idea.

In the midst of what turned out to be one of the best weekends I have had since my move home- I got an idea. I will give a little bit of background before I tell you what it is:

I have found that I have been asked to be in an unusual amount of wedding parties. I am not comparing myself to Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses, but I’m close. Now- whether I have been IN every wedding party I have been asked is a whole other story (and I am not even going to talk about the dress choices of some of those events), but let’s just say I am VERY familiar with the process. Many times, I am asked to take lead in some of the activities and planning beforehand. I am able to make the time and get things accomplished with little to no effort, so I find it’s actually kinda fun to do it. For instance: I planned an entire bachelorette party (dinner reservations, hotel, surprise for bride and details of the dates) the day I was moving from Chicago to NH, my last day at my former job- and while moving an entire apartment worth of crap (which I can thank my boyfriend for because he is selfless and wonderful). How did I do it? I just made the time. Didn’t take long, and I already kinda had the idea in my head. I knew what to do.

i am convinced bridesmaids dresses are designed to make us look ridiculous.

I have also been asked by my male friends on occasion to give some ideas for bachelor party locations, gift ideas for engagements- you know- the details the wedding planner isn’t involved in, as they are busy picking location, flowers and dealing with the bride (and her mother/mother-in-law-to-be).

It got me thinking: If there is a profession for the person planning the wedding details, why wouldn’t it make sense to give the bridal party a little backup too? A “consultant” for what do to in the supporting role. It could involve a pre-service interview from the bride, groom, and each member of the group in order to get a feel for personalities and comfort level of the events, reservations for the fun night (airfare, hotel, restaurants, entertainment), details of the shower, gift ideas, hair appointments for day of event, advice for when bride is acting insane- or when groom is getting cold feet, etc. You get the idea. I have a friend who considers it cruel and unusual punishment to be asked to be in weddings, yet he always does it- and always feels the same way after each event. Unfortunately- he has a lot of male friends and they ALL seem to be the marrying type. Don’t you think the process would be more enjoyable if all the effort was done for you? You don’t need to constantly think up all the details because someone is handing you the script. You can sit back, relax- and actually be excited for your friend’s happiness.

congrats.

Note: If this service does exist, I have never heard of it- so I am sorry. I did find THIS website for reference just now when I did a Google search. There appear to be a couple of sites, actually. Interesting, but a website doesn’t guide you with your frustration or do the planning for you.

Here is a picture of me and the bride for the wedding I am currently honored to have the MOH role. This picture was taken 17 years ago:

water country circa 1995

Her bachelorette party is August 11th on Cape Cod. I am pretty sure she will have a blast. As for the other details, she will just have to wait and see. ๐Ÿ™‚

Just an idea I had over some wine this weekend.

fifty shades of intrigued.

I’m a romantic, a dreamer, idealist and apparently a pervert.

I get things in my head of how they should be- and I get utterly frustrated if they don’t turn out exactly as the script says in my head. I watch way too many movies- and whats worse: I have always been a sucker for a chick-flick or a chick-read. Something my best friend, Courtney, knows about me. From time to time she will suggest something for me to get my eyes on- and of course I blindly obey (as she has known me my whole life, I seldom argue when I know I will enjoy it). I always end up loving whatever it is. Darn you, Courtney.

some would say I'm mildly affectionate.

She use to work for Alloy Entertainment (years ago) and suggested I read this series “Gossip Girl.” I comply…and before I know it, it’s a series on the CW and I can’t have people call/FB/text/communicate with me on Mondays during the hour it is on. I have since been able to pry myself away from the show (there are just so many times you can listen to the annoying voice of Kristen Bell narrate the lives of over-privileged 17 year olds who have a better knowledge of scotch than some 60 year old men I know), but it took years and I have always blamed her for my obsession.

and they think Lindsay Lohan looks old for her age?

That should give you a little bit of back history- there are many other examples of books she has had me read in the past, but I felt only one story was necessary to get my point across: She knows my weaknesses too well. It’s not that I think she has a secret deal with Amazon to profit on the books she recommends- because most of the time she will actually send me the book after she has read it, but its scary to think someone knows you that well. That, or I am just easy.

It’s this depth of knowing me that put a mild fright into my subconscious when the most recent addition to my library was introduced. “You have to read Fifty Shades of Grey, you just have to. You’ll love it.” So I bought it…and it took me less than 2 days to finish a 512 page book. Truth is, I couldn’t put it down. I had not heard of it, but I guess it has been all over the news lately. “Mommy porn” is the most frequent terminology I have seen in my research, post read. Gee, thanks, Court.

you have no idea.

 

Holy hell is this book dirty. I felt like a pervert with every turn of the page. I felt even dirtier going into the Barnes and Noble and asking for the other two books in the series! It was worse than when I went to get the remaining Harry Potter books (another suggestion by my dear friend) and they sent me to the children’s department with a look of disappointment. I didn’t know they were kids books, guy! I did have a funny exchange while in the B&N this most recent time that I felt was worth sharing.

Setting: I see the one nerdy looking dude in the store who is away from everyone else. Surely I can ask him where the books are and he won’t judge me- and he will be quiet about it.

me: (as quiet as my voice can go) Hello…do you know where the Fifty Shades Trilogy books are kept?

B&N guy: (YELLING) Oh! We sold out out the Fifty Shades of Grey book and the other two are not out yet, but you can order them!

(thank you for your discretion…I am beat red)

“psssst….hey…” I see a goth B&N employee chick to the right signaling for me to go over to her. I’m intrigued.

me: “yes?”

B&N chick: Have you read the principals office yet?

me: UM NO! (at this point I feel like I am a first time attendee at a swinger function)

B&N chick: You should. It’s REAL good. Now, I can order those books for you…do you prefer a phone call or an email. (she then whispers) the phone call is quicker…

me: phone call please. (and I thank her and scurry out of there…the whole time the guy is smirking and she is giving me a “you’re dirty too HAHAHAHHAHA” glare)

Moral of experience: I shall now order things off Amazon and I really should not listen to Courtney anymore.

My friend Stacey just messaged me about it – and her quotes puts it so perfectly…(Sorry, Stacey, I had to…)

“Also feel a little strange going on vacation and holding (read: visible to people) this book on a beach… with my parents around, knowing that my mom started reding it on her Kindle because a friend of hers told her about it. I know like EVERY woman in the country is pretty much reading it… but still kinda weird to read in front of my family! But I don’t know how I can stay away from reading books 2 and 3 over vaca!!!”

But then she adds: “I’m super intrigued to see where this story goes.”

Apparently, there is a little pervert in all of us. ๐Ÿ™‚ te he he…

this would only happen to me.

OK so this just happened:

Please note everything is accurate and if anything I am leaving out just how truly awkward this situation was for me.

I went to get a smoothie across the street. As I walked in some girl yells “you’re the first one!” I was like…? “I’m your first customer?” Everyone started laughing like there was some joke I was not privy to. SO, then I just openly asked people if the parking attendants cared which meter you paid at…to which I got a seriously strange reaction and looks from everyone in the room. I just chalked it up to being too friendly, and went on to my business of picking out a smoothie.

Keep in mind the whole time, everyone is staring at me so I got REALLY awkward myself and nervous.

I guess it was a signing of some Patriot, Kyle Arrington, (who was shorter than I am so how the heck was I supposed to know he lead the league in interceptions?? He looked like he worked there!) signing and doing pictures.

I am sorry we were not properly introduced, but I have no clue who you are. Thanks to Google, though, I am now informed.

His “agent” guy comes over and is like “would you like an autograph and a picture?? It’s free!” I said “Um no thanks.” The agent and football player guy looked like they were seriously offended. It was so awkward as I was the only one in the store and didn’t know what I wanted to order.

Side note: You should have seen the “agent” too. He was an overly-styled-hair guy who looked like he was going to the club…in a 200 sq ft smoothie place located in the basement of a brownstone. Also, none of them even bothered to answer my parking meter concerns. Callous bastards.

The owner suggested something I might like- I said OK..and paid (at this point I would have purchased anything so long as I could leave). Then they were standing around “you sure you don’t want an autograph for a family member?” I was like, “No, I’m OK.” Them: “Are you a Patriots fan??” (At this point I’m scared, seriously) “Sure, I guess I am.”

So I pay and go to walk out- as the mascot who had just put their outfit on (with a huge foam head) doesn’t see me standing there and slams me into the wall.

nice foam head, jackass.

I RAN. I really just wanted my smoothie.

THIS JUST HAPPENED.

scene of the crime.

making wishes and taking risks.

Recently a lot of life changes have gone on for me, so it gets me to thinking…what’s next?

Do I sit around and make plans I will only refer to when I am day-dreaming about what COULD happen, or do I suck it up and take the risk to do something proactive? It’s scary to make changes in my life- especially now that I am in my 30s, but I have never been a quiet bystander, so I refuse to sit around any longer. Let’s take some risks.

Now, when I looked up the exact definition of risk for the purpose of this post, it states, “A situation involving exposure to danger.” I feel that is the pessimistic explanation of that word. Couldn’t risk also expose you to great success? I am going to say YES! Yes, taking a risk could lead to great success and happiness. Sure, there is that other side (the danger one), but we aren’t going to think about him right now.

I’m gonna risk it all and do something that I KNOW will make me happier in the long run. I am going to step out of my comfort zone and be spontaneous again. Spontaneous. Funny to say that out-loud (well, out-loud via electronic/digital voice). This is an adjective I have honestly not been able to use in self-descriptions in YEARS. Let’s give her another look, shall we?

I urge you all to do something uncomfortable, different and new. I bet you’ll smile at the end…and it might just give you that spark in your life that you have been missing. Now, that being said: I am not telling you to act like Joel in “Ricky Business” where you steal your father’s Porsche, accidentally drop it into Lake Michigan (while stoned) and turn your home into a brothel. However, Miles has a point with his statement, “Sometimes you gotta say What the Fuck? make your move. Joel, every now and then, saying What the Fuck?, brings freedom. Freedom brings opportunity, opportunity makes your future. So your parents are going out of town. You got the place all to yourself….what the fuck? If you can’t say it, you can’t do it.”ย ย While this sounds like a blast, it’s not my point; Keep it within reason and keep it responsible! Come on- we are grown-ups people! However, I do believe Joel got into Princeton in the end. Just sayin’…spark.

Fall in love with something new and find a part of yourself that you forgot about…then thank me, Joel and Miles, Robert Frost, or even Nike.

Make your move. Why not?

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. -R. Frost

I totally agree.

 

what happened to our creativity?

When we are little kids, we are creative, spontaneous, playful, active and tireless- even entrepreneurial. I realize with age the second to later of the qualities will diminish naturally, but what about all the other things? If I wanted to play- I would go outside and build a fort in the forest. If I wanted to be creative I would draw pictures for everyone- including hand-drawn cards for holidays (I am pretty sure my mother still has them somewhere and no, they were not good). If I wanted to be better at something- I would put my sneakers on and challenge the kids in the neighborhood to a race (or my poor father- who I only successfully beat when I was a senior in high school). Want to move up in band? Sure- I would pick up my trombone and learn a whole book of songs, in a day. That was not for bragging rights; I genuinely wanted to be the best “first chair” in the band (no need for the comments- and yes, I did go to band camp). My friend Heather and I would ride our bikes from sun up until sun down. Courtney and I would pack a backpack (apple juice, cereal and granola bars) and venture into the forest for a day of exploring. If I wanted to make money- I would create a plan to sell lemonade or bracelets, and execute it, making everything by hand. It was non-stop and I had a blast doing it all.

So where does this ambition go? Have we become so comfortable with the lives played out for us that we stop living life and just allow life to happen to us? We have our routines and a whole new set of responsibilities that one can’t put aside for a horror-movie-a-thon until you have seen every single movie on the wall in Handy Ron’s Video Store (yes, I did this one summer), but at what point should we take some time to find that inner CEO we all were as children? In high school, I would race from (insert sport of the season/moment here) practice to my voice lesson, then home. The next day I would have Odyssey of the Mind, track practice and then play rehearsal. My routine now consists of work, work events, MAYBE working out when I have the energy, walking my dog, watching television and cooking. I make an effort to work in some charity work from time to time- but even my traveling isn’t for my own reasons anymore. I only ever travel for someone else’s needs.

I don’t mean to complain, again…as I always seem to with this forum, but honestly I am rather irritated with the pattern I have fallen into. I get more excited to get into bed and watch a movie I have seen 100 times than I would about experiencing something I have not done before. I still freelance some of my work, but even that is WORK! Ugh- it’s exasperating.

I am vowing to strike this lazy behavior from the record and LIVE again! Maybe take guitar lessons (something I have always wanted to do, but a bad experience with a rude teacher left me jaded for a while) or do a cooking class…maybe even get my Masters. I will have to think on this one because even the idea of doing something that doesn’t involve my couch right now is giving me a headache.

life was more fun when we were little

the art of bragging.

Adj. 1. bragging– exhibiting self-importance; “big talk”

proud – feeling self-respect or pleasure in something by which you measure your self-worth; or being a reason for pride; “proud parents”; “proud of his accomplishments”; “a proud moment”; “proud to serve his country”; “a proud name”; “proud princes”

 

We all know the people in our lives who fit this description. The ones who must let you know that no matter what you have done, are doing or own- they have done, can do and own it bigger and better than you.

“How great that you got a gold watch for your 10 year anniversary at your job…have you seen my rolex?”

You know who they are.

Yes, we know no one is as rich and amazing as you.

I’m not talking about being exciting for something excellent happening in ones life (I’m excited for you too!), I’m talking about the serial braggers..the ones who do with every word in their vernacular.

The funny thing about braggers is that they don’t realize how transparent their words are to the rest of the world. Their insecurities are so BOLD and obvious they might as well have a neon sign around their neck. I’m not writing about anything recently, mind you, I’m just remembering fondly all the laughs I have had on behalf of the braggers in my life. There is the family member or boss who will click their car alarm- just so you will be drawn to their new car. Then there’s the name-brand-freak-friend who will comment on everything- just so that the conversation points back to the fact that “they don’t know because they only wear X brand or dine at X restaurant” (fill in the X with any designer clothing or fancy establishment label you like). I have some people in my life that will only contact me if there is something completely random and unnecessary to brag about, and then end the conversation before I even have time to comment on; how many designer bags or pieces of jewelry they own, accomplishments of family members, money they (or their spouse) make(s), parties they attended, trips they took, etc. The list goes on and on- and NOTHING surprises me at this point in my life, as I have heard it all. The best part is that most of the time the bragger is full of shit. Part of their story might be true, but all in all its a complete fabrication of the reality. If the “brag” is true- you have to question why they feel the need to try and make others around them less? My mother and I actually made a game out of it to “count” the brags (silently, of course) when in the presence of a bragger. It’s very fun and makes you almost encourage the behavior. Oops…did I just admit that one?

Note to braggers reading this: We are not jealous of you, we are laughing at you. We like you as a person- and no matter how many things or stories you have- IT WILL NOT MAKE ME LIKE YOU MORE. Be yourself,ย it’s actually kinda worthwhile in and of itself.

It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles. ~Niccolo Machiavelli

SNL mocks it best with their series of skits and sometime digital shorts.

Love Samberg, as he couldn’t have expressed it better:

That is the end of my rant. Hope it gave you a laugh- or a nice reflection. If you have a funnier story than this- please read this again and pretend I am talking about you, as you are doing it again. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

treat your face with care.

When I was in high school- my aunt pulled me aside and taught me that I needed to prepare for the future now…through my skin. She bought me Clinique “City Block” that I started wearing every day. It was then I began to pay attention…as usual, I will share:

I have had the hardest time in my life finding products I actually like to use, that actually work. I have found these to be pretty great- I’ll attach links for you also, so you can find them if you like.

1. Avalon Organics Vitamin C Sun-Aging Defense Balancing Facial Toner.

refreshing.

My thoughts: Stuff feels awesome on your face after a shower. I also like to use it when I get home from work or right before bed. I buy it at Whole Foods, but I found it online HERE as well in case you don’t have a Whole Foods close. Just in case you don’t believe me that this stuff is awesome for you:

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is key to the production of collagen, a protein that aids in the growth of cells and blood vessels and gives skin its firmness and strength [source: WebMD]. Vitamin C also helps create scar tissue and ligaments, and it helps your skin repair itself [source: Milton S. Hershey Medical Center].

2. Olay Regenerist Products. (seriously all of them are pretty great)

over the counter isn't always a bad thing.

My thoughts: A friend of mine is the media buyer for Olay. They ran a promotion to add your address and you get THIS starter kit in the mail, free. I have NEVER turned back. Makes your skin look amazing and feel like it is soaking in moisture. I especially am a fan of the Micro-sculpting cream. This you can get at any pharmacy (CVS, Walgreens, Osco, etc). In their full sizes they are kinds pricey, but trust me when I say worth it.

3. under-eye cream… I am not starting with a product brand on this one because I have 3 I am testing out. I’m not trying to get the wrinkles out of a sharpei, but some touching up/prevention never hurt anyone. You can find all of them on Amazon.com.

  • Benefit “It’s Potent!” Eye Cream. Just got this one last week, but it feels great on my face. Middle of the road in price ($32).
  • glo therapeutics gloEye Restore. It was only $20, so I got it. We’ll see.
  • Kinerase Intensive Eye Cream. Got this one a few weeks ago and I can definitely tell if I use it. It was a little higher in price at $56.

4. the holy mud company “Pumpkin Glycolic Mask.”

smells like fall.

My thoughts: It’s awesome. It completely opens up your face/pores thou- so be prepared for a mild breakout after use. I’ve used it a bunch of times now and I can really tell that it saturates into your skin- and smells awesome.

5. ANYTHING by Kiehls.

so good.

I use everything from their scrubs to their tinted moisturizer– instead of foundation. The moisturizer takes like 2 seconds to apply, evens out your skin tone and is light. Trust me when I say anything on this website will be the highest quality products you have ever used (for men too). Their products are not cheap, but worth every penny.

Spoil your skin. Thanks, Aunty.

dear air conditioner.

Dear Air Conditioner,

Please do not take this as a slight. Understand that I simply adore how you keep me cool when it is an unbearable 107 degrees in the summer. I appreciate the hum of the breeze blowing in my room to help me fall asleep at night. Most of all, I know you are there for my selfish needs- any day and any time.

That being said; I have no tolerance for how sick you have made me. I know it was you because I am more sick when I turn to you- and Google told me so:

Air-conditioner lung: A form of the sick building syndrome caused by organisms that contaminate humidifiers and the piping of air conditioner ducts. The air conditioner blows cold air containing spores of the organisms throughout the building.

The organisms responsible for air-conditioner lung are the same as cause farmer’s lung which is due to repeated inhalation of dust from hay. (The organisms are thermophilic actinomycetes).

The symptoms of air-conditioner lung include episodes of fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath, typically occurring 4 to 8 hours after reexposure. Loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting may also be present.

The diagnosis of air-conditioner fever is made based on a history of exposure to air conditioning and consistent clinical features, chest x-ray findings, and pulmonary function tests. Confirmation comes from laboratory results showing exposure to thermophilic actinomycetes and other organisms known to cause air-conditioner fever.

Treatment is avoidance of offending organism from the air conditioner. Symptoms usually subside within hours, although complete recovery may take weeks.

Repeated bouts of air-conditioner fever can result in pulmonary fibrosis with cough, fatigue, and weight loss and progression that sometimes requires hospitalization.

If I end up with this “pulmonary fibrosis,” I will not be pleased. In fact, I will be down-right pissed off. I understand you didn’t know I was allergic to dust, but you didn’t have to make me so sick that I have not slept from coughing…all….night….long.

Thank goodness there is a breeze in the air tonight, so I won’t need you. However, I highly suggest that if you plan on continuing this relationship for the rest of the summer, and more summers to come, that you cut it out- now. I deserve to not feel like shit.

Please?

Warmest and sincerest regards,

*Katie.

 

more people should watch cartoons.

My mother just sent me a forward about eating dessert for dinner, rather than being sensible because you only live once and life is short. I can agree with that completely.

Here is a list that struck me today of things I also feel people should do more of: (Feel free to add your own!)

  • watch more cartoons
  • watch cheesy romantic comedies
  • sing out-loud when a song comes on that makes you smile
  • compliment other people when they deserve it (who cares if you know them or not?)
  • pet more dogs- animals in general for that matter. They are the only ones on this planet not looking for anything more than just that little love.
  • talk less about other people behind their backs.
  • eat cheetoes
  • take walks along water, and stop to feed the ducks
  • celebrate little league and pee-wee football games
  • learn how to do something NEW (play the piano, guitar, paint, cook, dance, sing)
  • hug and kiss
  • send real greeting cards in the US mail. REAL cards- not e-cards.
  • say please and thank you
  • forgive mistakes
  • rise above the obvious remark, if negative
  • say “I’m sorry”
  • refuse the urge to judge
  • laugh
  • drive with the sun-roof open or top town
  • appreciate advertising. someone is taking the time to create it for you.
  • drink red wine and eat chocolate and cheese with someone that you love, while listening to music.

Have a great evening. ๐Ÿ™‚