The 10 Weeks Project March 2, 2011Posted by Katie Oh in : Such As , add a comment
I looked at a calendar the other day and realized just exactly how little time I have left in this city, the one that I swore would make me fabulous and fantastic and better than my small-town roots. I’ve undoubtedly become more fabulous in the past four years, and my childish ego has worn away, allowing me to make peace with the small-town environment I’ve grown to appreciate and–perhaps–even value more than life in the city.
New York has certainly contributed to my growth, and in these four years, I’ve seen a lot of things here that I’m not sure I’ll ever see anywhere ever again. That brings me to the actual point of this post: I have 10 weeks left. May 17th I will be in a car driving back to my hometown in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, somewhere where I won’t be able to see a gentleman with a cat on his head or be lunging distance from Colin Meloy in a hotel lobby.
So: The 10 Weeks Project. Each week, for these 10 weeks, I will be doing something that I cannot do anywhere else. I’ve got some pretty glorious adventures on my schedule. I’m sure I’ll regret not doing all the New York Things in the future sometime, so I may as well go out big and do as much as I can!
Trying to be a Feminist and a Football Fan February 28, 2011Posted by Katie Oh in : Such As , add a comment
I originally wrote this for my internship at BUST Magazine and am re-posting it here for some semblance of posterity, and also because the Steelers lost the Super Bowl and they now have an excuse to can Roethlisberger.
I am a Pittsburgh native, which means I am obligated to spend every Sunday of the late summer into early fall watching the Steelers play (and this season, beat) various other teams in the NFL. This season, though, I’ve been finding it hard to push aside my ideals and totally support my team. As some of you may know, our star quarterback (and former golden boy) Ben Roethlisberger was accused of rape this past spring. Surprisingly, this was not the first time this happened: in 2008, a civil suit was brought against him after he allegedly assaulted a woman in a Las Vegas hotel room. Steeler Nation was ready to give him a pass: surely false accusations do happen. This could be one of those. But then he was accused again, this time in a club in a Georgia college town. It was March, the season was over, the magnifying glass was put to the allegation. The Rooneys were allegedly furious. The fate of Roethlisberger hung in the balance. Then charges were never filed. The victim sent a letter to the police saying she no longer wanted to press charges, but made it clear that she did not retract her accusation. Roethlisberger was suspended by the NFL for six games (later reduced to four) and people, slowly, seemed to forget.
But I haven’t. Every time I watch a game, my stomach turns when the camera zooms in on Roethlisberger grinning or pumping his fist in the air. Why, in order to cheer on my team, do I have to cheer on someone who seems to be some sort of sexual predator? When Haoli Ngata of the Baltimore Ravens broke Roethlisberger’s nose in a game in December, I cheered. Maybe Mike Tomlin would send in Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon, maybe I could cheer for someone who doesn’t allegedly corner women in club bathrooms. But then Roethlisberger went back onto the field–and the commentators acted like he was some kind of hero for it. In fact, in every game, it’s mentioned like it’s something he didn’t put into motion: the commentators say he’s had a rough season. A hard time. An image to repair. As though this is just another motorcycle accident, not a series of accusations of crimes.
Why didn’t the Rooneys fire Roethlisberger? Or pull a move like they did with Santonio Holmes (after his multiple substance-abuse suspensions) and trade him away? The answer is obvious: he’s a good athlete. But it puts me–and surely, many others in the Steeler Nation–in between a rock and a hard place. In order for someone like Hines Ward–who I love dearly–to get that football down the field, the pass needs to be made. Roethlisberger has to throw it. If I want the team to win the Super Bowl, I need those passes to be made. I can’t cheer on a team and somehow not cheer on its quarterback. The thing that gets me even more than the actual accusations is the attitudes of some of my fellow football fans. I watched the Steelers-Jets game with an acquaintance who, when the commentators brought up Roethlisberger’s “hard time” this season, said “I’ve been to that town in Georgia, those girls are straight-up whores,” as though that was a legitimate excuse for him. The attitude of “she’s lying” or “but he’s still a good player” or, worse, “even if it did happen, she deserved it” is what puts me off the most. Why do I have to bite my tongue or somehow compromise my basic morals to be able to fully support a team?
To Recap… February 26, 2011Posted by Katie Oh in : Such As , 1 comment so far
Hello, world. It’s me again. I should probably keep this thing up, should I not?
In the time since last updating this delightful little blog, I… moved back to Brooklyn, endured a heat wave without AC, started writing my thesis, turned 21 in a night that involved expensive fancy cocktails and 2 am bacon, got linked to by Bitch Magazine and Ms. Magazine, ate the most expensive steak I will ever eat, forgot to turn in my voter registration form, didn’t celebrate Halloween, kept writing my thesis, began my graduate school applications, had my first panic attack, broke my previous one-shift liquor sales record, didn’t go Black Friday shopping, saw Black Swan the day it premiered, met and sat next to Amy Sedaris for six hours, quit my job, got a new one, took a state civil service test, finished my graduate school applications, went to Boston, got linked to by the Huffington Post, drank by myself on Valentine’s Day, got rejected by four of the eight graduate schools I applied to, and now I am here.
Here is a picture of me from Boston, taken by the amazing Tricia Gilbride:
Where do I go from here? With no graduate school acceptances, I’ll likely be moving back to Pittsburgh in two and a half months. I’m going to need to keep myself occupied, and what better way to do that than a blog? A little bit of food, a little bit of fashion, a little bit of feminism, and a lot of FABULOUS.
Outfit of the Day (July 31st 2010) August 2, 2010Posted by Katie Oh in : Such As , 3comments
Apparently I’m not very good at putting together outfits, as this is only the second one I’ve had the courage to post after wearing. I dug this shirt out of my closet a few days ago and realized it would go perfectly with this skirt, and an outfit was born!
Now, obviously I am fat. That makes the waistband of the skirt a little hard to properly place–anywhere else and my top half would have looked extra-lumpy. Unfortunately, this does make my lower half look super-big, but it’s pretty much the best I could do. I think it’s a good start. And I like the color palette here, but next time I might try a black top to fight the issue of the lumpiness.
More pictures after the jump!
The Last Year July 31, 2010Posted by Katie Oh in : Such As , 2comments
As most of you know, I am completing my final year in school this year. I was so excited to move to New York when I was 17, excited to get away from my small-town roots and really become inundated in the big city.
Things I set out to do that I’ve actually accomplished:
- eat a lot of cupcakes from various places
- intern somewhere awesome [holla, BUST Magazine!]
- cram into a tiny basement apartment surrounded by a bunch of poets/writers for a ~reading
- participate in a reading
- have a super-glamorous moment [accomplished when, one day, I was running pickups and looking fabulous]
Things I set out to do that I haven’t accomplished:
- see everything in the city
So, given that I have one year [or, well, to be more accurate, about eight and a half months] left, I want to make sure I see everything that I can.
Things I want to do/see that I haven’t done/seen yet:
- Coney Island [I don't know how I've managed to not see it, actually]
- The Cloisters
- The Natural History Museum
- Take a picture with the giant stone lions outside the NYPL
- Have a picnic in Central Park
- Go to a designer boutique knowing full well that I can’t buy anything, but act like I can anyway
I know this can’t even be the half of it. I’m sure I’ll add to this list as the year goes along, but my goal as of now is to have a ~fun activity to partake in at least every weekend.
So, I ask you, [my few] readers of this blog, what do you think I should do that I haven’t done yet?
Paint it Red July 9, 2010Posted by Katie Oh in : Such As , 4comments
I’m a redhead. Kind of. I’ve always considered myself to be a redhead, that is. It’s a bold color that can be amped up or toned down, and there’s always a little bit of a mystery with a redhead. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. I’m pale with freckles, so it’s a color that manages to suit me in a bevy of shades. Want to take a trip down memory lane?
That was my hair color in high school. I’m not even kidding. I looked like a crazy person. I guess I was a crazy person. Also, I wore that little purple flower clip in my hair almost every day my junior year. Again, a crazy person. You really should have seen my fashion sense back then… I would wear knee-length skirts with knee-high striped socks and ballet flats. Basically, a still-wanting-to-look-goth faux-ballerina. I can’t even really justify it or begin to explain it any way better than that.
But I digress. I decided to make a change. More after the jump, as well as some more [equally hilarious, Myspace-like] pictures from days ~gone by.
The Five-Year Plan July 3, 2010Posted by Katie Oh in : Such As , add a comment
I feel like people in their college years get this a lot. Where do you want to be in five years? What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to do after you graduate? What’s your ideal career? What careers would you be willing to settle for? Is it a career or a job? Do you have an anxiety disorder from all these questions yet?
I’ve been thinking a lot about mine lately, and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to try to hammer out. How heavily do I consider a backup plan? How miserable am I willing to be to pay off my student loans? What’s the ideal situation, and how do I take that into account in relation to my backup plans?
There’s a lot of questions to consider. However, I have been able to boil it down to two plans.
The ideal right now:
Now: Apply for MFA programs this fall.
Spring 2011: Get into MFA program with full funding. Graduate with BFA.
Spring 2013 [or 2014]: Graduate with MFA.
Fall 2013 [or 2014]: Come back to Pittsburgh, work job I currently work seasonally, while applying for more jobs.
[At some point] Begin adjunct faculty work.
[All through this time period, be sending things out for, and hopefully getting, publication.]
This would, hopefully within 10 years, lead to my having enough publications [maybe a book deal?] to get a full-time position.
Now: Apply for MFA programs this fall.
Spring 2011: Get rejected from programs. Graduate with BFA.
Fall 2011: Move back to Pittsburgh, work job I currently work seasonally, apply for more MFA programs.
Spring 2012: Get rejected and keep applying or get accepted, and continue with ideal plan.
People always tell me “I thought if you wanted to be a writer, you just had to write.” This is true in some aspects, but also quite condescending to hear. Of course I write. But I have to be able to survive somehow, preferably without losing my sanity.
You five-year plan really depends on you. I have friends who just aimlessly travel throughout the country and find little jobs here and there. If you’re personable and can thrive in that lack of structure, that is wonderful. I can’t quite do that, I like a plan. It’s been good to get one figured out. Now I just have to do it.
Outfit of the Day (June 25th, 2010) July 1, 2010Posted by Katie Oh in : Such As , 2comments
This was my first real attempt at putting an outfit together while thinking about all the elements going into it.
I saw this shirt at Target, on clearance for $5, and thought it would go well with the bag. A bit of shoulder detail that looks more “metal” [anyone remember those pyramid bracelets/belts from their junior high goth years? I think this is the grown up version of those] in contrast to the light softness of the bag.
Unfortunately the outfit wasn’t exactly the best. I think next time I’m going to wear it with a high-waisted skirt [which would hide some of that awkward cling around my belly] and with different sandals. My original plan had been these black, strappy kitten heels that I bought literally 5 years ago, but I couldn’t find them before I had to leave. I also think I might wear some kind of fun-colored necklace next time, too, to add a pop of color. Or maybe I’ll just leave the red lips to do their thing.
On Being Unapologetically Fat June 21, 2010Posted by Katie Oh in : Such As , 2comments
I originally wrote this as an assignment for my Think Piece class. What I discovered was that it kind of became my personal mantra.
I am unapologetically fat. In this new age of weight-loss everywhere, of low-fat, low-carb, no-carb food, I refuse to stoop to the level everyone else seems to want me to. Fat is one of the last acceptable forms of discrimination in American society. “Thin” has a connotation of beautiful, gorgeous, and successful, “fat” signals lazy, undisciplined, and ugly. Maybe some of the criticism of fat people comes from a “good place,” and maybe I’m unhealthy in my fatness. But why is that anyone else’s business? It isn’t. What’s more, I feel some of the greatest critics of fatness are insecure fat people themselves.
I was watching the Biggest Loser, the weight-loss reality show on NBC, as a contestant in her early 20s melodramatically sobbed. She’d been fat her whole life, never got asked on a date, never went to a prom, never had a boyfriend, and she “wanted her life back.”
I rolled my eyes. I was fat in high school, and I had no trouble. I got asked to the prom (though, as a high school anarchist, I chose not to go), I had boyfriends. I couldn’t help but think this crying girl on television was faking. What if she was just a boring person? What if, instead of accepting or trying to change her personality, she blamed her problems on being fat? I wanted to tell her that losing weight doesn’t rid you of all your problems—in fact, she would probably just find new ones.
I hate shows like the Biggest Loser because fat becomes the enemy—the thing about yourself you should hate. If a contestant loses 5 pounds one week instead of the 20 their partner loses, they’re shamed—which only reinforces the problem of the self-hating mindset. They never sit the contestants down for a pep talk about having confidence in themselves at any size. They just keep repeating that weight loss is the only road to self-acceptance, the only way to validate yourself.
I see the looks I get from people sometimes, evaluating my hips and belly, and I wonder if they know that I ran a 5k race at Thanksgiving. But would even that knowledge change their mind? I think people are afraid that if they become fat, they will lose their friends, and all respect from other people. That wouldn’t happen with the people they already know. As for the rest? It’s their loss. Run with me.
Designing a Wardrobe (Around a Bag) June 19, 2010Posted by Katie Oh in : Such As , 2comments
So, being as that I will essentially have to use this bag for the rest of my days to feel all right about the money I spent on it, I knew it had to be one that will go with everything. With the help of Polyvore, a website designed to help budding fashionistas assemble wonderful outfits, I checked my theory.
I think this would make a good basic school outfit. I don’t own these items, obviously, but I own similar ones. The bag, coupled with the dark jeans, gives off a slightly dressy look, while the shoes and cardigan underscore the comfort and ease aspect.
I often wear a similar outfit to work, with leggings underneath when it’s chilly outside.
What about for a nice night out at a play? I love the ivory color of the waistband on this dress.
Or just a casual dinner out in the summertime.
Okay, maybe it doesn’t go with everything. But I totally wouldn’t leave the house in something like this.