So you didn’t get into that masters program

So you’ve been sitting in an international airport for three hours, now waiting on a flight that’s been delayed by an hour.

So you can’t watch the Homeland first season finale because Amazon won’t allow it to play on your U.S. device in a foreign country.

So you checked your email and noticed a couple messages in the spam folder — including something called “Graduate Admissions Decision.”

So you clicked on it with bated breathe and saw only four short paragraphs, wishing you luck in your future endeavors.

So it’s the day after your birthday. It’s fine; you’re not bitter. Continue reading So you didn’t get into that masters program

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On cats, fate, and facing the end

I’ve lost two pets in my life, but never have I been this close to the end with one of them. I hate this and I need to share it. (This is a long read.)

On January 12, my cat Kismet had surgery to remove most of a tumor from her cheek. As the day approached, we hadn’t even been sure she would be able to 1) have the surgery or 2) make it through alive. She’s sixteen years old and, as we learned at a vet appointment just two weeks before, she apparently has a heart murmur. The day before surgery, she had an echocardiogram to make sure her heart was strong enough; luckily, it was. One hurdle down.

Continue reading On cats, fate, and facing the end

Life in the basement

We’re no longer the butt of a joke — we’re it, honey.

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“I can’t do my laundry, I’m having an existential crisis. GOD, MOM.”

It’s typical comedy fodder: the poorly-dressed, frumpy thirty-something male comes upstairs from his basement lair and demands something ridiculous and childish — he wants his mother to make him dinner, or do his laundry, or read him a bedtime story. The audience laughs. A company sells insurance policies or microwave dinners. Everyone goes home happy.

I’m not happy.

Continue reading Life in the basement

On life in the big city

NYC is tough, and it’s getting harder to tell myself I’m tougher. (But I’ll keep working at it.)

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When I was 12, I imagined graduating college and floating off into my brand new Adult Life. I would have a job and an apartment, and I’d be able to hang up the posters I wanted and pick out my own couch. (How much could a couch cost? Honestly?)

When I got into college and shipped up to Boston for the next four years, I started daydreaming about finding an apartment near campus and staying there until something better came along, like becoming editor-in-chief at a publishing house or getting married. I was fond of telling myself that there were basically three cities I could live in for the publishing future I wished to have —  New York (where I wasn’t then interested in living), Boston (where I was), and London (which was and, even after having visited, remains, to me, an unattainable fantasy land). And I sure as hell wasn’t going back to New York. It’s where I’d come from! I basically lived there. My grandmother lives there. Why would I go back?

Wouldn’t that be failing?

I am twenty-three and I have a job in my preferred field. I have ideas for other things I’d like to learn and do. I have writing projects in mind. And yet, I occasionally still feel the need to tell myself that I’m failing.

Continue reading On life in the big city

On making time to read (even when you think you can’t)

...read us, Katie...read...us...
…read us, Katie…read…us…

Why do you read like you’re running out of time?

We are all busy people here. We all have jobs and families and friends and maybe relationships and hobbies and extracurricular activities. But if you’re reading this, I’ve like to think you’re also a book lover — and an avid reader.

Sometimes, the other stuff gets in the way. I know all too well the agony of having to close the book and start a new day at the office, yearning to dive back into the fictional land in which you lived for all of your commute.

But I also know that there are ways to read a book — even two or three! — even in the most hectic work week. And I’m going to share some of the things I’ve learned over this last year and a half of working and commuting and generally being a real adult who ALSO gets to read books. Enjoy.


Rule 1: ALWAYS have a book with you, even when you think you won’t have time to read.

It’s always when you think you won’t need something — an umbrella, a certain folder, an old Word doc you haven’t opened in six years — that it ends up becoming the only thing that can save you. You may want to get some work done on the train on your commute; you might be banking on chatting with a friend or colleague on the way; maybe you just downloaded the next juicy installment of your favorite podcast. But if you find yourself caught up on work (or maybe not in quite the right mood to get to work), or if your phone dies (for shame!), you’ll really kick yourself for not having your trusty book at hand.

And if you really end up not having time to crack open you book, you tried! And the suspense will make you all the more eager to read. Continue reading On making time to read (even when you think you can’t)

My right arm’s fifteen minutes of fame

Ruminations on Boston Comic Con 2015, getting inked, and Agent Carter

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Is this real life?

By now, it has probably been deleted. But for a few glorious hours on Saturday afternoon, an image of my right bicep existed on Hayley Atwell’s phone.

It began months ago, when my friend Aubrey and I decided that we would take ourselves to Boston Comic Con to see the sights. Somehow, in the midst of the discussions of what to do and where to stay, the first thing we agreed upon and settled was that we would be getting Agent Carter-inspired tattoos. We decided on an image of the already iconic red hat that Peggy wears in the first moments of her very own show, with an old-timey-tattoo ribbon bearing a quotes we would each pick for ourselves.

And so, BCC 2015 came, and after five hours of driving (traffic was murder), the friend I’d only ever known online was a real live person in a real hotel lobby, and the weekend could begin. Continue reading My right arm’s fifteen minutes of fame

I got a letter from seventeen-year-old Katie today

On high school, nostalgia, and reaching for the stars so as not to let down your teenaged self, who is still out there in a parallel universe, rooting so desperately for you to make it

This handwriting, though.
This handwriting, though.

Nearly six years ago, I was sitting in Health class when our very pregnant teacher told us about a project we would be doing. I don’t remember the specifics now and I don’t know why we dove into this undertaking in glorified sex ed, but she told us that we would be writing letters to ourselves. And in five years, once we were all out of high school, maybe out of college, maybe working, maybe married, she would mail them to us and we could see how far we’d come. Immediately, we all doubted her ability to remember to put the damn letters in the mail, because high school children care only about making teachers look bad, but we were assured that she had “a system” and our letters would be safely delivered to the address we provided on our SASEs.

So, somewhere along the way, I convinced myself it was only four years between the writing and the mailing–the length of college, if one was driven or rich or lucky, or at least enough time to get your feet under you. So when the letter didn’t appear immediately following college graduation, I figured everyone had been right, our Health teacher had forgotten us, and I’d never get to know what seventeen-year-old Katie had to say about her (my? our?) life.

And then I got home today, eager to collect a Barnes & Noble order I’ve been waiting to see since mid-April, and my letter was waiting for me, like the #TBT of Teen Angst Past. Continue reading I got a letter from seventeen-year-old Katie today