So, I’m alive
April 29, 2008, 10:35 pm
Filed under: daily | Tags: , ,

AND GRADUATED!

I know I have been a bad, bad blog mistress. BAD! I probably deserve a spanking?

Wait, no. Crap. Now “spanking blogmistress” will be yet another way porn-seekers will find their way to my corner of The Internet.

In other news, I am back East with Mama and Papa. They are feeding me, and I am sleeping a lot, because I spent the last week sleeping on the floor for maybe a few hours. It is delightful.

However, I am not allowed to be a grownup. Mama! and I started the search for The Suit. The rite of womanhood in this day of the career woman. In our never-ending pit of Cheapness, we started the The Outlets. Our search was fruitless. Apparently, suits only come in size 4 and above, and the sizes are inflated. To say the least, the skirts fell off me, and the jackets made me look like I was playing dress-up in my mother’s work clothes. 

I know, I know. To be so miserable. My tiara is too tight, and these fifties won’t fit in my pocket. Blah blah blah. I’m still cranky about it.

I’m going to go eat more of my mother’s delicious cherry pie, in hopes of being big enough to be a grownup soon. 



What I won’t say
April 25, 2008, 7:34 am
Filed under: daily | Tags:

I won’t talk about how I spent 8 hours waiting at the new apartment yesterday, waiting for the Comcast technician to install our cable and internet, and he didn’t show up until nearly 4 hours after the end of the 12pm-4pm appointment span, after 2 angry phone calls and 1 trip halfway back to Oakland. Because that would just raise my blood pressure.

I won’t talk about how I came about 3 inches from being hit by an SUV as I was crossing a street in Oakland two days ago, even though I was making eye contact with him, and he still didn’t slow down a bit, or even acknowledge that he came close to hitting me after I screamed at him. Because that woud also raise my blood pressure.

I won’t talk about how it took my absentee roommate 4 days to get me a carpet cleaner, when she promised to have it to me weeks ago. Again, because of the blood pressure.

I won’t talk about how I didn’t get what I needed to get done yesterday, because I was stuck in Dormont waiting for a Comcast technician.

I won’t talk about all the windows I’ve cleaned, corners I’ve dusted, and carpets I’ve vacuumed, only to feel like the apartment just keeps getting dirtier, because then you would know how analretentive I am.

I won’t talk about how we need to be out of the apartment by noon tomorrow, and it seems like we’ll never be done.

I won’t talk about how I’m feeling a little sad about leaving this apartment, the apartment I’ve spent 2 years in, half of my college years. It looks so empty and I’m going to miss it, even though I can’t wait to get out of Oakland.

I won’t talk about how I’m feeling a little apprehensive about leaving college, because I don’t feel like I’m educated or smart enough to call myself a college graduate.

I won’t talk about how I’m apprehensive about my graduation party, because my dad keeps threatening to introduce Bear to my relatives (most of whom have already met him) as “that guy you’re boinking”, because then you’ll know how desperately inappropriate my family tends to be.

Instead, I’ll just give you a fact of the day that I learned from the oh-so-reputable “Today Show”:

A single cow produces 90 lbs of manure each day. A SINGLE COW.



Conversation with my father
April 23, 2008, 8:44 am
Filed under: daily | Tags: ,

Dad: Hello! I answered the phone!

Katrina: Uh.. good?…. I just had my very last actual obligation of my undergraduate career!

Dad: Good for you!

Katrina: Yup. So now I’m done, other than the move of hell.

Dad: Alright! You know, I’m really proud of you. You’ve done really well out there.

Katrina: Thanks.

Dad: And you know, I don’t compliment either of my children much at all.

Katrina: I know. You’re much more inclined to tell me I look like hell when I wake up, or that I look like I’m losing weight, or that I’m exceptionally pale today.

Dad: Well, you DO look like hell in the morning. And you do look like you’re losing weight. And you are exceptionally pale.

Katrina: Dad, if I lost weight every time I saw you, I wouldn’t exist anymore. And if I was getting paler, I would be translucent by now. I think you just think I’m a chubby Italian when I’m not around.

(Really, my dad announces that he answered the phone whenever he picks up my mom’s cell. I’m not sure why that’s necessary, but he’s also the one who accidentally sent me a ladder last summer, so what else do you expect?)



It’s Finals Time!
April 22, 2008, 10:47 am
Filed under: daily, Library | Tags: ,

And the living is easy?

No, I guess not.

During finals season, large quantities of students come out of the wood work and hole up in Hillman Library for days straight. They seem to forget the library is actually open during other portions of the semester, not JUST at finals.

I can only assume that they don’t know this, because what else could their excuse be for being such blatant novices when it comes to libraries?

So, I have a public service announcement to all patrons of the University of Pittsburgh’s Library System.

1. We do not have stationary supplies. We do not have: pens, pencils that are not golf pencils, paper, paper clips, staples, a stapler, highlighters, markers, glue, or tape. All of these things have been requested. BYOT: BRING YOUR OWN TOOLS!

2. Once again: THE LIBRARY IS NOT ORGANIZED BY COLOR! Is this really that common of a misconception?

3. No, you can not reserve study rooms or tables. No, I don’t know if there are any free tables on the 4th floor. Am I not on the 1st floor? Do I look like I am having an out of body experience? Go find out for yourself!

4. Your books are due on their due date. Even if you’re graduating. Really.

5. No, I can’t just watch your laptop/bookbag/pile of books/sundry belongings for a second. Do you really trust me JUST because I’m sitting behind a desk? FOOLS.

6. No, I still can’t get your books for you. No, I still can’t look them up for you. You are capable of using the computer AND retrieving them yourself. I have faith in you. I believe in you! I BELIEVE IN A CHANGE THAT WE CAN BELIEVE IN! Wait.. wrong speech.

And last, but not least: (I can only assume that this is a phenomenon specific to today): No, this is not where you vote. No, I don’t know where your polls are. Your voter’s registration information should tell you that. See? Right there? That address? That’s where you go. You don’t know where it is? Fine, I’ll look it up for you because I SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS.

…and yes, I AM old enough to work at a university…?***

These are Pitt students? And they still say we’re moving up so fast in rankings? Sigh.

***Someone asked me, after harassing me about where he votes, if I’m actually old enough to work at a university. Possible responses include:

-No, I’m a child prodigy. I work here for fun.

-Yes, I am. I developed a super secret, morally-questionable lotion that keeps my skin dewey. That’s why I look so baby-faced. I’m actually 75. Works well, huh!

-No, I’m actually slave child labor. They have me chained to the library desk, forced to spend my days answering stupid questions and reading The Internet.

Instead, I said “…uh… yes?”



Gone with the Wind
April 21, 2008, 12:33 pm
Filed under: Books | Tags: , , ,

Something you might need to understand about me is my weakness for historical fiction. Blame my father. It’s all his fault.

Specifically, I have a weakness for Gone with the Wind. THAT particular weakness is my mother’s. My dad likes history, my mom likes GWTW. So, blame my parents! That works! This is something I’ll be able to complain about BOTH of them in therapy. I know, I know, I should be ashamed of myself. It degrades black people, talks up slavery like it’s good, and forgives the assholes who kept slaves in the first place. It is a blatant antebellum-sympathetic, nauseating movie/book.

But I love it. I can’t help it. Many of the greatest lines in the history of movies and books come from GWTW: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” is the best eff-you ever. When Mammy yells at Scarlett for going down to take her sister’s beau, and she says, “You know what trouble I’s talkin’ ’bout. Mr. Ashley be comin’ to Atlanta when he get’s his leave, and you sattin’ there waitin’ for him, just like a spider,” the way she says “JUST LIKE A SPIDER” gets me every time. When Prissy came back without a doctor during the Burning of Atlanta, and Miss Mellie was in labor, and Prissy screams in her squeal, “But Miss Scarlett! I ain’t never birthed no babies before!” Love it!. And how can you forget, “Oh, Ashley, ASHLEY!” And my all time favorite, with the sweeping sunset, and Scarlett’s silhouette holding a carrot, saying, “With God as my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!”

What can I say? I have a weakness. I love the movie. I watch it at least once a year, and I have the whole thing memorized. I’ve read the book more times than I can count. But again, it’s my mom’s fault. She got me hooked from an early age. She’s read the book around 11 times now. She made me watch the movie with her!

We’ll never know if Margaret Mitchell was truly a literary talent, or if GWTW was just a fluke, as she died not long after it was published and never wrote anything else. It was turned into a fantastic movie, shot entirely on set in 1939 (impressive, considering how many things burned and how many outdoor scenes there were.)

I made Bear watch the movie with me last year. I don’t think he’ll ever forgive me.

With all this in mind, I found a rewriting of the story, from Rhett Butler’s perspective, Rhett Butler’s People, by Donald McCaig. I’m sure it will be atrocious. Most modern retellings of stories are, especially if they’re mass-marketed. Unless they take a decidedly unique turn for a broad, classic genre, and are written by a truly talented author (Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian is a fantastic adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But this is not comparable because Dracula inspired a wealth of vampire stuff, so it’s more of a new spin on a well-loved motif rather than a true retelling. Also, it was fantastic. Kostova is a fantastic author. Highly recommended). The sequel to Gone With The Wind, Scarlett, by Alexandra Ripley, was awful. Rhett and Scarlett got together at the end! Totally defeats the purpose of the book! IT’S A TRAGEDY, LIKE THE ENTIRE ANTEBELLUM AND DEATH OF THE DEEP SOUTH WAS. They couldn’t be together, just like the South couldn’t win! They also went to Ireland? It was weird. I didn’t approve.

However, despite knowing it will be atrocious (who thought of that name? What does that even mean?), I got it from the library anyways, for a few reasons.

1. It was free. From the library. No sweat off my bank account.

2. I have to read all things related to Gone With The Wind, due to the obsession.

3. I AM DONE WITH SCHOOL WORK SO I MIGHT AS WELL DESTROY MY BRAIN CELLS WITH ATROCIOUS POPULAR LITERATURE!

4. I think it will be entertaining, in terms of its atrociousness.

I might be proven wrong. I will keep you updated.



Dear Abby
April 17, 2008, 6:39 pm
Filed under: daily | Tags: , , ,

The New York Times has this article today, discussing the winners of a contest for the best advice from parents. This was inspired by Pittsburgh’s own Randy Pausch, the CMU professor who is dying from pancreatic cancer. His “Last Lecture” is a love letter to his babies, and advice to them for living the lives that he is going to miss.

I was reading through the original submissions here (and there are a lot of them), and I started thinking about the nuggets of advice my parents left me.

1. A man is not a home improvement project. You can’t change someone. If you find yourself thinking, “Oh, I can change that!” you’re wrong, and this person is telling you something about themselves that you don’t like. People rarely lie if you listen and watch closely.

2. If you have a headache, you probably need to sleep, eat, drink water, or poop. Try those, and then come back and ask me for tylenol. Why take drugs for something that is caused by something so simple?

3. No matter what you do with your life, always make sure that you have the skills and qualifications that you need in order to always be able to support yourself and your family alone. You never know if you’re going to be divorced, widowed, or supporting a disabled husband, so you should never count on his income to support your babies. Your salary must be enough, and anything else should be saved religiously for a rainy day. They always happen eventually.

4. You can tell a person’s character by the strength of their handshake, their ability to look you in the eye, the way they treat wait staff, and how they speak to their mothers. If someone has a weak handshake, they are shady and squirrelly. If they can’t look you in the eye, they are lying to you about something. If they treat wait staff badly, they are arrogant and unkind, which are both unacceptable. If a man treats his mother poorly, he thinks poorly of all women, and will treat you badly, too. You should make sure you avoid these things, too.

5. Wash your hands often and well. It will keep you from getting sick.

6. Don’t eat when you aren’t hungry. Eat when you are hungry. Doing the first will keep you thin. Doing the 2nd will keep you happy.

What advice did your parents give to you? What advice would you give your children?



Peeping Tom
April 17, 2008, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I like having things done in advance. I have running lists of things to do cycling through my head all the time. It’s rare for me to forget something. This is why I’m that person in class who thinks that papers are done a week before they actually are (I’ve done this twice this semester alone). I usually end up stressing out unnecessarily: things end up being a lot easier than I thought, I’m finished earlier than I thought, all is well in whoville. When that’s not the case, I still have plenty of time to get everything done. This is just the way I am. Annoying to most, I know.

This move to Fort Dormont is no different. I started packing weeks ago. We already have 2 carloads of crap over there. I’m going to be packing more stuff in the now empty boxes to go tomorrow night. We don’t even move furniture until Saturday/Sunday. I regularly think of other things that I need to do and add them to my cycle.

It was this level of distraction from planning that caused me to walk into my downstairs neighbors’ kitchen last night. The doors are right next to eachother, and I picked the one on the left. I smelled dinner cooking, and instead of a stairwell, I was confronted with a slightly darker version of my own kitchen. “Oh shit, sorry!” I said, to no one, and packed out quickly, running upstairs.

Who leaves their doors unlocked, anyways?