Thursday, December 30, 2010

Face Off

Alright, kicking off what I hope will be an inordinate amount of posts in the next two days (you know, so I can fool myself into feeling like a good blogger in 2010), Imma starting with something simple. A little opinion piece, if you will. Except the opinions I'm searching for are YOURS.

Like every Christmas break, I've been watching a ridiculous amount of TV. Yes, I'll admit it. I have no shame. Most of this has been spent catching up on the last two seasons of Psych, which led me to ponder on bromance.

Bromance, usually defined as an intense bond betwixt two straight males, is a typical trope seen on the televisions. Is it real, or only a ploy used for women to relate emotionally to male characters? The world may never know.

But regardless, on TV, it exists. So I'm asking you*, who has the best bromance?
  • Abed and Troy, Community. A friendship that others "just don't understand."
  • Phil and Lem, Better Off Ted. Two scientists who rely on each other to get the job done. Whatever that implies.
  • JD and Turk, Scrubs. Living together, working together, spending every moment together. Pure guy love.
  • Shawn and Gus, Psych. Their give-and-take relationship is always a pleasure, and is hilarity to watch.
  • Bret and Jemaine, Flight of the Conchords. These Kiwis and their bromance make sweet, sweet music.
  • Other, but you must specify what and why in the comments.
Good luck choosing. I know I sure can't.

*Poll in the sidebar, to the right.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Have worst night of sleep ever? Check.

Go to take a final at seven in the morning, walking through snow in the dark? Check.

Put absolutely no effort into final essay? Check.

Get back final paper from class, only to discover I completely failed? Check-a roonie.

Walk back home, getting splashed with slush from several passing cars, until utterly drenched and soggy? Check.

Go home and cry tears of pity and self-loathing in the shower, ala Tobias Funke? Check.

Attempt to make self feel better by listening to all the nine versions of the song "Hallelujah" I own, including the completely ridiculous Leonard Cohen original? Double check.

Feel surprised that such a tactic worked? Check.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


This weekend I found home in a sandwich.

For those of you who might be doubting or mocking, cease and desist. It is perfectly possible for a home to be a sandwich, and I am telling you. I experienced that this weekend.

This Saturday I ended up in Davis County, a little tired from a baby shower for my sister-in-law and a little worried from a hospital visit. And I was also STARVING. Before heading back to Provo, I decided to drop by an old favorite, a place of food and comfort I haven't been to in a while.

Can I quickly laud my great decision making? Because sometimes, it's so amazing I surprise myself. Stopping at Spanky's might have made my week. Seriously, everything seems so hopeful, so achievable, and I think it is because I kicked it off with a glorious sandwich.

Why is a Spanky's turkey sandwich, on white, with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, salt and pepper oil and vinegar one of my homes? Well, we go way back, me and this sammich. In fact, I think it might of been the first sandwich I ever had, and by far the most delicious. It's tradition. It's soft bread and warm smell and white chocolate macadamia cookies. It's ritual-- the ritual of putting potato chips on top and sticking the toothpick in the lid of my Fresca-filled cup. It's a sign of love and a job well done. It's something I can only get at home, and only with family. The sandwich IS family.

I can't express it. Home is many things, and for me, for this moment, it's a sandwich. This weekend, I was home. And oh boy, did it taste good.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Step Onto My Soapbox

Today, I was walking to school, dragging my feet as usual, when I suddenly looked up. The wind had started, and red orange leaves were rustling across the street in waves, spiraling, their colors glistening like scales. Time, cars, people, everything stopped as the road became covered in fall foliage. I stopped, my view obstructed by my own wind-whipped hair and the orange symphony around me, and I felt joyful. I felt completely, inexplicably happy, and I couldn't stop a giant and genuine grin from covering my face.

And this was miraculous. Because lately, I haven't felt anything. This semester has been challenging, not just because classes are hard, work is constant, and it feels impossible to be caught up, but more because I couldn't muster even an ounce of motivation for anything. I just didn't care. And the sad part is, I still don't. But at least it isn't affecting every part of my life. Before, there was no light and no end of the tunnel. There was no goal I was working toward, and life was just a long slog of endless work and apathy until I died, most likely at a young age from fluorescent light poisoning, or something equally mundane.

Luckily, this first started to change when I went to see Waiting for Superman. Aside: everyone, SEE THIS FILM NOW. Carrying on. While seeing this, I finally felt some stirring of emotion. I remembered what I was working for. I wasn't working because I had no other options, and it wasn't just because there's nothing else you can do with an English major. I'm becoming a teacher because I care about the youth of America. I care about the education system. I'm becoming a teacher because I honestly want to help students realize that they have potential, that knowledge is important, and that they are worth something. I want my students to see that laziness is not an option, and that all they need to succeed is an ounce of imagination in this creatively bankrupt world. I want them to trust themselves, to learn self-reliance, and most importantly, to have confidence. I want them to be better. I want them to do things my generation can only dream of, and to do them with grace and assurance. I am becoming a teacher because I want them to know that someone cares about their future. I won't be nice. I won't be an easy grade. But I will push my class to notice the world around them, and to want to change it.

Sorry. That got off track and rather preachy. But this is important to me. Right now I am incredibly disillusioned with the education system, not just the public school system (even though that is a main one), but also with any and all institutions. Ray Bradbury said "I don't believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries." Right now, I agree with him wholeheartedly.

At this point, I have one more real semester of school left. In looking back over my college career, I have had good experiences, classes I am thankful for, but I also sometimes want to cry. I feel like I was a more intelligent person when I graduated high school. Sure, my knowledge is much more specialized and in-depth on certain topics, but overall I feel like I've lost something. And even in those specialized fields, I don't care anymore. I don't know if this is my three and a half years of non-stop schooling talking, but I am tired of school. It holds no excitement, no passion, and absolutely no interest for me. If I had a choice at this point, I would drop out for a while, but with one semester left, that seems like a poor decision. But classes? Hour long increments where I feel my life force being sucked out. That's right, in this scenario, school= DEMENTORS.

I honestly feel like I would be a happier, more beneficial, and more educated person if I added up those hours and hours I am spending writing worthless papers and listening to the opinions of worthless classmates and just spent them in a library, devouring books and journals as I saw fit. Maybe after a few months of that, I would feel ready to join the ranks of academia again. After months of that, I could return to writing papers, because this time they would be fueled by passion and interest rather than deadlines and lifeless, forced theses.

For now, there's nothing left to do but stick it out for five more months. After that, I'll be fine. I'll spend four months recharging, and I'll face a classroom with vigor and enthusiasm. And I WILL endure these next few months. You know why? Because I am a good teacher. I need to be out there, practicing my craft. I need to have a purpose in life, something that the endless monotony of college has stolen from me. And I will hang on, because I can't stall. I'm going to move forward. I am going to embrace my life, and the meaning it has.

All these thoughts came at once, while I watched the leaves, then continued towards class. But now it was with renewed vigor. I focused on how awesome the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack is, especially through headphones set at full volume. I remembered that my jacket always makes me feel a little like Bob Dylan, and adds a sixties-rebellious swagger to my step. I felt the wind toss my hair, and was alive. If I can keep these things in mind, I will be OK. I can make it.

For those of you who suffered through that long, slightly ridiculous blog post, here's a treat for you, in the form of a quote.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe."
- Albert Einstein

Friday, October 29, 2010

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah! Spooky, Scary!


It's time for me to join the hipper masses and proclaim my love of Halloween. I just wish that school would sit down, take a break, and revel in the glory that is the autumn spirit (PUN!). Instead, they overload life so that I feel this month has flown by. Ah, well. Such is life.

I love Halloween--the spooky, the scary, the macabre. It all delights my naturally wuss-ish soul. I love dressing up and watching somewhat scary movies. But at my core, I am an English nerd, and so the best way for me to connect with the true mood of Halloween is to read. Surprise, surprise, right?

For the past five years or so, I've dedicated myself to reading spine-chilling works of fiction to get me in the mindset for All Hallows Eve. Last year it was World War Z, a truly addicting write-up of the zombie apocalypse. The year before that it was the works of Edgar Allen Poe, then Jekyll and Hyde, Dracula, etc.

This year, I was tempted to cheat and just re-read the first installment in The Walking Dead series (an awesome, never-ending graphic novel series that is premiering in TV format on AMC this Sunday), but in the end I decided to have integrity. And even though I won't be finished by my goal of Halloween, I am still dedicated to my choice.

I chose Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury as my autumn novel. Now please excuse me while I have a short geekfest about him.

Ray Bradbury is a genius! I always appreciated his talents in jr. high and high school, when I read The Martian Chronicles and the inevitable Fahrenheit 451. But it took a recent reading of his short story "August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains" (found here) for me to become obsessed with his writing. The story was so well-written, so painfully beautiful it left me with chills at the end. I don't know how he was able to make me emotionally invested in a few short pages, pages that lacked an immediate human element, but he did. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why he deserves all the awards heaped upon him.

Also, I think his stance on technology has been one of my most-quoted bit o' news in the past couple of months. Long live Bradbury. And bless you, dear man.

Anyway, have an enjoyable weekend my dear friends. Find some way to celebrate that resonates. Commune with the dead, revel in childhood, and have fun. Because let's face it. We deserve it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jimmy Page is a Golden God

But seriously. He is. And I just thought everyone should know that.

Every time I watch this clip from It Might Get Loud, I get chills.

What a genius! Sigh.

In other music news, I finally buckled down and bought the new Miniature Tigers album, Fortress. I've loved Mini Tigers since I first saw them opening for (and completely upstaging) Bishop Allen. I found Charlie Brand and his teddy bear sweater incredibly endearing, and their album Tell it to the Volcano quickly became one of my all time favorites. ALL. TIME.

Strange music video, but I can't help but love it. And what a song! Infectious beats! Sick guitar! They are so simple but soooo good.

So far the new album is pretty ok. It's definitely different, and I'll see how I feel about that. Tell it to the Volcano had a strong central theme of getting over unrequited love, and a super Pinkerton feel that I dug. It sounds like Fortress steps away from the total stripped down Weezer-ish chords and goes for a more trippy, Sgt. Pepper feel with heavier synths and effects (not surprising, seeing how Brand cites Weezer and the Beatles as two of his influences).

Sorry for that last paragraph. It was boring, but necessary. For the .5 of you who might be interested.

The addictive sound is still there though. And as long as Brand keeps writing (and loving Lost... I already miss that show so much), I'll keep coming back.

In related Miniature Tigers news, the movie Easy A uses their song "The Wolf" in one scene. I may or may not have had a minor freak out, done a victory dance, and desperately whispered to my movie-going companions how cool it was that a band I loved had a song in the show. They did not care. In unrelated news, Easy A was a great movie. Same with The Social Network... hoo boy, was that a good flick. Well, now I'm completely off topic. If I even had one to begin with. And...


Friday, September 17, 2010

The List

A few months ago, I wrote a lovely and enlightening post about my girl crushes. Well now, prompted by a viewing of Penelope and an undying belief that there should be balance in all things, I've decided to do a rundown of my favorite guys. You know, a la "The List" from Friends. Here's my list of men that make me swoon. While there are many I admire and love at various times for various reasons, these are the ones that reign supreme. Yes, I'll love them, always and forever.

-Andrew Bird

Oh boy. This man is a genius. He's an incredible musician, playing several instruments at a time, looping riffs and melodies to create a comforting blanket of sound I just want to curl up in. The fact that he's so appealing tall, nerdy, and pull off vests and scarfs with aplomb? Now that's just a bonus.

But it's hard to discuss Andrew's appeal without showing him live, as music is truly his element and where he shines.

Sigh. Also, for more proof of his talents, check out the blog he did for the New York Times. Is there anything Andrew Bird can't do? I think not.

-James McAvoy

Another man who is supremely talented in his field. What can I say, girls only like guys that have good skills. And while I thought he was cute as Mr. Tumnus (I'm not too proud to admit it), it took one viewing of his Macbeth for me to be completely, utterly, over-the-moon in love with him. Seriously, I have never seen Shakespeare done better. Yeah that's right, EAT IT BRANAGH.

But I digress. Great actor, Scottish, can perform pretty much any kind of role possible (Shakespeare, action, fantasy, romantic comedy, intense war drama). How can I resist?

And just because I think I'm legally obliged to mention this whenever I talk about James McAvoy, remember that time I saw him in three days of rain? And I met him after? And had a conversation? That might have been the single greatest moment of my life.

-Lee Pace

Two words: Pie Maker.

That role alone, plus seeing him in The Fall and his original Bryan Fuller show Wonderfalls, have made me a mega-fan. Beware of watching Pushing Daises with me, because there is a high probability of fangirl-ishness going on. He's just adorable. A tall, Converse wearing, delightfully bashful fellow who makes me pie? Looks and cooks? Let's just say, I love food, I love Lee, and that's all you need to know.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Oh my ... oh MY ... there are no words.

"Drink of the Miracle Sauce. Rehealthify yourself."

You'll thank me later, I guarantee it.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why, merciful heavens, WHY?

So tonight, I saw The Last Airbender.

There are no words to describe the pain and devastation the entire movie experience caused. I was reduced to a facepalming seatwarmer, waiting for death to come with it's sweet, sweet deliverance.

It was BY FAR the worst movie I've ever seen. Wolverine? Better. Avatar? Better. Benchwarmers? Far better. Yes, I just said that a Rob Schneider movie was superior to this drivel. That's how serious I am.

Why is M. Night allowed to write/produce/direct movies? I propose that this is the breaking point. From this moment on, let us unite together in a sacred pact: don't support, don't encourage, and for heavens sake DON'T BELIEVE in Shyamalan. He is dead to me now. Always and forever.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Oh, I see you are gangster...

I'm pretty gangster myself.

Or at least that's how I felt after jammin' to Big Boi in "Crunk Lake City," as he so affectionately called it.

Oh Big Boi. You are such a card.

Who knew I was so thuggish? That I could get so down with my bad self? You know, just me and thousands of other white folks chilling with the homies.

And at least I fit in with my wifebeater. It would have looked so much more legit with Luke's Rocawear hat, but apparently he didn't want it to get dirty and/or destroyed. Both of which are the inevitable results of the Pioneer Park concert experience. Ah well, at least I could shake what my mama gave me. Even if I did envy those with ghetto booties.

Is this post racist enough? Probably not. It's just the perfect amount. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed the world of rap. Smooth rhymes and illin' beats. Is the phrase "ill" still in use? Or is that so Beastie Boys? I don't even know.

So, if you somehow missed it, I am very, very white.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Planet of Regret

Subtitled- Musings on Culture and Generation After a Viewing of Reality Bites.

Who knew Winona Ryder could be so inspirational? After all these years of being mildly annoyed at her early Tim Burton muse status, her need to constantly keep up her brunette locks (natural blonde does her no favors), and her no-good-dirty-shoplifting, I have found solace and philosophy in the most unlikely of sources. Namely, a relationship between two initially hateful actors- Ryder and a greasy Ethan Hawke- that I can not only identify with, but that poses the universal question: who am I, where do I fit, and what are my values?

A few months ago I read Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, a must read for any and all pop culture junkies who fancy themselves part of the untapped intelligentsia. In the chapter "Sulking with Lisa Loeb on the Ice Planet Hoth," Klosterman uses The Empire Strikes Back and Reality Bites to define Generation X. And if that alone doesn't make you immediately want to read this book, I don't know what will.

Klosterman describes Gen-Xer's as a people who reject society because they recognize it's flaws, but are ultimately too lazy to change their world. They are the genius with wasted potential, but are imbued with a sort of enviable pride. Using that definition, Winona Ryder's tumultuous relationship with Ethan Hawke stops being the ideal of friends morphing into perfect lovers. It becomes a desperate declaration of her refusal to compromise.

For young twennysomthin's, that's what the 90's were all about. It wasn't just "stickin' it to the man," but it was firmly saying that the man should not, and does not exist. They lived their lives secure in their knowledge and smug sense of superiority. And I can't help but admire that, that utter assurance of self.

And what do we, the waifs of the 21st century, what do we contribute to the scale? Do we have moral codes? I wonder if, when faced with a choice, the average contemporary would exhibit a stubborn refusal to sell out, or would take comfort in safety and success regardless of the cost. Are we schmoozers with a dollar sign on the bottom line, or are we the brilliant bums on basement couches? Perhaps it's an impossible question, as there are no absolutes but mere situations. But history books prove that this is untrue, and how will they portray the present?

Like the most intriguing questions, I suppose this will take time and patience to discover. My two least favorite attributes. Ah well. That's it for now, folks. I'm Audi 5000.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Oh Ben. It's time to talk. You know, about our relationship.

Yeah, the one we don't really have yet, but that I just know is coming along quite nicely. I mean, look at the progress we've made! Finally, after two and a half years of regret, I managed to see you live. Live in concert. As in, playing the piano and singing in my immediate vicinity. And oh man was it joyous.

True, it wasn't quite your usual scene. I couldn't help but laugh as I saw you struggling to rein in your ribald persona, trying to keep it somewhat clean due to the presence of the Utah Symphony behind you. But even they couldn't completely contain you, and I had to chuckle/swoon as you rock star mugged at the camera during "Not the Same", shoving your face near the screen, hands outstretched and lights swirling behind you.

As for me, I just stretched out and enjoyed, nibbling on chocolate cake and letting your deliciously whiny white-boy voice surround me as dark light from condos and trees kept good company.

Basically, our love is strong, dear Benjamin. And hey, if you ever find yourself in the market for a fifth wife, I'll be here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beauty in the Breakdown

I'm broke.

That's only partially true. But this summer is slowly taking all my money, seducing me with the glory of concerts. Yes, concerts. I'm hemorrhaging my hard-earned mula in increments of twelve to forty bucks at a time, all in the name of a supreme musical experience.

I think it's worth it.

Mostly, at least. The Summer Concert Season (patent pending?) officially kicked off two and a half weeks ago. Here's the rundown of the biggest names so far.
  • The Black Keys: Great!
  • MGMT: Worst ever.
I love the Black Keys, and their show last year is easily in my top three concert experiences. This year, while not quite as epic, was still mind-blowing. It was my first time at The Depot, the white whale of my musical past, plus I got Dan's set list at the end, so score for me. And let's just say, both Patrick's and Dan's swoon factor has increased by about 10,000% since last year. Sigh.

MGMT made me very angry. So angry I'm not sullying my blog with their image. So very, very angry. Let's leave it at that.

But on to the glorious Imogen!

Remember my musings about girl crushes? Imogen Heap is now a part of that elite group. She might even be taking over the list. She is ... the words truly incredible don't seem to capture all her beauty. I've never seen someone so professional, so likable, and so dedicated to really putting on a great show, purely for the sake of her fans.

Photo courtesy of Joseph Slinker

She was the first one on stage, introducing her openers personally. She was a constant presence. She created this wonderful community of musicians, through her opening acts/back-up band. And then, she played a SOLID two hour set, a set that was full of favorites. Musicians all over, take a hint from Imogen. Honestly, this concert has sky-rocketed towards being one of my favorite things ever.

Next up? Portugal. The Man tomorrow, then Rooney, Modest Mouse, Girl Talk and freakin' PAUL McCARTNEY!

The only way to describe this summer, and I say this knowing the word is overused but really applicable in this case? EPIC.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

“Why Being Really Lonely is Sometimes Super Awesome”

Ah, Scrubs. Will you ever cease speaking to my innermost soul? Correct answer: NO, never. Well, maybe. But at the very least, you've given me several new mantras. Who could forget "EEEEAAGLE!!!" and "Chocolate Bear"? All I gots to do is get a token black friend, and that last one will be in use all the time. Just you wait and see.

It's funny (as in, interesting) that when life takes a turn for the tumultuous you have two options: wallow, or learn. The other day I was walking around UVU's campus (which is, admittedly, pretty. Whatever. No big deal), and I had an epiphany. Suddenly, Wolfmother's "Vagabond" started running through my head, and I felt at peace. Maybe I'm subconsciously influenced by how it's used in 500 Days of Summer, but I felt... I don't know, hopeful? Empowered? Able to finally regain my true self? Whatever it was, it was a feeling I haven't had for the past while, and it was wonderful. "Cause I'll tell you everything about living free." Sing it, Andrew my man. Tell me about that free-time living.

I've noticed my bloggering has been kind of different lately. Short. Pithy. Filled with an awkward amount of life summary. Because I am all about audience participation, here are some topics I've been thinking about for this little page o' mine. Think of it as a choose-your-own-adventure book. Except without options that take you to different pages. And also I'm telling you upfront that there is only about a 73% chance I'll write what you choose.
  1. A quick look at the many generational stages of Chris Cooper as an evil character in movies.
  2. My top "relationship"-y albums.
  3. An introspective autobiographical piece comparing mailboxes to my lost childhood.
  4. Describing the magnanimously fantastic and non-productive day that was Wednesday, May 19.
  5. A declaration of my undying love for pie and/or the TV show Community.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion

Howdy folks!

Not many people know this, but it's been a lifelong (well... month-long. Maybe weeks-long) dream of mine to be a featured guest blogger. And now, thanks to the talented and loveable Lucas over at Juxtapose, my dream has finally come true! He let me handle a way-too-technical and beautiful camera for a week, and now is presenting some of the photographic gems, complete with a short and pithy explanation of what the experience helped me realize. Overall, I'd say it's a pretty neat project.

You can find his blog on my sidebar, or for the more lazy of you who want instant gratification, click here to go right to it. After you've checked out my super cool pictures, spend some time and look around. I guarantee you'll come out satisfied-- Luke's got a way with the camera. I bet you like it.

Enjoy, my friends! Cat OUT.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

No Words

"I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better."

-William Faulkner

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bursting Peals of Laughter

So... the pros and cons of having to bring your laptop to class.

Pro: You can stay easily occupied. If you start drifting off, there is always the trusty interweb to keep you occupied.

Con: When you choose a humorous website to fill your empty time, and you randomly bust out a giant snort of laughter, right at the moment when the class is all quiet and supposed to be thinking of some very important, serious concept.

Just saying, hypothetically these could be some dangers of laptops. Not that they happened to me. Just barely. And repeatedly. Yeah. Not that.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Girl Crush

So. Here it is. The final day of April. I can't end my month with that last post, so for your textual delight, I offer a random topic. Will it make sense? Who knows. Let's find out, hmmmm?

Have you heard of the man crush? The phenomenon where one man has a slavish adoration for another, but not in that way? It's more like an idolization of someone. A hero worship. No homo, I swear. The elevation of a person to man crush status is the highest honor a man can give. It implies ultimate respect.

So... it's fine for women to have girl crushes, right? It just makes sense. So here are my top three. These women are awesome. Or at least I think so, and lets face it. That's all that matters, right?

#3. Emma Thompson

Dude. Seriously? Seriously. Emma is amazing. She has a poise and grace that is so admirable. With the ability to carry off numerous Shakespearean roles, a crazy author, ugly nannies, and Hugh Grant's sister, along with countless other parts, Emma owns whatever she does. Besides, her voice is so proper and soothing. All at the same time. It's astounding! She is also in my top three people I want to narrate my life. Anyone and everyone should respect this woman.

#2 (TIE). Jenny Lewis and Zooey Deschanel

I put these two together because they fill a similar place in my esteem. Primarily, I love them because they are both in amazing bands-- Jenny has been the lead singer in Rilo Kiley and vox in the Postal Service, along with putting out some fantastic solo stuff, while Zooey works with M. Ward in She & Him. But they have more. Both have crazy cool retro style. Both rock, both roll. Both have a wide-eyed stare underneath tough-but-awesome bangs. Both have long wild hippie hair. Both are very, very cool.

#1. Tina FeyDo I even have to explain here? No, but I will anyway. Tina, Tina, Tina. What an incredible person. She is possibly the funniest writer ever, managing to make a TV show and characters that click so quickly and are truly laugh out loud hilarious. Honestly, how often does that happen? She has also managed to hold onto an actual personality-- nothing has changed her. Fame, acceptance, she's faced trials and truly overcome with a sense of dignity and sandwiches. I can't describe how much I like her. To Tina. Forever.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I am a giant wussface.

A coward. A tiny baby girl. Anything that denotes the fact that I completely, utterly have no backbone.

This is one of the facets of my personality I really have a problem with. Everyday I tell myself to be brave. I try to face the world with confidence, with the strength I wish I had. And everyday my fears hit me in the face, and all I want to do is run and curl up under the covers, pretending the world doesn't exist. Or go high in the mountains, where it is just me and the Lord and no one else, so I can finally be at peace.

My list of regrets is growing longer.

I wish I could confront people without being emotionally invested. I wish I wasn't afraid of failure. I wish I was more spontaneous, that I could be alright dropping obligations and running away. I wish I was more capable. I wish I could be that person that is always supportive, that can listen and empathize and be there. I wish I relied on people. I wish I was more trusting. I wish I could be that person who does what they want when they want. I wish I didn't overthink things.

But what's the point of wishing? Things are past or out of my reach. Or are they? Is there still that hope that I can turn my insecurities around and someday live with no remorse?

I think that's all we want. To be satisfied with life. To eliminate the many, various obstacles we create. To face this world entirely unafraid.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eat My Shorts!

I would just like to announce that I completely and utterly OWNED my final tour for my docent class.

Yeah, that's right! TAKE THAT MOA!
And now I am done. No more putting up with overly pretentious art history majors. No more enduring the soporific tones of their tour voices, putting up with the desperate pleas at intellectualism and artistic insights, or trying to fight sleep and discomfort as they prattle on about how that slash of a line symbolizes rising hope and plummeting fortunes (
confession: I have done that last one).

No more! After whining to friends and ditching class, I finished on the best note ever. My tour left them speechless. I took them through Mirror Mirror and turned them on their heads with my piercing analysis.

And now I'm done with that class! Did I mention that?

So just a few words, dear MOA.


Sunday, April 11, 2010


"People are never really emblematic of anything. Alive or dead, they constantly contradict themselves and turn out to contain unexpected elements."

Jonathan Rosen, The Talmud and the Internet

I've recently developed the skill of observance. It's quite new to me-- I was always self-involved, with a belief in personal privacy. But now I find people fascinating. Their actions, their words. The question of what drives behavior constantly haunts me.

And so I lust after stories, seeking childhood memories and inner reflections. Adversely, I find myself constantly waiting to share, an inner typhoon of reminiscences longing to be set free. Images of sneaking through fences and climbing on roofs, summers on the trampoline and autumn walks through the cemetery fill my lungs and struggle up the esophagus, yearning to slip past the lips but halted by self-consciousness.

Instead of discussing myself, I press others. What was elementary like? Who was your favorite teacher? What is the worst trouble you have ever gotten in? Where are you in your family? Do you think that has effected your outlook in life?

I am still painfully awkward at questioning people. Years of stifling my innate curiosity has left me blunt and unskilled. But the only way to get better is through practice, and I am filled with this need to know. Why do we act the way we do? What shapes us, what makes personalities? These are the answers I seek.

Despite the roughness of my approach, I feel I've gotten slightly better at reading the unspoken cues, understanding the subtle hints in language and demeanor. And I've been able to glean more out of casual conversation, learning more about others than they would probably like.

There are still many miles to go in my quest, but even in the short time I've become interested in discovering people, I've unearthed some useful facts. Namely, everyone is searching for definition, but their journey is in vain.

The world cannot be placed in a nice tight philosophy, and neither can a person. Situations change, opinions change, and there are no set rules, no matter how appreciated such things may be. The surest way to solidify an event is to firmly decide the opposite is true. So it is with people. We can think that we are THIS, but even as we settle on it, our cozy thought pattern begins to disintegrate, taking our firmly decided THAT with it. So we must embrace flexibility, accept the belief that nothing is concrete.

This isn't to say there aren't Universal Truths. There most certainly are, and they are the only anchor in the chaos that is existence. But to try and add other anchors, spread across distances among the sea of life, that is to invite frustration and hypocrisy. The only way to survive is to move with the current and stop trying to pin things down in a neat explanation. Some things don't work, and the factors are so unique that to try to apply similar reactions to different situations is a recipe for failure.

Basic rundown: people are unpredictable, but are a constant source of inspiration. Looking at others and acknowledging the lessons they offer is an important gift in life, but don't become too obsessed with trying to relate it to yourself. We are unique. This is the most wonderful thing about humanity. Observe others merely as a scholarly and artistic pursuit, but any answers about the self will be found as the years pass, and will unfold in their own manner. Once we stop trying to figure it out, it will all be much easier and vastly more enjoyable.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Smoothbeautifully Folded

I still can't write. My mind is muddled mixing, mashed mirth and mourning, a mire of muffled musings.

I feel dried up. But I'd like to believe there is still beauty in this world. In honor of beauty, I give you this.

Pied Beauty

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

-Gerard Manley Hopkins

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Eye See

Punny, isn't it? No, seriously, I could go off on a small apologetic rant about how I've been unable to write anything lately (why my grades are probably suffering) to try and make up for that title. But instead I will try to conquer my mental block by forcing myself to write, and focus on the story at hand.

Last Saturday I helped out my friend Andrea with a photo shoot. It was my first time officially being shot, and it's a little bit intimidating. You'd think someone as vain as I am would enjoy flaunting my stuff for the camera, but instead of improving my vanity it made me feel very self-conscious. Mostly because she decided to shoot me from the nose down. It had something to do with conveying a sense of anonymity or something really cool and artistic. But for me, something felt a little strange in how I was being portrayed.

I didn't realize until that exact moment how much I rely on my eyes.

It's no secret that I consider them my best feature (a belief built up over the years by multiple compliments).

Here's just a few of my favorite descriptions:
"She had the eyes of a Thundercats character."
"You have Gooch eyes, but not crazy."
"You're eyes are like Milky Ways."

Yeah. I'm kind of a fan. Needless to say.

So during the photo shoot, as I stood there trying to manipulate my mouth into interesting poses, it hit me how much I missed using my eyes. They're how I communicate, how I share emotions. And without them I feel useless, a dumb creature unable to get my point across. And it's infinitely frustrating. It bothers me when I can't get my point across, or when people refuse to understand what I'm saying. Being stripped of my expressions completely robbed me of the ability to connect, left me alone in the universe.

That's a little dramatic. I apologize.

I think the photos turned out pretty sweet though.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"I couldn't even begin to think about knowing how to answer that question"

Why do I like Wes Anderson?

Is it because he uses Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and the Wilson brothers as regulars? And they are all favorites, especially Murray? Is it because I secretly love the uber-hip playlists that expose a new generation to John Lennon and the Velvet Underground? Or is it the enduring color scheme of yellows, oranges and green that permeate his films? And that all of these elements give his movies a distinct style that is simultaneously comforting AND oh-so-easy to mockingly imitate (a respectful homage, of course)?

I guess it's a mystery.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Style Maven

I couldn't really think of a creative title, and I think the word "maven" is cool, so there you go.

So I shouldn't be writing right now, because I'm trying this new thing called "being efficient and finishing schoolwork earlier than three hours before class". Right now I'm attempting to trick myself into believing a paper is due tomorrow, instead of Thursday. Sadly, I'm not buying it. Why can't I be more gullible?

That was a very long-winded way of saying that while I was slacking off (typical paper-writing process), I found something most excellent.

Tavi is thirteen and blogs about fashion. I know what you are thinking. Why would Cat be interested in fashion? This girl who wears nothing but Converse, jeans, t-shirts and cardigans?

Don't fret, I am still as fashion oblivious as the next person. More so, probably. But Tavi is blowing my mind! At points I can't believe she is that young, because she's so hip and intelligent. Forget fashion, her blog is delightful to read. It's witty, colorful, and peppered with references to some of my favorite things (30 Rock and Freaks and Geeks! Let's be friends). I also like the beautiful images she posts. And the way she dresses is truly outrageous. I LOVE it. It's how I would dress if I had A) guts, and B) siblings that didn't make fun of me when I wear their super cool over-sized flannel shirts, John.

I'm probably breaking some law by posting that picture and linking to her blog, but until I get caught I ain't gonna stop.

Sidenote: I would probably be a successful rapper. Right? Right?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Cautionary Tale

Seriously, that is all this story is.

But somehow, people just focus on the supposed "romance" of the plot and completely forget the "cautionary" part of the tale! For shame, general public.

I could rag on Romeo & Juliet for countless hours, for a limitless amount of time, but that would be far too much effort to spend right now. Instead, I will simply state that it is among the worst of Shakespeare's plays, that the characters and situations are (for the most part) forced and stilted, and that any ideals of love or destiny are so incredibly false that they should be stoned for preaching idolatrous truths.

That being said, I kind of love Baz Luhrmann's version. Yes, the one with Leonardo DiCaprio. I admit it! I am very entertained by this movie.

I love the frenetic pacing. I love how it begins with almost over-stimulating visuals punctuated by quick cuts. I love how the lines are delivered so earnestly it border on cheesiness. I absolutely love all the lush details-- Tybalt's cat boots, the 9mm "swords", the huge statue of Christ and the achingly beautiful deserted Sycamore Grove stage. Which brings us to the soundtrack. Like him or leave him, the first shot of Leo brooding on the beach with "Talk Show Host" in the background is perfect. Anything that uses Radiohead is tops in my book.

But the main reason to watch? Mercutio! Talk about your fictional crushes. Mercutio is the lone grace in Romeo & Juliet. It doesn't matter what version you are watching, he steals the show every stinkin' time. And I love how Luhrmann goes for a character that is seriously unhinged. One that is capable of switching emotions as quickly as a wave crashing on the shore. This guy experiences the highest highs and the most biting anger within seconds. Now that's just fun to watch!

Besides, I can't help but picture how awesome Michael on Lost would have been if he'd busted out his Mercutio cross-dressing moves. So much better than always screaming WWWWWWWAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLTTTTTTTT!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dreamin' the Night Away

There are so many theories on what dreams really are. A random firing of synapses? Or a deeper portal into subconscious desires? Like the eternally frustrating question of just how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, it's one of those things the world may never know.

But regardless of how you interpret dreams, you can't deny that they effect us. A dream can set the mood for an entire day. It can make you wake up feeling unsettled, or laughing at how ridiculous it was. They enable you to conquer fears, experience new worlds, and create impossible landscapes. So yes, I'd say they are pretty necessary.

The past two nights, I have had crazy, CRAZY dreams. They've been vivid, intricately detailed, and completely ludicrous. Here's a list of some of the dream topics, to whet your curiosity.

Dream #1:
-James Cameron
-A punch in the face (see: a very deserving James Cameron)
-Washington D.C.
-Booth and Brennan from the TV show Bones
-Jon Hamm

Dream #2:
-Roast turkey and stuffing
-Lobster flavored apples
-My old house in Farmington

One of my co-workers was kind enough to show me, a website that claims to decipher dreams. She said it was eerily accurate. Eerily vague is more like it, but it still kills an hour or so. I was pretty surprised that there was an entire category for Lobsters.

Lobster: To see a lobster in your dream represents strength and persistence. You will hold your own ground and overcome minor difficulties and problems. To dream that you are eating lobster indicates that you will regain your confidence.

See? Infinitely useful. I had no idea I had lost confidence, but now I know I will regain it! There's hope for me yet!

No, I kid. But seriously, there is something comforting in thinking that I will have the ability to overcome difficulties. Sure, I'm not buying the whole that's-what-the-lobster-signifies angle, but I will take some measure of solace in my dreams. Even if it's just that they make me believe my imagination isn't dead yet, and I have some spark of creativity in me. At least subconsciously.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Dude Abides

In the movie Garden State, Natalie Portman's character, Sam, says that when she feels completely unoriginal she has to do something completely "her". Like doing a crazy dance that hasn't ever been done in that exact spot. I don't know exactly how this ties in, but it somehow reminds me of my sweater of happiness. Maybe because when I am feeling weary or down, I turn to a certain sweater I own. A sweater that is full of magic and wonder. A sweater that can take any mood or method, and make it awesome.

You see, I own a sweater that is almost identical to the one worn by Jeff "the Dude" Bridges, when he portrayed Jeff "the Dude" Lebowski in the classic Cohen Film The Big Lebowski.

Observe. Here is the Dude, showing off his sweatered goodness:

And here am I. As you might be able to guess, this particular modeling of the sweater is from Halloween:

All I have to do is don this knitted wonder, and immediately any funk is gone. I'm telling you, it's a modern marvel!

OK, here is the random question to end this random post. I want you, yes you, my darling followers, to answer the classic question posed by When Harry Met Sally. Is it possible for a man and a woman to be friends? More specifically, do you think that two people who have had a romantic history can put that behind them and still be incredibly tight? Please tally your opinions in the comments section, and thank you for participating.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Who wants flowers when you're dead?"

J.D. Salinger died today. He was 91 years old. He wrote stories. He was notorious for being a hermit, hiding away from the world after he almost single-handedly revamped the written word. Some credit him with the invention of the young adult genre. Some call him a menace. Some blame his magnum opus, The Catcher in the Rye, for the degradation of society. Most don't even know who he is.

In the movie Finding Forrester, Sean Connery's character is loosely based on Salinger.

Actress Zooey Deschanel is named after Franny & Zooey, one of Salinger's collections of short stories.

It took me until college before I finally read The Catcher in the Rye. One day I was walking to the store, passed a yard sale, and picked it up for the low, low price of fifty cents. I read it on a plane, an overnight flight, and it was stunning. It floored me in every way. I couldn't believe it had taken me so long to embrace this work of fiction.

After my first time reading it, I wrote this about it:

A great tale of crisis, the insanity that plagues us all, and how cynicism effects the world, as seen through an adolescents eyes. Holden is mesmerizing. I love how you can identify with him so easily, but some of his musings can be unnerving, leaving you to wonder about your own sanity in this mad world.

My opinion is pretty much the same. I do love Holden. He completely captured me when I was reading. Yes, sometimes his thoughts seemed to contradict each other, but how often does that happen in real life? Aren't we all tormented to some degree, driven mad with trying to figure out what this world, this life, this entire existence is about? All of us are merely passing through, observing humanity and trying to cling to some basic truths. And sometimes it's hard. And sometimes you don't understand. And sometimes you think you have everything figured out, only to have that change moments later.

See the whole sanity issue? I'm guessing you do.

At work I was in mourning, and told my co-workers about Salinger's death. They asked who that was. I told them it was the guy who wrote The Catcher in the Rye. They had never read it, and had no idea what it was about. When I gave a brief plot summary, one girl raised her eyebrows. "So, you enjoy reading a book that's just the inner ramblings of a teenage boy?"

Yes. Yes I do. Most books about teenagers at this time were horrible, one-note, craptastic moralistic serials about boys and cars, or a girl detective, or about how Timmy played football and loved it and won the big game. Salinger gave his characters emotions. He let them be confused. He said it was OK to think about deeper issues, to come up with theories and figure out who you really were and what you believed in.

"Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them - if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry."

Thank you, J.D. Salinger. Thank you for contributing to the records. Thank you for your creations. Thank you for your poetry.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I will never understand girls.

For instance, why do we perpetuate the creation of "chick flicks"? I don't know why girls turn to these cinematic atrocities whenever they are feelings down. Especially when they are upset about a guy. Wouldn't those movies make things worse? Wouldn't it hurt worse to see someone else who acts like a ridiculous, petulant child (as chick flick heroines are wont to do), act horrible, meet someone, and within three days fall madly and "truly" in love? Seriously folks. I don't get it. If you can explain why this is the generally accepted form of therapy, please do.

As for myself, I turn to a different genre for relief. OK, honestly, there is no one set genre I turn to, I just avoid those gag-inducing romcoms.

Which is why I didn't spend tonight with a Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts movie. No, I curled up to enjoy this:

I think my choice is vastly superior.

Something with depth, zombies, spewing gore, themes capitalizing on humanities fear of viral outbreak, a haunting soundtrack, and some beautiful imagery. Who wouldn't feel better after watching this?

Other recommending viewings for when life has pushed you down the stairs and is now kicking you repeatedly: Hotel Rwanda, the BBC's Macbeth, and Empire of the Sun. Also: Young Frankenstein.

I didn't ever say the list would make sense, I just said that it would contain satisfying viewing experiences. And it does. So win for me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Old Soul

I just got a sudden craving to be someplace ancient.

I have no idea where this came from. I was just sitting at work, trying to fill my empty time, and there it was. This overwhelming desire to sit among ruined stones. In my mind I'm outdoors, with gray skies and a vigorous wind teasing through monoliths and brushing against my cheeks. Or maybe I want to be within a shadowy hut, with a burnt grave of extinguished fire in the center. Or maybe I'm ready to face cathedrals again, to feel ancient beliefs rather than actual buildings.

My new favorite class is postmodern lit, and my professor is this tiny, opinionated New Zealander. She's basically fantastic. We've been examining the process of reading, trying to find the actual origins of the act, and she loves comparing books to artifacts. Each of us is an archaeologist, digging through books to find truths, to find parts of humanity, to find evidence for our beliefs and to learn new concepts. It's uncovering layers of civilization, unearthing what has created our essence.

I can't listen to all this talk of history without wanting to experience it first hand. I've read for years. I've felt the sense of intimacy that comes with the written word. But there's something about going to the roots, sitting in silence, and letting that presence wash over you. Allowing the weight of humanity to rest on your shoulders. It's a kind of immersion that can't be replicated.

So take me to the birthplaces of humanity. Find where the first word was uttered, where the first stone placed on another. Lead me to caves where philosophy was born, smeared in symbols against the walls. Take me to my origins, so I can finally visualize my role in the grand scheme. So I can feel insignificant in the abyss of time, yet important with the vastness of future potential.