it’s actually a very clever story that reflects well on me.

I was online the other day and came across an older article about ridiculous things masquerading as fashion. Mostly I agreed with the things they said then I got to a t-shirt that said “I only date superheroes.” The commentary was that the shirt should say “I don’t date” and I got a little bit offended. 

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1) WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT SUPERHERO THINGS THAT WAY! There is nothing wrong with liking superheroes and wearing snarky t-shirts does not make you someone who “doesn’t date.” Everything else was about actual fashion problems and then they just decided to trash on graphic t-shirts and girls who like super hero movies.

However this is not a blog post about my opinion on trashing nerd culture.

2) I was a little offended because I have a mug that says the exact same thing and it is one of my favorite things in the world. I don’t have any delusion that I am going to date a super hero or even an actor who plays a super hero. That would be crazy. I do love that mug though, it was a gift from a friend of mine and I don’t want to be embarrassed about it because the story behind the mug is actually very clever and reflects well on me. That is why I am going to tell you the story.

One night in college (or just after college, the point is that I lived in Spokane at the time.) I was out at a bar doing a trivia night with one of my guy friends and right in the middle of one of the questions a smarmy man came up to me and started trying to hit on me. I don’t know where he was going to go with that. I already had a drink, I had my cheese fries, and I had a guy there with me. Clearly I had everything that he could offer me and worst of all I could not hear the trivia question that was happening.

In all things I play to win. I play to stomp on my competitors hopes and dreams and make them cry like little girls. If I cannot hear the trivia question I can’t do that and I was getting annoyed.

I did not look at the man but raised my hand up to his face and silenced him. “I’m sorry,” I growled, “I’m holding out for a hero” (I’m a champion at blocking pick-up lines). 

For that brief moment I was my guy friend’s hero. We were not on a date or anything (trust me on this one. I know what level of feelings he had for me) but I am pretty sure that I became his hero for the way I shut the other guy down. A few days later this friend and I were out at the mall and made our way into the comic book store. We’re kind of nerds. And there, in the back of the store, was a collection of mugs and lunchboxes. He picked up the mug, looked at it, and said to me, “Katie, you need this.”

“It’s awesome but… it’s ten bucks. I really can’t afford it.” 

He put it back and we went on with our lives until we reached the car. He opened up his shopping purchases and handed me the mug. “You need this and I am giving it to you under the one condition that you bring it with you the next time we go to a bar.”

“Square deal.” 

That is how I got my mug AND that is part of why I really like it. Don’t trash on my coffee mug!

(I feel it is important to note that if that man had found a way to prove that he was a hero I might have spoken with him. That would have been awesome.)

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Consequences be damned. I’m going on an ADVENTURE!

I would like to start by saying that if anyone wanted to just give me $20,000 so I could do my grad school and not take anymore loans, that would be lovely. I might not even ask the question of where you got that money and why you are just giving it to me. Even without a wealthy benefactor I still intend on doing the whole grad school thing but I will be a little bit more sad about it because taking more loans and applying for scholarships are kind of big consequences.

Oh well. Consequences be damned, I’m going on an adventure anyway. If some of the older people I know are to be believed the world as we know it is going to end in the next few years anyway so it does not matter. Not even a little bit.

Every now and again the fact that I actually am going to grad school in another country because entirely too real for me. Living abroad has always been a “someday” situation not something that will actually happen. Someday is my favorite synonym for never. Today was one of those days. After receiving an e-mail from the university about how excited they are to have me in their Master’s program in the fall I sat down and made a list of everything I need to do in order to be ready by August/September.

Turns out its a lot.

Other than needing a fabulously wealthy benefactor I seem to need; a student visa, to fit all of my worldly items in no more than 4 suitcases, and a place to live. This must be why “someday” always turns into a synonym for “never.” I feel like my life is on a pendulum, I’m either panicking or don’t even think its real. That’s just what adventures are like. I’m sure Bilbo Baggins felt the same way the whole time he was traveling with Gandalf and the Dwarves.

I’m not shy

Twice this last week I have been accused of being shy. 

The first time was by my friend Austin (he is married to one of my best friends). I told him and Erin and enjoy their double date with his younger brother. He corrected me by saying that it was more like chaperoning. I told them to enjoy their “chaperoning” and he tried to correct me again by saying that really he and Erin were going because his brother is very anti-social and so they were going to be a little bit of a buffer on this date. “It would be like if YOU just walked up to someone on the street and asked them on a date. We would go and be a buffer for your social awkwardness as well… because you’re so shy.” I laughed. Erin had already explained the situation to me and I thought it was great.

The second time was this morning at church. A friend of mine came to visit my church and we were standing in the entry area just chatting for a minute. It is a small church and everyone knows when someone is new so we were almost immediately swarmed by one of the pastors in greeting. He greeted my friend and wanted to know how she had heard about Lakeside. She pointed to me and I waved. “Well I figured as much,” he said to me, “you’re pretty shy so I didn’t think you would just be talking to someone you did not have a connection with.”

The thing is I am not actually shy. By definition shy is being reserved or having or showing nervousness or timidity in the company of other people. I don’t think that is really me.

I am not reserved. If you come up to me and ask me a question I’m going to answer it.  I will answer truthfully and probably long-windedly. I am not nervous around people. I’ll greet and talk to people, when I have to, without any fear. I’m just not an outgoing person because I DON’T care. I’m an introvert so the less I have to deal people the happier I am but that does not mean that I’m shy or timid I just want to do my own thing.

Some things are MEANT to be taken seriously

Every morning I take 2000 IU of Vitamin D in the form of a lovely capsule. I keep the bottle right next to the coffee maker because I might forget to take my pills but I never forget my coffee. I have to take them because, even though I drink whole milk and go outside, I consistently have less than half the amount of Vitamin D in my blood stream than the minimum your body should be able to run on. Consistently. A few years ago, when I started this regiment, the deficiency was causing a lot of physical problems. Now I don’t really have those problems anymore and, as an added bonus, the extra shot of Vitamin D everyday helps with my depression.

Now here’s the bad thing.

When your body is used to running under a major deficiency like that and you suddenly throw the right amount of whatever you are missing into the mix it can take some time to get use to it. I had that problem a few days ago. I MAJORLY had that problem a few days ago.

About two months ago my pills ran out and I never went to the store to buy more. I went to the store. I bought other things. Over the course of two (or more) months I never walked down the pharmacy isle and purchased more of my vitamins until last week. Fortunately I did not have the worst of the physical repercussions but my mood and ability to cope with emotion suffered. Like a fool I went right back to taking the huge dose that I had been taking before, forgetting how weird it made me feel a few years ago when I started taking it.

AAAAAHHHH!

My body reacted. I could not feel down, which meant that I could not take anything seriously. Some things are meant to be taken seriously. Some things should be taken seriously. When you’re with a group of women who want to have a serious discussion it might be a good idea to do something other than throw out jokes all day long. But that was not within my range of ability earlier this week.

I was sitting with a group of women and I would manage to stay quiet during most of the serious conversation until someone left a door open for a joke. If the door was left open even a little I jumped through it. Around the third or tenth time I did that one of the girls rolled her eyes and groaned, “Katie.” I looked around, raised my hands above my head, gave them my very best manic smile, and said, “guess who refilled her depression medication this week.”

Thank God I have evened out since then.

Barbie and Body Image

Yesterday I found my old Barbies and was very excited because I promised them weeks ago to a person I know for her 2 year old daughter. And these were the good Barbies. The Barbies from before the weird body redesign to make her look more “normal.” On my way over I got a little concerned that this woman would not be okay with the older style of Barbies because of the whole body image thing but I pushed that thought out of my mind deciding that I would sell them at a garage sale or something if she did not want them. 

I don’t always really buy it when people talk about Barbie giving their children negative body image. I do understand the power of the fantasy of being Barbie the most beautiful and popular person in the world and how, without proper guidance, girls can start to believe that they need to look like Barbie in order to feel like that. I just don’t buy it that Barbie is as big of a contributor in negative body image as we scapegoat her to be, I think some of that blame has to be placed on the people in our lives for not making a point of teaching girls what is really important in life. 

Here’s the thing, despite the fact that I don’t have Barbie’s measurements AT ALL I still put on outfits sometimes and say “yeah, I look good. I look like a Barbie” (I have slowly been coming to terms with the fact that barbie and Miss Piggy are actually my fashion muses). I have great body image. The last time someone made fun of the way I looked I tossed my ponytail and said “whatever. I’m a bombshell.” I know that I’m short. I know that I’m kind of stocky. I do believe the doctor when he tells me that I am at least 15 pounds overweight. When I was in high school someone wrote on a bathroom stall that I was a “fat cow.” Not just a cow, which would have been bad enough but a fat cow. I assume they meant a dairy cow or something like that. I mention these things because it is important that you understand that my body is not perfect and that I have issues with the way I look. However, I was raised believing that there were things that were much more important than how I look. Not just when I look bad but when I look better than Marilyn Monroe there are still things that are more important about who I am than how I look. 

I think that is why I get so defensive of Barbie sometimes. All of my Barbies were themed growing up. They were about a lot more than just being pretty or getting the guy. I had a Barbie that trained whales for a living. A friend of mine had one that I am pretty sure was an astronaut. That was the early 90’s so I think a lady astronaut would have still been a kind of big deal, I’ll have to check. In college I started on this same defense and someone I was with listed a few of Barbie’s less fantastic jobs like model and secretary. Yes I am aware that going into space or being a spy is not the way most normal girls play with their Barbies but that does not mean that Barbie teaches young girls that they have to be beautiful. 

I just don’t buy it. Sue me. Revoke my feminist membership. 

So I made a Pineapple Cheesecake

“My grandmother use to make this dessert for me,” my dad muttered, crossing through the kitchen earlier this afternoon. “now you’re making it using the same piece of equipment you are using.” The ancient mixer did its spirals while I stood pointlessly watching the cream cheese turn into cheesecake filling. “What do you think of that?” My dad asked me. Normal girls would have thought that was fascinating. Here I am, part of my family history, doing the same thing my great grandmother probably did at this age. She was probably better at it than I am. I responded that it would make a good essay. 

I think my great grandmother and I would have gotten along. Or she might have found the fact that I am unmarried and a troublemaker at my age disturbing. I have several of things of hers, including her cheesecake recipe but I probably won’t be passing along the corn pudding recipe which does not make sense and I don’t enjoy eating it. I know my great grandfather and I would have gotten along. 

My great grandfather was a chemistry professor. He spent the summers hiking around the Sierra Nevadas. 

I’m entirely too attached to my stuff

Over the past couple of weeks I have been going through my stuff and getting rid of most of it. I’ve been doing this for two reasons; 1) I will be going to London for a Masters program in the fall and don’t want to store a ton of stuff, 2) I have entirely too much sentimentality hung up in things that I don’t need. I really do. I don’t even look at most of the stuff either. There is a doll house in the back of the storage room at my parents house that I cannot even get to but its my doll house, I can’t give away my doll house. My great grandparents gave me that when I was little. I can give it away and I have to. It is literally a hunk of plastic that I have not looked at in 5 years and I don’t want to pay money to store it somewhere. 

Getting rid of stuff is incredibly difficult. I want to be an adventurer so I can’t have all this junk just lying around but I start going through my bins of old things and say “I can’t get rid of this. I used to love that shirt.” or “Crystal gave this to me (in the fourth grade) I can’t get rid of that.” Sentimentality is a very weird thing. I know that whatever it is that I am looking at is totally inanimate but I feel like I’m hurting its feelings by getting rid of it. I feel like I have to give it to someone who is not going to separate the pair. They aren’t real. Those two bears are not really married, they can be given to two entirely different families. Frankly, I blame Toy Story. 

So I have developed a very simple way to deal with this problem. The second I decide that I need to get rid of something I bury it in a box to take to a secondhand store and put it in the car. That way by the time I have second thoughts it is too late. I am also being almost totally indiscriminate about getting rid of things. I am not saying that I like one old broken thing more than I like this other old broken thing. I have just been getting rid of everything. Now the only things that will go into storage when I run away to a foreign country are my art and other grown up things (like bed and table and books. So many books) This must be what the storage boxes of real adults look like.