Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Chez Kate (oh, and Alex, too)

We closed on our new home this morning. It was by far one of the smoothest, most pain-free exercises in a "process" that I've ever experienced. The paperwork was less than one inch thick (total!). Alex and I are now the proud owners of a bouncing baby mountain home.

The photo above doesn't do the place justice, but it's a hard house to photograph. This picture shows the front corner of the house, and I was standing in front of the garage when I took it. The side of the house faces the road, the back of the house faces the driveway, and the front of the house is looking out toward a lake and mountains and is surrounded by trees. Once I'm up there, I'll work on doing a better pictorial tour.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Mare's softball team took first place at a tournament this weekend (woo hoo!), their second tournament in a row in which they took top honors. It's a great team, and most of the girls turned 13 this year, so next year they'll all move up together to the 14-and-unders. They played three games on Saturday, which is amazing because before and in between each game there was rain or threats of rain.

Late in the day, I went to the airport and picked up my grandparents, and as we drove back the 50 or so miles from the airport to Boulder, the skies opened and dumped the worst rain I think I've ever seen. My grandparents live in Florida, so they're used to bad weather - they were troopers while I drove white-knuckled back toward home.

Edit: That photo is from the last tournament they played (and in better weather). Those are the practice uniforms, the game uniforms are shiny purple - they look like short Lakers!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Training Me to Harass, Sexually

We have mandatory sexual harassment training this morning. We watched this clip from "South Park" to prepare.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Moving On

Thanks for the emails (and for the comment, Ali). I felt weird about posting something like that, especially since it's not my heartbreak, but it did shape my days and nights this week. I'm moving on now, I don't want to dwell there. I'm still paying regular visits to my friend, as are many in her life, and she's being well looked after.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

No Good News

I haven't felt much like posting this week. My friend T. lost her infant son to SIDS a few days ago. His funeral was yesterday. He was a few days shy of four months old.

I don't really have anything to say, other than I can't begin to imagine my friend's grief. I've tried to just be there for her, because I can't think of anything else to do.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Anam Cara

We went to the wedding of some very good friends last night. It had lovely Irish touches, including large gulps of whiskey from a shared cup (the "loving cup" or "quaich"), and many humorous references to the bride's love of all things sci-fi. I think I had more fun at that wedding than perhaps any other, outside of my own. We also knew nearly every person there, which was rather nice and sort of unusual for me in my history of wedding-attendance.

Luckily for me, there was very good red wine, so I wasn't tempted by any of the strange concoctions that were being crafted behind the bar. Probably 20% of the bartenders in Boulder were at this wedding, so it was bound to get out of hand eventually. Alex and I left shortly after all of the groomsmen appeared dressed as Mr. Spock and serenaded the bride. It really was a fun, loving evening. I very much needed some sweetness and light.

Friday, August 11, 2006

On the whiteboard in the kitchen at work.

Happy Links

I've added a bunch of new links at the right - sites I had visited and liked enough to bookmark, have read periodically, etc. Mostly it's that I've just been too lazy to update my links. There is a lot of great and amusing writing out there, and one of my favorite things to do each day is just cruise around and check in with everyone. Now I just have to get better about leaving comments.

It might be time for another facelift for this here blog, but lord knows I have enough on my plate right now. Maybe that will be a good project for this fall, once I'm settled in a bit.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Golden Oldie

Hey, I have titles! Who knew? (Yeah, okay, I really should explore the Blogger toolbar more often).

I was looking through my archives this afternoon and came across a meme from last summer. I liked it, so here it is again, updated with today's answers:

    1. What is your name? kathryn (or kate)
    2. What color underwear are you wearing now? nude
    3. What are you listening to right now? Radio Paradise
    4. What are the last 2 digits of your phone number? 44
    5. What was the last thing you ate? prosciutto-wrapped melon, and grilled shrimp
    6. If you were a crayon what color would you be? purple
    7. How is the weather right now? stormy
    8. Who was the last person talked to on the phone? my nephew
    9. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? it's the smile
    10. Favorite Food? can i be honest??? fried chicken
    11. Favorite Drink? water
    12. Favorite Alcoholic drink? Heineken
    13. Favorite place to shop? the internet
    14. Hair Color? brown
    15. Eye Color? brown
    16. Do you wear contacts? nope
    17. Top or bottom? top
    18. Favorite Month? october
    19. Favorite Fast Food? i don't really like fast food - but Qdoba rocks
    20. Last Movie you Watched? "Clerks 2"
    21. Favorite Day of the Year? some Saturday in the fall
    22. Are you too shy to ask someone out? not at all
    23. Summer or Winter? winter
    24. Hugs or Kisses? both
    25. Chocolate or vanilla? vanilla
    26. What books are you reading? A Moveable Feast
    27. What's on your mouse pad? i don't have one
    28. Favorite Board Game? Scrabble
    29. What did you do last night? shopping, followed by dinner and cocktails with my friend Joni
    30. Who inspires you? Anne Lamott
    31. Butter, Plain, or salted popcorn? butter AND salt
    38. Favorite Flower? i'm not really a flower kind of girl
    39. What do you say when you wake up in the A.M? get off me, ruby
    40. Do you still talk to your best friend from middle school? didn't have one
    41. What's on your desk? apple, tangerine, three bottles of Eldorado spring water, graph paper tablet, phone, Bobbi Brown Black Cherry lip tint, mechanical pencil, stolen hotel room door card that says "do not disturb the calm little center of my universe"
    42. Rock Concert or Symphony? symphony
    43. Play or Opera? play
    44. Have you ever fired a gun? yes, and i hit stuff, too
    45. Do you like to travel by plane? not especially
    46. Right-handed or Left-handed? right
    47. Smooth or Chunky Peanut Butter? chunky if by spoon, creamy for spreading on things
    48. How many pillows do you sleep with? 2
    49. City and State you were born in? winter park, fl
    50. Ever hitchhiked? no

Just a quick update, for those of you following along at home:

We did buy a new house, and we're moving in on August 27. We decided to keep our house in Boulder, and we're in the process of trying to find tenants. The hunt for tenants is long and arduous, but we're hanging in there. We've had 6 families take a look, but nothing so far. I keep telling myself that it's because it's been available for so long, but it might be a tiny bit expensive. If we don't rent it by the end of this coming weekend, we're dropping the price.

I'm very excited about the new house. It's going to need a lot of work, most of which we'll do ourselves. We need to install a water softener for the well water, need to buy a new washer/dryer, and then once we're moved in we'll start a list of changes and try to prioritize them. Some are more urgent than others - there is a wall in the dining room that needs to get knocked down in order for us to fit our dining room table, so that will happen pretty quickly. There is only one bathroom, so putting a second one in will be a HUGE priority. There is some faux wood paneling that I'll be removing, which has to happen before we do new floors. There is yucky brown tile in the kitchen that needs to come down and be replaced, cabinets need to be cleaned up. I need your help here - the cabinets are okay, but BOR-RING. I'm tempted to sand them down a bit and then paint them white and put stainless steel hardware on them, which will then match the stainless steel appliances that we'll be putting in. Opinions?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Okay, here's the picture of THE HAIR. There is a lot of it. One thing that my family ain't short on, that's hair follicles. My hairstylist charges me extra for doing highlights (yet another reason to do it myself) because it takes her over an hour to put foils in.

This color is "Light Brown - Natural", which means that it's neither Warm nor Cool, so it's supposed to bring out your natural shades. It lightened my roots (and all the hair at the back of my head, near my nape, which never gets colored), so I think it's actually a bit lighter than my natural shade. Of course, I've been coloring my hair for so long that I have no idea what it would look like without color.

I'm going to live with this for a few weeks and see how I feel, and then I'll either continue to use this color or will go one shade darker. It's certainly much easier than having blond highlights (no rootage!).

Monday, August 07, 2006

I had to stop at the bank on the way to work this morning, and since it's directly next door to one of my favorite coffee shops, I made the rare stop for a nice schitzo skinny latte (that's half-caff, non-fat milk for you non-drinkers). I say "rare" because I hardly ever get coffee anymore - the stuff we get at work is pretty good, and at $3.60 a pop for my lattes, I figured I'm saving myself around $80 each month (have to keep reminding myself, saving is good, saving is good).

I always get treated well in my coffee shop, especially if one particular young woman is working. This girl and I go waaayyy back, to when she spilled a double-espresso INTO MY FAVORITE WALLET last year. Guess what? Credit cards stop working when soaked in espresso. Of course, she felt terrible and insisted on buying my coffee for months. Even now, she still jokes about it, makes sure the counter is clear of my wallet and purse before pouring. The coffee is no longer free, but it's still funny.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Alex and I spent about three hours last night watching back-to-back episodes of Dog Whisperer. I'd never seen the show before, in fact I think that we both thought it was about a pet psychic (don't ask....), but in fact it was really pretty good. Some of the episodes focused on dogs where we were both thinking either kick that dog or give it away, but I'll be the first person to admit that the love we have for Ruby could probably only be rivaled by a child, so I'm not gonna throw any stones at these people who put up with dogs that bark, dogs that bite, dogs that try to eat other dogs.

The Dog Whisperer (Caesar) is all about the "pack" mentality. He's the leader of the pack, and as soon as a dog that he is working with acknowledges that, he can start to work with the family on how to control the dog's behavior. One thing that really rang true with me was to watch how he required that the dog become submissive before he moved on to any work with them. He never calls the dog by name, it's more about body language and asserting himself as the leader. He has a sort of "dog camp" in Los Angeles that is home to around 40 dogs - some that he has rescued, some that he is working with, some that board while their people are away. All of those dogs, living in harmony. Have to say, I was pretty impressed. I think there is hope yet for my mom's crazy dog, Thor - my nephew is now responsible for him, and I told him to TiVo a few episodes of the show and watch them to get some ideas.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Moving day is about three weeks away, and I've only just begun to pack.

That thought fills me with terror, even though I'm an old veteran of house-moves. The house I'm about to inhabit will be my 21st address. I may even be forgetting one or two, but I know it's at least 21. I'm about to be 36 years old, so that seems like a lot of moving - but let me say that many of those moves took place before I was able to decide for myself. In the last 12 years, I've lived in 3 houses - 6 years in my condo in Santa Monica, a year-and-a-half in a house we rented when we first moved to Boulder, and now 4 years in our current home. That's not too bad.

One of the things that made me think of this is a news blurb I read or heard about recently about how many adults and families have no sense of community anymore, no "circle of friends" that they rely on for everything from babysitting to moral support. Among the factors they cited was that many adults move from place to place so much, far more than was common for our parents. Many people don't have jobs that are long-term, due to layoffs and competitive employers, etc.

In my adult life, I've always tried to create that circle for myself. I relish my home and my friends and the time I'm able to spend with them. Even when I've landed in a new city, one of my priorities is to find a place (okay, usually it's a bar) where I feel comfortable, and then to go there and seek out the faces that start to look familiar. Over time, I've built wonderful friendships with an incredibly eclectic group of men and women. I'm so grateful for them.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Well, I did it. I bought a kit of at-home hair color and used it. I was terrified.

Since we're buying another house, and I have this wacky goal of being out of debt sometime in the next 50 years, I've had to seriously cut back on certain types of expenses. The first to go was the personal trainer (an admitted luxury), followed quickly by my regular visits to the hair salon. My hair grows incredibly fast, and I've worn blond highlights for most of my adult life, so I usually have to go have them done every 8 weeks - even at eight weeks I have at least an inch and a half of rootage.

My goal going forward it about simplicity, about not needing so much STUFF. Along with sorting through my possessions with a wicked hand and creating two pickups full of stuff to sell at a garage sale next week, I'm also trying to make my day-to-day life a little less complicated. This led me to a frightening conclusion - my natural hair color *gasp*. Only problem is, I'm not exactly sure what my natural color is. Okay, I can look at the hair near the back of my head/neck for guidance, but it's pretty damn dark. I can look to my brows, but they're pretty dark, too. I'm not sure that I'm actually that dark-haired, although my father was. To make the transition a little less traumatic, I went with a light brown shade from L'Oréal Féria. It is a little too light of a brown for me, but it's a good interim color, and in a couple of weeks, I'll go a shade darker and see how that goes. The Feria stuff isn't permanent, it's meant to last a month or so. It's very gentle, but I confess there were some fumes last night that made me wonder if my husband put something in my water.

Anyway, I'm not posting photos yet. Maybe after the next color adjustment. Don't you just love progress posts?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A meme from Beth:

Five items in my freezer

  1. vodka

  2. peaches

  3. Boca lasagna

  4. beer glasses

  5. wedding cake

Five items in my closet

  1. many, many pairs of shoes

  2. many, many purses

  3. hockey stick

  4. rifle, shotgun and handgun

  5. extra toilet paper

Five items in my car

  1. parka

  2. 15 dog leashes

  3. extra socks

  4. flares

  5. first aid kit

Five items in my purse

  1. 11 tubes of lip gloss

  2. sunscreen (spf 45)

  3. Evian atomiser

  4. handkerchief with my initial embroidered on the corner

  5. check for $581.25 (woo hoo, gotta go deposit that!)