Archive for the life Category

The Killers.

Posted in life, music, school on 29 September, 2008 by Katie Carroll

Brandon Flowers. He’s so beautiful.

I should be writing about the midterm I just completed. It was for my Introduction to the Oceans class, which is a lame 2-unit monstrosity that tries to reconcile the complex (hadley cells, density stratification, and the like) and the mind-numbingly easy/boring (plate tectonics, the structure of a water molecule, discovering Hawaii).

Unfortunately, the midterm kind of sucked. There were too many diagrams to label, too many sub-sections, and too few minutes to complete it in. So I am putting it behind me. Worst case scenario, I take a B- and switch the class to pass/no pass. No big deal.

On a totally separate topic, the Killers are coming to the Warfield in San Francisco on October 21st. I heard about it yesterday around 4:00, and tickets had gone on sale yesterday at 10:00 am. While I was quick to discover that Ticketmaster pulled a fast one and only sold an incredibly amount of tickets, which meant that they were already up to about $90 on other ticketing sites by the time I found them, I was happy to note that their new single is AWESOME. It’s called “Human”, and to me is reminiscient of “Read My Mind” from Sam’s Town and a bit of Hot Fuss. It follows typical Killers fare, both with the electro-pop keyboard stylings and the lyrics that are at once poetic and odd.

I love how their lyrics require a considerable amount of interpretation for them to even make sense. “Human” seems to query “Are we human/or are we dancer?”, which makes, at first glance, no sense. Besides the neanderthal-talk (me human, you dancer) and elimination of the plural, why in God’s name aren’t humans also dancers? And vice versa? But Brandon and the gang redeem themselves with my favorite verse:

Pay my respects to grace and virtue
Send my condolences to good
Hear my regards to soul and romance
They always did the best they could
And so long to devotion
It taught me everything I know
Wave goodbye, wish me well
You’ve gotta let me go

Can’t really say why that part speaks to me. But I think it’s a great personification of all the typical aspects of a relationship. Maybe Brandon is asking himself whether his current romance is really soul-affecting, really a connection between two full-fledged emotional humans, or just a physical, surface-level dance.

I love the Killers, is all I have to say. It’s a shame Brandon Flowers is Mormon, because that creeps me out. But they make dang good music, at least in my opinion. You just have to look past the synthesizers.

The Killers, "Human"


The fog.

Posted in life, school on 9 September, 2008 by Katie Carroll

I don’t really know why I called my post “The Fog”, other than the fact that it has been foggy all day. Maybe it’s because I’m in a serious mental fog at the moment–I have an incredible amount of things to do (one of which I’m not even able to because I didn’t buy the book in time), and yet I can’t seem to concentrate.

I’ve spent about three hours today at a coffee shop, nursing two chai teas and still not getting to actual work. I started reading for Poli Sci 3, but it’s all statistical theory and deadly boring. And now I should be writing about Bush’s announced removal of 8000 troops from Iraq, but even that seems too challenging (it’s not).

I wish I had something more interesting and intelligent to say. I don’t.

The transition.

Posted in friends, life, music, school on 8 September, 2008 by Katie Carroll

To the extent that this has somewhat morphed into a Golden Overtones blog (see how infrequently I post, and how boring my summer was?), I guess this post should really be called ‘The End’. I had my audition yesterday, and I was proud of it. Was it perfect? No. But I had a crazy sore throat, and no audition is completely seamless. But I did everything I could think of to extend myself beyond my normal boundaries; I tried to talk to all the girls auditioning, I made eye contact and focused on facial expressions, and just generally tried to appear more confident. And once again, I made it to the top five, the last round… and wasn’t picked. This time, two of the five of us had been in the group before.

I’m done with the Overtones. I don’t plan on going to any of their concerts, or seeing them on Sproul, or anything else. I feel so upset, sad, and confused, because I feel like they encouraged me so much and I had really tried to meet the challenge. And I am proud of my growth, and think I illustrated at least some of it yesterday. I just don’t know what to do at this point, because I feel so empty without singing, and I miss the choral experience in particular. It’s been my life since I was about seven, and that’s a hard thing to lose. I can physically feel it in my throat when I think about how much I miss it; it feels like I have a thirst that can’t be quenched.

This is all part of a larger feeling of inadequacy and disconnection. I’ve been thinking about my possibility of participating in the UCDC program, and can’t help but focus on my astoundingly empty resume. And I still haven’t made progress in expanding my circle of friends here, and I still know a total of two people on my floor (my roommate, and my friend from my floor last year). I don’t know what’s wrong with me, and I don’t know why I have so many flaws and everyone else seems so….put together.

Today really feels like fall. I woke up and saw the grey sky, and it pretty much matched my bleak mood. But I actually love this weather–and it feels much more like the Berkeley I understand and know. So maybe it’s a sign; maybe with the changing weather, I can stop trying to change myself to conform to someone else’s vague standards. I think now may be the time to turn off the inner critic (or at least lower the volume) and stop condoning my self-labeled shyness. I’m comfortable being alone, and quiet, and introverted, and I think I need to start finding ways to redirect those labels. I can be introverted without avoiding all human contact. I think the Overtone rejection and my following reaction shows that I shouldn’t try to be something I’m not. I’m never going to be able to ‘ham it up’, and be incredibly outgoing and in-your-face. But I think I can find a middle ground that is authentic and will actually help me grow.

The weekend.

Posted in life on 23 August, 2008 by Katie Carroll

I’m leaving today. In fact, I really ought to be packing right now, because we were supposed to be leaving in about an hour… that’s clearly not going to happen. First, we’re going to Redwood City, then tomorrow, we move my stuff into the dorm, go to the Outside Lands Festival, and then await the inevitable hour where my parents have to head home without me.

My dad is flipping out right now; my mom is in denial, and so am I. I’m certainly not in the same place I was last year, because the sheer terror is gone, but I still feel that sense of dread at leaving everything that is familiar and comfortable.

As of tomorrow, there will be no more Anthropologie days. No more walks to the Ocean Avenue coffee shop. No Osio movies with Steph. No creeping by Robert Talbott to see if Allie’s there. No lunches at Thea’s Deli with my dad, talking about politics. No cuddling with my mom and my pets on the bed, watching a dumb movie. No more 7-1 shifts at the coffee shop (thank God!). No more Colleen appointments. No more Deborah sessions. No more Mad Men. No visiting Kindah at Diamond Horseshoe. No Del Monte run-ins. No beach excursions with Andrea. No bonfires. No Bahama Billy’s lunches. No Tablemate gatherings. No more mooching for rides (thanks Erin, Thea, Kristin, Corynn, and obviously, my parents). No more Project Runway with my mom. No more Brigitta, or Gail, or Taylor, or Melissa, or Laurie, or Holly, or Analis, or all the other Anthro girls. No more driving down Carmel Valley Road. No more concert trips with Kindah. No more ordinary, boring days spending time with my parents, friends, pets, and others whom I love.

I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, and that makes it pretty hard to leave. But to me leaving is more than just physical separation–it’s a change, an ending, and a new development in my life. And while those are both necessary and good, a considerably large part of me would rather just stay in the Valley.

The schedule.

Posted in life, work on 30 July, 2008 by Katie Carroll

I have been working like crazy lately. I feel like all I do is work–which is I guess a preview for the rest of my life, but this time I’m working three jobs. Hopefully in the future I’ll manage to make it work with just one….and preferably not one in retail. I think I have a difficult time being pleasant for such a long time. On one hand, work gives me the confidence to step out of myself and be more outgoing for the sake of making sales; on the other hand, it shows me just how much of an introvert I usually am.

I would love to be one of those people who could just talk to anyone, but I’m not. I’m proud of my progress at work, because I do a good job and get along quite well with everyone….but it took me a while. Some of the other girls sort of formed a clique right from the off, and I felt like the odd one out–but it really did even out in the end. And I feel like eventually I’ll make more of a lasting impression than some of these other girls, because I make up for my quietness with sincerity. Not to mention I’m a hit with middle-aged women. 😉

Did I mention I’m working three jobs right now? I’m at Anthropologie, obviously, and I’ve also returned to my old coffee shop company (but a different store). And now I also work for an internet social networking company, in which I build Facebook pages for small businesses. I’m also possibly going to start writing blog posts for some of these businesses, and may be doing freelance blog maintenance for another company. While I like some of this work, I’m being driven slightly insane by surrounding circumstances.

The faux friendship.

Posted in friends, life, school on 5 July, 2008 by Katie Carroll

I don’t know whether I’m frustrated with myself or with other people. It’s obviously both–but I guess I’m thinking a lot about going back to school and it has become exceedingly clear that I didn’t make the type of connections last year that I hoped I would. I have a few friends that I’ve kept in touch with, but most of the people I talked to last year were really just glorified acquaintances. What hurts the most is that my closest friend hasn’t spoken to me at all. And she didn’t even tell me when she left.

I feel so weird about our friendship, because in some ways we’re so alike, and in other ways we’re just too different. There are huge parts of her life I just can’t relate to, and vice versa. I feel like that was the unspoken rift between the two of us for a very long time, and it manifested itself in my own insecurities. I constantly questioned the relationship; I’m a very intuitive person, and I would constantly get the sense that she was irritated or upset with me, and she would always deny it. Was it me? Am I just too self-conscious to have a stable friendship? I don’t really think so. I have great friends here at home.

I really want this to change. I have to keep telling myself that it took several years for my high school group (The Tablemates, we call ourselves) to solidify. I just hope that a new year brings new people and possibilities. Otherwise I don’t think I’ll ever feel settled at Berkeley.

The obstacle, and the goal.

Posted in life, music on 4 July, 2008 by Katie Carroll

The last time I thought I was cute was in third grade. I remember because it was the last year I actually liked my school picture: I had a sweet red and blue dress with puffed sleeves, reasonably tame hair, and clear skin with a dusting of freckles. It was undeniably adorable. But besides the fact that this is the last school picture I let remain atop the piano, it also, in my mind, marks the end of an era. It is probably one of the last times I ever felt good about my body.

This serenity was shattered later that year. It was the first time someone ever called me fat, and I still cringe when I relive that moment. As a nineteen-year-old, I can’t remember what life was like before my nine-year-old person entered the world of self-hatred and self-criticism. I’ve lived with it so long and have felt so helpless that I have made myself that way. Apparently I didn’t really start to gain weight until my dad got sick in seventh grade, but to me it always stems back to third.

I know many people who are very content with their bodies, and very confident–and I envy them. Regardless of shape or size, they accept themselves and move forward, which is something I’ve yet to do. I know my weight has stopped me from accomplishing the things I’d like to accomplish, especially because I’m a singer. Too many times I’ve been told “it’s entertainment”, and have lost solos and parts to ‘sexy’ girls, or ‘confident’ girls, or ‘theatrical’ ones. Just as many times I’ve been asked why I don’t “let it all out”, or “open up” on stage. A recent comment sticks in my head the most: “Sell that shit!”, she said. “You sound great, so just sell it to me!”. Maybe if I’d listened, I would have gotten the part.

When I tell people I’m trying to lose weight (I’m currently on Weight Watchers; third time’s the charm?), they always feel the need to tell me that “losing the weight won’t fix everything”. But I’m actually pretty sure it would. Most of my truly disabling flaws stem from being absolutely terrified of asserting myself, and being incredibly shy and body-conscious. And while I don’t think being thin will make me rich, or give me my dream boyfriend, or write my essays, I’m pretty sure I’d feel better about myself.

So here’s my challenge. The girl who told me to “sell that shit” is part of an a cappella group on campus that I have wanted to be in since before I even started college. I tried out, made it to the top five, and didn’t make the slot (they picked the other four girls) because of confidence. I know, because several girls told me. The girl I’ve already mentioned actually called me. So: if I want to be confident, I need to earn it. I need to feel like I’ve done something to improve myself, and I’m on my way. Slowly.

But to me, at least, this all begs the question: why is physicality the measure of worth? It is certainly mine, and judging by a lifetime of experience, seems to be the way of the world. The damaging emotional patterns of a nine-year-old girl were only exacerbated by adolescence, and continue to be strengthened by a harsh world. I know I’m smart, I know I’m a good person, I know I have a lot to offer–but in the end, none of that seems to matter.