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?

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!

2012_end_of_the_world_party_invitation-p161584299638290495en75o_325

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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S-s-s-singin’ that blah, blah, blah

So, there I was, mindlessly singing along to the radio on my mundane, road construction-filled drive from one job to another, when I realized: “What the heck am I singing?”
A. Top 40.
B. A song I don’t necessarily like but, nonetheless, know all the words to.
C. Idiotic lyrics.
D. All of the above.

Guilty. And I've given up caring who sees me.

D., of course. Unless it’s the LSAT or my nutrition class, where they throw in options like “A and C only,” or pose questions like “Which could be, but need not be, true,” just to make you second-guess yourself.

But, really, as someone who oftentimes likes songs solely for their lyrics, I felt like I was betraying myself. When I really think about how little a song contributes lyrically and how much depends on a catchy tune or the name of the person singing, it kind of makes me want to just turn off the radio.

Metal has nothing to do with the Top 40 pop music I'm discussing, but this was too good.

Not to be all pretentious and obnoxious. I’ll listen to Top 40 radio as much as the next guy. But we don’t always pay attention to the lyrics; that’s the beauty of music — if the tune is catchy, it doesn’t really matter how stupid the words that go along with it are.  But once you start to think about them (if you’re like me, at least), you realize how much you would make fun of the lyrics if, say, a local band (or someone like Rebecca Black, whose song I will not even include in this post because it’s glaringly obvious) were singing them.

This is the advertisement for an actual band. It came from MySpace, so it has to be true.

Allow me to illustrate:

“Right There” by Nicole Scherzinger featuring 50 Cent
Would we love it if 50 Cent didn’t proclaim, “It’s just another one / Another number one,” at the beginning of the song? Probably, because the radio tells us to.
Here are some gems:
“Me like the way that you hold my body / Me like the way that you touch my body / Me like the way that you kiss my / Yeah yeah yeah me like it.”

See, it’s a little different when you see it in writing. Come on, Nicole, use your big girl words!

 

“Look at Me Now” by Chris Brown
Gems:
“Better cuff your chick if you with her / I can get her / And she accidentally slip and fall on my d*** / Oops, I said on my d*** / I ain’t really mean to say on my d*** / But since we’re talking about my d*** / All of you haters say hi to it / I’m done.”

Um … so are we supposed to be impressed when we “look at you now,” because I literally giggled at how ridiculous those lines are when I read them for the first time. I had no idea he was saying that, probably because I’ve only ever heard the radio edit.

 

“What’s my Name” by Rihanna featuring Drake
I feel like Rihanna’s gotten a lot of play on my blog. I really don’t dislike her music, she just gives me a lot of things to write about.
Gems:
“The square root of 69 is eight-something, right? / ‘Cause I’ve been tryna work it out, oh.”

Is that supposed to be a pickup line? Smooth …

“I can get you through a mighty long day / Soon as you go, the text that I write is gon’ say / Oh na na, what’s my name? / Oh na na, what’s my name? / Oh na na, what’s my name? / What’s my name? / What’s my name?”

You know how I would feel if I got a text message like that. Most people would probably be like, uh, what the heck? That’s obnoxious.

 

“Peacock” by Katy Perry
Heard this one on the radio for the first time yesterday. It provides some lovely new inappropriate lyrics for small children nationwide to unwittingly belt out. Katy Perry pesters some guy the whole song to let her see his “peacock,” and then this is her reaction:
“Oh my God, no exaggeration / Boy, all this time was worth the waiting / I just shed a tear / I am so unprepared / You’ve got the finest architecture / End of the rainbow looking treasure / Such a sight for me to see / And it’s all for me.”

1. Why are there so many shlong songs lately? Can we sing about something substantial please? Plus, the day I hear my 10 year-old sister singing, “Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock? / Don’t be a chicken, boy, stop acting like a beeyotch,” I say I’ll drop over dead, but I’ll probably just blog furiously about it again. If I don’t even realize how often I’m senselessly singing about wieners and random girls’ luscious booties in the club, how are they supposed to?
2. Is shedding a tear a good reaction? That seems a little over-the-top.

 

“I Know You Want Me” by Pit Bull
This song has to contain one of my favorite ridiculous lines ever:

“Mami got an a** like a donkey with a monkey that looks like King Kong.”

Uh, is that a good thing? This line was brought to my attention by this video segment from The Current news channel a few years ago.

And this screenshot from it always runs through my head when I hear that line:

And Sergio saying, "Oh, yeah. That's hot." Or whatever he says with it. The video's worth watching just for that clip.

(I realize I didn’t embed the actual video. It was disabled by request. 😦 Mer.)

 

“The Call” by the Backstreet Boys
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a BSB fan and, yes, it’s a guilty pleasure. “The Call” is the tale of how the Backstreet Boys cheated on their apparently collective girlfriend and made up a lie to her about it over a cell phone conversation. My friend Jessie and I share feelings on how awesomely terrible the lyrics to this song are. Pretty sure we sang karaoke to this song at our high school graduation party … And that probably won’t be the last time.
Gems:
Chorus: “Listen baby I’m sorry / Just wanna tell you don’t worry / I will be late, don’t stay up and wait for me / I’ll say again you’re dropping out / My battery is low / Just so you know we’re going to a place nearby / Gotta go.” (Yes, I recited these lines from memory.)

 

“Summer Girls” by LFO
It’s not new. It’s rarely on the radio anymore. But it takes the award for the song with the worst lyrics ever. (Well, maybe now it ties with “Friday.”) But “Summer Girls” moves completely into the realm of “so bad, it’s good.”

The way they jump completely from one subject to another for the sake of rhyme and rhythm alone is hilarious. If you looked up none of the other lyrics, this one is worth clicking the link for solely because it’s so bad it’s funny. (It’s okay, I still know all the words to it from when nine year old Kaitlin found it on her “Totally Hits” CD and listened to it on her boombox while playing Barbies. Yeah. Either it’s that old, or I’m that young. Whichever way you want to look at it.

Gems:
–The chorus, of course: “New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits / Chinese food makes me sick / And I think it’s fly when girls stop by for the summer / For the summer / I like girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch / I’d take her if I had one wish / But she’s been gone since that summer / Since that summer.”
–“You’re the best girl that I ever did see / The great Larry Byrd: jersey 33 / When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet / Willy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets.”

 

Next time you find yourself mumbling that catchy song you don’t really care much about, aside from the fact that it’s on the radio every 20 minutes, listen to the words you’re actually mumbling. It’s pretty good for a laugh and a hopeless head-shaking at the demise of lyrical quality in pop music.

Can’t get enough over-analysis?

I’m going to assume you know about my neurotic tendency to over-analyze things. Rest assured that it doesn’t stop at text messages. As many readers commented on the texting article, any kind of communication that’s not face-to-face opens up the opportunity for misinterpretation. And I’m well aware. I planned to write this post before the texting one exploded, but I figured I had to wait a while, so it wouldn’t look like I was just trying to re-do that.

I LOVE this. So me.

I think the only form of technological communication I over-analyze more than texting is interactions on Facebook. Facebook presents the opportunity for so many more subtle, silent “body language” stand-ins, causing me, at least, to analyze my creeping to the max.

I’m guilty of contributing. I often have cryptic statuses, straight from the depths of my latest favorite obscure indie folk song. But I would never put up a cryptic lyric status unless it related in some way to what I was feeling that day, or my current life situation. There’s always a “hint hint” factor in hopes that whomever or whatever it’s directed toward over-analyzes.

Okay, so this one's not from an obscure song ("Flake" by Jack Johnson) but it's been a while since I had a cryptic status and this was the most recent.

If anyone ever gets the reference, though, they don’t tell me. I always make sure to say something if I sense an underlying reason for someone’s quoted status. Sometimes the person is like, “Wow, you got that? That’s totally what I meant!” But, most of the time, they either don’t respond (To me, that’s Facebook lingo for, “You’re totally over-analyzing, but I’m not enough of a jerk to call you out in front of the world of Facebook and make you look stupid”), or they call me out in front of the world of Facebook and make me look stupid.

This girl got called out. But she was totally asking for it.

On my inaugural creep of a new Facebook friend, if I find they have 400 profile pictures and 396 of them are MySpace-style self portraits in the mirror making the duck face, I judge. I don’t know if that’s entirely out of the ordinary — I think it’s safe to say most people will get the impression that user is pretty self-absorbed and really likes the way they look. Maybe that’s just general analysis.

Why? You're fooling no one. Your cheekbones don't look like that unless you're making that face all the time ... which I guess some people are.

While we’re on the topic of profile pictures, there’s always the “hidden meanings” in them, as well. If you’re in a relationship with someone, it’s not uncommon to set your profile picture as the two of you as a happy couple. But God help you the second you change it to a picture of, say, just yourself, or you and some friends. People will start wondering if maybe you’re mad at each other. Rumors will fly that you’re having relationship problems. Maybe one of you is cheating. It’s ridiculous, I know. But, believe me, I’ve seen it happen.

I try to limit my Facebook friends to people I actually interact with in real life (or used to and want to stay in touch with). But leave it to the one thing you don’t want that random acquaintance to see, and they’ll comment on it.

That always makes me wonder just how much of my personal stuff they’re actually creeping on. I like to imagine that only the people I have in mind when I post things see said posts but, of course, that’s not the case on Facebook. It’s times like those I wish Google+ would just catch on already, with their Circles. After worrying which things Random Acquaintance could have possibly seen in the past, I usually end up placing them on my no-no list in my privacy settings … for a little while, at least.

This was likely a hack, but if it wasn't ... Well, then I guess you're asking for it by posting it on Facebook.

Say it’s your birthday. (“It’s my birthday, too, yeah!“) Everyone and their mother will wish you a happy one on your Wall (literally). And if you have a close Facebook friend who doesn’t (which I would define as someone you know in person and interact with on Facebook a lot), it’s on.

See, your birthday is the one time of the year people will creep out of the shadows and post on your Wall. Even if I agree 100% with a post of someone I never talk to on Facebook, I’d feel like a creep if I commented on it. We’ve all got to admit, there are some people we’re friends with solely to “silently” creep on. But that inhibition dissolves on someone’s birthday, where you’re almost obligated to write on their Wall, or else you’ll look like a jerk. I admit, I still hold it against at least a certain person who I know purposefully didn’t acknowledge my Facebook birthday. It’s ridiculous, I know. But it’s like a virtual slap in the face.

I always try to avoid statuses asking if “anyone” wants to do something. (Although, I did, out of desperation, ask who was up for sushi last week because I was craving it and Chris isn’t a fan of the raw fish. It led nowhere. I never got my sushi.) These statuses are traps: Either no one will comment on it, making you feel like a loser who has no friends, or all those Random Acquaintances from before will comment on it, leaving you in an awkward situation.


The “liking” option is sometimes dangerous, too. “Liking” something is usually a way of saying, “I agree casually.” Unless you write something about how bad your day sucks and someone “likes” it with no explanation.  (A suitable explanation could be: “‘Liked’ only because I agree — Not because of your situation!”) Or unless it’s one of those “Bobby went from being “In a Relationship” to “Single” notifications. Those are always fun for attracting the wrong kind of attention. The only other acceptable case for a “mean like” is if you’re good enough friends with the “liker” that you know they’re just messing with you. An unexplained “like” on a depressing status is like kicking someone when they’re down, and is grounds for unfriending.

This is boyfriend Chris, so I know he's messing with me.

On the topic of “liking,” “liking” one’s own status is almost never okay. It says: “I don’t know how to use Facebook,” or, “I’m that much of a loser.” Exceptions, of course, apply in the case of intentional situational humor.

Acknowledged, rendering it situational humor.

Then, there’s the lingering friend request. You request to be someone’s friend, and they don’t accept or deny, but they just never confirm either way. This is a polite way of getting around things. You don’t want to feel mean and deny them, but you really don’t need them creeping on you. So you just let the request linger there in Friend Request Purgatory. I admit, I currently have over 20 of these — People I haven’t talked to since eighth grade who request to be friends with me, people I have never met in my life that come here for oilfield work and see I’m from North Dakota, and people I’ve unfriended because everything they post makes me want to vomit who just don’t get the hint and keep trying to re-friend me.

Straight from my page

I thought I was crazy with my over-analysis of texting, but with the responses I got, I know I can’t be alone here, too. Or maybe I can. Feel free to let me know if I just need to take an extra dose of my happy pills with this one.

GTL: As long as the “T” stands for “Translucent”

I’m a natural blonde. I’ve never been a redhead (except the one and only time I became a brunette just out of curiosity and my hair kind of started turning auburn). You wouldn’t be able to tell by how prone I am to sunburn, though. I’ve got just enough Norwegian in me that I can’t quite enjoy the sun.

Contrary to popular belief, North Dakota does get warm for a few months. It’s an extreme climate. In fact, I had a Facebook status a few weeks ago that I think summed it up perfectly: “North Dakota: One of the only places on earth where you can experience what both 111 degrees and -50 degrees feels like.” I’m not exaggerating. We’ve been battling a heat wave that just recently let up enough for us to enjoy some time outside.

Sigh -- Apparently it's impossible to find the weather from a few days ago. I would have taken a screen shot, but it just disappeared.

But even on those rare days when it’s 75 or 80, breezy, and the mosquitoes actually aren’t gnawing at any bit of exposed flesh they can find, I can’t win. I had a coffee on the patio at Starbucks with Chris one afternoon for 25 minutes tops. I was under an umbrella in the shade. My shoulders still gleamed red afterward. So much so that mere acquaintances winced at them in empathetic pain and suggested aloe vera.

It pains me to even post this. It's so unflattering. This was the result of being fresh out of chilly ND and into Virginia summer heat. Sunburn doesn't usually show up well in pictures that aren't intentionally documenting it. Also, excuse the lack of makeup on my end.

I think it’s just North Dakota. I think being confined indoors, seeking shelter from blizzards and frostbite nine or more months out of the year, deteriorates whatever endurance you may have had for the sun.

In fact, I have evidence of this.

Chris’s background is Italian. When my grandma saw a picture of him she commented, “Oh, he’s so dark!” For North Dakota, yes. His so-brown-it’s-almost-black hair and golden skin sticks out a little against all of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Norwegians here. And, I admit, he’s naturally several shades darker than my general hue of purple. (My translucent skin usually gives way to my blood vessels underneath. Yummy.) But set Chris out in the sun for a couple of hours, and he bronzes up like a freshly-baked calzone.

See? Notice my sunburn, once again. It's kind of turning into a tan in this picture, though. "Tan" for me is sometimes considered "darker shade of pink/purple."

Or, he used to. Now he has to worry a little about sunburn, a phenomenon he’d never experienced before spending a winter in North Dakota. Longing for warmer weather, he spent spring break in Malibu, California, his first year at UND. He came back with a peeling sunburn. Coincidence? I think not.

Unfortunately, no documentation of Chris with sunburn exists ... that I can find at least. But his nose was the worst, so here's a picture of a sunburned nose.

I’m finally taking a few days off from North Dakota living and heading east in two weeks, spending a few days in Pennsylvania, a few in Virginia, and a few days on the beach in Delaware. [I CAN’T WAIT.] I’m fully prepared to become Lobster-Kaitlin, as usual. Even when my initial burn has turned into my version of a “base tan,” I’m no match for a few days baking on the beach.

A lot of girls here, though, do achieve a bronzed-goddess glow. (Especially female athletes of winter sports — Have you ever watched a high school girls’ basketball game in North Dakota?) I’m jealous of them … and their perfect ankles. I think they achieve it from a combination of much more fortunate genes than those I was graced with and chronic fake-baking.

Even though my dad and grandma tan easily and burn little, I ended up with the crappy end of the gene pool in many areas: yucky toenails, fine hair, inability to tan, and the dreaded CANKLES. I do make a few trips to the tanning bed a year. (I know how bad it is. I only go a few times a year to acclimate my skin to ultraviolet rays in an attempt to avoid the inevitable melanoma-causing, molt-inducing sunburn that will confine me to a tub full of aloe vera lotion for a week.) Still, any tan I ever accumulate fades almost as quickly as I got it.

Ewww. Molting.

Sigh … the joys of a North Dakota summer. The only thing that’s worse is a North Dakota winter.

P.S. Just so someone else might have some entertainment out of my unpleasant situation, I’ll post a picture if I end up burned at the beach.

My Super Sketchy Sixteen … with a Creepy Old Guy.

I may be a bit behind the curve, but I just heard about this “51 year-old Doug Hutchison marrying a 16 year-old” thing. Hutchison is most notable for playing Percy Wetmore, the guy nobody liked in The Green Mile and Horace Goodspeed on Lost. Not that I personally recognized him. He goes back to roles in Party of Five and A Time to Kill, too. (Ironically, he played the child rapist.) But those are a little before my time.

Cue "The Creep" by The Lonely Island.

And a lot before 16 year-old Courtney Alexis Stodden’s. Maybe.

Annnnd that's their wedding picture.

All creepiness and illegality aside, this couple is extra controversial. When I first looked into this, I honestly thought, “Okay, so this Hutchison guy is kind of a creeper. Scandalous, but whatever.” But I watched an interview E! News did with the “happy couple” which I found deeply disturbing. I didn’t notice exactly how disturbing until I caught a glimpse of myself reflexively making a disgusted face in the reflection of my laptop screen.

Stodden doesn’t look a day under 25.

Her profile picture on her official Facebook page.

“So, whatever. She looks a little mature for her age. A lot of girls do nowadays,” I thought. I read in RadarOnline’s article about the E! News interview that people were accusing her of being “fake”: Either she’s had a lot of work done, or she’s older than she’s letting on. I thought that was a little obsessive for something that seemed so irrelevant to anyone’s lives.

But then, my curiosity got the better of me. As the interview went on, Stodden’s mannerisms became more … odd. She was striking ridiculous poses and practicing making coy pouty faces into the camera during their live interview. From the sound of it, she was trying really hard to make incoherent, immature responses to every question asked, whipping herself around and fluttering her hair.

Whatever voice you're giving her in your head to make fun of her right now, I guarantee it's not even as bad as hers in real life.

So I looked her up on Facebook, and I found two different pages of hers. “Courtney Stodden” and “Courtney Alexis Stodden Fanpage.” After spending just a short time on these sites, I decided there is no way one person can possibly be this stupid. Something has to be up — She has to be older, and for some reason faking her young age and total ignorance as some publicity stunt. Either that, or she’s actually 16 with the IQ of a shovel. There is no way any guy even in his mid-20s would put up with idiocy of that degree in a relationship, let alone a man who could easily be her father.

Wow, I bet that's how she always pictured it.

First off, she repeatedly refers to herself as an “inspiring” actress/photographer/model/singer/anything else she can think of to sound “good.” Even after people correct her. A normal human who wanted to be taken seriously would learn that she had made a mistake and change it. Stodden seems to only put it more prominently and more often, reinforcing the blonde bimbo persona.

She's giving me no shortage of material to back this up.

Let’s just take this exchange via Facebook comments on this photo:


And that was the exact point that I decided I needed to blog furiously about this. Not only does her long response defy all logic for how little cognitive functioning a person needs to maintain basic human mechanisms like breathing and blinking, but the incoherence of her short, afterthought comments boggles my mind.

The thing that sent me over the edge, though, was her last comment. It seemed to go just a little too far. I don’t know about you, but I think I see a zipper. “… so you should respect me and stuff.” It seems to me that any 16 year-old who’s trying to prove her maturity would avoid the whole “and stuff” default teen suffix. Its belittling, childlike, and it seems like she wanted it that way.

Um, can I take you back to your ... gutter?

But that’s just me speculating. I really don’t see why an older woman would pretend to be 16 and marry a 51 year-old. I guess I don’t see what a 51 year-old would see in a 16 year-old either … besides the platinum blonde hair and I-claim-they’re-real-but-there’s-no-way-in-hell chest.

How many bras does she have on here?

Maybe Stodden is just a really dumb teenager. And, in that case, Hutchison should probably hire a nanny or something for when he’s out of town. And not let Stodden cross the street unsupervised. E! News claims they have her birth certificate, but claiming they have a little piece of paper isn’t going to convince me. Her body definitely looks … aged, in more ways than just her development.

From her Official Facebook -- Taken when she was "13"

Either way, with celebrity stories like this which, I admit, are a guilty pleasure, I always find myself asking, “Why do I care?” I usually don’t have a good reason, but in this case I do: There’s just something too weird about her … and there’s that off chance that she’s an alien robot sent here from some distant galaxy, and her only way in to infiltrate the government is through Doug Hutchison. (She’s already defiled the flag!)

Creeping justified.