Archive for December, 2008

One year

So it’s been about a year of blogging now. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but a lot has happened since I started. I’m pretty happy with how it’s gone. It’s been a nice way to get some thoughts out into the universe, but it’s been even nicer to hear from all of you. I mean that.

I have a few things to say before closing out this year.  One, I was at the grocery store yesterday buying some wine and was carded.  Fine.  But then the clerk asked the person with me for their ID, as well.  Why, I asked.  “We card everyone in the party,” was the answer.  Putting aside the fact that we were hardly a “party,” that we were both in our 30s and I was the one buying the booze, what kind of damn policy is this?  It’s a Wisconsin grocery store.  It was a box of wine.  If I had had a young child with me would I have not been allowed to make the purchase?  I know this woman was just trying to do her job, but the inanity of it has left me crazy for the past 20 hours.  Two, I would really like to be able to wink by this time next year.  I think it’s really so great when people wink that I want to be part of that world.  Three, I am really looking forward to dinner with Heather and Dale tonight.  I would like to see them more frequently.  They’re great friends.  Four, I’m sad that my relationship with my dad is so crappy, but I really don’t want to spend my whole life dwelling on it and hurting about it so much.  Five, I’m glad I rejoined the gym.  The color scheme alone is good for my health.  Six, I need to see about 100 movies in the next week and why is Frost/Nixon not here yet?  Madison is a pretty damn moviegoing town and I don’t like being treated like this.  Seven, I think I already miss Westgate theaters though I can’t believe they lasted as long as they did. 

Lastly, tomorrow is my second annual NYE party and I think it should be pretty fun again. For those of you coming, I look forward to seeing you. For those of you who aren’t going to make it, I’ll wish you a very happy new year now. I hope 2009 is a great year for all of us.  Bring it on.

Cleaning out the closet

It’s time for me to come clean about something.  I have a strange affinity for college a cappella groups.  Not in any perverse way (at least not in the traditional sense), but for someone who can’t sing worth a damn, is often scared of theater-y people (Sarayu being a very notable exception) and is way out of college, it’s probably not the norm.  I didn’t really even know about these groups until law school when my cousin Andy’s group from Carleton came down to perform with other groups at the UW.  I was totally floored.  How can it not be fun to see kids singing the Safety Dance making all sorts of kooky noises that force an instant giggle?  Well, Terry & Steve were loving it, too, and we fell in particular love with a group from Northwestern.  So, what to do when this happens?  Naturally, we find out their schedule, pack up the car & Maggie and drive down to Evanston for a nice supper and a show.  Of course, we were certainly the only non-Wildcats in the small, kwonset hut-like space for the performance.  It was kinda awkward.  I was beginning to think that we had gone too far and sort of shut that chapter in my life for awhile.  Until today!  I am coming back out of the closet as someone who thinks these groups are weirdly cool and uber-enjoyable.  What sparked my return to my love today, you ask?  You know that commercial for some Windows thing that may or may not be called Mojave?  It has a song in it that every time I hear it, I think it’s going to be that Bodeans “Oh no no, don’t pass me over” song, but then it’s not.  And then I instantly have an unsatisfied craving for that Bodeans song.  Well, today I decided to do something about it!  I decided to download it on itunes, only I had to first figure out what it was called.  The first site google took me to (and you really have to love google for this — I feel it was playing cupid) was this. And from there I was hooked again.  And now I bring you this.  So fun!  Right?  Please say right.

Thursday

Was not such a great day for me.  In addition to feeling like it really should have been Friday, two things were very frustrating to me.  One, I sent out the email to our union’s membership that I had set up a new website that should be easier to use, better functioning and ultimately cheaper than our previous website.  This took me oodles of time to do, but I wasn’t naive enough to think that everyone would love it.  I was, however, stupid enough to think that lawyers would be able to log in without me walking around and showing them how to click “login.”  Dumb, Kate, dumb.  Even dumber, though, was my decision to send out the email this morning.  Why did I not wait until Friday afternoon?  I received maybe 300 emails asking me how to login, insisting that the site wasn’t working, asking how to type an email address, etc.  I even had one email from a guy who wanted to tell me how much he hates websites and passwords and, basically, the Board in general.  Thanks!  Happy holidays!  Anyway, my fault for (a) trying to craft a solution to something and (b) for telling people about it. 

The other problem with yesterday that I had was just a bummer.  On Wednesday, I had been virtually thumbing through J Crew’s online catalog and came upon two-uber pretty silk skirts that were on sale.  Knowing that I also had a 30% off + free shipping coupon sitting in my gmail inbox, my thoughts turned to NYE.  I am hosting a party again and want to look unlike my normal frump of a self.  Lightbulb!  So, I purchased the two skirts “saving” myself probably close to $100.  Curious that as of yesterday I still had not received my order confirmation email, I went on to the site to check on the status of my skirts.  Strangely and annoyingly, they were still in the online shopping bag.  What?!  Oh no!  No skirts!  My size humungous self got very sad thinking that NYE would now be a collosal disaster.  What was I going to wear?  Jeans?  Well, ok.  That’d be fine, really.  But lately I just feel so gross — part of it, of course, is that it’s winter and I feel like I can wear only cords and boots — I really wanted to have something new and pretty in an attempt to greet 2009 feeling at least moderately put together.  Well, drat.  I certainly wasn’t going to pay full price, though!  Not after I had nearly saved $100!  So, what to do, what to do.  Sarayu suggested I call them.  Modifying that plan, I sent them an email relaying how sad I was at my mistake and wondering if there was anything they could do to ensure a bright holiday.  I didn’t hear back, but I did get a 20% off + free shipping coupon in my inbox today.  I am not silly enough to think this came to me as a result of my email, but I am savvy enough to use it to buy the skirts and never to think again of the 10% more that was so close to staying in my life.

Today, though, is going to be a different story.  I insist upon it.  Today will be a good day.  I’ve already ordered the skirts and my feet are just about thawed from my time waiting for the bus this morning.  The office is very quiet, which is not surprising since the State patrol or some such unit has asked people to stay off of the roads.  As I was waiting for my bus this morning, an older woman started talking to me.  She, too, was waiting for the bus.  Only she needed to get to campus because she was conducting an oral exam for a Korean woman’s PhD  defense.  I asked her the topic of the student’s dissertation, expecting an answer like “English” or “chemistry,” but, instead  I learned that the paper was about a 17th century Dutch engraver who was Catholic during the time the area had gone Calvinist.  The professor told me the student’s dissertation had some problems, which was a greater problem because her visa was also about to expire.  I found all of this very interesting and, yet, felt that I was exposing myself quickly as a collosal bore.  I tried to ask questions, but they were mostly limited to things like, “Do you conduct the exam at the Chazen?”  And, “Is that bus coming a mirage?” 

I also just want to say congratulations to my lovely, brilliant, outstanding cousin Mags.  Her  graduation from UW-Milwaukee is this Sunday and I am really looking forward to it!  I seriously love graduations!

Did everyone see this?

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Puppy and the city

First off, Dear Reader, I do not know if wordpress if looking different for you, but it is for me.  If it is not diff for you, good.  If it is, we are in this together and I feel your trepidation.  Or, at least, I feel my own and imagine that I empathize with yours.

Ok, moving on.  Gracie and I went to Chicago this weekend.  To my friends who live in Cities and have dogs I ask, how do you do it?  First, Grace tolerated, but did not enjoy, the elevator. We were on the 18th floor and while she behaved fairly well on it, every trip was a bit of an adventure.  And then walking out of the hotel and trying to find a blade of grass…I mean, (a) it’s winter so that’s hard enough but (b) it’s Michigan Avenue and it’s rather urban and lacks grass or any dog-friendly pee area.  Eventually we found spots that worked, and we actually met or saw lots of dogs on our treks, but I still found myself repeatedly thinking, “How do citygoers deal with having a dog?”  Seriously.  It seemed like a lot of work for the central-city dog owner.  And dog.

Actually, it reminded me a bit of being in Italy.  I remember when my parents were visiting me in Florence and my mom said something along the lines of, “I think I would really miss greenery.”  And Andrea said to her, sweetly and brilliantly, “Yeah, it’s true there’s a lack of green, but in the pre- Renaissance and Ren itself there was an emphasis on differentiating the cities from the country, so cities took pride in their lack of green.”  Interesting, no?!

Anyway, this blog is not doing as well as it was with the Palin discussion.  Is there anything anyone craves discussing that has not been put forth?  The new Obama public works proposal?  The damn Detroit bailout?  How Alpine Snow may not have been the best choice for my pedicure with Heather? 

Get ready to think resolutions or, rather, reasons 2008 was not so bad.


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