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K____ and I went to the same school, a place where I might have seen her no more than once. She was Pre-Med and lived in dorms we both avoided and off-campus on a somewhat secluded street—two major reasons our paths didn’t cross—and took last year off to make sure she definitely wanted to attend Columbia to get her Masters in Public Health. She’s almost the definitive portrait of a Holy Cross girl: a Catholic Massachusetts native whose favorite Beatles songs are both on Rubber Soul (“Norwegian Wood” and “In My Life”) and the oldest daughter of a cop. After what I have to be bold and declare a masterful Thank-You note for the Halloween party she and her two roommates threw, we became Facebook friends. I realized I didn’t really know her that well, I reached out and we agreed to meet in a Le Pan Quotidien only to leave for a Starbucks across the street. Oddly enough, the barista there was good friends with a friend of mine from Holy Cross who had also never met K____. K____ talked a big game about being intimidated by my recorder but was just as amiable when I put it away.

Chris: Who’s your favorite Sesame Street character?
K: Ooohh… I always liked Snuffleupagus. He was my favorite. Although I felt a little bad for Oscar. Just because…
Chris: Because he was so unhappy?
K: And also, I feel like everyone didn’t like him. That made me like him. You know what I mean?
Chris: That’s kind of weird. He totally went out of his way to make everyone hate him.
K: But I think he had some deep-seated anger. Maybe he had a tough childhood. You don’t know. He lives in trash.
Chris: He lives a trashcan; it’s not an ideal environment. I don’t mean to trash talk Crown Heights too much, but…
K: [Laughs]
Chris: Okay, Favorite Movie?
K: I’d have to go with Forest Gump.
Chris: Really? Did not see that coming. Is it because life is like a box of chocolates? Or…
K: Yeah, or, kinda like a feather floating on the breeze as he also says.
Chris: It’s not because, uh…you love your momma so much?
K: Also that and…leg braces.
Chris: You had braces?
K: No.
Chris: Oh, God. I was gonna say, that sounds fairly traumatic. At least it was in the movie…Run!!
K: [Laughs]
Chris: Alright, Favorite Band?
K: That’s harder. I like a lot of bands.
Chris: Yeah, I foresee this question being very difficult for most people. “Oh, I like everything.”
K: It kind of depends on my mood, but I think overall, I have to go with U2.
Chris: Really? The older stuff, the newer stuff…the middle?
K: I like “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
Chris: Off of Joshua Tree?
K: [Lights up] Yeah! Joshua Tree—that’s the album I have.
Chris: That’s sort of like their undisputed classic…
K: Yeah, I like stereotypical U2.
Chris: So then do you have the new stuff, like the last album?
K: No, I don’t.
Chris: Oh, hmmm…
K: I think I like specific songs more than I like actual bands.
Chris: Oh, you’re not really there for the whole album experience?
K: Well, I do like their whole album, that one…but…
Chris: In general, you mean.
K: Yes. Generally speaking about bands, I tend not to follow every album of a specific band.
Chris: So you don’t have all of the Lady Gaga albums? Just the singles.
K: No. Unfortunately, no. I used to have all the *NSYNC albums.
Chris: [Thoroughly shocked] Oh really.
K: Yes.
Chris: This isn’t embarrassing for you.
K: Yeah…I shouldn’t have mentioned that because it’s recorded.
Chris: [Laughs]
K: But…it’s true, I did have all the *NSYNC albums. Even the European editions.
Chris: Oh my god.
K: There was an article when I was in eight grade—my best friend and I were so obsessed with *NSYNC that the local newspaper interviewed us and our parents about our obsession. My room was covered with *NSYNC.
Chris: You had the posters…
K: Wall to wall.
Chris: Tickets…T-Shirts…
K: Oh yeah. I had a hat that said *NSYNC.
Chris: Really? That’s…interesting.
K: [Laughs]
Chris: So did you keep up with Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez?
K: Well, I decided when I was about 15, I went through my “I’m gonna grow up, I’m so mature now” stage, so I gave all my albums, all my stuff to my younger neighbor. Everything’s gone. And I kinda wish I still had it.
Chris: I figure you probably lost a piece of your heart.
K: It was a piece of my heart.
Chris: It’s tearing out your heart, isn’t it?
K: [Laughs] It is. I want it back.
Chris: Do you keep in touch with that girl?
K: No. She probably doesn’t even have it anymore.
Chris: She probably gave it to someone younger.
K: Probably.
Chris: I had a similar phase. I decided I didn’t like rap anymore. I sold off, like… my Jay-Z album.
K: Oh no!
Chris: And of course, I went back and bought it again because I was like, “Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking; I obviously love this music.”
K: It’s weird: you wanna deny everything you once were. You can’t just change that quickly.
Chris: Being grown up means you change your musical taste. That’s not how it works
K: [Laughs] Yeah. I’m gonna defy myself. I’m gonna stop liking everything I used to like.
Chris: [Laughs] Obviously, I can’t like it anymore. That would be…unrealistic. Umm…Is there anything—and this one I foresee as being very difficult for a lot of people.
K: [Steeling herself] Oh God.
Chris: Get super excited.
K: Okay.
Chris: Is there anything you love…unconditionally?
K: [Puzzled] Um… unconditionally…
Chris: Lemme give you an example. I think maybe the closest I can get is high fives…
K: Okay. So it doesn’t even have to be something.
Chris: Oh yeah, no, it doesn’t have to be like, “Oh, I’ll love my Mom forever,” (because that’s obvious) but you probably could do that…
K: Unconditionally…I will love…
Chris: [Quietly] Lady Gaga.
K: [Not listening] It’s very difficult. I think I would say…It’s hard to say, “unconditionally.” You couldn’t even really say it for a high five. What if someone high fives you too hard?
Chris: Exactly, a bad high five. You miss, you have to do it over again…
K: I think I would say, maybe, chocolate chip cookies. But, see, that’s not necessarily unconditional.
Chris: They can still get burned.
K: Right, they can be burned, they can be filled with salmonella if they’re undercooked.
Chris: Is that true?!? I didn’t know salmonella…
K: In eggs. Raw eggs.
Chris: I’m going to have to cook my cookies better from now on.
K: Although raw cookie dough is really good.
Chris: I went to this place called Levain Bakery last week, like on 74th, where it’s basically just a big raw cookie.
K: That was featured on Throwdown! with Bobby Flay.
Chris: Rightfully so.
K: Did you know that, or are you just going along with me?
Chris: I actually don’t have a TV. So I have no idea…I’ve heard of Bobby Flay.
K: That’s really crappy.
Chris: I like it. I get all of the comedy I need from Hulu.
K: That’s true. Do you watch Glee? That’s the only thing I watch on Hulu.
Chris: No, I tried to get my sister into that because every girl, apparently, ever, loves that.
K: Every girl plus V____.
Chris: Oh, right, well, he’s an honorary member.
[Both laugh…silence]
Chris: So do you love Glee unconditionally?
K: Oohh! Sometimes, yes, but sometimes I get annoyed with certain characters. But I don’t think there’s anything that’s…I think part of loving something is that, even when it goes wrong, you still love it.
Chris: Right, that’s the foundation of a good relationship, isn’t it?
K: Yeah! So, like with chocolate chip cookies, even if they’re burnt, I don’t hold it against them; I know next time they’ll be better.
Chris: [Laughs] It’s not your fault, cookie: walk it off. Your brothers and sisters will be fine.
K: [Laughs]
Chris: What’s your favorite thing about New York?
K: This is incredibly cliché, but I really love the parks in New York.
Chris: That’s not too cliché.
K: I am a dog walker. I walk a dog twice a day, four days of the week.
Chris: How’d you find out about this?
K: On Columbia’s employment website. He’s a Columbia grad. He had posted that he needed a dog walker and he pays $15 a walk. It’s Monday through Thursday.
Chris: You have to curb and everything? That’s the least exciting part, isn’t it?
K: Yeah, I have to clean up after the dog, which kinda stinks [Yes, I found this pun hilarious at the time, but I somehow managed to keep from laughing], but I get to hang out with a dog that’s not mine. It’s great. And so I go to the park like everyday. And I love it.
Chris: Everyday? Like seven days a week?
K: Well, Monday through Thursday I have to—because of the dog—and then, usually, I go running.
Chris: Are you running through the park?
K: Yes.
Chris: Wow, I just go on the treadmill in my apartment complex.
K: Yeah, I’m really broke.
Chris: I have that problem.
K: Actually, I’m beyond broke: I’m in debt because of school.
Chris: That happens.
K: I try to avoid paying for gym memberships.
Chris: I don’t…the gym in my apartment complex is…
K: It comes with it?
Chris: Yeah.
K: We have a gym in ours but you have to pay extra.
Chris: I thought I heard S____ mention that you might have to pay, but I didn’t realize you actually had to pay.
K: We actually have to pay.
Chris: Which is definitely lame.
K: Yeah, incredibly lame. I don’t understand—we’re paying a lot for rent.
Chris: I know, right? Why wouldn’t you get to just go downstairs?
K: And it’s not cheap. She bought a membership and it’s not that cheap. I thought it would be maybe 15 bucks a month or something, but it’s maybe 30—or maybe even more than that, actually. 30’s not even that bad.
Chris: Either way, not so good.
K: I wasn’t into it. I’d rather just freeze outside.
Chris: Layer up, pretend you’re walking a dog.
K: It makes me feel kind of tough.
Chris: Like a champion.
K: If I’m running through snow, I know that I’m hardcore.
Chris: [Laughs] You have hardcore cred?
K: Yeah.
Chris: Alright, well, if you had the opportunity to fuck with the Wu-Tang Clan, would you?
K: [Baffled]
Chris: I’m just kidding! That’s not a question.
K: [Laughs] I started thinking about it like, “Hmmmm…”
Chris: [Laughs] Like, “Hmmm…I might take on the RZA…” Here, I’ll put this down…

Snuffleupagus

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