some the wiser

IMG_1719The morning after I turned 24 my extensions had turned against me.

Autumns are always a little rough for me. My birthday is in September, which never fails to put me in an existential haze. And no matter how many years I’ve been out of school (three) that feeling of starting a new grade never fully goes away. I start to feel the weight of a change beyond my control. Who was I, who am I, does it really matter… Everything Old starts to die to make room for something New. But that can be beautiful, or so they say.

The week of my 24th birthday was the usual mix of celebration and apprehension, with a short congratulatory period pancaking to an idle anxiety. Sure, I’d accomplished some things in the past year. But what would I do next? I was back on the job hunt, newly single, another year older and this was all sounding far too familiar…

The seasons were refusing to change. I was refusing to stop using my air conditioning. Other people’s lives were advancing all around me and the most exciting things that had happened in my life recently were that my mother had sent me a care package of Kraft mac n cheese and I got a membership at Planet Fitness (a contradiction not lost on me but in fact one that I find representative of my life philosophy. Everything in moderation, sure, but still everything I want). With more time to myself, that is, less time working, I started working out. I realized I was in better shape than I’d thought, and that running is a good way to take out aggression. Plus it burns off the booze! I guess I always knew these things, but if you remember me before I moved to NYC you know I couldn’t run a mile without my heart nearly exploding from my thoracic cavity (I found that word on wikipedia. Did I use it right? I’m not a scientist.) Now I can run like two miles while sexting and still have the energy to masturbate in the shower after. I’m a regular Florence Griffith Joyner.

 me rn

OK, so maybe not. But I still consider it an accomplishment. Let me have this, okay?

Somewhere around the end of last month, Alex and I fell into a lull on our Big Project, the ever-dreaded Writer’s Paralysis leading us both to send each other terribly transparent, self-deprecating gchats from our respective caves of neuroses. I had become pretty irritable by this point, but I think that had something to do with PMS, and as much as I love her, probably something to do with my mom coming to stay the weekend at the end of September. My lack of patience is still something I really need to work on, especially when it comes to someone who does so much for me. I mean, she birthed me, and even though I didn’t deserve it, she bought me these cool knock-off crocs.
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Susan Miller gave us fair warning that October would be rife with hurdles, disappointments, or possibly blessings disguised as the worst fucking thing that ever happened. The jury is still out on the blessings part, but I felt the tension in the air from the very beginning. Granted, I always feel tension at the first of the month because the words “rent day” and “freelancing” go together about as well as Virgo and Aries (that one’s for you, Susan). This time, I had a lot to look forward to, thus a lot of planning and stressing. With grand plans come great expectations and I have to be prepared for every possible outcome.

Every fall (as in twice so far), Sarah Sassafrass, Jeffrey Scott, and Justin aka Boy Reverend come visit me for a handful of days. They’re my fam away from fam, my Team outside of Big Things. When they visited last year, I had the cheapest mattress from Ikea lying directly on my floor, we made a huge mess, and because I started a new job that weekend we didn’t get to spend as much time together as I’d hoped. This time I had the Ikea mattress on an Ikea bed, fun things scheduled for every night of their visit, and I told them to bring they own damn towels. The Monday before they arrived I was feeling equipped for a houseful of guests, but I still didn’t have a job. So I looked on craigslist, found a post I liked for a development associate position at a production company, and applied. I interviewed Wednesday and I felt good about it, but hey, I’d been wrong before. I didn’t hear back the next day, so I decided to say “fucket yolo” and go to Hannah’s salon to get my hair texturized.

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It’s always a sight for sore eyes when I see those colorful heads of hair standing at the Starbucks across from the Megabus stop. I was feeling ready to party, we went home and changed for some party, prepared to deal with the continued hiatus of the L train. After drinking at Winston’s until about 1 am and getting a belated birthday present from Sass (a collar that says BITCH), we thought we’d finally hit the street. A walk, a wait, two trains, and another walk later, we arrived at the location of the party, only to see that…it wasn’t there. We had the address right. We were standing in front of it. But the doors were shut and there was no one inside, as far as we could tell. Bummed, drunk, and weirded out, we headed to The Woods to drown our defeat in pickleback shots, but not before seeing who I was pret-ty sure was Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development fame scurrying down the street ahead of us. Despite my confusion at how I always end up at this bar and that I was convinced something must be wrong with me, we actually had a pretty decent two hours. We closed the place down and it was the first time I publicly made out with a stranger since being single. It was not as fun as it sounds. But there was a dog in the bar, so it all came out in the wash, I guess.

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Hannah didn’t realize until much later that that was not her boyfriend.

That Friday was a huge milestone for the closet comedy nerd inside me. I had my first improv class at Upright Citizens Brigade, and at 400 bucks a course, this is no small feat. UCB has been a launch pad for many of your favs, and even though it may not be at the top of my Life Goals List to be on Saturday Night Live, I’d probably rank it somewhere in the top 100. But really, as a writer with a “performance background” it’s pretty much always been a dream of mine. So when I went to the training center at 3:30 for my three hour class, I was a little bit nervous. About as nervous as I was this time last year about my topless gogo dancing casting call, that is to say, I felt awkward for about five minutes before breaking the ice and flirting with all the girls. Of course, about halfway through the course I got a call back about that position I interviewed for. I had gotten the job. Yay! But there was just one catch. No! I’d have to be available every day until 6:30 and continuing the class at UCB at this time was a no-go. Fuuuuuck. Of course, I took the job with only slight hesitation, switched out of my UCB class and bore the fees I incurred with gritted teeth.

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That night, after buying some new accessories ^ at Patricia Field, I had Jeff dress me in my look for a night at Bossa Nova (the photos of which you will see next year sometime because it takes Sarah that long to edit them, ahem)

Every part of the weekend that I wasn’t in FULL LOOK from head to toe per Jeff’s insistence, I was lounging in bed, moaning off hangovers. We pretty much only got up to eat Popeye’s and go shopping on Knickerbocker, where I showed the gang what Bushwick life is really like, and where Sarah almost shat her pants. My favorite find of the day, and the only thing I could afford, was a teeny tiny “nurses outfit” in the Halloween costume sale section of Shopper’s World, that was really more like a nurse’s bra and slutty nurse’s mini skirt…they wear those in the ER, right? After getting drunk on Evan Williams and sending some of the best sexy photos I’ve ever taken of myself, we went to Passion Lounge for the marriage of Ultra Velvet and Shock Value.  Obviously the whole thing was great until the next morning, when our fish bowled brains had shriveled to raisins and I found a twitter mention from a hater calling me a whore. Sometimes it’s hard being a star.

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Because I had scurried over to my ex’s house that night (in a bikini top and socks with my shoes in hand…let’s not talk about it) I spent the next day blazed, walking around in an oversized boy’s t-shirt, a leather peplum, and arch-splitting heels that I couldn’t take off for the sake of The Look. The only saving grace of the entire day, besides waiting in line for 30 minutes to use a piss-stained Starbucks bathroom of course, was the kielbasa sandwich I devoured at Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village. It made me glad to be an EX-vegetarian (a refreshing break from kinda feeling guilty all of the time), and made me miss the kolbász my Hungarian gramma used to put in our kapusta. I tried to make a vegan version of this once and it came out SO abominably terrible I felt I’d disgraced my ancestors and vowed never to try it again.

IMG_1260_2Stoner wear/boner wear

After not being able to sleep at all before my first day at work, I spent 8 hours staring into my computer screen like a fool and then scurried home for my last night with my visitors. I’d looked like a bucket of horse manure all fucking day but I had also promised myself that I’d have Sarah take my Christmas card pictures with Kos n Gon before she left (I plan on being an adult this year and letting other adults know, namely my family, that I am not an ungrateful, useless person that forgot about them when I moved to the Big City). After achieving some spectacular results that I wish I could show you but won’t, the four of us sat in bed with Gonny, ate two pizzas and watched Clueless. In typical fucking fashion.

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All that week it was work, work, work, dates, dates, dates. Including my first ever Tinder date, a concept that both excited and terrified me. I love sexxxting and meeting new people and talking about myself and eating fried chicken with strangers so you’d THINK dating would be my thing but truthfully, I’d only gone on one blind date in all my years of having Facebook, Twitter, OKcupid, and access to other people’s Grindr accounts. The first guy hit me up on Twitter, turned out to be a complete psycho and put me off the whole idea for a while. Until Tinder came along and I made it my personal mission to slide the entire city of New York to the left. The way I see it with these things, someone is only safe to approach if their profile appears self deprecating, effortlessly ironic, or no-fucks-given to a strong degree. I think it was Groucho Marx that said “I wouldn’t fuck anyone from a social network that would have someone like me for a member,” to paraphrase. Anyway, I had an amazing time. I got free Pies N Thighs, and shocked myself with my ability to have a great time while completely sober with a guy who doesn’t drink. Weird, right? (Yes)

By the weekend, I realized I’d spent all my free time in the last 7 days either naked or in belly shirts, so the stress must have been good for my figure. I’d been sustaining on dick pics and Miller High Life (cause that’s all I could afford) and I thought I looked just great, which is why I was AGHAST that PaperMag put up a picture of me from last Friday’s Ultra Velvet looking like a toothless hillbilly. IRL I looked spooky and swagadocious and the paparazzi just caught me at a bad time. The perils of fame, y’all.

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Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 9.53.38 PMWho needs a jack o lantern?

That Saturday, after emptying my pockets on a prix fixe brunch, reeling off of one bong rip and watching straight boys play GTA,  I decided to get my look together for Kelela at 285. We pregamed at Moe’s and I ate free pizza while annoying, if cute, Australian boys argued with my concept of society. After trying to run away from them on the street, failing and feeling kinda bad afterward, we ended up at 285. The thing about 285 Kent: the inevitable sighting of the boy you do not want see, followed by the boy you kinda really wanna see. Both are disconcerting, and by 3:45 when Kelela left the stage I was overstimulated and ready to die.  But the night wasn’t a total loss. The music was amazing as expected, I spent the night in Reid’s bed after he paid for all my drinks, and at some point I took a selfie with a golden retriever.

IMG_1529_2The next morning, even though I found myself gnawing on slim jim and watching the Kardashians as usual, I felt like something had changed. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t really had that much to drink the night before. Maybe it was watching the leaves blow across the parking lot of the food bazaar. The air tasted different. Did I feel capable? Hopeful? Maybe I could act like a teenager and still get things done. Maybe I could be free but not lonely. Nope, as I walked down Irving avenue towards my apartment, I realized it was just autumn. I was still poor, I was still confused. I’d taken two steps forward and a five picklebacks. But hey, I was still alive. And idk, maybe I was ready to write again.

money squad

kat st. kat, mcdonalds, steel drums, fab disaster, fab, disaster
Times are tough and the struggle is real. I just bought my daily red bull with change I found between the couch cushions. I had stale Pop Chips for lunch. Work is less frequent and my most recent paycheck is floating somewhere between the accounting office that printed it and my particular postal district. The only way I can pay cover for clubs is when I find cash on the ground. Phone calls home have become a lot less fun for everyone involved. I eat fast food for literally every meal (see exhibit A above, in which our hero can be found on foot in a Mcdonald’s drive thru at 3 am last Friday).
By the beginning of last week I’d fallen off my 30-day Calisthenics Challenge and replaced it with a slightly less strenuous Crunches and Squats Every Two or Three Days. I figure it’s better than nothing, and it has come in handy seeing as I rarely wear “actual clothes.” It’s definitely not making my thighs any smaller, but whenever that worry enters my mind I counter it with the most powerful image of all: Beyonce.
By the time Saturday rolled around I was glad I had at least somewhat kept up with my workout, as I had agreed to make a scantily clad appearance in the new Buckwheat Groats video, mostly because A) my boyfriend, the infamous Penis Bailey, had requested my presence and B) who am I to deny the world an unobscured view of me in a Baby Phat bikini waving around an AK-47? I spent the day at Shopper’s World looking for just the right accessories, pinned 15 pounds of weave in my head, glued on a set of fake nails and managed to convince Bill to come get drunk with me on the Brooklyn rooftop set. It was awkward at first, because it was 8 pm and I was sober and surrounded by strangers, all of whom were wearing shirts. An hour later I had a drink, I was waving a fake gun and a VERY REAL BOOTY in front of a camera and it felt like just another Saturday night. kat st. kat, buckwheat groats, factory studios, fab disaster ak-47, kat st. kat, buckwheat groats, tom hanks, bill, fab disasterEventually even Reid and Patrick showed up after their respective work commitments to drink liquor on camera and boost general morale. After only 5 hours of fake dancing we all went to Dizzyland (naturally), where I later realized I had stolen the Wang Chain I spent hours slaving to make for my man, who was only on his first day of shooting. I had Patrick keep the chain safe before I caught a cab from the party rather early, Wang around my neck, stripper shoes in hand, running on the outer edges of my swollen feet.wang chainOn Sunday I ditched the weave and showed up for the second day of shooting in booty shorts and a cut-out bathing suit (so, church clothes basically).
I don’t want to give anything away, but the concept of this video involves a VERY MAJOR FAMOUS CELEBRITY who WE ALL GREW UP WATCHING AND ADMIRING and whose likeness I AM VERY LUCKY TO HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF SHAKING MY BODY ON, NEAR AND AROUND.
That’s all I’ll say for now.
kat st. kat, buckwheat groats, tom hanks, fab disaster, booty(behind the scenes photo stolen from Lil Dinky)
MEANWHILE it’s official that the Groats are playing the GATHERING OF THE JUGGALOS this year, which is incredibly fucking ridiculous. Apparently they even have a shoutout in this official infomercial but I wouldn’t know for sure because it’s 28 minutes long and there is no chance of me watching it.
That Sunday night, after spending the day drinking Georgi in a basement and having stacks of hundreds thrown at my butt, I saw no reason not to meet up with my friends for a quick trip to Greenhouse. But by that point I was completely out of it. I led an a cappella rendition of Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 19 on the L train and took this picture on the dance floor
kat st. kat, greenhouse, fab disaster, baseball…before leaving early and going to McDonald’s.

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Yolo

THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO IN NEW YORK, AM I RIGHT? But sometimes that’s the problem. Though not nearly as busy as my summer schedule, I’ve had plenty of invites over the last couple of weeks to keep me busy. Labor day weekend brought the promise of ample nonsense as I had finished my internship and figured I might as well cushion the blow of my impending unemployment. I was going to go out to bars and parties and shows and the beach, and they were all going to be at least half amazing. What it turned into was an anticlimactic sequence of events that stretched into the next several days, leaving me with a pointless hangover from the holiday weekend to fashion week.

It had been the plan to go to Ft. Tilden on Labor Day for weeks, and we weren’t about to back out even though the weather was on some bullshit. I had gone out the night before for juuust enough time to drink a Raspberry Lemonade Four Loko, make 1.5 friends, get a headache and go home. I woke up the next “morning” and took my time getting ready. I probably made some fried rice since I pretty much eat that every day now (a segment on cheap and easy meals for the near-homeless and nutritionally concerned to come at a later date). Never mind the sad image of me squeezing the last of the sriracha into my mouth while eating my first of three meals that day consisting of 98% carbohydrates. I had hope for this beach trip. I wore my favorite sequined hat and brought my signature BUTT/FACE towel that my mom got me from Big Lots. I had sunscreen. I had, like, a book. It somehow didn’t matter that we weren’t going to get to the beach until 4:30. I was even convinced that the cloud cover would relent and we’d have at least a few hours of drinking in the sun.

Um, it didn’t. But for some reason I am oddly dedicated to celebrating every single national holiday to the fullest. On the Fourth of July I woke Patrick up and made him carry a box of Corona and a bag of ice from his apartment to Central Park, just so we could sit and drink while making fun of people LIKE REAL AMERICANS. To answer your question, no, it didn’t occur to me that we were drinking Mexican beer. We also forgot a bottle opener. The point is, doing cliche shit on holidays for whatever reason makes me feel actualized. So when we got to the beach and saw Natalia leaving and a bunch of storm clouds rolling in, Hannah, Winston and I sat and enjoyed our mixed drinks in defiance. None of us brought jackets so we wrapped ourselves in towels. It was actually pretty cold considering the lack of sun and the strong winds and the fact that we were sort of getting rained on. The weather held out long enough, though, for us to leave the beach and troll a nearby park until about 9, when we took the wrong bus back to Brooklyn and ended up at a part of the 1 train I didn’t know existed.


Later that night my brother got sick, probably because we drank about four types of liquor that day. I tried to force feed him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches but he ended up just puking in my sink, so he and his girlfriend went home to recoup. I met up with my friend Jeffrey who was visiting from North Carolina and proceded to bar-hop in Bushwick. We were denied entrance everywhere because it was last call.

That’s Jeffrey posing beside what I believe is the tag “Young Rectum.”

I spent the next day in my apartment, watching TV and probably eating more rice. I left Jeffrey with his more enthusiastic friends and the promise that we’d go out again on Wednesday. I don’t remember exactly what we had planned. A party at Thompson LES maybe? So I got “fancy” with a mini dress/platform combo I’ve worn more than once this summer, and waited to meet him in the city. By the time he was on his way it was after midnight, which would have been fine, except that the L train near my house wasn’t running after midnight and the Knickerbocker M station is closed for renovations until 2050. I had to take a SHUTTLE from Dekalb to Lorimer street all jam packed with entry level alts and teen gay runaways. Traumatic, to say the least. By the time I met Jeffrey and Kate at Union Square and we drove to the Lower East Side…the party was completely over. We spent the rest of the night drinking vodka out of a Smart water bottle, chasing it with Diet Cranberry Ocean Spray and taking pictures of ourselves doing stupid shit. I stumbled home around 5:30.

It’s important to take lots of pictures of your outfit when you know no one is going to see you that night. Oh, um, here I am hanging out with a Pontiac. 

Days later, the same thing would happen when my friends and I planned to go to a fashion week after party we were on the list for, but after pre-gaming (I have got to grow out of calling it that) and taking an hour’s worth of train rides, arrived just as they closed the list (What does that even mean? Do you know who I am?!). As it turns out, the only reason we left the house that night was so Winston could get a $100 ticket for jumping a subway turnstile. It hasn’t been his week.

So what am I to do? Leave my house before midnight? Show up early for things? As simple as that sounds, I can’t justify putting in all that extra effort just to spend more money on drinks. It cramps my style. I also have about $30 to my name. So maybe fuck showing up at all.  Who needs friends and fabulous company? I’ll just be aimlessly roaming the streets taking pictures of myself with my arm around inanimate objects.