Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quote of the Day

"When people show you who they are, believe them - the first time" - Maya Angelou

Friday, July 30, 2010

R to the C

The summer that I graduated high school, I started dating a new boy, named Phil. He was a year older than me, and was a wrestler at a nearby college. Our dates were very normal, very appropriate. We had dinner, we went to movies and we hung out at each of our homes.


Did I mention that he lived with friends? He was the first boy I ever dated that did not still live with his parents. (My parents were thrilled).


We had been dating for a few weeks, maybe a month, and had gotten in to a fun routine - we'd see each other once or twice a week, usually with his friends, or my high school friend Mary. We'd grill out, or make cookies, or watch a new movie. I liked him, but I didn't know that much about him - in the way with high school relationships, I barely knew him - had met him barely a month before. I'm pretty sure that he knew I had a lot of brothers, but did not know that Shawn was my "step" dad, or anything about my family dynamic. Our relationship was fun, but very light.


One Friday night, I got off work and went to his house before heading to a pool party at one of our friend's houses. Storms were forecasted, so we decided to stay at his house and watch the newest in the "American Pie" trilogy, "American Wedding" (it had just come out on video). Four few of his friends agreed with our plan, and decided to join us. We settled in on the main floor of his house, and turned on the movie.


After a while, it started raining, and we all agreed that we were glad that we had stayed inside and weren't at the pool at the time. Plus, it was getting dark, so it was nice to be in. The movie was funny, and we were all enjoying a low-key Friday night.


Until we lost power.


No one was that bothered by it - there were 6 of us in a familiar place - and c'mon, it's summer in Iowa. Par for the course. We continued sitting around their living room, chatting and telling stories. Thirty minutes passed, and then an hour. Still no power. We were all getting restless, bored, and ready to get moving.

Someone suggested a board game to pass the time, and we all agreed. One of the boys went to the basement to see what games they had; someone requested Monopoly. Returning to the main floor, he apologized - "There was no Monopoly - all they had was this old Ouiji board".

Everyone kind of laughed it off, but I was intrigued. I had never played Ouiji, and knew it wasn't real, but thought it would be an entertaining way to pass the time, or, rather, to let the storm pass us.

We set the board up, and all put our hands on it.

(If you don't understand the concept, a Ouiji is a board game marked with letters and numbers. A detached dial is placed on the board, and everyone participating puts their fingers or hands on the dial. The dial then is placed in the center of the board, and is supposedly then able to connect with spirits).

One of the boys ran the show, asking questions like "If there is a spirit out there, please talk to us" and "Is there anyone out there"? I was quite skeptical, but it was still pretty entertaining. Several minutes passed, with nothing. I was just beginning to think that this was actually not very entertaining, and that it was really kind of boring.


Suddenly, the dial shook, sharply moving around the board. Since everyone's hands were touching it, I figured one of the boys was trying to make us laugh. And laugh we did! The dial twisted and turned, finally resting on the letter K. I laughed; as the only girl their, of course they would pick on me... why hadn't I guessed it. I teased back "Whoever is trying to freak me out is not going to be able to - I have four brothers, it'll take a lot more than the letter K to scare me".


Still, when the dial continued on to with an A, a T and then an E... well, I'll admit it sent a chill down my spine.

Still, I believed it to be Phil's friends, taunting me and trying to scare me during the thunderstorm and lossed power.


Still unsure of who was masterminding this attempt to scare me, the leader continued "You just spelled out the name, Kate... is that your name?"


The dial didn't move.


"Ok, then why did you spell out the name Kate?" the leader continued.


The dial didn't move.


Then, slowly, it creeked. K-A-T-E, it spelled again.


"Do you know Kate?" the leader asked.


The dial creeked across the board, moving to the letter "Y".


"Does that mean yes?" The leader asked.


No response.

The leader pushed on "What is your birthday?"

The dial moved. 3, then, 1, then 3.

It was around this time that I started freaking out. "Whoever is doing this, stop!" and "This is NOT FUNNY ANYMORE".

The boys swore up and down that they weren't moving the dial, and besides, how would they know the birthday of my deceased father? Even Phil wouldn't have known it. Was I pushing the dial, unconsciously or without really realizing it? I took my hands off, and made Phil do the same.

Leaning back against the couch, I watched as the guys pushed on.

"How many kids do you have?"

"3"

"Are you ok?"

"Y"

I was shaking, sputtering. This couldn't be real, could it? It's a silly game, a stupid little toy. We couldn't be communicating with someone.... who wasn't alive, could we? Of course we couldn't. And yet, how would anyone know that Mike had us three kids, or that his birthday was March 13th.

It couldn't be real, but it couldn't be made up.

"Do you have a message for Kate?" was the last question.

The dial stayed put.

"Do you want to tell Kate ANYTHING" the leader implored.

The dial creaked across the board.

"R", then slowly back to "C".

"R.......C......." it repeated.

"R..C..R..C..R.C.R.C" it sped.

Years later, that night still haunts me. Was it real? I have a hard time believing that, yet I also have a hard time believing that these 4 near-strangers would have know that information about me (and in the days before Facebook or this blog, it would have been difficult information to get!).

Is it real? I don't know. I like to think that it was, and that Mike is ok wherever he is. If I choose to believe that it did happen, that I did communicate with him, then I must wonder what the "RC" message was. I've thought about it often over the past 6 years. I used to think that I would marry a "Ryan Carson" or something, but now I like to think that it means "right choices", like he knows that my life is turning out just fine, and that we are moving down the right path for us.

Either way, it was one of the most frightening (and memorable) nights of my life.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

This is why we're friends, Brian edition

Brian: I was going through old emails, and I found your blog. And, the day that I was in Chicago, I was not written about.

Me: Eeeeeeeek, I'll fix that. STAT.

Brian: I am a little upset about that.

This is why we're friends, Christine Edition

Christine: there are not enough excuses in life to plan awesome celebrations

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

10 Months....

Hopefully our wedding day will be equally as zen.


(Photo "borrowed" from Scott's cousin Julie's pictures from their Wild West Vacation last week).

If it's wrong, I don't want to be right

Is it wrong that I'm kind of obsessed with this picture of me?



Also, I've recently been introduced (thanks Melissa) to the Tumblr concept of GPOYW ("Gratuitious Picture of Yourself Wednesday") and in keeping with the vanity levels around here, I'm bringin' it to blogger.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

This is why we're friends, Melissa edition

me: OMG, I just thought of the best thing for my "27 by 27" list. LEARN THE THRILLER DANCE. Want in?!?!?!?!?!

Melissa: That's a good one, sure. Like the whole thing?

me: I mean, yes, but at least that part that everyone knows. I basically just need to rent "13 Going on 30" and just watch that one scene on repeat.

Melissa: I think that might be the only real part anyway. Unless you want to do the acting stuff, between MJ and that girl.

me: hahahahaha

Melissa: In which case, I'll help you, but I get to be MJ.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25, 2001

Nine years ago today I became my father's daughter.

I think we're beginning to look alike, no?

I love you, Dad!!



"Any man can be a father... it takes a special kind to be a dad" - Anon

Saturday, July 24, 2010

#13 Join a Book Club

You know, I've been writing book reviews on this blog for months.

(About politicians and their families, the gay rights movement, chick-lit, as well as both fiction and nonfiction).

And, for months I've been saying that I want to join a book club.

But, this forum has sort of felt like a book club to me, and, since I'm the boss of this here blog thing, I'm going to say this counts as achieving this goal.

Post Edit: Also, I just joined a virtual book-club with some of my favorite other cyber-gals. Want to join us? Leave a comment and we'll add you!

Lyrics of the Day

there's no dollar sign on a piece of mind this I've come to know
so if you agree have a drink with me
raise you glasses for a toast
-zac brown band, chicken fried

Friday, July 23, 2010

Laura's Bridal Shower

On October 1st, the Ranks will welcome our newest member, when my cousin Josh marries his longterm girlfriend, Laura.

This past weekend, my mom and my aunt (two of my favorite people in all of the land) hosted a celebratory bridal shower for the newest Rank gal.

Two hours (and three bottles of champagne later!) Laura had been showered with love and presents for her new life as Mrs. Rank.

(The bride with two of her new aunts)




(This picture is blurry - but one of my favorite of Laura's gifts was a customized apron, which said "Mrs. Rank")


(The menu was beautiful and delicious - win win!)

(Our two amazing hostesses)


(I could go for one of those mimosas right now)

Lyrics of the Day

cause you and i both love
what you and i spoke of
and others just dream of
the love that i love.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Photo of the Day

This photo was taken less than a year ago, and less than a year from now, all of us will be MARRIED.

# 5 Be a bit more healthy

I will admit that the first incarnation of this goal included the goal of "weight loss" rather than improved health. Somewhere along the past year, I switched it to how the goal appears now, and I'm so glad I did. The benefit that weigh loss has is a quantitative measure for achievement, but so be it.

I switched to "health" because, frankly, my BMI falls within the "healthy" range, so any amount of weight loss would be attributed solely to vanity. (And yeaaaah this whole blog is kinda vain, but whatever).

So, here's to health and the things I worked on in the past year:
- Started taking a daily multivitamin
- Focused on eating deliberately - fruits and vegetables, sitting down to eat, not eating FROM a bag of pretzels, but putting the amount I want on my plate, etc
- Increased the amount of water I drink
- Went to my PCP for a "well-woman" check-up
- Went to my dermatologist to get a suspicious spot checked out
- Went to an ENT specialist (twice!) to get to the bottom of my frequent colds
- Worked to increase my flexibility (blog post coming soon on this)
- Worked to be more active (living by the Lake, there is no excuse for not taking long walks)

"The first wealth is health" - Emerson

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lyrics of the Day

wanna pack your bags, something small
take what you need and we disappear
without a trace we'll be gone, gone
the moon and the stars can follow the car
and then when we get to the ocean
we gonna take a boat to the end of the world
all the way to the end of the world...
-dave matthews, you & me

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quote of the Day

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.
- Anon (Thanks Kristin!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

#15 Write One Letter/ Week

In a nutshell - I did it. It was much easier then I thought it would be... mostly because I cheated (kind of). I've always been a big card-sender - birthdays, father's day, mother's day. I like to receive cards, so therefore I send them. When taking in to account, I sent out way more than 52.
Photographic evidence, below:



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lyrics of the Day

and that's why i'm wondering why you
had to tell me
what's going on
in your head what's wrong
come around to another time
when you
don't have to run.
-howie day, she says

Friday, July 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Scotch, like fine art and sushi and motorcycles, is an acquired appreciation" - DFR

(Quote taken directly from a blog comment a few days ago. See people? Comment! You could be blog-famous :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Book Review: Heart of the Matter

I loveeee me some Emily Giffin (I read Something Borrowed and Something Blue in under three days - total). I think she's funny, witty, and writes really fabulous airplane novels (books you can lose yourself in during airplane delays). I will say that it isn't hard-hitting journalism (you probably won't learn anything) but she provides me a really great escape.

From her website: "Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her mother’s warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie---a boy who has never known his father. After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance---and even, to some degree, friendships---believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined".

You all know that I love to read. I love books that are interesting, smart, or witty - and this book is all of the above. It's funny, it's sad, it's one of those novels that leave you questioning - what would I do if I were in her shoes? In his?

LOVED it. Emily Giffin strikes again.

Lyrics of the Day

everyone loves to love a lie.
- howie day, everyone loves to love a lie.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

#10 Drink a Scotch-on-the-Rocks

When I put this on my list, I thought that this would be a "gimme" of a goal, something easy to intersperse among 5Ks and French love poems.

After my first sip, I realized my epic mistake.

Scotch is gross, y'all. I hated it. (Drank the whole thing, though, because I am a Maloney!)


Here's photographic evidence of my first (and probably last) scotch-on-the-rocks.


"I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis" - Humphrey Bogart

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book Review: Shattered

A few weeks ago, I saw Debra Puglisi-Sharp on the Bonnie Hunt Show (don't judge) and I was captivated by her story. There is really no other way to describe the pull I felt for her - I wanted to hear more. One part drama, one part tragedy and one part survivor heroics, it has all of the elements of a Hollywood movie.

But it is real. It happened.

From her website: "In April 1998, Debra Puglisi Sharp--wife, nurse, and mother of teenage twins--was tending the roses in her garden when a factory worker with a cocaine habit slipped in through an open door and waited for her to come in. Nino, her husband of twenty-five years, got in the way and was shot. The man then attacked and raped Debra, placed her in the trunk of his car, and drove away. Kept hog-tied in her abductor's house, Debra finally learned of her husband's murder from a newscast on a radio that the man blared to muffle her screams while he was out. After five excruciating days, Debra's mounting rage at her captor--and the wrenching thought of her children burying their father alone--gave her the courage and strength she desperately needed. She loosened her ties, groped her way to the phone...and dialed 911".

It is a terrifying tale - and I was compelled to check out the book, Shattered, from the library.

It was a heartbreaking - yet necessary - read. It was kind of a challenge. You know how when watching the movie Titanic you kepe thinking that these people don't know what is in store for them - that you just want to tell them to run to get a lifejacket? That is how I felt. I wanted to tell her to run, to stay inside. It was a hard read. My heart broke and re-broke for Debra, and her deceased husband, Nino. I hate that they went through this - I hate that they are still going through this every single day.

Lyrics of the Day

in between the moon and you
angels get a better view
of the crumblin' difference between wrong and right

Monday, July 12, 2010

Whammy!

A few Friday night's ago (or, um, more accurately Saturday morning's around 12:30AM), Scott and I met up with some cousin-friends, and my brother and Kelly.

We also met up with an interesting fella who the boys instantly recognized.
(Sorry so dark - in a bar with a camera phone)

Recognize him?

(I didn't).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

ELEVEN

My birthday is August 11th.

Scott's birthday is June 11th.

Our dating anniversary is May 11th.

Our engagement anniversary is August 11th...

... which was 11 months ago today.

Get it?

Something tells me today is going to be a good day.

I just blew my own mind

Scott and I have been dating for FIFTY MONTHS today.

Strangely, this makes me feel older then paying all of my own bills, or wearing someone's ring, or being 7+ years out of Cedar Rapids.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

On Marvin

One year ago today I walked in to my quiet, dark apartment after my work day was over, and discovered my laptop was missing. Was gone.

I called 911, and raced out of my apartment.

Police officers came, and it was determined that I had been robbed.

My sheltered little life was destroyed in 5 minutes when a thug robber named Marvin* broke in to my Lakeview apartment.

(*His name may or may not have been Marvin).

He stole my laptop, my iPod, my deceased father's gold ring, the signet ring given to me on my golden birthday, and miscelleanous other things.

It was sad - I was upset - but most of all, I felt violated. It felt ... uncomfortable to know that this person, this thug robber, had been in my space, in my bedroom, messing with my dresser, my desk, my stuff.

I was lucky, though. We weren't home, for one. We had renters insurance. And our lease had a month left.

I believe that things happen for a reason. Once I was robbed (or is it burglarized? I always forget) I decided that I did indeed need a doorman, and I allocated more of my monthly take-home to a nicer apartment with better amenities. It was a great decision, and one that I have never regretted. It also solidified the importance of insurance, and therefore I will always be covered.

So, Marvin, you may have gotten my electronics (um, and jewelry) but I still got what I wanted.

And it came with this view:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lyrics of the Day

so life is
short
so love the one you got
cause you might get run over
or ya might get shot.

never start no static
i just get it off my chest
never had to battle with no bullet proof vest

take a smart example take a tip from me
take all of your money
give it all to charity.

life is what i got.
it's within my reach.
-sublime, what i got

On Lebron

There has been much ado about Lebron James the past few days, and honestly, I don't think many people were suprised that he is heading South.

One of the best comments I read about the whole thing was on Bill Simmon's ESPN article. I think it pretty much sums up my opinion:

"At 25, if you had the opportunity to spend the next five years with your best friends living in South Beach winning NBA championships... would YOU pass that up?"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why hello there

So, I was reminded today about this little blog thing that I have.

And I know, I know. It's been neglected since about... ages.

I'm sorry.

Really I am. I am so lucky that anyone reads it (I'm lookin' at you CHRISTINE) and I promise lots of fun starting... now.