November 25, 2010


Watching my first episode of "Hoarders" with my father and sister.

Kitten: I wonder if other hoarders watch this show.
Father: What, like, for tips? "Hey. Look at the way she's got that stuff piled up there. You don't have to put it in bags first!"

November 22, 2010


[Expo '86 - Death Cab for Cutie, Meet Me on the Equinox - Death Cab for Cutie]

The college I went to has had ROLM phones for 18 years.

There are lots of things I enjoy about the ROLM system. It does all the usual things—saves messages, forwards messages, creates distribution lists. The system also makes it virtually effortless to take a personal message and forward it to the whole campus. That’s handy. But my favorite feature is the ability to delete a voicemail you’ve started leaving by hitting *6 if you botch it.

Example: “Hi, Professor Williams. Thanks so much for giving me an extension on my paper. I really appreciate it. I’ll have it to you first thing on Monday. Okay, love you, bye-bye! Oh. Shit. Uh...sorry. I mean, crap. I’ve been leaving messages for my don’t love you. Uh....” *6.

Sadly, the college must begin researching alternatives to this phone system. Not only are replacement parts becoming increasingly scarce (most must be ordered on ebay), but people able to make repairs to the system are, well, dying off, actually.


November 19, 2010

18 ½ Minutes

[Dog Days Are Over—Florence + the Machine]

Livescribe. A new pen that records everything you say, write, and draw. Slogan? “Never miss a word.” This has political indictment written all over it, right?

November 18, 2010

Coat Arguments

“…More of those than any other type of argument.” Kitten talking about our family’s tendency to bicker over outerwear after I verbally abused her into coming to my office to borrow a coat for the remainder of the day.

It’s an accurate statement.

Wear a coat!
I’m not going very far.

Wear a coat!
It’s n-n-not cold enough.

Wear a coat!
You can’t make me!

Wear a coat!
This t-shirt is warm enough.

Wear a coat!
I have a hat on.

We’re clearly not much for self-preservational instincts.

November 17, 2010

Sleeping In

Eleven years ago, my mother and sister pleaded with me to get up early on a Saturday to stand in line in the Chicago cold. Mother and sister were going to a book signing for an author they both loved at the time. They had three of her books and the rule was one signature per person. Wouldn’t I please, please stop being selfish and come so they could get all three books signed?

I wasn’t having it.

While my mother and sister stood in the pre-dawn cold like suckers, I slept comfortably in my canopy bed, wrapped in a down comforter. Thank goodness a good Samaritan in line behind them offered to have the third book signed.

Tomorrow, I’m going to wait in line for hours to attend a midnight showing of Part 1 of the same author’s seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

November 14, 2010


THANK GOD I HAVE A BLOG because something atrocious happened on my way home tonight. I was listening to the radio. A girl called in and requested “a sad song.”

Peppy male DJ: You’re not sad, are you?
Girl: Yeah.
PMDJ: Why?
Girl: (starting to cry) My love life.
PMDJ: Oh no! Don’t cry. Men are like city buses. A new one comes along every five minutes.
Girl: Thanks.
PMDJ: How long did you date him?
Girl: Eight months.
PMDJ: Did he have a big weenie?
Girl: I don’t know. I don’t do that.
PMDJ: Maybe that’s why you guys broke up.
Cut to commercial.

Any woman who has the sense not to have premarital sex should be given a crisp Benjamin and a pat on the back. 

The Din of the Lonely

[Obsession – Sky Ferreria; Firework – Katy Perry (It’s Sunday morning. Don’t judge); 99 Problems – Hugo; The Man that Got Away – Ella Fitzgerald; Veni Vidi Vici – Black Lips; Kick Drum Heart – The Avett Brothers; I Killed Sally’s Lover – The Avett Brothers]

Planning to write a blog post on the Joshua Radin concert I attended last week, I looked up the lyrics to one of his songs online.

Beneath them there are no less then 37 comments from people with handles like “music*ismyboyfriend” and “scattered_misery.” Almost every single comment is a girl interpreting the song and then relating it to her life. I think it only right I share my findings.

Most of them keep to a general format. They begin with a synopsis of the song. For example, “This song is about a girl who is desprately in love with a boy. He just uses her. He just sees her as another girl she sees him as everything.” That’s usually followed by a personal statement. There’s the simple, if pitiful “If thats true, then sadly, thats me,” and the admission-of-possible-personal-slant, “Maybe I'm biased; because that's way too fucking like what's happening to me right now.” I also don’t want to overlook the desire to share in the startling and revelatory “When I started listening to this song, it sounded just like me and my ex, and I couldn't stop crying. I wish I could play it to him,” or the thoughtfully prophetic, “It's funny, he played this song for me... But I don't think he understood it's meaning. I wonder if someday this song will be about him.”

Though not all the comments were from women. Shout out to Hakerboy who boldly submitted, “This song is the biggest bullshit story I have ever heard. How does he sing it without stuttering? He should take up poker!” And RHS who said, “Have faith. Not all men are like this, and some of us really are pretty decent.”

November 8, 2010

You Can See It From the Surface

Sister likes to joke that I haven't aged since I was 14. It's a fair statement. I looked old then, I look young now. Today I happened to catch my reflection in a glass door. My new haircut plus my new blue sweater from the men's sale section of banana republic have conspired to make me look identical to my eighth grade school photo. If I didn't pluck my eyebrows now, I'd be indistinguishable from the girl I was in 1997.

November 7, 2010

"It's been a long time since we murdered anyone."

Direct quote from one of the Masons leading tours at the 100-year-old Masonic temple I visited today.

[The End - Kings of Leon; Pyro - Kings of Leon]

Hopping around Ottawa. Always different, always the same.

Today, Father and I went to Washington Square Park to look at veterans standing in the cold. We then went across the street to the Masonic Temple which was offering free tours to the public for one day only. Tour guides were working hard to dispel myths about Masons (not a religion, no creepy rituals, etc). Unfortunately, it's hard to take even the most sincere assertion that there are no sacrificial killings happening very seriously.

I learned that there's a Masonic group for girls called "Job's Daughters." Am I the only one who is troubled by this? Who else remembers what happened to Job's first round of kids?

"Please note the bloodstain-free alter."

November 5, 2010

I Can't Get Started with You

[Bloodstream - Stateless; Hard Hearted - Amy Milan]

Here’s something I don’t really like: driving a golf cart around the college campus I work on. This comes as something of a shock. I always thought I’d really enjoy it. But in my college fantasies, it was warmer and faster. I was zipping around other students, jolting forward to cut off slow walkers, screeching out "Scatter!" as i recklessly barreled into groups of people blocking my way. 

It’s not like that. Petal-to-the-metal speed is maybe 5 miles per hour. I feel embarrassed knowing that anyone could out-jog me. It makes me feel more lazy than anything else. “Yeah, I could be walking this fast. But I’m wasting gasoline and riding instead.” Like some eccentric competitor in a lame version of the Amazing Race. 

Is that how people in motorized scooters at Target feel? When I dart around them to grab a box of Special K, have I been unintentionally flaunting the speed of my gait, not to mention my reasonable turning radius?

November 4, 2010

Familial Pressure

No one short of my sister could impel me to start a blog. Darn it, Kitten.