Thursday, February 28, 2013

Queen of Crime

A week or two ago, my family was all gathered for Sunday Dinner aka Family Dinner. We had all attended different masses that day and so my mom asked us all to talk about what each priest said during the homily. My sister had just arrived from Louisville and started to tell her story, however, I wanted to know which church she went to in Louisville, so I would know what priest she was talking about.
"This church?" No. "That church?" No. "Oh, the church W's grandfather was murdered in!"
Mass apologies. Freudian slip. *had his funeral. But this was the moment I knew I may have been reading too many Agatha Christie novels.

It all started last month; I hit a "reading" brick wall. What should I read? Nothing looked good. And then I thought of it. February is red. Blood is red. I like detective stories... 

And so it began: Murder Mystery Month with the Queen of Crime. 
My sister and 3 friends joined me on this quest. Unfortunately, no one quite made it all the way through. To be fair, my list was rather ambitious....

Towards Zero
The body in the library
Elephants can remember
The man in the brown suit
They do it with mirrors
A Pocket full of rye
The murder at the vicarage
At Bertram's Hotel
The witness for the prosecution
The moving finger
Evil under the sun
Crooked house
10 Little Indians 
Death on the Nile
Mystery of the Blue Jar
Murder in Mesopotamia
The labours of Hercules
The secret of chimneys
Death in the clouds
Murder on the Orient Express
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Five Little Pigs
Endless Night

As I read these novel(la)s, I filled in the guilty parties next to the titles, and, with the exception of the two of the stories I read, this is what I learned:

If you have the misfortune of being the one killed,
  1. It will be done by a family member
  2. You will most likely be killed for money
If you are the murderer, 
  1. You will spend a lot of time planning a series of what look like accidental occurrences as well as probably framing someone else to shift the blame off you.  *Bravo.* However, your time probably would have be spent pursuing more legitimate ways of acquiring money, because...
  2. You will undoubtedly be foiled in your murdering endeavor by busy-bodies, and you should NEVER (for God's sake) commit a crime anywhere near St Mary Mead.
As a reader,
  1. It is never who you think it should be
  2. You realize AC gave you all the facts you ever needed and you were just too dense to put them together
  3. You will want to travel the world on a whim
  4. You bow down in homage, for Agatha Christie is a literary goddess. If she every wanted to kill someone, she'd have totally gotten away with it.
There was one mystery that I did solve on my own: Elephant Can Remember.
New Favorite: (previous being 10 Little Indians/ And then there were none) Man in the Brown Suit.
Average reading in February: 14 novel(la)s. Essentially one every other day.
Result: Have decided to go to Africa. Departure, October.

Tigwo na wega and Happy Murdering!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Because I am not a Schlarb

Well Lent has begun, and my sister recently asked me (on behalf of Bright Maidens) to write a blog about what I am giving up for Lent. In my mind, Lent is not always about what you want to give up. Everyone is different, and sometimes it’s about what you can offer up, monetarily or otherwise (check out my friend B is up to in LA!)

There was a petition offered up on Ash Wednesday about forgiving the failings of those who have wronged you, and it made me think that they just might be onto something. Immediately after mass, I hopped into my car and drove to a friend’s house. On the radio Kanye was singing about what that don’t kill you, can only make you stronger. And I thought nice. Good timing, radio, I needed that. Then P!nk came on asking me if I was only getting by? And then suggested I get up and try… The radio is talking to me. Maybe. This thought was solidified as immediately after that Kelly Clarkson also assured me that though I may be broken down, and while they might think I’ll just come running back, well they don’t know me, ‘cause I’m stronger. And that was kind of it: my inspiration for this blog.

They say forgiveness is a tool used not for the benefit of those who have wronged you, but by the forgiver as part of the healing process. Bitterness and anger tear at a person’s soul until there is nothing left; hatred eats away at all that was once good in you. This is not how life is meant to be. 

And so, the million dollar question: what to give up? Because if you give up nothing, you are obviously a schlarb.
Giving up candy and sweets was all well and good in grade school, but does giving those up make you or I the person God intended?
No, not really.
Therefore, for this Lenten season, I have decided to embark on forgiving, and being brought closer to achieving my full potential. Man, Katie, I don't know. I don't think I can do it. Believe me, I know. I encourage you to think of it this way. Your refusal to let go is not holding them back, but you. And that’s how your enemies want to see you: unsuccessful and unhappy. So go the best you can be… And be happy. Because it’ll really make them mad.
Schadenfreude. It’s real.
 My second Lenten goal is to work on what we like to call in our house “deescalating.” Essentially, working on not taking things personally, as they are usually comments made observationally, and attempting not to respond in a crazy fashion. As someone suffering from PTSD, I find that this Lenten goal will most likely be the more difficult of the two. I will attempt to combat this in four ways:
1.     Take 5 yoga breaths before responding.
2.     Use humor
And somehow, this makes the fact she's not house trained so much more enjoyable. 

3.     Reconnect with activities that you used to find enjoyable: I’m thinking of firing pottery and going to the dog park more.
4.     And lastly, just sit by yourself and find that happy bubble.

There you have it. My Lenten goals. What are yours?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love and other follies

Happy Valentine's Day, readers!
Sending my love your way. Whether you have someone special or you are eating fondu with the girls, I hope you have a glorious day.

And because everyone has friends like these... 

Here's a shout out to my top five favorite couples of 2013:

5. Mr. and Mrs. Iron Chancellor
Travel bud and Ginger love!

4. Sara and Phil
My childhood friend and her hilarious husband...
Sending my love all the way to Hong Kong!

3. Shanna and Derek
Sushi, wine, and sing-a-longs.
Sometimes we invite Derek. Just kidding. Long live our awkward triangle of love.

2. Julie and Will
Sister and brother-in- law? I guess they're all right
Sometimes they do cute things. Like sing the Muppets.

1. Leah and Cliff
These two.  Met at a summer camp. She was the youngest counselor, he was the oldest camper. He lived in Canada, she lived in Dayton. They both laugh at my stories and sometimes they allow me to watch their kids and I take ALL the pictures. Best. Friends.

They're all such beautiful people. Inside and out. *contented sigh*

Ok. that's it. Bu-bye.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Days that make me "Meow"

Now I know what you're thinking, man I knew this girl seemed a little off, but what does that even mean?!
I shall tell you.
Let me start by saying I am not a crazy cat lady. I prefer dogs to cats- I have 2 cats and they are the worst cats ever. Most people do not even know I own cats. It's because they hate me. I call them the "skittens" because they have been skittish since they were kittens. They hide from me, hiss at me, and maul me. But sometimes they allow me to pet them. ANYway.

Picture shout out to the boy who inspired this blog and listened to every last one of my ridiculous stories for a year.
So it came to my attention about 2 years ago, via my good friend, that when something unfortunate would happen, I would "meow."
A sad, dejected, pitiful kind of sound to be perfectly honest.
Examples of things that would make me "meow" the past two years:
1) Translating Latin. Whether I was prepared or free-ballin' (also known by more serious students as "sight reading"), I was always terrible. What is that the ablative of? The ablative of forging a river? Of course.
2) Explaining why any German author thought anything. [My reasons: depressed, on drugs, drunk (most likely), insane, or all the above.]
3) Filmed weekends. Please no. Aaannndd delete.
4) Me in any normal social situation automatically shifts to "worse case scenario." Or I just have no idea what is really happening and never ask for explanations, which aggravates the people I am telling the story to:
"Ooh, did you ask why such and such and gobbley gook?" 
Umm no. Didn't think to. 
"KATIE!" " 
Should I have? 
*Squid of Anger*
Ok. My b. Next time.

Recently, I've noticed that real life is too tiring to sweat the small stuff like I did in college. My days usually involve getting up at an ungodly hour to let my puppy out, go to work, go to the gym, go to bed, and repeat. Add buying Groupons and going out for wine and sushi in between and we've pretty much got all the bases covered.
So this past year, there haven't been a lot of "meow" worthy moments (maybe some "pick up the contents of the world and throw them against the wall"- but those are obviously not the same), so here are a few that snuck up on me unexpectedly:
1) The IRS. Come on, Katie, we know tax season is approaching but you can't hold it against them. Ah, but I shall or at least against the local branch. I needed a form two days before it was due so I drive to their office to get one: 
"Hello, do you have any 1099-INT forms?"
"Can I see your ID?"
"Um, no I didn't bring it with- Hold on."  
*runs down two flights and back to her car to get it and runs back*
"Hi"- weeze- "Here it is, do you have any 1099-INT forms"
"Thank you. We're out of those forms and will not be ordering any more"
"You- what? Then why?"
Properly follow proper protocol.
2) My co-worker is conspiring against me. But she will not win this.
3) No one will come with me to Partner/Acroyoga on Thursdays. It's like Circus Soleil and awesome. Just think of all the party tricks I'm learning. Who doesn't want to do this?
Awesome right? See you Thursday.

Now you know. And won't be surprised in the future.