Tuesday, June 11, 2013

flibbertigibbet


yesterday was the first day of my summer classes, which made me think of my FIRST first day of summer school right after my freshman year at the Y. 
i think my plan was to take a couple of generals at the salt lake center during the summer where/when they'd be less work and easier to pass, and my strategy must have worked because the only thing i remember from my biology class is my teacher pointing out that i have adherent earlobes. which is a recessive gene (when you're 18 and your entire class squints at your earlobes, it makes you very self conscious). (are punnett squares still a thing?)
also, with abiding fondness, i remember hot biology boy.
he came in late the first day of class and, in my mind, took 5 minutes to get to his seat a couple of rows behind me because he was walking in slow motion. (perhaps that's why he was late?)
he was beautiful in that awkward, millennial, heath ledger in "ten things i hate about you" way where you ask yourself, "is that a shirt with embroidery on it?" and then you say, "who am i to judge? i'm wearing a belly chain and i have 2 jennifer lopez songs on a mix cd."
 
after not so subtly turning around to stare at him about 37 times, class ended and i decided to pull out my best move- a move i still use to this day- i stared at the ground and shuffled past him.
as i did, he said, "hey." 
i, flirtatiously, jumped and looked up with a confused expression. 
he smiled. 
i made a gurgling noise and smiled back, while continuing to walk past him, daring to look him in the eye and imagine a time, long ago, when the delicate tangles of his hair covered the emptiness of my h-- 
and i walked into a wall.
ya. when i hit the end of my row, i did not turn to walk to the door. i kept walking. into a wall.
and i like to think i did what anyone would do next. i looked at the wall, then at the ground, sighed, and shuffled out of the room.
 
but funny story. i walked down to the computer lab to start planning my new life on a different planet (because in space, no one can hear you scream) and hot biology boy followed me, introduced himself and asked for my phone number. 
 
and then we went out a couple of times. 
one night, we ended up at a ginormous luau and hot biology boy wound up winning a limbo contest. 
another night we wound up at a "look out" point (where all we did was look out because i was oblivious and it wasn't until years later than i understood what was going on there) and there were literally fireworks going off in the distance.
 
after that, i started blowing him off and eventually he stopped calling, and then class ended and we went our separate ways.
ya, i know, the ending kind of fizzles.

"but why, kat? why?" 
why did i blow him off?
"yes, why??"
 
because i didn't know his name. i was too frazzled after the whole wall thing and, after two dates, i had no idea how broach the topic. at the time, blowing him off seemed like the most rational way to handle the situation.



nothing like that like happened during my classes yesterday.



unimportant tangents i also thought about yesterday during class:
the worst millennial fashion? the two piece prom dress. 
worst song? the thong song

other than that, i regret nothing.

Friday, June 07, 2013

come on, son!

last week, there was a guy on the radio whom i named "inferior stefon."
he was like this!

...except not.

he's some sort of local, "night life" columnist and i was super excited to hear him promote the downtown happenings for the weekend, but it wound up being the biggest letdown of my life.
(hyperbole? you decide)
and sure, part of the problem is his source material, because how many "human roombas" and "football jellyfish" can you find in salt lake city?
and sure, part of the problem is that stefon is not a real person.
but come on, son! part of the problem is you. you need to step up your game.

naturally, this got me thinking whom i would be if i just tried a little harder.
and the first thing that came to mind was andy rooney.

that's not weird, right?

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

thin but wiry



i've been taking advantage of my three whole weeks of "no class!" weeknights (not to be confused with "low class!" weeknights (because that's EVERY weeknight! (... i don't know))) and going to my favorite weightlifting class at the gym. i'm super buff now. i can totally lift moderate levels of weight for my gender/age/body type classification like you wouldn't believe!

ANYways. my gym started a new class called "body combat" and if you know me and my love of sitting on the couch and watching taebo, you know that this is my type of class. i found out that it starts right after my weightlifting class, so i decided to give it a whirl.
and i loved it.
and i will tell you why.
the reasons being threefold:
1. it was a good workout. beating the air wildly with my tiny, petulant fists is a solid workout.
2. everybody in the class takes it very seriously. they act like ll cool j's mama personally called them up and told them to knock the air out. the teacher encourages the intensity by wearing boxing gloves (to, i guess, protect his hands from the air as he beats it wildly) and yelling at us to keep our guard up (lest the air punch us in our heads) and put on our angry faces (in response, i always instinctively look at myself in the mirror where i discover that i am, in fact, wearing a big, goofy grin).
3. there are a few "moves" that are amazing.
i must describe my favorite moves to you in detail. 
my favorite moves being threefold: 
there's one where you sweep the leg of the air. and the teacher always yells out "sweep the leg, johnny!" (i am the only person in the class who gets the reference) and i am delighted. but also conflicted because i want to beat the air with honor and not have to resort to cheap shots.
there is also a move where you kick the air in the stomach and then kick the air's sidekick (also air) in the knee caps and then pretend to jump over each of their slumped, unconscious bodies. the only thing i can think to liken it to is a move the rat king makes in "the nutcracker" (coincidentally, that would make a really good name for another move in class).



i am really freaking good at this move. like, better than anyone in the class. probably better than anyone in the world (watch your back, rat king!). because if there is any move that i would actually use in a real life fight, it would be to leap over people and run away. that is my move. that is my jam. (sadly, we have yet to use my other move, "the windmill," in class)
but my most favorite of all the moves that we move, is a little thing called "street brawl." in essence, you push the air to the ground and hold it down with one hand while you wail on it with your other. not even "johnny" would've done this to daniel-san (that is lie. i was testing you and you failed. the cobra kai dojo believes the enemy deserves no mercy).
i like to think that some gym trainer was walking at night in compton and saw an actual street brawl and thought, "wow. that looks like an awesome workout."
alternatively, i also like to think that some gym trainer was walking at night in compton and got pinned to the ground and wailed on and thought, "wow. your arms look amazing."

i might start referring to this class as "fight club" because, having written all this out, i'm pretty sure the only thing that could make this more awesome is if i were to start thinking i was beating up the brad pitt version of myself.
and also i could start making soap.
because that's a part of "fight club," right? they make soap?
ya... i've only seen the cleanflicks version of "fight club" so i don't really know what it's about. the edited version was only, like, 55 minutes long.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013


i read this article the other day on the "dunning-kruger effect."
essentially, it's the idea that when people are unskilled in a certain area, they lack the very skills required to see that they're unskilled.
or, as my dear friend bill mcneal once said, "it is the wise man who knows there is much he does not know." (matthew, nodding, "... i know.")
i would say that the dunning-kruger effect (sometimes, in my mind, i call it the "dunder-mifflin effect") has been kicking my trash the last 4 to 5 (to 9 (to 381)) months.
and i will tell you why.
i decided to take classes at the local community college to become a paralegal. the process of deciding to do it was super random. so random, in fact, that i don't actually remember the impetus for doing it. however, around august, i made up my mind that this was something I wanted to do. i knew i wanted to do it, but- full disclosure (that in no way makes me look sympathetic)- was incredibly embarrassed to be taking classes at a college. i was embarrassed to tell my friends and the people i work with that i was spending time and money on community college paralegal classes because i felt like they would look at me with knit brow and make some sort of judgmental "...hu." noise and then ask me what i'm doing with my life when i could be doing so much more with my brains and my height and my thick, hipster bangs!!
so my first semester i kept things pretty quiet and took one, ridiculously easy class where i didn't really learn anything and sometimes the teacher would forget to even come and i kind of just went about my business.
then the worst thing possible happened. last semester... i had to put actual effort into my classes. i had to, like, learn stuff.
i even got things wrong.
tragedy.
because it turns out that watching "boston legal" does not instill you with actual knowledge of the 14th amendment.
um, also, the word "amendment" is NOT spelled "ammendment." no matter how many years you've spent spelling it that way.

to sum up, it was humbling. i got a glimpse of just how little i know and i did not care for it.
 
if you ask me, the dunning-kruger effect (sometimes, in my mind, i call it the "diane-kruger" effect) is maddening because confidence tends to stem either from expertise or absolute incompetence and, no matter which end of the spectrum you're on, you assume your confidence is stemming from competence. so you never really know if you're an idiot.
and then there's the tragic middle. the quasi-competent. who know just enough to doubt their abilities. when people receive training in an area, but aren't necessarily experts, they tend to underestimate their skills and defer to the people with confidence (whether competent or not), assuming they're equally qualified, if not more so.
maddening.
you can interpret this any way you'd like, or apply it to any subject, but here's how i'm pacifying myself: 
the idea of not knowing my own incompetence completely freaks me out, but, at the same time, the dunning-kruger effect (sometimes, in my mind, i call it the "doogie-howzer" effect (not really, i just wanted a third parenthetical)) weirdly reassures me about my own self doubt  because it shows i at least know enough to know i don't know it all.
and it really makes me feel better about the bigger things i'm not completely confident about. i worry a lot about my emotional maturity and social skills. frankly, i worry that i'm creepy. and annoying. so it's soothing to think that even doubting my social abilities might be proof that i'm at least somewhat socially and emotionally aware. 
sigh. 
i hope.