Monthly Archives: March 2009

The parade is over

Posted by Katie on March 26, 2009
Chicago / 1 Comment

Must a few underage drunks assault the cops and ruin the party for everyone?

This is a sad day for Chicago.

#21 – Done

Posted by Katie on March 24, 2009
101 in 1001 / 4 Comments

#21 – Learn how to play a video game.

My sister, Amy, uses Twitter to share moments of her life with the world.  Last night, after a very casual and exceptionally friendly game of Mario Kart Wii with a good group of friends online that included Amy and her husband, this is the “tweet” that I found…

“I don’t know how my sister Katie got so good at Mario Kart so quickly, but I don’t like it one bit!”

I think this comment marks the point at which I reached my goal of learning how to play a video game.  There are still levels for me to master in Mario Kart and things to unlock, but my goal was not to completely win a game, it was just to learn how to play.

You may ask, “Why, Katie, are your goals in life so high?”

The reason that I originally put this goal on my 101 in 1001 list was, believe it or not, not to frustrate my sister, but to share a hobby with Dave.

The few times that I played video games as a kid all resulted in crushing humiliation at friends’ houses because I could never ever get poor little Mario past the very first level of that stupid original Super Mario Brothers game.  Shameful.  Anyhow, as an adult, I simply never had an interest in playing.  My husband, however, finds video games to be a great source of “entertainment and stress relief”.  His “preferred method of both” he would tell you.  I was willing to give it a shot.

Mario Kart Wii was a fairly easy game to get involved in.  You turn a steering wheel the same way you do in real life, pushing a few buttons for gas and brakes.  You race against cartoon characters.  And slap-stick merciless brutality with cartoon weapons is the only true way to victory.   It turns out that it is a lot of fun to play.

While I will not be winning video game championships anytime soon, Dave and I can now share time playing Mario Kart together.  Being able to beat my family online is just an added benefit.

Rematch Amy?

Old

Posted by Katie on March 23, 2009
Birthdays / 9 Comments

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“Old” by Paul Simon

I celebrated my 31’st birthday last week.

Only a few very short years ago I would have counted a birthday a true success if it was celebrated with lots of friends and family, a few people I had never met before nor have seen since, prerequisite St. Patrick’s Day green on everyone invited to the party, lots of loud music and a smashing lot of Irish quality drinking.  I am being honest, here.  I did get to ride on a float in the Chicago South Side St. Patrick’s Day parade, you know?

This year was celebrated with a quiet evening out with Dave.  We had a wonderful preview of spring on my birthday.  And I couldn’t wait to spend a nice night out with my husband.

So, this is the 30’s, huh?  Celebrating good weather and a chance to talk with your spouse over a fancy dinner?  It’s pretty great actually.

I remember a few naysayers mentioning that in high school and college I should enjoy things while they lasted because “these are the best days of your life”.  Not so, my friends, not so.  The truth is that I am happier now than I ever remember being.  These days of being 30+ are pretty damn good so far.

Galen & Jess’ party

Posted by Katie on March 16, 2009
Family & Friends / 3 Comments

Ok, these pictures may give you some insight into exactly how much fun was had at the reception.

Congratulations guys and all the very best wishes for your life together!

Galen & Jess’ wedding

Posted by Katie on March 16, 2009
Family & Friends, Piano / 1 Comment

Did I mention that my husband plays the piano?

Dave played the music for the wedding ceremony of his cousin Galen and his lovely bride Jess last Friday.  I am very proud of Dave.

The wedding was a wonderful time.  Spending time with Dave’s family was great.  I only wish that I had a picture of the bride and groom to share, but the pictures that I have do not do any justice to how happy Galen and Jess were, how yummy the food was, how great the company was or exactly how much fun was had at the reception.

Sisterly visit

Posted by Katie on March 10, 2009
Family & Friends / 2 Comments

Shrimp

My sister Maggie is visiting us this week, as she is on Spring Break from Ball State.

Maggie got to experience Nia with me tonight.  There was a lot of free dancing and we imagined we were angels.  It was awesome.  At the end of the class, the Nia instructor said, “Katie, I think I freaked your sister out.”  I think she did too.  It might be a while before I can get Maggie back to another Nia class.

But she cooked us dinner tonight, which automatically extends an invitation for her to visit us again!

I am very proud to say that Maggie was recently offered an RA position in the dorms at Ball State next year.  This job comes with a lot of responsibilities and perks.  All she has to do to earn free room and board is keep sixty college girls sober and not pregnant for a full school year.  Good luck kid!

Bag of Bones

Posted by Katie on March 07, 2009
Books / No Comments

Dave and I were reading our separate books the other night…

“How’s your Stephen King book?”

“Good.”

“Did the ghost eat anybody yet?”

“No.  But the ghost did save the main character’s life.”

“What?”

“Oh, and the ghost moves the magnets on the refrigerator around.”

“That’s disappointing.  When did Stephen King write a book called Casper the Friendly Ghost?  You should get your money back.”

I had a craving for a scary book last weekend, so I picked up Stephen King’s Bag of Bones at the bookstore.  I had not read one of his books since the early 90’s when, as a teenager, I found his work to be the perfect rebellious combination of swear words, sex and paranormal activity.  I remembered enjoying the scary stories, but I had forgotten how much I enjoy King’s witting style.

A classic literary masterpiece, this book is not.  It is, however, a decent scary story with strong character development.  King is always a good story teller and creates very vivid and complex characters.  He is also good at weaving together multiple themes and story lines, without leaving out any of the important details.

The story revolves around Michael Noonan, a best-selling author from Maine whose wife dies suddenly in the beginning of the book.  Mike falls into a serious case of writer’s block after his wife’s death, and has a series of scary dreams about his wife and their vacation home.  Mike returns to their vacation home to face his fears, and discovers that his wife was keeping secrets from him before her death.  Did she know about the ghosts?  While at the vacation home, Mike saves the life of a small neighbor girl, Kyra Devore, who was walking down the middle of the road while running away to the beach.  Mike starts to fall in love with Kyra’s mother, a young widow, and becomes subsequently involved in a custody battle for the child against the wealthy and powerful grandfather, Max Devore.  The story is a combination of love story, tragedy and ghost story (of course!) with a strong focus on memory, both personal memory and the collective memory of the community.

Shockingly, the internet seems to contradict itself on this matter, but the movie version of Bag of Bones is either in “pre-production” or “production”.

The book satisfied my craving for a good scary story, and rekindled my interest in King’s writing.  It does not warrant the title of Casper the Friendly Ghost, as the ghost story involves much more than refrigerator magnets that are moved around, I promise!

Another of King’s book that I started to read as a teenager but did not finish is the 700+ page classic, Needful Things.  I think I will go back and read it sometime soon.

Blog writer’s block

Posted by Katie on March 05, 2009
Blog, Daily Life, Family & Friends / 7 Comments

Life is moving along as usual.  “Usual” usually equals crazy, frenetic and hectic in my world.  You would think that with the usual pace of things I would have at least one witty, funny or quirky post for the blog.  It seems that I do not. 

We went to Dave’s grandfather’s funeral last week.  I wish I had had the opportunity to meet him while he was alive, as he certainly set a healthy and holy example of how to live to his family.  Apparently he wrote his own memoirs several years back, and I look forward to reading them. 

It was great to see old pictures from Dave’s family, and hear old stories.  I know a lot of things about my side of the family, and have seen many pictures over the years, but don’t really know much about Dave’s ancestors.  I would love to learn more. 

We visited with family at the funeral and I got to play with my favorite baby pickles.  My niece Miriam asked, “When you get pregnant, will you be happy to quit your job?”  Oh, you kids say the darnedest things!

Dave’s parents visited us for two nights during the last week, as they were traveling back and forth from the funeral.  It was wonderful to visit with them, as we do not often get the chance.  They didn’t even seem to notice the smell of bleach and Windex, as we had frantically cleaned the place and shoved mounds of dirty laundry into closets the day before they came.

Two weeks ago I bragged to Dave about how I had not gotten sick all winter, nagging him to take vitamins and wash his hands more.  The very next day I got a cold.  And then I passed it to Dave.

I have developed an odd spasm in my eyelid, the likes of which I have only had one other time in my life – the entire two months before our wedding.  Weird.

Our previous landlord, the one who still owes us our security deposit, is MIA.

I am deeply enthralled in a Stephen King book I picked up last weekend.  

Dave is practicing the piano a lot, as he is playing for a wedding next week. 

Oh, and I gave up alcohol for Lent.  OH, that’s probably where all my creative blog ideas went!