Monday, June 26, 2006

An Overactive Imagination

I found this in one of my old journal entries from July 31, 1999 and got a kick out of it:

Big mistake. I went to see The Blair Witch Project at the movie theater which was something I had been anticipating since the first time I had seen the previews for it. I can honestly say that I don't think I ever want to the see this movie again. It's the scariest movie I've ever seen and it's the first movie that has both made me feel so uncomfortable that I actually wanted to leave the theater, and had the power to keep me up until 5:00 in the morning with it replaying continuously through my mind. One scene just never goes away.

I realize now that I am the only person alive who believes that this movie is scary. To this day I have not seen it again. In fact, since it has been out on DVD I have owned it twice but never found the courage to watch it. I thought if I could just get myself to see it one more time I could find the humor in it that everyone else does. No luck.

The "one scene that never goes away" was the shot in the basement which just so happened to resemble my parent's basement. I had a tough time doing my laundry the following few months. I was convinced I would turn around to find a man with his face shoved into the corner.

The reason I find this so funny is because to this day when I am invited to see a horror film I have to say, "No, thanks. Te Blair Witch Project did me in. I don't watch horror films anymore."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Love Thy Little Sister

My sister called this afternoon to announce that she misses me and wanted to get together. We decided to take the drive up to East Cleveland and have dinner at BD's Mongolian BBQ. We made plans with my brother to meet us up there after work. For your normal person this would not be a big deal, right? Going out to dinner with your husband and a couple of your siblings, having great food and more than a few good laughs? No, not an odd arrangement for most people, but for me it's quite surreal.

My brother and I have always gotten along extremely well but my sister is 5 years younger than me and there was a time when our entire family feared that one day we would kill each other. We fought like cats and dogs. She knew the exact buttons to push and I knew the words that would hurt her the most, and she would push those buttons and I would say those words without feeling remorse. Looking back on it now I can see that all she was trying to do was be my friend. I think she has also come to the realization that I was not an entirely balanced teenager. At that time I had so many mental complications in my life and the only way I knew how to deal with her neediness was to push her away. I honestly don't think I was quite all there. I was working so hard to find something good in this world to stick around for that I didn't see the obvious answer.. my family. I don't remember when it finally hit me that everything that I needed to be happy had been surrounding me the entire time. All I know is that when I finally realized this my sister and I became great friends.

Since then I have apologized to her profusely for not being there when she needed me the most. Now that I am mature enough and sane enough to look back on some of the problems that she had to deal with in those days I feel incredibly lucky that she is even on speaking terms with me.

Her last assignment before graduating from high school earlier this month was to write an autobiography of her life up to this point. She did this using her poetry, pictures, and a few paragraphs. I was shocked and near tears when I turned to chapter 2 titled "My Hero" and found a photo collage of myself. She wrote about our arguing but said through it all she wanted to be just like her big sister. She wrote about the troubles I went through just to graduate from high school and said she was proud of me for being able to pick myself up and become successful in life. My personal favorite was her description of me "breaking out of my shell" to reveal this great person who has inspired her to become who she is today.

While I feel completely unworthy I am still honored. This was a very sweet thing for her to do. I'm just surprised that I was able to influence her this much. I'm also a little scared that I was able to influence her this much.

Mental note: Try to pay more attention to the things that you do and say around other people. It might just come back to slap you in the face one of these days.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Turn Around, Don't Drown!

You could still see the signs of flooding that last night’s storm brought through on my drive into work this morning. Most of the roads that resembled lakes last night now revealed the amount of debris that had been dragged in with the rush of water. Tree stumps, leaves and a whole lot of garbage were strewn about the streets. It didn’t take much effort to make out the lines where water sat through most of the evening and finally receded in the morning.

It was around 5:00 last night, while I was waiting at a red light, that the radio station jumped from Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” to this:

**beep beep**
“The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a flood warning in Medina County. A flood warning is imminent or has been reported along streams, creeks, and rivers in the area. All interested parties should take necessary precautions immediately. Never attempt to drive through or walk across a flooded area. The water may be deeper than you think. Turn around… don’t drown!

It didn’t take long to sink in that I had no other choice but to travel right through Medina County to get home! I’d used my last fifty cents to get a Diet Coke from the vending machines, which eliminated the Ohio Turnpike as an option. I thought, “Oh well. How bad could it really be, right?”

Wrong. It was a mess. Luckily, I was ahead of the storm for most of the drive down I-71, but my windshield wipers and I were still battling very heavy amounts of rain and we were beginning to taste defeat.

A lot of hydroplaning and prayers later I was headed for the off-ramp to Rte 18. I found refuge behind a truck labeled “Area Wide Safety” with tall, orange cones in the back and a driver who seemed to be experienced with this pretend-your-car-is-a-boat way of driving. I prepared myself for the roller coaster roads of rural Ohio that would lead me back to Summit County where there wasn’t a flood warning. I had envisioned dry roads and bright rays of sunshine once I crossed the border at Medina Line Road. Raining? In Summit County? No… it’s Medina with the flood warning.

I followed the Area Wide Safety truck, my new best friend, for six miles up and over the hills, down through the newly formed rivers, right up to Medina Line Road where, just as quickly as he had taken me under his wing, he abandoned me to speed through a yellow light. I sat at the intersection marking the border of the two counties, companionless, and finally realizing that the roads of my hometown looked no better than what I had just been driving through. Apparently, Mr. Area Wide Safety truck had let the storm catch up to us and then deserted me.

I did some more hydroplaning, thought I might lose control, and emerged from the country roads victorious. Once I left the country behind and entered the city I began to feel more confident. I reached the mall and continued on my way home, being cautious of any dark looking water on the roads because I had learned this usually means there is a lot of it. I was concentrating so hard on spotting the road ponds, in fact, that I didn’t realize just how bad traffic was ahead until I was there.

Police cars and Hummers had most of the streets blocked off. I thought I was okay when I saw all of the traffic from the area was being directed down the park road I take everyday, but when I finally turned onto the road I saw the destruction that this storm had brought. I spotted the abandoned Volkswagen Jetta in the middle of the road with water up to the headlights and then I really saw what was ahead. The line of traffic that I put myself in was driving through what appeared to be a lake and as they slowly pushed themselves through, giant waves would make their car disappear until they resurfaced on the other side! I wasn’t so sure my little Ford Focus could make it through there. All I could think to myself was “Turn around… don’t drown! Turn around… don’t drown!”

I whipped my car into the only above water parking lot I could see before I reached the stream and sat there contemplating how I would get home. You see, I live in the middle of a Metro Park and all of these roads that they had closed take you right through that park. At the moment I couldn’t think of a way to get from here to there. I was convinced I was going to have to sit, illegally, in this company’s parking lot, watching everyone else as they drive through the flood while talking on a cell phone, until the downpour stopped and the water receded. I was almost defeated when I realized I did have another option, which was to turn around and go back the way I came to the main city streets. Provided that I didn’t run into any more closed roads it just might work.

After exchanging horror stories about the flooding with Jon and nearly an hour later, I made it home. I pulled into my garage, which was the obvious victim of a street flood surge, and got out of the car. I opened the door to the laundry room and led Jack outside. We walked out the back door and took in the continuous puddle that was my back yard. I looked down at Jack who cocked his head to the side and gave me a look that said, "You've got to be kidding me, right?"

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh, dear Lord. Help me.

Jon, to my parents on Father's Day: "Hopefully next year I'll be a father!"

My mom, laughing: "Have you talked to Katie about this?"

Jon, to me: "You haven't told your parents we've been trying for 6 months now?"

Me: Speechless and wide-eyed.

My mom: Speechless and wide-eyed.

Me, trying to regain some composure: "Well, it's not that we're really trying so much as not preventing. You know, we're letting it happening when it's supposed to."

Jon: "Right! It's not like we're trying every night or anything!"

Me: Hiding my face and snickering.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This Is Me Out Of Kilter

My alarm starts screaming at me around 6:00 every morning, and as ashamed as I am to admit it, I am a snooze button enthusiast. I've always wanted to be one of those people who are fortunate enough to have an internal alarm. I want to be the kind of person who wakes up before the blasted machinery starts belting lyrics at you or before the traffic announcers warn you about the accident on I-480 causing a 5 mile back-up. Alas, I am not so lucky.

The alarm goes off again at 6:30 and I hit the snooze button, 6:45 and I hit the snooze again. It's around 7:00 that my dog, Jack, will jump onto the bed, place is front paws on my back, and wag is tail causing his little body to go into convulsions. I think this is his way of saying "C'mon, wake up! I gotta pee!" I throw the covers off of me, turn the alarm off, and drag my feet to the back door. Jack follows behind happily.

When we come back inside I scoop some food into Jack's bowl while he immediately takes off for the bedroom to cuddle up to a still sleeping Jon. This is the only time during the day when I resent having gotten a dog--like I needed yet another reminder that I should be warm and cozy, cuddling up to a still sleeping Jon.

While getting over my jealousy I begin rummaging through my drawers and closet for something to wear. I grab a pair of jeans, tank top, and button-up blouse and head for the shower. I quickly lather, rinse, hop out, towel dry, and get dressed. I'll check the clock and of course I'm running late so it's time to pick up the pace. I head back into the bathroom and brush my teeth, spit twice, and start combing through my hair. I spritz on a little hair gel, give it a couple of good scrunches, and then pull out the makeup bag. I've never been one for wearing a lot of makeup so I swoosh a powder brush over my nose, forehead, and chin in a failed attempt to cover up my freckles. I dab on some mascara and cherry lip smackers, shove two hair barrettes into my pocket and I'm done.

I head into the bedroom, shake Jon awake and kiss him goodbye. I grab two bottles of water, my tote, and slip my feet into a pair of sandals. At 7:40 I am walking out the door.

If any of these events happen out of sequence my entire day is thrown out of whack resulting in a moping, irritable, and dismal self--much like I was today.

I abruptly woke up to realize that I was the only one in bed. It took a few minutes to register, but I eventually remembered that Jon had an early meeting. I vaguely remembered him waking me up and saying something about my library card, but I quickly dismissed it as dream. I threw the covers off of me and began wandering around the house just to make sure he had actually gone, and he had. Kudos for him, but I was weirded out.

As a result I was a little too horn happy during my morning commute. The man in the Audi playing with his PDA at the green light that will only let four cars through, HONK! The three cars that decided to run a red light while I was just edging into the intersection, HONK! The Honda full of teenagers that looked me in the eye and decided to pull out in front of me anyway, HONK! HONK! HONK!

Luckily, myself and everyone who had to face the wrath of my horn made it through our encounter safely, but I wasn't so sure this was going to be possible.

I learned today that when a car full of kids nearly ten years younger than I am flips me off, I do not take it lightly.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006



My name is Katie. I live in Akron, Ohio with my husband Jon, our infant son Owen, and 2 dogs; Jack, a three-year-old Dachshund mix, and Macy, an ageless Cocker Spaniel we rescued from a local shelter. They're all very lovable and just a little crazy. I fit right in.

In addition to writing about myself on the internet I find myself reading a lot of YA literature, watching too much reality television, and writing unsent love letters to musicians, corporate conglomerates, and inanimate objects. I also enjoy studying nutrition, practicing yoga, and taking long walks in the evening with the dogs.

I started writing online sometime in January 1997. Back then they were called "Personal Homepages". I was a sad and hopeless high school student who never expected to live a normal life, but thanks to graduating from high school and dumping the antidepressants, I think I've come as close to normal as I'll ever get. The one thing about me you can be sure of is that no amount of money in the world could tempt me to live through high school again. Teenage girls are vicious.