Monday, November 29, 2010

Best. Birthday. Ever.

November 29, 1984

I woke up on the morning of my 6th birthday, smart enough to know I probably wouldn't be getting the circus in my backyard that I had wished for, but still naive enough to think it just might happen. What I was really hoping for, more than the circus even, was the brand new stuffed Care Bear that had just come out. The only thing I cared about was Care Bears. Big, miniature, stuffed, posable, cartoons - you name it. I wanted to live in the Forest of Feelings and Care-A-Lot and roll around on big puffy clouds with them. I was sick.

Literally. Sick. The previous year I had been hospitalized with Reye's Syndrome. I had spent half the year out of school, hence why I'm a year older than most I graduated with. I had to repeat kindergarten. Sounds kinda funny when you first hear it, right? But it was scary and Care Bears got me through it. The nurses would watch as I had the Care Bears reenact the soap operas that played on the tv. After 8 am, that was pretty much all that was on all day and it helped my mom pass the time as she worriedly stayed glued to my bedside. I think my dad even got a little hooked. I would escape into their world and forget the stark white hospital bed I was stuck in and the needles in my arms and the yucky tasting medicine and the horrible bananas they made me eat with every meal. Instead, I was in Care-A-Lot.

Deep down, I think this was a special birthday for my parents as there was probably a time where they weren't sure it I'd make it to 6. As I walked down the stairs for my annual birthday breakfast of ice cream waffles, I couldn't believe what I saw in my living room. It was better than a circus. It was Care-A-Lot. A huge Care Bear tent was perched on the floor. All my favorite bears were all over it floating on clouds and inside was my heaven. Every stuffed Care Bear I didn't own yet ( and there were a lot considering I only had 2 at that point) was lined up inside, ready for their Care Bear stare and looking at me like I was their new best friend. And I was. It was one of the first moments I remember thinking that wishes do come true.

But I also knew my parents were up to something. I heard mom and dad talking about money from time to time and I knew we weren't rich. This must have cost them at least a million dollars. There was no way. I started noticing subtle differences in my bears. First off, the new ones didn't have any kind of tag. They were also slightly bigger. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but there was just something different about 'em. Kind of like when you know a set of identical twins and one's just slightly more attractive but you can't really pinpoint why. I don't remember the exact moment I realized it but when I figured out that my mother had spent months hand sewing every last one of those bears to look like the real thing (or pretty darn close), I also had one of my first moments of realizing what it meant to love someone. And I've never loved anything or anyone more.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If A Guy Pulls Your Hair, It Means He Likes You...(or there's actually no underlying meaning at all and they just feel like being annoying and girls are just over-analytical)

I've always liked boys. Even when I was little. This will never change. I wasn't a tomboy - I might be one of the clumsiest most uncoordinated athletes there is, hence, choosing a life of theatre and writing. Although I was a pretty big girl when I was young and could wrestle just about anyone under the age of ten to the ground so I was always the first choice in a solid game of Red Rover. I also didn't mind getting dirty and still don't to this day (proven by the sweat pants I'm wearing right now for the fourth day in a row....I think that spot might be spaghetti sauce). I liked girls too. I've always had a tight group of girlfriends. I loved sleepovers, wearing make-up and talking (obsessing, whatever) until the wee hours of the morning. But I've always had a very strong relationship with boyfriends. Not boyfriends. Boy. Friends.

My first boyfriends were Danny and Mikey. They were my mom's best friend's sons and so we would always be creating some sort of mischievous game or playing ghost in the graveyard, cops and robbers, (just kidding about that last one). Danny and I were such good friends I actually peed in my pants for the first time in front of him and not because I was laughing. It was because we were watching "Double Dare" and I could not tear myself away form the TV. To this day he won't let me forget the helplessness he felt as it all went down. Poor Danny. I think I scarred him for life. Throughout my schoolgirl years there was Peter and Tony and Nate and Jeremy and John and Andy ...and then there was college....and then there was my point.

My first day of college I met Jonathan. We were set up on a blind date and I thought he was obnoxious. That's a frat boy for ya. Then we became buds, going through the theatre department together and were thrilled to find out we'd be moving to LA together. The first couple of years in a new city as adults were great fun. I had my other guy friends in Cali like Gabe and Oakes  and Brock - but it was Sadowski (or as others would and will call him, Jonathan) who became my roommate for four years and in time - my brother. And today is his birthday.

See, girlfriends will hold you when you cry. Guy friends will hold you - and then smack some bloody sense into you. They will listen to your problems and then respond back with ten million reasons why you should feel ridiculous for thinking it's a "problem". When you have a bad day, they will make you watch a marathon of "Intervention" to make you feel better about your life (and if you feel fat "Man vs Food). They will hear you gab about the new boy you're in love with and then break his face when he breaks you're heart. You will ask them what is wrong and they will ask you to make them a sandwich. When someone is jealous, they will be your biggest fan. And when you start to get down on yourself and start to think that everything is wrong with you, they will be sure to give you a power point presentation on ways in which you could improve how you react to situations to not seem so crazy. Okay, maybe the last one is just a Killacky/Sadowski thing. But there's no doubt that these are the reasons I cherish our friendship. When I hear people say guys and girls can't really be friends, I am dumbfounded because he has been, without a doubt, the best friend a gal could ever have. And no, it will not culminate in some cute little 'When Harry Met Sally' love story. I don't think I could ever end up marrying someone I peed my pants in front of:) Yes, it happened twice in my life. But the this time, it was because he made me laugh.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And You Thought Your Parents Were Embarrassing?

This is not a joke. My father actually wrote this letter to Oprah. What blows my mind even more is that he forwarded it on to me thinking I'd be thrilled.

Dear Oprah,

Alert ! Katie Killacky considers a return to Chicago!!

My daughter, Katie Killacky, is a theatre graduate of the University of Illinois Champaign. She has been living in Los Angeles for the past 8 years. She is a former Miss Southern California and a runner-up for Miss Illinois in the Miss America pageant. She has done acting, modeling, commercials, game shows. She currently works for a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. She is still single and I (dad) want her to meet a great guy who lives in the midwest. Katie is considering returning to Chicago to restart her theatre career. I would like Katie to be a guest on your Chicago television show and have her seek advice from Oprah on whether to move back home to CHICAGOPRAH!

Thank you for your consideration in this matter,
Keith Killacky
Downers Grove, Il.
Katie writes a blog:
You're Ruining My Life!!! (and other things I wish I hadn't said to my mother)

Now that I'm in my thirties, I'm beginning to realize that all those times I thought my mother was trying to ruin my life, she was really just trying to stop me from doing a fine job of ruining it all on my own.

My followup email to Oprah:

Dear Oprah ( or underpaid production assistant probably reading this insanity as I doubt Oprah has the time),

I wish I had really good excuse like "my father is suffering from early stages of dementia" or "I lost a bet" or "my dad's a drunk". Unfortunately, this is just the sort of thing my father does and has done my entire life. I realize that every accolade he stated happened about ten years ago and that there are only 23 followers on my blog he mentioned, but my cross to bare is that my dear father thinks everything I do is gold.

While I'm completely aware that an Oprah episode based around my potential move to Chicago, and apparent "still single" status, would not take up an hour show or even a 45 second blurb, I think it's adorable that he finds me that wildly entertaining. Deep down, I think it's he who wants to be on your show so if you happen to run a segment anytime in the near future on overbearing stage dads who are desperate to get their daughters married off, know that he would make an ideal guest.

On a side note, while this sort of thing used to embarrass me growing up, I now find myself feeling pretty lucky that he thinks I'm that great. He's pretty great himself.



My follow up email to my dad:

Dear Dad (or whichever one of your 8 crazy personalties I should be addressing at this moment),

If it walks like a lunatic and talks like a lunatic...guess what?

Have you lost your ever loving mind? If you want me to move home that bad you're doing a really good job because I'm about to get on a plane and come to either A) Smack some sense into you B) Take you to get your mental faculties checked out or C) help you put down the booze.

Oh, and the next time you want me to write a blog about you, just ask. Because I have a pretty good feeling Oprah doesn't care...but I love that you do.

Love you,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's the Thought That Counts

Is it just me or are some people a little too abrasive about this whole voting thing? "Get out and do it!" "You MUST vote", or (my personal favorite) "I voted. Did you?" It feels like good, old-fashioned Catholic guilt. Some will even go as far as to say  "the worst thing in the world you can do is NOT vote!" Really? The worst thing?

I get it. It's important to exercise our rights; to not take for granted the freedoms that our ancestors fought for. I plan on voting. But I can't help thinking that I wish there were some people who just wouldn't. I'm voting because I've educated myself on the candidates and the issues - not because society guilted me into making my way to the polls. Do I really want some idiot participating in our democracy when their only contribution to society is punching a hole through a ballot once a year? To be honest...not really. I realize that some, if not most, will strongly disagree with this statement. I realize that candidates tend to gear their campaigns towards the elderly so young people need to vote, it's our civic duty, and every other valid argument stating why it's so important. I also know from an economic standpoint it's a very expensive system and at the end of the day the "your vote could mean all the difference" statement is really only intended to be directed to the supreme court.

The clearer message, and what we should really get "abrasive" about,  is how our country is educated about the elections. Voting should be exciting not an errand. And I certainly don't want to be threatened via commercials, facebook, or strangers on the street about what a horrible human being I am if I don't do it. Let's try for some positivity, unity and encouragement here folks. Most importantly, let's try to make sure we all know exactly what we're talking about before we step up to those boxes.By knowing the black, the white and the grey side to every story, every candidate, every decision - it ignites a passion that makes you want to get out and vote. It shouldn't feel like an obligation. It should feel like a freedom.

The following is a bit offensive but has some amazing points. The great George Carlin.