Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring Rules

Last week was the first day of spring, Hurrah…birds are chirping, sun is shining, flowers are blooming, grass is greening…Wait, that’s in my dreams…that’s not where I live.

When you live in the Northeast, spring does not come on March 20th…that date is very optimistic. Hello, it could be almost June. We used to live in Syracuse, NY…where March is the dead of winter. I remember one year it snowed on Mother’s Day…we’re talking inches. (And this is no fish tale.) We were sitting in church when it began snowing. I started wondering if God was messing with our heads…thou shalt endure more days of white've only had 100 inches...get shoveling.

Supposedly there are rules about when to wear white again…maybe after Easter…or is it Memorial Day…or could it be the third Tuesday after a full moon? Whatever. Who decides this? The fashion people…the ones that have unrealistic looking people wearing unrealistic clothing?

There is one rule around the official date of spring that I insist on: Put your damn holiday decorations away. I saw a huge infraction the other day. (For those of you who don’t know…I am the self-appointed decorations police.) I noticed a log cabin house with 3 wreaths with red bows. Come on people… The holidays were 3 months ago. Just because their home is rustic and in the woods, doesn’t let them break the rule. Kat’s rule: No holiday decorations after March 20th. (And I’m giving lots of wiggle room here ‘cause I’m so darn accommodating.)

If I spy holiday decorations on your house and it is March 20th, I am free to think… that you are either terribly lazy, or you are unconscious. I am also free to give you a ticket….

Finally, the calendar says it is spring! As I glance out my window, I see the snow is melting. Good. Wait, what is that in our front yard? Are those the 3 spot lights we used to shine on our house during Christmas? Umm…

Okay Kat’s new rule: Get your decorations down…whenever you darn well please.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Look? Don't Look?

If you heard screaming around 8 pm last night, that was Brianna and me…it’s SAT results time, boys and girls, and things can get pretty dramatic! After getting “the call” from her friend, Brianna ran down the stairs yelling… “My SAT scores have been posted!”

We tried to remain calm, but started screaming. We were jumping up and down. With just a strike of the Enter key, Bri’s scores would flash right before our faces…kinda like seeing your life flash before you, before you hit the floor. “Should we look? Naw…let’s not. Oh, come on …why not? The scores are what they are…might as well know the number you will be wearing on your forehead.”

We huddled over the computer…staring at it…like it was a crystal ball. Or that Magic-8 ball you shake for all the answers. (Question: Will I go to college?) (Answer: Ask again later.) (Question: Why is it always, Ask again later?) (Answer: Ask again later.) “Should we look at the scores? Why not? After all, we are Thelma and Louise…we are brave. we go. Wait, what was that darn username and password?”…

We covered our eyes with our hands…both of us yelling... “aahhhhh.” Thelma hit the Enter key (or was that Louise?) and we looked… “OMG there they are.” Thelma and Louise hugged. Wishy bones is going to college…just like we always knew.

So next comes all the other college stuff…the application…and which schools are safety schools and which schools are reach schools. We already know that Yale is safely out of reach…but there are other schools that are safely reachable. (Besides at Yale you have to wear a big blue and white sweater, smoke a pipe, and talk with clenched teeth...which really isn’t Wishy’s style)

I remember getting my SAT scores in the mail….either way they arrive….. the anxiousness, the nerves, the rush of adrenaline, the quickened heart beat….that all never changes.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why Share?

Do you mind sharing your food or splitting an entre? Uh, sharing is not for me. Especially not something sweet. The other day, PaulA mentioned getting ice cream and sharing it…between himself, Bri and Me. I was all for the ice cream….but share…Ha. Maybe a half-gallon, but not a cup! So Bri piped up and said, “Share, is not one of mom’s favorite words.” True, but not entirely.

I think I share a lot of things. I share a lot of myself….take this blog for instance. I share with the rest of blogworld how inept I can be. I share my time with my family and friends. I share my feelings…and I share my red SL550 Mercedes Roadster convertible with tan leather seats (wait, I don’t have one.) But when it comes to my food – forget it. Don’t think about sticking your fork on my plate, or worse…your spoon into my ice cream.

Restaurants usually don’t encourage sharing…and neither do I. I have to admit though, sharing does sound really sweet…very couplely, very cutesy, very romantic. But hey...again, not for me.

I just never realized my kids noticed my non-sharing tendencies!! When my kids were little, I always encouraged them to share with each other and with others. I guess I should practice what I preach. Okay, I think I will give it a try…

Next time I have a plate of lima beans…you are invited over to my plate and bring your largest fork….a pitch fork would be fine.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

U2 Should Be So Lucky

U2 was in town and sold out, but PaulA and I decided to go anyway and buy tickets off a scalper. Let’s just say…we got ourselves a haircut. (huh?) PaulA’s plan was to deal with the scalper alone…without his wife standing next to him. For some reason, he thought he could get a better price…but he just couldn’t shake me. Here’s the scenario:

We head toward the venue and hear a guy whisper, “ need tickets?” The guy opens his long overcoat and has tickets stashed in his pockets. All are ridiculously overpriced…so I reluctantly agree with PaulA to take the general admission tickets on the floor. I won't stand an entire show for just any band…but for U2, I could do that.

We get in line before the doors open and we’re hungry. So PaulA says he’ll run over to a little sandwich shop and get a sandwich for us to split while we wait in line. He comes back with...a huge, messy tuna fish sandwich. Tuna?? Are you crazy, PaulA? With PaulA’s first bite, tuna slops to the floor and kisses Paul’s shirt on the way down. Nice choice PaulA. The people around us won’t appreciate the stinkin’ tuna on the floor, the stinkin’ tuna on your shirt, and the stinkin’ tuna on our breath.

Finally, the line begins to move and we get down the stairs where they take our tickets to scan the bar code. The machine reads our tickets and makes no sound – NOTHING. Nada. No…Welcome….Come on in, PaulA and Kat. More like…PaulA and Kat - You Posers…You have bogus tickets. I was suddenly thinking of that shaddy guy and pictured him laughing as he was counting his money and twirling his moustache. We’re not sure what to say or do …so we stand there with blank faces. They eventually let us go…we are general admission anyway and don’t need seats. (Good thing I was so agreeable about standing.)

The next checkpoint in line…they are counting people. They stop PaulA and ask, “Anyone with you?” He points to me and they say, “The two of you; step out of the line.” Geez PaulA, you’re going to throw your wife under the bus with you …thanks a lot! Then they motion for us to go through a different doorway. Okay, that’s it…they’re showing us the door…any second we are out in the cold. (And I will hunt that guy down.)

We go through the designated doorway and realize that we are still inside…Whew. In fact, we are inside the ellipse shape that U2 makes with their stage. We find out it’s a lottery thing and some of the general admission people are randomly chosen for inside the ellipse. We could not be happier with that shady guy, than at this moment.

When the lights come on…we are the luckiest U2 fans ever. U2 is standing directly in front of us. We are right by the stage… up-front, up-close and in their faces. In fact, we are so close I am worried that Bono might smell the stinkin’ tuna on our breath.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Are You My Mother?

I heard PaulA say to Duncandog, “Go see your mother, she’ll let you out.” I yelled from the other room, “I am not Duncan’s mother. I did not birth him.” (Since when did I birth a 4-legged animal? I’ve birthed 3 two-legged animals and that makes 6 legs…I think that is enough.)

First, I must say, “I love my dog.” Second, I must say, “I am not a love-my-dog-like-crazy” owner. You would not hear me say, “Come to mommy, my little puppy.” There are a lot of people who seem to love their dogs or pets more than their own family. I would not put myself in that category. I am a reasonable level-headed dog owner. Duncan is as cute as a dog could be…that is why he is still around.

The other day I was at lunch with some friends who all own dogs. I would put them in the love-my-dog-like-crazy category. After numerous cutesy dog stories, I piped up, “How long do dogs live anyway? Duncan is 10 ½…how many more years do I have to put up with him?” They all looked at me…“What…Is it something I said?”

Don’t get me wrong, the minute Duncandog ever became ill or missing, I would cry like a baby, but he is totally my responsibility. Our 3 kids that begged and begged, like the dog they wanted, are MIA when it comes to anything to do with him. It is yours truly who makes sure he is fed, groomed, bathed, let out, played with, talked to, given shots. I am always there for him…he can count on me…I take care of him.

Wait, (birthing aside) I guess I am his mother. “Come to Mother, Duncandog.”

Monday, March 24, 2008

Light Reading

This morning, like every morning, I went out the front door to search for my newspaper. This isn’t always easy…the paper boy likes to play hide and seek with it. Found it…in the crusty dirty snow bank by my mailbox. (Note to self: cut that kid’s tip) I was looking forward to having my coffee…and reading about the latest politician shenanigans. The news these days reads more like a smutty book. (Bring it on Baby!) I picked up the paper and noticed something odd. It shrunk in width…it got skinny.

It seems every where you turn there is someone or something getting skinny. Skinny actresses, skinny ice cream, skinny lattes…. Take Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton for instance. It seems that not only skinny actresses are in…but skinny newspapers are too. Our newspapers have gotten size conscious…no more bulk.

Because circulation of newspapers are shrinking…(thanks to the internet)…papers are shrinking in size. By trimming the paper, they are trimming the fat out of their expenses. So they pinched an inch from our newspaper. Hey, that’s a lot….Think about an inch off your waistline or inner thigh…too bad losing weight isn’t so easy.

I never thought of my newspaper as over-sized…as fat-assed…sometimes we are the last to know. I kinda like spreading it out on the counter. With a meatier paper…there is a little more to hold on to…more to spread. I hope now the paper doesn’t end up with an eating disorder…and totally waste away. That would be very sad.

Will having a narrower paper reduce the amount of information we are fed? Hopefully it will reduce the advertising…but I think not. I think they’re trying to feed us the line… “Less is more.” (They are walking a thin line here.) That’s okay…just as long as they don’t shrink it too much and start printing it on toilet paper squares…although sometimes the stuff in print is best for the toilet. I guess it could be very handy….read and wipe. There I go with bathroom humor. (very sorry)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy getting the skinny from your skinny newspapers while drinking your skinny lattes….just don’t think I am gonna get skinny…because my paper did.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma

Daisy is 93 today… Just the mention of my grandmother’s name would want to make you smile…visions of sunny days with meadows full of open faced flowers.

Believe me, Daisy is the sharpest tool in the proverbial family toolbox. She has done crossword puzzles her whole life and is a whiz bang at Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. “Keen and Active Minds for $100, please…Alex.” My grandmother has always emphasized learning and the importance of education. She reads novels and stays up with current events. She loves to watch sports on TV… basketball, golf, tennis, football…and can tell you …the Celtics put an end to the Rocket's streak.

I remember the first time I knew my grandmother was da-bomb diggity fo sho. My grandfather had died years earlier and she was selling their camp, a converted electric building on a waterfall in Vermont. Anyway, I was with her that day and we were taking a trip to the camp in her dark green Thunderbird. It was the coolest car and darn fast…which is exactly the way she drove it. I think she was going 100 mph when a cop pulled us over…I remembered snickering to myself as the cop wrote up a ticket…thinking, “Yep, grandma is quite the ticket.”

This past fall I visited my grandmother in Florida and saw what a ticket she still is. Couldn’t beat her at Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune...she’s way too good. She still has a love for learning new things and I would say I have learned from her. She is very tolerant of people and situations…she sees the good side of things. Maybe that is something that happens with age…when we get older, we get mellower. But I think I learned, why not be that way now. I also learned that she is a "Dancing with the Stars" fan!

Someday I hope to be like my grandmother…so MY grandkids will say... “Granny is one hot ticket fo sho!!!”

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Eye Of The Tiger

Tiger fans live here. Tiger actually makes the game of golf exciting…and you know how exciting watching golf on TV can be. Tiger Woods is the best of the best…a regular Clutch Cargo. Did you see his win last Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida? It came down to the last hole and he had to birdie the hole to win…he was tied at 9 under with Bart Bryant.

Who is Bart Bryant you ask? He might as well be Bart Simpson. Bryant would have had a play-off situation if he was up against anyone else…but he was playing Tiger. In order for Tiger to birdie; he had to hit a great drive, an iron in a gusty wind that had just kicked up, and sink a 25-foot sweeping, breaking putt…and so he did. Now, no one will know ole Bart …Tiger has a way of doing that to people.

If you were a betting man…or woman…you would have to bet on Tiger. It didn’t matter that he hadn’t made a putt longer than 18 feet all week. You would have to know that when it counts…he does it. He is clutch. He is amazing. He is Tiger. And like all tigers, they stake out their territory…this was gonna be Tiger’s hole.

I got to thinking that Tiger’s Dad gave him the right name…how did he know all those years ago that his son would have the eyes of a tiger when staring down a putt? Thank goodness he didn’t name him Bubba (although Bubba Watson can crush a ball!) If you had to put your money on a Bubba or a Tiger …now who would you pick?

Tiger has 5 consecutive PGA tournaments in a row…He’s got his eye on this week’s tournament at Doral (and another eye on the Master’s next month.) Will he make it six? It will be fun to watch.…go Tiger go.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Novel Idea

Can you imagine cranking out book after book, year after year? It’s one thing to crank out mindless katOUTblogs but to write prolifically and have your books climb the Best Seller List.

That’s the case with 2 authors…John Grisham and Danielle Steel. While logging some serious pool time in Las Vegas, I took a look around at what people were reading. To the right of me… “The Client” by J. Grisham and to the left… “Sisters” by Danielle Steel. What was I reading? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, written in the early 1800s…get with the program Kat.

Grisham has a formula for his writing machine…and he’s sticking to it. There is always a lawyer in trouble, conflict ensues and BANG…another Grisham novel. I’m not sure how readers are supposed to keep track of what books they’ve read...they all start with “The.” Have you seen a list of his books? The Broker, The Last Juror, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Chamber, The Client, The Rainmaker, The Firm…and on and on. I am expecting his follow-ups to be: The Same, The Clone, The Carbon Copy, The Double, The Identical, The Unchanged….

As for Danielle Steele, I can’t say I’ve read her books but obviously a lot of people do. Actually if you knew anything about her life…you could figure out where she gets her material. Check it out: Steel married her second husband in a jailhouse ceremony who was later convicted of a series of rapes. Steel married her third, heroin-addicted, husband the day after her divorce from her second husband was final, while she was 8 ½ months pregnant. This marriage ended within two years and Steel married for the fourth time. They each previously had a child and had 5 children together. Then Steel married for a fifth time, lasting less than 2 years…(kudos googleGUY) The heroines in Steel’s stories are always confronted with an emotionally crippling tragedy and later find love.

Maybe the two authors could get together and write the ultimate mysterious romance novel. Here’s an idea: a young woman lawyer, pursued by a G-man who was her ex-lover, mysteriously disappears... she later reunites with her first true love. Together Grisham and Steel could rule the book world.

I’m not saying, they don’t know what they are doing…’cause obviously they do… And I’m not saying, I could do what they are doing….’cause obviously I can’t. I guess I’m saying …I’m obviously jealous. So until I get a formula on how to write a book…….I’ll just pester people with my blog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Let's Face It

Let’s Face it …Eliot Spitzer is the hottest topic in blogworld…you couldn’t write a juicier story than the Spitzer scenario unless you were Danielle Steel or maybe Shakespeare…sometimes I confuse their bodies of work. The rise and fall of Spitzer could easily be compared to a Shakespearean tragedy…sadly written and played by Spitzer himself. The 2 faces of Eliot Spitzer…

Speaking of Faces…you can tell a lot by them. During the news conferences, I couldn’t take my eyes off his wife, Silda’s Face “standing by” the man who had betrayed her. Even through her stoic Facial expression you could see her pain. One reporter remarked on how much her Face had aged in a couple of days…Hello knucklehead, do you need to beat a woman when she’s already down?

Then there is the SOB Eliot’s Face…It has arrogance and haughtiness written all over it. The words coming out of his mouth were saying “I’m sorry”, but his Facial expression was saying, “Damn, I got caught.” Spitzer…the Face of smugness even in the Face of disaster.

Let’s Face it …sometimes the most self-righteous people have the most to hide…so if someone is standing on top of some soapbox condemning everyone else…we might wonder what they are hiding…and how many faces they really have.

Let’s Face it…it probably wasn’t pretty when Spitzer had to Face his wife and family. When Eliot and Silda …are alone…behind closed doors…Face to Face…I hope she lets him have it…with both barrels. It has been questioned as to why she would “stand by her man.” There are numerous reasons…shock, love, her teenage daughters, but whatever way Silda chooses to Face this ordeal, should be up to her…we shouldn’t question her.

You can’t judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Let’s Face it…her shoes are shoes…no woman would ever want. And Spitzer has to Face himself in the mirror every day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Attention all Irish and Irish-Posers of Blogworld: The Pope moved the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day to March 15th (last Saturday) because this year it falls on the Monday of Holy Week. Not sure anyone was really paying attention…or reading the Pope’s blog. Imagine on March 17th saying to those beer swelling hooligans and Irish whiskey rowdies in Boston, “Hey, Micks…you’ve got the wrong day.”

Paddy PaulA likes to say to me: “The next best thing to being Irish is marrying Irish.” I admit, St. Pat’s Day is the one day of the year I wish I was an Irish lass with red-hair and freckles. But other than St. Pat’s Day…I am fine being the English/Welcher that I am. See…I don’t like a lot of Irish stuff …other than green beer and potatoes. Not really a fan of Irish songs and jigs. Let’s face it Irish clog dancing is kinda goofy. And Irish food isn’t my taste…corned beef and cabbage …nasty combo.

But on St. Patrick’s Day, I am right there with the rest of the Irish-posers…wearing “the green” and my blinking “Kiss Me I’m Irish” button. Yep, right there with the rest of them singing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”, enjoying a green beer, and passing a blarney stone, or is that kissing a blarney stone.

On St. Patrick’s Day when the kids were little and would believe just about anything we told them…(back when we could really mess with their minds)…the leprechaun would visit our house in the wee morning when they were sleeping and turn everything green. (Well, turn everything green that we could add green food coloring to.) They would find green milk for their cereal, green bottled water, green mashed potatoes, and the best yet…a kid’s dream…green water in the toilets. It was kinda like Christmas morning…they would run from one bathroom to the other…checking out the toilets to see if the leprechaun had left them his calling card. Lucky for them…a little green was all they found.

So “Top of the morning to you”… “May love and laughter light your days”…. “May the road rise up to meet you”…and whatever else the Irish people say. Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day…on March 17th…the day when everybody is Irish.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Back To Reality

Kat’s back from Vegas, Baby. I would recommend a Las Vegas trip to anybody for…the weather, the hotels, the golf, the restaurants, the shows, the lights, the casinos. It has everything. Where else can you ride in a gondola on a Venetian canal, climb the Eiffel Tower, view the Statue of Liberty, witness a volcano erupting, and lose your family’s nest egg, all in one trip?

I had this brilliant idea of renewing our wedding vows…and what better place than in Vegas? So I checked out the wedding chapel at the Bellagio. Once I saw it, I knew it just wasn’t the right place for us ....not the right place for PaulA and Kat to profess undying love… it just wasn’t tacky enough. It was a pretty chapel decorated in Italian opulence over looking the Bellagio gardens. Who wants a pretty little chapel…I can get that home. I was looking for neon lights, tacky d├ęcor and a priestly Elvis.

So it is…Back to Life…Back to Reality. (Remember that song?) Back to rise and shine, feed the dog, make the school lunch, do the laundry…blah, blah, blah. Don’t get me wrong…I love being home, but there is a re-entry period when you first get back. I’m sure Cinderella had a little re-entry period. With the strike of the clock…it is Monday morning and the room service breakfast is now a breakfast bar to go…fresh towels and linens are now today’s dirty laundry, and the gourmet dinner over looking the city lights is hot dogs and beans with the distant flickering glow from the TV. So I need to slap myself in the face a couple of times. It will take a day to get over the “Can I get you something” pampering I have had for the past week. I must say, however, the best-est thing ever about getting home is seeing our Sweet Wishy’s happy face. And one thing is for sure…PaulA is still my prince.

When I think about it…Back to Reality isn’t so bad…I could have Eliot Spitzer’s reality.

Elvis has left the building.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Las Vegas Baby

Coming to you from the Vegas strip. I'm talking the Bellagio Hotel...Las Vegas Baby! PaulA has a conference and I am his assistant...Yeah, that's the ticket.

The flight here was a smooth one. It is cool how Las Vegas Baby appears in a major kilowatt blaze from the complete and total darkness of the desert. (For some reason ever since I got here, I can't stop saying Baby.) I'm still wondering why the flight attendant bothered with the life vest demonstration. What are the chances of going down at the Hoover Dam?

What a great idea to build an adult playground in the desert a city of gambling and decadence and they will come. A place where the motto of "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" is the guiding principle. Almost like when the priest absolves you of all sins during confession.

I am goofing off for a whole week Baby...7 days of Kat Kat, Kat...true self-indulgence. My tough schedule involves breakfast, the fitness center, lunch, the pool, dinner, some golf, the pool. Oh did I mention the pool aready and how amazing the weather is?

Actually is isn't easy sitting in a lounger all afternoon. At some point you have to flip over on your stomach, otherwise you end up looking like a sunnyside egg. I'm not sure how people around me look so comfortable lying on their stomachs. For me it has been torture trying to contort my back in a V-shape. Note to self: sign-up for yoga.

People are not complaining in Vegas zip it Kat. Everyone is walking around with smiling faces. It might be because they've won at craps, they're vodka-induced happy, or they are in a state of shock after getting crapped on at the craps table.

I am not really a gambler or a bettingKat at heart. Although once when I was 10, I bet my bro that he wasn't going to be an astronaut. He can play rocket man on the I'll call it even - Steven.

I think if I do gamble, I'm going with the numbers 7 and 11. I woke up to 7:11 this morning...I'm thinking this means something is in the cards for me Baby. If my blog goes a few days without new entries...please know I'll return...hopefully, with my pockets lined with a few Grants.

I'll tell Elvis you said Hello!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Will Work For Olga

Olga is coming….I better clear the deck. Olga is my cleaning lady and she cleans every other Friday afternoon. I hate to admit it, but I’m a-scared of her. Olga just has a way of looking at me that is very intimidating…so I know she’s the boss. Even when she is a “no-show”, I meekly call her (walking on broken glass or is that eggshells) and say, “Umm…Olga, do you think you can fit me in another day?” When anything is broken, the pieces are left in a little pile with no explanation. (I guess if you think about it, what is there to explain?….Can’t I see, it’s broken?.....pass the glue.)

I think Olga missed her calling…she could easily be the CEO of a major corporation. I’m not sure how many women she has working for her, but there are usually at least 3 women that show up at my house. Olga will drive up, drop them off and then go to another house. Actually I’m not sure where she goes…maybe she’s at Starbucks with her feet up, drinking a latte. But I would never ask….not me. The next time they show up, there are new faces. I started wondering the other day….what happens to all these women? Hmmm….does Olga send them to the rock pile?

I definitely consider it a major luxury to have a cleaning lady….so I’m not complaining or anything. It’s Olga day and that means ….I need to rev my engines. This is when I run around the house like a crazed woman on 5 Red Bulls, 3 espressos and a couple of chocolate bars…getting the house ready for Boss lady. I wouldn’t want to disappoint.

I pull the cleaning supplies out, pull the vacuum out, empty all the trash cans, make the beds, put Wishy’s clothes and shoes away or throw them on her bed, (I cut a little break with the other 2 in college), tidy the bathrooms, pick up towels, hang up or throw Paul’s clothes in a pile (depending on my mood), fold the laundry, put the laundry away, get rid of papers, newspapers (pant…pant…did I leave anything out?). PaulA doesn’t understand why I am cleaning before she gets here…Hey, he never met Olga.

Sometimes for a wild and crazy good time, I do everything in reverse order!….The upside of this caffeine-induced energy spree is that it is a good aerobic workout. Gotta go…what am I doing sitting here on my butt at the computer? I better get my rear in gear; I have work to do for Olga!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

DMV Another World

The DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles) is definitely a world unto itself. Bri and I had to take a trip there to have her picture taken and pick up her license after passing the driver’s test. Even though an officer came to our Tony town to give the test…you still have to pay the DMV a visit. You see, there is no escaping the DMV. You might think you can run…but you can’t hide.

We arrive at DMV world and feel very fortunate…the first line that everyone must go through is very short. YES, the DMV gods must be looking down on us today! We excitedly tell the DMV lady our business….how Bri passed her driver’s test and she is here for her license….like she really cares. She says, “Here’ your number …go to the left. Our computers are down and we don’t know when they will be up again. We have someone working on it.” Huh? You have someONE…only one computer geek! What about a team of computer geeks…or a gaggle of geeks? Don’t computer geeks travel in packs? So we sit down…you can run, but you can’t hide.

There’s no turning back now…no throwing in the towel or DMV forms. We are in it for the long haul. The DMV is something you get yourself geared up for…you see it looming on your calendar circled in red and you know that you have to prepare yourself for a miserable experience. You can run…but you can’t hide.

We have nothing but time on our hands. Now what to do? That would be people watch…the DMV is the best place to see every form of life…and some species are more evolved than others. We spy a guy wearing cargo pants pulling out papers from different compartments and filing some others back. He was a regular walking file cabinet. Next time I go to the DMV, I am definitely wearing cargo pants.

Then there is...The girl with the wild colorful tattoo crawling up the back of her neck. The Romanian man that moved to the U.S. two years ago. The young girl who looked way to young to be having a baby. (not really our business) And the young children who were going ballistic waiting to get the hell out of there.

My favorite is watching the reaction of people when their DMV business is finished and they can escape. One guy actually waved to everybody sitting down. It definitely is a feeling of accomplishment and relief…like when school’s out for summer.

People actually seemed very patient at the DMV today…It can be a place where people snap, giving the DMV its other name…Driven Many Violent. Luckily no one wigged out… I hoped it would stay that way.

Yippee…good news… the lone geek fixed the DMV computer system. Only 33 people ahead of us. Let’s just hope that when they call Brianna’s name for her photo, she still feels like smiling. After all, when it comes to the DMV… you can run but you can’t hide.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Men's Fashion Trends

Hold the presses….or is that start the presses…sometimes I get my expressions mixed up. I have just read that the new fashion for men’s ties is for skinnier ties. A whopping half inch skinner. For men’s fashion, this is a big deal. Think about it, men’s fashion just doesn’t change. You don’t have guys running out to purchase the latest low-rise, skinny jean. Men are wearing the same thing since basically cave man days…when they wore tunics. (Or was that just Fred Flinstone?)

Men just aren’t up for a lot of change when it comes to their looks. They think they look good the way they are…besides they are practical and know it doesn’t make economical sense to buy new stuff year after year. And men would never pay way over a hundred dollars for a pair of jeans. They don’t get it…that is when they give you that caveman expression, huh?

I’m guessing the reason men’s fashion is slow to change is that most guys do not like to shop. I don’t remember the last time PaulA bought “an outfit” for himself. If he goes to the mall he makes sure he goes to a store with an outside entrance…no wandering aimlessly through the mall, drinking a cappuccino and window shopping. Men are not buying things on a whim. They have a purpose: Get in and get out without much damage…psychologically or financially.

Also men do not see the need to own multiple numbers of things. I can find a shirt I like and buy it in white, black, grey, pink, light blue, and green…because St. Patrick’s Day is coming. Besides guys have their “favorites”…which they wear over and over anyway. That favorite navy blue t-shirt with the hole in the back of the neck is just perfect. And forget shoes…for every 3 pair men own…women own 33.

Then there is the “wear whatever is on top” method. That is a PaulA specialty. PaulA will open his dresser and put on whatever he sees on top. I wash it and put it back in…and then he’s got it back on. After 6 months of same ole, same ole…I have to rearrange things.

And guys don’t really have outfits….they have separates…pants, a shirt, sweater and shoes. They are all interchangeable…which makes packing easy. That is why they only have a carry-on bag and a woman has 2 over-the-limit-have-to-pay-extra suitcases.

Okay I am writing in generalizations…not all men are Neanderthals when it comes to fashion. So if you are a guy who has a sense of fashion…feel to strangle me with one of your new skinny ties.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Going Places

Brianna passed her Driver’s License test! Like every new driver, she has places to go… “hand over those car keys, mom.” Although Bri can now legally drive, PaulA and I are still getting comfortable with the idea. Our heart will be in our throats every time our 16-year-old newly licensed driver takes the wheel.

Here’s a cute Bri story….’cause she’s so darn cute. Have you heard of the show, My Sweet 16? On the show, a kid is given an over-the-top Sweet 16 birthday party and then given a car….Surprise! When Chelsea turned 16, Brianna had her own surprise gift for her big sister.

She worked on her secret idea for a few days hiding it from everyone in the basement. On the big day, Bri presented Chelsea with a small box. Chels unwrapped the box and found a set of car keys inside. Chelsea looked at the keys, looked at Bri, then looked at us...with excitement. Then Brianna said… "Happy Birthday Chelsea…there’s something for you in the garage.” Chels ran to the garage and parked there, in all its glory was a … red car...made of cardboard. Bri had made it out of old moving boxes, hangars, foil…amazingly clever and cute. It was big enough for Chelsea to sit inside…complete with a license plate on the back that said “Sweet 16.”

Now that Bri is driving, she likes to dream about different cars she would like to get. She likes the Jeep, Land Rover and older models of cars, like Volvo. She says she prefers cars with the boxy look…Perfect. I better get busy…I need to find a ton of boxes to make her new Jeep.

Happy and Safe Driving Brianna!

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Got Soul

I had my first ever pedicure…a very sole-full experience. I guess it was about time…a lot of the female teenager population has already had several. I am not a fan of strangers touching my body parts so massages have always been out of the question. But I thought I could start with my feet and maybe later graduate to other extremities. Plus I was with some friends at a spa celebrating a friend’s big birthday. We were there after hours so we had the place to ourselves…cosmos, appetizers and pedicures…soul food for the sole.

I jumped on the sole train, picked out a toe nail color (think pink) and got in the chair. Very nice…big leather lounger with a control. I flipped on the back massage, stuck my feet in the whirlpool and turned 3 shades of scarlet. I have to say, it is a little embarrassing to have a total stranger examine your feet. You wonder what pedicurists are thinking when they take their first look. I know they have seen all kinds of souls with all kinds of soles walk in there. But it still is a little awkward. Maybe they can actually see your soul through your soles. I was just hoping she was thinking… “This woman has a lot of soul.” And not thinking… “her feet smell like a 3-day-old piece of sole.” I wanted to prove how soulful I was by playing “Heart and Soul” on the piano. (By the way, all stupid puns are intended…can’t stop myself.)

The woman took my foot and got right to work. Every time she touched my toes, I would jump…and then she would look up at me. I would say, “I’m so sorry.” And she would give me a little smile. And then it would happen again. One time she looked up at me and caught me biting my hand. I figured if I inflicted a little pain on myself I would not be jumpy and move my feet every time she touched my toes. She did not speak English very well, so it was hard to explain to her that I was fighting the urge to kick her in the face.

After much soul-searching about pedicures, I realized that: Pedicures + Kat = Soul Mates…I would definitely do it again. This soul sister got a great pedicure…smooth, soft feet with pink toes. And the woman didn’t get kicked in the face…which luckily for her…was not her sole tip.