Lunatic in Aisle 9

Posted by Kathy on April 11th, 2014

shopping cartIt’s always something with me.

I went to Wegmans after work today for some grocery shopping. Grabbed one of those two-tiered shopping carts that are smaller than a regular cart, but bigger than a hand basket.

I got about 10 feet from the cart corral before realizing I had an unbelievably loud and annoying “crazy wheel” in the front. You know, the one that does whatever it wants, when it wants.

The bad seed.

Because I always think I can somehow jerk it back into a normal wheel position and make it behave, I kept using the cart – pushing harder, making zig zag turns, cursing at it – but nothing worked and now I was so far from the corral.

Too late to go back and get a normal cart. I’ll just deal with this. But how can I make this thing quieter? Honestly, I sounded like a car crash, screeching metal on metal, so loud everyone turned around to look and get out of my way.

I quickly decided that if the crazy wheel didn’t actually touch the floor, it couldn’t make any noise.

So I basically popped a wheelie with the cart and drove it down each aisle on its hind wheels.

No, this didn’t look goofy at all.

Toothpaste. Put the cart down. Pop a wheelie. Move along.

Tissues. Put the cart down. Pop a wheelie. Move along.

Coffee creamer. Put the cart down. Pop a wheelie. Move along.

No, not goofy at all.

My wheelie shopping was a success until I collected too many things that I couldn’t pop wheelies anymore.

So I went back to screeching and having a perpetual car accident all the way through the rest of the store, paid for my stuff and got the hell outta there.

My advice? Just take the damn thing back and get another one because you can’t win with a screwy wheel. Not even if you drive it on two good wheels and do all your shopping like it’s the first time you’ve ever seen a shopping cart and don’t know how to use it.

Dysfonctionnement de Garde-robe

Posted by Kathy on May 24th, 2013

Many of you know I’m in Paris at the moment. The city of decadent cuisine, stunning architecture, and of course, impossibly beautiful and fashionable people.

Women are always perfectly put-together from head to toe, and frankly, so are most men. An entire city has its act together.

And then there’s me.

Yesterday my husband and I walked a few square miles of the city and needed to rest.

We grabbed some coffee at a café and sat outdoors to watch Paris do what it does. My feet were killing me, so I pulled up a second chair, turned sideways and stretched my legs across it.

After about 15 minutes of people-watching, and people watching me, I felt a draft in an unusual place.

I looked down to find that while the top button of my pants was secure, my fly was completely unzipped. Say it with me: Compleeeeetely unziiiiiiiped. And because I was seated and bent at the waist, this created a giant peephole for the sideshow that was my underwear.

Keepin’ it classy, Kathy. Keepin’ it classy.

If I had any hopes of taking style tips from the French, I’m pretty sure it would start with fastening things that need to be fastened, especially relative to the région de crotch.

I’m sorry I offended you, Paris. But I know you still love me. You already said so!

Kathy Shop 2

Kathy Shop 1

All That and a Bag of Chips

Posted by Kathy on May 14th, 2013

So you know how you’re goin’ along eating your favorite potato chips, Lay’s Salt & Vinegar, and you’re making good time, but you probably ate so fast that you jammed a chip up into your gum line and say “Ouch, dammit” but then you just keep eating anyway?

And because now you probably poked a hole in your gums, the salt and vinegar is like throwing gasoline on a fire and your mouth really hurts and you’re like “I should probably stop eating these” but you can’t because Salt & Vinegar chips are your most favoritest kind of chip and before you know it, the bag is empty?

And then the next day your gum still hurts, on fire actually, and it’s painful to eat anything else and you’re like “OMG, what a dumbass. Should have stopped eating those chips.”

And then like a week or two goes by and this bastard still hurts and now you’re starting to worry that there’s part of a chip stuck under your gum, getting all infected and now the infection is going to travel through your bloodstream and kill you just about the time you land in Paris for the first leg of your long-awaited vacation and you wonder “How do you say “I think I’m dying” in French?”

So then you call the dentist and ask for an emergency visit to see if there is a chip stuck up under there and the receptionist writes “Check patient for potato chip” in the log book and the dentist and his hygienist greet you laughing when you show up to have it looked at?

And then the dentist takes a look and says “Wow, you really messed that up in there. From a potato chip? Remarkable.”

And you’re like “Well, I really like those chips.” And he’s all “You really injured your palate, but it’s healing OK” and says to the hygienist “Here, take a picture” and tells me “We take pictures of everything now” and then “Do you wanna see it? and I’m like “Um. No. I know what I did, thank you.”

Yeah, that happened.

Dude, Where’s My Car?

Posted by Kathy on April 12th, 2012

parking lotDufus sumo erratum vehiculum: informally, Latin for “idiot picks the wrong car”

Definition: to walk up to a car you think is yours, stick your key in the door, only to realize it’s just a car that looks like yours, and happens to be parked in a space you normally use, then try to figure out how you can look like you meant to do that and walk a block away to where you really parked your car and hope that no one saw you do it.

I’m looking forward to buying a new car one day. The kind where you point and shoot a device that makes your car scream out “Over here, moron.”

Yeah, I need that.

I Have No Defense For This

Posted by Kathy on February 14th, 2012

glassesToday I helped a client, a Professor Emeritus, troubleshoot his email.

I often have to take my glasses on and off because I’m near-sighted. While working on his PC, I took them off so I could do close-up work.

When I finished fixing his problem, I stood and gave him his seat back.

He tested sending an email message, expressed his satisfaction on the fix and I prepared to leave.

I picked up the glasses on the desk and motioned to put them on.

But they wouldn’t go on because at some point between fixing and standing, I had already put glasses on my face. My glasses.

It’s really hard to put a second pair of glasses on top of another.

And it’s worse when you do it in front of someone who would rather like to keep his.

So there sat one of the smartest gents in my college looking quizzically at the stupidest woman on the planet.

I said good-bye, nice to see you and went running back down to my office, where I realized I would now have to avoid him forever.

The end.

Clown Day Movie Premiere!

Posted by Kathy on February 3rd, 2012

Got your popcorn and Milk Duds?

Dim the lights, turn off your cell phones, sit back and relax, because it’s time for Clown Day: The Movie!

If you want to watch it in widescreen, please view it at YouTube.


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!

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!

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.


Posted by Kathy on June 7th, 2011

Ice_cream So yeah. I was chatting online with a friend who gives me inspiration to workout every day.

I told her that with new leg and butt exercises, I’m really seeing and feeling results there and was thrilled about it.

So much that I’m convinced “my ice cream brings all the boys to the yard.”

Except that that’s not the correct lyric.

It’s not ice cream. It’s milkshake.

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

And then all the boys stand around laughing at me because I’m old and shouldn’t be trying to quote the lyrics of songs meant for hot, young things.

The end.

Laundry Breadcrumbs

Posted by Kathy on May 19th, 2011

laundromat This weekend I took my oversized comforter to the laundromat with washers and dryers that could accommodate it. When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a guy who’d just taken several Hefty bags full of laundry out of his trunk.

Unbeknownst to him, one of the bags tipped its load and he was plopping his drawers and socks all over the lot, leaving laundry breadcrumbs every few feet behind him.

As soon as I could park my car and hop out, I alerted him to his wayward drawers. He thanked me and went back to collect his whitie tighties. When we met up inside the laundromat, he thanked me again and said “Well that was embarrassing.”

I wanted to hand him my blog business card and say “No it’s not. Just read this. I trump everything.”

For instance, today I took my car to a mechanic to have my muffler replaced. The shop is located at the intersection of one way streets, which for a directionally-challenged dolt such as myself, creates serious problems.

To make matters worse, one of the roads that would lead me directly out of there was blocked off for construction.

When I paid my bill and drove away from the shop, the mechanics waved me off and I went on my merry, lost way.

I couldn’t get left!

I could only go right, right, right and right again.

Which dumped me back in front of the mechanics, still standing there, now laughing at me, and waving me off for a second time.

Hi. Me again. I’m lost. Can you tell?


The next attempt went better, but put me many blocks from my destination. I almost had to use my GPS to go two tenths of a mile.

I swear. I shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car, or frankly, mingle out and about with society in general.

It’s hard being me.

That One Crazy Lady at the Gym

Posted by Kathy on March 28th, 2011

There’s always one idiot at the gym who you avoid like the plague once you get a sense they’re not quite right. You’re afraid their weirdness might rub off on you and then you’ll have to take an extra long shower afterward.

You resent the fact that you pay all this good money to work out in a nice quiet place all alone in your thoughts until she shows up and gets on a machine next to you.

I am that idiot.

Yesterday on Facebook, I posted a note that I was resisting the urge to put this song on my iPod because according to the Frederick Statute of Singing Songs Out Loud, Article 5.34.1, I am only allowed to play songs where I don’t disturb others with my high-decibel, off-key singing to songs I don’t know all the words to.


Did I listen to my own advice?

I did not. It got downloaded.

Which is why when the song played on my iPod this morning, I couldn’t shut up. It’s the one song that I must sing out loud and with gusto.

There was a guy on an elliptical machine two over and a couple people in front of me.

It was a disaster. The guy to my left was not listening to his own music. So that left him listening to me and mine.

The words slipped out involuntarily. No turning back.

I know he heard me. Had to.

Hit it, Kathy!

Why do you build me up, build me up… buttercup, baby….

He didn’t look over.

…and mess me around….

Quiet voice, quiet voice….

…you never call, baby, when you say you will….

Still not looking, but he’s pumping his legs harder. Is it me?

…. hey, hey, HEY!!!!!….

I’m on fire now.

….I-I-I-need you-ooo-ooo more than anyone baby….

I am now flipping my head back and forth, rockin’ out in Crazytown. I can’t be stopped. I no longer care, but I know he must be cursing me.

It happened. I’m cool with it. I just don’t think elliptical guy wants to see me again and he very well may want his money back, at least for today.

I’m sorry. I’ll take it off my iPod.


Hey, Dad. Don’t Let Mom Read This, OK?

Posted by Kathy on January 10th, 2011

french silk pieMy parents raised me right, I swear. I’m polite, courteous, respectful of my elders, and have good table manners.

But I will bare my teeth, growl and possibly stab you if you try to take food away from me. Especially if it is my very favorite dessert, The Perkins Chocolate French Silk cream pie.

It’s a treat I allow myself only once or twice a year. It’s a special thing to be preserved and protected, and certainly not wasted, for it is divine.

Which is why when I dropped a slice of it on the floor Saturday, I picked it up, plated it and ate it. The whole sad, malformed blob of it.

I did not cut off the dirty side. The side that probably spells bacterial infection.

Shut up. I did this two days ago and have suffered no ill effects.

The fact that I ate some combination of cat hair, floor wax and outside world dirt proves one thing: Mothers everywhere are all wrong. You can eat off the floor like an animal and survive.

You won’t look at yourself the same way again, but you will survive.

Bon appétit!

Week in Review

Posted by Kathy on November 5th, 2010

A co-worker of mine sneezes so violently I’m afraid his spleen may come flying out one of these days. And it startles me every time. I told him “Geez, dude. Ring a bell before you do that.” Was that rude of me? I think it was a little bit rude.

I went to a church bazaar at lunch with another co-worker this week. It was their last day, so they handed us grocery bags and said “Anything you can fit in this bag is one dollar.” So we loaded our bags with a lot of stuff and paid our dollar on the way out, thinking all the while “We really should pay more than a dollar. This doesn’t feel right.” When we left, the handle of my co-worker’s bag came off, the bag fell to the floor and broke her ceramic bundt pan. Clearly, Jesus would have wanted us to give more generously.

I went to my credit union to deposit a check. While signing paperwork at the table near the teller windows, I dropped a pile of deposit slips, the flip-calendar thingy and then my purse, and I hit my head on the corner of the table picking up all the dropped items. A clerk sitting at a nearby desk rolled her eyes at me. I’ll give you an eye roll, lady. To add insult to injury, the ink in the pen chained to the table ran out. Tuesday was not a good day for me.

Those who follow me on Facebook know now that my husband puts mayonnaise on everything. This week he put it on pizza. Commence vomiting.

The reporter from NPR who interviewed me on-air about Windy the Plastic Bag emailed me Monday to ask how she was doing up in her tree. That both cracked me up and warmed my heart. Incidentally, when all the leaves on Windy’s tree come down, I’ll post new pictures of her. What’s left, that is.

Someone in my blog audience got her first boyfriend and she stopped commenting here. I miss her. But her boyfriend adores her, as well he should, and so it’s all good. But still. Sniff. Pass me a tissue.

The student assistant who works in my office is 6’ 4” tall. It means that he can see over the partition to my cubicle. He’s caught me more than once doing something I shouldn’t by peering over it to ask a last minute question. So now whenever I’m shoveling, say, six miniature Halloween candy bars in my face, I have to make sure he’s really gone before I begin another session wherein I disgust myself for all I can eat in one sitting.

I know I made a co-worker green with envy when she watched me back my car into a parking space in one quick, perfect action. I’m an excellent back-in-parker-inner. Admit it. You’re jealous, too.

Hope you guys had a good week! Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead on Sunday. Or is it back? Whatever. Just turn it whatever way you feel and hope for the best.

There’s No Business Like D’oh Business

Posted by Kathy on September 19th, 2010

Ethel Merman In my entire blogging career, I’ve never seen another blogger with a whole category for embarrassing posts. Of my 449 posts, 52 are labeled that way. Is it any wonder?

I drove to the grocery store today and parked. Before heading inside, I swapped my sunglasses for regular, grabbed my list, ATM card and coupons. And then my stomach growled. They always say you should never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I was going to have to be strong.


I got out of my car, locked it, and then in what I can only characterize as Ethel Merman-esque, sang aloud to myself I’m huuuungry!

Well, to myself and that lady who was sitting with her window down in the Jeep next to me about six inches from my face who I hadn’t noticed until after I opened my stupid mouth.

She stared straight ahead. Didn’t flinch. That means she either played deaf, didn’t appreciate my singing talent or was embarrassed for me.

Yeah. Like there’s any question which.

I’ll Take These and Oh, You’ll Need a Gas Mask

Posted by Kathy on September 12th, 2010

Smelly Sneaks, asics sneakers, running shoes, walking sneakers, asics shoes After wearing the same walking sneakers for five years, I thought it was time to get new ones. I buy mine at an independent sports shop where the owners take a very serious approach to footwear.

They want you to come into the store wearing the shoes you currently use so they can examine them for wear and help you find a better-fitting shoe if you need it. They also encourage you to take sneaks for a test run up and down Main Street.

Awesome, except for one thing. This puts my old smelly shoes in the vicinity of people with functioning nostrils.

No, I never wore my shoes barefoot, but that hardly matters. There’s some kind of foot-to-sock-to-shoe funk transference phenomenon going on there that only the wearer of the shoe can tolerate. In fact, I keep them in the laundry room where they can’t hurt anyone in the house.

Motivated by the desire to get a really good sneaker, I soldier on and lace up the Funky Shoes and head to the store.

I’m excited that I can find a new sneaker almost right away. A very nice salesman tells me he’ll be right with me and when he comes back he says “Oh, that’s the new model of the ones you’re wearing now.”

Ugh. He’s already looked at them. Can he smell them, too?

I take a seat and nervously remove my sneaks, hoping that the guy isn’t flat out killed by what’s about to be released into the air. He’s not. Is he a robot? He crouches down in front of me to examine the shoes for wear. 

He flips one over and rubs his hand over the sole, pronounces them dreadfully worn and asks how long I’ve had them. I answer four or five years and wonder whether someone could calculate that by the number of seconds it takes to pass out from the smell, sort of like aging a tree by its number of rings, only in reverse.

He does not wince or choke. In fact, the robot smiles and says he’s glad I’m replacing them. He sets down the shoe he touched with his bare hands. Lord have mercy.

I’m desperate to put the shoes back on — the clock is ticking on this bomb! Thankfully he doesn’t make small talk. He asks what size I need. Before I could answer, he went for the reach again.

Oh no.

Don’t do it, man.

Just don’t.

He picked up one of my sneakers and pulled it close to his face to read the size label under the tongue.

Does he know how mortified am I right now?  Does he know he just carelessly peered into the Chernobyl of Shoes? Can’t he just toss me a heap of ten different-sized shoes and let me rummage through them? I’m convinced he’s named Employee of the Month every month for sticking his nose in the abyss of customers’ shoes and coming out alive. That, or he’s desperate for a $100 sale.

He leaves briefly to get my size and I snatch my old ones and move them up on the chair next to me, as if that’ll help. The fumes were released already and you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. I am Pig Pen, sitting in my own stink cloud.

He returns with my new shoes and I thank God they fit perfectly and feel great. I take them for a quick spin around the fitting chairs and give a big thumbs up. Good. Now my funk and I can pay up and leave. I’m certain the salesman needed a decontamination shower after I left. Certain.

When I got home, I immediately deposited my old shoes in the trash bin in the garage. Good-bye stinky ‘ol shoes! I later toss a bag of garbage over top of them, latch the lid and let it all simmer.

The next day I remembered I should have kept the old sneakers to wear for lawn mowing. So I went into the bin, removed the garbage and salvaged the shoes for another God knows how many years.

So let me ask you, how bad do you think they smell now?


Posted by Kathy on July 9th, 2010

rinse bowl I had a very distressing visit to the dentist yesterday. Not for the usual reasons. I didn’t have any painful work done, only a cleaning.

Simple, right?

The visit turned distressing the minute I realized my dentist replaced his usual swirly water spit bowl thingy with a rudimentary funnel-and-hose device in which to deposit my mouth gunk after the cleaning.

“No fair, dude,” I complain. “What is that thing? I don’t like it already.”

“Sorry,” he says. “We replaced the bowl with this to save about a thousand dollars.”


So the cleaning is uneventful, I am praised for my mad flossing skills and we get to the part where I’m going to need to spit.

I’m stressing because I see the little cup of water to sip from and now I have to figure out how to aim everything in that small funnel with graceful precision.

I sip, I swish and then the dentist grabs the funnel & hose contraption and gestures for me to use it.

Maybe it’s because I needed an instruction manual with kindergarten-type pictures, maybe it’s because my mouth is bigger than the circumference of a grapefruit, or maybe it’s because I only thought I’d had novocain, but when I went to spit I did it super stupendously wrong.

The spit fell out of my mouth, onto my paper bib, onto my pants and onto the arm of the chair I was sitting in.

And then the dentist, in his most professional dentisty voice possible, said “You got some on the floor, too.”

Not one drop of it went into the funnel.

That is why dentists should never ever screw with the swirly water bowl thingy!!!

It’s his fault they needed a mop after I left.


Please Don’t Remember Me Out Loud. Thanks.

Posted by Kathy on June 19th, 2010

cat lick When my husband Dave and I were first dating, we’d hit the dance clubs every other weekend.

During one such outing, we went to popular nightclub that had a big, hulking guy standing outside the doors to take the cover charge and make sure you were of age to get in.

Hulking guy took the money from Dave and then stared at me for an uncomfortably long time. Of course, I thought it was because of my stop-traffic hotness.

It wasn’t.

He spoke.

I remember you.

Oh, yeah?

Fancy Feast and pot pies.


Fancy Feast. You used to come into Weis Markets and buy a ton of Fancy Feast cat food and pot pies.


I remember you would buy hardly any food, but would always buy a load of cat food. I thought you had ten cats.

Dying some more and not wanting to give him any response, I grabbed Dave’s arm, nervously smiled at hulking guy and slipped inside.

Dude. You’re a tool.

Thanks for setting up my date night in the most awkward way possible, (though Dave never asked about it, the sweetheart he is.)

It was better left unsaid that when I moved out on my own, I had hardly any money to speak of. Times were very lean. But I had my own apartment and a cat named Baby who thought I was most righteous.

A cat for whom I didn’t mind feeding the very best stinky goodness money could buy. Oh, yeah. And I survived those first years on chicken pot pies, 3 for $1.00. Mere pennies more expensive than the cat food.

Sure, I was just scraping by, but I didn’t mind.

What I did mind was a stupid former grocery store clerk knowing it and remembering it out loud.

So I guess the lesson here is that when you think your grocery store cashier is making judgements about you by the things you buy, and you tell yourself “Nah, they wouldn’t,” think again. They’re taking notes.

Confusing Terms of Endearment

Posted by Kathy on March 18th, 2010

hearts I work at a university where we sometimes hire student assistants to help out with our tech support workload. Today one of my assistants came in for his shift and I told him there was a client who could use his help.

The client had left a voice mail message describing her problem, so I thought I would just play that message for him on speakerphone and he’d be on his way.

I knew I had several messages stored in my voice mail archives, so I started message replay and hit a certain key to speed past the first few to get to the pertinent message.

I didn’t speed fast enough.

See, I sometimes archive messages from my husband, who has a tendency to leave me wise-cracking voice mails to lighten my mood.

When I played the series of messages, I skipped fast enough through a few and then the student (and everyone else in my office) heard the following from my husband:

Hey, giant pootie!

I was mortified. I looked at the student and he smiled uncomfortably.

I died a little.

The thing is, I don’t even remember why Dave started addressing me as Giant Pootie. I don’t even know what it means. I had to ask.

Dave thinks it’s from circa 1986 when we started dating. It might be a variation on Puddin’ Head. Or it could be an offshoot of Pootie Cat, which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

And we will never know why I’m a giant Pootie. What part of me is the pootie? And why is it so big?

OK, folks. Here’s where you dump all the insane terms of endearment you have for your significant others or kids in the comments.

I’m quite sure they’ll make more sense than mine.

Don’t Waste the Good Stuff

Posted by Kathy on January 17th, 2010

pink_satin_dress Last weekend I met with a fellow local blogger to talk about the blogging process, technical and otherwise, what works and what doesn’t. In preparation, I jotted down some tips that have proven useful to me.

One of them is “Don’t waste a good post on Facebook where only your friended people can see it.” I did that recently with a status update about my failure to understand that Fiber One cereal needs to be eased into slowly, as I’d eaten twice the daily recommendation for three days in a row and paid for it dearly. That update saw over 20 comments. Shoulda, coulda been a post.

The tip about not wasting good material on social media sites also extends to comments I leave on others’ blogs. My friend Maureen wrote a piece some time ago about treating her parents to an anniversary dinner at a fancy downtown restaurant, complete with a ride in a stretch limo. She made reference to the Petula Clark song, Downtown. A song that prompted me to leave a comment, one that she said I should have blogged about.

The comment:

The stuff I remember. Here goes. When I was 12, I took part in a musical show at my school. Each grade had to perform some kind of dance or act. We did a little number to the Petula Clark song. We wore pink satin sleeveless dresses and if we were any older, we would have looked like hookers. We also wore long white gloves. Anyway, when I was being measured by the seamstress who was making the dresses, I was standing in a room full of other girls when she exclaimed “My, someone’s getting her breasts early!” I died a little and that’s what I remember every time I hear that Petula Clark song. The day I got noticeable boobs.

So today’s lessons are:

1. If you’re trying to develop a following on your blog, make it a home for all your best stuff. If you have an entertaining little nugget for Facebook, consider fleshing it out for a post instead.

2. If you’re a seamstress taking measurements for pubescent adolescents, watch what you say in front of other people. Childhood embarrassment lasts at least into your 40s.

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.

Halloween Came Early

Posted by Kathy on October 27th, 2009

scary Because God hates us, my husband and I started a weeklong vacation on Saturday and then promptly got colds Saturday night. This is a first for us. In the twenty three years we’ve been together, we’ve never been sick at the same time.

Which means our first fear was “Who’s gonna get food for us?

While I was still looking and feeling like I belonged to the land of the living, I went to the store Sunday morning and picked up a few things to last a while. But then Monday night rolled around and I was tired of chicken soup and wanted something high in calories and sweet. And that meant donuts.

But how could I possibly show up at a brightly-lit store amidst the general non-sick population in my condition just to get donuts?

I quickly realized I didn’t care what I looked like, grabbed my car keys, headed over and walked right into my grocery store looking a sight. I appeared to be wearing my Halloween costume early. The costume is called Disgusting Slob. Let me set the stage:

1. At the time I had not showered for almost three days.

2. Unbrushed hair pulled back in a scrunchy with wayward hairs sticking out in all directions. No makeup. Chapped lips. Chapped nose.

3. I was wearing what I’d slept in the night before. Stretchy pants and a shirt with chocolate stains on it.

4. I was not wearing a bra.

Walking into the store was an exercise in sheer willpower. My legs felt noodly and my head was spinning like a top. In a fog, I made a beeline to the bakery and grabbed a container of one dozen glazed donuts.

I pretended that if I didn’t look any of the other customers in the eye, they couldn’t see me either.

I held my purse tightly against my chest so as to keep the braless ladies in place until I got to the self-checkout. Thank God for self-checkout. I would never have put a poor clerk in a position to look at me. That’s not playing fair.

I did NOT look at myself in the giant floor to ceiling windows at the front of the store because then I’d have real confirmation that I looked the way I did. Denial is a powerful thing.

p.s. I’m still wearing what I wore that night. I still haven’t showered. We still feel like crap, but the donuts were delicious. Now can one of you come over here and make us meals for the rest of the week? I promise I’ll shower for ya.

At Least It’s Not a Boom Box

Posted by Kathy on October 24th, 2009

Despite the rain today, I thought I’d crawl off the couch and get out for a walk.

Normally, I listen to music while walking around my neighborhood, but I stopped doing that because this is what I use to listen to music.

Sony Walkman

Antique Sony Walkman

The last time I carried this with me, a pre-teen riding in a car with his mother shouted out the window “Mom! What’s that lady got on her head? And what’s that discus thing she’s carrying?”

The mother shushed her son and said “It’s like an iPod, only Frisbee-sized. She must be destitute, so don’t make fun of the lady.”

“OK, Mom. But let’s pull over and give her a few dollars. Will that help her get an iPod?”

“I don’t think so. She’ll only spend it on CDs.”

“What are CDs?”

“The things she has to put in it to hear music.”


“You put a disc in there and it spins around inside.”

“Mom, you’re going to make me cry.”

OK, so that conversation never took place, but I fear it will someday and then I’ll be the one crying.

Santa, please bring me an iPod for Christmas. That’d be swell and so 21st century.

Farty McFartster

Posted by Kathy on August 25th, 2009

fart I’ve been blogging over two years now and managed to avoid discussing the topic of farts in all that time. Which is remarkable because farts are hysterical when executed at the right time and in the right place.

At a slumber party? Funny.

In the middle of your wedding vows? Not funny.

There are times, though, when they are both funny and not, depending on where you are positioned in relation to the farter.

Let’s go back to 1990 when I was taking a computer programming class at my community college.

Most of us students were adults earning degrees in evening classes. But one student, though an adult by chronological age, was about four years old by any other standard.

Why? Because he farted during every single class. Out loud and often. With no attempt to muffle.

He sat up front, three feet from the instructor. Every time Farty McFartster let loose up there we shot pity looks at the professor. That man never flinched. Not once. God bless him. He kept right on teaching. Was he fart-deaf?

Meanwhile, the rest of us were dying. We did whatever we had to do. Chomped down hard on a pencil. Put our hands over our mouths to stifle laughter. Or, in some cases, got up and left the room. Usually the ones in direct line of fire.

It was incredible to us that Farty never tried to suppress his air. He’d even lift up a cheek so as to give it a clear and unencumbered exit, without a hint of embarrassment.

During class breaks, some of us would head outdoors to bust a gut laughing about it and Farty would come out and try to join the party. We’d shuffle away from him as a clustered unit. We never allowed anyone to get caught alone with him. There was safety in numbers.

We wondered aloud how it was that Farty would ever get a job in the computing field, or any other, for that matter. We imagined him farting answers to interview questions.

If he did get a job, we figured no one would work within twenty feet of him.

We hoped he’d find at-home employment away from the ears of others, where he could play his fart symphonies to his heart’s content.

Farty, wherever you are, I hope you saw a doctor because somethin’ bad was a-brewin’.

And Farty’s co-workers, if there are any? We’re sorry. We didn’t have the guts to get him an intervention. We just took our credits and ran.

But at Least I Can See

Posted by Kathy on August 16th, 2009

Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick! Will you look at my glasses?

eye glasses

I know I’m not the only one with asymmetrical ears, but this is ridiculous.

Also, the left plastic nose protector thingy fell off a couple weeks ago.

And this is my only pair.

Stepping on them and repairing with duct tape should complete the dork look I’m apparently going for.

Overheard in an Elevator

Posted by Kathy on March 11th, 2009

elevator_console Woman #1: What is with this thing?! Why aren’t we moving?!

Woman #2: Because you keep pressing the square with the Braille dots on it. That’s not a button.

Woman #1: Oh.

Any guess who Woman #1 was? Any guess how fast she ran from Woman #2 when the doors finally opened? You just do not know how hard it is being me some days.

Be happy and grateful. For when you think you have done an unimaginably stupid thing in public, say it loud and say it proud: At. Least. I. Am. Not. Kathy.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Posted by Kathy on February 9th, 2009

baby_feet My mom celebrated a birthday this weekend. I think when it’s my birthday, I should celebrate her again.


Because I weighed 10 lbs, 8 ozs. (4.8 kg) at birth.

And she didn’t have a C-section.


For the record, my mom was, is and always will be rail thin. I’m guessing I stole everything she sent down the chute. She must have thought she was eating for six.

Oh, and if anyone was born fatter than me, there’s a Junk Drawer magnet in it for you. And sympathies to your mother.

Kathy Gets Lost Again, Sorta

Posted by Kathy on February 6th, 2009

campus_building Yesterday a colleague asked if I wanted to attend a panel talk he was giving on the campus where we work.

Sure. Where is it?”

It’s in Whitaker Lab.

Is it in the auditorium next to the front door?

No. It’s near the back door on the parking lot side of the building.

OK, I’ll be there.

You may or may not know how directionally-challenged I am. How bad is it? Real bad. I got lost in my own neighborhood once, two tenths of a mile from my house.

Whenever I go anywhere I haven’t been a million times before, I always have reason to worry. Let the games begin.

I drive to the Whitaker building and go through the back door on the parking lot side, as instructed. No auditorium. Just a long corridor. Then classrooms. And no people. Of course, no people.

I can’t find anything that looks like a place a talk would be held. I dart into a computer lab to login and check the university event calendar hoping to get the room number. Nothing. Of course, nothing.

I look at the time. I’m going to be late.

I run up steps and down halls and make my way to the only auditorium I know in that building. It’s dark and deserted and clearly not the place.


Sweating now, I ride elevators, travel more steps and more halls until I’m about to give up. I see doors that lead to a courtyard. If I cross it, I can go into another section of the building. Maybe it’s over there.

As soon as I exit, C-L-I-C-K. I am locked out. Of course I am.

I cross the courtyard and when I get to the opposite set of doors, I can make out a sign that reads “These doors kept locked at all times.”

Of course they are.


So there I am, standing in the freezing cold, sweating icicles straight from my body, having just locked myself out of the building. Stupid building!

The only way to re-enter is to walk through snow and ice around a neighboring building and come back in through the front door, which is two floors up and really far from where I entered.

At this point I’m muttering to myself that I can do this. You’re not an idiot. It’s not that hard! Where did he say to go again? Did I get it right? Where am I???

But then the muttering turns into belittling: You? You of all people want to fly alone this summer? How you gonna do that if you can’t even find a room in a building? You suck!

Ten minutes late, I’m completely broken, resigned to the fact that I’ll always be a lost person. I started to hear sad violin music in the background. I half expected a dog to walk up and pee on my leg. I work my way back to the parking lot. I’m going home a loser.

But then I have a flash of recognition. I once attended a lecture in a building adjacent to Whitaker. Yeah. The Sinclair building has an auditorium. And it’s right by the door.


The coffee and cookies I see outside the room are my first indication that I’m at the right place. I poke my head inside and see my colleague standing down front about to begin the talk.

What I wanted to do was yell down there “Dude! You gave me the wrong building! I hate you!”

But I didn’t. Instead, I mentally patted myself on the back, took a seat and thought I am not a doofus. I was just given bad information. And that, my friends, makes me a little less of a forever lost person.

And that makes me very happy.

Gynecology and Banking Do Not Mix

Posted by Kathy on January 6th, 2009

exam_room I had to cash a check today. To have everything ready at the bank, I pulled my driver’s license out of my wallet and slipped it into the side pocket of my purse with the check.

When I got to the drive-thru window, I dropped the check and my driver’s license in the plastic tube and waited for it to come zipping back to me with my cash.

When I got home, I took out the bills and fished for my driver’s licence to put back in my wallet. My license fell out — but so did something else. My doctor’s appointment reminder card for my next gynecological visit.

I’m sure the bank teller was pleased to be informed that I have an 8:30 appointment at St. Luke’s Professional Building on August 9th, 2009 for my annual exam.

I’m just glad I sent the license with it. I’m pretty sure you can’t cash checks with a card from your OB/GYN.


I Made the Paper!

Posted by Kathy on December 26th, 2008


If anyone has Wii Fit, please share your experiences. And injuries, if any.

So Which Was Worse?

Posted by Kathy on December 12th, 2008

I generally try to avoid showing my underpants and boobs to others in public, but I’ve done both when I was 12. Gather ’round kiddies. I’m going to see if I can make you cry.

First up, the crotch: Gymnastics class, YWCA.

gymnastics I took an introductory gymnastics class at the Y the summer of 1977, and quite enjoyed it until my panty-revealing experience. Let’s begin.

Know that my gymnastics instructor was drop dead gorgeous. He was dreamy and delicious and just about the best thing that could happen to a 12-year-old girl who kept a diary with a tiny lock on it. Dear Diary, Please make Mr. McDreamy show us again how to do a handspring. Note to self: Keep sucking at it so you need extra help.

We were practicing backbends when it became apparent I was going to have problems. My one-piece leotard had snaps at the crotch. Three of them. At. The. Crotch. Why anyone wants metal buttons down there is anyone’s guess and I have no idea why I chose that one when I needed attire for my class.

As I bent over backwards, with Mr. McDreamy spotting me, all three snaps labored to stay connected — but didn’t. One! Two! Three! Helloooo, undies!

I do not recall the degree of horror I experienced. In fact, I think I blacked out for a while. I just know I never returned to class. Once you reveal your underthings in front of a man you wanted to marry someday and a gym full of laughing classmates, you can never go back.

Next, the boobs. Wait. Make that singular booby: Neighborhood swimming pool.

pink bikini As I waded into the four foot section of the pool in my cute, hot pink bikini, I dunked my head under water and came up to find a young lad the age of eight or so staring at me. Blink. Blink. Mouth agape.

My first thought was “Hey, jerk. What are you looking at?”

My next thought was “Why is one of the strings to my bikini top floating on the water?”

Hellooooo, left booby!

Mortified, I dunked myself back in the water and retied my top, as the 8-year-old lad swam away yelling to all his friends “That girl over there just showed me her boob!”

I did no such thing, you perv. “And you can stop looking already!”

So kids, which was worse? Flashing my underpants at Mr. McDreamy or flashing my boob to a lucky young boy who’s probably never forgotten the experience?

You know what’s coming next. Let’s hear about your involuntary flashing experiences. The more mortifying, the better. Make me cry.

Extra points to any woman who’s had the misfortune of inadvertently tucking the back of her skirt into the waistband of her pantyhose after using the ladies room. I’ve seen it done and can’t believe it hasn’t happened to me. Yet.

I’m Shaving My Head

Posted by Kathy on November 24th, 2008

hair I met with a client today to clean a virus from his computer. As I worked on his laptop, he mentioned he saw me earlier in the day.

I asked when.

He said “This morning, when you were parking your car.”

“Oh, I didn’t see you. Where were you?” I asked.

“I was behind you,” he replied. “I recognized your hair.”

OK, so now not only do I have a big fat head, but that head is now identifiable from behind, by its hair.

Apparently I have a Weird Al Yankovic thing going on, with a touch of Don King. It’s what every woman wants.

How to Make a Grown Woman Cry

Posted by Kathy on October 28th, 2008

tissues Sniffle.

A client came to my office today to ask for password help on his laptop. While I worked on it, he glanced around my cubicle and noticed a movie poster for It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World on my wall.

That’s one of my all-time favorite flicks and I learned it was one of his, too.

After exchanging a few laughs about the film, he asked me if I saw it in Cinerama when it first came out.

He remembered watching it in a theater with three screens side by side, where the film was projected in widescreen across all of them.

He said at first it was weird to view a movie like that, as you were distracted by the lines separating the screens from one another. But after a while you got used to it and your eyes stopped noticing it.

This post is not a study of cinematography. This post is about the crime perpetrated upon me.

Did you catch it? He asked me if I saw it when it first came out.

The movie was released in 1963.

I wouldn’t be born for another two years.

I know I have a couple gray hairs, but is it worse than that? Do I need a face lift? Maybe a little Botox? God, how old do I look?

Pass me a tissue. I think I’m going to cry.

I Think I’m Doing It Wrong

Posted by Kathy on October 26th, 2008

Weight Watchers

I’m pretty sure when you do the Weight Watchers thing you’re not supposed to eat this many in a day and a half, even if they are only 2 points each.


Overindulge on laughs at

Fuzzy Math

Posted by Kathy on October 23rd, 2008

My husband Dave likes to think I have the answers to everything off the top of my head, including stuff I haven’t seen, studied or heard about in years. He has such faith in me. Silly man.

He phoned me from his office this morning to see if I could run to the store on my way home from work. In the same breath, he said "Write this down," and I dutifully scrawled the following:

3(n-1) = 5n + 3 – 2n

This randomness is typical of our conversations.  Hi. How’s your day going? Get eggs and bread. Solve for n.

I asked him why he was making me do algebra so early in the day, or anytime, for that matter. "Because Bill’s daughter got this in her homework and she told her teacher it wasn’t solvable. The teacher said it was, and now they’re having a dispute."

I quickly worked the equation and got this as a result:

3n – 3 = 3n + 3

You can see right away there is no solution. No value for n will make this statement true.

At least I hope there’s no solution, because I told Dave I was sure of it, and he told Bill "My wife is sure there is no solution," and Bill’s gonna tell his kid to tell her teacher "Kathy says there’s no solution!"

Apparently my husband has convinced his co-worker that I’m some kind of algebra expert. I was once. Twenty five years ago! I’m a lot fuzzier on algebraic formulas now. As I keep looking at the equation, I’m worried there’s some bizarre value for n that makes it true.

Is it solvable if n is an irrational number or something? Is there a mathematician in the house? Or a high schooler who’s currently taking algebra?

If this post gave you a headache, I’m sorry. Think of cotton candy and puppies instead. That’ll cleanse you of all things math.

p.s. Tomorrow I reveal the winner of What’s That? Wednesday!

I Guess I Like Cheese

Posted by Kathy on October 11th, 2008

Results of having cleaned out my refrigerator. You may have some questions. Go ahead. Shoot.


The Best Tech Support Call I Ever Got

Posted by Kathy on August 23rd, 2008

keyboard A computing consultant by trade, I tend to stay away from discussing tech support calls I get on this here blog.

Not because they’re not chuckle-worthy sometimes, but because there is an understood doctor/patient-type confidentiality agreement in place with the clients I serve.

But I think I can let one story slide. I feel I’m safe to share it because it happened many years ago in a former job and the woman who called has long since retired. I’m required to share it because it involved boobs.

The call went something like this:

Caller: Kathy, I’m having trouble getting to my forms for data entry.

Me: What screen are you on now?

Caller: It doesn’t have a screen number and I don’t know what it is.

Me: How did you get there?

Caller: I’m not sure.

Me: You should be able to get back to the main menu by pressing the F10 key.

Caller: Not working.

Me: Tell me more about what’s on the screen. Still not sure where you are.

Caller: It’s got some help stuff on it and it doesn’t have a place to enter a new screen number.

Me: OK. It sounds like you’re in a sub-menu. Try pressing the Esc key once, then F10.

Caller: Yes! That worked! Thanks!

Me: No problem. Boy, that’s a weird one. I still can’t figure out how you wound up there.

Caller: (Whispering) Well, I was a little embarrassed to tell you. I dropped a pen on the floor and when I leaned over to get it, my boobs smashed a mess of keys on the keyboard. I didn’t know which ones they took out.

Me: Oh, that’s rich. I don’t think I’ll ever get a call like this again in my entire career.

And I never did.

Remember, ladies. Watch your aim.


Check out It’s smashing!

Dear Aunt Kathy, You Suck

Posted by Kathy on August 3rd, 2008

So you all know how bad I am about buying cards. I’m equally bad at sending them and associated gifts to the recipients on time.

These are the cute thank you cards I received this week from the children of my best friend, who I only last week put in touch with gifts I owed them long ago.

They call me Aunt Kathy because I’ve been friends with their mother since I was five years old, so we might as well be sisters.

Judging from how late I am in the gift-giving department, their mother should drop me immediately from her friend roster. I suck.

cat andrew


rachel garrett

Give me a smiley! I might send you a thank you card. Next year.

More Ventrogluteal Fun

Posted by Kathy on July 3rd, 2008

open door Yeah. So remember what happened to me the last time I went to the doctor for my injection? The time the nurse used my butt as a table?

Today I had another appointment.

The good news is that I didn’t get Nurse Ratched again. The bad news is people got a free show in Exam Room #5.

When I entered the room, the nurse asked me to sit on the exam table while she prepared the syringe. We had a pleasant conversation about holiday plans for the weekend and how the weather might turn nasty.

I heard other people chatting it up out in the hallway through the open door. Hmmm, wonder when she’s gonna shut the door.

She asked me to get in position, which means pants down, knee bent, lean towards the table. I complied. Hmmm, wonder when she’s gonna shut the door.

The nurse walked over behind me and warned me it would stick a little, but not bad if I didn’t tense my legs. Hmmm, wonder when she’s gonna shut the door.

Voices from the outside continued to waft through the hall and into the room. STICK! OUCH! You’re done!

Guess she wasn’t gonna shut the door.

Thanks. Hope everybody got a nice eyeful.


Humor bloggers prefer their pants up in public.

Draft Post #11

Posted by Kathy on June 29th, 2008

keyboard These are trying times. Kathy has no words. A whopping ten drafts in her queue and nothing worthy of posting.

I think if I don’t post something today, nothing will ever get posted again, the Junk Drawer will close shop and you guys will loiter outside wondering what the hell happened.

I have to get something on the page to kick start me out of this funk I’m in.

Come back in a couple days if this post bores you to tears. I’m about to tell you about my weekend:

1. I fell asleep on the couch at 5PM yesterday and awoke at 8PM thinking it was the next day already. I slept hard. I even had full, movie-length dreams. In one of them, I was standing in a reception line at a political function, holding hands with Henry Kissinger. Discuss.

2. I worked all day Saturday, brought a lunch, but ate it before 10AM. So the rest of the day I took from the other junk drawer in my life and gave myself a headache, a stomachache and left work on such a sugar high I don’t remember how I got home.

3. My husband cleaned the bathrooms, God bless him, but broke the toilet seat off one of the toilets. How is this possible? Broke an entire toilet seat off its hinges? Men, if you’re going to help clean the house, don’t do it in the manner you would, say, play football. Cleaning a toilet needn’t be a race nor a destructive act. It just needs to be wiped down — gently.

4. In the process of preparing to send DrowseyMonkey her prize magnet for having the fattest head, I got sidetracked researching whether I can mail it with U.S. postage or if I have to take it to the post office to get international postage put on it. I tried Googling for the answer to this simple question, but could not find a satisfactory one. I’m too embarrassed to ask Drowsey, so I’ll just head to the post office tomorrow where I’m sure a clerk there will tell me what a moron I am.

5. I didn’t have the energy to fix something that’s been bugging me for a month. Our wall clock is stuck at 4 o’clock. We don’t know why because the batteries are fine. The pendulum below the clock face continues to swing to and fro. I meant to check on why it’s malfunctioning, but now I’m getting really used to it being 4 o’clock all the time. Four happens to be my favorite number, so I’m keeping it.

6. Since I took such a long nap yesterday, I couldn’t get to sleep until midnight last night. But my body always, always gets up between 4AM-5AM, which means I’m running on fumes right now. I’m sorry. This is the kind of post you get on fumes.

Forgive me for having to post such lame material, but this was the prescription for funkitis and it had to be done. Pray I’m funkless tomorrow.


My Big Fat Head

Posted by Kathy on June 26th, 2008

Back in November, I laughed through a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Cardiogirl. She wrote about her experience working in a fast-food restaurant as a teenager and how she had to wear a hat as part of her uniform.

Only one problem. She says, “I hate wearing hats. I do not have a hat face. I do not have a hat head. I don’t look good in hats and I will gladly let my ears succumb to frostbite in the midst of winter.”

I dropped her a comment that I didn’t have a hat head either, which made wearing a ridiculous cowboy hat as part of my restaurant uniform all the more humiliating.

I told her about my goofy hat and vowed to search high and low for the one picture in existence showing me in the uniform, complete with hat, in all its splendor.

Cardiogirl, this one’s for you!


Big Fat Head, Circa 1982

Here’s the thing about the hat and my big, fat head. This hat was issued to me on the day of my orientation. The manager pulled out a few hats for me to try on and none of them fit. None of the women’s hats fit. God bless her, she was so nice to me.

Kathy, it doesn’t seem that any of these fit. Let’s try some others.

She went over to men’s uniform boxes and pulled out a gigundo hat that would fit only me and Charlie Brown.

Here, try this one.

Practically sobbing, I tried on the hat and it fit. Sorta. I knew in my heart I could probably have worn an even larger one, but I decided to make do with the one I was given. There was no way I was going to try on anything larger or I’d have to quit the job I hadn’t even started yet.

But here’s the confusing thing. You know damn well that when I sat down to write this, I had to measure my head to know once and for all how fat it is.

It’s not!

According to several sources, the average circumference of a woman’s head is 22.5 inches. Mine is slightly over average, at 23 inches. I have to say I was really surprised. Only two things could explain why I had to wear a men’s hat as a teen. One, my head was larger in 1982 and shrank since then, or two, my head is so seriously misshapen that it just won’t wear a hat very well. I’m going with #2.

Now here’s a little contest for you: If anyone — family members excluded — can name the restaurant I worked at based on the above picture, I’ll send you a Junk Drawer magnet. It might be tough because I believe the restaurant went out of business sometime in the mid-90s and may have been located only on the East Coast, United States.

Let’s make it two contests! Women only. Go measure your head and whoever has the fattest head gets a prize, too. Of course, you may not want to admit your achievement, but if nothing else, you’ll have my sympathies. No lying just to get a magnet. I have it on good authority they’re becoming collector’s items.

1972: A Good Year for Ophthalmology

Posted by Kathy on June 17th, 2008

Cleaning out a drawer today, I came across an interesting combination of Christmas pictures taken of me, my sister Ann, and my brother Michael.

When I held them side by side, I noticed something about us had changed between 1971 and 1973:


Christmas, 1971: Michael with good eyes, Ann with good eyes, Kathy with good eyes


New Year’s Day, 1973: Sometime in 1972 we all went blind.

I’ll leave you to pick apart these pictures. Ask anything you want. Let’s start with Ann’s pants.

What a Pinhead

Posted by Kathy on May 30th, 2008

Wed 002 pinhead: (pinhed’) n.

1. dumbell: an ignorant or foolish person.

2. Slang. A stupid person; a dunce.

When I was little and looked at old black and white pictures, I thought it meant that there was no color.

Not that there was no color film. Rather, that there was no color in the world.

I’d ask if anyone had a more stupid idea in their heads, but I don’t think it’s possible.

Dearest Sister, Ann

Posted by Kathy on May 20th, 2008

open_wide Dearest sister Ann,

I know we share the same dentist, but I didn’t know you had an appointment with him yesterday. I also didn’t know you told him we auditioned for The Amazing Race.

Yeah, well, I had an appointment for a cleaning with him today.

Here’s how our conversation went, if you can call it that:

Dr. M.: So, I hear you hung out with your sister this weekend.

Me: (mouth pried open, jaw aching, sucky thing hanging out of my mouth) Uh?

Dr. M.: You’re trying out for The Amazing Race!

Me: Aaggh, yah.

Dr. M.: I think it’s great you’re doing this! Most people just say they’re going to try something wild like that.

Me: Mm-hmm.

Dr. M.: So how’s that work?

Me: Wewwl, oo fiwl ow aa abblicashun and mayg a vieeodabe.

Dr. M.: No, I mean, how do you run the race?

Me: Oh, wewwl, oo run fum sheckpoin do sheckpoin doing crachzie dasks ‘n puzzlesh tying do bead all da uddu teamsh bag do da sheckpoin.

Dr. M.: That’s nuts!

Me: Wewwl, we yike do shink we can do ut.

Dr. M.: That sounds like a friend of mine who’s training for a triathalon. You have to be kind of crazy for that, but I really admire her.

Me: Aag, shash grade!

Dr. M.: Do you think you have a chance to get on?

Me: Bobbabby nod.

Dr. M.: Well, I still think it’s awesome you’re trying.

Me: Shanks.

Dr. M.: You have a cavity. Spit. Rinse.

Thanks a lot, Ann, for giving Dr. M. something to talk to me about while I’m at my most incoherent. It was so much fun for me.


Your mumbling, drooling, cavity-head sister.

The Other Junk Drawer in My Life

Posted by Kathy on May 15th, 2008

cow As many of you know, I’ve been trying to lose weight for months and months. Strike that. I’ve been thinking about losing weight for months and months.

The problem is I have very little will power and therefore, the scale laughs at me each and every morning. Oh, Kathy, Kathy, Kathy, we’re not going to do this again, are we?

Tomorrow might be different, because today I had a guardian angel keeping me from eating all afternoon and he didn’t even know it. I estimate he saved me about 1,000 needless calories.

Part of my job as a computing consultant is to install and update software on a PC that gets mirrored to 36 other computers in one of our labs in the building. The gentleman who saved me today asked me to install some software for him, which I did last week. Before I sent it out to all the other PCs, I needed him to come to my office and thoroughly test it.

He arrived at 2:00 and tested for three straight hours. In an office the size of a walk-in closet.

How did that help me? His presence just a few short feet away kept me from diving into the following things, which I was too self-conscious to eat in front of him:

One Peanut Butter Balance Bar: 200 calories

One snack bag of White Cheddar Cheez-its: About 250 calories

Ten Caramel Hershey Kisses: 230 calories

Half a dozen Goetze’s Caramel Cremes: 260 calories

My office is more a candy store than a place to conduct business. There is a candy dish that sits at the front desk next to a trim and fit woman who makes sure it is always full. God bless her. She allows herself one Hershey’s Kiss per day, if she’s been careful with her eating the rest of the day. I’d kill for her discipline.

The bowl is very small, however, so rather than emptying it out in one visit, I go straight to the source and take directly from the drawer where the big bags of it live. It’s the other junk drawer in my life. I do replenish what I take, but I don’t know why I bother putting new bags in there, because I’ll be taking it right out an hour later.

Somebody please help me! Would anyone consider being my food guardian angel? You’ll never see a better deal in your life because I’d pay you to do absolutely nothing.

You’d come to my office, pull up a chair and sit and stare at me so I don’t eat. I would occasionally talk to you, but we don’t have to speak if you don’t want. You can bring reading material if you like, or I’ll give you a laptop and you can watch a movie or surf the web. Popcorn and candy obviously prohibited.

It’s either this, or the junk drawer has to go. Do any of you have struggles with an abundance of goodies in your office? Have you ever suggested a moratorium on junk food and been successful?

No Man is An Island, Except in the Bathroom

Posted by Kathy on April 24th, 2008

toilet bowl Ahhh, bathroom issues at work. We either hear something we don’t want to hear, or see something we don’t want to see.

The two bathrooms nearest my office are single-use. You have to lock the door behind you because the only toilet inside has no privacy wall around it. The room has just the toilet, a chair, a sink and a trash can. And the toilet is at the farthest point from the door.

If you forget to lock the door, you’re in serious trouble. If someone comes in, unless you can cross the space-time continuum, there’s no way you can slam it shut before they see you.

Someone forgot to lock the door.

Here’s a run-down of the voice mail I got from a colleague who walked in on some poor sap.

Kath, the opposite of my worst fear happened to me. I walked in on a dude in the bathroom who didn’t lock the door. He was totally exposed, man. Just an island out there. He was an older dude. I don’t know who it was.

As I’m shuttin’ the door, I’m like “You gotta lock the door, dude!” He’s like “I know! I’m sorry!” Usually I’m scared I’m on the opposite end of that, totally prone! Dude. It was crazy. God! I have a 2:00 meeting. I gotta go. God!

When I met up with him later, he told me that in the split second he was witness to the horror, he could tell the guy was hunkered down for a long visit. He had the chair pulled up in front of the bowl and was reading! On the toilet! At work? The hell???

I will never understand why a man will take reading material into a bathroom at work, plan to stay a while, and forget to lock the door. Maybe he was so excited about the latest Wall Street Journal, locking the door slipped his mind?

When I use the ladies room, I probably check the lock four different times before I’m sure I’m safe. If someone walked in on me, I’d have to find a new job. I could never go back.

And let’s not forget there were two victims here. The obvious one, but also my colleague, whose eyes are still burning from the vision. No matter how brief the encounter, he’ll probably never forget it.

For the love of God, check the lock once, twice, three times if you have to. I’m not sure post-traumatic stress disorder is covered under my benefits plan.

Excuse Me, but That’s Not a Table

Posted by Kathy on April 22nd, 2008

needle Every few months, I go to my doctor to get an injection that must be administered at a ventrogluteal site. What’s a ventrogluteal site, you ask?

My big ‘ol smiling butt, that’s what.

I’ve gotten quite used to getting injections this way. It’s not painful at all, and subjects me to only a mild amount of embarrassment. Pants down. Inject. Band-aid. Pants up. Done.

Not the last time I went.

This time, I got Nurse Rached who was either in a terrible hurry to get me over with, or never got the instructions for making her patients feel comfortable in a vulnerable position, or both.

I got myself in position, leaning at roughly a 60 degree angle against the examination table. Pants down. Cheek in position. Knee bent. Ready.

I could hear Nurse Rached prepare the various paraphernalia necessary to give the injection.

Typically, the nurse will toss out the syringe plastic wrap, cotton ball and Band-aid behind her on a counter. Nurse Rached apparently felt it was too time-consuming to turn around and lay the items down behind her.

So she piled everything up in a heap on my butt. Yep, there I stood. Me and my ass table.

Plastic wrap. Check. Needle cap. Check. Syringe!!! Check. Used cotton ball. Check. Band-aid wrapper. Check. Got anything else you wanna throw on there? Your coffee cup? A phone, stapler and tape dispenser and you’ve got yourself an office.

Needless to say, I was mortified. Um, you almost done back there?

Listen, I don’t go around leaving garbage on her butt, so I’d really appreciate not getting her again for my next injection. Besides, I hope to lose 20 pounds by my next visit, so it’s possible there won’t be enough room for disposables.

Lady, check the nurse manual. I’m pretty sure it says exposed butts are embarrassing enough.

Not Even the Bunnies Can Make This Cute

Posted by Kathy on April 5th, 2008


The bunnies requested blindfolds, but were sadly denied.

Sorry, bunnies. I don’t like looking at me either.

Addendum: For full-frontal nerdage, see Poindexter in a Dress.

The Flop Heard Round the World

Posted by Kathy on March 23rd, 2008

high diveIf you’ve read my 10 Things I Don’t Have the Guts to Do post, you might assume I’ve left most scary things to the experts. That’s not entirely true. I have tried some fear-inducing things in the past. Some didn’t end so well, and that’s why they were a one-shot deal.

The High Dive from Hell

I was lucky as a kid to have a community pool only three blocks from my house. It was my home away from home most summers. For years I watched other kids jump off the high dive, marveled at their fearlessness and wished I could be like them.

I don’t remember the circumstances that led me one day to climb that ladder and patter down to the end of the board. I guess I wanted to say that I did it, even if it ended with me passing out or winding up in the ER.

With a throng of friends cheering me on below, I glanced at the water that, to me, appeared a mile away. Fear punched me in the face and I wished I’d left well enough alone.

I considered heading back down the way I came up, but I reasoned that my embarrassment would be worse than the fear of flying through the air. Besides, it always looked so fun when other people did it. All I had to do was step off the board and fall in! Weeeeeee!!!!

Oh, yeah, and I should have planned the flying-through-the-air part.

When I jumped off the board, I did so feet-first. As soon as I was airborne, I changed my mind and decided I’d like to do a head-first dive. Physicists and people with an IQ over 23 know that unless you’re a cat, you cannot change your body position while falling such a relatively short distance.

But I tried anyway and damn near killed myself in the process.

According to diving experts, “At the moment of take-off, two critical aspects of the dive are determined, and cannot subsequently be altered during the execution. One is the trajectory of the dive, and the other is the magnitude of the angular momentum.”

I landed with a lot of magnitude. Do you remember that earthquake in Pennsylvania in 1977? That was me.pike dive

Here’s what a normal pike dive looks like for someone who’s planning to open the pike and enter the water head-on, perfectly straight.

Look again. That’s exactly how I hit the water.

Pain ripped through me in ways I hadn’t known before, like a hundred little knives stabbing me in the gut. All the physical pain was localized to my abdomen, but the emotional pain was much worse.

Because I was under the water, I couldn’t see the looks on the spectators’ faces. But I imagined everyone wincing in unison, while clutching their own stomachs. That had to hurt, I’m sure they thought.

What little ego I had before going in was washed away as I surfaced from the Dive from Hell. To their credit, my friends didn’t laugh at me. Instead, they gathered around to make sure I was OK and hadn’t broken anything.

My ribs were fine, and so was my head, but I certainly had the wind knocked out of me. The only thing broken was my spirit. I never tried anything like that again in my life. But I did learn two important lessons. One, if your instinct tells you not to do something, listen to the voice. It usually knows when you’re about to be an idiot. And, two, I’m not a cat.


Humor-bloggers prefer the belly-flop.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Posted by Kathy on March 14th, 2008

I recently asked readers whether I should flesh out some post ideas I had knocking around in my head. The overwhelming majority voted for my 5th grade troll picture.

Prepare yourself

You may remember my instructions for what not to do with curly hair. This picture takes it a step further and shows what happens when you straighten it out and then promptly walk outside into 90% humidity.

I managed to achieve The Bad Hair Trifecta: Curly to frizzy to flat-headedness in under an hour. I don’t even know why I’m smiling. I look like my brother Michael, in his long hair days (no offense to my brother). In fact, it’s more an offense to him.

Even if the hair looked okay, look at that shirt! Where did I get these clothes? Granted, we’re talking late-70s, but still. I was never a fashion plate, and don’t profess to be one today, but you would think I could find something in my closet other than Trapezoidal Cowl Neck Polyester for a school picture. What was I thinking?

Mock away — if you’ve made it this far. If you can’t take it, please come back in a couple days and I’ll have something more pleasant to look at like puppies and cotton candy.

Note: I will NOT be offended if you mock me mercilessly. I deserve it if I’m going to showcase the best of the worst on this blog. I do it as much for my own enjoyment as yours. The fact is, I’m old enough to know that this part of my life is safely behind me and it’s a healthy thing to laugh at yourself, loudly and often. Enjoy!