Self-Improvement

Hired Hands in The Wild Wild Western Suburbs

My biggest problem, if I had to admit to one (aside from my totally rational fear of fruit), is my seeming determination to make the same mistakes over and over again. Like how I keep thinking I can pull off blonde hair (it might help if I didn’t keep going to cheap salons and ending up with a color less “Blonde” and more “Dehydrated Pee Yellow”) and how I have made out with not one, but three, improv actors. Which is great if you like noisy dudes in skinny ties, but problematic if you are made uncomfortable by emphatic gesticulation and disproportionate reactions when doing such innocuous things as ordering a beer they’re not particularly fond of or breaking up with them out of left field. (You’re clamorously pretending to ride a statue in a city park for the third time today? Yes, and... I think we should see other people.)

I had a hard time finding a full-time job after college, and it got to a point where…

Why Have Fun Vices When You Can Be Sweaty Instead?

Today marks one month on the patch and one month smoke-free. I celebrated by working out for the first time in months, and by working out, I mean doing a surprisingly grueling six minute phone app circuit under the supervision of my cat, who was, of course, staring me dead in the eye and licking her butthole the entire time. Which I took as a sort of encouragement to cleanse myself of former bad habits. I can do this! I thought to myself, her metered slurps like a chant propelling me onward. Kate! Kate! Kate! Kate! Emboldened, I obeyed the robotic voice emanating from my phone, my scalp beading with sweat, which is the only place I sweat most of the time, so even in comfort, I look like it's raining. I jumping-jacked, I squat-jumped, I crunched. I gritted my teeth and worked the fuck out. The minutes went by like kidney stones through a urethra, and I thought, well, this sucks. I'd rather chew off my own foot and then legally marry it than do this again. And then timer rang. My six minutes was up. I heaved myself out of the push-up position and then strutted over to the mirror. You look the same, but damp and sad. Hell yeah. Day One in the books.

Things I Thought Were Cool When I Was Younger But Am Now Realizing May In Fact Not Be

  • Pretending to sleep at parties where no drinking was taking place because I thought this made me “cooler than the party”

  • Drinking a lot of orange juice (“Oh, what am I doing? Just listening to some music, drinking orange juice.” -Me, feeling fly, circa 2002)

  • Wearing candy necklaces until the color started to wear off on my skin

  • The band Mest

  • Sneaking up to people’s houses in the middle of the night (before curfew, of course) and sidewalk chalking up their driveways (That wild, unpredictable suburban life, you know?)

  • Pretending I had never heard of various pop artists

  • Pretending to be afraid of E.T.

  • Coughing when someone made eye contact with me because I thought that made me more mysterious (???)

  • The three foot marionette I insisted on bringing to parties (There was the occasional clumsy performance)

  • The cloak I wore for two weeks

  • The fact that I had never eaten Cookie Crisp

  • The mushroom cut I got in fourth grade that I so desperately wanted (My hair looks like a botched circumcision and I love it! Take that haters!)

  • My imagined alter-ego as a sexy, wisecracking, American exchange student in the Harry Potter universe who had alternate affairs with both of the Weasley twins

  • “Practicing” my softball pitching skills in front of people with no ball or mitt so as to display my immense talent

  • “Playing” the piano on the gym floor while waiting for warm-ups to begin (Note: I did not know how to play the piano)

  • Memorizing Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “El Dorado” and proudly forcing people to listen to me recite it

  • Smoking cigarettes

  • My Fine Arts degree

Follow