April 29, 2009

Incident Free Since December. Or So I Thought.

Last night Mike and I decided to catch the show at the theatre where I work part time. I've sooo been looking forward to this show- it's written by a playwright I very much enjoy. I wore a dress and used a real purse instead of my bag. I even wore new dangly earrings. Mike and I were excited for a little date night.

We get to the theatre with plenty of time. I even point out a real, valid parking space! I say hi to all my friends and we got to our seats with plenty of time. This never happens! The night is good. We're watching the show laughing and holding hands. I shift in my seat, re: dress, and all of a sudden I am smacked in the face with the smell of urine. I'm thinking to myself that there is no way I'm smelling piss. I shift again to check- afraid it's me (why would it be me?) and still smell it. I wonder if an old theatre patron couldn't help himself and peed on the seat at a previous show and I was sitting in his dry urine crystals. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it were true- most of our patrons are OLD. But I would have heard of the peeing man. Then I get an idea to smell my purse since it was the only new item in my ensemble from earlier in the day. OH MY GOD MY PURSE SMELLED LIKE PISS. More specifically CAT PISS. MY PURSE SMELLED LIKE CAT PISS AND I DIDN'T NOTICE IT FOR AN HOUR. What is the matter with me? More importantly WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH MY CAT?

We're leaving the play and I ask Mike to smell my purse to make sure I'm not losing my mind. He refuses so I accept the fact that I WORE A PURSE SPRAYED WITH CAT PISS. AND I CAN'T STOP YELLING ABOUT IT. Here's the strangest thing about the piss purse- it was hanging from the top of the closet door where it always hangs. For the life of me I cannot figure out when or how the cat got her girlbits on my effing purse. It wasn't right before we left because the purse wasn't wet and nothing in the purse smelled. What the hell? So now I'll wash it, move on and pray it never happens again. I simply hope it was my cat's piss and not some cat at a friend's house. That would just be gross.

April 28, 2009

Pantsless Two Days Running

I hardly ever wear dresses or skirts casually. I never really did- much to Mother's chagrin. I just wasn't into them when I was a child. I kind of got into them in high school but only in the winter so I could wear them with tights. My biggest problem with skirts is the fact that should I wear them, especially in summer with the potential to sweat so great, I will inevitably create a fire in my crotch with the chafing I experience. Such bad chafing!! Like, need to ice my skin bad. This was a huge problem when I was fat- even when I wore tights because sometimes the crotch of the tights would make everything worse since it somehow always wound up closer to my knees than my vagina, introducing a whole slew of new problems.

Well, since I've kept my weight down and we've had an 80+ degree heat wave in Albany for the past few days I went out on a lark and wore a skirt yesterday. It wasn't that bad. In fact I'd say it was great! So great I wore a dress today. I help keep the skin on skin stickiness down by sitting with my legs wide open under my desk and at home. Mike loves it. Also, the distance between work and home is the perfect distance. Right when I start to get overheated I'm where I need to be and once I'm there, my feet are in the invisible gyno stirrups giving my crotch a breath of fresh air.

This is exciting because it's fun to wear skirts. I feel like I'm putting a little more effort into the way I look and that always makes me feel better about myself. I'm actually a little sad that the temperatures will be back to seasonally appropriate tomorrow and the skirts will have to wait. But now I can buy more skirts for later! And have many more cute ensembles! What girl doesn't like new ensembles? I never knew I could exist so comfortably in a skirt. And let me tell you, 40 fewer pounds really helps with the whole brush fire in my pants, if you catch my drift. And I think you do.

April 27, 2009

Thank You for Being a Role Model

Whenever I hear a name I like I share it with Michael in the hopes that he will like it as well and we will name our children whatever fabulous name strikes me. I like names like Matilda, Henry, Simon and Beatrice. Mike does not. Mike tests the names with the question, will our children get beaten up on the playground because of the name? I think that's a lousy test. Our children will be just fine, mmkay? If they are made fun of it will have nothing to do with their names. Their names will be an afterthought when classmates notice the braces and thick glasses. But I digress. One name in particular that I will not let go of is Beatrice. I think Beatrice is a lovely, musical name. It brings to my mind a timeless beauty. Mike does not agree.

My argument for the name Beatrice is pretty much based solely one of my idols- Bea Arthur. People say Beatrice is a name that lacks humor. I point to Bea Arthur. Arthur is best known for her sharp witticisms and one liners and according to Rue McClahanan, Arthur knew how to tell a dirty joke. People say Beatrice is a name that lacks strength and character. I point to Bea Arthur. Arthur didn't achieve television fame until she was 50 years old and before then she was a Tony winning stage actress. And she was one of the first women marines- she volunteered as a medic in WWII. People say Beatrice is a name of a dead era. I point to Bea Arthur. As the eponymous character in her show Maude, Arthur tackled incredibly taboo and progressive subjects on national television such as abortion (her show was the first on prime time television to do so) and as the irascible Dorothy Zbornak on Golden Girls she tackled previously untouched topics like menopause and homosexuality. (She received hate mail for the topics on Maude so the woman had balls.)

I idolize Bea Arthur for all of the above and more. Unlike Designing Women star Dixie Carter, Arthur really supported the same causes as her characters. She rooted for the underdog and why wouldn't she? She was a 5' 10" lounge singer with a scratchy voice who later achieved stardom. She was active with AIDS charities and AIDS awareness. She was a staunch feminist. She believed in equality. She was old. She was just awesome. She's the grandmother I always wanted. May she rest in peace. Bea Arthur, I already miss you.

Bea Arthur 1922-2009

April 23, 2009

A Haiku

Dear pool at the Y
Your length and depth comfort me,
but hairballs must go.

April 22, 2009

I'd Be All, Say What Now?

Last night TLC had a marathon of their show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. I was only able to catch five minutes of it because after this girl gave birth to her son in a Burger King toilet Mike insisted I turn it off. I complied because according to the recounts there was blood everywhere, like buckets, and I was starting to get the willies. I was able to catch a blurb where the voice over told us she had a period every month, she gained only ten pounds, and she had no nausea or other pregnancy symptoms. NONE. She really had no reason to think she was knocked up. At least until the kid fell out of her vagina. Boom! Or rather, Splat! She's a mom.

That poor girl. Yeah, she was dumb for having unprotected sex but can you imagine the immediate, totally oppressive responsibility and alienation she must've felt? I mean after she came to? It must be like Alien when the alien pops out of John Hurt's belly only it was popping out of her vagina. I would not be okay if that happened to me. But then I started thinking... how awesome! Aside from being totally unprepared for labor and the impending doom of having someone rely on you for the rest of your life, she had a perfect pregnancy! Only a ten pound gain? No morning sickness? No gas? A healthy-ish baby? Amazing! A freaking miracle. I could only be so lucky.

But I am not jealous by any stretch. Believe it or not, my goal is not to have the child in a fast food joint. Besides, my clock is not ticking. I don't think my ovaries are husks (unlike other people.) Friends of mine have little bubbas and I am not jealous. But man, I LOVE BABIES. I think I love them as much as Angelina Jolie loves collecting them. I just want to eat them up they are soooo cute. Cute, but equally terrifying. I don't know what I find the most terrifying about having children- the responsibility, what it will do to my marriage, what it will do to the already orbit-inducing size of my ass, or what it will do for my self image. I just don't know.

I think about this a lot. It's not like I need to. I'm not pregnant. Let me repeat that- I AM NOT PREGNANT. I just like philosophizing about parenthood. Am I going to be a suffocatingly emotionally needy mother? Am I going to be cold towards my children? Will I maintain my sense of self? Will my sense of self revolve around my child? Will my children have red hair? Will I know how to relate to them if they are nothing like me? Will I be Debbie Reynolds in Mother and resent my first born for ruining any unfulfilled dreams? I know no one has this shit figured out even when their kids are having kids. But I worry that I won't be able to accept what parenthood will do to me. Or my ass.

If I went to the doctor tomorrow and they were like, oh you have a pea in your pod, I would turn my head and puke and cry out of fear and frustration. But then I would buck up and be fine. Maybe even a little excited. I would fight tooth and nail with Mike over baby names and come to terms that I will probably never own my home. I have to accept that my dreams may change more quickly than I would like. The woman on that show had no time to think about these things. People usually have on average nine months to come to terms with the life-altering changes and this girl had nothing. Maybe that's the most terrifying thing of all about that show. Not the blood but the total lack of emotional preparation. In that respect, I will be the lucky one.

April 20, 2009

All I Need is a Projector and a Basement

My mother was in rare form this vacation. She didn't talk about the divorce directly but she sure made it sound like she doesn't really want me to get married. Make up your mind, woman! So I will leave it at that for now. In lieu of awesome Mom and Bob stories, please enjoy pictures of Bahamian flora and fauna.

This guy was trying to eat the turtles!

Like the Sound of a Lover's Voice

In the seventh grade I listened to any music I could get my hands on. Mind you this was limited in the pre-Internet Upper Michigan. I was pretty much confined to Top 40 radio (Shadoe Stevens has a special place in my heart) and music television. But I absorbed all I could. I watched VH1, BET, MTV, and CMT for hours. HOURS. I like most kinds of music so this is no stretch, but I am not known to like country music. I cringe when it finds its way onto my car radio. I just do not like country music on the whole. I do not like it in a train, I do not like it on a plane. I do not like it. What annoys me the most is the really "American" country music. You know, Toby Keith (I'd like to see you try and put a boot up someone's ass, dude) and Kenny Chesney stuff. I hate that they are proud of their machismo and ignorance. (I make the same argument about rap music and misogyny.) But I went through a phase where I watched CMT all the time. Luckily every now and then there was bluegrass, folk or alt country videos. These were sounds under the country umbrella that I could get behind. I find these sub-genres more of an art form than others. Here are three artists that I really, very much enjoy.

Kathleen Edwards, "Six O'Clock News" 2003

Kathleen Edwards, "Back To Me" 2005

Gillian Welch, "Elvis Presley Blues" 2001

Alison Krauss and Union Station, "Let Me Touch You For Awhile" 2001

If you like these I suggest you check out the soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou? if you haven't already done so. Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch are on the soundtrack. I find the craftsmanship in the music just remarkable. The story telling in folk and bluegrass is unlike any other kind of lyrical music. It calms me and lets my mind wander to a better, more peaceful place. It's wonderful.

Things Mentally Healthy People Don't Think About

Whenever I'm taking off or landing in a plane, the two most critical moments, I think about the various ways we can crash and burn. Would I die in a fire? Would I get out alive but be paralyzed? Would I still be attached to my seat? Are these the people who will see me last? Then my heart breaks when I think of Mike being alone.

I wonder what kind of cancer I'm going to have. I'm convinced my breasts are going to kill me. My tiny lady lumps of death. Will it be a bump or invasive? Will I lose my hair? Would Mike shave his head in solidarity? Would I lose weight or get really effing fat?

The cat trips me all the time. Luckily I catch myself but that doesn't stop me thinking about the ways I can fall into the counter and break something. Also, I don't have any stairs in my home- what about stairs? The cat is going to trip me at the top of the stairs. I know it. How far I will fall? How will I land? Will I snap my neck or will I just break my teeth? Will I pee myself when I break my neck?

When I slip in the shower will I grab the curtain so no one finds me naked?

April 11, 2009

I Can't Come to the Blog Right Now

I am going on a special vacation for a week. So special Mike will be in a perpetual rum induced haze. You see, this trip is with my mother and her man-friend. That's why it's special. Check out the archives. I'll make it up to you.

Grammar is the Spanish to My Language Fly

I am incredibly disappointed in my collegiate Alma mater these days. First of all, known girlfriend beater Chris Brown stopped by to play some basketball in the college gym. Why? I don't know- it was totally random. What I do know is he was there and he was there during domestic violence awareness week. No one batted an eye. Women were posing with him for pictures left and right. No school officials took the opportunity to address the tremendous irony. He was just a celebrity to them. Everyone seemed to forget that he's a celebrity who beat his girlfriend.

Second of all this is the cover of my school's magazine:

Read the blurbie about the women in courage. Notice anything amiss? No? Well, it's time for another grammar quiz, boys and girls. Affect vs. effect. Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun. Want an incredibly easy way to remember that? A sound EFFECT is a thing. Now you have NO REASON to get that wrong ever again. Let's try, shall we?

1. With UMW degrees Afghan women aspire to affect change in their native land.

2. The appearance of a domestic abuser during DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS WEEK had no affect on the college community.

3. My favorite president visited UMW with Joe Biden whilst on the campaign trail. His policies are going to effect our nation for generations to come- good or bad.

So. Let's see how we all did. If you guessed #1 as correct, then you know the cover of the magazine was wrong, SO WRONG, and you know your grammar. As for #2, if this was your choice you are a lover of irony but not of grammar. If you guessed #3, you are WRONG and you need to refresh the lesson.

Full disclosure, the cover isn't REALLY wrong outright. There is an old rule that states that use as an exception. BUT THAT IS THE EXCEPTION NOT THE RULE!!!!!

I hope we all learned something here today. I know I did. My school needs to rethink its image...

April 8, 2009

I Demand to Win The Price is Right.

To Win the Price is Right. And win it big.
If I was holding hostages and I had an unreasonable demand? Hmmmmm. I can't decide between unlimited Chipotle followed by a bunch of laxatives so I could then eat more Chipotle or winning The Price is Right- but not with Drew Carey, with lecherous Bob Barker himself. How fabulous would it be to get Bob Barker to one more time remind America to spay and neuter their pets while he directs me to my new matching set of water skis, mahogany bedroom set, Mikasa dishware and RV? Pretty damn fabulous. Then again, there isn't a Chipotle for miles...

But I Wouldn't Throw My Bra at Any of Them

Not since Oasis have I been so into a band that I bought all the music by them that I could. And even then it was partially hormonally driven because I was TOTALLY going to marry the Gallagher brothers. I couldn't figure out which one I was going to marry first and how I was going to orchestrate the other but I was going to do it eventually. Well, I guess I outgrew them in college or something and I've found bands I really really enjoy, like Broken Social Scene, since then but no band that I've taken such an instant liking to like I did the two totally unrelated bands- Phantogram and Phoenix.

Phantogram is a local band that used to be known as Charlie Everywhere. Since they were signed to a British music label had to change the name to be something less offensive to the Asian population. Now the boy/girl duo from Saratoga Springs are known Phantogram and they have a five song EP out that I've been listening to over and over again since some friends of mine and I randomly checked out a show of theirs one Saturday night. I listened to almost nothing but those five songs until I watched Saturday Night Live last week and saw Phoenix for the first time. I LOVED what they played and Mike and I couldn't figure out why we hadn't heard of them yet. He and I only listen to local, indie radio that goes out on a limb and plays lesser known artists such as Phoenix and we hadn't heard of them. So he did what he did best- hit the Internet and I did what I do best (no not that)- I went to iTunes and impulsively bought some stuff of theirs. Well, I loved what I heard so much I bought their entire catalogue.

You probably won't fall for these bands like I did. I mean, I am totally obsessed musically. Unlike other musical obsessions I don't want to be anyone's friend or lover. My how I've grown up! I just adore the singable melodies played over the synthpop of Phantogram and the funky indie totally danceable rock of Phoenix. Anywhoodle, here's some samples. There will be more of Phoenix simply because there is more.

Phantogram, "Mouthful of Diamonds"

Phoenix, "1901"

Phoenix, "If I Ever Feel Better"

I love Phoenix's inherent Frenchness. Man! I love it when I find new stuff that breathes life into my collection! Ohhh la la indeed.

April 6, 2009

And I'm Just Your Type

Mike and I are trying to plan a wedding for under $10,000. We would both love for it to be a smaller budget but considering our guest list is a pretty solid 160 people and we have to feed said people a reasonable amount of food, our budget must remain as such. (I am totally counting Barack and Michelle Obama in that number because I am SO inviting them even though I know they won't come but wouldn't it be super cool to have something with the president's stamped signature on it in lieu of attendance? Maybe Michelle will send a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a hand written note about how lovely it was for us to think of them but they must politely decline because they will be feeding starving children in Moldova for the weekend. How thoughtful of her. I'm sure she'll look fabulous no matter where she is. Gosh, I think she's sooo pretty.)

I've been looking at recommended blogs that share the goal of having a fun, inexpensive wedding that shows the couple's individual style. I've already gotten some fantastic ideas from these:

A Practical Wedding

2000 Dollar Wedding

Ten Thousand Only

Once Wed

I've gotten great ideas for all kinds of things. We'll see if we can do it and we're very confident we can. I love $2000 Wedding the most because though our budget is $10,000, I aim for lower. No matter, these sites fit the attitude I have to planning the wedding. And so far Mike's been on board with everything I've proposed. Yay!

I just don't understand why people are okay with spending an AVERAGE of $24,000 on a wedding and reception. I'm not saying that spending that kind of money makes you a bad person it just proves you have very different priorities. We have debt to pay and a house to someday buy and braces to put on the kids we want to have assuming I'm not sterile (really, my orthodontia work is something to behold.) Maybe these people are loaded or saved up for a wedding or just don't care to rack up more credit card debt. I'm not comfortable spending our current budget but we can't have a BBQ (we can but I don't think Mom liked that idea at all...) that we make ourselves for 160 people and the PRESIDENT AND HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE. We need to have something professionally done.

Anyway, I'll be posting some stuff I have planned if you're interested. Hell, even if you aren't interested this is my blog and I'll write what I want to. I'm very excited about what we have brewing but I won't let it dominate what goes on here. I think I've already proved that since I've been engaged for four months and hardly ever mentioned it. But I think you'll like what you see. I'm crafty.

April 3, 2009

Keeping It Real, Keeping It Fresh

There are some things I'm going to be trying with the blog. One of them is Plinky. I've been resistant to Twitter because I still just don't know about it (but I'm afraid curiosity is going to kill my cat eventually. There are some people I'd like to follow. I'll let you know.) Instead I thought this newer site Plinky would be really fun to try. Plinky started in January and it's a website of prompts that people question. Some of the answers others submit can be really thought provoking and some can be really mundane- just like anything else in this vast Internet. I'm trying it out to challenge myself to think differently. So far it's pretty neat. So you'll be seeing some shorter posts- but frequently- and you'll know why. But I'm not going to use Plinky in lieu of writing real posts, don't you worry your pretty little heads about it.

I Will Drop Hot Coffee on My Lap to Get These Songs Off the Radio

I'm sure I'll think of others more deserving of this title but these are totally worthy.

Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners

I think it's the video with the bad overalls. Being a visual person I can't shake the image from the song.

Uptown Girl by Billy Joel

This song makes me inexplicably nauseous. It must take me back to an unkown dark place in my childhood.

Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi

This song is too overrated. I reject its undeserved popularity.

April 2, 2009

My Name is Katherine and I'm a Triathlete

When someone asks you "what do you do?" how do you answer? Is it what you do to bring home a paycheck? Is it what you do to relieve stress? Is it what you do to bring yourself joy? It's incredibly easy to answer the common question "what do you do?" with what you do for a living. That doesn't need to be the case. My mentor once told me that what you do for a living doesn't define you. You chose what defines you.

A while back I was having a particularly difficult few years in my job. I would come home and shut myself off because I couldn't come out of the funk I was in every day. It took a while but I finally found a great way to help myself out of it- I practiced defining myself in other ways. It was really hard at first. Our society is such that we work more than we play and my generation is such that we choose careers that reflect our personalities. I grew up thinking I could be whatever I wanted to be because I liked so much stuff. I pictured being a ballerina because I love to dance, I pictured being an engineer because I am great with spatial math, or I pictured being an arts administrator because the arts make my soul sing. Currently I am in a job that reveals nothing about myself. I never expected to be here and I don't know how to make it work for myself.

So since I'm sort of stuck here professionally speaking, I'm trying new things elsewhere and putting myself out there more. I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined I would race in triathlons. Now I am a triathlete. I used to just as soon buy gifts but one day coworkers invited me to make some jewelry with beads. Now I make gifts for loved ones with my hands. I am happier now than I've been in a long time because I don't think of myself in terms of how I spend eight hours a day. Now I think of myself in terms of how I make the other time count.

We should all conduct an experiment. The next time we meet someone and that question comes up, we should answer with a hobby or a craft or a personality trait, even. "What do you do?" I race in triathlons. "So, what do you do?" Sometimes I like to collage. "What do you do?" I manage a winning fantasy football team. "What do you do?" I care. Try it and see what happens. Maybe you'll discover something new about yourself.