Thursday, July 31, 2008

Match Point

I am struggling with some major insomnia, so I thought I'd give my weekly perusal.

And though it's late and my wit is slow, I have to say I'm unimpressed by some of the handles out there.


There are others out there that make me want to know more:


Note: It is best advised you leave sex, drugs or alcohol out of your profile username. There is one exception to this rule - if you can do something classy with wine, then go for it. But do not, I repeat DO NOT allude to your favorite sex positions, prowess or anything else that could be misconstrued as cheesy.

I DO, however, suggest you give a preview of something important in your life - whether it be travel, modesty, the outdoors or passion for life.

PS- What's up with the dumb chicks who create profiles and then somehow get them featured in the men's section?

(10:29 am - I just realized I left the last four words off the above sentence when I posted last night. Oy vey - Like I said, I was struggling w/insomnia!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

As Eddie Vedder says, I'm Still Alive...

My life is a cross between Pink Floyd and David Bowie right now.

Well, not so much in the literal sense, because I really have no need to get in touch with my Ziggy Stardust.

The fact of the matter is, I am hustling for money like nobody's business and I'm coping with the wicked stresses that come with being under pressure.

Hence the delay in posting.

I promise, I'm working up a good 'un that will make your mouth water.

In the meantime, I have a few things for you to ponder or pontificate about:

-I'm going to Washington D.C. in little over a week. I've never been before and don't know how or where I should spend my evenings. Any suggestions from the folks familiar with life inside the Beltway?

-I'm cooking a lot more lately. This evening I did some prep work for a meal I'm dishing up tomorrow, and my hands wreak of garlic. I tried rubbing my hands up and down the faucet (I heard that's supposed to equalize the odor) and have had no such luck. Any tips from you foodie friends out there?

-Do we really care about the Olympics? I haven't thought much about who's competing and what the big story lines are this go around - who are the athletes to watch? I always love the opening and closing ceremonies, but beyond that I'm pretty non-committal.

-Labor Day is just about a month away, marking the unofficial end of summer. How will you celebrate the holiday with a bang? Are the fireworks overrated? Do you like to get in touch with your inner pyro and set off a show worthy of a call to the ATF?

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name...

I love asking my mother why she chose my name for me.

The story always starts with a brief recap of my birth - which starred a cone-headed twerp with wide-eyed baby blues, taking in the hospital's bright fluorescent lights. Some newborns cry and beg and plead to go back where they came from after their trip through the birth canal, but not me.

I was ready to take on the world.

My parents say I was checking things out the minute I took my first breath - scoping out the room, the people, the comings and goings - and I guess I've been doing it ever since.

My mom had already committed to Katherine. It's a family name that was passed down through the generations until it landed on my birth certificate. The name has Greek origins from as far back as the 3rd century and stands for purity. Katherine has lots of popular versions and derivatives, including Kate, Katie, Kathy, Kat and my own Katy.

Moments after seeing me in action in the hospital, my mother says she knew I was a Katy with a Y, not Katie with an ie, something about how she thinks the Y imparts more substance and strength, whereas the ie is more cream puff.

I don't know about that.

I started thinking about this name business after watching a program this evening. It was an unnamed reality show involving contestants trying to snag a spot on the latest version of a musical portraying high school life. In the episode, Cincinnati's Favorite Son let these bubbly, Noxzema-fresh contestants know whether they made it to the next stage of the competition after their auditions at sunny Disney World.

These teens claimed today's popular mainstream names including T.J., Britney, Shayna, Ally and the ever popular Madison. There was also an Ether, but I think his parents must have mistook their chemistry book for a baby name book.


There I was, listening to Britney and Madison and Ally, half expecting the likes of Taylor and Jacob and Austin to make their respective debuts, when I started imagining a nursing home, circa 2078.

"Kayla, it's time for your sponge bath. Please give Jayden the remote..."

"Mr. Topher, we're enjoying some music in the common room this evening. Would you like to share your Incubus CDs?"

"Miss Destiny, would you like to join Riley and Zoe for some tea?"

Now, I think many of those names are darn cute.

Little Girl cute.

Cute like tea parties and feather boas and My Little Ponies. Cute like dresses with pinafores and smocking, pigtails and grosgrain ribbon.

Likewise, there are some Little Boy names out there that are Tonka truck, gummy worms and dinosaur cute.

But do they work on a business card? What about a frosted office door at the U.S. Senate? Will a bailiff ever ask a courtroom to rise for the Honorable Britney Lynn Jones?

What if HRC's first name had actually been Cheri or Fannie or Wendy, or another antiquated name popular in the soda shop?

I must confess, I'm not always entirely happy with Katy.

Sometimes I think my name belongs in the Little Girl Cute category, and I suppose that's why I've gravitated towards the more mature Kate on occasion. I arbitrarily dispense the more grown-up version, whereas I typically reserve Katy for friends.

What are the chances these Britneys and Madisons and Taylors will trade in their models for Bertha, Mildred or Thelma?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Down In The Dirty Dirty

I am taking a break from the 513.

I hit the road at 5 am Saturday morning - destination Atlanta. I hadn't seen Brigid and Steve since May, so I thought it was high time to pack up the Saab and cruise down 75.

The weekend has been deliciously lazy - and Brig and Steve have been incredible hosts. I aim to fill you in on all the tasty bits when I get a minute...

But for now, I've got a cocktail calling my name, and I am not one to pass it up!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Write Stuff

I came out to total strangers last night.

It wasn't a coming out in the traditional sense. It was all about blogging - and I made my big reveal to a bunch of fellow bloggers I had previously only known through the internets.

The Cincinnati Mercantile Library hosted its (and perhaps the city's) first Blogger Convention. The event was a soiree of sorts - cocktails and hors d' oeuvres (including the most captivating guacamole - I swear, they must have put X into that stuff) and a bunch of the Queen City's most dedicated bloggers.

I was in heaven.

I mean, these are the people I turn to when I need a pick-me-up, when I want to find out what's going on around town and when I am searching for a quick break from the day's tasks. And from the looks of it, some of these folks are reading me, too.

I was nervous. Would I be cool enough to roll with this group of people I had admired from afar? Would I fit in? I mean, these folks deconstruct glasses of wine and analyze the differences between braised pork belly and roasted pork belly. They follow local news events, chew them up and spit them out with a side of opinionated sass.

I'm just a chick who writes about her observations, trivial desires and deepest ideals - some of their blogs could eat mine for lunch.

Fortunately these local bloggers are just as kind as they are brilliant.

Julie and I hugged as soon as we saw each other. She blogs about what I wish I could - food. She is just as savory and sweet as her writing (and so is The Boyfriend, Terry)... Follow this one- wine me, dine me (in cincinnati) is the perfect outlet for folks who eat, sleep, and drink food. Julie and I are trying to rally the troops for a very unique visit to the Creation Museum - a trip that I think calls for my pink wig...

WestEnder of Clark Street Blog and I have been following each other for quite a while. He's got a magnifying glass on society in Cincinnati. I enjoy his witty perspective on Simon Leis' arsenal, local politics and other interesting comings and goings. I can't wait to see what WestEnder writes about next...

Matt and I became acquainted a while back after he left a comment on my blog about Nada. He liked a pic I snapped of a completely devoured bowl of guacamole at Nada and mentioned that he was inspired to recreate the same image. Matt offers beautiful photography on his blog, Die Fledermaus, as well as other charming vignettes about living in Cincinnati.

I hadn't read Brian's blog before, but now I'm anxious to follow - he and I swim in some of the same circles and happen to know some of the same people. Check out Not Really a Book Blog Book Blog for literary suggestions and other observations.

I think Barry is going to become my next best girlfriend. He was the first blogger to greet me as I poured myself a glass of chardonnay, offering a big and beautiful, "Well hello, Darling." Barry is the man behind Queer Cincinnati, and I am looking forward to the next time he and I meet up for a cocktail :)

Our little blog excursion would not have been the same without Bob and Erin, or 5chw4r7z and Don't Call Me Mrs., respectively. These two people are huge supporters of the downtown movement, something that I absolutely love. But our conversation took a turn and I discovered they are both natives of Youngstown - the town my dad called home for so many years. I spent a good chunk of my childhood summers in Y-town, and so we dished about Handel's Ice Cream, Pyatt St. Market, the Butler Art Museum and my favorite - the Canfield Fair.

I can already taste the elephant ears and lemon shakes.

Jeff told me he occasionally blogs about food on his site, Permasmirk. He mentioned that bacon was the most perfect food in the world, and that's when I told him about the chocolate/peanut butter/bacon cake I made for Freeman. That's when Jeff told me he loved me. Who knew there were so many men out there lusting after bacon??

I also really enjoyed talking to Debba of Girlfriendology. She's trying to chronicle When Harry Met Sally-type interviews of girlfriends. Debba and I both agreed that men come and go, but girlfriends are here to stay.

There were so many other folks whom I met and briefly spoke with, including Michelle at My Wine Education, Shannan at Mommy Bits, and Juliet at Juliet & Juliette. There were also many many people I regret not meeting... and so I am anxious for Cincinnati's next blogger convention!

Happy Birthday Busken!

The Cincinnati baking institution is giving you a deal on your doughnut.

In honor of Busken's 80th birthday, the bakery is offering a special next Tuesday: one glazed doughnut and a small cup of coffee for a dime - one per customer, natch.


I can probably find enough change hidden between the seats in my car.

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Here's another great deal:

The Cheesecake Factory is selling every slice of its more than 30 varieties of cheesecake for $1.50 a slice next Wednesday. The deal is in connection with TCF's 30th anniversary and also National Cheesecake Day.

I know what I want for dessert... and dinner, and lunch and breakfast!

Special thanks to Mrs. Chocolate for the heads up on this spectacular offer.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Worlds Converging

Just a quick note to say I hope to post about something interesting/funny/insert adjective here this evening.

Perhaps I will come up with a nugget after tonight's Blogger Meetup at the Cincinnati Mercantile Building. I've never been to a blogger meet-and-greet before, but I caught wind of this and thought it would be nifty to go and network with the city's best and most-read bloggers!

I'm hoping to learn something or, at the very least, make some new friends whom I can enjoy in person!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Completely Random

Thank You For Being A Friend

Dear Estelle Getty, any child of the 80s is deeply saddened today by the word of your passing. My sisters and I spent our Saturday nights watching Golden Girls, Empty Nest and Nurses.

Thank you for Sophia's stories, which always started with the classic, "Picture it... Sicily."

And thanks for sharing Sophia's brilliant wisdom, "Let me tell you girls the three most important things I learned about life: number one, hold fast to your friends; number two, there's no such thing as security; and number three, don't go see "Ishtar." Woof."

May you enjoy your time at that Shady Pines in the sky.

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Meeting Marvin

I am having a lunch appointment at a certain restaurant tomorrow, and this meeting involves a work-related project connected to Marvin Lewis. For those of you who aren't from Cincinnati or follow NFL football, ML is the head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. I've been led to believe he will participate in tomorrow's meeting, and while I am usually not impressed with celebrity, my few brushes with fame have led to some good cocktail party anecdotes.

My only concern for tomorrow's meeting is this: what the hell should I wear? Coincidentally I had planned on wearing this cute, summery orange skirt, but now I'm thinking that would a little too coincidental and a lot too cheesy.

I guess I'll stick with my mainstay, that classic black (skirt? dress? slacks?)

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Not Quite Time For Change

I never have cash on hand.

Society has become embroiled in the culture of plastic, and I must admit I rely on my debit card as a crutch - I use it to buy beer at the ballpark, I use it to book plane tickets. I cannot live without my plastic. So imagine, if you can, the sheer frustration I battled as I lived sans-debit card for two weeks.

I absent mindedly left my card in the ATM at a local bank, and remembered it minutes later - well after my plastic key to consumerism was chewed and shredded to bits by the mechanical teeth deep inside the ATM.

I exhaled a massive sigh of relief upon getting my replacement card today.

This long, superfluous story leads me to a point: I never have change or cash on hand to give to the homeless/panhandlers/little kids hawking candy bars.

Today at Kroger, I was clued in that the world is apparently celebrating Christmas in July because I heard the instantly recognizable ringing of the Salvation Army bell and noticed the bright red, shiny kettle at the entrance. The lady was persistent in asking for a donation, and though I might have been inclined at another place in time, I politely declined as I currently choose to make my financial contributions elsewhere.

Hours later, my doorbell chimed, startling me from the loathsome satisfying chore of dish washing. I cracked the door open and found a little girl asking me to contribute a dollar to her church in exchange for a Kit Kat bar.

I used my classic Sorry, I don't have any cash excuse.

My feeling is this: If I wanted to contribute to a church, then I would make a donation to my own place of worship I'm sure the nuns at St. Mary's are waiting by the mailbox. Furthermore, if I had wanted to buy a Kit Kat bar (by far, one of the more sub-par candy bars on the market), then I would have picked one up at the grocery store in the first place.

Sorry, little girl. My mama told me I shouldn't take candy from strangers, and I guess that includes YOU.

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Speaking Of Change...

Like most Americans, I am waiting to hear about the presidential candidates' firm plans to improve the nation. I hear a lot of tongues wagging, but I've yet to hear some detailed information as to how Senators Obama and McCain want to turn this nation around. I'd like to offer some expectations and hopes for the next administration:

I want a president who ensures cars do not become a luxury. While I think it's high time to dump some of those colossal land shark SUVs creeping on the pavement, I don't think we should let the cost of gas swell to a price point that's out of reach for Average Joe. That said, we also need a leader who will make significant investments and offer worthy incentives to develop and encourage the use of public transportation in communities across the U.S. Public transportation thrives in nations around the world, and yet ours somehow fails to foster a culture that encourages bus ridership and the development of local streetcar/subway systems.

I want a president who will guarantee we will have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink for generations to come. Our environment needs to become a priority for the next president, whomever he may be.

Health care - it is not a luxury, and yet many Americans are slipping into bankruptcy while fighting cancer, heart disease and other grave maladies. My immediate family has had two significant brushes with health care, most recently involving my very ill niece. My niece was in the hospital for eight weeks before she died, and the cost of her care snowballed to the tune of more than two million dollars. We are very, very lucky that my brother-in-law's health insurance plan did not involve a cap.

What is a parent supposed to choose - their child's health or their financial stability?

We need a president who will guarantee that people across the United States will have access to affordable, quality health care.


I credit much of my success in life with the excellent education I was exposed to over the years. My path to learning started at a Montessori school in Minneapolis and finished at the fine University of Kentucky. Receiving my bachelor's degree is one of my proudest accomplishments - and I fully believe we need a president who will ensure more people go to college and complete the courses required for graduation. These days, a B.A. or a B.S. is commonplace in the workplace, and now an applicant must buckle down and get a Master's degree to compete for the best jobs.

We need a president who will dedicate more funds for kindergarten preparedness, putting children on the right path to a solid education. We need a leader who will follow that support with more earmarks that foster solid educational opportunities, ultimately leading to an increase in college enrollment and graduation across the country.

I'm waiting, gentlemen.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I've been thinking about investments quite a bit lately.

The current state of the stock market is akin to a big Fire Sale - an opportunity to pick up a great deal. Being that I'm in my early 30s, I'm in a position to take some risks and invest long term - knowing my investment will offer a significant profit when I'm ready to cash it in.

Right now I'm eying GM. The company is the nation's largest automaker and I'm fairly confident the federal government won't let it collapse. A couple weeks ago a share of GM was trading at nine dollars and change. Today it closed at 13 and change. Despite the small improvement, GM's value is significantly lower than it was in months and years past. In February, the automaker was trading at almost 29 dollars - and it was trading at more than 54 dollars a share in January of 2004.

It would likely be worth my time and investment to sink some cash into GM - knowing I can ride the wave up and watch the returns come in down the road.

Relationships are a bit like investments.

You make a commitment to spend time getting to know someone. Along the way, you create memories and you open yourself up, sharing your personal dreams, challenges, weaknesses and beliefs.

In some relationships, the return on your investment is evident at the start. You discover a connection almost immediately - and you form a bond that supports your investment of time, energy and emotion.

Other relationships - whether they be with friends, significant others or co-workers - are slow to take off. In hindsight, though, they are worth far more than you anticipated at the beginning. Much like a stock that climbs slow and steady, the bond that develops over many years has the potential to result in one of the most trusted and revered relationships for a person.

Remember the craze? A ton of mythical, internet-related corporations experienced a boom. Their value shot through the roof, and then many crashed and were worth pennies on the dollar. The same is true for some friendships. They are all flash, no substance. Sometimes it's a short term connection or association that brings two people together, other times it's a bond of circumstance. Either way, the two people involved are unable to form a deeper, enduring bond. Instead, their connection kicks off with a frenzy and then fizzles out after its swift ascent.

I know I've had my fair share of those relationships.

These days, I'm looking for something with reliable returns, whether they be in my romantic endeavors or my potential friendships. I don't have time to foster a swift and disappointing relationship - but I certainly have the time to commit to something that will withstand the challenges of time.

Much like your financial investments, it's important to be able to rely on your relationships when you need them.

Friday, July 18, 2008


I logged in to and discovered I had a new "wink" from a guy in Cincinnati.

He looked cute, so I decided to investigate further and check out his profile. The writing was full of misspellings and poor word choices, but I tried to look beyond the errors and appreciate the positives he had to offer.

Then I noticed the following:

"I really do not like to travel, unless it is to a mjor tennis tournament. I do not like to fly. I went to London*, a couple of years ago to Wimbledon. I was the best trip of my life!" (The misspellings are his).

Here's what my profile has to say about travel:

"I love exploring new places and already have a good collection of passport stamps. I am adventurous whether I am circling the globe or inside the I-275 loop."

What exactly is the connection this guy saw to inspire his wink?

Kind of funny - considering I am exploring flight estimates for travel to Iceland, Thailand, Argentina and Czech Republic as I type this post.

Add to the fact that this guy says he doesn't drink alcohol and that he's hooked on Pepsi - and I just know this would never work.

I mean, c'mon. No love for the Coke Zero?

Not a chance.

*He does get props for enjoying one of my favorite cities in the world - but still, no go.

Mental Vacation

In the interest of staying focused at the office, I am allowing myself to take a five minute break, and dream a little bit about some of the realistic places (and a couple stretches) I am eying for getaway destinations in '08.

Washington, D.C.
Okay, this one is actually a business trip next month, but I fully intend on taking advantage of the company dime to see the nation's capitol - a city I haven't yet explored. Any suggestions from the Peanut Gallery? I'll be staying in Old Town Alexandria, but am ready to hop on the Metro to get around inside the Beltway.

B.B. King. Beale Street. Elvis. What more could I say about this sultry, steamy, Southern city? I've long had the River City on my radar... I think it's time to hit the road.

I love Chi-Town. Haven't been since I was a little girl, but the fam did all the traditional Chicago things like see Buckingham Fountain, the Science and Industry Museum (loved the coal mine) and Marshall Fields (moment of silence, please). Time to explore Chicago's more grown-up offerings, though I'd also like to take a swing by Cinner's for a taste of home.

The Beaches of South Carolina
My sister and BIL live in Atlanta, and I am so jazzed about a trip to the ATL next weekend. Planning for the journey led me to think about maybe heading to SC for a long weekend in November. What a great time of year to get away from the colder temps and frigid winds of the Queen City.

Las Vegas
Okay, this one is a little more far-fetched, but with the right planning (I could dip into my frequent flyer points) anything is possible, right? Haven't seen the Strip in three years, and I am dying for a fix.

San Francisco
Also a bit of a reach, though I am exploring a trip out West to see D Money and am thinking about flying through Golden Gate Country as a way to explore the Bay. I'll have to ask the ladies at BlogHer what they think about SF.

Just a few places my brain dreams about from time to time... I've discovered there is no cure for my Wanderlust - it's only sated by the careful planning and execution of an out-of-town jaunt.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I'd never been tied up before.

I have trust issues and am also a bit hesitant to completely surrender to someone else's power. I guess it's all part of my unfortunate control freak streak.

So when he asked me to lay down, I was more than a bit hesitant. I mean, I didn't even know his name. He assured me I would feel good afterwards - I worried the confinement would lead me to hyperventilate.

I got in position and threw my hands above my head, trying to stay out of the way. Carefully he strapped me in - grabbing one black nylon strap after the other. One by one, he clicked together six buckles asking if everything was tight enough - he further cinched the straps when I replied that I could still wiggle a little bit.

I was completely captive and a little bit freaked out.

My brain raced to the unlikely and inopportune possibility of a fire. I envisioned scorching, raging flames wildly waving in the sky. There I'd be, strapped and trapped in the nylon strapping - begging a firefighter to save me from my own personal hell.

Fortunately, my life isn't that exciting.

He did what he could to extend my torso and asked me to lay still. I closed my eyes, the straps restricting my breathing to short, shallow movements.

Fifteen minutes.

That's how long I had to surrender control - waiting patiently for the beeping of the digital alarm to go off - signalling the end of my stillness.

Talk about an unusual treatment at physical therapy.

They call it traction, and the PT suggested it as one way to help assist in my ongoing process to fix a bulging disc.

I go in for another session tomorrow morning. I'm wondering whether I need to wear leather for the occasion.

Rhythm Is A Dancer

There's only about 36 hours left to vote in the Traffic Guy Dance-Off.

Click here to vote for Local 12's Bob Herzog!

Vote if you love Bob's fly dance stylings (or if you hate the people of Chicago/The Cubs/Da Bears or anything Windy City related)!

Let's go Cincinnati - we can do it.

I believe in you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Scooter Watch 2008

Spotted at Metro Scooter in Norwood:

I -think- they just scored a new shipment of scooters today.

I saw two big delivery trucks - and lots of big, empty, piled up carboard boxes.

I know I definitely spied a Stella Pamplona 150 sitting right outside one of the trucks.

How convenient, a possible delivery of new scooters just in time for the 17th Annual Ride To Work Day.

Oh, how I want a scooter.

Vespa, Stella. They're all cute. I want either Bubble Gum Pink or Cherry Red scooter with matching helmet.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Domestic Diva

They say music has charms to soothe the savage beast.

If that's the case, then I say cooking has the power to calm a disturbed diva.

My bummed mood as of late (thanks for the kind emails and messages) needed a shot in the arm, and I knew some creativity in the kitchen would be just what the doctor ordered.

I spent some serious time cleaning my home over the Independence Day holiday weekend and decided it was time to invite my friends over - a rotating calendar of guests requires a bit of a commitment to maintenance, doesn't it?

Jos gets the first crack at dinner in my kitchen (well, at least for this go around. He's been to my kitchen before...)

Right now I've got a London Broil marinading in the fridge, a bunch of sliced up zucchini, yellow squash, Vidalia onion, and baby bella waiting to hit the saute pan (with olive oil, basil and pine nuts), and some homemade blueberry syrup - to top vanilla bean ice cream.

The careful art of preparation is spectacular.

From measuring out the soy sauce to pressing flat the garlic clove a-la Rachael Ray, I felt like I had rolled up my sleeves (I actually don't wear many sleeves this time of year) and was creating something spectacular.

In theory, I guess I have. We'll have to wait until tomorrow when I fire up the stove.

I'm a bit of a creature of habit - I love throwing on my Crate and Barrel flower-and-fruit print apron and pinning up my mess of hair to take command of the kitchen. I delight in perusing through my extensive collection of spices - some from half way around the world - trying to determine which flavors would best suit my culinary cravings.

I love turning chopped liver into four star.

Actually... I never buy chopped liver. But I think you get the point.

Sometimes I feel very Mad Scientist, stirring a little bit of this in to a little bit of that. Most of the time my flavorful concoctions are successful, creative ventures. Other times I ditch (and pitch) my failed attempts. Still other times, I decide to chow down on inventions I'd never subject on an unsuspecting guest, like last week when I invented Guinness Pasta.

The creamy, beer flavored sauce wasn't quite what I thought it would be.

I guess that leads me to my next point. When it comes to baking - I am by the book. Baking is actually an exact science - a chemistry of rising and congealing and other phenomenons that require specific quantities of baking soda/flour/water/eggs/sugar etc.

Cooking though - it's negotiable. Sometimes I dig out a recipe - other times I throw caution to the wind and toss whatever I want in the pot.

Variety really is the spice of life - no matter what flavor you prefer.

A Moment of Silence

One month after the buzz broke out - today word that Budweiser is officially selling out to Brazilian/Belgian company InBev.

I don't know about you, but I'm switching brews - to anything but Bud.

Who Not To Marry

Anyone ever thinking about getting married should read this article.

It's pretty phenomenal.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I like solitude most of the time.

There's something quite delicious about being able to call all the shots - where you eat, when you eat. Whether you are going to see a movie at the theatre or in your own living room. Deciding against making the bed or choosing to eradicate sugar from your kitchen.

You choose when you want to go to the beach and when you want to visit a big city.

When you're single - you make all of the decisions, and there's no one to argue back in protest.

But ask any single girl (or guy, for that matter) and they'll quickly point out the murky flipside. There's no one to engage in polite discourse at the dinner table - no one with whom you can share an inside joke. You're without an ally in the social scene and the only arms to wrap around you in bed at night are your own.

Sometimes being single stinks.

My mom tells me I have a great life - and most of the time I'll agree. My calendar is brimming with fun outings and cocktails at some of the area's best restaurants. My circle of friends is full of some solid relationships and continues to grow with each passing month. I am always planning an adventurous trip to a new, far-flung destination.

I guess you could say some people would give anything to be in my shoes. I've got a great job, great family and friends, and a life full of great pursuits. But last night I was only consumed with The Missing Piece.


I don't know where he is. I don't know if I've already met him, and if I haven't, I don't have a clue where to expect this spectacular meeting.

My Better Half.

Now, I must admit - this is a bad weekend for me. I am battling the emotions that come with fluctuating hormones (ain't it great to be a girl sometimes?) and I'm also struggling with the two month anniversary of Maeve's passing.

Honestly, I'm grateful I found the strength to bathe yesterday.

Unfortunately, the roller coaster of tragic pain and uncontrollable sobbing led me straight to the dark, painful feelings I work so hard to suppress most of the time. As much as I put on the strong face, I struggle with loneliness from time to time. And it hurts.

I hate being the Third Wheel, or the Fifth Wheel. I hate planning vacations alone. I hate cooking for one.

But there's something I hate even more - searching for Mr. Right.

For all my bellyaching and crying about singleness, I threw in the towel many, many months ago, at least where looking was concerned.

I've had a few failed relationships (some I searched for, and some that just happened) and decided I didn't want to look for hurt anymore. These days, when anyone couches an opportunity as "A great chance to meet men," it literally makes me want to run the other way.

My plans fell through last night and I ended up sitting on my couch, drinking Red Stripe and watching old reruns of Law and Order. I was sipping on my beer when a friend sent me a text about a party with that dismal pitch - Let's go meet some boys!

I almost threw up a little bit in my mouth.

I mean, how desperate do I have to be to find someone? I hate the premise of a roving eye at a bar, searching the crowd for the best prospect to approach.

I also hate hate hate the painful reality of putting so much energy (shaving, blow drying-curling-styling the hair, applying make up, painting the toe nails, creating the perfect ensemble) into an almost guaranteed unfulfilling prophesy.

Love has a funny way of developing, and I truly think its best shot is when it's organic - when it just erupts between two hearts truly captivated with passion, possibility and the potential for commitment.

This is the idea I am committed to.

So as long as I have this faith, this stern belief, I must remind myself that I truly do not walk alone on this path of life.

Sometimes, there are two sets of footprints in the sand. And sometimes, there is only one.

That's when I'm being carried.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Source

My dad isn't a TV anchor.

He's retired after spending many years in sales and marketing.

But his is a voice I turn to for advice, for entertainment. My dad tells me like it is, whether I want to hear it or not. He breaks down the good, the bad, the ugly and yet comforts me when I experience times of crisis and stress.

What more could a girl ask for, right?

It's funny - I've been out of the tee vee business for three months now, but I am still enraptured by the news.

A lot of it is crap.

The robberies at check exchanges. The process court appearances that appear on tv and in the newspapers. The many, many, many vehicle crashes - there are lots of minutes and column space dedicated to garbage.

And that's when I turn to the remote or the recycling bin.

But the real news, the Evening News - on the networks - that has a way of sucking me in until 7 pm.

I think it was my dad who instilled in me this infatuation with the news.

I remember sitting around the dinner table, my dad home after a long day at work, and my mom buzzing around the kitchen. She'd be putting the final touches on our meat-and-three meal and my dad and I would be watching Tom Brokaw talk about the Keating Five or the Tiananmen Square Massacre. My mom or I would try to interject in Brokaw's flawless delivery - Dad would give us a swift shooshing.

We relied on Brokaw to pull us through the heartbreak of the Challenger tragedy.

We depended on his inspirational words and perspective during the fall of the Berlin Wall.

That's the kind of anchor most people want to watch - someone who sounds like family. An anchor who tells the truth, who reveals some personality.

Someone who's not shlocky, not shallow.

I've worked with dozens of anchors over the years. I can count on one hand the number of anchors who were truly genuine, appearing on television just as they were in real life.

I remember one Ken Doll anchor who was so consumed with the powder on his nose and the staged questions he asked after an reporter's live report (I was the one who actually wrote the questions) that he failed miserably in the sincerity department.

His canned facial expressions and feigned interest were chronic.

The industry has churned out a lot of these Ken Dolls. They come branded with ego and good looks and they kiss enough ass to put theirs in the big chair in warp speed.

In many cases, these men are fathers. But their cross chat, their delivery, their personality smacks of anything but paternal wisdom.

Lexington. Hartford. Philadelphia.

It doesn't matter where you go - you'll find a Ken Doll (or as N B-C would call them, a hair-do). And their demeanor just might disturb your very core. These are the people we're left to trust in a crisis. And yet, if they experienced a crisis in the studio (Lord help us all of the telepropmpter goes down) the only thing that would be reliable is the classic Deer In The Headlights look.

That's why I love Brokaw.

Smooth. Confident. In control no matter the circumstance.

These days I rely on Charlie Gibson for my Daily Dose of Good Anchoring.

He is pleasant, firm, witty and appropriately charming.

Just like Dad.

Caption Contest Friday

Here's an interesting picture of Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis.

What exactly was he saying/thinking when this image was permanently recorded for all posterity?

I know I am coming up with a lot of dirty captions, but I'll spare you from my crude and twisted mind.

If you really want to know more about the news value of this photo, you can click here to read the article.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mental Vacation

I just need to take a break from work for a moment to reflect on life.

And this local news story is the craziest thing I've read all day long.

If you don't have time to read it, here are the runs, hits and errors.

A guy is accused of setting a van on fire after his girlfriend fell asleep, not once, but *twice* during sex.

I guess he woke her up at 4 in the morning, tried to get busy, and then was pissed off because she wasn't an active participant in the whole event.

He is accused of grabbing some lighter fluid, squirting the inside of her van, and then grabbing a log that was on fire before heading for the van.

This all transpired somewhere in Anderson Township early in the morning on July 30th.

Were they hooking up in the van?

I don't know.

Were they hooking up next to the van?

I don't know.

All I know is this chick took her dog, her keys, her cell phone and a light and hit the road after her boyfriend went pyro-crazy.

I've seen this dude's picture and am officially taking him off my eligible bachelor list.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Like A Desperate Prayer

Dear Madge,

It's me, Kate the Great. Remember me? I was the one who used to dance around to Material Girl, Lucky Star and Like a Virgin in a bedroom on Appleseed Drive. Remember? I had the frizzy blonde hair, a face bathed in freckles and two twin beds covered in Laura Ashley's Cricket Stripe bedspreads. With the matching Olive Branch border?

Yeah, I think you remember me.

I've always been a big fan of yours. Of course, I loved Like A Virgin. I also thought Papa Don't Preach was a pretty phenomenal song and I did a mean impression of your True Blue bellowing on the playground in 6th grade. I was a little freaked out by the scenario you showcased in the Like a Prayer video but I got over it when I heard Vogue. I mean, the video was hot.

Your sexual ambiguity and and unabashed lingerie exposure were simultaneously shocking and enchanting.

You followed up with a few hits and misses (Deeper and Deeper, Take A Bow) and then in 1997 you released my own torch song, Don't Cry For Me Argentina.

My mom still says I sing the tune better.

Then you gave us Ray of Light, Music, and that abysmal album, American Life.

I really bought in to Confessions on a Dance Floor, but this latest album?

4 Minutes is okay, but Give It To Me just sucks.

There. I said it.

Give It To Me just sucks.

I think you jumped the shark when you included the highly annoying and overly repetitive bridge of, "Get stupid. Get stupid. Get stupid. Get stupid (2:29 in song)."

Over and over and over, you ask folks to "Get stupid," when clearly YOU are the one who Got Stupid.

I know Pharrell produced this song, so I can't deny its hip factor.

But really... Get stupid?

It's the least intelligent lyric you've ever featured.

(And the video kinda sucks, too.)


Monday, July 07, 2008


Wall Street goes through a correction from time to time.

Martha is all about her spring cleaning.

I guess we all need to take time to clear the cobwebs every once in a while.

Me? I am a self-professed slob. I suppose it's to be expected after being raised by a woman who has more than a streak of Mommie Dearest in her. My dad used to joke that we needed to erect velvet ropes outside the living room - a room we were lucky to inhabit once or twice a year. Even my mother tells a story about a two-year-old Kate the Great walking by the living room, my index finger wagging while whispering, "No-no touch. No-no touch."

Yeah. Sometimes it was like growing up in a museum.

These days, I will get a slap on the wrist if I don't open the kitchen cupboards by grasping the brass knobs -just so-.

The rules are quite different in my own apartment. Hell, there are no rules. I suppose it's a subconscious effort to buck the trends of my childhood. Clothes strewn about the floor? Check. Dirty dishes piled up on the floor, within reaching distance of my prized spot on the couch? Check. Overflowing garbage cans in the bathroom/kitchen/family room? Check.

Yeah. Home maintenance is not my forte.

I am great at making messes, but usually I am able to prioritize my way around putting things back in their place. Work, meetings, a busy social life - they all come before cleaning up the chaos in my home life. Usually that chaos at home translates to little bouts of chaos in other arenas of my life.

Sometimes my neglect leads me to run out of clean clothes to wear. Sometimes my apathy for domesticity bars me from inviting friends inside.

On several occasions, friends of mine have asked if they could just run inside for a moment to use the bathroom. On several occasions, I have refused.

I certainly hope my friends don't take the refusal as an affront to their friendship. The fact of the matter is, on each occasion my home was in complete disarray, and I knew they would find a bathroom in worse shape than the most disgusting trucker rest stop.

I'm not kidding.

And that's when I do a little soul searching and realize it's time for me to suck up and buckle down - spending hours cleaning a three-room apartment.

I put my nose to the grindstone this weekend, knowing full well I had invited Rusty and The Divine Ms. M over for cocktails before heading to a party at GOP Big Wig's house.

I am a journalist by trade, and so I am no stranger to deadlines. Fact of the matter is, deadlines (and the related pressure) get my blood boiling. I like the looming date and the challenge of finishing a project, paper, whatever by a specific time frame.

And I had a massive chore ahead of a looming Saturday Night deadline.

It was just me, my iTunes and a bottle of Ivory soap. I think I soaked and scrubbed something like 20 glasses, 40 pieces of silverware, a dozen bowls, plates, pans and other cooking accoutrements. I scooped up a whole wardrobe of clothing covering a love seat in my living room, uncovering old bills, junk mail and other pieces of paper. I fired up a new-to-me vacuum cleaner, making sure I created those lovely lines I liked leaving behind when I had to do chores as a girl.

I think I spent six hours getting that place spic-and-span. It looks dynamite. You all should stop by and check out the digs...

But here's the best thing about all the cleaning.

I've uncovered a Zen-like sense of order, peace and simplicity.

We'll see how long this lasts.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Plight of the Single Girl

There are many, really.

But I won't go into all the chores and obligations that come with being minus "plus 1."

I will, however, tell you I decided to get back on that ol' saddle that is called

The move comes after I had cocktails with a girlfriend of mine. She is stunningly beautiful, very creative and single handedly saves girls living in several African villages. She jet sets around the world monthly and she volunteers when she's able to make it back to American soil.

In short, she's a winner.

And she has trouble finding a good man, too.

We were running down the facets of being 30-something and single and that's when she asked me if I was on Match.

"Well, sure. But I gave that up a long time ago."

Yes, I gave it up after the only men who showed interest were the kinds of guys who run their fingers through their mullet coif while cruising around town in their T Top Trans Am.

I'm. Not. Kidding.

And so that's why I decided to burn any hopes that Match would ignite my love life.

But I guess everyone and everything deserves a second chance...

We'll see how this works out this time around.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Nice press in the Enquirer on my old friend, Bob Herzog.

This guy is as nice as he is funny.

His Local 12 Friday Dance Party phenomenon just kind of happened one day... and it's been an institution ever since.

Herzog is competing against a Traffic Dancer in Chicago (the dude in the Windy City is lame).

You can check out their respective video clicks and vote for your favorite here.


Watch this space!

Kate's Random Musings is approaching its fourth birthday (one month away!).

Be on the lookout for some significant changes... some watchful eyes might notice a few slight differences already. More dramatic changes are on the way in one month.

Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Personal Jesus

He told me he was in my apartment and didn't recognize the surroundings.

And that's when he decided to walk out and make it to his own pad.

My neighbor exchanged this bit of information with me last fall - mentioning his mistake while stumbling and fumbling for his keys on his own doorstep.

He's in his early 50s, a spry man with shaggy hair and more than a few wrinkles, and there's no two ways about it - the man has a serious drinking problem. I only know this because we coincidentally arrived home at the same time late/early on several occasions - and he had a much more difficult time making it in the building, even though I was the one walking in four inch heels.

Bobbling and waiving - this guy slurred his words as he described being inside my apartment. You have a cream colored couch, and a desk on the side wall, right? I concealed my shock and dismay - grateful he made it in the apartment when I was still out and about one evening, and yet floored he could describe my living room to a T.

Even before the incident, I was persnickety about locking the door. Still, the man said he used his own key to get inside my space, so I can only think the leasing company has used the same lock on our respective doors.

Now I lock the deadbolt, and the chain goes up when I'm sleeping inside at night.

His drinking problem was so severe that sometimes I'd hear him puking his guts out on the other side of the wall. Occasionally, I wondered whether he was still alive. In all the times I saw him walking to his apartment, he never walked in a straight line and he never talked without sounding completely incoherent.

Tonight I am sitting on my front stoop, typing away and drinking a cold one, while my neighbor sits on his own porch with two Mormon boys, talking about Christ the Redeemer.

It doesn't matter where you are in America - they're instantly recognizable. The Mormon boys wear white button-down shirts and blue or black slacks, name tags pinned to the pocket. They travel as a pair when they read scripture and talk about faith.

Tonight they are helping a man who obviously is trying to close the door on a troubled past and the struggles with addiction.

I've relied on faith during my own times of crisis, too.

I don't think I was as lost as my neighbor friend, but I was certainly searching for myself. Years ago, I was seriously lacking self confidence, a sense of direction and an obligation to responsibility. My desire, no, my need for faith and spirituality came at a time when I was completely lost and left to find a way out on my own.

I know my faith and the love of others helped me find the way.

Today, I am living a dramatically different life. I have a distinct sense of purpose. My self esteem is overflowing. My obligation to responsibility - it's come a long way but could still use some improvement from time to time.

And though I am completely committed to my life's direction these days, I still feel an occasional wavering in my faith.

Sometimes it's easy to feel like God forgets you. When you lose a loved one far too early... when you struggle with the disappointment that your own dreams have not come true... I guess it's natural to question the motivation for God's doing.

And that's when I can only trust there's a greater plan at work.

I saw the Mormon boys approach the door tonight and I knew they were going to my neighbor's home. I didn't make eye contact because I was trying to avoid a visit to my doorstep, too.

The truth is, I still call myself a Catholic. I don't practice the faith nearly as frequently as I used to, but I still believe in the fundamentals, and I know I will choose to go to a mass when I decide I want to start going to church regularly.

I know God still believes in me, even when I sometimes forget to believe in Him.

This Is Why I'm Hot: Reason #273

...Because I'm anal about grammar.

I've talked about the awesome Grammar Girl podcast - a true sign I am a) extreme wordsmith and b) extreme dork.

Today I ask the Peanut Gallery to consider two problems.

1) Which is correct:

Each of us has

Each of us have

2) Is there an easy rule to help me determine when I should write

July 13th

as opposed to

July 13

Any contributions, suggestions or reference sites are welcome (including from my honorary editor, Double Platinum).