Category Archives: Rants

Horrors.

This afternoon, I realized that I only had four cans of La Croix left.

Debacle.

I gave up Diet Coke on October 29, 2009 and from time to time I have a sparkling water craving I am compelled to indulge.

So, after dinner with the ladies, I popped on over to Cub to grab another 12 pack.  Because who wants to go to the grocery store after work?  Not me.

This was a good idea.

Until after five minutes of pacing up and down the “drinks” aisle, despairing over an apparent lack of a water aisle (if it was a snake it would have bitten me), I found myself in the terrifying position of needing to call Marcus to locate something in the grocery store.

I KNOW.

I Kat, protector of the domestic realm, found myself in the position of being unable to locate something in the grocery store.

It was terrifying.  And, blessedly, as Marcus picked up the phone the La Croix revealed itself to me.

My clean record remains intact.  The balance of our relationship, intact.

That was (crosses self) a close call.

On an unrelated note, while I was running some errands a few weeks ago, I grabbed some Garnier Fructis Body Boost (I’m a regular user  of the Triple Nutrition) because I was running low on things for The Mane.  How uninteresting, right?

I was extremely enthusiastic about it until I started using it and discovered that it turned my hair into not stick-straight but not textured sort-of fluffy straw.

It Was Awful.

A week of living in the special and as-of-yet unmentioned circle of hell known as Mediocre Hair was nothing short of a nightmare.

It should come as no surprise that today, after being disappointed once more (despite deep conditioning) it went into the bin, never to be seen again.

Tomorrow is A New Day.

Have you had any awful hair experiences?

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Channeling Prancer

The winter solstice.

The shortest day.

Surrounded by the longest night.

At some point in the past week, I decided that it would be fun to run into the sunset on December 21st.  Long story short, I think I was envisioning some kind of romantic, Northern Exposure situation.

What I actually experienced was A Day In The Life Of Prancer.  Truly, the only thing I felt was really missing from today’s run were the sleigh bells.  You know, because the flurries weren’t enough.

I know that I should be counting my blessings on the snow-front.  Last year we got 86.6 inches of snow.  For context, that’s 7.2 feet.  Of snow.

A not-so-insignificant amount of snow that drove me to buy a jacket for outdoor running and then another fleece-lined shell so that I would be able to fend-off The Elements.

As it turns out, the amount of snow we have on the ground right now is negligible.  I still haven’t touched that shell yet.  And at this point, I’m really hoping that Man-Caused Climate Change will just keep on doing what it does best so that I won’t have to.

I’m totally into this whole Mild Winter thing.

In other news, it’s time for my rant of the week.  No, this isn’t a new blog feature.  I’m just fussed.

On December 13th, Comcast dropped ExerciseTV from their OnDemand line-up and replaced it with another line of fitness-oriented videos.

I’m sure there’s something in it for them.  But for the rest of the group?  It’s absolutely horrible.

Instead of Maura and Chris and some chick from YogaWorks whose name I never really knew joining me for my morning practice, I now have John Vitarelli.

And let me tell you about John.

He’s a dude.  So I can’t admire his cute outfits.

He’s not an attractive dude.  So I can’t admire him, either.

His poses are really not confined-space friendly.

He’s doesn’t give you modifications.  For anything.

Some of his moves?  Are extremely exotic.  As in, I have never seen anything even remotely like them in pictures or in other yoga videos.

And when I did his Yoga for Athletes (which sounded like a really good idea at the time), I ended up with shooting pains in my hips.

For clarification: Shooting pains in my hips.

In all of my basement yoga-practicing, I have NEVER walked back upstairs with shooting pains.

I just don’t think that is how it’s supposed to be.

So this is where we part ways.

I finally caved tonight and ordered the three yoga DVDs that I loved the most from the Old Regime.  Because we all know that if you don’t enjoy your workouts, you’re not going to make them happen.

And the last month has really driven home how much I actually need  yoga.  Not because it centers me (it leaves me more stressed-out), but because it helps me to tone.  It stretches me out.  It gives me some great core muscles.  It gives me the chance to focus on my arms without having to do prolific amounts of push-ups or working with weights.

So right now, even though there’s no Operation: Bikini Bod in sight (we do have winter vacation plans, they’re just not quite ready for their big reveal yet!),  I need to stick with it.

Have you ever ordered fitness DVDs online?  Which ones do you love?

p.s. If you’re still looking for Hanukkah/Christmas gifts for people who want to get active, give the gift of a 5k Running Clinic at the Uptown Running Room!

7. Take a Gun Safety Class

Preface: This post is about my traumatic (at best) foray into the world of weaponry.  I really don’t “get” the handgun thing.  I don’t think that I ever will.  But if you’re someone who hunts animals, please know that I get that.  It has a purpose.  At the end of the season you end up with a freezer stocked with venison sausage and a jar full of jerky.  This post is not about that kind of thing.

Oh man, kittens.

Gun safety.

Last Christmas, Santa gave Mom, Marcus and I gift certificates for a gun safety class at the local gun shop/shooting range (Dad and Billy are practiced shooters).  Since Christmas 2011 is less than a month away, it was definitely time to use them.

So what better way to use part of a long holiday weekend than to cross another goal off the list?

Mom insisted that we get to the location 15 minutes before it opened to make sure that we would all be on-time.  What that really meant is that we had 15 minutes to survey our fellow range-goers.  That also gave me 15 minutes to think about whether or not I was really comfortable knowing that some of these people were legally able to brandish weapons.

Answer: No.  Not comfortable.

This was also the point in time where I realized that for the price of our class fees, I could have had a very nice Coach purse.

Not okay in my book.

As the store opened, we filed into the entry way and our instructor lead us back to our classroom.  We were greeted by PowerPoint slides, plastic guns, bullet casings and donuts.  There’s probably a bad joke in there somewhere, but I just don’t have time to search for it right now.

At the beginning of the class, we were invited to go around the room and share why we were there.

Most answers were mundane.  But one classmate was a real treasure.

You see, Classmate indicated that he was taking the course so that he could open up a gun shop in Peru.

From there, he asked the instructor about Silencers (super-illegal) which somehow disintegrated into a lecture about the black market (also illegal) and people who smoke bath salts.

I think y’all are quickly coming to realize that this place was just not my scene.

Or as some girlfriends of mine would describe it, these people just were not a part of my tribe.

After that extremely surreal bizarre discussion, our instructor segued into telling us all about how shooting on the range is The Greatest stress reliever and how much fun you can have.

Since I don’t feel that it’s appropriate to pass judgement without offering up alternatives, I made a list of things that I find to be effective stress relievers and things that I find to be fantastically fun.

Behold.

Kat’s Stress Relievers

  • Running
  • Blogging
  • Dancing
  • Yoga
  • Tanning
  • Head massages
  • Tiffany Blue
  • Being surrounded by sterling silver
  • Laying in bed with my hot pack
  • Dealing with my mitts and paws

Things That Kat Finds to be Fantastically Fun

  • Crossing the finish line of a race
  • Triumphing in the kitchen
  • Drinking champagne
  • Traveling
  • Kissing
  • Finding adorable things in my size on the sale rack
  • Visiting active volcanoes
  • Dealing with my mitts and paws

Handguns?  Not relaxing.  Not fun.  I don’t think that something that is specifically designed to take the life of another should be seen as such.

As we were wrapping up one of our bathroom breaks, I came back into the classroom to find our instructor regaling half the class with an engaging tale about someone who owned 60 (!) guns.

Just wow.

And then That Classmate Who Wants To Open A Peruvian Gun Store made his comeback with some questions about when he could gun people down.  Like…if someone was in his house, would it be okay then?  What if they were taking his TV?  What about if he was driving in a car?  What if someone standing 50 feet away wasn’t far enough away?

Um.

No.

After three hours of this insanity intermingled with lessons about bullets and the parts of a gun, we headed out to the range.

So there we are, on the private range, being serenaded by the hellishly rhythmic blast of someone wielding an automatic weapon in the next range over.  Mom is busy trying to put her target on the clips upside-down (just in-case she is being attacked by someone who is coming at her upside-down) and I can’t even unload the damn gun, much less unlock it to shoot it.

We got in, we got out.

The finished product.

When I think of the things in this one life of mine that I have been Called to do, I am absolutely positive that this is not it.

Have you ever taken a gun safety class?

Despite the fact that it was horrible (or as Mom described it, The Dementor to Her Soul and a -47 on a scale of 1-10), I would say unequivocally that everyone should attend one.  It’s not information that I will ever use again, but it is information that everyone should have.

What do you find to be relaxing/fantastically fun?

The Unthinkable

Confession: Tonight, I am a terrible person.

Once upon a time, Earlier this week, Marcus and I discussed going out for dinner.  I had promised him that after weeks of making other (more important) plans we could go to Chimborazo, and we had a few errands to run.

So simple.

It was supposed to be relaxing.  Fun.  The first of many weeknight dates that we can now have c/o my new schedule.

Right?  I love that idea too.

The reality?

There was one waiter.  I watched our appetizer sit under the warmer for 10 minutes.  He didn’t bring out the requisite green sauce for our entrees until we were forced to ask five minutes later (which at this place was basically the same as not offering BBQ sauce at a rib joint).  He offered Marcus a second beer after he had finished his meal.

Fine.  Manageable.  I’m usually fairly flexible when it comes to service, because I get that there are places you go for service and then there are places you go for food.

Life goes on.

But then things became unmanageable.

Seated to our right was a young couple with an infant.  Happily feasting away.  I didn’t even see the little one until we had been there for twenty minutes.  I know.  I was impressed that they were embracing date night and getting out of the house so soon…I tried to figure out if I would have the guts to do the same.

That was that.

To our left?

MAYHEM.

I completely understand that sometimes the little pups have off-days.  That they get tired.  That some ages are more “energetic” than others.  That some ages are more compatible with public spaces than others.

When I’m at the grocery store, I try to flash Stressed Out Mom a nice smile and do the shoulder shrug.  Make way for her in the aisle.   Steer my cart out of her children’s path so that they can make a clear run for the money.  Because someday I hope that someone will do that for me.

I like to think that it keeps the karmic balance in-order.

But using a small restaurant as a playground to run-down your collective six children (ages 4-8) who are shrieking at the top of their lungs/physically running around the entire restaurant,  while you have a group date, is completely unacceptable.

Not only are your children being naughty, but you are a bad parent for enabling this behavior.

As Marcus and I walked out of the restaurant (after I swore up and down that I will NEVER go back), I said what should probably be unthinkable.

I hope that every single one of those children wets the bed tonight or projectile vomits over something those parents love.

I know.  How dark.  I don’t even know where I found the words inside me, but suddenly we were standing on the sidewalk where I was nearly in tears out of sheer frustration and they just spilled out.

Retrospectively, I’m sure that these words condemn me to one of the circles of parenting hell.

But the moment after those words left my mouth?  Actually felt quite cathartic.

What is the worst behavior you’ve ever seen out of a parent in a public area?  A child?

Do you do anything to try and make life easier/less stressful for parents when it’s apparent that they’re so desperately trying to hold the situation (and themselves) together?

A Mixed Bag

Well kittens, I’m just thrilled to report that we’re still living in the Stone Age here in the great state of Minnesota.

We’re on Day God-Only-Knows of the shutdown and now all sorts of Really Atrocious Things are happening.  The state parks are being vandalized, you can’t buy any lottery tickets and no one is drinking Miller because MillerCoors’ brand license expired in our state.

Fail.

Apparently, we’re not meant to be worried unless the Anheuser-Busch license goes out as well.  But that would be in October.

Wait…what?

OCTOBER?!

We will be living in a world of hurt if the state government is shutdown until October.

In more superficial news, do you just love square plates?

Me too.

Marcus despises them, but while we were registering, I added four of them.  Just because.  It’s good for a change of scenery sometimes, and for whatever reason, I just think that eating off of them makes everything look slightly more thought-out.

Hell, I think that about our everyday-plates too.  This whole white plate-thing might just be a Kat-specific disorder.

And in my whirlwind of to-do listing and productivity, I finally bit the bullet and ordered a myAgenda.

I know.  I KNOW.  I spent ages debating it last year and ended up buying a Lilly planner, which was ultimately the wrong decision.  It simply couldn’t stand up to the battering it took in my purse.  After spending a year wrangling post-it notes and to-do lists all over the place, I decided that it was time to consolidate.

I did think to save the rather festive set of stickers that came with my old planner though.  I thought they’d add a nice touch.

More is more.

And, to top it off (because things are never boring ’round these parts) I finally made my magazine selections for the next year.  Marcus and I got gifted a subscription of bon appetit as a bridal shower gift, so we don’t have to worry about renewing that.  What I’ve come to realize I can’t live without are my subscriptions to W, Vanity Fair, and Vogue.

Since I cut ELLE from the team (it was contrived), I want to subscribe to some sort of home-y magazine as well.  You know, to jump-start that DIY-organizational spirit of mine.  BUT, I’m not sure which one…Real SimpleBetter Homes & GardensMartha Stewart LivingHouse Beautiful?

What’s the best magazine you’ve ever subscribed to?  The worst?

What shape of plate do you prefer?

I really do enjoy a circular plate with a lip for everyday, but the square does add such a fun dash of novelty!

How do you manage your schedule – with a physical planner?  Via Google Calendars?

No, Hip America, no.

Tomorrow, we’ll be live from Minneapolis! 

Until then, our last guest post is brought to you by Jillian.  I’ve known her since high school and when our families went on spring break together senior year, and her dad ended wearing my Dad’s swim trunks because the airline lost like half of their luggage, we were pretty much Bonded.

-Kat

As a regular reader of Tenaciously Yours, I’ve seen Kat blog frequently about both food and trends.  Well, I would like to say a little something about food trends.  I am usually fully on board with food trends, because they mean that I get to pay way too much for something that I used to make at home but now can eat in a boutique-y environment, and it suddenly tastes so much better.

Exhibit A:  Frozen Yogurt.

When I lived in Chicago, I couldn’t walk more than two blocks before I could enter another brightly lit beacon of yogurt-y goodness.  The flavors, the berries, the cereal (eating Cap’n Crunch Berries on top of other foods doesn’t have to be done in privacy anymore!), the endless combinations!  And all under the guise of “it’s good (or not that terribly awful) for you!”  For Midwesterners like me, it was a promise that once I left this shop, fro yo in hand, I would instantly be rollerblading in Santa Monica in a bikini top.  Never actually happened, but you know.

Exhibit B:  Cupcakes.

I get this too.  The flavors!  The frostings!  The clever names!  The lack of commitment to eating a whole cake!  I don’t, however, get the cupcake reality shows.  And I’m a person who gets the wedding cake shows, or just the plain old cake shows.  With a cupcake, you make it and you frost it.  There are no motors, no cracking fondant, where’s the drama?  But this will certainly not stop me from hoovering as many cupcakes as I can with names like “Razz-Ma-Tazz” and “Chocolate Monster Bite”.

But a few months ago, while in the “trendy” area of Seattle, I asked a friend where the nearest cupcake shop was.  To my surprise, he replied, “Cupcakes are so over.  It’s all about pie now.”  Exhibit C as pie?!  PIE?!  The fruity, delightful pastry my grandmother has already perfected?  No, Hip America, no.  It will take a lot to convince me that eating pie in a starkly decorated boutique will evoke the same comfort that I get from eating pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, or smelling a freshly baked pie crust coming out of the oven.

[Minnesotan Disclaimer:  This criticism in no way applies to Betty’s Pies.]

Pie eating is already an experience, and it’s kind of personal.  We all eat pies made by our grandmothers, our moms, other extraneous matriarchal figures.  Wouldn’t you feel strange eating some company’s pies?  Almost like a betrayal?  Seattle, being known as the center of hipster-ism, may never elaborate on pie as the next great food trend, but I warn you all.  There are food trends, and then there are American institutions.  Choose your patronage wisely.

This is my official stance until you walk by some pie boutique in Uptown months from now and see me inside with a big slice of cherry cream pie…

What food trends do you love?  Hate?

I’m pretty sure that I’ll be a cupcake-lover for life.  And as we all know, when I’m in a Fro Yo mecca, I’m sometimes given to eating it more than once a day.  But whoopie pies and red velvet-anything have completely eluded me.

What’s your favorite flavor of pie?

I know the first flavor I can remember eating (at Betty’s!) was Blueberry.  But I’m also very much A Fan of Raspberry, Cherry, French Silk and Lemon Meringue.  Why have boundaries, right?

Taking the Bad With the Good

Happy Saturday, kittens!  I’ve been living and loving the weekend with a latte in-hand (I was Daring and went for a medium).  And truly, I’ve been enjoying some of The Most Excellent Hair I’ve had in a long while.

When Excellent Hair happens, it has to be Acknowledged.  If that’s not God’s Truth, I don’t know what is.

In other weekend news, I finally got the With Muscles tank I won via Ann’s giveaway!

So I thought that it would probably be a bit of fun to take it for a run this morning.

The finished product…

Little Known Fact: This is only the second time EVER (since I started running in January 2010) that I've run with shorts on.

And maybe this sounds a bit vain/missing-the-point, but I LOVED that the tank was a bit longer on me.  I should like to be able to give the illusion that my torso is longer than it actually is, even when competing in feats of strength.

The life of a Fashionista stops for nothing.

Plus new workout clothes =  a nice way to celebrate.  This morning?  Was my last “long run” before next weekend’s half marathon.

In the past seven weeks, I have run 246 miles.

And in the next week, I’ll tack on another 20 or so and call it good.

Training for a half marathon this time?  Has been REALLY different.  I’ve been lucky to have a lot(!) of really great long runs.  I’ve been lucky to avoid injury.  I’ve managed not to put on any race weight.

But today’s run?  Was only seven miles.  And it DRAGGED.  And it was ENDLESS.  And it was BORING.

Which got me to thinking.

(And we all know how dangerous THAT is.)

If I had a dollar for every blog post I read in the last month in which people dissected the absolutely shiteous run they had (the Internet has been on A Roll), and how it was just the most demoralizing thing ever, I would basically be the richest girl on the face of the planet.

If I wrote a blog post every time I had a hellacious run, my readership?  Would be gone.  With the wind.

Yes, this is the part of the show where I dole out some tough love.

Reality Check: Running is HARD.

Yes, there are A LOT of days where there’s no better feeling than coming home, tying my shoes and just hucking along as the sun drops in the sky and the evening birds chirp.  Running is joy.

Okay, so given that my iPod is blasting at max volume while I’m out, the evening birds thing might have been a bit of a creative liberty.  We continue.

But there are also days where running is time-consuming, painful and distracting.  Where I never leave my body, my leg cramps and my breathing doesn’t fall into place.

I mean, think about it for a second.  You’re flinging over a hundred pounds of meat at the pavement ~9,000-10,000 times over the course of an hour.

There are nights where I come home and spend inappropriate amounts of time hot-packing before bedtime, trying to figure out if my joints are sore because I’m not eating enough protein or if I’ve been secretly running off my stride.

But it’s all part of the deal.

And if there’s anything I’ve learned from running, it’s that things?  Feelings?  Circumstances?  Are FAR more fluid than we give them credit for.  Given that I’m a set-in-stone-type of girl, there was absolutely nothing more astonishing than the fact that in most cases, if you give something one, two, five, 10, 15 minutes, it will iron itself out and you’ll be able to move on.

And luckily for almost all of us, the good runs we have FAR outnumber the bad.

Runners: How do you deal with bad runs?

What are your Easter plans, kittens?

I am actually off to color eggs as we speak!