Friday, December 24, 2010

The Magical Bowl of Life Changing Proportions

2010 is almost over so it's time to make my New Year's resolutions. I like to joke about picking a resolution like 'don't smoke crack'. Since I never have done that (and never would) it helps me start my year off on a positive note. Seriously, I usually pick an item or two about myself that I would like to work on throughout the year but I don't ever seem to follow through or even remember what the resolutions were by the time March rolls around.

This year a friend of mine gave me an idea that I think will be fun, interesting, challenging and help me to learn more about myself and the world around me. I made a list of 26 different activities and put each item on a slip of paper in a bowl. Every other week I will pull a new item out of the 'magical bowl'. I will have one week to prep for the activity and one week that I will do the activity. These activities are just ways for me to mix it up and not stay in a routine. They range from cooking at home each night to being goth for a week...whatever that means.

Each week I will blog about my experiences with the item I chose and what it taught me. This could be expensive and time consuming since I will still want to do all my normal activities but it should be interesting too.

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you take some time to come up with your own plan to make the new year fun, growing and memorable.

Cat "Should Old Acquaintence Be Forgot" Cathy

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Happy Joy Joy

During this holiday season it seemed appropriate to do a blog about Joy. There are many things that bring me joy. One of my big sources of joy is a walk around the lake. It inspires and refreshes me. There is something about being outdoors, feeling the sun and wind on my skin and just relaxing and watching the birds that puts me in my happy place. It inspires me to do great things…or sometimes to do nothing at all…but it is still inspirational to me.

I think it is very important to know yourself and what you need to be joyous. Some days I need a lot of social contact so I go out to a big event and say hi to all my acquaintances. Other days I just want to be alone and reflective about where I am in my life. And still other days I just want to accomplish some errands so I don’t feel overwhelmed. For me it is all about understanding how I am feeling at that moment and making my activities fit instead of just doing the same thing every week.

I hope you take the time to enjoy each day and relish in your sources of joy. Sometimes even seemingly mundane activities can actually be a great source of joy and inner peace. It really just depends on how you look at it and your mood.

Cat “Feeling Joyous at Christmas Time” Cathy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Don’t Hate the Driver Hate The Traffic

There is one point of my daily commute that I totally dread. I have to merge into bumper to bumper traffic that is already going 40 mph. I’ve learned if you stop you will be stuck there for hours and cause a major backup. So I always shove my little car into whatever sort of a spot I can find. I was feeling silly today so as I cut into the main traffic lane I said “Don’t hate the driver, hate the traffic”. I said this to myself but I still thought it was funny and chuckled a bit. My expression was a take off from “don’t hate the player, hate the game”. I absolute hate that expression but I thought mine was funny. So do you have a take off on this expression and if so how did it come about?

Cat “Don’t hate the Blog, hate the blogspot” Cathy

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sailing…Takes Me Away

It’s been at least 10 minutes so I was overdue for a new hobby. My latest challenge is sailing classes. A girl friend of mine actually motivated me to take these classes and I’m very thankful to her for that. Usually I feel like I’m the one motivating so this was a nice change. I’ve gone out on catamarans (hobie cat type) with friends over the years and it’s a blast. Mostly I was just the ‘dead weight’ hanging over the side and I left the technical sailing stuff to the captain. So sailing always seemed easy to me. But as the captain I’ve discovered that there is a lot to learn and it will take a long time to master this hobby. I’m ok with that since I enjoy the challenge.

The class consisted of three days in a classroom and three mornings of sailing. I learned a lot including a new language. Ok not really, but everything in the boat has a name. The sail has like ten different names depending on which part you are talking about. Plus once you put a pulley in a boat it is called a block. A rope becomes a line. And don’t even get me started on the parts of the boat.

Our actual on water lessons were a bit stressful. The instructor was obviously a great sailor but not the best teacher IMHO. I can’t even tell you how many times we get ‘yelled’ at. She would ask “what should we do here?” I’d say ……tack? She would get angry so I’d say JIBE! Luckily there were often only two choices – head up or ease off, bow into the wind or stern into the wind, tiller toward the sail or tiller away from the sail. Unfortunately I was only right about 50% of the time which means I’m just an average guesser.

But I did learn some things and I hope to stick with it so I don’t forget. Only problem is trying to fit this hobby in with all the rest. It’s not easy but it will be fun!

Cat ‘Jibe Ho!’ Cathy

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cougar or MILF?

Two new terms have recently emerged on the scene and unfortunately I am old enough to potentially be called either one. My friends and I were talking about which one is more offensive. Funny that we all agreed Cougar is more offensive. MILF while crude and including a curse word seems to just mean that a person is older and a mother and yet desirable. Cougar on the other hand with no curse words and a pretty animal seems to insinuate a woman who just dates much younger guys and has to chase them and support them. Somehow this just sounds more negative to me.

So what do you think? Which is more crude, rude and socially unacceptable? Which would you want to be called? I guess technically I couldn’t be called a MILF since I don’t have kids and hopefully I will never be called a Cougar since I try to avoid guys more than a few years younger than me.

Cat “Just All Around Cool Chick” Cathy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Worst ‘Date’ Ever

I just had to share my horrible ‘date’ story. We planned to meet for lunch but since my ‘date’ was fasting I suggested Whole Foods so we could get juice drinks. I assumed we would get drinks and then sit down and talk for a while. But nooooooo! My ‘date’ arrives and grabs a shopping cart so he can shop for his fast. At this point the ‘date’ was already over in my mind but I wasn’t sure how to bug out so I suffered through a few minutes of getting my own juice drink and watching him shop while we tried to have a conversation. This ‘date’ couldn’t have ended soon enough for me. Note to men: A date is a chance for you to woo a woman and show some interest. Not a chance for you to get chores done! Thankfully I never heard from him again since I assume ‘date’ number 2 would be watching him clean is toilet.

Since I try to end on a positive note I will add that I did find a new tea while I was shopping and I really like it a lot. So something good besides a funny blog story came out of this ‘date’.

Cat “NEXT!” Cathy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Brain Hurts

There was a time long ago when humans thought the world was flat and a much more recent time when humans thought that you did not create new brain cells during your life. I recently read an interesting article on keeping your brain active and it turns out your brain can and does create new brain cells! This should be particularly good news to those who may have slightly abused this vital organ in their youth.

The most interesting part to me was that new mental exercises were needed to get the benefit. If you do crosswords and that’s all you’ve done for many years you are not getting as much benefit. You need to try a new mental activity to stimulate new pathways and new growth.

As it turns out I guess all my different hobbies have been helping me more than I ever knew. I encourage everyone to try a new recipe, drive down a new street, read a new book, talk to new people or whatever novel things you can think of to get those brain cells a pumping!

Cat “duh” Cathy

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Feeling Positive

I was convinced to do a positive list. It’s a list of all the good things you like about yourself. Apparently it is not a good idea to concentrate on the negative things you don’t like….something I always did. Apparently you have to accept and love yourself the way you are and then you can grow from there. Or so I’ve been told.

So I did my positive list and it was a lot of fun. I liked thinking about my good things instead of my bad. Just making the list put me in a happy mood. And then I asked a good friend what he thought and he gave me a few more items for my list. His items were very nice and made me smile. It was nice that he saw all these good qualities in me while I was picking away at my less than girly wardrobe, bad hair days, temper…ok not allowed to think of these any more. Just the happy happy joy joy things.

Anyway I was told it takes about 6 months for this to become a pattern. So I’m going to try it. I have my positive list and I will see if I can think about these good things instead of the bad and accept myself as I am and see where it goes from there. I will keep you posted on any progress I make. In the meantime I’d suggest this activity to everyone. It’s a nice way to see yourself in a positive light. And if you have a BFF or boyfriend you can ask them too and get more input and maybe form a closer relationship in the process.

Cat “Sending Positive Vibes” Cathy

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On The Line Dating

As I blogged about before I am single and using online dating services. I like it as a way to meet people you may not meet otherwise and have more options on who to date. While I work, blog, sleep and play my dating profiles are out there working for me. I met my last three boyfriends online so it has pretty much become standard practice for me now. As an ‘expert’ I thought I’d share some of my advice to other women looking for love:

-Ignore the large cut and paste emails that say generic things and include summaries of what is already in their profile. Instead concentrate on the emails that seem more genuine and personalized. I believe a guy who is really looking is going to do a search and narrow down the choice to a few good women and then send out a few emails. Mass emailing to see who replies is lame and impersonalized IMHO.

-I usually do not do searches for guys. I wait for them to contact me. At times I’ve gotten disappointed and did my own search and emailed or winked. My response rate is about 1%. You would think I was contacting Brad Pitt types based on my bad return…but I wasn’t. If I see someone I really think I’d like the most I will do now is wink or a quick note just in case. But responses are rare and try not to take it personally. I tell myself I’m just not what they are looking for and I want a guy who digs me and wants me.

-I don’t like to waste a lot of time emailing and then texting and then talking on the phone and then finally meet. You really don’t know what you are getting into until you meet so I just prefer a few quick emails, then one phone call and then a date. The profile is just a way to see if they meet your basic requirements and you won’t know if you are attracted or intrigued until you meet. It’s sad to get your hopes up and then meet and realize they are nothing like what you imagined in your head or what their profile led you to believe.

-When you make the first call try to schedule a first date if you still want to meet after you have talked for a bit. I’ve had hour long conversations and they seemed to go well. At the end of the call we’d decided to talk again since a date wasn’t able to be scheduled. Not many of these potential matches ever called back. So schedule the date during the first call and make it within a few days of the call if at all possible.

-First dates should be very simple due to not having a clue what you are getting in to. I recommend a lunch. That way you meet in a public place and there is no pressure to spend more than an hour together. If it goes well and he seems safe then you can plan more elaborate future dates.

-If he suggests more of a meet and greet with a coffee or drink I’d probably skip. To me that means he is not very interested. If he really thinks you are what he is looking for he will be open to at least a lunch meeting.

-If you meet and you are not sure and he calls for a second date I say go for it. Sometimes people are nervous or just not having a good day. As long as you were undecided a second date is a good idea. If you know there is absolutely no way you would be interested than skip the second date but otherwise take a chance.

-I say let him plan the first few dates. This is a time where he should be wooing you. You just need to show up, have fun, be yourself and be nice.

This is my best advice and I hope it helps some of the women out there. Of course I am still single so maybe I’m not the best person to be giving advice. Guys feel free to let me know if you have any input or your own guidelines.

Cat “Wink Wink Nudge Nudge” Cathy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wave Dazed

2010 has been a lame year for vacations but I did manage to take a short trip to Virginia Beach Virginia for a stand up Jet Ski event called Wave Daze. The event is called a ‘Freeride’ so basically lots of stand up riders meet to ride together and show off and have fun but it’s not a competition.

Even though I was there for the Jet Ski event I didn’t want to spend the whole time jet skiing. The first day was cold, dreary and rough water so I decided to explore a bit instead of getting wet. The Neptune festival …whatever that is…had taken place the weekend before so there was lots of awesome sandcastle art work. I was really impressed with the Neptune Sandcastle but I can’t help but wonder if giving him bunny ears in my picture upset the god of water just a wee a bit and caused our rough water weekend.

After the sand castle viewing I put on my inline skates and went out to explore. Virginia Beach was pretty but very touristy with nothing but T-shirt shops, hotels and restaurants. While exploring I noticed odd signs at almost every intersection that seemed to be saying ‘no cursing’. I found out later that I was correct and the city several years back had made a no cursing law and actually enforced it. Much like getting a speeding ticket on a bicycle the thought of getting a cursing ticket was almost appealing to me as a way to have bragging rights with my friends. I wondered how this law was enforced. What if you cursed in another language…would they know…could they still ticket you? Enquiring minds want to know. I was thinking I’d learn some obscure bushman curse words and be able to skirt the system that way. Plus the whole idea of a town that doesn’t like cursing but it’s ok to buy t-shirts that say “My Pen Is Huge” and “The person wearing this shirt is an emergency worker just lay on your back and do whatever he tells you” seems like an odd contrast and a wee bit hypocritical to me.

I spent a lot of time in my skates exploring and blading up and down the boardwalk. Thankfully it was off season since I heard it gets really crowded during season and I wouldn’t have been able to skate like I did. There was a really strong north wind so the skate out was hard but the skate back was way too easy. I wish I had my gps since I’m sure my speed was approaching mach 1. I would use my skates often during the long weekend to get around and explore and I even had a chance to do a night skate thanks to the ample lighting on the boardwalk.

I was intrigued by the free hugs t-shirts for sale. I’ve watched the YouTube videos on this and was quite taken by the kinship it showed so I bought a bunch of them for all my girlfriends. I’m just hoping they lead to a fun experience and not some rude comments like ‘what else do you do for free’. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome of those t-shirts.

Since the weekend was on the beach some kite practice was in order. I flew at night one time. It was my first night time flight experience and I liked it since I didn’t have to stare directly into the blazing sun like I usually do. I flew one day too and the wind was perfect. I was being dragged on my feet through the sand 10 feet or so and it was a great upper body workout. I’m still a long way from being an expert in this sport but I did feel more confident than most of my flying experiences.

And finally since it was a Jet Ski event I borrowed one and thrashed in the waves for a bit. The waves were rough and the ski was set up differently than I am used to but it was still a blast, I didn’t get hurt and I didn’t break the ski. So I’d consider that a good day of riding!

Cat “Dazed and Confused” Cathy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Circus School

As part of my ‘try everything once’ philosophy I recently ran away to join the circus. Ok not really but I did start circus school and I liked it so much I now attend almost weekly. I’m learning aerial silk. You can see what it is in the pictures but basically it is a sexy upper body workout with a fun height component to it.

I’ve met several other girls doing this new hobby of mine. They all seem very sweet and it’s nice making new friends. I’m probably old enough to be the mother of most of them but so what, I’m glad I’m still healthy enough to enjoy fun activities like this.

Our instructor is sweet in a boot camp sort of way. She is Russian and I think she was born into the circus industry since she mentioned 6 hour days training on the aerial silk. I get a kick out of her strong Russian accent as she tells us ‘you must stretch more’ and then she sits on your back to help. Since it’s supposed to be artistic she tells us ‘point your toes’. I’m still just struggling to hold my weight and pull myself up so I’m not really too worried about pointed toes and being pretty at this stage.

It’s way fun and I love having something new to learn and look forward to. Take a chance and try something new too!

Cat “Hanging Around” Cathy

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ometepe Island Nicaragua - The End of Our Adventure

Our final stop in Nicaragua was Ometepe Island. A pretty figure 8 shaped island with a volcano on each end located in Lake Nicaragua. The only way to the island is by ferry and it is a must see for any trip to Nicaragua in my not so humble opinion.

The island was beautiful and lush…from the active volcano I assume. The only thing that could have made this place prettier would be clearer water. The water is just a brownish color and not the pretty blue hues you get in the ocean.

We rented motorcycles to explore the island for two days. We saw springs, hiked to a waterfall, saw lovely views of the volcanos from every angle and just enjoyed taking in the local color. Never have I felt safer on a motorcycle. There are very few cars on the island so all I had to worry about was other motorcycles, holes in the road, school children, pigs with piglets suckling, chickens, cowboys, farmers with machetes, rocks….I seriously did encounter all of these and at times it felt like it would make for a good video game but somehow this just felt like part of the adventure and added to the experience.

One night we were walking around one of the small towns feeling like we were on quite an adventure. Most people didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak Spanish. We had not hot water and our power would go out for an hour or so during the almost nightly storms. It was quite a rustic and foreign feel until we stumbled upon a bar and looked in the window. They had a television and it was playing an Orlando Magic basketball game! I was shocked and actually disappointed but also thought it was funny and reminded me of how small a world it actually is.

Another small world experience came when I ran over cow manure in another small village. I stopped to clean it off my bike before it could get on me and music was playing. Not native or local music but a sappy American love song from the 70’s. What a contrast this song was to my surroundings!

The people on this island were so friendly. At one point a man with a machete yelled at me. But it wasn’t an angry yell it was more of a ‘hey lookout’ best I could tell. So I asked my (now ex) boyfriend “honey, the nice man with the machete is yelling at me, should I stop?” We kept going but soon a whole village was yelling at me. I decided there must be some issue like a huge drop ahead so I better stop and see what all the commotion is about. It turns out my battery had come lose from my motorcycle and was flopping around. The cutest young teenager helped me tie up the battery so I could finish my ride while the whole village watched. It was the excitement for the day for us and it seemed for them as well.

Since the battery was just roped in it was no longer starting my motorcycle and I had to kick start it. Not a big problem but it was taking me a few times to get it going. At one point we stopped in the rain to decide how to get back to the hotel. I was having trouble starting my motorcycle and a local man got out of his truck in the rain and kick started it for me! I was shocked at this gesture and the friendliness of everyone on the island. I almost hate to go back since I’m worried with time they will become jaded from tourists and the nice feel I had there will be gone.

As a final note to our adventurous stay in Nicaragua we were stopped by cops yet again while on the way to the airport. At first we were nervous since we were running late but we finally figured out they wanted us to buy a ticket to something equivalent to the policeman’s ball. Well we would do anything not to miss our plane and especially since they were carrying big guns. As it turns out it cost about $2 for the tickets and we laughed saying it was a bargain at twice the price. And so ended the most extreme vacation I’d ever taken….I can’t wait to do it again!

Cat “Ometepe on my mind” Cathy

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Personal Floatation Devices

PFD’s are normally associated with life vests but that’s what my friend and I call women’s implants. It seriously looks in many cases like they have two personal flotation devices ready to keep them bobbing with just their neck and heads above water.

Yes I’m being harsh but if I could take away one ‘invention’ of the world it would probably be these. It bothers me that there is so much pressure on women to look ‘good’ that they will undergo unnecessary surgery and then lug those bulky things around and possibly cause back problems.

This strong pressure to feel pretty comes from marketing companies who make you feel bad about yourself so you will buy crap. And it seems to me this pressure causes problems with body image and confidence in almost all women. This in turn causes problems in relationships. So we would all be better off if we could just accept ourselves in a natural state. Yes you should eat right and exercise and keep yourself clean but beyond that you should concentrate on more important things like knowledge, growth, helping others and being the best person you can and not just the one with the biggest ta-tas.

With regards to implants, I’d like to get to a point where women just say “no I’m not doing that, I have plenty to offer just the way I am”. I seriously think most guys are fine (and happy) with a woman’s natural body and the ones who would encourage you to risk your health and waste your money are probably not the right ones anyway.

Cat “A Cup and Happy” Cathy

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Six Hours to Nowhere

I’ve mountain biked for many years now but I’d only raced once. That one race was such a disaster I never wanted to go again. I was in novice women and the other women were ridiculously fast. I would think novice should be for people like me who just race and ride a bit but these girls had been racing for years and must have rode all the time. I was so far behind and I didn’t know anyone so I was getting what I called ‘the pity clap’. Strangers were cheering me on with “you can do it number 658”. It was sweet but not as motivational as they might have thought. It kinda made me feel pathetic. So I decided I didn’t want to commit that much time and racing is just not for me.

Flash forward several years and I’m asked to do a 6 hour mountain bike race. This is a solo event but thankfully there is also a 3 person team category. So Team Spin Spin Sugars was born. We didn’t train except for our usual Tuesday rides and I had never ridden the actual race course. So as I took the baton from my fellow Spin Spin I headed off into 10 miles of undiscovered country. I was told the trail was a ‘blue’ which is only somewhat technical. So I went full speed even in areas that looked to be highly technical. Thankfully my teammates didn’t steer me wrong and there was nothing more than a blue. It was still a bit scary heading full speed into some of the unknown drops. It was a brutal race since I couldn’t catch my breath on my first lap and since I had never ridden there before 10 miles felt more like 20. My second lap felt shorter and my breathing was ok but my legs felt like rubber since I sat for two hours in between laps.

Our not training paid off since we took 3rd in the all women’s division! After my lousy first race experience I never thought I’d get a medal in mountain biking so that it was exciting and fun to pose on the podium.

Will I do it again? Probably but I’m not going to make a lifestyle out of it. There are just too many other things on my bucket list.

Cat “Spin Spin” Cathy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nicaragua - San Juan Del Sur

On the way to San Juan Del Sur we saw the Nicaraguan equivalent of mass transit. I just had to take a picture of 12 people AND a motorcycle in the back of a pickup truck.

We also stopped at a wind farm. It was amazing to pass an ox pulling a cart and then see a wind farm in the background. Talk about a contrast. But as an environmental engineer I was glad to see this cleaner form of energy being used.

San Juan Del Sur is about as touristy a town as Nicaragua gets (which is not very touristy). There are several restaurants on the water but it really didn’t seem to matter which one you picked since they all had the same food. I was totally bored and over the food in Nicaragua at this point. That was quite a disappointment since food is usually a fun part of any vacation.

There’s was new Jesus statue that was just built so we took a short hike to it so we could tell everyone we found Jesus on our vacation. We also did the typical zip lining and rode ATV’s to the beaches.

The highlight came when I found this holistic place and an American guy who said his wife did massages. I decided a massage would be a great idea but I was fresh off the beach and wanted to go home and shower first. So we set an appointment for about 6 pm. I cleaned up and was looking forward to my relaxing massage. When I arrived the quite place had been transformed into a loud dance club. The American guy said he had forgotten when he made my appointment that the back of the building is used as a dance club on Saturday nights. I decided to get the massage anyway. I expected his wife to be some hippie looking American too but she was a very big and very un-hippie looking Nicaraguan who didn’t speak English. So while I got my massage music was blaring just a few feet away. Somehow it was still a bit relaxing and a fun experience. My very first (and hopefully last) disco massage! Now there is something for the bucket list.

Next we head to our final Nicaraguan stop at Ometepe Island which was the highlight of the vacation.

Cat “Where’s a McDonalds?” Cathy

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nicaragua – Most Extreme Vacation Ever!

I’m a little behind on my Nicaragua vacation blog. I blogged about the first few days but never completed the trip blog. I guess that happens when you’re busy and doing so many cool things. But it’s over a year later and I still remember the trip fondly and I really think it was the most extreme (and unusual) vacation I ever took. The food was not that great and there were times I didn’t feel totally safe but boy what an adventure!

From barely making it into the country since they thought I had swine flu, to bribing the cops out of a traffic ticket even though we couldn’t understand Spanish to visiting a live active volcano where you back your car in just in case you have to leave in a hurry…i.e. avoid molten lava rocks… this trip was extreme! I’ve already talked about these adventures in previous posts so it’s on to new topics.

From the volcano viewing we headed to Grenada. This city didn’t really impress me much as the food was not good and somewhat expensive and I never felt very safe here. But I did enjoy watching some kids doing break dancing for tips. They were really good and I tipped them well. In a way I felt bad for them since they probably had to do this to help their families but they were very fit and seemed to enjoy the work at least. I also met two cute little boys at my hotel. They hung out in front and waited for tourists to give them money. I’m not a big fan of just handing money to people but I did share my fruit with them and took a cute picture and gave them money for that. While taking the picture I could tell one of the kids was trying to find money in my back pocket. Hence some of the reason I didn’t feel overly safe.

We took a boat trip in Lake Nicaragua and saw lots of islands formed from a local volcano spewing rocks over the centuries. These islands were mostly individual homes and some really nice ones at that. It was quite a contrast from the 3 people per bicycle I was seeing on the mainland. Many of the island owners were locals too according to our tour guide. It was tempting to buy an island there but it was pretty expensive and unfortunately the water of Lake Nicaragua is brown and not nearly as appealing as ocean waters.

From Grenada we headed to San Juan Del Sur which I will blog about soon! The best is yet to come as I talk about my unusual massage and Ometepe Island in my next posts.

Cat “Agua Fria Por Favor” Cathy

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Single White Female

As a newly single person, I’m back to the online dating sites yet again. It’s entertaining in many ways. It’s like the exact opposite of meeting someone in person at a bar or other social event. In person you know if you are attracted and then you just have to figure out if they are interested and if they meet your basic requirements such as age, education, smoking and kids. Online you know if they meet your basic requirements (assuming they are honest) and you just have to figure out if you would be at all attracted to them.

Here are a few picture observations/opinions for the guys out there:

-Pictures with a big fish. Unless you just love to fish and plan on spending a lot of time doing this I would just leave this picture off. Most women aren’t into fishing and are not impressed by the big fish. If you want to prove you can provide for them then just show a picture with your paycheck!

-Pictures with hot hooters/wing house/insert sexy girl here. Especially when the guy is in the range I’m looking for (over 37) it looks like you are posing with your daughter or just very immature. You aren’t fooling anyone that you could ‘get’ a girl who looks like that and if that’s what you want than I’m not interested anyway.

-Pictures that are self taken using a mirror. If you are serious about finding someone you should put just a little more effort into it. Maybe put on a shirt and have a friend take the picture. Or use this crazy thing called a timer.

-Pictures that are cut in half but still show a portion of the other person (usually the ex). Are you telling me that was the only good picture you had of yourself or that every single picture you took had the ex in them? Seriously, find a full picture of just you or take some new ones.

Ok I’m not trying to be mean to the guys. I’ve been on several dates and most of the guys I’ve met have been pretty nice. I only have a girl’s perspective so feel free to reply with a guy’s point of view and realize this was all meant to be light hearted.

Cat “Somewhere Out There” Cathy

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Off Road Biking

I’m bike shopping but I can’t decide between a cross country and an all mountain bike. I came across this funny and also helpful description of the different types of ‘off road’ bikes and types of riding:

Downhill: A race to see who can coast the fastest on a motorcycle that's had the engine removed and then riding a ski lift back up.

Free ride: Downhill without a time clock.

Urban Assault: Trying to justify spending all that money on a mountain bike for riding on the pavement.

Dirt Jumping: Falling off cliffs while holding onto a bicycle.

Cross Country: Riding skinny little fragile bikes expecting to be able to do everything downhillers/free riders do on bikes built with the strength of a road bike.

All Mountain: Overweight XC guys who ride bikes with too much travel and too much weight to really be useful.

I should be insulted since I do a lot of urban assaults but it’s a funny and somewhat true description since I have a way too expensive ‘off road’ bike that spends most of it’s time on asphalt. But I live in Orlando so our overpasses are our hills and we enjoy them the best we can!

Cat ‘for this much money they should have a motor’ Cathy

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Changes Aren’t Permanent, But Change Is

Sometimes it seems like nothing changes but then I look at where I was just a year earlier and I’m amazed at all that has happened. This year I did a relay for life skate event and I was thinking about the event the previous year. A new car, a new job, a lost boyfriend and 3 vacations later…Wow a lot HAD happened and changed.

I really enjoy reflecting on where I am in my life now compared to previous years. It’s a good way to see how I’ve grown and reminds me of my life experiences. Next time an annual event occurs take some time to see where you are compared to a year or several years earlier. It can be quite entertaining and enlightening.

Cat “Change Changing Places” Cathy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

All By Myself

At 42 years old I find myself single yet again. It’s a very painful and confusing time. I’ve learned from previous breakups how to deal with the emotions and moving on. Here is my 12 step program for recovery:

1.Take a few days to cry, wallow in self pity and mourn the loss of the future you will no longer have.

2. Plan on having no contact with your ex for a set amount of time while you heal. It is not a good idea to try and keep in touch and help each other. This is really sad by true.

3. During the wallow stage write down all your good experiences in the relationship since you will want to look back on them fondly someday.

4. Also write down all the bad things to make the breakup easier and to keep you from thinking about going back….ever!

5. Next think about and write down what went wrong and how you can improve your next relationship and what you want from your next relationship.

6. Reach out to friends to ease some of the loneliness. Most true friends are happy to take you out and listen for a bit.

7. After your initial wallowing period, keep your social calendar full with friends and family so you have less time to sit around and mope. It is pretty easy to keep busy if you are on or facebook.

8. Try new activities and adventures. This is a time to rediscover and reinvent ‘you’.

9. If you can, take some time away from dating to further analyze the previous relationship and heal. If you really don’t want to wait then at least be honest with your dates that you are still healing.

10. When ready put yourself back out there on the dating scene. Try online sites, have friends set you up and make it a point to meet new people when you go out.

11. At some point talk to your ex and clear the air. No matter what went wrong it was someone you loved and you should wish them well. You will feel a lot better without anger and resentment in your heart.

12. Be patient and picky and think of long term compatibility and not just chemistry. When it arrives, enjoy your new relationship and may it be a lifelong success!

So that’s my plan to recovery. I’m currently in steps 6, 7, 8 and 9. It’s not easy since I often think of my ex and want to talk with him. But I really believe no contact is the only way to move on. It’s a very lonely time for me and hard to stay positive. If you have someone going through a breakup be there and be supportive since it is not easy. I wish the best of luck to everyone hurting from a failed relationship and to everyone looking for love.

Cat “Table for One” Cathy

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Three Date Rule

For many years I’ve heard of ‘the 3 date rule’ – if a girl doesn’t sleep with you by the third date you move on. Seriously? Do people really follow this? I can’t imagine a worse way to start a relationship. I personally think it should be a three month rule at a minimum. It takes a lot more than three dates to get to know someone and determine if you’re compatible. Plus it’s fun to enjoy the early innocent stage of a relationship. This is something you never get back so it shouldn’t be too rushed. Besides I truly believe your relationship has a better chance and a guy will respect you more if you do wait. If the guy is a player you are more likely to find this out and move on by not rushing in.

So while it may be ‘fun’ I don’t think it is conducive to a healthy lifestyle or a long term relationship. This is just my humble opinion and thought I’d put it out there.

Cat “Worth the Wait” Cathy

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kidding Around

One of the biggest decisions in life is choosing to have kids or not. I consider myself a late bloomer since I was raised very na├»vely. I always though kids would come ‘someday’. Sometime around my 37th birthday I realized ‘someday’ better arrive soon or it will be too late. At that point I started being more selective of who I dated, read a lot of relationship books and really did some quick (yet way late) growing up.

Even with my 5 years of hard work and maturing, I’m still single with no kids. Now that I’m 42 I’m actually leaning towards “probably not” for the kids question on my profile. Up until now it was always “undecided”. In some ways this seems sad to me since raising a child seems like one of life’s big rewards and accomplishments. Plus they are just so gosh darn cute! But I realize they are also a lot of work, commitment, money and sacrifice.

So while having a mini me to teach and play with sounds like fun so does doing my nightly sports and social activities and retiring early. I can always spoil my friends’ kids and get my fix that way.

Cat “Child at Heart” Cathy

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Music Makes People Come Together

I was browsing the online newspaper and lo and behold I found something awesome. There was a story about the public library allowing three free song downloads a week from their website. My frugal nature clicked in and I promptly checked it out. It worked great and I now have my three ‘songs de (7) jour(s)’ on my computer. (I wasn’t sure how to say ‘week’ in French and I’m not sure everyone else would know either).

My first three songs show just how A-D-D my musical taste and life in general are:
Adam Ant – Strip
Dixie Chicks – Goodbye Earl
Air Supply – Two Less Lonely People in the World

I’m usually so busy that I don’t make the time to find songs I like or listen to music as much as I used to. But I’ve been playing my newly acquired songs while I work and it has been a nice reminder of how much fun music can bring to your life. It really helps brighten my day and is one of my simple pleasures.

So today while you stop to smell the roses why not also take some time to listen to them sing!

Cat “Out of all the bloggers in the world I’m so glad that you are mine” Cathy

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Puerto Rico Rainforest Hiking

We woke up on day two of our PR trip and realized we were the only ones at our hotel. When asking for directions to the hotel the previous night someone had told us the hotel was closed. It turns out our hotel was for sale and apparently not really open since the pool was closed, there was no maid service and we never saw the front desk girl again or anyone else for that matter. But it worked fine for us as a place to crash and not having anyone else around was kind of nice actually.

We started the day with a trip to El Yunque Rainforest. It was just a short trip from our hotel and a pretty winding road with some of the biggest plants and leaves I’ve ever seen. I felt like we were driving into a scene from Jurassic Park. It started raining soon after we arrived but that didn’t bother me much…it is a rainforest after all. We hiked to a cloud forest near the top of the mountain. From there we had a beautiful view of the beach when the clouds cleared out, which they were doing every few minutes just to sweep right back in. Next we hiked up a little farther and ended up near some really big cell or radio towers. This part wasn’t very picturesque and I was a little worried about getting too much radiation if we stayed long so we passed through rather quickly. The hike up wasn’t quite long enough for us so we hiked all the way down the mountain to a waterfall. When I planned the trip I was picturing a deserted pretty waterfall with warm water to frolic in. Instead it was cold, raining and crowded so that was kind of a disappointment.

After hiking we decided to head to the beach. I thought it was so cool being able to go from hiking a rainforest to the beach in just a few minutes. We walked along the beach and bought food from almost every vendor since I wanted to try as much local food as I could. The beach walk was right out of a vacation magazine with perfect weather, the sun setting and once we left the Jet Ski zone we had the whole beach to ourselves.

While returning from our long walk on the beach a jet skier fell off his ski. We could hear his jet pump out of the water revving. I didn’t think anything of it until he started blowing his whistle. I’ve had a whistle on my vest for jet skiing for over 20 years now and only blow it as a joke to the tune of happy birthday or other silly songs. This guy was blowing frantically. Not being from Puerto Rico I didn’t know if this was some kind of tradition or cultural thing but I didn’t want to take a chance. So we flagged down a security guard who then called the police. Not 5 minutes later the police show up on the beach with their lights flashing. Not that flashing lights is much of an indication since they always seem to leave them on but all of a sudden I was wondering if the jet skiers would appreciate our ‘help’. Not wanting to find out we decided to quickly leave the beach.

Cat “Rico Suave” Cathy

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Marry Him ???

I recently started reading a book called Marry Him. I like to read a lot and keep my opinions open but OMG what a piece of trash this book was! The author states right away that she had a baby on her own since she wanted one and then was surprised that it wasn’t the best way to do it….Duh! And yet this chick feels she should be giving others advice. The other funny thing is the book is dedicated “to my husband whoever he may end up being” or something like that. So she is writing a book encouraging women to compromise and marry and yet she is still single???? Give me a break!

The book basically says poor men are being treated badly by us too picky women even though we have flaws too. They talk about height and baldness and other minor details which I admit some women are too picky about. But many women (and men) I know break up due to things like dishonesty, addiction and not emotionally available which I would hardly consider to be minor picky things.

The author quoted a woman as saying she is glad she ‘snagged’ her husband when she did. Now that they are both 40 he wouldn’t want her if he were still looking since there are available 35 year olds who he could have kids with. It basically says if you don’t get married by 40 no man will want you since he will want a younger woman. As a 40-something woman I was offended by this. And while there is some truth in this, there are still plenty of men who will date around their age and even older. And getting married just because you are afraid to be alone is not a good idea anyway.

To all people (men and women) looking for a life partner I wish you the best of luck! Keep on reading relationship books (just not this one) and keep growing and learning and enjoying each day!

Cat “wish I couldn’t read” Cathy

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Lost Angels and Demons Divinci Code Symbol

I just finished reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. It read very similar to his Angels and Demons and Divinci Code books. Religious fanatic…blah blah…self sacrifice…blah blah…ancient codes that have levels to solve...blah! In case you can’t tell I wasn’t really that into this book. Some of the ‘twists’ at the end were predictable and not as mysterious as the author was probably hoping for.

Some of my lack of interest was probably just the timing. I wasn’t in the mood for the ancient codes since I was fresh of the Twilight series and love and romance were more on my mind. I have to admit that even though it seemed predictable and I could care less about the whole mystery solving, there were some interesting parts. The information on positive thought and group thought intrigued me. So much so that I followed up with some Google searches to learn more on the subject. I definitely think positive thought is important to good health and happiness but it seems like it can do even more.

I discussed this book with my mom a bit but she didn’t seem to care at all for the subjects that interested me. She got more from the religion part of the book. So I guess this book can offer something different to everyone including religion, history, secret societies, positive thought, architecture, art, etc. Too bad there isn’t enough about love and romance though.

Cat “The Butler did it” Cathy

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sign on the Dotted Line

I just renewed my lease at my lovely upscale high rise downtown apartment. Who am I kidding…the place is a dump, but I still like the location and price so I renewed anyway. I had a whole bunch of new legal forms to sign that I found humorous and thought I’d share:

Radon warning – This is naturally occurring. Just open the windows to help.

Bed bugs – So that old expression was true…they do bite?

Lead paint – Thanks to this one I’ve stopped licking the walls. I sure do miss that.

Asbestos – More fun gone since I no longer pulverize my building and inhale.

Satellite dish – ‘All satellite dishes must be inside your apartment’. I wonder how that will affect reception.

Hot water – The form actually said ‘always test hot water and don’t take it for granted. It could burn you.’ You mean hot water may be hot? In defense of this one we do have some ridiculously hot water from a boiler. I think I could use it at tea time straight from the tap.

The one thing I didn’t see was a warning about gas from our gas stoves. I often come home and smell gas and wonder if it’s safe and how many brain cells I’m killing. Maybe I should recommend they add a gas disclaimer for next year’s signing.

The lawyers must have been bored and decided we needed all these new forms. I can’t wait to see what new and exiting (and funny) forms I get to fill out next year!

Cat “X” Cathy

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bat Ma’am

I discovered something the other day that most women figure out at a much younger age….I love buying new clothes! I used to try and be a minimalist and simplify my life since I already have so many hobbies and so little time. It was simple to get up in the morning chose from the same small selection of clothes and get on with my day. But the other day I purchased four new items and I started looking at my simplify idea a little differently. Although it is time consuming, costs money and I’m never sure if I will really like and wear my purchases, I still enjoy it. I was very happy to have the new clothes and had so much fun wearing them. I’ve decided not to worry if occasionally I buy something and then I don’t end up liking it much. I can just give it away and it is not going to break me. So I finally discovered that I like clothes and fashion and dressing up!

The first new item I tried was new yoga shorts. They were really cute but ended up being just a wee bit too short for all the stretching in yoga. I was showing perhaps a little more ‘Namaste’ than I would like. So they will now be my over bikini shorts.

Next I used my new long sleeve t shirt with a bat man emblem on it for biking. I was being called bat man, bat girl and bat woman but I decided I should be called bat ma’am since I’m now over 40. And thanks to the strategically placed emblem I finally had a way to get people to look as my chest!

The other two items are dressy tops that I’ve gotten compliments on each time I’ve worn them. I think maybe my friends are just happy to finally see me wearing something new but either way it is nice to be noticed and get compliments.

Cat “Where’s Robin?” Cathy

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Movie Phone

In a follow up to my mental health hotline voice message I came up with one for movie phone:

Thank you for calling Movie Phone.

To see the latest blockbusters with Johnny Depp please press ‘Star’.

For action flicks please press ‘Pound, pound, pound, pound…’ .

For rated triple X movies press 69. (Please note pressing pound, pound, pound, pound will also work) .

For suspense press ………………………..2……………no wait ……….don’t press 2 whatever you do……..Press 3……no…no 2 was correct.

For a comedy press 42 42 for ha ha.

For a romantic comedy press 5 and bring along two members of the opposite sex. One that you like and one that likes you.

For a western pres 6 then saddle up your horse and head over but watch out for Indians and outlaws.

For a 3-D flick press 7 but only while you are moving the phone keypad closer to you.

For a documentary press 0 which is an integer and neither positive nor negative.

For silent films don’t press anything.

With my limited free time I’m surprised I spent it on this but it was fun. Plus I used it when my boyfriend called and he laughed so it can’t be all bad.

Cat “Can I Get a Student Discount?” Cathy

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mental Health Hotline

I heard a song that included an intro for a mental health hotline. I liked it so much I used it a few times when leaving voice messages for friends and even added a few of my own. Here it is for your reading pleasure:

Welcome to the mental health hotline.

If you have OCD please press 1 repeatedly.

If you are co-dependent please have someone press 2 for you.

If you have multiple personality disorder please press 3,4,5 and 6.

If you are delusional please press 7 and you will be transferred to the mother ship.

If you are paranoid you don’t need to push any buttons. We already know who you are and what you want. Someone is already on the way to get you.

If you are schizophrenic listen to the voices in your head and press what ever number they tell you to.

If you have dyslexia please press 69696969.

For short term memory loss press 0 after the beep. Remember, that is 0 but after the beep. Wait for the beep and push 0 for short term memory loss.

If you have problems with procrastination please press 8………………..we’re waiting…………..we’re still waiting for you to press 8.

Anyway, I thought it was really funny and I wanted to share.

Cat “Jumping from number to number for A-D-D” Cathy

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cartwheels Around the World

I hate taking boring vacation pictures. Here’s me in front of the Eifel Tower…just standing. Ok now I’m standing in front of a Mayan ruin…yep same pose. So I decided to remedy this by taking cartwheel (and yoga and jumping) pictures everywhere I go.

I’ve cartwheeled in Mexico, Belize, Puerto Rico and every other vacation spot in the past two years! My New York City and Boston cartwheels were done in my inline skates to add even more excitement and fun to the pictures.

Taking these pictures makes for more interesting pictures and it’s also much more fun just taking them. When a friend told me it looked like we had a professional photographer following us around on all our trips, I knew all the ‘hard work’ was worth it. So next time try something new and silly with your pictures…it’s fun!

Cat “Cartwheeling” Cathy

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jane of All Trades

'They' say the average person will have 3-5 careers in a lifetime. When I started thinking of all the different jobs I’ve had I realized I have far surpassed that number already. Granted some were not profitable and some were college jobs and hardly considered ‘career’ opportunity but still….there will be no 25 years and gold watch for me, that’s for sure.

In some ways it is stressful having so much to do and so many career paths but in many ways I like it. I enjoy variety and each new career provides a little insight into a different life I can lead and introduces me to different people. So I try to look at it as a positive thing and unless I had the perfect job (i.e. Rock Star) I think I would rather hop around and experience new things a bit.

Here is just a short list of some of my professional and non professional careers:

Asbestos Coordinator
Petroleum Cleanup Engineer
Roadway Engineer
Roller derby skater
Pro-am Jet Ski racer
Freelance news producer
Parade performer

When I look at my list I’m actually impressed and have lots of great memories. It also explains my blogging which has covered topics from travel to sports adventures to balloon dresses to Tiger Woods. I guess my personal life is just as A – D – D as my career life!

Cat ‘which hat to wear today’ Cathy

Friday, March 5, 2010

Vampires and Werewolves, Oh My!

Little did I know when I went to the movies in December that it would be the beginning of a month long obsession. A movie called New Moon was playing. I didn’t know anything at all about the movie but it looked…interesting. Well I loved it and was hooked. I especially enjoyed the innocence and young romance. I think it reminded me of my youth. Of course having several buff ‘werewolves’ walking around with little on didn’t hurt the appeal from my viewpoint.

During the movie I realized it had to be some kind of sequel and a coworker confirmed this for me. So next up I rented the original movie Twilight which I also enjoyed and watched several times. I couldn’t get enough of the ‘first kiss’ scene.

Then my obsession continued when my coworker lent me all four books in the series. They’re meant for girls half my age so I’m a little embarrassed to admit it but I really enjoyed reading them. Luckily I’ve talked to several friends and it turns out many of them had read the books too so I’m not alone.

So it’s over a month later and I’ve finished all the books and I’m suffering from PTD (Post Twilight Depression). Luckily the next movie will be out in the spring so I have that to look forward to.

Now I just have to figure out the great question of the millennium…would you chose Jacob or Edward?

Cat “I’m Choosing Jacward…or maybe Edob” Cathy

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blue Latitudes - Boldly Going Where Captain Cook has Gone Before

I did something unusual recently….I read a book…from cover to cover no less. I read a lot of books when I was younger but in this technology age with so many things vying for my attention I hadn’t taken the time to just read a full book in many years. I read lots of blogs and other short snippets but it is hard to find time for full novels.

But I recommend making the time for this one called Blue Latitudes- Boldly Going Where Captain Cook has Gone Before”. It is about Captain Cook in case you didn’t figure that out already. If you know who Captain Cook was then you are already one giant step ahead of where I was when I got the book…thanks to my less than adequate Flor a duh education. But I learned a lot and it was an enjoyable read.

Blue Latitudes chronicles Captain Cook’s travels as he ‘discovered’ the world for Europe and the author’s travels as he visited many of the same places Captain Cook went. I liked this book for many reasons from learning a little about history, the sense of adventure involved in being the first to explore unknown territories and seeing how much the world has changed in just over 200 years!

I have to say that the first half of the book about Captain Cook’s first voyage was the most interesting to me and it got a little slow for the remainder. But I still recommend finding a copy and encouraging a friend to read it as well since you will want to discuss the book with someone. If no one is available just send me a note!

Cat “Over the Sea” Cathy

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nude Nite - Take 4!

Every year I attend a trendy 3 day art event called Nude Nite. As you can probably guess from the name all the art featured is based on a nude theme but done in a (mostly) tasteful way. But this year instead of just attending I was an artist and a model in the event!

As I wrote previously, the director of the event liked my idea of making balloon dresses live at the event. My balloon partner, model and I quickly got to work making dress forms, coming up with dress ideas and accessories and lots of practice twisting. It was a busy and a stressful week of practice and performing at Nude Nite. I twisted for 6 hours straight on two nights at the event. I was so into the twisting that I totally skipped dinner on those nights…hopefully this will help my diet.

The last night I needed a break from twisting so I spent most of the night modeling one of my creations. It was fun to be in so many pictures and to joke around with everyone. I had a balloon weave top that didn’t look like balloons since they weren’t inflated so I had to explain to everyone that it was made out of balloons too. Then I explained that everything was made out of balloons…even my boots! After everyone looked down at my boots I would let them know I was just kidding about the boots. I also joked that you could find the outfit at Wal-Mart and that it was $10 per balloon pop.

We had 5 dresses by the end of the event and we let patrons try them on and take pictures. We were a big hit! I spent a small fortune on balloons and supplies for no compensation but I enjoyed it and improved my twisting skills and now I can consider myself and accomplished artist and model. I’m happy I tried it and I hope to make fun dresses for special occasions in the future. I’m pretty sure my model had a good time even though she was working very hard too. My partner on the other hand is still undecided as to if he had fun but I appreciate his help and hope we can twist together again soon!

Cat “Do These Balloons Make Me Look Fat?” Cathy

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Don't Want to Be Like Mike!

The Tiger fiasco has brought to my attention just how many things are endorsed by professional athletes and other celebrities. I’m not sure if you care but to me it seems almost insulting that companies think we are like sheep. Baaa baa Tiger says it’s good so it must be…baaa baa…I don’t think so!

I’m smart enough to use this little thing called ‘the internet’ to research products and to decide for myself. I’d personally like to see the day when products were purchased based on quality, need and cost and not to “be like Mike”. We would all get cheaper products and all the elite athletes would have to learn to ‘get buy’ on only a few million a year…so sad. (note sarcasm).

So let’s start a campaign to buy based on quality and price and avoid marketing that makes us seem like mindless idolizing sheep. Baaa!

Cat “Black Sheep” Cathy

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Can't Anything Ever be Easy...Rant!

Sorry but I just need to vent a bit today. Ever since I got my new car it has been a pain trying to get things done to it and get comfy with it. I never cared if my old beat up truck had issues as long as it got me where I was going. Unfortunately with the fancy new wheels I feel like it has to also look good getting me there. It hasn’t been my car’s fault so I can’t blame Blue Latitudes (the name I’ve chosen for it). The fault lies in all the companies I’ve had to deal with or in my choice of companies at least.

First I put a hitch on the car. (If you put a hitch on your brand new Mercedes, you might be a redneck!). I needed it for my jet ski and mountain bike rack. Unfortunately the guy I chose was a total idiot. After 7 hours and two trips the lights for the hitch still didn’t work. So I showed the car to my brother who fixed the biggest problem in less than a minute. Note to hitch guy: positive is plus and that is where the power wire should have gone!

Then I brought Blue to the car wash. It was only 3 dollars for a drive through one and I wanted to check it out. The guy working there tried to twist my antenna off. I didn’t stop him since I figured he knew what he was doing. Well it didn’t come off but it was lose after he twisted it and he just sent me through the car wash anyway. Naturally the antenna came out and water got all inside my rear light and electrical area. I spent the rest of my lunch hour retightening the antenna and drying out the water. While I was doing this some nice people drove by and shouted “love your booty”. Seriously? That was about the oddest ‘random car passing screaming’ compliment I’ve had. Plus if they really loved it so much why didn’t they stop to help?

Anyway, I’m done venting… for now. Thanks for listening and I wish all of you the best of luck with simple things staying simple.

Cat “not positive today but my hitch now is” Cathy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Twisting For Art

For some reason I can never seem to just sit still and relax. I always seem to have some scheme up my sleeve (or wrapped around me in this case). My current scheme is based on a hobby I’ve had for 15 years. I bought a balloon making kit way back when and I’ve been making balloon animals and hats ever since. It’s a fun little hobby and always a hit at parties.

I was totally content with my limited balloon twisting skills but then someone sent me an email showing balloon dresses and the challenge was on. I’ve tried a few times to make dresses with limited success. It’s quite a commitment of time and balloons to make one. With an event called Nude Nite coming up in Orlando which involves art based on a ‘classy nude’ theme I came up with the crazy idea to submit a balloon dress as art for the show.

Thankfully I was able to enlist the help of a friend with much better balloon skills and we made a sample dress for the show. Surprise… Surprise… Surprise… it was accepted! So now I’m busy setting up the theme for our ‘art work’, practicing my twisting skills and getting my balloon dress model ready.

I’ve always prided myself on my smarts and my athletic skills but I never really thought of myself as an artist or thought I had any artistic skill at all. So the idea of being an artist in a big art show is just amazing to me. It will definitely but fun and challenging and gives me yet another item to add to my bucket list. It just goes to show you never know what life will throw your way. Keep your options open and don’t be afraid to try new things and stretch your abilities…and stretch your balloons too!

Cat “Let’s Twist Again” Cathy

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Puerto Rico - My Heart's Devotion of Let it Sink Back into the Ocean???

I know more people from Puerto Rico than anywhere else in the world so it was surprising to me when I realized I had never visited this island in my many previous journeys. As a birthday present to my boyfriend (and a non-birthday present to myself) I decided to remedy this.

My only thoughts of Puerto Rico are from the movie West Side Story which takes place in my last vacation spot of New York City. So would I love Puerto Rico or feel like Rita and say “let it sink back into the ocean” and “I like to be in America”.

Our trip didn’t start off well since we were relying on our navigation system that took us to some obscure area instead of our hotel. From there it was difficult to find our way around since there were no street signs. So after about an hour of zigging and zagging, phone calls and getting motion sick we finally found the hotel.

After quickly checking in we rushed over to the park for our bioluminescence kayak trip. It was already dark and the voyage looked really adventurous. As soon as we entered the mangrove we could see the water lighting up as the kayak paddles hit it. It was quite impressive but worried me that it might be nuclear fallout from a power plant. Luckily it was just microorganisms that give off light when disturbed. The mangroves lead to a big open bay which was dark and we all spread out and played with our hands and feet in the water. The glowing water (and hands and feet) was quite impressive and it was a beautiful night. Unfortunately it was not really adventurous since it was just an easy kayak trip with hundreds of other ‘bio seekers’.

Since I was tired of driving we ate at a restaurant in the park. This was a horrible idea since it was obviously a touristy area and our meal was nasty, slow AND expensive. A McDonald’s hamburger would have been so much better. And after hearing how good the food in Puerto Rico was for weeks before the trip this was a huge let down.

So day one was not that great and I was leaning toward Rita’s take on the island but it was early in our trip and I had high hopes for the remaining days.

Cat “glowing in a non pregnant sort of way” Cathy