Archive | nostalgia

Vintage Kat Box…

Oh this is a good one…my resolutions from 2003, as originally posted on

I’m sorry to have kept you waiting for my New Year’s resolutions, but it took me a few days to make up my mind.  I hope that by sharing them with you, together we can attain our goals.


I will delete the email addresses of all my ex-boyfriends from my address book and I will not email any of them this year unless they email me first and even then I will be so free and unencumbered that I may not even reply.  Well, ok.  Maybe I will delete MOST of them from my address book and I won’t email them, unless I have a really funny joke to forward.  Maybe I will delete ONE of my ex-boyfriends from my address book and I will not send messages to any of the others unless it’s a holiday, a birthday or a Wednesday.  Who am I kidding?  I have all their email addresses memorized so deletion is futile, and if it weren’t for my ex-boyfriends, who would read my Kat Box articles other than my mom and Chiquita?  I resolve to email them all less than I did last year, but emails regarding new articles on FreakinAsheville, birthdays and national holidays do not count toward the total.


In 2003, I will wear oodles of fabulous lingerie from Victoria’s Secret!  Well, I still won’t be wearing any underwear; I don’t care how pretty it is, folks, if it’s not a granny panty there is wedgie potential and I will not spend the year plucking my drawers outta my behind.  Wearing no undies frees me up to spend my time saving baby seals or something, but I will be wearing more of those wonderful Victoria’s Secret balconette bras.  Those little confections turn my cleavage into a shelf of fun so gorgeous that I have considered staying home and dating myself.


I will not eat ice cream for dinner this year.  I must admit, I am concerned about osteoporosis, and ice cream is rich in calcium, so it might be wise to have a whole bunch once a week or something.  I understand that chocolate is an antioxidant, bananas are full of potassium and nuts are a good source of protein, so if I eat an entire container of Chunky Monkey, I am on a health kick!  Good for me!  Who knew I was so health-conscious?


Last but not least, some little resolutions:  I will find out more about the cute guy at church and not fear that God will smite me for flirting during the morning meditation.  God wants me to date, right?  I will book more bands that other people enjoy for FreakinShows, not just bands I like.  Pfffffffffffffffft, yeah right!  You wanna see the bands you like to spin dance to then host your own soiree, babe.  I will not work six days a week at my day job.  I mean that one, because it requires at least two days of relaxation for my nervous work-induced eye twitch to stop.


Happy New Year!  Let’s reach our goals together, freaky friends o’ mine.


It’s Stuck in My Head, Let It Be in Yours, Too…

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Oh my god, I loved this song back in the day. But somehow, I’d managed to forget it…the Scottster being the download junkie that he is procured 1000 Pop Tunes from the 80s on his iPod, and we flipped through the intros to 691 of them Friday night. I was SO excited to hear this song, and it has been bouncing around my brain since then. I just had to share not only the song, but the video itself.
Sing along!
In you I’ve found a story I want to keep hearing.
In you I see all colors not just black or white.
In you I find a reason and hope for all dreamers


More vintage box, I’m having a nostalgia kick…

This vintage Kat Box post was posted on in 2001.  My secret high school crush is getting married this year, and I’m so pleased for him–he grew up to be a really nice guy in love with a really super girl.

Reunited and It Feels So Good:

A True Story

Kat O.

The letter came in the mail a few months ago announcing my ten-year high school reunion. I stared at it for a long time, and then tossed it in the trash.  In the middle of the night, I jumped out of bed, dug the envelope out of the trash and decided to attend the class picnic.  I would not attend the semi-formal evening affair, nope-no way-forget it.

Thinking about my reunion as the date approached gave me the creeps.  I knew no one would talk to me.  Everyone would be wealthy and fabulous.  I was late to start my chosen career, so I knew everyone would be much more successful than me, probably all CEOs and chairpersons who do power lunches with other fabulous people.

Another reunion reminder came in the mail.  I marked the picnic on my calendar.  I thought about the semi-formal dinner and dance; the perfect dress beckoned me from my closet while I considered attending.  I could make heads turn with my black PVC witchy dress; no one else would dare wear such a thing.  Nope, I didn’t want to make my head-turning entrance to the land of the fabulous people all alone; no date, no dance, no way.  My daughter and I would make an appearance at the picnic, then disappear quietly.

I wondered if my secret high school crush would be at the picnic.  I had a “Pretty in Pink” crush: I was a weirdo freak chick and he was part of the in-crowd.  The movie had a happy ending, but in real life, I never told anyone about my crush.  If I’d confessed to my skater-goth-artsy-freaky friends that I had butterflies in my stomach for one of the in-crowd, they would have revoked my black leather jacket and beaten me senseless with my Chuck Taylors, then scrawled my secret across the bathroom walls with my red lipstick.  I had an obligation to my high school peers to date weirdos, so I did.

On the day of the picnic, I wondered what to wear.  I wanted to look casual yet powerful, relaxed yet stunning.  With my newly broken arm in a full cast, it was hard to get any clothes on at all, forget about looking powerful and stunning.  I ended up in jeans and sneakers, but I think I exuded confidence and charisma…well, maybe.

We gathered at Lake Julian, many classmates with their kids and spouse in tow.  I put on my nametag and hovered on the fringes. 
Bryan brought his daughter over while my daughter and I were feeding the ducks, and that was the icebreaker for me.  I had great conversations with people that I hadn’t seen in a decade, not since our graduation ceremony.  Hairlines had receded, tummies were softer here and there, but we were radiant in the afternoon sun, every single one of us was fabulous.
I was surprised at how friendly everyone was to me.  I was a little freaked out by how happy we were to see each other.  I gave hugs to members of the high school in-crowd and listened to their stories, met wives, husbands and tons of kids.  My classmate Jimmy talked me into attending the dance that evening just so I could get drunk and mock the big-haired chicks.  My secret crush appeared and I blushed scarlet, but played it cool all the same.

In getting ready for the dinner and dance, I wondered what the hell I was doing.  Were they going to dump a bucket of blood on my head during my happiest moment like in that Stephen King story?  I was ready to forget the whole idea, but then decided to go just to have one beer with Jimmy and his wife…but what to wear?  The PVC dress wouldn’t go over the cast on my arm, and neither would my eight other choices.  Just when I was ready to wear a Hefty cinch sack, I found a plain black dress that fit over my purple cast and away I went.  I left my nametag off because I grew tired of telling people at the picnic I was divorced; without the tag bearing my last name, they’d be none the wiser.

I was nervous coming into the room alone, but the jitters dissolved when I saw familiar faces from the past.  There were so many people there to hug and catch up with, many who weren’t at the picnic earlier in the day.  It took several beers to endure watching adults do the electric slide on the dance floor. After several more beers, I was unofficially nominated “Most Likely To Kick Someone’s Ass.”   I kept glancing up to make sure there was no bucket of blood over my head.

We talked and drank and laughed.  We confessed and conspired.  We knew all the lyrics to Tone Loc’s songs.  I told a crowd about my secret crush and swore them to secrecy; they were all so intoxicated that I am pretty sure my secret is safe for eternity.  I stole the occasional glance at my crush and determined him to be just as handsome as always.

It was time to go home too soon.  Classmates had planes to catch or long drives ahead of them the next day.  We were tired, the hour was late and the ball was over at the stroke of midnight, everyone returning to his or her normal lives in a blink.

On my drive home, I considered the ten years ahead of me.  At our twenty-year reunion, I will have a teenage daughter.  I will be nearing forty years old next time we gather as a class.  The most important thing on my mind as I pulled into my driveway: I hope my PVC dress still fits me in a decade.


VINTAGE KAT BOX: Sweaty Palms!

Let’s travel way back in the Kat Box time machine with some vintage Katness from years ago.  The main character in this little tale, a super cute sales guy is now happily married (not to me!) with offspring and owns his own company…but even still, he still flirts shamelessly (and harmlessly, Mrs. Salesman, harmlessly) with me in that salesman-y way and I still act like a doofus extraordinaire.

Sweaty Palms and Failing Deodorant:

Meeting An Attractive Male

Kat O.

Recently, a friend told me she was envious of my confident demeanor in the presence of eligible men.  I laughed until I snorted, and then admitted that I never feel particularly confident in those situations; in fact, I usually feel like a contender for the Doofus of the Year Award.  My friend seemed skeptical, so I thought I’d take you inside my head for a recent meeting with an attractive gentleman.

It all began with a phone call.  He is a sales rep for a local company, and he wanted to meet with me to tout the wonders of his business.  We had a nice rapport over the phone and I really enjoyed talking to him, so I decided I would allot some time to hear what his company was all about.  Normally, I refuse to see sales reps, as I don’t have time for such in my busy day, but he swayed me with good conversation.

I came off the elevator at the appointed time to find him in our lobby, waiting patiently for me and my lack of punctuality.  First thought, “Great googly moogly, he’s handsome in that suit.”  Second thought, “I wish I had a Tic Tac.”  As he followed me to a conference room, I wished I’d been more dedicated to my Buns of Steel video.

We talked.  He told me about their company.  When I moved my hands off the table to look at the brochure he offered, I noticed my hands had left gross moist prints from my nervous sweaty palms.  “Oh gawd, I hope he didn’t notice,” I thought as I hid the sweat with my elbows.  He explained a little about the company’s history, and I sort of blanked out, admiring his smile.  I really enjoy a man who looks at ease, and this fellow looked mighty comfortable across from me in that suit. 

I shifted in my chair to scratch an itch and felt a trickle of sweat run down my side; what a day to skip antiperspirant and go for the cruelty free save the whales won’t clog your pores deodorant that is notorious for allowing my armpits to smell funky at this hour of the day.  I clamped my arms down at my sides and tried to look casual.  His hair reminded me of wheat fields in summertime, though I’m not even sure what that means; my brain was very foggy in the presence of this man.

It was soon my turn to do some talking, and I am good at that part, I know.  I was in my element, talking about the network that I tend to and the PCs that I keep functional.  I was determined to get some personal information out of him, so I threw a couple comments out to see if he would admit anything personal.  Sales reps usually won’t yield any personal info; they want to sell, sell, sell.  This handsome gentleman did throw out a little info, straying from the sales pitch and demonstrating a good use of vocabulary. “Wow, good looking and he knows big words!”  My stomach did little cartwheels.

I didn’t want him to leave.  I wanted to sit in the conference room for hours to study his shoulders backlit by the afternoon sun.  I worried that he was only talking to me because he wanted me to sign a contract with his company.  I imagined that if we’d met anywhere else, he’d probably snub me for his girlfriend, and I envisioned her as a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys or a Penthouse Pet.  I convinced myself he was out of my league.

The next day, he stopped by unannounced.  I wished I was wearing my I-am-a-powerful-IT-diva dress instead of my casual Friday attire.  Just to see him as I rounded the corner made me blush.  He smiled and I put myself back in his league.

So…on the inside, I’m not all that confident, folks.  I’m sweaty and silly and bewildered by the opposite sex.  I haven’t figured out how to suggest hanging out with him outside the realm of business to see if he’s interested; frankly, I’m sort of embarrassed to suggest anything.  If I suggest coffee/cocoa, and he’s creeped out by the notion, how will we avoid awkwardness in future meetings?  My hands are damp on the keyboard just thinking about it.  A recent article in a women’s magazine suggested I shouldn’t pursue men I’m interested in; instead I should wait for them, but that’s just not my style, no matter if my armpits are stinky and my hands sopping wet.


I scream, you scream…

…we all scream for ice cream!

Even though it’s a nippy 47 degrees out, the ice cream truck has already started making its rounds.  I heard the song echoing around the houses several streets away, calling out to me to scrounge up the money and run to the curb…but not today.

I love that we live in a neighborhood that an ice cream truck visits.  It’s such a thrill to see the kids and grownups alike scrambling outside, dollar bills in hand to get a frozen confection.  It’s like a blast of good cheer to hear the blare of the repetitive song, and it’s a delight to enjoy an ice cream sandwich on the porch when the weather gets warmer.

When I was a child, I didn’t live in a neighborhood that was served by an ice cream truck.  My paternal grandmother lived in an area served by Biltmore Dairy, so the milkman sometimes had orange creamsicles and Biltmore’s super yummy Winky Bars on his truck.  My maternal grandmother’s street was visited by an ice cream truck on the hottest of summer days, but by the time he made it to her street, all that was left were those red, white and blue Rocket Pop popsicles…and while that wasn’t my favorite, you just HAD to buy something from the ice cream truck, you HAD to!

I equate the ice cream truck with long summer days with ample time to goof off, to build a fort, to nap in the hammock with a sunkissed red nose, to ride bikes.  The ice cream truck, like so many things these days, is coming too early, rushing the magic of summer…like retailers who put on Christmas decorations in September, we’re overwhelmed by too much too soon, the wonder is lost in the quest to make a buck.

I’m looking forward to summer, and I’m looking forward to sprinting for the curb when the time is right for my ice cream sandwich…but not today.  Some things are just worth the wait.


My 2 Mikes

This morning, I had to open up my office and open the switchboard as our receptionist was out sick and no one else was around.  I had to sit at the front desk for a while, make coffee (which I don’t drink, so who knows if it was even good?) and answer the phone.  All of this is outside the realm of my normal duties, but when someone’s sick, we all pitch in and change things up to cover the situation.

I’m answering the madly ringing phone, accidentally hanging up on some of Asheville’s most important people repeatedly, when someone appears at the desk… when I look up, I’m startled to see Mike!  And I’m giddy and frazzled all at once, trying to do a job that’s not mine while trying to write down my contact info for Mike.  If I’d been of clear mind, I would’ve let the phone ring and given him a hug.

Travel back in time with me…let’s go all the way back to high school, more than 15 years ago…I was hott back then, too, of course.  I was a lovely goth/punk/freak girl, a member of a posse of weirdos in my school.  We were a large but closeknit group of guys and girls, freshmen through seniors…Sharon, Chris, Sean, Adam, Robin, Sherry, Christina, Mark, Scott, just to name a few of the freaks, there were so many more.   We were cool.

And in our clique were the Mikes: Mike and Mikey.  I don’t remember how we decided which one was going to be Mikey, but they both came to our social group as Mike. 

Just a smidgen younger than I, the Mikes were wonderfully fun, and they absolutely adored me.  Blue-eyed Mikey offered to build a shrine to me.  Mike worked with me for a while at the mall, cutting up with me to a ridiculous extent in the walk-in freezer.  If my phone was ringing, odds were pretty good that it was one of the Mikes on the other end.

I adored them both in return, but I couldn’t let them know that!  If I had “chosen” one over the other, it would’ve ripped our social group to shreds.  I loved Mikey for his sweet spirit underneath a rough exterior and Mike for his quiet sarcasm.  In appropriate high school behavior, I had to give them both equal amounts of hell and abuse their kindness.

High school was over in a blink even though at times it felt like it would last forever, and I lost track of most of my social circle.  Email didn’t exist for us then or instant messaging or blogging or cell phones, all the things that can keep us in touch so easily now.  I lost touch with both of the Mikes, and life went on…college, weddings, minime, more college, years disappeared.

And then that brings us to today, a chance meeting at the front desk of my office.  What did I write down for Mike? Hopefully my phone number in full or my whole email address, I don’t even know for sure.  No matter, I am grateful for the nostalgia that’s rippled through my thoughts today, so grateful to think of people and places that I hadn’t recalled in ages. 

I’d give almost anything to have our group all back together again in one place, but I’ll settle for random meetings as life rolls on…