kitsjay: (Shark week)
A (very) late happy birthday to Vanessa!
kitsjay: (Default)
For those of you who stumbled upon here by accident (I'm so sorry), here's a brief plot summary of the life of Kitty (yours truly) so far.

LAST WEEK ON THE LIFE OF KITTY, OUR HERO WAS:

* 25 years old
* Bipolar
* Lesbian pirate from outerspace
* Vanquisher of the English major of the University of Texas
* Mild mannered librarian assistant wonder by day, fierce and furious feminist by night!

Really, you haven't missed much. It'll probably get canceled in the next week, anyway.
kitsjay: (Friendship)
Or rather, how it will, because it hasn’t happened yet. I mean, it’s a little too soon to tell, is all I’m saying—I’m not telling this right, am I? Okay, okay, back up, so:

Once upon a time, Kitty had a driver’s license. T’was an awful picture, but the mean, wicked DMV refused to change it. Whatever, DMV, whatever. So anyway, our fair heroine shrugged and went on with said picture, but being somewhat absent-minded, she oft tucked it away in her jeans pocket and forgot about it. It grew bent and creased, but she only had a year to go before replacing it with a new, better driver’s license.

That said, again, she’s kind of absent-minded, so she tucked it away somewhere and though she searched far and low for her lost driver’s license, she could not find it!

“Alas!” she cried, for she was sore vexed at the prospect of asking the mean, wicked DMV for a replacement, “What shall I do?”

Well, kiddos, this is what you does: you roll with it.

No, really.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you’ve got to find the humor in these situations, and laugh at them. In my case, losing a driver’s license sucks, but it’s not that big of a deal, except… it’s kind of hilarious. New Year’s is all about new beginnings, finding the new you (for the next three months, before the old you returns and asks where all their stuff is), all that jazz. And for me, this was a metaphorical new me. My driver’s license is from when I was sixteen. I was overweight, still in high school, at times fiercely unhappy and other times boundlessly enthusiastic, and looking back, I’m not that person anymore.

You know how when someone loses weight, and you’ve been with them the whole time, it’s hard to tell? But go away for three months and suddenly it’s, “Wow, you’ve changed so much!”?

We can’t go away for three months from ourselves, so we never really see how we’ve changed until we see an old picture or remember something from the past and laugh and think, “Was I ever that stupid/naïve/awesome?”

So yeah. I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions, but since the old me is both literally and metaphorically going through a shift change, I am this year. Maybe the New Me makes resolutions now.

The point is, I’m making changes. This New Year’s, I was surrounded by people I love who were all mumbling their way through Auld Lang Syne until the chorus when seven drunken would-be Pavarotti's began belting out the familiar parts, but none of them were people I hung out with last year. I’ve got old friends still that I wouldn't trade for the world, but I’ve got new friends too.

And I think, sometimes, that the true point of New Year’s is to remind ourselves that change is sometimes not all bad. That sometimes it’s necessary. That sometimes the new looks a lot like the old, and sometimes it’s all about something different.

So even though getting a new driver’s license is a pain, it’s also indicative of something greater.

Or maybe I just really don’t want to admit that I’m that absent-minded.

Either way, happy new year, kids. Have fun this time around, and hopefully I’ll see you around next one.
kitsjay: (Friendship)
Happy b-day, Keebler! ♥
kitsjay: (Cheers)
Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] feldspars!
kitsjay: (Crazy People)
I've been going through a depressive spell recently, which, quite frankly, sucks. It's not even that you're depressed, it's that you can't seem to do anything to lift yourself out of it. I clean and read and surf aimlessly on the internet not because it gives me any pleasure, but because it distracts me from being numb. Last night I spent curled up on my bed with two stuffed animals clutched to my chest because it felt like the inside of me was filled up with inexplicable grief.

But while surfing, I pinged on the Bloggess, who I linked to before. She's a humorist, but occasionally she has these beautiful, uplifting messages that aren't hidden by her humor but amplified by them. Like saying that it's okay to make a joke out of it, to laugh at yourself and your insecurities.

This is one of those posts. Go read it now. I'll wait.

It honestly made me happy, for the first time in weeks. It's one of those simple things, when you're so stressed about everything else that made you think, "It's going to be okay." This too shall pass and all that jazz.

So guys, the next time you don't feel pretty enough or smart enough or any of those unexplainable fears that plague you, sit down and take a breath. Put on a ballgown and a fake wig, take goofy photos, whatever, and remind yourself that you're beautiful--and not just that skin deep kind, but the kind that we forget about sometimes when we're focused on other things. If you can't think of anything you like about yourself, ask me, I'll tell you everything I can think of, all the wonderful things that make you special and a friend.

And weirdly, I got to smiling, thinking, "That's what Gay Christmas is about." It's not about drinking or perving over hot guys/girls (okay, it's a little bit about that), but it's more. It's about doing something goofy that "adults" aren't supposed to do, like making construction paper chains and celebrating all those wonderful different people out there in the world and reminding ourselves that friends, and picspams of Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] be_merry), are really what make the world go around.

Don't do this for a week, don't do this for a month, try it out for the rest of your life. Be happy, guys. Life's too short to not be.

Eudora Welty - "All serious daring starts from within."
kitsjay: (Hand holding)
Happy (late) Birthday, Keebler!

Yadda

Dec. 3rd, 2010 05:47 pm
kitsjay: (Girl in Leaves)
I ran into an old friend of mine from middle school the other day as I was walking around campus at night. She was just leaving her lab and we spotted each other at the crosswalk. As we were talking, she kept looking at me kind of weird, and I was starting to get self-conscious, wondering if I had something on my face.

Finally she announced, "You keep getting prettier every day."

It floored me, in the best way possible, and I had to stammer out an awkward thank you. I mean, just what a nice thing to say to someone.
kitsjay: (Second Star to the Right)
Cornell is being called "the suicide school" because of six suicides in six months; UT recently was ranked among the top most stressful colleges in the USA. One of our school officials said this:

"She said despite competitiveness at the University, she doesn’t think the stress levels are abnormally high.

With a higher-performing group of students present at UT, students place more stress on themselves to perform well academically".

Today there were puppies outside of the FAC, because petting animals has been shown to lower stress levels. My guess? The ranking combined with the deaths at Cornell and the subsequent bad PR it's getting made UT officials start implementing measures to counteract this. Interestingly, and somewhat horrifyingly, I couldn't find any statistics on the suicide rate of UT.

What does this all add up to?

(A) Suicide has been shown to be highest among older people and people 20-24. It's also the second leading cause of death for college students.

(B) Instead of addressing the problem that maybe, just maybe, there's something wrong with the system that actively encourages stress by making GRE's, tests, and grades the ultimate goal, we're going to place the blame on the students themselves and...

(C) Put up measures that lower stress already there, instead of evaluating why there's so much stress in the first place.

While the measures Cornell and UT are taking are admirable, I feel like they're addressing the symptoms of a problem instead of attacking the problem itself.

I know everyone has been having more than a rough time this semester; it's been the semester from hell. I know it, trust me. I feel like everyone told me, "Oh, take as much time as you need!", "There's no deadline for getting over things like this!", but the pressure put on me by teachers to do well and take tests and show up for class when I wasn't ready was monumental. I had to force myself to start going again because one of my teachers, who seemed really understanding, apparently was only ready to be understanding for a few weeks, then it turned into, "Well, why aren't you over this already?"

So I know. It's monumentally hard for everyone right now and it feels like the pressure's mounting instead of going away. Call your mom (seriously, a study showed it lowers stress levels as much as a hug from her), pet some puppies, drink herbal tea, do something that relaxes you, but if it's still bad, please see someone or talk to someone. I know what it's like to be there, and though mine was more of an internal thing than external stress amplifying this problem, it's awful, and I'm worried about everyone. Some of you have work issues, some have family problems, some have both.

So really: be cool, be safe, be alive.
kitsjay: (Gingerbread)
An Ode to Keebler, the Elf:

I love your buns, cookie,
Your sweetness, honey,
The fresh-baked warmness of your heart,
But most of all (and this is true),
I love the fact that no one gets this
But You.

Happy birthday, sugar!
kitsjay: (Default)
Happy birthday, Court!

And to my brother, too, as he just turned twenty-one yesterday.

Other good news: Mike is building a house up in Lago Vista, near Lake Travis. I rode with him one morning to keep him company. Afterwards, he told me he had the entire day free, so we went up to Austin to check on my financial aid. The man I spoke to said everything was in order, so I should be good when I move in around ten days from now.

Mike bought me lunch at Kearby Lane, we talked, and then headed back home.

Also awesome, I found out that I got into my final class. My schedule is now set, with my shiny new American Realism class in place.
kitsjay: (Default)
A quick review.

Friday went to work for a half day, left with Tashina and Chris to go to Houston. Had a flat, fixed it, bought a spare tire from a cute guy with red hair, went to air up the tires, got 10 miles down the road, Tashina realized her credit card was gone. Went back 10 miles to Flatonia, checked around, Tashina calls and cancels her card just as she remembered she put the credit card in a cubby so it wouldn't fall out.

Finally got to Houston, went to Barnes & Noble and out to eat with Keebler, Christy, Vanessa, and Court. Had tons of fun, naturally. Courtney took a million pictures, half where my tongue was stuck out.

We met for brunch the next day at IHOP, then went to Vanessa's and hung out for a while watching half of a movie. They took me back to Grandma and Grandpa's, where we hung out for a while. Two hours after they left, my brother and Tashina picked me up and we drove back to Houston.

Sunday, my mom gave Dad and I an early Christmas present: two tickets to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The show was amazing. They played for three hours; the first was a Christmas set, then they played things like CCR, Beethoven, the Queen of the Night Aria, and others, then the third, they played Bach, the Snoopy theme song, and ragtime. It was so amazing. They had a lights show and everything. The company dragged a bit: Dad didn't really like it, which I didn't think he would. Mom, in her eternal quest to interfere in my life, decided Dad and I aren't "close" enough and decided we would go together. I can't really blame her, though, as she was under the mistaken impression that Trans-Siberian Orchestra was an actual orchestra that played symphony music, even after I explained they weren't. So Dad didn't clap or make any noise at all and complained afterwards that he hated it when they "jazzed good songs up" and how it was "too night-loungeish for me". Next year, I'll take Mike.

We got home and I called Vanessa to see if she had dinner, then went to pick her up. Dad went psychotic, which I do not get.

He was saying it was too late, and I said, "Dad, it's 7:30."

"Fine," he said in a huff. "Go die and I'll show up for your funeral."

"Whatever," I said, leaving.

"Do you want a coat?" Mom said. "It's supposed to be getting cold tonight. What if you break down and don't have a coat?"

"If you break down, don't call me!" Dad interrupts.

Apparently he said something else about it being late and Mom said, "It's 7:30, Stan."

"Bullshit," he said.

Mom just stared at him in disbelief because the clock was right in front of him.

And she thinks we should be closer. The man is utterly unreasonable.

Vanessa, Lauren (her little sister), and I went out to eat at California Kitchens and had pizza and dessert. At 10:20 p.m. we went to see Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium which WAS AMAZING. I loved it so much. I sat there the entire time with a goofy grin on my face. Afterwards, I vowed to open a toy shop after college, because I am five.

Hopefully Christmas will cheer him up. I know I'm happy. I have my family around me, presents are wrapped and under the tree, garland and tree are sparkling, and a puzzle is started on the table.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

ETA: Heh. I adore my brothers. Mary Ann was making cream puffs, and Sean and Mike were eating the shells. Chris pointed to a bowl full of something with a creamy consistency and said, "There's the pudding filling. Why don't you dip them in that?"

Sean and Mike both did and spat it out.

"Ugh," Mike said. "Mare, is this the pudding?"

"No," Mare said, puzzled. "That's the batter for the shells."

Chris took off, with Mike and Sean right after him.
kitsjay: (Default)
Change of plans! Looks like Chris and Tashina are going to Houston tomorrow, and we're staying until Saturday afternoon.

Is anyone able to get together?

Edited as of 10:00 12/20/07:

Christy is going to pick Vanessa up, and then I'll ride with Court. If Keebler can come, we'll meet at her house; elsewise, we'll meet at Court's house? Or Christy's or Vanessa's.

I figured we'll figure everything out from there.

This should be happening around 6:00 p.m. on Friday or so.
kitsjay: (Buttons)
So this random guy friends me on Facebook, and at first I thought it was Tashina's gay ex-boyfriend, who she's still friends with, so I went ahead and friended him back, when I notice that it says he's dating a girl in his profile.

"Hm!" thinks I, "That's odd. Who is this masked man?"

A letter appears in my inbox from him.

"Hey, are you Chris's sister?"

"Yeah," I send back. "I'm sorry, I'm awful with names, have we met?"

I just got this back:

"I'm sorry, I confused you with somebody else.

No, we haven't met, but I don't want your brother to get mad at me. He is a pretty cool guy plus he is my uppclassman, my junior in the Corps, I'm his sophomore.

Nice meeting you, but I have to erase you as my friend. I apologize for that."

I'm torn between amusement, frustration, and HOW THE HELL DOES CHRIS STILL REGULATE WHO CAN AND CAN'T TALK TO ME WHEN I DON'T EVEN SEE HIM BUT THRICE A YEAR.

But definitely edging towards frustrated amusement, in the end.
kitsjay: (Default)
I don't think I'll be able to make it in before Christmas, it looks like. The car is having troubles and we're putting it in the shop. Hopefully I'll be able to come in after Christmas, though.

Would y'all like to get together then?

(Psst. If someone can snag me pics of the Woodlands Mall decked out in Christmas, please do!)
kitsjay: (Accomplished/Smug)
Matt and I finished around 3:00 a.m., at a staggering 11,000 for word count of the main paper and an additional 3,000 words in the citations.

I have never been so glad to have finished something in my entire life.

Not much else has been going on. Mike, Mary Ann, and I are going to buy a Christmas tree and decorate it tomorrow; I'm going to call Wells Fargo on Monday and get my loan taken care of; I have a few miscellaneous chores to accomplish and have an entire week to myself as Mom and Dad are going on vacation to Florida.

Dad went to the sleep clinic in Floresville last night, and they confirmed that he most definitely has sleep apnea. Moreso, he apparently has not been getting any REM. He was in a much better mood today, and I'm wondering if it's not because they hooked him up to their little machine, so he actually rested. He even offered to buy me a plane ticket to Australia to visit Bianca next year, which is, well, kind of brilliant awesome.

I also had to give a persuasive speech a few weeks ago, and I delivered mine on "Hitchhiking: Why It's a Great Idea". We have to give a similar "call to action" speech this coming Tuesday, and I asked my teacher, "Would it be alright if my topic was, 'You Should Hire Someone to Write Your Papers For You'?"

My teacher cracked up and said, "That's gold." I sent him my outline two days ago and received this email back:

Kitty,

This is outstanding work! One of the best speeches I have ever seen. Let me make a one minor point with the goal creating an immortal speech--provide some research to show how stressful college is to justify what may be considered extreme, unusual action.

I will re-read this being that I was so excited I read the outline very quickly.

Mr Williams


I also checked my grades a while ago and my government teacher already has my "A" down on my unofficial transcript, though it's not even December yet.

The only thing that has not been fantastic is that I have to return an immunizaiton record to UT by December 3; I recieved it two days ago. So yesterday I gave it to my doctor, who returned it unfilled out, so I took it back to her. Today, a nurse dropped it off at 5:30 at the office, and told me I needed a tuberculosis test, and to fill out when I had chicken pox.

I read the thing, and it says "only students born outside of the U.S." need the TB test. Barring that, she also forgot to sign it.

I can't fax it either, so I guess I'm going to have to pay for same-day delivery in order to get it to UT on time.

Frustrating, but do-able.

All in all, things are--

Confound it ... Satisfactory.

--Nero Wolfe, to Archie Goodwin in "The Doorbell Rang"
kitsjay: (Archie Confuzzled)
897 words, three hours of painstaking research on the influence of the Libertarian Party from 1971 through 2008, with over twenty sources--and it deleted it.

There is no justice.

ETA: Ugh. Okay, rewrote all of it and I now have 885 words, with exactly twenty sources. It's not as good as the original, but it'll have to do, because I know more about the Libertarian Party than I ever wanted to. The good news is that Matt and I have over seventy sources and about 4500 words. The bad news is that we're only 6/11 of the way done with the entire paper and it's due November 30. I rationed out the remaining sections and, providing Matt actually does them, we should be able to get the entire thing finished by Tuesday, do major revisions, footnotes, and a bibliography on Thursday, and he'll turn it in on Friday.

And then I will never, ever have to see this paper again. Halle-freakin'-lujah.

Always be smarter than the people who hire you.

--Lena Horne
kitsjay: (bird)
So yesterday I just kind of lost it at work. Just the combination of not getting enough sleep and mental exhaustion and everything all together just had me suddenly bursting into tears at random intervals. To make things worse, when I can't control my emotions and I freak out like that, I don't want anyone to see or anything. I'd rather be by myself. Stef is one of those people who when she gets really emotional, she wants people around her, so she kept trying to be helpful and asking me what she could do and it was really sweet, except it just made me feel embarrassed, which made me cry more. And I really have no idea what it was. Mike was all worried because he didn't understand why I was freaking out, and I couldn't explain, and yeah. I finally calmed down enough so that I wasn't answering the phones with, "J-Jor-sniffle--dan Builders." On the way home, though, 101.9, our radio station here, switched to Christmas music and that set me off as well because I started sobbing to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing".

So! In the spirit of not freaking out and losing it again, I was trying to think of constructive things to do. Lately Christmas has lost some of its spirit, and I was just thinking about this year.

Alicia, Keebler, Courtney, Christy, and Vanessa, basically anyone that buys gifts for each other, I was thinking that instead of buying gifts for each other this year, we all go to the mall or something near Christmas, and buy gifts from the Salvation Army tree? For the kids who can't afford gifts?

Anyway. I just thought it'd be something nice, because I mean, we're all at college, and it's not like we really are wanting for anything, and anyway. Just. Um. Feeling kind of dumb right now, but just tell me if you guys think it's a good/bad idea or if y'all want to do it. I thought it'd be fun because we would all be together at the mall, trying to find the gifts the kids want, and we could make it a tradition or something.

And as for everyone else--does anyone know how to volunteer to be a Salvation Army Santa? I can't find it on their website.

ETA: Found the presents-for-kids, it's at Adopt-an-Angel and I also signed up for the Salvation Army Bell Ringer thing. So exciting!

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
- Roy L. Smith
kitsjay: (Dennis Quaid)
I had a marvellous weekend!

In the morning, I headed to work and went out to eat with Dad, Mom, Uncle John, Mike and Mare. Halfway through Matt called to talk to me about a job offer (he's a second year law student and wants me to help him with a research paper; I am skeptical about how much help I will really be, but I shall try) and I was talking on the phone to him. When I hung up, my tea was gone.

"Where's my tea?" I asked, looking around for it. Dad suddenly looks down and goes, "Oh. Whoops." Apparently he had forgotten his up at the counter and was drinking mine. I added lime to it and it's unsweet! How did he not notice? Anyway, he offered to give me some of his, but I really cannot stand sweet tea now that I've switched to unsweet. It's like drinking corn syrup.

After lunch, I headed out to Austin and made it there with the directions Uncle John gave me, met Courtney outside the dorm, and parked the car.

We went out to eat at Kearby Lane, an Austin restaurant that has a fantastic portobello mushroom sandwich, and watched Supernatural back at their dorm. We also went and got an "air mattress", which was actually a cleverly disguised pad that was about the width of one of my legs. It was comfortable enough to not wake up until 11:00 the next day, so I'm not complaining.

We ate breakfast at the dining hall with Audrey, a suitemate of Alicia and Courtney's, then went to Town Lake, where the guy behind the counter was really nice and reserved a three-person kayak for us. So we wandered around for 30 minutes, then came back and went kayaking which was an adventure. We were fine until we were on the opposite side of the river on the way back. The current kept sweeping us towards the riverbank despite our frantic paddling, and poor Courtney, who was in front, was attacked by overhanging branches. Twice. We made it back though!

Also when we were leaving, the guy said, "Oh, you don't have to wear the lifejacket, you just have to have it in the boat!" So like hell I was going to wear that thing, so I tossed it inbetween my legs while Courtney and Alicia put their's on. The guy watched them then said, "Nerd!" It was very funny.

Afterwards, we were going to go hiking up Mt. Bonnell and so Courtney printed out directions. We followed them to the letter and ended up in this super fancy neighborhood instead! It was uphill though... perhaps it was nearby and we missed it... Like good giver-uppers, we gave up.

We went to the Capitol, where I found Sam Houston's portrait and a portrait of E.J. Davis, who had to be chased out of office by the Texas Rangers and the newly elected Governor Coke because he didn't want to give up the position (and I just looked it up on wikipedia and it doesn't mention any of that!). I was laughing so much when I saw his portrait was actually up there. I would have figured they would quietly put it in the basement for perpetual "repairs" or some such. Courtney said Malibou Lamar's was somewhere. His two competitors "mysteriously" died before election. Fun with politics.

At the dorm we watched more Supernatural and sat around enjoying each other's company, then went out to eat Thai food at Madame Mam's Noodles and More (sounded promising, didn't it?). I've had Thai food before at a charming little restaurant in San Antonio called Jasmine's, and so convinced Courtney and Alicia to come try this one with me. A bit on the expensive side, but they had a huge plate and it was very good!

This morning, we went to Kearby Lane's again and I ordered a slice of my absolute favorite kind of cake, which I've never seen anyone serve before, that is, Italian Creme Cake, and it was utterly delicious. Especially after avacado black bean tacos. Mm-mmm. The waiter forgot to charge us for our drinks, too. I felt vaguely guilty though, so he got a $5.00 tip.

About that time, I headed back and made it without any undue difficulty, plus in only an hour. I found someone going 80 mph on the way home and just speed-tailed them most of the way on I-35.

Anyway. I had a very nice birthday. OH! Wow, I almost forgot the most exciting piece of news. On Friday or Saturday night, I forget which, I checked my status and I'm in! I'm officially admitted to University of Texas! I called Mike and Mare's house and got Mare, so I told her, and she was very excited. She told Mike and I hear in the background, "Cool". It was incredibly unenthusiastic, so I'm kind of glad I told it to Mare, who at least acted very supportive.

Bianca's birthday presents came in--two posters, one with a quote by Ray Bradbury (WONDERFUL!) and another with this quote: "The real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking," by Christopher Morley.

That's it, I suppose! I have to research my topic for a persuasive speech on Tuesday (I should probably start that now, actually) on legalizing prostitution. I was going to do legalizing marijuana, but he was of the opinion marijuana was practically legal already (oookay, then!).

In the words of my cousin's friend, this is the last year I can be a teen mother!

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
--Ray Bradbury
kitsjay: (Default)
akslfja. I'm not even sure if you read this anymore, Alicia, but HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY!

(I have a good excuse for being late this time!)

So I was going to have this huge long post, but I fail, so instead, indulge in some nostalgia:

I completely forget what the joke was behind this, actually. )

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