Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Millionaire Odds

For Christmas I treated myself to $120 dollars worth of lottery tickets for the Florida Holiday Millionaire Raffle. I know many people think of lottery as a tax on the poor (or the stupid) but I look at it differently. Fortunately…or maybe it is due to hard work and staying within my means…I live a comfortable lifestyle. The loss of $120 will not keep me from having food, shelter, sporting goods or anything else that I desire (within reason) but is giving me hope (no matter how small) of a life changing event.

A few days from now I will either have enough money to buy a house and retire 10 years early or I will be out $120 that I won’t even miss. It seems like a worthwhile chance to me. Should I feel the need to justify the expense I can always say I’m supporting education or paying back the lottery grants I received in college.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed...although it makes it hard to type…and enjoying dreaming of being financially secure so I can pursue other life goals. My great novel, daily blogging and more travel time are only a few numbers away!

Cat “Show me the Money” Cathy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gotta Have the Girl in the Mercedes Benz

After 17 years of driving a pick up truck I’m enjoying having something nicer and all the celebrations that go along with it showing it to my friends. I’ve spent the last month just celebrating with small groups of friends as they see my shiny new blue Mercedes SLK hard top retractable sports car. This fun alone has made the car purchase a great idea and I’m hoping for many more fun experiences in the years to come. Here are some of my celebrations to date:

-I showed up at my boyfriend’s parents’ house with the car straight from the dealer’s lot. I wasn’t sure they would be up to celebrating but they came running out of the house with the dogs and bells and lots of happiness and laughing.

-I surprised my friend who has a matching burgundy SLK by just showing up for our weekly skate without telling her first. We took pictures and compared cars. We decided to form a club. The former roller derby skaters SLK club…we don’t expect to get many members with such tight guidelines.

-After a social event, several girls came out to see my car and we put the stereo on loud with some dance music. All the girls started dancing on the car and it was like something out of an MTV video as these girls could really move it. It was so much fun just dancing in a parking lot and something I hadn’t done in years.

-I showed it off to a few coworkers who started asking about the motor size. To which I responded “it’s blue”. That’s my way of saying I have no clue but I’m just a girl so who cares. Unfortunately these were my engineering coworkers so they said that wouldn’t work and as an engineer I needed to know about the mechanics.

-I showed it to a bunch of my mountain biker friends at a party. I wanted to let them hear the loud stereo which was playing The Little Mermaid music at this point. So we sang and danced along while hanging out in the street.

-My boyfriend who helped tremendously in my car buying decision also joined the celebrations. I’m not sure if he is happy about the car or happy that he no longer has to spend time looking with me and hearing me complain. He gave me a huge list of Mercedes songs. It was funny and sweat but quickly deleted most of them since they were gangster rap and not really the image I was hoping for in my new car. His second favorite was Gold Digger by Kanye West which says "She gonna make it into a Benz out of that Datson". This seemed appropriate since my last car was a Nissan (Formerly known as Datsun). But his absolute favorite song was Mercedes Benz by Say Yes which says "I gotta have the girl in the Mercedes Benz". This was so sweet and romantic to me but I guess I have a silly idea of romance.

Wow and I thought I made a big deal out of birthdays but they pale in comparison to my car celebrations. I’m ok with that since it will be a long time before I get another chance for ‘new car’ celebrations. I think we should all take time to celebrate all the good things in life!

Cat “Happy to be Blue” Cathy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Love my Job of Pay the Bills ???

I recently attended team building training for my job. One of the first questions we were asked was “why did we come to work each day”. The room was silent. I was thinking, probably like everyone else in the room, “because I need the money”. Our trainer said if it is just for a paycheck then you need to rethink your motives.

She had a point. As something you do five days a week it should be more than just a paycheck but lets be honest here….who grows up saying they want to pick up trash or any of a number of menial jobs that are out there? But these jobs need to get done. Since my job is not in the entertainment field as a professional athlete, actress, comedian or rock star I think I’ve pretty much settled. Is that a bad thing? I’m not necessarily sure. Yes I’d much rather be a rock star but it didn’t seem to be in the cards (or guitars) for me. Should I give up what I have and live in squalor while I try to make my dream come true? I’d say my chance of rock stardom is zilch since my voice is horrible and I can’t play any instruments and don’t have a long enough attention span to learn. My chances at being a professional athlete are only slightly better. I have been a pro-am Jet Ski racer and a professional roller derby skater in the past but neither career paid much and now that I’m 41 it would be harder to compete with people 20 years younger. My best chance of making it would be as an actress or comedian but even those are long shots for making a decent living.

Maybe just realizing that I am doing an important job and will do it to the best of my ability and make the most fun out of it I can even if it is not really my ‘dream job’ is ok. I’m not really sure. Some days I wish I hadn’t settled but that is easy to say as I sit in my comfy office with my comfy car and other toys. There are a lot of choices in life and it’s not always win or lose but rather shades of grey. Chances are I may have enjoyed an entertainment career more but would have struggled more, not gotten my engineering degree which I’m very proud of, and most likely have different regrets if I’d chosen that path. I guess I will never know. But what I do know is I have a great life anyway and I can blog and work part time in the entertainment world on the side. Plus I don’t know what the future holds and I’m always ready if a new and interesting opportunity presents itself.

Cat “The Entertainer” Cathy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Touristy Day in NYC

Our last day in NYC was a trip to the Statue of Liberty. I was really excited to see this even though I know it is basically a tourist trap and I have enough of that with Walt Disney World. But my grandparents were some of the huddled masses that came over and saw Lady Liberty and I just loved feeling like I was seeing history.

This trip took much longer than I would have liked with most of the day just waiting in line for ferries and entrance to the statue. After Liberty Island we headed over to Ellis Island which was completely refurbished a few years back. They have a great museum with lots of old pictures of immigrants. The museum also shows the history of the island and it was interesting to note that the island was abandoned and the buildings in disrepair as recently as the 80’s.

We returned by ferry to Manhattan with the dilemma of how to get rid of the bikes before we got on the subway in rush hour traffic. We had speculated throughout our trip on what we would do with them…give them to charity, a helpful local kid, sell them…who knows. While we were trying to decide a man opened a nice little box and said “wanna buy a Rolex”? I said “no, wanna buy a bicycle?” And just like that one of our bikes was gone. The second bike went to another vendor selling t-shirts. He seemed like a good kid and I was glad I could help him out a bit. We sold these bikes cheap since we really just wanted to get rid of them and had already saved a lot of money by buying bikes over renting them for the week anyway. Of course, being the sentimental people we are, we just had to take goodbye pictures with our bikes before we sold them.

Without bikes I felt a bit like a kryptonite infected superman. All of a sudden we were moving at mere mortal speeds. We walked to the New York Stock Exchange – where most of my fortune was lost. Then we walked to the former location of the twin towers just days before the 9-11 anniversary. The day was so pretty and peaceful that it was hard for me to even imagine that day 8 years ago. It was a very sad moment for me. I felt bad for all the families forever affected by that horrible event. The one bright spot was thinking of all the friendly New Yorkers I’d met during my vacation and the many people I saw enjoying the Brooklyn Bridge and other city landmarks. I’m sure many of the people lost that day loved their city and will be happy that it is still prospering and a safe and happy place to be.

Cat “Farewell my Northern Friends” Cathy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

End of an Era

Bill Clinton becomes president.

A powerful bomb explodes in an underground parking garage beneath the World Trade Center, killing six and injuring over 1,000.

Cheers ends its 11-year run and Catastrophe Cathy buys a 1991 Nissan Pickup truck.

What do all these things have in common? They all occurred in 1993. It’s hard to believe but 1993 was the last time I purchased an automobile…until now!

I can’t really say why I waited so long. I guess since my truck kept running there was no pressing need to get a new one. I’ve called my truck a ‘disposable’ pickup for over 5 years. I kept thinking something major would break and I’d be forced to get something newer. But it never happened so I just kept on truckin’. I also liked saving money and not having to worry about something new getting dented or even washed for that matter. Is it wrong to only wash your automobile biannually??? Not if it’s a beat up old truck! .

But finally my boyfriend, father, mother and total strangers on the street convinced me I needed something newer and safer. So after many many hours and much analysis (I am an engineer after all) I narrowed down the numerous options to a small range of years for one make/model. Then I had to wait to find it at a price I could live with. This was no easy task and took over six months of hard work with Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book and Carfax quickly becoming my best friends.

In this supposedly bad economy it seemed surprisingly hard to get what I considered a reasonable deal and I was about to give up. But I got it! A pretty blue 2002 Mercedes SLK hardtop convertible!

When you only do something once every 17 years it’s a big deal and you need to celebrate. I’ve done a few celebratory chest bumps with my boyfriend and a cute little ‘I’ve got a new automobile’ dance. I’m thinking of putting a bow on it for Christmas and of course I will be singing some of the many Mercedes songs. Also, if I’m feeling down I just say ‘hey I have a new Mercedes convertible’ and my world is happy again.

Life is good! I know the car is just a small part of it but I’m thankful for a cute, fun new car that is also safer. I know there are tradeoffs since I spent a lot of money and I will have to wash it more often but it will be fun to cruise with the top down singing for all to hear. Anyone want to buy a well used but well loved Nissan pickup?

Cat “Got my hard top down so my hair can blow” Cathy

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

D-U-M-B-O and Dumbo is the Name Oh!

Yet another day in the big apple with much left on our ‘must do’ list. So we woke up early and took off on our bikes exploring. We biked into a street market just by accident. I always find it exciting to find something you were not expecting so we walked through the market which went on for several blocks and provided some tasty food and fun shopping.

Our first planned stop on our bikes was the Empire state building. It is a ‘must do’ as a first trip to NYC but now that I’ve done it I doubt I would ever do it again. The lines and the wait were just too much and I’ve been in many high buildings before. But it was cool at the top when we tried to call our parents but had no signal. I can only imagine we were too high above the cell towers or it was some security measure. The fencing on the observation deck is wide enough in spots to stick your head through…which of course I did. It was a bit scary to not have my vision blocked at all but also very invigorating.

Our next stop was the Museum of Sex. It sounded interesting in an educational kind of way but ended up being just a few crappy displays and a public porn watching session really. My advice is just skip this and rent a movie at home if that is what you are in to.

Since we were in the downtown area we did some biking on the main streets with the taxis zooming buy us. Although not an official tourist activity it was a blast and much cheaper and more enjoyable than the Museum of Sex or Empire State Building.

Next we biked to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was easy enough to see the bridge from the bike trail on the river but when we got to it we realized we had to cut into the city to actually get on the bridge. It took a bit of work to find the entrance believe it or not. But once we did we were shocked by the crowd. It was packed solid on the walking side. It was a pretty weekend day and I guess everyone was out to enjoy it. Luckily there is a bike only side which we used with a much smaller crowd. Even with the crowd it was a blast biking up and enjoying the view. We stopped at the top and sat on a structure that made us higher than anything but the towers and suspension. The cars were directly below us which was a bit unnerving and yet exciting too.

After a pleasant stay at the top we went down the other side of the bridge to a place called DUMBO – Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Here we purchased some tasty food to go and ate it in a park while we watched the sun set over the city. We met a couple that was seeing if they could spin around several times and then walk straight. They both did it and then I tried. Somewhere around spin number 8 I fell down and never made the walk. This was something I hadn’t tried since I was a kid and was so much fun!

After sunset we bought some hot chocolate and went back to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge to enjoy it and the view. I felt like queen of the world!

From there we biked back to the hotel to end our long fun day. I find it amazing how the simple and mostly free activities of the day were what I enjoyed the most. In this difficult economic time it is good to have reminders like this. A beautiful sunset, acting like a kid and spending time with the one you love are all fabulous and free!

Cat “truly a dizzy blonde” Cathy

Thursday, November 12, 2009

St. Cathy’s River

My boyfriend and I were trying to decide about what to do on a mid October Saturday morning in Florida and I suggested mountain biking seeing as it should be cool out. Unfortunately the weather man didn’t realize this and scorching hot weather was forecasted for the entire weekend. So a last minute plan of jet skiing the St John’s River was decided.

We took his two sit down jet skis. As a 21 year veteran of stand up jet skis I’m almost a little embarrassed to say I rode a sit down and even took pictures of it thereby providing damning evidence. I’ve always said I wouldn’t use a sit down until I was 65 years old. But it was colder water and was supposed to just be a chill day so what the heck…sit downs here I come.

The St. John’s River was so empty I renamed it the St. Cathy’s River…I guess other Floridians had planned for colder weather activities too. With few people around we saw lots of wildlife including manatees and birds and gators…oh my. We ate lunch at what qualifies as an ‘upscale’ restaurant on the river. I think that just means flip flops are preferred over bare feet. We rode over 70 miles and hardly got wet thanks to the comfy sit down jet skis and finished the ride with a beautiful sunset on the river! It was a nice ‘local’ adventure and a great way to spend the day.

So if you ever have the chance, rent a pontoon and cruise the St. Cathy’s (John’s) River. But you might want to wait until summer since it is finally starting to get cold now.

Cat “Gator Bait” Cathy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Kite Runner

Ever see a really good movie that just sticks with you? You think about it for days afterwards and end up doing a Google search to get more facts. I love when this happens but it just doesn’t seem to happen often enough. Maybe I’m just getting older and no longer the ‘target audience’ but I’m tired of movies that are just explosions and T&A. I want more from a movie than that and I found it recently when a coworker loaned me The Kite Runner. I was talking about my horrible attempts to learn kite boarding so he loaned me this movie. Even though the movie has ‘kite’ in the title, I soon found out that it has nothing to do with kite boarding. So even though it didn’t help me improve my kite boarding skills I am still glad he loaned me this movie.

The Kite Runner is about two boys in Afghanistan. It is cute at parts but mostly a little sad and even disturbing. But it makes you think, gives you some insight into another culture and some insight into recent history that until now just seemed like something that happened really far away and not for me to worry about. The movie made me cry and made me wish for a better world.

I won’t give away much of the plot but if you want a slower moving and more intellectual movie then give it a try. It’s on video and even free at your local library. I don’t want to scare you away but I have to let you know you will have to read subtitles unless you understand ‘Afghaneese’ or whatever language they were speaking.

Cat ‘Two Thumbs Up ‘Cathy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blackberry Mojito Quest

Since I act so silly all the time, you may be surprised to learn that I don’t drink alcoholic beverages often. In fact my new year’s resolution a few years back was ‘Drink More’. But like most resolutions it just didn’t stick. I still drink a few times a year and ‘throw it down’ when I do. That just means I have 1-3 drinks but believe me I feel it!

Other than the savings in money, not being hung over often and savings in calories I have found yet another advantage to not drinking often. When you don’t do something often you tend to look forward to it more and get more joy from it. On my last trip to Delray Beach I knew I was going to my favorite restaurant and going to partake in my current favorite drink…the coveted blackberry Mojito. Just knowing I was going to drink became a celebration all in itself.

So how to celebrate? Well by singing of course! I started finding lots of songs that just fit ‘mojito’ so well. While we boated down the intercoastal towards downtown Delray Beach I came up with the following songs that I shared with my boyfriend and anyone else who was unfortunate enough to be within earshot:

My Mojito (To the tune of My Sherona by the Knack) – “Oh you’re such a tasty rum. A tasty rum. Give me just another one…my mojito”.

Go Go Mojito (To the tune of Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult) – “With a purposeful smile and a laughing sound she gulped that tasty mojito down. Oh no….she says it has to go. Go go mojito.”

Mojito Got Low (To the tune of Low by Flowrida) – “mulled blackberry, lime and sugar cane, so tasty there was no one to blame. She drank it down. Next thing you know, mojito got low low low low.”

And my personal favorite: Mojito (To the tune of Maria from West Side Story) - “The most beautiful sound I ever heard, ‘Mojito’. Say it loud and there’s music playing. Say it soft and it’s almost like praying. ‘Mojito’, I’ll never stop saying ‘Mojito’.

In summary blackberry Mojitos Rock (and pop, dance and sometimes show tune!)

Cat ‘Make it a Double’ Cathy

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Subway Biking

Day three of our NYC trip again took us out of the city as we boarded a subway with our bikes to visit Coney Island. Stepping out of the subway building I immediately felt like I had gone back in time 40 years or so with the old amusement style boardwalk. We rode our bikes down the boardwalk to the ends and back which was only a few miles total. We stopped briefly to watch some strong older manly men playing handball. I had never actually seen anyone play handball since racquets are so cheap and easy to come by. But it was popular here and fun to watch for a bit. We started to wait in line for our ‘official’ Nathans hot dogs but changed our mind to other fair food based on the ridiculously long lines. Maybe that means we didn’t truly experience Coney Island but I was ok with that since I can buy them at Publix anytime.

Next we boarded a subway to Rockaway beach. I was a little confused on the subway but a very nice guy helped me realize we had chosen the correct train and offered us advice on where to go. Again I was totally shocked by his friendliness and kindness and really enjoyed meeting locals like this. Rockaway beach gave the impression of being not the richest neighborhood but the condos were still nice and the view of the beach and boardwalk was great. We biked the boardwalk and stopped to watch some kids at a skateboard park. This ‘berb’ had all the makings of a cute beach town until you saw the signs warning of snow in the winter.

After a long subway ride back including getting crunched in the subway doors we cleaned up and headed to Times Square for dinner. This place is busy! But except for food, lots of artificial lights, shopping and more food, I didn’t really see much to do. We walked to Broadway Street and I did a little song and dance just so I could say “I performed on Broadway”. Then I did my shopping which took about 10 minutes and consisted of purchasing my long awaited “I heart NY” t-shirt.

It was a fun day exploring and observing and learning and enjoying!

Cat “If I can make it here” Cathy

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bodacious Bods

As part of my ‘don’t knock it till you try it’ philosophy I attended a charity event featuring sexy dancing for women. I was my normal punctual self and was surrounded by lots of sexy dressed 20-somethings who worked at the dance studio. I felt a bit odd in my jeans and flip flops at this point but other ‘normally’ dressed and ‘more mature’ women starting showing up which made me feel a little more at home. But the young girls were actually quite nice and very talented as I found out watching them belly dance, chair dance and pole dance too!

Then it was our turn to try these sexy moves starting with belly dancing. I was horrible! I looked like I was having a seizure or something. There was nothing even remotely sexy about my moves. If I had tried these moves to impress my boyfriend he would have probably called 9-1-1. Our instructor was awesome though and fun to watch. She looked the part with an Indian looking ethnicity. Even if I had somehow managed to do the moves correctly I just don’t have her exotic look.

Next we moved on to chair dancing which I learned is called bump and grind. It was easier than belly dancing and I fared somewhat better. At one point they passed out hats to use as props for our sexy dancing. I felt a bit like Madonna with my hat and chair and hip thrusting moves. There was a lot of bending, grinding and ‘sticking out of the buttocks’ but I think I actually pulled some of it off. I was definitely getting my groove on.

Finally we did pole dancing which I had tried once before. It was sexy and fun and also a good workout. Now I want a pole for my house but I know this will pass as have many other short term fancies in my life. My friend asked one of the instructors if she had been a stripper. I was actually curious too but afraid to ask since I thought it might be rude. It turns out she wasn’t but her moves were definitely good enough for it.

So overall I really enjoyed the night with good food, socializing with other women, exercise and a chance to get my sexy on. The dance studio was looking for new members but I knew I wasn’t going to join since it was expensive and I already have way too many hobbies. I was there for the charity event and to have a fun night out. I would like to go again someday but I can’t imaging making it a regular thing much to the disappointment of my boyfriend I’m sure. But it was a fun life experience and something to tell the grandkids….well um …maybe not.

Cat “Like a Virgin” Cathy

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Great Faith Debate

I attend the Great Faith Debate about Atheism versus religion and more specifically Christianity at UCF recently. I have to admit I don’t know much about religion which is part of the reason I decided to attend. After many nights of exercising my body it was time to rest my weary muscles and exercise my mind. I was excited by the packed arena as I walked in carrying my bubble tea and singing “Gotta Have Faith” by George Michael.

Sadly, I wasn’t very impressed with the debate. The arguments used were sometimes way out there and at times it seemed the questions asked were not even answered. I’m an engineer so I try to be a little more direct and this seemed to be more about throwing out fancy words and obscure knowledge. I doubt if a single person was even tempted to change their current belief based on what they heard. But that's ok I guess since faith/religion is a very personal choice and shouldn't be changed easily.

So even though it wasn't all I expected, it was something different and I’m glad I tried it. As an added bonus UCF is my alma mater and it was interesting to see how much it had changed and reminisce about my college days. I’m just hoping the next great debate will be on paper versus plastic!

Cat “Bless you” Cathy

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blading The Big Apple

Day two of my New York City trip started with inline skating from our hotel in Long Island City to Manhattan. The most fun part was just skating over the Queensboro Bridge. I loved the view and feeling like just a regular New Yorker.

Then my boyfriend and I went into Central Park which is amazing since it gives you a sense of nature in the middle of the city. There’s a lot to see including a small castle and an ancient obelisk. There’s also a lot to do from just relaxing on a green somewhere to paddling a boat in the pond. We chose to do the paddling as I’d seen this in many movies and it looked romantic. It was relaxing, offered great views and was even a bit romantic but nothing like the movies. The water was a putrid green toxic looking substance. There was a sign stating “no swimming allowed” …as if this was necessary. But it was still a fun touristy activity and relatively cheap too. After our paddle we bladed the whole park with lots of stops for lunch, pictures or just to take it all in.

We were over Central Park after a few hours since it seemed to have a Disney feel to it and we get enough of that in Orlando. I was double dog dared by a friend on Facebook to skate Times Square so that is what I did next. Skating down the street with all the taxis and through the crowds was a blast. Thankfully it was a weekend so it was not overly crowded. With so many lights and so much going on I don’t think anyone even noticed me even though I pulled out some of my best skating tricks. There were several people in costumes who charge you a dollar to take a picture with them. While it was just a buck this just seemed crazy to pay to take a picture with someone. I get lots of pictures taken of me every Halloween...just think of the money I could make!

We went back to the hotel to rest and I switched to my bike for the evening's transportation needs. We took the subway with the bikes to Chinatown. When we got on the subway it was light but it was already dark when we walked up to the surface in a new part of the city. I was looking at my map trying to figure out which way to Chinatown when my boyfriend said “I think we are in it”. After looking around and noticing lots of signs in Chinese I realized he was right AND a lot more observant than me.

We biked around looking for a good outdoors place to eat. When we didn’t see any we headed toward SOHO thinking they would have some nice outside areas. Then we found a cute street full of people and places to eat. I was only finding Italian restaurants and wasn’t really in the mood for Italian so I kept looking. It took about six Italian restaurants before I finally realized we must have crossed the line into Little Italy...duh! It’s amazing to me how close these different communities are to each other. We ended up picking one of the many Italian restaurants. It was tasty but the best part was we met the couple next to us and they were locals and bikers too. They were a great help and gave us lots of advice for the remainder of our trip. They told us to go to DUMBO! That sounds mean but it was a cool spot and I will talk about it in a blog coming to you soon!

Cat ‘City Slicker’ Cathy

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Biking the Big Apple

With winter approaching I wanted to head somewhere north before it was too cold so my boyfriend and I chose New York City for our latest travel adventure. Except for what I’ve seen in the movies I really didn’t know much about the city or what to expect. But that just added to the excitement.

The first thing we did in the city was get on a bus and leave…to go to New Jersey and buy bicycles. They seemed like the best way to get around the city and since renting them was so expensive we just bought ‘disposable’ bikes from Wal-Mart. I was surprised when I asked a Wal-Mart employee about getting a second bike and she didn’t seem to understand what I was asking. Quickly I pulled out my big Spanish vocabulary and said ‘dos’ as I pointed at the bike we wanted and she seemed to understand. This really surprised me since I would have expected it on our last trip to Nicaragua or even in Orlando but I didn’t know NJ also had a big Spanish population. I guess that’s part of why I travel…to learn more about the world and all the people in it.

After snapping a few silly pictures of us with our new bikes at the Wal-Mart we gps’d our way back to the city. It was only a few miles and it was definitely worth it when we hit the Hudson River and had an awesome view of the Manhattan skyline.

We took a ferry to Manhattan to get dinner. I was just about to lock the bikes with the lock I brought from home when my boyfriend asked where the key was. Good thing he did this since I had left it in Orlando! That would have been a huge downer and a big waste of money for two bikes! So with no real lock the first day we stayed near the bikes and spent the next several hours exploring the east and south side of Manhattan. I’ve always wanted to bike in NYC since I pictured taxi cabs everywhere and riding like one of those bike messengers but this wasn’t like that at all. The trails we rode were separate pedestrian/bike trails and were not dangerous. This was probably a good thing for our first day but I don’t think a trip to NYC would be complete without some biking on the streets.

My first impression of the city was a good one. I loved the energy I felt just being a part of it all. Plus people were very friendly. Obviously no one just smiles or says hi to strangers on the street since there are just too many people around. But everyone we spoke to was very friendly. We met a nice fisherman at Battery Park who showed us pictures of some of the cool fish he had caught. We enjoyed these 'local color' experiences most of all.

After about a 15 mile bike ride which ended with crossing the Queensboro bridge around midnight we were safely in our hotel. Our long travel day of taxi, plane, tram, train, subway, walk, bus, bike, ferry and finally bike some more was finally over as I crashed out quickly in our hotel room. Stay tuned for our next day at Central Park, Times Square and SOHO/Italy.

Cat “I heart NY” Cathy

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Caught Between Ma’am and Baby Doll

I was playing hockey the other day and one of the younger players ma’amed me. I’m not a huge fan of the title since it just seems to bring up visions of a very old librarian but I realized he was a young kid and was just being respectful. Not five minutes later another young player called me ‘baby doll’. Now this title although not overly respectful and rather unusual was almost a little flattering.

I feel like I’m at an unusual age somewhere between ma'am and baby doll. Personally I wish there was just one title for women like there is for men. What is the deal with distinguishing young women from old and married from single? Why is that around anyway? Let’s all just be Miss and be done with it!

Miss Cat “Baby doll” Cathy

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Beep or Two

Today I’m tackling a serious social issue. When you are driving in traffic and someone is texting or otherwise not paying attention and delays movement do you beep once really loud or give two little 'beep beeps'? To me one really loud beep is kind of like saying “HEY YOU &*!&^% GET YOUR &*&! MOVING!” While two little beeps is more akin to saying “excuse me but you need to move now”. Personally I always try to use the two beeps since it just seems friendlier. Plus I think we have all been on both sides of this beeping dilemma so we should have a little understanding. Also the double beep is likely to lead to a nice little ‘oops I’m sorry’ wave versus just getting one finger if you use the one beep! So why not practice a little kindness and next time you are mad in traffic….be like the road runner and make it a double!

Cat “Beep Beep” Cathy

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Don’t Know Where I’m Gonna Go When the Volcano Blows

I finally know what Jimmy Buffett meant when he sang this song and I had this catchy little tune in my head as I peered over the rim of an active volcano on the first day of my Nicaraguan vacation adventure.

Vulcan Masaya is a short distance from the Managua airport and you can drive your car right to the top of an active volcano! There are warning signs telling you to back your car in just in case you have to leave in a hurry. Other warnings include getting under your car if rocks start spewing….somehow I don’t really think that would help much. But it was an impressive site and almost overwhelming as I breathed in the noxious gases from the volcano.

The volcano was nice little side trip but we only stayed an hour which is much longer than the 20 minutes recommended on the warning signs. Hey what can I say …we are adventurous.

Stay tuned for more adventures including finding Jesus and an interesting massage.

Cat “Hot Lava Momma” Cathy

Monday, June 8, 2009

COPS Managua

Relieved we were allowed to enter the country we got our rental car and happily headed toward Granada with a poorly hand drawn map and my navigation system with extremely limited Nicaragua data. It was clear very quickly that this is a very poor country with lots of people walking or riding bicycles with not one or two but THREE people on one bicycle! It was not even an hour since I was reluctantly allowed into the country that our next big adventure happened…A police traffic stop.

Apparently we missed a school zone and we were pulled over for speeding. I say ‘apparently’ since I’m still not sure. As mentioned previous we don’t speak much Spanish and the cops didn’t speak any English. A male cop stopped us who looked pretty young and harmless except for the big gun he was carrying. For some reason he decided to send the female cop over to deal with us. (As a side note I was impressed to see a female cop and it’s good to know women have career opportunities there). We assumed she was sent over since she spoke English but no such luck. We struggled to understand what was going on but I didn’t feel too scared since she was very nice and polite.

Finally we realized she wanted to keep my boyfriend’s driver’s license and have us drive to a bank and pay a fine and bring the receipt back to get the license. Now we had already spent all morning in airports getting here and we had no clue where ‘el banco’ was so we started to get a little stressed. So what could we do but ‘bribe’ the cops. Actually we just gave them the fine amount of 300 Córdobas (about $15). I was afraid she would think we were trying to bribe her and we would end up in a Nicaraguan jail! Luckily she accepted the money and let us on our way. I really think she did us a favor since we seemed like your typical clueless tourists and she was tired of dealing with us.

So although it was a bit scary at first we were yet again on our way. This time to something totally safe like the rim of an active volcano!

Cat “Bad Boys Bad Boys What Ya Gonna Do” Cathy

Friday, June 5, 2009

Threat to the Third World

My boyfriend treats me to only the best the third world has to offer and our latest adventure vacation to Nicaragua was the most exciting and adventurous vacation to date! If you grew up in the 80’s like me the only thing you associate with Nicaragua is a long civil war with Contras and Sandinistas. So I was originally shocked when my boyfriend suggested this country as a place to vacation. But in time I realized that it would be a big adventure and was relatively safe these days.

I got off the airport in Managua to be greeted by a heat sensing camera and people wearing surgical face masks. It's important to note here that I have a bit of a sinus problem. I’m not sure why and I just call it ‘part of my charm’. But in a third world country so worried about swine flu that they are using a heat camera my little annoyance almost turned into a vacation stopper!

I sniffled (something I’m known to do) as the customs agent was looking at my passport. Apparently this is a good sign of swine flu so I was quickly escorted to a back room by a ‘doctor’ for probing and other scientific experimentation. This was a bit scary since I was in a foreign land and no hablo español. Somehow we managed to decipher that they thought I was sick and wanted to take my temperature. So the nice ‘doctor’ put a thermometer under my armpit. I was thankful my temperature was normal and a bit grossed out when the ‘doctor’ promptly put the thermometer back in the case…no cleaning…no sanitizing.

But I was allowed to enter Nicaragua and our adventure began. Stay tuned for our next adventure – bribing the Nicaraguan cops!

Cat “a sniffle a day keeps the doctor away” Cathy

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kites, Boards and Lots of Pictures

I’ve posted before about trying kite boarding. I’ve spent lots of time and money on this hobby for very little reward. I have a short attention span so usually I would have given up by now but for some reason I kept trying and it FINALLY paid off!

I went to the beach to try kite boarding after work recently. This time was different since I was on the land instead of in the water so a smaller and less intimidating kite is used which helped tremendously. On the land you use a mountain board which is kinda like a skateboard but for off road. The gods must have been on my side since the winds, sand and sun were all favorable that day. So I put the trainer size kite in the air and was feeling a slight pull down the beach from it. It started off slow…so slow walkers were going past me. But hey they were power walkers! My friend and coach told me I needed a bigger kite but I was scared. Finally after seeing the backside of countless power walkers I reluctantly agreed. The bigger kite made all the difference and I was cruising along at around 15-20 mph. I was so excited and happy that I was singing as I zigged and zagged down the beach. This is such a fun sport and great for me since it combines the beach, sun, bikinis and lots of upper body exercise all into one fun filled activity.

But wait there’s more! I have to admit I’m a bit of a show off or ham as some might say. Well I guess kite boarding is still somewhat new and definitely an attention grabber with the huge colorful kites in the sky that can be seen for close to a mile. Several people saw me and decided I was picture worthy! Yep a British couple, Asian lady and several others stopped to take photos. With my limited control I don’t think they realized they were putting themselves in danger but thankfully no harm was done. I felt like a celebrity which made me feel great and added to my joy of this sport. I think my monthly hamming it up needs were met that day!

I still have a long way to go but it was a blast! I can’t wait to do it again and get in more vacation pictures!

Cat “Coming Soon to a Beach Near You” Cathy

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Exercise For Catastrophe Cathy

That fact that I’ve taken up a new exercise probably won’t surprise many of you since I’ve blogged about many new sports and hobbies in the past. But this exercise is different…it’s for my eyes. Over the years I’ve noticed my vision was not great but when I almost failed to renew my driver’s license due to the eye test I decided it was time to take action.

Yes I know I could just wear glasses but I don’t like the way they look and they are uncomfortable to me. I could try contacts but they are uncomfortable too. Plus I’ve heard that glasses and contacts just make your eyes get lazy and you will need stronger and stronger prescriptions. Another option is Lasik eye surgery but that just seems too drastic at this point. So I decided a natural approach of diet and exercise was worth a shot.

Since I already take some vision supplements in addition to my healthy balanced diet, the only thing really left to try was eye exercises. I found six basic exercises that I try every day. They are easy and relaxing. Even if they don’t help, I doubt they will do any harm so it’s worth a try. It’s only been a few week and I do think I’ve noticed some improvement. I know there’s a beautiful world out there and I want to see it all! I will keep you posted on my progress.

Cat “I can see clearly now” Cathy

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cathy the Tailor

My grandfather was a tailor and apparently a very good one. I guess some of that runs in the family blood since I had to use my mad tailoring skills on my work clothes recently.

I purchased some new work pants but they didn’t quite fit right and I wanted to get them synched up in the back just a bit. The tailor wanted $16 for each pair! Well that equates to more per hour than I make as an engineer and was almost as much as I paid for the pants so I just couldn’t justify it.

So I decided to put my sewing skills to the test. Keep in mind the last time I touched a needle and thread was probably high school so this was not a small task. But I did it and the pants look pretty good! It was simple, saved me a bit of money and made me feel like Martha Stewart. (I’m assuming she sews but I’ve never seen her show and could be totally wrong).

So the moral of this story: if you are cheap like me you will realize that you can accomplish many things on your own to save money. Actually a better moral is: it’s good to challenge yourself and try new things!

Cat “Thanks Grandpa” Cathy

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chain Gang

I recently received a chain email that was sent through my bike club. This means about 300 people got the same chain email which said you would have many years of bad luck if I didn’t forward it to X number of people. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I just don’t understand why anyone would forward things like this to people they consider friends.

I deleted the email but promptly wrote back to the sender. I told him I have to send 100 emails to avoid bad luck and all of them are going to him. If he doesn’t read them and cluck like a chicken when the moon is full he will have bad luck in the form of smelly feet whenever he bike rides for the next 10 years. I was trying to keep it light and funny and yet still get my point across…I hope I accomplished this.

So let’s do everyone a favor. If you have a sweet or funny email and you want to pass it along that’s fine. It should be done at your own discretion. ANY email that threatens you with bad luck or smelly feet or anything else and tells you that you HAVE TO forward it should be deleted. That’s what I always do. I’m not going to let an email determine my actions.

Cat “Wishing you 50 Years of Good Luck for No Particular Reason or Action” Cathy

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Gift of Giving

I got some great birthday presents this year and it has really put me in a good mood. It’s not that I needed the presents or that they were really expensive it was just that they were so ‘me’ that I felt my friends really liked me, knew me and I was special to them.

I’m the first to be lazy when it comes to gifts. Normally I will just get something quick and easy and be done with it. I guess I do that in the name of efficiency and lack of time. But I’ve had one of those moments of clarity and I now realize how much more important it is to personalize it.

Here’s a list of some of the cool things I got this year and why they were special to me:

A girl friend gave me a yoga necklace. I constantly talk about yoga and do my yoga poses at parties and in my vacation pictures. Now I have a way of showing the world that it is something important to me.
Another girl friend gave me a flowering tea pot. It’s a clear tea pot that you drop a tea ball in and it not only makes tea but also a pretty flower. Tea is one of my simple pleasures and this will make it even more pleasurable.

Yet another girl friend gave me a gift card to a professional clothing store. I’m trying to improve my professional wardrobe so this will be very helpful. But the best part of her gift was she offered to go there shopping with me.

My engineering coworker gave me a circle template. It’s a simple tool but I’ve never had my own and always borrow his. I got a big laugh when I opened it especially since it’s not exactly a ‘party item’. But it was perfect for me and he even included a label saying Rummy’s Template which made it even more special.

My jet ski friend gave me a bottle of Yamalube. It’s the oil we use for our jet skis. This made me laugh but is also very useful and practical.

My bike friend gave me a bicycle tube as part of my gift. This was also an unexpected and funny thing to open.

My skating friend gave me my favorite juice drink that I affectionately refer to as ‘liquid crack’. I always buy some when we have dinner after the skate but he gave me a bottle 4 times bigger! Yummy!

Another friend gave me some balloons to make balloon animals and a magic 8 ball and other toys. I love toys and being able to act like a kid.

Another friend gave me some nice hair and beauty supplies. She’s the one I always go shopping for this stuff with so she knows I like it.

And still others gave me the standard gift cards but to my favorite places – Sports Authority and Publix. I have no doubt I will put these to good use.

All of these gifts were personalized and reflect some of the many sides of Rummy and how my friends know me. Thanks to all of you! Not so much for the gifts but for being my friend and being important in my life.

Cat “I love you guys” Cathy

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Life Begins at 40!

I had my 3rd annual 39th birthday part this past weekend. I can’t believe it’s already been a year since my big 4-0 bash. My 40th birthday party was the best party I’d ever had and I couldn’t stop talking about it for months. This year’s party was supposed to be a bit scaled back but was even crazier.

We had over 60 people throughout the night and lots of food, music, dancing, fireworks, midnight drunken jet skiing and waving at cars in the front yard. Ok it was really much more than just waving. There was some mooning going on too. We almost mooned a cop car at one point. Thankfully he just said a few words and left. A jeep that we mooned came back and asked directions. Maybe he was really lost or maybe he just liked the show. I’m not sure but we all climbed on the jeep and took pictures. I’d never mooned anyone before in my life but I was drunk and it was fun. I’m finally coming out of my shell at 41. The next day I started to regret it a bit so I guess I’m only part way out of that shell.

What really made the party were all my friends. I’d like to thank them and let them know they are important to me. I just love spending time with them. My only regret is there were so many people that I didn’t get enough one on one time.

It’s true that life begins at 40. I’m in the best place I’ve ever been with friends, confidence, career and knowing what I want in life …to some extent at least. If you’re worried about getting older hopefully this will help you realize it’s not that bad!

Cat “Another Year Older But Not a Bit Wiser” Cathy

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fashionable Memories

I took stock of what I was wearing… running shoes, overall and a blue t-shirt. Nothing special you might think but this outfit starting bringing back all kinds of memories. I used to think clothes were just a way to keep from being naked and making my figure look its best but this recent moment of clarity changed my opinion. Clothes can be a fun external statement of who you are and what is important to you. They can also be reminders of friends and fun times just as this basic overalls outfit was for me.

The overalls were from a group mountain bike vacation in Oregon. I bought them in a vintage (that means used) shop with a biker girl friend of mine. I remember wearing them during the whole trip whenever we weren’t biking. The girl on the trip recently passed away from a motorcycle accident so the overalls reminded me of her and all the good times we shared.

The running shoes I bought while shopping with my best friend from college. The employees judge what type of shoes you need based on how you walk and then make suggestions. I found out I pronate badly and apparently that meant I could only wear ugly shoes. So while my girl friend was shown all these cute shoes to try on, I was given shoes that only a 80 year old Jewish woman with bad bunions could love. I would have been hurt and upset if I wasn’t laughing so hard at all the ugly shoes. Finally the last pair looked almost normal and were very comfy so I bought them.

The blue t-shirt was from a recent vacation out west with my boyfriend. We mountain biked all day using a ski lift to get up and gravity to get back down. I’ve wanted to do this for years since it’s all the fun and none of the work. It was a good day of riding with perfect weather and the simple t-shirt reminds me of this great day every time I wear it.

So next time you go shopping make sure you bring a good friend so you can create your own fashionable memories. Also, next time you get dressed pay some attention to the good memories associated with your clothes and smile.

Cat “Fashion Diva” Cathy

Monday, March 16, 2009

Jumping Around…Again

I rarely blog about the same subject more than once since I assume it would get old but my second attempt at jumping stilts was definitely blog worthy…especially with the low amount of readers we have anyway.

I decided to try the stilts at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando on a Sunday afternoon/evening. Not the best place for a neophyte stilter since this place gets crowded, but I had confidence from my first experience and I wanted to ‘ham it up’ a bit too.

This time I walked a lot better and even jogged and jumped a bunch. Best of all, even though I had some close calls, I didn’t fall. I got lots of stares and questions and enjoyed all the social time. I told some little girls that if they took their vitamins they would get tall like me too. The parents got a good chuckle over that and appreciated the help I’m sure.

The most interesting part of this adventure was my trip to the bathroom. I think I set the world record for hovering. I must have been 4 feet above my target and I have to admit I didn’t have the best aim. I can’t believe I’m sharing this but some advice for beginners - use the bathroom before you put these things on or wear depends!

As an added bonus the space shuttle was going up for it’s last night launch and I watched it from the west side of the lake while I balanced on my stilts. I had the best view on the lake!

With such cool things as jumping stilts and shuttle launches it’s a great time to be alive!

Cat “Tigger” Cathy

Friday, March 13, 2009

Supermodel Size me

Ah to be tall and lanky like the supermodels. Well I was half way there the other day. I had the tall part down since I was tempting new injuries with my latest extreme activity…jumping stilts.

Jumping stilts are not your ordinary stilts. They basically combine walking 2 feet taller and a trampoline into one fun filled and dangerous activity.

I was nervous. Most sports don’t make me this nervous but I could see so much potential for injury. I started by walking next to a fence for support. I did better than I expected and soon progressed to walking on the sidewalk with no support. I wasn’t good enough to make a YouTube video but I had fun, enjoyed a new challenge and didn’t get hurt. I consider this a total success!

Next time I want to try a bit of a jog and some small jumps. Supposedly you can run up to 20 miles per hour and jump several feet into the air. I’m thinking I will feel like the bionic woman…stronger, faster, higher…but no help with my hearing.

It’s also quite the attention grabber and I even heard a “that’s sick” comment from some kids biking by. I believe ‘sick’ is the new buzz word for cool but I could be wrong.

Anyone who knows me knows I love to show off so this new sport is right up my alley. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Cat “Do these stilts make my legs look fat” Cathy

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I’m Hot, You're Hot, He’s Hot, She’s Hot

Ok I don’t think I’m an ugly duckling or anything but I’m not used to getting many compliments on my looks. My outfit, personality and athletic ability often get compliments but generally not my looks. I’m ok with that since being a super model was never high on my to-do list although the money sure would be good.

I was kind of a late bloomer in high school and I was not very attractive and somewhat shy and insecure. I was picked on a lot so of course this didn’t help the situation any. High school sure can be tough! Ok you can stop crying and feeling sorry for me now. I’m just offering this as a possible reason as to why last night seemed so unusual to me. And why today I feel like singing West Side Story’s “I feel pretty, oh so pretty and witty and gay”.

I wasn’t in a great mood last night since my boyfriend and I were not on the best of terms but I decided to go on my weekly bike ride anyway. First a 29 year old guy said he saw me at a charity event and he and his friends were checking me out. This was very flattering and according to the latest rule I’ve learned on dating ages (half your age plus 7) he would be in my range (40/2=20 plus 7 =27). Sorry I didn’t mean to do math here but I am an engineer after all. Unfortunately this rule also implies that a 66 year old would be the top end of my age range. So it’s kind of a dumb rule IMHO and this 29 year old ‘kid’ while flattering was also just a little creepy in a teacher dating her student kind of way.

Later another friend showed up who I hadn’t seen in a while. I had texted him a week ago and he didn’t reply. When I saw him he said he was not allowed to text pretty girls now that he is back with his wife. Of course he was kidding but this was count 2 on my pretty compliments.

Then later I got a third pretty from a street performer. Yes he was working for tips and maybe this one shouldn’t count but I’ll take whatever I can get!

It’s nice to receive a compliment and it really put me in a good mood. I think it’s always good to compliment people as long as you really mean it. So I think I will make today a day that I hand out lots of meaningful compliments in a hopes to cheer others up. I recommend you do the same and brighten up someone’s day.

Cat “You Look Mahvelous” Cathy

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daytona Beach Bike Week ... Catastrophe Cathy Style

The jabs started early. We walked into an Italian restaurant and the server said “I get it, it’s bike week…ha ha”. We were just there to use the restrooms before our annual ride through Daytona Beach for bike week. The difference between us and most everyone else is we were on bicycles not motorcycles. So instead of leather and tattoos it was those oh so cool padded spandex shorts, brightly colored wicking tops and Styrofoam helmets. With over 20 of us, we were quite the ‘biker’ gang.

I was in rare form as this is one of my favorite bike ride events. It’s mostly a social ride that culminates in several trips down Main Street, which is the strip where all the bikers hang out and watch the other bikers go by. So imagine their surprise when all the bicycles rode through. They actually seemed to enjoy our visit. I guess it was a change of pace and they could tell we were having fun. Some made little jabs like “where’s your motor”. To which we would reply “we couldn’t afford the gas”. Others made the “vroom vroom” motorcycle sounds for us. I started high fiving as I biked by which reminded me of my parade days. The bikers asked for wheelies and tricks. Being the ham that I am, I complied with some bunny hops since that’s all I can really do on a bicycle. It seemed to be enough though, since a group of (probably really drunk) bikers cheered for me like they had never seen a bunny hop before. I think maybe the tight little spandex shorts I was wearing had something to do with it.

All in all the bikers were great. They really made us feel welcome and made it a lot of fun. I can’t wait to do it again next year. In the meantime I must practice my hamming it up skills and learn how to wheelie!

Cat “Biker Chick” Cathy

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I’d like to buy a house and I’ve been looking on and off for years now. At some point it went from being a responsible thing to do to a game of Russian roulette. First the market was too high and I was waiting to buy a home since I realized it couldn’t last. Now prices are dropping but I still feel like they have a ways to go. The government seems set on keeping home prices high and which is delaying the price drop. I personally don’t think the government intervention is going to work. Prices need to fall to where people can afford them. That means the average home should be approximately 3 times the average gross salary or 30% of your monthly income or whatever other ‘rule of thumb’ you chose to use.

So I keep looking but I’m not really stressing about it. I’m still waiting on the downward trend. Plus once the market turns around the graph will look more like a flat liner than a capital V in my humble opinion. At this point houses will be what they should have always been….A way to feel settled in a community and build some long term equity. As apposed to the most recent get rich quick scheme.

I look forward to getting my first home and planting orange and mango trees and even an herb garden. I know it will make me feel like more of a grownup and that some of my hard work over the past 24 years was worth it. I will keep you posted on my house hunt and all the resulting trials and tribulations.

Cat“Won’t you be my Neighbor” Cathy

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Retroactive Life List

I was sitting around the other day just thinking of all the cool things I’ve done so far in my life. Activities ranged from hang gliding to getting my engineering degree to doing this blog. I was so inspired I created a life list. Or as the movie title goes a “Bucket List”…which is a list of things to do before I kick the bucket.

I’ve never really had a list of what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve just gone with the flow and took advantage of whatever opportunities were presented. This approach has worked well for me. Imagine if I made my list 20 years ago and tried to stick to it. There wouldn’t be anything on that list about internet, blogging, inline skating, podcasting, kite boarding and a number of other things that just didn’t exist when I was younger. So the list I just created is retroactive since it covers what I’ve done so far and not what I plan to do. I recommend everyone try this since it was enlightening and fun reminiscing about all my past adventures.

So now that my retroactive list is done I’m trying to add a few new activities to pursue and I’m just not sure what to add. Base jumping off Angel Falls sounds exciting but I’m not really sure that’s the direction I want to go. (By direction I mean down and down really fast). Writing my memoirs is another option. I already have the title - “Catastrophe Cathy - Confessions of a Blogger”. Neither of these really seems to appeal to me though. I think I’ll just keep looking for opportunity and taking it wherever I find it for now. But I’m also willing to hear suggestions so let me know if you have an idea for my list.

Cat “Miles to go Before I Sleep” Cathy

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Carpe Diem

I recently added getting a fish pedicure to my life “to do” list. It’s a trendy way of getting a pedicure where small carp fish eat the dead skin on your feet. I actually tested it out on my hand recently when I was at a salon open house. It tickled but was fun and my hand felt really soft when I pulled it out of the water. I have to admit it was a bit creepy when I looked down and saw the little creatures swarming all over my hand though. Even so, I decided I should give it a try at least once and was looking forward to scheduling my first fish pedicure. But that may be an issue now since the Florida Board of Cosmetology just banned it. They said there was no way to disinfect a pool of fish between uses.

So what’s a girl to do? Do I give up on my whole fish pedicure idea or look for one on the black market? Maybe I can just stick my feet in the ocean with some food on them and see if anything takes the bait. Or maybe this just means I have to take a trip to Asia where it is still legal.

What do you think? Is it unsafe and unsanitary? Would you try it? Did the board make a rash decision?

Cat “Here fishy fishy” Cathy

Friday, February 13, 2009

Señior Blackberry

I’m still laughing about the way I acted the other day so I wanted to share. I had a fake mustache from a social event at the skating rink. I have no clue what a fake mustache has to do with skating but everyone got when we arrived and it was fun. This little detail will become important later.

After skating we all went out to eat. I was seated next to a social acquaintance who was telling me about his ex girlfriend in a not so nice way. I can relate to needing to talk about an ex so I wanted to be there and show support. Plus the story was pretty juicy and everyone likes a little gossip and scandal now and then. Considering this I think I was probably provoking him in some ways to share his story.

But this was not the first time he had told me the story and his ex is also an acquaintance of mine. Plus I think people often act badly in relationships for a variety of reasons and sharing this ‘dirt’ is just not a good thing to do. No matter how hurt you are and how much you feel wronged by an ex I really believe the best thing to do is realize you chose that person for some reason. Enjoy remembering the good times and learn from the bad times. Except for your closest friends (and your therapist) it’s best to just say something complimentary or nothing at all about an ex. It seems like concentrating on the negative will only bring on more negativity and make it take longer to grow and move on INMO.

So about 10 minutes into the scandalous conversation I realized I needed to put an end to it. But how? Hmmm…Surely there is a smooth way of doing it. Maybe, but I took the silly Catastrophe Cathy approach since it was all I could think of at that moment. Right in the middle of the juicy details I put my fake mustache on my phone and turned to a friend sitting on my other side and said “look , it’s Señior Blackberry!”. She thought it was cute and took a picture of my phone. This distraction effectively ended the gossip albeit in a less than diplomatic way.

I hope my acquaintance is feeling better and I hope if he reads this he realizes I’m not judging and I wish him a speedy recovery.

Cat “Señorita” Cathy

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ouch…What Did I do to Myself This Time?

I played roller hockey for the first time in many years last night and as a result I’m nursing my latest injury today. I was excited to be playing again but nervous since I was the only girl. But I played well and got lots of compliments and the guys seemed to be ok with me being there. It’s an aggressive sport and I got knocked over at one point which was fun. The guy felt bad for hitting me but I was ok. He asked a me a few times if I was ok so I let him know in a joking way the gloves would be coming off later…that’s how the hockey fights start. The falls and hitting didn’t cause my latest injury though. My skate got hit by a fast moving puck. I wasn’t wearing hockey skates so there wasn’t much protection. It hurt but I just kept playing. I guess the adrenaline was going so I didn’t care. By the time I got home though the pain had set in and my foot started to swell. I barely slept from the pain and I had to crawl around my apartment since I could not stand on it.

Is it broken? I don’t think so. It already feels a little better today but I am moving slowly and I did schedule a doctor appointment for tomorrow. I’m going to the same doctor who fixed my broken leg 7 years ago. I wonder if he will offer me a two for one deal.

This latest injury just reminds me of all the abuse my poor body has been through over the years. It started as a young extreme Rummy when I was in elementary school and just liked to jump off of things “for fun”. From there it’s been 20 plus years of mountain biking, skating and other miscellaneous sports injuries. From bumps to bruises to breaks, I’ve had them all. Perhaps it’s time for me to settle down and start knitting or something….nah, I think I still have a few more good years left in me. Even when I decide it’s not worth the pain anymore I will still do sports but just the less aggressive type. I believe it’s important to be active throughout your life. It keeps you in shape, reduces stress and it’s fun!

Hockey was a blast. I have no regrets about playing and assuming my foot isn’t too badly injured I hope to go out again soon. With the proper skates this time of course!

Cat “Stanley Cup“ Cathy

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Elf Charm School

I had a great time over the holiday season telling people I was an elf when they asked what I did for a living. I always enjoyed the strange looks they would give me wondering if I was kidding or maybe a wee bit crazy. It got to the point that my friends would encourage people to ask me what I did for a living so they could laugh their reactions. Well I wasn’t kidding or crazy, I really was an elf. I wasn’t just your ordinary elf though. I was a special skating variety. It’s one of the many advantages of living in a touristy area. I auditioned and got a role as a skating elf at a local theme park in their daily parade.

After a few days of elf ‘charm school’, which is just my fancy way of saying rehearsals, I was ready for the main event. It was a blast and a real confidence booster to skate in front of hundreds of people and show off my mad skating skills. The best part of it was the adorable little kids and the excitement they would get just from high fiving me and the proud look on the parent’s face when I paid extra attention to one. At times I just couldn’t believe I was getting paid to do it since I love to skate and love to entertain. But at other times it was difficult since I had to leave my day job early and bring work home. Due to the time commitment and the added stress I’m actually glad the parade is over. But I have some great memories, extra confidence and some new co-worker friends. Will I audition again next year? At this point I really can’t decide. Besides, a lot can change in 10 months so we will just have to wait and see.

Cat “The Oversized Elf” Cathy

Friday, January 23, 2009

Vane About Veins

Every year lately I do a little something special to keep me looking young. In the past I’ve tried whitening my teeth, scar cream and cellulite cream. The teeth whitening worked, for a couple years at least, but I had my mouth pulled so far apart for two hours while they were doing it that I swear it doubled the amount of wrinkles on my lips. The scar cream did absolutely nothing but remind me I had scars as I rubbed them every day. But that’s ok since they actually bring back good memories since many of my scars are from my sports and adventures. The cellulite cream did absolutely nothing but give me an excuse to get my boyfriend to rub my backside.

But even with this bad luck I decided to try again. This time I was attacking my spider veins. I’ve had them since I was 16 but I decided it was finally time to tell them “hasta la vista baby”! So I made an appointment at a clinic that performs all kinds of elective surgeries. It was very apparent from the moment I got on property that this was not ‘my scene’. I had the worst car in the parking lot but that’s usually true no matter where I go…even at the Salvation Army. I ventured in the clinic and all the women inside were perfect looking in a high maintenance sort of way with all the latest accessories and big puffy lips while I was in sweats and with my hair in a pony tail. The shots were somewhat painful but I’m tough and willing to make the sacrifice in the name of beauty. (Men really should appreciate all that we go through to look good for them!) Following my elective ‘surgery’ I had to wear ace bandages for 2 days. Most places provide compression hose but not my upscale clinic. All I got was ace bandages and I spent the next 2 days with very heavy looking legs under my pants and having to constantly pull up and readjust the bandages.

They tell you it will take weeks for the veins to fade and that multiple injections are required. Well it’s been two months now and some of the veins did go away but the majority did not. So now it’s decision time. Do I try again? Do I give up and accept my slightly purpled legs that really look fine with a tan in summer anyway? I’m leaning toward one more visit. After all I don’t want to be labeled a quitter!

Even if I do decide to go back for a second round, I learned a long time ago that the best things to keep me young are exercise, a playful attitude, new adventures and eating healthy. So if you’re in the mood to improve yourself I recommend these things first. They are more fun and much less painful too!

Cat “Low Maintenance” Cathy

Super Tuesday

Tomorrow is the big day! After tomorrow I won't have to hear any more of those annoying political commercials and my mailbox won't be stuffed full of endorsements for candidates. It all seems so wasteful to me. I just want to be informed by a neutral party and make the best choice I can. I don't look at a sign in someone's yard and say "wow they have a nice yard ... maybe I should vote like they are". So I tried to look up in the local newspaper all the people and issues I have a chance to vote on tomorrow. Many of them still don't provide any information. All this money being spent on advertising and I still can't find any neutral information so I can make an informed decision. Best of luck to everyone out there tomorrow. Hopefully the lines wont be too long and the Reds and Blues can live together hapily no matter who wins.

"I'm Cathy and I approved this message!"

Cat "Exercising ....My Right To Vote" Cathy

Save the Ta Ta's

Woo hoo, I just found out I'm at less risk for breast cancer. A study showed that vigirous exercise can cut a woman's risk by 30%. I never really thought it would be an issue for me since I don't have a family history of it and I consider myself healthy. But you never know so this is good news for me. And for everyone else this is just one more reason to get out there and exercise. It's fun, healthy and its nice to feel good about your body. Happy Halloween!!!

Cat "Quit Looking at my Eyes...My boobs are down here" Cathy


The New Me....For Today at Least

Ever have one of those days where you just feel like a big kid playing grown up? Well I’m having one today for some reason. Perhaps it’s partly because of the way I dressed today – big pink sweatshirt for the frigid cold us Floridians are not used to. I was talking on the phone with a consultant and I just felt like “wow this is a cool job and I feel so important and I’m just a silly little girl”. It was a fun feeling that doesn’t happen too often since I sometimes get caught up in the daily grind and get in a routine.

I had another moment a few weeks ago when I went jet skiing in just my bikini and vest. I usually wear a big wetsuit and helmet so I felt so much sexier with just a skimpy bikini. I was feeling like a playboy bunny for a while there. Yes it’s a bit delusional but it was still fun. Unfortunately I discovered the sexy bikini thing right before winter so I won’t be able to do just the bikini thing again for many months.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my weird days when I seem to view everything from a totally different perspective. Maybe it’s just because Halloween is almost here and that’s definitely a time when you get to experiment with who you are. Let me know if you ever experience these moments where you have a totally different reality or if you just think I’m crazy!

Cat “Pretty in Pink” Cathy