Two years ago John and I went to a movie theater in Long Island to see a live broadcast of This American Life. It ended terribly. So when NPR announced that RadioLoveFest would be at BAM and that This American Life was going to be there, I was more than a little excited. But then the tickets sold out. SOLD OUT. I was devastated!

BUT THEN Facebook told me that they were adding a 10:00PM show! "That is so late," I thought. "BUT IRA GLASS IN PERSON!" I screamed to myself.

And then I looked and there were still seats in the second row available! And so, with barely a second thought to the price (which honestly was fairly reasonable) I bought those tickets.

I felt confident in my purchase because unless Ira dropped dead of adorableness and/or journalistic brilliance in the middle of the performance there was basically no way we were going to have to leave halfway through like the last time.

On Saturday I was so excited that I made us get there more than an hour before the doors opened. We went across the street for a drink (because apparently we do that now?) and at 9:30 I told John we had to go in. He kept telling me that we weren't going to lose our seats because you know, they were assigned, but I was insistent.

That was a mistake though, because the good people who work at BAM had no idea how pushy NPR listeners are. They also did not have a plan to allow the 7:30PM audience out while letting us in. It was a hot mess in that lobby with a lot of pushing and mild aggression but then, we were in! And the stage was SO close! I've never sat in the second row for anything and I think I had an unrealistic understanding of what that location meant. What it means is that there is only one row between you and the stage!

Here's my thing about public radio: I love it. And I listen to it a lot: in the morning when I put my makeup on, on my walk to the subway, when I'm at work, while I cook dinner. Literally all day. I listen to it live,  John listens to it (though less than I do) and my Mom listens to it and every week we say "Did you listen to This American Life this week?" If we're in the car together on a Sunday, we listen to it.

So to see Ira Glass say "From WBEZ Chicago its This American Life...I'm Ira Glass," was a big deal! I almost died and I squeezed John's hand so hard he got mad! Ira Glass gives me mutant strength!

You basically feel like you know these people (or maybe I'm just a weirdo) and then there they are in front of you saying the words you hear them say every week!

The show was great. Philip Glass was in the opener. THE Philip Glass (who is apparently Ira's cousin). They did a musical adaptation of this story they did a year ago about a kid in Florida who fell for an undercover cop at his school who was posing as a student. He got marijuana for her and ended up arrested with pleading guilty to a felony. Mike Birbiglia was there and told a story that required a roller skating mouse and Ira being dressed up as a cat. 

There were two musical performances by Stephin Merritt. Halfway through the first song John leaned over to me and said "I think that's the guy from the Magnetic Fields" AND IT WAS. We LOVE The Magnetic Fields. Admittedly we are not die hard fans because we didn't know the name of the lead singer but they are one of the few bands John and I agree on and he was there! Needless to say I loved every single second.

This is how happy I was at the end. Also, the man behind me is an insane combination of John's step-dad and his Uncle Paul.

I've already decided what I'm seeing next year at RadioLoveFest! Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me (which was sold out this time), This American Life, The Moth and Radiolab. Mission: front row tickets next year for This American Life for me and my Mom.

In conclusion: Saturday night was the best night ever and Ira Glass you are a dreamboat.

Monday Morning Blues

I have a major case of the blues this morning, you guys. It is pouring like the end of the world outside! So much water falling from the sky and onto my head!!!

This weekend was literally the most perfect we've had in forever. There were friends and food and a whole lot of productivity AND Ira Glass...four of my favorite things!

On Saturday Jay was in town! We had breakfast with him, Becca and Shannon at The Brooklyn Star in Williamsburg. "How do you know about restaurants in Williamsburg, Kate?" you ask. I do not. I literally Googled "Brunch in Williamsburg" and this place was the first place that came up. High five, Google! Highly recommended!

After brunch Jay had to go to work so we headed to Lowe's to get some backyard supplies. I decided to have a Birthday Barbecue this year (because I don't really like birthdays but I do like when everyone comes to our house) and our backyard needed some serious work. (The party isn't until the last weekend of June, but I thought it would take us three weeks to get it into shape).

We didn't buy these lanterns but we did buy mulch. You know who buys mulch? My parents. They buy a lot of mulch. I've never felt so married in my life.

Becca and Shannon were the best friends ever and helped us clean up the entire backyard AND our porch. John and I cleared about six bags worth of leaves last weekend (pick your leaves up in the Fall, friends. Just trust me) but we hauled out about eight more on Saturday.

We underestimated the amount of mulch we needed (amateurs) but we got more on Sunday (I know you were worried). Which means John and I went to Lowe's twice in two days. Just call us Lenore and Paul (those are my parents, in case you didn't know). Once, my Dad went to Lowe's FOUR times in one day! I can't remember what it was for (maybe cauk? Or something to do with the cabinets?). So we don't hold the record for Lowe's trips, but it was a lot for us!

Here's an in progress picture! I also got hanging plants...I love hanging plants!

On Saturday night we went to see This American Life LIVE at BAM. Obviously that will be its own blog post because guys...Ira Glass in person. And did I mention we were in the second row? AH!

Sunday was filled with a trip to Trader Joe's, John's signature breakfast burritos in our newly cleaned backyard (!!!), a trip for me to Queens to help Stephanie get boxes for her big move to Brooklyn next weekend (extra !!!!) and macaroni for dinner. Our house is extra clean, our backyard is usable again and this week is a four day work week for us! Which means Monday is actually my Tuesday so blues BE GONE!

Hope your weekend was lovely!

A Conversation with John

After a night of babysitting...

Me: I love cash.
John: I don't.
Me: How could you not love cash?
John: I don't like that when I spend it, the remainder of it turns into coins.

I had this post saved in drafts since October. When I found it I laughed for about 20 minutes. Also those are my 6 month wedding anniversary flowers! With our Furminator. Because sometimes your husband surprises you with flowers while you are Furminating your cats.

This was a really crazy post, wasn't it?


Zula Earl Olsen

When Mim died in February, I started to volunteer with the group that we got Dilly and Mim from, K-9 Kastle. I really believe in the work that K-9 Kastle does; they rescue all types of cats and kittens but they kind of specialize in sick (like Mim) or injured (like Dilly) cats.

A few weeks before Mim died, John and I took a little walk to Petco Unleashed in our neighborhood to get her a heated bed. We walked in and there was Emily, Dilly and Mim's foster Mom! And there were a dozen or so cats looking for families. I wanted to start volunteering with them the next weekend, but felt like Mim needed all of our attention. 

We put Mim to sleep in early February, and by March I felt like I was ready to start volunteering. To be honest, in addition to missing Mim, my life felt a tiny bit void of all the "taking care" of her activities I had been doing for months (feeding, baths, medicine, cuddles). I thought this was the perfect way to fill that void and help out some cute cats, too. 

That first Sunday that I went as I walked out the door, John looked at me and said "Babe, remember while you're there that I don't think I'm really ready for another cat yet." I thought he was nuts. Clearly we weren't ready for another cat. We just spent 7 months of our lives basically running a cat hospice. "I'm not ready either," I said to him as I marched out the door. 

That first weekend was hard for me. I loved being with the cats and the other volunteers but even considering the possibility that we might get another cat made my heart hurt. 

I volunteered a bunch in March and I got to know the cats and saw them off to new families as they got adopted, which made me so happy. 

But then the fourth weekend that I volunteered a new cat named Lucy came to the event.
I spent almost the entire day in front of her cage with the door open petting her while she slept and throwing her tiny ball across her cage for her to chase. John and I had been talking all month about whether or not we should consider getting another cat or if it felt like it was too soon. I took a picture of Lucy and sent it to him with the message "I think we're in trouble." 

One of the other volunteers came over to me and I told her how much I loved her. She asked me if I had held her at all during the day and when I said no she yelled "But you already texted your husband? Pick that cat up!" 

When I got home that night John and I talked about it. Did Dilly really want another cat in the house? She didn't really love Mim a lot, but maybe that was because she was so sick? Do we want another cat? Are we really thinking this through? Are we insane for treating a cat adoption like we're having a baby? Will everyone think we're crazy because Lucy only has one eye? 

Oh right. I didn't mention that, did I? Lucy only had one eye. And it just so happened to be her left eye. And don't ya know, Dilly is missing her left leg. Everyone will think we're nuts. But did we really care? 

The next weekend, John came with me to the event and Lucy's foster Mom brought her to meet him. We talked to her about how Lucy was with other cats and the three of us stood in the Petco bathroom staring at her while Lucy tried to get herself into the sink. She lived with other cats and she played with them nicely and liked to cozy. She ate whatever her foster Mom gave her she slept through the night. Other than her missing eye, she was perfectly, 100%, gold standard healthy. And that was a big deal for us. 

"Lets take her home," John said. And that was that. 

I had to work the event for the rest of the day, and John took her home. I kept getting texts from John "I put her in the bathroom!" "Dilly is smelling under the door!" "She is letting me hold her!" 

The other volunteers recommended that we keep her and Dilly separate for at least a week. We kept Lucy in the bathroom for 24 hours and then she wanted out and Dilly wanted in, so we gave it a go. It took a few days, but slowly but surely they started warming up to each other. I'm sure smooshing them together as though they loved each other, helped too! 

We both decided we didn't like the name Lucy so we spent four days emailing, calling and texting each other names we thought we liked. I wanted to name her Earl like Earl Grey tea. John said no she couldn't have a boy's name. Shannon suggested P'Earl (which I LOVED) and John promptly vetoed. Finally, John picked a name (from Conan the Destroyer, I kid you not) and I liked it! And I gave her a middle name even though John swears cats don't need middle names. 

Zula is such a talker! After Mim died, our house felt too quiet without her meows. Zula literally just walks around the house yelling all the time, so that has been a really great addition. 

And now Zula and Dilly are best friends! They chase each other around the house like two lunatics and they follow me where ever I go in our house. Last week I opened the bathroom door one morning to find them waiting for me. 

Writer's Stop or Writer's Block?

I think I have a big heaping case of writer's block.

Or maybe I have writer's stop?

Writer's stop is something I just made up which happens when you feel you have exhausted your topics and you just want to go to spin class when you get home from work and then go to sleep. OH! I go to spin now! I love it!

I am getting ahead of myself.

Hello world! Its me! I'm back and I'd like to say that I'll be back forever but really who knows?

I read somewhere that the best way to get over writer's block is to read a whole lot of things. This wasn't really helping me either because until last week I was in a reading slump, too. I know! WHO is this non-blogging, non-reading, spin class attending Kate? I don't totally hate her because the spinning is definitely a good thing, but I feel a little empty when I don't post here. But I also feel kind of crappy when I post things that I don't think are my best writing. See the conundrum?

Here are some things that have been happening!

We got a new cat. I know, I totally should have led with that. Her name is Zula and she is a tiny terror! More about her soon, I promise!

Alyssa graduated from college! I know!

We went to Connecticut for Memorial Day and we went to the best tea shop in the world. My Mom and I died and went to tea heaven.

And did I mention I started going to spin :)

To be continued!