Category Archives: Because I’m Kate

Oh no!

After a more than two-year break from this blog, my child is more self-sufficient, and I’ve grown accustomed to her poor sleep habits.  That is not the reason I’m writing today.  It’s because I have to make a comment on these kids who are skipping their bowl games.

They say it is to “focus on the NFL Draft” this April.  Okay.  Let’s call a spade a spade.  Just say you don’t want to get hurt.  I’m sure Willis McGahee will understand. 

Overall, I agree with Miami Head Coach Mark Richt, who calls it “sad.”  If nothing else, I think it’s a really (pardon my french) shitty thing to do to your teammates, university and fanbase. 

I don’t get how you sign a scholarship and get away with this crap. This is a slippery slope.  Sam Darnold, the stud redshirt freshman QB at USC, is an almost-guaranteed first-round draft pick once he is eligible.  Next year, can he say, “Hey Clay (Helton), I might get hurt vs. Washington and it will hurt my draft stock.  I’m sitting out.”

Playing in the bowl game is the right thing to do, but I can see the other side.  Coaches ditch their teams for greener pastures all the time, and an interim coaches the bowl game.  Nick Saban made a good point too when he said the bowl games are being devalued.  At least Willis was playing for a national title.  No player wants to blow out his knee at the Toilet Bowl.  I’m digressing,  but there are too many bowl games.  OMG.  Bowls used to be a privilege for teams that had outstanding seasons.   I think we have a 5-7 team in a bowl game this year.  5-7, 6-6, 7-5, and even 8-4 teams should not be in bowl games.  Having formerly worked in athletics, I understand the coaches want the extra practices but come on.

In Willis’ interview with TMZ, he mentioned that he’s played for four pro teams,  but his college team at The U is where his loyalty lies.  The reason the 2000-3 Miami teams were so great (besides sick talent) was that they believed in something bigger than themselves.  Now, it’s all about ME.  There is no loyalty anymore.  This is a result of society worshiping sixteen year olds on social media, among other things.  Ken Dorsey, Willis McGahee, Ed Reed, etc. were lucky not to have this problem.
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Sheldon

I am so excited for THE BIG BANG THEORY’s return to television tonight. It is probably my favorite showSheldon on TV, but I do feel it is ridiculous that the three lead actors are getting paid $1 million/episode, especially Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco.  While their characters are entertaining and have a big role on a show, they do not hold a candle to my buddy, Dr. Sheldon Cooper as portrayed by Jim Parsons.

Dr. Cooper is a theoretical physicist at Caltech (in this fictional show).  I love that Sheldon  has a genius level IQ but is extremely socially inept.  This guy isn’t just a nerd.  He is narcissistic and extremely inflexible.  My sister and I have always talked about how we would rather have common sense than book smarts, and this is exactly why.  It makes for great TV though.

One of my favorite things about Sheldon (besides that he is hilarious) is that he feels bound by a social contract.  While he takes this to an extreme with his “Roommate Agreement” with Leonard and relationship contract with Amy Farrah Fowler, I do believe in a certain protocol for dealing with people.  For example, Sheldon dislikes gifts because he feels he owes the gift-giver a debt.  While I enjoy gifts, I do understand his point.

I honestly don’t think this show could exist without Jim Parsons.  Perhaps the other two leads, but not him.  Not only has he won four Emmy awards for his portrayal, but the show’s plot centers around his awkward interactions.

This is incredibly nerdy, but I do own a “Bazinga!” t-shirt I wear in honor of my favorite geek.  I’m not crazy, my mother had me tested!

Other Favorite Sheldon Quotes:

(knock x 3) Penny! (knock x 3) Penny! (kn0ck x 3) Penny!

There’s no reason to cry.  One cries because one is sad.  For example, I cry because others are stupid, and it makes me sad.

On the contrary.  I found the Grinch to be a relatable, engaging character, and I was really with him right up to the point that he succumbed to social convention and returned the presents and saved Christmas.  What a buzz kill that was!

 

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Thank You

It has been said that I am “entitled” having grown up in an upper-class suburb of Detroit with parents who would do anything for me. While I did have a privileged childhood (and still live a great life), my parents instilled good manners and taught me to be grateful for what I had. If someone holds the door for me, I say “thank you.” I thank the bus driver every morning he drops me off at my stop. I think my husband for getting the trash together. I thank the work study students in my office for their assistance. Heck, I thank everybody who writes me happy birthday on facebook. You get the picture.

This “habit” started at an early age when my mom had me start writing thank you notes for birthday and Christmas gifts. It is a habit I continue to this day. In addition to writing notes for gifts, I also writing notes when somebody does something kind for me, such as a favor or inviting me over to her house for dinner.

I have often been asked why I do this and have been told that it is excessive. I do this because I don’t feel that other people have an obligation to buy me gifts or do nice things for me. To be honest, if someone makes an effort to send me a gift, I feel that is a poor reflection on me if I do not at least say “thank you.” The excuse nowadays is “I’m so busy.” Well, guess what? The gift-giver is probably busy, too. If he or she found the time to think of you, buy a gift, wrap it or make you a meal, you can find five minutes (or less) to write a thank you note. While I believe a hand-written note is the best, in this digital age you can at least write an email!

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All These Years, They’ve Been Looking for a Baby

Growing up, most kids my age probably idolized Big Bird or Kermit the Frog – something cute and nice.  When we got older, it was probably Ariel from The Little Mermaid or Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Not me.

ImageWhen I was three, my mom said she would let me watch Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty but warned me that the witch was scary.  I watched what I consider the most beautiful animated classic of all time, and it turns out Maleficent didn’t frighten me at all.  She is easily my favorite Disney character.  I had her on birthday cakes, dressed up like her for Halloween, and was her in my 5th grade play.  To this day, I admire her cool elegance and calculating behavior – she isn’t a hothead like Cruella De Vil and certainly has more depth than the Evil Queen.  I also find her subtly hilarious and gorgeous. She is the master of the sideways glance, just like yours truly. I often feel as if I am surrounded by fools, too. While Maleficent is super-evil, she is also very polite, which is something I can appreciate. She’s a classy broad. Like the Mistress of All Evil, I also didn’t get invited to the coolest parties, although I guess I got over it a little better than she did. To top it off, she has a pet raven named Diablo. That is freaking awesome!

ImageI was super excited for the movie, Maleficent, to come out last Friday.  Like Star Wars nerds do, I wore my Maleficent t-shirt and hot pink leggings.  My dad says I was one step away from Comic-Con.

Angelina Jolie was the perfect choice for the role, if anybody could do her justice on screen.  Funny side note:  When Eric I were in London in 2012, we actually ran into Angelina and Brad at the National Portrait Gallery right before filming for this movie commenced.  We stood right next to them.

As for the film, I was entertained but ultimately disappointed. My whole issue is that I don’t think we needed a film on why Maleficent “became evil.” To be honest, the whole back-story is kind of weak. I was always down with the idea that she is just an evil lady and you better not screw with her. Like in society, we need to stop trying to rationalize evil and just accept that there are some bad people in the world. Ultimately, I should have known better.

First, the positive: Angelina was great within the confines of the role. Nobody could look the part quite like her, and she did a great job with the speech pattern. I loved her evil smile and brilliant white teeth. The shape-shifting raven character was interesting and added something to the film as well.

Now, onto the letdown. The screenwriters strayed far away from the original Sleeping Beauty story. This was a revisionist account that ultimately has Maleficent as the “hero.” Huh? Her name is Maleficent – look it up in the dictionary. First, I did not need the “young Maleficent” scenes. It would have been more satisfying to me if Satan had sent her up from Hell to wreak havoc on the world. Early in the film, there is a pointless Lord of the Rings-style battle sequence – don’t waste my time.

The actor playing King Stefan, the film’s main villain (ironic), is horribly miscast. I can’t beat around the bush; he’s horrendous. The three fairies charged with protecting Princess Aurora from Maleficent’s evil curse are complete nitwits. Seriously, there were the most annoying characters I’ve ever seen in a film (including Jar Jar Binks), and I don’t know why Disney let this happen. They made Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather look like they’re in Mensa. I wish Maleficent had zapped them with her staff. The 1959 character would have done so. Because of the fairies ineptitued, Maleficent assumes a “mother” role to young Aurora and grows to love her. She even tries to undo the curse.

As expected, Aurora succumbs to the curse but is in “deathlike sleep” for five minutes, tops. I cannot believe how easily this whole situation gets resolved. Prince Phillip only has a cameo at this point, and it’s not his kiss that awakens Aurora. The ending is just tied up too neatly. Without giving anything away, let’s just say everybody has a happy ending.

To add to my suffering, I hate Lana Del Ray’s droning, unmelodious rendition of Once Upon A Dream. The original version was the theme song at our wedding six years ago (I guess Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz, if you want to get technical).

Bottom line: This is not the “now you shall deal with me, oh prince, and all the powers of Hell” Maleficent from 1959. Only in the christening scene is she the Maleficent I know and love. People who love Maleficent don’t want to see a movie where she is soft almost the entire time. On the other hand, people who do not know Maleficent in the way I do (like she’s a real person), might enjoy the story.

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Do-Rite Donuts

My sister is a girl after my own heart.  For her birthday, she would rather have a “doughnut crawl” than a bar crawl.  And she lives in a great city for it.  Chicago is home to some of the best, if not the best, doughnuts in the country.  People in my neck of the woods think a certain local bakery in Durham has wonderful doughnuts.  This makes me sad for they in fact have never had a delicious doughnut.  Chicago doughnuts put ours to shame.  To be honest, I think Dunkin’ Donuts is the best we’ve got.

Chicago has several high-end doughnut shops.  There is Glazed & Infused, Doughnut Vault, and Firecakes Donuts, to name a few.  I truly enjoy Glazed and Infused (located in the Raffaello Hotel), but my personal favorite is Do-Rite Donuts.  

Whenever I am in Chicago, we take a Saturday morning stroll to Randolph Street to pick up some of the most delicious doughnuts in the world.  We swear all the walking burns off the calories.  The place is kind of a hole-in-the-wall, and can only fit about five people inside at a time to order.

They have some of the novel flavors like candied maple bacon (not my cup of tea) and carrot cake, to name a few.  As a chocoholic, I really enjoy the double chocolate old-fashioned.  Our family’s personal favorite is the Valrhona Chocolate, pictured below.  Just look at the extra dollop of chocolate.

 ImageMy sister told me that they are going to be opening a second location closer to her apartment.  While that is exciting, I’m almost scared that it will make it too easy for us to get doughnuts.  I could seriously inhale these things.  So, the next time you are in the Windy City, I suggest that you check out the various doughnut establishments if you can afford to spare some calories (or even if you can’t).  If you have time for only one, go to Do-Rite

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May 19th

If I could meet any person, living or dead, it would be Anne Boleyn.  I have been fascinated with her since I was about ten years old.  We all know how her tragedy ends.  Today is the anniversary of Anne’s execution, and I would like to write about one, specific trait I find so fascinating about her.

“What His Majesty is denied, he go half-mad to obtain.  What he gets freely, he despises.” – Thomas Boleyn (Anne’s father), Anne of the Thousand Days

ImageWhile the above quote if fiction, from my favorite movie of all time, its sentiment rings true in the way Anne conducted her courtship with the king.  Her sister, Mary, was definitely Henry VIII’s mistress, and her mother may have been, too.  In fact, Mary had a reputation for loose morals, established in the French court as a girl.  When Mary became pregnant, potentially with the king’s illegitimate child, she was discarded and of “no further use.” 

Anne saw the foolishness in her sister’s ways.  She was not going to let her family live off “prostituting” herself to the king.  Back in this time women didn’t have a lot of control over their lives; Anne was going to be forced to court the king.  If she was going to do so, she might as well get something out of it.  So, for seven years, she led Great Harry on a chase until she had her prize – Queen of England.  She refused his gifts.  She did not submit to his sexual advances.  She embarrassed and confused the King of England, who believe his power was absolute and his will divine.  While I believe Anne ultimately grew to love Henry, if she had not been made queen, she would have bailed before sacrificing her virtue.

It is ironic that Anne was called “the great whore” as she was hardly thus.  She clung to her honor when other women would have easily given it away.

For me, Anne was definitely a role model in the way I conducted myself with the opposite sex as a teenager and young woman.  You can be vivacious while still keeping an air of mystery.  While I don’t believe you should play love games, I also believe it is important to protect your honor.  As the saying goes, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?  Don’t sell yourself cheaply.  Don’t sell yourself at all.

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TBT – Happy Halloween

TBT - Happy Halloween

An early Halloween together….Me as ’80s Princess Barbie and Eric as my dashing Ken!

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October 31, 2013 · 12:24 pm