Monday, December 31, 2012
So, first read this news story.
I never watch local news, but randomly saw this "EDMOND MAN ACCUSED OF COMMANDING PITT BULL TO ATTACK GIRLFRIEND" story come on after a television show and thought about it a longtime afterward: like wait, hold on, a random driver just picked this woman up? Wow, that's really lucky.
Then I go get coffee with one of my best friends Beth (who just got married this August), and she's like, "Kate, the craziest thing happened to me the other day."
She and her sister were just driving in a neighborhood when they saw a shirtless, bloody man and woman being attacked by a pit bull.
They stopped the car to call 911 when suddenly the woman started running towards them with the pit bull at her heels. Beth said she didn't even have to think about it, the look in the woman's eyes made her automatically open the car door.
Once inside, the woman begged them to drive away, because her boyfriend was trying to kill her. She then thought she saw him getting in his car to come after them.
The 911 dispatcher asked if the boyfriend had any weapons on him, to which the woman (barely conscious at this point, Beth said she must have been operating on pure adrenaline because she was so badly injured) answered that he had a gun, but also always carried a knife. Needless to say they were scared out of their wits.
When they safely met the police, firefighters, and paramedics at a nearby bank parking lot - having to carry the woman out of the car - none of the responders could believe that Beth and her sister weren't related to the woman in some capacity, instead absolute strangers.
Later, investigators told Beth that she had basically saved the woman's life.
Apparently she'd been beaten for hours before - maybe even days (facts are still fuzzy - also, please note that this is a story based on my own remembrances from a conversation Beth telling me over coffee and is in no way conclusive of the man's actual guilt).
Moral of the story is:
Of all the news stories to catch, I caught this one and dwelled on that random driver and the mysteries of fate well after the 60 second sound bite
& then the random driver turns out to be one of the most kind, loving, and selfless people I know:
heroes/random acts/courage/fortune/providence/etc are real! So take that into your new year.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
The Guidelines: Must be 600 words or less and revolve around a U.S. President real or imagined.
Pale fingers clutch at the silk tablecloth, dragging everything off in a single ripple as the dining room chair lurches backward, a limp body now prone on the ground. There is the sudden smash of crystal-cut stemware, chandelier light glints off flying cutlery, and a thousand gasps suck the air out of the room.
Secret service agents in penguin tuxedos appear from behind curtains and palm trees to descend upon the scene. They push the elegantly dressed crowd back, whisking me away to an underground bunker before I can take stock of the situation.
Moments ago I was staring down a slice of chocolate cake. I had managed to avoid food all night, but now I was starving.
I debated with myself, “Would it be so far out-of-line to require a food taster?” Just to take a few nibbles of my food and drink in order to confirm it contained no poison?
“Snap out of it,” I reasoned back. You are not a Roman emperor or Henry the Eighth. There are no velvet robes and golden goblets here, no turkey legs, no slaves, nor court jesters.
In fact, in my slim navy suit and powder blue tie I stand for quite the opposite.
I flew jets in the Air Force just like my father and grandfather before me. I graduated top of my class from an Ivy League college. I debated the fate of democracy on live television. I’ve looked tyrannical dictators – the kind who should have their food tasted – dead in the eye.
I am the very definition of adept, agile, and adroit while handling any situation thrown at me as the President of the United States. Some have even called me cool.
But then there is this matter of the dessert. A drop of sweat threatens to slide down my forehead.
I never thought my Achilles heel would be paranoia, but I’ve become obsessed with the possibility of an assassination attempt on my life.
It all started last year when a kid, not even twenty-one, shot a couple rounds of ammunition in the direction of the Oval Office. They later caught him in pajamas, filling up his Volvo at a gas station outside of Pennsylvania. He claimed to be Jesus in cahoots with Oprah via Twitter, and that I was the anti-Christ that had to be stopped.
I wasn’t even in town, in China for the economic summit. But later an agent pointed out a knick in the thick, bulletproof glass of the window situated just behind the Resolute Desk. That’s when the threat became palpable: there are people out there who want me dead.
I now imagine my neck snapped in half like a twig by a karate-kid operative with hooded eyes, lying in wait among a crowd of supporters at a re-opened industrial plant in Indiana.
Visions of Jackie O in her pink pillbox hat, of gaunt Lincoln in box seats at the theatre, of young Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver; they run through my head in a loop as I stoop down to kiss the baby that has been thrust at me expectantly. Adorable cooing and rosy cheeks aside, I see a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The Vice President is smiling at me now; his perfect rows of teeth are Shark white. I eye him warily. The very definition of his job is wanting my job. The slice in front of him is carrot cake.
“Hey Phil,” I ask with a strained smile, “Would you mind trying the chocolate out for me to see if it has peanuts in it? I can’t stand peanuts.”
p.s. i had a lot of fun with this.
p.p.s. the winner can be read here.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Inheriting the friends and family of your boyfriend could either be one of the worst or one of the best things about dating.
In the case of Walker, I got extremely lucky: they are seriously the most awesome people. Like, the type of people that just inherently make life better.
And inspired by Anthony Bourdain's talk this weekend (Who, it turns out, was forty-four when he was "discovered." Forty-four people! Never give up.) I thought I should get back to blogging by starting with our recent trip to Houston, Texas to visit some of these people.
I've never been to Houston.
I thought: traffic, sprawl, strip malls, NASA, oil & gas, humidity.
But since everyone keeps moving there; and with articles like this one in the Atlantic; and the fact that it topped the Forbes list of America's Coolest Cities; I've been pretty curious lately...
First was happy hour at Uchi. Which was sushi-that-melts-in-your-mouth AMAZING. I've wanted to eat there since Paul (who I was rooting for) won Top Chef.
Followed by fajitas for dinner at Ninfa's. Pictured below.
The next morning, after grabbing some incredibly good coffee at Catalina, we got our art fix at the Rothko Chapel and the Menil Collection.
The Rothko Chapel has been on my MUST DO BEFORE I DIE list ever since I had a spiritual awakening in a room full of Rothkos at the Tate Modern in London.
I just loved the idea that this place existed in Houston that was built around exactly what I had felt staring at those paintings an ocean away.
And though I'd be lying if I said I had another spiritual revelation, it was awesome: I wish I could dive right into the canvases.
At the Menil I loved de Chirico's Metaphysical Interior with Biscuits and the Cy Twombly gallery.
Then we had Indian brunch at Pondicheri.
Followed by a stop into Walker's sister's apartment to visit Ellen the bunny!
We were ostensibly watching the OU game, but when Walker gets together with longtime friends: Star Wars.
When in Houston in October, you must check out the Dia de los Muertos festivities:
Then on to The Orange Show. I feel this speaks for itself.
Visiting some awesome dogs at a laundromat + Champagne break:
Then a surreal field of Giant President Heads nestled behind a warehouse right by Super Target. I feel this also speaks for itself:
Topped off with dinner at Oxheart.
Our friend Mark scored reservations weeks in advance to this Bon Appetit-approved hot spot.
And oh my, the vegetables + wine pairings alone.
Plus, best bar of the night: Anvil.
...this post would not be possible without Ashton, Scott, Megan, Jay, Liz -- and Mark (pictured left), who let us stay in his beautiful new art-decorated home, drove us around, made an amazing to-do list for the weekend (i so meant to save and keep), and, in small part, because I stole a lot of his Instagram pictures.
My conclusion: I really love getting to explore great American cities. They are infinitely complex and interesting, and Houston maybe even more so for its lack of zoning laws.
Featured Music: Good Time, Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen.
Commentary regarding the drive from OKC to Houston: Buc-ee's gas station emporium = hell.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
1. One of my best friends, Christa Pennington, ran the Chicago Marathon yesterday for her dad.
In her words: We finished!!!! We did this for our amazing dad who did not finish in 2000 but 2012 we DID finish for Dad!!!
2. Lululemon goal setting. I like: Sweat once a day.
3. I love every single thing about this picture.
Things ruin trips.
...courtesy of the Man Repeller.
You do not need a Fashion Week "survival guide." Fashion Week is not Iraq.
...courtesy of Molly Young's Twitter.
Buzzfeed: A love story in 22 pictures
...I bawled my eyes out.
Michael Chabon! One of my favorite writers.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Pictures from San Miguel de Allende on Sea of Shoes reminded me...
This summer I got to make up for all the MTV Spring Break trips I never had by getting to tag along on my super wonderful housemate Colby's family's yearly trip to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico. (Thank you times a million!)
Peru cemented my love for heading south.
But I'd never been to Mexico before, and I left feeling as if I’d just begun a love affair.
In fact, I made a little list of all the things I loved about it (and I do realize my perspective is framed upon a stay at a resort on the beach, but I think that's half the fun of it!):
- The romance of names like Belize, Cozumel, Tulum, etc.
- People watching. Especially the Europeans. Especially the scandalous swimsuits.
- The soaking in of a Mojito at the end of the day on a yellow deck chair.
- The salty ocean ice cream cones in perfect flavors: strawberry, coconut, and chocolate chip.
- Breakfast being the best meal: the juice bar complete with the pulp of watermelon and frothy green of cactus, also contemplating the life of the expert omelet makers and their perfect pan flips.
- The morning run outside the resort: remembering the existence of another world so aesthetically pleasing: blue tile, crawling trellises of flowers, palm fronds, colored stucco.
- Being constantly called "Amiga."
- The bawdy Top 40 American music playing ad nauseam.
- Soda water.
- Sand in everything.
- The turquoise of the ocean giving way to sapphire blue as it changes in depth. Neon reef fish washed up on shore.
- Monkeys so crazy: swinging from branch to branch exactly as they are depicted in cartoons.
- And never underestimating the power of a light beach read.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Sunday, September 9, 2012
These are my Instagrams I took of the wall while in Bethlehem.
The wall is basically a security barrier separating Israel from Palestinian Authority controlled areas in the West Bank.
(The graffiti includes a few of the famous Banksys).
There were so many things I got to see and do on this trip that I would certainly classify as life-changers: this one is definitely up there.
I think a trip into some of the Palestinian controlled cities (definitely like Bethlehem) (but probably/obviously not the Gaza Strip) should be a necessary part of any trip to Israel.
Because you will see: people trying their best to go about their lives same as you and me. (and, if in Bethlehem, the Church of the Nativity!)
I take no side: it's an insanely complicated and painful issue that I can barely take a stab at.
Instead, what I took away from the wall is:
1. Walls are ugly things.
2. Trust no politician who makes this issue out to be simple, who talks in good versus bad terms.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
NPR is streaming it right now.
The song "Nothin But Time" may have made me tear up.
Other good things:
Read Gone Girl. The very definition of a page turner.
Christina Toci's food diary for Grub Street. A nice reminder to not be so uptight about food.
The discovery of sunnie brook hair tutorials.
I am the worst hair person in the world. It just gets in the way: a time vacuum. Hair appointments akin to a visit to the dentist. But I feel like my hair apathy becomes less and less acceptable: at 25 I should at least know how to curl my own hair. So these are saving my hair/life.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
My second "world wonder" with Walker.
It's really, really cool.
Rose red castles seemingly carved out of sand.
I don't think I fully comprehended the utter massiveness of the place. Be prepared to hike. Over days not hours.
Marveling at having completely free range. There are no guard rails, no signs posted, and no park rangers: you drop off the side of a cliff, you're on your own.
Interesting tidbit on its more modern discovery.
The world is unjust: little, cunning children who can speak multiple languages (compared to my one) hawk camel rides and live in huts on the side of a desert mountain, begging to touch my iPhone.
Dinner at a Bedouin camp. The best tea we'd ever had. Around a campfire. Stars out. After an impromptu scramble up rocks in a dress to watch the sunset.
And the English lady running our hostel: we liked to believe she fell in love with a Bedouin, abandoning her life in London for one camping under the stars in the rough and tumble Wadi Musa.
Just a note on Jordan in general:
Walker and I had one of the nicest American tourist experiences while in Amman.
We were stuck there after the border between Israel and Jordan closed (that's a whole other story), so we decided to go out exploring.
While wandering down some random, quiet street, little kids playing hide-and-seek stop and wave to us and old men sitting in chairs outside of their storefronts greet us with genuine "Hellos!" and "Welcomes!" (And not the "hellos" that really mean "come and buy something white people" that we are much accustomed to).
People began leaning out of windows and popping their heads out of doors, literally calling out: "We love America!"
Walker and I just looked at each other in bewildered wonder: what is this place?
A really pure moment.
Eat in Amman: Hashem Restaurant for fuul.
Like everywhere in Jordan, it is a business decked out in regal portraits of King Abdullah in his military uniform and framed pictures of his family (with pretty Queen Rania) in matching sweaters, looking more like a Christmas card from a US Senator than the keepers of the Hashemite Kingdom.
Also a note on my dressing while in a Muslim country:
I regret not being a little bit more respectful. (i.e. Picture of me in running shorts). I tried, I really did. But it was just so hot.
I read a line in a book recently about a trip to Morocco (a beach read of all things: The Love Season by Elin Hilderbrand) that really resonated with me, even if it oversimplifies the issue:
"Those American women," one of the taxi drivers said. "They like everyone to know they are free."
But believe me, I plan to post my instagrams at some point.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Every night we were in town, I forced Walker to run laps with me at a park just down the street from our little apartment in Jerusalem.
Around and around the packed park (seriously packed every single night!) we'd circle. Dodging the many strollers and toddlers of Haredi families, coughing through the smoke of people barbecuing, and getting such a kick out of the trash cans which were designed, I'm sure, to be cute, while the reality came off as anything but.
It's all etched into my memory: they sure lived it up hard in the parks over there.
And I think it's the little things like this that really leave an impression of the place.
Because these are exactly the images that come to mind when people ask if I was ever scared while over there.
More of Walker's pictures on flickr.