I learned something today

I am a subscriber to the idea that you should learn something new every day. I like learning things. It is fascinating. I don’t know something one day and then, without warning, your entire worldview shifts to include this other thing. Think about it.

However, I don’t always/usually, learn something every day. If I had my way I wouldn’t even get out of bed every day. 1 out of every seven days would be reserved for lying in bed reading (you can read in groups and read aloud to each other but still it should be reserved for reading in bed). I did learn something today though. Today I learned how to change my oil in my car. It was cold and difficult and I had to have my dad undo the plug for me but I did it. 

I got grease and oil all over my hands but that was okay because now, even though I might never change my oil myself again, I know how to do that. 

But what now? What should I learn tomorrow? I think it should be juggling. That way the next time I have to sit through a church talent show I can stand up and juggle while reciting poetry.

(Sorry this blog is so short. I just wanted you guys to know that I’m not dead)

It will be resolved (New Years Resolution of 2014)

I know that it still isn’t even Christmas yet (five more days!) but I have been incredibly forward thinking for the last 3 months and don’t have anymore getting ready for Christmas stuff so I’m starting to think up New Years resolutions. Does anyone really do those anymore?I remember in Junior High we had writing assignments on the first school day in January, right after we turned in our Christmas journals, to write down and describe our New Years resolutions. That was probably the last time I thought about resolutions in any sort of detail as well as the last time I actually did a resolution. I may have come up with a resolution or two but then January would hit and I would be back to eating junk food and not caring about the rest of the world. 

Back then it was okay to do that because I was young and already pretty cool but I think it may be the time in my life to start thinking about how imperfect I am and how I will never get a real job if people think I am too headstrong to change my annoying habits. 

I just don’t know what I want to change. 

I watched Bridget Jones’s Diary the other day so I am familiar with the old standbys. 1) Lose 20 pounds 2) Stop Smoking 3) Make (insert name here) fall in love with me etc etc etc. The only problem is 1) I’m not sure I need to lose 20 pounds 2) I don’t smoke and 3) making (insert name here) fall in love with me would really get in the way of my plans to be a crazy cat lady. 

What are other standards? I suppose I could read more but I’m already kind of a nerd. I could write more often but I’m already kind of a nerd.

Do my laundry more often? Don’t be ridiculous. 

Be nicer to people? Well… actually that one I probably need. It is not that I am hostile, I’m annoyed.

I go through all these ideas and then I shrug and remember that those things are vices because I like them that way. I’m already incredible, why would I change for a world that is annoying? However, I then have to remind myself that I make up a part of the world and if I expect people to behave one way then I probably should behave that way as well. So if I am going to expect people to change to make the world a better place then I should at least make an effort.

I thought for a little while, listening to Weightless by All Time Low and came up with these vaguely good sounding resolutions for how I plan to behave in 2014 (I always like even numbered years better than odd numbered years).

1) Be 15% less hostile

2) Be 10% less mean sarcastic (as opposed to one word sarcastic and other forms of sarcasm)

You’ll notice that I’m giving myself percentages rather than cutting things I like out of my life entirely

3) Swear Less

4) Go to grad school and kick major ass! (oops I guess its a good thing it isn’t 2014 yet)

5) Waste 20% less time (I will pinterest)

What’s Your Secret Talent?

You should know that I HATE ice breaker games. I get to the point in parties and team building meetings where we do ice breaker games and I just want to leave. I feel like those games are incredibly superficial and that once you’re done you don’t actually know anything about the people you have been playing with (with the exception of “2 truths and a lie” and “I’ve never” but only in cases where you already know the people). That is not to say that I don’t appreciate getting to know people. When I worked in the kitchen at my summer camp us girls would drive out to the beach, eat ice cream, and play the question game.

In the question game one person asks a question and everyone has to answer it, including the person who asked it. If you play with only two people you get to pass on any question but the person who asked doesn’t have to answer it then. Also if you play it with only two people its usually called a first date and its not a game (ha ha that was joke).

Okay, the question game isn’t really a game and I suppose that is why I like it better than ice breaker games. 

One of my favorite questions that we asked and discussed, and now I use every time because it is so fantastic, was “what is your secret talent?”

What’s great about secret talents is everyone has one and they are always embarrassing. So it is kind of okay if the person either lies to you or refuses to demonstrate. However, if they don’t lie to you or demonstrate (or both if you are really lucky) then you know that you have found a good friend. 

That’s how I make friends, by embarrassing them and making them tell me all of their secrets… that’s probably why I don’t have many of those.

My feelings toward this snow are generally negative

During the first big snow storm and subsequent days of snow on the ground this winter I thought to myself, ‘wow, I’ve really matured. I haven’t whined at all abut this snow. Actually its kind of nice. Night time is so much brighter with snow on the ground.’ I was really starting to believe that it might be a nice winter of me wearing my scarves (I have fabulous scarves) and drinking warm beverages… then I couldn’t work my iPod through my gloves (I need my car music) and things started to go down hill. 

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I tried. I really did try not to be negative about all the winter nonsense. I even went to the store and found a cheap pair of gloves that are supposed to work with touch screen technology so that I could play my music in the car when driving to and from work (I have extremely first world priorities but I’m working on those). Its not like this is the first time I’ve dealt with snow. No, I live in Utah and I went to college in Spokane. It has been years since I lived in a place that “didn’t really get snow (awe the good old days).” 

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I live in the basement so until I come upstairs I’m pretty disconnected from the real world and the weather outside and after this first attempt to be positive about the terrible weather and feeling like I was doing quite well I woke up and saw something that looked a little bit like frozen water falling into my window well. That is when the positivity went out of my life. ‘More snow?’ Hadn’t I been doing so well at not complaining about the snow we already had? Surely God had to give me a pass on this winter because I was being so good. 

I shook my head. “That had better be rain.” 

I went upstairs for work. “That had BETTER be rain.”

Of course it wasn’t but I decided to persevere until my car would not start and my windshield, that I had spent 10 minutes scraping, froze. I’m not going to try hard to be positive about the snow anymore though. It is TOO cold to try and be positive any more. Instead I have decided to kill whatever snow demons might be out there because I am pretty sure they are trying to kill me (Frosty the Snowman is on my list). 

The first one who has got to go is The White Witch

I emerged from my room the day before yesterday, after pushing to the back of my closet in search of my sweatpants, and Narnia, and announced, “it is becoming apparent to me that Narnia is not located at the back of my wardrobe. It’s a pity because somebody has to take the White Witch down.”

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A normal person, the kind who does not believe that sarcasm and hostility are the only things they bring to their relationships, would have probably smiled at their cleverness and stopped there. Not me. I’m a dragon slayer and as such I prefer to take anything that might be funny and clever, take right up to the line, step right over the line and keep going until I have no friends. 

Yesterday I tweeted “Narnia found, I’m off to fight the White Witch.” Naturally I defeated her but this snow and cold weather is very persistent.

The next “Snow Demon” on my list are the Jotunheim. I’ll hunt down ALL the frost giants and slay them all. It can’t be that hard, I’m a dragon slayer. 

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This may be more difficult than I originally believed but when I am finished and Odin awakes I will be made King of Asgard and Thor and Loki will both just have to deal with it. 

Of course destroying the frost giants and the White Witch might not be enough. Frosty the Snowman will certainly have to go as well

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not to mention Jack Frost (sorry bro but you’re playing for the wrong team so I’m going to have to sweep the leg).

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And anyone else with Snow and cold powers. 

… I can tell this is going to be a long a difficult winter but I am willing to make this sacrifice and fight all the snow demons for the good of the team. Like I said, my feelings toward the snow (and cold) are generally negative and apparently murderous.

Which Avenger would be the best date (the answer may surprise you)

I warn you that the answer will probably surprise you and it definitely will surprise me because I haven’t actually thought the whole thing through yet but bear with me and I don’t think you will be disappointed. 

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Look how excited/overwhelmed I am about figuring this out. So excited that I had to find a haystack and sit down beside it.

Like most so very many people I love super hero movies. I need super hero movies. I watch super hero movies over and over and over again until I can quote along with them and then I watch them again. Seriously. Some of you may recall that I ended up watching Avengers 3 or 4 times the day that I bought it on dvd. If not here is where I blogged about that https://hotstrongandsteamed.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/my-day-of-watching-the-avengers/

So after watching Thor 2 and hearing both sides of the Loki vs Thor debate and rewatching Iron Man 3 and hearing Tony’s comment about things never being okay because Pepper is in a “stable relationship” with him I started to wonder which of the Avengers, and their sidekicks, would be the best date. 

I think we should start by meeting the contestants.

Tony Stark/Iron Man

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The billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. Tony Stark does have his good qualities. You certainly would not be bored on a date with… actually you might be. Tony Stark might exclusively talk about himself and never compliment your outfit or ask you a single question. Then again he might fly you around in his private jet or let you drive one of his super coll sports cars. If you are into science you guys will probably have a good time inventing stuff. However, unless you are Pepper Potts you’re just going to be a one time guest star on the Tony show. 

Lt. Colonel Rhodes (I have to Google how to spell Colonel every single time)/ The War Machine

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Speaking as someone who lives in an Air Force town I just have to say “DAMN!” Man in uniform. I don’t know what it is but I know from my friends around here and all sorts of other things that a man in uniform is always super attractive. Then you start dating and there are all the military transfers and things and it becomes a little less fun but there is that immediate reaction. On a more serious note (Me? Serious? Yeah right) Lt. Colonel Rhodes is a pretty awesome character. He risks his life and career for Tony Stark dozens of times and Tony is never as grateful as he should be. I would be grateful but then again I also would not put my friend in a situation where they have to testify in congress that I am not a danger to the country. Rhodes is a good guy. He would probably be a good date.

Speaking of men in uniform…

Steve Rogers/Captain America

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I’m just going to say it. Captain America is my favorite. Chris Evans is my favorite, Captain America is my favorite, Steve Rogers is my favorite etc. I told a friend one day that I wanted to watch Captain America and she said to me “really? That’s my least favorite of the Avengers movies.”

My response was, “what’s not to like? You’ve got Chris Evans, historical fiction, super heroes, science fiction, and then more Chris Evans. There is nothing NOT to like!” We then watched Captain America.

Back on topic.

Steve Rogers/Captain America would certainly be an old fashioned gentleman on his date with you but he would probably still be heart broken about Peggy and it not being the 1940’s anymore. I get it. I’m still heartbroken that it’s not the 90’s anymore. He also would not get any of your movie references which is actually probably a good thing because seriously we, as a generation, need to talk about things that don’t involve screens. I think Steve Rogers would be a wonderful date so long as you don’t go dancing (he never danced, he’ll step on your feet) he would be opening the doors, being sure not to cross boundaries, probably compliment you a lot, and he has a photographic memory so he will remember most of the things you say. Downside he still doesn’t know anything about women.

Bucky (remember Captain America’s best friend?)

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I’m pretty sure (and I’m taking this assessment strictly from the movie) that Bucky is the 1940’s version of a player. He took a lot of girls dancing. He also made Captain America ride a roller coaster that made him throw up. That is not very nice. He would probably be one of those guys that has every minute of your date planned out. “We’re going to this then this then this.” It would be fun but don’t forget that next week he is going to hit on some other girl because that is what I got from that movie. 

Thor

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Damn. Just… Damn! Thor is more beautiful than I am (that’s not that difficult.) He’s the most beautiful person in that movie and Natalie Portman is in that movie. Look at that hair!

Thor, much like Captain America would probably be a bit of an old-fashioned gentleman (except there will be a lot of dish smashing) with the added bonus of we get to go anywhere in the universe. Can you imagine the locations your date would take place in? It would be fantastic right up until Odin ruined everything. Odin doesn’t think any one is good enough for his little boy, I’ve noticed.  

Loki

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Loki is not an Avenger. He’s a bad guy in that movie which means he’s out on a technicality but if I don’t add him to the list I am going to catch a ton crap. 

However, Loki is not going to be the best date of all the Avengers. I don’t care how much “improvement” he made in Thor 2 or if he was “under the influence of the tesseract” in Avengers. I also don’t care how great Tom Hiddleston might be. Loki is going to be a terrible date.

I immediately regret writing that because just think about the kind of mischief you and he would get into. Like Thor you still have access to all 9 realms and instead of being a pair of goody-two-shoes you’re going to get into all sorts of trouble. That actually sounds like a ton of fun. The only reasonable explanation for that sudden change of heart would be that damn glow stick of destiny. he still wouldn’t be a very good date. You know how people say confidence is the most attractive thing? Yeah, now imagine Loki on your date whining about always being Thor’s shadow.That would be less fun.

Hawkeye/Agent Barton

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I’m thinking that Hawkeye is super smart. Not to mention in incredible shape. You would have to be in order to be a master assassin and super spy as well as one of the only Avengers who does not have super powers or a super suit. I don’t know how good the date would be because of the whole Black Widow implied love in the movie. I think it would be a very fun time though. Maybe you guys could do archery and rock climbing (you’re very sporty in this version of your life). 

Director Nick Fury

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Worst date of all time. What would you do? Spy on people, look deep into his eyepatch? I don’t think he technically counts as an Avenger either. 

Agent Phil Coulson

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I’m going to call it. Except for being old I’ll bet Agent Coulson is the best date of all the Avengers. I can’t believe the cellist left him, for Portland of all places. He’s the coolest. Normal average guy who then turns out to be a bad ass. He’d take you see an orchestra concert and then let you help save the world. Then you can talk about how great Captain America is and taze Tony Stark. Sounds like the best day of my life to me.

However…

When I was in college I participated in The Dating Game, to help out a friend of mine who was putting it on. One of the questions I asked of my contestants was “if you had super powers what would they be and why?” After a range of very well though out answers I leaned into the microphone and said, “I am sorry but the correct answer was Batman.”

That is the case in this situation as well. The correct answer is always Batman but he’s not an option so here is my arbitrarily decided ranking:

1) Phil Coulson

2) Captain America

3) Thor

4) Loki

5) Rhodes

6) Hawkeye

7) Bucky

8) Tony Stark

9) Director Nick Fury

I’m Katie and I approved this ranking.

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DAMN! I forgot the Hulk! I’m a failure.

Your Kung Fu Was Inspiring

Sometimes I have incredibly mundane dreams. Most people do. Then there are times when I have incredibly intense dreams. These dreams have complex plot lines, dynamic characters, and, occasionally, Shakespearean(esque) themes. A little more than a week ago I had one of those dreams. It was the kind of dream you wake up from and cannot entirely figure out which memories were the dream and which were real life. 

That is why I have decided to tell it to all of you, my internet friends who who put up with this blog and all of it’s atrocities. 

A bright orange leaf did somersaults across the main street of a small town in Britain. If truth be told the leaf was really just blowing in a mild wind, leaves are not sentient beings after all. I’m not sure why I was there, in England, but I was and I was planning on being there for a while. I watched the leaf flutter just inches off the ground for a moment before returning to pretentiously reading my book and sipping a coffee (I’m aggressively American about my coffee, even when I travel). I was just getting to the bad part of the Red Wedding when something in my pocket started to buzz.

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Buzz and shake. It was very distracting so I pulled my phone, the source of all this mayhem, from my pocket and answered it.

“PEOPLE ARE DYING! This had better be important.”

(I need to note here that this is a retelling of a dream and not real. The following events are fiction and if they bear any resemblance to your life then I am terribly sorry.) 

“Katie,” it was Amy, a good and bad ass friend of mine from college, “Mandy has been kidnapped… by terrorists.” I imagine that these terrorists were riding Unicorns because what other terrorists would kidnap my friend Mandy. I probably should not make that into a laughing matter because it is actually a possibility. My friend Mandy is a bad ass but she is also a teacher at an international school in the middle east. Perhaps the real possibility of her being kidnapped is why my subconscious chose her but I would prefer to believe it was because I miss her very much… and she’s a bad ass. 

That is where the dream got stressful, painful, and intense. It was quickly becoming the kind of dream you wake up from breathless and soaked in sweat with you pillow thrown to the foot of your bed. I panicked. My first instinct was to go rescue her. I threw my book and phone into the bag that magically appeared at my feet and was ready to be on my way until I realized that I did not know how to get back to my hotel (or apartment, I’m not sure which it was) and started weeping hysterically. 

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(I’m not that attractive when I cry.) I wept for at least 10 minutes alone at this outdoor cafe before someone finally took pity on me and made sure I was all right. I didn’t mind because I don’t like to cry and I was letting myself believe that the people around me believe I was crying because of the emotional abuse I had been dealt at the hands of George RR Martin.

“Excuse me,” a voice from high above me finally chimed. “Are you crying because of your haircut?” I looked up and who should be standing above me but Tom Hiddleston for which I am grateful because without that the dream was getting too real for my liking. 

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Never before that moment or since that dream had this man made an appearance in a dream of mine. I have cursed out Prince Harry and played poker with Russell Crow in dreams (if I named every famous person I’ve met in the recesses of my subconscious we will be here all night) but I have never made the acquaintance of my sub-conscious’s version of the god of mischief. I blame it on the fact that I had watched Midnight in Paris right before bed only days after rewatching Thor. 

The Tom Hiddleston of my subconscious offered me a handkerchief (he’s aggressively British) and sincerely wanted to know if I was crying because of my haircut to which I responded that I was not (I had my haircut 2 days later, I will not be insulted). I was upset because my friend had been kidnapped and I couldn’t find my hotel. 

He agreed to direct me to my hotel and escorted me there just to make sure I didn’t get lost and start crying again (seriously guys, I’m a very unattractive weeper). Fortunately my friend Amy was waiting for me there with a master plan.

“Katie, we’re going to rescue Mandy.” She looked Mr. Hiddleston up and down. “You can come if you promise not to slow us down.”

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I’m not sure of 2 things in that moment. The first is how Amy got to my British hotel before I did when she was in Washington State. The only explanation is that I cried for a very long time. The second is far more baffling. I will never be sure why this actor decided to traipse through the desert with us in search of a school teacher he had never met. The only explanation is that he is a true gentlemen (inside my head).

So the three of us flew down to Yemen and found the terrorists. Our weapon of choice was kung fu (or some other martial arts, I don’t know, sue me) and our kung fu was inspiring. We broke down doors and batted grenades away from us like it was nothing until we reached the boss level.

Behind a steal door stood the king of the Unicorn terrorists (bad horse’s only true rival) who had kidnapped Mandy and been forcing her to teach him how to read. We put up our dukes and stormed in. We sent Tom Hiddleston in first because he is tall and therefore a bigger target. It was like watching the end of Serenity when River song kills all the reavers only I want you to imagine Loki fighting unicorns (do you have that image in your head? Isn’t it great?). I told you already that as a group our kung fu was inspiring but not in the way that this kung fu was inspiring. I had to sit down and catch my breath.

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Then, once all the bad guys were defeated and Mandy, Amy, and I were reunited he walked off into the sunset. I had to chase after him because he had driven us there and was kind of our ride back. 

Sometimes I have incredibly mundane dreams but that was not one of them.

If you bring me Fry-Sauce I’ll knife you in the chest

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When I was in Washington state at the Young Adult retreat my camp holds every year (fondly known as counselor camp) I commented that if I’m still “not really doing anything” by the next congressional election that I would run for congress. I still wouldn’t be doing anything but at least I would be getting a pretty big pay check for it. I think it sounds like a pretty good plan, nothing gets done it congress so it would be jut like my life now only in a different location. My friend Dan did not agree. He looked up from his book and asked, “you’re not planning on running in Utah are you? Because I’ve read your blog and I don’t think you can win an election in Utah.”

“Why not?” I personally think I can win an election anywhere, I’m awesome. In college I won an election in a dorm I didn’t even live in.

“You make Utah sound like a terrible place and that everyone who lives there is stupid.” Well that much is true. “I think that if you ran in Utah that would be exposed and people wouldn’t like that.”

I thought about it for a minute, chewing my lower lip. “Fair enough, I withdraw it.”

But Dan is right. I highly doubt I could win an election in Utah not because of my blog (this blog) but because I would probably make a comment during a debate along the lines of you’re an idiot, don’t speak again.” The big problem is that it will be to whoever is asking the question. I used to have a filter. I really did. I used to think to myself ‘I probably shouldn’t say that’ but now I just say “Why the hell not?”

Like earlier today.

While at lunch the waiter very politely asked me if I would like fry-sauce for my french fries (chips for all you British readers). Fry-sauce is not an exclusive Utah thing but it is huge in Utah in a way that it is not in any other part of the world. I looked at him. “Sir, if you bring me fry-sauce I will personally knife you in the chest.”

“What?”

I continued because I continue until I have taken it too far and cross the line between fun and crazy. “I will break into your home, steal your toothbrush, bring it back here, carve it into a shiv, break back into your home and use it to stab you in the chest.” Oh look, there’s the line. I’m glad I found it.

“So… no fry-sauce?”

“No fry-sauce.”

Dan is absolutely right, If I run for congress it should not be in Utah.