Saturday, March 29, 2008


Some random thoughts on a can't get to sleep saturday night...

-It's hard to beat the combination of a really good run, a little bit of weight lifting and half an hour laying in the sauna.

-I love people who know how to leave a great voicemail message. My friend Bev is an expert. She left me a message the other night about her feelings toward the Massachusetts DMV that had me laughing out loud and totally missing having her around. People say technology makes our communication impersonal but I feel like it opens up all sorts of new options. There is something quite wonderful about being able to listen to a particularly good message so many times you have it memorized.

-I was putting together a shelving unit today that I bought six years ago as a temporary solution to a tiny bedroom that has somehow now managed to travel back and forth across the country three times. I found a sticker stuck to the back of it for a long defunct website some boys I know wrote that made me smile. Way way before everyone on planet earth had a blog, and even slightly before Friendster started the social networking frenzy, these guys were writing journal type entries about music and movies and girls and etc. I called one of them so someone could share my fond memory and got this gem of a quote; me: "so what are you up to?" him: "well i am just getting up from an entire afternoon on my bed. My back kind of hurts." It's too bad the website didn't last.

-My friend Chloe sent me a great care package today that included three mix CD's. I know I'm a broken record but I really, really love music. There is a lot of stuff on these discs that I don't know and then some that I'm enjoying hearing differently. That might be my favorite thing about a mix-getting a song you already know in a new context. She put "The Promise" by Tracy Chapman on one them which is a song I have probably listened to one million times over the years. It got a little overplayed there for a bit but wow, it's just so beautiful and tender and comforting. Tracy Chapman probably has a higher percentage of songs that make me cry actual tears than any other artist I know. Even her old "Fast Car" can still get me going if it hit just right. Anyway, these CD's are a treat and made a great soundtrack tonight while I unpacked one of my last remaining boxes and packed for my swedish adventure. What a thoughtful friend.

-I watched quite a bit of 30 Rock on DVD this week since there is nothing on real TV. The more I watch that show the more I think I'm OK with everyone saying I remind them of Liz Lemon.

-This move has reminded me what an introvert I am by nature. I've been going nuts trying to figure out why on earth I am so worn out lately and it finally occurred to me that being new everywhere and trying so hard to be impressive at work and get out of my little comfort zone socially has juat about done me in. I think I'm a bit of an oddball because I genuinely enjoy making friends and talking and getting attention but I have to work pretty hard not to be nervous around new people and situations. My natural tendency is to stick to the walls.

-I think my nightowlishness is getting worse. I finally fell asleep at 4 last night but I think I could have stayed up even longer. It's 2 right now and I just don't want to go to bed. And then six hours from now I'll want to throw my alarm across the room. The schedule of the world is not kind to the night owl.

-I hate the ending of "Pretty in Pink". Andie really should have ended up with Duckie. Blaine was a complete tool.

-Boston is a beautiful city. It was freezing but clear today so while I opted to do my run inside, I grabbed dinner at a little place on Newbury Street so I could get out in the city a little bit. This place is adorable.


Tonight I watched Step Up with a couple of friends after we ate way, way too much cheesecake for dessert. Obviously the plot is silly and the acting is pretty terrible but the dancing was fantastic and the lead actor has maybe the greatest arms in the history of dance movies. We all spent the whole movie commenting on his hotness. Sometimes it's awesome to spend a night living every girl cliche known to man.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I've known about this for two weeks but it was only this morning that it dawned on me-I'M GOING TO SWEDEN ON SUNDAY! The whole "international" part of my marketing job is kicking off with a day in Stockholm and then a few more at our office in Helsingborg. It's a work trip so it's not like I'll be on holiday or anything BUT, I'm practically beside myself about it anyway.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


It's funny how sometimes a little tiny thing can expose the cracks in what you thought was a pretty solid suit of armor.

I made my first attempt to get a new drivers license two weeks ago but did not have the right proof of residence. Unless I want to spend four or five hours in line, getting there before it opens is pretty much my best option and I've had morning meetings pretty much every day since. I'm not even going to launch into the rant asking why exactly California has figured out the concept of having an automated appointment system online that allows you to get in and out of the DMV in about 2.5 seconds. OK maybe just a little.

So today I finally went back, making sure last night that I had SEVERAL pieces of mail with my new address. I had been told that it had to have been mailed to me from something like my bank. I don't have any paper bank statements yet so I brought some other documents from them with me figuring that would work.

I get to the DMV 20 minutes before it opened and of course there is already a line but it didn't look too bad and I already have my paperwork filled out. We all file into the waiting room and I set about waiting. My number gets called about 20 minutes in which is pretty good. I had my paperwork done and all my documents in a nice little pile that I hand to the woman behind the counter. I try to be pleasant and say good morning but she's not having it and doesn't even look at me. She starts typing away and then asks me for proof of residence. I tell her that I wasn't sure exactly what would work so I have my insurance cards, a document from my bank and a letter from my car insurance company. She looks a me and says, "a personal letter doesn't work and that thing from the bank isn't a statement so I can't take it." I specifically remember the woman the time before telling me that I needed "something from your bank with your name on it that has been sent to you through the mail." Which is precisely what I have. I haven't had my bank account in MA long enough to HAVE a bank statement yet and I'm trying to obey that whole "change your license within 30 days" thing I've gotten in trouble for disregarding in the past. I ask her why a bank statement works and this doesn't and she shrugs. I am tempted at that point to ask for a manager but I don't want to be that guy. Thank the heavens above I notice that my checkbook happens to be in my purse even though I never have it with me. So I give that to her and she keeps typing. But the damage to my nerves was done. I was so frustrated that her response to me was just 100% unhelpful. There was no attempt to explain what seems like a really arbitrary rule about WHICH MAILED DOCUMENT FROM MY BANK WITH MY ADDRESS ON IT they will and won't accept ,no, "well let me ask someone, ". Just a smug little shrug. She then asks me if I have my social security card. I had already given her my passport so I say, "I though my passport meant I didn't need it," to which she says, "that was pretty much a yes or no question. Do you have it or not?". To my horror, I hear my voice shake when I answer that I do not have my social security card. I still don't know why she asked because I got the shrug again and she went back to typing. We have another falling out when she asks me to do the eye test and I get a little confused as to which one she wants me to read. At this point I say, "Look, I'm really not trying to annoy you, I just didn't understand what you were asking," and then the tears just start coming. She's asking me questions about photos and telling me to sign stuff and I can't stop them. I feel like a complete idiot, crying in the damn DMV. I will have the world's worst photo for the next 10 years because I could barely get myself to smile.

Now, I am willing to bet that the DMV is not anyone's dream job. You probably take a lot of abuse from people who are upset about various rules and procedures that are not your fault and that you cannot change. So I have a certain amount of sympathy for the folks working the counters there. However, they still chose to work in a job that is essentially customer service and as such, part of your job is to figure out how to deal with jerks and whiners without losing your cool. I am almost annoyingly friendly with people at stores and post offices and airline ticket counters. I've been on the other side of a customer service job and I know you get a lot further being nice. But when confronted with someone who starts our interaction by assuming that I'm going to be a jerk I am always so tempted to prove them totally right. I stood there fighting myself not to ask to talk to her manager. I have a sneaking suspicion that the DMV powers that be are well aware that they do not have a reputation as a bastian of great customer service. My cashier is pregnant and I certainly don't want to be the person snitching on a pregnant lady. So I just stand there and wipe away stupid tears that probably have less to do with the DMV and more to do with just everything.

I'm going to be happy here and already I'm feeling much more settled but wow, this whole moving across the country and changing your whole life thing is just not something I think I'm built to be good at. I get way, way too attached to things and it makes it nigh unto impossible to make a soft landing into a new experience. And doing it alone, as usual, sort of just amplifies everything.

The good news is that I have an MA license, I found a post office (another long story) and I think I actually have time to go to the gym tonight.

All good things.

Monday, March 24, 2008


There are lots of weird things about moving back to a place you once lived but one that i am really enjoying is reconnecting with old friends. Two of my former colleagues work at my new company but in a different office so it wasn't until today that I got to see them. I walked into the building and almost burst into tears when I saw Nancy's smiling face. I did manage to keep it together but after my meetings we talked like little schoolgirls with no regard to how much traffic I was going to hit. It's so much fun meeting new people and having new experiences but there is something so comforting about those folks that share some of your history. I went to lunch this weekend with a friend I have known since college. She and her husband are living here while he goes to dental school and walking into their house on Saturday felt like a relief. I'm settling in here and as we get more sunshine and less bitter cold, my mood is definitely following suit, but I spend a fair amount of time feeling like I have to be "on". Proving myself at work, making friends, trying to give this round of Boston living a clean break from the last round-it can all be a bit exhausting. These moments with people I can relax with have been invaluable.

Also invaluable?

Vampire Weekend. So hot right now that the backlash should be happening before you can say "Diablo Cody" but if this video doesn't get you moving you probably don't have a soul.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Snow Ants

Ingrid Michaelson has yet to misfire with me. Her voice is lovely and her lyrics are sweet and sincere. This song reminds me of some people I watched fall in love once upon a time.

The Hat

Do you get over the first person you loved? Maybe. I've pretty much given up on the idea that feelings will ever fit neatly into chapters. You can be legitimately past something that will still open you up a little bit if you hear the wrong song or or drive by the wrong house. And I've decided that's OK with me. if I'm going to love someone I pretty sure want a little bit of it to stick around, even if it knocks the wind out of me sometimes.

The Long and Winding Road

I read recently that car sales are down amongst the young and hip in Japan. Apparently they would rather spend their disposable income on other stuff.

Clearly I won't be moving to Japan anytime soon as after spending a little over a month as a carless girl in a big city I GLEEFULLY signed the papers on Tuesday to spend a decent chunk of change on a car every month.

I had this fantasy when moved that perhaps I could leave behind the headache of commuting and traffic and insurance and rising gas prices and live my life unfettered by an automobile.

I guess I had supressed all memories of my "pre-auto" life. I didn't have a car in college and although I lived in a tiny town and didn't really NEED one, I was always certain that my life would have changed in dramatic ways if I had the independence afforded by a vehicle. When I finally owned my first car at the advanced age of 23, I discovered I was correct. Having a car is indeed the ticket to freedom you spend all your early teen years dreaming it will be.

My new roommate has been so kind and so patient as she tweaked her schedule to take me on errands, let me tag along on trips to the gym and included me in social plans so I wasn't stuck in our apartment every cold, dark evening but that was starting to wear thin. I probably could have tried harder to make it work but it quickly became clear-I really wanted a car.

So I finally bought one last weekend and I am completely in love. I took the long way home from the dealership and was all excited to run errands that I normally find dull. I went to about 10 different stores looking for something just because I could. On my way to my house this song came on the radio

It's probably more proof that while my body is definitely East Coast these days and I'm working on getting my heart on board, my little spirit remains pretty attached to the open road spaces of the West. In any event, it's good to be able to go to the grocery store and not think about how the heck I'll get this stuff home...

*edit* I wasn't going to say what I bought because it makes me sound like a total yuppie. So here's your clue-it's the swedish car company that isn't Volvo.
**second edit** for you coop, i will add a photo later.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I promised myself at 5:00 a.m. when I woke up and needed a drink of water than I would A) drink more during the day and B) get to bed on time tonight.

I have lots I want to say but I need to follow through on these promises more.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Ego Check

I was a party last night and met a guy whose last name sounded familiar. I was pretty sure I had been on a blind date with that last name so he and I spent a good five or ten minutes going through his siblings and cousins and where they all lived trying to figure it out. You know where this is going right? THE DATE WAS WITH HIM.

That's right, we went on a blind date in Salt Lake about six years ago and neither of us remembered the other at all. Good to know I make such a great impression on the menfolk.

Here's a girl who DOES know how make an impression...I've been listening to this song pretty much every other second. Eva Cassidy actually died of breast cancer shortly after making her first album and never got to enjoy any of her fame. A friend introduced me to her many years ago-oddly enough it was around the same time I went on that blind date. A few months later Michelle Kwan skated to Cassidy's version of "Fields of Gold" in the exhibition at the end of the 2002 Olympics. It had been a tough Games for her and the choice of song seemed especially bittersweet. I'm sure it wasn't easy but she skated a flawless performance that night and was as gracious as could be. The wikipedia entry on Eva Cassidy says that Kwan's use of the song that night and through her post-Games appearances helped Eva's album "Songbird" get the exposure to become a certified Gold Record. There is something kinda fitting about that.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Arts and Crafts

My new brand has a retail store and last week we went down to refresh all the marketing materials. I got the painstaking task of repapering the dressing room walls with individual white bordered photos. Now I know you are thinking, "wouldn't it be easier to just make some kind of graphic you could slap on the wall?" To which I would say, "yes, you could, but it wouldn't look anywhere near this cool."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fever Pitch

The cold I've been trying to stay ahead of finally caught me last night. I spent today on the couch catching up on way more TV on DVD than a person really ought to watch in one sitting. However, I AM feeling quite a bit better so that's awesome.

I also did a little blog hopping and discovered this live version of Oasis doing a cover of Ryan Adam's cover of THEIR song Wonderwall. I already loved the original and then Ryan's version is even more awesome so this is a pretty awesome find.

I hope this cold doesn't kill my weekend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


It's cold and rainy in Boston today! That never, ever happens!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Dear me

I ran across some photos from high school while I was moving that I hadn't seen in years. There was one of me at a drama camp my senior year that in particular made me think, "oh funny, insecure little girl, the things I wish I could tell you about the life you are going to have." So today when I saw a book called Letters to My Younger Self, I couldn't help but sit and read almost the whole thing. Each letter is addressed to the woman at a specific and important time of her life and gives advice from her older self. The letters are so tender and sincere and so of course, I wanted to come home and write one of my own.

This one is to my 17 year old self on the night of Homecoming my senior year, one of many boy's choice dances to which I was not invited. A rough night as you can imagine. Here's what I wish I could say to her.

"Dear Miss Katie,

I'm really sorry that you aren't going to the dance tonight. I hope it's at least a little better because if I remember correctly, the boy you liked senior year doesn't even go to your school. That probably sounds like a dumb and not helpful adult thing to say though doesn't it? (What if I tell you that you will see that boy on the street in about five years and you will look adorable and he will look, well, not?)

I wish you knew all the truly amazing things that are going to happen to you in the next 15 years. You will have experiences and opportunities that you don't even know enough to daydream about yet. But one thing I will tell you is that you aren't going to grow up to be a dater. Boys are always going to be one part of your life where you will fail way more than you succeed and will be a near constant source of frustration. My advice to you is that right now-as you are sitting there telling your journal that your grades and your friends and your lead roles in plays and the enormous amount of effort you put into making good choices don't count because you didn't get asked to the dance-is that you learn to stop giving your dating status any sort of power over your happiness. Over the next few years, plenty of boys are going to come in and out of your life. Some of them will feel really significant and then when it turns out they aren't, you will end up wasting a lot of time and energy explaining away the great things about yourself because they weren't interested in you. I'm not trying to depress you-there are some lovely romances ahead I promise-but the overriding state of your love life will be sorta grim. Even now, in my "older and wiser" state, I'll admit to still panicking every once in awhile that I will die alone. But I will also promise you that your thirty one year old self can look back and say that not one of those marathon crush boys you've had or will have is someone you missed out on. There will be some awesome men in your life and some real turkeys too, but worrying and fretting won't change either of those facts. You really won't want to trade the experiences you WILL have for more dinner and a movie nights with random boys. The sooner you can learn this lesson, the more you will be able to enjoy what's coming up. I know somewhere in your heart you know this but getting a boyfriend is not an accomplishment. It's obviously a great goal and hey, I hope we get married one of these days too kid. But if set your worth in the areas of your life that you can control on something that is entirely subjective, you set yourself up for a pretty sad and ungrateful life.

You are such a good little person and it's frustrating as an adult to look back and see how often you tied yourself up in knots over the opinions ofsixteen year old boys. Although if I'm honesty with myself, it's not just you. I suppose the sixty year old me will probably say something similar one of these days about the men around me now.

Let yourself cry tonight, there is nothing wrong with wanting to have those quintessential high school experiences and being sad when you think you are missing out. Just know that "missing out" is relative. It will shock you someday to talk to your current classmates as adults and discover that even alot of the kids at that dance right now spent high school feeling just as lost and insecure as you do. But tomorrow try to do something outside of yourself. Help with your little siblings or write a thank you note or something. Just don't wear yourself out on something that you simply cannot control.

Your life is pretty different now from what you imagine and sometimes fear right now so go ahead and cross "senior prom" off your list. You aren't going and yet somehow, you will still manage to get into college and speak french on your mission and kiss plenty of really good lookin' boys someday. Go easy on yourself, it'll be super helpful to me one day.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Fire Eye

A few months ago a friend brought the “one month rule” to my attention. When it comes to major life disruptions-breakups, career dissatisfaction, divorce, death-you get one month to moan about it and then your friends get to start tuning you out. She said that even when her mother died, an event that would seem to lend itself to extra time in the grieving process, a month was just about as long as people on the outside of the situation could listen to her cry.

Maybe it sounds a little harsh but I’ve become a firm believer in the one month rule. So much so that I’m trying to institute a firm time limit on how much I’ll let my heart and mind go back and forth on an issue. After 30 days, you’ve said everything you can say, you’ve analyzed everything you can analyze and it’s time to move on. It doesn’t have to mean you’ve gotten over the problem, but it does mean you have to stop dwelling on it.

I’m pretty sure that all my worries and fears about my move are dangerously close to hitting the deadline so Wednesday night I called a friend to get out one last big burst of concern. I can’t stress enough how much I understand, and am grateful for, how lucky I am that there are still some folks left in Boston who I love and trust. Not everyone has that kind of net when they land in a new place and I want to make it really clear that I get it.

I tried hard to be positive but I had managed to work myself into quite a panic over pretty much every aspect of my life-worries about everything from the somewhat sketchy part of Boston I decided to live in, to boy stuff, to that nagging “I just never wanted to live here again” feeling that I can’t seem to kick. I have just felt like I traded being sort of miserable at work to being happy at work and miserable the other 16 hours of the day. All of which combines to make me doubt everything about the real and peaceful confirmations all along the way that this was a good decision for me. My naturally upbeat personality is constantly at war with what is also my natural tendency towards fear and worry. That back and forth can make for a tough time spiritually as a relationship with God is almost entirely dependent on faith.

So my friend and I had a very nice chat and it finally settled into my heart and my brain that God does not communicate through fear. My worried and unsettled feelings are not His way of saying, “wow, you’ve made a huge mistake.” They are completely unproductive emotions that are only serving to make this transition tougher than it needs to be. I kept thinking about the way my parents were so patient and kind when I was such a mess my first semester of college. I’m certain that as some point they must have been tired of all my complaints but they were never anything but loving and supportive. They knew way better than I did that going away to school was the best thing for me and eventually I was going to be OK. I think that’s where I am now with Boston. I still think it’s OK to admit when you are scared and to be attentive when you really do think you might be making a mistake. But for the most part, dwelling on that stuff and constantly second guessing yourself just gets you stuck.

The last few months have provided enormous opportunites for growth, some of which I have taken and some of which quite frankly I think I let pass me by. But I’m learning a lot even when it means falling on my face. I think I'm ready for a little coasting for a bit.

Here is a video that I love, by a band that I love, that reminds me of a night in Boston years ago with a bunch of people that I love. It feels really appropriate.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Day Four

So um, I'm still watching Felicity in all my spare time. Good thing it's cold and rainy outside so I don't have to worry that I'm wasting my time.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Gold Rush

In my unpacking my roommate discovered my DVD's of the second season of Felicity. We are now on episode seven. I forgot how much I love this show. I have sometimes joked that every problem in my life can be solved by an episode of Felicity. I am only sort of kidding. Something in one of the episodes hit a nerve last night and I ended up having a long overdue but still difficult conversation today. Here's hoping that my Season Two goes as well as hers. This is a fourth season flashback to one of my favorite moments. I was always more a Noel fan than a Ben fan but boy did these two have some awesome chemisty.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Busy Signal

I'm finally sleeping in my own bed again. After a two and a half week trek across the country, my belongings have caught up with me and I'm in the process of trying to stuff my suburban house into my new city apartment. I will never take closets and drawer space for granted!

It was a great week at work. Boy do I love my new job. I feel one hundred percent in over my head but it's not really a step forward if you don't feel a bit out of your element right?