Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Mi Enamigo

Last week was the first week of classes. I was bright eyed, excited and optimistic. I looked at all the other students around me, and through my rosed color glasses, I saw an army of my peers, engaged in a righteous battle against ignorance. I elevated them, along with myself, to defenders of truth, seekers of knowledge, pure and altruistic beings.

Then, on thursday my idealistic view of them was shattered into a million tiny, sharp little pieces that have since struck my heart and left it aching, filled with rancor.

In my Spanish class there is one particular student. On the aforementioned day the sun went down on my hopes and dreams (Thursday) I noticed that he wasn't taking any notes. About 20 minutes into the lecture, he reluctantly opened up his slim looking backpack and pulled out a yellow legal pad with the intention of taking notes. For a minute he looked around in the small pouch on the front of his bag, but finding no writing utensil he slumped back in his chair. About 5 minutes later he leaned over to me and asked to borrow a pen.

As the gracious fellow student that I am, and with my newfound hope in humanity I reached down, withdrew a brand new pen from my bag and handed it over.

I sat there for the next 10 minutes smiliing internally at my little act of service.

Then, I glanced back over at the recipient of my good will, and what do I see, but his gnarly little incisors gnawing on the end of my pen.

Immediatley I was totally repulsed, and enthralled. For the last 10 minutes of class I spent my time wondering what this kid would do.

Would he suddenly realize that he was chewing on my pen and look embarrased? Would he offer it back to me after he'd demolished it with his sharp, and poorly brushed canines?

As the clock ticked on I became engrossed by the situation.

Finally, the lecture ended. He tossed his offensively yellow pad of paper into his backpack and stormed out of class.

For a second I sat dumbfounded in my chair.

I honestly couldn't believe that anyone would do that. He didn't even make a comment about the pen. I guess he thought that "borrow" meant the same thing as "keep and desicrate."

So now he has been dubbed my "enamigo" and will remain thus appelled until such time that the pen incident has been resolved.

Friday, August 26, 2005


As I switched on my right turn signal to turn onto my street last night I should have been able to sense the dark cloud of gloom emanating from my house two blocks away. It had been a long, hard day at school, but that still didn't explain my lack of normal perceptive ability.

I parked my car, climbed up the steps to my house and opened my door.

The scene of my front room was jarring.

I stopped and waited a second to put the pieces together. Scattered all over our worn, fading hardwood floor were several manuals. The pages were bent and crumpled. The entertainment center was pulled back away from the wall ruthlessly exposing the long black cords. TV, stereo, DVD player and the mystery remote were lying lifeless on the ground, their battery covers yanked off and gutted; the life giving cells stripped from their plastic beds. My roommate was sitting in the midst of this disarray, wide eyed and frantic. She had the look of a cornered animal looking up at her attacker, full knowledge of what is about to ensue.

I came to this scene and after the moment it took to digest what was going on I called out, "FURY (my roommate) what is going on?"

In a low and confused tone she said, "It's the TV, it won't turn on"

My heart rose up in my throat and I mentally counted to 10 before I spoke again.

"Do you know what's going on?"

She started to explain, "well, I the people from Comcast sent a new box today for our upgrade to DVR. When I got the box I called Comcast to tell them to cancel the old one. I hooked up the wires, and now, nothing."

Oh sweet glory.....they had taken away our cable.

My world started spinning.

What was I going to do?

How was I going to make up my mind about what I like to do?

I will be totally out of the loop with the lives of my best friends: Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, and the Pitt/Aniston break-up.

I set my mind to work. I decided I would not be a victim of comcast. I would take things into my own hands.

I looked at the wires and saw that they had all be connected correctly.

I un attached and reattached things.

I routed it through the DVD player.

I rounded it through the box.

I tired connecting it straight to the TV.

I was becoming frustrated.

The light was leaving my eyes and sweat beads were rolling down my forehead.

Suddenly, I thought of something.

With my last, halting breath I called to my roommate, "FURY, press the 'input' button."

She raised her weary and sunken hand and with her last ounce of strength pushed the little red button in the upper right hand corner of the remote.

The joy and ecstasy I experienced in the next minute defies all explanation.

Suddenly the TV burst to life. The strident constant mock of static had been replaced by the sonorous tones of MSNBC.

Like the winner of a marathon race, the victory invigorated our bodies. Adrenaline pumped through our systems as we started a full out ceremonial dance thanking the cable gods. We rompted and jumped and yipped and shouted with every thankful cell in our bodies. Light shone down from above and we felt a moment of divine transcendence as we realized that not only could we watch TV now, but we possessed the power to rewind, copy, and program our viewing. The power, the control, the total euphoria of never having to miss another episode of Gilmore Girls again.......

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

So not one person in any of my classes yesterday was friendly. I don't know what the deal was. I sat there surrounded by people who are going through the exact same experience as I was and no one every cracked a smile in my direction. I just sat there thinking, "what is with you people?"

I even went so far as to try to strike up a conversation with one of the classmates next to me, but he pretty much just gave me a one word response and turned around to fish some strange writing device out of his bag.

It was really disheartening.

On the other hand, my fabulous new roommate made her famous meat sauce and pasta and the boys from next door came over. We had a great dinner filled with laughs and stories. After that, the ear doctor and I went swing dancing down in Denver, and I actually didn't feel like I was doing all that badly.

Tonight we're going to the Jack Johnson concert.

The one at red rocks that sold out in about 20 minutes.

I'm really EXCITED!

Monday, August 22, 2005

I'm pissed

So I just met with the professor that I'm going to TA for and not only did he make me feel like a raging moron for not remembering how to compute a curl of a function, but he also informed me that he expected me to re arrange my entire schedule for his class. WHAT A PAIN! Now I am taking classes that I really wish I wasn't.

I sat in his office with the other TA and stared blankly at his whiteboard while he expected me to just recall off the top of my head material that I haven't studied in almost 5 years. Sometimes I'm floored by professors. They expect you to understand and remember the same amount of information that they know. Never mind that they've been teaching this material for the past 20 years and this is their lives work.

On the plus side, this class is probably going to be really challenging and interesting so I'm kind of excited to learn about it. It's pretty much 4 credit hours of free class. Not just free, but I'm being paid to become and expert on the material. So, I guess when I look at it that way, I'm pretty excited about it. Plus, now I have a goal of impressing him with my ability to learn. Bonus.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Bragging rights

Usually I try to not make every post about how awesome my boyfriend is, but today I'm just going to have to break down and let you all know.



he is.

And he did something last night that totally warranted some unabashed praise.

He went above and beyond the call of duty.

He blew me away.

Last night after a grueling day of TA orientation I had volunteered to make the missionaries of my church dinner. They don't have much money and can't really cook at all, so sometimes I offer and they gladly accept.

Anyway, last night I tried a new recipe from my new Healthy Kitchen cookbook. The entree (eggplant rollatinni) was very involved and I was rushed so I couldn't do my normal do-the-dishes-as-you-cook routine.

The result, as I'm sure you could imagine was that there were dishes everywhere in my kitchen. The meal was great, and well received, but I had to be somewhere at 8 so I scooted everyone out of my house, leaving the kitchen looking like ground zero.

After I came back from my appointment I rounded the corner into the kitchen fully prepared to do dishes for the next hour.

I was overcome with the beauty of the sight upon which my eyes fell.

The kitchen was immaculate. It was sparkling and clean. Every dish had been washed and put away. The leftovers had been carefully wrapped and put in the fridge. It was so amazing.

I called the ear doctor and he admitted do the great deed of good works. After I'd left he had circled back around to my house and spent an hour cleaning up the mess I'd made.

And that, my friends, is why my boyfriend rules.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Being a TA is going to be hard

Holy Cow. I've just been to my first day of Grad Student training and I've decided that this was a bigger decision than I thought it was. As I sit here in a busy, impersonal, chaotic student computer lab I am silently missing my sweet, quiet office. I miss being surrounded by people who know me, think I'm really smart, and love my sense of humor. I tried making a few jokes with people here and they totally fell flat. This may take a little adjusting to get used to.

I had to give a 5 minute lesson on something. It was video-taped and played back for me, and the rest of the classroom to watch. Nothing is quite as humbling as seeing yourself teach on a TV screen. Plus it was some serious persuasion to get my fat butt back into the gym.

On the more positive side, while waiting in the hour long line to get myself a new student ID card I met 4 new people who were really cool. That's one of the coolest parts of being a student. Every single day you have the chance to meet brand new people and learn awesome things from them. It's always a fun, dynamic environment that is constantly refreshing itself. Making friends is SO easy.

Last thing to report is that my beautiful best friend in the whole world had her first baby last night. Olivia Jane is the new baby's name and I think that is SO cute. I wish I could be in Washington hanging out with my new little niece, but alas, it can't be. Olivia's little head was 15" in circumference, which is HUGE, so I know she's going to be a genius.

Friday, August 12, 2005

My country 'tis of thee

Have you ever been in a group of people and you say something you think is totally normal, but when you look around the table you realize that what you though was normal is actually very very abnormal?

I think that's how my friend Derek felt at lunch today.

We were talking about how some people don't know what shooting stars really are and how we thought that was kind of strange. Then, I said I knew someone who didn't know there was a Washington State. Then, Derek said, (and I'm not joking here) "well, I don't know what the DC stands for."

I paused for a minute not really comprehending. Then, it dawned on me that the "DC" he was talking about was the "DC" in "Washington DC." Like the capitol of America. I was floored. I half laughingly informed him that it meant District of Columbia. Everyone in hearing distance looked at him in shock.

He then tried to prove that hardly anyone knew what DC meant by asking everyone else at the restaurant. After 100% of the people polled knew the answer he started feeling a little sheepish.

I was blown away.

We've been back from lunch for an hour now and he just came to ask my friend in the next office over all about how DC is run if it isn't technically a state.

Didn't everyone learn this in like, 7th grade?

Announcing Greatness

Good news everyone. My best friend in Colorado has graduated from school and taken a full time job as a chemist in Golden Colorado. This new stage of her life is very new and exciting, and, well, kind of boring. Like everyone else, she left her very successful undergraduate career bright eyed and ready to take on the world. She went to her first day of work and realized, with a sinking feeling, that corporate America is by and large very boring and filled with hours of unusable time.

The silver lining in this dark and gloomy cloud of disappointment is that SHE HAS STARTED A BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hooray for:

G is for Genius

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Utter Failure

Yesterday morning I went through my expenses for the millionth time in my head. It seems like every other train of thought inevitable ends up in the depot of my personal finances.

I made a resolute decision that I would do no more shopping for the month of August. Things were getting out of hand and I need to reign things in a bit.

I even wrote across the top of my mirror "NO shopping!" to remind myself of my decision.



You guessed it.

I broke that goal.

I couldn't even make it through 24 hours without caving.

Although, I think this expense was justified.

Now I fully look the part of sophisticated grad student.

And since I had to wait an hour while they put my new prescription lenses into those babies, I had to pass the time.

At the Gap.

With a new pair of jeans.

I'm bad, I know.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Traitor and a hypocrite

After writing this post declaring my undying love, I've made a change. I've thrown in the towel on my old love. I've given up the fight. I've found something newer, sleeker, sexier that gives me a thrill just to look at it.

I know, I know. Having a relationship that is deep and committed means that you work through the tough times. I know I'll never learn to commit to anything unless I realize that I need to be happy with what I have. Learn to love the imperfections. Embrace the slightly worn patches because nothing is perfect in the long run.


I'm human.

I like change and the excitement that it brings.

I had to give my old guy the boot and upgrade to a new model.

Feast your eyes upon my new amour

Isn't he hot.

Don't you agree that it was about time I cut my ties to a relationship that was just holding me back?

Yeah, I thought so too.

My Favorite Posts

Ways to become the most popular person in the office

Question of the Day

My writing triumph

Broken Heart

In response

A total disappointment

That's just how much I love my friends


Maggie's Theory

Free stuff=my dream come true

The world makes sense again

Good news everyone.

This reign of terror has come to an end.

This morning the straw inventory was restocked with clean, gleaming white, perfect in every way specimens.

I'm sure you're all relieved to know.

Monday, August 08, 2005

White Trash Weekend

Friday night the ear doctor and I went to the local county fair. I love fairs...the food, the animals, the 4H projects, and especially the people. Now, the county fairs are different than the big state fairs. When I was little we would always "Do the Puyallup" (Washington State Fair). This fair was huge and drew its crowd from all sorts of socio-economic rungs in the ladder of life. A county fair, on the other hand, is straight up red neck. Things I ate at the fair:

  • Pulled Pork sandwich just dripping with BBQ sauce.
  • Mammoth sized pitcher of the most watered-down strawberry lemonade ever consumed.
  • Large brick 'o curly fries that left a lake of oil on the paper plate.
  • Completely flat diet coke.
  • Powdered sugar coated funnel cake.

After wandering around and eating enough to fill Noah's entire Ark, we ambled over to the arena for the TRACTOR PULL!

Yes, I've now experienced that ultimate in white trash events. Actually, in all fairness it wasn't nearly as white trash as the WWF wrestling match I went to in high school, but it came very close.

The ear doctor made friends with an older gentleman that was sitting in front of us. Turns out he has been following tractor pulls all his life and had been personally following the career of one truck called "the Junk Yard Dog."

I've never actually been to an event where a fight broke out over whether Ford of Chevy was better.

It was bizarre.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Working for Inatech

Laying in my bed with dripping wet hair and a haphazardly assembled ensemble I looked up at the popcorn ceiling of my new bedroom and took a moment to relax.

It seems like fate refuses to let me be calm with a choice, like it forbids me from coming to any kind of equilibrium point. I feel like a marble balanced carefully on top of an upside down bowl; lying ready to fall off the one point of balance.

Yesterday at work it was announced that my department would be laying people off within the next week or two.

My once quiet and reposed mind has been uprooted and expelled into a tumultuous storm of uncertainty.

I'd made my decision to go to school, but stay working part time to support my dirty little shopping habit. With the extra time at work I can comfortably keep my car. My car. My one symbol of being an independent and successful adult. It embodies my achievement and my responsibility.

Now, if I loose my job that supplemental income will evaporate causing me to living like a poor starving student.

I will immediately go from the wonderfully frivolous lifestyle to which I have become accustomed to that bleak world of having to turn down outings with friends simply because I can't afford it.

I was so frazzled this morning that I didn't even put any mascara on.

That is bad.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Housing Fiasco Part 2

Well, boys and girls, in case you've just joined us in the recent national tragedy that newsmakers are calling, "Katie's Dramatic Move 2005," please take a moment to acquaint yourselves with the events that have transpired in the last 3 days.

After calling the new landlord and having a very calm, yet forceful discussion with her on the phone, she informed me that she would make the cleaners cancel their camping vacation and come over to finish cleaning the house. Her instructions to me were to leave the house key under the flower pot on the back porch and by the time I got home from work on Tuesday, the house would be magically transformed into a quasi hygienic, non-third world looking domicile.

With confidence that my new landlord was not going to let me down, I carried out her instructions.

After work yesterday I slowly approached the door. I hoped with all my heart that it was sparkling and clean. I hoped that the cleaning people had used as much elbow grease as Allison did this weekend. I just really wanted it to be perfect so that my new roommate, who I've recently dubbed "FURY," would be placated.

I took a furtive glance around and noticed that the place had obviously had the windows scoured. Plus, the black slime that was growing above the shower surround was much less noticeable.

Somewhat satisfied for the moment, I finished up painting my new bedroom. It is a beautiful creamy light yellow color that just makes me feel at home.

I went out for dinner with my friend Martin in Denver and when I came back at around 9 I was presented with interesting new information.

FURY was home and chomping at the bit to tell me the events that had transpired during my absence.

She said that the landlord had stopped by. FURY had walked through the house pointing out things that were still unacceptable. The landlord kept trying to make excuses for why the house was presented to us in such a horrifying states. The landlord said that she had tried to tell the former tenants that they needed to clean the house or they would be charged for it. The landlord kept trying to make it everyone else's fault but her own. FURY was having nothing of it. She told the landlord that she was very disappointed thus far in our relationship with her and felt like we needed some kind of offering to repair the relationship.

Later, after the landlord left and before I got home, the previous tenants stopped by to talk to FURY. They were really confused by why we were reacting so much to the condition of the house's cleanliness (or filth rather).

The previous girls told FURY that the landlord told them not to worry about cleaning because she was going to have all the walls repainted and the hardwood floors sanded and re-stained.

FURY and I have decided that they are both liars and we aren't going to trust what either side of the argument says.

We're drafting a list of complaints about the house, having the landlord walk through and inspect them and then demanding that they be fixed by October 1 or we are going to withhold rent. The landlord is going to sign it and so will we.

This morning as I was leaving the house for work I looked in our mailbox and saw that the landlord had left us a check. She pro-rated the rent for the month and gave us our rent back for August 1 since it was too dirty to move in.

I'd say that's a nice way to attempt to rebuild the relationship.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Because I haven't posted in a while...

I filled out this survey about a year ago, but I looked back at my responses and realized that I didn't give these questions the real answers they deserved. So, in an effort to pass the time at work and allow my hot head to cool down from my terrible moving drama this weekend, you all will be entertained with the following.

This is one of the earliest famous "get to know me" -style questionnaires. It is called the "Proust Questionnaire", of which there are two versions. Neither of them were written by Proust, but rather were made well-known because his answers somehow were saved and later published.

  • What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? To feel alone, isolated, misunderstood or forgotten
  • Where would you like to live? Location isn't as important as the people who live with me....but somewhere with nice weather is always a plus.
  • What is your idea of earthly happiness? earthly happiness...really understanding that there is a method to the apparent madness. Using that direction to offer that happiness to those around you. To really enjoy nature. To sit and be still. To be at peace with yourself.
  • To what faults do you feel most indulgent? Often I find myself basing my judgment of others upon superficial/chance moments.
  • Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? I really like the type of hero that Ayn Rand embodies in Dagny Taggart. Those who fight for an ideal. Who don't give up. Who remain true to themselves. Who represent what we all should be striving for.
  • Who are your favorite characters in history? The ones who didn't make the history books.
  • Who are your favorite heroines in real life? "A woman of genius leading an ordinary life"<- I plagiarized this because I think it is SO eloquent and beautiful.
  • Who are your favorite heroines of fiction? Those who are strong and brave yet still retain an element of femininity. I can't think of one off the top of my head. Only Ester comes to mind.
  • Your favorite painter? I haven't really had a chance to be well-versed enough to pick a favorite.
  • Your favorite musician? Jeez, where do I begin? Classically speaking, I really like the Russians and the Spanish...mostly the romantics. In the Jazz/Swing arena, I love Billie Holiday. Her voice gives me chills because it is rough and real. In music coming out today...hard to say. You have to look a lot more for real "musicians." I really like Fiona Apple because her lyrics are raw.
  • The quality you most admire in a man? Integrity, Self Control/mastery, rippling pectorals.
  • The quality you most admire in a woman? Sincerity, Quiet strength, Loyalty
  • Your favorite virtue? Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Integrity
  • Your favorite occupation? Making music, working in the garden
  • Your most marked characteristic? Physically, my bright red hair.....Personality, driven.
  • What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty and love
  • What is your principle defect? I make the same mistakes over and over without learning anything.
  • What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes? Never understanding how loved and valuable I am.
  • What would you like to be? The person my mom thinks I can be. To reach the potential that those who love me know I have.
  • What is your favorite color? Green...It’s clean and fresh.
  • What's your favorite flower? The ones that make my parent's back yard a haven from the responsibilities of my adulthood.
  • What is your favorite bird? The little one that woke me up this morning.
  • What are your favorite names? Garrett and Maggie
  • What is it you most dislike? Failing...even worse, being mediocre
  • What natural gift would you most like to possess? Charisma like my father's
  • How would you like to die? With a peace concerning the future.
  • What is your present state of mind? Pensive, introspective, as "deep" as I ever am. Slightly annoyed that I don't have the answers to this already figured out.

Drama Drama Drama

This weekend was awesome, but it was completely overshadowed by the crappiness that was yesterday.

I had to move.

I, like every other sane person on the planet, hate moving.

I pack all my crap up, become totally amazed by how much crap I've amassed in the past 6 years, start feeling a little overwhelmed at the daunting task before me, get over it, and start the slow process of relocating. This particular move seemed really intimidating because the ear doctor, who had been so kind and helpful moving my furniture on past moves, was up and hour and a half away, up in the mountains at hearing aid camp for the week. I figured I would have to figure out how to move everything on my own this time.

I'd decided to take the day off work so that I could bear down and get it all done.

I naively assumed that since my landlord said I could move in on August 1, that I could actually move in that day.

Foolish, I know.

I showed up at my new house at 9:30 in the morning and was informed that the floors had yet to be cleaned so would I be so kind as to just store my stuff on the back porch until they could come in and put the finishing touches on it.

I said sure, unloaded my first car full to the back porch while taking small glances at the cleaners' progress.

Feeling like this move was going to be no trouble at all, I bounded back to my car to return to my old house for the second car load.

I began refilling my backseat when I heard the sound of tires sliding in gravel to a sudden stop. Slowly I turned my head and was unexpectedly filled with joy.

The ear doctor had driven all the way down just to help me! Just seeing him pull up in his large moving capacity pick-up truck almost brought tears of relief to my eyes.

We loaded almost everything else up in my car and the bed of his truck and took off.

I was expecting the house to be cleaned and ready to move in.

What I was presented with was the contrary.

As I moved from empty room to empty room I became more and more frustrated. The corners of the bedrooms were covered in cobwebs. There was mouse poop in the bottoms of a few closets. The windows were covered in dirt, as well as the window sills. There were actually still dead flies in the tracks of the windows. The sink in my bathroom wouldn't drain properly and the hose to the sprinkler watering the dead grass had sprung a leak, soaking some of my stuff that I'd courteously stored on the porch.

This whole situation is a mess.

My roommate is refusing to pay our security deposit until the place has been properly cleaned. We have no place else to go so our stuff is in piles all over the house. Half of my stuff is out on the back porch covered by a monstrous tarp just waiting for some sketchy/inquisitive neighbor to rifle through and pilfer.

The cleaning people are coming back today to try to clean it again and I'm supposed to call the landlord tonight at 8 to talk again. She doesn't want to hire someone else because she's been working with these people for 20 years, but I'm like, "they aren't getting the job done and I refuse to pay rent for days that i have to live in filth"

Stay tuned for more developments.