My Dream Wedding

There’s really nothing scarier in life than revealing your innermost desires for your “Big Day.” Sure, I could share you a Pinterest Board of everything I want, but what fun would that be? I am going to spell it out to you- from the horse’s mouth… I might even make some horse noises if you’re lucky. So for any eligible suitors out there reading this post, if you want to marry me, here is what I expect in my ideal wedding.

The Ring: Needs to be from a vending machine at Taco Bell. I will not accept anything less, the Taco Bell part is important. I grew up waiting for meat tacos at Taco Bell and if I was LUCKY my mom would give me a quarter to buy a ring from the vending machine. The design of the ring doesn’t matter so much- but I will know if it’s authentic. Do not test me.

download-4.jpg

The Venue: A VFW in rural Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska… Somewhere where we can be as far as possible from civilization. Alternatively, I want it to be a dirty ramshackle barn, crucial that it’s not a ‘rustic’ barn… A real one with fresh manure and livestock milling around. Goats screaming like Usher, pigs rolling in their own feces, chickens freaking the fuck out over nothing… Guests will sit on rusty and breaking folding chairs, hay bales if we can find enough in the storage shed. No need for an alter or anything, we can just borrow a podium from the local high school’s speech team.

358AC22000000578-0-image-a-80_1466598236322.jpg

(***person in this picture is also invited)

Service: There will be no service. We will skip right to the part where we ask if anyone objects, I have a feeling someone will object. Whether it be my 7th grade science teacher, Mr. Bale, or a scorned lover from a fling in Vegas, someone will disapprove. (Yes both of those people will be on the guest list.) We will start the discussion segment there and have a civil discourse about my life choices. Ultimately my father, Alex Nicholson, will decide whether or not we can proceed with the union. He will signal this by lighting a torch.

download-5.jpg

Ring Bearer: Will be an untrained pig.

download-6.jpg

Dress: I will find my mother’s wedding dress from storage (without her permission.) It is shrinkwrapped at the moment. I will unwrap it the day of the wedding and wear it as is. NO alterations. If my mother wore it I will wear it. If something rips then we can use clothespins and bedsheets.

Flowers: I’m cool with sending someone’s child into a field for some dandelions, dead dandelions, or just wildgrasses of whatever state we decide to have this in. Maybe we can scatter the feed of the livestock around so we might have a guest appearance from a cow, pig, goat, rats… Maybe we even open up the chicken coop and let them flood in. Idk, just spitballing here.

images-1.jpg

Catering: Sloppy joes, walking tacos and deer meat. Those are the staples. If you are a vegetarian you can just eat the Doritos and lettuce from the walking tacos. We will also have a cookie table. The table will be full of just cookies, I repeat, cookies only. We will buy them from the local grocery chain and put them on a plastic plate. Yes, this does include every possible flavor of those frosted sugar cookies with the sprinkles on them. Yes the powdery ones that break apart all over you as you eat them. Yes, we will EVEN have the different holiday variations… Don’t ask me how we will get all of them but we will. Everyone will really love the cookie table. If I’m feeling spendy, I’ll potentially have Raising Cane’s cater. But if that’s the case I’d feel bad letting the chickens out of their coop.

download-7.jpg

Cake: Would be great if someone whips up a Funfetti day of. I just want to be clear that the topper has both me and my husband on a tractor. I don’t know how to drive a tractor but so help me God I better be on a fucking tractor for my wedding cake topper.

images-2.jpg

Photography: I am going to blow my entire budget on finding the actor who plays the photographer in 13 Reasons Why. I want him to be in character for the entire wedding. I don’t care how much it costs, he needs to be at my wedding. And everyone gets an autographed, shirtless, headshot of him.

download-8.jpg

The Reception: We will have the reception under a white tent near a swamp. The swamp is crucial to the success of the reception. I need there to be insects, I love bugs. I want people to be swatting at them while they eat, perhaps there will even be dead insects in the sloppy joes. Idk, we can only ask for so much. Karaoke machine with only cassette tapes, 90% of the cassette tapes are nursery rhymes. Microphone will have a MASSIVE foam mouthpiece for comedic purposes only but also so that everyone has to feel the person before them’s spit.

download-9.jpg

 

The DJ: I am going to wait outside a high school and see which dude rolls in with his music blaring the loudest. He will be my DJ, he is the most confident in his taste in music. Must play the Chicken Dance and Born In The USA.

download-10

Alcohol: Open bar. Only beverage is bottom-shelf vodka and the only thing to mix it with is Koolaid. Don’t worry, we will mix the Koolaid ahead of time and might even offer a few different flavors, but probably you can expect mostly red and blue because that’s what I like best and this is my wedding.

download-11

Bartender: He is a failed comedian who I found in Boise. I gave him free reign to use the bar as his stage, so you have to all listen to his jokes for the entire night. That’s the price you pay for free alcohol. Your laughter are his form of tips- he understands this agreement.

download-12

Honeymoon: Wisconsin Dells. We are going to stay in a suite at the Wilderness Lodge and we are going to play in the waterpark all day every day. Sex takes a backseat to playing in the wave pool drunk. You will take me go karting at Mt. Olympus and we will dangle the fact that we have our driver’s license over the heads of our child/teen/preteen competitors. We will not let them win. I will get cotton candy. We will probably go to Noah’s Ark and I will call you a pussy for not wanting to ride the slide that some kid died on years ago. Then I will wait in line for it, get to the top, and chicken out but make a bunch of excuses about how I heard it making weird noises and how I totally cheated death.

download-13

I Was Buried Under a Pile of Monkeys

I don’t think it’s normal to learn a lesson from your dreams, and I’m not even sure that I did learn a lesson. My dreams are startlingly realistic, most of the time they cling to me far past sleepytime and I momentarily forget whether I’m in dream world or reality. My life is like a melodramatic remake of Inception where the main character, Katrina, an oblivious white girl, works at an ad agency in Los Angeles and compulsively chugs tea out of an enormous Iowa mug her mother accidentally sent her.

Sometimes I can control my actions in my dreams AKA “lucid dreaming.” These dreams are the most memorable because they genuinely feel like a second life. There are certain things that exist in my “dream life” that don’t exist in my actual life. For example, my childhood home always has a pool in the backyard in my dream life but not in reality. This has been the case since high school, so it kind of felt like waking up and realizing you didn’t actually get that golden retriever puppy in real life. Every, day.

By the way, for anyone who thinks this sound “cool” I would gladly trade you this ability for ANY one of your marketable skills… Like the ability to do math for example. Or maybe ability to write code. Programming. Anything of that nature.

ANYWAY. For this dream, I was in Africa with a few friends (no I’ve never actually been to Africa) and we decided to go rogue on a safari. Dream Katrina is constantly putting herself in vulnerable situations with wild animals, not sure if that means anything, but she sure likes to do it. For the safari we were walking through a desert savannah and kept spotting monkeys in the distance. They disguised themselves as trees before attacking their prey… It was as acid trippy as it sounds, yes. Picture Kirby’s World for NES in that level where the birds all shoot out of the tree when you pass it (if you get that reference please notify me, ASAP, I’d like to make you my husband.) There were also alligators, rhinos, plenty of shit that can kill you. But we were prancing carelessly around like we were in a fucking Minnesota cornfield.

My friends rushed ahead of me and out of sight. In real life this wouldn’t be a huge issue because I’m fast as all fuck, but in this dream I might as well have been 95 years old with metal knees. While I fruitlessly rushed onward, I accidentally stumbled under what looked like a harmless tree, but was actually an aggressive nest of monkeys. This troop of monkeys leapt onto my back and paused for a moment while I pretended to be dead. They chattered amongst themselves, probably deciding how to best feast on my innards. What the fuck else could the monkeys of my subconscious possibly have to say? 

Unfortunately this was a very heavy pile of monkeys, and I needed to breathe, so they quickly figured out the truth as they felt the rise and fall of my ribcage underneath them. I braced myself for contact, which is a horrifying prospect if you’ve ever seen anyone who survived a monkey attack. Monkeys rip faces off.

For reference, this is sort of what the monkeys looked like:

imgres-1.jpg

Before you make fun of the size of this monkey, let’s discuss a few things.

  • Look at its fucking teeth
  • Look how angry he looks
  • Imagine at least 12 of him on your back (you’re completely alone)
  • He is a wild animal, so the fact that his mouth is about the size of a cat isn’t relevant because this motherfucker will tear into you barehanded with reckless abandon on INSTINCT
  • He is defending his nest

Anyway. I’m deflecting because I’m trying not to be too morbid. This entire post is a little off, sorry mom, these are the things that keep me up at night (or not? these are the things that haunt me while I sleep?) 

The moment underneath those monkeys felt so real that I genuinely thought I was going to die. I felt those near-death thoughts flying through my head. How disappointed my parents, friends, family would be that I died in such a reckless way. I thought about how my last moments on earth would be wasted by my own ignorance and overzealousness. I would be just another white girl who thought she was invulnerable and could run around unknown territory without any repercussions. Just like when I used to walk home alone from Allston back in college at 2:00 am and get into strange cabs who offered free rides.

Most of all, I thought about how this was the real, black, immanent, void. The end.

I came to that lonely realization that I imagine most Atheists have in the back of their mind (but are too busy playing World of Warcraft and blaming ~society~ for their problems to admit.) When you reject religion or a higher power as a concept, you reject the belief in an afterlife. You truly believe that when you die, you just rot in the ground and that’s it. Maybe people scatter your ashes or whatever, but you cease to exist in any way shape or form. Bleak. As. FUCK. (I’m really fun at parties.)

When I was younger and a “practicing Lutheran” I had these types of dreams, I’d get to my Monkey Pile Moment and I’d pray. I’d pray that God would save me or that somehow this wouldn’t be the end, and many times when I did this I’d be rescued or brought to some other reality within the dream. But now, at 25, I feel that crushing defeat of ultimately losing faith. I don’t believe anymore, I genuinely don’t, and having that vividly illuminated in a dream is startling. 

On the optimistic side, I realize the importance of self reliance. Being able to find solutions for yourself and work your way through The Monkey Piles Of Life (I hate myself for just saying that… I feel like I just wrote a fucking sermon which is some pretty tasty irony for you literary fiends out there who might be picking apart my work trying to decide if there is any deeper meaning! There’s not, and I’m sure that’s not what you’re doing here.)

Let me try again without getting all preachy. I woke up from this dream covered in sweat, with a very sore throat from some sleep-apnea-esque snoring (I’M SORRY, I’M ACTIVELY WORKING ON IT OK?) and I felt myself actually relax a bit. Whatever the hell gets thrown my way, whether it be an entire tree full of monkeys, a knee injury (please no), or a career change… I’m gonna make it work. I’ll be ok. 

Your story is not already written for you. If you’re an Atheist or even just someone who is questioning faith, spirituality, etc… If you’re feeling like you have nothing to fall back on… You do. But either fortunately or unfortunately, that thing is you. As I’ve said many times before, if you don’t like your life, it’s time to grab it by the haunches and hump it into submission. Because you can, no one else can.

Genuinely beautiful song about loving yourself even though everyone else might think you’re a lunatic ❤ (and they might be RIGHT)

Go Ahead, Blacklist Me.

For a while I was really afraid to post stories about working in TV because I was concerned that I’d “blacklist” myself if I pissed off the wrong person. While that might be true, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t care anymore and some stories are meant to be told. This one isn’t even that bad, considering this woman made my life a living hell for about a year.

My first year working in Los Angeles as an “Executive Coordinator” entailed a lot more personal work than I expected. And very little Executive Coordinating. I was a glorified Personal Assistant at best- I didn’t make enough money to live on because my rate was laughably low (I believe it’s the current minimum wage, which is under scrutiny) and I was restricted to “40 hours per week” even though this still required me to promptly answer text messages, calls, and emails 24/7. And if you’re asking why I didn’t claim those hours, it’s because my boss extensively reviewed my work hours every week and occasionally argued me down if she thought the number was too high. Did the same thing for my gas mileage tracker, which I never lied on but was still accused of tracking my commute miles.

I genuinely believed this job would fast-track me on to becoming a television writer’s assistant. I was one of the many aspirational 21 year olds who believed the false promises made to them by unhappy people at the top who resent them for “being the future of the industry.” I trusted this person who claimed to see potential in me, I invested myself fully in this job even though it made me miserable and wasn’t remotely close to what I wanted to be doing with my life.

This silly story sticks out in my mind, just to give you an idea of how out of touch I was with reality. And maybe it will make you realize how out of touch with reality you are too. Because if you don’t see anything wrong with it, something is off.

My boss asked me to watch her two dogs on a Sunday in Beverly Hills while she went out and had fun with her friends. My ex-boyfriend and I decided we’d make a morning of it and go out for breakfast at Hugo’s in West Hollywood. Granted- I probably spent all of the money I earned in that day on my meal at Hugo’s… Not because Hugo’s is expensive but because that’s truly how little money I made. (Can I also note that I had no health insurance, PTO, government holidays, literally zero benefits other than the occasional free lunch that I had to pick up for myself and all others in the office in the heart of Beverly Hills where parking is basically a hazing ritual for the new folk?)

Anyway, at Hugo’s I ordered this intriguing frittata called the “Go Green Frittata” it was a massive GREEN egg bake with quinoa, kale, and other various green ruffagey shit. This was back when I was desperately trying to be skinny by eating nothing and prancing on ellipticals a few times per week. The thing was gargantuan and tasted mostly revolting but I ate it all. Would highly recommend that no one ever allow themselves to eat anything bright green for breakfast. You’re asking for a weird day. 

imgres-1.jpg

(this is an actual image of the frittata at Hugo’s)

I was nursing a bit of a hangover because what else do you do when you’re 21, new to Los Angeles and your boyfriend is pretty much the only friend you have? You get hammered and lament your life choices. You also starve yourself slightly so that it takes less alcohol to get drunk and you can save money. On this particular morning I had the kind of hangover that came in waves of brief, sweaty, panicked, nausea. The kind I now can cure with my bff edible marijuana and an alarmingly long nap. 

We went back to take care of the dogs and watch a little NFL. Boyfriend had to be at work later that afternoon so I would drive him and then come back to the house. I felt my stomach get that cute little nauseousness so I spent the majority of the morning napping while he gave me emphatic highlights from the games we cared about.

When it came time to drive him to work, I was fully ill. At this time I was dealing with severe digestive problems and had no way of predicting how my body would react to unfamiliar foods. Almost every meal gave me trouble- but not this kind of trouble. Not Go Green Frittata trouble. I was sweating and could barely speak as we drove the 5 minutes to his office. He was concerned, because anyone who knows me knows that it’s an issue if I go 5 minutes without speaking. I pretended to be fine even though I could feel that unmistakable lump forming in the back of my throat, the one that firms up the esophagus in preparation for a boot and rally. 

Once I dropped him off, I genuinely worried I wouldn’t make it back to her house without barfing all over the interior of his new Ford Fusion. 

As I was rounding the corner onto my boss’s street, desperately gasping for air and blasting cold air conditioning breeze on my sweaty face, my cell phone rang and it was the boss.

I answered the line knowing I’d be in trouble (and she’d just keep calling) if I didn’t, and she immediately started barking demands at me. My stomach gave a violent churn as I hung up on her and made a drastic swerve to the side of the road in this bougie Beverly Hills neighborhood. I ran to the sidewalk, fell to my knees, and proceeded to vomit a massive green mound of quinoa, veggies, eggs and shreds of pancake. I’ve never thrown up so much in one sitting in my entire life. I can almost guarantee you a curious dog or a lucky raccoon made lunch out of it later that day.

imgres-2.jpg

(Another gentle reminder of what the frittata looked like to begin with)

I stared into the vomit for a minute and realized that this was probably going to be very representative of my time in Los Angeles. Laugh at me if you want- but this was a profound moment. Here I was… Amidst million dollar homes in one of the world’s most famous neighborhoods, finally “pursuing my lifelong dream”, but actually just staring into a pile of my own bright green vomit. Hollywood, where (if you REALLY want it bad enough) your dreams come true… Right???

I got back in the car fully knowing my stomach was not emptied and the storm hadn’t cleared. But that didn’t matter- I had hung up on her.

“I’m so sorry- I had to pull over the car and throw up. What did you need?” I asked

“You actually threw up? Wow, good thing you weren’t driving my car.” She said, then quickly moved on as if I’d told her that I just sneezed on the steering wheel while driving. As if it wasn’t Sunday and I wasn’t spending my “free time” trapped in the apartment that had come to feel more like a prison than an “office.”

It was this moment where I realized that as much as MY life revolved around HER, I ceased to exist in her mind when I wasn’t doing something for her. I wasn’t a human to her. I was means to an end, something she could take advantage of with no remorse. There was no part of her that considered coming home early to relieve me of dog sitting so that I could go home and rest. There was no part of her that felt guilty that I spent the remainder of the day vomiting violently (and surprisingly painfully) into her various toilets while my boyfriend helplessly texted me from his office.

Tell me that this is what it takes to be successful in Los Angeles. Tell me that you have to “work in the trenches” before you can ever EARN the opportunity to do what you love. Tell me that I deserved to be emotionally abused and manipulated for a year, which amounted to approximately nothing other than teaching me never to trust what someone promises you. Tell me that I deserved to feel like I was never good enough and that I’d made the biggest mistake of my life by moving out here.

You can tell me any of that, I don’t agree with you. I don’t think I ever should have been treated that way and I don’t think ANYONE deserves to be treated that way. Yet this is just one tiny story in a catalogue of experiences I’ve had over the last four-plus years out here. And I’m just one person. There are hundreds of you out there still accepting this treatment because you believe some day you’ll get the chance to do what you love.

Consider if it’s really worth it. Consider the long term implications of this mentality. I wish I had stood up for myself sooner. I wish I had realized that no matter how shitty someone treated me that didn’t affect my personal worth. I’m still a writer, I’ll always be a writer, and no one can tell me otherwise. Please, if you’re going through anything similar, remind yourself that you’re worth more.

20140519003455036401.jpg

(And for the love of all that is good in this world, please do yourself a favor and NEVER order this food item)

7jy5vkei76oy.jpg

Not a relevant image but it makes me giggle.

Insecurity Manifesto

On February 9th I remember feeling particularly horrible. It was one of those days where I didn’t necessarily know why I was so upset, but everything seemed to set me off. The biggest emotion I experienced was intense insecurity, just being incredibly unsatisfied with myself. I felt alone, afraid, and beaten down.

In the New Year I’ve tried to make it a priority to escape from these lows by finding strength within myself. I haven’t been great about that, I rely a lot on other people to help me out. It’s ok to depend on other people, but it’s essential to have a sense of stable security from within. On February 9th, I wrote up a “manifesto” of sorts to remind me of the things I wanted to change that were causing me to feel insecure.

I never planned on sharing this, but I’m feeling confident today. Very confident. I have worked on maybe 4 or 5 of the bullets on this list and I already notice progression in myself. While maybe this is a cheesy Seventeen-esque list, I figure if I can get some value out of it maybe someone else can too.

I have made progress with some of this, but there are several things on the list that I blatantly disregard on a daily basis. Change comes slowly but surely, and I’m optimistic. Oh did I really just say that? I feel optimistic? What a breath of fresh air!

Take a look at my list, and decide for yourself. You can follow mine, or you can make one for yourself. You don’t need to tell anyone, you don’t need to make any promises, just refer back to it once in a while to remind yourself what matters. Remind yourself what gets you to that negative place, put those reasons on your list and attack them.

Let’s fuck shit up, I say!

My Personal Insecurity Manifesto

  • I vow to communicate clearly and express my needs without fear
  • I vow to not invest time worrying about what people mean, but rather will listen to what they say
  • I vow to demand respect from a partner, sexual and romantic alike
  • I vow not to let the way a man treats me define how I go about my day and feel about myself
  • I vow to value myself and celebrate my strengths
  • I vow to stop calling myself an idiot when I make a mistake
  • I vow to stop apologizing when I’ve done nothing wrong
  • I vow to start taking the advice I would give to a best friend in my same situation
  • I vow to stop making exceptions for behavior that bothers me
  • I vow to stop placing my personal worth in the way others view me
  • I vow to stick to my priorities and quit shifting them to accommodate other people
  • I vow to recognize when I’m spreading myself too thin and make an effort to lighten the load in any way possible.
  • I vow to stop projecting my insecurities into my interactions with other people
  • I vow to acknowledge when I’m feeling lonely and learn to be okay with feeling that way
  • I vow to enjoy myself and be fully present when I’m with friends, not letting my mind drift to negative places
  • I vow to stop being so hard on myself when things don’t go the way I want them to
  • I vow to use my mistakes as learning experiences, rather than replaying them in my head over and over.
  • I vow to actually take action on my insecurity rather than pushing it aside
  • I vow to stop giving in to my vices to numb the pain I’m feeling
  • I vow to be patient when I slip up
  • I vow to make my self confidence a priority in my life

1e41dbef9f7146248e5088fe4ed7b892.jpeg

My 90 Year Old Grandpa Runs a Greenhouse and I Can’t Even Write a Damn Blog Post?

After almost a month of radio silence on here, I didn’t think my first returning post would be about my grandpa’s horticulture habits but… Here we are. It’s the only thing I could get excited about on this Friday afternoon. I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day but can I just admit that I don’t give a shit? I’m not even a little bit Irish and frankly my European genes resent this holiday on principle.

Let me give you the scoop- I thought it was a thing for EVERYONE’S Grandpa to have a massive garden full of vegetables in their backyard. I thought that was just what grandpas did… Pop Pop had his… and my Opa had a massive swampland surrounding a ramshackle barn filled with uncategorizable paraphernalia, there had to be a garden in there somewhere right? The obligatory grandpa garden?

Pop Pop lives in Wisconsin in a podunk village called Greenville. The most exciting things happening in this village are A.) Anything pertaining to the Green Bay Packers B.) The massive Costco a couple miles down the road and C.) Tractor style lawnmowers (both in practice and as a concept.) Wisconsin is booger-icicle cold for 75% of the year and for the other 25% (I really had to think about those percentages… Math is hard for me) so humid that your tears of anguish mix with with your sweat and blood to form an unrecognizable fluid that even renowned doctors don’t have a word for.

In case you haven’t gathered- this is not the ideal climate for gardening. Unless you’re really into pine trees and other coniferous fare (Pop Pop is not into that type of fare.) Pop Pop was in the Navy and he doesn’t take no for an answer. He also worked at a meatpacking plant back in the Upton Sinclair days (I’ve asked him how accurate that hot dog description was and he wouldn’t tell me.) Pop Pop will defeat mother nature while still maintaining a Midwestern Charm that makes him such a threat to society. Pop Pop scoffs at impossible, because really, nothing is impossible for Pop Pop.

I was the pickiest eater in the world when I was younger, I blame it on not having a sense of smell but honestly I was just a finicky turd. I’d pretty much only eat pizza, chicken tenders and peanut butter. Somehow, though, Pop Pop got me to eat green beans from his garden. And when I say this I mean the man literally got me to eat the entire pod raw and covered in soil. To the point where my mom was like “Is that even healthy?” And Pop Pop told her it would help my immune system and make me big and strong (jokes on you, mom, he was right!) I didn’t really like the taste, I just really wanted Pop Pop’s approval and I hoped that someday I could inherit his garden AND rare coin collection.

“How does Pop Pop’s garden survive the winter?” You’re wondering with concern…

You probably figured Pop Pop didn’t think about that… But what did I tell you? Nothing is impossible for Pop Pop. He spits on “impossible.”

He turned his entire basement into a greenhouse. If you didn’t know it was Pop Pop’s basement you’d think it belonged to a serial killer, an aspiring and confused surgeon, a museum curator who takes his work home with him, or really anyone who feels the need to hang fluorescent lights from every inch of their ceiling in hopes that they will stimulate the growth of another lifeform by providing synthetic sunlight. I don’t really know why Pop Pop trusted us kids to go down there back in the day, because all we would do is take running leaps onto his plant wagon destroying everything in our path. Except the plants. Somehow.

Today I got a text from my mom letting me know she’s planting in the basement garden to prepare the seedlings for spring harvest. She told me they’ll be cleaning out 75 pots whilst listening to soft classical music (AKA Pop Pop music.) Pop Pop has every detail about the garden plotted in a tattered looseleaf notebook that only he can read. Not because it’s in code, but because his handwriting is so horrendous that he’s the only living human who can interpret it. He keeps this precious notebook locked safely in his “Coin Room” a room that my brothers are often dragged into for unsolicited rare coin lectures. My dad goes in willingly and is secretly lobbying to inherit the coin collection (even though he’s not blood related.) A battle for another day I suppose. Just beware… I see you, Alex.

In all seriousness, I’ve been complaining about not having any inspiration to write for weeks now. I claim that writing is my passion and I want to make a career out of it. I claim it comes naturally to me and that I’d do whatever it takes to succeed with it. But I just went a month without posting to this blog, with no valid excuse for it. I’ve been the prototypical “uninspired writer” with the insufferably cliched “writer’s block.” And if I’m being totally honest, I’ve felt pretty damn insecure about everything I almost posted.

Pop Pop is 90 years old. For the last 10 years my mom and her siblings have begged him to stop gardening. They don’t want him to get injured walking down the steep stairs to the basement (they’re VERY steep, no joke I’ve fallen down them several times.) He assures them that he’ll tone it down, but he continues to sneak in there day after day to tend to the glorious Wisco Greenhouse he’s worked tirelessly to perfect. The only time Pop Pop won’t garden is when he PHYSICALLY CAN’T.

Yet, here I am. Living in Los Angeles, spending hours on Reddit saving memes to a folder on my desktop at work called “Dank Memes” and sending them to my friends on iMessage. Here I am buying Kombucha on tap for $4.00 at work and still living with myself. Here I am getting stoned, eating an entire pint of ice cream and watching the Bachelor on Tuesday nights to feel better about my life. Here I am, afraid to write about things that matter because of how I believe people will react.

All of us unmotivated pieces of shit need to live like Pop Pop. Pursue your passion until your body refuses to let you do so anymore. And even then, keep doing it and do it well. There’s no excuse for giving up on something that you claim to love doing. If you really want to be successful you have to devote yourself to doing so. No more of this month long gap bullshit. No more fear. Chips Are Back in Town.

And as Pop Pop loves to ask “Whaddya say to that!?”

72453_167209396639054_2652415_n.jpg

The man, the myth, the legend… And the woman who constantly keeps him on his toes.

 

Being a Single Lady in Los Angeles

Sorry I had to take a break from this for a bit because I started a new job. Fun fact, I got this job even though my (at the time, future) boss pulled up this blog in the middle of my interview and started reading a few of my posts, including my fake cover letter. The world works in mysterious ways. 

I don’t feel like I need to reiterate the fact that I am single, but for anyone who just started reading, that’s the waaaaaaay the news goes. I’m off the apps, so I’m as close to “off the grid” as you can get in 2016. Dating culture is an unsightly beast in Los Angeles, one that would have to wear a bag over its head because it would make children cry due to the sheer magnitude of its physical deformities. Why? Let’s explore:

Single women are not a hot commodity

There are plenty of us. In fact, we come in droves. I’ve met so many women I would want to date if I were a straight guy that I’ve relegated myself to a third party category of women called “Trolls named Wanda.” If you are an eligible bachelor in Los Angeles your options are limitless. You can be picky because there are a lot of amazing, badass, beautiful women out here. I would like to say I am one of them, but if you see my feet you will agree with my aforementioned categorization.

Almost any guy you meet who you might be remotely attracted to will possess one of the below major flaws:

  • Has a girlfriend: This is the most common one, tbh. You meet a guy who seems cool and fun and down to clown then you stalk him on Facebook for two seconds only to discover he’s been FBO with some beautiful model, who doesn’t even know how beautiful she truly is, for like 5 years and is on the brink of getting married to her. Yeah, nothing turns me off more than someone who is unavailable. Unless you’re unavailable AND love Dave Matthews Band. Then you’re scum.
  • Socially inept: This applies frequently to men you meet on the dating apps. They hide behind their dating profile because in reality they have no idea how to treat a woman or function in daily adult life. I dated a guy who didn’t even know how to ride a bike. And when I told him I would teach him, he was a little bitch about it. He was kind of a little bitch about everything though, so no surprise there. LA is a city full of man children with strange relationships with their mother.
  • Actor/Model/Comedian: THIS is actually the most common one. I’ll meet a guy who I’m attracted to (a tall beautiful douchebag) and then find him on Facebook where his entire page is littered with links to his personal website, inaccurate headshots, and mediocre YouTube clips from all the student films he has credits in. (AKA his ‘reel.’) I think I would be ok dating an actor if he wasn’t terrible, but I have yet to meet an “actor” who isn’t terrible. Also my ears already hurt at the idea of me dating a comedian. No one would be able to stand being around us and I probably wouldn’t think he was funny.
  • Works in some financial field: Guys who work with money are kind of the worst (sorry Will.) Especially in LA because they have a huge complex about not being in the Entertainment Industry. They make 4 times your yearly salary in a matter of months and they still make you pay for drinks on the first date. Because they are doing YOU a favor by taking you out. One of my favorites said to me “Yeah I make good money but I also work really hard for it!” Bro what do you think I do to make the SHIT money I (used to) make? Sit on my own thumb for 10 hours per day? Just because you work hard and get paid to do it doesn’t mean other people don’t also work hard and get paid in ‘experience’ and executive’s spare turds… You hairy sack of shit.

You start to wonder if you should change something drastically about yourself.

Yesterday I spent a good 4 minutes contemplating whether or not I should dye my hair blond. Of course, the answer is unequivocally HELL NO…(My skin tone is totally wrong for it.) But I feel like if I were a true “tall blond” then I could trick some guy into listening to what I have to say.

Nah, that’s not how it works. The only way a guy will listen to what you have to say is if you pretend you don’t care if he hears.

You decide you’re not going to care about it anymore, then accidentally care about it for a few minutes each day.

As much as I enjoy falling asleep to my stupid cat sleeping under my covers digging his claws into my legs, I really resent the fact that I’ve become the cat lady stereotype that everyone expected I’d be. I decide to stop giving a fuck, but then I realize something trivial, like the fact that the only person who I can look forward to cooking protein pancakes for on Saturday morning is Mary. And my cousin Nick. Both of them are better cooks than me anyway so it’ll just be like back in the day when I’d whip out the Easy Bake Oven for my family over Christmas break and they’d pity-eat my shitty Devil’s Food Cake.

Pretty sure my mom JUST threw out my Easy Bake Oven last year. We kept it around for an uncomfortably long time as a joke, then a few Christmas’s back from college I would still cook with it. I think we finally realized the entire situation was a little sad so we trashed it. I might be wrong, we might still have it.

The fortunate result of it all: you decide to work on yourself.

After fighting the good fight for the last 6 months, I have finally thrown in the towel. I am legitimately going to work on bettering myself. So many times I have told myself I would do it, but this time I really mean it: I am going to read a lot of books. I am going to become that montage in the movie where some Girl Power anthem like “Fight Song” plays and the lead reads tons of books about being a woman, works out so hard that she barfs, throws her full Kirkland wine bottles in the trash can (what a waste, at least gift them), braids her best girlfriend’s hair, and somehow becomes infinitely sexier.

A good example of this:

Please excuse the subtitles, not sure what language they are in.

Before the 3 people who read this jump down my throat for all the sweeping generalizations and stereotypes I just threw at you- I’m mostly kidding. Obviously in this city of a million something people I can’t possibly speak for the entire population. I am speaking from a set of exaggerated anecdotes and personal testimony. Because if I wrote any differently it wouldn’t be entertaining, would it?

imgres.jpg

(my mom’s favorite movie ever.)

My Cover Letter

Hi potential employer,

My name is Katrina Nicholson, sometimes I go by Stanley Kovack. Why Stanley? Well, it’s a nickname I gave myself last year. Sometimes I use it as my alter ego at bars when creepy guys hit on me, it’s also a nice way to scare off guys who I actually am interested in. Anyway, I’m applying for the open position from your website because someone sent it to me and I feel a sense of obligation to myself. I might take a few minutes to do some research on your company, but I probably won’t.

I attended college at the Boston University College of Communication, which was awesome because they accepted my 3 on the A.P Statistics test and I never had to take math again. Taking math in college was something I legitimately worried about for years, I barely squeaked by in high school because I would get angsty about not understanding so I’d just write poetry in the back of the room. Yes, the teacher noticed and no, the poems were not good. Can send samples upon request, but we’re both better off not rehashing that.

Below is a list of my insecurities and fears:

  • I’m nervous you will feel the crusty calluses on my hand when we introduce ourselves and you’ll think I don’t use lotion. Unfortunately, lotion can’t fix these.
  • I try really hard to raise my voice a few octaves when I interview, but really my natural tone is pretty low and potentially unsettling.
  • I’m definitely sweating all over whatever chair you have me sitting in. Even if it’s not warm in the room.
  • When you ask me to tell you about myself, I’m never sure if you mean me personally or my job experiences. I usually will go for a hybrid, which makes me very uncomfortable.
  • I probably tower over you in my heels, if you’re a man I’m sorry but also not sorry that you feel emasculated. Get used to it if you plan on hiring me.
  • I’m not really actively afraid of anything, but I definitely don’t want to be murdered brutally or get Zika virus.
  • I’m afraid people judge me when they learn I am a cat owner.

While the above list may seem lengthy, I can assure you there are some benefits to hiring me. I’m a stickler for proper kitchen etiquette; I hate seeing injustice in the employee refrigerator. I am very territorial about my food, which actually makes a lot of sense from an evolutionary perspective. If you can’t protect your own food, how can you provide for your family? Survival of the fittest, Darwinism, etc. I feel that someone has stolen from me I will go absolutely insane and embark on a manic witch hunt that takes no prisoners. Trust me, you do not want to fuck with my kombucha because I already hate myself for spending $3.50 on it.

As far as work experience, I’m a drifter. I take on new identities on a daily basis, sort of like the Pokemon Ditto. Pokemon is relevant again with the emergence of Pokemon Go, so maybe you’re familiar with this reference since you might have tried to play at one point. What I’m trying to tell you is that I will change my personality so that you like me, I will be whoever you want me to be.

Want an IT guy? I’ll show up an hour late and act annoyed at every request you have, I’ll also make sure to condescendingly ask if you’ve Googled the problem yourself.

Want a sassy receptionist? I will make sure to answer the phone with a brisk “Hello this is Katrina- can you hold for just a brief moment while I attend to someone else for a 14 minutes?” Even when there is no one else on the other line.

In need of a workaholic executive who can close ANY deal? Consider me Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary.

If you want me to be myself, I can assure you that you will get a confusing blend of all of the above. I’m sort of like that soda we used to make when we were kids and bored at a restaurant- I’m a mix of literally every soda on the machine to the point that it’s intriguing but also revolting. That’s why I’m applying to this job actually- because no one else wants to drink me and I’ve been sitting on this table for weeks! (I really don’t even own a chair!)

I know you don’t want to be reading this, I don’t want to be writing it either (it’s funny that we still do it anyway!) I’ll leave you with a few things you can expect from hiring Katrina Nicholson: results, murderous stares from across cubicles, and LOTS of pity laughs (for me.) I’ve been referred to by managers in the past as the “caboose” of the team: part of the train, but the last and least important link that could derail without anyone else being affected (or even noticing!)

Would love to come in for an interview, can even bring along some collectibles that I’ve been meaning to get appraised to see if they’re worth anything! I’ve always wanted to be on Pawn Stars.

Best,

Katrina Nicholson
Below is my headshot in case you want to put a face to the name. FullSizeRender-1.jpg