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I'm Katie with a K. Catherine with a C.
I'm a writer and personal trainer and I live in New York City.

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March 7th
2:01 PM EST

Visible Children: Kony 2012 Viewed Critically

This video gave me the chills last night, and I’m sure you’ve watched it and felt the goosebumps creep up by now too. (Clearly that’s the effect that they were going for when they made it, using that cute little Gavin kid and all.) And when I reblogged it as it was going viral last night, I did so a little hesitantly, thinking to myself, “I hate to think that these people have some other not-so-admirable political motive behind all of this, but… what’s the other side of this story and who and what is really behind this campaign?” Well, apparently I wasn’t so horrible in questioning the overall authenticity of it all and this blog post by Grant Oyston nicely explains why

January 17th
8:56 AM EST
"Class has something to do with it, but there is something else going on. When I [used to] talk to my grandparents, they never thought that work was something that gave you meaning – it was just the way you put the roof over your head. But suddenly in the boomer generation, you have a very different way of thinking about work: It’s to be valuable, meaningful, honorable, enjoyable, a source of identity. That has now become a kind of standard for the way we think work should be. We have accepted the notion that our children ought to have jobs that are meaningful, not just a job that puts a roof over your head. It’s true that are all these powerful economic forces have set in motion the demand for the accordion family, but it isn’t all about necessity: it’s also about desire, values, what people find useful, what they’re proud of. And every one of these cultures has a different way of defining what kind of future is honorable."
—  Katherine Newman, sociologist and dean of the school of arts and sciences at Johns Hopkins University- "Get used to living with Mom and Dad" ~ Salon.com
January 4th
2:06 PM EST
I think I just found my new favorite single-serving Tumblr.

I think I just found my new favorite single-serving Tumblr.

November 28th
10:28 AM EST
The new domesticity: Fun, empowering or a step back for American women?

But lately, many women (and a few men) are diving into domesticity with a  sense of moral purpose. The homemade jar of jam becomes a symbol of  resistance to industrial food and its environment-defiling ways. This  view has been brewing for a while, a thick stew of Slow Food and  locavorism and DIY brought to a boil by recession and anxiety. Suddenly,  learning the old-fashioned skills of our great-grandmothers seems not  just fun, but necessary and even virtuous.
“This was initially about being frugal and concerned with what I put in  my body,” says Kate Payne, 30, the Austin-based author of “The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking” and something of a guru on the new-domesticity scene. “But it became  about the politics. . . . Am I going to buy cheap crap, or am I going to  do this stuff myself?”
[photo by Julia Rothman for The Washington Post]
(via The Hairpin)

The new domesticity: Fun, empowering or a step back for American women?

But lately, many women (and a few men) are diving into domesticity with a sense of moral purpose. The homemade jar of jam becomes a symbol of resistance to industrial food and its environment-defiling ways. This view has been brewing for a while, a thick stew of Slow Food and locavorism and DIY brought to a boil by recession and anxiety. Suddenly, learning the old-fashioned skills of our great-grandmothers seems not just fun, but necessary and even virtuous.

“This was initially about being frugal and concerned with what I put in my body,” says Kate Payne, 30, the Austin-based author of “The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking” and something of a guru on the new-domesticity scene. “But it became about the politics. . . . Am I going to buy cheap crap, or am I going to do this stuff myself?”

[photo by Julia Rothman for The Washington Post]

(via The Hairpin)

November 27th
4:43 PM EST

At around 10:30PM on the way home from a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt’s house, my sister and I were stopped in our tracks as we drove past our local Wal-Mart & Target stores. In unison, our mouths dropped open and we shouted, “What the hell?!” as we witnessed the ludicrously long lines composed of tons and tons of  Black Friday shoppers standing in line waiting for their very own chance to spend money on crap that they don’t need.
Wait, sorry. Calling them Black Friday shoppers is completely inaccurate because these people couldn’t even wait for the clock to strike midnight before they had to get in their cars and race to the store so they could battle their neighbors for flat screen TVs and X-Box 360s. Who are they, Cinderella or something? Are they going to turn into pumpkins if they don’t greedily consume every single piece of unnecessary junk before Thanksgiving is over? 
I think me and my sister were both so blown away because of course we’ve watched reports of such behavior on the news before, but we’d never actually witnessed anything like it in real life. It was almost like, until then, we had just written it off as something that exclusively occured in the far away land of That Only Happens On TV. We were so blown away at just how many people were willing to stand  outside in the frigid, November air on the night of Thanksgiving, so  that they could save a bajillion percent on a copy of the new Call of Duty game, that we felt the need to drive through the zoo-like parking lot and see make fun of such an intriguing cultural spectacle up close and personal. 
But the thing is, why  do I care how other people are spending the end of their Thanksgiving? If you want to stand  outside of some shitty store with the rest of the stupid world, then be my guest. I’m in  the car rocking out to Beyonce with my sister, on my way home to a hot  cup of tea and a cozy bed. Really, I shouldn’t give two flying farts  about what you’re doing.
But I do. I give a few flying farts because I know that this sort of crazed, competitive consumerism took place all across America and that’s not OK with me. As a society, as a country, as human beings, we need to ditch this “More! More! More!” mindset and convert to a mentality that’s more like, “Wow, I’m already so fortunate to have a bunch of  really nice things, maybe I don’t need a 7th iPad.”
How about ,next year we all decide to consume just a bit more rationally? That way, when the stores are all, “OK guys, we’re opening at 7PM Thanksgiving Day so make sure you don’t eat any good food or make any fun family memories and just stand outside of our doors ready to hand over your hard earned money to our greedy Corporate Overlords,” everyone will be sitting at home, eating good food and making fun family memories.
And then, when there’s no one barging down the Wal-Mart doors, the Corporate Overlords will be like, “What the hell? What happened to all of our good little, mesmerized minions who used to stuff our cash registers full of money, no questions asked? Where did they go? How will we keep the True Spirit of the Holiday Season alive if people don’t spoil themselves rotten by buying more things than they even know what to do with?” It’ll be so great!
Good, so it’s agreed. Next year, on Thanksgiving Day- and yes, the day following too- you won’t go near that shopping cart. You will not form eight-million-people-long lines or pepper spray fellow humans so you can get your paws on the last X-Box. Instead, you will stay home, be thankful for everything you do have and laugh with your family  about people occupying Wall Street or something.

At around 10:30PM on the way home from a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt’s house, my sister and I were stopped in our tracks as we drove past our local Wal-Mart & Target stores. In unison, our mouths dropped open and we shouted, “What the hell?!” as we witnessed the ludicrously long lines composed of tons and tons of  Black Friday shoppers standing in line waiting for their very own chance to spend money on crap that they don’t need.

Wait, sorry. Calling them Black Friday shoppers is completely inaccurate because these people couldn’t even wait for the clock to strike midnight before they had to get in their cars and race to the store so they could battle their neighbors for flat screen TVs and X-Box 360s. Who are they, Cinderella or something? Are they going to turn into pumpkins if they don’t greedily consume every single piece of unnecessary junk before Thanksgiving is over? 

I think me and my sister were both so blown away because of course we’ve watched reports of such behavior on the news before, but we’d never actually witnessed anything like it in real life. It was almost like, until then, we had just written it off as something that exclusively occured in the far away land of That Only Happens On TV. We were so blown away at just how many people were willing to stand outside in the frigid, November air on the night of Thanksgiving, so that they could save a bajillion percent on a copy of the new Call of Duty game, that we felt the need to drive through the zoo-like parking lot and see make fun of such an intriguing cultural spectacle up close and personal. 

But the thing is, why do I care how other people are spending the end of their Thanksgiving? If you want to stand outside of some shitty store with the rest of the stupid world, then be my guest. I’m in the car rocking out to Beyonce with my sister, on my way home to a hot cup of tea and a cozy bed. Really, I shouldn’t give two flying farts about what you’re doing.

But I do. I give a few flying farts because I know that this sort of crazed, competitive consumerism took place all across America and that’s not OK with me. As a society, as a country, as human beings, we need to ditch this “More! More! More!” mindset and convert to a mentality that’s more like, “Wow, I’m already so fortunate to have a bunch of  really nice things, maybe I don’t need a 7th iPad.”

How about ,next year we all decide to consume just a bit more rationally? That way, when the stores are all, “OK guys, we’re opening at 7PM Thanksgiving Day so make sure you don’t eat any good food or make any fun family memories and just stand outside of our doors ready to hand over your hard earned money to our greedy Corporate Overlords,” everyone will be sitting at home, eating good food and making fun family memories.

And then, when there’s no one barging down the Wal-Mart doors, the Corporate Overlords will be like, “What the hell? What happened to all of our good little, mesmerized minions who used to stuff our cash registers full of money, no questions asked? Where did they go? How will we keep the True Spirit of the Holiday Season alive if people don’t spoil themselves rotten by buying more things than they even know what to do with?” It’ll be so great!

Good, so it’s agreed. Next year, on Thanksgiving Day- and yes, the day following too- you won’t go near that shopping cart. You will not form eight-million-people-long lines or pepper spray fellow humans so you can get your paws on the last X-Box. Instead, you will stay home, be thankful for everything you do have and laugh with your family about people occupying Wall Street or something.

November 19th
11:06 AM EST

High Integrity, Moral Decency Has Cost Idiot Man Millions

The moronic small-business owner, whose moral tenets are said to include basic human kindness and always trying to do what’s right, reportedly never cuts any corners and is unwilling to fuck people over, poor habits that have led him into a life of endless mortgage payments, credit card debt, and a relatively small personal net worth.

Worse yet, sources indicated, the dumbshit has no one to blame for being a good person but himself.

"What a complete and utter fool," Stanford University sociologist Anya Arneson said of the astonishingly stupid man, describing his insistence on providing quality health care for his employees and paying them fair salaries as "just plain dumb." "It’s as though he’s operating under some kind of intangible but deep-seated conviction that being a fair, decent human being is somehow more valuable than making a quick buck."

November 18th
9:00 AM EST

The next person I witness using the ignorant and uninformed “They All Need to Go Get a Job" argument to discredit the occupy movement is going to deeply regret the moment they ever opened their moronic little mouth. You know what? Maybe some of them could use a shower. And maybe some of them could better spend their time looking for a job, I won’t deny that it’s possible. There are tons of people out there protesting. All of them have a different story, but I’m not gonna judge em’ because I don’t know em’. The fact of the matter is, a diverse group of thousands of people cannot be defined by one stereotypical profile and you sound unintelligent and obtuse for making such statements. 

I’m not saying that you have to agree with everything about the movement or run out into the streets chanting in support of the 99% right this very moment. But if you are currently under the impression that everything in our country is a-ok and that if everyone just went and got a job (like that’s an easy thing to do right now) and worked like the good little workers we’re supposed to be all of our problems would be solved, then you are seriously misguided and living in some sweet, sweet fantasy world.

The American government is so corrupted and broken that it’s almost incomprehensible. Corporate power and influence controls what is supposed to be the people’s democracy. And guess what? The CEO’s, the billionaire presidents of the wealthiest corporations who keep shelling cash deep into the pockets of the people who are supposed to be our representatives aren’t doing so because they have your best interest’s in mind. Something needs to be done to restore our democracy; so that the people’s voices can be heard and so that our country starts to become a place that reflects the diverse beliefs of every citizen. Not the narrow-minded, greedy policies of a few extremely wealthy individuals.

What those who don’t “get” Occupy Wall Street need to understand is that these protests are the first steps in working towards accomplishing that goal. No, this isn’t the perfect solution to the problem and who knows, there may never be an answer. But if after everything- all of the police brutality, the true uncovering of the police state we live in, and every other forceful tactic used to try and silence the people- you still cannot sympathize with the core fundamentals of this movement than you are just completely missing the entire picture because you are too tied up being contently complacent within the system.

I wrote this back in September after I visited Zuccotti Park when the movement was only a few days old. And while now I can even empathize with sentiments such as this and this, I believe everything I said then still holds true. I wrote:

"This movement will never be represented by one clear cut demand. It will never have one perfect little tagline. There is no definitive answer. A lot of different people are angry about a lot of different things and while all of it may be too overwhelming for the average news reader to digest at once, the most important part is that the occupiers are all willing to work together to restore justice and equality in America.”

Howard Zinn said, “I don’t believe it’s possible to be neutral. The world is already moving in certain directions. And to be neutral, to be passive, in a situation like that, is to collaborate with what is going on.”  To anyone who still thinks this is not important. Wake up, let go of the preconceived notions that were hand fed to you by the mainstream media, and get mad. Get really, really mad. 

November 17th
9:28 PM EST
"

So, how do you suppress an all-inclusive movement with legitimate and striking concerns regarding the unequal balance of power? You beat them in the streets and try to do everything possible to cut off their resources because your corporate overlords, guys like Bloomberg who made billions by doing business with Wall Street, said, “jump.” Because you’re part of the 40% the top 1% owns. They buy you with their massive amounts of wealth to do their bidding in order to increase that wealth.

I will give these critics of the Occupy movement one thing though: it’s difficult to figure out how the system really works because of how horribly broken it is. However, it doesn’t take a great mind to understand the very fact that it’s broken in the first place or pinpoint who broke it.

"
—  

-Mohandas Gandhi, always taking the words right out of my mouth and presenting them in a much more intelligent and coherent manner!

 
7:33 PM EST
How can you be SO ignorant? This is the general sentiment among most of my peers. It’s depressing. I need to go for a long, angry run right now. My long form response to this can be expected when I return.

How can you be SO ignorant? This is the general sentiment among most of my peers. It’s depressing. I need to go for a long, angry run right now. My long form response to this can be expected when I return.

10:24 AM EST
Remember when this was a free country and you could walk down Wall Street freely without being barred in by endless rows of barricades and the enormous looming presence of the NYPD?
OWS Day of Action Live Feed from NY Daily News
(Photo via NY Daily News by Christina Boyle)

Remember when this was a free country and you could walk down Wall Street freely without being barred in by endless rows of barricades and the enormous looming presence of the NYPD?

OWS Day of Action Live Feed from NY Daily News

(Photo via NY Daily News by Christina Boyle)

8:27 AM EST
"But now, I get it. People want to go someplace for at least five minutes where no one is trying to bleed you or sell you something. It may not be a real model for anything, but it’s at least a place where people are free to dream of some other way for human beings to get along, beyond auctioned “democracy,” tyrannical commerce and the bottom line."
November 16th
12:54 PM EST

Props to Tumblr for raising awareness and taking action.

Tumblr Staff just reported that useres are averaging 3.6 calls per second to their local representatives, urging them to oppose the ‘Stop Online Piracy Act.’

I just followed the steps Tumblr has given to make the call. It was not scary

If you haven’t yet, make the call and make a difference.

Spread the word.

8:59 AM EST

What's On the Blacklist? Three Sites That SOPA Could Put at Risk

EFF digs into the language of the “Stop Online Piracy Act” and breaks it down into terms that explain how some sites like Etsy, Flickr, and Vimeo could suffer if the bill passes.

November 15th
9:51 PM EST

How SOPA would censor the Internet: An Inforgraphic

(Click to view)

You can read the full text of the bill here.