Tuesday, January 30, 2007
A big congrats goes out to one of my dearest friends GOP Big Wig and her handsome husband.
They just had their second baby Monday morning at 10:46 am.
The email I got from GOP scares me a bit about pregnancy (she says the labor went so swiftly that her epidural didn't have time to kick in) but she described a gorgeous little boy with lots of black hair and daddy's nose.
Yet another opportunity for me to live vicariously!
Monday, January 29, 2007
It's in gray territory, in a vein related to a topic that I banned from my blog after the New Year (no, I didn't tell any of you about the ban. I didn't think it was that relevant. Drop me an e-mail if you're curious).
A discussion Saturday night prompted me to consider the topic - so here goes.
I started mulling over the idea of The Perfect Date eons ago. For some people, the perfect date is a rich extravaganza of champagne and exclusive restaurants with French menus that are missing entree prices. Others dream of hot mugs of cocoa after a long night of ice skating. Still others would enjoy a beer and a brat at the ballpark.
Those outings sound wonderful, but my idea of a Perfect Date is a bit different.
I love low key. I love intimate. I love an occasion that lets things simmer.
My perfect date would be on a Spring or Summer evening. A warm sunset would be splashed across the sky and Billie Holiday's gentle moaning tunes would waft through the air. I would be sitting at a table sipping on a balloon goblet full of the most glorious ruby red wine (likely a merlot or a pinot noir), dressed casually in a strappy cotton top and jeans.
My date would be the one wearing an apron.
He would stand there, laboring over a hot stove or oven, evenly dividing his attention on our conversation and the saute pan filled with a culinary surprise. The rest of the night would be full of good food, good laughs and conversation and good wine.
That sounds perfect to me...
Friday, January 26, 2007
If you could take lessons to learn any musical instrument, which would you want to learn?
Oh, what I wouldn't give to learn to play the piano. Not one of those electric Suzuki things, but a big, bangin' Baldwin baby grand (how much alliteration can I fit in that line?) I've got a bit of a musical streak and have always regretted the fact that I can't put the tunes I hear in my head on paper.
Have you ever mistaken a person for someone else?
A few times. I vaguely remember approaching a girl, cheerily yelling to grab the attention of who I thought my best friend of the time. Not so much. It was very much an "Oh, psyche!" moment.
On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?
It depends. I've got a few deep-dark, never tell anyone secrets rattling around in my noggin. I'm good at keeping the top-secret, super serious stuff on the down low. The other stuff, if you preface it with the Hey don't tell anyone, most of the time I can keep it quiet. But that leads me to wonder - who am I to make the judgment call about your secret? Why can't the someone-likes-so-and-so secret be as hush hush as the someone-coping-with-a-life-crisis secret? Thoughts?
What's the closest you've ever been to a dangerous animal?
Well, a couple of my past dates were dangerous animals. I remember a crazy ass wild dog chasing me around the neighborhood when I was seven and trooping around, selling Girl Scout cookies. Oh, and I once held a Copperhead snake or some other poisonous thing when I was, like, three years old - but the snake had already been de-fanged. Crisis averted.
When was the last time you lost your patience?
Gosh. I'm a patient person. Sometimes things at work press my buttons, but I'm not the type to explode easily.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
She should have made it to the restaurant ten minutes earlier. She just did not want to get up and go to work. The bitter cold temperatures and the whipping wind teased her, chided her to stay in the confines of her home, but she was determined - hell bent on a dose of family.
She threw on her overcoat and zipped out the door, looking forward to the impromptu breakfast date.
As she approached the glass-front building, she scanned the faces for the one warm expression of love, waiting for the girl in a booth with a cup of coffee and the morning paper.
He was always there for her, in a literal sense and also in the figurative support that you expect from a father. Unfortunately the world doesn't always dish out fairy tales. Some fathers are heartless, others are self-important and neglectful.
But not this girl's dad.
In his younger years, he sacrificed his pride and his time to do a job that did more than put food on the table for his family. This dad dished out hugs and encouragement and words of advice - even when this girl was a teen and didn't want to listen.
This morning, though, it was different. The girl was wiser and anxious to spend time with one of the few people in the world who knew her heart. Someone who knew about her brains and drive and goals and interests. Someone who always had her best interest in mind.
There was a time when this girl worried about how long her dad would be around. Worried whether he would survive a ticking time bomb in his brain, a tumor that grew and grew and grew every single day.
But time and God were good to her, and good to her Dad. Blessing them both with a little more time to love and learn from each other.
I love you, Dad.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I was especially moved when President Bush acknowledged the monumental meaning of the evening - turning around to address the nation's first ever Madame Speaker.
A bursting, beaming, lightning bolt of pride ran through my core.
Nancy Pelosi is a representative for every woman who was ever put down and rattled out of the political system. She stands at the helm in Washington, making decisions and representing the rights of every single female in the United States.
This is truly a remarkable occasion.
And yet, it shouldn't really be that surprising to me, because Nancy Pelosi is a woman.
Women have the unique gift and responsibility to give birth to human life.
Women go to PTA meetings to fight for their children's education.
A woman will kiss away the pain on a scratched knee.
Women make casseroles for sick friends, they take bummed-out girlfriends out for drinks.
They hold down 9-to-5 jobs that really last from 8-to-6, all while getting the kids off to school, to soccer practice and whipping up a dinner for the whole fam damily.
Women vote. We pay taxes. Some of us can even change our own flat tires.
We volunteer at soup kitchens, we whip up handmade Christmas gifts. We cultivate hobbies like decoupage, scrap booking and photography. Women actually take the digital memory card to the grocery store to develop the pictures.
Some women run marathons. Others wipe away runny noses.
We pray, we forgive. We remember the memories our children cannot. We hug strangers who are in need of comfort, support, understanding.
We do this because we are women.
We are amazing.
The Silent Patriot
WARNING: This is very political. I hope y'all will still like me now that I've come clean with some of my opinions.
I don't have any of those yellow ribbon magnets on my car.
I don't wear a flag pin on my coats and I usually don't engage people in political debates, but that doesn't make me any less of an American, or a patriot for that matter.
Yesterday was the first time I was overcome with patriotism in quite a while, and it was quite by accident.
My apartment has horrible cell reception. This summer I took up the habit of sitting on my front porch when I wanted to have long chats with friends and family, as well as any occasion considered important business. Yesterday was a fairly balmy day considering it was Mid November. Temps in the high 60s and only a mild wind. I had to talk to the bank about some issues regarding the deposit of my paycheck, and I decided to step outside to ensure the conversation wouldn't be dropped by one of those dreaded satellites overhead.
That's when I was reminded of what day it was.
Ohio has lost an unfortunate number of service men and women to fighting in Iraq. One such sacrifice was made by Captain Tyler Swisher of Mariemont. The 35 year old died last month when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle, tossing him into a nearby canal. My job has given me the opportunity to read and write about Captain Swisher and the life that was cut short overseas. He sounded like a great family man who had a deep dedication to America.
I was on the phone with the bank when I saw lights on the firetruck whirling around and the crowd gathering at the funeral home across the street. I had written about the memorial days earlier but somehow it escaped my memory until I saw the riderless horse and the Marines in their dress blues. I closed my cell phone and walked along the sidewalk until I could see the hearse. Suddenly my veins started pounding with a pride for this young man, a sadness that he'll never see the sun set again, and an anger tied to the questions surrounding the reasons for the war.
The memorial procession had a couple mile course until it made it to Captain Swisher's church. I decided to follow along the way for a while, sort of paying homage to this great American hero. Others were standing on the sidewalk, coming out of bars and shops to take off their hats and bow their heads. The police on motorcycles, the cops on horseback, the parade of cars with the little funeral flags waving made their way down Madison Road, it was all very somber and dramatic at the same time. Once they passed Saint Cecilia's church a bell rang out. That low, deliberate resonance sliced through the silence every five seconds or so, drawing the tears and determined anger out of my soul. Little school children stood outside the church, wearing their uniforms and waving American flags.
I walked back to my apartment thinking my problems pale in comparison to the family left behind by Captain Swisher. He leaves behind a wife and three children, having paid the ultimate price for a war I don't understand. I'm not completely convinced we're being told the full reason why we sent 20 thousand men to Iraq.
All I know is one silenced patriot has reminded another silent patriot of her pride for the sacrifices overseas. I am proud I live in a nation where I can question our government. I am proud I have a choice when it comes to electing our leaders. I am proud I have an opportunity to voice a need for change.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Dear Mr. XXXXX,
I am writing this email to you on behalf of the entire greater Cincinnati population. I implore you to consider moving to this fair city on the other side of the great Ohio River. Our community would benefit greatly from the talents you and Mrs. XXXXXX have to offer, including in social, professional and civic endeavors.
But it should be noted Cincinnati also has many benefits you are sure to enjoy.
First: I know you are familiar with the festive atmosphere and fine spirits at the Hofbrauhaus in nearby Newport, Kentucky. This is not the only bastion of social interaction. Cincinnatians in their 20s and 30s also enjoy the popular Bacchanalian Society quarterly wine tastings. At these quarterly events, the community’s brightest young professionals team up in groups of two or three, bringing along a trio of wine bottles to enter in the competition. The whole event wraps up with one team winning a prize of between 200 and 300 bottles of wine.
What a great way to start a wine cellar in your new, north-of-the-river home.
The Cincinnati Art Museum offers another hot social scene. The monthly One World Wednesday showcases a different culture from a global mecca, complete with food and drink, live music and opportunities for you to create your own art.
As fun as Cincinnati is, this community offers so much more than social opportunity.
A family minded individual like you will appreciate the many child-friendly events this city celebrates. Cincinnati kicks off the summer with the Taste of Cincinnati in May, showcasing the best this city’s restaurants have to offer. At press time, we’re 127 days away from the festival that will showcase the talents of Culinary God Jean-Robert de Cavel, the succulent ribs and barbeque sauce perfected by the Gregory family and the Montgomery Inn franchise, and the sweet, sweet tastes Cincinnatians have come to know and love at Graeter’s. Now, I am fully aware the ice cream business has stores in Lexington, but I must tell you, none of them are as charming or classic as the Graeter’s on Hyde Park Square.
And that brings me to my final point.
The greater Cincinnati area offers a variety of neighborhoods for whatever your interests may be. West Chester in Butler County is the hot neighborhoods for 30 somethings wanting to buy a big, newer home. Traditionalists who are interested in time honored craftsmanship like to settle in Hyde Park and Mariemont and even the up-and-coming Oakley.
Cincinnati is a great community that has a long tradition that celebrates the city’s distinct style of chili, Cincinnati Reds baseball and Cincinnati Bengals football and our tight knit neighbors.
I invite you to consider all we have to offer and the possibility of setting down roots in our fair Cincinnati.
Besides, if you move here, it’s certain your children won't have funny accents.
For your consideration,
Kate the Great
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Kind of ironic (actually, Alanis, is this a case of irony or coincidence?) since I've been struggling with my confidence lately.
The struggle takes me back to my days as a Girl Scout, complete with the sash and a zillion patches for things like pitching tents and learning field signs left along trails.
As a Girl Scout, you're expected to solicit your neighbors, friends, family and even strangers (okay, so maybe things have changed since 1983) to buy cookies. The goal is to push Thin Mints and Do-Si-Dos or whatever they're called in your part of the country to help fill the troop's coffers. It's an annual occurrence people expect in the wintertime, some people practically beg little, pig-tailed girls to come to their doorstep so they can peruse the order form. Still, I always got kind of freaked out by the experience.
I mean, this was a time when I had to talk to grown-ups about things like money and delivery dates and the variety of cookies offered. This was a chore that required me to prepare a little schpiel and deliver it with utmost maturity and confidence in myself and the product (which practically sells itself, anyway). This was probably the first thing I really had to do all-by-myself.
And the whole thing got me on edge.
I think it's partially because I'd struggle with Performance Anxiety (something I battle to this day) and because I just didn't have the confidence in myself.
But somehow I found some False Confidence in myself and I grew the cojones to do a little ditty for dozens of neighbors, nine years in a row.
Well, I'm still struggling with confidence in myself.
Little landmines continue to crop up well into adulthood - whether they be professionally speaking, socially or in a more service oriented setting. I find occasions that push me to stand up for myself, believe in myself and be my own advocate.
23 years later, I guess some things haven't changed since I first hit the street with my Cookie Sheet and a pencil.
I wonder when I'll get this one down pat.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Here's a rundown of what I've neglected to tell you:
30th Annual Diet
So I'm thick in the middle of cutting the fat from my menu. I'm packing in the fruits, veggies and protein and trying to reduce my carb intake. This is turning into an annual tradition in my adulthood, but this time things are a bit different. No hard and fast diet rules, no specific plans, books, or regulations. Just healthy. I'm hoping to ramp up the exercise as we near spring. The rubber on my bike is missing the road...
Note to self: when cutting sugar and other tasty stuff out of the diet, do not deprive yourself of caffeine. Only conquer one vice at a time. No coffee makes Kate a mean girl.
Moving and Grooving
Here's a cheap way to work out: move every stick of furniture out of three bedrooms in your parents' home. That's how I spent a majority of this past weekend. My parents are in the throws of an extensive renovation of their new-to-them home in Cincinnati. I requested the painters splash my room with a color called Swiss Blue (I insisted on maintaining a "room" at my parents' home so I have a shrine to keep the Swim Team trophies and my horseback riding helmet). The color is half way between azure and Kentucky Blue. What can I say, I'm a sucker for my Wildcats...
So, imagine my surprise when a woman in the Junior League asked me to emcee a fashion show fundraiser. I mean, I'm the girl who likes to be behind the scenes, not in front of the camera.
Apparently several of the planners say my energy and charisma would be perfect for getting ladies excited about the event affiliated with Dress For Success. Hey - it involves food, fun and fashion. I'm there...
Can You Hear Me Now?
I pretty much hate Sprint. For almost two years I've lived in an apartment that has spotty (at best) cell service. It's a troubling situation for someone who eschews a land line.
Well, folks, there is finally light at the end of tunnel.
My contract with Sprint expires on the 21st and I am exploring my options. Does anybody use T-Mobile? I am in love with the Blackberry Pearl phone...
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I was reflecting on that four year old conversation while on my work today, and I came up with some questions to mull over. Feel free to add your own.
Am I doing anything to make this world better?
Am I taking steps to be healthy?
Am I drinking my milk?
What community organizations need my talents?
Is there something on my to-do list that I'm avoiding?
Am I lacing on the sneakers and getting my cardio?
When was the last time I talked to God?
Which trivial troubles are taking a toll on my positive energy?
Is there something that deserves more of my attention?
What negative forces are at work in my world?
What can I do to feed my creative streak?
Will I leave a positive impression on this world when I'm gone?
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
How could you run from your older, wiser (and stunningly beautiful) girlfriend into the arms of that buxom crumpet, Scarlett J. ??
Were you getting tired of the simple life of commitment? The quiet nights in and the threatening, mature ideas of co-habiting?
Justin. Are you longing to run free with abandon like former gal pal, Britney, baring your twigs and berries for the rest of the world's keen eyes? Dying to dance and gyrate in the arctic, white blast of a Vegas night club while Paul Oakenfold spins tunes more obscure than Starry Eyed Surprise (actually, I can say with first hand experience that's a pretty cool experience)?
Justin, you bum me out.
You give credence to my half hearted conviction that relationships between young men and old chicks don't work. You make me question your (and the rest of your young-man brethren) maturity and priority and commitment-ity.
Now, I know all about workplace relationships. I've even fallen prey to the seduction of a co-worker or two in my days. Still, I can't imagine how you let your guard down while shooting your new video with someone with a name that sounds like Harlett Hohansson.
Monday, January 08, 2007
It's a talent some people fail to develop. Others take to the rules of the road like a fish in water. I'm one of those latter types.
I aced my driving test (both written and in the vehicle) on the first try and pride myself on my talents behind the wheel.
I can probably nail a parallel parking job 95 percent of the time. My apartment doesn't offer parking spaces so street parking is a way of life for me - forcing me to consistently rely on that trick of lining up the corner of my vehicle with the opposing corner of the vehicle behind me.
Even an expert makes a mistake once in a while, and that's why I'm glad cars have bumpers on the front and the back.
This past Saturday I was backing in to a space in Oakley near a darling gift boutique - on a mission to buy a gift for a wedding reception I was attending that night.
There I was, lining up with the car in front of me, inching back, cutting my wheel to the right, backing in, turning the wheel to the left. Straightening, driving forward, driving back, driving forward driving back and then -bump- hitting the front fender of the car behind me.
Normally I wouldn't feel so bad, only because I am driving five miles an hour and because -yes- normally people are not sitting in the vehicle I bump.
There I was, trying to perfect my parking job, when I saw in the rear view mirror what appeared to be a woman sitting up and getting a good look at the back of my car.
It appeared a woman was breast feeding her baby when she got to feel first hand the power of my little love tap.
Oh. My. God. I wanted the earth to swallow me whole. How embarrassing.
I sat inside my car and pondered how long I could stall, and then I stepped out and checked the back of my vehicle and checked the front of the SUV.
Not even a scratch in sight.
The woman in the SUV sat there until I was like two steps away from the boutique. Then she got out, baby in tow, and checked the vehicles for any damage.
I lingered in the store a bit longer than I wanted to (what was I supposed to do? She stayed in the SUV when I got out of my car, and I didn't really know whether this was a situation that warranted an apology. I mean - we all tap the bumper once in a while, right?) and then I finally made it out. The SUV was gone.
The only luck I have is bad luck...
My Stat Counter is checking in at 90,106. That's quite a figure since I launched the blog in August, 2004.
I've enjoyed trading emails with some of you, reading your wonderful blogs and even developing friendships through the blog.
Thanks again for visiting, and please let me know if there's anything specific you'd like me to write about - my life is pretty much an open book.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I am so glad to get my first 2007 dose of Dwight tonight.
I love your boyish charm.
I love your asinine comedy.
I love your fledgling determination.
I love your inflated sense of self.
I am so anxious to see my little Assistant (to the) Regional Manager...
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I suppose I am more Kate Zeta J. than I am Kate Moss, what with the miles of curves I have for my hips and thighs and chest. As curvy as I may be, I don't really think my body is eye catching or extraordinary.
Attractive, perhaps (depending on your preferences) - but not stunning.
So I was a bit caught off guard when visiting Mt. Adams' Wine Cellar last Friday.
A woman stopped me in my tracks as I was headed to the restroom with the quick quip, "Hey. Nice tits."
Well, thanks, I replied, wondering why my 38 DD bosoms deserved a remark. Initially surprised that she noticed my, ahem, tits at all only because I was not wearing a low cut top. I had on a great, black scoop neck that cleared well above my cleavage, so her remark especially caught me off guard.
Then I started wondering: was this girl complimenting my non-existent plastic surgeon? Was she appreciating the gift (and believe me, it's not really always a gift) God blessed me with?
Was she hitting on me?
It was a strange remark that left me feeling more confused than appreciated, but it got me thinking.
Very few women, regardless their size, like the breasts they've got. They feel they're either too big, or too small, too droopy, too in-the-way. But somehow we make do and figure out the best way to work one of the biggest symbols of our womanhood.
And so I guess, for at least that one Friday night, I was doing something right - and someone was kind enough to notice.
I only hope next time the compliment comes from a cute, single guy.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Miss D Money graced the Queen City with her own royal appearance Friday night. I last saw my soul sister in October when Southern Son and I went over to check out her British digs.
D Money brought along her hot brother GI Yogurt (or, I should say, GI Yogurt brought D down) for the festivities, including visits to two of our biggest haunts when D lived on this side of The Pond.
D - It was a wonderful time. I loved the laughs, the crazy ass pictures (I was judicious in which pictures to post on the internet) and the reminiscing.
I miss our walks, I miss our talks, I miss our Happy Hours.
Gosh, I can't wait until you move back to this side of the ocean.