Thursday, July 26, 2007

Michael and LL: Own up

Two things drive me crazy about Hollywood: Celebs who aren't accountable for their actions. And, stars who testify before Congress. (Really? We couldn't find anyone more credible then a guy who plays a doctor on TV? Let me guess, he stayed at a Holiday Inn last night, right?)

Today class, we're focusing on stars who have no sense of accountability.

Let's start with everyone's favorite friend, Michael Moore. (Or, "Michael S'more" as I like to call him.) Up front, let me say that I haven't seen "Sicko" and I have no plans to. But I take issue with a 400 lb. man complaining about our nation's health care system. Yo, Mike, you want better health care? Put the Cheetos down and pick the dumbbells up. I definitely don't support a national health care system where my tax dollars are used to compensate your bad eating habits. Better health care starts with the person you see in the mirror.

Next, Lindsey Lohan. She's 21, has two DUIs and is facing her second stint in rehab. Lindsey, at this pace, what will you have to look forward to in your 30s? After being pulled over Tuesday night for driving under the influence, police found a white powdery substance. I'm going to guess it wasn't anthrax. Soon after, LL sent a letter to a Hollywood reporter stating the cocaine wasn't hers and someone put it in her pocket.

Linz, (can I call you Linz?) here's the deal: I know Hollywood is a magical place but cocaine doesn't just magically appear in your possession. People (read: addicts) put it there. You only get one body and you're putting some nasty stuff in yours. Stop boozing. Stop stoning. Start loving yourself.

Finally, I'd like to spotlight a refreshing change from an unlikely source. I never thought I'd cite NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer as a good example of anything...but I'm doing it. His administration was called under fire for its questionable tactics to discredit a rival senator. It's yet to be determined the Gov's role in all this but I have to give him props for his initial response. He said he had no knowledge of the alleged events (we'll see -- he's rumored to be a micro manager), apologized and took responsibility for the actions of his staff.

Elliot, I think you're shady and it's doubtful we'll ever exchange Christmas cards but I give you props for at least publicly acknowledging your team did something wrong and taking responsibility for it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gayle and Oprah would be proud

I just returned from a trip to Galena, IL. Not your typical Summer vacation hot spot but this was not your typical trip. Each year, all the chicks on my mom's side meet for a weekend of girl power.

Now, before you make some snide comment about the Oxygen network, consider the brain power in the room. There were two small business owners, a lobbyist, a nurse and educators. I assure, you there were no pillow fights.

Was there People magazine? Sure. (And, US and In Touch....) Was there wine? Lots. But more importantly, there was great, intelligent discussion. Last year's hot topic was No Child Left Behind. This year, it was Hillary Clinton. Not exactly your typical sewing circle, eh?

They have a fabulous winery in Galena where we sat for hours and talked. My mom shared what it was like to beat breast cancer. My cousin shared how hard being a new mom has been. My aunt talked about the impact she's making as a woman in her male-dominated field. And, me? I just soaked in the greatness and said a prayer of thanks for these positive influencers in my life.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I was raised Catholic so naturally, I have an abnormal amount of guilt. I was taught to attend Confession and get all those little white lies off my chest. But, I despised Confession as a child and only went once. (Strange though, I always made it to Communion where there was food and wine...)

But for some odd reason, I've never been able to shake my need to tell people when I've done something wrong. So, if you who thought today's blog was a review of Usher's album, "Confessions," you're in for a surprise. Mass is in session.

Here's a summary of my latest doozies:

Confession 1: I layout in the sun. I like it. I only use SPF 4. And, it's tanning oil. I side with my sister-in-law on this one who says, "tanned fat always looks better than white fat." Preach on, Julie.

Confession 2: Today, I didn't workout. And, I didn't have a reason. I just slept in. For those of you thinking, "get a grip," allow me to put this into perspective. Last night, I had TWO bowls of chips.

Confession 3: I have a new (bad) habit of telling people they're boring. The other day in a client meeting I blurted, "This is boring." This was met with some puzzled looks and then thankfully, laughter. Here's a tip: Telling your client they're boring is not a blueprint for success.

Confession 4: I read People magazine. And US Weekly. And OK! And In Touch. But, I don't read Star magazine or The Enquirer. Come on, even I have standards. Everyone knows those two magazines are just lies anyway.

Confession 5: I hate the show "Seinfeld." Here's the deal George and Elaine, if I want to hear someone whine, I'll listen to myself. While everyone else laughs at "no soup for you," I just stare at the TV and think, "those are really bad outfits."

Sigh. It feels great to get that off my chest. I think I'll bury a statue of a saint upside down in the backyard, say the Lord's prayer, a few Hail Mary's and call it good.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Financial Summit

I'm the last person who should ever give financial advice. The LAST person. I often joke that my hubby is the CFO of our family and I'm the CSO: Chief Social Officer. (It was a unanimous decision by the board.)

But early in our marriage, the Mr. initiated quarterly Financial Summits. I've capitalized the phrase because it's a significant event in our house. A proper noun -- just like Christmas. But not.

It started as something I dreaded. Each quarter, we'd walk through our finances and pinpoint just where our money was going (JCrew) and where it wasn't (savings). I was forced to face the shameful stares. The frustration. The self-doubt: How could I have bought that extra pair of heels with the Summit approaching? Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

But, amazingly, it's turned into something that I actually, gulp, like?

Since we've started the Financial Summits, the debt is nearly gone (aside from the house and that pesky 2% MBA loan) and we actually know how much money we need to retire.

At this point, those of you who know me are probably staring at your computer with a perplexed face. Allow me to reassure you, this is Kat's take. You're reading the right blog.

I know there's some wacky stats out there about the number of married couples who fight about money. I know that the number of Americans who save is less than 1%. In short, Americans' waists are getting fatter and our wallets are getting smaller.

The Financial Summit may not be the right way for you. But find a way. Don't owe the man. (And, if you do use the Financial Summit, let me know so I can trademark it. I've got a student loan to pay off!)