16 December 2005

ho ho ho

Christmas cannot come quickly enough this year. I don't know why, but I am just counting down the seconds! Really, I am probably counting down the seconds every year, but I just forget year to year what the wait is like.

I have discovered that you can make just about any adjective into a humorous nickname by following this formula:

_________y Mc________ster.

Example from last night:
I don't want to be a Judgey McJudgester, but keep your teenage kids quiet in the movie theater while I'm trying to enjoy the Chronicles of Narnia.

Example from right now:
Ughh, Sunny! You smell awful, Stinky McStinkster! (He just hasn't been smelling frishy-fresh lately at all.)

Especially funny if you add "Mr. or Miss" to the beginning. (i.e. Sunny's official title is Mr. Stinky McStinkster)

Go ahead, give it a try! It's fun!

08 December 2005

need help

I work for a non-profit adoption agency. In an ongoing effort to keep fees down, serve more kids, etc., I am in the process of organizing a tennis tournament.

But here's the thing. Not that many people play tennis. The tournament's been around for 10 years, so it practically runs itself, but I want to add a non-tennis component this year. Here is what I have so far:

1. a catchy name: "Raise a Racquet! (even if you never have)"

2. it needs to be a side event specifically for NON-tennis players (i.e. me and most of the people I know who are like me--want to help birthparents but can't swing a racquet to save their life)

3. a general set-up idea, somewhat like a race sponsorship (different people pledge to sponsor you, and when you raise $x, you get a free shirt or whatever). If you are familiar with the Komen Race for the Cure, it will be like that, only like their "Sleep in for the Cure" for non-runner/walkers.

Here is what I lack:
1. what activity should it be? or perhaps not an activity, but a commitment that on the day of the tournament, you will NOT pick up a tennis racquet, but will instead spend the day with your family...something like that.

2. time to organize it.

3. a bank or large corporation that would like to sponsor said event.

Help!!! I need ideas! You're a creative lot, I know you are.

07 December 2005

bad sushi

In case the title is not "enough said."

Mistake #1: I bought it at the mall

Mistake #2: My first thought was "a California roll's not supposed to be sweet."

Mistake #3: After third piece, I thought, "This does not taste good to me. I should stop eating it." But I didn't.

Mistake #4: The third to last piece, I realized that there was mayonaise in it, yet I kept eating. (Please, Lord, let it have been mayo and not something worse.)

Mistake #5: A half hour later, I still have the yucky taste in my mouth, yet I haven't run upstairs to wash my mouth out with something trustworthy, say, a vanilla coke (soon to be discontinued, by the way).

I had nothing else to eat for lunch and I was very hungry. Now, I'm just experiencing some gastro-intestinal distress and regret. To quote Earl's ex-mother-in-law from last night's, "My Name is Earl": Don't you judge me!!

06 December 2005

not so bad a doggy mother

Well, Sunny seems to be fine now. On Saturday, Bill got up early to take him to the vet just in case, but he was jumping around so much in the car that Bill realized that (a) if he was only minorly injured, the car ride would probably just make it worse, (b) if he was only minorly injured, the $120 vet and x-ray bill would make BILL feel worse, and (c) Sunny truly wasn't limping as bad.

And now the limp is gone. The only thing I did to help it heal was attempt to keep Sunny from running around on it. Maybe that's all he needed.

I was beginning to fear that I would be a horrible mother after our recent visit to our friends in CO. It was one of those "3 strikes, you're out" weekends.

Strike 1: Bill and I were watching the youngest and middle child, and in a moment of kid chaos (there were 8 or so other kids there as well) their 18 month-old started climbing up the (rather tall) slide on his own...and might I say he was doing a fabulous job of it.

Strike 2: Bill and I were watching the oldest and middle child during dinner at a Mongolian grill, and we miscommunicated about who was picking up the middle child's plate. She just sat right on down without it and went half of dinner before anyone realized she didn't have food.

Strike 3: (at this point, it was a joke) Sitting in back of car with youngest child, he strips off his shoes and socks and we all had to wait for me to put them back on when we got to destination. V. minor.

Oh, yeah, and Strike 4: Bill almost left youngest child in his car seat at one point.

Good lessons learned, though. Communication is KEY in taking care of children.

Who is watching youngest child like a hawk?
Who is making sure middle child gets fed?
Who is triple tying children's shoes so they can't be removed?
Who is making sure all children are accounted for?

And I felt a bit better after eating dinner with two seemingly great parents last night when I realized (after it had just happened) that the little 11 month old ingested one of her mom's earring backs while the mother was holding her. It can happen to the best of us.

02 December 2005

bad doggy mother

Well, it's official...I am a bad doggy mother.

Bill and I got back from CO on late Monday night, and I went to go pick up Sunny at the dog farm on Tuesday after work. He was exceedingly happy to see me even though it's a fabulous place with radiant floor heating, large indoor/outdoor runs, and daily playtime. But he just seemed out of sorts when he got home. Not unusual. He gets in a huff when he he has to be away from home.

Wednesday...still out of sorts, but I was working from home, so he pretty much just laid around. I thought, "oh, how sweet. He's just exhausted from his stay at the dog farm."

Thursday...still out of sorts. "Is he sick? Is it just the colder weather??"

Thursday night, right before bedtime...I realize he's limping. That's right! It took me 2 days to realize that my dog is strongly favoring one of his back legs.

And that's where I am right now--I'm just observing him (not much to observe as he's just laid around most of the day today). If he isn't doing better by Monday, he'll take a trip to the vet.

I don't think that it's broken because he's still able to run on it, jump up and stand on just his back legs, and get up and down the stairs and bend it somewhat. But maybe it's a stress fracture? Or just a sprain or strain? Should I put ice on it or try to keep him from running around and going up and down the stairs? I don't know anything about dog physiology...can anyone help??

30 November 2005


Bill and I went to Colorado to celebrate Thanksgiving with some close family friends and their 3 kiddos. (By the very grace of God we managed to get back with all those blizzard conditions surrounding the state, but that is a completely different tale).

A fun time was had by all, and we spent a good amount of time with various families and individuals from their church. It's a very young church, composed almost exclusively of college students, young single adults, young married couples, and young married couples with children. Lots and lots of children. One night, there was a big get-together, and it was all families with young children, ranging from a couple with 1 baby to a family with 5 kids. They were all very friendly and nice, but the dad of 5 made a comment that really got to me. He said, "Boy, spending the evening here with 12 children running around must be great birth control for you."

Now, I know he meant it as a joke, but here is the information that he had about my husband and I:

We're a young couple in our late 20's/early 30's.
We're friends with young couples who have children (i.e. the friends we were with).

He didn't know if we were trying to get pregnant or for how long we may have been trying to get pregnant or if we already knew of an inability to get pregnant or, well, anything past us being a young couple who does not currently have children but likes them well enough to travel halfway across the country to see our friends and their kids.

And the fact is that, no, we are not struggling with infertility. But I just get sick of the, "you want kids? here take mine!" comments that I hear. People assume fertility--their own and others. I guess that in the field of adoption in which I work, I usually just assume infertility.

Anyway, the family of 7 was a very nice family, and I know that he just made automatic assumptions, but it was a good reminder to me to mind my tongue.

Much like when I accidentally yelled "CRAP!" while playing a game with all their kids in the next room. I felt horrible, but at least Bill lightened the mood by fake-gasping and saying, "That's not a word we say in this house!"

I probably do need to work a little on getting rid of my vulgar exclamations before we do start thinking about having kids. But again, that's neither here nor there.

23 November 2005

Saga of the XBox

Okay, so let me start by saying that, contrary to Ellen's blog entry from two days ago, neither I nor my husband are crazy or obsessed with video games. I like to play tetris, and he plays the occasional round of Tiger Woods golf or snowboarding race. BUT we are going to see his best friend from college and his family over Thanksgiving (whom I haven't seen in over a year), and Bill wanted to be able to play the XBox with him. So Bill sold back his PS2 and all the games and accessories to buy the XBox, believing Microsoft that it would be the best system ever...more on that later.

He drove to the nearest Wal-Mart, and the line was already 3 rows long, so he said, "forget that" and drove up to the next nearest Wal-Mart about half an hour away. The line there was much shorter, and the person standing in front of him said, "Hey! If they have the number of XBoxes available that they said they would, you'll get the last one!" Neat.

What was NOT neat was the horrible, horrible woman at the front of the line who brought along all her (many) children and her sister and her (many) children to each "buy" their own XBox. The manager informed the woman that Wal-Mart was allowing one XBox per household, and she started yelling at him and throwing a fit about how she would sue them for "age discrimination". (She's lucky I wasn't there because I would have called Child Protective Services about her having her 6 & 7 year-olds in Wal-Mart until 1:00 a.m. on a school night and using them as slave labor to buy XBoxes that she was almost certainly going to scalp on E-Bay.)

Long story short, Bill did indeed get his XBox. The people in front of him were counting the horrible, horrible woman and her 9 children/nieces/nephews. Brought it home, excited as can be. Woo-hoo! Opens it up last night, gets everything plugged in and put together...

And it sucks.

No way around it. It's jerky and slow and, yes, the graphics are good, but the only games that it ran well were the "tetris" like games (that I thoroughly enjoyed).

So to make a long story longer, Bill packed it up, took it back to Wal-Mart, and we'll buy a new stereo receiver with that $$$ because ours is shot. I'm sad that he sold back his PS2, but he said that he'll just wait for the PS3 to come out and get that. Probably won't be waiting in any lines, though. And some kid will get an XBox for Christmas that wouldn't have otherwise.

Bill Gates releasing an inferior product to get quick, easy sales over Christmas? NO! Surely not!!

21 November 2005

Wal-Mart Trivia Answer

The answer is: PLUNGERS!

Isn't that gross?

Wal-Mart Trivia

What is the #1 selling item in Wal-Mart's Hardware dept. the day after Thanksgiving? (Answer tomorrow)

20 November 2005

Shelli's question revisited

So Shelli asked this question on her blog a couple days ago, and I asked it on my blog a few months ago (fyi: I received more comments on this post than any other post, EVER--albeit most of the comments were between my sister Ellen and our friend Melissa about the ABBA CD that Ellen had stolen). So I pose this question yet again (the only thing changed is that now we've been married over a year):

So here’s the question of the day (and maybe this will inspire some comments): how do you know it’s the right time to start trying to have children? Notice I do not say “the right time to get pregnant”. I work in the adoption field. I know that when you start trying and when a baby shows up are often two VERY different times. It boggles my mind when women think they can choose the month they want their baby born in…of course, some fertile myrtles can.

My husband and I have been married for almost a year, and I’m constantly haunted (as most women in America are) by the TIME article a few years ago with the depressing nose-dive fertility/age chart. We’re financially stable, healthy, love kids, blah, blah, blah. And then there’s the cons—only time in our life to be carefree, big chunk of disposable income, time away from each other, blah, blah, blah. So I guess my question is, “how do you know when the scales have tipped?” Is it an earth-shattering moment? A quiet peace? Of course, there’s the couples that have oopsies and God answers the question for them. And then, there are the delusional/stupid on pregnancy boards: “my fiancé and I have started trying…does anyone know of a good empire waist wedding dress company?”

And granted, I am surrounded ALL THE TIME by babies and baby-related topics. Tends to color my thinking light pink and baby blue, but I don't consider myself to be baby crazy. So just curious…how did you know?

19 November 2005

man in black, part II

I'm not normally a midnight blogger (heck, i'm not normally an anytime blogger), but I feel compelled to write about the movie I've just seen...Walk the Line.

Without going too much into the performances, can I just say, if Joaquin Phoenix does not bring home an Oscar, he was robbed. No ifs, ands, or buts. Okay, enough about my boyfriend (as Bill likes to refer to him).

Johnny Cash did some horrible things, horrible. But I love that through his entire life, God had a hold of him, whether he knew it or not. And then, God used him to do some great things, with a great woman by his side.

Plus, I never thought that a drug de-tox scene could make me laugh, but this one did.

Okay, enough "reviews by Karen". Tomorrow...Harry Potter!

17 November 2005

OOOOOOOOOO-Klahoma...Wal-mart version

sung to the tune of "the farmer and the cowman can be friends" from OKLAHOMA:

Oh, the buyer & the vendor can be friends
Oh, the buyer & the vendor can be friends
Buyer gets the low, low price!
Vendor gets it in the arse!
The buyer & the vendor can be friends...

I'd like to say a word for the buyer...
He works for Wal-Mart, they're a hard employer
Whenever someone sneezes on their property...
They have to call out all their corporate lawyers!


I'd like to say a word for the vendor...
He had to move to Arkansas from Jersey
But that doesn't excuse this horrible action:
In his Hum-vee, he's a complete turdy!

(rousing round of the chorus)

15 November 2005

The Princess & The Pea

Well, Ellen's post started me thinking about sleep habits: the good, the bad, and the weird.

I would fall under the weird category. As my husband, family, and past roommates can attest, I have some very odd sleep habits. Namely, hypnagogic hallucinations. For a long time, I thought that I was just crazy, and then I had a professor in college who specialized in sleep-related disorders. After taking half the semester to work up the nerve to go into her office and ask about it, I found out that I wasn't crazy, probably just chronically sleep-deprived. Basically, if I go a certain amount of time without enough REM (dream) sleep, my body goes, "WHOAAA! Just who do you think you are, Karen? I will tell YOU when REM sleep is needed." And then my brain triggers the rapid eye movements before my body is in a deep sleep state. So what happens? I open up my eyes and see a gigantic spider on my hand and act accordingly: jumping up, turning on the light, and yelling at my (very bewildered) husband. (This exact thing happened two nights ago).

It was scary hearing that prof describe my symptoms perfectly. I actually have it easy--a lot of people see mostly human intruders in their HHs. I've only had that happen once or twice.

I've seen it all...some of my favorites: a spinning coke bottle cap (not so much scary as fascinating for a full 2 minutes), my sister's cat perched on the top of the door, more rodents and snakes than I care to remember (and one occurence resulting in my knee split open and a resolution to never again sleep on a bunk bed). The first one I remember was a wrought iron chair dangling precariously above my bed. My parents must have thought I was insane when I ran into their room to describe said wrought iron chair in the middle of the night. I went through a short time when most of my hallucinations were auditory, sounded like a train going through my room, but I thankfully have not had one of those in a few years.

And Bill found out the hard way that arguing with me about the HHs was the WRONG method of dealing with me in that particular state. He has also learned to trust me when I say that I am not to sleep with any scissors or other sharp instruments next to the bed.

To my defense, I once woke up with a cricket in my mouth. That one wasn't a hallucination. An actual cricket. In my mouth.

So...what are your sleep quirks?

12 November 2005


I'm the saver. Bill's the spender. Neither of us is over-the-top extreme in these areas, save in one.


Bill does not like to use soap slivers. Not even just when it gets down to tiny, tiny soap slivers. He doesn't like using the soap once it's not a hearty bar. I, on the other hand, was raised on the slivers. I learned the art of pressing slivers together with my fist to make a new "bar" (sort of). So, lo and behold, it became a sliver of an issue when we first got married.

The compromise?

Bill replaces the soap bar whenever he dang well pleases, but he puts the sliver in a little tupperware dish for me. I save up the slivers and melt them to make a new bar. I do not, under any circumstances, force him to use the reconstituted soap (or watch Jane Austen movies, but that is neither here nor there...that's just a vow I made for myself before I ever met him...learned from my father--never make a man watch Jane Austen movies, too cruel.)

11 November 2005

Dog Mommy

It's official...I have a "dog-child". So I give you...

Top 10 Things I Never Thought I'd be saying about my Dog:
1. His favorite snacks are cheese and vanilla wafers...to the point that we have to spell "c-h-e-e-s-e" rather than say it because he gets so excited.

2. I have to clean out his eye gunk every few days.

3. He has learned to go get his favorite toy out of the basket and one time, he even put it back (accidentally, I think).

4. He snores when he's very, very tired and I think it's one of the cutest sounds in the world.

5. When he wants to play, he goes to Bill. When he wants to be petted, he comes to me (I just never thought he'd be coming to me for anything--he was very attached to Bill when we got married, and I always thought he was secretly thinking, "So that was fun. When is she going home, dad?")

6. He believes the garbage men are his mortal enemies.

7. The last three walks I have taken him on, I have received compliments on his looks. (He was the saddest, skinniest, mangiest little thing when he came home from the shelter, so I take extra joy in hearing this.)

8. I'm happy when he pees in his bed out in his "doggy corral" in the garage because it means I've beat the system. I put puppy pads beneath the top sheet, so he just pees on the sheet, I take out the pad, and wash the sheet.

9. I have become an expert on getting pee out of just about every material known to man.

10. I worry that he doesn't have a friend to play with.

And there you have it.

christmas comes but twice a year...

well, the juicer is here ( my christmas present), and it's not quite what i was expecting.


so i wanted a glass of fresh orange juice this morning...what to do? what to do? oh, i don't know, maybe toss three whole oranges in and have a glass of fresh, fresh o.j. 2 minutes later!

the one thing about juicing is if it's been a while since you've put anything healthy into your body (and i mean anything...i ate a hostess cupcake for breakfast the other morning), it's a bit of shell shock to your body.

i just ingested more nutrients with that one glass of orange juice than i've probably had all month, not counting vitamins.

tonight...pear & sweet potato juice. scoff if you will! it's actually very good. and you don't get much healthier than raw sweet potatoes.

09 November 2005

los pantalones cranky

Again with the crankiness. I can't really say that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed because I couldn't sleep all night. There was no waking up for there was no sleep to wake from. Bad sinus night, so I took a Rx strength Sudafed. I was wired...and still in pain. Those 40% surgery chances are starting to look better and better.

So what was running through my mind while I was hepped up on the Sudie, you ask?

1) thoughts about my new juicer that is coming for Christmas...a complete splurge. A Breville 850XL Elite model. It's like I've been driving a Pinto with my old Juiceman Jr. and I'm upgrading to a Porsche. My little J. Jr. works, but it would take me a whole night sometimes just to make 4 or 5 glasses of juice. The Breville's supposed to pump out 16 oz. in one minute. Juices 3 carrots at a time...or a whole apple. Those of you who don't juice are just shaking your heads right now. Different juice combination possibilities...do grapes juice well?

2)Where am I going to find a permanent baby gate for the top of our stairs? Important for small visiting children and quickly approaching need to winterize dog.

3) What businesses should I approach about sponsoring upcoming tennis tournament, bane of my existence?

4) am I starting to feel sleepy yet? No. Now? No. Maybe now? No.

5) Should I take an Excedrin? Will kill the pain but then there's no way I'll fall asleep. Perhaps tomorrow I should go buy Mucinex before going to office before leaving for H.S. talk with students who will surely be surly and snotty to me (FYI, they were actually fairly nice but I just get very, very, very nervous talking in front of large groups of teenagers).

6) then I thought about the juicer some more.

04 November 2005

One of Those Mornings

At around 2:00 this afternoon, I realized that my underwear was on inside-out. Yep. One of those mornings.

14 October 2005

as my husband would say...

Bill has such a good way with words. I was thinking about that this morning, for some reason. Example: if an actor/actress is in a movie that they don't seem to be trying too hard at or is a typical role for them, he says, "Well, _________ called that one in." (i.e. Nicolas Cage playing a dodgy yet affable reformed/ready to be reformed everyman in a big budget action/thriller or Drew Barrymore portraying a likeable, slightly brainy yet able to let down her hair gal who needs to be won over by her love interest in a romantic comedy)

It does not necessarily mean that the movie is bad, but usually, it's only so-so or "ehh" (or, again, as my husband would say, "I wouldn't kick that movie out of bed" or "Not exactly one to write home to mom about.") He's quick on his feet and does great presentations.

I, on the other hand, am horrible with words (verbally--I prefer to type out everything if at all possible). I have a horrible habit in conversations of simply stopping my sentence in the middle if I become bored with the thought or frustrated with my inability to get the thought out there. And sometimes, it's because I accidentally end the word with "but" or "and" when I mean to just stop talking. I try to cover for myself by waving my hand in a nonchalant manner as if the end of the sentence is too obvious to actually say, but in reality, I'm thinking four-letter words as I kick myself internally waiting for the inevitable response of "Oh, go ahead, finish your thought." I then have to either (a) admit "No, that was it. I accidentally ended the sentence with 'but'" or (b) come up with something out of my heiny. I usually opt for (b) and regret it.

Why can't my mouth have a backspace button?

12 October 2005

Karen and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (but getting better)

Sunny woke me up at 3:45 followed by my hubby's alarm at 4:15. I had to get up at 5:15 myself, so I wasn't able to get back to sleep at any point.

I woke up with a stomachache. Not an "oh, my tummy hurts", it was an "I'm keeled over and my body has decided to (as my friend Rachel would say) release its contents". (Rachel feels this is a nice way to leave the subject of how the contents left ones body alone.)

When I finally stuffed my body with enough tummy medicine to make it through the day, I started driving (hit traffic, of course), and burst into tears when a song that I liked from the 90's came on the CD player. Still crying...still crying. Why so emotional? Why, why, why? Then I remembered...I've been dreading this day since the month began...the 10 year anniversary of the day one of my dear friends died. Then the date was seemingly plastered all over everything I encountered, e-mails, newspapers, etc. OCTOBER 12TH.

Just when I thought about hopping right back into my car and going back home to burrow in my bed, I got a welcome surprise. Bill came to visit me at my office. He just held me for a few minutes and let me cry and say that it sucks that no one in my life now knew my friend and cry a little more.

Then my day got better. I ate graham crackers all day and sipped coke. Bill sent me an article about LOST theories. I marveled at how much my life has changed in 10 years as I picked up the dry cleaning and flipped through files that need to be worked on.

And on the drive home, I listened to the same song and laughed because (a) my friend would, in fact, have hated the song and made fun of it in a most sarcastic manner and (b) that's what he would have wanted me to do today...not cry.

10 October 2005


Well, courtesy of Ellen's blog, I have been tagged, Here goes:

10 Years ago:
Yucky painful. One of my closest friends (and huge crush) was about to die in a car crash. The crash happened 10 years ago tomorrow. The death 10 years ago Wednesday, and yes, I still think about him. And it.

5 years ago:
I had just started grad school and was stewing in one of the two worst jobs I've ever had...at the Stein.

1 year ago:
It was the week before I got married. I was fretting because my deadbeat sister put off her dress fitting until the last minutes. :)

skipped church because the whole "searching for a home church" is exhausting, went to the mall with my hubby, sisters, bro-in-law, and niece, spilled coke on niece, bought her a spanky new outfit (secret ploy to get her in the trends), ran into friends jaime & jason, came home, did yardwork, fed the ducks in our lake, sat out on patio and watched the sunset. and then, erm, went to bed.

5 snacks I enjoy:
-calamata olive and cheese on crackers
-reeses peanut butter cups
-graham crackers
-cheese popcorn
-ice cream milk

5 songs I know every word to:
-"Phantom of the Opera"
-"Sometimes by Step"
-"Message in a Bottle"-by the Police--we used to sing it in music class
-theme song from Greatest American Hero
-"Dust in the Wind"

5 things I'd do with 1 million dollars:
-Give a matching gift to the organization I work for because people like to give when it's match...like you're giving twice as much
-Save a bunch
-Start a Disney fund to go to D-world every year
-Pay off the morgage

5 places I'd run to:
-the top of Pike's Peak
-around and around the backyard with Sunny
-Bill's side of the bed to snuggle...then return to my side to sleep
-under my fuzzy green blanket
-a little birdhouse in my soul

5 things I'd never wear:
-a jean jacket with jeans
-high top sneakers
-a thong
-socks with sticky-outy seams

5 favorite TV shows:
-Sex and the City (TBS version)
-Celebrity Poker

5 Biggest Joys:
-the 3 minutes before I fall asleep when I twitch involuntarily and Bill knows it's time to push me over to my side of the bed so I can fall asleep
-singing loudly in the car when I'm alone
-coffee with friends
-my box'o'fun
-the "whoosh" in my soul that God puts there for seemingly inexplicable reasons sometimes.

5 favorite toys:
-front-loading washer & dryer
-pogo ball
-DDR dance mats
-new laptop

The Rules:
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

my sentence..."i have reached new levels of anxiety at work."

My, my. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Hrmmm, I tag Jaime, Sarah, Shelli (if she hasn't already done so), Rockstar, & dear hubby if he still remembers the password to access his blog.

04 October 2005

Renegade Toad

Well, this tale is not nearly as exciting or terrifying as Ellen's snake ordeal. But it's rather humorous.

There's this toad that has been stalking us. Everytime I open my front door at night, there he is, staring at me. He's been inching his way closer and closer to the door. And my dog is petrified of him. The other night, he refused to go outside when he saw him, and when he has gone outside with psycho-toad out there, he walks as far away from him as possible.

Well, tonight, Bill opened the door to let Sunny out and in hops the toad. Brazen little amphibian! Sunny, in true hero fashion, came bolting down the stairs to the office, trembling at my feet. I heard some stomping and yelling upstairs, then Bill came down laughing to let Sunny know that he was safe and the toad was once again outside.

If I could attach a song to this here blog, I'd attach "Crazy Frog".

26 September 2005

the man in black

Can I just say how much I like Johnny Cash? His voice is real. It's gritty, like he gargles a bit of gravel every morning. No digital mixer could make that voice up. And he sings about real stuff. Like love--it's not always all hunky-dory and daisies all the time. Sometimes, it's a ring of fire that you don't want to particularly be in, but you are, so you hunker down and work at it.

Of course, then Bill told me that Preparation-H used that for an ad jingle for hemorrhoids, and that just about ruined it for me, but nope. I still love it. Those trumpets. Love 'em!

Yep, if I were a songwriter and Johnny were still alive, I would want him to sing my songs.

25 September 2005

The Power of Words

My friend Emily and I used to have a joke that you can say anything about anyone if you follow it up with "God love him (or her)." It's a Southern thing, I think.

"That hair looks atrocious! God love her."

"He's dumber than a fencepost--God love him."

It works for any manner of catty comments.

I've also discovered in marriage that "I love you" covers up a world of sin. For instance, my husband just walked in the room, insinuated that there were too many chores for him to do for us to go see the movie I've been wanting to catch. After my whiny little, "Eighh!", I followed it up with "I love you". And all is well. Usually, it makes him laugh more than anything.

My final word observation: nothing good can come after the phrase, "excuse me, but..." Bill and I were walking in the mall and passed a couple in front of us who was having a rather heated conversation. The wife (girlfriend? mistress?) interrupted the man and said, "ex-CUSE me, but..." I didn't catch the end of it, but we were in agreement that it couldn't be anything good.

"ex-CUSE me, but...your hair looks really nice today."

"ex-CUSE me, but...I've really enjoyed our evening."

Nope, that guy had done something heinous, and he was suffering the wrath of the double-x chromosome.

09 September 2005

I'm Back.

Back from where? Florida for the week with my in-laws. My hubby had to leave after 2 days, so it was very interesting learning to interact with my "innies" just me & them.

A good time was had by all, if I might say so myself. Our nephew is almost 2 years old, and he really is a hoot. We went around in a circle and had him say all of our names: MaMa, DaDa, Bee (what he calls Bill's dad), Bibby (what he calls my husband). Then, when he got to Gammy, blank stare and "TiTi". He's started calling my mom-in-law "TiTi", which she hates. She wants to be "Gammy" but I told her from before he was born (when she and my father-in-law picked out their chosen names) that she would be whatever first came out of her grandson's mouth. So for now, "TiTi" it is. She keeps correcting him, but everyone was secretly reinforcing TiTi behind her back: "Where's TiTi?? Go get TiTi!" Then, on Wednesday, he even stopped calling her TiTi and started calling me TiTi. When we got around the circle on Wednesday, she just got a blank stare. Ahh, well. It's probably best to just enjoy it while you can. It won't be long before he'll be mouthing off and repeating words that we all pray he'll never hear.

31 August 2005

The Plug has been Pulled

Well, Bill officially yanked my Katrina coverage watching. I was on CNN.com and getting worked up, and I've pretty much just been obsessed & depressed about it since Sunday night. So Bill pulled the visual plug. Too many images. He knows what that does to me.

I will take a carload of teddy bears to the shelter where some refugees are staying, though. At least I could do something, even if it's little bitty.

On a complete side note, but one that I've been thinking about since the hurricane hit, I had a good friend from college named Katrina, and she was always very proud of her name (she loved going to N'Awlins for Mardis Gras, too, but that's even further beside the point). Knowing her personality, she's probably very sad right now to have it associated with such devestation. And as this dear friend used to say, "It's true--it's not a farce." She got me saying it, too. You should start saying it, also. It would make her happy from afar. She's one of those people that I have on my "oh, crap, I wish I hadn't fallen out of contact with her" list.

30 August 2005

Floods of Tears

Well, the damage from Katrina is just horrific. On Good Morning, America this morning, Robin (forgot her last name) was reporting from Gulfport, MS where she's from, and she started crying on air. Her family's all right, but I think that they lost everything (as most people did along the coast). I just started bawling. For her. For New Orleans, 80% under water. For friends I have in MS who I assume are all right but I'm not sure. For the millions of people whose lives are forever altered.

27 August 2005


Yesterday, on Good Morning, America, I saw that apparently at press conferences in Thailand, the prime minister holds a little buzzer that makes a pleasant bell-like sound, and anytime a person asks a question that he doesn't want to answer, he dings it and says, "not productive." Then all the reporters have to move on to the next question.

I would like a bell like that.

25 August 2005

27, almost

I turn 27 in less than a month. I don’t feel almost 27. Growing up, 27 always seemed so old. The official birthday that moves me from mid-twenties to late twenties. Now, it feel surprisingly young and normal. Just another year. I still even get carded at restaurants.

This just isn’t how I planned on 27 going down. At 27, I was going to have been married at least 4 years, have one small child, know how to cook (and do so on a semi-regular basis), and have traveled to Europe.

The real 27 is being married for almost one year, no child (although a bit of a pregnancy scare over Christmas), a highly spoiled and untrustworthy dog who likes to pee in my closet, a “fend for yourself” dinner mentality which I constantly feel guilty about, and no trip to Europe in the old scrapbooks (my little sister’s been twice now, so if she schedules another trip over there, I’ve decided I’m going to book a weekend trip just to avoid a “three times a bridesmaid…” mentality)

It’s not that I would change any of my life experiences so far. It just seems a little surreal how quickly my 20’s have passed. Blip. There they go

24 August 2005

Would you like an insult with that pedicure?

Whenever I leave my hairstylist’s salon, I always feel so inadequate. Basically like I just fell off the back of the ugly truck. I realize that it really shouldn’t be this way. Quite the opposite, I should feel my most pretty. And my feelings of repulsiveness have absolutely nothing to do with the haircut. To be honest, the only reason that I still go there is strictly because of the haircuts.

The salon is the newest, trendiest salon in my town. Complete with industrial, stained-concrete floors, flambouyantly gay men, and half the stylists wearing hats at a jaunty angle. I went to go get my first cut there because they were down the trendy street that my husband and I used to live on and one of his friends had done some design work for them. The second that I walked in I just knew that they were not my style (i.e. none). Apart from the industrial edge, they had all of 2 (uncomfortable) seats in the waiting area (not the smooshy old couches I’m used to from my old salon). The only magazine subscriptions they carry are Vogue and some bizarre architectural mag (although thank heavens someone’s been leaving their old Real Simples). So I’m already feeling like a fish out of water just stepping foot in the place.

But here’s why I leave feeling like Princess Toadstool: The place is swarming with jellyfishers. Perhaps you are not familiar with this phrase from Bridget Jones Diary, let me explain. Jellyfishers are those people (usually women, but I have discovered that gay male hairdressers are also fairly skilled at this) who will say something that at first seems like an innocuous comment (the really good ones can even make it seem like an initial compliment), but then…sting. You realize that it was a snarky jab the whole time. At the salon, it typically comes in the form of an offer for further services or misguessing what services I’m there for. (“And you’re here for highlights?” “No. A haircut.” “Ohhhh.”)

Why do I keep going back? Why? Why? Because that dang Kelli cuts my hair better than any other person I’ve ever gone to. I swear her scissors are made of magical metal. So I’ll return again and again, like a moth to an insulting flame.

23 August 2005

What's a Celebrity to Do?

Bill always chides me when I say things like, “Oh, poor thing!” when I hear disturbing celebrity news like Katie Holmes being brainwashed, Sienna Miller getting cheated on by Jude Law, and whatever latest horrible white trash thing Britney Spears has done. I think that he views it as his mission in life to bring me back to reality and follow my sympathetic outburst up with an incredulous “Really?”

And of course, when I stop to think about it, no, they are not deserving of my sympathy. If someone was holding a gun up to each of their heads and forcing them to live a posh, pampered lifestyle and make poor relationship choices, then perhaps, they might earn a “Well, that’s disturbing.” But none of them should ever get a full-fledged “Poor thing!”

I do find one exception to this, though. I do feel bad for actors typecast as creepy, snarky people. Christopher Walken and Alan Rickman come immediately to mind. Oh, and that disturbing Steve Buscemi. Granted, they’re well-paid for it, but I would not like people to immediately think “evil” when my name came into casual conversation. And how would YOU like to know that when producers see you walk in the door, they see “evil”? But again, not a full-fledged “Poor thing!” More like… “What an unfortunate career turn.”

22 August 2005

I Hate Cancer

One of my good friends has cancer, the bad, yucky pancreatic kind (she's a lovely person with lovely things to say, you should go visit her page and pray for her).

It was a shock for her and her family and everyone who knows them. She's very healthy and vibrant, and that still shines through the yucky cancer. Her first round of chemo went well, and the cancer is responding well to it (isn't that an odd way of saying it? It makes me picture the little cancer cells poking their heads out of their little hiding holes like evil prairie dogs listening for cars going by.) I know that her body is hurting and exhaustion is constantly lurking, but I'm constantly amazed by the hope and faith that has poured out of her since the beginning of this yucky ordeal.

And that's just the only word for it, yucky.


There are too many kids in this tub.
There are too many elbows to scrub.
I just washed a behind
That I’m sure wasn’t mine.
There are too many kids in this tub.
-Shel Silverstein

That’s kind of how I feel right now. A little out of control. Getting things done because I know that they need to be done. Scrubbing on auto-pilot, but who knows whose tushy I’m scrubbing? And the only certainty is that I’m never going to catch up.

Every morning, I pass by this park on my way to work. Right after I graduated from college, there were a couple months when my older sister got really sick with pneumonia. As I had found out earlier that term that I had enough credits to graduate early, I had finished right before spring break, packed up all my stuff, and come home to a sister who was living by herself, and (I thought) was just a little under the weather. Turns out she was very ill with this awful pneumonia, and long story short—almost died, and I ended up spending the next few months living with her, working at a sucky job, pooling our money to eat (she had to quit working with children after she got out of the hospital).

Point of the story: It was a yucky time in my life, for obvious reasons, but I lived right by this park and went on almost daily walks. Every time I drive by that park now, I find myself getting extremely jealous of the college students and stay-at-home moms out walking and jogging. It’s not that I have any desire to go back to that time of my life in college when I could go walking in the middle of the day (well, maybe a little, but only if I could keep my husband and home ownership). Nor am I clamoring to get pregnant as soon as possible (although I am a little baby crazy after spending the weekend with my exceptionally cute niece). I certainly have no desire to go back to those post-college months working for the smarmiest doctor in this neck of the woods. I guess that the grass is always just greener on the other side. But I still think that a 40+ hour work week in a one-person office sucks.

18 August 2005

I'm going to the nut shop! Where it's FUN!

I have been accused of being an infrequent blogger. It’s true…it’s true. I won’t try to hide from it. I guess that when I sit down to write a post, this “little sister” mentality in me comes out, and I think, “Well, Ellen has the better blog. She’s the writer in the family! Why bother?” And the truth is, that’s not the point. She and I have different strengths. Always have. Always will. She sucks at math. I’m a math whiz. I couldn’t doodle my way out of a box. She’s a cartoonist. And our little sister got all the musical talent, bar none.

And the really horrible thing about it is that I prefer her blog to my own! It’s like Steve Zahn’s character in “You’ve Got Mail” when he gets sick of all the moping around at the slow bookshop where he works (i.e. my blog) and storms out saying, “I’m going to the nut shop! Where it’s FUN!”

So, oh, so sadly enough, that is how I feel about my blog. It’s not a bad little place. It’s just funner at Ellen’s. Maybe I need to establish a niche for myself. The blog for tall girls or the blog for new wives who think of their dogs as their children or the blog for people who consistently get 2 hours less sleep than they need and it’s their own dang fault.

15 August 2005

and a good time was had by all

so washington d.c. was fun. rode the metro. had a flashback to band trip in high school during which the chaperones had to make sure our entire band (i believe it was 130+ sr. high students, many of them surly or idiots) onto the metro and make sure they got off at the right stop. good grief, were they insane? i remember the pep talk for it: "the doors will open! you will get on and sit down in the available seats! if there are no seats, you will stand and grasp the handle immediately in front of you! do not grab the next person's handle! you will get off at arlington! not before! not after! arlington!"

contrast this with my little adventure with shelli and sarah: "were we at east paces ferry or west paces ferry? east. no. west. no. definitely east (it was east). if we go too far, we'll just go one stop up, not find our car and ride back."

and the thing i most associate with our nation's glorious capitol, shining beacon of freedom and democracy? tired feet.

and a really cute pair of pants that i bought that fit me really well.

but seriously, it was super-fun.

11 August 2005

Free those associations!

I can’t believe that August is almost half over. This year has flown by. Part of me wants everything to slow down so I can savor every moment. The other (bigger) part is thinking, “whatever!” It’s hot as hades, and I want the fall and winter to come so I can get all those warm-fuzzy (big difference from hot-sweltering) feelings about the start of school (even though I haven’t been in school for a number of years) and next thing you know it’s Christmas…yippee! I’m not usually one of the “Pollyanna” types to see sunshine and rainbows wherever I go, but I do love the autumn weather.

In the spirit of free association, one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen is a rainbow from the top in an airplane. It really was like flying “somewhere over the rainbow”. Although, I was flying into Atlanta, so the only thing over that particular rainbow was soggy luggage and a traffic jam at spaghetti junction. Again with the not-exactly-Pollyanna.

Final thought: I am leaving this evening for Washington D.C. for some whirlwind girl-time fun in our nation’s capitol. I am looking forward to it immensely and have been humming “D.C., D.C., it’s a wonderful town, where the mall is up and the capitol’s down, the people ride in the metro in town…D.C., D.C., it’s a wonderful town” with visions of Sarah, Shelli, and I dancing around wearing smart little sailorette outfits singing. Of course, they're the singers, so they'd be Sinatra and Kelly, and I'd end up being that third guy who know one remembers the name of. I think the thing I’m most looking forward to (other than re-creating old golden era musicals) is purging out some old band trip memories, not that they were all bad, just time to wash away the images of lugging my snare until my arm was about to fall off my band director yelling at the top of his lungs at us at every national monument.

09 August 2005

The Things We Do for Love, part 2

As I swiftly approach the end of my first year of marriage to my wonderful husband, I find myself yet again looking around me and chuckling at the things we both do for love. For any of you that have met me husband, you know that he is a bit more organized and detail-oriented than I am (no comments from the peanut gallery, Ellen and Shelli!). And for those of you that can claim an acquaintanceship with me, you know that I perhaps tend to procrastinate a bit and am a wee bit messy at times.

But, ahh, love! That is why when Bill walked in the bedroom this morning and saw the bed looking like a pack of wild badgers had made it, he just smiled and fought the urge to tuck like mad. And when I came home on Sunday to find my husband had proudly come up with a basket system from Lowe’s for me to “file” my panties in vertically to utilize the under sink storage space, I just smiled and commented on how much I like the baskets.

And of course, by next week, he will again be tucking in stray corners and I will be heaping my panties in the old Rubbermaid drawers that I’ve had since college. But I will continue to clean the bathrooms because I know that he hates it, and he will mow the lawn because he knows that I don’t know how, but leave the weeds for me to pluck because he knows that I like to pull up weeds. And I’ll take Sunny out in the morning because Bill’s always in a rush to get out the door. And he’ll take Sunny out at bedtime because he knows that I’m afraid of raccoons. Ah, compromise!

08 August 2005

that darn dog

just when i want to be angry at my dog (this being the same dog who has twice peed all over the floor of the entryway after having a special "doggy garage corral" built for him, complete with partial carpetting and a king-sized litter box...don't get me started on the box), he does something extremely adorable like go and stand with half his body out the dog door and half of it in just to see if something cool is going on in the garage that he should know about.

and he's certainly the only dog i know who will chew on the same old dingey pipe that the house's prior owner's dog did one minute, then turn up his nose if a hair gets in his water dish the next.

05 August 2005

Random, random things about me

-I can remember where I was sitting when I first heard of Mariah Carey and heard her song “Vision of Love”. I was not impressed and still hate that song.

-I think my dog’s “pooping stance” is so cute.

-In my 27 years, I have never mowed a lawn, but I love pulling weeds.

-I wasn’t allowed to eat Lucky Charms until age 16 because my mom said it would “stunt my growth”. When I hit 5’10”, I went out and bought my own box, and then my mom started buying it in bulk at Sam’s Club.

-I’m horrible at keeping secrets.

-Sweeping and vacuuming gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

-I once ate a carrot out of a kid’s nose to try to get him to laugh.

-I touched my snotty friend Suzanne’s “American Girl” antique, minted penny in 3rd grade, just for spite.

-My favorite place to pet my dog is on his ears. I like to pull on them—they feel like silk.

-I keep a list of things that make me happy in my desk drawer, and when I start getting down in the dumps, I pull it out and make myself do one of them.

-I love it when I misjudge a book or movie and “discover” it at a later time (i.e. Harry Potter, Shawshank Redemption, Orange County, Count of Monte Cristo).

-I have more shoes than I need.

-My all-time favorite bath product was the (now discontinued) Avon roll-on colored bath soap, and I frequently look for the equivalent at Wal-Mart, but they don’t make it.

(And a special shout-out to my brother-in-law for enabling me to have subject headings on my posts!)

04 August 2005

Well, sometimes my symptoms just mask themselves for a few days before gelling into a discernible illness. I've pinpointed it...a sinus infection. One would think after a lifetime of sinus infections, all with the same basic symptoms, I would recognize it immediately. So I called my ENT this morning, could he call me in antibiotics? No, it's been too long since I've been in. Could he see me? No, not until Monday. What about the other doctor? Nay-no as well. So there's nothing he could do for me? Nope. Sinus infection does not agree with that answer.

Call general practitioner that I saw with the last sinus infection because family doctor wasn't in that day. She is out...until Monday. Leave desperate call for family doctor's nurse. Please, Jeanne! This is Karen...sinus infection...same symptoms as every sinus infection...even rationed one of the medicines from last time so only need antibiotic. Please!

Haven't heard back. Sneaking suspicion I will be toughing this one out in pain. Wish I could call friend in Mexico on her honeymoon to ask her to sneak back a ration of antibiotics.

03 August 2005

I am officially one of the world’s worst hypochondriacs. I got a tick bite yesterday. When I was ten, I would get them all the time (we lived on a large, wooded lot) and I didn’t think a thing about it, but now that I know all the horrible diseases those little vermin carry, I find myself researching the symptoms of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever because I have a headache, my forehead’s warm, I feel sick to my stomach, and I have gas.

Unfortunately, I was also raised with this German Protestant work ethic that if my temperature is under 100 degrees and I am able to keep solid food in me, then I am "fine" and can carry on with normal daily routine. Albeit very whinily.

29 July 2005

So here’s the question of the day (and maybe this will inspire some comments): how do you know it’s the right time to start trying to have children? Notice I do not say “the right time to get pregnant”. I work in the adoption field. I know that when you start trying and when a baby shows up are often two VERY different times. It boggles my mind when women think they can choose the month they want their baby born in…of course, some fertile myrtles can.

My husband and I have been married for almost a year, and I’m constantly haunted (as most women in America are) by the TIME article a few years ago with the depressing nose-dive fertility/age chart. We’re financially stable, healthy, love kids, blah, blah, blah. And then there’s the cons—only time in our life to be carefree, big chunk of disposable income, time away from each other, blah, blah, blah. So I guess my question is, “how do you know when the scales have tipped?” Is it an earth-shattering moment? A quiet peace? Of course, there’s the couples that have oopsies and God answers the question for them. And then, there are the delusional/stupid on pregnancy boards: “my fiancé and I have started trying…does anyone know of a good empire waist wedding dress company?”

And granted, I am surrounded ALL THE TIME by babies and baby-related topics. Tends to color my thinking light pink and baby blue, but I don't consider myself to be baby crazy. So just curious…how did you know?

20 July 2005

So sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. My sister has even demoted me to a “non-daily blogger” in her links. Hrmph.

I have a good excuse. I was in Florida at a friend’s wedding. It was loverly, and a good time was had by all. It’s been a long time since I had a girls’ week—just laying out, talking about all things wedding-related, and reading trashy magazines filled with celebrity gossip. I was so braced for one of the women there to be “that girl”…the one that throws a wrench in the system and can’t get along with this person or that person, and to my very pleasant surprise, no one emerged in that role.

I felt very fresh in Florida. I have no other way to describe it. I did things that were completely unlike me. I craved (and mostly ate) fresh fruit and salads. I wore cute, strappy sandals and strapless sundresses. I laid out everyday in the bikinis that I was sure would never again be used after I arrived home from my honeymoon. I danced on a bar where it was prohibited. Heck, I danced on a bar, period. I drove down to South Beach with my father-in-law on a whim (long story). In short, for just a few days, I think I was actually fairly cool.

It’s a bizarre new concept for me. I’ve always been the frumpy, dependable one. Of course, on the actual wedding day, that’s who my friend wanted me to be—the bossy, dependable heavy. And I came through with flying colors, if I might say so myself.

But the other 6 days of compliments on my shoes were heavenly.

05 July 2005

the things we do for love...

so guess whose husband, on a whim, decided yesterday that he and his wife needed to purchase rollerblades? the same rollerblading activity that i am HORRIBLE at and dislike to no end...and told him so.

and guess which wife ended up crashing into the grass and dirt (thank goodness not the asphalt or approaching bridge, at least) at the park? oh, me!!

i now have a swollen lip (lower lip, not in the least angelina jolie-esque), tender nose (at least not broken), and very sore hip (looks like really bad rug burn, but at least the bruising isn't too bad...oh, yeah, just in time for my friend's wedding in florida, complete with all her ever-so-tan friends).

am trying to focus on the positive of "i'm glad i have a husband that enjoys doing stuff with me and trying new stuff." HE, of course, picked up rollerblading as if he skated out of the womb. after much discussion yesterday, we figured out which kid we each were at the rolling rink growing up. he was the kid "shooting the duck" under the limbo pole and dreaming of the day when he could be the one wearing the ref shirt and blowing the whistle. i was the kid eating cotton candy at the snack bar and scooting around in the turtle corral.

so which kid were you?

01 July 2005

Hello 3 day weekend! Normally, 3 day weekends hold much joy and relaxation for me. What could be better than fireworks, family and food? (Not necessarily in that order.)

Hmmmm…perhaps not having to spend the entire weekend halfheartedly packing your house up not knowing if/when you’re going to be able to close on the sell of it? Yes, that would do nicely. My husband and I are now living exclusively in two rooms of the house, the kitchen and the bedroom. And the only thing in the kitchen is his office equipment and plastic tableware. Our refrigerator holds provolone cheese and a Kaiser roll, and the freezer has one ice cream bar that I very seriously doubt will be there by the end of the day. Ditto with the 2 swiss cake rolls left in the pantry.

Happy, happy news. My friend Shelli closed with her husband on their new home. My hubby and I went to the furniture store with them to see their new living room set. Very sassy and sophisticated. I can’t wait for fun movie nights and playing board games over there.

Sad, sad news. My request to cut my hours at my job in order to have one day a week off (don’t think I actually mentioned it blogging, but this past week has been filled with tense board and boss discussions over this) has been denied. There was a concession made to change my work schedule to work a couple days out of the house. I agreed to this with the understanding that I would be getting some HELP in my job as soon as possible. Otherwise, it’s just putting a band-aid over a bullethole. Right now, I’m flying solo in the office, and this has resulted in many a night of sobbing into my husband’s shoulder. I felt a bit vindicated as I asked my boss to research how other single-person offices do it, and every single one of them was like, “oh, no! After a year, we weren’t able to do it with a single person any more. We hired a second person.” So at least I know that I’m not crazy or just whiny.

28 June 2005

Ahh, the wonderful smell of meat in one’s car the first thing in the morning.

When I got into my car this morning, I took a double-sniff. There was a distinct “meaty” smell wafting about. I looked over into the passenger seat to make sure that Hubby had not left McDonald’s bag from last night in the car. It would be very uncharacteristic of him, but as we’re moving in 2 days, and everything is chaos, stranger things have happened. I believe that my older sister once found a perfectly preserved fry in her car that she estimated had to be at least a few years old. Or perhaps it was my younger sister…but I digress.

Meat! I figured it was just leftover McD’s smell and went to get my allergy shot (which does not seem to be working at all, and I just reached the maximum dose, so I’m a bit depressed about it, but again, I digress). Got back in the car after the shot, and it was STRONGER! Lingering smells do not get stronger. Must investigate. Look at back seat. Nothing. Just two Wal-Mart bags…filled…with…dog food. Sweet Ol’ Roy Moist’n’Meaty dinner packets. Sonny refuses to eat any other kind. He even turns his nose up at the more expensive Purina brand. Must be Ol’ Roy. Stinky, meaty, yucky Ol’ Roy.

Am now disturbed that McDonald’s and dog food smell so similar.

23 June 2005

So I was listening to the True Hollywood Story of Carmen Electra on E! News Radio this morning, and her real name is Tara Patrick. When she became Prince’s protégé in 1990 (or was he the unpronounceable symbol at that time?), he insisted that she change it, and she decided on Carmen Electra. Obviously to reflect her demure and simple nature.

So I started thinking about stars who change their names. Do they think of themselves as their real name or their stage name? Does Carmen Electra wake up every morning and look in the mirror and see “Carmen” or “Tara”? I’d put my money on “Tara”, but then again, she’s been “Carmen” for such a long time. And does her big Iowa family still call her “Tara”? What about her husband? I’m sure she was introduced to him with her stage name, but if she wakes up every morning and sees “Tara”, she probably wants him to see “Tara” as well. It seems like I remember from their reality show that he has a pet name that he calls her.

The whole name change thing is just something that I don’t get. When my parents named their children, they specifically chose names that could not be shortened, changed, or cutified. And if you can think of a nickname for Karen, please let me know. I’ve always been curious.

My husband Bill was “Billy” growing up, and whenever we’re in his hometown, that’s how he thinks of himself. At first, it weirded me out, but now, when we’re in his hometown, I sometimes think of him as “Billy” too. But I don’t call him that unless I’m joking and using a hick southern accent and drawling it, “Bill-lly”.

I babysat for one little girl who decided to change her name the first day of school when the teacher was taking roll.

Teacher: “Katie?”
Girl: “No, it’s Beth.”
Teacher: “I’m sorry. It says ‘Katie.’ I’ll change that, Beth.”

Two months later at the parent-teacher conference, after 10 minutes, her parents finally stopped the teacher and asked why she kept calling her Beth. The teacher (much confusion!) explained, and let me tell you, there was a lot more explaining to do when the parents got home.

But she’s Beth today. I respect 1st graders who know their true name. At least she didn’t change her name to Carmen Electra.

21 June 2005

Okay, again with the creepy:

I’m watching the local news last night, and the top story was of an elderly woman who had been missing for over a year, and her granddaughter had just confessed to killing her. Well, apparently, she (the granddaughter) decided to cooperate with the police and lead them to where she buried the body. Which just happens to be under the garage of a house that Bill and I looked into buying a few months ago. Needless to say, I squealed and ran in to tell Bill. Could this really be the same house? Best to drive over and investigate.

Sure enough—there was the overpriced Tudor-style with a good floor-plan and excellent school district being torn up with jackhammers and excavation equipment surrounded by the local ABC and NBC affiliate’s news vans. It used to be just a big cowfield, and apparently the construction companies managed to plant the house directly over the dead body. Bill and I actually stopped at the end of the cul-de-sac that the house is located on (seriously, if it had had trees and no dead bodies under it, it would have been perfect) and prayed and thanked God for saving us from all that. It also doesn’t help that developers just put up “high-end” storage units directly behind the house. I don’t care if you put a brick façade over the sheet metal and have fancy scrollwork on the security gate, mini-storage is mini-storage.

Those poor people will never be able to sell their house. Much like the three other houses on the block that are for sale as well. As I said, mini-storage is mini-storage.

At least the elderly woman will get a proper burial.

20 June 2005

I love cemeteries. I know, I know. Creepy girl, creepy girl! But the fact is that as a Christian, I don’t find them depressing. Not so much a resting place…more like a pit stop for the body while the soul goes ahead to check into the party. (on a side note, my boss recently asked me what I thought Heaven would be like…a close family member of hers had just died, and I said, “y’know those moments when you say, ‘it absolutely can’t get better than this’? I think that those are the moments that God gives us a taste…and then He’s going to prove that we are gloriously wrong.”)

So anyway, I rather enjoy cemeteries. It provides a peaceful place to walk with good reading to boot. I like to make up little stories about the person’s life as I pass their gravestone. I still go to the grave of one of my best friends who died in high school. The sapling that his family planted at his burial is now a full-blown tree. I’m not saying that his death was a happy thing or that I don’t still miss him and have little pangs of mourning, but the cemetery doesn’t hold him any more than this earth could. And the memory of all those flowers that covered the grave still makes me smile a little.

In truth, I’ve only seen one thing in a cemetery that truly depressed me. It was a grave marker of a man who died at a rather young age, in his 40s, and his wife (also in her 40s) had put up her grave marker at the time of his burial. I knew this woman as an acquaintance and she’s so vibrant and, well, alive. It seems wrong for her gravestone to be sitting there, ready and waiting. And all I know is that if I were her 12 year old kid, I’d be pretty freaked out.

But maybe it gives her some peace. I know that they were linked at the heart. Maybe to heal she needs them to be linked in stone as well.
It’s official. Bill’s and my entire honeymoon itinerary is cursed. The disappearance in Aruba, the death at Epcot. Even the killing rampage in Atlanta a few months ago (though technically, we just had a really long layover there, so I’m not sure that should count).

I’m especially sad about Aruba. It’s getting a bad name, and it really shouldn’t be. Granted, I was not aware of all the drug trafficking that apparently was taking place under my very nose without me having any clue. But the entire time that we were there, I felt very safe and welcomed. So if we encountered any drug traffickers, apparently, we only encountered the very polite, helpful kind. Hmm…perhaps that was not actually powdered sugar on the poffertjes that I ate every morning for breakfast…okay, and dinner. When else do you have the excuse to eat what amounts to funnel cake anytime you want and call it ethnic cuisine?

On a completely different note, I am probably going to get a kitten in 2 weeks. I begged my parents for a kitten for every Christmas since I can remember and always received the same answer, “maybe.” Which may have meant “yes” or “possibly” from your parents, but from my parents, it meant a big fat “NO.” I want to get a small white, female kitten and name her Adelaide from “Guys & Dolls”. Of course, she may end up being non-white since I’ll walk into the shelter and fall in love with the first one that I see.

My husband’s family had an amazing 6 cats growing up (all at one time), all inside/outside, and apparently, some of them looked a lot alike and his dad never knew that they had that many. They’d just rotate in and out. As a child, my husband liked to have a cat sleep down at his feet on the bed at night…not particular about which one…so when he’d go to bed, he’d yell, “Mom, bring me a cat!” And she’d scoop up whichever cats were nearby and plop them on his bed. That story cracks me up.

14 June 2005

there is a magical, magical word in our house.

that word is "carride!"

for those of you who have never met my doggy, sunny, he can be quite stubborn. especially when he is somewhere that he wants to be and i don't want him to be. one of his favorite activities is "stare at mommy until she stamps her foot because she's so frustrated then run to another spot and roll in my own poo".

but not when i yell the magic word. the world stops. sunny runs to the garage door and i have his FULL attention.

the magic word must be used sparingly lest it lose its effect. and every so often i have to follow up on the offer, usually just open the car door and let him jump around in circles then open it again to let him out--he thinks that he went on a 16 hour road trip.

02 June 2005

On the way out to run some errands last night, hubby and I saw two men standing at the intersection down the hill holding a cross. I’ve seen a number of such people in my life carrying a cross as a witness tool and symbol of their Christianity. I had not, however, ever before seen a cross on wheels.

It was a big wooden cross, about 6 feet tall made of sturdy, rugged lumber with what looked like children’s training wheels attached. My first thought was, “how bizarre!” followed quickly by “how lazy!” chastising myself quickly with “how judgmental, Karen!” But I do have to say that it did seem a bit odd. The whole point of carrying a cross was (I thought) to exemplify how Christ suffered on the cross to destroy the great sin divide between us and God. And since last night, when I’ve tried to envision that long walk to Calvary, I find myself desperately trying to mentally remove two metal wheels from that vision.

My husband, ever the pragmatic, said, “If I was going to push a wheeled cross around, I think I’d make the wheels detachable so I could at least hide them.”

So I tried to think deeply about how it could be a symbol of how as disciples of Christ we are called into training to be like Him. In essence, He is the perfect Man, we are little men with training wheels. But, no, I still just think it was odd.

01 June 2005

The way my office is set up at work, it used to be just me on the lower floor and a law office on the upper floor. My only real issues with this arrangement were that I had the good bathroom downstairs with the loud fan and thick door so it was/is frequented by everyone in the office building (see blog archives for full ranting).

But now I have a new issue. One of the lawyers is running in a statewide political race. My quiet little downstairs haven is now campaign central. And I don’t think that I would be too bothered by it, but there are all these campaign managers and volunteers coming and going. Someone is ALWAYS on the phone. Sometimes on two phones at once. And I could swear that someone was smoking in there yesterday.

And the person running for office has come into my office a few times wanting to discuss politics. I don’t discuss politics. Especially with a politician. And especially with a politician who I have a very strong suspicion I disagree with heartily on almost all issues.

27 May 2005

So I totally won something the other day on the radio. Granted, I listen to a small non-syndicated radio station, so the prize was two passes to a movie theater in a nearby retirement community (which closes at, I kid you not, SIX O’CLOCK) and a gift certificate to a restaurant that I’ve never heard of (which doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad, but it does leave me a bit skeptical). I won on Wednesday, and the question was, “What movie released on this day in 1977 to lackluster sales?” And thanks to my love of VH1 and my husband, I knew that it was Star Wars! And I actually got through to the radio host, and we had a nice little chat, and I won.

But, of course, no one that I know was listening. Hubby was helping a friend of ours move and said, “That’s nice!” And all my other friends were at work or out of the station’s broadcasting area (as I mentioned, it’s a small station with a small tower). And it was actually the second time that I’ve gotten through to the host. The first time, they asked who Crispin Glover played in Back to the Future, and I accidentally blurted out “Biff….no! Wait…the dad! The dad!! George McFly!” They may be a small station, but they do insist on correct answers. The host made me spell out the whole title to Star Wars: “Episode 4, Star Wars: A New Hope”, but I think he could tell that he would look like a nerd on the air, so he edited it out when he played the tape. But even with the whole small station thing, I was still quite impressed with myself because I’ve never won anything before in my life.

That’s not entirely true. In 3rd grade, I won a “Great American Trivia” game for beating out a classmate (Suzanne…nyehhh) in the schoolwide spelling bee. It was similar to Trivial Pursuit, but not as interesting, fun, or challenging, and rather than filling a pie, you filled a flag. But I liked to invite Suzanne over to come play it and rub it in her face that I knew how to spell “iridescent”, and she didn’t.

25 May 2005

My husband and I have put almost all of our rarely (or never) used junk in storage in preparation for a theoretical/probable future move. It's actually been a very good thing to do as I've realized that we don't need any of it. In fact, he has suggested a couple of times, "Why not just throw everything in the storage unit out rather than move it?" My reponse: NO!!! There's sentimental stuff in those boxes. And that's only half true. The things I would miss are my childhood Gund stuffed animals (I got one every year for Christmas from my parents, and they're still in pristine condition, so I want to give them to potential future children) and my Dolly Dingle paperdolls (much beloved international paperdoll set introducing me to fun paperdolls like "Beppy" the little Dutch boy). That's really it. In fact, I can't with full certainty tell you what's in any of the other boxes.

But I have a sneaking fear that we will instead move everything to a new house, put it in the "junk room" until we slowly unpack the boxes and they seep back into closets and drawers and false sentimentality.

My main goal is to not get as bad as my grandma (loved the woman very much, did not love her habit of saving EVERYTHING and writing "precious--keep" on it in pencil). After she had died, my mom and aunts found a butter tub with rocks in it that had a little piece of paper attached that said "precious--keep; these were the rocks that girls played with in June of 1954 and pretended they were food for a tea party."

I want to store my treasures in Heaven and take the rest to the dumpster. Except Beppy and his fun friends.

22 May 2005

i've been thinking a lot about fear lately.

fear of change. fear of the unknown. fear of thunderstorms (i bring this up as it is storming outside and my VERY fearful dog is squinched up under the bed panting in terror, as if i would ever tie him up to a tree in the middle of a thunderstorm--although that's where his fear comes from: he was found abandoned, starving, tied to a tree. now he has a dog bed for every room of the house and a mom that coaxes him to eat when he's upset by burying treats in his food). fear of fire (that was a big one as a child). fear of moving. fear of not moving. fear of a whole lot of crap that i can't control.

what is it that yoda says? fear leads to anger and anger leads to the dark side. well, it's true. in episode 3, fear is what turns anakin into darth vader (well, it's a bit more complicated than that, but i don't want to ruin any plot points for the 5 people in america who haven't already seen it.) but it's true that fear comes to no good. and it seems so silly that i should operate under the veil of fear when God distinctly instructs me to NOT be afraid and i know that He'll take care of me no matter what. but still i sit here, ruminating on all the things that must be done this week, all the horrible things that could happen this week. all the horrible things that did happen last week. and i want to crawl under the bed with my dog, just like Much Afraid in "Hinds' Feet". so silly.

18 May 2005

am going to the new star wars movie tonight at midnight with my hubby, the singing banker (www.thesingingbanker.blogspot.com), her hubby, and a teenager that my hubby mentors and his new girlfriend. the singing banker and i will be painting a red streak down our lips in honor of the soon-to-be dead senator padme. such is life. i'm trying to keep my hopes down. i was disappointed in episode 1, horrified by episode 2, and haunted by the wonderousness that can't be duplicated that is episodes 4, 5, and 6 (aka "the real star wars")

i have reached new levels of anxiety at work. it's gotten to the point where i've been having trouble sleeping at night because i can't get work-related junk off my mind. i work in a high-stress field, and i work in a lone-ranger (just me) office, a bad combination for an extrovert who gets stressed out when she can't decide what to make for dinner. and the thing is that i know that i'm not doing all the things that i should to de-stress: exercise, practice relaxation techniques, focus on hobbies that relax me. my thoughts: WHO has time for hobbies and fun? i'll do that later. and then later never happens. and i always have this imaginary timetable in my head of when things will improve: things will calm down after we get back from our honeymoon...after christmas...after my niece arrives...after we sell the house...after this next birth, home study, placement, stack of paperwork, fundraiser, phone call, bigger stack of paperwork. you get the picture.

and then some dang inspirational moment happens and it keeps me going for a few more hours/days/weeks (the last one was a 3 year old who walked into my office with pennies that he'd been saving for the babies we help find homes for--how sweet is that?)

ehh. i'll just enjoy the movie tonight with a wonderful husband and great friends and re-write that script that's floating around in my head where i tell my boss that i'm changing to part-time.

15 May 2005

how fun is this? as i am sitting here typing this, husband is sitting behind me rubbing my back. he is nice. i like him.

here is a short list of things i am thankful for at this very moment:

-husband (see above)
-strawberry shortcake pajama pants that are long enough for me
-my electric toothbrush
-my niece anna and nephew owen
-the color orange
-good friends who made husband an "emperor's cup" trophy after he didn't win the "governor's cup" competition
-fun lamps with beaded fringe (okay, now i'm just looking around the room)
-not having to take care of a pool
-potluck dinners
-really, anything with beaded fringe on it
-ice cold glasses of water
-long Sunday afternoon naps
-movies that don't end the way you think they will but end the way you know they should (a la "in good company")

13 May 2005

This post is for a (rather bold) Miss Sarah who…insinuated that she would like more frequent updates. And now that I have a comment to motivate me, here goes (perhaps my sister will even add me back in as a link: www.sugarintheraw.blogspot.com ):

My dog is a persnickety pee-er. We finally broke him of urinating repeatedly on the same tree right next to the deck. A.) it was starting to smell bad and B.) the lower branches of the tree were starting to die. He’s going through a great deal of trauma right now because we are trying to sell our house (which is a whole other kettle of fish), and he’s not allowed up in “his” office anymore (Bill’s home office over the garage that’s recently been repainted and recarpeted where Sunny used to spend the majority of his time). We also took away his favorite dog bed in the living room, and to protest that, he went to the corner of the yard to roll around in his own poo. All this to explain why he’s not allowed out in the yard unsupervised anymore in the mornings.

So that is what led me to be standing out in the middle of the yard, holding my dog on a leash this morning, pleading with him to pee-pee as he stared at me defiantly. I know for a fact that he had to pee as he hadn’t been out for over 8 hours. But it’s like he has decided that that is the one area of his life that he can still control, when he chooses to relieve himself.

He has also taken to putting his paw up on the baseboard in the living room and licking the walls. I have NO idea what that’s about.

So that got me thinking about stupid things that I do out of defiance. When I was little, I would refuse to get out of the car when we got home, and I’d just sit in the stuffy car in the garage. Who was I punishing? Myself. As an adult, I curl up on a chair downstairs and half-fall asleep at night even though it’s not quality sleep, and I know that I should just go upstairs and get ready for bed. Who am I robbing of precious slumber? Only myself. And then there’s the really stupid stuff: refusing to watch the movie “Tommy Boy” because everyone in college used to quote it all the time and said that I “had to” see it; using Kleenex instead of toilet paper when it wasn’t my turn to buy t.p. with past roommates (I was especially stubborn on this one as I would always be the one to buy expensive Scott t.p. that lasts forever, and they would buy the cheapy stuff that lasts 2 weeks); and my personal favorite, as a child, refusing to take the training wheels off my bike even though I didn’t need them because I was lazy and didn’t want to have to bother balancing. And who got mocked? Me.

28 January 2005

I miss Aruba. Bill and I went there for our honeymoon, and I miss it. I have a mouse pad with a picture of our hotel’s private beach island on it sitting next to my work computer because I thought that it would make me happy to look at it. But it doesn’t. It makes me sad that people are there right now, and I am not one of them.

We also went to Disneyworld on our honeymoon. I’m also sad to not be there, but I know that we’ll be going to Disneyworld at some point in the not-so-distant future. Either with his family to watch the wondrous look on our nephew’s face as he thrills at the Buzz Lightyear ride or with my family to watch the wondrous look on our soon-to-be-born niece’s face as she gazes at the newly refurbished Small World ride. Meanwhile, I will be over at MGM watching the look on my husband’s face as we ride Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster.

Sigh. In reality, I am watching the arrogant smirks on overpriced SUV owners' faces as they drive by through slushy snowflakes and sleet coming out of the sky.

27 January 2005

well, my niece is due to pop out of my older sister any day now, and i can officially say that i am getting antsy. i can't imagine how ellen's feeling. it's not like your wedding day where everything goes higgledy-piggledy for 72 hours then returns back to normal (or at least your normal combined with another person's normal) when you get back from the honeymoon. no--childbirth has no honeymoon. it's higgledy-piggledy pain to get her out then no sleep and worry and responsibility for another little person. I should worry that ellen will read this and freak out, but (a) she's not really the freaking out kind and (b) i doubt she has the energy to turn on the computer.

my dog is very upset with me right now. he was chewing on his rawhide really hard and his gums started bleeding, so i took away the rawhide. now, he's giving me the evil eye....and now he's wandered off to get a drink of water. he has the attention span of a 2 year old.

on a completely separate note, it's doubtful if there are any raw foodists reading my blog, but if there happen to be: how the heck do you find time for a raw food lifestyle??? i've started juicing recently, and by the time i clean the fruit, set up the juicer, cut it into juiceable chunks, juice it, clean the juicer, and put it away, that's a good 2 hours. of course, i juice ahead, so i'm usually juicing 5-6 glasses of juice. but still! all the same, that fresh, real juice is so dang addictive.

21 January 2005

well, it's official--the sinus problem is officially a great mystery. i went to have a ct scan this week of el sinuses, and here were the findings: perfectly normal. deviated septum and weird air pockets in my nose, but sinuses were clear. but is it normal to know before the local weatherman when a storm is coming because i'm in so much pain 2 days beforehand? no.

but apparently, surgery "may or may not help." the doctor would be willing to do it "if i asked" but would not make the statement that it would help my sinuses. my question: could it help? answer: "maybe. but i'm not making that statement."

stupid malpractice lawsuits.

20 January 2005

My, my. So much in my life has changed. Am married. Wonderful man. Drives me crazy sometimes, but just the mere thought of “if something ever happened to him…” leads me to the emotional equivalent of chopping off my right arm with a blunt saw.

I’m so sick of the question, “how do you like married life?” I usually mumble something to the effect of, “very much, thank you.” But in my mind, I secretly wonder, “WHAT am I supposed to say?” I love being married to my husband, but after the person asks, they inevitably keep staring at me until I tell some cute marriage anecdote. And so I’ve stored up a few for staring emergencies:

I love it! The biggest adjustment was the laundry. I had an allergic reaction to his detergent and so we switched to mine.

I love it! Snuggling up at night is the best feeling in the world…then we go to our own bed corners to get some decent sleep.

I love it! I got this great Kitchen-Aid mixer that my sister talked me into registering for at the last minute, but I haven’t even turned it on yet. Don’t tell my cooking friends who would spit on me with jealousy.

The truth? I DO love it. All the above things are true (Bill tried to talk me into buying an Ice-cream maker attachment for said mixer even though it’s never been turned on, and I’ve never made ice cream). But it’s also true that I’m daily struck by how normal everything is. It was just such a natural move to marriage. And at the same time, everything’s just a little bit harder and a little bit easier. I never thought, dating, that Bill and I would stand out in the open garage yelling at each other about carpet. I also never thought, dating, that snuggling on a lazy Saturday morning would be so nice.