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 30, 2006

Rockstar: Kellincatty

At this weekend's star-studded gig, I was visited by my friend, Gwen, and her family - husband and two children. I dig Gwen's kids. When her oldest son, Jake was six, he knew all the presidents... At 10, he audited a college class about palentology - and knew most of the answers when the teacher asked questions. When he was in Kindergarten, Gwen sent me a report Jake wrote called "Dinosaurs You May Not Have Heard About..."

Not astonishingly, I learned about many dinosaurs I HADN'T heard of.

Gwen and I met several years ago. She was the marketing rep for a company I did a television show for. We became fast friends - and continue to talk (even though neither of us are in those old jobs anymore.)

Jake asked Gwen, "How do you know Kelly anyway?"

She explained that we used to work on TV shows together.

Then Jake asked the question that indeed, made me feel like I've done something grand and exponential with my life:

"When did she quit television to become a Rock Star?"

Jake is so freakin' brilliant. I just love him.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

How My Honda Failed Halloween

Last night, I went to my first Halloween Parade in who knows how long... I went because the parade route passed right in front of Dave's place - so it seemed good to step to the end of the driveway and watch. I stood next to an older couple. The husband - likely in his mid 70's - was wearing a moose hat - the kind that surrounded his face like a ski mask. Atop his head, two plush antlers protruded - and the moose nose grew out of the man's forehead. I thought it was cute that he came to the parade in costume. Most adults didn't.

"That's a nice hat," I commented.

"You know," He replied, "This is the best hat. I was somewhere last year where it was so cold, that only this hat would keep me warm. It covers my whole face and chin, as you can see."

Oh. So I was wrong about the costume aspect of the hat. This was common winter wear. My mistake.

His wife was really sweet. I thought it was kind of fun that she brought her digital camera - and spent the evening taking shots of the unadorned fire trucks and requesite ambulances that drove by (I have to note here that unadorned municipal vehicles in parades have always baffled me. I want bands, dancing, singing and floats - with the occasional Macy's-type balloon floating by...)

Anyway, the parade went like this: Ambulance, Fire truck, cop car.... big gap (10 minutes)... Ambulance, Jr. High Marching band that looked cold, police car.... cub scout pack, pack of adults not in costume with a small sign that I couldn't read... The mayor in a classic convertible (huddled in the front seat by the heater).... High school band... Then occasionally, a Brownie troop would go by, tossing candy. One even threw a piece of candy at the lady I was standing next to.

I went to get Dave, who was still in his house. He wasn't into standing in the cold. As I was leaving, a man approached the door. "Hi, I'm from (blah blah) Tow truck service, and we're pulling a float, and we've got a dead battery... Can you give us a jump, if you happen to have cables?"

Do I have cables???!!! I have an excellent set of jumper cables... Because I used to have an '83 Toyota that I commonly left the lights on... My father was so sick of hearing stories of how I got my car started, that I received my very own Jumper cables for Christmas that year. "Why, yes, I have cables." I answered.

To make a long story short, my car apparently didn't have enough juice to start the tow truck. (Isn't the irony just amazing?) - It actually took a fire truck to jumpstart the tow truck.

After that, some girl scouts threw me a Butterfinger, and this gummy candy that was shaped like a disembodied and bloody ear (who knew David Lynch was now making candy???) There were some other candies thrown but some boys at the side of the road scooped them up before I could get them and lobbed them back at the screaming girlscouts.

I was too cold to stay outside watching the poor kids freeze their little baton-twirlig butts off - so I went inside, where Dave was watching TV. "Dave!" I exclaimed... I tried to jumpstart a tow truck!"


"Yes, but it didn't work..." I can't help but think that my Honda failed Halloween.


Friday, October 27, 2006

At The Chinese Buffet In The Mall

The other day, a co-worker and I went to the local Chinese Buffet. We love it there. It's fast, it's inexpensive, and the food isn't too bad...

Well, it's in a strip mall - and there's a pet store across the hall (no jokes please). Anyway, a young girl and her family were eating lunch at the table next to ours. When they got up to leave, I noticed she was carrying a bag of water - the kind you get at carnivals when you win a goldfish... So I commented to my co-worker (for no reason, actually...) "Ooh! Someone's got a fish!"

I spoke too loudly - because the girl swung around and glared at me. "It's NOT a fish. It's a FROG."

My mistake.


Monday, October 23, 2006

This is No PRESENT!

I think it's only the single people that really notice just how married the general population is... Look, I know there are benefits of legal partnerships, but give me a break - and give the single girls some credit. We know a few things - and sometimes, if you can believe it - we're even happy.

Tonight, I went out for coffee with a friend I don't see very much. We mostly discussed relationships of sorts... How our friend got married and had a small heart attack because some aspect of the wedding wasn't according to her personal Hoyle... We discussed her cousin - coincidentally, an ex-boyfriend of my sister's... who is a really nice man with a really deep-seeded problem with anger... He's cute, so he gets a lot of dates... But he's got issues, so he gets his heart broken a lot. We talked about my friend's last date - who scared her because he was interested in instant matrimony...We talked about my friend's sister and brother-in-law, their new baby, and their idea of an excellent Birthday gift.

They gave my friend a one-year's subscription to E-Harmony.

Think about that for a minute. "Happy Birthday! I want you to be as happy as I am - in the way that I've chosen - so to do that, here's a coupon for the L-U-V!"

I've noticed that many married people - more specifically - many people in general - try to create the rest of us in their own image. Where I know they mean well, sometimes the road to Hell really IS paved with good intentions. Since my friend is gracious and kind (much more so than I), I decided to glaze over the gaul of such a gift.

"So how's that going?"

For my friend, E-Harmony has been a lesson in tolerance, patience, and fact-finding. She recounted several stories of the difficulties she's faced with the site, including the seventeen mile long profile survey she had to endure at the beginning.

"Um, you know I'm really not racist, right?"

It's true. I have never known this woman to be racist. In fact, she barely says a negative word about anyone (including her family, who gave her a gift certificate to E-Harmony for her birthday... I'm still not over this, as you can tell.)

"I know...."

"Well, one match came from my town... In the profile, he said he was white. But in his photo - he was definitely not white..." (note: this is not a comment on anything other than false testimony - so please just think of this in the context of the story)

I made a face, "That's hard to hide..."

"Yeah, I'm not really into E-Harmony."

Where it was probably a typo, I definitely see her point. On one hand, finding out your Next Destiny is untruthful before you actually meet in person is kind of reassuring... On the other hand, discovering any untruth is no picnic.

I remember one Christmas, years ago, when my older sister (the same one who dated my friend's cousin) decided she was going to make these unpainted dowel dolls for my nephews and neice. My oldest nephew, then maybe 7, tore open the package, held up the dowel-doll (seriously - it was made of dowels and connectors.) and exclaimed, "What? This is no PRESENT!!!"

Oh if only we could say that at our age!


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Incongruous Juxtapositions

This morning, I passed a Starbucks that sits right next to a McDonalds... And it made me think a minute about how different those two shops are - One has cheap coffee... One has expensive coffee... One has cheap food that clogs the arteries, one has expensive food that ... clogs... the....arteries...

Wait a minute.

It then dawned on me that even though McDonalds and Starbucks are at two ends of the scale - yet are the same. I don't like either brands of coffee... Both sell extremely unhealthy food... Both cater to drive-through clients in a hurry. I've slowly grown to dislike both of them, yet I will admit that once in awhile, when in a hurry, (or with people) I will purchase both of their products - then often regret it (no matter how much or litte I've spent)...

I can just picture the two buildings having a chat after hours (except that McDonalds is open 24/7...):

Star: Slow night, eh?

Mick: Yeah... You okay?

Star: Hangin in.

Mick: But you look good.

Star: Well thanks...

Mick: You and I? We're not so different, you know.

Star: Maybe not.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Blog Fodder From the Photo Archive


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm Creeped Out By This Wake-Up Call

This morning, my sister and I had a lovely discussion over the speaker-mode of my cel as I was getting ready for work. She's had quite a time of it since my nephew died - but keeps managing to pull things off with this raw, gut-strength that I had no idea was in my genetic code... We'll start with my ex-brother-in-law...

Even after losing his family - because of lack of any initiative, mental weirdness and alcoholism, my FBIL continued to drink... He'd stop for awhile, then would always dip back into the sauce. It was one of the many, many reasons that my nephews don't really spend any time with him - Anyway, last week, FBIL finally crashed his car in a drunken pile of metal, cheap beer, and stupidity... And for you who think there's no God, ponder this: He didn't hurt anyone. Just the poor unsuspecting vehicle.

"It was a real wakeup call," he said to my sister. All I can say is that he must've been sleeping like Rip Van Winkle to need that kind of wakeup call... but I'm a little bitter.

In lighter news, my sis also recenty weathered my older nephew quitting (not really quitting in the traditional sense of the word...) his job - for reasons he won't fully disclose. The story goes that he went for his first day of dishwashing at a local restaurant. He played hookey on the second day of his job... (I apologize if this is not my place to tell this story in cyber-public, but it's so funny!) My sister, not knowing what was going on, called his boss to see when she should pick him up:

Boss: Um, he isn't working tonight. He said his mother fell and hurt her hip, so he had to stay home and help her.

Sis: Um - His mother didn't hurt her hip. I'm his mother... (who'dve thunk for a moment that a lie attached to your ride home would even work?!!)

The boss, surely understanding that this was just a stupid teen thang to do, said he'd forgive my nephew - and he should come into work that weekend.

In the meantime, my nephew called with his own commentary to his boss: "I think it would be in your best interest not to have me work for you..."

My sister quickly received a call from the boss, who reported what my nephew had ominously prophecied. My sister, livid, told my nephew that if he didn't want the job, he could stay home and work for her... For a month. With no pay. And no complaints. She said he could have another job (he wants to buy a class ring) when he proved he was responsible),

I waited a full week to call my nephew. "Can I mock you now? Just a little?" I then laughed for a good :15 or so before I told him I was done. My nephew took it like a man... "Hey - don't do that again, okay?" I asked.

"I won't..." he said.

Then my sister and I discussed Jason - and how now, after almost a year since his death, she doesn't break down at the grocery store when she overhears someone else being called Jason... "You know?" she said, "I couldn't even call you after he died..."

My mind stopped like a big thud... I didn't really understand, "Why is that?"

"You and Jay were just so close. It made me cry..."

Oh. "I still cry," I said - "It always comes up at weird times. LIke when I see a frog.... or think about his cute little giggle... Or racing after his electric chair..." But every time it happens, I can't help thinking how glad I was that I got him for awhile...

I don't know how my sister does it. I'm not sure how she copes. I asked her if she'd do anything differently... "I'd have left (FBIL) sooner... Man am I glad he didn't hurt anyone in that car..." Stupid FBIL.

Sorry about the crazy-hazy post. This is just what's been on my mind lately.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Overheard at My Yard Sale

Recently, my sister and I had a yard sale - because we needed to get rid of all the crap that has been gumming up our lives... It sounds so very cleansing, yeah?

Well, the truth of the matter is that where yes, it was, neither my sister nor I were prepared in any way for the full-out cleansing that we should have had. I essentially packed my car with some books I wasn't going to read again, all of my VHS tapes (VCR died - I'm not replacing it because I never used it, never taped anything, never programmed it - never really watched anything on VHS...), some old toys lying around, CD's a lot of games (I'm not much of a game girl to be honest, although I have one or two funny stories about the subect), an old bike helmet, and the like...

My sister and her husband, Chris, tried to sell old clothes, record albums, a Thigh Master, unwanted wedding gifts (I am surprised what people think we'd like...) curtain rods (?!!!) CD's - and books. Her neighbors came down and sold some of their stuff. One particularly invasive neighbor kept coming down, donating things to my sister to sell, and telling us what to do and how to do it...

"Put the signs here, here here and there!"

"If you really want to sell that, you should take it out of the box so people can see it!"

The best sellers of the day - were my CD's (which sold like hot cakes to my brother-in-law)

"Kelly, I can't believe you don't want these!!!" said brother-in-law, as he cradled "Snoopy's Classics on Toys" and "Bach meets the Beetles" and carried them to his hoarde.

Then the people showed up who wanted to purchase the stuff that wasn't on sale, yet was outside... because it belonged there:

"How much for the garden hose?"

I made the mistake of leaving a pad of post-it's out on the table. I'd been using them to price the merch.

"Ooh! Post it's! How much!!???"

"Um," I said, thinking quickly on my feet, "Twenty-five cents per!"

"Do you mean 25 cents per page, or for the whole pad?" asked the shopper (who was wearing a Seussian-style stovepipe hat)

"For that price, you can have the WHOLE PAD!" I exclaimed, channelling Larrytheusedcarsalesman as best I could.


Soon, a mother, daughter, and pair of grandkids showed up. They'd come from the pizza place across the street (where we bought lunch) My sister is very diet-conscious, and noted that the children had shared a two-liter bottle of root beer) When the family arrived at the sale, the kids were active.

Mother: "If you kids don't calm down, I'm going to knock your heads together!"

My sister: "Her kids would be calm if she hadn't sugared them up..."

Grandmother, handing us the near-empty bottle of root beer: "Im leaving this for you, in case anyone wants soda...."

My sister: "Who does that?"

Next - the rather attractive hippie guy, who purchased a peace-sign candle

"I have a friend who's gonna love this!"

I answered, "To everything there is a season..." I'm not sure what prompted me to quote the Birds and King Solomon that day, but the attractive hippie looked at me most admirably...

Then came the hoardes of young teens who greedily scooped up nearly every one of my brother-in-law's 80's hairband albums (Including the one where Dokken members wore the multicolored Zoot Suits.)

"Dad, I have to have "Bark at the MOON!"

The father shelled out the cash, and came back in ten minutes' time to purchase the rest of the Ozzy collection. "I called my other son. He said I should take all of these..." (Picture for a moment the relative incongruity of a 65-year old man hauling 8 Ozzy albums through town... I distinctly heard Ozzy's voice yelling, "SHaaaaawon! Can you believe this old f****?)

Then there were the wheeler dealers - like the 12-year old who picked up my copy of Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. album (Please. spare me the laughter. Someone already mocked me up and down for buying it in the first place) I was selling it for a buck.

"Will you take 50 cents for this?"

"No," I said, "But I'll take a buck for it."

She ran back to her father and said, "It didn't work."

And then, the purchase of the day. Note. My sister post-it noted that the Thigh Master for sale, was the last known specimen on the planet. Perhaps it was the memory of Suzanne Sommers perfectly fit thighs or no memory of Suzanne Sommers at all that encouraged a young shopper to shell out 3 bucks for the promise of fitness. Without any trace of the expected sarcasm in her voice, she said, "I'm going to use this!!!"

After it left, my sister looked sad. "Maybe I shouldn't have sold that!"

That's how the day went. What started out being purge day, ended up being more like live Television - and stories of the eccentricities of people we'd otherwise not have met unfolded before our very eyes.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Husband Score

Don’t think badly of me – I was trying to cheer my sister up. She was angry with my brother-in-law for saying he was going to help clean, but then never actually cleaning. In fact, she nearly blew a fuse after he left the house the other day. She walked into the bathroom to find a sink full of whisker shards… My brother-in-law didn’t even rinse the sink. So I told her that perhaps a quiz for my brother-in-law was in order:

1) What do you say when asked to do something?
A - Honey, I can get that done by (time)
B - Honey, I'm not interested in doing that
C- No way, b****
D - I'll do it right away

2) What will the consequences be if you don't get the job done?
A - Sleeping alone
B - Whipping and scourging
C - Nothing - There is never consequence
D - A or C, depending on Honey's mood.

3) Why wouldn't you do what you say you're going to do?
A - I'm not to be trusted
B - I'm unreliable
C- I can't help it - but my suckatude is a horrible force that I can't reckon with
D - I don't care what my place looks like, or what my wife thinks of me

4) What's it going to take for you to become a man of your word?
A - Armageddon
B - I yam who I yam
C - I AM a man of my word - just selective words
D - Get off my back, b****!

5) How important is it to you that your wife trusts you?
A - What? Who?
B - She knows I come through when it's imperative that I do so
C - To be honest, I just say these things to placate her for the moment
D - Hey, B****! Bring me a cheap beer!

6) What are the pillars of every successful relationship?
A - Silence; only speak when spoken to
B - Faith, hope and love
C - Honesty, dependability and Moral Fortitude
D - B and C

7) So what's the real issue?
A - I wish to be a kept man
B - I know if I don't do it, you will
C - I've always been a kept man, and today is no different
D - Just flush out the sink yourself, b****!

8) What's the worst consequence you can think of?
A - being one of those people with barely a path between the bedroom and the bathroom
B - Caught with a messy house and unexpected visitors
C - Realizing material possessions are more important than my relationship
D - You're really selfish to ask me this question, b****!

9) What if your wife believes the tale and not the teller?
A - Then I guess I'm a liar
B - Then I guess she'd better find a new man
C - I said it, I believe it, and that settles it.
D - A woman's place is in the kitchen, b****!

I only wrote the quiz. I didn't really want to analyze it.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Gig Leech

I don't have too much to say about this man I know named Billy, other than to describe what he does. He's a bongo player - who travels from band gig to band gig. The ony trouble is - he has no band. He's a gig leech.

I met him years ago at an open mic. He was the player who sat onstage as each and every performer took their turn. He played with the rockers, the punk kids, the folkies, the poetry-readers, the oldies, and the guy who plays for spare change at the local farmers' market. It's not that he's not polite - he always asks permission - but he's just there... I never thought too much about it till this weekend... When Billy showed up at my gig.

Now, understand, I already scheduled a guest performer (one of my clients - nice guy, pretty good guitar player - wanted to know if he could play when my band had a break... It was cool. He brought a lot of his friends, and everyone had a good time)

Billy also asked if he could play with us. "Um, Sure." I said. He proceeded to set up his bongo drums directly in front of where we were standing... "Um," I asked - "Could you move them back HERE?" I was dying. Scott and Dave looked at me as if I were crazy. "Kelly - you can't play bongo with Bluegrass..."

"What was I supposed to say?"

Scott attempted to comfort me, "I know it's hard, Kelly - but sometimes you just have to say no."

"Well, we'll see how it goes..."

Truth be told, it wasn't bad - he wasn't miked, he wasn't loud, and he didn't play every song. He was fine, actually... So no one got their feelings hurt.

Later Dave told me of another occasion where Billy asked to play with him and Fran (Before I joined the band) - "It was a nightmare, Kell" (Dave is sometimes dark, but I believe it could have easily been a nightmare. Playing with someone who doesn't know the arrangements is pretty tough, and my band's arrangements aren't really easy to do. It'd be like David Beckham asking Donovan McNabb if he could sit in for a few plays...)

The next night, Dave and I decided to stop for a drink. We didn't know it, but a popular (and really quite excellent) local band was playing that night. "Oh, good. I've been dying to hear these guys..." They started out playing Stevie Ray Vaughn stuff... and then.... something weird happened. Who walks 'round the corner but BILLY?

Dave looked at him, and to my amazement, said, "Wow. I just can't get rid of you!!! Do you play with this band?"

In true gig leech fashion, Billy said, "No, but I'm going to sit in at the end."

Maybe there's no harm in it... Truth be told, I didn't mind him being around - but maybe, just maybe - Billy should start his own band. And when he does, I'm crashing... "Hey, do you mind if I sing "She-Bop" with you and the bongo?

Hope you can make it to THAT gig.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

10 Things I Hate About Laundromats

I know I over-rant about laundry. It's just that it's the bane of my existence, and try as I might, I can never "Tom Sawyer" anyone into doing it for me. I have found, however, a good solution to my problem.

First - a little background. I don't have a washer/dryer in my apartment. When I moved in, someone left an apartment sized washer & dryer, but I refused to use them. The dryer didn't vent outside of the house. The washer, which would only fit maybe two pairs of socks at a time, had to be wheeled across the kitchen and hooked up to the sink.

Since everyone knows I have a magnetic field in my body that causes all machinery to malfunction, you will understand my visions of a hose disconnecting mid-spin cycle, spraying water all over my Zoloft Cookies... So to make a long story short, I got rid of them.

Which meant, I was stuck with the laundromat.

The only thing I dislike more than doing laundry is the laundromat:

1) I have to go there to do laundry
2) I've met people in the laundormat who are so horrible to their children it makes me want to vomit all over them.
3) I've met people at the laundromat who are so very very odiferous, that I felt I would have to re-wash my clothes.
4) Last week, I met a woman at the laundromat doing her bed linens... She brought her husband with her, and throughout my entire miserable washing existence that night, she badgered her husband like this:
"Greg. Did you bring in the detergent?" (Greg is a quiet guy)
"Do you hear me?"
"Greg - don't step on that... You hear me?"
"Greg - Hand me that... Now. You hear me?"
"Hey - don't forget to put the soap in... Don't miss it. It has to go in now..."
"Greg - You made me miss putting the soap in - You hear me? Now I've wasted 8$. I'll have to wash these again. (At this point, Greg got up and poured soap in the washer, mid suds cycle...)
"Greg - the soap won't rinse out. Now I have to wash them again to get the soap out... I wasted 8$. You hear me?
5) I see kids running amok at the laundromat... Don't these kids have parents? Can't those parents put another quarter in the pay-television set so their kids don't run around so much?
6) Socks mysteriously disappear at laundromats.
7) Being a forgetful woman, I've broken lovely pins at the laundromat. I know this is not the fault of anyone but myself - but I really liked that pin.
8) The laundromat is not staffed conveniently to my schedule. If I happen to forget something in a dryer (because 9) six minutes/quarter is not enough to dry clothes) I have to get up really really early to retrieve it. Again, forgetting is a problem I have - and gggrrrrrrr.
10) Did I mention that I have to do laundry there? Oh, how I love clean clothes but dislike doing wash.

I get all this pleasure for about 9$ in quarters. I did, however, find a place in town that, for a mere 13$ will wash, dry, fold and hang all my laundry.

I think 4$ to save me two hours of misery is worth it, don't you?