July 8, 2018

October 23, 2015

What's Been Stuck in My Throat

Mostly, it would come out of nowhere. The keys would fly into the wall. Glass would shatter. Everyone would assume the position. The cat would run under the bed. I'd cower. He'd yell until he.. couldn't yell anymore.

We were on our way to have dinner with some friends and we were running late. Probably my fault as usual which only added to the tension. He hated that I made us late. I got a text from my friends that they decided to eat while waiting for us so the food wouldn't get cold but that there'd still be food for us. He couldn't believe they started. He grew angrier and angrier, repeatedly slammed his fists onto the console. He didn't stop until he punched the passenger air vent into the dashboard. We arrived at our destination but remained in the car so my tears could dry and he could calm down.

I'd never know where the anger would be directed. At an inanimate object. At the cat. At me. He begged me to not tell family or friends about what he'd say or do to me.

We almost lost friends a few times. Once after a bar fight he instigated. Another after he was upset his glasses got twisted from a wrestling match with a friend. They couldn't be around his angry outbursts- wives were scared, their future children couldn't be around it. He'd profusely apologize and charm them into sticking around. Those friends would be in *both* his wedding parties.

Scars are everywhere. Cracks in vases that were in the path of his chosen projectile. Broken air vents in my car from his fists. Flinching whenever someone around me starts to lose their temper.

Did he hit me? No. Grabbing me when he didn't like what I say, sure. Calling me cunt when I fought back, yes. Threatening to get me fired, absolutely.

It took my friend asking me, "Katherine, do you think you're in an abusive relationship?" for me to realize that abuse is more than with fists. It's with words, with money, with control.

It is NOT ok for your partner to call you names.

It is NOT ok for your partner to hold authority over you.

It is NOT ok for people to talk you out of getting a restraining order because it will hurt the person who violates you.

Abuse is NEVER deserved.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
YWCA Schenectady

September 3, 2014

Fakin' It

People have told me I have a nice smile- genuine and warm. I'm always very flattered, grateful, and appreciative. My parents spent a lot of energy and money on braces and orthodontia work so you bet your ass I'm still sleeping in a retainer. Got to keep my moneymaker in tip-top shape, amiright?

I'm at this party a few weeks ago and my girlfriends Brenda, Karla, and I were taking a selfie together (a togethfie? a threefie?) and another woman at the party offered to take our picture for us. We were thrilled to have a chance at a better picture so we accepted her offer. Brenda showed her how to use the iPhone to take pictures and the woman takes one or two before she says, "No. This is no good. Those smiles are fake. Smile like you mean it."


It was hard to hide our reactions. None of us had ever been told that before. Lucky for us, the woman didn't stop taking pictures during this entire exchange. I'm just gonna put these here.

I can't even be insulted because she gave me the gift that is that collection. The selfie/togethie/threefie wasn't even bad in the first place. But I am so so so glad it didn't stop there.

July 5, 2014

This is Epic in Length but Succinct in Scope

You guys, I hit a lady in a wheelchair with my car. Really though. It was March 19th, 2013. A Tuesday. The last day of the year to receive any snow- two inches overnight.

I was turning left just as the light was changing from yellow to red. No big deal but I saw a cop on my right waiting to go straight through the light once his side turned green. I glanced in my rear view mirror to watch the cop, looked back in front of me and BOOM! Like magic, a woman in a power wheelchair is RIGHT. IN. FRONT. OF. ME. She slipped between the cars waiting to go through the light and I didn't see her at all when I was turning. Like a motorized bullet, she appeared immediately.

There was nowhere I could go. The snow made it hard to slam on the brakes- I could slide into oncoming traffic or more directly into wheelchair woman. If I turned away from her I would turn directly into oncoming traffic and cause an even bigger accident. All I could do was brake as deftly as possible and turn just enough that I wouldn't hit her head on. When I braked and turned just a little to the left, I popped her right on the back of her chair. And down she went. Hands flying. Into the snow.

Yeah, her face looked like that.

I pull ahead and over to get out of the way of ALL THE ONCOMING TRAFFIC THAT WATCHED ME HIT A WOMAN IN A FUCKING WHEELCHAIR. And yes, morning rush may be small in Schenectady, but it exists. I run back and there were already three cars of people that stopped to help this woman, screaming "Oh my God!" and similar exclamations, and were already discussing who would call 911. BTW, the cop car that made me look behind me? Gone, nowhere to be seen. Me and another guy get the wheelchair upright, out of the snow, and try to move it off the side of the street BUT OH WAIT! I knocked the motor clear off the chair and we have to push and pull that thing just to get it two feet from where it was. Someone helped the woman up, and she WALKED OVER TO HER WHEELCHAIR. You see, she can walk. She has the wheelchair for back pain.

Once she's in the chair, no open wounds are found, and she's coming out of the shock but she's ok to the layman's eye, some people leave to go on their way. Two ladies find out that the woman lives in the apartment building for seniors right on the corner and that her husband is home so they go to get him. No 911 responders have shown up yet so the guy and I are left with the woman. We're asking if she's okay, if there's anything we can do, and as she reaches into her coat she says, "I need to get rid of something. My husband can't know." I'm like, what the fuck is she getting? I'm thinking drugs... pills...? Nope, the woman is an alcoholic and she was on her way to ditch the vodka bottle that she housed the night before.

Come on! I hit a woman with my car, disable her wheelchair, and blow up her spot. The most compassionate thing was for me to take the liquor bottle for her. And put it in my car. On the passenger seat. Because that's the logical thing to do.

A police officer finally shows up. Asks me what happened and for my license and registration. He follows me to my car to assess the damage to my bumper. As he's checking out the car, I open my passenger door and oh shit! Immediately, I dump everything in my glove compartment to cover the EMPTY LIQUOR BOTTLE I WAS HIDING FOR THE WOMAN, find my registration and ID, and hand it over.

At this point the woman has gotten her hands on a cigarette and found her nerves. "SHE HIT ME! I was minding my own business." The police officer was having none of that. Judging the puncture wound on my bumper they knew I wasn't going very fast, judging the snow falling they knew visibility was bad, and judging the fact that she wasn't in the crosswalk they knew she was as at fault as I was. 

Her husband shows up in his pajamas. He's waving his cane and yelling "You're going to the hospital!""I don't need to go to the hospital!" "Yes you DO!" Etc, etc. And once the ambulance arrives, they load her in and her husband climbs in with her. She's adamant that I hit HER and she did nothing wrong all the way to the hospital. (I assume. I wasn't in the ambulance.)

I feel horrible.

The police officer takes the witness statements from the two women who ran to get the husband. Before they leave, they ask if I'm okay and tell me there was nothing I could have done. No matter how fast I was going, not matter where I was looking, I was going to collide with that wheelchair. What lovely ladies. We should be friends.

I don't get a ticket. I do get an incident report for my insurance agent. The officer was really nice and right as he hands me the report, I start to crack. I was able to keep it together the whole time until I get in the car in the silence. I decide to call my dad. 

He can't understand a thing I'm saying through my ugly crying and he's like, "You need to stop and breath. Are you physically harmed?" No. "Is someone else physically harmed." I don't know. *sob sob sob* There's nothing he can do for me as he lives in South Carolina but he's great in emergencies and for talking sense into an otherwise inconsolable wheelchair taker-outer. He reminded me that I didn't do it on purpose, that of course I'm upset at the possibility of hurting another person, but that all I can do is breathe and hope for the best.

I got my shit together and went to work where I proceeded to cry every time I told someone what happened while they proceeded to laugh. It's okay. The whole thing is ridiculous. I've also gotten really good at telling it, too. This story is my friend Jill's favorite and my book club members demand I tell people who've never heard the story before.

KATHERINE! Why did you wait this long to tell us!? Well, guys- I was waiting until I got a letter from my insurance company that told me no claim was going to be filed against me or nothing was going to be pursued, I don't know. Whatever that is in insurance company talk. And I got that letter a week or so ago. The woman is okay, she probably got a new wheelchair (I hope so anyway, the motor was held on with tape for crying out loud) and hopefully she stopped drinking. It's not likely, but I can hope something good came from this. Besides giving me a great story to tell at parties, that is.

April 18, 2014

Can A Woman Get a Break?

Since Halloween I've had adhesive capsulitis in my right shoulder. Otherwise known as frozen shoulder. It's the fucking pits. And yes, Dad, it's real.

My shoulder was acting really weird and painful for a few weeks when I was ordered by my doctor to pretty much stop moving so I could heal from some random ass back injury. I pulled a back muscle  twisting from the waist (God, I feel so fucking old typing that.) and my doctor said no twisting or USING MY BACK for six weeks, gave me horse pill ibuprofen and muscle relaxers. I thought, well at least since I can't do anything for six weeks (and that included not standing up straight for about two weeks) and I'm taking all this anti-inflammatory shit- my shoulder should be fine when I can start working out again.

Here comes Christmas. All of a sudden I can't put weight on my right hand without my arm shaking. I can't put my right hand behind my back. I wake up at night from pain. It hurts when I'm not moving and if I were to do anything with my right arm pain shoots from my shoulder socket down to my wrist. Seriously uncomfortable. Downright painful. THE WORST.

I go back to the doctor. She orders an MRI. I get one. Results come in. I'm told I have a tear. I freak out. I cry a bunch. What does this mean? I make an appointment with an orthopedist shoulder dude. He's kind of a dick. He tells me about this frozen shoulder thing. Tells me I have to go to physical therapy two to three times a week for six weeks and that I CAN'T DO ANY EXERCISE THAT USES MY ARMS. Makes a follow-up appointment. I hate this guy.

Six weeks later I still can't use my arm. It hurts and I can't actually do anything. I thought I'd try a plank move to work on my core last week and because my arm can't support me, I flopped around like a mermaid trying to use an exercise ball. My physical therapist says I can do the elliptical and run. Ok. Fine. The only problem is- my schedule only allows for morning workouts. But because I can't sleep without waking from pain and I wake up in pain, the last thing I want to do is move let alone workout.

It is getting better, though. I've had some relatively pain-free mornings lately so I've started running again a little. But I think my liver is done with the 2400 milligrams of ibuprofen a day. I know I'm done with the not sleeping. I'm just done.

All of the harrumphing aside progress is progress. But I still can't strap my bra in the back. That's my final goal.

January 13, 2014

Episode 4 is Finally Here!

I know I said Episode 4/Part 2 of the interview with The Fold Productions would be up soon two months ago but it took a little while to be edited and stuff. I'm not the editor and the editor edits many shows. I'm trying to learn how to do it myself and our show can be more self-reliant so that may happen some time this year. Don't hold your breath for that. But you can hold your breath for Episode 4 because you can play it right now!! We review Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

We've also set up a Movie Q channel so you can subscribe to it and see all of our episodes, (we're having some technical difficulties in getting them loaded- never use Mega.com) stand alone interviews and the panel discussions we'll have from QFEST, which is coming up at the end of February. Holy crap, it's already been a year since I first took over the festival. Yeesh!!

January 12, 2014

Poppin' Tunes

These days I've been playing the same albums in loops in different places. Like, one cd is being played to death in my car, another in my kitchen, another at work and yet another in my main-room player. No one album gets more play than others. I listen to a lot of Pandora at my desk- find some awesome stuff that way. And I'm shocked I haven't had an incident using Spotify in my car... I mean, at stop lights.

In my car:
Arcade Fire, Reflektor

The title track, "Reflektor"
So this album is actually a double album. I didn't know that when I bought it and the case consists of sleeves. I was in my car, at a red light- like, really- and quickly grabbed a disc and put it in the player. It was a short little playlist and I made it all the way through before I realized the title track didn't play. I was like, "Uh..... what CD did I buy?" At the next red light, I discovered the other CD that started with "Reflektor." So, there's that. Anyway. This album is great. The last album they made was a great concept album and had a unified theme and sound. This album seems to be more experimental. Some of the tracks are throwbacks to the early Manchester, UK music scene- of which I am a HUGE fan. The bass line is reminiscent of Joy Division and early New Order and I totally TOTALLY dig it.

In my kitchen:
Kings of Leon, Mechanical Bull

"Wait for Me"
I still haven't made my way through this album. I'm not in the kitchen long enough to make it all the way through. I'm that fast with the cooking these days, y'all. And instead of picking up where I've left off I start over each time so I've only heard the first eight songs off of it. Regardless, I like it. I love Caleb Followill and his songwriting skills. Like woah.

At my desk:
TV On the Radio, Dear Science
Track #3 "Dancing Choose"
This is probs my favorite track on this album but luckily you can stream the whole thing on the YouTubes. I think there's only one song I can do without on the album but on the whole, this whole thing is amazing. I saw these guys live about six years ago on a side stage at a local music festival. They should've been on the MainStage. The whole audience dug them and they rocked out like they were actually on the MainStage. See them live if you can. Fo' reals.

In my main squeeze CD player:
HAIM, Days Gone By
"Falling" Just ignore the lame video concept and like the song.
No, that's not Amy Grant or her daughters. I first heard this band and thought Amy Grant started releasing pop songs with her song writing team from the 90s. I was perplexed but excited. Instead it turned out to be a trio of sisters who are killing it. Like, these chicks are recalling retro late eighties and early nineties pop tunes but with a contemporary edge. I like to pick out my outfits, style my hair and do my make-up listening to this album. I feel a feminine power and wear blood-red lipstick while I bop around in my underwear.

What have you been listening to? I'll soon post some amazing musicians I found thanks to Spotify and my local non-profit radio station. Seriously, live-stream this shit: WEXT 97.7.

November 21, 2013

I'm All Up in Media!

Hey, heeeeeey!! Here's episode 3, y'all! I get to catch up and interview my friends from my previous Cali post, Barbara and Becca. Part 2 of the interview will be soon!

Aren't my friends awesome!?

And, here's my blog at the Times Union, Albany's newspaper. Read it. It's some pretty moving shit.