Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I'm eating at the computer while The Banker and I watch Lost. Yeah, I know. Not an ideal eating situation. But I have a freelance article to complete...and The Banker likes to joke that I'm addicted to the Internet. Ha ha.

So I run to the other room for two minutes and return to find The Banker absorbed in a commercial. And the cat eating my chicken. All of two feet from The Banker's face. How is it that a TV can absorb a man's entire focus?

Grrrr and hissss.

An adventure of a lifetime

While living in the city, I had the honor of working for a really incredible editor--one of those funny, kind-hearted men who make you feel instantly at ease. He also had the ability to undo the damage done by my former boss, who'd left me thinking I was pretty much useless.

This very wise man had a young and wonderfully chaotic family that he adored. He'd share the highs and lows with me each morning, offering his insights on parenting along the way. Among his great advice? Take a Farewell to Independence Tour before The Banker and I decide to start thinking about having a family.

So this September 2nd or 3rd, if everything goes according to plan, The Banker and I--and hopefully some friends--will take off for Lima, Peru, where the adventure of a lifetime awaits. My old editor always talked about hiking up to Machu Picchu. It's an adventure I soon embraced and one I hope to conquer.

And then? And then there is no plan. We go off the map. And we'll have to hope and pray that The Banker and I will be blessed. And then the REAL adventure will begin.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Ummm, is this a good thing?

I'm being moved at work--to a new team, a new line, a new floor, everything. My training period at a quick end, I'm now going to have more visibility, more creative opportunity, and more responsibility. So technically, this is a good thing. But it leaves me feeling nauseous. Flying under the radar in my dark, discount-line floor was getting rather comfortable. Now I find out if I can play nice in the light, under a lot of watchful eyes. And no, as The Banker asked immediately, this doesn't entail any more money!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cats and dogs... together, wrestling together, and learning to love one another. A rough love, but I think it's love nonetheless. At least, I hope so.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Luck of the Irish

St. Patrick's Day is a big deal around here. I married into an Irish family and my family embraces an opportunity to dress ridiculously and drink copious amounts of alcohol. So this is like Christmas to us, only minus the holiness and gifts. And I was ready. Green outfit, green furry boa, Dr. Seussian hat.

But the luck of the Irish failed to visit us this year. The Banker managed to put out his back and was writhing in pain by midday on Friday. One trip to the chiropractor, a set of x-rays, a round of acupuncture, and stretching failed to provide any relief. The "doctor" is supposed to let The Banker know on Monday what the course of action will be.

So our St. Patty's Day was passed in a mild manner. No corn beef and cabbage. No drunken crowds. No green beer. But then again, no green puke. So there's always that.

The Banker is still in considerable pain, which is terrible to watch. And I find myself very tired. Three freelance articles to go, a house that needs to be cleaned, and The Banker and I are at an impasse about buying a new house.

But that's a story for another time...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Wherein I can kick some butt

So what kind of superheroine would YOU be? I'd always pictured myself as a conflicted, butt-kicking, serious but stealthy type. And a hot little outfit wouldn't hurt. And whatya know? This little web quiz agrees with me. Well, sort of.

You Are Trinity

"Touch me and that hand will never touch anything again."

Monday, March 13, 2006

It's like I'm a 5-year old

After finally giving in to The Banker's demands that I see a professional, I stayed home from work today and went to a walk-in patient care facility. I listed my ailments upon check-in and waited for a doctor to see me. The doctor was with me for less than five minutes but she seemed very sure of her conclusion: double ear infection and sinus infection. WHAT?!? I haven't had an ear infection since I was a little kid. This is truly ridiculous.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

50 Random Things About, Well, Me

1. My nickname, Kat, was created in high school by a friend (another nickname: Tigger), and was resurrected hundreds of miles away by a new co-worker.
2. I have green eyes, which may have something to do with the nickname.
3. One of the skeletons in the family closet is severe issues with body image. What we see in the mirror is often not how others see us.
4. Of my three sisters, my body type is vastly different—I am, technically speaking, the big one. I am made up of curves, which have varied in size in my 27 years.
5. Because of this variance and familial hang-up, I have tried several weight-loss programs. I am currently the smallest I’ve ever been.
6. The purpose for my weight loss? My sister’s wedding and The Banker and my plans to start a family in the future.
7. I’m conflicted on starting a family. I want to have children, but I’m nervous about letting my body go. I know, if all goes well, my body may very well balloon into a whale. But you know? It may just be worth it.
8. I want to have girls, but everyone I know has told me I’ll have boys. FYI: The Banker has a HUGE head. This worries me.
9. I’ve been told by my closest friends that I was intimidating and hard to get to know. This is just one of my many defenses.
10. During high school, even with The Banker, I was reluctant to put into writing the words “I love you.” I was afraid the words would come back and bite me if the relationship failed. Did I mention I’m guarded?
11. I’m a travel whore. There’s few countries I wouldn’t gladly visit.
12. My favorite experiences are seeing the world anew. This happens most often when I’m traveling, meeting someone new, or trying something new.
13. I have this deep-seated respect for life. I cried for hours when I accidentally ran over a squirrel.
14. If I could do what I want, I would join the Peace Corps or start a charity to save animals.
15. I received an ample education in journalism—some would say I graduated from the best journalism schools in the nation—but I don’t have the heart for hardcore, investigative journalism. It is one of my major failings. I cannot unabashedly stalk another without empathy.
16. I adore animals. I have three pets, and if I could, I would have more.
17. I come from a family of drinkers. My binky used to be dipped in after-dinner drinks to quiet me before bed. While I can go months without a drop, I can still drink many men under the table.
18. Another defense? My scathing tongue. I developed this trait in the unforgiving realm of public middle school. I am effective and ruthless. Often too much so.
19. Part of me is a snob and part of me is a good ol’ girl. A conflict of terms? Welcome to my life. I am a combination of polar opposites.
20. I’ve never lost anyone I love. This will soon change.
21. My favorite places in the world include New Zealand, Australia, and parts of Ireland.
22. I would love to live and raise a family abroad.
23. As the oldest child, I spent much of my life playing it safe, being the good daughter and responsible older sister. I sometimes wonder what I missed.
24. I have the world’s worst memory. I hate this about myself. Some memories I’ve blocked—cruel people during middle school, hard times during high school—but I wish I could remember things, nonetheless.
25. My first terribly embarrassing moment? I was in first grade and we were reading a story about a dog, a cat, and a horse. The teacher asked, “And why do we know this story is NOT true?” The rest of the class responded, “Because animals are talking.” I said out loud, “Maybe animals CAN talk but we just don’t know how to hear them.” I could feel all eyes on me and the distinct sense that what I’d said was wrong. My innocence began to crumble…
26. Attending a Catholic, all-girls high school changed me forever. I found a strength, independence, and free voice that has served me ever since. It’s not often that girls shout down the hall, “Anyone got a Tampon?” It changes your perspective.
27. There are days when I love dressing up in an ornate dress and heels for charity events and days when I hate it. I have to attend these type things a lot.
28. While I can give up wine for months on end, I fear giving up wine, sushi, junk food and the like for nine-plus months and then some.
29. I drive like an asshole. I love speed, (hence the sports car), and continue to drive like a Chicagoan, long after I’ve left the city.
30. When I was very, very young, I told my Mom I’d seen our cat, Smokey, run down the basement stairs weeks after he’d died.
31. I have American Indian in my heritage, which may explain the cheekbones—and the gypsy spirit.
32. My parents went against the fold, making enemies in our neighborhood of philanderers and hypocrites. This is part of the reason I want to move out of the suburbs.
33. Sister #1, while totally shy in front of those we know, can be so bizarrely brazen in front of strangers. I wish I had that strength.
34. Sister #2 has a natural talent for languages. I wish I had that ability. I don’t.
35. I have begun to see the signs of aging in my parents—the ever-increasing age coupled with a change in attitude, the sudden soft give of the skin of the cheek. It makes the 16-year-old in me panic.
36. I’ve always had this innate fear I’d die young. When my palm was read by a college Spanish teacher, she told me I’d live a long life. It didn’t put my hypochondriac mind at ease.
37. I hate crying in front of others. My Dad taught me it was a sign of weakness.
38. I’m a puker. It’s unfortunate, but it’s also the reason I rarely drink beyond my limit.
39. My once blond hair is slowly darkening, like my mother once negatively proclaimed it would. I’m fighting the urge to dye my tresses to the more universally attractive blond.
40. My hair is short, which looks better on me but is considered less attractive by most of male America. I try not to care. But part of me still does.
41. When I was little, my parents cut my hair short. I rebelled when I was old enough, but now it’s short again. I hate to admit they were right.
42. Whatever I do remember may be lost, not to mention what I don’t, if I turn out like my Mom’s Mom—Stricken with Alzheimer’s at too young of an age.
43. I once thought I was going to die. I was airlifted off an island off of the Australian coast with appendicitis/burst ovary/kidney stones. We never discovered what it was, but I’ll never forget the feeling that “this was it.”
44. I don’t like to wear lipstick. My lips are Angelina-Jolie full—so I feel like a stop sign when my lips are painted.
45. As a child, I almost drowned in the country-club pool—trapped under the body of a fat kid who jumped in on top of me. This is both terrifying and funny.
46. I sometimes wonder how my life might have turned out differently. Would I be living in New York? Would I have become a hardcore working woman? Would I be single?
47. I’m not tech-savvy. At all. I wish I were.
48. I covet the pretty things in life while part of me is disgusted by this tendency.
49. My Mom thinks my sisters and I aren’t the best housekeepers. It’s been too long for her to remember what it was like to hold down a fulltime job and play house.
50. In my humble opinion there are few things more enjoyable than big family dinners with great food, conversation, and wine. Followed by something peanut butter and chocolate.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

An aside

Drinking many beverages through a red vine is a delight! I recommend most sodas and even a rum and coke. Red vines--especially when they're a teeny bit old and a little chewier--are the best licorice on earth.

There's a small animal lodged in my sinuses

Or that's the way it feels. I've succumbed to one helluva head cold, complete with sneezing attacks, waves of snot and mucus, a sore throat, and sinus pressure that feels like it could make my nose burst. Ugh.

The Banker has left for the evening to attend a family St. Patrick's Day party, so there's no one here. No one to baby me. No one to make soup for me and curl up on the couch with me so I feel less crappy. When I was a child and feeling miserable, my Mom always went out of her way to help ease the ache.

I may be pushing 30, but I still wish my Mom would come over and make everything okay. I wonder, does that ever change?

My Dad's Mom, my Grammy, is ill with the flu while also fighting cancer. Things are looking a little grim right now, and I can't fathom how it must feel for my Dad. The woman that made it her life to make everything okay can't stop time, can't change what's happening to her body. She can't make everything okay and neither can he. And that's a terrible feeling.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

We interrupt this blog... beg for mercy. I have four freelance stories due before the month's up, so I haven't had much time in the evenings to think up random crap about which to write. I know, I know. I suck.

So welcome to random thoughts...

We're under a severe thunderstorm watch. I LOVE thunderstorms. In fact, I've always adored inclement weather. Growing up in the Midwest, most people have a healthy fear of tornadoes. Not me! Being a storm chaser sounds exciting. And white-outs? That means I get to curl up with a good book and ignore the world for awhile.

Granted, I've been blessed. I've never encountered the type of weather that robs you of your home, your way of life. And so I have this naive excitement that courses through me when I see those little words in the upper right hand of the TV screen.

To me, there's nothing better than listening as the storms roll in, the cracking of the thunder, the illuminating spiderweb of lightening. One of my favorite memories is hearing the rain pelt off the tin roof while trying to fall asleep under the Australian sky. to cobble together a freelance story. Yuck.

Friday, March 03, 2006

My Soul

So I was checking out a good friend's blog and she had a clever little link to a test to determine what kind of soul you have.

My results? Not very surprising. I've been told this for ages:

You Are an Old Soul

You are an experienced soul who appreciates tradition.
Mellow and wise, you like to be with others but also to be alone.
Down to earth, you are sensible and impatient.
A creature of habit, it takes you a while to warm up to new people.

You hate injustice, and you're very protective of family and friends
A bit demanding, you expect proper behavior from others.
Extremely independent you don't mind living or being alone.
But when you find love, you tend to want marriage right away.

Souls you are most compatible with: Warrior Soul and Visionary Soul

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Grr and a Sigh

I have to admit, at the moment I feel slightly sucked dry. Two weekends of charity events for The Banker and all of last Sunday spent in the country celebrating my friend's son's first birthday--with seemingly no time leftover for me. I cancelled riding lessons when I heard the disappointment in my friend's voice when she learned we wouldn't be spending the FULL day in the middle of nowhere with them. (Never mind I'll be out there next weekend for the proper birthday party with loads of people in attendance or the next weekend for a spa party she's throwing.)

The Banker's been spending money on toys--a new palm pilot and DVD player--and planning golfing weekends and more events to further his career. My friend is focused on people coming to her, even though she lives a full hour away in a town with no form of restaurant or entertainment. And I love and adore these people, but I want to scream "ENOUGH! Haven't you taken and taken and taken enough, yet?! Haven't you obsessed and planned and droned on enough?"

I have to remember what the speaker said at the Creative Renewal I attended. People don't push your buttons. YOU push your OWN buttons. People are just people, thinking how they think, acting how they act. It's all a matter of how I think and digest their actions. So yes, The Banker doesn't seem to see that he's been a little selfish lately. And yes, my friend doesn't realize that it's no fun spending eight hours at her home while NASCAR drones on in the background. I shouldn't let these things get to me. I need to change the way I think about them.

But as one writer said to our speaker at the end of the day, "You've taken all the honest enjoyment I once had out of being genuinely annoyed with people." Amen to that!!