Unfortunately, the cat decided to throw up on her sheets about 30 seconds after she got out of bed.
I can’t win.
“You may be the pro, Joe. But I know who you really are and you’re all fucked up.” Meet Joe Black
Hello 35 – we meet at last. I always knew this day would come, and now that it has I am kind of… bummed. I feel like it’s not possible – it’s too early for me to be thirty-five, it is just too freaking soon. Way too freaking soon. Yes, thirty five years is thirty five years – it doesn’t come later or any earlier for different people. And no, it’s not a villain who is coming for you… but damn, it sure does feel that way.
The rain has been torrential on this gloomy, cold morning. Until about three years ago, I always had a beautiful birthday – it was inevitable. Not so much anymore.
I live in a suburb of Baltimore, so every year now on my birthday I get to hear all about however many years it has been since Freddie Grey and the Baltimore unrest and the riots… heh, happy 32nd birthday, Katie. My 33rd wasn’t any better – I was pregnant. I found out two days before my birthday… I was already 4 and a half months along. I was also pregnant on my 30th birthday – heh, still haven’t encountered a birthday situation that is quite as depressing as turning 30 while pregnant.When I was 18, my car key broke off in the ignition of my car when I turned it on so I spent a large chunk of the day waiting for AAA – yeah, that one was special… almost as special as my 17th birthday when my boyfriend (whom I was planning on breaking up with like… that night) threw me a surprise party on my anticipated “way out,” so instead of breaking up before prom, we broke up after prom (on my actual seventeenth birthday) in my driveway at 4:00am after a night filled with weird tension and understated animosity. On my sixteenth birthday, I found out that I didn’t make the dance troupe I had spent the entire scholastic year preparing to audition for and was all but guaranteed to make it – heh, coulda used that guarantee. Hmm… apparently, I’ve had some pretty crappy birthdays. Oh, let’s not forget about my twenty-sixth birthday when my freaking car got repossessed… not like I didn’t see it coming, but of all possible days!
… ok, did you see that? The season three premiere of Code Black? It was amazing! I’ve been singing this show’s praises since it aired, and still when it almost got cancelled last year, and now they’re back and it’s amazing. Good writing is imperitive to entertaining and cohesive television… I’ve said it before. More on Code Black later.
I want my car back, dammit!! Sigh… insurance companies have no sense of freaking urgency. I just want to say that I am beginning to lose my patience with this car thing. I hit the fucking deer on the 11th, the claim was filed on the 12th, the car was brought in for repairs on the 16th… it is now the 25th and all I’ve heard is that they’ve had to bring a claims adjuster back out to look at the vehicle multiple times.
Welcome back – part 2, movies that are fucking awesome… let’s rock. Keep in mind, this is a continuation of the same list, so there is no theme, no rhyme or reason, and no exclusivity… right. Here we go.
- Warrior (2011); directed by Gavin O’Conner; Starring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte. I was sucked into this one within the first 3 minutes. And I defy anyone to make it through the last scene without shedding a few tears… heh, you really don’t see that one coming.
- Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012); directed by Benh Zeitlin; Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, and Levy Easterly. Moving is a vast understatement when it comes to describing this film – it’s so absurd and cohesive, which is freaking beautiful.
- Meet Joe Black (1998); Directed by Martin Brest; Starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeffrey Tambor and Jake Weber. Yes, it’s criminally long, it’s unapologetically romantic and seemingly moves in real time but God, I fucking love it. I love it so much that I based my actual wedding reception on the party scene at the end. And this movie makes me cry more than any other movie in the world – I mean, like… bawling uncontrollably. And yeah, ok, it doesn’t take a whole lot to make me cry but this is kind of ridiculous. Ahh, so good.
- Lullaby (2014); Directed by Andrew Levitas; Starring Garrett Hedlund, Richard Jenkins, Anne Archer, Jessica Brown Findlay, Amy Adams, Jessica Barden, Terrence Howard and Jennifer Hudson (hell of a cast, right?!) – this is the best movie that you’ve never seen, with an ensemble of the most famous people in the freaking world.
- Two Lovers & A Bear (2016); Directed by Kim Nguyen; Starring Dane DeHaan, Tatiana Maslany, and Gordon Pinsent (as the Bear). This is the best movie ever, go Canada. I may have a slightly unhealthy obsession with this movie.
- Titanic (1997); Directed by James Cameron; Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane and a million other people. I love it, I’m not ashamed. I was 14 when this came out, it was a lifestyle. Seriously though, this movie is really good. It holds up over time, I watched it last year for the first time in easily a decade and it still works.
(And, if anyone who went on Mr McNulty and Ms AbouHana’s New York trip in 1998 and were among the people who gave me all that shit about spending $40 on a movie poster happens to be reading this, I would just like to say that a) $40 isn’t that much money, especially for a 2’x3′ poster, from a ridiculously popular film; b) that was twenty years ago and the poster still looks absolutely beautiful – probably largely due to the quality of paper and ink used – it’s framed and part of my decor; c) I stand by it. I’ve had something that I love for over twenty years now, and it only cost me $40. I win, bitches! Sorry, don’t mind me… a little residual private school bitterness, apparently it takes a very long time to wear off entirely… wow. Moving on…)
- Marley & Me (2008); Directed by David Frankel; Starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. I should be ashamed, but I’m not – this movie is amazing. And I must say, this movie is a hell of a lot more meaningful than you’d think it would be – beyond the realm of the man/dog thing. It’s weirdly relevant. I think it’s Jennifer Anniston’s best work, and I genuinely mean that.
- Million Dollar Baby (2004); Directed by Clint Eastwood; Starring Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman. And now we all know how they get the ice into water bottles.
- The Family Man (2000); Directed by Brett Ratner; Starring Nicolas Cage, Téa Leoni, and Don Cheadle. Hell of a glimpse, hell of a film.
- Interstellar (2014); Directed by Christopher Nolan; Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, Wes Bentley, Michael Caine, David Gyosi, John Lithgow, Matt Damon, and Casey Affleck. Yeah, now there’s a cast for ya. This movie is 2 hours and 40-something minutes of WOW.
- Inception (2010); Directed by Christopher Nolan; Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Poslehwaite and Michael Caine. Once again, 2 hours and 40-something minutes of WOW… but a different WOW that’s almost the same.
- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011); Directed by David Fincher; Starring Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgård. This movie is absolutely beautiful, terrifying and moving as hell. I heart it muchly. Yes.
- A Monster Calls (2016); Directed by J.A. Bayona; Starring Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson. The first time I saw this movie I hated it. I guess I was not in the right place at the right time, it made me actively angry. About six months later I saw it again and fell in love with it.
- Fargo (1996); Directed by Joel Coen; Starring William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Kristin Rudrüd, Harve Presnell, Frances McDormand and John Carroll Lynch. How could anyone make a list of favorite movies and not include Fargo? It just wouldn’t be right.
- The Siege (1998); Directed by Edward Zwick; Starring Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, and Annette Bening. I can’t quite put my finger on why I love this one so much, but regardless of my personal reasons, it’s just a terrific film.
- Dunkirk (2017); Directed by Christopher Nolan (sensing a theme here? lol); Starring Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney, Tom Hardy, Jack Lowden, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, and Harry Styles. In my opinion, this is Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece – this film is incredible. Time dilation, war drama, brilliant cinematography… yes.
- Gravity (2014); Directed by Alfonso Cuarón; Starring George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Ed Harris. Yes, that’s right, Ed Harris is in this film. Epic.
Alrighty, that concludes part 1… stay tuned for part 2 of 33 Films that are just fucking fantastic. Part 2 is just as random as part 1. I’m excited. You should be, too.
Today I hit a deer. This is the second one this year, exactly 100 days after the first one. It was on the first of the year. So, to reiterate, January 1st of 2018 I hit a deer and then, 100 days later, I hit another one. That’s fucking crazy, right? I think it’s completely insane… I’m thoroughly freaked out at the moment. I am also a bit nervous about what might happen 100 days from now, or when I might hit deer #3 because everyone knows these things happen in threes… meep! I’m a very, very careful driver. I don’t text and drive, I don’t drive intoxicated, I don’t have a speeding problem, I am pragmatic about traffic laws… why have I become a magnet for large and destructive roadkill?
They say, “three is a charm.” They also say “karma comes back at you three-fold.” Cerberus has three heads. You can survive for 3 days without water but only 3 minutes without breathable air. There can be only 3. What do these things have to do with each other or deer? Nothing, nothing at all. The chances of a third occurrence are not heightened or reduced by the initial occurrences. I know this… doesn’t make me feel any better.
Yeah, this one is going to be fun to live down. Here’s hoping the insurance process isn’t as destructive as the accident.
Something’s gotta give.
In this constant shuffle, chaos is imminent. The silence is precious and petrified, peace becomes noise and panic that never settles. In this perpetual derangement the kinetic confusion is punishing, it assaults my sense of center and grates at my ears, nerves and conscious. I can’t think, my brain is in this eyeless storm, churning around itself as it washes over the shores of my isolated stretches of sanity.
Abiding ataxia. Shuffling constantly.I used to tread upon a series of endless grooves and vibrations that flowed into the high and the low seamlessly, meaningfully.
I stumbled into my rhythm, it was electric, and terrifying and absolutely fantastic. The roads were open and endless, the journeys erratic and unscripted, somehow all the while guiding me to exactly where I needed to be, regardless of where I was trying to go.
But that was before the shuffle.
The interminable jumble.
The constant shuffle. The ceaseless and careless tripping and kicking, the falling and crawling. The interminable jumble. The deafening screaming of the aimless calamities that bend and rustle. Rhythmic debris smashed to pieces, jagged edges strewn about the remnant rummage. Scattered haphazardly, shifting, and never settling. The constant shuffle.
Sentimentality is certainly a strange and invasive beast. It attacks your functionality, you don’t even see coming for you until you’re caught up in the woes of something random and totally unexpected. I’m not an overly sentimental person – I have enough trouble keeping my house sufficiently decluttered to hang onto large chunks of the past that take up space in my home and my heart. I have trouble with sentiment – it comes from places that are very warm and very happy, but for some reason, they hurt like hell.
Avoiding any and all things and situations that had the potential to stir up any sort of emotion became impossible after the birth of our second child (I held out pretty hardcore after the first one though), so in the process of trying to incorporate normal emotions into my life experience, sentiment has become a bit of a double edged sword. Yes, I enjoy genuinely experiencing my life with the entirety of myself but the emotions are super intense, and insanely random.
The first time I really noticed an overwhelming wave of sentimentality was about a year ago. I had done some very thorough spring cleaning and was in the process of finally actually getting rid of all of the random crap that had piled up between baby #1 and baby #2. On another note real quick – it amazes me how quickly and arbitrarily baby equipment goes from being perfectly safe and great to use to being an APA certified death trap. There were only 3 years between the kids, but somehow all of our stuff that we could have potentially used for the second child “expired” or something idiotic happened to someone somewhere for doing something stupid with said product causing a wave of litigation, warning labels and recalls… heh, nothing lasts forever, and that’s a guarantee! But anyhow, back to spring cleaning – the point was I had a lot of large baby equipment that I was throwing away due to the fact that it couldn’t be reused or donated.
Finally, I rounded up all of the random obtrusive useless pieces of crap that had been cluttering up our house for months… or even years. I was fine. I put everything in a trash can and put it out next to the curb for trash pickup the next morning. I was still fine.
The next morning I happened to be standing in the living room, looking out at the still full trashcan sitting on the curb – the trash hadn’t been collected yet, despite the fact that it was almost noon. I saw the tip of my daughter’s turtle baby bathtub – something that she hadn’t been able to even fit in for at least two years, and we had stopped using it when she was only 8 months old. At that point, she was almost 4 – needless to say, the baby bathtub needed to go.
As I noticed that I could see the turtle sticking up out of the trashcan, the garbage collection truck started rolling down the street. I watched the men pick up the trashcan, dump the baby bathtub into the giant container of rubbish with everyone’s leftover dinners, baby diapers, and every disgusting thing that we toss on a daily basis and I started to panic. I suddenly felt like I was throwing away a part of my daughter’s past, and all of the memories of the early bath times when we discovered that she was indeed a water baby.I started sobbing uncontrollably, it took me a good half hour to get a hold of myself. After that I was absolutely fine, I still cannot really explain what that was other than a weird wave of unsolicited sentimentality that hit me like a freight train. I know you usually see and hear those coming, but apparently I was not paying attention.
The only other time I felt a sudden panic over getting rid of something was the other day when we got a new bed. Our bed was the first thing that my husband and I bought together (and we actually bought it about a year and some before he became my husband, so 13 years later it has some history. And as with everything that has history, some of it is weird and wonderful, some of it is random and maybe kind of gross, and some of it is really sad and painful – but it almost tells our story.
Like I said, it was the first big thing that we bought as a couple. It was the only thing that fit in our bedroom when we got it home into our tiny apartment in Tampa, FL. When we moved to Maryland, once again, it was pretty much the only thing that fit in our bedroom – which had, due to a clerical error (I’m assuming), been painted red instead of wheat (“salsa” instead of “sissal” – I can see how it happened, but damn it messed us up).
The year in the red bedroom was not a good year – I do not recommend putting the color of fire and anger on the walls in the room where you sleep. I cannot stress that enough.
The next year when we were no longer living in the apartment with the red bedroom, my husband fell asleep with a chocolate ice-cream bar (don’t ask how… he just did) and the stain that it left became a topic of conversation for years every single time we changed the sheets. It was the first piece of furniture we brought into our new house when we bought it in the winter of 2011. We conceived our first child in that bed. I fell into a deep depression after that child was born and lived in that bed for almost an entire year. Our second baby was conceived in that bed. Ironically, making the bed every day was one of the only things that I was capable of doing by the end of that second pregnancy, and doing so kept me as sane as was possible. I really had absolutely no idea how accurately a mattress could make my life flash before my eyes, but once again, I started to panic as it was being hauled out of our bedroom.
Apparently I’m not quite over it, because writing this is starting to make my eyes tear up, and once again – I am not quite sure why. A significant portion of those memories take me to places that honestly I’d like to try to avoid, and because the memories are somewhat traumatic and scarring, they will be vivid and detailed and freaking eternal (my memory has a mind of its own, I swear… how scary is that possibility?) – I won’t lose them. The bed hasn’t been genuinely comfortable for a very long time now, it actually has been responsible for more pain than comfort for at least a year. It was time to move on, and we got a new bed that is amazing – like, leaps and bounds beyond where we were before, it is SO MUCH BETTER. But damn… weird sentiment hurts. I guess even when you’re ready to move on, life lingers a bit longer than you’d like.
I guess even when you’re ready to move on, life lingers a bit longer than you’d like.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that the shades of my past that hang around now are often pieces of it that seemed so insignificant at the time. The fact that they haunt me now is unsettling, perhaps I’m supposed to pay more attention to the little precious moments in my life. Perhaps I’m supposed to breathe a bit more often and be a little bit more patient, then I’ll have more of the moments that suddenly seem desperately few and far between when their effigies are no longer present. Maybe I’m supposed to allow myself to feel the emotions that I tend to push back when I’m supposed to experience them, so I don’t dwell on how emotionally dishonest I feel like I’m being to myself later. Or maybe it doesn’t mean a damn thing, and people are just sentimental – admitting to myself that I am among that population is not something I do easily. But, alas, here I am.
Breathe it in, girl, you are human and that is okay. Or so they say. I’m still not sure. I could do without the random incessant bursts of crippling emotional agony. But there is something to be said for pain – it makes you feel alive.