Friday, October 24, 2014

A Day in the Life

This is a thing bloggers do, so I'm doing it. Here is a day in the life of Katie Que, specifically, Thursday, October 23, 2014:


  • Wake up circa 7 am, put on music, sing in the shower. Wonder if my neighbors hear me and consequently hate me for it. 
  • Actually I don't care at all. No one is friendly here and I'm still harboring resentment against the entire building because of that one person who STOLE my book.
  • Song choice:
  • Man at the bus-stop tries to talk to me. I wish I wasn't such an asshole, but seriously, stop, thanks.
  • Get to work and eat breakfast. I finally figured out a way to peel a hard-boiled egg that doesn't take 15 minutes. I consider this a victory.
  • Sit in my office for a while and do work-related things but definitely also spend a lot of time on Twitter.
  • One of my programs isn't working but I don't understand why. I try to explain this to my IT person but he's never even heard of this program because literally no one here knows what I do.
  • Become visibly overwhelmed because I don't like talking about computers with IT people because I don't know how they work. I swear I am only 28.
  • IT man reassures me, "Don't worry. You are a really smart person."
  • The program is magically fixed. I go back on Twitter.
  • Take a quick break and go to the gym. All the towels are "in the dryer". All the towels are always in the dryer.
  • There is no hot water in the locker room, yet again. I huddle in the corner of the shower and stick one body part into the water at a time.
  • The appeal of my free gym is fading rapidly.
  • My colleague and I decide to take our afternoon meeting out of the office to a cafe. I decide that all meetings should be held at cafes from here on out. 
  • The fire alarm goes off and we are required to evacuate. I decide that all meetings should abruptly end like this as well.
  • It's 5 pm! I more or less run out of my office.
  • There is a man on my bus who looks like a husky version of Jon Snow. I begin hyperventilating.
  • WHO ARE YOU ? I LOVE YOU. CALL ME.
  • He gets off the bus. I am already over it.
  • I did a terrible job grocery shopping this week and have nothing at home to make for dinner. I go to CVS and buy overpriced tortilla chips, guacamole, and kit-kats. Only god can judge me.
  • I also really want wine, but it's like Noah's Ark outside right now, so I can't bring myself to go to the liquor store TWO blocks from my apartment. 
  • There is one lone beer in my fridge. This will do.
  • My nightly 1-3 hours of snacking period commences. 
  • I break shortly to take selfies with my cat.
  • Fuck! I missed Jeopardy! because of Thursday Night Football. Thursday Night Football is dumb. It's bad for everyone. It's bad for the world.
  • Start reading Gone Girl. Amy describes what it is like to be 32 and single. I think to myself, FML.
  • That's it. Time for bed. ✌️

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Essential Feminism

In her book, Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay writes:
"Essential feminism suggests anger, humorlessness, militancy, unwavering principles, and a prescribed set of rules for how to be a proper feminist woman, or at least a proper white, heterosexual feminist woman -- hate pornography, unilaterally decry the objectification of women, don't cater to the male gaze, hate men, hate sex, focus on career, don't shave. I kid, mostly, with that last one. This is nowhere near an accurate description of feminism, but the movement has been warped by misperception for so long that even people who should know better have bought into this essential image of feminism."
For the most part, I think that the term feminist is becoming more widely accepted, more palatable (thanks, Beyonce!), but it no doubt still carries this stigma.  Just a few months ago, I was showing some of my straight male friends my dating profile (since deactivated), and one of them said, "Are you sure you want the first thing guys to know about you is that you're a feminist?" And I said, yes. Yes of course I want the men I go out with to understand that I'm a feminist. If that is something that bothers them, then I don't want to go out with them.

Remember when I casually mentioned that I went on the worst date ever not too long ago? Well, it was the worst date ever because this person clearly didn't understand (or respect) who I am.

It's important to note that I met this person at a work-related event, so when he asked me to get a drink to discuss work-related matters, I assumed we would be getting a drink to discuss work-related matters. Foolish of me, I suppose, to think this man would have considered me a professional equal.  Shortly after we sat down, he asked me, "So, what are you looking for in a guy?" To which I responded, "I'm actually not looking for anything. I'm not interested in dating right now." And then he said,
"Let me tell you what I think you're looking for."
He proceeded to explain to me that I was looking for a gentleman. And I said, "I don't think that's what it is, actually." And he asked, "Really? Why?" And I said, "I think there is a fine line between a gentleman and a chauvinist." And he said, "I totally know what you mean."

Shortly thereafter, he asked me what I was going to get, and I told him that I was in between two things, so "I'm going to make a game-time decision." Seconds later, when the waitress came around, he ordered for me.

What I found most interesting about this date-that-wasn't-supposed-to-be-a-date was that this man told me he was attracted to me because I was "so outspoken and smart". And yet, for the entirety of the date, he told me how I felt, what I wanted, and generally didn't listen to a word I said. What's more, he had such a great time that he couldn't wait to hang out again, when I obviously did not feel the same. But despite how appalled I was by his behavior, I know that he is not a bad person, really. In fact, he genuinely believed he was being chivalrous. (After all, his dad taught him "how to treat women".) But that's what sucks about patriarchy: Condescension is mistaken for chivalry, and chivalry is mistaken for respect, and women are angry feminists if they point out the problem with that.

It's never enjoyable, for anyone, to be told what you want or how to feel. For me, feminism is having the freedom to define those things for yourself as an individual. So yes, it's very important for people to know right away that I'm a feminist.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Just Stay Home.

TV has taken over my life, guys. When I lived with roommates and had cable, I rarely watched TV. Now that I live alone and have Netflix, I rarely leave my couch (futon). Most recently, I've become addicted to New Girl.  I can't even decide if I actually like it, but I do know, for sure, that I have fallen madly in love with Jake Johnson.

CALL ME.

This is a thing I do - fall in love with actors and/or characters from the comfort of my living room (that is also my bedroom that is also my entire apartment). This, coupled with my general disinterest in going out, should be troubling, but I'm embracing it for now.



What's more concerning is that I haven't read a book in weeks. Maybe months? It's been a while, is what I'm saying. So, I just picked up a copy of Gone Girl, which I plan on reading tonight with the TV off. It should come as no surprise, considering my newfound love for shows that came out 5 years ago, that I'm only jumping on the Gone Girl bandwagon now. I usually show up late to pop culture trends. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews, so I'm curious to find out if I'll actually like the book. Some people have told me that, as a feminist, I'll love it, or that, as a feminist, I'll hate it. So expect a strong, probably dramatic reaction either way. Expect the usual, basically.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I can't believe I'm still writing about birth control.

It's hard to believe that Americans aren't tired of talking about birth control yet. Aren't you all so fucking bored? Like, why are we still arguing about this? So much time is spent debating the morality of birth control and abortion; meanwhile, people all over the world are dying from disease, war, poverty, etc. etc. But whatever. What's most important is that we spend our time deciding what women can do with their own bodies.

I feel like most of my friends/readers are smart enough to understand why birth control needs to be safely accessible, so I'm not going to explain that to you. Unfortunately, though, women everywhere need to constantly justify their use of contraception to politicians, radio hosts, TV anchors - lots of white men, for the most part.




It's interesting to me that birth control is a "women's issue" when it very much benefits men. Perhaps more so. Birth control exists so that women can have sex with men. We don't need it to pleasure ourselves, fellas. Yet, discussions around birth control almost always exclude men. Discussions of its purpose at least. Discussions of its legislation are generally dominated by men, so that makes perfect sense.

My question is: why can't we just accept it for what it is and move the fuck on? Literally.

We are now dealing with a bizarre new morality where a woman cannot simply say, in one way or another, "I'm on the pill because I like dick." - Roxane Gay

Of course, it's not only about sex. It's about controlling birth. It's about delaying children for the sake of your career, or financial preparedness, or general happiness.  It's about having the time to decide, as a couple, that you want a family. Isn't that a good thing for everyone? For women and men? For employers, for the economy, for people against welfare, for individualism? Honestly, I can't think of anything more patriotic than avoiding pregnancy.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Things I learned this weekend

1. OkCupid is awful and terrible, but this is great:


2. I cannot wait to deactivate my account again.
3. You should probably check the weather report before you go hiking.
4. And maybe wear shoes that aren't made of mesh.

This would be their last day.

5. It's probably not the smartest idea to stand in a tower at the summit during a thunderstorm.


6. Speaking of thunderstorms, I thought I was over my fear of them until this weekend. On that note, I apologize to my fellow hikers / the many families with children who likely heard me yell, "Are we going to die?!" several times.
7. We did not die.
8. Of course, the sun came back out as soon as we got back to our car. 

So many filters, though.

9. Barcelona Wine Bar has the best tapas in Boston. 

Manchego 4-L, please.

10. Boo really wanted to be friends with my sister's dog but my sister's dog was terrified of Boo. He's really a gentle giant, you guys. Also perfectly healthy, weight-wise.
11. I spent Sunday afternoon reading HBR's case study on Beyonce's release of her self-titled, visual album while listening to her self-titled, visual album. Here are my favorite quotes from the case:
"And what it takes for her to do these shows... most fans have no idea. It's like running a marathon every night. The stamina it takes to sing, dance, remember all of that, do it all in a cohesive fashion—and make it look effortless—is the gift of a truly talented and well-rehearsed performer.” 
"Make no mistake—she really is the boss,” remarked Sabey. Callahan-Longo agreed: “It is disheartening that there are still stories written where people assume that just because she is a woman, there is a person other than herself running her business.”
"We work for a woman who has no fear."
On Beyonce's brand: "It's about allowing women to be who they are and to feel empowered by who they are. That's the true core. You can be different and powerful. You can be sexual and non-compromising. You can be feminine and strong. All those juxtaposed values can co-exist in one person, in one woman." 
 “I really, really wanted to surprise people and for them to really just hear the art and for it not to be about the hype and the promotion.” 
12. The case ends with the question, "Would her big gamble pay off?" After thorough analysis, my answer can be summed up in one word: Duh. 
13. There is a woman on Beyonce's staff whose last name is Beyince.
14. After watching "Blow" for the 3,785th time, it's confirmed that I need to have some kind of party at a roller skating rink immediately.



15. Today is my parents' 41st wedding anniversary. I'm pretty lucky to come from two amazing people who have never been afraid to be themselves (or let their hair down):


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Never Cooking Again

I read this blog post the other day entitled "An Argument for Never Cooking Again" and it very much resonated with me. Essentially, the author, Sarah Miller, argues that people only really like to cook for other people and they only really like to cook for other people so that they can feel loved and appreciated for doing so. This seems pretty accurate. I "love" baking, but I only "love" baking when I'm doing it for other people because they'll like it (and like me). I almost never bake for myself.  For one thing, I'm mostly lazy. And two, I would never not feel guilty about eating a pan of brownies by myself (that doesn't mean I haven't done that, though).


Cooking for one especially sucks. First of all, as that post suggests, despite my inflated ego, I don't feel motivated to spend that much time making food only for myself. Second of all, I am pretty much ALWAYS starving by the time I get home from work, so I want to eat something that takes less than 20 minutes to make. Third of all, and most unfortunately, it's not always cheaper to cook for yourself, despite popular belief. Don't get me wrong, I make most of my meals, but they almost always consist of beans and salsa and other things that cost less than a dollar and only need to be heated up. Whenever I want to eat something other than grains and legumes, it actually makes more sense to go out, which seems backwards, but it's not.

I made tacos the other night with meat -- a small step up from my typical beans and salsa -- and all things considered, the ingredients were at least $15. For tacos! Yes, I had leftovers, but that also means I had to eat the same thing many times in a row and that gets old quickly. I once made this delicious polenta casserole, but by the 3rd day of eating it, I wanted to kill myself. I am not being dramatic.

On the other hand, there is a restaurant near my office that has a pretty good beer selection and a half-priced menu from 4-6 every day. That means it's actually cheaper for me to go out and get a craft beer and an entire plate of nachos than it is to go to the grocery store and buy ingredients for a meal. Maybe not the healthiest choice, but YOLO, you guys.



And, since I live amidst Section 8 housing and broke college kids, there are countless options for very cheap food in my neighborhood. For instance, I can get a slice of pizza for $2 that is actually the size of 3 slices of pizza, so it literally feels like you won the lottery when you eat it. Literally.

When I'm not trying to get diabetes, I go to the Russian BAZAAR down the street from my apartment that has almost everything you'd ever need at half the price of a regular grocery store. Also, a whole fucking aisle of pickled items. A WHOLE AISLE. There are few things I dislike more than grocery shopping (humidity is high on the list) because almost everyone is an asshole at the grocery store. I worked at Shaws for 7 years of my life and every time I go into that store I have a mini panic attack and want to punch everyone around me. (Last time I was there, I yelled at a woman to "Get some awareness!" That is who I've become.) However, at the Bazaar, no one speaks English and/or has any interest in talking to another human being and it's wonderful. The only drawback is that almost every label is in Russian, so I don't necessarily know what I'm buying/eating, but that just keeps the adventure alive. I generally leave with a bag of fermented vegetables and cheese and go home and eat snacks for dinner. Someday I aspire to make an actual meal, but only if someone wants to help me do it. And/or just do it for me. What I mean is that someday I aspire to come home to dinner on the table.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Things I learned this weekend

1. Vermont is so fucking pretty. I screamed about it all weekend.

2. Johnny Appleseed was a real person.
3. Johnny Appleseed was born in Leominster, MA.
4. Johnny Appleseed is praised for being a good samaritan because he introduced apple trees to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. But I would like to point out that he ABANDONED his hometown, so.
5. I just think you should know everything about a person before you give them a sign on the highway.

How do we know he was real when all we have is cartoon pictures of him??

6.  Leaves turn colors because of photosynthesis, or something.
7. The woman who runs the White Rocks Inn in Wallington, VT is the CRAZIEST BITCH I'VE EVER MET.
8. She stole my pumpkin magic cookie bars and I will hold it against her til the day I die.


9. If you move your hand at precisely the wrong moment, you will accidentally punch a little girl in the face on the dance floor.
10.  Meredith and I aren't very good at taking selfies.


11. I have sniper vision when it comes to spotting fast food off the highway.
12. When given the option of watching your friends get their hair and make-up done or going to the bar with 12 men to watch football, I choose the latter.
13. My fantasy football team, Meow or Never (obviously), is CRUMBLING! I won the first 4 weeks and now I can't even break 100 points. :''''''''''''''(
14. This dragonfly is positively terrifying.


15. I only have one more wedding left and it's in Jamaica. Not mad.




What did you learn this weekend?


Friday, October 10, 2014

Studio Life

I made a video. In my pajamas. Without makeup on. From the most unflattering angle.

Fuck it.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Is this a mommy blog?

You guys, I know I'm going to sound like a soccer mom in a second, but I'm wicked excited about my new tupperware and I need to tell you about it. I've been bringing my lunch to work nearly every day since January when I made it one of my 12 resolutions. And, due to my aforementioned poverty, it's been pretty necessary for me to do so. I often make a big pot of quinoa or lentils or something equally peasant-like on Sunday and portion it out for the week ahead. (If you for some reason care about what I eat, follow me on instagram, duh.)  However, one of my favorite lunches ever is salad (like, for serious), but I rarely bring it because I never had tupperware big enough or anything to carry my dressing in that wouldn't leak. That is, until now. Behold, the Fit & Fresh salad container:


I'm so obsessed with this thing*. It's the perfect size, the perfect shape, and it has a DRESSING DISPENSER. It's awesome. Related: my life is really boring these days.

Work has been totally overwhelming lately, which is partly why my blog has been abandoned and malnourished the past few months. But I'm attempting to make it a priority again, since it is something I actually enjoy (whereas work - not so much). On that note, you know what makes me really sad? When people who don't know how to construct a sentence get paid to write. For instance, people in marketing who are so careless and frivolous that they can't even spell-check their emails but have made a career out of writing them. People who are hired because others value their content, content which the writers don't even care enough about to proofread. It's not only sad, it's infuriating. But that fury generally comes from my enormous feeling of jealousy that these people write for a living, which I probably could have done, but didn't. So here I am rage-blogging instead.


*Editor's note: I did NOT get paid for this endorsement. But I probably should have. (Hint, hint fit-fresh.com).

Autumn In Boston

A few of my blog friends have been taking this October Blogging Challenge to blog every single day in October. I'm never going to do that, obviously, but today's writing prompt is "What does autumn look like in your city?" and since Boston is pretty pretty during the fall, I thought I'd at least post some pictures.

But first, who says 'autumn', though? Here in Boston, where English is brutalized daily, we say fall, motherfuckers.

Autumn Fall in Boston

I don't know whose photo this is, but it isn't mine.


Bridgewater

Foxboro

Cambridge

Salem

Southie!

Arlington

Somerville

Almost none of these are pictures of Boston. Bye.


Making Melissa