So here it is. The second day in August. I turn 55 today. Fifty-flipping-five. I remember sitting in Mr. Dalven’s 6th grade class at Central Boulevard thinking how old I would be in the year 2000 which at the time seemed so science fiction futuristic. Well now here it is 2020 and I’m turning double nickels as they say. Do I feel 55? No way. I feel like I’m 25 in my mind. My body feels 55 some days. Other days it feels like I’m 95 years old but once I take three steps out of bed I’m back in range. I’ve taken an awful lot of time lately to dive into my thoughts and think about how I arrived at this gift of an age.
I decided that I would share 55 facts about me that you may or may not know. They are shared in no particular order of how they happened. Some will be serious while others are just random and fun thoughts that pop into my head but always speak the truth. Thank you to everyone who has made an appearance in my life all these years and helped to shape what you are about to read. I may not mention any names specifically but just know that I take every single person that I meet (even if it is once) very seriously. I truly believe you are all placed on my path for a reason. The universe placed me here and I couldn’t be more thankful for every single day.
- I would possibly kill for a well made Rice Krispie Treat. Homemade. These store-bought versions are just tragic.
- The movie Sixteen Candles is one my fave parts of the 1980s. I can quote many lines from this movie with conviction and inflection. My cousins know.
- I’m fascinated by anything associated with NASA and the space program. I’m into facts and am in awe by the science of it all.
- A really yummy French Fry is nothing short of magical. Like my hunt for the perfect cheeseburger, I’m always in search of the French Fry connection. So far All American in Massapequa holds the title of “the best” in the world. The world!
- I need to find a really good tap dancing class. I miss my 19 years at Miss Pam’s School of Dance and our annual productions.
- I had a huge crush on Donny Osmond growing up. Runner up was Potsie Weber (Anson Williams) from Happy Days. I was able to finally see Donny and Marie in concert one year in Vegas. He sang “The Twelfth of Never” directly to me. I know he did. Just like he did every Friday night when I watched him in my living room on the brown television set on the Berber carpeting.
- My favorite ice cream of all time is Breyer’s (and it MUST be Breyer’s) Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry. Bonus points if you know what I put on top of it. Ok I’ll tell you…a splash of milk.
- I have no patience for loud talkers.
- I want to visit Greece but I’m truly afraid. I’m afraid I’ll never come home.
- The older I get the more the texture of chicken bothers me.
- Chefs are magicians to me. I watch shows like “Chopped” on rainy Sundays and I’m in awe. I can barely put eggs and flour together and these people know how to whip up entrees from ingredients I can’t even spell.
- I could eat a vat of old school Cream of Wheat.
- People watching should be an Olympic sport and I’d be a gold medal winner. Put me in a crowd with an iced coffee and I’m golden for hours.
- I don’t do well with movies/shows that contain flashbacks or time travel topics. I’m still recovering from “Back to the Future”. Cute actor. Rough topic for me.
- The smell of fresh cut Christmas trees sends me into another dimension.
- My God. I still miss my Grandma Flotten as much as I did the first day she went to Heaven. I’m crying hot tears as I type this.
- Nora Ephron is my fave writer and the reason I want to finish any writing project I have. I am still mourning her passing in that there will be no new production from her. The final scene of “When Harry Met Sally” should be scratched into my forearm so I can read it all day…every day.
- Billy Crystal is hands down my favorite actor. His timing is everything and his content classic and genuine. The day he created Fernando sent me into a spin. I thought it was beyond brilliant. I wish he knew how many hours of laughs he has brought me.
- I miss every square inch of the house I grew up in. I can still smell certain parts of the house..the attic..the basement closet…my playroom under the stairs. I live two houses away from that house now. Every single day I walk by with the dog. I must fight the urge to walk in and sit down.
- I never learned to play tennis. Yet.
- I love golf. LOVE. I have watched countless golf tourneys both live and on tv. I consider myself a great fan of the sport. I took lessons years back. I literally suck at playing. I think it makes me appreciate the nuance of the game a little more as I’m envious of those who can play well.
- A game of musical chairs can send me into a tailspin of anxiety. Always had a problem with a selection of music too. Maybe I’m onto something. Hire the right DJ for a 4 year old birthday party. It will save thousands of dollars in co-pays for therapy sessions well into the adult life.
- Removing Pop-Tarts from the foil pouch and loading them into the toaster is the equivalent of disassembling a bomb. I move with stealth precision so as not to spare a crumb of goodness.
- Given the perfect dream world where no one gets fat, I could sit with a plastic tub of chocolate frosting and a spoon while watching a movie and be perfectly happy.
- There is a list of concerts I wished I’d attended over the years. Some days I hear a song by one of these groups or artist and I will be all melancholy about not being able to go. The Eagles, Queen, and the Police (although I’ve caught Sting a number of times) top my list of coulda, woulda, shouldas.
- Food is air to me. I love the art of cooking and what flavors work together. Food trucks excite me and I always dreamed of owning one before they became trendy. I read cookbooks like they are novels. Every single title of “Barefoot Contessa” cookbooks sit in my cabinet. Ina Garten is perhaps perfection in my mind. Each time I make one of her recipes I think that she should call me for a glass of Pinot Grigio so that we can discuss why she used Rosemary instead of Dill in the Roast Chicken.
- It is not uncommon to hear me say “I need to invite “so and so” to my house for a BBQ and cocktails. The list is all over the place because of the varied topics that excite or interest me. Somedays I giggle at how passionate I am about a topic and how I’d love to discuss it with said guest. For example…Prospective guest Billy Joel. I ran into him when I was in high school after his very first album came out. I have been fascinated with him ever since. The man is a genius to me. I think a few cocktails with Billy isn’t an unreasonable request. I’ve seen him perform live 13 times and can recount each concert vividly.
- Eating Lobster Tails is an event for me. It transports me back to seafood restaurants all over Long Island when I was a kid. The drawn butter. The meat at the end of the teeny-tiny fork. Magic.
- Writing is my passion. I love to write but even more I love to watch tv dramas or comedies that are so well written that my bones want to pop out of my body with excitement. I crave that feeling I get when a series speaks to me and never ever leaves my soul. Entourage. The Sopranos. Schitt’s Creek. LA Law. Divorce. Friends. Most recently The Morning Show on Apple TV.
- The Business world makes me happy and sparks so many creative ideas. Driving results by motivating people to meet their goals is the reason I studied Management. As I’ve written about in the past, I was inspired by my Dad. He can talk to anyone and everyone. He does it with a genuine heart and makes them feel like they are the only person in the world at that very moment. It’s the way I managed and believe we all should. Understanding people at their core is where we all win.
- I cry when I hear about big lottery winners. Real tears. I’m truly happy for these people. They say winning the lottery is rarer than being struck by lightning. I consider those incredible odds.
- My memory is photographic. My parents know that for years I could account for what I ordered in each restaurant we visited anywhere in the world. I guess it goes to show you how much I appreciate the dining experience.
- Everyone has a reoccurring dream. Don’t you? Mine is that I am walking the hallways of a school holding a schedule and looking into each classroom but I never go in. I’m supposed to but I never do. I keep walking the halls and hearing my name called on the roster.
- Being away at college was beyond fun but I lacked the discipline to keep my grades in check. I did very well once I transferred home. This is one reason I am a lunatic with my kids about studying and taking lessons and grades seriously.
- Settling or accepting average is something I will never do. I spent years just saying “Whatever” and letting things slide. The minute I found my strength again it was game on. Never surrender. Never give up. Average is not for me. Ask the kids. I say it often.
- My parents gave me a transistor radio for my 10th birthday. I can still smell it coming out of the plastic wrapper and box. I played that every day and night until I think it fell apart. I listened to the DJs “hit their mark” before each song. For years I wanted to be an announcer or DJ. I’d fall asleep at night listening to music and talk programs. On clear nights I could pick up radio stations in Chicago and Ohio. I remember thinking that was such a cool connection.
- Each day starts with coffee, air pods, an iPad, affirmations, and 2-3 key friends who keep my physical/mental/and spiritual sides aligned and in check. I cannot live without these amazing forces in my life.
- Many of you have read about how I became involved in Spartan racing. It has taught me how to train and stay strong. It has also given me a community that has changed me forever. There are people who have become part of my world that without Spartan would never be in Kikiville.
- Training is a way of life for me. While I build in rest days to protect my bod I do not feel whole when I am not training.
- My kids and I often talk about their school life experience. We laugh when we all hear of their stories that they tell in such great detail. I always share one of my fave memories from elementary school. Lunch was serves on melamine trays. They made such a distinct sound when they hit the ground. If some poor soul dropped the tray, the ENTIRE cafeteria would stand up and cheer. It still makes me snort to this day.
- I have two tattoos much to my mother’s disgust. Lol. I got my first one at age 52 and the second at age 54.
- The first car I owned was a silver Chevy Camaro. Man I thought I was hot stuff driving that car. I had the whole 80s Long Island girl look going with it. Long acrylic nails painted in a bright fuchsia, leather jacket with shoulder pads, and mile high sprayed hair.
- After few too many cocktails on Thanksgiving last year it spilled out that I hate ice cream cake on my birthday. My mother’s face sank. She said “Really?” I said “Don’t assume that because my birthday is in the summer that I like Carvel cake.” It took me 54 years but I confessed. Chipping away at the buried secrets one by one.
- I had a birthmark removed from my back when I was 10. It took 50 stitches to sew up. There is a fine scar but it still hurts when it rains. Weird. Fun fact – the doctor’s name was Dr. Karen.
- I love that my kids are as patriotic as I am. When the Fikars visited Ft. McHenry for the first time, we took in the movie about the American Flag and the Star Spangled Banner. At the end of the movie, the motorized curtains pulled back and revealed the flag flying over the harbor. All of us gasped at the same time. I’ll never forget our reactions. We had a similar experience when visiting Mt. Vernon in 2018. Small yet powerful trip to George Washington’s home. I was very proud to be a part of his world for a brief period of time.
- I truly believe I need to live on the west coast of Florida. I have never been happier than when I am there.
- Wish I could open a coaching business to encourage people that it is never too late to start training and take control of your health. Not everyone has to run a Spartan race but you can work like a beast to meet your goals no matter what age you are.
- My kids still take my breath away when I talk to them. I am so proud of the adults they have grown into. Talking to them and looking into their souls is more than a gift. Considering the fact I never thought I could have kids, every day with these two is like opening up what you always wanted on Christmas morning.
- My fascination with the mafia is well known. I’m told it’s a myth and doesn’t exist. Bullshit. I know it does and it is insanely interesting to me. I live for my trips to Arthur Avenue.
- Not buying stock in GAP is a regret. Each season I purchase every single dress they offer. I should be reaping the rewards in my bank account as well as my closet.
- One night while stuck in traffic on the way to a Barry Manilow concert (don’t judge me) I called the Nassau Coliseum to tell them of a 45 minute traffic jam on Hempstead Turnpike and that thousands of fans were delayed. I asked that they consider delaying the start time. They did. The power of Kiki.
- Sitting with my sister in NYC enjoying a Dirty Martini with 3 Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives is an event.
- I am a fiercely loyal friend who will move mountains for you. I hope the key people in my life know and feel this.
- Fuzzy/velvety socks in the wintertime make me happy. I light up when I find the “right” pair.
- Birthdays are an honor. Each year I am here to celebrate is something I will never take for granted. Thank you for being with me this year and hopefully many more in the future.
6 thoughts on “Double Nickels”
Happy Birthday Miss Karen…. I enjoyed every last word off your 55 truths .. Thank you so much for sharing!! Your definitely a beautiful lady that happens to be my friend..
Love you 😘
read three times. It keeps getting better!!
Thank you for reading! Most of all thank you for encouraging me! xoxo
Thank you so much for your kind words!
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I love you! Thank you so much for reading my friend! xoxo
That was amazing Karen. I loved reading it! It got me thinking about my own life and what I would come up with if I had to write 55 things about myself. Happy birthday!!