Category Archives: the short list

sunday five

Going back to the lists since I’m feeling uninspired to actually write anything at length.

1. I have lost about eight pounds in the past two weeks, simply by cutting out starches and carbs, like bread and rice.  Lots of chicken, veggies, some fruit, eggs, etc.  I didn’t want to set myself up for failure so I still have milk and sugar in my coffee, I still roast my veggies with olive oil and salt, and I indulge in cheese here and there.  And eight pounds later, I am reminded of how there is almost no greater feeling in this world than buttoning a pair of jeans that were previously unbuttonable.

2. I need to finish up some of the books I’ve been juggling because I’m feeling like I can’t seem to connect to any literature lately, and I have a feeling it’s because I’m spreading myself too thin.

3. This is a thing and I can’t decide whether it’s hilarious or sad or both.

4. I made a new friend last night and she’s super cool and we are smitten.

5. I have been obsessed with reading about scorpios lately. Although I’ve always felt generally that astrology is a bunch of crap, it’s absolutely uncanny how much all of it matches up to my personality.  And in turn it gives me hope that I’m not really batshit crazy, I’m just a scorpio. 

just one thing

I love the Obamas a ridiculous amount.  I want to live next door to them and have barbecues and dinner parties with the family and get marriage advice from Michelle and just generally be around them.  To see them together, they feel like such a REAL family, a family who teases one another and loves one another in such a palpable way.  They are so inspiring, and not just because of their “story”, but because moreso than any president I can remember, Barack Obama just seems like such an incredibly brilliant and sincere person, who wants with all his heart to do the right thing for this country and I believe he truly loves the American people.  Regardless of what he can or can’t get accomplished, I think he still stands for hope, because he represents an ideal of humanity for me – intelligence, humility, morality, kindness and love.  If the rest of congress followed his example I think we’d be much better off.  So it might sound naive, but I’m voting for him as a person. 

5 things, a few of which are a little too deep for a Monday

1. My brother is single for a few weeks while my sister-in-law is away with my nephew, so he came down to hang for a night last week. We had a great time, I very rarely get to spend any time with him when he’s actually relaxed.

2. He and I had a big discussion about vacations, and although he prefers to sit his ass on a beach or a cruise ship for seven days, I was trying to explain that my idea of a vacation is being somewhere totally different that I’ve never been before. I talked about how there is no greater moment for me than after the stress of flying and finding your way to the hotel, when you step outside into a strange neighborhood, footloose and fancy free, and set off on foot to explore a brand new city. Preferably a cobblestoned one. Even after explaining that to him, he still felt he’d rather experience the world from the deck of a cruise ship with an all-you-can-eat buffet. To each his own, I suppose.

3. People always say that their life hasn’t turned out the way they’d hoped or thought. And I realized the other day that I don’t have that problem because I’m not sure I ever gave much thought to what my life would be like. If I regret anything about being younger (who am I kidding, I regret EVERYTHING about being younger) it’s that I didn’t actually give more thought to what I might enjoy doing for the rest of my life. It’s tough to start trying to figure that out in your thirties. Lately when I look at the clock at it reads 11:11 I find myself making the wish that I would finally discover my life’s passion.

4. I really need to get back into meditation, which was made clear to me by an episode of Leonard Lopate that I listened to today. But when I think about setting aside time each day to mediate, I suppose it just feels like yet another thing that I tell myself I need to set aside time each day to do.

5. I have entirely too many goals, both large and small. I go resolution-crazy sometimes. Then I obviously can’t fit in all of these things that I want to do, so I get depressed. Then I decide maybe I should focus on ONE THING AT A TIME. You know, take the time and focus on creating one or two simple good habits. But making the decision as to which good habit you want to form feels so limiting, all I can think of is the other resolutions that I’m NOT working on. So then I start to work on those too. And then it’s too much. And then I just spend all my time checking Facebook.

five things for a lonely Saturday night

1. Yesterday afternoon I was drunk with the idea of all the things I’d do with Greg gone this weekend. Projects to be worked on, books to be read, movies to be watched, people to see. Now it’s Saturday night and I’ve basically done almost nothing.

2. It remains a mystery to me how easily friendship seems to come to most people. I went for a walk through the neighborhood earlier and I was completely surrounded by people having a grand time with all of their friends, while I strolled alone through the streets, no one giving me a second glance. Don’t get me wrong, I like my alone time. It’s a little more palatable to think of myself as “a loner” – I like to read books, get lost in my thoughts, work on projects around the house, go for walks. But Saturday night alone feels so sad. And there are also times when Greg is away and I relish the idea of drinking wine and watching a movie he would never agree to, but tonight just wasn’t one of those times.

I just don’t understand how people get to the point where they actually have people who reach out to them and ask them to get together. I have this vision of everyone else in the world getting a flurry of texts and calls at any given point from Saturday afternoon on, carrying invitations to crowded house parties and dancing at fun clubs and art openings. And that’s not counting all the random bumping into each other that results in fun times. I’ve just never had that experience. Friendship has always come hard for me. Sure plenty of people seem to like me, and I could certainly have made the first move and reached out to several different people, but my point is that come Saturday night, I doubt there’s anyone out there thinking, “Hey I wonder what Kate is doing tonight?” And if they are they aren’t calling to find out. Ah well.

3. I always lament the fact that I’ve never been the type of girl to get hit on by guys – guys have always tended to only be interested in me after hanging out as friends for weeks or months until my winning personality finally converts them and they have that Some Kind of Wonderful moment where they think, “Hey, maybe she *is* kind of cute”. Of course it’s neither here nor there, since I’ve basically been in relationships for the past eighteen years straight. But still, it would just be nice to know that I can put asses in the seats. Except then when I *do* actually get hit on, I remember that in fact it feels incredibly creepy and sad, and the types of guys who hit on girls at bars are not the types of guys I would ever be interested in. Well and also that whole thing about being married.

4. It’s probably better that I’m having a lonely Saturday night, as my liver really needs a rest.

5. Last night I did actually hang out with some lady friends whom I haven’t seen in a while. They’re the sorts of ladies who actually read The New Yorker and books by difficult authors and keep up with politics and have CSA memberships and do charity work and are generally much smarter than I am. And I remembered how much I love being around intellectually challenging people.

four things about politics

1. Here’s an idea that the evil side of me had. People applying to receive Medicare, Medicaid, social security, farm subsidies, welfare, unemployment, food stamps, or just showing up uninsured to receive treatment at a hospital should have to show a card declaring who they voted for. If they voted for Romney, they should be turned away and told to pull themselves up by their boot straps.

2. I’m not sure how people can argue over the contraception piece of the healthcare plan as “attacking religious freedom”. If your religion affects my ability to get contraception, then you’re the one imposing YOUR religious beliefs on ME. Oh, and there’s that little thing where most Catholics do use contraception.

3. With all this talk of Paul Ryan & Ayn Rand, I’ve been feeling a little self conscious about my love of The Fountainhead. I read it when I was 18 and declared that it was one of my favorite books. But like many books I read when I was younger, I basically just enjoyed it for the story and didn’t pick up on the subtle hidden political/existential/academic meaning. Let’s face it, I still basically just enjoy books for the story, because I’m just not that intelligent. Then come to find out that Ayn Rand supposedly stands for everything I hate. But in my teeny bit of research trying to figure out where I went wrong, I found out that basically every teenager that reads this book thinks it’s amazing. I especially felt vindicated after reading the quote by Nora Ephron that “it is better read when one is young enough to miss the point. Otherwise, one cannot help thinking it is a very silly book.” Ok, so I’m not crazy. I know it’s supposed to be a bastion of capitalism, but I somehow read the exact opposite meaning. It’s been a while, but from what I can remember, Howard Roark appealed to me because he was so unwilling to sacrifice his vision and go along with mass opinion. As a teenager from suburbia, I thought he was totally hot because he bucked the system and didn’t give a crap. If he failed, he failed. If Peter Keating did everything he could to keep him down, he turned the other cheek and kept on keeping on. I’m still not totally sure how this relates to not paying taxes or taking care of your fellow human being when they’re down on their luck. But at least I don’t feel quite as much of a traitor to my liberal democratic ideals. Although I’m still thinking maybe I should remove it from my list of favorite books on Facebook.

4. Found out that twice as much water is used to create the electricity that Americans use as the actual water that we drink/wash with/flush. I’m paraphrasing from an episode of Radio Times but also found this page to corroborate.

five things for Monday

1. listened to a really fascinating Fresh Air interview about the post-Columbian world. It’s so amazing how the world (both ecological and anthropological) is such an interconnected web, and seemingly completely unrelated things can join together in a tidal wave of worldwide change.

2. In the past two weeks, I’ve heard two references to authors starting out by typing out other people’s writing in order to get into the mindset of that writer and learn to write in general. I think that’s kind of genius, and could potentially help get my creative juices going in other areas as well. Like copying a painting, or just straight up doing a DIY project in the exact same way it’s laid out in the instructions. I’m always reluctant to copy other people, but it could definitely get me out of my rut.

3. My brother sent along an email detailing an episode about my nieces, M and O, ages 7 and 10 respectively. Apparently M lost a tooth and secretly put it under her pillow without telling her parents to see whether the tooth fairy is real (she’s a true scientist, that kid). She did, however, mention it to O, who proceeded to dig through her own stash of money and left some under M’s pillow, along with a note that said, “Keep believing.” So amazing.

4. I stopped a guy on the street today because his dog looked almost exactly like Porter. The second I stopped him I regretted it because there is no more trite declaration than “Hey! Your dog looks just like mine! But you’ll have to take my word for it because he’s not here right now. But trust me. Except mine’s a little smaller. But other than that, seriously. Twinsies.” Not that I got to say any of that, because he seemed completely disinterested and wanted to just keep walking, so I kind of swallowed my excitement. I asked him what kind of dog it was and he said he didn’t know, as he inched by. I would have been embarrassed except that he went on to say he thought he was part German Shepherd, which is LUDICROUS, and therefore my superior knowledge of dog breeds boosted my confidence.

5. On my Teux Deux list today was to get the materials together to paint two of our bedroom doors. Instead I got the materials together AND painted one. So not only am I ahead of the game, but I did “a little more than I thought was possible” today.

sunday five

1. Saw a piece about Rufus Wainwright on CBS Sunday Morning. Filmed in Montauk, which was kind of awesome (he’s even having his wedding party at the Shagwong). At one point he makes reference to an old adage about being born twice – once at birth and a second time when your mother dies. I’ve never heard that expression before, but I think I completely agree. I’m not sure what will happen when my mom dies but it’s going to change my life in probably the most profound way I could imagine, and I have no idea how I’ll get through it, but perhaps it will make me stronger. Hopefully I won’t have to worry about that for a while.

2. Greg sprained his ankle mountain biking today and I think it’s the first time it actually crossed my mind that he could get legitimately injured. But I guess I approve of him doing mildly dangerous things if it makes him happy.

3. Made the 2-hour trek up to my parents today, which of course involved a good deal of NPR weekend. Heard a story on On the Media about a website called Homicide Watch, which was started by a girl in order to give attention and identity to homicide victims in D.C. Also heard some of the This American Life tribute to David Rakoff. Both were pretty inspiring and led me to #4…

4. I can never escape the feeling that I have something in me, some kind of small spark or seed of greatness that is sitting there waiting to be discovered and nurtured. My life’s work, if you will. If only someone with x-ray glasses could tell me what it might be so I can get started. On the other hand, everyone probably feels that way.

5. My lack of follow-through has been bothering me a lot lately. It’s become so crippling that the second I resolve to do something, I know almost immediately that I won’t actually do it. And on a somewhat related note, there is a random bank up by my parents that has a sign outside declaring “Do a little more each day than you think is possible.” So this week I’m going to try to pick one thing a day that I want to do but already told myself I probably won’t do, and make myself do it. And guess what? I already fucked up the thing for today.