Now We’re Brother Significant Others!

If you don’t understand the title’s reference (which you probably don’t, because it’s from a rather obscure cartoon that was on Cartoon Network a few years ago called “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends”), here’s a clip that probably isn’t as funny out of context of the entire episode. (I know what you’re thinking – Yes, I love cartoons. What of it? And if you, by chance, did get that reference, please let me know, because we should probably be best friends.)

Ok, so now that you’re caught up there, allow me to explain:

I have a pretty cool brother. He’s nearly 18 (ironically enough, his birthday is December 21) and a senior in high school. But according to my dad, he looks older than me. I beg to differ, but I will admit that the kid is a large mammal.

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Tanner in cat form

Naturally, since I’m home for a relatively short while, we tend to go places together once in a while. Occasionally alone. Which is where the conundrum begins.

Do you have any idea how awkward it is for people to assume the person you’re out with is not, in fact, your brother, but rather, your boyfriend? It makes us both want to vomit.

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Another cartoon reference. From “Chowder.” If you are also familiar with this, we definitely did just become best friends and you need to come forward.

The first time this happened was when I was a senior in high school, making Tanner (my brother) about 13. We were minding our own business, going through the checkout line at Wal-Mart, the Mecca of Williston, when the cashier, out of nowhere, asked, “Are you guys dating?” Why would you ever ask a random customer that?

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I think we both gave the guy this kid’s awesome “WTF?!” look.

After cleaning all the vomit off the floor, I managed to explain, “Uh, no. He’s my little brother.” Don’t mind the fact that he’s 6 feet tall and 170 pounds. He’s 13. Except I didn’t say that part. We both just silently grappled with the idea that people who don’t know better could think that we were dating, and then verbally accosted the cashier to ourselves once we made it to the parking lot.

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So unfortunate that the second “vomit” is, for some reason, misspelled. It would have prevented this spelling & grammar perfectionist from adding this, but you have no idea how hard it is to find photos that don’t induce projectile vomit when searching “projectile vomit” on Google images.

This has probably happened without me noticing multiple times since then, but it came to my attention again when my brother and I were shopping at the Verizon store. The characteristically clingy, albeit helpful, store clerk gave us information about different phone cases and made up prices and discounts on all of them, since there were no prices listed on anything. (Sketch, I know, but that’s what you get in Williston, ND.)

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Anyway, the clerk guy gave me the non-verbal impression that he thought we were dating the whole time. Enough to make me feel really awkward and kind of want to bolt. I was so tempted to drop into the conversation that we were siblings, but I wasn’t clever enough to think of anything other than, “Hey, BROTHER, come look at this,” so I felt like that would make things even weirder.

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Man, I need this shirt.

It didn’t help that the guy was making up deals and discounts left and right. And, of course, never one to pass up a great deal, I succumbed and bought a screen protector, while Tanner bought a whole bunch of crap. The guy gave us a weird look while Tanner and I haggled over splitting the price half and half, paying for exactly what each of us bought, or having Tanner “write me a check.” (Yeah, ’cause that’s really convenient, Tanner.)

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Exactly. We all know how that turns out. (Unless you never saw Popeye, in which case, that’s more evidence I’m getting old.)

Neither of us said anything about the weirdness that was The Verizon Affair, which it came to be known, until we got in the car and, as usual, vented about how awkward it was.

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On the opposite side of the spectrum, my high school boyfriend and I were often confused for siblings, which was not so much awkward as it was offensive, for some reason.

Luckily, I will never have that problem in the family I’m marrying into. I kind of stick out like a big Norwegian sore thumb.

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I also hope they don’t mind me putting them on my blog…

P.S. This is how I wrote the majority of this post.

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She loves to “help” me blog.

Has anyone else ever experienced this horribly awkward encounter?

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Six Reasons Why the World Isn’t Going to End in 19 Days

Sure, there have been all kinds of natural disasters, not to mention strange weather patterns in general. (One mild winter in North Dakota last season was awesome, yet terrifying, because it’s so uncharacteristic. This one’s rounding out to be pretty similar.) And even though I might have been a little nervous about it myself when I first heard of the whole “2012” thing a few years ago, I’m now convinced that there’s no way we’ve only got 19 days left. Here are a few reasons why:

1. The Mayans made calendars, not predictions.

Why are we banking predictions of the future on a civilization that couldn’t predict its own demise? Yes, it’s still a mystery and archeologists aren’t sure what necessarily caused it, but it certainly happened quickly. You’d think a big disaster might have been something they could foretell. That is, if they ever claimed to be foretelling anything. Let’s give the Mayans some credit here. They were pretty advanced people. They probably realized that the notion of predicting the future was quackery, themselves.

I couldn't resist.

I couldn’t resist.

So, their calendar happens to end on December 21, 2012. Ours ends on December 31 every year. What if some futuristic space people come to Earth in a thousand years, find one of our old calendars, and assume we predicted the end of the world because of that? As for the 2012 thing, maybe they just got sick of making calendars at that point. Or maybe they were like, “Hey, it’s like, 900 A.D. I think 2012 is more than enough. Let’s take a break. We’ll make more calendars in like 1980.”

Oh, how I love this.

Oh, how I love this.

2. Some are catching on to the fact that Taylor Swift is not necessarily all that and a bag of gluten free popcorn chips. (Trust me, in spite of any “gluten free” connotations, those things are delicious.)

It’s no secret that I’m not necessarily a Swift fan. At first, I thought it was an irrational dislike, but honestly, I just don’t see why everyone flips out and thinks she’s the greatest ever. As far as singing and songwriting, she’s pretty average among her competition. A majority of her songs are pretty much about the same thing – heartbreak, relationships, boys suck, yada yada. They all sound pretty similar. And now she’s not even staying true to her country roots, getting all “popified” with her new album. (Does anyone else think the, “WeeeeEEEEE!” in “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” sounds like a pig call? You know, “Sooooo Weeeee!” Maybe it’s just me.)

She has summoned the pigs!

She has summoned the pigs! (Yay for cute baby animal pictures in this post!)

But I always said jokingly, “If the world ends in 2012, it’ll be because Taylor Swift is some kind of spy and brainwashed the nation into trusting her and thinking she’s perfect.” I guess I just don’t fully buy her squeaky clean image. And my less-than-impressed opinion of her has gotten me yelled at multiple times. Each time, the yellers to try to convince me to love her. Why? If someone isn’t particularly a fan of any other music artist, people generally shrug it off thinking, “Eh, to each his own.”  What makes her so different? So, that’s what’s bothered me about her.

I'm just sayin'...

I’m just sayin’…

And that opinion is starting to grow, much to my surprise. So, there goes that theory. One more point for the world continuing to exist.

Yay!

Yay!

3. Hello, does anyone remember the whole “Rapture” thing?

Yeah, that didn’t happen. Although, it did make for an awesome excuse to have Rapture Parties and to sit around watching horror movies and drinking. December 21 will be an excuse to bring on the even more awesome End of the World Parties!

Plus, it was a great excuse for Shock Top to make this beer that I couldn't resist getting last night. It's pretty good, but I honestly think I really like it because of its clever name.

Plus, it was a great excuse for Shock Top to make this beer that I couldn’t resist getting last night. It’s pretty good, but I honestly think I really like it because of its clever name.

4. We’ve only gotten through the mid-season finale of the Walking Dead. Every episode’s enough of a cliffhanger as it is. There’s no way we can hold out that long.

Well, we actually haven’t even made it that far yet, but in approximately six hours we will. I’m going to have a hard enough time waiting until whenever it starts up again; I really don’t need an apocalypse screwing it up. However, if zombies were to be involved, at least I would have learned some great survival techniques.

Lori made the zombie apocalypse so much worse than it had to be.

Lori made the zombie apocalypse so much worse than it had to be.

5. I finally bought an iPhone. I better get more than 2 weeks to use it.
My Android phone spazzed out on me late last spring, so I got frustrated, went off the deep end, and downgraded to a dumbphone. It was nice to get away from paying for a data plan for a while, but this phone is even crappier than the phone I had in high school. I can only take teeny baby pictures on my teeny baby screen. I can’t take videos. It doesn’t like to send texts all the time, and it definitely doesn’t like to let me know when I’ve received one. So, a shiny, white iPhone 5 has become my Christmas present from me to me. It’s currently hurtling toward me and should be here by Wednesday, leaving me about 16 days with an iPhone if those who believe the end is near are right after all.

Hawt.

Hawt. My dumbphone.

6. This morning, I drank coffee with creamer that expired in September. If I made it through that, I can make it through anything.
I know this doesn’t help the rest of the world have any hope, but I’m feeling particularly resilient for living through that. I made it through half the cup of coffee before I decided that something was really wrong, and those chunks floating in it probably weren’t just undissolved sweetener. So, if living through drinking curdled coffee creamer adds any credibility to my End of the World Survival resume, let’s slap it on there.

Me, reading the expiration date.

Me, reading the expiration date.

But in all seriousness, I am kind of interested in these apocalypse theories, no matter how whacked out they might seem, and I like the idea that this whole December 21 thing isn’t an apocalypse, but an ending of one cycle and the beginning of a new one, as cheesy as it sounds.

But, hey, if you’ve been stockpiling food and alcohol for bartering, like a lot of the Doomsday Preppers I’ve seen on TV, that won’t mean it was all for nothing. It’ll just make your End of the World Party that much more awesome!

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It’s A$$hole Tuesday

As if Tuesday isn’t one of the more depressing days of the work week as it is, my coworkers informed me as soon as I started that it’s known in our office as “Asshole Tuesday.” Maybe the fact that the week isn’t even close to over amplifies our general frustration toward dealing with jerks, or maybe the assholes all just decide to come out on Tuesday, but it really never seems to fail.

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The only thing worse than Monday would be an Asshole Tuesday happening on a Monday.

Unfortunately, even though we like to pretend at work that the assholes only come out in droves on Tuesday, the sad truth is that people, in general, tend to suck every day of the week.

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Ok, so that sounds kind of bleak. We could just feel that way because we’re in Williston … which also sounds unnecessarily negative. Don’t get me wrong – Williston has its fair share of great people, but many Willistonites agree that some of the people who come to the area in search of work aren’t simply down on their luck and looking for an earnest way to start over and make a living. Instead, this group of people are the type that blame everyone and everything but themselves for the trouble they’re in. Naturally, working in a law office, we get the joy of encountering a lot of these kinds of people.

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But, hey, we could deal with them, if they were the only ones who sucked. But they’re not. There’s a commercial that runs in western North Dakota, that starts out by saying, “There are 50 states in the nation, and every one of them wants to be North Dakota.” Until I lived in Williston again, I didn’t realize how true that statement was.

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For how mountainous this graph looks, the peaks only count for jobs. North Dakota is still flat as a pancake.

I would have never imagined that my boring little hometown would be a place anyone would want to live, let alone be jealous of. We are extremely fortunate to be experiencing economic happy times with the oil boom in our area. The sad thing is that money breeds conflict.

Random people living all across the country who never even knew North Dakota exists find out some long, lost relative of theirs that they never met owned mineral interest on land that’s got a producing oil well on it, and they’re instantly wanting and expecting more. They’re upset with me because I can’t get their paperwork done fast enough; they’re even fighting against their own family members to scrap for more.

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Come on, people! To come upon money just because you’re related to someone is an amazing stroke of luck – Isn’t that enough reason to just be happy? If you’re not okay with that, I’ll certainly take your pile of money …

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There’s my vent for Asshole Tuesday. All you assholes out there can crawl back in your holes now.

P.S. Just a heads up, I finally made a Facebook page for the blog. The link’s over on the right margin of this page, near the top, if you feel so inclined to click away. I’ll put some awesome little tidbits up, and links to every post, of course.

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P.S. Here’s an adorable picture of my cat, Sperry, being an asshole and hogging the remote. For the record, I did not stage this. She’s actually this much of a freak.

Sorry I’m Such a Tease…

Ok, so I had good intentions in, say, March, when I wrote all about how I was coming back to my blog.  Hopefully, I’ll stick to it this time. After all, I have no social life anymore, (Did I ever?) so I really shouldn’t have much of an excuse. Regardless, over a year of crazy happenings in the life of Kaitlin have left me with plenty to write about.

Forever Alone Meme

Or a few months…

I’m in a completely different place than I was at the time I wrote my last regular post. Literally. To begin with, I’m across the state (still in North Dakota, unfortunately) sitting on a bed covered with teddy bears and unicorns in my room….in my parents’ home. In Williston, ND. (You know, Wild Wild Williston? It’s even wilder. And Willistonier.)

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That’s my unicorn. I also have its baby now, too. Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that…..

That may sound like I’ve become a total failure on the surface, but hopefully I’m not. At least, I try to tell myself that. You can’t really go anywhere but up when you come out of college bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with your shiny, new several-thousand-dollar piece of paper and find yourself working at the local Olive Garden. I will never be able to hear the words “Unlimited Soup and Salad” again without cringing. (Fun fact: I worked at the Olive Garden Marilyn Hagerty went to when her review of the restaurant went viral. In college, I also worked at the newspaper Marilyn writes for and had her as a guest speaker in a ton of my classes. But the whole story about all that and my time at the ol’ OG is for another post. Or seven.)

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That’s me. Looking fresh as ever.

Anyway, I’m banking in on the cash cow that is Williston, ND, while I can. Yes, Wal-Mart’s starting wage really is $17.00 an hour. McDonald’s will get you $15 an hour starting. So, this is a great place to work at a law firm, getting some experience while saving for law school. (Yep, I got in! And I’d be there right now if I hadn’t been offered a rather significant scholarship to defer my enrollment a year. You know, because too many people accepted their offer of admission and they need to make themselves look uber competitive for the US News & World Reports Rankings. It’s all a big conspiracy. But, I digress.)

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Woot!

Living at home and banking money also has its perks for saving for a house, the big move across the country in a few months, and the WEDDING which will follow shortly after! Yes, in a little over 8 months, my blog title will no longer be a catchy little spin on my last name, but it’s a small price to pay for the lifetime of awesome I’m getting. Especially since Chris and I have been, and will continue to be, living across the state from each other until we make the move. It sucks, but at least I can get away with not shaving my legs very often. (Gotta always look on the bright side.)

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I was distracted by something shiny and didn’t see the random bowl of popcorn on the floor…It was Chris’s house, don’t ask why it’s there.

So, now that I’ve unnecessarily updated you, dear reader whom I probably don’t know on a personal level, on the biggest intimate details of the last year, I think I can successfully move on and begin blogging like I used to. Maybe not every day, but at least regularly. My original plan, in March, was to just let all my big new changes come out as they needed to in the process of writing different posts, in an attempt to not give off so much of my personal life. But I think that idea was a little too daunting. I guess it seems like I need to let people know where I am in life to make my posts relevant. Even though anyone who might still be interested in my blog probably stopped reading about my ridiculous personal blatherings after the first paragraph.

Anyway, yay for blogging again 🙂 I hope to see you around.

(P.S. I also got an adorable kitten. I’m obsessed with her. And she’s the one who loves the unicorns on my bed, I swear.)

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Yes, she is laying on a placemat. I may have been a crazy cat lady when I lived alone…

Guess who’s back — Back again. Kaitlin’s back — On her blog.

I’ve been contemplating doing this for some time now. Yeah, I know, I totally fell off the face of the Earth before. Not completely tactful, but there was a little air of mystery, wasn’t there? Maybe I died or got abducted by aliens or something, for all you knew.

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Yeah. I'm the cow.

Unfortunately (only for the sake of an interesting story to tell – not because I would have preferred to be abducted), I was the same old Kaitlin. That’s not to say nothing exciting happened. There have been some big changes in KaitlinLand. But for now, this is what you get to know:

– I’m currently back East sucking the juice out of the last few days of my vacation, but unfortunately, I still live in North Dakota for the time being.

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That's the statue they built to me after being abducted. Actually, that's Salem Sue, the "World's Largest Holstein Cow." You can see her from the highway when driving by New Salem, ND. Another claim to fame for ND.

– As for why I decided to pick my blog back up now, I have no idea. But, I will forewarn that it’ll probably be a limited time only thing again because, starting in the fall, I’ll have no life. But I won’t bore you with the details of my life because that’s not what’s interesting … Unless, of course, these details tie into a later post. And I find that I oftentimes reveal way more about myself to complete strangers through blogging than I originally intended.
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Because. Also, I realized I just used one, but can someone explain the whole meme thing to me? I mean, is the surface really all there is to it, or is there some massive Internet inside joke I'm missing out on? And WHERE did these characters even come from? Maybe I'm just overthinking.

– Um … I guess that didn’t necessarily warrant a bulleted list, since I don’t really have anything else to say. But I figured I owed any readers that may still exist a slight explanation post before diving into new awesomeness.

And awesome it shall be.

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Twice as Nice

I recently transferred my entire blog over to the AreaVoices platform, which is supported by Forum Communications Company newspapers. It’s still a WordPress blog, but it’ll look a little different because they don’t offer the same theme I’ve been using for this blog. But with AreaVoices, I can have the potential to gain a wider audience if I’m featured on the Grand Forks Herald, Fargo Forum, and other surrounding newspapers’ webpages.

The plan for now is to continue updating both blogs with the same content, the same title, tagline, description, everything. But that may change. I couldn’t completely give up this blog because I love my awesome little following here, and I’m sentimental because it’s my first blog. But, if you want, you can find me on AreaVoices at http://kaitlinring.areavoices.com.

Thanks for reading!