Saturday, May 21, 2011

Remember that one phase?

Well. Another semester of grad school has come to an end. Another 4.0 GPA in the books (bam!). I no longer have to call myself a "first year." I can start to plan all the fun hazing activities for the grad students next year. (Ok. That was a [bad] joke. I would never haze. Well, maybe a scavenger hunt here and there, but never ever spanking or chugging.)
So, about that first year. Well, I have interviewed more "senior citizens" than I ever thought I would (so far only three, but more to come). And I even got asked out to the bars by one of them (Yes, please and thank you!). I also started a Twitter account. And I had never known pressure until I started to think about what my Twitter name should be. I went against "catitudetracy." Talk about regret. I have also been going to the gym a lot recently in preparation for the summer. I know that most people would start the summer routine in, I don't know, before summer gets here. But, I did not. So now is the time to play catch up.

As I roll down to the gym (both literally and figuratively) everyday I have to talk myself out of this just being another phase and convince myself that I am trying to make a real life change. Which- given my track record- is not the truth. I go through phases like it is my job. Another day, another dollar, another phase.

Phase 1: I was going to be a doctor. My grandpa was a doctor. It made sense. Well, then I saw a little TV show called "ER" and realized that I did not like blood. This phase was also before I learned about the MCAT's, cancer, and what med school really required. I should also note that my second greatest fear in life is finding a dead body. This phase might make you think of a scene in "Step Brothers": (I can't find the YouTube clip...)
Nancy: Why is it that Dale never left?
Robert: Well, Dale has always coasted off my accomplishments. I mean, he left college his junior year because he said he wanted to join the family business.
Nancy: But you're a medical doctor.
Robert: Believe me, I've told him that. But he just always says, "It's all about who you know."
I am happy to report for the sake of medical care in our country, this phase is long gone and has yet to return. 

Phase 2: After I got over being a doctor I decided that the next logical step would be to be an actress/dancer/pop singing sensation. I was in sixth grade/junior high/high school drama. I took ballet lessons in 1st grade for one month and everyone wanted to be my partner when we did "run, run, leap." I was also in the Scaly Green Girls (SGG). We performed in not one but two talent shows and wrote our own song. Clearly, this was logical. And I still think that it is.

After seeing Black Swan this dream came back. I got mad hops and can rock the tutu look.

Phase 3: While in Hawaii last summer, we went on a little walk up a small paved hill. I, logically of course, thought, "This is easy breezy. I could easily run a triathlon!" Yeah. A small nature walk on a paved sidewalk at a slight incline started my dream of being an Iron Man. I even looked up some training programs. Phase 3 has since died. And I am still at 30 to 35 minutes on the elliptical.

Phase 4: My current phase is to be a professional antique-er and fill my house with lots of stuff that is old and not worth anything. I will never dust. And I will probably redesign/retile/repaint/re-wallpaper/re-appliance my home in such a way that it will ruin any value that it may or may not have had.

All of these phases were/are unrealistic (each in their own special way), but by golly! I hold onto them like it is the end of the world (not trying to make a Rapture joke). Who knows what phase I will go through when the current one(s) end? Maybe I will decided to start a bed and breakfast (I would call it Catitude Tracy's B&B)? Or become a television producer and re-create the Golden Girls (I would play Blanche, obvs.)? I did watch The Godfather Part II last night and (not lying) did consider what steps I would need to take to become the head of my own family.
Actually. All of these ideas seem to be GREAT. Enter Phase 5? I think so...

Friday, February 25, 2011

23 going on 83

Guess what I am going to be doing this lovely (and really nippy) Friday afternoon in Moscow, Idaho?
Napping on my couch with two cats? No...but good guess.
Hanging out with hot men that think I am the greatest thing since sliced bread? Getting warmer...
Interviewing a 90 year old man at a nursing home about his memories of the Kennedy's? *DING DING DING* We have a WINNER!!! 

Gerry (who I have NEVER met) and I will be having an intimate conversation in his apartment in the middle of the nursing home about John, Bobby and Teddy. 

Jealous? Should be. 

You should also be jealous of my mad craft skills. When craft time happens at my house, it is a very exciting time. It might not always be good exciting, but it is some kind of exciting. I get these ideas in my mind where I think that I need/am able to make something to add to the décor of my life.
Time Out. The décor in my life right now screams “GRANDMA LIVES HERE.” (I imagine that when I interview Gerry it will feel like I am in my own bedroom, when in fact I am in a nursing home.) I live in a wood paneled bedroom with jell-o molds on the wall above my desk. Pictures below. Time in.

Well the most recent “craft” project was to make one of those boards that is padded and covered in fabric and has ribbon and buttons. After buying a million buttons, spools of ribbon, and a giant piece of insulation. This is the result...

Looks ok, right? I think that it was a success. I am not going to be going into business making these things. 
And if I ever decide to make something again, someone PLEASE remind me to try to match my new craft project to the current decor of my room. So many floral prints. 
Don't worry... I moved my bed so that it was centered.

But I got that little craft project out of my system, and I can now focus all of my time on transcribing my Kennedy interview with Gerry. Living the d-r-e-a-m. And living like I am 83. 

If I was to ever get a guy into my room, this would for sure scare him away... 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Back in the day... but if this doesn't sum up my life, what does?

I write all these blogs (great, great blogs) in a Word document titled "blogtastic" that is saved on my desktop so that I can access it easily. In this document I write down a lot of things that should never ever make it to the internet. But today I found something from Summer 2010 that should have been posted long ago. It explains a) why I am currently in grad school and living in my parents basement, as opposed to having a "real" job and "real" home, b) why I spent VD(ay) 11 watching Jesus Camp and trying to find old science videos that I watched in high school biology and c) why I have this little blog. Here it is... purple is what I have added today, mainly for clarification. 

Well for the last few days I have been exploring The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And I saw so much and it was soooo much fun! (Whenever someone refers to Pennsylvania by it's official name you know they are cool.)

Doll Outlet: This is basically what you think that it would be… a place that sells lots of dolls, but it is also soooo much more. For starters all the staff members wear scrubs (like nurses) and upstairs there is a “nursery” with lots of baby dolls. These dolls are newborns and come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors and with lots of different facial expressions. Warning: If you go here (and you should for a great laugh!) you might be asked if you want to hold the babies/dolls and if you say yes then you are going to have to hold it like a real baby. And there are lots of creepy pics of older men holding these dolls all around the store. It was so creepy and so funny at the same time. (As I look back on this moment it gets more and more creepy...which makes me think that I have seen the most creepy thing to be found in America. And I have seen Black Swan.)

Minor League Baseball: HARRISBURG SENATORS!!! Need I say more. (I got a t-shirt at the game and I wear it proudly. In public. Often.)

Amish Country: Bird in Hand. Intercourse. Buggies. Pretzel making. Jam making. Antiquing. Everything you could ever want but with less technology. (Whenever people mention anything Amish (which does happen on occasion) I have to literally hold myself back from describing every detail from this trip to whoever is near me.) 

Titanic Exhibit: There was stuff from the bottom of the ocean from the real ship. It was so cool and so old. And I got to touch an iceberg. And then I felt hurricane force winds. No BFD. (It was hurricane wind simulator. They now have one in the Palouse Empire Mall. So this has lost a little bit of the cool factor. But that Titanic stuff was still legit.)

Gettysburg Wax Museums: G-burg is home to not one, BUT two wax museums! Who would have thought?! One of them is just about the Civil War and the other one has all the presidents. They were amazing. I love me some wax museums and these did not disappoint!
***Confession of a Real Life Nerd: When I was in 8th grade I went on this Girl Scout trip to Pennsylvania to learn about women in the civil war for ten days. It was called “Bonnets and Battlefields” (and they don’t offer it anymore and that is one of the reasons that I don’t approve of the direction that Girl Scouts is heading… but that is the topic for another post.) and it was super duper fun. But anyway, because of this nerdy experience I am kind of a G-Burg expert  and loved being able to go back.*** (Yep.  Civil War Battlefields. And strong feelings about the future directions of Girl Scouts. Who am I?)

Mourned the Loss of Former Alaska Senator Theodore “Ted” Stevens: Picture it. Fall of 2008. Me, a 20-something student studying in Washington DC for the semester. Ted, an 80-something senator from Alaska being tried for…. Our paths crossed when I went to watch his lawyers fight for a mistrial because the prosecution had withheld boxes of evidence and then blacked parts of it out. I know that he saw me because a) I was the youngest one in the room b) I had the most confused look on my face and c) I was the only one wearing glittery flip flops. (and I think that he should have been granted a mistrial, but again a post for another day). RIP Ted. RIP. (The fact that this was a major component of my trip makes me proud. The fact that I have mentioned my involvement in his trial since this time makes me prouder.)

Well, Real World, we may meet one day in the future. But neither of us should hold our breathe for that day to come. Clearly, it is a long ways down the road. 

The things you “learn” in grad school.

* One day during my “office hours” (Basically I sit in an office/old dorm room with four desks, lots of old reports on different National Forests, and a beautiful portrait of birds.) I had some gummy bears and I wanted to know how many calories were in the pack. (You know, because Spring Break is getting close and this is what you do… I guess.) You might think that this would be easy given policies about nutritional labeling in our country.  Well, I don’t eat the green or yellow or orange ones. So I lined up all the gummy bears by color and then added them up and then did some simple math and concluded that there are 5.6 calories per gummy bear. From the packet of bears that I purchased, I ate 21 gummies (or 117.6 calories).  Now would be a really good time for some one to come and be my friend and help me learn to be a real person.

Oh. You didn't believe me... 

 So much useless information. So much wasted shelf space. 

* In my human evolution class we have spent the last week talking about mammalian lactation. I am now oddly prepared to have some suckle me. (Too far.) But the areola is intentionally a darker color so that little babies can find it. (Wayyyy too far.)

* I tried bubble tea the other day. ( Basically an Orange Julius with tapioca in it. It was oddly good. Except that my mom got me the mango flavored one. I do not like mango flavored things. Everyone take note. 
Who knew that there was black tapioca?!

* Valentine’s Day is more about me giving cards, than me getting cards. [Real convo that happened between my brother and I. Me: Here is your Valentine’s Day card brother. Brother: Thanks. Do I have to get you one now?] But there is nothing in this world that I love more than a good old fashioned holiday card with funny cat pictures on it. They are purrrr-fect!

* I am taking a class on family relationships and I think that I might be the only person in that class who is not engaged/married/committed into a serious relationship. But, (and if you know anything about my family this will be shocking) I am doing really well in it. Slightly unstable families can produce smart people. There is hope for all. 

* And the most important thing that I have learned this semester is that if you find a powdery white substance on your office desk, don’t automatically assume that it is anthrax. No one wants to kill you to steal the office bird painting and your secret knowledge of how many calories exist in one gummy bear.

Art. Real Art. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

“Why would we put Andrew Jackson on money if he was such an uber-douche?”

I repeat: “Why would we put Andrew Jackson on money if he was such an uber-douche?” Isn’t this a question that we all ask ourselves multiple times daily? No. Oh. Well this was a question that was asked in the class that I TA for. It was a magical moment; one that scares me for the future of our planet.  

Let me set the scene:
North American Indians. Talking about Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Policy of the 1830’s. An 8 AM class where the students usually sit quietly, and take detailed notes. Or nap.

Let me give you a cast of characters:
Crazy Annoying Always Talks in Class Girl  (CAATCG): Picture “that girl” in all of your classes and multiply by ten thousand. She always talks. Never raises her hand. And never says anything worth listening to. Also- her boyfriend is Inuit and I think that gives her an odd sense of entitlement. (It also makes me hate my life because she has a boyfriend… but I digress.)
Rodney: The professor. In his 60’s. So innocent and sweet and just the nicest, most caring man that you could ever imagine.  Just loves teaching and gets so excited. Sometimes he calls me Stacey.
Me: The TA. Sitting quietly in the corner of the room taking notes so that if a student comes to me and asks for help I might be able to have a faint idea of what I am talking about.
The Girl Behind Me: A girl. That sits behind me in class.
The Rest of the Class: The other poor schmucks that had to sign up to take an 8AM class.

Act I, Scene 1: (Some of this is paraphrased…)
Rodney: And Andrew Jackson was one of the only presidents who didn’t follow the ruling of the Supreme Court when he ordered that the Cherokee to march the Trail of Tears.
CAATCG: [Does not raise her hand. She just speaks up.] Why would we put Andrew Jackson on money if he was such an uber-douche?
[The class gasps. Everyone looks at each other in awe. “Did that just happen?” is uttered by several, including myself.]
Rodney: I am sorry. What?
CAATCG: Why would we put Andrew Jackson on money if he was such an uber-douche?
Rodney: A what?
CAATCG: A super douche bag.
Rodney: Well. I taught you guys a new term today and you taught me something. [Clearly wants to move on because he does not understand our generations way of using the phrase “douche bag.”]
CAATCG: [Refusing to let this ridiculous comment go.] I mean. We put good presidents on money. George Washington was like the founder of our country. Abe Lincoln freed the slaves. Ben Franklin…
Girl Behind Me: Wasn’t president.
Me: [LOLing] Thank you for saying that. We were all thinking it. 

And that is all Shakespeare wrote. As I read back through this, maybe this was a moment that you had to be there for. But I hope that everyone can appreciate a moment that involves using the phrasing "uber douche" in front of an entire class and professor while referring to Native American/Federal Government policies through out history. 

(Young) Andrew "Uber Douche" Jackson

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eminem made a comeback. And so am I!

I finished a whole semester of Grad School (and did I mention with straight A's?). Was it hard? Not really. Was it tedious? Yeppers. Did I learn a lot of new things? YOU BETCHA! And I made it the whole semester without blogging. Which probably affected no one, and greatly contributed to me getting respectable grades. 

There were a lot of highlights, but seeing as my mind was shut off for four weeks of winter break, and I have totally adapted to Spring Semester, I am only going to be able to remember the real good moments of fall semester and leave the rest behind. 

- On the FIRST DAY of Grad School (aka the first day of the most amazing new and life changing experience... the first day that I was going to become a new and more academic person) I tripped while trying to get out of the wrong classroom. This is a moment that I will NEVER forget. I was in the Law School (a place that I later learned I NEVER BELONG IN AGAIN) and I thought that my Native American Law class was in Room 103. I realized that it was not when all the people around me started to pull out books on something called "Torts" and that their books were red while mine was gray. While walking to the front of the classroom to ask the Professor where the F I was, a step came out of nowhere... and Grad School started off on the right foot. 

- I learned that Applebee's has karaoke on Friday nights. And that people actually name their children Lester. 

-I wrote some pretty great papers. I read some pretty eye opening books. 

-But the thing that will forever stick with me. The thing that I will tell my grandkids when they ask me about my Grad School days is this... One day. A sunny day. During the second week of school. I was sitting outside waiting for the class that I TA to start. I was reading Push (which inspired the movie "Precious. Based on the Novel 'Push' by Saphire"). And then a nice gentleman came and sat next to me. He pulled out his cellphone and placed a call. Now. I was trying to mind my own business, but I couldn't help to overhear parts. Mainly this part. “Girls be trippin’. They lick the balls, but don’t suck it.” It was at this exact moment that I knew I had come to right school and that I was in a for a semester I would never forget. 

As it turns out, I forgot most of it. But not that part. So. Thank you, sir. Not only did you teach me something that I did not know about my gender, but you gave me a moment to remember. A scarring moment to remember 

Friday, August 6, 2010

I apologize in advance if you ever hear my music on the airplane.

But first… The End of KAFS 2010: We had our last “field trip” (and we all know how I feel about using that phrase). It was arguably the best "field trip," but then again our "field trips" have included an 8.6 mile hike through a swamp, reforestation efforts, and a 6AM wake up. This one was (thankfully) different. We left at 10.  Went to a scenic overlook. Went to a Heiau (Hawaiian temple --- Went to Panda Express. Came home. Discussed “notion site” (not gonna lie, I could have done without this part).  Studied for our quiz. Went to class. Took said quiz. Only listed two things when I was suppose to list ten (Goodbye sixteen points. Thank you reading skillz of a first grader.). Spent an entire day packing and enjoying the beach one last time. Spent another day sitting around doing nothing because I scheduled a real late flight. Oh! And did I mention that I bought the world’s largest avocado?  

Just add salt and pepper! And it was only $ much avocado for so little cash money!

Now... about my iPod (affectionately named Rico Suave (in memory of my first car)). 
While at the airport in Honolulu, I realized that I was tots being “that girl” that everyone was looking at and judging. I looked like the pretentious Mac user. When I wasn’t changing songs on my iPod, I was checking texts on my iPhone. And when I wasn’t downloading new apps for said iPhone, then I was typing my final/BLOG on my bright pink MacBook. Well, with all of attention on me (or so I was telling myself… I am sure that in reality no one noticed and I overreacted to something yet again) I started to worry that everyone could hear what was playing on my iPod.

Now. If you were to ask me I would tell you that I have GREAT taste in music. I mean c’mon. I have the necessary skillz to be a professional mix maker. However, others may disagree with this statement. It is more than safe to say that I have the music taste of both a 13 year old white girl (spanning several decades) and a 25 year old black man. Again, while making for (arguably) the best iTunes library east and west of the Mississippi I am not sure if all airport goers appreciate this. Especially the six year old boy that I was seated next to (but to be honest, I don't care if he was happy because he was a pain in my tushy). 

For example, on my “iPhone” mix (which is songs just for my iPhone… “that girl” coming out again) here are ten songs that can randomly come on at any given time. (and I would try to find links to all of these on YouTube, but you are all big boys/girls and to be honest, you should already know all of these songs by heart!)
1- “You’re a Jerk” ---New Boyz
2- “How Do You Sleep?”--- Jesse McCartney (not the one featuring Ludacris, but I have that one too…)
3- “I Swear” --- All-4-One
4- “Tearin’ Up My Heart”--- N*Sync
5-  “Break Up” --- Mario
6- “Everywhere” --- Michelle Branch
7- “Baby”--- J. Bieb featuring Luda
8- “Tipsy” ---T-Pain (not to be mistaken for Tipsy by Chingy, which I also have.)
9- “Do You Remember?”--- Jay Sean featuring Sean Kingston and Lil Jon
10- “One Call Away” ---Chingy featuring J/Weav

Oh. And I do have a mix titled "weezy." with nothing but Lil Wayne. (YOUNG MOOLAH BABY!)

And none of it is edited. I only buy the "explicit" version. So, sorry airport goers that had to watch the female version of Steve Jobs in Honolulu today. And sorry to the passerbys that happen to get a little sneaky peak into my current obsession with Pretty Ricky. Or should I say, you're welcome?!?!?!