Monday, August 30, 2010

What's For Lunch?

When I see the back-to-school displays in stores…I get pangs. I feel a yearning for the days when my kids were school age. I miss taking them to pick out their first day of school outfits, sneakers, and lunch boxes. But there is one thing I don’t miss…packing school lunches. I would be full of baloney if I said I did.

I hear there are kids who actually buy their lunches…but that’s not how we rolled in our family. So for 12 grades x 180 days of school… + or - a snow day…. x 3 kids…you do the math...I was elbow deep in gooey pb and sticky j.


When I was in school...I preferred to brown bag it. Our kids probably inherited the “I Won’t Buy Lunch” gene from me. I remember what I used to bring...the predictable pb and j on white bread…a bag of Frito Banditos….a Devil Dog for dessert…and a Fizzy tablet to wash it all down.

In case you don’t know …the fizzy tablet was similar to an Alka Seltzer…but tasted a little better. For a quick drink…you would plop the flavored tablet into a cup of water…and watch it fizz around…making your drink. Some kids would take it out while it was still fizzing and put it on their tongue for a little fizzy fun. I never did that…not my style.

During lunch I would look around the table and check out what the other kids had for their lunch. I felt sorry for the kids with the bright shiny apple…or a thermos of hot soup. Or the worst…left-overs. Yuck. I always wondered what they could have possibly done to deserve such a crappy lunch.

Some kids were into bartering with each other… “trade ya!” That was also not my style. I was never in the market for a red apple…or left-over lasagna. No one was getting my Devil Dog or Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pie.

I’m hoping that all the preservatives I ate as a kid…will keep me well preserved for the future.

My kids have since told me that their favorite lunches were the ones when I threw in a Lunchable. Whoa...I had forgotten about that. The high Preservative/Sugar/Sodium Lunch...plastic cellophane over plastic food. And I thought I was a bad mom…when I was really the BEST EVER. Go figure.

The one thing that I did enjoy about packing lunches was writing their name on the outside of the brown bag...that is, after they grew out of commerical clad/movie promoting lunch boxes. I would get creative with dots, squiggles, curly q’s and different markers. And I’d include a little message on their napkin.

Before cell phones…a note in the lunch box was the only way you could get in touch with your kids while they were at school. “Ortho appointment after school” “Have a good day” “You’re the best” “Hi, Sweetie” “Love you, Mom xoxoxoxo”

Darn I miss that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Booking It

The summer is the best time to grab a book and exercise your mind and in some cases your lips...should you move your lips when you read.

Books are great because they can take you away to places you’ve never been before. The book I just finished reading is called “Shantaram.” It is epic in thoughts, experiences, and size. It’s a 925 page memoir about a man who becomes a drug addict and commits armed robbery, is sent to prison, escapes prison over the wall in broad daylight, smuggles himself into India, lives in the slums of Bombay, befriends the mafia…and that’s what happens by page 225…with 700 pages to go.

I wish I could write a book…but I don’t believe I have a book in me. Most often authors will write about something they have extensive knowledge of, or about their unusual life experiences…or even some epiphany they’ve had. My life experiences would NOT be filed under “wild and exotic.” And I’m waiting for an epiphany. (Gesundheit) Apparently my material is best suited for a blog…read in snippets while checking your email.


There are some subjects I wouldn’t choose to read…Harlequin romance, western, and espionage…Oh, and any big fat book about the Industrial Revolution…like Uncle Al reads.

My favorite books are those based on fact/memoir. For example, “The Passion of Artemesia,” “Loving Frank,” “Shantaram,” “The Other Boleyn Girl.” “The Glass Castle,” “Eat, Love, Pray,” and “A Million Little Pieces.” Although James Frey who wrote “A Million Little Pieces” fabricated most of it. (Oprah took care of him and ripped him into a million little pieces on her show.)

Wait…I feel an idea surfacing….Maybe I could write a book about the time I bought a new pair of Nike Air sneakers. They just felt so comfortable that I headed out the door and started running…with no direction in mind. I kept running and running, for no particular reason, and before I knew it…I was in Ohio. Wait, I think that’s Forrest Gump’s story.

It’s just that my real story lacks the same excitement: I bought some new sneakers at Bob’s and went for a run around the high school track…4 laps.

See what I mean…I don’t have a book in me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hands Down....It's Fun being 9

It’s wonderful to have young kids around to bring out your inner child.


I was nine years old last weekend when I played a board game with my niece and 2 Sisters…Sister Sledge and Sister Sludge. (We are family…I got all my sisters with me.) Besides who could resist a challenge by Natboobear in the game of Hands Down?

The game of Hands Down is a classic…thank you Uncle Milton. No thinking power is required…it’s all in the action…the Slam-o-matic action. Act and react. Get a match, then slap the big hands in the center of the board…and beat your opponents to the slap.

The Slam-o-matic should really be called the Slap-o-matic…because a major side effect of the game is becoming slap happy...which happens to be acceptable behavior when it comes to Hands Down. Where else can you slap the crap out of something and scream in enjoyment? Okay, other than at Mel Gibson’s house.

A board game is a good way to get back to basics; with no electronics. No cell phone…no computer…no 200+ channels…just run on the power of simple, ole fashioned fun.

You learn a lot about a person…sitting around the dining room table playing a game together. You quickly learn who likes to win…at all costs, who thoroughly enjoys the art of bluffing, who's in la-la land, and who has a heavy slap happy hand. Nothing like slapping, faking, grabbing, and cheating…to bring out the competitive spirit…...

.....And to bring out my inner 9 year old.

There are many other good ole fashioned games to play ….including Booby Trap, Sorry, and Trouble. Remember that pop-o-matic bubble in the game of Trouble?…totally ingenious.

Oh, then there is Spin the Bottle….but I should wait until I’m in Middle School before I play that one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Of Disney Mice and Wo(Men)

Have you heard about the Imane Boudlal vs. Disney discrimination case? It may look at first glance as a meek case of Mice and Wo(Men), but remember…we’re talking Mickey and Minnie. They might be small…but they are mighty.

Imane Boudlal is a hostess at the Storybook Restaurant at the Disney Grand Floridian who wants to wear her hijab, a religious scarf, to work. (She never asked to wear it, however, during her past 2 years at Disney or wore it during her interview for the job.) Mickey and the gang are trying to work out a compromise.

I’m all for religious freedom…but I’m also for freedom of enterprise. Disney is in the business of making money. You think they sing “It’s a small world, after all”…round and round…over and over…85 trillion times…until you loose your mind…for pure entertainment?

If you’ve been to Disney…you will notice most everyone who works there is “in character.” When you’re hired by Disney with a job in the public …you’re considered part of a cast…so you’re required to follow suit. Hey, why else would someone be walking around in an 85 lb chipmunk suit during August in the Florida sun?

Disney tried to accommodate Imane by offering her a position in the “back” or with a replacement hat to cover her head…but she wants to keep her job "up front" and thought the bonnet was embarrassing. (Granted, who really looks good in a bonnet?... except Laura Ingalls and Baby Huey.)


I don’t usually weigh in on controversial subjects such as politics, religion, and dress size…but I support my goofy friends at Disney.

I think a court judgment in favor of Imane…is the beginning of a slippery slope. Then others at Disney might want to wear their religion on their head, as well.

Take, for example, all those witchy people out there. Witches who practice their craft might want to wear their pointy hats to work…on days other than just Halloween…which would be out of Disney character.

Boo on that scary idea.

Let’s let Disney do what they do best…stay in character. “Gosh! Oh, Boy! That sure is swell.”

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Take This Job and Shove It

“Take this job and shove it.”
“I ain’t working here no more.”

There probably isn’t a workin’ stiff alive who hasn’t thought those lines, sung by Johnny Paycheck, a time or two. Heck, even a stay-at-home mom has had them pass through her mind probably once or a million times.

But how many people have really said them out loud ....or over a loud speaker???

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Steven Slater...the JetBlue flight attendant who quit his job in grand fashion. Apparently an unruly rude woman bonked Slater in the head while she was prematurely removing her bag from the overhead bin. When Slater asked her to remain seated until the plane stopped...she swore at him.

So instead of taking it on the cheek.....Slater, who had it up to his wings with rude passengers....took it on the other cheek. First, he cursed at the woman over the loud speaker, then grabbed a couple of beers and his luggage, deployed the emergency chute, and slid down it on his butt to the tarmac.

Talk about a grand exit. Slater has become a folk least on the internet. Heroes can come from different places. Let's not forget...Robin Hood, Daniel Boone, Zoro, and the Philly Hero with extra cheese...yum. yum.


What method have you used to quit your, text, skywriter, letter, lie?

Once I quit a job that I held for only 3 months in the Blood Bank lab of a hospital. My training period was over and I was scheduled to do a 3 month rotation on the night shift...aka...the graveyard shift 11pm – 7am. I decided that I wasn’t interested in I told my department that I was moving to Rhode Island because my husband was being transferred with his company. I admit...I felt guilty about my story...(even Kats can have a guilty conscious)...especially when my co-workers were asking me about the move.

I felt like a real heel when...on my last day of work they threw a party for me....complete with a cake that read, “Good Luck in Rhode Island.” I apparently chose the “Lie method” for quitting.

Everyone has their own way of quitting..................

Slater chose to ride out on the emergency chute. John Wayne chose to ride out on his horse into the sunset. And I chose to ride out...on a bloody lie.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bathing in the Sun

Sunbathing is an art.

There are professional sunbathers out there who make it look so easy. They have real skills. They are able to bathe their back and their front for that all-over even tan. You’ve seen them around the pool...tanned a golden roasted marshmallow.

I’m barely an amateur when it comes to the art of sunbathing. Maybe I’m using the wrong soap. My biggest problem is getting comfortable in the lounge chair.

I never have a problem, however, with bathing my front side. Bathing the front just requires sitting on my ass, which is rather easy for me…I actually do it every day when I write this blog. The real problem is laying on my stomach…to bathe my back.

I always give it the ole college try, though. I stretch out onto my stomach, but then I’m not sure what to do with my face. Should I turn it to the left... to the right…or smash it directly face down into the chair? I decide to choose a side…that way, I can breathe.

Then I have to decide what to do with my arms. Should I tuck my arms under me…both arms? One arm? But they go numb. Maybe let my arms dangle...numb again.

Ouch... my back is out of line.

I look over at the people in lounge chairs around me and they look incredibly comfortable….some folks are even sleeping as they bathe...which I might warn you: Sleeping while bathing may be hazardous to your health.


After torturing myself with trying to bathe my back and get that toasted marshmallow tan, I give up after 5 minutes. I flip myself over…preferring to go with the sunny-side up look….similar to the runny egg I ate this morning.

I am gonna have to work a lot harder to perfect my sunbathing skills……or get PaulA to help me bathe my back.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pesky Skeeters

The summer season has a way of bringing out a few irritants....B movies, bad televisions shows, and pesky mosquitoes.

For some reason...there are those who always get bit by mosquitoes and those who don’t. It might have something to do with the “Sweetness Factor”...which would explain why Wishy gets bit. And also explain...why skeeters don’t mess with this Kat.

I remember back in the day when our neighborhood was sprayed for mosquitoes because they were ruining neighborhood fun. When pesky skeeters do more biting at a backyard barbecue than actual is cause for concern and drastic action....time to bring out the heavy artillery.

I still have a distant memory of a truck that drove through our neighborhood blasting insecticide through hoses onto our lawns. I can also remember little Johnny chasing after the truck as it rolled down the street.


Just like Hugh Hefner at a LA hot tub party....skeeters have gotten down and dirtier over the years. A 2010 skeeter can carry dirty and deadly diseases.

Apparently there are a few skeeters in southern Massachusetts carrying Triple E. Not to be confused with Triple A...which is far safer and is a very wise idea...especially if you ever need to be towed.

Triple E stands for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. You might as well kiss your candy-ass good-bye if you get bit by the EEE skeeter......the exterminator, expirator, eradicator skeeter.

If you happen to live or vacation in southern Mass...the insecticide used to combat the EEE skeeter was recently spread from small planes. And if you were lucky to get the were advised to close all your windows, turn-off your A/C, and keep your pets inside. Ahh...nothing like a summer insecticide shower.

With the internet, it’s easy to look up info on the insecticides...which I did. Let me just say...the side effects aren’t pretty. I really hope for your sake that if there is any spraying in your get the memo. But what if you don’t?

Hmmm...that got me thinking...I wonder how little Johnny is doing these days and if he still has all his arms and legs??

Monday, August 16, 2010

Peeved, Provoked, and Pissed

We all have pet peeves...annoying little things that irritate us and get under our skin...or get our panties in a wad. But then there are other THINGS that provoke us in such a way...they piss us off.


Things that piss me off..........................

The fact that I know who Lindsay Lohan is.

The fact that President Obama knows who Lindsay Lohan is.

A bad red wine stain on my new rug.

A stain of bad red wine on my new rug.

Losing my car keys in a 5-ton recycling dumpster at the Landfill.

Realizing the second set of car keys is at home...2 and half hours away.

Struggling to open something wrapped in hard plastic “blister” packs and “clamshell” packaging.

Having someone tailgate me while I’m going the speed limit.

Having to tailgate someone going the speed limit.

A computer that gets hung-up, tied-up, and can’t keep up.

Incompetent customer service people who say “Is there anything else I can help you with?

Married women in boyfriend jeans.

Boyfriend in married women jeans.

Referring to yourself in the third person. (Whoops, I’m that Kat....Scratch that.)




Did I mention COMCAST?

Friday, August 13, 2010


Today is Friday, the 13th. Oooooo....Would you consider yourself superstitious? Do you have triskaidekaphobia...fear of the number 13?

Unlike some people, I happen to love the number 13…it is odd, but friendly. I was born on the 13th …and I would consider myself both odd and friendly.

So even though today is a day that would cause alarm for the superstitious and keep the scaredy cats at home with their doors locked...this Kat isn't afraid to go out into the world. For me, Friday the 13th is a good day... and I’m not afraid to venture out.

I will easily go about my day....never worrying about bad things happening, never stepping on a crack, never walking under a ladder, and never letting a black cat cross my path.

And I'll spend the rest of the day collecting four-leaf clovers, knocking on wood, and throwing salt over my shoulder.

What’s the big deal with Friday the 13th? People really need to get over their silly superstitions.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Get the Message

Is it me?

For some reason I have a hard time understanding pictograms. You know pictograms…they convey meaning through a pictorial resemblance to an object. To further illustrate...let me draw you a picture… a picture is used instead of the word.

Pictograms must have started back in the day when cavemen drew pictures on cave walls to tell a story…and dragged women behind their hair. Ugga ugga. Oucha oucha.

Some pictograms are self-explanatory and easy to understand. For example, a picture of a dog with a slash through it... “No Dogs Allowed.” Or the pictogram of Kat at her computer with a slash through it... “No Kat Bloggers Allowed.” (A pictogram frequently displayed in many rooms in our house. ) I get the message.

There are some pictograms, however, that aren’t as easy to understand. Like the air vent pictograms in my car. Maybe I have a mental block...or maybe I’m just mental but I have found them confusing for three years.

I would think that an “0” symbol would mean an open air vent...and “— " would mean a closed air vent.....but NO. It is the very opposite. They fool me EVERY time. Come on car people, an “0” even looks like an open mouth during a yawn. I’m very familiar with this symbol when people read my blog.


I’m on a campaign to bring back words. But if “they” want to continue to use pics…go ahead…just make sure to combine them with a few words. That would help me out.

An example of a sign that clearly conveys its message is in the picture above. With that sign…I know exactly which way to go. That sign speaks directly to me.

I get the message.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Handwriting is on the Wall

Who writes letters anymore? That would have been my grandmother who recently passed. She had the most beautiful penmanship; even until age 94 ¾ . I’m wondering if young kids today have even heard of “penmanship?” Eventually the word will become extinct…especially as handwriting gradually fades away. I can see its demise now…the handwriting is on the wall.

“Typewriter” is also another word and mechanical device with no future. I happen to love typing and I would say “I’m wicked fast.” I could be considered the Mario Andretti of the typewriter...and now keyboard.

I learned to type my freshman year of high school. We first started with positioning our fingers on home row: asdf jkl; and practiced each finger off of hoome row; using the correct finger. It was important to have good posture and to keep your wrists elevated as you typed. I refused to be a limp wrister.

I practiced my typing so I could get faster and faster. I would even practice without the typewriter...moving my fingers on an imaginary typewriter. WEIRDO ALERT.

I could have entered a steno pool after high school…but I don’t like chlorine. Chlorine dries out my hair so I stayed out of the pool. I joined the blood bank pool instead.


My grandmother gave me an IBM Selectric typewriter for graduation from high school. The device was revolutionary with its cartridges you could pop in and out…even one with white sticky tape to lift off mistakes. An electrifying invention.

I put that typewriter to good use during my college days when I typed term papers for extra spending money. Finding typing business was a breeze...I tacked “ Call katTYPIST “ to the dorm bulletin board...and my dorm floor phone rang off the wall. I found that most kids would rather spend their time chugging beers than typing term papers. PaulA was a lucky college coed. I gave him the boyfriend typing..which gave him extra time and money to chug beers.

Although it is hard to beat word processing on a computer....there is an upside to the old clunker typewriter...especially in solving crimes. It's a lot easier to solve a kidnapping case using a ransom note composed on an old Underwood clunker than a laptop/printer. If you remember...the broken "e" key fingered the bad guy every time on episodes of “Murder She Wrote.”

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kat's Blog Light

With our obsession with diet and nutrition...everything has gone light...especially in the summer when we need to skinny into our bathing suits. So that means...calories are out…fat is out…sugar is out and kat is OUT.

Staying with the “light” trend, I’ve concocted a light…similar to a light beer....Kat’s Blog Light. When you read Kat’s Blog Light…you will feel less full of the original Kat Blog. And more satisfied.

You will find that my Blog Light will have more readability. Within its first paragraph, you will experience its great taste. You’ll experience the taste of pure filtered blog material….rich and smooth.

I promise the new Kat’s Blog Light will be everything you’ve wanted in a blog. And Less. Less verbiage. Less doublespeak. Less sarcasm.

It will be the champagne of blogs. It will have taste as good as its name:

If you’ve got the time…I’ve got the blog. Lose the absurdity from the original blog…not the taste.

Kat’s Blog Light, however, does come with a warning…..
Warning: Excessive Kat’s Blog Light may cause blurry vision, dizziness, and impaired judgment. Proceed with caution when reading.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

VIEWing Obama

What’s your view of President Obama appearing on The View...a sitting president sitting down for a little chat on a daytime talk show?

My first thought was that it didn’t seem very presidential. I’m very respectful of the Office of the I wouldn’t want it to be watered a shaken martini. Stirred only, please. And doesn’t Obama have more pressing and urgent matters to attend the economy, war, and his playful Portie?

But this is 2010...and things are different. Heck, he promised change...Remember?


The Obama family has a tradition at dinner of talking about roses and thorns. The rose being something good that happened and the thorn being a low moment or problem they had to deal with. So Baba Wawa asked Obama what his rose and thorn was during the past month of his presidency. He stated the obvious...his rose was the BP oil spill...and his thorn was the family trip they took to Maine. Or was that the other way around???

I got to wondering.....hmmmm...Could you see George Washington on The View being asked that same question? I can hear George answering, “I cannot tell a rose would be marrying Martha. I was damn lucky to marry into money. My thorn is the rumor that my teeth are wooden...which is not at all true. Although I do have a wooden leg...which comes in handy for maximum grog consumption."

Or President Abraham Lincoln answering, “My rose would be my stovepipe hat hides the fact that I’m actually only 5 feet 5 inches. My thorn is the premonition that someone might have an axe to grind with me. Or is it a bullet to the head? Well, one of the two."

Okay, and what about Bill Clinton’s presidency? “My thorn would be my encounter with Monica Lewinsky. My rose would be my encounter with Monica Lewinsky." hubba hubba.

On second thought, I guess I'm okay with the daytime TV VIEWing of President Obama...just as long I don’t ever tune-in and see President Obama on the Jersey Shore fist pumping with Pauly D.