Wednesday, December 26, 2007


For some reason or another, meatloaf has been one of Dan’s favorite things that I’ve made. I can’t take 100 percent credit though, as I “borrowed” from my Aunt Vera’s web site ( - delicious mail order cakes and recipes you can borrow, too).

When I first made this for Dan, he told me that it was a “top five” item I’ve made. From there, it’s almost been a comical snowball effect. Dan once invited his friend Jason to join us, who bragged to a friend that he enjoyed some of my “famous meatloaf.” After that, some other friends heard I was making meatloaf one night and graciously invited themselves over.

I am thinking it would be fun to start blogging recipes that go over well with Dan and my friends. So this shall be the first of this series. It is my hope that this recipe and others I plan to post eventually are crowd pleasers for friends and family.

Cheesy Meatloaf


  • 2/3 cup onions (chopped)
  • 1 small package white mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 and ¼ pounds ground round or ground sirloin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers (ground into breadcrumb consistency)
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I favor Classico’s Four Cheese)
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • (optional) garlic and Italian seasonings, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Sautee onions and mushrooms in butter or olive oil. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, hand mix ground meat, eggs, crushed Ritz crackers, cooked onions and mushrooms, salt, pepper, optional seasoning and approx 1 cup to 1.5 cups spaghetti sauce (enough to make the mixture stick together).
  • Lay out two pieces of wax paper (approx a foot long each) side by side so that they overlap approx four inches.
  • Remove mixture from bowl and place on wax paper, shaping like a large rectangle.
  • Sprinkle cheese atop meat mixture.
  • Roll meat like a jelly roll, starting at one end and rolling on top of itself until a log-type shape is made. Pinch at the ends.
  • Gently transfer meatloaf to a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Remove from oven, pour over loaf most of the remaining spaghetti sauce so that loaf is covered. Cook 15 additional minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes then slice and serve.





Why? Why...

Do people buy and/or rent movies without checking out their ratings beforehand?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Crafty Cravings for 2008

This holiday season, as I spend more days away from work since I started working (a full 11 days, I believe), I have much more time than usual to think about hobbies--and hobbies forgotten or regretfully unpursued. There are so many things I want to learn how to do, so many things I want to create.

I feel that my 2008 resolutions ought to include a handful of crafty aspirations. But this means that I need to both narrow down my goals and be disciplined enough to carry out a few projects. AND I have to finish Dan's quilt before I get started on something new.


Create a handful more scarves (these are a hit with friends and family and are relatively easy to execute while watching TV or killing time at an airport)

Practice photography. I've been on enough photoshoots for work (both with the annual report and our internal magazine) and looked through enough cool photography to be able to take a decent picture. Unfortunately, up to this point, I've really only taken your typical "friends night out" kind of pictures of snapshots of the family during regular get togethers. I would really enjoy doing some neat architecture shots or outdoor shots - maybe even neat people-focused photography using friends and loved ones.

Create a handful of articles of clothing. With Tim Gunn and the balance of the "Project Runway" cast for inspiration, how cool would it be to create a handful of funky skirts or simple tunic dresses? I am too intimidated to start with anything complicated (i.e. requiring super correct measurements or zippers or button holes) but would like to give a few simple patterns a shot. I have a trusty sewing machine that's been with me through Dan's t-shirt quilt; I hope she would be a trusty companion for a project of this nature.

Write a truly creative piece. This could be a short story or a freelance magazine article. I don't even know where to start; however, I do know this is something I want to do. I cite Atlanta Magazine as my primary inspiration. I've never been a fantastic or interesting writer yet I want to give this a try nonetheless. Afterall, I feel slightly to be a disappointment holding a journalism degree and not being too much of a journalist. Sure, I write some human interest stories for our work magazine and hold the title of "editor" of this magazine... but it's just not the same.

Let's see what makes the cut. Hopefully something does.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I Want to Know Why...

I want to know why my Tom Tom (navigation) can tell me where I am and where I am going but requires me to manually put in the time. Seriously, shouldn't it know how to find the time itself?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Strange How Things Work

It's always amazing/surprising to see who your allies are during a bad/stressful situation. Thank you for reminding me what's important and what perspective is beneficial in a time like this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Feelings of Disgust

It’s tough to pinpoint when my hate began. I don’t recall waking up one day with a feeling of pure hatred; therefore, I have decided I must have developed this aversion over time.

Maybe it was the advent of AOL instant messenger and all the cute little fonts, icons and colors that went along with our constant teenage communication. Maybe it was the popularity of this awful trend in children’s birthday invitations, billboards and brochures. Unfortunately, this trend is still out there despite more and more options in design.

To what am I referring?

Comic sans.

While I am no designer, it does make me sleep better at night knowing I’ve read similar feelings on the likes of Wikipedia and graphic artists’ blogs. Believe it or not, there are public campaigns to ban comic sans and limit its use. These people cite bad typography and awkward kerning as well as inappropriate usage (i.e. the font not being originally intended to be blown up or used in word processing software).

I wish I knew when it all started for me. It’s possible that it’s original intention of use with children’s software fonts and text on children’s toys (again, I cite Wikipedia) conjures up immature, adolescent and amateur feelings for me when I see it in adult-made e-mails or other printed collateral. Maybe it’s blatant overuse.

I can tell you this much: saying “comic sans” aloud or seeing text written in this font makes me cringe and my face snarl in disgust.

Or maybe, just maybe, I am just crazy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Depressing Thoughts

Some days, I feel so fortunate to have many friends, family members, professional contacts and acquaintances. Other days, like today, I feel like knowing more people means having more chances of having to deal with the deaths of friends and loved ones. I wish I knew why I’m thinking about something like this today, but I’m not totally sure. Maybe it’s because of some talk radio news stories (mall shooting) I heard on the way back from lunch, or the recent shooting death of Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins. Maybe it’s just the general tip of “if it bleeds, it leads” in the nightly news.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas 2007: First Time Without Becks

I feel like Doogie Houser tonight on this Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The upcoming holiday reminds me of something I am soon to experience. Something new and different than most winter breaks.

This coming Christmas will be my first Christmas without my siblings. For 24 Christmases (actually—make that 22 since I was an only child until almost age 2) I have been amongst family.

No, I am not having to spend a Christmas without electricity in a foreign country or forced to work brutal hours at my office during the holidays. I have agreed to do the fair thing and spend Christmas with Dan and his family.

I really ought to go through all the reasons that this is the right thing to do. Dan spent last Christmas with my family in Raleigh and is set to spend this Thanksgiving with my family also. That means he’s staved away his wants and needs the last two big holidays…for my wants and needs. He didn’t see his father or brothers last Christmas—nor was it easy to coordinate. His two dogs, Roxxi and Harley, had to be boarded for several days (not cheap)—and he had endure the quirky personalities of my siblings, father and stepmother.

I look forward to doing something new [with Dan's family] but cannot escape "the old."

Sighs escape my mouth as I write and come to this reality. I am the oldest of my parents’ children, so it only makes sense that I would be the first to NOT spend Christmas with the family. Additionally, I am engaged; this means working toward creating my own family. Before you few blog readers get any ideas, we’re not planning on having kids any time soon. I only mean that by getting married, I am working toward having “my” family. Wait—our family.

Now I must share a few family Christmas traditions I’ll miss this year (but on the flip side, will enjoy the next time I get to partake in them):

  • Watching my siblings open gifts one at a time, meaning we get to see each other open gifts from each other—truly enjoyable!
  • Smirks as we all realize we helped our parents pick out one-anothers’ gifts.
  • “Pluck” cake, which is a delicious breakfast dish of cinnamon and sugar encrusted breakfast biscuit pieces baked in bunt pan—mmmmm
  • Breakfast casserole, something that must be prepared the evening before but is worth the wait. I can taste the cheddar cheese and fluffy eggs mixed with spicy sausage as I write this blog.
  • Staying up late with Anna, Ben and Paul, anticipating the Santa to come. Even after many years as siblings, we still enjoy speculating our Christmas gifts and losing time in conversation. I am one lucky girl.
  • Some kind of family argument of squabble, usually of minor proportion.
  • The smells of baking food, Christmas trees, hot chocolate and a warm fireplace—and sounds of busy wrapping paper, laughter, cheesy Carpenters Christmas music and clinking wine glasses.
  • Scrabble, Scattergories, Cribbage, Golf and maybe even Tripoly. We’re a family of dorks who sometimes favor Michigan tradition.

While I deep down know this is all about growing up, I am going to miss my siblings dearly this coming Christmas. Hopefully all know that I am there in spirit and look forward to the next holiday that we are all unbearably close to one another. Us all being together makes for a crowded couch—but a hell of a set of memories every time we’re together. I love you all.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Gym Woes

If you know anything about me, you know that I use disclaimers in my daily conversations. “Not that I am a relationship expert, but…” or “Writing critiques are welcomed because I am not the subject matter expert on die tooling or litho lamination…” You get the picture.

Well, this blog starts out not a lot different. Before you read the below, keep in mind that I have been to the gym once in the last week and that I am nowhere close to being in good shape. The words “I” and “good shape” shouldn’t even be within paragraphs of each other. Seriously.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm to exercise (or my lacking muscle tone and athletic breathing techniques), I still somehow manage to get angry with gym-related things. “How can this be when you so rarely set foot into the gym, Katy?” you may ask. Well, there’s no real explanation but here I go.

I think my biggest beef (and I realize this makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER) is with this lady who works out on the elliptical machine for about an hour. She’s at the gym near my office each and every time I go in there—which granted, isn’t often. I can’t even bear to be on a machine near hers because she frustrates me so. In a spandex sports bra and spandex biking shorts and the all important workout gloves, she so seriously works out on that elliptical machine. Trust me, too; she should not be wearing spandex clothing—yikes. (Disclaimer 4: I also realize I should not wear any spandex clothes and am really not one to talk.) With a look of sheer intensity, you can tell that she thinks she’s giving herself an overall body workout. And does she go do any exercises that she actually needs her gloves for? Nope. They are just to make sure that when she grips the elliptical machine, she doesn’t blisters. I wish so bad to tell this lady that:

- You are only supposed to be on the elliptical machine for 20 minutes when people are waiting

- You’re still going to have a gut no matter how long you stay on that damn elliptical machine

- The workout gloves are incredibly unnecessary—and they are NOT cute

When I am closer to home than to the office after work, such as in the cases of having offsite meetings or seminars, the gym seems barely an option. The one by my house is so insanely crowded that you spend more time looking for a parking space and waiting in line for a cardio machine than you actually spend working out. I loathe that location except for on the weekends.

Thirdly, with all the recent staph infection outbreaks, I find it really disgusting and irresponsible that the gym occasionally runs out of paper towels and sanitizer spray and could care less about restocking. And this is coming from someone who does not really sympathize with germaphobes. Can you guess what happened when I mentioned to the manager that it’s gross and unsanitary to not have the necessary tools to wipe down equipment? He said that he was not going to go out and spend his own money to buy paper towels when LA Fitness won’t pay him back. And that I would just have to “deal with” the scenario until the maintenance truck came on Monday morning with a new supply of paper towels. Gross.

So that is my rant for today. Can anyone tell that I need to get more excited about the gym and am really being creative with my excuses NOT to go? Maybe being a few months away from wearing a wedding dress will really get my a$s into gear.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Road Trippin'

I went to an International Association of Business Communicators (IABC is a professional organization I am a member of) special interest group meeting this summer on the topic “Social Media,” specifically podcasting. While I am sure I probably knew this deep down inside, the meeting’s guest speaker said something that really resonated with me.

“Everyone can be interesting for five minutes.”

He was speaking about planning podcasts; however, this is also incredibly relevant for blogging. You may start out with a bang (which I don’t really think I did, but that’s beside the point) but you have to continue being interesting every other day or at least once a week.

My stretch to be interesting today is to talk about a girls’ road trip I just took with my friends Lauren and Kate. I feel like guys are constantly going on golf trips or friend trips or bachelor parties—something—but it’s rare that girls take time away from being in their regular town to do this kind of thing. It’s not that we feel chained to our boyfriends but maybe bond locally. Okay, I am just typing to type now apparently. Key word “stretch” from earlier in this paragraph.

Anyway, a 24-hour Walmart seemed like the perfect place to leave the two extra cars. After a delicious and nutritious (okay, maybe not) lunch at Zaxby’s we hit the road. Our estrogen-filled vehicle spewed with conversations that ranged from the intense and amazing taste of baked cheetos and the latest scoop on the guys in our lives to our career dreams and aspirations to fashion tips out of Glamour magazine. It was good to be with the girls.

Our drive went by quickly and we arrived at Staci and Dan’s home just before 8pm on the Friday night we left. It makes me smile to think about how we all (with the exception of Dan, who Staci “picked up” sometime just before or during college) have been friends for a long time now. When I get together with these kinds of friends, troubles, every day stresses and deadlines melt away from my consciousness.

It was on to pizza at Lily’s in Raleigh’s Little Five Points. Mmmmm. A private dance party ensued later at an empty bar with a solitary (and awesome) jukebox. Some of the tunes I recall are “Get Into the Groove” by Madonna, Corey Hart’s “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” and some random Buck Cherry song that Kate really wanted to hear. It really didn’t matter that there wasn’t another person in that place, aside from the quiet bartender; we made our own fun.

The rest of the weekend was filled with other delights, such as a few hours at the State Fair, some quality time with my father (who also lives in Raleigh) and vegetarian food via Staci’s kitchen.

‘Tis a fun thing to have great girlfriends.

I will try a little harder in my next blog to be a little more interesting.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Reasons Why I Love the Fall

As mentioned in my very first blog, I am a big fan of making lists. It also turns out that I am a big fan of the fall. Today is October 8, and because I feel October embodies the fall, I will list the reasons why I love the fall.

(note: forgive my very elementary post today. I can't help it on a day like today.)

  • The crispness in the air (and often subsequent decrease in humidity)

  • Halloween (both dressing up and the decorations)

  • Pumpkin carving (related to Halloween but a separate bullet item in itself)

  • Football (both college and professional)

  • Pumpkin spice lattes (an occasional Starbucks splurge)

  • Bonfires and fireplace fires

  • Flannel blankets and fleece pullovers

  • Autumn foliage

  • Hiking and/or camping

  • Hot toddies

  • Feeling generally cozy inside when you know it's cold outside

  • Memories of family hayrides and trick-or-treating

  • County and city fairs

  • Scarves and sometimes even gloves

  • Perfect temperature days and chilly evenings

  • Cupping my hands around a warm coffee or hot chocolate mug

All of the above items are things that make me smile and make me look forward to the fall each and every year.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Gen "Y Me?"

So, I've encountered countless workshops, seminars and lectures on the topic of four generations in the work place. Apparently, this is the first time in our history as an industrialized nation that four generations of working professionals have existed in the workplace simultaneously. Cohabitation at its finest.

I've read that Gen-Yers include those born in 1980 and after. I read a different account saying that a Gen-Y kid graduated high school in the year 2000 or after. Either way, as someone born in 1983, I am undoubtedly (and involuntarily) a member of Generation Y.

We are said to have facebook accounts, instant messenger (IM) habits, incredibly short attention spans, etc. These are not the things that offend me. They are, for the most part, me also. I am, however, slightly offended by the notion that Gen-Yers all have a sense of entitlement (think "I should make $80,000 upon college graduation"), are the children of "helicopter parents" (newly coined phrase to mean parents who hover over their children, watching and commenting and advising on their every move) and possess bad communication skills. Gee, thanks.

One bit that I unfortunately relate to is the need/desire for a constant stream of feedback and communication. As I commuted to work this morning, I thought about how I miss college. This does not include just the laid-back lifestyle, lack of responsibilities and cheap beer; I am talking about being graded on my merit.

I continued my inner monologue. "Why did I enjoy regular examinations of my merit and skill during college?" In many ways, I think it boils down to emotionally needing compliments and occasional critiques that can lead toward improvement. Yes, I do have a supervisor who encourages me to do well and gives me fairly regularly feedback--but in my head, I think I wish to walk in every afternoon to be handed my "paper" or "test" back with a grade and a series of marks for right, wrong, colorfully dictated and erroneously prepared "answers."

I wonder if when more Gen-Yers are managers, they will somewhat micromanage and treat their reports such as what I mention above...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My first blog

You know, I've thought for a long time about creating a blog. Then I read some friends' blogs (hat tips to Daniel Bauen, Anna Lam, "Lola" to name a few - and I suppose I should mention the Freakonomics blog since I just used the word "hat tip") and thought about the idea some more.

I have decided that now is the time. As I think about what this blog could become, I want to propose a question to the blogosphere, if there are any of you out there reading this. What should I write my second blog about? Here are a few things that have come to mind in the past few weeks, as I've pondered the idea of sending my thoughts, opinions, commentaries and nonsensicals onto/into the world wide web.

  1. Opinions about the Gen-Y by the non-Gen-Y and why I disagree

  2. E-mail forwards

  3. Word salad (one of my favorite prose cuisines)

  4. The last book I read (Middlesex)

  5. My October 2008 wedding and related planning

  6. My obsession with lists (thank you for adding fuel to the fire, Google Documents)

  7. Being the child of divorced parents

  8. The life of working for a B2B

  9. Trying to transform from a laid-back college student to a hardworking young professional (keyword: "trying")

"Vote" away...

I think this just may be fun.