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?

Thursday, July 31, 2014


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.

the horrible truth is that i haven’t been on a date in more than 8 years (i was strong-armed into an awkward blind date 6 years ago, but i don’t think that counts because neither of us had a choice in the matter or talked to each other before or after. or during). i don’t talk 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, “nonononono.”
and also i make this face:

i’m pretty sure this isn’t a normal, rational reaction.

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: wait, 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 the jerk 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 (*zap!*). eventually they’ll learn that when they bring you red objects, they don’t get shocked.

OR they might simply learn to avoid bringing you things all together.

that’s the problem with negative reinforcement. it’s about avoiding pain so it’s hard to control what behavior is actually being learned.

so even though i’ve never experienced something truly traumatic, i would equate a lot of my dating experiences to getting an electrical shock. (*zap!*) 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 refusing to date all together.

again, this speaks to the bigger truth: i am a freaking pansy.
because a lot of the potential pain i panic about shouldn’t be so painful. but in my mind it is. the idea of dating “for fun” or dating “just to date” eludes me. where is the fun? seriously. there is no fun. but i truly do have a desire to form functional and loving, long-term relationships.

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 that is a fallacy.

and here is what i have very brutally learned (*zap!*) in the last year: negative conditioning can happen whether i’m actively dating or not. i need people in my life and when i close myself off, i actually increase 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. and the more resilient i've been.

long story long, i have started saying yes to dates! 

and it is unsettling.