February 28, 2009

Where Did I Come From?

My dad and I always joke about the fact that I'm a bleeding heart Liberal while my father is a fairly moderate Conservative. We disagree on things like reproductive rights, taxes and military action but we're able to laugh about it- which is nice. Our discussions can be interesting and refreshing. Then there are conversations with my mother. I don't talk politics with my mother for a few reasons; I don't think her opinions are really hers, she gets her information from one source and she doesn't know how to relate to me on a fundamental level without differing opinions figuring into the mix.

These facts led Mike and me to a morning discussion about what circumstances make people who they are and believe what they believe. I suppose it's an extension of the nature versus nurture debate. Your parents can only influence so much before your own opinions and beliefs are made and you become your own person. Mike deduced that since I moved around so much as a kid I was exposed to so many more belief systems than the one I grew up with. If I didn't move away from Northern Michigan, for example, I would assume everyone in the world was Christian and white as snow or a Muppet. That's probably why California was such a culture shock for me. (I am sooooo glad the move wasn't the other way around- I would have turned into a coked out slut simply from boredom!) I was surrounded by more people who weren't like me than people who were like me. When we moved to Virginia, ironically, I was exposed to an even greater diversity than California. More religions, ethnicities, political systems- it was great!

Mike was helping me piece together where I sort of "formed" and he figures Virginia when I was a teenager. But I think it started before then. I remember learning what Democrats and Republicans were in eighth grade in CA and when I asked my father to which party he belonged he said Republican And I remember being HORRIFIED. I now know that my teacher must've taught with a liberal slant but nevertheless still HORRIFIED. Then I got into theatre while at the same time subscribed to an all-inclusive Catholicism where you love your neighbor no matter what they look like or find attractive. I dropped the Catholicism and kept the theatre and loving your neighbor stuff, mixed it with a little needing government help and voila! You have yourself a liberal idealist named Katherine.

February 27, 2009

Oh Dear

Apparently shoulder pads were a huge success on the runway this past New York fashion week. They didn't work the first time. I would even say disastrous. Why are they coming back now? I don't care to relive the time a boy in my class asked me if I was on a football team as a linebacker. I wasn't then and I never will be.

February 26, 2009

It Has Begun!

I signed up for the Pine Bush Triathlon last night! I want to sign up for the Crystal Lake Triathlon as soon as possible- just need to make sure no one is getting married that weekend. If it's a local wedding I'll do the race anyway. I could use a workout like that a day I'm going to drink myself stupid. There's a third race in September I have my sights on but it's an Olympic distance. I don't know if I'm ready for that. I'm a little nervous about a longer swim, not nervous at all about the bike since it's only six miles longer than Crystal Lake, but I'm very nervous about doing all that and then running a 10k. The longest I've ever run is 5 miles and that was after sitting on my touches all day. I'll get myself started on my training program and see how I feel in July. Then I'll make a decision (I just hope the race doesn't fill up!)

It's strange how excited I am about the races only because I have done SO LITTLE to keep myself in triathlon shape over the winter. I've been swimming and running here and there but I haven't been getting up early and I haven't been on a bike since November. I've softened up. Sigh. I weigh within five pounds of my weight from last year's Pine Bush Race and that's not bad considering but I'm puffy and lazy.

I was up with plenty of time this morning for a workout but I couldn't get myself motivated to get outside. Mike hypothesized that I may have slight seasonal affectiveness disorder. I'm not depressed but I sleep a lot. I mean A LOT! And I can't get motivated when it's dark and damp outside. On weekends I run outside because I wait for it to warm up and then I have a great run. So it's not like I don't enjoy my workouts. Quite the contrary, I love my workouts. It's just the motivation I lack.

Now I have my first deadline set. I'm going to try the training schedule that came in my book Your First Triathlon. My friend Pamela set me up with a fantastic training schedule for a first timer last year and I may ask her for one again. It was attainable and totally prepared me for my first race. However, the schedule in my book is tougher- I believe it includes weight training- and I think it might be the kick in my pants I need. Hoo-wah!

February 25, 2009

Happy Ash Wednesday Suckas

I used to be very religious. I was a fairly devout Catholic who was an alter server for many years and even contemplated devoting my life to helping others in the name of God. Then I went to college. Seeds of doubt were planted after a religious class or two and in the years that followed I became less of a believer. I didn't flat out stop going to church until I moved to Albany. There are many factors that lead me to my current atheistic-leaning state of being (if you ask my mother The Divorce is what made me Godless and NOTHING ELSE contributed to my educated decision but that is another post for another time [like later today perhaps]) but the biggest factor is that I really don't believe in the after-life. Anywhoodle, the point is I used to love the Jesus.

My senior year of high school my friend Pamela and I were feeling ambitious and decided to get our ashes before school and then get some bagels from Dunkin' Donuts. Nothing like starting our day with some Jesus and some carbs. Well, we get to school freshly ashed and ready to eat it up when most-devout-Catholic-ever Patrick curtly reminded us that Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and we were now old enough participate in the fasting. Awesome. Not a second later my friend Erin looks at me and as she licks her finger to wipe my face (!) says, "Don't move! You have something on your forehead." I dart her saliva and tell her what exactly is going on with my face. She thinks I'm crazy.

Now a little cranky and very hungry I make my way to German class where my classmate turns to talk to me and jumps. "What's on your face?" "Ashes." "Of what!?" "Dead relatives." She was about to shit her pants when I tell her I'm joking and that the ashes are made of last year's palms from Palm Sunday. We share a laugh and my teacher gives us a quick lesson on Germany and its Aschermittwoch traditions. The rest of my day was incident free.

That year I gave up swearing for Lent but a few days into my personal trial I had a little issue with an ex-boyfriend and I easily slipped back into swearing like a trucker. So much for Godliness. Am I right? I wish better luck to those who are participating in Lent this year. Really, I think it's commendable that you are taking these 40 days to better yourself as a person. It's great to test your boundaries every once and a while. You may surprise yourself.

February 24, 2009

I Got Your Happily Ever After Right Here

In eleventh grade my AP History class had a family history project. We were to pick a branch of our family tree and begin our report when that branch sprouted in America. My Nana, maternal grandmother, was pissed I took German (her husband's heritage) for my language requirement. So I figured I'd pacify her and write about her family for my project.

I got a "B" on the project (it didn't deserve such a good grade- I was terribly busy being a drama nerd) and proceeded to put it somewhere and now I can't find it anymore. That's okay because it's a piece of crap. A piece of crap that is full of misinformation. Misinformation? Let's fast forward to my sophomore year of college. I went to Tampa for Thanksgiving since my immediate family was stationed in England and I couldn't afford to go home. I didn't really want to go anyway since my parents split up the year before and holidays from that point on were just going to be painful requirements. So I thought I'd spend it with my extended family- I haven't seen those people in years. That'd be cool, right? Not cool, no, but informative.

I fully expected Nana to parade me around to various family members who hadn't seen me in a long time. This included Great-Nana Red. My Great-aunt Maria, me, Nana, Papa and Maria's six year old daughter all go see Nana Red together. Nana Red asked how my family was doing and I told her Mom was in Colorado and Dad and siblings were in England. She asks, "Why aren't they together?" I look over to Nana with confusion- why didn't she know about the split? While Nana Red starts to panic about what's happened to my mom, Nana and Maria proceed to bicker about why Nana Red wasn't told anything and Papa stays out of it by playing with his niece. I take it upon myself to tell her that my parents are getting a divorce. Her response? "Oh, it runs in the family." What runs in the family? DIVORCE. Say what? No one said anything about divorce in that FAMILY TREE REPORT I WROTE.

Turns out Great-grandfather Whatshisname and Nana Red got a divorce a looooong time ago. Then I found out my grandparents also got a divorce. In 1981. The year I was born. And I didn't find out until 2000. They got divorced but not annulled and then moved back in together and now they have a common-law marriage. But technically they are divorced and apparently incredibly stupid.

People who know this story joke around that I'm next in the line of divorce. I'll tell you something: all this divorce did me a favor. All of those people were (in my grandparents' case are) miserable. None of them should've gotten married in the first place. I learned more about marriage from these divorces than I would've if they stayed married (on purpose.) All those people were/are emotionally retarded. No wonder they got divorced.

I was never romantic. I can thank my mother for that. She never kept it secret that marriage wasn't what she thought it would be. Awesome, right? That's exactly what your ten-year-old wants to hear when you're driving to a craft show at the mall. Was that insensitive of her? Yes. Terrible? Maybe. Helpful? Incredibly. I believe in marriage more now than when my parents were still married. Being married is a rollercoaster. It will be amazing some days and shitastic other days. But that's what you're going to get when you see the same person all the time.

I am prepared for marriage. I am excited to create a new path with Mike. I can't wait to laugh with him, cry with him, conduct social experiments on our kids with him. Thanks to the mistakes of my family I know it's okay to not like your partner all the time. But most importantly I know it's okay to love all the time. Divorce is the best thing that could ever have happened to me.

February 20, 2009

25 Things About Me

I'm copying Perennially Bellis by stealing this post from my Facebook account for the people who aren't on Facebook (like my dad) so my apologies to those who've already read it. I'm not being lazy- it's either this or I talk about how the only body parts that stayed cold during my 40 minute run this morning were my camel knees. You're welcome.

1. The only reason I tolerate my middle name is because it is in honor of my father's grandmother.
2. My middle name is Frances.
3. I didn't know how to spell my middle name until I was applying to college.
4. I didn't know my social security number until I was applying to college.
5. I think a college education is overrated in today's society.
6. I would be perfectly happy if my children wanted to be tradespeople.
7. I only want two children.
8. I'm scared that my first born will be a boy because I don't know what I would do with him.
9. I'm not looking forward to planning a wedding because I have no money for a wedding.
10. I'm getting married to a man who makes me laugh like no one ever has.
11. I loooove laughing.
12. I laugh at everything. If you told me you ran over my cat I would chuckle before I punched you in the mouth.
13. I have the perfect pet for me. She's neurotic, hungry all the time, emotionally needy, likes massages and has long hair.
14. I'm neurotic, hungry all the time, emotionally needy, like massages and have long hair.
15. I'm worried I will never have a real career let alone the one I want.
16. I want to be an arts administrator. I want to be a part of my community in the capacity that I bring theatre, dance, and art to my neighbors.
17. I think eliminating the art programs from schools is one of the greatest mistakes a society can make.
18.When I was younger I wanted to be an artist, ballerina, actor, lawyer, doctor, and engineer. All in that order.
19. When I was younger I was Catholic. I was even an alter server.
20. I was so Catholic one day I started crying about why people would kill Jesus. It was totally unprovoked. What did he ever do?
21. I moved my sister into my room when I was nine and she was four because I was convinced she would crawl under the bed or into the closet during a fire and die. When I realized her sharing my room entailed leaving the hall door open AND having a lamp on because she was scared of the dark I kicked her out.
22. My mom tells me I'm her best friend. I cannot reciprocate.
23. I worry that I wasted my potential.
24. I can't eat meat unless I can see it and even then there can be no fat or gristle. I will gag. Therefore I've never eaten a chicken wing.
25. I'm a hermit.

February 19, 2009

Origin of My Nom de Plume

Steve Martin could say, "Onions give me the shits" and I would still laugh, flip my hair, bat my eyes and throw myself at him. I think he is so talented. He writes touching and insightful stories about the human condition, incredible social satire, hilarious movies and also happens to be a great banjo player. I admire him deeply for his ability to step back and point out the obscure inanity that is our society. I have all but one of his publications- plays and books. And I'm totally buying his banjo album.

My dad introduced me to Steve Martin's humor when I was a kid. Dad loves The Jerk, Bowfinger and "Two Wild and Crazy Guys" among others. Dad would goof off as one of the "guys" and make me laugh each time. So maybe it's the association I have of my father that makes Steve Martin so special to me. But when I got to college I found out Steve Martin was a published author. Once I started reading his works I was smitten. Then I went and watched everything I could and I grew a boner. (Mike isn't threatened. If anything my attraction to Steve Martin means Mike has it made. I am undeterred by white hair and age. I'm all about what's in the attic- and Mike's attic is pretty sexy.)

I'm not going to deny that Steve Martin has lately chosen projects that haven't turned out all that great. He's making many, not so funny, family comedies which is strange because when actors do that it's because they have kids and want to start making projects that their children can actually see them in. Steve Martin has no children so I wonder if he just likes acting silly. It's not like he needs the paycheck or doesn't have many other artistic projects going on. Hey, it's his prerogative.

Anyway, crap aside I'm putting up some things of his I enjoy. I hope they make you smile.

Hubba hubba. I mean really. Yowza.

But my favorite as of late:

Steve Martin is sublime.

February 17, 2009

Feel Free to Answer

Hyperbole, epitome and dichotomy rhyme. So why doesn't dichotomy end with an e as well?

The only true high noon exists on the equator. So how did gunslingers of the Wild West know when to meet if they didn't have a watch?

All the boys in grade school were dicks to me. Does that mean I was the hottest girl in elementary school?

Saint Valentine was crucified and we honor him by eating heart shaped things. Isn't that being a tad insensitive?

February 12, 2009

The Blood of This Babe? I Don't Think So

My uniform of choice is a t-shirt with jeans and sneakers. Lately I've been branching out to other shoes like slip-ons. I know, what a stretch. But I've also been buying some nice business shoes here and there should I ever have a job that requires a nicer wardrobe. Luckily you can still wear most of those shoes with jeans so win-win, right? Well, not so much. I need to wear socks since my feet sweat more than I'd like to admit and most shoes that are business appropriate require hosiery or bare feet. (Anyone I know who insists sweating feet is strange has mutant feet [you know who you are.]) I usually opt for bare feet otherwise the shoes won't fit right. Hence, mostly the sneakers- they bypass all these problems.

The other day I decided to wear a really comfortable pair of business flats that look good with jeans while I walked around the mall. Look at me- all fashionable and crap. They fit my feet like a glove, a lovely leather glove, except in the heels. I expect blisters and other discomfort whenever I go sockless because my feet are soft and fragile and not used to such abuse. What I don't expect, however, is blood. A lot of blood. Here I am walking around the mall ignoring the usual pain until I go try on some pants. In taking off the sausage casing that are the slim jeans I tried on, I look down to my heel and see that I'm bleeding all over myself. I look into my corresponding shoe and there is blood all along the back of the shoe! I'm horrified not only for my body but because I tried on a pair of slip-ons before I knew I was bleeding everywhere and now I had to buy them because I got my DNA all over them. How could I leave them for some unsuspecting hypochondriac to buy them? I wouldn't be alright with myself or with Karma. I can't afford to lose another side mirror.

I brought sneakers and socks with me in case the pain was too much but before I could get to my sneakers in the car I bought a cheap pair of Vans and put those puppies on in the middle of the mall. My feet are still killing me a few days later and I was able to get most of the blood out of all the shoes involved in the blood spree. I keep telling myself that if I go sockless more often my feet will toughen up and this won't be such a problem but I just don't think this is worth it. If I keep it up I'll be one pair of kitten heels away from anemia. No thank you.

February 11, 2009

Just Not Meant to Be I Guess

This past summer Aimee Mann had a free concert at the park one block from my apartment. As I am a huge fan of hers I went to see it and sang along with everything. As I am a truly ginormous fan of hers Mike and I stayed behind to meet her. After much waiting and almost leaving she finally came out of her bus to meet the hand full of devoted followers. Everyone had something to sign, I just wanted a picture. Since I don't handle celebrity well ("Oh my God! I love everything that you do!") I simply told her that she was robbed of her Oscar and asked for a photo. Our digital camera decided it wanted to be a shit and not work in the dark. This is what I got:
You can tell it's me and you can tell it's Aimee Mann but it's still a bummer. At least she was really nice and took two pictures with me and my busted camera.

Last night Mike and I went to see my favorite columnist Dan Savage. It was at the SUNY Albany campus and we were able to sit very close to him. He was funny and answered tons of questions. He was fabulous. Naturally I wanted him to sign my book and get a photo with him. He was very nice and answered a quick question of mine and then it was time for my picture! Mike wanted to stay back and avoid the bottleneck crowd so I asked the person behind me if she wouldn't mind taking my picture with my cell phone since my camera shit the bed. This is what I got:

I suppose I'm just never going to have any real evidence of meeting famous people I admire. Le sigh. At least I have the stories!

February 5, 2009

I Did Not Shake My Money Maker

Whenever I swim for my morning workout I shower for the day at the Y right afterwards. I figured I'm already wet and I need to get the chlorine out of my hair as soon as possible to prevent damage. I'm usually alone in the upstairs locker room but I still shower in the stall because I don't want to give a show for free. I don't want my regulars to get jealous.

Well today I was not alone. In fact, you could say I showered with someone. The said someone took my shower stall and DIDN'T EVEN CLOSE THE CURTAIN! She's in the only stall that has hot water and I'm out in the open. The wide-communal-shower open. Blerg. So we're showering and she DOESN'T TAKE OFF HER SWIMSUIT! At this point I'm like, forget this- I have got to shower! We're adults right? She can handle the blinding white of my ass. Right? I keep my suit on while I wash my hair and face as a courtesy but the suit had to come off sometime. And I reached that time. And there we were. I'm trying to clean my shit and get out of there when I realize she's searching each soap dispenser for soap! She had to check each dispenser, including the one next to my boob before she found any. Awkward? You betcha.

I hightail it out of there to put on some clothes and she stays in the shower for another five minutes. In the open stall. With her swimsuit on. With no one else around her. Whatever. I should've expected such ass-hattery because she didn't shower before she got into the pool. She walked right by me and the sign that said "SHOWER BEFORE ENTERING THE POOL" and she didn't blink an eye. Oh.... maybe doesn't have any eyes... Nope. Just a jerk. A jerk who got a free show.

February 4, 2009


“Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.”
-Alfred Painter

Every day I am deeply thankful that I have the gift of sight, of speech, of touch, of taste, of audio, and of mobility. I can take in each sunset, I can sing my favorite song, I can wrap my arms around people I love, I can eat my mother's pasta sauce, I can hear Mike's voice while I dance with him. I hope I never take those gifts for granted. I am truly blessed.

February 3, 2009

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Chaos made me forget to post this yesterday:


This movie holds a dear place in my heart. I flippin' love it. I don't know how Bill Murray does it but his deadpan delivery kills me every time. I don't think I will ever stop laughing out loud to this movie. Happy Belated Groundhog Day!

February 1, 2009

The Econo-meter

Mike and I are watching the Superbowl at home. I threw him a little party and we've been hanging out together. I kind of love it. Anyway, we've been watching the commercials as intently as the game itself and we noticed a lot of old commercials being re-aired. I think it's really telling that companies aren't throwing the money they used to throw at the Superbowl commercials. Who knew the Superbowl would be the gauge for the economic standing of America? And if this is really the case, the economy is in the shitter.

ps- Go Daddy commercials are stupid.