Saturday, March 22, 2008

What My Nephew Said

Jimmy: "Umm.. Aunt.....? I forget your name!"

Me: "Are you serious?"

Jimmy: "Yes. What is your name?"

Me: "Well, I’ll give you a hint: it starts with a K."

Jimmy: "Aunt Karen?"

Me: *stifling laughter because this kid really couldn’t remember my name after spending the last 20 hours at my house* "Nope, that’s not right, but I’ll bet you remember that big guy’s name who just left, huh?"

Jimmy: "Yes, I remember Uncle Jon!"

Me: *calling downstairs to the other nephew* "Hey Brandan? Do you remember my name?!"

Brandan: "Uh DUH!!! KATIE!"

Jimmy: "Ohhh! I can’t believe I forgot Katie!! Aunt Katie? Can I stay the night again sometime?"

Me: "Umm, sure. But do you think you’ll remember staying here in the first place?"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

By the Book

MySpace has fallen incredibly silent in the last couple of months. It almost feels like I’m at a party with a bunch of cool people but we’ve run out of conversation material and now we’re all sitting around the living room staring at each other’s shoes. It’s an uncomfortable silence that I feel compelled break and I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t break it with something boring and common place, so... how about them Cavaliers? I’m stoked about Big Ben Wallace. Are you enjoying this weather? What is left of the melting snow may be dirty and ugly, but I’m loving that I can get around without a stiff winter coat again.

I’ve been in a weird funk for the last few weeks and I think it had a lot to do with the book I was reading. It was Ann Packer’s The Dive From Clausen’s Pier and it was book number 7 for the year, which sounds really bad when my goal is 40 and we’re already 3 months in, but it wasn’t grabbing me, in fact, it kept putting me in a bad mood and I’d walk away from it for days at a time. Why not just give up on it you ask? Well, because I’ve never been able to do that. I force myself to finish a book because no matter how much I loathe it or become bored with it, it’ll irritate me to not know how it ends.

Anyway, the novel actually had a pretty good premise. The main character is forced to do a lot of soul searching when her high school sweetheart turned fiance is paralyzed in a diving accident. At 24-years-old she has to make the choice between her own happiness or the obligation to stay with her fiance whom she had gotten bored with even before the accident. She felt a calling for a more fullfilling life that didn’t involve her mundane hometown or her childhood best friend and so she snuck off to New York City without telling anyone and began to build a new life for herself. And just when she succeeded in this new venture she realized that she wanted her old life back.

I suppose if the book had simply stuck with the storyline I would have been alright, but all of the introspection, the not knowing herself enough to know what she really wanted, the constant search for something to define herself by, it all hit a little too close to home for me. I wanted to reach into the pages or the picture show of characters I had running through my head and slap this girl silly which made me want to slap myself because she and I were a little too much alike. She was probably mentally stronger than me though, because in the end she endured the hatred and disappointment that came with choosing herself.

If I wasn’t married yet and I wasn’t in love with my fiance anymore and he became a quadriplegic I would have stayed out of guilt, out of pity, out of fear of disappointing anyone who knew me, and all the while I would long for a different life. I don’t know if that makes me a good or bad person, but fortunately I’m finished with the book so I won’t have to think about it anymore.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I am mobile again! Just in time to go back to work tomorrow. The snow plow finally came through around 10:00 this morning and buried the end of our driveway again. I was out there for an hour removing the hard, icy snow the city plows left for us and the brick walkway leading to the front door so we at least have a chance of getting mail tomorrow. After 2 days of being couped up inside I think I'm more than ready to go back to work.

The final total: 15 inches with snow drifts up to 3 feet.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snowed In

Where to begin? Well, I went to see Wicked on Tuesday night and it was absolutely amazing. It gave me goosebumps. I loved everything about it; the music, the voices, the writing, the stage designs, I couldn't think of a way to make it any better especially not when the ticket was FREE. I got a hell of a deal on that one. The only problem with the entire night was the fact that I had to drive through the worst ice storm I have ever seen in order to get there. Five lanes on Interstate 71 North and it was me and one other motorist forcing our way through the 2 inches of ice/slush as freezing rain pelted our cars like bullets from every direction. Down to less than half the speed limit it took an hour to drive the 20 or so miles from Strongsville into Downtown Cleveland, but aside from large icicles dropping from bridges and light posts, I was pretty confident--slow and steady is the only way to do it. I walked in the doors of Playhouse Square just in time to see the large chandelier lights flashing their final warning to get into the theater and find your seats or the show will start without you. I obliged for the next 3 hours.

Wednesday, Thursday, and even parts of Friday went by in a blur of snow, sun and chaos at work. Tuesday night's ice storm turned into snow but the sun, however cold, was shining bright enough for the ice covered trees to sparkle like crystals in its rays. It had all melted by Thursday night, just as the news for the next storm hit the airwaves. And it's not like I didn't believe we could get as much snow as they were threatening, but for whatever reason I didn't think it would be as big a deal as it has turned out to be. There is a snow drift against the back door that is up to my knees. My low-riding four door Ford Focus with its racing tires aren't getting anywhere in this crap. Jon and I have already shoveled the driveway but you can't tell, and it doesn't really matter because no matter how hard we tried we couldn't muster up the energy to shovel our way out to the main roads. According to the city plans to be able to begin plowing the residential roads by Sunday morning. In other words, I'll be hunkering down inside the house for the weekend. It doesn't appear that I have any other choice.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

At The Polls

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Two supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, holding campaign signs aloft, were attacked while standing near the intersection of Summit and East Market streets about 5:30 Monday evening.

One person's response to the article:
"Hillary 2008"

Might as well have been carrying signs that read:


I've got nothing personal against Clinton supporters but that comment made me laugh out loud.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Wicked Deal

A friend called around 9:30 tonight to offer me a free ticket to see Wicked at Playhouse Square tomorrow night. After an O.K. day and a crappy evening, this was a very exciting and much needed pick-me-up.

In Like a Lion

I swear I can smell spring in the air. The sun is shining and the bright beams feel warm on my face. The icicles in my blood stream are finally starting to melt.

I might just cry if I have to see another snowflake in the next 8 months.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Some People Have Real Problems

About a month ago I got the idea that if my house were better organized then I could get a better grip on my thoughts, sort of like break the chaos in my living quarters and in turn break the chaos in my head too. I don't know. It sounded like a bright idea at the time. Jon thought I was crazy as usual, and perhaps I am a bit stir crazy from living a very sheltered life during these winter months, but I figured I had to try something before my mind broke permanently.

It all started with the office where I pulled old computer parts, winter gloves and hats, boxes of wedding memorabilia, unpaired shoes, and many other pieces of non-office paraphernalia out of the large walk-in closet. It was so much crap that after placing it all about the room I was left with only a small walkway leading out the door and it was all stuff I didn't have the slightest idea what to do with. It was blatantly obvious that this closet had become a catch all area. I ended up sorting through what I could, tossing what I thought would be safe, and shoving a few things back into the closet just so I could get to the computer as well as into the hallway. It was a shoddy job and I knew it, but I couldn't bare to face it anymore so after 5 hours of work/staring off into space it became the catch all closet yet again.

The next day I was overwhelmed by the feeling of having too much junk and clutter scattered about the entire house so I pulled all of the knickknacks from the shelves, took down artwork from the walls, pulled every decorative accessory I own out of storage, and laid it all out on the floor of the spare bedroom. The 9 foot by 11 foot floor was covered in photo frames, vases, and tealight holders, and the rest of the house looked as if we had just moved in. It was another idea that seemed ingenious at the time. I thought if I put it all out in front of me at once, organized it by item, I could divide it into piles of what I wanted to keep, what to give away, and what to throw away, but what actually ended up happening was a different story; I took one look at all of the junk, turned off the light, and closed the door.

A few days later I moved on to a coat closet where I found sidewalk salt, a broom and dust pan, food platters, and a variety of disposable picnic utensils--not a coat in sight. This time I actually put forth some effort and transformed the "coat closet" into a broom closet with shelves of cleaning supplies and other inedible household items. It was a success, but it was by far the smallest and least time consuming thing I dove into.

As the month progressed and my husband became more and more uneasy with the empty walls I gradually redecorated using what I had and in about three weeks time we both felt at home again, but the pile of clutter continued to sit in the spare bedroom until around 8:00 last night when I decided it was time to reclaim the space. Rather than throwing away most of it I ended up purchasing Rubbermaid tubs from Target and organizing it by purpose; wedding, vases, candles, things from Jon's childhood he just can't part with. Almost everything from the spare bedroom and the office finally has a place, or at least the beginnings of one.

This whole month long, very embarrassing episode had me wondering if maybe I've been living undiagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, so I decided to search the internets for some answers. (Actually, it went a little something like this: walk away from organizing, Google A.D.D., find article, begin writing post, walk away from post, heat up dinner, eat dinner, come back to article, run out to the store, begin rewriting post.) Anyway, this is an A.D.D. related article I found that describes me to a T, except for the three kids, of course:

Sara is quiet 40-year old woman with three kids. As a child she got average grades and was not a discipline problem. Her imagination was so vivid that she daydreamed a lot and had trouble focusing on the teacher, and she was harassed by her parents for being so far away and "in the clouds". Her entire life has been marked by disorganization and procrastination. Her IQ is 152 but she feels stupid. She loves her family but is overwhelmed by the daily routine. Sara has the rarest MBTI temperament: INFP. This temperament is associated with the best writers in history and is said to have the "soul of an artist". She naturally focuses on her inner world and is inspired by imagination. Unfortunately, this perfectly natural temperament trait has caused her to feel different from others and to be looked down upon. She has been unable to find her niche, and she suffers from anxiety and depression, both of which cause an inability to concentrate and mental fogginess. She is also a perfectionist, a trait associated with giftedness, which is one reason she cannot seem to get started on the many artistic projects she dreams up in her head. Her natural tendency to think divergently causes her to be disorganized and her house is always a mess. She has a strong tendency to blame herself and to try and meet everyone else's expectations, which is one reason she is so depressed. Her depression makes it even more difficult to accomplish anything, so a vicious downward cycle has left her feeling completely overwhelmed and worthless.

I would like to meet Sara. I think she and I could have a lot of half-intelligent, half-spacey conversations, but I don't want to still feel and act this way when I'm 40.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Twenty Six

Today is the first day all week that I haven't had any real plans. If the snow sticks around for a few hours I'd like to build a snowman and maybe go sled riding but part of me is also liking the idea of being lazy and spending the day catching up on that goal of reading 40 books this year. I stalled out at 8 books a couple of weeks ago and haven't picked up another one. If I can just keep an average of one book a week I'll be okay.

My birthday was on Thursday. I'm 26 and still not feeling old. This is credited partly to always feeling like a teenager mentally anyway, and partly to being the youngest person by 2 years in my small group of friends. My original plan was to stop counting after 25 but I've decided I can let it ride until I'm 28, after that I'll have my 28 Again birthday, and then my 28 Again Again birthday and we'll go from there. I think it'll work.

Anyway, 26 was a good birthday. For the first time in 12 years I celebrated it with my childhood best friend, Melissa. We met up for lunch. Some of you probably remember this post I wrote last year about not knowing where she was, but in true Katie and Melissa fashion her spidey sense told her I was looking for her and she found me less than two weeks after writing that post. We still haven't done that great a job of keeping in touch on a regular basis but we do have working phone numbers for each other and we get together every few months or on special occasions, usually meeting half way between Akron and Canton. And when she walked in to Applebee's with a bouquet of colorful birthday balloons, her golden highlighted hair invincible to the cold and windy day outside, and heels I'd be too afraid to wear even in dry, non-icy conditions, it was like nothing had changed except our parents didn't have to drive us there. She handed me a card that was scrawled with the same, loopy handwriting "It's about time you turned 26!" continuing the joke that was started on my 10th birthday because she had to wait 5 months before I caught up to her age. I handed her a copy of the cassette tape we made when we were 11 titled Best Friends of '93 that I found while clearing out my parents old house. The tape was the epitome of what we were at that age; lots of giggling about boys we had crushes on, crude humor, and many episodes of our version of Life of the Rich and Famous in which she would interview me acting as Paula Abdul, or I interviewing her pretending to be Madonna. We started everything with a time and date, so in a way it's also like our joint journal, a record of the good ole days when all that mattered was our friendship and whether or not the boy who sat 2 desks over noticed how cute we looked that day.

Back in the present, Jon and I, and a group of 8 of our current nearest and dearest friends went out to Crave last night to celebrate my birthday. I had an Angel Food Cake martini that was quite tasty but not exactly worth the $8 I paid for it. We left feeling extremely happy and full, but a little guilty for spending $80 on our meal, but it was 2 drinks, 2 appetizers, and 2 entrees and my birthday, so we got over it pretty quickly.