Thursday, April 17, 2008


Well, it is confession time: I have pretty much zero discipline. I know... aren't you surprised by this revelation? I have gotten/get by in life primarily through a combination of natural ability, the deliberate placement of myself in situations where I know there is external structure, and harnessing the energy of those bursts of passion which seem to come and go as they choose.

I've always been a little bummed out by this fact. Consistency, discipline, and structure are all highly desirable traits in our society. I deeply admire people who are able to apply themselves like that.

However, somehow I seem to have internalized the value of these positive attributes -- which do not come naturally to me -- to mean that floatiness (really the best term I can come up with to describe the lack of those qualities without defining it merely as their absence) is something to strip oneself of, something to fight. Perhaps it is cultural, to feel and believe these things?

But then I thought, "Why should I feel that way? Who says discipline is better?" If I take a moment to examine where I am in life, where I've been, and where I am going, I realize that I feel pretty satisfied actually. Proud, even. I completed a challenging educational program. I graduated with reasonably good grades. I secured a fun, technical, AND creative job in my field. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am a little (or a lot) different from other engineers. That is fine. I am contributing. I am helping to push into new frontiers. I am synthesizing. I am generally happy.

And the future? You guessed it. Full of possibilities.

Three cheers for floaty folk!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Things which make me feel like a Good Person

  • Paying my taxes
  • Donating blood
  • Giving up my seat on the train for an elderly person
  • Voting
  • Wearing my retainers

Probably because I don't really do any of them THAT often. I feel extra good if I get a sticker. Yeah I pretty much glow with pride if you give me a sticker that says good job.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What I really want... some peace man.

Well I was originally going to say "a lathe," because lathes are so awesome and I could make candlestick holders or other useful things which are axially symmetrical, but then I thought of that song, and looked it up on YouTube and couldn't stop laughing for about twelve minutes.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Magical Mystery Tour

Sometimes I pretend that the subway cars are being pulled by a pair of green and gold dragons. If you close your eyes you can hear them roaring and screeching as the train speeds through the dark tunnels under the city. And you sort of have to imagine that the conductor has a whole freezer of horse steaks in that first car to keep them satiated. But he can't feed them too much or they might grow complacent and not really give a rat's ass about pulling the trains anymore.

If you look out the window fast you can sort of see little gnomies taking a break from mining to watch the train pass, silhouetted by their lanterns at the mouth of tributary tunnels snaking off into the darkness. What are they always mining in there? Probably we'll never know.

One time we had to stop for like 10 minutes or something due to a disabled train ahead of us. One of the dragons was acting up. It actually would not budge one inch. Anyway, we were just waiting there and I noticed two of those little guys reflected in the window across from me (i.e. directly behind my head). I didn't want to turn around too quickly for fear of frightening them, so I simply watched in the reflection. They were a bit timid at first. However, we were towards the back of the train, far from the dragons, and once the gnomes discovered this fact, they didn't seem to have any fear. They jumped up and down, laughing and talking to each other, pointing at us, throwing little pebbles at the side of the train, calling for their friends to come and see. It was pretty cute actually.

But MAN did those little suckers take off when we started up again!

And that is why everyone should take mass transit.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Okay okay so that last one was a depressing post. Upon thinking about it overnight, I would like to retro-conclude it with this:
...and that is why it is not a good idea to have delusions about marriage as a final destination, as the "happily ever after," because without either of us putting the effort in, it very well could end up like I described. I can see it working out too though. It is about learning to balance when to build forts and when to get things done, just like it is when you're NOT married. As other factors change (outside or within the relationship), it will be necessary to reevaluate and possibly shift that balance to maintain a healthy tension between these two distinct people trying to live as a part of each others lives.

And I imagine that to be immensely rewarding.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I was eating some tea by the radiator this afternoon and had an awful vision of what marriage would be like. First I was imagining building a huge fort from blankets and pillows with my husband and both of us crawling in to the largest "room" in the fort. Lying on our backs looking up at the pattern on the blanket and discussing all kinds of grand ideas and theories. And then making out hard core. And in the middle of getting naked one of us thinks of a brilliant insight into our earlier discussions and the other one thinks it is SO HOT and then the blankets suddenly fall down on top of us and we come up laughing and gasping for air. And we leave the pile of bedding from the fallen fort and run into the bedroom...

He would fall in love with my impracticality. My wild ideas and shifting passions draw him to me.

And I would fall in love with his focus. His ability to make sense of things. His practicality. And that fundamental difference in outlook will be our downfall.

I will come rushing to him one day with something crazy to talk about and he will pause from what he is doing long enough to say, "That's wonderful, Katie, but I have things to DO now. You'll just have to go play by yourself for awhile." I will be sad, but I'll understand. We cannot play ALL the time. Gradually, that will begin to happen more and more often, with me growing more and more irrelevant, more and more peripheral to what really matters: Getting Things Done. Until it becomes the norm. My husband, buried in practicality and me, sad, and more alone than I am now, and thinking of that time we built the fort and everything was fresh and new and perfect...