Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mani vs. Pedi

Why oh why does my nail polish on my manicure chip after wearing it for about 2 days, MAX?!? I can have the exact same polish, base coat, top coat, etc on my pedicure and it would literally last for months (if I didn't change it out of boredom and wouldn't that be bad hygiene?). What's the deal? Some obvious answers might be "because you wash your hands", "because your hands are exposed and your feet are not", "because you use your hands more". To this I say nay! Umm, hello, I wash my feet too!! Eiww. I certainly USE my feet. I'm guessing more than I use my hands. I mean, I walk on them at the very least and if you know me you've probably seen me pick things up with my feet like a monkey (TMI?). If you know me you also know that my feet are literally ALWAYS exposed. I wear flip flops about 363 days out of the year and when I don't, my poor tootsies are jammed into a five inch platform heel with a toe box that feels like my shoe is about 8 sizes too small. I was recently in NY and walked around in my heels for one evening and think I have a broken foot now :(. So, if any of my digits are being abused, I say it's my toes! Thus my perplextion.

I guess I could throwback to my old tomboy days and not polish them at all. That would solve it I suppose, but nail polish is so much fun!!!

Shine on!!

xoxo ~ Kate

*NOTE* The best, longest lasting manicure I've had was from Bliss Nails on La Cienega Blvd, just North of Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. For do-it-yourself, the best polish is Channel, who originated Vamp. Remember Vamp?! Then Essie followed with Vixen. Channel nail polish costs between $18 and $30 usd, depending on where you buy it. The best top coat was given to me by the lovely woman who owns my go-to salon Contempo Nails on Robertson Blvd, just North of Olympic in Beverly Hills, CA, called Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. You should only keep a bottle of nail polish for one month.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Healthcare Bill

As if I haven't heard enough about bills having to do with healthcare!! Specifically MINE! I got into a car accident a few years ago and have a vertebrae that is several degrees out of alignment. Needless to say, I had multiple ex-rays, mri's, etc which added up to a pretty penny (or several thousand pennies and they weren't all that pretty). I had a hard enough time paying my portion of the bills after my medical insurance paid their fraction of the costs. THEN I began receiving these harassing phone calls from The Rawlings Group. An obnoxious woman spent her days (and evenings) calling and sending me letters threatening to sue me for the portion of my medical bills that her "client", MY medical insurer, covered!!! Unreal. I was in tears, daily, being hounded by this woman. I ended up writing a check to The Rawlings Group for every penny I had in my account, which was a tiny portion of what she was claiming her client was owed, but she went away for the most part. I was later told by an attorney that this was completely illegal. This awful woman was harassing me to my breaking point because there was a third party involved. In other words, because I was not at fault and someone else caused the accident, that it was my responsibility to go after the person to pay for my medical costs, period. She claimed my medical insurance should recover every cent they paid out. Of course, the woman who hit me was uninsured. I have uninsured motorist coverage, but had no idea I was supposed to sue this woman personally! As I mentioned, I found out later that I was not required to do so, and that I was NOT responsible for paying my insurance company's portion of my bill. The whole thing was disgusting and I was out a substantial amount of money on top of my huge medical bills (insurance paid 70% or something).

Now, as if insurance companies are not corrupt enough, with this new healthcare bill, they have been given "notice" that the amount they will be permitted to raise premiums and down payments will be regulated by the government. The "heads up" will cause the same effect as when government got involved in lending practices especially involving annual percentage rates on credit card companies. The insurance companies will increase their rates exponentially so that when the government regulations are implemented they will have the cushion of the exorbitant rates charged months before. UGGGGH!

I just assume pay my medical bills and carry on living my life. I am not naive enough to think this is a smart way to go about it. God forbid something catastrophic were to happen, I would join the over 1.4 million people who filed for bankruptcy last year alone, but government regulation is never the answer. When a private sector is given chance after chance, assistance after assistance and still can't figure it out, of course the government is going to step in. But step in then! Don't step IN IT. If they are going to impose legislation requiring all citizens to have insurance, something that is almost impossible to enforce, then why don't they just give us VAT and a national system we all pay taxes on in a more affordable way. What does the insurance requirement solve?! All I hear anyone complain about is that it is the non-citizens who are untraceable for billing and no one is refusing these people expert care. Isn't the problem there and not citizens who receive enormous medical bills, even those with medical insurance?!?

I'll pay more for a pack of gum or a movie ticket, a Big Mac, etc, if it means I don't have to break my piggy bank and bankrupt myself every time I fall down and go boom. Otherwise, US Government, stay the f*%k out of it!!!!!

Here's to good health.

~ Kate

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Green Means Go!!!

Let me make this short and sweet.

When the light turns green, GO!!!! My friend Stephen often rants about this very subject. He says, and I wholeheartedly agree, that if everyone accelerated when the light turned green, three times as many cars could go through an intersection when the light is actually green. Why does it take a full ten second count to go if you are three or four cars back. You are sitting there staring at a green light and also staring at the car in front of you, brake lights on and not moving. Why?! Precision drivers can do it. Why can't we?!

Pay attention. Green light. Go. Simple.

Thank you.

~ Kate

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cure Spinal Cord Injuries! Damnit!

Today I wrote a letter to Oprah. I'm sure no one will ever see it, but I tried anyway. While I was trying to cram one of the most amazing people I know into under 2,000 words, I found myself getting really really frustrated. There are not enough words in any language to express the deserved admiration and awe I have for my friend Jesse Billauer and everything he has done and continues to do to raise awareness and money to cure spinal cord injuries. More than that, he inspires injured, disabled and able-bodied people with his never-say-die attitude. He was one of the top 100 surfers in the WORLD and had a tragic surfing accident which rendered him a quadriplegic. Instead of giving up, like most would, he decided that he was on a new journey and continued to live bigger than ever. Since his accident he started a foundation called Life Rolls On and speaks publicly about his accident. He speaks about how he chooses to carry on and continue to surf and try new things. He lets kids know that they can accomplish anything they choose and that nothing should be an obstacle in their lives, but rather, challenges should propel them. Jesse never lets you feel sorry for him. I actually find that I forget about his wheel chair after spending five minutes with him.

As I mentioned, I was getting frustrated because 1. This cause is so important and people act like because not everyone dies, it is less urgent to find a cure and 2. Since the tragic death of Christopher Reeve this cause has fallen off of the map somewhat. It really isn't the topic of conversation like cancer and aids (all awful and I pray will be cured as well of course). It's appalling that Superman had to suffer such an awful fate for the world to take notice of such a worthy and important cause. Spinal cord injuries do not discriminate! Such an injury can literally happen to anyone at any age.

Now, I will probably offend a lot of people here but, let's get it together. This cause is so important not only because of its profound effect on injured person, but the entire family, financially, emotionally, etc. Some communities are effected by the financial burden and requirements of someone with a spinal cord injury. This is a complete life change and so wasteful. Most people who suffer a spinal cord injury are independent, outgoing and extremely athletic people. A lot are pro-athletes like Jesse. This is a forever situation with no light at the end of the tunnel. Again, just so wasteful.

Jesse doesn't necessarily share this view. He continues to surf, skydive, ski and even dive with Great White Sharks. Jesse and his foundation Life Goes On share Jesse's dream of continuing with his love of sports, adventure and especially his surfing, with other injured people. Some of these people have literally never been out of their chairs and Life Rolls On gets them on a surfboard and into the ocean!,

I guess I just wish his story was told more often and the wonderful work he is doing be recognized on a global scale. Most of all I would love to see he jump up out of his chair and really do all of the things he was meant to. Things do happen for a reason and the path Jesse is on has helped thousands and thousands of people and has definitely changed my life, but it just seems like something we can fix. I also just want the world to know what I know about Jesse. He is a miracle.

Please check out Jesse at:, give to Life Rolls On at and rent "Jesse's Story", great movie!!

~ Kate

Side note * I feel very strongly about Juvenile Diabetes in the same way. This is another debilitating disease that is so unnecessary and such a huge and dangerous burden on entire families when one child is affected by this disease. It is something lived with for a lifetime and should be cured!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

21 Reasons I Am Neurotic

It could be that I was brought up being spoken to in wise and wonderful cliches or maybe it's just my sincere, however naive, belief that if you wish hard enough, dreams do come true.

Whatever the origin, my friends and loved ones get a kick out of my superstitions. I have even been told I may have a real case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It may be a little of both, but here are a list of some off the top of my head. I hope you can either relate or at least get a good laugh at what a freak I am.

1. Never put your purse or handbag on the floor because the money comes out.
2. Never put said handbag on the table because only prostitutes put their purses on the table.
3. Lift your feet over railroad tracks or lose your boyfriend.
4. Hold your breath, touch a screw, and make a wish when driving through a tunnel.
5. Don't eat the very last bite of anything.
6. Don't eat anything in only one bite.
7. Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, etc.....
8. Making a wish when the clasp of my necklace is at the bottom.
9. Making as many wishes as you can when the clock says 11:11 until it's 11:12.
10. Don't walk under ladders.
11. I don't even notice that I do this anymore, but apparently I do....touch the roof when you go through a yellow traffic light
12. Don't split the pole when walking with someone and if you do, say "bread and butter".
13. Numbers have personalities and genders.
14. Don't cross your fingers on both hands or it cancels it out.
15. If your nose itches, you are going to kiss a fool.
16. If you spin an apple by its stem and say the ABC's at the same time, the letter you land on when the stem pulls out is the first letter of the name of the man you will marry.
17. If you tie the paper from a fountain drink straw in a knot and the knot pulls out when you pull on both ends, someone is thinking about you.
18. If your ear is ringing, run through random names and when it stops, the person's name you are on is talking about you.
19. Only eat the fortune cookie that is pointing at you.
20. Never let anyone pull a ring or bracelet off of your or you'll break up.
21. Always put money in a purse or wallet before giving it as a gift.

I have more, believe it or not!!

Let me know some of yours and keep believing! ~ Kate

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Other People's Bass

Why does my neighbor think that his little two-bedroom apt should be a Night At The Roxbury EVERY SINGLE NIGHT?! What is it about other people's bass that gets under my skin until I am irritated to the point of homicide!?? It literally makes my head implode and explode like a cartoon peanut.

It's not just in apartment buildings. Do your windows ever shake and your latte bounce right out of your drink holder when you are driving down the street because the Honda with the spoiler, blacked out windows, low profile tires and rims that cost more than the entire car, has its bass so high that your fillings are rattling in your teeth? Yeah. What is that??? How can a human being without severe hearing loss even stand to be in that car!? Or in my neighbor's case, in that apartment?!

Does my bass sound like this to people outside of my vehicle? Does my tiny little iPod amp shake my neighbors' window's while I'm happily listening to my music at what I think is a reasonable octave?

Maybe he just doesn't know how to adjust it so that human beings can detect the music and carries on listening at such a deafening decibel. One may never know. :(

The only thing more annoying than my neighbor's loud bass is a complaining or tattling neighbor. That's another rant altogether.

I love music, so if he can transfer more than the pulsating annoyingness through the walls, maybe that would be a great solution, but the bass has got to go.

~ Kate

Per Emily Post or My Aunt Helen

A couple of quick etiquette notes that seem to have been lost or forgotten with today's politically correct, hurried, forward-thinking, equal, blah blah.....society.

1. When someone gives you a food item as a gift, ie. a box of chocolates it is customary to
open the box in front of that person and offer them a piece! Why doesn't anyone ever do this? Has re-gifting really swept the nation? The whole world allergic to gluten now? Hmmm. Perplexing.
*I personally appreciate this tradition as I am a huge candy-aholic.

2. Lately, I have noticed that a lot of my dear friends are getting engaged (Yay!!). Over and over I hear people very enthusiastically "congratulating" the bride-to-be! I was always told it was not polite or, these days, pc, to congratulate the woman. As my Aunt Helen would say, "she is the prize to be won is she not?". I agree wholeheartedly. Saying "congratulations" to a woman engaged is like saying "You did it!! You actually landed a man. Good for you. You're valuable now." Yuk. The polite and more appropriate thing to say is "Best wishes".

Friday, March 12, 2010

Airline Travel With A Pet

(Rocco does love to fly ;))

Traveling these days is nightmare enough. Try it with your dog! On second thought, don't. It can literally cost you as much as an additional ticket to bring your pet along. Here's the real kick in the pants; your pet has to ride in an "airline approved carrier" which means it does not have an opening that can't be zipped shut for the entire time your pet is in the airport and on the plane. THE ENTIRE TIME and must fit under your seat!!!! Seriously?!? You already have to pay from $25 - $100 for any of your checked bags and now your pet who requires a ticket of his own counts as a carry-on!???! Yep, he counts as a carry-on! That means no personal item for you. Your personal item doesn't even take up any space in the overhead compartments! There is something so fundamentally wrong with paying more for my dog than I spent on my own passage.

There are websites about various airlines' policies and requirements that can be helpful. This one for instance;, but it does not disclose the airline fees. Websites are not always reliable or up to date. One website claims that Southwest Airlines does not allow pets in the passenger cabin, but they actually do now, starting at $75 each way. The fees change and usually in one direction and are based on the size of the animal and whether or not they are riding in the cabin or are being checked as baggage. (They do put them in the pressurized and climate controlled area of the cargo.) American Airlines $100, United Airlines is between $125 - $500, and Delta Airlines is from $75 - $965. All of these prices are EACH WAY!!!

Before you think of how fun it would be to have Fido along for the trip to the snow or to run with you on the beach, read up, call, or look up your airline and plan on leaving one or two of your kids at home because these doggie ticket prices will break you. You will also need the animal's updated travel certificate (a certificate of health from your vet), not free either. Don't let what happened to me one CHRISTMAS DAY a couple of years ago happen to you! I showed up at the airport, bag, baggage dog, wallet in hand, and mentally prepared to take out the second mortgage on my home and pay for Rocco's plane ticket when I was told that this particular airline didn't allow animals in the cabin. I am not a huge fan of checking animals in the cargo hold in the first place, but it is a really bad idea for small dogs and bullies (boxer,american/english/french bulldogs, boston terriers etc) to ride under the plane. I didn't think Rocco's little Hermes purse-like carrier was going to suffice as a crate suitable for the cargo hold anyway. Some airlines will let you purchase an airline-approved carrier for around $75, but not all airlines and not the ones who do not allow pets in the cabin, in most cases. Thank God I got an actual human being at the ticket counter who took pity on my last-possible-minute unpreparedness and told me that "I have forgotten my doctor's letter stating that Rocco is my emotional companion animal" (nodding his head up and down as if to say, shut up and follow along). Nice! .....AND he rides for free!! As if I'm NOT an emotional mess after 10 minutes at LAX anyway? So call your doc and roll the dice or call your broker, sell some stocks and buy your pooch a ticket!

Happy travels, whether you are petless or with dog ;)

~ Kate

P.S. I do have friends that successfully sneak their pets on and have repeatedly gotten away with it, but I do not recommend this approach. You can be thrown off of the flight, fined and/or arrested. Not really worth it.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Let me start by stating the obvious. Dieting sucks!! I say that being fully aware that I've never reeeeally dieted. Not in the traditional sense of the word, but I do try. For instance, I eat peanut M&M's rather than just plain chocolates because at least there's that protein in there, right? (Of course, now that I mentioned those, and don't have any, I'm going to have to get creative and eat a plain Hershey's Kiss and a handful of peanuts. I'm like the MacGyver of candy eating!)

OK, this is exactly what I'm talking about. I just made myself sick eating the rest of my Valentine's Day chocolate (and peanuts) so now I'm eating half a bag of mini-carrots and just read that they are like eating a big bowl of sugar! What?! Why bother! Unreal. What can one just sit down and eat a colossal proportion of without the proverbial "moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips"??

Why is it that if human beings were made to run on food as fuel and by nature should crave natural things that are good for our bodies, do we literally fiend when we smell dough boiling in oil or, what may or may not even be meat, sizzling on a giant frying skillet? Why don't I crave broccoli or leafy greens rather than Cheetos? Are Cheetos even a food? I just read the contents of the coffee creamer I use in bulk (I thought it was suspect that it lasted for months and didn't need to be refrigerated) only to find that there was not one actual food ingredient involved in the makeup of this liquid I pour into my body on a daily basis! Scary.

I'm sure there are very logical reasons for these unhealthy cravings, so if anyone can enlighten me and then help me to rehab off of sugar and processed non-foods, I'd love the suggestions. In the meantime I can speculate that it's like anything, we are so saturated in non-food, packaged, processed, bagged and on-the-go, fat-free, sugar-free, chemical-filled, crap that our bodies literally don't recognize whole foods anymore.

I had a conversation with a girlfriend who is amazing at staying organic, raw, whole, etc when it comes to her diet and I could literally see horror in her eyes when running down a list of what I consider dieting or healthy and what I eat in a given day. I always said (and I still believe this to be true) that if I were to write a book about dieting it would be three sentences: "1. If you want to lose weight, eat fewer calories than you burn off. 2. If you want to maintain weight, consume the same amount of calories as you burn. 3. If you want to gain weight, consume more calories than you burn off." I said you can lose weight and eat nothing but lollipops and my friend added, "yeah, but then you'd die". OK, blah blah, the TYPE of calories are an important variable.

I'll try and compromise and stop eating candy and Girl Scout cookies for breakfast. The coffee creamer may be another story. Here's to a healthy balance and everything in moderation.

~ Kate

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's This About??

These dirty clothes are not more than an inch away from the laundry basket! (clothes hamper, but I hate the word "hamper". I don't know why.)

Can someone please explain the logic in this? Maybe he's a really bad shot? Maybe he's teetering on they're clean, NO, they're dirty! and just can't commit?

That's all. Not really rant-worthy, but definitely has me cocking my head to one side.

~ Kate