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.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Foolproof Guide To Dating At The Office

1) Don't date Co-workers

2) When in doubt, refer to Rule One.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

...And Speaking of Chicks

When my oldest nephew was at that tender developmental age of 7, he was nothing but a gas factory. Fartburpfartburpfartbelllllchfart... You get the idea. He'd giggle through saying "Scuse me..." but I could tell it wasn't helping... So I used to tell him, "Hey. Chicks don't dig gassy guys..."

One day, my nephew had enough.

"Aunt Kelly, can you quit it with the 'chicks don't dig' stuff? It's stupid."

Two weeks later - without provocation of any sort on my part, my nephew and I had the following conversation:

"Aunt Kelly, do chicks dig guys who can cook?"

"Oh, yeah! Absolutely!"

"Well do chicks dig guys who listen?"

At this point, I was so enraptured with the thought, I just yelled, "Yes! They LOVE guys who listen!"

"Aunt Kelly? Chicks aren't going to dig me..."


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Chicks are Catty

This was taken at a recent wedding - These two cute kids were arguing over holding the bride's dress... I forgot how important it is to be the kid to hold the bride's dress. In related thoughts - I forgot how important it is to feature only one flower girl in your wedding... I really like this picture.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Quick to Cry Racism

I have two stories that aren't really PC, but they're kind of funny in their own way... They're about two instances when I was "accused" of racism... but it just wasn't the case.

One night, I was walking to my car. I had been at a show - so it was probably 11 pm. As I walked down the sidewalk, I could hear someone behind me - but I kept moving. As I got to the car, I stepped off the sidewalk and approached the drivers' side door. This, for some reason, incensed the African American man walking behind me.

"I'm not gonna hurt you," he steamed. He thought I was crossing the street to avoid him. He thought I thought he was a threat. He thought that by stepping off the sidewalk, I was running away.

"But dude, this is my car..." (I actually said 'dude...')

Second instance. I had photographed a Jamaican couple's wedding. The husband owned a Jamaican restaurant in town. Admittedly, it wasn't a part of town I frequent, but I don't actually GO downtown that often. I didn't know much about Jamaican food - outside of hearing about oxtail soup... so I asked, "So would you guys meet me there sometime? I"d like to go."

The husband looked at me and said, "It's okay. White people go there sometimes..."

"That's fine - but I was actually thinking it'd be nice to have you there to help me with the menu."

There was a short pause before the husband said, "Sure. Just call us up. We'll meet you there."

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Belief, Flexibility, and Meal Time Debate

I’m learning that belief is a powerful thing – that can cause great hope – as well as great stupidity. I know y’all are gearing up for a post on religion. But it's not. I hate to disappoint you, but what I have to say is about belief, flexibility, and meal time debate.

I was in one of those gas stations that has a Dunkin Donuts drive through. I was in the store, in line for coffee behind a pleasant-looking gentleman. The cashier was at the drive through window, attempting to assist a customer. The microphone was pretty powerful, because everyone in the store could hear the following conversation:

Drive-Through Woman: I’d like a Bow Tie Donut Please.
Cashier: I’m sorry. We don’t have Bow Ties.
DTW: What? No Bow Ties?
C: I’m sorry.

DTW, BTW, refused to believe there were no bow ties anywhere in the shop, so she decided to question further – perhaps to prove that through sheer will, a Bow Tie would magically emanate from the oven.

DTW: Are you just out of Bow Ties?
C: No, we don’t make them here.
DTW: What, are you kidding?
C: No, I’m sorry. No Bow Ties
DTW: But have you ever made them here?
C: No, never.

By this time, it’s important to note that the man in front of me muttered, “Hoo-Bouy!” I laughed and said that this lady might need to get over it. Everyone started laughing quite loudly when the woman said:

DTW: How could you not have Bow Ties?
C: I’m sorry ma’am. No Bow Ties. Can I get you something else?

I think she felt that since she a) wanted a Bow Tie, and b) believed with all her heart that a Bow Tie should be sold to her at that exact transaction, she should indeed be able to purchase one there… She settled for a coffee roll.

In the next instance of belief vs. inventory, I appreciate the way the manager handled the situation.

Last night during dinner, the group of senior citizens at the table next to Dave and me was incredulous that the restaurant could have run out of anything. Server Alex, already flustered and apologetic about my dirty coffee cup (I wasn't mean about it - I just needed a clean one), was not prepared for the barrage of questions concerning the lack of lettuce, salads, or bread bowls available at the restaurant. He ran for his manager.

Manager: How can I help you?
Senior Citizen Spokesperson: How could you have run out of lettuce and bread bowls?
M: Well…

(NOTE: I appreciate the fact that in a small town like I live in, honesty is very nearly always the best policy… even though she probably gave the SC's way too much information.)

M: Well, we get our lettuce delivered twice a week – Mondays and Fridays… So just this afternoon, we ran out of lettuce and won’t get any more until tomorrow. It’s a funny thing. Sometimes you just don’t know how much you’ll need… and because the weather is getting warmer, more people are eating salads… so we ran out… But we’ll get more tomorrow.
SCS: What about the bread bowls? How could you run out of bread bowls?
M: (again – note the honesty in this unruffled manager, who knew that – regardless of will or belief, neither lettuce nor bread bowls would be available for these customers that night) Well, as you may or may not know, we bake all the bread bowls for the hospital cafeteria downtown. We never know how many they’ll need, but when they come in, we provide them. Today, they unexpectedly needed seventeen of ‘em, so that pretty much wiped us out.
SC: Do you know I’ve been coming here for thirty years? And never in that time have you run out of lettuce or bread bowls?!!!
M: I’m very sorry – but we won’t get our delivery until tomorrow.
SC: Well I won’t be here tomorrow – In fact, I may never come back…

The manager, seemingly unaffected, acknowledged the inconvenience and walked away. Again, belief (or disbelief… or questioning… or threatening) could not produce the desired result.

So. It seems belief is only good if it’s partnered with flexibility… Which brings to mind a sign that once hung over a friend’s desk at work: “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”

Maybe today's blog says something about religion after all.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Un-Sexiest Men In The World

The Boston Phoenix today, published their list of the 100 most un-sexy men in the world. It was written by men... which I think is, of course, self-gratifying, so I've come up with a list of my own. It's off-the-cuff, without a whole lot of thought, but here they are: Ten Men Kell doesn't think are sexy:

1) Kevin Federline: What, I ask, is the attraction?
2) David Spade
3) Usher: His ego tops my need to think he's sexy.
4) Steve Buscemi
5) Wilmer Valderama: Again, I just don't get it.
6) Ashton Kutcher: He's all yours, Demi!
7) Michael Jackson: I could say the same for any over-plasticized woman - but MJ tops them all!
8) Bucky formerly from American Idol - ick.
9) Tyrell Owens - Whatever.
10) Mike Tyson - yeah.


Let's Take a Vote

Sometimes our legal system enrages me... For example, I cannot believe Zacharias Moussaoui is trying to pull the mental card. OF COURSE he has mental instabilities. How else could he do what he's done? How could anyone of sound mind commit heinous crimes? Yes, he's got mental issues - but I'm not exactly sure how that makes him any less responsible...

I don't want to sound loony. I will say it should add to the judge's ability to successfully sentence - but I'm not convinced mental instability should commute a sentence...

The other aspect of that trial - or more specifically - the news coverage of the trial - are the photos of his abusive father and his sisters' interviews "oh, he had a rough childhood..." Where I understand how a parent can adversely affect his child... (I've seen it in my own family to a certain extent) - and genetics aren't always kind - but isn't there some point where people must claim personal responsibility for their actions? If not, why aren't more parents on trial for their children's crimes? It's clearly their fault, right?


Friday, April 14, 2006

Old Photos

I was digging through some old files - and found these. Enjoy! Click on them for a better look.


Kells Kitchen

I was reminded of a funny cooking story because of Trixie's blog ( (For some reason, Blogger won't let me link today... Who knew?!). She was telling a story about having to make a different dessert for Passover than she originally planned because all stores were out of the kosher product she needed). I commented that no one really knows I'm a good cook, mostly because I'm disorganized... Although, I made a killer guacamole the other day with bleu cheese dressing because I was out of yogurt and didn't realize it until all the avocadoes were already pitted...

Ok. I remember one cooking improvisation that was expecially interesting - my first foray into kitchen improv. I never really cooked until I went to college. When I moved into my first apartment, I had no choice but to cook. I was especially successful with a chili recipe that was a simple list of ingredients. "You'll have to figure out the amounts for yourself," said the cookbook author. I thought it would be fun to make chili for all my friends at home -but I forgot the list of ingredients...

I thought I'd just try and remember... So I started the chili - I browned the beef, added tomatoes and everything else I could remember... But I added too many tomatoes. I didn't have enough beans to compensate - so I figured I'd just add ingredients till I made something good and call it "Bean Dip for Chips." I started digging into my mother's refrigerator. I found sour cream. I dumped it in. I found sesame seeds. I dumped them in... I went a little crazy. My mother, meanwhile, sat at the edge of the kitchen and just laughed and laughed and laughed. In went salt, dried/fried onions, salad dressing, black olives... whatever. It was such a frenetic scene that I could not then, as I could not now, tell you the complete list of things that went into that bean dip.

When I was finished, I sampled a little. It was pretty (and shockingly) good, so I set it out on the table. As the guests arrived, everyone seemed content to sit around the bean dip and dig in... My friend Heidi arrived. She tried the "concoction" (which is what happens when a recipe goes haywire) -

"Hey," She said. "This is mighty tasty bean dip. Can I have the recipe?"

Then, after a short stunned silence, my mother just started laughing...

"No," I answered, "I'm afraid you can't."

In fact, I wish I had that recipe now. Everyone could use a good bean dip once in awhile.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Caption, Anyone?

I took this photo at a video shoot awhile ago. It's begging for a caption. Have at it, guys. I'm listening.


Zip Into New Life

I don't know what it is about tax time that makes me look back on life and ponder the important things... Like this wedding I shot in the fall. To zip into their new lives, this couple took a ride down a huge, high zip line. To get into the harness, you'll notice the bride had to have her lovely dress tailored as top and skirt. To do the zip, she removed the skirt, and took the plunge (I'm sure there's a life lesson in there - but I don't want to over-think this...)

Where I admire this pair's creativity, I don't know that the zipline-wedding-with-Spidey-Shorts is for me... Since we're on the topic, though, I don't mind telling you about my dream wedding... I think it'll be private on some beach or some lovely mountain top - or Vegas... Then I'll come home and throw a little party for my friends and family... (I don't want you to think I'm a party pooper - but seriously. I've been shooting weddings for over 12 years. The pomp-and-circumstance-white-dress-aisle-flower-girl-shower-cake-garter-hoo-hah is kinda lost on me.

Ok. Taxes go to the accountant tomorrow. One day earlier than last year at this time!


Job References

Almost four years ago, I left a job that made me miserable. I had nowhere to be promoted to, the GM ("John") and I never saw eye-to-eye on much, and I felt I was never in a position to make much of a difference. So I left.

Without another job.

Looking back, if I had to do it again, I'd plan more carefully, but I never regretted leaving.

The other night, I was at a function where I ran into an old client ("Jeff") of mine from that job. The client was a great one. I really enjoyed working with him - and our projects were successful. So successful that he continues to do business with my former company.

Jeff: So, Kelly, Can I ask you what your impressions are of "John?"

Kelly: Off the record?

Jeff: Of course, of course

Kelly: John's really not my flavor.

Jeff: Well, he's looking to join (a committee within Jeff's company), and I've found him very smart, but completely undependable. He's disorganized, and doesn't seem to manage his time well at all. This committee comes with a pretty hefty commitment - there's a lot of footwork, and I'm not sure he's up to it.

Kelly: Jeff, that's exactly what I think. I think he's a nice, well-meaning man, but if it were my committee, I wouldn't want him - but that being said, I have no problem with him as a human being. I'll tell you what, though. If you really think he'll fit in, ask him what he's going to give up in order to serve on your committee.

I walked away that evening thinking, "How ironic. I just gave my former boss a job reference..." I don't think it was a very positive job reference, but then again, I didn't do that much of the talking, did I? I can't help thinking how great it was, however, to be confirmed. Maybe I wasn't just another self-serving, disgruntled employee... Maybe I'm just a good judge of character!


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Banjo Thing

I never doubted Dave when he said, "Stick with me, Kid. I'll take you places..." However, I'm not sure I was expecting the Philadelphia Banjo Society Spring Fling. As I walked in the door, and older gentleman took one look at me and said, "This is no place for ladies!" I'm not sure if he was kidding or not, but here's what happened there!


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Cactus-Wrapped Suger Cube

My 94-year old grandmother died last week. I haven't mentioned it until now for a few reasons: 1) I haven't had this many family deaths in years - and I don't know how else to say it, but it's completely overwhelming. 2) For all the creativity, talent, and generosity my grandmother fostered, she wasn't the nicest person...

A little background: My grandmother was second generation "off the boat." Her parents came to America from Poland - very likely around the turn of the century or shortly thereafter. My great-grandfather (who I've never met) was a cruel man. My grandmother was made to quit school at a young age and go to work. She wasn't allowed to keep any of her earnings. As she tells it, when coming home from work, she deposited all her wages directly into his waiting hand. My grandfather (I never had the chance to meet him either... He had a heart attack in his late forties.) dated my grandmother for several years. One day, he told her it was time... So they eloped to New York City.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds nervously called my great-grandfather. As the story goes, they held the telephone at arms' length and endured the wrath of one who just lost his weekly income. My grandmother, meanwhile, enjoyed living and working in her new situation (my grandfather was a very kind man - just what the doctor ordered... And I find this interesting... Statistically speaking, women tend to marry men like their fathers. I was always very proud of her discernment and courage at a time when cruelty had the potential to extend through generations).

For work, my grandmother wired telephones. My grandfather was a glass blower (he made parts for the hydrogen bomb - and thermos cores...) Eventually, they purchased a farm and settled with their four sons (my grandmother, for yeras, complaned that they couldn't manage to have a girl... Again, statistics show that after a mother gives birth to two children of the same gender, the chance of having a child of the opposite gender drops dramatically).

My grandmother was also incredibly creative. She was a master with needlework. She made toys, lace, and clothing for us as long as I can remember. ( I believe she may have been colorblind - because as the years passed, her afghans became crazier and crazier, color-wise. My mother has one that features pastel yellow and green bordered with fluorescent lime... Thankfully, the one she made me is maroon and cream... and I love it.) I believe she was upset that I could never pick up crocheting... Thankfully, my oldest sister did - and she loves it.

Anyway - I've been having a hard time processing all this loss. (My 5-year old nephew died in December... so we lost our oldest and youngest members in three months...) I was having lunch with my pastor last week. He shed some interesting light.

"I hate to say it, Grub (his last name is Groblewski - and everyone as long as I've known him - calls him Grubby), and I feel badly about it - but my grandmother wasn't always the nicest person. She was generous and creative... but not nice. My sister calls her a sugar cube wrapped in a cactus."

"You say she was polish?"


"Were they from Northern Poland or the south?"

"I don't know."

Now, obviously, "Groblewski" is a Poish name, so he would know something on the topic. He explained that the Prussians came from northern Poland. Their disposition was known to be somewhat cold - and very different from the Slavs of southern Poland.

"So what you're saying is I'm doomed?"

He just laughed. Maybe I'm doomed. I know one thing - I'm not a sugar cube wrapped in a cactus. I'm more likely a cactus wrapped in a sugar cube - or at least that's how I've felt lately...


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Packed House

The band played for a *really* packed house last night. I've gotta say. I love packed houses for the obvious reasons - it's nice to play for a whole lotta people at once... but what's really great is that it was so loud in the bar, I didn't have to say a lot.

I'm not a big talker in front of people. I think it's more fun to sing what I've come to sing and check out. I mean - that's what they do on American Idol, right?

...And speaking of American Idol... I was finally told (even though I'm too old, and not even as cute as Ruben Studdard) that I should be on American Idol.

It's about time I was recognized! ha ha ha.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Out of Control in Unexpected Ways

Found online today - makes me wonder what my greatest kitchen fear is...

Women gets more than broccoli in bag of veg

April 03 2006 at 09:57AM

London - A woman opened a bag of broccoli and found a live snake.

Tina Cosby was preparing tea for her family when she spotted the foot-long grey and black snake curled around the veg.

According to The Sun she said: "I took out the bag and put it on my kitchen worktop while I untied it.

"I was about to put my hand in to pull out the broccoli when I suddenly saw this snake inside. Its beady eyes opened and I threw a fit. It was staring at me and its little tongue was poking in and out.

"I was shaking and so terrified that I could feel my heart racing. I had to have a cup of tea to calm down - and then I felt sick."


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ebay Addiction

I'm such a dork! As you read in the post below, Dave is selling a Lovely, like-new Fender bass because (as is the case of most musicians), he found something he likes more. (Yes, it's a banjo. It's on it's way to Dave as we speak). It was kind of funny because when he saw this particular banjo, he did something that I didn't expect - he called me. He didn't bid on it until he talked to me (man - do I feel special!)

"Kelly!" he exclaimed. He then proceeded to tell me the nuts and bolts story of this banjo. It's not like buying a vintage movie poster or old piece of jewelry - or even a Fender bass for that matter. Banjos are truly instruments for techies - because they can be customized.

Dave is just that sort of techie.... He has a drawer in his house filled with several distinct banjo parts made by banjoists around the country. He knows what each is - and can explain the subtle differences. If it's banjo bridges you'd like to discuss, just call Dave... "This one is kind of arched, Kelly - it keeps the distance of all the strings completely even... This one is a Snuffy Smith Bridge, made by blah-blah-blah. This one is low - so you can really move your fingers...." It's quite an education. Further, you have to know that all banjos have interchangable parts - so you can upgrade a so-so banjo with an expensive tone ring - new pot - or whatever.

The point of this discussion is that Dave found a banjo on ebay that was, in its original form, an okay instrument - BUT. The former owner installed a unique combination of excellent tone ring, new bridge, and a few other things that made the instrument irristible to Dave. "Kelly, it's gonna sing."

As if he needed my permission, he suggested he could sell a few instruments (the Fender is one of them) and just have the banjo at no real "cost." I said ok - like I could tell him other wise (yet was honored to be consulted) - "we" decided we'd put one bid on it and see how the chips would fall. They fell in Dave's favor... because no one else bid on it (because no one understood the combined components made this instrument kind of special.) So he'll have yet another one in his already large collection (A guitar dealer once told me that all guitar players NEED four guitars... I have no idea how that number translates to banjo players, but my guess is it's much, much higher - maybe 8).

Ok. Now I have to get to the part about the Ebay addiction. I thought DAVE had it badly - but it turns out, I may be worse. I was checking his Fender auction - and wanted to see what the current buyer was willing to pay - in other words, I wanted to know his top bid... It wasn't that high...

There's no way of finding this out, however, without actually PLACING a bid, which I did. I was outbid. So I knew there was more... So I bid again....

To make a long story short, I am now the top bidder of Dave's Fender Bass.

Dave was very kind in telling me that if I won it, he'd cut me a deal on shipping...

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