I Hate Shoes.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Here's the thing: I hate shoes.

Sure, I love a pretty piece of eye candy on my feet as much as the next gal, but let's just keep it real here. I loathe the feeling of them - they're just way too confining. Since I was a little girl, I have always preferred the company of slippers. If you need proof, just take a look at the photo of me as a two year old above. (The memory of that carpet still makes me giggle.)

I have more slippers than most people probably have shoes. I take them with me to work and hide out in them under my desk. I always (and I mean always) travel with them and wear them on the plane. I wore them to Thanksgiving this year and last year for Christmas, I bought Jenner's mother and I matching pairs. Honestly, I'm wearing them right now.

My physical therapist cringed when I recently told her my foot apparel of choice because of their lack of support. So, for the sake of my very flat feet, I'm going to try to kick this dirty little habit of mine. Let's be honest, though, I really don't see it happening. (C'mon, it's like walking on a cloud!). Just please don't tell my physical therapist.

The Best Best Friend Weekend Ever.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

For the record, this is the most overdue post I ever plan on writing (and perhaps the most wordy). If it wasn't about my closest friend and one of my favorite weekends of all time, I would just scrap it. However, this really is among my most treasured memories and, if for no other reason, I want to dedicate a post to it so I can look back and smile for years to come.

This one, this one is for us, Carina.

On September 25th, 2010, I picked up my closest gal at the airport and we had one of the best times I can remember in our 27 year friendship. The two of us hadn't had a weekend all to ourselves since she so generously drove with me from Seattle to Las Vegas pulling a u-haul through the desert for my big move. So, as you can probably imagine, this weekend was looked forward to, and counted down to, for months.

Let's get a little timeline going, shall we? I'll be sure to pepper it with quotes that had us rolling and not one, not two, but 27 photos. (Surprisingly, Carina and I haven't had pictures that we both liked of the two of us in years. Well, we sure made up for lost time.)


Drive to the airport. Surprise Carina with a sign that says Dr. Leo Marvin at baggage claim. The Finer Things 2010 Tour (inside and verrrry old joke) has officially begun. Hug, laugh, comment on Carina's (and I'm using her words here) inadvertent "youthful goth" new hair color. Let my best friend know that I have taken care of the schedule for the entire day to celebrate her belated birthday. Play her my new favorite song in the car. Dance. "Like a Cholo?" Long pause. "No, Carina, Ridin' Solo." Make a much anticipated tour of the Neon Boneyard. Carina: "I didn't read that document I just signed." Kathleen: "I've never read a single document I've signed in my entire life." Giggle fit #7 of 436. Think we might die of heat. Why didn't we bring water? Let's get an ice cream cone. Lunch at the Artisan. Surprise Carina - who thinks we're staying the night at my green shag palace - with a room downtown at the newly renovated (and super modern) Gold Spike (only $45!). Ask my best friend, very nicely, thank you very much, to leave for a little while. Decorate the room for her birthday. Leave out presents, white lights and approximately 23 magazines for her enjoyment. Let the (belated) bday girl back in. Go down to the pool. "Did that old man just try to touch my tattoo?" (While getting a tramp stamp when you're 18, you never realize that lecherous old men will try to touch your lower back at the pool for the rest of your damned life.) On the way back to the room, a crack head loudly tells Carina, "I love your hair, girl!" Much to my best friend's chagrin, almost die laughing. Relax in the room. Start getting dolled up for an evening out. Apply each other's makeup. Introduce Carina to my favorite drugstore false lashes. Take as many photos of ourselves as we did in junior high. Make Carina wear the birthday princess hat and over sized pink glasses. Walk through the Fremont Street Experience. Surprise (not really, it is our favorite place) the bff with dinner at Firefly. Enjoy a delicious dinner and some sparkling sangria. Deem this night "Tapas and True Friendship". Enjoy the walk back down Fremont knowing that in less than a week, I will be having knee surgery. Kathleen: "I plan on being hopped up on pain killers and showtunes the rest of the night." Make ourselves comfortable at one of my newest and most favorite spots in Vegas, Don't Tell Mama. Order shots of Patron. Fall in love with Dre, the amazing singer, at Mama's. Carina: "If you don't know all the lyrics to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " - I don't think I can trust you." Truer words have never been spoken, my friend. Let's order another round. Accidentally give the dreaded double thumbs up to Dre when requesting her to sing my favorite song she sings, Pink's "Sober." Run into a handsome feller named Jenner. Kiss that handsome man. Wait, that was just me. Stumble back to our hotel. Carina: "Not counting insomnia, this is the latest I've been up in years."

*The next few days were far less eventful than the first, but no less fun. And thank goodness. I don't know if the two of us could have handled another day as busy as our first. At least, not at our age. Let's just keep it real here.


Ouch, my head hurts. Yours, too? Pack up our little room. Have breakfast at the Cracked Egg. Go to the now dearly departed Liberace Museum. Really, really can't believe how bossy the older woman giving the tour is. Meet up with Jenner at the green shag palace. Depart for our new home, Palms Place. Check out our new one bedroom suite. Swoon. Home suite home. Kathleen: "I think this is how Jay-Z and Beyonce live." Immediately take my first of seven baths that overlook the strip. Think this might perhaps be heaven. Call Jenner and tell him he's got to see this place. Show off our new digs to the boy who is never impressed and much to our delight, discover he is indeed pretty impressed. Go to dinner at the Pink Taco. Realize this was a mistake and decide we never want to leave our new home again. Settle in on our new couch. Watch television. Fall asleep giggling, just like the old days.


Two words: Pool. Day. Literally, this entire day focused on hanging out at the pool, taking a quick (yet, oh so glamorous) drive to my doctor's, a snack stop at Golden Spoon, an amazing steak dinner at Simon and kicking back on the couch again with my sister/best friend/soul mate. It was perfect. Throw in a little girlie getting ready time and a cocktail or two and it was one of my favorite days, ever.

When it was finally time to say goodbye on Tuesday, it was just too soon. That's the thing about my friendship with Carina. It's been 27 years and, I can tell you, it hasn't been nearly long enough. Like so many of the memories we've collected since that first day on the beach in 1983, I will never forget these perfect few days filled with laughter.

C, you know you're family to me. I couldn't love you any more. Xoxo.

PS) I can't wait for our next weekend adventure!

Even in the Hardest of Times...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

... I am so fortunate.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your caring comments after my last post. I was really, really touched and read them several times when things got tough. Like when a stranger stopped to help me on the side of the road after my tire had blown out last week, those supportive words reminded me of the immense power of another person's kindness.

Things are looking up in my neck of the woods. Less than a week ago, I was filled with anxiety and literally waking up with dread. After my first day off in 15 days, I am happy to report that the clouds are beginning to part.

Earlier in the week, a friend posted the above picture on her facebook wall. It was just the reminder I needed to snap me out of my little funk and make me aware of how truly blessed I am.

I hope, even in your hardest of times, you can remember how lucky you are and see the sun behind the clouds.

Lots of love and gratitude,

This is the Hard Part.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lately, I have to keep reminding myself, "Kathleen, this is the hard part."

In life, there are plenty of these hard parts. The times we look back on later and think, "I can't believe I got through that." The hard part paves the way to the good stuff and that, that little reminder right there, is what I repeat to myself 72 times a day.

Both my sister and my best friend recently said to me, "You know, you've really had a hard couple of months." It's funny because I thought I knew that, thought that was a given, but when they acknowledged it to me, it seemed to almost give me permission to acknowledge it to myself.

You see, like everyone, I get down in the dumps and throw myself a little pity party for one every now and again, but I never lose sight of how lucky I am. Some of my world travels have left a permanent tattoo on my heart and this tattoo never lets me forget how incredibly fortunate I am. That said, sometimes a gal just needs to be able to say, "Wow, this has been tough."

And it has.

Between the knee injury (and surgery, physical therapy, crutches, a hideous brace, immobility and pain) and finding out I had to go back to graduate school for a quarter rather than accepting two dream jobs that were offered to me, my late summer and fall have had more than their fare share of setbacks.

The latest chapter in the book I'm writing - tentatively titled "This is Really Freaking Hard" - details my new job. You see, about two weeks ago, I started a job as an intake counselor at a psychiatric hospital. (Working the graveyard shift, no less.) While this has been an amazing opportunity and I am exceptionally grateful for the chance to get my foot in the door with a great company, this position is really challenging for me. I am entirely out of my element and doing things I've never done before and, to be perfectly frank, am not terribly gifted at. Although I know I'll look back at this time and appreciate being pushed out of my comfort zone, I am filled with anxiety right now. You know the feeling when you think you'll never, ever get it? That feeling describes how I feel pretty much 99 % of the time lately.

One of the things that has been getting me through this rough spot is knowing I can soon go home for the holidays to see my family... Well, unfortunately, this is the part in the post where the violin music needs to be cued. (Do you hear it? You do? Great.) Yep, I just found out I have to work Christmas Eve, Christmas day, New Year's Eve and New Year's day... and I am heartbroken.

My point in all of this isn't just to whine. My point is that this, this right here is the hard part. I was reminded of this when my tire blew out on the freeway earlier today and I was just sitting there, waiting. Waiting to get through the hard part. The good news? When you're knee high in the hard part's mud, it just means the good stuff is on its way. I just have to wash off my feet and wait it out.

In the Zen.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I am currently taken with this new company, In the Zen.

In the Zen is an eco-friendly clothing and accessory line that embodies the mindset of well-being. Their shirts are fantastic (and - because I know you want to know - are really flattering) and I just started carrying around the In the Zen tote and am completely smitten. You see, the owner is a friend of mine (I take care of her adorable daughter) and when she told me about In the Zen, I was blown away by this great idea and really wanted to get behind it and help spread the word.

We've all been "In the Zone" but I love the idea of being "In the Zen." Here's what this means to Lauren, in her words:

"Ever heard of the popular phrase – In the Zone? For me, these three simple words exude determination, focus, and overall 'on-purpose' energy. I love being In the Zone. I thrive on the sense of excitement when working towards a challenging goal. It’s a mindset that I’ve carried with me for most of my life.

A year ago, something happened that caused a subtle, yet profound paradigm shift and led me to adjust my mindset. I still carry the same level of determination & focus as before – but now, I approach life and all of its blessings and challenges with a new, refreshing mindset – it’s simple – it’s
In the Zen™.

It was a hot July evening in Las Vegas, and I was swimming laps – determined to boost my heart rate, burn calories, and tone my body – all within thirty minutes. I was in the zone. Then, in mid-stroke, I noticed a dragonfly perched on a single bare branch of a Mesquite tree close by. He was as majestic as an eagle and the beauty of the scene humbled me. He appeared to be soaking in every minute of the fresh summer breeze and warm sunlight. It was that moment, when I paused to witness the splendor of my surroundings, when I connected all the sights, emotions, and energies, that I realized – I am
In the Zen™. I returned to my rigorous cardio workout. The determination and focus were still with me, but now I also had harmony. Each stroke was effortless. I was present. Joyous. The splashes of pool water, the scent of freshly mowed grass, the melodious chirping of sparrows, the wonderful soreness in my limbs as I completed one stroke after another; I was relishing every moment. I thought to myself: this is how I wanted to experience life from here on… In the Zen™.

I still describe myself as determined, focused, and on-purpose... I'm just more balanced, harmonious, and simply put -
In the Zen™.

Don't you just love it? I know I do. This message really resonates with me. I hope you'll check out their website and products and join the In the Zen movement!

You Must Be My Lucky Star.
{I Heart Halloween.}

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

For the record, I LOVE Halloween and the overall art of dress-up. Any excuse for a costume works for me. Seriously. However, I'm also a sucker for all things spooky. In the weeks leading up to one of my favorite days of the year, I watched The Shining (my all time favorite movie), Pet Cemetery (my boyfriend refused to watch it with me and I'm still a little mad), Misery (so much better than I even remembered) and the original Friday the 13th (hilariously bad).

Since I'm still limping around and wearing a very unattractive knee brace, I wasn't sure how much enthusiasm I would be able to put into my costume this year. Then my best friend reminded me, "Um, wild horses couldn't keep you from dressing up." Truer words may never have been spoken and I think I needed that little reminder. So, I threw myself headfirst into researching the costume I've wanted to wear since I was six years old, Madonna. (I've seen a lot of people swipe on some blue shadow and call that an eighties costume, but I really tried to be as authentic as possible because - let's face it - I have wanted to be Madonna since kindergarten.) Before you knew it, my boyfriend dressed up as a Chilean miner, we met up with our friend Brandon (also a miner) and had ourselves a great Friday night.

"I made it through the wilderness..."

Chilean miners.

Not even a knee brace could lessen my excitement.

The next night we decided to switch it up. During my weeks in physical therapy, I am often forced to watch one of my least favorite shows, Let's Make A Deal. The one upside? I got the idea for Jenner and I to dress up as a bumble bee and a beekeeper. Let's be honest, this costume was 103 times more comfortable than the material girl and multiple people stopped us on the street to take our photos. You know that made me happy...

I was really excited about these lashes. Not as excited about the amount of glitter on my face, however. It was like reliving the 90's and my complexion still hasn't forgiven me.

I had to track this costume down after learning it was sold out online. Totally worth it, though.

We met up with Autumn and her feller, Michael, downtown at the Griffin.

Halloween boys.

Cap'n Crunch won the costume contest at the Beauty Bar. Very well deserved.

We ran into these amazing bees and felt an instant connection. What can I say? These are my people.

This really was one of my favorite Halloweens so far and, let me tell you, it had some stiff competition. I just don't think I can wait another year to dress up. So, don't be surprised if you get an invitation to a costume party from yours truly very, very soon.

Here's hoping your Halloween was happy! Xoxo!