The One Where I Ask For Good Thoughts.
{On Tomorrow's Surgery & Being A Baby.}

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Before I start this little post of mine, I should tell you: I can't wait to stop talking about this.

So... Tomorrow is the big day. My knee surgery is scheduled for 7:00am and although there are far more pressing things to be concerned with in the world, I am asking for any extra good energy and spare positive thoughts you may have hidden under your couch cushions. Maybe you should go and check there now. Seriously, I'll wait...

Yes, I realize I'm being a baby and that people have surgery all the time, but I've accepted the fact that I'm scared. I don't want to drift off onto a Michael Jackson-esque sleep never to wake up, but that's the little girl in me talking. The adult Kathleen realizes that if Heidi Montag can make it through ten (hideous and unnecessary) cosmetic procedures in one day, I can probably handle a little knee surgery. Nonetheless, any good thoughts would be MUCH appreciated.

However, try not to worry too much, folks. I plan on having my trusty good luck charm with me during surgery. His name is Dude and he is the stuffed lamb I've had since I was one. (I named him after a dog who I later learned was named Duke.) He got me through my first and only other surgery - tonsillectomy in the third grade - and, well, if it aint broke...

So, tomorrow at 7am, Dude and I will be ready for our operation. Hopefully, I'll have my own Glee inspired Britney Spears anesthesia dreams... Thank you so much for all the support you've already been sending and look forward to some loopy pain pill induced blog posts next week. :)

Sometimes the World Stops.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sometimes, on the worst kinds of days, the people we love are hurting in ways we can not imagine. And in these dark, silent moments, there are no words. Nothing we can say to make it better, to erase the memory of what should never have happened. What I will say here - to that beautiful, silly, lovely woman who has become so dear to me, who has been a life raft during my own storms - is that I am so sorry. I wish there was something I could say, something I could do, to ease what must be the loneliest and scariest of times for you. What I will say is that they are playing "Lean on Me" at Starbucks while I'm writing this and I'm crying with you. What I will say is that the only thing I know for sure is that time heals even the most unbearable of hurts. What I will say is that I love you and will hold your hand through this.

Lohan's Back in the Clink
and I'm Having Surgery.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Let's call this the Little Updates and Soundbites post, shall we?

- Growing up, I wanted to be many things. A teacher, a therapist, Madonna and, yes, Mary Hart from Entertainment Tonight. Yep, I was always obsessed with pop culture. Always. Which brings me to...

- Honestly, Lindsay... Why?! If I had a tenth of the life you have at your disposal, I can guarantee I wouldn't eff it up. Granted, maybe your drug and alcohol problems really are an addiction and like your stupidity and entitlement, that's a serious disease.

- The knee news is in, friends. What I thought was a torn ligament is actually a fractured kneecap that will require surgery and up to eight weeks on crutches. Well, at least that explains the pain. Luckily, I have a fantastic doctor - who is also the physician for the US Ski Team! - that I really trust. Surgery is scheduled for next Friday, October 1st. Let me know if you need my address to send chocolate and vodka. Just kidding. Sort of. :)

- My best friend, Carina, is flying into Vegas in the morning. I haven't been this excited in a really long time. You see, that's the great thing about moving away from your loved ones, the excitement when they are coming into town (or vice versa) is simply through the roof. We have lots of fun things on the agenda to celebrate the belated birthday of my closest pal: a highly anticipated visit to the Neon Boneyard, a sequined jaunt over to the soon-to-be-closing Liberace Museum, a night out at the piano bar, Don't Tell Mama, and a stay at Palms Place. Check it out:

A BIG thanks to Carina for getting us an amazing deal on a one bedroom suite!

I have several other little surprises in store for my bff (unfortunately, these surprises do not include the night helicopter ride over the Vegas strip I was planning on gifting her for her birthday... long story), but I can't spoil them here. Check back in next week for the full summary and, trust me, there will be a whole lot of fun to report. Not only will I be with my best friend, but I am looking at this trip as my last hoorah... or at least the last weekend for a while where I don't have to get around on crutches.

- My twelve year old cousin keeps changing her facebook status from single to in a relationship and back again. And again. While that junior high drama unfolds in front of her 300+ friends and family, all I can think is how glad I am that good ol' fb wasn't around when I was a tween.

- My sister Monica has been gracious enough to fly out for my surgery next week and I am so grateful. I've always said the only things I'm afraid of are snakes and scary ghost children, but it turns out, anesthesia gives my the heebie jeebies too. Knowing that my big sister will be by my side is incredibly comforting and eases some of my growing anxiety. The fact that Monica is putting us up at the Hilton for a swanky recovery weekend is quite the cherry on top, as well. Hopefully when I'm hopped up on pain killers, my sis can sneak out for a dip in the pool. So, although this trip wasn't conceived out of the most ideal of circumstances, I really am looking forward to some sister bonding time.

There you have it, my little update. Happy Friday! I hope you have the happiest of weekends! Xoxo!

The Life List: Plans, Goals and Dreams.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today I've been thinking a lot about my life... The places I want to go, the things I want to accomplish, the people I want to love. Maybe it's because my recent setback made my dream job a few months from my grasp and left me in a bit of a transition. And we all know there's nothing quite like a transition to make you take a look at the road you're heading down. Although I like the road I'm currently traveling, I feel like pulling out my map and making sure the route I'm on is going to get me to the places I want to go and, more than that, going to make me the person I hope to be.

So, folks, I pulled out my trusty notepad and jotted down some of the hopes I have for my life. And while I assume this little list will always be changing, always remain a work in progress, these are the things I want for myself. In this moment, these are my dreams.

Let's start this list out with some things that can be accomplished in the next year-ish, shall we?
  • get licensed as a therapist
  • get a well paying job I LOVE
  • create more of a community for myself in Vegas
  • learn to cook more meals (I'm proud of the meals I can cook, but they are few.)
  • go on more picnics
  • get a bike and, ahem..., ride it
  • make enough money to fly my mom out to see me just because I miss her
  • read more books (I love my magazines and blogs, but they aren't - and shouldn't be - a substitute for great literature.)
  • take more walks
  • go camping (it's been over ten years since I've been camping and that was in Botswana with wild elephants outside the tent - one of the most amazing and unforgettable experiences of my life)
  • stay out dancing until 4am just a little more (not because I necessarily want to, but because I can... and that won't always be the case)
  • take more moments to realize how lovely this all really is... just as it is

I suppose some of the items on this next list can be accomplished in the next year or two as well, but - to me - this is the big stuff. This is the stuff of my dream life.

  • have a puppy named Johnny Cash or June Carter
  • go back to Namibia
  • visit at least one other country in Africa (I've been blessed enough to have already visited Namibia, South Africa and Botswana and these trips changed my life)
  • take my mother on an all expense paid beach vacation for A WEEK (making my mother relax for a full seven days will prove to be my life's most challenging goal, but I think I'm up for it)
  • volunteer - for at least seven days - abroad... at least once
  • get published
  • go on a trip to Greece with my family (this has been in the works for a while and one of these days, we'll make it happen)
  • learn to swim properly (Yes, this means going under the water without plugging my nose. It's hard to be taken seriously in the pool when you're plugging your nose, you know? I'm getting close to achieving this goal, but am not quite there yet)
  • start regularly practicing yoga (um, I think I'll wait until after my upcoming knee surgery for this one) and meditating daily
  • go to Bali
  • take my sisters on a fabulous weekend (I'm thinking Miami)
  • have a beautiful, meaningful, HAPPY wedding ceremony surrounded by family, friends and candles
  • have two children (whether through adoption or foster care or having my own biological children - or a variation... I just hope that the children that need me, find me.)
  • go to India (I know, so much of my list is travel related, but seeing the world is really important to me.)
  • have a lovely, modern, fun home
  • start my own charity
  • create a fantastic outdoor living space complete with lounge chairs, white lights dangling from the trees and hopefully a pool (... or a hot tub or at least a fish pond!)
  • volunteer at a hospital rocking babies (I have tried to do this several times, but someday, it's going to take.)
  • start my own private therapy practice, but see some clients at no cost
  • start my own super-secret business (sorry to be so vague, but - um - it's a secret!)
  • have a monthly game night/cocktail party at my house
  • write a book
  • live on the beach (again)
  • continue growing, changing and challenging myself to be the best and most happy version of myself I can be
There you have it. My blossoming life list. What's on yours? Do tell...

I Got All My Sisters and Me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Let's keep this one quick. You see, I'm in a bit of a funk. Not a big one, but certainly and officially one nevertheless. I am marching through this transitional phase I've found myself in and am trying to break on through to the other side as quickly and as painlessly as I can. Oh, and on a pain related note (and this little update is primarily intended for my friends and family), it looks like my knee problems weren't just in my overly dramatic head. It looks like due to my very embarrassing and uncoordinated injury, I have some pretty serious ligament damage. I'll know if this means I need surgery or just rehabilitative therapy and a new fancy schmancy knee brace after my MRI on Monday.

Since I am currently back in school for the quarter (more on why here), I have some time on my hands and a little cheering up could come in handy right about now. Cue my very best friends. Danny and Carina. They are both coming to visit (separately, which is fantastic because it gives me more to look forward to!) in the next few weeks and I really can't tell you how excited I am.

Carina has been my closest friend and sister since the last day of kindergarten and Danny (also my sister, thank you very much) and I have been swapping Madonna Cd's since junior high. I still can't believe that in our tiny hometown in WA, I managed to meet two of the most interesting, funny, unique people in the world. These are the two people I want standing next to me at my wedding, my bridesmaids. These two people are my family.

So, to Danny and Carina, I can't wait to see you SOON! I know we will have so much fun. I love you. Xoxo!

{Proving - back in 1996 - that we all had the same orthodontist.}

A Small Town Girl's Guide to Vegas.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Since, in so many ways, I am not the quintessential Las Vegas gal, most of my friends, family, family friends, friends of friends, frenemies, friends of my neighbor's cat, etc. all like to ask me about my favorite places in my new city. You know, how just a small town girl does Vegas. As often as I answer these questions, I never get tired of them because I love sharing the places that have helped make Las Vegas my new home.

For the last month or so, I've been writing reviews on Yelp. Scratch that. I've been a Yelping machine, spreading the love about the places that have captured my heart. Then I got to thinking that maybe I should share some of my Sin City insights here on le blog. So, without further adieu, the places that make me happy in my new home...

Just a Small Town Girl's Guide to Hotels, Pools, Yummy Food, Good Drinks & Places to Make You Pretty.

- Before I lived here, when I was just another tourist, I fell in love with the MGM on many trips. Yes, there are newer and fancier hotels on the strip, but something about the MGM just feels so easy and comfortable. The rooms are fantastic and the pools. Oh, how I love the pools. When my friends Todd and Katie came on a trip with me a couple of years ago, we spent hours happily floating in intertubes down the hotel's "river" drinking Bud light limes and doing nothing but smiling.

- Other reasons I love the MGM? My very favorite sandwich in the whole world is here at 'wichcraft (fried egg, bacon and gorgonzola) and the best meal that has ever, ever, ever touched my lips is located at the MGM. Which brings me to...

- Shibuya. On my aforementioned trip to Vegas, my friends and I fell in love with this restaurant. Yes, it's definitely spendy, but we opted for the more affordable tasting menu and have never regretted it. I still dream about the rock shrimp tempura and the Kobe beef. Honestly, just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

- My second favorite dining experience in Vegas leads me to the top of the Palms. Jenner's family and I went to Nove for his birthday last year and that dinner is still imprinted on my heart. The view at the top of the Palms makes this meal special all by itself, but the meal. Mmm. I went for the four course prix-fixe menu - an appetizer, pasta, main course and dessert all for $45. The balsamic flat-iron steak was to die for. I hope to take my bff, Carina, here when she comes at the end of the month.

- Now, let's get off the strip for a moment, shall we? I myself live a few blocks from Las Vegas Boulevard and love all that it has to offer, but let's be honest for a second. I would always prefer to get away from the tourists and the traffic and the blinding Ed Hardy get-ups. If you have ever read my blog before you know that I love no place more than the Golden Nugget. I dedicated an entire post to it here. Trust me, this is where you want to stay.

- Another place I suggest you visit off the strip is The Artisan. Walking into this hotel is like being transported into an old Hollywood haunted mansion. True story. The Artisan has a boutique ambiance (with an added spooky flair) that is hard to find in Las Vegas. While I haven't stayed in the hotel just yet, it's definitely on my to do list. I can tell you that I love their drinks, food, pool and dance parties. Oh, and check out the chapel while you're there. It's got a Gothic vampire vibe.

- If you're in the mood for more casual dining, there are two places I have to nudge you in the direction of. Yama Sushi is my heart. You simply can't beat their all-you-can-eat special for $25. Oh, and the "Sun of the Beach" roll at Yama will change your life. If you're in the mood for tapas, fantastic drinks and a fabulous view, then you have to go to Firefly at the Plaza. This is definitely my go-to place in Vegas and while I love both of their locations, you'll love the downtown spot because it overlooks the light show of the Fremont Street Experience. Go here, save money - it's crazy affordable - eat the stuffed dates, drink the sangria and leave happy. You can thank me later.

- If you're looking for a show to take your friends to, I have to strongly suggest you go see Frank Marino's Divas. (Of course, if you don't like drag queens then this show probably isn't for you. Also, if you don't like drag queens, we probably don't have much in common and I'm not sure why you're visiting my blog. Harsh, but true.) Frank brings all the divas. Liza. Tina. Cher. Madonna. Britney. Beyonce. This show brings the laughs and the tears.

- As far as bars go, I always suggest you get off the strip and head downtown. The Griffin and The Beauty Bar will not disappoint. Strong drinks, good music, local hipsters. You'll love it. These are the places where everybody knows your name, but nobody cares.

- Last, but not least, I can't make a guide to Vegas without telling you where to go to get pretty. Let's keep it real here, ladies. For a trip to Las Vegas, you probably want to tend to your hair. For the hair on your head, you must go to Globe Salon. When I first moved from Seattle, I didn't know where to begin looking for a salon and because I take my hair pretty seriously, this was no easy task. Luckily, I turned to Yelp and couldn't say no to Globe's amazing reviews. Then I realized I had a friend who went there (Hi, Joanne!) and made the call. After telling the receptionist about what I was looking for, she made an appointment for me to see Megan. Wow, am I ever glad she did. Megan just gets color. Not only has she made me every shade of blonde and red, but I also trusted her enough to ask for the bangs I was always too nervous to try prior to meeting her. Oh, and um, I LOVE THEM. Megan is an artist, end of story. As for Globe, if their massaging shampoo chairs didn't seal our relationship, the fact that they just made Elle magazine's list of 100 salons in the country definitely made this exclusive. As for the hair you don't want to keep, I suggest you go to the Box. Their salon is entirely dedicated to the art of hair removal and they serve wine before your appointment. Sold. Oh, and ask for Erin. She's the best.

Whew, there you have it. My guide to Vegas. I'll keep you posted as it changes and please tell me the next time you're in town! I've got several places in mind to take you. :)

Saying Goodbye to Summer. {In Photos.}

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You know those people who get really excited to drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes and wrap up in scarves and sweaters? Yeah, keep looking. That is definitely not me. People I follow on Twitter are already excited about Christmas. Christmas! As for me, I'm mourning summer and the smell of coconut lotion. Granted, it's not officially the end of the season and it certainly won't feel like fall here in Vegas for a couple of months, but something about Labor Day weekend announces the end of the dog days of summer.

So, to commemorate the passing of my favorite time of year, I wanted to tell the story of my summer. {Through photos, of course}. Random as they may be, here they are. The pictures documenting the love of my life, summertime.

I hope your Labor Day weekend, and your whole summer, was happy and sprinkled with love and sunshine. Xoxo!