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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Happy Trails (07/18/14)
Last weekend we wrapped up our summer of travel with a quick (seriously, like 30 hours) trip to San Francisco for Nic's cousin's wedding. It was our fourth trip of the summer, and we came within 130 miles of seeing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. ...
The sport of all sports (07/11/14)
I've completely drunk the World Cup Kool-Aid. Soccer has always been a sport I've been interested in, but it's taken a higher level in my life since I've been married. I married into a soccer family, and I wholeheartedly hope to continue the tradition with my kids...
Crying 'religious freedom' (07/04/14)
A big and relatively controversial decision was made by the Supreme Court earlier this week regarding Hobby Lobby's obligation to provide certain types of contraceptives to its female employees. According to the Affordable Care Act, there are 20 varieties of contraceptives that corporations are required to provide to their employees. Among those 20, four of them contrast with the beliefs of Hobby Lobby executives, beliefs that they note the company was founded upon...
All is forgiven with tag (06/27/14)
My dogs do not like it when we travel. They can sense it as soon as the suitcases come out. When they see the rolling duffels and garment bag, their normally happy disposition turns sad. You can see it in their eyes. It's heartbreaking. They don't even like it when we leave for work in the morning. If they're awake (a big if), they watch us walk down the stairs and out to the garage. They know I'll be home at noon, and that I'll give them food, but they still don't like it...
'We're eating ... gender cake' (06/20/14)
One hobby that brought Nic and I together was cooking. We love food, whether it's cooking it, ordering it, looking at it, or (especially) eating it. Instead of a guestbook at our wedding, we had a cookbook that guests flipped through before finding a recipe to write a personalized note across...
Zen, and the art of letting it go (06/13/14)
I have a pair of white dress pants that I washed with a dark shirt sometime last summer. Had these pants been denim, they'd be "stone-washed" and I could wear them while hanging pictures of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch in my locker. Unfortunately, since it's 2014 and I'm not 16 and coordinating my scrunchie to my boyfriend's letter jacket, the pants are just stained. And no amount of bleach or detergent is going to reverse the situation...
Dog, the bird-hunter (06/06/14)
Take a look at the photo. This is my dog, a 3-year-old pug named Hugo. We have another one, in black, named McCoy. When we got them they were 5 1/2 weeks old and this little guy was a whopping 3 pounds. His brother was 1 pound. I should make a particular note that when we decided to get pugs, and when we found these two tiny balls of wrinkles a few weeks later, we were not searching for dogs to help us in our hunting skills...
Fear of living (05/30/14)
What is a fear of living? It's being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself - for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don't know what you're here to do, then just do some good...
A summer of family (05/23/14)
Technically, summer doesn't start for another month. My summer activities, however, began last weekend. In these next few months, I will do more traveling and attend more family events than I have done in any summer up until this point. Last weekend we flew out to Washington, D.C., for my brother-in-law's college graduation from Georgetown University. ...
'To see the wonders of the world abroad' (05/09/14)
"Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus: Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits. Were't not affection chains thy tender days To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love, I rather would entreat thy company To see the wonders of the world abroad, Than, living dully sluggariz'd at home,...
Sometimes it's a grey-issue (05/02/14)
I'm not someone who follows sports on a regular basis. In our office, it's a little hard to feign complete ignorance, but I don't keep up on what's happening in the world of athletics on a regular basis. When an issue breaks into the mainstream news, however, I will more-than-likely hear about it from a few sources...
Restraint is the stuff of success (04/25/14)
I read an interesting story about how, and why, Dr. Seuss became so successful. In 1960, Theo Geisel made a bet with the founder of Random House Publishing, Bennett Cerf, that he could write an entertaining children's book using only 50 different words. What began as a $50 bet snowballed into an incredible and unthought-of impact...
Happy Easter. Thank you, Jesus. Let's eat. (04/18/14)
Yesterday morning I sat down with a woman in an interview, and in the exchange of pleasantries she noted she was going to go to the grocery store early today in order to beat the rush at 5 p.m. My first thought was, "Yeah, that's a really good idea," but then it was replaced with, "Is Easter one of those food holidays too?"...
And the car smelled purple as it drove by (04/11/14)
Yesterday as I was driving up Grand I saw to my left a teal and white classic car. It was a beautiful day, a great day to take out such a vehicle, and seeing it out and around in the sun made me happy. But seeing that car also took me back about three and a half years...
Change is gonna come (04/04/14)
I've noticed several things about our community in the past few weeks. Monday night I attended the Clay County Community Foundation's grant event and saw 23 organizations around the area receive grant funding (totaling almost $100,000) for projects they're working on to better the lives of the rest of their communities. In addition, the keynote speaker commented on how Spencer and Clay County succeed and move forward because they take risks...
Outside the bubble (03/28/14)
I had another column written for tomorrow, still about "Noah," but in a completely different direction. And while I still stand behind what I had written, after I finished the column I went to the gym and I realized I had been writing circles around what I really wanted to say...
A ringer in every bracket (03/21/14)
As of 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, I'm currently in the lead among the members of the NWIA Publishing March Madness league. I have no idea how this happened. I am the least sports-smart of the entire office. My first experience watching a college basketball game was Thursday afternoon's Ohio State vs. ...
We create what we fear (03/14/14)
A new word is on the chopping block, courtesy of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Last year Sandberg published "Lean In," a look at women at the executive level of business, and coined "lean in" as a term. This year, she has a new mission. She wants to stop the usage of the word "bossy" as it applies to women and young girls...
Moving, eating for two (03/07/14)
I'm about 11 weeks into my first pregnancy, not far enough along to really affect my daily life yet. But I'm definitely noticing that doing the things I used to do, the way I used to do them, is no longer an option. I found last weekend that running -- an activity I really enjoyed several times a week pre-preggo -- is no longer an option. ...
The best Crock-Pot soup you'll ever make (02/28/14)
When I'm not eating saltine crackers and bagels (as of late), I like to cook tasty food from all "genres." For much of the past year, we'd been eating vegetarian. And we still do eat meat-free quite a bit, though we've started adding small amounts of meat into our diets in order to get protein without a carb- or fat-base (like in beans or cheese). I still make enchiladas sans-animal, but now I can make beef and broccoli again (about which Nic and I are both excited)...
The Padilla Pack is growing (02/21/14)
I'm trying to write more about what goes on in my daily life for my columns, but the past few weeks have been rather difficult because I didn't know if I wanted to broadcast what's predominantly been going on in our lives. But we're not much for secrets, so here goes nothing...
Balance is hard (02/07/14)
I'm not the most graceful individual on the planet. Without practice and very hard concentration, yoga is difficult for me. Until I mastered the form (as best as I can; I'm optimistic, not unrealistic), I ran very similarly to Phoebe in "F.R.I.E.N.D.S."...
I don't watch football (01/31/14)
So this weekend is the high holiday of Americans, the day when even our churches shift their services to make room for "the big game." It's Super Bowl Sunday. This year I have watched more football than I have ever watched in the 24 years before, and this is largely because, at the house I go to eat lunch on Sundays, the game is on in the background. I catch a few plays here and there...
Trout stocking, and other adventures of an SDR journalist (01/24/14)
As a member of the Daily Reporter writing staff, part of my job includes covering weekend activities on a rotation with the rest of the newsroom. Some weekends are slower, and some are packed with community events and activities. Some weekends include things I'd never heard of before, much less witnessed...
The creeper's creepin' me out (01/18/14)
Since shortly before Christmas, I've become a Minecraft widow. It's very similar to football, basketball, or baseball widows, though instead of husbands who watch ESPN, mine plays a pixelated build-it-yourself video game. I don't understand it, but I play along. ...
The real veggie tales (01/04/14)
I love the holidays. The family, the music, the general coziness -- it's all fabulous. But I have to admit, I'm a little excited to get back into a routine. And in no way am I looking forward to a routine more than the food. Mid-way through last year, Nic and I decided to try eating vegetarian four days out of the week. ...
Fighting a losing battle (12/21/13)
Unless you've been under a rock the last few days, you probably know that the "beards" have been banned -- A&E's "Duck Dynasty" has been taken off the air due to some comments patriarch Phil Robertson made regarding homosexuality and civil rights in a GQ magazine interview...
It's the most delicious time of the year (12/14/13)
I'm a little late on the ball this year, both in my preparation for the holidays and in my general spirit of the season. I'm totally there, but it took a little while for me to get over the busyness of the holiday season enough to just sit back and enjoy it all...
The only way to stand out is to fit in (12/07/13)
I reached a pretty major personal milestone at the end of last month: I finished writing my first book, a collection of short stories. I wanted to have it done by the end of November, as my own NaNoWriMo win, and I finished the final story at 1 a.m. Nov. 30...
Resolution 2014: Organize (11/30/13)
We've got one month left of 2013, and amid the food, the shopping, the food, the football, the food, the family and the food, many of us spend a few minutes reflecting back on the past year and setting goals for the upcoming year. I want to spend the last few Tidbits of the year dissecting some of the more common resolutions, breaking them down into manageable bits that are easy to keep for an entire 365 days. ...
Life in the margins (11/23/13)
A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book titled "S." "S." is a unique book that tells three different stories simultaneously: the journey of a man around the world by way of a unique ship, the adventure of a grad student and an undergrad student worker who search for the true identity of the man who wrote the first story, and the love story between the two students...
'M' vs. MPAA (11/16/13)
In reaction to the "R" rating attached to his latest film, "Philomena," Harvey Weinstein appealed the decision of the Motion Picture Association of America by resurrecting one of the most well-known, and most revered, "mothers" in film: M. "Hello, 002," said Judi Dench, who is a household name in England but perhaps best known as "M" in the States. "I have an important mission for you: Are you familiar with MPAA?"...
Good morning, y'all (11/09/13)
When I was in high school, my creative writing teacher closed the door one afternoon and led the class in a discussion over the pros and cons of a specific word (I won't repeat that word here). We dissected it, breaking down the phonetics, usages and historical connotations. We even discussed its stigmas, how other countries view it differently than we do, if they do view that word differently...
Happy NaNoWriMo (11/02/13)
I wanted to offer a note of encouragement to all those embarking on the 30-day uphill journey known as National Novel Writers Month, or NaNoWriMo. For those who aren't aware, NaNoWriMo comes along every November as a challenge to all writers, or aspiring writers, to complete a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. ...
Have a smart, safe Halloween (10/26/13)
It's hard to believe that time of year is upon us again, but there's no denying it. In my mind, Halloween is the "kickoff" to the holiday season. Before we know it we'll be at Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year's. Starting now, the days get shorter (in a literal sense, they've been getting shorter for a while now. In a figurative sense, hold on tight), and the food gets decidedly more delicious and less healthy...
Nobody's the 'winner' (10/19/13)
I read Wednesday night as the Senate, then the House, passed a bill to bring the government back from the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling until next February. Then, when I checked my phone Thursday morning, I read headline after headline about how the Democrats had "won" the shutdown...
'I love you so much' (10/12/13)
I was driving down Grand Avenue last weekend and I saw several people with signs picketing alongside Leach Park. I honestly don't remember what their signs said, but I remember how cold and dreary it was last weekend, and I remember wondering why they had made the choice to stand outside in the weather and hold up signs...
'Do or do not. There is no try' (10/05/13)
I get asked a lot, "How do you read so much?" I read, at minimum, a book a week. That number can get as a high as four, but often hovers around two or three. I love to read, I get easily lost in a story and before I realize it the book is over and I'm thrown back into my reality...
Twenty years too late (09/28/13)
In three days, we could see something I never thought could happen: our government could run out of money and shut down. Congress seems to be in the news every day, and it's rarely good. Their approval rate is hovering at 10 percent. Largely, I think they're disliked so much because so many congressmen are hell-bent on defunding Obamacare, and they're not doing a very good job at making their case...
Opportunity looks a lot like hard work (09/21/13)
I googled my name Friday afternoon. I'm not a narcissist, but every once in a while it's interesting, and healthy, to find out what comes up when my name is searched. (A note to job-seekers and college students: Better to know what that information is than to learn about it from a potential boss.)...
Ordinary people with extraordinary stories (09/14/13)
For some people, the best part of the fair is the food, for some it's the animals and for some it's the Midway. For me, the best part of the fair is the people. I love people. And, lucky for me, I found a job that let's me interact with them on a daily basis. I spend time with members of the community each week and learn their stories, the parts of their life that makes them unique...
Hold the butter (09/07/13)
In the 1970s, someone thought it was a good idea to speckle "popcorn" on the ceiling. My house was built in the '70s, which means that as Nic and I start to uncover the bones and reapply our personalities to the place, we unveil a history of interior decorating neither of us was alive to see firsthand...
Just keep canning ... just keep canning ... (08/31/13)
I always know summer is coming to a close by the amount of fresh produce and empty glass jars sitting in my kitchen. This is the time of year that the garden starts to ripen, all at once. And, while my garden once again decided not to put up much of a fight this year, the gardens of friends and those who sell to the grocery stores are in full production, and I'm all too happy to be on the receiving end of this giving tree...
A change is gonna come (08/24/13)
One of the podcasts I listen to fairly regularly is Jillian Michaels. In her most recent episode she talked about change, how it's hard but how its real power is in how we adapt to it. "Frame of mind is everything in life," she said. I've had a lot of change in my life. I've had quite a few times in my life where I could list, at minimum, a handful of things my time would have been better spent doing...
You kind. You smart. You important. (08/17/13)
I heard a TED talk a while back that suggested people stand in front of their mirror with their hands on their hips and their chest puffed out for two minutes each day. The purpose, the speaker said, was to develop confidence. She was a student of the "fake it until you make it" school of thought, and she believed this applied to self-esteem as well...
Hello, my name is Kate, and I'm a project-a-holic (08/10/13)
You may not know this by looking at my house, but I'm a closeted neat freak. (In some cases, this does in fact involve me shoving mess into closets to not have to look at it.) I was trying to figure out recently why, even though I stress often about not having a clean home, I don't have a clean home...
Does everybody know what time it is? (08/03/13)
Home improvement projects are difficult. We are in the process of renovating our home. Since we bought the place in January, we have turned the upstairs two bedrooms and one bathroom into a single, half-finished bedroom/bathroom combo. In my mind, it looks awesome. In my mind, it's completed...
Let our hearts break together (07/27/13)
I feel like I need to speak on this because it's been on all of our minds and hearts this week, and to write on something else seems inappropriate. It's been a tough week. And I'm not speaking as a member of the Daily Reporter here, I'm speaking as a member of the community. We lost one of our own, and when this kind of thing happens in a town the size of Spencer, it affects everyone...
And the people rioted (07/20/13)
I check the headlines even before I get out of bed in the morning. I saw Twitter posts and news briefs on the acquittal of George Zimmerman first thing Sunday. And then I began to read further. What should have been a standard - albeit tragic - case turned into a national event and, consequently, a national outrage. How could we accept that Zimmerman, a young mixed-race man, gets away with shooting Trayvon Martin, a black teenager?...
A 'tidbit' of direction (07/13/13)
I want to have a focus when it comes to my column. I want a direction for my "Tidbits," but I want to know what local interest is. My idea is to write columns in series: group topics by month, and write four or five columns on that topic based on how many Saturdays fall in a given month...
On Paula Deen's (completely unsurprising) comment (06/29/13)
If you don't watch the Food Network, the News or any other television or media outlet, you wouldn't have found out that Paula Deen was recently "let go" from the Food Network due to a racist comment she made involving the letter "N." While I don't condone anything she said, I honestly wasn't surprised. ...
Headed in the wrong direction (06/22/13)
Not that I have a huge affinity for anything resembling a Kardashian, but it's hard not to be a little curious of the Kim-Kanye progeny when each stage of this little one's pre-birth life has been documented up and down the grocery story aisles like it's a revolutionary moment no other pregnant woman has experienced before...
True talent demands notice (06/15/13)
When I was in middle school, my orchestra teacher gave us a pep talk before we braved our fellow junior highers for a chapel performance. "If you are good," he said. "They will listen." Strings don't necessarily scream popularity in the sixth grade. ...
No risk, no reward (06/08/13)
I've been thinking a lot about risk lately. Many of the podcasts I listen to or books I read talk about risk, in one way or another. About dipping your toe outside the comfort zone, just to see if the water's too cold. Risk is difficult. It's different, and that's what makes it scary. In risk, there's no real telling if the end result is worth it. What if, heaven forbid, you get to the end of the risk and realize that you're no better off for it?...
The McDonald's code of ethics (06/01/13)
Earlier today, Salon published an article listing ten claims McDonald's CEO Don Thompson made to a group of activists at a recent shareholder's meeting. The claims Thompson made: 1) "We don't sell junk food." 2) "We sell lots of fruits and veggies at McDonald's and we sell side salads for a dollar on the dollar menu."...
A new take on faith (05/25/13)
Pope Francis created some waves a few days ago when he said, in his homily, that those who "do good" -- regardless of their beliefs - are redeemed. From the Huffington Post, quoted from the Vatican Radio on Wednesday: "They complain," the Pope said in his homily, because they say, "If he is not one of us, he cannot do good," ... ...
Ditch the Fitch (05/17/13)
A statement in a 2006 Salon.com article by Abercrombie & Fitch's CEO, Mike Jeffries, ruffled a few feathers recently. "In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids," Jeffries said. "A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. ...
Guns don't kill people, unhealthy lifestyles kill people, and their pocketbooks (05/11/13)
There's been a lot of talk about guns lately. Should we have them? Should we not have them? Is the government trying to take them away? You would think that gun-violence is one of the biggest causes of death in our country. It's not. Gun violence isn't even in the top 15...
95 and broke (05/04/13)
In searching for a topic to write about this week, I came across an article written by U.S. News last month. "Obama Budget Proposes Cap on Retirement Savings." The article then continues to detail how Obama's latest proposal for digging America out of the debt hole is to cap untaxed retirement savings at $3 million...
There's no 'Health' in 'Fast' (04/27/13)
This morning I read several articles involving "The Fast Diet," also referred to occasionally as a 5:2 diet. Here's the gist of it: You can eat whatever you want for five days out of the week, and the other two days you practice extreme calorie restriction, to the tune of up to 500 calories a day for women and 600 calories a day for men...
We run for Boston (04/20/13)
I went out for a run Tuesday morning. The entire time, I thought about Boston. About the people who would not be able to run the same way they had been used to running, from either physical or emotional limitations. I was struck on Monday how the country unified together. ...
More than two choices (04/13/13)
Just when I think we're all happy, another touchy subject floods the news. A story has been circulating USA Today and The Atlantic recently about a clinic in Philadelphia that is undergoing investigation for infanticide after performing abortions on babies after 24 weeks, which is illegal in the state of Pennsylvania. Many doctors in that state won't perform them after 20 weeks, for health and moral reasons...
Farewell, Mr. Ebert (04/06/13)
I remember when I first decided I wanted to become a book reviewer. I was sitting in the student center of my college, anticipating a summer vacation and realizing that I actually enjoyed thinking about what I was reading. My professors told me that if you want to become good at something, look for others who have succeeded at that thing and study them. At that point, I didn't know of any well-known book reviewers; most reviews are recognized by their publication and not by their reviewer...
Whose job is it, really? (03/30/13)
It seems I can't google anything without hearing about the economy. Whether or not the budget deficit is any better than it was four years ago doesn't make much of a difference when you're $16 trillion in the hole. But regardless, I hear all kinds of excuses about whose job it really is to fix this problem. Is it the government's? Is it the rich's? Is it the church's? The only people we seem to agree should share the weight is "them."...
It's OK to be OK with gay marriage (03/23/13)
Growing up, Rob Bell was a household name in my hometown. Mars Hill, the church he founded and stayed with until the beginning of last year, was one town over. We watched the N.O.O.M.A videos in school chapel. We waited at stoplights behind cars with "Love Wins" stickers on their bumpers...
A pope for all (03/16/13)
I watched the live feed Wednesday from the Guardian as they waited patiently for the conclave to announce the name of the new pope. Pope Francis is a pope like the Catholic church has not had before. Yes, he's Jesuit and yes, he's from Latin America. But more than that, he's a pope the entire world can relate to...
Is happiness a science? (03/09/13)
I geek out over all things techy, especially when they come in the forms of social platforms and entrepreneurial breakthroughs. I'm on so many platforms it's hard to remember them all (Pinterest, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Wordpress, etc). The more that I research social networks, and start-ups, the more I learn how, even though each individual platform has its own individual purpose, they all begin under relatively the same pretext: they all seek to fill a gap in society. ...
Shut up and listen (03/02/13)
I have, as of late, become addicted to TED talks. When I say this, I mean I've become addicted to podcasts. And, in browsing through all that iTunes has to offer (which, as it turns out, is the new cable: so many channels and not a single thing on) I found that TED actually posts all of their guest talks completely free to the public, both video and audio...
An Ideal education (02/23/13)
I've become increasingly more interested in education-based stories that pop up in the news. Education is one of those fields that's been undergoing a huge overhaul over the last few years. We're seeing a lot of phrases such as "student-centered classroom" pop up, suggesting that schools and teachers are now finding ways to teach each of their children individually while still following a general, core-based curriculum...
Paying with reputation (02/16/13)
I'm a big fan of "Downton Abbey." For those who've never watched the show, season three shows the delicate frenzy that World War I has thrown the nobility of England into. The Earl of Grantham and the rest of the older generation are desperately trying to hold onto the traditions and standards that comforted them before and during the Great War. ...
Run for charity (02/09/13)
It's very easy to get snarky when it comes to pop culture and "amazing" new tech advances. (Wasn't it the Larry the Cable Guy Prilosec commercial that told us "We make things you not only need, we make things you didn't know you needed in the first place!")...
Tantrums aren't just for kids anymore (02/02/13)
There was a story on "Good Morning America" the other day about a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader who felt bad because she wasn't chosen to cheer at the Super Bowl. Courtney Lenz claims, in the USA Today article dedicated to her complaints, that she was sidelined because she had gained 1.4 pounds over the course of the season. She weighed 124 pounds, and the Ravens organization wanted her to get down to 120...
Hide your Tide (01/26/13)
There's a new thief in town, and he's headed for your utility room. The newest fad in burglary has bandits heading straight for the laundry detergent aisle of grocery and convenience stores and loading carts of Tide detergent. The thieves make out with gallons of the blue liquid at a time, and then turn it around and sell it by the capful at laundromats...
Armstrong case reveals a problem everyone already knew (01/19/13)
So this Lance Armstrong thing has been around for a while, but now that he's officially lost all of his medals, it's once again news. To his credit, he's come clean. It may have taken a while, but some things tend to take longer than others. It seems this is something toddlers and celebrities have in common: they will hold onto their story until absolute undeniable proof says otherwise, to which they will come clean and hope that the involved authority will grant them leniency...
Idiotic bigots need only apply (01/12/13)
I'll be honest, sometimes it's really difficult to find a topic to write about for my column. Today, however, I was lucky enough to scroll through my Twitter feed and find four "news" stories that would merit a good critique or honorable mention. Maybe I would write about the heroic teacher in California who calmly negotiated down the 16-year-old boy with a shotgun who came to school intending to kill the two classmates he felt were bullying him. ...
New year, new you (01/05/13)
This year, it seems, everyone is assuming a resolution centered around weight loss and health gain. "Good Morning America" has begun "Jumpstart Your January," a series that introduces a new simple exercise move each day, as well as features stories of people who have "dropped an Olsen twin."...
The season of lists (12/29/12)
We may not be able to agree on what holiday it is, lumping them together into one general season, but we can definitely agree on the amount of information required to execute even one seasonal get-together. For neurotic list-makers like me, this is excellent. This is my favorite time of year, in part because of the general sense of peace and well-being, in part because of the amazing food and family comfort, and in part because it gives me an excuse to create an absorbent amount of lists...
It's the end of the ... oh wait (12/22/12)
Last night before going to bed my husband said to me, "If the world ends tomorrow, I will be frustrated that I hadn't gone to see 'The Hobbit.'" We are so fascinated by our own demise. I can't for the life of me begin to guess why. Maybe it's a change, something new to think about. But, then again, maybe the apocalypse has become as cliché as life on earth...
What's going on? (12/15/12)
I wish I could write about anything else, but I don't know if that would be possible. I've been thinking about those sweet children all day, and it would be a disservice not to acknowledge their short lives. They're calling the Newtown, Conn., shooting the second deadliest since Virginia Tech. It's certainly the worst when it comes to children...
We are waiting (12/08/12)
December is a time for waiting. We are in Advent, waiting for Christmas to celebrate family, friends, and the birth of baby Jesus. We are waiting for New Year's Day, maybe because there's only two weeks left to this year and, rather than commit to serious change now, we'll tack it on as a resolution...
Feeling 'Blue' (12/01/12)
Spencer celebrated its status as a Blue Zones demonstration site on Thursday night. I covered the event, but I also went as a supporter. I love the thought of making small steps towards wellness. I have to say, it was inspiring to see everyone in one room, each blue shirt dancing along with Super Blue during the Movement Time...
So long, fair Twinkie (11/17/12)
When NFL refs go on strike, games are badly called for a few weeks. When Chicago teachers go on strike, schoolchildren get a little more time on the playground. When the NBA goes on strike, Christmas dinner is spent with an orange ball bouncing in the background...
Don't judge me (11/03/12)
When I was in upper elementary school and middle school, the "word" was "whatever." Everyone said it. It was similar to "I don't care," in that it stated a level of indecision, but "whatever" took it one step further with its thinly-veiled apathy. These days, "whatever" has been passed down to the early childhood and mid-elementary students (I'm serious), and a new phrase has come up: "Don't judge me."...
Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming (10/27/12)
You have no idea how ready I am for political ads to leave my television. At this point, it doesn't even matter who I'm voting for, I'm getting sick of both sides. Maybe it's because this is the first year I've really cared about politics and the election...
Awareness month (10/20/12)
I've noticed more and more each October, how many "months" there are in these 31 days. Each group and cause seems to have their own designated time of awareness and for some reason, October is the chosen time for many of them. There are 35 special interest groups celebrating awareness this October, more than any other month...
'I was hungry, and the blowtorch was just sitting there' (10/13/12)
A friend of mine posted this news story from my hometown newspaper: "After torched squirrel ignites Holland Township fire, authorities recall other weird fire causes." Okay, there are several ways to break down this story, from the headline alone. I'm going to start with, "torched squirrel ignites Holland Township fire."...
Common Sense: 1, Mountain Lion: 0 (10/06/12)
I remember doing a story during the fair about the "Mountain Lion Mania" show at the Sundholm Center. The presenter talked about the last known citing of a mountain lion in the area, and how many of the more recent "sightings" are actually domestic house cats or dogs...
Fatal error, human mistake (09/29/12)
The virtual world went all aflutter yesterday afternoon when a live Fox News feed of a Phoenix car chase turned deadly. The victim -- I'm going to call him a victim here, even though, had things ended differently, he would be called "suspect" -- was seen running from the allegedly carjacked vehicle when he stopped, pulled out a gun, and fired upon himself...
Snow White was fooled by an apple, and so were we (09/22/12)
If you haven't heard the buzz behind the newest tech toy, you've probably been hiding under a rock. Apple's iPhone 5 was announced on Sept.12, and released on Friday. The presales alone have topped two million. People waited for hours outside their preferred electronic store Thursday night to get their hands on the newest gadget...
When will we learn our lesson? (09/08/12)
In a quick Twitter glimpse, I came across a "Time" article talking about an investigation into an Omaha school over the sexual abuse of a wrestler at summer training camp. I won't go into the details, but in a nutshell, this boy was repeatedly hazed and molested, and the school allegedly did nothing about it...
Tidbits: The value of work well done (09/01/12)
One of my favorite essays of all time is Dorothy Sayers' "Why Work?" Written during World War II, I'm amazed time and time again how applicable her words are even into the next century, even to someone who wasn't anywhere near alive during that time...
Tidbits: What we do matters now (08/11/12)
The LA Times published an article the other day about how twentysomethings have put life on "pause," so that they can "figure themselves out" before life really starts to matter. The article, written by the psychologist Meg Jay, featured "Katherine," a twentysomething client who was anxious about her future and seemed to "fill her mind with day-to-day drama" to distract herself...
Tidbits: Epically terrible and below average (08/04/12)
I went and saw "Step Up 4: The Revolution" last night. I went, after having watched all three of the previous movies in the franchise, expecting an epically terrible movie with amazing dancing. And that's exactly what I got. But, I was so excited when I saw the trailer for the movie "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." I haven't even read the book, and yet I still feel that it shaped my high school years, at least in some way...
Tidbits: Cheers to that big sporting event across the pond (07/28/12)
I wanted to write something about the Olympics. But, as it seems everyone with a social networking handle is writing about the Olympics, I didn't want to necessarily blend in. And then I came across a Popchips Facebook post: "Cheers to that big sporting event across the pond that we can't post about!"...
Our hearts break for the victims of Aurora (07/21/12)
I went and saw The Dark Knight Rises at midnight on Thursday night. I watched Bane and Batman go at it and I saw the story unfold and I left the theater on Friday morning completely mesmerized by the quality of the film I had just seen. When I woke up, I turned on the television and found out that, while the moviegoers at the Century 16 theatre in Aurora, Colo. expected to watch the same film, they instead experienced hell on Earth...
Tidbits: Living between the noise (07/14/12)
For the first time, probably since I got my driver's license, I turned off the radio last week. At the time, I was gearing up a podcast to listen to on my way to Sioux Center. But even after the podcast was finished, I kept the radio off. I drove in silence. And I've continued to drive this way for the past week...
Tidbits: Face Time (07/07/12)
I was talking last night with my husband and roommate about what life will be like for our children, specifically with how they use technology. Already, we notice a difference between us and next year's college graduates. We're technological, yes, but it seems like the younger the person, the more digital they've become...
Are you drinking enough water? (06/30/12)
It's almost been beaten into the ground. "Drink 8+ cups of water each day." "Our bodies are 70 percent water." "Hydrate!" It's true, and the fact is we don't think about it. Myself included. I've got a bright pink Nalgene bottle with me always, and I'm still lucky if I get 32 ounces in me for the day...
Tidbits: What does your social network say about you? (06/23/12)
I was having a conversation today about Twitter. I probably shouldn't go into too much detail, since it wasn't that intelligent of a conversation in the first place. But, regardless, it got me thinking about social networking. I'm a huge fan of social networks. ...
Tidbits: Taking back control of the kitchen (06/16/12)
In the past two weeks, I've reviewed two books dealing with food, food preparation, and the way they fit into the family dynamic. I'm not new to these types of books: in the past year or two I've become very interested in food science and in the way that we, as Americans and husbands and wives and employees and humans, view food...
Kate Padilla
Tidbits