Meditating on Labels

I have been called bitch, ugly, loser, bad step-parent, lousy girlfriend, terrible person, failed veterinary technician, poor art historian, and not worth it.

I have been called intelligent, beautiful, selfless step-parent, wonderful girlfriend, compassionate person, amazing veterinary technician, innovative art historian,
and worth the world.

These words and labels, good and bad, don’t matter at all. The only words that matter are the words I say to myself when everyone else is gone.


Remembering Madiba


I think the love that is being shown in memory of Nelson Mandela is incredible.

I always get concerned when I see twitter posts celebrating the 2,013th birthday of America and people are stunned to discover the Titanic was a real thing.

This time, however, I haven’t seen anyone ask who Nelson Mandela was. His name seems universal. He touched everyone young and old. People just know.

My parents heard via news texts on their phones.  Friends were watching local TV programs that were interrupted to relay the news.  I was at work when the announcement popped up on my news feed.  As the story spread like wild-fire, everyone in my office stopped what we were doing to turn into the news.  Where I was, it was as if the world stopped to collectively mourn a man we had never met but whom we all knew.

Nelson Mandela was an incredible person. He was a bright light in a dark world. Hopefully the world will continue to carry his light forward. The world will be a little less bright without him in it. Heaven however has gained its brightest star yet.

Thank you, Madiba.

Christmas Carols That Fail (Well, Just One In Particular…)


I go on this same rant every year.

I take issue with several Christmas songs.  My family will attest to my disdain for words like “Christmasing” (nouns are nouns for a reason.  They don’t need to be verbs).

But there is one song that I hear every day, several times a day.  And every time I hear it I want to punch a kitten because it is just so…wrong.

Do They Know It’s Christmas Time at All.  Band Aid.  1984.

What the…pickles (sorry, I wasn’t sure how to finish that in an appropriate way).

Why?  Why is this song played every year.  Just stop.  Seriously.  Stop.

I’m going to break some lines down for you.

“There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time.”

No, there won’t be snow anywhere in Africa this Christmas.  This is actually due to the fact that December falls in the summer months on that side of the world, not because Africa is some sort of snow-free Hell hole.

In fact Morocco has ski resorts in the mountains.  Also, South Africans can build snowmen throughout the winter months.  So yeah, it does snow in Africa.  Just not at Christmas time…because it is SUMMER.  Dumbass.

“The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life.”

Let me let you in on a little secret: Africa has 52 countries.  AND, AND, AND…Most are NOT third world countries.  I know…weird.  Everything you know is a lie.  Some people in Africa, yes, they do have to fight for their lives.  However, you cannot generalize and say everyone in Africa is living in a hovel filled with Ebola and Malaria patients.

“Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you.”

………….I’m not even going to touch that one.

“Where the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom.”

Where do I even go with that?  How do you even….I just…I don’t even know.

“Where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow.”


What do you think the Nile is?  It’s NOT some sort of fruit.  OMG…It’s a river.  The Tigris and Euphrates are also rivers…in Africa.

The song ends with the stirring line “Feed the world.”  

Considering some of the artists who recorded this song (David Bowie, George Michel) can you imaging how much food they could have purchased and sent to Africa?  Do you think they did that?  No, no they did not.

BUT THEY SANG ABOUT IT!  That was helpful.  I bet the starving Africans are thanking God they got to hear this song.  They didn’t want dinner anyway.

“I wish I had some food to feed the kids today.  Oh well…WE GOT A SONG!  Best.Christmas.Ever.  Thanks, Band Aid!”

Said no one ever.

Ode to 2013 or A Year in Review

Dear 2013,

I am really glad you are coming to an end.  I woke up on January 1, 2013 and I was happy as a clam.

“2013 is going to be my year,” I exclaimed as the sun shone in my apartment windows.  “Bring it on, 2013!  I can take you!”

Oh, 2013, you brought it.  You made me eat my words.  Let’s re-live some of the great moments from 2013, shall we?

That Time I Broke My Wrist

In January it snowed, thawed, snowed, thawed, and finally left us with a nice thick layer of ice.  Ice that was hidden under more snow.  One morning while leaving my apartment I slipped on that hidden ice.  In an effort to protect my skull from the lurking stoop behind me, I used my hand to break my fall.  This of course led to a broken wrist that will never heal.  Of course I was unable to work during this time because I was banned from lifting more than two pounds.
2013: 1
Kait: 0

The Spring Break That Wasn’t

In March I went back home to visit my Grandma.  To put it irreverently, she was on her way out.  She was fighting ulcers, MRSA, a flesh-eating infection, and some dementia.  Oh, and her heart (being 95-years-old) was struggling.  So I went home to settle up and say my goodbyes.  I watched her cry, vomit, talk about wanting to die, and generally suffer.  We finished up that party with a lovely family dinner that did not include my dad who was suffering from food poisoning and did include my mother who was suffering from food poisoning.  It was a great spring break…if your definition of great involves emotionally draining events and crying yourself to sleep every night.
2013: 2
Kait: 0

The Day My Kidney Tried to Kill Me

After driving for 10 hours we finally made it home from the Spring Break That Wasn’t.  Jon and I passed out hard.  I woke up at 3 o’clock in the morning with the WORST pain I have ever experienced.  After 5 hours of vomiting, screaming, and mysteriously ripping the elbows off my pajama top I was rushed to the ER.  One CAT scan and 18 milligrams of morphine later it was discovered that a kidney stone had completely blocked my ureter.  I was taken into surgery at 7pm that evening to have a stent placed.  The next morning I went home with a massive morphine hangover, enough pills to start a small (albeit illegal) pharmacy, and instructions to take it easy for 10 days.  That was a good time.
2013: 3
Kait: 0

The Phone Call Nobody Wants to Get

It was only April at this point.  I was preparing for finals, organizing papers, and projects, and trying not to go crazy in general.  Jon gets a text message and says to me, “You should call your dad…I think your grandma just died.”  Oh good.  Let me get right on that.  I’m sure you can figure out what happened after that.
2013: 4
Kait: 0

The Day I Put My Grandma in the Ground and Drove Away

Two months later, in June, we had a party and buried my grandma.  Wow, that sounds weird even when I type it.  Well, Grandma didn’t want to inconvenience anyone so she decided to be cremated so we could bury her when everyone had a free moment.  This is just getting weirder and weirder.  Since she hated funerals and always loved a good party the family threw a Funeral Party for Grandma.  Everyone ate cake, got drunk, and had a great time.  Yes, we are those people.  The next day we had the burial and I put my grandma’s urn in the ground.  Just sorta plopped the urn down in the hole and that was that.  Then I left her in Illinois, drove back to my parents’ house in Missouri, and flew home to Minneapolis.
2013: 5
Kait: 0

That Day I Lost My Job Because of Weird Inter-Office Politics

In July I got fired.  I’m not going to pretend it was the first time.  Back in the day I was fired a lot.  My teenage self was too big for my own britches.  I thought I was tough shit but I was really a dumb kid.  This past July, though, that was something else.  I loved my job.  I loved going to work everyday.  I worked hard and I finally felt like I was in the right place.  Well, one thing led to another and I was fired.  When I got the list of “reasons” I was shocked  learn they were all taken out of context or completely false.  It also turned out they all came from one person: the owner’s wife and her best friend.
2013: 6
Kait: 0

The Entire Fall Semester

This one was more or less my own fault.  I’m this incomprehensible mix of perfectionist and slacker.  I want to be perfect but I don’t want to work hard enough to be perfect.  So taking 19 credits that included two foreign languages and a 5000 level class was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done.  This is, of course, why I lack a degree eight years into college.
2013: 6
Kait: -1

When My Hard Drive Died During Finals Week

So that happened yesterday.  That was when I decided that I’m really done with 2013.
2013: 7
Kait: -1

So you see, 2013, why I am ready for you to end.  Yes, we did have some good times.  My family came to visit and I presented ground-breaking research at a conference but really, 2013, you haven’t done much for me except drain my emotions and my bank account.

“Bring it, 2013,” I said.  “It’ll be fun,” I said.

Touche, 2013.

But now I ask you, my dear 2013, to kindly Get.The.Fuck.Out.

Done with your shit.

2014, if you are listening…Please have mercy.

Friday Fodder: Freud at his Finest or I Love Alliterations

I had the craziest dream the other night.

I owned my own business. It was in a building that can best be described as a Home Depot. The entire ceiling looked like Home Depot’s lighting department and the floor was that weird polished concrete stuff.

We sold awful copies of Cycladic sculpture. The walls were covered, and I’m talking floor to warehouse ceiling, with Renaissance art paintings. There were shelves (made of poplar planks and cinder blocks mind you) that stored alarm clocks and Brita water pitchers. It was an eclectic collection to say the least.

I noticed a middle-aged woman browsing alarm clocks and I went over to help her. I asked her what kind of clock she was looking for while doing my best Barker’s Beauty impression to show off the wonders of an alarm clock that played CDs. The woman opened her mouth to answer me and I was shocked to discover she only spoke Classical Latin and I know no idea what she was trying to tell me.

Then my own alarm clock went off and it was time to start the day.

Let’s put this dream into context and unpack this a bit, shall we?

I suffered through this terrible dream from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. First thing Wednesday morning I had a Latin exam. I didn’t spend as much time studying for that as I should have because I was also studying for a much larger Renaissance art history exam later that same day.

I’m going to take a moment now and psychoanalyze myself using Freud’s techniques:

My biggest concern was that I wouldn’t be able to translate the Latin paragraphs on my exam. The Renaissance paintings were in the background meaning that I was worried but it wasn’t a man concern. The water pitchers have to do with my subconscious fear of getting another

kidney stone. I have no idea why the Cycladic sculptures were hanging around…perhaps just because they were grotesque in their production serving to make the dream that much weirder.

See, people…your dreams DO have hidden messages in them. This one was just, you know, not so hidden.

And this post has nothing to do with alliteration. I just like titles with alliterations. Sorry for leading you on with that one.