Friday, June 25, 2010

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn (or OtR)

In less than 24 hours, all of my worldly goods should be moved in to my new digs.
While my neon anticipation far outweighs any other emotion, I must say I am a bit wistful to leave Oakley.
The little berg was a charming community that I discovered after agreeing to take a job at Channel 12 over five years ago. Employees there tried their best to get me to move to Anderson, but I was hell bent on living in the city of Cincinnati.
There's something about actually living in the city limits - and I was going to have no part of the suburbs.
About two years later, I started getting a hankering for a home even closer to the heart of my beloved Cincinnati. I dreamed of spaces with a mix of industrial and antique accents, complete with hardwood floors and exposed ductwork.
After many, many moons, I am finally getting what I've always wanted.
Still, I'm going to miss the pulse of Annie Oakley's namesake.
Things I'm going to miss:
  • Throwing on my shoes for a quick walk to Habit's/Dewey's/Kona/Subway/Oakley Pub/Aglamesis/Fresh Market.
  • Grabbing my computer and heading to the shady strip of grass on the Esplanade, complete with complimentary wi-fi.
  • The beautiful, tree lined streets and quaint homes - perfect for family life.
  • The proximity to Hyde Park and Mt. Lookout.
  • The beautiful, antique built-in china cupboard in my apartment.
Things I won't miss:
  • The wall-to-wall carpet, or the massive, moldy hole in the ceiling above my bathroom toilet.
  • Washing dishes by hand.
  • The epic construction project happening on Madison Rd.
  • The redneck neighbors who have since moved in to this apartment building.
  • The dungeon basement laundry facility that looks like it was made for Norman Bates.
  • The three-count 'em-three feet of counter space in the kitchen.
  • My peeping tom.
  • The eight-minute AM commute and the 15-45 minute PM commute (depending on traffic and weather conditions).
What I'm looking forward to while living in OtR:
  • Growing stronger bonds with current friends, and making new friends, too.
  • Glossy hardwood everywhere!
  • A washer, dryer and dishwasher in my unit!
  • The view I have of Downtown Cincinnati's magnificent skyline - in every season, in every evening, and every twilight.
  • Real container gardening on my fire escape.
  • A big kitchen island
  • A fancy shower head
  • Close proximity to forkheartknife/Neon's/The Iris/Grammer's/Findlay Market and a variety of other establishments.
  • The variety of people and lifestyles co-existing in an urban setting.
  • My 1.5 mile commute to work. No interstate - no problem.
So far, I have absolutely no reservations or qualms about living in OtR. That might be rose-colored, but I am optimistic and going in without any hesitations.

Here's to closing one chapter of my life, and tearing through the pages of a new one.

Creative Commons LicenseNo
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rhythm Is A Dancer...

... or something like that.

My statcounter tells me that someone "googled" me today and got to the blog. Creepy? Yes. But it prompted me to do the same.

And look what I found.

Let it be said that I am nothing if not self deprecating.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Top 25 Most Played

A song for every season, a tune for every time.

I suppose that's what has become of my iPod. I can't remember how many songs I have (3000+), but I know I have enough music to last for almost 10 days straight without repetition.

Sounds like a marathon... who's in?

@CincyAlea asked me to share my 25 Most Played - so here it is, in all its glory, with an explainer for some of the songs on the list.

1. Lie In Our Graves - Dave Matthews Band
This song is #1, but it sure doesn't deserve to be. Don't misunderstand, I love DMB (though have decided I'm over the revelry at Riverbend), but this song accidentally snagged the top spot when my iPod mistakenly replayed it over and over and over - to the tune of 450+ repeats. So a mistaken number one, but a number one, nonetheless.

2. Laid - James
1993. High school. A dorky virgin who was hesitant to say bad words. And a massive crush on a boy named James. It added up to a fantastic equation that led me to heart. this. song. Immensely. To this day, Laid makes me want to jump on a bed and sing with a hairbrush in my hand. I know. Hot.

3. Boys Don't Cry - The Cure
High school also introduced me to The Cure. I never listened to them in Cincinnati, and when I arrived on the scene in Connecticut, I'd never heard of the band. Friends of mine had older siblings who loved the band, so naturally we picked it up, too. Despite Robert Smith's wailing, I actually love a boy (or a man) who does cry.

4. Just Like Heaven - The Cure
Another great tune - this one makes me want to do the Molly Ringwald-in-Breakfast Club dance for some reason. Reminds me of past relationships and hopes for future ones.

5. The District Sleeps Tonight - The Postal Service
My first ever blogging pal Micah makes the most fabulous seasonal mix CDs. He became my first online-to-real life friend, and I am grateful he still includes me in his seasonal compilations. Anyway. I know shit about music. I am the epitome of mainstream (though I have gotten a lot better at finding my own indie music this past year) and am grateful for Micah's more exploratory, hidden finds. Anyway. He included this tune on a CD I think before most folks had even heard of The Postal Service. At 2:17 in, the beat makes me want to pound a table with my fist. Love it.

6. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
You can take The Doors. I'll take Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The Stones have become my favorite classic rock band. Paint It Black, Brown Sugar, Sympathy For The Devil - I love it all. I had an old college friend introduce The Stones to me, and though we are no longer friends, I am forever grateful for the introduction (though this isn't entirely true. Family Lore says I was a dramatic dancer even as far back as an infant, and that my dad and I would slow dance to Miss You).

7. These Are The Days - 10,000 Maniacs
Anyone who went to school - whether it be grade school, high school or college - in the 90s has no doubt heard this song in a photo compilation of some kind. And is there really a better song to pay tribute to that era? In high school, we felt this message in every heart beat, in every embrace, in every word uttered. We knew we'd never replicate that feeling of not-yet-adults-still-not-kids, growing ambition and responsibility but the casual never ending nights of fun and togetherness. It really was special, wasn't it?

8. Whip It - Devo
What other song makes you want to whip around an imaginary lasso? Maybe it's just me. I say whip it... whip it good.

9. Nothin But A G-Thang - Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
College. Plastic cups full of beer or hooch. People wearing Hawaiian shirts and leis, packed in a dark garage and breaking it down beneath a hackneyed light system as someone plays on a pseudo sound board. I think it was written in the Greek bylaws that every single frat party was required to play this song.

10. Stupid Girl - Garbage
This song makes me feel like a bad ass. Actually, Shirley Manson makes me feel like a bad ass. She and her band mates were introduced to me (figuratively speaking) by none other than Thomas. Remember when people still made mixes on cassette tapes? Well, Thomas made me the most fabulous mix tapes of Garbage and Better Than Ezra. I think I still have those tapes. They're souvenirs from a time gone by.

11. Poker Face - Lady GaGa
I think you all clearly understand how I feel about The GaGa. Need I say more? Okay, I will. This song comes complete with my own, high production value - low execution dance moves. Occasionally I am struck to break out in dance in my living room... prancing across the space, complete with props and poses. It really is a shame I don't have a web cam, isn't it?

12. Start Me Up - The Rolling Stones
Another great tune to put a gal in a good mood.

13. American Woman - Lenny Kravitz
This man's vocals are pure sex, and that's how he makes me feel when I hear this ditty. Madonna's cover doesn't even touch the original.

14. Supernova - Liz Phair
"Your kisses are as wicked as an F-16 And you fuck like a volcano, and you're everything to me." God, I hope I can say that about someone someday. Phair is a phenomenal songwriter, and her lyrics bring up some of the most spectacular imagery I've heard in music.

15. Pride (In The Name of Love) - U2
My favorite band, hands down, and I am rather surprised to see U2 only hitting at #15. This song is probably my favorite U2 song. Haunting chorus and a beautiful message about Martin Luther King, Jr. The Edge's guitar licks are something to marvel, and Bono will always be nothing but sexy to me.

16. Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve
There I was, tears streaming down my face, chest heaving, when Reese Witherspoon came on full screen, driving down the interstate in Ryan Phillippe's 1956 Jaguar XK-140, and this song eased on. The car. The story behind the scene. The song. I was overcome. The song's lyrics are an interesting commentary on life, and the symphonic elements matched with rock 'n roll is a stunning pairing.

17. Your Woman - White Town
One hit wonder, but oh, what a wonder it is. A man, singing about how he could never be your woman. I always wondered whether this is the kind of song a gay man sings when he breaks up with his lover. Alternately, it's been a great song to groove to when recovering from unrequited love.

18. Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews Band
A long, long time ago in a very far away place Lexington, this used to be a song I sang along to a six string. It still is a great, great song and I love to sing it, though its meaning has warn a bit.

19. Sour Times - Portishead
Speaking of Lexington, there used to be this fantastic, smoky seedy bar called Buster's. The building on Main Street is no longer standing, so you'll have to just imagine a dim space with walls painted black. An eclectic juke box, kitschy diner-like tables near the entrance, and a few ratty pool tables in the back. The handle was missing from the door to the ladies' room, and someone had kindly stuffed the hole with crumpled paper towels. This is where my disdain began for watered down hand soap, but I always forgave the place as I could play Sour Times on the jukebox.

20. Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On) - Robert Plant & Alison Kraus
The guitar on this is wicked. Raising Sand is a great album that got a little press - if you don't have it, I highly suggest you get it.

21. Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root
Simeon The Whale. That's what my mom always thought she heard Michael Glabicki sing when Brig and I would play this in high school. Connecticut is the kind of place where rich kids pretend they're hippies, wearing Birkenstocks, hemp necklaces and sloppy polo shirts. Bumming around in older Saabs, Jeeps and the occasional minivan, this song definitely belongs on the soundtrack of a beloved era.

22. Clocks - Coldplay
I could wax poetic about how much I love this epic song. Instead, I'll just say Chris Martin's piano playing is haunting, and I love singing along to this song at any opportunity. Especially the starry chorus.

23. Friday I'm In Love - The Cure
A song that made an indelible mark in my memory many moons ago. Doesn't everyone want to be in love on a Friday?

24. Strict Machine - Goldfrapp
I know. Random, right? Goldfrapp's entree into commercial mainstream seems like a dark horse, but this is a wonderful electric tune that you should download if you've got an extra $1.29 to spare.

25. Got to Give It Up (Part 1) - Marvin Gaye
I was seven years old when my dad told me about Marvin Gaye's death. A DJ on the radio had just played What's Goin' On as a tribute, saying it was a damn shame what happened to Marvin Gaye. I asked my dad what he was talking about, and Dad had to break it to me that Gaye's father shot and killed him during an argument. My "little girl self" just couldn't understand how a parent could harm their child, no matter their age or the struggle involved. Years later, I'd hear a slew of similar stories while working in the TV business. No matter how many times I'd heard it, it was still a hard pill to swallow. Got to Give It Up is a happy tune that makes me forget my worries, and instead groove and bust a move in any living room, dance hall, car or shower.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Booty Pop! And Other Random Videos

If you've seen me coming, you know I have a big rack.

If you've seen me going, you know I have a flat ass.


My bum could be used as an end table or cutting board, it's that flat.

I guess we flat assers of the world can rest easy - some brilliant inventor has created Booty Pop.

This is either a hilarious joke, or effing brilliant.

(Hat tip to my FB pal SMB for posting this!)

And now to a commentary on our modern-day, Facebookin' Twitterin' YouTubin' society.

Sometimes it's just a good idea to not engage with someone else online.

Stay offa my Facebook.

(Hat tip to all around great social media diva, @LauraMorarity).

On any given Sunday, you will not find me at the gridiron. I will not be glued to my television to watch a pigskin sail across the pixels like a Hail Mary dream in Green Bay.

No, I could give a flying duck about football.

On Sunday, I will be at brunch.

As it turns out, so will Mike Tyson - with a bunch of hipsters.

(Hat tip on this one goes to none other than @The_Joey, who cannot stop talking about this video).

As for some videos I found on my own... here's a new one that's sure to be a family favorite. The Lady GaGa Poker Face Makeup Application Video.


It appears I am not the only one in love with The GaGa.

Switching gears... just so you know, Obama is going to kick some ass.


Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Mommy, Look What I Made!

Ever heard of a Wordle?

Me, either.

Wordle: Kate

I made one myself, though, and you can have a look at it. Just click the image above to see the full picture.


Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Monday, June 21, 2010

On Their Own Two Feet

Sisters are doin' it for themselves...

The start of a chorus sung by none other than the enigmatic Annie Lennox - a woman who embodies power, drive, sex appeal and confidence.

She must be one of the original Bad Girls.

A bad girl, as my stunningly bright friend Candace Klein explains, is not necessarily about breaking laws and bending rules, it's about listening to your inner voice and creating energy with ideas. It's about being a natural born leader. It's about making change in the community, the business world and the social scene.

By definition, I must be a bad girl, too.

Years ago, I sat in a meeting with a Lexington TV station's newest news director and general manager. I'd already worked at the station for four years and had aspired to the coveted 6 PM position. A title of seniority, I'd worked hard to fulfill the goals and objectives laid out by my previous managers, and was disappointed by some of the micromanaging and less-than-constructive criticism presented by my new bosses.

"You're a maverick, Katy. We don't know whose side you're playing on."

I was called a maverick well before the GOP took it on as a moniker, and I didn't know what to make of it.

All these years later, I take it as a significant compliment.

Some of my personal rules: I refuse to kiss ass. I eschew any form of insincerity. A crafter of words, I am consistently brutally honest, though will use my language to impart my meaning with grace and courtesy.

I also don't play by anybody else's rules but mine.

You'd think that presents a challenge in the professional world, but it doesn't. Nine times out of ten, I believe in the mission (or can believe in the reason behind the mission) of organizations I choose to serve. But I am usually one of the first to politely voice my concern/reservations/disappointment about something.

We women must be bold. We must act with conviction in the business world and civic endeavors. While many of our male counterparts have embraced women in leadership and positions of power, the corporate world has failed to mirror this shift.

There still remains a huge disparity in the amount of venture capital dollars and other resources designated to female-owned businesses.

It seems we ladies continue to take on more responsibility with less support.

Thankfully, there is a tremendous new opportunity for women in Greater Cincinnati who aspire to establish their own small business.

Klein's Bad Girl Ventures is a micro-lending program that aims to serve as an aggregate for donations that will ultimately be distributed to women-owned startups. The goal of this effort is to help establish more women business owners and leaders in our community.

Have a brilliant idea you'd love to launch? BGV might just be the thing you need to let it soar.

BGV is hosting an application kickoff Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 PM at The Avenue Lounge on Madison Avenue in Covington. Please click the link and visit the Facebook event invite to learn more about the kickoff and RSVP.

Whether you are a woman with a burning passion to be bold, a prospective donor who would like to help women-owned businesses flourish in Cincinnati, or a supporter of BGV, all are invited.

In close, a personal note. Candace Klein is one of my dearest friends. She invited me to this event, and I am only too enthusiastic to support her in this new endeavor. Candace has an energy and ambition that is nearly infectious, and I am so proud of her latest, great accomplishment.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Morbid Truth

Sometimes I wake up thinking, "Is today the day I'm going to die?"

I know, I know. Not necessarily the most pleasant thought to mull over, but I guess it's good to be aware of your own mortality.

Just Wednesday evening, I was driving down the highway at an illegal but acceptable speed, when it hit me - I was wearing exactly what I'd want to be buried in, save for some sexy stilettos. Simple black dress, signature raw amethyst and turquoise necklace, mascara, red lipstick and big hair.

One of my friends called me silly for wanting to wear stilettos in my casket. "No one will even see them," he said. "Why bother?"

Because my spirit will know... and stilettos is how I'd want to go out.

That and maybe a little bit of Woodford poured on my grave. You know. One for me, and one for my homies.


Let me be clear, I don't sit and dwell too much about my fleeting humanity. I don't cry in my dark bedroom while wearing black and listening to the Cure, contemplating which body part to cut.

But once in a while, a moving tune and wild hormones will commingle when I'm cruising on I-71, usually when the sky is a bright shade of azure and the clouds look like puffs of cotton.

I'll be struck by a moment of tremendous gratitude, and the water works will crank on.

I suppose it's moments like that when I am also overcome by grief. Clouds make me think of Maeve, and she makes me think of my grandparents.

Losing my niece was probably the single most powerful experience in regards to my ability to appreciate life. Not to get all hokey on you, but these days on earth really are a gift.

Just like Jack from LOST, I don't really know why I'm on this rock island, but I'm making the most of my days. In turn, the people with whom I spend my time will be precious to me here and beyond.

Let's get back to life on earth, shall we?

So, with all this boundless sensitivity and acute awareness about my own mortality, I've become compelled to live the best life I can.

I treat people the way they treat me, and in many cases, well better than some folks deserve.

Time is a gift that is to be used, given away and treasured. I spend my time with my family and friends, doing work that I fully believe is making an impact on my fellow man, and enjoying the blessings that life offers.

I like to have an effing good time.

Never, on my death bed, will I ever say, "Gosh. I wish I had more fun."

I've learned an important lesson at an early age.

Life's short. Do what you believe in. Chase new experiences. Treasure loved ones.


Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sound It Out

I've always had a flair for the dramatic, especially when it comes to reading.

The written word became a beloved passion of mine at an early age. I started reading newspapers at 5 and got my first Nancy Drew in 2nd Grade.

Language and I started our love affair many, many years ago, and to this day, I delight in reading stories aloud.

This weekend, you have the chance to catch me in action.

I'll be joining a cast of local celebrities, actors and Cincinnati Art Museum employees for a marathon reading of Jack Kerouac's masterpiece, On The Road.

I read the book in high school and instantly wanted to take flight, hit the pavement and experience life and the many people of this vast universe.

As it happens, I'll be reading this book aloud on the 15th anniversary of my high school graduation.

So many years have passed, and I am mostly happy with the direction of my life. I've accomplished a little bit, but I've learned far more about the person I am, who I want to be, and where I'm going.

Kerouac was an interesting guy. Thick in the middle of the experimental, creative Beat Generation, his is a story about iconic road trips, enjoying friends and the sense that we're all on a vast human journey together.

"Nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old."

Hope you can join us at the CAM for this special experience. I'll be reading from 3 to 4 p.m.

See you there!

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Musical P0rn

This is the hottest video I've seen in a long, long time.

I simply cannot get this song out of my head.

There's no denying that Lady GaGa is the modern day Madonna.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Dish on Jean-Robert (And Everyone Else)

I know when Cincinnati's favorite chef is opening his next beloved restaurant.

Kind of.

And that's what we call a tease in television news. Stick with the rest of the story, folks, and I promise you'll get a decent payoff.

I was lucky enough to snag an invite to Freestore Foodbank and the Cincinnati Bengals' Taste of the NFL event at Paul Brown Stadium on Wednesday evening. The invite was all winemedineme's but she was out of town for the fete, and passed on her tickets to The Boyfriend, who was kind enough to let me tag along.

Still with me?

The Boyfriend was on a serious assignment - assessing the food and drink at the legendary fundraiser.

Not wanting to step on toes, I won't talk about the food (though how can I not give a shout out to Summer Genetti and her fabulous chocolate cake with beer brittle and black and tan ice cream?), but I will cover a bit of the "Who's Who" of the evening's scene.

Let's put aside the gawking that comes with a soiree full of beautifully tanned, manicured and surgically altered people.

Let's talk about the movers and shakers who were on the scene.

I spent a good portion of my evening with good friend and up-and-comer P.G. Sittenfeld. I love love love this man, and if I were about five years younger, I would launch a full court press on him. P.G. has a genuine heart and witty personality, and he and I enjoyed trading simultaneous barbs and dish on the local political scene and how Cincinnati's YPers play a part in the city's future.

We discussed two different social players who may someday announce they're running for Cincinnati's City Council... just who? Well, that's a story to trade over cocktails sometime.

Speaking of Council, I saw Jeff Berding walking through the crowd with one of his children. Not a surprise, as he works in the Bengals' front office. Jeff is a lovely guy, and though I am not a fan of his crusade against panhandling, I am pleased with his support of the streetcar and other efforts to support Cincinnati's business endeavors. Let's hope Council stays the course on these two important fronts.

My old professional stomping grounds, Local 12, had a healthy contingency of personalities present - sports director Brad Johansen served as emcee at the event, and reporter Jeff Hirsh and sports executive producer Kevin Barnett were in attendance, chatting with local newsmakers and the Cincinnati Bengals. It's fun to watch the people who report the news rub shoulders with the people who make the news.

P.G. and I spent some time chatting with the always lovely Lisa Maly and Joel Stone. Lisa is with the Fine Arts Fund; I've noticed this wonderful trend as of late of non-profits and non-profit employees supporting Cincinnati's other causes. I guess we non-profit employees know how hard the work can be. If you find yourself with some free time now and then, I highly suggest you explore ways you can volunteer for one of the many great organizations in town.

Also on the scene, the beautiful Myrita Craig of Freestore Foodbank and gal about town. We traded pleasantries and chatted about this Saturday's Opera Ball concert and after-party (beginning at 8 p.m., emceed by none other than American Idol's Ryan Seacrest). Do you have your tickets? This is definitely another occasion to catch up on Who's Who.

Speaking of opera, local culture vultures Beth and Thom Mariner of Express Cincinnati soaked up the scene, I am sure taking notes for a future edition of their sought after publication. I honestly don't know if there are two people who know more about Cincinnati's social scene than Beth and Thom, who are social movers and shakers in their own right.

I briefly saw Julie Raleigh, wife of Channel 9 chief meteorologist Steve Raleigh and daughter of none other than Hamilton Co. sheriff Simon Leis, across the crowd sporting a flashy outfit in the Bengals' orange and black. Julie used to be a Ben-Gal (the team's cheerleaders showed a strong presence, too) and continues to be an avid supporter of the hometown team.

Amy Tobin of Party Source teamed up with Gold Star Chili for the evening, showcasing a bite-sized, chili flavored nacho and a delicious Cincinnati chili-flavored lasagna in a cup. A gentleman in the booth dressed cheese coneys for attendees, but I couldn't force myself to eat another bite - Julie and Terry had warned me about just how much food was available at the event.

The one food vendor who literally inspired me to squeal aloud and jump up and down? None other than Dojo Gelato. Owner Michael Christner always puts a smile on my face, but I was especially bubbly after discovering the Findlay Market favorite was featuring my beloved Porkopolis - a maple flavored gelato blended with candied bacon. Trust me. If you like the combination of sweet and salty, this is your gelato.

I am so glad Michael opted to feature this flavor the first Saturday of every month. You used to have to wait until holidays - and trust me, that was sometimes a trying wait.

Just as I was leaving, I exchanged hugs with dear friend and amazing chef Renee Schuler of Eat Well Celebrations out of Newport. I am lucky to call Renee a true friend, and I am grateful she graced my previous volunteer challenge, the Junior League of Cincinnati's cookbook Cincinnati Seasoned, with her food styling talents.

On to JRdC. I know you all want to know.

Here's what I learned - direct from the horse's mouth.

Jean Robert says he plans on opening his newest restaurant venture, Jean Robert's Table, in four or five weeks. Not wanting to commit to a date, JR says he'll have a date set by the end of next week.

So, we only have a while to wait until we can again enjoy the culinary genius of Cincinnati's favorite, adopted son.

It certainly has been a long time waiting; I know I, for one, am anxious.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Calling All Ladies

Let's drink to good health, shall we?

That's a common toast offered when good friends gather to clink glasses for a special occasion. Whether it is a new engagement or baby or professional success or other occasion, they each rely on your living a healthy lifestyle to endure through each experience.

The fact is, being a woman is tough business. Sometimes the growing demands can leave little time to think about good health.

Heart disease is the biggest killer of women, and it's easy to see why. We eat on the run, and ironically, many of us don't have time to run (or walk or bike or jump). I know I am guilty of putting my personal and professional priorities at the top of the list, at the expense of a healthy lifestyle.

I have, however, made some changes to my diet in an effort to regulate the insulin in my blood and stave off diabetes. I have a medical condition that affects the way my body processes food and makes insulin, and diabetes offers a real threat to me in the future.

Another serious threat affecting thousands of women each year - breast cancer. I am thankful that I cannot recall a single case of breast cancer in my entire family, that said, it doesn't mean I shouldn't be concerned. The fact is, breast cancer affects one in eight women over the course of their lives. When considering my sisters and best friends, I worry one of them will cope with the sometimes fatal disease.

But that's the thing. These diseases don't have to be fatal.

Cincy Chic is hosting its annual Red, Pink and Blue fashion show and health awareness event on June 25 on the Purple People Bridge. The event pays special attention to those three health issues (red for heart disease, pink for breast cancer and blue for diabetes) and invites women to celebrate good health with friends.

I have the unique opportunity of being able to offer three pairs of complimentary tickets to Red, Pink and Blue, courtesy of the gals at Cincy Chic.

Since we're toasting to good health, I'm asking you to submit an either red, pink or blue cocktail recipe. The winning recipe for each color will receive a pair of tickets to the event.

Please submit your cocktail recipe in the comments section, and I'll mull them over and pick winners next Thursday, June 24.

Good luck!

Red, Pink and Blue hits the Purple People Bridge between Cincinnati and Newport on Friday, June 25 at 6:30 p.m. The fashion show hits the runway at 9 p.m., and the after-party kicks off at Star Lanes at the Levee at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Attendees will enjoy cocktails, food, shopping and a fashion show, as well as have an opportunity to take advantage of special, complimentary health checks. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Look Before You Leap (Or Sit)

I really hate it when I end up with another woman's pee on my leg.

Men, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. You pee standing up and aim in a hole with a pretty wide berth. But ladies... you ladies who hover without mastery - shame on you.

Your mediocrity ends up on the seat, and ergo, my leg. Or bum.

Last night, my friend and I ended up taking refuge from the summer storms of late in a chic watering hole in Mt. Lookout. There he was, sipping on his fancy white wine, and me with my "saketini" when a giant storm rolled through the little hamlet.

Torrential downpour. Jagged lightning bolts striking beyond the flat pane glass. Flickering wall sconces. We decided we weren't going anywhere for a while.

Not knowing our fates, I decided to get in a quick trip to the ladies' room.

My haste did not afford time to inspect the seat. We were in an upscale venue, and I assumed the bathroom facilities were well maintained.

Well, you know what happens when you assume.

I didn't necessarily make an ass of myself, but I did get someone else's pee on my ass, and that just might be worse. I am certainly not a fan of collecting bodily fluids from strangers, and certainly not from a toilet seat.


Ladies. Ladies. Should you ever choose to hover over a toilet seat, please first assess the situation. Ask yourself: Is this a dirty bathroom? Am I even proficient in hovering, or am I a sloppy pisser? If I do end up dribbling, am I a decent enough human being to wipe up my own urine?
If you answer yes to the above (well, yes to the first part of question two), then you are allowed to pee while squatting. You are allowed to take your chances and refrain from sitting on the seat.

But God help you if you pee on the seat and leave it there for the next gal.

Because karma's a bitch and your fate's gonna be far shittier than mine.

Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Neighborhood Bidnass

I'd love to get rid of my car.

Picture it: I'd sell my Saab and buy a scooter (a red Stella with a matching helmet), and use the rest of the cash as a down payment on a condo in OtR. When not on scooter, I could hit the pavement with my bike, complete with a basket on the front.

I could walk the blocks to pick up my bread, milk and cuppa joe. Along the way, I'd say hello to friends, neighbors shopkeepers and other pals.

It sounds so Capra-esque.

Thing is, I don't know if my future neighborhood offers everything I need. Where do I take my dry cleaning? Where's the closest car wash? Is there a pharmacy in Over-the-Rhine? Are there any local Chinese restaurant joints that deliver in the neighborhood? Do the basic pizza chains deliver to OtR?

What about shoe repair, a manicurist and bank? Sure, I could do banking in Clifton, Walnut Hills or Downtown Cincinnati... but I'd love it if PNC had a branch in OtR, or at the very least, an ATM.

I so want to embrace my new neighborhood, and all the businesses it has to offer. I just wish more businesses would offer what I need...

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Friday, June 11, 2010

C'mon Baby, Light My Fire

Staying cool and comfortable comes with a price.

Just ask the millions of Americans who struggle with their utility bills each year. Unexpected temperature extremes in summer and winter can pack a punch in the pocket book, and that means budgeting for the unknown.

It's no fun having your utilities shut off. Trust me.

Getting ready for my big move to Over-the-Rhine, I decided to call up the good folks at Duke Energy and prepare to have my utilities transferred from my Oakley apartment to the new digs near downtown. During the conversation, I asked the customer service rep. what my utility bill will average in OtR.

Her quote was an average $180 more than I'm currently shelling out.

This wasn't a big surprise; the new apartment is big and has two-story ceilings in some spaces. That means I'll be heating and cooling a bunch of space I won't even be using.

That, or I'll be sweating or freezing my ass off.

I decided to turn to my Facebook and Twitter brethren to ask for energy efficiency tips. Surely I'm not the first person to weather such gigantic utility bills, right?

It was very clear that I'm not.

The online peanut gallery was full of inventive and humorous suggestions. See for yourself:
  • Insulating windows in winter can help a lot. Helps keep cold out/hold warmth in.
  • Box fans are a life-saver in summer. They can down right freeze you out as early morning comes. In winter, just freeze.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL's. Summer: Fans in windows. No AC unless having guests over. Line dry laundry if you have a balcony with sunlight. Dress less. Winter: insulate windows (plastic works good). Shorter hot showers. Hang dry laundry over heat vents inside. I can go on and on... When my fridge and computer aren't on, the electric meter is dead still. Duke energy doesn't like us much. :)
  • spooning.
  • I'm w/ XXXX... Gotta be less clothes!! lol
  • Buy several fans. Embrace sweatiness. Sweaters in the winter.
  • In the summer I'm a box fan in every window kinda girl. In the winter I put bubble wrap on the windows (cheap insulation)
  • winter=sweaters
  • definitely take the time to cover the windows with plastic in the winter - HUGE money saver -
  • Fuck a sweater. Get a man.
  • With house w 1/s being great room lots windows=solarium, we have oscillating fans on floors in each room, 3 in great room
  • 4 cold weather invest in insulated drapes if U can 4drafts. Lots of throw blankets/turtlenecks. Try flannel sheets, too.
  • eat frozen grapes in summer and get comfortable sitting around in your underwear! Winter = red wine and hot baths...
  • programmable thermostats work wonders. energy-saving lightbulbs.
  • thermostat you can program, if landlord allows. Fans, especially window fans. Lowes sells window films for winter & summer.
  • If 4th and 5th are on the top floors it'll be good in the winter and bad in the summer (heat rises). I'm in the top floor of my building, and that's how it is. If the building is brick, make sure you keep the blinds drawn...seems like it holds heat or cold once the apartment warms up for the summer, it's warm and you're stuck with it.
  • if it's an old building, the windows were likely placed in such a way that there will be cross-ventilation. check that out and open windows that are opposite each other and keep closed the ones adjacent to those that are open. that's how they cooled back in the day before A/C.
  • Unplug all appliances, chargers, etc (esp. the appliances with clocks/timers) because they are constantly sucking up power even when you are not using them. And turn off everything in the room when you leave the room!
  • Shades closed, fuzzy slippers, spooning, a furry pet or two.
So... what are your suggestions for keeping the utility bills at bay? Stripping down to your skivvies in the summer, and piling on the woolenware in the winter?

Please tell me you have something else up your sleeves!

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

She's Crafty

I think I've found my first craft project for the new apartment.

Even when surrounded by bricks and pavement, you can still bring in a little bit of green to your environment.

For more reading on terrariums, check out the following:

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Life In A Snapshot

I am throwing away my life by the heap.

Bags and bags of trinkets, tchotchkes and knick knacks are loaded in the trash bins, pieces of my life I haven't wanted, needed or used in quite some time.

There was the half-used roll of athletic tape I used to create a sort of strapless bra - the undergarment of choice when I wore my blue saran wrap tube top to parties years ago.

I found, tucked away in a drawer, an old key to the first Saab I ever drove. It was a beauty - we called it Black Beauty, in fact. A 1986, two-door, 900 S, complete with a sunroof and a Blaupunkt sound system.

My sister and I shared it. We loved it.

I also unearthed a tiny, heart shaped, handcrafted box. Painted in colors of cream, rust and forest green, it had flowers and "I love you" painted on its top. Highly ironic, considering said box was a gift from my aunt, with whom we haven't spoken in years.

You should really only say I love you if you mean it.

Just yesterday, I discovered a pillowcase with a hand painted Holly Hobby on it, sandwiched between a mess of old towels and Marimekko sheets. Without giving it a thought, my hands grabbed the pillowcase and clutched it to my chest, the way a child would cling to a security blanket. A remnant of my own childhood, the pillowcase will live another day in my mess of possessions, while the rest of the linens got tossed in the Goodwill pile.

I have a hard time shedding remnants from my past. I come by this honestly.

Both of my parents are pack rats. They downsized to a smaller home when they moved back to Cincinnati, and I'm sure they had to make some tough decisions about what was crap and what was quality before they packed up the moving truck.

Their basement is chock full of boxes of stuff that likely won't be unearthed until I have to move them to a nursing home in 20 years. The kick is, my dad says he's discovered moving boxes in the storage area - full of things like empty shoe boxes.

He is mystified why my mom allowed them to make the trip.

Part of the impetus for my getting rid of so. much. junk: I am moving to the 4th and 5th floor of an old building in Over-the-Rhine. My brain (and honestly, my legs) shutters at the thought of lugging up so much junk.

So, Nana C's old blender (we're talking, from the 60s) and Mom's old crock pot (we're talking, from the 70s) have moved on to greener landfills. The blender was a smoothie away from burning out and, well, the crock pot was tripping the light fantastic in a practically day-glo shade that's unbecoming for a modern kitchen.

New is sleeker, affordable and more convenient.

But then, that brings me to my original point. I have way too much junk.

Perhaps it's time to adopt my friend's policy of one in - one out.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Girls of Summer

You know who they are, with their perfectly polished toes and sun-kissed, summer skin.

Glinting tresses made light by the season's hottest rays, the Girls of Summer are perfectly clipped and coiffed to ensure they last through the longest days of the year.

Technically, I don't completely measure up to the Girls of Summer. I'm fair and burn at the first hint of the sun's rising. The bridge of my nose is peppered with freckles and my pale blue eyes rush to squint unless I have my big, black sunnies on.

That doesn't mean I can't primp and prep like the rest of 'em.

Thursday welcomed a much needed pedicure and mini-massage, thanks to Barbara and Jamie at Sia Spa. My dear friend, GOP Big Wig, and I put on some comfy, white robes and popped the cork on a fantastic bottle of champagne as our calloused feet (she's a runner, I'm, uh, walker) were buffed and trimmed and polished and massaged.

My toes, complete with OPI's Big Apple Red, glistening paint, are now officially ready for the hottest sandals, wedges, flip flops and stilettos this side of Abu Dhabi.

Summertime, what with its requisite heat and humidity, has a way of bringing on the barest of clothing. Little sundresses, tiny tanks and tops that allow for maximum exposure and minimum perspiration.

There's nothing worse than getting caught with sweaty pits.

Dove's PR reps were kind enough to hook me up with a supply of their latest deodorant to hit the market -  Dove's Ultimate Go Fresh - Energizing deodorant. This stuff is light on the nose - grapefruit and lemongrass - and is billed as offering 24 hour protection.

Perhaps sweating in bed is the only thing worse than getting caught with sweaty pits.

But I digress.

Dove's "people" told me this deodorant was supposed to keep my underarms nice and smooth while lessening unsightly razor burn.

It seems to be working alright.

So, no matter what the mercury says on the thermometer, I think I can stay refreshed these next few months.

Hot pedicure and cool underarms - the recipe to summer sexy.

Disclosure: Special thanks to the folks with Dove Deodorant, who sponsored my spa outing, and provided me with ample supplies to keep my arm pits dry through the dog days of summer.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Friday, June 04, 2010

There But For The Grace Of God Go I

Greg Hartmann, where do you get off?

The GOP Hamilton County Commissioner has a brilliant idea. Just brilliant. He wants to simultaneously raise your taxes, cut funding to indigent care at University Hospital, and funnel more money to Cincinnati’s professional baseball and football stadium.

As the recently deceased Gary Coleman would say, “Whatchu talkin’ bout, Willis?”

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Hartmann’s plan involves an elimination of the property tax rollback. As a tradeoff for that hike in taxes, he’d cut by 45 percent a levy that supports care for the poor at the Tri-State’s largest trauma hospital.

That $22 million elimination shakes out another $6 million that can go to those concrete albatrosses around our collective necks.

I think this is an appropriate juncture to say, “What the fuck?”

Hartmann tells the paper that, though this is a tough decision, the county is obligated to pay for the stadiums, whereas Ohio’s biggest cities don’t shell out to local, private hospitals.

That doesn’t make it right though, does it, Greg?

Let me just state for the record that I am not a homeowner. I guess my 2001 Saab 9-3 can be considered property, but it surely doesn’t generate the tax revenue that a condo/home/business would.

What I do know about is people in need.

As I’ve stated before on the blog, I work for a major non-profit in Cincinnati. I’ve have the privilege of meeting people first hand whose lives have changed thanks to the assistance they’ve received from  programs invested in by my employer. I’ve had the opportunity to see real, community change happen in emerging neighborhoods.

I’ve been exposed to people weathering a real, tangible personal crisis.

Health care (whether trauma or otherwise) is one of the most essential, basic qualities we all need to live a good life. And that means this community must have a place where people can access that health care.

It’s a no brainer, really.

Good health care equals healthy person who has the opportunity to improve his or herself.

This person can go on to become a valuable employee in Greater Cincinnati, maybe even someday a homeowner and small business entrepreneur.

Heck, maybe this person can build a little nest egg and go on to invest in other people who are struggling to make ends meet and rise to their own personal success.

And it all starts with healthcare.

If Hamilton County doesn’t make the investment in the kind care that our neediest deserve, then it’s turning its backs on all of us.

I am one paycheck, one unexpected personal crisis away from relying on indigent care. The truth is, many of us are.

Don’t turn your back on me, Greg.

Don’t turn your back on all of us.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

My Milkshake Brings All The Boys To The Yard

Okay, so this blog has nothing to do with the junk in my trunk.

It has more to do with the skills it takes to make said milkshake.

Across the country, a new breed of people is retreating to their kitchen to make a living. Some of these folks are college grads - fresh faces struggling to find work and turning to another talent. Others are unemployed people who are treading water until they rejoin the workforce.

And still others are people who just love the near-spiritual experience of making food with their own two hands.

The New York Times wrote a great piece on this yesterday. Artisans are taking the talents and traditions they learned from their mothers, their friends and lovers and experimenting to create even more creative offerings. These boiled peanuts and gourmet pressed sandwiches and "cake pops" are dragged to neighborhood markets, where foodies with drooling, slack jawed mouths wait with bated breath.

God, doesn't that sound heavenly?

Really, either end of the relationship is a winner. To be a food maker - someone with a culinary talent that is sought out by the hordes, that sounds absolutely divine. To be at a party and have Sally exclaim in a stage whisper, "Emily is Aunt Emily?... Harry doesn't even like sweets."

That would be, like, five kinds of awesome.

To be the food eater - also a winning proposition. My friends and I like to occasionally go to a watering hole in Covington that secretly serves the most delicious pickled, hard-boiled eggs. They're not really on the menu, and not everybody knows about 'em, but if you ask for a guy and give him a wink and tell him you know about the eggs, he'll share some with you.

And they're dynamite.

Cincinnati is really experiencing this renaissance of foodies branching out and trying something different. forkheartknife with its sometimes-catering-sometimes-serving concept in Over-the-Rhine is pretty innovative and is drawing rave reviews from the foodie community. Same with Picnic and Pantry in Northside - small lines of artisan crafted foodstuff and day-of menu items.

Brings me back to the days when Paul Newman started making salad dressing in his kitchen.

Okay. Maybe not.

People are returning to smaller batch-made food, instead of the monolithic, serve-the-masses-with-unoriginality offerings you can get at the store with a looming shadow in Downtown Cincinnati.

What foodie secret do you think deserves telling in Cincinnati? Who's emerging as an amazing, local food artisan? Know a place that serves up these unusual offerings that's perhaps off the beaten path?

I DO make a pretty damn good milkshake. A little bit of half and half. Quality ice cream. A few other secrets that I won't divulge. Because if I teach you, I have to charge.

(Okay, so that was totally lame... but I had to).
Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.