Friday, February 27, 2009


With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death (which almost went unnoticed last week) of a very important person.  

Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey," died peacefully at age 93.  

The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in. And then the trouble started.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


OKAY! GEEZ! I'm posting! Enough already!


So I was thinking today about the rules for life as according to Katie. It seems like multiple rules got broken today alone...and then I started wondering if even I know all my rules? Hence why I'm going to write them out.

1. Pie is better than cake. Don't whine. It totally is. So while I will cheerfully eat cake, especially when it has my mom's homemade icing on it, it is nothing compared to the mommy's little piggie moment that will happen if somebody slaps a key lime pie down in front of me.

2. Barbeque pizza is the best pizza out there.

3. The only place I can curse like a sailor and it doesn't seem to count on the whole morality thing is in my car. This is because of rules 4 and 5.

4. Almost every problem on the road can be fixed by speeding up. (My lord! I almost got creamed twice today just because some jack...err, asp, couldn't see fit to act like they had a brain cell running on half speed in their craniums and speed up while merging! Merging, I say! Isn't the whole idea to get up to the same speed as everybody else on the freeway so that the poor schmuck stuck behind your piddlin' butt doesn't meet his Maker today? Gah!)

5. Forget world peace. Imagine everybody using their turn signals! (I use mine when I pull into my driveway, for crying out loud. It's one flick of the finger, people. Heck, it even burns calories! And it also, gee, I don't know, shows that you have an ounce of consideration for those around you. But oh, no, we wouldn't want that...)

6. As evidenced by the above rules, sarcasm rules. Wow, that sentence was redundant, but no less true.

7. Sleeping on sheets that are any less than 400 thread count isn't worth the trouble. You might as well be on a tarp. 

8. Daffodils can always, always make a day happier. This is an ironclad rule.

9. There is no greater feeling in the world that knowing your homework is done. Ergo, getting your homework done (*grits teeth*) is a rule. A rule which I sometimes break. But you didn't hear me say that.

10. Sometimes, you just have to cry. I like thinking of myself as strong, but even I recognize the fact that even that strength is false in some ways. You can either bite the bullet and bawl your brains out every once in a while or you can become like House. And while House is a brilliant diagnostician, he doesn't look too happy to me.

11. "Don't Stop Believin'" should be everybody's theme song to a degree. Why? Because it's made of awesome and it's a classic. Listen to it and then try to tell me that it didn't make you happy.

12. I believe in making the occasional comment while watching a movie, but if you talk constantly, then I will have to bite you. This rule includes watching a movie in my den and in class. *coughs*

13.'t do drugs?

14. Grandmothers, especially cool grandmothers like mine, make the world go round.

15. Star Trek will always be cool. End of discussion. There is a Star Trek episode for every situation. 

Okay, that's all I have for the moment. I have to lay out an outfit for my Union visit tomorrow. Squee!!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


A friend had this up on his facebook profile. I found it quite amusing, and decided to share it. 

"They're made out of meat."


"Meat. They're made out of meat."


"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

"So ... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual." 

"We're supposed to talk to meat."

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"

"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"


"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."

the end

Monday, February 16, 2009

Elderly Me

I think I'm losing my ability to connect with my piano students. Either they're really stupid, or I'm becoming dated. I have a suspicion that it's a combination of the two.

For example, I had a poster of Michael Jordan in the treasure box that I keep so that kids that have practiced and earned points could go shopping. Imagine my surprise that most of the kids, with the exception of one twelve year old, had no idea who Michael Jordan was. I can understand not being able to recognize his face, but to not even know who he is? 


I grew up with the legend of the Chicago Bulls. Michael Jordan's face was constantly being shown on the TV and newspapers. It was the Era of Unbelievably Awesome Basketball. I remember Jordan leaving the NBA to play baseball, and how devastated we all were at this gross deception. I remember my older brother literally crying for joy when Jordan returned from this personal version of purgatory. Ladies and Gentlemen, I grew up in the time that was heavily under the influence of Space Jam, one of the most awesome movies ever created. Not only have I seen it a gagillion times, but I have the music on my ipod. Jordan wasn't the world's greatest actor, but pair him with Bugs Bunny and you have a hit, my friends. Spit shot, anyone?

Then I came up with quite possibly the most brilliant metaphor for dynamics that has ever hit the music scene. (For those of you who don't know, dynamics are the signs for how loud or how soft you play. As I tell my students, imagine dynamite. It's quiet in the beginning, and then boom!) One of my students just wasn't appearing to understand the importance of crescendos and forte and so on and so forth. So I finally told her that music without dynamics was like listening to Ben Stein talk. She didn't know who Ben Stein was. *head hits desk* But she knew about the Dry Eyes commercials, so I was able to explain to her from there that the reason the dude sounded was so funny was because he always talked in a monotone. He never got louder or softer, and there was very little variance in the tone of his voice. We didn't need to play music like Ben Stein. It made sense, she got that little light of understanding in her eyes, and we continued on with our lesson. I used the same metaphor later, and the kid didn't get it. He'd never even heard of the Dry Eyes commercials. 

What are they teaching children these days?

More importantly, am I becoming...dated? I care?


........................nah. I don't. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Night to Remember

Last night was probably one of the least productive nights of my life, which is sad, considering I had a fairly productive day. I went to class, taught three piano lessons, did the laundry, did three hours of Spanish -- I even got about half of this week's Spanish assignments done! I find that I do much better in class if I have a vague clue of what Senorita Tina is talking about. Tuesdays are my busiest days, so I knew that I shouldn't stay up late. So I regretfully got off facebook even though I hadn't gotten to talk to some people, and got ready for bed. The rest of the night went as follows.

11:30 -- Lights out.

12:00 -- I begin to count backwards from 100

12:15 -- I decided that the light shining under the door was what was keeping me awake. No problem! One blanket shoved into the crack, and I was sure I was headed off to Slumberland.

1:00 -- Well, that didn't work. Okay, so what will be sure to make me sleepy? Reading something light might help. I turned on the light and started to read.

1:36 -- The aforementioned plan backfired on me. I'd picked up a short little Christian love novel, knowing that it wouldn't take more than two brain cells to read and that would hopefully lull me to sleep. Wrong! I was so busy mentally editing the author's writing style that I found myself getting riled up instead of relaxing. Honestly, were so many exclamation points necessary? Nobody gets that excited! Nobody writes dialogue like that, moron! And the plot? A joke! It would have been so much more plausible if...

Yeah, I'll stop there. Needless to say that this went on for about another twenty minutes.

2:00 -- The light goes back out.

2:17 -- I begin to play the piano in my head, namely "Clair de Lune." Wish it sounded that nice in reality. This plan went vastly awry when I couldn't remember whether a chord had an E natural or an E flat in it, and it was driving me crazy.

2:23 -- I start translating the minutes into Spanish. And having conversations with myself in Spanish. I wonder if this makes me a bilingual nut job?

3:04 -- I'm really glad that House and Cameron didn't end up together. I mean, I thought originally that they would have made a great couple, but honestly, House was right. Cameron just liked finding broken people and fixing them. She just saw House as a challenge, like he was a lost puppy sitting in the gutter that doesn't seem to realize just how crappy the gutter really is. Cameron and Chase make a much better fit -- they needed each other, but in a balanced sort of way. Cuddy, now that's the girl for House! She won't take any of his crap, and he won't let her be false... Now if only someone sweet could come along for Wilson...

3:29 -- For some reason, I begin to rewrite the lyrics for "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" so that it'll go with washing dishes. It went something like this:

Climb ev'ry sinkload,
Ford every tureen,
Follow every sauce stain,
'til they're nice and clean.

A clean that will take 
all the elbow grease you can give
Every day of your chore
find the strength to forgive! (Evan for leaving his cups in his room and now they're all moldy and gross!)

Climb ev'ry crockpot!
Ford ev'ry pan!
Follow ev'ry fork tine!!!!!!!!!!

3:55 -- I begin to consider just getting up and writing a paper and starting my day. What else was there to do?

4:12 -- Okay, so I really hope that Elton John sings "Tiny Dancer", "Your Song", "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" and "Bennie and the Jets." Oh, and "Candle in the Wind"! Too bad U2 isn't in on this tour...Elton John, Billy Joel and U2...of course, if they were touring together, the stadium probably couldn't contain so much awesomeness. It would fall apart, taking everyone with it. Not so sure that that wouldn't be a good way to go...

4:47 -- I turn on my light and read some more. Oh, the crappy Christian love thingy ends in a wedding. How predictable.

5:06 --The piano theme from "Finding Nemo" continues to run on a never ending loop in my brain. That's what I get for studying my Spanish to my Thomas Newman playlist.

5:14 -- I almost drift off with my head at the foot of my bed, but my dog decides to bark in her sleep. Thanks a whole heap, Iris.

5:28 -- Why do people think counting sheep helps? It doesn't do a darn thing! And all those sheep, just leaping pell mell over fences. They're probably partying all over the place, eating people's lawns, likely as not getting into Grandma's petunias, and thinking that the most convenient place for a human foot to step is the perfect place to take care of business! Where's the shepherd in this scenario, anyway? Where're the sheepdogs that check in and out of the field with a "Mornin', Sam" "Mornin', Ralph" conversation? Who first came up with the whole sheep thing to begin with? What random idiot just thought, Hmm, I think I'll imagine sheep. That's sure to bring on the z's! 

6:02  -- I think I'll write my paper on...on....uh... *snores*

Mental note to self: Next time, start with planning out a paper.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Just Whistle While You Work

I have a deep, hidden shame. 

Yes, my friends, it is true. I, Katie Johnson, a reasonably intelligent and talented 21 year old girl, cannot whistle. I can't roll my tongue or cross my eyes either. I can't even lift one eyebrow in a forbidding manner, like my mom can (with great impact, I might add. When I was a kid, all I needed to see was that eyebrow shooting up like a geyser, and it garnered instant obedience. Not that I misbehaved very much in the first place, but you get the idea. All you had to do was look at me sternly and say, "Shame..." and I was a wreck of tears and repentance. Mom looking menacingly at me was far, far worse. I did anything and everything I could to avoid getting the Mom Glare. Well, the glare worked, as did Mom's subtle reach for her purse, where the wooden spoon was concealed from the public eye. But the spoon eventually got broken on Evan, which was fine. The eyebrow thingy was effective enough by itself.). 

But I digress. The point I'm trying to make is that facial contortions appear to be utterly beyond my capabilities. I can snap my fingers, though! Some people have trouble with that, I've heard. I can also do the Vulcan hand gesture with both hands (I taught myself as a child by putting a Barbie beach ball between my middle and ring fingers) and blow bubbles with my gum. But it is deeply disturbing to me that I remain unable to learn how to whistle. Just purse your lips and blow! It can't be that hard to do, and yet I remain stubbornly incapable to to do anything like a whistle beyond a shrill rushing-of-air noise. It's enough to make me have doubts about my intelligence. And I've always wanted to whistle, too. It seems lovely, being able to take music with you wherever you go. I hum a lot, but it's not the same.

So last night, when I had the most vivid dream about whistling, I vastly enjoyed it. I remember I was outside in the backyard petting Frosty (our old dog) when a bird came over. I suddenly started to whistle Simple Gifts, one of my very favorite songs. Whether the bird was magic and had incredible imparting-of-whistling skilz or I just learned by watching it, I have no idea. All I know is that I could feel it in the dream, feel the changes in notes and the pouring of melodious air from my lips. It was lovely. 

Then I woke up and thought in the bleariness of that not-quite-awakeness, "Hmm....wonder if I can do it now?" So I looked around me furtively, making sure that no one was around to watch me making a fool of myself (the only witness to my shame would have been Iris, who was still snoring on my chair) and tried to whistle. And I couldn't. Grrr. All I got was a slightly clearer tone to the whooshing of air, which I suppose was something.

I won't let it defeat me, though. Before I go to my grave, I will learn how to whistle. It seems like such a small thing, I suppose, but dang it, I want to! Whoever said dreams were rational?

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Okay, so I've obviously been less than faithful about updating the old blog over the last two weeks. My apologies, dear readers. I figured that no one would want to listen to me whine about Spanish and the school situation, so I refrained in the interest of sanity, although whose sanity I was refraining for, I have no idea. It is entirely possible that it was my own or y'all's because you couldn't stand my belly-aching. 

So here's a recap of the last two weeks, for all those who may be interested. If you're not interested, tune back in tomorrow for something either sarcastic or....non-sarcastic.

-- The weather is currently in the 70's, which is lovely.
-- Thanks to the above lovely situation, I now have a bouquet of daffodils sitting on my dresser. They're my favorite flowers. They introduce cheer and grace to any situation.
-- I received two A's in a row on Spanish tests. This was through the grace of God alone...although, I guess it wasn't alone. I worked my butt off, too. So does that make my butt graceful? Don't answer that.
-- I got paid, which means that I got to go shopping yesterday (two dresses, a pair of pants, three camis and two shirts, all of which were necessary for my continued existence) and that I was able to pay for my Elton John/Billy Joel concert ticket, for which I positively cannot wait. I might faint when Elton John plays "Tiny Dancer."
-- My school might not be dead after all. Ever feel like you're living on a teeter-totter?
--I got to be on TV because of the school thing. Here's the link, since I know you're all dying to see it:,0,6645778.story

-- The aforementioned lovely weather makes me nervous. It gives the perfect conditions for the building blocks of a tornado. We like not to jest about twisters here on the edge of Tornado Alley.
-- Who would have guessed it? Spanish! The frustration climaxed in a royal temper tantrum last Thursday after I couldn't tell what classes Julia and Armando were taking from their conversation. Later I realized that they were using words that I hadn't -- wonder of wonders! -- been taught yet! Anyway, my book was told quite politely by me that it should join the rest of its fellows and wander down to the balmy 800 degree temperature of Gehenna. And stay there. Surely Satan wouldn't mind an extended visit? Right? Right?
 -- The school situation. Again with the teeter-totter bit. I don't know which end is up at the moment. Must be because some fat kid that sat down so hard on his end that I got catapulted off into space, which would explain the lack of orientation, considering the utter absence of gravity. 

Anyway, those are the main happenings of my life over the past few weeks. I have to go cozy back up with my Spanish textbook to study for the test on Tuesday. Hey, didn't I schedule myself to have leprosy on that day? Gee, Senorita Tina, I'm sorry, I can't make it to class today....House and everyone are trying to diagnose me here......