Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Pen Warmed Up In Hell

Mark Twain had it right - there are few better justices than a fiery missive written by a scorching hand.

My favorite class in high school was Mr. Heifetz's honors English class my junior year. Heif was a passionate man who metaphorically shouted from atop his desk a love for Hawthorne, Fitzgerald and Miller - a joy infecting his students and inspiring them to seek out their own tastes in literature.

That's about the time I developed an interest in a Twain piece underscoring the importance of journalism and its close relationship with accountability.

It's only appropriate that he'd champion such a thought, especially considering his many years of service in the newspaper business.

Members of the press have the unique privilege and responsibility of taking the political machine, big business, societal pariahs and other miscreants to task. The media has the resources to craft a pointedly critical front page spread condemning the wrongs of the government and others, and usually their reports are respected by the community and in some cases a great tool for influencing public opinion.

If you or I tried writing an editorial crucifying a politician, we'd get a few inches of column space (if we're lucky; if on the front page - then we've hit the jackpot) that would register with but a few dozen pairs of eyes.

It certainly wouldn't be a catalyst for great change.

Some television stations try to aspire to these same ideals, what with their forays in investigative reporting and careful cultivation of an I-team brand du jour. I just don't think TV news has the potency to really deliver solid, consistent investigation pieces. Reporters are held to 1:20 Total Running Times and pushed to create stand-ups with a purpose and memorable moments and a laundry list of other garbage that gets in the way of crafting a solid testimonial for journalistic integrity.

This thought reminds me of a news director I once worked for in Lexington. He wanted reporters to "hold official feet to the fire," include an action shot stand-up and snappy "nat sound pops" to punctuate the reporter track.

And therein lies the rub with television news - sometimes the story delivers more sizzle than substance when it's caught up in the flash of smoke and mirrors.

Some of my former TV newsroom colleagues may disagree with me on this point - but mine is an argument borne from a wordsmith's idealism, not a visionary chained to the task of marrying phrases to moving pictures.

Truth is, I think newspapers are still the best medium for The People.

Not only do papers do Big J journalism better than most TV and radio outlets, they are more easily accessible to the less fortunate. No technology needed, any man or woman can take a short walk to the nearest newspaper stand or vendor and hand over a quarter or two to read the day's exchanges. Alternately, people can usually find a neglected newspaper in any bus station or waiting room.

It's pretty difficult to argue against a newspaper's accessibility.

The town fish wrap doesn't just have the potential to do Big J better - I think any local newspaper could write circles around other media forms where human interest is concerned. Sure, carefully shot video is pretty, but I'd take some well crafted imagery any day over a few close ups, pans and light kit gels.

C'mon, I already admitted I had a thing for words - can you fault me for wanting to indulge in a well written story?

I've been mulling on this diatribe (with apologies to Mr. Twain, for I don't know if you could call it fire and brimstone) for a while and decided to put pen to paper, er, type to screen after yesterday's death knell in Denver. This nation is losing a deeply rooted tradition at record pace - our newspapers are folding from coast to coast, and I don't think we'll fully understand the fallout for years to come.

By now, some of you are probably calling me a hypocrite. She's a blogger, right? Why doesn't she support her own kind?

Yes, I love blogging. I look forward to celebrating five years at this shtick in a few months. This format is a great way for so many people to showcase what they love - whether that be food or fashion or tech talk or current events, or anything else random and lovely.

Blogging is easy - and that's why it appeals to so many people. The catch is, many bloggers out there don't have the skills or access to truly take the (insert institution here) machine to task. Lots of bedroom bloggers don't have the education, expertise or understand the ethics behind news reporting.

Additionally, citizen journalism through blogging is a splintered movement that has yet to develop a streamlined aggregate for content.

Journalism through blogging isn't there yet - the medium is still developing itself, and newspapers are still essential to the societal system of checks and balances in place.

And so for now, I'm committing to buying one newspaper a week - a worthy contribution from someone who up until now has exclusively pointed and clicked her way to the headlines.

I hope Sam Clemens would be proud.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Booze on a Budget

"Times are hard."

You hear it in newscast copy, you read it in newspapers and your friends say it over coffee.

Yes, times are hard. People are well beyond planning "staycations" and forgoing the weekly (or daily) Starbucks latte. These days, they're looking for ways to feed a family of four by spreading out a pound of ground beef across two dinners. Hard working people are eying the needle and determining whether they have enough cash and gas to get through the week. Some people are skipping out on paying for their car insurance.

Yes, the economic crisis is affecting everyone - and that means looking for shortcuts that allow you to keep the same standard of living without costing an arm in a leg.

Even though I enjoy a steady paycheck, the economy has me thinking of ways I can trim corners and sock a little away just in case.

My cocktail budget is one such area.

I, for one, am a social creature who enjoys meeting up with friends over a cocktail, but I am forgoing frequent trips to the watering hole for occasions to imbibe at home. I have a good arsenal of beer, wine and bourbon at home, but if times get really tough, I've come up with Plan C.

Prison wine.

You read that correctly. Prison Wine - as in, the swill prisoners distill in the toilet when they're toiling behind bars.

It's an easy option if you're trying to come up with a cost-effective cocktail because the recipe calls for things you probably already have around the house. But I gotta admit - the ingredients don't sound very appetizing when mixed together.

Essentially, you use fruit cocktail, sugar, ketchup, moldy bread in a sock (preferably a clean one), plastic bags and water.

You can read the recipe here if you're really curious.

This whole idea of prison wine came about during a conversation with a friend of mine who is coping with a cutback on his hours at work. I mentioned to him that I know how to live the luxe life for less, and that's when we tossed out the idea of Bacchus' gift to the incarcerated set.

Our conversation went a step further - I told this friend he could make some extra cash by turning his basement into a disco. I told him I envisioned whips, chains, bars and leather, and we could call the secret speakeasy disco PRIZON! (exclamation point included).

In all seriousness, I think it's going to be interesting to see how inventive people get in this rough financial climate. Adversity and hardship pushes people to create new businesses and innovative enterprises. Budding entrepreneurs will emerge with unusual concepts - some will fail miserably, but a few will shine spectacularly.

I can't wait to see how it all pans out.

Now, where did those singleton socks go?

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Sometimes life hands you a moment that allows you to forget your existence.

Pressing bills, strained relationships and demanding careers become a distant memory, dissolved by a chance to savor the flavor of bliss.

In my case, a moment with friends old and new at Cincinnati's undisputed best restaurant became the zenith of surrealism.

It's no secret that the Queen City's only four-star restaurant is closing its doors next Saturday, February 28 after what appears to be a disagreement and divorce of sorts between Jean Robert de Cavel (the man with the ideas) and Martin Wade (the man with the money). My darling friend Julie had heard rumblings about a potential split for months and has more information here.


Almost exactly a month ago, Jean Robert at Pigall's revealed it was closing its doors, one day after Mobil announced it awarded the restaurant with it's fifth four-star award - the only four-star restaurant in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

I immediately called and booked a table for eight.

I had no idea who would be dining with me, I had no idea what unexpected financial obligations would arise, but I was certain I would make this spectacular dining experience happen. I have always regretted missing out on dining at the fabled Maisonette, Cincinnati's (and the nation's) longest running five-star restaurant, at a spectacular 41 consecutive years. As a foodie, it is a regret I don't take lightly, and so that's why I was quick to jump on the reservations for Pigall's.

I am grateful for the quick thinking, as now you cannot get a reservation at the place - there are so many people who are clamoring for their final taste of greatness.

Our table was made up of an eclectic group of old and new friends - folks who signed up for the dining excursion from the beginning and some folks who opted to join our table just hours before our meal. Rusty and the Divine Ms. M, Jos, Sweet, and I were joined by our friend (who also happens to be a chef in Cincinnati and is apparently adored by JRdC) and also the lovely Sara and Evan (who goes by @nth_degree on Twitter).

We walked in to Pigall's and were greeted with a genteel refinement from another time and place. The hostess graciously asked us for our coats and Richard the Maitre d' directed us to a glittering, round table adorned with candlelight, gleaming silverware and salmon orange linens reminiscent of a steamy sunset in July.

Richard pulled out my chair for me and gently pushed it back in as I sat, basking in the surroundings - I am certain the space is designed to look like a dining room in heaven.

Rusty remarked that we were about to dine like Gods - and we were, because the table decided together that we would choose the five-course Menu Gourmand with matched wine pairings. The meal itself was $97 a person, the wine pairings an additional $37.

The entire experience was worth every penny.

A fleet of servers placed our amuse bouche before us, a gift from the chef - a demitasse of beet soup, an eggy mousse concoction and a phyllo dough purse filled with I believe duck confit.

I must confess, the meal was a spectacular crescendo of one dynamite course after another, and so it's hard to remember every single detail. I assure you, there wasn't a moment I disliked.

After the amuse bouche, our server directed the attendants to bring us our first course - a sort of vegetable cole slaw laced with savory bits of Maine lobster, ruby red grapefruit pieces, and tiny pearls of pomegranate that served as the exclamation point of the dish.

The table's conversation was replaced with moans of delight and declamations of pleasure.

The army of attendants whisked away our dishes and we prattled on in complete happiness - at this point it was obvious all of our cares had been washed away, if for even this brief moment in time.

My dinner guests and I debated at the end of the night whether the second course was the best of the evening - seared foie gras atop a ravioli filled with duck, adorned with candied pecans and laced with pureed sweet potatoes.

In my 32 years of life and rich experience, I have never tasted anything so delicious.


I think back to memorable meals I've had in Cincinnati and Boston and Louisville and Paris and London, San Francisco and elsewhere.

I don't think anything trumps this foie gras - what with it's buttery smooth flavor - not gamey, but more nutty, salty and extremely savory. I know there's an ethics issue here, what with the forced feeding a duck experiences to produce such spectacular foie gras, and I will say I am extremely grateful for the duck I enjoyed and was especially reverent while savoring the sacrifice of that animal's life.

Our conversation drifted in and out of irreverence as we talked about other nice restaurants in town, some of the gossip in the industry, and other juicy topics. We tossed out our speculations about JRdC's future - one diner said she had heard through the grapevine there might be a non-compete forbidding JR to stay in town. Another diner who has some significant connections says she assured us that was not the case.

After the second course, we were all crestfallen at the thought this man's brilliance may leave Cincinnati.

As I mentioned earlier, we had a chef dining with us that evening - a chef who JR is apparently fond of. Our table enjoyed a special, extra course of a massive diver scallop drizzled with a creamy, buttery sauce laced with anise. I could smell the sea as soon as the scallop was placed in front of us - a similar quality I noticed when I reviewed Honey for a local magazine last autumn. That particular scallop was served atop braised pork belly and a parsnip puree. If memory serves me correctly, JR's scallop was a showstopper on a bed of cabbage.

We enjoyed this unexpected addition, wondering how the remaining courses could outdo anything that had already passed our lips.

For the next course, Chef served up black cod drizzled with truffle sauce and a blue cheese fondue. The fish sat atop a medley of vegetables that included corn kernels still side by side as they were during their days on the cob. The tines of my fork pulled the fish apart easily - it was full and fresh and flaky, and I loved every bite of it.

The table sat in anticipation, reflecting on the courses already enjoyed and anxious for what was to come.

I was a bit curious about the next course. I'd never dined on elk before, and was looking forward to discovering the flavor of this rare meat. Would it be gamey? Would it be tough? I wasn't really concerned, I have a streak of Anthony Bordain in me, having dined on black pudding in Scotland and raw beef in none other than Covington.

I was looking forward to the opportunity of Elk.

The elk glimmered like an oblong ruby sliced into petite medallions. My knife gently cut through the tender meat - which had the flavor of the heart of a really well cut fillet. The dish also included an apple slice adorned with a sort of barley risotto, a lentil flan and the most delicious cranberry flavored chutney.

Let us now observe a moment of silence to revere the divine.

Highly inappropriate for a four-star restaurant, I was dying to lick my dish, savoring every last bite, lick and taste on the plate.

The attendants took our plates and the server offered us a glass of Jean Robert's house champagne in anticipation of our dessert assortment.

Quickly, our places were graced with a medley of pomegranate sorbet, chocolate mousse, red velvet cake, pear tart and chocolate cake. Every sweet bite was a perfect finish to our meal, which was a perfect way to toast a grande dame goodbye.

My moment at Pigall's was a sublime, sensual experience. It made me forget the chores and challenges of my life, which is exactly what any moment of fine dining should aspire to invoke.

Good luck finding that at Applebee's.

Special thanks to Evan for the photos.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sample Something Sweet

Some people might call me artsy fartsy.

I get it - I am really big on cultural events, and sometimes my outward appearance (depending on the day or moment you catch me) is a bit, uh, avant garde. Yes, sometimes I'm preppy or classy or bohemian or casual, but I have to say, the one look I relish the most is "funky."

Over the past few years, I've:

Maybe those factors entitle me to call myself a culture vulture, maybe not. Regardless, culture is one of the most important elements to me (I suppose after good food and travel), as it is a significant way I find inspiration. Whether it is catching an interesting performance at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati or enjoying the fine collection of art at the Contemporary Art Center, I am always looking for an opportunity to get in touch with my creative side.

Now, I can't paint worth a lick, and I don't really think it's worth my time to sit down to a potter's wheel, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the time and talents of someone else who does.

Maybe you should, too.

This weekend kicks off Cincinnati's Fine Arts Fund Sampler Weekend. It's a great and affordable opportunity to explore the Queen City's art scene. Whether you enjoy dance or music or impressionism or Rookwood Pottery, there's something for everyone's inner artist.

Click here to see this weekend's schedule and discover a little more about the Fine Arts Fund.

If your office is running a campaign for the FAF, I challenge you to think long and hard about a reason that justifies why you CAN'T give the cause five bucks out of every paycheck.

I, for one, will be making my own payroll deduction to the FAF because I was once a little girl who dreamed I could do anything.

I'd like to make sure other children can grow up with that same ideal - no matter where that dream takes them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Digital Schmigital

Old people and the impoverished aren't the only ones ill prepared for the digital switch.

I am also holding on to analog for dear life, and I don't plan on buying my converter boxes any time soon.

The digital conversion was officially slated to take hold of the American airwaves after the clock struck midnight early this morning, but thankfully a few wise politicians realized millions of folks are woefully ill prepared for this cataclysmic change of channels and signals.

The government missed the mark in their assumption that people from Maine to Miami would instantly rush to Target, Best Buy and Circuit City (oops) to snag millions of converter boxes lying in wait ahead of the conversion. No, the official "planners" of this conversion had lofty expectations for the very couch potato people who prefer flipping a remote to change a channel over lacing up their sneakers to take a walk.

And so now we're left in this predicament - millions of converter box coupons have expired (aside: who was at the helm of the brain trust who decided to put a three-month time period on said coupons?), millions of converter boxes lie unused, and millions of American homes are playing chicken with the progress intended to free up some of the bandwidth permeating the airwaves.

I didn't run out to get my converter boxes.

In fact, I let my original coupons expire - because, like many other people, the digital switch was the last thing on my mind last September.

Last September, I was more concerned with gas prices, my plummeting 403b and IRA accounts, and general financial stability. Sue me, FCC.

Congress delayed the digital conversion to June 12, though 400 broadcasters decided to go ahead with the new signal early this morning - including five in Ohio. The list of Buckeye broadcasters bucking the delay include Cincinnati's WSTR Channel 64, home to such rousing programming as Judge Hatchett, Maury Povich and Legend of the Seeker.

Apparently WSTR has a more significant viewership than I would assume, because the general manager says the station's phones are ringing every 20 seconds with viewers trying to voice displeasure at WSTR's decision to convert to digital earlier than schedule Or is it on time?

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports only 12 percent of television viewers in Greater Cincinnati watch television programming by antenna - the remaining viewers have cable or satellite.

I guess I'm really in the minority on this one.

Thankfully, a kind co-worker offered up her digital coupons to me. Now they're sitting in a pile of mail somewhere in my living room, and I am vaguely aware of their March expiration date.

I certainly intend on using them, I just don't know when - I guess it all depends on when I decide to get up off the couch.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Would It Smell As Sweet?

Can't we just pick a nickname and stick with it?

That's my exclamation after watching a local news segment this morning. I'll explain my exasperation in a moment, but this whole question of What's in a name, anyway? reminds me of a conversation I had with some of my friends Friday night.

The discussion arose after someone revealed she preferred to be introduced to strangers by her given, perhaps more formal name. This friend said she was comfortable with having people call her by her shorter nickname, but still enjoyed the formality of introduction and her given name.

On the surface, it seems trivial, but it's something I identify with, too - what with my interchangeable use of Katherine, Kate and Katy depending on the scenario and social circle.

This brings me back to my earlier tease.

I promise I'll keep my diatribe brief, though I am fairly certain this is a complaint shared by others in the Queen City.

Is it Cincy, Cinci, or Cinti?

In any given week, Cincinnatians may absorb dozens of abbreviations referencing their fine city, and I'm okay with that. My problem is that there's no consistency with these casually dropped nicknames.

The marketer in me makes me wonder whether Cincinnati is having an identity crisis. Don't we know how to spell our own nickname? I'm Katy-with-a-Y. Never have I been Katie or Kati, Katey, Cady or Catie or any other variation of the name.

I've known how to spell my name since I was 3 or so - and that makes me think that Cincinnati, at her 221 years old, is either incredibly slow or perhaps confused about her image.

Why can't we just pin down one version and stick with it, Cincinnati?

I can already see the marketing campaign - Cincy - the official nickname of the 513.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


The average human heart weighs about 11 ounces and is the size of a clenched fist.

It sounds quite small, really, but I am continuously reminded that the supreme organ of my anatomy is spectacular - both in organic matter and metaphor.

The past few months have taught me the heart is delicate yet determined. It is a fluid filled mess of nerves that exists solely to keep me going physically, and I suppose that reminds me of a similar task involving the heart's emotional parallels.

I know the average human heart is a chamber that pumps red and white blood cells, beating two and a half billion times in an average lifetime, but I liken my heart to a vast ocean.

For some, their ocean is a perfect storm of tumult. White, threatening waves crashing inside their soul, theirs is a heart that knows no peace. Others carry with them an ocean of turquoise, laced with white, sugary beaches and pairs of footprints in the sand.

Mine is an ocean yet to be charted on maps. Deep and powerful, changing with the seasons, my heart offers lots of promise, a place to quench adventure.

My heart is pure and untouched and fruitful.

I am feeling my way around my ocean. The steadfast belief in hope and faith keep me on my journey.

My valentine to you, my friends. May you have a wonderful Valentines Day, no matter how deep or shallow, how serene or complicated your ocean. -K

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Little Secret

I am in love.

I've been waiting years to find something like this - something that enriches my soul, makes me feel alive and delights the emotions bubbling beneath my surface. My heart has longed for something so magical, so spectacular, and finally I feel fulfilled.

Who knew I had to go to the ghetto to find the answer for my longing?

Okay, so this love - it's for a special place in Cincinnati. I wish it were more exciting than that, but sometimes a new hangout is less trouble than a man, so for now, that's what I'm lovin'.

And I'll share with you my new obsession, but only if you promise to keep it to yourself.

Why don't you step a little closer, I don't want to whisper that loud...

For two years now, I've wanted to go to the Jazz Club at Schwartz Point. I heard about it a few years ago from a friend who was hip to all the popular and lesser known hangouts, and decided I wanted to check out the secret venue myself.

I'm told Ed Moss has operated his speakeasy-type jazz club for years in the space beneath this Spanish tiled building in Over-the-Rhine.

The club was said to have included an open bar of sorts and buffet, with patrons expected to place a "donation" in a jar in exchange for the goods and entertainment. Local lore says this underground jazz club went on for years, until it was busted by either Johnny Law or the health department (the jury's out on the official buster).

Well. The Jazz Club at Schwartz Point managed to get a liquor license this fall, and now folks are invited to the club to check out the steaming hot jazz legally.

We walked in at around 8 pm on Tuesday night, about half an hour before the eight-piece band started playing. Every table was open, save for two in the back, and so my friends and I grabbed a spot right next to Ed Moss' baby grand piano.

Patrons at the Jazz Club are offered a variety of their favorite beers (I spotted Guinness and Heineken among the bottles available for sipping) as well as wine, spirits, soda and bottled water. I went with a nice Riesling ($6 a glass) and some bottled water ($2).

The folks at the Club don't just serve up a cold cocktail - they lay out a full spread of homemade food for their guests. I enjoyed a hot, cheesy pasta dish, salad with a ginger vinaigrette, shrimp cocktail (the sauce was loaded with horseradish), marinaded mushrooms and Italian bread. The buffet also included pile of juicy looking chicken legs and breasts for the taking.

Once we were stuffed to the gills, the musicians moseyed toward their music stands.

Moss' piano was joined by bass, drums, trumpet, trombone and three saxophones. A few of the musicians did double duty, alternating between their horns to flutes and other brass pieces stashed away between their seats.

The ivory keys tickled, the drums sizzled and the golden brass swooned.

With each tune, my toes compulsively tapped and my noggin swiveled. The jazzy arrangements captivated me, and I was thrilled when the second set included the addition of smoky, sultry singer Pam Ross.

We enjoyed a few more songs before heading out, noticing the house was standing-only as we stepped out the door.

I am so anxious for my next trip back.

*** *** ***

The Jazz Club at Schwartz Point features The Society Jazz Orchestra on Tuesday nights (8:30 pm), and the Ed Moss Trio with Pam Ross on Fridays and Saturdays (9 pm). The entrance is at 1901 Vine St. - the flatiron building at the corner of Vine and McMicken. Look for the green lanterns on the side of the building - if they're on, the club's open.

$10 cover per person - excludes drinks.

NOTE: The Jazz Club at Schwartz Point is CASH ONLY.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Big News

Okay, so I've been anxious to make this announcement since Christmas Eve.

But sometimes - it's not my decision to play Town Crier. Sometimes I have to wait until I get the "green light" from the powers that be.

And in this case, the powers that be were my sister and brother-in-law.

After months and months of heartache, the family is rejoicing in celebration as we await the arrival of Maeve's sister or brother.

For those of you not reading the blog a year ago, Maeve is my adorable niece who passed away last May. She was seven-months-old and passed away after a long battle related to heart defects and Noonan Syndrome. Maeve spent the last two months of her life in the Sibley Heart Center at Atlanta's Children's Hospital at Eggleston.

You can read all about Maeve's miraculous fight and her unwavering spirit by clicking here. If you choose to read the entire thread, I suggest you grab a tissue.

The Maevey Bean

Losing Maeve was the greatest anguish of my life - in part because I lost my niece, and in part because I had to watch my sister cope with the biggest heartbreak a parent could ever experience.

As a family, we have spent many months coping with grief, loss, depression and heartache.

This painful period is softened by the newfound hope, excitement and anticipation that comes with this new, little baby.

Just today, Brigid sent me a message saying: "all is well... we had a great appt and got to see the little one dance around. He/she waved to us at first and then did a full out break-dance... looks like we're going to have a mover and a shaker... what has Maeve sent down here?"

We believe our Angel Maeve has handpicked her brother or sister, and are delighting in the fact that she might be having the last laugh with this, perhaps lively selection.

Whatever the case, the entire family is looking forward to early August!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


My veins are a perfect example of my conflict where color is concerned.

An exact balance of blue and red - coursing through my arteries and capillaries. A symbiotic relationship of oxygenated blood and the darker version with carbon dioxide.


For years - no, I'd be willing to say decades - blue was my favorite color. Sky blue, turquoise blue, Kentucky blue, baby blue - I loved 'em all. Royal blue was my favorite (which made Kentucky a perfect selection for me in my college years), but over time I've gravitated more toward cerulean and Swiss blue.

But then, something happened, and I found my closet was full of red. I found red accents in my apartment. I discovered that I was actually a red person - a horrible admission for someone who was accustomed to hating anything Cardinal red; in the Bluegrass, they don't breed anyone to see red, well except for maybe in stop signs, stop lights and the veins in Alan Cutler's forehead.


All these years after outing myself as a red person, I still long for a little navy or cobalt in my life. Though my wardrobe is chock full of black and, well, black - I have plenty of purple, turquoise and crimson accessories to spice up my look. But nary an indigo.

Save for a wool, Kentucky blue scarf.

And that's what I'll be wearing at tonight's ONE event at the Cincinnati Art Museum. This year's series is celebrating four shades - in November it was all about vermilion. This evening's gathering is all about azure. Whether you say Ah-jhur or az-oore, it's sure to be a great event with lots of fun people and interesting cultural touches.

My fabulous, fashion forward friend Red Kat Blonde (maybe she should change her name to Blue Kat Blonde this evening?) is chair of the series, and I know she's poured her heart and soul into this year's program.

So stop by the Museum this evening between 5:30 and 9 p.m., and visit a while.

I'll be the chick with the blue scarf on.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Though I am most passionate about food and travel, my titles of foodie and adventurer often take a back seat to the more practical and sometimes tedious chore of wordie.

The fact that I am using this word to imply a definition all my own is not lost on me.

My taste buds and passport are always jonesing for a little use-and-abuse, but my skills as a wordsmith get more mileage both in professional and personal endeavors. I analyze the nuances of words while shampooing my hair. I toy with alliteration while taking on treacherous traffic traveling toward town. I riff on rhymes on paper and in my brain. I read the dictionary when I'm bored.


It is this obsession that leads me to share with you my recent pondering: the definition of the words persistence and dedication.

Persistence implies a dogged, determined attempt to make something happen. The success of a new relationship relies on persistence. Occupational fulfillment depends on persistence. The results of persistence are proof that sometimes we have to be our own rainmaker. Sometimes we have to be the catalyst to make the life changes we desire. Looking back on past experiences, I've encountered people who I thought annoying because of their extreme persistence. But once they achieved their goals and aspirations, I felt nothing but respect and admiration for those folks.

Persistence in the beginning has its rewards in the end. Persistence is a change agent.

Dedication is a different beast all together. Dedication is a commitment made from start to finish. When an individual takes on a task, their success is directly proportional to the level of dedication they employ during execution. Dedication does not waver, wane or waffle - it remains constant along a continuum of necessity. Disappointment, frustration, challenge and adversity all may threaten steadfast dedication - I know I've faced those obstacles when striving to accomplish something significant. That's when I try to prod my dedication by visualizing the successful end results I'm aspiring to achieve.

Dedication depends on endurance when striving for success.

This analysis of semantics is important because it reminds me that a mission done well requires both elements.

After just completing a nine-month-long project, I am exploring my life's priorities and direction, and know I will need to summon persistence and dedication in the next opportunity.

I think I'm ready.