Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Gaskin Household is Sometimes Festive

The Easter Bunny visited me! Er...yesterday. Apparently, he was too excited to wait for today, Easter, but it doesn't matter because THE EASTER BUNNY VISITED ME YES HE AND BROUGHT ME YUMMY DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE. He even brought me brownie mix, and that proves that Dominic isn't the Easter Bunny because Dominic would never buy me brownie mix after the infamous brownie incident/debacle of '04, wherein I ate nothing but brownies--breakfast, lunch, and dinner--for three days.

Also, Mia likes to dress up in her sombrero and Mexican blanket. She may even be a Mexican kitty, a refuge from across the border just a hundred miles away. Who knows? Only she.

Si, si, amigos! Aye Carumba!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Flying All Over The Place...

Today I found out that for my first "cross-country" flight I'll be going to Andrews AFB in Washington D.C. I'm pretty excited about going even though it wasn't my first choice (Key West). I think it's going to be a lot of fun anyways. It's just too bad that Kate can't go though. We'll have to make it another time, and I told her I'd go nutty tourist with my digital camera.

Speaking of nuts, I'm sure Kate will agree with me when I say that we are spending a nutty amount of money on camping gear. Most likely it's my fault, but I'm excited about doing this with Kate. Hiking all over the country as we move from place to place. Kate had a lot of her own hiking gear, but I had to buy everything. One lightweight backpack, sleeping bag, tent, stove, water filter, and tons of other misc gadgets later; I think I almost have everything. Almost...

Kate and I would like to hike part of the Appalachian Trail sometime soon, perhaps when I graduate from here. There are a couple of other places we would like to go as well, but we talk mostly of the A.T.

That's it for now, I'm off to do some more mission prep for D.C. and Kate's cooking up something delicious! Later!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Portrait of Pale Girl with Pimped Out Hair

Fabulous coif. David rocks.

I took, like, a billion bad, cheesy self portraits in our bathroom just to get this one, by the way. Also, I was lying in my last post about looking like Jessica Simpson.

As you can clearly see.

Aw, cute. Cuddle time. Click on this picture for a larger view and look closely at Dominic's hand and where it's positioned.

That's the same monkey butt that was expelling worms just a month earlier.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Everything's So Unrelated

How the not-so-smart lose money.

8:00 in the evening and Dominic's asleep. That's how things go around here sometimes. I'm getting more used to it, but I still miss him in all the hours that elapse before I'm finally ready to succumb to sleep. Tonight I suppose I'll watch a Netflix movie. We've had the same three sitting around for a month now. Those tricky Netflix people invented this ingenious way to take advantage of lazy people who used to be in perpetually late-returned movie debt by inventing this idea of just paying a flat monthly rate and returning the movies whenever. Good for some people. Like people who are totally together and never waste their money, especially on something so frivolous as an obvious scheme to overcharge people for movie rentals. But for us? Right now we're probably paying, like, over six dollars for each movie. All because we are lazy heads.

Hair Bulletin:

My hair continues to look awesome. I finally got a haircut, like, two weeks ago, and my fabulous stylist, David, pimped out my hair until I can't even believe it belongs to me anymore. I can wear it curly or straight and it looks equally good. Under normal circumstances, before I got this haircut, if I wore my hair down I would scare small children in grocery stores and amuse thirty year-old men in Spencer's Gifts at the mall by the Chewbacca quality of the matted fur cascading down my back. Now I look like Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson. Actually, I definitely look more like Jessica Simpson. Britney Spears turned into plastic sometime in late 2001. Thank you, David, for this quality haircut. I wore it down today and I DIDN'T EVEN WASH IT. It looked just as good as did yesterday when I did wash it; nay, it looked better. The man must have magic talents.

Dominic said in complete earnestness, "Well, if we did a long hike on the Appalachian Trail, we'd check into hotels in the towns along the way."

About a week ago, Dominic got a pair of these shoes. He loves them so much that he wears them everywhere now, even in this cold spell we've had lately. It's really cute, like a little boy who loves his Superman pj's so much he has to wear them everyday of the week. This shoe fascination has also led, in a very down-spiraling sort of way, to us seriously considering investing in some backpacking gear pretty soon. This means we'll have to rethink our commitment to comfort camping, but I think we'll be able to cut back as necessary and have a good time. I've always wanted to try my hand at backpacking anyway, and I've got the right backpack and sleeping bag for it already. I figure that once we buy Dominic's gear we'll be mostly prepared to bond with the Texas wilderness: live oak, cacti, and asphalt.


We'll still keep the comfort camping real too, y'all.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Weekend Recap

Dominic and I headed out on our first camping trip of the season. We're both big believers in "comfort camping," wherein you bring with you as many amenities as you need to be comfortable, so the entire back of the Blazer was filled with various camping supplies. That's not so bad, you say? Well, consider this: we only camped for one night, and we were seriously considering bringing a second cooler. We thought we might be able to whittle our needs down to some barer essentials in a trial by error sort of way, but then we realized halfway through our mini camping extravaganza that we were indeed using everything we brought.

It was a good time.

And because I haven't annoyed the Internet with a picture of Mia in, like, a month, voila!

Friday, March 11, 2005

A Unique Perspective?

Dominic: Are you done with that sandwich?
Kate: No. Do you want some?
Dominic: No. (Nodding Yes)
(Kate passes sandwich to Dominic. Dominic takes bite and sandwich falls apart.)
Kate: See, this is what you get when you share...

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Hello, My Name is Kate, and I'm a Writer

I had a meeting with my fiction workshop teacher yesterday, and she used words like "thought-provoking" and "philosophical" and "bitter" and "darkly humorous" to describe the few pieces I've turned in at this point. This leaves me at an odd place in my consciousness that simultaneously soaks up praise like a withered and neglected porch plant and yet gently and uncomfortably rejects it because, my god, I'm still not much of a writer, and my fiction?--well.

When it comes to writing, there is nothing in my life that I have done with such singular constancy. In a very plodding and methodical way I have been writing with the intent to publish ever since I turned 16 and learned that I was to inherit my grandparents' 1982 Oldsmobile, a car so big that to park it was more like docking a boat. That car was an absolute bane to my very existence, so embarrassed was I to drive it to and from my small high school, about my small town. So, flipping through the 1998 edition of Poet's Market , I decided I would sell my poetry and collect enough money to buy myself a new car.

Ha ha.
Ha ha ha.
Ha ha ha ha.

Have I ever mentioned I'm not very bright?

But, seriously. The kind of writing I aspire to in my poetry is a ruthless pounding away of submissions to unreachable and prestigious magazines. I even believe I might crack the market one day if I can ever first crack my own writing which, while it can be very lyrically pretty, lacks (I know this!) some sort of depth and darkness and meaning that would push it beyond the blandness it tends to acquire and into something more gripping, something that would create in people what I like to call an ah moment--when you must put a poem down for a moment because it literally makes you go ah.

And yet, not everyone would like to enjoy poetry, but most people like fiction, so I have for the past two years or so been trying to write a decent short story and feeling very uncomfortable about it all the while, to say the least. Fiction is so tricky, and I find that to do it well (or as well as I can, at least) I have to push myself out of the way of it as much as possible, and this is a feat of gargantuan proportions because I have always felt that my imagination sucks--just gave up and quit after my skinny eight year-old carcass retired its rompings through time machine clothes closets and African wilderness living rooms.

But, surprisingly, I've been getting better lately. And so slowly. One of my undergraduate professors told me once that I should never write fiction, didn't have the mind for it. He had taken a great interest in my poetry very early into my college career, and was so disappointed with the novella I turned into him for an independent study my last semester that he still won't return any of the emails that I have sent him since.

Or maybe he was more disappointed that I fell in love with one of my classmates and immediately ran off to Texas to get hitched. My parents sure were. But I digress.

I've been awkwardly pounding out the fiction lately, and it can be exhilarating when it's not going so exasperatingly slow, with me producing maybe a page a day and then doing more and more extensive revisions until my eyes cross and I can't even read my own words anymore. Of couse, this makes me sound like I'm a work horse, which I'm not. Writing fiction takes effort, and I can be so, so lazy.

But my teacher likes it. And I like that. And I don't like that. I need a certain amount of implied distaste in reaction to my writing just as much as I need praise, I guess. Just a small whip at my back. Something to keep me on my toes. Something to keep me a little angry.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Everyone Should Party Like A Rockstar Every Now And Then...

The opportunity presented itself for Kate and I to join some of my classmates for a night on the town in Austin. We did what the kids now call, "Tearin' it up." It was alot of fun to get out with some of my flightmates (cloudbuddies in Navy terms) in a non-academic, stress-free environment. Besides, we had a relatively low workload over the weekend, so why not?

Of course it rained the entire time we were there, but that didn't dampen our spirits at all. After dinner and a basketball game at the Outback steakhouse we caught cabs downtown from our hotel room. One of the col things about Austin is that you don't have to drive around if you want to go someplace. Everything is in one place! We went to a ton of cool bars and saw a couple of live bands playing. A lot if the bars in Austin also have small, private courtyards in the rear of the buildings. One bar is even open to the outside once you enter through the main door. They're all really old buildings with great architecture, but surrounded by highrises. It is quite interesting. Lots of homelesss people though.

The next morning we went back downtown and had brunch at a great place called the Old Pecan Street Cafe. Kate had crepes and I had a delicious bacon wrapped chopped sirloin. Delicious... Afterwards, we had to drive home in a torrential downpour. It rains every weekend here.

After living like rockstars for two weekends in a row, Kate and I had to do something responsible so we put our extra money into the savings account. So now we're poor again. Hopefully this weekend the sun will come out for a day or two so Kate and I can go camping! We're really looking forward to that. Also, Sea World and Six Flags have both opened and that should be a lot of fun as well.

Well that's what we're doing, being rockstars mixed in with the tiniest bit of responsibility possible. But we're enjoying ourselves and everyone deserves some of that.

Also: Kate and I bought delicious, bad-for-you, wonderful pepperoni and bacon-topped pizza. Kate got vegetarian pizza. It was AWESOME! We are so rockstars!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Story Time, or As It Turns Out I Really Shouldn't Be Allowed to Procreate

Once, when I was opening a jar of pickles in the kitchen in Troy, I wedged my foot in the shallow recess between the cabinets and the floor, lost my balance, and fell.

One moment I was just standing there, innocuously opening a pickle jar, and the next I'd hit the ground with the full weight of my body on my hip. I never even put out my hands to stop my fall because the entire time I fell (the duration of which lasted an amazingly long time) the only thought running through my head was that the jar of still unopened pickles clutched in my hand must by all necessary means never be dropped or allowed to hit the floor harshly lest it shatter everywhere into a million pieces and pickles. So my hip hit--BAM--and then the rest of my body, and then finally the pickle jar, which I set softly down last.

Dominic didn't see the fall and came running up to me, full of anxious concern. He thought I'd fainted.

"No," I said, "I just tripped on the floor and fell over. I didn't drop the pickle jar, though. See?"

He just helped me up, opened the jar, and fished out a pickle for me. I ate it. It was delicious.