Thursday, March 28, 2013

Airports: A Study in Misogyny, Xenophobia, and Poor Wardrobe Choices.

It is 10:11 in the morning, and I currently awaiting my flight, Delta 5785, to La Guardia airport in New York CIty. I sit at my gate disheveled, caffeine-deprived, and empty stomached as I cannot eat or consume caffeine before a flight as they upset my stomach. I write you this email from the wilds of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania amidst a hoard of those wandering by: families in shorts and tank tops running to their (I assume) Disney-bound airports, business men with rolling briefcases, older couples treating themselves to their retirements, and flight crews trouncing along to their next gate. 

I sit back and think of the emotions I am put through in an airport. At 8:55 this morning, I made the conscious decision to pull one of my costume-jewelry rings and place it on my hand like a wedding band. Have I finally snapped from the multiple weddings I'm in, save-the-dates, and engagement announcements? No. I made this decision because I am tired of men hitting on me when I am alone, of their noticeably creepy stares, and of those who sit too-close-for-comfort in airport gates. I am not afraid of men, mind you, I enjoy their company over that of women as they are often without ulterior motive. Except for when they make comments. "you must've worn those skinny jeans so that the TSA wouldn't have to pat you down," an older, Italian gentleman said to me in line at Security this morning. "they can just look at you and see what you've got." He continued by scanning my body with his eyes. No, sir, I wore skinny jeans because they are what I grabbed out of my closet last night and am wearing them happily- because I've lost about 10 pounds since January. 

I am then snapped out of my hatred for old creeps by the TSA agent, who barks at all of us that "we don't have to wait for (him) to wave us through the metal detector." I am barefoot in an airport, being yelled at like I'm in grade school. This, after having meticulously removed layers of clothing and shoes, taking my electronics and their assorted cords (thank god I remembered to separate them and put them in a ziploc bag for quick in-and-out) out of my bags, and waving my photo ID and ticket about like a blubbering idiot. And so, I am barefoot in an airport with god-knows-what skeevy things are on my feet now because my 25, tax single white as the moon getting hit on men left and right female self poses some kind of threat to national security. Xenophobes. If I had an accent, the TSA guard that checked my ID would have actually bothered to look at my ID. I batted my eyelashes and chatted him up while he stamped my ticket without looking at my ID. Way to go, men in America. 

So, I'm here at my gate and trying to occupy my time while waiting for my 11:55am flight that I have arrived 2 hours early for in order to receive the aforementioned xenophobic, misogynistic treatment. What else could I further enjoy today in humanity but: poor wardrobe choices. Oh my god, yes, I am in my skinny jeans and it is not the most flattering choice for myself but I have been outdone, again, by Pittsburgh's finest. Perhaps it is the very Irish woman with very red, curly hair and fair skin that it wearing lime neon green- but not the kind that complements her green eyes. The kind that makes her look like she just got "gacked" on Nickelodeon. Maybe it is the girl wearing a sweatshirt-turned into a dressed because it's a 3x and she's a size 3. My favorite was the woman wearing two different color crocs. I can't even. Then there are the overdressed-for-this-flight people. The sly guys with their hair slicked back, aviators on, collared shirt tucked into pressed khakis and alligator loafers. You know, the ones that I can smell before I see coming down their terminal's hallway. Then there are their female counterparts. The chicks in the way-too-tight pencil skirts with tucked in blouses that have a neckline that may or may not show off their areolas, and for god's sake they are wearing 4 and a half inch platform pumps. Let's hope and pray they are not on my flight, and if they are, that we don't crash and suddenly need the inflatable slide of doom- lord knows those shoes will catch and tear. 

And a midst this chaos, this sheer insanity of combined things that will drive any sane person to lose their faith in humanity: I witnessed a family reuniting with their grandma in arrivals. A child who didn't recognize her for a minute, an older son that was elated to see his mom for the first time in years (by the look on his face), a daughter-in-law who so carefully yielded herself by handing over a young baby, and then the child, upon realizing it's grandma, tackling her with a hug. It was heartwarming, and reminded me of when we used to pick up Grandma Dorothy at the airport or even when we were dropping her off. It was a bittersweet moment for me, to feel so elated for this other family and suddenly so sad all at once. 

So of course, as I am sitting in my near-silent terminal, and while I was thinking of Dorothy, airports, and travel- two birds flew down from the ceiling and landed on chairs near me. 

You guessed it: two chickadees. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mondays, Mondays, Mondays.

 5 songs albums you’ll listen to the rest of your life:

        -Abbey Road by The Beatles

This song saved my life once. I'm not kidding. I'll tell you about it sometime. 

        -Lungs by Florence + The Machine

Because how can you resist dancing to this one? Answer: You can't resist it. Nope. 

        -Tapestry by Carole King

Reminds me of my Mom. One of the best albums of all time. No, really. 

        -Let It Be by The Beatles

one of my best girlfriends (and oldest friend) and I always sing this to each other.

        -Middle of Nowhere by Hanson (NO SHAME)

 For the record, these guys *still* put out AMAZING music. You should go check them out now, if you're into the indie-alt-folk-rock scene at all. I just love the Middle of Nowhere Album because it brings me back.


5 things on your bucket list:

      -Visit Ireland/Scotland/Great Britain
      -Get Married 
      -Finish novel. Have it published.
      -see Carole King/James Taylor in concert. Because I am my parents' child. 
      -Learn another language. 

5 celebs you'd love to hang out with for a day:

       -Karen Gillan
       -Anne Hathaway
       -Paula Deen 
       -Katie Couric and/or Anderson Cooper    

5 things you always carry in your purse:

        -Pepto Bismol Pills 

5 books on your reading list:

       -The Fault is in Our Stars by John Green 
       -Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
       -Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
       -The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone
       -Blankets by Craig Thompson 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

You Know You've Hit Adulthood When:

You Know You've Hit Adulthood When:

1. You get excited to go to bed at night. No, not sexy-time bed. Like, actual, get the fuck to sleep bed. That means you've made it through another day without completely destroying everything. You hope. Otherwise, take a sleeping pill and let your pillow be your only concern for the next 4-8 hours.

2. You and your friends end up in the home goods and house wear section more than you do the shoe section. Don't get it wrong, you love a good pump- but something about new linens is so much more refreshing to you.

3. You're flying high after 2 beers. It's been a while since your booty got itself up in keg-stand position.

4. Speaking of your booty, you've just made a list of all of the diets and exercise programs you'd like to start and try out. Deep down, you pray at least one sticks past a week and you meet your goals of 30-40 pounds before June. Even deeper down, you will be pleasantly surprised with just 5 to 10 pounds.

5. You cry at every wedding, proposal video, and birth story. Don't deny this. I know I'm not the only one.

6. When the premise of staying in for the night in sweatpants with a bottle of wine to watch Downton Abbey is so much more exciting to you than walking to a bar. You may or may not fall asleep 15 minutes in because of that first glass.

7. Everyone else is getting engaged around you. You are a bridesmaid in all of their weddings and very excited for them. There is a small, small percentage of your being that is as green, if not greener, than She-Hulk. You learn to embrace it, and shut the She-Hulk up with chocolate and volunteering to help out with as much possible for their wedding. One day, it will be your turn and they will do the same for you. You hope.

8. You get excited to put together your grocery list. Enough said.

9. The last time you had a manicure, pedicure, hair cut, or went tanning? Uhhhhhhhh.....last summer? Note: I just went to the hair salon two weeks ago, where my stylist determined that I hadn't been in since LAST MARCH. That was almost a calendar year with out a hair cut. Ugh.

10. You secretly love Martha Stewart Living and Everyday! With Rachel Ray, except you force yourself to buy Glamour in the check out aisle because you want to stay current.

11. Speaking of current, you ask other, younger-looking girls what they think of your outfits in the dressing room at stores. You pray they don't give you the "bitch, really?" look. You worry that their saying "it looks...nice" sounds a little bit like a pity party.

12. You get offended when the bar tender asks for your ID. What? NO ONE has asked me for my ID...ever. EVER. You think, followed by: That's right! I still got it, motherfuckers!

13. You feel the need to point out why you aren't young anymore. This may or may not be a sign that you are indeed, young to a lot of people; however, old to a lot of other people. Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the Right, and here I am: Stuck in the middle of youth.

I was born in the 1980s, not the 90s. Thus, I am an adult now. 

14.  The "Nothing Good Happens after 2 AM" rule from How I Met Your Mother is true, and you accept/follow it now.

15.  You carry everything in your purse now. Everything: band aids, ointment, super glue, tape, safety pins, bobby pins, deodorant, hair ties, stomach pills, headache pills, pms pills, pads, tampons, clear nail polish, emory board, sample-size perfume, quarters, dollar bills, mirror, hand lotion, phone, ipod, pen, mini note pad, breath mints, travel size baby and make-up wipes, planner, eye glasses case, sun glasses, spare pair of rx eyeglasses,  and the list goes on. And somehow, you managed to get them all to fit tidy in your small bag. Your carrying shoulder, on the other hand? Could use a thermacare patch.

Don't think I can fit it in my purse?


Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I Love You, Holiday Sales.

Yesterday, I blacked out in the morning and found myself walking out of the Tanger Outlets of Washington, PA with a few bags.

The Photo on Tanger's main page. She's so happy, she could SCREAMMMMMM

I swear, y'all, I don't know what happened....If you could see me right now, you would see my innocent blinking and shrug. I totally don't remember a thing, the room went black and when I came to: new wardrobe.

What's that now? Presidents' Day Sales?

Come, child, enjoy the spoils of my hard work and labor.....
I went with my good friend, another Caitlin, who enjoys deals as much as I do- and let me tell you this: I love-love-love a good deal.

So, I ended up at Old Navy first- "That's pretty cheap," I said to myself. "Maybe I'll buy one shir- Oh. My. God. 40% Sale On EVERYTHING."

If you've ever seen "The Hangover," you know what happens next. I woke up in a hotel room dazed, confused....and there was a tiger in the bathroom. Seriously. That's what happened:

Picture from the Event. Yes, I look like Zach Galifianakis 

When I came to, in my room, I had a couple of bags surrounding me and a receipt for Primanti Brothers.

Old Navy Finds:

This Plaid, Flannel Shirt by Old Navy. Retail: $24.94, Outlet Sale: $14.96

Jersey Tami in "Coral Tropics" by Old Navy. Retail: $10.00, Outlet Sale: $6.00

Sweetheart Skinny Classic Jeans by Old Navy. Retail: $29.50. Outlet Clearance (not Sale): $8.99 

Admittedly, the skinny jeans purchase was a "had to be coaxed into it" one. I mean, they are skinny jeans and I am 5-foot-11-inches with a booooooooooty. There might have been a small therapy session in the dressing room. I might have been convinced by its $8.99 price tag. It might have been the "you can tuck these into your boots" suggestion. I don't know, they were 9 dollars and I was in the mother flippin' zone. At least they are kind of comfortable. I think...uhhhh....

Next stop: Banana Republic. 

Hide yo kids, hide yo wife....HIDE YOUR CREDIT CARDS. 

"Buhhh," I said, while being dragged into the store, "this is out of my price range." 

Blinking, disoriented from the florescent lighting and mounds of pretty things, I stammered: "well, I guess I don't have to buy anything." 

Which quickly turned into an arm full of hangers. 

I would give you all nice, pretty stock photos from Banana Republic's Web site, but none exist of the things I bought. Are you kidding me? Here are my crude, iPod photos for your enjoyment: 

Sleeveless dress, belted. 

^Check out the awesome zipper down the back!! 
Retail: $99.99, Outlet Sale: $30.00

Pleated Tank, Orange. 
Retail: $34.99, Outlet Sale: $7.69

Shirt with Ruffled Sleeve
Retail: $49.99 Outlet Sale: $10.50

Luckily, I stopped myself. Yes, I wandered into the Gap and J. Crew. At that point, I felt the "if I keep going, my ass is going to be broke by Tuesday" and immediately decided to say everything was ugly. Except it wasn't ugly, I just had to keep telling myself that. Also, had to keep telling myself that I didn't need this ultra ridiculous, ultra-cute Lobster sweater from J. Crew: 

Retail: $78.00 

Or that I didn't need this adorable little elephant necklace that reminded me of my Grandmother Dorothy: 

Retail: $24.90, Currently on Sale: $9.99

More ranting after the break: 

Friday, February 15, 2013


If words would write themselves,
and poems were to flit freely 
a home they would find 
here and now- 

yet I sit, 
sitting with a blank page. 

("homage to writer's block")

Watching "When Harry Met Sally," and thinking of how to neatly and precisely sum up my last few weeks. How do you jam "what the fuckity fuck mcfuckerson??" into a blog post and make it sound... publicly appeasing? You can't and you won't-

We buried my Grandma. Well, we didn't bury her- she was cremated and placed into a nice little urn which was placed into a little door in a wall of the National Presbyterian Church. 86 years full of impressive accomplishments, and your body can fit neatly into a 12 in x 12 in cupboard while a room full of your loved ones quietly cry next to each other. All I want is to rewind 10 years to when my Grandmother still had her wits about her, and give her one last hug, ask her for one last piece of advice, listen to her call me "Chickadee" one more time.

Needless to say, I've been having serious reservations about my life in the past two weeks at work- "Is this what I want in my life?" I find myself silently asking over and over, but no answer seems to come forth in my mind. So, I try a new angle: "What do I want in life?" and it's the same, shitty silence as before- with a splash of "didn't you want to be a Journalist? do you remember how to be you?" I feel like I'm hitting my head against a wall over and over and over and over.  Every time I apply for a job in Communications, silence. Every time someone asks me if Rob and I will get married, silence. Truth is, I've become the person I've generally tried to avoid my whole life: a person without an idea, a goal, or a truth.

This week, the phones went out at work, followed by the power, then the power again, then the phones again, and then the security system kicked followed by all of the fire doors slamming shut one morning. This on top of a packed schedule where I had to beg midwives to come in for extra hours only to end up having some clients deliver and some very tired midwives not understand why they were coming in for extra hours when there were blank spots on the schedule. Also, when did my name start having a question mark at the end of it? That should have been in the job description. My new name, starting  January 1, 2013, will be: "HeyCait?"  I need a fucking drink, but I'm a diet and alcohol is no good for your metabolism so I'm doing some "Bedtime Blend" by Twinnings that's accompanied by the lovely tastes of honey, ginger, cinnamon, and lemon juice.

Yes, I should be thankful that I have a job. A lot of people don't have a job.  I keep telling myself that, but like some kind of shoddy magic: it still doesn't work. Also, I am so sick of that as the "shut the fuck up" for the past 4 years. Yes, the economy fucking sucks. Yes, a lot of people don't have jobs. That doesn't mean I have to feel guilty for hating my job. I wasn't picky when I got into healthcare. I was trying to survive as an adult in a shitty economy with very minimal professional experience. I did a lot of things I didn't like, the I still don't like- but it pays my fucking bills and it still fucking sucks. So you're "at least you have a job"s can go suck a tailpipe.

I have a little rage built up. I'm sorry. This is why I haven't been blogging- I've been coping on this end. Coping with grief, coping with the fact that I feel like a complete and utter failure. Coping and trying to just move on with my life. Problem is: I just feel so damn stuck in the mud.

Well, shit.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

...and then the radiators blew up.

People always say that bad things happen in threes. I used to not believe it, or find it to be a coincidence. We try to make sense of when bad things happen, try to justify them happening, and try to brace ourselves for the next bad thing.  

After last week, I'm not so sure anymore. Things may just happen in threes. Things may just happen when there's a full moon. 

My Grandmother Dorothy, a woman I've written about in previous posts (1, 2), passed away last Monday morning. She was 86. I created a memorial web site in her honor for my family- which you can read here. I don't have much else to say on the topic. Her funeral and burial are Wednesday. I'm flying to D.C. for it and taking a few bereavement days from work.

So, that's the first thing.

Then, on Monday night, I noticed that our radiators were making a *lot* of noise- more so than usual- clunking and thunking and hissing and sounding generally angry with me. I assumed it was because of the severity of the cold outside that perhaps our building's management had cranked the furnaces up for us. What was most odd was that it wasn't making our apartment blazing hot (a phenomenon I had experienced at my Alma Mater)- I shrugged it off and assumed that the -7 windchill was just too biting for radiators.

Was I ever wrong:

Tuesday night, I took a shower. When I got out, Rob had already managed to turn off the majority of our lights and was in bed. So, I toweled off, got in my jammies, and went to throw my clothes from the day into my hamper (which sits by the radiator). That's when my foot hit a puddle of cold water. Ice cold, spine shivering water.

"WHATTHEFUCKDAMMIT" I screamed (like a lady).

We turned on the lights, and grabbed a flashlight (our bedroom is wood-paneled, so it's hard to see everything at night), and saw the puddle. So, I quickly mopped it up and didn't see the radiator leaking anymore, so we shrugged it off as if it had happened when the radiators kicked back on. No big deal.

I woke up the next morning, and felt like it was cold in our apartment. The windchill is still low this morning, I thought, better get dressed quickly so I'm not late for work. After all, it was 5:55 A.M. I got up, ran about, and before I left- looked over by the radiator. There was a small puddle, which I quickly mopped up.

"Hey Rob, before you leave for work today- can you check on the radiator? It looks like it might still be leaking, but I may have missed a spot last night."

I run out the door and head to work.

I had been at work for an hour and a half when I got Rob's frantic messages.

The radiator in the bed room was leaking, as was the one in the dining room. All my clothes, and any magazines/papers near the radiator were soaked. The blankets we keep stowed behind the sofa, moist with grossness.

devil machine.

Rob was mad at us for not cleaning the apartment on a regular basis, mad that he was staying home from work to clean it all up.

So, I took a personal day, headed to KMart for cleaning supplies, and then we cleaned. We cleaned the whole apartment from top to bottom. Called the landlords and explained the situation. Cleaned some more. Did a large amount of laundry. Took a lunch break and worked on my Grandma's memorial site. Cried. Went to sleep.

Since the landlords didn't come that day, we rigged up two cups to catch the drip of the radiators.

The next day (Thursday), my alarm clock went off again at 5:50. I hit snooze. At 6:00, I heard the sound of a plastic cup toppled over followed by the unmistakable "whoosh" noise that water makes when poured over, lets say, a wood floor. I threw my feet over the side of the bed and stepped right into- you guessed it-- a big ass puddle of water.

For you see, when you clean up and remove from your floor all of your clothes and paper barrier that had been soaking up the previous puddle; when you leave nothing but a bare, hardwood floor, water will spread across that shit like that is its job. Water went all over the bedroom floor and pooled over towards the bathroom. So, I quickly mopped all of it up and replaced the cup. Then I went to work.

The landlords came later that morning and fixed the radiators.

That was #2.

Yesterday, Rob and I were on the sofa, eating brunch.  Like a crazy person, I started to hear a dripping noise. A slow, repetitive drip from the bedroom. It's just the shower, I thought while shoving a fork full of omelet into my face. It's just the shower.

I let it drip for a couple of minutes more, when I finally decided just to confirm that it was the shower. I walked over to our bathroom, where as suspected- our leaking faucet was dripping into the tub. I sighed and  thought I was good. Until I heard a dripping noise that was happening opposite the noise coming from the tub.

I walked over to the radiator, where I thought I would find puddles of water again.

No puddles by the radiator. Then I heard the dripping to my right (directly between myself and the door to the bathroom). I saw a puddle right by the door to the fire escape.
 Bathroom door is on the wall to the right of the back door

Strange, I thought- bending down to see the puddle. I saw the drip fall into it. I looked up to see where it was coming from-

The ceiling. Our fucking ceiling was leaking.

"WHATTHEFUCKDAMMIT" I yelled again towards Rob (like a lady does, you know).

We called the landlords. They said they would send someone *right* over.

An hour and forty-five minutes later, a man arrived at our door. He tromped over, through the apartment in his wet boots (tracking prints across the whole thing, which I had JUST cleaned), and went, "yeeeeep. that's a leak alright." (No fuck?) He then proceeded to walk out the bedroom door to the fire escape (leaving the door wide open in -4 degree weather) and walked up it. Spent a couple of minutes up there, walked back in the door, and while shutting it behind him says to Rob and I: "Looks like there's a whole up in the gutter that's drippin' down the side of the building and into your apartments. That's why there are those nasty lookin' icicles above the door here (pointing at the DEATHCICLES above the door). Yep. Gonna have to have one of my guys come by on Monday to fix it up."

He then tromped right out of the apartment.

That, I hope with my whole heart, was the third and final sin of my week.

You guys, I really- desperately- need some good things to start happening ASAP. I just kind of feel "stuck" right now, you know? Like someone dropped a big-ass boulder in front of the path I was on a couple of years back and I haven't been able to conquer it. What do I do? How do I get the job I love? How do I find the place I want to live? How do I balance it all? How do I still have fun with my life while under budget for adulthood?

For some women, getting married and having their kids is all they want. I think those things are nice, sure, but I want the "more" in life- I want to travel, to photograph, to move freely without restriction, to do things that I want to do and not have to worry about what others think-I used to be this way- I used to have what I wanted and how I wanted it to be, was-

This past week was a shit show, and I'm kind of waiting for this week to be over (to be past the funeral) to see if I can't get my life started back up again. I'm so sick of feeling so stuck and depressed all of the time.

Suggestions welcome.