Thursday, April 30, 2009

What's With Abercrombie and Fitch?

It should be noted that this was the most innocent picture I could find...

Tonight, I spent over two hours walking aimlessly around the Santa Monica Promenade attempting to find a white shirt for my new job. You would think this would be an easy task, but apparently all white shirts are actually made with see through white material and are designed to show a valley of cleavage. Since I don't enjoy wearing an imaginary shirt and...oh yeah, I was not exactly blessed in the boobage category, this turned into a fruitless activity.

I think my frustration reached its pinnacle when I made the fatal error of walking into Abercrombie and Fitch. I must admit, I haven't been inside one of their stores since college, and maybe its because I'm 30 now, but I was completely perplexed by the store. First, what is with the porn all over the place? Is this supposed to make kids feel more inclined to drop sixty bones on a stupid t-shirt or have pre-martial sex? Second, what is with the music? If I worked there I would go insane. Is this a clothing store or a weird psychological experiment to test breaking points of noise? Third, could we turn up the lights? I literally had to use my phone to check the price of a white shirt, that actually turned out to be a light blue. Lastly, the smell. Are we serious about the smell? I remember in sixth grade I bought my "boyfriend" a bottle of Drakkar Noir, that I stored in my locker because I was afraid my mom would find out about it. And then one day, while throwing my books into the locker I smashed the bottle, and for the entire year, you could smell my locker a mile away. I was convinced this was the most pungent experience I would ever endure, and then I walked around Abercrombie for five minutes and blood started to trickle down my nose. Do they pump the cologne through the vents or do workers periodically dump bottles all over the store?

Will someone please get back to me with these answers...and a white shirt?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Love / Hate

Last weekend I drove to St. George, Utah for a little birthday getaway/celebration with my twin sister. This drive is an absolute love/hate experience for me. Love, because of the fact that I'm getting away and have almost six hours to think about baby names, weird diseases I would never want to attract, why everyone driving to Vegas are always Asian, how long could I drive with my eyes closed and does my voice sound good enough to audition for American Idol? Hate because of the fact that there are just too many forsaken people on the road, there is absolutely nothing to see between LA and Vegas and after an hour my knees start to kill from being locked in the same position.

To remedy the unpredictability of my road trips I always bring a book on CD. Like the drive, this experience can be either turn into a love or hate scenario. For example, there have been times that a book on CD has soothed me while I sit in traffic and try not to look over at the moronic guys, who are trying to get my attention and who still reek of the lame Bachelor Party they attended the night before in Vegas.

However, other times on book on CD can ruin a perfectly pleasant drive. For example, for this past weekend I chose a book on CD called "Kingdom Come," which seemed to be a rather innocuous suspense. Yet, after the first two discs I was already apologizing to the spirit for the language Jimmy G., a corrupt union guy, was using, blushing during the interesting "moments" between the protagonist and his wife and writhing in imaginary pain as they described IN DETAIL how the killer sliced open its victims. (Fun fact of Kate #1300: I hate hate hearing about an injury, surgery or anything that involves the following statement, "Yeah, so I actually heard my bone break, and then when I looked down, the bone was actually sticking out." I will vomit if I hear this.)

So, needless to say this book on CD did not add to my trip. I guess I could have listened to the Conference Talks I have on my the book wasn't thaatttt bad. I'm sorry Spirit.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Computer Camp Alumni Still At Work

When you know you have a cool husband...He's building me a freaking computer. I know he'll make me take this post down - so...enjoy this picture.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


A few months back Russell Crowe (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) and I decided to change churches and attend one in Santa Monica. Don't worry, you faithful readers, we are still Mormon, but we decided to go to the church we are actually assigned to. (And, before you think we are being incredibly obedient, we heard this church starts at 10:00 am. Out a 1:00 is a beautiful thing.)

Anyway, this new church has been fantastic. First, it meets in this beautiful old building, which people claim to be one of the first churches in Southern California. I believe them because the tiny pews were definitely made before Mormons found out that Diet Coke and Cafe Rio are great substitutes to alcohol and drugs, and unlike most current churches, this one has a stain glass depiction of Joseph Smith and a mural of...well, to be honest, I'm not sure. The other week Russell and I spoke and had the entire meeting to figure it out - and still all we could come up with is that none of the animals in the mural actually have four legs. (Don't worry, you Mormon conspirators, the lack of four legs is not symbolic to how we see the Catholic church.)

Anyway, outside of the cool building and meeting time, the best part of our new church would definitely be the members. For example, a couple of weeks ago I noticed an older woman tucked a napkin into her shirt, pulled out a tupperware of soup and crackers and proceeded to eat during the lesson. And then if that wasn't cool enough, she then, in between bites, raised her hand and made comments. (While still holding her soup, spoon and napkin tucked in her shirt.) IT was awesome. Secondly, the older ladies in our church call themselves the "Silver Beavers." Need I say more? Lastly, our members, who are teachers, are amazing because, without fail, during a lesson something like this happens:

Teacher: "Does anyone have a story they would like to share about faith?"
Response from member: Long story of how their divorce doesn't make sense because King David had more than one wife.
Teacher: (With a complete straight face) "Thank you for that."

Honestly, its a gift to not start laughing in the middle of all that.

Now, before you think I'm making fun of my new church, please know I have never enjoyed going to church more. I love the absurdity, the unity and the fact that all of us are just trying to be good people. I hope heaven will be much the same.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day and Cocaine

Have you ever had a moment where you agree with someone because you don't feel like getting in an argument or making a situation awkward? Well, today I had one of those moments. While standing in the check out line at the grocery store, a guy, who sort of smelled like my rancid laundry and a bar I used to go to in college, asked me if I had done anything special for Earth Day. I, trying to be nice, said, "No," and then in a moment of weakness asked, "Did you?" (What I really meant to say was, "One, who the crap cares about Earth Day? And two, does your participation in Earth Day include not showering?" - but I didn't. I should have, but I didn't.)

Anyway, he answered my question with another question and asked, "Remember, last year in July, they had a worldwide celebration? Did you participate in that?" What is this guy the national Earth Day inspector? Again, I said, "Um, no I don't remember that," and then he said, (with a weird wink, I might add) "Oh, I get it, you are one of those people who wants to legalize marijuana." HUH?

Okay, let's take a moment here and re-cap what is going on. I get behind a crazy man at the grocery store, who is only buying a bottle of peanuts. We establish I didn't celebrate Earth Day today or last year. Earth Day Gestapo then deduces that my lack of celebration indicates I smoke pot. Are we all following this?

Alrighty, back to the story. So, while I'm nervously laughing at his pot comment, he then says, "Hey, you might want marijuana, but I think we should legalize cocaine. You know why?" Heck, I've come this far in the conversation, why not see it I said, "No why?" He then responded with, "Because there would be less DUI's because alcohol and cocaine go together so well. You know?" (And here's where the moment happens) I answered, while enthusiastically shaking my head, "Yeah. We should totally legalize cocaine to curb DUI's." Really? Did I just say that? Why didn't I just say at the very beginning I planted a forsaken tree?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Which One Are You?

How cool are those old guy's shorts?

Last night while sitting at the park reading I realized there are many types of runners. For example:

1. There's the "I'm running with my shirt off because, in 1988, I had an awesome six pack."

2. There's the individual who runs with their elbows locked into their sides and slightly out, or the "T-Rex Run" as I like to call it.

3. There's the "I run because I love it. NOT, because I'm scared of getting fat. NO, I love it. I'm so freaking hungry, but I LOVE it."

4. There are the guys who run at 11.7 miles an hour because they really aren't human, but robots designed by an evil man plotting to destroy all self-esteem the rest of us have.

5. There are the ones who just started their diet today and thought a run would be a good way to kick it off. (These are easy to spot because they are usually running in construction boots, cut off jean shorts, a worn t-shirt and gasping for air - these people could also be running from the law.)

6. There's the ones who drag their feet so much I wonder if they are just creating enough static to power their disc man, or wiping off dog crap they stepped in a few feet back.

7. There's the couple out for a run, who have two completely different objectives. The guy, is there to get through this miserable experience so he can get back to his couch. The girl, is there to help him get back to the weight he was when they first started dating.

8. There's the dancers / pop singers / runners. These are sort of my favorite. They are the ones who become so enraptured with their Ipod they don't realize they are singing along and bobbing their head as they run.

9. There's the mom pushing her baby in a stroller, who hopes she'll be able to get rid of the lingering baby fat, but knows once she gets home she's most likely cool down with a diet coke and cake icing.

10. There's the girls who run in almost nothing because they are actually not out for a run, but heading to work at the Gentleman's Club. (I loathe this group.)

I guess I would put myself as #11: The retired college athlete, who only runs in lacrosse paraphernalia, and cries out in pain after twenty minutes because her knees are old. So, what kind of runner are you?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Crack Whore?

The other night, while enjoying a peaceful stroll along the beach, I encountered a crazy woman screaming profanities from inside her parked car. At first, I thought she was just another homeless person blowing off some steam, but as I got closer I realized it was a rather normal looking woman just sitting in her car having a fabulous breakdown/tantrum. I, never being one that was good at looking away from awkward situations, continued to stare as I walked past. Unfortunately, this was not a good time for my conspicuous habit to kick in. As I made eye contact with the crazy woman, she leaned over and rolled down her window (yes, by hand - which only made me more transfixed on her) and screamed, "What are you looking at, you crack whore?" Crack whore? Now that was a new one. I thought she would have gone with the obvious female dog reference or called me the mother of a trucker. But, a crack whore? What part of my Citizen jeans, Puma sneakers and Duke T-shirt screamed "Crack whore?"

Anyway, as I continued to walk home I thought about this lady and how good it must feel to be her. I mean seriously, how many of us walk around in our lives repressing and holding everything down? Wouldn't it feel good to just pull over next to a peaceful park and just let it all out? Wouldn't it feel good to roll your window down and attack unsuspecting people with strange insults like, "Dog Face" to really good looking people, or "Satan's Legion" to a group of moms and their kids? I just think it could be a really healthy exercise for a lot of us. And I also think crack could be another answer. I'm full of options.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What I Learned In Health Class

For almost the past year Pierre (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) and I have been trying to multiply and replenish the earth. Unfortunately, because we aren't teenagers at a New Jersey prom we have been unable to fulfill our procreation duties. Consequently, throughout this year I have been dabbling in the fun world of, "What the heck is wrong with my body?" This fun exploration has taught me a lot of things. For example, I've been learning about patience, trials, how jacked up one can really get on hormones and female anatomy. Now, I'm not trying to be uncomfortably explicit, but honestly, throughout this process I have learned of how little I actually know about the female body. For example, the other day I went to get an x-ray of my tubes, or plumbing as I like to call it, and realized that I have no idea what a fallopian tube is. As I laid there getting mine x-rayed, the doctor pushed a screen in front of my face so I could see what he was doing. In a moment of panic I saw some squiggly lines and thought, "Oh, crap there's the problem. My plumbing is all over the place." As I started to imagine the conversation I was going to have with Pierre about our childless future, the doctor said, "Well, the fallopian tubes look great." Look great? What are bad ones supposed to look like?

So, I guess those Health classes in fifth grade were really helpful, and apparently, our plumbing isn't all streamlined and color coded. I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed.

Friday, April 17, 2009

So Strange, but So Good

Yesterday, as I was staggering home from my birthday massage, glistening in lotion and oil, I started to think about how bizarre the whole massage experience is. First, you voluntarily strip down and enter an enclosed room excitedly anticipating the touch of a complete stranger. Didn't we learn as children that this is exactly what you SHOULD NOT do? I mean, wasn't the highest commandment we were given by our parents was to not talk to strangers, let alone let them touch us? It all seems a little counter intuitive if you ask me.

Second of all, there is complete silence, outside of the "ocean" sounds, during the entire experience. So, now we have someone touching us and they aren't saying a word. And yet, for me, if the masseuse opens its mouth to make conversation I instantly hope that their car is being keyed at the moment or they will die that night.* Because let's be honest, if I was paying for a good conversation I would make an expensive long distance phone call to a friend of mine in Mongolia. I'm here to get rubbed down.

Third of all, after being touched and soothed into a tranquil state, the buzzer dings and you are asked to leave. This has to be the cruelest part of the whole experience. One minute you are lying on a lily pad of fresh cotton and being caressed by doves, and the next second you are being handed a cup of water and shoved out into traffic. They really should have a holding room where you can go and ease yourself back into reality.

Oh well, as bizarre as it all was, I swear, as all of you are my witness, when I become a millionaire I'm getting a private masseuse. That, and adopting a child from Cote D'Ivoire.

*I don't really want anything to happen to them that moment because they still have 33 minutes left to work on me.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Completely Self-Indulgent

I don't know about you, but whenever it's my birthday I feel completely justified in being overtly self-indulgent. It's like overnight I lose all sense of self-control and approach every temptation with, "Come on, it's your birthday. You can do whatever you want." So, yesterday when I woke up, I started to think of which forbidden urges my "birthday mentality" was going to fulfill. Should I go park my car illegally and wait for the parking attendant to come so I can steal his little three wheel mobile and drive it into the ocean? Should I put an "Out of Order" sign on the elevator just to infuriate the old people in my building a little more? (Our unreliable elevator has led to some heated conversations in the lobby, which I always seem to get caught in because I live on the first floor and because they think I "care.") Should I go get a pizza, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, peanut butter and Wheatthins for lunch and then take a nap until the hubby comes home? So, many options.

Well, as great as these thoughts were, I'm sad to report that I didn't get into an awesome altercation with a parking attendant, nor did I mess with the geriatric population of my building. I did, however, not shower until six, ate whatever I wanted, got a massage, answered my phone for only birthday wishes and ate a ridiculously fattening dinner. All in all a good day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


So, today's the day...the big's how far I've come.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


One day and counting...

At seventeen, my life plan consisted of graduating from high school, going to Utah for school, getting married and making babies. That was it. And then I found myself at a lacrosse tournament in Annapolis, Maryland and my whole "plan" changed. From that small tournament I started getting recruited by Ohio State, UNC, Duke, Loyola and Georgetown. All of the sudden my life became a Choose Your Own Adventure novel and I had no idea which path to take.

Initially, my first choice was UNC. I loved the coach, the athletic tradition and the school. And then, I went on my recruiting trip, and after being told by the team that I wouldn't fit in because I didn't drink, UNC was no longer on my list. After UNC, I went on more recruiting trips and each time I walked away just as disappointed. Ohio State was too freaking big, Loyola was too freaking small and Georgetown was too freaking urban. All that was left was Duke, and from the first phone call, I was convinced this was not the school for me. Yet, once I stepped on campus, met the team and hung out with my coaches I began to realize I was supposed to be in Durham. So, in April, right before I graduated, I signed the official papers to go to Duke and began an entirely different life plan.

I chose this story as my last because this decision affected me more than any other moment in my life. For example, I would have never gone on a mission if I hadn't spent four years being a missionary. I would have never experienced playing a Division I sport with some of the greatest people. And more importantly, I wouldn't have met the love of my life. (A side note...a year after I left Duke, Jorge (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) was headed to Michigan for law school, but decided in Kentucky to head south instead and go to Duke. There's not a doubt in my mind, (and by every fiber in my being) that we both were supposed to go to Duke so we could meet. (And for our sister-in-laws to be there to set us up.) I'll always see Duke as the decision that took my blinders off and changed my life forever.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Time of My Life

When my sister and I were eight we were forbidden to watch the cinematic masterpiece of Dirty Dancing. According to my mom, it contained "mature subjects" that were not appropriate for third graders. (I know, my Mom was a tyrant. I mean honestly, what's the big deal about dancing in a suggestive way, trivializing an abortion and lying to your parents about sleeping with a dance instructor? I think all third graders need to know these things. That and reading.)

Now, I was typically a very obedient child, but the phrase "mature subjects" intrigued me and I began a quest to see this forbidden movie. Fortunately, a couple of weeks later my friend announced she would be having a sleepover AND the main attraction would be Dirty Dancing. I swear those days leading up to our uncensored viewing of Patrick Swayze couldn't move fast enough. Finally, the big moment came, and I'll never forget sitting on the floor in my pajamas, clutching a coke and devilishly smiling during the entire movie. To be honest, I was a little confused about why Penny was so upset about being "knocked up," and then in so much pain when she came back from the doctor's. I'll admit the entire abortion aspect was over my head, but I did walk away wishing my name was Baby. (For those of you who haven't experienced this movie - stop reading and go rent it.)

Anyway, the reason I bring up this experience is because this movie has been a part of my life in so many ways. For example:

1. I wanted the soundtrack to this movie so bad I traded my innocent belief in Santa for my brother's promise that he could actually show me the tape cassettes in my parent's loft two weeks before Christmas. This nefarious deal led to my Mom threatening to take Christmas away after she found out we had seen our gifts AND a few sleepless nights for me as I grappled with the idea that Santa was a lie.

2. In fifth grade my sister and I and our two best friends won the coveted 50's Dance lip sync contest with "Be My Baby" - a hit from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

3. When I was a senior in high school our basketball team's mantra was, "NO ONE PUTS BABY IN A CORNER." (I wish this led to us winning a state championship, but it only ticked off our beloved black coach named Mr. White.)

4. One of the things on my "Do Before I Die" list is that Jorge (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) and me will one day reenact the "Love is Strange" scene in Dirty Dancing. (As seen in picture above)

5. My senior year in college I took a Social Dance class. Much to my teacher's dismay, each class I found a way to either act out a scene from Dirty Dancing or quote directly from the movie. For example, whenever I approached my partner I would say, "This is my dance space and that is your dance space." (Well, actually I would say "This is your damn space" because I didn't find out it was "dance" until I was 25). Or whenever I was given the chance I would attempt to jump into my partner's arms and see if he would lift me above his head. Which he never did. Will if you're out there one attempt wouldn't have killed you.

So, no I don't regret stepping off the straight and narrow and watching Dirty Dancing. It changed my life...much like Baby did for Johnny.

Just Another Day

Today was one of those days when I realized, once again, I live in a very unusual place. For example:

1. While at Bed, Bath and Beyond I saw Adrien Brody (Oscar Winner for The Pianist) picking out pans.

2. After coming out of Costco I saw a homeless man holding a sign that read "Spaceship Needs New Parts Please Help."

3. Before driving into my parking garage I saw a man running towards the bus holding a stick with a crystal ball on the top of it and wizard clothes underneath his arm.

4. After reading on Perez Hilton about Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and Sebastian Stan (Kings and Gossip Girl) being a new couple I saw them walking into Shutters, a hotel, together while I was running along the beach.

And that's a day in Santa Monica.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I'm A Girl

When I was growing up I was a complete tomboy. For example, a typical look for me was a Dallas Cowboy jersey, Converse high tops and my brothers' old O.p. shorts (gotta to love the 80's). To top off this unique ensemble, my hair, which was always short, was rarely brushed, my knees were usually skinned from playing outside, and for a year I was obsessed with green florescent slime, which usually melted in my pocket - so let's throw some of that in there too. As for my life, it was all about exploring the creeks in my backyard, quarterbacking on the playground and taking down the boys I played against in soccer. In short, six days out of the week I was a boy. (Sunday was the only day my Mom succeeded in turning me into a little girl, but that only really lasted for three hours. Typically, I walked into church with a beautiful dress on and curled hair, and exited with ripped tights and one shoe - the other one was used in a contest to see how far I could throw.)

Anyway, it wasn't until a very pivotal moment happened did I decide to give up the whole tomboy gig. (No, it wasn't an epiphany of how cool Barbie was over G.I. Joe. Please, the only cool thing about Barbie was cutting her hair and trading her head for Ken's.) No, instead, this is what happened: One day I went with my brother to get some candy at a local drugstore. When we went to make our purchase, the cashier took one look at me and said to my brother, "My, you sure do have an adorable little brother." At first, I thought the cashier was talking to someone else, but when I turned around there was no one else in line. Instantly, I was crushed. I couldn't understand why this lady had called me a boy. As these thoughts swirled in my head, and my sweet brother began to laugh, I quietly said to the cashier, "I'm a girl." I don't remember what the cashier did - hopefully we got our candy for free, but I do remember my Mom sitting me down and explaining to me that if I looked like a boy people were going to mistake me for one.

So, from that day forward I decided to make some changes. I traded in my Converses for some KSwiss, retired the Dallas Cowboys jersey for an ESPRIT shirt and started to grow my hair out. I'm happy to report that after a year I was no longer mistaken for a boy. Instead, due to an awesome mullet from growing out my hair, I was mistaken for a little MacGyver. What can I say it wasn't an overnight transformation. I mean, at almost 30, I'm still working on not walking like a guy.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Virgin Eyes

It would be fair to say that I had a "few" traumatic nights in college. For instance, there was the night my computer broke and I lost a 15 page paper that was due the next day. Slightly devastating. I remember walking out to my car and seeing the window bashed in. A little annoying. Oh, then there was the time a drunk lacrosse player threw a bench through our door. A tad frightening.

Yes, I've had some fun nights, however, the most traumatic night happened when I was a sophomore. It was during Spring Break, and unlike the rest of the campus, my team was still at school preparing for a trip up north. One night, after a team dinner, I walked out to my car to get some CD's. As I approached the parking lot I saw a naked man run by. Now, I should state that in college I was a virgin in every sense of the word, so seeing a naked man wasn't exactly something I experienced everyday. Okay, never. Therefore, like a frightened little girl I stopped in my tracks and called out for help. As I was covering my eyes and screaming, my friend's car turned into the parking lot, and came face to face with the naked man. Like a deer in headlights (pun intended) he just stood there in his birthday suit. Unfortunately, for him and for us, he was trapped. My friend's car was blocking the exit, dorms were to his right, a screaming 19 year old was behind him and a steep hill with trees was to his left. His only choice was to hide behind a parked car and pray that we would leave him alone. I was opting for this decision when my other friends came out and decided to harass the naked man. (You know, ask for a form of ID, where they could put their dollar bills, how much he cost for birthdays - those sort of things.)

I would like to say I joined in the fun, but I'm not kidding I was deeply traumatized. First, a freaking naked man had run right in front of me. Second, a naked man had run in front of me. And third, oh yeah the whole naked thing. Eventually, the streaker got fed up with our jokes and ran up the hill towards the main road. Campus police later told us they found him crouching near the Duke Chapel and claimed to be a pledge at UNC.

I'm happy to report that I got over this night, but it definitely took me awhile to walk to my car alone.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kate, I'm Still Here

Breaking up with someone has to be the worst thing in the entire world. I don't care how much you hate the person or how callous you think you might be - break-ups absolutely suck. There's something about telling another person you don't like them that just seems inhumane. I wish there was a button you could press that would either erase the relationship, and therefore, no one would have to remember the painful parting or would eject you to another country with a new identity. I really think someone smart should get working on this button.

Anyway, in all my years of dating I have experienced some interesting break-ups. Some naturally happened because I was caught making out with another guy, others turned into huge blow ups with yelling and tears (lots of snot in my case) and some were just plain "awkward." (You all have been there when the guy starts to cry. Don't get me wrong a man crying is adorable, but also sort of funny. I mean it's a guy. The day before he was probably lifting weights and scratching himself, and now he's whimpering like a little girl. Who doesn't find that little bit funny?)

Anyway....I would have to say, if we are documenting memories, my worst break-up happened when I was a sophomore in high school. We'll call him Ted. Ted and I had "dated" on and off for the year, and right before the summer, I decided it was time for me to move on. Therefore, I called up Ted and asked him to come over. (Heaven forbid I go over to his house to break his heart.) Anyway, after thirty minutes of dancing around the topic, I finally said, "Ted, I'm just not ready to be in a serious relationship. It's nothing you've done. I just need some time alone." Sound familiar? I got the whole thing off Growing Pains. Mike Seaver never disappoints.

Anyway, after I gave Ted the ax, he got up, and without a single argument, walked out the door. Here's where it got bad. After I heard the door close, I ran upstairs to my sister's room and proceeded to dance and sing a song about how happy I was that I had broken up with Ted. I think the chorus went something like, "I'm Free, Free All Summer to Meet Someone else, I'm freeee..." I didn't say it was a good song. Anyway, after two minutes of not only, creating new verses for my song, but interpreting the song through dance, I heard a meek voice say, "Kate, I'm still here." I heard that voice almost 14 years ago, and I swear, I can still hear it. Instantly, my sister and I froze and mouthed something that rhymes with hit. I guess in the course of my celebration, Ted had decided he wanted to fight for our broken relationship and had returned. Yeah, holy hit.

After taking a deep breath I turned the corner and saw Ted looking up at me from the bottom of the stairs with the most crestfallen eyes I had ever seen. Now, I know what you are does one get herself out of this hole? I mean, Growing Pains never covered the topic of how to recover from being a total ass in a botched break-up. I was completely on my own. Therefore, I did what I do best. I apologized, I tried to joke and I took him back. Yeah, I didn't want him as a boyfriend anymore, but I felt like I deserved the torture. Ted, if you are out there, I'm sorry again. And I'm sorry for cheating on you a month later. You really should have walked away.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The One Minute Rule

When I was in Mongolia I learned many important life lessons. For example, I learned how to point to things with my lips (which is probably one of my favorite habits), how to perform a clean farmer's blow, how to walk along ice, how to box out at a local grocery store and how to go #1 in a field. However, as beneficial as these lessons have been I would say the most valuable life lesson I learned, while on the other side of the world, would be: Your body can survive just about any type of food. How did I learn this lesson? Well, here's a little list of the things I ate while in Mongolia:

1. Sheep stomach
2. Horse stomach
3. Camel
4. Cow heart and tongue
5. Jello made from the ground up hoof of a horse and camel
6. Horse fermented milk
7. Cheese made from Camel milk
8. Cheese from Horse milk
9. Fat from all the above animals
10. An entire sheep head (including the tongue, sides of face and brain)

After all this I only got sick once, and I think it was because I ate some old tuna fish that I made. Anyway, I can attest that our bodies are made to survive some crazy things. So, push that "five second rule" to the "one minute rule," save those old paint chips for some fun croutons and hold onto that chunky milk in your refrigerator because, I promise, it's got a few more days in it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

No Thank You PETA

Unlike my sister, I've never been a huge fan of animals. Actually, I would go so far as to say I sort of fear and hate them. Where do these strong feelings come from? Well, let's start in kindergarten when I was chased by a pack of ferocious Dobermans. I'll never forget stepping off the short bus and coming face to face with these creatures. I think I threw my trapper keeper at them and then ran like hell (sorry, there's no other way to describe it) to my neighbor's house. Fortunately, she heard our pounding and opened the door just in time to save us. (Experience One).

Now let's move a year forward to when I was playing with my friend's rabbit. A rabbit...who can hate a rabbit? Well, I do because while my friend was petting the rabbit, it jumped out of her arms and hopped over to me AND THEN BIT ME IN THE FREAKIN' LEG. Yeah, the leg. The rabbit bit my leg. (Experience Two).

Let's move to the horse. While I was horseback riding at my sister-in-law's cabin we came upon a moose. The moose became scared by the horse's presence, which in turn, freaked out the horse, which caused him, while me still on it, to take off in a mad gallop. I have had vivid brushes with death, but nothing compares to holding onto that horse for dear life. (Experience Three)

In Mongolia dogs were actually bred by Satan. Honestly, I don't know if they just eat nails for breakfast or if they are just angry from living in 30 below weather, but I never saw a nice dog. One day while we were out in a Mongolian ghetto a dog starting barking at us from behind a fence. Usually, I would just walk by and ignore the barking, but today I was in a funny mood so I started to talk to the dog. I asked him if he was interested in learning about our church, or if he had heard of the Book of Mormon. To my dismay, he only answered with more barking. I then asked him why he was so angry, and again, more barking. At this point, I gave up the conversation and started to walk away. The dog just continued to growl and bark at us from behind the fence. Eventually, we got to the end of the fence and the dog appeared. (Apparently, it wasn't an enclosed fence.) Now, I guess I had this coming, but this dog wasn't happy to see me. Without a second thought, my companion and I grabbed some rocks and prepared to defend ourselves. Fearlessly, the dog charged us and we took off in a dead sprint. I'll admit I threw one rock, but it didn't matter - these dogs were crazy. Fortunately, the dog came across some garbage and we were able to walk away unscathed. (Experience Four).

So, there you go. My four experiences that have led me to dislike animals. Sorry Elisa.

A Missed Opportunity

Throughout this blog I have sung the praises of my father. I've told of tender moments when his words soothed me, and when his encouragement helped me overcome adversity. I would like to now describe an experience where I thought I was going to disown my father.

When I was a sophomore in high school my boyfriend, Ben, skipped school to enter a contest to win Blues Traveler tickets. These tickets were not for a huge concert, but for a small performance for 200 lucky fans in downtown Philadelphia. The night of the concert, Ben surprised me after practice and announced he had won the contest. In disbelief, I got in his car and we raced to my house so I could change. At the door, my mom met us and exclaimed how exciting it was that Ben had won the tickets. (I don't think she realized he had skipped school, but I appreciated her enthusiasm.)

As I ran upstairs, my dad called and my mom informed him that I was heading down to Philadelphia for a private concert. My dad, usually a pretty low key guy, announced he was coming home immediately and my mom was to stop me from going. I'll never forget running down the stairs, and my mom pulling me aside to tell me my dad was coming home to give the final verdict on my trip to Philly. I couldn't believe my dad was making such a big deal out this concert. My brother, Matt, had been to hundreds of concerts - his first, being U2, which my dad took him to when he was 13 - so I didn't understand the problem.

After five minutes of my mom stalling me, my dad walked into the house and put the fatherly kibosh on the concert. As I stood there, completely devastated, my dad walked into his room to change out of his work clothes. Without thinking, Ben followed him back there and began to plead our case. I don't know what I was more afraid of, missing this amazing concert, or witnessing the death of my high school boyfriend. Within a minute of walking back there, Ben came back looking like he had been slapped in the face and apologetically left.

For the next two days I tried my best to be a typical teenager. I gave the silent treatment, I huffed and puffed around the house and I grunted when I was asked a question. Unfortunately, I'm not wired to be a melodramatic teenager and finally broke my silence.

I'm still mad about not going to that concert. Even now I sort of want to call up my dad and tell him off. Oh well, I guess this experience needed to be documented because it's one of those things I'm not sure I'll ever get over. That, and the fact that Jason chose Molly over Melissa on the The Bachelor.

Monday, April 6, 2009


I always thought it was strange when people older than me could recount exactly where they were when they found out that Kennedy had been shot. And then 9/11 happened, and I understood how an event could leave an indelible imprint in one's mind.

That morning I was working at a local Italian restaurant in downtown Wilmington, Delaware. It was my mom's birthday and I remember thinking it was an unusually beautiful day. While I was butchering another latte and cappuccino, the Snapple guy came in with a new load and asked if I had heard about the Twin Towers in New York? He was usually a jovial guy so I thought he was telling me a joke, so I said, "no." He then told me that two planes had run into the buildings, and no one was sure if it was an accident or an act of terrorism. Again, I thought he was joking. I couldn't comprehend the fact that America had been attacked. As I tried to process what the Snapple guy had told me, my boss came into the restaurant and informed us that the Pentagon had been hit. Immediately, my mind went to my friends in D.C. and New York, and then to my parents, who were in Philadelphia that morning for a doctor's appointment. I wanted them all out of those cities as soon as possible.

For the rest of the morning I became the bearer of bad news. I'll never forget the hot cups of coffee people just left behind as they walked out the door to go home or to call their family and friends. Eventually, the governor shut the city down and I was able to go home. I'll never forget the ominous feeling I felt as I looked up into the sky and wondered if more attacks would come.

When I got home I finally saw the footage for the first time. As I watched the planes fly into the Twin Towers tears rolled down my face. I remember I felt a mixture of sadness for those innocent people, and fear that America's invincibility had come to an end.

9/11 was a day I'll never forget because it was the first time I saw for myself the carnage and sadness terrorism can bring. I only hope and pray that I will never experience another 9/11.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Caged Animal

When I was five years old I somehow got talked into taking ballet and tap with my twin sister. I'm not sure who's idea this was, but it proved to be a total disaster from the very beginning. First, I wasn't exactly the "quiet" little girl who found the classical music and french words enchanting or even interesting. I, instead, was more focused on making faces into the mirror and pulling my leotard down so my underwear didn't cause another uncomfortable wedgie. Secondly, I wasn't exactly the most coordinated kid. Yes, I can throw a ball and run in a straight line, but when someone says jump gracefully across the floor I look more like a lost ape. Thirdly, when it came to tap I was a wild woman. I mean who thought giving an over-active kid shoes that make cool sounds was a good idea? Well, I can tell you it's not. I can still remember sliding my feet into those patent leather shoes and running all over the class like a little firecracker.

Anyway, after two weeks I decided it was time for me to move on. Fortunately, my early retirement was approved by my mom and by my grateful teacher. A few weeks later, I was enrolled into soccer and the rest is history.

I guess this experience sticks out for a few reasons. 1. For the first time I made my own decision about my life. 2. I will never forget the relief in my teacher's face when my mom told her I would be playing soccer instead. 3. It's the only thing I ever quit. Well, golf might becoming my second thing. 4. It's where my sister and I diverged. 5. It's where I developed my kinship with caged animals at zoos.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kenny, You Suck

My favorite picture of Finn.

I've never been a poor loser until I played co-ed intramural basketball in college. Our team was affectionately called the S.O.B's and were undefeated through the regular season. For the final game we were matched up against the creatively named Blue Devils. To this day, I have no idea where they came up with such an original name. Anyway, this crew was a collection of all the basketball managers, who thought just because they had stolen some basketball shorts and handed water to the players, were just a notch down from the scholarship stars that ruled our school. Consequently, we were fired up to take these posers down, who by the way ran plays and different defenses. Oh, if only Coach K could have seen them.

Anyway, the game went back and forth and with five seconds left the biggest poser of them all made a three to win the game. To say I was absolutely devastated would be a gross understatement. There are only a few games in my athletic career that I would like back and this would be one of them.

When we got home my roommate, Finn, and I started to brainstorm ideas of retaliation against the D-Bag who had won the game. We toyed with straight up violence, kidnapping and even toed the line of cutting his brakes. Finally, we decided on something a little less violent, but still satisfying.

In a moment of sheer genius Finn called Duke's information phone line and asked for the number of one Kenny. (The D-Bag's number on campus). After three rings, a guy answered the phone and Finn asked, "Is Kenny there?" In response, the guy said, "Yeah, this is Kenny," to which Finn said, "You suck!" and hung up the phone. This ritual continued for weeks. Sometimes Finn would call. Sometimes I would call and we would never deviate from the script.

Now, I know what you are thinking. One, why did Kenny keep answering his phone? Well, kids this was before cell phones and caller ID. (The world was such a happier place before these inventions.) Two, why didn't Finn and I just let the game go? Well, that's a stupid question and I'm not going to answer it. Three, did Kenny ever find out it was us? The answer would be no, and before you ask your next obvious question, no, I don't feel bad.

So, that's it - my one poor loser moment....and yes, Kenny, YOU STILL SUCK!

Friday, April 3, 2009


I don’t remember the exact year, but at some point when I was a little kid I became aware of natural disasters. It seemed like over night I became terrified that my house would be knocked over by a tornado, or a flash flood would carry me away while I waited at the bus stop. Don’t ask me where these thoughts came from, but at about six or seven I was convinced something bad was going to happen.

I remember one day there was a significant rain storm in my hometown. I remember I ran up to my parents’ room and peered out the window at the tall trees that were violently swaying over my home. Instantly, I became terrified that one of these trees was going to fall down and smash my house into two. As this realization poured over me, I sat down in a tight ball and started to cry. I don’t know if one of my siblings saw me, or if my dad just happened to walk in at that moment, but I’ll never forget how he came over to me and pulled me up onto his lap. As he wiped my tears away, I began to tell him about my fears of natural disasters. I’ll never forget how he wrapped his arms around me and told me that no matter what happened he was going to protect me. I know it sounds over simplified, but at that moment my fears were gone. I love this memory because it’s the one I always think of when someone tells me to describe my dad. Around other people he’s not the most gregarious or demonstrative person, but when you are alone with him there’s truly no one more tender or loving.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Justin The Psycho

What my car looked like, but worse.

Have you ever dated a psycho? I did. I'm not sure how to categorize this experience, but let's put it in the "I wish I had never done that" side.

His name was Justin, and at the moment I can't remember his last name. (He was always known as Justin the psycho.) Anyway, he was a year older than me and for some reason I thought he was a cool guy. It wasn't until he surprised me with a creepy display of pictures he had secretly taken of me that I started to suspect he wasn't completely normal. (I should also note that those secret pictures were not kinky or anything, just me talking to my friends from far away or walking to my car. Creepy right?)

So, a day after prom, yes, I went with him - again, let's categorize this whole year as the year I was on drugs - I broke the news to him that we were over. I thought he handled it pretty well and then one day after my lacrosse game I saw a shattered picture of myself inside my car. (I guess he was hurting more than I thought.)

Anyway, the next day I told him to stay away from me and my car. (I mean, it was a 1990 volvo green station wagon - you don't mess with the Swedish.) Again, I thought he really heard me this time, but he struck again. While I was in Public Speaking class my athletic director, the distinguished black Mr. White, called me down to his office. When I got there he met me at the door and said, "Now, just calm down and follow me outside." Awaiting me, in my school's parking lot, was my beloved car wrapped completely in saran wrap. As I ran to my car I started screaming over and over again, "Show yourself you freaking psycho!" I don't know what I was planning on doing if Justin appeared, but I was by the gym and I was sure I could get my hands on a baseball bat or hockey stick.

Finally, Mr. White was able to calm me down and together we unwrapped my car. The next day I shoved Justin into the student council office, and with the help of my sister, tore him apart. I would like to say he stopped being a complete psycho, but unfortunately, he continued to do weird things. It wasn't until I painted his car fluorescent yellow and threw away his spark plugs did he call a truce. What can I say he pushed me to the edge.

So, as far as life experiences go I would have to say this one taught me that it's not really a good idea to date a psycho. I thought it was, but this experience taught me otherwise.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Please excuse the creepy picture of me. I had just gotten married, taken hours of pictures, eaten a steak and danced. I was a little hyper.

Today, I got a surprise visit from my older brother Jason. Nine years my senior, Jason has always been the perfect older brother. When I was five he taught me that The Who was the greatest rock band of all time. Consequently, before first grade I knew all the words to "I'm a Boy," and had no clue about a song of some stupid tea pot. When I was eight he would take me to the golf course and have me be his caddy. I know it sounds like child labor, but I loved walking the course with my brother. When I was in high school he made sure he saw some of my games when he came home from college, and when I went to Duke he was always up to date on my season. I love all these memories, but one always sticks out.

When I was in high school Jason took me to Zion National Park for the first time. On the way down from Salt Lake we started talking about school and my friends. I'll never forget Jason asking me if my friends drank or used drugs, and if I was ever tempted to join them. I told him that I wasn't tempted to try those things, but I was becoming extremely tired of being different. Jason then said to me, "Kate, make me a promise you will never do those things." At first, I thought he was kidding so I sarcastically nodded my head. He then said again, "Kate, seriously, promise me."

I never forgot that promise I made to my brother. His request stayed with me and rang in my ear whenever I found myself at a crowded party or bar. I'll always be grateful to my brother for introducing me to rock n' roll and allowing me to tag along when I was little. However, I think the greatest impact he had on me was helping me recognize the right path and pushing me to stay on it.