Thursday, February 28, 2008

A funeral, a road trip, an injury and a bad word... just another weekend for KAT

Unfortunately, my weekend wasn't quite as glam as SJ's, especially since it was spent at a funeral out of state. But the weekend had its highlights, among them:

- While getting ready in the hotel room before the funeral, I managed to take a chunk of skin off my ear. A chunk. It involved a fingernail and trying to style my hair. It's all very tragic and I will now have to bring a stylist in each morning to do my hair and avoid future trauma.

- My brother drove us to the hotel. Among the gems he came up with this weekend was announcing the upcoming rest stop. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot. We will be stopping at the Walt Whitman rest stop in a few minutes. We anticipate some turbulence before landing." Then he drove over the rumble strip of the highway.

- My brother, henceforth known as kat's little bro, told a story about work (he works in emergency services) that began with, "So there was a dead guy, a crack addict and a hooker..." Seriously, who else gets to tell such interesting stories?!?

- When we got home, I was taking my bags out of the car and noticed kat's little bro (who is younger than me, but is more than six and a half feet tall) hopping around my front yard. Hopping. In my front yard. Turns out he hopped out a bad word on my front lawn. I told him I was then going to have to hop over it so it didn't freeze that way. So he did me the favor of changing it to read "BOOK." And now I have a huge "BOOK" in my front yard. Yes, I'm a fan of reading, but not that much.

Monday, February 25, 2008

the way back weekend

lately, i've been making an effort to retrace my roots (and i speak not just of my hair) and find people i've lost. it's been a little easier than you'd think, what with so many social and professional networking sites popping up from here to there.

and it was through one of those sites where i found my long lost friend, whom i'll call FP (because we like to do that anonymity thing on our blog). FP was one of my dearest and closest friends in high school, and for various reasons (mostly, he went to school in Boston, and I remained in CT), we drifted apart.

but no more! i reconnected with FP and saw him after *over 10 years* this weekend. he is a beautiful, beautiful person, and what's more, he had not changed even a fraction on the inside.

we looked at our high school yearbook over cosmos and laughed and went through the various "reunion" stories that he missed out on. it was so fantastic to see him. i went down with another recently reconnected friend -- we took the train into the city. he met us right outside the 100-117 tracks. it was so easy to spot him (mostly because he's really tall although now more closely resembles a male model than he ever had before) and we nearly snuck past him!

we walked all over the city -- and by that i mean *all over* the city. we were in search of the perfect loungey type spot. after 2.5 hours, we settled on a tea bar in so ho. unfortunately, FP sat with his back to the door, and after we sat down, it suddenly became one of the most popular spots in so ho, and the door opened every minute or so, so FP froze. after this, we walked back up to chelsea, grabbed a bottle of vodka and some cranberry juice for cosmos. we totally lost track of time (in one of those good ways) and before we knew it, it was 9 p.m.

i cannot tell you the last time i went to dinner at 9 p.m. i felt like a young adult again! (not the kind that reads nancy drew books, but you know what i mean).

we had dinner at a cute little spanish place (great sangria, v good tapas) before finding our way back to the 12:22 train back to darien. it was a *loong* drive back to our area, but truly, a great night of fun.

it's funny the way you can miss someone so much for so long, and when you see them -- it comes rushing back to you. i dearly love FP and i'm so excited to have him back in my life. this time, i promise not to let another 10 years pass!

so let's all raise our martini glasses together to toast someone that perhaps you haven't seen in too long a time.

like they said at 4H camp, "make new friends, but keep the old... one is silver and the other gold..."

(although i find that mildly wrong because that implies that my great "newer" friends like KAT are less valuable than my old friends... which is not the case. it's not the olympics. all of my friends are precious metals...)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just in case you didn't think I was weird enough...

Some people have a rabbit's foot they carry for good luck, others have four leaf clovers. My high school soccer team had a good luck braid. That had once belonged to me.

Growing up, I always had long hair. Like to my waist. Very long hair. That tangled very easily and caused shouting matches between my mom and I whenever she had to comb it out for me. Looking back, it's hard to imagine that I carried that much hair around and I can only guess at how many hours were spent trying to keep it under control.

Anyway, in high school, I wore it in a French braid a lot, especially when playing soccer. My soccer coach, who was also a teacher at the school, would often pick up a pair of scissors, grab my braid and threaten to cut it off. Which hatched a plan...

The day before the first game of my senior year, I went to the hair salon with one of the other team captains and had my hair cut from my waist to above my shoulders. But first we had the hairdresser braid the hair into one long braid and cut it off. We tied ribbons to it, each with the name of someone on the team. Then we wrapped it up.

The day of the game, I kept a sweatshirt hood on until we presented the coach with our gift. Somewhere there is a photo of him holding up the braid and laughing once he realized what it was (imagine being presented with a box of hair... it does take a minute to figure out what it is).

I'm not sure what I expected to happen to the braid, but someone had the idea that we should all touch it before the game for good luck. Then we won and it became the tradition for the season. Seriously... for each game, we brought a bag of soccer balls, a container of water and a box with the braid in it.

When it wasn't called into service on the soccer field, the braid hung in the coach's classroom. I don't know how anyone else felt about it, but I was always weirded out that something that had been on my head was now hanging on the wall. And it was a little strange to touch before the games.

This story popped into my head this morning for no reason at all. Although I do have to admit that over the years, I have wondered what the coach did with the braid. I know he's retired now, so did he throw it out? Donate it to Locks of Love? Take it home and hang it on his wall? I guess some things are best not to think about.

Monday, February 18, 2008

KAT's pet peeve no. 2794

KAT's pet peeve no. 2794 is... people who aren't packed when you arrive to help them move. There, I said it. And I'm not taking it back now.

The Pretend Husband once drove to another state to help a relative move their stuff to our area. He got up at the crack of dawn, drove a couple of hours to their place and found... that they hadn't packed a single box. Oh, and they hadn't asked any friends to help pack the truck. So it was left to the PH and his dad to move the entire apartment (including a washer and dryer!) into the truck and then, later, into the new apartment. And they were to just take random things and throw them into boxes before putting the boxes in the truck. And they not only had to move the washer and dryer, but they had to figure out how to unhook it first, which was a debacle in itself.

It was almost as if the relative was surprised to find they were moving that day. Otherwise, how do you explain not doing anything to prepare?

When the PH and I moved into our house last year, we were fortunate enough to have three friends volunteer to help us pack up the truck and we had a group of six more people meet us at the other end (that-- and plenty of pizza and beer as rewards-- is key for a successful move). But I made sure everything was packed. It took me staying up into the wee hours of the morning, but there was no way I was going to ask people to pack my crap in addition to hauling it all out of my house and into the truck. Plus, would you rather make 20 trips with a box apiece or 40 with a lamp, then a couple of shirts, then a toothbrush, then more shirts, then a spatula?

Better yet, the next time it comes up for us, I'm hiring movers.

Friday, February 15, 2008

How to ruin your wife’s Valentine Day (in 2 easy steps!)

1. While working on a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner together, ask her a question while her head is in the clouds and she’s doing three things at once. When she doesn’t respond, ask it again. When she says, “What?” because she didn’t understand the question (it referenced a conversation from five minutes before), yell at her for ignoring you. (Not that this happened to me… it was, uh, a friend…)

2. Have a good Valentine’s Day, but follow it up the next day by referring to the wrong person as your wife. Here’s the text message I got this morning from SJ, who took off work to accompany her husband to the hospital for his “oscopy.”

SJ: “So I’m at the hospital with J. Should I be pissed that he accidentally referred to his friend at work as his wife?”

KAT: “It depends. Was it before or after they doped him up? :)”


KAT: “Ouch. I will testify for you in the divorce proceedings. No word what the PH will do but I’ll work on him. Maybe it was just nerves?”

SJ: “Better be. He said, ‘My wife’s uh… I mean my buddy’s husband…’”

KAT: “Terrible. But funny. Can I put the story on the blog?”

SJ: “Of course.”

Thursday, February 14, 2008

things that annoy me part 235

1) the skinny person behind you in line at the office party that says "oh, everything looks so good" and only takes salad.

2) that same person is about 20 years older than you and wears a size 2.

3) and she's the boss' wife.

i feel a little bad being annoyed, however, because she is a super nice person. but still! salad. when there's a perfectly good tray of sausage and peppers, mac and cheese and sandwiches from a great deli all right there.

also, j called me to tell me that my valentine's day gift has "been sequestered."

i'm thinking he may have found a jury of my peers. a little odd, but points for creativity...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

all he wants for valentine's day...

so i emailed my husband yesterday to let him know that i had arrived safely at work, and then followed that up with - hey, i think i know what i'm getting you for valentine's day.

what you should know is that my husband (who suffers from a fairly bad case of Crohn's disease) is going in for a procedure on friday - let's just call it an -oscopy. therefore, we won't be able to celebrate really, since he can't eat anything past 4 p.m. usually, we celebrate with a nice dinner (that i usually cook). the 15th will be pretty uncomfortable for him.

but he's taking it in complete stride. his response to my teasing prompt?

"really soft toilet paper?"

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Truth About KAT

Thanks for playing “Six Lies and True Truths About KAT” (coming soon to a store near you!) And now for the results…

I have never wanted to be a doctor. Ever. Blood grosses me out and I don’t have the brain to learn all that medical jargon. When I was little, I wanted to be on the radio (hey, look at that!) and as I got older, I wanted to be a newspaper reporter. I’m living the dream, kids, living the dream.

The Pretend Husband is my first and only engagement (at least as far as he knows). No, I kid. First AND LAST engagement, I should add.

While I probably did have a bit of a sheltered childhood (the town got its first stoplight when I was in high school), I did have the opportunity to travel in one of those newfangled aero-planes before I was 19. Well before I was 19, in fact. My parents took us to Disney World when I was 12 and a friend and I traveled to California by ourselves when we were 14 or 15. World travelers, I tell ya.

And, as SJ pointed out, my middle name isn’t Agatha. It’s Anna, as in Anna-Banana. And actually, legally speaking, that’s no longer my middle name. I dropped it when I took the PH’s name. That’s kind of sad. And now I’m kind of depressed. Moving on…

It’s true that I no longer eat red meat and while I’ve tried some unusual things in my time, nothing quite as adventurous as what I listed. I’d say the craziest things I’ve tried are escargot and alligator, which, though it sounds like a cliché, tastes like salty chicken.

And we had dogs growing up, although a pet frog would have been kind of cool.

So, the truths are the fact that I only applied to one college and, lucky for me, got in. It was the school both my parents attended and I told my second grade teacher that’s where I was going to go to school. So it would have been a little depressing if I had been rejected. And I really didn’t have a back-up plan. I had grabbed applications from a couple of other schools, but never had to fill them out.

And I had braces for six years. Six.long.years. It stunk, especially because they were put on and nothing much happened to them (other than some very uncomfortable tightening) for about four years. I was one of the last among my classmates to begin losing my teeth and I’d venture to guess that I was among the last to lose my last baby tooth. The plus side was, the tooth fairy take was up to like, five bucks, by then.

And if that isn’t more than you’ve ever wanted to know about me, I don’t know what is.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Six lies and two truths about KAT

Hey kids, put your thinking caps on! We're going to play a little game called "Six Lies and Two Truths About KAT." I got the idea from Isabel at hola, isabel, who not only came up with some pretty creative stuff, but completely stumped me. Leave your guesses in the comments. I haven't decided what the winner will get, but it could be anything from a box of chocolates to my eternal admiration (or perhaps both!)
Oh, and SJ is prohibited from playing because she knows me too well for this to be any fun for her. Good luck!

1. When I was a kid, I really, really wanted to be a doctor. My mom even made me a white coat to hold the stuff from the Fisher Price doctor’s kit. The dream ended in high school biology when I discovered formaldehyde made me ill.

2. I only applied to one college. It was lucky I got in because I didn’t really have a back-up plan.

3. I was engaged once long before I met the Pretend Husband. My first engagement was the stereotypical “we were young and in love and wanted to be together forever” story.

4. My first time on an airplane was when I was 19 going to a basketball tournament out west with my college pep band. Yes, I did have a bit of a sheltered childhood, why do you ask?

5. My middle name is Agatha.

6. I no longer eat red meat, but tried some pretty crazy things before I made the decision. Among the delicacies I’ve tried: frog’s legs, escargot, squirrel (just one bite!) and shark fin soup.

7. I didn’t lose my last baby tooth until I was in high school. I was only supposed to have braces for two years, but not having all my adult teeth for so long caused me to have braces for a grand total of six years.

8. We couldn’t have a cat or dog growing up because of my brother’s allergies, but we did have a pet frog named– creatively enough– “Froggy.”

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Funny Guys

The following is an actual email exchange* between me, KAT, the PH and j.

Most people don't have these kinds of exchanges when planning to go out with their friends.

(names, email addresses and companies have been changed to protect us from our bosses)

-----Original Message-----
From: KAT [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 2:38 PM
To: SJ
Cc: the ph
Subject: Cirque du Soleil

How about Sunday, April 27 at 1 p.m.? Tickets are
$50-85. The $50 seats are in the corners, the $75
seats are the back sections and the $85 seats are the
front section. April 27 is the only Sunday 1 p.m.
performance with the $85 seats left. My thinking is
that, if we're going to pay $75 a ticket anyway, why
not pay the extra $10 and sit in the front section?
(The front section that's available is just off to one
side or the other... it's not exactly center)
Let me know what you think (and PH, it really is
awesome and should be seen once in your life... so $85
isn't that bad for a once-in-a-lifetime thing, right?)

-----Original Message-----
From: SJ [mailto:sj]
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 2:40 PM
Cc: the PH; j
Subject: RE: Cirque du Soleil

i'm okay with either.

The advantage to the back section is that you don't need to look up in
order to see the aero-batics going on with all of the flipping and
flying people.

-----Original Message-----
From: the PH [mailto: ph]
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 4:34 PM
To: sj; KAT
Cc: j
Subject: RE: Cirque du Soleil

I say $85 if I have to go.

The PH, Esq.
A Prestigious Law Firm
Anytown, CT
Phone: 1-800-PHLAWYER
Fax: 1-800-Buy-a-home

-----Original Message-----
From: j []
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 7:37 AM
To: the ph; sj; KAT
Subject: RE: Cirque du Soleil

Since I have never been to the one in Hartford, I will let sj and
KAT make the decision. Whatever you guys want to do is fine with
me. The only thing I can say is stay away from the far corners.

-----Original Message-----
From: the PH []
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 8:24 AM
To: j; sj; KAT
Subject: RE: Cirque du Soleil

I have bad eye sight and hearing. The closer the better. Lol.

The PH, Esq.
A Prestigious Law Firm
Anytown, CT
Phone: 1-800-PHLAWYER
Fax: 1-800-Buy-a-home

-----Original Message-----
From: j []
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 8:26 AM
To: the PH; sj; KAT
Subject: RE: Cirque du Soleil

Maybe we can get a discount for your disabilities.

-----Original Message-----
From: The Pretend Husband [mailto:]
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 10:43 AM
To: j; sj; KAT

I hope to use them to my advantage some way. Maybe they have a special
area for me.

The PH, Esq.
A Prestigious Law Firm
Anytown, CT
Phone: 1-800-PHLAWYER
Fax: 1-800-Buy-a-home

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Drive it like you stole it

We went to a Super Bowl party in New Jersey this weekend. The trip down was nice-- we took our newer car, so I had a heated seat, nice music on the stereo and the chance to relax while we meandered through a bunch of small New York towns. It was nice.

The way home? Not so much.

Instead of taking the same route home, we decided to stick to the highways. But we weren't sure how to navigate the maze of parkways, throughways and interstates that is New Jersey, so we agreed to follow the Pretend Husband's friend until we hit the state line.

The guy is one of the most relaxed dudes I know... until, apparently, he gets behind the wheel of a car. He shot off the stop line like he was out to win the race, and didn't let up the next hour. I had to put the pedal to the floor to keep up with him (and his souped-up Geo Metro or whatever it was...) and pull maneuvers that would give any driving teacher the shakes.

I was white-knuckled enough and can only imagine how scared the PH was (I literally couldn't take my eyes off the road to look at him, but I could hear the fear in his voice). Rather than finding the interstate, we jumped on and off of parkways and at one point, were in some random neighborhood in New York City (I think). We sped up to beat the cars getting on to the highway, we waited until the last second to change lanes and we flew through toll booth lanes.

I told the PH I felt like I was in "Grand Theft Auto" and was being chased by the cops. But we did get home 15 minutes faster than the trip down there and, despite running on very little sleep, I don't think my eyes came close to closing even once. Adrenaline-- and the fear of dying in a fiery car crash-- will do that to you.

Monday, February 04, 2008

random thoughts on hannah montana, the manning brothers and other crazy weekendness

first off: #&#%* groundhog!

but onto today. i have my morning ritual down to a science, but unfortunately, i was never any good at science. this morning, before i left the house, i managed to forget a sweater (because they keep the heat set to "refrigerator" in my office), my lunch, my navigation doohickey and my ipod.

the worst of these things was my missing ipod, because without it, i am forced to listen to the morning shows. i generally like listening to KC101 out of New Haven, but I couldn't stomach a morning recap of the patriots losing to adorable manning brother #2 (who looks like a 16 year old wearing his big brother's pads *and* who lost me my office pool by scoring that last touch down). i do still harbor a crush on manning brother #1 ever since his humorous SNL hosting (where he is remarkably funnier than tom brady - who is nice on the eyes, but the flippers are a little too far apart in his pinball game, if you know what i mean).

oddly, that was not what i tuned in for, however. they spent a better part of a half hour discussing hannah montana. my normal world doesn't include a lot of miley cyrus/hannah montana discussion, so i was a little out of the loop when i went to the movies this weekend and was nearly run over in the ladies room by a mob of 10 year olds wearing blonde wigs and hot pink accessories. apparently, the "behind the scenes" 3D movie of hannah/miley was in theaters for a limited engagement.

you have never seen such a ridiculously unappealing line before in your life. the star wars line and harry potter lines were both infinitely better than the screaming, shrill cavalcade of pre-teen girls that was approaching the theater. i'm hoping and praying that if i do have a child, and if it happens to be a girl, hannah montana will be a 30 year old mother of two by the time little Penelope can go to the movies.

but we did watch the game with anonymous and her family, which is always a good time. little e managed to amuse himself by this game that involved stacking dvds on my lap, and then stacking them on the other side of the room. i had no idea i was playing, but it really didn't bother e.

and my vote for favorite super bowl ad: the doritos mouse trap ad. i didn't see them all (i admit that i switched over to the complete jane austen on masterpiece theater at 9), but this one and the "follow your heart" careerbuilder commercial were funny to me.

what were your favorites?

Friday, February 01, 2008

I tell him everyday how lucky he is to have me

I know I've talked about the morning routine in the house of KAT. To sum it up, it's, well, it's a little one-sided.

While I also have to shower and do some shaving and get dressed to go to work, I get to do it with two dogs running around trying to covertly poop where I won't see it and perhaps rip off the other's ear if they can manage. All together now: "Boy, does the PH have it made!"

Don't believe me? Oh, you will when I tell you what got added to my list of chores this morning. In addition to everything else, I had to get under the hood of the car the PH was driving to work and CHECK THE OIL. Seven o'clock this morning, in my pajamas, freezing my butt off, with the neighbors all coming out to warm up their cars. There I was, the neighborhood grease monkey.

In the PH's defense (not that he deserves one!), he does wear a suit to work that he didn't want to get stained and I am much better at checking and filling the oil than he is, but still...

If he asks me to rotate the tires for him, I'm putting my foot down.