Wednesday, December 07, 2005


i cleaned all the bugs out of our kitchen light fixture today. now it is shiny and light shines freely through the glass. i wish everything defiled, disarrayed,

could be so easily made functional and new again. unblemished, unsullied, uncontaminated, unpolluted, unimpaired. unbroken.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Tonight, for the first time in years, I went to a grocery store and spent several hours planning upcoming meals and comparison shopping to get the best deals. I tracked everything I picked up and put it in my cart so that I had a reasonable expectation of what the final tally would be when I hit the register.

I've gotten so into the habit over the years of spending without thinking. Once upon a time I was good at being aware of my finances and of being . . . not necessarily miserly, but economical and thrifty. These days, my money slips away like wet sand scooped up from under an ocean tide slips through the cracks in my fingers. The more I make, the easier it is to spend it all without thinking. But when I make less, I still keep spending at the same rate.

Did I mention that I'm between jobs again?

On the bright side, I have plenty of time to tackle tasks I've been sitting on for years (going through my belongings, trimming down on possessions, mending, selling old text books).

On the other bright side, I have this opportunity, right here and now, to practice budgeting. And I have time to do things like cooking for myself, which make budgeting a little easier. I love to eat out. I love to eat exotic foods. Unfortunately, this is an expensive habit, which accounts for an overly large percentage of the money that I regularly spend.

The dim side of this other bright is that I do not have a lot of leeway, and it's not so much an opportunity as a necessity. All the sides form a triangular creature with a very shadowy bottom.

If I recreate good spending and eating and cooking habits now, maybe I can continue them as I find a new job and start making more money again. This will in turn lead to savings (once debts have been paid off). Savings! Something I had, once upon a time, but have not had for some time. Savings would be so nice.
I'm back from Montreal, from Cyprus, from Portland, from San Francisco, from Argentina, from New York. Home again.

It is damn cold here. Especially in my apartment.

One roommate bailed while I was away. He is gone off to someplace better. Someplace worse? Who knows. Someplace else.

The other simply . . . neglected to turn our rent payments in.

In the meanwhile, all the heaters in our apartment have stopped working. But we don't really have grounds to complain, seeing as we haven't paid rent.

I'm cold. Still a little sick. And did I mention cold? It is so, so cold and wet in Seattle right now, and so very cold in our basement apartment. I mean, maybe Antarctica is colder than this, but I can't imagine it is by much.

Out of desperation, I have resorted to desperate but ingenuous means of heating my immediate space.

On the desk next to me sits my toaster. I push the button. It heats up for a bit. The timer goes off, UP! it pops, and I press the button again.

On the floor behind me sits the tea kettle, still full of scalding hot water. It set off my smoke detector a few minutes ago; Apparently smoke detectors do not like steam.

Smoke detectors without batteries, however, raise no alarms.

My smoke detector now is calm and quiet. Let us hope my apartment does not catch on fire tonight.

On the desk, also, is a cup of tea. I will imbibe it in an attempt to warm myself from the inside out.

Thinking warm thoughts. Coldbegone! Warm, warm, warm.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Kathryn and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
(I think I'll move to Australia.)

NEVER, ever, ever buy tickets that include multiple stops on "Partner Airlines". I won't, anyhow. And I'll avoid American Airlines in the future, if I can at all help it.

  1. I buy a ticket to Montreal from Alaska Airlines. Multiple stops. Partner Airlines.

    --> Seattle to San Francisco: leave 7:00 PM, arrive 9:00PM, on Alaska Airlines.
    --> Transfer in SFO to a 9:30 PM Delta flight to JFK.
    --> Transfer at JFK to an 8:36 AM flight on American Eagle to Montreal.

    Strange and convoluted? Yes. But it's cheap, so I buy it.

  2. Arrive at the Airport with almost 2 hours to spare. Spend 20 minutes in (one of many) lines of approximately 5 people waiting to check in at one of Alaska's e-ticket machines.

  3. Get to the machine, run my name and information, only to find that it only lists and seems to understand the initial flight to SFO.

  4. The machine times out while I am trying to catch the attention of an attendant.

  5. Each subsequent attempt with the machine results in an error stating: Our computer system is experience difficulties. Please speak with an attendant.

  6. Spend another 15 minutes trying to flag one of the attendants down.

  7. Find out from the attendant that the machine believed it had actually checked me in to both of the first two flights, even though it had never listed the second or the third leg, and had printed no passes. She prints me a pass for the first leg, but is unable to print me anything for the second, and can't even check me in for the third. "You'll have to do it with those airlines in those cities, because they are partner flights."

  8. I get through security unexpectedly fast, hardly even 10 minutes. Surprising since checking in alone took nearly an hour.

  9. I get to my gate and wait patiently for the flight. After some time has passed, they board us all.

  10. Everyone seated, we sit at the gate. And wait. And wait. They announce over the loudspeaker that the mechanics heard a noise at the baggage door and need to check it out. Fortunately there is a tail wind, the pilot says, so we'll be able to make up time in the air.

  11. Another announcement over the speakers: the mechanics can't get at the problem, so we have to de-board the plane. It is now 7:30. We don't know when we'll be allowed to re-board. There is no way I'm making the connecting flight in SFO.

  12. I join half the flight in line, waiting to talk to one of the agents.

  13. After waiting 10 minutes, the line has gone nowhere. There are still at least 20 people ahead of me. I abort, and walk over to talk to an agent at a different gate. She advises me that I can either, "Wait in that line over there (the one I just left) or go to the customer service counter." Hmm. I can wait in line to find out when I can next get to San Francisco; not my final destination, and certainly not in time for my connecting flight. . .or. . .not. I opt for not.

  14. The customer service line is rather short. I am talking to an agent within 5 minutes. Unfortunately, as I am flying partner flights, he is not able to help me on his own. He does not have that sort of power. He calls a line for the partner help desk, and sits on hold waiting to speak to someone there.

  15. 15 minutes later, he reaches someone. She and he talk back and forth, she asking questions, he passing them on to me, then passing my answers back to her. . . eventually he just hands the phone to me so that I can talk to her directly.

  16. She's looking for flights, and asks to put me on hold for just a minute while she checks something out.

  17. 15 minutes later, I am still standing at the customer service counter, phone at my ear, on hold.

  18. 30 minutes later, I am still on hold.

  19. 45 minutes later, I am still on hold. This is getting old.

  20. Finally the lady comes back. She asks, "Can you just fly out tomorrow?" I Inform her that I am flying out for an event that happens tomorrow. She asks me to give her back to the agent at the desk.

  21. He nods, listens, nods again, listens, nods again. Hangs up.

  22. Apparently there is a different Delta flight that flies directly from Seattle to JFK, in time for me to make my connecting flight to Montreal. He has been given clearance to switch my ticket over, so he calls the Delta agents to make the change.

  23. The Delta agents don't answer.

  24. He tries to make the change himself. He purchases the new ticket, but isn't able to complete the transaction because he can't off my seat on the original flight out of San Francisco. He tries and tries. Time goes by. He's tired and cranky, as everyone at the counter is getting off their shift and leaving, and he would like to as well.

  25. He tries Delta again and finally gets through. Explains the problem to the girl on the other end, only to have her tell him, "Oh, my shift is over. I'm off. Let me transfer you."

  26. He explains again, to the next agent. I'm not the only one getting the runaround.

  27. Finally, he gets them to off the ticket and gets everything through. I'm now flying directly from Seattle to JFK, arriving at 7:30, in time to make my 8:36 flight out to Montreal. Because the new flight is a partner flight, he can't actually check me in - he gives me a paper ticket, and tells me that I have to go back out through security and check in at the main Delta departures desk.

  28. Thank goodness I didn't check any baggage - otherwise this would be a bigger mess than ever.

  29. The Delta desk is way the hell down there. I make the long trek, still in a reasonably good mood. After all, I will still make my final destination at the originally scheduled time. So what that I just spent over two hours in line. Everything will work out.

  30. "Good news!," the Delta agent tells me. "If you are willing to help out in case of emergency, I can give you a seat in an emergency row with the row all to yourself."

    "I could deal with that!" I say, feeling quite glad at the change of tide.

    . . .

    "Oops. I must have been looking at the wrong plane," the agent mumbles. "There are only middle seats available.

  31. The Delta guy can see my next flight, the leg to Montreal, but guess what? He still cannot check me in for it, "as it is a partner flight." Surprise surprise.
  32. On my way back through security, it turns out that I have been "randomly selected" to be hand searched. They paw through my bags, wand me, pat me down. They are confounded at the concept of body jewelry. What, this is Seattle. Has nobody ever come through security with piercings before?

  33. Security cleared, I make my way to the new gate and wait 2 hours for the flight.

  34. Boarding! On my way!

  35. The moment I sit down, the guy next to me starts talking and talking. Are you married, he asks. Where do you live? What do you do? He tells me all about himself. 26 years old. From Africa. A preacher. Lives in North Carolina. Was in Alaska. Is going to Louisiana to visit a cousin. Maybe he could stop and see me next time he comes to Seattle? I tell him I won't be here, because I am moving to Europe and getting married. The conversation abruptly dies, as I no longer seem a viable target to him.

  36. New York! Here I am! Ready for the next leg of my flight.

  37. If you have the poor luck to have a transfer between different airlines at JFK, you may have to go to a different terminal. And there is no way to travel between terminals without leaving the secure area and having to go through security again at the next terminal. And yes, Delta and American Eagle exist in different terminals. I leave the Delta gate, at terminal 3, and start booking it over to American Eagle in Terminals 8 and 9.

  38. Having arrived at Terminals 8 and 9, I try to check in at one of the automated machines.

  39. The automated machines don't seem to recognize Montreal as a valid destination city. They also do not recognize my flight number.

  40. I hear a boarding call for my flight over the loud speaker. I am still not checked in. No boarding pass, so I can't go through Security.

  41. "Excuse me," I tell a lady at the desk, "they're boarding my flight and I need a boarding pass." She tells me there's no way I'm going through.
    What?? The flight doesn't leave for 25 minutes. I don't even have bags to check. In a normal airport, where you don't have to exit security and travel way the hell somewhere else, I would have been fine.

    "You won't even let me try to make it?"

    She does not look inclined. "Are you checking anything?," she asks.

    "No," I say.

    "Well, that's something," she says, but then still will not give me a pass. She directs me to wait in line and get a spot on the next flight.

    Her peer next spot down wants to give me a pass, but she overrules him.

  42. Turns out the line that the Nazi agent directed me to is actually only for people traveling to Miami. I find this only after having waited for 15 minutes.

  43. I finally find the line I am supposed to be in. It is not marked any differently than the other line. There's nothing to distinguish it. Except that it is in a different part of the room, and it is longer. I wait, and wait, and wait.

  44. The agent I finally get in this line is even more short and curt than the last. She yells at me for the other airlines having had the audacity to think that 85 minutes layover time would be enough to make a connection. I mean, geez! Idiots! It only works like that in a normal airport. (Note: I must remember to never, ever, ever make connections at JFK again.)

  45. The ticket she hands me has no seat assignment. She says I can give my seat preferences at the gate and get my seat assigned there. I am glad to be done with her, so I leave.

  46. Lucky, lucky me - I have again been "randomly selected" for extra security screening.

    Really, though, what is up with their algorithms? This will be my third time in 10 hours going through security. I have never left any of the airports. I still have the same baggage.

    Wouldn't they be better served if their random algorithms more often chose people going through security for the first time, rather than selecting people on a middle leg of their flight? Who's to say that, if I had something I shouldn't have had, I wouldn't have left it IN the secure zone BEFORE coming out, so that it would still be there when I went back in?

  47. The girl with the wand has even more trouble with my piercings. She cannot understand the genital piercing, and is not sure what to do with it. I think she wants to pat me down, but isn't sure if it is appropriate. Instead, she keeps wanding my crotch. Finally asks a peer, who sort of pats down the front of my crotch with the back of her hand, and then they let me be. I ask if I can put my shoes back on, and sit down to wait for my bags.

  48. I wait and wait. Nobody is talking to me. They still have my stuff and my ticket.

  49. One of the other women directs me to take my bags and move down to sit next to her. She opens up a binder and starts writing. Asks for my passport. Writes some more. "You don't have a seat?," she asks, looking at my ticket suspiciously. I shake my head in affirmation, and she continues writing.

    "Do you, uh, fill out this form for everyone you hand-screen?," I ask.

    No, they do not. Apparently my laptop failed the screening, so they have to document me. How did it fail? I have no idea. It turns on when you open it. It is a laptop. It does not do drugs. It passed all the other screenings, including the manual screening at SeaTac. But now I am on record as having a laptop at JFK that failed.

  50. Finally, security allows me to leave, and I start the trek to the gate. I call Jon to let him know what's up and to vent about my experiences so far, and mid-conversation my phone dies. Figures.

  51. There is nobody at the gate. But the flight doesn't leave for another 3 hours, so that is to be expected. I try to get a seat assignment from somebody at a nearby gate, but she says she is not an agent so I should try someone else. I find an agent two gates further down, but, in a grumpy manner, she tells me she will not help me and the people for my flight will be at my gate an hour before the flight. This is the third American agent today who is all curt and rude, as if she's got a stick up her butt. 3 out of 3. What is their problem, all of them? Does American Airlines treat their employees as poorly as they treat their customers?

  52. I camp out at my gate and wait. And wait. And wait.

  53. I open up my computer and write this post to vent steam. But wait! There is no wireless internet! No wireless internet! This is JFK. New York City. An urban hub. What airport in the 21st century does not have wireless in its terminals? Well, apparently JFK. WTF.

  54. They are telling people on the flight ahead of me that they will only be able to fly 25 people due to a "weight restriction". There are 37 people with tickets, so 12 of the people without assigned seats will not get to go. On a 50-seater plane. Stupid American Airlines. With my luck, that will happen on my flight as well. And guess who still doesn't have an assigned seat; that's right - me.

  55. Watching them deal with all the disgruntled people from the previous flight who are not allowed to fly, I feel a little unsettled. I go up to the gate to try again for my seat assignment, so that the same thing will not happen to me.

    But -


    Why there is no seat assignment? The agent who gave me the ticket told me she had put me on the flight, but she actually put me on stand-by. Great. Thanks. And thanks for telling me.

  56. I wait and wait. Several other people on the same flight were surprised to find that they are actually on stand-by, as well. We all wait together.

  57. I try to find someone to talk to. My flight leaves in 30 minutes (well, hopefully my flight, since I still do not have a seat), but there is nobody at the counter. Apparently they forgot to staff the counter for this flight.

  58. The pilot and flight attendant hanging out at the counter are frustrated and annoyed also at the lack of attendants working to board our flight. The flight attendant goes to complain to the attendants working at a nearby gate.

  59. One of the attendants at that gate decides to come and work ours, since whomever was assigned to work ours (was anyone assigned?) is apparently not coming.

  60. I talk to the stressed out attendant trying to pull everything together at a counter that is not hers, and finally eek out from her that, yes, I am on standby, and I must wait until the flight is boarded to find out whether or not I can go.

  61. They board the flight. Everyone - pilot, flight attendant, gate attendant, other standbys - is stressed out and unhappy. The other standbys and I continue to wait.

  62. The flight is boarded. Still waiting.

  63. Still waiting.

  64. Success! They allow me on. They allow two other of the standbys on. The third is out of luck. Poor girl. I feel for her, but I am glad to be done with this farce.

  65. After a bumpy flight on a tiny, old, beat up plane, I arrive in Montreal at last. Finally! An end to my travels. The first leg at first, and future legs are on different airlines.
So, here I am, online at last and publishing this post. And vowing to myself once again to never, ever fly American Airlines again, if I can help it, and to avoid itineraries involving partner flights, and to never connect through JFK.

Or maybe I'll just move to Australia.
My mommy made the papers again.
Cash-balance plans change rules of game, Minneapolis Star Tribune, September 26, 2005.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I retook the Dante's Inferno Test to see if anything has changed from my old results. Here's what it finds for me these days:

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Seventh Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Moderate
Level 7 (Violent)Very High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

Still violent! But down from Extreme to Very High. Lustful and heretics both jumped a bit, but gluttonous; wrathful and gloomy; and fraudulent, malicious, panderers all dropped just as much. And I'm hardly treacherous at all anymore! Overall, all trends taken into consideration, it appears I am a bit less of a sinner these days. How's that apple pie?
My total score on the Basic Physics Savvy Quiz was 62.5%. What is yours?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Now there're all these cameras
focused on my face
You would think that they could see it through my skin
Looking for evil
Thinking they could trace it
but evil don't look like anything
evil don't look like anything
Still to come, once I sit down and get writing:
  • China - the ins, the outs, and the inbetweens.
  • The great sickness and the long hospital stay.
  • Battle waged with Muliono's computer virus, and my stunning tactical victory.
Yeah. All that and more, still to come. Really. Wait and see. Brian is a riot. I miss his blog.
Time for a Car-B-Que

$900 to fix my car. Both the power steering well and the pump need to be replaced, and that apparently takes a long time and lots of effort.

According to the blue book, the trade-in-valude of my 1999 Ford Taurus, in its current state (broken) is. . .$0.

The trade in value, assuming it is in decent drivable condition, is between $2300-$2900.

So, for a mere $900 out of pocket, I am increasing its worth by at least another $1400. Looked at in this way, I'm getting a great deal. . .right?


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I hate going out to eat with foreign folk who grab the check, as they often seem to tip poorly. I mean, not necessarily foreign, but people in general who tip for #$%#. Which is often foreign people. But not always. I worked in food service once, yo. I know how sucky it is to get shafted on tips, so I try to always tip well, unless service was particularly poor.

But when I'm out with someone else, and they grab the check, and they're doing the tipping, but they're hardly even tipping 10%...

I dunno. I could confront them. Which I do sometimes. I could covertly leave some extra tip on the table, which I have also done. It's not the end of the world or anything. I just hate being in that position in the first place.
A Sad Day in the World of Kathy

My car is dying.

Last week, it started making noises. Whenever I turned the wheel it wailed like a dying manatee. Whooooooooeuuuuuuuuuuuu. Whoooooooooeuuuuuuuuuuu. I brought it in to a mechanic who checked the power steering fluid, looked at it briefly, and said, "Ford power steering pumps have a tendancy to get noisy when they get older. That's all it is. Nothing to worry about," and sent me home.

A few days later, the power steering stopped working entirely. I mean, you can sort of steer the car. When it is moving. If you use all your strength, and are content with the worst turning radius ever.

If you want to get into or out of parallel parking... well, it's an adventure.

There was no place to bring the car the last several days, being a holdiday weekend and all, but I dropped the car off at the shop this morning. (A different shop, a different mechanic. This one highly rated by the folks at car talk.)

I don't have an estimate yet, but the mechanic thinks it will be expensive.

The blue book says the trade in value for my car is somewhere between $2300 and $2900. Retail value is around $6000, but I assume it would be much more difficult to sell it for retail value?

So here are the big questions weighing on my mind: at what point, in the case of expensive repairs, is it no longer worth it to shell out for the repairs? How expensive is too expensive? What do you all do when your cars get old and start dying?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Does anyone else find it even slightly amusing that blogger's spell checker does not recognize the word "blog"?
I have determined that tampons somehow aggravate my cramping. A quick web search determined that I am not the first woman to notice this relationship, either. What about it? Maybe the extra pressure against my cervix. Maybe the bleach or other chemicals used in the tampon production. Who knows. Whatever the case, the cramping seems much worse when a tampon is in, and markedly better when out (although it never goes away completely).

So. Messy, or extraordinarily painful - these appear to be my choices. I've never been that neat a person anyhow.

You know what bothers me most about pads, though?

Maybe you didn't want to know what bothers me most about pads. Or about tampons aggravating my cramping. But you're here, and you're reading my blog, and if you're going to continue to read, I'm going to continue to write. That's the way it used to be, and, uh, the way it will be again. At least for the next two minutes.

What bothers me most is the smell.

Maybe I am extra sensitive to it, because it is my smell. When I mention it to close friends, they say they can't smell it. Here is what one FAQ I found had to say about the issue:
Does menstrual fluid really smell bad?

It definitely has an odor. Menstrual fluid starts to smell when it is in contact with air. So a pad you have been wearing all day at school can get pretty strong smelling. Also, you might find that the fluid that comes at the end of your period has a stronger smell than the more liquid flow at the beginning.

You may be able to smell your menstrual fluid, but don't worry, other people will not. Think about it, have you ever smelled a woman's menstrual blood when standing near her? Probably not, even though there are menstruating women everywhere you go.

Wash with mild soap and water every day of your period if you are worried about it.
Regardless, when I am wearing pads, I start to smell. . .old blood. Slightly metallic. Warm. Earthy, maybe. But very, very distinct. And I get to feeling that everyone around me can smell it. And if they aren't aware they can smell it, their bodies can still and they then can sense it, and then we all relate to each other slightly differently.

So it's not so much a choice of messy or painful, then, but a choice of painful or smelling of. . .this smell, that I cannot adequately describe.

But what choice is there, really? I'm fed up with all the bloody cramping - lying around, curled up in the fetal position, half-coherent, feeling as if my insides were slowly being ripped out by some unseen hand.

Anyone want some free tampons?
Louie's been running away lately. Sneaks out if anyone leaves the door open even a crack, and then we don't see him for hours. One time, a whole day. I stopped home for something in the afternoon, and noticed that:
a) he wasn't there
b) his leash WAS there (meaning none of the dog sitters had taken him)
c) his breakfast was uneaten (meaning he'd probably been gone a while)

I called Chris, but couldn't get ahold of him right away. So I just went back to school and sat around and worried. Came back after school, still no Louie. Finally heard back from Chris, who said that Louie had been around in the morning, but he wasn't sure he had seen him the last time he had been home, roundabouts of 2:00 PM. So I just hung out in my living room with the door open, waiting, for hours, hoping Louie would show up. He didn't.

Finally, I went to bed, with the intention of calling up the humane society and animal control and such in the morning.

When I woke up, however, I found Louie tied up out back.

It is my theory that Rupert, one of the homeless guys in the neighborhood, found him and brought him home in the middle of the night. Nobody else really knows where he belongs to bring him back and tie him up.

Louie has taken off once more since then, and was gone for several hours again. Happily, he is at least tagged and microchipped. We are taking pains to watch the much door more closely these days, though.
Cramps make me sad. I wish I were sleeping. Why am I not sleeping? #@^@#$% Cramps. Is this worth being up at 4:00 in the morning? Not really.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Tony's having a baby! Hooray for Tony!

You know, it seems like almost everyone I know is getting married and/or having children.

At least, everyone I knew in high school.

And in college.

And at my last several jobs.

Basically, anyone I hang out with for a while, and then we lose touch - they then run off and pair up and propagate like crazy. So beware if you're hanging out with me now. Don't stop unless you're really ready. Are you ready for children?
Beginning Tango, taught by Kathryn & Claytie
No Partner Required!

Tuesdays, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
June 28nd - July 19th
Walt room of Freehold Theater, 1525 10th Avenue

4 weeks of classes for $25.
Drop in for $8.

My practica at the Century Ballroom (which is just down the hall)
starts at 9:30, and is just $3 admission. It's a great place to
practice what you've just learned in class!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Brian's Blog is gone! I know he hasn't posted for, like, 2 years, but still, it was sort of comforting clicking on the link every few months and looking at that last picture of snow. I feel so unsettled now.
I feel I should clear something up - I am actually a much happier person than my last few blog-posts might lead you to believe. Problem is that I have been jet lagged and overly tired, and when I am tired I am more prone to mood swings and to taking things less well than I might otherwise, and when I am in such a mood I feel like writing and venting and getting everything off my chest. Most of the time I am not in such a mood, with such a need for venting. But most of the time, when I am not in such a mood, I am also not writing, at least not currently. So if you read what I write but don't see or speak to me a whole lot, you get a very skewed picture of what is going on with my life.

Happy me! Really. I am.

Stefan and Komala and Burak and Kira are all here now. We had a lovely, lovely dinner, and then went dancing, and it was so nice! And now I'm trying to stay up a bit later so I can drive Jeremy to the airport to fly out to Europe. Alan's not on, so it's more boring than usual. But I will make it! Perhaps I will read an old fashioned, phyisical, binded book. Wouldn't that be strange.

Anyhow, don't be worring about me. Things are good.

And hey, thanks to all of you that have been checking in on me lately. I forget sometimes that people actually read this. It's nice though, to know that you do, and that you care. I love you, man.

Friday, June 10, 2005

From How to Overcome the Fear of Rejection: The Successful Rejection Experience by Jonathan Robinson, MA, MFT:
. . .Fortunately, each rejection got easier. In fact, I soon noticed that the women I spoke to seemed more nervous than I. My rejections were proceeding rapidly and smoothly until the seventh woman I approached. When I asked her for a date, she said, "Sure." I hadn't thought of the possibility of someone saying "Yes," so I said, "Sure what?" She finally convinced me she really wanted to go out with me. I wrote down her number, and in a state of happy amazement, soon asked another woman for a date. To my surprise, she also said "Yes." By this time, I was feeling totally at ease while I asked women out, and they frequently responded by giving me their phone number. In fact, after a while I had so many dates that I had to begin acting like a jerk in order to fill my quota of ten rejections (and get my $50 bucks back). . .
Cute, eh?
I am happy now. Had some water, washed my face, had some tea, curled up on the couch and IM'd with friends. Feeeliiin' good, chips are in a pile on the floor.
  • I'm lonely in tango. I wish I had a lead or two, here in Seattle, that I could practice with.
  • Also, I hate politics.
  • Also, I hate when people are fake-nice and ask you to do things under conditions that you can't meet so that you'll have to decline but they can still feel good about having asked. Thanks a @#$@#% lot.
  • It feels hypocritiical to be teaching with someone I never practice with, and rarely even social dance with. I'm tired of it. But at the same time, I love teaching, and I want to do it, and the person I mainly get to teach with isn't interested in these things right now.
  • I hate when people send me emails like, "I don't want to live with you or be your boyfriend. I just like fucking you." Even if it's sardonic and not meant seriously.
So many chips on my shoulder, and they're heavier at night. I need to catch up on my sleep.

(The grand plan failed. I forgot that I was hosting people for tango stuff this weekend, and some were getting here today, and so I was somewhat obliged to take them out to the dance tonight and stay up late. And I did. And now I'm super, super, super tired. And cranky. And things that might not normally bug me are bugging me a bunch.)

Anyways, I know that they're chips, and that I'd be happier if I could let them go. And why am I holding on to them? Do they make me happy? Do I like the feeling of holding on to them? $@#% no - but so far I'm not able to let them go.

Hello chips. I acknowledge you. You can go now. Go. Goodbye.


Did that work?

I think they're gone, maybe a little tiny bit. Still there, but lighter.

Go chips, go. Go now. Goodbye, chips.

Anyhow, tomorrow will be a better day. Ultimate tomorrow night! And Stefan and Komala get here. And I don't have work the following day, so I can take naps and stuff. Good times to be had.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Phase II of the grand plan has been moving along smoothly enough. I got up (fairly) early. I'm not super tired.

Now to see if I can fill my day such that I collapse and fall into a deep sleep straight away when I get home from work this afternoon / this evening...
I made the best omlette of my life tonight. Fresh mushrooms, organic green pepper, sharp white cheddar, cooked in my precious cast iron skillet. And I've got a perfect pink lady apple cut up with more of the cheese, and amazingly good organic cottage cheese on the side. And hot sake. It's a veritable feast.

The whole night has really diverged from my normal routine. First I ended up late at work, and missed school. By the time I left it was a choice between making a measly hour of class, and skipping it entirely. I skipped. Headed over to the Century to drop off some flyers for Stefan and Komala's workhops this coming week, but instead of staying to dance, I left. Caught Tina on the phone, and she agreed to bring Buffy over to my house instead of watching it by herself. I picked up food (mushrooms, green pepper, apple, cheese, sake) at the market and met her at my place.

My place has been a mess lately. The kitchen, in particular, has been terrible. Tina was good enough to hang out patiently while I cleaned it, top to bottom. It's so much nicer to cook in a clean kitchen, you know? Then she put on Buffy and I made my feast. Finished it, came over, sat with her a bit, and watched the rest of the episode. Then she had to leave.

Now I am watching Spiderman II, alone, and eating the rest of my dinner. Well, mostly alone. Louie is here too.

This may be the first time in years that I have watched a movie alone. Sometimes you gotta do stuff like that, though, you know?

Actually, I have grand plans to catch up with my jet lag this way. Stay up late. Drag myself out of bed early tomorrow. Muster through the day as best I can, and then tomorrow night - no school, no commitments, nothing I have to attend - so I'll hit the sack really early, and hopefully wake up bright and early Friday morning, feeling refreshed and fine. Just fine.

That's the plan, yo. Gotta go. Spiderman and I have a date to keep.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I've been writing about China, but haven't finished yet. Will post more on the trip later. Let me just say now, though, that the trip was awesome, perhaps one of the high points of my life so far.

China aside, tonight is not a good night. I'm feeling pretty frustrated with nearly everyone I know. My stuff moved around while I am gone, the couch taken apart several days ago and still not put back together (the cover was left in the wash yesterday - i put it in the dryer then, where it still remains, so i am just taking care of it myself now), something stolen from Jaimes's room and Miles doesn't seem to care, rent not paid yet despite my having left my roommates a check before I left for China, and still not paid despite having called Chris to ask again today when I noticed my check sitting on the windowsill (he said he would take care of it when he got home)...

And I'm lonely, and feeling pretty distant from most people I would generally consider friends, and I'm jet lagged, and up in the middle of the night which means tomorrow will be brutal, and I am tired of being busy. And school is a mess - didn't manage to tie everything up at the end of last term, which means I have to take care of it all this week or risk being put on probation. And work may well get messy soon - it looks like I'll be picking up more work in areas that are not my strengths. And I'm sick of people always flaking out, saying they'll do things and not, saying they'll be somewhere and not showing up, putting other things or other people or the latest greatest girl that they're pursuing far ahead of me on their list of priorities.

Yeah. It's a pity party.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I'm in the Vancouver airport. There are birds everywhere. I think they are sparrows. Sitting in the trees, in the eaves. "We're not supposed to feed them," says the Starbucks girl, "or they'll reproduce everywhere."

This airport is so, so confusing. First you go through customs. Then all of a sudden you're thrust out into the bowels of the aiport, and you have to search to find gates or claims or security again. A long, arduous search. But I made it, and now here I am, with the birds and the Starbucks girl.

My computer is being worrysome. When I first booted her up, she claimed she could not connect to the wireless because she had no Airport hardware installed. Not so! I turned her off, flipped her over, lovingly pulled her hardware out, and then slipped it ever so gently back in, and that seemed to do the trick - for now. We're going to stop and check in with Dr. Apple-Store when I get back to Seattle.

Not many other people hanging out here at 8:00 am on a Thursday morning. Seattle was packed - Memorial Day rush, maybe? - but not so here. 'least not in the International departure gates.

4 hours and I get to board for Beijing...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Why must I act the wolf?
There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street,
and being the noise.

Drink all your passion,
and be a disgrace.

Close both eyes
to see with the other eye.

Open your hands,
if you want to be held.

Sit down in this circle.

Quit acting like a wolf, and feel
the shepherd's love filling you.

At night, your beloved wanders.
Don't accept consolations.

Close your mouth against food.
Taste the lover's mouth in yours.

You moan, "She left me." "He left me."
Twenty more will come.

Be empty of worrying.
Think of who created thougt!

Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.

Flow down and down in always
widening rings of being.

- Rumi
A long time ago, I wrote some newsgroup posts about sexual issues - I was molested both by peers and by a teacher in my teenage years - and in part, as result of this, I had serious intimacy issues for years following. These issues, at that time, were manifested through acting out sexually. I wrote the posts as a heartfelt cry for help when I hit bottom, and was tired of hurting myself and other people I loved. I didn't like my patterns of behavior, but felt powerless to do anything and didn't know where to go.

I got an email the other day from some guy who found the posts while looking for material to masturbate to, and thought they were "hot". He was hoping maybe I still had the same problems and would hook up with him.

I don't know how to describe my feelings, reading his mail. Shocked. Felt a bit dirty. Felt a bit thrown out of time. Surreal. It doesn't help that, on the same day, I had met up with an ex-boyfriend for the first time in years, and he dates back to the time of the posting.

On top of that, I was amazed and a little shocked that this guy found me at all. I wrote the posts year ago with an address that is long since defunct. How then was he able to mail me at a current address? Well, it turns out that the post I made at the start of my blogging career listing personal details and such so old friends could find me also allows news group surfers who come across posts from back in the day to find me, as well. The joy of the internet - nothing ever really goes away.

In brighter news, Sam is going to move in with us! So awesome. I love Sam. Good times to come.
Of Kitchens and Potatos

I love, love, love my new kitchen. Sure, the stove is old and the refridgerator is not in his prime, but the room is huge, there are three amazing windows, a large sink, and counter space like you wouldn't believe. I could live in here. I used to covet Jaimes's kitchen - I'd dream about it at night - but now I'm happy with the one I have. I need no man's kitchen to be happy

Walked to the market tonight with Louie and Chris, picked up meat and potatos and fresh fruit. Buffalo! Some of the best looking cuts at the counter tonight, and on sale, at that. And potatos and garlic. Tonight we are feasting like kings. The potatos are rosting in the stove, and I'm about to toss the buffalo into the cast iron skillet. And then there's the asparagus I already had! I wish I had time to cook like this every night. Someday, when I am done with school and my time is more my own, life will be so, so beautiful. And yummy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

As I was driving today, some guy zipped ahead of me, cut me off, and then, for good measure, HE flicked ME off.

Then, the Seattle branch of the US Passport Agency called, and the Agent I spoke with tried to guilt me for not wanting him to throw my Passport back in the mail, when he only has it because the US Postal Service returned it the first time around. I haven't definitively sorted out with the Postal Service yet why it is that sometimes they return my mail. I don't want the Passport Agency to mail my Passport again, only to have the US Postal Service return it again. This would do me no good. So the agent is allowing me to pick it up tomorrow, but grudgingly. And he tried so hard to make me feel bad about it. What? Does this significantly impact his day?

Work has been crazy today. But fun. I'm liking it at the moment.

The barista (is it barista if it's a male? or baristor? baristino? barist?) at my coffee shop flirted with me. It was nice to be noticed in a postive way.

Then I found out that iffy plans with Tina I'd been hoping would come together are not going to work out. It's silly, they were so iffy anyway, but my mood just plummeted.

Up down up down up down.

Soon to take a test. I'm still not really ready. Boney landmarks suck.
Kat: but he is kind of crazy.
Adam: ha
Adam: You love crazy.
Kat: I do.
Kat: I love people who are broken.
Adam: You love his kind of crazy.
Adam: Shit
Adam: woman - never tell that to a man.
Adam: You are a strange cat Kat.
Adam: I can read you so well in some ways. Like when you withdraw it is so obvious. But then there are these deep well parts I'm not so good at. Didn't you once tell me you wanted to be pursued?
Kat: I do.
Kat: Sort of.
Kat: Except I don't really have time for it.
Kat: You know?
Kat: I dunno.
Adam: I'm laughing.
Kat: I think maybe I want to be pursued, but don't necessarily want to be with whomever is pursuing me?
Kat: but want to be pursued by them nonetheless
Adam: Ha
Kat: like a cat
Kat: which wants to be let out
Kat: only it doesn't want to be out
Kat: and when it is out, it wants to be let in
Adam: Exactly like a cat.
Kat: except it doesn't really want to be in, either
Kat: it's the letting that it wants

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Someone ran into me today. The moment I have a bit of free time, someone runs into me and I spent hours on the phone talking to the insurance company and sorting everything out. I kind of liked it, though. Change of pace. I felt badly for the woman, however; she was a bit shaken up. But neither of us was hurt, and the damage to both cars seems not that bad.

Then I made dinner for the first time in my new kitchen. I have a ghetto stove. It smokes like a mother. The button for the light is broken, so you must screw the lightbulb in and screw it out to turn the light on and off. The timer is so confusing that I gave up and timed it on my own. But I made good chicken. With fresh grated garlic roasted on top. Yum.

The Postal Service hates me. Sometimes they deliver my mail. Other times, they return it to sender as "Undeliverable" with "No Forwarding Address". All the mail addressed the same way. Theoretically, all delivered by the same postman. Except when it's not delivered. Like yesterday. When they returned my passport to the passport authority. Stupid post office.

Two weeks until China...

Monday, April 25, 2005

Boundless Optimism

For years, I have carried around with me a single argyle sock. I have faithfully packed and unpaked it through many moves.

Why the single sock?

I liked the pair. I've always hoped that the second would someday show again, and then I could wear them together once more. And so I keep the one. Year after year after year.

The pessimistic side of me says it was time to give up hope long ago. But still I keep the sock.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Last night I performed tango, for the first time, at the Buenos Aires Grill with Evan Wallace. And I was paid. It was not bad at all.

Friday, April 15, 2005

New York

The wing flirts with oncoming night,
dancing with dark and shadows.
A blanket of shimmering light
spreads as far as I can see.
I think of gathering it up
and presenting it to Grandma's
Singer sewing machine.

Back home in the light of one small lamp
her machine hums softly for her,
she and it working as one,
each no more than an extension of the other.
This woman-machine
defies logic, creating exquisite clothes
one would not think such a
mismatched pair
of wrinkled lady and rusty noisy machine
left over from another age
could fashion.

If the blanked outside my window
was set upon Grandma's table
left to the care of she and the Singer,
it would perhaps be molded
into a risque evening gown.
The seductive shimmering robe
would follow closely the curves
of any body it draped across,
winking softly as it played wanton
games with light and shadow.

The illusory dress jolts from thought
as I am jostled
in my straight-backed
worn to the floatble cushion seat.

I look at my table with the
crumpled pretzel wrapper clinging
to the bottom of my dewy
plastic cup, condensation pouring
down the sides, born from
cool of iced Ginger Ale.
Accompanied by the rustle
of garbage bag filled with
napkins and pretzel wrappers,
the stewardess steps up the aisle
and squirrels my garbage
into the bag with all the rest.

Back outside the window
my potential gown has dissipated
into a mass of broken lights, no longer
meshed into the breathtaking
glitter blanked that Grandma
and her Singer would have coveted.
- Kathryn Krueger, 1997
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I shame the tiger

I shame the tiger
The brilliant streaks
which comprimise his coat
against the intricate web
of confused
yet proud
streaks, spots, interlocking bands
of blazing color and light
which amalgamate my soul.
- Kathryn Krueger, 1998
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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Grey, rubbery, ballooning its way up through my abdomen, my pain said to me, "I protect you.

'I hold all your other pain."

In simply noticing it, it changed. The air slipped out. This thing which had been large, rubbery, now became small, snakelike, snaked in amongst my intestines and other orgrans. And it slithered away out of sight, silently, leaving hardly a trace.

My right half; red, prickly, firey. My left; calm, smooth, orange, rubbery.

"I am your right side," says the right to the left. "I am an animal. I feel. I live. I burn wild and free, I am consumed."

"I am your left," says the left to the right. "I cool you. I protect you. I cradle you when you hurt. I am forever healing you, calming you, sedating you. I need you to calm yourself, and to pay attention. To feel less. To tame yourself. To be more like me."

"I need to burn," says the right. "I burn. Burn with me. Live and feel. Nothing that is around you is important."

Do they then begin to merge?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Flesh. Now we draw closer. The question is: can I love Connor, who will die someday, any day, the smell of his shoulders becoming only a memory. Can I soften to love, with full knowledge of the suffering I welcome in? Thomas Merton said the love we most cherish will, of necessity, bring us pain. Because that love is like the setting of a body with broken bones.

- From Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

Monday, April 04, 2005

As I was driving back to school after our break tonight, I found myself at a red light with an old guy in the car next to me. He was looking over at me, smiling, waving. Seemed so happy! I smiled and waved back.

Then, he leaned over, holding something to his face. I thought he was blowing his nose, so I let my attention wander back to the traffic light.

Momentarily, his left turn arrow turned green. I turned to look at him once more as he drove off, and ... he was transformed! He had slipped a rubber rat-nose onto his face. Was stroking his whiskers, waving at me again, and giggling like a little school girl. I had just moments ago been listening to loud dramatic music, but now couldn't help but laugh, myself, as well. He was such a sight, and so very, very happy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Rants from Seattle's Newest DJ

I got some new DJing software for my computer, and an external USB sound card, so that I can both preview and send output from the same machine.

And that software, man, it's been crashing all over the place. I'd heard from Alex that it crashes for him, but he thought it was because he loads his whole music library. He said that it doesn't crash for Kevin, because Kevin drags and drops. Well, I didn't even load a playlist, much less my library -- I was just dragging and dropping files. But still, the crashing.

Also, I don't think I understand it very well yet -- at one point during the Practica I accidentally played two songs at once. I quite unfortunately had my headphones on when the incident occured, previewing something else, so I didn't even notice right away. Took a short while for me to realize what was going on and stop the offending second song. It was horrific! I had, like, FIVE people come up to me later that night and say, "Hey, it's cool that you're trying to mix songs and be creative and stuff, but the beats weren't matching up too well. You maybe need to work on it a bit." Argh! What I really need is to work on playing one song at a time.

In other news, I seem to have some crazy electro-static field that wreaks havoc with mics and such. During classes, we kept having problems with huge bursts of static over the sound system, so bad that we had to power the whole system down several times. And I swear, I'm not being paranoid, but it was somehow tied to me. It sucked.
I hate email. I hate that I can write any number of emails to any number of people, and sit for days, or weeks, and never get any response. The same for phone messages.

So, getting no response - what does that mean? Someone read what I wrote and didn't feel it warranted a response? Didn't read it at all? Didn't even get the email?

Do I just let it go, or write another, or call, or write a real letter? At what point does reaching out to them more become an annoyance, where they are perhaps sending some signal that I'm not picking up on because it's all-too-subtle?

I dislike the little ball of something-bad that gathers in my chest when I've written someone about something close to me, and it's been days, and they haven't responded, and at this point I'm not sure they ever will. I almost want to be angry, but then again, I'm probably one of the worst for being consistent in responding to emails and phone messages. So who am I to hold it against anyone else? It would be so hypocritical. So the ball just sits there. Sort of like the ball that you can feel in your stomach just after you've eaten Dicks, a little ball of fat and grease and salt just sitting, only this one is less salt and grease and fat and more bad feelings.

Or maybe I'm still just feeling the Dicks from last night.
As of yesterday morning, there are no more metal fillings in my mouth.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Jonny fell asleep last night in the crook of my arm, purring! We've come so far.

Then he woke up at 3:00am and started batting mugs full of pens off of my desk. He does like to knock things to the floor. Especially in the middle of the night. Especially if they are made of glass. Bat-cat.
Happy Birthday Me!

Seriously, so many people have written, called, sent little notes - it's a bit overwhelming. I'm so used to my birthday going relatively unnoticed, and then y'all have to go and remember it. Almost enough to make a girl cry.

We were talking, tonight, about birthdays, Chris, Chris, Coquina and I. Coquina asked if any one of us ever had one birthday that was really, truly, memorable. I told this story, which I will now share with you -

I remember, on my fifth birthday, walking down the hall of my nursery school with my uncle. In the course of conversation, he said, "You know, you will never be four again."

Just like that. Exactly those words.

I was traumantized.

Four was a good age, you know? I quite enjoyed it. At that point, it had been a quarter of my life so far; I wasn't really ready to give it up. This is one of my strongest persisting childhood memories, this point of surprise and horror at the passing of time, at the thought that four was now in the past, unreachable for all the rest of time.

I'll never be four again.

Friday, March 25, 2005

the days fly away like leaves in a gale

each breath fills my lungs
breath in
breath out
an endless repetition
my heart bleeds
to and from
each organ
each limb
every extremity
fire consumes my vision
time blurs the days, a parade
what was yesterday?
so many heart beats ago
the air which filled me
which left me
long since replaced
- Kathryn Krueger, March 2005
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I'm really finding that, at heart, I'm a social dancer. I want to teach, I want to DJ, I want to build a dance community -- but most of all, I want to social dance. I want to be out every night that I can be, dance with a variety of people, search for connection, and occasionally connect with someone in a way that is so compelling, beautiful, and powerful that I can't help but keep going out searching for a repeat or a sequel to the experience.
We've been cat-sitting for a few weeks. Jonny is a 2-year old white cat. But for the occasional scuffle, he and Louie have been doing quite well.

The cat loves Chris's chair. He will lie in wait for hours, until Chris gets up, and then attempt a steal.

He also loves to break things. Set a perfectly good mug down in the middle of the table, and the cat might jump up and purposefully knock it all the way to the edge.

Don't we all love to break things, though? I mean, I do. I just don't act on that love all too often.

I do miss having cats about. Such a different energy than that of dogs.
Much of what I am posting now I have stolen from correspondence. Lesley, if you are reading, do not be offended -- I took the time first to write you, and only now that it has already been written am I picking out bits for journaling.
In other, related news, Chris and Chris and I are moving. A whole 50 feet, or something. We're moving to the lower apartment next door, which is owned by the same landlord. It's a bit bigger, almost the same price, has windows on 3 sides of the house instead of 2 (none of which face a driving school parking lot with cars going in and out and blowing exhaust right by the house), has 2 bedrooms which I think would be big enough for my personal belongings AND my massage table (which will be great for me, not to have to depend on someone else's space!), is not directly underneath noisy 6:00 AM driving classes in the summer, and generally, feels to be a good change. We've been given permission to fence off the back yard and let Louie run back there. Chris will rent the shed in back and turn it into a dark room. Many, many good things. See, Kat? Change isn't all bad.
Jaimes has left, also. Right now in New Zealand. Soon to be in Vancouver, Toronto, Portland, Eugene, and then off to Beijing; pretty much gone from Seattle through August. How things do change.
Christa has moved away. It's quiet without her. I miss her, but perhaps the break is good. I think we were simply too close for a while there at the end, and it was stressing our friendship. Hopefully the break from daily-roommate-living-stresses will give our friendship a chance to regenerate.

In the meanwhile, one of Chris's friends is staying in our 3rd room. His name is also Chris. From living with Christa and Chris to living with Chris and Chris... cute. He's only here until June 13th, when he heads off to Rome. I'm not sure what we'll do with the room after that. Maybe, when deciding, we should make a rule that if "Chris" is not at least a portion of your name, you can't live there. Just to stick with tradition and all. You know.
Is it possible to miss someone and to be glad that they've gone, all at once?
Man, what a pity party last night, eh?

I'm feeling much better today.

Well, I was feeling a little overwhelmed this morning, just thinking about all the things I want to get done in the next few months and the discipline I will have to employ to do so (discipline has not, traditionally, been my strong point), but even that seems all good at the moment. As the theme song to Reading Rainbow comes to mind and plays on in my head:
butterfly in the sky -
I can go twice as high!
take a look, it's in a book, it's reading rainbow.

I can do anything -
friends to know, and ways to grow
reading rainbow.
I can go anywhere -
reading rainbow.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Some days I feel like my life is charmed. So many wonderful things happen, one after another, chains of amazing, wondrous events. I feel loved and warmly enveloped by the universe.

Other days I feel like I'm being tested. Change makes me uneasy to start with, and then so many things change all at once. People leave, places change, homes take on different feels as new people become dominant forces within them. Belongings get broken. Objects get lost.

It's such a trial, learning to let things go, to give up attachments. Things are merely things, but it is so easy to forget this. Emotions encase things, cover them in so many layers, and then after a time these objects seem to be so much more... and then when they reach their time, disappear or get lost or broken, what happens to all these emotions? How to let them go gracefully, also, to let them blow away in the wind, gently breathing a goodbye, rather than stir them up and drown oneself in them?

It all comes back to this mortality notion that I feel breathing down my neck now and again. Nothing is forever. We are all but dust in the wind. I want to be more than dust! But I am powerless, utterly impotent. These objects which are broken, they are each a bitter reminder of all mortality -- with time, everything and everyone I love and care for will be broken, lost to this world as well. And so will I.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I am hosting the Tuesday night practica at the Century Ballroom and the monthly After-Hours Tango dance at the Trabant Chai Lounge now that Jaimes is off exploring the greater world. Ah, how things change. I've DJ'd and partially-hosted two practicas already, and it has gone well, but it's still a bit to swallow - suddenly going from no responsiblity at all to quite-a-bit-more-than-none.

Tonight's the first night that I host all on my own. Wish me luck. And if you're ever in Seattle and you feel like dancing tango, watching tango, or experiencing tango in any way, stop by and give me some love.
Behold, the Power of Garlic

I've been on this kick lately where, whenver I feel that I might be getting a cold or such, I eat raw garlic. It's quite heady. The last few times I've done it, it has worked like a charm; I felt better within hours, and did not come down with a full-blown cold. But I did smell like garlic for days on end. Ah, the sacrifices we make.

On the subject of garlic, if you are ever slicing cheese to eat on top of apple slices, and you were slicing raw garlic just before, and you are using the same knife -- maybe rinse the knife off before slicing the cheese. Otherwise your appley-cheesey snack may pack a bit more kick than you had been planning for.
Peeing after you've been holding it for a while has to be one of the most gratifying feelings ever. But not gratifying enough that I would voluntarily choose to do it all the time.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I wish that you were
holding me right now, and that you would whisper
nice things
about how maybe I annoy you sometimes
and you like to kick me while I'm down
and enjoy that you have the power to make me cry,
but right this moment you adore me
and are happy
just to be
with me.

And I would fall asleep in your arms,
and love
and be loved,
and be happy.

And maybe in the morning
you would be quick
to jump out
. .of
. . .bed
and be short with me,
kicking me out so you could start the day,
but there would be that short moment,
right before, where I wake up, and you're right there,
and the sun is shining on your skin,
and you have this glow,
and everything in the world seems
and wonderful
and I'm glad to be who I am,
to know you,
to just be.
- Kathryn Krueger, Jan 2005
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Isn't it apt that I am a biter dog?
What kind of dog is Louie? According to the same survey:

USA. The first to foster the Black & Tan in the late 1700's were Simon Kenton and the Poe brothers from the Ohio Valley. Purpose bred to hunt raccoon and opossum, chasing their quarry up a tree and hold it there for hunters. American Coonhounds were developed from Foxhounds, with dashes of French, German, and Irish dogs for specific needs. Similar to a Bloodhound.

A very versitile and hard working dog, which is also obedient, friendly, and intelligent. They will stand their ground with intruders and are usually kennelled out of doors.
Well, he's not really black & tan, but he would love to hunt raccoons.
What kind of dog are you? Here are my results:

Germany. The Pinscher* ("biter" in German) has existed for several
hundred years. Resembling the larger Doberman to which it contributed
its genes, it was officially recognised as a breed in 1879.

Often described as high spirited and self possessed, this is in fact a
good natured, playful dog which is good with children and makes a fine
guard. It is alert, loyal, watchful, and fearless. However, they can
be bull-headed and stubborn and need to know who is boss. For this
reason the German Pinscher is not a good breed for children. They will
bite first and think later.
* In the original description, "Pinscher" was spelled differently each time it was used. I have corrected this in my posting.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I'm in Portland now. It's sunshiny and beautiful here, but oh, so cold.

The dancing last night was lovely, although my whole body hurts now. I feel like a train wreck. I'm not used to dancing that long and that energetically, and the weekend has hardly even started.

I didn't dance with that many people. Muliono, Wade, Bill from Portland, Jaimes (and hardly that, just two songs), and Greg from Eugene. I'm never quite sure how that happens; the night is so long, you'd think I would have danced with more. But the dances I had were connected and energetic and wonderful, so it all works out.

Thank you for filing your complaint with the National Do Not Call Registry.

Do not call complaints will be entered into a secure online database available to civil and criminal law enforcement agencies. While the FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems, your complaint will help the agency investigate the company, and could lead to law enforcement action.
(Yes, they are calling again.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Hey, take a look at what's gone down lately in my hood.
From The Seattle Times: Feared Seattle property manager is arrested; dozens of guns seized

". . .They say that since the early 1990s, Gilbert, a convicted felon and outspoken member of the Aryan Nations who once spent time in prison for plotting to kill Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., had intimidated, threatened and sued neighbors so often that his presence became "a total cancer. . ."
I guess I should consider myself lucky that our landlord is not an arms-bearing, convicted felon who threatens and intimidates us day in and day out.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The word of the day today is 'pseudocyesis'.
Ooh, I just realized - no call from Cingular today!

Maybe they fixed the problem. Or maybe they don't do automated calls on Fridays.
Adults don't often have it all figured out.

Rarely, even.

I am just now starting to break this myth that has colored my childhood and all of my adult life so far; that adults are grounded, all-knowing, and always certain, and so will we be too, when we are grown up.

Except now that I'm looking more closely, paying more attention, I see more adults who struggle for clarity, for direction, for meaning. My peers. My co-workers. My elder family. Dancers, professors, computer programmers, journalists. Americans, Europeans, Middle-Easterners. Their lives are so much more complex than I would have ever thought.
I'm always amazed at the people who find my blog. Like the time, down in Eugene, when I thought I was meeting this couple for the first time, except that as we were introduced, they said, "Oh, you're the girl with the web journal." Or when I got in trouble with my employer for work-related content; good times, those. This forum is not as anonymous as it can get to feeling sometimes.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I'm still getting Cingular's daily pre-recorded auto-messages.

As noted below, I took additional steps today and filed a formal complaint with the FCC. I got the idea from the FCC Consumer Facts page on Unwanted Telephone Marketing Calls; a lovely little reference. (This may be the first time I have really appreciated the existance of the FCC - I take issue with the FCC for a number of things, such as the commercialization of radio.)
Filing for: Kathryn A Krueger has been received by the FCC

Thanks for your information.
When inquiring about your complaint, be sure to reference the following confirmation number:

FORM475: 10253235

Additionally, be sure to mention that you filed this complaint over the internet.
Finally, the carrier will have 30-45 days to respond to this complaint.

Thank You!
In Direct Contrast

Traffic today on I-5 was pretty bad.

Turns out someone jumped off the ship-canal bridge. I heard this on the radio just as I was driving past the exact spot. They had shut down the right-most lane, and a number of troopers were on the spot, investigating.

According to the radio, the person jumping hadn't landed in the water, but on pavement. So things were shut down below the bridge, as well, and even more investigators down there, and troopers cleaning up.

It all seemed so close, hearing this as I was driving past the exact spot. Too close.

I cried.

It seems so wrong, living in a world where people can feel destitute enough to end their life in such a way.

Now I feel mostly numb. For a while I was connecting with it on a personal level; now I'm back into "normal"-mode, where I might read about something like this in the paper, nod, and think to myself, "it's sad," but not necessarily feel sad. Not that I'm happy. Just numb.
I was inexplicably happy all of yesterday, and drew this picture as a
means of expressing my joyous mood:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


What a momentous experience!

I was in my car, listening to tango music -- more specifically, to Canaro's "No Hay Tierra Como la Mia". And I was trying to mimic and sing the words, with more (or less) success.

I was thinking about the rolling of 'r's... "If babies can learn to do it, and everyone in the Spanish-speaking world can do it, then physically, I must be able to do it too," I thought to myself.

So I was making noise after noise.

Most were far too gutteral. (I've never had a problem making more gutteral German-ish sort of noises.)

I experimented with closing my teeth, opening my teeth, using the back of my tongue, the front, using more or less lip...

...and then...


...I was doing it! Rolling my 'r's! I was an 'r'-rolling demon!

It was so exciting. I had to call and tell half my friends, roll my 'r's for them, gush and gush.

And I still am! An 'r'-rolling demon, that is. I think it's like learning to ride a bike. Once you do it, it's always with you.

So r-r-r-really, life will never-r-r be the same again.

I called someone at a local Cingular store, and he said he couldn't help me. He advised me to call the automated lines again and just randomly enter a long series of numbers, which he thought would eventually hook me through to an actual customer service representative. I tried this, and was eventually put through to a real person.

She thought that perhaps Cingular might have my number incorrectly listed on someone else's account as a home number, but they are not able to look up accounts based on home numbers so she was unable to help me resolve the issue in any way.

I asked if there was an IT department it could be escallated to, or anyone who could help me, and she said the best she could do would be to write up a ticket for my problem. She did so at my request. We'll see what/if I hear back from them.

In the meanwhile, to temporarily soothe my rage at my helplessness in this situation, I've filed a complaint with The Better Business Bureau. I've also attempted to file a complaint with the Do Not Call registry, with whom I listed my cellphone several months ago, but keep getting a message indicating that the site is down.
I keep getting a pre-recorded message from Cingular & AT&T on my cellphone asking me to "call customer service" about my number.

Problem is -- I am not WITH Cingular or AT&T. I use Sprint.

Getting this message -- either listening to it real time, or listening to the message -- eats up my cellphone minutes.

When I've talked to Sprint, they've been unable to help me -- they are not Cingular. They throw me around from this person to that person, but nobody is actually able to help me. They say the best they could do would be to change my wireless number. I think that's a stupid / cruddy solution.

When I attempt to speak TO Cingular, I can't get through to anybody, as I do not actually have a Cingular number to speak to them about. The people at the local Cingular Stores tell me that the best they can suggest is to talk to Customer Service, only I can't, because it's all automated and doesn't actually let you through to talk to anyone unless you have a Cingular/AT&T number to enter.

Any ideas on what I can do to stop this? It's really annoying, and I'm frustrated / annoyed / pissed off that I can't get it to stop.

I've already spent 30 minutes of my time sitting around talking to Sprint Customer Service people or sitting on automated lines trying to get ahold of real Cingular people. Not to mention the cellphone minutes I'm getting charged for each and every time they call me with that @#$@#% automated message. Not cool.

Friday, February 04, 2005

See my new toy?

Half a gig! The size of a pocket knife! Will wonders never cease to amaze?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I'm on hold with the Internal Revenue Service. How exciting! I've never spoken to the IRS before. Trying to figure out if cost basis of ESPP shares should be calculated using Purchase Price or Purchase FMV.

Other than this one last question, I am done filing my taxes. Done done done! And it is only February the 4th.

My mother always advised to "do" one's taxes as early as possible, and then to actually file earlier or later based on whether one owed to the IRS or was owed by the IRS. She didn't want the IRS collecting interest on her money any longer than they had to. Since I am owed this year, the advice sits well with me.
So I've been a student enrolled "at least half-time" since last September. This means I qualify for a credit on my tax return.

Here's what I don't understand -

I'm filing my return in TurboTax, which calculates your expected rebate (or payment) real-time as you go. The student tuition payments were one of the last things I entered, and when I entered expected rebate was cut in half. That's right, the IRS will give me back less of my tax money due to my tuition "credit".

What's up with that?

Really, I'd be okay without credits like that.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

On Drinking and Test Taking

This probably wouldn't help me any, eh?

I mean, unless I drink while I study. The way the nervous system works, the mind is more easily able to recall information in an environment similar to that in which it learned the information, so it's to your advantage to recreate your study environment as best you can when taking tests. That way your system will more easily access the information you want. if I drink this weekend while I'm studying...

...and then drink next Wednesday right before the big Anatomy & Physiology exam...

...I'll actually be doing myself a favor, right?

On Test Taking

I am not looking forward to upcoming tests. I bet they would be easier if I had spent more time these last several months working on paying attention.
On Paying Attention

I suck at paying attention.
On Drinking

"Not only red wine but also white wine, beer and hard liquor
appear to protect against mental decline in older women, two new
studies have found,"
or so says the New York Times. Interesting.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Check out my new favorite French hip-hop song. Such a nice groove! I'm waiting expectantly for the album to arrive in the mail.

Here is an (poor) approximate English translation of the lyrics:
They met back in school
Between a math class and a spanish class
She was a soccer fan
But he didn't fear balls, it was the goal
He promised rides in a Corvette
But for now, he was stealing scooters
Between them there was always complicity
Stop on a pedestal, a clear dream
If he became triangle, she would be rectangle
The beauty and the bad boy, the triangular rectangle
It's like going from Joe Dassin to Jodeci
A real R&B videoclip drama
She's living the great love, that begins in the court
Continues during tours and always rhymes with 'toujours'
But the context is sronger than the concept
Her man jumps into the flames and showers in them

The subsets in the great sets are assembled
The beauty and the bad boy(x3)

The subsets in the great sets are assembled
The subsets in the great sets are assembled
To win money together
Talk without giving the impression of doing business together
And when it gets bloody, they plead God ogether. See.
They were convinving, She was convinced]
To think today that stopping was out of the question
They traffic counterfeit money with Slavic networks
Beat the competition. In France it's a serious offense
Risk for the knobs, he leaves the Baumettes
He has only one trick in mind, it is the search of his Corvette.
Paranoiac environment, the opposing team lags behind
Projectiles go off when a BMW brakes
When she falls, tears drops off his eyes
Two .22 bullets. Twenty two(years old) Goodbye.
The Context is stronger than the concept
Her man jumps into the flames He has to shower in them

Thursday, January 27, 2005

As you've noticed, I've not been blogging much. Or maybe you've not noticed, having given up on even looking for new content.

This, despite now again owning a computer.

What's up with that, you ask?

I do occasionally think about things which, in my mind, may be worthy of posting. But I find my bar is higher these days -- things I'll discuss in conversation with friends seems too mundane, or too risque, or too lewd for posting in a public forum.

Like today, during a coffee break, Chris and I were talking. He has noticed a trend over time where it seems the bigger the guy, the harder it is to get him off. I thought back on all my relationships, and this seems to generally hold true in my experience, as well. Why is that? Littler members can be more easily encompassed in their entirety? It is harder to stimulate as great a percentage of bigger members, and percentage of the member stimulated makes a difference?

Had you ever thought about that?

Are you glad you have now?

If not, too late -- it's posted, you've read it, so move on and deal with it already.

But there's lots like that that I'm not posting.

Should I be? Is it better I'm not? Will I feel inclined to again with time? Will I find different content to wrap myself around, given a few weeks or months? Or is my blog doomed to die a slow and painful death?

Tune in next time, when all these questions and more may be answered. Same kat time, same kat channel.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Have you ever lodged a nail in your brain and not noticed it for 6 days?
A Breckenridge construction worker is recovering after going to the dentist for a toothache that turned out to have been caused by a 4-inch nail lodged in his skull. Patrick Lawler, 23, said he was using a nail gun on Jan. 6 when it backfired, firing a nail into a nearby piece of wood. And, unbeknownst to him, a second nail went through the roof in his mouth, and into his head -- about an inch and a half into his brain -- barely missing the back of his eye.
How, how, how do you not notice a nail lodged in your brain? Or at
least the entrance wound, you know?

From the article: "'We just thought it was a big contusion. You get
punched or something, and your eyes swell up, your jaws swell up,
whatever ... We didn't think a nail was hanging out, poking where it
shouldn't have been,' Lawler said."

So he didn't notice because he thought it was like a contusion where
he got punched... but he never got punched! If my eye and jaw was
swollen, all of a sudden, as if maybe I had been punched, and I didn't
remember getting punched, I'd think it might set off alarm bells. I'd