Too Much Time on Your Hands

Posted by Kathy on August 27th, 2017

When you say “It looks like someone has too much time on their hands,” all I hear is “I’m sad because I don’t know what creativity feels like.”

I read this comment on a blog almost a decade ago and haven’t forgotten it since. I can’t be certain where I saw it, but I believe credit is due the artist Terry Border, an incredibly talented man who began a blog called Bent Objects to showcase his whimsical art, and followed up over the years with eight books, one of which has become a musical.

The comment stuck with me because I’ve been on the receiving end of it a bunch of times over the years (especially during the Windy years) and again just recently when I posted this picture to Facebook, with the caption: “Astonished sidewalk guy.”

sidewalk man

Someone commented “You have too much time on your hands,” to which I replied “I really hate that comment.”

Boy, do I.

A lot.

I was thinking of replying with a different comment, one that would have addressed the time factor, as in “Really? The three seconds it took to take the shot, then the five seconds to post it to Facebook, qualifies as too much time?

But that’s not a comment that speaks to the real problem with the accusation.

The real problem is that no one needs to justify the time they spend for anything creative, no matter how small or insignificant others might think it is. That’s the beauty of art and creation.

There are a thousand reasons why people innovate and create. It could be for utility or to solve a problem. It could be an outlet for stress or to move through a painful experience. It could be to learn a new skill, to seek a new path, to grow as a human. Or it could be to entertain, to enlighten or simply to bring a smile to the face of another person. That is me.

When I observe something off-beat or interesting, it makes me happy and I want to share it. It’s why I took up blogging. I always said about blogging that if I could make someone chuckle for five minutes out of their day, I’ve done my job.

And if it took me “too much time” to think of something bizarre, stupid, uncanny, or ridiculous, so what? That’s my time to spend. I have never accused anyone of spending too much time on something that gives them joy to make, to do, or to experience. Think of all the hours that people (including me) invest in passive activities, like binge-watching their favorite TV series. They’re not creating art, not creating music, not dancing, not painting, not writing. But they’re creating joy for themselves and I say “Go forth and be joyful!”

The last thing we should be doing these days is raining on others’ parades for doing something they love. If it’s not hurting anyone, why even care?

After I received the “too much time” comment, all I could think was that guy would have lost his mind if he’d seen what I did to this fallen tree on one of my favorite walking routes through the woods. I carried a hammer, some nails and plastic googly eyes for three and a half miles to make and take this shot.

googly eyed bear

Too much time? Not to me. It was time well-invested because every time I see it, it still cracks me up.

And when passersby laugh about it, take out their cameras and save it to share with others, that’s icing on the cake.

I do what I do first for me. If someone else finds it just weird enough to enjoy, then all the better.

It leaves me happy, because I do know what creativity feels like, and it feels pretty damn good.

Addendum: I just visited the Facebook page of the guy who made that comment to me. In his profile, I see where he graduated college and what he studied. Wanna guess what his degree is in? Can’t make this stuff up: Art History.


No, Kathy, That’s Not a Tumor

Posted by Kathy on September 25th, 2015

250px-Xiphoid_process_frontalHow well do you know your own body? I don’t mean the stuff you can actually see, like fingers and toes.

I mean the stuff lurking inside.

For the last few months, I’ve noticed a “thing” at the top of my rib cage, under the skin, that I could only guess was a golf ball-sized tumor. Because that’s what you always think weird new things are that show up on your body.

I’d notice it after a shower when I raised my arms to put on deodorant.

Hmmm. Right. Probably a tumor and I’m dying.

If you’re like me, and you think you have a tumor and you’re dying, what do you do? Well, you wait months thinking the tumor will just go away.

Then when it doesn’t, you turn to Dr. Google.

You enter things like “What’s that knob above your rib cage?” Or, “What organs are protected by the rib cage?” Or, if you think Dr. Google will understand your meaningless symptom, you ask “Do I have a tumor? It’s golf ball-sized. Am I dying?”

You will, of course, get no results you want to read because they’re all about people with actual tumors and how they found them and then you get all sweaty and nervous and end your relationship with Dr. Google immediately.

Then after weeks of continuing to ignore it, you finally have a wellness visit with your doctor.

I went yesterday.

“So, doctor, I have this thing. It’s probably a tumor. You’re going to tell me I should have come in sooner for this and that because I didn’t, I am now actively dying from it. Here, have a look-see.”

I took off my shirt and bra and raised my hands over my head.

“See it? Tumor, right?”

He felt around. I waited for the ax to drop.

“No, Kathy. That’s your Xiphoid process.”

“The Xiphoid what?”

“Everyone has one. Here, feel mine.”

My doctor gestured to the same area above his rib cage where my knobby thing is located and he asked me to press it. His was harder than mine. He probably has a tumor.

He went on to call up the Xiphoid process on the Internet and show me pictures. In a nutshell, the Xiphoid process is a small cartilaginous extension of the lower part of the sternum which is usually ossified in the adult human (which means it creates new bone over time).


I then asked my doctor when he goes out to happy hour with his doctor friends to please not mention the “stupid patient who came in today and doesn’t know jack about her body.” But he probably will and he probably should because hell, I would.

The only reason why I figure I noticed this now is because I’ve lost over 50 pounds in the last six months and I’m guessing my Xiphoid process had previously been concealed by a thick layer of fatty fat.

So, folks, you have stuff in your body you may not know about. And you have a Xiphoid process that you might want to poke around for just for fun. Do not be alarmed. When you find it, it’s not a tumor. Probably not.

Admirable or Insulting?

Posted by Kathy on September 21st, 2015

So today as I was changing clothes after my lunch time walk, I noticed this as I was slipping on a new pair of jeans I bought this weekend.

Right there on the inner waist band is a declaration from Lee Jeans that I am beautiful.

You are Beautiful Lee Jeans

At first I was like “Aw, that’s nice.”

And then I was like “Waaaaaitttt a minute.”

I’m not inclined to appreciate my jeans company tossing me compliments every time I put my pants on.

I’m more inclined to be annoyed that it’s basically a marketing ploy to make me feel good about myself, and perhaps by extension, the company that thinks I’m beautiful. You know, so I buy more jeans that love me.

I’m onto you, Lee!

And question – did they put these cutesy reminders in the waist bands of mens jeans, I wonder? Like, “You’re one handsome man!”

Do men need a reminder how wonderful they are, or just insecure women who hate trying on jeans and having them not fit right and then feel like crap about themselves? What’s the message to woman here?

Let’s have it. Tell me how you feel about “You are beautiful” in the comments. Love it or hate it?

Any statisticians in the house?

Posted by Kathy on December 29th, 2014

While out on my walk today I noticed a lot of obvious Christmas gift boxes and related paraphernalia on my neighbors’ curbs ready for trash pickup.

You had the usual flat screen TV boxes, a Keurig box, some toy boxes and a host of plain shipping boxes.

Also pizza boxes. My neighbors live on pizza apparently.

But then.

Then there was this:


I laughed, of course. Someone either had a really good Christmas, or a really bad one.

I kept on with my walk and about ten houses down the street, when what to my wondering eyes should appear?


Can someone who knows stats tell me what the chances are for this happening?

Toilets for Christmas. It’s a thing now. Take note.

I hope y’all had a nice holiday, and I wish you a blessed and happy 2015. Complete with your own American Standard beige toilet, if that’s what your heart desires.

Back to School Crazy

Posted by Kathy on August 8th, 2014

crayonsI’d like to start off by saying I tip my hat to all you parents out there. I’m constantly amazed at how you pull off the hardest job in the world, all with a myriad other stresses in your life. I don’t know where you get the time or energy for it.

Pat yourselves on the back. Go ahead. Do it.

Those of you with kids returning to school in the fall are probably running around right now trying to get all your ducks in a row. I’ve heard of schools sending parents a list of things their children will need before school starts, especially grade school-aged children. Very specific lists that include a backpack, notebooks, scissors, erasers, construction paper and a host of other things.

I was chatting with a friend about the list he and his wife received from their children’s school. The list is long and painfully precise. Stray from the list under penalty of death. Among the things they need to buy is a 48-count box of crayons.

Here comes the crazy….

Parents are supposed to write or affix their child’s name to all of their belongings so they always get returned to the child.

Including the crayons.

No, they aren’t supposed to write the child’s name on the box itself. They are instructed to write the name on each and every crayon.

My jaw dropped and I argued with my friend for five minutes that he must be playing a joke on me. He insisted this was true and got his wife on the phone to let me hear just how true this is and how much fun they have with this chore.

Still in disbelief, I Googled it and sure enough, it’s a thing. A dreadful, time-wasting, ridiculous thing.

I’m sorry. But when I was in grade school, I’m pretty sure I took a zippered bag full of crayons to school and if I lost them or some bratty classmate stole them, my mother probably just bought me a whole new box.

I’m pretty sure if I was a parent and got those instructions, I’d pay someone to do the task for me. Kathy ain’t got no time for labeling crayons.

So how are all you parents coping with school checklists? Did you get everything yet? Are your kids ready for back to school?

Local Woman Finds and Disposes of Mysterious Candy Found in Office

Posted by Kathy on March 26th, 2014

jelly candiesBETHLEHEM, PA – A local woman found a smashed doughnut-shaped sugared jelly candy on the floor of her office that she claims she never purchased.

Kathy Frederick, 48, of Bethlehem, PA discovered the candy while pushing her chair away from her desk and standing up.

“I was like OMG, that’s not my candy,” she said. “I never eat those. They stick in your teeth. Where did this come from?”

Frederick, a computing consultant at Lehigh University, said she often takes candy from her supervisor’s candy dish, but reported that sugared jelly is not among the selections.

“I have no idea why this is here,” she said. “And it’s thick, so it’s not like it could have stuck to the bottom of my shoe and come in from the outside.”

Frederick considered contacting the Campus Police because she thought surely someone had gained unauthorized access to her office when she wasn’t present.

She suspected briefly that someone must have enjoyed their candy in the comfort of her office, where this morning she rolled over it with her chair and flattened it.

“It’s really gross now,” she said.

After considering the presence of the candy from every conceivable angle, she ultimately picked it up and threw it into a nearby trash bin.

“This will probably bug me for at least an hour,” Frederick said. “Huh.”

Frederick later returned to her regular candy-eating routine, enjoying several Reese’s minis, York Peppermint Patties and caramel creams with her afternoon coffee.

At Least I Smelled Chocolaty Fresh

Posted by Kathy on August 30th, 2013

It’s a rare day I forget to apply deodorant before work. Yesterday was one of those rare days.

But not to worry!

I keep deodorant in my desk drawer for just such emergencies.

Except I keep it hidden because it’s just too weird if someone’s standing near me and I open a drawer. Nobody needs to see my stash of toiletries at work.

So where do I hide it?

Inside here. In a near-empty Mickey Mouse Chocolate Fudge coffee container. Why am I even saving that? Because it’s Mickey, silly!

Mickey Mouse Secret

The only problem is that sticking the deodorant inside a coffee tin makes the coffee smell like deodorant and the deodorant smell like coffee.

Hey, at least I smelled chocolaty fresh!

Really, Laundry Detergent? Really?

Posted by Kathy on July 17th, 2013

PurexOK, so tonight I get ready to do a load of laundry. I dribble the last drops, and I mean only drops, of the last jug of liquid detergent in the washer.

Grab a new bottle I just bought and go to unscrew the cap.

It doesn’t budge.

At all.

Why? Because it appears to be sealed to the top of the bottle. I’m pretty sure this has never happened in the history of laundry-doing, but of course it happens to me.

There’s a sliver of a gap between the cap and jug, but not even scissors can unhinge its grip on the bottle.

I quickly decide not to use scissors to get the cap loose because I just don’t want to explain to an ER doctor how it happened that I’m missing a couple fingers over laundry.

So I decide one load of clothes with barely any detergent in it is good enough.


Now I want to return the bottle to the store where I bought it because it’s a giant economy size that cost kind of a bundle and I really want to use it.

You know when I get it to the store, tell the clerk “This won’t open,” that they’ll grab hold of the cap, turn it, and it’ll come right off.

You know it will.

Because me.

What Would Be Your Last Meal?

Posted by Kathy on June 11th, 2013

lobster ravioliI found a weird article today, a photo depiction of actual death row inmates’ last meal requests.

Check it.

When I shared it with my sister, Ann, she responded not with her last meal, but her last meals. Plural.

She wants a week’s worth. I guess because if you’re going to die, you should have more than one entrée. Pig out. You know, enjoy yourself.

Monday….burger from 1818 Tavern
Tuesday….chicken parmesan
Wednesday….pulled pork platter
Thursday….full-on Thanksgiving dinner
Friday….spiral ham with roasted potatoes
Saturday….dessert cart

I think she should go onto Yelp and review the 1818 Tavern restaurant and say that the burgers are literally to die for.

My last meal?

I would want lobster ravioli from a restaurant in New York City that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of. My brother-in-law knows where it is, so if I’m on death row, my last phone call will be to him and he’s gonna have to drive to NYC to get it.

Sorry, Dan. Tell ‘em it’s my last meal and maybe you’ll get a discount.

So, folks. Pretty sure you’ve never had this question posed to you before, but let’s have it….

What would be your last meal?

Alternate Units of Measurement

Posted by Kathy on February 12th, 2013

hershey kissThe other day I was working on a PC problem in a client’s office. The client allowed me access while he wasn’t there, and also offered me any amount of Hershey Kisses he leaves in a giant cookie jar on his desk.

While working on the problem, I called a colleague to toss around some ideas about how to fix it. I told her about the client offering me chocolate from the cookie jar.

The jar is enormous. Really, like, I don’t know where you’d even buy one that big.

To give her an idea of how big it was, I tried to think of a way to estimate its size.

I did not say it was about a foot and a half tall and a foot wide.

I did not say that it was about three times the size of an average cookie jar.

I did not say that it probably weighed 20 pounds, even without any chocolate in it.

What I did say was that you could fit a severed head in it perfectly and put the lid back on securely.

I watch a lot of true crime TV shows.

So there you go. A severed head-sized amount of chocolate, all for the taking. I took about an ear’s worth.

Don’t Mess With My OCD, and I Won’t Mess With Yours

Posted by Kathy on January 25th, 2013

I wouldn’t say I’m textbook OCD, just some little quirks here and there. For instance, I have never pressed the trip counter button in my car since I bought it 13 years ago.

I just can’t reset the mileage. You would think someone with OCD tendencies would do something like reset it to a row of pretty little zeroes each time she gets out of the car. But you’d be wrong.

Knowing I’ve never pressed it in all this time means I can never press it ever, ever, ever. You know?

And then there’s this.

Dial soap dispenser

I’ve been refilling the same soap dispenser for over 10 years. I can’t replace it. Why?

Not because I’m an earth-loving environmentalist (although consider how much plastic I’ve saved by not buying new bottles. Go me!).

It’s because I’ve had it for over 10 years. That’s all. It’s like a contest with myself to see how long I can keep it going. And now I can never part with it.

And my husband better not toss it just to get a rise out of me because, if he does, he’s going to be left with the kind of wife who whines and cries every time she washes her hands with an imposter soap dispenser.

forksBesides, two could play that game. Seems my husband has a little OCD himself.

See how perfectly he stacks forks in the  silverware tray?

I oblige his OCD by stacking them neatly when I put dishes away, even though I don’t care if they’re all askew.

But get rid of my soap dispenser and just see how organized I keep them. Just see. [insert maniacal laughter here].

Call me Karth for Short

Posted by Kathy on November 6th, 2012

Hey, peeps! I know. It’s been forever since I’ve written.

One of my excuses is that I’m on vacation this week in beautiful Savannah, Georgia.

I’ve already shared this on Facebook, but it’s too good to not also share here.

This is the sign that our driver held up at the airport when we landed. I really don’t understand how spell-check didn’t pick up the myriad mistakes, or how anyone who has eyeballs in their head wouldn’t catch any of it.

My friend Jeff Lee is worried that perhaps the driver meant to do this and she really was looking for a Karthleen Ffrederck and Karthleen is still back at the airport waiting for her ride. Hee.

Karth for short

Well, Of Course My Mother Wants to Read That

Posted by Kathy on October 11th, 2012

decapitationMy mother, God bless her, has failing eyesight. She’s not a TV-watching person, never has been. But she loves her books. Devours them. And that’s the problem.

It’s harder and harder for her to get through a book due to her eyesight. So I’m working on a project where I scour the web for interesting articles for her to read.

I copy the text into Word and then jack up the font so she can see the words much easier.

The fun part is finding things I think she’d like to read. It’s easy for me because she and I have exactly the same taste in books.

Off-beat non-fiction.

I was talking to a librarian colleague of mine this afternoon and told her about my mission. I asked her if she ran across articles that met the criteria, could she send me the links so I could make them bigger and print them out.

To help her, I gave her an example of an article I already found that mom would love.

I told her it was on the topic of lucid decapitation.

“Have you ever heard of it?” I asked.

“Um. No,” she said.

“Well, it’s when someone’s head is chopped off, it’s possible for the head to keep reacting to stimuli, like being shouted at, for up to 30 seconds. The head’s eyes will get bigger in response before shutting,” I told her.

“Are you sure your mother wants to read that?” she asked.

“Of course. She’s just like me and I’m totally into an article about heads that can still do stuff after being detached from the body,” I insisted.

“Well, OK then.”

I’m certain you lovely readers would be interested too, so “head” on over to Lucid Decapitation and read all about the 1836 murderer who promised to wink after getting his head chopped off, but didn’t.


p.s. If you guys have things you think my mom would like to read, drop the links in the comments.

Gruesome is optional.

Dumpster Diving FAIL

Posted by Kathy on August 9th, 2012

My mother is moving out of her apartment soon and so my sister, bless her heart, is doing the bulk of packing.

I’ve been supplying her with boxes from work and she’s picked up a bunch from places herself. But you never have enough boxes when you’re moving, do you?

We learned today that my mom’s apartment has to be vacated sooner than we thought, so our need for boxes just skyrocketed.

I told my sister I’ll just go drive around and dumpster dive. No problem.

Problem, meet Kathy. Kathy, meet problem.

My obstacles:

1. It had just rained. Hard.

2. Stores and businesses often flatten boxes to reduce the room they take up in the recycling containers. That means unless you’re Stretch Armstrong, you’re not getting at them.

3. Many places put their bins behind security gates and so they’re inaccessible.

But I was undeterred. I should have quit before I started.

At one place, I found a good-sized box, unflattened, lying right on the top of a heap. Except it was comingled with regular garbage.

Food garbage.

I put it in my car anyway.

I drove ten feet and the stinkage punched me right in the face and I had to put it back.

At another location, I found a giant unflattened box, but it’s too tall to be helpful, has no lid and it’s stupid and my sister probably won’t want it.

I put it in my car anyway and now I have to get rid of it because I’m dumb and don’t know how to shop properly for boxes.

I thought I hit the mother lode behind a strip mall, where I found boxes sitting under a roof. They are dry!

Except they turned out to be thick, wax-coated boxes used for produce and they were heavy as hell. They also had fruit and vegetable pieces stuck to them, which I’m sure I didn’t want to touch.

I did find a medium square box with handles (!!!!) in one dumpster, but I had trouble grabbing it out from under other things because the bin lid was too heavy and I needed a third arm.

I don’t have a third arm, so I used my head to hold it up.

And then rainwater from the lid splashed down upon me and right into the box. I had to let it go.

And now I’m wet. Wet dumpster diving is even less fun, I assure you.

Another dozen stops with no box to be had, I’m fed up and decide to go home.

On the way, I had a glimmer of hope when I approached a college campus where I thought there might be office paper boxes, computer boxes or any other freaking kind of box.

I instantly realized I was in the wrong place at the wrong time because I hit serious traffic, half of which were cops.


Because Michelle Obama is giving a speech at that college.

Of course she is.

On my dumpster diving night.

Even if I did try looking in their dumpsters, this is exactly the sort of thing that’d make CNN with a headline like, oh, I don’t know, Woman Suspected of Hiding Bomb in Dumpster Arrested Minutes Before First Lady Speech.

That’s it. I’m done. One and half hours of fruitless labor.

It could have been great. I could have had a thousand boxes. It could have been a Box Miracle.

boxesExcept for this, which I found at every other place I drove by.

So many, so tidy, so hands off.

You know what I’m going to ask now, don’t you?

Anyone got any boxes? I’ll come pick ‘em up. I swear I don’t smell like garbage anymore.


Weird Guy in the Men’s Room

Posted by Kathy on May 23rd, 2012

urinalsI don’t profess to know what goes on in a typical men’s room and I don’t have a desire to know, really.

What happens in the men’s room should stay in the men’s room.

Except that weird things happen in the men’s rooms where I work and I’m unprotected from these stories, which my male co-workers keep foisting upon me.

To wit.

There is a guy who hangs out in the library where I work. No one recognizes him as an employee. Those who’ve seen him suspect he’s a townie who just likes hanging out in a library reading.

Fine. We love reading. People should be able to read in a library all day. That’s a good thing.

It’s when he uses the bathroom that things get a little interesting.

My co-worker has entered the men’s room to find Weird Guy standing at a urinal, doin’ his thang, as normal.

But with his shoes off to the side.

When he finishes, he puts his shoes back on and exits. Without washing his hands to boot.


I have to assume that he’s protecting his shoes from errant spray. I think I get that.

But if you’re going to have spray, do you really want it on your socks, which you then cover with your shoes, so all that residue bakes inside the rest of the day?

Is spray really a problem in there? Is that what happens? If he’s not concerned about spray, then why take the shoes off? Unless they’re platform shoes, and Weird Guy wants to be closer to the urinal, what’s the point? Is it more comfortable to pee without shoes on? Who does that?

So many questions.

The same guy has been spotted on another occasion by a different co-worker.

We’re all about saving energy where we work. The men’s and ladies rooms both have tiny vestibules leading into the actual restroom, which are lit.

It’s a habit of this co-worker to turn off that light as he enters the bathroom.

The actual bathroom has motion sensor lights in it, so that they only turn on when someone enters. The light remains on for a good while after a person exits, then automatically shuts off.


When he entered the restroom, he did his usual thing – turned off the vestibule light – and then opened the next door leading to the men’s room.

The light turned on automatically.

And there he found Weird Guy, standing at a urinal in a room that moments before was dark.



What this means is that Weird Guy went into the men’s room, the light went on, but then he stayed. Motionless. For as long as it took for the light to turn off.

I. Do. Not. Understand.

I can find no reason a person wants to be in the bathroom in the dark, well after he’s finished doing his business.

What’s to do in there? You can’t even read! You can’t see anything! You’re in a bathroom in the pitch black scaring the crap out of people who come in after you. What are you doing Weird Guy????

So many questions.

I’m super grateful that nothing like this ever happens in the ladies room. The worst that happens is discovering that female college students are complete and total slobs.

But at least they’re slobs who pee wearing shoes with the lights on.

Why Hitchhiking is Dangerous

Posted by Kathy on February 24th, 2012

OK, bees, wasps and any other flying things that try to hitch a ride in this….


Your lives will end in a very bad way ……

dead wasp

Yesterday I went outside to enjoy the balmy weather we’re having, and took a short walk around the courtyard of my building.

Within seconds I was hit in the head by a directionally-challenged wasp. Peripherally, I saw it coming in for a landing, and then heard it pierce my wall of curls.

Then silence. Did it die on impact? Is it still in there, wondering why what he thought was a shrub is so soft and smells like Pantene?

I flicked and fussed and shook my head until I was sure it was out.

I walked back into my office and met up with a student assistant who had just started his shift.

Trailing behind me was a client who followed me into the office and started chatting with the both of us.

I turned away from them to log into my PC and heard the client ask “Is that a wasp up there?”

Oh, for crying out loud.

I knew instantly I hadn’t gotten it out of my hair and that it must’ve hitched a ride with me to my office. It was clinging to the ceiling, surely perplexed by his new surroundings.

Big mistake, buddy.

It took ten minutes of my student’s merciless swinging, swatting and smashing to finally get it injured enough to stay on the floor.

A fighter, he was.

After a few pitiful wing waves, it gave one last gasp under my bookcase, where it shall remain. Because me no likie bugs, dead or alive, and I ain’t touchin’ that thing. I can barely even look at the picture of it.

Incidentally, killing wasps and photographing them is now considered “other duties as assigned” to my work study student. Thanks, Chris.

Wasps should really consult with the bees in the neighborhood, since they too have been victims of my Venus Flytrap head.

Bugs, fly with caution. Just sayin’.

Clown Day and The Movie Trailer

Posted by Kathy on January 27th, 2012

Clown Day was a huge success, except for the fact that students on our campus couldn’t have cared less that a clown walked among them. I’m still calling it a win because no one threw a pie at me.

I’ll recap the day and then let you enjoy the movie trailer we produced to commemorate events. I’m submitting it to Sundance. They take everything.

The day began with my clown assistant sister Marlene collecting me at my house. I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat later, and she immediately chastised me for putting too much of everything on the bread. I can’t do anything right.

We piled in the car and headed to work, getting noticed by no one. We clowned around in my office with everyone who came to get an eyeful. Took video and pictures and then headed out to our first stops.

No one said anything to us. And I looked like this. I don’t get it either.

Clown Day Students, if anything, simply glanced and put their heads back down. Only one student spoke. “Run! Run away!

Wow. Tough crowd.

We headed for visits to various buildings on campus, stopping at my satellite office, where I followed a grad student back to hers, saying “Would you mind if I followed you back to your desk? in the creepiest way possible. Until I told her who I was, she would not look me in the eye. Note to self. Creepy is only fun for the clown.

Before we knew it, lunch time! We headed to a deli nearby, where I had my first and last PBJ sandwich. I know I made it wrong. I know I used the wrong jelly (strawberry), but that didn’t matter. I was a “mouth feel” thing. Jelly too slimy. Make clown sad.

So my videographer graciously offered me half his BLT sandwich. Bacon good. Make clown happy.

The rest of the afternoon was more of the same: Students not caring, but friends and co-workers loving it.

By 3PM, my clown assistant and I were exhausted. Clowning is much harder than I thought it would be. You always have to be ON. We felt OFF by then and decided to head home.

Made a quick visit to my clown assistant’s workplace for pictures. Found out that her co-worker’s son is a campus police officer where I work and got the email that I sent warning that a clown would be on-campus (can’t be too careful).

Can you imagine the morning briefing? Be on the lookout for a clown today. She’ll be unarmed and hilarious.

So what did I learn by clowning all day?

  • A clown can hold her bladder for eight hours and not suffer any ill effects.
  • She can also eat a whole pizza for dinner by herself.
  • No one’s butt looks good in a clown suit. Hourglass figure? Forget it.
  • A blue afro rocks.

Thanks go again to my sister for helping me with picture-taking and lugging all my clown paraphernalia around. Clowning is hard, but I think clown assisting is harder.

Jason Slipp, my good friend and co-worker, filmed and edited the following movie trailer. Thanks for your creative spirit, time and talent! (Movie to come in a later post).

Here you go!

January 20 is Clown Day

Posted by Kathy on January 16th, 2012

post-it Many of you know that this Friday, January 20th, is Clown Day.

The day I agreed I would go to work dressed in full clown gear after you donated so much to my food bank fundraiser.

Let me tell you, it’s hard being a clown. But it’s also some of the most fun I’ve had in my life.

In the past weeks, I went shopping for just the right clown suit, makeup, a wig the size of a basketball, white gloves, a dozen balloons and a tote bag to keep all my girly clown things secured.

It took me four attempts at a face to land on one I’m happy with. YouTube videos helped, and so did pictures on the Internet and makeup packaging. I started out with a dreadful Joan Crawford face, but wound up with much more cheerful one in the end.

I took my clown self for an “in public” test drive yesterday, visiting my mother first. I had to call and warn her that she would not recognize my fully-painted face and to please not attack me with a baseball bat.

I drove around town before and after and waved at anyone who would look at me. If you have a bucket list, put clowning on it! It’s a laugh a minute!

All but one person waved back or smiled.

That one person who didn’t?

He flipped me the bird at an intersection.

I think he needed a hug. If you can’t smile back at a clown, you’re dead inside. That’s all I have to say about that.

So that you can all follow along with my clownal shenanigans, I’ve set up a Facebook page that you can “Like.” I’ll post pictures and updates as often as possible.

I’ll also blog about it after, with plenty of photos and video.

You are as much a part of this as anyone I run into that day. I hope you enjoy following along with me for the ride.

Thank you again for making the food bank fundraiser a huge success!

Feed the Hungry. Embrace the Crazy.

Posted by Kathy on December 7th, 2011

We’re embracing the crazy again at The Junk Drawer. If I gave you the chance, what would you dare me to do? Something gross? Something scary? Something embarrassing?

If I offered the power to choose one of those things, and I promised to do it on camera, would you pay for the opportunity?

Read on and see how the crazy works.

Bill White, a columnist from my local paper, The Morning Call, sponsors a fundraiser every year for a food bank in our area.

He’s also responsible for one of my family’s most-anticipated holiday traditions – visiting elaborately decorated homes on a Christmas lights tour that he designs based on reader submissions.

He drives by every nominated home and publishes a tour of the very best ones, including driving directions to take from house to house. It’s a huge deal around these parts and my family picks one of the routes to enjoy every year.

What’s really fun is that Bill turned his fundraising efforts and the lights tour into a challenge for his readers to collect as much as possible for a chance to win a personal tour with him.

Those who make the largest donations to the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley get to be driven around in style to see homes on the tour.

And I want a tour!

Here’s where you come in.

If I can reach my fundraising goal of $750 by December 14 that should guarantee me and my family a tour with Bill.

AND! My sisters and I are willing to match your gifts (up to $250).

What’s in it for you besides spreading Christmas cheer? YOU. GET. POWER.

Your reward for making a donation is to vote on which of the following you’d like to see me do. I MUST DO whichever one receives the most votes.

1. Eat my first ever peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Many of you know I find these two foods together a rather disgusting combination. I’ve gone my entire life without one, but I’d make an exception if it meant others could go a little less hungry.

2. Ride a horse. Some of you may recall this being on my list of 10 Things I Don’t Have the Guts To Do. I’m afraid. I’m afraid. I’m afraid. And the horse should be, too. Do horses have weight limits?

3. Wear full clown gear to work all day. Face paint, big red shoes, wig. Everything. I will work as normal on my clients’ computers, go to meetings, and eat lunch with strangers. In public.

If you’re willing to donate, please use the ChipIn tool below to make a secure contribution. And THANK YOU!

Then leave a comment indicating which task you’d like me to do. If I hit my goal, I’ll get the job done and post back with a video of me in action.

REMEMBER: ALL DONATIONS DUE BY DECEMBER 14! That’s not a lot of time, but I know you can do it.

You have the power!

In the Zone With Prednisone

Posted by Kathy on October 15th, 2011

So. Some of you know that I’m taking Prednisone, a steroid, for injuries I suffered while trying to do something good for my body.

My cardio workouts are to blame for all sorts of hurty problems with my shoulder, knee, bicep and elbow.

This is obvious proof that exercise is stupid and doesn’t really do anything except accelerate your body falling apart.

There. I said it. Stop doing it. It’s dumb.

Anyway, so I’m on this steroid, which is doing next to nothing for me. But I consider myself lucky to not be one of the people who experiences all kinds of side effects like: extreme hunger, mood swings, and a fat face.

Actually, I have all those things already, but whatever. At least it’s not any worse.

What I did experience was super human strength today while cleaning my kitchen floor.

So I’m gettin’ my Swiffer on and all of a sudden I snap the mop like a twig. With no effort whatsoever.

See? All brokey.

Swiffer Wet Jet broke

Granted, the handle is plastic, but it’s sturdy plastic that should not just break in half.

I get all sorts of angry (mood swing!) because I have to shell out another 30 bucks or so to buy a new one, unless duct tape fixes it.

But then I quickly move through the anger phase, straight to the “I’m a superhero” phase. Look at me! I’m the Hulk now.

So if you need me to chop firewood for you or move some heavy furniture single-handedly, ring me up. Wanna see me lift a car? I can do that, too.

Unless, of course, grandiosity is one of the drug’s side effects. In that case, never mind.

Catholic Veil Fashionista

Posted by Kathy on July 30th, 2011

catholic school What are you lookin’ at, jerk?, I thought.

I’d just left my Catholic grade school to walk home immediately following mass, held at our church adjacent to the school.

As I reached the halfway point of my four-block trek, some creepy guy in a car slowed down, drove my walking pace and stared at me.

For a 10-year-old, this was disconcerting. You know, Little girl, want some candy? and all that. I’d always been leery about walking on that particular block anyway, since there was a mental health facility nearby.

Anxieties peaked after the day two guys wearing their orderly whites came running down the street and shouted over to me on my porch “Did you see someone run down this way?”

Rut-roh. An escapee. Not good.

So I’m walking along, when Creepy Guy slows down and stares at me. He rolled down the window and said “What’s that you got on your head?”

And then it hit me.

I still had my white church veil pinned to the top of my head from mass.


I felt silly. But also completely skeeved out by a guy who would scare a little girl half to death. And about something so trivial, no less. Weirdo! With one swipe, I removed the veil and tucked it in my pocket and bulletted home.


The veil.

All girls in our school were required to wear their white veils to mass, which we attended every Friday.

If you forgot to bring your veil, you had to wear a Kleenex on your head.

A Kleenex. That made you a target for snickers. But if someone sneezed, it also made you convenient.

Most veils we wore were smallish and lacy, the size, look and feel of the doily your Grandma put under crystal bowls full of hard candy no self-respecting kid would eat.

Some veils were longer, like the one my classmate Theresa wore. I wonder if she ever became a nun like she wanted to be for the longest time. We could all see her becoming a nun because she wore her uniform well below the knee, kept tissues tucked under her sleeve and piously said grace before lunch.

I wore my doily, er, my veil in the style of a taco, which is to say I folded it in half and fastened it to my head with the rounded side toward the back, two bobbypins in the front on either side of my head.

I rocked that look, trust me.

Other girls wore their tacos folded out flat in a circle, but that made it harder to pin because you essentially had to rip a hole in the middle of it to stick the bobbypin through. Slobs.

Theresa’s was basically a wedding veil, which hung down almost to her butt. That required all sorts of special rigging because of the weight and because her hair was thin. She would have been better off just Crazy-gluing it to her head and leaving it there 24/7, practice for nunhood and all.

But no one, not even Theresa, wore a headscarf veil, tied under the chin. That was reserved for old, crunched-over Italian women who dressed in all-black wool, even on sweltering hot days. Sweatiness is next to godliness, you know.

We mercifully didn’t have to wear veils to high school masses. I think the administrators took pity on us. There’s just so much other stuff to tease girls about. Thank you for one less thing.

OK, so for all the non-Catholic readers, did you learn something new today? For the Catholics out there, holla! Do you remember wearing veils to church? What style did you wear?

Oh, and that’s me in the picture. Not wearing a veil. Probably worried about Creepy Guy on the way home.

Do You See What I See?

Posted by Kathy on June 29th, 2011

Major renovations are taking place in my building at work. Workmen padded the main elevators that they use for shuffling large and dirty materials all around.

Today I spotted a powdery smudge on the cardboard padding that looked like someone could have painted it, were it not just plain old dirt.

I know it’s faint, but I think you can still make it out.

Do you see what I see?


Yes, people wanted to know what I was doing taking pictures in the elevator.

Yes, they all think there’s something wrong with me.

But that’s OK, because you all know I’m perfectly normal. Right? Right?

Local Man Avoids Kitchen Hazard and Survives

Posted by Kathy on June 11th, 2011

paper towel holder Bethlehem, PA – A local man today avoided certain death by not over-exerting himself changing out a roll of paper towels.

The man, David Frederick, when asked by his wife whether it would actually kill him to swap them out, responded “Yes. Yes, it would kill me.”

Though he got close to changing it – the roll made it within inches of the holder – he insisted it would have been much too difficult to lift the old roll and put on a new one.

Frederick’s unwillingness to change the roll makes no scientific sense, given new research from American University that suggests men in households with easy-to-change paper towel holders are 34% more likely to change the roll than households with the wall-mounted type, requiring two hands to change it.

I just didn’t feel like it,” Frederick said.

Lead researcher, Robert Jones, says that Frederick’s difficulty in changing the roll may stem from his general laziness or the fact that he worked that day and felt he had no energy left, despite the fact that his household sports the one-handed type of holder.

Although Frederick’s wife was pleased her husband didn’t have to die by changing the roll out, she expressed frustration that she would have to do it herself – again.

“I mean, he went to the trouble to get a new one and put it down next to the holder. The empty roll weighs, what, two ounces? I just don’t understand it,” she said.

Reports indicate that Frederick’s wife did eventually change the roll, sighed heavily and then stomped away from the kitchen.

Frederick and his wife have been married nearly 20 years. There was no indication whether Frederick’s near death experience will keep him from changing new rolls in the future, but researcher Jones suspects so.

“Once a habit of neglect has been formed, it’s very hard to change, particularly for husbands. They have a hard time with toilet paper rolls, too,” he said. “It’s just asking too much.”

Whoopin’ it Up on a Saturday Night

Posted by Kathy on June 4th, 2011

pepsi Me: You know what I could go for?

Husband: What?

Me: A Pepsi.

Husband: Are you pregnant?

This exchange is hardly odd because I haven’t had a real soda in about ten years and so Dave thought something was up. I’m strictly a water and coffee drinker.

The last time I drank a Pepsi was the first day of a vacation. It was a special event that I was going to drink a soda. And so after that, any time we had real soda for Dave in the house, it became known to me as Vacation Soda.

I tried to drink a carbonated Orange Crush at a picnic once and I remembered why I don’t bother with liquids of the bubbly variety. My eyes and nose watered and then I experienced that ever-painful thing where I blow up and can’t burp. Fun.

I don’t drink alcohol either. Not because I have anything against imbibing. It just turns me narcoleptic, which makes me no fun at all for the people who are enjoying a drink. I can’t even be the designated driver because I’m two sheets to the sleep after even a half glass of wine.

So if you’re considering taking me out to dinner or a night out with the girls, you pretty much have to order me a water on the rocks or things could get real ugly. And by ugly, I mean I’ll either explode at the table or fall asleep in your lap.

Dave’s running out now to get me that Pepsi. Mark the date. June 4, 2011. Kathy drank a soda this decade.

15 Tries on the Ear-y Canal

Posted by Kathy on April 15th, 2011

garden hose Today I had an ear lavage. The word lavage is derived from the French verb laver “to wash.”

An ear lavage thus means “to drown through an opening where only a Q-tip should go, if that.”

Last weekend I developed what at first seemed like a cold, but turned out to be only a cold wannabee. Some sniffles for a day, some sneezing, no cough. In the end, just clogged ears.

My doctor says “Could be allergies. You might be one of us now.”

Yeah, me.

She recommended I have my ears irrigated to eliminate wax build-up as an issue and I agreed.

A nurse came into the room with what can best be described as Thanksgiving dinner supplies.

A huge turkey baster, some plastic mixing bowls and a tablecloth.

In one bowl was what I thought must be a gallon of water, the other one empty.

The turkey baster kinda scared me because I know this woman had plans to squirt all that water into my ears until my brains came out.

Have you ever had an ear lavage?” she asked.

Yes. Once. And I didn’t like it.”

“Most people find it enjoyable,” she countered.

I’m not most people. Something must be wrong with most people.”

First she prepped the equipment, then she asked if I could pull my hair back so it didn’t get wet.

Uh. I really can’t because once it’s shellacked like this, it doesn’t move. But I’ll braid it.”

Done. The back is braided, but the top is not and now my head looks like cotton candy on a stick.

The nurse cloaks me with the plastic tablecloth to keep the water from spilling on my clothes. I’m asked to hold the empty container up to my ear to catch my brains as they fall out.

Then instead of asking me to sit on a chair that’s way lower than the elevated exam table, she climbs up on the table with me and leans in with the turkey baster.

I find this positively medieval and tell her so. She either doesn’t know what the word means or she’s heard it all before because she totally ignored the remark and continued on with Death by Lavage.

Very quickly she starts shooting warm water into my right ear and I want to scream because it’s a freaky feeling and ME NO LIKEY!

But I put my big girl panties on and made it to the end of six or so injections of water where water shouldn’t go.

After each gusher, she looks inside my ear with yet another medieval device and proclaims it “really bad in there” and continues with the torture treatment.

Each time, more of the same. Nothing but clear water dribbling into the giant cup I hold to my ear.

Where’s all the wax she sees in there? Maybe it’s not wax at all! Maybe it’s a T-U-M-O-R! It’s always a tumor! I have a tumor!

After the last treatment, she looks again and says wax is still “way back there.”

I disagree that what she’s seeing is really wax, because all of a sudden my ear pops, a little water comes out and I’m almost totally clear now.

I believe what the nurse saw was the part of my brain that’s suspicious of nurses who stick turkey basters in people’s ears.

She does the other ear and this time, and after 7 or 8 tries, some gross globs of wax come out and she shows it to me as if I might want to confirm that it is, in fact, not brain matter.

See? Not brain!

We’re done now. I’m happy it’s over and I’m pleased my ears are much clearer than they’ve been. I can hear all the voices in my head much better now.

Maybe I have allergies. Maybe I don’t. I got a prescription for a nasal spray because apparently I also have sinusitis. Or a tumor.


Ever had an ear irrigation? Did you like it? Maybe like it a little too much? What’s wrong with you people?

Was That the Last Toupee They Had?

Posted by Kathy on February 23rd, 2011

spector Everyone told me that when I joined a gym, I would have lots of blog fodder to write about.

On the second day, fodder stepped on a treadmill right next to me.

There’s a sort of etiquette you have to follow at the gym, and Rule #1 is that you don’t stare at anyone else working out out near you.

You can get a sense of them, you just don’t actually look at them.

But fodder was mesmerizing.

I couldn’t look away because he was wearing the most hideous toupee I’ve ever seen.

I feel bad for men who go the toupee route. None of them look good, but I suppose being bald is the lesser of two evils.

I get it.

What I don’t get is why this guy chose to get a perm toupee. A black, poodle doo that was probably the last one on the foam heads when he went shopping.

Y’all probably know I have a hate/hate relationship with my curly hair. It never does what you want and you only get like three good hair days a year. (BTW, I had one on Tuesday, so I only have two left for 2011).

Anyway, this guy looked like a Chia pet and I felt bad for him. Not because he was bald. He probably looked better bald.

But because he chose to buy the worst kind of fake hair imaginable.

I sometimes have dreams where I have long, flowing, thick and shiny straight hair and I flip it around like a model does during a photo shoot.

I always feel happy during these dreams because if you have the power to imagine yourself with good hair, you don’t ask for kinky curls with a mind of their own.

You ask for lush and luxurious hair you can run your fingers through without getting them stuck in it.

I suppose perm toupee guy might have different toupees to wear out and about and maybe perm toupee is also gym toupee.

I haven’t seen him since and if he’s swappin’ out his head for a different look, it’s possible I wouldn’t recognize him.

In a way, I admire him. If he’s so sure of himself in that mop top, then I shouldn’t feel so bad the way I look without makeup, sweating at 5:30AM surrounded by rock hard bodies.

Just please don’t have a blog and consider me fodder. My fodder looks pretty ugly at that hour.

A Nightmare of the Worst Kind

Posted by Kathy on February 1st, 2011

monster I had a nightmare last night. One of the sweaty, high-anxiety, glad-I’m- awake-now variety.

It wasn’t about being chased by an ax murderer. It wasn’t about finding myself taking a college exam that I hadn’t studied for. It had no vampires, ghouls, ghosts or zombies. Nothing monstery.

It was far, far worse.

It was about accounting.


Ledgers and missed deadlines.

Yeah. I know. It was that bad.

I haven’t worked in a university accounting office for twelve years, and yet last night I found myself back there and freaking out about a month end close.

At the end of each month, I ran a report that automatically redistributed the months’s utility and maintenance charges to all the fraternity and sorority building accounts.

A percentage of the services bill was allocated to each building based on its square footage. It was a pain to do because the data entry was tedious and time-consuming.

Plus, one wrong number and the program would fail. If the percentages didn’t equal 100%, the whole thing would explode and you didn’t have enough time to recover. You’d have to fix it the next month.

In my nightmare, I realized I went eight months with old percentages. Incorrect ones meant nobody was billed correctly and now I’d have some ‘splaining to do.


In my dream, I told my boss about the problem and started crying. There’s no crying in accounting! Luckily, she was understanding and I could dab my tears away.

The nightmare ended well, but still had me in a tizzy. That I could even be thinking about that job after 12 years away is horrifying and probably something for which I still need therapy.

I’m debating whether to contact the person who replaced me in that office. To warn him or her that a decade from now, they’re going to find themselves still worried about numbers. Scary, screwed-up, blood-thirsty numbers.

My advice? If you see a giant, ax wielding calculator leering at you from the shadows of a dark alley, RUN!

So do any of you ever have nightmares about things or places that stressed you out a hundred years ago, but that can’t possibly hurt you now?

Adventures of Bacon, The Blog!

Posted by Kathy on January 27th, 2011

Bacon has lunch Anyone who’s been to the Junk Drawer before knows I have a special place in my heart for delicious bacon.

So I was over the moon when a friend sent me a link to a blog documenting the adventures of Bacon himself.

I love, love, love this blog!

Bacon’s owner, Devon Boatwright, graciously agreed to an interview so I could learn more about my new fatty best friend. 

I’m Bacon’s #1 fan, possibly in a Kathy Bates/Misery sort of way. I just love him so. Where did you get Bacon and how did you get the idea for Bacon to have his own blog?

Bacon was actually kind of an accident! My mom ordered Bacon for my sister but accidentally ordered two Bacons. Not knowing what to do with the second one, she decided to give it to us as a family gift. She kept joking that it wasn’t a big deal and we could open it before Christmas and it was just a silly gift. Well, I opened up the box and completely freaked out even more than my children.

Since I opened Bacon before Christmas and my sister was also receiving a Bacon, I was not allowed to post pictures of Bacon. Despite my begging, I posted no pictures of Bacon for 3 days! Then Christmas day I managed to wrangle Bacon from my children and was inspired to pose him with the turkey. Then I thought it would be funny if he helped Ray with the dishes. And it just went from there.

When I posted all the photos, people on my Facebook loved them and someone told me I should start a blog. I figured I would do it and make a coffee table book out of it when I was done. I didn’t realize how many people would actually think Bacon was as cool as I did! 

bacon grocery shopping Bacon has ridden the subway, crowd-surfed on a dance floor, gone grocery shopping and helped make home brewed beer. Does Bacon realize he’s a Renaissance Man? 

Bacon is most definitely an “out and about” fatty meat. He does not like to sit around at home. I had to convince him to get out on the dance floor, he was scared to get stepped on. And sometimes I’ve had to give him a pep talk (seeing all his kin packaged and eyeless was like something from a horror movie). Bacon is really open to trying new experiences no Bacon has ever tried before.

What is the reaction of people in places you visit (restaurants, museums, stores) when you ask them to hold Bacon and have their picture taken? Do you get strange looks? Also, does your family think you’re insane?

MOST people think it’s kind of funny and definitely think I am weird. Honestly, I am a little weird but I am relatively shy in real life. Asking people to pose with Bacon is really a challenge for me sometimes. I haven’t had anyone say “no” outright. Though, there was the one guy who handled Bacon like he was covered in disease. I don’t even know why he agreed to allow me to take Bacon’s picture. But his lack of humor is the minority. Many people have actually approached me asking about Bacon and what he’s doing.

My husband and kids already knew I was insane. Bacon just takes that insanity into the public. I mean, my husband and I went to Italy with my parents for our anniversary and took pictures of the toilets with the insane plan of making a book entitled “Toilets of Rome.” I sometimes wonder if Ray knew what he was getting into when he married into my family. Hee hee. Luckily, he embraces Bacon and has actually come up with Bacon ideas.

Bacon can say only two words: “I’m Bacon!” Can he express himself in other ways besides speech, where he is clearly limited?

I think Bacon can express himself in the way he stares pointedly and blankly at things. And I think, depending on the context, the words “I’m Bacon!” can have a variety of deep meanings.

bacon with pretzel I’ve seen Bacon eat soft pretzels on two occasions. Is that his favorite food? Does Bacon understand he is a food?

Bacon does realize he’s a food and it makes him really nervous in certain situations. Being in the kitchen at Counter Burger terrified him. Sometimes when I cook bacon for breakfast, he hunkers down and hopes I don’t eye him ravenously. He also realizes he’s a lovely stuffed thing and hopes the dog won’t decide to drool all over him.

To make matters even worse.. Bacon’s favorite food is actually bacon. He doesn’t care if it’s cooked or raw. He’s even been known to cook little bacons for himself on occasion.

One of my cats has a favorite spot on the back of the couch where she hangs out when she’s not doing cat things. Does Bacon have a favorite spot in your house where he likes to chill when he’s not going on Bacon adventures?

Personally, I take issue with Bacon being left around like a toy. He’s very much a family member. When he is not going on adventures, he generally sits at the 6th chair at the kitchen table. There he can see everything going on. Yes, he sits in the chair properly. I have the same thing with dolls, too. It bugs me if the girls’ American Girl dolls are laying on the floor. I always have to pick them up and put them in a proper, more comfortable position. 
bacon at computer One question about mechanics: How do you position him to, say, sit in seats, hang onto larger objects or bend over? Does he have special innards that allow for this malleability?

I don’t know if I should say that! It’s a secret! Hee hee. Really, Bacon has this wire along the sides of him that make him poseable. His mouth also moves when he says “I’m Bacon!” so that actually allows me to use the mechanics of his mouth to hang him on something. I have a thing about people handling Bacon for photographs so I try to make sure as much as possible that no one is touching Bacon when I photograph him.

If someone has to be propping him up, then I try to cut their hand out of the picture. Sometimes I snap really quick pictures as Bacon slowly slides down whatever I have managed to prop him on. I probably look like a weirdo posing Bacon in public. Especially at our night out where I took like 20 photos of one of my friends holding Bacon up on the pool table to play pool. I kept saying “I can see you in the picture and I can’t crop that!” So we’d repose. Heh.

Where does Bacon see himself in five years?

Bacon definitely sees himself in a coffee table book. He hopes he’ll have to wear sunglasses and a fake mustache when he goes out so people won’t recognize him because he’ll be so famous. He also hopes he won’t have been eaten or become a dog toy for an oversized canine.

bacon goes to school I think we can learn a thing or two from Bacon. What is Bacon’s philosophy on life?

I asked Bacon what his philosophy on life was. After all, he’s read many books and must be quite brilliant by now. I waited with bated breath as Bacon thought long and hard about my question. Finally he answered, “I’m Bacon!” So there you go.

Bacon believes everyone should be like him. We could interpret that to mean he thinks everyone should live life to the fullest and go on many fabulous adventures and take lots of pictures. Or we could take it to mean that Bacon has a bloated self image and thinks everyone should be him.


Devon, thank you for taking the time to help us get to know Bacon better. Also, if you get that coffee table book published, I want a signed copy (and I wouldn’t be disappointed with a Toilets of Rome book either!) I just hope Bacon remembers me when he gets famous.

Adventures of Bacon blog
Author, Devon Boatwright’s Facebook page

Fear Not the Neti Pot

Posted by Kathy on December 29th, 2010

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, but I’ll play one on the blog today.

If you have sinus problems and prefer a non-pharmaceutical treatment, go get yourself a neti pot.

Neti_pot A neti pot is a container that looks like a cross between a small tea pot and Aladdin’s lamp. It’s used to irrigate your nasal passageway and relieve sinus congestion or allergy symptoms.

It’s also used to make you look more ridiculous than you ever thought possible.

You fill it with warm water, add non-iodized salt and then place the spout into one nostril, tilt your head and run the water out the other.


If you do it right, it’s not uncomfortable, just oddly, weirdly, bizarrely strange. If you do it wrong, you’ll feel like you’re drowning. I strongly suggest you do it right.

Why the neti pot?

I have not been able to breathe clearly from my right nostril for years. What’s worse is that I also suffer intense pain in my ears when I lie down, more so on my right side. I’ve discussed the ear thing with three different doctors and they are intrigued, yet stumped as to the cause.

While researching the ear pain issue on my own, I came across a forum where someone suggested a neti pot as a possible solution. Because I take advice from total strangers on the Internet, I thought perhaps if I relieved the congestion in my right nostril, it might also alleviate some pain in my ear(s), assuming the two issues are related. Isn’t that a good doctory assumption? I should know. Because I’m a doctor.

I prepared the pot and got right to it. I. Was. FEARLESS! I was also alone and not in front of a mirror. No one, including me, needed to see a drainage of the Kathy Canal.

The clearing effect to my nostrils was immediate and lasted a good while. I breathed equally well out of each side for the first time in probably a decade.

What remains to be seen is whether regularly-administered neti pot action will do anything for my ears.

More about that ear pain

Whenever I lie down, pressure builds up and it feels like someone jammed a knife directly into my ear and left it there. The pain varies. It can be sharp, burning hot, dull or throbbing. I’ve described the pain to my doctors as simply “My head’s on fire.”


I’ve also said that if I had this kind of pain while awake and walkin’ around, I would be on disability. It would easily incapacitate me if I felt that measure of pain 24/7.

The reason I can tolerate it is because I’m mostly sleeping through the pain. It often wakes me up, but then I flip over to the other side to relieve pressure and pain in the ear. When the other ear hurts and wakes me, I flip back. I do that probably a dozen times a night.

Again, fun.

If the neti pot doesn’t help with my ears, at least I’m seeing results with my plugged-up nose. So it’s at least a partial win.

Oh, and some of you remember I said on Facebook that I might videotape myself using the neti pot.

For. Get. It.

Imagine filming yourself doing this and you will understand why I changed my mind.

Robot Lady Using a Neti Pot

So have you ever used a neti pot? Are you like some friends of mine who bought one, but are too afraid to try it? If you love your neti pot, share your success story!

Shadow in sink UPDATE: I just discovered that I can’t use my neti pot over the kitchen sink, where I find it more convenient.

My cat Shadow thinks my nose is a faucet. Because she loves to drink water right from the tap, she tried doing the same out of my nose.

I know. Gross. And annoying. Thanks, Shadow. ‘ppreciate it.

Eggs 101

Posted by Kathy on December 12th, 2010

eggs There must be a sign on my back that fellow grocery store shoppers can see. It reads “Ask me anything. I have all the answers, even though I don’t work here.”

That sign had me shopping for baptism cards once for complete and clueless strangers.

Today it had me explaining eggs.

While I was scoping out butter, a nearby unkempt but harmless-looking young man addressed me thusly: “Can you tell me the difference between these eggs?”

Oh, God. Here we go again.

I don’t know anything about organic eggs, brown eggs, or Omega-3 eggs or the difference between them.

I don’t know if they taste different and I don’t know where they’re hatched, if they’re local or shipped-in, or if they’re more expensive or healthier than regular eggs.

I. Do. Not. Know. What about me says I know eggs?

In the millisecond it took for me to get all stressed out about this impromptu egg class, the young man followed up with this:

“The sizes. What are the different sizes? This is my first time shopping for my wife and I don’t know what I’m doing.”

I thought “OMG, dude. If you don’t know that the difference between regular, large, extra large and jumbo eggs is purely their size, then no one can help you. Ever.

But because he was just so adorable and helpless, and I wanted his wife to have the illusion of a husband who can make egg choices all by himself, I decided to give the egg noob a straight up answer.

I said “There are large and extra large eggs. Jumbo is probably unnecessary. Just go with the large eggs and you’ll be fine.”

He grabbed the large eggs, thanked me as he walked away and I wished him a good breakfast.

Then I picked up eggs for myself. I opened the lid to see if any were cracked. Some were. At least three.

Egg noooooooooob! I forgot to tell him to see any of his were cracked!

There go my chances for becoming a Certified Egg Instructor at an accredited grocery store near you.

And I was doing so well.

To Burp the Impossible Burp

Posted by Kathy on October 13th, 2010

violet I had an email exchange with some friends of mine today. In it, I mentioned that I have never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Not even a nibble. I just can’t do it.

In the same conversation, I mentioned that burping is among the other things I can’t do.

I don’t mean that I can’t burp at will. I mean that I can’t burp at all. It’s an affliction I’ve had as long as I can remember, but my mother assures me that I did, in fact, burp as a baby.

All around me, people are burping. They burp on command. They burp after a big meal. They burp the alphabet and laugh riotously about it.

But not me. I am silent.

And I am in pain.

When I eat almost anything, air pushes up my esophagus and wants to come out a burp. But what I get is the air bubble equivalent of a ten-car pileup, a giant mass of pain and then a series of pathetic gurgling noises that sound, as my husband puts it, “like a sink backing up.”

Meanwhile, he’s over on the couch burping the theme song to Gilligan’s Island.

Before you suggest that I drink a soda pop to induce burping, it won’t work. All that does is add more bubbles that park themselves in the middle of my chest. And then the sink backs up. And then I have pain.

Also, please don’t suggest, as my friend Jen did, that I pat myself on the back to get things moving. Self-patting seems impossible and I can’t ask my husband to help because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have time in his day to burp his wife.

And so I cope.

I don’t know what my co-workers think when they hear the gurgling after lunch coming out of Cubicle #1. I’ve never asked.

When I can suppress the gurgling, I’m happy. But that means no air is moving and so I blow up like Violet Beauregarde, the big round blue girl in Willy Wonka. I am a ticking, expanding time-bomb that wants to go off so desperately.

So listen. If you can burp, burp away. Burp like the wind! I will forever and always be jealous of you.

And I will never ask you to mind your manners. I’ll ask you instead to “Teach me, Master.”

The Thing I Swore I’d Never Tell Anyone

Posted by Kathy on July 12th, 2010

calvininabag This is my dearly departed cat, Calvin. RIP, buddy.

Calvin was really a dog in cat’s clothing. He would rather be outside, terrorizing birds, squirrels and anything else that dared come into the yard, than sit on my lap getting nice chin skritches. My husband Dave would put him on a leash and take him for walks like you would a dog. He practically barked.

Calvin would also rather take off a few fingers than allow you to pet him on the head like you can do easily with most cats. I don’t know how or why he got so angry, but towards the end of his life, I stopped trying to touch him.

He was the Hannibal Lector of the cat world. In fact, whenever he went to the vet, they had to muzzle him. That requirement came after the time he bit straight through the rubber glove of a vet’s assistant and made the guy bleed. A big, red warning note was stamped on the top of his medical chart.

We were told the next step would be to medicate him before he was allowed back for any kind of visit. It was that or he would be blacklisted.

By then, I’d been fed up with many of his behaviors, not the least of which was him peeing on the carpets in almost every room of our house. I spent many a Saturday shampooing and disinfecting the rugs.

Were we lousy cat parents? No. Calvin was just one bad ass cat who showed his general displeasure by spraying everywhere.

But it’s not like we didn’t try to make him a happy, normal cat. We did.


We took him to a cat therapist.

That’s right.

We plunked down $75/hour to have a cat shrink tell us what we could do to make Calvin the sweet ‘ol cat he was supposed to be.

We knew how insane the idea was, but we did it anyway out of desperation.

Of course, we laughed to ourselves the entire time we sat in the therapist’s office, realizing how ludicrous it was to spend that kind of money trying to straighten out the plum-sized brain of an animal who couldn’t understand English, much less what brought him to see a doctor who studied at a real school and knew the difference between all the classifications in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

So, yeah. The visit.

We brought him into the office in his carrier and the nice doctor talked to us about Calvin’s bad behaviors for a while. Then she said she would try to coax him out of his carrier and “get him comfortable.”

She opened the carrier door, stuck her hand inside the hole and he bit her. Duh.

That ended the hands-on portion of the program.

She talked more about what we could do to enhance his calm and then the kitty equivalent of Prozac came up. Prozac. For cats. Um. No.

Since I was mostly concerned with his spraying the inside of my house instead of using his litter box, she said “Oh, that’s an easy fix. Put out more boxes. One in every room.”

Now you’re talkin’, sister!

I wouldn’t have thought it would work, but she was absolutely right. Multiple boxes all but put an end to Calvin’s spraying and I could reclaim my weekends as my own again. No more rug shampooing.

Was the kitty shrink a success? Not really. Calvin remained an ornery bastard until the day he died. I’d venture to say he might have been happier that way. Cranky was his thing.

If you ever took your pet to a shrink, I would love to hear how your experience went.

No? Then at least you’ll have a story to tell your friends. You now know someone who actually did and admitted it.

Behind Closed Doors

Posted by Kathy on June 27th, 2010

patio door Yesterday my husband and I attended a birthday party for my brother-in-law. I was disappointed to find out from other guests that I missed the part of the show where my husband tried to walk through a patio door without first making sure it was, like, open. Smooth move, Dave.

Though he’s not so great with walking through glass, he does have a knack for screen doors.

The year: 1992

The place: Our townhouse

The event: Escaped cat

One morning before work, I had enough time to let one of our cats out into the backyard, which overlooked a wooded area and a small creek. I put Calvin in his harness and tied the leash to a fence.

From the breakfast nook I could keep an eye on him, but when I had my back turned for a split second, he managed to wriggle his way out of the harness and escape to God knows where.

Not prone to too much panic, as this had happened before, I grabbed a can of cat food and went outside to open it up in the hopes that Calvin would hear a familiar yummy sound and come running back from wherever he ventured off.

He didn’t.

I began calling his name, pleading more desperately with each shout.

Still nothing.

I ran inside for a jingle bell toy he liked and returned outside to ring it in an annoyed, I-mean-business kind of way.

Time ticked with no response.

Looking over the bank, down to the creek, I saw something orange and white moving about the brush. It’s him! Good that I found him, bad to see how inaccessible he was. The hill dropped at a 45 degree angle.

Now I panicked.

So what’s a girl to do? I ran back to the house and yelled through the screen door “Dave!!! Calvin’s in the woods!!! I can’t get him!!!”

A formerly-sleeping Dave bolted out of bed, stumbled downstairs and shot through the door to begin search and rescue.

And by “through the door,” I mean through the door.

Like a gorilla in the mist, my beast of a husband took out the entire screen door, right off the tracks.

Huh. That’s sort of unfortunate.

Without skipping a beat, he handed me the door, said simply “Here. Hold this,” and went off to retrieve Calvin.

And so there I stood, regretting having turned a peaceful morning into a three-ring circus, holding an ineffective jingle bell toy and a giant, slightly-bent patio door that would never again close properly.


The Guy Who Lives on the Edge

Posted by Kathy on June 25th, 2010

sourcream We usually consider people who live on the edge as the types who enjoy thrill-seeking adventures such as skydiving, rock climbing or race car driving.

Tonight I met a guy who could beat them all.

He was going to buy a tub of sour cream.

Let me ‘splain.

I followed him to the courtesy counter at my grocery store. He had the sour cream in hand and I figured he’d be in and out of the line in no time at all. Spotting another container of sour cream peeking out of a bag on the counter, I realized he was there to make an exchange.

He told the cashier “I looked and looked and could only find this one.”

“Let me see,” said the cashier.

“But it’s just like all the others. They’re all expired,” the man reported. “This one is the most recent. June 21st.”

The cashier, not knowing exactly what to do about the exchange, stood there for a moment and said nothing.

I figured the next move she’d make is to give the guy his money back because he couldn’t find a tub that still had some time left on the clock.

But no.

He said “It’s only four days past expiration. If I smell it, I can tell if it’s still good yet.

No, buddy. If you smell it and deem it safe, you may just find yourself in the ER a little later on.

Either because you ate it or because the wife who probably sent you back to the store to get a new one is going to kick you in the spleen for bringing home only a slightly less hazardous one.

Dude. Livin’ on the edge doesn’t always end well.

The Patriotic, Gas Pump Mailbox, Deer Hunting, Christmas in July, Tarp Covered Garbage Cans House of Horrors

Posted by Kathy on May 7th, 2010

I took these pictures in July, 2008 to submit to a fun blog called Ugly Mailbox.

Thought I’d share it here, too, since there’s so much going on at this house.

I remember being scared that the owner would come out and shoo(t) me away with a rifle in hand.




Well, I Declare!

Posted by Kathy on April 21st, 2010

I’m sending out a prize package to Babs of Beetle Blog for winning the latest What’s That Wednesday contest.

She lives in the UK. I’m in the US.

My post office insists I complete a customs declaration for overseas packages, including a description of items being sent.

The clerk probably thought I wrote this just to see if anyone pays attention because, aside from the card, tell me this doesn’t sound totally made up.

customs declaration

Note to Babs: Be sure to take the monster out right away and feed him. He’s going to be hungry by the time he gets there. And probably angry.

Art? Prank? Scavenger Hunt?

Posted by Kathy on April 9th, 2010

Every spring a honeydew melon shows up on the roof of the university building where I work. I do not understand what’s happening here, but I’m sure students are behind it.

Is it a prank, part of a scavenger hunt or some weird tradition they keep up for the sake of tradition?

Sometimes the melon disappears suddenly. Sometimes it rots until it’s black and stinks. Sometimes it’s placed off to the side. Sometimes, like this time, it’s right in the middle.

Always I ask “why?” but I will probably never learn the reason.

And that gives me a one way ticket to Crazytown. Why? Why is it there?


melon 002

Incidentally, this is the roof from where I take Windy pictures. She turns two tomorrow (!!!!!) and there will be a cake on Monday. If you work with me, come on over to my office and we’ll celebrate!*


* Tours of the Melon-Windy roof run every hour. Admission is free.

My Bacon Hand is Awesome

Posted by Kathy on March 12th, 2010

A couple days ago on my lunchtime walk, I purposely avoided a man and his dog while crossing the street because the dog was unleashed. My walking partner asked if I was afraid of dogs and I said “Yes, the ones over 30 pounds do.” And this one looked like a 50lb pit bull mix, not the friendliest looking pooch. He said “Yeah, but he’s missing a foot.”

I hadn’t noticed right away, but the dog didn’t have a left hind foot. He could still walk easily and I assumed he could run after me easily, too, and rip my face off.

That night I had a dream wherein one of my cats’ paws fell off. I saw it a few inches from her body, lying on a pillow. She wasn’t in pain or anything. The paw was detached, that’s all.

So I took her to the vet and they gave her a replacement paw.

And what did the vet replace it with? Of course, a bacon-wrapped scallop paw.

And why did I have this dream?

Because of this video I’d watched earlier in the day:

The lesson here is if you’re going to eat your own paw, it should at least be wrapped in bacon, right?

I mentioned my dream to my co-workers and announced that I would like to have a hand that turns into a compact fist of freshly cooked bacon whenever I so desired. We discussed the ramifications of having such a hand.

Yes, having a bacon hand would be a problem unless the bacon functioned as a gripping device, but my bacon hand would not only be able to still function as a hand, but after I ate it, a new bacon hand would be instantly regenerated just like The Terminator. See? I’ve got it all covered.

In addition, my bacon hand would not be greasy when I need to use it as a hand. It would only be deliciously fatty and scrumptious when gnawed upon. I don’t mess around.

Now, what I need to know is what special powers would you like to have? They don’t have to involve food. In fact, one of my very real special powers doesn’t involve food at all. I can mentally cancel meetings that I don’t want to attend. Seriously.

Would you like a bacon hand? Not practical enough? Would you rather beam yourself places you have to go? Maybe clone yourself so you can get all your errands run at once? Turn into one of your pets for a day so you can see how they live?

Let’s have it!

Unintended Electroshock Therapy

Posted by Kathy on March 5th, 2010

matrix_coat Finally. The weather’s perking up around here and I got out for a long walk today with my jam-packed iPod of dance tunes. If anyone saw me walking, they either knew I had downloaded the best music ever, or wondered whether I was having a spasm and thought they should call 911.

I’m not afraid to dance-walk-spaz in public. It ain’t pretty, but you get to a certain age when you just don’t care anymore what people think of you.

But I didn’t find my groove right away.

First, I suffered through five minutes of electroshock therapy, courtesy of my iPod.

It seems that if it’s dry enough and that if you create enough static when you walk, that static builds up in the device and finds its way out through the path of least resistance.

That path was straight to my ears.

For the first five minutes of my walk, I couldn’t figure out how to stop shocking myself in the head.

I kept the iPod in my pocket.

Shock. Owwww!

I held the iPod in my hand.

Zzzzzzzppp. Aieeeeeee!!!!

I realized that the long black Matrix coat I was wearing created enough friction brushing against my legs that I repeatedly got shocked once a block.

I tried holding the coat close enough to my body to keep it from brushing against me but that didn’t work either. I finally gave up and removed it all together.

Luckily, the sun was out full force and I’d been walking fast enough, albeit painfully, to sweat a little and fend off the cold.

Has this ever happened to you and your ear buds? Or do I just have a super-electric personality? Yea, that’s gotta be it.

The Snow Thing

Posted by Kathy on February 27th, 2010


I was all excited to build a snow bunny today. Wouldn’t that just be so much fun?

What I had in mind:

snow bunny

What I made:

snow thing

I’ll take questions now.

Bee 4 I Woke Up Today

Posted by Kathy on February 18th, 2010

bumble bee I don’t know why I let you guys in my unconscious head. It’s really a mess in there. But here’s a dream I had last night.

I was outside my childhood home and there was a woman I work with standing near me. We observed a big swarm of bees and I panicked. She said “No need to worry. It’s only Bee #4 you have to worry about.”

I was happy that I could identify Bee #4 by its trail of curly smoke following it as it flew straight for my head. I picked up a fly swatter and beat it to pieces, but it was still alive and I freaked.

I woke up thinking there was a bee in the bed and that at any moment I would be stung.

So if you’re ever scared of bees, don’t worry. Just kill #4. And kill him good. He’s a bastard.

The end.

Words and Topics for the Lunchroom

Posted by Kathy on January 27th, 2010

say_what I want to work where my sister Marlene works. Her co-workers are exactly the kind of crazies I need to be around 40 hours a week.

I received this list from her today. A list of words, phrases or topics that are either prohibited or encouraged in her lunch room at work.

Yes, they’re keeping a list. Do with it what you will.

Prohibited Words:

· pimple (includes “goose-pimple”)

· blackhead

· moist

Note: “Moist” is acceptable in reference to baked goods, chicken… i.e. things that are supposed to be moist. “Moist” is unacceptable in reference to anything gross. (Feet, fungus, basements, bathroom floors)

· E.V.O.O.

· Rock hard

· rebut

  Note: The word “rebuttal”, as well as “flying buttress” are acceptable.

· genitals

Note: Words such as “bajango” and “hoo ha” are acceptable substitutions for the word “genitals”

· bequeath

· secrete


· Food poisoning experiences

· Bug-eating experiences, accidental or intentional

· Gleeking experiences

· The Charmin bears

· The apocalypse

· Rachel Ray

· Any situation involving body fluids, especially when conversation is taking place in the presence of Louise.

Prohibited Smell Addendum: All citrus and banana scents will be kept a minimum of 10 feet from Marlene. Additionally, measures shall be taken to prevent wafting.

Encouraged Words and Topics for the Lunchroom


· Smokin’ cookies

· Oh, snap!

· Delicious!

· Bodacious

· Giddyup


· What we are eating for lunch

· What we ate for dinner last night

· What we will eat for dinner tonight

· Foods we like / dislike

· Things we’ve seen on television

Note: Things we’ve seen on television that reference any of the prohibited words and topics are also prohibited.


Feel free to add your own words you love or hate, or to question any number of these words or phrases. Marlene, feel free to provide explanations for any of them in the comments section.

Me thinks you’re going to have to explain why “rebut” is on the list. You don’t have to explain why Rachel Ray is. We all know she is the devil.

Texting from 20 Feet Away

Posted by Kathy on January 2nd, 2010

texting Last night I joined my sisters and niece for a nice drive around town to look at Christmas lights on houses that were all decked out. A columnist for our local paper takes submissions for decorated houses and then publishes a “best of” list with directions so people can take a tour.

When we hit the house that was deemed a “Disney wonderland” all of us jumped out of the car in excited anticipation. Except for sister Ann. Turns out Ann was nice and cozy in the car and wasn’t sure the sights would be worth freezing her butt off for.

So what did she do? She told her daughter that “if the back of the house is really nice, text me and I’ll get out.”

Text you and you’ll get out?

Why don’t you ask her to take a picture on her cell phone and then bring that back to show you?

My dear sister, Ann, you lazy, lazy bum.

So let’s hear it. Where and for what have you requested a text or texted someone because it’s too hard to walk a few feet? If anyone says “The shower, I needed a towel” your phone privileges are hereby revoked.

Wasting a Perfectly Good Pumpkin

Posted by Kathy on November 16th, 2009

I don’t get it. My husband Dave refuses to keep lighting this pumpkin in our front yard.

I’ve been bummed the last few days it’s gone unlit. Dave gets home from work a little before me and would always light the little guy. When I drove up the block in the dark, I could see Mr. Pumpkin Head waiting for me. He was my beacon to home.

I asked Dave why he doesn’t light him anymore.

Um. Because his skull is crushed in and it looks like he’s in pain?

Still. You can get the scalp off enough to light a candle in his brain. And all you’d need to do is wear protective clothing. And hold your breath. And pray nothing’s living in there.

What. is. the. problem????


Objectum Sexuality

Posted by Kathy on October 14th, 2009

1001-nachts What in the wide, wide, world of sports is going on with some people?

Little tip here. You have to read the following very carefully. This is the opening to an actual article from a New Jersey paper, The Trentonian.

They courted for more than ten years before she finally popped the question.

Amy Wolfe had experienced a decade of ups and downs with her lover but wanted to move forward with her romance.

So, Wolfe, 33, a Pennsylvania church organist, will go ahead with her plans to marry an amusement ride at Knoebels Amusement Park in the Poconos.

Wolfe claims to have objectum sexuality, a condition that makes sufferers attracted to inanimate objects — in this case she’s head over heels for an 80-foot gondola ride called 1001 Nachts.

Read the whole article here. Really. You gotta read it. There’s another woman who had a tryst with the Berlin Wall, but whose “heart and soul belongs to the Eiffel Tower.”



People are insane.

I have far too many questions about this woman, so I’ll just leave it at this: If you happened to lose your senses and wanted to marry an object, what would it be?

Me first.

If I divorce my husband for anything, it’s going to be my laptop. Me and my blog partner. Forever.

I, Kathy, take thee Dell laptop, to be my wedded object, to have and to type upon from this day forward, for better or for worse, for more blog subscribers or for loss of readers, in backup disaster or in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death or hardware failure. This is my solemn and ludicrous vow.

You next!

Nice Try, Spell Checker

Posted by Kathy on October 8th, 2009

Don’t we have enough to worry about with the people in our lives thinking they know what’s better for us?

Now software wants to get into the act?

My sister Marlene emailed this to me today. It’s a screen snapshot of a co-worker’s Lotus Notes program.

The screen shot came attached with a note: “Things just aren’t making a whole lot of sense today.”

No kidding.


What’s the matter, brainless program whose opinion wasn’t asked for? Not feelin’ the 16th vibe?

Kinda like ordering surf ‘n turf and getting a salad.

Thanks. But no.

Celtic Fest Weekend

Posted by Kathy on September 26th, 2009

Each September my town hosts the Celtic Classic Highland Games & Festival, a celebration of Celtic culture with music, food and athletic competitions involving big burly men.

In kilts.

Here’s an example of a kilt-clad burly man throwing a 56lb. (25.5kg) block across the grass, as I stood on the sidelines hoping the officials knew when to duck.

One of the longest food lines was at this stand. If you don’t know what it is, I suggest you stay ignorant. It’s not for the weak of stomach.


If you don’t look it up, perhaps you can guess what’s in it by looking at it on a plate. And, no, it’s not impolite to ask a complete stranger if you can take a picture of his haggis. As long as you ask nicely. I didn’t even have to flash my blogger badge.

Looks a little like cat food, no? Meow.


About a thousand men walked the grounds in really gorgeous kilts, some with cute knees to match. It’s easy to get used to seeing men in skirts when they look like this.

Not half-bad!


Or this. Beautiful!

Band Leader

But then there’s this. GI Joe kilt!


And then ….. well. This.

Gotta hand it to this guy. Nobody’s gonna make fun of him for wearing a skirt. Nobody.

Leather Guy

How to Make Sure People Find Your House

Posted by Kathy on September 5th, 2009

It would be so much easier directing people to my house if I had one of these. "Pull in at the seven foot bird."

When my husband and I parked outside this house to take pictures, I’m pretty sure no one wondered why.

Parrot mailbox1 

Polly want a cracker? No? How ’bout some junk mail?

Parrot Mailbox2

Parrot mailbox3

For All Your Bouffant Needs

Posted by Kathy on August 8th, 2009

Holy Marge Simpson! Look what blew into my yard today.


I don’t I remember the last time I saw a woman wearing one of these, but there must be at least one bouffant-headed woman in my neighborhood.

If you happen to wear a bouffant hairstyle or something else as worthy of protecting, you may be interested in other products the Betty Dain company makes.

Or not. I’m guessing not.

The Sister Mary Catherine: For when you’re feeling particularly pious on rainy days.


The Wedding Cake Topper: What? Why? I don’t get it. That’s not a cap. It’s a pair of granny panties.


The Bee Keeper: I could have used one of these last week. Of course, no one would have wanted to sit next to me at lunch. But that’s the price you’d pay for the bee keeper look.


The Conehead: For the severely pointy-headed among us.


The Dork: "Trendy and masculine?" Nice try, Betty Dain. Nice try.


Don’t Knock It Til You Try It

Posted by Kathy on July 11th, 2009

In my last post, I asked you to tell me what your favorite gross food combinations were. You didn’t disappoint. I told you I would pick one disgusting combination and award a Junk Drawer magnet for best worst one.

Since there were so many icky combinations, I decided to put some of them to a taste test because I’m nothing if not adventurous. Or stupid.

The ingredients:


  • Cheerios cereal
  • Pre-cooked bacon
  • Peter Pan peanut butter
  • Italian bread
  • Minute Maid orange juice (concentrate)
  • Sweet pickle slices
  • Breakstone’s cottage cheese (Eek! I’m gonna eat it!)
  • San Georgio elbow macaroni
  • Welch’s grape jam
  • Whole milk and spaghetti sauce (not pictured because I’m a dumbass and forgot to put them out)

For my journey, I started with the combinations I thought were gross, yet intriguing, and moved toward the ones I thought were sure to make me hurl.

First up, whole milk and orange juice concentrate, suggested by Babs Beetle. She says "I used to half fill a glass with orange juice, the kind you have to dilute with water, then top it up with milk and wait for it to curdle – about 10 seconds. Once it was all lumpy I would gulp it."

I put about 2ozs. of concentrated OJ in a glass and then filled the rest with whole milk and stirred.

OJ OJ and milk

This stuff is delicious! It reminds me of a place that may still be popular in shopping malls called Orange Julius. I’d forgotten all about it until I drank this. My recommendation is to make sure you do use full-fat, whole milk and perhaps add crushed ice. It’s extremely rich, though. You have been warned.

Grade: A

Next items: Orange juice and Cheerios cereal, offered up by Jenny, who wrote: "I guess I discovered this next thing when one day I poured a bowl of Cheerios and then discovered we had no milk. So I put orange juice on top and … WOW! IS THAT EVER GOOD!"

OJ and cheerios

I took the rest of the concentrate and diluted it to make regular OJ. Poured it over the Cheerios and dug in. It was a fairly enjoyable sweet treat for breakfast, but the OJ gave it a biting aftertaste. Think of it as a candy bar in a bowl. With a kick.

Grade: C+

Next, we have the peanut butter-related combinations.

First, peanut butter and sweet pickle slices. Heather says, "I like peanut butter & pickle sandwiches, but the pickles have to be hamburger dill slices."

PB and pickles

I have to admit I thought this was pretty high on the gross scale. To me, pickles should only be eaten straight up or on a burger. Let me tell you, this stuff was divine. The savoriness of the peanut butter, mixed with the sweet and tart flavor of the pickles, makes for a surprisingly good combo. And who doesn’t want a little crunch in their sandwiches?

I took a good four bites out of it, but had to discard it because I had a lot more to eat. If not for the calories, this one would have been completely finished off.

Grade: A+

Our second bacon-related combination is the one I believe was mentioned most often in the comments — bacon and peanut butter. I had such high hopes for it. I think you’re all familiar with my bacon addiction. What could go wrong?

PB and bacon

Here’s what can go wrong. Apparently my bacon addiction is so bad, I now need 10x the bacon to get the same delirious reaction to it as I once got. I couldn’t taste the bacon! Did I make it wrong? How many slices should I have put on? Five are pictured here. All I tasted was the peanut butter. I’m so depressed.

Grade I wanted to give it: A+

Grade it got: D


Now here’s where I encountered my first feelings of trepidation. The very idea of mixing grape jam and macaroni is so completely bizarre to me, and when I combined them in a bowl, I wanted to throw it out before tasting it. But I soldiered on.

grape jam and macaroni1 grape jam and macaroni2

Just look at it. Think about it. Does it look appetizing? No. Would you want to eat it? No. How did I like it? I didn’t. IT. IS. NASTY. Grape jam belongs on only one thing. Toast. Period.

A woman named Kathy suggested this and I wish she had a blog so I could link to it, and you could all go over and tell her she needs to have her head examined. Or her stomach.

Grade: F

For our last test, I spread my culinary wings. I don’t recall ever having eaten cottage cheese in my life. Why? Because to me it looks like yogurt that’s a year past its expiration date.

cottage cheese and spaghetti sauce

SewDucky suggested this concoction: "… cottage cheese, heated, with either pistachio pudding or spaghetti sauce mixed in. Everyone thinks I’ve lost my mind."

Everyone is correct.

I still have the aftertaste of this dish, and not a good aftertaste. I would characterize the flavor as sort of like manicotti filling, without the benefit of being enveloped in a blanket of pasta and being flavorfully-seasoned. Couldn’t take more than two bites. Warming it up did not help.

Grade: D

I hope you enjoyed my little taste test. You’ve all been so good waiting patiently for me to announce a winner.

******* Drumroll please *******

Winner in the category Worst Food Combination I Never Thought I’d Like: Peanut Butter and Pickles

Winner in the category Word Food Combination I Wouldn’t Eat Again For Any Amount of Money: Grape Jam and Macaroni

I’ll contact the winners shortly. As soon as I clean up my kitchen and explain to my husband why the garbage is full of half-eaten sandwiches and mushy things.