Category: Family


So, I have been mentioning my trip to Europe a lot lately.

In case I haven’t fully explained what’s happening, that’s what this post will be about.

For three weeks, I will be in Europe.  I am doing a three-week study abroad program for my MBA and will be taking a finance class and fulfilling credits for my Capstone while I am over there.  These next three weeks will be spent in London, Paris, and Barcelona.  We will have the opportunity to tour a few companies and understand international business practices.

I am so, so excited, I cannot even tell you!

For one thing, I have never traveled anywhere that far away by myself before.  I know I won’t really be alone alone but I don’t know anyone in my study abroad program so it feels like I’m alone.  Also, I meant that in the sense that I haven’t traveled somewhere (especially this far away) without my family (or a friend) by my side or who was meeting me at my destination.  I haven’t been away from friends or family for that long before either.

I live such a sheltered life.

I have been to Europe three times before, so it won’t be completely foreign to me.  When I was in seventh grade, Tam, Drew and I ventured to Italy for Tam’s 40th birthday.  Then, my senior year of high school, Tam took us to London for spring break.  Four years later, when Drewy was a senior in high school, we went back to London for spring break but this time we added a few days in Paris.

Having never been to Spain, I am beyond excited to experience an entirely new city.  I have only heard good things about Barcelona!

Here’s the thing though: I have a crazy amount of anxiety about the trip.  I am a terrible flyer. I hate packing. I’m nervous about my Final Exam in my econ class tomorrow. I haven’t started packing.  There’s an e. coli outbreak in Europe. My mom keeps asking me questions and it’s freaking me out. What if I cry on the plane and become that girl who cried on the plane? What if I get homesick and miss my mom too much?

I wanted to let you know that this will be my last post until I return, which is July 8.  I am going on a little hiatus, if you will.  I just don’t know what kind of schedule I can maintain while I’m there, and I just really want to experience all that I can while I’m there. I do hope you understand….

Anyway, I need to review some of my econ stuff and actually start packing.

(Except, when I say that, I know that I’ll just sit on the couch and watch Tangled with Seneca, since she’s here because she can’t bear the thought of being without one leg of the tripod for three weeks.)

LAHV YEW.

Oh, here’s this for you too. I found it on tumblr somewhere.

I'm done packing.

I have been sitting on my ass all day.

It’s a little hard since I have a bruise the size of my palm on my right ass cheek and it hurts really bad.

I’m sure you’re wondering why there’s a giant bruise on my butt. Well, dear readers, today is your lucky day.  I’ll tell you.

Last night, there was a mini-bar crawl kind of thing that went down in EL for Sully’s 21st birthday.  Everything was going well, except there were a couple times when I wished I was wearing different shoes.

The first instance was when Seneca and I went to the bathroom.  There was a part of the tile floor missing, creating a little lake of mysterious liquid.  My basically naked foot ended up in said lake.  That’ll teach me to wear flip flops.

Before I tell you the second time I really wished I was wearing different shoes I need to preface it with this question. Have you ever been walking on a wet surface while wearing flip flops? Have you ever had that moment of panic that comes when you feel your feet slide because the wet surface and the poor traction of the flip flop?

I promise that this injury had nothing to do with the level of intoxication. It has everything to do with the fact that flip flops fail in the face of liquid.

When I jumped down from a ledge that I happened to be standing/dancing on, I bit it.

My flip flops hit the water/beer/liquor/mixed drink wet spot and my feet flew out from under me.  There was nothing I could do.  I slid into my brother’s friend, slammed my ass on the ledge and scraped the hell out of my elbow.

I couldn’t decide what hurt more: my pride or my body.

The verdict: my body.

Since I started blogging, almost a whole year ago, there as not been one day that I have missed.  Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, like clockwork, I have showed up and put something out there for someone, anyone, to read.

Yesterday, for the first time in almost a year, I went AWOL.

I just didn’t show up.

So, for you who were waiting with bated breath, I apologize. Similarly, if you were worried I had died or had been sucked up by my chest (please reference Dane Cook) by aliens, I’m glad to inform you I am just fine.

What happened is that I actually just got swept up in the long, holiday weekend and forgot it was Sunday.

In fact, this weekend is a whirlwind of activity.

I showed up to my dad’s house ready for a weekend of drunken debauchery with friends and family by the pool in his backyard. But what actually happened was that I arrived at the restaurant for dinner like an hour later than I had originally told everyone I would be in town. Only, after I arrived, I promptly informed my dad that I felt like I was going to throw up and then I peace’d out.  I went back to the house where I found a bathroom just in time to puke my guts out. After throwing up nothing but water and bile (and oh yeah, those two or three Advil I took on an empty stomach- I’m an idiot), I ate exactly two and a half saltine crackers and fell asleep for an hour. When I woke up, everyone was arriving back home, with the food I had ordered in hand.

After that, Seneca and I went to bed early and watched some Forensic Files.

Saturday was even more of a blur.  The day lasted for-fucking-ever.

In a nutshell, the rest of the weekend happened as follows: I probably caught cancer from this shady-as-fuck restaurant called Hibachi Sushi Buffet (it was not my choice), hit my face against the bottom of the pool,  actually won a couple rounds of flip-cup, my computer died/broke, we ate our weight in pulled pork sandwiches, Megan accidentally dumped her almost-entirely-full drink in my lap at the bar we went to, Drew and I got into a physical altercation, Megan walked out at 2am with no word to Seneca or myself, both Seneca and I ended up in tears at some point, made weird references to Hilary Duff for no reason, saw Hangover II, and when we were alerted of bad weather we played a rousing game of Life where I pretended I found out I’m barren and will never bear children(LOL), we also watched a fuck-ton of Lifetime (yeah, including William & Kate, the movie), I quoted William Shakespeare to Seneca in a normal conversation, and I fell in the lake again tonight while trying to get in the kayak.

WINS ALL AROUND.

I promise things will go back to normal.

My emotions are all over the place lately.

I mean, it’s a well known fact that I cry at the drop of a hat, but it’s getting a little crazy.

I think the looming end of Harry Potter is to blame. Honestly.

For the past few months, I have been listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks from the very beginning of the series. I am finally a little over half-way through the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but it’s been a long road.  I’m just so invested in them and I’m going to be really sad once the last movie comes out and ends it all. I know that the books and movies will live on, but for the past ten years, it’s like I have had either a book or a movie to look forward to. It’s all just going to be over.

(Oh hey, Melodramatic-Katie. I didn’t know you were going to be here today!)

The thing is… since I’ve been breathing Harry Potter for the past few months, my mind is pretty much saturated with Harry Potter information. I use Harry Potter references in my everyday conversations. I’m not mad about this at all, but I think it concerns others, or just leaves them feeling confused. (And I really wouldn’t consider this an unhealthy addiction or obsession or anything, seriously.  I mean, I know someone who is inappropriately obsessed with something of late and I am nowhere near her level of insanity. I just wanted to make that clear… lol.)

Back to my emotions… I promise all of this is relevant.

I do, however, want to preface this example of out-of-control emotions with the fact that I happened to be intoxicated when this event occurred and that this might not count.  So, a few weeks ago, my brother and I had some people over to his house to hang out (and then The Tripod left to go to the bars- you know how we do.) and get crazy. Right before we left, I’m actually not sure what triggered this but whatever, we ended up shouting curses and jinxes at each other. Like, we were having our very own wizard’s duel.  It started between the two other legs of the tripod and myself but then Drew got involved.  Right when I was about to shout Expelliarmus at him, he hurled Aveda Kedavra at me.  It was at that moment that I burst into tears and the duel ended.

Megan stared at us in incredulity while Seneca watched in awe as Drew quickly showed remorse for yelling the Killing Curse my way.  He wrapped me in a hug and told me that he didn’t mean it and that he loved me.  It got serious.  I had immediately told him that it wasn’t nice to kill me and that I would absolutely die if anything ever happened to him and that he should never use that curse, ever.

It was ridiculous, to say the very least. But, every time I think about it, I laugh. It’s funny and cute and kind of a heartwarming moment between him and me.

A couple weeks ago, I was driving home from work and it happened to coincide with the time (Oh Em Gee, Spoiler Alert) Dumbledore dies near the end of HP6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  It also happened to be after a particularly long day of work when I was still very sick and I was exhausted.  So, naturally, when JKR begins her description of the grief expressed by all of the characters in the book, I began to weep as well. Once it started, I couldn’t stop.  I was bawling my eyes out the entire forty-five minutes it takes for me to get home from work.  By the time I got home, my face was red and puffy, I no longer had any eye makeup on, and I was doing that weird hiccup-breathing from the heaving sobs that had flowed out of me.

And just yesterday, I was driving home from work when (SPOILER ALERT) Dobby died.  I sob uncontrollably when I watch the movie (EVERY SINGLE TIME), so it’s no surprise that the book brought me to tears.  The grief Harry experiences, the burial, the words Luna says on his behalf… I just think all of it is so precious and heartbreaking.  Dobby was so pure of heart and an innocent, and the loss of his life is a travesty. Bellatrix Lestrange sucks, and I hate her.

It just seems like I’m always in my car when I’m having these emotional events.

This has got to stop! Except, I never want it to because that would require me to not listen to Harry Potter in my car, and I just don’t want to stop doing that. It makes my commute enjoyable.

Anyway, I guess my point is that I never would have guessed I would have gotten so involved in the series when I first picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  Not in a million years.  Even upon seeing the first film, I never thought I would feel such an affinity towards these characters and this world J.K. Rowling created. I just don’t know what I’ll do when it’s all over. Maybe once it’s over I won’t be so weepy about all things Harry Potter. Probably not, though.

Does anyone else feel this way about Harry Potter?! I know I can’t be alone in this.

I have a problem with roadkill.

At 23, I should probably not think of wild animals in terms of Disney creatures that have homes and families and feelings. I know it seems ridiculous, but I just can’t help it. In my head, I only see Bambi’s mom, or the Beaver family from the Chronicles of Narnia, or Simba and how he ran away from Pride Rock after Mufasa’s death. These poor animals have others counting on them; they have responsibilities and a family to come home to.

When I see a raccoon’s guts splayed on the side of the road or a deer laying broken on the shoulder, my heart breaks.

On my way to work last week, I burst into tears when I saw a black cat squished in the middle of the road.  I cried for the little girl who loved that cat with her whole heart, I cried for the other kitty cat friends that Blackie had, and I cried for the person who hit the kitty and killed it.

It’s so sad to me and I can’t help but be really, really upset by it.

I hoped that I had hit my quota for roadkill for the week, but it seems that the universe had other plans. Yesterday, I experienced the most traumatizing roadkill event to date. I probably won’t tell it right or be able to express how deeply upset I was by this, but I’m going to try.

I was driving to meet my brother for dinner when this occurred.  I was driving happily, listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on CD, and I was halfway to my destination.  Just as I was picking up my phone from the passenger’s seat of my car to call Drew to ask him where he wanted to go for dinner, it happened.

By chance, I happened to notice a deer on the shoulder of the highway.  I can’t remember now what it was that made me come to this conclusion, but something told me that something wasn’t right about this deer. For one, it was not dead.  I could see its eyes and they were wide open.  Then, all of a sudden, it was picking itself up off the pavement, only it wasn’t going as it should have.

It all happened pretty fast, and I was driving as I was watching this, but I did see enough to be traumatized.

Poor Deery was having trouble standing up and I could tell that something was very wrong with her (I’m assuming?) hindquarters.  Deery couldn’t put any weight on her back legs. She began dragging her back legs as she tried to get away from the highway and the cars driving so fast past her. I had passed her and my vision was blurry with hot tears when I had dialed Drew via speed-dial on my phone.  By the time he picked up the phone, I was in the throes of a full-blown grief-meltdown.

What was so upsetting to me was that I did not see any vehicle near her that looked like it had been hit by a dear.  I didn’t see anyone around other than me and the other cars driving past this suffering animal. I couldn’t understand how someone could hit a deer and leave it to die in such a painful and agonizing way. The fact that where she had been hit was on top of a hill worried me.  Without the ability to use her back legs, how was she to navigate that hill to get back into the wooded safe haven? I think about it now and my heart hurts. I imagine that she fell down the hill and lay at the bottom, wishing to die because of the pain.  It is terrible, but I would have preferred someone shot her or something, to put her out of her misery.  It isn’t fair.

I explained what happened to Drew through thick sobs. He laughed at me.

After crying my eyes out and having him listen to me wail wordlessly, I tried to change the subject. He didn’t because he probably didn’t want to seem insensitive since I was so obviously upset. He’s such a good brother.

When I finally got the words out to ask him where we should go to dinner, he replied, “Well there’s this new venison place…”

That’s when a sob escaped and I hung up on him. I grabbed a mostly clean napkin off the passenger seat and wiped my eyes and blew my nose.

He called back.

“That wasn’t nice,” I cried.

He was joking and he was trying to make me laugh, but I wasn’t ready yet.  So I cried on the phone some more, cursed society and contemplated calling the police (or ANYBODY!) to have them come rescue Deery (or at least end her suffering).

I didn’t call the police, but I haven’t been able to get the image of that poor deer dragging its back legs out of my head.

I just can’t handle roadkill. It really hurts my heart.

On Monday morning, one of my coworkers alerted me that the world was predicted to be ending this coming Friday, as in Tomorrow. She said she heard on the radio that we could forget about coming into work on Saturday because the world was ending Friday night. I don’t know if this was a national prediction or if it was just one that was spread through West Michigan, but either way, I guess people were pretty serious about it on Monday morning.

Obviously, she was sharing this news with us to mock the crazy people who 1.) predicted this, and 2.) called into the radio station to discuss their plans for the week to prepare for the world ending on Friday night.  In fact, the seven minutes following her divulgence of this information, those of us in the office mocked the general public and made sarcastic comments about not being “saved” and how we’d be left on earth to face Hell (except I was serious about experiencing hell- because let’s get real, I’m definitely on God’s shit list).

Seriously, if I’m going to believe anyone about the world ending, I’m going to believe the Mayans or Aztecs or whoever the fuck came up with that calendar that ends in 2012. (I’m clearly well-versed in end-of-the-world conspiracy theories.) I just feel like that’s probably legit.  At least, more legit than some rando hyper-religious alcoholic/meth-head cult leader sitting in a lazyboy in the middle of a corn field during his four day bender shouting at his cows that the world is going to end. I mean, that profile may not be accurate, but it’s probably pretty close.

If the world does end tomorrow night, though, I’m gonna be pretty pissed.  I did not live this week as if it was my last.  I mean, I did get drunk on a Monday night and I did get to color code my planner up to the first week of July, but that is just not enough.  I mean, just today I spent my free time this evening finding a new ringtone, doodling in my econ notebook because I didn’t feel like thinking, poking around on facebook, twitter and tumblr, making dinner and taking care of Chiefy, who, incidentally, is experiencing some health issues.

The world just can’t end tomorrow. I haven’t had a chance to wear out my new ringtone. I haven’t had a chance to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I haven’t gone on my Study Abroad trip yet! I still have Taylor Swift’s concert to look forward to in July. My driver’s license doesn’t expire until 2013! I have food in the fridge that is still good after tomorrow.

Even if the world ends tomorrow and a bunch of people get to be saved by Jesus, I hope I’m left here.  With all the other ruffians and rejects. It’ll probably be more fun anyway because the only people left will be those with a sick sense of humor and a moral compass that doesn’t point due north, like myself. We’ll have a blast. And that way, I can still use my non-expired driver’s license and enjoy all the food still in the fridge. And all of Hollywood will still be here (because they’re fucked), so I can still see HP7.2 in July when I get home from Europe. Basically, my life will be no different.

So, I guess, here’s what I have to say about the end of the world, should it come tomorrow night: bring it. I’m ready.

I guess this might see unrelated, but maybe I'll do this sexy hair shake in preparation for the world ending.

Besides doing homework all weekend, I saw a bunch of movies I had never seen before.

It started with the absolute worst movie I have ever seen in my entire 23 years of life.  It’s some eighties movie my mother picked because she has this thing for Michael Douglas. The movie is called Romancing the Stone.  If you can catch a clip on youtube and want to be appalled, by all means, go ahead and watch it, but I’m telling you- it’s bad.  The storyline is beyond ridiculous, the sound and visual effects were the worst, and I hated every minute of it (and I slept through most of it).

After that, though, I put in No Strings Attached. Now, if you’re thinking that I watched the HBO Special of *NSYNC Live at Madison Square Garden for their No Strings Attached tour, you’d be mistaken.  I do, however, own that, so it wouldn’t be that farfetched. I am actually speaking of the Natalie Portman /Ashton Kutcher RomCom No Strings Attached.  If you haven’t seen it- you must.  It is beyond adorable and while it is completely predictable, it is funny and cute and everything a romantic comedy should be.  I don’t really know how I feel about Natalie Portman. I mean, her performance is fine and I have no qualms about her being in the movie. I just have no thoughts on her, really, on anything she’s ever been in. I just feel so blah about her. But even with that perspective, I loved the movie. It was precious and had heart and made me laugh out loud.

Today, we went to a movie theater that shows movies at a delayed release type of thing. We saw Arthur, the remake.  You know, the one with Russell Brand.  I have seen the original. I own the original and honestly, I really kind of love the original. It’s old and silly but it’s cute and like it.  However, the remake was excellent. It was similar enough to the original to call itself Arthur but it strayed and became its own movie at the same time.  Russell Brand was outrageous and ridiculous but completely perfect for the part.  I even cried a little bit. But mostly I laughed a lot and kept thinking, omg I love this so much and THIS IS SO GOOD!

Finally, the movie marathon that was this weekend ended with Life as We Know It with Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel.  Oh, and that hot guy from Sweet Home Alabama, but he has a minor role. It counts. He’s in it. And he’s still hot. Even though I hate Katherine Heigl in real life, I can’t help but love everything she’s in, starting with Wish Upon a Star, that old movie the Disney Channel used to play when I was, like, ten years old.  Anyway, this movie… I don’t even know what to say about it.  I thought it was gonna be just like Raising Helen, which I haven’t seen since it first came out on DVD because it’s too sad… or something. But this one… it’s really, really good.  I laughed, I cried, I knew what was coming but I loved it anyway.

Seriously, any one of these movies, hell, all of these movies (except Romancing the Stone), are worth watching.  I mean, yes, I tend to be easily amused and generally like most movies I see, but I don’t think that should discredit my praise for these RomComs.

So, I had big plans for this week because I had, like, three consecutive days off from work.  I had biiiiig plans. I was gonna vacuum. And do all my laundry. And actually get ahead in all three of my classes this semester.  I was going to catch up on all of the TV shows I haven’t had time to watch (because I spend all my time either listening to Harry Potter or watching it on DVD (and blu-ray)). I was going to color-code my planner for the next month and really just bask in the glory of all of this Me-Time.

As I previously mentioned, I had some unexpected and extreme neck pain pop up and leave me completely useless.  I wish I could have snapped a pic of what a pathetic baby I looked like, all crooked and in pain.  I would have shared it with you so you could all laugh at me and feel sorry for me.  Because, dude, the pain was so bad. I mean, I wouldn’t liken it to childbirth or anything but it was far more than just a regular crick in the neck.  I mean, this is Day Three of this type of trauma to my body and I just… couldn’t stand it anymore.

After waking up nearly every hour (EVERY HOUR!!) last night because my neck wouldn’t stop hurting let alone allow me to find a comfortable way to sleep, and after finally popping 600mg more of Motrin at 4am, I resigned myself to the fact that I just was going to be tired for the rest of my life.  Finally, at about 7:15, I heard Chiefy Poo getting yelled at.  This was interesting because Mr. Poo Poo Face never gets yelled at.  He just doesn’t get in trouble.  He’s Mama’s little angel and Tam just fawns over him.  It’s almost ridiculous.  But sure enough, this morning, I heard Tam yelling at Poor Baby Chiefy.

“No! Chief! No! You come here! RIGHT NOW!”

I did some weird, highly attractive roll/flop out of my bed and made my way towards the stairs to head upstairs.  But then I turned around to put some pants on. And then I went upstairs to see what Chief had done.  I found him sitting by the front door with his perfect, sad puppy eyes looking up at me and his feet a curious shade of dark brown.  This is interesting because Chiefy is a lovely golden blonde color.

That was about the time Tam pointed to a hole in our yard that was not there yesterday.

I laughed and then grabbed my neck in pain and asked her if she had gotten the very important email I had sent her yesterday.

Lately, I have taken to sending emails to Tam at work with silly words in the subject line, such as “Urgent” or “Very Important” or even “Please Read Immediately!” and then there is a solitary picture of Chief doing something adorable.

For example:

Subject: Important Info.

Chiefy loves his toys!!

And that’s it. That’s all that I put in the emails. Bahahaha She never emails me back.

Yesterday, though, I sent an email where I displayed my true colors.

Subject: Urgent!!!! HIGH PRIORITY!!

Chiefy has been naughty.  He tried to dig up a plant outside my room!

She didn’t email me back.

Obviously, I’m a tattle tail.  But, like, Chief must view me as his equal, and therefore discredit my ability to scold him.  When I asked him just what the fuck he thought he was doing when I interrupted him digging on the dirt off to the side of my patio, he just kinda looked at me like excuse me, you’re interrupting my fun. I guess I’ll just go over here and bark at some geese and then run around the backyard like a maniac. 

So I just said, fine, but I’m telling Mom. And you’re gonna be in big trouble. Or, at the very least, going to miss out on a treat later.

Tam apparently saw the email but quickly forgot about it.  Because she baby’d him the normal amount she always does, so she clearly didn’t mind that the backyard is a mess because this dog likes to dig.

He’s so naughty.

But I love him anyway. In fact, I came up with a new nickname for him today: Chef Salad. I’ll see how it works.

Oh wait. Uhm….

My point was, originally, that I haven’t done all the shit I originally set out to do this week, but my original idea to post kind of got away from me because I got to talking about Chief.  The good news is that I finally went and saw a doctor this morning, so I’m on a strict regimen of Motrin and prednisone for my acute muscle spasm in my neck.  And the lady doctor told me that it’s likely that I carry my stress in my neck- something of which I was already aware.

On my list of things to do:

  • Clean my room
  • Actually do laundry
  • Color code my planner
  • Read new textbooks for class
  • Get a new ink cartridge for my printer
  • Organize my binders/folders for class
  • Alphabetize my dvds
  • Vacuum

My life is so hard. lolz

Last week, I was really doing well at the whole GT part of GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) but every time I thought about doing laundry, I was discouraged because that required me to pick up all of the clothes that are currently hanging out on my floor. That task always seemed too daunting and required too much patience. There was never a time when I was like, yeah, I really wanna pick all this shit up right now.  I mean, sometimes I really do enjoy cleaning and making things all perfect and pretty.  Sometimes  I really love doing laundry, but these past couple of weeks I find everything about it too obnoxious and time-consuming and tedious.

Classes start this week and I’m just so unenthused.  I usually love school supplies and organizing my binders to get ready for class but I just have been putting it off.  I don’t know why.

I don’t know why I feel this way. I don’t know what’s wrong.

Something isn’t right.

Ugh.

I constantly feel like one giant ball of fail. All the time.

Sucktown, population: me.

This evening of Easter, I don’t have much to say.  It’s been a day full of family-time, and it’s been really nice.   I can’t say I’m really religious, but I counted today as a win the moment I stepped into church this morning and didn’t bust into flames.

With that said, I will leave you with this:

I didn’t have any pictures of bunnies or Jesus saved on my computer, so this’ll have to do.

I can also tell you this quick anecdote about a nerd-alert moment I had at the bar last weekend:

Me, to a man/boy I’d never met or seen before: IF HARRY POTTER WAS REAL, WHAT HOUSE WOULD YOU BE IN?!

Him: I FUCKING HATE HARRY POTTER!

Me, to Seneca: He’s probably in Slytherin.

Harry Potter Nerd Alert!! I’m in love and can’t get enough!!!