Tag Archives: completely random

Ode to the Juno

I’m moving on the 31st, only about a mile away. I’m going to be living alone for the first time, which I’m really excited about. Eventually I might change that by getting a cat.

Until then, though, I’ll be living without a cute furry thing for the first time in three years. That’s because for those three years, I’ve been living with my roommate and her dog, Juno.

 

Juno, in my humble opinion, is the best dog ever. She’s probably a flat-coated retriever, and she loves you. Really. Even if she doesn’t know you, she loves you. Because she loves EVERYBODY. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you are a human, she loves you.

We should all be more like Juno.

I like to think she loves me more than the average human, though. I love her so much. I love how she likes to cuddle even in 90-degree heat. I love how she never stops wagging her tail. I love how she’d rather have attention than dog food and is always rolling on her back begging for a belly rub. I love how she’s six years old but still acts like a puppy. I love that she thinks she’s a lapdog despite being sixty pounds. I love how many kisses she gives. I love how excited she is to see me when I get home.

I have a lot of nicknames for her: Junebug, Puppy-girl, The Black Furball of Need, Princess Waggytail, Cuddles McFurry, You Ridiculous Beast. She doesn’t call me anything, but I call myself her Backup Human. If she could talk, as I’ve said before, I’m pretty sure she’d be singing a song that goes something like, “I’m the cutest! I’m the cutest! I’m the cutest!” (It’s not a very complicated song because she’s not a very complicated dog.) But she does have very high self-esteem.

She’s super quiet, though, which I appreciate. She very rarely barks, and when she does, it’s usually because she saw a cat out the window.

I never had a dog or a cat or any pets aside from fish growing up- my parents are just not pet people. This was the first time I’d ever lived with an animal, and living with her improved my quality of life immeasurably. During the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bomber, I spent a lot of the day anxiously petting her on the couch and thinking she’d make a great therapy dog.

No, even the best dog ever isn’t perfect. She sheds like crazy. She’s ridiculously needy and completely shameless. The firefighters down the street give her treats, which she knows, so one day when I was walking her, she saw that the firehouse door was open and yanked my arm out of the socket and the next thing I knew, I was in the firehouse, awkwardly standing there like, “Uh…hi. My dog wants a treat?” And she is the lickiest dog I’ve ever met in my life- while I like getting puppy kisses, my friends are not such big fans and I constantly have to tell her, “Juno, I know you love everybody but that does not mean you have to kiss everybody.” But even so, someday in the distant future I want my own dog, but I feel really bad for that hypothetical future dog—Juno has set the bar really high. It’s going to be hard to find a dog who’s half as awesome as she is.

I’m going to miss you, Juno. Keep being the best dog ever, and it has been a privilege to be your Backup Human.

Odds and Ends

Life goes on, and this week has been blessedly mundane. Here are five completely unrelated things.

1. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated so far to my run next week! If you haven’t donated yet, you have until Monday at 5:00 PM.

2. While I still don’t like Twitter, I have to say that one of the best feeds out there is Modern Seinfeld. I love Seinfeld and reference it way too much, and Modern Seinfeld cracks me up. The hypothetical plots they come up with are things I can completely see the Seinfeld characters doing. It is kind of strange to think about how much exists now that didn’t in the 90s- the Internet was barely a thing and cell phones were still new when the show ended.

But anyway, the other day they had their best tweet yet:

AMAZING. Even more amazing considering that my post on that subject was titled “Call Me Elaine,” in reference to the episode where Elaine hates The English Patient. I can tell you from experience that people really do act like you killed someone if you say you hate Arrested Development!

3. Line from Seinfeld I keep wanting to quote but can never find the right opportunity for: “You know, we’re living in a SOCIETY!

Line from Friends I keep wanting to quote but can never find the right opportunity for: “That is brand new information!”

4. On Sundays, I am now DVR-ing two shows, which are at polar opposites of the current spectrum of modern TV: Mad Men and What Would Ryan Lochte Do?.

Mad Men is still, in my humble opinion, the best show on TV. Even now, in Season 6, I’m marveling at how literary it is. I always tell people it’s a show for English majors- there is just so much to analyze and examine, both in individual episodes and across seasons and the whole show.

And then there’s What Would Ryan Lochte Do?.

Ryan Lochte cracks me up. He’s so pretty, and such a talented swimmer, but apparently there’s some chlorine water stuck in his brain because man, is he dumb. Male swimmers are usually huge dorks with great bodies, but most of them are somewhat smart. Not Ryan.

There’s only been one episode, but so far, while he’s definitely quite dim, he also comes off as very sweet, kind of like if Joey Tribbiani was a swimmer. Reality TV is often scripted (shocker!) but I did believe him when he said he just wants a girl to settle down with, and there was a really nice moment where he got teary talking about how his family always supports him.

I have to say, too, that the show is making me think of other shows featuring people who presented themselves as dumb. In 2006, Pink had that song “Stupid Girls” that called out celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton for dumbing themselves down. More recently, we had Snooki on Jersey Shore playing up the dumb factor, and one reason among many I was glad when Sarah Palin did not ascend to higher office was because I dreaded how her lack of intelligence, and seeming indifference to her ignorance, would reflect on women everywhere.

It would be awesome if we could live in a world where women didn’t feel like the best way to attract attention is by being pretty and dumb. That would be ideal, but instead we now have this show, where a guy is building his image around being pretty and dumb.

Uh, yea equality?

5. There’s a shortage of platelets available for donation now due to the bombing last week, so consider making an appointment to donate platelets!

The Katie-Has-Bad-Taste Post

I’m about to tell you some of my unpopular opinions, but I have a feeling this isn’t one of them: I hate icebreakers. You know, those let’s-go-around-the-room-and-get-to-know-each-other exercises that people do at the beginning of a meeting or event. But if you must do an icebreaker, here are two that are actually kind of interesting to think about: things you like that no one else seems to, and things you don’t like that everyone else does.
You guys, if you’ve been paying attention, already know some of my likes and dislikes in both categories. I love Celine Dion. I hate Arrested Development. And here’s where I give you a multitude of other reasons to think less of me.
Things I Like That No One Else Does
Domino’s Pizza
So apparently, it’s a commonly accepted opinion that Domino’s sucks. I…don’t know why. I really like Domino’s. It’s actually my favorite of the big pizza chains. Their cheesy bread is amazing.
Seafood
With all my weird food quirks, which I’ll get to in “Things I Hate that No One Else Does,” I do love seafood. And because I’m from New England, my standards for seafood are high.
Facebook
It’s become trendy lately to say that you hate Facebook and love Twitter. I’m the complete opposite. I still really love Facebook. Sure, some people are annoying on it, but there’s nothing else that lets me keep up-to-date on people. And someone as nosy as me really needs that kind of tool. Hiding people on your newsfeed solves most Facebook problems anyway. I have an acquaintance who’s a fan of the Tea Party, and while I have her blocked on my newsfeed, every once in awhile I’ll check to see what crazy, conservative, teabagger, “Poor people are lazy and selfish but I love Jesus!” thing she’s posted on her wall today. And you know what? I like looking at pictures of people’s babies. Babies are cute. 
I do draw the line at gushing over your significant other, though. Don’t do that.
The Da Vinci Code
Like, not love. I liked The Da Vinci Code, as in I read it once and found it enjoyable and saw the movie when it came out. It’s nowhere near a favorite. But I will defend it because I don’t think it deserves any bit of the backlash it’s gotten over the years. No, it’s not the best-written book in the world. Yes, it’s sometimes overly dramatic and far-fetched.  Yes, there are some factual inaccuracies. But it’s not as if this was intended to be some kind of award-winning masterpiece. It’s just a thriller. It’s unusual in that it’s a thriller about religion and art, and that it became such a blockbuster hit, but it’s still just a thriller. Plus, considering how little people read nowadays, I’m not terribly picky about which specific books are keeping the publishing industry going. I have no desire to read Twilightor Fifty Shades of Grey, but if you want to buy them, go for it.
Megan Fox
Not as an actress, mind you. I’ve only heard bad things about her acting, but never having seen any of her movies, I can neither confirm nor deny that. However, her interviews are awesome. She just so clearly does not give a shit about what anyone thinks. She knows exactly what her image is and what people think of her, and a lot of times she makes good points. This comment she made on young celebrities who had private pictures leaked to the Internet was great, and something I wish more people would say publicly.
Cheap Light Beer
Not only do I like Bud Light and Miller Light, I like them better than what most people consider “good” beer. And if I enjoy the taste of something with fewer calories, why the hell wouldn’t I drink it?
Phone Calls
Hating phone calls is a thing with our generation, but not with me. I hate texting for anything more complicated than, “I’m here. Where are you?” And for my friends who live out of town, I’d much rather catch up with them over the phone. Not to mention that phone calls are a huge part of my job- I’d be kind of screwed if I hated the phone.
Things I HateThat No One Else Does
Twitter
I still don’t like Twitter. And not for lack of trying, believe me.
Concerts
I love music. I do not, for the most part, love concerts. The forest, for me, is not usually visible amid the trees. If they’re in small venues, you have to stand, and I hate standing. You have to wait through crappy opening bands. You never know whether to sing along or dance or what and try to figure out what looks the least awkward. Your hearing is shot when it’s over, and most of the time you end up thinking the artist sounds better on the CD. These days, it would take a pretty amazing concert for me to pay money for a ticket.
Tom Brady
This is blasphemous in New England (probably not so much in other parts of the country), but I can’t stand this guy. It started with the whole dumping-pregnant-girlfriend-for-a-supermodel thing, and it seems like ever since then, everything he’s done has just been irritating. He comes off as smug and faux-gracious in interviews, the same reason so many people criticize Anne Hathaway. He had that awful grown-out hair for awhile. He’s a spokesman for Uggs. Fucking Uggs. Yes, he is a great quarterback, undeniably. He just bugs the hell out of me as a person.
Kathy Griffin
Now, she annoys me on absolutely every level. I’m honestly kind of mystified at how popular she is. I’ve never found one word out of her mouth remotely funny, and she has that awful voice.
Spinning
I like yoga, Zumba, boot camp, pilates, etc. But I absolutely loathed spinning when I tried it. I didn’t even get that I-just-got-a-great-workout feeling when it was over—I was just sore and miserable. I hear so many people talk about how great spin class is, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why.
Stand-Up Comedy
I can’t put my finger on why, but although I love things that are funny, I don’t generally put stand-up comedy, by anyone, into that category. Maybe because it feels like you HAVE to laugh at everything, even if it’s not that funny. In any case, I’d rather stay home and watch sitcoms than go to a comedy club.
Burgers, Rice (except in sushi), Any Kind of Noodles, Coffee, Jelly, Cold Cuts…
I’m such a picky eater. I don’t like burgers (or most sandwiches with meat), cold cuts, rice when it’s not in sushi, noodles (I’ll eat pasta if there’s nothing else around, but I’m not crazy about it), bacon (ditto), jelly, coffee (always thought I’d get to like coffee when I got older- I never did), and plenty of other things. I don’t put milk on my cereal and don’t usually put salad dressing on my salad. I wish there was a convenient term to explain my weird food quirks. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose intolerant, allergic, dieting…people get those things. But my food issues just make me weird.
What do you like/hate that no one else does?

Two Weeks in August

Well, I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks—good-crazy, though. I spent a week in Dallas for my company’s national sales meeting, flew home, was home for about twelve hours, and then went back to the airport to go to DC, where Erin and I stayed with Jackie and hung out with Tiana and Pam. Here are some of the highlights from the past two weeks:

    • ·         I ate an insane amount of Tex-Mex and cheesecake in Dallas and drank a ridiculous amount of free alcohol.
    • ·         I learned that putting my right thumb on top when I cross my hands makes me “sexy” rather than “sneaky.”
    • ·         I toured Dallas Cowboys stadium with my work team. I admit that I wasn’t that excited about it when I first heard about it, but being out on the field in this HUGE stadium was actually pretty cool.
    • ·         I swam in a hotel pool that had a freaking swim-up bar! Best way ever to celebrate my sessions for the week being done.
    • ·         I crossed an item off my bucket list by riding an mechanical bull! And I have video evidence:
  • ·         I went to the Newseum with Erin and Jackie, where you can easily spend a whole day.
  • ·         Erin and I met Pam for lunch. Pam, after being surprised to hear that Dawson’s Creektook place in Massachusetts: “I don’t know things I should know.”
  • ·         Erin, Pam and I went to the Holocaust Museum, which was horrifying and intense.
  • ·         Then we decided to get pedicures, and Jackie was going to join us. After Jackie texted Erin to say that we should walk to 14thStreet, Erin said, “We’re on 7th. How far is it?” Jackie: “Well, it’s seven blocks.”
  • You know how sometimes when you’re not quite asleep, a weird thought enters your mind? Before bed, we saw a notice in Jackie’s apartment lobby that said that an exterminator was coming the next day. So, not quite dreaming, I thought, “What if the exterminator comes while Erin and I are still asleep and tries to exterminate us? Like, hmm, here are two rather large bugs?”
  • ·         The next day we met up with Tiana and went to the National Zoo, which was awesome and FREE. There were pandas!
  • ·         We also really wanted ice cream but couldn’t find any except what was in vending machines. Erin really wanted a chipwich but somehow the vending machine gave her Scribblers instead. The look on her face when she opened them was priceless.
  • ·         Then we went back to Tiana’s place to get her car and met her adorable (and HUGE) Tibetan mastiff, Kiro. He was very happy to make new friends and cuter than anything in the zoo!
  • ·         Then we drove up to Baltimore to see the Sox/Orioles game. The game didn’t go so well, but Camden Yards is a nice park! It was my first time seeing a Sox game anywhere other than Fenway.
  • ·      The next day Erin and I met up with my friend and former chorus buddy Amy, then headed to the airport to get ourselves back home.
Back to life now. Time to squeeze in as much summer-y goodness as I can before summer’s officially over!

Seriously?

I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the most popular searches that leads people to me is “Keith Lockhart’s divorce.” Keith Lockhart is the conductor of the Boston Pops, and today is their big July 4th concert on the Esplanade.

I got 19 searches for it today:

NINETEEN.

Happy 4th of July, all!

On the Off Chance You Find This As Funny as I Did…

Have you ever had something you really wanted to tell people about but you didn’t think they’d quite get it if you did? Probably because it related to one of your obsessions and you didn’t know anyone else who cared about it quite so much?

You can see where this is going, can’t you? I’m not sure if anyone will find this the same level of giggle-inducing that I did, but I’m going to tell you anyway. And after this, I promise I will shut up about Les Mis (for now).

So, as I mentioned when I first posted about the movie, I, and millions of other fans, have been trying to figure out how the cast will be in the movie by listening to how they sound singing other things. Some people have inspired more confidence in the fans than others. One of the “others” is Russell Crowe, who will play Javert and whom we’ve only seen singing things that are nothing like musical theater, which makes it hard to judge how he’ll do.

Then I found a clip of Philip Quast, who was Javert in the 10th Anniversary dream-cast concert, singing on an Australian children’s show of which he was a cast member before becoming a big theater star. Someone had commented that if we’d only had that to judge his singing by before seeing him as Javert, who would have thought he’d be as great as he is?

See for yourself. Watch this video first. You don’t even have to watch the whole thing, just enough to get an idea of this guy’s singing voice and onstage persona.

Now watch this video, from sometime in the 80s:

IT’S THE SAME GUY!

…Okay, you might not be giggling like crazy like I was after discovering this, but in case there’s someone else out there who’s as amused by it as I am, I wanted to put it out there.

Foot, foot, footie-foot.

…And then I found twenty dollars.

Um.

It’s mostly my friends who read this blog, but occasionally I get comments from people who find me via some other method- a link on a friend’s blog, my 20-something Bloggers profile, or by Googling something.

That last method is the one I’m really interested in. I remember when I first started this blog, I had a post that mentioned Keith Lockhart, and a surprising number of people found me by Googling “Keith Lockhart’s divorce.” Mostly, people find me by Googling things like “single 20 something blog,” “struggling with being single,” or “books for twenty-something women.” A lot of people have found me by Googling “four-oh-wunk,” or the Sex and the City quote at the top of the blog. I’ve even had people find me by Googling, with quotation marks, “I hate Arrested Development” and “If you like Damages.”

But nothing tops the search that lead someone to me today.

I really don’t want to know.

Um.

It’s mostly my friends who read this blog, but occasionally I get comments from people who find me via some other method- a link on a friend’s blog, my 20-something Bloggers profile, or by Googling something.

That last method is the one I’m really interested in. I remember when I first started this blog, I had a post that mentioned Keith Lockhart, and a surprising number of people found me by Googling “Keith Lockhart’s divorce.” Mostly, people find me by Googling things like “single 20 something blog,” “struggling with being single,” or “books for twenty-something women.” A lot of people have found me by Googling “four-oh-wunk,” or the Sex and the City quote at the top of the blog. I’ve even had people find me by Googling, with quotation marks, “I hate Arrested Development” and “If you like Damages.”

But nothing tops the search that lead someone to me today.

I really don’t want to know.

These Are My Confessions

We are now nearing the end of Lent, and I’ve heard that there’s an initiative in the Boston Archdiocese to encourage people to go to confession. I’ve written before here about my religious habits, but I haven’t been to confession since my confirmation retreat when I was fifteen. I was sharing a room with a girl I went to school with, and I confessed that I’d snuck a look at her retreat notebook while she was in the bathroom.


So while I might not be headed for ten Our Fathers or whatever they give you for penance nowadays, but there are plenty of things about myself that I’m not proud of. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to tell you guys some of the more unfortunate facts about me.


Without further ado, here’s what I have to confess to my readers:


-When I was a teenager, my sister and I both went to the optometrist. I was sitting near this table and had my hand under it, and I felt a button. When I pushed it, it made a noise like a doorbell. The optometrist apparently didn’t know the bell was there, because she was all confused and tried to figure out where it was coming from. I pressed it one more time to make sure, and it sounded again. I was too embarrassed to say that it had been me, and my sister didn’t even believe me when I told her.

-My first-ever concert was Backstreet Boys.

-It takes me over an hour to get out of bed on a normal day, regardless of how much sleep I get. My bed is just so soft and comfy that I don’t want to get out, so I can never get anything done before work.


-I don’t do laundry until I run out of underwear, and underwear and socks are about the only thing I wash. As long as my clothes don’t smell and don’t have any big stains on them, I just put them away.


-Although, I only own about three sports bras, so I very often take a sports bra out of the hamper, put it on, and hope that I run fast enough that people walking by me don’t have to smell me.


-While I love the Red Sox, I can’t claim to be a lifelong fan. I’m a lousy athlete and a bit of a girly-girl, so when I was a kid I was all, “Ew, I hate sports.” By high school I’d changed my mind, and I’ve been a die-hard Sox fan for the last ten years or so.


-I still have the keys from my summer job in 2001. Oops.


-At said summer job (lifeguard at a condo complex), I once accidentally left those keys, and all my other stuff, in the pool building and locked myself out in the pouring rain. I managed to climb over the fence and get myself back in through an unlocked door, but not before getting soaked by the rain. I don’t want to think about how many people in the condos must have seen this all happen.


-I watch Toddlers and Tiaras. It’s a horrifying, ridiculous show, but I just can’t look away! I’m too embarrassed to put it on my DVR, but I watched almost every episode of the most recent season. This one little girl, Makenzie, cracks me up. Sometimes I’ll randomly start laughing thinking of her saying, “I think waitresses are really cool…they bring food.” (That’s at about 11:47 of this video, but watch the whole thing!)




-At chorus a couple of weeks ago, while having a conversation about Disney princesses, I told this girl how Hans Christian Andersen’s version of “The Little Mermaid” ends. (Don’t look it up if you don’t know and don’t want to be disappointed.) Uh, that was a mistake- I think I ruined her day.


-When I went to see Wicked last fall, my friend Amy and I walked over a sidewalk vent on our way there. Um, bad idea when you’re on a major street and wearing dresses.


-If you have ever been a competitive swimmer, at some point you have peed in a pool.


-I was a competitive swimmer as a kid. Make of that what you will.

In Which I Put My Jesuit Education to Use

There are a lot of things I plan to do in the coming year- run a half-marathon, take a vacation, attend my first friend wedding (Jon and Steph’s), attend my cousin Ryan’s wedding, lose weight, donate more platelets, date more, cook more, do more of the writing that I’ve neglected, try some new restaurants. But before the new year even started, I knocked one thing off my list: I got rid of my dinosaur phone.

I’d had my old phone since my 22nd birthday- the day before, my old flip phone had inexplicably snapped at the hinges when I’d just ended a call. I replaced it with another flip phone that had basically no features- it could call and text, and that’s it. I’m kind of amazed it lasted me four and a half years, and I probably would have gotten more use out of it if I hadn’t decided to get to join the modern age and get…a phone with a camera and a QWERTY keypad.

No, I opted not to get a smartphone. Aside from the facts that they’re expensive, don’t hold enough mp3s to justify getting one when I just got a new iPod, and would probably cause me to spend my entire day on the Internet, I have another reason for not wanting an iPod, Droid, Blackberry, or Nexus One, and that reason is…Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

In its infinite wisdom, my Jesuit university required us to take a core curriculum that included English, history, math, science, social sciences, foreign languages, cultural diversity, and…philosophy and theology. To fulfill those last two, I took an awesome year-long class called Perspectives with the amazing Professor Kerry Cronin. It was a class that examined the question, “What is the best way to live?” from the perspective of different philosophers, theologians, and the Bible. And while philosophy wasn’t something I’d previously thought I’d have any interest in (I remember in college, when a guy told someone he was majoring in philosophy, she responded, “So you can sit on your ass and think all day?”), Perspectives turned out to be one of the best classes I took in college.

And it turns out I can use it to illustrate a point. Rousseau believed that in a state of nature, humans possess two distinct qualities: sympathy and the desire for perfectability. The latter is what leads to the downfall of people—they don’t just want to preserve themselves, but to preserve themselves as well as possible, and thus develop tools to help themselves do so. They then become dependent on those tools rather than on their innate ability for self-preservation. And this is what makes people weak.

On the off chance that you are still with me, this is what smartphones make me think of. I just imagine people becoming dependent on them and unable to trust themselves to do things the way they used to do. I bet that already, somewhere, someone has counted on the Internet being available on a smartphone to give them information, only to find that it didn’t get reception or wouldn’t work as planned. What’s going to happen when people get so used to looking up information on their cell phones that they don’t know how to do it any other way?

Okay, so maybe I didn’t have to reference a philosopher to say so. But that’s my main point. I just see a smartphone as something that would become a security blanket, and it makes me uncomfortable. Right now I’ll stick with a phone that was all the rage…about six years ago.