September 30, 2008

Robinson Rams Go!!

Thanks to the marvels of Facebook I found some old friends from high school and it turns out one of them lives literally down the street from me. My address is 762 and his is 439 or something. How neat!! We've hung out a few times and Mike met him yesterday. It's really nice to have people from my past in my life again. The oldest friend I have right now is from the 10th grade and I haven't seen her in years. There's an awesome tale about how I got the date for her wedding wrong by a week but that's another story for another day. The point is I don't seem to retain friends very well so it's really refreshing to have this "new" old friend around.

I didn't move as much as many other military brats did but I moved enough and at the perfect awkward phases of my life to make it difficult to maintain long distance friendships for a good period of time. Mike is friends with people from way back in 8th grade and it's sort of alien to me that they are still friends. I wonder how they didn't grow out or away from each other. But somehow they are still really great friends. I'm not so lucky. I don't know if it's something I did or if it's the nature of being a military kid but either way it's strange to feel so disconnected to my past. It's not like I dropped out of nowhere. I just seem to have no one to vouch for the younger Katherine.

Now it seems I have some people who can. And that feels really nice. It's even nicer that we don't talk about high school that much at all. We get along great for ten years of absence. This brief reunion has left me really excited for my ten year reunion which is in less than a year. I can remember who I was and trace how I became who I am. I'm not about reliving my high school successes- I'll leave that to my mother- but I am about reconnecting with great people who have nothing but fond memories attached to them. I really can't wait.

September 25, 2008

Post Script

I'm not just up and moving somewhere because I really love living here. I don't know if I mentioned that or not but I love where I live and with whom I live, pissing cat and all. It costs a lot of money to move and I'd probably be moving someone else with me. But if this shit continues, it may have to be an option. As of right now I don't want anyone telling me "if you don't like it you can move."

Just So We're Clear

I don't really want to be a librarian. I just picked that degree program because I could be a librarian and still live here. I don't like my job for many reasons but the point being is I need a new one. I can't find a job either in what I want or in anything else that seems interesting or has promise of advancement. I've cast my job search net wide and I'm sick of people telling me I need to look in new places. Believe me, I do. I've interviewed consistently for two years and I can't help but feel like there is something wrong with me. I make it down to the last three more often than not but it makes no difference. I don't get them anyway and most jobs I apply for aren't what I want anyway.

What I want is to be in arts administration. For those of you who don't know what that means, and it seems to me that no one does, arts administrators are the people who run theatres or galleries or concert halls. When I put it bluntly last night, and was scoffed at, I want to run a theatre. I really do. I want to make theatre accessible to people. I want to create an environment with creativity and expressiveness. Maybe I won't ever be an artistic director but I want to get close. That is what I want to do. And that hasn't been clearer to me since I got a part time job in a theatre box office. Every day I work there I am reminded of the importance of the arts in a community even if the only people who can afford to go right now are old crotchety biddies. My eight hour a week part time job as a ticket pusher is incredibly fulfilling. It reminds me that my degree in theatre was never worthless but that it's taught me how important community and culture are to people. I really really needed that reminder.

I've interviewed with arts groups in the region but I guess since I work where I work and don't have that much arts experience since being in college, I'm not what they are looking for. When I call to follow up I'm told I came really close to getting the position. I'd like to tell them where to stick their "really close." I still didn't get the job that I am more than capable of. I stay current with what is going on in theatre. I am always thinking of ways to reach out to groups or plays that would be challenging to people. It's always in my mind. It's a part of me.

The saddest thing about not being in the arts full time is that no one seems to understand that part of me and therefore doesn't really get me. I'm always asked to clarify what the fuck I'm talking about and my degree is a source of entertainment with my friends who have "real" degrees. Well I hope this helps answer it. I talk all the time about jobs that would be cool to have or careers that would be interesting but those are only ideas I have whenever I get desperate about my current employment situation. I just wish the people in my life understood that. Kiss my ass. My degree is useful. I am just having a really hard time using it.

No wonder I feel so alone.

September 23, 2008

My Little Shop of Joys

I have a dentist appointment tommorow morning and I couldn't be more excited about it. I've been waiting for this cleaning for six months! I love getting my teeth cleaned and it helps that I go to a great office- they are super nice, they send plenty of reminders (like I need them), they remember that Mike and I live together so they ask if he needs reminders while I'm there (which he does) and my hygenists remember all kinds of things about me. This will be great!

I just hope I don't have any cavities. Apparently I have teeth of steel because when I went this time last year the hygenist noticed a softening of my tooth and the dentist said that based on what my other teeth looked like I have nothing to worry about. I only have one cavity- I got it when my sealant cracked (talk about irony) and I had a panic attack when I was told. I take seriously good care of my teeth. I guess you could say, they are my true money makers. Forget my face- that has nothing on my teeth. They tell me each time how great my teeth are. Who wouldn't love that?

I admit I should floss more but I've been using toothpicks and flossing behind my retainer much more consistently. I think they like me because I am really cheerful when I show up. I bet they don't get that too often. I show up with a smile and leave with a grin. This is the perfect week for a pick-me-up. Who knew it would come from a man in a lab coat with his fist in my mouth?

September 22, 2008

Grammar is the Cheese to My Language Crackers

Yesterday as I walked home I was wondering if my grandmother feels the need to update me on my cousin's wonderful life because she thinks my cousin is better than me or because she has nothing better to say to me. Besides realizing I need to let what Grandma had to say go, I realized I was using incorrect grammar in my head and I had to set the record straight. Pronouns is today's lesson, folks.

Which of the following is correct?

1) My grandmother thinks my cousin is better than me because my cousin has two children and is taking all of her classes towards her degree online.

2) Mike says it doesn't matter why my grandmother tells me anything about my cousin. Besides, I'm not better than she, either.

3) Whenever my grandmother called my house she wouldn't say hello- she would say, "Theresa?" "This isn't Theresa, this is Katherine." "Can I please talk to Katherine?" "This is her."

4) Mike asked me if my brother makes better macaroni and cheese than him and I had to plead the 5th.

If you answered 1, you probably think I have issues- you would be right about that but be wrong about your grammar. If you answered 2, you probably agree with Mike and I can agree with you about your correct grammar. If you think 3, you realize my grandmother needs a lesson in manners and you need a lesson in how to answer the phone with correct grammar. If 4 is your answer, you probably know that Mike didn't really ask me that because he doesn't give a poop about it and you realize you don't give a poop about grammar.

Grammar students, don't worry- I'm seeing a very helpful therapist. But DO worry about your grammar health. The trick in remembering which pronoun to use is in adding the verb "to be" after the pronoun in question. (Except for the one about answering the phone "this is she," I never really remember the rule to that one. All I know is my 10th grade English teacher gave us some old grammar text books and answering the phone "this is she" was the only correct answer. But if you think about it, the verb "to be" does not create a direct object, prepositions do. So it's correct to say give the phone "to her" because of the preposition to but incorrect to say "this is her" because is doesn't change the pronoun's state from indirect to direct.) Does that make sense, class?

The correct answers are such:

1) My grandmother thinks my cousin is better than I (am) because my cousin has two children and is taking all of her classes towards her degree online.

2) Mike says it doesn't matter why my grandmother tells me anything about my cousin. Besides, I'm not better than she (is), either.

3) Whenever my grandmother called my house she wouldn't say hello- she would say, "Theresa?" "This isn't Theresa, this is Katherine." "Can I please talk to Katherine?" "This is she."

4) Mike asked me if my brother makes better macaroni and cheese than he (does) and I had to plead the 5th.

So, we all learned something here today. You all learned that I have issues while at the same time how to use pronouns a little better. I learned I need to get over my attitude towards my cousin and grandmother while I'm at it. Don't we all feel a little bit better?

September 21, 2008

I Really Do Care About Polar Bears

I am all about going green and saving energy and not using gas and blah blah. Really, I am. I ride the bus, I ride my bike, I combine trips, I unplug unused appliances, I walk, I recycle, and I buy local and organic. But I still feel responsible for the dying species of the planet. You see, I buy paper towels and I still drive my car. And when I want a tomato in the middle of winter I buy a tomato in the middle of winter. No matter how hard I'm trying to change my ways, I still feel guilty.

If you buy an organic kumquat, it does no good if the kumquat in question travels from Bolivia. The good done in buying organic is negated by the oil and pollution caused by getting the organic item to its final donation. But part of me wonders if it's not just all about organic. I feel like promoting organic farming, in any part of the world, will do good. If some poor farmer in Bolivia knows someone in America is buying his organic kumquats, then he will continue to use sustainable farming. It could be a domino affect, his neighbor sees him farming sustainably and still turning a profit so his neighbor decides she's going to farm sustainably. That is pretty great and I'm sure Bolivia needs the economic stimulation in their kumquat distribution. And as for the travelling fruit in question, it could come by train for all I know or other transportation that was coming here anyway. I don't buy kumquats so I focus on seasonal, locally grown produce. There is plenty of it. But like I said, if I want an apple in February, I'm getting the apple. A pleasure of living in 2008, and part of the reason we live so long, is that I can do that. I would be a very vitamin deficient lady come March if I had to stick to seasonal produce. But I feel like a villain whenever I buy a kiwi in December.

As for my outright use of oil and other petroleum based products (petroleum is EVERYWHERE) I travel publicly when I can and try not to waste trips. I hate getting in my car just to go to one place so I stock up my trips. But whenever I get in my car I feel like a jerk. I know I can take the bus to the grocery store but sometimes I need to take my car. I buy a lot of groceries and I don't want to be on the busiest bus line in Albany with five full and heavy, mind you reusable, grocery bags. Does that make me a jerk? Not really, but I still feel like one. It doesn't matter that I walk to work every day or walk to the store on light shopping days or take the bus to the dentist. Mike and I love our local restaurants and movie theatres, all things we can walk to. But sometimes I just want Panchos and that takes a car ride down Central Avenue. I have a year left of payments on my car- I'm not getting rid of it! Besides, we take my car on road trips since it's more fuel efficient. I'm trying here!

I'm all about sustainability. That's why I recycle and buy recycled paper products. I will never stop using paper towels- I may use them less, but I will use them. I will never stop using toilet paper- would you? So, all paper products we buy for the household is recycled. I still buy Clorox hand wipes but I found a bamboo, all natural disinfectant wipe and I'm going to switch over to that. My next step is biodegradable garbage bags and I'm trying to find a non-silicone litter that won't leave my cat peeing all over the apartment. Plus, when Mike and I get a house I am composting the shit out of my food waste- it will help me with my garden. I even use organic shampoo and make-up so I don't pollute the Hudson River! That thing is so full of toxic waste what harm is a little Herbal Essences going to do to it? (Not much but my endocrine system is really achy these days.)

The point is I'm trying and I will continue to try. I'm no Ed Begley, Jr. but I'm going to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. I don't know why whenever I use a paper towel I feel guilty. No one judges me when I buy them. The worst that could happen is the stupid teenage checkout kid who talks about hitting that ass last night noticing I buy a lot of organic and recycled shit and raising an eyebrow. I can forget that douche. I just can't shake this feeling of shame. Why? Will I feel like whatever I do will be enough?

September 19, 2008

Leave a Little Mystery

I don't know if it's self confidence or self delusion that empowers young women to wear leggings in lieu of pants. If it's self confidence, hand it over. If it's self delusion I have enough of that, thanks.

It seems there are two instances in which the leggings are worn 1) Out. 2) Lounging. I don't understand how the two are interchangeable. You have nice jeans and lounging jeans. You have nice dresses and lounging dresses. But the same pair of leggings suffice in a number of instances. And you can wear them with t-shirts or dresses. What versatile spandex!

Can you wear underwear with them? Are they designed to be un-underweared? I pull at my underwear enough when people can't see the outline. Imagine if you could see my ass dimples? I just don't know. What I do know is I don't ever want to be wearing them while I'm drunk and trying to pee. Who knows what will happen. I could successfully pull them down low enough to not pee on them but how well I will pull them back up? I could end up with a crotch between my knees or a crotch in my navel. ... Forget confidence or delusion. It's stupidity.

September 11, 2008

My Born Identity

When I initially lost fifty pounds I think it happened too fast for me to really appreciate what I accomplished. I never was one to watch my weight before I decided to lose a quarter of my body mass. One day I stepped on a scale and vowed never to see that number again. 

My first change was all in what I ate. I went into it with blinders on. I just put my head down and focused on cutting out the crap. My favorite snack, back when I was Fats O'Denial, used to be a package of Hostess Cupcakes, a Cherry Coke, and a large snack bag of Doritos. Telling people about that snack makes my stomach lurch. I don't ingest any of those things now. I don't think I've had even half of one of those cupcakes in four years and I don't miss them at all. I still eat cupcakes and cookies and chips. I just eat better versions of them not to mention fruits and veg and other fresh things.

But I have to say, the second change is the one most important to me. I became more physically active than I would have ever imagined. Holy shit! I raced in a triathlon this summer. Twice! If you told the Katherine of two years ago what she would accomplish, she would've scoffed and then pointed out her fatness. But now, I love lifting. I love running. I love pushing my limits. Since my first 5k I've started to feel like myself. With every physical milestone I feel more like myself than I've ever felt. I found an identity that was eluding me.

Flipping the fitness switch has made it possible for me to take off the blinders and look at the bigger picture of my weight loss. My whole body shifted. The time I've taken to not just lose weight but to be fit, has given me the opportunity to notice what is really different in myself. I see my muscles move, I can wear skirts in the summer and be comfortable longer than before, I run three miles without really thinking about it, I think about what I put in my body before or after I workout. All pretty awesome things.

I appreciate the weight loss this time for something bigger than wearing smaller pants. This time it opened the door to my new self, a new Katherine. I know I can do anything I set my mind to. I like knowing that. I love this new person I found in myself. I wonder if she was there all along.

September 8, 2008

I Loves Me Kitty

I don't think you may have picked up on how much I love obsess over my cat Fluffy. She is indeed very fluffy so her name is appropriate but I did not pick her name. The people who had her before my mother named her. Whenever Mike and I hear a commercial for cat food and they refer to how the generic "Fluffy" will love their product I think, "Oh how nice that they thought of my kitty when designing their product." I know they didn't but still- how thoughtful.

I sort of stumbled into my companionship with Fluffy. My mother makes friends everywhere she goes and this one story brings us to her hobby of garage sale-ing. She made quick friends with some people after she bought a mattress from them. I had been bugging her to get a cat for when she became an empty-nester and it turns out these folks needed to get rid of one of their FIVE cats before moving to Hawaii. How convenient! I say it was Fate. She got an IKEA mattress and a cat for a song. Sadly, a year later my mother developed terrible allergies to Fluffy. Not sadly, when I moved to Albany I planned on getting a kitty and I took Fluffy with me. Together we became Albanians.

I was unemployed for two months when I got here and when not going mad looking for a job I sat on my ass, gained twenty pounds and felt very alone. Fluffy was having none of that. We became best friends. It helped that I was the one who fed her and she just so happens to love food. But still, she always curled up with me on the couch and in bed. She let me pet her all I wanted. We were inseparable. We still kind of are. I miss her when I go on vacation and she misses me whenever I leave the apartment. Turns out she meows at the door for something like ten minutes whenever I leave. It doesn't matter that Mike is there to keep her company. I'm her buddy.

Being very fluffy there is a lot of maintenance. I'm sure her hair is enough to add two pounds to her. She won't let me comb her hair and instead she pulls chunks of hair out all the freaking time and leaves them all over the carpet. Thanks you little poop. Well, this summer I had it with the fur. We were leaving for a long vacation and I wanted to turn the air conditioners up to save money. I figured she was looking mangy and I didn't want her to be hot so I decided (along with the generosity of my mother) to get her hair cut again. She looks like a lion crossed with Puss'n'boots. Super bitchin'.

Mike hates her haircut but boy, I love it. He has a few valid points- it's expensive and she doesn't look like herself. I know, I know. But man, is she cute. Besides, when her hair is short she seems happier, spunkier, and much more likely to cuddle with me in the summer. My little buddy.

September 4, 2008

Hello Dear Friend

Ah, Autumn. You're almost here! I noticed the leaves and grass looking a little crunchy lately. I even noticed some red leaves during my last race. That meant you would soon be knocking on my door, aching for my autumn wreath to adorn our entryway, looking for my fall decor strategically placed around the apartment. Don't worry Autumn, it'll all be up on your Equinox- the first day of the best season of the whole year. You.

You bring my favorite colors in nature. Yellows, golds, reds, and even purples. My mom told me I was an Autumn. This was confirmed by the Mary Kay color wheel. We're soul mates, you and I. So many of my school portraits were designed with your color scheme in mind. Thanks to you, my eyes always popped in pictures- and out. Don't worry, just because I've added blues and greens to my wardrobe doesn't mean we can't still be friends.

We can finally go apple picking and abscond with nature's luscious bounty. I am full of anticipation for my Fujis and my Galas and my Macintoshes. I will make an apple pie just for you. I'll eat it of course- I won't let you spoil your girlish figure. While I'm there I'll make sure to pick up some pumpkins and pretend I'm going to carve scary faces into them. Don't worry, I won't forget the eggplants and squashes. I've been itching to finally cook some spaghetti squash. I'll eat some cider donuts and guzzle down some warm apple cider all the while listening to beautiful rustling leaves.

With you comes a quiet that I lack during Summer. This Summer was particularly busy. I hate to admit it but there's a little part of me that is glad it's over. Summer has so much free time that it gets filled to the brim. You bring a stability of a schedule. I love schedules. I used to love the school schedule that would come in the mail as the first hint of fall. I don't get that anymore but I still get you.

Sadly you will leave me as quickly as you came to me. I will miss you when that day happens. But until then, Autumn, I will relish every moment with you. Hello dear friend.

September 3, 2008

I Got Your Kidney Right Here

Last night was my last night of Kinoki footpads. Final result? Total crap.

They didn't work every night. Mike said maybe I was clean (I joked that maybe I've finally achieved organic-ness) but when I put pads on later to check they would turn black. So some nights detoxed other nights not detoxed. The way it worked out one foot is more detoxed than the other. I am lopsidedly detoxified. What bunk.

I'm very disappointed. I really wanted them to work. I'm all about detoxing. I really believe it's great for your body and mind to clear out the junk. We put a lot of bad things in our bodies and sometimes our bodies need help removing everything. I want my organs to be in tip top shape to be donated after I die. No matter how old I am. I am going to be the cleanest old bag around!! Want some liver? Here, have a chunk, it'll provide some pure plasma! Need a spleen? Have mine, your blood will be the cleanest in town! Want some corneas? You will see clearly now, the clouds have gone!

Maybe Kinoki did achieve something. I have been waking up a little more refreshed than usual. Or maybe I just want them to work so badly I'm unknowingly forcing myself to sleep more soundly. Who knows? But I do know that I need to get myself a massage and an herbal cleanse. Maybe some acupuncture for my digestive tract. I need to finish the job I started!