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Kathi’s 8 Things

Posted by Kathi Chenoweth on July 22, 2008

It’s taken me awhile to come up with my list. My colleagues are just so much more interesting than I am!

1. I was born in Northwest Indiana; I grew up in Northwest Indiana; I currently live in Northwest Indiana. See – I’m not kidding about being boring. I did branch out and live in Chicago for four years – which is about 40 miles away, quite an adventure which required crossing a state line! Also spent a couple of years sampling apartments in various suburbs of Chicago. So I have used every mode of public transportation in what we call “Chicagoland” in order to get to my jobs in downtown Chicago. That was back in the days when I actually had to commute to work. Now I walk three steps from my bedroom to my office.

My mom lives less than 2 miles from me. My sister lives about 3 miles from me. And my brother lives about 4 miles away. It’s nice having family nearby.

2. Growing up I had four imaginary friends. First there is the trio of Candy, Uh-um and Apadasadum, they always hung out together. I am not sure how to spell their names since I didn’t know how to read/write/spell when I met them. The fourth was Danger. He took the heat for anything bad that happened. “Danger did it”.

3. I have an unusual musical background. My mom always wanted me to take piano lessons, which I resisted because I thought it was too nerdy. I seriously don’t know why I thought that would put me over the edge into nerdiness, because the straight A’s and goody-two-shoes behavior already pretty much sealed it. So instead I played the viola (sure, being in orchestra isn’t nerdy!). Viola is unusual because it uses alto clef, which doesn’t help you read music for any other instrument. So you can figure the rhythm but nothing else if you try to read,say, music for a piano.

My other musical skill is handbells. I loved playing in handbell choir at church (no that’s not nerdy either…). I even performed as part of the Purdue University Musical Organizations Handbell choir, and got pretty good at the four-in-hand technique. This was a blast despite the hideous tuxedo-looking, long black skirt /cumberbund/bow-tie uniforms we had to wear.

Oh, and when I was in high school I finally thought it would be cool (sigh, I have no idea what cool is) to learn piano so I took lessons for two years. So I know how to play some very easy songs very poorly. On the bright side, I have the piano that my parents bought for this purpose and one day I’m going to learn how to play it properly (if only the music came in alto clef, I’d be set)!

4. I am skilled in Mirror Writing. I do not know why I can do this.

5. In college, my friends and I came in 2nd place in a lip synch contest.

6. I lived/worked in Munich for a spell back in the mid 90’s. My apartment was a block away from the Oktoberfest fairgrounds. I loved, loved, loved Oktoberfest and spent many nights there over the course of two seasons. It combined a few of my interests such as Beer and Singing Loudly While Standing on a Table. My all time favorite Oktoberfest songs was John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads”. One day my friends pooled their money and paid for me to get up on stage and conduct the Oompa band, to, what else…Take Me Home Country Roads.

Also while working in Munich, I was part of the infamous Bleifrei Incident but I am sworn to secrecy on that one.

7. I am a fan of the show The Bachelor (and The Bachelorette). These shows are just so stupid but I really like them. I used to watch the even worse variations such as Joe Millionaire and Average Joe but after a couple of seasons where the bachelor(ette) picked the “wrong” person, I vowed never to watch them again.

8. My stepsons have a Wii. When they first got it, they showed me how to create my own Mii. Seemed fun — so I brought up the default female Mii to start. Hmmm, that looks like me already. That can’t be. So I tried changing some things – nope now it looks less like me. So, yes, I am the default Mii. I did change her to a purple outfit just to jazz things up. See, I told you I was boring!

5 Responses to “Kathi’s 8 Things”

  1. Meg Bear said

    I somehow think we need to be leveraging the singing loudly on stage/table skill. I like dancing on stage/tables myself (when combined with beer drinking of course). Maybe we could take that on the road if this software thing doesn’t work out ;-).

  2. Kathi Chenoweth said

    Yes, Meg, I enjoy the dancing-on-tables part too. We should take this on the road, sure — I think you already have a plan for the bus, right? (Visions of Partridge Family in my head now)

  3. Ken Klaus said


    I’m starting to think you may be my long lost twin sister, because we have so much in common. On top of everything else, I too played the hand bells in college; and like you, I could only read the alto clef which meant I had to play the “little” bells instead of the big base bells that the other boys played. I fear the nerd gene may run in our family! =)


  4. Christine Yokoi said

    So how is it that you know you are skilled in Mirror Writing? does it ever come in handy?

    In Japan they love “Country Roads” too … classic karaoke tune that for some reason all Japanese people seem to know.

  5. Kathi Chenoweth said

    Christine-I used to do Mirror Writing while taking notes in college. Just to keep myself awake in the easy classes. I could do it before then, but that’s when I really did it in public. I thought everyone could do it. Then people started telling me it was weird, like devil writing. That is when I realized it was a unique skill, but unfortunately there is no actual use for it other than as a party trick: “I can write ‘inside’ out so that you will be able to read it in a mirror” is what I would say. I never knew it was called “mirror writing” until I looked it up to write this blog. A variation on this is when I put a pen in each hand and write left-handed with one pen and do mirror writing with the other, writing the same phrase. That goes a little slow but it’s doable for short phrases until the pens crash in the middle.

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