Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Birds! The Birds!

This is the last of my calendar paintings.

Dave got the remote control last evening (he was in his glory)... We'd just finished two days of long gigs (both fun - both outside. I'm sunburned, can you believe it? We sang at the base of a mountain at a ski resort. The resort was giving people "scenic lift rides" - and I'm told they heard us singing all the way up and down the mountain. That's cool.)

Anyway, we were tired. After the gig, Dave brought pizza over to my house and watched the second half of the depressing Eagles game. I was painting, so I couldn't say anything about what he watched next. The History Channel. The Plague. When that cheery bit of broadcast was over, I was still busy painting, so I never changed the channel. As I added the last bits of color to the birds, The History Channel charted the possible path of the Avian Flu. According to the HC, we're doomed.

So the Eagles are dying on the field, the sick chickens in China are going to kill the nations - but I still like this painting.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Humiliation, Part Deux

Tonight, I went to see my neice play in her high school marching band. The game was about an hour away from my office. Her band was playing the pre-game show, so I rush out of my office at quarter after five, trying to make it to a 6:30 show.

About halfway to the Poconos, I realize I've left my wallet and purse (and therefore all my money) in my office. It's way too late to turn around. I'd never have been able to get back to the office and back to the stadium.

I wondered how I was going to get into this football game...

I started digging for change in the compartment between the front seats of my car. I found $2.25 and some pennies. I figured I honesty would be the best policy, so with my handful of change, I walked up to the ticket counter.

Ticket prices - for high school football - were a whopping four bucks.

I smiled my best pathetic smile and said, "Hi, I just drove an hour to see my neice play in the band. I left my purse in my office... Um. I dug around in my car and found $2.25. Will you let me in for that?" (smile)

Just then, I realized that people are sometimes pretty darn nice. No less then three football fans tried to hand me money. The ticket lady said she'd sell me a student ticket for $1.50. I could certainly afford that, but the other fans were insistent. One in particular slapped two bucks on the counter and walked away. I thanked him, absolutely humbled and humiliated...

Then something even more strange happened. The ticket lady gave me change. She actually tried to hand me fifty cents. I refused, thanked her, and left.

I'm such an incredible dork.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Call Me Miss December

(click on photo for slightly larger image)

I got hired to do the best freelance project in the world - Or shall I say "Comissioned?" I'm doing 12 paintings on black and white photographs for a calendar. Some of the photos I took - some were "acquired..." Anyway, I thought I'd run two of them by you - Let me know what you think.

Personally, I feel that becoming a calendar girl at my age is quite an accomplishment.

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Eddie Munster's Halloween

Remember my co-worker's adopted Boston Bull Terrier, Eddie Munster? Here's a funny photo of Eddie in his Halloween Glory. Thought y'all'd like it!


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Setting the World on Fire - And Not In A Good Way

I know you guys all love Fran, so I thought I’d tell you a Fran Story. Fran is the guitar player in my band. He’s a very good guitar player. He has very specific tastes regarding what constitutes a good musician…

But for Fran, life exists in the extremes, so if you don’t find yourself in his range of musical (or aesthetic) taste, Fran would like to set you on fire.

Examples of musicians Fran would like to flambe': Eddie From Ohio (great musicians – but they get a goofy/chatty at concerts.), Dave’s former Band mate (who once called Fran “Ace.”), Bela Fleck (I’m so sorry, Bela! I love you – It’s just Fran. It’s Fran.),and Rushad Eggleston (once again, great musician. He’s a cellist. Maybe second to Yo Yo Ma, but again, his stage presence, if you’re Fran, warrants FIRE.)

Being a team player, I sent Francis three top ten lists: One consisted of Actors who might be set on fire (although I am against charbroiling as form of death). The second, non-celebrities I would definitely set on fire (I have this brother-in-law who’s just out of hand…).

The third I will share with you. In a toast to pacifism, I salute:

The Top Ten Musicians I Would SAVE in the Event That They Are Being Set On Fire By Some Jackass:

Bruce Cockburn
Adam Duritz
Adrienne Young
Antje Duvekot
Lyle Lovett
David Bowie
Tie: Cyndi Lauper/Gwen Stefani
Tie: Laurie Anderson/Jeff Coffin

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Monday, October 24, 2005



Road Rage

On Friday, a kid cut me off on the way home. He had a stop sign. He didn’t even look to see if anyone was coming the other way – he just… merged.

This kind of stuff infuriates me. Where I can’t say I get road rage, I DO get horn-happy (notice I didn’t say horny – although I thought about it!). There’s nothing more fun than letting the youth of our nation know that they should be more careful drivers. I hit the horn maybe 3 times – for several seconds. I know it’s stupid, but it felt good. It’s my way of saying what I think when I know I’ll never see the offender again.

I follow behind “Mr. Cut-me-off” for about a half mile. He puts his turn signal on – right where I’m turning. I hit my turn signal. Where I feel good that he’s at least USING his turn signal, I don’t want him to think I’m a stalker. He then does something utterly mortifying. He hits his turn signal again – RIGHT WHERE I LIVE.

To make a long story short, he pulls into the driveway RIGHT NEXT TO MINE. I had road rage on my neighbor!

Oh dear.

There’s nothing I can do to mask the humiliation I feel about honking forever at my neighbor. Road rage is supposed to be an anonymous event! I just got out of the car, looked at him and said, “Please be careful!” He was embarrassed too… He apologized. I ran into my house.

I think I’m going to remove the horn from my car.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Just for Trixie

This post is ONLY for Trixie, so everyone else can avert their eyes... Trixie said she hasn't seen any photos of me (and it's true - she hasn't seen my new glasses, but here I am - in Florida with Robin Hood and my nephews.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Girl Has Needs

Trixie inspired the following post... She typed "Trixie Needs" into Google. I typed "Kelly Needs," and here's what I got. Some of 'em make me giggle.


Kelly Needs Modesty

With a 2nd place for Andy, Kelly needs a 3rd or better.


Kelly needs to go the distance at Augusta

i need a band like r kelly needs a 12 year old to pee on!

To really thrive, Kelly needs to be part of a loving, committed "marriage.

Kelly needs a Friction Massage

Kelly needs a helping hand

Kelly needs all the expert help she can get in reversing recent erosions ...

(And BOY, do I ever!)


Monday, October 17, 2005

Get Out The Vote

On Saturday, I took the following photos for Ed Pawlowski, Mayoral Candidate for Allentown, PA. Who wouldn't vote for this guy? His daughter looks like a tiny Kate Hudson. The son is cute. The wife is stunning. Just thought you guys would like them (and notice how politically active I've become!) (Even though I don't live in Allentown...) (Note, I spoke to the mayoral candidate in MY town - she's my dry cleaner. She said being mayor really only has to do with controlling the police force... Not a bad thing, I guess).

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Dave and I have a running dialog about accents. He's from West Philadelphia ("Fulldelfee-ah"). I grew up in the Poconos (no known Pocono Accent - unless you're from the sticks, in which you should just say 'ain't' a lot), went to college ("callidge") in West Michigan ("Mesh-agun"). I also like imitating New Yorkers ("Noo Youwah-kahs").

I love accents. I define them as the regionalization of vowel sounds. For example. Let's take the short "a" sound: Aah. If I were a news anchor, I would very likely be asked to say a word like "Hat" with that ahhh. If I were in Michagan, it would change to a word that would be two syllables if it wasn't spoken so quickly: Heee-aaaht" Think of "Deeeaaahd, keeeean I heeeeahve the cahr?"

In Boston, the same "Dad, can I have the car?" phrase might sound like this: "Dad! Can I have the caaah?" (Bostonians might change my definition of accents. They don't use the consonant "R" if it's at the end of word.)

When Dave and I were down south this summer, we both thoroughly enjoyed saying "Haiiii!" to each other.

This brings me to another funny aspect of accents... They can be mixed with other regional accents. For example, my New Yorker Aunt, after spending years living in North Carolina and Alabama, says, in a charming Newyorksoutherndrawl, "Hey, Y'all! How yoooo doing?" (Much cuter when you hear it in person.) I once knew a guy from Massachusetts, who lived in Long Island ("Long Guylind") for a long time. He would admonish me to "Agnowlige, Uh-JUuuuhst and Move Aaaaaaahn." ("Acknowledge, Adjust and Move On...")

Back to Dave. The funny thing about the regionalized Philadelphia accent is what they do to the letter "e."

It's terrible. Or, as Dave would say, "turrible."

I tease him. (and he teases me back, as I will demonstrate in a moment.)

Think of the following phrase, and you'll fully understand what I'm talking about: "Dave, say 'Terrible Cherry Syrup'." "Turrible Churry Surrip," says Dave. Tee hee.

Dave says I say "syrup" like this: "SEE-rup." He completely wrinkles his nose when he says the "SEE" part.

The area where I've live has it's own regionalization and it's very own accent. The Pennsylvania Germans, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch, live here - specifically in more rural towns. Famous PA Dutch phrases, for the truly Dutch, are things like "Outten the liahts, now ohnst..." That means "Turn the lights out." A popular regional commercial features two famous local Dutchies, Homer and Pumpkin. They argue back and forth "You're a reeeel pisa work, don-CHA-KNOOOO?" They call each other "Doom BUHnees." (Dumb Bunnies)

Dave says I talk like the Dutchies. He's wrong - but the PA Dutch have a certain melodic cadence to their phrasing that I sometimes catch myself using... It would be as if each sentence finished at a slightly higher pitch than it started. I'm sorry I can't demonstrate this for you in writing. Dave makes sure I am made aware of every instance I fall into this linguistic pattern.

It's okay, though. Whenever something bad happens - I just tell him it's turrible.

And for sharing my story with you, I feel much butter now, so y'all come back now, y'heeeeiah?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

One More Day And I'll Be Naked!

I have been so busy lately. I was going to do wash last night, but work ran a little late. I didn't have time to do the entire mountain of laundry before band practice, so I ran to the mall. I bought new undergarments (I feel you just can't have too many), and a new shirt.

So today, I'm not only clean, but have a groovy new haircut. I squeezed it in over my lunchbreak.

My hairdresser, incidentally, is upset with me for not having enough time for new color. She says I have a "highway" spanning my partline... Can you imagine that?!! Alas, she made me promise to come in on Saturday AM at 7:45... She's the boss, however. What do you think? Should I go red in honor of Fall? MMmmmmm.

Regretably, I have to go. If I don't do wash tonight, I'll be naked tomorrow. A girl can't go shopping every night of her life, you know!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Mouse In The House

Dave sent me this photo, taken by a co-worker of his. Apparently, they found what was jamming the printer... And it was still alive! Poor little guy. He looks like he's had a rough go of it, doesn't he? The photographer (and un-jammer extraordinaire) reports that they were able to disassemble the print cartridge (or whatever the part was) without further harm or humiliation to the mouse. He also reports (just so PITA can breathe a big sigh of relief) that the mouse was released in the woods.

Cheers to freedom!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Lump Yourself In With "A Famous"

A few weeks ago, a kid approached a TV meterologist I know and asked, "Are you a famous?"

On the grand scheme of things, this meterologist is certainly locally famous... She's just one step away from being nationally recognized. All she has to do is say something dirty or inappropriate on live television.

What's struck me lately is that there are not only degrees of fame, but also degrees of infamy. Just ask dirty shock jocks like Bubba the Love Sponge or Howard Stern. Both are the reason Clear Channel Communications have been heavily fined (they both have spoken some incredibly inappropriate things on the air. Where both paid the piper and got fired, both seem just as happy to move to satellite radio, where they can exercise their free speech rights to the galaxy.

Don't even get me started on the famous 'wardrobe malfunction' incident...

The United States' great morality leveler is, of course, the FCC. It seems that neither money, age, sex, nor job seem to matter in regards to acceptable broadcast decency. What's said/done is said/done. You can't take it back...

The most recent broadcast 'oopsie' surprised me. It didn't happen to 'a huge famous' - but to a mere NY Times bestselling author. The FCC doesn't care who you are - once you're in the fray, you're in the fray.

Author/Commentator John Feinstein said the ‘F-word’ during his radio broadcast of the Navy/Duke game. More specifically, he announced his opinion of the referee to the world: “That was a bad f-ing call…” He reported that after the deed was done, he looked around the booth to see who said it. He then took himself off the air, found the Navy commandant or athletic director, and offered to resign. (I'm writing stuff from an NPR story I can't find online - sorry if I'm paraphrasing... Sorry, John, if I'm misquoting you...)

A ’77 Duke Graduate, Feinstein has written quite a few best-sellers, including ‘A Good Walk Spoiled,’ ‘A Civil War,’ ‘A Season on the Brink,’ ‘The Last Amateurs,’ and ‘The Punch.’ He has chronicled the Army/Navy rivalry, and is an expert on all things Golf. He is a noted national columnist. His voice frequently graces National Public Radio, as well as miscellaneous Patriot League contests.

One of the benefits of being an author is that all of your potty-mouthed comments will be edited before publication. Not so on John's live microphone.

I met the in-famed author when I was stage managing for live basketball a few years ago - I thought he had an ego, yet could back it up with great writing and an impressive memory for sports statistics - and at times, he was a pretty good story teller. The best story I've heard him tell, however, was his apology on NPR this weekend. He explained that his mother told him his worst habits would one day come to light... Unlike Howard and Bubba, however, John will maintain his job at Navy - AND, as reported on NPR, is happy to say he's been 'swear-free' for five days - and hopefully one more.

Waydago, John! I wonder if there are any 12-step potty mouth programs for all those "famouses" out there.

No Autographs, Please

Yesterday, Dave and I attended a wedding reception of one of his old friends. The guy is a contractor/architecht in a very well-to-do community outside of Philadelphia. He and his new wife are in want of nothing, so as a gift, I sent a donation to a local charity in their name.

I wrote out the details in the card. As I signed my name - I stopped short. The question: Do I sign Dave's name or not?

Where I don't want to make it sound like I have a rule for everything, signing for other people should be limited to married couples, or those with power-of-attorney, executive secretaries, payroll companies, or kids forging mom's signature to get out of gym class. I remember recieving a card from a friend of mine. It signed "Love, Theresa and Jeff" - but Jeff didn't sign it. Theresa did. The two had been together for less than a year. It was just a little pretentious for me... That's why I wouldn't sign Dave's name.

I called him. "I got the card, but you have to sign it. We haven't been together long enough for me to sign your name." Dave just laughed - a lot, actually. He asked me, "Who else thinks about this stuff besides you?!!"

I don't know. But I made him sign his own name.

The reception was fun - we played some music, ate and wished the bride and groom the best...

Are there any etiquitte rules for signatures? Just wondering if anyone knows the official rules.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Slap My Horse & Call Me Shorty!

I learned something very interesting about my parents this AM. My father calls me up. He's very excited. Usually, this means he wants to talk about the weather. Since it's finally raining here after months and months, I figured that's what the energy was for.

"Guess what I did last night?!!" he asked. "Your mother and I went to our fiftieth high school reunion!"

Wait a minute. Here's what I've learned about my parents in the last 34 years or so: They're quiet. They keep to themselves. They're funny, but only if they know you - and even then - only if they LIKE you... It's difficult to pull information out of them - and only in certain circumstances, will they talk about their past. It took me hours to attempt to get my mother, for instance, to tell me how Dad proposed to her. She tightened her lips and wouldn't utter a word. In defeat, I went to my father, who, oddly enough, revealed that it wasn't the most romantic proposal - and it was largely driven by my mother. "C'mon, Bill. Let's get married. It'll be fun!"

It's only after a long discussion before my mother would tell me about living at the YMCA in New York City while attending school in the city.

If I want some information from my father, I have to state what I want to know - and then wait until he's good and ready to tell me... That might take days. Eventually, I'll find out.

...And this is only because I'm their daughter. While growing up, countless friends and acquaintences asked me why my father is so hard to get to know. "Kelly, he hardly ever says anything..." The "Uber-Honest" Kelly might admit that he doesn't talk to those he dislikes... but that's not very polite, is it? So I just say, "That's odd. We can't shut him up at home!"

Anyway, my parents rarely speak about their past - which is what surprised me so much about their attendance at their 50th reunion. The only reason I knew they'd even GONE to High School is because I found their old yearbooks. (I was especially intrigued by the signatures - one of them actually said, "Well Slap my horse and call me Shorty!")

I pressed for details. My father said, "No one knew who I was!" He noted that after he told them, they knew - but not at first glance. "I walked up to Norman (old buddy of his) and said 'we bearded men have to stick together!'" Norman had to go out in the hall and ask the registration table people who Dad was.

When Dad was in High School, he was beyond handsome... He still is - but is now mostly bald and sports a beard (some say he resembles Sean Connery - which I would imagine is very flattering). I mentioned that if people knew my grandfather, they'd have recognized Dad... (All the pictures I've seen of my grandfather, who died before I would've remembered him, look exactly like him...) He said, "Yeah. Someone mentioned that last night." He said that none of his four or five close high school friends were there (he grew up on a farm and most of his friends were members of Future Farmers of America...) "I didn't hang out with that many people in high school. I usually had to go milk the cows!" In fact, he didn't really know or date my mother until years after graduation.

Mom, who only attended that High School for one year, simply said, in true mom-like fashion, "Oh it was fun. People really change in 50 years." My mother looks far more like her senior portrait than my father resembles his. Mom still wears her hair short (and has all of it...) - and her face is basically the same. "Kelly," Dad quipped, "You should go to your reunions. It's amazing how much weight people gained!" (Fran might note that they need ab work.)

Remember that line in Grosse Point Blank? Marcella (Joan Cusak), while encouraging Martin (John Cusak) to attend his 10-year high school reunion, said something like, "You should go - It was just like everyone swelled!"

I didn't go to my 10-year, and was surprised to hear my father encouraging me to reunite with old high school friends. "Dad, I talked to five people in high school!" Then, I surprised myself - Even in High School, I was just like my Dad. Just a few close friends. I kept to myself. I guess, if genetic codes continues on schedule, I'll eventually cave in and go to a reunion.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Pathetic Things Famous People Must Contend With

How do you think Katie Couric feels upon opening and reading this headline?

"Today's Couric Gets Mammogram"

Poor famous people. Nothing's private. Nothing's sacred...

Dancing Around In Your Bones with the Scientific Community of Philadelphia

Here's a new twist on Halloween for you!

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is hosting an amazing exhibit, where scientist Gunther von Hagen displays the human form in a very creative way: by plastination of cadavers. It's called Body Worlds. The homepage reminds me of a Tom Waits song, "Come on in, It ain't no sin - Take off your skin and Dance around in your bones..."

The website says (The following text and photos are from the Franklin Institute's Website): Throughout the ages, medical scholars and students have strived to understand how our bodies function through exploration of real human specimens. BODY WORLDS, one of the most highly attended touring exhibitions in the world, takes this tradition one step further by presenting a new look at the human body. The exhibition features more than 200 authentic human specimens, including entire bodies, individual organs and transparent body slices that have been preserved through the process of "plastination," a technique that replaces bodily fluids and fat with plastic"

Here's the process:

Here's a photo of a human heart, as under the plastination process.

(I wanted to put the photo of the swimmer up, but I was afraid I might upset any queasy readers I might have.) Enjoy - I think I'm going to try to make it to this one... and Maybe the Mutter Museum.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

World Cafe Live

Ok. I haven’t had a hangover in forever. Apparently World Café Live makes mighty potent drinks. Yikes.

We saw Antje Duvekot, Lizanne Knott, and Melody Gardot sing in Philly last night – It was a pretty good show. Y’all should check out Melody. She’s impressive. She made a CD because she had some time on her hands – due to a bike accident… It’s a lovely, lovely CD. Her website also has a poignant commentary on the state of today's healthcare in the US... grrr

Ok. I’m 4 Excedrins, 16 oz of coffee and a second listen to the Melody CD into this headache of mine. I’m so stupid….

But I got to make fun of Fran - by telling him everyone in the room needs ab work.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Early This Morning

I called Dave early this morning. "I talked to Heather about the cat." I told him. He asked if everything was okay.

Here's what happened. Her mother picked her up from the airport on at Midnight on Sunday (Monday?) - On the way home, Oreo came up, so Heather's mom told her all the bad news. Oddly enough she took it pretty well.

On the phone with me last night, she said, "You know, I'm done rescuing him. Apparently he didn't want to be rescued - Thanks for doing everything you did to try and find him. You didn't need that - I'm sorry for all the trouble..."

She also said she had an upsetting dream about him last Wednesday. She woke up thinking something had gone wrong. "You know, if he's dead, maybe it's his way of saying goodbye to me..." I'm not sure how I feel about that - but it seems to give her some comfort.

We're kind of expecting the cat to resurface with its old pack (Pride? Tribe? Cronies? Herd?) - so we just might see the sneaky old Oreo again.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Feeling Fat

I have to tell you guys. Today, I am wearing a pair of jeans I haven't been able to get into for over a year. This should be a moment of personal triumph... A moment of recognizing that I actually DO have self control... A moment of extreme pleasure in starting to actually see a goal...

But I'm feeling really fat. And I think I know why:

I was at a Tom Rush concert last night in Philadelphia with my very fit (and committed to his workouts) bandmate, Fran. A man named Chris (friend of Fran's) met us at the venue. Chris, like me, could stand to lose a few pounds, which make us pretty normal, I guess..

Fran is suddently single after 30 years of marriage. His ex-wife is one of those very selfish and useless women. What I mean is simply that she can't seem to make a decision or a positive move on her own, yet will make those around her miserable until she gets what she wants. She doesn't finish what she starts. Her redeeming quality is her appearance - she's a yoga instructor. She's very trim and very fit. She's attractive.

I ask: If you're not nice, independent, or able to function properly on your own, what difference does it make if you're thin and pretty or not?

Ok. So Fran is at the stage in divorce-hood where he'd like to have some sort of working relationship with a woman. His criteria, however, are probably impossible to meet. Let me first tell you my personal criteria, just so you'll have something to compare. Mind you, I'm not single, but if I was, this is what I'd be looking for (and this is what I'm dating):

1) Unmarried.
2) Straight.
3) Doesn't live with his mother.
4) Must have a good working job.
5) Must have intelligence and humor.

Fran's (Fran is just over 50, mind you)

1) Age: 28-40.
2) Should be too old for his 21 year-old son to date.
3) Must have body like ex-wife's.
4) Must have qualities highly prized by the superficial mind (his words, not mine).

Ok. So Chris, Fran and I are sitting at the bar, waiting for Tom Rush to appear. A woman in her 40's approaches the bar. She was brunette and thin, and wore a loose brown sweater and pants. She's attractive enough for Chris to notice, although I was the one to speak with her. She wasn't approaching the bar for any other reason than to order something from the bartender. I moved my stool a little and called the bartender over. She ordered, thanked me and left.

Chris: Fran, you should talk to her.
Fran: Naw. She needs to lose 30 pounds.
Kelly and Chris: WHAT???!!!
Fran: And she needs some ab work.
Chris: She doesn't need to lose 30 pounds!
Fran: Ok, well 20.
Kelly: She seems nice
Chris: And she's pretty. If you don't want to talk to her, I will - I like her.
Fran: Fine. She's yours
Kelly (to Fran): You're an idiot.

Normally, I don't call people idiots out loud. I might think it, but I rarely, if ever, verbalize it. This time, however, I not only meant it, but meant it with a vengeance. Chris was a little put-off as well. He was nicer, however, and talked about the importance of meeting someone who was both pleasant and interesting. I however, called my friend Fran an idiot. I really meant it. I still mean it. I still love Fran, but I think he's an idiot. There. I said it.

I know what put the ire in my fire... I really think that - in spite of fitting into pants that I couldn't fit into for more than 365-and-one-quarter days, Fran made me feel fat...

And that I need ab work.

And that I need to lose 30 pounds.

Today, I told this story to another band member. I asked, "How is it Fran lets us play in a band with him and be overweight?" He didn't know. "I don't know how he plays in a band with a porker like me. You and Dave are much better off than I in that department."

How is it that only after Scott said this, did I feel better?

Ok. Now that I've vented - I guess I still feel pretty damn good about fitting into these pants - ab work or not.

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Costumed Mascots, Parties, and Weddings

Friday Night’s fabulous Philadelphia party celebrated our friend Danny’s 40th Birthday. The event was held on the 50th floor at the Top of the Tower – and the view was beyond belief (photos coming soon)! I think Danny was shocked, shocked, shocked. The food was perfect, the band was absolutely the best cover band I’ve ever heard – and the guests were just happy to be there.

Only one little low point: Everyone was surprised when a woman arrived, wearing a natty and off-brand Big Bird costume. She sang, made bad jokes, and did the Chicken Dance… much to the mortification of my friend Laurin (who threw the party)… “Kelly, please delete all the chicken pictures.” Thankfully, the spectacle lasted a short few minutes.

I feel obligated to present “Kell’s Guidelines for Costumed Mascots.”

1) As a general rule, costumed mascots should only make appearances if the costume is high-end, good looking, and well maintained…

2) Content-wise, costumed mascots should only appear if the material is appropriate for all ages present (no stripping gorillas around the kiddies!).

3) Over all, if a costumed mascot is required for some reason that fits into someone’s warped sense of humor – or someone’s patriotic duty to feed into someone’s economy, limit your costumed mascot appearance to the delivery of singing telegrams at house parties, or maybe, if appropriate and not too illicit, at an office birthday lunch. Other appropriate events include grand openings, children’s birthday parties, and of course, civic events like fairs… (you can always send a singing phonegram instead. Much classier)

4) If the event is a wedding reception, or party at the Top of the Tower, don’t hire the mascot!

5) When the costume is natty, fragmented, incomplete, smelly, torn, cracked, or dirty, it should be cleaned, repaired or replaced.

6) Sporting events, kids restaurants, Toy Fair, and theme parks should be the supreme examples of appropriate mascot use. The costumes are cool – the actors inside them are energetic and entertaining, they are professional – and don’t purport to be anything other than the character… no strippers, no would-be singers, blah blah blah.

Take Saturday’s wedding as an example of the appropriate (if a little eccentric), use of a character… Spiderman. The great thing was – no one came in costume as Spiderman, yet he left an indelible mark on the proceedings – Because it wasn’t overdone, I’m okay with it… Note, this kind of stuff isn’t for everyone, but I think weddings should be a reflection of the couples’ personality – and this fit.

As I said, the wedding was a little unusual. Before I start – know that the bride has been reading Spiderman comics for 20 years. She’s seen the TV shows and the movies. She recognizes that the movies did not represent Willem Dafoe’s best work…

But I digress. The wedding was held at a summer camp. The outdoorsy couple “zoomed” into their married life by flying down a 40’ zip line over a lake (photo to follow). The bride had her gown cut in two pieces so she could remove the skirt to fly down the zip line. In lieu of the skirt, she sported a pair of baggy Spiderman shorts. The groom zipped down the line shortly afterwards. I have to hand it to him. He’s allegedly afraid of heights, so good for him. Way to support the wife.

The flight marked Spidey’s third mention at the wedding. The groom’s vows included a sentence something like, “And I’ve even accepted Spiderman.” As a joke to the bride and groom, the best man handed the groom a spider ring instead of the traditional wedding band. (The real gold band appeared two seconds later…)

Later, when the newlyweds were introduced, they entered to the ‘60’s TV theme, “Spiderman, Spiderman – Does whatever a spider can…” The bride even re-worked the lyrics to the same theme song to fit the wedding. It was silly – but fun.

I guess for me, the jury’s out on theme weddings – This one certainly didn’t go over the top (which I appreciate) by hiring a natty-stocking clad superhero… Think about it. It could have been really ugly.

Mascots belong on the sidelines of basketball courts, baseball diamonds, and football fields. They belong at Disney, Chuck E. Cheeses, and costume parties. I’m not against them – but overall, if the dress code is semi-formal, there’s no real place for stripping gorillas or chicken-clad lounge singers.

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