Wednesday, March 12, 2014

We've All Got Our Junk

Doesn't everyone have a junk email account?

I do.  It's actually my first (non-aol) email address, and I use it for anything that I have to sign up for. Contests, registrations, ordering stuff online, etc. But it's not ALL junk.  It's more like, my personal email address is personal, and everything else goes to my junk mail.  That means that there is stuff that goes to my junk email account that I actually want or like, so I am in there - often daily - going through all of the junk, deleting what I don't want and dealing with the "important" junk.

But in my over planning for my trip, I realized that I don't want to spend time managing junk email while I'm gone, so over the weekend I started doing what I probably should have done a long time ago - I began removing my name from email lists.  Not all of them - just the ones where I either really don't care, or don't need to see emails from every day/week.  Some of them I may join later.  I don't mind Groupon emails - I just really don't need daily emails from them over the next two months.

Since Saturday I have removed my name from 63 - yes, SIXTY THREE - email lists, and I have a feeling that I will leave even before my trip.

The pic at the top is where they take you when you try to leave the Michael's emails - definitely the more entertaining email removal page I've come across in the past few days!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Little Something Every Day

Trip planning is consuming every single spare moment I have. It's crazy, and more than once I've felt like there's no way I can be ready in time. Although I realize that if I have my plane tickets, I mean, that's all I *really* need to make this happen, but I'll feel much better one I at least have all of my lodging figured out as well.

After that, I just want to have enough planned out ahead of time so that I'm not wasting time ON my trip. And I need my entire home and finances in order before I you know, just EVERYTHING has to be done.

Some of my research involves trial runs of things that will take place on the trip, like testing the handbag and shoes I want to use. (Priorities!!) I also needed to make sure I knew how to get photos from my new camera onto my iPad, and then from my iPad to wherever I wanted them to go.  I gave that a go last week. Several apps and a handy dandy SD card reader later, I was successful. I'm just praying that the card reader continues to work throughout my trip.  Apparently it can be a little finicky and sometimes decides that it hates pictures and doesn't want to look at them.  At the top of this post is one of the first photos at successfully made the new camera > iPad > internet journey.  This is my Godparents and me! They were in town for a writers' conference last week, and we were able to meet up for a quick dinner with my parents.  I only see them once every few years, so I was thrilled to see them - especially right before leaving on a big trip.  They are quite the world travelers so I was eager to share my trip details with them!

In an effort to only REALLY focus on what needs to get done before I leave, I'm considering NOT getting a new cell phone before my trip. Partly because I've done a lot of research and am still unable to make a decision, and partly because April seems to be new-phone-release month (of course), so it may be wise to wait. It's not like I'll be using my phone much while I'm gone anyway.

Also, in a cruel twist of fate, I received my lease renewal notice. I knew this would happen before I left, and I even knew my rent would go up, but I did NOT anticipate my rent increasing by a gazillion dollars.  Since moving before I leave isn't an option, I am now looking at moving ASAP upon my return. This means my last week of sabbatical, which was supposed to be lovely and relaxing, may now be a scrambling mad dash of packing. Since I won't be able to move right at the end of my lease, I'll be switching to month to month. Pro: It gives me the flexibility to wait until I find the "right" new place without the financial penalty of breaking my lease.  Con: Going month to month costs a gazillion + $100 dollars per month. Ugh. Oh well, nothing I can do about it before my trip, so I'm not going to worry about it yet.

This posting is also a test!  This is the first post written on and posted from my iPad! Let's see how that goes, shall we?

Friday, February 28, 2014


This is happening in the near future.

I may or may not blog about it.

I may or may not collapse from exhaustion before I leave.

All the errands, all the appointments, all the planning, all the lists...


Thursday, February 27, 2014


Screen Shot of Kindle Cover

You know that thing where people believe they would be best friends with certain celebrities? It's a thing. There was a brief window of time where Britney Spears was considering going to UW. I was certain we'd be buddies - Brit and me.  Fast forward to today...I don't think that Brit and I would be BFFs anymore, but there are other celebrities who have taken her place and they're on the short invite list for when I host my celebrity dinner party.

And then there's Mayim Bialik.  Mayim, who I absolutely adore, but as I've said before, I don't think we would be besties. We have...almost nothing in common, and I have a feeling any interaction beyond me asking for a photo would be incredibly awkward. (And let's be honest, the photo ask would most likely be awkward on its own.)

But I have to support my bloggers!!! So I've purchased the Kindle version of her recently released cookbook Mayim's Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours.

Anyone who knows me is laughing at the fact that I bought a vegan cookbook...

Me: I bought Mayim's vegan cookbook 
Jared: good good
for when you become vegan 
Me: right?
she SAID that this book is full of the recipes that non-vegans ask her for
and they are also the recipes that her kids really like
so I figure
if I'm going to eat vegan
I would probably eat like a vegan child
Jared: hahahaha  

To be clear - I'm not planning on becoming vegan, but I'm not opposed to trying some kid-friendly recipes. :-)

Oh, and Mayim - if you're reading this, and you would like to come to dinner, you are absolutely invited!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2013 Kat Recap

2013 can be defined by my realization that I truly enjoy staying busy and active most of the time. Much of the year was spent trip planning, traveling, dancing, and enjoying time with friends, and taking advantage of the beautiful city we live in where there is always something interesting to do.

Here are the 2013 Quick Stats:
  • Trips that required a flight: 8
  • New [to me] books read: 12 (Hmmm...let's try to kick this up in 2014)
  • Weddings attended: 2
  • Musicals attended: 34
  • Other performances attended: 8
Here's the abbreviated report of the trips I took this year:

  • LA with AJP - February
    • First trip of the year was an incredible trip to SoCal to visit Beth and the four of us had a great time running around doing all things LA. Santa Monica Pier, Chinese New Year, Cupcakes/Champagne/Pitch Perfect, Walk of Fame, Hollywood Sign, Rodeo Drive, and touring the Warner Bros. Studios. The studio tour remains one of my top vacation experiences of all time!  #HeyYo
  • San Francisco with my Parents for my Birthday - March
  • New York with Lindsay - May
    • Lindsay and I decided to do a repeat NYC extravaganza this year - only this time with a little more sleep involved.  We even skipped a potential show times (what?!?) in favor of taking it easy (the fact that it was raining buckets helped make that decision too). We saw 8 shows in 7 days and highlights included seeing a play I actually liked (Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks!), the fact that we scored autographs from both Tom Hanks and Bette Middler, taking a boat tour almost all the way around the island, exploring Brooklyn, Schmackary's cookies, and walking the High Line.  Celeb sightings included JLo sitting near us at Pippin, and sitting behind Tony Bennett at I'll Eat You Last (Lindsay talked to him after the show!)
  • Sitka with my Parents - May
    • I'm always happy when I'm able to join my parents on a trip up to Alaska.  This trip included a lot of walking around enjoying the beautiful scenery and quality time with Vanessa, Tucker, and Amara.  We were even there for Tucker's first birthday party - what a treat!
  • North Dakota with my Dad and Grandma - September
    • Wow!  I haven't been to North Dakota since I was around 4 years old.  I took advantage of some found vacation time and joined my dad on a trip there my with grandma to visit some of her friends, meet some very distant relatives, and get the good ol' tour of Williston where my North Dakota family is from (and where my dad was born).  I got to witness first hand what a modern day oil boom town looks like (spoiler alert - it looks like a whole lot of construction) and see where the family farm used to be.
  •  LA with Jared - October
    • Round two in LA!  Jared and I managed to score stand by tickets to a taping of The Big Bang Theory, so we flew back down in October to attempt to be in the audience.  This was a NON-STOP trip that included a 17 hour day in Disneyland, a trip to the San Diego Zoo (OMGPANDAS!!!), taking a dance class from former SYTYCD contestant Donyelle Jones, and making it in to see TBBT taping!!!!  We waited in line for 10 hours to make it into the show and it was worth every minute (it may have actually been the quickest 10 hours ever).  I really can't say enough about the taping - it exceeded my expectations of awesomeness AND there were two guest stars that week - Bob Newhart and Bill Nye!
  • New York with Lindsay and Jared
    • Because we are absolutely crazy, Lindsay and I decided to do a fall weekend in New York, and because he's crazy too, Jared decided to join us.  I think this idea came to be because LW and I REALLY wanted to see First Date on Broadway.  Landing on Friday and leaving on Monday, we saw 5 shows each (8 different shows total), saw a total of 12 friends and family, and purchased over 30 Schmackary's cookies. Meeting Zachary Levi, Kristina Rodriguez, Jane Carr, and Norbert Leo Butz (he touched my arm!!!) were broadway celebrity highlights of this visit. There was even time to eat a lot of great food and visit the High Line and Chelsea Market.
  • Disneyland with my Mom
    • This is the third year that my mom and I have gone done to Disneyland at the beginning of December. We enjoyed some things we had never done/seen before like learning to draw Olaf in the Animation Studio (ummm...we did horribly...), seeing the new winter themed World of Color (not impressed), and seeing the Viva Navidad street performance (very enjoyable!). The most magical moment of the trip was watching the Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers and them doing an extra, personal performance for my mom.  We looove visiting Disney at Christmastime, but it may be our last for awhile....we may opt for a warmer getaway next year.
Other random highlights of the year included...
  • Co-choreographing a fun black light routine with Richard for Dare to Dance
  • AJP "road trips" to see the tulip fields (a first for Sara and me!), strawberry picking (where, once we got out of the car, Jared asked, "why are we here?", and to the pumpkin patch/corn maze.
  • Watching the filming of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' White Walls video near my apartment
  • Being one of the daily Pajaggle champs at PAX
  • Witnessing some dear friends getting married
  • My parents moving to a beautiful new house
  • Not a great highlight, but in the tradition of my apartment, I had a water leak that prevented me from sleeping in my bedroom from April until September. (I could have slept in my room, but I didn't feel comfortable doing so.)  This process included finding someone to repair my dresser, which sustained quite a bit of water damage, and getting a glorious new bed that I LOVE sleeping in.
  • Running. Even though I've always hated running, I started running with a team and now I...don't hate it ...(but I still refuse to say I like it)
  • Meeting Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half
  • Seeing the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert from the floor at Key Arena
And now on to 2014!  Plans are in the works to make it a wonderful year, but to be honest I'm equal parts of excited and apprehensive.  Fingers crossed!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour - Outside of The Big Bang Theory Set
Warner Bros. Studio Tour - On the Friends Couch in Central Perk
Once of my favorite pics of the year - posing with our sock puppets!
Glee with some of my favorite gals - I love dancing with you ladies!
Tucker's First Birthday
Tim & Emily - Back in Westlake Park

B&C Wedding Weekend - AJPR Glasses Shot
Mr. Byron and Mrs. Christine
Success! This photo was taken right before we made it in to see a taping of The Big Bang Theory!!
With Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half
With my mom at Disneyland - You don't even want to know the trouble we went through to get this photo!
Macklemore @ Key Arena. Love this picture so much because I feel like any picture I take at a concert is an accident, and this is an awesome accident!

Friday, November 29, 2013

2012 Kat Recap

Soooooo.....2013 is almost over!  Thanksgiving has passed and now it's full speed ahead through the (super short) holiday season that will end with ringing in 2014.  I'm not exactly sure why it took the entire year to post the previous year's recap on the blog, especially since it has been posted on Facebook for almost the whole year.  I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the photos.  Dealing with photos is a pain. (Update - yes, it's definitely the photo situation.  I need a better filing system and/or I need to post this recap immediately after posting on Facebook.)

Anyway - here you go...this is what happened LAST year.  Stay tuned for a 2013 version in a little over a month from now.


A couple years ago I started writing annual recaps on New Year's Day. (I did start writing this on the first but didn't have a chance to finish it until a week later.)  2012 was another year of travel and musicals!

The year started with an epic (and you know it really was, because I can't stand that word and wouldn't use it unless it were true) trip to New York with Lindsay to see shows.  I haven't been to New York since my mom and I went to see Lion King on Broadway in 2004.  Lindsay and I saw 9 shows in 7 days!  Did we eat?  Barely.  Did we sleep?  Not really.  :-)  I could go on and on about the shows but in an attempt to summarize I'll saw that the highlights were seeing the original cast of Book of Morman, meeting Alan Rickman, seeing a preview performance of the breathtaking cast of Once, seeing our friend George in Godspell, his Broadway debut (!!), and having him take us back stage and ON stage after the show.  There were so many amazing performances, and words simply can't do them justice.  

I do need to share that the SECOND Once ended, the entire house was up on their feet.  It was pure Broadway magic, and stage dooring that show was a blast.  It was only the third night of previews and only about 6 of us were at the door.  Some of the cast seemed surprised we even wanted to talk to them - let alone their autograph or their picture.  We had a lovely chat with Steve Kazee, where he told us his [now ex] girlfriend was from Bellevue (and then we felt incredibly stupid a couple months later when we realized we didn't IMMEDIATELY make the connection that he was referring to Megan Hilty #BroadwayFanFAIL).

We even managed to fit in all of the major sites, taste the best cupcakes (Georgetown), visited Mood, and saw some old friends.  I was able to see my Semester At Sea RA, who I haven't seen in 11 years, and had breakfast with his family on our last day in the city.  It was a crazy, wonderful trip

Over the summer I flew up to Sitka over the 4th of July weekend to visit with family.  This trip was extra special because I got to see (and hold and play with) my Goddaughter's beautiful newborn son, Tucker.

The next big trip was in the fall.  My mom and I met up with my Aunt Laurie and cousin Rachel in Florida for a week at the Disney World resort - a place I haven't been since performing there during my senior year of high school.  I learned that I could never live in Florida - the weather would eventually kill me, but it didn't kill the trip!  Highlights of the trip included the best meal of my life at Kouzzina (so great that we re-arranged our dinner reservations for the week and ate there again), visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and seeing Disney World with an intent to actually *remember* it.  The Epcot Food & Wine festival started toward the end of our trip - we highly recommend it!

We ended the year with a family vacation to Disneyland in early December for "Christmas."  It rained EVERY DAY.  Highlights included seeing the new Cars Land, going to the newly opened LA Georgetown Cupcake, visiting Universal Studios and seeing Beth & Connor's new apartment.  Plus it was the first family vacation with all four of us since 2002.

I'm not feeling inspired to do a full stats list like I did last year, but as you can see, I took four trips this past year.  I saw 35 performances of musicals in 2012 and 8 other performances that were not musicals.  (43 total vs 28 last year.) 3 of those 8 were plays, which I think I will continue to see each year, but I still haven't found one that I've actually liked.  :-/

I was in approximately 15ish flash mobs.  (Flash mob math is tricky.)  This is actually right on par with last year - interesting.  Our Glee mob was outstanding and included a surprise proposal which has since been featured by today.msnbc and Huffington Post! What on earth are we going to do to top that this year??  There were lots of mobs that introduced something new, different, or personally challenging, which I really enjoyed.

Other random things about 2012:
  • Blueberry picking in Bellevue + ice cream maker = Blueberry Ice Cream! (so delicious)
  • Met The Pioneer Woman (.com)
  • Went to PAX for the first time
  • Did the Puyallup [fair] for the first time
  • In search of loukoumades (and other Greek fare) Jared and I drove to Greek Festivals in both Bellingham and Tacoma (since we were out of town for the one in Seattle)
  • Video I shot with my phone on election night is on its way to becoming my most viewed video on YouTube:
  • I tried a handful of new recipes this past year...excited for more in 2013!
  • There was a short time frame in 2012 where I belonged to 3 different gyms.  If you know me you'll know that this is hilarious.
  • Instagram for Android :-)
As always, each year has its share of sadness but I'm grateful that as I look back over 2012, I see a year full of friendship and lots of laughter. 
One of my favorite pics of the year! This was a big deal because I rarely do costumes - let alone coordinate them with others. It ended up being really fun :-)

Love More, Hate Less

A collage of Once - starring Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti. You get an upgraded version of this pic because I didn't make the collage until mid 2013.

Another favorite pic from the year - taken at a flash mob rehearsal in Cal Anderson Park
Another Fave - Glee with the Quiet Zebra Girls. We have no idea who they are, but this picture is framed in my apartment.

One of my best phone pics of the year - Seattle Center at Christmas

December 7, 2012 ~ Photo by Steven Kahn

Monday, November 11, 2013

Holiday Season

It really makes me sad when I write a post that doesn't include a picture.  But not so sad that I don't write at all (as evidenced by my last four posts).  Let's be honest, if I enforced that kind of restriction on myself you'd see even less of me here.

So here you go - a photo of a book I bought on Halloween!

This my friends, is a "Thanksgiving Book."  A Thanksgiving Book, because it is about the man who created the balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

Jared picked me up from downtown that day because we were headed straight to Sara's and when I got in the car he said "So....just standing there on the street....reading a children's book?"  and I said "That's what makes me awesome!!"

Also awesome = this book. I LOVE having seasonally appropriate children's books out on my coffee table, but have always lacked a Thanksgiving representative because - as I'm sure you can imagine - most of the Thanksgiving books out there are stupid.

But I'm not here to talk about books (...tricked you with that picture didn't I?)

I'm here to talk about decorating for Christmas...which may start as early as next weekend.  As in, before Thanksgiving. *gasp*

This holiday season is all screwy timing wise.

I know that technically there are the same number of days until Christmas as there always are, because Christmas doesn't move, but with silly Thanksgiving moving, and being extremely late, it's thrown everything off.

It's moved my vacation with my mom later in the month, it's moved my Christmas party later (and to a weekday - what?!), it's reduced the number of full weekends in December before Christmas because the first day of December is on the Sunday of the weekend after Thanksgiving.  See? All messed up.

I went into last December convinced it was going to be awful, and in an attempt to make it #NotAwful, I packed it full with every single activity possible.  I'm more positive about this December, but I'm sure it will be just as busy, so I'm trying to reduce stress by moving as much prep into early November as I can.

Of course, in order to be ready to decorate, I need to finish cleaning my apartment first.  I made massive strides this past week.  My living room is "put back together" for the first time since March  - it's really quite amazing.  I wish I could keep up that momentum, but instead I'll use a hashtag that Beth created this weekend....


In other news:

  • Online shopping could eventually destroy me.  Instead of being that crazy old person ordering everything from QVC and HSN, I will be the crazy old person who loses everything to Amazon.
  • I turned on the heat today for the first time this fall.
  • Despite this past week trying to kill me, it was full of some awesome things like Gena coming to visit, and my episode of The Big Bang Theory airing...and some packages arriving...of things I ordered online.
  • The ceiling of the parking structure is leaking...again.  It's a miracle my building is still standing.
  • North Dakota photos have been posted to Facebook, so that trip happened.  Still on deck - New York, Tim and Emily's Wedding, Florida, and Chicago. (Maybe I'll post Chicago photos on the 3 year anniversary of that trip...)
  • It was a #TeamSatrina weekend, complete with a rowing class, running, errands, and an awesome Garfunkel and Oates concert - Sara thinks we should be them next year for Halloween, which could be really funny.  I just need to find a way to be 4 inches shorter and 100 pounds lighter by next Halloween.  #WeTotesGotThis

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I didn't actually identify until recently that I REALLY like to stay busy.

It may be the planner in me? I like to know what's coming up and planning and organizing all of the details.  There are decidedly less of those tasks to do if there is nothing on the calendar.

I've often said (jokingly - and possibly even on this blog...?) "my life sucks because it's so full of amazing things."  To be clear, I've never felt like my life sucks, but this year more than ever, I've had an overwhelming sense of gratitude for everything I get to see and do.  (I'm...fairly certain I've said that before on the blog too...which is funny, because I haven't written a lot.  A lot of time I compose blog posts in my head, maybe that's what I'm thinking of.)

For all of my planning, what I'm not great at is recovery.  During this weekend I've been trying to restore my apartment.  There are things on my kitchen table from PAX, I had bags that weren't unpacked from Byron and Christine's wedding, I wasn't fully unpacked from LA and NYC.  The only reason I was unpacked from North Dakota was because I had to use that suitcase again for New York.

It's things like this that make me wonder how people manage with kids and/or how they travel with kids.  I'd like to think that when I have kids, I'll have a husband to partner with, and hopefully a home, where my suitcases aren't stored at the foot of my bed, switching out bedding doesn't involve puzzle piece precision in my closet, and that doing laundry doesn't monopolize the entire living room.  As far as business travel...let's just hope that's never a regular occurrence, because in addition to destroying my living space, I also hate flying.  (I've written that before, right?  How do people remember what they've blogged.  Use that "search" feature?  Pshhh....I've got laundry to do.)


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