol soon, but would much rather have some mellow happy prescription drugs.
I feel like nobody likes me and everybody hates me and I am terribly incompetent.
I feel like I could a) wail on and scream in anger at someone or b) burst into tears in frustration and angst.
I feel like I could also exhibit both dramatic displays of emotion simultaneously.
I feel like maybe it isn't always great, Shania, to Feel Like a Woman.
I feel like God still really has us paying for that whole eating the apple in the garden thing, and I don't really know how I feel about getting punished for some other chick's mistake. I mean, really. Haven't women everywhere suffered enough for that damn Eve?
Monday, May 15, 2006
For All The 30 Somethings
Subject: The 30's somethings
When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up, what with walking 25 miles to school every morning...uphill BOTH ways... yadda, yadda, yadda..
And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in Hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! But now that I'm the ripe old age of 30, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.
You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!
When I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!! There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter... with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!
There were no MP3's or Napsters! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!
We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!
We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had Pong or the Atari 2600 with games like "Space Invaders" and "Asteroids" and the graphics sucked ass! Your guy was a little square. You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!
Just like LIFE!
When you went to the movie theater, there was no such thing as stadium seating. All the seats were the same height! So if a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!
Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no on-screen menu and no remote control. You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! And you were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel, and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you hear what I'm saying??! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!
And we didn't have microwave ovens. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire... imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid JiffyPop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot. That's exactly what I'm talking about!
You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!
Regards, The 30+ something crowd!
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
If you've been around the internet for any length of time, you can probably recount one specific moment to verify this statement. Blogs can be slanderous, they can be overly revealing, they can be harshly opinionated.
Blogs can cause a whole lotta trouble.
I ran into my own recent entanglement when a man whom I shall call "John" stumbled upon this literary playground. I tried my best to conceal the whereabouts of my collection of Musings, but John is one of those types of guys who prides himself on an ability to find any snippet of information on the internet, no matter how obscure.
John just happens to be the guy who I've been spending lots of time with over these past, oh, six weeks. Our first date was April Fool's Day and we've made it a pretty regular occurrence since then. Our meetings thus far have been great occasions to get to know one another, but now it appears John knows a whole lot more about me than I do him.
Now, I've always been a pretty open person, and this blog is a very revealing account of many facets of my life. I'm proud of and/or accept every characteristic I've experienced and don't mind airing out all my dirty laundry for the world to see. The trouble comes when I write about all my silly hopes and dreams (okay they're not really silly) of having weddings and babies and other scary stuff.
I admit all those notions can be frightening at first glance. I can't imagine the sheer terror a single man experiences when he feels like a woman is trying to suffocate the very essence of his masculinity and independence. The fact is, every girl has sugar plum visions of wedding dresses and babies dancing in her head. Unfortunately, men perceive these aspirations to mean we want to hog tie them, drag them to the altar and force them to say "I do" with a shotgun pointed to the head.
Like lots of bloggers, I'm faced with the dilemma: self censor or blog proudly and suffer the consequences. I've always erred on the side of caution, choosing not to bad mouth people or otherwise talk trash in a very public venue. Other than that, I talk about all kinds of stuff, some juicy and some not.
The situation with John appears to be just fine. He called me last week, with a trace of panic in his voice, telling me gently that he wasn't going to read my blog any longer. I was fine with that confession. I'd much rather have him learn about me from spending time with me than discovering the song of myself through the internet. I reassured him that yes, I am in fact having a wonderful time living the life of a single girl and no, I don't have any preconceived notions of where our friendship is going. I think I helped him understand that just because I envision being married and having kids some day, that doesn't mean I expect doing all that stuff with him. It's all good now, and I'm guessing we're going to continue seeing each other without the messy distractions of the blog.
Which is a good thing because I think I'm far less scary in person than I appear to be in my posts.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Appetizer- What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I'd have to say Ben and Jerry's Wavy Gravy. My favorite by far. Peppermint and and Oreo Cookie are not far behind.
Soup- What are 3 things you would like to put in a time capsule?
Pictures of me from when I was a little girl, some of the writings from this blog and home videos.
Salad- Name something you are 100% sure of.
I am sp blessed to be full of God's love.
Main Course- What is something you do to calm yourself when you're stressed or upset?
Truth be told, I eat. It's an unfortunate crutch, but it's better than so many other vices. Singing is another good outlet, or spending time with a great friend.
Dessert- If you could receive an invitation to any important event, what would you like it to be?
I am torn between a Presidential Inauguration (and the balls) and Millionaire's Row at the Kentucky Derby (two things my dear friend GOP Big Wig has done. Lucky Gal!)
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Dirty Songs By Brazilian Girls
After dinner we strolled towards Faneuil Hall to go to the classic Black Rose, one of the most popular Irish bars in town. My dad and I have been going to The Rose for years, so I wanted to show D-Money just how cool it is. Lots of live music, lots of laid back people (which is pretty much the dress code for Boston) and lots of fun. There were even some crazy drinkers who jumped up out of their seats and gave the crowd a show of Irish dancing (though I don't think there was as much technique involved as there was just some drunk people doing some wild shuffling on the floor.)
After a couple Black and Tans we decided to head around the corner to Kitty O'Shea's on State Street. The bar has been called one of the best in Boston so we decided to check it out and see if it lived up to the hype.
Downstairs is more "low key bar" with a garage type band playing in the back. Upstairs was all about House music. I think some tripped up versions of Jackson Five hits were playing on the turntable, so we decided to go back downstairs.
We found two seats at the bar and immediately struck up a convo with one of the bartenders. She found out we were visiting from Ohio (true story: she asked us if we left our tractors at the state line) and so she and her crew decided to keep us filled up on free shots of liquor. I don't really know what any of the concoctions were called, but D-Money isn't a shot drinker so it was a twofer for me every time. I think by the time the fourth set of shots rolled around, I did one and then shook my head, passing up the chance to drink free alcohol in an otherwise pricy city.
I have a pretty good tolerance, and I don't know whether that's a good thing.
The band was jamming to all kinds of music. The Shoe, as they're called, played everything from Mack the Knife to a song I won't list here because the words are dirty, but it's a tune by the Brazilian Girls and you can find the lyrics here. Surprisingly, I had heard the song before (I think on Letterman) and was singing along.
A really drunk late 30 something Irishman was all over me about the time D-Money was talking to a handsome guy across the bar. I was doing my best to send out the Help Me flares without appearing to much like a Goody Goody bitch, so I decided to meander my way towards the dance floor and D-Money. After a few obligatory dance moves (sedate on my part, really far out there on the Irish Dude) we made our way to the door. It was 2 am and the bar was closing up shop for the night.
Inside my head at the time: Wait. I thought this was a big city? Even Cincinnati drinks later than that.
Hot Guy and one of his friends told us we didn't have to wrap the party up early. Apparently China Town is the place to go for late night drinks.
A cab ride later and we were sitting in some white tablecloth Chinese restaurant with some very eager servers ready to take care of our every move. Hot Guy's friend ordered a pot of "cold tea" for the table to which we were a bit dismayed. What is this cold tea you speak of? I asked.
It turned out we were sitting in a modern day speakeasy and Cold Tea was the code word for crappy beer.
I lifted my handle-less tea cup up to my mouth thinking beggars can't be choosers, so Nati Light (or perhaps Beast) it is, and down the hatch it went.
Seven people, three pots of cold tea and four Chinese dishes later, and our eager server arrived with the bill. 85 bucks and change. We all moved for our wallets, but the Hot Guy's friend pulled out his plastic and sent the server on his way.
We said our thank yous and our goodbyes and headed for the street, hoping to find a taxi cab. The Hot Guy's friend followed along and D-Money and I spun around to inquire. He apparently thought that since he was the big guy and grabbed the check, he thought he'd be entitled to grab something else back at our hotel room.
What an asinine way of thinking. It's amazing there are still a few of these chauvinist pigs in the world.
We laughed him off and hopped in a cab, headed back to the Wyndham Boston.
All in all, it was a good night. A very good night, indeed.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
"Coincidents" and Other Trinkets
-God is apparently speaking to me through the newspaper. Sagittarius (nov 22. To Dec. 21) Your mind is a rocket, but your body is molasses. Exercise to balance the equation.
-I had the strangest sensation this morning. I thought I smelled the presence of someone I've been thinking quite a lot of. No such luck. It was a co-worker who apparently wears the same cologne as my friend, John.
-Weddings, weddings everywhere. I am about to drop a dime on a bridesmaid dress for a wedding I'm in this September, and I just found out an old friend of mine is getting hitched in Colo-rad-oh this July. Another friend of mine is jumping the stick in October. I had another one of these "Everybody Get Married" years back in 2003. Kind of wild.
-Don't you hate losing track of someone whom you dearly care about? My freshman year college roommate is the kind of kindred spirit whom I can go a year without talking to, and yet when we next connect it's like we just spoke yesterday. I was on the verge of devastation when I discovered I had an old phone number for Delta Dawn. Thank God for the internet. I googled her and found a current email address. All is well. Delta is safe in the rolling hills of North Carolina and a phone date is on the way.
You all know where you can always find me. Pounding out my random musings here.
From Friday's Feast
Appetizer - From which country(s) are some (or all) of your ancestors?
I am pretty much a mutt. English and Austrian dominate my breeding, but I am most proud of the Irish (of which I am only an eighth). German and French traces can be found as well.
Soup - How would you describe your sneeze?
I guess it's on the "cutesy" side, but only because it experienced a renovation during high school. I was so appalled by my natural sneezing noise that I made a conscious decision to make it sound more pipsqueeky. I do it subconsciously now. High school vanity has hit a new low.
Salad - What is the last thing you cleaned?
My apartment. Tonight I have a pile of dishes calling my name. Calgon, take me away from my squalor!
Main Course - Who made the strongest first impression on you?
Naturally my parents. I say I lean more closely on my father as for who to pattern myself after. My mother, though I love her, is a bit on the crazy and cold side.
Dessert - Name one thing you want to accomplish in your lifetime.
This one is pretty simple: I just wanna have kids. Is that too much to ask?
Thursday, May 04, 2006
-Run to Party City to get some Derby glasses to use as set props for my show tomorrow.
-Go to the bank.
-Do my light colored laundry.
-Get ready for a trip up to Dayton to see John.
-Get my hair cut Saturday.
-Pick up my tickets for the theatre tonight.
-Buy a plane ticket to go home for 4th of July weekend.
-Get a pedicure sometime soon.
-Clean up the clothes all over my bedroom floor.
-Send back my Netflix movies (Fever Pitch, Derailed, Rules of Attraction)
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Okay, I Must Confess
My friend John came down for a baseball game last Saturday and we just had a blast. He's hilarious, handsome and hunky (there are a few other H words I can think of as well, but I've decided to exercise some restraint in this post).
We watched the game with some co-workers and then went over to City View Tavern for drinks. I let him indulge in the Draft picks before we went back home for a dinner that turned out quite well, I do say so myself.
-Chicken breasts stuffed with fontina cheese, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and orange zest.
-Steamed green beans and small red potatoes.
-Homemade Derby Pie with vanilla ice cream.
Yeah, D-Money and my sister Bridge both said I had to make that pie as it kind of is a deal clincher.
The date was fabulous. John made a repeat trip to Cincinnati last night for another Reds game. What a good sport, coming all the way back down to the 5-1-3.
I guess some day soon I am going to have to go up and visit him...
I Love That Dirty Charles
Ours wasn't free, but my gal-pal D Money and I managed to swing a swanky hotel on the cheap thanks to Priceline. We stayed at the Wyndham Boston off of State Street (I think south of Milk Street). It's a $270 a night hotel that we managed to score for 100 bucks. Talk about swanky. I know this isn't Fodors, but I really could go on and on about the furnishings, drapes and marble in the bathroom.
But I digress.
We we super close to Faneuil Hall (prominent in the American Revolution and modern day political debates/campaign parties) and the adjacent Quincy Market. QM has all kinds of great local kiosks and bars, but most of the surrounding stores have turned into branches of national chains like The Gap, Banana Republic and the like. Should you go, be sure to check out legendary runner Bill Rogers' store, complete with t-shirts for the Boston Marathon.
D-Money and I totally engorged ourselves on seafood. Our first stop took us to the ever popular (and perhaps on the touristy side) but always classic Union Oyster House. Just yards away from Quincy Market, the UOH is the longest continuously running restaurant in the United States. If you like beer and seafood, you've got to stop here. D-Money and I decided to sidle up to the bar and have a half dozen oysters (perfectly tender, not a bit of fishy flavor. Sublime decadence) and a local beer called Koggen. It's on the cloudy amber side kind of reminiscent of Blue Moon. The cool thing about this beer is not the orange they put in it, but what they give you with the orange. The bartender included a little, plastic masher so you could make sure the flavors of the orange really mixed with the beer.
What can I say? We were suckers for the gimmick. In fact, I have it in my purse this very minute in case I have a hankering for a brew with a piece of fruit.
We went on to take the T subway system to Filene's Basement, a legendary spot for any die-hard bargain shopper. We found everything from super discount Kate Spade shoes, all kinds of fancy-pants clothes with labels you'd find at Barney's New York, and ahhh! The perfume counter! Filene's has everything from Gucci Envy to the many flavors of Burberry at bargain basement prices.
The place can be overwhelming for tourists who haven't trained for the marathon of melee shopping. Be prepared, or prepare to be run over!
For dinner, we were in a real bind: do we count ourselves as those in the Legal Seafood camp, or do we side with the No Name Restaurant people? Both are fantastic, well known seafood eateries (with Legal having some 30 branches in the Massachusetts/New England area). We were able to get a reservation in at the Legal Long Wharf location near the Aquarium. Very hip inside and a great bar with lots of beer/alcohol choices so you can sip while you wait for your seat (ps: they make a good dirty martini).
Some host at the restaurant totally bowled me over with a casual "Gosh, you're beautiful" comment as we were walking from the bar to the table. I kind of blushed and said my thank you as I made it to the table. He was from Morocco, and he continued to talk to us through the evening. Morocco Man was kind of forward, and even suggested we catch up at a local bar after dinner, but I wasn't really down with the Hook Up For The Weekend mentality.
We sat down and each had what I think was billed as the Fisherman's Special. Cup of classic clam chowder (not the clear stuff, not the red stuff. The soup with a wonderful cream base). Two sides (I picked snap peas with a light oyster sauce and the most fabulous jalapeno cheddar polenta. A slice as big as birthday cake) and a 1.25 lb lobster. Coffee and a personal Boston Cream Pie for dessert. All for drumroll please $32 bucks a person.
Total bargain. Totally fabulous. Totally recommended by Kate the Great.
Next up in the story: Drinks out on the town. Teasewords still to come: Seven Shots Rang Out and Cold Tea.
Monday, May 01, 2006
The Jig Is Up!
I've been kind of dancing around the idea of my blog, but by the looks of my IP address counter, it looks like you might have found me.
Drats! And here I thought I had done a good job dodging the issue ;)
OH well. I'm cool with you reading any of the stuff I've got here. I'm pretty much an open book and will answer any of your questions.
You know how to reach me...
Busy as A Bee
I know I still need to update about my crazy weekend in Boston (tease words: cold tea, morocco man and seven shots rang out), I've just been far too busy with work and social engagements.
I will update more later. Let's just say I'm down three dates with Mister John and I am smitten.
Going to a Reds game tonight, I might be able to update before then.