Posted in May 2012

Dear Kate: How to deal with an attention seeking friend


By Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

One of my close friends is always writing attention seeking things on Facebook and it’s becoming extremely obnoxious. In so many ways she is a great friend; she’s always there for me when I need her, she’s extremely loyal, and she makes an effort to be a good friend and go above and beyond the call of duty. Yet I just cannot seem to get past this flaw. She has so many things going for her in her life and really no reason to be sad or unhappy and yet nearly every day there’s a status saying something like, “Just wishing tomorrow will be better.” How do I talk to my friend about this, or better yet — have the personal strength to ignore it and let it roll off my back so that I can enjoy the things about her that I actually like?

Annoyed in Anaheim


Dear Annoyed in Anaheim,

You and me both, sister! “VagueBooking,” as I harrumphingly refer to it, is one of the most annoying things trending on the Internet these days. (See: harumph, and also: Vaguebooking.) I think if people walked into work each day and said to their coworkers, “I just can’t bear it anymore,” they would most certainly be brought immediately to human resources for a psychological evaluation, and mandatory “vacation.” Yet, on Facebook, it calls out to all the other attention seekers to respond with as many “Oh no, what’s wrong? Call me!”’s as you can possibly imagine. I’m just as sick of it as you are.

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Captainess Kirk: Talk Nerdy to Me

By Kathleen S. Kirk

Not too long ago, I was completely uncomfortable with voicing the extent of my nerd-girliness, even around guys I knew were definite nerds. I was terrified of being stigmatized, especially since, as So Purely French Antoine pointed out, I don’t really look like a nerd.

Imagine a 5’2” walking Talbots advertisement with oversized blue eyes, full makeup, and stilettos. That’s me. Now picture this same image gushing about being a nerd and, now, a gamer. It doesn’t quite jive, does it?

Part of the reason I was so comfortable talking to Antoine about my closet nerdy is because We spent the first month or so of our friendship chatting in Skype, since Antoine actually lives in France. He didn’t see me in person for a very long time. Also, Skype chatting is a lot like having a private conversation with someone; I didn’t feel like people were eavesdropping and judging me for being a nerd.

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On waiting at the DMV

Waiting at the DMVBy Kate E. Stephenson

The dazed look on the sea of faces was tragically comical. The befuddled expressions told the simple truth—No one understood anything. Such a simple task—license renewal—was enough to drive all common sense from (perhaps) rational brains. The underlying fear of being short one critical document or debit card stunk like the stepped-on-excrement we, the compulsorily complacent and compliant clients, were treated as. Law-abiding drivers, funding the salaries of the DMV demons, were complications to an otherwise blissfully blank day. Damn the masses. And they did.

Incited to a frenzy, expletives of fury spewing from frustrated lips, a man storms from the counter with hatred lasering from his eyes. There will be no license for him today. Cast into the world, fated to repeat the process tomorrow. Odds are he’ll have the same “customer service” agent when he returns.

There is no escape.

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Obsessed with: Katie Ermilio dresses

Kate Ermilio dressesNew York-based designer Katie Ermilio is of serious fashion pedigree—her grandfather was the personal clothier to Grace Kelly. Even though Ermilio is only in her mid-20s, she manages to capture a Kelly-esque level of sophistication in pieces that also look completely of the moment. Ermilio’s spring/summer 2012 collection is all about sherbert colors and ladylike silhouettes with unexpected details—a cut-out back here, a slit there. So while I have to thank Olivia Palermo’s blog for turning me on to this designer, I’m just sad that I will never, ever be able to afford anything Ermilio makes. Sigh.


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My CompliKAITed Life: Living at home

By Kaitlin Marie

After a year of supporting myself financially and living on my own IN A FOREIGN LAND, moving back in with my parents has been … interesting.

I don’t want to say it’s been hard because my parents are pretty easy-going. They let me have my boyfriend over (though he has to sleep on the couch), they don’t impose any kind of curfew (thankfully! seeing as I’m 24), and aside from the occasional, dirty-dish-related hiccup, we coexist harmoniously.

This is largely due to the fact that my parents are awesome. Laid back, young (they’re 45 and 46), and quick to laugh, my Mom and Dad could probably moonlight as a comedy duo. My dad, in particular, finds himself hilarious.

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Prince William praises Kate Middleton’s character, as she praises his six pack?

Kate Middleton and Prince WilliamPrince William says wonderful things about his wife Kate Middleton in the “20/20″ interview with Katie Couric that aired last night. While discussing his mother, Princess Diana, William said of his wedding, “It’s the one time since she’s died, where I’ve thought to myself it would be fantastic if she was here, and just how sad really for her, more than anything, not being able to see it. I think she would have loved the day and I think, hopefully, she’d be very proud of us both. I’m just very sad that she’s never going to get a chance to meet Kate.”

So what does Middleton have to say about her husband?

As news of Prince William’s heartfelt interview spreads, Now Magazine has run an awkwardly-timed piece on how much Middleton loves her husband’s … six pack.

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Cait on Culture: What’s your summer jam?

By Caitlin Abber

The summer jam is as crucial to summer as BBQs, wedges, and blockbusters. Summer jams of the past have included Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” Third Eye Blind’s “Semi Charmed Kind of Life,” and LFO’s “Summer Girls.” If any of those songs come on at a backyard soiree or a day in the beach, the crowd is likely to be transported back in time to a year when Abercrombie and Fitch was a relevant cultural reference. And isn’t that the point of the summer jam? To bring us to a magical happy place, where we are younger, tanner, and having more fun than we actually are?

To that end, I put together a list of 5 songs I think are in the running to be the Summer Jam of 2012.

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Kate of the Week: Kate Hakala, the inquiring mind behind ExpliKate

Kate HakalaThere are so many fascinating Kates out there. Every week, is resolving to introduce you to a new one. This week, I would like you to meet Kate Hakala, 24, of Brooklyn, NY—who you know a bit from her column ExpliKate, where she’s explained everything from uncontrollable tears to deja vu.

What do you do?

I read and eat. A lot. But seriously, for money, I am a yoga studio receptionist and a freelance editor of audiobooks.

How did you get started in your line of work or study?

I studied English and Creative Writing at UMass Amherst, so I always knew eventually I would fall into something related to the written word and all of the beautiful ways it manifests. I’m a stickler for details and continuity, which bodes well in the editing field. The receptionist gig, though not related to my field, has made me realize that I’m also pretty good at chatting up human beings and creating odd, yet pleasant bonds with strangers. Of course, my “career” is just getting started and I haven’t quite made up my mind. Ain’t it always.

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Kate Amend, documentary film editor

Of all the movies that screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, zero were directed by women. However, a third were apparently edited by women. The New York Times ran an interesting article over the weekend about why film editing has always welcomed women with open arms. One of the leading theories: that back in the day it was considered akin to sewing and therefore was seen as potential women’s work. But some of the theories in the article are more flattering, too.

Mary Lampson, who edited “Harlan County U.S.A” explains, “Many good editors are sort of introverted, shy people, observers of life. They’re very funny. They’re ironic. And all those traits are what you need to be a good editor. I don’t think women have a monopoly on those traits, of course. But women tend to be more like that than men.”

Dr. Michael Mills, an associate professor of psychology at Loyola-Marymount University agreed.

“To be a good film editor,” he said, “you need to select the best takes, and women are better at reading and interpreting facial expressions of emotions than are men. My guess is that perhaps high levels of both systematizing and empathizing are characteristic of the best film editors.”

I, of course, was most interested in the part of the article though that talked about Kate Amend (that’s her on the right above), a documentary film editor who cut the Academy Award-winning film “The Long Way Home” as well 2006′s “Thin.”

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Adventures in Greening: Greener on the Go in Five Days

By Catherine Moran

Living a greener lifestyle is a conscious choice. It requires some effort, but most of that effort lies in getting started. Once you’ve crossed that threshold, it’s hard to stop. It’s a lifestyle that forces you to be more creative, one that requires you to be self- aware and conscious of what is going on around you; not only that, but it’s a more affordable lifestyle in the long run. In these difficult economic times, choosing a green lifestyle means spending less money, and learning to do things for yourself, be it cooking or DIY projects.

If you’re thinking about going green, there are a few small things you can do to start. Aim to make one green change every day. Some green changes do require you to buy more stuff in order to cut down on future purchases. So, I’ll call this a mini-shopping edition of Adventures in Greening.

Here are some suggestions for ways to Green yourself on the go before the weekend:

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Making the Glass Ceiling Transparent: Katharine Blodgett, Invents Nonreflective Glass

Katharine BlodgettBy Kate E. Stephenson

The Feminist Movement has been fought on many fronts by many people, male and female. Writing this column, I have learned that Kates have been forerunners on every battlefield. This week we go to the microscopic level to take a better look at Katharine Blodgett, and her contribution to Women’s Liberation.

Born in 1898, Katharine was the first woman to earn her Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1926—before the age of 30, no less! Working with a mentor, Nobel Prize-winning Dr. Irving Langmuir, Blodgett also became the first woman scientist hired at General Electric’s research laboratory. As if these accomplishments were not enough, her work with Dr. Langmuir led to an amazing breakthrough in the manufacture of glass products—the world’s first 100% transparent or invisible glass. Improving upon Langmuir’s work in monomolecular coating, Katharine devised a useful application for his until then mostly useless process. (Who says women aren’t as smart as men? Haters!) Her patented method has been used to create everything from eyeglasses to artificial rain (don’t ask me how!).

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9 reasons we adore Catherine Keener and can’t wait for her HBO show

Catherine KeenerHBO is seriously on a roll. Just as “Girls” and “Veep” weaseled their way into my DVR lineup, the network has announced that it is fast-tracking development for a new show that has me absolutely giddy. The as-of-yet-unnamed series will star the amazing Catherine Keener (“The 40 Year Old Virgin,” “Cyrus”), who will also produce, and will be written and directed by mind-bending auteur Charlie Kaufman (“Adaptation,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”).

Keener and Kaufman first teamed up for “Being John Malkovich” in 1999, and have worked together many times over the years. Now, they are tag-teaming on this project, with Kaufman serving as executive producer. The show sounds appropriately quirky. As Deadline reports, it is “an exploration of one day in a woman’s life and how the events leading up to it can affect, or not, the reality in which she lives.”

I firmly believe that Keener is one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood. Honestly, I just can’t get enough of her. After the jump, nine reasons this actress is truly the bee’s knees.

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