Activism Amplified: Conversations with Kat & Heath

April 03, 2024 01:07:32
Activism Amplified: Conversations with Kat & Heath
Disability Empowerment Now
Activism Amplified: Conversations with Kat & Heath

Apr 03 2024 | 01:07:32

/

Show Notes

Kat Stratford and Heath Butrum are two sickeningly cute political activists who have made careers out of trying to create a better world through politics. Kat, who is Deaf but uses hearing aids, is a former candidate for state house, and currently works for the City of Tucson in addressing the emergency of houselessness and housing insecurity. Heath is the Campaigns Director for Rural Arizona Engagement (RAZE). S3 Ep26 Find the transcript here. Disability Empowerment Now is produced by Pascal Albright.
View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Welcome to Disability Empowerment Now, Season 3. I'm your host, Keith Murfee DeConcini. Today I'm talking to two of my favorite people in the whole wide stratosphere, Kat Stratford and Heath Butrum. Welcome back to the show. Kat Stratford: Thank you and don't, it's okay if you mess up his name, just not mine. Heath Butrum: Thank you. You got it right. Not many people guess it. Right? I may, you know, when I meet people, it generally is not a thing. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: To be fair, I tried to puppet, like I did it wrong every time, just so I can make fun of you. Heath Butrum: No, this is why we've never had coffee together. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: We'll give back to that soon enough, Trinity. So anyway the lunch time, you guys were here, last season feels like five years ago, , that you had made. One of the best titles of an episode I have ever heard. You said Holy Handsome, and I knew I needed to do Holy Handsome Part 2. And so, for any of the poor souls out there who haven't listened to Holy Handsome Part 1, Reach Villagin on how you came up with that nickname. Kat Stratford: Well, Holy Handsome is a reference to my thoughts when I first met Heath, back in 2018. That is, that's canon, by the way, now, um, we met in 2018. But, um, so back in 2018, I was organizing, I was just a little baby organizer, just getting started in politics. And I was organizing this event where we were doing rides to the polls and we were trying to attract young people. So we had a double decker bus and two limos. To get the word out. And so we had this like extravaganza. So I reached out to the Republican Party and the Democratic Party because I wanted it to be bipartisan and I wanted to have, you know, swag and flyers from both parties on table so that it wouldn't look like we were just trying to get them to vote Democrat. The Republican Party never called me back, but the [00:04:00] Democratic Party did. And this guy named Heath Buttram called me back. He told me he was the executive director of the Pima County Democratic Party. And so, and he, and he was super nice and he was just like, yeah, go ahead, come to the office, take anything you need just from the front desk. The front desk ladies will help you and like have a great event. And so, and we did have a great event. We made it onto the news. Um, and. You know, it was unfortunate. We were only able to show Democratic stuff and not Republican stuff. And we weren't able to provide that bipartisanship, but it was still great. And we made the news and it was awesome. And afterwards we went to the Pima County Democratic Party's official like watch party to see the election results come in and it was awesome. And somebody was like, Hey, do you want to meet Heath? And I was like, Oh my gosh, yes, I have to thank this guy. Now. I am aware that he's the executive director of the Pima County Dems at that point, um, and his name is Heath Butcherum, so I know that he's an 80 year old, like, farmer kind of guy. It's not a young name. It's like, it's just, like, Butcherum and so I, but I was still like, you know, yeah, I got to meet this guy. I got to say thank you. And like, so I was super excited to say thank you. And so somebody leads me up to this very tall man who has his back turned to me and tap him on the shoulder. He turns around and I'm just like, Holy handsome. Like, no, it was actually, it was more like, Holy handsome, like it was. Yeah. Um, and it would only take him about three years to ask me out. Heath Butrum: Only about three. Yeah. There you go. Wait, Keith Murfee-DeConcini: why? Why did it take you three years to act out the love of your life? Spoiler alert. Heath Butrum: Well, it's because nobody wants to start dating in a Trump presidency. That's just bad conditions. That's a bad start. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: It was really bad timing. Bipartisan here, but the jokes write themselves sometimes. Kat Stratford: Yeah, after three years, we finally got our stuff together. He asked me what, technically, I kind of asked you out because you were really beating around the bush about it. You're really bad at it. Well, it worked. It worked. You're like a tall, handsome guy. Like, why, like, just ask me for a drink. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Do you lack confidence? Heath Butrum: I mean, maybe. You know, I guess the only way to find out is I'll have to go around asking out more people to drink just so, you know, we can work on that. Kat Stratford: Try it. See, see how it goes. I don't. You know what? I dare you. I double dare you. Anyways, he, he finally, I, or I should say, I finally asked him out exactly, exactly, exactly three years ago to the day tomorrow is our anniversary of our first date. And like, just to like, give you a quick recap of this first date, like I fell in love head over heels on this first date. By the third day I dropped the L word. Heath Butrum: We must have walked 10 miles on that first day, now we're downtown. Kat Stratford: I don't know, it was before you got me an Apple Watch. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Oh, sorry. Kat Stratford: Am I telling the story of our first date? Yes. Oh gosh, okay. This is the greatest, okay, this is the greatest first date that anybody's ever been on in the history of first dates. I promise you, nobody has been on a better first date than this. I'm serious. Go for it. Go for it. I don't think we ate though. Okay. So we met up at Chase Lounge, which is over on 4th Avenue. It's just a very casual little spot but always popping, always fun. And so we were just grabbing a couple of beer brewskis. Brewski beers and this guy who I was kind of acquainted with, but don't know. Well, he sat down at our table and started chatting with us, which was fine. Like, we're again, I'm very nervous. Like, this is somebody that I've worked with. I've known for a few years and it's just hard to get into data mode when he works with somebody, you know. So we're chatting and this guy sits down at our table and starts talking. Well, he starts talking about this well known predator. Somebody who has been outed as a sexual predator in town. I'm not going to say the name or anything. Um, it rhymes with Shlomo and. He liked it, so this guy was just like a really established bad person and this guy who had sat down with us is like defending him. So I'm just thinking to myself, I am going to show my whole ass right now, because like, there's no way that I'm letting like this guy just say this stuff. So I start pushing back and arguing with the guy, but you know, it's just kind of bouncing off of him. Like these, these kinds of guys never really listened to women when they talk, you know what I mean? And so he just kept talking and Heath was just sitting there. And I'm thinking to myself, I don't know tons about this guy outside of work. And I just imagined that he was thinking, this chick is crazy. I didn't, I don't want to date some souped up feminist or something like that. And so I was thinking, you know what, it's better that I get this out of the way on the first day and let them know, this is who I am, I'm somebody who's not going to let this fly. Anyways, the argument's getting a little bit more heated and the guy finally says, look, I'm not defending. That's when he, sorry, that's what he pipes in. Sorry, I went to say two things at once. Fix it in post. That's when he pipes in with this. Heath Butrum: Like a forever famous line, and it's all I said was actually you are, you know, I, there was this person that sat down at our table and I thought they were good friends. I didn't want to intercede. But, you know, at a certain point, he was, he was just defending this person that had done, you know, awful things. And I just pointed that out to him. And he didn't really know how to respond to that. Kat Stratford: No, he, he quietly was just like, he finished up the conversation really quickly after that and left. And after that I was just like, you know, I really need to shake it off. And so we decided to like to walk to another destination. I think we went to Congress after that, maybe. But so we, we wound up just like hopping from place to place to place. And the weird thing is we never got food, I don't think. Heath Butrum: No, that probably would have been a good addition. Kat Stratford: No, that would have been a good addition. So we're just, like, just for the record, we did not drive home. But at the end of the night, we ended up at the Owl's Club. And that was where we had our, our first kiss was just outside of Owl's Club, I think. Right? Yeah. So we were just walking all over downtown. I was showing him like all these cool buildings that I love downtown. And we wound up at the Owl's Club. And as we were leaving Owl's Club, it must've been close to like midnight or after midnight. Like we were done for the night and we kissed right outside this little bed and breakfast that's next door to the Owl's Club. And that was our first kiss. And there were absolute fireworks. And then we shared an Uber back to his place. And now we're here! Wait, wait, wait, there was also Taco Bell. We also ordered like 75 dollars worth of Taco Bell that night. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Big spender he is. Really big spender. Heath Butrum: Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention to how many resources I allocated to that Taco Bell order. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: You really know how to pick up women, kid. Kat Stratford: The way to my heart is actually, that is the exact dollar, 75 worth of Taco Bell. It can be no more or no less. Heath Butrum: I mean, these were the days of the Taco Bell party platter nachos. You couldn't pass it up. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Fair enough. So, Kat, you are the only Kat who had spent all three seasons of this podcast. When I first interviewed you, you were running for office. Yes, that was several years ago, since then we've had dinner together. I've been mistaken for an uncle. I don't know whose brother I am in that dichotomy. What's new at the Stratford household? Kat Stratford: What is new at the Stratford household? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: No need to say I did Stratford household and now Butrum household. Kat Stratford: We've moved into your house and you didn't even get to keep the name on it. True. Heath Butrum: I am outnumbered though. Three Stratfords and only one Butdrum. Kat Stratford: So, everything is kind of ticking along. Obviously it's an election year, so we're getting ready to knock a whole lot of doors for a whole lot of people. I am still working in homeless outreach for the ward to office for the city of Tucson, which is amazing. And it is, by the way, just really cool and phenomenal to be doing that kind of work every day as somebody with my disability. I think that it's unique for women to do what I do. I don't, I think I might be the only woman who goes out alone to visit encampments the way that I do. I don't believe there's any other female outreach workers who do that. And then to be the only one who's deaf doing that full stop period. Like that, that's it. Like that is so cool. So that's, that's, what's new with me. What's new with you? Have a talk with you in a minute. Heath Butrum: Yeah, yeah, I now work for an organization called Rural Arizona Engagement. We do a lot of civic engagement, encouraging people to be involved in the electoral and the lawmaking process, as well as voter registration. But I just realized one of the biggest things that's happened in our household is both of our kids are now on the honor roll list. Yes, so we are very proud and very happy. That's our latest development. Not the most exciting but exciting for us. Kat Stratford: Listen, you don't, you don't understand. People will be excited about that. People will be excited. People care. You guys care, right? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Your kids are adorable. Your kids are adorable. Tell me, what did you like being the Heath Butrum: Oh man, the tallest member, you know, there's lots of times when, you know, I'm a stepdad. There's lots of times when we just feel like a family. And, but then when people look at us, they see, they see three people around five feet and then me at six, five, and they're something doesn't quite fit. So, so, you know, often I forget that I'm taller than the rest of the family, but you can tell more stories like that. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Could you have a bond? Heath Butrum: The other day Tori and I were just in the kitchen and I was helping her get something from the top shelf. And then I ended up walking around on my knees for a while because I wanted to experience what it was Kat Stratford: like seeing the world. Oh my Heath Butrum: god, you are such a Kat Stratford: Okay, first of all, I'm thinking of the hand gesture. It's not a, it's not a peace sign, okay? It's not But also, like, people still do think that you are the kid's dad. Like, when we go out in public Like it was the kid's dad, like, and I get comments on our posts and people like write me messages all the time saying like, you would never know that he's not the kid's dad because like they just, like, everyone just looks so close and chummy. So yeah. Suck on that butt room. Yeah. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Yeah. Wow. Heath Butrum: Oh, I think we've got a technique. Yeah. It looks like you're muted. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Thank you. Yeah. I remember Valentine's. Yeah, I was marveling over this photo. Let me try and unblur my camera so that everyone can see this photo. Ah, I love that one. The caption is, Dear God, we look like an eHarmony ad. We look like an eHarmony ad. And my response to that was, hope you two lovebirds are enjoying a day and night that has your name written all over it since time began. And Dad said, OMG, that is so sweet in all caps. He'd, you'd said nothing. Heath Butrum: That was an excellent delivery. Kat Stratford: That, that really, that tends to not quite, like, so why are you so ashamed of our relationship and why don't you love me? Heath Butrum: I mean, to be fair, I have posted more since we started dating, I think. That I've probably posted in the last decade. I don't want to hear it. Kat Stratford: Nobody wants to hear it. It just looks like I'm love bombing you on the internet. But at the same time, like, okay, I feel that I am a little bit gross with how I present our relationship on the interwebs because I tend to be I don't know what I'm when I'm happy and when I'm in love, I share a lot. And also it is worth noting. I'm just going to show you this for our anniversary, which is tomorrow. But, since tomorrow's a Thursday and this Taylor Swift themed dinner is not until. This is what we're doing for our anniversary. We're going to a Taylor Swift themed dinner up in Phoenix. I'm very excited. But like, I do, I do think like, you know, Taylor Swift, when she's in love, she really puts it out there. Like, she wrote probably five albums that were almost exclusively, I don't like Kanye West. And I really, really like my boyfriend, Joe. Like, that was her last five albums, and I think that's actually like a cool way to be because even when it goes up in smoke wasn't it just the most beautiful music you could make? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Well, I couldn't have said that better myself if I tried and that's coming from a grade A hopeless romantic Thanks for up Shooting me on my own pod. Anyway, so dude, what is it like being so tall than everyone else on the planet? Have you bought Godzilla, King Kong, What is it like being a transformer? Heath Butrum: Well, one thing that was interesting is when I took Kat home for the first time, you know, back, back to South Dakota to meet the family. She quickly realized I'm, I'm a little tall, but I'm kind of average for the, for the men in my family. Uh, we're, we're, we're just a tall bunch up there. Um, um, Yeah. I mean, you know, sometimes at the grocery store, you get asked to take things down from high shelves, which can be really weird when a random person comes up to you and you're not sure why at first. Kat Stratford: It was me. It was me. Like, I don't know why he wasn't sure why I was coming up to him. Like, it seems obvious. I can't reach it. And the last time I climbed to the shelves, there was that incident and they told us that we're not allowed back at Costco. Heath Butrum: Strangely enough though, it's easy to kind of blend into a crowd at this height because Kat will tell you we met in 2018 but really we've known each other since 2016. Kat Stratford: Okay, that's not true. Nobody believes you and it's canon. It's been established over the course of multiple podcasts that we met in 2018 during the midterm election. So like, just because you're tall doesn't mean you get to be loud. Be quiet. Trouble in paradise. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Are you guys just like a revolving cupboard therapy that just magically walks out every hour? Heath Butrum: We, we, we do kind of work through things like in that similar cadence. Yeah. Kat Stratford: Wait, what kind of cadence? Sorry, I missed part of it. Heath Butrum: Where we, we just kind of, we just kind of go through something and work it out. Kat Stratford: Are fights and stuff? Heath Butrum: I don't know. Whatwere you referring to? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: I have no idea. I just said something that I thought sounded interesting, tried to apply it to your dynamic, and here we are. What I said was, are you two like ongoing couples? Ongoing couple therapy session that always works out? Heath Butrum: Ongoing couple I mean, ongoing couple session that just always works out. Kat Stratford: Oh, I don't think we are. I think because we have no, because we have so many ups and downs, like, I mean, like, we ran for office in ‘22 Like, I say I ran for office, And it was my it was certainly my name on the signs. It was my name on the ballot. But it was my, my partner helping me cut turf. It was my partner helping me do the field. It was my partner helping me stay on task and managing my campaign and running for office is like one of those things that is so, so stressful. And we were doing it as working class folks. We were doing like, we're still working class, but it didn't change. But like, we were running for office as working class people. And I was running for office. As a kind of a really newly deaf person and at the time I didn't even like now I have these really fancy hearing aids and I can almost pass for a hearing like 90 percent of the time. But before that, like, it was a lot less. It was a lot less great. And, you know, there were just so many challenges during that time. And of course we came up just short on election day. And so like, just that's like, that is a relationship stressor. And I have seen relationships just break apart under that kind of pressure. And I'm not going to pretend that we had a perfect relationship through that. I'm not going to pretend that we had a perfect relationship after, because we had plenty of conflicts and plenty of arguments and plenty of just like phases where it felt like we weren't quite, you know, meshing the way that we always have and, you know, people just change and evolve and go through things. But I think the coolest thing about our relationship is that. At the end of the day, we know that that kind of stuff is smaller than the bigger picture. And we know that when, because now with the hindsight of like, you know, a couple years, really, we can look back at that time and see, oh, those things that we were fighting about. Like that day were really small, actually, the, those issues that we had then were not everything they weren't the be all end all, and they're not really what we remember when we look back on that time I remember how amazing he was not all of the little squibbles we would have I'm sorry that was so long winded. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: But that would. Truth talking right. Kat Stratford: Thank you. But like, yeah, we like, I present us as the perfect couple on the internet. The truth behind that perfect couple is that there are fights and there are issues, um, and I don't know if you've ever tried having an argument with a hearing person when your hearing aids have died, like, cause these, these things have to charge every night. Like how do you like, Hmm, frustrating. What are your thoughts? Heath Butrum: You know, I mean, that's kind of it. You know, we've always got this kind of strong structure and realizing things like the day to day disagreements or the little things that come along the way often are going to pass. They're going to move along. And, you know, talking about our, what we went through when you were running for office and, and as things developed, I think it's also offered us a lot of opportunity to grow together. You know, we, we're, we're not two, two individuals that are dating. We've, we've grown a life together and grown and expanded it together. Kat Stratford: That was a good line. Heath Butrum: That's what I'm here for. The one line at the very end. I said, that's what I'm here for. Just like our first dates. I'm here for the one line. Kat Stratford: I talk forever, and then you come in with the impact. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Yeah, and what I was going to say, and yet another reason why I have to marvel at how he's got to be So tall. Kat Stratford: Just, just for like listeners out there, like, how tall are you? Heath Butrum: I'm 6 '5 I am, my dad was 6' 6 though, so I was, I was shorter than him. Kat Stratford: Nobody feels sorry for you. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Like, nobody. Kat Stratford: Oh, but like, I don't know if anybody, like, I don't know if we've ever talked about this, but Heath's entire house is made for tall people. That's true. Everyone in this house's second tallest person is my 13-year-old daughter, Tori. She's five foot one like that, so the second tallest person to six foot five is five foot one over a foot. Shorter than , but like, but so the countertops are taller, the shelves are taller. We have a guideline or not a guideline. I don't know. Like me, I refuse to hang up. I do the majority of things like, we, the way that we have the chores divided, I do the majority of folding the laundry. I do everything else he does. Kat Stratford: I like it, we have the chores divided up. The kids do the dishes for the most part and the kitty boxes for the most part. And then, I do the laundry and probably the majority of the cooking and then Heath does like everything else, which is a lot. Like just think about like everything else that there is to do in a house and that's usually, I make the beds though. Heath Butrum: I love that you've gotten here from We Have Tall Ceilings. Kat Stratford: I'm so sorry, cut this out, cut this out. Heath Butrum: But yes, we have, we have 12 foot ceilings, which I love because I grew up in a trailer house and you know, my ceilings were about seven feet, seven and a half feet. So I would be taking off my shirt and more than once I broke the light in my bedroom growing up. So now I can do jumping jacks. I can, I can do whatever I want. Kat Stratford: How often do you do jumping jacks? Heath Butrum: Well, never, but I could. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Still. So you're compensating, right, Heath? Heath Butrum: Oh, yeah, definitely overcompensation. I do not need walls this high. Kat Stratford: It's a joke because when I first came in, um, like one thing I noticed is that, like you can see behind us, there's like nothing on this wall. And this is what his entire place looked like. There was nothing on the walls. Like it was, everything was furnished. Heath Butrum: Well, it's easy to move when you need to move if you don't put stuff on the walls. Kat Stratford: This is what I deal with, but so there's nothing on the walls, like, and it's, it's not like one of those situations where you come into, cause like, I have, I've dated men before believe it or not. And like, sometimes you walk into a guy's place and it's like a disaster and he doesn't have a bed or he just has a mattress on the floor. You know what I mean? Like, like, so there, there are guys who like, are not like. Fully grown or something. And so they don't have any furniture. So this wasn't that he had furniture. He has a coffee maker. Like I was marveling. I was like, I have a coffee maker. You did. You had a coffee maker, two different kinds. And I didn't know how to use either one. But like, I marveled and I bragged to all my friends. I'm like, this guy is, this is a real gentleman because he likes all of his stuff together. His house is fully furnished. His bed is in a bed frame. Like, so, but I did notice he didn't have anything hanging on his walls and liked to just juxtapose with where I was living when we first started dating. I was living in this hundred year old bungalow. Near the university, I had it decorated very, I tend to go for a very cozy style of decoration. Like, I and the running, like, I have lots of pictures on the walls. It's very like, quirky and eclectic and it kind of feels cozy. Like, the room is hugging you in a nice way, not in a claustrophobic way, but it just feels homey. And the way that you feel when you walk into Heath's house, before I had my way with the walls, that sounded bad before I decorated, but so when you walk into Heath's house, it almost feels like it feels bigger and way more like open because of how bare the walls are, and I realized like that's the fundamental difference. I like to feel like my house is warm, like a warm hug, and he likes to feel like his house is a cold, empty, open igloo. Heath Butrum: I do like the cold. The cold is nice. Kat Stratford: Yeah, that's because you're from Southern Canada. Heath Butrum: But, but now we've got the perfect mix. So we've got some art on the walls, but also some blank space. It's a good compromise. Kat Stratford: Oh, you have blank space for now. Too cool with Taylor? I've got a blank space, baby. Cut that part out for sure, please. Nobody needs to be seeing Taylor Swift on a podcast. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Except Taylor Swift. Kat Stratford: From your mouth to God's ears. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: So Heath, what did your family do besides walk like giants? Heath Butrum: Well actually it lends itself well to be, being larger folks. I was a fifth generation cattle farmer. So, my family has been raising beef cattle in South Dakota for the last 150 years. And that's kind of all we've all we've really done. So really me branching out, you know, moving to Arizona and being involved in politics. It's definitely a change. You know, I grew up on one of the old style family farms. So it was a lot of working with the parents, the cousins, the grandparents. And you know, I would hope now that I do get some, some good marks. I feel like I get some good marks from my coworkers about my ability to, to resolve disputes. And that really, that comes from the fact that, you know, when you're working with your close family day in and day out, and then you go to the dinner table and you're, and you're sitting there with the same people, you just have to learn to work things out. So that's kind of my background. Kat Stratford: Oh, is that why? That's why our fights always resolve. I knew it wasn't me. I don't have those kinds of resolution abilities. Like I'm like talking to us up. Like we're such a good couple. We always resolve it. It's not me. It's him. Wow. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: So, how do you raise cattle in the Stradage there? And when do you ever come down? Heath Butrum: You know, I mean, South Dakota is the best place for raising cattle. Of course, anybody anywhere that raises cattle will tell you their place is the best. But, you know, we've got good forage, we've got good weather. And dang, I miss the farm now. We gotta go visit soon. Kat Stratford: It was five degrees below zero. What are you talking about good weather? Heath Butrum: It was a pleasantly crisp walk, though, in the negative five degrees. Kat Stratford: Did you say pleasantly or unpleasantly? I'm sorry, my hearing going. Heath Butrum: Lots of layers. The key is layers. And, yes, you have to buy the tall ones. You have to buy the tall, the tall layers. Kat Stratford: Oh my word. Okay. So fantastic. Farm story for y'all. Okay, so we land in Fargo? Yes, Fargo. Heath Butrum: So we landed in Fargo. Only one of us was prepared. Kat Stratford: Yeah, so we were, no, so any who's in. So we were visiting for the holidays and we had my son with me. My son chose to spend the holidays with us on the 22nd and I was excited. It was my second time visiting South Dakota, but my first time going for winter. I was like, And he did warn us, he's like, it is supposed to be five degrees below when we land. I'm from Indiana originally, so I'm like, I'm all concerned. I'm gonna be fine. Like, I, like, we had a polar vortex in 2013. So I think I've got this actually and so we land and Eric and I like to put on our coats, we put on our shoes and everything after we get through airport security and we're waiting on Heath who's just taking forever. He's like slowly, like he's getting dressed like he's Marie Antoinette. He's just putting on layer after layer like and so he finally gets done and Eric and I are just sitting there tapping our toes like, gosh, hurry up. And he is just like, you guys sure you're ready? And we're like, we're just going to the truck. We're fine. The parking lot is right here. And it really was only like halfway through the parking lot that we had to walk with our luggage. So like we're talking about a distance of just a, like maybe a hundred yards tops. Maybe, yeah. And so, but we, the door, the sliding doors to the airport open and I'm like, it was like being plunged into the coldest water you can imagine. It's refreshing. It sucked the breath out of my lungs. My soul left my body. Heath Butrum: Yeah, it does hurt your lungs. Kat Stratford: Just casually. Yeah, it does hurt your lungs. But so we, my poor son and I are just like shivering, shuffling our way to the cold through the snow. I'm wearing I wore these cowboy boots I got from like pay less from the kids section. Cause you know. What can I say? I'm visiting a farm and I want it to look authentic. They're just slipping and sliding all over the ice. They've got no grip on them at all. And so, but yeah, we did make it to the truck. I did survive that, barely. Heath Butrum: Oh, you missed the part where I started with gloves, a scarf, a, you know, fur lined hat. Plenty of warm clothes, and by the time I got to the truck, I had been stripped of all of my warm clothes. Kat Stratford: And nobody stripped you of anything. You were being so dramatic. You just needed to give up your gloves. Was my child supposed to suffer frostbite? In those hundred yards? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Good point. Very good point. A point only a mother can make. Yeah, don't be selfish. Kat Stratford: But, but yeah, we did, we made it to the farm and they wound up having to lend me, they lent both of us snowsuits. And fortunately, Heath has just a bevy. He probably has like around 20 little cousins who are all like little girls under the age of 10 or thereabouts. Yeah. Somewhere in there. Just like they heard them like cattle on the farm. Just like 20 little cousins. So fortunately one of these 10 year olds had a jumper that fit me perfectly. So I was able to walk around in the snow again and that's how to survive. Heath Butrum: What's it like shopping in the kids section? Is it convenient? Kat Stratford: Cheaper. It's cheaper, but the clothes don't last as long. Things aren't as good. And then like my proportions are different from a child. So that can be difficult because like, if you're buying clothes for somebody who hasn't hit puberty, you're just going to have different proportions, so they just need to make, you know, like, I don't know, a tiny person store. But you know, sometimes, like, sometimes I'll go to the American Girl doll store, but the clothing is just too flashy. And so I'm, wait, no, wait. Heath Butrum: You really failed that office quote. You were trying. Kat Stratford: Yeah, I nabbed it. Oh, God. Can I start over? Can I start over? Heath Butrum: That was a good effort. Wow. Kat Stratford: Sometimes the clothes at Kids Gap are just too flashy, and so I have to, I am forced to shop at an American Girls doll store to buy clothes for life size kids. That was closer. Thank you. Heath Butrum: Thank you. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: So, of course, I've seen you two in person, but tell us some of the weirdest, and you alluded to this earlier, some of the weirdest reactions you've gotten. When people have seen you two together. Heath Butrum: Some of the weirdest reactions when people have seen us together. People comment on our height. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: The height difference. Kat Stratford: People do comment on our height difference a lot. I think when we first, first started dating, I think occasionally people thought we might be apparent to me. I think that may have happened once or twice. I don't think anybody commented super directly, but just the way they interacted with us, I, I think maybe I've gotten a couple more wrinkles or something. Cause I don't think that's, I haven't got that impression in a while. Heath Butrum: Oh my goodness. It's not a comment anyone made, but boy, when we're packing to go somewhere, putting a suitcase together, I am in envy of how many more clothes you can fit in a suitcase than I can. Kat Stratford: Get over it. You don't like it, because here's the thing. See, women, we just don't have as many ways to express ourselves because apparently I can talk for 20 minutes at a rape apologist and like not get, and still not make a dent, but you can say one sentence and have this huge impact. So you don't need as many clothes. I need more clothes because I have to make more impact. Heath Butrum: It's self expression. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Yeah, that was good! Damn! Damn, damn, damn! So, you guys are quite the Halloween aficionados in your costume adventures [00:43:00] every year. Please tell us how you choose your costumes and why you wear them. You choose to copy bomb on social media with your obtained cuteness as a couple. Kat Stratford: I am so glad that you asked this question. I have been waiting for this question my whole life. Heath Butrum: This is the, this is the rest of the interview. Yeah, Kat Stratford: no, we're talking about Halloween now. Okay, so Halloween gets started, like, being planned the second that Halloween ends the previous year. So like, She's not joking. I am not joking in any way. Um, I tend to do Like at least four costumes every year. I think for 2020, I only did three and I felt like a disgrace. But I was working on the Biden Harris campaign. And you have to remember that Halloween 2020 was three [00:44:00] days before election day. So like Halloween was busy, but I still showed up to Biden Harris headquarters dressed as a Victorian. Sorry, as a Victorian vampire, then changed halfway through the day to, uh, to be Alice in Wonderland. And then I was late for our, uh, nighttime team meeting, only like two minutes, but he never lets it go. I was late for our night time. I was late for our nighttime, uh, meeting, zoom meeting because I was changing into a costume. I was dressed as Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. Um, and also like, for those who don't know, Keith and I worked together on the Biden Harris campaign in 2020. Um, so sorry about all the mess. We're trying to do much better. Um, but yeah, so. Um, so that was like probably the most low key Halloween I did. Um, and then, uh, I think our [00:45:00] first, what did we do for Heath Butrum: our first Halloween? Oh gosh, was that my Groot costume? That was Kat Stratford: your Groot costume. Okay, I'm trying to remember. Start with your Heath Butrum: costume. Oh my gosh. Kat Stratford: So I did a bunch of Halloween costumes that year. Probably the showstopper among my Halloween costumes in, that was 21? That was 21. Yep. In 21 was, um, I dressed as Kate Winslet from Titanic. But I hand sewed my costume. Hand sewed, yeah. Yeah. Sewed by hand, my costume, which was an exact replica, or maybe not exact, but close replica. Of the outfit that she wears when she does the whole jacket flying bit. And it sounded just like her really nailed that transatlantic accent. Um, but so , so that moment and I had the shawl, the blue dress, um, the jacket and [00:46:00] everything. And then I also made this railing out of PVC pipe. It was amazing. And, um, I had a cardboard cutout of Leonardo DiCaprio from the movie. that I velcroed to my back so that it would look like he was like about to lean in for a kiss. And I also had clipped a Bluetooth speaker to the back of my sash so it would play the Titanic soundtrack. Um, so, you know, that was for an office costume contest. And I think you Heath Butrum: won the 50 Kat Stratford: gift card. Was it? I think it was only 25. Oh. But, you know, the, the stakes couldn't have been higher, so I had to go all out. Obviously. But I spent so much time on that costume and a couple other costumes. And I was Heath Butrum: assured that my costume would just be taken care of. All I had to do was show up. Okay, you could Kat Stratford: have done something for it. But so, I thought the most perfect costume for us to do for our first couple's costume would be [00:47:00] Groot and Rocket Raccoon from, uh, from the Avengers. Guardians of the Galaxy. Okay, first of all, they're part of the Avengers universe, and everyone knows that they're the guardians of the galaxy. Like, would you My first job was in a comic book store. Are you trying to mansplain fucking comics to me? Can I swear on this podcast right now? Heath Butrum: God damn it. Kat Stratford: Anyways, so by the time, this is why I need more clothes than you. Cause I'll say like, I'll write an entire book with my mouth here and then you'll come in with one line and try and derail me. Um, But so, for the group costume, by the time everything was said and done, I was exhausted and didn't have time to make a full group costume. Not to mention, they were out of like, Worbla and the other materials, like foam core, that I would use to like, [00:48:00] carve out a group costume. Um, so, I really kind of, I may have phoned it in. For this one, it's probably the worst costume I've ever done, but also the best because the, it's so bad that it comes all the way back around and Heath Butrum: comes back. So, so my, my, my costume ended up being a single piece of brown fabric. over my torso and then a small Keith Murfee-DeConcini: flower crown Heath Butrum: juxtaposed with the hand sewn beautiful titanic Kat Stratford: gown. Okay, but I was dressed as Rocket Raccoon. Okay, so, but you also had a name tag that said hello my name is Groot. Yes, Heath Butrum: that helped. That really did add to the, to the outfit. And, Kat Stratford: and so my Rocket Raccoon costume though was like, I was trying to go as like, You know, because it's Halloween and you can sometimes kind of do a spicy version of a costume. So this was that. So it was [00:49:00] like shorts with the raccoon tail instead of like the pants that he wears. And I had this like cool leather, um, holstery looking thing and this orange top. And it was, it was a, it was a look. Um, and I had the raccoon face paint, the raccoon ears, I even had like raccoon glovies, and I, um, shoot, I'm not even sure what it's called. All the wind thingies that look like bullets. Bandolier. That's what I said. Um, so I had a belt that was a bandolier. And, um, yeah. That, that one kept falling off all night. But like, nobody got either of our costumes. Even though your costume literally said Groot on it. We still got asked all night what the heck we were supposed to be. And I repeatedly got called a furry. Well, Keith Murfee-DeConcini: well, I bet that made for some [00:50:00] interesting conversation later that night. I, Kat Stratford: I have never been so cavalier with a Halloween costume since the next year, I think our, we did a big steampunk thing. Um, cause our family does like a family costume a lot. Um, so we did a steampunk family costume and then, uh, this last year he and I went as, oh, I, I've also dressed up as you for Halloween, Heath. Oh, I Heath Butrum: forgot about that. Oh, do, Keith Murfee-DeConcini: do, do tell me. Every little detail about that. I Kat Stratford: would be thrilled to. So this is in, so after I, in 22, I actually got really, really sick. I have, um, a rare genetic condition that we now know is called hemochromatosis, and it causes iron overload and it can make you pretty sick. So I was really sick. And so, um, I was doing a lot of costumes where I would just dress [00:51:00] up and take a picture on my front or on the back porch. And that way I could kind of still participate in Halloween, even though I wasn't able to really leave the house. Um, so one of the costumes that I came up with was, I got this curly wig because he has this very tightly curled hair that will become an Afro if he doesn't go to the barber regularly. Um, And, uh, He tends to wear a lot of these button up t shirts that are like the t shirt length. sleeve with these quirky prints. And so I happen to have this quirky printed blue, navy blue button up with like oranges on it, um, that had short sleeves. And so like, I just threw on straight leg jeans, brown shoes, the wig and the, the shirt. And I was like, I am now officially travel size Heath. Heath Butrum: The Keith Murfee-DeConcini: travel size release. [00:52:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah, I remember that, Pedro White. Kat Stratford: And so this year we're actually planning on flipping it again, and I'm gonna dress up as him again, and he's gonna dress up as me. He'll be, he'll be party size, or sharing size, me? Ooh, yeah. Oh wait, I don't like sharing size, that sounds bad. Ha Keith Murfee-DeConcini: ha ha ha! Kat Stratford: But yeah, party size. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: We do still need to do Heath Butrum: Blades of Glory. Kat Stratford: We do still need to do Blades of Glory. Um, the, yeah, so we also wanted to do, I don't know, have you ever seen Blades of Glory? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Let's assume I have. Kat Stratford: Okay. So just for anybody at home who hasn't, uh, Blades of Glory is from an early 2000s movie with Will Ferrell and the [00:53:00] guy from Napoleon Dynamite, whose name nobody remembers now. So sorry to that guy. Um, but so they play male figure skaters who get kicked out of the league and they can't compete anymore, but. One coach find one crazy coach finds a loophole. They could be figure skaters again and compete again, but they could do it as a couple. So they become like the first, uh, male, male couple, uh, To compete in the olympics or whatever and they have these crazy costumes their first skate together They do it's called like they have a fire and ice theme and they skate to aerosmiths. Um, The song from armageddon the don't close my eye i'm Keith Murfee-DeConcini: singing I don't want to admit to that Kat Stratford: Yes. So they skate to that and it's really awkward and funny and it's just one of the funniest [00:54:00] scenes in the whole movie and they have these ridiculous skin tight costumes. One is like very, um, if Elsa was doing figure skating kind of themed and the other one is, uh, like the heat miser. from, from that Christmas movie. And so they're both like just ridiculous costumes, skin tight, of course, and just covered in like flames and ice and just ridiculous. And those, um, will also make an appearance at some point. Heath Butrum: You know, babe, I never pictured when we got together that three years later we would be on a podcast describing the cinematic masterpiece that is Blades of Glory. Kat Stratford: That's the tagline for this Keith Murfee-DeConcini: episode. Wow. So a few things I would change about he. Yes. Hi. Yeah. Well, we'll get to that. [00:55:00] Birds drop the H, take the K. I mean, it would just be so easy o. It would Heath Butrum: be. It would be. And, you know, I grew up in the age of a house phone and my dad's name was Keith. So, you know, people would be calling to do business and I was, you know, seven, eight, and I'd say, Oh yeah, I'm Heath. And then they would go into stuff that was completely over my head. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: So. I am your father. Yes, yes, Heath Butrum: it's true. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: And yeah, I would like five inches of your height, kids. I must have made the wrong deal with God. When I God, [00:56:00] shrunk. Do you know what it's like to ever be shrunk? I Heath Butrum: was in third grade, so yeah. How tall were you in third grade? Actually, I was, I was average height. I grew about a foot in sixth grade, so. Oh, Kat Stratford: wow. Heath Butrum: That's crazy. Maybe not a foot. I pushed it pretty good, though. I would believe Kat Stratford: a foot. Heath Butrum: I would buy it. Wait, we've only listed one thing. What are the other things we're going to change about me? Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Oh, no. Uh, your O2, yes. it's madge name. Uh, and your height. I can do Heath Butrum: something about the name. We can change the name. Oh yeah. I Kat Stratford: like Heath because I really like toffee and I really like chocolate and that's the Heath candy bar. Yes, Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Heath candy bar in Tic Tac. Well. Kat Stratford: Kit Kat is easily one of the worst candy bars. Heath Butrum: We could, we [00:57:00] could be the Heath and Kit Kat candy bars for Halloween! Kat Stratford: We'll still be fun sized and party sized! Heath Butrum: Oh my goodness. You just helped us discover our next Halloween outfit. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Everything. I live vo coming true on . , you're, you're gonna Kat Stratford: have to show up to the party with us dressed as a whatchamacallit bar. No, wait. You could be a Reese's. Keith's yeah. . Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Huh? Sure. Why not? Wow. So he. Why have we known each other for like 15 years and you've never, ever, ever taken me out for a beer, [00:58:00] or coffee, or wine, or anything? Heath Butrum: We're not at 15 years yet, it's only been 11. It's only been 11 years. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: That's debatable, but We've Heath Butrum: also never skydived together. We've got a, we've got a whole checklist we gotta go Keith Murfee-DeConcini: through. Yeah, we do. What? Kat Stratford: I said you're not allowed to go skydiving. Not until he adds me on to his, like, life insurance or something. You know what I mean? Heath Butrum: Ha Keith Murfee-DeConcini: ha ha. No, that brings Sadly, to the end of the interview, uh, yeah, we just have way too much fun here. Whenever we talk, we could easily make this a five hour episode. [00:59:00] We won't. But we could Kat Stratford: just know listeners that we are keeping that in our pockets. So don't act up. Heath Butrum: I say we need to do one over coffee. Two for one. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Yes, yes, yes, absolutely. So I like now almost asked the questions in reverse. This is what happens when we break script and I just get flustered because of the absolute beauty and love surrounding me all the time. For the Patch Alla, they are a remarkable couple. They can make the most cynical heart believe in [01:00:00] true love again. Oh my gosh, that's so sweet. Well, I mean, that's my MO. Come on, Kat. We all know. So, if there are any self advocates, uh, political operatives Oh. Emerging hopeless romantics out there, what would be some action steps you would give them to really enrage their true calling as you to Clearly have done. Kat Stratford: Oh man, I feel like, because if you know anything about me, then you know that I didn't start off anywhere near where I am now. Um, so I guess just remember that the journey is very long. Um, because when I [01:01:00] started out, I was a single mom and working as a waitress and I started organizing events to counter protest. Um, like a literal hate group that was carrying Nazi flags. So that, that was how I started out. I just saw a thing that I disagreed with and wanted to disagree as loudly as possible. And so I guess I want to tell people to disagree as loudly as possible. Um, when you see injustices in the world Don't be afraid to, to have that voice, to be that voice, because when you speak out, you are, you're not just taking up space, you are creating it, so that other people just like you, who maybe you have been too afraid to pick up a microphone, can also pick up that microphone. And when it comes to the hopeless romantic part. I guess my biggest piece of advice is don't settle for that guy who just has a mattress on his [01:02:00] floor because there is a guy who has a he won't have anything on his walls but he's got his bed is in a frame fully furnished two types of coffee machines you won't know how to use Heath Butrum: either of them but he's out there the only thing I would add to that is That is, don't ask out the girl until you've purchased the bed frame. So you might want to wait three years. I Kat Stratford: just laughed so loud. I got feedback in my hearing aid. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Oh, you're muted again. That would smooth. Why are you so smooth? But, uh, you're already too tall and tall to make every other guy feel bad about himself. [01:03:00] Anyway, Kat Stratford: I hope not, because he's actually like, he's a huge dork too. Like, I mean, I want to make that clear. Heath Butrum: True, true. If it were just me on my own, it would be, you know, these awkward, lumbering sentences, but that's part of the reason we work so well together, is we really, we really come to an answer. We come to a conclusion together. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Wait, wait, did you just say lumberjack? Lumber, did Heath Butrum: I say Kat Stratford: lumberjack? Oh, you said, no, you said lumbering sentences. Because actually you, you create these lumbering sentences. Like, even with me here, I'm just here to save you. You just bail Heath Butrum: me out when I get too deep into one. Exactly. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Lumberjack is a thing we'll get into much later. Over coffee. Over coffee. Yeah, over coffee. So, the last question that I always end on is, I hope that [01:04:00] both people with disabilities and those who have yet to discover and embrace their own disabilities listen and now watch this podcast. But I'm not naïve enough to think that both groups take the same things away from each episode. So as my esteemed dads, what do you hope that people with disabilities take away from this episode? And what do you hope that people who have yet To discover or enrage their disabilities, take away from their jeopardy. Kat Stratford: You should go first because I'm going to be wordy with it. I should go first? Yeah. Heath Butrum: All right.[01:05:00] I mean, I mean, I, I would even, even hearkening back to the previous question, I think one thing I was going to highlight is, is, you know, I'll always nurture the relationships around you, you know, thinking, thinking to the previous question, this question, both, you know, with being a self advocate, if you know, if you're a disabled person or someone discovering hasn't yet discovered their disability. Um, just always, always try to invest time and effort in, in the people around you. Um, because, you know, when you're going through the ups and downs, and I mean, even if you look at the previous interviews that, that Kat's done and the last one that we did together, you, you can hear a lot of the ups and downs. And, and, and we get to this point where we can, where we can joke and play around the entire time. And part of that is, Is, is just really investing the time and the effort and the strength of a strong network around Kat Stratford: us, I think. Yeah, I like that. Um, and, you know, when it comes to like what people take away from this, [01:06:00] if they are watching it, I hope that they take away the knowledge that it's allergy season and that's why I'm blowing my nose so much. Um, but like, but in, in seriousness, um, for, for people who are disabled, who are listening or watching. Um, I, you know, when I first began to lose my hearing when I first developed like this really debilitating condition that made it so that like, there are days when I can't walk and there are days when I'm just so sick. Um, and I felt like. I really couldn't keep going. Um, I hope that people take away from this podcast, just in general, that they, they can, and they should. And I hope that people do keep going. And I hope that people who have, who are living with disabilities know that they are heroes. And, you know, when it comes to relationships, which I think is something that we talk a lot about on this podcast when we're on anyways. Um, Is, uh, [01:07:00] you know, when I also, when I became disabled, I found myself having a lot of resentment towards people who are fully abled, because, you know, when you lose your hearing, there's such a, that loss of communication can make you feel so lonely and isolated. I lost friends. I had people just like straight up, I lost friends and family. People just stop talking to you when you can't hear them anymore. And they don't make an effort to Accommodate what you need. Um, and it, it can be just heartbreaking and, you know, it, it's really challenging. And so I hope what people take away when they look at me dating this like full over here. Um, I hope that people know that like, Not every abled person is, you know, ableist and not every abled person is going to treat us so differently. There are, we are at the end [01:08:00] of the day, all human and we're all here and we're all just trying to make it. And so I hope that people, you know, See our relationship and realize that like love can transcend those disabilities. And I hope that people with, who are fully able to are watching this, see that too. Like take a chance on somebody who, who is disabled, you know, so many of my friends who are deaf or disabled are on, on the dating apps and are frustrated because as soon as. The person they're talking to on the apps finds out that they have a disability. Um, that person sometimes is just ready to check out. They're like, I'm sorry, that's a deal breaker for me. I'm not going to learn sign language. I'm not going to learn how to like sort through all of that. Um, it's too much of a challenge for me. I hope that abled people watching or listening to this see that like, we're actually a pretty cool [01:09:00] and we are full humans and we are capable of. Just outstanding, true love. And that's what I hope people get from it, I guess. Heath Butrum: And I can say it is definitely worth taking a chance. Wow. You were so thirsty for me. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Well, you both are in Arizona, so we should all be thirsty. Oh, wait. Anyway, Kat Stratford: stay hydrated, friends. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Yes, stay hydrated. So, the last question I have for myself because let's do something new is Magic 8 Ball. Can I ever make fun, enough fun of Heep? Heath Butrum: Oh my goodness. Kat Stratford: I'm so excited. Let's do it. [01:10:00] We're like both leading in. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Do you want to know the answer? Yes. Find out next time on Oh! Only Heath Butrum: Cliffhanger! Great ending. We'll Kat Stratford: see you next season, Deaconcini. Keith Murfee-DeConcini: Love you both. Take care. Love you. Bye.

Other Episodes

Episode 0

January 07, 2024 00:54:51
Episode Cover

Disability Rights With Andy Imparato

Andrew J. “Andy” Imparato began work in February of 2020 as the Executive Director of Disability Rights California (DRC) after a high-impact 26-year career...

Listen

Episode 0

July 23, 2022 01:29:33
Episode Cover

Episode 7 with Kyle Lininger

Kyle Lininger is Vice President of Clinical Integration at Intermountain Centers. Concentrated areas of interest presently are public policy, non-profit management, behavior systems analysis,...

Listen

Episode 0

January 15, 2023 01:06:30
Episode Cover

S2 Episode 9 with Dr. Gabrielle Ficchi

Dr. Gabrielle Ficchi is a licensed therapist and certified rehabilitation counselor. Gabrielle has 10 years of counseling experience.  As a counselor, her specialty focuses...

Listen