One Expensive Brazilian Rhinoplasty Friday, Sep 28 2007 

One of the amazing travel books that I bought the other day is Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone. Fantastic book. I love it.

Anyway, each destination has the top ten things to do, and while reading about Rio de Janeiro, I came across #10: Operation Vacation.

Rio is the plastic surgery capital of the world. So, while in Rome…Companies offer cosmetic vacations. Come home with a tanner, tighter body.

I was curious.

I emailed my pictures to cosmeticvacations.com.

I’ve wanted to do something about my nose since I was little. My nose is TERRIBLE. The bridge is very wide, and it actually gets smaller below, unlike everyone else in the world. To be honest, I feel like it’s the only thing holding me back from having an ideal face.

So, yeah, I was curious.

The doctors offer free consultations based on pictures.

Here is the reply I received, which describes the procedure and answers some of the questions I had:

Dear Katelyn,
Analyzing your photos I reach the conclusion that the ideal surgical plan for you is:
1. Make nasal bones thinner(fracture of the bones)
2. Tightening of nasal tip, elevating a little bit
3. Cartilage job in the tip to make it more delicate.
This procedure is what we call “complete rhinoplasty”.
For this you will need to stay here, in Rio for 10 days but the swellings will stay for 3 to 4 months.
After the third day you can go sightseeing, and after the seventh day with no dressings.
This is a very easy post-op care, just cold compresses during the first two days.
You can do it alone.
The food restriction is just for hard meat (no “churrascos”) and french bread during the first 3 or 4 days.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Dr. Domingos
The total cost of the Rhinoplasty procedures is: USD 7170.

WOW. WOW.

I thought they were supposed to be 30-50% cheaper than in the States! In the States, they’re supposed to be 5000-8000!

That’s not worth it.

For the record, I know it sounds sketchy to have cosmetic surgery in another country. But the horror stories you hear are about dumb women who go to Mexico for $800 breast implants by fake doctors. Brazil is only second to the U.S. in terms of plastic surgery per capita, and it’s easily to find a surgeon with the right qualifications.

I’m disappointed about the cost.

Imagine having an amazing trip to Rio, and on top of it, having a brand new nose.

By the way, I mentioned this to my friends at work, and several of them told me that I had to be kidding, that I absolutely DO NOT need a nose job. That was good to hear. (Except for Holly, who told me that my nose gives me character. “WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!” I cried. “NOBODY KNOWS WHAT THAT MEANS, THEY JUST SAY THAT TO PEOPLE WITH BIG NOSES!”)

Donnie Wahlberg Birthday Pictures Tuesday, Sep 25 2007 

Although I wrote about our adventure to Donnie Wahlberg’s birthday party at the Estate in Boston, I never took posted the pictures. Here they are:

At age 38 or so (I think), Donnie is starting to look kind of rough.
I still can’t believe we didn’t realize Jordan Knight was there until the pictures were posted on PerezHilton.com!

Welcome to Davis Square Tuesday, Sep 25 2007 

As I walked into Davis Square earlier this evening, I came across an unusual sight:

A woman, dressed in bright orange, holding up a sign that read, “IMPEACH BUSH AND CHENEY.”

Nearly every car that drove by beeped at her — and nice beeps, the beep-beep-beep-beep, not the mean beeps like leaning on the horn.

I love my neighborhood. I am so glad to live here. This isn’t the only reason, obviously, but it’s so nice to live in a place where so many people are politically liberal (not to mention politically active).

Taking Travel Inventory Monday, Sep 24 2007 

Today I bought an incredible book: Rough Guides’ Make the Most of Your Time on Earth: A Rough Guide to the World. The book lists 1000 ultimate travel experiences, several paragraphs describing each of them. The book is FAT and HEAVY.

Going through it makes me feel a bit sad — I know that I’ll never be able to accomplish all 1000 of these things. Nobody could. (Some of them are quite long, like hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, and biking the Camino de Santiago, which I hope to walk someday.)

However, I find it quite inspirational, and that is the reason why I read travel books. They give me life. They give me new dreams every day.

For now, here are the experiences that I have already accomplished:

33) On the Fiddle: Attending a Traditional Irish Music Session

I remember a great pub in Dublin with my family — we used to listen to a lot of Irish music when I was little, and to hear it live and enthusiastic and the entire pub getting into it — SO good.

75) Taking a Trip up the Eiffel Tower

Not as good as ascending Notre-Dame.

93) Gathering Friends for a Swiss Fondue

On our last afternoon in Interlaken — we had to do it before we left Switzerland!

101) Impressionist Paintings at the Musee d’Orsay

Three times so far. It’s my favorite museum.

118) Paying your Respects in Normandy

Though I was sixteen and not as mature as I would be today.

210) Finding Yourself on Capri

Finding EVERYTHING on Capri. It has a spell over you — I actually considered living there someday, and except for its beauty and great food, it’s the least me place ever!

215) On the Trail of Caravaggio

I took Italian Baroque Art when I was in Florence, and visited several of Caravaggio’s works in Florence and Rome.

227) The Colosseum in Winter

I was there in March, so that was definitely winter.

248) Getting the Measure of the Medicis: The Uffizi

Twice. Amazing.

265) Doing Penance in the Sistine Chapel

Twice again. Spellbound.

273) Looking for Pasta Heaven

Most memorably at Acqua al’2 with its assagio di primi, or pasta sampler.

279) Venice: Europe’s First Modern City

It is a miracle.

285) Visiting the Home of Pizza

Oh, Italy! I miss you so much!

289) Soothe Your Troubles at Hotel Gellert

Soaked in the Budapest baths, and inadvertently got a boob massage.

530) Choosing the Right Philly Cheesesteak

When there for Glee Club, the Philly natives assisted. It was that black and white place.

532) Visiting Harvard Yard

I was just across from Harvard Yard in the Coop when I first read this book!

565) Lost for Words at the Grand Canyon

When I was nine. Have to return.

567) Getting Lost within the Walls of Vieux-Quebec

Last March with James and Mike! Love Vieux-Quebec.

593) Form a Lasting Impression at Niagara Falls

Amazing.

(Also, I did not cheat at all, though I was tempted. “Gorging on Chocolates in Brussels” and “Have a Beer in Brussels” are on the list, and even though I did both in nearby Bruges, I didn’t count it.)

Altogether, that’s 19, or 1.9%. There is so much left to discover.

This is the greatest picture EVER! Sunday, Sep 23 2007 

Left: Amy Winehouse. Right: Kate.

A Message for All Commuters Thursday, Sep 20 2007 

The left side of the escalator is for those who walk up the stairs.

The right side is for the tired, the relaxed, those with children, the disabled and the LAZY FUCKS WHO SHOULD BE STANDING THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE, BUT INSTEAD INSIST ON STANDING ON THE LEFT AND HOLDING UP ALL THE PEOPLE WHO MOVE AT A NORMAL PACE. In short, if you don’t want to walk up the escalator, DO NOT stand on the left side.

The Brits get it right. All over the Underground in London, there are signs everywhere directing people to stand on the right side and let the walkers ascend the left side.

Now, that makes sense. I love the tube, and the signs and announcements are as witty and charming as the Brits themselves.

Why can’t we have what they have? It’s not like I’m asking for sweet accents or universal healthcare. I only want those signs encouraging people to stand on the right.

You could argue that if I have such a problem with it, I should leave home earlier. Well, it bugs me even when I’m not running late, even when I have nowhere to be in particular. This is about efficiency, and it’s also about common courtesy.

I usually don’t get upset about this when it’s not rush hour. When hardly any people are around, it’s more than acceptable to stand anywhere (assuming you don’t block the escalator completely), to lounge across two or more seats, to stand in front of a turnstile, holding a Charliecard, mystified as to what to do with it.

NOT DURING RUSH HOUR.

Do your thing — just stay the hell out of my way.

Best Dressed at the Emmys Monday, Sep 17 2007 

I was at a party at my friend’s cafe in the North End tonight, so I unfortunately missed the Emmys. However, I am quite happy to provide commentary on the best dressed women of the night!

#1: Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty) in Escada

If I were going to the Emmys, this is exactly the kind of gown I would wear — purple, slinky and HOTT. It’s not particularly new and exotic, but it’s a fantastic gown that looks gorgeous on her frame. The mermaid shape is a classic that gets dressed up by the almost-retro, 70s/80s fabric. (Actually, I had a shirt from that fabric in the early 90s. It was gold, and I loved it.) Felicidades.

#2: Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives) in Georges Chakra

I think that Marcia Cross is one of the unsung heroes of fashion. Each year, she looks fantastic, whether in forest green, coral or white, like this year. Marcia is fabulous with color. Very fair-skinned redheads only look good in a few colors, but Marcia always picks an offbeat color and looks gorgeous. How many redheads can pull off white without looking washed out? The cuts are usually the same for her, with a flattering, looser A-line dress. She knows exactly what cuts work best for her, and as a result, she doesn’t deviate from them. (Also, it doesn’t hurt to keep in mind that she had twins a few months ago.)

#3: Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development — RIP) in Azzuro

Portia is hit or miss when it comes to fashion. She’s more adventurous than most, and as a result, she often ends up on worst dressed lists. However, the gowns she chooses are not ugly, just different, unexpected and JUST over the edge, taste-wise. This gown is more conservative than the ones she usually wears, but I am crazy about the neckline, and the color looks beautiful on her.

#4: Heidi Klum (Project Runway) in Dior by John Galliano

This dress isn’t particularly innovative, especially for a wild designer like John Galliano, but it looks great on her. I love the neckline, I love the slit, and while I wouldn’t ordinarily choose this color for Heidi, she looks great in it. One Galliano trademark is the large bow on the side — he’s been doing those for the last few seasons, and since Charlize Theron is the resident Dior fan, she’s modeled a lot of them at awards shows.

#5: Olivia Wilde (House) in Zuhair Murad

I’m not sure who she is, but this is a gorgeous gown, if not terribly original. It looks great. I love the sleeves.

Honorable Mention: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine) in Narciso Rodriguez

I love the color. During her tenure on Seinfeld, Julia wore black to the Emmys all but one year (when she surprisingly wore lime green). That makes me especially happy to see the beautiful purple. I don’t, however, like the bottom of the gown — the hemline is too obvious, and I would love for it to be more subtle.

Honorable Mention: America Ferrara (Ugly Betty) in Monique Lhullier

This is a very safe gown. Monique Lhullier is a much appreciated designer, and at least one of her gowns has ended up on the red carpet at every event. However, her style hasn’t particularly evolved over the past few years. I love the color, and the gown looks great on a curvy woman like America, but I’m not blown away. Perhaps it’s mean, but I feel like the designer phoned it in.

Honorable Mention: Ali Larter (Heroes) in Reem Acra

Reem Acra is so hot right now. Ali looks like a candy apple. This gorgeous satin gown is classy and elegant. Again, it’s not terribly innovative, but I think that simple works here. I think we’re going to see a lot more from Reem Acra in the next few years.

To my dear friend Sunday, Sep 16 2007 

I don’t know why you think you don’t deserve happiness.

You do, you do, you do, you do, you do. You are a wonderful person, and you deserve to be so happy.

Please stop beating yourself up. It kills me to see it.

Time of My Life Monday, Sep 10 2007 

A few weeks ago, when Perez Hilton was reporting that Castro died, my sister Sarah immediately told her friend Rob, who randomly blurted out, “NOW who will go to the prom with me?”

Sars laughed so hard, she decided to create a picture of the prom that would have been.

Rob and Fidel’s romantic evening.

The cigar is the perfect touch.

Foreign Policy and Election 2008 Monday, Sep 10 2007 

I was reading an oldish issue of Time at work the other day when I came across a feature on Giuliani. Since he is the candidate whom I detest the most, I decided to read it, looking for anything new and interesting.

I was shocked by this quote that I read. Please keep in mind that this is from Time, which is moderate but leans slightly more to the conservative side. It’s not like I took this from a liberal publication. Here it is:

On the campaign trail, Giuliani’s foreign policy comments have sometimes come off more confident than competent. In New Hampshire this spring, according to the New York Times, Giuliani said it was unclear whether Iran or North Korea was further along on building a nuclear bomb. (North Korea tested a nuclear device in October 2006. Iran has not done so.) Then, in his speech at the Maryland synagogue in July, Giuliani mocked Democratic candidate Barack Obama for claiming that North Korea was the nation’s No. 1 enemy. “North Korea is an enemy. North Korea is dangerous. I mean, I grant that. And boy, we have to be really careful about North Korea,” Giuliani said, his voice iced with sarcasm. “But I don’t remember North Koreans coming to America and killing us.”

North Korea is known to sell advanced weaponry to other states that sponsor terrorists. The State Department has listed North Korea as a sponsor of terrorism. The reason North Korea keeps U.S. terrorism experts up at night is not that North Korean operatives will come here and attack us; it’s that they might sell a nuclear bomb to people who will.

Holy shit, he is ignorant.

To think that Giuliani tells people that he has the MOST foreign policy experience of the candidates! He has said that on several occasions, citing his experience as the mayor of the world’s most global city! (I’m not even sure if I’d call it the world’s most global city….London has to be up there, too.)

Giuliani reminds me of Lois on Family Guy in the episode when she gets elected mayor by doing nothing but saying, “9/11, 9/11, 9….11!” He did become a sort of symbol following 9/11, a comforting and powerful figure. The thing is, what exactly did he do? Because of his 9/11 association, people automatically assume that he’s the candidate best prepared for terrorism. However, when you look back, it was well known that the World Trade Center was a target, and he did nothing about it, including keeping it the emergency response center and dividing the NYPD and FDNY.

Sigh.

The article went on to describe the foreign policy experience of several of the other candidates. And you know who has the most (and, in my opinion, best) experience? Joe Biden! Who would have thought?

He is the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and he’s served on the committee for 32 years. He’s been to Iraq seven times, which is the most of all the candidates. (John McCain has been there six times, Hilary Clinton and Chris Dodd have each been twice, Sam Brownbeck has been twice, and Barack Obama has been once.) In addition, he’s a six-term senator who has the sixth-longest tenure in the Senate.

The other candidates whom I believe have the best foreign experience are McCain and Clinton.

I do like Biden very much. I’ve been reading a lot, and many people consider him a top candidate for Secretary of State, should a Democrat win. I think that would be fantastic. I’d also like to see Richardson in the cabinet (he’s quite good, just a terrible public speaker), and I’d like John Edwards to be more involved in something domestic, something labor-oriented….

Strangely, I’ve always felt like I can’t quite trust Edwards, but I’ve been liking him a lot more lately! Who knows what will happen with that?

Oh, and Fred Thompson….the guy who’s “lazy like a fox,” as Newsweek said….ugh. I can’t stand him. How do people like him? I saw him announce his candidacy on Leno, and he was the most boring, least charismatic man! And he’s supposed to be an actor — you’d think he’d have charisma! I’ve been reading a lot about him, and it seems like he doesn’t care about being president that much, complaining about much of the legwork he has to do.

As I write these Election 2008-oriented entries, please keep in mind that, technically, I am not a Democrat. I’m a liberal independent, and though I usually vote for Democrats, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t vote for a Republican over a Democrat if I thought he or she was better qualified.

I will definitely be voting in the Republican primary. I remember in 2000 that my parents (both moderate-to-liberal independents) voted for McCain to do their part to eliminate Bush. I can see myself doing that. Maybe I’ll vote for Ron Paul, just to keep his crazy ass in the race as long as possible! In that case, maybe I should vote for Mike Gravel as well….

It’s the Brood! Monday, Sep 3 2007 




Left to right: Lisa, Beth, Alexa, me.
I love these pictures SO much.
How hot do we look?
I think it’s time for the Brood to guest star on The Simpsons….we could take pictures with Chief Wiggum, daydream about Principal Skinner and yell, “Hey, hot guy!” at Moe.

Simpsonized! Sunday, Sep 2 2007 

Yeah, I know this is a bit late, but I had no idea the AWESOME Simpsonizer existed — I only knew about the one on the official movie Web site, where you create a character. This one analyzes a picture you upload!

I love it. I think that these are dead-on. The only thing I added was earrings to each of them, and on the second, they inexplicably gave me blonde hair, so I changed the color. I think that the second one, in particular, resembles me in an uncanny way — fivehead and everything!

Here they are: Casual, everyday Kate
Party-girl Kate

You must go Simpsonize yourself!

Best of Boston Sunday, Sep 2 2007 

I was going to make this into three separate entries, but with the craziness of my life, I’ll have to consolidate them to one.

First of all, Lisa and I went to Union, who continued their Restaurant Week menu through the end of the month.

Holy God, our waiter was gorgeous.

Lisa tends to laugh uncontrollably at inappropriate moments. I don’t, but as soon as SHE starts laughing, I never stop. Therefore, whenever our waiter came by to talk to us, we would both be nearly in hysterics and our waiter smiled sheepishly. Then we started talking with him, and it turns out that he’s a pretty cool guy (and not just unforgivably gorgeous). After that, we saw him as a person, not just a perfectly sculpted piece of meat who looked just like a young George Clooney with a bit of Stamos thrown in. We like ’em tall and dark.

Besides the waiter, Union was awesome — definitely my favorite restaurant so far. Everything was great. The food — oh, the food! — is upscale New American food, or, more simply, really upscale comfort food. In addition to their nice entrees (I had coriandar-dusted sea scallops and she had barbecued salmon), they’re known for dishes like their gnocchi, burger, sandwiches, NICE brunch, and just a lot of familiar food that they manage to recraft as fine dining. The food was great. My favorite course was the appetizer, prosciutto-wrapped plums, which made it seem, between the texture and the meat, that you were actually eating steak! We both had smores tarts for dessert.

The atmosphere is great, as well. There are these awesome black round leather banquettes where you can fit five people, and the lighting is great, there are little, bright-colored single flowers at each table, and there’s even a bit of rustic wood. It sounds like it wouldn’t match, but it works. It works quite well.

As for the service, it was fantastic. Our waiter was great, and when I mentioned how L’Espalier felt robotic and weird, he told me that he knows someone who works there and they have to follow all these strict rules and start out keeping only 50% of their tips. Yikes! He said that at Union, they’re pretty much allowed to do their own thing. You could tell — he seemed himself. I still have to say that I give Excelsior the highest marks for doing everything and seeming like they’re never there, but Union is a close second.

Also, I saw an ex across the room. Not pleasant. I had previously mentioned on this blog that I was going on that particular night, so it’s certainly no fault of mine.

Lisa and I went to the Hong Kong for some karaoke afterward (“I would walk 500 miles” and “I Touch Myself”) and, as usual, we met a pair of guys, and, as usual, we overheard them discussing who would go for whom, and, as usual, the unattractive one picked me. ALWAYS!!

This past week, we found out about quite an unusual event. DONNIE WAHLBERG, former New Kid on the Block and brother of Marky Mark, was having his birthday party in Boston, and it was open to the public!!

We had to go.

The party was at the Estate, where Mansion used to be (not that I had previously been to either) and there was no cover until 11. The club is really opulent — chandeliers everywhere, including the bathroom stalls, red velvet couches, and scenes from old movies were playing on screens. The drinks were astoundingly expensive, which sent us on a search to find guys to buy free drinks for us.

We quickly learned that it wasn’t nearly as easy as when we’re at Sissy K’s, one of our more frequented places, where the guys are all from the suburbs and the drinks in question are $1.50.

We started asking, portraying it as a bit of a joke (when it really wasn’t), and one guy told us to find the “little guy in a suit” named Sal, and that he’d hook us up.

We started going up to every remotely small guy in any combination of clothing that could be considered a suit and going, “Sal?” If he stared blankly, we moved on.

We eventually came up to the guy who we had described as a “little dark Ryan Seacrest” and went, “Sal?”

He broke into a huge smile and said, “Hey, how have you guys been?”

Hilarious. I love when people try to act like they remember you when they actually don’t — and when they SHOULDN’T, because they’ve never met you!!

We talked to him for a bit, and we were a bit too polite to outright ask him to hook us up with free stuff. Later, though, we were talking with this guy who had really long hair and the girls giving away free beers loved him, so they hooked us up, too.

Donnie himself only spent around 30 minutes at the club. We tried our hardest to get up to the VIP platform, but the bouncers were EXTREMELY adamant about keeping us as far from the stage as possible. We got yelled at. A lot. We did get a few good pictures of Donnie blowing out his candles. (He looks ROUGH. It was his 38th birthday.) Sadly, Marky Mark wasn’t there, but Jordan Knight was.

We then went to Chau Chow City to gorge ourselves on chicken fingers and crab rangoons. My sister lives right by there, so I called her, but she was sleeping.

Overall, Lisa and I agreed that, even though we hadn’t met any more New Kids (I met Joey McIntyre once, and she’s met him a few times), the night had been a success.

I haven’t slept this week at all, and I’ve been a complete grouch because of it. It was SO fantastic to sleep in today. Now it’s 1:30, I’m still in my pajamas, and I’m transferring my music from my old computer to my new one (finally).

I love my new computer, by the way. It’s a Dell Inspiron 1521, and it is nothing short of SUBLIME. I love it, I love it, I love it!

On Friday night, my new roommate, Jessica, and I had no plans, so we decided to go to see The Nanny Diaries, which is now playing at the little Somerville Theater in our neighborhood. We had both heard that the movie wasn’t supposed to be that great, but we both enjoyed the book and liked the cast.

We also decided that, as this is the only movie theater we had ever been to (except for the one where I went in Florence) that actually sells BEER, we had to get some. We got Harpoon UFOs and wristbands.

The movie was pretty good — we both enjoyed it. It was no The Devil Wears Prada, and Laura Linney’s no Meryl Streep, that’s for sure, but it was a fun girly popcorn movie. I felt like they included a lot of parts from the book but only briefly, and it probably seemed rushed and random to people who hadn’t read the book. For example, they included the parts with the crazy cokehead Park Avenue mother who threw cake frosting everywhere, and the part when the grandmother showed up, but both were for less than a minute.

I did love that Donna Murphy was in it (she’s the ballet teacher in Center Stage, one of my favorite movies of all time) and I thought she and Scarlett Johansson looked like a realistic mother and daughter.

After the movie, we decided to hit up Johnny D’s. Johnny D’s is one of the best-known places in Davis Square, and I was surprised that people came from all over, including a woman from Reading, and I actually know her son! I was expecting the Somerville/Cambridge/Medford/Arlington crowd, but it was much more than that.

Johnny D’s is famous for its live musics, with shows almost every night. It also has a nice jazz brunch that I’d like to check out. There was a well-known blues singer that night, Jeff Pitchell, and he and his band were great — a lot of fun. Great music.

What will always stick out in my mind the most, however, is one particular dancer.

The club wasn’t that crowded, but a good amount of people were on the dance floor by the middle of the night. This included his “groupies,” as Jessica and I dubbed them, three (sadly) overweight and unattractive women in various degrees of skimpy clothing who were dancing like crazy and singing along to every song.

One of the women — oh my GOD! She was, I’m sad to say, quite homely, and she wore a short-sleeved see-through flesh-colored lace top over a black tank top, and an incomprehensible denim skirt. The skirt was quite short — shorter than mid-thigh — and had two layers of ruffles at the bottom, one denim, one white.

She proceeded to dance like crazy the entire night, drinking and flaying her arms around, becoming more and more wild.

That’s when her skirt began to flip up.

She was wearing white Hanes Her Way undies, and they were CLEARLY visible to the entire bar. She kept turning and turning, and the skirt kept flipping halfway up her butt.

“This is like a car crash,” said Jessica. “I can’t look away.”

“Aren’t those supposed to be her friends?” I pointed out.

Well, we left a few hours later, and she was still going strong, still showing her ass to the masses. I have no idea if she ever even noticed.

Poor girl.