Monday, December 10, 2012

Kicked Out of Soccer

So after dance, the idea of sports must have come up. Again, I'm sure either my friends were doing it or I saw it on TV, but somehow the bright idea of me playing soccer came to the table. Now you would not describe me as a "sports" person in any regard. I love my Patriots, love to watch them and cheer them on, but it ends there.

ANYWAYS, five and six year old soccer is hilarious. You can tell the kids to stay in one spot, but really it's usually a clump of kids from both teams pushing the ball around in circle. There is not much action all in all, they don't keep score and it's fun to watch. Now as a five and six year old player, I didn't like to run or be in the clump. I was usually the good one standing where coach told me to and not moving. I would stand there, maybe twirl around a bit, but mostly just stand there. The best part of soccer was I could drink Gatorade each time I came to the bench, so that's all I cared about. Eventually, the coach realized since I was so good at standing there, maybe I should be a goalie. Our goalie was always coming out of the goal, almost completely down field to try and get the ball and just wasn't understanding the idea guarding. So coach pulled me aside and explained that this time I could use my hands, that no one would yell at me to get the ball and I could just stand there. He did try really hard to emphasize not to the let the ball past me. "If it goes behind you, we can lose and everyone will be sad they lost the game." He was trying to motivate me, but he had no idea how much anxiety that could cause a five year old because he had never met a five year old like me. So the big time comes for me to be the goalie in an actual game. They stick me in the goal and I'm so excited. No running! Well on the other team was a star player, he turned out to be my neighbor years later named Dan. Dan was so good he could get the ball out of the tangle of kids and actually kick it to where he actually wanted it to go. SO here comes Dan, (as good as a ten year old!), up the field and kicks the ball at me. According to my parents, I moved out the way but in my mind I tried to stop the ball but it got behind me.

So let me give you a bit of back story before I explain what happened. I have always been a sensitive child. In a way it was great because I cared about others and always did what I told. In other ways I was an emotional basket case and cried hysterically over little things. For years teachers wrote on my report card, "Katie is an extremely kind student but tends to get emotional" in various forms. To say I got upset easily was to say that Disney on New Years is crowded. It's an extreme understatement.

SO Dan scores probably the easiest goal of his career and I now know I've lost the game for my team. My entire team will not only be sad, but probably mad at me and no one will ever be my friend again. I begin to lose my mind and cry hysterically. Not little, cute, upset tears. Big weepy loud wails are coming from five year old me. So now they have to stop the game. My coach comes over to try and get my to stop. My parents come over and try and get me to stop. Even the opposing side's coach comes over to talk to me. They may have made Dan apologize to me, the story gets a little hazy there.

I spent the rest of the game on the bench with two Gatorades. I finished the season but never played more than five minutes again. Coach may have told my parents about a dance class that his daughter loved and maybe I would love it too. Joke's on coach though, I was already kicked out of there too. When the next year came, my parents told me why didn't I try something new since soccer was not that much fun. That was there nice way to say no coach wanted me on their team since by the time you were on the seven and eight year old team they actually kept score. I never played soccer again but I'm happy to say I never got kicked out of a team for crying again. I got kicked out for being really bad.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kicked Out of Dance Class the First Time

In my very beautiful and small home town there are at least three or four dance studios. Apparently we like to dance in Western Massachusetts. So when I was about four or five because either my friends at school were doing it or maybe because I was always dancing around the house, my mom signed me up for ballet and tap. I was psyched. In my mind I was already the graceful lead in The Nutcracker with my beautiful tutu flowing as I leaped up and down like a swan. In reality I was crashing glasses to the floor and stomping around like heavy machinery. I looked real cute though with my Shirley Temple curls and my new baby pink leotard. I was real excited about my tap shoes too. I loved to make them tap and I do remember being told I could only practice in the basement since I'm sure my love for the dance would ruin my Mom's freshly waxed wood floors.

So I remember loving the huge mirrors at the dance studio. They were floor to ceiling and wrapped all around the room. I could see myself at all times from any angle I wanted. I don't think it was vanity, I think I just was enthralled with watching myself. I was a short five year old (I'm a short 29 year old) and actually seeing my entire self was very new and exciting apparently. When it came to class time, all the little five year old would be lined up against the balance bar and the teacher would walk down the line giving instructions and helping the little ones like a gardener watering her perfect pastel bunch of flowers. I'd imagine each one with a plie like a perfect tiny dancer with grace and beauty. Then there was me, watching myself in the mirror over and over again. A little clumsy, a little lopsided and I'm know I fell down a time or two. I'm sure I wasn't the worst one in class and I'm sure, as all my teachers have told my Mom, I was kind and a good listener. But I loved to watch myself. I was told again and again to pay attention, listen, stop looking at yourself! I remember one time we were suppose to do four or five steps in a row with arm movements. Although I am really good at listening and playing with my phone at the same time, physically I'm not a good multitasker.  I could not get these steps for the life of me. I was pulled aside and worked with an older student who tried over and over again to teach it to me. I would either forget one, not do the right order, forget my hands, wrong foot first. The same problems over and over but I was oblivious. I didn't get frustrated I just knew eventually class would be over and maybe if I was lucky we'd stop for ice cream at home. Or I'd just get to ride in the car because I really, really love riding in the car (still do).

I knew something was up when there was a day when I was allowed to just play in the mirror THE WHOLE TIME. Everyone else was trying on costumes for this recital everyone else kept talking about and I was told I didn't have a costume right now I could play with whatever I wanted in the studio. I think I hung on the bar for a while and I know I made faces in the mirror for a really extended period of time. A few days later my Mom told me I wasn't going to be in the recital. Being that my parents are fantastic she ended the sentence with, "the reason you are not going to be in the recital is we are going to Disney World. Wouldn't you rather go to Florida on vacation instead of dancing in a silly dance show?" I'm pretty sure they told my Mom that I didn't have that special dance gene, or even the basic ability for dance and my amazing family decided that I deserved a vacation for that.

So I never went back to that dance class. I think we turned my tap shoes into ruby slippers for my Dorothy costume for Halloween. I tried dance twice more and spectacularly failed at both those times as well. SO all in all, I was kicked out of dance for being a bad dancer and paying too much attention to myself in the mirror.

Kicked Out

SO I like to think I'm pretty good at some things, maybe even great at a few select things. I'm a kind friend, I'm a strong teacher, I'm a loving daughter and a stupendous kitty mommy. I moved a thousand miles away for a job and so far I've done very well on my own. I've recently restarted my entire life and two months out things are looking good. I really like to write and hope someday I can be be amazing at it, so much so that people will pay to read it instead of just blackmailing all of you to read this with excessive social media posts.

I say all this for a reason. Although I have been successful at somethings in my life, I have been horribly, earth shattering, WHAT-WAS-SHE-THINKING bad at other things. The problem was and continues to be that I don't see how bad I really am at these things. SO instead of quitting, learning the life lesson and growing as a person, I blindly and unapologetically continue my piss poor performance. SO I get kicked out and let me tell you,  I have been kicked out of a lot of things. Some kindly and gently and some with soul crushing devastation. Recently I was telling Erin and Katie all the stories of being kicked out of things. It seems like every time we get together and someone mentions an old dance class, a favorite childhood sport, or anything like that I can proudly shout, "I was kicked out of that!" SO thank you Erin for this idea, but I will take a winter holiday from Henshaw Redux and tell my kicked out stories here.

I have learned to laugh at all these misadventures and I hope you will too.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Dear Everyone Else,
                 There is no happily ever after for everyone. For every princess swept off her feet, there is another woman who just kept on waiting for something that was never coming. It doesn't mean that you don't live a fulfilling, happy life. It doesn't mean you are never loved, that you don't feel what it's like to be someone's whole world. It just mean there isn't someone who will always be there for you, who loves you for you and just wants you to be there since they are better because of you. It just means that chapter isn't in your book of life. You will have adventures and moments better than anything you can imagine. You will survive and in the end you will save yourself. You can't just keep apologizing for being the person you are and hope that if you apologize enough, you can make it go away. Sometimes "And they Lived Happily Ever After" is what you were not going to have anyways. Of course you're a good person and of course you have a good heart filled with love and loyalty  You just don't have anyone to give it to.  So you give up that dream and look for your dream. And no one is to blame and there's really nothing you can do about it.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chapter 2

So I find myself on this blog tonight and rereading what I've said in the past. Back in June I wrote a not all the way sober post about losing my mojo and feeling old at 28. Well I have now reached that magical number 29 and find myself in a new place. So this post is to myself to remind me of what is happening so I will not lose my way again.

So there comes a time when you realize that what you thought was your story, your happily ever after is just a chapter in the saga and the not the final act. Sometimes when you think your life has stalled and your passion has collapsed, there is actually something really wrong that you're not seeing. My love story has ended and I am moving. Not just moving on, moving out. What I thought was what was going to be the rest of my life and the path I was going to take has ended. There is no more plans to make or promises to keep. And now I feel like myself again. It is hard to take a good long look at yourself and see that sometimes what you think you are doing right and what you think is the way things are suppose to be are not how they should be at all. So I am sad to let go of the person I was going to be, I realize that was and  is not me. You can't pound square pegs in round holes regardless of how much you think they should fit. You have to see that We can shield Me for a very long time, but Me is how you are going to be.

So I am thrilled to begin my next chapter and fill it with the words of my books old and new. I am thrilled to see if the next chapter is what I've been looking for but I know the story is mine. The ending is mine to make.  The most important thing is that the truth I am always talking about, the things I think are real and gospel need to stay that way.

So I could use someone else's words to tell what I'm feeling, I have bookcases full of books which characters and authors who talk about starting over. Who have come to this new point and stare out on an unknown future but come with a sense that this is the road she is suppose to take. But this is my voice tonight because this is my story so tonight I am a fan of that. My own story with with own words and wherever this road may take me.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dear Nora Ephron,

Dear Nora Ephron,
   I should have written this sooner. It's hard knowing now that it is too late for this to ever reach you. I have not read your books which is why I did not have you in the mental list of letters to be written but now that you are gone I realize although I did not pick up a novel, I have heard your words over and over in some of my favorite movies. These words and these characters have been my favorites for a long time, just like characters in my books. And I revisit them over and over like my favorite books. I was just too foolish to see this earlier.
   I cannot stop watching once Sleepless in Seattle is on. If it's the very beginning, I know to clear my schedule for 2 hours because I'm not leaving. I just love everything about the movie. Unfortunately, it probably has caused more real life relationship problems than any work of fiction in history. More than just the story, fate bringing two people together, it's the conversations I love. I love Meg Ryan and Rosie O'Donnell mouthing the words from An Affair to Remember and crying together. I love Tom Hanks and Victor Garber making fun of sappy girl movies. Most of all, I love Tom Hanks describing the love of his passed wife. "It was like....magic." I love it, I always have and I always will. I wish I knew what happen to Annie and Sam (and Jonah and Jessica) and hope they live all together in Seattle on the water and forever happy magically in love.
   When Harry Met Sally should come with a waiver, this may happen to you, but probably will not. As Chuck Klosterman wrote, once a woman gets the idea in her head that a her friend who is boy may fall passionately in love with her and then become her boyfriend she will always believe it will happen. There is not a women alive who has not gone through it. Had a guy who was a friend who spent all her time with just waiting for the moment when it finally clicks in his head that yes, he does love her and runs to be with her exclaiming, "I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want to the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." I'm sure, in real life, it had happen and will keep happening in the future, but not for me (although I'm very happy with how my love story is turning out). The best scene is when Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal finally do have sex and you see her, ecstatic and happy and then pan over to him panicked and losing his mind. It's not perfect, it's not even good and it's so real which so many movies just don't do. I still love it because I love the dialogue, I love them talking together and I love how it feels like you and me and every conversation you swear you had but didn't.
    It doesn't stop there, I'm actually rewatching You've Got Mail right now. I love Meg Ryan in this movie and for a long time I really though I just loved Meg Ryan. With no disrespect, I've seen her in other movies and not as impressed. It's the words, Nora Ephron's words, that give her the heart that I love and the words that make her feel like someone I know or could have known.
  Most recently, I have loved Julie and Julia. Now for all honestly, I preferred the Julia part more than Julie but I do confess, I want to do what Julie did. I want to try something for a year and blog about it and have followers that care about it. I want to be transformed by something like she was by food. I have always loved Julia Child. I had no idea what an amazing and interesting person she was. I hope to have half the tenacity, spunk and joy she had, even if it wasn't really real. I need to go buy this movie right now.
  Nora's characters are more real than most. Her woman are not lost or wander. They have careers, they live strong lives in the city. They usually already have a relationship so they are not usual PJ wearing, ice cream eating, crying over Mr. Darcy sad, sad women (no disrespect). I wish I could live in the places these characters live and have the experiences these characters have. Cooking, reading, writing, traveling and laughing through life. The saddest part of all this is there will be no more characters being silly, not perfect and have the ultimate conversations. I hope she had those conversations and I hope I have conversations worth having. You will be missed but you will live in over and over again. I hope more and more girls grow up on these movies and love them like I do. To me, they will always be...magic.



Thursday, May 31, 2012

After Some Vanilla Vodka

First, thank you Alison for actually reading this. Apparently you and my Mom think I'm a great writer. :-)

Now, first yes this is not a sober post. I have had an INSANE week and it's not over yet. If there are any teachers out there, you know this time of year. Everyone else is telling you how lucky you are to get your summer vacation and how it is so easy to be a teacher. But this week alone we had field day (or run around in the sun and yell at children in a potato sack day), a field trip (or run around in the sun and yell at  children in a theme park day) and grades due. On top of that I have two students who know they have two weeks left, who are out of their mind bonkers with excitement, who have given up and who I have to beg, pry, bargain and plea with to try and get them to finish said work for said grades due tomorrow and I am splendidly unsuccessful with.  So, as I hope you can see, I need a drink tonight.

So tonight, instead of writing another Dear Jen Lancaster (as she is not reading this I have come to begrudgingly understand. HOWEVER, Laurie Notaro did read it, she commented on the post I wrote to her so I take that as a definite WIN!), I am just writing. I am writing to try and find the mojo that I seem to have lost. I was thinking back to when I had first moved to Florida, at 23 and how awesome I felt. I moved to a new state, got my first real job, my first apartment and was making it on my own. I felt powerful and strong. I had fun, got out of hand, made some mistakes, but nothing I couldn't redeem or move on from. I was good. Now I feel old. It's only six years later and I feel a lifetime has gone by. I don't get out of hand, I pay my mortgage. I don't make silly mistakes, I drink green tea. I don't know how I got to be middle aged at 28, but I did. I have a grown up job with grown up friends (whom I love but don't know what my 2 am karaoke sounds like or my philosophy after too many rum and cokes) and I'm assured this happens to everyone, I just didn't know it happens at 28. So in a month and a half I will be 29 the last number before the big one and my grown up me knows I will celebrate with a sensible lunch date with friends because that's what a 29 year old teacher will do. What I really want to do, what my 23 year old self wants to do, I'm just not sure anymore.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Since no one is reading this anyways

So here I am. My last post had one view (thanks Mom). So since no one is even looking why am I constantly scrutinizing what I write here. Yes, I love my Henshaw Redux letters but I don't have one tonight. Tonight it's just me and I had a rotten day so here it is. This is mine and tonight I'm hijacking it from the readers.

I don't know what age I realized it, but eventually I realized that people performed for a living. People got to sing and dance and act and that was what they did for a living. I was probably 12 and immediately got my Mom to let me go to EL rec department acting camp. And I loved it. I was the oldest kid there and immediately ALPHA femaled the whole thing. We wrote, acted, costumed, created the whole thing. The play was called "What's Missing in Valerie's Gallery?" and I was Valerie, of course. We ripped the whole thing off of Clue, but I was hooked. I loved every moment. I loved rehearsal and more than anything I loved being on stage. I kept going, there was no drama in Middle School. So in High School I went out for every play offered and got nice quiet background roles for the most part. I got to play King Alonzo in Tempest and that was the pinnacle of that. In college, I decided that I was not going to be a theater major and just dumped myself in education. Don't get me wrong, I love education. I love teaching, but I see something silly, like concert footage with backstage peeks. I see a play. I see some kind of performing and a part of me aches. I want that. I want that so badly. I want to sing, I want to act, I want to be up there, doing it, for real. Doing Godspell this past winter was the closest I've ever come to that real moment. Singing my solo was the most unbelieveable experience I've ever had. It's over now and I'm forever grateful for the opportunity. And I want it again so badly. I cannot wait to be up there again.

I wish I could be brave. I have a friend who has thrown away the life I lead now to try and follow her passion. Some find it laughable and shake their head in discuss. She'll never amount to anything, they say. But she is doing it and I know she is happy. She is dramatic and kinda insane but right now I look at her and think, wow... someone is actually doing that. I wish I could, I wish I had faith, I wish I could be doing that.

Now the sensible part of me says, you have to be responsible and keep the job and just do the theater and singing on the side and that I will do. But watching and seeing it elsewhere a part of me says, what if?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Attack of the Tiny Frogs

Attack of the Tiny Frogs
   A few years ago the boyfriend and I moved out of Titusville (story to come later) and to a new house right outside of the Mouse (Disney for the rest of you). It took us forever to find a house we actually both liked that did not have a family of bugs still living in it or mold growing out of every corner. There were houses where the owner thought it was a good idea to knock down supporting walls or paint murals of things I don’t even like repeating. Crazy neighbors with barb wire were a big turn off and the strangest one was a house that apparently people were squatting in as the prison letters on the dresser and the clothes in the bathtub gave away. When we finally found this house, with its tasteful furniture included, beautiful view and open floor plan it was perfect the minute we walked in and we put in an offer then and there. It took us a while but eventually we got the house we wanted and with our joint ownership with survivorship or gay rights as they called it, we moved in.
     We had only been in the house about a month when I came home from a late night at work. The boyfriend and I had just finished dinner and decided to sit and relax in front of the new big TV before bed. “I never thought it would stop raining, “ I commented as we sat down for the first time that day. It was true that it had rained for nearly a week and tonight was the first time it had tapered off and stopped. Out of nowhere, we heard two loud smashing sounds against our garage door. Figuring our teenage neighborhood hoodlums were at it again, we peeked out the front window, turned on the porch lights, nothing. “Must have been the wind” the boyfriend commented and we went back to the couch. A short while later, something else caught our attention. Our cat, Bella, was jumping. “What the hell?” the boyfriend said and we rolled off the couch to see why in the world our three year old black panther of a cat was leaping around like a Cirque De Soile extra. As we got closer, the boyfriend reached down and cupped his hands around something I couldn’t see. “It’s a frog,” he said opening his hands to the tiniest frog I had ever seen. It was the size of my thumb nail but was furiously trying to escape with the energy of a rabbit on Red Bull. “Get the door,” he said as the cat tried to climb his leg to reclaim her prize. As I opened the door for him to reintroduce the frog to its real habitat, three bright green frogs the size of golf balls clung desperately to our front door. Our teenage hooligans were these amphibians leaping onto the door. “Holy shit! What is going on here?” I yelled as one of the door clingers crept to the opposite, inside part of the door. So the boyfriend flung the little frog and now in one motion, grabbed and flung this new frog.
      Now let me interject for a minute, we love this house, but this was a vacation home. Although it’s in great shape, there are somethings that were overlooked because no one lived here for an extended period of time. The air conditioner was run itself to death and every inch of available space had a bed on it. One area that must have been ignored was the weather stripping at the bottom of the front door. In the daylight, small streaks of light shine under the worn out rubber under the door. Normally, it’s not an issue. Sure we are losing some air conditioning, but nothing big. We’ll fix it later and later was not before this night of frogs.
    So, as we begin to walk back to our TV show, Bella begins to hop again and sure enough there is another frog. I look behind my shoes by the door, and now there is another one and as Bill leans down to grab one, he watches another one squeeze under the door. Now we got a problem. “Get something to put them in, I’ll get something to put under the door,” the boyfriend commended as if we were now no longer in Florida but the trenches of Iraq. This was war.  The only thing I could think of was a Tupperware container. It had a lid and I would keep letting air in, it would be fine. So the three of us, Bella sniffing them out, and the both of us catching these frogs while now frantically trying to shove newspaper under the door, became this frenzy of yelling, grabbing and jumping. If someone had seen, I’d be writing this from the loony bin.  We managed to block the bottom of the door, but now we had to round up the rest of these frogs. Some had managed to venture as far as the bedroom and I knew I’d spend the hours of the night instead of sleeping, imagining and pulling baby frogs off my legs in bed. Close to an hour later, we seemed to have found them all. 16 little frogs and one big one had lead an attack on our house and although they put up a good fight, they were all captured. As we threw the prisoners out into the backyard through the screened in porch door, suddenly I felt like I was in a real life horror movie. Crawling all over our screened in pool were these small dots moving higher and higher. Might as well cue the creepy background music as the boyfriend shined his flashlight on at least 50 tiny frogs trying to find the fault with the screen. As I tried to run, the boyfriend stopped me. “Don’t worry,” he said. “They won’t make it past the pool.” Like any good horror movie, in the morning at least half of the frogs on the screen were floating in the pool like zombies the morning after.
    “We’re fixing the front door,” I told the boyfriend as we fished out the bloated tiny bodies out of the filter. And almost three years later, we did just that. 


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dear World

Dear World,
  No, I'm not dead. I think it's been nearly six months since my last post. Such as it does, life got in the way. Between work, a play I did and sorry to report, a free subscription to some trashy magazines, I have not been reading and therefore not been writing. I have a few incomplete posts but for me it runs deep and fast or not at all. So I've been thinking (uh-oh), what do I want to do with this site? Do I want to keep reading and writing letters to authors? I do love that, but I'm not sure if I can keep up with enough posts. Some books I read just don't get me the way these other ones have.
   SO I had an another idea. Last year I attended the IRA conference and the first thing they asked was as a teacher have we read 50 children's books? 100 children's books? Most of us hadn't and I thought immediately I'd like the challenge. So another thought would be posting about the book and the challenge. Sorta like Julie and Julia, but not as as many calories.  I could keep a record of all the books with a countdown, maybe set a time limit.Give my opinion, maybe write how to use it in a classroom or what students might like it. (I get asked all the time, what's a good book? My students know I love to read, but I need to keep it. I can only recommend Encyclopedia Brown, Fairest, and Phantom Tollbooth so many times before they stop asking). But that feels like so many other sites already.
  Another idea is just to keep a blog. I could write stories about my cats (hey, hey, hey, I may be a cat lady but I'm only slightly crazy and I would know to keep the stories to a minimum, just the great ones) and my students or something or other a la Jen Lancaster. But Jen Lancaster had a theme in the beginning, while I really don't and my stories aren't that great.
  I love writing and I love having something I love to write about. I want to keep on it and do better. I want to write and hopefully have someone read it too.
  SO a final idea, I've always been a fan of if I don't have to chose than why not have it all? This blog has pages, I can set up pages. One for letters, one for my challenge, and one for every day stuff. A little Whitman Sampler of Lady KT writing, if you will (ughhh, did I really just write that??). So maybe you hate it, and if so, that's okay. But maybe you will find something you like and keep coming back. And maybe with more choice, I will actually write more than once a solstice.


Lady KT

PS Did not go well and changed back :-)