P.s. I’m Auntie Kate now.

Oh me, oh my, oh apple pie.

“Write what should not be forgotten.” -Isabel Allende

What does that mean for me?  What does it mean for her?  Is it universal, world-wide, country-wide, city-wide, family-wide, heart and brain-wide?  How does one determine whether something it worthy of preservation?

Old buildings and landmarks meet the requirements to become historically preserved.  Someone decides what to put in time capsules and the library of congress and other places where people store things they deem worthy of saving, worthy for the next generation.

What do I deem worthy of preservation?  Do I even do anything glitzy, glamour-y, adventure-y, or interesting enough to warrant documentation?  Are my thoughts esteemed enough?  Who even cares.

This is the first in many posts I will write in 2013.  I cross my heart and pinky promise to die that I will actually be a writer this year.  I will document all of the curricular and extracurricular writing I do.  It will be preserved as long as the world doesn’t end.

I suppose this is my pledge.

Here is an annoying blog kind of thing to update you on the inner workings of my mind and life.

This is long, are you ready?
Ugg, fine.

What does the last text you got say; what’d you reply?
Sam: I want to go to England so I can marry Iwan Rheon.
Me: He’s Welsh. So… Duh.

Does anyone call you babe?
My wonderful boyfriend, Fernando Alejandro.

What’s your favorite candle scent?
French bread and apple cider.

What female celebrity do you wish was your sister?
Busy Phillips.  And Jennifer Lawrence.

What male celebrity do you wish was your brother?
Adam Scott, Andy Samburg, and Robert Downey Jr.

Can you do a split?
Nope.  Or a cartwheel. Sad face.

How many oceans have you been swimming in?
Only two but that will change.

How many countries have you been to?
A lot.

What would you name your daughter if you had one?
Pepper, Cora, Adelaide, Olive, Ellie, Bebe, Violet.

What would you name your son if you had one?
Theo, Charlie, Liam, Oliver, Casper

What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight?
Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  

Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent?
I would rather have a British accent because those accents are classy as heck.

Did your mother go to college?
And grad school.

Do you know who Kermit the frog is?
Who doesn’t know who Kermit the Frog is?  Seriously?!

What’s the first amusement park you’ve been to?
Riverside.  So many memories.  Three Dog Night and corn dogs and roller coasters.

What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in?
I speak french.  I would also like to know how to speak spanish fluently.

Do you spell the color as grey or gray?
Both!  Intermittently!

Is your father bald?
Nope.

Do you know triplets?
A couple of sets.

Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook?
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet for life!

Have you ever been to Olive Garden?
I LOVE the Olive Garden! Breaksticks and soup and pasta and yay.

Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ’s, etc.)?
We’re a Costco family.

Who’s your favorite person in the world?
I think it’s Amy Poelher. Or Meaghan Quist.

Can you whistle?
For the first 24 years of my life I could not whistle.  But then one fateful day I caught the worst of colds and when I had recovered I was able to whistle.  It was magical.

Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?
Indeed I do and they are generally quite strange.

The end.

P.s. I’m Auntie Kate now. Image

5 Minute Play. (last semester assignment)

<A is reading.  B is staring.>
A) What do you want?
B) Breakfast.  What do you want?
A) I don’t know… for you to leave me alone.  It happened so long ago, I don’t want to get into again.
B) Why? What did you do?
A) You know what I did.
B) What did you do?
A) I don’t really want to talk about it.
B) Okay, but what did you do?
A) Would you jus…
B) Breakfast would be so delicious right now.
A) It’s like, 3 in the afternoon.  Why do you want breakfast now?
B) Because there is never not a good time for breakfast.  And I would really like some breakfast.
A) Well, I would really like for you to be quiet so I can read.
B) Waffles.
A) Shh.
B) Eggs.
A) Shhhh.
B) Bacon.
A) ShhhhhhhhHHHHhhhh.
B) And coffee.
A) Would you get out of here?!
B) No, I want to help you.
A) Well you can’t.
B) You only think that because you’re hungry.
A) False, I think that because it’s true.
B) Why are you isolating yourself?  You can’t do this alone.  We aren’t meant to go
through life alone.  No man is an island.  No lady is an island either.  And if you insist on trying to shoulder this burden yourself you are going to fail.
A) Well that’s the encouragement I needed.  Thanks pal.
B) I’m just trying to show you that there’s a way out of this.
A) Yes I know.  That’s what I was going for.
B) How about some French toast?
A) It was a joke.
B) It wasn’t funny.
A) Okay, sorry.  Why are you here?
B) What do you mean, why am I here?  I’m here because you tried to kill yourself and now you’re acting like a selfish brat, like you’re the only one who would be affected by your terrible decision and consequent terrible actions.
A) Well, aren’t I allowed to be a little selfish?  It was almost a year ago and still, no one will talk to me; people barely look at me.  Don’t I deserve to be a little selfish?!
B) Do you want me to list all the people who would miss you if you were gone?  Would that make you feel better?
A) How is this helping?
B) If you did it because you thought no one loved you I want to show you that you’re wrong.  Then maybe you’ll be sorry for all the pain you caused and apologize to everyone.  Starting with me.
A) You!  What did I do to you?!
B) I’m your sister.  If you think your decision to exit this world early doesn’t affect me then you’re delusional.
A) Now who’s being selfish?  Besides, you’ve been gone for so long I think you’ve given up your sisterly meddling membership.
B) Stop being fresh.
A) Stop acting entitled.  You can’t just swoop in here a million years later and play the part of Wonder Woman, putting everything back together.
B) You aren’t a kid anymore so I’m going to put it to you straight:  You need to cut this out and get your act together.
A) I can’t just decide to be happy.  There’s a chemical imbalance in my brain and if I could flip a switch to make it all better don’t you think I would?  I don’t want to be sad all the time.  I don’t want to be… depressed.
B) So don’t be.
A) Shut up, that’s not how it works.  I’m getting help but that only goes so far.
B) Maybe you aren’t trying hard enough.
A) How dare you?  I’m not just being lazy.  This is hard for me.  This is why you don’t understand.
B) So help me understand.
A) I can’t right now.  You need to go away.
B) You can’t just push me away.
A) You aren’t here!  You don’t get to tell me what I can’t do!
B) You know what you’re problem is?
A) NO! Do you know what YOUR problem is?  You are a fake grown up.  You try to act all mature and together but you’re just as much of a mess as I am.  You can’t hold on to a boyfriend, you get bored and quit everything you try, you can barely hold down a job.  You have none of the qualifiers of adulthood.
B) And what pray tell, qualifies you to determine that?
A) Do you have a boyfriend?
B) No.
A) Do you have a job?
B) A part-time job, yeah.
A) Is there any money in your savings account?
B) Like forty-something dollars.
A) Do you own a car?
B) No.
A) A house?
B) No.
A) How often do you wash your sheets?
B) What does that matter?
A) Just answer the question.
B) Every couple of months.
A) So every two months?
B) Two or three.  Or four.
A) Are you aware that most “Grown Ups” wash their sheets every two weeks at least?
B) How did this become about me?  You’re the one who needs help.
A) Is that really what you think?  You think you’re fine and I’m the crazy one and you need to put my pieces back together?
B) No.  I’m just better at hiding my crazy than you are.
A) So you admit that you’re just as messed up as I am.
B) Probably more messed up.
A) Well that I can respect.
B) I’m sorry.
A) I know.  Me too.  You’re an awful therapist.  Don’t go into that as a profession.
B) I won’t.  I promise.  I really am sorry.  I wasn’t here for you when you needed me and I left when I couldn’t deal and I
A) You know what I really want?
B) No, what?
A) Breakfast.  Let’s go make some pancakes.
B) That sounds like the best idea you’ve ever had.
A) I love you NAME.
B) I love you too NAME.

Fairytale. (a class assignment)

There once was a great king who lived in a far off land.  The king and his queen were kind rulers who gave generously to their subjects.  They were loved by all.  On the occasion of the birth of their first child all the lords and ladies of the court, along with the servants and townsfolk, gathered under a balcony of the palace to congratulate the glowing new parents on the royal heir.  The ladies in their finery giggled behind fans hoping for a young prince to whom their own daughters might one day wed, as women are apt to do.  The gentleman stood in groups speaking of the local jousting tournaments and the yield from their farmlands, as men are apt to do.

The trumpets trumpeted and the fiddles fiddled and the drums rolled and the royal couple approached the crowd from above.  A small baby swaddled in a soft, white blanket could be seen in the arms of the queen.  The king waited jovially for the crowd to die down and began to speak, “My good people, it is with joy, honor, and humility that I introduce you to my daughter.  Please join me in welcoming Princess Cora to this majestic land!”

The crowd roared and clapped and whooped.  Gentlewomen cried and there was a general din of merriment all around.  The noise was very loud and as a child, having just been born, the tiny princess was not used to the clamor of so many people.  She had also only been alive for a short period of time and thus had not been schooled on the formal etiquette and composure required of a princess and thus she cried.  Loudly.  The sound of Princess Cora’s wail sliced through the bedlam below and traveled down streams, through forests, on the wings of eagles, over a mountain, and to the farthest reaches of the great king’s realm.

There, in a small hut on the side of a hill near a herd of goats without a goat herder, lived a shriveled, old woman better known to the people as a witch.  The witch was just sitting down for her afternoon tea when the scream of Princess Cora made its way through her open window and into her delicate, witchy ears.  With a start the witch sloshed rare rattail tea all down the front of her most black and ragged witchy robes.

With mystical speed the witch raced down the mountain, through the trees of the forest, and up the stream, following the heinous sound that invaded the witch’s witchy mind.  With no preamble the witch scooped up the baby and vanished in a puff of smoke and a huff of annoyance.  In her place a roll of parchment hovered in the air.  The king, his hands shaking, reached out and took hold of the paper.  Unfurling it the king read silently, his eyes bulging.  In the note was the following message:  “Your baby is loud.  I am very sensitive to such noises.  And because you didn’t invite me to this obvious party I have developed an elaborate plot involving a tower, a dragon, and a curse- all three must be conquered by true love to win back your daughter from my clutches.  This may seem harsh but I am old and vindictive and my mother never loved me so you’ll have to deal with a lifetime of my pain by suffering yourselves.  The precious little princess will waste away her life asleep while you weep for her.  Good luck with all of that.”  It was signed- Dotty, apparently the witch’s witchy name.

The entire kingdom went into mourning immediately.  There were no more trumpets, giggling, or cheering, not for a very long time.  The witch carried the little princess over land and sea to a tall and craggy tower surrounded on all sides by a mile of the thickest thorn thickets.

As soon as the witch set the girl down on a bed (that just so happened to be in the abandoned tower) she realized that she hadn’t really thought this plan through.  She looked around awkwardly, opening and closing her gummy, toothless mouth.  The witch could be heard saying, “My bad” and then with a shrug she vanished.  Alone and scared Princess Cora continued to cry.  It was lucky and convenient for her that the fearsome dragon was actually a nursemaid who had once angered an evil and magical overlord who turned her in to a beast as eternal punishment for whispering too quietly.  The dragon re-swaddled the child and, after a brief period of sympathy postpartum depression, happily raised the child as her own until she died suddenly of root beer poisoning.

That might cause you to think that the little Cora grew up thinking she was a dragon but by some other turn of luck or coincidence she grew to be a gentle lady, and that was in spite of her many near death experiences.  You see, for as long as Princess Cora could remember she had been the target of murder.  No one had to explain it, as it was clear to her that the men who showed up at the foot of her tower singed and covered in blood were meaning to do her harm.  This happened so many times that the little princess developed a few unladylike ticks.  She constantly trembled and sweat through her sparkly, pink princess gown.  She was always fatigued and spent a good deal of her time sleeping which made the witch’s claim that Cora would sleep her life away actually true.  Princess Cora was also always on the verge of a quick vomit.  It was hard for her to keep anything down from all her inner turmoil.  She feared greatly that some day someone would succeed in murdering her and so the young princess always carried a dull and rusty knife around with her.   She lived in an abandoned tower, what other kind of knife would she have access to?

On the eve of Princess Cora’s 18th birthday a clatter of horse hooves and clunky armor arose from the courtyard below the abandoned tower.  A solitary figure dismounted from a solitary horse and hit the ground right as thunder struck the air.  The sky then opened and down from the heavens came rain so thick it made a wall of darkness.  Lightening and thunder raged.  Gushing streams of water surged from everywhere.  Under his armor the man’s undies were soaked through.  It was quite uncomfortable, but he powered on.  Stones and beams of wood barricaded the door to the lone tower.  With much effort the man heaved and hoed his way in from the rain.  The barrage against the stone tower was even louder from the inside.  The figure stomped sluggishly up the spiral stairs, the joints of his armor becoming stiffer by the second.  As he reached the top landing he called out, “Cora!  Cora!”  But the noise from the rain and the blasts of the thunder over powered his meager voice.  He took off his heavy helmet and looked around for the long lost princess.  The forces of nature outside were erupting faster and stronger now, like the storm was right on top of them, battling for the princess as fiercely as any man or beast.  The wooden shutters on one side of the room banged open and flapped angrily in and out.  In quick succession there could be heard and seen lightening, thunder, lightening, thunder, lightening, thunder.  With each crash the man looked around wildly seeing something just out of his line of sight.  With the last flash of light there came a strangled cry and the man felt a foreign compression against his neck.

By the time the thunder sounded the man lay dead on the ground, his head half severed.  Princess Cora, looking crazed and wild, stood over the man with the knife in her hand.  At once the storm vanished and the silence that followed seemed to awaken the girl from a waking dream.  Horrified she looked about her.  Breathing frantically and rocking slightly she huddled over the man’s body.  A letter sticking out of his armor caught her eye and she opened it and read, “I am your brother Prince Philip.  I am here to rescue you from the witch.  Just incase you kill me I’m writing you this letter.  I forgive you.  Love, Philip.”  Bewildered and scared, Princess Cora went to sleep.

There came a time after Prince Philip had been gone for a few years that the King and Queen of that great land gave up hope.  And well they should have, their son was dead.  A rumor spread throughout the land of a fearsome creature, hell bent on keeping a sleeping princess locked in her tower and whoever might awaken her with true love’s kiss would rule the kingdom some day.  Many men with motives pure and vile went searching for the abandoned tower and the lovely sleeping princess.  They all ended up dead.  And Princess Cora lived sacredly in her castle, by herself, alone, and solitarily ever after.  The End.

I should have been. (a class assignment)

I should have been a leader.
There could have been inner peace.
I should have been a warrior,
fighting for freedom and against greed.
Or I should have been a peacemaker
and inspired everyone to treat their fellow man and woman with respect.

I should have been a princess, born to royalty
so I could sweep my ideas across the land and turn injustice into equality.

I should have been a bear.
Summer days spent catching fish in streams and
swiping honey from the bees.
When winter rolled around I could go on a food binge,
then sleep it off hibernation-style.

I should have been a flower.
No, I take that back.  I am not a flower.  Flowers are for looking pretty and smelling nice and dying if you don’t take care of them.  Generally flowers are not for being respected.  Flowers are accessories and I do not want to be an accessory.

I should have been a wave: salty and frigid and fierce and strong.
My powerful swells and breaks would envelop
hapless beachgoers, one and all.
My favorite game would be dragging people under and creeping my tide
up the sand until I hit innocent toes and towels and chairs and coolers.  I wouldn’t be malicious; it’s all in good fun.

I should have been a better student once upon a time.
I’m a smart girl.  Ask me a question and I’ll give you a smart answer,
even if it’s not correct it will still sound good.

I should have been chocolate cake.
That way when I say “Bite me” I can mean it.
And when people say they don’t like me
other people can ridicule their life choices:
“You don’t like cake?! What is wrong with you??
You don’t eat chocolate?  Were you abused as a child?”
Not much else in life inspires that level of loyalty.

I should have been an otter because otters are stinkin’ cute.

I should have been a turtle.
Those shells could really protect me from predators or jerk-faced meanies.
Then I wouldn’t have to worry about panic attacks or crying in public             because I could disappear into my house for some me time.  Plus I bet I could             make being agoraphobic super cool.

I should have been the wind.
If I were the wind I could go where I pleased.
I could hug the clouds and flit like a flying something through trees and                                     around corners and across the cheeks of adorable children.
I would point to some rustling leaves or rolling tumbleweed and say proudly  “That’s my work.”

I should have been a book.
If I were a book would the book be about me or would I be about the book?  Would my pages be full of the story of the life I would have had if I’d chosen life as a human rather than a novel?  Or would I be about some other girl who lived some other life?  Were I given the opportunity to either live my life not knowing the future or to read the story of the rest of my life in a book and then die immediately I don’t know what I’d choose.  There are heavy pulls in my heart towards both.

I should have been born in France.
I like cheese.
And speaking French.

I should have been a disco ball.
Shiny and lovely and spinning through the air;
dropping like the beat.
It also seems like a useful skill to be able to reflect the world
in small square inch sections at a time.

I should have been red lips and sparkly skirts.
I should have been liquid and solid and ice.
I should have been what I am.

Delicate like a snowflake,
frozen and delicate and susceptible to melting.

Frustrating like a never-ending knot of strings
that exaggeratedly tangle the more you try to straighten them out.

A noodle,
floppy and comforting and silly to dine with.

A puffer fish,
cool as a cucumber until I am annoyed or scared,
and then I would stab you with my spiky flesh.

I should have been a lot of things but I’m still being me and I can go be whoever I darn well please.  I will be a bear and chocolate cake and the wind and a turtle and a wave and a princess and a warrior and a leader and an everything.  Try and stop me.

Portrait. (a class assignment)

Hair that billows-
little sister-
plump, round shape like a soft, warm being of laughter-
arms that flow down into elegant points for hand and feet-
layers of a scent fills the nose like a smile

There’s a place at the table for all of us-
sitting like a family that we are and we aren’t-
she cuts and chops and simmers and bakes-
there are wooden chopsticks like regal flatware at each seat

Arms come around me at the waist-
there’s a cushion of hair to rest my chin on-
a smooshy cheek to plant a kiss on-
tiny legs to keep in step with-
a comfort for my tears

Behind her wheel, leans forward, squints, hands clutch-
behind her character, eyes narrow, voices fly-
behind her counter, drinks brew and pour-
behind her book, ideas flow, dreams are born-
behind her back, rumors fly, truths fly, blend together

Hair still billows-
eyes still smile-
even though- hands still hold-
we faked a proposal in time square once
we skipped school to try on lingerie once
we broke confidences and hearts and friendships once
still the laughter and the cushion to rest my chin and the smooshy cheeks
even still

Things that I do not understand.

-Math
-Boys
-Friendships
-Parents
-Myself
-Budgeting
-Allergies
-Math

Pardon my angst but I am so confused right now.  It seems as if all of my feelings and emotions are a giant rubik cube of pain and disillusionment and I will never be able to twist it enough or the right way to solve the stinking puzzle.

I am sad because I have a friend who is a best friend who is a bad friend.  It’s not that I am being attacked or anything.  It is just that I am being overlooked.  I can’t decide what’s worse; a friend being cruel to you on purpose or a friend being cruel to you because they have no place for you in their mind or heart.  No calls to cancel plans, no  sorry for missing parties, no texts or calls to inform about important life events.  It is very hurtful to be forgotten about and disregarded by someone who has called you a best friend.  You feel like they owe you a little more concern than that, a little more thought.

I am sad because in this new old place I am forgettable and blow-off-able.  It does not feel nice when a large group of people have accepted invitations to lunch at your abode and they all cancel last minute style.  It does not feel nice again when those same people do not show up to another such event where you and the host are the only attendees.  It feels also more not nice when you are called from that event to rescue a party of people who were supposed to call you when they figured out their plans and they have backed themselves into an unfortunate situation from which they need a ride/rescuing.  None of these things feel nice.  In fact it makes one feel as if one is a social pariah and as if one might be an awkward and unlikeable member of the congregation.

I’m supposed to go on a family church retreat with all of these people in two weeks.  It falls on my birthday.  I don’t want to spend my birthday around people who only tolerate me.  Especially since my last three birthdays have been very sad indeed.  My mom says it’s a family curse.  We are a family that individually is overlooked.  How can we be?  We’re so loud.  But no one really seeks me out to spend time with them.  When I express my desire for friendship with people (mostly by saying, “Hey, can we be friends?  I need some friends and it feels weird and old and new here.”) I am rewarded with vague alrights and not much more.  It makes me feel like I have to beg people to be friends with me.  I do not need to beg people to be friends with me.  But unless I’m right there and unavoidable I am forgettable and overlook-able and sad.  One more sad birthday of sad loneliness.  I don’t know what to do.  I’m tired and sad and fragile and I don’t want to be brave and fearless right now.

I want to call my friend and make her care about me.  I want other people to want to spend time with me.  I want to not feel forgettable.  I want to be special to someone.  To many ones.  And if anyone is reading:  I am writing this on the internet because I am sad and need an outlet for it and this is in no way a passive aggressive attempt to garner pity or sympathy.

I have my first day of school tomorrow and it’s hard to feel like I have no support.  I have my second interview with my almost job tomorrow.  I might be invited to a birthday party for a friend that I love, however if the people who planned the party don’t get back to me with details I will not be going.  I will only be more convinced that I am easy to overlook.

It’s not like I sit on my butt waiting for people to come love me.  I invite them over.  I ask when we can hang out.  I call.  I text.  I encourage.  I provide snacks.  I am generous with money, when I have money to be generous with.  I just don’t understand.

Survival Secrets

“It’s going to get worse before it gets better; don’t panic.”

I have not been a very good blogger during for the last seven months.  For shame, Creative Writing Major Katy.  Many things have changed in my life and I am feeling overwhelmed to the max on several fronts.  Moving home to go back to school is lovely in theory but the last few days have very clearly outlined the things I will miss the mostest about living in Boston.  Namely: freedom, public transportation, and easy to access friends.

I have so much to be thankful for and as soon as I’m done being uber-depressed about moving away from all the things I love I am going to do an attitude makeover and ooze gratefulness from my every pore.  (That will be quite a lot of gratitude, as I have been told I have very large pores.  By my mother, no less.)

So this new life.  I have to figure who I am in this altered reality.  I’m still helping in the teen ministry (which I am excited about) (but also apprehensive about due to the rather disrespectful and promiscuous nature of the current grouping of youngsters).  Otherwise everything is different.  I will be attending school for the first time in five years.  I will be working at a new place.  I am glad to have a job at Teavana.  I am unglad that this particular Teavana is in the succubus that is the Holyoke Mall.  That may seem a bit overdramatic.  Maybe it is.  We shall see.

Other than that it’s just a matter of re-finding my niche in the church once again.  Most of these people have known me for the last 18 years, so they think they can ask me simpering questions about what I’m up to these days.  Then when I tell them, in as few words as possible because it feels like regression and most of the time I feel like I’m being pitied as a loser when they hear, they say something kindly rude, they offer me “that look”, or they get excited to have me back like I’m going to rock their worlds.  One woman said, “Oh, so you want to be a professional college student?”  I said no, I’m just finishing my degree.  She said, “That’s what I mean, the economy is bad so you figure you’ll ride it out in school until it turns around.”  No, I say, I never finished my undergrad and I need to do that to do anything but menial labor for the rest of my life.  She says, “Oh.  I didn’t know that.  Okay.”  I don’t know how you’re reading it but she said it with this tone, this edge.  It was extra rude.  She’s not even someone I’ve known for 18 years.  She’s met me 3 times, all in the past year.  Oye carumba.

The last thing is living with the fam again.  Hardest of them all.  I don’t even want to talk about it.  I have to be grateful.  Not because I’m compelled to be, but because it’s the right thing to do.  I need to let my gratitude overcome the pressure and lack of privacy and the feeling that I have to ask permission to do anything.  Rejoice in all things.  Rejoice in your suffering.  Rejoice in the Lord always.  Do not worry.  Rejoice.

The quote at the beginning of this is from a fortune cookie I got.  Tres fitting.

Things to be happy and excited about:
-I found a Diane Von Furstenberg dress at Salvation Army for $3.  And it’s gorgeous.
-Chelsea Thompson was baptized on Monday and I love her.
-Starring in the women’s day skit because I told them they could use me if they needed me and they needed me.
-Throwing a party with beautiful and crafty decorations for my parents on Saturday.

That’s it for now.  I just need a few more happy things to get me through the worse until the better comes.  Don’t panic.