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Earthquake Central.

August 24, 2011

Yesterday was my first day of new teacher training. I did what I always do when I’m new to a situation: observe how everyone else is interacting, say as little as possible, make lasting (possibly creepy) eye contact, and nod and smile to remind people I am alive.

This is true. I am terrible at first days. I’m afraid of coming on too strong, of disrupting group dynamics, putting my foot in my mouth, and making everyone hate me instantly. This is the crazy world in which I live. Perhaps you live there too and you know what I’m talking about. If not, let me steal your brain, plz k thx.

In any case, great day, good people, good talks, lots of goody bags, minimal boredom, and then EARTHQUAKE. EARTH EFFING QUAKE.

So right, my school is approximately 10 miles from the epicenter (hey rural VA what up) of the great quake of ’11. And I’ll tell you that as a solidly east coast individual who like to generally ignore her surroundings in a bubble of ironic detachment and cynicism, it was pretty freaking scary. We hid under a table and then had to evacuate the building. And then it was over.

Something that is nice about the middle of no where is that there is no perspective on what is “big news.” The newspaper ran an entire page story about how the schools didn’t make AYP and then the next section also had a full page on a goat farm. So, I was a little surprised when I got home that this earthquake was big news anywhere outside of the county line. I was even more surprised to see that D.C. had decided to co-opt this story. Oh cry about it, D.C. Don’t you know the Culpeper Target’s roof fell in?

They made us leave because they were concerned that there might have been structural damage and then gave us today off. All in all, good first day.



August 22, 2011

I don’t often take inspiration from Rachel Ray. It’s not personal, except the part where her joker-grin and rapid gesticulation makes me want to scream. Food-wise, though, I just find her a little bland.  

Whatever, in a shopping frenzy at the local Food Lion (did I mention I’m a public school teacher?) I picked up her Everyday magazine because of the promise of a month of make ahead meals. With the school year starting up and a one-way 45 minute commute, the idea of having things prepared to eat sounds very appealing.

The article was mostly a joke. She just said make a lot of shredded chicken, make a lot of sauce, roast a bunch of vegetables, freeze it all and BAM you have foundations for a bunch of meals. It’s not rocket science, but it did inspire me to  make a lot of shredded chicken, roast a bunch of vegetables and make some sauce.

But that is not a miracle! What is a miracle is what happens when you take the bones from the chicken you roasted to shred, throw in a few bay leaves, an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, and some thyme, throw them in a crock pot and cover with water. I left the crock pot on after I went to bed and around 3am the smell woke me up. It smelled so good that I woke up. And there it was: beautiful, golden stock. Stock for soup, for rice pilaf, for any number of sauces, gravies, and casseroles. Stock of ages!

Think about the poor cave man or whoever that was left with the bones from the woolly mammoth from whichthe rest of the tribe or polis picked all of the meat. They said, “oh well, I guess we’ll just have bone soup and DIE.” But it turns out that bone soup is the base for all sorts of goodness. Delicious goodness.

It might seem trite–people have been doing this since that cave man or whatever–but sometimes when it’s easy and tasty it’s feels like magic. Like you put these things together and the result is something entirely different but incredible in its own right.

On a personal note, I start work this week and expect to completely lose my mind. We shall seeeeeeeeeeeee.

My life (right now).

June 3, 2011

Did I mention I graduated? I mean, I graduated in 2008 too, but this time I got to wear a Masters hood. Masters indeed.

And as swiftly as I bounded across the stage to grab my oversized UVA diploma, I was cast out of Charlottesville. My sister and I rented a U-Haul, packed up two years worth of belongings, disposed of about 6 months worth along the way, and moved down to my parents house just in time for me to get to search for another place to move right back up there.

You see, the Friday before my graduation I got a job offer at a school about 40 minutes away, which I took without thinking anything about it. It’s a position teaching the grade that I want, the demographics that I like (i.e. little poor kids), and the principal hired me on the spot. So I accepted.

So now I’m living with my parents, the dog, my two younger sisters, my dog, and our Nintendo Wii and poring over Craigslist in search of a place to live.

And there’s nothing.

That’s not completely true. There are a lot of condos and houses out of my price range or that don’t allow dogs or are on the complete other side of the mountain from where I need to be so I don’t have an hour long commute. And then I read this article on Slate about how commuting makes you obese, depressed, and divorced, and so now I’m looking at places in the town of 2500 where I’ll be teaching. I think my high school had 2500 students.

I know these things work out. I knoooow. Craigslist has never failed me. But I’m at the point where making I’m making wedding budgets to relax and take my mind off of finding a place. TO RELAX.

Also this is what I’ve decided is a must-have for my wedding:

May 25, 2011
  • Poor long-suffering Drew to take my hand in marriage.
  • My girlfriends and sisters be there.
  • Open bar.
  • Getting my hair and makeup did.
I think the rest is negotiable.

Wedding Planning (According to Kate)

May 25, 2011

Step 1: Get engaged.

Step 2: Tell your closest friends. Then put it on facebook. Then everyone on earth will know.

Step 3: Ask fiancee when he’d like to get married. He shrugs. You shrug. “Like next March or something?” “I don’t know. Whatever.”

Step 4: When mother brings up for the second time the idea of giving a teacup as a wedding favor, be glad you are on the phone so she can’t see how confused you are about this. A teacup? Do people still have teacups?

Step 5: Listen to everyone on earth’s complaints about weddings. The bridesmaids get out of hand. There was a cash bar. It’s so formal. You have to address people who aren’t engaged as so and so and guest. So and so’s registry was so dumb so I just got them a spoon. Just elope.

Step 6: When someone asks if you’ve set a date, point out you’ve been engaged for a week.

So that happened.

May 17, 2011

So I got engaged last Thursday to my super boo, who I previously said I would refer to only as the Dalai Lama what for his patience and inner peace. We’ve been together for over four years and now we’re graduating from graduate school and getting married and starting a new life. Welcome home, indeed.

Important note: I am still moving into my parent’s house. Proposal does not negate free rent/meals.

Okay, so the timeline of events this week has been: get engaged, make sister come help me move the first round of my stuff to my parent’s house, gab with sisters for hours about engagement, gab with mom for hours about engagement, tear up with dad about engagement, buy Miss Manner’s Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding, read it, make a long-term plan for a surprisingly dignified wedding.

Another important note: We have not set a date. We do not know how big this will be. Are you insane? Why are you asking me what colors the wedding will be and what dress I’m wearing–I’ve been engaged for four days. What world do people live in where you know all of this stuff the moment a ring slides on your finger.

Subnote to that important note: Holy macaroni, the ring.

Things I can’t write about.

May 10, 2011

My dream of becoming Internet famous is becoming hard and harder with age. If only I could go back in time to my teenage years and abandon my sense of propriety and shame. Then maybe I could join KiKi Cannibal or LonelyGirlwhatever in the world of Internet Celebrity.

Also if I had a strong blog concept. Or a few kids. Or if I were Mormon.

Alas, I have none of those things going for me. All I have are the trials of moving into my parents house, continuing to fight the effects of the recession and a little white dog with an attitude problem.

I had the realization this week that in addition to my boring o,d self, now that I’m old and care about other people (and myself and my future), there are a growing number of things that I can’t blog about. Things such as:

1. Drinking and escapades as a result. I don’t really indulge in that all that much, so no big loss. But I feel unless I’m talking about taking my hoity-toity grad school amigos out for a wine and cheese tasting party, alcohol is generally off limits for blogging.

2. My mom, unless the moral of the story is that she’s always right about everything ever.

3. My boyfriend, unless the moral of the story is that he’s a long-suffering saint to put up with my particular brand of crazy for four years (and counting).

4. Work and/or the job hunt. Scratch that–anything depressing. People don’t read blogs to get bummed out and hear you me, the job search is nothing if not the most soul-crushing experience of my entire life. No one should be subjected to that.

Of course the question that is then,”What will you write about?” People of earth, worry not. Clamor no more. I have a dog and she’s pretty cute. Also henceforth alcoholic beverages will be referred to a Juicy Juice. My mom equals O Wise One and my boyfriend is the Dalai Lama (which will make the dating stories extra juicy). The job hunt is He Who Shall Not Be Named.

Got it? Good.