Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Look out!

I rode my bike to campus on Sunday. Core-man escorted me, rode around the park for awhile, and then picked me up to escort me home. And boy did I need him! I can still barely keep the contraption upright, let alone use arm signals for turns or look over my shoulder to check for traffic.

With Corey as my guide, however, I managed to change gears and ride pretty smoothly. We even turned left from Penn onto Negley (very busy and scary streets, in my opinion!) and crossed 5th Avenue. It felt really great to make my own schedule to leave rather than wait for the 71A. It felt really good to use my own energy to travel to school. Most of all, it felt amazing to pedal smoothly through the sunshine, panting like a buffalo while Corey pushed me up the hills on his fixed gear.

One day soon, I'm going to be unstoppable.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Well the Chia herbs are not really living. The cilantro is totally dead. I threw that one away earlier today. The chives just looks like a little patch of green pubic hair, so I'm probably going to throw it away soon and the marjoram has mold growing all over the soil, beneath the slowly browning top layer of foliage. The basil might actually be turning into basil. It's hard to tell. Should herbs really take this long to grow? I planted those suckers in December...

The worst part is proving Corey right. He touted such haughtiness about the project and then had to shut his yap when they sprouted. Now he gets to be all smug and say "I told you nothing from Chia would produce anything edible." Whatever. We will eat pesto from my last remaining herb crop. There will be basil in this house!

Which reminds me. Things didn't work out with the wine basement house. This turns out not to be all that bad, because there are some other dandy houses out there that are much more updated. Because our landlord has most likely found a tenant to move into our apartment, that means we need to find a house or face homelessness. Unless we settle on something soon, we will be wandering the streets of Pittsburgh, alone with our basil.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sparkle Eyes

Yesterday on the 71A, an elderly lady climbed aboard and sat herself down in the front seats designated for persons just like her. She was tiny and cute and had an enormous brown handbag. She told the bus driver he was her shining star and engaged several passengers around her in conversation. (I was observing from the first row of seats back from her, safely out of conversation range but still in a direct eye line)

Mid-sentence, not pausing a beat, the woman pulled a tub of purple sparkly eyeshadow from her hand bag and started applying it. While the bus was moving along Negley Avenue, potholed death trap that it is. She got it all on there in the right places, too. I can't even fill out forms or sign my name on the bus when it's hitting all those potholes.

How does she do it? I'm not opposed to public grooming of this nature. I am just jealous of it. How does she steady her hand to apply the sparkly shadow??? Maybe there are some womanly skills that, when practiced since an early age, morph into mastery. This lady might be at a state where her eyeshadow application is like breathing. She can do it anywhere. With no mirror. Unfortunately, grooming will never reach this level with me. If I tried to apply eyeshadow on the bus, I would leave looking like Rocky post-SuperFight 2.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I'm wearing my Scary Schiavo shirt. I was unable to attend the March bout, but my good friend Patsy acted as courier to obtain the marvelous shirt. It is navy blue with orange lettering and has a huge 86 on the back beneath the name of my favorite jammer. I wore it to work, as promised. My students were all like "86? Miss Katy, did you get tossed outta the bar last night?" I'm a hit. Almost cool. All as a result of my fascination.

The word on the street is Scary will make an appearance at my friend's house warming party after wrestling this Saturday night. What a good week to live in Pittsburgh! All my dreams have come true.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New Child

Corey and I have a new child. His name is Roomba. He is little and round and maroon. He has a tiny handle in case he scurries away from you and you want to carry him gently back where he belongs. When you turn him on, he sings a little song and then spins happily in a circle, sticking out his little tongue to eat any spare dirt or muck on the carpet.

Sometimes, you can let him run wild on the hardwood floor. He scoots and skitters even faster, eager to find anything you might have hidden beneath the sofa. Like cracker crumbs. He's always so hungry, that little Roomba.

Last night, when we brought him home, we left him alone in the bedroom for an hour. When we came back to check on him, he had scrubbed the entire carpet by himself, eating up all the goldfish crackers I like to munch in bed. I like to just watch him circle the legs of the bureau or slide along the floor under the bed making himself at home. He's so awesome.

I really think Roomba is going to change our lives. All the arguments Corey and I used to get into over who was going to Swiffer the kitchen seem so insignificant now that we have our little guy. I'm going to plug him in and take him for a walk in the hallway just cause I love him so much. When he's done, I'll scoop out his waste bin happily and thank the lucky stars someone loves me enough to buy me such a wonderful family member.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


My family got me. Pretty much everyone I care about has been involved in an intricate web of lies for the past three months in an elaborate ruse to get me to come home for a surprise wedding shower.

I was under the impression I was helping my aunt plan a surprise 50th birthday party for my mom. In real life, my mom was planning her own party AND mine while I went off on red herring missions.

Nobody ever threw me a surprise party before. I have always wanted one. It was the best thing in the entire world. I literally stood in the kitchen of my aunt's house with my mouth hanging open, speechless for probably the first time in my life.

Corey knew all about it the whole time and didn't let on a thing, not even when I was rushing him to get going to "make up munchie trays for my mom's party." This doesn't surprise me. He is a vault. But my mom? Who has never, ever not revealed the contents of a birthday present before I opened it. My mom kept a secret for months.

The only sad part of the whole day was that my sisters were stranded on another coast due to weather and logistics and Corey's mom wasn't feeling well enough to get there. But all of them knew about it the whole time.

And here I was so proud of myself because I had managed to keep her birthday party a secret from my mom, something I have never done before either. The kicker is that I so desperately wanted her to have a surprise party because she so deserves one. Someday, I'm going to get her back.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Maternal Transformation: Complete

For many years, I have hated with fiery passion when my mother did the following things:
1. Stare pointedly at the bath mat on the floor and the open shower curtain and yell at me for not picking up the mat and closing the curtain. "I'll just do it," she would say, ever the martyr in the fight against mildew. Sometimes I would be on my way to do it, others I would have just forgotten. There has never been a single time she said it where I haven't wanted to jam something into her ear canal.

2. Bitch at me for draping my jacket over the top of the coat tree. "Nobody else can access their coats when you do that," she would say..."And besides it makes the tree tip over." Though not as awful as the bath mat litany, the coat tree diatribe was terrible. Sometimes, for example if you are rushing in the front door in desperate need of the potty, you just don't have time to carefully hang your coat on the little hook. Sometimes you are just pissed off at a bad day and it feels good to hurl the thing over the top.

I haven't lived with my mother for years, but those two peeves of hers continue to plague me even on brief visits home. Instead, I now live with Corey. My cookie-pie. The love of my life. And, on top of the numerous other things I find to nag him about, I do the EXACT same things as my mother.

I was actually on the phone with her this evening when I started to yell at Corey about his coat tree mess. We only have a coat tree because we lost the mirror with hooks where our jackets used to hang nicely. Now, I have have three jackets hung by their little loopies on hooks evenly spaced around the tree so it won't tip. Tonight he threw his enormous ski jacket over the top and it's leaning against the wall on two legs.

I caught myself with my mouth open to repeat my mother's worn speech and I was really upset. Why had her peeves become my own? Why am I subjecting Corey to the same punishment I loathed for so long? Will I ever inherit the wonderful things about my mother or just her strange nagging habits? Aren't I too young to care so deeply about coat tree arrangement?

The worst ending to this story is that I marched straight into the bathroom, where I was unsurprised to be bothered by the open shower curtain and the bath mat crumpled on the floor with a big, muddy shoe print in the middle of it.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A New Training Regimen? Possible Miracle Solution?

Katy: You know what would really turn me on?
Corey: What?
Katy: If you threw away* those beer cans on the coffee table and put your cereal bowl in the sink.
Corey: sighs and does the tasks.
Katy: You know what else would turn me on?
Corey: raises an eyebrow
Katy: If you threw away the six-pack rings next to where the beer cans were.
Corey: Moves to action
Katy: While you're up, can you grab your dirty water glasses and napkins from the table? I'm feeling really turned on right now. More turned on every second.

*or rather place in the garbage/recycling area of the kitchen

Monday, March 12, 2007


Corey has a tux. We wrangled up our friend Ayo, who knows how to dress well and would never wear olive brown cords with an olive brown sweater as Corey often does, and took him to the tux shop.

It was so interesting to watch Corey grow visibly uncomfortable in the shop. Like he had no faculties to ask questions or even think in a logical order. The woman asked him some questions about jackets and he blurted "Our wedding is out doors in May." Or she would be talking about shoes and his eyes would dart over to the mannequins and all of a sudden he was talking about bowties and pocket squares. His shoulders got all tense. I couldn't tell if he was scared to be married, nervous to have to speak to this girl (a stranger!) or thinking that yes indeedy, people would be staring at him soon and he needed to look good.

I felt kind of bad for him in his discomfort. Thankfully, Ayo picked out some nice stuff and we left there with a tuxedo plan.

Back in his happy place, behind the wheel of the rented Pontiac, Corey was free to do things he actually enjoyed. Like drive all over Philadelphia looking for a wireless signal so we could find a Chinatown bus to take Ayo home to New York. We should have shopped for the formal wear from the driver's seat and had the girl bring different suits out on roller skates.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


We are down to 75 days. Doesn't it sound scary to say it that way? In 75 days I will be married. To Corey. That means I have to deal with his mess for eternity, whereas for the next 75 days I can still decide I can't handle carbon fiber frames on the living room floor.

Knowing we have that little time remaining is making me panic. People are starting to send reply cards to the invitations. Contracts are coming in the mail. Clothing is arriving from various people. I'm having a wedding.

What scares me most about this situation is that I'm starting to know what I'm talking about with all of this stuff. I could tell you a lot of things about buttercream icing and why trans fats make for a substandard wedding cake. I know which body types look prettiest in which dresses. I know some flower names and when they are in season and what they are called when gathered together in various formations. I know what sauces go best with salmon depending whether you are serving it poached or grilled.

This knowledge base, more than the actual combining legally with Corey, makes me feel weird. I didn't want to have anything to do with hypoallergenic makeup or embroidered yarmulkes. But I do and now I will forever be a person who knows exactly what to do in the event that a friend needs to rent designer port-o-potties to service 240 hineys. There is no turning back now. I am a bride of the fluffy meringue and regal variety, minus the glowing calm.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fate hates me

I'm sick. I'm dripping with congestion and my head weighs a zillion pounds and I'm feverish and dying. This during the one week per year I get to hang out with my nephew. I'm disgusted with my body right now. I was totally fine until yesterday the maintenance people came and mowed the lawn. Whatever they stirred up made me sick, sick, sick. We went to Target and bought medicine, but it was too little too late. I can't kiss or hug my little nephew and I can't help my sister unpack. All I can do is lie in bed and pilfer stolen internet, listening to the activities in the house go on without me. Life is not good.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


After turning in a rough draft of my manuscript, I collapsed into an airplane seat and flew out west to help my nephew and sister and brother-in-law move into their new house in Phoenix. Today was college shirt day. I had to help little Ananda overpower the Bruins and Trojans hanging around. This is how cute he got since I saw him last:
(He's only making that face because someone suggested he wear a USC shirt instead of the lovely PSU beauty he is sporting there)

My sister, beacon of wisdom that she is, seems to have lost her mind. We were talking about healthy eating and how Corey and I partake in such practices. I said, to emphasize even more how important healthy food is, "Besides, Corey and I are both in season right now. So we're really watching out."

She started laughing and looking at me weird. I just thought she farted. I had no idea she could misinterpret what I said. But then she poked me with a fork and said "In season? What, like a ripe vegetable? Teeheeeeheeee heeeheeeee."

She didn't get that I meant in sport season. Just goes to show where our interests lie: rugby fields versus tomato fields.

(Dragon slippers and a coffee pot. Moving in day essentials.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I tried to wear something nice yesterday so that I wouldn't look like I haven't been sleeping or eating properly all week as I slave to finish a rough draft of my manuscript. By nice, I mean not a t-shirt and cords or sweat pants. I felt like it was working. I looked nice, I seemed more alert. Things were going well.

I was in fact on the phone with my old rugby coach talking about an editing project he might be hooking me up with this spring. I was being professional, so professional that I had to keep talking to him while I walked to the bus stop to go to work.

As I was walking down the street, talking about my professional experience and qualifications for using my brain to do important work, a man leaned out of a tow truck window and yelled at me:

"Hey, beautiful. Why don't you walk that fine ass over here and talk to me instead."

I hate him. I hate that I was trying to use my mind to have a conversation and some man thinks it was ok to look at my body and assume it was ok to objectify me like that. I hate that women everywhere aren't valued as productive, sentient, wonderful beings and are instead downgraded to walking vaginas and breasts. Even spell check doesn't think vaginas is a word! Even our body parts aren't allowed to be legitimate.

I'm on a patriarchy purge today. God help the basketball players if they call me sweetheart at work again. I might make them read Judith Butler until they are shocked at their own behavior.