Wednesday, May 27, 2015


i posted an announcement for a service activity on my ward’s facebook page. two seconds later, some random dude sent me a message…

dude: hi.
[i wait 15 minutes for additional information. nothing comes.]
me: hi there! are you emailing about tomorrow’s activity?
dude: no i just thought you were cute.

so don’t worry, you guys. all’s right with the world.
because i’m cute.

i know you thought i was trying to single-handedly plan and promote a weekly service activity at an assisted living center. i know.
but... c’mon. i think we can all agree that deep down i was really just hoping that someone would notice how cute i am.
because that is my goal in life at all times.
and honestly? i’m relieved that someone finally had enough courage and natural charisma to point it out in the most flattering way possible: a two-letter facebook message.
and -truly- i just hope my gratitude and, above all else, cuteness came across in my lack of response to him.

Saturday, February 07, 2015


the other night, this guy introduced me to his friend by saying, “this is kat. she’s hilarious.”

i love that compliment.

and also sometimes i hate that compliment because it has rarely, if ever, meant, “this is kat. i find her super attractive.” it’s more synonymous with, “this is kat. she’s a goofball and i’m actively friend-zoning her as we speak.”

which is fine because here's the thing: i am a goofball. and i go back and forth trying to decide how important that is to me.

i don't know that i'll be able to succinctly get my point across, so bear (bare? (i think it's bear)) with me. in my opinion, a big part of life is figuring out 1. who we are/who we want to be, 2. what aspects about ourselves we like or dislike, 3. what others like or dislike about us, and then 4. taking all that information and deciding all over again who we are/who we want to be. it's a subtle balance of self-acceptance and personal growth.

i have no problem with the idea of changing something about myself to be a better person. even if the impetus for change comes from an external source (family, friends, coworkers, religious leaders, random street people). they probably all have their own agenda (don't we all) but i would say that it's still a good thing if it's pushing me towards being the person i want to be.

i'll even take it a step further (farther? (i think this time it's farther. although, it's not a literal step that i'm taking, so maybe it's further.)) and say that to a certain extent, i also don't have a problem changing myself to conform or to be more likable. give me a makeover. point out my rough edges and bad habits. "can't buy me love" me. whatever. that's the window dressing and if it changes, i will still be me. but here (hear? (just kidding)) is where it gets more complicated; when i feel pressure to change something about myself i really like.

and this is where the goofy sense of humor thing comes in because, well, i like my sense of humor. i like making people laugh and laughing at myself. i like that i'm weird and talkative and expressive. i like being goofy. however, i also don't have a problem adapting to circumstance. i downplay my sense of humor at work and at church because those circumstances aren't about being a special unicorn. they're about getting something done. but when I think about my personal life and what kind of relationships i want with my family and friends, it involves feeling accepted and loved for who i am.

that is why, when the cute guy introduced me to his friend as "hilarious," i smiled at him and said, "thank you."
just because he didn't mean it as a compliment, doesn't mean i can't take it as one.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


a lot of people, when they meet me, ask me if i used to play either basketball or volleyball.
because i’m 5’11”.
and i hate telling them "sorry, no." because when i do, they always give me this very maternal, scolding look. like i’ve squandered my potential.
and here's the thing that i can never seem to make random strangers understand in a two minute conversation: i didn’t have talent. i didn’t have athleticism. i didn't have the eye of the tiger. i had height.
that's it.
and my height was actually kind of a detriment because i never really got to learn how to play basketball or volleyball. i never got a chance to suck and have it be okay to suck. because everyone saw my height and assumed i’d be awesome. the first day of gym class, people would see me and pick me first for their team and when you're first-picked, even average skill is a huge let down.
not that i had average skill.
i had (have) one move. i call it "the king kong". i would stand under the basket or in front of the net and swipe my arms at the shorties. and kind of growl... it was not effective.
so, no.
i didn’t play sports.
i danced. i was a ballet dancer. and i was the tallest ballet dancer who ever lived! i would go out on stage and go up en pointe and i’d see the first few rows of the audience watch me go up and their eyes would get really wide with wonder. and also wide with concern as they asked themselves, “is this going against the laws of physics?” i don’t know. probably. but i loved it.
and i was good at it!
or at least i thought i was. this is where things get tragic because i wanted to find a picture of me dancing so that i could prove to you that i danced and i was good. there aren’t many pictures of me dancing because i’m a second child, but i did find a few pictures of my sister in the starring role of our dance studio’s production of “the little mermaid” and i was in the background. and i realized something awful.
as i remember it, even though, as ariel, my sister had about 37 solos, i was still super excited because i was given two parts which in my ballet-addled mind meant that i was basically almost as good as my sister.
i was a daughter of triton and also a flamingo. two very meaty roles with very flashy costumes and enough to do that it apparently didn't occur to me until  i was looking at the pictures that i wasn’t a ballerina, i was a prop.
my flamingo part involved me holding up a giant cardboard flamingo cutout and swaying in the background. and as a daughter of triton, i had a cardboard tail. i was immobile. i had to stand in one spot and swipe my arms around and oh my gosh, i was doing the "the king kong"!! i was king konging! my dance skillz and my basketball skillz were essentially the same, but because i was 5’11”, nobody expected me to be a good dancer. i was defying physics by just being on stage, so the bar was set pretty low for me.

holy. crap.
that just blew my mind.

maybe that’s the key to happiness. only doing things that people think you suck at so that when you don’t completely suck, you’ve exceeded expectations.


so... am i just a giant, walking, fear of failure cliche? you can tell me.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


the other day i asked my 5-year-old niece, “hey, what is your resolution this year?”
my niece: what does "resolution" mean?
me: it's like goal. what's your goal for this year?
niece: what does "goal" mean?
me: it means, like, what is something that you want to do this year?
niece: oh! i want to get magic freeze powers like elsa.
me: ... well okay then.

now, before you start judging her for setting an unattainable resolution, i'd just like to point out that in two weeks my gym will empty but it will still be cold outside.

Friday, January 02, 2015

unapologetically bitter

things that must go.

hashtaggers. you're killing me.

married couples that look like each other.

somewhat connected: married couples that look like each other and the wife is wearing her husband's clothes.

people commenting on how tall i am. do you guys have something that physically defines you? like, when people meet you, you can feel them noticing that feature? everyone has something. my thing is my tallness. and sometimes i wish i could go for even a day without somebody commenting on it.

meetings. i don't care what the meeting is about, it's a waste of time. just email me.

people who ask me how i stay skinny and then look at me like i'm a jerk when i tell them that i work out five nights a week and i don't eat sugar. 

all the geek conventions in salt lake. that's right, i said it!! comic con. fantasy con. fanx. it's too much. pick one thing and make it jam-packed full of awesome.

ok. i'm done now.

Monday, December 08, 2014


last night, i had dinner with my family. afterwards, we watched "wait until dark" which i'm sure you'll agree is a fantastic movie. but even though your cinematic tastes are already in harmony with mine, i'm still going to tell you why "wait until dark" is so awesome:
  • 60's, henry mancini music. is that a harpsichord? (i would say that the harpsichord was the keytar of the 60's. and i would also say that autotune is the keytar of right now.)
(also, do you remember the lap harp? where did THAT go?)
  • audrey hepburn's hair.
  • alan arkin playing three characters or, more precisely, playing one character who plays two additional characters.
  • the complete jerk of a husband (not actually an argument for the movie being fantastic, just something i wanted to point out. seriously, he's a jerk) who doesn't run to his blind wife after she miraculously outsmarts three murderous heroin dealers. "i'm over here... come to me... hot... warm... cold... colder... warm... " ... a-hole.
  • and of course, the scene. you know the scene. it's the whole reason to watch the movie.

tangent: i saw "wait until dark" for the first time when i was 15. it was late at night in my parents' bedroom and during the scene i jumped and i screamed, which startled my dog who then bit me.

it (watching "wait until dark" yesterday. not being bitten by my dog when i was fifteen) got me thinking about all my favorite the scenes in movies. the scenes which basically become the reason for watching a movie (or at the very least become cause for shushing a room and mouthing the dialogue in perfect unison) and i feel like most of those moments have to be universal. so what i'm going to do is list some movies and you're going to think of the scene that makes you want to watch that movie.
and i'll bet that we all think of the same scene.
we don't even need to talk about it.
because we'll just know. that we're both thinking of the same scene.
our minds are perfectly synced... and it's beautiful.

ok. go!

"ferris bueller's day off"
"teen witch"
"what's up doc"
"sleepless in seattle"
"independence day"
"dr. Strangelove"
"top gun"
"pretty in pink"
"empire strikes back"
"stop! or my mom will shoot!" kidding. just wanted to remind you that it exists.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

pre-tech teen rage

when i was 15, my sister and i decided to change the outgoing message on our voicemail to something "funny." i don't remember what we changed it to, but i do remember that my mom was not amused. this led to a confrontation, which led to an argument, which led to the kind of high-pitched shrieking match that can only happen between mothers and teenage daughters.

at one point during the three party RAGE, my mom screamed something at us and then stopped mid-sentence, hit record on the phone, and said in an overly-friendly tone, "hi. we can't come to the phone right now, but if you leave us a message we'll call you back. thanks!" and then slammed the phone down and continued on with her rage thought.

it was something a crazy person (or a mother of teenage daughters) would do.

it was terrifying.

i feel i need to make it clear that this is not a judgment of my wonderful mom. she had multiple teens. she was at war. nor is it an accurate representation of what our family life was like. i bring it up because it is an ugly family moment that's engrained in my mind. and the reason it's engrained in my mind is because, almost 20 years later, my parents still have the same, ridiculous, outgoing voicemail message.

and so, for the last 20 years, whenever my parents don't answer the phone and the voicemail starts, i quickly hang up.

and i literally haven't left a message on my parents answering machine for 20 years because i can't make it to the beep.

i thought about that today, when i called my parents' house three times in a row without leaving a message and my dad called me back all concerned because he thought i was possibly dying.

also, how does my dad not have texting?

Friday, October 10, 2014


about a week ago, i went to this bonfire thing and wound up trying to make small talk with a guy who i've known peripherally for about a year (meaning that he's friends of friends and often at stuff i'm at).

i say "trying" to make small talk, because i went to all my go-to, icebreaker topics and he was really just not having it.

plus, he was doing that thing where he was talking to me but looking around for someone better.

which i hate.

my defense strategy when a social situation is going awkwardly... is to make it worse. seriously. i go into a bit and i keep escalating it to see how long it takes people to get that i'm joking. its like a game of sense-of-humor chicken.

so i'm in the middle of a bit and i say something like, "what do you think i should do?" and the guy i was talking to said, "i don't know. maybe you should be smoother."

then he said he wanted to go get some "wassail before it runs out" and he stood up and walked over to a group of girls.

smoother girls.

i was left staring at the empty space where he'd been sitting. then, i realized that one of my guy friends, dave, had been sitting next to him. and i realized this when dave said, "um... hi kat." and dave said, "um... hi kat." because my stunned, staring into space, was actually stunned, staring at dave's face.

so, ya. maybe i do need to be smoother. but i think the better, more bloggable point is that sometimes  nice, straight arrow guys are kind of assholes.



Thursday, October 09, 2014

little girl in the middle

hanging out with 40-year-olds...
me: i invited [other 40 year old], but he never got back to me.
40: ya?
me: AND since he's not on facebook, i had to look up his phone number and text him out of nowhere like a stalker.
40: you texted him?
me: ya.
40: but he doesn't have text messaging.
me: ... so... how am i supposed to get a hold of him?
40: well, you could call him.
me: call him? like, call him on the phone?
40: yes.
me: ... well that doesn't sound right at all.


hanging out with 20-year-olds...
me: what did you do last weekend?
20: my friends and i went camping.
me: during the insane rainstorm?
20: ya. it was so much fun! we grabbed some steaks and a grill and drove up to some canyon, but it was too expensive so we drove to some other canyon but all the sites were full. so then we parked in front of an empty cabin and tried to use their grill hook up.
me: what?
20: but then our grill didn't have the right sized hook up so we couldn't grill the steaks. and we didn't have any matches to start a fire but i did have some flint so i started a fire in the rain with a piece of flint. it was awesome.
me: ...
20: but then we didn't have any way to cook the steaks, but we had a tin can and some butter so we just put the steaks in a can with butter and kind of deep fried them. they tasted amazing!
me: …i don't believe you.
20: and then we slept in my van. the rain kind of made it sink down into the mud, so we were kind of sleeping on an incline, but-
me: - i think i might need you to stop telling me this story.

"he that is more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a man, i am not for him: therefore, i will even take sixpence in earnest of the bear-ward, and lead his apes into hell."

is it sad that i just associated shakespeare with my awkward social interactions? also, who's the ape?

am i the ape?

Saturday, August 02, 2014

keepin' it real, yo

i think about the “why am i still single?” question a lot.
like, a lot.

because it’s a big deal. connecting and partnering up with someone is a huge part of the life experience. and not being able to make something so integral to the human existence happen, makes me feel defective.

I don't go on dates. and i try really hard not to talk too much about it because if i did, i’d have to explain that it’s not that i don’t get asked out on dates, it’s that the idea of going on a date with someone makes me panic. mentally and physiologically. my stomach clenches, my heart starts beating really fast, my breathing gets really shallow, and the only thought that goes through my mind is, “nonononononono.”

and also i make this face:

which isn't a normal reaction. I see that.

but it’s the reaction i ALWAYS have. it doesn’t even matter whether or not i like the guy. we can be hanging out and flirting and i will be fine, but the instant i sense a date invite coming, i panic and i shut it down. (like, i could write an instruction guide called “shuttin’ it down: how to not get asked out a date: why isn’t anybody buying this book?: the kat story”) and then i walk away feeling absolutely broken.

so, of course, the question i ask myself is “why?” i never really went through any exceptional trauma or heartbreak. i’ve been surrounded by very kind, good people my entire life. the guys that i’ve dated have all been nice guys. i mean, even the not nice guys i dated would still probably qualify as nice-ish on an asshole spectrum. there’s nothing traumatic to blame my weirdness on.

the best explanation that i can come up with is this: i am a freaking pansy.

here’s something that i remember from my psychology classes. negative reinforcement.
most people know what positive reinforcement is. positive reinforcement is used to encourage a behavior. when ziggy does the trick i want him to do, i reward him with food or praise or a pat on the head.
and most people know what punishment is. punishment is used to get rid of a behavior. if my niece does something naughty, she’s put in time out.
but most people think that negative reinforcement is the same thing as punishment. which it kind of is but kind of isn’t. punishment is about reducing a behavior, but negative reinforcement is actually about promoting (“reinforcing”) a certain behavior by stopping punishment or pain. it’s not an ideal way to teach or train because it’s usually fear or pain driven and it’s less controlled. for example, let’s say you want someone to only bring you objects that are red. if you’re using negative reinforcement, then every time they bring you something that isn’t red, you shock them. eventually they’ll learn that when they bring you red objects, they don’t get shocked.
OR they might learn to avoid bringing you things.
that’s the problem with negative reinforcement. it’s about avoiding pain so it’s hard to control what behavior is actually being learned.

even though i’ve never experienced something truly traumatic, i would equate a lot of my dating experiences with getting an electrical shock. over and over and over. and instead of learning how to do the right things, i’ve learned instead to avoid the pain entirely by avoiding dating.
again, this speaks to the bigger truth: i am a pansy.
because a lot of the potential pain i imagine and start panicking over shouldn’t be so painful. but in my mind it is. the idea of dating “for fun” or dating “just to date” eludes me (my poor mom told me that the other day in an effort to talk me down and i totally bit her head off). but after a few years of figuring some of my bigger issues out, i feel like maybe i don’t have to hold firm to my belief that i will never be able to form functional and loving, long-term relationships.

but tragically, that means i have to go on dates. i used to think that i could stay in my nice protective shell and wait. and then maybe the right guy would come along and then i would just know he was, like, the guy and i would lock it down. but this past year i learned very brutally how foolish that approach is.

very, very brutally.
this last year i learned that negative conditioning can happen whether i’m actively dating or not. i learned that i need people in my life and that when i close myself off, i’m actually increasing my odds of getting hurt. because you know what kind of people spend a bunch of energy befriending a closed off, emotionally withdrawn person? crazy, codependent people. do you know what kind of guys pursue a girl who is not putting out a dating vibe AT ALL? creepy, oblivious, socially awkward guys. the more i have tried to let people into my life and work to develop friendships of my choosing, the better and healthier my friendships have been.
i guess what i’m saying is that i think there’s a middle ground where you’re not just dating “to date” but you’re making yourself available so that you’re in a more resilient place.

so! i have started saying yes to dates! and it is unsettling.