Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm writing again.

I don't think you guys have met Amanda yet. I'm going to be spending some quality time with her, so I'll introduce you...

Our alarm goes off at two. It’s an early flight. Thankfully, all the equipment has been shipped already, so we only have to worry about getting Jeff to the airport on time. This is why the alarm is set for two, so I can wake Jeff up, take my shower, come back and give him a kiss and another reminder, get dressed, give him a little shake, go make coffee, come back and yell, “Okay! Enough of this! Get out of bed!” to which he will moan, “Fine Mom,” and get up.
And this is very similar to how things actually occur, except that instead of yelling, because I’m feeling sad, I sit down on the bed next to him and run my hand down his naked body. Jeff’s eyes open.
“Do we have time?”
I check the clock. “Quickly,” I reply, and climb into bed beside him.
I have never known anyone with such an insatiable appetite for sex. I’m pretty slutty, as far as girls go, but it took me a good while to be able to keep up with Jeff. I suspect it’s similar to any other kind of training. Like eating competitively. Or running marathons. I have become a machine capable of achieving multiple orgasms and surviving on limited nighttime sleep and catnaps. I wonder now, if I will atrophy with him being gone.
We are not quick. I don’t think either of us can be. I take the time to run my hands over him, to etch in my mind the feeling of his body and how it feels against mine. Jeff is on top of me, and I have my legs wrapped around him. He props himself up on his elbows so he can hold my face, and kisses me continuously. It’s love we are making, and it feels both tender and tragic. Like goodbye. Which it is, but not forever, I remind myself.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fire Boy and the bike.

The kids and I took the dog for a walk after my run. The girls have scooters and bikes. FB had two scooters he left outside that were stolen, and a bike in the garage with a flat tire that he can't ride. No really, can't ride. He's refused to learn how and I've refused to argue with him about it. The girls are good about sharing their scooters with him when they ride their bikes, but this morning they both chose their scooters and FB was SOL. Walking with mom and sulking.

After looking at his sour puss and listening to him shuffle his feet for a block, I turned to him.

"Dude, you're learning to ride your bike today."

There was whining, but I didn't budge. We got home, got out the bike, and went out back to the trail. It took him several starts to gain balance, and FB started to huff and complain that he couldn't do it. So in traditional Kate fashion, I went into motivational speaker mode.

"The only reason you can't do it is because you've told yourself you can't. Believe in yourself and you can do anything."

(Btw, someone remind me of that will you?)

Anyway, literally two minutes later he had grasped the concept of peddle peddle peddle and was straight-line biking. Steering was another challenge, though, and he did a great job of straight-line biking right into the grass. He'd put his feet down and look up at me defeated.

"Sometimes you steer yourself into the grass. No big deal. Keep peddling. Find your way back to the path. It's harder, more struggle, but it's possible."

(Also, I don't speak English. I speak Metaphor.)

FB rolled his eyes at me, and I raised my brows at him, but he got back on the bike. And I'm so proud of him.

xo. kb.

Letting go.

I love highway driving. It's one of my favorite activities, the stretch of road, the high speed. My favorite music playing, the sound of wind against the car, but otherwise quiet. I don't talk when I drive because that's when I do my best thinking.

I drove to pick up the kids on Sunday. Two hours alone in the car to process. And I did. I ran through a ton of shit: what I'd done over the last two weeks, the concerts I'd gone to, the friends I'd seen, the freedom I'd felt and wholly enjoyed. I thought about my relationships with my friends and family, how they've been so supportive of me through my struggles with the separation/divorce, and have lifted me higher than I could lift myself right now.

But mostly I worried about my job prospects. I do enjoy working (I'm a Virgo and a firstborn- it's my nature), but the search freaks me the fuck out. It overwhelms me. I have no idea what to do, where to start, and I freeze, deer in the headlights. I have a Bachelors in nothing in particular, ten years experience in retail management, and no desire to work retail. Or sales. Or at a desk (I can't sit still for long periods of time). I want to write. I want to own my cafe. But those aren't even options right now. So where do I even start? The job I was interviewing for was so ideal in hours/pay/activity, I honestly thought it was that One Good Thing in the midst of all this other drama. The thing that goes right when everything else is going wrong. But as time went on and I didn't hear back, and didn't hear back, my hope dwindled.

So I was driving Sunday and wondering what I would do when I did hear back and they said "no." And I was freaking out because to stay in the house I need to earn a certain salary, but those job options are either sales or retail, which would require lots of work in a field I'm not passionate about, and long/inconsistent hours. Which was exactly why I left Starbucks in the first place, and why the hell would I step back like that when the point of life is forward motion? I mean, I get compromise, and I get the idea of getting by, but I hate to think that these last years of stress and growth would bring me right back where I started. *insert scream here*

And then, in a moment of clarity, Satori as one of my twitter friends suggested, it occurred to me: all this stress to keep the house, do I really need to keep the house?

And I realized I don't. I like my house. I love the neighborhood, the bike trail I run every day, the field and park directly outside my back door, our amazing neighbors. But I can run anywhere. And there are other parks. And good people exist everywhere. My close friends won't change just because I've moved. The house, at this point, is an anchor. Tying us to a spot, holding us in place, weighing us down. And we don't need it. It's time to let go.

It's the most relief I've felt in weeks. Now, instead of the fury of trying to figure out how to make everything work in the constructs that already existed, I'm free to build it anew. There is possibility again. And not saying that it won't still be a struggle, because life is struggle long and short, but I'm okay with that. Because at least it will be a new challenge, and not working at the same problem and hoping for a different result.

xo. kb.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Death Cab for Cutie - You Are A Tourist [Official Video]

I'd like to thank Mr. Gibbard for so eloquently capturing life and emotion.

This fire grows higher, this fire grows higher
This fire grows higher, this fire grows higher

When there's a burning in your heart
An endless yearning in your heart
Build it bigger than the sun
Let it grow, let it grow
When there's a burning in your heart
Don't be alarmed

When there's a doubt within your mind
Cause you're thinking all the time
Framing rights into wrongs
Move along, move along
When there's a doubt within your mind

When there's a burning in your heart
And you think you'll burst apart
Oh, there's nothing to fear
Save the tears, save the tears
When there's a burning in your heart

And if you feel just like a tourist
In the city you were born
Then it's time to go
And define your destination
With so many different places
To call home
Cause when you find yourself the villain
In this story you have written
It's plain to see
That sometimes the best intentions
Are in need of redemptions
Would you agree?
If so, please show me

This fire grows higher, this fire grows higher
This fire grows higher, this fire grows higher

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

matt pond PA - Locate the Pieces

Being alone.

The kids have been at my aunt's for a week. I was concerned that it would be difficult for me to have them gone, that the quiet would get to me and I'd find myself curled fetal in bed, popping Xanax like candy, and waiting for it all to be over.

Glad to say, not the case.

Okay, there was that one day last week, but it only lasted until 2 or 3 in the afternoon and then I went for a run so it really doesn't count. Actually, it's been pretty great, just the dog and me. We go on crazy long walks whenever we want. I haven't had to cook, there's no laundry. I run whenever I feel like it- at 10p, at 6a, at noon. I've gone to bed late- okay, nbd- but slept in late too. Seriously, I haven't done that ever. No for real. I've gone out with friends I haven't seen in months, gone to shows without having to find a babysitter, read during dinner without guilt. I lost the remote for the tv and didn't even know it for 5 days.

I miss my kids, certainly. But I love my alone time. I need it. Space and quiet are great things.

Listening to: birds, highway noises, the hum of my computer, Band Of Horses

xo. kb.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In honor of Father's Day.

My dad isn't here anymore, so today is bittersweet for me. I'm trying to bulk up the sweet.

Dad taught me a lot of things. Complete tasks as soon as you get them. Clean your kitchen mess as you cook. Don't forget to wear a belt if you're climbing a tree and your pants are too big. My dad's the reason I can't listen to 50's music without rolling my eyes (Senior Prom 1,2, and 3 every fricking Saturday in the car while we ran errands), but also how I know all the Beach Boys songs.

Dad taught me how to cook- how to measure, chop, read a recipe. He also taught me how to deviate from the recipe when things could obviously use a little more cayenne pepper and maybe your sinuses could use a little stimulation. My best recipes are from him. Cajun Potato Salad (made with homemade aioli instead of mayonnaise), Green Salsa (fresh, unroasted tomatillos), and my entire Thanksgiving Dinner (which you are all invited to this year).

But my best lesson from Dad was to be true to yourself. My dad was blatantly and honestly himself. Sometimes that meant he was silly. In the middle of nothing, he would ask us, "Have I ever told you about my friend Tanda?" We'd play along and say, "No," and he would continue the story. "Tandalea Lipshitz. She had beautiful, long-flowing black hair. Coming out of her nostrils. And when she sneezed, it would crack like a whip." I still smile at that one.

He worked insane at his job, not because he wanted or needed accolades, but because that's who he was. A hard worker. And he was known and respected for this. Part because he never missed a deadline, and could be counted on to help anyone, but also because he traveled the country giving speeches and sometimes wore a ladies' blond wig for part of it. Maybe this is where I get the whole, willing to look like an idiot if it's funny thing.

My dad had a big mouth. Swore like crazy. My maternal grandma was concerned that my first words would be "Jesus Christ" and not in a prayer. Her concern was legit. And the Tanda story was probably his cleanest. I know more dirty jokes than most girls, all taught from Dad. And he would tell you honestly how he felt about everything. So if you really wanted to know how those pants looked on your butt, he was the one to ask. However, tact was not his strongest point, so sometimes his truths hurt. Especially if you hadn't wanted to know how those pants looked on your butt and he told you anyway. You just had to understand that his comments came from a good place. He wouldn't tell you what you wanted to hear, rather what you needed to hear. And he was nearly always right about that.

Dad also loved and hated with passion. If he was upset with you, no one fought harder, more vicious, than my dad. He was relentless. Attacked with the intention of injury. And you would get an apology occasionally, but it was after the fury, the storm, when he was ready for it. But when he wasn't angry, and that truly was most of the time, he loved so big it could make everything right in the world. Dad was a spontaneous and frequent hugger. He'd have you sit next to him on the couch just so he could put his arm around you and squeeze. His gifts were always thoughtful. He'd help you figure out any problem, whether school, boys, job. And he was present, never distracted when you spent time together. Would take every call and stay on as long as you needed to.

So Happy Father's Day Dad. I love you. I miss you.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I have actually been blogging, but I've been saving the posts as drafts because they're highly personal/introspective/revealing. I'm generally very open, but some things just can't be shared.

Listening to: The Civil Wars "Barton Hallow" which is the best album I have heard since "Infinite Arms" came out.

xo. kb.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


MG slept with me last night. Generally speaking, I love to snuggle with her. She's a cuddler. A smoocher. But at night she flails. Kicks. Attacks in her sleep.

I won't lie, it's a horrible night for me when I sleep with her. Come morning, I'm on the edge of the bed. I've barely slept and I have bruises. But I can't really deny her when she wants to get into bed with me, because I know she doesn't mean to be aggressive.

She's reaching out. She kicks to feel for someone there.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Plan.

I have remind myself that my Plan B/C/D/E/F/G... is God's Plan A.

Listening to: Built To Spill "Keep It Like A Secret"

xo. kb.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Yes! Michigan!

I'm sitting on the largest deck I've ever seen on a house, enjoying the sounds of birds, the slow-moving river, and distant cars. I'm still in my jammies, haven't brushed my hair/teeth, and couldn't care less. This is awesome.

The kids are home, spending the weekend with their dad, and I'm up in Michigan at my sister's future in-laws' house. This place is amazing. Tucked away, nestled in wide, tall trees. The kind of place some people choose for their vacation home, that this family chose to raise their kids in.

I wasn't sure I'd make it up here. Despite requesting the day off, I was scheduled to work. Found someone to cover my shift late Thursday, and left after my shift last night. I was told it would be an easy drive. I guess it wasn't so bad, except my directions were from my sister's drunken fiancé (extra e?) who told me things like, "Take 96" (it's 196) and "Take M6" (it only says 6 towards Lansing and he told me not to go that way) and "When you see a light turn left, then the next light turn right and I don't know any of the street names." So I went to Canada (not really) and finally found it. Thankfully, he waited up for me and had a beer ready.

We drank a few, went out on his family boat, which Praise The Lord didn't start because I for sure would have died, and then I passed out in the basement on an air mattress. Yes, I sang Conor Oberst while I drifted off.

Today is the shower. Which reminds me, I need to take one. So I'm off. Just wanted to post something slightly less emo than yesterday's random Ours tune.

xo. kb.

Friday, June 10, 2011

ours - here is the light

Shudder To Think - No Room 9, Kentucky (Dischord Single B-Side)

I love this song. This version is a B-side, sounds a little more like it's recorded in a cavernous room, and isn't as full as the album version. Still fantastic. And Nathan Larson's guitar is so fluid it makes me want to swim. Pay close attention to his mini solo at 3:00.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Technology is so cool.

I am sending this post from my phone, and I can't begin to tell you how freaky excited this makes me.

In related news, I am lame.

xo. kb.

Update on the job front.

I had my final interview yesterday for the position I've been hoping for. It's a good company, the pay is reasonable, I'd get a car, and *MOST IMPORTANT* it's a day job. That means no more evenings/weekends/holidays like I've always done. Le sigh. How freaking cool would that be? I have a nanny lined up for summer already, as well as an aunt who will take the kids while I'm away training. (Two two-week sessions in other parts of the country.) So I'm all planned out. If I get the job. If I get it. I try not to be too optimistic, because it seems the more I want something, the less likely I am to have it. I don't want to jinx things. Anyway, if I don't get my hopes up, the disappointment doesn't hurt as badly.

*That last statement is a lie. It hurts just the same.*

So I'm praying. And praying. And praying. And wishing every time the numbers on the clock are the same (you can wish more often than 11:11- 5:55 is my best wishing time), every time I lose an eyelash, every time I sneeze three times in a row. Because that's all I can do. That, and wait and see.

Listening to: Elliott Smith on shuffle. Maybe not my best choice for mood uplifting music, but it's raining and so what.

xo. kb.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I am right now breathing down from a panic attack.

It was hella intense, but didn't last very long. Usually I have to take a Xanax and wait for it to kick in, or lay prone on the floor (kitchen works best) until I can regulate my breathing. Today, I felt a peace course through me like cool water. Down my back, relieving the tension in my chest, slowing my heart rate. Like a full xannie, except I didn't take even a quarter.

That was God. I'm sure of it.

The lesson of failure.

FB's in karate. He's good, too. A purple belt. But he found out last night that he's not ready to belt test next week at the end of session. This is the second time he hasn't made it to third degree brown belt, and he's very disappointed. Like woke up this morning with total sadface and came over to sit in my lap.

I hate to see him distraught like that, hate to see him emotionally struggle. This belt level is really tough, but he also knows he could have worked harder. Practiced more often, read through his Japanese flashcards every once in a while. It would have made a difference. But much as I hate to see him hurting, I can't help but appreciate that he's learning a valuable lesson: The lesson of failure.

I was a manager at Starbucks twice. The first time was shortly after starting with the company, and I really had no idea what I was doing. I thought if I put in long days and worked crazy hard, if I was a rules girl and adhered every time to every guideline, if my walls and baseboards were spotless, that I would be successful. Okay, those things can work to an extent, but there's much more involved. Like rallying your team and making them a cohesive unit. Like sticking up for them to your boss. Like taking the blame for mistakes instead of making excuses. Like being playful and having fun and making that the tone of your business. Being a leader, I guess. I didn't do those things, or at least not consistently, and couldn't understand why my boss had no confidence in me.

I stepped down and was bitter for a long time at my failure. It took me a couple years, no lie, to get over the bitterness and recognize that the experience had offered me an opportunity to learn and grow. To better prepare myself for the kind of manager I wanted to be in the future. And when I did again go into management, I like to think I killed. Our sales weren't always the best, the store was never as clean as my boss's boss wanted, but we had a freaking happy crew. We sang on the floor (Yankee Bayonet duets), danced behind the counter (Australia), and worked as a team. We loved and were loved back by our customers.

I'd learned that it was more important to create an environment than to complete a list of tasks. That success is defined in how you uplift people rather than how much you make. I had no idea that first time around- I had to fail to *get* it. And I'm so glad I did.

So FB doesn't belt test this time. But he understands what he has to do in order to get there. In the meantime, there's a spot on my lap for him. Because he's not too old a boy to appreciate being held.

Listening to: Menomena "Mines"

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A side note.

I'm trunking the last four novels. I'm thinking of them as an exploration of who and how I want to write. There's an idea brewing for my next work, and I think I'll be starting on it soon.

For the music fans.

There's absolutely no ulterior motive for me posting this song. I just love it, and sometimes I just want to listen to Screaming Trees. This album, "Sweet Oblivion," is one of those gems, those sentimental sighs of "Oh yes!" It's perfect, front to back. Heartfelt, groaning, melancholy introspection. And even better, the band is crazy unattractive. Not one of those, "the lead singer is hawt" kind of bands. So when you fall in love with it, it's all about the music. As it should be.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Here is my peace for today.

Sleeping At Last "Hurry"

Hurry, hurry
Come quickly
And leave all logic aside
Don't say a word
Just listen carefully to me...

"The world is ours if we could only let it be"

Every move we make
Will trigger another
And every small mistake
Will be a messenger...

"The world is ours if we could only let it be
The world is ours if we would only let it be."

Our lives are weaving like a thread
Within each other, faithfully
Sharing in our joys and miseries
And all that the world can give

Always, always

In the depths of our souls
flickers of hope will show so clear
like a pearl in the sea
a pearl in the sea

(the smiles on faces born in familiar places
we'll build ourselves islands upon the deepest oceans)

For the last time
This could be the last time
To pull it from the water
To wear around our necks

"The world is ours if we could only let it be
The world is ours if we would only let it be"

hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry

Friday, June 3, 2011

Selling yourself.

I had an interview on Wednesday. If you follow me on the twitter you know this. Besides all my stupid posts about music, it's all I'm talking about. Because it's a Very Big Deal.

There have been a number of hoops I've had to jump through already, the phone interview, the behavioral/competency tests, the background check, to get to the interview. It's been this long-ass process, which I'm hoping is one of those "What is worth having is worth working for" deals, because seriously, this kind of effort should result in something good, right? *insert sigh here* Anyway, the interview itself was about 45 minutes. It was a panel, which I'm familiar with from Starbucks, but there were three of them (we always did two) and it felt a little like standing in front of a firing squad. It was all behavioral interviewing, "tell me about a time..." questions based on competencies like decision-making, customer service, written communication skills (Ha! Fail). I felt confident with my ability to answer the questions specifically and thoroughly. I almost felt good about the interview. Then I got smacked.

"We have eight interviews scheduled for this position and you're the first. Two of those candidates have experience in this field, whereas you don't. Why should we hire you? Sell yourself."

*Dies* Sell myself? Are you kidding me? Couldn't they have just asked me to perform a song and dance number? Wrestle a bear? Either one of those activities would have been less stressful. I mean, I can sell product. And I'm really good at finding other people's positives. But my own? I spend so much time trying to develop myself into someone worth being. I'm uncertain. I have huge opportunities.

I am never the girl who could tell you to "Pick me" because I know better than anyone else why you wouldn't.

And yet, to get this job I had to. So I came up with a three-part answer, because everything I do is in threes, and delivered it. Certainly, I was nervous and thrown for a loop, but I hope I was recovered enough to make some sense. Then I smiled and did the whole eye contact thing like it wasn't the end of the world. And maybe it wasn't. They let me know that it would be a week until I heard anything back about a second interview. (Good lord, there will be more?) I thanked them, then went to my car to freak out.

But it got me thinking. I'm always talking about how I'm this person in progress, a person becoming. I'm also this person who *is*. And there are things in me I can be proud of. Maybe I don't spend enough time selling myself to me. Maybe none of us do.

Listening to: I'm not telling :P

xo. kb.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Sometimes you're just moving and you have no idea of the direction.

Garage sales.

I'm having a garage sale this weekend. I had one last year, didn't sell a thing due to a gigantor monsoon, and ended up taking a car-full of bags to Goodwill. This year will be different. This year it won't rain. Actually, I have no idea if it will rain. I haven't checked the weather. But I'm hopeful.

I love garage sales. I rarely pick up anything at one, just because I'm not a person who buys things unless I need to. I'm not a candles around the house or silk flower-filled vases kind of girl. I don't do stuff. Frankly, accessories in general, household or otherwise, are clutter to me and give me the crowded feeling. So yeah, I don't buy, but I like to look at what people are trying to get rid of. What they've deemed unnecessary. What no longer holds significance. Those brass candlesticks, that 13" TV, the Whitesnake tapes. I guess when I think about it, I don't have any of those fun little things that people will give me a quarter for. I've never owned a Whitesnake tape. But I do have bags full in the garage, items ready to be priced, things I no longer need.

Purging is great- a cleansing release, a shedding of skin. I don't accumulate, but I have outgrown some things and have kept a lot I don't use. Jeans that cost a lot but are too big, those cute but ridiculous uncomfortable heels. The screen and tools for the fireplace I had at my last place and don't here, but hoped to have again one day. The cookbooks that look pretty, but I've never opened. They're all going.

I think we hold onto things that no longer serve us, that don't function in our lives, out of a sense of "I have this, I need to keep this."

There are times when we need to be cut-throat. To define what is essential and what is excess. And we need to purge. Cleanse. Free ourselves from the baggage. Be bare bones and simplified.

So I am. And maybe I'll make a little cash in the process.

Listening to: BOH. I'll move on one day, just not this one.

xo. kb.