Friday, April 28, 2006

Twenty lives to live.

Okay! Jeez! I'll update! Man oh man.

Friday, 4/21 - Gina and I go separate ways and party with friends. She parties with Courtney, I party with some people from work. After 2 and a half dirty martinis for Gina, and about six glasses of wine for me, we somehow make it home at about 2:30 in the morning. Don't worry, we had a designated driver - Courtney was sober and drove Gina home and picked me up on the way.

Saturday, 4/22 - Scheduled Poppy reserve visit. Guests: Elizabeth & Nate, Lisa & Allyson, Gina & myself. Now, my friend Elizabeth at work promised there'd be poppies as far as the eye could see. We drove to Lancaster to the "Poppy Reserve," and there wasn't a poppy in sight. None. Turns out, poppies are pretty smart flowers and close upon themselves when it's cold, windy, or nighttime. Gina and I were nursing powerful hangovers and sporting flip flops for the 50 degree weather, and we wanted to see some damn poppies! The park ranger told us we could go about four miles down the road to see some poppies, so we went to what we called the Four Mile Away place. It was cold, it was insanely windy, but we did get to see some cool poppies.

Poppy field

Poppies look plastic.

I'm telling you: WINDY:

Windy poppy field

Elizabeth, who is a very cute wife of a very cute husband, and who insists on baking delicious cakes and pies once a week, has earned the nickname Cupcake. Cupcake wasn't so pleased when we kept teasing her about there being no poppies at the Poppy Reserve.


We managed to make it out of the day alive. Gina fell asleep at 7pm that night, and I stayed up, writing. Obviously not for my blog, but for actual money! Yay! Writing for money!

4/23 - Farmer's Market.

Truthfully, these pictures are from when we went to the Farmer's market a couple weeks ago, but whatever.

Beets at Farmer's Market.

Gina: You can't beet it!

We also went to a meditation class on Sunday, which was really interesting, except all I kept thinking about was the fact that if I truly get rid of all of the negative energy in my soul, I will cease to be funny. I'd rather be miserable and funny than happy and boring. *shrug* I never said I was a Buddhist.

April 24th started one of the busiest weeks of my life at work, and that, coupled with the writing-for-money thing, has left me little to no "free time."

I have been meaning to post some pics of the dogs we've dog-sat over the past month. We stayed a week at Courtney's place with Sassy and Stanley:


Sleepy Stanley.

It rained a lot that week, which Stanley did not approve of:
Rainy day Stanley.

We also dog-sat a little malti-poo named Friday, who we spoiled just as much as their moms do. Friday is an interesting dog and had really interesting toys:

Here's Friday with a stuffed pug:
Friday w/ pug.

Here's Friday with a stuffed pig:
Friday w/ toy pig.

And here's Friday with her two weirdest toys, a baby doll and a dead Halloween hand:
Friday w/ baby and dead hand.

Those one in the last photo are seriously her favorite toys. Those and a Cher doll that is kept upstairs in her moms' room.

As far as writing-for-money, I tend to get distracted while working, and I start to take pictures, like these two, taken while sitting at our kitchen table:

View from our kitchen table.

Roses in sunlight.

Tonight, Frank and Karen bring little Giovanni down for a visit. Then we have a wild party tomorrow night, followed hopefully by the Ashes and Snow exhibit on Sunday.

There you go. An update! I never promised it'd be cohesive...

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I remember learning in a psychology class about the tendency of the eldest child in a family to be an over-achiever, a perfectionist, a pleaser. If there is tension in the family, the eldest child will often do everything she can to ease the tension - sometimes, this attempt comes in the form of mediator. The eldest doesn't take sides... she solves the argument. Obviously, this can lead to conflicting thoughts and a lifelong tendency to steer clear of any escalated conflict. Nip it in the bud before there's even time to think about it. A pattern which seems to be emotionally more destructive is one where the eldest gets it into her head that if she's the best she can be, she will provide a necessary distraction to the crumbling of her family. So when she gets something less than an A, she finds other ways to excel. In this instance, she receives so much praise from everyone, no one is bothering to notice there's a problem anywhere. This will be good for her college entrance tests, but down the road, she'll quickly realize she can't solve everything by being good at something. This in turn will make her realize that being good at something might not matter as much as it used to, because who cares? No one's paying attention, and the rewards, if any, are not tangible enough to seek.

My family's interesting because there are essentially two oldest children. My sister Jessie was 9 when I started college. Once I started college, she effectively became the oldest. It's undeniable to anyone that knows Jessie and knows me that she and I have remarkably similar personalities. She's been a mediator her whole life. For whatever reason, Jessie deals with stress better than I ever have. She doesn't worry nearly as much as I do... she's much more calm. Still, she's not someone who will stand idly by while there's a problem. She's more strong-headed than I am, more inclined to argue her point, but when it comes down to it, she doesn't like when people aren't getting along, and she tries to fix it.

And of course, there is my sister Jackie, who is two years younger than Jessie. Her whole life, she has been this brilliant girl, consistently pulling good grades, always interested in learning. There's a contradiction in her life, however, which I imagine must be wholly tumultuous for her. As my mom puts it, she has a "wild streak." And there is no taming it. She's been a constant source of worry for me and my mom, and now for Jessie. She has so much potential, maybe more than Jessie and I combined, but she has no idea how to harness it. She's the one we've all been watching out for, the one we've all banded together to make sure she makes it into adulthood without getting herself into unnecessary trouble. This girl could change the world if she wanted to, and she needs guidance in making that opportunity a possibility.

There has been structural problems in my family for as long as I can remember. I know this is no different from any other family. My parents made the mistake of raising three really smart kids, kids that can only put up with so much bullshit that they dish. It's come to my attention that the structural problems are beyond repair, and that the house will surely fall. And now Jessie finds herself caught in the middle, playing the role of college student, sister, mediator, and now mother to our 17 year old sister. It's a role I played many times for the two of them while I was still living at home, but I had hoped Jessie would be spared that responsibility. Apparently not.

So now, the mediator lives across the country. But I still have the feeling that it's my responsibility to fix everything. Do I move back to Ohio for a year while Jackie finishes school? Unlikely. Do I move Jackie out here so she can finish school here? She'll never go for it. All I can do is make my voice heard, and for the first time, hand off the responsibility of fixing the problem to the only person who has ever been truly able to fix it: my mom.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I have a secret.

Well, it's not really a secret, since almost everyone that is close to me knows this about me. But it's largely a secret on this widely-read blog. And that secret is, I used to be super, super religious. And conservative, although I didn't really know what that meant when I touted myself as such. (Conservative in the literal sense of the word, not in the political sense.)

I attended The First Presbyterian Church in Hubbard, Ohio regularly from the time I was about six years old. In high school, I joined a youth group at a Pentecostal (evangelical) church. I was lucky enough to experience two very different denominations of Christianity. They gave me a good balance at the time.

When I stopped ignoring that fact that I'd been having feelings for girls for years, I stopped going to church. Presbyterians don't really shove anything down your throat other than love and respect for your neighbor, and for God. Pentecostals, on the other hand, are very quick to give you a reference list of things that are wrong: abortion, homosexuality, etc. Presbyterians spend a lot of time telling you what you CAN do to worship God: live a good life, volunteer, donate, be respectful, love. Pentecostals spend a lot of time telling you what you CANNOT do if you intend to worship God: no premarital sex, no homosexual feelings, no masturbation, etc, etc. Of course, I didn't realize the vast differences between the churches at the time. At the time, all I could think of was that I was gay, and being gay is wrong, and therefore, I'm not welcome at church. Any church.

As I've gotten older, and have become more open to learning about other religions and other faiths, church has become a completely different experience for me. I guess you could say I've become more spiritual than religious. This has allowed my church-going experience to change from obligation to privilege. When I go to church now, I'm flooded with emotion; my spirituality washes over me. Everything about church makes me feel something, and usually I spend the first half of the service with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. This started happening after I'd been away from church for a long time, and went to the 1st Presbyterian Church of Hollywood for the first time on an Easter Sunday five years ago. Since then, church has always had this affect on me. Every time I'm in a church: for a wedding, for a baptism, for just a regular service. I'm consistently overwhelmed. I have had trouble explaining this. Was it simply nostalgia? Was I reminded of my life as a church-going kid? Or was it God, happy to have me back if only for an hour once a year?

Gina and I went to church on Easter this year, and I realized why I keep coming back to this faith that my intellectual mind tells me is so improbable. I realized why it's emotional for me. It's definitely part nostalgia, thinking about everything that Easter used to be: frilly dresses, white gloves, the Easter bunny, finding hidden Easter baskets, dyeing Easter eggs, going on Easter egg hunts. More likely, it's the memory of what it felt like to actually have a relationship with God. No matter how unhappy I was in school or home, I had a constant relationship with God, one where I trusted Him to steer me in the right direction, to keep me and my family safe. It's a very crude comparison to make, but it's like going back to an ex you know you're still in love with. It's an undeniable and familiar comfort, and it's overwhelming.

But above all of this, it's the recognition and remembrance that, at it's core, Christianity is a religion of love. There is nothing more important to the fundamental beliefs of a true Christian than love. This gets lost all too often in so many sects of Christianity, but this past Sunday, when I walked into that church, that's all I could feel was love. I didn't feel judged or exiled. Instead I felt welcomed and appreciated.

All of this led to a feeling of home that is sometimes hard to find in a city that never stops to let you breathe. And I think this is the purpose of all of the great religions, to give you a sense of love, a sense of self, a sense of perspective, and a sense of home.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Text from Gina:

"I recorded Ellen for you today. Catherine Keener is on."


Today's one of those days at work where I feel like I should be called a firefighter and not a producer. I came in to an inbox full of fires that needed extinguishing, and that never makes me happy.

Last night, we dropped Gina's friend Lisa off at LAX so she could make her trek back to Cleveland. She's been our treehouse guest for the past four or five days. She's a librarian and she's cool, which is a rare find.


On her first day here, we naturally took her to Hollywood Boulevard to see the stars on the sidewalk and the hustle and bustle of Downtown Hollywood. This area used to be rather ghetto, but since they've put the Kodak Theater in there to house the Oscars (and now the Emmys, I'm hearing), it's sort of turned into a Times Square sort of place. Very touristy, very busy, still a little ghetto, but rather safe. Among the great history you see at the corner of Hollywood and Highland, there's also a lot of consumerism: Gap, Banana Republic, American Eagle, Sephora, etc.

As we passed the Gap, Lisa quietly asked, "Um, can we go in there?"

We went in and as soon as we entered, Lisa exclaimed, "Look, that mannequin is copying me!!"

She's copying off of me!

Lisa was happy to know her fashion sense was the standard at the Hollywood Gap.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

One year later...

My friend Kim's son Kyle was born a year ago yesterday. Kyle's not just another friend's kid. I feel a strong connection with this boy because I witnessed him making his grand entrance onto the world's stage. I jumped at the chance to be in the delivery room when Kim asked. There were three of us in the delivery room cheering Kim on - Kim's husband Stewart, Kim's friend from college Lisa, and myself. I think to this day the three of us feel greatly responsible for coaching Kim through birth. Kyle was born a little after 3pm on a Sunday, right on time, with a wail and a shock of black hair:


This was definitely the coolest, most amazing experience of my life.

As kids tend to do, Kyle has grown. A lot. We celebrated his birthday this past weekend. I wish I could've snapped a good shot of his eyes, which are like little pools of oil, deep set in his fair, chubby little face.


He got a sandbox for his birthday. Here he is, workin' the shovel:


Happy Birthday, Kyle!! Now you can have peanut butter!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Road trip #5,617 to the Bay Area.

Gina and I dated long distance... for a long time. It was lame. But during that time, we were lucky (?) enough to master the route from Los Angeles to San Francisco and back. Now, we're happy that we're both in the same city, and it's great that we don't have to make that trip anymore by ourselves, but really, we're over that road trip. Like... for real.

To spice things up a bit this past trip up there, we rented a car. Truthfully, we needed a bigger car to transport her parents, who were visiting the bay area from Ohio, back with us to Los Angeles. I did the responsible thing and rented a full sized car. When we got to Enterprise, the gentleman with the one-size-too-large-suit and tousled hair said, "You know, we're running low on this sized car... I can upgrade you cheaply, if you're interested."

Gina and I looked at each other. "Let's see what you got," I said.

We ended up renting THIS, for $31.00 a day (normally no less than $70 a day).


This picture doesn't fully tell you how big this Xterra is. It's huge. Gina and I are such SUV haters, but we sure didn't hesitate when we saw this little hush puppy sitting in the parking lot waiting for us. My car, a Chevy Cavalier, gets about 350 miles per tank, highway driving. This car gets the same. The difference: my Cavalier has a 13 gallon tank. The Xterra has an 18 gallon tank. We didn't care. The car had 2800 miles on it, it was bigger than almost everything else on the road, and it had a V6 ENGINE. We were in heaven. Mostly because I looked at Gina and could picture her driving a car like that with our kids in the back seat fighting. It made me happy.

Okay, on to the important part of the trip.

Giovanni was born a month ago on March 2, 2006. You can see his pictures from then on my March 8th post, which I would link for you but the post doesn't have a unique link, which is just one more reason I need to learn HTML and design my own freakin' page. Anyway, here is the perfect little boy... warning to any of you who have a baby and are thinking about having another one (you know who you are): this post alone might get you pregnant:

Sigh.  More knee bouncing.  Seriously.

Do I smell something?  Is that me?

Gioanni expectant

Giovanni close up

Giovanni sleeps in his new hoodie, B&W

(Click on the photos to go to Flickr, where there are a few more.)

Giovanni's dad (Gina's brother) Frank lives in the bay area with his wife Karen. Also in town for this weekend was Gina's brother Brian. I got the three of them to stand next to each other as more crazy DNA evidence. Brian wouldn't smile, though... but if he had, you'd see he looks exactly like Gina:


On our last day there, we went to this incredible Farmer's Market that Frank and Karen used to take us to when I would visit. It's in Mountain View. They have samosas and cappuccino covered almonds. Can you ask for anything more? How about some big ass "organic" strawberries?


Or how about a cute girl to shove a whole one in her mouth?

Mmm... huge strawberries.

I got both.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

What are they thinking?!

Meredith Vieira as the new co-host of the Today show?! Are you fucking kidding me right now?

Hopefully her contract will prohibit her from speaking.


I'm someone that could go to bed at 9:30pm and not think twice. I would have no problem falling asleep, and I could sleep until the alarm rang in the morning, and I would still hate getting up. I love sleep. I love being warm, and I love my bed.

Through several scientific experiments, I realized I don't function well on this much sleep. It's too much. I have found that if I stay up until 11 or 11:30, I have a much easier time getting out of bed, and I'm tired for much less of the following day. I forget about this trick, though, because when 10:15 rolls around and I'm still awake, I start to crave my bed.

Last night, I decided to force myself to stay awake until 11, at the earliest. Meanwhile, Gina fell asleep at 8:30 on the couch, so I was left to my own devices. I cleaned. A lot. I mean... I only cleaned the kitchen, but since we haven't been there for basically two and a half weeks, and hadn't really cleaned it for a month, it really needed it. I woke Gina up and told her to go take a shower. She said okay, read a little bit, and a few minutes later, I looked at her and she was sleeping again. (She had to take her parents to the airport at 5:30 in the morning yesterday.) I continued cleaning, but once 9:30 hit, I could feel myself wanting to go to sleep. But no! I didn't. I finally cracked a current issue of The New Yorker - I'm only about two months behind.

I woke Gina up again. "Do you want some tea?" She said yes, so I made us some tea. I placed it near her and woke her up; "Here's your tea."

I go back to the kitchen and continue reading. Then I decide I'm going to mess around with iPhoto on my computer, since all of you (read: KTP) are asking for new photos of our nephew Giovanni. I figured I'd finally put all of my pictures from my digital camera on to the computer, organize them, color correct them (as much as I know how to, which is hitting the "enhance" button on iPhoto), and then bring my computer to work and share them with you. It was great. I felt productive.

I looked back at Gina on the couch, and she had fallen back asleep, with her cup of tea sitting untouched.

"Gina!" I shouted. The couch is only about 7 feet from the kitchen table where I was sitting, so she jumped. "Get up and drink your tea, yo!" She started laughing, sat up, and sipped her tea.

I finally put my laptop away, changed into my pajamas, and forced Gina to get off the couch and take a shower. Poor kid, she just couldn't find the energy to do it, she was so tired. I went to bed proud of myself for making it to 11. I even read a little bit in bed! It was incredible!

This morning, it felt good to wake up. I was getting ready, putting all of my stuff together, right next to the computer so that I wouldn't forget it. I remembered my cowboy hat for Patrick. I remembered my bill for my subscription renewal for The New Yorker. However, I was halfway up Wilton Avenue before I realized I had forgotten the computer.

And in an instant, all of my productivity from the night before vanished.

I'll be asleep by 9:30 tonight, I'm sure of it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Today's lesson.

Here's another fantasically amazing lesson for everyone:

Always hold people accountable, and let them know you're doing so. This is how you let them know: say something like, I trust your judgment in this matter. That way, it's implied that you think highly of this person, and if something goes wrong, you will be disappointed in them, and you will blame them.

Takes the blame off of you! It's a great party trick.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Today's lesson.

Here at It's Katie, everybody!, we think lifelong learning is mandatory. We think the human race should learn valuable lessons each and every day. We also think every lesson is valuable.

Therefore, we're introducing a new segment. Actually, this will be the first "segment" of any regularity in this space. The segment is, for now, called Today's Lesson. I hope to come up with something a little more interesting than this, but this does the trick nicely, I think.

Today's Lesson:

It's really just all around easier to be a bitch, especially when it comes to work. You have a job to do, you can't possibly please everyone, therefore, embrace your latent bitchiness and use it to make your life easier. You'll be better at your job! You might even get a fat raise, or at least a thumbs up from your colleagues!


I guess there is a lesson in this for us all.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I think...

So um... I think lesbian comic Suzanne Westenhoefer is stalking me. First she shows up at Cedars when I'm getting my foot x-rayed three months ago. Then she shows up this morning at The Griddle Cafe. Man, I wish she could be more discreet. It's kind of embarrassing for both of us.