Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Clothes are seriously too much for me today

So, last evening after rolicking with my mother and some friends, I came home.  I had been feeling just a little queasy during the day, but I attributed that to the inappropriate amount of food I ate, and decided that the food baby would come in course.  I slipped into my sleek Forever Lazy pajamas (click here for more information).  With these pajamas, I could finally read a book without the hassle of figuring how to appropriately place a blanket. All joking aside, I love my Forever Lazy.  I feel fancy in it.  Then, BOOM 3 30 in the morning, the Rage of the Flu takes me by complete surprise.  Let me tell you, there is not much more humbling than sleeping on a rainbow tie-dye fold out futon circa 1990 with a Zack Morris comforter.  I stayed there for the next 5 hours slipping between consciousness and sweet oblivion.  I had a huge list of plans for today, now all shot to hell because my body decided to screw me sideways.  I took a shower, a little nervous how it would turn out, but all is well.  I toweled off and realize it has been over a month since I posted, so I decided I should probably do something with my life today, and posting is it.  So, I sat down in our post-Ugly Sweater party living room, the tree baubled in beer cans, and dishes up the tookus, which I had intended on doing wearing nothing but a birthday suit and towel.  I am feeling better, if you were wondering.  But, now onto the difficult task of summarizing the past month.

So, Thanksgiving.  It was amazing.  I spent the first part of the day at Laura's house.  It was a new experience to not gorge on turkey right away, because we had to pace ourselves for my family Thanksgiving later in the day.  I loved having the support of both of our families during this holiday season.  It has been so welcomed.

December I fought a bit of a cold, but pushing through nonetheless.  I dislocated my shoulder during a swim lesson, that is to say a child jumped onto me and popped my shoulder out.  I taught the next 3 or so lessons before the pain over took me.  I pooped it back in and swore underwater while my students practiced bubbles.  It was also that day when I truly loved what I was doing.  I had a student start with me in September.  He refused to ever let go of me.  He wouldn't go underwater.  He just was scared all the time.  And this week in December, he swam by himself the first time.  When I complimented him after the lesson to his father, he father looked up at me and said, "You know that it is all you, right?"  And that just made everything right in the world.

I moved into a lake house on Nashotah lake. I am living with two amazing women.  Both of whom are so fascinating.  I am so sad that I have to leave it in 2 months, but I know that skype will happen.

On December 7th, my dear friend Mike and his girlfriend came to visit me.  Mike, Jenny, Laura, Gabe and I went to Holy Hill to walk around.  I got us only a little lost on the way there.  But after our adventure, we went to dinner, and it was an incredible visit.

On December 14th, Laura, Gabe and I went to the Shedd Aquarium.  Let me tell you, going to a place like that with a five year old is so incredible.  He saw things that we, adults, missed.  It was a fantastic drive without much traffic.

On December 16th, it was back to Illinois.  We took my mom out for her birthday to Medieval Times.  We had such a great time.  It was funny, because they served Dragon's Blood soup (that was actually tomato bisque) and Gabe just looked at me and said, "I don't want to drink dragon blood..."  He took a Try-It bite, and then looked toward the arena for what was coming next.  My mom had a great time.  We took some pictures with our knight and by the Christmas tree.

I found out on December 20th, my mom's birthday, I found out that I most likely will be leaving for Busan, South Korea between February 15th-20th.  So, let me know if you will be able to skype a ciao, or if I can plan some trips to see people.

Christmas went well.  I got so many amazing things.  not all commercial, but many of them specifically for me.  It made me feel so incredible.  I have so many fantastic people in my life.  I love you all.

So, with this in mind, I need to go back to bed.  This has taken quite a bit out of my self.  I am not supposed to be productive in my Forever Lazy, so I will bid you all a goodnight.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Day I Realize that I am Ridiculous

So, yes, I understand that this is not one but TWO days late.  Count yourselves lucky because I sent my brother-in-law's birthday card two WEEKS late.  Yeah, I felt a little bad about that one.  Brian, I promise I know when your birthday is.  It is November 4th.  I just am bad at getting my act together to address an envelope and buy and card and stuff.   But, anyway, Brother, I love you.

So, today I realized that I was ridiculous and this is why.  I looked into my fridge to decide what I wanted to eat for breakfast.  I do not know why I even bother.  I know I am going to have cereal with milk like always, but I like the option.  So, I looked in the door to grab the milk, and I found not one, not two, but THREE open bottles of BBQ sauce.  I don't even eat Bar-B-Que often.  Really, it is when my mom calls me and says, "Hey, do you want ribs?" My answer is always, "Obviously."  So, I don't even MAKE the ribs, I just devour them.  I think it was from when I made the Lil' Smokies (a.k.a. wieners, but that word weirds me out.  Beyond the obvious reasons, but I just think that it is the diphthong of vowels.  Diphthong also weirds me out, but I will let bigons be bigons. I also think that that word sounds like bison; that's just an observation).  Wow, that was a long and mildly unnecessary aside.  Sort of like all of Hamlet.  All you see is Aside and then 14-28 lines of monologue.  As in, what the hell is he talking about. I don't know.  Moving on.

Alright, here are ten things that make me smile:

1. Children's Museums.  So freaking cool.  I realized, however, that I still need ridiculous validation.  While Laura, Gabe, Amy and Dom were woodworking and using tools, my mom and I played with blocks, magnets, and boards to create mazes.  As I was working on my giant board, all I remember thinking was, "Oh my Gosh, this is SO cool.  I can't wait to show my mom.  She's going to love it so much." Then, I realized that I was thinking like a five year old.  I am comfortable with that.

2. Subway lunch with a dear friend.

3. All purpose cleaner, and the smell it leaves after you've cleaned your house.

4. Fall colors and boots.

5. Packers being 10 and 0.  For obvious reasons.

6. A five year old telling me a story about how he was hunting dinosaurs;
Gabe: I am not fibbing, I promise!
Kat(i)e: Are you fibbing about fibbing?
Gabe: Giant smile and a little deceptive laugh

7. Sharing my tangrams with a ____ year old man (greater than 45 less than 56) who is not my father (enjoy Bruce!)

8. Reading the St. Norbert College magazine and seeing my residents' faces and names pop up about all of the amazing things they're doing.  It makes a mama proud.  Congrats Carrie! I love you.

9. Reading.  Everything.

10. And getting excited every time I see my favorite teacher from high school.  Setting up coffee with her, and realizing that real friends are those with whom you connect on multiple layers that transcend time, space and all other physical boundaries we place upon ourselves.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Not a whole lot is better than taking a nap,

BUT there are a few things.

1. Listening to acapella sensation show "The Sing-Off" while snacking on jam, bread and tea.  Unfortunately, I was not in Austria, nor am I a governess or will I be chased by Nazis at the end of the movie.

2. Sending my finalized application for South Korea tomorrow.

3. Getting my favorite kinds of flowers, "Just because we love you."

4. Being snuggled (read: beat up) by a five year old boy while he's sleeping, knowing that when he wakes up, you can tell him how much you love him.

5. Cleaning my apartment.

6. Wearing shorts on half-November.

7. Watching students finally "get it."

8. Reading my friend Matt Bougie's writing on agnosticism, which really showcases interesting and insightful opinions about which I have never thought.  

9. Opening my fridge and seeing cheese, beer, and tortilla shells.  When did I become "that guy?"  I think it was right after the Spinach Escapade of Aught Nine and The Great Peanut Debacle of Twenty Ten.

10. Headbutting. Everyone.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So, today was the first snow

So, as it was snowing today and one of my best friends called me out on being a bad blogger, I realized that it has been about two months since I have written, and that I am, in fact, a terrible blogger. I will do much better when I go to Korea, folks. I promise. Also, I am typing this on an iPad, so I take absolutely no responsibility to how things are spelled or autocorrected. Bear with me, like a hungry bear or maybe even a hibernating one. Makes no matter to me.

Anyway, so as I was at lunch then coffee with a friend, she told me how her husband flat out said that he did not understand her. And, in my mind,I thought, "well, no shit. Womens is crazy." After further explanation, it was in a sense of wonderment how this woman lives every day with adventure. Every day she finds beauty and grace in the littlest things. In my mind I haven't been doing a whole lot, which is why I struggle blogging. I find my everyday dirge or movements exhausting. However, I forget that in-between the grind of work, there is beauty in play. I caught tons of grasshoppers with an amazing little boy while we were hiking. I fed horses and pigs and sheep. I even took a picture of a llama and sent it to my amazing mama. With this realization, I have had countless adventures. Last weekend, I went apple picking at which we found a playground. For twenty minutes, we played Peter Pan and Captain hook. I was, of course, smee...mostly because that is what we were for one of our Halloween trick or treating adventures. With this in mind, I need to make it a goal to everyday write down something that amazes me. I will share them all with you on a given day, probably Sunday.

Today, my amazing this was this. I was driving a scary winding road, and I looked up and I saw a tree's leaves on fire with color. The reds and oranges hung on for their dear life admits the torrent of wind, sleet and snow. It was one of the most beautiful things that i have ever seen. I hope that you come with me into this journey of simple things that make the world beautiful.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Friend Mark

So, here is the story of my friend, Mark.  Since the moment I met this man, I have told him all of my secrets.  Like the big dark scary ones that you want to hide in a closet and never, ever let them see light.  Mark is my friend that I call when I need a verbal hug; he is my man to tell me what to wear on dates; Mark is who I call when I am struggling with who  I am at the very core of my existence.  He always knows exactly what to say, and when there is nothing to say, his smile or hug or glance feels exactly right and perfect.

When we met, Mark and I were both in significantly different places in our lives.  Now that a year and a half has passed, I have had the privilege to get to know an incredible man.  In the past year and a half my life has literally fallen apart.  The past nine months have seriously been living my life a day at a time, pasting a smile on because there was nothing else to do.  Mark has watched me hurt, helped me heal, and given me so many nuggets of wisdom that I cannot honor him enough.  Not even with this ridiculously sappy blog post.  Now, those of you who do not know me at all, may think that this is a call for my man Mark to love me, but that is so ridiculously not the case.  Mark and I are perfect cuddle buddies (we know; we tried) because neither of us want anything saucy with the other. Mostly because boys have cooties.

In other news, he is so incredibly smart and nerdy.  He always looks fancy. Mark lives his life with such compassion, faith and hope.  I don't necessarily mean Blessed Virgin Mary faith, I mean faith in the goodness of people and hope in the equality for human dignity. So, really what I am trying to say is that if in the even of a zombie take-over, I would want Mark on my team.  Because, we would probably be sitting on my balcony drinking beer and just letting it happen.  I know I would have my brains eaten in good company.  I mean, why fight the inevitable. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An Explanation of Things that are Gross

Worms wriggle.
Watching, wishing
waging war with
women who—


walked where worms
waited wounded, weak   

                Worms absolutely, irrevocably, always, always gross me out.  I have this insane fear that if I step on a worm, it will undeniably split in half and continue to reproduce until there is an army of angry worms skootching up the side of my building to kill me in my sleep.
                In my younger years, I would refuse to use worms to bait my own fishing hook because of this same ridiculous fear.  My mom used to send my sister and me into our garden and dig up some worms for our fishing trips.  I would steel my heart, shielded with a gardening shovel and Osh Kosh B’Gosh denims and trample out to the garden to join Sarah.  Sarah, dressed in only cotton shorts and a tee shirt, would pick them up by their tail (head?) and swing them around and fling them towards me.  That may have been the start of my aversion, but maybe not.  Then we would arrive at our fishing spot.  We all would pull out our fishing poles.  I, still in my overalls, would bring my 3-foot long Snoopy fishing pole, and look at my mom expectantly. 
                “Mom, I’m ready!” I said, batting my eyelashes.
                “Katie, when are you going to learn to bait your own hook?” Mom replied, a little exasperated at trying to keep my sister from hooking herself with her fishing pole and me unable to touch worms.
                Scrunching my nose, I would say, “Hopefully never.  Worms are all wiggly and smelly and covered in dirt all the time.”
                “Well, so are you, but I keep you around,” Mom chided, “For goodness sake, Sarah, you’re going to kill yourself. Sit down.”
                “Hey,” I cautioned, realizing that she just called me smelly.
                “Alright, Katie, this is the absolute last time.  Next time, you’ll just have to watch us catching all the fish, sorry cuz you can’t bait your own hook.”
                “Mommy, please?  I’ll be a big girl next time.  I’m just not ready yet.  They’re gonna be sad that I stuck a knife through their tummies and then come back for me,” I looked around, scared that the worms might think I impaled them. 
                “But they’re not going to come after me?  Why not?”
                “You’re bigger than me.  I am just a little bit bigger than them.  I could be their snack. But you, no way. You’re so tall.  They wouldn’t mess with you,” I explain, as if it was the most obvious answer.
                Every fishing trip went a little something like that.  My sister, fearless in her baiting of hooks, and me, timid irrationally scared. My parents baited my hook until the embarrassing age of 13.  Then I learned how to use lures—one: they’re prettier, two: they’re not going to kill me, and three: way, way, way easier to attach to a fishing hook instead of winding a worm eighteen times around the hook.    By the age of 15, I realized that fishing all together is not quite my recreational activity.  Live bait creeps me out, and I have no interest in eating, touching or caring for fish. 
                Now that I am older and have stopped fishing, worms still bombard my life, and creep up in the oddest moments.  On rainy days, during my college years, I would leave 20 minutes early for a class a block away, clad in my raincoat and pink plaid rain boots.  Carefully, I tip toed through campus avoiding the beached worms searching for oxygen in the air as opposed to their flooded home of underground.  I would dart from open patch to open patch to avoid stepping on the worms.  Because campus was beautifully green, with a lot of open space, there were many worms seeking refuge, which made my journey perilous. 
                I think this may just stick with me, regardless of its fantastical nature and will never happen.  I am not a superstitious person.  I just like rules and patterns.  If I change this constant in my life, how can I expect the rest of my life to stay together.   It is as if this absurdity glues together my Crazy, or perhaps, it’s just the tip of it. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pocket of Pretension

First and foremost, I would like to wish a super de dooper Happy Birthday to my friend Annie.  She is a rockstar.  I would also like to wish my friend Jessie and fantasmerific birthday as well.  She is a champion.  What is most weird is that they do not know each other, yet have both left the cozy nook of South Eastern Wisconsin to attend post-undergrad on the east coast...in the same city.  Personally, I think they should be friends.

Mike Johnson, who is my very favorite submarine hero, is also having a birthday today.  I am sending a head butt full of love to you for your birthday.

And the always remarkable, incredibly loving, fearlessly caring mentor, Julie Massey is also celebrating a birthday.  Wow, August seventh has been a busy day.  Phew!

On a completely unrelated note: Pretension is is annoying.  This comes from a completely pretentious party: me.

I was teaching summer school English 9, to all those students who didn't love it the first time around, and a college student came in to observe the lesson.  His skinny jeans cuffed, and plaid shirt rolled, the first thing out of his mouth is about Proust.  Immediately, I flashback to the critically acclaimed show Gilmore Girls and Lorelai shouting about Proust and how pretentious then fiancee Max was.

I pulled myself back to the classroom and commented, "Oh, I have never read him."

To which Cuffs McGee responds, "What?! Oh, you've got to. His prose is fascinating and development is--

"Let me see where Proust fits into this curriculum.  Ah, yes, right here between S.E. Hinton and Harper Lee. I think those authors would bookend Proust nicely.  What do you think, Cuffs?"

It is at that point when pretension become annoying.  Pretension and pretentious acts, however, can be fine.  One example is when you're the youngest guest at a dinner party, and the other guests jammer about politics and religion as if they're experts.  You can  seclude yourself in your own pocket of pretension fully aware that you are the most learned person there.  Only douchecanoes assume they are the smartest person in the room. In this situation, dear friends, feel free to toss in a snarky remark to remind those other guests that they are being pompous and condescending.  You, dear friends, know how to be the right kind of pretentious--rain boots and all.*

*Please refer to the poem "Pretentious Rain Boots" not yet published or written by K.M. Bots

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Maiden Voyage

What kind of tip is looking at your elbow?  Is that a joke in the same vein as "I will give you 100 dollars if you lick your elbow" or  " 'knock knock.' 'who's there?' ...."? No, it is the bonafide way to get a perfect high five, every time.
Here's the trick:
1. Establish a partner
2. Make eye contact and raise your hand in a universal sign of an "up top" high five
3. Shift your gaze to your partners elbow, and make sure he or she is looking at yours.
     a. This can be done by a silent affirmation or a rabble-rousing shout of "The Elbow! The Elbow! Look at the Elbow!
4. Bring your hands together with similar velocities.

Upon doing this, you should hear a resounding and satisfying smack. (Or pop.  I am having difficulty correctly identifying the most apt onomatopoeia.)  There should also be a moderate to severe tingling feeling following the sound.

That, dear friends, is how to give a proper high five the first time, every time.

PS If you are consuming mature beverages, please account for that and adjust the focus of your gaze accordingly.