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