Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year-End Catchall Post of the Year's Unfinished Post Drafts

2/27: Coffee!

4/4: In college, my classmates and I thought that our major was kind of a joke, because so much involved in "marketing communications" just seems like common sense.

But sometimes now- say, when somebody thinks putting a 24-word headline on a news release is a good idea- I realize that maybe it's not that common.

5/26: Every month or so when I go to the Red Cross to donate platelets, I entertain thoughts of meeting some hot dude there. We’d meet in the lobby, and then end up in adjacent chairs for our donations, and by then we’d be having such a fine time chatting (“Isn’t donating platelets the easiest way to do good?” “I know! It’s like volunteering, but for lazy people!”) that we’d both pass up watching a movie, and by the time we hit the refreshments table we’d be in deep smit.

This never happens. In fact, I rarely even see men at the Red Cross, and when I do they’re inevitably old and married. Actually, everybody I see there is old and married.

Now that I’ve thought through this scenario, it seems that the apheresis center is not exactly a hot singles scene. It should be though, and do you know why? You could be relatively certain that a person you meet there is free of any major blood-borne diseases, has a good platelet count and normal blood pressure, has never exchanged sex for money or drugs, and is not afraid of needles. These are all excellent qualities in a potential romantic connection, and just try ascertaining that kind of information on, say, the roof at Brit’s.

6/18: Everything up is down today and everything down is up! I can't concentrate! This is madness! Cole is enlisting in the army, my ex is dating someone way classier than me, they only had pound-sized yogurts at Au Bon Pain, my iPod battery ran out, and things in general have gone haywire! Is this what happens when I try to shake it up?

7/7: Today at work, Kate and Patrick get lots done.

P: i just discovered something terrible.
K: a lump in your nads?
P: oh, why did you have to go there? what if i really did?
K: you probably wouldn't be telling me about it via google chat?
P: ok, true. no, not actually terrible. but you know how some text editing programs have a feature where it'll read what's written in that awful computer voice?
K: yes, we had a lot of fun with that in my college dorm.
P: well, i'm trying to get a scottish accent out of it. this is not appropriate nor should i be enjoying it this much.
K: what's the terrible part?
P: okay, so clearly "terrible" was a bit of an exaggeration. or maybe the completely wrong word. it's just the worst kind of time waster.
K: what program is this? can i do it in Word?
P: i don't know, but excel can. but my attempt at phonetic scottish in computer voice is pretty terrible.
K: UMM. AWESOME. how can i make it speak scottish?
P: nononono. this is me trying to make it sound scottish with phonetic spellings. it's still the same shitty computer voice
K: i know, i just wanted to know what words you were doing. i just got a pretty decent boston accent with "pahk the cah in hahvad yahd."
P: ok, so you're way better at this than me. also less vulgar. "aaaie, thot laahsie, thar's a feckin coont"
K: i will now accomplish nothing for the rest of the day.


7/9:
So I got an unflattering sunburn on my chest/upper-boob area while at the Pride parade a week and a half ago, and now look like an idiot every time I wear a shirt cut lower than the one I was wearing that day. In other Pride news, I got $5 in change in the form of dollar coins at the festival, and briefly thought that they were, like, special Pride dollars. I'm dumb. I didn't know Jefferson was on those things now; I thought it was still Sacagawea. In other currency news, why don't pennies just go away already? Seriously.

7/21: I just accidentally crumbled a cupcake all over my desk and then continued to eat the pieces that were still large enough to make it worth the trouble. It was very fetching.

12/1: Holiday confession: I love, love, love that Mariah Carey song, "All I Want for Christmas Is You." I heard it for the first time this season on my drive home yesterday, and I definitely sang along. I was a major fan of MC back in the day, you know.

***
Looking back, I guess I had good reasons for not finishing a lot of these posts. Here's to better writing in '09!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not bitter.

When it's this cold (yesterday hit 14 below, if you're an asshole living somewhere warm and you don't know), and you're getting dressed in the morning, you think to yourself: "Well, what sweater do I want to lay down and die in after losing my will to live, like the guy in that Jack London story?"

Also, your car doors freeze shut. Which is inconvenient, if you hope to go anywhere.

Just painting a little picture for my out-of-state readership.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I have my priorities.

I've slacked. I've been slacking. I'm a slacker.

I don't really know what to tell you, other than it's been cold out; I've had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning; I'm watching season seven of The West Wing on DVD and finding it very compelling; I'm knitting; I'm generally doing solitary old-lady things that are keeping me away from this, my blog on the interwebs.

Speaking of solitary, this Friday is the big company holiday party, a very fancy dress-up event that I will be attending stag. My hope is that Todd will be put in charge of drink tickets again, and I can down enough before dinner that I won't mind being seated next to the other sad singles at the sad singles table. Also, Kristin is pregnant, and she said Brooke and I could have her tickets. It occurred to Brooke and me, too late, that we should have RSVP'd with fictitious dates so that we could have then taken their drink tickets too. I may be coming off a little preoccupied with drink tickets here, but economic conditions and the precarious state of our jobs mean that one never can tell when it is one's last chance to be a lush on the company dime, and I didn't get a raise this year; I'll be damned if I don't make it up in vodka.

God bless us, everyone.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Early Thanksgiving Thankfulness

Because I'll be on the road on Wednesday night, and probably won't want to spend time online on Thursday, and because I'm procrastinating on a work project, I shall now make a list of things I am thankful for this year, so that I will be prepared when my mother makes everyone say something at Thanksgiving dinner.

1. The family is doing well. Mom is kicking ass at work, Dad has finally found a career that suits him, Jon quit smoking and continues to learn his craft as a luthier. And while Grandma probably wouldn't count this as one of her best years, I think that what happened needed to happen. And if you're an elderly widow living alone on a farm, and you're going to break a hip, you should do it in public, and in a relatively minor way, which she did. So way to go, Grandma.

2. Politically, things are looking up. Like, way up. I'm not saying that things are going to be magically fixed in January, but I am glad to know that the people in charge of trying to fix things are thoughtful and educated and don't make decisions based on their "gut" or "a feeling" or "Jesus." Also, Tom Daschle, you guys. This puts me, like, two degrees from the president. The Aberdeen mafia knows no bounds.

3. Remember that time about a year ago when I said I was going to pay off my credit card and start being a grown-up financially? Yeah, I did that. I don't want to tempt fate here, but I have built up a meager savings account that I now add to every month like a big girl. Also, the current financial crisis, if it had to happen, is at least happening at a time in my life when my portfolio is pathetic in the first place, and now has plenty of time to recover. Also, if I do get laid off, I'll have only myself to take care of. No kids, no husband, no house payment. I could totally pick up and join the circus. (A trapeze act, obviously. Finally, an appropriate occasion to wear sequins!)

4. My fuh-wends. I didn't know many people when I moved here, and for a while my friends were my brother's friends, and then my boyfriend's friends, who were all wonderful, but I sometimes felt a degree removed. So now finally, I am really glad to have do-it-yourself friends, people I met at work and book club and kickball, as well as a few members of the Aberdeen mafia, of course. This year we played kickball in formal wear, spent a rained-out cabin weekend on feats of skill and strength, and tomorrow will celebrate "Thankskegger," to which I will bring a Jell-o mold in the shape of a lobster.

Okay, so in order to fully enjoy Thankskegger, I need to finish an article. Right now. On Saturday night. Things I am not thankful for this year: My ongoing inability to write during normal work hours at my desk.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I bet she uses Jergens.

Most adorable quote in yesterday's paper, from a second grader who met Michelle Obama during her tour of DC schools: "I touched her hand and she smelled like cherries."

I am totally jealous of that second grader.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oh hai, sad new cubicle.



This seems the perfect time to take a week off.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Maybe you haven't yet heard, but this changes everything.

Here is my absolute favorite thing about the outcome of the election: After all the talk the McCain camp did about "real Americans" and people who were "pro-America"... that's exactly who came out to vote on Tuesday. It just turns out that "real America" isn't as white, or as ignorant, or as fearful as Sarah Palin & co. had hoped.

That makes me smile.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cyn. Guess where I am not.

Well. The company giveth, and the company taketh away. And while I have thoroughly enjoyed having an office, it will be takethed away next week, as we consolidate floors and I go back to rocking a cubicle. I am glad now that I didn't brag about my office to everyone I know, or do something stupid like post pictures on my blog. Oh wait.

We are not going to talk about the salary freeze, because I will lapse into a suffocating despair. Oops, too late.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dishes for every day of the year.

I went to my grandma's this weekend to help out my mom a bit with her ongoing packing efforts, now that Grandma has (relatively happily) moved to an assisted living home. (Which we love, by the way; it's very nice and doesn't smell bad and her apartment is bigger than mine.) It was a little overwhelming. Grandma has a lot of stuff. A lot. Most of it unnecessary. Example: The woman does not drink, yet I packed at least five different sets of cordial glasses. In fact, I mostly packed dishes all day. Sooooo many dishes.

I don't really have time right now to delve into the deeper things about the visit- how it was sad but still a relief, how the house was clearly getting away from her, how I think that the farm is the root of everything sane and practical in my life and I'm going to have a hard time when it's really gone.

But I took pictures.







































And when we went to see her in Mitchell we drove by the Corn Palace, and I know how much you'd all like pictures of that as well.





















Please note the Alamo mural.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You'll be pleased to learn...

... that I finally made it to the Alamo last Saturday.
















See?

It was exactly like this:

Friday, October 17, 2008

On the upside, it is 82 and sunny.

I'm in a hotel room in San Antonio watching Oprah. Luke Russert actually knows his stuff. Guess that shouldn't surprise me.

So yeah, I can see the Alamo outside my window as I write this, and I have a free hour right now with which I could go see it up close, and instead I'm watching Oprah in bed because my feet hurt that badly and I am that tired. Trade shows, you guys. Whose idea was this?

I went to a luncheon today at a very fancy hotel, was the youngest person in the room, and severely under dressed. Go me. I never even attempt wearing heels at these things, but today was not the best day for me to have chosen Mary Janes. I looked like I was 12.

We've been here since Wednesday, and I never thought I would say this, but I may actually be sick of chips and salsa. And maybe margaritas too?

Clearly, Texas has warped my brain.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Career advice, from someone who barely has one.

Okay... I know it's hard to try to "network" when you're still in college. I know it is. Trust me, I have been there. But here's a tip, for my non-existent college audience: When corresponding with a professional contact, you must, must, must spell the name of her agency correctly.

You should try particularly hard to NOT spell it incorrectly three times.

Especially when you are writing your contact to say that although your campus club has enjoyed its past annual tours of her agency (led by her), this year it would like to tour the sister agency instead, and could she please send on the contact information?

This sort of note will be interpreted unfavorably.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Challah-back girl. (Had to do it.)

Last weekend the Times magazine printed a couple challah recipes, and I don't know what got into me, but I decided to try one on Saturday. Now, when the Times says the recipe makes a loaf "the size of a skateboard," you may think to yourself, "Oh, haha, hyperbole is so delightful in a recipe." But what you really should keep in mind is that the Times is a very serious paper, and they're not kidding.

You should also be aware that making challah is kind of a weird Saturday evening activity, and if your friends call and invite you to come meet them at the CC, you may have to reply that you can't come until much later, because you're waiting for your dough to rise. And then you'll have a few hours to kill watching The Notebook and feeling lame. But when it's all done you'll have a nice, albeit unevenly shaped, skateboard-sized challah.



No comments about my dirty stove.

French toast at my place for the next three weeks, then?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oh those boys are much too much

Well, it's Sunday, and I should be working right now, to finish an article I've been putting off and putting off and hate so much I want the draft on my table to maybe just spontaneously combust and go away forever. Probably that's not going to happen. Also, if it did, I would have a hard time explaining it to the client.

But anyway, let's procrastinate a little while longer with le blogging. I hope you all did your patriotic duty and watched the debate on Friday. I did, kind of, and what I mean by that is I attended Morgan's debate-watching party and drank a little too much, too early, so that after maybe half an hour of debating I was not feeling in the mood for any more back-and-forth about pork barrel spending and blar blar blar*, and I might have shouted that I was bored and just wanted to see what Michelle was wearing. Also, there came a point when I stirred my drink with a cheesy fondue fork. Whatevs.

On to news of a generation that isn't yet cynical enough to participate in debate drinking games: Last Thursday was family night at the Little's new school, the KIPP Stand Academy. I went; the Little's mom did not; I don't really know why. Anyway. It is outstanding. The teachers are amazing, the program is amazing, the kids are amazing. They did a RAP of TIMES TABLES. VOLUNTARILY. They really reaaaallly wanted to show everyone; they were so eager to do it, straining from raising their hands so adamantly. So maybe my eyes welled up a little; I don't know. I can see the difference in the Little, too, even though it's only been six weeks. She has a lot more to say about what's been going on at school. She knows who's running for president. She has her Saturday electives for next term already picked out, one of which is FILM. Yeah, they have film classes for fifth graders.

So I'm just hoping that it continues to work out and she can stay there all through middle school. That would be good. "Good," as in, "life altering and miraculous."

Speaking of miracles, it will be a miracle if I ever finish this article. Gah, fine, bye for now.

* 4 cereals, though, I totally care deeply about the issues.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Patrick tells me how trivia night went; we are elitist.

P: Shortest sentence in the English language?
K: He is?
K: I am.
P: Closer... the subject is implied.
K: Go.
P: Yes.
P: [The host] had done her research, and was all ready to argue against people that put things like "I am," expecting lots of arguments, but apparently there were a lot of answers like, "No."
K: Neither a subject nor a verb! Yay, America!
P: Indeed.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Selected text messages sent during Emmys

"Josh Groban needs to fire his agent."

"WORST EMMYS EVAR."

"I don't even know if they've gotten there. The pace is awful. I want to die."

Our viewing party switched to Iron Chef shortly thereafter.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You can probably skip this one.

Where should one travel to during hurricane season? New Orleans, obviously. I'll be there November 8th through 11th, thanks to the hospitality of one doubting friend ("I'll believe it when I see you step off the tarmac," he wrote) and an adequately full Happy Fun Times Rainy Day Account. Let's just hope the visit is not actually rainy.

Oh my god, I have saved the money for something before actually purchasing it. My whole world is rocked.

In internet happenings, I have watched this video of a stranger's baby sneezing approximately 14 times. (If you are not familiar with that blog, don't go digging around in it unless you are prepared to cry, cry, cry at your desk.)

Also, Travel & Leisure says that Minneapolis is smart and clean, which, come to think of it, is what Joe Biden said about Obama back in February. Minneapolis is the Barack Obama of US cities! Hey, remember in '04, when I wanted a Wesley Clark/Joe Biden Silver Fox ticket? You probably didn't know me then, but yeah, true story.

Continuity of this entry: no.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

some First World problems

Discoveries about the new office:
1. It is cold in here, yo. My toesies are little ice blocks, 4 cereals.
2. View out of giant windows is distracting.
3. On overcast days, it might make me more susceptible to le sadness.
4. Harder to eavesdrop on other people's conversations.
5. Reflection in window is constant reminder of hair's suckitude.
6. Am suddenly overwhelmed with career-worry/certainty that I will be laid off/unceremoniously dismissed.

Other than that, though, everything is swell.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

the long weekend

My grandmother's mind is going. It has been for a while, so last weekend, when her right hip went too, the news brought a combination of concern and relief. Concern for the obvious reasons, but relief because this is finally the thing that's going to bring about the changes that we've all been dancing around for a few years- specifically, that it's probably time for Grandma to move out of the farmhouse and to stop driving herself all over Aurora County to outdoor auctions with uneven grounds on which she might fall and break her hip. So.

Our little clan is gathered in Sioux Falls this weekend to visit her in her temporary nursing home- temporary because as soon as the hip is better we hope to move her to an assisted living facility, which I am assured is much nicer than the nursing home, which is good because oh my god the nursing home is not all that nice.

She's having a hard time remembering what's going on, where she is and why. My mom brought her a bright pink post-it pad to write notes on, such as, "Pat and kids are coming for lunch at 11:30 tomorrow," or, "Staff will pick you up for church service at 10:00," or- and this is the one that perfectly encapsulates her sense of humor, practicality, and self-awareness, despite everything- "Don't go running away."

She can still do a crossword puzzle like nobody's business, and today when my dad asked her a question that had stumped the contestants on Jeopardy (this is the profession named in the first line of the 23rd Psalm), she answered without batting an eye (shepherd). So I guess some things don't get erased. I am told that my great-grandmother spent her last months in bed staring blindly at the ceiling, reciting text from newspapers that she'd read decades before. Word for word. It seems this fun runs in the family.

I am starting on a gingko supplement when I get home.

More to come on all of this, including the as yet unscheduled world's shittiest trip to Grandma's house, the trip in which we clean it out and try to determine what to do with a lifetime's accumulation of pie birds and pretty serving dishes.

In other cheerful news, a rather significant hurricane is headed for New Orleans, and my favorite Times-Pic reporter seems to think it best that he ignore evacuation orders and stay to cover the story. Pulitzer-chasing jackass.

Everything's coming up roses.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

But they look *fierce.*

Here in Minnesota, we're proud to be home to all kinds of companies that reflect our salt-of-the-earth Midwestern values. Among them: Red Wing Shoes. Made with care in in the lovely riverside town of Red Wing, a pair of Red Wing work boots will set you back about $175. Steep, but a fair price for a good steel-toed, leather boot that will keep you in one piece, should you drop a chainsaw on your foot or something.













The 616 9-inch Logger. Full grain, waterproof leather with Thinsulate lining. Badass!

But what if you're not the type of guy who would ever have an opportunity to drop a chainsaw on your foot? What if you're, like, an east coast ad exec who would like to dress like you know your way around a worksite, but you actually wouldn't know a socket wrench from a crescent wrench from a hole in the ground? Fear not, you big candyass: J. Crew has introduced its own line of Red Wing boots.













The Red Wing Classic Irish Setter. Unlined, unreinforced, but with groovy broken-in looking leather and antique-brass colored eyelets. The price of poseurdom: $325.

Sigh. A fool, his money, yada yada yada.

Monday, August 25, 2008

In all Rene Russo movies, the men come to regret when they don't appreciate her.

I have a song from Major League stuck in my head. It's the one that's playing when Tom Berenger is sad that Rene Russo has left him, and it sounds like Joe Cocker or someone very manly, and it goes: (I will do my best here to convey the intense emotion of the song with caps, bolding and italicization. (Real word? Don't know.))

Sometimes you're just so busy CHASING
CHASING after RAINBOWS
[now sadder, forlornly] you look around your life and find no one's there

No idea what that's all about. Haven't seen Major League in probably 10 to 12 years. One of Charlie Sheen's finer films, though; I think we can all agree. Also, Dennis Haysbert's.

Friday, August 22, 2008

We're in a fight.

Dear Minneapolis Central Public Library,
Some suggestions:
TRY SOME LARGER SIGNAGE, JERKWADS. If you insist on keeping your impossibly small call number labels on the ends of the shelves, some bigger signs hanging overhead would be lovely and would prevent people from wandering aimlessly around the aisles for 20 minutes.

YOUR CARPET IS SO B'FUGLY. I guess that is more of an observation than a suggestion.

HOW DO I HAVE $30 IN LATE FEES??????? I understand that you're a little strapped for cash, but don't take it out on well intentioned readers like me. Okay, so I kept a few knitting books a few months after the due date. But 30 cents per item, per day? This would never happen at the Alexander Mitchell Public Library in Aberdeen, South Dakota, where the nice librarian was just, like, aware that my family's books would be late, but that we would eventually return them in perfect condition. That is how libraries should work. Due dates should be approximate, within a month or two. I mean, really, what harm is done if the book is returned? But now I'm mad, see, and maybe I won't take such good care of your books. Maybe I'll bend the covers, just to subvert your punitive fine system. (Actually, I could never intentionally do that, but the example is for illustrative purposes.)

SO... JUST... WHATEVER. I SEE HOW IT IS NOW. YOU'RE NOT A NICE LIBRARY. YOU'RE A MEAN JERKFACE LIBRARY. AND I PAID MY FINE BALANCE DOWN TO $15 SO I COULD CHECK OUT SOME BOOKS TO LEARN ABOUT FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYING, BECAUSE DEEP DOWN I'M RESPONSIBLE, SEE? BUT JUST TRY, TRY NOW TO GET YOUR OTHER $15, JERKY JERK BIG JERKFACES.

Thank you for allowing me to use your equipment to post this,
Kate

Monday, August 18, 2008

Endorsement: Freeloading

When too poor to take a real vacation, there is an important question one must ask oneself: Do I know anyone with a lake home in his or her family?

If so, you may be fortunate enough to do what I did this weekend: spend a few days lying on the end of a dock, frozen drink in hand, merrily waving at other people on the lake whom you do not know, but who all seem very keen on waving. All this, for the price of a tank of gas. Oh, and a bottle of tequila to replace the one that you depleted in the making of the frozen drinks.

If it is "kids weekend," you and your friend may turn out to be the oldest people there, a fact that you will illustrate by going to bed at 12:30 and refusing to ride on the jet ski in anything but a straight line, but the "kids" (who are actually 18-26) will very kindly overlook these things, and will be so amiable in general that you will think to yourself that there is a lot to be said for a suburban Catholic upbringing. I mean, these people do charity right.

It will dawn on you that you haven't taken a trip for fun in almost two years. You will wish that you could reciprocate your friend's generosity, but somehow a trip to Sioux Falls and a spin on the back of your dad's Harley just don't hold the same appeal.

Knitting, then? Can you reciprocate in knitting?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

$700 office chair, I'ma spill coffee all over you.

Well, tonight is my last class at the Loft. Until I take another one, that is, because I'm all about the lifelong learning, as long as it doesn't cost very much and I don't have to write anything over 1,000 words. Word count of final article: 750. Score!

Because I know you'll be RIVETED, here is a Q&A excerpt I was sorry I couldn't fit in:

There are actually a lot of credit card companies that work out of South Dakota, right? More than anywhere else in the country, and that’s because we have no regulations in terms of interest rates. So what we have is a lot of high-risk credit cards. And some companies like Citibank and even Wells have special divisions just for high risk cards, and that’s what they do here. And who can blame them? If I had a credit card company, I would have it here. Why not? You can just charge all the money you want, or charge for interest fees and penalties and it’s not regulated by the state. The upside of that is that it’s provided thousands of jobs here- decent paying jobs, not great paying jobs for South Dakotans, for regional people. And it has built this city up considerably and put a lot of people to work. That’s the upside. The downside of it is people are getting gouged.

Man, my dad's so smart.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Out of context Gmail chat; reason #64 I'm not friends with that many women; names redacted to protect the innocent

Party One: she recently started selling that stupid fucking jewelry with the parties and shit.
Party Two: oh noooo
Party One: i KNOW.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I gotta wear shades.

This week, Brendan talks shop with the Columbia Journalism Review. I myself have been busy chatting with the crazy cat lady a few doors down from my apartment. So see, we're both in high demand.

On a related note, here's a pretty-close-to-actual conversation I had with my Loft instructor last week:
Kate: How should I submit clips if they're articles I've ghostwritten?
Holly: Like... they actually have someone else's name on them?
Kate: Yeah. And a headshot.
Holly: Umm... I wouldn't do that.

So clearly, my career as a writer is seriously going places.

Friday, August 1, 2008

In which I am selfishly thankful for my own laziness.

One year ago, I took a few days off to move and paint my new apartment. On August 1, late in the afternoon, I ran out of Apricot Dream or whatever the hell shade it was and thought to myself, "Well, shit. Now I have to drive back to the Quarry for a damn quart of paint." But then I thought, "You know what? It's hot; I'm tired; I'm going to take a break for a while and wait until after rush hour."

And that is how laziness saved my ass.

Incidentally, I can't remember what radio station I was listening to when I first heard the news, but the DJ said something like this: "We're receiving reports that the I-35W bridge has collapsed over the Mississippi. And now here's something from the Red Hot Chili Peppers." Good work, DJ!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The "latter-day Raymond Chandler"

Brendan, my favorite reporter in the whole wide world, has a multi-part series running in the Times-Picayune this week, which has just been glowingly reviewed by Editor & Publisher.

The crime beat isn't easy, particularly not in New Orleans, and Brendan's been working like crazy since he got there. If you'll all allow me a little Hallmark moment here, I just want to say how proud I am to know him. Keep up the good work, dude, but when you're done with NOLA, maybe find a cushier beat. You deserve it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My interest is RAISED.

Politics aside, I find Ben Bernanke pretty attractive for an older bald guy.

It's probably the beard.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Who needs a condo when I have a lamp?

I started a new savings account with ING. It's called the Happy Fun Times Rainy Day Account. Currently, it has $25 in it, which will not buy me much Happy Fun Time, but the hope is that I can build it up and then periodically empty it for things like:
- a plane ticket to New Orleans
- a new laptop
- a frame for the print that Patrick gave me as a gift, like, ten zillion years ago and I have not yet framed because Christ on a bike, why does framing cost so much? And why are there frame shops on every other block in this town? Who can afford all the framing that is keeping these places in business?
- a lampshade for Dirty Anne Bonney. This is not even that expensive, just hard to find. But sister needs a lampshade, as you can see:


I had an idea the other night for a personal finance book, and then Braden told me that I'm the oldest 26-year-old he knows, and made fun of me for having a 401(k), and invited me to come meet him in Vegas. Which I am obviously not doing, because Vegas is not the place for old 26-year-olds with an interest in personal finance. (Note that I said "interest," not "expertise." The book would take approximately eight years of research to do, and I don't think my current job offers "book leave" like the New York Times.)

Anyway, woot woot for my $25. There was a time when this kind of delayed gratification was beyond my capabilities.

I am not going to address how this new endeavor was brought about by my depression regarding the impossibility of my ever ever owning real estate, ever.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Who am I kidding, there will never be a last post about the thing.

So lazy, Kate! So unproductive! Why still at work? Why why why?

Well, the upshot of my inability to accomplish anything during normal business hours is that I can now inform you of some hot info I've just learned, specifically: The Little Fish Movie that Could will be screening again tomorrow at Bryant Lake Bowl as part of the IFP Cinema Lounge. This means that I will have to miss kickball AND spend money at Bryant Lake Bowl, two things I don't relish, but such is the life of an in-demand actress and filmmaker screening the film again satisfies a need for attention that I can't satisfy with blogging, kickballing, or Facebooking. I guess I don't technically have to spend money there, but if I'm there then I'm gonna want an Ace, know what I mean, and my dislike for BLB's haughty servers (exemption: Kristin) and stale menu will just have to take a backseat.

Okay, I'm going to finish this article now. 4 realz.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More than you're probably interested in knowing.

"Very long wait" YOUR FACE, Netflix. I hate you I hate you I hate you and if you don't send me Mad Men tomorrow... well, likely nothing will change, but I will continue being dissatisfied with you and whining about it on my blog.

Umm. I was busy with a work thing most of this weekend, so I didn't really get a chance to unwind. This might explain the greater than usual Monday morning fury. The work thing was a large outdoor event, and we had a minor crisis on Friday night when a storm rolled in and the attendees had to be evacuated to nearby parking garages. It all ended well though, and when the whole thing was over on Saturday, Emily and I celebrated at the Bulldog with my good friend, vodka.

Hey, vodka, I missed you. Let's agree to never spend another day apart. Oh, and I love you too, coffee. You're my angel of the morning, and vodka is my lady of the night.

On the docket this week: Summer Music & Movies starts tonight; if I'm not still at work I'll be there. Class at the Loft on Thursday; the first one last week was very enlightening and I wrote a fascinating article about a bunny which included the quote, "Hey, I just poop wherever." Friday is Emily's birthday party, for which we will return to the Bulldog and hope a bald stranger sends us drinks again; but wait, maybe not, because I have to drive to Sioux Falls on Friday night for JazzFest; my parents are very excited about it and my mother is intent on introducing me to some pharmacist, but little does she know that the only pharmacist I have eyes for is Tony at the downtown Target.

Tony, remember that time you counseled me on Cipro dos and don'ts? Staring into your eyes, I was almost able to forget the searing pain in my bladder. Call me, dude; my number's in the computer.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stick a fork in me.

Oh, hey there fella. You liked my profile on the thingamajig? Well, thanks. Gee, you seem attractive as well and it is evident that you can write a sentence, which is pretty much all it takes for me to be interested, so here's my number. Oh, what's that? You were showing my profile to your roommate, and he already knows me? Because I went out with your roommate last year?

JESUS H. CHRIST. I QUIT.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I know I said I wouldn't talk about it anymore...

... but now the film is YouTubed for those of you who were having trouble viewing it the other way. So, seriously, this is the last post.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Dad's emailed musings re: online dating

Y'know - if this was the way we did things in the "old days" - I never would have met your mother. I think it's much better to get completely shit-faced, piss-pants drunk, collide with the universe (in all its diversity), randomly stumble into someone and roll the dice. But hey - that's just me.

Thanks, Dad. I'll be sure to try that approach soon.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

This is the last post I will make about the 48. Most likely, anyway.

Okay, here is the part where I brag some more about our 48 Hour Film. To recap the events from the Best-Of Screening and Awards:

- We received an "Audience Award," which we were aware we would be getting, but it is still notable because RT Rybak came to present them, which was very nice of him. The awards ceremony was at The Annex for some reason, and apparently RT was carded on his way in. Way to go, Annex bouncers.

- There were awards for best incorporation of each of the three "elements": a fish, the character of Mr. Perkinson, and the line "You look very familiar." You have one guess as to which of these we won. That is correct; we won Best Prop for the Big Mouth Billy Bass. Thank you, Arc's Value Village of Richfield for selling me a mint condition Big Mouth Billy Bass for $3.19. You made our entire film possible.

- We won Best Song, for Sam and Eli's epic blues-riff Saga of Willie T. Bass. I don't know if that is what the song is actually called.

- We won Best Ensemble, which means that I actually did not ruin the film with my bad acting. Hooray! We got to give acceptance speeches, and mine was very inarticulate, in that I thanked Nikki and Joe and said that working with them was "the best every time," which would indicate that I do not understand the singularity implied by the word "best."

- We did not win, but were nominated for, Best Picture. So. That means that we were in the top three of the 60-some films that were eligible, and that is just plain awesome.

- Overall, I think we were the second most winningest film, behind only the Best Picture, and the Best Picture was indeed excellent. So we are pleased.

- We are also invited to screen our film at the South Dakota Film Festival in September. You have one guess as to where the South Dakota Film Festival is being held. No, Belle Fourche is incorrect; the festival is being held at the historic Capitol Theatre in Aberdeen, i.e., Kate's childhood refuge and site of many happy times from 1993 to 2001. Homecoming, woot! I have always dreamed of making a triumphant return to Aberdeen with a supporting role in a seven minute film about a singing fish.

So that's the news. I have made everyone I know watch the damn thing like three times at this point, and I will stop doing that now. Until September.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Three things that are unrelated except in that they are shining illustrations of my dorkiness

1. I totally have a new fitness guru crush (actually, I didn't really have an old one), and her name is Ellen Barrett. Please do not judge by her lame pink website, please rent Crunch Super SlimDown: Pilates Yoga Blend, and tell me, just tell me (!), if she is not the most lovely and pleasant person who has ever told you to Down Dog. Pleasant! Lovely! Makes me wanna zip up my abs all the livelong day!

2. Also: MNspeak has informed me that there is a Twin Cities Postcard Club. They have monthly meetings and semi-annual shows. Please note the prevalence of gray hair in the photos on their website. Please note that I will totally be there in October! Yeah, umm... some of you may not be aware that I have a postcard collection, but I totally do and it's totally awesome and someday if you want to come over I will show it to you! (Future diary entry, circa 2030: And I never had another visitor to my home again.)

3. More 48-Hour Film news: In addition to being selected as Audience Favorite at our screening, R&BsnhptAFpoR has also been chosen by the judges (not sure who the judges are, though they obviously have excellent taste) as one of the 12 best films of the local festival (out of 68 total). The "Best of Minneapolis" screening is tonight at 7:00 at the Riverview, with a GALA to follow downtown (I loves me a gala). You can totally come if you have $12 and it isn't sold out. I am now adding "Award-Winning Filmmaker and Big Mouth Billy Bass Locator" to my resume. I'll never be hungry again!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Go, Willy T. Bass!

Eh meh geh, you guys. Ricky and Bev Should Not Have Played that April Fool's Prank on Ralph was totally selected as the Audience Favorite at our screening last night! Now we get into the Best of Minneapolis screening next Thursday! Aieeeeee!

This is even more exciting in light of the fact that there was another film last night that was like... professional, which we thought might take the honors. But no. The audience has spoken, and they have chosen HEART and AUTHENTICITY and a RELATIVELY LOW BUDGET and a BIG GODDAMN SINGING FISH. Thank you, people of Minneapolis.

If you've got QuickTime, you can watch this stunning cinematic tour de force right here. Please note that I was a last minute addition to the cast and was not prepared to go on camera the day of shooting, and thus my hair looks like ass. Also, unlike my cast mates, I am not a good actor. But everything else about it is awesome gowatchitnowkaythanksbye.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beverly and the Big Mouth Billy Bass

Changes are afoot, y'all. I am taking steps! To shake things up! I am in the process of maybe possibly (if, you know, I can balance everything responsibly) shaking things up! Man, I am so spontaneous.

In that vein, last weekend I joined Nikki, Joe, and company in the 48 Hour Film Project. My participation was not actually required for 48 hours- I'd say I put in 20 or so- so I was not really sweating for it as much as the people who composed original music and edited the film all day Sunday, but I totally contributed in the form of being the person who actually located a Big Mouth Billy Bass, which was integral to the plot. (A little advice: If you're ever writing a script that centers around a Big Mouth Billy Bass, be advised that they are not widely sold anymore through the usual retail channels, and your team may have to scour every thrift outlet in the Twin Cities area to locate one. When trying to complete a short film in the space of 48 hours, this presents a challenge.)

So, our film is called Ricky and Bev Should Not Have Played that April Fool's Prank on Ralph (best title ever), and it is screening tomorrow night at the Riverview at 8:30. You can come! And laugh at my terrible acting! I haven't even seen it yet, and I definitely wore a top during filming that makes me look pregnant, so I will love it for sure.

There are other shakey-uppy things going on as well, which I will maybe disclose at a later date. But now it is time for lunch.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

When bailing on work to go home sick and drink tea...

... consider whether you actually have tea at home. If you're like me, and you don't, then you have to go to your neighborhood Dunn Bros., where it is too cold inside and you feel bitchy looking at the people outside, because they're enjoying the lovely day and you're Little Miss Poopypants because your throat feels like sandpaper and your parents are all the way in Boston, calling every few hours to say things like, "Okay, we're done with the North End, where should we go next?" and then not taking your suggestion of going to Brookline Booksmith. Why do they call, then, if they're not going to take your advice? Why is it so cold in here? Do I have enough cash for a refill of hot water if I reuse this same teabag? Do they charge for hot water? Why do I never have cash? Ungh, grumpypants! Whine! Poopy! Bitch!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Correction

I was totally mistaken; the Old 97's do, in fact, use an apostrophe, and this would have been an easy enough thing to fact check, and usually I am anal enough to do that, but not in this case, and look at it biting me in the arse.

There were actually several things that bit me in the arse yesterday, which we shall not go into on le blog, but if your name is Tana and you are my hairdresser, you will surely hear about it soon.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Funkylittleshack! Fun-ky lit-tle shack!

No, seriously, remember when I said I win stuff? That list now includes two tickets in the company suite for the True Colors Tour, featuring Tegan & Sara, the B-52's and Cyndi Lauper. Emily said she would accompany me, but she doesn't seem appropriately thrilled by the honor of the invitation. Will work on building her enthusiasm over the next few days by sending video clips of "Time After Time" and "Rock Lobster."

Also, tonight is the Old 97s* at First Ave, for which I will be forced to miss the finale of the Books & Bars kickball season and celebratory barbecue, but life is about choices and tonight I choose to watch Rhett Miller's trademark windmill-guitar move, and, maybe if I'm lucky, see him once again mess up the words to "Question" in French. It's going to be pretty great.

*Note that the Old 97s adhere to AP style for pluralizing numbers, while the B-52's, evidently living in their own private Idaho**, stick in a rebel apostrophe.


**No one will find this as hilarious as I do.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wherein the Little catches a break.

Big, big news, gang: The Little got in to the new KIPP Academy. I knew a bit about KIPP schools from my internship in DC, but now that I'm reviewing everything again, I just might cry here in this coffee shop. It's such a great thing for her- 80 percent of KIPP alumni go on to college. Also, here's a graph I stole from the website, if you like test scores:



Also, the school is conveniently located right across Loring Park, so I'm already envisioning happy-fun-time after-school activities when she's there every other Saturday. (Never thought that at 26 I'd look forward to picking up a 10-year-old from school, but there you have it.)

I kind of geeked out when she told me yesterday. I continue to geek out about it. It's just, in all likelihood, going to be a really pivotal thing in her life, and she deserves it. Everyone deserves it actually, and if you want to feel really crappy, read Thomas Friedman's column today. But, this post is not for feeling crappy. It's for feeling really thrilled and hopeful.

Our regularly scheduled programming of snark and sarcasm will return later this week. Hope everyone has a nice holiday, and go easy on the lighter fluid.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's a real bed of roses, waggin' tails, rubbin' noses

I have good and tingly feelings about the season. Am I jinxing us all by saying that?

My feelings about spring would best be expressed by the following clip from the Oscar-winning Technicolor acid trip that is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, starring some very small-waisted ladies, and seven strapping red-headed dudes:



You're welcome. Happy spring.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I don't care I don't care I like you.

Q: What is the most responsible and adult course of action to take when one has an extraordinary number of separate projects due on May 27?
A: Waste the majority of the week of May 12, obviously. Just be stunningly unproductive. This will guarantee a challenge for the week of the 19th, and who doesn't love a big, stinky, sucky sucky suck challenge?

But anyway. In addition to the work to be done next week, I'm also planning on two shows. Because I have one of those magical turn-back-time necklaces like Hermione in Harry Potter, and I can do however much crap I want! The shows, then:

- Eric Hutchinson & Marie Digby at the Varsity on Tuesday. Continuing on my quest to feel like a loser by comparing myself to other Emersonians, must go see old classmate Eric. He's apparently an internet phenomenon, and good for him, because I do remember him as one of the non-jerk cool kids on campus. Yay for the triumph of non-jerks. AND:

- Rilo Kiley. All you haters can just keep it to yourselves, because my number two alternate career choice (after "hand model") is "Jenny Lewis," and I'm going to have a fine time, compliments of Clear Channel (thx, Clear Channel!) because one of the ways that one might be stunningly unproductive during the week of May 12 is to visit the Cities 97 website in search of Basilica Block Party info, and while there one might register to win free tickets to Rilo Kiley, which one might actually win, because despite often feeling like a loser, when it comes to small drawings and other trivial matters of luck, one is often a WINNER.

That is all. If anyone is looking for me during the next week and a half, I will either be at my desk, one of the aforementioned shows, or at home, crying in the shower.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Upon review of this post, it is clear that I so badly want to be rich.

Well, I am due for a quality post, but have nothing substantive to talk about, so y'all get the following grab bag:

1. Super cool inflation chart from the New York Times. No, really. I stared at this for a long time on Sunday, and am now even more excited about the interactivity of the online version. Incidentally, prices are up 1.8 percent in the "newspapers and magazines" category, and though it really stings to pay $24 a month for my Sunday subscription to the Times, I guess I should be glad it's not more. Also, when you read the Times, you get to feel superior to all the plebs reading the Strib, while simultaneously feeling totally inferior to all the people featured in the Times, or able to afford any of the products advertised therein. It's a neat little package of classist angst, conveniently delivered to my door every week.

2. Continuing on the topic of publications I subscribe to in order to remind myself of how poor I am: In all the hubbub over the Miley Cyrus photos in Vanity Fair, let's not overlook that the same issue also includes an excerpt from Baba Wawa's new book, in which she describes blowing off the NBC Christmas party with the president of the news division in order to go see Deep Throat. Ms. Walters, I have only one thing to say: Rock on. Oh, and also: Elizabeth Hasselbeck has no right to share a table with you. Seriously, girl got famous eating bugs.

3. A Midsummer Night's Dream. Dazzling. I was dazzled. So many sparkly things! Also, majorly funny, and not like "Oh, haha, the Bard is quite delightful!" drinking-tea-with-pinky-out funny; I mean big, belly-laughs funny. Go. See it.

That's all for now! Going to Red Wing tomorrow to see my brother's first finished guitar, and family time is sure to bring either hilarity or drama, so let's hope for hilarity.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm Tom Brokaw, and here's the neeews.

Just reserved tickets to The Daily Show in St. Paul during the RNC. I guess this means I have to abandon my plan to sublet my apartment for a skillion dollars and get the hell out of town that week, but that's okay, it's The Daily Show!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Journalism skillz

I haven't seen it yet because no tengo la cable, but I am heartened by the existence of The Paper on MTV. Even if a recent episode dealt with the editor's nose job. Also, how excellent do these books look? ("Absolutely, possitively the best book I have ever read in my entire life," says one young reviewer on Amazon.) Maybe if my stolen Cosmo magazines in fifth grade had featured "true life" articles from a reporter instead of an advertising executive, I would have gone into journalism. As it is, I have to live vicariously through Brendan and my daily Romenesko emails.

Maybe I can give the books to the Little. But first I should get a more firm determination of her reading skills. She may be below grade level. I say this because a couple weeks ago we were playing Scrabble and she tried to pluralize "WIG" with a Z. Also, her mother lets her have a TV in her bedroom, which I find troubling. But at least now she can watch The Paper!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jobs, heart cockles, etc.

Something good happened at work yesterday, and while these are uncertain times and on Monday I will likely revert to fearing the pink slip and the move into the parental basement that would inevitably result, today and this weekend I'm going to be happy about it. And I'm making an exception to the rule against blogging about work.

I've been floundering in my current position for a long time now, angry that I wasn't getting promoted while simultaneously knowing that I wasn't very good at the work and it didn't suit my personality or skills. As you might guess, this is not a recipe for career bliss, and I've been known to mumble forlornly at an extended happy hour, "I wish they would let me just sit in my cube and write."

It turns out that nobody thinks that's such a bad idea. So, after about a month of discussions and organization with my uber-supportive supervisor (I'm not being sarcastic; she really is that cool), the agency has created a new position: copywriter. It's for me. I am the copywriter, huzzah. And since the position didn't exist before (copywriters are a given at an ad agency, but the PR side staffers are generally expected to be the jack-of-all trades sort), I pretty much got to write my own job description, which is the sort of ridiculous good fortune that is not likely to reoccur. Ever. Yeah, so that job description is chock full o' things I like to do, and pretty lean on stuff I don't.

I know that the honeymoon period will pass eventually and Monday mornings will feel the same as ever, but I'm feeling good right now to be heading in a direction that I want to be in for the long term. And it's nice to work someplace where after I said, "I'm not good at this," the response wasn't, "Well, get out then." It warms the cockles of my black little heart.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

But I bet he doesn't have a lady lamp.

Oh, there’s nothing like cracking open the latest issue of Vanity Fair and finding your college dorm neighbor pictured therein to remind you of how swimmingly life has gone since graduation.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Do not leave your drink unattended near these fellows.


Remember Gorgeous Match.com Guy in the MySpace ads? It seems the powers that be have decided to replace him with Ralph Macchio Lookalike Guy and Jeremy London Lookalike Guy. Downgrade, right? These dudes would definitely put a roofie in your drink. I am no longer curious about seeing "who's online near me." But it does remind me to look up the registered sex offenders in my neighborhood.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Introducing Dirty Anne Bonney

One of the best perks of living alone is creating a decor that's all your own. Thus, when you're seized by an urge to bid on something on eBay- something that in the past, some narrow-minded roommate would have found "distasteful" or "hideous" or "b'fugly"- you have no one's taste to consider but your own. And that's how you become the owner of what is clearly the world's most awesome awesomest lady lamp.


"It looks like the prow of a pirate ship," Todd and Emily both said (obviously struggling to conceal their jealousy). So, I have taken the Pirate Name Quiz to figure out what we should call her. Dirty Anne Bonney, it is.

My apartment just gets more and more rockin'.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The post-Roadshow void.

There's nothing on TV on Monday nights. Well, to be more specific, there's nothing on TV on Monday nights when you don't have cable. I'm sure everyone else watches The Hills or that new dance show on Bravo with Jessie Spano or whatever other awesome programming I'm missing out on. But for me, Monday nights are rough.

Sure, Antiques Roadshow is on at 7:00. But that's only one hour down, and then there's just an ungodly span of nothing good for the rest of the night.

UNTIL RECENTLY. Yeah. Do you know what I'm talking about? Let me drop a hint: Handsome New York detective solves crimes with sassy partner. The twist? HE'S IMMORTAL. HE'S 400 YEARS OLD. HE'S AN ACE CRIME SOLVER BECAUSE HE KNOWS EVERYTHING THAT'S HAPPENED IN NEW YORK CITY OVER THE LAST 400 YEARS.

Yep, New Amsterdam is probably the best thing that's happened to network TV in recent memory. (Excluding Lipstick Jungle, of course.) I want to go back in time and be a fly on the wall in the meeting where this concept was approved. "It's like Law & Order meets Quantum Leap!"

I'm sure it will run for 12 years. Maybe I should re-investigate the cost of getting cable. Alternately, I could... like... read. That's probably a better solution.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Needs, wants, and monkey bowls

I started reading a lot of personal finance blogs back when I set my big credit card payoff goal, and I read something recently about how hard it is to transition from paying off debt to building savings. Psychologically, once your card balances are zero, it feels kinda like you have a zillion skillion dollars more every month and you want to start buying all the dumb crap you've been denying yourself. This is bad. This is how you can go back in the hole.

For example, I loves me some Target, just like everyone else. Sometimes I stop there on my walk home and just wander aimlessly around the end caps. (Turns out that there's a science to this. I clearly live an exciting life when end cap browsing at Target is one of my favorite activites.) When I was flat broke, I was really good at browsing and telling myself "no." I bought food and shampoo and not much else. And it turned out to not be so terrible, because I actually had most of the stuff that caught my eye; Target just had it in a newer cuter version. I got very good at distinguishing between wants and needs. But last night, my internal dialogue went like this:

Spendthrift Kate: Ohmygod, cute cereal bowls, I'ma get two!
Skinflint Kate: But Kate, you already have bowls. You have many, many bowls.
Spendthrift Kate: But! These ones have MONKEYS ON THEM! UUURRRGGHHH WANT IT BAD!!!

I didn't buy the monkey bowls. I did buy a shower curtain and bathmat, but they were both on clearance and they matched my hard-to-match bathroom tile. So. I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

Seriously, though. It is hard to say no to monkey bowls.

Monday, March 24, 2008

When will it be warm enough to drink outdoors?

I think wine gives me strange dreams. Or maybe it's just that I tend to wake up a lot on nights when I've had wine, so I remember more of whatever strange dream I'm having. Anyway, I knew I was dreaming last night because I was walking my dead dog Bogart, and he was behaving very well on his leash. But in reality, Bogie usually strained so hard on a leash that he would make these terrible choking-gagging sounds, and I'd regret even attempting to take him for a walk. Also, my high school boyfriend was there. His name was Raphael. No, seriously. I was gaga for him.

I forget that other people's dreams aren't interesting. Sorry.

Voicemail from the Little: "Hi Kate, this is [Little]. I was just calling to say hello. ... Also, I made you a card. Okay. Bye."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No, I do not want to continue on this journey with you.

Ladies. We need to talk.

It's about "The Bachelor."

Girls, this show shouldn't be on TV anymore. Strike that; it never should have been on TV, but since it started during the same reality craze that spawned "Temptation Island," it must have seemed relatively benign at the time. But it's 2008, gang. The show has just begun its 12th season, and in only a few minutes of accidental viewing last night I was so aghast I almost popped a blood vessel.

Let's go over the premise of the show, shall we?
- Round up some ladies. Make sure they're hot enough that people will watch the show, but dumb enough that they will actually agree to be on it.
- Cast your leading man. He too, should be pretty but dumb, but also has to have some redeeming qualities in the way of not seeming dumb and also having a hot job.
- Here's where the fun starts: Make the ladies compete over the man. Haha, awesome! Let's all watch it with our young daughters so we can teach them about gender roles!
- As the ladies compete for the man, it is important to convey how in love they are with him. All 25 of the them. At the same time. Instantly. Also, as the group is slowly whittled down, it is also important to broadcast each week's loser, weeping as she is driven away in a limousine. That is how we know how much she truly loved Le Bachelor.
- And finally, in the end it's like, empowering, see, 'cause the winner has it all: a man, fame, awesome highlights, a man, a closetful of sparkly dresses, a mani/pedi, a good base tan, the satisfaction of knowing she's defeated 24 other bimbos in her quest for a man, and, umm... a man! Happily ever after, 4reals.

So... yeah. This show needs to die, and not to stereotype or anything, but ladies, its continuing existence is our fault. Look up the demos.

I say we pull a reverse "Jericho." Let's flood the ABC offices with packages begging them to take this show off the air. (I'm not saying this will work; not as long as there are advertisers for the show and money to made by the network. What a shame. Good thing I'm not a part of that evil industry. Oh wait...) Anyway, what to put in the packages? Push-up bras? Decapitated Barbie dolls? Acrylic nails? I'm open to suggestions.

Oh my god, I just thought of the perfect thing: dead roses. Let's do it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Turning 26 the Classy Way

I have to say that Nacho Fest was a major success. Now, I know what you're thinking: How could a day devoted entirely to the consumption of nachos NOT be a major success? But stuff could happen. Poor quality nachos, for example. Or nacho overdosing. Or food poisoning. But I'm happy to report that none of those things happened, except perhaps some minor overdosing, as Emily and Patrick both opted to order something other than nachos at our third stop of the day. But given their roles as the day's co-MVPs (Em was in for the duration, and Patrick only skipped the movie because he'd already seen it) I think non-nacho entrees were acceptable at that point. I, however, had an agenda to live up to, and thus ordered the nachos.

Somewhere between the second stop (Grumpy's) and the third (Uptown Bar) it dawned on me that I should have brought an antacid. But a couple drinks later I was busy doing my Fine Young Cannibals impression and all was well.

I was very, very thirsty when I woke up yesterday.

In case anyone is curious, here's my personal ranking of the day's nachos:

#1: Little Tijuana. What nachos need above all else is a substantial chip base, and Little T's delivers. Their chips stay crunchier longerer, all the better for to scoop delicious toppings with.
#2: Uptown Bar. I can't really remember what I liked so much about these, but I do know that guac was included, rather than being an optional side.
#3: Grumpy's. I was kind of unmoved by this batch, but Emily ranked them highest for having the saltiest chips. Grumpy's was a great stop overall, however, and our waitress was even from Aberdeen.

In related news, I did 90 minutes of cardio at the gym yesterday.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Down dog!

About once every six months, I go to a yoga class, only to be reminded 7 minutes in- as I'm straining and sweating and twisting and most definitely not "focused on my breath"- that I totally hate yoga. But, eureka, I went to a class last night that I didn't hate. I can't tell if this was because of the instructor (There's something borderline skeevy- but somehow still maybe sexy?- about guy yoga instructors... When you're face down on the floor with your eyes closed, one leg crushed under your torso and the other extended behind you, and a voice in your ear says, "Can I move you?"- well, what are you supposed to say? I let him move me.) , or simply because I'm not a Chubby McFatty anymore and I can cope with the movements more easily.

There are so many things mechanically wrong with the previous sentence.

Anyway, the point is I might go back. Only today I'm wishing for a class where everyone sits in a circle and gives the person in front of them a shoulder massage. I don't think that class exists at the gym. It would have to be a very bad, weird gym.

Monday, March 3, 2008

This is almost as good as my idea for the Jane Austen novelty book.

You guys, I just came up with a completely brilliant idea.*

Wouldn't it be awesome if there were a brand of cigarettes called "Holy Smokes," with a bible verse printed on each cigarette?

They'd be huge in the south. You know I'm right.

*I've been cautioned by my boss that I shouldn't tell people about my brilliant ideas, and should instead get busy patenting them. However, since I could never profit from this idea in good conscience (because it's carcinogenic; the sacrilege doesn't bother me so much) I feel okay about sharing it with the interweb.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Spanglish Karaoke

In lieu of kuchen, I went to Pancho Villa last night and had 2-for-1 margaritas, which are just like kuchen, only liquid and with tequila.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Well, I feel reassured that this is apparently just a "slowdown."

The agency announced 14 layoffs today. Thankfully (in purely selfish terms) my little group does its own thing with its own clients and has been insulated from this, and we've been assured that we shouldn't worry, but it's impossible to not worry when something like this happens. It wasn't just 14 junior nobodies, either. There were some serious veterans in the group, and a lot of jaws dropping when the names were read. Bad meeting. Bad, bad meeting.

I kinda want to go home and eat an entire cheese kuchen. Do they sell those anywhere here?

Monday, February 25, 2008

I feel better now, thanks.

Jeff the Super Mechanic says my transmission is mostly fine, but does need a routine service. This will cost me far less a brand new transmission, and also less than an auxiliary cooling kit, which Jeff the Super Mechanic does not recommend, as it may "overcool" in our lovely Minnesotan climate. And as much as I would like to be too cool, I will take his word for it.

Laying out the cash for the service will mean that I won't quite make the b-day cutoff for paying off my credit card, but I am still counting this project as a success, as I would have made it without this last expense. Also, as Johm the auto mechanics instructor taught us in class last week, proper care and feeding of a transmission is very financially responsible. (As previously mentioned, Johm also taught us that Henry Ford "really really really hated the Jews." He's a Renaissance man. Johm, that is, not Henry Ford.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Peanut at the Pool

A few weeks ago, Big Brothers/Big Sisters organized a pool and waterslide activity at the Holiday Inn in Lakeville, which I knew my Little would be really excited about because her summer plans to go to a waterslide with her family had never worked out. So I was all gung-ho about it, and really pleased when we got to the hotel because it's kind of the perfect mini-waterpark- not too big or crazy, but with enough stuff to keep the kids interested. We got all ready to jump in and I asked the Little if she wanted to start with the slide, but then she said, "Is it deep at the end? I'll just watch you come down." At first I thought she was just wanted to see someone else go first, but she still didn't want to go after I did. So we started at the shallow end. And as I watched her hesitate to get her head wet, and then awkwardly dog paddle a few strokes before standing up again, I felt like a complete ass. The kid can't swim.

I never realized that I took it for granted that every kid knows how to swim. Obviously, that's not true, because people drown, duh, but it never crossed my mind to even ask my Little in advance. I knew she'd wanted to go to the slide last summer, and she had a bathing suit, so the thought never entered my head. But having a bathing suit is not the same thing as having spent a zillion hours at the Y as a guppy, and then a minnow, and on and on through all the silly levels like I did when I was little. I just... forgot. I forgot the process of learning to swim.

I didn't know until a few years ago that at the same time my brother and I started swimming lessons (which was probably shortly after we were out of diapers), my mom took lessons too. She grew up on a farm where swimming opportunities were rare, and she had a bit of a water phobia. But after Jon and I came along, she knew that she had to get over it because she didn't want us to pick up the same fear. (I learned all of this from my dad, who loves to talk about how proud he is that my mom did it. She would never volunteer this information.) And swimming turned out to be one of my favorite-favorite-most-favoritist things to do as a kid, and I was on the swim team in grade school, and every summer my brother and I got season passes to Southside pool and I swam so much that my hair turned green and I wore out my bathing suits.

So I'm grateful to my parents for taking me to lessons, and it's sad to me that it's not that way for every kid. And I know that swimming is not a written-in-stone requirement for a happy childhood, but it's such a simple pleasure, and I worry sometimes that the Little is not allowed to be a real kid as much as she should be. Example: In the five months that I've known her, two of her neighbors have been murdered. When I think about what her worldview must be, compared to mine when I was her age, I feel guilty. I never knew I had the world by the tail.

In Big training, they tell you not to think about these things on such a grand scale, or you'll feel like you're never doing enough to make a difference in your Little's life. You're supposed to just be a friend. A friend who doesn't smoke crack and has never been incarcerated. So that's what I keep coming back to.

The Little ended up having a great time at the pool, which had a maximum depth of four feet, so it didn't take much coaxing to get her to go down the slide. But she's a brave peanut. She would have done it regardless.
My mom just called with an urgent matter. "This won't take long but it's very important," she said. (Pause.) "Do you want any Girl Scout cookies?"

Clearly, a very busy day at the office.

1. Dara is up and running with her new blog at Minnesota Monthly.

2. I've been reading a lot lately about people picking up MRSA at the gym. I was already a little freaked out, and then I read this story about a lady who had an outbreak on her lady bits. I might develop an ulcer now, in addition to MRSA.

3. Nikki surprised me yesterday by posting a picture of me on Myspace that I'd never seen before. It's from high school, but I have no memory of it being taken or what the hell I was doing. I thought it was hilaaaarious, so I made it my profile photo on Myspace and Facebook. But last night Braden called from California, specifically to say that it was horrific and I look fat in it. "I was fatter in college," I reminded him. "I must have been blinded by love," he said. Anyway, I'm going to leave it up to torment him until he pays me a visit. We can't all be California girls.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Well. I might have seen this coming.

Hey, guess what? Something financially bad is probably going to happen! To my car! I have no professional confirmation of this just yet, but last night we talked transmissions in my auto class (we also talked about Henry Ford's anti-semitism), so today I did a little Googling to see where my transmission fluid goes, and as it turns out, 626s have notoriously sheisty transmissions! And this might explain the herky-jerky dance my car has been doing for the past while! Super! I'm so excited about it I can't even tell you! (I should note that Andy borrowed my car several months ago and told me to check my transmission fluid, and I did not, mostly because I couldn't bear the thought of Andy being right.)

I don't know why I didn't discover this information when I was considering buying the car. I did my homework. I swear. I had it inspected. I kind of hate the world right now. Maybe Jeff the Super Mechanic will tell me it's okay. Or maybe it will cost $3,000 and I will never be out of debt, ever, and I will never get to go on a real vacation, ever. Such exciting possibilities!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Strategies for Surviving Until February 29 on Approximately $68

1. Go to the gym. All the time. Get my money's worth out of membership, for once. Make the time I spend at the gym time that I'm not spending money anywhere else.

I made a visit to the fitness center at The Ivy last week, and though they do have individual TV monitors on every cardio machine there, I decided not to convert. It would have been $15 more per month than Lifetime (and that is for the cheapest, you're-really-too-poor-to-be-a-member-here package), and though I initially thought it would be nice to rub elbows with the fancy types that the spa seems intent on attracting, a tour of the facilities highlighted just how close those elbows would be rubbing. Very close. Too close- particularly in the co-ed whirlpool/sauna area. The upside is that I have a new appreciation for the downtown Lifetime, with its ginormous locker rooms and all-girls sauna, steamroom and whirlpool. I love the steamroom; there's nothing like a good schvitz after a workout! Feels very European! (So does poverty, coincidentally... Maybe I can pretend to be Russian for the next few weeks. Poor, but somehow still glamorous! And deep, very deep!)

2. Cash in the change jar.

Did this yesterday. Turned out I only had about $4, which did help defray the grocery bill, but uhh... yeah, it was only $4.

3. Rely on Netflix for entertainment.

Except that Netflix has been sucking real hard lately, customer-service wise. When they're not sending me TV series discs out of order, they're sending me Pirates of the Caribbean in the sleeve for The Tudors. Hey, thanks Netflix. Guess they're both period pieces with British people, so it's practically the same. Argh.

4. Clean out closet and sell fug castaways to new Buffalo Exchange.

I have to call them and find out if they want my fancy dresses, which would probably be the most valuable items. Note to self: Stop buying holiday party dresses from J. Crew, unless I get so carried away with step #1 that boobs disappear entirely. J. Crew dresses are really only suited for the gangly and flat-chested.

Umm. That's all I've thought of for now. Knock knock knock on wood that nothing financially bad happens for the next few weeks, and I think that I will meet my credit card b-day goal. And then all the baked potatoes will be worth it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It’s perhaps telling of my mental state regarding this day that, upon receiving a note from the receptionist informing me that I have a package from “Blooming Cookies,” my first thought is not, Oh, golly, who would’ve thought to send me something? How exciting! but rather, Jesus H. Christ. What the hell sort of awkward misunderstanding is this?

It's from a vendor, though. All is well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Seven Facts Learned from Warwick Davis Commentary on Willow DVD!

1. Warwick Davis was only 17 when he was cast as Willow!
2. The preferred term is "short actor."
3. The twins who played Elora Danan did not have full heads of curly red hair; that was a wig glued on with syrup.
4. Speaking of hair, Ron Howard rocked a pretty radical combover in the late 80s.*
6. Bavmorda's freaky dogs were actually Rottweilers wearing fur suits.
7. Warwick Davis takes Willow very, very seriously. As everyone should.

Thank you, downtown Borders, for closing and discounting your entire inventory, allowing me to purchase the special edition DVD of Willow. Thank you.

*Warwick Davis did not say this in the commentary; I discovered it in the making-of featurette, because yeah, I watched that too.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dear Machu Picchu Restaurante

Dear Machu Picchu Restaurante,
It is somewhat deceptive to include a lunch menu on your website when you are not, in fact, open for lunch. This has the potential to cause problems for well meaning, ceviche-craving people, who make plans to meet friends at your restaurante for lunch on a Saturday, only to find that your restaurante does not open until 4:00, and maybe it's a Peruvian thing, but I assure you that 4:00 is well past lunchtime here in Los Estados Unidos. Furthermore, these well meaning, ceviche-craving people may be half-assed vegetarians, and when they find that your restaurante is not open to serve them ceviche at 12:30 on a Saturday, they may accept their friend's suggestion of meeting at Matt's Bar, which not only does not serve ceviche, but is rather famous for cheese-stuffed hamburgers, and half-assed vegetarians that they are, these well meaning people may decide that a cheese-stuffed hamburger sounds really really excellent, thus breaking their meatless streak.

Yes, I ate a Juicy Lucy this weekend and it is all your fault, Machu Picchu Restaurante.

Disappointedly,
Kate

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Food is served and you're stone cold munchin'

So I have an iPod shuffle. It's not fancy. It's not new. But I usually only listen to it at the gym and it does the job just fine. Because I typically use it at the gym, most of the songs on it are of the upbeat, "if this came on while I was on the elliptical, I'd be so pumped" variety.

However, there are also probably ten to fifteen songs on it that I put there just because I love them, and these are more of the slow-paced, "I might take my toaster in the bathtub" variety. They're nice in the morning, before I've really come to terms with being awake and going to work. So sometimes I use my iPod on the bus ride/walk to work. But that's when the trouble starts. Because, inevitably, when what I really want to hear is The Sundays, or Ryan Adams, or something not too perky and not too upbeat, the shuffle serves up every ridiculous novelty song I've ever downloaded for use at the gym. These include the following hot hits:

"Bust a Move" by Young MC
"If You Leave" by OMD
"Love Train" by The O'Jays
"Barracuda" by Heart
"Don't Bring Me Down" by ELO
"Let's Hear It for the Boy" by Deniece Williams

I think you get the idea; there's probably no need for me to further humiliate myself with additional track listings. The point is, when it's 7:30 a.m. and you're not in the mood to bust a move, having to furiously skip past a long list of these songs on your headphones can just make things worse. Especially if you're on the 18 bus, and you've just seen a homeless guy's dime slot, then been sneezed on by the disheveled cat lady sitting way too close to you.

Which is probably why I barked at Emily in the kitchen this morning.

Maybe I should just get a real iPod.

Dear Government, please hurry up with that tax rebate.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Weekend Recappage

1. Friday night: Miranda and Scott's surprise going away party. Have fun in Sweden, you crazy kids. I would have had more to drink (vodka tonics for $3.50!) if only I didn't have to drive myself home. But, in light of the fact that there was karaoke going on, perhaps it was best I stayed sober. The Swedish fish were excellent.

2. Saturday afternoon: Obamarama. Other than the fact that we had to stand in line for an eternity before getting in, all was super. Surprise performance by Jeff Tweedy. Obama could talk about geometry proofs for three hours, and I would still be fascinated. (Not to diminish the fine speechwriting by one Jon Favreau, of course.) I was thinking I'd miss the caucus because of my class on Tuesday night, but now I'm thinking I'll miss my class because of the caucus. Yes we can, Scarlett Johansson. Yes we can, girl from Fresh Prince whom I once saw at the Paradise during a Phantom Planet show. Yes we can.

3. Saturday night: Nikki-rama. Went to a party where I randomly met another '04 Emerson grad. He did not seem as thrilled by this coincidence as I was. Then off to the Entry for Chooglin'. It seems that if you walk purposefully backstage and downstairs at the Entry, no one will question you. Of course, Nikki had reason to be there; I was just the blandly-dressed tagalong who leapt for the first open cushion on the sofa that became available. (Because I'm an old lady and my legs were sore from Obamarama.) The poor kid next to me kept trying to strike up a conversation ("Hey, do you have a lighter?" "Hey, that jacket is awesome; where'd you get it?"), but I was sort of kaput from the long day.

Dear Guy from the Band Downstairs at the Entry: I know that girls backstage are supposed to be into you people. Sorry I was such a dud. Perhaps our love could have defied the odds, but it was way past my bedtime.

Nikki, you looked hot, by the way, and I had a great time, despite my fatigue.

4. Sunday: Snoozer Bowl at Em's. Boring game (mostly). Boring commercials. Great snacks! I was the only one cheering for a particular team, and then the Pats went and made me look like an ass for picking the wrong side. Thanks a lot, Brady. Why don't you get sacked a few more times.

No, I take it back. I know it's not your fault, Tom. Maybe you can knock up a few more supermodels in the off season, and I'm sure you'll be back in top form next year. I have faith.

Fin.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oh, there's a rally, all right... in my HEART.

Favreau, I'ma bring it right to you.

Dear Kate,

Thanks for signing up to join Barack Obama for a Rally in Minneapolis.

Here are the details:

Rally with Barack Obama in Minneapolis, MN
Saturday, February 2nd
Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

Target Center
600 First Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55403

For more information:

http://mn.barackobama.com

**PLEASE BRING THIS E-TICKET**

Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't read this.

I don't know about you guys, but I have been super pumped about The Complete Jane Austen on PBS. No, seriously. No. Shut up. I love love love it like the sad spinster that I am. I want to start a Jane Austen tribute band called the Spinster Sisters. We'd sing songs with titles like "Mr. Darcy, Your Attentions Do Cause Me to Color in the Cheeks," and "Willoughby, You're a Bad Bad Cad." We'd rock pretty hard.

I may or may not have watched Sense and Sensibility for the bajillionth time yesterday, in anticipation of the Mansfield Park showing on TV. I really wish that the Uptown would have a midnight showing of Sense and Sensibility, because I think they could get a pretty great crowd, and I really want to watch this movie in the company of other people who will shout "whore!" at the screen with me when Lucy pulls out Edward's handkerchief and blows her nose on it. (Seriously. what. a whore.) It's not as much fun to do it alone in my apartment. (You can get the DVD at Target for about $5, and you totally should so that you can be like me and watch it 3 days in a row- once by itself, once with the Emma Thompson commentary, and once with Ang Lee's. Umm... did I just confess that?)

Mark your calendars for February 10, 17, and 24, by the way. Why? Because those are the dates of the six hour Pride and Prejudice miniseries starring one Colin Firth (NOT starring Jena Malone, who pretty much ruined the recent Keira Knightley version with her raging suckitude).

ALSO: Please direct your attention to this Men of Austen diagram, which helpfully converts the characters' fortunes in pounds into today's US dollars.

If Us Weekly put out an issue on Austen characters, I would buy that.

Oh, and there are books, too. Yeah. Read the books.

Please disregard this entry.