Friday, February 25, 2011


Two Stories for Friday

A Real Beauty

I was at the beauty supply store trying not to commit suicide over the extraordinary cost of the shampoo and conditioner I "should" be using when I was approached by one of the women who work there.

Woman: Do you have a sister?

Kate: No.

Woman: But you are French, yes?

Kate: No.

Woman: Really? You don't have a sister in France?

At this point, I was thinking that maybe lying would actually be better because she seemed to really want me to be French and have a sister.

Kate: No, sorry.

Woman: You look like a girl who used to come in here. Such a beautiful face.

Kate: Aw, thank you! (picture beaming, thoroughly ego-boosted smile)

Woman: She really was very pretty. She was so lovely.

Kate: (awkward pause, faltering smile, followed by the quickest purchase of hair products in the history of female-hair-product-purchasing)

You have to love the awkward that comes with accepting a compliment that was not meant for you. Still, it is heartening to know that somewhere out there, I have a much prettier, French doppelganger.

What more can you ask for?


It's Not that Old

It has been suggested to me that I look younger than my actual age. For the most part, I take this as a compliment because I think it is often intended that way. And since I've never seen jowls on a 10 year old, it's not like the gap between the way I look and my age is all that profound—but then this is Hollywood.

There is a very nice, cute man who works at an establishment that friends and I frequent. We were standing around having a conversation about jobs vs careers vs what we'd really like to be doing with our lives (p.s. I came up with absolutely nothing for that one). We all agreed that it was time to make some different choices. Then he asked me how old I was. I told him.

His response?

"Wow! Congratulations!"

(Awkward laughing ensued)

Ok, I'm not that old. I mean, it's not like I told him I was Nefertiti, or that as queen of a pharaoh I was about to give world domination a real go. Other than being short, I haven't really achieved anything. Also, I'm a little concerned that if I actually looked my (apparently ancient) age, I would have failed in some way. I will stage many battles in my lifetime, but I'm fairly certain the only way to win the aging one is to be excited about not yet being dead. So, that's how I've decided to take his exclamation—"Congratulations! You aren't dead yet! We have not yet set you out on the ice floe!"



Kate, awkward in LA


P.S. Colin Firth better win.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Precise Girls II

Following my ladies of leisure lunch on Friday, Pen and I hit Abbot Kinney for a little wistful window shopping. Wistful not because we couldn't afford some of the offerings, but because we realized that everything required far more style than either of us had. Naturally, this led back to the "Precise Girls" post and the following question, "Is it too late for us to become Precise Girls?"

As I mentioned before, I've chased this dream through most of my youth before giving it up along with other frivolous things like lacey ankle socks and hope. So, I was reluctant to revisit an idea so riddled with teenage angst. But also intrigued. Could I walk away from the seductive tendrils of precision already trying to wrap themselves around my heart? I could practically hear the whisper, "This time, you could be good enough."

When Pen and I parted, the idea had taken hold. We were very nearly excited about something. We just haven't quite figured out the how to go about this yet. I'm guessing it's going to start with some cleaning.

Precise Girls Don't…

  • Go two years without painting over water stains from a leak on their ceiling
  • Have old paint cans in a box because they couldn't find the hazardous waste recycling center
  • Count chocolate as a legitimate food group
  • Count pizza delivery as cooking
  • Have to wonder what happened to their damn sunglasses! (ahem)
  • Have pants two inches too long because they are too lazy to get them tailored
  • Step over things strewn across the floor instead of putting things away
  • Seriously consider sending pictures of their toenails into Ripley's
  • Have piles of paper everywhere all the time
  • Leave their dry cleaning at the cleaners for so long that it goes up for auction
  • Keep broken electronics forever
  • Don't make panicked calls to eyebrow artists because everything is properly maintained at all times
  • Hyperventilate during bathing suit season because appropriate exercise takes place all year
  • Don't rock back and forth when confronted with specialized dress codes on invitations—they always have just the perfect thing
  • Live in a one bedroom apartment, unless it is their second home in a much traveled to city
  • Wonder if they'll ever date again—they married their college sweethearts after an appropriate waiting period post-graduate education
  • Worry about having children—they gestated a human when they designated it to be time

Yeah. This could be a challenge.


P.S. The name of my second book is now "Precise Girls Don't..."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ladies of Leisure

One of the best things about Los Angeles is the ability to find excellent restaurants with outside seating to take advantage of 74 degree February days. Now, I know that many of my readers located in the Midwest and East Coast have just moved on to a new page, but I did not mean this as a taunt. Well, I did, but not exclusively as a taunt.

I took Friday off of work, and spent two hours at lunch with Chloe and Pen at Gjelina ( in Venice—good friends, good food, amazing weather and just enough wine to make us effusive with our compliments to our brilliance at arranging such an event.

On the off-chance that you are dying of curiosity, we went with:

  • Wood Roasted Parsnips with Pistachio Gremolata
  • Roasted Beet, Burrata, Arugula, Toasted Walnut & Walnut Oil
  • Salt & Pepper Kennebec Frites with Aioli & Romesco
  • Caramelized Fennel, Confit Tomato, Green Onion & Spicy Fennel Salami Pizza
  • Flourless Chocolate Cake with Crème Fraîche & Hazelnut
  • Butterscotch Pot de Crème with Salted Caramel & Crème Fraîche
  • Warm Pumpkin & Bitter Chocolate Bread Pudding
  • Roccolo Grassi, Garganega (Soave, Italy '07)



And yes, that is three desserts. Let's not judge—we were sharing so they barely counted as one. Also, yum, so get over it.


Naturally, when the three of us get together, the lore of dating in Los Angeles arises as a topic of conversation. Seriously, a person who dates in LA is a mythical creature to us—like Loch Ness only less believable and less wet (most of the time). Also, when someone does have a dating story, it generally involves indirect knowledge, aka "I know a guy, who has a friend, who has a cousin who dated once."

Not this time! Chloe knows someone personally who is actively dating in Los Angeles. He is meeting a lot of fascinating, accomplished women who are making him feel alive for the first time in years. Or at least that's what he told his wife.

Awesome. The only thing better would have been if he didn't understand why she wasn't happy for him, or blamed her for his liaisons. Oh, wait.

Relationships. Can't wait.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Precise Girls

I had an ongoing fantasy as a kid that I would someday become one of the "Precise Girls". You've seen them: clothes are perfectly tailored and starched, jewelry is appropriate (and on), hair has never known a flyaway.

I tried. I really tried. I owned Lisa Birnbach's "The Official Preppy Handbook". I even read it. Hell, I practically committed it to memory. I should have been in!

Leader of the "Precise Girls" was Aimee. Sure, she was smart, but more than that she was precise. Two turtlenecks, an oxford under a pink or green sweater topped off with a blue blazer looked effortless and chic. Or as chic as any 15 year old really looks.

I always looked lumpy. Breasts came early for me. Yippee. I know that there were some girls who pined to move on from training bras, but I just spent a lot of time trying to find a way to make my breasts and short-waisted self look less like a pink and green troll. Good thing I was also branded with an izod.

Even Aimee's hair was precise. When it was long, it fell in waves down her back. When it was bobbed, it had a razor's edge. My hair? Um… not even spritz could get my hair to behave. It's as though each individual strand wanted to leave my head in a different direction. Frankly, it still does.

I haven't seen Aimee in 20+ years, but I bet even her home is precisely perfect. And mine? Let's just say it is as lumpy and unruly as its owner.

Well, at least I have consistency going for me.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sad Story Guy

As an award-winning blogger (shhhh—let's live with the delusion a bit longer), I feel like I should be imparting daily words of wisdom. Somehow "relationships suck" is not going to cut it anymore. Unfortunately, I have no profound wisdom. I don't even have vaguely logical wisdom. I do, however, continue to be mystified that anyone ever has a successful relationship. And I have a lot of questions.

Here is my question for today:

Why do women hook up with men after
listening to them talk about how much they love someone else?

A recent episode of Californication sparked a vague memory of college days. A friend of mine had spent the evening listening to this guy talk about how much he missed his ex-girlfriend. Seriously, every time I checked in with them, I heard snippets of what he would do to get the ex back. The last time I checked in with them, they were hooking up (1990s version of the term).

Huh? How do you go from "She's the only one I'll ever want" to "Oh, yeah, right there"?

It wasn't until much later that we discovered that the sad story was actually this guy's modus operandi. It worked for him so often that it was actually a part of his hook-up repertoire.

I'm not saying that every guy with a sad story is a manipulative bastard. But let's assume that they are. Why do women go for this? How is "I'll always love someone else" a turn on?

When I cornered my friend the next day, her response was basically, "he's cute, and he seemed so sad that I wanted to make him feel better."

Okay. Is that what is for most women? Is the rescuer in you coming out? Are you just far more generous than I would ever be? Or is there a part of you that loves the challenge so much that you'll go after someone in order to boost your own ego—thinking that if you get him (at least temporarily), you somehow win? I can appreciate all this theories, and lord only knows that I could use the ego boost, but if some guy tried this move on me, the outcome would probably be more like:

Sad guy: "and then she left me, and I
will always be in love with her"

Kate: Awww! That's so sweet. (pats sad
guy's hand) Ok, well, take care. (gets up, leaves).

Have you ever fallen for the sad story guy? Let me hear it!


Monday, February 07, 2011

They Like Me! They Really Like Me!

I received an email letting me know that this blog has been named among the 50 Best Relationship Blogs (I'm #7 in the main list) by Guide to Online Schools.

Clearly, I do not deserve this... particularly since I haven't written consistently in ages. However, they have called me "witty" and I think we all know that I can be easily swayed by flattery. So, please be prepared to refer to me as "that awesome blogger", "winning blogger", "noted blogger" and "lucky #7" before bowing to me when we meet on the street (which we will obviously never do because I don't like leaving the house).

To check out their entire list, including the kind words they say about moi, head on over here:

Now... who has a dating story to share?