Friday, January 30, 2009

It's All Downhill From Here (Yuk Yuk)

In a few hours, we're leaving for a family ski trip. (Yes, I should be more careful about letting the innernets know we're going out of town but a) we have an alarm system b) we have a neighbor who watches our house with an eagle eye and goes in twice a day to feed the cats, and who owns guns [think I'm lying? wanna risk it?] and c) unless you like freaky paintings by unknown of luck trying to find anything of value to steal.)

We're going to Massanutten -- a ski resort (I'm being generous in calling Massanutten a "resort") a couple of hours away and right near JMU, where I went to college. (I actually took skiing as my PE credit while I was there -- did night skiing at Massanutten twice a week to earn one of the few "As" I would get in my undergrad career...)

They have skiing, snow tubing, an indoor water park and a if Avery does not take to the skiing right away, we do have options.

This afternoon, we're going to spend some time on campus at JMU, probably trying to figure out when they began admitting tweeners to college.

Anyway, all this to say we're excited. And not just because my new ski pants are making their debut.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm Guessing That "Sex Change" Will Be Suggested In A Matter Of Moments

I need a "next big thing."

Every year, for as long as I can remember, there has been something new and exciting and big to look forward to or work toward...finishing grad school, getting married, buying a house, running a marathon, having a baby, running other marathons, starting new jobs, going on big trips...

This year? I got nothin'

Marathons are out after last year's personal best (and knee-destroying) half marathon. We don't want to move. I'm happy with my job. I don't want another child. I don't want another husband. I've looked into other graduate programs, and really just don't have the desire.

I don't know if it is just the winter doldrums ("doldrums" is a pretty funny word --say it a few times) or if I just miss having something to get excited about that is new and different. But I'm feeling restless.

So, I'm opening the (virtual) floor to my faithful readers. What should be my next big thing? What are some "next big things" you've done that you'd recommend or that you've always wanted to try?

Do me a solid and help out a sistah...

UPDATE: So far, some fantastic suggestions that I will be sifting through to determine which are most feasible (perhaps a tat/piercing/swinging trifecta?). In the meantime, one next big thing is trying to find out which designer made my-very-favorite-shoes-of-all-time (shown here on Brooke Shields). Maybe THIS is what I have been looking for to make my life complete...

UPDATE #2: Please note how Brooke Shields is posing in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY as I am in my blogger profile picture. The 3/4 pose with the hand on the hip. We called each other...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reduced For Quick Sale

I heard an interview on the radio a couple of days ago. A local disc jockey was talking to a comedian that was performing in town and asked her if she hung out with other comedians. She said, "You know, comedians don't really like to hang out with other comedians. We're not funny offstage...we're all damaged. We're the dented cans."

And that made me laugh out loud. Because we're all dented cans to some extent. What a great analogy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My 25 Randoms -- Birthday Edition

I've had such a nice birthday so far, receiving all kinds of heartfelt sentiments from my friends and family. I've been called a Zombie and a douchebag and I've received e-mails about blowfish testicles and wieners. It that doesn't move you, then you are dead inside.

Anyway, I've been thoroughly enjoying the latest Facebook thing where people write 25 things about themselves, so in the spirit of self-awareness now that I am another year older, I'm joining in. Here goes:

1) I always like song covers better than the original songs.
2) One of the qualities I’m most attracted to in other people is self-deprecating humor.
3) I was a painfully shy kid and now love public speaking.
4) I laugh and cry too easily.
5) I don’t sleep enough.
6) I always tell people I’m 5’8”, but I’m really closer to 5’7”.
7) I grew up in a beach town and still think everything about beach towns is cool.
8) Horses scare the bejesus out of me.
9) When I was a kid, my parents let me decorate my bedroom entirely in black and white. Another time, they let me and my friends draw graffiti all over the walls. I love them for this.
10) I was pretty ambivalent about having kids. Then I had one. It is the single best thing that has ever happened to me.
11) I wish I was more adventurous.
12) I know how to juggle.
13) It is my hope to one day live in a loft in New York City.
14) All of my friends are smarter and funnier than me. I should probably be intimidated by this.
15) I’m ridiculously competitive – often about silly things.
16) I love crossword puzzles and usually time myself while doing them (see #15).
17) I’m not sentimental.
18) I don’t have any tattoos or piercings other than my ears (which are pierced…not tattooed…that would be weird).
19) I love independent films but don’t see them often enough.
20) I am much less impatient and impulsive than I used to be.
21) I am very social, but also require lots of alone time.
22) I am in the Guinness Book of World Records for tap dancing.
23) I saw a live taping of “The Gong Show” when I was a kid. It rocked.
24) When my husband and I got engaged, we took a two-month cross-country trip that gave us the opportunity to hike and camp in the most gorgeous national parks in the U.S. I never camped before that, and have not camped since.
25) I don't display many personal effects or photos in my own home, but absolutely love seeing them on display in other people's homes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Miss You Always Somewhere Miss You Where I Laughing

No, I don't understand the title of this post, either. The phrase was printed on a gift bag that my friend, Amy, presented to me tonight. We're guessing the manufacturer did not speak English as a first language. And let's face it -- the sentiment is much funnier when written this way.

(Hell I will hell go to.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I So Want To Live There

Alert reader, Kath, provided the above picture today. Interestingly timed around my birthday...which brings to mind the year that I had just begun working for the ORGANIZATION THAT DOES NOT HATE FREEDOM. I was new to the job and trying to prove myself as a young professional. On my birthday, I went to work (likely in an ill-fitting Kasper suit) and about midway through the day, the administrative assistant presented me with a fax that had been sent to my attention. It was from Kath and had only four words on the entire page. In a huge font, it declared:


Because my mother taught me proper etiquette, I faxed a thank you note to her at her office later that day. It read (in equally huge letters):


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Now Where'd I Put That Spindle?

Avery received a musical Sleeping Beauty Doll for her birthday this year (...and we thought that person liked us).

The doll sings a grating Princess anthem when you press a button on its back (aside: I really hope that someone googles "grating princess anthem" at some point and finds this blog -- since I've been using sitemeter, I am learning that people all over the world are finding me by googling some fantastic phrases -- which will be shared in a future post about why I should be some sort of ambassador) that goes:

"I know you, I walked with you, ooonnnccccee uupppooonnnnn a dream..."

Often, Tim will sing this in the most out of tune, falsetto voice he can muster. You know, because he loves me.

I didn't think it could get more annoying, except that DJ AC has figured out how to play the dance mix version. She presses the button several times in succession so it sounds something like this:

"I...I...I...I I...know you, I...I...I...I I walked with"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Truly Verklempt

I'll admit...when I saw all the excitement and the millions(!) of people on the Mall today, I wished that I had braved the cold and crowds to be there among them.

So, I did what any person in 2009 does -- lived vicariously, thanks to my friends and their facebook updates (and boy, did they update -- I saw photos, got a play-by-play as to whether a purple ticket really would ensure admission to the swearing in, and even got a first hand account about the port-a-potty was some pretty great stuff).

It is hard not to get excited about the optimism and inclusiveness that surrounds our new President, no matter what your political leanings.

What a fine day to be an American.

I'm Going Broke Paying For Each Additional Piece

A short play from another time:

Me: (Having just arrived at Dulles from a business trip, calling then-boyfriend): "Hi, I landed safely and am just waiting for my luggage on the carousel."

Him: (Clarifying): "So what you're saying is that you have no baggage?"

Me: (Cluelessly): "Right"

Him: "hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nerd Alert

Hillary and I met for our Peeps diorama strategy meeting last night. She and her husband and son came over last night for drinks and apps and of course, planning.

We have two dioramas in the works this year -- and we're equally excited about both.

Wish us luck -- we have to keep doing this thing until we win it, of course. (And we're still bitter about the obvious slight last year. Our Peeps depiction of the writer's strike was brilliant...and it was snubbed...)

I'll post pictures when the dioramas are completed (and after the contest deadline, of course).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Cat's In The Cradle

Subtitle: I never paid attention to the lyrics of that song and Tim told me what they were today and now I'm depressed.

Avery moved her doll's cradle into our office (who knows why? she moves everything from where it is SUPPOSED to be to where she thinks it SHOULD be, causing her slightly OCD mother to learn how to not be quite so OCD....) ('s a work in progress...)

Since it has been freezing cold outside (and not as warm inside) over the past few days, our cat, Brooke, has made this her napping place.


Friday, January 16, 2009


In the last two jobs I held (prior to my current, wonderful job), I was issued a blackberry so that I could be reached anywhere and at any time. Which, frankly, used to crack me up. I'm in marketing -- what were they going to do -- contact me with a marketing emergency? ("Kathleen, sorry to bother you at 2:00am, but we need brochures and web content developed...STAT!")

I was reminded of this yesterday when I contacted my friend, Meredith, who lives in NYC to see if she was witness to any of the "plane crash in the Hudson" goings-on. (She is a special events planner at a hospital in Manhattan.) She said that she didn't see the plane, but that when anything like that happens, the hospital goes into lock down mode and that everyone runs to their command center. No one can leave in case they need people to assist. Makes sense for medical personnel...but as she said, "What the hell am I going to do? Plan a disaster party?"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Really Have No Idea What To Make Of This

Someone I know who works for a large commercial real estate firm, told me that she received the following e-mail from a co-worker yesterday:

Original e-mail:
This may seem a little personal, but it is a serious question and it would help me with resolving an issue and I would appreciate it if some of you would respond: Do you use the paper toilet seat cover when using the restroom? Depending on your response there may be a follow up question.

She wrote to me: This was actually sent from one of our guys in development.

I wrote: That is too funny...I guess they are trying to find ways to cut costs? Or are they trying to decide whether to put them in one of your properties?

She wrote: I think he was trying to prove a point to the consultants on the new building. I’ll send you the results.

And of course, I asked: Were people allowed to answer anonymously? That may be more information than I'd be willing to provide to a co-worker...

And she said: Additionally, he did not send it to everyone in the office, only select people.

To which I replied: Does it make you feel good or bad that you were on that distribution list?

Today, she received the following-email:
Thanks to all that responded, it was helpful. These are the results:
Yes- 10%
No- 55%
If the rest room is a wretched mess- 35%
So, this tells me if we go into a nice clean well maintained rest room 90% of the respondents do not use the seat covers.

Here Comes The Sun

We, like most of my friends who live in this area, are both thrilled for the inaugural activities on Tuesday and planning to avoid them like an airport toilet seat. (Sorry for that visual...but "the plague" just seemed so uninspired...)

Yes, I'd like to be there in person for this historic occasion, but the reality is that it will be a) freezing b) hard to see anything c) a transportation nightmare and d) not a good place to be schlepping a kid considering what kind of bathroom situation is anticipated (DC's -- not hers).

Make no mistake -- we are still celebrating -- we have two parties to attend on Sunday night -- the first is a casual gathering, the second is a little more formal (and will feature a keg of "Ale to the Chief" beer from Avery brewing company -- our favorite brewery for obvious reasons...that we like good beer...duh).

I've bought the same hostess gift for both -- a "Yes, We Can" opener. (Don't mean to ruin the surprise for either host that may be reading this post, but I'm probably enjoying the pun way more than either of you will, anyway.)

On Tuesday, I will watch the swearing in on a big screen in my company's conference room. I absolutely cannot wait.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Feel Like A Comedian During The Bush Administration

Seriously, sometimes these things just write themselves.

I received two separate e-mails from a good friend this morning. They're both real...and they're spectacular...

Number One:
My mom sent my daughter a card that shows a little blonde girl feeding something to a baby deer. My mom writes: "Just like this little girl, your daughter is loving and kind to all animals! God put them on the earth for us to enjoy! And sometimes give us food!"

To which my friend added, "If that doesn't turn her into a vegetarian I don't know what will."

Number Two:
I dreamt last night that one of my clients was setting me up on a date. I walk downstairs to meet my date and he's sitting in my front room dressed entirely, head to toe, in Hasidic attire (complete with ringlets) and IN BLACK FACE. He even went to the trouble of blackening his hands. I told him how uncomfortable it made me, to be seen in public with him like that. He gave me a long-suffering look and chuckled to himself.

To which my friend added, "What does this mean?!?!?!!!!"

It means I don't have to write a post today, dear friend. Thank you.


Look at me getting my pretentious on.

Our upcoming two-day ski trip to little ol' Massanutten has reminded me yet again that I do not have appropriate ski (and apres-ski) gear, so I've been working on getting it.

I've never owned the ski pants that are flattering...when I first learned to ski I had those awful bibs. (True story: I went on a ski trip to Mount Tremblant, Canada with a bunch of people from my high school when I was a sophomore. My parents bought me a gorgeous ski jacket, but for some reason, I also bought those awful plastic-y bibs that make the skinniest person look like the Michelin Man. And the ones I bought were very, very tight (yes, it was a good look...jealous?). I was skiing on one of the trails that was about four miles long and had just learned to do that little maneuver where you kind of hop in the air and turn your skis sideways to stop -- and as I did this, the inseam on my too-tight bibs ripped from ankle to ankle. It seemed like it was in slow motion and was quite cartoon-like. Of course, I had only long johns I skied for two miles with bibs flapping like giant flags in front of and behind me. I didn't have a boyfriend in high school. Coincidence, no?)

Another true story: because we were in high school, all of our evening activities revolved around trying to find ways to drink. Some of my friends and I went to a strip club because we heard that our fake IDs would work there. My memories of this place include seeing one very-pregnant dancer and ordering a strawberry daiquiri (nothing screams "I'm an of-age sophisticated drinker" like a strawberry daiquiri), and being served strawberry milk with vodka in it.

Anyway, I recently bought some nice ski pants, and even went so far as to find some totally cute apres-ski boots. Total overkill for two days in Massanutten where I'm guaranteed to spend 100% of my time on the bunny slope with Avery. I don't care, as long as I end the day with them intact.

(P.S. I just ran this through spell check and learned that I spelled "daiquiri" wrong initially...I'll wear that as a badge of honor.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm Such An Emo Chick

While Avery napped this afternoon, I watched the last hour of "Harold and Maude" and also the last hour of "Little Miss Sunshine."

Then, I wept.

Kathleen -- The Musical

I've had a trying day. Nothing major...just didn't sleep enough, ran some errands that involved trying to find ski pants for a toddler -- at one point this disintegrated into said toddler doing a ridiculous naked dance in front of a store mirror before running at top speed through the store (she didn't sleep enough, either).

Also, picked up the pottery from the last Dilettante activity at the art studio today. I must say -- this turned out way better than I anticipated -- and will be featured on that site as soon as my camera charges.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah...the glamorous thrill ride that is my life ended with meeting up with Avery's friend, Megan, and Megan's parents at the Fair Oaks Mall "kid pit". The girls are high drama during play dates -- we all just sit around amused when we get them together. However, that place drains me, as every three seconds, you are jumping up to retrieve your kid when they head out of the pit, or grabbing them out of the way of some big kid charging by.

By the time we made a stop at Old Navy on the way home to buy some toddler socks (see? glamorous. Anna Wintour sooooo wants to be me), Canetto and I were snapping at each other a little. He was hungry, it's a full moon (I'm reaching), and I haven't had a drink since the night before New Year's Eve (couldn't at it's kind of a deliberate action...and I'm so much nicer with beer).

All this to say, that I logged onto the computer for the first time today just moments ago to find a post on my friend, Maria's, blog that is dedicated to me. (Being a smart ass pays off -- let this be a lesson to you kids.) I learned that there is more to the "Kathleen" oeuvre than some drunk Irish guy (I'm sorry, is that redundant?) clutching a bar and singing "I'll take you home again Kathleen".

Maria, let me just say:
1) I love that Guitar Bomb song and my husband is a junkie -- so totally perfect
2) The Rideout and Shaw song should totally be a Chris Isaak song. I love Chris Isaak, and were it not for my loyalty to my junkie husband, I may be a groupie.
3) I'm not you like Townes Van Zandt?
4) Defiance, Ohio's song is my favorite of all of these -- maybe because I am hungry.
5) Yes! This is the one I always think of.

Anyway, all of this to say, what started out as a bit of a blah day ended with me smiling and listening to some great new music. You (and your site) rock.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Jesus Take The Loofah

I've mentioned before that I have a quote board in my kitchen (and some in-laws who wish that their son had married that sweet Catholic girl he used to date...)

Well, since I also have fun co-workers, I've shared this idea at my office -- although at the office, we go with original quotes. Gems from this include:

"Zantac is just not as fun as Xanax"
"All the fun you have really annoys me"
"I'm not a big vomit fan"
"I'm over here whittling the bamboo stick"

and my personal favorite (and title of the second country song I pen):

"A loofah don't make you less of a man"

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What Am I Missing?

An e-mail from Enfamil, dated today (January 8, 2009):
Congratulations, Kathleen!

We've heard your exciting news and want to welcome you to the Enfamil Family Beginnings program. We know what a special time this is for you and we're excited to help you every step of the way.

As a new mom, it's good to know you have options when it comes to feeding your newborn. Enfamil® LIPIL® contains a special blend of DHA and ARA -- important nutrients naturally found in breast milk. These nutrients play an important role in your baby's brain and eye development.

So thanks again for joining. We're excited to help you make the most of this wonderful experience.

And I don't mean to brag -- but that may have been the easiest pregnancy and delivery on record. I'm back in pre-pregnancy jeans already, and haven't missed any sleep at all. It's amazing how I do it all.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Guess What Santa Brought Me?

I'm currently reading:

When you are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Letter to my Daughter by Maya Angelou
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell makes me cry, one makes me laugh and one makes me never want to fly again...

(Santa also brought me a book light so that I do not disturb him when I read at 2:00am)

No More Dr. Seuss For Me...

The Real Mother Goose is way more entertaining when you read it as an adult. And not just beause of rhymes about Dick Redcap, Little Pussy and Handsome Cock.

I'm lying. That's exactly why it's more entertaining.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Yup. Way Smarter Than Me (Or Is It Way Smarter Than I?)

This morning, Aves and I were running late getting ready for work and school. I was getting testy and snapped at her to get into the car.

She asked, "are you mad at me?" and I said, "no" and then she asked, "are you just frustrated with the situation?"

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I Love My FWB*

(*FWB in this case does not mean "Friend With Benefits" -- I'm a happily married woman [...the vast majority of the time. Who was quoted as saying that they would never consider divorce in a million years? Murder, maybe, but never divorce...] -- [and don't judge me...I'm married to a guy who is fond of repeating a quote from the (ever-insightful? ever-quotable?) Desi Arnaz...something along the lines of "It's not easy being married to you, but it sure is a lot of fun"]** anyway, in this case, FWB stands for "Family Without Baggage", which is what I got for Christmas this year.)

My mom is getting married to her boyfriend, Jack, in October 2009. My father died in 1998 after they had been married for 33 years. She and Jack have known each other through tennis (it's like a cult) in Virginia Beach for years. He and my mom are a big hit at all of our parties and have even begun scoring invites to our friends' parties, for which they gladly make trips up here.

During our trip to Va. Beach this Christmas, we got to meet most of Jack's kids and extended family. One of his sons (and his girlfriend) and his daughter (and her husband) came to my mom's house for dinner. Jack's daughter has two 14 and one 2 1/2 (can you imagine?). The 2 1/2 year old and Avery were best friends almost instantly. And his kids? Totally fun. They are outgoing and have great stories and are so easy to be around.

We also were invited to a holiday party at Jack's sister's house the next night. I have never felt so welcome anywhere in my life. Everyone hugged me when we met and all of the adults had included Avery in the gift-giving (they all buy small things for the kids every Christmas). Also, there were about five other kids there (Avery's new cousins) that Avery played with all night. Since we are not (geographically or otherwise) close to our extended families, this was quite a gift. To say I was touched would be an understatement.

I hope you all also got something unexpected and wonderful this holiday season.

**I just realized that this whole paragraph makes it sound like Canetto and I just stand around quoting to each other all the time. We don't, but that may be my New Year's resolution.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Nothing Makes Me Feel Sexier Than Wearing Used Shoes

Subtitle: Except having the number 10 printed on the heel.

My little family and I reconnected today with a little bowling. Avery had never done this before, but jumped right in and loved it. (We tried to use a ball guide to help her with the ball, but she preferred to hoist the six-pounder and hurl it down the alley herself.)

"Hurl" may be a bit of an exaggeration -- one of the bowling alley employees had to retrieve her ball at one point becuase it didn't quite make it to the pins.

"Ball guide" sounds dirty.

Lucky Pierre

One of the few pictures we have from the trip since Kira's camera got lost on New Year's Eve. Stories to follow...

Friday, January 02, 2009

Spell Check Just Indicated That "Appletini" Is An Error...Spell Check Does Not Know The Half Of It

Happy 2009!

Sorry for no posts in the last week...but lots to write about when I finally do...meeting new family members over Christmas during a holiday trip to Va. Beach and then an appletini-soaked New Years celebration in Atlantic City. And yes, I'm embarrassed by my drink of choice. Let's just say it was after several other (better) drinks and that I'm easily persuaded. Let's also say that I'm being generous when I suggest that the AC tag line should be changed to "once is enough."

Will post tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm never drinking again.