Today’s featured blogger is Kiki, who is awesome and funny. She really is. When I read her self-introduction, I laughed. Out loud. At the computer screen. And I knew right then that you were going to love her too. So, world, meet Kiki: (oh, and meet her blog)
Well, I used to be a stripper. NO no !! I was only an escort. Nooooo, I was never cool enough to be either of those things. But, I like to think I’ve lived a pretty full life in my almost 34 years on the planet. In grammar school I was a nerd with one very good nerd friend (who is still my very best nerd friend) and we snoozed through the first 8 years of schooling. When we were made fun of for our intellectual badass-ery, I would think “heh, you people are going to be preggo when you’re 16 and look like you’re 40 when you’re 21 while I’m all successful and smart and doing whatever I want in life, so snicker away, loser guidos!“ (I grew up in staten island NY, land of the guidos. and the dump) and then I’d take a nap while they struggled with their work. I guess you could say I had a very healthy self-esteem. No no, I was much sweeter than all that - I just like to inject a little chutzpah into the inner child of my memories. My parents always made me feel like I was pretty special - which is impressive for parents of 6 kids! They also taught me to be kind to people that are mean to you - it’s disarming and just makes you feel better than being angry and hateful in return. They were right! They were right!
After high school, I went to B-School in Boston and dropped out after 2 years. It just felt all wrong. Then I went to art school and got my BFA in fine arts - best choice I ever made! I’ve traveled a lot and I’ve lived in a quite a few different cities in the US. I’ve had a wide range of very different jobs, e.g. I was make-up artist and a head shot photographer in LA and am now currently owner of a Boutique in CT for women with breast cancer.
(Guess which is more satisfying!!)
I had a teacher in art school tell me I was on the road to becoming a dilettante. He was trying to scare me. I know that that label is supposed to be insulting, but if it is true and I am, then WOW, I think it’s nearly as wonderful being called stunningly gorgeous (I have, consequently, never been accused of that one). Life is too short to have only one passion! There too much to see too much to do! Let’s go, let’s go!
1. Name two things that you are really good at. Or bad at.
I am really really really bad at the telephone. When it rings, I start sweating. I HATE the phone. I can’t imagine picking up the phone to call someone just to chat. I just cannot fathom it! How do people do it? Thankfully, all of my 2 friends understand this quirk and let me off the hook (oh god sorry for that one). Give me a computer or a lovely piece of stationary and I will write a 30 page letter and answer you back immediately. But the phone? **shiver**
Conversely, I am very good at reading books. I wish I could get paid to lay in bed and read all day long. That should be a real job, because I would make millions. Millions, I tell you! If there were an Academy Award for reading in bed, I would win every year! I would make it into the Reading Hall of Fame! I would win the Nobel Peace Prize for In-Bed Reading! I would be the Ghandi of Reading! They would have to rewrite Greek Mythology to make me the Zeus of Reading in Bed! *sigh* if only it were true…
2. What is your favorite time of day?
That has changed so much in the past year. And it changes as the year changes. During winter, it is always wonderful to come home, put on the PJs, pour a glass of wine and snuggle with my husband and talk about everything. Now that I have two men in my life and am not going to work every day, winters are for morning snuggles with my baby and late night snuggles with my husband. Weekend mornings are the best because I get to snuggle BOTH of them at once. My favorite warmer weather moments were always always going for a jog with my cute, cute husband. Jogging for us is dream-sharing time. I consider it one of our most intimate pastimes, actually! Meyow! and then there’s the warm evening back porch glass of wine. Or going to the grocery store - that is so much fun for us and always has been - we joke about going on a “date” to stop and shop. I know - weird. I guess anything involving the three of us is my favorite. Add a glass of wine to that, and I’m in heaven.
3. How did you pick your son’s name?
My son’s name is Asterios, middle name Erik, last name VeryLongGreekName. Asterios is pronounced “uh-STED-ee-os” - the r is rolled but I made it sound like a d for all you English-speaking folks. We call him Asteri (uh STED ee) or just “Steddy”. There is a very old Greek tradition of naming the first-born son after the father’s father, first girl after the father’s mother, then the mom’s family gets the second of each sex. We plan on having only one more and this future baby will get one of my parents’ names regardless. In short, Asterios is named after my father-in-law.
His name literally means “Star”. How cool is that? The thing that raises eyebrows amongst the more critical is that I am not Greek and I still followed this tradition. To which i say “DUH” I am not going to be the first in his family’s line to stop the handing down of these ancient names. I mean, come on. And his name MEANS something! And there’s a really really cool mythology behind it (google it!) and, more importantly, I have a tremendous amount of respect for my in-laws and am proud to honor them this way. His middle name was my grandfather’s name. A good strong Viking name for our little Greek Viking boy (pillaging, plundering and civilizing us daily).
4. Who were the most influential people of your childhood?
My mom and my dad. I won the parent lottery. I am a lucky lucky woman. I grew up knowing how loved I was, how special I was, and how important I was to both of them. One of my favorite childhood memories (and it happened all the time) was walking into a room and seeing my parents hugging and I would shimmy in between and look up at them and they would chuckle and look down at me and tell me they loved me. I know I am blessed and I thank them every day for the gift they gave me of my childhood.
5. Okay, tell us one story that your family will tease you about until the day that you die.
As the youngest of 6, there are no real embarrassing stories about me - it was enough if my siblings paid attention to me or let me play with them (I was 5 years younger than the next youngest). But I was the queen of dumb thoughts spoken aloud, which get quoted back to me often - some of which have been circulating for years amongst the siblings and annoyingly will never die. I’ll pick three of my gems.
“I wish there were two of me so I could kiss myself.“ I was like 10, ok. and I was just curious about what it would be like to kiss someone.
“Just think, an hour ago, I wasn’t even here!“ My brother (a pilot) had picked me up in Boston and flown me back to NY. I was used to the 5 hour drive, but it took only 45 minutes via plane. It made sense to me.
“What did beans look like when they were alive?“ They just taste so…meaty.