Sunday, October 28, 2007


I'm not angry...that is just the sound that my second pumpkin is making. This weekend was our annual pumpkin carving party - and I have a serious love for the carving, so I carved two (as I have for the past few years). Here, on show, are my pumpkins:

Pumpkin A is the "pattern pumpkin". I used a pattern to carve it - it was also the pumpkin that entered our "pattern" contest and sadly, lost (we have a "free hand" and a "pattern" contest). I think I got a total of 0 votes. Ouch. If you can't tell, it's a "haunted house"(it looks better in the dark, but it's harder to take a picture in the dark. I'll try later and possibly update this post). Not so excited about it...

Pumpkin B was the pumpkin I was more excited about. The pumpkin was inspired by this site. My sister had found the site and decided to do one for her contest entry...and I felt like a cheater if I also took from the site for the competition. So I just did it for fun. He looks kick ass in the dark as well. His eyes get red and his teeth look awesome. I'll be doing more teeth next year....

This will be my last post until NaBloPoMo starts. In case you're not in the loop, NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month - and it basically means I'll be posting every day in November. I think it's sort of fun that it's November, since that includes my birthday AND Thanksgiving. I think you should all do NaBloPoMo and spend my birthday (November 2) extolling my virtues. Or the opposite, telling the world why you find me annoying. Friday of NaBloPoMo should be "Talk about Katie" day. Ok, not really, I'm kidding. Mostly.

But for real, sign up to NaBloPoMo here. And have fun looking at random blogs from the list here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Katie uses technology for evil....

So, before I get into my planned subject matter, let me just complain. I wore heely boots today where I usually wear flats; had to stand a lot when I am usually slothful. On the walk home I literally almost took off my shoes. My feet cramped up in the most painful way. I don't think they are going to be normal tomorrow.

Back to our regularly scheduled subject....

Sometimes I concoct lame experiments. Here's what happens: I have a fleeting thought. I boneheadedly believe that said thought is valid.

That is why I decided it would be intriguing to find out how many messages my answering machine can hold (somewhere between 20 and...infinity. It basically just said FL and then wouldn't give me my messages).

The following experiments are still underway:
  1. The one where I think my coworkers are nicer to me when I'm either
    • Wearing my hair pulled back
    • Wearing form fitting clothes
  2. The one where I use technology for evil (see below).
Ok. Here's the deal. Even though I was drunk at work on Friday, I had a full candy bowl. I got to work on Monday and there were like 5 pieces of candy in that bowl. Who is eating my candy? My desk came with a webcam. I hooked that bad boy up, pointed it at my candy bowl and set it to motion sensitive. Here are my conclusions thus far:

When I am away from my cube, people are more likely to:
  • Root around in the bowl and touch every piece of candy
  • Visit the candy bowl in general
Honestly, you'd be shocked by the time these people take to look around in the bowl. A bowl that can hold maybe 25 pieces of candy total. Touching every piece of candy. One of my coworkers ONLY visits the bowl when I'm not there. I am now convinced that she only eats my candy and canned shellfish (have you ever smelled oysters being microwaved? No? Well, consider yourself one lucky bastard). And I caught the cleaning lady eating my candy.

When I am at the desk, people do a hit and run. Grab the candy on the top and run. RUN! Katie hasn't seen you yet! Or else they feel the need to chat, pretend they like me, chat.

Candy bowl etiquette seems to be lacking...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hope that your heart's always warm...

And here are the last three questions...written for the second time by cg who had her first set swallowed by blogger...

If tomorrow you could wake up and magically be brilliant at something that you can't do, or are crap at doing, today, what would it be?

This one is a no-brainer. I would want to be musical. I bet if I tried really hard I could be passingly musical, but who has the time or money to do that? I'd love to play the piano or guitar. And I'd love to sing in key. It might help if my fingers were magically stretched a bit as they are exceedingly small and make chords and keys seem impossible...

Desert island CD. I leave it to your discretion whether you want this to be an actual released album or a mix CD - if it's a mix CD, your discretion as to how many tracks you choose to list here ...

This is impossible. I realize I'd need a mix - because I'd need music to "work" to (you know, when I'm building my hut) and music to cry to (you know, because I'm stuck on a desert island). The problem here is that this is going to be influenced by what I love now. And anything will get tiring after a while. And oh my god, I can't handle the pressure.

Sad sap songs:
  1. Mona Lisa - Guster
  2. Brothers on a Hotel Bed - Death Cab for Cutie
  3. Your Ex-Lover is Dead - Stars
  4. Joga - Bjork
  5. Not the Red Baron - Tori Amos
  6. Age Six Racer - Dashboard Confessional
  7. A Plain Morning - Dashboard Confessional
  8. Typical Situation - DMB
  9. Hide and Seek - Imogen Heap

Working hard songs:
  1. Hyperballad - Bjork
  2. Tripping Billies - DMB
  3. Let Go - Frou Frou
  4. My Name is Jonas - Weezer
  5. Sexy Back - Justin Timberlake
  6. Mr. Brightside - Killers
  7. Lovestoned - Justin Timberlake
  8. Oooh La - Kooks
  9. Naive - Kooks
  10. Crystal Ball - Keane
  11. Do It - Nelly Furtado
  12. Stronger - Kanye West
This question is too hard. Way too hard. And you all should take this opportunity to clue me in to new music, because I have been craving something new pretty hard for a few weeks now. I'm listening to music at work a lot now (to drown out some uncomfortable noises originating in the cubicle behind mine).

Most influential person in your life so far? and if I can stretch one question slightly, so that it also includes some hint of why/how so?

My Mom and Dad. Most of it was a lot of the normal shit, but I think I've learned a lot by example (and while most of that is good stuff, some of it has been "what not to do"). I'm really not sure that there will ever be a more influential person. My friends have had great influence on me as well...but that all just gets murkier than the parent thing even is (and we jump into the question of how much of me is me and how much of me is that which I've taken from others...).

Now are your questions:
  • Because it was so torturous and hard, I'm going to make you do your own desert island question (freudian that I first typed dessert?)
  • If you could give whatever you wanted (no cost/time/spatial restrictions) to someone you love, what would you give? And to who?
  • As a fellow singleton (singleton's of the world unite!), do you have any "deal-breakers"? Do you have anything that you would like a "date" or partner to possess?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Questions and questions...

So, I forgot to ask Aaron some questions (sorry!):
  • What is the first thing you notice about people when you meet them? (repeat question, but I like it).
  • What is your favorite book? Favorite movie?
  • If you could do anything for the next 24 hours, no consequences, no money limit...what would you do?
And now, Janet's questions....

What is one thing that you really want to accomplish in the next ten years?

This one is tough...I'm headed in the right direction for my "short-term" goals, which are to graduate grad school and own a condo (this one is more longer term). I guess the one "accomplishment" that I hope to have is a relationship of some kind? Even if I'm not in one at the ten year mark, to have had one in between now and then might be nice.

If you could have one meal and eat whatever you want without having to worry about fat or calories, what would it be?

Wow, this one is hard. But here it is...

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Paneer Butter Masala (with Naan to dip into it and rice to eat it on)
a Sweet Mandy B's cupcake

What TV character (or movie I guess) is most like you? Most like who you would want to marry?

This one is terribly tricky. It doesn't help that my memory is so thin. My first thought was Angela from My So Called Life. She's so naive and sensitive...and I feel like that a lot lately. Who I would want to first thought was Jim from the Office. I just love him right now. And I love his sense of humor.

So didn't say if you want questions or not...let me know if you do. I know you don't really blog just let me know!

A few more questions...

Aaron asks....

Do you or have you watched any TV series religiously? If so, which ones?

Honestly, I've sort of fallen off of the religious TV watching thing. The only show I would really be sad if it didn't Tivo is the Office. I used to really love Grey's Anatomy, but eh. And maybe I'll be excited when Lost comes back around. Overall, I'm less attached to the TV than I've ever been...

What's your favorite thing about living in Chicago? What's your least favorite thing? (sorry, 2 in one...)

It is really hard to pick any favorite thing...I love the fact that I can walk almost anywhere. I love the view at times (there's an awesome, amazing, delicious view off on the top level of the Children's Memorial Hospital parking garage or the view from certain roads on the way in). I love the food options. Restaurants everywhere...

I don't love the traffic. I don't love the smells (sometimes, you just walk through a pee cloud or a sewage cloud). Right now I don't love the CTA.

Where in the world do you most want to go where you have not been before?

My top vacation destination at the moment is Greece. I have this thing for ruins...

But I also would like to see some part of Africa, rainforest somewhere (Brazil maybe) would be pretty cool to go to China...and I still sort of want to go to India.

Friday, October 19, 2007


So I promise my two last question askers that I will answer next post...but I just wanted you all to know:

There is something entirely overwhelming about being drunk at work (sanctioned drunk, don't worry - I got drunk during team building). At this point in my drunk arc I sort of want to lay down and take a nap or cry.

And that is why you should never drink with your coworkers.

The end.

PS - I am going to be hungover around 6pm unless I drink more. And...that is sad. But I think I'll go ahead and drink more.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Last call...

Last call for questions....I'm going to go ahead and extend the invite to anyone...and if you don't want questions in return, I respect that, you can now ask without having to answer in reciprocation.

After that, it's back to blogging as usual (and then in November, blogging daily)...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More questions...

Mavis, I confess, I like this game too....and it's sort of a little more intriguing when you don't really know the person (although my sister has informed me how you all know each other, so I know there is that slight connection).

Do you read the newspaper, either online or print edition? If so, do you have any favorite reporters/columnists?

I do read the newspaper online, although not as thoroughly as you seem to imply. The Trib is my homepage on all of my computers (home and work) so I look at the headlines probably 100 times a day. I am mainly a headline reader though...I do occasionally drill down to the story, but usually it involves zoo animals or other animals (it's a weakness). As election stuff ramps up I'll be horrified and dismayed and end up reading a lot of that stuff. Due to my superficial reading, no, I have no favorite columnists...

If you could max out a credit card (someone else is paying the bill) at any store, which store would you pick?

This is TOUGH. Is it crazy that I want to say Target? I love Target. I would like to be able to max it out over the course of the year I could hit all seasonal stuff....

What is the worst book you've ever read?

How about the worst book I never got farther than 100 pages in? Gravity's Rainbow. BLARGH. And...I may have to try to read that sucker again.

Book I got through that I hated? The Alchemist. I hated that book. I actually think it's a fairly brilliant test of whether or not I'm going to get along well with someone...did you like the Alchemist? Yes? Bye.

Ok Mavis, here are my questions for you:
  • What is the first thing you notice about someone when first meeting them? Is it different for guys vs. girls?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?
  • Do you have any guilty pleasures? If not, do you wish you had some?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Redhead's questions...

An owl? Why?

Ah the owl. It's sort of a silly story that starts with a sorority "mascot", middles with an owl collection and an ugly ornament tradition and ends with my Mom being horrified that I would get a tattoo that is "for" her.

What is your favorite color and why? When did make that your favorite color?


? I don't really know. I just like it. It's vibrant, it's happy. But it's not shockingly vibrant (depending on your hue obviously) and it's more somberly happy than say...yellow. I like to wear it and live with it.

How do you look back at your sorority experience?

Sort of a mish-mash. I think it was necessary because I was swimming in a large university and suffering from a bad freshman dorm placement (I was in the upper-classmen dorm. Yeah - you try to make friends with other freshmen when you're surrounded by old people). I didn't really "profit" from the social events (although I feel like we went to quite a few of them senior year) but overall I remember my experience only positively. Although I am stuck still talking to people like redhead.... :) are your questions
  • Will you ever go back for a higher degree? If so, in what?
  • When you imagine your future, what do you see?
  • Are you still thinking of naming your child Seabass? Any names picked out for the future?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Al's questions...

Once again, some questions (if you don't know what's going on here, scroll down a bit and read the 3 blog posts before this one):

Do you ever regret getting your tattoo? Side question: Do you ever think you'll get another one and if you did, what would it be?

Nope, no regret. Although I do sometimes wish it looked slightly different and will probably "jazz" it up someday. But I definitely don't regret what is on me right now. And yes, yes, yes I will be getting more tattoos. Unfortunately, to the chagrin of my parents, I will probably be the one in the extended family that ends up with a menagerie of tattoos. Probably a whole lot of small ones, although I did once see a huge one that I would consider. I'm just not ready for that kind of tattoo commitment yet. My next two tattoos are already planned. I'm just waiting on them to make sure they hold - I always try to wait a longish amount of time so that I don't brand myself impulsively.

Tattoo the second: stars on the top of my foot. Colored. The color is up for grabs at this point - possibly primaries...maybe something like teal, gold, eggplant? I'm not entirely sure on that yet - that may be something I'd discuss with the tattooer.

Tattoo the third: An owl...location still in question. Possible hip bone, on the front or back...not sure. One color. Not sure if it's black...

What is YOUR definition of chemistry?

Should I give back story on this question? Ok - so I'm questioning my judgment on all things having to do with men. Maybe that's not even clear enough....I can't decide one way or the other about someone, if I'm crushing on him or not. So I was wondering if chemistry can be a one way street (thoughts readers?). And then Al and I got into a convo about chemistry. My definition is somewhat limited, something along the lines of: the sizzle you feel around someone you're clicking with. However, I think this is too narrow. I now may adopt Al's definition which was (I paraphrase): when your personalities click/bounce back and forth with someone. When personalities play well together....

How would you answer this question: "So Katie, what's your story?"

When I read this question, I think the appropriate answer is one or two sentences:

Twenty-something reluctant scholar who spends her days laughing with other nerds while making websites for librarians. Is hopelessly attached to her family and a few good friends while spending most of her time around other humans being socially awkward.

So Al, here are your questions. Answer them at will:
  • I heart that story question, so I'm going to make you answer your own question. So Al, what's your story?
  • If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days what would it be? If you could only read one thing? Watch one thing? Listen to one...CD?
  • When you imagine your future, what does it look like?

Pooj's questions...

See the original questions post for how this thing is working...

What did you take away from your college experience at U of I?

I think the most important thing was definitely not the schooling part of it (because honestly, I use barely anything I learned there. The only possible useful thing I was schooled in is writing. I can kill a business case now). I think I came away with a better idea of who I am, how to interact with people (and live with them...and even learned that I don't really want to live with them). Probably the one thing I learned that may be different to what most people learn in college (sure, I learned my alcohol tolerance like the rest) is how to be alone and not be lonely.

If you had the power to make one fictitious character a reality, who would it be?

My first inclination was Ronald Weasley. But, like my sister said with Anne of Green Gables, I think he is some amalgamation of Ron Weasley and Rupert Grint in my head. There is a weird mesh there...

I have this horrible problem where I don't really remember much of what I have read. It's sort of the same issue with not remembering all that many details of my childhood. Not sure why this happens/happened, but remembering fictitious characters is not my strong suit (my head is probably brimming full of song lyrics and coding and all that other stuff was pushed out).

Does your dad make the best homemade pizza? Just kidding...

The truth is...I've never had any other homemade pizza. But, I'm sure if I had, yours would come out on top....

If you could only watch 3 more movies in your life, which ones would you choose?

This one is tough. I think I'd have to pick ones that I could watch over and here's the first three I came up with:
  1. The Fifth Element (Action + Sci-fi)
  2. Love Actually (Romance + a dose of realism)
  3. Empire Records (a bit of everything)
Ok Pops, it's your turn:
  • This is a first instinct/first thought question, so you have to answer it with the first thing that pops into your mind: Happiest memory? Saddest memory?
  • What TV shows are you watching this year?
  • I'm stealing this question from Ang's questioner, Mavis: You have to leave right now to go to the airport for a 10 day trip. Where are you going? And...are you taking me with you?
As I was typing this I got another three questions. I'm going to do those later tonight or tomorrow...

Friday, October 12, 2007

A slice of my Friday...

Boku is snoring softly upstairs. The TV is on mute. I pause in my reading ("The application of e-business practices can provide a massive......"). I have a vague recollection of an amazing line I read in a book last night that perfectly captures my feelings about Chicago and feel happy.
Before them, the skyline towered. Colin had always loved Chicago's skyline. Although he was not a religious person, seeing the skyline made him feel what is called in Latin the mysterium tremendum et fascinans - that stomach-flipping mix of awestruck fear and entrancing fascination. - An Abundance of Katherines, John Green
Just feeling happy tonight (and it doesn't hurt that I just finished that reading and am so, one less reading away from being utterly behind in my course)....don't miss the Questions post below this one...


So the deal is, I asked my sis three questions. She reciprocated and now I answer them here. If you'd like, you can ask three questions in the comments and I'll answer them on this blog. Then I'll ask you three and you have to answer them somewhere (if you have a blog, on your blog. If not, then...I guess in the comments?). So here goes:

Besides the monetary benefits, was it worth it to go and get your Masters in something so far removed from your major in college? Was it the right choice?

Yes, yes, yes. I think part of the problem of being an adult and having to pay your own bills (boooo) is trying to find a job that you actually like. Or, put differently, finding busy work that you don't mind doing...and I managed to hit it with this stuff. I took an educated guess that since I spent so much time on my computer that I might as well marry it...maybe I should be an IT person. And once in school again, I figured out which part of IS fit was a big gamble and it paid off (and I think the chances of it going the other way were pretty high).

Part of why I love my job so much right now is the atmosphere here. I laugh out loud, hard, probably at least 5 times a day and usually more around 15-20. And while that is a function of the atmosphere and people of this place, not the actual is also something that could never exist in an insurance company (no offense Pooj). I will probably never have a stuffy job again. And I may never have to dress business casual again (hooray). And I think all of that fits me. I think my "people" fit somewhere in the large pool of nerdy IT people...

What's your favorite place in London?

My first instinct was Budgen's. My grocery store. Which is sort of hilarious and shows you just how much I like food. But I think it's more like...London was home and when you live somewhere the small places are most frequented: your favorite restaurants (Pret!), your grocery store, your public transportation hub (Mile End Underground stop!). And those little things are what I remember most. But, the place I would HAVE to visit if I was in London is Tate Modern. I love that place. I can even walk through it in my head...and if you know my memory, you know that means it's a place I value (and have been to a million times). My favorite ever piece of art was one sentence: An large wall piece made out of plastic rectangles connected with tubes, full of sand colored as the flags of a whole bunch of countries that had, at one time, been used as an anthill.

What trends do you secretly wish you were taking part in right now? What trends are you glad to keep away from you with a ten-foot pole?

I love hats...and I wish that I could wear some of the cuter trendy hats without feeling like a tool. But I would. I'd feel like people would look at me and think, "Britney Spears wannabe?". Or "Hipster." I don't want to be a hipster.

That may be the only trend that I like. I don't mind that the shirts are a bit longer now. Cuts down on the riding up over my sloped belly.

As for trends that I hate:
Leggings are HIDEOUS.
Formal shorts are just plain stupid.

Girl last night who was wearing leggings under formal shorts with hooker heels: utter disaster.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Beedle, doodle, deedle...

This is all going to be entirely irrelevant...

For my final banned book I read "The Giver". I'm not going to say much about it here because possible readers of this blog are going to be reading it. I really enjoyed it...and this is a book I would whole-heartedly recommend to any reader. I won't go anymore into it, but if you haven't read it I think you should. It's about 180 pages and took me a few hours to read. I have a copy to borrow if any of you want it....

Last night, I was sort of at a loss for what to do. I was caught up with lectures. I had read the case we discuss Thursday. I was waiting for an assignment to be posted (promised over the weekend, never showed up). So I managed to knit this cute little baby sock:

I am a little uncertain about the so-called "zig-zag bind-off" which forms the weird little ruffle on top of the sock; shown in close-up here:

I think it's sort of ugly and unfinished looking. But apparently it's a fancy bind-off and it's meant to look that way. And to be completely honest with the timing of this knit, I knit a tiny bit on Saturday, a bunch on Sunday and then finished it up last night...

There's this commercial...a dog food commercial with a David Duchovny voice-over. And it makes me yearn for a dog. Not that my cats aren't awesome. I mean...hell, Boku lets me scratch her head almost all of the time now. But, all joking aside, I do love my cats probably a bit too much. But I have oozing amounts of pet love to give. And there is a certain amount of interaction that a dog provides that a cat just doesn't...although on the flip side of that, there is also a much larger quantity of poop to scoop...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Jumble of thoughts...

Ok...looks like while I have classes I am only capable of bullet point posts...
  • Yesterday while walking to work I saw a girl walking what I can only hope was the walk of shame. She was wearing a vest. And a beaded bra. And some pants and shoes. It was the vest with the bra completely showing that threw me. And the bra was seriously bedazzled. It was hideous.
  • How is it almost 90 out in October? Horrible.
  • I hate movers. I understand that sometimes it is necessary to block an alley. Fine (although in my case, said "alley" is actually a street with a parking lot on the end. With enough room to squeeze a truck to one side...but I digress). Fine, block the alley. But when a car owner who pays to park in the alley needs to leave, don't be a gigantic ASS HOLE about moving the truck. I know you're just "doing your job", but you don't have to make me sit and wait while you move a couch from the truck to the apartment and then back (presumably because it didn't fit in the door). Put the couch down and move the truck.
  • My new canvas grocery bags kick ass. The bonuses of these bags enumerated
    1. Long straps for fit over the shoulder ease
    2. Large insides to fit lots of groceries, therefore limiting the number of actual bags you need to wrangle. This also leads to the illusion that your groceries are somehow lighter
    3. Saving the environment!

    4. I advise all of you to purchase some. These are the bags I own.
  • I plan to vacuum at some point this weekend and I can't wait. Isn't that lame?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Things I'm loving right now...

  • Dominick's Signature Baked Potato soup
  • The flexibility of my job, which allowed me to leave early earlier this week when I wasn't feeling so great
  • Colder weather...where did you go?
  • Jim & Pam being together, 30 Rock actually producing real laughs
  • Baby zoo tigers (although did you read the story, the horrible story? Poor baby zoo tigers).
  • Easy peasy classes.
  • This donkey:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Banned book tres...

So for my final banned book review, I read the classic Are you there God? It's me, Margaret. I am fairly sure that I had read this book before (it all seemed vaguely familiar...).

In case you're unaware of the plot, I'll summarize. Margaret moves. Moving problems ensue (fitting in and going through puberty at same time). That's basically it. With the added twist that Margaret was not raised religiously and is trying to figure out what she believes in (I think it's important to note that Margaret is trying to find WHAT she believes in, not IF she believes. There is one point in the book where she gets angry with God. But she doesn't not believe).

I think it was actually sort of good that I had read Alice, because these two characters are basically going through the same age period. And where Alice was annoying, Margaret was lovable. Her search is endearing and in the end, it's more about reaching for knowledge than anything anti-religion.

And the religion thing...that's why it's banned. And that makes me sad. I think it's great that this young girl is trying to find her own way in the quagmire of organized religions. In the end she doesn't have a definitive answer, but she still believes. And that is a positive message for anyone, it certainly isn't anti-organized religion.

I just Wikipedia'd this, and it says that it's banned "due to its frank treatment of sexuality and religion." And by sexuality we mean: Margaret getting her period.

Banning books is SO WEIRD. Absolutely unnecessary in this case. A lovely coming of age book that I would recommend to anyone.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I got the music in me...

A few days ago my sister did a concert meme that I found intriguing. Then my Dad followed in her comments. So here I take part, off of my Dad's concert list.

Copy this list; leave in the bands you've seen perform live; delete the ones you haven't, and add new ones that you have seen until you reach 25. An asterisk means the previous person had it on their list. Two asterisks means the last two people who did this before you had that band on their list.

(note: my concert list and my sisters would have been far more similar than mine and the Dads)

Dave Matthews Band**
Pearl Jam**
Barbra Streisand**
Paul McCartney**
The Police**
John Mayer*
James Taylor*
Ben Folds*
Michael Buble
Death Cab for Cutie
Puff Daddy (aw yeah!)
Justin Timberlake
Christina Aguilera
Indigo Girls
The Killers
Kings of Leon
Modest Mouse (not impressed)

I have no embarrassment about any of those concerts.