Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wreckfast At Tiffany's

Tonight, we decided we should get a little culture and went to the free exhibit at the Arlington Arts Center. This was a graffiti art exhibit featuring live painting, DJs, fashion and a panel discussion about graffiti and hip-hop.

When we got there, Avery was fascinated with the graffiti artists outside, and plopped herself in the grass nearby to watch them create, asking questions the whole time. When we went inside the center, they had a great exhibit and Tim and I took turns listening to the panel discussion, which was really interesting.

It was a cool thing to do, improved by the fact that Tim is now in glasses for three weeks leading up to his lasik surgery, and the glasses he got are rectangular with thick black frames, making him look tres artsy-fartsy. Also, my toddler mistakenly thought an exceptionally beautiful (and much younger) woman was me -- running up to her and screaming, "mommy." (That part was cute. The part where I could see the wheels turning in Mr. Artsy Fartsy's brain about how he could replace me with the better "mommy" with Avery being none the wiser -- not so much.)

Anyway, when we left, we talked about going for a drink since it was only 8:00pm. Tim and I were non-committal. Avery, on the other hand, was all for it, piping in from her car seat, "I wanna go for a drink!" So, we drove into Clarendon and looked for parking...and she helpfully noted, "there's a spot." We ultimately decided to head home, worried about the possible smoke and noise factor, and also the impending bedtime factor (ours, not hers -- the kid is a party).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

With Strings Attached

About four years ago, I decided that I HAD TO HAVE A CELLO. I played it for a few years when I was a kid, and was determined that it was something I needed to do again. (Why can't I have a normal mid-life crisis?)

My gem-of-a-husband indulged this and let me buy a cello for $700 on Craigs List (I mention the price only to underscore the "gem" part of that sentence. Until about a year ago, Canetto and I ran any purchase of more than $50 by each other before making it -- that's how conscious we are about where our money goes). He took it to the music store in Oakton and had the bridge replaced and had it tuned. I took lessons for a while and then, as with every other thing in my life that could potentially become a hobby, I promptly lost interest (see

This monstrosity has been sitting in Avery's closet for a few years now and I figure it's just a matter of time before it gets I'm selling it. Along with every other thing in the house that is not nailed down. My huge spring purge and housecleaning has begun (kicked off last night with an oven cleaning at 11:30pm).

Tonight's festivities include cleaning the ceiling fan blades and putting the toys Avery has outgrown into the sub-basement. The truly pathetic part? Just how happy all of this makes me. Cleaning and organizing make me happier than almost anything (I said "almost," beer. Don't worry -- you'll always make me happiest.)

Some People Call Him The Space Cowboy

We have a neighbor at the end of the cul-de-sac named Steve Miller. He, of course, plays in a band. I love that way too much.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Because You NEED A Favorite Euphemism For That

"Roughin' up the suspect" -- my new favorite euphemism for masturbation.

And I Thought That Was Just Good Common Sense

On Friday when I picked Avery up from school, I asked her how her day was. She replied, "Jimmy had diarrhea." Then, with huge eyes and a very concerned tone in her voice, she continued, "We don't eat that."

I'm glad we're paying through the nose to send her to school so that she can learn these things, because, frankly, I never thought that was a lesson I had to teach.

When I shared this story with my friend, Amy, she said, "you know, from now on when I have a bad day, I'm just going to sum it up with "Jimmy had diarrhea."

It is kind of perfect.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Could Never Be A Receptionist At This Law Firm

In Virginia Beach last weekend, I saw a law firm sign for "Shuttleworth, Ruloff, Swain, Haddad & Morecock, PC"

This would be me, answering the phone:

"Shuttleworth, Ruloff, Swain, Haddad & Morecock" (giggle giggle)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Poops Diarrhea (Er, Peeps Diorama)

We did not win this year -- >sigh< -- more than 800 entries? Is this some kind of weird new subculture like Civil War reenacting? Read the devastating news below:

Monday, March 17, 2008

May The Road Rise Up To Meet You...May The WIND BE AT YOUR BACK...

...and not hitting you in the face at 25 mph for the first 6 miles of the Shamrock 1/2 marathon (better known as a "fake" marathon to our supportive spouses, Leon and Tim).

This morning for the Shamrock 1/2 marathon in Va. Beach, we were dealing with massive headwinds for almost the first half of the race. We did a freaking impressive 9:40/mile average for these six miles. (Sham-rock on, Mungywamp Mangy!)

After we turned into Fort Story (just past our cheering section -- Leon, Krennie, Canetto and Avery) -- the race got HARD. Ugh. Think we were going a little fast reaching our fans and got off pace a little.

Tough weather conditions, but a great race nonetheless. Amanda and I both came in well within our goal of a 2:10-2:15 time (Me at 2:09.53, her at 2:12.23)! And...we know that we're totally gonna kick ass in the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in three weeks.

And, we got MEDALS, which is really the whole reason to do something like this in the first place.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Princess Underfoot

Having a two-year old is a riot. Avery is constantly asking me, "What are you doing? Can I have some? What is that?" about everything I do. And she also wants to be right in the middle of everything.

Earlier this week, she was very interested in watching me put on my makeup. As I explained what each cosmetic was and put it on my face, she asked if she "could have some, too." I obliged her, then in the morning chaos that is our lives, forgot all about it and we headed off for school and work.

Later that day, it struck me that her teachers must have wondered why I had gone all JonBenet on my daughter.

Is That A Shillelagh In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Sunday is the Shamrock 1/2 marathon in Virginia Beach. The last three miles of the race are on Atlantic Avenue, which has numbered cross we'll know exactly how long we have left in the race as we go from 89th to 31st streets.

The course is a lot flatter than the one on which we trained...and the weather is still supposed to be on the cool side, with maybe a little rain. Amanda and I are ready...nervous, but ready. If all stars are in alignment and we both have a good run that day, there may still be a chance that we make our goal time of 2:10. Wish us the luck of the Irish!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kids Are Ridiculous

Avery announced to me this weekend that she is 'getting ready for the run with Amanda' by putting stuff aside to pack for our trip to Virginia Beach. This includes a couple of decorative pillows, many of her books, a couple of spatulas and Tim's brush.

She has also decided that she now needs to wear deodorant. A short play:

Kathleen (quizzically, sniffing at Avery): "Why does my daughter smell like Mennen speed stick?"


Our Life On The "T" List

A few weeks ago, we found ourselves in Target on a Saturday afternoon, even after I swore we would never again do this on a weekend. During that outing, we ran into one of Avery's friends from day care and her parents; and a neighbor and their 2-year old daughter.

Just yesterday, we were back at Target again (we're masochists) and this time, ran into my company's HR director and Avery's BEST friend from day care and her parents.

I'm not one to brag, but we are such an integral part of the Target social register.

BETTER Tom Swifties

"Ecstasy is the only thing that could make this dance party better," Tom raved.

"I just cannot deal with these children anymore," Tom said, with abandon.

"My driving record is spotless," Tom said, recklessly.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

THIS Is What Almost-50 Looks Like

Has she EVER looked better?

Jason Castro

I'm a total sucker for American Idol. Not all seasons...but most.
This year? The love totally goes to Jason Castro. Not only does
he have a great voice and pick great songs -- he's interesting.
Loved his "daydream" song and also Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah"
(though I do prefer k.d. lang's, truth be told). (We'll gloss over
the BeeGees debacle that was week 2 -- gak!)

Anyway...I hope he doesn't win, but instead gets some kind of
cool record deal that showcases that voice

Friday, March 07, 2008


This is Jimmy and Cathy's new baby -- an English Mastiff named Sophie. (Insert collective "awwww" here.) She's gorgeous and will apparently grow to be larger than Cathy (she's a small adult human...but still, an adult human) in the next several months. Their vet let them know that at that point, Sophie's fecal expressions of love will become a "two-handed" affair. Makes lap dogs seem a little less annoying, doesn't it?

I Can't Even Count That High

From an astute Project Runway fan: "Sure, Posh was a big fan of the winner. But she has been on worst-dressed lists more often than Charo was a guest star on the Love Boat."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Blog, Thy Name Is Brutalism

Thought I'd clear up why this blog is named what it is. (Figured if Canetto didn't know, then my huge audience of three may not, either).

I chose the name after Canetto and I went to Chicago and did the architecture boat tour. There we learned of a style of architecture called "brutalism." Some say this style is unfriendly and uncommunicative -- others say it is integrating and protective. Still others say that the style disregards the social, historic and architectural environment of its surroundings, which makes it seem starkly out of place and alien. (I feel like I'm back in AP Art History -- gag -- primarily because I just copied that word-for-word from an on-line encyclopedia.)

The style looks rough and unfinished...that's the main reason I thought it would be a good name for a blog. Rarely are my entries thought out or even edited...they're just sort of thrown out there. (Perhaps, then, I should have called it "Kathleen -- after two bottles of Prosecco")

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


For once, my affinity for time-wasting via the Washington Post chats has paid off. Sure, I've had my comments posted before, and have a running "Sloppy Carl" gag that I toss into Weingarten's chat periodically. But today's comment for the Fashion chat has resulted in STUFF. To wit:

Suzanne D'Amato: Good morning, everyone. Janet and I are here to help sort out all of your spring fashion issues. Wondering what to wear next season? Send us your questions! And once again, we have a special treat for two lucky readers. We're giving away luxe beauty goodies to the two chatters who have the best, funniest, most insightful comments/questions. Today we've got a trio of body scrubs by French brand Caudalie, plus a Kiehl's cleanser and toner duo that is suitable for all skin types. So get ready to wow me and Janet with your clever comments. At the end of the hour, we'll announce who's won our contest. Without further ado... let's talk shop.

Fashionistas: I love shoes -- and sometimes buy kinda eclectic ones thinking that the perfect occasion or outfit will materialize. Sometimes it works -- like when I wore my psychedelic 70s "groove is in the heart" platform shoes with an orange dress to a friend's California wedding. However, I bought a pair of fabulous shoes that I do not know what to do with. I ordered these from the Boden catalog --they are black and white dalmation print (stay with me here) with a kitten heel and red trim. They're totally cool...but I have no idea what to wear with these so that they don't look costume-y. (or is that just a lost cause?) Any ideas? Signed, Cruella DeVille

Suzanne D'Amato: Your shoes sound absolutely fierce, and not too hard to match at all. We featured a very similar-sounding pair in Sunday Source some time ago, with a red dress and black opaque tights. If that sounds too matchy-matchy, you could certainly pair them with jeans, perhaps with a Chanel-esque tweedy jacket. Other colors are fine to add into the mix, but I'd make sure they're of a similar intensity with the red. (No pastels.) Also, need I add that you should not wear anything else that brings to mind the call of the wild? No zebra stripes, leopard spots, or anything else of the sort.

And the goodies:
Their choices for winners: Suzanne D'Amato: Thanks so much for joining us today! Janet and I are pleased to announce the winners in our beauty giveaway. To Cruella de Ville, owner of the dalmatian-print shoes, we offer the Caudalie gift set. To the chatter who wrote in with the tip on Target's retro-enamel accessories, we have the Kiehl's cleansing duo. Please email me at with your name and mailing address, and we'll get your prizes shipped out to you. And to everyone else, see you again in two weeks!

Tom Swifties

I remember these from when I was a kid and totally love them:

“Who would want to steal modern art?" asked Tom abstractedly.
“There's room for one more," Tom admitted.
"My investments are worth more every day," said Tom appreciatively
“I’ll never pat a lion again,” Tom said offhandedly.
“My pencil is broken,” Tom said pointlessly.
"I fought with Geronimo," said Tom bravely.
"Here's your allowance for the next two weeks," Tom advanced.
"I have to keep this fire alight," Tom bellowed.
"This wind is awful," blustered Tom.
"I've only enough carpet for the hall and landing," said Tom with a blank stare.
"I think I'll use a different font," said Tom boldly.
"I presented my case to the judge," Tom said briefly.
"Use your own toothbrush!" Tom bristled.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Love Beads

While we were stringing beads last night, Avery put a bead with a heart on it on the necklace she was making for me. She looked at me and said, "I'm using a heart bead because I love you so much."

When we were hanging out yesterday morning, she told me that she was having a party -- and proceeded to set out all her mardi gras beads along with a bunch of her play food (pretty similar set up to the Oscar party I had a week ago). She loved every minute of that party -- how cute is she? She went up and down the stairs carrying stuff for her "party" -- wearing her little green union suit jammies with "Avery" embroidered on the butt. I hope I remember these moments forever.

Peep Show

Okay, now that the deadline has passed for the Washington Post Peeps diorama contest, and we have submitted our entry -- here it is: Peeps on Strike -- a Peep interpretation of the WGA writer's strike.