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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

...And I'd Like To Thank The Academy...

I thought I'd share my thank you notes for my wedding with you guys. I think they're cute. Note the coming attractions posters. One is Dave's brother - the other features my sisters and me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Throwing Rocks Through the Johari Window

Dave and I took personality tests before we got married... I don't have the results in front of me - so I might be talking out of my rear end... but I remember two results that seem so unlike me, it's maddening...

I'd like to talk about the veracity of personality tests. You see, I question them, but I don't even know if I can - as I, like Tom Cruise would say 'don't know the history of psychology.') Bill, the man who proctored the "exam" gave us few instructions. One - even though you have three choices, either Yes, I don't know, or "?," don't choose "?." He said we'd get a better score if we committed one way or the other. This freaked me out a little - but I'll get to that in a minute.

He also said the results of the personality test really don't vary throughout the course of a person's life. He said he took the test, retook it years later, and it never varied. He's still just a Bill - yes, he's only a Bill...

The only personality test I've ever taken (barring the ones Trixie and HP link to on their blogs) is the Meyers-Briggs. I took it in college, along with the members of a leadership team I was a part of.

The test was fascinating - on the group level - because it explained why our leadership team wasn't getting along. We were all over the chart - all opposites of each other - and the proof was in the pudding. We argued. We cajoled. We fussed. We "challenged." I finally left the group. (I'm not a quitter. As I had recently finished an economics class, I wrote it off as a simple matter of supply and demand. The demand on my time vs. my supply of annoyance...) The Meyers-Briggs test also surprised me. It told me I was an introvert. I never realized I was introverted...

Doesn't that sound funny? I mean, how could one not know? I was always the one cracking jokes, telling stories. I didn't mind being in front of groups all that much (as long as I knew what I was going to say)... I liked some people... I thought I was very extroverted!

The truth was, however - that I disliked a lot more people than I've ever liked - and when push comes to shove, I am the most energetic and creative when I am alone. I refuel quietly.

Anyway, the test I took most recently told me equally surprising things - this time, however, they made no sense. It asked a series of questions like "What do you prefer: Springtime or the Mountains? (that wasn't really a test question - but the test contained similarly odd little comparisons that made me crazy - and I felt funny answering them). It also asked a series of "Fill in the sequence" questions... Like "What's next? 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8....."

I felt like I was taking the MCATS... or going for a second GED (just kidding.)

The test told me, in no uncertain terms two things that shocked me:

One, That I am not a warm person.

Two - that I easily adapt to change.

It's not that I don't WANT to be cold or malleable... It's just that I don't believe I'm either.

I hate mean people - am always looking for someone to be nice to, and often go out of my way to show a kindness, hold the door for someone - or just to smile and say hello. I have actually prayed for people who cut me off on the highway! (Lord, I pray that they don't hurt anyone else, amen). In my mind, I am warm and toasty!

Regarding change, I hate it! I freak out at everything. The day I moved into my new house, I had a nervous breakdown because one of my moving volunteers cancelled... I still feel guilty for missing an appointment that I missed a month ago... I don't really think I adapt all that well...

It's like someone had thrown a big rock through every pane of my Johari Window.

It's been two weeks since I've taken that test - and I'm still not over it. Today, I explained my test results to a client. We were in Payless Shoestore buying props for a photo shoot. With props in hand, we stood in line, chatting, and minding our own business. When we approached the cashier, she looked at us, and blurted, "I have no friends, and either does my boyfriend!"

As she began her tales of woe, I wondered if I'd stepped into the secret taping of the "Postsecret Pilot TV Show." She told us more about her life than we really wanted to know... about how she and her boyfriend they met at How all of her old friends abandoned her - spread out after highschool and moved on after college... and on and on and on.

Ok. On my way out of Payless, I looked at my client in what I must admit, must have been a fairly "UNWARM" manner. "This happens to me all of the time!" I said.

To be honest? The part of me that doesn't adapt well has never gotten used to it!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Overheard at the Diner

My back was turned - but I overheard the following conversation in the booth behind me:

Woman: Do you want home fries?


Woman: Do you like potatoes? Because Homefries are potatoes.

Male: Yes.

Woman: He'll have the home fries.

It took the following bit of conversation to make me understand that the woman was sponsoring an exchange student:

Woman: Do you know what? When I hear you speaking in Korean, It always sounds like you're angry.

Male: Really?

Woman: Yes. Korean just sounds so angry.

For that brief moment, English sounded kind of tasteless!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


The photos are here!

Monday, May 21, 2007

And Now We Are

Ok. It's all been settled. I said, "I will..." So did Dave. We both will... And now, we are. I thought it would be fun to give you a rundown of the day's events - and then some of Dave's and my reflections:

The day started very quietly. Three strangers came and pitched a 20' x 30' tent in the backyard. Shortly after, my parents showed up, hauling 20 hanging baskets of purple and white pansies. The tent spanned the width of my backyard - which meant my landscaping became a wall of green, flowing decoration on one side of the tent. Within minutes, the rest of the outdoor ballroom became one mass of purple and white. I had to admit - it looked kind of pretty.

While we transformed the outdoors, I wrote out a some cards to my sisters (my last-minute bridesmaids), and gift bagged their necklaces. Dave and I wrote a card to his Best (wo)man, his daughter, (and now my stepdaughter), the lovely and 16-year old Paula. I bagged her a necklace too.

Then, the whirlwind began. My hairdresser, Kelly Jo showed up. It kind of went like this. Picture my mother sitting at the pub table in my kitchen... Me in front of her, and HurricaneKellyJo - well, she was running late: "KELLY, I'M LATE FOR MY DAUGHTER'S RECITAL. SHE THINKS I DON'T LOVE HER BECAUSE I'M HERE INSTEAD OF DOING HER MAKEUP, BUT I'M GOING TO CALL MY HUSBAND AND SEE IF HE CAN JUST TAKE HER TO THE SCOTTISH RIGHT CATHEDRAL AND MEETMETHERE...." and so on... Picture, while she's doing this, she's teasing my hair up so hard and with such enthusiasm, my mother couldn't help but laugh at the pained face I was making... I think my hair actually got a little longer in that moment.

In a few minutes, she was done - and I looked pretty good. She then, in all of her lateness, pulled out this brush full of sparkly powder, and "pixie dusted" me... Then my mom. My father walks in the room, just as the very air in my kitchen has taken on a very Tinker-Bell glow...

Now - I have to tell this story too - my father is bald on top - and seems to get a kick out of suggesting he has hair. To Kelly Jo, he said, "So, do you think you can do something with my hair?"

He got a crown full of pixie powder.

As I was thinking I really ought to get dressed, Dave's family arrived. I gave them a house tour. Dave's father, 83, stayed downstairs, and busied himself with the TV remote. (NOTE: I don't know if I told you that one of the mistakes I made when buying this house was purchasing Direct TV. Dave is a baseball super fan (yeah, I don't get it either) - and in some weird twist of fate, DIRECT TV doesn't carry Philadelphia Comcast... so no Sacred Phillies games for us - at least not most of the time. We do get them whenever they play Atlanta, because DIRECT TV does carry TBS. It also carries Comcast Chicago, so we can catch the Phils when they're playing the Cubs...) OK. As fate would have it, one of the local Philadelphia networks was carrying a special game. Dave's father quickly settled into the second inning, and I was at last, free to get dressed.)

This left decisions going on downstairs to be made without me. The caterer showed up, and had to decide all on his own, where to set up the chairs for the ceremony. (Thank goodness for this - as I had no opinion on the matter, and may have imploded had I been asked... seriously.)

By the time I changed, Paula had arrived, looking much better than I (she's just cute... I'm used to it! tee hee) - and the yard had turned into wedding central - with beautiful linen tables, my fish-bowl centerpieces (fishbowl, beaded wire and glass rocks with floating Gerbera Daisy Head). The caterer brought a floral arrangement - no check that. TWO floral arrangements that I hadn't ordered (Testament to our 15-year friendship - what a doll!) And they were HUGE... And amazing.)

Dave and I were now host to a full house - of my family, his family, my friend, Glenn, the EC minister, his wife, and two of my friends (I invited two non-family members, friends of Glenn and his wife, Pam - to keep them company). My friend Stephanie thought I should have favors, so she took it upon herself to make me 50 little packs - each with a chocolate coated, rice crispy treat banjo and a white chocolate coated rice crispy treat guitar. They were amazing. It's hard to believe that a rice crispy treat could bring a tear to one's eye, but it was the sweetest thing (no pun intended) that I could imagine... That, and huge floral arrangement gifts.

Ceremony: Went fairly hitch free. Dave's brother played beautiful tunes on the guitar as I walked the "aisle" with my Dad... I was feeling slightly over-photographed as I faced Dave, realizing for the first time what all the fuss was about. There he was - marrying me - and in all the hubbub, the pre-marital counseling (another post - remind me), the crazy planning, and the near death of my hair, due to violent teasing. Not only did he look good, he wasn't running away...

And that's how I became a Mrs.

OK. Highlights of the day:

The dessert table was in my living room. Apparently, my mother caught Dave's father actually pocketing cookies. Pocketing in his suit coat... Dave, amused, quipped, "He's a sweets-aholic."

This must've happened sometime before my brother-in-law came in to keep the man company. They spent the afternoon talking about how much they hate the Yankees.

The other funny story about Dave's dad is this: Well before Dave and I fed each other cake, My new father-in-law requested a slice of cheesecake. Dave acquiesced and gave him a slice... He reported later, "I thought you might be angry that my Dad got cake before we did - but then I remembered who I married..." (aw!)
I had a lot of kids at my wedding - so I thought it might be a good idea to give them as much sugar as humanly possible before sending them home. So not only did they have cheesecake (and whatever survived The Great Cookie Heist), But I bought marshmallows, Hershey Bars, and Graham Crackers so the kids could make s'mores (My favorite dessert EVER) in our fire-pit-patio table (photos to follow). My nephew, TJ, who is the most linear thinker I've ever met, accidentally set his marshmallow on fire. Not wanting a charred S'more, he carried the burning marshmallow to the trashcan, and attempted to dump it into a full trashcan. My sister yelled "TJ, Don't DO THAT!" Thankfully, TJ paused for a moment - in order to tell his mother," What?!!! I don't want a burnt marshamallow!!!!" He then proceeded to try and remove the torch fuel from the torch... Again - Thankfully, the force of his banging the stick on the trashcan somehow extinguished the flame before he set the plastic trash can on fire.

I immediately appointed my other nephew, Matt, as the one who, with the fire poker, helped scrape burned marshmallows into the fire pit - right where they belonged.

Oh. The ring. I forgot. Dave goes to put the wedding ring on my ring finger. It would have gone very smoothly had I not left my signet ring (a present from my HS graduation) on that same finger. I kind of giggled - and hoped the audience hadn't noticed. When Glenn said his closing prayer, I switched the un-wedding ring to my right hand.

Photos soon. I promise.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Better Living Through Catering (and Ruby Slippers)

Ok. Wedding tomorrow - I finally - JUST TWO DAYS AGO - started to feel excited about it.

I know - just writing that, I feel like the worst bride in the history of marriage (ok, I know that's not true, because I've photographed for MUCH worse than me - but also - for much better!!!) The fact of the matter is - I'm not a very good bride. I haven't given my matron of honor enough to do. I've asked her to postpone the shower till after the wedding (I know - it's bad, isn't it? I'm so busy right now that I actually couldn't dedicate a Saturday afternoon to a shower...) My sister will likely never forgive me for that. She had to beg me to register. I reluctantly agreed (as there isn't really a whole lot I need) -

Ok. I realized I was a bad bride when my oldest sister, Jill called, "I told Mom and Gwen to leave you alone..." I knew I must be in the center of deep-seated familial buzzing - because neither Mom nor Gwen have said anything to me. My cousin, Debbie, whom I love dearly called to say, "We never had this conversation, but Gwen is really mad at you..." I kind of nodded to the phone. I kind of knew, but I dont' know that there was anything I could do about it... Mostly because I've been swamped with work, have been doing a lot of travelling, have been trying to make the new house homey, and frankly, wedding details drive me nuts. I'm not a natural planner of events... Despite, I'm doing all right.

To summarize: Dress (check: It's a white blouse, black and white skirt, and ruby red shoes that I love.) (They actually cheered me up. Shoes!!!)

Catering: The other day, Laurin the caterer stopped by the house, and said, "Oh, you need a tent in the back yard..." great. I didnt' want a tent. Laurin was fully aware of my "UNwedding" plans to get married in the middle of my housewarming party... Now I found myself shocked he'd even suggest such a wedding-ish commodity. "But Kelly! What if it rains?!!!"

I thought Dave would back me up, so we headed into the house, where Dave was painting the dining room for the second (and fina) time. "Honey, Laurin thinks we need a tent... in case it rains."

"Great! I like it!" said my fiance. sigh. but Check.

Ok. I have no problem admitting I'm doing this wedding ceremony for my family. I don't need it (I mean, I want to get married - but a simple thing would have suited me very well) - but I love my family, and want to honor them with a dinner... so I'm doing the family ceremony. To my chagrin, I've found myself pretty crabby over it. This is not to my credit. I could see the lines between bad bride and Bridezilla blurring slightly... Not so slightly. To compensate - so no one would know what a Bitch I've become in my head, I just stopped talking to people about the wedding. Once, in a moment of weakness, my boss' wife asked "Are you excited?" I quietly smugged, "I'll be excited when it's over..."

Bride-zilla, thy name is Kell....

Thank goodness for the shoes... because as soon as I found them, when people asked if I was excited about my BIG DAY (to which I was dying to say - no. It's my FAMILY'S big day...), I could at least gush about my shiny, patent Leather Ruby Slippers.

Bride-zilla, thy name is now DOROTHY.

So, with Kell-zilla out of the way, Kell-Dorothy had lunch with the caterer the other day, who provided samples of the food. It is so amazing that I've forgotten about everything else. All of the sudden, this dinner party I'm throwing for my family became kind of cool.

Dinner made the fact that my sister called to ask "Kelly, do you mind if I wear a white skirt to your wedding?" okay...(As a note, where I think it's really curious that she'd even ask, I don't really care what she wears...) Dinner made the fact that the caterer took it upon himself to order me an even larger tent...

But then, the caterer mentioned he had lilacs - my favorite flower - and will be making me a bouquet with them and red roses (to match the ruby slippers)


Maybe this wedding thing won't be so bad after all.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Paint Colors Managed

... Dave repainted. He said it was important that I feel comfortable in the room... What a guy, eh? Photos soon.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Painting Mishaps

(image from Dunkin Donuts Website - no offense meant, Dunkin! It's just the color around the USA icon that I'm using to as a demonstration tool. I like Donuts -and especially admire the new cookies.)

Have any of you ever painted a room the wrong color? I think I just need some comfort - My new dining room, through an unexpected series of events (Meaning, I chose a bad color - that the paint store said they could dull and darken for me - and they darkened, but did not dull...) - My dining room is Dunkin Donuts Orange.

As much as I admire the color orange, I was hoping for more of a terra cotta... As it stands, The room provides a very sharp contrast to the adjacent tan living room, and the groovy spring green kitchen. I'm hoping for a better flow. A flow-ier flow. A flow that makes paint color pleasant, but nearly invisible... (By that, I mean that being in my dining room should induce other gut-level responses aside from "Oh dear! It's as orange as a Dunkin Donut box in here!" or "Oh my, someone's colorblind!" or "My stars! Has Trading Spaces used this space to break in a new and horrible designer?") (I'd much prefer to hear, "My stars! Those chairs are lovely!" "Gracious! What a lovely dining room table you have!" or "I simply must have the recipe for this bean dip - it's good enough for a last meal!")

So - short of repainting the whole room, I just thought I'd ask for some stories - suggestions - ideas... Come on! Commiserate with me. It'll be fun.