Posts Tagged ‘Kathleen B. Lancaster’

How I Spent My Last 30 Days

Not too long ago, I made it abundantly clear that I wanted to take my photography to the next level and go pro.

Over the past 30 days, I’ve been running around like a mad woman making that possible.

I’ve always known that photography was my calling. Whenever I got a new camera, I wanted the images that I took to look like Ralph Lauren ads. And over the past year, I’ve been busting my ass practicing, reading, and practicing some more in order to make that happen.

On my birthday (September 17), I officially opened for business.

It was a bittersweet moment for me, because it meant that most of my (relatively non-existent) free time would be consumed by photo shoots and post-processing and schmoozing new clients, leaving little time left to write on this blog.

But do not fret, dear readers. I will not abandon this place entirely.

I’ll pop in from time to time and post Frankenstories or Conversations with Jake (and soon to come: Conversations with Benny). And maybe even sprinkle in a few LOUD stories or McDonald’s escapades.

I love my “Mama Blog,” and I will always leave it open to comments and suggestions, and will always be back to write something. Even if it takes 12 months between posts to do it.

In the mean time, won’t you come over to my new digs and check out what I’ve been up to? (By the way, if you’re in Northern California, and know of anyone interested in Senior or Family Portraits, send them my way! I’m VERY reasonably priced!)

And if you’re feeling the love, subscribe to my RSS feed so you can get my daily updates and photo shoot sneak peeks.

Thank you all — you have no idea how much your loyalty and friendship mean to me.

With much love and crazy humor,








09 2010

I Always Do This . . .

Yeah, it’s me again. Guilty of allowing my blog to collect dust and then suddenly I’m back. And here is where I’d normally say something like, “Oh, yeah, I’m sooooo sorry for not writing. This thing called life kind of got in the way but I promise to get better.”

And then, of course, I do for a while, and then something will happen, and then I stop again for a while . . . and then all of the sudden I’m on some weird blog diet and I write for shorter periods of time (exercise) and I go away for longer periods of time (off the wagon) and then all of the sudden I’M NOT WRITING AT ALL. And it probably would have stayed that way for a while but I received an email from a MAJOR MOM BLOGGER (whom I promised would remain anonymous) asking, “What happened to your blog? Why aren’t you shooting anymore?” And I’m all, “YOU WERE READING MY BLOG?”

It was kind of like writing about my family and pulling together a manuscript and mailing it to publishers and three months later — after giving up hope of ever getting printed — receiving a call from Vanity Fair.


And it’s not like I didn’t have REALLY GOOD REASONS for not writing. Or shooting.

For example, I broke my beloved Nikon back in May.

Yes. IN MAY. And it took me a long time to get over the fact that I broke it so hard that it almost couldn’t be repaired.

I was devastated. So much so that I almost let it depress me in a bad way. Like, having to take drugs to make it better kind of way. I let it affect my writing. And posting. I thought, “How can I tell a decent story without adding any of my own photos for emphasis.” And then I decided that I shouldn’t write because I couldn’t shoot.

As if I needed my camera so I could write. It brings to mind the old saying, “I only smoke when I drink!”

Then I decided that I’d leave the company that taught me how to save a life by sitting in a chair for 30 minutes and go work for a small outfit named PEPSI.

Which was an awesome move, considering I can do some work from home when I want as long as I get a certain portion of it done by SIX THIRTY IN THE MORNING. Which means I’m done for the day a few times a week by 2:30pm. Not a bad deal.

THEN, as if I didn’t have enough on my plate, I decided to go back to school. I even REGISTERED and stuff!

But then, I got calls to do a few photo shoots, and it had been SOOOO LONNNNNG since I held a camera that I didn’t think I could even swing it.

So I threw caution to the wind and rented a rig and for the first time in WEEKS, my soul felt warm. Not that it had been cold or dead or anything melancholy like that . . . I mean that, when I held the camera in my hands and began to JUST SHOOT — anyone or anything — it just FELT RIGHT.

Which REALLY threw me for a loop because I had gotten into the mindset of being a working student. But I decided to put that on hold because photography IS A PAYING GIG.

Then came the email from one of my favorite bloggers.

My wake-up call.

She didn’t take my sorry ass reasons for not writing as excuses and said, “The Mama I knew would have found a way to shoot with her nose or write with her teeth if her hands got chopped off. Where’s THAT woman at?”

And I was all, “Hell frickin’ YEAH I’d have done that!”

So, here I am.

Writing with my teeth. And ready to show off some photos taken with my nose.

I can do that, you know . . . now that I’ve got a NEW camera . . .


08 2010

‘Fashion Paramedic’ Rebrands to ‘Mama Needs a Cosmo’!

Drink not to scale.

Drink not to scale.

Last summer, I wrote about having an identity crisis. Since then, I’ve longed to change my name to just about anything so I could shed the “Fashion Paramedic” persona. (Or, as I described it to my husband, “Kind of like peeling a mask off of my face like Tom Cruise did in “Mission Impossible.”)

The fact of the matter is that I associate the name “Fashion Paramedic” with a period of my life that I’ve moved on from, which is my time as a consultant and leader with Cookie Lee Jewelry. I created the name in early 2007 while trying to revive my career in direct sales — and that conflicts with my late 2007 decision to educate women (and men) about the reality of the money, time, and effort involved with selling anything associated with a party plan. Thus, every time I posted under the name “Fashion Paramedic,” I felt a small paper cut on the arm of my true self. Only the knowledge that I’ve saved hundreds of people from making an uneducated jump into direct sales made it worthwhile.

So, I made the choice to change the name of my blog to “Mama Needs a Cosmo.” Anyone who read what I’d posted under the “Fashion Paramedic” name knows that my children (as well as myself) refer to me as “Mama.” And, much of what I’ve been through as a wife, mom, and person in general can be discussed over a nice big drink. My personal favorite is the classic Cosmopolitan. Thus, the new blog was born.

I’m still working out a few kinks, cleaning up my categories and tags, and making sure things are in their proper place. Any linked references to a category from the old blog (i.e. “What Into the Hell” or “Cat fights”, etc.) are broken, and I have to fix them one by one. *SIGH* It’s going to take some time to fix, just like that small-but-ever-growing list of things that need to get fixed after you move into a new house or apartment. So, I guess you can call this moment in time for me a “moving in” period. And everyone knows that moving can drive a person to drink.

Yeah. Mama needs a cosmo. I’ll buy the first round.


03 2009

“My 100,” Revisited and Revised

A lot has happened since I first posted “My 100″ earlier this year.

I’d originally got the idea to do one of these because I’d seen them on other blogs and websites. Next year I plan to see if I can create a whole new list of 100 . . . You’d think it would be difficult to do yourself (as I once did), but once you get going, the ideas start to flow and you have to cut the list down.

Here again, is My 100, revised and ready to go:

MY 100

  1. I love and adore my husband.
  2. He and my sons mean the world to me.
  3. I was born and raised in California.
  4. My husband & I took some family and friends on our honeymoon to Cancun.
  5. Two years later we took a cruise (alone) to the Caribbean to make up for it.
  6. I’m 35 and I still have a thing for guys with long hair.
  7. My husband has short hair.
  8. I have no sense of smell.
  9. My husband cannot hear out of his left ear.
  10. I’m the youngest of eight children.
  11. I loathe those who flick cigarettes out of their car windows.
  12. I cry every time I see the end of “Sense and Sensibility.”
  13. My favorite band is Journey (the Steve Perry generation).
  14. I was shot in the leg during the robbery of the video store I worked at when I was 15.
  15. I am not loyal to any one soda company. I prefer Pepsi, but I’ll buy Coke if it’s on sale.
  16. I’m one of the idiots that used to buy Beanie Babies as an investment.
  17. I’ve dyed my hair hundreds of times, and right now it’s back to my natural color.
  18. I believe speeders and street racers should have their cars impounded.
  19. I’ve known my best friend since I was 14.
  20. I’ve eaten cereal for dinner on several occasions.
  21. I can clean the hell out of my kitchen, but my bedroom is a disaster.
  22. I like to try out candles even though I can’t smell them.
  23. I’m deathly afraid of black widow spiders.
  24. I once helped my husband kill a rattlesnake that was in our garage.
  25. My favorite flowers are tulips.
  26. I’m a sucker for cool “girlie” gel pens.
  27. I also have an office supply fetish . . . I can spend hours in Office Depot or Staples.
  28. My sister is the only one I know that can make me laugh hard enough to fart.
  29. I never met a gay man that I didn’t like.
  30. I can change a tire by myself.
  31. My husband taught me how to fry an egg, but I still make him cook eggs for me.
  32. I was raised Catholic but I haven’t been to church in years.
  33. I used to belong to the John Stamos fan club (when he was on General Hospital).
  34. I once went to a spanish mass, thinking that because Spanish sounded fast to me, the mass would be finished sooner.
  35. I don’t have a tattoo, but will never rule out getting one.
  36. I’m horrible with a digital camera.
  37. I can’t squat for longer than 10 seconds.
  38. I get “cell phone envy” quite easily.
  39. My favorite movie is “Return to Me.”
  40. I love to drink alcohol, but I can’t stand beer.
  41. I have a mental “happy place.” I visit it often.
  42. My biggest pet peeve is people who “pop” their gum.
  43. I’m also not a fan of those who “talk ghetto,” as in “She be all like whatever.” Seriously.
  44. I love watching my husband teach my son how to play catch and hit a baseball.
  45. I will own a Mercedes S600 someday.
  46. I’ve watched porn.
  47. I’ve also met some porn stars. (They’ve lobbied before at our State Capitol.)
  48. I once won enough money on a football game to buy a car.
  49. I have a bad habit of swearing.
  50. I can watch VH1 “I love the 80’s” (or 70’s, or 90’s) all day.
  51. One of my favorite memories is spending time with my Dad at the 1986 World’s Fair in Vancouver.
  52. I’ve been on four cruises.
  53. I’m a nervous flyer.
  54. I plan to see the “Christ the Redeemer” statue in Buenos Aires before I die.
  55. My first car was a Pontiac J2000.
  56. I drove it to death. Literally. It stopped in the middle of an intersection and I had to have it towed away.
  57. I can be completely full and still buy popcorn before seeing a movie.
  58. My first memory of going to the movies was with my Mom to see “Pete’s Dragon.”
  59. I’ve never seen Citizen Kane.
  60. I’ve watched the A & E version of “Pride & Prejudice” at least 10 times.
  61. I’ve pretended to not be me just to screen a phone call.
  62. I’ve lost enough weight to now be able to see my toes without pointing my head down.
  63. I don’t know how to turn on our barbecue.
  64. I once sent myself flowers to make someone jealous.
  65. I’ve never been on a snowboard.
  66. My favorite season is Fall.
  67. I once got into a club at the age of 15. My sister, who is 10 years older than me and was with me at the time, got carded by the same bouncer.
  68. My face looks the same whether I spend 10 minutes or 30 minutes on my makeup.
  69. My husband prefers that I not wear makeup at all.
  70. I once put white out on my teeth before a school dance.
  71. I’ve never been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, but I have shoplifted.
  72. I’ve met Joe Namath.
  73. He gave me an autograph to give to my Dad.
  74. Muscle relaxers, Chili’s Skillet Queso, and alcohol don’t mix before a long plane ride.
  75. I believe in teaching my son “Yes, please,” “No, thank you,” “Yes sir,” and “No maam.”
  76. I remember the Pledge of Allegiance.
  77. I cry every time I hear the “Star Spangled Banner.”
  78. I was once chased by a goose being kept as a guard animal.
  79. I can say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” backwards.
  80. I do not know how to say the alphabet backwards.
  81. I cannot say the alphabet without singing it.
  82. I don’t scrapbook, but I’m thinking about giving it a whirl.
  83. One of my favorite things to do with my husband is put the kids to bed early and pretend we’re on a date.
  84. I can balance $200 worth of groceries in my arms and still open the front door.
  85. I once spent an afternoon reading an entire book.
  86. I’ve never been able to do that more than once.
  87. I suffer from verbal diarrhea.
  88. I just learned that the proper word to use when a limb has “fallen asleep” is OBDORMITION. I doubt I’ll ever use it.
  89. My sister and I once separately bought tickets to a Bon Jovi concert and we ended up two seats apart in the same row.
  90. I believe I would pass out in the presence of Jon Bon Jovi, the man.
  91. I remember when a concert ticket was $15.
  92. I still have dreams about the first person I ever had a crush on.
  93. I once owned Wonder Woman Underoos.
  94. I once owned a Shaun Cassidy t-shirt.
  95. I never learned the Macarena.
  96. But I’ll admit that I’ve line danced.
  97. My sons will know who Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones are.
  98. I never liked Bob Dylan or Nirvana.
  99. I’m fascinated with shows about forensic science.
  100. If I were to die tomorrow, I will be happy about the life I lived.


12 2007

An Internet Search for Me Just Got Easier

I know today is supposed to be “‘What Into the Hell’” Wednesday, but being the day before Thanksgiving, I was having a hard time with complaining since I had so much to be thankful for. I’ll post that stuff tomorrow. In the mean time . . .

I’ve found a few old friends on MySpace who told me they’ve been looking for me for a very long time. I’ve decided to post a blog with good search information and ping it in the hopes that future searches for me are easier! Here goes:

Many knew me as Kathy Bonilla from West Sacramento (Broderick). I am now Kathleen Bonilla Lancaster.

I graduated in 1990 from Bishop Manogue High School. (They went coed with Christian Brothers in the fall of ’90.) I never went to River City High, but many of my friends did.

I’m still looking for a few friends myself. If you grew up on Julian Drive (in West Sacramento/Broderick) between 1975 and 1990, I want to hear from you!

If you frequented the El Dorado Saloon or McGee’s between 1989 and 1995 and you think you recognize me, you can send me a note. I’ll try my best to search through the haze and give remembering you a good effort. (More search help: I hardly ever went anywhere without someone named “Cathy” or “Wendy.”)

I met my husband at “In Cahoots,” which is closed now. But back in the day, all of my money pretty much got handed over to them every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. If you ever danced with me there, I’m sorry if I stepped on your toe.

If you’re a guy with long hair and you remember me hitting on you at some point between 1988 and yesterday, you’re probably right.


11 2007