on quotations and conversations – fall 2017 edition

(At TJ Maxx)

J: If we start pulling all these pillows out we could have a fort. Should I start ?

Dad: Kate, where do you keep the iron?

K: Spare room closet.

Dad: I looked, but I didn’t…

K: Second shelf

Dad: Are you sure? Because…


Dad: Oh, yup, there it is

Mom: Katelyn, there’s a hole in this wash cloth. Or is it a burn mark?

K: WHAT? Those are brand new Kate Spade towels

Mom: Oh wait maybe it’s a symbol. Oh! It’s a spade for Kate Spade! How adorable.

K: OMG everyone is moving out tomorrow, and I am going back to living alone for the rest of my life with Abby.

(Listening to the radio)

J: “Thank you for calling the whine line, this is Simple Plan, what do you want to tell me about your dad?”

(Going over the Erie County election ballot the night before the election)

J: “where does it say spring fling queen?”

J: Is Voledemort asexual? I heard you’re asexual if you don’t have a nose. I mean Harry’s at least with girls like the one who drowned in the pool and comes back in the tub or whatever…

K: Moaning Myrtle?!

J: Yeah, whatever, I’m just saying you at least see Harry with girls, but you said she [Dolores Umbridge] doesn’t get with Voldemort, and I never see Voldemort with any girls or anyone so I was thinking maybe he was asexual.

K: Why are you talking about him being asexual? Have you been reading the news? What news have you been reading?

J: Why are they fighting?

K: Harry’s upset because he’s wearing the locket

J: There’s some weird lord of the rings shit going on

K: This is not lord of the rings! The locket is a horcrux!

J: A hor-what? The ring makes people crazy. The necklace makes people crazy. Same thing, boo.

(asking for an opinion on a baby gift for a friend)

K: Do you think this is too femme for a baby boy?

J: it’s as gay as Liberace

K: What? Why?!

J: It has EARS!

K: Okay, a lot of baby things have ears. You may as well start getting used to it

J: That’s fine, but the baby has ears. His clothes don’t need ears. I have ears, and my clothes don’t have ears.

K: You aren’t a baby!

J: Yeah, it’s the same thing though, boo.


on our conversations – July and August 2017 edition 

*on the story of our first dateJ: Let me tell you how it went. Seasons 52 was the place. I waited, and then you showed. 

K: I thought I got there first?

J: I’M telling the story! 
*i played “Count Your Blessings” while getting ready at home then we heard it in the car on the way to work. 

J: OMG again?!

K: OMG how lucky!

J: Oh Yeah. This guy has told me to count my blessings like 24 times and I already told you I have 17 blessings! 

K: well he must think you need to count some more

J: I have SEVENTEEN blessings

K: Did you look for your independent health card yet?

J: I’m pretty sure I didn’t get it this year

K: No, we had a huge fight and then you ordered it and it came

J: That sounds like 2016 

*for the record, he was right. 
J: Who goes to preschool at 2?

K: No one. You go when you’re 3.

J: 3?! I went at 5. 

K: No you didn’t. You were 4. 

J: No, I was 5. Who goes at 3?!

K. I’ll ask your mother. And listen. The person who went at 3 got through college in 4 years. And the person who thinks he went at 5 got through college in…

J: Yeah yeah blah blah 
*choosing a Sirius station 

K: I want Sean Paul

J: How about “Caledonia love”

K: What the hell? No

J: You sure?

K: I SAID I WANT SEAN PAUL. We’re missing we be burnin’ right now. 

J: Yeah but you know he (Trump) can’t say anything about them (white supremacists) being the cause of the violence because those are his supporters

K: Can’t or won’t?

J: Same thing

K: Nope. It’s his fault his support base includes a bunch of bigoted assholes. And this is why I can’t run for any democratic office. You’re a political liability. 

J: I am not! 

K: You just say whatever comes to mind!

J: Right! Honesty! 
J: Oh, here we go. I knew it (traffic jam). Gotta keep the tires warm (slightly swerving back and forth on purpose)

K: oh my god please stop. The tires don’t need to be warm. That doesn’t even make sense. I’m going to get carsick. 

J: Boo you need to watch nascar

K: Jared seriously I will throw up chick-fil-a in this car. I am not kidding. 

J: But isn’t that the best thing to throw up?

K: Jared, PLEASE! 
K: Guess what?!

J: What?

K: As soon as I get my Bryant & Stratton card I’m going to get super cool educator discounts like 20% off at Barnes and Noble every single-why are you laughing at me?

J: I just love you 

K: That better be why

J: I’m going to keep that one in stock 

on carole and her impact 

I’ve written about Carole before. She is an integral part of my life and helped shape who I’ve become. When I found out she was my assigned college adviser, I found her office and literally bounced in. “I’m here because I want to go to law school. I was told you’re a lawyer and a writer. That’s what I want to be. What do I sign up for next?”
Mind you, this was the first week of classes my freshman year. What classes do I sign up for next? Carole was dealing with students who didn’t have their current class schedule sorted out, let alone the next semester. But there I was, ready to make my 4-year plan to get to law school. Carole had a tough job: slowing me down. She managed to get me to sit a little. Resting wasn’t my thing. The journalism school had scheduled me for 18 credits instead of the normal freshman load of 15, but I didn’t realize that was one extra course. I took 18-21 credits every semester until my very last. I took 15 that one. 
Carole helped me navigate. When I needed permission to get into the junior level courses as a sophomore, she went to bat for me. When I needed a letter of recommendation for a coveted internship, she wrote it. When I brought 15 law school programs to her office, she sorted through them with me. And in the middle of it all, Carole was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

I found out in 2006, relatively soon after the diagnosis. It wasn’t outwardly visible, yet. In fact, if Carole hadn’t lost her hair due to treatment I don’t know if it ever would have been outwardly visible. She had a runny nose a lot during treatment, but Olean is frigid in the winter; everyone has a constant runny nose. I took media law from her during a semester she was undergoing treatment. She didn’t miss a single class. The only outward sign of the disease? A soft hat. 
Graduating early, going to law school, being an excellent writer: these were my goals. Carole was facing a much more simplistic and important goal: survive. Yet she never made me feel as though my dreams were unimportant or less valid. Carole always had time for me, though I’ll never know how. Fast forward to graduation, when Carole had been cancer-free for two years, and we were enveloped in a hug no journalist could adequately describe. Fast forward to 2012, and there was Caroline watching me become admitted to the New York State bar. Fast forward to this summer, and there was Carole watching me get married. 

Carole’s life changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but she kept life stable for me and so many other students in spite of it all. She’s the type of cancer survivor who doesn’t announce it, who just quietly continues to enjoy the life she has built. When Carole was undergoing treatment, I told her I’d run Race for the Cure for her and try to fund raise some money for breast cancer research. After running it that first time, I made a promise to run it ever year. I’ve run this race in Syracuse, Buffalo, Washington DC, and Atlanta. I’ve run it in the heat, the cold, and the rain. I’ve run it fast and slow. I’ve run it every year for Carole. 

There were several years the timing of the race was inconvenient. This year, all of the local races fell on the weekends of wedding events. So I decided to head down to DC on September 9th to run the race there. Because you know what’s inconvenient? Driving from Olean to Buffalo for cancer treatments at Roswell three times a week while teaching a full course load. Driving to DC to run a 5K pales in comparison. 
If you want to help me thank Carole for what she’s done for me and help me continue the promise I made to her ten years ago, please consider making a donation to my personal fundraising page. If you know a Carole in your life, thank her. If you work with a Carole, go ask her how she’s doing. And be amazed by the things a powerful, compassionate woman like Carole can accomplish, all the while battling – and beating – a life-threatening disease.