Thursday, July 31, 2008

Leave A Message...After The Beep

What does your voicemail greeting sound like? Are you witty, to the point, creative? Mine is basic and to the point. “Please leave a message after the beep.”… Plain Kat. When I was setting up my greeting announcement, I couldn’t decide what kind of voicemail greeting I should record. What voice inflection should I use? I wasn’t sure what “Kat” I would be:

Meow baby…This is sexy Kat…wanna leave me a message.
Hey mon…This is laid-back Kat…just chillin..drop one here.
Hey gangstas…This is rappa Kat…talk at me…afta da beep.
Hello Public…This is businessy Kat…you have 5 seconds to produce a detailed message.

My kids are not good about answering calls from me. Wishy is pretty good about answering (she’s not a college coed yet), but Big C and Colinboy are a different story. They have voicemail greetings that I get to hear every time I call. It didn’t take me long to figure out that they prefer a “little heads up” …a little “call screening” before they’ll answer. Now I feel I have an actual relationship with the voice message kid….that’s the kid I reach when I call.

When I get Chelsea’s voicemail message: She couldn’t sound sweeter… “Hey, this is Chelsea…leave a message and I’ll call you back.” But when I listen, I feel like her voice message to me is REALLY saying: “Hey Mom, this is Chelsea…leave a message and I’ll TEXT you back.” Then she sends me a text…. “What’s up?”

Colin’s voicemail greeting goes something like: “Hey guys …it’s Colin…leave a message and I’ll call you back.” I feel like his voice message to me is REALLY saying: “Hey mom, it’s Colinboy …You have a fat chance in hell before I pick up without knowing what this convo is about. Leave a message and MAYBE I’ll return your call. If you’re handing out money…I’ll call you back in 30 seconds.”

I think from now on, I will start screening my calls, just like Big C and Colinboy. Maybe my voicemail message to them should be: “Hey kids, unless you have a job, acing all your courses or really miss me…I’m not picking up. Leave a message…Love you.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pioneer Women

It is interesting to see Pioneer women in 2008. You’ve seen them in the news…the women from the compound of that whacked-out polygamist ranch in Texas. They look like they stepped out of an ole John Wayne Western …with one big difference…John didn’t have 5 wives and 17 children.

I am not in favor of the polygamist lifestyle. I can’t imagine sharing PaulA with 3 other wives. Unless of course, one of them had to do all the grocery shopping for the rest of our natural lives.

I felt sorry watching the mothers from the compound who were separated from their children while authorities investigated them. I just don’t understand why the women couldn’t have hid their kids and brought them with them. They wear those long voluminous pioneer dresses. “Come on ladies, use your noggin…You could have put those dresses to good use. You could have hidden at least 3 small children under all that garb. And why didn’t you put your bouffant coifed hairstyle to good use? That hair-did is lifted so high…you could have hidden a few small weapons…maybe some rope, a jack knife…to help with an escape plan.” These women need to be a little bit more resourceful.

The thing I found most eerie was when the women talked…they sounded like Stepford wives. Their voices were all the same…very quiet and monotone. They sounded like they had either been brainwashed or undergone a partial brain extraction. And when asked a sensitive question about what takes place at the compound…they would repeat: “The compound is a nice place to live. The compound is a nice place to live”…Yea, keep telling yourself that, sista.

I happen to like the show “Big Love” on HBO which deals with polygamy. In the show, they make the polygamist lifestyle seem so normal. The Happy Polygamist comes home from work and kisses wife #1 and kids…goes through the backyard to wife #2’s house and talks to her and the kids about their day…and then they all get together with wife #3 and kids for dinner. They’re all smiling, joking…and then the Happy Polygamist says “goodnight” and heads to bed with wife #3…(hey, it's her turn) while wife #1 and wife #2 do the dishes.

Maybe I have it wrong. Maybe the polygamist compound in Texas is really like “Big Love”…just routine family life….but wait, that is a television show. Get real Kat!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


This is a shout-out for the play "Smudge" that PaulA and I saw at the Eugene Theatre with our good friends LinnyJ and Mickster.

Smudge is a dark, dark, dark comedy…almost jet black…and I’m not talking about the lighting…as a matter of fact, the lighting was set perfectly by their son. (Props to Alex J.) It was the subject matter that was dark…about a young couple who delivered their first baby…not the perfect baby…quite imperfect……no limbs …disfigured…a smudge. The play tackles difficult subject matter regarding what constitutes “a life”…and the expectations of becoming a parent.

There were funny lines…but I didn’t laugh. I cried and couldn’t stop crying. (Don’t worry I didn’t make a scene…I sniffled into my forearms. I didn’t want to get thrown out and embarrass my friends.) Being a parent, I felt the horror and desperation that a new parent would feel in this situation. The young man sitting next to us laughed…and laughed a lot. I’m guessing he isn’t a parent…or even expecting. I wanted to turn to him and say, “Excuse me, but I’d like to talk to you when you have a wife someday with a belly the size of Wally the Whale.” But then I didn’t want to get thrown out for harassing innocent theatre goers. Anyway, I loved it. If you’ve ever read my blog profile you know I like to be emotionally spent ….and I was.

I am sure the playwright wanted the audience to feel uncomfortable….about laughing. It just takes someone to go first to get others to join in. There are those people who laugh when others are hurting…I’m guessing that it is nervous laughter. Whenever I trip, stub my toe, or bang my elbow (Okay, I am kinda clutzy)…Bri laughs...every time. I’m sure Bri would have been chuckling alongside Chucklehead next to us.

It must be so cool to be a playwright and have talent like the young woman, Rachel Axler, who wrote this play. (By the way, she is also a writer for the Jon Stewart Daily Show.) After the play, the actors, set, sound and light designers, and playwrights congregate in the pub. I wanted to run over and rub elbows with her ….hoping some of her talent would rub off on me.

I would totally love being a playwright. I can only imagine it… hob nobbing with other playwrights…discussing our latest works…over a bourbon….while smoking a pipe. Discussing my latest work: Act One, Scene One…opens with a washed-up middle-aged blogger wife and handsome insurance husband on the brink of an empty nest…sitting in separate bath tubs …overlooking a field. Wait, that is a Cialis commercial. Yep….I can totally picture my life as a playwright …

I’ve just got to learn to smoke a pipe and stomach the taste of bourbon….then I’m almost there.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lipstick Theory

I have read that with the economy being as tight as it is…people are spending less on big-ticket items. They are indulging in the little pleasures of sales are increasing for “vice” items such as beer, candy, ice cream, lipstick and other beauty products. I’m not exactly sure why these are called vice items. I don’t see them as a serious moral failing.

What better way to get out of the slump brought on by high food and gas prices...than a little beer, candy, and ice cream added to the hips…and a little lipstick added to the lips. There’s nothing like a new shade of lipstick for an instant pick-me-upper...although I’m sure PaulA would stick with the beer.

A little tube of lipstick is a woman’s way to splurge to make herself feel better….the names of the lipsticks even add to the decadence. Most lipsticks are named after food, beverages, sex and romance. You never see a tube of lipstick called red. They call it Cherry Desirable or Cherry Tart. Not pink or peach….but Pretty in Pink and Life’s a Peach. Then there’s always…Hot Mama, Triple Chocolate Parfait, Pinch me, Rapture, Promiscuous, Spice It Up.

Interestingly enough lipsticks have always had weird names. Did you know that the most popular lipstick shades in Renaissance England were named Rat, Horseflesh, Turkey, Blood, and Puke? And some names for lipstick colors from 1580 to 1620 were Ape’s Laugh, Smoked Ox, Chimney-Sweep, and Dying Monkey. (Honest…I can’t make this stuff up.) Any marketing guy for Loreal suggesting Puke for a new lipstick today would be out of a job…likity split. (Possible new name for lipstick or ice cream??!)

Whenever I decide to splurge for a new lipstck....I always seem to buy the wrong shade. When I get home and put it new shade looks more like Smoked Ox instead of Spice it Up…so I end up going back to the store and buying more…thus stimulating the economy.

Women unite. We can stimulate this economy…one tube of lipstick at a time. Grab your Hot Voodoo, Dolce Vita, Raisin Hell, and Quartz Kiss....and…


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Habit Forming

Everyone has at least one habit. Isn’t that part of being normal? The more habits we have…the more normal we are. Well…that’s my take on it. Sometimes habits can be annoying…that is, to other people. I twirl my hair…a habit passed down from my dad. When I used to work OUTSIDE the home…not be confused with INSIDE the home, I would constantly twirl my hair at my desk. A secretary who sat near me subtly let me know that I was driving her CRAZY…. “Did I know that I had an annoying habit of twirling my hair?”

Colinboy has the habit of rubbing his nose when he is reading something or is deep in thought. That would be the OUTSIDE of his nose…not to be confused with the INSIDE of his nose. His pose resembles The Thinker so he totally gets away with his habit…looking very intelligent.

Sweet Wish plays with her ear…that would be the OUTSIDE of her ear... not be confused with the INSIDE of her ear. Her ear has been bent and twisted into many different shapes while reading, studying or relaxing. My favorite contortionist shape is the envelope.

And Big C is a belly button rubber…that would be an INNY belly button...not to be confused with an OUTY belly button. When she was little, I tried to limit this habit…especially when we were sitting in church during the Homily.

And PaulA has a HUGE habit of….hmmmm…can’t think of a single thing that guy does. No annoying habits. Now that is annoying right there. That just isn’t normal...he's not as normal as the rest of us.

If by chance you find yourself like PaulA, without a habit…I would suggest you think OUTSIDE the box…not to be confused with INSIDE the box…to come up with one…to make yourself normal. If you need help with a suggestion…I would like to propose one.

I propose that you read my blog everyday….so that it becomes habit forming. It should be routine. You should power up your computer and automatically go to my blog site, without any thought. It might become a bad habit…but remember you’ll be normal. This suggestion is totally in your best interest.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cop on a Beat

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a cop…to have power and authority…to throw someone in the slammer. Some cop assignments are not very appealing, but whenever I see a cop cruise by me on the highway…I wish I was an enforcer, a 5-0, a Bad Ass, Fuzz, Heat, Po…anyone of those.

It must feel great to put the pedal to the metal and blow by us poor saps pretending to obey the speed limit. Sometimes you see a cop cruising down the highway…with their light off…they’ve suddenly come up behind you from out of the blue. You take a quick glance in your rearview and see ‘the Heat’ bearing down on your bumper. Your heart skips a beat…so you move over into the slower lane…knowing your time is up. Then ‘the Enforcer’ flies by…never even looks at you….let alone pulls you over. Whew!! You know what has just happened…you don’t even have to guess. His wife called and said his dinner was getting cold. It’s his favorite….chicken pot pie.

One cop assignment that I would never want is to be a cop on horseback…riding Ole Silver. I get a charge out of cops riding horses in cities like Boston and NYC. I think they look funny sitting up there, especially when the horse lets it go…or starts peeing like Niagara Falls.

A cop on a bike…really gets my gears going. First of all, they look out of place wearing their biker’s helmets and shorts. They look like kids who decided to play “cop-on-bike” for the afternoon. ‘Hey cop…just try and catch me…riding your Schwinn! Na, na, na…you can’t catch me.’

The funniest sight of all…is the cop on a Segway. Not only is he wearing a helmet…he’s looking like George Jetson with a badge. Granted, the Segway cop is having more fun than his friend, smelly horse cop.

It seems unfair to label cops with the stereotype that “cops drink coffee and eat donuts all day”…but there must be something to the donut thing. You never hear that “cops drink Chai tea and eat croissants”….never.

For at least one day, I would love to be a cop riding a cruiser. I wouldn’t stop and pull anyone over. I'd just want everyone get out of my way as I parted the streets…on my way to Dunkin Donuts. I might have to turn the lights and siren on…just to add effect.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tale of Two Cities

Last week I joined PaulA on a couple of his business trips. I had the opportunity to visit both Boston and NYC in the same week so it was hard not to compare the two cities.

For some reason when I am walking around New York City, I feel like I could be knocked of…mauled…or mangled… at any second. Everyone is a suspect and unlike other people on the streets…I am actually looking at people…staring them down…wondering who is the bad guy. I’m committing faces to memory for when I have to pick them out of a police line-up. I’m also afraid of something falling on my head …ending it right there outside Saks Fifth Avenue. I’m not the “sky is falling Chicken Little” type….this fear is not made up. To prove my point…later in the day I heard on the News that cement fell from a Brooklyn building; smashing the top of a car and just missing the two guys who were getting in it. There you have it…Case in point. Oh, and forget following the people on Canal Street who are hounding you with great deals on designer handbags. I am sure if I followed someone down the street, around the corner and behind the curtain… I might never be heard from again. I’m sure later I would be found…at the bottom of the Hudson River with a “best deal of my life” Channel handbag…not exactly matching my cement shoes.

Boston has a different feel for me than New York City. In Boston, I feel like I am in my own hometown ...just a lot bigger. People actually look at you. They even wait for you to cross the street without trying to run you down, and they even graciously hold the door open so it doesn’t smack you in the face. The only fear I have of falling…is me….falling out my shoes and doing a header…ending in a spread eagle on the sidewalk. Sadly, I have done this before, so this fear is not unfounded. The biggest fear I have when I am visiting Boston is the fear of the Boston accent. “Pahk the cah in Hahvad yahd…that’s a wicked pissah.”

Both cities have incredible restaurants. I love the Northend in Boston with the narrow cobblestone streets and incredible Italian restaurants at every turn… little boys playing stick ball. But NYC takes the sushi when it comes to great restaurants. I love the bustling, crowded streets and trendy shi shi restaurants at every turn …little hoodlums playing “knock off the next unsuspecting tourist .”

Don’t get me wrong… like the famous bumper sticker “I LOVE NEW YORK” …I, too, HEART New York. The two cities are different …but both are great in their own way. They both have so much to offer. I just need to get over my fatalist view of New York. Heck, I know there are bad guys in both cities.

I got to thinking about my worst case scenario: I think it would be if I was in NYC and I was approached by a bad guy who said: “Fohk ovah ya cash. Whatayou retahdid? This is a frickin stick-up. This ain’t no frickin Bawstin. This is New Yahk.”

I’m not sure which is worse…the action or the accent.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Spell Check

I consider myself to be a good speller. Go ahead, quiz me. Take “Cincinnati" for example...Some of you want to spell it “Sinsinati.”

With technology today, you don’t really have to be a good speller. I remember quizzing the kids with their spelling lists. I used to think Colinboy’s spelling skills were gonna bite him in the butt …but nope, wrong again. Between spell check, google, and He is set for life. Col will never have to hunt down a dictionary and leaf through the pages to look up a word.

I actually remember being taught how to use the ole Webster Dictionary…back in the Middle Ages. Now it is just another dusty book on the shelf. I would like to know, how does the computer know what the heck I am trying to spell when sometimes I’m not even sure. It freaks me out. It is like there is some little person inside saying, nope, “ ie before e, Kat!!!”

Google is awesome. Sometimes when I misspell something (Did I mention I was a good speller?)because I’m typing too fast and haphazardly…Mr. Google says, “Did you mean….” Then I hit myself in the forehead and say to myself… "duh…right!” I just googled “Sinsinati” and it said, “Did you mean: “Cincinnati." See what I’m talking about!

Technology has saved the bad spellers. Now there is no distinction between the good spellers of the world…the ones who learned their spelling lists and spelling rules…and the god awful spellers of the world…the ones who bluffed their way.

I see you god awful spellers of the world out there hiding behind your spell checkers and googlers…Noah Webster would not be proud.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Taming of the Shrew

Music can tame the savage beast…at least it does this beast. I would presume to say that it works that way on most people.

When I hear one of Michael Buble’s songs on the radio, I am instantly in a better mood. There is something so calming and soothing about his voice…kinda like a day at the spa…which I am imagining. Buble’s song “Everything” is great…very catchy, uplifting. Love it. (Just one thing I would have changed if I was his music producer. The ending has few too many “la-las” and kinda girly for a boy to sing.)

The other day, Bri and I were listening to a song on the car radio but we weren’t sure of the name or who played it. So Bri got out her cell phone to identify it. Within 10 seconds the phone displayed the name, artist and album…plus she could instantly download the song to her phone…from the radio. How do they do that???? Back in the day, I remember listening to my transistor radio and when I heard a song that I liked….I would have to wait to hear the DJ say the name… wait…wait...and sometimes wait through 5 songs and 3 advertisements before I heard the name…if he even remembered.

My kids have figured out how music works on me. If I start with a serious convo in the car…what do they do? They turn the radio up. Next thing they know…I am singing along. And if they get really lucky and it is Michael Buble singing…I am the most sweetest, putty-in-their-hands mom on the planet. They are pretty smart kids.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Yo Bucket Head

“What does that person think of me? Do I have the right outfit on? Am I having a bad hair day?” When you are young, these things do not matter to could careless. That’s the beauty of youth.

But then we go through a period of time when appearances matter. It probably starts when we start learning about the birds and the bees…and continues for a period of time. But certainly as we get old….we begin to not care …who gives a shitz?

Back in the day when the kids were small and the McDonald’s Happy Meal was served in a plastic bucket…Colinboy would wear the bucket on his head. He would wear it so often you couldn’t help but call him Bucket Head. We would be ready to head out the door and he would say, “Wait”…and run back for his bucket…place it on his head, slip the handle under his chin...and he was ready to go. He never called the bucket his hat. He liked wearing a bucket. Oh, to wear a plastic bucket on your head…

Bri took a page from her big brother, Colinboy and would wear her rain boots around the neighborhood…for quickness and ease. Colin would wear his snow boots. So Buckethead and Lil Sis would roam the hood...ready for the next monsoon and July snowstorm.

My grandmother is 93 and you can be sure she doesn’t worry about what people are thinking of her...or whether she is making a fashion statement. She doesn’t wear a bucket on her head, but she wouldn’t care if you did... some things just don’t matter and everything gets put into perspective.

During my last trip to NYC I wore fashionable sandals…when I should have worn comfortable shoes. After five hours of walking around NYC, I was begging for my sneakers...regardless of what they looked like.

I am a work in progress. Today it is raining Kats and Dogs and I will be in NYC. I vow to make sure that I am comfortable. You just might not recognize me….with my sneakers and rain bucket on my head. But then again, who would notice or even care… especially there.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shameless Plug by a Typical Mom

This is my first shameless plug. I’m not talking about pugs….those cute dogs with pug noses…although they are shameless. I’m talking about exploiting a forum to advertise or promote something. So that would be Me using my BLOG to talk about DEAR HAVANAH.

I can’t say enough about Dear Havanah, except that you have to listen to this great new band. I admit, I am a little partial to them… Colinboy (I’m sure the band guys don’t call him this) plays bass guitar in the band. Dear Havanah has recently posted a music video of one of their new songs, “Relief” on YouTube. The video might not be a slick MTV music-type video where there is a sexy girl who slinks around and gets the guy. But it does show 5 guys rockin’ out and sounding great. It’s all about the music…when they get BIG, maybe then they’ll get the sexy girl who slinks around. Anyway, they have a great sound and are really, really good LIVE. Don’t just take my word for it…you can listen for yourself…just click on the following link:

Being the typical mo ther that I am…I watched the Dear Havanah YouTube video…and instantly loved it. I’m always very proud and supportive of my Colinboy in whatever he does. As I watched on my lap top, I took a closer look and thought, “What is Colinboy wearing? Is that a Hanes t-shirt?? A Hanes plain white t-shirt?? I know he has better clothes than that to wear. Maybe his clothes were on the floor ….I mean, in the laundry and it was all he could dig up. The other guys don’t look like a Hanes t-shirt commercial. The lead guitarist looks good in a jacket ….but Colinboy is sporting his undershirt…Hey...maybe that's Colinboy's style...and I'm just catching on.

Wardrobe aside…. Jam on Dear Havanah!! You sound great…after the masses that read my blog, check you out…they will agree. Also please know, you have at least 5 fans out there that think you are AWESOME…….5 mothers of 5 band sons…with one typical mother questioning…. A Hanes t-shirt??? :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

TV on the Fritz

What's a family to do? For 12 years our big ass rear projection Mitsubishi has been a faithful family servant. The other day we gathered ‘round the tube…turned it “on”….and it promptly turned itself “off”…as if to say, “To hell with this …I’m done. Entertain yourselves from now on.”

For 12 years we gathered ‘round, and wasted many precious hours of our lives with that TV. The television is where the American family congregates…to be entertained, to be informed, to gain weight. It’s a sad day when the end comes. Where would we be without it? We might have to read books, have lively political discussions, or give Duncandog some attention. We just couldn’t roll our hard-wired friend to the TV graveyard without trying to save it.

So we invited a TV repairman over for a little diagnostics…. “Sorry ma’am…it was hit by lightening. The motherboard/red bulb is destroyed. You might not want to fix it…gonna cost more than a new High Definition TV. Just the facts…Ma’am.”

You see…I think PaulA willed this untimely death on our television. He’s been having eyes for one of those spanking new Hi-Def TVs…and I’m thinking he’s been spending some time over at Best Buy getting to know all about them. Yep, whether consciously or unconsciously, he willed this lightening bolt demise on our poor electrical friend.

Every man on the planet Earth loves a Hi-Def. Frankly, I don’t understand the big buzz around it. I know PaulA would rather watch sports on a Hi-Def.…golf, football, his beloved Red Sox. But I don’t really need a close-up of the sweat that pours from Kevin Youkilis’ face. Although I could be convinced…when the Red Sox play the Yankees and A-Rod is up to bat. Men’s and women’s circuits are wired a little differently when it comes to televisions. Watching sports on a High Definition TV to a man is like…finding the perfect outfit at a Half-Off sale to a woman.

Gather ‘round family…and say good-bye to our dear old friend of 12 years…We hope the new Hi-Def is as faithful.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Southwest Airlines Sends Their Best

Does anyone appreciate receiving a birthday card from a business? I can MAYBE understand receiving a card from my local life insurance agent…the guy keeping tabs on my life/death status. I noticed that this year PaulA’s life insurance agent…cared to send him the very best.

For the life of me…I just do not understand why Southwest sends out birthday cards. I understand that they might want to make a connection with people and hopefully gain their business, but this just seems like an odd way to go. It feels like such a personal gesture…when I didn’t even know we were friends.

Does Southwest think that we display their cards on our mantle pieces…right next to the birthday cards from Grandma and Aunt Millie? They are so lucky if we even open them before throwing them in the trash.

If I worked for Southwest…I would tell them to save the bucks they spend on postage and cards, and reduce the airfare…give the people what they really want. But then again, I would be very unpopular with those who work in the Sending Out Birthday Cards To Random People Department…they would not be happy with me.

Let’s think for a moment about what Southwest could really do for us if they really cared to send their best. Maybe they could give us a decent meal and not peanuts, pretzels and snack mix. And seeing it is our birthday…a little birthday cake would be nice. Or how about give us a coupon for a reserved seat, so the next time we fly, we don’t have to stand in group A, B, or C. For one day of the year, Southwest would not make us feel like cattle being herded onto their plane. Moooooooo...

I hope, when my birthday rolls around this OCTOBER 13th (just a little reminder), Southwest Airlines leaves me off their birthday list. Unless…someone from Southwest’s Sending Out Birthday Cards to Random People Department actually reads my blog...and I find free stuff in the card before I throw it out.

I might even display their card….right next to Grandma’s.

Monday, July 7, 2008

What's Her Name?

The worst is not remembering names….especially a person you know…or should know. You see her coming, and you wanna run, because you are blanking out. What the heck is her name?? I have always been bad with names, so this is nothing new. I try everything to avoid having to say the person’s name…”Hey, friend. Hi ya! Hey you. Hi amigo.”

I could be at a party and just meet Bob and Arleen. Five seconds later…I have no clue what their names are. Was it…John and Lisa? So sometimes I have to ante up and just say, “Sorry…I am a lame brain and I already forgot your name.”

For 12 years Wishy has gone to school with a girl whose mother I run into…every now and then…but not often. I can never remember her name. I have some kind of mental block. I am trying to remember her name now….it starts with “M”….no, it definitely starts with “R”. Helga. I think! By the time graduation comes around….I swear I am going to learn her name.

We have a principal in town who recently retired from the elementary school and who could remember every child’s name in the entire school…K-5. Not only did he remember every kid’s name, but also their siblings. The very weird thing is, when I ran into this man (I forget his name), he asked, “How are Chelsea and Colin doing in college…and then added, “Isn’t Chelsea graduating this year?” What planet is this guy from? He is a freak of nature…a good freak, but a freak.

So does Mr. Retired Principal remember names by using association? Does he see your kid and think…Hmmm…Allen has an apple head. And Penny is a pea brain. I swear he must have spent every night at home with pictures of the students and their names…all spread out on his living room floor...playing the matching game. Or maybe, his wife quizzed him with flash cards. Yea…probably that.

Personally, I am an advocate for name tags. I wish that when we left our houses, we were required to put them on…that you could get fined if you weren’t wearing one. I especially love going to events where you have to wear tags. Most people hate adhering them or pinning them to their clothing…but I say bring them on. When someone is wearing one…I like to say their name a lot. Like…Heck, I would have known your name without these lousy name tags. “Hey Bob. Hey Arleen. Bob. Arleen. Arleen. Bob.”

Only one problem….the name tags are getting harder and harder to read.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fourth of July

Happy Birthday to our country. I would sing Happy Birthday to America, but that would seem a little corny…but definitely All-American. I am damn proud to be an American.

I am the daughter of a retired U. S. Air Force Serviceman…retired after 20 years. As a military family we traveled the country and the world…moved every two years. You would think the constant acclimation would be hard, but everyone else in the military community was doing the same thing. So the big question while living on Air Force Bases was always, “How long are you here for?”….kinda like you were doing time…hard time. The only hard time I remember was when we were separated from my dad. Remember the first line from the Marine’s Hymn?... “From the halls of Montezuma to shores of Tripoli”….we lived there…the shores of Tripoli. We did time in Tripoli for two years.

I am proud to be from America…the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave. Nothing makes me prouder than when I see a U.S. service man or woman in their uniform…young people willing to protect our freedom. I tear up at the very thought of it. Colinboy has a buddy who finished his basic training in the Marines and is heading off to Afghanistan soon. He is going to be a gunner on a tank…I think I’m going to turn into Niagara Falls now. Growing up as a child on a military base, hearing the planes overhead everyday, was like my blanket…sign of security. I thank the men and women who have volunteered to protect our freedom.

I am proud to be an American…I know I have mentioned before that I have dog tags…official ones given to me by the U.S Air Force. We wore them as kids when traveling. Those dog tags are one of my most prized possessions. My own kids were shocked…and proud when they first saw them…shocked to see that their mom had Rappa tags…and proud that ...Rapppa katBreezy might be tight with Fifty Cent.

This is a beautiful country and we are very fortunate to live in this Land of Liberty. Now…after stepping down from my soap box….I am gonna indulge in a little apple pie.

Happy Birthday, America.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Habitual Returner

I shop…I return. Well not every time…every now and then I get it right…the right color, size, and type. But that is every now and then and not the norm. Sometimes when I’m shopping…I’m not sure which item to choose…the yellow, blue, or pink (I like them all) so I buy all and return…another trip back to the store.

I am surprised there isn’t a return limit at stores. This would encourage people to be better shoppers. A policy so that in a given year you are allowed x number of returns…and when you try to return…one too many times…a whistle blows. Well, maybe nothing so startling and dramatic…some ole lady my keel over from a heart attack or something. But some red flag goes up to let the salesperson know…this woman is a habitual returner…tackle her.

The worst thing about the return process is finding the receipt. I try to be organized, but then sometimes I come up empty handed. Where is that receipt? The other day I bought an iPod at the Apple Store. That store is the coolest…I like how they don’t need a register to “ring” you out. The employees just rove the place with some magic box and do it right from there. But the coolest part of the whole transaction is...the sales guy asked me if I wanted the receipt emailed to me. “Yea…sure dude. Email it to me.” That way, if I ever needed to retrieve it…I would know exactly where it is…smack dab on my computer. Man, I am hip…or is that hop?

Yea…Kat is cool getting her receipt emailed to her….I can’t wait to go home and find it online. A few hours later, after some expert shopping at the Taj MaMall…I ran home and looked for my receipt online…You've Got Mail! Yep, there it is. Yep, there it is.

I am thinking now….why don’t other stores do this? It would make the consumer’s life so much easier. But then again…there are those who are afraid of their computers…afraid to touch them…so it wouldn’t work for them. But for us computer savvy geniuses….it works.

On the other hand…now that I look for my receipt…this genius isn’t sure what “folder” it is in now. Is it filed in My Documents…Shared Documents…Disc C Documents...Kat Documents?….Where is that receipt????.......Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

iGet Real

Sometimes advertisers are right on the money when it comes to marketing and advertising. They totally get it…they have a great gimmick or a smart look. There a few commercials that I find entertaining; for example, the GEICO cavemen commercials. And any commercial where there is a person dancing foolishly…off-beat…for some reason that cracks me up. So when the GEICO caveman dances…that’s a double knee slapper.

iThink Apple was extremely clever with naming their products so that they start with a small i…a great marketing iDea. Have you noticed since the launching of the iPod and iTunes…that there are so many new products and services that start with a small i? It goes on and on….iThis and iThat. iAmazed how much you see it when you start to look for it. It is all over the place. The other day iNoticed our Sunday paper has a new section called iTowns. Did someone really get credit for coming up with that iDea?

The iThing is so over done…kinda like what happened with reality shows. First we had Survivor…and then American iDol, and you know where we have gone from here…downhill. Every other show is a reality show. All the shows are beginning to look the same. We take one idea and exploit it…use it again and again…beat it until it is whipped …cook it until it is crispy. There is even a new reality show about coming up with iDeas for reality shows!

I’ve heard… “there is no such thing as an original idea.” This may ring true. Before American Idol, there was Pop Idol (in England)…same idea, they just moved it across the pond. Before Facebook, there was the college “face” book…same idea, they just put it online. Before Survivor, there was Gilligan’s Island…same idea, they just hadn’t voted Gilligan or the Professor off yet.

And before blogs, there were very thoughtful newspaper commentaries written by educated people…same idea, they just gave uneducated people a forum online to unload.