Thursday, July 21, 2011

why hello there

Oh Lord. Too busy. You'd think that by quitting one and a half jobs, I would have more time to do stuff like type on the computer. Not so. This weekend will be my first weekend home in over a month.


Now I can get to stuff like, making Mitch clean out the chicken coop. Or making Mitch mow the lawn. Or making Mitch turn the compost. Get to it!

Anyway, I had this revelation today. Grad school might not actually be worth the money.

Yeah uh-huh. See...when you have to take out like, $25K in student loans, and then you actually have to pay it back, you're in kind of a pickle. Especially if the degree only increases your earning potential by, say, $10K a year or something. You might think, "but it'll only take you 2.5 years to earn it back." You're cute. Taking into account the two years I took off to earn this degree (thereby not earning as much) and interest, it will take a little longer. Not to mention, I have suddenly rendered myself too expensive to do jobs like the one I'm doing now. And then...AND THEN, eventually I'll get promoted with my degree to the point of incompetence and just spent the rest of my adult life looking like a nincompoop (we really need to bring that word back). So, again, what's the point? Oh I can tell people about it at my high school reunion.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Camp Auntie Kate: Pt. 3

Nephew: (Bounds down the stairs giggling hysterically)
Me: Were you visiting the bunny?
Nephew: Yeah! And he was playing with his tiger like this! And he jumped on him like this! And his tail was going like this! (proceeds to imitate the bunny humping a stuffed tiger while making a high-pitched screeching noise)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Camp Auntie Kate: Pt. 2

Me: So do you think your mom will let you come back and visit us again?
Nephew: No. You took me to a bar.
Me: That wasn't a bar. That was a restaurant.
Nephew: It was a bar. And you smell like beer.
Me: (silently questioning how many drinks I need to confuse a restaurant with a bar. Didn't I order him a piece of chocolate cake? That never came to the table?)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Camp Auntie Kate: Pt. 1

We've had my 9-year-old nephew staying with us over the weekend. This post is deserving of a few qualifiers: we are the derelict aunt and uncle of the family; we don't have our own kids yet; and we have no idea what to do with them or how to talk to them appropriately. Hence the following conversation:

Nephew (petting our bunny): Bunnies are soft. I wonder if people make coats out of them.
Me: They do. They kill them and make coats out of them.
Nephew (looking sad): But they let them get old and die and then make coats out of them?
Me: That's totally inefficient. Bunnies live, like, 7 or 8 years. They just let them get full grown and then kill them.
Nephew: Can't they just shave them?
Me: They make coats out of lots of animals. Do you know how much it costs to keep bunnies alive for 7 or 8 years? It's life in the big city.
Nephew: (looks forlornly at bunny and hugs him frequently for the rest of the day)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


When your chicken starts pooping blood, the last thing you should look up is "chicken bloody poop." Ew.

Honestly, I don't understand how these chickens are still alive. Between eye infections and raccoon attacks and coccidiosis, I would think that standing upright and eating dandelions would be out of the question. But the wonderful thing about the questionable ooze constantly dripping out of their various orifices is that I've stopped panicking. No longer do I phone the farm animal vet in Batavia when I notice my chickens' toes aren't pointing in the right direction. I resist the urge to rocket to the nearest Tractor Supply for antibiotics when my chickens' poo is less consistent than cheese grits. By the time we have kids, I imagine they'll have to show up with a teeth sticking out of their foreheads before I take them to the hospital.

Friday, June 10, 2011

just hand over the diploma

Perhaps I'm jinxing this by writing when I still have about 36 hours left before I'm home, but for the last three weeks I have successfully avoided having to poop in the dorm bathroom while other people are in there. I feel like if I've ever wanted to accomplish something in my life, that was it.

I did not, however, avoid eating meat for the last three weeks, as I found the dorm cafeteria very confusing.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm not cut out for college

I feel like a lot of my blog posts either begin or end with me in hysterics. This one is no different.

About a week and a half ago, I boarded a plane for Minnesota. I'm starting a graduate program, and had to come up here for three weeks to get down and dirty with some qualitative analysis and quality improvement classes. The other super duper fun thing I get to do is live in a dorm. Might I also mention I'm 27 and have never lived with anyone other than my parents or my husband. Aside from that family I lived with as an exchange student, but they sort of left me in the basement with the slugs for a year so I'm not sure if that counts.

Anyway, in preparing for my first day of classes, I find out that I literally have to cross the Mississippi River to get to the classroom. Not disregarding that University of Minnesota's campus is mind-boggingly huge, I should have recognized that this was not going to turn out well. Public transportation and I have not typically gotten along well (exhibit A: lawn mower boat that took me to my hotel in Guatemala).

I didn't, much to Mitch's dismay, pile some pioneers on a raft and attempt to ford the river while my family all gets typhoid and/or drowns after we hit some rocks in shallow water (he still doesn't believe that I've ever beat Oregon's Trail). No no, I decided to be pragmatic and take the campus shuttle. After getting progressively sweatier and panickier for about 45 minutes while waiting for the shuttle THAT NEVER CAME, I lit'rally started running into traffic sob-screaming into my phone at Mitch to help me find a cab company after Goog411 failed me. I'VE WORKED TOO HARD AND WAITED TOO LONG FOR THIS!!!

Finally, I bawled to some lady on the phone who went a poor cab driver to drive my pathetic ass to my first class. Don't worry, I tipped him well. Then, of course, I had to navigate the West Bank of the campus, which entailed me spastically running up and down stairs around corners and back and forth through hallways until I found the registration table. I made it. With three minutes to spare.

Anyway, turns out that due to construction for a light rail system, most of the shuttle stops are null and void for the summer. Damn green initiatives. Otherwise, I have adjusted well since that horrific experience (for me and the people standing at the bus stop with me). Dorm food isn't so bad. I've learned how to get around pretty well. I've even made friends! Kinda. And none of this would have been possible were I not allowed to drink in my room.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I've retold the Shirley-getting-her-ass-beat-by-the-raccoon story about 50 times by now, reliving each horrible detail as I go. I decided to call my mom and tell her over the phone last night, so as to avoid having to discuss bloody hamburger neck over Sunday dinner.

After arriving at my folks' house, my mom proceeded to tell me that my Aunt Shirley (all the chickens are named after my great aunts: Shirley, Sandy, Angie, Millie, Judy, and Greta), a farmer in rural Pennsylvania, used to sit on her porch with a shot gun shooting any predators that threatened her chickens. Although she's not dead, there's an eerie kernel of karma somewhere in there.

That being said, I resisted the urge to run over a raccoon I saw on the drive home from work tonight, for fear of becoming its dinner in the next life.

P.S.--though I don't want to jinx it, it looks like the little lady's gonna make it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

And I was worried about hawks...

Several times a day, particularly since the chickens moved outside, I run through this checklist. I poke my head in the coop and count them. OneTwoThreeFourFiveSix. Check. I account for all their limbs, and make sure their heads are still attached. Then I feed and water them, and call it good. Today it was brought to my attention that this was not sufficient. It was also brought to my attention that our coop was not raccoon-proof.

Only after Mitch checked my checking did we notice an excessive amount of feathers on the outside of the coop, and blood marking the wood at the edge. Dreading what I would find, I started examining each of the chickens individually. Sandy now has a droopy wing, which would explain the black feathers strewn about, but it wasn't until I got a hold of Shirley that I realized why there were so many more blonde feathers. I began gagging upon seeing her partially stripped, fleshy, raw hamburger-y looking chicken neck, and quickly advanced to hysteria.

There is a great amount of guilt that comes with making an animal completely dependent upon you, and then inadvertently exposing it to predators. I know they're not pets, which is why I'm fine with putting her down if she doesn't get better, and I'm certainly not going to spend hundreds of dollars taking her to the emergency vet (I know I've been known to blow money on dog therapy, but that would just be ridiculous). However, we domesticated these animals to serve us, and we have thus thwarted their evolutionary instinct. Chickens were jungle fowl from Asia and South America. They weren't really created to live in a box in a Midwest backyard. They could never live off the land, considering they need to eat ground up oyster shells just so they can produce egg shells. They need us. And it was our responsibility to protect them from raccoons and hawks and whatever else I'm sure we'll encounter. So we spent the rest of the night creating a bomb shelter for the chickens.

For the record, we're treating her. She now owes us five dozen eggs to work off what I spent on betadine solution and cotton balls. Millie is also in debt about three dozen eggs from her eye infection. Considering they only lay about four eggs a week, they better get to work. Nonetheless, I have concluded that chickens are the most badass animals on the planet. Forget Wolverines and Silverback Gorillas. If you had just had half the tendons ripped out of your neck, would you still be milling about the yard eating flowers? I think not.

Friday, May 13, 2011

omg we're screwed

Don't pretend like Corgi butt isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen.

So the hen house is officially occupied. Thank heavens. I thought it would be easy to throw them outside because they stink, and they're pretty annoying, but instead I have acquired a slew of new worries, one of which being hawks.

Omg doesn't it just look like it wants to eat your face? No sooner than about 15 minutes after I threw the chicks out the back door did I look up and see at least half a dozen hawks circling above our house. This launched Buster and me into a frenzied recollection of the flock. Lesson learned: running after a chicken makes it harder to catch them. Fortunately, Buster is actually an intuitive herding dog, and impressed me with his sweet herding skillz. I rounded them up into their spacious coop (see below), and they lived to see another day. This was all fine and dandy until I found out that bed bugs (my #1 fear) now carry MRSA (my #2 fear). If hawks start shooting lasers out of their eyes or grow opposable thumbs, I don't think I'll ever sleep again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Scared Shitless

The weather in Cincinnati has been positively abhorrent. Even more so considering I haven't been able to move the chickens outside until it's warm/dry enough. And seriously, grown up chicken poo smells terrible, and I need to get them out of my house, pronto.

So yesterday was one of the first warm days we've had this year, and I took Millie outside to start getting her acclimated to the great outdoors. I thought the second I set her on the ground she would start frolicking through the weeds eating bugs and rolling in the dirt. Au contraire. Instead she shit herself immediately, which really excited Buster (not sure if I should be worried about him eating chicken poo, but not like I could stop him). Then she stood frozen in terror for about 10 minutes. I picked her up and moved her around in the yard, but she pretty much just stood wherever I put her. I hope this means I won't be chasing my chickens down the street anytime soon, but really it makes for a pretty boring barnyard.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

chicken eye boogers

I feel like I'm getting a little more street cred with every animal crisis I avert. This morning, during my daily routine of feeding, watering and cuddling each individual chicken, Millie turned her head and glared at me with this:

For those of you not familiar with chicken eyeballs, this is not normal. Generally, chicken eyeballs should not be foggy and oozing pus. After a minor panic attack and running around the house in no particular direction with a squirmy sad pullet in my hands, I gathered the sense to isolate her from the other chickens (to which she responded by screaming relentlessly), and turned to the Internet. Googling "chicken eye infection" before breakfast is not something I recommend.

Anyway, my searches were not fruitful, and I launched into a string of frantic phone calls to every person I knew at Gorman Heritage Farm (sorry Madeline). Finally I was able to get someone on the phone at Mt. Healthy Hatchery who told me to run to the nearest Tractor Supply (a mere 30 minutes away) and buy a special antibiotic ointment. One would think that these types of medications would come with instructions, but one would be wrong. One would also think that the proprietors of such establishments would know how to administer these types of medications, but one would be wrong about that as well.

After finally getting some guidance, I called Mitch to have him meet me at home so as to help me wrangle the sick chick and stick drugs in her eye. Poor poor Millie. So docile and sweet. The sweetest little pullet ever to be. She just laid on her side while I schmooied gunk on her eyeball and didn't even make a peep. It was so sad and sweet all at the same time. But now all I can think about is catching pink eye from my chicken. Mitch will be so pissed if that happens. Barf.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

That's That.

I suppose I should feel some amount of sentimentality. Last night I finished my demo, which, according to studio records, we had started exactly one year from last night. I remember Liz laying down the drum tracks, I recorded click tracks, and then the thing collected dust while I had lasers shot into my neck.

We had attempted to finish it in December, but the piano at the studio needed some serious therapy. Then I fell ill in January, and their sound board broke in March. It seemed for while like it was just never meant to happen. So I guess last night should have been cathartic, but it was fairly anticlimactic. It's not like you walk out of the studio with a shiny new box of records to distribute. There's all kinds of insecurity and wondering if you could have done such and such part better and maybe you should have recorded that one song one more time but studio time is just so damn expensive and maybe we should just go ahead and re-record the drum track now that we actually play it faster live and...

But I'm sitting here drinking my coffee listening to two of the songs we finished, and they're nice. That's about as good as it gets. The culmination of almost five years of writing and playing open mics and parking lots and singing backup and burning bridges and building new ones is just that. Nice. If I never do anything else with it, at least I have something to show for dropping out of grad school, selling all my shit, and making my husband drive me 2000 miles across the country. I hope he thinks it was worth it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why I love my husband.

He put what he thought was homemade mashed potatoes on an egg frittata, but it turned out it was actually pear cider spiked cream cheese icing leftover from this recipe: It ruined the frittata. And then he didn't tell me for like, three days because he was so embarrassed. I love him.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

pushin buttons

Mitch hates bumper stickers, so it's only natural that I would stick as many on our car as possible to annoy him and significantly decrease the trade-in value. Also, we own a Subaru, and I'm pretty sure it was on our loan papers that we had to fulfill some kind of bumper sticker quota if we were going to buy a hippie car.

Anyway, I've been kind of jealous of those people who have those family stickers on their back windows. You know, the ones with the stick figures of the happy skinny parents and kids in cheer leading uniforms and wheelchairs and whatnot? Why should we have to wait until we procreate to get one of those?!!! So I decided that I'm going to get Mitch one of those for his birthday. Tada!
Look how freaking skinny and drunk I am! Amazing. Plus, for some reason, they only had monster chickens, and I had to make Greta bigger than the rest of the other chickens because she's the HBIC, so she's colossal. Proportion is clearly not of concern to the car family stick figure sticker industry.

On another note, I've yet to see a family car sticker with two moms or two dads, though. One day...

P.S.--notice there's only ONE dog on the sticker!?!??!??!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

why is there so much poo?!

Owning chickens has pretty much been a delight. I'm not going to lie. A delight with a side of chicken crap. They're cute, pretty low-maintenance, and I love their little peeping noises, but seriously they crap a lot.

I don't know how this happened. I don't have children. I specifically chose smaller dogs so that they made smaller poo, but still somehow my life is run by poo. The dang rabbit poops his body weight everyday (I really don't see how he absorbs any nutrients), and Buster's size is misleading, because the turds populating my backyard are about the size of my head. Maybe (who still resides with us, coincidentally) hates getting her fancy tootsies wet on the morning dew, so she craps all over the deck. Heaven forbid you have to take the compost out to the backyard at night, because you best be wearing galoshes.

And now chicken poo. I had no idea chicks were such disgusting slobs. They're fluffy and adorable, and look as pure as the driven snow, but don't let that fool you. They poo in their water, in their food, on each other's backs, in your hand, everywhere. It wouldn't be so bad, except that you're supposed to touch them as often as possible while they're young so they get used to human contact (how else do you think they'll let me pilfer their babies?) . I suppose it wouldn't be so bad if they weren't confined to three square feet of space. But every day, I don my hazmat suit and cuddle the little crap fiends. Once they're banned to the backyard, I'll have to destroy this corner of my dining room with a controlled burn, but at least I'll get free-range, organic, local eggs! That's what this is all about, right?! RIGHT?!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

nature is awesome

I love my chickens. I freaking love them hard and a lot. Maybe it's a sign that we need to have children, but I just love them so damn much. They're so cute, even though they poop on each other and scream every time I pick them up. I find it especially adorable that, even though Mitch won't admit it, he says "good morning, ladies!" every day when he checks on them. But honestly, it's making me wonder how, one inevitable day, I will eat them. Well, maybe only Mitch will eat them, but we'll have to have them butchered nonetheless. Frankly, it's making me nauseous just thinking about it. But chickens live for like, 15 years, and they only lay eggs for like two of those, so it's not exactly logical to keep them for the duration of their lives.

Like, imagine for a moment eating your cat. But your cat lays eggs. And you eat the eggs. Okay imagine that you eat your cat's kittens and then one day you will eat the cat when it stops having kittens. Maybe that's not quite the same, but that's what it feels like when I think about it right now. I know I only bought these chickens for sustenance and kind of because people didn't think we actually would, but I guess I should have known better. They're cute and pretty and have personalities and I can tell them apart and I've named them. It was trouble from the beginning. Let's just hope that they're terribly annoying and disgusting as adults that I can't wait to turn them into a casserole.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm not ashamed!

Okay, maybe I should be, considering I placed amongst a bunch of 45-49 year old power walkers, but I used to run at a pace of 14 min/mi, and have improved to a staggering 11:26 min/mi, according to yesterday's race results:

my Mercy Heart Mini Marathon - 15k results

Let me just put it out there that I hate running. Like seriously hate it. But it's the only thing that keeps me from being a fat ass. I love to eat, and I particularly love to eat rich, carefully prepared indulgent food. So I have to run. Yoga wasn't cutting it.

I've set a goal of running a half marathon in May, and yesterday was a little check in for me. I figured if I could do 9.3 miles without totally dying, I could do 13.1 in a couple months and be fine. And while I didn't totally die, I did find myself crossing the finish line in a state of confusion and exhaustion. Finish lines are a cluster f*** of people in silver heat blanket capes, medics, family members, and pallets of bottled water. I never understood why people crap their pants during races until yesterday. I also made the mistake of sitting down immediately after the race, and upon trying to stand again, found my legs to be about as supportive as wet spaghetti noodles. But even though I felt pretty pathetic, it feels good to have accomplished running a 15K. I've never been athletic, and I've worked really hard to get to this point. Now I just have to beat the fattest man ever to run a marathon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

So we did this...

So I don't know if it's my fear of the collapse of infrastructure, my need to be a bigger hippie than my neighbor, or my need to prove wrong the naysayers, but we went and bought chicks yesterday. They will live in our backyard in a coop, lay eggs, and poop everywhere. I guess they're cute and whatnot, but after about 12 hours of adjusting the height of the heat lamp so that the temperature inside the cardboard brooding box is EXACTLY 90 degrees, I'm starting to wonder how these animals would ever survive without us. We've domesticated them to the point that we have to feed them ground up oyster shells and tape pipe cleaners to their toes if they get too curly. We have created codependency in the animal kingdom. Regardless, don't be surprised if you get an Easter basket from me with a real chick in it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

We had a good run...

So Maybe's back. Apparently my brother wasn't allowed to have pets in his house. This also means we get to keep the crap-tastic humping bunny. My brother swears up and down that this is temporary. He'll take her back as soon as he finds a job. And an apartment that will let him have a dog. And roommates to help him pay for said apartment and that also love tiny snarky dogs.

It hasn't been so bad having her back, considering that now we don't really give a crap whether the dogs get along or not. All the training went down the tube the second Maybe crossed the threshold into single dog-hood. So we're just not even trying. We do shock the bejeezus out of her every time she attacks Buster in his cage (believe it or not, we were able to refrain from posting the $300 shock collars on eBay), and it's still satisfying, but frankly it's not a means to an end anymore. The means is her leaving and the end is us going back to having one (happy) dog and someone else having the other (happy) dog. I'll be making regular sacrifices at the altar until my brother meets aforementioned goals.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tonsure (kinda)

I'm getting all my hair cut off on Thursday. I've been growing it out for about 2 and a half years now so it's long enough for Locks of Love. Frankly, the only reason I was ever growing it out was to donate it. And it gave me an excuse to be cheap and not pay for salon services. As I've been telling people this, the general response has been, "WHY!? It looks so good!"

Okay. Rather than the self-flagellation and fishing for more compliments, I'm just gonna say I know. I know my hair's pretty good (when I actually decide to wash and style it). It's thick and a good natural color. It's wavy, which can make me look a little unruly because I don't put a lot of fake crap and silicone in it, but nonetheless, I'll agree that I have pretty good hair. I'll attribute it to my Polish heritage.

Having never intended to grow my hair out so it would be "pretty," I'm suddenly feeling myself struck with a little bit of vanity. I look kind of ridiculous with short hair. I look like I'm in the awkward tween phase again, and I haven't quite learned to control the things that extend outward from my body. This is the curse of the white girl wavy hair. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a pretty good example. Ugh. This is pretty much what the hair does. Yep.

Anyway, I've decided to turn this into an exercise in humility. It's not like I make money off my hair. Nobody is dependent on it looking perfectly coiffed. And honestly, it takes me like, an extra five minutes in the shower just to condition it. My shower drain is constantly clogged (and don't tell me to get a drain cover, I've already done that), and I go through tons of shampoo and styling products. I lose pens in it pretty frequently, and I've found like, three dreads in the last couple weeks. I haven't been willing to sacrifice much for appearances in my life; why start now? Thus, I'm going to offer it up, in an effort to quell pride. So...good bye hair. Hello being carded at the bar.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

friend request purgatory

If you're not my friend, don't send me a friend request. If you've seen me play a show, that doesn't count. Gawking at me for an hour while I forget the words to my own songs does not constitute being my friend. If you went to a Britney Spears concert, you would not send her a friend request the next day. No, you would go to her band page and click the little thumbs up thing and like her. It doesn't matter that I'm "accessible" because I'm not a superstar (yet!). Just because you think it's funny that I rhymed the words "breast implants" in a song does not mean that I want you having access to the photos I took on my summer vacation to Michigan last year. You shouldn't know my education history, or where I work at my day job. You have sent me friend requests before, and having denied them already, I have discovered that you are either very persistent or very stupid. Therefore, you are forever condemned to Friend Request Purgatory. You, that girl I went to high school with and have already deleted three times, and my mom. Congratulations.

UPDATE: Your mom is now in Purgatory as well. Stop suggesting me as a friend to people.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

one-dog family

REWIND: November 2009 was the month of the Buster.

We only got him because we thought our other dog, Maybe, needed a friend. That was not to be. Shortly after Buster's balls dropped, Maybe decided he needed to go. She expressed this by trying to kill him.

Unfortunately, we had signed a contract with the rescue saying that if Buster didn't work out, we had to return him. Also unfortunately, the rescue owner was a hoarder and the house was deplorable. There were at least 15 dogs that we saw, and upon procuring Buster, we had to treat him (and subsequently Maybe) immediately for fleas and bathe him several times to get rid of the smoke in his fur. We decided perhaps it was best not to return him (plus how could you say no to that face?).

The only other option we saw was training. We hired Scott, the militant bald guy who used to train bomb-sniffing dogs for the Army. We went through a myriad of training mechanisms, each more "effective" than the previous, from the "Trail of Tears" (a line of treats meant to lure Buster to Maybe, which he quickly learned ended in a scuffle), to remote-controlled shock collars. Overall we spent about $1000 trying to cure Maybe of her aggression, and countless hours walking these stupid dogs around the house on leashes. Might I add, Maybe is aggressive towards most other dogs, so the decision to train the dogs instead of just removing one was very deliberate. Anyway, this was as far as we got:
We couldn't seem to cure the crazy eye, though. After a relapse, we thought perhaps it was best to find Maybe a new home. We chose to give Maybe away because she's a much more social dog, and gets along with just about anyone, so long as they're human. My brother traded me straight across for a bunny named DJ (PS no one told bunnies crap their body weight every day).

My brother's still in college, and I was a little worried about sending her to live in a sketchy house with a bunch of dudes, but she quickly made herself at home. My brother posted this picture on facebook, dressed like the yuppie dog we trained her to be. In retrospect, I'm sad. I'm sad that we couldn't provide better for her, and that for whatever reason, she decided that she didn't like sharing her humans with other dogs. It was probably very stressful for her to live in the house with Buster (though I may be projecting human emotions on dumb animals). At least I know she's better off having a group of sappy guys at her disposal, but there is a slight sense of failure. I wonder if we couldn't have reconciled them had we picked a different trainer or sent her to a residential facility. But Mitch had a monetary threshold, and I'm pretty sure we surpassed that. I think we'll be a one-dog family from now on, but I just can't help perusing PetFinder.

Monday, January 31, 2011

you're breakin' my heart.

Look, I know this is old. But I want to punch this little girl. I'm hoping that by saying it publicly, I will hold myself accountable, and refrain from doing so. Although kicking a puppy might make me feel better.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Call it Stilates!

I picked up yoga as a means of spiritual exploration. The sinewy limbs and improved digestion seem to be a welcome bonus, but they're definitely not the focus. Yoga for me, and as far as I can gather for others as well, is a peaceful break. I struggle in every class I attend not to let my ego get in the way. I'm constantly berating myself for comparing my skills to others', reminding myself that this is a journey. A humble practice. But then this girl, Tara Stiles, comes along and says it's not. She eschews ascribing to any particular philosophy of yoga, and ignores traditional sanskrit in describing poses and sequences. "Who made these rules?" she questions in the NYT article.

Okay, good question. But I hardly feel that the elders of yoga had intended it to be a means by which insecure 20-somethings shed their freshman 15 (finally). Her claim that yoga studios are elitist and unwelcoming seems redundant, since pretty much all of New York City (where her studio Strala is located) is elitist and unwelcoming. I would encourage her to attend a class at my favorite studio, Yoga Ah!, or any other studio in any other midwest city. Granted, there are people who look down their noses at newbies, but I've experienced that in knitting lessons. You're gonna find it everywhere. This is, perhaps, the most extreme of the protestant yoga philosophies. To say that it is only about health, weight, improved sexual function, and appearances strips yoga of it's essence: moving meditation. Yoga cautions against ego and self-promotion. There is no perfect pose; your breath is your mirror. My yoga instructor has joked that yoga was never designed to be a business; I'm assuming she's referring to the stereotypical flightiness and unmaterialistic nature of yogis. A lot of yogis I meet may have functioned well as Amish in another life.

To her credit, Ms. Stiles charges a fair price for her yoga classes. She used to teach classes for free out of her apartment. I've known many yoga teachers to do the same. However, they gain no revenue from book deals and product promotion. Not many of the instructors in Cincinnati model for American Apparel.

This is not to say she must be stopped. There are all kinds of adulterated yoga classes out there. But most of them at least adopt the om's and the contemplation as part of the practice. This is simply to say, perhaps she shouldn't call it "yoga." There are reasons Episcopalians don't call themselves Catholic. They ascribe to a different set of beliefs about Christianity and worship. An Episcopal Eucharist even looks very similar to a Catholic Mass, but it's labeled differently. The same should be said for Ms. Stiles' exercise regime. She has different beliefs about the essence of the practice, and therefore, should call it something else. It's fine! You're allowed to believe what you want about your practice. This is a free country, and we are blessed to have religious freedom. But if you're gonna start your own church, you can't call it Baptist just to get people to show up.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Inner monologue.

Dear person-walking-on-the-treadmill-next-to-me-at-the-rec-center,

I don't care if you love the music in your headphones, don't sing it out loud. I do not share your love for Nikki Minaj. Please stop clapping and saying "yay" whenever your iPod plays a song you like. It's not magic (contrary to popular belief), and it's not catering to your needs. It uses an algorithm, and gets absolutely no emotional satisfaction from making you happy. Also, it's 6:00 am, and I only made it here out of the fear of killing/pooping myself at the half-marathon I'm running in four months, so SHUT THE HELL UP. If you have enough energy flap your arms around and talk to the person on the other side of me, you're not running fast enough.

Kindest Regards,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A day in MY life...

In response to this pretentious bullshit about how delightfully scattered and busy Gwyneth Paltrow and her entitled frenemies are, I decided to post a day in my life.

I awake at 7:00 am after hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock I stole from a drag queen, put the shock collars on my dogs so they don't tear each others' carotid arteries out, and watch them shit on my porch; my little Princess Maybe doesn't dare get her freshly pedicured paws wet on the morning dew. I chuckle and think to myself, I sure hope Buster eats that poop off the porch so I don't have to pick it up later. I make my coffee in a 12-year-old coffee maker from Craigslist and toast in the toaster I took from my dead grandfather's house, and dash upstairs in my 3 bedroom, 1 bath tudor-style A frame abode. I brush my teeth and cover myself in baby powder, hoping my coworkers won't be able to tell that I haven't had time to shower in three days. LOL...boy, have I pulled the wool over their eyes.

This morning my car starts, which is just fabulous because I would love to get to work on time. My darling husband weaves in and out of traffic and narrowly misses the hobo who stumbles into the street after tripping over a pile of garbage. We politely wave to the republican protesting in front of the women's clinic, averting our eyes away from the pictures of aborted feti. After all, I still want to be able to enjoy my toast and strawberry jam!!!

Once at my desk, I rifle through e-mails, check messages, and get to work. I rush to the Teen Health Clinic to meet a 15-year-old study participant who is going there to get pregnancy test. Such anticipation; I can hardly wait to find out the results! Then I meet my boss to go downtown and read child abuse records for two hours. There just isn't enough time in the day sometimes! I get back to my office, and spend the rest of the day doing menial preparation tasks for an upcoming business trip to DC until my loving husband picks me up from work.

Tonight, I decided that I have trained too hard for the half-marathon the last couple of days, and since I can't bend my knees at a full 90 degree angle, I'll skip yoga practice. I didn't feel like queefing in front of a bunch of people tonight anyway. Mitchy-poo and I go out for dinner, since we have just been itching for a free evening to use our Groupon at Cactus Pear. We get loaded on a bunch of margaritas, and realize we don't have enough money left over for the actual dinner part of the evening. So we call my mom and have her come drive our drunk asses home, since we didn't have the foresight to assign a DD. I know, crazy right?! We spend the rest of the evening snuggled up in front of our space heater watching Monk, and then crawl into bed about 11:00. Fortunately, I remembered to take my Lexapro and Zoloft tonight, so I'll be able to get up and do it all over again tomorrow!

Kate's time-saving tips:
  • Poop and brush your teeth at the same time. You can spit between your legs, unless your sink is crammed up against your toilet like mine is.
  • Make sure you're too broke to buy a TV; what a time-waster!
  • Don't work two jobs if you can avoid it.
  • Make your husband cook his own damn dinner.
Things that make my life really amazing:
  • Having a roof over my head.
  • Having food in my belly.
  • Having a husband who doesn't hit me.
  • Having higher education.
  • Having shoes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The price of vanity


I drink a lot of coffee, tea, and red wine. I'm also vain and don't want my teeth to look like this:But I'm not willing to give up the Three Sisters. NOOOOOOOOo no no no no. The only thing that keeps me from punching my coworkers in the morning is coffee, and the only thing that keeps me from crying myself to sleep at night is wine. Plus it's cheaper than therapy and benzodiazepines.

Anyway, I decided I needed to whiten my teeth a little, and bought me some of those chemical-ly plastic strips at the drug store. Totally in conflict with my hippie-ness, I know, but who says hippies have to have butter teefs? So I put these things on my teeth last night for 30 minutes, and this morning, I can't even open my mouth when outdoors. The light winter wind hitting my dentes feels like my dental pulp is fully exposed to the elements. And might I point out, that with the wind chill it feels like 15 degrees F outside? Oh lord, and then I made the mistake of biting into an apple. NEVER AGAIN. I think I'm just gonna try to get famous so I can afford veneers.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Bin of Doom

I married a brown food man. He was raised on potatoes and refried beans. The only vegetable my mother-in-law ever has in her house is usually a jar of onion powder. When they heard I was a vegetarian, they assumed I could still eat chicken, since that's obviously not meat. And when I explained that vegetarianism excludes all animals, including foul and fish, she bought me egg substitute and soy milk. She learned quickly not to interfere with my relationship with cheese.

So in an attempt to regulate my husband's bowel movements and keep him from gettin' the scurvy, I signed us up for a produce delivery program. Every other week, the vegetable fairy leaves a green plastic tub full of seasonal, organic, and local (when possible) fruits and vegetables on our front porch. And every other week, I am overcome with the panic that accompanies cooking and consuming everything in the bin before it goes bad. When I see that thing on my porch, I feel like I'm being grounded to the kitchen for the next four days. The feeling of superiority one gets from being a seasonal locavore does nothing to soothe the cracked knuckles from too much handwashing, sore back from standing for hours at a time, and headaches from the smoke alarm that likes to remind me I'm boiling water. And despite my own strange garden of misfit flora and fauna, some weeks, I am unable to identify several things in my bin, particularly the root vegetables.

Root vegetables are the trolls of the vegetable kingdom. They're generally misshapen and dirty, having shunned sunlight, clinging to the underworld with veiny tentacles. So when I opened my bin last week and discovered something that looked like a character from Pan's Labyrinth, I could only think that perhaps I'm meant feed it my blood and keep it under my bed so I can conceive a child.

Having no desire to conceive children at this time, I decided instead to cover it in cream and cheese, and bake it until it no longer resembled a creepy puppet in a scary movie. It was only after several failed soups and casseroles (beet soup, boiled brussel sprouts, parsnip casserole, etc.) that I learned I could edit my bin. Looks like next week we're getting a bin full of kiwi.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

because I'm self-deprecating and impressionable

Having already failed miserably at one of my resolutions (I have not gone to bed on time once yet), and potentially failing at two others (I have yet to cook dinner at home, and have already purchased two meals at the hospital), I've decided to add another resolution to my list to hopefully increase my success rate.

I'm going to run a half marathon in May. Someone else said they were going to do it, so why the hell not? Forget the fact that I have monster bunions and can barely run between airport terminals without needing an inhaler, I'm going to run 13.1 miles, dammit. In a row. On the same day.

Training begins Monday with a breezy 4 mile run. YAY.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Tentative Commitments

I'm not making resolutions this year, just tentative commitments. As cult leader Sri Chinmoy says, blah blah blah, something, lower your expectations. So here they are:

1. Pay a full tithing. Always.

I slack at this sometimes. I look at it as a spiritual practice, putting trust in God that I'll be able to pay my bills. But I think it's also a practice in simplicity, since I won't be able to buy as much crap while giving away 10% of my income.

2. Go to yoga at least twice a week.

Just because I don't want to be a fat ass anymore.

3. Be in bed by 10:30 every week night.

Unless I have a gig. Or unless there's something good on TV. Or unless a friend is in town, and I need to go have drinks with him or her. Or unless I have band practice. Or unless I'm reading a really good book...

4. Cook dinner at home at least twice a week.

I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but seriously, I only cook for two people, and my husband eats like a tiny waify bird, so if I make one box of macaroni and cheese it lasts us like, four days. Still, somehow, I find this difficult enough that I had to add it to the list of commitments.

5. Only buy lunch in the cafeteria once a week.

I'm optimistic that leftovers from #4 will help me achieve this one.

6. Stop being such a bitch.

I feel feelings. Lots of them. I also have a hard time mediating the relationship between these feelings and my mouth.'s to shutting the hell up.