Cliché Conception

As Valentine's Day rapidly approaches (you are welcome for the reminder, sir), I immediately start to reminisce on Valentines past.  I've had a wide spectrum of previous V-day experiences- wonderful, mediocre, and terrible...

You would probably expect my first Valentine's Day ever with my now-husband to have been an amazing one.  I mean, we got married right?  This was not the case.  (I would like to take this moment and point out that Russ [love you, babe] thinks I always throw him under the bus on my blog.  However, I am just retelling stories of what actually happened... so... you be the judge.)

It was my sophomore year in college, Russ and I had only been dating a short time.  I was really excited to actually have a date for Valentine's Day.  We had an excellent dinner downtown Athens (with several bottles of wine) then headed to our favorite bar to meet up with some friends.

Us, shortly after dinner.

My brother, who attended the same college, was out and about with some friends and decided to swing by and see us.  (Yes- my brother is 7 years older than me and was still in school.  No- he is not dumb, just crazy and wanted to get like 19 doctorates.)  This was his first time meeting Russ.

I could tell that Russ was starting to act pretty intoxicated.  Then, after he met my brother and would not keep his hands off of my ass and talking about how hot he thought I was- I knew he was highly intoxicated. 

I just tried to play it off and hope that my brother was also highly intoxicated and would not notice. (Which he still to this day claims he did not.) 

I soon realized that my date was at the point of super drunk and no return.  I will spare Russ the agony of reliving the embarrassing details, but trust me when I say: no return.  So, I dug his phone out of his pocket and luckily remembered his roommates name. 

"Ummm... hi.  Is this Russ' roommate?  This is Katie.  Russ' date?  Sorry to bother you on Valentine's Day and all, but Russ needs to go home.  Immediately.  Any chance you can come pick him up or at least give me your address so I can send him your way in a cab?"

Yes.  It was super awkward.

Thank goodness he had an awesome roommate who came to retrieve him.  At this point, I realized that I was going to have to help his roommate physically carry him in and put him to bed, so I rode along, while making arrangements to be picked up from their place as quickly as possible.

Thank the heavens, my friends came to rescue me and took me home.  I relayed the depressing story, followed by a "yeah, never going to see that guy again."

I had written him off and gone to bed.  Worst Valentine's Day ever.

Then, very early (I'm talking like 7:00am, on a weekend, in college, early) the next morning, there was knocking at our door.  My roomie answered it, and it was him.  The nerve of that guy?!  Ruin Valentine's Day and then not even let me sleep in the next morning?!  I was pissed.  I told her to tell him to go away.  Alas, the ass, would not.

She told me she was going back to bed and I had to deal with him, so I let him in to apologize.  Which he did.  Profusely.  He said he did not remember anything, and that never happens to him, and he fears that he was accidentally drugged.  I forgive him, on the condition that he never comes over this early ever again.  Especially without food.

Fast forward to several years later.  We are married at this point and talking with the same friends from that terrible Valentines Day about how it was the only time we had ever "broken up".  I mention that I cannot believe he had been drugged and my friends start dying laughing.

Me, confused side head cock.  "What is so funny?"

Them, still laughing.  "Drugged?  We made him chug three long islands!"

Basically, what my face looked like.

What. The. Fuuuuuuuu.....

Russ, looking genuinely shocked, "Huh?  So, I kind of was drugged?"

Needless to say- it did not go over well for all boys involved.  And, I would like to say to all you males out there- do not give your friends 3 long islands to chug on their Valentine's Day date.  It is not a good idea.  And, no.  No, I should not even have to say that.

Fast forward nine years from our first Valentine's Day disaster date, to what would become one of my best Valentine's Days... when Russ and I apparently had a little too much fun and made a baby.  Oopsies!  But, best accident ever.

The result of a fun Valentine's Day.

Fast forward one more year to what was really my best Valentine's Day ever- because it was the first one I got to spend with my son; and, when I discovered what this crazy little thing called love is really all about.

Thank you, Kayla Morton of Everyday Photography & Designs
for capturing this face, February 2013.

So, my tip to you this Valentine's Day- do not chug 3 long islands after several bottles of wine whilst on your date, only to be sent home alone.  Instead, get juuuust drunk enough and go make a baby!*

Katie (The Cliché Conceiver)

*Please only procreate if you are responsible adult, of a reasonable age, in a relationship and situation where you can safely raise a child.


Trash Diving and Mossy Ass Prints. How Katie Did Italy.

Recently, I received an email requesting a 10 year reunion trip, of my furthest trip still to date... Italy.  Now, I must disclose we have already had a (5 year?) reunion party stateside to reminisce; but, we have been hoping to one day return to Italy, as the fabulous group that we were.

This trip was my college graduation present from my parents.  It was one of the best experiences of my life.  I had never been out of the Southeast prior to this trip, literally.  It was also my first plane ride ever.  And, my worst plane ride ever.

Since I was a broke college student, I had to find an extremely cheap flight.  Which means- layover/changeover central.  The ride there was not too bad due to the overwhelming excitement that was eeking out of my pores, but the trip back...  I still get anxiety just reminiscing.  I will get to that part later though.

The rest of my traveling posse was able to stay abroad longer and go more places than I was able to, for I was planning a wedding.  That's right, I was marrying my "bee guy" the August after graduation.  So, I was only able to visit Italy for a week.

Italy was amazing, as many of you know, and the rest of you I am sure can imagine.  The scenery, the food, the wine... it was all fabulouso!

I was fortunate enough to go with a group of friends whom many had already made the trip overseas; including one of which, whose family was fortunate enough to live there for a few years.  I started my trip at their home in Napoli.  I was so excited to both be off the plane and be in Italy!  I could not wait to get there and explore the city.

When I finally made my appearance in this magnificent country, wouldn't you know that all of my friends were hungover.  From, of all things, attending a freaking Avril Lavigne concert the night before.  So, they stayed inside all day and slept their hangovers away, while my friend's mom was nice enough to show me around.  (Thanks, Mrs. C!)

Well, that night I really enjoyed the hell out of some Itlaian wine and ended up being the hungover one the following morning.  This turned out to be a really bad thing because we were traveling to another town via the Euro Rail.  I still remember standing in the train station.  The smell...  ugh...  my heavy backpack on... ugh... the heat... ugh.  I decided that my best bet was to stand next to the trashcan... just in case.

The smell.... ugh.  It quickly became too much.  I turned to the nearest person to warn them that I was about to be sick and that they might want to stand elsewhere.  They, not speaky da Engrish, just stared annoyingly back at me.  I smiled, made a barfing jester with my hand and pointed to the trashcan.  I am assuming they walked off (disgusted)- but, I would not know because I had remained over the trashcan, puking.  Having on a huge backpack... over the trashcan soon became in the trashcan.  I had to call for help and my friends luckily were close by to lift me and my ginormous pack out.

Upside down in a trashcan of my own vomit. Not a great start to the trip....

But, it didn't slow me down!  We hopped on the train and headed to the next stop.  Over my visit, we went to Naples, Florence, Rome and Venice.

I will not recant every detail of my trip, because I know that no one (besides maybe my parents) gives two shits.  I will however highlight a few special memories.

All the jojing
For those who don't know what that is: Jean on Jean.  Those Italians loved to joj, and way before it was considered a fashion trend (which I personally will forever disagree with unless you are a cowboy).  (I don't care if it was in a J. Crew catalogue or Vogue.)

Myself, dressed in a lovely JOJ outfit at our reunion party.

All the peni.
We were surrounded by a lot of exposed male genitalia.  In the form of art, of course.  (And, displayed all over Naples' Secret [aka sex] Museum.)

Would you like some peni with your pasta?
No?  Tough shit.

All the wildlife.
We really got up close and personal with nature.  Mainly birds.  Someone may have also gotten shat on by a bird at a different location, resulting in tears (angry tears form her and laughter tears from me).  (Other people getting shat on by birds is still one of my top 5 pleasures in life.  Just thinking about it makes me laugh.)

All the water.
Then, there was that time I fell in some water.  Well, it was not some water, it was actually the Grand freaking Canal in Venice.  And, it was not just anywhere, it was actually at the Rialto freaking Bridge- one of the most popular tourists destination in Venice, and well... all of Italy, and well... probably the world.
Rialto freaking Bridge

See what had happened was... we were all enjoying some nice wine and cheese on the steps by the Rialto Bridge when... we lost a bottle.

The scene of the crime.
It went clanking down the steps, making a much louder sound that should have even been possible.  So, up I jump, to save the day- because we cannot litter in the Grand Canal!  We might get arrested or something for heavens sake!  I was not about to be Claire Danes in Brokedown Palace.  So, in went the bottle, and in went me.

Like I said before, this is a major tourist destination.  Literally, boatloads of people pass under it (Ha! Get it?  But, literally... boatloads).  And, of course a huge tourist boat, that might as well have been a cruise ship, went cruising on by just in time to witness me and my gracefulness.  People apparently had heard the clanking of the bottle and the screaming laughter of my friends when we both went in, because they had actually moved to the side of the boat closest to me for a better view.  This led to me being caught on film by people from all around the damn world.  I do like to think that it makes me famous though in a way.

My friends also decided to take a picture rather then see if I was ok or help me out.

Thank you JKC for the picture, friend.

Now, you are probably thinking- oh her ass is not even that wet, there is just a line across it.  Well, if you look at the water line, there is a step going into the water that is covered in moss.  That is what I slipped on- both feet flew up in the air- along with my (new from Florence) parachute damn skirt!  So, my bare ass landed on the nasty moss/seaweed-ness blanketed step.  It is a feeling no one should ever have to experience.  There is not enough wine in the world to make you forget it.

If you have never been to Venice, it is an amazing and beautiful city- but they travel through town by boat instead of by car.  Thus, their water is disgusting.  And I was just in it.  A part of the body nonetheless, that you do not want to be exposed to disgusting water.  Icing on the cake- did I mention we were in Italy?  They do not have public bathrooms like they do in the US, and I was in desperate need of one.

We finally convinced a restaurant "guard" to have pity on me and let me in to use the facilities.  He had a look of genuine concern in his eyes when we told them why I as so desperate.  Luckily, I was able to get in there and get the seaweed out.  I also was fortunate enough to have a best friend who was willing to take one for the team and look down there to see if I was all "clean of the green."  Now that is a sign of a true friend.  (Or, a closet lesbian.  But, I am pretty sure in this case she does not bat for the other team.)

Somehow, I was fortunate and did not contract a deadly disease.  Venice was my last stop before heading home.  And when I say last stop, I mean fun, part of the trip stop.  Because, I had several more stops involving the plane ride home...

Again, cheap flight.  So, lots of stops and long layovers.  I was stuck the longest in London's airport.  So long in fact, that I needed to find a place to sleep there.  And, by "there" I mean in the airport, on the floor somewhere because I do not trust myself enough to leave and find my way back, nor do I have any money to do so.

I eventually find a room where I see other people with ginormous packs and decide to join them.  I leave my pack strapped on (because I noticed everyone did this) and try to fall asleep.  This is very uncomfortable and not ideal, if you want to actually sleep.  I am not good at sleeping in random places to begin with, but was soooo tired that I finally started to drift away.

Suddenly I awake to gasps in the room.  I open my eyes and see a man with a huge gun above my head.  He puts his finger to his mouth to signal me to stay quiet.  I am too shocked and confused to even breathe.  Then, I notice several other men, all with guns out, stalking through the sea of sleeping backpackers.  What.  The.  Hell.

I notice that they are all in uniform and assume/hope/pray that they were some sort of police?  But, I also thought that all London police were those huge furry black hats?  So, I really was not sure.  All I could think about was that there was either a mass murder loose in the building or a bomb.  Alas, I was not murdered or blown to bits, so who knows.

After my nerves calm down a bit and I make sure that I have not messed my pants, I get the hell out of there.  I then panic because I look at the clock and it says it is 4:00 something and my flight was at 1:00 something!  I fear that I will be stuck in the London airport forever.  I start to cry and find someone to help me.  They ask to see my ticket and then start laughing.  They keep pointing to the wall.  I am confused and keep trying to figure out what they are pointing at.  I eventually realize that the walls are windows.  It is still dark outside.  I had not missed my flight.  I just had not slept. And, that meant I still had a day left in this godforsaken airport with mass murderers and bombs.

I sat in a corner, awake, fully on guard, until my flight left.

I eventually get home, to the worst airport of all: Atlanta.  No one warned me that it was so massive and you had use to Marta within it!  Dear God, I was never going to get home.  I got lost several times.  I somehow walked through the international checkpoints with my pack on which is a big no no.  But, I am so confused, lost, and upset, that I don't even notice.  I finally get cell service and call my dad who is picking me up to notify him that I have no clue where I am, but I am in the Atlanta airport and I passed a Chick-fil-a.  He laughs because that is like saying you are in New York and passed a Starbucks.  Which only leads me to cry again.

In what seems like a lifetime, I finally step out into the sunlight and find my family.  They greet me with Chick-fil-a nuggets and I cry again, this time tears of joy.

Italy was great, but Dorothy was right, there's no place like home.  I was so happy to be back to the land of fried chicken.

Ciao Bella,


Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, Some Days Are Good, Some Days Are Poo.

According to one of my favorite bands ever, Guns N' Roses: all we need is patience.  Mhh yeah.... A little patience...

Well, I personally need a lot.

Patience has never been a strong suit of mine.  I burn the crap out of my mouth rather than wait 2 seconds for my coffee to cool.  I screw up my entire paint job rather than wait for the first coat to dry.  I also switch checkout lines at the grocery store approximately 5 times rather than just wait in the first one, where I would have been out the door the quickest.

Ok, I guess it's safe to say impatience is unfortunately a strong suit of mine.

I came by it honestly, that's for sure. My dad is also known for his extreme lack of patience.  For instance, if we are supposed to be somewhere at 5:00 pm- he insists we be there by 3:00 pm at the latest!  We still have never figured that one out, but for some reason in that large head of his, it just has to be done.  We also are both terrible and often disclose what we are giving each other as gifts, well before the "opening date."  But hey- it makes us happy.  In our opinion, it is much better that sitting around in agony wondering what you are getting.  (Yes, Christmas is actually a stressful time for us due to gift anticipation.)

This last week or so I've really had to work on my patience.  Or, at least try to make some exist.  We are weening our 2 year-old off of his beloved pacifier (mainly because he bit through his last two).

This is an example of how the paci used to work.

Removal of the beloved paci has resulted in either no nap or a super shitty nap.  I have in fact become an evil guard dog that awaits at the top of the staircase to scare the bejesus out of him as soon as he emerges from his room.  (Yes, his room is upstairs which only makes this weening process that much more annoying- but at least my ass is getting tighter.)

I am pretty sure I've lost my mind and gone to Crazyland at least 900 times in these last few days.  It is now my first home, with reality being a distant second.

I have tried bribery, begging, threats and everything in between.

I have yelled and I have cried.

I have had to walk out of the house and pace in the driveway, like a crazy person.

I have thought I must be doing something wrong, all of it wrong.  I simply lost faith in myself and my mothering skills.  And, I really lost my patience.  I am talking- poof!  It was gone.

I would like to say that all of the sudden he started going down easy and it was like the paci never existed.  But, this is not the case.  He is literally up their banging around right now as I type.  (After my four attempts thus far today.)

I have learned that when dealing with kids- remaining as sane as humanly possible is of vital importance.  They thrive on your lack of sanity.  When you feel like your head is about to explode and banging it into a wall seems like the only logical thing to do- remember this: it will only result in a hole in your wall.  Also, your headache will still be there and it most likely be much worse.

After a few days of extreme, gut wrenching frustration, I kind of went to a place of "I just give up."  I looked at my child and told him I was over it.  I sat on the couch and just had to space out for a bit.  He eventually realized I was completely, legitimately ignoring him and he went off to play.  After a few minutes of indulging in self-pity (and maybe some wine), I got up to attempt to do some laundry that had been piling up due to my normal "chore" time being taken over by "for the love- please just go to sleep" time.

The next morning when I went to pick him up, he was heavier.  When I went to put his pants on him, I had to loosen the waist and uncuff them.  He had grown.  Overnight.  Noticeably.

That was the moment.

I decided then, that I would not waste the next inch of his life yelling at him and being crazy mom, living in Crazyland.  Because, in a few more inches, he will not be asking me to lay with him anymore.  A few more inches, he will be locking me out of his room.  A few more inches, he will be the one yelling at me.  A few more inches, he will be out late with his friends while I am at home praying for his safe return.  A few more inches, he will be sleeping in his dorm room.  A few more inches, he will be asking another woman to lay with him.

Eventually, he will be all inched up.

So, I now try to yell less and remind us both that although he is not always that sweet child o' mine, he is always my best buddy.  Of course, sometimes your best buddy still makes you crazy- but they help bring you back from Crazyland too.

Oddly, the only 2 things that I personally crafted for him: 
the sign and the growth chart ruler.
Both seem fitting for this post.

Yes, Axl Rose, I will try to find that patience that you so eloquently sing about.  But, I also know that lots of times I will find myself lost deep in that jungle you are always welcoming me into.  I will just have to count on my best buddy, that sweet child o' mine, to help me find my way out.

Slow down and smell the hell out of those roses,



In honor of Superbowl Sunday and because I am slightly hungover from Katie Got Crazy Saturday- this will be a short post about ads.

I studied advertising at the University of Georgia and found it truly fascinating.  I loved learning about the mind tricks that are used to make people believe that they need to buy that totally worthless piece of shit.  I graduated confident that I could sell you a polished terd if I wanted to.

The Superbowl was a particularly fun time of the year for us, because our homework would be to watch the ads.  Ok- make me, the tv whore, watch tv- don't mind if I do!  (Even though, I did mute the game, because I could not care less about the NFL.)  

The following Monday, we would all discuss our thoughts on the ads... which ones were the best and which ones made you wonder why the hell they wasted so much money and those 30 seconds of so many viewers lives.  Although I could not even tell my teacher what teams had played- I found this discussion so fun.  Because, my favorite part of studying advertising was the judging of other people's ads.  It is still a favorite pastime of mine.  

Thus, I bring you this gem that I scored in my Southern Living Magazine the other day:

Ok.  A lot of you probably don't think this ad is too bad, right?  Well, we know from the text that the ad is trying to make Charlotte appear romantic.  "Well- they have a couple cuddling" you might say.  Yes, yes they do.  These are my problems with this ad:

-The "couple" looks more like coworkers.  So glad they took their blazers off for the big romantic getaway.  Because, when I go on a romantic getaway, I make sure to pack my black slacks!

-The awkward hug.  Girls do not like your hands on their belly.  Do not touch the belly.  

-The incredibly large light? work of art? whatever the squid-like heap of glass is that they are lovingly gazing/breaking their necks looking up at- looks like something that will cause you some serious bodily harm.  I mean, what in the hell says romance about a huge contraption of jagged glass hovering above your head?

-Next, the room that they are in.  What says romance about a large, empty, extremely well-lit room with lots of windows?  Is that an empty gymnasium?  No wonder she is leaning on him- she is probably pissed off that there is no where to sit!  Especially, since she is so tired from just getting off work.

-I am also very skeptical of the shadows.  But, again super romantic to be staring into the sun.

-Lastly, I am sorry but the "Charlotte's got a lot" is a stupid tagline.  A lot of what?  Apparently not any actual couples, good art, or light fixtures? (what is that thing?), candlelit rooms, or freaking furniture.  

You know what.  Now, I am just worked up and pissed off.  Because, Charlotte has got a lot.  So, I am very confused as to why this picture of the awkwardly embraced coworkers getting attacked from the sky by a huge glass jellyfish, in a bright-ass empty gymnasium, was chosen as the selling point for Charlotte's romance.  

You, Mr. Advertiser, are obviously a very single, straight man.

Again, I bid you ADieu,
Katie (Professional Ad Judger and Polished Terd Salesman)