Katiedid Langrock from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 26 Aug 2019 02:05:29 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Katiedid Langrock from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/katiedid-langrock-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid 71081dab1acaa780f6dbc0a80d15cdc7 High School Reunion for 08/24/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/08/19/high-school-reunion Sat, 24 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The bulk of those in my high school group of friends are a year older than I am. Recently, our group text thread was a robust conversation about whether they should attend their 20-year high school reunion. They chatted about whom they would want to see and whom they desperately would not want to see. But most of their interests and anxieties have been mitigated by social media. Unlike at their five-year reunion &#8212; when they were surprised to see who had gotten breast augmentation, who had married someone the age of our parents, who had finally outgrown the adolescent awkward phase and who had become a drug dealer &#8212; we now know. It's on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tracking the odd roads life takes everyone on is about as difficult as opening a web browser.</p> <p>Well, they did decide to attend, and I, for the life of me, couldn't imagine why.</p> <p>"Why do you have any interest in going?" I asked them.<p>Updated: Sat Aug 24, 2019</p> d99900cce9e8abc44f4e1deb410cdb99 Buffet People for 08/17/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/08/19/buffet-people Sat, 17 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We are buffet people &#8212; at least my dad's side of the family. Having grown up with little money and seemingly never quite enough to eat, my dad considers buffets the only kind of dining experience that makes any real sense.</p> <p>"Why spend $9 on one plate of food when you could go to a buffet and spend $7.99 on six plates of food?" my dad would say. And then, as if to challenge himself, he would get no fewer than eight plates.<p>Updated: Sat Aug 17, 2019</p> f698c7ff031584eaeb0d43b2484ff955 Worse Than Monsters for 08/03/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/08/19/worse-than-monsters Sat, 03 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We are worse than monsters; at least vampires are afraid of garlic.</p> <p>That would be a cheap joke directed at Gilroy, California, if it were in fact a joke, but it's not a joke, because I'm not laughing. No one is laughing.</p> <p>Well, that's not entirely true, is it? Someone is, or this wouldn't be happening.<p>Updated: Sat Aug 03, 2019</p> 2958d020c0fce6479c8fa90a628f8cb2 Burning Bridges for 07/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/07/19/burning-bridges-d0345 Sat, 27 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Humble brag: I am very adept at burning bridges. I may have a little arsonist in me. Emotional arsonist, that is, not the Smokey Bear kind of arsonist.</p> <p>That said, when I was about 13 years old and trying desperately to look cool, my mom sneaked into my bedroom and did a random search of my backpack. There she found a Caboodle &#8212; because it was the '90s. Inside the Caboodle she found a lighter and a pack of... tissues. She confronted me about the lighter and demanded to know whether I was smoking cigarettes. I told her I most certainly was not smoking cigarettes. I had tried it once, and it had made me cough and had burned and had absolutely not been for me. "Then what's the lighter for?" she demanded. My mom is not someone to mess with. When she asks a question, you had better answer. So I told her the truth. The lighter was for smoking.<p>Updated: Sat Jul 27, 2019</p> f056dea9497d131f220ffa71f585369f Thru-hiking for 07/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/07/19/thru-hiking Sat, 20 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When I was a kid, my dad and I would hike the Appalachian Trail, each summer picking up where we had left off the year before. We never got very far. Just long enough for that time when we stumbled across some black bear cubs &#8212; no mama to be found, though she was undoubtedly nearby &#8212; and I went barreling toward the cubs for a hug and my dad held back, rooted in terror, shrieking for me to return to him. Just long enough for that time when I chewed on horsemint while taking a break on the side of the trail and my dad told me it's called horsemint because it grows in horse poop and I immediately spit it out and my dad laughed and laughed at my gullibility. Just long enough to share a campfire with father-son thru-hikers who smelled so terrible I breathed through my shirt, though I still loved every moment of basking in their stench.</p> <p>My dad used to say we would hike the entire AT together, but <span class="column--highlighted-text">when I finally had the free time, his knees weren't what they used to be, and the idea of lugging a home on his back and eating beans and horsemint and running into mama bears that could tear you limb from limb and smelling like death no longer appealed to him. It still appealed to me.</span></p> <p>Correction: It still appeals to me.<p>Updated: Sat Jul 20, 2019</p> 9fd72626983114491848b0caece306c4 Word Bracelets for 07/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/07/19/word-bracelets Sat, 13 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I bought myself beaded bracelets &#8212; three, to be exact. Each has its own saying, up to 12 characters, of my choosing.</p> <p>I've been doing a lot of self-work lately. I'm guessing it comes with this chapter of life &#8212; when you see how you show up as a parent, as a partner, as a friend and for yourself and you want to do better. But every once in a while, you need a visual reminder. At least I do. So my first bracelet says, "Be Better." The next says, "Pause" &#8212; which, for me, is essentially the same as saying to take a deep breath before you act. And the last bracelet says, "Stand In Joy." I could have saved a lot of money if I had just bought the trio of pre-made bracelets that had "Breathe, Achieve, Choose Happy" on them, because they are essentially the same thing.</p> <p>Most of the jewelry I have found doesn't let you create your own sayings, because the makers have nailed down what most people want to live by: "Faith Hope Love," "Full of Wonder," "So Loved," "Goodness Grace." But those words don't resonate with me. I need to physically "Pause" and emotionally stop. I don't need to choose happy; I need to stand in the joy I'm surrounded by and notice it. Relish in it. Participate in it. These are tiny differences, but when it came to my visual cues, it had to be words that worked for me.<p>Updated: Sat Jul 13, 2019</p> 94b8110523dd1029796fb933ddcc8d57 Bachelorette Goodies for 07/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/07/19/bachelorette-goodies Sat, 06 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, I was visiting my parents in the home I grew up in. As always, they sent me home with relics of my youth that they found too precious to part with but no longer wanted cluttering their closets. Often, these items are tiny time capsules that can bring a tear to my eye. Whether it is something large, such as my wedding gown, or it is something small, such as the Wonder Woman costume I wore every day for nearly a year when I was 3, each preserved item is more delicate than the next, surviving the passage of time only by the emotional weight that binds it.</p> <p>This year's loot was slightly different.<p>Updated: Sat Jul 06, 2019</p> 72410dab6153434e9848e1e9d631a15e New Fence for 06/22/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/06/19/new-fence Sat, 22 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>A deer knocked down a part of our fence. Two days later, a storm hit, and falling branches took out another section. It was starting to feel like the HGTV version of "Final Destination." When it's your time, it's your time. Not even Devon Sawa can escape the Reaper. He is Casper, after all.</p> <p>I texted my friends to say I was going to rebuild the fence by myself. They texted back the emoji that is a face laughing so hard it's in tears, along with a simple request: Send pictures.</p> <p>Oh, c'mon, this wouldn't be that hard. Hadn't I built a birdhouse in eighth grade? Hadn't I cobbled together every Ikea bookshelf on my own? I could demolish this thing and rebuild!<p>Updated: Sat Jun 22, 2019</p> 3e3ca05a6c1f167aecdad9ba90ee68d3 Lingering in Lingerie for 06/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/06/19/lingering-in-lingerie Sat, 15 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The only lingerie I own is from leftover costumes I've kept from my high school theater performances. I've never worn it off-stage, but it has hung in my closet for 20 years, somehow making the to-pack box as I've moved to and from countries and from one coast to the next.</p> <p>I guess I figured I'd grow into it. Time would surely present the opportunity to need lingerie. And then boy, would I be angry if I gave away all that free loot from the mothball-ridden hoarder's paradise that was my high school wardrobe room. But as the years ticked on, the need never came.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">I've never understood lingerie. Why put something on for the sole purpose of taking it off again? That just equals more laundry.</span> I hate the premise of needing two separate forks for salad and steak. Did no one think of the dishwasher? Wasn't this whole lingerie thing just another superficial enhancement resulting only in additional chores?<p>Updated: Sat Jun 15, 2019</p> 15ac8b5d418bf11531027e730124f04d New Businesses for 06/08/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/06/19/new-businesses Sat, 08 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Let us talk, for a moment, about goat yoga.</p> <p>For me, it's a big <i>naa-aa-aa-aah</i>.</p> <p>Weeks ago, my family visited a petting zoo. We walked among the goats as they stared at us with their evil eyes and rammed their bodies into us, forcing our kibble-cupping hands to lower, and we all laughed through gritted teeth, pretending it was fun. A goat kept head-butting my 3-year-old until she fell into a pile of poop pellets. <i>What a great time we are having</i>, we all said as we quickly left the pen, unceremoniously letting the gate slam behind us as we slathered our bodies in hand sanitizer.<p>Updated: Sat Jun 08, 2019</p> b2a0ac29154a31a4e86215184abe3874 Tick Trauma for 06/01/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/05/19/tick-trauma Sat, 01 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"His name is Howell!"</p> <p>"OK, fine. Then I have to remove Howell," I said.<p>Updated: Sat Jun 01, 2019</p> 5318e81452434c3d74786247a649d2a0 Bucket List for 05/24/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/05/19/bucket-list-d2418 Fri, 24 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I'd like to make a suggestion, if I may: Not all buckets are meant to be shared.</p> <p>Bucket of popcorn, share away. Bucket of baseballs, game on. Bucket of ice, take the challenge! Bucket of blood, which happens to be the first thing that pops up when I Google "bucket of," sure, I guess. But maybe wear some protective gloves? Unless you're a vampire and this bucket is to feed your vampire family &#8212; in which case, who am I to judge? Most buckets and their bounties should be shared among the masses. Bucket lists, however, should be kept to yourself.<p>Updated: Fri May 24, 2019</p> 4327090051beee4d94eea17222707809 Midlife Learning Disabled for 05/18/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/05/19/midlife-learning-disabled Sat, 18 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Did you really just fall out of your chair? In the middle of class? For no reason?" my brother asked me. He was a senior in high school. I was one year out of college.</p> <p>At first, I was perplexed. What was he talking about? Fall out of my chair?<p>Updated: Sat May 18, 2019</p> 52b8bbbc6aae894cfaee00020a735fe4 Merry-Go-Round for 05/04/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/05/19/merry-go-round Sat, 04 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><div>"Don't worry. He's fine," my son's kindergartener teacher said to me over the phone when I picked up her call at 11 a.m. "You just need to take him to the hospital for a broken ankle."</div><div>Clearly, his teacher's version of "fine" and my version are quite different.</div><div>After I sputtered out a few questions while scrambling to find my shoes, my keys and my sanity, my son's teacher answered that he had stuck his foot under a merry-go-round contraption that they have at his school. The death-mobile ran over his foot, twisting his ankle, pulling him off and dragging him behind.</div><div>When we first visited my son's school, we were charmed by the throwback playground equipment of yesteryear. Instead of seeing a modern plastic park with guardrails, my husband and I looked fondly at the antiquated metal equipment and were reminded of our own youth.</div><div>"Why'd they get rid of this stuff?" my husband asked, marveling at the sight. "It's classic."</div><div>"I'm pretty sure it's because enough kids got burned or impaled."</div><div>"Oh, yeah," my husband said, looking at the playground in a new light. "Yeah, that makes sense."</div><div>This year, the school celebrates its 40th anniversary, and I'm more than confident that this merry-go-rigor-mortis my son got hurt on has graced the schoolyard since opening day.</div><div>"How'd it happen?" I asked before jumping in the car to go pick him up.</div><div>"I can't be sure," the teacher said. "But I think maybe he did it on purpose &#8212; to see what would happen if he stuck his foot under it."</div><div>Kids.</div><div>When I was the same age as my son, we had a kindergarten picnic at a nearby park. The parents were invited to come along, and my mom rearranged her work schedule to join us.</div><div>The playground had monkey bars, but rather than gravel, the bars had a grate platform underneath them, standing about 2 feet above the ground. I believe the premise was that you could walk across the grate while moving your arms across the monkey bars as a way to practice, but I can't be sure. What I can be sure about, given my crystal-clear memory of this event, is that when I dropped down from the monkey bars, my small feet didn't land squarely on the grate. Rather, my right leg slipped right through it and got stuck.</div><div>I screamed bloody murder. The adults &#8212; teachers and parents alike &#8212; tried to pry me from the grate. I remember the pain being immense, and the panic on the adults' faces only increased my own panic. Eventually, a parent thought to lather my leg in a substance. I recall it being butter &#8212; which I guess is possible, seeing as we were at a picnic &#8212; but more likely, it was sunscreen and I was too distracted by my chronic screaming to notice. The oily substance worked its way down my leg, and I was pried free at last.</div><div>My leg hurt. It throbbed. I cried, cuddled my mom and was given a Popsicle. Maybe 15 minutes later, I was ready to play again.</div><div>In a park full of fun options and friends, I had only one thing on my mind. Now that my leg was covered in butter (sunscreen?), would it get stuck again? Only one way to find out.</div><div>This time, I didn't try crossing the monkey bars at the top. This mission had nothing to do with any swinging accomplishment. I walked right over to the grate and thrust my leg into it.</div><div>Ooh, it hurt. It hurt so much more than the first time because now my leg was battered, scratched and bruised from being pulled out previously. It was also swollen, which meant it got even more stuck this time.</div><div>I screamed, cried and was pulled out once again. But the thing that upset me the most was when my mom banned me from going on the grated monkey bars for the rest of the day. "Why not?!" I wailed. So mean!</div><div>How do children make it to adulthood?</div><div>When I picked up my son, he ran over and jumped in my arms. His teacher's jaw dropped. "I really thought it was broken," she said. "It was swelling up, and it's so bruised."</div><div>My son nodded gleefully. "Super bruised," he said. "Wanna see how I did it, Mama?" And he skipped over to the spinning merry-go-round and stuck his foot under it.</div><div>Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.</div><div>COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM</div><p>Updated: Sat May 04, 2019</p> bafed002947196be4a9be6a3d6fe02d2 Fashion Forward and Back for 04/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/04/19/fashion-forward-and-back Sat, 27 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><div>"What would you call this dress?" I asked the salesgirl.<br></div><div>"I'd call it... 'Little House on the Prairie' chic."</div><div>"And that's a thing?" I asked.</div><div>"It's most definitely a thing," she replied.</div><div>I don't understand fashion. I would say I don't understand fashion anymore, but the truth is I never really understood it. It's just becoming more pronounced the older I get.</div><div>I looked down at the dress I was wearing. The tiny flower print. The ruffles. The poofy shoulders. It looked as if it should have come with a free bonnet, but nothing was free in this store. For some indescribable reason, I liked the dress. Perhaps it was because it reminded me of days when I'd stay home sick from school. Not the barfing part but the part where I got to snuggle up in my parents' big bed all day long, watching little Laura Ingalls learn about life from Pa. The salesgirl looked at me, as if trying to decipher what I was thinking.</div><div>"Simpler times," she said, nodding her own head as if she thought she'd said something profound.</div><div>I continued to peruse the store. There was a section of pure neon. Or I think it was neon; my eyes were seared by the sunlike brightness, and I had to turn away. Luckily, my gaze landed on a display of scrunchies &#8212; from the 1880s to the 1980s. <i> What is happening here? </i></div><div>"What do you call this look?" I called to the salesgirl.</div><div>"Bodacious baby look."</div><div>"You say 'bodacious'?"</div><div>"Yeah, it's, like, lit but current," she replied. I've never felt so old.</div><div>I remember when styles from the '60s and '70s came back into fashion when I was in junior high. My parents were both excited and mortified. What did it say that the cool clothes of their adolescence were now adorning the current cool adolescents? It meant that enough time had passed that these items were back in vogue.</div><div>I borrowed my dad's well-worn rainbow T-shirts from the Woodstock era. I borrowed my mom's leather jackets. To my seventh-grade dance, I wore her beloved bell-bottom jeans that she had traipsed around Europe in during the mid-'70s. They ripped at the crotch, my skinny, prepubescent body putting more pressure on the seams than my mom had in her 20s. I couldn't tell you what was worse, walking around school all day with everyone seeing my underwear poking out of the pulled seams or having to tell my mom I had busted her most prized possession from her pre-parenting days.</div><div>A few nights ago, my best friend from college sent me a text with a picture of her at a bar. She was wearing a Britney Spears T-shirt from Britney's "Baby One More Time" days. It was accented by two slap bracelets on her wrist and a scrunchie in her hair. She proudly announced that she had seen all of these items on sale at Target but didn't have to buy any of them because she had them at home in her closet. Benefits of being a nostalgia hoarder. Perhaps the real tragedy of the resurgence of boho-cool while I was in school was that my parents weren't able to wear the clothes of their youth when they came back in style. <span class="column--highlighted-text">The benefit of the loose-fitting clothes and pliable jewelry of my day is that they accommodate our postnatal, ever-changed, much older, slightly sagging bodies. Thanks, '90s!</span></div><div>I rounded the corner, out of "Frankie Says Relax" and into the pure grunge that existed in tandem with the resurgence of hippie-wear in my teen years. Sweaters with intentional holes in the arms that had been sewn too long. Jeans with legs wide enough that you could easily hide a few friends inside when you only wanted to pay for one ticket at the movies. There &#8212; amid the plaid, chains and itchy, chunky fabric &#8212; I finally felt at ease in the store, despite the fact that it clearly had a time machine in the back storage room. There is something about looking at the clothes you wore when you came into your own.</div><div>There have been many times throughout my life when I couldn't have told you exactly who I was or what I wanted. But the me who lived life every single day in flannel could have.</div><div>Maybe that's the true meaning of "simpler time."</div><div>I left the store with five full bags.</div><div>Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.</div><div>COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM</div><p>Updated: Sat Apr 27, 2019</p> cc9e07d5d6d0646086a8d74d1e916628 Spring Buzz for 04/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/04/19/spring-buzz Sat, 20 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"What's that black bug on the wall?" my kid asked.</p> <p>"I dunno."<p>Updated: Sat Apr 20, 2019</p> f5febece02e5bfabb0e792abf964f711 Bison Babies for 04/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/04/19/bison-babies Sat, 13 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Lucas wants to marry Ellie," one mom said.</p> <p>"Colton talks about marrying Sophie. Or Jade. Sometimes Ellie," said the other mom. They chuckled and then looked at me.<p>Updated: Sat Apr 13, 2019</p> ef848f9e76ff5465cfd0749f460ed9b6 Summoning Bears for 04/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/04/19/summoning-bears Sat, 06 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Bears are showing up all around my neighborhood.</p> <p>Not real bears &#8212; not yet. These are bears that have been carved out of dead and dying trees by amazing local artists &#8212; huge tributes to nature that look as if they belong outside lodges of yesteryear. Some residents don't like the bear decor; some say it will summon the bears back into the forests where we live. A frightening prospect. Not the bears but the premise that decor attracts the real-life focus of its design.<p>Updated: Sat Apr 06, 2019</p> 912450aa2d4969bc320ae19356411c39 Bang Bang Shrimp for 03/30/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/03/19/bang-bang-shrimp Sat, 30 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We were on our second helpings at the Chinese buffet (my dad was technically on his second helping but six plates in), when the lights flickered out. There were a few sharp screams and then silence. The crowded restaurant was waiting, bated breath.</p> <p>The lights came back on. My family members all made eye contact with one another &#8212; except for my dad, who had a bowl tilted in front of his entire face as he slurped down hot-and-sour soup. I'm not sure whether he realized the lights went out or he thought it was just a shadow from his monstrous bowl. There was a moment before we began talking again. My kindergartener emerged from under the table.<p>Updated: Sat Mar 30, 2019</p> 959a6c8115e374d89ef6ff9c12bfcd21 A Smell a Week in the Making for 03/23/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/katiedid/03/19/a-smell-a-week-in-the-making Sat, 23 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Dear Lord, did someone die in here?"</p> <p>We rolled down the windows. We blasted the air conditioning. I considered driving the car through the car wash with the sunroof open.<p>Updated: Sat Mar 23, 2019</p>