Sunday, December 31, 2006

happy new year?

i have to say, i wasn't terribly surprised when i saw this as a front page headline on yahoo! this afternoon:

Poll: Americans see doom, gloom in 2007

i mean, really, most americans have eyes. i was, however, a little surprised by a polling stat (from the Associated Press-AOL News) from the article, which notes that:

35 percent predict the military draft will be reinstated [in 2007].

That such a high percentage of people would not only think that, but admit it to a pollster, is not something that i would have expected. hell, i don't even know what i think about whether the draft will come back around. i've long said that if it even starts to seem like a true possibility, we're hopping the border to canada, so it would probably behoove me to look into this a little more deeply. however, just as i was thinking this, i read another eventuality that some believe will occur in 2007:

25 percent anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ.

then i remembered that many americans (one-quarter, apparently) are insane, and that i shouldn't base anything on what i read on yahoo! news. so while i do still worry about the draft, i don't think i'll do it today.

today, instead, will be reserved for drinking champagne, eating sushi, and watching the bears game from under a blanket on my couch. happy new year, everyone - let's wait until it gets here to start freaking out about 2007!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

some questions.

is it wrong that i want to apply for tickets to antiques roadshow?

is it wrong that there is a six-month application process for tickets to antiques roadshow?

is it wrong that if you happen to be lucky enough to be randomly selected to receive two antiques roadshow tickets, they arrive in your house in a plain white envelope so that postal carriers and/or envious little old ladies don't steal them?

answer: no. hilarious, but not wrong.

Friday, December 29, 2006

friday cat blogging, the return of CatCat edition.

i was a little worried about retrieving CatCat upon our return from massachusetts. she had been stowed away at a kennel for a week, and while it was a pretty nice kennel, it was a cage for eight days just the same. so i wondered exactly how much she would hate us, and for how long, after we picked her up.

turns out i did not have to worry about it.

my sweet little CatCat. forgiving to a fault, but that's how we like her.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


i wanted to start posting more upon my return from christmas week, but i am too busy blowing my nose, sniffling, and otherwise being whiny and obnoxious.

the upsides to being in this state: "the dog whisperer" marathon on the national geographic channel, a ridiculously soft wool blanket from ireland, and CatCat climbing all over me because she a) missed me, of course, and b) loves the wool blanket.

oh shoot, i'm snotting all over myself now - maybe 2007 will be the year of TMI on this blog - which i take as a sign to return to my repose on the couch.

welcome back.

this morning, i woke up 20 minutes before the alarm with one side of my nose simultaneously stuffed up and running like a faucet. what the??

soon after, my ears and the inside of my face started itching like a million little microscopic ants were line-dancing in there.

and to top it all off, i had, for some inexplicable reason, Nelly's ancient Top 40 song "Ride Wit Me" stuck in my head.

hello, cruel world!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

christmas vacation 2006: it's the food, stupid.

i'm realizing right now that our trip back to massachusetts for christmas this year has been dominated by food. i mean, the holidays often are, but this year was above and beyond. because in addition to the big spread of food put out at the family gathering on christmas eve AND the big christmas dinner at my parents' house, there was boston food.

ahhhh, boston food.

last year while we were home for christmas, BoyCat and i entertained the idea of making a pilgrimage out to allston to eat (and drink) at Our House, the bar that sucked up much of our money and time during two years of grad school. this place had 2-1 burgers and appetizers from 4-7 pm every weekday, two dollar brubaker beers, and a grilled cheese with tomato and avocado for which i would go to the ends of the earth. oh, and waffle fries. oh, and - it was a block from my first-year apartment.

so last year, all the best intentions didn't translate into us making it out to allston. this year, with SisterCat living much closer to commonwealth avenue, we swore we would get there. we met SisterCat after we got in from the airport, hopped on the T, and headed out on the B line. by the time we got off at the Long Ave. stop, i was literally giddy with excitement. we walked up the block, descended a few concrete steps to the door, and i grabbed the doorknob and pulled.

it was locked, the place was closed.

apparently, it's never been open before 4 pm on weekdays. hee hee, sure, i remember that. now.

luckily, SisterCat is a master planner and we did end up getting there for grilled cheeses, waffle fries, and beer on christmas eve day. and if that weren't good enough, today she is delivering anna's taqueria burritos to our door! BoyCat might be even more excited about the burritos than he was about the grilled cheese. so, even though i will probably have put on five pounds in five days over this vacation, it's been well worth it.

it's back to the real world (and the gym) tomorrow, when we hop on a plane back to DC. i can't wait for that pile of paperwork and the treadmill awaiting me when i get there!

edited to add: how did i forget to mention the lobster? my god. lobster at brown's that was every bit as good as i remembered and hoped it to be. i would have some for breakfast right now if i could.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

you can never escape, you can only move south down the coast.

there is (and was) no escaping involved in my move down the coast, but i always just kinda liked that line. bonus points if you can name the song. (and by bonus points, of course i mean a signed picture of CatCat. i still owe Jaynie K one.)

tomorrow morning we depart for dulles airport, and with a little bit of luck we'll touch down at logan a few hours later. blogging will be light for a week, while i do my damnedest to relax and regroup from the past two months.

see, i'm not even sure where to put commas anymore. before the "while"? or not? i think not, but i feel worse about the sentence without it.

commas. death by commas, a grantwriter's fate will be.

Monday, December 18, 2006

marking space.

i think it will go like this.

i will be doing the crossword puzzle in the back of a magazine, or maybe reading an article, when i start to feel myself moving downward. an almost imperceptible shifting.

soon, my tray table will be latched into the seat in front of me, and i’ll try to stretch my back with my seatbelt still on. i’ll crack one side of my neck, and then the other. i will exhale, but without relief, my chest tight and heartsore.

if i am sitting near the window, perhaps i will screw up enough courage to lean over and look out as we descend. we’ll be over water; every plane that comes into this airport arrives across a small slice of atlantic ocean. the waves will cut and scatter the morning sunlight, and the surface will be moving, always always moving. it will be beautiful and sickening, and as we get closer and closer i will have to turn away.

there is always that moment for me, when i have to look away. when i don’t trust everything that i know to be true, and all i can sense beneath me is the turbulent air, and the frail skin of the sea, and the depths beyond that.

after a few agonizing moments, the edge of the runway will appear alongside my window. solid ground, in the right place, at the right angle – just as it was built to be. in the nick of time, that foundation will materialize, with the runway lights – pale orange and blue in the glare of the sun – perfectly placed, marking space. the plane will touch down with a power that always astonishes me. a slight bounce, graceful even as it brushes up against uncontrollable, and then the winding down, the whirring engines slowing. i will loosen my grip on the armrest, and i’ll breathe the kind of breath that you can’t find anywhere else.

with a thin crackle, the intercom will come to life. the flight attendant, grasping the handset and pressing the talk button, will say, “ladies and gentlemen, welcome to boston.”

and i will be home.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

a sad pair are we.

oh, it's a rough week for CatCat. today, she got tossed in the cat carrier and brought to the vet for her annual exam and vaccinations. and i'll tell you - CatCat is a whiner. she can be pretty whiny on an average day - her meows often sound more like petulant wheezes - and when she gets hauled out in the carrier, it is definitive. but funnily enough, once she gets to the vet she pipes down. i think it's because she's too scared to whine anymore.

she was a good girl through her exam, except for being exceedingly pitiful. every time she's at the vet, she attempts to flatten and/or scrunch herself into non-existence against whatever surface she can find: the inside of the cat carrier, the exam table, the floor, etc. but she doesn't put up a fight - just goes limp and lets you move her around, and when you let go she gets back to flattening and scrunching.

so sad. her complacent fear, that is.

then, on wednesday night, she will get tossed into the carrier again, this time to make the trip to the kennel. yes, we are boarding CatCat for christmas vacation. i have spent an inordinate amount of time fretting and hand-wringing over this (as i am wont to do), but i think it's the best thing. our apartment is not really conducive to having anyone pop by to check in on her, and even if it were, well - we don't know that many people nearby! no one close enough to our place and good enough of a friend to ask to do it, anyway. so instead of leaving her here with a heap of food and having me worry every day of my vacation, we're putting her in the hopefully capable hands of a professional. you know, one i can call every day if i want to.

so sad. my obsessive paranoia, that is.

but other than getting CatCat to the kennel by 6:00 on wednesday, i think we are pretty well set for the upcoming holiday. plane tickets booked, transportation planned, (most) xmas presents bought. now it's just three more days of work to get through, and then time for relaxation new england style. this means fireplaces, wine, the ocean, and hopefully at some point, the seafood that comes from it.

my god, how long has it been since i've had lobster? Cat family, see what you can do about penciling in a trip to Brown's.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

a confession.

ok, i have to admit it. out loud. in public.

i am watching The O.C. again.

really, it's all the chicago tribune's fault. i had no intentions of watching the show ever, ever again, and then i happened upon a post by their TV critic who said - gasp - the first few episodes were getting back to what The O.C. does best, which is being funny. and thus the seed was planted in my brain. so, i watched one episode. and then another. then there was one that wasn't so good, and i was like "eh maybe this isn't such a good idea."

but then the next one was pretty good again.

so here i am, back in the cycle of addiction, waiting impatiently for the nine o'clock hour to arrive so that i can watch an hour of that crazy cohen family and their satellites of reformed juvenile delinquents, neurotic valedictorians, and money-hungry backstabbing bitches.

i don't know how else to define good TV, really. merry chrismukkah, everyone!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

oh, and!

i was just leaving a comment about how i'm stupid over at tart's, and in doing so, i remembered having a different stupid moment just this morning that i wanted to share with you all! season of giving, and all that. i generously give you my embarrassing inner monologues.

as background, every now and then i have these little linguistic epiphanies. when i have them, i often marvel at the fact that i can walk and chew gum at the same time, because only a monumentally idiotic person would not have figured these things out yet. for instance, i remember when it dawned on me that the letter "W" was shaped like a double "U." Double U = W. amazing! and the time when i realized that "cigarette" was "little cigar." oh, how i marveled at that one.

so today, i am walking toward the elevator on my way into work. i am thinking about nothing in particular and everything all at once. for some reason i am thinking about portrait of the artist as a young man (shut up), and the passage early in the book where stephen, as a child, is imagining his own funeral. part of what he thinks is "The bell! The bell! Farewell! O farewell!" and then i thought about the variation on "farewell," "fare thee well," and how it such an antiquated sounding term.

and then i was like, wait. "fare well." farewell. holy shit.

i tell you, sometimes i blow my sad, addled, pre-caffeinated mind.

oh dear, another blog meme.

damn you, jaynie k!

i feel as though i might have done this "five things you don't know about me" meme before, but i'm too lazy to hunt through the archives. so if i repeat myself, well, pretend that you didn't already know what i'm claiming at the moment that you don't know.

ok. so:

1) my favorite pair of jeans ever in the universe bit the dust in 2002 while i wrestled a friend outside an amherst bar at some unknown (but certainly ungodly) hour. tore the knee wide open crossways, and down enough that it made a little flap of denim. i still wore the jeans for a good two years anyway.

2) i have a somewhat serious fear of a meteor crashing into the earth and killing me. i mine this for comic gold most of the time, but the fear? kinda true.

3) i don't have much jewelry at all, but i still have a necklace that my boyfriend in the fifth grade bought me on a field trip to the museum of science in boston. it's a stone on a gold chain, and the stone is a mottled brown and white on one side, and a smooth purple color on the other. i wore it to his funeral, and it's still in my jewelry box.

4) i chew my nails constantly. i have not been able to keep my nails any longer than the tips of my fingers for years. nothing solves this problem.

5) i fell asleep during the third quarter of the bears game last night. shhhh, don't tell anyone!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

car meme.

ok, so weekends are good for memes. toast has this one up at his place, and he has tagged "everyone" (such hubris, that one!). and since i'm not getting him anything for christmas, well, i'll capitulate.

1. Favorite Car?

ummm i dunno. i have always been kinda infatuated with VW cabrios. i know, i know, but really? they are cute.

2. Favorite Car you've ever owned?

i haven’t owned that many, so i have to say celie, the 1991 celica. oh, she was a good little sportscar, and she got me through four years of college and then some.

3. Car you would be embarrassed to be seen driving?

a hummer. an escalade. anything that i’d have to hoist myself into in order to drive it.

4. Next car you plan to buy?

a hybrid, but hopefully not for awhile (we’ve gotta run this 2003 corolla into the ground first…)

5. Next car you would buy for daily use if money were no object?

hybrid. hybridhybridhybrid. yes, still.

6. What bumper stickers or other decorations, if any, do you have on your car?

we have an HRC equal sign on the back bumper.

7. Average annual miles you put on your primary vehicle?

not many, relatively. Maybe 3,000-4,000.

8. Describe your driving style.

aggressively defensive. that seems to make no sense, i know. i was indoctrinated in the “defensive driver” motif as a teenager, but then had to adapt that somewhat to the reality of city driving over the past five years.

9. Average highway cruising speed.

70-80 mph

10. Fastest you've ever driven?

i’m honestly not sure. don’t think i’ve ever topped 100, but i have topped 90.

11. Do you race people at stop lights?

um, in my corolla? no.

12. Will you cross a solid yellow or double yellow to pass someone?

no. that is the kind of move that makes me yell and gesticulate wildly. because, you know, what’s the rush? are you having a baby at the moment? no? then chill out.

13. Do you tailgate or flash your high-beams at people in front of you?

i rarely tailgate on the highway, but i probably get complacent and ride too close on side streets sometimes. i hardly ever flash people (what? yes. in every sense, i do not do that.)

14. Worst accident you've ever been in?

oh, i’ve talked about this one before. route 2. a snowstorm. a woman with one front tooth. i so don’t want to talk about it, except to say it was definitely not my fault.

15. About how many speeding tickets have you gotten?

zero (knock on wood)

16. Ever gotten a DUI/DWI?


17. What kind of car repairs and/or maintenance can you do?

oh, my dad is going to be so embarrassed. none, really, i can check my oil. i can change my washer fluid. that’s about it.

18. Have you ever modified a car you own from stock?

see above.

19. What do you listen to while driving?

usually the radio, though i am really disappointed with the options here in DC. for longer roadtrips we break out the iPods.

20. Favorite driving song?

very good question. tori amos’s “professional widow” is a surprisingly great driving song. also, “new york, new york” by ryan adams. i’m sure i can think of more.

21. Do you use an air freshener in your car, and if so, what scent?

no. how sad.

22. Messy or clean?

our car was pretty damn clean, until the 700 mile move. now the backseat is kind of a wreck. and it could use a carwash, too.

23. When you and the spouse/significant other go out together, who drives?

it’s pretty evenly divided. but have you noticed that in car commercials, it’s almost always the man driving? this is a pet peeve of mine. equity in fake driving, i say.

Friday, December 08, 2006

what i can't hear.

i am uncomfortable.

the morning sun is too harsh on my face, coming in crossways through the right side of the train car. half of me winces in the glare; half of me rests in the shadow of it.

the train hurtles along towards its downtown destination. my wool turtleneck and scarf stifle, but i am too tired to try to take them off. i just sit still. the sky all around me – these train cars are all windows and redirected light – is the blue of a cold swimming pool. the sun slices directly through it – if it were a photograph, the sun would have points, like a star – like the star it is. points at once sharp and vague, like everything upon which is it too difficult to focus.

as the train turns a corner, a plane takes off. i watch it rise above the rooftop of reagan national airport, tilted up and moving north, like us. it slips ahead, and up, without a sound to my ear, like the most natural thing in the world, just ascending towards its chosen destination. a second later, a flock of birds lift off from the building, afraid of being left behind.

everything rises.

i listen to the sound of the wheels on the tracks. i listen to the whine and groan of the car’s joints and cracks. i listen to what i am not seeing, and i watch what i can’t hear.

i watch until i can’t see anything moving upward anymore. the sun beats down. and i’m content just to move forward, for now.

friday cat blogging, "i'm a wussy baby" edition.

the wussy baby referred to in the post title is actually me, not CatCat. although i guess she is a wussy baby, too, as that is the phrase i thought of while planning to post this picture.

as for myself, BoyCat called me a wussy baby today over email, because i wrote to tell him that i was going out for a drink - one drink, really, seriously, just *one* - after work. he told me i was a wussy baby, and didn't i mean one thousand drinks?

i said, ok, maybe two.

for the record, it turned out to be three.

but now, without further ado, the other wussy baby:

yes, that is CatCat, hiding from the vacuum cleaner in the bathtub. apparently, she has it in her head that the vacuum cleaner would never go in the bathtub. she's actually right. but really, she's still a wussy baby.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

mountains? molehills? what's the difference?

i remember, quite distinctly, the day MomCat and SisterCat told me that i was high maintenance.

i remember thinking, that's insane! i'm the most low maintenance person i know. that's probably because i'm the only person that i know from the subconscious level on up, but that's neither here nor there. i took definitive umbrage at the accusation of high maintenance-ness at the time.

upon further reflection, however, i could see what they were getting at. i think sometimes it's not so much that i'm high maintenance as that i'm high strung. it's when i get really high strung that i can, at times, become high maintenance. get it? good.

a perfect example of this is my recent car-related debacle. and by debacle, i mean not a problem at all. turns out, my parking space neighbor is exceedingly gracious, and returned my note with a message saying "don't worry about it - these spots are way too tight! thanks for letting me know!" and then there was a smiley face.

a smiley face.

i spent the last two days agonizing over this, beating myself up and whining incessantly about every little aspect of the situation. what if the person was a big jerk and yelled at me? why did i have to be so stupid and scrape their car?* how am i going to pay for it? what is the insurance going to do, how does it work, oh my god i don't know what i'm doing and i'm such a big dumb idiot. (BoyCat, my parents, and various unfortunate co-workers had to listen to this for 48 hours, mind you.)

and the other person involved? smiley faces.

to that person i say congratulations and goodwill to you, for you are, in fact, a low maintenance person.

*i'm sure you can deduce from the victim's proportional response that it was literally "merely a scratch." i mean, it's an evident scratch, but just a scratch nonetheless. luckily, one of us had the lucidity to see it that way.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

your wednesday one-liner.

stupidity never gets old, courtesy of Overheard in New York:

Prep chick: Is it amoebas that come from Mexico? Or am I thinking of armadillos?

--5th Ave

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

in other imbecile-related news.

i scraped another car in our parking garage today. specifically, the one parked right next to ours. imagine that! i knew the very small amount of space between their bumper and the concrete column on the other side of the parking spot was going to do me in sooner or later!

just how i wanted to spend a few hundred bucks around the holidays - on someone else's paint job, and not on presents for people i actually know.

so, now you're all getting beef jerky and old copies of the washington post for christmas. deal with it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

ok, now you're just messing with me.

i am exhausted and about to head to the gym, but i just had to tell you all:

virginia is crazy.

no, i mean it this time. i kinda sorta thought it before, but now i am certain. so remember when i posted last month about how i had to drive around for 20 minutes just to find an honest-to-goodness mailbox? well. early - way too early - on saturday morning, BoyCat and i bundled up and got in the car to head to the DMV. mmmhmmm that's right, the DMV. we were both getting new licenses, and attempting to register the car in virginia to get new plates (our illinois ones had expired two days earlier). so it is before 8:00 am, i am looking at the prospect of standing outside in the cold waiting to get into a government building, and i am not very happy about either cirumstance.

"what the hell does this have to do with mailboxes, kate?" hold on, i'll tell you. as we pulled out of the apartment complex, i asked BoyCat to make a quick right so i could drop our netflix dvd in the mailbox. you know, the only mailbox. so, we took a right, and i looked, and it was not there.

the mailbox, it seems, has vanished.

i turned to BoyCat and said, "am i going insane? there was a mailbox here, right?" he said, "yeah, i think so." but he had only been there once, i had been twice, so i knew so. but the state of virginia, apparently unhappy with its citizens' collective ability to mail things unencumbered, decided to eradicate the one mailbox that i've ever been able to locate south of the mason-dixon line.

thank god the DMV actually gave us licenses and plates that day (not that it didn't take three hours, but that's a whole 'nother story), or else i would've had to consider drastic action. like a crying fit.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

friday cat blogging, non-existent edition.

well, i had every intention of doing a friday cat blogging post, except that in the new blogger beta, i'll be damned if i can figure out how to post a picture. in fact, that whole hand icon bar from the original blogger appears to have vanished. "blogger help" is of no help to me.

i've only been attempting to figure this out for ten minutes, but seriously people, it's been a long week. i am at a loss here.